If you have been listening to Infendo Radio for the past year, you will know that with any mention of playable characters in the Wii U and 3DS versions of Super Smash Bros., I tend to grasp at straws for possible roster additions. Some have been true while others have been de-confirmed with the swift iron fist of Masahiro Sakurai himself. But, the one addition that I’ve been clamoring for with each Smash Bros. release has always been Ridley from the Metroid series. I’m clearly obsessed. The mere mention of it to friends online and outside of the podcast have been met with disagreement. Like I said in the headline: I want to believe. But, why am I still holding out for hope on one of Nintendo’s greatest villains to get his Smash Bros. due?
Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS will be releasing in early October, while the Wii U version is still slated for a Holiday 2014 release. Coupled with character reveal trailers for Lucina, Robin, and Shulk the past month and the unfortunate roster leak, the Ridley in Smash debate appears to be stopped dead in its tracks. However, that hasn’t stopped Smash fans (and even Metroid fans) from speculation of the character’s inclusion as playable.
Many will go back to April’s Smash Bros. Nintendo Direct as evidence when Sakurai was discussing about stage hazards/boss characters in both versions of the game. One clip shows off the Pyrosphere stage from Metroid: Other M with an ominous shadow hovering above Pikachu. Sakurai never mentions Ridley by name, simply stating that other boss characters appear. In a later post from Miiverse, Sakurai shows a screenshot of the same Pyrosphere stage. Sakurai then writes that an enemy from Samus’ past would make an appearance.
Now, the above mentioned facts seem to de-confirm Ridley as a playable character, but why has Sakurai been hesitant to mention the character by name? This evidence is one of the many pieces that Smash fans have been using to conclude that Sakurai is hiding something from us. Sure, there are other reasons why Ridley in Smash Bros. would be impossible. These reasons include his size, wing-span, and design. All of these are justifiable reasons for not including Ridley on the Smash roster. But, why is Sakurai being so secretive? It’s not as if we are not known of the character’s existence, yet we are being teased and teased with each passing day.
Diving into this Ridley in Smash Bros. rabbit hole has obviously gotten the best of me. I at times have gone from “Yes, he will be in Smash” to “Well, this roster leak kills any hope”. Still, I am here writing about the inclusion of one of my favorite video game antagonists into of one of my favorite video game franchises. The evidence for and against Ridley in Smash have stacked up over the months, but now I’m beginning to side with the former again. Many discussions of this have popped up on YouTube, including one below, where a Smash fan dissects the Ridley shadow in the stage hazard tease. Sure it’s a bit of a stretch, but after watching some may throw out the Ridley size debate out the window just to hope for his inclusion.
(Warning: NSFW language in the video below)
In addition, there’s a 24-minute discussion on the Ridley debate you can watch here. Again, the dissection of Ridley’s shadow and Sakurai’s lack of mention the character’s name are discussed.
With two new Super Smash Bros. titles on the horizon, I still want to believe the Ridley debate. I really do. But is it worth my time? Call it biased, but it’s most likely due to the lack of other Metroid characters on the Smash roster. It seems unfair. Until then, I shall wonder about a world where Samus’ most hated nemesis gets the respect it so deserves.