Fire-Breathing Weapon

-"...But we have flamethrowers. And what this indicates to me, it means that at some point, some person 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'."

Sometimes, you have an opponent, structure, device or other target which you 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.


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.

Comic Books
  • DC Comics
    • The villain Firefly
    • The Flash has a villain called Heat Wave who has this as his gimmick. He's often teamed with/fights against Captain Cold.

Fan Works
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

Tabletop Games
  • 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, though like most Skaven technology it's rather unreliable and prone to backfire.
  • 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)?

Theme Parks

  • The weapon of choice for Torch, one of the Dreadnoks from G.I. Joe.

Video Games
  • 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
  • Ratchet & Clank
  • Halo
  • Gears of War
  • Team Fortress Classic
  • Team Fortress 2: The Pyro has a short-ranged flamethrower as their primary weapon. They can also use a Flare Gun.
  • Dead Space
  • Call of Duty: World At War
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Fire Shark
  • 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.
  • StarCraft has the Firebats, armored soldiers with twin flamethrowers on their arms. Really, really great against the Zerg. Not so great against anybody else, though...
    • StarCraft II gives us a vehicular update with the Hellion.
    • Protoss Colossi, meanwhile, are known for their heat rays.
  • Deus Ex and its sequel.
  • 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..
  • 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. It heats up the enemy and can cause their mech to shut down. They are especially dangerous in Mechwarrior Living Legends, where overheating can cause your vehicle to literally melt to death.
  • 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 AP Cs used by the Marines.

Real Life
  • 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.
    • 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.

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