By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on January
11 14, 2019
We're back, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! It's January 11, 2019 and I'm proud to welcome you to a brand new Big Red Timemachine. And... wait... what? it's the fourteenth?! How the hell did that happen. Damn you, temporal anomalies! Nevertheless, notwithstanding the mix-up in dates, brand new is exactly the term I will use, because everything, aside from my colleague Dennis sand myself, is new! So let's dive right in!
As you may remember, when last we spoke, our beautiful Big Red HQ was somewhat in tatters. That is why Dennis and I decided to construct a completely new HQ on a different location. Which location, I hear you ask? Well, I'm afraid that I am not quite at liberty to say just yet. We still need to finish installing our security perimeter to keep out unwanted guests. But don't worry, the rest of our HQ is already in full swing!
Also, we managed to take a break from it all and go on a well-deserved vacation. Now, I know Dennis promised you pictures of our travels, but seeing as how "someone" lost our camera, this will be a bit difficult right now. We solemnly swear that we will show you said pictures if and when our camera has been found. We know we had it when we returned to our HQ, but somehow, the damn thing vanished without a trace.
So, for today, let's just do what we do best and take a trip through space and time and rediscover a videogame from way back! This week, I'm going to take you to the year 1995, where we will be looking at an extraordinary hero. You see, normally, when a game character has hands and feet, it automatically means he or she must have arms and legs as well, doesn't it? Well, not in this case. Our hero doesn't need things like joints and limbs to be awesome. The game we're talking about here, of course, is Rayman!
Released in September 1995 by Ubi Soft for Atari Jaguar, shortly after followed by a Playstation version in the same year and ports to MS-DOS and Sega Saturn in 1996, the game takes the player to a colorful yet dangerous world. Now, this world used to be tranquil and peaceful, but a nefarious character who goes by the name of Mr. Dark changed all that overnight. You see, the world has always been balanced by the Great Protoon, a mighty force that brings peace and prosperity. Mr. Dark, in all his evilness, stole the Great Protoon and captered the Electoons that usually hovered round the Great Protoon.
As one might suspect, these dark times call for a hero to come along and save the world. This, dear readers, is where our friend Rayman comes in! He will have to cross six treacherous regions on the planet in order to collect all the imprisoned Electoons and save the Great Protoon from the evil clutches of Mr. Dark. To do so, he will also have to overcome a large number of strange and foul creatures that suddenly started appearing after Mr. Dark stole the Great Protoon. A giant task, even for the bravest hero!
Now, when you start your quest, Rayman can only jump to avoid and make a scary face to scare enemies, the latter of which causes them to run away and, most of the time, fall into the bottomless pits or deep pools of water that are scattered throughout the levels. Later on, however, Betilla the fairy (who was actually tasked with guarding the Great Protoon but was defeated by Mr. Dark) grants him the ability to really get hands on. She gives him the power to pummel his enemies with his fists. Now, as you may recall, Rayman has no arms and legs, which means that he catapults his fist forward with quite some force, enabling him to hit enemies that are still at a distance.
Luckily, this isn't the only power Betilla gives to Rayman. Throughout the game, he will also learn how to hang on to ledges, swing from magically floating hoops, spin his hair really fast, making it act like the blades of a helicopter and, finally, how to run. Will all this be enough for our hero to save the world? Well, play the game and find out, why don't you?
Rayman is a traditional platform game, in which the player needs to overcome a number of obstacles and hostile creatures in order to reach the end of a level. The game featured collectibles in the form of Electoons, small creatures locked up in cages that are scattered and hidden throughout the game. Each region of the world holds a certain number of these Electoons and the ultimate goal is to free them all. Now, this is not absolutely mandatory, but it's truly fun to do! Rayman can also collect shiny orbs, which he can than trade with a merchant in order to gain access to bonus levels that, in turn, each have their own reward when completed successfully. Extra hitpoints and lives can also be collected along the way, giving our hero an even greater chance of success.
What I really liked about Rayman, is its artwork. The cartoony style fits the game perfectly and looks absolutely awesome. All the characters and environments are lovingly crafted and truly look the part. The environments are beautiful and lush, providing the game with an even greater sense of depth. All of this is accompanied by a magnificent soundtrack that also perfectly fits the theme of the game. Due to the collectables, the game also has an additional replay value. Not that it needs it, by the way; Rayman is just one of those games that are perfect in their own right and deserve to be played over and over again!
And that's all the time we have for today, ladies and gentlemen. Our maiden voyage of 2019 has safely been completed! I think a celebratory drink is in order! Or maybe two. or lots! Oh well, let's see where the evening takes us, shall we? I'm also curious to see if Dennis has made any progress on his plans for a plutonium-driven espresso machine and contact grill. Thank you for joining us once again and we hope to see you all again in two weeks!