The Airship Balrog is a large battleship with the ability to fly across the sky, build and owned by Meio's Army. This massive warship possess overwhelming firepower coming from the many weapons installed in its structure, which includes several three-barreled Giant Main Guns, secondary cannons and smaller normal and laser-based turrets. The central power source in the Balrog is a Gravitron unit, which generates enough powerful energy to allow such a large vehicle to move and fly at high altitude. The warship's crew consists entirely of advanced Trooper androids, and while there's no confirmed captain they do receive orders from a female voice via the ship's broadcast system.
The Balrog was built shortly after Grandmaster Meio's appearance on Earth, and served a pivotal role in its quest to conquer the entire world. Once its purpose was fulfilled, the Balrog was remodeled and improved with state-of-the-art technology, and currently continues to reign the skies of Kazakh City as a constant symbol of Meio's absolute power. Always visible scouring the skies above the city, it not only inspires a feeling of fear and dread in Meio among the population, but it also serves as a deterrent to dissuade neighbouring areas from rising in arms.
The Balrog can be seen early on in the skies of the Kazakh Outskirts. Hiryu pursues it later on his mission in order to destroy its Gravitron, the final key to open Meio's Tower. Calling up the Balrog using the army's Command Tower, Hiryu flies up with his Option-C and eventually reaches it in mid-flight. Once he arrives at the Gravitron Chamber, however, he's faced by a ressurected Solo looking for revenge. During their violent rematch the Balrog's core suffers grave damage, compromising the airship. Shortly after Solo's defeat, the Gravitron and the whole Balrog explodes just as Hiryu dives out of it.
In the Skies of Kazakh (カザフシティ 上空, Kazakh City Sky)
The Balrog is always accompanied by a escort formed by several small and big Skiff airships, manned by the army's Military Troopers. As Hiryu's Option-C is unable to fly to the Balrog's altitude, Hiryu instead arrives at one Skiff and then makes his way across the escort in order to reach the flying airship in mid-flight.
Hiryu must jump from Skiff to Skiff while fighting against the strong winds pushing him back and the airship's sudden movements. Several Military Troopers, PNUTs and a few Ognemet stand in his way as well, and some Skiff are also equipped with turrets.
Balrog Hull (バルログ 艦体)
An ascending area as Hiryu climbs throughout the hull of the Balrog's tail. This is a short area with a few Light and Heavy Troopers standing guard in nearby Skiffs, and other enemies, such as snipers, nested in small alcoves ready to shoot at Hiryu.
Balrog Main Deck (バルログ メインデッキ)
Hiryu arrives at this area by flipping into one of the large landing strips in the back of the Balrog. As Hiryu travels through the area, he faces several transport Skiff as they takeoff and a few Laser Turrets. After a small upward run, iryu arrives at the main deck in the rear side of the Balrog, right in front of two of the ship's massive three-barreled cannons. Hiryu rushes ahead until he arrives at a large hangar.
Inside the hangar, Hiryu faces a few more enemies until he reaches a large elevator platform, which raises with two nitrogen-equipped Brainwalkers. After destroying these two enemies, Hiryu activates an Option-A interface in a small alcove to open up the entrance into the Maintenance Area.
Maintenance Area (メンテナンスエリア)
Entering through a narrow duct, the Maintenance Area is mostly formed by several small ventilation shafts connecting a few small rooms in-between. Most of these shafts are blocked by grates, and the rooms house the crew of the Balrog, consisting primarily of Research Troopers (wielding Laser Rifles, despite not being "Strazh" models), Shield Troopers and a few Light Troopers. After traveling all the way across these shafts, Hiryu eventually reaches a big, circular room with a few enemies followed by a small corridor equipped with large Flamethrowers.
Propulsion System (エンジン推進機構, Engine Propulsion System)
This area is a large, cilindrical space with several Flame Pods standing in the way. As its part of the airship's propulsion system, strong winds constantly push Hiryu forward and, at fixed times, a burst of hot air floods the area. There are several small openings in the ground that Hiryu can use as cover to avoid the incoming blast of fire.
This area starts with a large path going west, follows into a descending part and then into a second path going east, and leads to a small, dark corridor. This corridor follows down into a few rooms with enemies and Flamethrowers, then into a final section of corridors with a purple hue, indicating their proximity to the ship's core.
Gravitron Chamber (グラビトロン制御室, Gravitron Control Room)
The large chamber housing the Balrog's Gravitron core. Hiryu arrives at a large, vertical room housing several Small Gravitrons, which he uses to climb upwards to reach the core itself. Hiryu arrives at a small, cube-like room with purple holographic panels just in front of the core, where Solo ZN-2 makes his appearance.
During the battle, Solo's reckless use of his explosive and new flamethrower weapon produces heavy damage to the Gravitron, as it starts releasing black smoke. Upon his defeat, Solo spirals out of control and crashes into the Gravitron, finally pushing the Balrog into inminent destruction.
Enemies present in this stage include:
- Military Trooper
- Military PNUT
- Reinforced Shield Trooper
- Laser Turrets
- Bulava KZ-7 (red military model)
- Wall Crawler
- Brainwalker (nitrogen equipment)
- Research Trooper (using Strazh's Laser Rifle)
- Light Trooper
- Boss: Solo ZN-2
Note: Check out the area map in the Gallery section for more specific in-game locations.
|Item Unlock Pickups|
|Character Intel #34
|Above Kazakh City
Awarded after defeating Solo ZN-2.
|Large Canister #50||Above Kazakh City
After setting foot on the Balrog, run all the way east until the end of the path, where the Canister sits.
|Large Canister #51||Above Kazakh City
In a small alcove housing a Sniper Trooper, east of the Skiff with the Ognement.
|Large Canister #52||Above Kazakh City
Balrog Main Deck
At the very beginning of the area, run west after swinging upwards from the Balrog Hull.
|Large Canister #53||Above Kazakh City
Balrog Main Deck
Floating above the room housing the Option-A Interface.
- The design of the Balrog resembles the original Balrog's look from the first game.
- The first area of the stage is inspired by the first scene of the Balrog stage from Strider 2, where Hiryu has to jump from flying platforms to reach the Balrog. Hiryu infiltrating the Balrog through its tail is also taken from the following scene as well.
- The area the Balrog is part of ("Above Kazakh City") is identified as part of the Tower district during loading screens.
- Capcom (February 2014, multi). Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Story Intel #10: Flying Battleship Balrog
- Capcom (2013). "System". Capcom's official Strider site (Japanese). Retrieved April 5, 2015.