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Balrog of Street Fighter video games with claws at the ready

Balrog

(Tom's profile)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Balrog (no relation to anything Tolkienesque) is one of the classic villains from the undying Street Fighter brawling video games series.

All characters in this series of profiles follow their original Japanese naming convention. The US version has swapped the bosses’ names, and thus Balrog is known as Vega there.

Now Balrog is a great villain with a psychotic vanity complex and the façade of being an honorable nobleman by night. His storyline and abilities allow him to function as an underground pit fighter or as an assassin equally well.


Background

  • Other Aliases: The young masked noble, Blood-Smeared Claw.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Unnamed mother (deceased), Unnamed father (deceased by his own hand).
  • Group Affiliation: Shadaloo.
  • Base Of Operations: Barcelona, Spain.
  • Height: 6’2” Weight: 158 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Blond


Powers and Abilities

Balrog is a superhumanly skilled acrobat. He can leap to amazing heights and perform unbelievable acrobatics. He’s nearly impossible to hit when trying to avoid attacks. In DC Heroes RPG terms, he has Acrobatics (dodging) and Dispersal.

This coupled with his fighting prowess, ninjitsu training, and killer instinct make him quite possibly the most deadly assassin in his world.

Balrog is also of noble birth giving him great wealth and privilege. He is thus charismatic and highly adept at social interplay. All the better to hide his secrets.


History

Details of Balrog’s early life before he became an assassin are murky. But it is known that his mother was also of noble birth. She married another privileged member of the Spanish nobility out of social responsibility and to preserve the status of her family.

Balrog was born a beautiful child. He was constantly spoiled due to his social status and his good looks. This only furthered his vain and selfish attitude, and he soon began to believe that only the beautiful were worthy.

He had always been close to his mother. But he despised his father, due to the fact that his mother was also very beautiful and his father was ugly.

A taste of blood

When Balrog grew into his teens he became quite adept at hunting. But once he mastered this hobby his interest waned as the prey didn’t fight back. He later became passionate about bull fighting due to the elegance and grace. But again later grew dissatisfied with it when he became so adept at it, that no bull could ever hope to touch him.

Balrog (aka Vega) toreador pose

It was his discovery of combat sports that led him to travel to Japan. There he studied ninjitsu, a martial art known for both its elegance and deadliness. Vega later mixed ninjitsu with the Spanish bull fighting techniques. Thus he began perfecting his own martial arts style.

Around this time his father murdered his mother. That was because he was jealous of her beauty and felt that she did not treat him with the respect he deserved. It is hinted, but not explicitly stated that she may have been having an affair with a handsome young nobleman.

His father covered the whole incident up with his wealth and influence. He made her death look like an accident, but Balrog knew the truth. At this point the already arrogant narcissist snapped and in turn murdered his father and staged it to look like an accident as well.

Parricide

With Balrog being the only child he inherited his family’s vast wealth and cultivated his image of and honorable nobleman by day. Him murdering his father only served to embolden his bloodlust. He couldn’t forget the thrill of murder and the fact that he had gotten away with it scott free.

Balrog (aka Vega) in mid-air

Balrog started sneaking out of his castle to murder beggars and homeless people at night. Eventually, he discovered the underground pit fighting scene. There, he quickly rose to be the newest undisputed champion.

This of course brought him to the attention of Vega, who soon offered him a position as his chief assassin. Balrog gleefully accepted the job not for the money, but for the thrill of killing worthy opponents worldwide.

Street Fighter Zero 3, part 1

Balrog was a masked noble with blood red eyes of insanity. By order of Vega, the leader of the Shadaloo organization, he was to find a girl named Cammy, and report as to her whereabouts.

Balrog also ran into Rose while searching for Cammy. As he talked with her, he couldn’t understand why someone so beautiful would just oppose Vega and thus go to her death.

Balrog (aka Vega) with claws and suit

Balrog finally found Cammy. He told Cammy that Vega didn’t need her anymore and prepared to attack, but Cammy told him she didn’t want to harm him. Cammy won (Balrog most likely threw the match) and wondered why he attacked. Then Balrog warned her that she was to be terminated. Cammy was shocked and ran off.

After she was gone, Balrog thought to himself about how he thought he only cared for worthy foes. He found himself caring for Cammy and was worried, wondering what Vega would do to her. He saw that Cammy was self-conscious, because Cammy didn’t want to kill him, and realized that Cammy was not an experimental object and doll. She was an actual human being, albeit an enhanced one.

Street Fighter Zero 3, part 2

Balrog at first thought he only cared for worthy foes, but now he is amazed to discover that he cared about Cammy, too. He confronted his leader and Balrog demanded that Vega tell her what he planned to do with Cammy. He was shocked that Vega was killing Cammy just because Cammy was a clone of Vega, and the clone was exceeding the original.

Balrog (aka Vega) fighting on a wooden bridge

He objected, since Cammy had never done anything wrong herself that would warrant her termination. But Balrog failed to convince Vega, and angrily dropped the subject. Vega explained that Cammy had to die because as a self-conscious clone of Vega, she could take control of the psycho drive and go make it go haywire.

However, Balrog continued to think Vega was a coward for simply wanting to kill Cammy out of self-preservation. In the end, though, there was no fight. Just an argument and Balrog never directly betrayed Shadaloo.

While Balrog didn’t betray Shadaloo directly, he did end up finding Cammy unconscious in the psycho drive room. Realizing the potential for a beautiful opponent like Cammy as well as mad at Vega for wanting to kill Cammy just because she had a mind of her own, he rescued her from there. His beautiful rival would live on.

It is unclear whether Balrog was the one that delivered her to Delta Red. Perhaps he simply watched over her for a while and then left her on her own (or even continued to monitor her as much as he could after she joined Delta Red). Most likely he delivered her to Delta Red’s grounds, and she accidentally lost her memory some time later.

Street Fighter 2

Balrog participated in the SF2 tournament. That was most likely because Vega ordered him to. But within his heart probably because he wanted to see Cammy again. He most likely did see her there and realized that she was still doing just fine.

Balrog (aka Vega) from the cartoon

He also probably participated because he wanted to prove that the beautiful are the best, as always. He was still officially a member of Shadaloo during SF2.

Street Fighter 4

Balrog also participated in the SF4 tournament, most likely for the same reasons as stated above.

Where Is He Now

Odds are very good that after the downfall of Shadaloo, Balrog went back to his old ’noble by day, murderer by night‘ routine. His SF2 Revival ending stated he continued on “fighting as if nothing happened.”

It is likely that he still thinks about his beautiful rival Cammy from time to time, but there’s no in-game evidence of that, really.


Description

Balrog is a tall muscular Spanish man with fair skin. He sports a large full body tattoo of a purple snake (said to represent his mother’s side of the family). When fighting or doing assassination work his long hair is always tied into a single braid. He wears a hockey mask to conceal his identity.

He also goes bare-chested and wears tight purple pants with a yellow strip down the side and a sash as well as bull fighting shoes. His wicked looking three pronged claw is almost always covered with blood. He has an insane gleam to his eyes.

Balrog is somewhat effeminate in many of his mannerisms (such as his yodeling). This had led to a lot of speculation that he is gay, which doesn’t seem supported.

When not fighting or doing assassination work you can expect him to dress in the finest clothes and latest fashions befitting a Spanish nobleman.


Personality

Balrog is complete narcissist driven to the point of insanity. His own vanity and inflated sense of self worth drove him to become a sociopathic serial killer. He sees murder as a form of art. He believes that only the beautiful can do anything competent and seeks to give the ugly a beautiful death.

He’s very much a thrill killer. Balrog lives for the sake of fighting and killing worthy opponents. He generally likes fighting beautiful opponents and allows them to live so that he may have a chance at a rematch, and he kills the ugly ones outright. He also sees meticulously maintaining his secret identity as another form of beautiful art.


Quotes

“Hmhhmhhm, it’s only natural for beautiful me to win. The defeated are always predestined as the ugly ones.”


DC Universe History

There’s loads of potential plot hooks here. The most obvious would be to make him a Batman villain. The parallels between him and Bruce Wayne should be obvious and thus he would make an obvious foil to the bat. He’s also skilled enough to give Batman a worthy fight and their use of the martial arts, dirty tricks, and stealth could make for an excellent showdown.

Style-wise he could just as easily be a Nightwing foe — particularly during Nightwing’s Blüdhaven career. If Dick were to call in the Teen Titans for help Balrog would likely call in Shadaloo goons in turn. This could potentially set up a pretty bloody showdown befitting of the grittiness of Blüdhaven.

Balrog (aka Vega) with claws and mask

Membership in the League of Assassins also seems likely. He may very well have ties to Ra’s al Ghul as maintaining his youth and beauty via the Lazarus Pits are likely to be a top priority for him. Perhaps he does assassinations for Ra’s in an exchange to take a dip in the Lazarus Pit.

The side effect of insanity would only serve to make fuel his insanity. If you choose to go this route, then in DC Heroes RPG terms his SPI should be upped to a CPI and he may well have great difficulty maintaining his Secret ID.

Another plot hook might be to have him participate in the underground pit fights of the DCU. He could easily be Roulette’s top pit fighter and thus he would likely fight Wildcat or any DCU character likely participating. If you choose to go this route be careful as Wildcat or any other character fighting him may well not survive the experience.

Alternatively he could develop an obsession with a female heroine much the same way as he developed an obsession for Cammy. An obsession with Black Canary could lead him into a confrontation with Green Arrow, for example. An obsession with Wonder Woman would certainly be possible, but he’s not likely to last very long against Wonder Woman or any of the Justice League’s heavy hitters.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Balrog

Dex: 09 Str: 04 Bod: 05 Motivation: Psychopath
Int: 06 Wil: 04 Min: 04 Occupation: Nobleman by day/pit fighter and assassin by night
Inf: 07 Aur: 04 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 015
Init: 026 HP: 070

Powers:
Adrenaline Surge: 06, Dispersal: 03, Jumping: 07, Running: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adrenaline Surge only works with Jumping, Running, and Weaponry.
  • Dispersal can only be when dodging and only to avoid attacks.

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 09, Animal Handling: 04, Artist (Actor): 06, Martial Artist: 08, Weaponry (Exotic, melee): 10, Weaponry (Firearms, missile): 04

Advantages:
Attractive, Connoisseur, Iron Nerves, Languages (Japanese, Spanish), Lightning Reflexes, Local Hero (Spain), Local Hero (underground pit fighting tournaments), Schtick (armor optimization).

Connections:
Vega (Low), Shadaloo (High), Spanish nobility (High).

Drawbacks:
Attack Vulnerability (-1 CS OV/RV vs. disarm attempts), Dark Secret (homicidal serial killer), Distinct Appearance (full body snake tattoo), SIA (beautiful things), SIA (sadism and/or toying with his prey), MIA (Cammy), MIH (ugly things), SPI (homicidal sociopath), Minor Rage, Secret ID.

Equipment:

  • Claw [BODY 04, EV 04 (05 w/STR, 09 w/Martial Artist), R#03, Sharpness (EV): 01].
  • Mask [BODY: 05, Skin Armor: 01].

Previous Statistics

Balrog was slightly different in the EX series. His Jumping was upped to a whopping 13, but his Dispersal was lowered to only 02.


Fame

Balrog’s Local Hero (Spain) and Local Hero (underground pit fighting tournaments) are treated as completely separate. Local Hero (Spain) refers to his status as a well renowned nobleman in his civilian ID.

His Local Hero (underground pit fighting tournaments) is for his Secret ID. Obviously he would lose his Popularity (Spain) if either his Secret ID or his Dark Secret were exposed.

By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: Street Fighter.

Helper(s): Sean MacDonald (for the original take), Eric Langendorff, Sébastien Andrivet.

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