From A complete guide to Super Metroid speedrunning
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Location Ridley's Room, Lower Norfair
Health 18000

All of the details that Ridley's behavior is composed of can be difficult to express, even in writing. Ridley can respond differently to your actions depending on specifically how you are moving throughout the fight. Even though utilizing this page to learn about Ridley will (hopefully) greatly assist you, you will ultimately want to devote plenty of time towards learning exactly what Ridley is capable of doing throughout the fight by fighting him many times.

General Knowledge

Ridley has 18000 hit points.

Ridley is vulnerable to Missiles, Super Missiles, Power Bombs, charged shots, and special beam attacks.

Ridley's tail is not vulnerable to damage.

Super Missiles will deal 600 damage to Ridley instead of their normal 300, meaning they have the highest sustained damage per second out of any weapon available.

Ridley deals 40 / 80 / 160 damage with his body, 30 / 60 / 120 damage with his tail, and 15 / 30 / 60 damage with fireballs, to Gravity Suit / Varia Suit / Power Suit Samus, respectively.

Similar to Mother Brain's bombs, a single fireball volley can damage Samus multiple times, or not damage Samus at all, depending on how Samus comes into contact with it.



  • Cloaked - Ridley's starting state
  • Dodging - Attempting to move away from a Power Bomb explosion
  • Ramming - Attempting to strike Samus, primarily with his body, by lunging forward at her
  • Grabbing - In some states, Ridley can grab Samus, and if he does, he will carry her to the top of the screen and drop her, which can waste substantial time and potentially result in Samus being struck multiple times
  • Pogoing - Attempting to bounce up and down on the center platform using his tail
  • Swooping - Rising to either the top left or the top right corner and flying to the opposite corner in a "U"-shaped path
  • Considering - When a pogo, swoop, or ram finishes, Ridley may consider which state to move to next, indicated by staying just above Samus
  • Dying - When Ridley's health has been reduced to zero, he will try to grab Samus, and if he does, he will explode, but if he does not, then he might decide to explode without grabbing Samus


  • Ridley will not be able to perform swoops until he has been brought below 14400 (80%) health, unless Samus is in a grappling or damage-boosting state (and not a spinjumping state at the same time) at a height above y = 0x160 in the room when Ridley's AI decides the next attack with a for swooping suitable RNG value. Samus is above the height y = 0x160 roughly when her body center is above the top of the shell of the bottom left door.
  • Ridley will change color and increase his speed once brought below 9000 (50%) health.
  • Ridley will change color and increase his speed once brought below 5400 (30%) health.
  • Ridley will change color and increase his speed once brought below 1800 (10%) health.
  • Ridley will release fireballs every other pogo he does.
  • Ridley will also release fireballs at a 50% chance every "Considering whether or not to pogo," and "Hovering because Samus is Spinjumping" portion of his AI.
  • Ridley's tail can be rather unpredictable and seemingly 'have a mind of its own.' Watch out for it, especially once Ridley has enraged.
  • Ridley can face either left or right.


When Ridley is facing left, have Samus's forward foot be off of the left side of the platform and fire directly up to strike him. In this position, Ridley cannot damage or grab you. It is possible that Ridley may unleash fireballs that can strike you as you try to get into this position, and depending on the situation, dodging them opens up the possibility of Ridley being put in a different state, or may cause you to be hit by something more damaging. For example, you may attempt to dodge a fireball just to be hit by Ridley's body (because he's moved over while you were dodging), which knocks you into the acid. Depending on the scenario, it can be better to simply tank the fireballs and concentrate on dodging other things you have more control over.

When Ridley is facing right, there isn't a consistently safe location to be in. You can shoot him while you have space to do so, but you will eventually need to move out of the way. If you're wanting to conserve health, you can morph and roll underneath his tail, but if your health is fine and/or you want to save time, you can attempt to run through or under his tail and use this time to charge your beam. Once you are to his left, you can then force Ridley to turn around to face left, and bring him into the safe position. It seems that this is determined by which side of the screen you are on, which side of the screen Ridley is on, whether you're above or below Ridley, and whether you are in a spin jump or not. Basically, you should try to jump so you are just behind him, and then break out of spin while constantly moving towards the other side of the screen. If you fail in changing Ridley's facing direction in this manner, Ridley typically restarts his pogoing sequence (in the same direction). If you are attempting to conserve health, you will need to know how to dodge him in this scenario.


The first swoop Ridley does will be higher than subsequent ones, so try to dodge it by either being morphed on the center platform, or by jumping over him with extra height. Ridley tends to try to ram Samus after a swoop.

To protect yourself during swoops, keeping a shot charged in order to have a pseudo-Screw active in between your walljumps can be handy as protection against possible fireball volleys that Ridley may have explode against the wall. Be aware that the pseudo-Screw effect will be disabled when a walljump is initiated, so you will want to cease walljumping once the fireballs hit the wall, and begin walljumping again once the explosions have subsided. Screw Attack can protect you just the same, but without the need of an active charge shot.


Grab spots for a quick death animation

Ridley can delay his explosive death indefinitely when at zero health unless Samus allows Ridley to pick her up. If you are certain Ridley's health is zero, you can try to place yourself in a position favorable for Ridley to grab onto you. If you are confident in your abilities, you may attempt to leap directly into Ridley's claws to ensure a swift death. Note that spin-jumping after Ridley has hit 0 HP may cause him to resume his normal series of attacks. This will specifically occur if the spin-jump is active during the frame in which Ridley is choosing his next attack. In general, avoid spin-jumping if you are attempting to get grabbed to end the fight.

The worst action you can take is moving around too much on the center platform, as Ridley will not react kindly and can ram you multiple times before locking onto your position to pick you up. Basically, you should be trying to make things easier for Ridley, not harder. Additionally, you should never spin jump after Ridley is at 0 HP or he won't attempt to grab you.

If you are certain that Ridley has zero health and has just begun to pogo (which will waste time), you can attempt to break him out of his pogo by getting into the air, then returning to the platform to be picked up once he has reset himself. Alternatively, you can attempt to enter Ridley's grasp when he is at the apex of one of his pogo animations, which if timed accurately will cause him to explode rather than carry you up and damage you.

If you can get Ridley to pick you up on one of the spots highlighted in this image, you might be able to get him to explode immediately instead of waiting a few seconds.


Under certain conditions Ridley can get stuck, either on the floor or in the air.

The air stuck setup happens when Samus breaks out of spin frame-perfectly while at a certain height, while Ridley is also at the same height, at the peak of a tail bounce. There is no known consistent setup for either stuck form, but both can be broken out of by laying a Power Bomb, which will make Ridley attempt to dodge it.



Charged Ice + Wave + Plasma deals 900 damage, meaning it will only take 20 shots to reduce Ridley's health to zero.

For beginners, doing full jumps throughout the fight can be beneficial, both due to being able to keep better track of Ridley's movements if you're unfamiliar with his patterns, and to avoid getting grabbed during either a Ram or a Pogo. Use the Angle buttons so that you can break spin during the jumps (because shots don't charge when Samus is spinning), and so that you don't need to be level with Ridley to hit him.

For intermediate runners, you will want your beam charged before the fight starts so that you can strike Ridley the moment he appears, and then once more as he attempts to fly away. Afterward, you will want to perform a hero shot from slightly to the right of the center of the platform, jump up to shoot him again, and keep it going from there.

Optimally, you can open walljump to the top left corner, fire a charged shot down timed so that it hits Ridley just as he spawns, and have a second shot nearly charged by that point.

This information can also apply to 100% Items, 100% Map, and GT Classic, although those categories will likely have more incentive to use Super Missiles than this Any% route will.

If you're getting the Ridley E-tank, you can stand on the right side of the platform, fire a shot as soon as the room starts shaking, and start Space Jumping through the drops. The shot will open the door, allowing you to go through.


Charged Ice + Wave + Spazer deals 300 damage, meaning it will take 60 shots to reduce Ridley's health to zero.

Similar to Any% KPDR, you will want to perform the same sequence of starting the fight, although you may need to be a tiny bit further to the right than you would in Any% KPDR to perform the hero shot. It can be a common theme during this fight with Spazer involved that Ridley's tail will block your charged shots due to Spazer's width, and this is especially the case when Ridley is pogoing. Depending on the timing of your shots relative to where exactly Ridley is during his pogoing sequence, you may need to perform short hops during your shots so that they strike Ridley instead of his tail.

In this route, having a high amount of Super Missiles is imperative to compensate for the lack of damage from the beam. One Super Missile is equivalent to two charged shots here, essentially meaning every Super Missile you have will reduce the length of the fight by two seconds each.

Same as lower-percentage categories, you will want to refrain from using Super Missiles (unless you are using them as part of an X-Factor opener setup) until Ridley has changed color; however, as Ridley's pogo provides the best opportunity to use them, and because you are not guaranteed that Ridley will pogo during his enrage phase before hitting zero, it is the safest option (in terms of ensuring you optimize the fight) to use the Super Missiles on the first pogo opportunity you are given. If you are not incorporating X-Factors, then Ridley will change color after 31 charged shots. As an example, if you have 8 Super Missiles when Ridley changes color, it should only take another 13 charged shots with those 8 Super Missiles to finish him off.

If you choose to incorporate X-Factors, it is important to have at least 3 Power Bombs before entering Ridley's chamber, as performing less will save substantially less time than performing three or more. For a real time route, you will want to get the X-Factors out immediately, as charged Wave only deals 150 damage, and other ammo is finite and awkward to use before Ridley enrages. Pausing consumes real time, so constant pausing to enable and re-enable beams just to try to fit in more X-Factors is not viable for a real time speedrun. Executing an opener of 3 X-Factors (sometimes referred to as "triple X" or "XXX") properly should save around four seconds of real time and around ten seconds of game time (due to the pauses and lag) on average compared to not executing them. This estimation includes time spent farming in the room before Ridley for Power Bombs.

X-Factor setups

The standard X-Factor setup starts with one that meets in the center of Ridley's body as he spawns, as seen at the start of this video. Zoast developed the "4X" strat seen here.

ARealCutie developed this opener as a variation, which has the X-Factor particles hit Ridley earlier to allow more missiles to be fired before the second X.

14% Ice

Charged Ice deals 90 damage, meaning it will take 200 shots to reduce Ridley's health to zero.

The optimal opener to use against Ridley is taken from Saturn's tool assisted speedrun of the category, where a Power Bomb strikes Ridley twice immediately after all four particles of an Ice Shield connect, dealing 760 damage ((90 from Ice Shield particle * 4 particles) + (200 from Power Bomb explosion * 2 strikes)).

You can then choose to use the rest of the Power Bombs immediately afterward, or use them individually by using one after Ridley performs a swoop and repeating this two more times throughout the fight.

Once Ridley changes color, it should only take 22 additional charged shots with the 10 Missiles and 10 Super Missiles you have to finish him off.

This information can also apply to the other 14% categories involving Ice Beam.

14% Speed

Charge by itself deals 60 damage, meaning it will take 300 shots to reduce Ridley's health to zero.

The optimal opener to use against Ridley is to wait until his eye has become visible right before he roars to begin the battle, and lay a Power Bomb, which should strike Ridley twice before he flies out of range, dealing 400 damage (200 from Power Bomb explosion * 2 strikes).

You can then choose to use the rest of the Power Bombs immediately afterward, or use them individually by using one after Ridley performs a swoop and repeating this three more times throughout the fight.

Once Ridley changes color, it should only take 33 additional charged shots with the 10 Missiles and 10 Super Missiles you have to finish him off.

This information can also apply to 12%.


  • DbX - Attempts to provide insight into Ridley's AI.
  • Matrick - Endurance tutorial for surviving the fight or doing it damageless, especially for Low% categories
  • ShinyZeni - Ridley tutorial for RBO
  • ShinyZeni - Part of a longer RBO tutorial, but covering Ridley behavior as a whole for all categories
  • ShinyZeni - Part of the same RBO tutorial, covering specifics of the category
  • ARealCutie - Some other ridley insights for KPDR/PRKD beam fights (check description for timestamps)

Ceres Station

Ridley is first encountered in Ceres Station. When Samus's energy goes below 30, Ridley will fly away and the escape will begin, so the goal for optimally 'defeating' him is to take damage as fast as possible. This is best accomplished by standing next to the right wall as Ridley appears, since Ridley's tail deals the most damage per hit. After the third hit, you will need to jump up to take damage from Ridley's tail as he will begin to hover. The hitbox for Ridley's tail exists primarily at the tip.

After the fourth hit, moving slightly to the left may help manipulate Ridley's tail into staying on-screen, allowing the fifth hit to happen as soon as Samus' i-frames run out.

Ridley can also be 'defeated' by striking him 100 times, although this is obviously the slower and much more difficult of the two methods to execute. Ridley does not have a traditional health bar - although he can be struck by many different sources, all that matters is how many times he is struck, and once that number reaches 100, he will drop the capsule containing the baby Metroid, pick it back up, and then fly away.

See also