Rayman

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Rayman
Rayman
Alignment Good

Appears in Rayman, Rayman 2, Tonic Trouble (cameo), Rayman: The Animated Series, Rayman Junior, Rayman M, Rayman Golf, Rayman Bowling, Rayman 3, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Rayman Kart, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party, Rayman Garden, Rayman Origins, Rayman Legends
Portrayed by Steve Perkinson (Rayman)

Billy West (Rayman: The Animated Series)
David Gasman (Rayman 2, Rayman 3, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party)


Sex Male
Species Rayman's species
Status Hero

Relatives Betilla the Fairy (creator)

Bad Rayman (clone)
Unnamed character (wife, Playstation Vita version of Rayman Origins)[1]
Ly the Fairy (suggested girlfriend, but only in concept art and not in the final Rayman 2)[2]
Unnamed character (girlfriend, Rayman 4)

Long ago, the Primordial Forest, deep and mysterious, witnessed the birth of a man... a vegetable... no, no, no: a thingamajig. Conjured from the magnificent moonbeams of the second summer solstice, woven together by us, the nymphs, destined to preserve the equilibrium of the sacred universe, the one we call: Rayman!
Rayman is a unique character of unknown origin.

No wise man or magician can say by what twist of fate or whim of the gods Rayman came to appear at the Glade of Dreams.

All we know of him comes from the fishermen on the Sea of Lums. After a particularly stormy night they found him sleeping peacefully in the shade of a palm tree. Frightened by this strange creature from the sea, they called on the people of the forest, the skies and the waters for help. And the sun had not yet reached the zenith when a host of beings, each one more bizarre than the next, came tumbling over the violet sand dunes. They watched him for a long time. "What kind of a man can he be who has neither legs nor arms?", they asked one another. "Can he possibly be alive?" wondered one of them when Rayman stretched and yawned loudly.

It didn't take Rayman long to convince the people of the Glade of Dreams of his good intentions. His energy and good humour, his fantastical powers and love of life and nature won over even the most distrustful of creatures. And when he triumphed over the evil Mister Dark, the truth was undeniable: Rayman was the bravest of them all, the ideal hero, the man for whom friendship and laughter are more important than anything else, for whom the greatest victory is measured by the extent of the celebrations that follow it.

Rayman no longer needs an introduction. He’s already been top of the bill in the 2 previous episodes. Nowadays, he’s a big star, even if he doesn’t exactly behave like one. He’s always taking naps and larking around with his pals – a fine example for the youth of today!
The limbless hero of our story was just in the mood for a little R&R. But the malicious Hoodlum masses never stay down for long, so it's up to our good friend Rayman to once again save the day, rescue the Teensies, and remind his best buddy Globox that "Boulders aren't for eating!".
Rayman was taken by surprise by this invasion from within. What do the Rabbids intend to do? It's hard to say. But now they're everywhere and their atypical psyches make them formidable and unpredictable oppenents.
This limbless hero from the Glade of Dreams is always raring for a fresh adventure to save the world!
—In-game description, Rayman Legends (Challenges App)

Rayman is the main protagonist of the video game series of the same name. Rayman was originally created in the early 1990s by French video game developer Michel Ancel. The character made his debut in the original Rayman game, published by Ubisoft in 1995. With his trademark lack of limbs and helicopter hair, Rayman has become a popular and recognisable video game character, and the series has continued to grow and develop across numerous platforms up to the present day.

Character description

Rayman as he appears in the original game

Appearance

Rayman was originally designed to simply be an athletic character and to have a full body, but because it could not be fully rendered even on games consoles in the mid-90s, he was left without arms, legs and a neck – his hands, feet and head float around his body. The Manual of Rayman Origins gives out a new explanation for Rayman's limblessness: the lack of Lums had the consequence of preventing the creation of his limbs. He has a huge round nose, and strawberry-blonde hair which he divides into two fronds (three in Rayman). He has the ability to use his hair as a helicopter, which lets him glide across large spaces and make soft landings. His eyes are dark blue in colour, though in most official artwork they are coloured black; two pictures in Rayman showed him with lighter blue eyes. While Rayman is unique in most of the games, other members of his unknown species are seen in Rayman, notably the Magician, Tarayzan, the Musician and his wife and child.

Rayman as he appears in Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Rayman is almost always seen in white gloves and a purple torso with a mysterious white ring on the chest, through which he gains new powers from Betilla the Fairy. The symbol can also absorbs the Silver Lums created by the fairies, and magically opens the pillars containing the Four Masks of Polokus in Rayman 2. Up until Rayman 3, he wore a red neckerchief, which was then replaced with a red hood. He also wears shoes that are typically yellow and white, though the actual designs have changed throughout the series. Rayman Raving Rabbids is where he is seen wearing different clothing that has raised a few questions about his ‘limblessness’ as he sometimes looks as if he has knees, such as the Disco costume with its trousers/pants. In Rayman Origins, his Rayman 3 attire was used, but his hood and shoes are a little different.

Rayman as he appears in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc

Physical

Rayman is a very laid-back character, as he is often seen snoozing either on a hammock or up against a tree, but he is also very athletic and shows great gymnastic skills (able to scale wall sides, and in the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3 he is able to do a "body shot", kick enemies and can do monkey bars), especially since being given the power to run in Rayman, and then get noticably better from Rayman 2. He is also strong enough to carry things such as baby Globoxes, Magic Spheres, plums and kegs. He can run while carrying the kegs in Rayman Revolution if he purchases an optional upgrade at the Magic Well. Rayman is also right-handed.

Rayman begins as a very poor swimmer; in the original Rayman, he loses a life the instant he falls into any body of liquid. By the time of Rayman 2, he has developed this new skill – although all he can do in this game is a simple dog-paddle. In Rayman Revolution, he is taught to swim by Murfy and a baby Globox at the beginning of the game. In Rayman 3 he is a far more capable swimmer; he can now use his helicopter hair to propel himself through the water, he can perform athletic underwater backflips, and he no longer seems to require any Blue Lums or air bubbles to breathe beneath the surface.

Personality

Rayman's true personality is not explored deeply in the series, though most of the time he is a cheerful character with a good sense of humour. He is also very helpful, and is willing to take on whatever challenges face him for the sake of the safety and harmony of his world. Sometimes he can be a little childish, especially in Rayman 1, as he often pulls grimaces as a form of defence. According to the now defunct Rayman's World website, he is brave, funny and also highly close to nature. In one interview, developer Natalie Paccard discusses the development of Rayman's personality between the two games: ‘Rayman was a platform game, Rayman 2 is an action game. The universe has also evolved a lot, and so has the character. Rayman 2 is a bit older, able to do more things, and loves a good fight. He's less childish. The game itself includes more action and more tricks.’ In later games, Rayman becomes somewhat self-absorbed, especially in Rayman Raving Rabbids, as the Rabbids start to treat him like a celebrity during his captivity, though he remembers and worries about the baby Globoxes that he left behind. That however seems to be put behind him as the Rabbids continue to harass him in Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party. It is revealed through interviews with Michel Ancel that Rayman was meant to be a bit of a show-off who does not take himself too seriously. This aspect of the character was supposedly overlooked during Rayman 2 because of Ubisoft's focus on the environments of the game. It was in Rayman 3 that Ubisoft tried to show Rayman's true personality, giving him an updated look to match his newfound attitude and charisma. A Rayman 3 press release stated that ‘Like his core gaming audience, Rayman as a character has matured and now has a wilder edge, only hinted at in the earlier games.’

However, in Rayman Origins, Rayman seems to have recovered part of his childish personality; he bears a more joyful, careless and impulsive attitude, though he keeps the heroic spirit that characterized him in previous games. While the trailers and other commercial media described him as a "New Crazy", Michel Ancel explains Rayman and Globox's personality: 'They're the kind of characters who look... stupid, really, but they're not stupid, just simple. And all they really want to do is just focus on doing their job, no matter what.' When Rayman Origins was still developed as a prequel, the newborn Rayman was intended to bear a more immature, confused and unintelligent personality, blowing Betilla's skirt with his Propeller hair and annoying the magic people; the game was initially focused on Rayman and Globox's personalities and how they evolved over time to become the heroes of the Glade of Dreams; the concept was changed when the game became a sequel.

Rayman as he appears in Rayman Origins

History

Rayman is the creation of French video game developer Michel Ancel, who was born in 1972. Around 1980, the eight-year-old Ancel began playing video games. Five years later, Ancel began to create his own simple logic games, featuring little characters that he invented himself. He often sketched character concepts on table corners, and around 1992, he came up with his favourite character so far: Rayman. Ancel left Rayman without any arms, legs or neck, making the character very easy to animate, as well as opening up unique gameplay possibilities, such as the telescopic fist. Ancel worked as a graphic artist and programmer on a string of Lankhor and Ubi Soft games in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In 1992, he and a small team of developers began production on a Super Nintendo game starring his Rayman character. Eventually it was decided to scrap this project, and rework it into an Atari Jaguar game, which was eventually released in 1995. By the end of the game's development cycle, the team had grown to contain dozens of members.

Rayman as he appears in Rayman Legends

Inspiration

A number of interviews with Ubisoft developers were posted on official websites in the period leading up to the release of Rayman 2: The Great Escape. In one interview, Rayman creator Michel Ancel revealed the inspirations behind the character. Ancel states Rayman 2 was inspired by Russian, Chinese and Celtic stories that he read as a child. These elements form the ‘fantastic background’ which comprises the Glade of Dreams, but ‘a more contemporary and cartoonish touch’ has been added. Ancel goes on to say that the concept of the game's world is similar to that of The Dark Crystal, which shares ‘its magic and its Celtic universe’. The cartoonish aspects were inspired by the works of Tex Avery. Ancel states that ‘Rayman is a true high-performance hero who keeps a good sense of humour like Indiana Jones. Rayman is a rebel, fighting against mighty bad guys like in Star Wars or Robin Hood’. This suggests that the villains of Ancel's Rayman games – Mr Dark and Admiral Razorbeard – may have been inspired by the likes of Darth Vader and the Sheriff of Nottingham. The character of Indiana Jones is also referenced by Rayman's co-creator Frédéric Houde and Rayman co-designer Serge Hascoët. According to a 2011 interview with the director of the Pix'n Love magazine (which has published numerous Rayman-related articles), Ancel took the name ‘Rayman’ from the ray-tracing software which Ubisoft happened to be using during the development of the original game.

Rayman's origins

Rayman is created by Betilla the Fairy

Several conflicting accounts have been given for Rayman's origins. During the development of the first game, the developers considered a story in which a ten-year-old boy named Jimmy created a world called Hereitscool inside his computer, and became Rayman once he was sucked into it. This idea was quickly abandoned. When Rayman was released in 1995, Rayman's backstory was left ambiguous, although he already appears to be an established hero within his world by the beginning of the game. The manual of Rayman 2: The Great Escape contains a different account of Rayman's origins. It tells of Rayman's first appearance in the Glade of Dreams, sometime before the events of the original Rayman game. In this version of the story, he is discovered by fishermen, who for some reason do not seem to have encountered his species before.

Rayman is a unique character of unknown origin.

No wise man or magician can say by what twist of fate or whim of the gods Rayman came to appear at the Glade of Dreams.

All we know of him comes from the fishermen on the Sea of Lums. After a particularly stormy night they found him sleeping peacefully in the shade of a palm tree. Frightened by this strange creature from the sea, they called on the people of the forest, the skies and the waters for help. And the sun had not yet reached the zenith when a host of beings, each one more bizarre than the next, came tumbling over the violet sand dunes. They watched him for a long time. “What kind of a man can he be who has neither legs nor arms?”, they asked one another. “Can he possibly be alive?” wondered one of them when Rayman stretched and yawned loudly.

It didn't take Rayman long to convince the people of the Glade of Dreams of his good intentions. His energy and good humour, his fantastical powers and love of life and nature won over even the most distrustful of creatures. And when he triumphed over the evil Mister Dark, the truth was undeniable: Rayman was the bravest of them all, the ideal hero, the man for whom friendship and laughter are more important than anything else, for whom the greatest victory is measured by the extent of the celebrations that follow it.

A revised origin story for Rayman was revealed at the E3 expo of 2010, when Ubisoft showed a trailer for the upcoming sequel Rayman Origins. The trailer showed the creation of Rayman by Betilla the Fairy. (See the quote at the top of this page for more information.) At this point in its development, Rayman Origins was intended as a two-player episodic downloadable prequel to the series, but it was eventually retooled into a four-player sequel with a retail release. A final, slightly modified version of Rayman's origin story was eventually offered on the official Rayman Origins website in November 2011, and can also be found in the game's manual.

Rayman with his wife, before he gained hair and became estranged from her.
When the Creator had his very first bad dream, the nymphs gathered to invoke a being of light capable of saving our world: a creature both agile and carefree, as tenacious as he is hilarious, destined to crack up the Creator with his heroic antics and stop the nightmare!

Unfortunately, although not surprisingly, our bedazzling and bodacious nymphs were distracted by some zombie chickens on their way to the sacred snoring grounds of the Bubble Dreamer, and they lost a sack of lums chasing the crazy creatures over a cliff. Thus, they arrived late and with a lot less illumination.

In the end, Rayman was born with a few missing limbs, which as it turned out, made him a whole lot more limber!

—Official site, Rayman Origins

It is not specified whether this story is intended to replace or complement the one from the Rayman 2 manual.

The PlayStation Vita version of the game contains two mosaics which can be viewed when the player collects enough Relics. One of these mosaics tells a story about Rayman's past. Long ago, Rayman was completely bald, and had a wife or girlfriend of his own species. One night, as they slept together in a forest, a colony of tiny blonde hair creatures crept up on Rayman and fused themselves into his head. Rayman's female companion, frightened by this strange turn of events, attempted to cut Rayman's hair with a pair of scissors. The terrified hairs pulled at Rayman's head, forcing him to flee, and he fell over the edge of a cliff, apparently to his doom; however, he was saved by his new hair, which gave him the ability to fly like a helicopter.

Trivia

Rayman's cameo in Thitaume and Pujol's Invasion‎ comic book
Rayman's cameo in Thitaume and Pujol's Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!‎ comic book
  • When Rayman 2 was released in Japan, Rayman's purple clothes and the stripes on Ly's suit had to be changed to blue, because it was thought that purple is the color of death in Japan. This is however incorrect as purple actually represents wealth and power. Rayman 2 is also the only Rayman game in Japan where such change was made.
  • One of Rayman's hobbies is painting, which was revealed at a later point in Rayman and in Rayman Junior.
  • Rayman also seems to like basketball. In Rayman 2, he would sometimes take his body off and play with it like a basketball whenever he is left idle. Also, in the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3 if the player decided to continue at the "Game Over" screen, Rayman would throw his body through a basketball net and catch it.
  • In Rayman 3 he seems to also show interest in football, as when he is left idle, he kicks his body around and can also kick turtles and plums.
  • Other sports that Rayman appears to like are Golf, Bowling and Karting, as Rayman Golf, Rayman Bowling and Rayman Kart suggest.
  • Some of Rayman's gymnastic skills include handstands, somersaults and back flips.
  • Rayman makes a cameo appearance in both the credits of Tonic Trouble and the Ski Slope level.
  • Rayman also makes a cameo in the Ubisoft title Academy of Champions, in which he is part of the Ubisoft team which features characters from other Ubisoft franchises such as Beyond Good and Evil, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia and Assassin's Creed. [1] In this team, Rayman is the goalkeeper. A hat based on Rayman's head is also available from the game's Item shop.
  • Due to a reaction during an activity in Rayman Premier Clics and due to the cover picture in a Joystick's magazine about Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, it is presumed that Rayman loves chocolate although it is not confirmed if it is his favourite food or not.
  • Rayman can play the harmonica, as shown in Rayman Activity Centre
  • Rayman makes a cameo appearance in Thitaume and Pujol's comic books of the Rabbids: in Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!‎ a Rabbid is wearing a shirt with his head, and in Invasion Rayman is seen in a poster.
  • Rayman can play the ukulele, as shown in Rayman Jungle Run
  • Despite not having a neck, Rayman is still able to eat and swallow. This is seen in the opening cutscene of Rayman Origins.
  • In Rayman Legends, it seems that he did not age at all after the 100 years nap,same goes for Globox and the Teensies.

Gallery

See also

Miscellanea

References

  1. YouTube, Rayman Origins - Rayman's Story - Vita Relics Cutscene, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHxD0dCB3aQ
  2. Rayman2.com (via archive.org), Romantic Wall Paper, http://web.archive.org/web/20000106193852/http://www.rayman2.com/en/goodies/goodies_wallpapers1.html