I’m starting this list with a recent fire user. Persona 4 is about a group of friends who ends up solving a murder case involving supernatural beings and a world inside a television. Yu Narukami meets a lot of people to help him get through it, and one such friend is Yukiko Amagi.
Yukiko Amagi is your stereotypical popular schoolgirl. She has beautiful long dark hair, a cute face, wears a red cardigan, has good grades and is immensely popular because her family owns a popular inn that makes the town of Inaba famous. She’s also good friend with Chie and get along with everyone else without much consequence. She doesn’t get exploited by bullies or harassed. She has everything going for her, right? Well, that’s where things take a different turn.
The TV World, that Yu and his friends have to explore, shapes itself according the victim’s thoughts and state of mind. When Yu, Yosuke, Chie and Teddie discover that Yukiko is missing, just like another girl that Yu and Yosuke couldn’t save, they rush in to find Yukiko before it’s too late. They end up in a huge fairy tale castle with monsters, called Shadows. The team also finds out a dark secret about Yukiko: she thinks she’s useless and that everyone else is doing the work for her, including Chie. It also gets worse when they come face to face with Chie’s own Shadow. That version of Chie is filled with jealousy toward Yukiko and just wants to dominate her so she can be popular herself. It doesn’t take long for Chie to rejects her Shadow self and Yu and Yosuke have to fight a dominatrix version of Chie. After the fight, Chie accepts her other half and get Tomoe, her Persona, but the search continues.
The team finally arrives in the throne room where they unfortunately meet Yukiko’s other self along with the real Yukiko. This, time, Yukiko’s shadow is filled with anger and rage. She wants to be free and wants to get rid of her image due to her family’s popular inn. Yukiko, still thinking that she wouldn’t do so, rejects her Shadow as well and the rest of gang has to fight a huge red bird with Yukiko’s head inside of a cage. The boss itself can use powerful fire attacks in addition to be immune to fire as well. She’s also accompanied by a prince-like shadow which she often boosts. Once defeated, Yukiko accepts her other self and gets her Persona, Konohana Sakuya. Oh, and Chie and Yukiko apologize to each other for hiding such secrets to each other.
Yukiko isn’t much of a physical fighter, as proven in Persona 4 Arena where she rely a lot of her Persona’s fiery attacks. However, those attacks burn like Hell. In Persona 4, her Persona can use Agi, Maragi, Agilao, Maragion, Agidyne and Maragidyne, in addition of healing skills and skills that can increase fire power and decrease fire resistance. In Persona 4 Arena, she has the ability to make her next Persona special move either unblockable or crank up the damage to ridiculous levels. While the levels don’t transfer from round to round, if Yukiko gets her Fire Level up to 8, you’re pretty toast. Her fire attacks have long range and her Persona attacks can hit multiple times, and while she’s not much of a fighter, like I said, her fan attack can be annoying to deal with. On a side note, she also has the funniest laughing fit.
So, for being a popular girl with a fiery spirit, Yukiko takes the 10th spot.
The Golden Sun series is about a group of adepts travelling the world to stop an evil duo to release an energy called Alchemy. The principle of Psynergy is based on the classic four elements, and Hudson Soft was very kind enough to give you not one, but two Fire Adepts in the beginning of the game. True, one leaves and is never seen as a playable character until the second game, but still…
Garet is Isaac’s childhood friend and trusty companion. He also acts as the comic relief. Upon releasing the Mars Star from Mount Adept, Garet and Isaac unleash the Wise One, but also meet Saturos and Menardi, who are seeking for the Mars Star as well. Garet and Isaac unfortunately lose the Star and also lose Jenna and Kraden to the evil duo, who takes them as hostages. After that unfortunate series of events, the elder from the village of Vale asks Isaac to stop Saturos and Menardi, to which he accepts. Garet then stands next to Isaac as he is willingly helping him out as his best friend would.
How special is Garet? Well, he’s a warrior that uses a lot of two-handed weapons and brutal attacks. When it comes to fire, he has an affinity with Mars Djinns. These Djinns allow him to cast powerful Fire Psynergy as well as bolstering his allies’ defense. Flare, Fireball, Inferno and Pyroclasm are a few of Garet’s spells. In The Lost Age, he still has the fire burning, but the light is directed toward another Adept, Jenna.
Jenna is Isaac’s and Garet’s friend who gets caught up in Saturos and Menardi’s scheme. However, she learns that the power of Alchemy needs to be released or else the world will collapse. While she, her brother Felix and Sheba were at odds with Isaac’s group, they suddenly end up saving them from Agatio and Karst, who wanted them dead. After this reunion, everyone gets into gears to release the power from the final Lighthouse, and Jenna is back with Isaac and Garet, who now are willing to help Felix restore Alchemy.
Jenna, unlike Garet, is a mage-like character. Her Fire Psynergy, however, compensates her lack of strength, as spells such as Dragon Fume, Cycle Beam and Flare Storm really roast the enemy. She also can protect and even heal, making her an interesting character in your party. In fact, having Felix, Jenna and Piers will net you 3 healers, which is a good thing. Jenna is basically a good example of a fire mage that doesn’t wimp out with a weak attitude. She’s no warrior, but her fire spells are searing hot.
So, for being powerful spellcasters with searing spells, both Garet and Jenna take the 9th spot.
Fire and fighting games seem to be made for each other. Its destructive nature can easily translate into a move set. For this entry, I went with a character that is a walking inferno. I’m talking with Cinder.
Ben Ferris was a criminal responsible for assault and arson and was sent to prison for such action. UltraTech was looking for test subjects for chemical weapons, and they proposed Ferris his freedom if he underwent the experiment. Unfortunately, the experiment transformed him into a living being made of fire. To make matters worse, UltraTech also requested Ferris to enter the next tournament in order to defeat and capture the ice alien Glacius. Ferris reluctantly agreed and also changed his name to “Cinder” to avoid suspicion as well. After winning the tournament, he actually spared Glacius’s life due to what awaited him at UltraTech and ran away to a remote location to avoid capture by the police. However, Cinder is now fully aware of his nature… and he plans his next move.
Cinder looks like a human made of fire, but being a brutal criminal, his fighting style is rude, aggressive and now fiery. He can transform into a ball of fire and launch himself at the opponent, he can breathe fire, he can do a rather cheap flip kick which is also his combo breaker, he can create an aura that deflect projectiles and he can even turn himself “off”, or invisible. Fighting him is pretty much a trial by fire.
So, for being a living being that can turn you into… cinders, Cinder takes the 8th spot.
What do you get when you take an artificial human with free will, a powerful fire sword, an aloof and brash attitude and make it a bounty hunter? You get Sol Badguy from the Guilty Gear series.
Guilty Gear is an over-the-top 2D fighting game that pretty much put Arc System Works on the map. The story is about humanity having to face a threat called the Gears, which are artificial creatures that were supposed to be the next step in evolution, but turned out to be weapons of war due to Justice, the first Gear created, turned on her creator and waged a war against mankind. Before Justice was created, a prototype version was made to test a few settings, a hundred years before the real gears were created. A gear named Frederick was given a headband to suppress most of his Gear powers, which would cause a catastrophe if unleashed, and to keep his mind sane, not to mention that as a prototype, he wouldn’t be controllable by anyone. Frederick turned out to be quite intelligent as well too. He created the Outrage, a series of weapon that would be useful against Gears, should they go berserk. Frederick finally saved a young boy named Kliff, who would later create the Holy Knights and well as enrolling Ky Kiske.
Frederick enrolled himself for the Holy Knights under the name “Sol Badguy” and fought in the crusades against Gears. However, he left the order because he thought that the Order has lost its ways, thus now travelling solo. He took the sword Fireseal, one of the Outrage weapons he created, and that actually sparked the rivalry with Ky: he considers that Sol stole a sacred relic… even though Sol created those relics in the first place. Sol went on to fight other Gears for their bounties. He lost his first fight against Justice, but got lucky when she became confused about not being able to control him like the other Gears. Sol is also pursuing the creator of Gears, That Man, and he has fought many of his underlings, be a crazy female guitarist named I-No or an uncontrolled half-Gear named Dizzy, who Sol spared and left in the care of Johnny and May.
Sol wields the sword Fireseal, a powerful blade and amplifies a wielder’s magical abilities related to fire. As he is a prototype Gear, not a human, and the actual creator of this sword, Sol uses it to deadly efficiency and cunning precision. He can make fire geysers coming out of the ground, he can strike with fiery punches and kicks and he can light his sword ablaze to deliver dangerous slashes. He can also tap into his Gear nature to release a portion of his powers into monstrously huge fireballs, as many of his fiery moves become enhanced. His Instant Kill, the Napalm Death, has Sol jump forward with a stream of fire, burning the opponent to a crisp. As a dangerous fighter, he really turns up the heat.
So, for being an anti-hero with a red-hot attitude and blade, Sol Badguy takes the 7th spot.
It’s not rare that the main character of a fighting game ends up with the element of fire. Sol Badguy above is a good example and Ryu from Street Fighter got a few fiery attacks, although that’s more Ki than fire. The King of Fighters series from SNK Playmore is no different, as their main character, Kyo Kusanagi, wields fire. However, in this case, they made that into an actual plot device. Let me explain:
Kyo Kusanagi is your typical pretty boy who also happens to be a delinquent high school student that would prefer picking a good fight than sitting in class. It turns out that Kyo is actually the descendant of the mythical Kusanagi clan, who wields fire and sealed the mythical 8-headed serpent Orochi, with the Yasakani and the Yata clans. (This is similar to the actual Japanese legend of Susano’o.) Fast forward a few centuries ahead and the Kusanagi clan is still active, along with the Yasakani clan. The Yasagani clan was their closest ally until they decided to use Orochi’s powers for themselves, thus making them enemies to the Kusanagi clan. The Yasakani clan, renamed Yagami, still battles the Kusanagi clan up to this day (in the game’s timeline). “Yagami” sounds familiar? That’s because Iori Yagami is a descendant from that clan and he finds in Kyo an eternal rival. However, Iori’s anger isn’t the least of Kyo’s problems.
As the clan slowly dissipated, some adepts of Orochi harnessed its powers to become more powerful. Willing to test their newfound strengths against the Kusanagi’s powers, they organized fighting tournaments, to which Kyo made his marks, alongside Benimaru Nikaido and Goro Daimon. Rugal wanted more powers, but after two tournaments, Orochi’s powers destroyed him after Kyo delivered the final blow with his fire. More Orochi followers wanted to extinguish Kyo’s flames, but Kyo managed to beat Goenitz, Yashiro Nanakase, Shermie, and Chris, this time with the help of Iori and Chizuru Kagura, another descendant, this time of the Yata clan. Together, they managed to reseal Orochi once again for it to never appear again.
Kyo, however, awakens in an underground lab, as the secret organization NESTS has captured him to extract his DNA and the secret of the Kusanagi’s flames. While not getting much of an answer about NESTS’s activities, he does enter the tournaments with his old friends to put a stop to it. After such an event, Chizuru asks Kyo to join forces with Iori as something about Orochi has been foretold. It turns out that Those From The Past are interested by Orochi’s powers, and one of their best fighters, Ash Crimson, is close to obtain it, as he possesses an ability to steal Chizuru’s and Iori’s ancestral powers. Kyo is then “forced” to enter the following tournaments to stop Ash from getting Orochi’s powers. Together with Benimaru and Goro, he defeats Ash once and for all and his defeat changed the space/time continuum to make it as Ash never existed, thus he never stole the ancestral powers nor unsealed Orochi’s powers. As Kyo meets Iori, now back with his own flames, he accepts the challenge to fight another day.
Kyo Kusanagi was training in martial arts and in pyrokinesis at a young age, thus making him a dangerous opponent. He can shoot flames across the ground, deliver fire punches, by as a series of jabs or as a spinning uppercut, cause explosions of fire when he grabs and even create large pillars of fire around him. While his moves have changed a bit over the years, he stills fights the same way. He is a strong combo character that can reduce you to ashes in the right hands. Many of his desperation moves involve him launching a huge fireball, causes a chained fire geyser eruption and a punch that causes a massive blast. Ouch…
So, for being a talented martial artist with a sacred flame, Kyo Kusanagi takes the 6th spot.
“Burn in the fires of Hell” is a common quote from several characters, meaning that the bad guy would like to kill you and that wish for your soul to be sent in Hell to be tormented for eternity. As such, many demons, devils and other kinds of fiends have been associated with fire. For the video game portion, I’ve selected one Hell of a boss: Rubicante from Final Fantasy IV.
Rubicante is one of Golbez’s four Archfiends, as well as the leader of the quartet. He is first encountered in the Tower of Babil, commanding his army to destroy the kingdom of Eblan. This action made the prince of Eblan, Edge, to challenge him to a fight to avenge his parents and to reclaim his kingdom. Unfortunately for Edge, Rubicante is too strong. Later in the Tower, Cecil Harvey and his friends encounter Rubicante again and surprising, they witness something quite unfamiliar with him: he has a strong sense of honor. He tells Edge that his parents were transformed into beasts by another being and that he was not in favor of it. Furthermore, he heals the entire party before battle to ensure a fair fight. For a demonic creature, that’s a rare sight.
Rubicante is a dangerous opponent in battle, even with the extra healing he gives you. See? His signature attack, Inferno, hits the entire field with a massive fireball. That attack damages your party, but also heals Rubicante as well. Unless you’re equipped with ice armors and weapons, you’re gonna get scorched. Rubicante can also cloak himself, which allows him to absorb all spells into healing him, except for Fire spells. Furthermore, any physical attack made against him will result into a counter-attack with Fira against the entire party. If a Fire spell is cast on him, he’ll resurrect the fallen characters in your party. In the DS version, he can also cast Blizzara when cloaked to counter water-based summons, which either heals him if cloaked… or damages him if revealed. Upon defeat, he accepts his death and deems the party as worthy opponents.
In the sequel, The After Years, Rubicante reappears in Eblan and will give Edge a trick to defeat Ifrit. He is then encountered in Subterrane. However, this time, if Edge is in the party, you have the option to fight Rubicante in a one-on-one duel. Winning it will net you the Fire Scarf for Edge, an item that allows him to absorb fire-based attacks. After that battle, Rubicante is defeated for good and Edge can finally make peace with him.
So, for being a demon with a scorching sense of honor, Rubicante takes the 5th spot.
The Mega Man games have been familiar with fire-based bosses:
- Fire Man, Heat Man, Flame Man, Sword Man, Burner Man, Magma Man, Solar Man (Mega Man)
- Flame Mammoth, Flame Stag, Magma Dragoon, Burn Dinorex, Blaze Heatnix, Flame Hyenard and Burn Rooster (Mega Man X)
- Mach Jentra (Mega Man X Command Mission)
- Hanumachine, Phoenix Magnion, Sol Titanion, Heat Genblem (Mega Man Zero)
That’s a lot to pick from, who would be the best of them all? I’m going with Heat Man, a boss from possibly the best Mega Man game ever, Mega Man 2.
Heat Man is a small robot in the shape of a zippo lighter, with the lid sometimes closing on its own for some laughs. He also has a dial to regulate the temperature, but he’s not even aware of it. Heat Man dwells in a lava-filled stage for Mega Man to brave. In battle, Heat Man uses the Atomic Fire, which has him spit 3 fireballs, on the ground, that erupt into pillars. He also turns into a flaming arrow-like projectile to strike you. What’s good to know is that Heat will actually get healed if hit with Atomic Fire, fired by Mega Man in the rematch, or by the Crash Bomber, so you have to be careful. Upon defeat, you gain the Atomic Fire as a weapon, which shoots a small fireball. What is interesting to note is that this weapon can be charged up for a more powerful blast.
Heat Man got converted into a NetNavi for the Battle Network series. His design remains of a zippo lighter, except that he has longer arms, no legs and a rather creepy face, with fangs and flaming eyes. In Battle Network 2, he’s just an optional boss, operated by Mr. Match, who had FireMan.EXE in the previous entry. HeatMan.EXE gets a better role in Battle Network 6 Gregar. Mr. Match has left the WWW organization and is now a teacher. Lan Hikari is tasked to operate HeatMan.EXE to get rid of some viruses. After such task, he gets a change to fight HeatMan.EXE. HeatMan.EXE use fire in multiple ways in these games: he can summon flame pillars, jump and slam while retracted in his lighter body to create fire around him, throw out flame waves and even summon a flamethrower behind Mega man to roast him. While you only get a battle chip in Battle Network 2, you obtain the Heat Cross in Battle Network 6, which is a pretty sweet reward.
So, for being a robot that can turn up the heat, Heat Man takes the 4th spot.
Pokémon has a lot of Fire-type critters, from which 5 series, soon 6, are available as starters. The first Pokémon you obtain is possibly the best you get, and many players probably picked the Fire ones due to a better offense, which is the case as the type is highly offensive and can afflict the Burn status on your opponent, which decreases its attack and damage it every turn. Over the years, we had Charmander, Cyndaquil, Torchic, Chimpchar, Tepig and Fennekin, but which one would be considered for this list? That might be predictable, but I’m going with the first one: Charmander.
Charmander needs no introduction. It’s a small bipedal salamander with a flame at the end of its tail. It evolves into Charmeleon, which is essentially a more brutish salamander, and then it evolves again into Charizard, which is a dragon. Charizard got the most intention however: one for being one of Ash’s most powerful Pokémon in the anime series and then for being playable in Super Smash Bros Brawl, alongside Ivysaur and Squirtle as part of the Pokémon Trainer’s team.
The 3 Pokémons can learn Ember, Fire Fangs, Flame Burst, Flamethrower, Fire Spin, Inferno, Heat Wave and Flare Blitz through leveling, Sunny Day, Fire Blast, Flame Charge, Incinerate, Will-o-Wisp through TMs and Blast Burn, Fire Pledge and Fire Punch with the Move Tutors. It also worth noting that most of these moves that Burn the opponent. While it’s not as bad as being badly poisoned with Toxic or being frozen solid, it’s still a status effect that can ruin your game. Charizard has also access to Flying-type moves as well. Overall, it’s still a powerful Pokémon that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
So, for being a cute lizard that can turn into a fire-breathing dragon, Charmander, Charmelon and Charizard all take the 3rd spot.
Ok, maybe I’m cheating a little by adding someone who uses a flamethrower instead of pyromancy, but being the only character in Team Fortress 2 that has access to that weapon, I’d say it counts as a fire user. I’m talking about the Pyro.
This might be shorter than my other entries here, because, well, not much is known about the Pyro. It’s a person (you’ll understand soon) with a fireproof red suit, black gloves and boots and a gas mask that hides the face, that also muffles the speech. From the start, you don’t even know what the Pyro looks or even sounds like. Case in point: there’s this HUGE rumor that the Pyro is a woman… or a girly male. Let me explain that part:
Men and women are different, big shock, up to the length of their fingers, bigger shock. If a ring finger is longer than an index finger, it’s a guy, and if a ring finger is about the same length as the index finger, it’s a gal. When the Pyro taunts and does the “director’s cut” rectangular hand shapes, one would notice that the Pyro’s fingers match the ones of a female character. It can be further proven by the fact that even Valve mixed it up during the “Meet the Pyro” trailer with multilingual subtitles, like the Scout calling the Pyro “she”. Hate to tell you folks, but that gets even more complicated from this point. The finger thingy also applies to homosexual people: gays will have fingers similar to women, while lesbians will have fingers similar to men. So, is the Pyro a homosexual guy or a straight girl? Well, the “Meet the Pyro” trailer, with the surreal hallucinogenic fantasy world that the Pyro is seeing, doesn’t answer that question. It’s all pink, with candies, rainbows, butterflies and unicorns, all of which can either point to an actual female or a guy with very girly interests. Oh boy, I think I’ll stop there because it’s as confusing as the theory about the companion cube from Portal that holds dead bodies inside. MatPat the Game Theorist on YouTube could tell you more about it.
The Pyro wields a homemade flamethrower that ignites the target for additional damage. The arsenal of this pyromaniac is rounded up by a shotgun, a fire axe and a flare gun. The Pyro is also insane, like would a pyromaniac or an arsonist, as they would take great pleasure to set things or people aflame. The flamethrower can also expel an air blast which allows the Pyro to deflect projectiles, extinguish flames and move the enemy around. The Pyro is also best-suited to counter the Spy’s disguises, as they get nullified by the flames. For a soldier, the Pyro has the best tools for both offense and utility.
So, for being an insane pyromaniac with a torching weapon and a really secret identity, the Pyro takes the 2nd spot.
Yup, you’re read that correctly, I’m putting the most popular plumber at #1. That might sound like a stretch for many of you, but hear me out on that one:
Mario is essentially the first ever fire user in video games, thanks to an item called the Fire Flower. Mario is the first recognizable character in gaming since he has a distinct shape, color and look. Mario was the first mascot in gaming, and he came with his own set of power-ups, including the Fire Flower. The idea of having a guy shooting fireballs, becoming invincible with a star and growing up with a mushroom is part of Mario’s character. The concept of Super Mario Bros is rather surreal: you have an Italian plumber who stomps on mutated mushrooms and walking/hoping/flying turtles, goes through pipes, rescues a princess from a dragon-like horned turtle and shoots fireballs using a flower, even underwater. I’ll give you the time to digest this mish-mash of ideas for a moment.
The Fire Flower grants Mario the ability to throw fireballs at his enemies. In several games, that is only an item for Mario to get in order to become enhanced. However, in a few games, Mario obtains the Fire Flower power without it. In Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Mario has a special technique, with 2 upgraded levels, that allows him to shoot his trademarked fireballs. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Mario gains the fire hand, which allows him to throw fireballs for a Bros. attack and light things on fire… including Luigi’s butt. In Mario Kart: Double Dash, Mario’s special item has him shoot 5 fireballs forward. In Mario Power Tennis, Mario can send the ball flying into a fireball after hitting it with a hammer. In the Super Smash Bros series, Mario can shoot fireballs normally, can shoot a HUGE fireball for his Final Smash, called the Mario Finale, Mario create a small blast of fire for his Forward Smash and one of his taunts has him create a fire spark in his hand.
Those examples I just cited prove that Mario is a fire user, because it has been a recurring ability for the Italian plumber, be with the flower or without. It’s the simplest way to use fire and it has proved to be useful over the years. For instance, you can kill Bowser in both Super Mario Bros and Super Mario Bros 3 using a few fireballs on the head. That simple idea spawned a myriad other ideas on how to use fire as a projectile, and you can thank Mario for that. He started the whole trend of using fire in video games as a weapon of choice. That is my reason.
So, for being a popular plumber who can become a fireball-launching hero with a flower, Mario takes the 1st spot of the Top 10 Fire-using characters in video games.
There you have it. That was actually a pretty hard list to do because there are just so many characters to choose from and that it took a lot more time to sort everything out. I’ll just list briefly other characters as runner-ups:
Crocell Reeden (Magna Carta 2): A sorcerer who fights with his fists and fire
Axel (Kingdom Hearts): A guy that fights with chakrams and fire spells
Mei Fang (Arcana Heart): A Chinese schoolgirl with a fire spirit
Yukimura Sanada (Sengoku Basara): A general with two lances and various fire-based attacks
Lucca (Chrono Trigger): A female engineer with a ray gun and fire techniques
Stahn Aileron (Tales of Destiny): A warrior with a talking sword and fire artes
Ifrit (Final Fantasy): A fire spirit often used as a summon
Efreet (Tales of): A fire spirit often used as a summon and a guardian
Blaze the Cat (Sonic the Hedgehog): A humanoid cat with pyrokinesis and a gem hunter
Pyron (Darkstalkers): An alien made of fire
Annie the Dark Child (League of Legends): A small girl with fire powers and a possessed teddy bear
Brand the Burning Vengeance (League of Legends): A humanoid being made of fire and magma
Shyvanna the Half-Dragon (League of Legends): A female warrior who can turn into a fire-breathing dragon
Scorpion (Mortal Kombat): A revived ninja who can summon the flames of the Underworld
Dhalsim (Street Fighter): An Indian yoga master with stretchy limbs and fire-breathing abilities
Ok, I’ll stop there, because the list goes on for some more, but I hope you enjoyed my list.
I’ll see you next time :)
List by RollerBob (08/30/2013)
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