Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

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Fingers dripping ink
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Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

Postby Fingers dripping ink » October 24th, 2016, 3:41 pm

As the title says, the Rayman SNES Rom was found by creator Michel Ancel. It was supposedly lost for years but here it is:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BL5fSliA2bD/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BL5f5XIAfa5/

IIRC Michel owns the Rayman character, so he could legally dump the ROM for us to play. I'm a huge fan of Rayman and would certainly love to play it. What do you think?

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Rev
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Re: Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

Postby Rev » October 24th, 2016, 7:05 pm

This looks really interesting. I hope the ROM is dumped online, not only so I can play it but to help preserve the actual game that was created. The one screenshot of the actual game looks really solid but I wonder how it actually plays and how far along it was.

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Atariboy
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Re: Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

Postby Atariboy » October 24th, 2016, 11:52 pm

According to the various Rayman games in my collection, Ubisoft owns the Rayman trademark. I imagine that if Ubisoft didn't always control it, they got it when they acquired and made the developer, Ludimedia SAS, a wholly owned subsidiary in 1994 before Rayman hit store shelves the following year.

Even if he did control the character, that doesn't mean that Ubisoft still doesn't control the copyright for the SuperNes game itself. I bet you'd even see a copyright notice on the title screen attributing the copyright to Ubisoft if it got far enough along for such niceties to be added in and if it was still in-progress after the acquisition (If not, they'd still own it since they bought the developer).

It's like a situation such as Space Invaders for the 2600 that keeps such games absent from Atari compilations today. Atari owns the 2600 game, but without permission to use the Space Invaders copyright and trademark from Taito in the form of a license like they had in the 80's, there's not a heck of a lot that they can legally do with it on their own and thus it remains absent when their library is rereleased.

Hopefully this gets out there somehow such as via the Virtual Console program if it's a playable game that's reasonably complete and bug-free.

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Stalvern
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Re: Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

Postby Stalvern » October 25th, 2016, 1:25 am

Atariboy wrote:It's like a situation such as Space Invaders for the 2600 that keeps such games absent from Atari compilations today. Atari owns the 2600 game, but without permission to use the Space Invaders copyright and trademark from Taito in the form of a license like they had in the 80's, there's not a heck of a lot that they can legally do with it on their own and thus it remains absent when their library is rereleased.

It's actually worse, because while Atari at least owns the 2600 version of Space Invaders, Monsieur Ancel certainly doesn't own Rayman on the SNES or any other system, regardless of whether he designed it or not. Being one member of a development team, leader or otherwise, doesn't get anybody those rights.

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Stalvern
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Re: Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

Postby Stalvern » October 25th, 2016, 7:04 am

Atariboy wrote:Even if he did control the character, that doesn't mean that Ubisoft still doesn't control the copyright for the SuperNes game itself. I bet you'd even see a copyright notice on the title screen attributing the copyright to Ubisoft if it got far enough along for such niceties to be added in and if it was still in-progress after the acquisition (If not, they'd still own it since they bought the developer).

Exactly. Monsieur Ancel doesn't own Rayman on the SNES or any other system, regardless of whether he designed it or not. Being one member of a development team, leader or otherwise, doesn't get anybody those rights.
Last edited by Stalvern on October 26th, 2016, 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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scotland
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Re: Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

Postby scotland » October 25th, 2016, 10:18 am

Atariboy wrote:It's like a situation such as Space Invaders for the 2600 that keeps such games absent from Atari compilations today. Atari owns the 2600 game, but without permission to use the Space Invaders copyright and trademark from Taito in the form of a license like they had in the 80's, there's not a heck of a lot that they can legally do with it on their own and thus it remains absent when their library is rereleased.


Thanks for this post, Leo. I apologize for side tracking the thread, but its a shame that the law is structured in this way. A company licenses a character or name and makes a game and releases it/ Years later, why should that company not have the rights to re-release the same game again? If At Games, for instance, owns the Atari catalog, why can't they put the same game (as a ROM image) into a re-designed Atari 2600? Because the law says otherwise, is I guess the answer.

I can see how the Colecovision flashback would have issues with a Smurfs game, because even if you rename it, the images are still Smurfs. The Atari flashbacks don't have Space Invaders or Defender, but could they just rename them as "Alien Invaders" or "Rescuer" and put the games on the flashback? I guess not, or they would have.

For video games, I've not read much on creators retaining rights. Did David Crane own "Pitfall Harry", or did Activision? Does Jordan Mechner own anything related to his Prince of Persia game, or does Ubisoft own it all?

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Atariboy
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Re: Rayman SNES Rom found by creator Michel Ancel!

Postby Atariboy » October 25th, 2016, 2:32 pm

Usually, but odd things do happen from time to time like the shared copyright for Solaris on the 2600.

The programmer actually owns the source code for that one, while Atari owns the trademark for the title and the copyright for the game concept itself.

The saga with Donkey Kong that was eventually settled out of court is another one that leaps to mind as a similar situation.

scotland wrote:The Atari flashbacks don't have Space Invaders or Defender


Interestingly, AtGames actually has a Space Invaders license, but Taito forced them to replicate the arcade original on recent Atari Flashbacks.

They don't want the 2600 effort to reappear for this iconic title, despite actually being an excellent conversion that surpasses the source material. It doesn't embarrass the property in the slightest like 2600 Pac-Man would.

scotland wrote:The Atari flashbacks don't have Space Invaders or Defender, but could they just rename them as "Alien Invaders" or "Rescuer" and put the games on the flashback? I guess not, or they would have.


I think Atari has an overly cautious legal team at times.

For instance, only recently has Indy 500 been allowed to appear and that only happened thanks to the Sears version being available with the generic name of Race. Yet the only ties that Indy 500 had with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was the name itself.

A talented artist in MS Paint could've convincingly altered the boxart and manual scans in 30 minutes to anything that Atari wanted to label it as, avoiding that rights issue over 10 years ago when Atari did their first 2600 compilation. So something like the fine 2600 version of Othello continues to sit since Atari won't rebrand it with the generic non-infringing title of Reversi.

And I agree, some of these games are not only pretty loose adaptations which could make it with just a name change due to only vaguely resembling the source material (Your example with Defender is a great one), but other more accurate ports have often been so cloned for decades without any legal action by dozens of different publishers, that it's difficult to believe that Atari/AtGames would suddenly run afoul of the law with a renamed release of many an old 2600 effort like Galaxian.

And many others like Pole Position could be quickly tackled by a talented homebrew programmer at AtariAge to eliminate any infringement (Rename it at the title screen and replace the iconic startup jingle that Atari replicated well).

scotland wrote:For video games, I've not read much on creators retaining rights. Did David Crane own "Pitfall Harry", or did Activision? Does Jordan Mechner own anything related to his Prince of Persia game, or does Ubisoft own it all?


Not usually, I'd say.

There are some examples, but they must be very rare. I've heard that the CBS programmers in their contracts had the rights revert to them if/when CBS left the videogame business for an example, although I'm not sure if there's any truth to it.

Sometimes voice acting can be a problem down the road as well, I guess. I think it happened with the Silent Hill HD Collection for one example. Sometimes the publisher owns their work outright, yet other times there seems to be royalty payments involved.


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