Ridley: Brawlable? Or Not?
Okay, in light of recent Smash related news I’ve decided its time to do this. I was going to do a write up about Ridley long ago but never did get around to it.
So where to begin? Everyone who has played Metroid knows who Ridley is, he is the nemesis of Samus (the Bowser of the Metroid franchise one might say) and as a result there are many people who want him to be featured in Brawl as a playable character. I am one of said people, of course both sides to the argument have very legitimate reasoning. But when it all comes down to him being playable in the end, what side do you side with? Well, I hope to sway some of you to the Ridley side with more than just cookies. So, he is a big purple space dragon who commands the Space Pirate forces and is responsible for making Samus Aran who she is. Of course some say he is far too big to work in Brawl and would be a very awkward character to control.
Much earlier in Brawl’s development Sakurai posted a character poll for the Japanese to vote freely on what characters. And through this poll Sakurai had hoped to get an idea of the sort of characters that the Japanese public wanted in the game (sadly the English speaking world was not given the same option, however many of our ideas were submitted with the help of SamuraiPanda on Smashboards) and the final list had some names of interest in it. Sonic, Lucas and Ike were all on the list and guess what? They all have been confirmed for Brawl thus far
You may be wondering what relevance this holds. Well, Ridley was also in the list and he was, in fact, in the top 10 or so characters with multiple people requesting that he be included in the game’s line-up. This is one of the stronger arguments for his inclusion in the game, but by no means is it the only one. So, signs indicate that he is popular enough to appear.
Speaking of popularity, as of late Metroid’s popularity has really taken a step up thanks to the help of the Prime trilogy. And Ridley played a major part in two of these games, the two most popular ones at that. He was why Samus ended up on Tallon IV in Metroid Prime 1, and in Metroid Prime 3 he was featured in two boss fights.
But this isn’t Ridley’s only contribution to the Metroid games, he also features in bosses in almost all Metroid games. Which is only natural as he and Samus go way back. An online comic details some of Samus’ earliest day when she is just a young girl when Space Pirates attack her home village. The Pirates are lead by the mighty Ridley, everyone who lives in the village is killed, even Samus parents (her dad is killed by Pirates and her mum is killed by Ridley) so that means that IF Sakurai decides to give Metroid the rep it deserves then he’d want to add one more character to allow this.
Ridley’s only competition for Metroid rep are: Dark Samus (who would be so CLOSE to being a Samus clone), Bounty Hunters (its way to hard to pick just one to satisfy all fans, I say make them Assist Trophies and/or bosses in Subspace Emissary), and Space Pirates (who again, should only appear in Subspace Emissary in the Metroid section). Which leaves us with just Ridley, he is a whole step above the rest. Kraid and Mother Brain sadly do not have what it takes to become playable characters in Brawl.
The size debate, it is true that Ridley’s size fluctuates wildly a lot which has resulted in Ridley being significantly larger than Samus on many occasions. But at the same time a few appearences he hasn’t been much bigger (for example: Super Metroid and the intro clip for SSBM)
Bowser as he appears in Super Mario Sunshine, he is massive isn’t he? Yet he appears in SSBM and SSBB because he was worked down to a logical size.
The same could easily be done with Ridley, especially now that Charizard is in there. A dragon like design simliar to that of Ridley means that now both of them could easily be programmed into Brawl.
And last but not least, recent Dojo updates. Two Ridley relevant updates so far, one was Ridley’s actual theme music titled “Boss Fight: Ridley” which DOES not mean he will only be a boss fight. It could be titled that because the music is used in boss fights in the Metroid games when you clash. And the other Ridley update was “Norfair” as a selectable stage. Why is this Ridley relevant you ask? Well, any Metroid fan could tell you. Ridley’s area in the older Metroid games is Norfair, much like how Kraid’s is Brinstar and Mother Brain’s is Tourian.
In conclusion, its quite obvious that Ridley *should* be a playable character in SSBB. He may look awkward but Charizard is workable (proves that dragon like characters can be done) and Bowser has been successfully shrunk down (proves that large characters can be downsized and still work). He has a stage there, and a theme song as well which I can imagine being played during Story Mode and as a secondary tune on Norfair. And of course, he is the biggest villain and the one that appears the most throughout the entire Metroid franchise.
All that is really left to say is that having Sonic in Brawl is all good and well, but there is no way he should be in the game if Sakurai can’t even include one of the Metroid franchise’s most important characters (besides Samus Aran of course, and no. Zero Suit Samus doesn’t count)
Please oh please Sakurai, use your head and include Ridley. You’ve already done so much good work on Brawl, is it too much to ask for Ridley to be playable? You know he deserves it.