Tomb of the Ancients secret
The Tomb of the Ancients secret refers to an unnamed secret area found in the Tomb of the Ancients in Rayman 2. It is known to be accessible in the PC, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast and the Nintendo 3DS versions of the game. In the Nintendo DS, iOS and PlayStation 2 versions the hidden area is available, but can't be accessed, either due to the respective buttons not being available to press or because the cheat was disabled. In the PlayStation version it does not appear at all. In the Dreamcast and 3DS versions, three cheats are given to the player in the secret area.
The cheat was originally created by the developer "Ritchy", real name Arnaud Guyon, for the Nintendo 64 version. Upon porting the game to PC the cheat got named to "playjeff", which was the key combination needed to access it there. Ritchy posted details about this cheat on his website back in 2002, although it wasn't discovered by the Rayman community until 2019. There he lists other cheats as well, most which appear to be named as references to his friends. In 2020, Jeff, also known as François Queinnec, confirmed that the person playing the guitar was in fact a depiction of himself.
The entrance to the secret area in hidden in the final phase of the Tomb of the Ancients, outside the door to the Technical Check-up where Rayman fights Clark. In each version, the area can be accessed by pressing certain buttons or keys while Rayman is standing in front of the Technical Check-up door.
- Nintendo 64: Hold L + R while pressing A, B, A, B, A, B
- PC: Type playjeff
- Dreamcast: Press A, B, X, Y, X, Y
- Nintendo 3DS: Press B, Y, D-Pad Right, D-Pad Left, D-Pad Right and D-Pad Left
If successful, a puff of dust will appear on Rayman's left and a wooden crate will materialise. Rayman can then climb onto the crate, and use it to reach a previously inaccessible tunnel whose entrance is hidden in the shadows high on the wall. The walls of the tunnel are decorated with the engraved coffins and skulls typical of the level. At the very end of the tunnel, Rayman encounters an impassable net, but the player is treated to a unique view: a small forested glade with a campfire at its center lies beyond the net, and surrounding it are two baby Globoxes playing stones as if they were drums, a Grand Minimus dancing, and another large character (a depiction of Jeff) can be seen playing a guitar. The scene is very similar to the one shown during Rayman Revolution's end credits, which may have been based on it.
In the 3DS version, the area itself is accessible. The net can be breached due to a glitch where the player can get through the bottom right corner. Rayman must keep trying to walk into the right corner between the net and wall until he starts glitching. Eventually Rayman will glitch through the corner of the net and fall into the secret area.
In the Dreamcast and 3DS versions, as Rayman makes his way through the tunnel, he will come across three Robo-Pirate signs, one after another, each bearing a different message. The first sign says ‘To gain life points, try to shoot on a bridge’, the second says ‘To gain 3 Mega-Shoots, try to jump under a well’, and the third says ‘To recover full life, try to push a tree’. Each of three messages Rayman reads as he makes his way through the secret tunnel in the Tomb of the Ancients is in fact a cryptic clue to one of three cheat codes which Rayman can activate in various locations throughout the game. It is not necessary to enter the secret area and read the messages in order to use these cheats; however, they only function in the Dreamcast version of the game and its derivatives, the 3DS and iOS versions. In the iOS version, this area cannot be accessed due to the lack of buttons, but the cheats function properly. The words do not flash across the screen when these cheats are used in the iOS version.
The first message, ‘To gain life points, try to shoot on a bridge’, was mixed up with the second one. The first message should read, ‘To gain life points, try to jump on a bridge’. If the player goes to one of the many bridges in the game and jumps up and down on it, the word ‘Fahrenheit’ will flash across the screen and Rayman's health bar will refill – the same effect as the one provided by the ‘Pickwitt’ cheat. The name ‘Fahrenheit’ is probably a visual joke regarding the health bar's resemblance to a thermometer.
The second message, ‘To gain 3 Mega-Shoots, try to jump under a well, was mixed up with the first one. The second message should read, ‘To gain 3 Mega-Shoots, try to shoot under a well’. If Rayman goes to the bottom of one of the many vertical passageways throughout the game and starts shooting with his magic fist, the word ‘Gauntlet’ will flash across the screen, and Rayman will be given three Power Fists. The name ‘Gauntlet’ is a reference to the Power Fists, and draws a comparison between them and hand armour.
The third message, unlike the first two, does not contain any mistakes. ‘To recover full life, try to push a tree’ is self-explanatory: if Rayman walks up to one of the many trees littered throughout the game and presses himself against it, the word ‘Pickwitt’ will flash across the screen and his health bar will refill – the same effect as that of the ‘Fahrenheit’ cheat. ‘Pickwitt’ is not a word, and the reason it was used as a name for this cheat is unclear. It requires 900 Yellow Lums to reveal this secret.
- Tomb of the Ancients secret playthrough at YouTube (Sega Dreamcast version)
- Net Breaching Glitch (Nintendo 3DS version)