|This is a featured article.|
- This article refers to the recurring boss. For other uses of the name Ridley, see Ridley (Disambiguation).
|“||Heh, humans are always so weak to deaths of their own breed! Who knows, perhaps I consumed your "mama" so that my cells may live, hm? Is she here... or here?!||„|
Ridley (リドリー Ridorī ) is a high-ranking Space Pirate, the archenemy of Samus Aran, and one of the most common recurring characters in the Metroid series, appearing in most of the games. Sadistic and bloodthirsty, Ridley delights in death and destruction, and was responsible for the massacre of the colony K-2L. Since then, he and Samus have clashed several times, with Samus usually emerging the victor. But Ridley's brutality is matched only by his resilience, and he regularly returns from apparent death to do battle with Samus once more. As such, the Space Pirate leader is fittingly referred to as the Cunning God of Death (狡猾の死神) in his Zero Mission official art on the Japanese website.
Resembling a skeletal dragon with glowing eyes, the true name of Ridley's species is unknown. Despite his bestial appearance, Ridley is known to be highly intelligent and even shown to be capable of speech in the Magazine Z manga. He was also apparently capable of building a robot in his own likeness. Though Ridley often appears in different forms, it is clarified through scans found in the Metroid Prime series, as well as events portrayed in Metroid: Other M, that every one of his incarnations chronologically seen prior to Other M and Metroid Fusion are indeed the same individual (the exception being the Ridley Robot), despite his numerous defeats. Strangely, some of his prior battles ended with his body seemingly exploding, but in-game lore states he survived these violent defeats until Super Metroid. In most games he appears in, he has been the penultimate or ante-penultimate boss.
The manga also revealed that Ridley is extremely adept at survival. Ridley was apparently capable of healing his wounds by eating human flesh, as illustrated in the manga in a part where he claimed that he survived the destruction of his flagship by consuming the bodies and cells of the dead humans in K-2L.
In Metroid for the Famicom Disk System and Nintendo Entertainment System, Ridley is located in his subterranean base, Mini-Boss Hideout II. His room consists of a large, floating platform with two levels of differing height (with the boss on the highest), and a pool of lava located below. In his debut, Ridley is approximately Samus' height, and despite having wings (albeit very small ones), he merely hops up and down while spitting zigzagging fireballs at her. The American artwork of Ridley portray him with a vastly more alien design, featuring a head with a leech-like mouth and numerous ocular organs of varying sizes scattered about (as seen in the Gallery at the bottom of this page).
Samus can use any weapon her Power Suit possesses to damage him. His fireballs, however, are indestructible and excel as a defense mechanism, destroying any long-range weapon and nullifying the blast from Bombs on contact. If Samus possesses the Ice Beam, she can temporarily freeze all of Ridley's projectiles, rendering him incapable of shooting out any others until the ice thaws. Depending on the position the fireballs are frozen in, they can either leave Ridley completely exposed to any attack, or prevent anything, including Samus, from getting close to him, thus careful precision is required when using the Ice Beam.
Interesting to note is that Ridley's battle is noticeably more challenging in the Japanese Famicom version of the game, due to the console's superior specs over the American NES version: in the former console, each individual fireball created by Ridley has a different trajectory randomly picked from a set, meaning that players will have to deal with projectiles traveling at different speeds with small or large zigzag patterns, practically leaving no safe zone. The latter console can only choose a single trajectory for all of Ridley's fireballs every time the NES itself is turned on. This signifies that the American version will always feature multiple safe zones in the room where the fireballs can never reach, allowing players to either stand next to Ridley and shoot him without repercussions, or stand a set distance away and simply jump and fire at Ridley without receiving damage. It is mostly due to this hardware limitation that makes Ridley the least challenging boss in the NES game.
In Zero Mission, Ridley, looking more like his later appearances, is instead initially off-world at the time Samus infiltrates the base, but returns with his ship by the time she reaches Lower Norfair. Ridley is much taller and more agile than in the original Metroid. He flies around and tries to kill Samus with his "classic attacks" first seen in Super Metroid, though they are noticeably far less chaotic and his tail is less maneuverable. Ridley will often spit out different-sized fireballs in a variety of ways, but these can be destroyed with any weapon. He is also capable of using his crushing grip and fireballs in a combined form to heavily damage Samus. When she defeats Ridley, he explodes and disintegrates, allowing Samus to leave with the Unknown Item she had obtained just before the battle. Also in the same game is his incomplete project: the Ridley Robot, which guards the Space Pirate Mother Ship and serves as the end boss of Zero Mission.
Despite not appearing in Metroid II: Return of Samus, Ridley is present in the game's remake as Proteus Ridley. Returning from his prior defeats in the Metroid Prime series with fewer cybernetic implants, he ambushes Samus and attempts to capture the last living Metroid just as they are about to leave SR388.
This game marks the first time Ridley acts as a final boss.
Ridley is first fought in the Ceres Space Colony, carrying the last Metroid in his talons after slaughtering the scientists on Ceres. He uses the same attacks as his later encounter, but neither he nor Samus can be defeated - after he or Samus takes a certain amount of damage, Ridley escapes the colony with the Metroid and goes back to Zebes, with it being implied that Ridley had set Ceres to self-destruct. It is possible to damage Ridley enough that he will drop the baby, but he quickly recovers it and flees before Samus can retrieve it.
Samus fights Ridley again in his hideout in the depths of Norfair. He is one of the four bosses that must be defeated to unlock access to Tourian. Unlike his previous forms, Meta Ridley and Omega Ridley, the space dragon is vulnerable to many different types of weapons, from any angle. However, Ridley can use his invulnerable tail to shield himself against any attack, including breaking through the near invincible Screw Attack. In addition to defense, he uses his tail for unique offensive attacks, many of which would be seen in future releases of Metroid games, such as the whip and pogo stick-like attacks. Body slams, indestructible fireballs and damaging grips are also used in battle. With no weak points or special tactics available, Samus must simply dodge Ridley's attacks while landing hits of her own - it takes 30 Super Missiles to bring the monster down. However, he generally does not die immediately upon losing all of his health; instead he continuously and aggressively attempts to grab Samus in his talons. If he succeeds, he will fly with her to the center of the room and release one last roar before suddenly breaking apart, dropping Samus unharmed. If she manages to evade his final attempts at grabbing her while dealing additional damage, Ridley will eventually die normally.
When defeated in Norfair, Ridley's body combusts and breaks apart, with every individual piece disintegrating into ash. After Samus kills Mother Brain, planet Zebes explodes, taking Ridley's remains with it. Metroid: Other M states that this defeat marks the first true death of Samus's arch-nemesis; Ridley had seemingly survived all of his previous battles, regardless of disintegrations.
Samus tracks a Mystery Creature that molted from Little Birdie into the Geothermal Power Plant in an effort to finish it off, believing that it has metamorphosed into a more powerful form after finding a second molted skin. Unbeknownst to Samus, the animal she is tracking is actually a juvenile clone of Ridley from prior encounters that has been steadily growing through his predecessor's natural life-cycle. When she reaches the Power Plant, the creature emerges from the shadows in its adult stage, the distinguishable dragon-like form, and triggers a battle with Samus.
Ridley's clone utilizes some of the original's "classic" attacks, as well as a few new moves of his own. His main form of attack is to swipe Samus with his claws, as well as whip her with his tail. Both attacks can be dodged with the SenseMove. Ridley will also breathe a short-ranged burst of flame if Samus is close enough, and can also charge up a large stream of fire. Ridley's most devastating attack is to charge at Samus and, if successful, slam her against the inner wall of the Geothermal Plant, outside of the platform they are battling on. He continues the attack by grinding her along the wall (reminiscent of his battle in Super Smash Bros. Brawl), causing major damage. After this, Ridley will fly above the battlefield with Samus still held firmly in his hand, and breathe fire on her at point-blank range to knock her out of his grasp. This entire attack sequence can be avoided if Samus were to dodge Ridley's initial charge attack, which can be predicted as soon as Ridley lifts his left arm into the air. If she is caught and dragged onto the wall, Samus can begin using the Charge Beam to prepare her own blast at point-blank range, though she must fire at Ridley before he does the final segment of his attack.
Ridley also has two aerial attacks at his disposal. His first move consists of stabbing the Hunter with his tail, then attempting to crush her from above. Well-timed SenseMoves can dodge this assault. His other attack consists of charging up a huge fireball and firing it at the center of the arena, creating a large shockwave that must be jumped over.
Once Samus has inflicted enough damage to Ridley, he will keel over, stunned and vulnerable to a Lethal Strike, in which Samus grabs hold of him and fires a charged shot in his throat. After performing a Lethal Strike, Ridley will immediately counter with a new ability: he will harden and darken his skin, gaining an aura on his chest. This ability renders him invulnerable to Samus' Plasma Beam shots. He will then immediately fly up to unleash a fireball to the ground. Samus can either wait until the effect wears off or fire a Super Missile at him, reverting Ridley back to normal instantly. If Samus is quick enough, she can fire a Super Missile at him before he manages to fly.
As Ridley receives damage, his body gradually becomes ravaged. Once his life-bar is depleted, he will fall over, seemingly unconscious, but quickly gets back up during the following cutscene and escapes. He is later killed off-screen by a Queen Metroid, his drained corpse left to be found within the Bioweapon Research Center.
Overall, Ridley had the appearance of a dragon, with his head and neck resembling that of a pterodactyl. He also possessed a spiked segmented tail with a hooked end.
In the NES version, he mostly appeared similar to his later appearances, although the head crest was missing, and was depicted as only slightly taller than Samus Aran. In addition, the artwork for Ridley, depending on the source, either depicted him with a leech-like head and tridactyl feet (concept art) or otherwise as a chibi dragon with expressive purple eyes (Japanese Metroid guide). Interestingly, both sources depicted Ridley with blue skin, although the game itself depicted Ridley with purple skin.
In his appearances from Super Metroid onward (the only exception being Metroid: Other M, not counting either Meta Ridley or Proteus Ridley), he was given a significant redesign: He has bidactyl feet, had a largely emaciated appearance, and his eyes were generally depicted as glowing ominously (although there have been a few instances where he was depicted with irises), as well as his head given definite pterodactyl features, including a head-crest and a distinctive bent neck. Most importantly is that he also had his size increase, although not to the same extent as Kraid, where Samus' height just barely reaches the top of Ridley's chest while the latter is crouching.
In Metroid: Other M, Ridley, or rather, his clone has some notable differences in physical appearance. In particular, he is given a more muscular build, and his snout now has the top half being smaller than the bottom half, as well as pointed slightly upward, and he possessed four fingers and a thumb instead of two fingers and a thumb on his hands as well as tridactyl feet. Despite this, however, in Metroid Fusion, his appearance resembled how he generally looked since Super Metroid. Neo Ridley, however, is shown to be much larger with enlarged talons and claws, and also possessing thinner lips exposing his teeth constantly. Neo Ridley also seems to possess gill-like openings on his back, just behind his wings, and is depicted as being colored blue instead of his usual purple.
Personality and traits
While Ridley displays few personality traits in the games, the official Metroid Manga delved a great deal deeper into the personality of the Space Pirate general. Ridley first appeared in chapter one, where his brutal disposition, foul temper and love of death and destruction are made apparent when he orders his entire legion of Space Pirates to annihilate the peaceful inhabitants of K2-L as he looked on, even going as far as to tell them to "have fun" while causing carnage. His ability for cruelty is further made concrete in the manga, when he attempts to kill a small girl who tries to befriend him; killing her mother while trying to shield the child. He, like many of his Space Pirate brethren, also believes in the superiority of certain races over others, counting himself among the privileged elite species and seeing the "lower" races as something only to exterminate. His more sadistic and bloodthirsty tendencies were initially hinted at in a Pirate Data scan explaining his resurrection as Meta Ridley in Metroid Prime, where the crew guessed that Ridley becoming the mainstay of the Space Pirates' security force after the completion of his cybernetics was "a job he will certainly relish." He also has some degree of narcissism, due to his commissioning the Ridley Robot as a symbol of his power.
Despite these bloodthirsty tendencies, Ridley has shown to be an intelligent and competent battle tactician, orchestrating a great many successful battles, as well as proving a serious threat on his own. His battle tactician skills were best showcased during the battle of Norion when fighting Samus: He tried to kill Samus while she was traversing through ducts in Morph Ball form and thus preventing her to transform, and later he also made sure to have Samus fall down the Generator C shaft with him to ensure that, in the event he could not defeat her, she would at least die with him. Similarly, it was implied that the reason he bombed the Cradle was specifically in an attempt to prevent Samus from accessing the Impact Crater during the events on Tallon IV, and when fighting Samus for the baby on SR388, he also proceeded to use his cybernetic arm to block Samus's Arm Cannon blasts while rushing at her. Interestingly, his traits as a competent leader seem to also be embedded on a genetic level, as his clone, who was feral as a result of growing up without any education or civilized upbringing, was nevertheless seemingly capable of leading weaponized creatures into attacking Adam Malkovich's squad while he handled Samus alone in his adolescent form. However, his quick temper and his arrogant belief that nothing can defeat him often undermine these qualities, leading to a great many defeats for him as well, particularly at the hands of Samus.
Ridley grudgingly shows respect to those who are natural leaders, such as when Gray Voice ordered the Pirate Troops to their battle stations; Ridley, taken aback, smirked at being told by Gray Voice to attend to his job and sarcastically addressed him as "Sir Military Commander" when he flew off.
Ridley has frequently displayed a very sadistic sense of humor, evidenced by his various comments against Samus upon their first meeting since K2-L. Ridley even went so far as to taunt her by saying that he may have eaten and incorporated the cells of her mother's corpse into his body and sardonically wondered what part her cells reside in. He then proceeded to bring his foot down on Samus, growling "At least pay your respects!"; referring to her dead mother, showing just how much joy he takes in the suffering of others. This sadism can also be seen in Other M, as the cloned Ridley appears to toy with Samus before being interrupted by Anthony Higgs. However, in the manga, he was shown to be momentarily taken aback by Samus' naivety and looked at her with apparent pity when she innocently tried to befriend him despite being scared of his terrifying appearance. In response to this gesture, Ridley called Samus cute, before refusing her offer in a sarcastically polite tone and revealing his intent to kill her.
He seems to hold a grudge against Samus for her deceased father's role in the massive failure of Ridley's raid on K2-L. Rodney Aran intentionally ignited the Space Pirates' stolen supply of Afloraltite, causing Ridley's ship to not only explode and take numerous Pirate lives, but to also crash on top of Ridley. His injuries subsequently forced him to consume dead humans, despite his utter disgust and low opinion of the species. In the following years, Ridley would develop an intense hatred for Samus due to her constant interference and his various defeats at her hands. It's also implied that his hatred of Samus's parents, and by extension, Samus herself, may have also been retained as genetic memory due to the Mystery Creature (a genetic clone of Ridley) being especially eager to kill Samus and toying with her, with its trophy hinting that its antagonism of Samus was ultimately rooted in Ridley's earlier murder of Samus's parents.
While they have speaking roles in the manga and comics, Ridley and the Space Pirates have never displayed this ability in-game (the Omega Pirate of Metroid Prime being a possible exception). A likely explanation is that the sounds Ridley and the Pirates make in-game are the Space Pirate language, translated for the reader's benefit in the manga.
Powers and abilities
Ridley has proven to be a fierce opponent in battle. While fighting hand-to-hand, Ridley primarily makes use of his lethal claws, talons, and tail. Ridley is also capable of breathing plasma in battle, either in the form of large fireballs, or a large stream. His tail was also razor sharp and could be used to impale other beings to significantly wound them, which he demonstrated on Grey Voice. His wings enable him to fly at fast speeds to outrun opponents. Ridley also possesses physical strength sufficient enough to grab Samus with one hand and drag her along the wall, as evident in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Metroid: Other M. He is also shown to be adept at survival, able to heal himself by consuming others and incorporating their cells into his body. In Metroid: Other M, Ridley's clone displays the ability to change the pigments of his skin and harden it (this state is erroneously referred to as "Meta Ridley" in Smash Bros), making him immune to Samus' beam attacks. While in this hardened state, Ridley's attacks also gain greater speed and strength. He also appears invisible or camouflaged when encountered in Super Metroid, also likely an ability resulting from his ability to change the pigments of his skin. He also may have some control over lava and darkness, as during his fight against Samus in Norfair in Super Metroid, the room he was in was initially dark until he revealed himself, in which case the room also proceeded to light up shortly thereafter and also proceeded to summon lava below while roaring, the latter of which only dissipated after he was killed by Samus.
Ridley is infamous for his uncanny ability to cheat death on many occasions. Notable occasions of this are:
- His survival from his ship's destruction on K2-L by consuming the bodies of the dead humans, according to the manga.
- His reconstruction as Meta Ridley following his first defeat on Zebes.
- Surviving his fall into the Impact Crater by unknown means.
- Surviving another long fall into the shaft of Generator C on Norion, becoming infused with Phazon and transforming into Omega Ridley.
- Following his battle in the Pirate Homeworld's Seed, he returned via unknown means with no traces of Phazon on his body and less cybernetic implants to battle Samus as Proteus Ridley.
- After his crushing defeat on SR388, he shed the rest of his cybernetics and appeared whole once more when he confronted Samus in the Ceres Space Colony.
His battle against Samus during her final visit to Zebes would be the definitive end of the original Ridley. However, true to his title as the "God of Death", Ridley quite literally returns from the dead through astonishing circumstances:
- Unbeknownst to Samus, Ridley's blood is splattered and preserved on her Power Suit during their last battle in Lower Norfair on Zebes, allowing Galactic Federation personnel to unknowingly collect his DNA and create his clone on the BOTTLE SHIP.
- Following the death of Ridley's clone in the BOTTLE SHIP, his deceased body is moved to the Biologic Space Laboratories research station for preservation, where his DNA is copied and used by a shape-shifting organism to morph into a mimicry of Ridley.
"It's the head of Mini-Boss Hideout II. It jumps up into the air and breathes fire. It's the original life form of the planet Zebes and is controlled by Mother Brain. Destroy it and you win 75 missile blasts!!!"
Virtual Console retranslation
"Flies up into the air and breathes fire. An indigenous life-form of Zebes, this creature is being controlled by Mother Brain."
Official Nintendo Player's Guide
"It attacks Samus by spewing fireballs. A missile attack is very effective, but if you have the wave beam, it would be a good idea to use the beam continuously while jumping through the lava."
Super Metroid manual
"Samus met him at the start of the game, just before the science academy went down in flames. The winged space pirate leader had other things on his mind at that point, like getting away with the last Metroid. This time he has only one objective - to see Samus' quest come to an untimely and stomach churning end...
Ridley attacks in three main ways. First off, he flies off the top of the screen then swoops down quickly. When he disappears, it's best to jump up as you'll catch a glimpse of him hovering. If you know where he's swooping from it's easier to take evasive action. The second attack takes the form of swipes from his spiny tail. These are very hard to avoid so just keep jumping. He can also launch a series of fireballs from his mouth which have to be avoided. If Samus isn't careful, Ridley may catch her in his mouth. In this case, wiggle the pad left and right while pounding the buttons to try and shake free of his grip.
A good strategy is to morph down on the opposite side of the screen to Ridley's next swoop and drop a power bomb. Keep this going until you run out, then switch to super missiles. Finish him off with regular missiles and charge beams."
- Defeating Ridley
- Jump up when Ridley flies off...
- Leap over his spiny attacks...
- Use bombs and missiles against him.
"The dragon-like Ridley is the first boss you'll encounter in Metroid for the NES. To slay the beast, use powerful attacks such as the Wave Beam or a missile fired at point-blank range."
"Use the Ice Beam to freeze Ridley's projectiles, then close in and fire missiles at point-blank range."
"If you use the Wave Beam, you'll have to stand in the lava to take your shot. Keep jumping to minimize your damage."
Metroid: Zero Mission interview
- Yoshio Sakamoto: "For the time being, I don't know. Maybe it will be revealed in the near future?" 
Official Metroid: Zero Mission website
"Extremely dangerous! Enormous wing-span and long, whip-like tail. Moves very fast and attacks with alarming ferocity. Emits fireballs of gas from elongated beak. Will try to pick up enemies and crush them with razor-sharp talons. Vulnerable to Super Missiles. DANGER LEVEL: VERY HIGH."
- "Powerful wings"
- "Razor sharp talons"
- "Elongated beak"
QUESTION: I have again great things to say [about Metroid Prime 2]. The details to the settings are amazing... Anyway, as for my question: Metroid Prime 2 comes after Metroid Prime 1, correct? And, since the Space Pirates are also present... does this mean that Ridley will be back, too?
ANSWER: If you play to the end, I think you’ll figure it out.
QUESTION: I'm in the middle of playing the game right now. It's very interesting. I have a small question. In the previous game there were limited time scans (pained smile) and was wondering if there any of those in this one? In my opinion so far the game has a great presentation that does not lose your interest. I often forget what time it is. And even if I play for a short amount of time it feels like you’ve made a good amount of progress. I’m expecting Ridley to appear at any moment because for me he is the true Metroid nemesis. I hope to be snatched and taken away. Basically I’d like to see Ridley in literally every game...
ANSWER: If you see something, scan it! It’s the basics. If not, you may regret it... Whether or not Ridley will appear, you’ll be able to tell if you finish the game.
Smash Tour (SSB4 Official Game Guide)
"Lasts 3 turns or until he's defeated in battle"
"Bump into this enemy to trigger a battle. If a player manages to defeat Ridley, he or she is rewarded a massive boost to all stats. Stat boosts can also be earned if a player wins the battle by scoring KOs against his or her opponents. If Ridley is not defeated in time, he will retain his remaining stamina and move to another space on the board."
- Ridley appeared in the Captain N: The Game Master comics and TV series.
- Ridley appears in the comic stories Welcome to Videoland, Money Changes Everything (in name), Breakout, and When Friends Fall Out (as a flashback) based on his original concept art. In Breakout, he impersonated Judge Racklas, another member of his species, after Mother Brain had all of her own crimes reattributed to Princess Lana. In the comics, his design was derived from the art for Ridley for the NES version.
- In the TV series, Ridley appears as an orange potbellied dragon. Although this is very different from his original design, it is identified as "Ridley" in concept artwork, and storyboards show Ridley with an appearance that much more closely matches his original NES manual artwork, with multiple eyes and a pointed tail. Ridley appears in the episode GameBoy as one of the monsters generated by Game Boy while under Mother Brain's control.
- Ridley appears in the Super Metroid comic from Nintendo Power, with largely the same role as in the game. However, a notable difference from the game is that, other than their brief encounter on Ceres Space Station, he never actually fights Samus, and instead "called a retreat" and left the Space Pirates to fend for themselves when Samus arrived, with Armstrong Houston also noting that Ridley was a coward upon witnessing this. As such, he never actually was killed by Samus.
- Ridley is on the box and cartridge art for Super Metroid, which also appears in WarioWare: Smooth Moves on the Wii, in the microgame Super Nostalgic Entertainment System.
- As part of another collaboration between Nintendo and Team Ninja, Ridley's clone and his signature theme make a cameo appearance in Dead or Alive Dimensions. He attacks characters from the background of the Geothermal Power Plant arena, and is killed by a Power Bombing Samus when a sound is made in the mic.
- Ridley appears in Nintendo Land as an animatronic boss in the Metroid Blast attraction. Ice Ridley is an additional variant whose attacks freeze the Mii players. Depending on the mission, Ridley may be fought alone, or he may be teamed up with Ice Ridley or Kraid. Ridley can also be unlocked as a prize, placing a non-hostile version of the animatronic in the main plaza. Its description is "Violent, villainous, and highly intelligent, Ridley is Samus's nemesis, commander of the Space Pirates, and the galaxy's greatest threat. Attack him from the back when he's stunned."
Super Smash Bros. series
Ridley has made appearances in all games in the Super Smash Bros. series in some form, but it was not until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that he became a playable character. While his appearances in the first two were only cameos, he took on a greater role in Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a boss and in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as a stage hazard.
Before Ultimate, Ridley was highly requested as a playable character in the series. On the Japanese website, he was the second-most requested character behind King Dedede. However, some fans argued he was too large to be playable and to include him would mean scaling him down in size. The contentious nature of Ridley has spawned the "Ridley is too big" meme. Masahiro Sakurai himself commented on the idea of a playable Ridley in an interview with Nintendo Power:
|“||I think that would probably be pretty impossible. [Laughs] If we had put our best efforts into it, we may have been able to do it. But he might have been a little slow. Would that be all right? [Laughs]||„|
Following the release of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Sakurai again addressed the requests of fans for Ridley to be playable but shot down their wishes, stating:
|“||I definitely know that Ridley’s a much-anticipated name for fans, but if we made Ridley as a fighter, it wouldn’t be Ridley any longer. It’d have to be shrunk down, or its wings reduced in size, or be unable to fly around freely. Instead of going through a lot of very convoluted hocus-pocus to make Ridley a fighter, I figured it’d be better to keep Ridley as it currently is, the correct way, and have it feel like a truly threatening presence.||„|
—Masahiro Sakurai 
Since the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, many fans have created various mods for the game which allow Ridley to be playable in some shape or form.
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Melee, Ridley makes a brief appearance in the opening cutscene. In a homage to Super Metroid, he is shown breaking through a wall and confronting Samus in a corridor, with the capsule containing the Metroid Hatchling in his talons. He also has a trophy in the game.
"The head of the Space Pirates on Zebes, Ridley soars through space on wicked wings. Ridley may look like a mindless monster, but he's actually quite intelligent. After the SR-388 incident, where Samus captured the infant Metroid, Ridley took the Space Academy by storm, annihilating the complex and taking the Metroid back."
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Ridley appears as a member of the Subspace Army and a boss during the Subspace Emissary, fighting Samus and Pikachu at the end of the second Research Facility level. In the cutscene prior to the battle, Ridley ambushes and grabs Samus, flying upward and scraping her along the walls. Pikachu breaks Samus free from Ridley's grasp using Thunder. In the first battle, Ridley has higher health and uses moves ranging from claw swipes to a move similar to Rayquaza's Extremespeed to a tail swipe across the entire stage. The tail swipe can do major damage (The move can do around 70% damage if the other person is at 0% damage) on harder difficulties and the extreme speed move is a main killing move. He flies from one side to the other and is similar in style to Master Hand in the way of how it attacks and then pauses.
Ridley later attacks Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon, Captain Olimar, Samus, Pikachu, and R.O.B. as they are all escaping on the Falcon Flyer. In this fight, he is in his "Meta Ridley" form from Metroid Prime as he pursues. His attacks include firing missiles and energy beams from his mouth, diving at the player, and pounding on the Falcon Flyer in an attempt to send the player off-screen. During this fight, the player has only two minutes to defeat Meta Ridley.
Ridley is later resurrected by Tabuu, the main villain of the game, to fight the player in The Great Maze (oddly, Ridley and Meta Ridley are both resurrected as separate beings).
Hacking has uncovered data of Ridley as an Assist Trophy. This was likely scrapped in favor of making him a boss.
Despite being non-canon, it should be noted that his ambush of Samus was later reused as one of the Ridley clone's attacks during his boss fight in Metroid: Other M, and to a certain extent one of Proteus Ridley's moves in Samus Returns. Coincidentally, the latter game also featured a similar save by a creature Samus befriended via its natural abilities (in that case, the baby draining Ridley).
"The leader of the Space Pirates. He looks like a pterosaur but has high intelligence and a brutal nature. He plans to steal the baby Metroid from Samus for his own use. Ridley utilizes wings for a full range of flight and attacks with fireballs from his mouth and whips of his tail. As the culprit behind the murder of Samus's parents, the connections with Samus run deep."
Meta Ridley: '"The meta form of Ridley, revived using the Space Pirates' genetic engineering and cybernetic technologies. His thin chest plate--and weak point--is protected by a highly resistant membrane. Meta Ridley is highly mobile and features a multimissile system, a bomb launcher, and powerful wings. Ice attacks are particularly effective in dealing damage to him.
Metroid Prime (2002)
- Ridley - Metroid [Darkness] Attack +30 (Ganondorf)
- Ridley - Metroid: Zero Mission [Arm] Attack +25 (All)
Unusually, Ridley does not appear in any capacity in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, not even as a trophy. He does, however, appear as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Aside from this, he also has trophies in the latter game dedicated to his Little Birdie and Mystery Creature forms.
It was implied by Masahiro Sakurai that an enemy of Samus's would appear on the Pyrosphere stage. The April 2014 Nintendo Direct featured Ridley's shadow, which suggested that he is to appear as a stage hazard on the Geothermal Power Plant similar to Dead or Alive: Dimensions. This was confirmed as true on October 23, when a "50 Must See Things" video was released showing Ridley. Ridley is an AI character that can be "recruited" by a fighter if enough damage is dealt by that fighter, though it is also possible to KO Ridley (even if he is working with the fighter that KOs him), and he will count as a KO in the final match results. The head icon used for Ridley in these results is taken from his Brawl artwork. Ridley spawns FG II-Graham units, Joulions and Zero. Ridley can consume energy from the purple pods on either side of the main stage platform, if enough damage is dealt, to become "Meta Ridley" (which is merely Ridley flashing and with more powerful attacks, and not his cybernetically enhanced form from the Prime series). Dummied data for the game indicated that Ridley, aside from acting as a pseudo-boss on the Geothermal Power Plant, was to also act as an Assist Trophy. Ironically, the first character to do so, Rathalos in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, was a dragon-like creature that also utilized some of Ridley's moves.
A battle with Ridley and "Dark Samus" (Samus's alternate costume with her color scheme) is simulated in the Event Match Galactic Avenger, which involves Samus killing the two on Pyrosphere to "avenge [her] parents".
"Samus's long-standing rival in battle. In this game, he's a common foe to all the fighters in the Pyrosphere stage. However, if you manage to launch him or knock him over, he'll become an ally to whoever dealt the last blow. Defeating him in a timed battle nets you +1 KO."
On June 12, 2018, Ridley was confirmed at the end of the Nintendo Direct as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, after years of fan requests. This will be the first time Ridley has had a playable appearance in any video game, and shares this distinction with fellow Metroid antagonist Dark Samus, as well as Palutena, the Duck Hunt dog, the Wii Fit Trainer and Piranha Plant. He appears in a CG-animated trailer where he ambushes Samus, Mario and Mega Man; Ridley seemingly kills the latter two by crushing Mario's head in his grip and stabbing his tail through Mega Man's torso. As he confronts Samus, he mockingly twirls Mario's hat on his finger. On a related note, this also acts as the first game to fully show his more sadistic and intelligent nature, something that was only indicated in the Magazine Z manga and other supplemental materials. His victory theme is a dark remix of the Item Acquisition Fanfare.
His design in this game was largely derived from his sprite in Super Metroid, with elements of his clone's appearance in Other M. According to Sakurai, he also takes design cues from his appearance in the NES/FDS version of Metroid, specifically how he always appears hunched over even when flying. He is significantly smaller in size than in previous Smash games, where his hunching stance is only slightly taller than Samus, akin to his appearance in Metroid. His Meta Ridley appearance is available as an alternate costume, while his other costumes appear to reference his Super Metroid artwork, Neo Ridley sprite, Zero Mission artwork, Metroid sprite, his Golden Statue sprite, and Ridley Robot sprite.
When Kirby inhales Ridley, he copies his fireball move and wears a hat modeled after Ridley's head.
Ridley's splash art features the tag line "Ridley Hits the Big Time!", which is more than likely a reference to the debate over his size.
His battle entrance is him flying down and landing while roaring before turning around. Likewise, he has three victory poses: One has him in the middle of pummeling someone (presumably his downed opponent) only to turn around with a smirk appearing. Another has him flying around and roaring, while the third has him swooping down and skidding to a halt before turning around in a dramatic manner.
An amiibo of Ridley will be released alongside the game on December 7.
- Neutral - Ridley spits out a fireball similar to Mario's. The move can be charged, which will make Ridley spit out multiple fireballs simultaneously. However, if Ridley is attacked while charging a fireball, it will backfire onto him and damage him. The attack deals about 4.4% damage per fireball, with the backfire causing about 24% damage to Ridley.
- Up - Ridley blasts upward. The move can be angled to fly in any other forward direction. It resembles the recovery move shared by Fox, Falco and Wolf.
- Side - Ridley grabs and drags his target across the ground before throwing them. This can also be initiated in midair to drag an opponent to the ground, or throw them into the blast zone. It resembles the attack he uses on Samus in his Subspace Emissary introduction cutscene. Additionally, Ridley can jump directly out of the throwing animation. The attack deals approximately 29% damage.
- Down - Ridley stabs with his tail. The attack takes a long time to start up, but hits some distance away. If he hits with the base of his tail, the attack deals only 5.5% damage, but if it hits with the sweet spot at the center of his tail's tip, the target will be impaled, taking 50.4% + 8.9% damage.
- Final Smash - Ridley headbutts an opponent onto the side of Samus's Gunship, initiating a cutscene. As the Gunship flies off, Ridley shoots it down with an oral laser that engulfs both the ship and the target in an explosion. The Gunship can be seen crashing in the background of the stage afterwards. It deals approximately 40% damage.
- Nintendo Versus
- "The Space Pirate Ridley joins Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from the Metroid series! He uses his long tail and sharp claws to strike down his foes. For his Final Smash, he unleashes a stream of fiery plasma at his opponent and Samus's starship."
- Nintendo of Europe
- "Good news: Super #SmashBros Collection #amiibo figures for new fighters Inkling and Ridley are on their way! #NintendoE3" 
Super Smash Blog
"Joining the battle from the storied Metroid series, Ridley's long tail and sharp claws let him unleash a torrent of devastating attacks. His Final Smash is a powerful stream of plasma breath intense enough to bring down Samus's starship."
Interview with Masahiro Sakurai
From the Nintendo Switch News Channel.
Can you tell us any specific details about the new fighters? Any tips for making the best use of their different playstyles?
Sakurai: "I think both Inkling and Ridley, each for their own unique reasons, are very different in a 1-on-1 match and in a 4-player match. [...]
Ridley has a down special that deals massive damage in one hit, provide you hit them with the sweet spot, but this is actually pretty hard to hit in a 1-on-1 match. But in a 4-player match, it sometimes just works. Ridley is shaping up to be a character where the action you take based on the situation around you becomes an important factor. I think it’s fine to decide what a character’s forte is, or what kind of strategy to use with them based on your fighting style or likes and dislikes. But I feel that to have characters that are completely different not only by themselves, but also depending on the number of opponents they are facing, is deep."
The Smash characters are known for having unique taunt animations. I’ve always wondered, how are these decided upon. Do you have a favorite one?
"Well… it’s sort of whatever I feel like. (Laughs) [...]
As for a favorite taunt, I like all of them, so I can’t really say, but I do like Ridley’s down taunt. When you use it, Ridley, for some reason, stands up straight, so you can actually see how tall he really is. He’s pretty big. He’s about four metres tall."
Well, he is a commander of the Space Pirates…
"And I have no idea why. He doesn’t look like the.. intellectual type. (laughs)"
The last statement from Sakurai is an error, as Ridley's intelligence has been demonstrated in the Metroid games (and acknowledged in his Melee trophy description).
- Ridley has appeared in all but four Metroid games. These are Metroid II: Return of Samus, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Metroid Prime Hunters and Metroid Prime: Federation Force. His absence in the latter was due to the plotline not focusing on Samus this time around, but two Paint Jobs based on him can be unlocked in the Campaign and Blast Ball. While not present in Metroid II, Ridley is the surprise final boss of its remake, Metroid: Samus Returns. In addition, despite his absence in Metroid Prime Hunters itself as well as its demo, his Meta Ridley theme is present in the latter.
- Ridley's name is likely derived from Ridley Scott, the director of the first film of the Alien film series, from which Metroid games are stated to have taken a lot of inspiration. His first appearance in Metroid also resembles to the Alien creatures from the same series. Throughout the series, Ridley's tail resembles that of the Alien creatures.
- His similarities to the Xenomorphs in terms of physical appearance is further highlighted with his design in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and is even given a nod in the trailer A Piercing Screech, which had him taking out Mario and Mega Man in a similar manner to the Xenomorphs.
- The name "Ridley" is an English name which means "Reed clearing; cleared land; barren land", which is very fitting to Ridley's bloodthirsty and sadistic personality due to his various raids, such as at K-2L, resulting in most of the inhabitants being wiped out.
- In every 2-D game he is involved in, Ridley's fireballs have an uncanny resemblance to Mario's 2-D fireballs. Whether or not this similarity is intentional is unknown.
- Ridley's fireballs are invulnerable in most games, the exceptions being Corruption and Zero Mission.
- Ridley appears on the Super Metroid Stare-E-O Poster.
- Ridley, Mother Brain, the Omega Metroid in Fusion and Dark Samus share the distinction of having canonically bested Samus in an in-game battle. In Ridley's case, he manages to do this twice. The first chronological instance occurs in the final battle of Metroid: Samus Returns, where he pins Samus to the ground with his claw and effectively renders her helpless until the baby's intervention. The second instance is in Super Metroid's intro where Ridley successfully accomplishes his mission of stealing the baby regardless of Samus' efforts, although the exact results vary depending on whether Ridley beats the player first or vice versa.
- Worthy to note are two additional events in the games outside of boss battles where Ridley would have turned out victorious against Samus, if not for circumstances. Chronologically, the first instance is after their last battle on Norion, where despite Ridley being defeated, Samus would have perished with the fall he caused were it not for Rundas rescuing her. Finally, Ridley's clone would have likely killed Samus before the actual boss battle if Anthony had not distracted him.
- In the case of Super Metroid, Ridley's defeat of Samus is the only one of the above examples that was completely optional (as the player can technically still defeat Ridley in the first battle, though the only difference is that Ridley briefly "drops" the baby before retrieving it), as the other examples were either mandatory gameplay (Mother Brain in the same game, and the Omega Metroid in Metroid Fusion) or otherwise occurred in cutscenes (Proteus Ridley in Samus Returns and Dark Samus in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption).
- Ridley is shown to be capable of bipedalism throughout most of his appearances in the series.
- In all of his sprite-based appearances, his wings are curiously smaller than his body size, logically making them unlikely to even lift Ridley off the ground, and yet he soars through the air with ease. This was likely an intentional design choice to prevent him from taking up most of the screen in his in-game fights. His 3-D appearances and manga rectify this by giving him wings that exceed the size of his main body.
- In the Pirate Command sector of the Pirate Homeworld, images of Ridley can be found on the glowing orange monitors. Rooms with these monitors include Command Courtyard and Command Station.
- Samus has kept a tendency in most games to shoot Ridley directly inside his mouth and throat, either during cutscenes or in-game battles.
- Ridley's signature music theme was originally used as a generic boss fight background music in Super Metroid (also being used for the Torizo, Golden Torizo and Draygon fights), but in later games, it has been associated solely with Ridley. Although there have been variations of Ridley's theme in each game (different tempo, extra beats, etc.), the music's rhythm and sound are consistent and used for every incarnation except for his very first boss fight in the original Metroid. The theme has also been used during the countdown sequences of Super Metroid, Fusion and Other M, with the first one having alarm blaring being heard in the background for this reason.
- Meta Ridley can be seen on Nintendo Monopoly representing Tennessee Avenue for $180, though the property is simply referred to as "Ridley". It features a claw-like appendage at the tip of his tail instead of the usual spear-tip, and his wings are attached below his arms akin to a bat.
- There is concept art for a "Dark Ridley" that was to appear in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, but was ultimately left unused. The presence of the word "Dark" implies he would have become a Darkling after being possessed by an Ing.
- Metroid: Other M is the only game where Ridley's upper jaw is not longer than the lower one, and is also the only game where it points upwards, not down.
- Ridley apparently does not seem to need oxygen to live. Metroid Prime clearly portrayed him flying out into space without any gear as he escapes the Orpheon, though this may be due to his cybernetics. Additionally, the Super Metroid comic features him exiting out into space and his Super Smash Bros. Melee trophy states that he flies through space with his wings; however, these sources are considered non-canon.
- There is no explanation on how he is able to fly in an environment which does not contain air or gas, a necessary medium for any creature with wings to take flight; he is nevertheless seen flapping his wings. Meta Ridley's wings appear to be energy-based, which may hold some significance.
- The Ridley clone's blood is green, as shown in Other M. This is a common trope for alien creatures in science fiction environments. However, Ridley's blood is shown to be red in Corruption during the boss battle on Norion before he falls down the shaft.
- Coincidentally, some reptiles in real life also have green blood.
- Despite being shown to be a male through the logbook scans in Metroid Prime, Retro Studios designer Mike Sneath refers to Ridley as a female (which was presumably due to the animation of the Meson Bomb Launcher attack making it look as though Meta Ridley was laying eggs). In the original Metroid manual, Ridley is referred to as an "it".
- Similarly, even though Ridley was canonically a male, an April Fool's Day cover for the magazine Game Informer that jokingly claimed that Team Ninja would work on the next Metroid game depicted Ridley wearing a two-piece bikini reserved for females (which had itself been a reference to Team Ninja's Dead or Alive Xtreme series).
- Other M reveals that Ridley's vision is tinted green, possibly as a result of nictitating membranes that cover and protect his eyes.
- Ridley had at least three different vocalizations throughout his appearances. In Super Metroid, his vocalizations were directly taken from the roars of the character Anguirus from the Godzilla series of films . In Metroid Fusion and Metroid: Zero Mission, Ridley (or in the case of Fusion, Neo Ridley) gave shrieks similar to a parrot (these vocalizations are notorious for their loud volume). In his 3D appearances as well as Metroid: Samus Returns, he is given a more bestial roar. In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he had bestial roars that were also given a slight alien filter.
- An unused Fake Ridley, similar to Mini-Kraid, exists in the data for Metroid.
- Based on previous games, Ridley could very well be the smallest of the Space Pirate generals at a confirmed height of four meters, as Phantoon is massive in Other M, Kraid is quite large in Super Metroid and Zero Mission, Draygon is slightly taller, and Mother Brain's main body in Super Metroid significantly adds to her height.
- His animated reveal trailer in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the first time since Ridley's role in the Metroid manga where Ridley has displayed a sense of humor, playfully twirling the hat of a defeated Mario when revealing himself to Samus with something of an inhuman grin.
- The way Ridley twirls Mario's hat in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate reveal trailer bears a striking resemblance to Mario in the beginning of the reveal trailer of Super Mario Odyssey.
- Ridley's pose when entering and later using his Final Smash resembles his pose in the box art for Super Metroid.
- Technically, Ridley's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the first time to have him use the wave fireball technique since the original Metroid, as well as the first time since the same game to have him be roughly the same height as Samus.
- Ridley's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate stock artwork features him making a similar pose to Bowser's stock artwork from Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U. Coincidentally, the name "Ridley" also refers to several species of sea turtle.
- Famiken Ryu: Metroid and Super Xevious - The Riddle of Gamp
- Super Metroid
- Metroid (Magazine Z manga)
- Metroid: Zero Mission
- Samus & Joey: Volume 1
- Metroid EX
- Metroid Prime 2: Echoes Bonus Disc
- Metroid Prime Pinball
- Metroid Prime 3: Corruption
- New Play Control! Metroid Prime
- Metroid Prime Trilogy
- Money Changes Everything (Mentioned)
- When Friends Fall Out (Flashback)
- Game Boy
- Super Nostalgic Entertainment System
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl
- Dead or Alive: Dimensions
- Nintendo Land
- NES Remix 2
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
For concept art, see Ridley/Gallery.
- ^ Q&A: Is Ridley from Metroid Really Native to Zebes? « Legends of Localization. Mato Tree (2014). Retrieved on 2014-04-04.
- ^ Metroid: Volume 2, Chapter 8, Page 10. Metroid Database (2002). Retrieved on 2013-10-03.
- ^ http://www.metroid-database.com/old_site/?g=features&p=faq3#stage03
- ^ http://web.archive.org/web/20061107182538/www.smashbros.com/jp/toukou/index.html
- ^ http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/ridley-is-too-big
- ^ https://www.eventhubs.com/news/2018/jul/23/masahiro-sakurai-designed-ridley-super-smash-bros-ultimate-based-his-appearance-original-metroid-nes/
- ^ https://twitter.com/MrBaconJam/status/1009851174743355392
- ^ Nintendo Versus (NintendoVS). 14 Jun 2018 4:10 p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoVS/status/1007339453658980353
- ^ Nintendo of Europe (NintendoEurope). 12 Jun 2018 2:29p.m. Tweet. https://twitter.com/NintendoEurope/status/1006589257157234688
- ^ https://nintendoeverything.com/sakurai-on-smash-bros-ultimate-tempo-items-changes-and-additions-choosing-taunts-much-more/
- ^ https://nintendoeverything.com/sakurai-on-smash-bros-ultimate-tempo-items-changes-and-additions-choosing-taunts-much-more/2/
- ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-07-01-metroid-prime-federation-force-dev-explains-decision-to-not-focus-on-samus
- ^ https://www.thenamemeaning.com/ridley/
|Metroid series||Ridley • Mother Brain • Queen Metroid • MB • James Pierce • SA-X|
|Metroid Prime series||Metroid Prime • Gorea • Emperor Ing • Dark Samus • Doomseye|
|Spinoff/Other Media||True Chozo • Dragüd • Amok Mommy • Dominion • Greed • Mad AI|
|Hybrids||Asborean • Chozo Statue • Darkling • Dark Samus • Dark Suit • Light Suit • PED Suit • Samus Aran • Unnamed Suit|
|Biomechanical||Aurora Unit • Security Robot B.O.X. • Cortex Chamber • Dark Diligence Drone • Dark Ingsmasher • Dark Quad • Fusion Suit • Mother Brain • Nightmare • Quadraxis • SA-X • Space Pirate Boarding Pod|
|Cyborgs|| Crash Pillar • Cyborg Zebesian (Super) • Ghor (-G) • Kyratian • Leviathan Battleship • Pirate Militia • Preed (Dark) • Puffer Mine • Ridley (Meta/Omega) • Samus Aran • Slench • Space Pirate • Weavel • Zebesian |
Large Leviathan-class armed ship • U-ton
|Carnivores|| Phazon tendril • Ridley • Vorash • Yapping Maw|
Plants: Bloodflower • Dark Phlogus • Samus Eater • Shrieker • Sporb • Tangle Vine • Tangle Weed • Venom Weed • Zazabi
|Detritivores||Grizby • Phazon Leech • Parasite (Plated/Ice/Queen) • Sbug|
|Insectivores||Bryyonian Shriekbat • Flickerbat • Gel Ray • Glowing spidervine • Ice Shriekbat|
|Omnivores||Green Kralee • Human • Ice Parasite • Little birdie • Space Pirate|