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Ridley's model in Metroid Prime.

Off-Game Appearance(s)

Metroid manga

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This article is about the antagonist of the Metroid series. For more uses, see Ridley (disambiguation).

Ridley is a recurring dragon-like antagonist in the Metroid series, appearing in some form in all but four Metroid games (Metroid II: Return of Samus, Metroid Prime Hunters, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, and Metroid Dread). He is the leader of the Space Pirates' military.

Throughout the series, Ridley has appeared in various incarnations, including a cybernetically enhanced version and a Phazon-mutated form, a partially cybernetic as well as mechanical and bio-engineered clones. Though he has never had any dialogue in-game, in the official Metroid manga, Ridley is capable of speech.

Ridley's most recent appearance was Metroid: Samus Returns. Aside from main-series Metroid games, Ridley has also appeared in every Super Smash Bros. game (though two are cameos) and the Metroid manga.

Biography[edit | edit source]

Raid on K-2L[edit | edit source]

Ridley meets young Samus Aran for the first time

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.[2][3][4] 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.[5] Samus narrowly escapes through her mother's intervention, but both of her parents are killed in the raid. Years later, Samus encounters Ridley on Zebes, while he works with Mother Brain. Upon seeing Ridley, Samus suffers from a trauma-induced panic attack, which causes her to be defeated by him.

Metroid[edit | edit source]

Ridley in Metroid
Ridley in Metroid

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 Mission[edit | edit source]

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.[6]

Metroid Prime[edit | edit source]

Main article: Meta Ridley
Meta Ridley escaping Orpheon

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.[7] Now called Meta Ridley, this cybernetic form of Ridley was intended to become a powerful member of the Space Pirate security forces.[8] 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.

Samus pursuing Meta Ridley

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: Corruption[edit | edit source]

Main article: Omega Ridley

Meta Ridley was revived once again after his defeat on Tallon IV, outfitted with a new, durable armorskin,[9] 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.[10] Samus engages Omega Ridley in battle in the Pirate Homeworld Leviathan Core and emerges victorious.

Metroid: Samus Returns[edit | edit source]

Main article: Proteus Ridley

Ridley was revived once more, as Proteus Ridley, he ambushed Samus at SR388 as she is leaving the planet, attempting to steal the Metroid Hatchling, but is subdued by the Bounty Hunter.

Super Metroid[edit | edit source]

After his battle with Samus on SR388, Ridley once again 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 M[edit | edit source]

Ridley in Metroid: Other M
Ridley in Metroid: Other M

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.[11]

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,[12] but moves on without destroying it. The Little Birdie later sheds its skin, revealing a much larger creature.

The Mystery 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.[13] 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.

Life-Cycle[edit | edit source]

Ridley's life-cycle consists of at least 3 stages.

Little Birdie[edit | edit source]

Main article: Little Birdie
Little Birdie

The first form of Ridley's life-cycle appears to be a docile plant eater. It is white and furry with bird-like legs, a bat-like face and ears, and a small beak-shaped mouth.

The creature later becomes aggressive and develops a carnivorous diet, sometimes using the power of other predators to acquire food.[11] The creatures beak-like mouth also becomes enlarged. Shortly thereafter the creature molts its skin and grows into its adolescent stage.

Mystery Creature[edit | edit source]

Main article: Mystery Creature

The second of Ridley's life-cycle has dramatically changed from its previous stages. It has grown in size, aggression, and appearance. Much of its fur is shed and is replaced over its reptilian, quadrupedal body by scales. Its beak becomes even longer and more pronounced, and it grows a dangerous tail with a blade on the end and claws used for melee attack.

Adult Ridley[edit | edit source]

The third stage of Ridley's life-cycle

The third stage of Ridley's life-cycle, is extremely dangerous. In this form, Ridley is capable of flight and a variety of powerful attacks. It was in this adult form that the original Ridley of the series was introduced and acted as Samus's arch-nemesis.

Both the original Ridley and his clone were killed in this stage. Any further stages past this, if any, are unknown.

Ridley's Alternate Forms[edit | edit source]

Incarnations[edit | edit source]

Mecha Ridley[edit | edit source]

The half-finished mechanical Ridley
The half-finished mechanical Ridley
Main article: Mecha Ridley

Prior to the events of Metroid: Zero Mission Ridley began to create a mechanical duplicate of himself to demonstrate his power by having the mechanoid serve as a powerful weapon for the Space Pirates. Samus encountered a half finished version of this weapon while intruding the Space Pirate Mother Ship on planet Zebes in Zero Mission. The model Samus encountered then lacked a walking and flying unit.[6] Mecha Ridley's destruction prompts a self-destruct sequence of the Space Pirate Mother Ship.

Meta Ridley[edit | edit source]

Main article: Meta Ridley

While Samus managed to destroy the Space Pirate base and Mothership on planet Zebes, the Space Pirate frigates managed to escape her. One of them, Frigate Orpheon, was carrying a metagenetic- and cybernetic-enhanced Ridley, dubbed Meta-Ridley. Samus interceptes a distress signal from the frigate at the beginning of Metroid Prime and goes into investigate.

Meta-Ridley appears a second time in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption on planet Norion. The creature is eventually taken out by Samus, assisted by bounty hunter Rundas.

Omega Ridley[edit | edit source]

Omega Ridley Artwork
Omega Ridley Artwork
Main article: Omega Ridley

The remains of Meta Ridley were converted through intense Phazon exposure into the Omega Ridley form. Omega Ridley later appears in the Pirate Homeworld, protecting a Leviathan. Once Omega Ridley was defeated, Samus was able to overload the Leviathan core and destroy the Leviathan using the Hyper Grapple.

Proteus Ridley[edit | edit source]

Main article: Proteus Ridley

Proteus Ridley is a partially cybernetic form of Ridley that ambushed Samus while she was leaving SR388 after exterminating all but one metroid.

Neo-Ridley[edit | edit source]

Main article: Neo-Ridley

Neo-Ridley is the X-form of Ridley, appearing in Metroid Fusion. It is created after an X Parasite absorbs abilities from clone Ridley's carcass. His attacks range from shooting fireballs to hitting Samus with his tail. Strangely, Neo-Ridley's voice clips were carried over to Metroid: Zero Mission.

Personality[edit | edit source]

Throughout the Metroid series, Ridley is often portrayed like a wild animal most of the time, making screeches and other loud noises. His actions, however, are much more revealing. Thanks to Mecha Ridley, it is strongly hinted that Ridley may be narcissistic. Vicious and surprisingly intelligent, Ridley is more than capable of commanding his legions of Space Pirates with incredible ease, and he shows no mercy, as Samus Aran would no doubt know all too well.

While the manga may or may not be canon, Ridley's portrayal in it may add more depth to him if it is. Here, Ridley is capable of human speech, such as when he orders his troops to attack Samus' home colony. He also has a business-before-pleasure mentality, often focusing mostly on the task at hand rather than focusing on other things. However, he may occasionally attack and kill people for kicks. During his encounter with a young Samus Aran, he is shown to be very manipulative and cruel, lulling Samus into a false sense of security by calling her cute, only to attack her when her guard was down, as Samus was too young and naive to know just how threatening Ridley truly was. When an adult Samus confronts Ridley again, he is shown to gloat about his time at her old colony, playing mind games with Samus and reveling in the destruction he caused there. In this regard, Ridley is shown to be incredibly psychopathic.

Other Appearances[edit | edit source]

Super Smash Bros. series[edit | edit source]

Super Smash Bros.[edit | edit source]

In the original Super Smash Bros., Ridley only cameos in the background of the Zebes stage.

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit | edit source]

Although Ridley does not appear during Melee gameplay, he does make an appearance in the opening scene. Ridley screeches toward Samus as she sends a Missile his way.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit | edit source]

In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Ridley appears as a boss along with Meta Ridley. Like other bosses, Ridley can be fought in the Subspace Emissary and in Boss Battles. In Adventure Mode, Ridley first appears crushing Samus against a wall. This seems to affect her suit, but she is unaffected during battle nonetheless. In both battles, Samus is present. Ridley appears as the boss of The Research Facility (Part II) and Meta Ridley in The Subspace Bomb Factory (Part II).

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[edit | edit source]

Ridley appears as a trophy and as a boss in the Pyrosphere stage. Ridley can transform into Meta Ridley at a certain point in the stage. By attacking it as much as the player can, it becomes the player's ally. If any of its enemies KO it, it will be considered as a KO and is shown at the results screen.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate[edit | edit source]

Ridley is a playable character in the fifth installment of the Super Smash Bros. series. Meta-Ridley is also avaliable as an alternate costume.

Dead or Alive: Dimensions[edit | edit source]

In Dead or Alive: Dimensions on the Nintendo 3DS, Ridley has been shown as a hazard in one battle stage. His involvement involves both spit-firing a fireball at the fighters, dealing damage to both of them, and also taking a character that falls over the edge of the arena and grinds him or her against the wall surrounding the enclave with his talons, which also deals damage.

Data[edit | edit source]

Manuals[edit | edit source]

Manual Entries
Manual info from Metroid

Ridley: It's the head of Mini-Boss Hideout II. It jumps into the air and breathes fire. It's the original life form of the planet Zebes and is controlled by Mother Brain. Destroy it and you win 75 missile blasts!!![1]
Manual info from Super Metroid
Ridley: (The Boss of Norfair)

Ridley headed the mission to the Space Colony and stole the Metroid Hatchling. It whips out at enemies with its long tail and spits fire while flying through the air.[14]

Trophy Info[edit | edit source]

Super Smash Bros. Melee[edit | edit source]

Super Smash Bros. Brawl[edit | edit source]

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U[edit | edit source]

Sprites[edit | edit source]

Game Ridley
Metroid Ridley's Metroid sprite
Super Metroid Ridley's Super Metroid sprite
Metroid: Zero Mission Ridley's Zero Mission sprite

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Ridley is referred to as "Cunning God of Death" by the official Metroid: Zero Mission website.
  • Ridley's gender is difficult to follow. In some scans, such as Meta Ridley's Coruption logbook entry, refer to Ridley as male while other data, such as manual data, refer to Ridley as a neutral "it."
  • In nearly all of the 2D games he appears in, the wings on Ridley's sprite(s) are at a size considered too small to even lift his body off the ground. This is most likely to prevent him from taking up too much space on the screen.
  • In Super Metroid, Ridley's shrieks are sourced from the kaijuu Anguirus from the Godzilla film series by Toho. Ridley shares this shreik with Draygon

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Zero Mission's space dragon, Ridley Ridley in Metroid Meta Ridley's appearance in Corruption An eerie clone of Ridley aboard Bottle Ship

Zero Mission's space dragon, Ridley Ridley in Metroid Meta Ridley's appearance in Corruption An eerie clone of Ridley aboard Bottle Ship


  1. 1.0 1.1 "It's the head of Mini-Boss Hideout II. It jumps into the air and breathes fire. It's the original life form of the planet Zebes and is controlled by Mother Brain. Destroy it and you win 75 missile blasts!!!" Metroid Instruction Booklet, Pg 39
  2. "The feared and mysterious Space Pirates...In truth they are...A subordinate species that naturally follows the orders of a strong master. It is just like how worker bees follow the queen bee, their hierarchical programming is decided at the genetic level." —Metroid (manga), Mother Brain, Vol 1 Ch 7 Pg(s) 5
  3. "Right now, Mother is at the top as the master..." —Metroid (manga), Gray Voice, Vol 1 Ch 7 Pg(s) 5
  4. "There is nothing to fear. Currently, we are the ones in control of the Space Pirates." —Metroid (manga), Mother Brain, Vol 1 Ch 7 Pg(s) 5
  5. ""A-are you... Mr. Ridley...? I-I'm Samus. Th-three years old... You're not scary... I'm perfectly fine... E-even if you look different... W-we can still be friends...!!" "Mhmm, you're so cute. I'm sorry miss, but... That's impossible!! Because... You're about to die!"" —Metroid (manga), Samus and Ridley, Vol 1 Ch 1 Pg(s) 24
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Ridley made an image of himself to demonstrate his power by making that image as a powerful weapon. Incidentally, it is currently incomplete, and is currently at the halfway stage, becoming more massive once the walking unit and flying unit is installed." Sakamoto interview translation - Page 2, Metroid Database
  7. "The reconstruction of geoform 187, code-named Ridley, was recently completed. After his defeat on Zebes, Command ordered a number of metagenetic improvements for him. Though aggressive, we were able to implement these changes in a cycle. The metamorphosis was painful, but quite successful in the end. Early tests indicate a drastic increase in strength, mobility, and offensive capability. Cybernetic modules and armor plating have been added as well." —Pirate Data "Meta Ridley" ('Metroid Prime')
  8. "We believe our creation, now called Meta Ridley, will become the mainstay of our security force, a job he will certainly relish." —Pirate Data "Meta Ridley" ('Metroid Prime')
  9. "Target's body is covered with incredibly durable armorskin, making it difficult to damage. All parts of the body are protected except for the mouth, where Meta Ridley fires his plasma-powered weaponry. Observing target may reveal additional target points. Target will use powerful plasma-based ranged attacks, along with potent melee strikes." —Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Logbook "Meta Ridley" (Metroid Prime 3: Corruption)
  10. "Shortly after impact, the bioform dies, leaving its armored shell to protect the Phazon core. Before it dies, the bioform often attracts and enthralls a large local predator. After mutating it through intense Phazon exposure, it compels the creature to protect the core." —Metroid Prime 3: Corruption Logbook "Leviathan" (Metroid Prime 3: Corrruption)
  11. 11.0 11.1 ""You're Samus Aran, right? The one who annihilated the Space Pirates? ...Metroid remnants were attached to your suit when you returned from Zebes. They were reproduced from a piece of cell structure salvaged by the Federation, and they are in this facility." "And Ridley in the same way..." "At first no one thought that the creature was Ridley. They didn't think it had potential as a bioweapon at all. They raised it like a pet, calling it "little birdie." Until one day... It attacked one of the researchers and got away. Ridley had played dead and lured the scientist into his cage. What was left... It was a horrible sight."" —Samus and Madeline Bergman (Metroid: Other M)
  12. "Some creatures use the powers of others to capture their prey. Watching this disgusting beast, I felt as though it was feeding off my power as well. At the same time, a thought crossed my mind. That howl I heard earlier... Could this creature have been the source?" —Samus Aran (Metroid: Other M)
  13. "Looks like that monster from earlier infiltrated Sector 3. Samus. Follow it!" —Adam Malkovich (Metroid: OtherM)
  14. "(The Boss of Norfair)
    Ridley headed the mission to the Space Colony and stole the Metroid Hatchling. It whips out at enemies with its long tail and spits fire while flying through the air.
    " Super Metroid Instruction Booklet, Pg 30

External Links[edit | edit source]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese リドリー Ridley
Spanish Ridley -
French Ridley -
German Ridley -
Italian Ridley -
Chinese 利德雷 / 利德雷 Ridley
Korean 리들리 Ridley
Russian Ридли Ridley 

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