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Debut: Metroid 1
"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

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ridley_transparent_1.png
"Time for you — TO DISAPPEAR!!!"
Click here to see Meta Ridley from Metroid Prime. 

Attack Dog of High Command, General of the Mother Brain. Lord 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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Ridley

     A - D 
  • 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' homeworld of K-2L when Samus was a toddler, and killed Samus' mother right in front of her. On his part, he seems to resent her for his numerous painful defeats at her hands (many of which required implied-to-be-excruciating cybernetic surgery for him to survive.)
  • Arc Welding: Believe it or not, he is the one who connects the Prime series with Samus Returns. To wit: 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.
  • 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 Equals Authority: There's a reason he's so high up the Space Pirate chain of command.
  • Ax-Crazy: It's made clear on several occasions that Ridley enjoys being a destructive mass murderer far more than he desires to conquer the universe.
  • Back from the Dead: It wasn't until the third time that an explanation for his seeming immortality was provided, though given series continuity Samus would have gotten the explanation around the first time she saw him come back even though players had to wait a few games. To wit: he's usually revived via cybernetic augmentation (as Meta Ridley throughout the Prime series) or cloning (his appearances in Other M and Fusion after the original Ridley's final death in Super Metroid.)
    • His appearance in Super Metroid is the weirdest one, as he is back to being fully organic after spending most of his time post-Zero Mission as a cyborg, but in his last appearance as Omega Ridley at the end of Corruption he seems to be more organic than when he appeared earlier in the game. Ridley is said to have a Healing Factor, and becoming a Leviathan guardian is known to enhance one's natural abilities (just look at Metroid Prime and Emperor Ing) so it's possible that the Phazon kickstarted his healing ability to such extents that he regrew the lost parts of his body and rejected his cybernetic implants. This is later confirmed in Samus Returns, where Ridley appears having shed parts of his cybernetic enhancements but still retaining others. The Stinger implies that he shed all of his implants soon after his encounter with Samus in that game and before Super.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: And fly, and survive re-entry without issue. His species is known as "the Space Dragons", suggesting they have adapted to vacuum environments.
  • 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.
  • 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. Omega Ridley can shoot short ranged beams out of his tail.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: Out of the two main plots in the first Metroid Prime, he's the Big Bad of one of them and is the cause of the entire game.
  • Blood Knight: Ridley enjoys nothing more than ripping things apart.
  • Bootstrapped Leitmotif: Originally Ridley's signature theme was just the escape theme from Super Metroid, which also was used for a couple of boss battles, Ridley included. 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 X also uses a variant of the theme.
  • 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. His consistently awesome boss fights might also have something to do with it.
  • Breath Weapon: What did you expect from a dragon? Ridley can spit plasma hot enough to melt through spaceship hull.
  • Brown Note: In Other M, it's revealed that the frequency of Ridley's voice drives Space Pirates and some other creatures into a murderous battle frenzy, essentially making Ridley a perfect military commander. It also may have had something to do with Samus's mental breakdown.
  • 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: Ridley is actually a codename according to Metroid Prime, though it's not used to protect his identity. It's because he doesn't have a real name, just the scientific designation "geoform 187."
  • Create Your Own Hero: He killed Samus’ mother in attempting to kill Samus, thus Ridley had succeeded in creating his greatest enemy.
  • Cyborg: As Meta Ridley in Prime, Omega Ridley in Prime 3, and Proteus Ridley in Samus Returns 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. He's back to being fully organic in Super Metroid, with Samus Returns apparently showing him at an intermediary stage of recovery.
  • 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. On the other hand, he's already been cloned once, and since Samus is an outlaw at the end of Fusion, it's not impossible that he won't be revived in some fashion, given that Ridley is the natural choice to hunt down Samus.
  • 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. See Your Size May Vary below.
  • 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.
  • 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 Ascendant: In the Prime series, his direct superior, as well as several of his potential rivals, are all dead at Samus's hand. Though scan data in Prime indicates that there's someone left who still has some measure of control over him and he's mindcontrolled by Dark Samus in Corruption, so it's debatable how well this applies.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: He is often at least as dangerous, if not more so, than whoever is holding his leash. 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: 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.
    • In Corruption, he lays waste to a whole Federation outpost before dragging Samus into a freefall battle. He not only survives, he takes in so much Phazon he becomes a full-blown Leviathan guardian. And, unlike other powerful beings of Phazon, he lives through the Phaaze's destruction at the end of the game.
  • Dynamic Entry: When he doesn't just appear in the room, he announces his arrival with extreme firepower.

     E - I 
  • 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.
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: The art for the first Metroid game—which is the same in both the Japanese and American manuals—showed Ridley as a weird dragonfly thing instead of the more familiar space dragon. This might have been due to the art being based on his in-game sprite, which admittedly was rather vague on his appearance beyond "winged monster." Additionally, this is the only Metroid game where he's the same size as Samus.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Subverted in the manga. Ridley at first seems to avoid trying to kill Samus, but was instead lowering her guard. She's 3 years old at the time.
  • Eyelights Out: When Proteus Ridley from Samus Returns is defeated, his glowing eyes flicker out.
  • 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.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Ridley despises Samus not so much for defeating him numerous times, but for surviving his genocidal raid on K-2L and still living since. 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.
  • Final Boss: Not usually; considering that he is typically The Dragon, not the Big Bad, his encounters typically serve as a Climax Boss instead. However, a robotic duplicate of him that serves as the Final Boss of Zero Mission. He finally gets to assume this role in Metroid: Samus Returns, in the form of Proteus Ridley.
  • 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: It's implied that the only reason he's with the Space Pirates is that he enjoys killing people.
  • Genetic Memory: It's implied, but not confirmed, that he has this with his clone in Other M.
  • 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.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: Meta Ridley and Omega Ridley.
  • Hate Sink: The manga pulls no punch to make Ridley truly despicable. Instead of feeling remorse, Ridley relishes the fact he massacred the K-2L colony and killed Samus's mother, using these memories to mentally break Samus on their second encounter. And he murders the Chozo on Zebes on Mother Brain's command, all of whom were Samus's adopted parents. All while mocking, attacking and dismissing Samus for being a weak human. It becomes satisfying to see Samus kick Ridley's ass not only by the end of the manga, but also in the many encounters they will face throughout the series.
  • Healing Factor:
    • He can eat organic matter in order to regenerate lost mass, which is what most heterotrophs do admittedly, the ability to seemingly come back from the dead being 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.
    • 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.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: 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.
  • 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 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.
    • 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.
  • Improvised Armor: Omega Ridley whips some up after you tear open his original armor plates.
  • 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.
    • It's exhibited during his attack on Norion in Corruption, as he tries multiple times to attack Samus while she is in Morph Ball mode, incapable of really fighting back. After this fails, he drags her into a freefall battle; considering Samus can't fly, even if he lost the fight, she'd still fall to her death. And then Rundas shows up to save Samus, ruining all the fun.
  • Intelligent Gerbil: A monstrous, sapient alien that resembles a cartoony pterodactyl.
  • 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 
  • Jerk Ass: As seen throughout the franchise, Ridley is sadistic and shows no mercy to his enemies; especially toward Samus.
  • Joker Immunity: Officially averted in Super Metroid, where he canonically died. The ones in Fusion and Other M are a clone that was killed by a Metroid Queen and resurrected by an X Parasite. However, considering he's Samus's greatest nemesis and one of the iconic villains of the series, it's a sure thing that Ridley or a clone of him will continue to pop up.
    • Up to Eleven when being reduced to Phazon dust isn't enough to kill him, when he appears in SR388 to kidnap the last Metroid Hatchling.
  • Killed Off for Real: In Super Metroid, his body broke 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.
  • 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.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Usually, when he shows up, the story takes a darker turn.
  • 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: Except the Other M clone, who is more muscular but no less mean.
  • Leitmotif: The most memorable one 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.
  • Lone Wolf Boss: In Samus Returns, he's added as the new Final Boss and is the only Space Pirate faced in the game.
  • 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 Mook: 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.
  • 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 the Ridley Robot in the Space Pirate Mothership is because he wanted his very image to be represented as a powerful weapon of mass destruction.
  • Never My Fault: 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 holocaustic raid that forced her father to blow up the Afloraltite in the first place.
  • 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.
  • Overarching Villain: Though Ridley doesn't act as the one main antagonist of any of the individual games, he is the most recurring out of all the antagonists, appearing in almost every game in the series as a formidable and unrelenting boss.note  Thanks to the manga, which reveals why Samus and Ridley have mutual hatred towards each other, as well Ridley's ability to come back from the brink of death, the Space Pirate dragon cements himself as the primary antagonist for the entire franchise and it's very likely that his pursuit of Samus isn't going to stop any time soon.

    P - Y 
  • 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.
  • Power Palms: On occasion as Omega Ridley, although you can shoot them dim before he can do anything with them.
  • 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.
  • Ptero Soarer: Looks a bit like a bizarre, draconic pterodactyl. Any inaccuracies are justified because he's an alien.
  • 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 a couple wing attacks in Super Smash Bros Brawl, however.
  • Recurring Boss: The only enemies/bosses to appear in more games than him are the Metroids themselves.
  • Red Baron: According the Zero Mission website, Ridley is also known as the "Cunning God of Death." Appropriate title given that he's far more intelligent than he appears, is nearly impossible to kill, and brings carnage wherever he goes.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out: In a series whose antagonistic parasites are inspired by Xenomorphs, Ridley just so happens to share first names with that films director, Ridley Scott.
  • Signature Move: His most iconic attack is grabbing Samus and then slamming her to a barrier. It was immortalized in 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 monster who 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.
  • Stock Dinosaurs: Of the "not actually a dinosaur" variety, he vaguely resembles a cartoon Pteranodon.
  • Suddenly Voiced: His appearances in spin-off material give him the ability to speak. He never speaks in-game.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • True Companions: With Kraid, of all people.
  • Turns Red: In the sidescroller games he slowly turns red as his health goes down.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Metroid Prime was the first game to even make mention of his recovery and the explanation for it was not very detailed.
  • 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.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Meta-Ridley and later Omega Ridley.
  • Wipe the Floor with You: Super Metroid added an attack to Ridley's arsenal where he grabs Samus and slams her into a wall. This was retained for Fusion, while Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Other M expanded on it to him dragging Samus across the 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.
  • Xenomorph Xerox: Downplayed compared to the Metroid. Since Super Metroid, his design can be summed up as the Xenomorph with leathery wings and a more dragon-like head.
  • You Are Number 6: Ridley is a codename according to Prime. His actual identification is 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. Wii U/3DS. For Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, he's been made playable, now standing roughly as tall as Bowser for ease of implementation.
    • 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 Versions

    Ridley Robot 
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 

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 unkown 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.
  • Attack Its Weakpoint: As the Mysterious Creature the tip of his tail is a weakpoint, ironic considering his tail is invulnerable as an adult.
  • 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.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: As usual, though more prominently as the Mysterious 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.
  • Dead Guy on Display:
    • The husk of the Mysterious 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.
  • 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 B.S.O.D. 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.
  • 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.
    • The Mysterious 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.
  • 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.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Every time he shows up, it marks another twist for the worst.
    • The Mysterious Creature attacks shortly after the discovery of cyborg zebesians marked with the Federation's insignia, revealing that the station had much more malicious intentions than its official statement.
    • Samus suffers another breakdown when she sees him in his adult form in the heat of the Geothermal Power Plant, as if it's the original back from the dead. This is also when Adam Malkovich is cut off from communication and Anthony Higgs seemingly dies when the clone knocks him off the platform, leaving Samus to be truly alone after she gives another brutal beating on cloned Ridley.
  • 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.
  • Non-Mammalian Hair: Little Birdie is covered with it and the Mysterious 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,
  • No Name Given: The adolescent stage is never named besides the description of "Mysterious 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 Mysterious Creature and his adult form have purple skin.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: As the Mysterious 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.
  • 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 Mysterious Creature has two rows of them on its shoulders, which later grow into the wings of his adult form.
  • Wipe the Floor with You: He drags Samus along a wall for significant damage.

    Neo Ridley 

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.
  • 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.
  • The Dreaded: Even after having the life literally torn from his body, the worn-out, dead, frozen husk of his clone is suitable for X parasite cloning. Yes, a clone of a clone, and he's still a tough and terrifying boss.
  • 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 question about how many memories it got exactly, as it's unclear if the clone it got the memories from itself had genetic memory. If it did it has all the memories of Ridley, 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, since this is the last game canonically, and that there seems to be nothing left to clone him from at this point; now that he's been nuked, drained to a husk by a Queen Metroid, absorbed by an X-Parasite, and then erased from physical existence as said X is absorbed.
  • Knight of Cerebus: It's fought between The Reveal the Federation grew metroids of their own, the very plot she'd spent years stopping the Space Pirates from accomplishing, and that they intend to similarly utilized the X parasites, which would doom the galaxy, raising the stakes.
  • Mega Manning: The subject of it, Samus absorbs the X that mimicked him to gain the Screw Attack.
  • One-Winged Angel: After being wounded enough, the X parasite drops the Ridley form and becomes a core X, gaining the ability to move through walls, become temporarily invulnerable after every hit, and smash into Samus like a spiked wrecking ball.
  • 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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