Father Balder, Master of the Heavens, is the main antagonist in Bayonetta. He is the CEO of the Ithavoll Group and one of the prime influences of the introduction of the Laguna faith to the people of Isla Del Sol. He was responsible for starting the Witch Hunts and the death of many Umbra Witches.
Balder is a Lumen Sage who became an outcast to his clan more than 500 years ago when he and an Umbran Witch named Rosa had a child. The child was taken away and Balder was exiled from the Lumen Sages.
Years later he instigated the Witch Hunts causing almost every Umbran Witch to die, including his wife Rosa. Only 2 witches seemed to have escaped from the slaughter. As the years went on Balder waited until he could obtain the Left Eye of the World; as he waited he built up the Ithavoll Group and the island known as Isla Del Sol.
As Isla Del Sol grew prosperous he introduced the Laguna Faith. Many were converted and those who were truly devout made themselves sacrifices to obtain a position in the Laguna's ranks as Affinities. At some point he managed to get ahold of Jeanne and brainwash her, she served Balder for most of the game.
After 500 years he started the celebration for the Resurrection of Jubileus.
In his younger form, Balder dons a white robe draped in gold lined patterns that extend over the sleeves, hood and coat. The robe features red diamond-shaped patterns that run down along the chest to form a chain at the legs and also down his sides. The robe itself has gold rings of metal around the base of his arms and also splits apart just below the waist to allow for fluid movement in combat. For footwear, the sage wears white leather gold-toed boots with heels, making him appear somewhat feminine, but eloquently stylized and tall. His silver hair is long and flowing and he wears a monocle on his left eye. Balder also wears a mask that he uses to hide his identity when brought from the past to the present day.
As a man 500 years after the Witch Hunts, Balder wears a similar white robe draped in gold patterns, albeit with a coat worn over it. Notable features include a gold mask that covers the left side of his face with a monocle over his left eye and a peacock draped over his shoulders with its feathers arching around his head. His skin looks noticeably pale/blue, giving him a deathly appearance. During his fight with Bayonetta, he abandoned his coat and adopts an angelic appearance, with the golden pattern on his robes glowing blue; in which the circle on Balder's chest held Cereza's body to allow her to witness their fight. As part of his combat attire, he grew peacock-feathered wings on his back which allowed him to levitate and fly. It is said that Balder took inspiration from Father Rodin's angelic form as the basis for his combat attire. After the battle, Balder reverts to his original appearance, but lacks the peacock feather wings and mask, which may have been destroyed after the battle.
Powers and Abilities Edit
As a Lumen Sage that holds the Right Eye, Balder is shown to be incredibly powerful. As his younger self/the Masked Lumen, he is capable of manipulating time through the use of Light Speed and possesses superhuman strength, stamina, agility, and durability that allows him to match Bayonetta in hand to hand combat. He is able to form defensive barriers, manifest multiple balls of celestial flames, create orbs of lightning and even allow himself to effectively fly through the use of feathered peacock wings. He also has the ability to use Beast Within as he is seen turning into a white wolf during his attacks on Bayonetta and also in cutscenes. Greatest of all, however, Balder can conjure Paradiso's powerful Auditio, such as Fortitudo and Temperantia, by using white feathers as a conduit in a similar method to how Bayonetta uses her hair to summon Infernal Demons as well as summon the huge gilded limbs of angels similar in style to Bayonetta's Wicked Weaves. In his older form, he does not rely on the summoning of other angels and instead uses his own powers, using a variety of attacks such as a sword-like weapon of light from his hand, balls of energy that arc around him, which can be thrown simultaneously at enemies and the ability to use high-level telekinesis, evidenced by when he rips buildings out of the ground. Balder also commands a satellite-based particle beam weapon orbiting the planet that produces a concentrated blast of energy to shoot down unsuspecting targets. He commands the satellite using the power of his mind. Using his own abilities, Balder is capable of destroying more than one of Bayonetta's Infernal Demons and using the dead demon to fully replenish his vitality.
Upon returning to his time, Balder has become corrupted by Loptr's evil and creates the damage seen in the Crescent Valley as a sign he intends to spur on the remainder of the Witch Hunts. Under Loptr's evil, Balder begins a plan to recreate the universe to rule over using the Eyes that still exist in the past. He spends the next 500 years cultivating Vigrid and its followers into following the light of Paradiso in order to coincide with the Festival of Resurrection and use Jubileus as the deity to remake reality, just as Loptr attempted when he was Aesir.
20 years after Bayonetta wakes up and travels to Vigrid to regain her lost memory, Balder tracks down and brainwashes Jeanne into luring his daughter to him. He first "appears" as a voice that refers to Bayonetta as his "dear, sweet child" and continues to speak more frequently to her after she meets her younger self, Cereza.
After finally reaching Balder on the Isla Del Sol, Bayonetta learns he is her father and that Cereza is her own past self brought here by Balder to recover Bayonetta's memories and awaken the Left Eye. After Luka shows up as well, Balder reveals to him that he was the one who ordered Antonio's death before throwing him out of the window. Balder then fuses with Cereza and fights Bayonetta as the pair of them fall from the Ithavoll Building. Bayonetta manages to shoot Balder in the forehead with Rosa's lipstick, seemingly killing him.
However, after Bayonetta is struck down by pain after returning Cereza to her own time, it is revealed that Balder survived the shot. He explains that the Left Eye's power was reawakened after the changed events of the past gave Bayonetta back all her memories. He ascends with his daughter up to the giant statue of Jubileus that he had prepared for the Resurrection and launches the statue into space as he and his daughter take their places as Jubileus' Eyes. However, Jeanne is also revealed to have survived her apparent death from her previous fight with Bayonetta and follows the statue into the cosmos after having broken free of Balder's mind control. She frees Bayonetta from the statue and Jubileus is only able to be summoned using the powers of the Right Eye. As she awakens, Balder appears to be killed by being absorbed into Jubileus' body.
Bayonetta: Bloody Fate Edit
In the anime adaptation of the first Bayonetta, Balder's role is similar to the game. His motivation to recreate reality is because of the madness that gripped his soul after being exiled from the rest of the Lumen Sages and his devotion to his cause has a more fanatical edge to it rather than the controlling influence of Loptr. Unlike his game counterpart, Balder is destroyed after Jubileus' body is disintegrated thanks to the combined efforts of Bayonetta and Jeanne, making the movie non-canon to the games.
Bayonetta 2 Edit
It is not until after the destruction of Jubileus that Balder is shown to have survived the battle. Stumbling away from the crashed head of the Jubileus statue as it fell from space, Loptr's soul attempts to leave his body after realizing that his 'host' is close to death. Balder contains it within himself, having broken free from Loptr's corruption and with an intent to see to it that they both perish together. In his last moments with a sane mind, Balder puts on his monocle and falls to the ground. He speaks to himself about how Bayonetta has finally kept her promise to him and that he will always watch over her. Balder fades away in golden light and finally perishes, seemingly taking Loptr with him into the afterlife.
- Balder's name is the name of the god of the light and beauty in Norse mythology. This is supported by The Hierarchy of Laguna's description of him as being "named after the Norse God of Light."
- Balder was 22 years old when he fathered Cereza.
- The battle with Balder in the first game is similar to Dante's battle with the The Despair Embodied from Devil May Cry 2, who attacks in a very similar manner, alternating between sword and whip-like attacks while deftly circling around their foes.
- The angelic shields Balder can create are similar to the angelic borders that Bayonetta destroys in the end of a verse.
- In his older form, Balder is voiced in English by Grant Albrecht whereas in his Japanese appearances, he is voiced by Norio Wakamoto. His younger self is voiced by Crispin Freeman, well-known for roles such as Alucard from Hellsing and Sundowner from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. In Japanese, his younger self is voiced by Takehito Koyasu, the most prolific voice actor in Japan. Some of his more famous roles are Dio Brando in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, Rezo the Red Priest in Slayers, Zech Marquise in Gundam Wing, and Lezard Valeth in Valkyrie Profile, First Lieutenant Shigeru Aoba in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
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