Ridley is the main antagonist of the Metroid series who made his first appearance in Metroid for the NES as a minor boss, though later on becoming a recurring boss. He's a large pterosaur-like creature and is the most prominent leader of the Space Pirates. Despite being one of the most popular enemies in the game, he hasn't appeared in three of the Metroid titles. Throughout the series Ridley has changed in colors, being red, purple, green, and black.
Ridley's greatly resembles a pterosaur or gargoyle with futuristic attributes. He has been with the Space Pirates for a long time, and ordered the raid on the colony that Samus Aran, the game's protagonist, came from. All of the residents were killed except for Samus and Ridley, and thus a bitter rivalry was constructed between the two. He is capable of flying and even surviving the depths of space, possibly only in his Meta Ridley form however.
After his onslaught on the colony, it is unknown what became of Ridley, though Samus' history is in fact known. She was saved by the race known as the Chozo and they raised her up and even infused their own blood with her's so that she could withstand the intense atmosphere of their native planet. When an adult, Samus was hired by the Galactic Federation to invade planet Zebes and destroy all of the Metroid present there. Ridley's job was to secure part of the planet, though was eventually destroyed by Samus.
After being severely wounded, the Space Pirates moved his body to the Frigate Orpheus, where they replaced most of his body with cybernetics. His name was upgraded into Meta Ridley and when Samus arrived on the frigate responding to a distress signal, Meta Ridley escaped and headed towards Tallon IV. Samus gave chase and once again defeated the newly upgraded behemoth.
Two years later Ridley was once again upgraded and was sent to attack a Galactic Federation station under the command of Dark Samus. Samus caught up with Ridley and battled him down a large building and was then saved by Rundas. Following this utter defeat, Ridley was sent to the Pirate Homeworld where he received Phazon enhancements and became Omega Ridley. He was stationed near the Leviathan to guard it, though Samus destroyed both Omega Ridley and the Leviathan.
Ridley's next chronological appearance happened when Samus was about to leave SR388 with the last remaining Metroid baby. As Proteus Ridley, he ambushes Samus before she gets on her ship in Metroid: Samus Returns. He still has some mechanic pieces as body parts but, it doesn't hold him back. Samus defeats him and leaves the planet
Soon after, Ridley crashed through the lab where scientists were conducting tests on it and stole the container in which the baby was stationed in. This time, he returned completely to his organic form with no sign of being rebuilt. He fled to Zebes and Samus once again had to travel to the planet to battle him as she did long ago. She eventually did, though his remains were taken to the Biologic Spacestation where it was infested by the X Virus. It battled Samus once more but was defeated.
Ridley made an appearance as a boss creature in Metroid: Other M. This incarnation of Ridley is, like in the chronologically subsequent Metroid Fusion incarnation, not the original Ridley. This Ridley was secretly cloned by the Galactic Federation scientists on the Bottle Ship, using DNA found on Samus' armor, which seemingly landed on her when Ridley exploded back in Super Metroid. This clone also had the same memories as the original Ridley.
Initially, he appeared as a small creature the scientists didn't recognize. Seeing no potential for use as a bioweapon, the creature was raised as a pet nicknamed "Little Birdie." They were oblivious to the fact that this small animal was actually Ridley's juvenile form. At some point, "Little Birdie" faked his death to lure a scientist inside his cage. The creature killed the scientist and then escaped from its cage. Samus finds the remains of this scientist in Ridley's small habitat.
Early in the game Samus also meets "Little Birdie" but doesn't see it as a threat, so she leaves it alone. However, Little Birdie stalks Samus unseen, and provokes many wildlife into battling her through its piercing screeches (sending nearby creatures in a panic). After hearing another howl, Samus is attacked by a swarm of Kihunters inside their nest. After she destroys the King Kihunter, she finds it eating Kihunter honey as it roars at her. Samus comments on how she finds the creature to be a "disgusting beast" because of how it used her to kill the Kihunter nest so it could feed on the nest's nectar.
Continuing on, Samus saw Adam's men being "attacked" by a purple lizard at the Exam Center. The creature also noticed Samus, and roared at her. Rushing to their aid, she saw the troops firing above the door she came from, and turned around just in time to see the lizard jump from the wall and pin her down. The creature, at this point, seems uninterested in the troopers, as it seemingly had set a trap for Samus after seeing her in the Exam Center. The creature apparently perceived a greater threat from Samus and took actions directly against her. While holding Samus down, the lizard calls forth various bioforms, namely Reos and Griptians, to attack Adam's men. Having Samus all to itself, he tried to both stab her with its tail and bite down on her head, but Anthony Higgs managed to fend off the beast with his Plasma Gun.
After investigating the scene, Samus followed a trail of green blood to find the empty shell of "Little Birdie" with its back ripped open, implying the small creature was a juvenile form of the lizard. Adam ordered her to follow the creature to the Pyrosphere, but shortly afterward, told Samus to head to the Cryosphere instead. After a trip through the Cryosphere, Adam notices the wavelength frequencies of the lizard are growing more aggressive, and told Samus to head back to the Pyrosphere yet again. Samus eventually found the lizard-creature's husk bound to a wall, again with its back torn open from within.
Samus carried on until she reached a large room containing a central platform suspended above a pit of lava. Samus is suddenly targeted by a red-laser sight, and believing it to be an attacker, points her cannon at the person. It turned out to be Anthony Higgs, who was trying to target an unseen monster in the room when Samus got in the way. Rushing behind the wall with Anthony, both tried to hide from the creature, who was taking cover in the shadows and launching attacks at them. The creature destroyed the bridge to the exit, preventing Samus and Anthony from leaving. Samus told Anthony she will deal with the monster, and used a Super Missile on the Magma Eruption Port, raising the lava level and flooding the chamber with light. Samus then turned to see a dark, winged figure rising over the platform, revealing that it is, in fact, Ridley; his green eyes glowing menacingly before coming into full view (ala Super Metroid, Metroid Fusion and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption). Ridley's skin is now purple, similar to his original appearance in Metroid. At the sight of her longtime nemesis' sudden reappearance after a long time of peace since his "true" death is enough to trigger Samus' post-traumatic stress disorder. She was too overcome with shock and horror to react, giving Ridley time to grab her as her Power Suit deteriorated from a complete loss of concentration. This forced Anthony Higgs to use his Plasma Gun to save her and give her time to recover, though Ridley knocked him off the platform and apparently into the lava, but he actually managed to save himself by using his freeze gun to freeze a creature in the lava to use as a platform. Seeing what appeared to be the death of her close friend, Samus was able to compose herself, equip the Plasma Beam, and do battle with Ridley once again.
The bird-like creature uses attacks seen in past games, such as swiping his claws, spitting large fireballs, including one where it creates a shockwave over the field, flamethrower, and using his tail (now with a blade-like tip) to whip and pierce the bounty hunter, as well as using an attack directly based off of his CG cutscene intro from Super Smash Bros. Brawl (which involves him grabbing Samus and scrapping her against a wall) though will stop shortly allowing him to be shot which will release Samus. Sometimes he will fall to the ground to take a breather, allowing a Lethal Strike to be executed. Ridley's clone demonstrates an ability never before-seen in the original Ridley: he is able to harden his skin (giving him a darker appearance) to the point where his body deflects every weapon, especially the Plasma Beam, but not Super Missiles, and then the skin softens when shot with the said Missile. After Ridley's body is sufficiently ravaged, he falls to the ground. Samus believed the monster to be dead, but he regained consciousness when she had her back turned to him and attacked her again. The two briefly fought a small battle before Ridley escaped by breathing fire to create a hole in the wall and ramming through it.
Later in the game, right before Adam's death prior to detaching Sector Zero destroying himself and unfreezable Metroids, he requests Samus to destroy Ridley, because he is as "much of a threat as the Metroids".
A weakened Ridley is later seen at the mercy of a large creature due to his wounds (which turns out to be the Queen Metroid). Samus arrives shortly to find his body as a gray and lifeless husk, making her wonder what could have happened. After the post-credits, Ridley's corpse is no longer there. It's assumed that the Galactic Federation took the body of Ridley's clone and transferred it to the BSL Station, where it was frozen and seen in Metroid Fusion, only to be infested by an X-Parasite and become Neo Ridley. This could also explain why the frozen clone collapsed and was later seen as a gray corpse before transforming into Neo Ridley.
Throughout the series, Ridley has made a variety of changes in his appearance. He was originally roughly the same size of protagonist Samus Aran in the original Metroid. In Super Metroid, he is significantly larger than in the original title, sporting purple skin, a large wingspan, glowing eyes, claws, and resembling a dragon or a pterodactyl. His Prime series cyborg form is referred to as Meta Ridley, while a robotic duplicate, Ridley Robot, is also shown in Zero Mission. The instruction manual for the original Metroid refers to Ridley as the last of his species, which was native to Zebes. His trophy description in Super Smash Bros. Melee confirms Ridley's gender as male. Series creator suggests that he was made the general of the Space Pirates due to how evil he is or how powerful he is.
Super Smash Bros. series
Ridley has actually appeared in all of the Super Smash Bros. series and has debuted as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as a playable character. Many fans believed that Ridley would be a playable character for Melee, and it was rumored that he would appear along with Toon Link and Bowser Jr. for Brawl. Director of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai, stated in an interview with Nintendo Power that the development team never considered including Ridley as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. He was added in Ultimate partly due to fan demand.
- Neutral Special - Plasma Breath
- Side Special - Space Pirate Rush
- Up Special - Wing Blitz
- Down Special - Skewer
- Final Smash - Plasma Scream
Super Smash Bros.
Super Smash Bros. Melee
In Super Smash Bros. Melee he could be seen in the introduction movie and as a collectible trophy, though once again he had no effect on the gameplay. Interestingly, Ridley is carrying the Baby Metroid's container in the intro movie, an obvious homage to Super Metroid.
"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
In Super Smash Bros. Brawl where he appeared as a boss twice - in both his standard form and his meta form, the latter ultimately being more challenging then the former, and understandably so. As aforementioned, both the regular and Meta versions of Ridley appear as a boss in the Super Smash Bros. Brawl Subspace Emissary adventure mode. In the first battle, either Samus Aran or Pikachu can fight him, though a multitude of characters can do so in the second battle. In his standard mode, he won't have any projectile attacks and will attack you directly, though come his Meta form he'll be more dangerous and can even spew fireballs from his mouth. His boss battle theme was included as a stage music in Brawl as well.
- 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."
Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U
In Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Ridley only appears as a trophy and as a boss in the Wii U version were he shows up on the Pyrosphere stage and attack the fighters, if he takes enough damage he will side with the one who damaged him the most and will start to help him by attacking the other fighters. If Ridley is ejected out of the stage, the one who ejected him will gain a bonus point. Like other bosses, he can appear as a special event in Smash Tour.
- Ridley NA:"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."
- Ridley EU:"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. If you can defeat him during a timed battle, you'll get +1 KO out of it!"
- Little Birdie NA: "It may be hard to believe, but this is a younger version of the infamous Space Pirate Ridley. No matter how cute he is, don't think that you can love him and take him home--his next form is lizard-like with a sharp tail, and he has no problem turning his caring owner into a tasty snack!"
- Little Birdie EU: "Everyone knows Ridley as a terrifying evil space dragon, but would you have guessed he looked like this as a baby? He's kind of cute and creepy at the same time. Don't let his innocent act fool you into thinking he'd make a nice pet, though - once he sheds his skin and enters his reptile phase, you'll just become his next meal!"
- Mystery Creature NA: "What once was a cute little bird has changed into a lizard-like creature. It still has some white feathers from its previous form, but that's where the similarities end. Is there something in its blood that drives it to confront Samus whenever possible? Her parents were Ridley's victims, after all."
- Mystery Creature EU: "If Little Birdie is Ridley's cute baby years, this must be his awkward teenage phase. The feathers on his back are the only real clue that it's the same creature. Is there something in Ridley's genes that make him hate Samus so much? The original Ridley killed her parents, and now this one is out to get her too!"
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
As a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Ridley is a heavy that fights mostly hunched over and crouching. He uses his massive body to throw around his opponents. His tail acts as a deadly weapon which can deal massive amounts of damage.
- Ridley appeared as a part of the Nintendo Monopoly set, where his image was put there in place of the Tennessee Avenue image.
|Metroid Final Bosses|
|Metroid series||Mother Brain • Queen Metroid • SA-X • Omega Metroid • Ridley Robot • Melissa Bergman • Phantoon • Proteus Ridley|
|Metroid Prime series||Metroid Prime • Emperor Ing • Dark Samus • Gorea • Aurora Unit 313 • Master Brain • Samus Aran|