It's no surprise that gamers are excited by the new Super Smash Bros. titles for Wii U and 3DS. The pair of games feature a number of new additions and the largest roster in the franchise's history. Of course, despite featuring an expansive lineup of playable fighters, some fans didn't get their favorite mascots into the latest series installments. One of the more notable absences in the eyes of fans is Ridley – the purple space-dragon from the Metroid franchise.
The galactic reptile has remained a highly requested addition to Super Smash Bros. ever since the initial reveal trailer for Melee featured the behemoth chasing after Metroid protagonist Samus Aran, and gamers have been longing to see Ridley finally become playable ever since. Despite fan demand, it sounds as if the creator of the Super Smash Bros. franchise, Masahiro Sakurai, doesn't believe making Samus' reoccurring rival makes sense.
During a recent interview with IGN, Sakurai admitted that he knows full well that fans want to see Ridley secure a playable role in the fighting game, but felt that shrinking the character down and taking away the monster's ability to fly is a disservice to the character.
“I definitely know that Ridley’s a much-anticipated name for fans, but if we made Ridley as a fighter, it wouldn’t be Ridley any longer. It’d have to be shrunk down, or its wings reduced in size, or be unable to fly around freely. Providing accurate portrayals of characters is something I want to pay ample attention to. If I don’t stick to that thought, then we’d have to lower the quality or break the balance of the game. Something that goes way off spec could break the entire game.”
Instead of clipping Ridley's wings and altering the character to fit the template of a playable fighter, Sakurai and his team made the iconic baddie a boss monster that can be found on the Pyrosphere stage in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The producer feels this is the best way to maintain the essence of the character, while still having it be an interactive portion of the game.
“Instead of going through a lot of very convoluted hocus-pocus to make Ridley a fighter, I figured it’d be better to keep Ridley as it currently is, the correct way, and have it feel like a truly threatening presence. There are other icons, too, like Metal Face and the Yellow Devil, which help effectively portray each of their world settings. They go a long way toward deepening the game world, and I think it’s been fun to experiment with.”
It's unlikely that Ridley fans across the globe will stop showing support for the character's inclusion in future installments of Super Smash Bros., but this information will come as a blow for anyone that has supported the purple space pirate. Still, it shows that Sakurai knows what dedicated gamers want to see in future games – Mewtwo being added as DLC is further evidence of that – but fans may be best to never say never in the case of Ridley.
Do you want Ridley to make a playable appearance in Super Smash Bros. or has Sakurai made the right decision by including it as a boss/stage hazard?
Super Smash Bros. is currently available on the Nintendo 3DS and is set to arrive for the Wii U on November 21, 2014.
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