Rayman's symbol is the white ‘O’-shaped crest visible on the front of Rayman's purple clothing, as well as various other locations throughout Rayman's world. The symbol holds mystical significance, and seems to be emblematic of Rayman's unique powers. It can be seen in every game in which the character of Rayman appears.
In 2010, it was revealed by the French retro-gaming magazing Pix'n Love that the first Rayman game was originally developed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This version of the game was never officially announced, and was cancelled when the decision was made to develop the game for more powerful systems such as the Atari Jaguar. Pix'n Love revealed several screenshots from this early prototype, showing Rayman and a female companion not unlike the girlfriend character who was later planned to appear in the cancelled Rayman 4. The companion would have been controlled by the second player – the game was originally planned to feature co-operative gameplay. In the screenshots, Rayman has a red body rather than a purple one, but the ‘O’-shaped symbol is still present, even at this early stage in the game's development. The female character does not appear to have the ‘O’-shaped symbol on her blue body; her symbol appears to be an exclamation mark, but the screenshots are too blurry to tell for certain.
In the original Rayman game, the significance of Rayman's symbol first becomes apparent in Pink Plant Woods, where Rayman encounters Betilla the Fairy. Betilla grants Rayman his first power by imbuing him with silvery lights which are absorbed directly through the symbol on the front of his chest. The symbol glows briefly with several sparkles of light, which then sink back into it, completing Rayman's absorbtion of his new power. This exact process occurs three more times in the duration of the game, as Betilla grants Rayman the powers to grab, to helicopter and to run. In the Atari Jaguar version of the game, the introductory sequence shows Rayman in a field, playing with Electoons while the Great Protoon looms in the background. The Great Protoon is perched on top of a large ovular stone, which is engraved with three instances of Rayman's symbol. Perhaps suggesting that there may be some connection between the symbol and the Great Protoon.
In Rayman 2: The Great Escape, the symbol is given even more prominence. Whenever Rayman is given a Silver Lum – ability-granting orbs of light analogous to those created by Betilla in the previous game – he absorbs it directly through ths symbol on the front of his chest, saying that he can feel its energy building up inside him.
Rayman's symbol appears upon the stone pillars in which the Four Masks of Polokus are contained. When Rayman approaches a pillar, two streams of energy emerge from the symbol on Rayman's chest and the upper symbol which is only engraved on the front side of the pillar. These streams of energy converge in the air and become what looks like a single bolt of lightning; the energy then vanishes and the pillar grinds open automatically, revealing the mask and sending Rayman to the dream world that Polokus slumbers in. Rayman's symbol appears to be strongly associated with both Polokus and his Masks, underlining its mystical significance. It acts as the ‘key’ by which the pillars are opened and the Masks are retrieved.
One of Rayman's objectives in the game is to collect the Yellow Lums – the thousand fragments of energy which formed the Heart of the World, the mystical object which provides all the world's energy and is responsible for creating Polokus. As he gathers more Yellow Lums, the Knowledge of the World is gradually unveiled to him. When Rayman has gathered at least 999 of the 1000 Lums, the most profound secret of all is revealed to him: ‘Of all the inhabitants here, you are the only one whom Polokus did not dream. You are the only one to receive powers from the fairies. Some see you as the chosen one of all the gods. Who knows...?’ This information draws a connection between Rayman's status as the ‘chosen one of all the gods’, the fact that he was not created by Polokus, and his apparently unique ability to gain powers from the Silver Lums created by the fairies. Since Rayman always absorbs Silver Lums through the symbol on his chest when he receives them from the fairies Betilla and Ly, this could indicate that Rayman's symbol is in some way related to his perceived role as the ‘chosen one’.
Rayman 2 also features two levels, the Walk of Life and the Walk of Power, in which Rayman races against Ly the Fairy to earn more health and more magic fist power, respectively. In these races, Rayman in cheered on by baby Globoxes, some of whom wave purple flags with white ‘O’ symbols on them. In Globox Village, an area which appears only in the Sega Dreamcast version of the game, more baby Globoxes take out these flags and start waving them when they see Rayman approaching. These flags are all direct copies of the front of Rayman's body; in this context, the symbol seems emblematic of Rayman himself, and is used by his supporters as his own personal ‘flag’.
As was the case with the flying rings in the previous game, the Purple Lums in this game resemble Rayman's symbol, and form a sparkling bond of energy with him when he grabs them. It is possible that flying rings and Purple Lums are meant to be the same objects.
In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, Rayman's symbol is not given the same prominence it enjoyed in previous titles. At one point in the game, Gumsi, child-king of the Knaaren, uses his Sceptre to invoke his god, the Leptys, so that he gives Rayman a new power. When the ritual is being performed, Rayman begins to levitate and becomes encircled by a ring of sparkling blue energy. Another energy ring, this one white, is then emitted from the symbol of Rayman's chest, blowing away the blue one and knocking back Rayman, who gently sinks to the ground. This scenario is very different from Rayman's absorption of Silver Lums in the previous games, but the emphasis on the symbol is still present.
In the first phase of the Summit Beyond the Clouds, Rayman and Globox set sail across the Looming Sea to reach the snowy mountain range of the level's title. They received their ship from the three Teensie Doctors at the end of the Longest Shortcut, the previous level. A close examination of the ship's mast reveals that the ship is flying under a purple flag with a white ‘O’ symbol on it – a copy of the front of Rayman's chest, almost exactly like the ones carried by the baby Globoxes in the previous game. This is another instance of the symbol being used as an emblem of Rayman himself, signifying support of him and his endeavours.
Whenever Rayman uses a can of the Hoodlums' Laser-Washing Powder, he temporarily gains a new power. When this happens, he equips a new mechanical apparatus, such as a metal fist, some improved helicopter blades, an electrified bear-trap attachment for his fist, and more. Each of the Laser-Washing Power power-ups also causes Rayman's clothes to temporarily change colour, including the symbol on the front of his chest. These changes in colour are purely cosmetic and have no significant effect.
In Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends
Not much prominence is given to Rayman's symbols in these games, however, statues representing Rayman and thus, his symbol can be seen populating various areas of the Glade of Dreams.