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:
Except for the third method, Ridley must then be defeated on Norfair.
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 archetypical heavyweights are noticeably different, with overall excellent mobility in the 10th fastest dashing speed, average air speed, 16th fastest falling speed, and an average frame data.
One of Ridley's greatest strengths 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. 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. Forward aerial, while having moderately weak power, has very high damage output when 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 juggling move with quick startup and good KO potential when sweetspotted, but it has moderately linear hitboxes. 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. Overall, Ridley has many options to rack up damage in the air, and has easy ways to set up into them.
Another strength of Ridley's is, like most other heavyweights, the overall great power present in his moveset. Only a few of his moves have little KO potential, and his other moves that do KO can do so exceptionally early, most notably moves like forward tilt, dash attack, forward smash, back aerial, and Wing Blitz. With the exceptions of Wing Blitz and forward smash, all of these moves have low startup and are therefore easy to land. Wing Blitz and forward smash, along with some of Ridley's other powerful attacks like down smash and down aerial, are all very good punishing tools, with forward smash notably being one of the strongest of its kind. Overall, his KO potential is large, and due to his relative size, rarely has problems landing said moves.
Lastly, his special moveset offers interesting options. Plasma Breath is a chargeable projectile move, and when fully charged, it deals substantial damage and can hit multiple times. These traits make it a useful edgeguarding, damage-racking, and gimping tool. 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 deadly edgeguarding move. Lastly, Skewer is risky and requires a read. However, if sweetspotted, it deals extremely high damage and crumples enemies. It is optimal for punishing a shield break at low percentages where Ridley can't KO, where Ridley can later read an opponent's reaction to put them in a dangerous position.
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 is also rather easy to punish due to some of his best attacks having noticeable ending lag. His options against projectile users and zoning is rather poor, despite having 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. Overall, Ridley's vulnerabilities give him difficulty against characters with better frame data and pressuring tools.
Another weakness, while not as significant as his susceptibility to combos and projectile pressure, is his laggy and rather 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 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.
Overall, Ridley has excellent pressuring potential with an arsenal of powerful moves, but sometimes has to rely on reads and baits to get maximum damage and prevent the opponent from capitalizing on his weaknesses. If Ridley makes one wrong move, he could be punished easily with a slew of combos, and face walls of projectiles he can't deal with.
Ridley's competitive potential is subject for debate, as many professional players like ZeRo consider him worse than the majority of the roster for his susceptibility to combos, while others like Leffen argue that he's surprisingly impressive in high level play thanks to the sheer effectiveness of his pressuring and edgeguarding tools. This can be further expressed by his tournament presence, where Ridley is a relatively unpopular pick, yet displays very respectable results, with Trela's Ridley even winning gold at TGC. Because of this, he's generally considered viable, but to what degree has yet to be known.
In competitive play
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 once the player defeats The Creature & Flea Man spirit in the subterranean area.
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 makes an appearance in a few Primary and Support Spirits.
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
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