Rayman 2

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Panic in the Chamber of the Teensies and the Fairy Council: Robo-Pirates from deep in space have arrived, determined to conquer and enslave their entire world. The time for combat has come. Volunteers form small resistance groups and throw themselves into battle with the evil aggressors. Rayman and his friend Globox go to the edge of The Great Forest, where the highest number of pirates are located.

Rayman jumps from a tree and activates his helicopter for a soft landing in the middle of a thicket of bushes. "The Pirates are coming straight at us!", cries Rayman to his friend. "Get ready!"

The earth suddenly begins to tremble...Several trees collapse, creating a passageway for an army of robots. The Battle begins! Rayman leaps into action, sending metal monsters flying with his powerful energy spheres. A little later, Globox, trembling with fright, desperately tries to make the robots rust up by creating little rain storms over their heads. A robot, creaking horribly, crashes to the ground. "Not bad, Globox!" shouts Rayman with a smile. Globox tries to answer, but Rayman doesn't hear. The strained face of Ly has just appeared in his mind. "Rayman...", begins Ly, in a weary voice., "The pirates have broken the heart of the world. The energy has scattered. Other than Clark, all of our brave warriors have been captured..."

Shocked by this terrible news, Rayman is surprised by a gigantic robot who pins him between its powerful pinchers. He tries to create a new energy sphere in the palm of his hand, but to no avail. The destruction of the Primordial Core has taken away all of his powers... Desparate, he shouts to his friend... "They've got me, Globox! Save Yourself!" "But...but...what about you?!" "No time to explain! Go find Ly, she'll tell you what to do!" After a moment of hesitation, Globox dodges between the feet of the robots, and plunges into the high grass.

An evil laugh reverberates. Rayman turns and sees Razorbeard, the leader of the Pirates. "I have you, Rayman! You'll soon be my most obedient slave!..."

Rayman tries to free himself, but the iron grip of the robot tightens around him. He casts a dark look at Razorbeard and shouts defiantly : " It's not over yet, pirate! I'll find a way to escape and then I'll make you wish you'd never been born!"

—Manual, Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Rayman 2: The Great Escape
Rayman2cover.jpg
Published by Ubi Soft Entertainment
Developed by Ubi Soft Montpellier

Directed by {{{directed by}}}
Produced by Pauline Jacquey
Designed by Michel Ancel, Jean-Christophe Guyot, Serge Hascoët, Frédéric Houde, Michaël Janod, Christophe Thibaut
Programmed by Yann Le Tensorer, Olivier Didelot (engine programming)
Art by Michel Ancel (artistic director)
Jean-Christophe Alessandri, Florent Sacre, Celine Tellier, Paul Tumelaire (graphics)
Alexandra Ancel, Hubert Chevillard (graphic research)
Written by David Neiss (scenarios and dialogue)
Michel Ancel (story)
David Gassman (English-language translation)
Soundtrack by Éric Chevalier (original music)
Daniel Masson (N64 MIDI adaptation)

Release date Nintendo 64:

European Union.png 29th October, 1999
United States of America(USA).png 31st October, 1999
Windows:
United States of America(USA).png 31st October, 1999
European Union.png 14th December, 2001
Dreamcast:
United States of America(USA).png 29th February, 2000
European Union.png 2000
Japan.png 23rd March, 2000
PlayStation:
United States of America(USA).png 15th September, 2000
European Union.png 8th September, 2000
Australia.png 2000
PS3, PSP (PlayStation Network):
United States of America(USA).png 18th December, 2008
iOS:
United States of America(USA).png 1st March, 2010
Nintendo DS:
United States of America(USA).png 24th March, 2005

Genre 3D platformer
Gameplay mode Single player
Platforms Nintendo 64, PC, Sega Dreamcast, Sony PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Sony Playstation 3 (PSN), Sony Playstation Portable (PSN), Apple iPhone, Apple iPod Touch, Nintendo 3DS
Ratings 7+ (PEGI), E (ESRB)
Distribution media Cartridge, CD-ROM, GD-ROM, DVD, digital download
System requirements

Rayman 2: The Great Escape is the second major game in the Rayman series. It is the first sequel to the original Rayman game, and the series's first 3D game. Rayman 2 introduced many brand-new major characters, though it featured almost none from its predecessor. Rayman 2 was first released in 1999 for the Nintendo 64 and was followed by ports for the Sega Dreamcast, PC, and Sony PlayStation, with each version being different in its own way due to the specifications of each console.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape is often abbreviated as Rayman 2 or (to avoid confusion with the similarly named Rayman Revolution) R2. The Sony PlayStation version of Rayman 2 was later released as a PSOne Classic on the North American PlayStation Network, on December 18, 2008. On March 1, 2010 and March 25, 2011, two versions based on the Dreamcast incarnation of the game were released for the Apple iPhone (and the Apple iPod Touch). A similar version was released for the Nintendo 3DS, under the title Rayman 3D. The PC version joined Rayman Forever on the digital distribution service Good Old Games on the 27th of May, 2011.

Plot

The beginning

The Buccaneer, the Robo-Pirates' prison-ship

Rayman 2: The Great Escape takes place in various locations throughout the Glade of Dreams, in contrast to the original game, which took place in a single surreal location known as the valley. Rayman 2’s manual contain's the game's backstory: an army of Robo-Pirates from the depths of space have arrived in the Glade of Dreams. Led by the infamous Admiral Razorbeard, the Robo-Pirates have already destroyed more than one hundred peaceful planets, and intend to enslave the inhabitants of the Glade. A resistance movement is formed to combat the pirates; the rebels include the heroic Rayman, his toad-like friend Globox, and a number of their allies. This period is covered in Report N° 20Z, a series of six brief stories initially posted on the game's official site. After fighting the pirates for an unknown time, Rayman and Globox head to the Great Forest, where the pirates have gathered, and launch an attack. In the middle of the battle, Rayman suddenly loses his powers. He is telepathically contacted by an ally, Ly the Fairy, who tells him that the pirates have just destroyed the Heart of the World, the mystical orb of energy which kept the world's balance intact. It has been shattered into a thousand fragments known as Yellow Lums, which are now scattered across the Glade. As a result of this unnatural upheaval, Rayman has lost the powers granted to him by Betilla the Fairy (with the exception of his helicopter hair), rendering him helpless and leaving him to the mercy of the pirates. At Rayman's encouragement, Globox flees to find Ly. Rayman is captured by the pirates, and brought face-to-face with the Admiral Razorbeard, who tells Rayman that he will soon be his most obedient slave. Rayman vows revenge.

Rayman and Globox are reunited in their prison cell
Rayman meets the Grand Minimus for the first time

At the opening of the game, we see numerous Robo-Pirate Warships flying above the seas off the coast of the Glade of Dreams. The narrator informs us that they are searching for innocent prey, and that the Glade has been reduced to a planet of anguish and pain. The destruction of the Heart of the World has disrupted the natural order – as a result, evil creatures such as caterpillars, spiders, piranhas and Zombie Chickens have begun to proliferate. Rayman has been captured by the pirates and is currently being held in the Buccaneer, the colossal, flying prison-ship where they keep their tens of thousands of slaves. Inside the Buccaneer, we see that Globox has just been captured; he is being dragged to his cell by a pair of basic Henchmen 800. Once inside, he is reunited with Rayman, who is overjoyed to see his friend but despairs of their current situation. Globox offers a ray of hope: he reaches into his mouth and pulls out a Silver Lum, a glowing ball of energy which can grant Rayman a new power. Ly the Fairy created it and gave it to Globox, instructing him to allow himself to be captured so that he could smuggle it to Rayman. The hero absorbs the Silver Lum through the round symbol on his chest, and finds that his magic fist power – the ability to throw energy spheres – has been restored. Rayman uses it to break into a ventilation duct, and the two friends slide out of the ship and fall into the forest below.

The Hall of Doors, the game's level selection hub
Rayman comes to rescue Ly the Fairy

Rayman lands in the Woods of Light, but Globox is nowhere to be seen. He meets a greenbottle who introduces himself as Murfy; he will act as Rayman's guide throughout the game, and will return to play a similar role in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Rayman comes across a cage with the Robo-Pirate insignia; upon breaking it, he finds the first of the Yellow Lums, the thousand fragments of the Heart of the World which are scattered across the Glade of Dreams. As he collects more, Rayman will be allowed to access new areas, as well as gaining the Knowledge of the World. Rayman encounters three of the baby Globoxes – the 650 children of Globox and his wife, Uglette. The babies are delighted to see Rayman, but begin to cry when he tells them that he does not know where their father is. Rayman asks them if they have seen Ly, and they inform him that the pirates have dragged her away. Soon Rayman comes across another pirate cage; when he breaks it, he finds an old friend and ally from Rayman Origins: the Grand Minimus, King of the Teensies. Unfortunately the Grand Minimus has been locked in the cage with three of his brethren for so long that they can no longer remember which of them is the real king, leading them to spend a great deal of time squabbling over this. When they come to their senses, they inform Rayman that Ly was kidnapped by the Robo-Pirates and imprisoned in the Fairy Glade. In order to help him, they will transport him to the Hall of Doors, a secret place which can be used to travel instantly to many locations. In order to open the way to the Hall, the Teensies require five Yellow Lums which Rayman can find scattered throughout the level. Once he brings them, the Teensies use their energy to open a magic, swirling portal known as a Spiral Door. Rayman jumps in and finds himself in the Hall of Doors, a forested cosmic void containing many Spiral Doors which lead to many places. Most of these levels must be completed in a set linear order.

The four Masks of Polokus which Rayman must collect

Rayman's first stop is the Fairy Glade, where the Robo-Pirates are holding Ly the Fairy captive. This is the first level in the game where Rayman can actually fight and defeat Robo-Pirates. Eventually he finds Ly, who is imprisoned inside a spherical forcefield. He uses kegs to destroy the pirate machine which is powering the forcefield, thus freeing Ly. She tells him that their only hope for victory over the pirates is the god Polokus, who was previously encountered in Rayman Origins under the guise of the Bubble Dreamer. Polokus is the creator of the Glade of Dreams. His power is such that his slighest dream or desire becomes reality, but he has been sleeping for many years, so he currently connot help combat the pirates. However, there is a legend which states that he can be reawakened by collecting the Four Masks of Polokus, which he hid in four Sanctuaries around the Glade of Dreams long ago in case his people should ever need to wake him. Ly tells Rayman that he must find these Masks. Before leaving, she gives him a Silver Lum which grants him the power to swing through the air on Purple Lums and cover large distances without touching the ground. At the end of the level, Rayman breaks a cage and frees a Teensie, who opens a Spiral Door which can take Rayman back to the Hall of Doors. This scenario occurs at the end of almost every following level in the game.

The first mask

Rayman's next stop is the Marshes of Awakening, a murky swamp. At the beginning of the level, the player can find a side-path leading to a hidden area where Rayman meets a monster named Jano. If Rayman approaches Jano, the monster shoos him away, telling him that he can only enter his domain if he knows its name. Back on the main path, Rayman finds a cage floating in the swamp water. When he breaks it, his friend Sssssam the Watersnake emerges. Rayman asks Sssssam if he knows where he can find the Four Masks of Polokus, but the snake has no idea. Sssssam invites Rayman to grab his neckerchief with his magic fist and hang on tight so that the snake can ferry him across the marshes to the end of the level.

The next level is the Bayou, a similar swampy location that Rayman must traverse on foot. Admiral Razorbeard is concerned by Rayman's progress, and despatches several Warships to destroy him. Razorbeard eats a Yellow Lum, reducing the number of extant Yellow Lums from 1000 to 999. At the beginning of the level is a side-path where Rayman can find a hologram of Ly the Fairy. If he has enough Yellow Lums, she will teleport him to a side-level called the Walk of Life. Although the Bayou is beset with Robo-Pirate Warships and dangerous obstacles such as helicopter bombs, Rayman makes it through the area unscathed.

The Walk of Life is one of two optional bonus levels in the game, the other being the extremely similar Walk of Power. It must be unlocked by going to the Bayou and approaching the holoram of Ly the Fairy after collecting a certain number of Yellow Lums. Once it has been unlocked, it can be accessed directly from the Hall of Doors. In the level, Rayman must run with Ly and reach the finish line within a set amount of time. There are many Yellow Lums which can easily be collected. If the level is completed within the time limit, Ly grants Rayman full health.

The stone column containing the first Mask
Rayman brings the first Mask to Polokus

The next main level after the Bayou is the Sanctuary of Water and Ice, where Rayman will find the first of the Four Masks of Polokus. This is the first of the game's Sanctuaries, and like the ones which follow, Rayman must collect a certain number of Yellow Lums in order to enter. The Grand Minimus Teensies facilitate his journey from their council chamber; they have agreed to settle the matter of their identity by taking turns wearing the crown every few seconds. The level starts on a beach, and soon ventures into a more cosmic and surreal territory when Rayman opens the Sanctuary door. The interior is composed mainly of blue stone, but it resembles the Hall of Doors in that it seems to exist in a starry void. Deep inside, Rayman encounters Axel, the Guardian of the Sanctuary of Water and Ice. This blue floating being deems Rayman an intruder and immediately attacks him, as he was instructed to do by his creator, Polokus. With the telepathic advice of Ly the Fairy, Rayman uses his magic fist to hit an icicle, causing it to fall onto Axel's head and defeat him. Rayman moves on to the final chamber of the Sanctuary, where he finds a raised platform on which rests a large stone container. As Rayman approaches the stone, the symbol on his chest lights up, as does the identical symbol on the front of the stone. An energy connection forms between the two, and the stone slides open. Out of it rises the first Mask of Polokus. Rayman takes hold of it and is teleported to a strange, mystical promontory, where he meets Polokus, the god who dreamed the Glade of Dreams into existence. Polokus is sitting atop a stone identical to the one in which Rayman found the Mask. He congratulates Rayman on his progress, then takes the Mask and attaches it to one of the four sides of his stone. Polokus then creates a Spiral Door which takes Rayman back to the Hall of Doors.

The second mask

Rayman meets the sick Clark in the Menhir Hills

The next level Rayman must visit is the Menhir Hills, a rough area filled with large green stones known as menhirs. He finds his first walking shell – a two-legged mechanical missile created by the Robo-Pirates. With Murfy's help, Rayman learns to tame and ride these missiles; he must do this several times in this level in order to cross nettle patches which cannot be traversed on foot. Rayman passes through the Elite Troop Training Centre, where Henchmen 800 doze rather than train. Eventually Rayman comes to another Robo-Pirate installation, where he finds his friend, Clark the Giant. Clark has just defeated twenty pirates, but in the heat of battle, he accidentally swallowed a rusty pirate part and took ill. In order to recover, he needs the Elixir of Life, which can only be found in a place known as the Cave of Bad Dreams. Rayman finds a Spiral Door nearby and leaves, promising that he will return with the Elixir.

Back in the Hall of Doors, the player must return to the Marshes of Awakening and take the side-path at the beginning of the level. In a hidden area, he finds the monster Jano, who would not let Rayman enter his domain earlier. Now that Rayman knows this place is called the Cave of Bad Dreams, Jano allows him to enter. First he tells Rayman that he has hidden a great treasure inside the cave, and that whoever reaches it may claim it. He also tells Rayman that he will chase and kill him, but says that he will give him a head start. Jano then hypnotises Rayman with the eyes of his skull-topped staff and teleports Rayman to the Cave of Bad Dreams. This cave has a bluish glow and is infested with caterpillars and mini Janos. It is where the evil creatures spawned by Polokus's nightmares are imprisoned. Rayman makes his way towards the heart of the cave, and is chased down a slimy and slippery tunnel by Jano, who attempts to eat him. Then the two battle, with Jano constantly retreating and eventually fleeing. Rayman then finds the final chamber, a cavern filled with gold and jewels. Jano tells Rayman that he has defeated him, and that he may take what he wants. Rayman can either take the treasure for himself or take the Elixir for his friend; the player is allowed to choose which one. If the player selects the treasure, an obese Rayman is transported to a desert island with his gold, the words ‘Game Over’ appear on the screen, and the player is asked the question again. If the player selects the Elixir, Jano informs Rayman that he has chosen wisely and teleports them both back to the Marshes of Awakening. It is revealed that the skull atop Jano's staff actually contains the Elixir; Jano gives it to Rayman and the two part on good terms. The Cave of Bad Dreams can now be accessed directly from the Hall of Doors.

Rayman and Globox make their way through the Canopy

Back in the Hall of Doors, the player must move forward to the Menhir Hills once again, and repeat the early parts of the level. This time, when Rayman encounters the ill Clark, he gives him the Elixir of Life, which instantly restores him to perfect health. Clark smashes several walls, allowing Rayman to pass on to the next area of the Menhir Hills. (Clark leaves to find more pirates to fight – the consequences of this become apparent when Rayman reaches the Tomb of the Ancients later in the game.) Rayman rides a walking shell through tunnels filled with menhirs which emerge rapidly from the ground. Eventually he reaches a Spiral Door and completes the level.

Carmen is imprisoned in the Whale Bay

Rayman's next stop is the Canopy, a level set high in the upper levels of a yellow forest. Here he finds that his friend, Globox (whom the Robo-Pirates consider their ‘Public Enemy #2’), has been imprisoned again. Rayman flicks a switch with his magic fist, causing the laser cage which holds Globox to be deactivated. The two friends make their way through the Canopy. Globox uses his Rain Dance ability to short-circuit laser fences and make plants grow, but he becomes frightened and flees every time they encounter any Robo-Pirates. Rayman assures him that there is nothing wrong with being scared. Globox reaches into his mouth and produces another Silver Lum from Ly the Fairy. This one allows Rayman to charge his magic fist, making for more power energy balls which explode like grenades upon contact. After defeating a Warship, the two friends continue and eventually find a Robo-Pirate installation; with the help of Globox's Rain Dance, Rayman hides inside a large newly-grown shrub and uses it to infiltrate the installation, where he finds a Spiral Door. Globox regretfully says that he cannot accompany Rayman, as he must go to find his wife Uglette.

The next level is Whale Bay, a watery location infested by Robo-Pirates and piranhas. The benevolent whale, Carmen, has been imprisoned in a laser cage by the pirates, who plan to use her blubber to oil the engines of the Buccaneer. Rayman frees her, and she releases air bubbles which allow him to accompany her underwater. Unfortunately the local piranhas want to steal the bubbles to ease their heartburn, so Rayman must frighten them off with his magic fist so that he can continue to breathe. Eventually Rayman completes his underwater passage and comes to the end of the level.

The next level is the Sanctuary of Stone and Fire, the second of the game's Sanctuaries. This is a long and labyrinthine level, filled with secret passages, wrong turns and optional areas, including an entire temple which has no discernible purpose. Rayman spends a great deal of time on plums, which can be used to cross the many lakes of lava. Eventually Rayman comes to a chamber containing a large blocky stone statue: this is Umber, the Guardian of the Sanctuary of Stone and Fire. Unlike Axel, Umber is pacifistic; he allows Rayman to stand on his head while he walks across a pool of lava, taking Rayman to the final chamber. It is shaped much the same as the chamber in which Rayman found the first Mask, with a raised platform on which sits a stone container. Rayman's symbol once again connects to the stone; it slides open, and the second Mask emerges. Rayman takes it and once again is transported to Polokus's domain. The god congratulates Rayman, takes the Mask, affixes it to his stone, and sends Rayman back to the Hall of Doors.

The third mask

The rollercoaster in the Top of the World

Rayman's next stop is the Echoing Caves. At the beginning of the level, he finds himself in a non-linear area which he must explore to find four switches. These open a door which leads into a Robo-Pirate stronghold. Inside, Rayman must set kegs on fire and use them as rockets to fly himself over underground lakes of poisonous green water. At one point, a secret passage can be found, leading Rayman to a secret location in the Fairy Glade where an otherwise unreachable cage can be found. Completing this area returns Rayman to the Echoing Caves. At the end of the level, a Robo-Pirate Warship can be seen sailing ominously through the distant sky.

The next level is the Precipice. Admiral Razorbeard is growing increasingly concerned with Rayman's progress, and sends several Warships to destroy him. The Precipice is a high, mountainous region. Rayman must cross huge gulfs on rickety wooden Robo-Pirate bridges which collapse within seconds of setting foot on them, while simultaneously avoiding the aggressive and untameable red walking shells and the cannonballs from the pursuing Warships. One memorable moment occurs when Rayman must helicopter into a vast abyss while collecting a trail of Yellow Lums and fighting off a nearby Warship's helicopter bombs. Near the end of the level, Rayman must battle a powerful Ninja Pirate before gaining access to the final cage and its imprisoned Teensie, who then creates a Spiral Door which will take Rayman back to the Hall of Doors.

Next is the Top of the World, a location high in the mountains of the Glade of Dreams. Rayman rides a rollercoaster through forests, Robo-Pirate installations and other obstacles, eventually finding himself in a pirate fortress. After fighting his way through the pirates inside (including numerous powerful Barrel Pirates), Rayman comes to the end of the level. He must free a Teensie from a hidden side-passage in order to open the Spiral Door.

Rayman's next stop is the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava, the third of the game's Sanctuaries. Rayman begins in a swamp; if he follows a side-path, he finds a hologram of Ly the Fairy, who will teleport him to the Walk of Power if he has enough Yellow Lums. If he follows the main path, Rayman soon finds himself in a series of lava-filled passageways. The level's name is misleading; unlike the previous Sanctuaries, there are no bosses to be fought here.

The Walk of Power is the second of the game's two optional bonus levels, and is extremely similar to the Walk of Life. Rayman must first access this level by talking to the holographic Ly the Fairy in the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava, but once it has been visited, it can be accessed directly from the Hall of Doors. In this level, Rayman races against Ly while collecting Yellow Lums. The level must be finished within a set time limit; once the level is completed, Ly gives Rayman three Power Fists.

The next level is Beneath the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava, a complex network of underground tunnels filled with nettles and lava. At the beginning of the level, Ly the Fairy appears, and gives Rayman the Super Helicopter ability so that he can fly through the tunnels (though it requires great precision to accomplish this unharmed). At the end of the level, Rayman is attacked by Foutch, the Guardian of the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava. Foutch looks very similar to Axel, except for his colour; where Axel was blue, Foutch is yellow. He is also much more aggressive and powerful than the other Guardians. He sneaks up behind Rayman and punches him, causing him to lose his Super Helicopter ability. Foutch then chases Rayman around his arena while hurling columns of flame at him. Rayman uses his magic fist to shoot the stalactites under which the pursuing Foutch regularly passes; after being hit on the head by three stalactites, Foutch is defeated. He releases a Purple Lum; Rayman uses it to swing to a high bridge leading to the centre of the arena, where he drops down and finds himself facing the chamber containing the third Mask. As before, Rayman's symbol opens the stone container, and the Mask transports him to Polokus's domain, where the god attaches it to his own stone column and tells Rayman that his quest is almost complete. Polokus creates a Spiral Door to take Rayman back to the Hall of Doors.

The fourth mask

The Spyglass Pirate forces Clark to attack Rayman

The next level is the Tomb of the Ancients, an eerie graveyard-themed location. This area is under the rule of the Robo-Pirates, who have several important installations here and seem to be burying their dead in the area. At the beginning of the level, Rayman finds a sign saying that the pirates have captured his friend Clark here and taken him to the Technical Check-up. This level also contains a notable secret passage in which Rayman can find the 1000th Yellow Lum – the one which Admiral Razorbeard ate earlier in the game – though it is unclear how it came to be there. Another secret area, nicknamed the Tomb of the Ancients secret, shows a strange celebration taking place and allows the player to unlock several cheat codes. At the end of the level, Rayman comes to the Technical Check-up, where he finds Clark. The giant is at first delighted to see his friend, but he soon begins acting strangely. Rayman discovers that he has a mechanical device implanted in his back; he is being controlled by the Spyglass Pirate, a servant of Admiral Razorbeard. Rayman is forced to fight his friend, and eventually manages to destroy the remote-control device, freeing him from the Spyglass Pirate. Clark helps Rayman reach a Teensie cage and complete the level.

Polokus awakens when Rayman brings him all four Masks

Next is the Iron Mountains, a strange and eclectic level. First Rayman finds himself in a rainy swamp. Then he passes into a Robo-Pirate installation, goes through a high-tech electrical barrier with many moving parts, and emerges in a mountainous area where he must fight another Ninja Pirate – the second of only two in the entire game. He then helicopters down into a hot air balloon, which takes him to a misty, menhir-filled peak called the Gloomy Island. He makes his way past the gigantic Robot Dinosaur and enters the Reformatory for Disturbing Children, where some of the baby Globoxes are imprisoned. Eventually Rayman manages to free them, and rides a walking shell past the Robot Dinosaur and into a passage which leads to the next area – the Pirate Mines. Here Rayman meets a distraught Uglette, who informs him that the pirates have kidnapped her and Globox's babies and put them to forced labour in the mines. She says that Globox tried to stop them, but the pirates captured him too, and took him to the Buccaneer. Rayman commandeers an unmanned nearby Warship and uses it to fly around to the four mines – north, south, east and west – collecting hundreds of baby Globoxes. He brings them back to Uglette, who is overjoyed. One of the baby Globoxes reaches into him mouth and takes out a mask, which he says he found in the mines. Rayman sees it and realises that it is the fourth and final Mask of Polokus; saying goodbye to Uglette and the babies, he takes the Mask and is transported to Polokus's domain. Polokus congratulates Rayman, takes the Mask and attaches it to the remaining side of his four-sides stone column. The stone begins to spin rapidly, blurring until it is transfigured into a transparent, glowing portal. Polokus tells Rayman that, now that he has been awakened, he can destroy all of the Robo-Pirates in the Glade of Dreams, but says that he has no power in the air – Rayman himself must confront Admiral Razorbeard onboard the flying Buccaneer. Rayman steps into Polokus's portal; his health is increased to maximum, and he is transported to the Hall of Doors.

The ending

The next level is the Prison Ship, also known as the Buccaneer. About the same time Rayman enters this level, Admiral Razorbeard receives a very special guest: the General from Tonic Trouble, another Ubisoft game. The General is a salesman, and persuades Razorbeard to purchase the Grolgoth, a powerful robot with which Razorbeard could finally defeat Rayman. The Prison Ship itself is colossal, and Rayman must slide across its floors and tunnels while avoiding obstacles and trying not to fall. Later he gains a flying shell, which he uses to fly through complex and labyrinthine passageways. Eventually Rayman finds the room where the prisoners are located; he smashes all of the cages, and the newly-freed Teensies create Spiral Doors which can take everyone – Teensies, birds, Ludivs and baby Globoxes – to freedom.

Razorbeard detonates the Buccaneer

The final level of the game is the Crow's Nest. The player is taken directly to this level when they complete the Prison Ship, but it is possible to return to the Hall of Doors via the pause menu (a feature unique to this level); this enables the player to save their game and access the Crow's Nest directly from the Hall of Doors, without having to play through the Prison Ship each time they wish to access it. At the beginning of the level, the Spyglass Pirate infroms Admiral Razorbeard that Rayman has collected the four Masks of Polokus and that he is currently onboard the Buccaneer. Razorbeard is furious and tells the Spyglass Pirate that he will swim in molten lava for his failure, but orders him to prepare the Grolgoth in the meantime; Razorbeard wishes to deal with Rayman personally. In order to lure Rayman to the Crow's Nest – he ties up Globox there and prepares to kill him. Rayman arrives, and the Grolgoth (piloted by Razorbeard) attacks; Globox is knocked off the side of the ship, and Rayman is forced to fight the Grolgoth. After using his magic fist to reflect several of the Grolgoth's helicopter bombs back at it, the Grolgoth jumps at Rayman, accidentally breaking through the mesh floor. Rayman and the Grolgoth tumble down the hollow mast of the ship towards the boiling lava below; Ly the Fairy uses her magic to save Rayman and give him a flying shell with which he can fight the Grolgoth. In order to attack, Rayman must collect glowing orbs which temporarily give him the ability to shoot at the Grolgoth. After a long battle, the Grolgoth is defeated, and Razorbeard flees in an escape pod after activating the Grolgoth's self-destruct mechanism. The Buccaneer is blown to pieces with Rayman still inside.

We then see Rayman's friends – Ly the Fairy, Clark, Murfy, the Grand Minimus, Globox, Polokus, Uglette and three baby Globoxes, all gathered on Polokus's dreamlike promontory for a memorial service. They could only recover Rayman's left shoe, and they believe that Rayman died in the explosion of the Buccaneer. Suddenly a limping, one-footed Rayman emerges from the woods nearby, much to the joy of everyone present. His shoe rejoins his body and he looks up at all his friends, last of all Ly, while hugging the baby Globoxes. Fireworks are launched in celebration, and a message is displayed congratulating Rayman on his feats. The harmony of the Glade of Dreams has been restored and the Heart of the World has been pieced back together. The game ends with the message, ‘Now rest, you may have to fight again. Who knows what tomorrow will bring...’, referencing the next game, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. The end credits sequence shows Admiral Razorbeard's escape pod fleeing through the depths of space.

Early production

Main article: Rayman 2 (2D prototype)

Rayman 2: The Great Escape was first developed to be a 2D sidescrolling platform game similar to the original Rayman, and was planned to be released on the Sony PlayStation and the Sega Saturn.[1] Screenshots, videos and interviews indicate that the game would still involve an invasion of robots from space. The game featured enemies similar to the Robo-Pirates, and it also featured background platforming - using a device similar to a shower head and a toilet flush, Rayman could teleport from the foreground to the background (and vice-versa). One video in particular also featured Betilla the Fairy, and showed her imprisoned in a cell.

This 2D game was cancelled in favour of the 3D version it became, though a playable prototype (version 01.12d) featuring one level is included in the PlayStation version of Rayman 2, and is unlocked if the player collects at least 720 Yellow Lums out of the version's total 800. It was recently discovered that this prototype was last worked on at May 31st 1996 and was sent to the Playstation RayMan 2 team so that they could incorporate one of its levels into their version of the game.

Not much is currently known about the development of the 3D game that eventually became the final Rayman 2, however, from pre-release screenshots and footage, it is clear that level designs underwent significant evolution, and the HUD was at one point also drastically different to the HUD seen in the final game. Recent texture hacking led to the discovery of more pre-release elements, such as a third red Magic Sphere. Recently, some topics allowed the community to extract textures, modify them.


After the textures for the PC versions of Rayman 2 became accessible, textures for a third red coloured sphere and its pyramid base were located, it is unknown why these textures went unused and where the objects they represented were meant to be placed. Despite not being used in the game itself, they can be made to replace the other used colourations via texture hacking.

An idle Red Sphere, as it could have appeared, in the Cave of Bad Dreams
The base for a Red Sphere, as it could have appeared, in the Cave of Bad Dreams


Also, a purple lums was discovered.

Unused purple lums

Gallery

A collage of Rayman 2 artwork and screenshots used as a reference for the artistic design of Rayman Origins
Another representative Rayman 2 collage used as a reference for Rayman Origins

Gameplay

The gameplay in Rayman 2 is somewhat similar to that of Rayman, though this time Rayman starts with a few powers to defend himself, one of which is given to him by Globox who is introduced at the very beginning. The aim of the game is to rescue all of the Yellow Lums that have been scattered following the explosion of the Primordial Core, and the creatures that have been imprisoned in cages, while defeating any Robo-Pirates that stand in Rayman's way.

Main characters

The good guys

The bad guys

Environment

Unlike Rayman 1, Rayman 2 is not divided into certain themed worlds, but rather a trail of 20 different locations, none of which are as surreal as its predecessor's, but are still dissimilar to the real world. The levels are played in a linear fashion in a World Map known as the Hall of Doors (Isle of Doors in the Dreamcast version), with most levels following a single path (though the Cave of Bad Dreams, Walk of Life, and Walk of Power are on side-paths). The player is able to backtrack to past levels if he or she wishes, and can move on to the final stage without breaking all of the cages.

Levels

PC, Nintendo 64 and Dreamcast version

Only the PC, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast versions (including their derivatives like the DS/3DS and iOS ports) feature a consistent level set. The PlayStation version cuts down the number of levels and shortens existing ones, while the PlayStation 2 version expands existing levels and even adds new ones. This list does not include the Game Boy Color version, which is a completely separate game.


Manuals

Click on the thumbnails to read the manuals.

The English PC Manual packaged with the GoG.com version
The French PC Manual
The Swiss/Finnish PC Manual
The Spanish PC Manual
The Italian PC Manual
The German PC Manual
The Dutch PC Manual
The Danish/Norwegian PC Manual

Promotion

Ubisoft promoted Rayman 2 with many toys and even a cartoon. There were YoYos, cell phone covers, a PlayStation 2 remote, a version of the game with a figure, and Happy Meal toys.

Cartoon

Main article: Rayman: The Animated Series

McDonald's

Main article: Figures

Between the 17th of May and 13th of June 2000, Ubisoft joined with McDonald's to make a Happy Meal with Rayman toys. These toys were a Rayman riding a walking shell, Rayman on a plum with spinning helicopter hair, a light-up cage, a sound-making Henchman 800, a wobbling Globox and Ly the Fairy. The toys were only available in France.

Tonic Trouble

Characters from each game made cameo appearances in the other game. In Tonic Trouble, Rayman would be seen during the game's end credits. In Rayman 2, a salesman who previously appeared in the intro sequence of the PC version of Tonic Trouble sells the Grolgoth to Razorbeard late in the game. Tonic Trouble was worked on (though not designed) by Michel Ancel, used the Rayman 2 engine, originally appeared on the same platforms as Rayman 2, and was also released by Ubisoft, giving reason for the crossovers, though Tonic Trouble had not fared well critically or commercially, whereas Rayman 2 became successful in both areas.

Royal V

The musical group Royal V released an album with a bonus music dedicated to Rayman 2, under the name of "It's Good to be the King". The official videoclip features unique footage of scrapped areas of the game.

Rayman Mobile

Rayman Bowling, Rayman Golf, and Rayman Garden are spin-offs of Rayman 2 and its remakes. These games were ported by Gameloft to the N-Gage and other Samsung and Nokia phones.

In May 2010 Rayman 2 was released on the iOS platform.

Reception

Rayman 2: The Great Escape was released to critical acclaim. On Metacritic, the N64 version of the game received a score of 90%, signifying universal acclaim.[2] On GameRankings, the Dreamcast, Windows, N64 and PlayStation versions of the game were assigned scores of 92.71%, 91.27%, 88.83% and 87.23% respectively.[3]

The game has been included on several lists of the greatest games of all time. IGN rated it as the 67th-greatest game.

Platform gaming has long been known for jumping, bopping enemies, and collecting items. Rayman 2 broke no new grounds in these areas, but instead perfected them as no other game had before. Starring a character with no arms, legs or neck, Rayman 2 is a demonstration of what the modern platform game could be – smart, fast and challenging.
—IGN staff, IGN[4]

GameSpot staff member Ryan Davis wrote an article on the game for the site's 'Greatest Games of All Time' series.

The gameplay was great, but, truly, it was the presentation of Rayman 2 that brought the whole package together. This was a game created by artists, not technicians, and its use of crisp, clear, beautifully crafted textures over relatively simple 3D objects is a testament to that. This isn't to say that Rayman 2 wasn't technically impressive at the time, because its massive 3D environments proved it certainly was that, but the creators of Rayman 2 wanted to awe you with the surreal, vivid world they had created, instead of showing you some nifty technical tricks. The lush, slightly off-kilter musical score certainly helped perpetuate this dreamy reality, as did the nonsense languages that the inhabitants of The Great Escape spoke.

Rayman 2: The Great Escape is more than the sum of its parts, though its parts are admittedly a bit impressive on their own. Its European roots show through – as do Rayman creator/designer Michel Ancel's interests in Nordic and Celtic mysticism – and lend the affair a flavour that has not been replicated since. Simply put, you will not have another video game experience quite like Rayman 2: The Great Escape, which is why we chose it as one of the greatest games of all time.

For my money, 3D platforming reached its absolute apex in Rayman 2: The Great Escape. I played through The Great Escape on the PC. Then I played through Rayman 2: Revolution on the PlayStation 2. And each time my experience with Rayman 2 had been simply sublime. It's an amazingly well-crafted platformer, providing a variety of play that most modern platformers can't match. But what stays with me the most, over time, is the beautiful, surreal world that Rayman 2 takes place in. I've not had a 3D platforming experience that good, before or since.

—Ryan Gage, GameSpot[5]

Remakes

  • Rayman Revolution – PlayStation 2 remake with numerous added, rearranged and mixed levels, new enemies, and a new free-roaming hub area which replaces the Hall of Doors.
  • Rayman DS – DS remake identical to the original N64 version, though it is affected by many glitches and bugs that were not present in the original.
  • Rayman 2 was also ported to the Apple iPhone and the Apple iPod Touch by Gameloft. The Sega Dreamcast version was used as the basis for these ports. The graphics are more impressive than those of Rayman DS due to the increased capabilities of these platforms.
  • Rayman 3D – A port to the Nintendo 3DS console that features 3D depth and graphical improvements. Based on the Dreamcast version.

Trivia

  • In the German gaming magazine PC Player (issue 01/2000), Rayman 2: The Great Escape was named as "Best Platformer in 1999".
  • The Sony PlayStation European release of Rayman 2 originally came with a digital watch. In the American release it originally came with a beach ball.
  • In the Japanese localisation of the game, some characters with purple in them were changed. Rayman's body was made blue, Sssssam the watersnake turned into a kind of green, and Jano's hat was turned red. But the most bizarre change was made to Ly, whose body was changed from yellow/purple to white/pink.
  • The names of a few characters changed during design of the game: the original name of Globox was Globber, the original name of Razorbeard was Razorface, the original name of Polokus was Pollochus the Magician, the Teensies were originally named the Smalbeings, and the Robo-Pirates (called Red Rum before) were originally employed by a ‘mysterious guild’, which had decided to create an intergalactic zoo or circus featuring creatures from Rayman's world; remnants of this storyline can be found in Rayman: The Animated Series.
  • It is the most ported game from Rayman's quintology, being released for nine different platforms including Rayman 2 Forever and Rayman 3D.

External links

See also

References

  1. Unseen64.com, Rayman 2 [2D version - Unreleased], http://www.unseen64.net/2008/04/11/rayman2-2d-cancelled
  2. Metacritic.com, Rayman 2: The Great Escape for Nintendo 64 Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic, http://www.metacritic.com/game/nintendo-64/rayman-2-the-great-escape
  3. GameRankings.com, Reviews and News Articles, http://www.gamerankings.com/browse.html?search=rayman&numrev=3&site=
  4. IGN.com IGN's Top 100 Games, http://ie.top100.ign.com/2005/061-070.html
  5. GameSpot.com, The Greatest Games of All Time, http://uk.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/all/greatestgames/p-24.html