Ridley (Metroid)

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Metroid character
Ridley Super Smash Bros Ultimate.png
Ridley as depicted in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
First appearanceMetroid (1986)
Created byMakoto Kano
Designed byHiroji Kiyotake

Ridley,[a] also known by his aliases Geoform 187 and The Cunning God of Death, is a fictional character and one of the main antagonists of the Metroid series. A draconic extraterrestrial hailing from the planet Zebes, he became Samus Aran's archenemy after leading a Space Pirate raid on her homeworld that killed her parents. Though having been destroyed numerous times by Samus, he is always resurrected, due in equal part to Space Pirate engineering and his natural regenerative ability, which allows him to swiftly recover from what would otherwise be fatal wounds as long as he is able to consume enough biomatter from his fallen adversaries.[1]

Originally appearing as a subordinate of Mother Brain, another primary antagonist, he returns in Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 3: Corruption in his cybernetic Meta Ridley form, commanding the Space Pirates himself. He is fully sentient, and can speak in the Metroid e-manga.


Ridley's debut is in the Nintendo Entertainment System video game Metroid. He and Kraid are Space Pirate figureheads charged with protecting Mother Brain at the base on Zebes, where they are cloning Metroids with the intention of converting them into biological weapons.

Throughout the series, Ridley has undergone a variety of changes in appearance. In the original Metroid game, he was roughly the same size as protagonist Samus Aran and sported a more alien appearance (particularly in official artwork, which depicted him with eight eyes running down the length of his head and a small, lamprey-like mouth). His cybernetic form during the events of the Prime series is referred to as Meta Ridley and incorporates various ballistic weapon systems. A robotic duplicate, known as Ridley Robot[2] or Mecha Ridley,[3] appears as the final boss in Zero Mission. In Metroid: Fusion, he appears in the form of Neo-Ridley (ネオリドリー, Neoridorī).[4][5] Metroid: Other M showcases Ridley's life cycle, beginning as a small creature named Little Birdie that molts into a reptilian Mystery Creature before molting again into his adult draconic form.[6][7]

He makes guest appearances in other Nintendo games: Nintendo Land; Dead or Alive: Dimensions;[8] and his character and associated music are a staple of the Super Smash Bros. series.[9][10][11] He appears in comics: Captain N: The Game Master (1990);[12] Nintendo Power;[13][14] and the Monthly Magazine Z manga by Koji Tazawa.


Ridley as depicted in Super Metroid marketing material. Though colored red on the game's cover, in-game he retains his purple color scheme.

Mike Sneath, one of three senior character artists for Metroid Prime, was responsible for designing the Meta Ridley version of Ridley seen in Metroid Prime. It took him about "20 to 25 days" to model and texture Meta Ridley, citing the wings as having taken a few days of his time, commenting that it took him a while to get the shaders to work to give his wings the appearance of having a "holographic energy." He was not involved with designing the battle with Meta Ridley, which was left up to the game designers. Andrew Jones, the lead concept artist for Metroid Prime, had little to do with the design of Ridley. The initial design submitted was rejected by Nintendo, while the second design the artists submitted was approved.[15] Steve Barcia, the executive producer of Retro Studios, called Ridley his favorite enemy from Metroid Prime due to the quality of the battle and his fan appeal. He added that such a battle was rare for a first person shooter, which helped to set Metroid Prime apart.[16]

The director of the Super Smash Bros. series, Masahiro Sakurai, stated in an interview with Nintendo Power that the development team considered including Ridley as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl but decided against the idea due to creative difficulties.[11] In an interview with IGN about Ridley's exclusion from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, Sakurai argued that reducing Ridley's size, wingspan, or mobility to include him as a fighter would not be true to the character, who is supposed to be a "truly threatening presence" that could only be correctly portrayed as a stage boss unencumbered by a fighter's size and balance restrictions.[10] Sakurai said that high demand from players inspired him to add several playable characters to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, including Ridley's only playable role in any game at the time.[17]:2


Throughout the history of the Metroid series, Ridley has received positive reception as the series antagonist. He is widely considered one of the most renowned and best Nintendo villains of all time and is regarded as a favorite among both the Metroid fandom and the series's developers.[18] Nintendo Power lists him as their sixth favorite Nintendo villain, citing both his involvement in the death of Samus's parents as well as his determination, dying at Samus's hands many times yet always coming back.[19] Computer and Video Games editor Mike Jackson described Ridley as a "fan favorite".[20] GameDaily called him the 16th greatest Nintendo character, commenting that he "beats Mother Brain by a mile as the coolest Metroid villain."[21] IGN editor Jesse Schedeen called Ridley the real villain of the Metroid series, commenting that he would have to be included in a Metroid film if one were made due to him being too important to leave out.[22] 1UP.com editor Nadia Oxford described the Nintendo Comics System version of Ridley as being more of a "squashed bug" than a "fearsome reptile".[23] The 1UP.com staff listed the battle with Ridley in Super Metroid as among the most iconic in Nintendo history. They stated that his appearance in Super Metroid is more memorable than any other appearance in the Metroid series, and that his return from the original game added some familiarity to Metroid fans.[24] GamesRadar listed him third on their list of video game villains who will never stay dead, calling him Samus's "great white whale" that, even while he has tormented her throughout her life, she just cannot seem to kill.[25] Gaming Nexus criticized the lack of fellow Metroid villain Kraid in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, but stated that the developers made up for it by adding the best Ridley battle in the series's history.[26] IGN editors Phil Pirrello and Richard George listed Ridley as the second most deserving Nintendo character for inclusion in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, to broaden the range of the series.[27]

The role of Ridley's clone in Metroid: Other M was criticized for the scene in which Samus is too immobilized by memories of her childhood trauma at the original Ridley's hands to fight back even after he attacks her, not snapping out of it until this episode seemingly results in the death of a longtime friend of hers. Abbie Heppe of G4's reaction to the scene as a sexist portrayal of one of gaming's greatest female icons and narratively incongruous with the plentiful instances of Samus engaging Ridley head-on without issue in previous games[28] typified the response from critics and many longtime fans of the series. Defenders of the scene claim that the message of the scene is about empowerment instead of weakness and cite a subplot within the official manga wherein Samus's first encounter with Ridley leaves her afflicted with symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.[29]


  1. ^ Japanese: リドリー Hepburn: Ridorī?


  1. ^ "Metroid Volume 2" (PDF).
  2. ^ Metroid: Zero Mission Player's Guide. Nintendo of America. 2004.
  3. ^ Bandai Namco Studios; Sora Ltd. (December 7, 2018). Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo Switch. Nintendo. Level/area: Spirit Board.
  4. ^ Bandai Namco Studios; Sora Ltd. (December 7, 2018). Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Nintendo Switch. Nintendo. Level/area: Palutena's Temple. Palutena: Neo-Ridley was born when an X parasite absorbed Ridley's genes.
  5. ^ Scitron Digital Contents (June 18, 2003). Metroid Prime & Fusion Original Soundtracks (Album) (in Japanese). SCDC-00276·277. VS.ネオリドリー
  6. ^ Bueno, Fernando (August 31, 2010). Metroid: Other M Premiere Edition. Prima Games. Random House. ISBN 978-0-307-46946-5.
  7. ^ Bandai Namco Studios, Sora Ltd. (October 3, 2014). Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Wii U. Nintendo. Mystery Creature: 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.
  8. ^ There's a Metroid Crossover in Dead or Alive Dimensions IGN
  9. ^ "Smash Bros. DOJO!!". Smashbros.com. Archived from the original on August 22, 2009. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Otero, Jose (November 19, 2014). "Why Ridley Isn't Playable in Smash Bros". IGN. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  11. ^ a b Thomas, Lucas M. (June 29, 2007). "Smash It Up! - Volume 2 - Wii Feature at IGN". Wii.ign.com. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  12. ^ Caragonne, George; Woodyard, Denis; Wansi; Moede, Jade; Eatman, Heather (August 1990). Captain N: The Game Master Vol. 1, No. 4. Valiant Comics. ISSN 1049-1511. Mother Brain: How fortunate that the new federal judge, Racklas... is of the same species as my mini-boss, Ridley. Since the entire race looks alike, it was a simple matter to put Ridley in his place -- and use the Federation Police to do my dirty work!
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 13, 2006. Retrieved February 11, 2006.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^ "Metroid Prime Downloads, Wallpapers and More! :: Samus.co.uk". Web.archive.org. March 12, 2007. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "The Art of Prime - GameCube Feature at IGN". Cube.ign.com. August 6, 2004. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  16. ^ Fox, Fennec (November 18, 2002). "Interview With Metroid Prime Developers, News from". GamePro. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  17. ^ "Sakurai on Smash Bros. Ultimate – why Decidueye wasn't chosen, Piranha Plant, character changes, online, much more".
  18. ^ "Sakamoto Questions - Page 3". Metroid Database. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  19. ^ Our Favorite Villains (PDF). 250. South San Francisco, California: Future US. January 2010. p. 42. Archived from the original (Magazine) on December 29, 2009. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  20. ^ "Wii News: Huge Metroid Prime 3 spoilers leaked". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. June 25, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  21. ^ Mallory, Jordan. "Joystiq". Gamedaily.com. Retrieved August 12, 2013.
  22. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (November 20, 2009). "Big Boss of the Day: Metroid's Ridley - Stars Feature at IGN". Stars.ign.com. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  23. ^ "One Girl Against the Galaxy: 20 Years of Metroid and Samus Aran from". 1UP.com. March 21, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  24. ^ "25 More of the Most Badass Boss Fights of All Time from". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  25. ^ "The Top 7... villains that never stay dead". GamesRadar. Retrieved January 5, 2010.
  26. ^ "Metroid Prime 3:Corruption - Review - by Sean Colleli". Gaming Nexus. October 31, 2007. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  27. ^ Pirrello, Phil (July 7, 2010). "Smash Bros. Wish-List: All Nintendo Edition - Stars Feature at IGN". Stars.ign.com. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  28. ^ "Metroid: Other M Review for Wii". Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  29. ^ "Interview with Nate Bihldorff «  Shinesparkers". www.shinesparkers.net. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved October 4, 2016.