The Flying Battleship Balrog (空中戦艦バルログ, mistranslated as Ballog in the original game) is the third stage from the Strider arcade game, and the fourth stage from its sequel, Strider 2. In both instances it's a ship 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.
| Flying Battleship Balrog|
The Flying Battleship Balrog
|Stage||Stage 03: Destruction of the Battleship Balrog|
|Boss(es)|| Anti-Gravity Device|
Captain Beard Jr.
The Flying Battleship Balrog is the third stage in the original and all console ports, and the fourth one in home computer ports. The stage's official name is Destruction of the Battleship Balrog (戦艦バルログ撃破) in Japanese, and The Aerial Battleship in English. The intro text shown at the beginning of the stage uses Hebrew letters to spell out phonetically "Barlog"(sic) (געלראב) when read from left to right.
The Battleship Balrog is Grandmaster Meio's greatest ace, a giant ship built to soar the skies through the use of gravity control. The ship is a massive aircraft carrier which boasts of an overwhelming strength and mighty power, possessing a host of several built-in cannons and turrets spread all over its exterior frame, and both armored marines and several defense machines in its interior. Captain Beard Jr. leads the Balrog as its captain.
Shortly after Hiryu obtains information about the existence of the Balrog through the defeated Ton Pooh, he decides to bring it down by boarding it and uncovering its secret. Against all odds, Hiryu gets into the Balrog's deck and starts going through the ship's defenses, destroying everything in his path. He eventually reaches the gravity corridors and the core of the Balrog, the Anti-Gravity Device. Destroying it, the entire ship starts self-destructing, so Hiryu makes his escape towards the Balrog's docks, reaching in time to board Beard's escape airship. Taking out the cowardly captain, Hiryu leaves the Balrog behind as it is destroyed.
Note: Area names are not official
Hiryu's entry point, the Balrog's front deck is heavily armed by several turrets and soldiers. As Hiryu proceeds ahead, he's swarmed by the Hit Mouse enemies, small floating turrets. The path goes slightly upwards as it approaches the Balrog's center, and it finally ends in front of a large cannon, dubbed "The Eliminator" in English. Slashing its structure opens up Hiryu's way inside the battleship.
The Balrog's chamber Hiryu enters through is the gun deck, where the ship's cannons are reloaded, as one can see several cannon shafts in the walls and stacks of ammunition can be seen around as well as being transported by moving conveyor belts. Hiryu must use the platforms in these conveyor belts to move around the large chamber, avoiding the soldiers, lasers and other enemies in his path.
In the upper rightmost side of the stage one can find the secret "Panda" item behind a stack of ammunition. There's also an alternative path if one goes down a hole midway throgh the room, which leads into a platform hanging from the Balrog's hull, containing a "Hiryu" full-life item. This path leads right into the second half of the room. Reaching the upper part, Hiryu enters a storage chamber where he faces a few Frog robots and a moving wall. The path leads into an ascending shaft where the walls quickly close in. The shaft ends into the Balrog's stern (back area).
Heli-pad & Gravity Hall
As soon as Hiryu arrives, an Mr. Elephant robot is carried in by a Flying Tortoise airship and attacks. After dealing with it, Hiryu reaches the other end of the ship, where there are several catapults that can capture and throw him to his demise. Following the path down, there's the entrance to the Gravity Hall. The hall is a long corridor where the gravity is affected, forcing Hiryu to walk on the ceiling at certain intervals. The area is crowded with enemies, including soldiers, Hit Mouse, drill-spears and floating bombs. Going through it, one reaches a descending path into the Anti-Gravity Device's chamber.
The Anti-Gravity Device chamber is an oval area where Hiryu finds and destroys the Balrog's core, sending the whole ship into self-destruction. Through an opening in the base of the chamber, Hiryu escapes into the outside of the ship's tail, climbing his way as he outruns the flames behind him. Finally, he reaches an escape port, where several soldiers attempt to flee the sinking ship, and Captain Beard Jr. whips them away from his Flying Tortoise ship. Hiryu easily jumps into his ship and eliminates Beard, successfully escaping the Balrog.
Enemies present in this stage include:
- Balrog Marine Corps
- Flying Mosqueman
- Hit Mouse
- Laser Battery
- Mr. Elephant
- Anti-Gravity Device
- Captain Beard Jr.
| Flying Battleship Balrog|
Airspace around the Balrog
The Development Dock
|Stage||Stage 04: Pursuing the Flying Battleship|
|Location|| Skies over Equator Malay Island|
Satellital Orbit (by the end)
|Sub-Boss(es)|| Squad Leader • Minelayer|
Scarabee • Goliath • Reactor Core
The Flying Battleship Balrog is the fourth stage in Strider 2, an updated rendition of the original stage with references to other stages mixed in, like Siberia's airship section. The stage's official full name is "Pursuing the Flying Battleship Balrog" (空中戦艦追撃, lit. "Chasing the Flying Battleship").
A recreated version of the original ship build under Light Sword Cypher's supervision, this new Balrog boosts even more advanced weaponry and defense mechanisms. Unlike its predecessor, though, it doesn't seems to be powered by anti-gravity but by an unknown force, generated by a woman captured within crystal in the ship's Reactor Core. The captain appointed to lead this Balrog is Admiral Wilhelm.
Following the destruction of the Antarctica Research Lab, Hiryu proceeds to locate and pursue the Balrog. Using his glider to reach its location, Hiryu goes through several Flying Tortoises before infiltrating the ship's exterior. He makes his way through the inside of the giant ship, bringing down every enemy or machine in his way. Eventually, he reaches the ship's core and destroys it, which sends the ship into self-destruct. Hiryu once again aims to escape through the escape port, reaching Wilhelm's escape ship just as it's about to leave. After a violent battle, Hiryu eliminates Wilhelm and uses his ship to reach the Third Moon.
Battleship Balrog Warning Area (戦艦バルログ警戒空域)
Known as "In the skies of Equator Malay Island" in the English script.
The airspace surrounding the Flying Battleship, which is accompanied by a squad of smaller airships. Hiryu reaches this area using his glider, and advances by jumping from airship to airship, facing off against the Balrog's marine force along the way. Eventually, Hiryu faces off against the Squad Leader and, after taking care of him, uses his airship to reach the battlehsip.
Battleship Balrog Tail's Exterior (戦艦バルログ尾部外殻)
Known as "Outside the tail of Flying Battleship Balrog" in the English script.
Against the strong winds of the ascending ship, Hiryu climbs his way through this upstart area. The exterior of the ship is well protected with turret cannons and floating mines, as well as rifle-armed soldiers. Midway through the area, there's a two-way structure: the lower path goes through a corridor filled with turrets and laser emitters, while the upper path has a spaceship about to take off. Following ahead this area, Hiryu eventually reaches the source of the floating mines: the Minelayer machine. After destroying it, he finds his way inside the ship.
Engine Room: Power Transformer Section (機関室 動力トランス部)
Known as "The gravity transformer of the engine room" in the English script.
A secluded chamber within the Balrog, this is the location of the Scarabee. The room is square-shaped, with two smaller square platforms in the upper area. The Scarabee moves along the edges of the room, attacking with several different electric attacks, while slow electric spheres move around the platforms.
Development Dock (開発ドック)
Known as "The development dock area" in the English script.
A multi-leveled massive room where scientist carried on experiments. Hiryu goes through a 3-floored structure, where some of the scientist attempt to stop him with metal walls. Hiryu dashes through, ascending through ramps and taking care of the mutant superhumans and scientists there, until he reaches the top floor. After making up a long jump afterwards, Hiryu reaches the Goliath, a multi-emitting laser battery in the vein of the original Novo. After its destruction, there's a small corridor and a door leading to the Reactor Core.
Central Engine Room (中央動力室炉心部)
The ship's power source and means of flying. The chamber is circular and in constant movement, with the core hanging from the ceiling in its center. Two yellow platforms at either side are the only mean to reach it. The core itself is a crystal with what appears to be a woman trapped inside. The core can defend itself by shooting out electric pulses or releasing a giant beam of energy. Once it is destroyed, the whole ship starts to self-destruct.
Catapult Escape Ship (脱出艇カタパルト)
Known as "The satellite escape ship" in the English script.
Located in the ship's hull, it's a port holding several escape ships which are launched by special catapults. Outrunning the fire and explosions from the Balrog's destruction, Hiryu makes a run through this area, getting past a crumbling ship and taking out any enemy still in his path, before reaching the final escape ship. Here Hiryu and Admiral Wilhelm meet in battle, and once Hiryu defeats him, he takes control of the ship to reach Grandmaster Meio's orbital base, The Third Moon.
Namco x Capcom
The battleship, in its first incarnation, also appears as a stage in Namco × Capcom. Hien, Solo, Ton 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 to dominate them. Most major enemies manage to escape from the battleship after their defeat, except for Janga, Juni, Juli and M. Bison, the later's death causing the battleship to become unstable and risking to explode 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 the Tales of Destiny) that Zul got with him to rescue the party.
- ↑ Capcom (7 March 1989, CPS-1 Board). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Attract Mode
- ↑ Capcom (7 March 1989, CPS-1 Board). Strider (English). Arcade Attract Mode
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Sega (29 Sept 1990, Mega Drive). Strider Hiryû (Japanese). Instruction manual, Pg. 24
- ↑ Capcom (24 Oct 2006, PlayStation). Gamebook: Strider Hiryu (Japanese). Pg. 28. ISBN 4-86233-076-2.
- ↑ Sega (1 Sept 1990, Mega Drive). Strider (English). Instruction manual, Pg. 14
- ↑ Capcom (24 Feb 2000, PlayStation). Strider Hiryû 1&2 (Japanese). Mission 4: Chasing the Flying Battleship; Scene 1: Battleship Balrog Warning Area
- ↑ Capcom (24 Feb 2000, PlayStation). Strider Hiryû 1&2 (Japanese). Mission 4: Chasing the Flying Battleship; Scene 5: Catapult Escape Ship
| Russian Infantryman・Rascal・Flying Mosqueman・Mosqueman・Shadowtag Bullets Soldier・Siberian Wolf|
Wall Crawler・Frog・Balrog Marine Corps・Hit Mouse・Mr. Elephant・Amazoness・Poison Mushroom・Dinosaurs
| Strobaya・Novo・Ouroboros・Mecha Pon・Solo・Kuniang・Anti-Gravity Device|
Captain Beard Jr.・Lago・Grandmaster Meio
|St. Petersburg・Siberia・Flying Battleship Balrog・Amazon・The Third Moon|
|Cypher・Climb Sickle・Kazakh Federation・General Mikiel・Flying Tortoise・Sky Thunder Mk-II|