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. This game was controversial for introducing a points system and a humorous (at times subversive) script. It also employed voices from well-known actors, including Jason Marsden as Rayman, 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, which was very well received by the majority of critics. 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 recently, 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 2 games. The game follows Rayman and up to 3 friends (Globox and the Teensies) as they battle through a beautifullydetailed 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. Needless to say, the fandom rejoiced and so, in fact, did the critics, who gave the game rave reviews, with many calling it not only the best in the series, but one the best platformers of recent years. Even Yahtzee loved it. The 2013 sequel, Rayman Legends, is on the way to 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.
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.
Belated Backstory: Rayman's origin was treated as a mystery in Rayman 2's Omniscient, and is finally being explored in the aptly named Rayman Origins. From what was shown so far, 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.
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.
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.
Defeat Means Friendship: In the original Rayman, 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.)
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.
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.
Heterosexual Life-Partners - Rayman and Globox, who, if what we can tell of Origins' plot, have pretty much been best buds forever.
Humongous Mecha: The Grolgoth in Rayman 2, Celoché in Rayman 3. Also the Mecha Daisy and Mockingbird in Rayman Origins.
Idle Animation: Each game has this to some extent. Besides Rayman in the first and second games, all characters in Rayman Arena have a unique animation if they're left idle. Globox has his own idle animations in Rayman 3 as well.
Laughably Evil: Pretty much every Mook in the series could be classified as this, though it is most notable in the first game.
Lethal Lava Land: If the names 'Sanctuary of Rock and Lava' or 'Sanctuary of Stone and Fire' aren't a dead giveaway, there's something wrong with you.
Also, the Hoodlum Headquarters in Rayman 3, combined with Eternal Engine. The voice over the intercom even states, in a rather sultry voice, "Interior temperature: 98.6 degrees and rising" - the Foundry itself is built entirely over a lava pool!
Mind Screw: In Rayman: Raving Rabbids, if you wear the disco outfit, you can clearly see knees in the pants, even though Rayman has no legs. This hints that he might have limbs after all, but they're just invisible. But then again, if he does have invisible legs, then why did he need a walking stick to help him walk when he lost his shoe in Rayman 2, if he could try to walk using his invisible leg?
And then the US marketing for Rayman 3 hints toward him having a penis, especially the magazine ad.
Mini-Game: In Rayman Revolution, collecting enough Familiar Spirits will unlock a multitude of mini-games, which will increase Rayman's health bar upon winning. In Rayman 3, miscellaneous assortments of short, single-player minigames are rewards for achieving higher scores. Rayman Raving Rabbids is completely comprised of mini games.
A cheat code in the original Rayman started a Breakout-style minigame.
Multiple Choice Past: Rayman has always lived in a valley populated by other limbless beings and creatures, and his lack of limbs is completely normal.
Nintendo Hard: The first game is very hard due to never haven been play tested before release (outside the developer team)! Origins later levels can be tricky and the less we say about the bonus level, Land of the Livid Dead, the better!
Our Fairies Are Different - Rayman's world has practically become the universal meeting place of every single freakin' type of fairy ever heard about.
Plot Coupon: Electoon cages in Rayman and the four masks of Polokus in Rayman 2.
Power Fist: Golden Fist in Rayman 1 and 2; Heavy Metal Fist in Rayman 3.
Rocket Punch: Well, it's Rayman's standard attack. It isn't used in Rayman 2 or Rayman Arena, but returns from the first game in Rayman 3.
Sentient Phlebotinum: The lums. They're glowing orbs of energy with enough intelligence to float towards you. The Backstory in Rayman 2 reveals that They created Polokus by combining their collective thought, and Polokus created the world.
Slippy-Slidey Ice World: One part of a Blue Mountains level in Rayman features slippery rocks slicked over with icy snow, part of 'The Sanctuary of Water and Ice' in Rayman 2, and The Summit Beyond the Clouds in Rayman 3 is completely covered by snow and ice.
Band Land from Rayman has slippy, slidey musical staff bars. Later on, Picture City features a few slippy, slidey erasers covered in ink.
Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Especially important in the first game, where a very short, specific sound indicates that you triggered something to appear. It's also possible to recognize what kind of enemy is just off-screen with this, since some of them make specific sounds when they idle or initiate an attack, like the hunters and zooming antitoons. And in Rayman 3, different types of hoodlums have varying voice files that you can learn to instantly differentiate between the different types without looking at the hoodlum themselves too closely.
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.