Before Rayman helped define the 90s with his edgy lack of limbs and colourful French spirit, he was originally conceived by Michel Ancel as the star of a Super Nintendo adventure. Now the prototype for this canned platformer has been unearthed and released by Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap creative director Omar Cornut.

"It's a really early demo, not really a playable game," Cornut noted in tweet following his initial unveiling.

"According to old screenshots and reports it _did_ grow to a more fully fledged game but a later version wasn't found yet," the developer added of this lost project from upwards of 22 years ago. It sounds like it never made it that far into development though. This isn't Star Fox 2 after all.

As you can see in the video below, there isn't a lot to this prototype in terms of mechanics, but the whimsical art style is in place, as is Rayman's wildly expressive idle animations - which remain more thoughtful and charming than a majority of games on the market today.

Of course Rayman would eventually get his day in the sun, first on Atari Jaguar and the original PlayStation before moving on to, well, everything else. Nowadays Rayman's been getting some R&R after the smashing double whammy of Rayman Origins (2011) and Rayman Legends (2013) kicked the series back into high gear. His creator, Michel Ancel, has his work cut out for him though as he's now helming Beyond Good & Evil 2, which looks like one of the industry's most ambitious projects to date.

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Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef

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Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984. Based in Portland, OR he operates as Eurogamer's US news editor.

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