Rayman 2: The Great Escape

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These articles focus on the Nintendo 64 version of Rayman 2. However, much of the information applies to other versions.


Wall Jump

While pressing against a wall, jump and continue pressing against it. If you did it right, you'll stand on the wall briefly before dropping to the ground. While you're standing on the wall, you can jump, allowing you to reach higher places than usual. This trick only works on certain walls. The lag induced by high-resolution mode and shooting constantly may be helpful. Video

Trigger Hop

There are certain "trigger zones" on the ground. If you stand in one for too long, a cutscene or series of textboxes will activate. By jumping right after landing in a trigger zone (or after pulling yourself onto one while hanging from an edge), you can avoid activating the cutscene or textboxes. A large trigger zone may require multiple trigger hops. Video

Infinite Barrel Flying

There are two ways to perform this glitch.

  • Grab a barrel and walk into a flame to start flying. Stop flying and grab another barrel. Throw the barrel up, take damage (e.g. from a pirate), and catch the barrel. Rayman will be flying with an invisible barrel that never runs out of fuel. Running into walls does not cause you to stop flying. To release the barrel, press A. Video
  • Grab a barrel, stand next to a wall, and throw the barrel into the wall to damage yourself. Before your invincibility runs out, grab another barrel, walk into a flame to start flying, and crash into a wall. If you did it right, the infinite flying glitch will trigger. Video

Edge Jump

If you run toward an edge and jump right before falling, you can get a little boost that gives you extra distance and speed. You can also do this while sliding, resulting in massive jumps. The first 30 seconds of this video contain several edge jumps.


When you slide into an edge, Rayman jumps automatically. However, there are some places without an edge where the game gives you an autojump anyway. This can help speed up sliding sections.


If you run into certain attacks, like the barrel enemies' smoke, just as a "Yeah" text appears, you can slide while the text plays. Video (#3)

Fast Recovery

Normally, after you get hit by an attack in midair, the control stick and the A button will do nothing for about a second. However, if you shoot after getting hit, you can regain control almost immediately. This allows you to take advantage of the damage boost from an attack and cross gaps that are difficult or impossible to cross otherwise. Video

You can also perform this trick after getting hit while climbing on a wall. If you press B repeatedly as you get hit, you can continue climbing without falling down. Video (#2)

Quick Drop

Walk to a corner of a ledge. Jump, move over the corner, and hold L. Make sure you are not holding the control stick when you land. If you did it right, Rayman will suddenly move downward. During this downward movement, Rayman can pass through various things, including water planes, poison water, and solid ground. Video


It is possible to swim in the air. See the Properties of Water section for a description of the mechanics behind airswimming. There are several ways to start an airswim:

  • Perform a quick drop on a corner near water. This will let you fall through the water plane and walk underwater. Now jump toward the water plane and start a helicopter with good timing. Rayman's hair should be a few inches above the water when the helicopter starts. If you did it right, you will start airswimming. Video
    • If you shoot right before starting an airswim, you can start moving sooner. Video (#1)
  • Throw a plum onto water, then throw another plum on top of the first plum. If you did it right, the first plum will sink a little bit. Jump onto the second plum, shoot to move it out of the way, and jump onto the first plum. You will start airswimming. Video
  • If you can get out of bounds in an area with water, you can swim past the end of the water plane and start swimming up. Video

General Timesavers

  • Skipping save prompts: If you play without a Controller Pak, you'll skip all the save prompts.
  • Language setting: Changing your language to Italian will give you the shortest cutscenes. Video
  • Jumping on slopes: Jumping on slopes makes you move faster, but reduces the amount of control you have. Jumping right at a transition between a sliding section and flat ground lets you preserve your speed until you hit the ground.
  • Sideways sliding: If you land sideways on a slippery slope, you can move faster than if you land facing forward. You will have less control than usual, but you can regain control by holding down on the control stick for a moment.
  • Fast falling: Jumping and falling lets you fall faster than walking off a ledge, at least for short to medium falls.
  • Hanging from edges: While hanging from an edge, it's faster to jump up than it is to pull yourself up. However, trying to jump while hanging from a moving platform can result in falling, so pulling yourself up from moving platforms is sometimes useful.
  • Pressing against walls: Pressing against walls while jumping lets you jump a little higher.
  • Climbable walls: Jumping repeatedly to move up climbable walls and vines is usually faster than climbing, but it is slower on some walls because there are few places where you can grab the wall after jumping. Also, it's usually faster to manually jump near the top of a wall rather than jumping automatically by climbing to the top.
  • Hanging from horizontal surfaces: While hanging from horizontal surfaces like the nets in the first area of The Precipice, hold Z to move faster. Holding Z also helps you maneuver better.
  • Helicopter usage: You move much slower while using the helicopter, so it should be used as little as possible. When you need to use the helicopter to grab an edge, it's usually faster to only helicopter enough to grab the edge than it is to helicopter enough to land on the platform.
    • If you hold Z while using the helicopter, you will move forward a little faster. However, your descent will be steeper.
  • Shooting after throwing: While throwing an object forward, press B repeatedly so that you shoot immediately after throwing it. This will let you start running sooner. Video (#1)
  • Portal boosting: Hold A while leaving a portal at the beginning of a level and the portal will throw you either farther than usual, higher than usual, or both. This seems to save time in some levels and waste time in others. Video (#20)
  • Advancing through text: During cutscenes where the bottom of the screen turns black and text appears there, you can hold A to advance through the text as quickly as possible. For textboxes that appear in the middle of certain levels, you must mash A to advance through the text quickly.
  • Skipping cutscenes: You can skip certain cutscenes the second time you see them by pressing B a few seconds after the cutscene starts. In a speed run, this is most relevant during the return trip to The Menhir Hills, but it is good to know while practicing other parts of the game.
  • Squeaky pirates: The "squeaky pirates" with blue and white shirts will flatten you if they hit you while you're on the ground, costing several seconds. If getting hit is hard to avoid, try to get hit in the air. That way, you will not be stunned.
  • Shooting switches: Many switches will not activate unless they are on screen or almost on screen when your shot hits them. This is especially noticeable for one of the switches near the beginning of The Iron Mountains. It is occasionally useful to enter first-person mode and look at a switch after firing at it in order to ensure that it activates.
  • Respawning: Press L while respawning to trigger Rayman's thinking animation, which cancels the respawn animation and saves a little time.
    • If you do this while respawning underwater, you will be able to walk around. Video
  • Landing in water: Shoot right before landing in water and your first few seconds of swimming will be a little faster. Video
  • Grabbing purple lums: In many cases, if you are in the air when Rayman starts swinging from a purple lum, you will swing faster.

Graphics Settings and Lag

There are five possible graphics settings:

  1. Expansion Pak in, high resolution, maximum sharpness
  2. Expansion Pak in, low resolution, maximum sharpness
  3. Expansion Pak in, low resolution, standard sharpness
  4. Jumper Pak in, low resolution, maximum sharpness
  5. Jumper Pak in, low resolution, standard sharpness

The game always starts with setting 1 if you have the Expansion Pak in or setting 5 if you have the Jumper Pak in. If you change the setting on the main menu and then start a new game, the setting will be applied to the new game. If you save with a certain setting active, that setting will still be active when you load the file. The graphics setting can be changed at any point in the game from the pause menu. After changing the setting, press Start to return to the game quickly.

Some settings cause more lag than others in cutscenes and in gameplay. This video compares the running lengths of several cutscenes using each of the 5 settings. It appears that setting 2 is the fastest. Thus, it is recommended for speed runs. However, the lag induced by setting 1 can make certain glitches easier to perform. Shooting constantly also seems to make such glitches easier by inducing lag.

The graphics setting you use has other miscellaneous effects. For example, playing on low resolution makes it easier for enemies to knock you off of vertical surfaces like webs and nets. Regardless, there is little doubt that such drawbacks are outweighed by the lag reduction offered by low resolution.

Properties of Water

Unlike some games, Rayman 2 does not have regions of water in space. Instead, the game represents water with water planes. Rayman switches between being "in the air" (i.e. running, jumping, etc.) and performing various types of swimming when he interacts with a water plane. There are two kinds of swimming: surface swimming and dive swimming. Dive swimming usually means regular underwater swimming, though it also includes swimming through the air, as described below. Surface swimming occurs when you are level with a water plane. While you are dive swimming, your air meter depletes; while you are surface swimming, your air meter is full. There are several ways you can transition between surface swimming, dive swimming, and being in the air:

  • If you drop onto a water plane, you will typically start surface swimming, though you can start dive swimming if you drop far enough.
  • If you jump while surface swimming, you will be in the air.
  • If you surface swim onto a slope that intersects a water plane (like the beach in Whale Bay), you will start walking.
  • If you dive by pressing Z while surface swimming, you will start dive swimming.
  • If you swim up into a water plane while dive swimming, you will start surface swimming and your air meter will be refilled.

A consequence of this system is that if you can get past a water plane, you can swim in the air or walk underwater. Since there is no difference between water and air, airswimming is just like regular dive swimming, except that you are in a region where you wouldn't normally be able to swim. This means that you lose air at the usual rate. Fortunately, many water planes extend out of bounds, so you can surface to refill your air, then start another dive swim. Reaching a loading zone will also stop your air meter from depleting. When the next area loads, Rayman will be using whatever form of movement he normally uses in that area.

When airswimming is involved, we can add to the list above:

  • If you swim past the end of a water plane while surface swimming, you will start dive swimming. The only known places where you can do this are out of bounds. Video (at 0:41)
    • If you press A to swim up immediately after leaving the water plane, the game gets confused about whether Rayman will jump or swim upward. The game freezes when this happens. To avoid a freeze, wait a moment after leaving the water plane before pressing A. A good visual indicator that it's safe to press A is that the air meter is on screen and your air is depleting. Video (#2)
  • If you hit a trampoline while dive swimming, you will be in the air, but your air meter will continue to deplete. You will drown unless you either reach a loading zone or start surface swimming. Video

Some water planes do not work the same way as others. You can use them to start dive swimming, but not surface swimming. Because you cannot transition directly from dive swimming to being in the air (without using a trampoline), these one-way water planes allow you to start swimming, but do not allow you to stop swimming.

See the airswimming section for information on how to start an airswim or start walking underwater.

Lum Requirements

There are six levels that you must have a certain number of Lums to enter:

  • The Walk of Life: 60
  • The Santuary of Water and Ice: 100
  • The Sanctuary of Stone and Fire: 300
  • The Walk of Power: 450
  • Beneath the Sanctuary of Rock and Lava: 475
  • The Iron Mountains: 550

Attack Strength

  • A charged normal shot is 3 times as powerful as an uncharged normal shot.
  • An uncharged golden shot is 3 times as powerful as an uncharged normal shot.
  • A charged golden shot is 6 times as powerful as an uncharged normal shot (i.e. 2 times as powerful as an uncharged golden shot).

Percentage Counter

SDA's 100% definition is based on the in-game percentage counter. In order to get 100%, you must collect all 1000 Yellow Lums. You do not need to break all the cages. Each of the 999 regular Lums (i.e. everything but the hidden Lum in Tomb of the Ancients) increases the counter by 0.1%. The hidden Lum in Tomb of the Ancients works differently. If you have less than 999 regular Lums, the hidden Lum does not affect the percentage counter. Only when you have all 999 regular Lums will the hidden Lum add 0.1% to the counter, bringing you to 100%.

Life Refill Cheat

If you press and release R (or J, if you're playing on PC) to the tune of the game over jingle, your health and air meters will both be filled to the maximum possible amount. Listen to the credits to learn the proper rhythm. The jingle is seven notes long, so entering the code involves press R four times and releasing it three times. Video

Note that this technique is considered a cheat code, so it is not allowed in an SDA run. Nonetheless, it is useful for testing purposes.

Moon Jump

Below is a moon jump GameShark code created by Parasyte:

D00CF591 0010
811C6AFC 4120
D00CF591 0010
801C6DF7 0000

You may need to have the following code on as well:

EE000000 0000

With both codes enabled, you can hold R to rise into the air. Obviously, this is not allowed in an SDA run, but it is useful for testing.

PC Version

This guide has some information about strategies for the PC version of the game.

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