Damage Is Fire
Whenever structures in Real-Time Strategy
games are damaged, the damage is usually represented by a tiny flame that burns perpetually in the corner of the building, which grows as the damage increases. The fire represents the damage, but does not (usually
) damage the building further. Many games also do not to show non-fire indication animations, damaged models or death types, on infantry or vehicles, resulting in Critical Existence Failure
This trope is also common in Vehicular Combat
games, where vehicles will start smoking and sparking when damaged.
Being on fire is basically the
standard way to communicate "this thing is damaged" to players.
See also Shows Damage
- Critically damaged components in some MechWarrior games will smoke and burn.
- In Age of Empires, the flames are bigger than the building.
- Some of the buildings are obviously made out of stone. The most likely scenario for fire destroying a stone building is that the fire would burn down wooden supports; the unsupported stone would then collapse. However, in Age of Empires, it just looks like the stone itself is on fire. In some cases it can be justified as the fire sprites are positioned on top of things such as windows, the implication being that the fire is coming out of them. But one look at the page image reveals a lot of places where this doesn't work, enforcing the trope.
- Partly justified in Age of Empires III, where melee units will use flaming projectiles against buildings. Still doesn't explain stone burning, though. Also, ranged units continue to use their normal attacks.
- In Starcraft, Terran and Protoss buildings display this, with Terran buildings burning orange and Protoss buildings burning blue-white, even in a vacuum. Unusually, Terran buildings will take additional damage if their health bars are red, and will eventually burn down if not repaired. Zerg buildings bleed instead of burn because they are Organic Technology, and will slowly repair themselves over time.
- Justified for Terrans. Due to No OSHA Compliance, their buildings are haphazardly constructed and tanks or lines for volatile chemicals are easily damaged. Combat can easily cause said damage.
- Averted with Starcraft II units. Killing a biological unit with a Roach or Baneling (which have an Acid attack) will cause that unit to literally melt away. Killing a unit with fire (Hellion, Firebat, and Battlecruiser) will cause them to burn to death.
- Rise of Nations
- Warcraft. Particularly noticeable in Warcraft II, as a growing flame in the middle is the only visible effect of damage to a building.
- This could get funny when you set a gold mine on fire by shooting arrows at it. World of Warcraft comes around, and suddenly it turns out that all of those rocks that weren't gold were actually Made of Explodium.
- In the Warcraft Real-Time Strategy series, hitting a building with cold or water elementals will still set it on fire.
- Warcraft III has buildings that will explode and leave a pile of cinders...from being whacked by steel axes. Bonus points for structures made entirely of carved stone and steel. All buildings will also catch fire as they are damaged (Human and Orc buildings burn orange, Night Elf buildings and Ancients burn purple and Undead buildings burn green)
- Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds did this, as to be expected from something on the Age of Empires engine. The Rebel Fortress structure in particular produces a flame approximately the size of an Imperial AT-AT walker when it's being torched.
- Star Wars: Empire at War did this as well, though not as noticeably (and not for everything).
- Command & Conquer
- Slightly averted: Flames left behind as the result of a building or vehicle's destruction will damage anything placed on top of them until they burn out.
- Also, the buildings usually have different graphics displayed, depending on how damaged the buildings are, in addition to the fires. So the damage is not only represented by the flames.
- Also averted with units, particularly infantry, and their many, many different ways to die: shot to death, squished, exploded, set ablaze, electrocuted, desintegrated, poisoned/gassed, irradiated... and in most games all of those do have unique animations, though this practice all but disappeared for Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and after, where even infantry burned to death just fall over, which removed a lot of the cause-and-effect draw and drama of war that many earlier titles had.
- Just Cause does this with vehicles, combining it with Every Car Is a Pinto. After taking enough damage from any source, a vehicle will start emitting flames; a few seconds later, it explodes, killing the driver and/or passengers (but only doing moderate damage to anyone standing right next to it).
- Team Fortress 2: Sentry guns smoke and spark if damaged; at higher damage levels, the smoke becomes fire.
- The BioShock turrets and security bots get a little fire and sparks, full out exploding when they die.
- The Mako from Mass Effect emits more smoke and fire the more damage it takes.
- Supreme Commander
- Robot Wars
- Total Annihilation: Kingdoms - however, a burning building will be further damaged by the fire.
- Grand Theft Auto III and up implement the vehicular version, where the car begins to smoke as it is damaged. However, once it catches on fire it becomes a time bomb with a very short fuse. The same was true of many other GTA style games, like Saints Row and Mercenaries.
- Gears of War - Your vehicle, though since the health in the game is the walk-it-off type, your mechanic is repairing the thing.
- In The Godfather game, vehicles will catch fire once they have taken enough damage, while a bombed building will be on fire.
- Constructor has tenants of houses politely inform you that their abode is filled with smoke and burning to the ground, complete with 40 foot flames shooting out of said domicile.
- Hogs of War has this, and it extends as far as to your flesh-and-blood characters, who explode upon losing all their hitpoints (even from drowning) and leave a pair of Smoldering Shoes behind.
- [PROTOTYPE] uses this trope for vehicular damage but averts it for buildings.
- Brütal Legend uses this.
- Taken to its logical conclusion in GoldenEye (1997). If you shoot a box - or, really, anything - enough, it explodes and is partially deformed. Shoot it more and it'll explode again and look like it's falling apart. Shoot it even more and it will explode again, finally being reduced to a few blackened remains.
- Most shmups, such as Raiden, use this for large enemies and bosses, as well as destroyable scenery.
- Played amusingly straight in Singles 2: Triple Trouble, a cheap knockoff of The Sims. It makes sense that a stove would belch smoke if it needed repairs... But can anyone explain why the bathroom sink does the same?
- In Dragon Quest I, both of your offensive spells, Hurt and Hurtmore, are fire spells. When Dragon Quest II came out, the English translation turned one of the new offensive spells, Woosh, into another fire spell called "Infernos." Starting in Dragon Quest III, more varied forms of magical attacks appeared.
- Fire Emblem 10 technically plays this straight, but usually it's directly stated that the bandits or other enemies ARE burning down the structures in question.
- Aztec Wars
- Averted in Battle Realms. Buildings just get more broken when damaged by normal attacks. It's possible to set buildings on fire with certain units to deal damage over time, with the size of the flames is proportional to how much damage its taking per second, not by how much it has already taken.
- Stone buildings can catch on fire, but they go out almost instantly.
- SimCity. This city simulation has no combat and thus no hitpoints. Fires in this game will destroy buildings if they are left burning too long.
- Netstorm has buildings burning after some damage threshold. They don't get worse, but you can't repair anything either.
- In Homeworld, when ships are damaged below about half health, they start shooting flames. Presumably this is due to the damage control teams desperately trying to keep the fire from spreading by venting the flaming compartments' atmospheres into space, so it's a justified example.
- Averted in The Settlers II, where buildings can't be damaged at all, but are destroyed or razed on occasion. This results in a fire and smoking ruins afterwards, indicating that razing actually happens through burning.
- Knights of Honor: When pillaging, laying a siege, or battling enemy forces, the units/structures/castles are replaced with burning flames.
- Jeff Wayne's War Of The Worlds uses varying amounts of smoke and flame to indicate damage, not only to faction units and structures but to literally everything destructible, which includes civilian buildings, bridges, trees, lamp posts...
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, all card battles end with destroyed cards bursting into flames, no matter what element destroyed it. Yes, even water will end in the card burning up.
- Appears in Civilization V whenever a city is besieged or a tile is pillaged. Arguably justified in most cases by the animations- melee units attacking a city appear to throw flaming projectiles, burning is a great way to destroy a farm, etc.
- In PlanetSide 2, damaged vehicles will spew out smoke which gets thicker the more damaged it becomes. At critical levels, the vehicle's engine begins to fail and begins to spew fire from the exhaust and nearby body panels, slowly burning the vehicle up and crippling its top speed, or in the case of heavy aircraft, all but killing its ability to stay airborne.
- In Crazy Cars III, your Lamborghini will start emitting smoke when the damage meter goes high enough.
- Played with in Cossacks European Wars and its' expansions. Building damage is displayed as fire like in Age of Empires, but beyond a certain point, it also causes the building's remaining health to deteriorate similar to Starcraft, eventually destroying it completely unless workers are assigned to repair it (how burning can be stopped by hammering away at the building is anyone's guess).
- In Zombidle the structures (essentially mooks) that Bob the Necromancer and his minions attack will catch fire when damaged enough, and then burst into even more flames as its health depletes even more. When the structure is down, villagers might run out of it- on fire, of course.