it was just baking the tangent-space normal map [blue]
so, blender is weird sometimes in showing the rainbow colors [which would be more of an object space normal map]
so, if you get blender to refresh the colors [moving a lamp or something] it should look the same [or blue/orange depending on the orientation of a part in the uv map, if it is flipped over or not] in the 3d view as the render
… does that make sense?
so, what you see on the right is the unfolded mesh on the left, however the colors have not been changed [but they should have been]. When the colors are recalculated [it is weird they were not] the regions should be blue or orange [also different from the render, the orange regions].
the render appears to be a correct normal map, but you will probably want to make it square.
also, the normal map seems a bit weak, you might want to change that [or it could be because your image is jpeg compressed]
still, my script will not really let you reduce the polygon count, just bake procedural textures [and not normal maps very well] onto the same mesh.
I’d really suggest you take a look at melody or orb