Console of origin
Nintendo Entertainment System
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 almost every Metroid game except for Metroid II: Return of Samus, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Prime Hunters. Ridley's appearance is considered similar to a skeletal dragon with glowing eyes. Ridley is known for being very defiant and persistent; though Samus has defeated him many times, he always manages to return and do battle with her, either through his healing abilities or robotic enhancements. Ridley is the main antagonist of the series, despite not typically acting as such in the individual games he appears in.
Despite his fearsome and bestial appearance, Ridley is known to be highly intelligent and is shown to even be capable of speaking in the manga; with his intelligence, he was also evidently capable of building a synthetic construct made in his own image. He is known to have a bloodthirsty personality and takes great personal enjoyment in destruction. Though he often appears in different forms, through scans found in the Metroid Prime sub-series and events portrayed in Metroid: Other M, it is confirmed that every incarnation of Ridley before both the latter game and Metroid Fusion is indeed the same being (save for the Ridley Robot), from the Metroid to Corruption and Super Metroid despite his multiple defeats, some of which involve his body exploding. In most games he appears in, he has been the second-to-last or third-to-last boss, save for Zero Mission and Other M; however, the Ridley Robot is the final boss in the former game.
The manga also has 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.
Raid on K-2LEdit
The Metroid manga depicts Ridley's earliest confrontation with Samus Aran. Ridley is an armored and powerful Space Pirate leader who acts under the Space Pirates' ultimate authority, Mother Brain. He leads a violent raid on the Galactic Federation colony, K-2L, in pursuit of a valuable fuel called Afloraltite, and there has his fated meeting with a young Samus Aran. Though startled by his appearance, Samus tries to overcome their outward differences and make friends, but Ridley shows his true colors and tries to attack. Samus narrowly escapes through her mother's intervention, but both of her parents are killed in the raid.
First appearing in the original Metroid, Ridley was the second guardian obstructing the way into Tourian. He appears much smaller than he does in later installments and has blue skin.
Like Kraid, he is found in his own hideout. The battle is relatively simple and, with good positioning, Samus can defeat him without taking any damage. After he is defeated, the path to Tourian and Mother Brain opens.
Metroid: Zero MissionEdit
In this Metroid remake, Ridley is battled again before Samus can proceed into Tourian, but he is significantly larger than he was in the original game. His attacks, appearance, and size are more like they are in his Super Metroid appearance than in his original Metroid debut. Ridley first appears leading Space Pirates onto the planet Zebes in ships.
Ridley's skin color is brown in this game, but changes as he takes damage. His appearance and screeches are almost identical to his X counterpart in Metroid Fusion.
A mechanized Ridley also appears during Samus's Zero Mission known as "Mecha Ridley," and is the final boss of the game. It was created by Ridley as a demonstration of his power, but was yet incomplete when Samus engaged it in battle.
After his defeat on Zebes, Ridley was resuscitated and surgically enhanced aboard the Space Pirate frigate Orpheon, resulting in a drastic increase in strength and agility. Now called Meta Ridley, this cybernetic form of Ridley was intended to become a powerful member of the Space Pirate security forces. Experiments on Tallon IV Parasites with Phazon led to the creation of Parasite Queens, which eventually escaped and forced much of the crew to evacuate. When Samus Aran picked up the vessel's distress signal and arrived to investigate, however, her battle with a Parasite Queen in the Reactor Core cause Orpheon to self-destruct.
She encountered Meta Ridley in Biotech Research Area 2, where he managed to escape into the expanse of space and fly to the planet below.
On the planet, Ridley continued to oversee Space Pirate operations and track Samus's progress. The only time she encounters him before their final conflict is during her initial visit to the Phendrana Drifts, where she see his shadow on the shorelines as he flies overhead.
Meta Ridley clashes with Samus again in the Artifact Temple. After taking considerable damage from the Bounty Hunter, the Chozo architecture of the Temple itself turns on him and fires several lasers at his vulnerable chest cavity, causing him to fall into the Impact Crater. Though the fall appears to be lethal, he attacks again on Norion during the events of Metroid Prime 3: Corruption.
Metroid Prime 3: CorruptionEdit
Meta Ridley was revived once again after his defeat on Tallon IV, outfitted with a new, durable armorskin, and leads a Space Pirate attack on planet Norion, a Galactic Federation outpost. He engages Samus in combat on Norion, but is defeated when she exploits a weakness in his unprotected mouth.
Though defeated, Ridley is again reborn. He makes his way to the Space Pirate Homeworld, where a Leviathan impacts and lures Ridley into its core. Through severe Phazon exposure, the Leviathan mutates Ridley into a new, powerful form known as Omega Ridley, and compels him to act as the core's guardian. Samus engages Omega Ridley in battle in the Pirate Homeworld Leviathan Core and emerges victorious.
Ridley turns his attention to the Metroid Hatchling that Samus entrusted to the scientists of the Ceres Space Colony. He slaughters the scientists, but not before they send out a distress signal, which Samus responds to in time to witness Ridley stealing the last Metroid. He escapes after a brief duel, reborn in an organic form with no sign of the enhancements present in the Prime series. He appears much larger than his previous form and has many more attacks in Super Metroid.
Much later, Samus encounters him again in the depths of Norfair. He is the fourth and final boss needed to open the path to Tourian. Ridley is killed in this battle, though his legacy continues to haunt Samus in different forms.
Metroid: Other MEdit
Though the Ridley that was Samus's nemesis was killed at Norfair, a clone of him appears again in Metroid: Other M. Through this Ridley, Samus and the Federation learn of the bio-form's life cycle. He was cloned accidentally when the Galactic Federation gathered DNA from cell fragments attached to Samus's suit in an attempt to recreate the extinct Metroid species for use as illegal bioweapons.
Samus meets Ridley in a small, seemingly harmless form known as Little Birdie, who had, unbeknownst to her, mutilated one of the researchers that had raised it when it escaped. When Samus first encounters the infant Ridley, she doesn't recognize the creature as a threat and leaves it alone. Later, after venturing through parts of the Bottle Ship, Samus battles King Kihunter. After defeating the Kihunters in the nest, the creature appears, devouring the fallen enemies. Samus hypothesizes that the Little Birdie form used the power of other predators to capture its own prey, and begins considering the possibility that it's dangerous, but moves on without destroying it. The Little Birdie later sheds its skin, revealing a much larger creature.
This more threatening creature is known as the Mystery Creature. This creature is one possible cause of Lyle Smithsonian's death. Samus fights the creature and manages to damage it with help from Anthony's Plasma Cannon. The Mystery Creature escapes to Sector 3 of the Bottle Ship. Adam Malkovich orders Samus to follow the escaped creature. She is, however, obstructed from her path, and later finds another shed skin of Ridley.
She finds the shed skin of the Mystery Creature attached to a wall, leading her to believe that the creature has changed once more. She later finds the creature Ridley, in its adult form, in a room with Anthony. The realization that the creature they had been tracking was indeed Ridley shocks Samus, leaving her physically and emotionally paralyzed. Her suit is deactivated, leaving her exposed, but Anthony distracts Ridley long enough to allow Samus to regain her focus. Before she can come to his aid, however, Ridley pushes Anthony into a large pool of lava.
Samus then battles this adult Ridley. Throughout the battle, Ridley uses many attacks seen elsewhere in the Metroid series. Even an attack only before used by Ridley in a scene from Brawl's Subspace Emissary, where he drags Samus across a wall, is used here. Ridley uses his tail to dive down towards Samus and uses his Plasma Breath to attack her. After taking enough damage, Ridley will hide in a black shell. This shell can only be destroyed by Samus's Super Missiles. Upon defeat, the severely damaged Ridley once again retreats.
Ridley retreats near Room MW. Here, he is killed by a Queen Metroid and sapped of energy.
While Ridley is commonly misinterpreted by players as a destructive beast, the official Metroid manga delved a great deal deeper into the persona of the Space Pirate General. Ridley first appeared in chapter one, where his violent disposition 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. 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.
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. Interestingly, his traits as a competent leader seem to even be on a genetic level, as his clone, who was raised without any education (making him feral), was seemingly leading various 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 undermines these qualities, leading to a great many defeats for him as well.
Ridley also seems to grudgingly show respect to those that are natural at commanding others, such as when Gray Voice is ordering the Pirate Troops to their battle stations; Ridley, taken aback, smirks at being told by Gray Voice to attend to his job and sarcastically addresses him as "Sir Military Commander" when he flies off.
He has also frequently displayed a very sadistic sense of humor, evidenced by his various comments against Samus upon their first meeting since K2-L. Ridley even goes 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 wonders what part her cells reside in. He then proceeds to bring his foot down on Samus, angrily saying "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.
Powers and abilitiesEdit
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 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, 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.
Ridley is infamous for his uncanny ability to cheat death on many occasions. He is referred to as the "Cunning God of Death" in the official artwork of Zero Mission. Notable occasions of this are:
- His survival of the destruction of K2-L by consuming the bodies of the dead humans, according to the manga.
- His "resurrection" as Meta Ridley following his first defeat on Zebes.
- Having survived his fall on the Impact Crater by seemingly fusing with Phazon and later transformed into Omega Ridley after his defeat on Norion.
- In Super Metroid, he returns with a purely organic body with no traces of Phazon.
- He is unintentionally cloned by the Galactic Federation.
- An X Parasite mimics his DNA, transforming him into Neo-Ridley.