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"Only a fool fights in a burning house."
—Seldom heeded Klingon proverb
Yes, it seems that, in many instances of fiction, the epic battle between good and evil occurs during a wildfire of some sort. These fires are often caused by explosions, random lightning hitting a tree, or by the hero/villain him/herself. In either case, it makes the battle itself more dramatic and more exciting to the viewer.
This will always be extremely guilty of Convection, Schmonvection. As long as you don't touch the fire, you'll be fine. Also, you won't tend to see smoke inhalation affect the combatants much, even though smoke inhalation is the most common killer in real fires.
See also Ring of Fire.
Anime and Manga
- In the Soul Society arc in Bleach, Captain-Commander Yamamoto's battle with Captains Kyoraku and Ukitake, though largely unseen, counts.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, there is a forest fire during a fight between Ed and co. and Pride and Gluttony. Pride started it to make sure his Living Shadow would have light to cast it.
- In the 2003 anime version, the battle between Mustang and Anime!Pride takes place in a burning building, though Mustang is deliberately exploiting the fire to his advantage.
- Space Pirate Mito: During the first half, Aoi, Mito's son, keeps having flashes of a memory involving his mother fighting Ranban while flames swirled around them.
- ROD the TV had a rather significant one happening between it, and the original Read Or Die OVA, seen in increasing detail in a number of flashbacks... Yomiko Readman suffering a Heroic BSOD after Mr. Gentlemen tells her what happened to her first boyfriend, in the depths of the British Library secret underground lair. Pissed off Papermaster + a fuckton of paper + computers shooting sparks = Traumatic childhood experience for a 4-years-old caught in the middle of it...
- The Mariage from StrikerS Sound Stage X of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha set every place they attack on fire. This naturally culminated in a final battle in the burning Marine Garden where the StrikerS and N2R unit had to fight them while suppressing the fire and rescuing any survivors at the same time.
- Samurai Champloo: Perhaps jested at where Jin and Mugen are fighting ferociously and a fire breaks out. The two swordsmen ignore their surroundings as if used to fighting in these conditions or too focused to care. The building collapses and they pass out before they can continue their fight. The wise choice would have been to take the fight elsewhere...
- The Fate/stay night anime begins with Saber and Gilgamesh fighting within the burning Fuyuki City.
- Pokémon Special: Naturally, most battles against Team Magma turn into this, especially when it involves Mack of the Three Fires since his ability as a Master of Illusion requires a lot of trapped heat in the area so that his opponents would start hallucinating due to heat stroke.
- The final showdown between Tamahome and Nakago, as well as the one before that, in Fushigi Yuugi.
- The fight between Kenshin (and company) and Shishio takes place amidst the fires of an oil refinery in Shishio's base. Of course, Shishio's motif is fire - when he unleashes his ki, it's commented that the flames rise in response.
- Tenma vs. Roberto? Yes, please. Tenma vs. Roberto as everything around them is burning down?
- The finale of the first episode of Berserk has Guts facing off against the Baron of Koka Castle as the village they are in is burning down.
- The final battle of Ninja Scroll has the hero facing the Big Bad in the hold of a burning ship. The flames are so hot that they melt the gold bars in the hold, ignoring the fact that the melting point of gold is 1064 degrees Celcius, which would easily be hot enough to rapidly reduce the wooden ship to ash and cook both fighters alive before they could exchange more than a few blows.
- Yaiba: The final battle during the Oda Nobunaga Tournament takes place in a copy of the Temple of Honnoji (where Nobunaga met his doom) and, just to fit the atmosphere, the shrine is set ablaze with fire arrows!
- Elks Run sets one of these up, but doesn't actually go through with it—the hero abandons the battle to go help some people who've been trapped by the fire, leaving the villain alone and confused.
- When Spider-Man had his first full fight with the Hobgolin, it was in a burning warehouse.
- In Cradle 2 the Grave, Su (played by Jet Li) fights Ling on the airport where the helicopter circled it with oil and its explosion lit the circle on fire.
- Which bears parallels to another Ring of Fire showdown in Romeo Must Die.
- The battle between Godzilla and Monster X/Keizer Ghidorah in Godzilla: Final Wars features a brief scene where both monsters stand amongst the flaming buildings of where Tokyo once stood and shot energy blasts at one another.
- This happens in Felidae as well, due to Pasacal/Claudandus accidentally knocking over a computer and causing it to explode.
- At the end of The Four Musketeers (1974), a battle between the title characters and the Cardinal's men partially occurs in a burning building after a lantern is knocked into a pile of straw.
- Happens during a battle between Gamera and Irys in Gamera 3: Incomplete Struggle.
- Happens in Star Wars Episode III - Lava, of course, but it fits. There's also a Star Wars Expanded Universe comic where Vader fights a resurrected Darth Maul. Lava is involved.
- The climax of Backdraft: the fire proves far more dangerous than the villain ever was.
- Spider-Man battles Green Goblin in a burning building in the first movie. (Since he wanted to meet Spider-Man, it's implied Gobby was the one who set the place on fire to begin with.)
- The fight in the hotel at the climax of Quantum of Solace.
- The climactic fistfight in The Power Of One.
- Happens twice in Legend (1985): once when Jack and his allies fight Darkness' Mooks in the hellish kitchen, and again when they battle the Big Bad Darkness himself at the climax (Darkness provides most of the flames).
- Batman Begins has this twice: first time is in the League of Shadows HQ when Bruce Wayne suddenly decides "Thanks for all the ninja training, but you guys kind of suck. Laters!" and the second is when the League hits Wayne up at his manor and are like, "We didn't appreciate your tone back there. Uncool."
- The final battle of Ninja Assassin
- Tom Yum Goong: The battle at the temple against the Capoeira guy and the Wushu guy.
- Inexplicably, this same fight scene took place in knee deep water.
- The final fight at the end of "Iron Monkey". On top of wooden poles, no less.
- The end of The Wolf Man remake
- Freddy vs. Jason had this in the grand finale.
- The ending of Halloween Resurrection.
- Also during the climax of the first Wrong Turn film.
- The final fight between Jet Li and Jet Li in The One takes place in an abandoned factory. One of the machines is damaged, and it starts throwing sparks all over the place. While not specifically fire, they still look cool, especially when time slows down. Quite possibly the only reason to go see the movie.
- The final confrontation between Captain Miller and Doctor Weir in Event Horizon occurs in the titular ship's engine room, which Weir and/or the ship itself set on fire to further mess with Miller (who Backstory involves losing a crew member to a fire).
- The Sherlock Holmes movie "A Study in Terror" features a climactic fight between Holmes and Lord Carfax, alias Jack the Ripper in a burning building.
- Interview with the Vampire: There are four fights in burning buildings.
- The siege of King's Landing in A Song of Ice and Fire. An especially deadly variety due to the fire being Wildfire, a substance that can burn on anything, even water, salt, rock or metal, and is almost impossible to put out.
- In The Wheel of Time series, Mat's climactic fight against the gholem takes place in a burning building.
- Point Blanc ends with this, between Alex and his lookalike.
Live Action TV
- The second episode of Kamen Rider Kuuga has a showdown between Kuuga and his opponent in a burning church.
- Buffy battles Angelus in a burning warehouse in the episode Passion.
- WWE Inferno Match: the ring is surrounded by gas pipes emitting (low-temp) fire. Whichever wrestler sets his opponent on fire wins. Kane is usually one of the wrestlers involved. Strangely for this being "his" gimmick match, he loses about as often as he wins.
- Actually, Kane has only won one inferno match, against MVP.
- To be fair, there've only been four of these matches, total. Kane's been in all of them and lost all but one. This is mainly because for a long time, Kane wore a full body suit that could be fitted with fireproofing, unlike his opponents. The one he won featured him in different(shirtless) attire against an opponent with more covering.
- During the WWF "Attitude Era" a championship match between Steve Austin and the Undertaker was promoted with film of the actors wrestlers stalking each other through a burning junkyard. In print promos the Artist's Rendering showed them attacked each other with car batteries, doors, etc. in the same junkyard of fire. The match itself was gimmick-free, AIR.
- The climax of the Feng Shui adventure "Baptism Of Fire" involves the heroes battling it out with an Evil Sorcerer and a vicious gang leader and his men inside a burning tenement building.
- Genius: The Transgression recommends fight locations that are on fire and/or falling, preferably and.
- An inevitable consequence of having too many Fire Aspect Terrestrial Exalted in one place. (Note: if the area contains enough wood, "too many" equals one.)
- Sweet Gay Baby Jesus!: The room which has caused so much friction throughout the play is set ablaze, and nearly the entire cast assemble to take down the Big Bad and save the girl.
- In Killer 7, the fight with Julia Kisugi in Sunset Part 1 is a shootout in a restuarant that is burning down.
- The last boss fight you play as Roxas Kingdom Hearts II. Hell, at some points, you're even running on the fire to do a reaction command.
- In Tekken 5 (though not Dark Resurrection), the temple stage is this.
- The final battle of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time.
- The battle vs. Sticky Fingaz in Def Jam Series: Fight for New York takes place in a Ring of Fire.
- The final fight in Soul Calibur 2 takes place on an eternal field of fire. There's also a burning building stage in the third game.
- The first level of Castlevania: Dracula X.
- Turok: When Turok fights Roland Kane, the Big Bad and then after killing him, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. And this takes place in a fortress that had been burning down... and was in the middle of a volcanic landscape.
- Resident Evil 4: The first boss fight takes place in a burning building.
- Resident Evil 5: A final boss battle ends up on some sinking roks in the middle of a freaking lava flow.
- Golden Sun: Any fights taking place in Magma Rock have a background of lava pits and burning puzzle pieces.
- Both battles against Berial from Devil May Cry 4 take place in a village that burns down as the battle rages.
- The last two stages of Subterranean Animism took place in (former) Hell. In which the flame is still as hot as the core of the sun.
- Of course, that temperature might be due to the fact that they're fueled by nuclear fusion at this point.
- World of Warcraft: Mimiron in Ulduar, but only if you do him on hard mode (which is activated by hitting the room's Self-Destruct Mechanism).
- Battlefield 5-10 in Blaze Union.
- American McGee's Alice battles the Jabberwock on flaming floorboards similar to her own house when it burned down.
- The climactic battle against the leader of the Ronin in Saints Row 2 is a sword-fight on a burning ship.
- The final battle between Mario/Luigi and Bowser at the end of Super Mario Galaxy takes place inside the Sun!
- The Incident at Honno-ji stage in Sengoku Basara frequently involves fighting Oda Nobunaga in the midst of the burning temple. In the anime, Kojuro and Mitsuhide are the ones who fight there, although the heat and smoke make Ranmaru faint.
- Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer has an interesting example in the Ashenwood, where the creature you're battling is the source of the flames (some sort of fire elemental that is stuck in place and has caused a forest fire).
- Dead Fantasy III.
- One of the most famous (and possibly triumphant) examples of this is the climactic final battle in The Lion King (see the page pic).
- In Disney's Robin Hood, when Robin is fleeing/fighting the Sheriff in the burning tower. Unlike many Battles Amongst The Flames, Robin has the sense to try to get out of the way of the fire, though doing so by going up the tower isn't the most effective idea.
- Occurs in the episode "Lois Kills Stewie" in Family Guy.
- In Gargoyles, Demona battles Thailog atop a burning roller-coaster.
- Subverted in South Park: In the trailer for Cartoon Wars: Part II, the Fox studio is on fire when Kyle fights Cartman. In the actual episode, they fight, but it's not on fire. Given the theme of the episode, the trailer might have been Wish Fulfillment for Trey Parker.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, the final battle between Aang and Ozai. Justified in that he had been busy firebombing the place before being interrupted. Also, any Agni Kai (fire duel), but particularly the comet-enhanced fight between Zuko and Azula, which torched a fair portion of the royal compound.
- During World War II the Russians would occasionally light forest fires behind the German lines to mess up their system.
- At Trafalgar there was one incident where the Brits With Battleships stopped firing so they could help the French put out a fire. Besides the fact that the fire might spread to their ship(they were almost touching each other) the British knew that if the French ship blew up, it would deprive them of Plunder.
- James Nicolson, fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain, finds himself taking multiple hits which set his aircraft ablaze. The flames (from burning petrol) have already spread into the cockpit and he himself is on fire. Halfway to bailing out, he sees an enemy fighter dead in front, not paying attention. What does he do? Lowers himself back into the burning cockpit, takes the controls and fireballs the Nazi before making his charred but successful exit. He was rewarded with a well deserved Victoria Cross. He almost didn't survive; after bailing out, Nicholson sustained worse injuries when over-eager Home Guard soldiers started shooting at him on the way down (they thought he was a German paratrooper). Stop that chaps! Right now!