I have recently been in a big Rayman mood. I’ve been replaying Rayman 3, and I have also been reading a pretty great fan fic for the series called When the Tables Have Turned which I’ve been following for a good year or two now. Seriously, it’s awesome. Ahem, well, a time came when her story made mention of the Cave of Bad Dreams from Rayman 2, and I was thrilled and excited at this reminder of a level I enjoyed just as much as it chilled me.
This place really scared me as a duckling. I’m not kidding. It freaked me out so much, it took some major willpower to get me through that spooky place. I wanted so badly to turn back, but I needed to save Clark, you see, so I had no choice but to press on! Shudder, oh, it was terrible. I’ve rarely been this afraid of a video game level. To be honest, it’s kind of a lot of the usual stuff you would expect in a scary level, with bones, ghosts floating up from the murk below, and distant groans of unseen beasties. And yet, I still felt so anxious while progressing through here. Maybe it was the fact that I was venturing into a deep cave that frightened me. You were well and truly trapped in that cave. And that was not to mention what came later, when you are chased by the Guardian of the Cave of Bad Dreams, Jano (yes, he has a name, believe it or not), a cycloptic creature with a purple top hat and some pretty nasty teeth, before eventually having to engage in a pretty challenging and stressful battle with him.
Yes, this place truly haunted me, but one thing I found particularly memorable, aside from the location itself, was the music. I played the N64 version of the game, and while its soundtrack isn’t quiet and eerie like that of the other versions, I think that’s why I love it. It’s almost a pretty song in a way (though there are still some rather sinister notes thrown in there), which helps to make it rather unique. It is also probably the most nostalgia-inducing song of the game for me. I love the repeated notes on the harp, and I still believe this is a haunting tune that particularly affected me and still does to this day. (Sorry the video is so short.)
Video from Youtube User: TheCuttelefishCuller
The Cave of Bad Ducks