Rayman 3 -  Disc 4

I was up late one night, when I was in the mood for some nostalgic gaming. I’d been listening to tunes from my favorite game all night, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, so naturally, I grabbed the cd case to play the game.

In the cd case were normally 3 discs, you needed all 3 discs to install the game. There was an orange, a green and a blue disc in the case when I got it, but they weren’t in the case when I opened it. Instead, a yellow disc stared me in the face. It looked like it would have been disc nr. 4 if it wasn’t for the handwritten ‘cd 4’, clearly different from what I remember.

It was 1 am at that point, and I thought that I might’ve bought this version at a con or something like that.

I put the cd in the tray, and booted it up, to see if extras or any other sort of info would be on the cd. It booted up normally, except that the intro didn’t play. I didn’t mind It much, because it was a different version.

I loaded a new file, and again the cutscene didn’t show up. Instead I immediately started on the first level, and I noticed right away that it looked like an alpha version of the game. The voice acting was clearly just copied from Rayman 2, some textures were missing and it seemed like the music was a demo for the final song. An Alpha version seemed really cool to me, because I would have loved to see what the early ideas were for the game, and I pressed onwards, as I finished the first level by being dropped by Murfy, the sarcastic fly that flies you around the first level.

The second level began, and at this point in the game, you don’t have your hands, because Globox, your best pal, accidently took them before the game begins.

As I started my search for Globox, Murfy left me. I thought this was weird, because in the normal version he’d be breaking the 4th wall constantly at this point, by talking to the hint box, and flying alongside you. Instead the hint box said: H E . I S . G O N E .

This is the moment I started to feel uneasy, this didn’t seem right. I thought that it might have been an inside joke amongst the team members of Ubisoft, at least, I told myself that to keep calm. The game felt empty somehow, like Alpha versions sometimes do. Not because of the lack of enemies, there are none in the beginning, but the game felt cold, heartless and scary. The music still sounded like a demo, but it was also a key down from the normal music, I figured that was the cause of this feeling.

I now reached the point where Globox would be hiding in a barrel from the Hoodlums, but he seemed not comically scary, like he normally would, he seemed frightened, crying and weeping for his life. As I walked towards him, he ran away screaming something weird, I thought he said: ‘THEY TOOK HIM, YOU’RE NEXT.’ I was weirded out at this point, so I put the controller down and got some Mountain Dew. It was then that I thought of something; I never bought Rayman 3 myself, I got it when I was a kid, and never bought any special version of Rayman 3 again.

It didn’t make sense. Where were my original discs? Did someone break in? No, that couldn’t have been. Who breaks in and replaces a game with a weird Alpha version?

It must’ve been a prank by a friend who came over at some point or something. It was late and I wasn’t in the mood for overthinking.

I walked back to my pc, and I finished the level by going through the door, where Globox ran through. Realizing that Rayman should’ve had his hands at this point, I couldn’t progress.

This was weird even for an Alpha, why would they make something, which doesn’t even give the player his main weapon?

I went to bed at this point, turning of the pc and decided to figure it out the morning after.

The dream I had that night, was the weirdest I’d ever experienced. I dreamt I was in Raymans body, I was seeing everything through his eyes, but I wasn’t able to do anything. It happened In the desert of the Knaaren, by far the most eerie world, where a Hoodlum stood in front of me, pointing his rifle to Raymans face. In the games, Rayman would’ve just jumped and killed the guy, as Hoodlums don’t have bullets that go very fast. but this time he put his hands behind his back, as if Rayman was being executed.

The whole time you could hear the bone-chilling grunts of Knaaren, saying: ‘CRUSH HIS BONES’ and 'TEAR OFF HIS FLESH'.

The Hoodlum walked up to me, pushed me over, and ripped my hands off. I screamed as hard as I could, but he spoke in the most chillingly cold whisper I ever heard: ‘Shh, I will end it soon.’ He grabbed my head, and pulled as I heard bones crack. Suddenly everything turned dark, like if you pass out.

I woke up as soon as that happened. It was 4 am now, and I was in full panic from that dream. Not wanting to go to sleep, fearing I’d have another one of those dreams, I went to the kitchen. I ate some snacks, just to calm down, but it didn’t really help. Stand-by lights from the tv seemed like eyes, peering across the room, plants looked like silhouettes of people. ‘Calm down, you’ve gotta calm down.’ I said as I felt my heartbeat go down. ‘It’s probably the Mountain Dew before I went sleeping.’

Then I thought I’d go back to my bedroom, because it was much more comfortable, and it seemed like a good idea to listen to some music. But just as I left the kitchen, I thought I saw a silhouette on the balcony. For a split second, it seemed as if someone was waiting for me there. I froze in my steps, but when I stopped, it was gone. I thought it was the chair on the balcony that looked like it, but I was lying to myself. Anxious as I was, I still didn’t want to sleep, imagining terrifying things in the badly lightened room. So I walked towards my pc, I turned the screen on, and I almost bent over to turn on my pc, but then I noticed it was already on, and still playing Rayman.

I rubbed in my eyes, and I figured I left it on or something, and I tried to turn the game off, because that was the cause of this sleepless night. It wouldn’t close. I knew I didn’t want to go to sleep, so I decided to just play the game and finish this torment it gave me. When I chose my save, I started in the desert of the Knaaren, where my dream was. I could hear Knaaren grumbling in the distance, but that wasn’t my biggest concern. Rayman was laying on the ground in a puddle what seemed like blood, without his hands, or head.

This shook me up, I was wide awake. It was happening in front of my eyes, but I couldn’t comprehend it. Then that eerie hint box came up: W A T C H . Y O U R . B A C K .

It was then that I felt a rifle to the back of my head. He took my arms one by one, and broke them with tremendous force. I screamed so hard that my lungs hurt as much as my arms. I couldn’t move. I was trapped. And that same voice whispered: ‘Shh, I will end it soon.’, as he pulled his trigger.