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Rayman 2 Dreamcast, when Ubisoft's mascot ventured into a jungle of prototypes

Who hasn't heard of Rayman, a platform game franchise launched in 1995 by Ubisoft? The main character, Rayman, is an armless, legless hero with magical powers and, above all, a quirky sense of humor. The first game in the series was an instant hit with gamers worldwide, thanks to its colorful graphics and innovative gameplay.

The story of Rayman (1) begins when his peaceful world, called "Glade of Dreams", is invaded by evil forces, the "Robo-Pirates". Mr. Dark has stolen the energy of the heart of the universe, the "Great Protoon" (the equivalent in Rayman 2 is "The heart of the world"), which maintains the balance between good and evil. Rayman is the only one able to save his Earth by recovering the fragments of the "Great Protoon" and battling the "Robo-Pirates".


The critical and commercial success of the first game led the French publisher to conceive a sequel, entitled "Rayman 2: The Great Escape", published in 1999 on several consoles including Nintendo 64, PSX and PC, and later on Dreamcast and Playstation 2. In this new opus, Rayman must once again free his world from the evil that is consuming it, this time by confronting the space pirate "Razorbeard" and his army of robots. To do this, Ubisoft's emblematic Mascot must explore varied, fairytale environments, collect "Lums" (little beings of light) to restore his planet's energy, and face powerful, terrifying bosses.


Rayman 2's adventure is presented in the form of cinematics and dialogues with non-player characters, adding a stronger narrative dimension than in the previous episode. Graphics have evolved, becoming more detailed and beautiful. The music accompanying players on their journey was written by video game composer Eric Chevalier.

The game combines platforming and action on an evolutionary principle. Rayman acquires new powers as the story progresses: shooting, helicopter, dodging, climbing... The hero shows off his innovative skills over 21 levels divided into 54 sectors. Challenges call for dexterity, but also speed, with time trials. Pure action also plays its part, with original stages on water skis, snowshoes, rockets...

The Dreamcast version stands out from the rest thanks to the console's technical capabilities. The game is a real eye-catcher, and the machine is perfectly exploited. It's not just a simple, banal port. The animation is much richer and new elements in the scenery have been added, as well as effects such as footprints in the snow, reflections and shadows. Effects such as footprints in the snow, reflections and shadows have also been added. Enemy animation has been reworked, making them more autonomous and dynamic. This version also includes two bonus levels designed especially for the Dreamcast, two brand-new cutscenes and, last but not least, the Globox village, which allows for a four-player mode once the game has been completed.


Since its release, Rayman 2 has been considered one of the best platform games of all time, thanks to its fluid gameplay, magnificent Art Direction and captivating narrative. Since then, the Rayman series has continued to thrive, with numerous other games released over the years, including racing games, sports games and even educational games. However, Rayman 2 is a fan favorite and a must-have for any fan of platforming games.

The development of Rayman 2

The development of Rayman 2 was an ambitious project for Ubisoft Montpellier with Michel Ancel as creative director, as it was the sequel to a successful title that had already established the Rayman franchise. The sequel took around 3 years to develop. The studio worked hard to improve the graphics, gameplay and story of this new production, while remaining faithful to the spirit of the original game.

From Rayman's earliest sketches to its in-game rendering as well as its volume implementation

Rayman 2 work in progress render.jpg

Rayman 2 was produced on a relatively high budget, three times that of the first opus. It benefited from advanced technologies for the time, such as Ubisoft's "CPA/ACP" game engine, which allowed for fluid 3D graphics. The developers also took the opportunity to introduce new gameplay features, as well as new combat and jumping moves.

The QA testers, who are in charge of identifying any defects in the game before distribution, were operating in Canada while the Ubisoft Montpellier team was asleep. This ingenious time-shifting strategy enabled the French team, when they returned to work in the morning, to get real-time feedback from the Canadian beta testers as they finished their day's work.

The atmosphere during the development of Rayman 2 was warm and friendly. From time to time, the developers came to the studio on Sundays, not to work but rather to test their game in a good-natured spirit, a good way to decompress after a hard work week. The Ubisoft Montpellier premises were equipped with plenty of Nintendo 64s, and everyone was able to play the current version of Rayman 2 between a glass of Coke and a slice of Pizza. Knowing the game like the back of their hand, and even able to finish it with one hand, they would have set Speed Run world records if Speed Run had been as popular back then as it is today.

Finally, Rayman 2 is also marked by the passion and dedication of the development team. Rayman creator Michel Ancel spent hours working on the game, creating character designs and concept sketches to ensure that every element of the game was perfect. The rest of Ubisoft Montpellier also worked hard to create a game that was both fun and innovative, and this was reflected in the positive ratings from the specialist press and the excellent sales of Rayman 2.

Introductory scene (Storyboard)

Storyboard of Rayman 2.JPG


Rayman 2 artwork.JPG

With its highly accomplished graphics engine, ultra-realistic movement and perfectly paced action, there was no doubt that Rayman 2 demonstrated the full range of Ubisoft Montpellier's expertise. Originally planned as a 2D side-scrolling game, the developers decided to abandon this idea and turn it into a 3D game. Where is this first prototype of Rayman 2: The Great Escape 2D?

By analyzing the prototype, the build was created on November 22, 1999 at 12:51:42. This Rayman 2 Dreamcast beta would have been burned about 3 months before the final version on February 21, 2000. The version number of this mount of Michel Ancel's game, indicated on the title screen, is 9.04. This prototype of Rayman 2 Dreamcast, the oldest listed to date, features numerous development options (Debug) enabling manipulation of the game's internal state. This Rayman 2 is, in a way, a true port of the PC version. From there, the developers began work on adding new elements and specifications for the White Queen version. They even hid some inside jokes in certain lines of dialogue!

System information (Debug)


The unfinished Globox village (new level for the Dreamcast)


Rayman 2 prototype video

A strange file called DEMONAC4_7.DA lurks in the "Single Density (the part that can be played as a normal CD)" area of the GD-R. This file corresponds to the illegal MP3 of the song "Life Is A Flower" by the band "Ace of Base". Its purpose remains a mystery.


Sound effects and dialogue are minimal. There is no music.

The lighting isn't the same as on the familiar version - everything seems brighter.

In some levels, the cage counter is not correctly configured. The total is outside zero, although there are still boxes to break.

Rayman is not yet knocked down when he falls from a great height, as is normally the case.

The content of the game is largely the same as that of the final PC version, with the exception of Dreamcast-specific enhancements (new level, for example) which have not been completed, and certain textures which are incorrect. In some cases, the game loads white textures by default.

Debug Options

Several development options are available with a controller plugged into the Dreamcast's A port. The manipulations to be executed - button combos to be precise - to activate:

The Autotest option

  • L+R+Dpad Up: Pause the game. Repeating this action will return the game to normal. Pressing Dpad Down once the game is frozen, it will advance by one frame and so on

  • L+R+Dpad Down: Select the desired map (Dpad Up/Down to select and scroll maps, Dpad Right to confirm, validate and load the desired map, and Dpad Left to cancel)

  • L+R+Dpad Left: Free Camera while transporting Rayman (Joystick or Dpad directions allow movement. By holding L + R and then controlling the camera, the game switches to first-person view and Rayman disappears from the screen. Rayman will resume where the camera was once this option is deactivated.)

  • L+Dpad Up: Autotest. This is an automatic continuous level loading test, level after level (every 10 seconds or so), to stress the Dreamcast and see if the game crashes. The operation can be stopped and restarted at any time by pressing this button combo. This option can be used to select a level

  • L+Y: Display system information (press the button combo again to switch to another Debug window, of which there are 4 in total)

  • Y+Dpad Up: Reset level/cutscenes

  • A + B: Passing/skipping custscenes

Rayman 2 Autotest Debug.jpg

Rayman in the air


As is often the case with video game prototypes featuring a Debug Menu or development options, the "Free Camera" function remains the most relevant, as it gives you the opportunity to explore the game in a completely different way, pixel by pixel!

Title screen

There's no Ubisoft publisher's Splash Screen (the industry name for this type of screen), displayed when the prototype starts up. The player is drawn directly to the title screen (Press Start). Its rudimentary layout is stripped of Rayman 2's 3D gold text, which has not yet been implemented. The background is a black surface with a red light shining through it. This is an element normally used to illustrate the background of the pause menu.

A pixelized Ubisoft logo appears on the DC memory card screen. In principle, another symbol should appear instead. The icon used on the VMU will be correct for the following menus.

Performance indicators - two bars going from blue to green at the top of Rayman 2's home page and then everywhere else - are activated by default.

Below the "Press Start" message on the title screen, later renamed "Press Start Button", the build's internal version number is displayed. The two notations fade into each other, without being synchronized.

The numbering of Ubisoft's prototypes

Rayman 2 early prototype.jpg

Pressing "Start" reveals a purple loading progress bar with the text "Loading..." inscribed in the middle. Normally, the transition to the main menu takes place with a downward camera movement against a background of overlaid tree shadows, a kind of hidden loading.

Sometimes, pressing the "Start" button doesn't immediately trigger the procedure for moving to the next menu. If this bug occurs, try pressing the same button on one of the controllers plugged into another console port. This new pad will then become the reference controller for the rest of the game.

The main menu

The main menu is far more simplistic in its operation than that of the final version. The "Load" window is locked (grayed-out text), making it impossible to access it and choose a save file. When you select and validate one of the various options offered in this menu, the camera is frozen and does not move on the menu map as usual.

Transition from title screen to main menu


Where is the second Teensie hiding?

Free Camera Rayman Prototype.jpg


Rayman 2 Dreamcast Prototype.jpg

Final version

Rayman 2 Sega Dreamcast.jpg

The "Free Camera" development option (explained in detail above) works partially here, the camera moves to a default position but cannot be controlled. This view reveals a second Teensie, barely visible, standing at bottom left in front of a black void.

The prototype does not offer the option of changing the video resolution (16:9 or 4:3 mode) in the options menu. Brightness, on the other hand, can be set to suit individual tastes.

The audio options are functional, even if there's no music yet. SFX volume is of little importance, since there are virtually no sound effects in this prototype.

By selecting "Abandon", the menu options will disappear. They will reappear by resetting the menu/level with the "Y+Dpad Up" button combo.

The transition to the loading screen before the introductory cutscene is temporary. It's just a black screen giving the impression of breaking downwards. Normally, the same image as the title screen would dissipate into a black swirl with "Loading..." written on it.

When starting a new game, the prototype does not allow a three-letter name for the save file. As already mentioned, it is impossible to save or load the last saved game. The save system does not yet seem to have been incorporated into the build.

The pause menu

The pause menu, which is missing its title (it can be removed in the final version) above the "Resume Game" option, is slightly different, with a different background texture close to that used in the final version. The blue particles dotting the menu are also smaller than in other variants of the game.

Sega Dreamcast Rayman 2 prototype.jpg
Rayman 2 Sega DC.jpg

The "Load" option, as in the main menu, is still grayed out. It is inaccessible compared to the final version.

No effect is produced by selecting the "Site Rayman II" option. Its name differs slightly from that used on Rayman 2 PC, which uses the number "2" instead of the Roman numeral "II".

Aborting a game ("Abandon") returns the prototype to the main menu. In principle, the game should load at the title screen after this operation.

The option to return to the level selection screen (Mapmonde) is systematically grayed out. It indicates "The Hall of Doors" (its name on PC), whereas it was renamed "The Isle of Doors" on Dreamcast just before it was removed. Note that this option seems to have been cut from the final DC version at the last moment, since a photo of the pause menu with this inscription appears in the American Rayman 2 Dreamcast manual, but the option is not present in the game.

The "Video" sub-menu in "Option" is empty. As it's not finished, it's impossible to set the game's brightness and calibrate the screen according to individual preferences.

The GlobVill / Globox Village level and its mini-games

This is the new level from Rayman 2 Dreamcast. Its design, layout and functionality, as well as the application of textures to the map's surfaces and components, were still under development. As the level's features on the prototype are quite substantial, this map deserved its own chapter.

The layout is slightly unusual. Players start on a hill opposite the village instead of emerging from a cave. At this stage of Rayman 2 Dreamcast's development, this cave did not yet exist.

Tree stumps to access bonus mini-games, Globox houses and even some of the villagers living in the area are devoid of texture. Ubisoft's hero sees life in white!

Most of the dialogue between the residents of this charming rural village is in French. English translation of the conversations had not yet really begun. The French dialogues seem to be internal jokes between developers, not reflecting the philosophical discussions with the NPCs in the finished product, e.g. "Go play in the blender" or "Leave me alone and go back to playing POD (another Dreamcast game from Ubisoft)". The only sentence translated into English, another placeholder, is a love letter to Rayman: "I love you Rayman".

Water is not animated to distinguish its flow and fluidity. Its state is solid like ice, not liquid. Rayman is in no danger of drowning.

Globox crystals can be collected here if the player hasn't already picked them up in the other levels. Picking one up will briefly display the informative text "A prism from the Globox village!!!" on the screen. Rayman does not yet celebrate the retrieval of these items with the famous "Yahoo!" message.

Too much white


The village in its final form

Sega Dreamcast Rayman 2.jpg

Once the crystals have been collected and the map reset, the tree stumps are finally operational. They each have a name written on the screen when Rayman is near them: "Lift" (later replaced by Weblums), a DLC/cheat exclusive mini-game in the final version - "Pyramid" finally called Pyralums - "Disc Globox!" No files for "Disc Globox" are yet available in the prototype. The game crashes when trying to load one of the 3 bonus mini-games from activated tree stumps, which can cause horrible audio glitches.

It's not a nice thing to say

Globox Rayman 2 Dreamcast prototype.jpg

B_Pyram / Pyramid : This Globox village mini-game works, and Rayman can win and finish it. The presentation of the high score screen, once the bonus has been completed, is unknown. The "Replay Yes No" option, which should be accompanied by the blue "B" validation button icon next to the "Quit" label, is useless because it is not interactive. Instead, players can replay it as many times as they like. The rings below the scene are orange, not blue.

Water should wet


Rayman 2 early globox village.jpg
Rayman 2 Ubisoft Prototype.jpg
Ubisoft Rayman 2.jpg

B_Toile / Lift : This mini-game is hard to get through, as the abandon function is once again useless. You can replay it as often as you like.

Cutscene, level, mapmond, raycap and credits

All the zones in the game are the same as those in the final Dreamcast version, unless otherwise indicated, as detailed in this chapter. The first name before the slash "/" corresponds to the level's entry from the Debug option in map selection. The second name after the slash "/" refers to the in-game level title.

Vidéo (Jail_10 et Jail_20)

Jail_10 / Intro cutscene 1: This scene takes place exactly as in the N64 and PC versions. The improvements and additions of the Dreamcast version have not yet been implemented.

Jail_20 / Intro cutscene and prison escape: Sound effects are discreet. Rayman's voices are minimalist: he can say "Hey!", "Yay!", "Ugh" and "Aaaaa".  Lums (small bodies or shards of magical energy) make no sound when collected.

Mapmonde (old version)

Mapmond Rayman 2 Ubisoft.jpg

Mapmonde2 (DEmul emulator)

Early prototype Rayman 2 Dc.jpg

Mapmonde / The Hall of Doors (The world map from other versions of Rayman 2): This level selection screen (a Hub) is functional. This is the default world map used in this build. It will be replaced later, on DC, by Mapmonde2. All levels are unlocked by selecting this entry using the Debug Menu's level selection function. Rayman remains stuck in place after leaving "The Menhir Hills" for the first time (before "The Cave of Bad Dreams").

Mapmonde2 / The Isle of Doors (An unfinished version of the world map being created for the Dreamcast console): Textures are poorly applied and unfinished. Some objects have no texture at all and appear white. Selecting a level allows you to zoom in and display its name, but not to load it. To get out of this situation, load any other level with the "L+R+Dpad Down" command, or reset the current map with the "Y+ Dpad Up" combo. All levels are automatically unlocked. By pressing "B", the information relating to the level designated with the cursor becomes visible. Please note that this Debug entry does not work on the Flycast emulator.


Learn_10 / The Woods of Light: Climbing tutorial lighting not yet introduced. There are no butterflies near the climbing wall. The clue stone at the top of the climbing wall is missing. The grab point for the grappling hook and the entrance to the cave in Globox village have already been created, but when Rayman enters the cave, he runs into the void until the game crashes. The end of this level features many missing textures on the stone surfaces around the hole corresponding to the portal.

Learn_30 / The Fairy Glade 1: In the last room, there's a hole to step over on the course that isn't present on PC, but is on the final Dreamcast version. The piranha that usually jumps out of this crevasse hoping to devour Rayman is non-existent.


Learn_30 (no pirahna)

Learn_31 / The Fairy Glade 2: A Globox crystal has been added at the end of the secret zone accessible from "The Echoing Caves 2".

Bast_22 / The Fairy Glade 4 : The phrase "His power are immense" has not yet been corrected to "His powers are immense".

Learn_60 / The Fairy Glade 5 : The textures in the pipe tunnel at the beginning are badly stretched. The Globox crystal at the end of the section with the pipe coming down is not there, it's at the very end of the level.

Rayman 2 Dreamcast early prototype.jpg

Batam_10 / Razorbeard cutscenes : The maps "The Bayou", "The Precipice" and "Tomb of the Ancients" use this level for their introductory cutscenes.

Ly_10 (the upside-down exclamation mark)

Sega Dreamcast Rayman 2 beta.jpg

Ly_10 / The Walk of Life: The exclamation mark after "Run" has not yet been corrected so that it's the right way round. The first slippery surface seems to pull Rayman to the left.

Rodeo_10 / The Menhir Hills 1: Although listed after "The Bayou" in the Debug level selection, this level normally comes after "The Sanctuary of Water and Ice". The sound of the chase on "The Walking Shell" rocket is irregular.

Nego_10 / Council Chamber Cutscene: The Teenies (wise old characters who long ago built "The Hall of Doors" or "The Isle of Doors", a magical place where the player has access to all regions of the world) show up again each time the scene is played, not just the first time.

Water_10 / The Sanctuary of Water and Ice: The sand texture does not yet have a *bumpmap. The cheat activated by repeated shooting in front of the temple gate has not been integrated at this stage of Rayman 2 Dreamcast development.

*Bump mapping is a computer graphics technique used to give relief to 2D or 3D models or textures.

Water_20 The Sanctuary of Water and Ice 2: There is no tutorial for the control buttons on the slide. The texture of the ramp to the mask pillar is incorrectly extended.

Glob_30 (He walks on the walls)


GLob_30 / The Canopy 1: Rayman appears to be standing on the portal stone, which is fixed against a wall - an implausible situation.

Whale_00 / Whale Bay 1: The tunnel to the next area doesn't always serve its purpose. Sometimes it takes you back to the beginning of the level, and sometimes it doesn't seem to do anything at all.

Whale_05 / Whale Bay 2: The walls around the water-filled hole through which you have to jump to reach the area where the switch to free Carmen is located have stretched textures.

Whale_10 / Whale Bay 3: The Teensie can remain stuck in place at the end of the level.

Plum_00 / The Sanctuary of Stone and Fire 1: The plum tree branch texture does not display its *alpha channel correctly and gives the impression of being green and not leaf-shaped.

*Using the alpha layer on video game textures, for example, allows you to modify their reflection or transparency.

Plum_10 / The Sanctuary of Stone and Fire 2: The lower half of the plum tree branch texture is reversed vertically. The edges in front of the revolving door, after the yellow orb has been placed in its receptacle, have not yet been replaced by a spider's web. The sound after passing through the revolving door with the access cavity facing upwards doesn't stop.

Bast_10 / The Echoing Caves 1: The texture of the leaves around the plum is poorly positioned.

Nave_15 / The Precipice 2 : The tunnel leading to the next area may not work, preventing Rayman from reaching the "Nave_20" level.

Plum_10 (revolving door edge)


Nave_20 / The Precipice 3: The cheat usually triggered by shooting several times in front of the door at the end of the level has not yet been implemented.

Seat_10 / The Top of The World 1: Once seated on the chair, Rayman can start shaking rapidly. Many wall textures are stretched incorrectly.

Seat_11 / The Top of The World 2: The mobile platform used to transport the barrel doesn't stop properly and crosses the wall except in frame-by-frame mode.

Earth_10 / The Sanctuary of Rock and Lava 1: The alpha on the bridge textures doesn't do its job properly. In this phase, no matter where Rayman stands, he'll slide slowly along the ground.

Earth_20 (location of missing platform)

Prototype of Rayman 2 Dreamcast.jpg

Earth_20 / The Sanctuary of Rock and Lava 2: The unintended sliding effect on the ground will affect Rayman here too. This is a recurring problem even on the floating platforms in the shape of purple plants; Rayman should remain fixed on his point of origin once on them. The platform just before the end of the level, which slides from left to right on the side of the wall after reaching the triangular switch, is missing.

Ly_20 / The Walk of Power: Sliding across the floor alone is still a problem in this level. Floating water lilies have 1-pixel-wide borders on both sides where their alpha texture ceases to be transparent.

Earth_30 / The Sanctuary of Rock and Lava 3: Who slides across the floor alone? It's Rayman again! The platform that slides to the side of the wall after pulling the triangular switch is also nowhere to be found here.

Morb_00 / Tomb of the Ancients 1: The hidden text visible when going to the 1000th Lum area without activating the level's first switch is not present.

Morb_10 / Tomb of the Ancients 2: Even though there's no snow or ice on the ground, Rayman slides again and again... The textures of the wooden bridges also have a bad alpha.

Morb_20 / Tomb of the Ancients 3: Repeating myself here, but Rayman slides across the floor all by himself!  There is no code to access the hidden passage, which contains no clues. When not in frame-by-frame mode, the Teensie at the end of the boss bug runs in place, moving sideways and sinking under the ground.

Learn_40 / The Iron Mountains 1: There's a random shadow on the ground in the grass after the laser room, some incorrect textures on the walls near the grass after the laser room and in the corridor from this room.

Ball / Hot Air Balloon Cutscene to ile_10: No hidden message appears when spamming the "L" button.

Mine_10 / The Iron Mountains 3: Shooting while controlling the boat attempts to produce a sound, but it fails.

Astro_10 / The Prison Ship 4: After completing the level, Rayman returns to "The Hall of Doors (Isle of Doors)" instead of "Liber_10".

Liber_10 / Freeing the Prisoners cutscene: In the last line of cutscene text, Razorbeard is mistakenly spelled "Razobeard". The transition is made directly to the start of the final boss battle, without going through the "Hall of Doors" mapworld and the Razorbeard cutscene.

Staff_10 / Credits: Credits are the same as in the PC version, except that there is no "Best Player" mention, as it is not possible to enter a three-letter name for the save file as explained above in the main menu. At the end of the credits, players can play the "Menezis" shoot'em up, a bonus mini-game. The controls explained on-screen are unreliable: it is stated that the "A" button is for protection and "B" for shooting, but the "A" button protects and shoots until damage is taken, after which the "A" button performs its main function only.

Liber_10 (spelling error)

Razorbeard Rayman 2 Dreamcast beta.jpg

Raycap (error message)

Raycap (The summary screen for cages and lums collected at the end of each level): If you arrive here without having completed a level, the summary is not initialized and displays an error indication for the level completed: "Err. no level played". The informative sentence for exiting this screen is the same as on PC, namely "Press enter To continue". Adjustments for the Dreamcast version had not yet been made. The definitive code "A, B, X, Y, X, Y" to access the bonus level has not been integrated. Instead, the code is "A, L+R, X, Y, X, Y".


I'd like to thank RibShark and woofmute for their expertise and invaluable help in documenting this Rayman 2 Dreamcast prototype.

Rayman 2 (Nov 22, 1999 Dreamcast prototype).jpg

You can download this build Rayman 2 Dreamcast below

Rayman 2 (Nov 22, 1999 Dreamcast prototype)

Other prototypes of Rayman 2 Dreamcast

These Rayman Dreamcast prototypes are close to the final version. As their particularities are minimal, they are available for direct download:


Special Thanks to:

  • Vince proofreading the english version

  • La Rétrogamerie (owner of the website proofreading the french version

  • RibShark and woofmute for their expertise and analysis of the build content

  • ehw and Sazpaimon for the new GDI/CUE dump of one of the Rayman 2 prototypes (Feb 03, 2000)

More than 200 prototypes, documents and presskits have been dumped or scanned, and are available for free download in the "Releases prototypes and documents" section.

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