Geoform 187, code-name Ridley, is a general and major enforcer in the Space Pirates ranks. Logbook data in Metroid Prime seems to suggest he is one of the Space Pirates' more successful genetic and metaphysical experiment test subjects. His original race of Space Dragons was wiped out by the Galactic Federation, Ridley being one of the only survivors. It is safe to assume the Space Pirates 'acquired' Ridley much as they do other species that are candidates for genetic experiments. Ridley's prowess in battle allowed him to rise through the Space Pirate ranks to a trustworthy general. A Space Pirate raiding force lead by Ridley were the murderers of a young Samus Aran's parents, and since then she has had many encounters with her arch-nemesis.
Ridley is a giant winged creature resembling a dragon, capable of flight and fused with an arsenal of Space Pirate weaponry. He is no slouch in close quarters combat, either, with his massive talons, strong bite and lashing tail. He has been a recurring thorn in Samus Aran's side in many of the Metroid games, typically as a near-to-final boss.
The Many Faces Of Ridley
Over the course of the Metroid series and his subsequent defeats at the hands of Samus Aran, Ridley has undergone cosmetic and functional 'upgrades' at the hands of Space Pirate scientists.
The original, organic form of Ridley, which appears in both Metroid (and it's subsequent remake Metroid: Zero Mission) and Super Metroid. He also appears in Super Smash Bros: Brawl as a boss in the Subspace Emissary adventure mode.
In the original NES game, Ridley is the second-to-last boss. He will hop around the screen, firing fireballs at Samus. Any weapon in Samus' arsenal can hurt Ridley, and after he takes enough damage he will be defeated. The boss fight in the remake, Metroid: Zero Mission, was changed to represent a more modern variation of a Ridley fight, giving him flight and his now signature tail swipes and lines of fireballs.
In Super Metroid, players face Ridley in the prologue, where he steals the last Metroid, and again near the very end of the game as the second-to-last boss. In the prologue, Ridley will hover on one side of the screen, lashing at Samus with his tail and firing strings of fireballs. Players cannot defeat Ridley in the prologue, but taking enough damage from him will cue his escape and the ship's self destruct sequence. The second encounter is much the same, however this time Ridley will fly around the room instead of hovering in one spot. Ridley is defeated by firing any weapons in Samus' arsenal until he takes enough damage to keel over.
In Super Smash Bros: Brawl, Ridley appears as the boss of the Research Facility stage in the Subspace Emissary adventure mode, as well as in the Stadium's Boss Fight mode. Ridley attacks with a variety of swoops, stomps, and rams in this battle, and doing damage to him with any of your attacks will eventually destroy him. His attacks become faster as you raise the difficulty, making them harder to avoid.
At the beginning of Metroid: Other M, Samus encounters a creature dubbed "Little Birdie" that is later revealed to be the infant form of a cloned Ridley. Little Birdie hunts down and kills multiple humans, using surprising cunning for a cute furry creature, until it has consumed enough to evolve into a large four legged lizard with Ridley's signature bladed tail, leaving the carcass of little birdie behind like an empty shell. Samus later finds the carcass of the four legged lizard abandoned in a similar fashion before it is revealed to have evolved into the familiar winged dragon form of Ridley.
At the end of Metroid: Zero Mission, in the extended levels after the original Metroid left off, Samus finds herself searching for her stolen Power Suit on a Space Pirate mothership. Once she retrieves it and is about to escape, she is attacked by a mechanized version of Ridley. Ridley again uses his signature fireballs to attack Samus, as well as firing missles and swiping with his claws. To damage Mecha Ridley, you must fire missiles at the glass encased weak point on his chest. After the glass shatters, he will continue to fire missiles and claw-swipe at Samus, though his ranged attack changes to a laser that fires in multiple directions. This can momentarily stun you if you get caught in it, allowing Mecha Ridley to combo into a swipe. After taking enough damage to his exposed chest he will fall, initiating the self destruct system on the mothership and forcing Samus to make a hasty exit.
After his defeat at the hands of Samus in the original Metroid, the Space Pirates salvaged Ridley's fallen body and hauled it onto one of their flagships, Frigate Orpheon. Here, the Space Pirates hastily reconstructed Ridley in a biomechanical form they dubbed 'Meta Ridley'. As well as reconstructing his body, the Space Pirates fused a deadly array of weaponry onto Meta Ridley, including a multi-missile system, kinetic breath weapon, a meson bomb launcher and an ultrathermal flamestrike projector.
Once again, Ridley is the second-to-last boss in Metroid Prime. The battle takes place in an outdoor area of the Chozo Temple, allowing Ridley to take to the skies to avoid Samus' attacks and to fly above her, dropping bombs and firing missiles. After he has taken enough damage, Ridley will land and start to charge at Samus, as well as unleashing his breath attacks and, if Samus is too close, swiping with his tail. While he is charging his breath weapon and his mouth is filling with flames, firing a charged shot or missile at his mouth will stun him, revealing his weak point on his chest. Firing at this weak point is the only way to deal Ridley damage. Once his life bar is depleted, the Chozo statues will finish the job for you and blast Ridley off the precipice and into the deep valley below.
In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Meta Ridley returns in a more powerful form, having had some upgrades since Samus' trip to Aether in Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. The battle takes place on Norion, and occurs while both Ridley and Samus are falling down a seemingly endless shaft. Ridley will fly below Samus as she falls, firing missiles, his breath attack, and waves of energy. Every now and then, he will fly up and grab Samus, requiring her to fire charged shots at Ridley's hand or mouth to stun him and avoid claw swipes and breath attacks. After Ridley is defeated, the Hunter known as Rundas flies down to save Samus before she plummets to the bottom of the shaft with Ridley.
In Super Smash Bros: Brawl, Meta Ridley appears as a boss of the Subspace Bomb Factory stage in the Subspace Emissary adventure mode as well as in the Stadium's Boss Battles mode. The battle occurs on the back of Captain Falcon's Falcon Flier, and in the Subspace Emissary is fought with a time limit. Ridley flies behind the Falcon Flier and attacks with fireballs and swoops, as well as attacking the falcon flier itself to cause it to fall of the screen or damage you if you're standing on it. Doing enough damage to Ridley with your attacks will spell defeat for him. His attacks become faster as you raise the difficulty, making them harder to avoid.
Meta Ridley also appears as a Boss Table in Metroid Prime Pinball.
After his defeat at Norion, Meta Ridley returns to the Space Pirate homeworld to lick his wounds. While there, he is attracted by the power within the Leviathan that resides there, willingly letting himself become corrupted by Phazon and transforming into the being known as Omega Ridley.
Ridley will again perform his signature attacks of flame breath and tail swipes as well as jumping into the air and slamming onto the ground to create a shockwave, and firing slow homing orbs that can be shot for health and missile pickups. Ridley's weak point is, like in Metroid Prime, his chest, but this time it is covered by protective armor. When he is charging his breath attack, fire charged shots at his mouth to stun him. While he's stunned, Samus is able to run up and use the Grapple Beam to rip open his armor and fire at his exposed weak point. Ridley then gains some new attacks, namely a charge attack that must be strafed, and a move where he will charge two purple spheres and fire them. Destroying the spheres while they charge will stun Ridley, at which point Samus is required to put on her X-Ray Visor and blow off the joints of Ridley's armor, allowing her to fire at his weak point again. After taking damage in this way, Ridley will then fire his breath attack and spin in circles, hitting you with both his breath and his tail. Continued damage will destroy his armor and force Ridley to the sky, performing bombing runs on you. Once he lands, Samus can unload all she has on Ridley's weak point until he finally falls.
In Metroid: Fusion, Ridley makes a surprise appearance. Earlier in the game, Samus finds a frozen Ridley locked in a cold containment room which is actually Ridley's decomposing body from Metroid:Other M. Eventually, she will return to this room and the ice will shatter, an X parasite floating away from the body. Later, she meets this parasite again, which transforms into a mutated version of Ridley, now called Neo Ridley. It is uncertain if Ridley will ever reappear in the Metroid timeline due to his last remaining DNA being destroyed after the X parasites infected him.
Neo Ridley will try to ram Samus, fire his trademark fire breath, and grab Samus with his claws. Like in the other 2D Metroid games, dealing enough damage to Ridley with any weapon will defeat him. When he is defeated, the Core X will be exposed. Destroying it ends the battle.
Ridley has made a few appearances outside of the Metroid series. He appeared in the Subspace Emissary mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl as a recurring boss. He also makes an appearance in a special Metroid-themed stage in Dead or Alive: Dimensions based on his appearance in Metroid: Other M.