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"The reconstruction of geoform 187, code-named Ridley, was recently completed. After his defeat on Zebes, Command ordered a number of meta-genetic 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. We believe our creation, now called Meta Ridley, will become the mainstay of our security force, a job he will certainly relish."
Pirate Data Log 10.891.0

Attack Dog of High Command. Commander of the Space Pirates. The Cunning God of Death.

Ridley is the unabashed, sociopathic, recurring arch-nemesis to the main protagonist, Samus Aran. Responsible for the razing, pillaging and mass-murder of innumerable innocent settlements in his crusade against the Galactic Federation and the forces of order, Ridley lives for carnage and his sadism is only matched by his deceptive cunning. Of an unknown but fearsome race, the cruel space dragon inadvertently creates one who will ensure he harms no other.

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General Tropes

    A — D 
  • Achilles' Heel: Generally speaking, Ridley doesn't have any outstanding weak-points. However, when Samus wants to really do a number to Ridley, she knows to jam her arm-cannon in his mouth and let loose. And a lot of the time, if she doesn't have the Plasma Beam, it's the only effective point to attack.
    • His chest is this in his Meta and Omega Ridley forms. His breastplate is incomplete and susceptible to powerful strikes or the Grapple Lasso.
    • In Super Metroid he takes double damage from Super Missiles.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: No matter how tough he gets, Samus will defeat him. His clone in Other M learns that Queen Metroids aren't pushovers, either.
  • Arch-Enemy: To Samus. He personally led the attack on Samus' on Colony K-2L when Samus was a toddler, and killed Samus' mother right in front of her and indirectly killed her father. On his part, he seems to primarily resent her for being the only person to survive his K-2L raid as well as his numerous painful defeats at her hands (many of which required implied-to-be-excruciating cybernetic surgery for him to survive).
  • Ascended Extra: In Metroid 1 he was just a one-note mini-boss who guarded one of the lock mechanisms to Mother Brain's hideout. Contrast that with the unending praise he's had heaped on him since then.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: There's a reason he's so high up the Space Pirate chain of command.
  • Ax-Crazy: The manga demonstrates that Ridley enjoys sadisticly murdering people in front of their offspring, even when doing so does not further the pirates' plot to conquer the galaxy.
  • Bait the Dog: In the manga, Ridley seems to take Samus's kindness seriously when they first met, with signs of regret or sadness on his face. It immediately turns out to be a ploy to lower her guard before he tries to kill the three year old child.
  • Berserk Button: Samus is his as much as he is Samus'. When he meets her as an adult in the manga decades after his disastrous raid on Colony K-2L and realizes who she is, his immediate response is to grab her by the face and begin to savagely beat her while she's in the throes of PTSD. It's implied to be a matter of pride on his kill record, as Ridley proclaims that her mere existence offends him even in his dreams.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: His tail is pointed and barbed, and is first used as a weapon in Super Metroid. It's also one of the few things that can damage Samus when she's using the Screw Attack.
  • Blood Knight: Ridley enjoys nothing more than ripping things apart.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: Originally Ridley's signature theme in Super Metroid was also used as the escape theme, and was also was used for several other boss battles. Ridley has since completely adopted the theme as his own as all his appearances have been accompanied by some mix of it. Interestingly, the theme got a crack at its original purpose once more in Metroid Fusion where it was the final escape sequence theme from that game, although Neo-Ridley also uses a variant of the theme. However, the escape theme of Metroid Dread is a wholly new track and, combined with Ridley's absence, may imply that this trope is once again in play.
  • Breakout Villain: Ridley was originally just a dragon (literally) in the original NES game. Nowadays he's Samus' Arch-Enemy due to his involvement in her past when he murdered her parents and his refusal to stay dead.
  • Breath Weapon: What did you expect from a dragon? Ridley can spit plasma hot enough to melt through spaceship hull.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Subverted to a terrifying degree in the manga; It took a while for Ridley to recognize Samus as the little girl he encountered on K-2L many years ago. But once he realizes who the PTSD-lapsed heroine is, he suddenly remembers every single detail of their last encounter and becomes enraged by her survival. He then sadistically recounts his side of the story to Samus, gleefully taunting her of how he had eaten the corpses of everyone she knew on K-2L such as her mother. This tale breaks Samus further into despair than ever before.
  • The Cameo: While failing to appear in Metroid Dread in person, his presence is still around in two of the unlockable post-game photos; one depicting his clone from Metroid: Other M, and the final photo from the Chozo Archives showing the central cast of characters.
  • Canon Immigrant: Super Smash Bros. Brawl gives him a technique in a cutscene where he picks up Samus and scrapes her along a wall. Subsequent Metroid games would also give him this technique.
  • Chunky Salsa Rule: His death in Super Metroid has him reduced to pieces, while in prior (in series timeline) games, he just disappeared, showing he's been Killed Off for Real, future appearances being clones.
  • Climax Boss: In every game in which he appears he is fought late into the game, often guarding or capping off an endgame area, and sometimes his defeat coincides with a plot revelation. The battles are usually really tough, too.
  • Code Name: We do not know where the name Ridley comes from. In Metroid Prime, Ridley is referred to by science personnel as "Geoform 187."
  • Create Your Own Hero: He killed Samus's mother in attempting to kill Samus, thus Ridley had succeeded in creating his greatest enemy.
  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: His piercing, high-pitched screech whenever he appears to fight Samus is infamous for how loud it can be.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: Unlike most bosses in the series, which are some degree of Puzzle Boss, fighting Ridley requires little strategy other than "kill him before he kills you".
  • Deader than Dead: Let's see: his original self was caught in an Earth-Shattering Kaboom in Super Metroid and as of Fusion, his clone was reduced to ash, and then the station it was on was sent to a planet that then exploded. As if to drive home the point, Ridley never returns in Metroid Dread, despite the fact it's touted to be the Grand Finale of the Metroid arc starting with Metroid.
  • Demoted to Dragon: In the first half of the manga, it was he who was the leader of the Space Pirates (though still serving the High Command). It wasn't until halfway through that Mother Brain showed herself to be the bigger threat and took over the Pirates, making Ridley her second-in-command.
  • Depending on the Artist: His size, color scheme, and even appearance have all wavered throughout the series. The only thing that's been consistent since Super Metroid is that he's larger than Samus, but just how large depends on the situation.
  • Determinator: In Super Metroid Ridley will keep fighting despite having zero health. It's only after he grabs Samus or if he takes enough extra damage over a period of time that he finally dies.
  • Dinosaurs Are Dragons: Well, Pterosaurs are Dragons, but he's nonetheless a dragon who resembles a prehistoric creature.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: As a child, Samus attempted to befriend Ridley, embarrassing him in front of his fellow Pirates. What does he try to do in order to save face? Kill her.
  • Do Not Go Gentle: There's a random chance that Ridley will try to attack Samus one last time before finally biting it in Super.
  • Draconic Abomination: A sapient space dragon who can breathe plasma, fly through the vacuum of space, regenerate entire body parts by eating other creatures, take Phazonnote  without suffering its worst effects, and is nigh-unkillable.
  • The Dragon: Co-Dragons with Kraid to Mother Brain in the original, retconned and promoted to the dragon in Zero Mission (sequence breaking aside) and Super, and to Dark Samus in Prime 3. He may have been the supreme leader of the Pirates before Mother Brain took over, though high command puts him in charge of Talon IV's security in the first Metroid Prime.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He is often at least as dangerous, if not more so, than whoever is holding his leash. Subverted in Super, where Mother Brain, after going One-Winged Angel, comes closer to killing Samus than Ridley does.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: He's a monstrous, skeletal dragon who rules the hellish pits of Norfair. And due to his tendency to cheat death even in the most extreme situations, he truly lives up to his title as "The Cunning God of Death."
  • The Dreaded: There's a reason why Samus, the only person who has ever defeated Ridley multiple times, is afraid of him. Prior to the series, he annihilated dozens of space colonies (including K-2L, which happened to be Samus's original home) and occupied Zebes, wiping out the remnants of the Chozo civilization. His legendary persistence was first shown here when an Afloralite explosion caused the Space Pirate flagship to fall on top of him, which he had claimed seared the flesh from his bones, and he still managed to survive, albeit by feasting on the smoldering corpses in the aftermath. He personally attacked Samus when she was three years old and killed her mother right in front of her, leaving traumatic mental scars that still haunt Samus in the present era.
  • Dynamic Entry: When he doesn't just appear in the room, he announces his arrival with extreme firepower.

    E — I 
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference:
    • The art for in the both the Japanese and English manuals the first Metroid game showed Ridley as a weird creature with a strange seahorse-like head instead of the more familiar space dragon. However, other artwork based on the first Metroid was based on the in-game sprite, which looks more like a dragon. Additionally, this is the only Metroid game where he's the same size as Samus.
    • Supplemental materials in Japan also depicted Ridley in a chibi, super-deformed artstyle, before Super introduced his monstrous, more realistic design.
  • Evil Is Petty: His rivalry with Samus is this. Ridley took time off from his commanding post and had to resist killing young Samus for merely offering friendship. And despite the fact that the K-2L colony was one of many raids he has partaken, he still remembers Samus enough to personally torment her as revenge for surviving.
  • Faking the Dead: Given that Zero Mission didn't show Ridley's body when he exploded and that Proteus Ridley from Samus Returns fell with his body intact after being defeated by Samus and the baby Metroid, it can be assumed he's pretty good at faking his many deaths.
  • Fat and Skinny: Formed this duo with Kraid in the older games.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Not so apparent in the games but shines through in the manga, especially when he meets Samus for the first time; namely feigning sympathy when young Samus offers her friendship to him before attacking without warning.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Even before Ridley loses his fight to Samus, he despises her for surviving his genocidal raid on K-2L. The manga even has Ridley proclaim in their first fight that "[Samus's] existence is like a bad dream" that must be erased from this world, and the Smash Bros. trophy of cloned Ridley's Mystery Creature form implies that he hunts Samus to finish what he had started with her parents.
  • Flat Character: While his appearances in both the manga and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate gleefully avert this, in the games themselves, Ridley has no way to express himself except through his actions — and since his actions boil down to screaming and killing, he just looks like a mindless animal, with no depth beyond working for the bad guys and clearly hating Samus. There's one lore entry in Metroid Prime (the one at the top of the page) that hints at his Sadist tendencies, at the very least.
  • For the Evulz: In the manga Ridley takes pleasure in massacring the K-2L colony, and happily recounts the event to Samus years later, just to cause her mental anguish.
  • Genius Bruiser: It's revealed in the manga that he's not only sapient, but highly intelligent and capable of speech. Finally somewhat shown in Other M.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Ridley has a pair of glowing eyes that fade in and out of his sockets. According to Other M, he gets them when he enters the adult stage of his species' lifecycle, as his previous two forms have regular animal pupils.
  • Healing Factor: He can eat organic matter in order to regenerate lost mass, which is what most heterotrophs do admittedly, but the ability to seemingly come back from the dead being is what makes Ridley so special. He taunts Samus by saying he did this to her mother. However, this ability seems to occur a lot slower than most other examples.
  • The Heavy: He's responsible for stealing the Metroid baby at the beginning of Super, setting the game's plot in motion.
  • Implacable Man: Near invincible and will not be stopped.
    • He fights Samus one-on-one in Metroid and, while losing, manages to not only survive his injuries but escape the endgame explosion, and lives through his injuries long enough for the pirates to save his life by making him a cyborg.
    • In Super Metroid, he attacks a science facility, steals the baby Metroid from right under Samus's nose, and fights her again. He finally dies in this game, and it takes the seventh canonical beat down by his archnemesis coupled with being caught in an exploding planet to kill him.
  • Informed Attribute: The intelligence that he exhibits in the manga, and which pretty much all supplementary material talks about, is never really touched upon in-game. Then again, we rarely see him when he's not fighting Samus, so who knows.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: A monstrous, sapient alien that resembles a cartoony pterosaur.
  • Irony: Despite his Joker Immunity reputation and being Samus' greatest Arch-Enemy, Ridley fails to appear in Metroid Dread, the Grand Finale of the Metroid story arc, implying that Neo-Ridley's death is his final one. Even more ironic, his pirate friend Kraid ends up outliving him as one of the bosses featured in Dread.
  • It Can Think: Despite acting like an animal in boss fights and cutscenes in the games, the lore reveals he's pretty intelligent and malicious and he can even talk in the manga. His Red Baron name is "The Cunning God of Death" and the cunning aspect of the moniker is held by many to be as intimidating as stating he's The Grim Reaper.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon: While other villains tend to be the Big Bad, the main Arch-Enemy situation is between Samus and Ridley.

    J — O 
  • Jerkass: Ridley enjoys twisting the knife into Samus by reminding her of how he killed her parents and how he ate her mother’s corpse. Oh and her reaction to her 3 year old self offering friendship is to mock her before trying to kill her.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Young Samus believes that despite Ridley looking like a monster, she could be friends with him as the Chozo taught her to not judge living beings from the outside. Ridley seems to be moved by her words, as if this is the first time someone treated him as a person rather than a monster. It lasted only for a few seconds before Ridley tries to kill Samus, proving himself to be a monster inside and out.
  • Joker Immunity: As Samus's greatest nemesis and one of the most iconic villains of the series, Ridley has a tendency to cheat death several times no matter how hard Samus tries to put him down, often with cybernetic life-support. Officially, he actually dies in Super Metroid but ends up returning anways in Other M and Fusion as a clone. It seems to finally run out after Fusion, since he is nowhere to be found in Dread, his Neo Ridley copy was absorbed by Samus, and the B.S.L space station that has his only surviving remains was annihilated with SR388.
  • Kick the Dog: He killed Samus's parents when she was three years old. And if that's not enough, the manga has a scene where Ridley taunts Samus about killing her mother and then eating her corpse as he mercilessly beats her up in their first reencounter. Keep in mind, this is when Mother Brain is trying to persuade Samus to join the Space Pirates.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Super Metroid, his body breaks apart after Samus kills him. If that's not enough, the entire planet of Zebes is blown up with his body on it. His clone is sucked dry in Other M and finally killed by the X in Fusion to make Neo-Ridley, which Samus destroys before absorbing the X; finally doing Ridley in entirely since he never returns in Dread.
  • Killer Rabbit: Other M reveals his life cycle begins with a small creature that resembles a cross between a rabbit and a chicken, one that's fully capable of ripping a grown man to shreds and has the same Brown Note cry as the full grown creature.
  • King Koopa Copy: Has some traits of this, albeit being Darker and Edgier than the average example. He's a large, reptilian creature who leads the game's primary enemies and fights with his claws and fire breath. Additionally, in Super, he kickstarts the game's plot by kidnapping the baby Metroid and is situated in the game's fiery, volcanic area.
  • Lack of Empathy: He cruelly mocks Samus for her PTSD-enduced memories of her mother being killed by him, as well as rubbing salt in the wound by casually mentioning that one of the humans he ate in order to heal his own wounds might have been Samus' mother.
    Ridley: You know, maybe I even ate your "mama" so that my cells can live, hm? Is she here? Or here?!
  • Lean and Mean: Aside from the original game and Other M, Ridley is lanky and thin to the point of being almost skeletal. This does not make him any less intimidating or dangerous.
  • Leitmotif: A mostly four-note theme, but one that still manages to be menacing, tense, and by far the most memorable theme in the series.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Able to tear around the screen at an amazing speed given his size, as well as deal out considerable damage to Samus. And if that wasn't bad enough, he can endure a lot of punishment before he finally goes down.
  • Made of Iron: Only Mother Brain knows how many times he was at the end of Samus's Arm Cannon getting blasted into bits, only to come Back from the Dead. Bonus point for literally being made of iron in some instances.
  • Mascot Villain: He's easily the most iconic villainous character from the Metroid series aside from the Metroids themselves. The Super Smash Bros. series, for one, depicts him almost as often as Samus herself, culminating in him being Promoted to Playable in Ultimate. He's even shown on the covers of Super Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission, an honor that not even the Metroids have gotten.
  • Meaningful Name: One meaning of Ridley is "barren field." Rather fitting considering what happens to the places he attacks.
  • Metamorphosis Monster: Other M reveals that Ridley's species undergoes metamorphosis from a small, bipedal, furry larval stage to a large quadrupedal lizard-like instar stage and finally to his draconic winged adult stage — with each stage erupting out of the previous one.
  • Might Makes Right: In the manga: "In battle, nature sides with the strong! You shall realize just how worthless your ideals and such are — AH HA HA HA HA HA!"
  • Narcissist: According to Sakamoto, the reason why Ridley created Mecha Ridley in the Space Pirate Mothership is because he wanted his very image to be represented as a powerful weapon of mass destruction. In Palutena's Guidance, Viridi cites Mecha Ridley as proof of Ridley being a narcissist. Elements of this can be seen in Super Metroid, where Ridley is the only boss in the game that has statues and architecture based on him.
  • Never My Fault: In the manga, he never owes up to his mistakes and is quick to blame others, be it Samus for the failed attempt to steal Afloralite on K-2L or Gray Voice for leading him on a wild goose chase that left Mother Brain vulnerable.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Hilariously, he is a space dragon who is the leader of the Space Pirates and often comes back from the dead, sometimes as a cyborg. If you count that he is capable of "invisibility" in Super Metroid, he is a literal Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot. As of Metroid Prime 3, he's a Radioactive Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot Mutant Space Dragon.
  • One Riot, One Ranger: In Super Metroid, Ridley is the only Space Pirate seen raiding the Ceres Space Colony. In fact, he may be the only Space Pirate needed to capture the last Metroid in captivity as Samus Returns reveals that Ridley tried to steal the same Metroid back on SR388 alone without any backup forces.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: He is anorexic and can fly in space here.

    P — Y 
  • Practically Joker: He's a lean purple villain infamous for surviving many deaths, and the manga gives Ridley a sadistic personality with a sick sense of humor. He enjoys killing innocents For the Evulz and is the personal Arch-Enemy of Samus Aran, who lost her parents to Ridley at the age of three, not unlike how 8-year-old Bruce Wayne lost his parents to Jack Napier (the future Joker) in Batman (1989).
  • Prehistoric Animal Analogue: Being a flying beaked draconic monster, he is inspired by pterosaurs, particularly his Pteranodon-like crest.
  • Prehistoric Monster: Ridley's ''Pteranodon''-like head, skeletal build, and savage draconic appearance make him look like an amalgamation of the inaccurate, "shrinkwrapped" monsters you see in fiction.
  • Psycho for Hire: The manga and some of the Data Logs in Metroid Prime imply that his reason for being with the Space Pirates boils down to a sadistic love of killing other beings, which is his forte.
  • Purple Is Powerful: His coloration varies a bit from game to game, but he's most commonly purple.
  • Razor Wings: Averted, the designers went out of their way to make sure players would not have to worry about his wings in the 2D games. He does use plenty of wing attacks in the Super Smash Bros. series, however.
  • Recurring Boss: The only enemies/bosses to appear in more games than him are the Metroids themselves.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: His design in Zero Mission has black (or very dark gray) skin with red wings. And yes, he is certainly very evil.
  • Red Baron: According the Zero Mission website, Ridley is also known as the "Cunning God of Death." Appropriate moniker given that he's far more intelligent than he appears, is nearly impossible to kill, and brings carnage wherever he goes.
  • Redemption Rejection: Young Samus, unable to fully comprehend what's happening to her home, tries to apply the lessons Old Bird imparts to her by offering kindness and friendship to Ridley. Ridley seems moved by this offer, almost implying that his destructive raids stems from resentment of being seen as a monster... But then he reveals his true colors by attempting to kill Samus with his fiery breath. After seeing her mother die saving her from Ridley, Samus never again offers Ridley kindness or friendship, now understanding that he's a monster inside and out.
  • Revenge Myopia: In the manga, Ridley blames Samus for causing the Afloraltite explosion that destroyed his warship, his troops and a good portion of his body. Never mind that Samus was a young three-year old child at the time, and it was Ridley's own raid that forced her father to blow up the Afloraltite in the first place.
  • Robot Me: He had commissioned a robot version of himself in Zero Mission just to flaunt his image and power.
  • Sadist: Feels nothing but joy for the lives he ruined. He especially enjoys mocking Samus about killing her mother.
  • Satanic Archetype: Ridley has many allusions to the devil himself. He's a demonic space dragon who rules over the deepest subterranean levels of Norfair, is reputed to be a cunning god of death, and serves as Samus' undying nightmare. Being titled "The God of Death" doesn't help.
  • Screaming Warrior: Though he's rarely seen talking onscreen, the fact that he's a very calculating creature his animalistic screeching and roaring come off more as this.
  • Shout-Out: In a series whose antagonistic parasites are inspired by Xenomorphs, Ridley just so happens to share first names with that film's director, Ridley Scott.
  • Signature Move: His most iconic attack is grabbing Samus and then slamming her to a barrier. It was immortalized in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's "The Subspace Emissary" cutscene, where he additionally scrapes Samus along the wall, with later games such as Other M incorporating it in Ridley's arsenal of attacks. It's even become one of his moves upon becoming playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • The Sociopath: He's a psychopathic, narcissistic monster who prides himself as a weapon of mass destruction and loves to kill people. And when he's not hurting with his claws, he's hurting with his words.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: He pulls this at the beginning of Super Metroid. Impressive, given his size.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Well, not quite voiced, so to say, but his appearances in spin-off material give him the ability to speak. In the games themselves, he only ever roars and screeches.
  • Terror-dactyl: Looks a bit like a bizarre, draconic pterosaur hybrid of a Pteranodon and Rhamphorhynchus. And his Signature Move is picking up targets with his claws and then scraping them across the floor or wall as he flies.
  • Theme Naming: Probably by accident, but his Space Pirate Designation of “Geoform 187” uses the same number as the California Penal Code for murder. He’s certainly done a lot of that.
  • To Serve Man: We don't see it in the games, but in the manga he states that he can consume other creatures to regenerate his own wounds. He also thinks human flesh tastes disgusting and directs even more of his hate on Samus for "forcing" him to resort to eating it to survive.
  • Tom the Dark Lord: Ridley, while a somewhat uncommon name, is still fairly mundane for an evil, intelligent, human-eating, purple space dragon that can regenerate no matter how hard a beating he takes.
  • Unexplained Recovery: After apparently being blown to pieces in the original Metroid, he shows up without even a scratch in Super Metroid. Metroid Prime and Samus Returns make an effort to explain his recovery process, but then Corruption muddles things up by seemingly reducing him to Phazon dust.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: In contrast to the highly trained and heavily armed Samus, Ridley's fighting style lacks any kind of finesse and is every bit as feral and savage as you'd expect from a Space Dragon. But given that he's one of the few beings in the whole universe who could be considered Samus' equal in combat, this is a relatively moot point.
  • Wipe the Floor with You: Super Metroid added an attack to Ridley's arsenal where he grabs Samus in his claws. This was retained for Fusion, while Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Other M took this idea and expanded upon it, having Ridley grab Samus, then drag her across a wall. An actual floor-based drag appears as one of his moves in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Almost killed Samus when she was three years old.
  • Would You Like to Hear How They Died?: In the manga, after realizing that Samus is suffering from post-traumatic memories of K-2L just by looking at him, Ridley decides to "help" her Heroic BSoD by recounting how he ate all of the human corpses there to survive. Then to twist the knife further, he cruelly asks Samus if she can identify which cells in his body belong to her mother.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: Since Super Metroid, his design can be summed up as the Xenomorph with leathery wings and a more dragon-like head, due to his skeletal figure and stinger tail being dead ringers for the Xenomorph's iconic appearance.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness: Ridley has completely yellow eyes, and though he is crafty, murderous might be a better descriptor. In Super Metroid his eyes appear before the rest of his body becomes visible.
  • You Are Number 6: In Prime, one log refers to Ridley as Geoform 187.
  • Your Size May Vary: Ridley's size tends to change from game to game. The only consistent thing is that he's bigger than Samus.
    • This led to discussions about whether he wasn't a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl because he was "too big", which was confirmed by Masahiro Sakurai during the development of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he's been made playable, now standing roughly as tall as Bowser while in his hunched-over combat stance for ease of implementation. One of his taunts lets him stand up to his full height, half again as tall as any other fighter.
    • At the beginning of Metroid Prime 3, he's large enough to have Samus fit into his mouth just barely as they fall down the tunnel. Later on in the Pirate Homeworld, after becoming infused with Phazon to become Omega Ridley, you would think he would be just as large as before, right? Nope! He's suddenly sized down to the point that Samus can only fit her arm cannon into his mouth. Justified, if you look at it as being a classic duel between two arch-enemies on even foot.
    • His size also varies quite a bit from panel to panel in the official manga.
    • Funny enough, this also applies to his wings in all of his 2D appearances; his sprite most likely would take up too much space if they were any bigger.

Other Forms

    Meta Ridley 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/geoform197remastered_photoroom_2.png
After his initial defeat in Metroid and Zero Mission, Ridley was rebuilt as a cyborg by Space Pirates. He appears in this form in Metroid Prime and Corruption, antagonizing Samus during her adventures on Tallon IV and Norion.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: And fly, and survive re-entry without issue.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Out of the two main plots in the first Metroid Prime, he's the Big Bad of one of them, as the leader of the Space Pirates on Tallon IV. This is notably the only time in the series where Ridley plays the role of a Big Bad, if not the only one.
  • Climax Boss: Defeating Meta Ridley ends the Space Pirates' involvement on Tallon IV. The only threat left is the other half of the Big Bad Ensemble, Metroid Prime.
  • Cyborg: He has cybernetic augmentations and prosthetics stemming from his resuscitation following his defeat in the original Metroid.
  • Dark Lord on Life Support: After his defeat on Zebes in Metroid the Space Pirates recovered his body, put him on life support in the Frigate Orpheon, and reconstructed him using cybernetic implants, turning him into Meta Ridley.
  • Dragon Ascendant: In the Prime series, Mother Brain is absent, leaving Ridley as the highest ranking pirate. Though he's mindcontrolled by Dark Samus in Corruption, so it's debatable how well this applies.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Most prevalent in the first Prime game, where Samus's exploits leave him as the leader of the pirates on Tallon IV and half of the game's Big Bad Ensemble.
  • The Dreaded: In Corruption, he lays waste to a whole Federation outpost before dragging Samus into a freefall battle and survives.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In your first visit to Norion in Corruption you can catch a glimpse of him wiping out a group of marines in the distance.
  • Eye Scream: Metroid Prime Remastered gives his eyes holographic High-Tech Hexagons similar to his wings, implying that his eyes were also badly injured enough to need cybernetic replacements.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: He does this throughout both phases of the fight, both of which including a shockwave. However, while this move leaves him open for attack in the first phase, this is not the case with the second - and he does this multiple times in a row on top of that.
  • Implacable Man: In Prime, the newly roboticized Meta Ridley is more or less the only Space Pirate to live through the destruction of their frigate, and later survives not only a thrashing by Samus but also being blasted by the statue guardians of the Artifact Temple, falling into a canyon, then blowing up.
  • Leitmotif: Retains his trademark theme, though it now includes two additional interludes and has much more of a techno feel to it.
  • Painful Transformation: His conversion to Meta Ridley was described as such, perhaps explaining why, despite the stated advantages, he opted to revert to being organic by Super.
  • Taking You with Me: His first boss fight in Prime 3, which has you on a time limit that ends with Samus crashing into Norion's core. Though he can fly, so it's more of a "toss Samus down a hole and go with her to make sure it gets the job done."
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: The first Meta Ridley fight sees him do this. The second sees him throw them upwards.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: After his defeat in the first Metroid game, Meta Ridley is the result of Space Pirate engineering to keep him alive.

    Omega Ridley 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ssbu_spirits_omega_ridley.png
Near the end of Corruption, Meta Ridley is chosen as the guardian of the Pirate Homeworld Leviathan Seed. Now enhanced by the powers of Phazon Energy, he becomes the powerful Omega Ridley.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Omega Ridley can shoot short ranged beams out of his tail.
  • Body Horror: His most decrepit look thus far. Having lost the outer skin he acquired in his Phazon-enhanced Meta Ridley state, he is fully exposed as an undead cybernetic dragon that is so severely crippled that only Phazon had kept him not only up to fighting capability, but strengthened him to a much greater level than before.
  • Cyborg: Alongside a hefty dose of Phazon, Omega Ridley is still surviving on the cybernetic augmentations from his Meta Ridley state.
  • The Dreaded: He takes in so much Phazon he becomes a full-blown Leviathan guardian. And, unlike other powerful beings of Phazon, he lives through Phaaze's destruction at the end of the game. This is perfectly exemplified on the heads-up map; he is such a powerful threat at this point that his entire body is represented through and animated out of countless enemy dots.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: During his final phase where he flies through the holes of the area, he occasionally crashes down onto the ground before quickly going airborne again.
  • Healing Factor: His healing ability can be seen somewhat in Corruption, presumably sped up by Phazon enhancement. The first time you fight him, as Meta Ridley, most of his body is plated with or replaced by metal. When you face him a month or so later as Omega Ridley, he's healed enough that he's shed off a lot of his metal parts and what isn't removed is starting to get pushed apart by regrowing flesh anyway. Certainly justifies why he goes back to being regular Ridley in Super Metroid.
  • Improvised Armor: Omega Ridley whips up some Phazite armor after you tear open his original armor plates.
  • Leitmotif: A far darker and unhinged version of his trademark theme, to the point where it sounds like a whole new chaotic motif altogether.
  • Power Palms: On occasion, although you can shoot them dim before he can do anything with them.
  • Reversible Roboticizing: By the time of Samus' second encounter with him months later, Ridley has shed a lot of his implants thanks to his Healing Factor, which was presumably sped up by Phazon enhancement. The implants still on him are also in the process of being pushed apart by his regenerating flesh too.
  • Wound That Will Not Heal: Despite having removed a good chunk of his cybernetics in favor of his regenerating flesh, Omega Ridley's chest is a noted weak point due to an injury that hasn't healed, presumably due to damage he sustained during his earlier fight with Samus on Norion.

    Proteus Ridley (UNMARKED SPOILERS
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/msr_proteusridley_artwork.png
In a surprising twist, Ridley appears as the new final boss of the official remake of Metroid II: Return of Samus. Seamlessly bridging the Metroid Prime Trilogy with Super Metroid, Proteus Ridley still has the cybernetics of his earlier Meta Ridley form but has already begun to shed them as he heals back to a fully-organic state.
  • Arc Welding: He is the one who connects the Prime series with the main series. He invades SR388 to kidnap the last Metroid hatchling after Samus has eliminated the others. However his appearance here shows that he still has his cybernetics attached to his body. After being defeated yet again, he would follow Samus to Ceres to kidnap the Metroid baby there, fully organic in Super Metroid.
  • Cyborg: While he appears much more organic than Meta Ridley, Proteus Ridley still has cybernetic augmentations and prosthetics to show that he's still not fully healed.
  • Eyelights Out: When Proteus Ridley is defeated, his glowing eyes flicker out.
  • Final Boss: After many games of being the Climax Boss or The Dragon to the real Big Bad, Ridley finally gets to assume this role in Metroid: Samus Returns as Proteus Ridley.
  • Healing Factor: The fact that Proteus Ridley appears much more organic in Samus Returns compared to Meta Ridley and Omega Ridley helps justify his fully-organic appearance in Super Metroid.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: He tries to steal the baby Metroid on SR388. When he attempts to kill Samus for interfering, the baby latches on him and begins draining his life-force to protect its mama.
  • Leitmotif: Notable that he has three in this case. The first phase is a part-orchestral version of the Meta Ridley theme, the second phase having a heavy all-techno version, and the third phase being a slower but far more intense version that sounds akin to Neo-Ridley's theme.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: In Samus Returns, he's added as the new Final Boss and is the only Space Pirate faced in the game.
  • Not Quite Dead: Between the blasting he gets from Samus and draining he gets from the Metroid hatchling, he looks pretty dead as Samus leaves the planet. But The Stinger shows that he has left the planet save for a discarded metal prosthetic that a Hornoad starts chewing on.
  • Reversible Roboticizing: He has shed even more of his implants and regrown a lot of his organic parts since the events of Corruption, most noticeably his wings. By Super Metroid, Ridley has all of them completely removed and has gotten his full flesh and blood body back.
  • Walking Spoiler: His presence in Samus Returns is a last-minute surprise, as he and the rest of the Space Pirates were completely absent from the original Metroid II.

Other Versions

    Mecha Ridley 
A robotic copy of Ridley he ordered built, encountered onboard the Space Pirate Mothership in Zero Mission. As it's not a true version of Ridley, its tropes can be found on the Space Pirates page.

    Bottle Ship Clone 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ridley_clone.png
"I felt something in the air... the presence of a dark intelligence."
Click here to see Little Birdie. 
Click here to see the Mystery Creature. 
After Ridley's true death on Zebes in Super Metroid, his cells were harvested from blood left on Samus's armor and used to grow a clone by Federation scientists onboard the Bottle Ship. As they didn't know the source of the genetic material and his previously unknown life cycle meant it wasn't immediately recognizable as Ridley, the clone was placed under minimal security as an unknown lifeform. This proved unwise when he managed to murder his keeper and escape, going unnoticed as MB seized control of the station while he grew into his adult form.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It's uncertain whether or not the clone retains the original's memories. On the one hand, he appears to recognize Samus and exclusively attacks her, but on the other, he could have simply instinctively gone after her because she was the biggest threat.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Having ironically spent much of the game on a feeding frenzy, Ridley's clone is sucked dry by a Metroid Queen.
  • Attack the Tail: As the Mystery Creature the tip of his tail is a weak point, ironic considering his tail is invulnerable as an adult.
  • Back from the Dead: After the original Ridley's final death in Super Metroid, he returns via cloning.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: As usual, though more prominently as the Mystery Creature, where his hunting method consists of "pin it down and stab it in the skull and neck until it dies."
  • Big Eater: He eats constantly as "Little Birdie" in order to hasten his metamorphosis.
  • Brown Note: His screech, even as a baby, contains sonic frequencies that drive other lifeforms into a murderous frenzy. It may also be responsible for Samus's breakdown upon confronting him.
  • Chest Burster: When he grows to his next stage, the body of his previous stage can be found with the rib cage peeled open and the body hollowed out.
  • Canon Character All Along: For most of the game, Little Birdie and its evolved form are treated like a highly dangerous creature but ultimately just another product of the Bottle Ship's experiments. It's only when he confronts you in the Pyrosphere that it's revealed to be a clone of Ridley.
  • Creepy Child: As "Little Birdie," the first stage of his life cycle. Somehow ironic how Ridley seems to be creepier when he's a cute newborn chicken thing. Even Samus is disturbed by it when she sees it feasting on the remains of the Kihunter hive she destroyed.
  • Dark Is Evil: His leftover presence is described by Samus as a "Dark" intelligence, he attacks Samus under cover of darkness in the Geothermal Power Plant until Samus finally illuminates him and has a Red and Black and Evil All Over Super Mode.
  • Dead Guy on Display:
    • The husk of the Mystery Creature is left clinging to the wall in plain sight.
    • The Ridley Clone's corpse is found in the Freezer section of the B.S.L in Metroid Fusion.
  • Death Glare: As Little Birdie, he gives an unsettling one towards Samus when she's about to leave the Rainforest room. This is after Samus encounters it as a "harmless" critter foraging for fruit, which foreshadows Little Birdie's true identity as Ridley and implies that he retained the original's murderous hatred towards Samus.
  • Dirty Coward: As Little Birdie, he manipulates Samus to kill the creatures of the Bottle Ship so he doesn't have to risk his life hunting for food. In fact, the only creatures he directly kills are humans, often by playing dead and wait until they come too close. And unlike the original deal, this Ridley clone cowardly flees after realizing that Samus is too much for him, not willing to risk death at the hands of an enraged Hunter.
  • Dragons Are Demonic: When Ridley reveals himself in the Geothermal Power Plant, he rises from the flames with his body silhouetted in front of a molten fall. This, combined with the then-unexplained recovery from his most certain death on Zebes, really does make him out to be Satan in dragon form. Additionally, he's known to manipulate the wildlife to attack the humans with his Brown Note screech, feasting the fallen corpses in the aftermath, and his power-up mode coats him with black and red color scheme.
  • The Dreaded: Even after Ridley was killed off, his clone gets treated with just as much fear as the original. He wreaks havoc in the station and slaughters scientists and even some soldiers while still an infant. The frequency of his voice is driving the other beings in the Bottle Ship into a frenzy, meaning that even when he's not around to directly make things worse, he's still making things worse. Killing the clone requires no less a being than a friggin' Queen Metroid, and this is after he's worn out in another battle with Samus. Adam Malkovich considers the clone to be such a threat that he prevents Samus from sacrificing herself to destroy a room full of unfreezable Metroids, opting to take her place instead because he believes Samus is the only person reliably able to handle Ridley.
  • Faking the Dead: He does this after fighting Samus in order to attempt one more attack before fleeing.
  • Genetic Memory: He seems to know EXACTLY who Samus is. Even if he is only acting on basic instincts, he still has the same sadism the original Ridley had, toying with Samus when she's suffering a Heroic BSoD before Anthony Higgs draws his attention.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Not in either of his younger stages, but he gains them upon assuming his adult form.
  • Hair-Raising Hare: Once the rabbit-like Little Birdie reveals his true nature as a vicious animal, he shows a set of sharp teeth in a beak formation, sometimes with his fur splattered with the remains of its victim.
  • It Can Think: An Informed Attribute with the original, but he gets a chance to show it thanks to his greater influence in the lot than usual.
    • Samus reflects on this as she observes him devouring the Kihunter hive remains, noting that he used her to get his next meal like a parasite. Not to mention she noted that Little Birdie's holding pen shows signs of a "dark intelligence" at work.
    • The Mystery Creature brutally attacks the team of mercs and uses the terrain to his advantage while also provoking other creatures into attacking them as a diversion while he focuses on the biggest threat. Then he noticed the extremely deadly Plasma Beam aimed right as his face after getting hit by it once and takes off. He doesn't just run either, he leaps and twists to make himself a harder target to hit.
    • As an adult, he recognizes and dodges the plasma beam that wounded him before, then immediately chucks the wielder into lava rather than risk a prolonged battle with two opponents. There's also the fact that just before this, he ambushes them under cover of darkness to be able to attack them without fear of retailiation.
  • Killed Offscreen: He's killed by a Queen Metroid after fleeing from his fight with Samus.
  • Killer Rabbit: His life cycle started off as a small, white fuzzball with big ears known as "Little Birdie." The creature was regarded as harmless by the Bottle Ship scientists... until it played dead to lure one into its cage and then attacked without warning. When Samus encounters Little Birdie, she is disturbed by its presence and wonders if it had been causing the wildlife to attack her with its ear-piercing cries.
  • Leitmotif: Even as a clone Ridley retains his original theme, although this time it is almost entirely orchestral with several original melodies mixed in, giving the theme a new modern spin.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: In Metroid Fusion his cryogenically preserved corpse falls apart as the X-Parasite that had infected it flies away.
  • Manipulative Bastard: As Little Birdie, he's unable to get food for himself and can easily be seen as easy prey by larger predators. So he uses his Brown Note screech to drive the creatures in the Bottle Ship into a frenzy and thus attack Samus. After Samus puts down these hostile creatures, Little Birdie proceeds to feast on the spoils and his behavior disgusts the bounty hunter.
  • Metamorphosis Monster: As a clone grown from fragmented cells, we get to see the full life cycle of the space dragon we all know and... know.
    • He begins as a small bipedal creature featuring chicken-like legs, large triangular ears, and a coat of fur-like feathers. Nicknamed "Little Birdie," he's small and weak but much more cunning than he seems. He also has full use of the Brown Note screech his later forms have, which he uses to drive lifeforms into fighting each other so he can eat the corpse of the loser.
    • After eating enough, he molts into a quadrupedal lizard roughly the size of a crocodile. He loses the ears and most of the feathers but gains a long tail tipped with a blade and a heft dose of physical might, as well as two rows of long curved spines on his back.
    • Eventually the lizard molts into the classic dragon we're familiar with. Those spikes grow into wings, he sheds the last of his fur, he grows a crest, and all the other changes necessary to be the scourge of the Federation.
  • No Name Given: The adolescent stage is never named besides the description of "Mystery Creature" in Other M Premiere Edition and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U.
  • No-Sell: As an adult, Ridley can temporarily power himself up by turning into a form known as Black Ridley in the Japanese Super Smash Bros. for Wii U 50-Fact Extravaganza (in English, this name was erroneously translated as Meta Ridley). While in this state, Black Ridley is completely invulnerable to most of Samus's arsenal, including her Plasma Beam and Missiles; the only thing that can damage him is a Super Missile.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Little Birdie is covered with it and the Mystery Creature has it on his back. It is possible that it's actually feathers, which would make slightly more sense for a dinosaur-like creature,
  • Playing Possum: He's good at this in all stages of his life. As Little Birdie, he pretends to drop dead to lure a scientist into his enclosure, where he proceeds to maul the unfortunate human and slip through the door. As an adult, when Samus is delivering her vengeful beatdown on him, the clone falls to floor and lays still, hoping to get one last strike when she turns her back. It didn't work as Samus manages to avoid his claws and aims her arm cannon at him, forcing the clone to flee.
  • Purple Is Powerful:
    • The Mystery Creature and his adult form have purple skin.
    • As the nearly-invulnerable Black Ridley, his torso glows with a purple aura.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: As the name implies, his temporary Black Ridley form has nearly-black skin instead of bright purple skin, but he retains the red wings.
  • Sadist: Like the original, the clone enjoys tormenting his prey before killing them. When Samus suffers from a Heroic BSoD, Ridley takes his sweet time deciding on how to kill her (either by his claws or his barbed tail) before Anthony interferes. Whether the clone has the memories of the original or is just a territorial animal, it's clear that sadism runs in Ridley's DNA.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • As the Mystery Creature, he makes a run for it after Anthony tags him with the plasma beam. You know a weapon's powerful when Ridley turns tail and bolts.
    • After receiving the most savage beatdown from Samus and failing to capture her in a last-ditch attempt, Ridley blasts a hole in the Geothermal Plant wall and flees through it, not wanting to deal with a vengeful bounty hunter determined to make him pay for seemingly killing Anthony.
  • Signature Move: He uses Ridley's signature move of slamming Samus into a wall, then escalates it by flying along the wall and grating her against it.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Mystery Creature has two rows of them on its shoulders, which later grow into the wings of his adult form. Unlike his other appearances, Ridley's adult form features additional spikes on his head, limbs, and wings.
  • Wipe the Floor with You: He drags Samus along a wall for significant damage.

    Neo-Ridley 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mf_neo_ridley_sprite.png
After the Bottle Ship clone of Ridley was killed by a Queen Metroid, his desiccated remains were recovered and sent to the B.S.L for study. When the X overran the station one of the parasites eventually broke into the cryogenic vault containing his body and absorbed his DNA. From there it fled to the depths of Sector 1 and formed into an X clone of the dreaded Space Pirate, where it confronted Samus.
  • All There in the Manual: Ridley is never referred to by name in Fusion. Instead, the "Neo-Ridley" moniker comes from the Japanese soundtrack and strategy guide, before finally being mentioned in-game 16 years later in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: Inverted, his entire body is vulnerable except for his tail.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: As with his predecessors, his tail is used as a weapon.
  • Breath Weapon: He spits spinning fireballs that arc towards you.
  • Deader than Dead: He's already a corpse in Fusion before an X-Parasite absorbs him. That X-Parasite mimics Ridley when fighting Samus, but ends getting defeated and absorbed by Samus herself. Unless the Galactic Federation has additional Ridley DNA samples elsewhere, there is zero chance of Ridley being revived from cloning.
  • Draconic Abomination: Neo-Ridley is an X Parasite that has assimilated and augmented Ridley's clone, which was already an alien dragon capable of interstellar flight, breathing plasma hot enough to melt a spaceship's hull, and regenerating by consuming other living beings. In its draconic form, its head and talons are grotesquely enlarged, while its wings are comically small. Once it takes enough damage, however, it reverts to its amoeboid X Parasite form.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: If you're willing to risk the cold damage, you can enter the freezer and see his body very early in the game.
  • Foreshadowing: About halfway through the game, Samus is forced to take a shortcut through the cryovault with his body. When she finds it, it crack apart as an X parasite rises out before fleeing. It stops just short of a sign saying "You'll fight Ridley later.".
  • Genetic Memory: Like all X, it gets the memories of its host. There is a question about how many memories it got exactly, as it's unclear if the clone it got the memories from itself had a genetic memory. If it did, it has all the memories of Ridley, but if not it still has the memories of a dangerous and intelligent predator born on a space station of bioengineered monsters.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The first sign of trouble is when the eyes of his frozen carcass begin to glow under the layer of ice.
  • Killed Off for Real: This is currently the last time Ridley appears in canon; after many violent and increasingly extreme deaths, there seems to be nothing left to clone him from at the conclusion of the game, with the B.S.L station being nuked into SR388. With his entire physiology wiped and his absence in Dread, this appears to be Ridley's absolute Final Death.
  • Leitmotif: Has a slower, quiet but droning version of his traditional theme, hammering in that this is possibly Ridley's final incarnation.
  • One-Winged Angel: It initially takes the form of the Ridley clone's carcass, which has Ridley's appearance from Super Metroid, until the X-Parasite decides to make a few adjustments.
  • Power Copying: The subject of it, Samus absorbs the X that mimicked him to gain the Screw Attack.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: Like most X, this one tried to improve its host/genetic source. As a result, his claws are warped and enlarged, his mouth twists into a hooked shape, and his body becomes a distorted mass of muscles and armored scales.

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