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Neo-Ridley (ネオ リドリー Neo Ridorī ), known as simply Ridley in English guides, is the tenth boss Samus faces aboard the Biologic Space Laboratories research station in Metroid Fusion. This creature is an X Parasite mimicking a clone of Ridley, which Samus had encountered previously in Metroid: Other M. It is Ridley's final form.
The first time Samus sees the corpse of the Ridley clone, it is frozen inside the Sub-Zero Containment room on the Main Deck. After the station loses power, Samus enters the back of this room while making her way back to her Starship. As she approaches the clone's frozen remains, his eyes suddenly glow, recalling the original Ridley's previous encounters with Samus in Super Metroid. Instead of coming to life and attacking Samus, however, the clone shatters as a Core-X leaves his body and flies away.
As Samus continues exploring the station, she encounters what appears to be the Ridley clone's dry and rotting corpse in the Tourian-like section of SRX. As she approaches, the clone's eyes glow once more before the X Parasite mimicking it morphs into the being known as Neo-Ridley. This "new" Ridley has a considerably altered physical appearance from the original Ridley, including enlarged talons; this is most likely due to the Core-X attempting to create a more efficient Ridley in the same way that X Parasites had improved the original capabilities of the Arachnus.
Link to Metroid: Other M
The presence of both an X-infected Ridley and Zebesian Space Pirates onboard the BSL station was considered enigmatic after Fusion's release, given that the Pirates were thoroughly routed and Ridley was permanently defeated in Super Metroid. The official Fusion web site indicated that the pirates were onboard the station on a marauding mission, which initially suggested they were not Federation-preserved specimens as has often been conjectured by fans. The events portrayed in the later-released Metroid: Other M, which chronologically takes place before Fusion, clarify this mystery: after Ridley's clone was killed by the Queen Metroid and became a dried, rotting corpse, the Galactic Federation intervened in the game's ending. When Samus returns to the BOTTLE SHIP some time later, the corpse had vanished from where she found it. The Federation would eventually send the Ridley clone's remains to the BSL station to be preserved.
Considerable evidence supports the conclusions made by Other M; for example, the Ridley clone's corpse in Other M is similar in color to the X-mimic in Fusion. Also, Ridley's clone would have been extremely fragile after being drained by the Queen Metroid, which certainly explains why the frozen corpse shatters when the Core-X leaves it. This theory is further supported by the presence of another specimen, codenamed Nightmare, aboard the BSL station; Nightmare was also originally encountered on the BOTTLE SHIP and could easily have been transferred to the BSL in the same manner as the Ridley clone. The presence of Zebesian Space Pirates in both titles makes it unclear if the previously-mentioned marauding mission (likely to recover Ridley's corpse) was retconned out of existence, as the cloned variants featured in Other M could have been transferred to the BSL as well. Samus Aran also believed that the Space Pirates were completely destroyed after the explosion of Zebes, making it a more likely explanation.
Neo-Ridley will attempt to ram himself into Samus, try to grab Samus with his talons, and shoot gigantic homing fireballs from his mouth. He also uses his classic tail attacks first seen in Super Metroid, which primarily involves spinning his tail to serve as both an offensive and defensive measure; when Samus is facing the creature, the tail attack will spin and be aimed directly at her like a whip. If Samus is facing the creature from behind then the tail attack will spin once and be used in a manner similar to a pogo-stick, following her general direction. His large size makes it difficult for Samus to evade him, requiring her to do a fair amount of maneuvering. Should Samus be caught by the creature's claws, her energy will be steadily drained until she inflicts enough damage to escape the creature's grip.
All the battle involves is repeatedly firing Diffusion Missiles or the Charge Beam against the creature, considering that unlike most powerful enemies Samus faces, Neo-Ridley does not have a specific weak spot (like Ridley from Super Metroid, any part of his body can receive damage except the indestructible tail). The Charge Beam is the preferred method as it contains the Plasma Beam; this allows it to pass through Ridley and causes continuous damage. When dealt with enough damage, he'll utter an long shriek while having his eyes shut. After one of these long shrieks of pain, the creature will tend to shift attacks at times, giving him some form of predictability as to what to expect next.
As he takes more damage, Neo-Ridley will change colors from blue to purple to red. Once Neo-Ridley is defeated, he will let out one final long screech before transforming into a Core-X (like almost every other boss on the BSL station). Once Samus absorbs the Core-X, she obtains the Screw Attack, the second-to-last power-up on the station.
"Neo-Ridley was born when an X parasite absorbed Ridley's genes."
- The sprites for the Ridley clone's original form prior to its transformation into Neo-Ridley (the frozen corpse and the X-mimicked "rotting" body found in Sector 1) seem to be directly based off of the Super Metroid Ridley sprite art.
- Metroid Fusion: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide depicts in the "X Collection" feature an image of Samus fighting a Core-X in a room resembling a blue version of Neo-Ridley's room, suggesting this was a beta screenshot.
- When Ridley's clone is frozen, his eyes glow as they did in Super Metroid (and on the later-released Corruption and Other M), suggesting that he was temporarily resurrected by the X. The corpse seen later in SRX also has his eyes glow; however, at that point, it is the X Parasite mimicking the clone of Ridley.
- For unknown reasons, the Core-X that infected the body locked in the Sub-Zero Containment room initially takes the form of the dried body seen near the end of Other M before transforming into Neo-Ridley. According to Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide, Neo-Ridley is "playing possum", possibly to trick Samus into lowering her guard before the battle.
- Neo-Ridley is the only boss in Metroid Fusion that does not seem to use the upgrade that Samus acquires from him after the battle. However, Ridley's spinning fireballs and/or his extremely flexible (and invulnerable) tail might be a way of demonstrating the Screw Attack, although the original Ridley also used these abilities in Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission.
- On Easy mode in the Japanese version of the game, Neo-Ridley's health is halved.
- It is unknown whether or not Ridley's clone from Other M retained any memories of Samus Aran from the original Ridley. If he did, Neo-Ridley would have subsequently inherited all of these memories as well, since the X Parasites are known to acquire their hosts' memories. Regardless, Neo-Ridley assuredly obtained the clone's memories of the events that transpired on the BOTTLE SHIP.
- Neo-Ridley's head structure heavily resembles that of Ridley's forms (Meta Ridley and Omega Ridley) seen in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. Coincidentally, Omega Ridley is also the antepenultimate (third from last) boss in Corruption, and both versions of Ridley have been infected with a form of harmful substance.
- Neo-Ridley's battle music uses a slower tempo compared to most versions of Vs. Ridley. This stylistic choice would not be seen again until Boss Ridley Third in Metroid: Samus Returns.
- Neo-Ridley is notorious for his loud screams throughout the entire battle, especially when taking damage. The screams sound similar to that of a parrot. These screams were later reused for the actual Ridley in Zero Mission, albeit quieter.
- Neo-Ridley's sprite is so big compared to other bosses that it causes the Game Boy Advance to lag slightly during the fight.
- One of Ridley's alternate costumes in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate resembles Neo-Ridley. Palutena also describes Neo-Ridley's origins in the Palutena's Guidance easter egg, providing the first official use of the name in an English source.
- Neo-Ridley's palms face upwards, which appears to have been referenced in Metroid: Other M as Ridley's clone in that game - after being reduced to a petrified corpse by the Queen Metroid - also has his palms facing upwards in a very similar manner. This clone is the very same one that the X mimicked in the form of Neo-Ridley, although the corpse's palms are facing downwards and appears more in line with the original Ridley's appearances in past games. (This is likely due to Other M having been released after Fusion despite taking place before it, thus meaning that the former retconned elements in the latter)
- ^ Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- ^ Metroid Prime & Fusion Original Soundtracks
- ^ Nintendo Official Guide Book for Metroid Fusion pg. 114
- ^ Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide
- ^ Metroid Fusion: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide
- ^ Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide pg. 138