Ridley (リドリー, Ridley) is a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. He was revealed as a newcomer alongside Inkling and Daisy from Nintendo's 2018 E3 press conference, on June 12th, 2018, with an animated trailer. Ridley is classified as fighter #65.
Similar to Bowser and Donkey Kong, Ridley has no voice actor and instead roars and screeches, similarly to his sounds in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, and various Metroid games.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
Ridley, unsurprisingly for being a large character with powerful attacks, is a heavyweight character, although he weighs much less than a super heavyweight despite his similar size. However, his attributes compared to other archetypal heavyweights are noticeably different, as Ridley has overall excellent mobility in the 10th fastest dashing speed, average air speed, the 16th fastest falling speed, average gravity, and average frame data, compounded with a long-distanced recovery. His varied moves allow him to play as a zoning, rushdown, or a pressure-based character.
Ridley's most defining trait is his dominant air game. Boasting overall quick, powerful, and long-ranged aerials, having two midair jumps, and decent air mobility give him overall excellent air pressure potential. Thanks to his additional jump, relatively low gravity and relatively high fast fall speed, he has superb vertical flexibility, and can use additional jumps or surprise fastfalls to fake out and punish his opponents with his far-reaching aerials. His neutral aerial, due to having low all-around lag, good range, and average knockback, is a good comboing, spacing, and edgeguarding tool, while also being fast enough to break out of certain combos if positioned correctly. Forward aerial, while having merely average power, has very high damage output when all hits are sweetspotted, and is infamous for effectively performing a wall of pain at low percentages, especially due to Ridley's aforementioned two midair jumps. Back aerial is quick, long-ranged and has very high damage and knockback, which makes it a deadly edgeguarding tool and can KO especially early offstage. Up aerial is a good, disjointed juggling move with quick startup and good KO potential when sweetspotted, but requires opponents to be very close to or above Ridley to land. Lastly, down aerial is a stall-and-fall that powerfully meteor smashes opponents when sweetspotted, and can potentially be recovered from if initiated slightly above the ground. Even when sourspotted, it has high KO potential.
Ridley also has an abundance of powerful moves like his fellow heavyweights, which leads into one of his other primary strengths; his edgeguarding ability. His aforementioned potential in the air gives him huge offstage presence, and many of his attacks have great KO potential. His aforementioned forward aerial boasts great wall of pain potential with enough reach and a long enough duration to effectively gimp most recovering opponents. Ridley also has easy ways to set up edgeguards; his down tilt and down throw are both very reliable combo starters that launch at favorable angles, and he has plenty of other attacks that have high horizontal knockback, such as forward tilt and dash attack. As a result, Ridley poses a huge threat once he is in an advantage state, as making the right plays will give the opponent little to no chance to come back, which gives him among the best edgeguarding abilities in the game.
Another noteworthy aspect of Ridley are his smash attacks, which all have their exclusive advantages. Forward smash has slow startup and short range, though is one of the strongest of its kind in both damage and knockback, and is just fast enough to punish whiffs, landings, or be a situational follow-up option, like being a follow-up to a late hit of a landing neutral aerial. Down smash has noticeable start up and less extreme raw power, but has very large range and is one of his few moves to make use of the invulnerable parts of Ridley's wings. Down smash also has a unique attribute in that Ridley hops very high during the start up, which can completely dodge attacks with low aim and sometimes those with center aim, making it especially effective in fields like punishing a get up attack or punishing grab whiffs. It is also a notoriously effective punishment option after a successful Skewer sweetspot, as the short hop itself can cover most get-up options. Finally, Ridley's up smash is his fastest smash attack and, while not having the sheer power of the other two, is his least situational as it can be a very effective anti-air and can make landing a severe issue for an opponent, and still boasts above average raw power. Overall, each of Ridley's smash attacks boasts the typical great power of a heavyweight, but all come with different attributes to make each one useful in the field.
Additionally, his special moveset offers interesting options. Plasma Breath is a chargeable projectile move that fires small, bouncing balls of fire, and when fully charged, it can deal substantial damage if it hits with every projectile. These traits make it a useful edgeguarding, damage-racking, combo-starting, and gimping tool. The recoil of Plasma Breath can even serve as a niche defensive option due to Ridley not suffering any knockback from it, especially when offstage. Space Pirate Rush is a command grab with some unique perks; it can be cancelled into a throw at any time that puts both Ridley and the opponent into the air. This allows for easy gimps offstage as Ridley can drag opponents closer to a blast zone, potentially leaving them too far to recover. Onstage, when performed from one ledge to another, deals substantial damage and launches opponents offstage when Ridley reaches the edge of a floor, with the launch being capable of KOing at high percentages. Wing Blitz is Ridley's primary recovery move that can be aimed in four directions, and has impressive offensive potential. The up, forward, and back inputs all have high KO potential, and the down input meteor smashes opponents, with all variants having the ability to snap the ledge during the move, making it a risky, yet rewarding edgeguarding tool. Lastly, Skewer is a "high risk, high reward" punishment move that, when sweetspotted, deals extremely high damage and crumples enemies, where Ridley can then read an opponent's reaction to put them in a dangerous position.
Another one of Ridley's most notable attributes is his range, courtesy of his very large frame. Many of Ridley's moves have large, disjointed hitboxes, some even eclipsing sword users like Marth and Ike. Ridley also has a surprising lack of sourspots across his toolkit, with examples like his down smash being the only "hopping" down smash to have a consistently powerful hitbox with no sourspot. Ridley's disjoints can even challenge and beat out incoming projectiles when timed right, and can even break him out of disadvantage. This is all on top of the aforementioned projectile he has, and plays into what makes Ridley a strangely varied fighter for his weight and size. Ridley has the tools to gradually poke and pressure from a fair distance away, but also aggressively punish whiffs or what would be normally inconsequential slip ups. Because of this, he has a formidable and variable punish game.
A minor, but notable aspect of Ridley's kit are his impressive recovery skills. Being a multi-jumper with decent air speed naturally allows Ridley to gain extra distance and reposition himself to adapt to the situation. Space Pirate Rush can offer Ridley some horizontal gain, as well as threaten the opponent with a moving command grab that can put them in a very uncomfortable position. Wing Blitz, however, provides a lot of unique properties. The invulnerable tips can prevent many attacks with the right aim, including but not limited to Villager's fsmash and Mega Man's dair. The attack itself is also quite strong and covers a lot of distance relatively quickly, with the start up time being mitigated by how far Ridley can recover from. This can discourage the opponent from trying to edgeguard Ridley at all, especially if he has extra jumps in reserve. All in all, despite being rigid and potentially exploitable, Ridley's recovery has attributes and options that are both unique and valuable for a character of his stature.
Lastly, Ridley is a character with a surprisingly dangerous combo game and an oppressive advantage state, and those unaware of Ridley's danger factor can find themselves being quickly and heavily overwhelmed and/or find it difficult to get in. Down throw, up tilt, down tilt, neutral aerial, and Plasma Breath can lead into various strings and combos that can rack up huge damage with only a few hits, with some even leading to easy kill moves (such as Plasma Breath to dash attack, or late hit neutral aerial to forward smash, and even kill confirms into his up tilt thanks to patch 4.0). Due to the disjointed hitboxes on his tail and wings, this gives him an impressive amount of defense even while on the offense. This allows Ridley to pile up damage very quickly and also makes it risky for opponents to regain the advantage, as Ridley's ability to start combos and break a defense even while in a disadvantage forces the opponent to be cautious and aware of Ridley's options.
While Ridley has amazing strengths, he also has some weaknesses. Ridley has the largest hurtbox out of all characters, combined with his heavy weight and fast falling speed makes him very easy to combo, juggle, and hit in general, and while Ridley's frame data is decent, especially for a heavyweight, he is nevertheless rather easy to punish due to some of his best attacks having noticeable ending lag. Ridley's moveset is so focused on accumulating damage, netting kills, and sustaining advantage that he lacks tools to prevent these very things from happening to him. Because of this, Ridley's disadvantage state is not only torturous to endure, but easy to slip into. Failure to overwhelm or control aggression will be a death sentence. His options against projectile users and zoning is rather limited, despite having zoning tools and a projectile himself; Plasma Breath is laggy and its projectiles travel slowly, while the move also possesses a hurtbox on Ridley's mouth that damages and stuns him if he is hit there, and even if said recoil prevents knockback, it can easily open up opportunities for more attacks against him that would end a stock. This trick also has virtually no beneficial use outside surprising unfamiliar opponents or emergency situations during kill percent. Ridley's disjointed moves are capable of beating out projectiles, and he has a few moves that boast enough range to challenge zoners, but these options usually require a great deal of effort to execute right compared to what they're challenging, and can quickly lead to Ridley being cornered into a worse situation. This is further expressed with how tricky it is to land with Ridley despite being a fast faller, as even his versatile neutral aerial has difficulty covering directly below him. Overall, Ridley's vulnerabilities give him difficulty against characters with better frame data and/or edge-guarding/pressuring tools.
Another weakness, while not as significant as his susceptibility to combos and projectile pressure, is his laggy and predictable recovery; despite Ridley having average air speed, two midair jumps, and two useful recovery options being Space Pirate Rush and Wing Blitz, these can be easily intercepted by keeping Ridley offstage. Both of his recovery specials also have high startup and Wing Blitz, despite its impressive distance, has only four angled travel routes, which means that Ridley has to properly get into a good position to recover, which gives the opponent more than enough time to react. While Wing Blitz has some minor defenses while active, that being invulnerability around the spiked tips of his wings along with dealing heavy knockback and damage with contact, his actual, vulnerable body can be quite easy to aim for. This is doubly worse when a character has disjointed attacks, as they can safely challenge the move at any state of it's animation and so much as scraping Ridley himself would beat it. Patch 4.0, however, helped address some of Wing Blitz's flaws by allowing Ridley to recover further away and execute the move faster, which made edge-guarding Ridley a bit more of a task than before.
While not a significant downside, a noticeable flaw of Ridley's kit is his little reward from getting a grab. Ridley's grab range is somewhat short for his size to begin with, and a character like him can greatly suffer from whiffing it. While down throw functions as a strong and reliable combo tool from low to mid percents, and at very high percentages (around 150%) is capable of KOing middleweights, none of Ridley's other throws provide much usage beyond repositioning the opponent. Forward and back throws don't KO at reasonable percentages, even with ideal positioning, making them only suitable for positioning. Up throw, while being his most damaging throw and a passable kill throw with low ceiling stages, is best as a mediocre set up for Ridley's juggles. Even Ridley's down throw doesn't combo into entirely unique strings, as his down tilt can service some of the same use while being much safer to execute, though down-throw into forward tilt is a noteworthy string by itself and can lead into some of Ridley's most dangerous combos and frame traps. The existence of Space Pirate Rush can also invalidate what reward his normal grab can attain, especially at high percents. Overall, Ridley's grab game is almost entirely centralized by his down throw's (admittedly impressive) utility, with his other throws being situational at best and a complete waste of risky effort at worst.
An often ignored but critical flaw to Ridley is how drastically his moves vary in quality, which can lead to Ridley becoming quite predictable to even the most unaware player. While Ridley has plenty of amazing moves, other moves have significant flaws. These can range from absurd blindspots (up tilt), overly strict (Skewer), to being overall unreliable (down aerial). On the other side of spectrum, some of Ridley's moves like neutral aerial and Plasma Breath are so favorable that it becomes very easy to over centralize on their use. Ridley is a character that finds the most success in being unpredictable, which can be impossible when a player subconsciously checks off using so many moves.
Possibly the most notable limiter to Ridley's offensive success is his middling air speed. Ridley has incredible aerials and can get some good distance with his extra jump, but their full potential is greatly held back by Ridley's surprising difficulty in staying airborne. Ridley generally needs to gain some distance while grounded to approach with his aerials, and while his dash speed is very impressive, it's restrictive regardless, and Ridley lacks the number of jumps that characters like King Dedede and Pit have to help circumvent air speed issues, which is not helped by his quick fall speed. Various combos usually are unable to extend in the air for long thanks to this, as his powerful aerials will deal too much knockback to follow up after one or two attacks. This is further shown in his recovery, as Wing Blitz and Space Pirate Rush are usually options he must use to recover, even if Ridley isn't that far from the stage, and Ridley's traction is so terrible that simply drifting back is usually not an option. Overall, while Ridley is notable for not having poor airspeed like other fellow multi-jumpers, it's merely okay speed prevents Ridley from truly dominating in the air.
Lastly, Ridley's overall endurance and survivability, despite being a heavyweight, is rather poor for said weight category. While he is considered a heavyweight fighter, he is somewhat notorious for being KO'd rather easily despite this. When combining his previous flaw of being unable to escape combos effectively and struggle with recovering under pressure, he is one of the most affected characters by large combo strings, and is rather easy to finish off. As a result, while his survivability isn't as poor as other lighter characters, it is unimpressive for a heavyweight of his size.
Overall, Ridley has excellent damage, pressure, and edge-guarding potential with a broad arsenal of powerful moves and tools to gain and sustain advantage, but has to be constantly aware of when and how to use them within the context of his constantly shifting playstyle to take full advantage of them (as moves like Plasma Breath can be fantastic or horrendous given his position), and prevent the opponent from capitalizing on his own susceptibilities. Ridley's moveset being heavily lopsided towards raw damage and killing means that Ridley can easily make comebacks or greatly widen his lead with minimal set up should an opponent budge an inch or make a single error in considering Ridley's approach. However, his lack of defensive options and vulnerability means that one wrong move from Ridley himself can devastate him worse than almost every other character. Ridley is a character with a surprising amount of tools and playstyles, but this also means Ridley has an enormous amount of opportunities to make a mistake, which can lead to Ridley seeming much weaker than he is initially. If Ridley plays recklessly or even predictably, he will be punished easily with a slew of combos, face walls of projectiles, and general pressure he isn't built to handle, and these situations can crop up often if Ridley fails to both utilize his many tools correctly and vary between them.
Ridley's competitive potential is subject for debate. Many professional players like ZeRo are considering him a lower mid tier character that is worse than the majority of the roster for his susceptibility to combos, lack of characters he can counterplay, and general difficulties in survival. Others like Leffen, Dabuz, and ESAM argue, however, that he's surprisingly impressive in high level play thanks to the sheer effectiveness of his overall advantage state, ludicrous benefits from playing unpredictable, and his relatively high DPS that complements his many kill moves. This can be further expressed by his tournament presence, where Ridley is a relatively unpopular pick, yet displays very respectable results wherever he does show, with Trela's Ridley even winning gold at multiple tournaments and Tweek's Ridley finding similar success. Because of this and Patch 4.0's helpful buffs to his inconsistencies and recovery, Ridley is considered a viable character, but to whether or not he's good enough to find major success or remain a middling character that simply can't break out into higher fame is unknown. In casual fields, Ridley is notorious for how exploitable his weaknesses are and the many pitfalls that beginners can fall into, especially with poor routing of Wing Blitz leading to awkward and anti-climatic finishes, proving him to be a character with a high learning curve for his size class.
Ridley has been noticeably buffed via game updates. He initially only received bugfixes and very minor buffs, as well reduced shield damage on Plasma Breath in 3.0.0 as part of the general nerfs to projectiles in said update. However, update 4.0.0 helped address his KO inconsistency and recovery issues: his up smash, back aerial, and Space Pirate Rush throw at the edge received more knockback, while up aerial's sweetspot became much easier to land, and most notably, Wing Blitz is faster and covers more distance, now allowing Ridley to recover from the bottom magnifying glass when angled up. Up smash also has a longer hitbox duration that increases its frontal range, making it slightly more effective as an anti-air and out of shield option.
Note: All numbers are listed as base damage, without the 1v1 multiplier.
Swoops down at an angle, before landing and letting out a roar.
In competitive play
Any number following the Smasher name indicates placement on the Spring 2019 PGRU, which recognizes the official top 50 players in the world in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from February 1st, 2019 to July 7th, 2019.
Classic Mode: It Can't Be! Space Pirates!
Ridley fights characters who pilot their own spaceships.
Role in World of Light
Although Ridley does not appear in the World of Light opening cutscene, he was vaporized and later imprisoned alongside the rest of the fighters (sans Kirby) when Galeem unleashed his beams of light.
Ridley was one of the many fighters that fell under Dharkon's control upon Galeem's first defeat. He is in the Dracula's Castle sub-area, appearing on the map in the subterranean section, once the player defeats The Creature & Flea Man spirit.
Ridley's Fighter Spirits can be obtained by completing Classic Mode. They are also available periodically for purchase in the shop for 500 coins. Unlocking Ridley in World of Light allows the player to preview the first spirit below in the Spirit List under the name "???". As Fighter Spirits, they cannot be used in Spirit Battles and are purely aesthetic. Each Fighter Spirit has an alternate version that replaces them with their artwork in Ultimate.
Additionally, other forms of Ridley make an appearance in a few Primary and Support Spirits.
In Spirit battles
As the main opponent
As a minion
Ridley had two palettes in demo versions of Ultimate that are not available in the final game: a dark, charcoal colored one with orange wings, and a light gray one with green wings, claws, teeth and protrusions. Each corresponds with the colors of Meta Ridley and Mecha Ridley, respectively.
Character Showcase Video