Rayman 2: The Great Escape is 3D scroll action/adventure platformer and the second game in the Rayman franchise, published on October 29, 1999, by Ubisoft studios. The game was set for release fon the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, PC, PlayStation 1, whereas remakes have been made for the Game Boy Color, PlayStation 2, iOS Devices, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, also featured on the PlayStation Network.
The game was a critical success by it's time, as critcs praised it's unique platforming and ahead of it's time graphcics, being known as one of the best platformers in it's generation.
It starts with Globox (who was introduced in this game) being dragged to his cell room by two Robo-Pirates. He is thrown into a cell with Rayman. Globox gives Rayman his fist and helicopter powers back, which he lost while fighting the pirates. After breaking through an escape vent in the cell, Rayman and Globox slide out of the prison ship only to be separated. Rayman meets the Baby Globoxes, who instantly start bawling after finding out that their dad is lost. Rayman promises to bring them back. After breaking open a cage, Rayman meets The Teensies. They tell Rayman to find Ly at the Fairy Glade. They then open up the Hall of Doors for Rayman, allowing him to travel the world via reference points. After rescuing Ly from her chamber, she gives Rayman the power to swing on Purple Lums and tells him of the rest of his quest. The Robo-Pirates can only be stopped by Polokus, the spirit of the world, who can be awakened by the powers of his four magical masks which are hidden around the world.
The rest of the game revolves around Rayman trying to find the four masks of Polokus and defeat Admiral Razorbeard. Along the way, he saves many friends including Sssam the Snake, Clark, and Carmen the Whale. After earning the four masks in sanctuaries around the world, Polokus is awakened and takes out all the pirates on land. He tells Rayman that whilst the lums make him invincible on land, in the Air he is "as vulnerable as a newborn," so he requests that Rayman take on the final pirate ship in the air which serves as Razorbeard's lair. In the end, Rayman defeats Razorbeard, whom, abandons his Grolgroth mech and activates its self destruct mode as a last resort to destroy Rayman. The blast annihilated the entire ship and Razorbeard makes his escape in tiny little Spacecraft. Rayman is presumed dead, all of his friends and Polokus gather at the place that Polokus had been during his state of hibernation, and they had placed Rayman's foot upon the plinth that Polokus normally stood upon. As it transpired, Rayman had somehow survived the explosion and made it safely to where his friend were. His foot began twitching and when Rayman emerged from round a corner, his foot leapt towards him, as did some of Globox's children, who hugged him. The credits then began to roll.
- The Woods of Light: After escaping the prison ship, Rayman falls into the woods of light only to realize that Globox is missing. This level is a training level and involves no real threats. There are, however, a few creatures here including, Globox's babies, The Teensies and a mosquito named Bzzit
- The Fairy Glade: This area is where Ly the fairy is being held captive. Rayman finds out about the Masks of Polokus. A secret area in this level containing one cage and two lums can be accessed via the echoing caves on all but the PlayStation and PS2 versions.
- The Marshes of Awakening: In this gloomy area, Rayman meets Sssam the snake. This area is also where the Cave of Bad Dreams is located at.
- The Bayou: Another part of the marshes. This is the first time Razorbeard's lackey attempts to kill Rayman with the Warship.
- The Sanctuary of Water and Ice: This area is where Rayman collects the first mask of Polokus. It is a cove that guards an icy temple-like structure. The guardian of the sanctuary is Axel the Grolem.
- The Menhir Hills: Rayman learns to tame the walking pirate shell and encounters Clark in this area as well. In this level, part of it cannot be accessed until you heal Clark with a potion called The Elixir of Life, accessed in the Cave of Bad dreams.
- The Cave of Bad Dreams: Depending on version, accessed via the Marshes of the awakening. It is a home of all Polokus' nightmares and its guardian is Jano. Once you know the name of the cave (Clark will give it to you) Jano will let you in, and your quest will be to find a hidden treasure within the cave. Once you find it you can either take the treasure or take The Elixir of Life. The game ends with a cut scene of an obese Rayman on a tropical island if you choose to take the treasure, if you choose The Elixir of Life the game continues normally.
- The Canopy: The place where you meet Globox again. You also learn of his rain-dance powers here.
- Whale Bay: A cove that holds Carmen the Whale and is extracting her blubber for fuel. In the PlayStation version, this level also contains the first mask.
- The Sanctuary of Stone and Fire: A labyrinth that has the most cages hidden from the necessary path in the level. It holds the second mask. It's guardian is Umber, or Colossus in the PlayStation version, and is the only guardian not to attack you. In the PlayStation version, a Ninjaw guards the second mask for his own evil uses.
- The Echoing Caves: A level where Rayman learns how to use powder kegs as rockets. It's also the level used to access the secret area in the fairy glade.
- The Precipice: A huge chasm with rapidly falling pieces of bridge. The second attempt at killing Rayman by Razorbeard's lackey, again with the warship, and in the non-PlayStation and non-PS2 versions, the first level with a ninjaw.
- The Top of the World: A jungle-canopy with a high-speed moving chair rail. There's also a pirate facility in it that is filled with Barrel Pirates.
- The Sanctuary of Rock and Lava: The only 'sanctuary' not to contain a mask. It starts out swampy, but reveals a lava-filled temple, filled with Nightmares of Polokus, floating flowers and a large, living stone statue named Umber.
- Beneath the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava: The home of the third mask. Rayman temporarily gains the ability to fly with his helicopter-hair in this level, and loses this ability thanks to the third guardian, Foutch. It's essentially a reprise in design of the previous level, except without the swampy opening.
- Tomb of the Ancients: This is a graveyard for pirates, and a place where Razorbeard's Lackey once again attempts to kill Rayman, but this time with a mind-controlled Clark. The secret 1000th lum is also here when the player gets the other 999 lums. It is dubiously the hardest level in the game.The secret 1000th Lum is located where you make a bridge of floating boards. Climb the spider web, jump, and helicopter while facing the wall to the left. Once you see an opening, turn right.
- The Iron Mountains: The home of the fourth and final mask. Also, Globox's children and his wife Uglette are imprisoned here as miners, and are rescued by Rayman. A globox baby gives Rayman the fourth mask, excepting in Rayman 2: Revolution, where there's a fourth guardian named Grolem 13.
- The Prison Ship: The ship Rayman was imprisoned on, and is now being infiltrated. The penultimate level. Rayman also gets to ride a flying shell.
- The Crow's Nest: As the name suggests, the crow's nest of the Prison Ship. This is where Rayman fights and defeats Admiral Razorbeard.
In addition, there are two bonus levels, the walk of life and the walk of power, accessed by the Bayou and the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava respectively. They give a reward for finishing them a health replenish and three golden fists respectively.
This level is only for the Sega Dreamcast version. When you're at the Woods Of Light you can access it. It is full of floating platforms.
PS1 Version's Levels
- B Bonus Levels
|Level No||Level Name||Notes|
|1||The Clearing||Opening level, meet the teensies|
|2||The Fairy Glade||Rescue Ly, defeat Gears boss|
|3||The Marshes of Awakening||Aided by Sam the snake|
|4||The Bayou||First attempt from Razorbeard to kill Rayman|
|B1||The Walk of Life||Rayman follows Ly to collect lums|
|5||Whale Bay||First mask is collected after defeating Axel the Grolem|
|6||The Menhir Hills||First encounter with Clark, who requires an Elixir of Life found in the Cave of Bad Dreams|
|7||The Cave of Bad Dreams||Hiding place of Elixir of Life, which saves Clark, Rayman defeats Jano the Guardian to retrieve the Elixir|
|8||The Canopy||Globox aids Rayman through the pirate-infested hills and caves|
|9||The Sanctuary of Stone and Fire||Second mask is collected after aid from Colossus, the guardian and defeating a Ninjaw|
|10||The Echoing Caves||Rayman discovers how to use powder kegs|
|11||The Precipice||Razorbeard's second main attempt to kill Rayman|
|12||The Sanctuary of Rock and Lava||A sanctuary which is found not to contain a mask, it is instead found beneath the sanctuary.|
|B2||The Walk of Power||Rayman follows Ly to collect more lums|
|13||Beneath the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava||Third mask is collected after heli-hairing through a spiky cave and defeating Foutch, the guardian|
|14||Tomb of the Ancients||A graveyard for pirates, a mind-controlled Clark is also found here but Rayman overpowers him|
|15||The Gloomy Island||Rayman rescues Globox, Uglette and their children, the Fourth mask is also collected here from Globox|
|16||The Prison Ship||Rayman attacks the ship he was imprisoned in previously|
|17||The Crow's Nest||Rayman finally battles Razorbeard|
Rayman 2 was released on a wide variety of platforms. There are several differences between the versions.
The PC version, entitled Rayman 2: The Great Escape, features the sharpest graphics due to semi-high resolution support, compared to the Nintendo 64 and the Dreamcast versions of the product. It is compatible with computers ranging from around the year of 1999 to the present day, although it can sometimes be hard to get the game to run on Windows XP. Fan-made patches have been released to correct some of the problems that occur on more recent configurations. GoG released an updated version of the game that supports modern PCs.
Dreamcast, Nintendo 64
Entitled Rayman 2: The Great Escape, these two versions are very similar. A few of the differences are: The Dreamcast version has several minigames and numerous changes have been made to the world map, levels and final battle between these versions.
The Sony PlayStation version was developed by Ubisoft Shanghai, and it was the first one to have the characters speaking English instead of gibberish. Numerous level design changes were made, and some levels were just removed altogether. A good example of this is the entrance to The Cave of Bad Dreams, which is no longer in The Marshes of Awakening, but instead in The Menhir Hills, in front of Clark. There are only 800 Yellow Lums in this version and the number remains the same all through the game (the scene with Razorbeard eating one of the Yellow Lums was changed so that he would eat a Red one instead) and instead of yellow lums being released, the cages mostly contain greenbottles (murfys), ludivs (fairy's), and denys (resemble minisaurus's from Rayman Revolution). Some exclusive characters are present in this version, such as Colossus and Ninjaws (which, in turn, make up for exclusive cutscenes as well). It is no longer possible to choose between the treasure and the elixir in The Cave of Bad Dreams, since the player is given no interaction in the respective cutscene, and Rayman automatically chooses the elixir. Additionally, this version features an exclusive mini-game for players who collect 90% of the Yellow Lums, which is thought to be a very old beta version of Rayman 2, showing a playable 2D level in the same style as Rayman 1.
The game was ported to the Nintendo DS under the title Rayman DS. Very few changes have been made to the game, though the touch screen is used for control. The DS version is very similar to the N64 one and is almost a direct port (with the addition of the touch screen capabilities, mainly a touchscreen analog stick). Unfortunately, the more conventional D-Pad control scheme (Instead of the touch-analog) was very laggy, making the game harder than anticipated.
Entitled Rayman 2: Revolution, this action-adventure version of Rayman 2 was released a year after The Great Escape. The PS2 release of the game featured some enhancements and some level revisions. The Hall of Doors is replaced by a central hub in which to walk freely and discover the game. Razorbeard spits out the last lum a while after he ate it. The major upgrade was that most 2-Dimensional objects featured in The Great Escape have been replaced with 3D models.
However, the frame rate is also far lower than the smooth 60 frames per second rate of the Sega Dreamcast version.
Yet another version of the game was available called Rayman 3D on Nintendo 3DS. This was a port of the Sega Dreamcast version. It received mixed reviews due to the fact that it was exactly the same and didn't use any of the Nintendo 3DS's features other than the 3D effect.
- Globox (and his family)
- The Teensies
- Bzzit (PS2 only)
- Carmen the Whale
In the PSOne version of the game, the creatures Rayman frees from the cages are split into three different races, the manual refers to them along with Polokus, The Teensies and Ly as "The Magical Beings":
- The Murphys (these creatures all look like and are the same race as Murfy)
- The Ludivs
- The Denys (bigger versions of these appeared as enemies in The Minisaurus Plains in Rayman 2: Revolution)
- Jano (The Guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams)
- Biditank (Rayman 2: Revolution only)
- Chenille, Queen of the Shadow Creatures (Rayman 2: Revolution only)
- Axel - Sanctuary of Water and Ice
- Umber (also known as Colossus) - Sanctuary of Stone and Fire
- Ninjaws - Villain protecting mask of Stone and Fire for his own use (PSOne only)
- Foutch - Sanctuary of Rock and Lava
- Grolem 13- Iron Mountains (Rayman 2: Revolution only)
Rayman 2 was received very well by critics and fans alike. It was lauded in most aspects: gameplay, audio, graphics and controls alike. Reviews praised the colorful, vibrant world and the varied soundtrack and varied gameplay. It is still hailed as one of the greatest games of all time.
The reception for the Nintendo DS version (dubbed "Rayman DS") was mixed, citing graphical flaws and camera problems. While it did support controlling the game via the touchpad, this was regarded as sloppy and awkward. These problems were partly caused by the game being a direct port of the Nintendo 64 version of the original.
- According to Rayman's biography, Rayman was apparently found by fisherman on an island by the Sea of Lums, and, seemingly, with no memory of the events that occurred in the first Rayman. Fans speculate that Rayman has not always been a resident of the Glade of Dreams, but somehow ended up there with no memory of his home world. This idea is further supported by the fact that he is the only creature in the Glade of Dreams that has not been created by the god Polokus.
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