Still no limbs, eh?! Well, the nymphs will get their act together eventually...! Less bones to break I say!
Rayman's species is an unnamed race of limbless creatures native to the Glade of Dreams.
Members of Rayman's species lack arms, legs and necks; instead, their heads, bodies, hands and feet float, connected only by some invisible force. They typically have large, rounded noses and eyes.
In the original game, almost every character is limbless. Several friendly supporting characters are clearly members of Rayman's species. Many other characters and enemies may also be members, though most bear some differences. It can be inferred that the valley in which the game takes place has a relatively high population of Rayman's species. Early on in the development of the game, when it was intended as a Super Nintendo title, the developers planned to feature a two-player co-operative mode, with the second player taking on the role of Rayman's female companion.
In Rayman 2: The Great Escape, very few characters from the original game return. For the most part, the game features a brand-new cast of characters. Aside from Rayman himself, no members of Rayman's species appear. The game's manual states that, when Rayman first appeared, the other inhabitants of the Glade of Dreams were amazed by his limblessness, suggesting that Rayman's species is very rare and not well-known. (Upon close examination, some of the characters in this game, including Globox and the Teensies, are semi-limbless; their feet float with no legs joining them to their bodies.)
In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, many characters from Rayman 2 return, but again the cast of the original game is largely overlooked, and no new characters of Rayman's species appear. However, the game does contain references to them. In the Fairy Council, the player can find Garden Raygnomes: limbless garden gnomes with a strong resemblance to Rayman's species. The developers of the game stated that they considered giving Rayman himself limbs, but decided that this would be too great a divergence for the series.
In Rayman Origins, many characters from the original game appear for the first time in the series's sixteen-year history. However, the developers made some effort to avoid the subject of Rayman's species, perhaps to maintain the unique status held by Rayman in Rayman 2 and Rayman 3. Characters who were originally limbless, like Betilla the Fairy, Hunters, Antitoons and Livingstones now have arms and legs. Some characters, like the Magician and the Photographer, have been changed to Teensies to better fit the style established in the previous sequels. However, some characters, like Electoons, stone men and Bad Rayman remain as limbless as they were in the original.
Rayman Origins also gives an in-story explanation for Rayman's limblessness. In the distant past, Rayman was created by Betilla the Fairy and her nymph sisters in order to defeat Jano and preserve the balance of the world. However, on their way to the ritual, the nymphs accidentally lost a bag of Lums. As a result, Rayman was born incomplete: missing arms, legs and neck.
At one point in the development of Rayman Origins, Tarayzan from the original game was intended to be a playable character. As a skin for Rayman, Tarayzan would have remained limbless. Unused dialogue from the game reveals that Tarayzan is Rayman's cousin, hinting that Tarayzan was also created by the nymphs. The same may hold true for the other members of Rayman's species.
When the player pulls on the Bubble Dreamer's beard while controlling Rayman, the Bubble Dreamer expresses mild surprise that Rayman is still limbless, and assures Rayman that the nymphs will get their act together eventually. This seems to suggest that it is possible for members of Rayman's species to gain limbs; it may be that this is what happened to the other returning characters from the original game.
In the PlayStation Vita version of the game, the player can unlock two hidden mosaics by collecting Relics. One mosaic tells a story about Globox's past, while the other tells a story about Rayman's history. According to the mosaic, Rayman was originally bald, and had a wife or girlfriend who was a member of his own species. While the couple slept on a forest floor, a group of tiny creatures, each one a living strand of blonde hair, crept up on Rayman and fused themselves to his bald head. Rayman's female companion, terrified and confused, attempted to cut Rayman's hair with a gigantic pair of scissors, but the hair creatures, afraid of their nefarious fate, pulled Rayman's head and body to escape with him, accidentally making him fall off a cliff. Much to Rayman's surprise, his new hair activated its helicopter ability for the first time, flying him to safety. It is unknown what happened to Rayman's partner, as she is never seen or mentioned again.