Captain Beard Jr. (Captain Higemaru Jr. in Japan) is a minor villain from the Strider series, appearing as a unique enemy at the end of the 3rd stage in the original game.
Captain Beard Jr. used to be a commanding director of the Allied forces opposing Grandmaster Meio on his bid to conquer the entire world. During a confrontation against the evil Grandmaster, however, Captain Beard Jr. suffered a crushing defeat and lost one hand, one leg and one eye. After this experience, Beard Jr. betrayed the allies to join the Grandmaster and become one of his subordinates.
After joining the Grandmaster's side, he was appointed the captain of the Flying Battleship Balrog, a massive and heavily-armed aircraft carrier capable of flight through gravity control. This machine ensured the Grandmaster's ultimate victory and solidified his conquest of the entire planet.
After Hiryu eliminated General Mikiel and the council of officers at Kazakh, the Grandmaster put a large bounty for him. Beard Jr. joined the other assassins and bounty hunters in their hunt of Hiryu, with him leading the Balrog into battle. Hiryu found out about the Balrog from the defeated Tong Pooh, but unfazed he proceeded to infiltrate it and single-handedly bring it down by destroying its core.
Escaping the doomed airship, Beard Jr. headed to an escape port and boarded the last escape ship, whipping away any of his men who were desperately trying to climb aboard to survive. Hiryu arrived just as he was taking off, easily jumping into the airship and eliminating the captain with a quick strike of his weapon, bisecting him in two. His final words were a warning to Hiryu, about the Grandmaster and how he has control over both military and science on the entire world.
Captain Beard Jr. adopts a classic pirate appearance with a pale red uniform and a tricorne hat. He sports a large, brown beard and an eyepatch covering his right eye, as well as a hook replacing his right arm and a peg leg instead of his left leg, all lost during his battle with Grandmaster Meio. His appearance is based on the enemy force the Higemaru Corps from Capcom's 1987 title Pirate Ship Higemaru, specifically in his large beard. His uniform and color palette, on the other hand, are inspired directly by the Higemaru Corps' "Captain", a character featured in the sequel Higemaru Makaijima.
In the PC Engine port of the game, Beard Jr.'s hair was changed to white and his uniform was recolored blue. He's the only character in-game whose redesign is reflected by his sprite.
Captain Beard Jr. is described as a ruthless and wicked man with no care for his subordinates, happily leaving them to die in the doomed Balrog rather than let them on his escape ship. Although whether he was this way before his change of heart is uncertain. He's also a good tactician and commander as confirmed by his position in both the Allied Forces and later as the commander of the Balrog, Meio's greatest asset.
Beard Jr.'s attitude seems to stem from having witnessed Meio's immense power and losing his limbs, instilling in him a dread of Meio and the complete crush of any hope of ever defeating him. As he tells Hiryu that all the power of the Earth is in his hands, he seems to truly believe Meio is just impossible to overcome.
Powers and Abilities
Captain Beard Jr. is proficient at using a long whip as his main weapon, being able to quickly whip away any soldier trying to jump into his escape ship as the Balrog was failing. He used the whip for long range attacks while attacking any approaching enemy with his hook hand. Captain Beard Jr. was of normal human skills, and as such not even close to a threat to Strider Hiryu, who killed him with ease.
Beard Jr.'s other skill was his commanding skills as a commander and captain, which not only made him a reputable member of the Earth Allied Forces but also granted him the position of leading Grandmaster Meio's greatest weapon, the Balrog.
Strider Hiryu (1988 manga) & NES adaptation