is a fictional video game villain created by Nintendo for the Metroid series. He is a dragon-like extraterrestrial that acts as Samus Aran's nemesis due to his attack on her homeworld; despite being killed multiple times by her, he is always revived by the Space Pirates using cloning or robotics. Originally appearing as a subordinate of Mother Brain, the primary antagonist of multiple titles in the Metroid series, he appears in Metroid Prime and Prime 3 by himself in his Meta Ridley form. Despite his monstrous appearance, he is revealed to be very intelligent and capable of speech in the Metroid e-manga, though he does not speak in the Metroid video games.
Ridley originally appeared in the Nintendo Entertainment System video game Metroid, and was designed by Hiroji Kiyotake. Mike Sneath, one of three senior character artists for Metroid Prime, was responsible for designing the Meta Ridley version of Ridley seen in Metroid Prime. It took him about "20 to 25 days" to model and texture Meta Ridley, citing the wings as having taken a few days of his time, commenting that it took him a while to get the shaders to work to give his wings to appear to have a "holographic energy". He was not involved with designing the battle with Meta Ridley, which was left up to the game designers. Andrew Jones, the lead concept artist for Metroid Prime, had little to do with the design of Ridley. The initial design submitted was rejected by Nintendo, while the second design the artists submitted was approved. Steve Barcia, the executive producer of Retro Studios, called Ridley his favourite enemy from Metroid Prime due to the quality of the battle and his fan appeal. He added that such a battle was rare for a first person shooter, which helped to set Metroid Prime apart. The name "Ridley" was supposedly taken from famed director Ridley Scott whose film Alien served as one of the inspirations for Metroid's creation.
Throughout the series, Ridley has made a variety of changes in his appearance. He was originally roughly the same size of protagonist Samus Aran in the original Metroid title. In Super Metroid, he is significantly larger than in the original title, sporting purple skin, a large wingspan, glowing eyes, claws, and resembling a dragon or a pterodactyl. His Prime series cyborg form is referred to as Meta Ridley, while a robotic duplicate, Ridley Robot, is also shown in Zero Mission. The instruction manual for the original Metroid refers to Ridley as the last of his species, which was native to Zebes. His trophy description in Super Smash Bros. Melee confirms Ridley's gender as male. Series creator suggests that he was made the general of the Space Pirates due to how evil he is or how powerful he is.
Before the events of Metroid, Ridley led an attack on Samus Aran's home planet, killing all of its inhabitants except for Samus, who is rescued by the Chozo, an ancient, bird-like species of aliens. He first appears in Metroid as a comparatively diminutive creature, and one of three primary antagonists along with Kraid and Mother Brain. In the Zero Mission remake, he is accompanied by a robotic version of himself called Ridley Robot, but first, you fight a version that has arms out of his stomach, enabling Samus to shoot missiles in his face. Ridley is killed by Samus, but later revived as Meta Ridley for Metroid Prime, acting as the Space Pirate commander. Again killed in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, in which he appears in his standard Meta form and as a Phazon-enhanced version referred to ingame as Omega Ridley, he later appears in his regular form in Super Metroid where he kidnaps the last surviving 'baby' Metroid and takes to Zebes with the intent of delivering it to Mother Brain. Ridley is killed once again by Samus, this time with no chance of being revived as the entire planet Zebes is destroyed at the end of the game. In Metroid: Other M, a clone of Ridley has been unintentionally created by the Galactic Federation during a program to engineer bioweapons, many of which deliberately based on the Space Pirates. He first starts off as a small furred, bird-like creature before undergoing metamorphosis twice; first as a large, lizard-like creature and then as his traditional form. Shocked to find him somehow alive again, Samus confronts this clone on the Bottle Ship, but Ridley narrowly escapes the battle, severely injured. Samus later discovers his corpse after he is killed by the Queen Metroid on the Bottle Ship. He turns up again in Metroid Fusion on the BSL station. He is infected with a parasite called the X Parasite, which kills the host and gains the ability to transform into Ridley. Other than the series protagonist Samus Aran and the titular Metroid, Ridley is the only character that has appeared consistently throughout most of the games in the Metroid series (the exceptions being Metroid II for the Game Boy, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes for the GameCube, and Metroid Prime Hunters for the Nintendo DS).
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