“You know how grownups talk about the monster under your bed that’ll eat you alive if you misbehave? That’s what I am, you little brat.” – Baal to a child that dared to attack her.
Baal is a fallen angel governing over the sin of Gluttony, thus making her one of the main antagonists of Soul Embrace. She is the third archdemon fought by Nobuyuki Honda, making her first appearance in The Fires Rise. She is based off of the mythological figure of the same name, who is sometimes called Beelzebub.
Baal stands at 196 cm or 6’5″, thus making her even taller than Nobuyuki. She has wavy black hair that hangs about her shoulders, two long antennae poking out of her forehead and two large locust wings poking out of her back. She is mostly naked aside from small insect-like scales covering her private parts.
Whatever Baal may have been like prior to her being cast into Hell no longer remains, replaced with a very angry and hateful creature that speaks very highly of herself. She has very little patience for anything and will become enraged at even the slightest insult.
Surprisingly, though, she has room for love in her heart, though only for fellow archdemon Astaros whom she helped to create. She sees him as something of a child she never had, and treats him with the utmost care as a result.
Like the other archdemons, Baal was born long before the existence of mankind and served God as an archangel. She was given the duty of governing over Strength thanks to her great power, but let it go to her head far too often and challenged other angels to sparring matches if they ever expressed doubt over her abilities. She was warned against this, but paid no mind to it, believing that no one had any proper appreciation for her might.
Thus, she was among the first to side with Lucifer during the great rebellion, and though her involvement isn’t entirely known, it is clear that she was defeated by a combination of Uriel and Barachiel, the latter striking the decisive blow and as such taking her place as governor over Strength. Thus, the treacherous angels were cast out of Heaven and into the bowels of Hell, where they took on new forms and swore vengeance against God and all He stood for.
The events transpiring between ancient history and the events of Soul Embrace remain an enigma, but it is known that Azazel, at last unable to bear the miserable half-life of Hell, fled the demonic ranks and left Wrath without a governor. As such, Baal was commissioned to create the perfect beast of war, and so the ferocious Astaros came to be.
The Fires Rise
Many eons passed, eventually leading to the days of Shinkokira invading the city of Rengoku. Baal makes her first appearance in Chapter Eight of The Fires Rise, stopping Nobuyuki from finishing off Astaros and whisking the wounded archdemon to safety. She returns in Chapter Ten to do battle with the young samurai on the Seishin Bridge, proving to be his greatest challenge yet, though through a combination of quick wits, tremendous determination, and valuable assistance from both Ryuuji Hasashi and the succubus Delilah, Nobuyuki emerges the victor and finishes the battle by impaling Baal through the stomach. Though he shows her mercy, Baal mocks him for it and states that his bond with Delilah is in vain before the succubus kicks her away and she disappears back to Hell to contemplate her revenge.
Given that she created him shortly after Azazel’s betrayal, Baal naturally has great pride in Astaros and views him as something akin to her child. She shows him great pity whenever he is in pain and cares for him as often as she can, and clearly the feeling is reciprocated since she is one of the few living things he will not attack on sight. Should anyone dare harm Astaros, they will have a very vengeful Baal to answer to.
Though their relationship when they served God alongside one another is unclear, it is clear that Uriel and Baal share a mutual hatred of each other. It is believed that they fought during Lucifer’s rebellion, Uriel clearly coming out as the victor and leaving Baal with a terribly wounded ego.
Baal’s impression of Nobuyuki was already soured by him defeating Astaros, but her pride was wounded further when she battled and fell against him, as well. Needless to say, she despises him and wonders why the demons are even wasting their time on what seems to be an average human.
As is the case with Uriel, Baal fought and fell against Barachiel during Lucifer’s rebellion, though even before then, he was the one opponent she never wanted to face. As such, she hates him with a burning passion, made worse when he inherited her old title and proved a much more humble and suitable candidate for it.
As an archdemon, Baal naturally possesses great strength and endurance, as well as phenomenal speed (Nobuyuki required extensive training from Uriel to even come close to matching it). She retains her ability to fly from her previous angelic incarnation, her new insect wings possessing edges sharp enough to slice through steel.
Baal is also able to spit highly corrosive acid, and as her alternate title may suggest, she can summon swarms of ravenous locusts to blind or eat away at her foe. Should all else fail, it is said she can become ravenous herself, latching onto her foe and biting chunks out of them with her very sharp teeth.
BAAL IN MYTHOLOGY
Baal makes appearances in both Christian and Jewish mythology under both this name and the name Beelzebub. Often called the “Lord of the Flies”, Beelzebub appears as a hideous fly-like creature, and is sometimes another name given to the Devil. Many Christian demonologists, including Paradise Lost author John Milton, described Beelzebub as Lucifer’s second-in-command in Hell alongside either Leviathan or Astaroth.
Under the name Baal, this demon is referred to in the first book of Kings as a false god worshipped by King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, as well as much of Israel until disproven by the Hebrew prophet Elijah.
Beelzebub (when used as a secondary name for Lucifer) has been referenced multiple times in famous examples of modern culture, namely in William Golding’s 1954 novel The Lord of the Flies and the song “Bohemian Rhapsody” by British rock band Queen.
“Rules of Nature” from Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
- Baal was chosen to represent Gluttony because of her title of “Lord of the Flies”, specifically referring to locusts which often swarm and destroy crops wherever they go. Thus, Baal is also based upon one of the Ten Plagues of Egypt.