Last October we reported that a prototype for Rayman on the SNES existed. The proto was from the very earliest days of development when Michel Ancel’s original platformer was intended to debut on the SNES-CD. This obviously didn’t happen, and the game would ultimately come out on the Playstation and Saturn instead.
Now game archivist Omar Cornut has dumped the SNES Rayman ROM and placed it on the Internet for free download. He was asked by Kotaku how he got it. “There’s not a lot to it really, I borrowed the cartridge from Michel Ancel who kindly let me look at it and dump it.” Cornut was given permission from Ancel to release the prototype ROM publicly, so it’s all legal.
Unfortunately the ROM is so early that there isn’t much you can do with it. It’s just Rayman in an empty environment. He can jump around and leap across platforms, but there are no enemies. “That prototype it is a very early build,” says Cornut. “So the stuff like two-player mode that have been shown in screenshots are not really in this build. Perhaps the ROM contains secrets in which case homebrew hackers will hopefully unearth them soon.”
Cornut is even cooler than you realize: in addition to running the Master System archive SMS Power, he also founded the game studio Lizardcube, which was responsible for the recent indie hit Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap. Dragon’s Trap is a recreation of the SMS Wonder Boy game with modern graphics, using the original code from the game to create a 1-to-1 match. And now he’s given us Rayman, making him a national treasure.