Franchise / Rayman

Rayman is a video game series created by Michel Ancel. Rayman is a strange, limbless individual of various origins, who fights to save the Glade of Dreams from a variety of antagonists.

The first game in the series, simply titled Rayman, is a 2D platformer, in which Rayman must defeat the evil Mr. Dark, a sinister individual who has stolen the Great Protoon. Along the way, Rayman must rescue the many Electoons, who have been held captive by Mr. Dark's minions.

The second game, Rayman 2: The Great Escape, is his first 3D title, and the most popular among fans. Darker and Edgier, although still wacky and cartoony, it features an evil group of sinister Robo-Pirates, lead by the Admiral Razorbeard, who enslave the people of the Glade of Dreams and split the Heart of the World - the planet's Primordial Core - into 1000 beads of light, the Yellow Lums. In order to defeat the pirates and restore the Heart of the World, Rayman must gather four legendary masks, which will summon Polokus, who created Rayman's world. This was followed by Rayman 2: Revolution, a PlayStation 2 exclusive remake of Rayman 2, which made several significant changes to the level design and featured improved graphics.

The following game, Rayman M (known as Rayman Arena in the US), was a multiplayer-focused game consisting of racing and battle segments. It introduced a few new characters but it didn't have a storyline.

The third game in the main series, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, was the first Rayman game without Michel Ancel, and featured a more detailed storyline involving Andre, a Black Lum, who seeks to use the power of the Heart of the World to spawn an army of Hoodlums, hooded mooks shaped like potato sacks. It also employed voices from well-known actors, including Billy West as Murphy (who coincidentally voiced Rayman for the TV show) and John Leguizamo as Globox.

There have also been several handheld adaptations and a Party Game spin-off series, Rayman Raving Rabbids, featuring Rayman's attempts to do battle in various Mini Games with a horde of bizarre rabbit-like creatures. The Rabbids later spun off into their own franchise, breaking ties with Rayman and following its own agenda. A little-seen Rayman CGI TV Series was also made, but only lasted four episodes and was never finished due to lack of funding.

For a while, it seemed like Rayman would be Ubisoft's answer to Nintendo's Mario, becoming its mascot. But for a while, the character was abandoned by the company once they became one of the biggest international gaming producers and left the whole childrens' market all together, considering that 1.) Ancel moved away from the line-up after The Great Escape to work on other titles, such as Beyond Good & Evil, making the series lose its luster, 2.) the Rabbids themselves stole Rayman's spotlight to the point that he's basically become a minor character, and 3.) the series was never popular enough to become a cash cow anyway.

However, after years of waiting for news on the state of the next 'proper' Rayman game, one was finally announced in the form of Rayman Origins. While originally intended to actually be a prequel of sorts to the series, it instead takes place sometime after Rayman 2 and combines plot and world elements from the first two games. The game follows Rayman and up to 3 friends (Globox and the Teensies) as they battle through a beautifully detailed 2D world in order to save the Glade of Dreams from the evil Darktoons who have invaded, in a throwback to the great 2D platformers of old. Oh, and the game was developed by series creator Michel Ancel in his return to the series after Rayman 3. The sequel, Rayman Legends, was released in 2013 on Wii U, PS3, and Xbox 360.

If you were looking for the Rayman Raving Rabbids games that were originally a part of this series, see Raving Rabbids.
     Games in the Series 

Main Series Games

  • Rayman (1995) Jaguar, PS1, Saturn, PC, GBC, GBA, DSi, PSN.
  • Rayman 2: The Great Escape (1999) N64, PC, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, GBC, DS, PSN, 3DS, iOS
  • Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc (2003) GBA, GameCube, PS2, Xbox, PC, N-Gage, Mac OS X, PSN, XBLA, Mobile
  • Rayman: Hoodlum's Revenge (2005) GBA
  • Rayman Origins (2011) Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PS Vita, PC, 3DS, Mac OS X
  • Rayman Legends (2013) Wii U, Xbox 360, PS3, PS Vita, PC, PS4, Xbox One

Spin-Off Games:

  • Rayman Junior/Rayman Brain Games (2000) PC, PS1
  • Rayman M/Rayman Arena/Rayman Rush (2001) PS2, PS1 PC, GameCube, Xbox
  • Rayman Golf (2003) Mobile
  • Rayman Jungle Run (2012) iOS, Android
  • Rayman Fiesta Run (2013) iOS, Android
  • Rayman Adventures (2015) iOS, Android

Expanded Universe:

For the Rabbids games, refer to the Raving Rabbids page.

This series as a whole provides examples of:

  • Adventure Couple: Rayman and Globox.
  • Arrow Cam: In Rayman 3, you've got the missile fist, and in Rayman Arena, there's the Buzz Rocket weapon.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • According to The General in Rayman 2, the Grolgoth can kill, crush, destroy, torture, and pull ears.
    • In one area of Hoodlum Headquarters in Rayman 3, the lady's voice over the intercom warns the Hoodlums of the Leptys' sensitive nature, advising that they not drink in its presence and to avoid verifying the room temperature.
  • The Artifact: Yellow Lums become this after Rayman 2, where they were the 1000 parts of the Heart of the World that had been destroyed by the pirates. In later games, they still appear, no longer limited to 1000, despite no mention of the Heart of the World.
  • Art Evolution: No two entries in the series look alike.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: A few, most notably in Blue Mountains.
  • Belated Backstory: Rayman's origin was treated as a mystery in Rayman 2's Omniscient, but was finally explored in Origins. From what was shown, it at least follows the revelation that Rayman was not a being Polukus dreamed up, and that Rayman is the only individual to receive powers from faries.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Floating rings and platforms that are uncannily useful, or objects/switches that coincidentally allow you to use them only with a specific power you happen to have acquired… yeah, this is in essentially every single game.
  • Bottomless Pits: In the original Rayman and Rayman 2. Mostly averted in Rayman 3, in which falling off of a high ledge that looks like a bottomless pit tends to result in landing in an area that allows you in some way to make your way back to where you were. Heck, falling into a supposed bottomless pit is even required at one point in the game to avoid death. The single bottomless pit in the game is found during the final battle, and even then it isn't much of a threat.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In Rayman 3.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: There's at least one area like this in every game.
  • Camera Lock-On: The 3D games.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: From Rayman 2 and onwards, the character as well as the game plotlines become a lot more serious and dramatic, when the original game was intentionally wacky and cartoony in its gameplay as well as its generic story. Finally averted in Rayman Origins and onward, where it goes back to the series' original comedic formula.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Ly the fairy from the second game doesn't appear in any of the sequels. Betilla, however (from the original game) appears in Rayman Origins, and Murfy (from the third game) appears in Rayman Legends.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Globox. He's also quite stupid.
  • Collision Damage: Played straight in Rayman, and in Rayman 2 one type of Mook will charge towards you (surprisingly fast given their appearance) in order to squash you flat. Even more annoying in this game is that small creatures like ordinary-sized spiders and innocent-looking crabs will hurt you if you touch them. Luckily, they aren't encountered very often.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Alternate skins in Rayman M when multiple players choose the same character, and of course the lums in almost every other game.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The fight with Mr. Skops in the first game. You can be hanging off a ledge with your feet dangling inches above the lava and not die. And there are entire levels in Rayman 2 and Rayman 3 that feature tons of lava and overall scorched settings... the only hint that there's heat rising at all is that in Rayman Revolution you're allowed to keep your flying power indefinitely as long as you're over lava, in which the rising heat could help you stay airborne.
  • Cool, Clear Water: Starting in Rayman 2, Rayman is able to swim in clear, "clean" water, but ugly water kills or damages him.
  • Cowardly Sidekick: Globox.
  • Cranium Ride: In Rayman and Rayman 2, knocking a plum onto the heads of certain Mooks allowed you to jump onto their heads in order to reach otherwise unreachable areas and items.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Every single game. What's funny here is how crazy Rayman's deaths tend to be, ranging from him turning into Antitoons and flying away to him disappearing into glowing balls.
  • Depending on the Writer: The universe and the personality of characters change a lot between each game.
  • Down the Drain: Both Rayman 2 and Rayman 3 had underwater levels.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: In the original game, Bzzit begins to cry after being defeated by Rayman. Rayman then consoles his opponent and befriends him, and proceeds to ride the mosquito right in the next stage. (No relation to Moskito, a Palette Swap of Bzzit who tries to kill Rayman a few stages later.)
  • Exposition Fairy: Literally. Almost all characters who provide information are fairies in one way or another (Betilla in the original game, Ly in the sequel, Murfy in the third, etc.).
  • Flanderization: Globox's stupidity and clumsiness is turned Up to Eleven in Rayman 3.
  • Floating Limbs: A series trademark, especially for Rayman himself, who was formerly the Trope Namer.
  • Floating Platforms: They're everywhere, and in all sorts of different varieties.
  • Follow the Money: In the first game, tings are almost always a dead giveaway to bonus powers and secret areas that feature the Magician's hat or hidden Electoon Cages; in general, if you see a ting, it means that you can find something good if you go to it. Lots of these even form paths or arrows, while some go as far to write out 'YES' or 'NO' in some levels to indicate whether you're going the right way or not. In the second and third games, Lums tend to be scattered around paths that you need to follow to progress in the level.
  • Fungus Humongous: A repeating element in the series.
  • Grimy Water: Many levels in Rayman 2 and Rayman 3 have several variations of this. Pretty much all water encountered in the first Rayman qualifies, as well.
  • Hammer Space: Where else could Rayman stash all of those lums he's running around collecting? And don't forget tings in the first game. Oh, and how about Rayman 2's raindance mask and elixir of life? He pulls them out of nowhere; he doesn't even have a Bag of Holding for an excuse.
  • Utopia: When it's not under some sort of attack, Rayman's world is this.
    • This is explained in several ways, such as The Great Protoon causing balance and harmony to the world, and all evil dreams (part of the series' fictional mythology) being locked away in The Cave of Bad Dreams.
  • Wackyland: The series is full of this, especially the first game.
  • White Gloves: Rayman has a pair, which show up in almost every instance except his appearances in the Rabbids series (where he wears black Fingerless Gloves instead) and on some of his skins in Legends.
  • WTF Series
  • Womb Level: The Organic Cave in the GBA version of Rayman Raving Rabbids. The same location was planned to appear in ''Rayman 4''...
    • Rayman Origins has a boss level that takes place inside the stomach of a dragon.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: Rayman needs to be taught such basic things as how to run (in the original) and how to slap things (in Origins).