Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be getting some new roster members after all, and Nintendo isn't pulling any punches. The end of the Nintendo E3 2018 Direct presentation revealed that long-time Metroid villain Ripley the Space Pirate will be joining the cast of fighters, debuting the new combatant in a surreal video that seemed to indicate Mario might have died to bring Ripley into the Smash Bros. universe.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the long-awaited next installment in the Super Smash Bros. franchise. Nintendo has built up an incredibly passionate fan community around the fighting game and, despite middling support from the publisher itself, the series' pro gamer crowd has begun to experience something of a renaissance with a few more high profile fighting tournament showcases than normal. The series is also unique in that it markets itself well toward both casual Nintendo fans and hardcore fighting game players, resulting in a deep, diverse grouping of fans and an extremely lucrative history.
Part of Nintendo's big E3 reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate unveiled that every single fighter in Smash Bros. history would be returning in the new game, a revelation that seemed to indicate we wouldn't be seeing any new fighters debut until later in the development cycle. Instead, the conference capped with the abrupt entrance of Ridley, one of Nintendo's more iconic villains and a Metroid series mainstay that has been defeated, revived, and defeated again on loop for decades.
Naturally, Ridley made his debut in a short teaser trailer that paired him with Samus Aran, his nemesis in Metroid. Ridley's combat techniques looked particularly impressive, as the character shot fire and lasers out of his mouth while also demonstrating a nice coupling of air and ground strikes. While it's too early to tell exactly what kind of fighter Ridley will be, he appears to be a quicker version of fighters like Charizard or Bowser, occupying a lot of space on the screen but with a bit more mobility than we're accustomed to.
Even if Ridley doesn't end up being a competitive mainstay on the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate circuit, however, it's the culmination of a long struggle for a large portion of Smash Bros. fans. Ridley has been one of the most requested characters since Super Smash Bros. Melee, and that the villain will finally be appearing in what appears to be the biggest Smash Bros. game yet must be a rewarding victory for one of gaming's most passionate fan bases.