billiken

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A to Z: Baldr

Published April 2, 2018 by Iphis of Scyros

Okay, he’s so basic it’s almost cheating, but yep, here you go, today’s mythical figure is Baldr, son of Odin and Frigg.  There were a lot of options for B, but I wanted to go with Baldr because this is what he looks like in the Shin Megami Tensei games:

Image copyright Atlus, but provided by the MegaTen Wiki. Click for link.

With a character design like that, how could I pass him up?

Oddly, he doesn’t show up in any MegaTen games until Devil Survivor, which started out on the Nintendo DS, though the one I’ve actually played was Devil Survivor Overclocked, the expanded 3DS remaster.  (Technically, I started the original version, but…)  He probably wasn’t used prior to that point because of his nature and personality, which I’ll get to in a minute.  The reason he got used in Devil Survivor was actually a plot thing:  they changed his name to Beldr (not entirely wrong, considering his name was Beldeg to the Anglo-Saxons) and made the “Bel” part derived from the Akkadian word for “lord” or “master” (which is entirely wrong), and the plot revolved around various demons whose names started with “Bel.”  (I won’t go into further detail, however, as I don’t want to spoil the game’s plot, in case anyone wants to play it and hasn’t yet.  It’s a good game, if you have the patience to get past the initial difficulty curve.  I can’t really recommend the manga adaptation, though.)

He’s not summonable in Devil Survivor, but he is summonable in Shin Megami Tensei IV and Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse, and this is his compendium entry from those games:

The god of light in Norse lore and son of Odin and Frigg.  He is married to Nanna and has two brothers, Hod and Hermod, and a son named Forseti.

He was loved by all the gods, but after having a nightmare of his death, Frigg made all the plants and animals swear not to harm Baldur.  Only the mistletoe was passed over as it was too young.  Hearing this, Loki tricked Hod into shooting a mistletoe at Baldur, which killed him.  Hel promised to revive Baldur if every living thing cried for him, but the giantess Thokk refused to weep.  When it was found that Thokk was Loki in disguise, the gods punished him.  With the world’s light gone, it took its first steps toward Ragnorak.

Read the rest of this entry →

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