Ray Breakout is a hidden minigame which can be played only in the Atari Jaguar, PC/MS-DOS and mobile versions of the original Rayman game. The minigame is essentially a Rayman-themed version of the Atari-developed arcade game Breakout, replacing the paddle with Rayman and replacing the bricks with plums.
Accessing the minigame
Atari Jaguar version
In the Atari Jaguar version of the original Rayman, Ray Breakout is unlocked by entering the code 1364 during the introductory animation in which Rayman is seen chasing his various body parts and assembling himself. The code is given after the player has beaten Mr Dark, at the end of the credits. However, the code is also hidden in the main game in the third phase of Anguish Lagoon. While Rayman rides Bzzit, the friendly mosquito, four clusters of Tings in the shape of the numbers '1', '3', '6' and '4' are passed, giving the player a hint as to how the minigame is accessed. These Ting clusters are only present in the Atari Jaguar version.
In the PC/MS-DOS version of the original Rayman, Ray Breakout is unlocked by a number of different methods, depending on the particular edition which is being played. In the original edition of the game, it is unlocked by typing the code 'b76b7081' on the map of the valley after the player has broken all the Electoon cages and defeated Mr Dark. In the edition of the game that was included with the various Rayman Designer bundles, it is unlocked by typing 'cbray' '[TAB]olivier' after finishing the game instead, presumably because 'b76b7081' was too difficult for players to type and remember. However, it can also be unlocked in the Rayman Designer bundles before the game has been completed by typing '[TAB]cbrayal[BACKSPACE]' on the map of the valley.
In the iOS and Android versions of the original Rayman, Ray Breakout is unlocked once all levels have been completed, including Mr Dark's Dare. It can be accessed from the map screen by tapping on the new button featuring the Magician's hat.
Atari Jaguar version
In the Atari Jaguar version, at the beginning of Ray Breakout, the player finds Rayman doing a handstand (an ability which he had in early versions of the game) on a pink, square-shaped platform which is floating in a dark area. The minigame is themed around the character of the Magician, with his theme playing throughout the minigame. The floor of the platform is decorated with yellow moons and stars, and its walls are decorated with yellow stars as well as images of the Magician's hat and baton. A large image of the Magician's hat, set in front of a large pink star and surrounded by four orbiting spheres, is also the only visible part of the otherwise black background.
With his feet, Rayman is balancing a white ball which, like the yellow buoys in the game's Eat at Joe's level, bears the name of Joe the Extra-Terrestrial, while a number of identical balls to the right of the screen indicate how many tries Rayman has left. A formation of plums of various colours – red, purple and orange, the same colours as spiky fruits – is floating at the top of the screen. These plums all have the standard green leaves, however. When the player presses the 'jump' button, Rayman kicks the ball, setting it in motion; after this point, the gameplay is almost exactly like that of the original Breakout game, but with a Rayman theme. When the ball hits a red plum, it changes to a purple plum; when the ball hits a purple plum, it changes to an orange plum; when the ball hits an orange plum, the orange plum disappears. The goal of the minigame is to get rid of all the plums.
The player moves Rayman from left to right. He acts as a ‘paddle’ – if he misses the ball and it reaches the floor, it is lost, and Rayman must use one of his spares. Rayman gives the ball a hard kick whenever it comes to his feet. If Rayman is within a short distance of the ricocheting ball, he will automatically lunge for it in an attempt to stop it reaching the ground; this cannot be controlled by the player, and has the drawback of temporarily pausing Rayman's movement as he recovers himself. Occasionally a plum flashes with vibrant colours for a few seconds; if Rayman manages to hit a flashing plum with the ball, it vanishes and releases a Ting, which descends slowly to the ground. If Rayman manages to catch a Ting, he will gain a spare ball. (Although the maximum number of spare balls which can be seen on the right of the screen is three, it is possible to have an even higher number; however, additional spares will be invisible.) When Rayman causes all the plums to disappear, the next stage begins. There are nine different stages of progressively increasing complexity and difficulty; once they are all complete, the previous stages are replayed randomly – it is not known if they ever end. If the player loses all their tries, the message ‘you lose’ is displayed, and they must restart the entire minigame from the very beginning of the first stage.
As Rayman reaches more and more advanced stages, new types of plum appear. There are green plums, which cannot be vanished (and thus do not need to be vanished in order to finish the stage); Rayman's ball simply bounces off green plums without affecting them. They serve mainly as obstacles to the goal of vanishing the red, purple and orange plums. Green plums have grey leaves. There are also blue plums; these are similar to the green plums, except that they are much bouncier, causing Rayman's ball to speed up whenever it hits one of them. They have pink leaves, and cannot be vanished. Finally there are pinkish-orange plums with brownish-red leaves; in the stages where these plums appear, the entire formation of plums slowly descends towards Rayman, and hitting this special plum causes all the plums to temporarily reverse their descent. These plums cannot vanish.
The gameplay mechanics in the PC/MS-DOS version of the Breakout minigame are exactly the same as in the Atari Jaguar version. The scenery is of slightly higher quality, and the chip-generated rendition of the Magician's music is replaced with the CD-quality version. Most of the stages in this version are heavily redesigned, though some remain in a similar state to the ones in the Atari Jaguar version. In the bottom-left corner of the screen, there is now a counter telling the player how many vanishable plums remain in the current stage. The special plums are recoloured in this version – the green plums with grey leaves are now green plums with green leaves, and they grow darker and eventually vanish if the ball hits them enough times; the pinkish-orange plums with brownish-red leaves are now grey with green leaves; and the blue plums with pink leaves are now blue with green leaves. Flashing plums are now more common – a plum is almost always flashing in this version, making it substantially easier to maintain spare tries (though the maximum number of balls visible on the right side of the screen is only two, and this is an accurate representation of the number of spare balls Rayman has). Instead of always releasing Tings, flashing plums also release Golden Fists, Speed Fists and Big Powers. If the player runs out of balls, the message ‘See you soon’ is displayed and they are returned to the map of the valley. If the player manages to complete the entire minigame, they are granted infinite continues.
In the mobile version, it is practically the same as in the PC/MS-DOS version. There is however a bug making it impossible to move before releasing a ball. This makes the mini-game a lot harder to beat as the player may be forced to release the ball under a plum having it bounce right down.
- Breakout minigame playthrough at YouTube (PC/MS-DOS)
- Breakout minigame playthrough at YouTube (Atari Jaguar)
- Other Breakout clones at Wikipedia