Masahiro Sakurai designed Ridley in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate based on his appearance in the original Metroid for the NES

Ridley's hunched over appearance means that he's larger when he stands upright

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • July 24, 2018 at 5:35 a.m. PDT

It's difficult to say which announcement was bigger for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: every Smash Bros. character returning or Ridley as a playable character. Up until now, Ridley has always been believed to be a fighter that would be too big to be playable — a sentiment echoed by even Masahiro Sakurai himself.

Ridley has had a long history in gaming. He's actually had a presence in every single Super Smash Bros. title. Ridley could be spotted in the background of the Planet Zebes stage in Super Smash Bros. 64, seen during the intro opening for Super Smash Bros. Melee, could be fought against as a boss in Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Subspace Emissary mode, and finally beaten up as a stage hazard in Super Smash Bros. 4's Pyrosphere stage.

With the exception of the original Metroid 2: Return of Samus, Metroid Prime 2, and Federation Force, Ridley has appeared in every single Metroid game ever made. That means that Samus had to deal with the military commander of the Space Pirates in Metroid, Metroid: Zero Mission, Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, Metroid: Samus Returns, Super Metroid, Metroid: Other M, and Metroid Fusion.

Throughout these games, Ridley has had a number of unique forms which includes his iconic Meta Ridley form. Despite all of this, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate might mark the first time that Ridley has been officially playable.

How did Masahiro Sakurai go about designing Ridley in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and make gaming history? According to an interview with Bill Trinen and Nate Bihldorff of Nintendo, Ridley's appearance is heavily influenced by the first Metroid game on the NES.

Notably, Samus and Ridley are close to being the same size in this game. The important detail to notice here is the fact that Ridley is hunched over.

NES Ridley image #1
Click images for larger versions

According to Bihldorff, when Masahiro Sakurai was considering Ridley as a playable character, "he studied the art, and he hunched his shoulders." Bihldorff then commented how Ridley is based off of his NES design.

"I think he's got a specific size, but he did put a lot of work into making it look like the NES sprite where he has a hunched back most of the time"
— Nate Bihldorff.

"I think he's got a specific size, but he did put a lot of work into making it look like the NES sprite where he has a hunched back most of the time" said Bihldorff. This seems to be a good compromise seeing as how Ridley is still larger than the rest of the cast when he stands upright.

Obviously, Ridley still has this hunched over posture in Super Metroid, even while flying. What's interesting is that Ridley's size had fluctuated to the point of appearing massive when compared to that of Samus's height.

Bihldorff commented on Ridley's inconsistent size by specifically elaborating on Sakurai's demonstration during the Nintendo Treehouse presentation.

"[Sakurai] mentioned exactly what Ridley's height is, although obviously it is on a sliding scale depending on which game you're talking about," said Bihldorff. "In the original Metroid it's like Samus and Ridley were [not that large]."

During the conference, Masahiro Sakurai stated that Ridley was about four meters tall. That's roughly 13 feet.


Click image for animated version

It's also worth noting that Ridley's Neutral Special has a weird trajectory. This also appears to be based on how he attacked in the NES Metroid title.

For those that have never played the original Metroid — including myself — here's a look at the Ridley boss fight in that game:

Sources: Nintendo Life, Know Your Meme, Nintendo's Twitch channel, Blaziken257's YouTube channel.

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