R P G A M E R . C O M   -   E D I T O R I A L S

A Demon

Philip Bloom

Breath of Fire 2 spoilers

The following shall be a highly interpretative work. Unlike the other Breath of Fire editorial I did, this is more to explore the concept of a minor character in Breath of Fire 2 and, while based in the groundwork of the game, is only one of several ways to read the character.

I'd like to introduce you all to Barubary. The demon with three golden eyes who haunts Ryu's dreams in Breath of Fire 2. The nightmare of the young child. Despite his short screen time, there is a bit more to Barubary than being just another enemy to fight. In the early parts of Breath of Fire, Death Evans discovers the destined child when he falls asleep near the gates; Evans is thus close enough to notice his presence. The child's town is then invaded by some of Death Evans' most trusted and powerful demons - not merely shock troops or cannon fodder. The intent is subtlety; this town is the gateway to their lord, and thus this becomes a prime opportunity to work on the gateway from outside. So they devour all memory of the child, and villagers who know of him are either killed, captured, or brainwashed. They then set up camp in the city, with one of their demons in disguise working slowly but surely to weaken the gates. Meanwhile we have Ryu, the destined child, who wakes up and returns home to find no one recognizes him. Escaping in the night with the young orphan Bow, he leaves through the only route away from the village: through the mountains to the north.

The demons, however, anticipated this. Barubary is sitting there waiting for them. He guides them, slowly but surely, into a large room in which he could suitably deal with them. Effortlessly swatting Bow aside, he looks over the young destined child. He recognizes him and is stunned. You see, Barubary is second only to Death Evans himself in strength, a demon who has long been able to destroy and all who come for him. He is beset by boredom, the lust for challenge strong within him. And here before him lay a scrawny brat who was supposed to be powerful enough to destroy Death Evans himself? Absurdity. And so Barubary tested the young Ryu, wishing to see the power for himself, fighting him and knocking him unconscious. Then he stopped, considering the young child before him. It would be easy to kill him there. Even if he was the one destined to open the gate and destroy Death Evans, he was currently not even a challenge to Barubary. Barubary made a decision there not to kill him. He left the boy alive, where he was later discovered by rangers, and went back to tell Death Evans that the deed had been done. For over ten years, Death Evans eyes were taken off Ryu, allowing him to grow strong.

Ryu eventually does fulfill his destiny, opening the gate and fighting his way down into hell with his friends. There in the darkness before Death Evans, he meets his nightmare, Barubary, standing there blocking the way. He spars with them for a bit and then, seeing that Ryu has grown strong, challenges him to stand by himself. Barubary wanted the challenge. He wanted to again fight someone of strength and skill, for it had been so long since he had been truly challenged by another being. This is the true nature of Barubary. Not a noble creature, but a demon who sought a worthy adversary. He didn't spare Ryu out of any misbegotten sympathy or desire to see the destiny fulfilled. He spared him in hopes that he would grow strong and provide a suitable challenge; to give him the joy of battle. When you defeat him, he is pleased to have fought such, even if it gave way to his own death.

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