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Rayman
Rayman series series
Rayman
First appearance Rayman
Created by Michel Ancel
Voiced by
(English)
David Gasman

Rayman is the protagonist of the Rayman series, a video game created by Ubisoft. He is limbless and attacks by throwing his fists (although he shoots energy spheres in Rayman 2). First appearing in 1995, Rayman debuted on the Atari Jaguar, PlayStation, Saturn and MS-DOS in Rayman where he had to defend his home from the clutches of Mr. Dark. Rayman reappeared in 1999, this time having to fight off Admiral Razorbeard in Rayman 2. In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc Rayman has had to deal with André, the leader of the Black Lums. Soon afterwards, Rayman had to rescue his good friend Globox in Rayman: Hoodlums' Revenge. Rayman is a major character in the Rayman Raving Rabbids series. He is Ubisoft's mascot.

Appearance

Rayman is typically found wearing white gloves,a purple hoodie (With a red hood) with a white "O" on it, and yellow sneakers. The O appears to have magical properties. Whenever he earned a new power in Rayman, sparkles would appear around the O; in Rayman 2, it was used to open the stones holding the masks.

He has however been known to change outfits, beginning from his third adventure against the Black Lum André in Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc. Players in Rayman Raving Rabbids can dress Rayman in a variety of costumes. They start with the choices of Disco, Gangsta, and Granny; as they unlock more minigames, more costumes, such as Rock 'n' roll, DJ, Gothic and eventually a bunny suit, become available.

Abilities

Rayman's abilities consist of attacking his enemies by winding up his fists and throwing them at his enemies, floating through the air and descending slowly by using his ears (or hair) as a helicopter propeller, and the ablility to live and survive without his body parts attached. In Rayman 2: The Great Escape, he was granted the ability to attack his enemies with energy balls, rather than throwing his fists. Late in In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, the Leptys granted Rayman the ability to turn Black Lums into Red Lums with a grimace. Also, there were combat fatigues in the game with could give Rayman Heavy Metal Fists that could increase his attack power, a propeller that could make him fly into the air, a missile attack that could make turn Rayman's fist into a powerful missile, a chain that could latch onto anything it could latch on to, and many more.

Biography

Not much is known about Rayman's past. Supposedly he was found by fishermen on a beach by the Sea of Lums. In Rayman 2 this idea is further elaborated on when Rayman is revealed to be the only creature living in the world who was not dreamed up by Polokus, as well as the only person who can convert the Silver Lums made by the Fairies into powers. It is speculated (in the game) that Rayman could in fact be a 'chosen one' selected by all the gods of all the worlds, destined to fight against evil. Despite this, Rayman has not allowed it to dampen his views on life and continues to be witty and rather energetic.

The games take place in seemingly unconnected areas. The original, 2-D Rayman games take place in what is called Rayman's home world - a world that is kept stable by the Great Protoon. Most of the games after that take place in a seemingly different, more realistic world of a god named Polokus, while the Raving Rabbids take place in more contemporary settings and eventually Earth itself. The Protoon has not been spoken of in the games since, so whether or not these settings are of the same world or different ones remains a mystery.

Throughout his adventures, Rayman has accumulated a number of allies. These include bumbling Globox, helpful flying greenbottle Murfy, the numerous Teensies, and mystical Ly the Fairy, who has oddly not been seen since Rayman 2 except in handheld spin-offs.

Concept and creation

The original story from the Atari Jaguar version of Rayman claims he was originally a boy named Jimmy, brought into his game and set in a world called Hereitscool to fight the evil. This idea was quickly abandoned in enough time for the game's Jaguar release and Rayman would remain a mysterious figure in his own world in the releases of the other versions of the game. (Saturn, PlayStation, etc.)

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. 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, replaced with motion based mini-games similar to 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 had two racing games (Rayman Arena and Rayman Rush) that saw characters from the Rayman universe racing on foot through platformer like stages, and battling in a separate arena mode. There have also been Rayman educational games, which focused less on gameplay and more on learning.

Games

Rayman

Raving Rabbids

Spin-offs

Remakes

Reception

Since his debut in 1995 on the Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, Playstation and on the MS-DOS, 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.

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",[1] 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.

References

  1. 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." 
  2. 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 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." 

External links

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