Inspiration Through Music: Rayman 2: The Great Escape Soundtrack

I have fond memories of playing the PSOne console. It was a video game system that my brother and I shared and it was housed up in the attic of our house. The attic wasn’t creepy and dark like most would assume.  The sewing machine was up there, with a couple beds, my mom’s craft things, and the old Performa Apple computer. There would sometimes be daddy long legs scaling the sloped ceilings and sometimes you would have to curl up in a blanket in the winter months when you sat down to play a game. My favorite memory of playing Rayman 2 is with a hot cup of peach tea on a sunny afternoon. I let the sun and the tea warm me and played through the adventures of limbless Rayman, trying to defeat robot pirates as they took over his world, all to the sound of a diverse and playful soundtrack. I eventually sold the game in favor of another one (can’t remember which) and continued on. But that memory stayed with me: the sun, the tea, and the music from that game. I eventually tracked it down and bought it again and every once in a while, give myself a refresher of the environments and the fun tunes that accompanied this game.

After recently playing through it again, I decided to find some of the music so that I could share it with you and describe to you some of the things I see when I listen to it. Grab yourself some peach tea, sit back, and read.

The Woods of Light: The light danced across the moss and she felt something inside of her glow. It was a warmth she only felt on her runs in the woods. There was a connection here that she couldn’t find in the grey concrete of the city. She closed herself off there, boxed herself in. Here she could let it all out, let the air caress her and feel the lightness in each step. It felt so much more real here than it ever had in the claustrophobic maze of buildings.

Axel – Guardian of the Sanctuary of Water and Ice: (Not sure why, but I always used to LOVE this song.) This plays while you are battling not just Axel but also Froust, the crazy guardian of the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava. The idea that he’s out of his mind, is not interested in talking, and clearly wants to burn you alive always used to freak me out. The intensity of the guitar and cello worked well here for that. A great theme for a character just doesn’t care; they only want destruction.

The Bayou: Creepy and sinister. Definitely gives the feeling of isolation, of mist and reeds and murky water. The combination of percussion and guitar and the way it echos is perfect for an ominous swamp, or even a western setting. There’s no telling what’s going to rise up out of the water, or emerge from a darkened cave.

Riding the Lava: A very minimalist piece that seems to exercise caution with whispers of instruments and foreboding whispers. One can almost imagine looking around them, feeling the heat as it sears their face, seeing the intense glow of fire as it ebbs and flows all around them.

The Sanctuary of Stone and Fire 3: A very similar tune to “Riding the Lava”. It’s more percussive, adding an extremity that wasn’t present in the other song. The background vocals also add an creep-factor. It sounds more ancient, more menacing, and as if it’s brimming with unknown mysteries in the darkness up ahead. There’s no other choice but to go forward, but what lies in wait…?

Interested in the Rayman Soundtrack for yourself? Check out RayTunes, which hosts an impressive collection of all the music from all the Rayman games (even the ambient noises)!

Stay tuned for more Inspiration Through Music next Monday!

~KSilva

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