Rayman is one of the greatest gaming characters of all time, and many will have many happy memories with the 1995 PlayStation original. In fact, from here Rayman has only gone from strength to strength with the series celebrating its 20th anniversary last year. However, it turns out that Rayman may actually be quite a bit older than we originally thought.
You see, it turns out that before ever being conceived as a PlayStation title, Rayman was actually in development for the Super Nintendo. This revelation comes way of creator Michel Ancel, who took to his Instagram to reveal some very secret snapshots. Snapshots which undoubtedly prove the existence of a 16-bit build of everyone’s favourite limbless hero.
These images included not only the original EPROM cartridge plugged into a developer build Super Nintendo (as seen above), but even a screenshot and video from the build running. A build that according to Ancel, only four people in the entire world had seen before he revealed this to the world.
What’s more, if you’re surprised that it’s still running after all this time, then you’re not the only one.
We thought it was lost , but somewhere in the cold electronic circuit , something was still alive . and running at full 60fps !!!
Even more surprising than the fact that it still works though, is that only four days earlier Ancel took to Instagram to show an early screenshot of the SNES Rayman build, alongside the line:
Pixel lovers … Did this 25 years ago , the game was playable on the Super nintendo console but was never finished + We’ve lost the build . All these pixels are lost , like tears in the rain …
Nevertheless, whilst it thankfully does exist. It could well be a one of a kind, and as such quite the valuable gaming artefact.
Rayman SNES in motion. The little ugly guy is alive after a 24 years night. This ROM might be the first one we burnt and contains very few stuff. We might find more ROM with other early prototypes. I just need to convince Fred, the coder who revealed their existence to continue the search in his vast and dangerous attic. Man, this is electronic archeology!
To those who do have fond memories of the original Rayman though, you may notice that this one is a little rough around the edges, with a few changes here and there given its unfinished nature. This clearly points to the game being in development for quite a time before its 1995 release. And this is something that is also something backed up by Ancel himself, when he states that the ROM has lain dormant for 24 years.
All in all, Ancel’s discovery is one hell of a find. One that not only sheds some more light on one of gaming’s favourite platforming heroes, but also one that adds to the rich history of the 16-Bit era. Let’s just hope this rare build is kept safe for generations to come.