Ridley was a clone of the Space Pirate of the same name. He was inadvertently created by the ringleaders on the BOTTLE SHIP during their bioweapon breeding program. This clone was seemingly feral in comparison to his template, but still displayed a high level of intelligence at times.
Though the original Ridley's remains were incinerated in the destruction of planet Zebes in Super Metroid, some of his DNA still remained on the Power Suit of Samus Aran, along with that of other creatures she had defeated on the planet. After her mission, a faction of Galactic Federation scientists secretly obtained this DNA and used it in their illegal project to breed various life forms for use as bioweapons, including an army of cyborg Zebesians under their control. However, Ridley's juvenile form was unrecognizable from his mature form, so the researchers were confused by the white, fuzzy creature they inadvertently created. Dubbing the small creature "Little Birdie", they chose to keep him as a pet, believing he lacked potential as a bioweapon. At some point prior to the arrival of the 07th Platoon and Samus on the BOTTLE SHIP, the cloned Ridley tricked a Lab Worker into releasing him from his cage by playing dead; once the cage was open, the immature clone mauled the worker and escaped.
Samus Aran first encountered "Little Birdie" after she left the Breeding Room in the Biosphere, watching him as he tried to get on top of a fruit. He scurried off after noticing Samus' gaze, but as she turned to walk away, he emerged from the brush once more, staring at her.
Later, a piercing howl was heard in the Kihunter nest, sending the surrounding Zeros into a frenzy and enraging a swarm of Kihunters into protecting them and attacking Samus. After she destroyed the hive, "Little Birdie" appeared and began gorging himself on the honey from the broken nest while roaring at Samus as she walked by. The hunter was disgusted by his gluttony and how he used other creatures' strength to his advantage.
The Mystery Creature
At some unknown point after Samus departed, "Little Birdie" entered the Biosphere Test Area, where he shed his fuzzy juvenile form and developed into a much stronger adolescent form. When the rest of the 07th Platoon later investigated the area, the adolescent clone attacked the troopers, then ambushed and pinned down Samus when she rushed in to help the soldiers. The soldiers tried to give backup, but were distracted by swarms of enemies the creature summoned, including Reos and Griptians. Samus attacked the lizard's tail as it attempted to strike her head, holding it off until Anthony Higgs wounded the creature with a burst from his Plasma Gun at the creature. Anthony attempted to fire again, but it escaped by crashing through a wall which was disguised by the holographic scenery. Soon after, the 07th Platoon found Lyle Smithsonian's mutilated body, and Samus found a trail of green blood leading to the discarded husk of "Little Birdie".
Samus was given orders to chase the monster, but found only a trail of blood. Adam instructed Samus to follow the creature to Sector 3, the Pyrosphere, though she was soon redirected to hunt for BOTTLE SHIP survivors in the Cryosphere instead. During her search of the arctic area, the beast's cries caused the other creatures to become extremely aggressive.
On a later journey to the Pyrosphere, Samus discovered the creature's remains as an empty husk stuck to a wall above a door, its back ripped open from the inside.
Samus continued through the darkened room, anticipating a fight with the beast's next form. She then met up with Anthony again, who was trying to fight an unseen flying creature. After the magma flow in the chamber was reactivated, the glow revealed to Samus' horror that the creature had been a clone of Ridley all along. The shock caused Samus to relapse into a PTSD-induced panic attack, allowing the duplicate Ridley to attack her with ease. Anthony attempted to lure the monster away from Samus, but got knocked off the edge of the platform for his trouble. However, the distraction gave Samus enough time to regain her composure, and she promptly fought and defeated her reborn nemesis. The wounded clone collapsed to the ground, but reawakened long enough to flee, hurling himself through a nearby wall and escaping to the Bioweapon Research Center to lick his wounds.
Shortly before killing himself and the Metroids in Sector Zero, Adam told Samus to destroy the Ridley clone, stating that he was "as much of a threat as the Metroids". However, this final confrontation never came to pass, for the wounded monster soon found himself at the mercy of a cloned Queen Metroid. Too weak to fight back or escape, Ridley was a sitting duck for the Queen; by the time Samus investigated the area, all she found in a desolate room was the duplicate Ridley's grey, drained husk, jaws frozen in a silent shriek.
After the destruction of MB, the cloned Ridley's corpse was retrieved by members of the Galactic Federation, who transferred it to Sub-Zero Containment on the Main Deck of the Biologic Space Laboratories research station. After the station was overwhelmed by an outbreak of X Parasites, Samus would encounter this ice-encrusted husk once more, locked behind a barrier. When Samus was forced to pass through the area that the clone's remains were located at due to a blackout in the station, the cadaver briefly opened its eyes menacingly before ultimately collapsing into a heap as the Core-X that infected it left the cadaver. Sometime later during her mission, the Core-X which infested the cadaver would use Ridley's DNA to create an X-mimic of him in the Tourian-based area of Sector 1.
Characteristics and traits
The Zebesian Space Pirates kept within the BOTTLE SHIP for the bioweapons project were purely feral, and lacked the intelligence of the sentient and organized Pirates seen in Samus' prior missions. Ridley's clone, on the other hand, retained at least some of his template's intelligence which, as described above, allowed him to manipulate certain events to his benefit.
It remains unclear whether he retained the original Ridley's memories; while it is unlikely, the clone appeared to take a special interest in Samus. However, this may have been because he perceived her as the greatest threat among Adam's squadron, especially after he witnessed Samus' victory in the Kihunter nest. The trophy for the Mystery Creature in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U implies that he at the very least retained the genetic memories of the original Ridley's killing of Samus's parents, and this was what ultimately drove him to try and antagonize Samus throughout their encounters on the Bottle Ship. Whichever the case, his malevolent and sadistic personality was evident, along with basic tactics and leadership which seemingly stemmed from an instinctual level. Despite being drained by the Queen Metroid clone, he seemed to at least retain some vitality before infection by the Core-X ended him, as he was seen opening his eyes just prior to the Core X emerged from the cadaver.
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 (reminiscent of his battle in Metroid: Zero Mission). This entire attack sequence can be avoided if Samus dodges 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, transforming into a form called Black Ridley: 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.
One of the Ending Rewards for Metroid Dread is artwork depicting Samus facing off against Ridley's clone, representing the scene from Metroid: Other M.
Dead or Alive: Dimensions
In this game made by Team Ninja as part of another collaboration with Nintendo, the Geothermal Power Plant has been made into an arena, with the clone of Ridley serving as a stage hazard. The Metroid: Other M variant of his battle theme, Nemesis Ridley, is the stage song. Ridley destroys part of the Power Plant platform with his fireballs before the match. He will join the fight at certain points to unleash more fireballs at the combatants. If a combatant is thrown over the edge, then it is an instant KO as Ridley will scrape them against the wall much like in Other M, before killing them with a fireball. At the end, Samus, in Morph Ball form, also makes an appearance, killing Ridley with a Power Bomb.
In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Ridley's design is based upon his appearance in Other M. While he is not explicitly referred to as Ridley's clone, his in-game role and the heavy influence of Other M on the game's Metroid content strongly suggest that he is primarily based upon Ridley's clone, rather than the original Ridley.
It was implied by Masahiro Sakurai that a Metroid enemy would appear on the Pyrosphere stage. The April 2014 Nintendo Direct featured Ridley's shadow, which suggested that he would appear as a stage hazard on the Geothermal Power Plant similar to Dead or Alive: Dimensions. This was confirmed on October 23, when a "50-Fact Extravaganza" 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. If enough damage is dealt, Ridley can consume energy from the purple pods on either side of the main stage platform to transform into his Black Ridley form, as seen in Other M.
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."
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Tips
- "If Ridley is knocked down, he'll help out whoever defeated him! However, he can still be attacked while battling for a fighter."
- "You won't get a free stock for beating Ridley in a stock battle, but you will get a KO for beating him in a timed one!"
- In Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, the KO head icon used for Ridley in the final match results is taken from his Brawl artwork, which was instead based on his design from Super Metroid.
- Ridley's clone is mentioned in Ridley's Palutena's Guidance conversation in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
- While this is the first known clone of Ridley, it is not the first copy of Ridley to appear in the Metroid series, with Mecha Ridley being a robot built in his likeness and Neo-Ridley being an X Parasite that absorbed his DNA.