The Flamethrower is a recurring weapon in the Resident Evil series.
In Resident Evil games
Resident Evil/ Remake
The first is found in the original Resident Evil (and the remake) by Chris Redfield in the underground area beneath the Spencer Mansion's courtyard. It can be used to fight the Black Tiger, destroying its offspring as well if used.
In the Remake, a broken flamethrower is found in the tunnels where Lisa Trevor wanders. To leave the area, the player must pull a lever, then place the flamethrower into a rack before it retracts into the wall.
In Jill Valentine's scenario, if the player uses V-JOLT on Plant 42, they will view a special cutscene upon entering the plant room. The weakened plant will pick up Jill, and Barry Burton subsequently enters the room carrying a flamethrower. Barry then uses the flamethrower point blank, killing the plant.
Resident Evil 2
The second is found in Resident Evil 2 by Leon S. Kennedy on Level B4 of William Birkin's laboratory, inside the locker. In a scientist's sleeping quarters, Leon can alternatively use this to burn the plant tentacles blocking the air vent, instead of using the lighter. Like the Spark Shot, ammo is counted as a percentage since it has no spare ammunition to be found elsewhere.
Leon's flamethrower proves particularly useful against Ivies, which infest the West Area of Lab Level B4.
The above flamethrowers were improvised by Umbrella Corporation employees from a variety of weapons parts, and are found in or near Umbrella research facilities. Both models accept fuel from small canisters coupled to the weapon frame, real-world military flamethrowers requiring a back-mounted tank apparatus. As a result, the Umbrella flamethrowers have considerably shorter range and capacity, though they are far less cumbersome than their real-world counterparts.
There is ammo for the Flamethrower, labeled "fuel tank," but cannot be obtained by legit means.
Resident Evil 5
A third flamethrower is found in Resident Evil 5 by Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar. This flamethrower is only available as a special weapon for the boss fight against Uroboros Mkono in the Experimental Facility, stage 5-2.
Apparently, the device was originally used to destroy hazardous material in the lab in case of accidental exposure. The weapon, mounted on the wall on a refueling station, will automatically begin to fill after the fight begins, only removable after becoming fully charged. The flamethrower holds "100 Ammo", with approximately 5 consumed per second of firing. The flame alone cannot kill the Uroboros directly, but make it expose its weak spots, and the user will need to expose its weak spots several times to defeat it. At any time, the flamethrower may be placed back on the wall to charge. Unlike the previous incarnations, this flamethrower uses a back-mounted fuel tank, with higher range as a result.
It is possibly based on the United States military's M2A1-7 flamethrower, or one of the many variants of the M2. The flamethrower was used to exploit Mkono's weakness to intense heat, and expose its weak spots, which were fired upon by the partner not wearing the flamethrower. A similar effect can also be achieved with flame rounds for the grenade launcher. Although the reason is unclear, the flamethrower was discarded after the fight and is not encountered again in the game. Most likely, it was because it doesn't hold a great deal of ammo, and they would have no way of reloading the weighty and bulky weapon.
It should also be noted that in Resident Evil 5's "Extra Figurines pack", Sheva's Fairy Tale figure is seeing holding a flamethrower.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
The flamethrower returns in Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City. Similarly to its appearance in previous games,ammunition is measured as a percentage, and no additional ammunition can be carried. The flamethrower cannot be purchased, and players cannot spawn with a flamethrower. It must be found in a weapon crate in a campaign or multiplayer game. It can be refilled from any ammo or ammunition boxes found in the game. In the final mission in the campaign, a Government Spec Ops soldier is seen using a flamethrower against zombies and crimson heads.
During the Spec Ops campaign, in Raccoon City Hall, USS soldiers are seen using flamethorwers in the Reccords room to burn documents.
In other media
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds
Chris Redfield uses the Flamethrower from RE5 as a part of his arsenal. It used by pressing back and punch. The Flamethrower has noteworthy stopping power, going so far as to interrupt most enemy attacks, even hyper combos. Its quick, has excellent range, and hits multiple times; making it one of his most effective (and exploitable) attacks.
- In the original Resident Evil, there were going to be Fuel Tanks that allowed the player to "reload" the Flamethrower, but they got cut out from the final product most likely for balancing reasons. In Resident Evil 1.5, flamethrower ammo was actually an item, capable of being carried by the player. These were ultimately cut, although they can, along with Spark Shot ammo, be found on the second game's demo disc with the help of modding devices.
- This type of weapon is legal to own in real life, and can be purchased for 300US$, depending on the model.