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Context

Mike Bison is one of the earlier, most memorable baddies in the Street Fighter. He was in SF2, back in 1991.

In the US, M. Bison was renamed Balrog. And Balrog — another game boss — became Vega. For obvious reasons Capcom USA feared that they would get sued over the blatant Mike Tyson  parody that the Japanese branch had created. So they switched the boss names around.

This of course has absolutely nothing to do with the Tolkien character.

Balrog fulfills the generic role of heavy-handed enforcer. He could thus be useful as a villain in a variety of campaigns. That and there’s something funny about having the characters fight a super powered Mike Tyson rip-off.


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Background

  • Real Name: Mike Bison.
  • Other Aliases: An unnecessary hard-hitting boxer, Exploding megaton punch, Roaring Strong Arm, Crazy Buffalo, Wild Buffalo.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: None.
  • Group Affiliation: Shadaloo.
  • Base Of Operations: Las Vegas Nevada, but often mobile.
  • Height: 6’7” Weight: 224 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Balrog was once the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world in boxing before getting banned. That and along with his boss status in SF2 basically make him in the upper tiers of fighters in that universe.

All of his moves rely on sheer bone crushing brute force. He was strong enough to kill one of Dhalsim’s elephants with one punch!

He can also run almost as fast as a car. That’s why his lunging maneuvers come out so fast and explosive. Oddly enough these ramming moves don’t injure him like they should (in DC Heroes RPG terms, Skin Armor with the appropriate limitations.)

In video game terms he’s a charge character that is best played defensively. But he has plenty of moves for punishing mistakes. And his arsenal of charge moves allow him to easily close the distance and inflict the maximum amount of damage.

That’s basically all he has going for him. Other than that he’s dumb as a stump, has the manners of rabid dog and is a greedy money-grubbing opportunist with delusions of grandeur.


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History

Balrog was an angry kid. He grew up in abject poverty somewhere in one of the major American cities.

(It’s never confirmed, but it seems to likely be Las Vegas. That’s where a lot of prize fights are staged and that’s where his stage is in the game.)

At his height he was the undisputed heavy weight boxing champion of the world. This likely was during the 1980s. But the SF universe’s sliding time  scale and constant retcons  make it hard to pin down exactly.

However, he was not without his share of controversy. He permanently injured several opponents and often used illegal moves – such as his infamous head butt.

Freepuncher

The straw finally broke the camel’s back when he killed another fighter during a match. After that the boxing commission had had enough and issued a lifetime ban on him boxing again.

Balrog was of course angered by this. But over time he came to realize that while the fame was great, he was far more interested in the money. However, he’d pissed away most of his prize money on fast cars and loose women.

He therefore started working for gangs and mobs, as he knew he wasn’t bright enough to plan his own crimes.

He eventually came to the attention of Shadaloo – which he stayed with, because they paid the best. Due to his brutal efficiency he quickly came to the attention of the big boss Master Bison.

Street Fighter Alpha 3

In his earliest documented assignment, he was sent to eliminate former colleague Birdie. The brutal boxer managed to track him down and beat the crap out of him. But in his desperation, Birdie let information about the Psycho Drive slip.

Balrog didn’t completely understand what it was, but figured that it would be profitable. So the two teamed up.

However, the Psycho Drive was blown up by Chun Li, Charlie, and Guile. Balrog cursed his luck as he suddenly realized that he hadn’t been paid yet.

Oh, and he also killed one of Dhalsim’s elephants somewhere along the line by punching it in the head. Purely out of spite.

Street Fighter 2

The events of the previous game obviously threw Shadaloo into disarray. But they eventually regained their standing as a worldwide criminal empire.

Mike Bison in a boxing stance

Liking the paycheck Balrog stayed on as its chief enforcer/bodyguard for Bison. But his employer was eventually defeated by a coalition of heroes.

Since Sagat (previously the number two) had already left the organization and Vega (next in line) had zero interest in running such an “ugly” organization leadership then fell to Balrog.

He quickly ran it into the ground.

Street Fighter 4

But like any true supervillain Bison didn’t stay dead. He resurrected his criminal empire once he had a new body sorted out for himself. And Balrog was brought back into the fold to do what he did best.

His first assignment was to pick up Seth, who had been beaten by Ryu. After dropping him off at Shadaloo HQ he was to guard Bison’s replacement bodies.

The disgraced boxer quickly grew bored with this. So he made his way into the S.I.N. building (Shadaloo’s weapon development division) hope that he would stumble upon something of value.

At first it didn’t pan out. But he eventually noticed a boy had the Shadaloo emblem emblazoned upon his forehead and hand.

Once again, the heroes defeated Shadaloo and the building was blown up. However Balrog managed to escape with the boy. Once outside he demanded to know what the boy could do, but was disappointed when he was informed that Ed had no real power on his own.

Balrog was last seen carrying him off on his shoulder; He was thoroughly convinced that his captive would have some sort of value at a later date.

Street Fighter 5: A Shadow Falls

F.A.N.G., a fellow Shadaloo agent, was impressed that Balrog had found the bandaged boy. She told him about Shadaloo’s new plan Operation C.H.A.I.N.S.. She also warned that Balrog would have no place in it as he had taken the boy out of their facility, seemingly betraying Shadaloo.

Mike Bison fighting in the jungle

This enraged the boxer, who forced F.A.N.G. to flee and knocked off her hat. Young Ed then used his Psycho Power for the first time, burning the hat.

Surprisingly the two became friends. They traveled to China to meet with another shady character Urien. But before they could conduct their business, they were attacked by Necali.

Urien shouted out to Balrog that if he were to defeat the demon, he would receive a hefty reward. The brutally belligerent blacklisted boxer of beefy brawn then set about doing what he did best. Defeated, the demon turned to ash.

Later back at the base Ed remarked that Urien seemed like a jerk. Balrog assures him that after receiving payment, he’d bash his face in.

(Urien’s story sequence shows a different version of these events. Balrog defeated Necali while waiting for Urien, then insulted him and tried to extort him for a larger payout. Urien dominated the fight against Balrog, dispersed Ed’s Psycho Power, and kidnapped the boy.)

Street Fighter 3

Balrog doesn’t actually appear as a playable character. But he was in one of the secret files in the game.

Despite it being wrestling-centric, he participated in the Vale Tudo Eternal Fighting Tournament. He managed got to the finals where he fought Alex.

Although the boxer dominated the fight early on, Alex made an impressive comeback and ultimately defeated him.


Description

Bison is a very large muscular intimidating African American whose face is almost always contorted into a permanent snarl.

He typically wears blue boxing trunks, a matching blue tank top and with a white T-shirt with the sleeves ripped off. He of course wears red boxing gloves as well. No word yet on if he’ll get a tribal tattoo on his face. 😉


Personality

Bison’s a very simple and straight forward dumb as an ox thug. He dreams of wealth and power, but has no idea how to obtain it other than beating the crap out of people.

In a lot of ways he’s supposed to represent the broken American dream. He grew up in a poor family, but was able to become successful for a moment only to lose it all again due to his own ambitious greed and bloodlust.

The only real redeeming facet and aspect of approaching normal is the friendship that he forms with Ed. The two seem to get along quite well and actually care for one another. It’s the only time that we see him actually act like a normal person and not be all about the Benjamins.


Quotes

“My fists greedily wait for stained blood !”

“Damn ! My fists still have your blood on them !”

“My punches are stronger than your kicks !”

“Get up you wimp !”

“I’ll make you wish you were never born you two-bit chump !”

“Just try and stop me !”

“There’s no escape !”


DC Universe History

As stated above he could easily be dropped in for mid-level heroes. He could also be a pit fighter for Roulette and perhaps a Wildcat opponent.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Mike Bison

Dex: 06 Str: 05 Bod: 06 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Former boxer turned enforcer
Inf: 03 Aur: 03 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 008
Init: 016 HP: 060

Powers:
Adrenaline Surge: 04, Jumping: 00, Running: 05, Skin Armor: 05

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Adrenaline Surge only works with Running and Martial Artist.
  • Running may be added to his EV when executes a charging attack (his lunging punches).
  • Skin Armor only protects against damage that he might receive from executing a charging attack.

Skills:
Charisma (Intimidation): 06, Martial Artist: 09

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Lightning Reflexes, Schtick (Nuclear punch).

Connections:
Street (low), Vega (Low), Shadaloo (High), Ed (High).

Drawbacks:
Exile (involuntary, professional boxing), SIA (money and power), Oblivious, Catastrophic Rage, MPI (he’s just that dumb), Unluck.

Equipment:
Supposedly his boxing gloves have horse shoes on the inside of them. I couldn’t find an official statement to verify this so I left it out. If you want to add that, feel free to add one AP to his EV – or adapt brass knuckles stats.


Previous Statistics

Prior to joining Shadaloo he had no Connections and a Wealth of but 001.

By Tom Eilers.

Source of Character: Street Fighter.

Helper(s): Sean MacDonald for his 1.1 version, Eric Langendorff, Darci.

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