The Flying Battleship Balrog (空中戦艦バルログ), mistranslated as Ballog in the original game and Val-Rogue in early promotional material) is a recurring setting in the series, a giant floating warship used in Grandmaster Meio's schemes, and considered his greatest ace. The battleship's name comes from the Balrog, a demon creature from J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Ring.
Models[edit | edit source]
The original Flying Battleship Balrog is a giant aircraft carrier that flies through the skies with the use of gravity control, provided by the advanced Anti-Gravity Device installed in its core. Recognized for its overwhelming strength, it is known as Grandmaster Meio's greatest ace, whose mere existence assures his continued rule of the world.
The Balrog's most notable characteristic is its incredible firepower, as its structure is covered in artillery and cannons of varying sizes, including the Giant Main Gun in front of the ship's deck, also known as "The Eliminator". Its internal defenses include robots such as the Frog and Mr. Elephant, Laser Turrets and a crew of armored marines led by Captain Beard Jr.. While the Balrog appears flawless, it does have one weak point: the very same core that allows it to fly, the Anti-Gravity Device, starts a chain reaction once it is destroyed, which eventually destroys the Balrog as well.
Taking advantage of this, Hiryu was able to destroy the Battleship Balrog after infiltrating it.
A new, upgraded version of the original Battleship Balrog, created by Light Sword Cypher. This new Battleship Balrog is a super-dreadnought class warship that's described as the "greatest threat produced by mankind". It uses a mysterious type of energy to sustain flight produced by a Merrow, a female aquatic creature trapped inside the ship's Reactor Core.
The Balrog has 4 twin-barreled cannons at each side and 3 numbered Gun Turrets on top, as well as its own escort: an entire "Flying Tortoise" squad that flies at its side and guards its aerial space. Machines such as the Minelayer and the Scarabee can be found inside it, as well as a Development Dock where The Professor and his assistants create new weapons like the Goliath. Its human crew consists of trained marines and its captain, Admiral Wilhelm.
In much the same way as its predecessor, taking on its power source (the Reactor Core) will initiate its self-destruction in a blaze of explosions. After tracking and infiltrating it, Hiryu went for the core and took down the seemingly invincible warship.
Mass-Produced Balrog[edit | edit source]
The Battleship Balrog has been, apparently, the first in a line of mass-produced flying warships, with at least 3 more similar ships known to exist. One of this battleships can be seen docked at the Third Moon's spaceport, while at least two more are visible in the wireframe map of the station shown during the intro briefing.
These "Balrogs" look identical in appearance to the main battleship, only differing in that they are colored green instead of red. As they were never deployed into battle, however, is unknown how they compare with the one Hiryu destroys in terms of firepower.
A new incarnation of the Balrog owned by Meio's Army, soaring in the skies above Kazakh City as the symbol of Grandmaster Meio's absolute power. The driving force that allows it to fly is the powerful energy produced by its power source, the Gravitron Anti-Gravity Device. For Kazakh City's citizens, this battleship inspires a sense of fear in Grandmaster Meio.
The Airship Balrog has been modernized with current technology and continues in service many years after its initial construction. Much like its predecessors, it possess a large amount of installed weaponry, including several three-barreled cannons, laser turrets and smaller cannons; and is accompanied by a large escort of Skiff vehicles. Its crew consists entirely of Trooper androids although, and unlike previous versions, with no known captain onboard.
Hiryu infiltrates it in order to destroy the third and final Gravitron, and eventually engages in a rematch against Bounty Hunter Solo in its core. After sustaining severe damage during the battle, the Balrog finally self-destructs.
Other Appearances[edit | edit source]
Game Appearances[edit | edit source]
The battleship, in its first incarnation, also appears as a stage in Namco × Capcom. Hien, Solo, Tong Pooh, and other villains working for Meio use the Balrog to invade the Makai in the end of Chapter 37. The heroes invade the battleship to stop it, fighting against enemies in the deck (甲板) in Chapter 38, in a lab (ラボ) in Chapter 39, and in the central engine room (中央動力室) in Chapter 40, were M. Bison is using a Psycho Drive-enhanced Anti-Gravity Device to control the Balrog, making the battleship able to travel through different dimensions as part of their plans to dominate them. Most major enemies manage to escape from the battleship after their defeat, except for Janga, Juni, Juli and M. Bison, the latter's death causing the battleship to become unstable and at risk of exploding at any moment. With no other choice, Hiryu and the others escape the Balrog by using its catapults, successfully launching themselves to the flying dragon (from Tales of Destiny) that Zul got with him to rescue the party.
The second incarnation of the Battleship Balrog appears in Project X Zone 2 as the setting of Chapter 23. Tong Pooh has provided it to M.Bison so he can use its Development Dock to mass-produce B.O.W.s and Aragami. Following their exploits in Terca Lumireis, Hiryu and the other characters discover its location and decide to board and destroy it. After reaching its tail using the Dragonturtle Mk.I, the team is confronted by Tong Pooh, Solo, Black Hayato and a number of grunts. Following the battle, Hiryu leads the group inside the airship and they plant explosives in its Development Dock and Reactor Core. With the Balrog exploding around them and no means to leave it, Hiryu once again suggests using the ship's Fighter catapults to reach a nearby airship, this time Miyuki's air shop from Ordyne.
References[edit | edit source]
- Staff (May 1989). "Strider Hiryu: Val-Rogue" (Japanese). Gamest (05). Pg. 4-5.
- Sega (September 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 24
- Capcom (October 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 28. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
- Capcom (December 1999, Arcade). Strider Hiryu 2 (Japanese). Stage 4 Briefing
- Capcom (2013). "System". Capcom's official Strider site (Japanese). Retrieved January 31, 2014.
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