Several subspecies of Ripper exist, along with an ambiguously related species known as Tripper.
Physiology and characteristics
At quick glance, a Ripper appears visually akin to a brown, smooth-shelled turtle, but a closer inspection will reveal three pairs of segmented legs on its sides, confirming the animal as insect-like. On its rear is a short tail and, in later designs, the head is partially enclosed by three horn-like protuberances which result in the Ripper's face being shrouded in shadow apart from its glowing eyes.
One of the two most notable qualities of Rippers is their ability to perpetually fly, albeit very slowly, in a strictly horizontal and straight line. When they eventually touch a surface, they will turn the opposite way and move straight ahead until they touch another surface, repeating a back-and-forth flight pattern without ever gaining or losing neither speed and vertical reach.
The Rippers' second quality is their invulnerability to the majority of Samus's arsenal despite the creatures' small bodies. Only a few select potent weapons can kill them, such as a Super Missile, the Speed Booster/Shinespark or the Screw Attack. However, the original Famicom/NES Metroid game features less durable, red colored Rippers alongside the common brown type, the former which require either 100 Beam shots or a mere single Missile to kill, while the latter are completely invulnerable. In the game's remake, Metroid: Zero Mission, purple Rippers replace the red type; they're as durable as brown Rippers, yet faster in movement. Super Metroid was initially going to feature two different colored Rippers, brown and green types, but the latter was removed in the final version of the game.
Because of their sluggish, unceasing flying movements and near-indestructability, they are infamously inconvenient when Samus moves through halls or shafts filled with Rippers, particularly when using her Wall Jump technique. If she possesses the Ice Beam, Rippers can be frozen and used as platforms to reach otherwise inaccessible areas. In Super Metroid, Samus can also use them as Grapple Points for her Grappling Beam to cross over hazards and, with enough momentum, she can throw herself high up into the air; the Rippers halt in midair each time they are linked to the Grappling Beam.
The most advanced form of Ripper. Jet-propelled with exhaust flames at their rears, Ripper IIs travel at speeds surpassing that of any Ripper. They also have more bulk and are more rectangular in shape. According to the 1986 manga/strategy guide, a Ripper can evolve into a Ripper II, though It is unknown if this remains canon. The Tripper seems to be a variant of the Ripper II.
A rare and unique Ripper, seen only during a boss fight in Metroid: Zero Mission. The Winged Ripper's defining characteristic are its pair of small insect wings which allow it to travel at varying altitudes, rather than the usual back-and-forth patrol. It is the most durable variation of Ripper; the only way to kill it is by making the boss fall on top of it.
Prior to the events of Metroid Fusion, Rippers were captured by Galactic Federation scientists and brought on-board the BSL Station for research, but due to the X Parasite outbreak, these Rippers were all infected and mimicked by the X. Contrary to most other lifeforms on the station, the X did not alter the DNA of the Rippers to give them new abilities, different behavior or any physiological changes except for a slight increase in size. Thus, X-infected Rippers are all brown and float horizontally back and forth, making them perfect imitations.
Rippers do not appear in the final version of Metroid Prime, although a redesigned version of the creature exists in Concept Gallery art, along with unused scan images and an unused 3D model in the game's data. The artwork also appears on page 39 of Metroid Prime and Metroid Fusion: Prima's Official Strategy Guide and on page 119 of the Metroid Prime Official Strategy Guide by BradyGames.
The unused Ripper is drastically different from its 2D counterpart, having a more alien-look to it. It has a sort of "hook" at the bottom, which was intended to serve as a Grapple Point for Samus. A funnel is also featured on the rear end of the creature, likely where the plasma propelling the creature was to be exhausted. The Glider creature encountered in-game replaced the Ripper in its role as a mobile Grapple Point when Retro Studios decided to make the game's creatures more original (including changing Magdollites to Magmoors and Metarees into Shriekbats). However, because the Ripper was never removed from the Glider's ANCS file, it can easily be implemented back into the game by changing the Glider's object property.
Additionally, page 119 of BradyGames' Metroid Prime Official Strategy Guide depicts a blue creature similar to a Ripper not known to be featured anywhere else.
"These strange creatures do not have brains. They simply fly around sluggishly in straight lines."
"These slow creatures don't attack but fly aimlessly in straight lines. It is wiser to run away from them than to try fighting them."
"Beams bounce off this organism's hard shell. It moves horizontally left and right. It is possible to destroy the red Rippers with Missiles."
"These creatures fly slowly and don’t attack. It is wiser to avoid them."
Super Metroid manual
"The armor of these flying creatures is so strong that standard beams cannot beat them."
|Color||HP||ATK||E||BE||M||SM||PB||Crateria/Brinstar. These enemies can be frozen to use as steps in long shafts.|
"Can't be killed but can be frozen with the ice beam and then used as stepping stones."
Metroid: Zero Mission manual
"For the most part, these organisms just slowly fly through the air in straight lines. They are impervious to most attacks."
"SPECIMEN ID# SR-478 "Exterior armor plating makes this specimen a hearty foe. Keen vision suggests a preference for deep, cavernous areas - probably to hunt for food. DANGER LEVEL: LOW."
- "Armor plate"
- "Light-sensitive retinas"
- "Powerful legs"
- An unused Block in Super Metroid portrays half of a Ripper and does not allow enemies or shots to pass. Only Samus and the Wave Beam. It is not revealed when using the X-Ray Scope.
- The unused green Ripper seen in beta footage of Super Metroid was exclusively featured inside the room of the miniboss, Spore Spawn. The Ripper was flying at a sufficiently low altitude that would have required Samus to either crouch under the creature or jump over it whenever it came close. This, alongside the miniboss' massive swaying body and the continuously falling spores, would have increased the overall difficulty of the battle.
- If the green Ripper was kept in the final version of Super Metroid, the battle with Spore Spawn would share yet another trait with the ensnared Kiru Giru miniboss: not only do they currently share similar music themes (Mini Boss Confrontation BGM (Spore Spawn, Botwoon) and Vs. Kiru Giru, respectively), hazardous spores, and the premise of the minibosses connected to ceilings, but they each would have also possessed a unique type of Ripper within their rooms (a Winged Ripper in the case of the trapped Kiru Giru).
- Two Rippers are found as brittle husks in one room within Tourian in Super Metroid. They were most likely killed by the Big Metroid, which is found in that room.
- Rippers feature prominently in the Catch Mode of Tetris DS in the background.
- A Galactic Federation Ripper specimen was dubbed SR-478. It is unknown whether the planet SR388, also sometimes written as the very-similar SR-388, is related to this specimen name.
- Metroid Fusion: The Official Nintendo Player's Guide refers to Rippers as "mindless, floating fiends".
|Food, Nourishment and Sustenance|
|Plants & Fungi||Blueroot Tree • Fruit • Red Starburst • Sap Sac • Saturnine • Tangle Vine Fruit|
|Species||Geruta • Embers • Kiru Giru • Pirate Militia • Reo • Ripper • Sciser • Scritter • Skree • Space Pirate • Tallon Crab • Torizo • X Parasite • Zoomer|
|Carrion||"Deceased Soldier" • Amok Mommy|
|Liquid||Lava • Phazon|
|Artificial/Misc.||Deca-triticale • Elite Nutrient Mix • Energy • Nutrient-grade biomatter • Synthetic Metroid rations • Wrecked Ship|