In the lead up to the release of Metroid: Other M we've explored the origin and journey of Samus Aran, intergalactic bounty-hunter and Nintendo's leading lady.
Her epic quest to rid the galaxy of evil started with the loss of her parents at the hands of the merciless Space Pirate Ridley, who has continued to torment Samus since the tragic events that occurred on Planet K2-L. But just who is Ridley and what are his motives?
Little is known about the origin of Ridley, his activities before becoming the leader of the menacing Space Pirates is still shrouded in mystery. Contrary to popular belief, Ridley's greatest strength is his intelligence, he has developed a reputation not only for being a ruthless killer but also a cunning and devious tactician in battle.
Ridley's first appearance in the Metroid saga was on K2-L, a Galactic Federation planet rich in valuable minerals. The small, Earth-like planet was home to a small colony of humans, one of which was 3 year old Samus.
The Pirate General conducted a large-scale raid on the peaceful planet and pillaged it for supplies and fuel. Not content on depriving the helpless colony of its key resources, he unleashed his pirate forces on the colony and let them wreak havoc. Ridley watched as his troops devastated the small colony and murdered the defenceless humans.
After a young Samus foolishly attempted to befriend Ridley and winded up embarrassing him in front of his troops, the pirate almost killed the child. When Samus' mother Virginia threw herself in front of her daughter to protect her, however, it was she who lost her life instead. Samus' father, Rodney didn't fare much better against the brutal Space Pirates either. He boldly destroyed the supplies they were after, but did so at the cost of his own life.
With her parents dead, her colony wiped out and her home planet on the verge of eradication Samus was eventually rescued by the Chozo, a highly advanced race of bird-like inhabitants of neighbouring planet Zebes, and began years of training and tutelage with the ancient warrior race.
RETURN TO ZEBES
Many years later Ridley returned to planet Zebes, which also served as home for himself and the Zebesian Space Pirates to establish a Central Command Center beneath the planet's surface.
Zebes was also home to Mother Brain, a cold and calculating artificial intelligence that was created by the Chozo but turned traitor when Ridley and his Space Pirates first invaded. She worked with Ridley with the belief that she could create order in the universe by "resetting everything back to zero". She wanted the Space Pirates to assist her with her destructive plans.
Upon his arrival, Ridley began to lay waste to the planet and eventually the native Chozo Colony that lived on the surface of the planet. Grey Voice, the Chozo who first discovered Samus, managed to infiltrate the Space Pirates and attempted to shut down Mother Brain when he learned of her treachery but Ridley was quick to catch-on to his plans and killed him before he could complete his mission.
Ridley's motive eventually became clear when the Galactic Federation realised he had stolen a Metroid specimen with a plan to create an army by cloning the Metroid in labs beneath the planet's surface. The ability to feed on 'life source', made he Metroid potentially devestating bio-weapons.
The forces of the Galactic Federation were no match for Ridley, who emerged victorious from a number of battles against the Federation and personally defeated the Federation Police Force, created and comprised of members trained specifically to combat the Space Pirates.