Rayman(JP) is the eponymous protagonist of the series of same name, and is one of the mascots of Ubisoft. The limbless hero stars in a currently running and successful video game franchise spanning two decades.
He was created by French game designer Michel Ancel, as one of his many sketches in his early career. In 1992, Ubisoft started a project for a co-op platformer for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System featuring Rayman. Ultimately, the development of the game was shifted to another console due to technical and processing issues, and eventually saw a release on the Atari Jaguar, Sony PlayStation, and Sega Saturn in 1995. In 1999, the character would debut on a Nintendo system through a cameo in Ubisoft's Tonic Trouble, and finally months later, recieved his own main release with Rayman 2: The Great Escape.
Rayman has made several appearances in Nintendo's library, even in launch titles and console-exclusive titles. He also appear as a collectable Trophy in the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U and as a collectable Spirit in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Story and Character Development
Rayman was first drawn with characters from the golden age of cartoons in mind (with Looney Tunes as basis), his expressions and reactions exaggerated are reflexes of that. Ancel had Indiana Jones in mind as the main inspiration for his personality, as "a high-performance hero who keeps a good sense of humour".
His main design quirk of having no limbs was implemented once programmers had difficulty to deal with animations for his sprites. With the removal of his limbs and body connections, it was possible to create many more possibilities for gameplay and have a more unique platforming hero.
A trait that sets him apart from other platforming characters is that he's rarely taking his enemies too seriously, with a playful and funny approach to his problems. The series' universe also employs this, with the exception of Rayman 2, which sported a much darker atmosphere; he was even more somber at the start of the game.
In the first game, Rayman fights against the evil Mr. Dark, a sorcerer who captured the defenseless Electoons and The Great Protoon, which serves as the source of The Glade of Dreams. In his last appearence in a main game on a Nintendo platform, the hero fought against The Magician, who was causing trouble in Rayman's world spreading nightmares.
Rayman's origins were interpreted in multiple ways through the series, but was revised when Rayman Origins was announced, explaining he is a creation of Betilla The Fairy, once danger of a legendary incident was iminent to happen.
List of appearances on Nintendo systems
- Tonic Trouble - (cameo)
- Rayman (SNES protoype, cancelled)
- Rayman 2: The Great Escape
- Rayman (GBC)
- Rayman 2 (GBC)
- Rayman Advance
- Rayman Arena
- Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc
- Rayman DS
- Rayman: Hoodlums' Revenge
- Rayman Raving Rabbids
- Rayman Raving Rabbids 2
- Rayman Raving Rabbids: TV Party
- Academy of Champions Soccer/Football
- Rayman (DSi)
- Rayman 3D
- Rayman Origins
- Rayman Legends
- Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS/Wii U (Wii U as a Trophy)
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (as a Spirit)
- The first Rayman game is the only main game in the series to not see a release on a Nintendo home console.
- In Just Dance 2015 , in the music 'Love Is All' by Roger Glover & The Butterfly Ball, there's a background based on Rayman Legends filled with characters of that game; although Rayman himself can't been seen anywhere, the character Sir Rayelot (which is modeled after Rayman's body) makes an appearance.
- In many Just Dance games, Rayman and his friends are used as unlockable avatars.