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Flaming Meteor

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Meteors depicted as being fiery boulders

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
Theharbo on Nov 22nd 2017 at 3:38:07 AM
Last Edited By:
Theharbo on Dec 2nd 2017 at 12:47:36 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/3337195d00000578_3542106_image_a_20_1460734129298.jpg
No Launching Please - shouldn't need to be said, but after two rogue launches, here it is.
In Real Life, meteorsnote  are mostly balls of ice and/or rock, neither of which is flammable through normal atmospheric combustion.

But you wouldn't know this from their depictions in media.

Whether because most writers only know of meteors from the dozens of videos of meteors igniting the atmosphere (making it look like the meteor itself is burning), or because it looks cool, meteors in media are depicted as literal burning boulders that incinerate anything they touch. If the object is burning even before the atmosphere is at all within range, then it's safe to assume that Space Is Air is in effect as well.

Because of this association with fire, if anyone has the ability to call down Meteors, it's the person Playing with Fire, sometimes as a Limit Break. In these cases, they're often Slap On The Wrist Nukes. Compare with the standard Fire Ball, which is sometimes depicted as a small rock that is on fire. Piss off your Game Master enough and it might be these particular rocks that fall. Contrast Frictionless Reentry; when objects travelling through space can get into the atmosphere without the atmosphere igniting.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime/Manga 
  • One Piece
    • Akainu can use his Magma Man abilities to fire fist-shaped lava projectiles upwards. They rain down like burning meteors. The attack is appropriately named Ryusei Kazan, literally meaning "Meteor Volcano".
    • Admiral Fujitora is a more straight example. His gravity abilities can bring down meteors from outer space, and they're all predictably fiery.
  • Pokémon depicts the move 'Draco Meteor' as the user summoning dozens of flaming boulders from the sky. This is in contrast to the games where the same move calls down a number of non-flaming blueish-green meteors.

     Comic Books 
  • The Resistants first appeared in Captain America flying on a flaming meteor. Justified because two of them combined their powers over gravity (Meteorite) and fire (Crucible) to create it.

     Film Animated 
  • Ever since he hatched, Aladar from Disney's Dinosaur has lived on an island with lemurs as a surrogate family. That all changed one day when the sky was filled with glowing fragments that were the harbingers of the Big One. That flaming meteor fell into the sea, causing a mushroom cloud and sending out a shockwave before flaming meteor shards began impacting across the island, each one making a miniature explosion, utterly obliterating more and more of the island. Aladar and the lemurs had to make a Leap of Faith from the island's edge into the water below, after which they swam to the mainland home of all the other dinosaurs.

     Tabletop Games 
  • Played with in Dungeons & Dragons by the Meteor Swarm spell, which conjures small "meteors" that deal bludgeoning damage on impact and then explode.

     Video Games 
  • Diablo III has Meteor as a high-level Wizard spell, which not only impacts the ground to deal heavy fire damage, but also leaves behind a residual patch of fire at its impact location.
  • In the Disgaea franchise, Laharl's recurring attack Meteor Impact is always depicted this way.
  • Dota2:
    • Invoker's Chaos Meteor deal damage-over-time when a foe touches the meteor. The distance of the meteor and the damage is based on his current power of Wex and Exort, respectively. It takes time for the meteor to land and move, so synergy with his other skills is necessary for maximum damage.
    • The Meteor Hammer summons a meteor burning blue flames after a few seconds which can stun and deal damage-over-time to units and buildings.
  • Golden Sun:
    • 'Meteor' is the highest-level pure fire-element summon, which brings down a meteor the size of the screen into the enemy. The animation is even more complex in the third game, where it breaks apart slightly and is seen heating up in the atmosphere.
  • In Terra Battle, Bahamut's final skill is "Meteor", which rains down a bunch of fiery meteorites on the field, dealing fire damage to any enemies that get hit.
  • Warcraft has featured flaming meteors since its first instalments, always summoned by spellcasters
    • The first game had 'conjurers' summon a multitude of these using the 'Rain of Fire' spell. It was then abscent from Warcraft II as their counterparts in that game, the 'mage', conjured blizzards instead. By the third game the 'Archmage' still summoned blizzards and left the Flaming Meteor summoning to the demons in the form of the Pit Lord Hero Unit's 'Rain of Fire' ability.
    • Another example of a Justified Flaming Meteor from the third game and onward; Infernals are flaming Rock Monsters which are summoned by high-level demons, sending them impacting against the ground in a curled-up meteor-like state, after which they get up and begin wrecking their summoner's enemies.
  • World of Warcraft: continues the depiction of flaming meteors started by its predecessor games.
    • The infernals from the Warcraft games return, and they now have Elite Mook versions called Abyssals. They are still 'stored' in a curled-up, burning, roughly-spherical form, and summoned to the battlefield as flaming meteors.
    • Meteor is also a high-level mage spell, sending a near-molten, fiery rock impacting against the ground to deal a large amount of fire damage split between targets in the impact zone, while also leaving a residual patch of fire behind. Some NPC's have access to a 'Meteor Swarm', essentially the former taken Up to Eleven.

     Web Comics 
  • Subverted in Draconia Chronicles. A volcano erupts and throws out meteor-like chunks of lava. At first, the fire dragons attempt to use their elemental control powers to deflect them, only to discover that they're actually made of rock and they can't really do anything to stop them. Giving the oppressed earth dragons the chance to demonstrate their value.
  • Meteors in Homestuck look like normal asteroids when floating in the Veil, but as soon as they're summoned to various locations, they become flaming rocks. Since players can breathe in space, it's safe to assume the Medium got oxygen, allowing the meteors to look cool despite rock and ice being inflammable.

     Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sozin's comet is portrayed as a fiery boulder from which Firebenders could draw extreme power. The Firelord's Evil Plan is to use this power to Take Over the World when the comet returns.
  • The Loonatics Unleashed received their superpowers in 2772 when a large meteor entered the atmosphere of Acmetropolis, catching fire presumably due to air friction, and leaving a smoke trail as it plummeted into the city's central bay. There, it released arcane energies that empowered six relatively ordinary FunnyAnimals, and also some of their Rogues Gallery, such as Weather Vane and Massive.

Indices: Death from Above, Artistic License – Physics, Artistic License – Astronomy, Space Does Not Work That Way

Feedback: 43 replies

Nov 22nd 2017 at 6:17:43 PM

Hmm... Is this Artistic License Physics?

Spelling mistake in Laconic: feiry -> fiery

Nov 22nd 2017 at 7:21:04 PM

In the Disgaea franchise, Laharl's recurring attack Meteor Impact is always depicted this way.

Nov 22nd 2017 at 9:18:46 PM

  • Golden Sun:
    • Meteor is the highest-level pure fire-element summon, which brings down a meteor the size of the screen into the enemy. The animation is even more complex in the third game, where it breaks apart slightly and is seen heating up in the atmosphere. The Fusion Dragon has a similar spell, where it jumps up and is seen heating up on reentry as it crashes into the P Cs.
    • Iris, the highest level summon of all games, involves Hurl It Into The Sun and back, catching fire on atmospheric reentry.

Nov 23rd 2017 at 1:00:18 AM

^ Definitely is. Would you believe meteors are predicted to be cold immediately after impact, and that a meteor less than 85m in diameter will explode before it hits the ground (At least according to The Other Wiki)? Also corrected the mistake.

^^ Added

^^^ Is the fusion dragon a meteor, or does it take meteoric shape? And Iris - what is hurled into the sun and back? I need more information before I'll add those two examples.

Nov 23rd 2017 at 12:58:04 AM

I have first read this title as "Flaming Mentor" and went "Huh." XD

Nov 23rd 2017 at 1:04:03 AM

Western Animation:

Nov 23rd 2017 at 7:57:34 AM

Film Animated

  • Ever since he hatched, Aladar from Disney's Dinosaur has lived on an island with lemurs as surrogate family. That all changed one day when the sky was filled with glowing fragments that were the harbingers of the Big One. That flaming meteor fell on the far side of the island, obliterating it, and its blast wave leveled the other half. Aladar and the lemurs were thrown into the strait, where they swam to the mainland home of all the other dinosaurs.

Nov 23rd 2017 at 9:58:09 AM

Of course, this is Truth In Television as far as human observation is concerned: when an object enters the atmosphere at high speed, the force of impact with the air creates a bow shock that produces a great amount of heat and light. When a meteor can be seen falling to Earth, it looks like nothing so much as a raining fireball.

Nov 23rd 2017 at 10:16:42 AM

^ Already covered in the description ^^ Added

Nov 23rd 2017 at 10:48:21 AM

Comic Books example:

  • The Resistants first appeared in Captain America flying on a flaming meteor. Justified because two of them combined their powers over gravity (Meteorite) and fire (Crucible) to create it.

Nov 24th 2017 at 12:52:22 AM

Corrected minor formatting issues and a missing period.

Webcomics

  • Meteors in Homestuck look like normal asteroids when floating in the Veil, but as soon as they're summoned to various locations, they become flaming rocks. Since players can breathe in space, it's safe to assume the Medium got oxygen, allowing the meteors to look cool.

Nov 24th 2017 at 2:55:53 AM

^ Thank you kindly, and added the example - though the lack of oxygen isn't the reason why meteors don't burn normally; rock and ice just aren't flammable

Nov 24th 2017 at 6:38:56 AM

Western Animation

  • The Loonatics Unleashed received their superpowers in 2772 when a large meteor entered the atmosphere of Acmetropolis, catching fire presumably due to air friction, and leaving a smoke trail as it plummeted into the city's central bay. There, it released arcane energies that empowered six relatively ordinary FunnyAnimals, and also some of their Rogues Gallery, such as Weather Vane and Massive.

Nov 24th 2017 at 8:42:53 AM

^^ oh alright. Anime example:

  • Akainu from One Piece can use his Magma Man abilities to fire fist-shaped lava projectiles upwards. They rain down like burning meteors. The attack is appropriately named Ryusei Kazan, literally meaning "Meteor Volcano".

That's all for now, but I'll come back if I find/remember other examples.

Nov 24th 2017 at 1:52:00 PM

So what the trope description is suggesting that "summoning meteors" shouldn't be a part of the Playing With Fire powerset, but rather of either Dishing Out Dirt or Gravity Master. Interesting.

Nov 25th 2017 at 9:19:50 AM

^^^ and ^^: Added, and thanks!

^ Yep. Even An Ice Person would be more 'realistic' as a meteor-summoner than someone Paying With Fire

Nov 25th 2017 at 11:19:26 AM

A flaming meteor might an example of Space Is Air if it's shown burning while still in space.

Nov 25th 2017 at 12:14:42 PM

^ Oh that was the trope I was trying to remember while writing the Homestuck example.

Nov 26th 2017 at 1:36:04 PM

Unlaunched as it was rogue-launched without proper discussion. Culprit called in.

Nov 26th 2017 at 2:03:55 PM

Tabletop Games

  • Played with in Dungeons And Dragons by the Meteor Swarm spell, which conjures small "meteors" that deal bludgeoning damage on impact and then explode.

Webcomics

  • Subverted in Draconia Chronicles. A volcano erupts and throws out meteor-like chunks of lava. At first the fire dragons attempt to use their elemental control powers to deflect them, only to discover that they're actually made of rock and they can't really do anything to stop them. Giving the oppressed earth dragons the chance to demonstrate their value.

Nov 26th 2017 at 4:04:17 PM

This really needs a more interesting name. I'd like something alliterative, but my attempts have only brought up nonsense like Media Meteors Mostly Made Of Immolating Masses.

Nov 26th 2017 at 11:06:32 PM

Flaming Meteor? Meteors On Fire?

Contrast Frictionless Reentry, when objects travelling through space can get into the atmosphere without burning.

Nov 27th 2017 at 12:17:48 AM

In Terra Battle, Bahamut's final skill is "Meteor", which rains down a bunch of fiery meteorites on the field, dealing fire damage to any enemies that get hit.

Nov 27th 2017 at 12:25:48 AM

Flaming Meteor was okay imo. The draft history shows the change happened after Theharbo last edited, so... I may be wrong, but it seems whoever rogue-launched this changed the name to Meteors Are Fire, which doesn't sound as good. Not to mention the trope is "meteors are depicted as rocks on fire", not quite the same thing. I suggest changing it back to Flaming Meteor.

Nov 27th 2017 at 12:28:09 AM

Wait, I leave for the weekend and suddenly there's someone launching it prematurely, the name is getting changed, and there're multiple discussions going. This'll take a little while to go through, but corrections will be forthcoming shortly.

Nov 27th 2017 at 12:47:17 AM

Right, I'm up to speed. Changed the name back to Flaming Meteor - I'm open to naming suggestions, but please don't unilaterally change it.

^^^^^^^ Thanks.

^^^^^^ Added, but I have a question about the Dungeons And Dragons example; are the meteors on fire? Because otherwise I would say that it is not an example of the trope as it is then portrayed fairly realistic: Getting hit by a falling rock hurts, Meteors are falling rock, therefore getting hit by a meteor hurts. It's also listed as bludgeoning damage, so the meteor, presumably, directly impacts the target - and the impact causing an explosion is also not unexpected. (There might be a trope here about how explosions are depicted as fiery. Thanks Hollywood Science )

^^^^^ Clear Concise Witty. The current one is clear and concise but is about as witty as the average plank of wood. - If we can find a name that remains clear and concise while adding wit, count me in.

^^^^ Added the Frictionless Reentry contrast

^^^ Added

^^ Done.

Nov 27th 2017 at 9:43:15 PM

I feel like it's also worth pointing out situations like in the injustice videogame where superman punches someone into space, but they only ignite the atmosphere on the way *down*.

Nov 27th 2017 at 11:48:16 PM

Dota2:

  • Invoker's Chaos Meteor deal damage-over-time when a foe touches the meteor. The distance of the meteor and the damage is based on his current power of Wex and Exort, respectively. It takes time for the meteor to land and move, so synergy with his other skills is necessary for maximum damage.
    • The Meteor Hammer summons a meteor after a few seconds which can stun and deal damage-over-time to units and buildings.

Nov 28th 2017 at 12:11:19 AM

^^ Inverted Frictionless Reentry

^ First example added, as for the second example; is the meteor on fire? Quite an important part of the trope.

Nov 28th 2017 at 12:14:51 AM

So I just launched this trope, but forgot that I'm frikin' *banned from editing trope pages*. so could someone please go add this to Artistic Liscence Astronomy?

Nov 28th 2017 at 12:20:10 AM

Please don't launch tropes without the OP's permission.

Nov 28th 2017 at 12:50:26 AM

How do you unlaunch a trope again? Seems like I'm going to be needing that ability...

Nov 28th 2017 at 1:09:13 AM

As far as I know, only a mod can do it. I'd suggest putting No Launching Please at the top of your draft, it might be useful, assuming people bother to read it...

Nov 28th 2017 at 1:37:28 AM

I've unlaunched it. skadooshbag, when you are edit banned you should not launch tropes.

Nov 28th 2017 at 11:14:43 AM

Thanks, Septimus. I am very aware that I shouldn't launch tropes when I'm banned, I just forgot that I was.

Nov 29th 2017 at 5:50:27 AM

But the trope is launchable now, isn't it? Or are there any controversial points still?

Nov 29th 2017 at 6:38:57 AM

^ The name apparently. I'll put out a bracket for suggestions

Nov 29th 2017 at 7:04:48 AM

@theharbo Well, it's blue fire as far as I could tell. Plus it does damage-over-time so I assume it's burning.

Also, disappointed that you didn't mention the quote. But oh well.

Nov 29th 2017 at 7:32:41 AM

^ Added. And I didn't add the quote because 'meatball' seems like an odd term for a meteor.

Nov 29th 2017 at 10:03:19 AM

The name seems more or less okay. It may not be witty but it's still clear and concise. I'm pretty sure people were complaining about the name when it was changed, without realizing it, since one of the suggestions is... Flaming Meteor. I'm not against trying to find something that sounds even better, but I think it's rather unnecessary. Tropes are allowed to have self-explanatory names.

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