"Good old Hellfire. For when regular fire simply won't do."Want to burn asbestos but haven't got the time? Need to Kill It with Fire but regular fire isn't enough? Fear not! For here at Trope Co., we have the ultimate form of fire, direct from the Fire and Brimstone Hell! And it's available in all standard designer colors! (Blue, green, deep red, and black are our hottest sellers!) The way it's supposed to be better versus regular fire is sometimes explained, sometimes not, but rest assured that if it's hellfire, it's stronger! Oh, it's probably Black Magic, but c'mon: it's called Hellfire. It's not like this stuff is powered by the adorableness of kittens. Unless it IS fueled by actual kittens, of course... The point is, hellfire is not physical in origin, and doesn't have to play by the same rules as normal fire. Ignition without a source of oxygen? Sure! Scorching things that are supposed to be fireproof or made of fire? You bet! Notable when it comes from a story without any references to Christianity. Not to be confused with the Hellfire laser-guided missile, or the expansion to the original Diablo, or the Toaplan shmup, or the Villain Song from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Contrast Holy Hand Grenade and Faux Flame. See also Greek Fire, a non-magical example known for properties commonly attributed to this trope, in particular being able to burn underwater.
— Spider-Man, Runaways
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Hiei from YuYu Hakusho has two attacks that are comprised mainly of hellfire. The first is Fist of the Mortal Flame, which uses the fire from human hell to pummel the opponent. The other, much more dangerous attack is Dragon of the Darkness Flame, which is an enormous dragon made of flames from the demon hell.
- This is Ioryogi's signature power in Kobato..
- Theories that it summons fire from hell aside, Amaterasu from Naruto doesn't have any connection to hell, but exhibits many traits as hell fire: special color (black), extremely hot (supposedly as hot as the sun), has impossible properties (can burn non-flammable objects, even underwater & can cause even Bijuus who shrug off lesser attacks to cry out in pain), and is very hard to put out (can't be put out unless you wait for a week, seal it, or the user snuffs it out).
- Zetsu actually says at one point that Amateratsu is supposedly "black hellfire". It's real nature is never clarified.
- The tailed beasts' chakra isn't really fire of any sort, but when a Tailed Beast's host put out enough of the chakra, it can incinerate anything it touches... even the host himself.
- In Slayers, there's a distinction: for example, Fireball is Shamanism spell — it calls upon fire spirit. Gaav Flare, on the other hand, was Black Magic using the power of Chaos Dragon, one of Dark Lords. Defunct after Gaav's demise, of course. Reflecting Gaav's nature and power level, it's much nastier and burns through the first target, then whoever was behind it...
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, one of Negi's Black Magic techniques is called Incendium Gehennae, which can be loosely translated as "Flames of Gehenna."
- In Bastard!!, Dark Schneider's ultimate spell Halloween/Helloween/Harrowing summons fire that is hotter than the sun, completely obliterating an Efreet MADE of fire.
- Unless this is a variation between manga and anime, he used Exodus to take out Efreet. And he created a fire that was hotter than the sun by harnessing the heat of Efreet's own fire spells. With a nice middle finger to Convection Shmonvection, the room made of stone is actually melting. BEFORE this "fire hotter than the sun" was created. And the actual proper name of his ultimate spell is "Helloween", after the band. The anime changed some of the spell names for fear of copyright issues. Such awesome spell names included are "Poison, Megadeath, Guns & Roses, etc". It's a post apocalyptic fantasy manga with a LOT of rock references thrown in.
- It's not explicitly Hell Fire, but Admiral Akainu's fists are made of lava, which apparently is hot enough to burn fire itself. Of course, swords are hotter than lava.
- In Blue Exorcist, blue flames are the sign of Satan. Rin, a son of Satan, tends to erupt into them. This is a problem due to Fantastic Racism and also a boon; there isn't much that can handle them after they are the only demonic flames that attack the physical and the spiritual.
- Shima can summon a demon that uses black hellfire.
- In Fairy Tail,
- Zancrow summons and controls pitch-black flames that can burn and injure Natsu. Natsu is normally immune to heat and eats flames. Natsu eventually manages to eat Zancrow's flames, giving him the power boost to defeat him.
- The dragon Atlas Flame describes his flames as hellfire. Natsu tries to eat him too for a power boost. It might have worked too, if Natsu and Atlas Flame hadn't instead joined forces once they realized they were both close to Igneel.
- Weapon of choice for Ghost Rider. It burns hotter the more sins the target has, but Johnny Blaze at least was able to make it burn 'cold'(i.e. without physically damaging anything) and only affect a person's soul. Dan Ketch(Ghost Rider 2) rarely used hellfire itself, preferring his Penance Stare, and Robbie Reyes(Ghost Rider 3) either doesn't possess this ability or chooses not to use it.
- Spider-Man, in his cameo role, lampshades this in Runaways.
"Ah, good old hellfire, when regular fire simply won’t do."
- Marvel Comics has an artifact that's been floating around the Magic series for a while known as the 'Hellfire Shotgun.' It's a (usually pump-action) shotgun loaded with Hellfire that never needs to be reloaded. It's had a habit of landing in the hands of weakened Magical heroes in need of a new edge, like a depowered Johnny Blaze and The Scarlet Witch during All-New Doctor Strange's 'The End of Magic' arc.
- Fantastic Four example: Doctor Doom opens a portal to Hell, and Johnny and Franklin are pulled inside. Johnny gets out, but not without being badly burned; especially notable considering he's the Human Torch, master of flame in all forms, who hasn't suffered a burn in, like, thirteen years. Yeah. Hellfire. It'll mess you up.
- Though Johnny later finds out that the holy flames of an archangel's Flaming Sword are even more painful.
- Transformers: The Fallen◊ is permanently Wreathed in Flames after joining Unicron. According to his TFWiki article, these flames are the manifestation of his Chaos powers, and have the bonus effect of ridding him of any goodness still within him.
- Etrigan can use this, exhaling soul burning fires from his mouth, though he can also project it from his hands.
- In Dept Heaven Apocrypha, this is Fia's slightly-less-holy Holy Hand Grenade; she still can't control it yet, though.
- Thirty Hs grants Harry Potter the power to wreathe his fists in "Holy Fuckfire" with which he punches the heads off vampires, sending them into the past of Mars, or... something. Notable for being evidently a holy force rather than an infernal one, and... powered by swearing, or something.
- Poké Wars depicts Will-O-Wisp in this form. It is a sinister dark purple/blue flame that ignites anything it touches and cannot be extinguished.
- Rather unsurprisingly, Daemon from the Tamers Forever Series uses this as his primary technique. He seems to enjoy immolating people a bit too much.
- In Harmony Theory, Nightmare Umbra controls Ashfire. One touch and it consumes you until nothing is left but ash, and it is almost impossible to extinguish. It feeds on magic. Star Fall is able to survive it by redirecting her internal magic away from it, so it goes out from lack of fuel.
- Maledict from Sonic X: Dark Chaos can manifest himself in a tongue of smokeless hellfire that does not consume its surroundings. Most of his powers also use a combination of this trope and Chaos Energy.
- This is sung about by Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame in front of his fireplace, whilst he laments his obsession with Esmeralda; red robes from Hell appear before him and chant "Mea Culpa" while he denies his faults, saying God "made the Devil so much stronger than a man!!!!". This song is the beginning of his Villainous Breakdown that eventually leads to him falling into essential Hellfire, aka, liquid metal by way of live, snarling, demonic gargoyle at the end of the film.
- While not specifically from hell, fiendfyre in Harry Potter is hot enough to destroy a horcrux, something which is rather difficult to do. And is sentient. And malevolent. And a lot harder to put out than to start. And very difficult for a normal wizard to control, so it's not like you can practice with it.
- Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files is enabled to generate this from Blood Rites to White Night due to a shadow (a psychic copy) of the Fallen Angel Lasciel in his head. It adds more power to his destructive magical attacks, replacing his fire spells altogether, and often adds an incendiary effect to those that are based on kinetic force, but he has to struggle against The Dark Side and Some Sanity Slippage. By giving the Shadow of Lasciel a name, "Lash", and encouraging her to think independently of the original, Harry gave her free will. And she used it to take a psychic bullet for him, killing her, and saving Harry's life. He didn't seem to have too much of an opinion on losing Hellfire since he was occupied mourning Lash.
- Due to their nature, the demonic Knights of the Blackened Denarius (or the Nickleheads) have access to it in their spells as well. Their "boss" gave them access to "Super Hellfire" for a short period on two occasions in Small Favor. It was considered "super" since it was stable for about five or ten minutes, while regular Hellfire is destructively unstable, and there was enough of it to cage off the whole of Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. Because the Denarians were given access to it, it allowed Heaven to move in accord, which lead to...
- A few years after "Lash", the psychic copy of a Fallen is Harry head dies saving Harry's life he finds out that the archangel in charge of maintaining free will, and God's own holy hitman, Urielnote has gifted him with Soulfire,the angelic counterpart to Hellfire. It fits the trope just as well as normal Hellfire, it makes his spells more powerful, and he can do things he couldn't before (making magical constructs), but it's fueled by soul, and takes up a little bit of Harry's soul each time he uses it. While it would sound like it leaves him in danger of becoming The Soulless, his soul would regenerate in just a few weeks after even heavy usage, so long as he has some left. It regenerates more quickly if he takes time to nurture it; for example, going on a date with Luccio at the end of Small Favor). The Soulfire also burns an unusual color - it usually adds a bit of a silver tinge, depending on how much he uses and what spell he ties it to.
- There's also Summer Fire, a gift granted by the Summer Court. So far, though, it's only been used against its polar opposite in the form of the Winter Fortress, where it is understandably extremely destructive, so no word on if it's actually any hotter or more powerful (though it does leave a trace in the user's fire magic from then on).
- Only the forge of Mount Doom is hot enough to destroy the One Ring, though that might be as much symbolism as related to the heat of the lava itself. (In the film, it's not like Frodo or Sam were exactly burning up.)
- In the Betsy the Vampire Queen books by Mary Janice Davidson, the titular queen's half sister Laura is the daughter of Satan (don't ask). As such, one of Laura's powers is to summon a sword made of hellfire. It can transform into a crossbow in the blink of an eye, and is implied to always be hanging at Laura's hip, invisible when she doesn't need it. Hellfire only disrupts magic, so it passes harmlessly through mundane humans but incinerates vampires instantly. However, Betsy's odd status as Queen of the Dead means that the sword neither passes harmlessly through nor incinerates her, but stabs her like a normal sword would. It gets stuck and must be pulled out, but leaves no wound behind.
- Referred to as 'Wizard's Fire' in Sword of Truth. It's described somewhat like a magical version of napalm, a "liquid flame" which won't be put out by smothering, even if it's just a little bit of flame; in fact, it will just set on fire whatever you use to smother it. Beyond that, an even stronger version known as Wizard's Life Fire appears at a few points, used as a Desperation Attack by wizards who are about to die anyway.
- The science fiction novel Roadside Picnic mentions a substance called "Witch's Jelly", left behind by the mysterious alien visitors, that will burn (or corrode?) through just about anything, leaving a flaming pit in the ground as it goes.
- A Song of Ice and Fire has wildfire and dragon's breath. Wildfire is the exclusive creation of the Alchemist's Guild, a liquid something like magical Greek Fire which burns with an intense green flame that's impossible to extinguish, (it can burn water!) and seems to be almost alive in larger conflagrations. It seems to be based on Greek Fire. Dragon's breath is apparently much hotter than normal flames, and is said to possess magical qualities, such as its use in the creation of Valyrian Steel.
- Science Fiction variant in Charles Stross' Glasshouse - "Blasters" are very simple weapons based around a couple of wormholes. One end opens at the end of your pistol; the other opens into a sun.
- A certain spell in Chronicles Of The Raven makes very powerful jets of fire that supposedly home in on enemies. Have a guess at its name.
- The Wheel of Time has balefire, a magical flame so strong that it not only kills you, it burns your recent past out of history. One scene has a bad guy killing several major protagonists, and then being killed by balefire - the recently-dead protagonists are brought back to life(very confused), because the baddie retroactively didn't exist to kill them. Enough use of this destroys the very fabric of reality. It's also the only way to prevent the Big Bad from resurrecting his assorted Dragons after they are killed.
- Despite being called "balefire," it is not actually fire of any kind except metaphorically, as it "burns the threads from the Pattern. " It appears as a white beam that more or less instantly annihilates what it's aimed at.
- Note that during the War of Power, in the series Back Story, entire cities were apparently destroyed by balefire before both sides stopped using it, due to the danger to reality itself.
- The Banned and the Banished also uses the term "balefire" for fire from evil magic. It has many properties of normal fire, but it freezes instead of burns. (Good spellcasters can also create fire, but once started it functions like normal fire.)
- The destructive, rare and difficult to control white fire from The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Curiously, "Hellfire!" is one of Thomas Covenant's favorite sayings.
- Journey to Chaos: Kasile possesses Sacred Fire which comes from the fire goddess Fiol. It is white in color, and unlike regular fire or magic fire, this stuff is divine in nature and not bound by the same limitations. For instance, it can't be blocked by Orichalcum.
- When the Apocalypse begins in Good Omens, London's M25 motorway is engulfed in "a screaming, glowing ribbon of pain and dark light" that reads at 700 degrees and -140 degrees Celsius simultaneously, thanks to a cheeky demon pulling strings to have had the motorway laid out in the shape of an ancient demonic sigil.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, it's manufactured by Devils and can burn creatures made of fire. Ever watch a fire elemental burn to death?
Not prettyAbsolutely awesome. (Some sources say that it's "not truly fire" at all" but an evil form of energy unique to Hell.) Particularly useful since about half the monsters in the game are resistant to normal fire to some extent.
- Adapted in a third-party setting called "Infernum". There, it's basically negative spiritual energy (despair, pain, misery) given physical expression as sickly green-black flames, which are capable of consuming flesh, bone and soul with equal ease and which thus makes it especially powerful against creatures like demons and angels. It consequently has its own damage type (and damage resistance), so ordinary Fire resistance is worthless against it (although, conversely, a character with only Hellfire Resistance is defenseless against Fire damage).
- For a less evil version, the Searing Spell feat from Sandstorm can make your normal fire spells burn hot enough to deal partial damage even to creatures immune to fire.
- The cleric spell flame strike has shades of this, attacking with a 50-50 mix of fire and divine energy. The fire can be resisted, but the other half can't.
- The first edition of D&D had The Phoenix radiate this. To get a resistance to this fire, you needed one of the feathers dropped by said Phoenix as a spell component.
- Third edition has Mephistopheles, the Lord of Hellfire, who grants warlock followers the power to draw upon his powers of hellfire that function as normal fire damage, except that effects that provide resistance or immunity to fire damage don't affect them. He claims to have discovered Hellfire; whether this is true or not, he is, no doubt, better at using it than any other devil, and has created many horrible devices associated with it, such as Hellfire Engines.
- Hellfire Warlocks are a type of mortal wizard who can harness this form of energy, mentioned in the 3.5 Edition. (Not all of them are evil, but most are.)
- Warpfire in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 is evil fire drawn from the Warp. Unsurprisingly, it's chiefly the weapon of daemons, their servants, and the odd race of evil rat-men (who have Warpfire flamethrowers). Tzeentch's daemons in particular are little more than living flamethrowers, and vehicles dedicated to Tzeentch in 40k are covered in eldritch fire. There's also the Holocaust power, which is incredibly dangerous and deadly, and burns Demons just as well as anything. Bonus; it makes resurrection impossible and even kills immortal demons.
- Mutants & Masterminds classifies Hellfire as a type of magical energy that looks like fire but isn't. It can be any color, most elements, and act as numerous other powers.
- In an interesting variation, infernal powers in Exalted tend to use the burning, poisonous light of Ligier, the demonic Green Sun of Malfeas, in the same manner as characters in other settings use hellfire. In addition to the usual attributes of a Hellfire-analogue, this can also infect victims with Green Sun Wasting, a truly horrifying supernatural disease that makes Ebola look like the common cold in comparison.
- The fandom often jokes that Ligier's fire is basically radioactive, which technically makes the Green Sun a more "realistic" sun than the Daystar.
- Essential Flame in GURPS: Magic is similar in concept to this but seems to be based more on Plato than Christianity.
- In Werewolf: The Apocalypse, powerful servants of the Wyrm use balefire, which is sickly green and has effects similar to severe radiation burns. It is also used by certain infernalists in Vampire: The Masquerade.
- In the Exile/Avernum series, quickfire is an artificial, very powerful magic flame that ignites even thin air to create a wall of flames that spreads as fast as a man can run. Nothing short of cold rock or very powerful magic can stop its spread.
- Hellfire is a damage type in the roguelike game To ME. Unlike normal fire, it cannot be resisted and evil creatures take double damage. The game also has holy fire.
- Similarly, the Roguelike crawl has a damage type hellfire - some monsters resist it, players can't (contrary to almost all other types of damage). Hellfire attacks are always ranged area effects. They're most commonly used by various demonic monsters at the high end of the power scale, but can also be invoked by player characters with a specific mutation or wielding one of a very small set of artifacts.
- World of Warcraft has this as a - surprise! - warlock spell, which spews apparently unholy flame in a radius around the warlock, dealing decent damage per second in an aoe but also injures the warlock. Oddly enough, the self-damaging part is the thing warlocks use it for as they have more powerful AoE but dying to hellfire doesn't cause durability loss.
- Chaos Bolt, another warlock spell, is probably a better example. It fires a bolt of chaotic fire that goes right through absorption effects and ignores fire resistance. It does not, however, work against targets that are completely immune to fire damage.
- WotLK also introduced the concept of dual-element spells, primarily so you can't easily resist them by stacking a specific magic resistance (usually fire). Spellfire, Spellfrost, Frostfire, etc.
- The Burning Legion in general uses Felfire which usually appears as a sickly yellow green flame.
- In the first Devil May Cry, the Ifrit gauntlets describe their power as being hellfire. The description for the Frost enemy claims that, while impervious to volcanic fire, they're susceptible to higher levels of incendiary. In other words, use Ifrit against them.
- Castlevania's Dracula has a three-to-five-directional fireball attack by this name. On occasion, he cranks up the damage factor and throws big black METEOR-fireballs at you.
- Alucard can mimic the three-fireball and two-meteor-fireball attacks EXACTLY in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It is so immensely satisfying to be able to pull Dracula's shenanigans on his henchtwits. To gamers unfamiliar with the old Nintendo Hard console titles and their relatively slow Belmont heroes, the fireballs may seem like small potatoes, but even very skilled, hardcore gamers have been reduced to incoherent howling by the original Castlevania and the Sharp X68000 remake of that title. (We do not mention Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse around these gamers. They will go insane.)
- Shanoa from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia can do this, too, with the Dominus Anger glyph, but not without downsides. There's only one per shot, it's Dark property instead of Fire, which means it's watered down against many endgame bosses (like Drac himself), and, most importantly, it consumes HP equal to one sixth of Shanoa's capacity per shot! If that isn't enough reason to not use it, let's not forget what it's part of and where it came from...
- Soma Cruz, can also perform the three-fireball attack if he equips the right soul. In Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, it's one of the three souls he needs to equip during the battle with the Disc One Final Boss to unlock the path to the true ending.
- Pokémon: Throughout the series, various Pokemon have attacks that are much like hellfire, one example is Ho-Oh's Sacred Fire.
- A more serious version is Shadow Fire from XD. Exclusive to Moltres, it's a Shadow-empowered Flamethrower attack that will barbecue even the sturdiest Water, Rock, and Dragon Pokemon. Then again, Shadow power is super-effective against everything other than itself...
- Black and White also gives us the inaccurate but powerful Inferno, which will always leave a burn. To further the resemblance, it's actually called Purgatory in Japan.
- The Gold Pokedex entry for Houndoom is meant to evoke this trope; apparently, the pain inflicted from the flames it breathes will never go away.
- Hellfire is generally the name given to the Ifrit summon's best attack in the Final Fantasy series, or Belias in Final Fantasy XII.
- Hellfire is also the fire elemental Spirit attack in Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean.
- City of Heroes soon-to-be-released Demon Summoning powerset for Masterminds has a few demons that attack with hellfire, as well as giving the Mastermind a whip made of it. While regular fire attacks have the secondary effect of igniting enemies for additional fire-type damage over time, hellfire's damage over time is toxic-type, and applies a damage resistance debuff to its targets.
- Scorpion of Mortal Kombat fame has power over hellfire as a side effect of being undead. He pretty much only uses it to kill people by breathing it on them. One of his special moves from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance onward lets him summon flames from the ground.
- Neverwinter Nights 2 Warlock's Prestige Class, Hellfire Warlock. Guess what their magic blasts are made of.
- The Demi-Fiend in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne can equip a powerful Fire magatama which allows him to use a spell called Hellfire. There is a stronger version, called Prominence.
- Hellfire is an attack in Bravely Default that is appropriately used by Cerberuses, which deals 1.25 fire damage to all enemies. You can utilise the attack yourself by absorbing it with the Vampire's Genome Drain.
- Present in rifle form in Eternal Card Game.
- Terraria: Cursed flames from the Corruption, apart from the name, fit this trope quite well: Water won't put them out, and they hurt a lot more than regular fire. Ichor, the Crimson counterpart, causes a defense debuff instead.
- A particularly awesome application of this comes from the D&D webcomic Darken, where the main character is a Hellfire-flinging Evil Overlord-in-training:
- Garganon the Ancient Red Dragon: You burned me!?
- The titular character of the webcomic Zebra Girl has the ability to summon hellfire which makes anyone she's mad at spontaneously combust. In a subversion, Epileptic Tree wisdom states that the burns made are skin deep, so that the victim can be fried again...and again...and again.
- Dragon Cave has a species called "Hellfire Wyverns". The submissive males are the bright fiery red usually associated with this trope, while the more violent females are the bright blue of hotter flames.