"Only a fool fights in a burning house."Battles are awesome. Know what's even more awesome? Having a battle while the area is on fire! Yes, it seems that, in many instances of fiction, the epic battle between good and evil occurs during a wildfire of some sort. These fires are often caused by explosions, random lightning hitting a tree, or by the hero/villain him/herself. In either case, it makes the battle itself more dramatic and more exciting to the viewer. This will always be extremely guilty of Convection Schmonvection. As long as you don't touch the fire, you'll be fine. Also, you won't tend to see smoke inhalation affect the combatants much, even though smoke inhalation is the most common killer in real fires. May overlap with Faux Symbolism if the idea is that two are battling each other to the death in Hell. Compare Infernal Background, and Battle in the Rain which is like this, only... in the rain. If the rain's during a lightning storm, both may happen at the same time. Can also overlap with Collapsing Lair. See also Ring of Fire.
— Seldom heeded Klingon proverb
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In the Soul Society arc in Bleach, Captain-Commander Yamamoto's battle with Captains Kyoraku and Ukitake, though largely unseen, counts.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, there is a forest fire during a fight between Ed and co. and Pride and Gluttony. Pride started it to make sure his Living Shadow would have light to cast it.
- In the 2003 anime version, the battle between Mustang and Anime!Pride takes place in a burning building, though Mustang is deliberately exploiting the fire to his advantage.
- Space Pirate Mito: During the first half, Aoi, Mito's son, keeps having flashes of a memory involving his mother fighting Ranban while flames swirled around them.
- Done to more or less bookend the conflict between Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando in Phantom Blood: Jonathan's first brawl with Dio after the latter becomes a vampire occurs in the Joestar mansion, which Jonathan set aflame to potentially burn Dio to death. Since vampires regenerate too quickly to be killed conventionally, Jonathan hoped that the fire would outspeed Dio's rate of regeneration. At the end of the series, Jonathan sets fire to the boat he's on with the same goal in mind, since at this point Dio has been reduced to a talking head that's trying to take Jonathan's body for himself; the latter fight is much shorter and is rather one-sided.
- R.O.D the TV had a rather significant one happening between it, and the original Read Or Die OVA, seen in increasing detail in a number of flashbacks... Yomiko Readman suffering a Heroic BSOD after Mr. Gentlemen tells her what happened to her first boyfriend, in the depths of the British Library secret underground lair. Pissed off Papermaster + a fuckton of paper + computers shooting sparks = Traumatic childhood experience for a 4-years-old caught in the middle of it...
- In Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro and Shin have their final battle at the top of Shin's tower, standing high above the burning city of Southern Cross.
- Jagi also detonates a tank of fuel at a heliport on top of a building where he and Kenshiro fight, in an attempt to burn Kenshiro to death. He didn't expect Kenshiro to punch his way through the floor until it collapses inwards.
- The Mariage from StrikerS Sound Stage X of Lyrical Nanoha set every place they attack on fire. This naturally culminated in a final battle in the burning Marine Garden where the Forwards and N2R unit had to fight them while suppressing the fire and rescuing any survivors at the same time.
- Samurai Champloo: Perhaps jested at where Jin and Mugen are fighting ferociously and a fire breaks out. The two swordsmen ignore their surroundings as if used to fighting in these conditions or too focused to care. The building collapses and they pass out before they can continue their fight. The wise choice would have been to take the fight elsewhere...
- The Fate/stay night anime begins with Saber and Gilgamesh fighting within the burning Fuyuki City.
- Pokémon Special: Naturally, most battles against Team Magma turn into this, especially when it involves Mack of the Three Fires since his ability as a Master of Illusion requires a lot of trapped heat in the area so that his opponents would start hallucinating due to heat stroke.
- The fight between Kenshin (and company) and Shishio takes place amidst the fires of an oil refinery in Shishio's base. Of course, Shishio's motif is fire - when he unleashes his ki, it's commented that the flames rise in response.
- The finale of the first episode of Berserk has Guts facing off against the Baron of Koka Castle as the village they are in is burning down.
- The final battle of Ninja Scroll has the hero facing the Big Bad in the hold of a burning ship. The flames are so hot that they melt the gold bars in the hold, ignoring the fact that the melting point of gold is 1064 degrees Celsius, which would easily be hot enough to rapidly reduce the wooden ship to ash and cook both fighters alive before they could exchange more than a few blows.
- The climax of Yukkii and Yuno's first battle against Seventh in Future Diary takes place in a burning house.
- Variable Geo ends with the long awaited showdown between Yuka and Satomi, which takes place atop the Jahana research facility as it burns down around them. The match begins after a brief dialog, then immediately cuts to the end credits.
- Yaiba: The final battle during the Oda Nobunaga Tournament takes place in a copy of the Temple of Honnoji (where Nobunaga met his doom) and, just to fit the atmosphere, the shrine is set ablaze with fire arrows!
- In One Piece, part of battle between Luffy and Doflamingo happens in flaming remains of the kings castle.
- In Toriko big part of battle between titular character and his rival and brother Starjun happened inside metal-melting flaming tornado, courtesy of Starjun's pyrokinetic powers. Luckily, Toriko's body can regenerate faster, than fire can burn it.
- Elk's Run sets one of these up, but doesn't actually go through with it—the hero abandons the battle to go help some people who've been trapped by the fire, leaving the villain alone and confused.
- When Spider-Man had his first full fight with the Hobgolin, it was in a burning warehouse.
- The finale of Friday the 13th: Jason vs. Jason X is set up when a spaceship crashes on ground, and the two Jasons conclude their fight amongst the burning wreckage.
- In The Lion King Adventures, Simba and Hago share a pretty tense one in Friends to the End. Simba narrowly avoids being dragged into the flames by Hago, resulting in the wizard falling to his doom.
- Gravity Falls fic Home Is Where The Haunt Is features a fight in a burning house at its climax.
- Child of the Storm references a fight between Nick Fury and Lucius Malfoy at Malfoy Manor at the end of the First Wizarding War on several occasions, during which Fury set Malfoy Manor on fire. With napalm. The fight ended with Fury missing an eye, Malfoy losing his wand and being left to die in the flames. He survives, but gains a permanent limp which necessitates the use of his Classy Cane/Wand Cane in later life.
- The Season's Trilogy: Season Unending has a fight where Jon Dovahkiin has to rescue his family, whilst simultaneously fighting the Blades (who've just betrayed him and set said house on fire), and trying to avoid being burnt alive. Which admittedly was much easier seeing as he's mildly invincible to flames, being the Dragonborn. Still pretty awesome though.
- In Queen of Shadows, the Battle of Awaji starts with the Gani burning down the town outside the castle, as a terror tactic.
Films — Animated
- This happens in Felidae as well, due to Pasacal/Claudandus accidentally knocking over a computer and causing it to explode.
- The climactic final battle between Scar and Simba in The Lion King.
- In Disney's Robin Hood, when Robin is fleeing/fighting the Sheriff in the burning tower. Unlike many Battles Amongst The Flames, Robin has the sense to try to get out of the way of the fire, though doing so by going up the tower isn't the most effective idea.
Films — Live-Action
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock has Captain Kirk and Commander Kruge, a very determined Klingon warrior, duking it out in this fashion during the film's climax as the Genesis planet rapidly decays around them. The source of the flames? From the ocean of lava now rapidly growing around the two.
- Apparently, Kruge never heard the aforementioned Klingon proverb, or just doesn't care. Kirk even calls him out on it.
- In Cradle 2 the Grave, Su (played by Jet Li) fights Ling on the airport where the helicopter circled it with oil and its explosion lit the circle on fire.
- The battle between Godzilla and Monster X/Keizer Ghidorah in Godzilla Final Wars features a brief scene where both monsters stand amongst the flaming buildings of where Tokyo once stood and shot energy blasts at one another.
- At the end of The Four Musketeers (1974), a battle between the title characters and the Cardinal's men partially occurs in a burning building after a lantern is knocked into a pile of straw.
- Happens during a battle between Gamera and Irys in Gamera 3: Awakening of Irys.
- In Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indiana Jones and Marion fight against Major Toht and his henchman inside a burning bar in Nepal.
- The climactic lightsaber duel between Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode III: Revenege of the Sith — lava, of course, but it fits. There's also a Star Wars Legends comic where Vader fights a resurrected Darth Maul. Lava is involved.
- The climax of Backdraft: the fire proves far more dangerous than the villain ever was.
- Spider-Man battles Green Goblin in a burning building in his first movie. Since he wanted to meet Spider-Man, it's implied Gobby was the one who set the place on fire to begin with.
- The fight in the hotel at the climax of Quantum of Solace.
- Happens twice in Legend (1985): once when Jack and his allies fight Darkness' Mooks in the hellish kitchen, and again when they battle the Big Bad Darkness himself at the climax (Darkness provides most of the flames).
- Tom Yum Goong: The battle at the temple against the Capoeira guy and the Wushu guy.
- Inexplicably, this same fight scene took place in knee deep water.
- The final fight at the end of Iron Monkey. On top of wooden poles, no less.
- The climax of The Wolfman (2010) has Lawrence fighting his father in their burning home, with both of them as werewolves.
- Freddy vs. Jason has the combatants second fight begin within a burning cabin.
- The climax of Halloween: Resurrection has Freddie fighting Michael Myers in a burning shack.
- The climax of the first Wrong Turn film starts with Chris partially setting the villains' shack on fire when he crashes a car on to it. Then it's time to kick ass and save the girl.
- The final fight between Jet Li and Jet Li in The One takes place in an abandoned factory. One of the machines is damaged, and it starts throwing sparks all over the place. While not specifically fire, they still look cool, especially when time slows down. Quite possibly the only reason to go see the movie.
- The final confrontation between Captain Miller and Doctor Weir in Event Horizon occurs in the titular ship's engine room, which Weir and/or the ship itself set on fire to further mess with Miller (who Back Story involves losing a crew member to a fire).
- The Sherlock Holmes movie A Study in Terror features a climactic fight between Holmes and Lord Carfax, alias Jack the Ripper in a burning building.
- Tommy in the end of Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives has to lure Jason Voorhees into the Crystal Lake in order to trap him there. While Jason approaches, he pours gasoline into the water around his boat and sets it alight to up his chances.
- The Final Battle in Predators, done so on purpose by the protagonists to mess with the titular hunters' sensors.
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore creates a huge firestorm against an army of Inferi.
- The final battle of The Sword of Doom takes place in a burning teahouse, though by the film's end it hasn't gotten beyond very smoky.
- Captain America: The First Avenger: Steve's first fight with the Red Skull takes place on a catwalk on the upper level of one of HYDRA's factory bases, which has already partially exploded from its Self-Destruct Mechanism.
- In Deadpool, Wade's first fight with Ajax (FRANCIS!) after he escapes the oxygen chamber is this, as the escape was facilitated by an explosion that set the whole facility on fire.
- The final fight with Jack Travis in Lethal Weapon 3.
- During the climax of Spider-Man: Homecoming, the cargo plane that Spidey was trying to stop the Vulture from hijacking crashes on Coney Island. The remainder of the Final Battle then plays out amongst the flaming wreckage.
- The Last Jedi has Finn and Captain Phasma's duel in the hanger bay of a heavily damaged First Order ship, which is burning and falling apart around them. There's also Rey and Kylo Ren versus Snoke's Praetorian Guards in his throne room as its wall hangings burn from being ignited by the fighting.
- Interview with the Vampire: There are four fights in burning buildings.
- The siege of King's Landing in A Song of Ice and Fire. An especially deadly variety due to the fire being Wildfire, a substance that can burn on anything, even water, salt, rock or metal, and is almost impossible to put out.
- In The Wheel of Time series, Mat's climactic fight against the gholam takes place in a burning building.
- This tends to happen to Harry Dresden, no doubt due to his choice in magic and battle style.
- Occurs in A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned. When Alaric and Laeshana have to fight through 500+ fire-spiders to get out of a cave, the walls are soon coated in the burning web that gives the spiders their name. Interestingly, Convection Shmonvection is explicitly averted, as Alaric almost gets toasted from all the radiant heat before Laeshana uses her aesh-magic to put out the flaming webs.
- Sam Vimes manages to set one up in Night Watch when he sets fire to a building before remembering he left a prisoner in there.
- In Dark Lord—The Rise of Darth Vader, Vader's duel against Roan Shryne on Kashyyyk continues even as the Empire is bombarding the planet from orbit, blasting huge holes in the forest-city of Kachirho and setting what's left on fire.
Live Action TV
- The second episode of Kamen Rider Kuuga has a showdown between Kuuga and his opponent in a burning church.
- Buffy battles Angelus in a burning warehouse in the episode "Passion".
- In the Highlander episode, "Homeland", Duncan fights the Villain Of The Week in a ring of fire.
- Penny Dreadful: Ethan, Sir Malcolm, and Sembene's fight with the vampire nest aboard the plague ship in "What Death Has Joined Together" briefly becomes one of these, as a lit lantern gets knocked over and smashed, setting the place ablaze.
- WWE Inferno Match: the ring is surrounded by gas pipes emitting (low-temp) fire. Whichever wrestler sets his opponent on fire wins. Kane is usually one of the wrestlers involved. Strangely for this being "his" gimmick match, he loses about as often as he wins.
- Actually, Kane has only won one inferno match, against MVP.
- To be fair, there've only been four of these matches, total. Kane's been in all of them and lost all but one. This is mainly because for a long time, Kane wore a full body suit that could be fitted with fireproofing, unlike his opponents. The one he won featured him in different(shirtless) attire against an opponent with more covering.
- During the WWF "Attitude Era" a championship match between Steve Austin and The Undertaker was promoted with film of the actors wrestlers stalking each other through a burning junkyard. In print promos the Artist's Rendering showed them attacked each other with car batteries, doors, etc. in the same junkyard of fire. The match itself was gimmick-free, AIR.
- The climax of the Feng Shui adventure "Baptism Of Fire" involves the heroes battling it out with an Evil Sorcerer and a vicious gang leader and his men inside a burning tenement building.
- Genius: The Transgression recommends fight locations that are on fire and/or falling, preferably and.
- An inevitable consequence of having too many Fire Aspect Terrestrial Exalted in one place. (Note: if the area contains enough wood, "too many" equals one.)
- In Killer7, the fight with Julia Kisugi in Sunset Part 1 is a shootout in a restuarant that is burning down.
- The last boss fight you play as Roxas in Kingdom Hearts II. Hell, at some points, you're even running on the fire to do a reaction command.
- In Tekken 5 (though not Dark Resurrection), the temple stage is this.
- The final battle of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
- The battle vs. Sticky Fingaz in Def Jam Fight For NY takes place in a Ring of Fire. Besides the usual conditions of victory (like stiff punching the opponent or hitting your Finishing Move on "Danger"), the match can also be won by tossing your foe into the flames.
- The final fight in Soul Calibur II takes place on an eternal field of fire. There's also a burning mansion stage in the third game, and a burning city quarter in the fifth.
- In Dynasty Warriors, a battle amongst the flames is actually a bad idea: staying inside forces the opposing army (depending on who set the fire) down to 3/4 of their max health until they leave the area to try and heal up. In earlier iterations, these were scripted events; later on in the series, they became gameplay elements, allowing you to carry out your own fire attacks.
- The first level of Castlevania: Dracula X takes place in a blazing village, and the boss battle against Cerberus has blue flames in the background.
- Turok: When Turok fights Roland Kane, the Big Bad and then after killing him, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. And this takes place in a fortress that had been burning down... and was in the middle of a volcanic landscape.
- Resident Evil
- Golden Sun: Any fights taking place in Magma Rock have a background of lava pits and burning puzzle pieces.
- Both battles against Berial from Devil May Cry 4 take place in a village that burns down as the battle rages.
- Final Fantasy VI, a part of the game takes place in a burning house, but is otherwise a filler event to provide a reason for exposition on the Town with a Dark Secret. The battle background is later reused for the battle with the Bonus Boss of the Gameboy Advance remake, Kaiser Dragon.
- The last two stages of Subterranean Animism took place in (former) Hell. In which the flame is still as hot as the core of the sun.
- Of course, that temperature might be due to the fact that they're fueled by nuclear fusion at this point.
- World of Warcraft: Mimiron in Ulduar, but only if you do him on hard mode (which is activated by hitting the room's Self-Destruct Mechanism).
- American McGee's Alice battles the Jabberwock on flaming floorboards similar to her own house when it burned down.
- The climactic battle against the leader of the Ronin in Saints Row 2 is a sword-fight on a burning ship.
- The final battle between Mario/Luigi and Bowser at the end of Super Mario Galaxy takes place inside the Sun!
- The recurring Incident at Honno-ji stage in Sengoku Basara frequently involves fighting Oda Nobunaga in the midst of the burning temple. In the anime, Kojuro and Mitsuhide are the ones who fight there, and the heat and smoke actually make Ranmaru faint.
- In The Wonderful 101 you fight the boss of the volcano level while he and you literally stand in the lava. You both are inside giant robots, so it's okay.
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer has an interesting example in the Ashenwood, where the creature you're battling is the source of the flames (some sort of fire elemental that is stuck in place and has caused a forest fire).
- The final boss battle of the arcade Shoot 'em Up Air Gallet.
- The Night Vision scene in the final stage of Lethal Enforcers prior to the Final Boss battle.
- In Hard Corps: Uprising, near the end of Stage 7, you pursue Leviathan on a stairway when his grenades set the whole Capital Tower Building on fire.
- The final battle of Mega Man Zero 3 against Omega Zero takes place in the lab where Zero was awakened in Zero 1 Wreathed in Flames.
- The final battle of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance against Senator Armstrong amidst the burning wreckage of Metal Gear Excelsus.
- While the background of the battles in Pokémon X and Y resembles the location where the battle takes place. The final battle against Lysandre, however, takes place in Team Flare's secret underground base, yet the backdrop for the battle appears to be a field of fire or the inside of a sun.
- Also the room of the fire boss of the Elite Four, Malva. You end up battling between two pillars of flame.
- The second part of the final battle against Deathshead in Wolfenstein: The New Order is this, where you fight him in a basement set on fire. The fire grows bigger the more you damage him.
- The climatic battle in Borderlands 2 takes place in a Vault full of lava.
- The final boss battle of Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae takes place a ruined shrine on fire.
- In the original Xbox game Mechassault there's a mission where you take the recently captured assault-class mech Ragnarok into battle to stop the Word of Blake from ending the world. (the level is set on a active volcano with lava flowing as if it were a creek).
- Not exactly an epic battle, but more like a fight for survival. In The Last of Us, Ellie is forced to fight for survival against David inside an abandoned burning restaurant. Throughout the three stages in which you have to have Ellie sneak up on and attack David, the condition of the fire noticeably continues to spread. Joel arrives in time to get Ellie out before it became impossible to escape. David is the closest thing to a boss fight in the game, and he purposefully locks Ellie in the building, despite the fire.
- In Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara is introduced to a class of Trinity soldiers called ‘Fireflies’. Their specialty? Using a flamethrower. She is promptly initiated into a fight, trapped in a ring of burning buildings with this soldier. Hit the pack on their back just right and they end up roasting instead of Lara.
- Xenoblade Chronicles X: The battle against Ga Jiarg and his group of Wrothian warriors in Chapter 9 will suddenly shift to having firey brimstone raining down from the sky as the battle goes on. The battle happens in Sylvalum, where that kind of weather does not happen (it does happen naturally on the nearby Cauldros). The explanation is that the battle between Elma's party and Ga Jiarg's warriors was so intense that they lit the surrounding environment on fire... or something. Interestingly, this isn't the final boss, and no other boss in the game has such a weather shift as part of their battle.
- Dawn of War II: Retribution has one battle take place on a planet currently going Exterminatus. While the fire and lava present no danger, you do have to dodge orbital lance blasts.
- Dead Fantasy 3. Tifa vs. Hitomi are teleported inside a large building and engage in battle. Near the beginning of the fight, they hit each other so hard that they set the building on fire, and the remainder of the fight occurs in the flames.
- Occurs in the episode "Lois Kills Stewie" in Family Guy.
- In Gargoyles, Goliath battles Macbeth in "Enter Macbeth". He also battles Coyote on a burning oil tanker in "Leader of the Pack;" he also battles Thailog on a burning oil derrick in "Double Jeopardy;" Demona battles Thailog atop a burning roller-coaster in "The Reckoning."
- Subverted in South Park: In the trailer for Cartoon Wars: Part II, the Fox studio is on fire when Kyle fights Cartman. In the actual episode, they fight, but it's not on fire. Given the theme of the episode, the trailer might have been Wish Fulfillment for Trey Parker.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the final battle between Aang and Ozai. Justified in that he had been busy firebombing the place before being interrupted. Also, any Agni Kai (fire duel), but particularly the comet-enhanced fight between Zuko and Azula, which torched a fair portion of the royal compound.
- Deconstructed in The Simpsons episode "Dumbbell Indemnity". Moe accidentally started a fire in his bar and Homer enters the bar out for revenge. The two start a fight in the burning bar but quickly succumb to smoke inhalation and pass out before they can even hit each other. Barney has to save them (and the booze...booze first).
- This happens several times in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012). One instance is with several fights between Splinter and Shredder both in flashbacks and in "Booyakashowdown!" (the former in the then-human Splinter's burning house in Japan and the latter in Shredder's New York lair with pyrotechnics), a fight between Shredder and Karai in a burning Bronx warehouse in "Requiem", and the Turtles' fight with Shredder atop his burning mansion.
- During World War II partisans in the Soviet Union (of all allegiances) would occasionally light forest fires to aid in their ambushes and hit-and-run attacks... or to wipe out communities getting too cosy with their enemies.
- At Trafalgar there was one incident where the Brits with Battleships stopped firing so they could help the French put out a fire. Besides the fact that the fire might spread to their ship(they were almost touching each other) the British knew that if the French ship blew up, it would deprive them of Plunder.
- The Battle of the Nile was fought at night, and most of the battle involved firing at muzzle flashes and silhouettes. At 9 o'clock the French flagship L'Orient caught fire, illuminating the entire battlefield◊. An hour later L'Orient exploded, showering the entire area in burning debris in an explosion so huge all firing stopped for ten minutes while everyone stared in horror.
- During the Battle of Britain, fighter pilot James Nicholson found himself taking multiple hits which set his aircraft ablaze, including the cockpit. Being set on fire himself, Nicholson decided to bail out, but halfway through he spotted an enemy fighter dead in front, not paying attention. He immediately lowered himself back into the burning cockpit to take the enemy plane down, before resuming his escape. On his way down, he sustained even worse injuries when over-eager Home Guard soldiers mistook him for a German paratrooper. He survived and received the Victoria Cross.
- Just about any fight in which the Eastern Roman Empire used a sufficient amount of Greek fire could be this, such as the Second Arab Siege of Constantinople, which ended with the invaders ships being set on fire. With flamethrowers. In the 700s AD.
- This is fairly common in naval battles because of all the flammable stuff(paint, tar, munitions, wood, oil, etc) carried aboard ships. In the first phase Naval Battle of Guadalcanal which was sort of a giant disorganized Bar Brawl between ships at point-blank range, they did not even stop to put out fires but continued to shoot at the ship nearest them while fighting fires.