"We have flamethrowers. And what this indicates to me is that at some point someone said to himself, 'Gee, I'd sure like to set those people on fire over there, but I'm way too far away to get the job done. If only I had something to throw flame on them.' And it might have ended there, but he mentioned it to his friend—his friend who was good with tools. And about a month later he came back, 'Hey, quite a concept!'" FWOOOSH.Sometimes, you have an opponent, structure, device or other target which you have just got to kill with FIRE. If you have to do this multiple times, you would wish you have an actual weapon which can burn things for you instead of rigging something on the spot all the time. You will need the Fire-Breathing Weapon; a gun-like weapon which creates fire. Pull the trigger and a gout of fire will appear, covering your target in burny goodness. Most games use a form of directional Splash Damage to implement this. Of course this is not limited to the flamethrowers alone: various (directional) bombs, traps, improvised weapons and even vehicle cannons can fall under this category. The common similarity between all the weapons here is they all use "Kill It with Fire" as their main form of causing damage, and they are all "point and burn" weapons. Weapon of Choice for the Pyromaniac. Sometimes used for lighting cigarettes. PS: If you use this weapon on your target, and it stands up uninjured yet on fire and quite pissed off... well, it's nice knowing you. See also Flaming Sword, Aerosol Flamethrower, Videogame Flamethrowers Suck, and Flamethrower Backfire. Compare Playing with Fire, for people who make fire themselves. If you were looking for literally breathing fire, that's Breath Weapon.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Black Lagoon: the character Claude "Torch" Weaver specializes in these.
- When things start to look bad for the Lemures in Baccano!, their leader Goose arms himself with one.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, minor villain Hyottoko has a primitive flamethrower built in his body: basically, is a large bag of oil in his stomach, with the nozzle in his mouth and flint teeth, allowing him to breathe fire at will.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Panik sets up his duel arena with flamethrowers that he uses against Yugi—first to intimidate him, then to burn him to a crisp after Yugi beats him. It fails, and Panik gets mind-crushed.
- The DCU
- Batman villain Firefly, who has both a jetpack and a flamethrower.
- The Flash has a villain called Heat Wave who carries to pistols that shoot fire.
- Martian Manhunter has an enemy named The Human Flame, who has a shirt that shoots fire.
- Supergirl has an enemy named Nightflame -who made her only appearance in Demon Spawn story-, who has a sword that shoots fire like a flamethrower.
- Kate Kane has flamethrower gloves in Batwoman (Rebirth) that shoot fire from the palms.
- Bait and Switch: During the away mission in chapter seven Eleya's tricorder picks up traces of fuel from a flamethrower, and she later inadvertently sets off said flamethrower's fuel tank with a grenade. Near the end of the chapter, a Bajoran Militia captain describes the Orion slave-raiders as having given up trying to break into a building that some Militiamen had barricaded themselves into. Instead, they used the flamethrower to set it on fire.
- Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge has flamethrowers in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
- The Weapon of Choice for The Exterminator.
- The Comedian gleefully used one in Vietnam in Watchmen, even lighting his cigar with it.
- In the Alien series, an effective weapon against Xenomorphs because fire is one of the few things they don't like.
- In The Five People You Meet In Heaven, The Protagonist was "the flamethrower guy" in his squad of soldiers. This becomes a significant plot point in the film. he accidentally burned a child to death, which led to a career saving lives as a safety expert at an amusement park
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Anatoli Knyazev, a mercenary working for Lex Luthor, uses a flamethrower to burn several corpses in order to frame Superman (making him look like Superman did it with his Eye Beams). Later on in the movie Luthor kidnaps Superman's mother and orders Anatoli to Burn the Witch! if Superman doesn't fight Batman. Batman however comes to the rescue of Martha Kent, and Anatoli suffers a Flamethrower Backfire after threatening to burn his hostage.
- Dr. No deters the curious from going near his Island Base with a 'dragon', actually a flamethrower-equipped armored car.
- Used by The Men in Black in Men in Black to create "evidence" of a swamp gas explosion.
- For an Antarctic research station, the Americans in The Thing (1982) seem to have an awful lot of flamethrowers lying around.
- The armored assailant in Lethal Weapon 4's Action Prologue uses a flamethrower along with a uzi.
- Tim the Enchanter from Monty Python and the Holy Grail apparently has one built into his staff.
- The Johnny Depp film The Rum Diary manages to feature a human example. Depp's character manages to fend off an angry mob (and accidentally set fire to a police officer) by drinking "470 proof alcohol" and breathing on a lighter. The results are as expected.
- Used by the Stalker Fireball in The Running Man.
- The spiders in Arachnoquake also breathed fire (occasionally).
- A humorous scene in A Bridge Too Far involves a flamethrower team sneaking up to destroy a bunker on the Arnhem bridge, only to dive for cover when they hit an ammunition dump instead.
- Space Mutiny: during the big shootout there's a man standing in the open, shooting bursts of flame which, due to the extremely short range of his weapon, don't hit any of the men armed with laser pistols who are shooting back. Fortunately all of them were trained at the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy.
- In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Jango Fett attacks Mace Windu with a miniature flamethrower in his left gauntlet. Windu jumps away quick enough that the only damage is to his outer layer of robes, which he quickly shucks.
- The Monuments Men. The Nazis uses flamethrowers to torch an art depository in compliance with Hitler's Nero Order.
- Deal of the Century (1983). An Arms Dealer is hassled by a Jerk Ass, so he takes a flamethrower out of his trunk and adds to the flames painted on the side of the man's muscle car.
- In Them!, two characters bring along flamethrowers while exploring a giant ant nest after gassing it. They're used on a live ant that survived in a caved-in chamber and also to destroy some eggs.
- A specialist Stormtrooper uses a flamethrower in the attack on the Jakku village at the beginning of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
- One of the rednecks in Little Dead Rotting Hood shows up with one for the wolf hunt, apparently homemade using a grill propane tank for fuel. It turns out to be useful when the werewolves shake off bullet wounds.
- When Tony Stark makes the first Iron Man suit in captivity, using nothing but a box of missile parts, he mounts flamethrowers on each arm. They actually behave like real wartime flamethrowers, and are quite devastating to the terrorists' weapons stockpile.
- Older Than Feudalism: In The Iliad, the hero Diomedes (the one who stabbed Ares) is described as having a fire-breathing shield.
- The grandaddies of 'em all: the Martians in Wells's The War of the Worlds had tripods armed with a deadly heat beam which could set almost anything on fire, and if not, melt it.
- In Mark S. Geston's novel Lords of the Starship, the book's entire Twist Ending is that the gigantic Starship of the title, which takes over a century to build, is not meant to fly at all - its rockets are actually humongous flamethrowers designed to incinerate millions of people.
- Rapier in The Five Greatest Warriors uses a flamethrower at one point to incinerate several men who were ambushing his allies.
- Most Secret by Nevil Shute is about a fishing boat during World War II that is fitted out with a large flamethrower in a plan to destroy the German escort vessels keeping an eye on the French fishing fleet. The Kill It with Fire trope is specifically lampshaded.
- Rather literal example in Guards! Guards! when Vimes tries using a small dragon as a weapon to defend himself and Sybil from an angry mob.
- The Klatchian Fire Engine in Men at Arms, although to Nobby's disappointment he doesn't get to try it in the field, after singing Sergeant Colon's eyebrows while testing if it still works.
- Some deep-down dwarfs in Thud! are armed with flamethrowers. One makes the mistake of leaving his weapon behind when fleeing down a tunnel from Wilkins. Wilkins decides to fire it down the tunnel in case they're thinking about coming back.
- One book about an arsonist starting forest fires around Los Angeles (title unknown) had the hero suffering from a fear of fire. A rather gruesome flashback scene shows this was caused by him accidentally burning alive his sergeant while being trained on the use of a flamethrower.
- The War Against the Chtorr: the preferred weapon of the protagonist against the Chtorran invaders, despite the fact that he had to burn alive the man who first taught him how to use it.
- In John Marco's Tyrants and Kings series, the flame cannon is one of the pinnacles of technology from the steampunkish, Roman Empire expy Nar. These flame cannons are basically artillery-class flamethrowers that can be used at close range and they have so much range that they are also mounted on ironclad warships to battle wooden ships that use conventional black-powder cannons.
- Literature/Incarceron has firelocks, best described as fire-spitting rifles. In a world kept in a kind of post-medieval stasis.
- The blue boxes in Relic Master are flamethrowers of some ilk, although they resemble electrical weapons as much as incendiary ones.
Live Action TV
- Rito Revolto of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers has a flamethrower in his arsenal. He tried to destroy the Ninjazords with it, but it was punched off his arm by the Ninja Megazord.
- Forever Knight had a Villain of the Week who torched homeless people with a flame thrower. At least until Nick got through with him.
- Hunter used a similar plot, with the villain using the weapon to commit arson as well as burning the occasional Innocent Bystander. Naturally the song played during the teaser was "Burning Down the House".
- An episode of iCarly has Spencer shooting fire from a fire extinguisher.
- Young Indiana Jones: in the "Trenches of Hell" episode, soldiers retreat in panic when Gas Mask Mooks bearing flamethrowers come out of a cloud of poison gas.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: When the politician giving their Graduation Day speech suddenly morphs into a giant student-eating snake demon, the students whip off their graduation robes to reveal the usual arsenal of medieval anti-demon weaponry, plus several flamethrowers that make the creature back off from chomping on them until Buffy can lure it to its death. Not sure why we didn't see them being used before; presumably stakes and crossbows are Boring, but Practical.
- Angel: A flamethrower is shown among Gunn's anti-vampire street gang, and finally gets used on-screen several years later during a Protect This House scene.
- GURPS has a slew of them. Flamers and fusion guns from Ultra-Tech. Flamethrowers and aerosol flamethrowers in High-Tech. Low tech flamethrowers for clerics in Dungeon Fantasy. Heat rays in Spaceships. The fire lance from Fantasy. The cheirosiphon and eruptor style weapons from Low-Tech.
- The flamer is so ubiquitous in Warhammer 40,000 that just about every race, even the super-advanced Eldar, use some variant of it. In game terms, flamethrower-type weapons are useful because they 1) use a long teardrop-shaped template to resolve hits, meaning a well-placed burst can hit over a dozen models, and 2) they ignore the effects of cover, making them useful for clearing foes from bunkers or ruins.
- The Skaven from the low fantasy counterpart have Warpfire throwers, basically Steam Punk flamethrowers with mutagenic napalm, though like most Skaven technology it's rather unreliable and prone to backfire.
- The Skaven don't have an monopoly on flamethrowing, Warhammer Dwarves have the artillery piece Dwarf Flame Cannon which is a cannon designed to send flaming pitch arcing towards the enemy.
- Dungeons & Dragons has, besides the obvious example of red dragons, the Tongue Stud of Firebreathing which allows the user to use a breath weapon attack 3 times a day.
- BattleTech has the Flamer, which runs gas near the mech's fusion reactor to heat it up, then vents the gas at an enemy's face.
- The first version of the Mechwarrior RPG for the game had a personal flamer pistol, which while having only a couple of 'shots', was noted as being highly intimidating, especially to other mechwarriors who already live with the possibility of being baked to death by their own mechs.
- The flamethrower is available in d20Modern, and can force victims to roll around to put out the fire... but it's illegal, and can explode while you're wearing it. Use it with care!
- In Paranoia, flamethrowers and plasma generators are as unreliable as everything else in Alpha Complex. Do you risk trying to repair them, or just unstrap the power pack and try to Outrun the Fireball (and risk being fined for letting valuable Computer property be destroyed)?
- In Rocket Age the flamethrower is available to players and enemies alike. Although essentially just a conventional early 20th century weapon, more daring and suicidal individuals use Radium fuel, which burns hotter and faster, but is, well, radioactive and even more likely to leave a crater than a regular pack if shot.
- The weapon of choice for Torch, one of the Dreadnoks from G.I. Joe.
- A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: There's the Flamethrower.
- The Brotherhood of Nod from Command & Conquer often has infantry armed with these, among other weapons included in their arsenals. It should be noted that the realism of fire-based weaponry in the series tends to vary from game to game.
- Nod's love affair with flamethrowers has, several times, extended to flamethrower tanks. In Tiberian Sun, this extended to the bizarrely improbable Subterranean Flame Tank. Over in Red Alert, the Soviets have been known to use flamethrower turrets for base defense.
- And Generals gives us the Chinese, who love (nuclear) fire just as much. "Dragon" Flamethrower Tanks, fire-shelling artillery, fire-bombing Mi Gs and various nuclear weapons are all present in the game.
- The Fire Rod from several Zelda games, including The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures.
- BattleTanx: the Flamethrower powerup and the Inferno tank
- Worms, short range but damn does it hurt.
- Ratchet & Clank has a few of these:
- The Pyrocitor from the first game is best for large groups in close range or tight clusters for the first few levels and little elsewhere.
- Lava Gun from the second and third games shoots lava until the upgrade makes it shoot meteors. While the version is good for crowds the upgrade with a Lock-On mod lets it tear apart single foes. The third game's upgrade turns it into a liquid nitrogen thrower so it doesn't count.
- Size Matters has a terrible with poor range and no damage to compensate.
- The fifth game's Pyro Blaster has a lot of damage, decent range that can be upgraded, and modest ammo consumption. The upgrade, the Incinerator, turns it into a twin-barrel plasmathrower.
- Halo's version is great against Flood or in enclosed spaces. It slows you down, though.
- Gears of War has these, mostly used by the Locust. Like other games you can shoot the fuel tank to kill the poor bastard holding it but the tank is fairly small and fits well on the back of a standard Locust, let alone a Boomer. The flames however are extremely potent against the Sires in the second game and Maulers as the flames go around their Boomshield.
- Team Fortress Classic: long story short it sucked. Piss-poor damage and short range while leaves its only use as a gimmicky weapon that blocks your target's vision and that's about it.
- Team Fortress 2: The Pyro has a short-ranged flamethrower as their primary weapon. They can also use a few flare guns, each with different effects and drawbacks.
- Dead Space has a chemical one. It's the size of a fire extinguisher and for some reason couldn't work in a vacuum in the first game.
- Call of Duty: World At War. Short range but unlimited ammo if it doesn't overheat. Potent at short-range like a real one but piss poor anywhere else. While it is powerful in Nazi Zombies, it quickly looses potency as the rounds go on.
- Grand Theft Auto had this until the HD Universe, save for 'Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars. The flamethrower doesn't have tons of ammo but when it starts a fire it isn't easy to put out. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'' it is also one of the two weapons that can take out a Rhino, the other being Molotov Cocktails.
- Gunstar Heroes has Fire as one of its four basic shot types. Fire combinations boast high damage but have a rather limited range.
- Combinations include:
- Basic Fire - By itself, Fire creates a short-range flamethrower.
- Fire + Fire - A longer-range version of basic flamethrower.
- Fire + Force - Large fireballs that explode on contact with enemies (or by letting go of the fire button).
- Fire + Chaser - Creates a rather slow homing fireball that will target one enemy at a time, but is also controllable using the d-pad.
- Fire + Lightning - A Laser Blade, the highest damage combination in the game, but with the shortest range of all the weapons.
- Combinations include:
- Flamethrowers are a Fallout series staple. The Broken Steel add-on to Fallout 3 adds the Heavy Incinerator, which rapid-fires gobs of napalm over long distances, more like a real-life flamethrower.
In terms of skills, they were categorized as Big Guns until New Vegas, which changed them to use the same Energy Weapons skill as the Frickin Laser Beams.
- Mass Effect 2 has one for Shepard in Zaeed's DLC.
- The Blood Pack mercenaries also sometimes deploy vorcha troopers with flamethrowers. Like most Blood Pack weapons, it's exceptionally deadly up close and exceptionally vulnerable from far away. In the multiplayer of Mass Effect 3, arm-mounted flamethrowers are the special weapons of Vorcha.
- Strife has a flamethrower but due to the Doom Engine it acts as a napalm squirt gun.
- Fire Shark has an extremely powerful one that burns everything in front of your plane at max level. Being so powerful it's the rarest weapon you can pick up.
- Obscure NES strategy RPG Just Breed has one that's also a Flaming Sword; every time you attack with it, it hits nearly half the battlefield with an absurdly massive area-effect cone of fire.
- Deus Ex and its sequel. In the first game short puffs work frighteningly well against common mooks and panics the ones that can last the burns but eats its rare ammo if put on full blast, takes up 4x2 spaces in your inventory, and requires more skill in Heavy Weapons to be effective. Invisible War's flamethrower has a napalm ball launcher as its Secondary Fire and acts much like its predecessor.
- The Naval Ops allows you to mount flamethrowers on your ship, and they are quite effective against the Habbakkuk boss, an aircraft carrier made of ice.
- One of the weapons Samus Aran from Metroid frequently has in her Arm Cannon is the Plasma Beam. In Metroid Prime and the Super Smash Bros.. series, she also has an actual flamethrower.
- The Fire Flower in Super Smash Bros.. It's very short range is offset by it doing a lot of little hits really fast.
- Toy Soldiers: The Chemical Thrower of the first game could be upgraded into a flamethrower, and in Toy Soldiers: Cold War, it returned in the form of a Aerosol Flamethrower.
- Army Men : The series as a whole is about toys, mainly plastic soldiers. Oddly enough, these guys aren't afraid to use fire to kill one another. Just look at Scorch from the RTS game, and the uses of one in Sarge's Heroes.
- Metal Slug flamethrowers belch a fairly short-ranged blast of flame that can torch multiple enemies. Especially handy against mummies, which require a lot of pistol rounds to take down.
- Skylight has flamethrowers, which can deal a lot of damage against anyone afflicted with the Douse status effect.
- The flamethrowers in Alien Hallway.
- X3 Terran Conflict introduces the Plasma Burst Generator, which is a flamethrower powered by a nuclear fusion reactor. A favored weapon of the Space Pirate faction, the weapon is a thorough gamebreaker in the hands of the player due to Splash Damage Abuse against large targets.
- The videogame version of BattleTech, the MechWarrior series, has the Flamer appear in all versions. While it does minimal damage, it heats up the enemy and can cause their battlemech to shut down. They are especially dangerous in Mechwarrior Living Legends, where overheating can cause your vehicle to literally melt to death. Other incendiary weapons occasionally appear, such as Short Range Missile launchers in freeware re-release of Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries firing Inferno missiles, which temporarily lights enemies on fire with napalm.
- In Cold Fear you can get your hands on a flamethrower later in the game. It works pretty well against most enemies, thought the invisible specimens and the Brutes won't be staggered by it. Furthermore, it's pretty much useless outside, as the rain and the strong winds will render it useless.
- In the Mega Man franchise, there's the Fire Wave and Wave Burner. Both are short-range fire weapons that breathe fire that drains weapon energy when the fire button is held. It can also melt ice in both of the games they are in. However, the Wave Burner can be used underwater with it shooting waves instead of water.
- In Broken Helix, there's a flamethrower Reese gives you to clear out the laboratory's vents. And it uses energy cells instead of gas canisters.
- Men Of Valor has one of these. Mounted on an M48 Patton tank, no less.
- In Dead Rising 2, Chuck Greene (and later Frank West) can combine a plastic gasoline canister with a suspiciously familiar Brand X water gun to get a carbine-style flamethrower (no backpack tank), great for turning large groups of zombies into large piles of charred corpses.
- Shadowrun Returns: Dragonfall - Director's Cut allows you to unlock Dragon's Breath rounds for Eiger that damage enemy armour.
- In WarWind, flamethrower is one of the most powerful weapons in the game, used by a Tha'Roon infantry unit (Executioner) and mounted on the APCs used by the Marines.
- Bloodborne has the Flamesprayer, a steampunk-ish device the size of a particularly large watering can that runs on your ammunition to produce large gouts of flame. It lacks the stopping power of a proper firearm, but compensates through sheer amounts of damage in a decent area.
- The Bounty Hunter in Star Wars: The Old Republic sports a wrist-mounted flamethrower among their other weapons. Their Powertech advanced class features a number of other flame-based weapons both single-target and area-effect. This culminates in the Pyrotech specialization, which... well, it's right there in the name.
- The Valkyria Chronicles series has both man-portable and vehicle-mounted flamethrowers. They're very good for taking out turrets, bunkers, and soldiers behind cover
- Bayonetta 2 have the Undine, demonic weapons with both both Kill It with Fire and Kill It with Ice settings that are fueled by the rage and jealously from the soul of a jilted lover.
- Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3, and Doom 4 has the Mancubi with their arm-mounted flame launchers that spit fireballs with deadly accuracy.
- The Brutal Doom has the Mancubus Flame Launcher and the Revenant's hellish shoulder missile launchers, the same used by Revenants and Mancubi after they've been blown to pieces. The Mancubus flame cannon and Revenant missile launcher shoots globs of fire to burn any demon and zombie it hits. Project Brutality allows the Mancubus flame launcher to act as a flamethrower. The M2 Heavy Plasma has a plasmathower Secondary Fire that Doomguy swings in a wide swath in front of him.
- Postal has the Flamer flamethrower and Napalm Launcher. Postal 2 has the Naplam Launcher, a can of gas and matches, and a Can of Stynx aerosol deoderant spray.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, you can order a flamethrower from your Friend in the Black Market, Mercurio, in the final plot arc. Discussed when he comments that he keeps getting requests from people who've been watching too many action movies, but Justified in that it's devastatingly effective against late-game everything, especially undead.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: Having worked in a Demolitions Expert unit specializing in burning down buildings before joining the expedition, Emil knows how to use a flamethrower and zig-zags between using that and a rifle for fighting trolls. When Onni summons a fire-based creature onto the battlefield in Chapter 13, Emil's flamethrower is used as an entry point.
- Girl Genius: While sparks seem to have a strong preference for creating death rays there are flamethrowers in the setting as well, for instance those in the Library's arsenal which are used in their fight against the Other in the Paris underground.
- The 2006 revival of Biker Mice from Mars featured a villain named Flare in the episode "Biker Mice Down Under", who used flamethrowers built into his gloves.
- Flamethrowers were used in several wars as well as for commercial clearing of land. Plus, they're pretty much the first example of gunpowder being used for, well, guns instead of rockets. And they're unregulated in 40 US states.
- Though not really used against other humans so much nowadays for the most part, it still has its uses, such as against wasps and killer bees.
- Improvised Weapon: Supersoaker flamethrower
- The Dragon's Breath shotgun shell.
- The earliest use of a flamethrower in war could be seen as far back as the Byzantine "Greek Fire" (with simple pumps full of a flammable liquid), and it could be found even earlier in myth and legend.
- FPS Russia demonstrates.
- The inherent hazard of a military flamethrower and the reason why only insane men would volunteer to carry one is demonstrated by several incidents from WW2.
- Anthony Beevor relates, in his account of the battle of Stalingrad, that German assault engineers captured by the Russians could expect no mercy if they were operating flamethrowers, a weapon feared and loathed in urban combat. Red Army informal practice was to crucify them in view of German positions and to leave them to die horribly, as a visible deterrent.
- Japanese defenders confronted by American engineers using the flamethrower would make them a priority target, seeking to penetrate and ignite the napalm fuel carried in tanks on the operator's back. However, the weapon was tactically worth the risk since even the most fanatical japanese defenders were prone to abandon their posts in screaming terror at a blast on their position.
- During the Rhine crossing in March 1945, a British self-propelled flamethrower had its tanks ruptured in a loading accident while getting it into an amphibious carrier: the resultant fireball was one of the British army's biggest losses on the day. In a related accident, several men were soaked in the fuel mixture used by British flamethrower tanks. While this did not ignite, they had to be rushed to the rear - very carefully - for extensive chemical decontamination and medical treatment. One man got it in the eyes and was blinded for life.
- To be noted: the usual image conveyed by a Fire-Breathing Weapon, as a large, cumbersome and very-short range Zippo lighter, is based on film prop flamethrowers, which, for the sake of safety, are fueled by propane gas. Military flamethrowers were always fed with liquid, sticky and oily fuels and gushed gigantic◊ jets◊ of flame◊, to obliterate everything combustible in their range (30-50 yards). In small spaces, they were the most frightening weapon imaginable.