This was a story idea that popped into my head one night shortly after the reveal trailer for Ridley in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and refused to leave. I've updating it steadily on FanFiction.net, but recently felt like posting it here, too. I'll probably add 1~2 chapters a week until I got caught up, and after that new chapters will be up whenever I feel like writing them. Spoiler: Chapter 1 The chamber was dark, save for the pool of lava far below the bridge spanning from one end to the other. The heat of the lava rose up the sides of the cold, stone walls that lined the chamber and drifted out of the open windows just below the ceiling. It was up here that the beast waited, perched on one of those windows, for his target to arrive. The heat didn’t bother him, but he was beginning to lose his patience. Finally, the door into the chamber and a portly man in a red shirt and blue overalls stepped into the chamber. That was his cue. Ridley dropped from his resting place and dove down below the bridge as the man walked along it, looking for whatever was waiting for him. He spread his wings out and the heat rising from the lava pulled him back up on the other side of the bridge where he landed, smiling as he saw the man in red and blue look around at where he had just dropped. The sound of Ridley landing on the bridge caused the man to turn around to face him, but it was too late. Ridley reveled in seeing the portly man’s face as he was knocked off of the bridge by a single swipe of Ridley’s tail. He had an expression could only be seen in someone who realized too late that they were about to die. It was an expression that Ridley always loved to see. Ridley stepped forwards and peered down to see the man as he plummeted down to the lava. Watched as he was swallowed up within it. Ridley found it odd, as humans normally started burning away to nothing before they even touched lava in a situation like this, but he shrugged the thought away. It was more fun seeing them drown in the molten rock anyway. He looked down at his feet, where the man’s hat had fallen off when he had swatted him to his doom. Ridley picked up the hat and spun it around on his finger with a gleeful smile before spreading his wings wide and taking off. He flew up and out through one of the openings near the ceiling, circling around the roof of the castle before gliding off into the distance. Ridley flew through the sky for several hours before finally approaching a giant castle, lined with spikey and grotesque, monstrous statues. It was the kind of architecture that Ridley could admire. He landed in front of the huge double doors leading inside and waited as a couple of small turtle creatures opened the door for him to enter. He walked past before they were done and knocked them aside as he forced the doors the rest of the way open. He made his way down hallway after hallway until he barged into the through a room where a giant turtle with horns and a spiked shell was slouching in an ornate golden throne. “That was fast.” The turtle said in surprise at Ridley’s sudden arrival. “You gave me an easy job.” Ridley scoffed. The turtle snapped his clawed fingers and a turtle and a brown creature with no arms or hands which reminded Ridley of some kind of nut pushed a large treasure chest into the middle of the room between Ridley and the giant turtle. The small turtle opened up the chest to reveal that it was practically overflowing with gold and jewels. “Do you have any proof that he’s dead?” The turtle asked. Ridley responded by tossing the hat on top of the pile of gold in the chest. “I watched him burn.” “Very well then.” The oversized turtle nodded in satisfaction and raised an arm towards the treasure chest. “Then this is all yours.” Ridley walked over to the chest and closed it tightly. “It’s been a pressure doing business for you.” With that, Ridley picked up the chest and left. Once he was outside the castle, he spread his wings out again and took off from the ground, flying straight up into the air. He flew higher and higher, past the stratosphere and into space, where his ship was waiting. He went around to the docking bay and flew inside, with the massive metal doors closed behind him. Once they were shut and the ship’s artificial atmosphere filled up the room with breathable air, his lackeys walked in. “Report.” He ordered them. “We broke into the turtles’ castle and broke out the princess they captured, as you ordered.” Said one of the Space Pirates. Ridley thought that it was the one he placed in charge of that mission, though it was hard to tell because they all looked alike to him and he couldn’t be bothered to figure out who was who. “We then contacted the princess’ kingdom and they were willing to pay the ransom. We just brought the gold they gave us to your treasure room right before you returned.” “Excellent.” Ridley said coldly. “Then prepare to leave.” The Space Pirates all saluted Ridley and left to go to their posts. Once they were gone, Ridley left as well and made his way through the ship’s maze-like hallways. It was a hassle trying to get anywhere on the ship, but it was designed to ward off intruders. Of course, that didn’t mean that Ridley had to like it. Finally, he made it to his room and the door shut closed behind him, automatically locking. He set the treasure chest down and went to the far wall, where he placed his hand against a secret panel, which caused the whole wall to open up. Only a handful of lifeforms had access to this secret room, including himself and he tended to eat the peons he let in here so that they couldn’t steal anything from him. Ridley picked the chest back up again and walked into his treasure room, where he placed it among the piles of valuables collected from across the known universe. He opened up the chest so that its contents would on display for him and him alone. He stared at the contents of the chest for a moment, realizing that he had accidentally left the hat inside. He picked up the red cloth hat and examined it a bit more closely. It was relatively plain looking, apart from the red ‘M’ in the middle of a white circle on its front, just above the brim. Ridley thought that ‘M’ must be some sort of letter from the local’s language, though he was no idea what it meant. As he looked at the hat, an idea came to Ridley and he decided to take the hat with him as he left his treasure room. He made his way back to the main hanger, where he had entered the ship, and picked up the intercom. “Attention, all crew members. This is your captain speaking. I’ve decided to stick around this planet a little longer to have a bit of fun. Go back to base and report like normal. I’ll catch up with you when I’m done. Oh, and if anyone touches my stuff while I’m gone, you’re all dead.” He then set the intercom back down and pressed the release button on the doors. Once they had opened wide enough, Ridley jumped out and flew back into the planet’s atmosphere. He turned around to see the ship take off and leave as he fell down to the planet’s surface before turning around again and curving his descent into a glide. Ridley made his way across the green fields of the planet. The grass here was much brighter than most of the other planets he had been to before. So was everything else, for that matter. Ridley briefly wondered what it was that made everything on planet SMB-985 so much more colorful, but his mind quickly wandered from that as he realized how hungry he was. Ridley realized that he probably should have had something to eat before he left. Or someone. It wasn’t his fault if his lackeys happened to taste like lobster. Ridley spotted what appeared to be an old well and landed beside it. There was a cluster of some kind of sickly purple fungus growing all around the well, which Ridley proceeded to pull up from the ground and examine. The mushrooms had a skull-like pattern on their caps, which was likely a sign that they were highly toxic. Ridley laughed and ate them all anyway, mentally daring them to try and make him sick. He then took off again and flew towards the green mountains off in the distance. They looked kind of like they had eyes, which Ridley found a bit odd, but he’d seen weirder things before. The hills and mountains got bigger and bigger as he got closer. In fact, they seemed it be getting bigger than they should. Ridley passed it off as some kind of strange optical illusion caused by a distortion in the atmosphere, or at least something along those lines, as his destination came into view. It was a large, white and red castle that was so gaudy looking it made Ridley feel sick. Or was it the mushrooms? No, it was definitely the large castle. The really large castle. Ridley wasn’t sure why they would have needed to make a castle that size unless the beings that lived there were around his size, which he was sure that they weren’t. Ridley landed outside the castle and pulled out the red hat. As he looked at the hat in his hand, it finally started to settle in that something was wrong. The hat was much, much bigger than it had been before. Ridley had no idea what was going on, but he decided to just stick to his plan and figure things out later. The one who it had belonged to was supposed to have belonged to was supposed to be some kind of hero to the people here, and he would relish in watching them as they see him wearing that hat and realizing what would happen. He could almost taste their misery. Or was that the mushroom? No, it was misery. Ridley put the hat on and walked up to the front doors of the castle. He was about to knock them down and force his way inside when he heard a voice from behind him. “Oh, hey-a Mario. I didn’t-a realize you would-a be back so soon.” Ridley whipped around and nearly knocked over the man standing behind him with his tail. The man didn’t seem to notice but just stood there, smiling. He looked similar to the man Ridley had gotten the hat from, but was a bit taller, thinner and wearing green instead of red. The emblem on his hat was also an ‘L’ rather than an ‘M’. Most unusual was that the man seemed to be almost as tall as Ridley himself. “What?” Ridley asked, confused by the man’s behavior. “Have you-a rescued the princess already? That was-a certainly faster than-a normal.” Ridley stared blankly at the man in green, unsure of how to react. “I guess old Bowser’s still-a no match for you, no? That’s-a my brother for you.” There was no way that this guy could have mistaken him for… Mario, was it? The guy he had just killed. By this point, Ridley had realized that he must have been shrunken down to the size of the local life-forms, somehow, but he looked down at himself and could clearly see that he was still his normal purplish dragon-like self apart from the size difference. No one could possibly mistake him for a… human? They looked like humans, but Ridley wasn’t aware that they lived in this galaxy. Then again, it felt like humans were everywhere in the universe. Filthy pests. “Um…” Ridley decided that the best course of action would be to play along and pretend that he didn’t realize that the green-clad being was pretending not to notice that Ridley wasn’t this… Mario. “Yes. I am back. I have rescued the princess from the clutches of the nefarious giant turtle and returned here to this castle that I… live… at?” “Oh, does that-a mean that you’ve decided to move-a into the castle?” The man in green asked. Ridley hesitated. “…Yes?” “Well, I’m-a sorry to hear that. It won’t-a be the same around the house without-a you there, brother.” “I mean no.” Ridley backtracked. “Maybe? Let’s just say that I’m thinking about it and move on.” “Okey-dokey.” Ridley stared down at the man in green, who looked back up at him. Ridley flapped his wings once to see if that would draw the man’s attention. He didn’t seem to notice. “Well, anyway…” Ridley muttered. “I’m going to go… leave… and… check up on the princess. You know, ah, go see how she’s going.” “What a coincidence.” The man in green said. “I was-a going to-a go see how things were-a holding up at-a the castle with-a the princess gone, but now that she’s-a back already I think I’ll-a go see her as well.” “Fine.” Ridley was extremely uncomfortable. Either this man was the greatest actor he had ever seen, or he was the biggest idiot he had ever seen. Or maybe both? Ridley had no idea what to make of the current situation but decided to continued playing along for the moment. “Then we should probably go inside, then. To see the princess… yeah.” “You’ve-a got it.” The guy in green walked up to the doors and knocked twice. The doors opened and Ridley and the guy in green both stepped inside the castle. Ridley was surprised to see that the inside of the castle was somehow even worse than the outside. Although he supposed that it did have a sort of regal look to it. Either way, it still wasn’t really to Ridley’s taste. Though some would say that Ridley had no taste. Ridley would respond by eating those people and seeing how they taste. Ridley and the green guy made their way through the castle’s brightly decorated halls until they reached the throne room. There was a humanoid person sitting on the throne that Ridley assumed must have been a female. She was wearing a pink dress and a golden crown. The female’s blue eyes and blond hair reminded Ridley of the Hunter, but he quickly shook that thought out of his head. There was no way the Hunter would come to this backwater planet out in the middle of nowhere on the outer edge of known space. Ridley thought about for a moment. This planet could potentially be useful as a place to get away from the Hunter for a while. He was starting to get tired of her constantly murdering him, after all. Perhaps he would try to extend his stay here for a little longer… “Hi, Mario, Luigi!” The princess said excitedly as Ridley and the guy in green came closer to her. “It’s good to see you two. You wouldn’t believe what just happened to me.” “I heard you-a got kidnapped by-a Bowser again.” Luigi said. “I did. But that’s when things got weird. Some weird lobster-people snuck into the castle and broke me out of there. They brought me back here and asked for a reward, which we were happy to give them, and then they just left.” “Wow, that-a is really interesting.” Luigi said in surprise. “Do-a you have any idea where they-a came from?” “No. They just showed up out of nowhere.” “What do you think about this?” Luigi asked Ridley. “Yes…” Ridley still couldn’t tell if anyone had realized he wasn’t Mario yet or not. “That is quite… unusual…” “Well, we should-a probably be heading back home now.” Luigi told the Princess. “It was-a nice seeing you, Princess Peach.” “Yes, I’m sure you have other things that you need to do.” The princess replied and started to wave goodbye. “See you again soon.” Luigi turned to go. “Come on-a, Mario. I’m-a making you’re-a favorite spaghetti for dinner tonight.” Ridley was so utterly confused as to what was going on. Did no one really notice that he, the purple space dragon/space pirate leader was not the portly human they called Mario? Was it the hat? Maybe it was some kind of hologram projector or something? Ridley had no idea but he had just been promised food and he was still quite hungry, so he went along with Luigi. Please let me know what you think so far.