Balio is a anthropomorphic unicorn within Breath of Fire III, and together with Sunder is a servant of the crime lord Mikba. They brought forth the tragedy that sent Ryu on his journey, and serve as the main antagonists for a large duration of the childhood chapters.
Role in Breath of Fire IIIEdit
When Ryu and his adopted family, Rei and Teepo, sacked Mayor McNeil's house, the mayor swore revenge. The money stolen by the three for the villagers were returned to McNeil, and Rei learns (through Bunyan) that McNeil was working for a larger organization, one that doesn't like being stolen from. Rushing home, Ryu and his brothers find their treehouse burning down. Balio and Sunder were there waiting for them. On behalf of McNeil and the organisation, the two easily dispatched Ryu, Rei and Teepo .). Ryu was saved by Bunyan; however, the fate of the other two will not be revealed until much, much later in the game.
After recovering from his injuries, Ryu sets off for Wyndia, trying to look for Rei and Teepo. On the top of Mt. Myrneg, however, he comes across Balio and Sunder again. Stunned to find Ryu still alive (Sunder in particular thought Ryu was a zombie), the two attack him again, wounding him, only this time it invoked Ryu's power. Ryu, although unconscious, transformed into a Dragon Whelp (the same Dragon Whelp that wreaked havoc in Dauna Mine at the beginning of the game) before their very eyes. Thinking bringing a dragon in will net them a large sum of money, the treacherous brothers put him on a cage and brought to the kingdom of Wyndia, located mainly in the Western portion. Before the king of Wyndia can see the Dragon Whelp, however, it reverted back into Ryu, and thinking it as a con, the king sent Balio, Sunder and Ryu into the dungeons.
The king's daughter, Princess Nina, took pity on Ryu, and visited him, planning on freeing him. Balio and Sunder trick the princess into freeing
them before Ryu, resulting in her kidnapping. Ryu breaks out of his cell and rushes off after them to rescue Nina. He confronts Balio and Sunder a third time (it's extremely difficult, but this battle can be won; win or lose, however, the story continues on). Depending on the outcome of the battle, Balio and Sunder either run off leaving Nina behind, or Nina manages to escape while Ryu was busy with Balio and Sunder.
Nina, indebted to Ryu, decides to help him find his missing friends. Their search takes them to a millhouse in Eggnock Road. However, a sneak attack results in Nina being captured again, and Ryu surrenders for her sake.
Balio and Sunder take their captives south to the Genmel arena, under the supervision of the barkeeper Fahl. However, Ryu and Nina manage to escape, thanks to Fahl's drunken state. Learning of their escape, the brothers sent their men after Ryu and Nina to the top of Mt. Boumore. After a few close calls, including where Ryu and Nina were tricked by the foreman working on the mountain, they escape.
Since the two eluded their capture, Balio and Sunder set up a checkpoint on the bridge crossing to Western Wyndia, and organised a search
party all over Eastern Wyndia. However, with the help of a new friend, Momo, Ryu and Nina continued to elude their pursuers until Momo was deceived by the director of the Plant her father worked on, Dr. Pallet. Thanks to Pallet, Ryu and his new friends (which now included a walking baby onion called Peco) were once again captured and taken back to Genmel.
Nina tricks the brothers into letting her and her friends compete in the upcoming Contest of Champions for their freedom. Balio thought of a money-making scheme concerning this team (since Ryu was a dragon, their chances of winning was great, something that will tip the gambling of the Contest in the brothers' favor), and allowed them to compete. However, as insurance, Balio had the bridge over Maekyss Gorge, the only route connecting South with West Wyndia, blockaded, and had one party member imprisoned (either Momo or Peco), while the other three compete.
As predicted, Ryu and his team make it into the finals, allowing Balio and Sunder to rake in lots of money. Sunder asks what will happen if Ryu and his team indeed wins the Contest, however Balio assures his brother that "their" champion, Garr, Ryu's next opponent, will never lose.
Garr indeed defeats Ryu in the finals, and becomes the Champion of Champions again (implied to have held the title for a long time). When Balio arrives at the arena to give Garr his prize (which is whatever the winner wants), he was shocked when Garr requests for his prize to be Ryu and his friends, giving them back their freedom. Unable to act properly (since both Balio and Sunder soundly fear Garr), the two brothers allow Garr to claim his prize. However, the two plan another all-out assault against Ryu's party on Maekyss Gorge, summoning all of their men in the area. It would've have worked, if not for Garr's timely intervention, rescuing his charges.
As a last-ditch effort to take care of Ryu and his party (which now includes Garr), Balio and Sunder fuse together to become the powerful creature Stallion. However, they were finally killed by Ryu and his four companions once and for all.
Personality and QuotationsEdit
Balio is generally shown to be the more intelligent of the two brothers, remaining calm at times when Sunder conversely has a tendency to panic. Controlling and greedy, it is Balio's idea to take the whelp-formed Ryu for show in Wyndia, as well as allowing Ryu and co. to enter the Contest of Champions, in order to make more of a profit.
Balio also often acts as Sunder's superior, commanding him to do certain tasks.
Balio and Sunder are fought twice during the course of the game, on both occasions as a team. The fight in Cedar Woods cannot be won, as the HP of both enemies is infinite. The battle in the Wyndia dungeon however can be won, although the result of the battle does not matter as the story is unaffected. Later on, during the confrontation at Maekyss Gorge, Balio and Sunder morph into the Stallion which must be defeated in order to progress.
Balio and Sunder get their names from the Greek mythological horses Balius and Xanthus. Both were the sons of Zeus and the steeds of Achilles who was given to him by his father Peleus.
- Stallion could be a reference to Ultraman. They both share a similar color scheme and form an L with their arms when they attack.
- The first battle is rumored to be winnable, even though no such case has been documented.
- The false rumor was most likely started due to a misprint in the Prima walkthrough guide, where it is stated "you can beat Balio and Sunder, though it is extremely difficult to do so", but the picture shown was from the initial battle at Cedar Woods instead of the Wyndia Dungeon. The Breath of Fire III Prima Guide is infamous for having used the wrong pictures in certain parts of the walkthrough.