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- "I want to restore this world, but I fear I can't do it alone. Perhaps you could give me a hand?"
- — Balmung —
Balmung is a very charismatic-looking character; a typical knight in shining armor. Balmung's most distinct features are his wings as they are unique, representing his victory over The One Sin. According to Cima, his Character Model was won in a contest, and his original model was rather dorky.
Balmung believes in chivalry. If there is anything out of the ordinary, he'll question it. He has a hard time trusting people as well, but when his trust has been won, there isn't a person better to rely on. His personality changes vastly by Legend of the Twilight, as he becomes a more easygoing player that jokes around and takes few things seriously.
At the time of the games, Balmung's player is a 18 year-old in his third and final year of high school. He started playing online games in elementary school, and became a beta tester for Fragment during middle school. He soon became fascinated with The World.
He enjoys and loves The World and magazines of little taste. Outside The World, he has an interest in motorcycles. Although he is often confessed to, he is uninterested in love and says he doesn't understand women.
Balmung appears for the first time in AI buster, alongside his close friend and partner Orca; when he accompanies Orca to the in-game house owned by Albireo. He is initially suspicious of the strange spear wielded by Albireo, fearing that it is a cheat item and Albireo is a hacker. But his fears are removed once Albireo reveals that he was one of the original beta testers in Fragment and that the spear was a relic of Fragment, which Balmung himself was also a part of.
Balmung later fights alongside Orca to defeat The One Sin in the field Ω Sickened Imprisoned Fallen Angel, while Albireo and Hokuto watch in secret. Their defeat of this "unbeatable event" results in Balmung getting his trademark wings. He, along with his partner Orca, are given the titles of "The Descendants of Fianna" in a poem by the net poet W.B. Yeats. Their individual titles of "Balmung of the Azure Sky" and "Orca of the Azure Sea" also came from Yeats' poem.
Alph learns about Carl's connection to the famous PKer Sora, and her experience with a mysterious girl. She visits the Descendants of Fianna who are investigating strange phenomena within The World. Alph gives the information about Aura to Orca and Balmung, who are investigating her.
Balmung makes a very brief appearance in the episode Phantom. When Bear, Mimiru, and Subaru have an unexpected encounter with a strange Data Bug, Balmung leaps into action with not a moment to spare. He holds off the monster to allow the party past. His final scene involves a mad lunge for the monster, and it's implied that he survived.
BlackRose first meets Balmung in Hulle Granz Cathedral when he defeats a high-level monster there. When the monster becomes a Data Bug that Kite subsequently Data Drains, Balmung accuses Kite of being in league with hackers. BlackRose manages to diffuse the situation by telling him he should be grateful that Kite saved them.
BlackRose and Balmung rarely meet face-to-face, but she learns about him from Kite and what Fumikazu wrote about him. The next time they meet is when they investigate Lambda; Dying Madness Haunted Land. When Balmung ignores Kite's plea for assistance and warns the two not to interfere, BlackRose thinks of him as pig-headedly stubborn, though she also admits that Balmung may be acting the same way she did. She also begins to suspect that Balmung may be following them. Her suspicions are confirmed when she realizes Balmung gave Kite a Virus Core so he could follow them and lead Lios into Net Slum.
After a lull in progress, BlackRose is surprised to find an e-mail sent to her from Balmung, asking her to meet with him in Fort Ouph. She meets Kite there first and learns that Balmung has joined their side. She is even more surprised when Balmung arrives and apologizes for his actions. Balmung joins Kite and BlackRose to Lambda; Merciless Grieving Furnace, where Aura awaits. There, they are ambushed by Cubia and have no dedicated support character. During the battle they run out of recovery items, but Balmung temporarily switches his equipment so he can cast Repth spells, allowing the trio to continue the fight. Balmung delivers the final strike that forces Cubia to retreat.
Balmung later tells Kite and BlackRose about a field Orca once investigated, Σ Resonating False Grasslands. There, they find a strange room with a log cabin and another fragment of the Epitaph of Twilight.
After BlackRose's meeting with Asaoka and Hagiya about the Epitaph, she logs in to tell Kite about what she learned, but she hesitates because of a previous event involving Terajima Ryoko and ends up just standing around. Balmung notices that she is acting strangely and talks to her. Although Balmung naively tries to leave when BlackRose tells him nothing is wrong, she tells him to stay and ends up telling Balmung about everything that's on her mind. When she's finished, Balmung, believing that the two are having a quarrel, offers to "patch things up" and leaves to talk with Kite. Kite ends up meeting BlackRose without Balmung's help. When Balmung comes back, he and Kite get confused about the situation, and an embarrassed BlackRose tells them it was all a misunderstanding.
Balmung again joins the party when they head to Σ Chatting Snaring Twins to fight Gorre. When they learn that both Gorres share the same HP count, Kite tells them to focus on attacking the Gorre with Magical Tolerance. After Gorre is Data Drained, Balmung delivers the final blow with his GiRue Slash skill.
Balmung assists Kite and BlackRose when Lios sends them to Ω Bigoted Snowflake's Castle, a high-level area that is tough even for the veteran player Balmung.
For the operation to fight the Wave at Ω Cruel Vindictive Scars, Balmung says nothing about Kite's decision to bring BlackRose and Elk, which BlackRose suspects might be because Balmung knows about Elk's situation with Mia. After the battle with Macha, Elk deserts the party and Balmung joins to continue the operation. Together, they are able to deliver Aura's final Segment and push Cubia back yet again. Balmung is ready to fight with Kite and BlackRose against Tarvos, but when Helba brings Kite's friends to assist with the new vaccine, Balmung steps aside to allow Kite to recruit Mistral instead.
Balmung is present in the final battle against Corbenik and is the first one to notice its exploding seeds. He casts Ola Repth on the party just as they explode. It is assumed that, like in the Games, he was caught up in Corbenik's Drain Heart attack and momentarily sent comatose before everyone's revival.
Balmung first appears in the Games after saving Kite and BlackRose from a Data Bug at Δ Hidden Forbidden Holy Ground. He initially dislikes Kite, suspecting that the strange powers he wields are what corrupted The World in the first place. Even after Kite tells him his story he is still suspicious. Taking advantage of this, Lios contacts Balmung and orders him to follow Kite and BlackRose to Net Slum. Though Balmung isn't pleased at the underhanded methods, he is forced to obey Lios's command, and succeeds in entering Net Slum. There he watches as Kite and BlackRose battle against Magus.
Unsure of what to do, Balmung travels to Σ Chatting Snaring Twins. He is attacked by a Data Bug on the bottom level but is rescued by Kite. Realizing that Kite is somebody who wants to help The World, Balmung pledges his support to Kite and gives him his member address. Lios orders the pair to travel to Σ Rising Implacable Sipping Bug where they defeat another Data Bug. Lios reveals to them that CC Corp plans on shutting down all of the game's servers in an attempt to destroy the Cursed Wave and that the time for them to fix things is growing short. He later assists Kite and BlackRose in a fight against Cubia at Λ Merciless Grieving Furnace. Balmung was later chosen by Helba to be one of the key members of Operation Wavebreak, fighting alongside Kite and BlackRose against the Phases. He was on the front lines during the fight against Corbenik and was one of the first to fall to its Drain Heart attack.
Following the defeat of the last Phase, he was reunited with his partner Orca. With Kite as an honorary member, they reformed the Descendants of Fianna.
In the early chapters of XXXX, Balmung works as an agent of Lios. He holds Kite responsible for the disappearance of Orca, and attempts to attack him in their first meeting, only stopping when BlackRose and Mistral step in to defend Kite. Confused he continues watching Kite from a distance. When Magus attacks Elk, and Balmung sees that Lios intends to stand by and do nothing, he decides to part ways with Lios. He steps in to rescue Elk from becoming Data Drained and then to help fight against Magus, then joins up with Kite and Cubia to hunt down the remaining Phases with them. After Kite disappears, he delivers a vaccine item from Helba to BlackRose, so she can use it against Cubia.
- "This shindig looks like the bomb-diggity."
- — Balmung —
Balmung goes through a lot of abuse during GIFT. Being the first person to find Orca's corpse (actually Bear's) he is instantly suspected of being the one responsible for PKing him. Kite assumes that since Helba made role-playing illegal, Balmung must be using the opportunity to explore his suppressed urge to PK people. Trying to find the location of Helba's secret area, he stumbles across Uchiyama and Emi, whose strange mannerisms cause him to go temporarily insane and melt his character. Things take a turn for the worse when he comes across another PK victim, B.T.. The rest of the cast quickly appears and blame him again. His tearful plea of innocence is interrupted when everyone leaves and, now alone, he begins to quietly sing the .hack//SIGN ending song Yasashii Yoake. The field then suddenly crashes.
Later he stumbles into a fight between Crim and Sora. He is accidentally attacked by Crim, who skewers one of his wings on his spear. The loss of his precious feathers, combined with the stress that he's been through, causes him to fly into a rage. He rushes Crim and begins to attack him, while Sora quietly sneaks away.
Balmung appears in the Legend of the Twilight anime as a System Administrator, alongside his partner Reki. He runs into Shugo and Rena when they are attacked by a Data Bug released by some hackers. Balmung manages to hold off the Data Bug long enough for Shugo to defeat it with his Data Drain attack. After several of his events are ruined by these Data Bugs, Balmung takes it upon himself to investigate the matter. Realizing that Shugo's bracelet will probably be needed in order to restore order he contacts his friend Sanjuro, a former .hacker, and asks him to train Shugo.
After Rena is placed into a coma by the hackers, Balmung begins working directly with Shugo. However the appearance of Kamui and the Cobalt Knights interrupt his plan, as CC Corp has given them complete control over the current problems. Balmung's refusal to give up the project results in his dismissal as an Administrator. To further complicate matters Reki betrays him, joining up with Kamui and the Knights instead of him. Dejected, Balmung retreats to a solitary portion of The World.
It is here that Reki finds him; he updates him on Shugo's activities and reminds him that even though he might not be a system administrator, that he is still a player, and a .hacker. With Reki's help Balmung is able to break through the barrier surrounding the unreleased Root Town Naval Monte. There he assists Shugo and his party in their fight against the Vagrant AI Morti. Following their victory, Balmung is reinstated as a System Administrator.
In the Legend of the Twilight manga, Balmung has been hired by CC Corp as a System Administrator, working mostly as an events designer. Along with his long-suffering assistant Reki, Balmung has become infamous for designing some of the strangest events in the game. He becomes interested in Shugo and Rena, the winners of the .hackers character contest, and stages several tests for them over the course of the manga. However, the arrival of fellow System Administrator Kamui and her assistant Magi of the Cobalt Knight Brigade (the debug team of The World), as well as Shugo's interactions with the Vagrant AI Zefie forces Balmung to take more direct action. His arguments that Vagrant AIs and Aura are an integral part of The World result in him being dismissed as a system administrator.
Forced to act as a normal player, Balmung contacts Helba and requests her help in protecting Shugo. He mobilizes several of the .hackers, including Kazu, Wiseman, and Mistral, who help Shugo and his party reunite with Aura. Following this event, it is implied that Reki was able to get Balmung reinstated as a System Administrator.
In contrast to the other 4Koma characters, Balmung's personality remains largely unchanged. He is still the noble, determined fighter he was in the rest of the series. However, his steadfast personality makes him a frequent target for the other characters, who enjoy abusing him for their own amusement. Kite in particular is very fond of playing cruel practical jokes on Balmung, such as abandoning him to monsters and setting up elaborate traps for him to fall into. Kite's animosity towards Balmung seems to stem from the fact that Balmung has been more successful with women than Kite has.
- See Azure Balmung
- See Balmung (Link)
- It is revealed in AI Buster that Balmung was a soloist during most of his time playing The World. The loss of the only person he ever trusted in, Orca, explains his initial hostile attitude towards Kite in the .hack//Games.
- Balmung first appears during Infection, but finally joins Kite at Σ Chatting Snaring Twins at level 60 in Outbreak
- Within Wilhelm Richard Wagner's masterpiece, The Ring of the Nibelungen, Balmung was the name of the sword that Siegfried wielded.
- In the Legend of the Twilight Anime, it is hinted that Balmung and Kamui dated each other for a short time.
- His theme song was remixed as CyberConnect2's Christmas Gift for 2005.
- Balmung apparently does not like Grunties, despite the fact that he is the initial top ranker for all Grunty Races.
- Balmung makes a brief appearance in the Rena Special Pack as a doctor with Reki as his assistant.
- Crispin Freeman, one of Balmung's English voice actors, also voices Sakaki.
- It appears Orca never mentioned Kite to Balmung, since Balmung continues to distrust Kite even after being informed of Kite and Orca's friendship by Helba.
- Balmung's starting weapon is called Heavenly Sword.
- Though Crispin Freeman voices Balmung in English, he was voiced by Doug Erholtz in INFECTION.
- Although Balmung does not use his wings in battle or while moving, he proves they are functional in Mutation, where he flies off of a building in Net Slum.
- The Shopkeeper from .hack//LINK possesses a picture of Balmung in his collection.
- Balmung's fragment name, Gram, is the same sword as Balmung, but from a different version of the myth.
- In Norse mythology a magical sword, Balmung, was made by Wayland the Smith. Odin stabbed the Branstock tree, an oak tree in the Volsung palace, with Balmung. Odin then said that he who could pull the sword from the tree is destined to win in battle. Nine of the Volsung princes tried to take the sword, but only the youngest ever got it out. His name was Sigmund. Odin destroyed Balmung in battle but it was reassembled and Siegfried used it against Fafnir.
|Kite's party members.|