Balrog, known as M. Bison (Ｍ.バイソン) or Mike Bison in Japan, is a character from the Street Fighter series.
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 in what appears to be wide cornrows. The hair is 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. In Street Fighter IV the word "Champion" appears in its place.
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.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 Edit
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.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo Edit
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).
Super Street Fighter IV Edit
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 the S.I.N. building (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 (saying along the way, " This must be my lucky day!"). 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.
Name Change Edit
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). Additionally, when the designers presented the game to Capcom USA's marketing department, they believed that the name Vega was a weakling's name. They decided to rotate the names of three of the four boss characters in the following manner:
- The boxer is known as M. Bison in Japan and Balrog in the US.
- The Spanish assassin/bullfighter is known as Balrog in Japan and Vega in the US.
- The evil dictator and head of Shadaloo is known as Vega in Japan and M. Bison in the US.
In Other Media Edit
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 Shadowloo remains unchanged, being one of Bison's loyal enforcers alongside Vega.
In Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game, it is revealed that Mr. Ray has been his manager from his pro-boxing days to his time with the Street Fighter Circuit. Also Balrog is training Samson Jr., the son of an old friend from the streets.