"My flame is but an illusion, but it will burn you if you believe it to be real."It looks like fire, it crackles like fire, and it even burns like fire. However, it isn't really fire. It looks like fire because that's what the Master of Illusion wants you to see. Despite crackling, it consumes no air, burns no fuel and creates no smoke. If it generates heat or burns victims, it's because it's magical or because Your Mind Makes It Real. Even if it can incinerate a chair, it rarely spreads to the rest of the room. It probably deals less damage than straight-up pyrokinesis, too, though it can likely bypass resistances to fire. And a quick Tap on the Head to the creator likely puts them all out. Faux Flame can also be produced by holograms or other sufficiently advanced technology: it will look like fire, and sometimes will even produce heat, but in reality it's just an image. Someone who specializes in Playing with Fire will not be impressed. In combat, the caster can make the Faux Flames Friendly Fire Proof and not worry about harming allies. This property has the added bonus of letting casters wreath themselves in flame to look cool. Can be related to Cold Flames, although it is equally likely to be hot.
— Dhalsim, Street Fighter IV
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Anime and Manga
- Shippo and his father in InuYasha can use foxfire. In that series it also has defensive properties, having protected Kagome and Shippo in the page image from a deadly attack.
- Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas has Ignis Fatuus as an attack for the Cancer Saint, who, appropriately enough, uses Soul Power to create "soul flames" (or something).
- The flames around in Yomotsu Hirasaka are basically will o' wisps that use souls as fuel to sustain themselves. This attack is just the weaponized form of this.
- In D.Gray-Man one akuma had the ability to shoot ice fire, which it used to trap Allen when he and Lenalee were fighting against him and 2 other akuma in an alleyway. Oddly, he said it burned hotter than normal fire despite the fact that it could clearly be seen freezing around Allen's leg like ice.
- Certain species of Digimon utilize this for different reasons. Some, like Gabumon and his evolutions, use it as a theme for their attacks. Others, like Kyuubimon and her counterpart Youkomon have it covering their bodies, be it as part of their attacks or simply as part of their design.
- Interestingly, Gabumon's seem to change based on the form. As Gabumon, he once started a normal fire with his blue flame attack (remember, in real life, blue means the fire is hotter than when it's yellow.) As Garurumon, it just seems to blast stuff. Metal Garurumon, on the other hand, has ice blasts (and regular blasts.) And ice missiles (and regular missiles.) Some Flavor Text from his Japanese trading card says that "an attack at full strength turns the surrounding area into a world of fire and ice!"
- Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss uses them, not surprising considering he is a kitsune. In fact, he has developed a rather interesting, and rather sadistic, use for them by combining them with Baleful Polymorph. First he will transform his opponent into a game animal of some kind (a trout, an ostrich, etc...) and then use his fox-fire to cook them alive.
- Becomes a plot point in Ao No Exorcist when Rin is trying to control his blue Hellfire so that it only burns what he wants it to. He eventually succeeds. Interestingly, Rin and Yukio appear to be invulnerable to each others' flames.
- According to Word of God , this is essentially what's in effect with Marco of the Whitebeard Pirates, the blue flames that identify his Phoenix fire doesn't burn or even spread. Instead, they're what allow him to instantaneously heal and keep fighting akin to his devil fruit's namesake.
- One of the signature illusions of the D.D. Girls near the end of the first season of Sailor Moon is a large wave/orb of rolling flame that is more than capable of burning people alive.
Sailor Mercury: It's an illusion, but it's producing real heat!
- Andou Jurai, the protagonist of When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace possesses the fearsome Dark And Dark, the power to summon a small ball of black flame that isn't even hot.
- In Pokémon, Ash and his friends once get caught in a fake inferno that won't be extinguished by their Pokémon's water attacks. They catch on when Ash's Totodile starts dancing in the fire without getting burned, and Ash then has his Noctowl use Foresight to dispel the illusion and reveal the Ghost Pokémon causing it.
- Sheikh Suleiman in the 2010 Clash of the Titans could heal wounds with his flames as well as burn enemies.
- The Will-o'-the-Wisp, also known as Ignis Fatuus (Latin for "foolish fire") and "jack-o'-(the)-lantern" (until the latter term hijacked the function formerly held by "turnip ghost").
- Kitsune in Japanese folklore have this ability.
- Most versions of Tam Lin require the heroine to hold onto her lover in some form that's burning, trusting that he will not hurt her. In the related story "The Faerie Oak of Corriewater", when the rescuer takes fright and lets go, she does burn to death, implying Your Mind Makes It Real.
- In the Coldfire Trilogy, the Hunter is skilled in the creation and usage of "coldfire" which is as cold as real fire is hot. He warns Damian that it is just as volatile and dangerous as true fire. The Hunter wields coldfire because part of the price he paid for his form of immortality is that he can no longer manipulate normal flames.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Gods of the North", Ymir uses this.
The girl's ivory body was suddenly enveloped in a cold blue flame so blinding that the Cimmerian threw up his hands to shield his eyes from the intolerable blaze.
- The saints in Dante's Paradiso are so intensely happy and full of light that they look like they are on fire. They aren't really aflame, and from Dante's reactions they aren't giving off heat, but rather they project pure joy which only gets more focused the closer they ascend to God.
- In Terry Pratchett's Thief of Time, Kaos has a sword which generates Faux Flames. Literally. The flames in question freeze the air. When he's not wielding said sword for its intended purpose, he uses it to chill dairy products.
- In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden, reduced to ghost at the time, watches his apprentice Molly conjure up several high-quality illusions in attempt to fool some Elite Mooks, including walls of blue fire. The mooks eventually see through it. Subverted when Harry, who is, to quote, "reasonably good with fire", possesses Molly and creates an identical wall of real blue fire. One mook sneers, fearlessly steps through it, and is reduced to ashes before he can feel pain.
- Mages who can control Fire in Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters books can call up illusory fire as well as the real thing.
- Jarlaxle from the Forgotten Realms possesses a wand that shoots out illusionary fireballs. What makes them different from other illusions is that Jarlaxle practiced with it so much that it was almost indistinguishable from the real deal, to the point where several goblins actually died from it.
- In the universe of The Hunger Games, technology has advanced to the point where Katniss can be covered in harmless "fire".
- In Quest For The Fallen Star, Earthpower manifests itself as green flames (or yellow ones, if Ill-creatures are using it). Subverted in that these can actually set stuff on fire.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Stannis has an enchanted, Flaming Sword. But it is noticed that it doesn't seem to give off heat or actually burn anything, and is suspected to be merely a 'glamour' cast by Melisandre.
- In Podatek, an Urban Fantasy novel by Milena Wójtowicz, making will-o-wisp-like "flames" is part of the Water Folk powerset, along with web-weaving, charms and several varieties of shapeshifting.
Live Action Television
- In Kamen Rider Ryuki, Evil Counterpart Ryuga's Finishing Move has his Contract Monster launch a blast of black flames that freezes the enemy's legs to the ground, holding them in place so Ryuga can deliver a flying kick to them.
- In Legend of the Seeker, the teleportation spell used by Darken Rahl in one episode has him temporarily engulfed in blue flames that don't appear to bother him.
- Doctor Who: The Doctor finds himself surrounded by illusionary fire due to his exposure to the Keller Machine in "The Mind of Evil". However, this faux fire could potentially kill him because Your Mind Makes It Real.
- Magic: The Gathering has both Will-o'-Wisps as enemies and one rare spell called Ghostfire, which deals Non-Elemental damage... and is invisible.
- Exalted (natch) has Pyre-flame, one of the five Corpse Elements of the Underworld. It's green, burns through anything despite lack of fuel or oxygen, and behaves like a viscous liquid. It also melts away instantly in sunlight—which isn't much of an issue in the Underworld, which has no sun.
- Orpheus gives us the Wisps, ghosts/projectors who have the innate ability to produce ghostly flames. Not only do they do a number on ghosts, they can also be used to distract mortals.
- The Ghostbusters RPG classifies this as a Class 1 ectoplasmic manifestation.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, making illusory fire is one of the favored tricks of the Ravnos clan.
- Faerie Fire in Dungeons & Dragons wraps the target in flames - harmless, too dim to blind, but outline prevents concealment via invisibility or Blur spell, let alone normal darkness.
- Will o' Wisp is an attack in Pokémon, which causes the burn status and nothing else. No other attack does that as its main effect, only as a side effect.
- Interestingly, although it is classified as a Fire-type attack, barring the Vulpix and Fennekin lines, it is used by Ghost-types instead (although Fire types can be taught the move by using a TM).
- And in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Lucario's Aura looks a lot like blue flames emanating from his hands (Snake actually calls it blue fire.)
- Will O'Wisps are medium-level enemies in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time features magical blue flames which can be stored in a bottle. The potion shop clerk says you can use them "to feel refreshing coolness", but their only real in-game purpose is to melt the red ice you find in some areas.
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks brings the blue flames back, and they freeze stuff - their first uses are to make the boomerang burn with them to freeze paths on water.
- This is an element in The Powder Toy, called CFLM. Its temperature is comparable to that of liquid nitrogen, thus it can be used as a coolant.
- In World of Warcraft Lord Marrowgar, the first boss of Icecrown Citadel, spawns lines of blue fire known as Coldflame that deal frost damage to anyone who stands in them.
- Mages can also cast Frostfire bolts, which act as either frost or fire depending on which the target is more vulnerable to.
- Most of the fireball attacks in Street Fighter. Even Dhalsim's fire blasts are illusory.
- Suika Ibuki from Touhou has this in the fighting games in the form of an alternate special attack. The name of the attack? Ignis Fatuus.
- In Chrono Trigger you have the Triple Tech Frost Arc/Arc Impulse, with Crono Frog and Marle, it involves Marle the ice mage causing Crono's sword to burn with a weird coloured flame. Said flame is from the Ice2 spell.
- The sequel, Chrono Cross, takes this trope to literal proportions with the Frozen Flame.
- Manifests in two different attacks in Final Fantasy VI, both used as dances by Mog. Will o' the Wisp (previously Elf Fire) causes direct damage, while Apparition (previously Spectre) induces confusion.
- A humanoid Will o' the Wisp occasionally combats you in Soulcalibur III, utilizing random weapon stances.
- The Powder Toy has these as an element, along with an explosive that only a Faux Flame can detonate.
- Dragon Age: Inquisition introduces "veilfire," a Living Memory (so to speak) of flames that once burned the torch/firepit/brazier/etc. where the veilfire now burns (how this works is tied to how the Fade treats the memories associated with places). It only produces light and does not consume fuel. Its main use is to find hidden codex entries, although it also plays a part in a few puzzles. Any mage (including the Inquisitor) in your party can summon it from a stationary fire source if necessary.
- The Corona hex in Dungeon Crawl outlines a target in light, making them easier to hit in the darkness of the dungeon. The fire-hating deity of shadows considers this firemaking and will put a follower on penance for it.
- A Good Bad Bug in Glider 4.0 allowed the creation of candle flames that the player glider can pass through harmlessly. This was exploited in several houses by Ward Hartenstein.
- A creature made of this shows up in a late 2010 story arc in El Goonish Shive. Justin and Elliot note his lack of actual heat.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Antimony Carver primarily uses her blinker stone to produce flames like this, even being capable of starting fires that provide heat and light while being undetectable to electronic sensors. Possibly also a power of the fire elementals that Annie is apparently descended from.
- In New Vindicators, Seraphim, those who have Fallen, and their half human children use a power often called Hellfire (presumably the angels call it something else), which manifests as a different color of flames (angels have white, and the fallen have a specific color :Lucifer, purple; Leviathan, blue; Astaroth, red; Asmodeus, yellow; Abaddon, black; Semyazza, green). This hellfire produces no light and is psionic in nature, it does not burn. However, it can be used for a variety of effects-being able to solidify and cut, to create solid shapes, and many, many more effects.
- How to Kill a Mockingbird: The mockingbirds are all constantly on cold fire, represented as blue flames.
- The girl at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe even calls herself Foxfire and has a fox kit familiar.
- In Australia, there's the Min-Min Lights, little balls of cold fire that scare the bejeezus out of people. Explorers and such used to believe they were spirits. (Theories as to what they really are vary: just lights refracted around the curvature of the Earth (parts of Australia are that flat); bioluminescent substances rubbed off on insects or birds; or geophysical lights.)
- The Doing In the Wizard explanation for marsh lights is that they're actually caused by phosphorescent gases escaping from the marsh.
- St. Elmo's fire.
- Somewhat the case with the culinary technique known as flambé. Although the flames are real, it's only the alcohol vapor that's burning, not the food itself. They will easily dissipate when the pan is gently swirled a few times, or just go out on their own, with no harm to the food.