In a franchise that features zombie chickens, it should be no surprise that the Rayman games are a good source for finding a delightful balance of spooky and quirky. One recurring location is the Land of the Livid Dead, though it is very different in its two main iterations. In Rayman 3, the Land of the Livid Dead is not even a teensie bit scary (you see what I did there?), and it’s inhabited by the ghosts of Teensies who are far more chill than they are livid. That all changed when we visit the Land of the Livid Dead in Rayman Origins, where the dead are, well, let’s just say they’re a lot crabbier this time around.
This version of the Land of the Livid Dead is a far more intimidating place. Instead of lush green fields and relaxing music, we have a backdrop of towering mausoleums and so much fire and spiky vines that the level truly gets across the suffering the underworld is known for. And then there are the inhabitants. In addition to beds of killer tulips with razor-sharp teeth, we also have…the grannies.
Don’t look at me like that. These aren’t your cookie-baking, scarf-knitting grannies. They may look old and frail on the surface…and sure, they might need a cane to walk, but they will smack you. Hard. With their purses. And you don’t have a lot of health in this game, so…getting hit by a purse is usually deadly. Maybe they keep bricks in them. Or those dense fruitcakes that you can get during Christmas time that no one really likes, but is polite about. I don’t know. Also, in the game’s opening, one granny won’t hesitate to throw her husband’s skull in rage.
The spoopiness returns in Rayman Legends in the game’s wonderful music stages, the last of which is Grannies World Tour (whose 8-Bit version is absolutely absurd, but I digress), where grannies riding levitating coffins and broomsticks will accompany your platforming efforts by playing their totally rad electric guitars! It’s good to know that these grannies are not letting old age, or death for that matter, get in their way. Rock on, granny, rock on!