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Video Game: Rayman (1995)
aka: Rayman
"YEAH!"

"In Rayman's world, nature and people live together in peace. The Great Protoon provides and maintains the harmony and balance in the world. Sorry Folks, this apparently can't last. One fateful day, the evil Mister Dark steals the Great Protoon and defeats Betilla the Fairy as she tries to protect it! The Electoons, who used to gravitate around it, lose their nature stability and scatter all over the world! Troublesome, isn't it? And untidy, too!"

"In the now-unbalanced world, strange phenomena begin to occur: freaks and hostile characters appear, capturing every Electoon they can find! They definitely need a hero to save them now, don't you think? Rayman to the rescue! Go, and free all of the electoons, Rayman! And bring back the Great Protoon from its mysterious kidnapper! ...but will the bad guys let him do it?..."

The debut game of the limbless wonder, created by Michel Ancel and UbiSoft and released in 1995 for the PS1, Sega Saturn, MS-DOS and Atari Jaguar, and later saw releases on Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, PSN, DSiWare and another PC re-release.

The game is a not-so-typical side-scrolling platformer, where Rayman has to travel across several expansive worlds as he battles the forces of the evil Mr. Dark (who has stolen the Great Protoon and thus has thrown the world into chaos), and frees the imprisoned Electoons from their cages, all while learning new abilities from the benevolent Betilla the Fairy along the way.

This debut game is notable in that, prior to the Arc Welding of Rayman Origins, this and its sequel Rayman 2: The Great Escape, were almost completely separate in terms of tone, content and even gameplay, being much more lighthearted and childish, as well as more difficult, and having a much lighter story and smaller cast.

Tropes:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The hunter enemies shoot bullets at you—out of which a mechanical arm wielding a wooden mallet swings at Rayman's head as it passes by.
  • Advancing Wall of Doom: Mr. Stone, Mr. Sax, and Moskito (with a giant spiky fruit) all have this type of level.
  • All There in the Manual: the PC version of the game doesn't state anywhere that the two Moskitos are not the same character. Considering Mr. Stone and Space Mama also appear in two different levels, the common assumption is that the two identical looking insects are in fact the same.
  • A Winner Is You: The ending to this game consists of a 16 second clip of fireworks and the Magician announcing "You've done it, you've saved THE WORLD!". A wonderful reward considering how much bloodshed is involved in GETTING to the ending. What's even worse is that Rayman Forever had too much content packed on the disc to get the cut scenes in, so all you get are the end credits.
  • Band Land: The Trope Namer.
  • Big Damn Heroes: During the final boss battle, Mr. Dark has stolen Rayman's fist and has him trapped between two pillars of fire, and is just about to roast him, when two electoons fly in and drop Rayman's fist to him, canceling out the flame and getting Rayman ready for the real battle.
  • Blackout Basement: The first area of Eat At Joe's, where all you can see is a light around your fist.
  • Bonus Stage: If you find the Magician in a level, you can pay him ten Tings to enter a bonus stage, in which you must collect all Tings in an obstacle course before the timer ends.
  • Boss Rush: The final boss fight consists of defeating three different fusions of previous bosses. Picture City and Space Mama's levels also use this.
  • Book Ends: Y'know the mosquito that served as the first boss? Yeah, he's the final segment of the final boss rush.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Pink Plant Woods is this, mixed with elements of Jungle Japes.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: Mr. Dark.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Apart from the titular hero, none of this game's characters appear in the next two sequels. Some of them reappeared a decade later in Rayman Origins.
  • Collision Damage: There are very few things or beings that Rayman can touch without taking a hit.
  • Cosmic Keystone: The great Protoon, the MacGuffin stolen by Mister Dark, provides and maintains the harmony and balance in the world.
  • Critical Existence Failure: When Rayman dies, his bodies turns into a bunch of electoons which fly off.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: The level after you beat the pink Moskito requires you to cooperate with him.
  • Diesel Punk: The stakes appear to be combustion-powered life forms.
  • Difficulty Spike: The Dream Forest is very generous with its powerups, and not Everything Is Trying to Kill You. As noted below, however, Band Land starts with the Bongo Hills, a six-part level with some freakishly Malevolent Architecture (most notably tons and tons of barbed musical notes). And again when you hit Picture City.
  • Doomy Dooms of Doom: Mr Dark's one and only line;
    "You're doomed, Rayman..."
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: To the point where fans speculated whether this game and Rayman 2 were set in an Alternate Continuity, until Origins confirmed both games take place in the same timeline.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: It's easy to miss, but in the final fight you retain your golden fist even when you die.
  • Event Flag: There are sparkles in levels that make a unique sound when touched. They can unblock paths and spawn enemies and gimmicks.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Giant mosquitoes and crickets? Check. Pointy shards of rock with eyes that fly towards Rayman if he crosses their line of vision? Check. Music notes and giant drumsticks? Thumbtacks and pencils? The game is full of this.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Antitoons to the Electoons, and possibly also Bad/Dark Rayman to Rayman himself.
  • Extended Gameplay: Saving all the Electoons in the Game Boy Color port unlocks an extra set of levels. Clearing those allows you to freely play the bonus levels.
  • Floating Platforms: Pink Plant Woods is full of these.
  • Follow the Money: The tings sitting around are a very good indicator of where to go or trigger for making an electoon cage appear.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Space Mama and her dreaded rolling pin the second time you fight her. Also one of the parts in the Final Boss Rush, which is even worse since it's a Dual Boss.
  • Fungus Humongous: The giant mushrooms in Pink Plant Woods.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Mr. Dark.
  • Gimmick Level
  • Guide Dang It: CAGES. To clarify, cages are invisible until you find the triggers for them, which are also invisible. Not even knowing the sound cue helps, because they can also trigger other things. And there are a LOT of cages.
  • Heal Thyself: The red "Power" items.
  • Heart Container: The big Power item extends Rayman's HP meter. It is lost if he dies.
  • Helicopter Hair: Rayman gets this in Band Land, and in one level of Blue Mountains, it can be used to let him fly.
  • Hit Points: Defaulted as three, but can be temporarily increased to five with power-up that lasts until you die. In the GBA version the default is 4 and can be increased to six. The DSi edition then made things easier by making six the default and ten - not eight, the maximum value.
  • 100% Completion - Required in order to enter the final level.
    • The Gold expansion for the PC version required this in every level for the goals to appear.
  • Interface Screw: Halfway through the final level, Mr. Dark reverses Rayman's controls, and then forces him to run constantly.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Reaching a sign and initiating the victory jingle will stop incoming attacks or hazards like rising water or lava, enemies or bosses chasing you, or airborne attacks of any variety. And if you grab the last ting in a bonus stage, you'll win even if you jumped off a cliff to get it.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: The Game Over screen shows Rayman walking down a alley that's grim and corrupted on the left side. If you're out of continues he starts coughing and drops dead.
  • Large Ham: The Magician from the opening cutscene.
"The Electoons, who used to gravitate around it, lose their NAT-ural stability and scatter ALL OVER THE WORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRLD!! Troublesome, isn't it? And untidy, too."
  • Last Lousy Point - in order to reach the last level, you need to find every single cage in each level. Frequently you'll have only two or three after passing the level for the first time, and only five after a thorough search. Time for an even more thorough search.
    • In the Gold expansion this applies for every level. The level goals won't appear until everything has been found.
  • Law of 100: Collecting 100 Tings nabs you an extra life.
  • Level Ate: Candy Chateau.
  • Marathon Boss: The final boss.
  • Marathon Level: Nearly all of the levels have multiple segments of varying lengths, but some of them are notorious for being extremely difficult and long compared to the the others. Eat At Joe's and Bongo Hills are infamous for this.
  • Mercy Invincibility: Sometimes taking a hit can take Rayman past an opponent.
  • Mirror Match: Dark Rayman in the last level, though you don't have to fight him. He copies everything you do, and touching him causes both of you to die instantly. The only way to win is to beat the level, at which point he collapses and "dies" like Rayman does.
  • Misguided Missile: An interesting form of this is used in the fight against Mr. Skops.
  • Muzzle Flashlight: The first stage of the level "Eat At Joe's" involves using a magical firefly attached to your fist to light up a small area around wherever Rayman's fist happens to be at the time. Since Rayman shoots out his fist as a projectile to attack, it's quite possible to throw a punch and learn more about the surrounding area by watching its path. Note that since the light follows the fist, however, you won't be able to see Rayman himself until the fist returns to him a moment later—which can cause a lot of accidental deaths if you're not paying attention.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: In one level, you are given a magic seed that lets you grow plants to use as platforms. Also featured is magic potion that lets you fly indefinitely, only seen for four level segments in the entire game. And the first part of the dreaded "Eat at Joe's" gives you a magic firefly.
  • New World Tease: Twilight Gulch, if you don't have the grabbing power yet.
  • Nintendo Hard: Just try to play through the entire game without ever using up a continue or getting a game over even with dozens of one-ups all over the place. Even the easiest version of the game, the Game Boy Advance port, is still plenty hard. It still doesn't feel as if there was a drop in difficulty even in that version.
    • Partly the reason for why this game is so damn hard is because it was NEVER play-tested to check for things like this trope. Thankfully, Ubisoft learned from this mistake and saw to it that Origins was balanced enough so that both casuals/newcomers and hardcore/veteran gamers could enjoy it!
    • The Gold expansion makes things worse by forcing the player to collect everything in its levels. If you lose all your lives trying to find that last lousy point, you'll have to do everything again.
  • 1-Up: In the form of Rayman-shaped trophies... and by collecting 100 tings.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Mr Dark doesn't do pretty much to stop Rayman before he reaches his lair. He's even stalking him with binoculars. After Space Mama, he however captures Betilla.
  • Palette Swap: In some versions of the game, the two Moskitos look identical other than their colors. But in other versions they look completely identical. Naturally, this has led to some confusion and some players have believed them to be the same character. They're not.
  • Pixel Hunt: Just TRY to find all of the Electoon cages by yourself. Especially nerve wracking since half the time they appear out of thin air.
  • Plot Coupon: The Electoon cages.
  • Power Fist: The Golden Fist and Speed Fist power-ups you can find.
  • Punny Name: The "Electoons" that orbit the Great "Protoon" and whose evil counterparts are called "Antitoons". Okay, that last one is less obvious (it's most likely a reference to anti-matter, though "anti-electrons" are more commonly called positrons), but still...
  • Raymanian Limbs: The Trope Namer. It should be noted that Rayman was originally drawn with limbs in early concept art, but these were discarded in order to make Rayman easier to animate. Curiously, unlike the games from Rayman 2 and onward, Rayman's limbless design is not unique to himself, but is shared with many other characters and enemies in the game.
  • Reformulated Game: The Game Boy Color version has a unique set of levels.
  • Rise to the Challenge: There are at least two levels where you have to go up and up to avoid rapidly rising water, and the first part of the Mr. Skops boss battle does a rather similar thing with lava.
  • Rocket Punch: Rayman's main attack is being able to wind-up his fist.
  • Scenery Porn: The environments are lavish in detail and color. The back of the game's packaging even boasts about the game using 65,000 colors!
  • Schmuck Bait: Hey, let's try to get this upgrade item surrounded by enemies and spikes above a Bottomless Pit! What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Selective Gravity: Tings and miscellaneous power-up items found in the game are a perfect example of this. Also, the floating rings.
  • Sequence Breaking: Of sorts. You can get the helicopter ability before you get the grappling ability which makes some platforming parts of Moskitos Nest a little easier. However, you CANNOT make it past the first stage of Twilight Gulch until you have the grappling ability.
  • Skippable Boss: You can skip Mr Sax by breaking all the six cages in the first level, avoinding the photograph, killing yourself after the last cage and going back to the world map. In some versions of the game you can also skip Mr Skops by doing the same trick but not on Ps1 where there isn't the panel to go back to the map.
  • 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.
  • Sphere Eyes
  • Super Drowning Skills: Rayman can't swim in this game, so falling into water—heck, even touching the surface of any body of water—instantly causes Rayman to sink under the surface and drown.
  • Temporary Platform: A variety of them, including rocks, plants, pencil sharpeners, and clouds.
  • The Unfought: Mr. Dark, except in the Game Boy Color version.
    • This is something left ambigous. In most versions of the games, it looks like Mr dark is summoning hybrids of previous bosses in the final battle. And it is supported by the two hybrids that appears at the same time on the same screen. However the original version of the game on Atari Jaguar, heavilivy implies that the hybrids ARE in fact Mr Dark himself shapeshifting. And there weren't the hybdrids twins. here
  • Updated Re-release: Rayman Gold, Rayman Forever and Rayman Collector for the PC.
  • Utopia: Rayman's world (retroactively named The Glade of Dreams) prior to Mr. Dark stealing the Great Protoon.
  • The Voiceless: Rayman himself has almost no dialogue, aside from "No Problem!" in the opening, screaming "HELP!" when he dies, and the "YEAH!" he shouts when he touches a goalpost.
  • White Gloves: Rayman and many other characters wear them.
Plants vs. ZombiesD Si WareShantae
RAY SeriesSega SaturnResident Evil
RaymanWebsite/GOG.comRayman 2
RaidenAtari JaguarRuiner Pinball
RaymanEveryone RatingRebel Assault
QwakGame Boy AdvanceReady 2 Rumble Boxing
RamaPlay StationRayman 2
RamaUsefulNotes/Apple MacintoshReader Rabbit
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Raymanian LimbsImageSource/Video GamesBand Land

alternative title(s): Rayman; Rayman
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