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 all of his appearances in the Metroid series.
How to unlock
Complete one of the following:
With the exception of 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 his attributes compared to other archetypal heavyweights are noticeably different. Ridley is tied for the twelfth heaviest character, weighing much less than a super heavyweight like Bowser despite his similar size to them. Ridley also has overall good mobility, especially compared to most of his fellow heavyweights: with two midair jumps, slightly above average walk speed, the tenth fastest dashing speed, average air speed, air acceleration and gravity, and the 17th fastest falling speed. However, he has the third lowest traction. Ridley also boasts a faster frame data than most heavyweights, further setting him apart from them.
Ridley's most defining trait is his potent and varied punish game. With overall remarkable range, power and decent speed throughout his moveset, as well as a projectile, Ridley poses as a serious threat once he gets the advantage; those unaware of Ridley's danger factor can find themselves being quickly overwhelmed and/or find it difficult to get in. His key strength about his moveset is his strong air game. Boasting overall quick, powerful, and long-ranged aerials, having two midair jumps, and decent air mobility give Ridley overall excellent air pressure potential. Thanks to his additional jump 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 is unarguably his most effective aerial, due to having low all-around lag, good range, and average knockback. It is a good comboing, spacing, and edge-guarding tool, while also being fast enough to break out opposing pressure if positioned correctly; these traits make it one of Ridley's most commonly used moves. Forward aerial, while having merely average power, has the highest damage output of Ridley's aerials when all hits are sweetspotted, and is infamous for being able to perform a wall of pain at low percentages, especially due to Ridley's aforementioned two midair jumps. Back aerial is decently quick, long-ranged and has consistently high damage and knockback, which makes it a deadly KO move, especially if used off-stage for edge-guarding. Up aerial is a good, disjointed juggling move with decent 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, similar to Bowser's own down aerial.
Ridley also has an abundance of powerful moves like his fellow heavyweights, with his tail-based moves having higher power if sweetspotted with the bladed end of his tail. His power also leads into one of his other primary strengths: his edge-guarding ability. His aforementioned powerful air game gives him the innate ability to edge-guard offstage effectively, as many of his attacks have great KO or gimping potential, while his long-distanced recovery makes coming back to the stage a non-issue. His aforementioned neutral aerial has decent range and is powerful when sweetspotted at the tip. Forward aerial boasts great wall of pain potential with enough reach and a long enough duration to effectively gimp most recovering opponents. Finally, as mentioned before, his back aerial has the strongest and most consistent knockback of his aerials. Ridley also has easy ways to set up edge-guards; his down tilt and down throw are both reliable combo starters that launch at favorable angles, and he has plenty of other attacks that deal high horizontal knockback, such as forward tilt and dash attack.
Ridley's grounded game is also noteworthy in terms of utility. His neutral attack is his fastest attack, and has both great damage potential thanks to its infinite, and surprising power due to the regular third hit. His forward tilt has good range and low lag overall, while dealing high knockback if the tip conntects. Meanwhile, his up and down tilts offer varied combo potential, with up tilt chaining into itself and then up aerial or up smash afterwards, whereas down tilt allowing Ridley to extend horizontally and likely set up an edge-guard. His dash attack is one of the few to have no sourspots throughout, and has respectable power. Forward smash has below-average startup (around the same as Mr. Game & Watch and Palutena) and is short ranged, but 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 a late hit of a landing neutral aerial. Down smash has slow start up and less raw power, but has very large, mostly disjointed range as it makes use of the invulnerable parts of Ridley's wings. It also has the added trait of Ridley hopping high during the start-up; this can allow Ridley to completely dodge attacks, even 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, up smash is Ridley's fastest and most reliable smash attack; while not having the sheer power of the other two, it is still powerful in its own right, and is also a very effective anti-air as it makes Ridley's foot invulnerable. Overall, each of Ridley's grounded moves have different attributes that make them useful, while still giving him the typical great power of a heavyweight.
Additionally, his special moveset offers interesting options. Plasma Breath is Ridley's projectile; it fires a small, bouncing ball of fire, and can be charged to fire from two to five; when fully charged, it can deal substantial damage if it hits with every projectile. These traits make it a useful damage-racking, combo-starting, and on-stage edgeguarding and gimping tool. However, the move also possesses a hurtbox on Ridley's mouth that damages and stuns him if he is hit there, and while sometimes the recoil can serve as a niche defensive option due to Ridley not suffering any knockback from it, especially when offstage, this is still very risky. Skewer is a "high risk, high reward" punishment move that, when sweetspotted, deals extremely high damage and crumples enemies; while situational due to the high difficulty on sweetspotting the move, it puts the opponent in a dangerous position where Ridley can read their reaction. 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. On land, Ridley drags the opponent on the ground, dealing high damage when performed from one ledge to another, and launching opponents offstage when Ridley reaches the edge of a floor, with the launch being capable of KOing at high percentages. In the air, it makes Ridley drop down to the floor until he lands, which can allow for easy gimps offstage as Ridley can drag opponents closer to a blast zone, potentially leaving them too far to recover. Lastly, Wing Blitz is Ridley's primary recovery move. It can be aimed in four directions, with the forward input traveling at a slight downwards angle, the up variant traveling at a slight upward one, and the down variant traveling at a slight diagonal angle in front of Ridley. All Wing Blitz variants have a large ledge sweetspot and have high knockback, with the down input meteor smashing opponents; the down input is also unique in that it can be used at the edge of the stage and grab the ledge as long as the down direction is not inputted for longer, which can let Ridley potentially ledge trump an unsuspecting opponent or send them straight down, depending on their position.
Another notable aspect of Ridley's kit is his impressive, long-distanced recovery. As a multi-jumper with decent air speed, air acceleration and gravity, Ridley can naturally 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, and has the benefit of not leaving Ridley helpless. Wing Blitz, however, provides a lot of unique properties. The intangible tips can prevent many attacks with the right aim, including but not limited to Villager's forward smash and Mega Man's down aerial. The attack itself is also quite strong, giving it impressive guard-breaking potential, and covers a long distance relatively quickly, with the startup time being mitigated by how far Ridley can recover from. This can discourage the opponent from trying to edge-guard Ridley at all, especially if he has his extra jump in reserve. Lastly, his aerial moves can mitigate some of the vulnerability in his recovery due to their low lag. All in all, despite being rigid and potentially exploitable, Ridley's recovery has attributes and options that are both unique and valuable for a heavyweight.
Ridley's large frame also gives him remarkable range. Many of Ridley's moves have large, disjointed hitboxes, some even eclipsing sword users like Marth and Ike. Ridley's disjoints can even challenge and beat out incoming projectiles when timed right, and can even sometimes break him out of disadvantage. This is all on top of the aforementioned projectile he has. Finally, and thanks to his range, Ridley possesses a surprisingly dangerous combo game. His 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 kill confirms (such as Plasma Breath to dash attack, late hit neutral aerial to forward smash, and up tilt into up aerial since update 4.0.0). Combined with the aforementioned power and utility on his moves, this allows Ridley to pile up damage as quickly as his fellow heavyweights, 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 of Ridley's options. All of Ridley's traits make him a strangely varied fighter for his weight and size, allowing him to play differently depending on the situation.
While Ridley has amazing strengths, he also has some critical and easy-to-exploit weaknesses. The most notable of them is his size; Ridley has among the largest, most awkward hurtboxes out of the cast, which combined with his heavy weight and fast falling speed makes him very easy to combo, juggle, and hit in general. On top of that, his lower weight compared to characters of a similar size can also negatively affect his survivability in some situations such as potentially dying to certain combo strings that can kill him due his mixture of very large size and only moderately heavy weight. While Ridley's frame data is decent, especially for a heavyweight, he still has below average startup and above average ending lag overall on his toolkit, so he lacks tools to break combos effectively; this makes him one of the most affected characters by long combo strings, and he is rather easy to finish off to add to this. Ridley’s options against projectile users and zoning are also lacking despite having a projectile himself; Plasma Breath is laggy and its projectiles travel slowly, while the move's recoil property on Ridley's mouth can easily open up opportunities for more attacks against him that would end a stock, even if said recoil would prevent knockback especially on emergency situations like being at KO 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, which can quickly lead to Ridley being cornered into a worse situation. All of this is further worsened with how tricky it can be to land with Ridley, despite being a fast-faller.
Adding to the above is Ridley's recovery, which is still exploitable despite its long distance. Both of his recovery specials, Space Pirate Rush and Wing Blitz, have high startup and the latter, despite its appearance and its impressive distance, has only four angled travel routes, which means that Ridley has to properly get into a good position to recover, giving the opponent more than enough time to react. While Wing Blitz has some minor defenses while active, that being invulnerability on the spiked tips of his wings along with dealing heavy knockback on contact, it does not have a charging hitbox while his body remains vulnerable throughout the move, so it can be quite easy to aim for. This is worse when a character has a counterattack or heavily disjointed attacks, as they can safely challenge the move at any state of its animation, though certain stages can allow Ridley to evade being countered by aiming Wing Blitz toward the stage and bouncing up to ledge from impact. Without his midair jumps, Ridley can also have a lot of trouble recovering from below, and any low-sending attack like a semi-spike can put Ridley into an unrecoverable position. As a result, Ridley's overall endurance is poor for a large heavyweight, and while his survivability isn't as poor as other lighter characters, it is unimpressive for a heavyweight and for his size.
Another 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 he has plenty of amazing moves, some of them still have significant flaws; these can range from slow startup (Plasma Breath), to absurd blindspots (up tilt), overly situational and/or strict (Skewer), or being overall unreliable (down aerial). On the other side of spectrum, some of Ridley's moves like neutral aerial are so favorable that it becomes easy to over-centralize on their use. Ridley is a character that finds the most success in being unpredictable, which can be difficult when a player subconsciously checks off using so many moves. This, combined with his aforementioned trouble at dealing with fast and/or zoning characters, and with recovering under pressure, makes Ridley one of the most susceptible characters to pressure, as Ridley's disadvantage state makes him easy to overwhelm, and failure to overwhelm or control aggression could force him to take heavy damage or even be KOed outright.
A notable downside of Ridley's kit is his mediocre grab game. His 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 percentages, 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, and 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 juggling the opponent. Even Ridley's down throw doesn't combo into entirely unique strings, and his down tilt can sometimes 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 somewhat mitigates his lack of a strong throw due to its ability to KO at the ledge at high percentages, but overall, Ridley's grab game is almost entirely centralized by his down throw's utility, with his other throws being situational at best and a complete waste of risky effort at worst.
Lastly, while Ridley's advantage state is unarguably very oppressive, one key attribute holding this back is his middling air speed. For his additional midair jump and impressive aerials, their full potential is greatly held back by Ridley's surprising difficulty in staying airborne. He 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 their air speed issues. Various combos usually are unable to extend in the air for long thanks to this, as his aerials may 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. While Ridley's air speed is definitely better than most other fellow characters with multiple jumps, it's still merely average compared to the whole cast, which tones down his overall effectiveness in the air, and this is further exacerbated by him being a fast-faller.
Overall, Ridley is a character of extremes, with a relatively high learning curve and an even higher cerebral curve. Similarly to what Mewtwo is among its fellow lightweight characters, Ridley fills in the position of being a glass cannon among his fellow heavyweights. He has excellent damage, pressure, and edge-guarding potential with a broad arsenal of powerful moves and tools to gain and sustain advantage, gradually poke and pressure from a fair distance away, and punish whiffs or what would normally be an inconsequential slip-up, allowing Ridley to easily make comebacks or greatly widen his lead with minimal set up should an opponent make a single error in considering Ridley's approach. However, his moveset is so heavily lopsided towards accumulating damage, netting kills, and sustaining advantage that he lacks tools to break combos and combat opposing pressure, meaning that one mistake from Ridley himself can devastate him worse than most other characters. Due to his varied amount of tools, Ridley has many playstyles applicable, but players should be able to switch said playstyles in a whim; if played recklessly or predictably, Ridley can be easily punished with a slew of combos, walls of projectiles, and general pressure he isn't built to handle, so players should be constantly aware of when and how to use Ridley's tools to take full advantage of them, while playing unpredictably to prevent the opponent from capitalizing on Ridley’s own susceptibility.
Ridley's competitive potential is subject for debate. Some professional players like ZeRo consider him a lower mid-tier character due to his disadvantage state, while others like Leffen, Dabuz, and ESAM argue that he's surprisingly impressive in high level play thanks to the sheer effectiveness of his advantage state, ludicrous benefits from playing unpredictable, and his high damage output that complements his many kill moves. This can be further expressed by his tournament presence; Ridley is a relatively unpopular pick, yet displays respectable placings, with smashers like Locus, Trela, and Vreyvus. Because of this and update 4.0.0's helpful buffs to his inconsistencies and recovery, Ridley is considered a relatively viable character, but to what extent at top-level play remains unknown. In casual fields, Ridley is notorious for how exploitable his weaknesses can be and the many pitfalls that beginners can fall into, especially with poor routing of Wing Blitz leading to awkward and anti-climactic finishes, proving his high learning curve for his size class.
Ridley has been buffed via game updates. He initially only received glitch fixes 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.
For a gallery of Ridley's hitboxes, see here.
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