Limbless fun and games
Ah Rayman, our armless hero. It gives such fond memories and insane frustration when reminiscing about this cool guy. This simple 2D platformer with imaginative themes and a silent but comical protagonist was my introduction to gaming.
To this day I have never truly beaten Rayman, I’ve gotten to the end but was halted in my fight for justice against Mr. Dark, heinous villain that he is. Those incredibly numerous Electoons were the stopping point, finding and freeing all of them from their illegal cages was painful. I could never stomach scouring the entire game for them all and always gave up to play something else.
The gameplay of Rayman was simple at first; jump, punch, or prone to get past the baddies. But then things became complicated. Rayman learned to run and even glide with his awesome hair-do, and hang from the many out of place floating platforms. Previously inaccessible areas would be open to you once you attained the right ability for progressing to the area. It was exciting learning new abilities but the challenges that came from having to utilise them effectively bumped up the difficulty rather spectacularly.
Them Eyes! The Evil Eyes!
Ever come across an invulnerable enemy? It’s not fun, is it? Enter the lightning bolt shooting drums and flutes that you must jump on while avoiding their sneaky attacks. So much I wanted nothing more than to fire Rayman’s righteous fist of justice into their beady bloodshot eyes and be done with them. But oh no, they persist in their watching and their incandescent mocking, always staring, always waiting for when you least want a slow 2D lightning bolt to float your way (shakes fist at the heavens). It may be obvious but I died many times to these instruments of chaos with the ever appropriate “heuah” sound Rayman makes when he gets hit.
That One Dark Cave!
When I first encountered this gargantuan obstacle in Rayman it was simply impossible for me at the time. Basically, there is a certain level that is almost completely pitch black with only the shining light of Rayman’s fists to lead the way. This lack of visibility to my young mind stumped me in more ways than one. I ruled it impossible to proceed and kept drowning in the dark damp cave. Even my sister who at the time was self-proclaimed better at the game couldn’t fathom how to conquer this obstacle.
However one fateful day, several years later, I reached this point in the game again, my worst enemy. Through trial and error, practice and patience I jumped, I soared and I won. No longer did this level best me so, I wept in triumph (not really) and steeled myself for the next stage…which I then got stuck on and left the game for a while again…
One Day Mr. Dark…One Day
Mr. Dark’s Minions of doom were a pain in the sole of Rayman’s ankle-less sneakers. From a speedy mosquito to giant terrifying scorpion, Rayman had his work cut out for him. Interactions with the bosses were often surprising and kept me and my pal Rayman on edge. Generally you had mini boss fights and instances of fleeing as fast as your legless feet could carry you. These bosses turned out to be chumps compared to the other puzzles in the game but I can’t comment on Mr. Dark, the elusive supervillain. Talking about Rayman has made me want to go play in then hate myself for realising how bad I am at it. So for now, I bid you good day, and encourage you to play this PS1 classic for yourself!