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, average gravity, 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. Thanks to his additional jump, relatively low gravity and relatively high fastfall speed, he has enormous 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. 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 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.
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 terrifying 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. Overall, Ridley poses a huge threat when his opponent is offstage, as making the right plays will give the opponent little to no chance to come back.
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 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 extreme 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.
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. 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 deadly edgeguarding move. Lastly, Skewer is a "high risk, high reward" and 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.
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. 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, 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. Overall, Ridley's vulnerabilities give him difficulty against characters with better frame data and 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.
Lastly, Ridley's overall endurance and survivability, despite being a heavyweight, is rather below-average 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, 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 pressuring and edge-guarding potential with an arsenal of powerful moves and tools to gain advantage, but has to rely on reads, quick reflexes, and baits to take full advantage of his humongous power output, and prevent the opponent from capitalizing on his susceptibilities to combos, zoning and being edge guarded. Ridley's toolkit 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. 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.
Ridley's competitive potential is subject for debate. Many professional players like ZeRo are considering him a low tier character that is worse than the majority of the roster for his susceptibility to combos, supposedly limited development, 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 pressuring and edge-guarding tools along with 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, Ridley is generally considered viable, but to whether or not this is due to unfamiliarity in an undeveloped meta or if Ridley has genuine promise is unknown.
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 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
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