By Morrow Gordon

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After making my "Water In Video Games" article, I received awesome responses from you users here at Retrojunk. But after reading C-Boss's comment on fire in video games, i realized how much fire there really is (Thanks C-Boss)!!!

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Magma, lava, and fire are all VERY common elements in video games, ever since the early years.

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It is the ultimate pitfall! How bad would it be to fall
into a pit and be burned/melted alive?!?

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I would guess that it sucks.

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There's even a Gamestop commercial parodying the platforming element of fire and lava in games.

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Looking back, fire had many of the same qualities that water did for me. Not that i wanted to swim or be in it, but rather it was very bright, colorful, and provided a great obstacle

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(and yes...sometimes i did like to swim in it....)

The "Fire Emblem" series has it in the title of every game!
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If you have read my article on water, you know how much i hate invisible walls...i mean come on, even superman 64 had fire and let you get in the water!

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(of course it doesn't make a splash...that shows how bad the game is...and i was one of the suckers who payed full price when it came out)

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I think the Nintendo 64 had some great looking lava...it was all gooey and watery.
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Did anyone try to get all of the challenge points for "Shadows of the Empire?" One of them existed in a lava pit! You had to get hurt to get it...
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Probably one of the coolest games ever has one of the hottest stages...
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In "Star Fox 64" you fight on the Sun!!!

However, i really loved the fire/lava from the NES and SNES. My favorite probably being the first level in "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game."
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I also actually like the games that have the representation of lava as simply red colored water...
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Does anyone remember the "Adventures in the Magic Kingdom" game? The "Pirates of the Caribbean" section was fun, but that was about it.....

The final obstacle in the original "Zelda" has the player simply cut through the flames in order to save the Princess...
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Castlevania 2 featured a lot of fire, such as the awakening of Dracula himself!
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(and the introduction of the "Fire Whip" was crucial)

Batman is so awesome that when he punches enemies, he makes them explode!....sweet....
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Oh no Robocop! Watch out for the flamethrowers!
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The only thing that looked good in the "Temple of Doom" game was the lava...
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"Wario Land" had the flame shooting dragon cap!
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(Why are Gameboy games always overlooked in gaming retrospectives?)

What was a really great aspect about the SNES was the depth and visual display it gave to the textures of fire. The SNES had a glowing look that was really advanced.

"Zelda" had it...
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"Final Fantasy III (VI)" had it...
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"Earthbound" had it...
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(look out for the "Soul Consuming Flame"!)

The "Magical Quest" had an entire fire level where Mickey dons a cool fireman suit...
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("YOGA FLAME!")

In "SimCity", I liked destroying a city with Bowser...
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(Nintendo has the coolest cameos...)

The Genesis however had some breakthrough fire moments for me when it was released. Of course I am referring to the Sonic games, which have always had great fire. I remember being blown away by the "Marble Zone" in the first game. Being chased by rivers of lava and thrown in the air by geysers of fire was amazing.
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The other Sonic games also looked great.
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"Sonic Adventure" had a great volcano sequence.

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(So does the "Wii Sports Resort" and "Zelda 64"!)

I remember when I was in the second grade, and older kid told my friends and I that you could jump into a lava pit in a castle in "Super Mario World" that would transport you to a secret area...
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(I'm guessing it would look like this...)
In this area you would fight Mouser on a motorcycle........ what a LIAR!!!! Fortunately I never tried it, but i remember my friends coming back the next day and telling how many lives they lost trying to find it. Interestingly enough, I was rewatching some old "Super Mario Bros. Super Show" episodes and saw this.......

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MOUSER ON A MOTORCYCLE!!!!!! (is this a coincidence?!?!...)

Regardless, "Mario World" had a lot of cool fire in it. My favorite being Yoshi's little fireplace at his house!
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But this leads me to a small rant on kids who tell lies to get attention...I remember one kid telling me that you can play as Charizard in "Smash Bros 64" by typing a code on the title screen (it went something like A+B+Up+B+B+A+C-right+C-up+etc. etc. etc...)
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Then there was a kid who told me that if you shot at the "S" key on the keyboard on the Train level in "Goldeneye" that Natalya would cuss at you...
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There is one thing that I saw though! (I hope it wasnt just a dream). One time in "Mission: Impossible 64" (underrated game), I fell off the CIA building and instead of just saying "Mission Failed," it had a cut scene of Ethan falling. Since then I have never heard of or seen that happen again (and I have tried!!!)

Anyways, it is interesting to see how many great video games have a balance of the classical elements. Fire, Water, Earth, and Air (take a look at EVERY Mario game).
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"Aladdin" on the SNES and on the Genesis (two completely different games) is a great example of this balance.

Every Mega Man game also has a sort of this balance, with water levels, snow levels, but especially fire levels....
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Nearly every Mega Man game has a fire boss, ranging from Fire Man (Mega Man 1), Heat Man (Mega Man 2), Flame Man (Mega Man 6), Magma Man (Mega Man 9), Flame Mammoth (Mega Man X), Flame Stag (Mega Man X2), Magma Dragoon (Mega Man X4), Burn DinoRex (Mega Man X5), Blaze Phoenix (Mega Man X6), Flame Hyenard (Mega Man X7), and Burn Rooster (Mega Man X8). There might actually be more than what is pictured here due to the numerous spin offs the series has produced.

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I know that Mega Man has way too many fire bosses, but they still provide awesome levels, like the cascading rivers from the Heat Man stage.

And hey, these fire baddies are way cooler than "Sheep Man".......
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(or are they?!?)

In "Mario Party" there was a really fun platforming minigame where these petals would drop you into the water unless you are standing on the right color. But in "Mario Party 2", the beautiful and refreshing water is turned into molten lava!!!! Yeouch!
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Surprisingly, what the Playstation 1 lacked in water, it made up in some cool fire moments...

My favorite level in "Twisted Metal 2" is the Amazon area with lava surrounding the entire course...
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Here is Lara Croft catching on fire in her own home...
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(can she make it to the waters in the bathtub?)

Probably my favorite area in "Metal Gear Solid" is the Furnace area with a pit of lava in the middle.
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Crawling along the edge was a new type of espionage in gaming I had never seen before. And the best was throwing the baddies into it!

Newer games have some really realistic flames...
The new "Ghostbusters" video game had some smooth graphics and fire ghosts...
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I've heard it is bad, but the newest "Alone in the Dark" game supposedly has some great fire in it...
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Fire in Video Games is an element like water that will never go away. It will continually be advanced and upgraded to look the best it can...


...But last and definitely not least, here is the greatest fire moment in gaming history........


"HE'S ON FIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
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.......oh yeah..........

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THE END