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Ridley, also known by the identifier Geoform 187, is a high-ranking Space Pirate, the arch-nemesis of Samus Aran, and a major antagonist in the Metroid series, appearing in nearly every mainline game with the exception of Metroid II: Return of Samus and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. He is a large, imposing space dragon-like creature, with wings, a spiked tail, and is capable of breathing plasma. He is ruthless and bloodthirsty, and revels in death and destruction. He led a raid on the space colony K-2L, and is directly responsible for the death of Samus' parents, and incidentally the start of their eternal rivalry.
Despite appearing as a mindless killing monster, Ridley is actually quite intelligent, and according to the Magazine Z manga, is capable of full human speech. He serves as a general for the Space Pirates, either by rising the ranks or taking the title by force. He has encountered and battled Samus numerous times throughout the series, with Samus always emerging victorious. Despite him seemingly dying after every encounter, Ridley continues to appear in subsequent games, through regeneration or otherwise. In most games, he serves as the penultimate or ante-penultimate boss.
In addition to his recurring appearances in the Metroid series, Ridley has also been present in every game in the Super Smash Bros. series (with the exception of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS), even appearing as a boss fight in Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It wasn't until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate where he was included as a playable fighter alongside fellow Metroid series newcomer Dark Samus.
The Magazine Z manga of the Metroid series details the events from Samus' childhood up until Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission. Ridley is first seen leading an armada of Space Pirates to raid the space colony K-2L for the planet's Afloraltite, a crystal used as fuel for a space ship, though he allowed his soldiers to destroy anything and anyone they wanted.
During the raid, he met three-year-old Samus Aran, who asked him to be her friend. Feeling pity towards her, Ridley decided to kill her quickly with a stab of his tail; before he could hit her however, Samus' mother pushed her daughter out of the way and took the blow instead, implaling her and killing her instantly. Meanwhile, Samus' father managed to destroy the supplies the Space Pirates were after, but was killed in the resulting explosion.
Ridley was injured after the raid, but was able to heal by eating the deceased humans to regenerate his cells. Little did he know, however, that this raid would shape his eternal rivalry with Samus.
Metroid / Metroid: Zero MissionRidley made his video game debut in Metroid, appearing as one of the game's bosses alongside Kraid and Mother Brain. In this game, he and the other Space Pirates form a base on Planet Zebes, and began breeding a species of parasitic creatures called Metroids. Samus was assigned to travel to Planet Zebes and defeat the Space Pirates and the Metroids.
Metroid: Zero Mission, a remake of the game, adds some depth to the storyline. The Space Pirates acquired the Metroids from a Galactic Federation vessel known as the Space Research Vessel Marina, which was returning from the planet SR388 to the Galactic Federation's headquarters with the newly-discovered species. Throughout the game, he is seen patrolling the planet on his personal ship, the Space Pirate Mothership, until he hears a distress signal from Planet Zebes when fellow general Kraid was defeated. Ridley returned just in time to encounter Samus, who defeats him.In both games, Ridley is battled in his own lair, under Norfair, and needs to be defeated along with Kraid to access Tourian and defeat Mother Brain. In Metroid, his only attack consisted of spitting bouncing fireballs that damaged Samus, which would need to be dodged. He is also significantly smaller in this game compared to later appearances. Metroid: Zero Mission gives him a more complicated battle; he still spits fireballs, but can also fly around the arena and attack with his tail, making his boss fight much more akin to later appearances following the original.
Defeating him in Metroid will grant Samus 75 missiles, while defeating him in Metroid: Zero Mission gives her an Unknown Item, which she cannot use until later in the game.
Following his defeat in Metroid, Ridley was still alive, but fatally wounded. After the destruction of Tourian, he escaped with the other Space Pirates as the regrouped. During this time, it was ordered that Ridley be resurrected and enhanced in machinery, turning him into Meta Ridley.He first appears when Samus is exploring Frigate Orpheon following the escape of both Parasite Queens. Shocked to see her nemesis alive, he manages to escape to the nearby planet Talon IV, and Samus follows him. He warns the Space Pirates operating the Phazon mines on this planet that Samus is here, and after both faculties are destroyed and 12 Chozo Artifacts are collected to reach the Impact Crater, Meta Ridley is battled and defeated.
At the start of the battle, Meta Ridley will fly through the air and attack Smaus with homing missiles and his Kinetic Breath Laser, both of which will damage her. During the first phase, he avoids prolonged combat, preferring to keep a distance in the air. His sole weak spot is his chest, which must be shot when Meta Ridley is in close range. After being reduced to a quarter of his health, Meta Ridley's wings will burn off, forcing him to battle Samus directly. During this phase, he can breathe plasma, rush at Samus to tackle her, and stomp to create shockwaves. After being defeated, several Chozo Stature surrounding the area attack Meta Ridley's chest with lasers, causing him to fall down the Impact Crater and explode, presumably dying in the process.
Metroid Prime 3: CorruptionMeta Ridley returns in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, becoming loyal to Dark Samus thanks to her corruptive strain on Phazon. He is first seen being apart of the attack on the colony on Norion, damaging their defense systems to smash a Leviathan into the planet. Samus and the rest of the Bounty Hunters are given orders to reactivate the defense systems by putting the three generators around the colony back online. When Samus reactivates Generator C, Meta Ridley reveals himself and attacks, sending both of them falling down the generator shaft.
In this battle, Meta Ridley has three different phases. Initially, he is below Samus, falling down the shaft. Debris will fly at her as a result of his claws and wings scraping the walls, and he will fire beams of plasma at her to damage her. He will also grab Samus, and try to slash her with his claws and breathe plasma at her directly. These attacks can be cancelled by shooting glowing spots on his body before he attacks, which serves as weak points. The final phase has him flying above Samus, firing balls of plasma she must maneuver around. Since both Samus and Meta Ridley are falling down the shaft, he must be defeated before they hit they hit the bottom, approximately four minutes.After his defeat, Rundas rescues Samus and allows her to reactivate Generator C. Following this defeat, he survived and managed to arrive at the Pirate Homeworld, where he was exposed to the Leviathan's Phazon Core. This increased his power to new levels and enhanced his attacks in Phazon, now becoming Omega Ridley. When Samus reaches the Leviathan on the Pirate Homeworld, she rematches Ridley in his new form, and must defeat him.
To attack Omega Ridley, Samus must stun him by shooting his mouth while it is orange and glowing. She can then use the Grapple Lasso to rip off his armor and fire at his exposed heart before the armor reseals itself. Alternatively, she can use the Grapple Voltage to drain Omega Ridley's health and replenish her own. He has several attacks, including breathing plasma, claw swipes, tackling Samus, creating shockwaves, launching bombs, and biting. After being defeated, he releases a cloud of Phazon as he vanishes into the Leviathan Core.
Metroid: Samus ReturnsWhile Ridley is absent in Metroid II: Return of Samus, Ridley does appear in the remake Metroid: Samus Returns as the final boss. After his defeat as Omega Ridley, he regenerates enough organic tissue to shed some of his cybernetic parts, becoming Proteus Ridley. In the game, Samus is sent to planet SR388 to render the Metroid species extinct after it is seen as too big of a threat. The Space Pirates find out about her mission, and they send Proteus Ridley to intervene. By the time he arrived however, Samus had already killed all but one baby Metroid. He appears just before they escape SR388 on Samus' space ship, and he and Samus battle.
In the battle's first phase, Proteus Ridley clutches the baby Metroid in his hand. He will attack Samus by shooting fireballs at her while flying around, as well as stabbing with his tail and slamming on the ground with his whole body. He can be harmed by beams shot at his exposed organic body, a consequence of his regeneration following Metroid Prime 3: Corruption. During the second phase, the baby Metroid escapes Proteus Ridley's grasp, and he uses additional attacks such as spitting beams of plasma and swiping his claws. During the third and final phase, Proteus Ridley will start attacking faster and deal more damage, but the baby Metroid can help by latching onto him and draining his energy. After he is defeated, he is left unconscious, prompting Samus to leave the planet with the baby Metroid. After the game's credits however, a Homoad is seen gnawing at his discarded metal claw, foreshadowing the events of Super Metroid.
Super MetroidAfter being defeated on SR388, Ridley regenerated all of his organic body, and shed all of his mechanical enhancements. After Samus leaves the baby Metroid at the Ceres Space Station for research, Ridley attacks the station and kills all the scientists. After receiving a distress signal, Samus returns to find Ridley, who escapes with the baby Metroid. Samus follows Ridley to Planet Zebes, where she must battle the Space Pirates again and reclaim the Metroid. He is encountered in lower Norfair, and is battled after Kraid, Phantoon, and Draygon have been defeated. His defeat also opens the path to Tourian, much like the first game.
Ridley attacks by flying around the arena and spitting fireballs, which deal heavy damage. He can also stab Samus with his tail and bounce around on it. Another attack involves him grabbing onto Samus with his feet and throwing her around. After being defeated, Samus can collect an Energy Tank. He is presumably defeated once and for all after this battle.
Metroid: Other M
In Metroid: Other M, Samus tracks down a Mystery Creature that molted from Little Birdie into the Geothermal Power Plant. Unbeknownst to her however, the Mystery Creature evolved into a clone of Ridley, who attacks her on sight.In his battle, Ridley uses many of the same attacks from his previous battles, such as plasma breath, claw swipes, and stabs with the tail. He can also attack by charging at Samus and grabbing her, grinding her along the walls of the Geothermal Power Plant and dealing heavy damage. He can also take to the air with his wings, and enter a form known as Black Ridley where he is immune to Samus' beam attacks for a short time. After his defeat, he is killed off-screen by a Metroid Queen, and his drained corpse is left to be found in the Bioweapon Research Chamber. However, a piece of Ridley latches onto Samus' power suit, seen at the end of the game.
Metroid FusionThe final chronological appearance for Ridley is in Metroid Fusion. In this game, the corpse of Ridley's clone in Metroid: Other M was transported to the Sub-Zero Containment in the BSL Station, where it is frozen. However, it is eventually infected by the X Parasite. Using the clone's DNA, the X Parasite transforms into an unnatural clone of Ridley known as Neo Ridley. This new Ridley has a slightly altered appearance from his original form, with a larger head, longer arms, and a blue body.
Neo Ridley's battle is similar to Ridley's battle in Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission, where he will attack by launching plasma at Samus and by stabbing his tail at her, as well as hopping around the ground with it. After being defeated, the clone is destroyed, presumably being the end of Ridley's legacy.
Super Smash Bros. BrawlRidley was originally planned to appear as an Assist Trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but instead he was made into a boss encountered during the Subspace Emissary.
Ridley is first seen in Research Facility II. While Samus and Pikachu are exploring the area, Ridley swoops in and grabs Samus, dragging her across the wall. Pikachu attacks him with a thunderbolt, and he battles the two. Ridley uses various attacks, such as dragging his tail across the ground, spitting fireballs, and flapping his wings fast to create windboxes and push the player backward. He also has attacks where he flies off-screen, either to speed through the arena and damage players he hits or fly into them from the background. After a long battle, Ridley is destroyed and falls down a shaft.
Ridley, now rebuilt as Meta Ridley, also appears at the end of the Subspace Bomb Factory. Samus, Pikachu, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon, Olimar, and R.O.B. attempt to escape the factory on the Falcon Flyer before the Subspace Bombs explode and pull them into Subspace. However, Meta Ridley appears and chases them, seeking revenge for his previous defeat. In this battle, Meta Ridley is constantly chasing the Falcon Flyer, and can often send it recoiling with his claws and wings. He can also scrape his tail across the ground, spit fireballs, and even grab the Falcon Flyer and drag it down. This battle is also timed, as the Subspace Bombs are set to explode. He is defeated as the heroes escape the Isle of Ancients, being pulled into Subspace once the Subspace Bombs detonate.
Super Smash Bros. UltimateDespite appearing in every installment of the Super Smash Bros. series, he didn't appear as a playable character until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. In his reveal trailer, he is seen attacking Samus, Mario, and Mega Man as they are exploring a space station. Ridley then reveals himself, and he and Samus battle. He debuts alongside fellow Metroid series newcomer Dark Samus.
True to his character, Ridley is a heavyweight fighter who is among the largest characters in the game. His main attacks consist of claw swipes, tail stabs, and wing slashes. He has two midair jumps, and two of his special moves can be used to help recovery, which combined with his heavy weight, can make him difficult to KO. He also has an alternate costume that transforms him into Meta Ridley, as he appears in Metroid Prime.
Most of Ridley's attacks are either completely original or take reference from one of his boss battles in the Metroid series. Plasma Breath, a reference to Metroid, has him spit out up to five plasma balls that hop across the ground, damaging opponents they hit. Space Pirate Rush, an attack based on his introduction in the Subspace Emissary in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, has him grab an opponent and either drag them across the ground and drop downward with them if he grabs an opponent in midair. Wing Blitz, based on one of his attacks as Omega Ridley in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, has him rush with his wings in one of four directions, damaging opponents he hits and even meteor smashing them if aimed downward. Lastly, Skewer is an original attack that is a weak tail stab, but if he hits an opponent with the sweetspot, it deals 60% damage and leaves them crumpled, allowing him to follow up.
His Final Smash, Plasma Scream, has him fly forward. If he hits an opponent, they will be locked in an animation where they are knocked onto Samus' Gunship. Ridley then fires a beam of plasma, causing the gunship to explode and launching the opponent. It also KOs them immediately if the opponent is at 100% or higher. After the attack, Samus' Gunship is seen flying in the background, heavily damaged.
AppearanceWhile Ridley's design has been inconsistent throughout the Metroid series, he has almost always consistently been depicted as a large, purple dragon-like creature with large wings, a tail with a spike at the end of it, a crooked neck, and a long snout with purple teeth.
In Metroid, official artwork depicts Ridley as a blue dragon, with either a leech-like face or with a chibi-esque face with expressive eyes. In-game, he is purple, but has short wings and is only slightly taller than Samus. Since Super Metroid, Ridley has been much larger, with more pronounced limbs, larger wings, and a tail with a spike on it that he can use as a weapon. This design would serve as a base for his future appearances, though artwork of Super Metroid shows him as red, while artwork of Metroid: Zero Mission shows him as green.As Meta Ridley, he has several cybernetic enhancements all over his body, improving his strength and weaponry. He has also been given artificial wings in this form, being colored yellow and being specifically designed to enhance his flying capabilities. In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Meta Ridley has a similar design, though with tattered wings and a bluish tint to his armor, likely a result of exposure to Phazon. Omega Ridley and Proteus Ridley have similar cybernetic designs, though curiously, both feature less cybernetic parts despite their abilities being enhanced even further than Meta Ridley, with Omega Ridley in particular being capable of manipulating Phazon and entering Hypermode.
In Metroid: Other M, the clone of Ridley looks quite different from his previous forms. In particular, he features a more muscular build and a more grotesque body. His face is also starkly different, now being smaller and more menacing. Lastly, the spike on his tail looks less organic and more like a knife, obviously making it more painful. Despite these differences, Neo Ridley in Metroid Fusion, which originated from this clone, more closely resembles Ridley's original design, but with more exaggerated limbs, longer teeth that are constantly showing, and a blue body. In Metroid: Other M, the Ridley clone also goes through two forms before evolving into his true form. His infant form, named Little Birdie, resembles a small, furry creature with large bird feet and talons, as well as a long tongue. His adolescent form, named "Mystery Creature", more closely resembles Ridley, but is smaller and lacks wings, and has a feathery backside.
Ridley's design in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate closely resembles his appearance in Super Metroid, though also takes design elements from the Ridley clone in Metroid: Other M, such as the more menacing face and the more knife-like spike on his tail. This design also gives him openings around his body that are presumably weaker, pulsating skin. This design of Ridley would later go on to become the most common design for him outside of the Metroid series.
Though the Metroid games show very little of his personality, the Magazine Z manga delves into his character as it recalls the events leading up to Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission. His brutality, ruthlessness, and love for death and destruction are all made apparent in his introduction when he is leading the Space Pirates on a raid on K-2L. Furthermore, he not only allows the Space Pirates to destroy anything they want during the mission, but also encourages them to have fun while doing it. His cruelness is made even more apparent when he meets Samus Aran as a child, and has no problem with killing her. He also isn't phased at all when Samus' mother pushes her out of the way and he takes her life instead. This is also shown in one of his victory animations in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, where he is seen with his back turned to the screen, clawing the ground as if he is tearing apart an opponent he defeated. The implied opponent is never seen on-screen, however.
In spite of his bloodthirsty and cruel mannerisms, Ridley is far from an unintelligent monster. In fact, he is quite intelligent, and has been shown to be competent at organizing and sending out many successful battles. This is best showcased in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption when the Space Pirates attacked Norion, where he made sure he battled Samus in the shaft of Generator C so that in the event he couldn't kill her, she would die with him.
However, Ridley's traits as a leader can be undermined by his arrogance and belief that nothing can defeat him. This shortsightedness is often the reason he falls to Samus in ever one of their encounters. He also shows a great sense of pride, best showcased in Metroid: Zero Mission where he commissions a robotic copy of him, Mecha Ridley, as a symbol of his power.
Ridley has also been shown to display a sadistic sense of humor. In the Magazine Z manga, he even went as far as to say he may have eaten her mother's corpse so he could regenerate his cells, as evidenced by the comment "At least you pay your respects!" He also prefers to toy with his opponents before killing them, as seen when Ridley refers to Samus as "cute" when she asks him to be her friend despite being scared of him, before refusing her offer with the intent to kill her.
Throughout the franchise, Ridley is shown to hold a grudge against Samus. This mainly stems from how her father destroyed the Afloratite supply, not only destroying his ship but also causing it to fall on top of him. This forced him to eat dead humans to replenish himself, despite his utter distaste and low opinion for the species. He also describes Samus' mere existence a nightmare, and also hates her for surviving the massacre at all. In the following years, Ridley would develop an intense hatred for her due to her constant meddling in the Space Pirates' plans.
Ridley reappears in Super Smash Bros. Charged as an unlockable character. He retains his moveset from Ultimate though has received some notable buffs. Plasma Breath has been reworked to be able to fire up to 10 fireballs at once, though firing more than six will make Ridley suffer some endlag. Instead of holding the special button, the fireballs can be launched by repeatedly tapping it, though a custom move exists that charges the move by holding the special button as in Ultimate. The number of midair jumps he has also increased from two to six, and Wing Blitz can be aimed in a full 360-degrees like Fire Fox, Fire Bird, and Fire Wolf, tremendously improving his already good recovery. Additionally, Meta Ridley is now considered a separate character much like the Koopalings and Alph, with the announcer referring to him as "Meta Ridley".
Ridley also plays a major role in the game's story mode, Labyrinth of Ancients. He is one of the 12 "Chosen Ones" rescued by Denka when the World of Trophies is attacked and all the Smashers are trapped in the Labyrinth of Ancients. He and the others work together to rescue everyone within the labyrinth and put a stop to this new threat.
Ridley returns in Super Smash Bros. GR, with his moveset remaining relatively the same as in Ultimate. Proteus Ridley also appears as an alternate costume for him.
Omega Ridley is also introduced as an Echo Fighter for Ridley. He shares much of his moveset with Ridley, but is significantly heavier and can attack harder at the cost of worse mobility. His Phazon Breath, in contrast to Ridley's Plasma Breath, can fire a beam of Phazon when fully charged. His version of Space Pirate Rush will also bury or meteor smash opponents if it is used in midair, in exchange for dealing less damage when used on the ground.
Omega Ridley also has a different Final Smash, Meson Bomb Launcher. Omega Ridley roars before taking flight. He flies across the stage three times, dropping Phazon-enhanced bombs below that explode on impact and deal heavy damage to opponents in the blast radius. After the third lap, he returns to his original position.