by RGBeast


by Senorfro


“My fists have your blood on them!”


Balrog made his debut in Street Fighter II. Originally he was one of the four bosses the player faced after defeating the initial roster of eight fighters. In later editions of Street Fighter II he became a selectable character. He was also one of the three characters to go through a name change in the English version of Street Fighter II. His original name Mike Bison (referring to boxer Mike Tyson) was switched to Balrog due to the Mike Tyson’s criminal behavior and to avoid copyright infringement.

But much like the real Mike Tyson, Balrog was known for his unruly behavior and dirty underhanded tactics in the boxing ring. He also had a penchant for alcohol abuse and womanizing. All his past sins caught up to him once he was banned from the ring. Though he was down on his luck, the organization of Shadaloo saw potential in him as a fearsome enforcer. Thus M. Bison recruited Balrog into his ranks known as “The Four Kings.” Balrog’s only real reason for joining Shadaloo was for money; as he will only do their dirty work for the right price.

Although funny enough, if Akuma killed Bison at the end of Street Fighter II: The New Challengers then Balrog’s ending would shift to him becoming the new leader of Shadaloo. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to lead it properly, and the organization fell into disarray. Like so many endings in Street Fighter II, this one is most likely not canon and is more or less a joke.


Anyone who selected Balrog as a character back in the day either was really good at the game or wanted to try a character hardly anyone chose. Because he was a boxer, all Balrog could do was punch. Though his speedy launch attacks and combos could prove lethal in the hands of skilled players, he was susceptible to being undone by projectile and other long-range attacks.

In later editions of Street Fighter II and beyond, Balrog has undergone many tweaks to make him more playable and stand a chance against players who liked to spam Ryu and Ken.

And while Capcom has distanced him a bit from the real-life Mike Tyson, they would still make sneaky references to him through Balrog now and then. And no…he is NOT Mike or related to Mike from Street Fighter I.


About the Artists:


Randolph Murray known as RGBeast is an American artist who created a very dynamic and sweet looking rendition of Balrog for the Street Fighter II tribute. Look at the motion he incorporated into Balrog’s punches. It reads almost like official Capcom art. And you will get a sense that he is an official artist for such companies like Capcom once you view more of his outstanding artwork on his DA page.

Very impressive I say!


Joseph Vargas, also known as Senorfro is an active part of the Game-Art-HQ community since we started back in 2011. He participated in multiple art collaborations and especially the fighting game related ones like the Mortal Kombat Tribute and also the big FGE Project.

As a big Street Fighter fan he created two character illustrations for the SF30th Anniversary with Balrog and Fei Long.

I recommend to have a look at his whole gallery here!


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Balrog in the Video Game Character Database