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[[Rayman Logo|250px]]
The original Rayman logo

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Rayman is a platform video game series developed and published by Ubisoft and created by Michel Ancel.

Overview

Gameplay

Rayman games are typically platformer games, although spin-offs have had radically different gameplay. The original Rayman was a 2D sprite based platformer similar to those of the 16 bit era. Rayman 2 moved the series into 3D, and added more variety to the gameplay with new actions such as riding a rocket, being pulled through a marsh by a snake, and an entire level where Rayman's hair allows him to fly instead of simply hover. Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc kept the same core platforming of Rayman 2, but added timed power ups and had a bigger emphasis on combat. The handheld entries in the series have remained similar to the sprite based original in gameplay in that they are 2D. Rayman DS, which was a port of Rayman 2, is an exception to that, as is Rayman 3D, also a port of Rayman 2. Rayman Raving Rabbids, which was at first planned to be a traditional platformer, turned into a mini-game collection late in development after the developers got their hands on the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. Early trailers for the game and early information portray it having a darker atmosphere than is typical of a Rayman game, and show Rayman riding animals including a giant spider. Rayman could alter his appearance, and his dancing style with it, and dance to entrance the Rabbids. Ultimately this idea was scrapped,and replaced with motion based mini-games similar to those in WarioWare: Smooth Moves. Rayman Raving Rabbids was also released on the Xbox 360, despite being made around the motion-sensing Wii controller, and simply replaced physical actions with traditional button presses. Rayman has three racing games (Rayman Arena, Rayman M and Rayman Rush) that feature Rayman characters racing on foot through platformer like stages, and battling in a separate arena mode. There have also been Rayman educational games, such as Rayman Brain Games, which focused less on gameplay and more on learning.

Rayman-brain-games

An example of a Rayman educational game

Characters

  • Rayman is the main protagonist of the series. He has no arms legs, or head, though he has hands, feet, and a head that are able to move independently from his body. Rayman is able to launch long range punches at his enemies, and in some games, eject lums from his gloves. He has the ability to use his hair to glide and float by spinning it at a rapid speed. He is typically found wearing white gloves, a red neckerchief on a purple shirt and a white ring on the chest, (which was replaced with a red and purple hoodie), and he wears yellow trainers. He is voiced by David Gasman and Steve Perkinson in the video games, and by Billy West in the animated series. He was awarded the Best New Character award of 1995 by Electronic Gaming Monthly.[1]
  • Globox is a gentle, sensitive glute, who acts as Rayman's sidekick. He is very cowardly, fleeing at the sight of any enemies, leaving Rayman alone to fight them. Globox's magic power is the ability to create a small cloud that rains over fire and machinery after performing a rain dance. He is shown to be allergic to plum juice, which has alcoholic effects on him. In Rayman 3, he is voiced by John Leguizamo.
  • Betilla the Fairy is a fairy who helps Rayman throughout the first game by granting him several powers. Mister Dark kidnaps her to stop this, but she is rescued once Rayman chases Mister Dark off. She appeared in the first game and will reappear in Rayman Origins where it is revealed she was the one who created Rayman.
  • Ly the Fairy is a fairy made by the godlike Polokus to help Rayman. She appears as a weak and serious character, but despite this, she's actually potentially dangerous if she has to be, though is an energetic, loving and playful character and hardly loses her patience. She likes activity and experimenting with magic. She is voiced by Kim Michelle Broderick.
  • Murfy serves as a guide to Rayman. He has a really hasty nature unable to deal with failure. He appears bored with his job and can't be bothered with trivial details. His race is depicted as mischievous and described as "cultivated hedonists". He is voiced by Billy West.
  • The Teensies are a race of small Cyan skin colored creatures with elongated noses and beady black eyes. They exist in many forms and most of them have magical powers. Their purpose is to unveil all the roads in the world. They are led by Grand Minimus, who acts as caretaker of the Heart of the World, the Grand Minimus is the greatest little king of them all.
  • Tarayzan, the Musician and Joe are three friends of Rayman's who find themselves in different predicaments thanks to Mister Dark's doing and each give Rayman a temporary power in return for his help.
  • Mister Dark is Rayman's first enemy and the main villain in Rayman. Little is known about him, except that he is an incredibly talented yet evil sorcerer. After stealing the Great Protoon and imprisoning all the Electoons, Mr. Dark hides away in his lair, at the Candy Chateau, high above the Cave Of Skops. Once Rayman meets him, instead of him fighting directly, Mr. Dark flees the scene and sets fused versions of his main Henchmen upon Rayman. Ever since fleeing the scene, he has not appeared again in the series canon and his location and even existence remain unanswered. Throughout the game, he leads the evil antitoons:
    • Moskito is a gigantic mosquito and the boss of the Dream Forest. Though Rayman kills him, Moskito's son, Bzzit, becomes Rayman's friend and cameos in the PS2 version of Rayman 2.
    • Mister Sax is a giant saxophone and the boss of Band Land.
    • Mister Stone is a behemoth made of stone and the boss of the Blue Mountains
    • Space Mama is an overweight warrior-actress and the boss of Picture City
    • Mister Skops is a giant scorpion and the boss of the Caves of Skops
  • Admiral Razorbeard is Rayman's second enemy, the main villain in Rayman 2 and the Game Boy Advance version of Rayman 3. He commands a force of Robo-Pirates and ships that plague over Rayman's World. He rules from a gigantic ship, known as the Buccaneer. Razorbeard is infamous for his attacks that have left over 100 peaceful planets to cosmic dust, making him a vicious and cruel mass murderer. His personality is mainly similar to a power-hungry dictator, a cruel and a sadistic villain. Razorbeard is also extremely frustrated and he has a short fuse, as he throws minor temper tantrums whenever one of his henchmen came to tell him bad news. Unlike Mr. Dark, Razorbeard fights Rayman at the game's climax, but after being beaten by Rayman, he flees the scene. In Rayman 2, he is voiced by Ken Starcevic.
  • Andre is a maniacal dark lum and the main villain in Rayman 3 and Rayman: Hoodlum's Revenge. Globox has a strange fondness of him. He is transformed from a red lum into a dark lum when Rayman's hands scare him with shadow puppets. At the beginning of the game, Globox accidentally swallows him, and the Teensies tell Rayman to take Globox to a doctor to get him out. After visiting three different doctors, Andre finds Reflux and makes a deal with him: that if he steals King Gumsi's sceptre, he will give him the opportunity to kill Rayman. At the end of the game, Reflux is defeated and Rayman turns Andre back into a red lum. He is voiced by Ken Starcevic.
  • Reflux is a Knaaren, a race of invincible, ruthless warriors who cannot stand sunlight, who gives up his invincibility while stealing the scepter from the Leptys. He is voiced by Ziggy Marley.
  • Rabbids are the titular characters of the Raving Rabbids series of games. They are large absent-minded rabbits who love to cause havoc and dress up in weird costumes. Their most notable aspect is their habit of yelling loudly whenever they get overly excited. They first appeared in Rayman: Raving Rabbids where they kidnapped Rayman and forced him to participate in various games for their amusement.

The Back Story of Rabbids.

Rabbids originated from rabbits that were bred for extensive experimentation for the international space programs to collect the medical knowledge to support human space exploration. Unfortunately the rabbits became rabbid with rabies like symptoms and were transported to the quarantine center. It was there where an unsuspecting janitor was cleaning, that the rabbids reached through the cage and grabbed his plungers, escaping to the space shuttles and began creating havoc throughout the universe.

Games

Main series

The games in the main series have fairly distinct settings (sometimes described as different realms, etc. within Rayman's home world) and plots. Nonetheless, besides the titular hero, several characters (Globox, Murfy, Ly) and themes (freeing magical beings from cages, collecting magical energy, etc.) do appear with some regularity.

Particularly, the universe featured in the original Rayman has largely been left unvisited in subsequent installments, with the exception of cameos including the famous purple plums, small harmless versions of its boss Moskito, etc. Some elements from the original game (e.g. the hunters called Livingstones, and Betilla the Fairy) will feature in the upcoming Rayman Origins, although since in the new game these characters (and its world overall) bear some visual differences, and more obviously it features Rayman's friend Globox who first appeared in Rayman 2, it is likely to be more of a reboot. See the following articles for synopses and other information on the main series games:

Spin-off series

Raving Rabbids

The Raving Rabbid series, known in France as The Lapins Cretins, is a spinoff series of Rayman which consists mainly of party games, though also includes some platform games. The series focus on crazy large rabbits known as Rabbids, who like to cause havoc and mischief and are best known for yelling "BWAAAAAAAH!" whenever they experience adrenaline rushes. Though initially shown as part of the Rayman series of games, the popularity of the characters, aided by various viral videos and media appearances, led Raving Rabbids to become its own separate franchise, dropping the Rayman name as of 2009's Rabbids Go Home. [2][3] In October 2010, Ubisoft and Aardman announced a partnership to produce a TV series pilot and several shorts based on the franchise.[4] One year later, it was announced that 78 7-minute CG animated episodes will be made solely by Ubisoft Motion Pictures, and broadcasted as 26 half-hour episodes by Nickelodeon beginning in 2013.[5] The Rabbids have made several appearances in non-Rayman games as well, such as Red Steel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up, and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction. The song "Here Comes The Hotstepper" in Just Dance 2 includes a rabbid who attempts to dance with the choreographer. There has also been a Raving Rabbids themed version of the card game Jungle Speed which was released in France.

Development of Rayman 4

The earliest Rayman 4 trailers depicted menacing and zombie-like rabbits, simply appearing from underground with a blank stare in various shapes and forms, smaller eyes and furry. At this point, trailers showed the game as an adventure game with fight stages, where Rayman would need to punch and kick himself kung fu style through a horde of zombie-bunnies. As the game concept evolved, from one of a central objective to minigames, and viral videos were created, the rabbits slowly evolved into the Rabbid figures, which were much more conscious and amusing, changing from merely being enemies to fight through into more memorable characters with various traits and quirks. Rayman creator Michel Ancel described the bunnies as "vicious, but at the same time [...] totally stupid".[6] In a recent video review, project lead Loïc Gounon confirmed the possibility of splitting the Rayman and Rabbid series apart, mentioning that the Rabbids seem to appeal more to younger gamers, due to its slapstick humor and minigames deviating from the Rayman series' more fantasy-oriented gameplay.[7]

Reception

Template:VG Series Reviews

Since his debut in 1995 on the Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, PlayStation and PC Rayman has become a popular and recognizable video game character over the past decade, along with his trademark lack of limbs and Helicopter power, having appeared in several titles up for many platforms until the present day. Since the first game's release in 1995, the Rayman games have become highly successful and popular with many fans.

The Rabbids from the Raving Rabbids series became massively popular both through the teaser trailers and the game itself. IGN has stated that the Rabbids have "more personality and charisma than 10 of the most popular video game mascots combined",[8] and that the bunnies have literally "upstaged Rayman himself".[2] GameSpot has noted, "The Rabbids themselves are almost exclusively responsible for [selling the game's humor], as they are, without a doubt, hysterical. They're adorably designed, with their dumb stares, high-pitched shrieks, and a penchant for taking comedic bumps."[3] There has been speculation by reviewers[3] that the success of the Rabbid character will probably inspire the developers to create more games of the franchise, possibly even without Rayman. This was first hinted in the launch trailer of the first game, where Rayman, despite being the title character, only appears for a fraction of a second, only to be squashed flat by a couch taken over by the bunnies, and became evident in Rayman Raving Rabbids 2, in which case Rayman disguises himself as a Rabbid, causing the game to put more emphasis on them than on Rayman himself. This was then proven to be true with the announcement of Rabbids Go Home.

Before the game's release, the director Jacques Exertier was asked about why Rayman was omitted, Exertier confirmed that after Rabbids Go Home, Rayman WILL return for more action-adventure video games.[9] And it looks like Exertier was true to his word, because a Rayman-only game was released on March 1, 2010. However, it was only another re-release of Rayman 2 (this time on the iPhone OS.)

At the end of May 2010, as a result of rumors that Rayman creator Michel Ancel was leaving Ubisoft and the Beyond Good & Evil 2 project, fellow game designer and close colleague Nicolas Choukroun posted on Ancel's unofficial Facebook page stating that Ancel had instead moved into another studio to work on a new Rayman game.[10] The game was revealed as Rayman Origins at Ubisoft's E3 2010 conference.

References

  1. Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide. 1996. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Matt Casamassina (2006-10-13). "Rayman Raving Rabbids: Impressions and Video". http://wii.ign.com/articles/739/739035p1.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12. "The bunnies in the game are so well-designed, animated, and voiced, that they have actually upstaged Rayman himself to become the spotlight of Ubisoft's marketing efforts for the title." 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Alex Navarro (2006-11-19). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review on GameSpot". http://www.gamespot.com/wii/action/rayman4/review.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12. "It might have Rayman in the title, but the real stars of the show are the adorably bizarre raving rabbids." 
  4. Ubisoft & Aardman to Create Pilot for Animated Television Show Based on Raving Rabbids, IGN
  5. Keslassy, Elsa (October 6, 2011). "Nick licenses 'Raving Rabbids'". Variety. http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118044007. Retrieved October 6, 2011. 
  6. Matt Casamassina. "Rayman Raving Rabbids Interview". http://wii.ign.com/articles/709/709614p2.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12. "The Rabbits are hundreds and they are vicious, but at the same time they are totally stupid." 
  7. "Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 interview". 2007-06-26. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBZNdU5wM5A. Retrieved 2007-11-13. 
  8. Matt Casamassina (2006-11-16). "Rayman Raving Rabbids Review". http://wii.ign.com/articles/746/746378p1.html. Retrieved 2007-11-12. "Although we could honestly take or leave Rayman himself, Ubisoft has with the bunnies created characters with more personality and charisma than 10 of the most popular videogame mascots combined." 
  9. Matt Casamassina (May 5, 2009). "Why You'll Love Rabbids Go Home: Two and a half years in development, a brand new engine, no mini-games and it's a full-blown comedy adventure.". IGN. News Corporation. http://wii.ign.com/articles/979/979811p1.html. 
  10. "Michel Ancel Now Working On New Rayman?". 29 May 2010. http://connectedconsoles.com/blog-Michel-Ancel-Working-On-New-Rayman.cfm;. "it looks like the developer has moved on to create a new studio made up of a smaller team, developing a new Rayman title." 

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