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The Long-Lost SNES Version of 'Rayman' Has Been Found

Discovery of game's original file comes mere days after creator Michel Ancel mourned its loss.
October 23, 2016, 9:00pm

Most of us know the 2D platformer hero Rayman from his first public appearance on the PlayStation and Atari Jaguar consoles in 1995, but his roots go a bit further back to a planned release for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was well along in development, but it never saw a public release as Ubisoft felt the lively new title was a better fit for the powerful consoles that were then on the near horizon.

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And thus for years the original game was lost to history, even to Rayman creator Michel Ancel. Just a few days ago, Ancel could be found on Instagram mourning how "all these pixels are lost, like tears in the rain." Apparently that bout of sulking led to some intense closet digging. Earlier today Ancel joyfully announced on Instagram that he'd discovered the original EPROM (or erasable programmable read-only memory cartridge) for the SNES version, just four days after giving it up for lost. He wasted no time in trying it out in his SNES (which is noteworthy in itself, as it seems to have escaped the yellowing most succumb to):

Impressively, it worked:

As seen above, Ancel is already considering reviving it for Nintendo's upcoming Switch console so the rest of us can play it at last. It's not clear from his posts if he'll still have to create it entirely from scratch, as the actual code may still be lost.

Up until now, public knowledge of the SNES version of Rayman was limited to a trio of screenshots from the French gaming magazine Pix'N'Love, one of which Ancel used for his own tragic Instagram post earlier in the week. It's recognizably Rayman, although without the rich animation that Unseen64 claims was part of the reason why Ubisoft decided to reboot its development for the fantasy new CD-Rom powered consoles.

While not as famous as other early video game heroes like Mario and Sonic, Rayman enjoys enthusiastic receptions every time new games featuring him come out. The last big release, 2013's Rayman Legends, scored high marks from numerous critics.