Balmarians (バルマリアン Barumarian) are race of extraterrestrials from the Super Robot Wars series. They first appeared as the chief villains in Shin Super Robot Wars, but are more known for being the major antagonists in the Super Robot Wars Alpha series. They also appeared in Super Robot Wars Original Generation as the main villains, echoing their role in the Alpha timeline, though their role seems to have been eclipsed by the Inspectors and Shadow-Mirror in Super Robot Wars Original Generation 2. However, they have not been exterminated in the Original Generation timeline and may resurface again in later installments. The common human name for Balmarians is Aerogaters, although the latter is used only in a reference to the Earth-invasion force of Balmarian Galactic Frontier Inspection Army's Seventh Fleet.
There are no known anatomical differences between humans and Balmarians. Their body structures vary in the same way that those of humans do, although genetic engineering has brought out desirable physical traits in most leaders. There is no apparent natural hair color - Balmarians are commonly depicted with blue, red, green, or silver hair, although at least one person is shown to be platinum blonde.
Most Balmarians appear to have fair complexion, although a few are known to have an olive-brown, Middle Eastern complexion (Luria Kayitz, for example) while at least one known character (Baran Doban) has a dark, South Asian complexion. Due to the planet Balmar's similarity to Earth, it might be assumed that these complexions are mostly regional, just as humans have complexions suited to their environment.
In the Alpha series, it is revealed that the Balmarians and humans share a common ancestor race, which explains the astounding genetic similarities between the two races. However, Balmarians have mastered the art and science of genetic manipulation and have liberally used cloning as part of their reproduction. Many Balmarian leaders are clones of one another, having been genetically engineered for their specific role in the government. Some leaders are crafted to possess incredible intelligence, giving them IQs that surpass human limits. Others are engineered to become telekinetic psychodrivers.
The planet Balmar is an Earth-like world with an oxygen / nitrogen atmosphere. Balmarians are able to live and breathe on Earth without any assistance, while the same is true for Earthlings while on Balmar. The exact size and mass of the planet are not known, although it is possibly larger than Earth. It has a single, grayish planetary ring. It also has one natural moon, similar in appearance to Earth's. Balmar is known to have bodies of land and water, much like the Earth. No continents have been identified, but the planet has been depicted with polar ice caps and vast oceans.
Balmar has twelve artificial satellites, known as the Neviim, both collectively and individually. Each of the Neviim is 40 kilometers in diameter, white in color and spherical. All of them are mobile and carry artificial environments in which their inhabitants can live as if they were on the planet's surface. The Neviim are actually a network of battle stations that make up Balmar's planetary defense system. Each of the Neviim can emit a massive electrical discharge that has been known to annihilate invading hordes instantly.
The planet Balmar was eventually annihilated by a monstrous meteor shower towards the end of the Alpha timeline, when the Gebel Ganeden was destroyed. The Ganeden served as the central control unit of the Neviim defense system, and without it, the Neviim were unable to respond to the celestial disaster.
Hierarchy and Government
The Balmarian Empire is officially known as the Ze Balmary Empire. The Ze Balmary Empire is monarchic, having a single absolute ruler, the Spirit Emperor (霊帝 reitei). The Spirit Emperor is revered as a god (similar to the ancient Japanese and Roman imperial cults), as he is the representative to Zfylud, the Balmarian god of creation and divine justice. In the Alpha timeline, the Spirit Emperor is Ruach Ganeden, a boy whose lifespan was extended artificially. It is revealed, however, that Ruach is merely a puppet figure, and that the true ruler of the empire is the shadowy Keisar Ephes.
Despite being monarchic, the Ze Balmary Empire also has a position similar to a prime minister, a head of domestic affairs. In the Alpha timeline, the prime minister was Shiva Gozzo. While the prime minister is mostly concerned with civilian and political matters, Shiva Gozzo had personal command of the Golar Golem, a genetically engineered elite force.
Underneath the Spirit Emperor and the Prime Minister are twelve noble clans. The function of each clan in itself is not known, although many of them are given important government and military posts. Out of the twelve clans, only five are known: the Gozzo, Torah, Doban, Tichvah and the Kayitz. The most dominant of these clans is the Gozzo clan, with the prime minister and all the fleet admirals being members thereof.
After Planet Balmar's Destruction
The conflict with Earth claimed many of Balmar's leaders, and after Ruach Ganeden and Shiva Gozzo were killed in battle, only Almana Tiqvah, Luria Kayitz, Baran Doban, Sardis Judecca Gozzo and Philadelphia Judecca Gozzo were left alive. Almana and the two Judecca Gozzo clones led the refugess in search of new worlds to inhabit, while Baran Doban and Luria Kayitz joined the Alpha Numbers to fight against the Buff Clan and STMC.
An important part of an imperialistic nation is its armed forces. Balmar consists of the following militaristic groups:
The Ze Balmary Imperial Galactic Frontier Inspection Army
The Ze Balmary Imperial Galactic Frontier Inspection Army (ゼ＝バルマリー帝国辺境銀河方面監察軍) makes up most of the bulk of the empire's military. There are seven fleets that comprise this group. Each fleet is commanded by an officer simply known as a "Commandant" (Japanese 司令官/Shireikan), although if contrasted to existing human military organizations, this rank might be closer to "Admiral" (Japanese 大将/Taishou). The seven commandants answer to a "Commander-in-chief" (総司令官/Soushireikan). Apart from this, the chain of command of the seven fleets is unknown. Each fleet is equipped with a Hermóðr-class flagship and an unknown, but presumably immense number of Fylla-class cruisers. While in the Alpha timeline there are only seven fleets, an eighth fleet appeared in Shin Super Robot Wars. Whether the existence of this fleet was retconned in the Alpha timeline is not known. The seven fleet admirals were the Judecca Gozzo clones, while the commander-in-chief was Hazal Gozzo.
The Aerogaters is the codename given by the Earth Federation, referring to the alien invaders. The Aerogaters are the seventh fleet of the Ze Balmary Imperial Galactic Frontier Inspection Army, sent to Earth in order to gather information on the world and its inhabitants, before the main invasion of the Balmar Empire.
The Golar Golem are the elite special forces of the Balmarian military. They are actually a series of clones based on Ingram Prisken and Viletta Vadim. The Golar Golem's organization seems to be streamlined: it only has a captain and a vice-captain. The rest are known as the "Balshem" series of clones. The captain of the Golar Golem directly answers to the prime minister, although in the case of the Alpha timeline, this is most likely because the captain, Calico McCready, along with the rest of the Golar Golem, was created by Shiva Gozzo himself. The purpose of the Golar Golem is assumed to be similar to that of the United States Marine Corps. The Golar Golem squad, in general, is equipped with units of the Varuch series. Captain Calico McCready uses a Varuch Baal, while Vice-Captain Spectra McCready uses a Varuch Ishah. The Balshem series almost exclusively pilot Varuch Ben mobile weapons.
This group is the least described of the three, and is most likely the Balmarian equivalent of the Roman Praetorian guard. What is known about the Imperial Guard is that it has two generals: Hazal Gozzo and Baran Doban, although it is not known if both were generals at the same time (thus being equals) or simply successors. Elite troopers piloting white Shemuel Bens, as part of the "Royal Guard", are seen in the Alpha timeline, in which the Alpha Numbers were seeking an audience with Emperor Ruach.
It is not known if the Balmarians are polytheistic or monotheistic, but what is known is that they worship at least one deity, Zfylud. Zfylud is worshipped as the creator and divine judge of Balmar, whose herald is the Spirit Emperor. The worship of Zfylud seems to be led by females, with one high priestess and several lesser priestesses. One of the lesser priestesses is chosen to be a sacrifice to Zfylud, killed in the vast underground chamber that serves as the deity's temple.
It is revealed in the Alpha timeline, however, that Zfylud is not a true deity, but an immortal psychodriver of immense power and a member of the ancestor race that spawned both Earthlings and Balmarians. He was previously known as Augustus, one of the two first psychodrivers. Augustus was the core of the Gebel Ganeden, Balmar's gigantic mechanical guardian. Augustus founded and ruled Balmar for a millennia, until he faded into obscurity 500 years before the story of Alpha 3, choosing Ruach Ganeden and making him the Spirit Emperor. Ruach Ganeden's biology was altered to extend his lifespan, at the cost of the stability of his psychic powers. In order to maintain his power, he required a regular sacrifice, whose psyche he would absorb.
During his absence, Augustus brooded and waited, gathering damned souls to increase his power. The sacrifices that were made to him were greedily absorbed and consumed, adding to his demonic legions. These spirits became known as the Neshamah. Augustus's new agenda was nothing less than the total destruction and re-creation of the universe in his image. He had twisted into an entity of darkness, a dark god who cared nothing for the people who worshipped him, Keisar Ephes.
Balmar's main method of expansion is assimilation. Many of their lower-ranked soldiers are actually prisoners of war from other worlds, brainwashed to do their bidding. Technology is assimilated as well, adding to Balmar's already advanced forms of nanotechnology and warp technology. The most notable of all of Balmar's technology is the Zfylud Crystal. Named for their prime deity, Zfylud Crystals show an amazing ability to adapt to their surroundings. In very large quantities, these crystals gain sentience and a self-preservation instinct. They can reproduce and even generate their own power. However, it is known that Zfylud Crystals are not manufactured, but naturally occurring. Perhaps the technology that Balmar developed was for the most part, directed at harnessing the latent abilities of the crystal.
Balmar also possesses advanced time-space manipulation technology, which is used both as a means of transportation and as a weapon. Each of the Imperial fleet's seven Hermóðr-class battleships is equipped with a Crossgate Drive for interstellar travel. The lesser Hula-class cruisers can also warp over short distances (ie, across the solar system), but need to piggy-back onto a Hermóðr-class' Crossgate Drive for them to warp over long distances (ie, Balmar to Earth).
Balmar's weaponry ranges from small-scale particle cannons and lasers to unbelievably powerful time-space anomaly weapons. Grunt mobile weapons, such as the Zechariah, use particle beam weapons, while unique commander units, such as the Astranagant, Zfylud and Judecca, are armed with weapons that are capable of disrupting local time-space in a manner that can tear apart their enemies with ease. Many Balmar units are also equipped with barriers and shielding that use either gravity or psychokinetic energy to repel incoming attacks.
Many elite Balmarians are engineered to become Psychodrivers. As such, their mobile weapons are equipped with systems meant to harness their psychokinetic power for offensive and defensive purposes. Some mobile weapons are so centered on Psychodriver-based technology that they cannot be piloted by non-psychodrivers. Such units have no manual controls, and are piloted entirely by the pilot's mind. Examples of these are the Vaikran, Judecca and Shemorah.
Alpha Timeline: Because of the crossover nature of Super Robot Wars, the Ze Balmary empire interacts with several other villains from the various anime series that are included in the games. Its most notable enemies are the giant humanoid Zentradi from Super Dimensional Fortress Macross and the feral, star-consuming STMC from Gunbuster. Another major enemy, introduced in Alpha 3, was the Buff Clan from Space Runaway Ideon. The Zuvorg Alliance, another original faction, was mentioned briefly in the final stage of Super Robot Wars Alpha by Euzeth Gozzo, but they never appeared in subsequent games. The Ze Balmary Empire has been besieged on all fronts by the two vast forces, and has in fact lost three of its seven fleets, as of Super Robot Wars Alpha.
Original Generation Timeline: In the Original Generation series, Balmar's main enemy is likely the Zuvorg Alliance. Their real relationship is unknown at the current time.
- Keisar Ephes
- Ruach Ganeden
- Shiva Gozzo
- Baran Doban
- Etzira Tolar
- Levi Tolar
- Hazal Gozzo
- Ace Gozzo
- Euzeth Gozzo
- Ephesus Judecca Gozzo
- Smyrna Judecca Gozzo (2nd battalion)
- Pergamum Judecca Gozzo (3rd battalion)
- Thyatira Judecca Gozzo (4th battalion)
- Sardis Judecca Gozzo
- Philadelphia Judecca Gozzo
- Laodicea Judecca Gozzo
- Almana Tiqvah
- Luria Kayitz
- Ingram Prisken
- Viletta Vadim
- Calico McCready
- Spectra McCready
- Cobray Gordon
- Gaza Haganer
- Attad Shamran
- Galuin M'Habel
- AGX-07 Zechariah
- AGX-05 Habakkuk
- AGX-13 Ezekiel
Other Mass-Produced Series
- Battle Crasher
- Shuttle Kutourl
- AGX-15 Astranagant
- Varuch Ben
- AGX-13 R-GUN Rivale
- Gespenst Type-S (Aerogater Type)
- AGX-15 Septuagin
- Zfylud Eved
Other Commander-Type Mobile Weapons
- AGX-06 Vaycle
- AGX-14 Giudecca
Other Mobile Weapons
- Gebel Ganeden
- Keisar Ephes
- Many Balmarian names are derived from Hebrew, although some names are Greek, Latin or Norse in origin. A few names are taken from Dante's Inferno.
- The Twelve Clans can be seen as a parallel to the Twelve Tribes of Israel, although the names are very different.
- The seven fleet admirals are named after the seven churches mentioned in the Christian book of Revelation.
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