Normal/ Replay/ ScavengerEscaped: Recover2, MP Boost1
Defeated: Protein Capsule, Airburst x4, Pyke
Bounty/ NightmareEscaped: Nothing
Defeated: Ringer's Solution, Airburst x4
The Burner is a powerful ANMC that Aya Brea encounters in Dryfield. This massive ANMC has a flamethrower mounted inside of its head, the nozzle of which extends out its mouth. It is extremely resilient to damage, having apparently bypassed several of Gary Douglas' traps simply by stepping on them. Aya confronts this creature during nighttime on the balcony of the motel.
Though a common misconception is that, to earn the Good ending, you cannot let the Burner retreat, this is false. Neither the fate of Flint, nor the outcome of this fight, affect the game's ending; you simply get several bonuses, notably access to useful late-game equipment, by killing the Burner and saving Flint. Killing the beast will earn Aya the full EXP award and the BP award (which will be 0 if the Burner escapes) and a grateful Douglas and Flint will meet her at the bottom. Douglas rewards Aya with an M950, a fully automatic sub-machine handgun with a 100-round clip. If the Burner escapes, Flint dies and a distraught Douglas instead gives Aya the Chicken Plate armor.
Burner has 4650 HP and his HP must be reduced to 1,626 or less within 3 minutes in order for Flint to be saved; if you do not reduce his HP to 1,626 or less within the time limit, the Burner will flee, killing Flint in the process.
If the player deals enough damage, a cutscene will take place where he grabs his face in pain, causing the second phase of the fight to begin, and the player can take as long as they like to finish the Burner off. However, the Burner can now grab Aya; if Aya is grabbed, wiggle by mashing the buttons on the d-pad, but also hit the shoot-button a lot. As soon as he smashes Aya against the wall, run back to the corner immediately or he might attack you.
Parasite Energy is useful in this fight, most notably Lv.2 or 3 Necrosis and Lv.1 or 2 Energyshot. A high-level Necrosis spell will deal major poison damage over time, and making sure to re-cast the spell when it wears off (when the Burner stops glowing purple) will be your best asset in quickly hitting the damage threshold required to save Flint. Necrosis also offers incredible defensive utility in this fight: the poison damage will usually interrupt the Burner's attacks, often preventing him from successfully using his Flamethrower at all.
In fact, if you immediately run to the corner between Aya's room and the Loft (double doors), cast Necrosis and Energyshot, and shoot constantly in between Necrosis re-casts with your weapon of choice, you will quickly hit the damage threshold to save Flint while staying relatively safe from all of the Burner's attacks—the only attacks that can reach Aya in this corner are the Flamethrower and Grab, both of which will usually be interrupted by Necrosis damage. The M4A1 rifle or M93R/P08 with Hydra rounds are recommended; Necrosis is so powerful here that you can save your grenades for Disc 2 and easily kill the Burner well within the time limit to save Flint.
Otherwise, Aya will have to run back and forth in order to dodge his attacks. He has three main attacks for the first part of the fight, and an additional combined attack for the second part:
- Breathing out fire which Aya will have to run to the end of the balcony to dodge.
- Slamming his fist onto the balcony floor. This one can be tricky to dodge if you are in his line of fire, but you stand a better chance of dodging if you hug the hotel walls (On a cosmetic note, damage will appear on the balcony when he uses this one).
- Raises his arm out, swiping it along a good part of the balcony and slamming Aya into the Loft wall. This can be dodged by running to the loft or between Rooms 5 and 6.
- Grabs Aya and proceeds to crush the life out of her (will hit for a max. of seven times). If Aya counterattacks, he will use a lower-damaging flame attack on her. If Aya remains in his hand, he will throw her along the motel wall.
If the player chooses to fight from a distance, immediately retreat to either the rear of the balcony by the stairs or close to the Room 6 entrance door, between the two two hotel rooms. By standing along the far left side and timing your shots with when the Burner is about to attack with his flamethrower (forcing him to fire in the wrong direction), Aya will be able to avoid most, if not all of the flame damage. Burner will be unable to use any other attacks, given he is too far from Aya. With this tactic, the M4A1 and P08 with Hydra ammo are easily enough to bring the beast down, quickly, thus saving on costly grenades and medication.
Regarding whether you should fight closely or at a distance, it depends on what your preferred playstyle is and what your current weapons (and Necrosis level) are. If you use pistols and shotguns, the former method is probably better and if you use rifles and submachine guns, the latter method is probably better, though the Necrosis-from-the-corner strategy explained above is extremely effective for all weapon types and is the recommended strategy if you intend to save Flint.
At the end of the battle, Burner will damage a path along Main Street and the Balcony, limiting Aya's ability to move around Dryfield. Her next goal will be to check on Mr. Douglas and Flint, to see if they are okay.