Ridley is a character from the Metroid series, and a major enemy in most of the games, generally acting as one of the later bosses. He is a space pterodactyl with vicious claws and large wings. His attacks usually include a charge attack, fireballs (a lot of small ones or a few big ones), a diving attack where he grabs Samus and damages her, and various moves with his tail, from slamming it on the ground to flailing it like a whip.
Ridley, whose "official" name is Geoform 187, is one of the main antagonists of the Metroid series, the other being Mother Brain. In spite of his bestial appearance and fearsome mannerisms, he is by no means a mindless animal, but a high-ranking Space Pirate General, sentient and capable of speech (although he only speaks in the comics).
Ridley is directly connected to Samus Aran's past and present. In the Metroid e-manga, he gained enough favor with the Space Pirates that he became one of their figures of highest authority. As such, he attacked and devastated three-year-old Samus's homeworld of K-2L in a raid for fuel and resources, and personally killed Samus's mother when she jumped in to protect her daughter. Unwittingly, he created his own worst enemy in Samus through this.
In Metroid and Metroid: Zero Mission he appears as the military leader of the Space Pirates and as a boss in the area with his name, and in Zero Mission the final boss is a robot in his likeness. He, his counterpart Kraid and all the Space Pirates desired to capture and clone the eponymous Metroid creatures for use in galactic domination. Ridley, however, was surprised to find the little girl from years ago, now a grown woman, having come to fight and kill him.
In Super Metroid, he kidnaps the baby Metroid that Samus found in Metroid II: Return of Samus. Driven by intense rage, Samus chases him back to planet Zebes, the Pirate base in Metroid and Zero Mission, and in the process of rescuing the baby Samus battles Ridley and the other Space Pirate leaders again, ultimately escaping the destruction of Zebes, which marked the final and true death of Samus' longstanding nemesis.
In Metroid: Other M, a clone of Ridley, from a DNA sample found on Samus' armor after the events of Super Metroid, is unintentionally cloned with the result being a small white creature called "little birdie", that Samus later encounters on the Bottle Ship. It evolves into a large purple lizard that ambushes Samus and then into Ridley in his most recognizable form. Samus re-encounters the reborn Ridley. Having thought she'd eliminated him permanently, his presence drives much shock into her that renders her unable to speak or move, until Anthony Higgs supposedly sacrifices himself trying to protect her, which drives rage into Samus again and allows her to fight and kill him again. Ultimately, heavily injured from the battle, he runs away, but is turned into a lifeless husk by the Queen Metroid on the Bottle Ship station.
In Metroid Fusion, Ridley's clone's remains, cryogenically frozen, reappear on the Biologic Space Labs research station, which Samus encounters halfway through her mission there, to witness it shatter, while an X Parasite mimicking him exits the body. Samus later encounters the X-mimic, and she defeats Ridley, presumably for the final time.
Ridley appeared on Planet Zebes, flying in the background. His appearance is based off of his Super Metroid sprite.
Ridley has a cameo in the opening movie of Super Smash Bros. Melee, fighting Samus, when Samus jumps over him and shoots several missiles. As the opening movie was part of the game's initial reveal, this scene led to fan speculation that Ridley would be a playable character, though this ended up not being the case. Like in Super Metroid, Ridley is carrying the baby Metroid's capsule, though unlike Super Metroid Samus has both the Varia Suit and Missiles.
The head of the Space Pirates on Zebes, Ridley soars through space on wicked wings. Ridley may look like a mindless monster, but he's actually quite intelligent. After the SR-388 incident, where Samus captured the infant Metroid, Ridley took the Space Academy by storm, annihilating the complex and taking the Metroid back.
See also: List of SSBM trophies (Metroid series)
A remix of Ridley's theme from Super Metroid and Meta Ridley's theme from Metroid Prime both appear in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. In addition, Ridley's lair in the Metroid series, Norfair, is featured as a stage.
Hacking of Brawl's reveals incomplete Assist Trophy data for Ridley, though he is not available as such. Presumably, Ridley was initially planned as an Assist Trophy, but was instead included as a boss.
Role in the Subspace Emissary
Ridley appears as the fifth boss during the Subspace Emissary, in which Samus and Pikachu must fight him. He is found at the end of the Research Facility II. In the cutscene prior to the battle, Ridley ambushes and grabs Samus, flying upward and scraping her along the walls. Pikachu breaks Samus free from Ridley's grasp using Thunder. In the first battle, Ridley has higher health and uses moves ranging from claw swipes to a move similar to Rayquaza's ExtremeSpeed to a tail swipe across the entire stage. Meta Ridley, his form in Metroid Prime, later attacks Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, Captain Falcon, Olimar, Samus, Pikachu, and R.O.B..
Ridley spends most of his time in the air over the abyss. Characters with strong aerials have an easier time, but in a pinch up-smashes can be used. Most of his attacks are either relatively slow or well telegraphed, thus staying alert can help the player avoid a lot of damage. The hardest attacks to dodge are his claw sweep (not his tail sweep) and loop-de-loop, but by paying attention to his attack order they can be predicted.
On higher difficulties of Subspace Emissary, defeating Ridley usually earns something valuable.
First or Second Move
Origin of Attacks
Most of his attacks are completely made up for Brawl; however, there are a couple attacks that are somewhat retained: The attack that Ridley does when he flies to the background of the stage and tries to ram into the player looks very similar to how Ridley flew away in the beginning of Super Metroid. Also in Super Metroid, Ridley will often use his tail as a weapon by whipping it at Samus. In Brawl, Ridley does use his tail as a weapon, but not as a whip.
The leader of the Space Pirates. He looks like a pterosaur but has high intelligence and a brutal nature. He plans to steal the baby Metroid from Samus for his own use. Ridley utilizes wings for a full range of flight and attacks with fireballs from his mouth and whips of his tail. As the culprit behind the murder of Samus's parents, the connections with Samus run deep.
Ridley's shadow appeared on the Pyrosphere stage in the April 2014 Nintendo Direct, suggesting he will be a stage hazard in the form of a boss, similar to the Yellow Devil. This is further backed by a statement from Sakurai when he revealed the stage on Miiverse months before, in which he said a character from Samus' past may appear at any second. However, the nature in which Sakurai has ambiguously alluded to Ridley, avoiding ever referring to him by name nor directly showing him without ever outright confirming his role (as he does with other popularly-requested non-playable characters), and observers finding the shadow itself suspicious (which has been observed with jerky and sudden movement instead of the smooth and telegraphed animations of a boss character), leaves Ridley's status in Smash 4 highly unclear. As such, the Smash community was split on believing if Ridley is actually a stage boss of Pyrosphere, or if this had been teasing of Ridley as a playable character in a vein similar to Palutena's prereveal teasing.
So far, the possibility of Ridley being playable is now disconfirmed after the roster was revealed. What role he will play is unknown at this time.