|Completion Date||Dec. 3, 2017|
100% means all lums, as defined by the in-game percentage counter. Note that the percentage counter isn't visible in this run, since you must save your game to see it.
Estimated time: 2:29:47
NOTE: Feel free to link to this run, but please don't upload the files or any part of them to another site. Directing people here instead of uploading the files elsewhere lets them read the comments, contact me, and see other speed runs. For the same reason, please link to this page and not the files themselves.
This run has audio commentary. Switch to audio track 2 in your media player to listen to it. In the commentary, I discuss the strategies and glitches I use as well as some of the pitfalls that must be avoided.
I'd like to thank everyone who has posted Rayman 2 timesavers and glitches over the years. Without their help, this run wouldn't be anywhere near as fast.
Thanks to the SDA staff for keeping this great site going.
I started running Rayman 2 all the way back in 2007. At the time, I was working on a single-segment any% run. When I finished in 2008 (with a time of 2:17:25), I felt pretty burned out on the game and didn't expect to run it again. I moved on to speed runs, glitch hunting, and "superplays" of other games, including Donkey Kong 64, Gotcha Force, and GoldenEye. Over time, though, I felt increasingly drawn to Rayman 2 again. When it came time to find another gaming project, I decided I wanted to take on a harder run than I had done before, and Rayman 2 100% single-segment felt like the natural choice. I began working on it in 2013.
In the comments for my 2008 run, I cautioned future players to do a 100% run in segments, since it is so easy to miss a lum. When I wrote that warning, I had a few key parts of the game in mind:
These parts of the game all involve difficult lums, and the former two are near the end of the game. I knew that if I couldn't find reasonably consistent strategies for all three of these critical areas, the project would be dead in the water. So, early on, I focused heavily on these areas, trying many different strategies and practicing over and over again. Even though all three remained among the trickiest parts of the run and I never stopped practicing them, I was able to get them down to a reasonable level of difficulty, and I'm glad I focused on them early in the process of running the game. The Prison Ship sliding section, which I feared would make the category nearly unrunnable, turned out to be quite manageable, and I didn't lose many good runs there. I was less consistent with the rock jump, as I call it, in the Marshes of Awakening, but because it's not too far into the game, messing up there isn't a huge loss. The walking shell section in the Iron Mountains was the toughest of the three and remained my nemesis from the day I started running the category to the day I finished. It killed multiple great run attempts, including a few that were on track for sub-2:30, so conquering it in this run was immensely satisfying. I'll discuss all three of these sections in more detail in the level-by-level comments below.
As I worked on the run, I set goal times for myself by saying, "If I get sub-2:xx, I'll submit the run." But xx kept getting lower, either because new timesavers were found or because I just wanted to go faster. I and a few others were actively making discoveries, so I didn't want to spend too much time optimizing my execution when my strategies would soon become obsolete. For this reason, I didn't do many run attempts for the first year or so after I started the project. However, by 2015, I was doing attempts fairly often. In February, I had a goal of sub-2:33 in mind.
Unfortunately, around that time, real-life obligations prevented me from playing the game for a few months. Inertia set in, and the idea of picking up the run again seemed daunting. I had done all my previous speed runs during the summer while I was out of school, and speed running wasn't so easy now that I was working full time. Add to that the fact that this run was much harder than my previous runs, and I wondered how I would ever be able to do it. It wasn't just the total amount of time needed to complete the run that bothered me; it was also the percentage of my time that would be required. Many parts of the game are demanding in 100%, and in order to do them well, I needed to practice regularly. Run attempts also take a lot of time. Considering those two factors, spending a few hours a week on the game just wasn't going to cut it. I felt guilty for not working on the run, but I couldn't see a way to make progress. Finally, in March 2017, I got my priorities straight. I started playing again, putting aside as many other things as possible. In order to accomplish my goal of finishing this run, less important goals had to be sacrificed. A man who chases two rabbits will catch neither.
When I came back to the game, I learned that many new tricks had been discovered while I was away. Although I wasn't sure how feasible it was, I decided to set an ambitious goal of breaking two and a half hours. After a few months of intense running, I was certain that sub-2:30 was possible. But it would be another six months before I finally pulled it off.
100%, as defined using the in-game percentage counter, means getting all the yellow lums (which I usually refer to simply as lums). 100% doesn't include the cages, though I do get almost all the cages in this run since they almost all contain either lums or Teensies. Note that the percentage counter is only shown when you save or load, and since I play without a Controller Pak in order to skip the save prompts, the counter isn't visible in this run.
Below are some level-by-level comments. I won't describe all the little tricks I use, but the audio commentary has some additional information. For the most complete documentation, see the SDA Strategy Wiki.
Before starting the game, I change the graphics settings to low resolution, maximum sharpness. This makes the game run quite a bit faster; I'd estimate that it saves roughly five minutes over the course of the run. This is a very easy timesaver that I simply never thought to try when I did my any% run in 2008. I also change the language to Italian, which makes the cutscenes faster. I always had it in the back of my mind that a language other than English might be faster, but in order to see which one was best, I had to go through the painstaking process of timing every cutscene in every language. In the end, Italian turned out to be 3.3 seconds faster than English. It's not much, but every little bit helps.
You can go faster in sliding sections like this by jumping, which I do here.
The Woods of Light
At the beginning of this level, you can skip the Murfy text if you jump right when you land in the trigger zone for the text. This trick, called trigger hopping, can be tough to do, and I didn't get it this time. It only saves a few seconds, though. A bigger timesaver is later in the level, where I jump past the Globox babies to skip a cutscene. Whereas I used a trigger hop to skip this cutscene in my any% run, this time around I opted to land outside the trigger zone, then jump over it. The new method is slightly slower, but it's more consistent, which is important in this difficult category. There are many places throughout the game where I make similar tradeoffs between consistency and speed; if I used the fastest strategy everywhere, the run would simply be impossible to finish.
The Fairy Glade
In the first room, I use a large timesaver called airswimming. By holding L as you fall on certain corners, you can walk underwater. Then, if you jump up and helicopter right at the surface of the water, you will start swimming in midair, allowing you to collect the lums quickly and skip some of the rooms in this area. It can be tricky to start walking underwater, but I got it very quickly here.
Later on, there's another Murfy text that you can skip with a trigger hop, but I didn't manage to skip it. In the machine room (where you save Ly), you need to throw the barrels vertically to prevent them from being destroyed by the enemies, but because vertical throws take a while, you want to do as few as possible. I did three vertical throws, which I think is the minimum, so that's good.
The wind tunnel room at the end didn't go very well. You want to leave each wind tunnel as soon as possible so you don't waste time going higher than necessary, but I jumped the gun and left one of the tunnels too soon, costing me some time. As a result, even though the rest of the level was fast, the level as a whole was a little slower than average.
I finish the level with only 48 out of 50 lums, since the last couple lums are inaccessible the first time you come to this level. Skipping the second trip to the level by getting all the lums on the first trip would be a big timesaver, but I haven't found a way to do it.
The Marshes of Awakening
Crouching during the waterskiing sections speeds you up, so I crouch most of the time. I stand back up when I need to turn.
One of the harder parts of the run is getting the three lums behind the big rock in the second part of the level. I call the maneuver I use for this section the rock jump. I move right next to the rock, then jump and grab the lums. This part is dangerous because if you move toward the rock too soon, you'll bounce off of it and miss the lums, but if you move too late, you won't get the first lum. You can also miss the first or last lum if you jump with bad timing or the wrong velocity. I've lost quite a few runs here, but I eventually figured out a strategy that allowed me to get through it the vast majority of the time. An alternative to the strategy I use here is to jump and bounce off the top of the rock, but I find that method to be less consistent.
The level went well overall. I leave with 49 out of 50 lums. Once again, I'll have to come back later to finish getting all 50.
The Walk of Life
This level is pretty easy and went well here. My time was 1:38.86, which is a little faster than what I usually get.
Another fairly easy level. The trickiest part is the last room. After breaking the Teensy's cage with a well-aimed shot, you have a certain amount of time to make it to the top of the room before the Teensy does; take too long and he'll be standing around waiting for you, which costs time. A bad camera angle slowed me down a little, but I only lost about a second.
The Sanctuary of Water and Ice
This level also has a big timesaver. After collecting some lums, I use another airswim to get past the large door. This airswim is much harder than the one in the Fairy Glade and has killed many run attempts, but I did it pretty quickly here. There's another way to get past the door that involves clipping through a wall and floating past the door, but I've never been able to do that method consistently enough to include it in a run.
The rest of the level went well. In the sliding section, I land sideways after jumping because it seems to preserve your speed better.
The Menhir Hills (part 1)
The level is pretty straightforward until the end of the second walking shell section. If you run into the gap with good positioning, you can jump over it, saving some time compared to flying across the gap using the barrel. After crossing the gap, I use a glitch called infinite barrel flying. By starting to fly while you're invincible, you can fly forever. I use this trick to go straight to the end of the area.
The Cave of Bad Dreams
One of my favorite tricks is in the Hall of Doors right before the Cave of Bad Dreams. By moving the selection lum back and forth, you can make Rayman run across the bridge, delaying him. This allows you to get the selection lum far enough ahead that you can skip jumping on the lilypads.
Cave of Bad Dreams is one of the tougher levels and has quite a few places where you can lose time. The first is the miniboss battle, which is one of the most random parts of the game. If an enemy spawns behind the orange pedestal or behind another enemy, you can't hit him until you move somewhere else. This time, I had great luck with the spawn positions. Unfortunately, I messed up throwing the orb afterward, negating the time gain from the lucky miniboss fight.
On my way to the orange orb, I use another cool timesaver. After entering the trigger zone for the first of two moving platforms, I stand still for a few seconds. At this time, the first platform is moving, but the second platform isn't. When I get to the first platform, it's ready to leave, so I don't have to wait for it. If I hadn't stood still earlier, I would've stood still waiting for the first platform to move anyway, but I would have been inside the trigger zone for the second platform while I did, causing me to miss the second platform's first cycle. Thus, by standing still before activating the second platform, I can get to it on its first cycle.
The orbs are pretty annoying. If you're not careful about where you walk, the camera can get into very inconvenient positions, making it easy to throw the orbs the wrong way. With the orange orb, I take a moment to go into first-person mode and aim my next throw carefully in order to avoid a run-ending glitch where the orb falls and respawns endlessly. Throwing the orbs onto the pedestals is also a pain; the orange orb likes to auto-aim at the blue pedestal, which wastes time. I got the orbs in place pretty quickly here, though.
The boss fight is the most dangerous part of the level. There are several places where you need to stop the skulls with good timing. Stop them too close to Rayman and they'll be too far away from the next platform, forcing you to wait for another skull. Stop them too far away from Rayman and you won't be able to reach them. Overall, I did a decent job with the skulls in this run.
After getting the Life Potion, I use a strange glitch to get back to the portal a little faster. If you hold up on the control stick throughout the entire cutscene, you'll fall through the floor afterward.
The Menhir Hills (part 2)
In the first room, I save time by letting the walking shell see me, then getting a few lums while he's tiring himself out. In the purple lum room, I skip a few purple lums by shooting the third one from just the right position.
Here's one of the hardest levels in the run. There are several timesaving glitches that are easy to mess up. First, though, I have to go through the spider room. It's possible to go straight through and collect all the lums in one pass, but the spider usually knocks you down if you try that. So, I skip to the second half of the room using the purple lum, complete that half, and then do the first half. Later, after freeing Globox, I shoot the pole from the bottom part of the room. Normally, you have to ride the plant to the top and then knock down the pole. The method I use here is faster because Globox can start walking up the pole sooner.
One of the make-or-break moments of the run comes just after I get the shot upgrade. By using a damage boost from the pirate, I can get over the laser fence and skip destroying it. Unfortunately, it took me a while to get over, which is one of the biggest time losses in the run. I still saved quite a bit of time compared to playing this section normally, though.
If you skip destroying the laser fence, Globox does not follow you to the next room, so you are forced to skip hiding in the bush. I do so by taking advantage of the way the door works. Once it starts opening, it won't start closing until it is all the way open. So, once the door is closed, I back up to make it start opening, then immediately run forward to get through it before it closes again. This trick may not look hard, but the timing is pretty tight, so I was relieved to get it on my first try. After getting through the door and breaking the cage, I leave the room momentarily to unload the Teensy. This causes the portal to appear immediately, so I don't have to wait for the Teensy to open it. However, I have to be careful when I'm leaving the room because the door can close behind me. To avoid getting locked out, I manipulate the opening and closing of the door the same way I did to get through it in the first place.
This is one of the easier levels, but I do use a few tricks to save time. In the room with the second switch, I run to the corner and fire a shot to hit the switch from afar, skipping some platforming. Then, after the first screen fade, I clip through a tree to skip straight to the room with the walking shell.
The Sanctuary of Stone and Fire
Near the beginning, the pirate can kill me in one hit with his hook attack, so I have to be careful and avoid it. Sometimes I deliberately take damage to gain invincibility so the hook won't hit me. I can lose time if I take too many hits, but I got through quickly in this run.
After riding the plum to the cave near the start of the level, I avoid picking up the green lum by staying away from it. This allows me to death warp later and avoid a lot of backtracking. After the room with the green lum, I made probably the biggest mistake of the run. While I was waiting for a plum to fall into my hands, the plum suddenly started moving to the side, causing me to fail to catch it. I don't think I had ever seen this happen before, and I had no plan B. I waited for a few seconds for another plum to grow before realizing that I was waiting in the wrong place; the plums grow on the tree, not the metal spike! I had to jump back up to the tree and get another plum.
The walking shell section in this level is the glitchiest in the game in terms of crashing into the floor. In some places, you'll probably crash if you boost; in other places, you'll probably crash if you don't boost. There's no good way to do it other than using trial and error to figure out where to boost or not boost, then memorizing the plan. After the walking shell section, I ride the plum up a few seams and walls to get out of bounds and go straight to the next lum. Getting up the first seam can take a while, but I did it pretty quickly here. You can skip the miniboss, but since I have the golden fists, fighting him doesn't take long. It's easy to lose time trying to skip him, so I just fight him.
The rest of the level is long, but straightforward. I made a few small mistakes, but things mostly went well.
The Echoing Caves
In the first room, I use a damage boost to get up to a higher ledge, bypassing the nearby tunnel. After getting the lums in the area, I clip through the door, skipping the switches and saving a lot of time. In order to get through the door, I change the graphics to high resolution to make the game laggier.
Partway through this level, I go back to the Fairy Glade to get the last two lums. This section can be tricky because there are lots of small platforms to jump on, but it went well here. The next barrel flying section is also tricky because when you start it, Rayman often faces the wrong way, causing you to crash. I find that approaching the torch from the side helps make Rayman face the right way, so that's what I do here. In the last room, I death warp after freeing the Teensy to make the portal appear immediately. This trick is similar to the one I use in the Canopy.
I used to have trouble with this level, but it's pretty easy for me now. I lost some time while climbing up the tower in the second area, but overall, the level went well.
The Top of the World
Another easy level. Every time you kill one of the barrel pirates, there's a text that takes a couple seconds, so I avoid killing the first two. After freeing the Teensy, I use the same handy trick I used in the Echoing Caves: death warp to make the portal appear immediately. Although I don't kill the first two barrel pirates, I kill the last one because if you don't, you can easily get hit by his zap attack and lose time.
The Sanctuary of Rock and Lava
There are a few nice timesavers in this level. By carefully bouncing shots off of walls, I break the first two cages faster than usual. Afterward, in the moving platform section, I make the platform start moving, then collect the lums while it's moving. The platform moves slowly enough that you have to wait for it no matter what, so it makes sense to use some of that time to collect lums rather than going out of your way to collect them before activating the platform.
I pause partway through the level, since I can only fit two hours of footage on a DVD at standard recording quality. Although I use a DVD recorder with a hard drive and can thus record the whole run as one video, I have to split the video up to transfer it to my computer, so I pause rather than having a split during gameplay.
The spinning platform room is dangerous because it's easy to miss some of the lums in the cage if you don't look at them long enough. For that reason, I aim the camera toward those lums for a while to give them plenty of time to float over to me. In one run attempt, I missed a lum in this room, but didn't notice until I finished the level, at which point it was too late to go back. I finished the game in 2:29:58, but with only 999/1000 lums! After that, I practiced this room quite a bit to ensure I wouldn't make the same mistake again.
Beneath the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava
A fairly easy level. You can save time by keeping the golden fists long enough to break the floor, but unfortunately, I lost my golden fist by taking a hit in the first room. Other than that, the level went well.
The Walk of Power
Going backward to this level after Beneath the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava (as opposed to doing it after Top of the World) adds a few seconds of Hall of Doors navigation. However, it allows me to enter Tomb of the Ancients with full golden fists. The golden fists save a lot of time there, more than compensating for the initial time investment in the Hall of Doors.
Most of the level is straightforward, but there are a few little timesavers. Near the beginning, after getting the 20th lum, I run forward to make a lilypad spawn. Then I run back to get a lum and run forward again. This maneuver makes the lilypad spawn as soon as possible, saving time. At the end of the level, I approach the portal stone from the side, which allows me to jump on top of it. This approach actually results in a higher in-game time, but it allows me to enter the portal immediately once it appears. If you just go straight toward the portal stone, you have a wait a while to enter the portal after it appears, resulting in a slower real time.
The level went smoothly. My time was 1:34.24.
Tomb of the Ancients
I call the next three levels the Big Three. Each of them has many places where you can easily mess up and lose time. The first of these risky spots is in the room with three sunken platforms. Rather than raising the middle platform, I use a damage boost from a piranha to get over the gap. Back when I did my old any% run, a method to skip this platform was known, but it was tough and I decided not to use it. However, it was discovered that if you shoot after getting hit in the air, you gain control of Rayman immediately, allowing you to use a damage boost to get across the gap. This newer method is much easier, but you can still die if you're not careful. After clearing the gap, I go to the thousandth lum area, which is where the golden fists are most useful. I can kill each of the pirates with two uncharged shots. Without the golden fists, each pirate would take six uncharged shots or two charged shots. One of my shots went through a pirate without damaging him for some reason, so the fight was a little slow.
The area with tons of ghost chickens is another dangerous part. The chickens can spawn right next to you and either knock you into the poison water or damage you and take your golden fists. Also, if you grab one of the purple lums the wrong way, you can swing into the water and die. So, I move through this room very carefully. Unfortunately, I did take a hit from one of the chickens. It cost me almost no time, but it forced me to be cautious for the rest of the level to avoid losing my last golden fist. Perhaps the trickiest part of the level is the pirate miniboss. I skip killing him to save time, which means I have to avoid his one-hit-kill hook attack while carrying the barrel through the room. I take a strange-looking path to manipulate the pirate into running to the corner so I can get past him. Then, while breaking the cage, I make sure my shots don't bounce off the walls and hit him; if they do, he'll start firing shots at me, which could easily take away my last golden fist. Despite these risks, the miniboss room went well. Because I saved a golden fist until the end of the level, the Clark battle only took a few seconds. Overall, the level was fast.
The Iron Mountains
This is probably the hardest level to do quickly. The first tough section is the spinning platform room near the beginning. One of the switches doesn't have any auto-aiming on it, so you have to aim at it manually. If you miss the first shot, it can be hard to line up another one, but I didn't have any trouble this time. In the next few rooms, there are many pirates that can hit you and take your golden fists, but I made it through with two golden fists, which is pretty good.
The big run killer is the walking shell section. You need to lure the robot into knocking the rocks away, then get the lums underneath the rocks. The robot's movements can be unpredictable, though, and he kills you in one hit. Also, sometimes he doesn't kick a rock away even though it looks like he's running right into it. I spent a lot of time here looking for a good strategy and practicing. Despite my efforts, I never quite got this part down, and it killed some very promising run attempts. This time, though, I did fine. After getting the lums, you need to make the jump to the exit. This jump is very risky because of the uneven ground; sometimes, when you press A to jump, you're in the air and you don't jump, so you'll just run off the edge and die. Also, even if you land on the other side, sometimes you crash into the floor for no apparent reason. When I made it through these parts, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. This is another hard level that I got through quickly.
The Prison Ship
The big danger here is the sliding section at the beginning. It's very easy to miss a lum. When this happens, you usually have to death warp and play up to that point again, which can waste a lot of time. Thankfully, I didn't miss any lums in this run. After the first screen fade, I press against a railing and jump up to get a few lums. I think it's possible to get all the lums here without either using this technique or death warping, but it's very difficult and can cost you a lot of time if you get it wrong, so I use this method instead. The most dangerous part of the level is the circle of lums right before the second screen fade. I call this section the Ring of Death. If you fall into the pit without collecting all the lums, the only way to go back is to finish the level, then replay the entire thing. Repeating the level costs so much time that the run is effectively over. It's easy to fall into the pit if you're not careful, but I practiced this part (and the sliding section as a whole) regularly and became pretty consistent at it. My practice paid off; the sliding section went well in this run. The rest of the level is easier and it also went well.
The Crow's Nest
At the beginning of Razorbeard's first form, I hold right so that I can land the first hit quickly. The rest of the first form was a little bit slow; sometimes he shoots the bombs at you faster, but I'm not sure why. In the second form, I take advantage of an easter egg: hold A and B while flying into the circle at the top of the arena and you'll enter a secret tunnel. Once you're through the tunnel, you'll have infinite ammo, which saves time. I missed one shot at Razorbeard, but it didn't slow me down much.
Final time: 2:29:47
I'm thrilled to finally have sub-2:30. I can say with certainty that this is by far the best speed run I've ever done. It had no deaths (aside from intentional death warps) and the tricks went very well on the whole. I doubt I'll ever try to improve it. I think I've said that about all my runs, but I'm pretty sure this time; this run was hard enough that it would just be too much work to do the whole thing over again. After taking a break from the game for a few months, I plan on doing another any% run. A while back, I set an ultimate goal of getting sub-2:30 100% and sub-2 any%. With 100% in the bag, I'm halfway there. My gut feeling is that sub-2 any% will be easier, but I haven't done any% in a while, so I'll have to see how feasible it is.
Thanks for watching the run. Let me know what you think of it. To learn more about Rayman 2 glitches and strategies, check out the SDA Strategy Wiki.