Valukar (バルログ Balrog) is an optional boss monster located and fought at the end of the optional dungeon Yampi Desert Cave in Golden Sun: The Lost Age. It resembles a hulking large, pink-skinned demon with blue horns and wings, brown goat legs, and wields a gold mallet. Valukar awaits players willing for a battling challenge and guards the summon tablet containing the Daedalus summon sequence.
As a boss
Valukar is one of four "superbosses" located throughout Weyard in The Lost Age, the others being Sentinel, Star Magician, and Dullahan. All of these bosses fight using unique battling setups and are very tough, but Valukar can easily be viewed as the easiest of them to fight. Valukar is encountered at the end of the optional Yampi Desert Cave dungeon, which can only be entered and explored with the Teleport Psynergy found in Mars Lighthouse. Specifically, the battle will automatically begin as soon as you visibly approach Valukar and he steps towards you to attack. After Valukar is defeated, the player will be able to access the stone tablet containing the Daedalus summon.
Valukar is especially likely to be affected by Defense-lowering effects. His statistics are as follows:
|Elemental Resistances and Levels||Exp||Coins||Item Dropped||Drop Rate|
|175 (Lv 14) 100 (Lv 11) 100 (Lv 9) 60 (Lv 7)||8702||4980||N/A||N/A|
Valukar acts twice per turn, using the following battle commands with high intelligence:
used with *
| 95 Power
|Enemy ability that allows Valukar to perform a Summon fueled by the party's currently available Standby Djinn.|
|--||Enemy ability where Valukar places one Set Djinn of each party member into Standby mode.|
| 95 Power
|Enemy ability where Valukar strikes with a powerful blow from his hammer that lets out a mass of energy on impact. Deals a Venus-aligned attack equivalent to Valukar's standard physical attack multiplied by 1.6. In addition, there is a chance the target will be Stunned.|
|--||Standard physical attack.|
Valukar, though one of the four "superbosses" of The Lost Age, is considered fairly easy as an endgame boss and certainly the most manageable of the four. This is because Summon spells in Golden Sun games deal damage proportional to the size of each struck opponent's maximum HP meter, and because Valukar has the second highest HP rating in the games, summon spells do proportionally more damage to Valukar than to most other bosses. Used properly, Valukar's Djinn Stun can assist the player by placing Djinn on Standby for the player, allowing for faster summoning. The key is to ensure that all available summons are used before Valukar can use them via his Crucible ability, which can be done if the player's party has higher Agility ratings.
There are certain things to remember about this battle that will ensure an easier battle. First, summons that used fewer Djinn are safer than summons using many Djinn such as Eclipse and Haures. This is because there is always the risk of Valukar using them against the player's party. If lower-power summons are used, they do excellent damage against Valukar (Zagan will do over 700 damage, for example), but are of little risk to the player.
Healing Psynergy such as the Aura Psynergy series or the Wish Psynergy series are useful to heal damage done by Valukar. The Aura series may sometimes be preferable; if the player wishes to take advantage of Valukar's Mercury weakness, then the player's Mercury Adepts may be better off summoning to take advantage of their naturally high Mercury Power as opposed to healing.
Since Djinn Stun always puts one Set Djinni On Standby for each Adept alive in the current battling party, a very safe battle involves the main battling party including one Venus Adept, two Mars Adepts, and one Jupiter Adept, with their Djinn arranged so they are all in their respective mono-elemental classes. In this setup, whenever Djinn Stun is used, the Djinn that are put on Standby will instantly allow for one Zagan summoning and one Megaera summoning. Both do excellent damage and run little risk of backfiring against the player; the entire battle can be fought using only these two summons and four Adept. However, Megaera's ability to raise Valukar's Attack should be kept in mind, should Valukar summon it.
No matter what summon-based strategy is chosen for the battle, make sure never to let there be enough Jupiter and Mercury Djinn On Standby for Valukar to use the regenerating summon Coatlicue on himself. Even if he is near the end of his HP meter, if he uses it his HP will be completely cured after a few turns, since Coatlicue causes its user to regenerate 60% of its maximum HP each turn for five turns.
Background and story
Valukar does not have any bearing on the game's actual story, nor is any background information provided. It is a powerful creature standing guard within the deepest depths of the Yampi Desert Cave, the secret cave-dungeon complex within the Yampi Desert located near Alhafra. For an indeterminable amount of time, the Valukar has stood watch over a summon tablet containing a powerful being of fire (the Daedalus summon sequence, in other words).
Should any group of intrepid and capable Adepts battle their way through the cave to reach Valukar's chamber, Valukar and the summon tablet await on an area of ground elevated above a cavernous chasm. Valukar will speak to his challengers to introduce himself before attacking and using his powers to beat up the opposition:
- "I am the guardian of fire. If you want my power, prove yourself in my crucible of flame."
In The Lost Age, as Isaac and Felix's combined party of capable Adepts nears the end of its quest, they may decide to return to Yampi Desert and explore the desert cave as they have so many other dungeons if they have all the Psynergy powers necessary to do so. Their encounter with Valukar will be a fierce and spectacular battle, but if they defeat him, they will gain the ability to summon a gargantuan embodiment of military firepower, the animated missile-laden statue Daedalus, in future battles.
Origin: Tolkien's legendarium
Valukar is based on the demons of shadow and flame from J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion — the former of which is a major influence on high-fantasy works and role-playing games of all kinds, JRPGs like Golden Sun included. The more widely known name for them by far, Balrogs, derives from Tolkien’s personally constructed Sindarin or "Grey-Elven" language; "Valukar," on the other hand, clearly derives from his related Quenya or "High-Elven" language, in which the demons are called Valaraukar.
The English localization's decision to forego the "Balrog" name, which is otherwise logical for its popularity and cultural awareness as a name, for a mutation of a far less widely known equivalent is almost assuredly owed to a famous incident in which the Tolkien Estate sued TSR, Inc. — the original publisher of the famed Dungeons & Dragons tabletop RPG franchise — for directly lifting his Balrogs (as well as another Tolkien-owned fictional race, the Hobbits) and including them without any name changes. The legal precedent established by the suit has long since forced American and European companies to find creative alternative names to represent Balrog-like monsters in works both original and adapted, such as modern editions of D&D referring to them as "Balors."
While no such restriction is placed on works authored in Japan (allowing for the existence of the バルログ Balrog name in the Japanese version of Golden Sun: The Lost Age, as well the name "Hobbit" appearing in several D&D-inspired properties such as Dragon Quest), American and European localization groups, as a rule, are forced to arrive at names like "Valukar" and "Balor" through methods that can be likened to "filing off serial numbers."
- A video of a fight against Valukar, which lets Valukar summon Charon to test the survival of the party.
|Bosses in Golden Sun|
|Vault Bandits • Tret • Saturos • Killer Ape • Hydros Statue • Manticore • Kraken • Azart • Satrage • Navampa • Toadonpa • Storm Lizard • Tempest Lizard • Saturos and Menardi • Final boss • Deadbeard|
|Bosses in Golden Sun: The Lost Age|
|Chestbeaters • King Scorpion • Briggs and Sea Fighters • Aqua Hydra • Serpent • Avimander • Poseidon • Moapa and Knights • Karst and Agatio • Flame Dragons • Final boss • Valukar • Sentinel • Star Magician • Dullahan|
|Bosses in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn|
|Tangle Bloom • Dim Dragon • Dim Dragon Plus • Stealthy Scouts • Sand Prince • Ku-Tsung and Ku-Embra • Ice Queen • Sludge • Mountain Roc • Blados and Chalis • Blados, Chaos Hound, and Chalis • Final boss • Ogre Titans • Ancient Devil • Star Magician • Dullahan|