Balrog, as he appears in Super Street Fighter II. Art by Bengus.
|Birthplace||United States of America|
|Height||6' 4" (194 cm)|
|Weight||225 lbs (102 kg)|
|Likes||Women, Bourbon, Money|
|Dislikes||Fish, arithmetics, effort, Dudley, Chun-Li|
|Measurements (Bust, Waist, Hip)||120cm (47"), 89cm (35"), 100cm (39")|
Balrog (M. Bison (Ｍ.バイソン) or Mike Bison in Japan) is a character in the popular Street Fighter series. After being introduced in the Street Fighter II series, he later appeared in Capcom vs. SNK, Capcom vs. SNK 2 and the recent Street Fighter IV.
Balrog was once a great boxing champion and prize fighter. He was banned from boxing for permanently injuring his opponents and accidentally killing one (as well as his illegal maneuvers, particularly his headbutt), so he joined the Shadaloo criminal organization, and worked his way up from the bottom, eventually becoming M. Bison's enforcer.
Balrog is a self-centered, hot tempered, arrogant, flippant, and violently sadistic pugilist who possesses an unsatiable urge for money. His main reasons and motivation for joining Shadaloo and M. Bison throughout the Street Fighter series has always been to attain massive wealth, fame and glory so he can be on easy street for life. For that motivation alone, Balrog would even kill, steal, or cheat to accomplish this.
Honor is something Balrog doesn't acknowledge. Despite being a once great prized boxer, Balrog has cheated in his fights and accidentally killed one of his opponents whenever he felt like it (which is why his movesets includes a headbutt and during his 2nd Ultra Combo, he stomps on his opponent's foot, which is considered illegal in boxing). Balrog is shown to not be very smart, which is why when M. Bison was believed to be dead after the events of Street Fighter Alpha 3, the role of leader of the organization fell to him and it collapsed immediately, which forced him to work security at casinos and other places just to get by.
While running errands for Bison, he killed Dhalsim's elephant with a single Gigaton Punch. In one mission, Balrog was sent to terminate Birdie. Although he did not know why, Balrog went anyway. Birdie told him about the Psycho Drive, and Balrog agreed to help him find it, thinking he could make money from it. When the Psycho Drive exploded, Balrog realized that he had not been paid recently.
When Bison was killed at the hands of Akuma, ownership of Shadaloo was transferred to the former prize fighter. Unfortunately, he ended up running the entire organization into the ground in no time. After the fall of Shadaloo, Balrog was back on the streets, working menial jobs (such as casino security, as seen in his Street Fighter IV intro cutscene).
However, when Bison makes his return with the construction of his new body, Balrog is immediately brought back into the organization, hired by Bison to guard Bison's replacement bodies, which Balrog refers to as "dolls". Balrog is not satisfied with this, however, and forms a new get-rich-quick scheme. He manages to make his way into an S.I.N. base (along with fellow agent Vega). While looking for "treasure" (possibly anything he could sell), he stumbles across a young, bandaged child begging for help. Balrog is resistant, until a mark in the shape of the Shadaloo symbol begins to glow on the child's hand. Realizing the child could hold some valuable secrets, Balrog takes the child away. However, when he questions the child on what powers he has, the child reveals that by himself, he is powerless; Balrog, disappointed, says the boy is worthless. Nevertheless, Balrog remains optimistic that the boy will be valuable later; he picks the boy up and walks off with him, while the boy's hand glows again, it is unknown in this ending is canon or not.
Balrog wears blue boxing trunks with white trim and a torn white shirt under a blue tank top. He wears red boxing gloves and boxing shoes. His hairstyle consists of short hair cut in an odd pointing style in the front, similar to Mike Tyson's haircuts from the time Street Fighter II was made. In certain illustrations, his Japanese name, "Bison", can be seen on the waistband of his trunks, although it's usually removed when these illustrations are published outside Japan.
- Dash Straight - Balrog can hurl himself across a great distance, leading with his fist. During the Straight, he holds his arm directly out in front, knocking down anyone who fails to block the attack high.
- Dash Upper - Much like the Dash Straight, Balrog launches himself forward from his position. Only this time, he keeps his arm by his side, ready to perform an uppercut when he reaches the opponent.
- Dash Ground Straight - In Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Balrog gains the ability to dash towards his opponent, and perform a Straight punch at a lower level. At the outset, it looks exactly like a Dash Straight, but at the very end, Balrog lowers his glove, hurting any opponent who doesn't block the attack low.
- Dash Ground Upper - Also in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Balrog gains the ability to perform the Dash Upper from a lower position. If Balrog connects with this move, the opponent will be knocked down.
- Turn Punch - During the match, Balrog has the ability to tense up one of his arms and store power. He can release it at any time, but the longer he stores it, the more damage the resulting punch will do. While he stores up this power, he loses access to a couple of moves.
- Buffalo Headbutt - Headbutts are illegal in official boxing matches, but that never stopped Balrog from employing one if he felt it would give him the upper hand. Beginning in Super Street Fighter II, Balrog gains the ability to crouch down, and quickly jump into the air, smashing opponents with his forehead. He can pass through many attacks at the very beginning of this move.
- Crazy Buffalo - Balrog's Super Move is a consecutive series of non-stop Dash attacks. He has the ability to alternate between Dash Straights and Dash Uppers throughout the entire attack (hold or release any kick button to alternate between the two moves). If timed properly, it can even juggle an opponent.
When Street Fighter II was localized in America, Capcom was afraid of a lawsuit from Mike Tyson over a character with his likeness and a similar sounding name (Mike Bison).
In Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, he is portrayed close to his original role in the games, which is largely as dumb-muscle for Bison. He is voiced by Joe Romersa in the English dub and George Nakata in the Japanese version.
In the 1994 live action film he was portrayed by Grand L. Bush and was one of the good guys, more specifically the camera-man in Chun-Li's news-crew. Like the other members (Chun-Li and E. Honda) Balrog held a grudge against Shadaloo for ruining his boxing career. Near the end of the film he dons his regular outfit from the games. In the 1995, animated series, Street Fighter, he is a scientist for Bison, with his storyline intact. He is voiced by Paul Dobson.
In the film Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li he is portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan. His role in Shadaloo remains unchanged, being one of Bison's loyal enforcers alongside Vega.