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Balrog is originally known as "M. Bison" in Japan. This is due to the fact that Capcom changed his name to "Balrog" in America, because "Mike Bison" sounds too much like boxing legend "Mike Tyson" - the main inspiration behind Balrog's original design.

Balrog is a former championship boxer. He was permanently banned from boxing after injuring many of his opponents with illegal moves (particularly his headbutt) and accidentally killing one. Still seeking the title of world's strongest fighter, he has since taken to street fighting. Balrog's fighting skills were later noticed by M. Bison and has since joined Shadaloo as one of Bison's henchmen, working his way up from the lower ranks. Armed with the world's strongest punches, his ambition continued...

Balrog was sent on many errands by the order of M. Bison. In one mission during the timeline of SFA3, Balrog was sent to terminate Birdie. He didn't know the reason why, but he went anyway. When he confronted Birdie, Balrog was told about the Psycho Drive. Balrog agreed to help Birdie find it, after he figured that he could make money doing so. When the Psycho Drive exploded, Balrog realized that he had not been paid. When Bison was killed in SFA3, ownership of Shadaloo was fell into the hands of Balrog, but only for a brief period of time, since he ran the organization into the ground. After the fall of Shadaloo, Balrog was back on the streets, working small time jobs such as casino security.
When Bison was resurrected during the events of SF4, Balrog was re-hired by Bison to guard Bison's replacement bodies. Balrog didn't like this job, however, and started working on a new get-rich-quick scheme. He made his way into the S.I.N. building, accompanied by fellow Shadaloo member Vega. While looking for things he could sell, he stumbles across a young, bandaged boy (
Ed) begging for help. Balrog is resistant, until a mark in the shape of the Shadaloo symbol started glowing on the child's hand. Balrog realized the child might hold some "valuable" secrets, and takes the boy with him. On the way back to base, he questions him on what powers he has. The child said that he is powerless by herself. Balrog is disappointed, and calls the boy worthless, but remains optimistic that he may be valuable later on, and takes him back to Shadaloo base.

Ed is one of few, if not the only, known person Balrog seems to have actually cared about beyond his material use to him, although Ed came to dislike the way Balrog thought of him as weaker than himself and in need of his protection. A falling-out occurs between Ed and Balrog some time after the fall of Shadaloo, as Ed tried to leave Balrog in an attempt to protect him, due to a fortune telling Ed had received from Menat previously. Ed defeats Balrog in a fight and Balrog sits with his back to Ed silently until, when Ed calls to him and Balrog shouts "get lost" in a way that sounds emotional and possibly tearful, showing that he genuinely cared for Ed despite having initially only saving him for selfish reasons. Ed then departs and some time later forms Neo Shadaloo.
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Street Fighter 2


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Page Updated:  Feb. 3rd, 2023

Balrog brought an undeniable authenticity to fighting games in the early 90's. In SF2, a game that become known for the spamming of magical fireballs, spinning bird kicks, and other "fantasy" special movies, Balrog said: "I'm gonna just punch you in the face, really hard, take your money (or tokens), and be done with it." WELCOME TO FIGHTING GAMES. Thank you Balrog.

Balrog is an unforgettable classic who balanced out the Street Fighter roster with his brute strength and "simple" boxing style. He definitely wasn't as exciting as others from the series, but he was literally Mike Tyson (and that's awesome because Tyson is a legend). Later in the Alpha series (and after), Balrog became more of a comic relief character, which IMO was a smart move by Capcom. He needed "something" as a design to keep him fresh, but he retained all the important aspects of his design intact. Balrog's SF4 incarnation was very well done. Thankfully, he learned a few new techniques, but still stays true to his straight-forward boxing style. Again, his fighting style is simple and somewhat sloppy, but some would argue that that's simply part of his design. ;) Later, his SFV redesign was badass! Rog's SFV attire, animations, and fighting style is sick. (Looks like both Balrog and Steve Fox have a similar fashion sense in 2016.)

Fighting  Style  /  Moveset
Personality  /  Charisma
Outfit(s)  /  Appearance
Effectiveness  in  series
Overall Score

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