Vega, known as Balrog (バルログ Barurogu?) in Japan, is a video game character from the Street Fighter series, first appearing as a non-playable boss in Street Fighter II before becoming playable in its update, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. He is a claw-wielding, narcissistic Spanish ninja obsessed with beauty who also serves as a personal bodyguard to M. Bison.
Vega’s character archetype is very familiar in Japanese manga and anime: the Narcissist (ナルシスト Narushisuto?), often depicted as a long-haired, effeminate self-lover. Certain archetypal characters are comparable to Vega, elaborated on his pop culture page.
Vega is vain, overconfident, and highly convinced of his own abilities, almost to the point of megalomania. He is also incredibly sadistic and takes great pleasure in seeing the ugly murdered, and preferably mutilated. He often has a stone-cold demeanor, and does not show a wide range of emotions. His narcissism and disdain for anything lacking elegance causes him to clash with fellow Shadaloo member Balrog due to the latter’s boorish nature.
Vega’s vanity is demonstrated in how he uses his mask. He wears the mask not to conceal his identity, but to protect his face from scarring or bruising during battle, so that he can more easily view himself as perfect-looking. Vega often removes it after fights during his win poses, and his face is at least partially, if not fully, exposed in some of his character-select mugshots as well as some of his individual endings. Additionally, many characters are able to recognize Vega even if they never see him without his mask. In some games, he can remove the mask during battle.
Vega was born to a privileged noble family in Spain. For reasons undisclosed, their status dwindled, causing Vega’s mother to remarry for financial security. Growing up to the arts of hunting, later as he matured, Vega studied bullfighting, a cultural tradition, finding the sport more exciting and honorable in being able to dispatch his prey up close with his own might. Afterward, he went to Japan and learned ninjutsu, a style he believed meshed well with his natural grace and agility. Combining bullfighting with ninjutsu, Vega went into an underground cage fighting circuit, and quickly became one of the best.
His ugly stepfather murdered his beautiful mother because he felt she did not respect him, and Vega killed him in return. The incident warped his mind, and he developed a dual personality: honorable nobleman by day, sadistic murderer by night. It also triggered Vega’s obsession with beauty as a wonderful trait, as well as his belief that ugliness is something evil that should be purged.
Vega’s fighting style, officially referred as “Spanish Ninjutsu”, is a blend of ninjutsu and bullfighting, thus earning him the nickname “Spanish Ninja”.
Vega is one of the fastest and most agile characters in the Street Fighter series, but also one of the most delicate; his defensive rating is low compared to most of the other characters to balance his incredible speed. Vega is also one of the few weapon users in the series, and the only one that appears in the Street Fighter II series.
Vega’s overall style uses a mix of a keepaway game and quick lunges at the opponent. Vega has a powerful air game based on his Flying Barcelona Attack and Sky High Claw, and is more than agile enough to get around the opponent’s attacks and strike with rapid succession, leading to potentially devastating setups, confusing cross-ups, or long-range poking attacks with the reach advantage provided by his claw. However, his long reach can easily be beaten out with a counterattack at the right moment, and could leave Vega helpless to an aggressive opponent; most of Vega’s moves are hard to maintain a position with, and are not too safe on block. In addition to various airborne attacks, Vega is equipped with low ground attacks such as the Scarlet Terror and Rolling Crystal Flash that can be used to keep the foe off-balance, and he can use long and short Back Slashes to back flip around attacks. In Street Fighter V, Vega is no longer a charge character, making nearly all of his moves easier to pull off.
Description by Wiki