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Video Game / Rayman Origins

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Back to basics.

"Long ago, the primordial forest, deep and mysterious, witnessed the birth of a man...uh, a vegetable? No, no, no...ah...a thingamajig."

Released in 2011, Rayman Origins is a sequel in the long-dormant Rayman series. As the story goes, it takes place in a world called the Glade of Dreams created by a being known as Bubble Dreamer (Polokus from Rayman 2: The Great Escape), who was so attached to his world that his emotions directly impacted it. Rayman was created by Betilla from the magic of Nymphs to be a guardian of this world.

Our story begins proper sometime after Rayman 2, when our heroes (Rayman, Globox and two Teensies) snore loud enough during a nap to literally awaken the dead. Their underground neighbours (residents of the Land of the Livid Dead) retaliate by invading the surface en masse, imprisoning the heroes and capturing the peaceful Electoons, which in turn causes the Bubble Dreamer to go cuckoo and have terrible nightmares which further threaten the stability of the entire Glade. Rayman and his pals set out to free all the Electoons, cure the Bubble Dreamer's nightmares and save the Glade before it vanishes like a bad dream. You can watch the trailer here, and the official blog here.


This game started life as a downloadable title for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 but as it grew in size and scope it is now sold as a full retail game on the two aforementioned consoles, Wii, Steam, PC, 3DS and PlayStation Vita. It also has 4-Player Co-Op, though it was removed from the portable versions.

A multiplatform sequel was released called Rayman Legends, retaining the first game's gameplay, art style and 4-Player co-op, but going in a more fantasy-based direction, with worlds based off fairy tales and Classical Mythology. They're also giving it a major Art Evolution, with the 2D characters lit by 3D lighting, lending it a unique painterly feel.


This game provides examples of:

  • A Winner Is You: What do you get for beating the hardest level in the game? A nymph saying a bad punnote  and winking. You can also now take a spring bulb into the background of the credits to beat them up.
  • Acrofatic: Globox is considerably larger and chubbier than the other characters, but just as mobile and can somehow flutter jump by flapping his arms.
  • Adaptation Species Change: The Magician belonged to the same species as Rayman in the original game, here he's a Teensy.
  • Adaptational Villainy: The Magician is a neutral, mostly benevolent character in the first Rayman game, but here he not only Took a Level in Jerkass but also became the Big Bad.
  • Alliterative Name: A few of the worlds, such as Jibberish Jungle and Angsty Abyss.
  • All There in the Manual: The website gives some added backstory on some of the characters, such as why Rayman has no limbs (the Nymphs got distracted and lost some of the Lums they needed) and where the Darktoons came from (the Bubble Dreamer had a nightmare for the first time that created them by the dozens). The website also reveals that Jano from Rayman 2: The Great Escape was created as a product of the Bubble Dreamer's first bad dream.
  • Anticlimax: You expected an epic fight against The Magician? Too bad, all he does is fly around in a ship and blow up the core of Moody Clouds.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: You have unlimited lives, but if the game notices you dying eight times on the same screen, you often get the option to skip levels.
  • Arc Welding: The first and second Rayman games were almost completely different in terms of characters, story, and even the general way the world works. This game seeks to remedy this, by tying together the elements of the first Rayman game (Betilla the fairy, the Electoons, The Magician) with the second one (Globox and the Teensies, the Lums, the general makeup of the land).
    • One of the biggest mysteries left unlockable within Rayman 2 was the revelation that Rayman was the one, the only being in the Glade of Dreams that Polokus didn't conjure up. Origins freely finally reveals the specifics of this; Betilla and the nymphs wove Rayman into being out of Lums specifically in response to how Polokus's nightmares were throwing things into disarray — a being not born of his influence wouldn't be beholden to it.
  • Artifact Title: The name and initial trailer indicate a series prequel, but this was changed midway through development into a sequel. While the game reintroduces characters from the first game and as stated above, the game's website gives out some character origins, the title otherwise makes no sense in regards to the in-game material's final form. (Unless you think of it as Rayman returning to his origins as a side-scrolling platformer character.)
  • Blank White Eyes: Rayman grabs himself a pair whenever he dies.
  • Blood Brothers: Rayman and Globox are said to be this.
  • Bragging Rights Award: Glombrox is the final unlockable character, unlocked by collecting all 246 Electoons. Unfortunately, since you already have to collect all the Electoons to unlock him in the first place, there isn't really anything left to do using him.
  • Brick Joke: A level in the first world is titled Go with the Flow. A level in the sequel world is titled Still Flowing.
  • Broad Strokes: The game applies some visual and story Retcons to the first game to fit in with the rest of the franchise, as well as bits of 2 and Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, such as 3's Land of the Livid Dead looking much less peaceful, but things seem to have largely happened in the same way as they did in the previous games, aside from the Raving Rabbids, whose entire presence are completely ignored.note 
  • Bonus Level of Hell: The Land of the Livid Dead can be unlocked by collecting all 10 Skull Teeth from the Treasure Chest races and giving them to the Grim Reaper. It's a Marathon Level that tests the player on every skill they have honed throughout the game, culminating in the final boss fight against Big Mama.
  • Bookends: Rayman, Globox, and the Teensies end up right back where they started when they destroy the Magician's energy core.
  • Boss Rush: In the penultimate level, you have to fight two robotic duplicates of previous bosses on your way back to The Magician's room.
  • Bubble Pipe: The Bubble Dreamer has one.
  • Canon Discontinuity: The game never attempts to acknowledge that the Raving Rabbids ever set foot in the Glade of Dreams, or even mention them at all. Even Rayman 3 (made without Ancel's direct involvement) gets a mention, in the form of the Land of the Livid Deadnote , even though the two levels don't share much in common besides the name and general theme.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The Rabbids are never even mentioned, due to them being put into their own franchise.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Pretty much every character, except The Magician, is ditzy, goofy and has a low attention span.
  • Continuity Nod: Pulling on Polokus's beard as a different costume will make him reference an event from the previous games (minus Raving Rabbids), such as Globox's obsession with Plum Juice and Raymesis's role as a creation of Mr. Dark.
  • Cool Old Guy: The Bubble Dreamer has Cool Shades, a Bubble Pipe, a beard and a laid-back attitude.
  • Co-Op Multiplayer: With Rayman, Globox, and two Teensies. First time in the series, and one of the bigger selling points.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: Each Nymph does this before granting a new ability.
  • Creative Closing Credits: You can run around and destroy the letters as they scroll.
  • Creator Cameo: Michael Ancel makes a cameo at the beginning and end of the Dragon trailer. He also shows up in the game, voicing the boss and nymph at the end of Land of the Livid Dead.
  • Cutscene Boss: The Magician is defeated when he stupidly crashes his ship into a reactor.
  • Dance Party Ending: In the final level, the Magician will start dancing with the players in celebration, but this is revealed to simply be a distraction when he dashes away immediately afterwards and you have to chase him.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The Goth Teensy, who wears black and red wizard robes.
  • Darkness Equals Death: "Swimming With Stars" and "Scuba Shootout" both feature bioluminescent sea life that is needed to protect you from the Darktoon arms that will reach out to you from the darkness.
  • Death Mountain: The Mystic Piques, where monks meditate and sacrifice peas to the Bubble Dreamer. It also leads to Moody Clouds.
  • Evil Counterpart: Played with in the case of Raymesis and Glombrox, Rayman and Globox's respective counterparts: the Bubble Dreamer states them as such, but gameplay-wise they're no different from the originals.
  • Face–Heel Turn: The Four Kings due to being corrupted by the Bubble Dreamer's nightmare.
  • Fan Boy:
    • Teensie Ray, who is president of the Rayman fanclub, and Globteen, a Teensy who cos-plays as Globox.
    • It turns out that the Magician is a big fan of Mr. Dark, as he is seen with several posters of him in his lair.
    The Magician: I always wanted to be like Mr. Dark: Mysterious, Dark! ...Um, Dark and mysterious!
  • Fantastic Light Source:
    • The Grumbling Grottoes has gongs that look like faces. Attacking these lights them up, and protects the player(s) from the deadly gnats.
    • In a few water levels, you have to stay in the light of angler fishes to avoid dying.
  • Fairy Sexy: Betilla, as well as her sisters. The instruction manual doesn't call them the "Bodacious Nymphs of the Glade" for nothing!
  • Fake Difficulty: When a character hits an obstacle, they are knocked backwards a bit. Unfortunately, many obstacles are positioned as such so that if you get hurt, you'll generally be knocked back directly into another obstacle. This can turn minor pits and areas into instant-death traps.
  • "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: Three of the Four Kings are fought and returned to normal from the outside, except for El Stomacho- the Bubos keeping him mutated are within his stomach liners forcing Rayman and co. to venture inside to transform him back.
  • Floating Limbs:
    • Rayman himself, as standard for his design.
    • Globox has Raymanian legs and eyes.
    • The rock monsters are as limbless as they were in the original.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In exchange for the Lums Rayman collects in each level, the Magician will set some Electoons free. This implies that he has some of the creatures hostage, foreshadowing his true nature as the Big Bad.
    • On the same note, what would the Magician need the Lums for, if not to power the machines he uses against you in the last area?
    • In the levels leading to the game's ending, hitting the Magician's hat will not produce hints, but panicky begging for Rayman to turn back and give up on his journey.
  • Freudian Excuse: The Magician was bullied a lot at magician school, and that's why he's evil.
  • The Goomba: The Darktoons, seeing as they are a reinvention of the Antitoons of the first game, which were that game's 'Goombas'.
  • Goomba Stomp: Before you unlock the ability to attack, this is the only way to defeat enemies.
  • Gotta Catch Them All:
    • You have to break three Electoon cages in most levels, gather up to 300 Lums per level to get two more Electoon cages, beat a time trial to free yet another Electoon cage, collect a multitude of Skull Coins in each level, and beat the Treasure races to obtain the ten Skull Teeth, all of which contribute to unlock the true ending.
    • Plus the optional Trophies and Lum Medals, which are rewarded for going above and beyond in time trials and Lum collecting respectively.
  • Gratuitous Disco Sequence: Getting sufficient lums in a level grants a gold medal and causes a disco dance.When Rayman and co. later reaches the Big Bad again, instead of fighting or running away, he starts a rather catchy disco dance. Then Rayman inexplicably joins the groove.
  • Hailfire Peaks: Almost every level in the game is some combination of level design factors. For instance:
  • Heel–Face Turn: For some reason, Dark Rayman is a playable character and fights by Rayman's side.
  • Helpful Mook:
    • The air-blowing birds in the Desert of Didgeridoos. Although they are often placed in such a way to screw you up, their gusts can also be used to reach high places if you maneuver yourself correctly. One Skull Coin requires you to let them hurt you.
    • The dragon waiters in Gourmand Land. You can stand on their serving trays and ride them places with no ill effects.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: All the characters have the same hitbox as Rayman, despite the fact that the Teensies are significantly smaller and Globox is significantly larger than the limbless champion.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: One of the royals is turned into one of the leviathan type.
  • Kudzu Plot: Don't even attempt to make sense of how the game's beginning ties in with the reveal at the end. The scrapped script had The Magician setting up a microphone disguised as a flower to amplify Rayman and friends' snoring, causing the Livid Dead to get angry and invade. This allowed The Magician to distract Rayman and the gang from his true plans. While none of this made it into the final product, if you look closely in the beginning cutscene, the microphone is still there.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: The robots in Moody Clouds can't be defeated with conventional attacks, just pushed around. On the flipside, they can be knocked into obstacles that will harm them.
  • Lighter and Softer: The game is the least serious in the franchise.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: Betilla, in the first trailer.
  • Mickey Mousing: Many, many levels use this. The game's intro makes a long, funny scene using it.
  • Mood Whiplash: "Swimming with the Stars" starts out rather light, but as you progress deeper in the ocean, the music changes into a dark, threatening tone, with cramped spaces and those underwater clawed hands from previous levels with water.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All of the nymphs.
  • Mythology Gag: There are numerous references to the first two games, such as Moskito and the Electoons, as well as the Glade of Dreams and Dark Rayman as an alternate costume.
  • Never Say "Die": The game text refers to defeating enemies as "bubblizing" them. See Balloon Belly above. It's all Played for Laughs, though.
  • Never Trust a Title: While Rayman Origins does star Rayman, it doesn't cover his origin, nor is it even the first game chronologically!
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Good job snoring so loud you woke the dead and giving all the Lums to the bad guy, Rayman!
  • Nintendo Hard: Probably not as much as the original game, as Michel Ancel wanted to make sure the difficulty curve wasn't too brutal, and because you have infinite lives as well as frequent checkpoints, death isn't very punitive, but you will still die a lot. The second half of the game has some near Meat Boy-level sequences.
  • Nonindicative Name: Some of the worlds' names don't make sense, given their setting. Ticklish Temples doesn't have a temple to be found, Grumbling Grottos is in an open desert, and Luscious Lakes is more like an ocean, and has some fiery kitchen areas.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The bulk of the characters have a simple, hard-lined design, but many bosses have a far more detailed look. They still move just as fluidly as the rest of the characters.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: The manual and in-game dialog imply the world is in danger. Actual gameplay doesn't make this the case. Nobody cares.
  • Offscreen Start Bonus: Many levels include a few extra Lums or a heart if you turn around from your spawn point and (usually) do a wall jump. One even has one of the level's cages hidden back there.
  • Oedipus Complex: In one of the first trailers, the one which showed what never came to be, Betilla creates Rayman, which basically makes her his mom. What's the next thing he does? Using his helicopter hair to lift up her skirt.
  • One-Hit-Point Wonder: Every character can only take one hit before dying, unless a Heart Balloon is collected.
  • Origins Episode: Subverted. While the game was supposed to detail how Rayman came to be and how his first adventure played out, this concept was scrapped as development progressed. As a result, the "origins" in the title is not a reference to the chronology of the Rayman series, but instead acknowledges a return to the franchise's roots as a 2D platformer.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The Dragons in Rayman's world are all short, have no wings, and are all apparently chefs and waiters. They still breathe fire, though.
  • Palette Swap: All of the playable characters play exactly the same. Special mention goes to the Teensies and the Nymphs, who are all the same but with different colors and clothing.
  • Perky Goth: Goth Teensy and Big Mama's true form.
  • Pig Latin: The nymphs and The Magician all speak in this manner. The Bubble Dreamer speaks in Ubbi Dubbi.
  • Plot Tunnel: Unlike other levels, where completing them takes you to the world map, "The Reveal" sends you through multiple levels with no downtime in between.
  • Poke the Poodle: The Hunters end up doing this to the Lums.
  • Pretty in Mink: Helena, the mountain nymph, wears a dress and hat trimmed with thick, white fur.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: One of the Teensies is a princess Teensie, with pink robes and a pink crown.
  • Pronouncing My Name for You: "Pronounced Looms, as in ilLUMination, and not Lums, for dumb."
  • Punny Name: All the Nymphs have names related to the area you save them in (except Betilla and Big Mama).
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: The first contact Rayman and friends have with the Land of the Livid Dead is Rayman finding himself about to eat the skull of an old man. He screams, the man screams, Globox, the Teensies & Polokus scream, the Antitoons scream, and the Granny who unleashed all the Antitoons screams.
  • Retcon:
    • All of the characters from the first game actually have limbs now (except Rayman himself, of course).
    • The Bubble Dreamer, AKA Polokus, got quite a makeover from Rayman 2. Handwaved as the Bubble Dreamer being able to shapeshift.
    • The Magician and the photographer are now teensies.
    • The Land of the Livid Dead was shown to be a peaceful, tranquil area in Rayman 3. In this game, it looks creepier and a bit more like an archetypical depiction of Hell.
  • The Reveal: The level called, well, The Reveal! What does it reveal? That The Magician is actually the bad guy.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Like the title suggests, the game's intention was bringing back some elements from the first game.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: The current Grand Minimus, who is one of the default player characters and just as capable as Rayman and Globox.
  • Rubber-Band A.I.: The creatures caging the nymphs and the Tricky Treasure Chests sometimes slow down (if you're lagging behind) or speed up (if you're too close).
  • Save Your Deity: Rayman and friends are trying to cure the Bubble Dreamer's terrible nightmares, which, if not cured, threaten to tear the world apart.
  • Scenery Porn: Just look at some of the backgrounds.
  • Sequence Breaking: After you die eight times in a row, the game allows you to go to the next level. Of course, some levels are unskippable, like the ones where you get new abilities and the Boss areas, but speedrunners heavily use this trick, as you only have to get 130 electoon points in order to go to Moody Clouds.
    • It's even possible to complete the game with only 50 electoons. When you reach the "Riding the Storm" level for the first time, you can use the multiplayer mode in order to kill yourself eight times, then you go to the next level, which means you have skipped the entire second half of the game! Here's how to do it.
  • The Shangri-La: Mystical Pique, a snowy mountain with Tibetan-style architecture, prayer flags and meditating fakirs.
  • Shout-Out:
    • A level titled "Miami Ice".
    • One of the boss levels is called "To Bubblize a Mocking Bird".
    • One of the secret cages in Mystic Pique is a reference to Donkey Kong.
    • One of the secret areas in the Jibberish Jungles is based on Angry Birds.
      • The bird enemies and platforms of the Desert of Didgeridoos also resemble their counterparts in Angry Birds. As an added bonus, the music for that world's boss is even called "The Angry Bird".
    • In the E3 demo, there was a level very blatantly inspired by Tetris, complete with Korobeiniki. It could also double as a shout out to I Wanna Be the Guy, which had a very similar (and just as hard) Tetris-inspired jumping section.
  • Slide Level: A large chunk of Polar Pursuit has players alternating between sliding down flumes of ice and timing jumps between them.
  • Soprano and Gravel: The music used in the "Kitchen" segments of Gourmand Land. It combines the squeaky voices of the Lums with a completely gravel-voiced (and totally deadpan) singer. Like this.
  • Speaking Simlish: Par for the course, as it's Rayman, though some characters speak Pig Latin instead.
  • Spike Balls of Doom: Someone on the design team must love spikes, because they are EVERYWHERE. On enemies, on fish, on birds, on food.
  • Steampunk: Moody Clouds, which is not only a large steampunk city, but a large steampunk city floating in the clouds.
  • Stock Scream: The chilli pepper enemies make the famous Wilhelm scream when they die.
  • The Bus Came Back: Betilla, the Magician, Dark Rayman, the moskitoes, the electoons and some enemies (the hunters, the darktoons, the lividstones and the stonemen) all come back for the first time since the original Rayman game.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Besides the scrolling shooter segments, there is a point in one level that is what amounts to a rhythm game.