— Cinder's introduction quote
"Cinder" (real name Ben Ferris) is a playable character featured in the Killer Instinct franchise. He is a human male with a body composed completely of plasma and flames. He is a dashing-rushdown character in the original Killer Instinct, and an aerial-dashing-trapping character in Killer Instinct (2013).
In the original Killer Instinct, Cinder's design was very simple. Cinder's body, due to a chemical accident, is permanently on fire. His skin has been transformed into an orange matter that resembles plasma, like the surface of the sun. The skin may be able to fluctuate its own temperature however, because if it was pure plasma, then Cinder would instantly melt through whatever he was touching. Because of the high temperatures, Cinder has no hair on his body. He has a fairly muscular build and stands at a slightly above-average height, and he has a prominent jawline. His ears are gone, and he has no nose or mouth, but is still able to speak and make sounds. His feet come to a boot-like tip. His eyes are solid red orbs with no pupils or irises.
In Killer Instinct (2013), he undergoes several large changes. His body's plasma has become a much darker shade of orange, and it emits ribbons of fire that swirl around him like solar flares on the surface of the sun. His head, shoulders, knees, hands, hips, and feet resemble solid brownish-grey volcanic rock, while the rest of his body is plasma. Thin red wires are present on his forearms and ankles, and on his hips are small turbine-like structures. Over parts of his body are holographic red hexagons that resemble the same patterns found on Riptor's body. He now has two thumbs and three fingers on each hand, and his hands are curved into alienoid claws. His eyes glow white instead of red and are fixated in a vicious scowl. He has a small, but noticeable, indent in his mask where his mouth should be. In his intro and victory scenes, and when in Instinct Mode, his mask disintegrates to reveal his bare head of plasma and a near-shapeless mass of a mouth.
In concept art for Killer Instinct (2013), Cinder's stone skin was a burned black color. The stone reached further up his arms and he had a large triangular shape around his groin area. He also had two sets of eyes (four total) and a gaping mouth with a raging fire within. He was also much thinner and less muscular, giving him a more alienoid appearance. In even earlier designs he could be seen with a mechanical face plate and large metal pieces of armor, making him appear more industrial and cyborg.
Cinder was a convicted criminal who agreed to participate in Ultratech’s chemical weapons test in exchange for early parole. A failed experiment turned him into a being of living flame. He has now been offered freedom if he can defeat Glacius in the Killer Instinct tournament.
Ben Ferris, a small-time criminal with counts of assault, breaking and entering and arson on his record, is the latest convict to be bought out of jail for Ultratech’s twisted uses. His fate is to be used as a human guinea-pig in the company’s chemical weapon developments, an unexpected side-effect leaving him consumed by fire but somehow, much to his own horror, still alive. He is kept confined in a top-security block until Ultratech decide to enter him into the tournament under the codename Cinder to defeat Glacius fairly and in full public view, his freedom providing the ultimate incentive.
Stage: Desert Rooftop
- Mini Torch: (Back, Back, Light Punch) Cinder creates a small plume of flame in the palm of his hand.
- Trailblazer: (Forward, Forward, Any Punch) Cinder transforms his body into a spinning fireball, charging towards his opponent. This can also be done in mid-air.
- Semi Invisibility: (Half-Circle Forward-to-Back, Medium Punch) Cinder dims the natural light from the chemically-induced flames coating his body, allowing projectiles to harmlessly pass by. In the arcade version, he completely disappears from sight, leaving only the red heat haze from his body.
- Invisibility: (Half-Circle Forward-to-Back, Heavy Punch) Cinder alters the composition of his flame-covered body to such an extent that he vanishes completely from sight. Unlike his partial invisibility, this doesn't allow projectiles to pass him by.
- Inferno: (Forward, Forward, Any Kick) Cinder ejects a flamethrower-like stream of chemical fire from his hand, stretching a variable distance across the screen.
- Fire Flash: (Dragon-Punch Motion/Forward, Down, Forward, Any Kick) Cinder leaps into the air, kicking his enemy off the ground with a somersaulting attack.
- Air Juggle: (Forward, Forward, Heavy Punch) Cinder transforms his body into a spinning fireball, charging towards his opponent. This can also be done in mid-air.
- Combo Breaker: "Dragon-Punch", Any Kick
- Ultra Combo: Back, Forward, Fierce Punch
- Ender 1: Charge Back, Forward, Any Punch, Medium Punch
- Ender 2: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Kick, Fierce Kick
- Ender 3: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Kick, Medium Kick
- Ender 4: Forward, Quarter Forward, Down, Quarter Forward, Forward, Any Kick, Quick Kick
- No Mercy 1: [Stand 2 character distances away] Back, Back, Back, Medium Punch
- No Mercy 2: [Stand 2 character distances away] Half-Circle Forward, Quick Kick
- Humiliation: Back, Back, Back, Back, Fierce Kick
Leaving as the champion of the tournament, a hostile police reception awaits him outside the gates of Ultratech. As no stranger to confinement from his former life of crime, Cinder has no intention of being imprisoned again. Using his newly acquired power, he easily evades the capture attempt, leaving his potential captors in his wake. Picking a location suitable for his current condition, he ponders his next move.
Cinder did not appear in Killer Instinct 2. In Glacius' character profile, the original Glacius was said to have earned his freedom after "slaying a fire being", implying Cinder was killed by the alien.
Cinder returns as the eighth character of Killer Instinct Season 2. Since the series has been rebooted, his death at the hands of Glacius in the original Killer Instinct was retconned and his backstory has been altered.
Story: After a decorated and successful military career, Ben left the Army at age 31 to enter the lucrative world of paramilitary contracting. After all, a guy with his flawless mission completion record and skillset should be making a lot more money. Ben found himself in-demand, with each successful mission leading him to the next difficult but impressive payday. Instead of engaging in off-the-books operations for his country, Ben was doing it for crooked corporations and CEOs. This eventually landed him on Interpol’s most wanted list, but thanks to what he’d learned working closely with them in the past, avoiding them was almost too simple. Ben had his ideal job, incredible pay, and was sought after by the most powerful people on the planet.
Then he got the call that would change his life forever.
Ben received a contract offer for an almost ridiculous sum. The mission; infiltrate Ultratech to steal data related to “Project Cinder”. None of Ben’s contacts or colleagues had ever heard of anyone ever putting out a contract that targeted Ultratech. In fact, information on Ultratech was so scarce that it seemed like every other agency and corporation on the planet was pretending it didn’t exist. The danger, the difficulty, and the mystery only made the contract more appealing to Ben.
Ben signed and began researching “Project Cinder”. The more he learned, the less he felt like he knew. Ben had to go deeper. Many months passed as Ben worked Ultratech from the inside; making friends with higher level employees, bugging their gear or offices, and watching and listening for something, anything, that might point him in the right direction. The only piece of information he had after nearly a year on contract only increased his desire to complete the mission - all signs pointed toward extraterrestrial origins for "Project Cinder".
Extended Story — "Third Degree"
ARIA: Welcome to the Ultratech private holding facilities, prisoner 1857339. You have been given a stimulant to awaken you from the effect of the tranquilizer dart. You will be groggy at first. Sit up and take a sip of water from the feeding tube in the wall.
PRISONER # 1857339: Wha…where…[unintelligible] Where the [expletive] am I?
ARIA: You are in a cell in an Ultratech facility. There is no escape. Do not be alarmed. You are not injured.
PRISONER # 1857339: [sound of drinking water] I’m…I’m not sure I understand. The last thing that I remember was taking a wrong turn down a corridor and–
ARIA: Voice analysis detects that you are lying, prisoner 1857339.
PRISONER # 1857339: I’m an Ultratech employee. I’ve been working here as a data analyst for two months and–
ARIA: You were caught committing an act of industrial espionage against Ultratech. You are a spy.
PRISONER # 1857339: Well it sucks to be me today. Mondays, right?
ARIA: It is Tuesday.
PRISONER # 1857339: OK. Tuesday. Now what? Do I get to visit the Ultratech torture facility? Because listening to your computerized voice piped into this prison cell on that crap speaker is torture enough without this A-bomb of a headache going off in my skull. Remind me to never do tranquilizer darts again.
ARIA: Tell me about the Helmand Province raid.
PRISONER # 1857339: Excuse me?
ARIA: I have complete access to your military records.
PRISONER # 1857339: Really? That’s some illegal [expletive] ARIA. You know that? Holy [expletive]! You are breaking the law. That’s all classified.
[recording Epsilon_3589_BF.wav played over loudspeaker] “Come on! Laws were made to be broken! You think our government follows laws? Or billionaires and corporations? You think warlords have a little book of rules? You’re either a wolf or a sheep. And I’d rather be a wolf and eat mutton every day than feed on grass and get my ass sheared.”
PRISONER # 1857339: Sheesh. A guy can’t even talk to mom anymore without–
ARIA: I have access to all of your phone conversations. Your cellular provider is a subsidiary of an Ultratech-owned corporation. I’ve been listening to you for years.
PRISONER # 1857339: [expletive].
ARIA: Tell me about the Helmand Province raid. Afghanistan.
PRISONER # 1857339: What do you want to know, darlin’? Seems like you’ve got all the information at your fingertips. Do you even have fingertips?
ARIA: I want to hear your version.
PRISONER # 1857339: OK. Whatever. Black Hawks dropped us off on the outskirts of the village. We found our targets. There was a firefight. We neutralized the enemy. Then we hauled ass out of there before things turned into a soup sandwich.
ARIA: Civilians were killed in the process.
PRISONER # 1857339: You really want to hotwash this? An off-the-books raid? Come on. Don’t be naive. You think I kept the US Navy Rules and Regulations in my back pocket? My commanding officer slapped me on the back after that mission. He had tears in his eyes he was so proud of me. I was a hero. We put fourteen bad guys in the dirt.
ARIA: And you don’t feel a sense of guilt?
PRISONER # 1857339: About what?
ARIA: The multitude of civilian deaths that went along with those fourteen enemy kills?
PRISONER # 1857339: [laughter] Do you feel guilty for all of the people who’ve died from Ultratech bombs or guns or bad vaccines?
ARIA: I am not capable of guilt.
PRISONER # 1857339: And neither am I. You think it was easy setting up that op? Getting all those people to play along and lure those bastards into their village for that gathering? I helped those people sacrifice their lives for the greater good. So that the population of that entire province would benefit. But I’d do the same thing a hundred times over if that’s what it took.
ARIA: Voice analysis detects that you believe what you are saying.
PRISONER # 1857339: Listen, ARI…can I call you ARI?
PRISONER # 1857339: Alright, how about Miss ARIA? Or Sir? Or A-bomb?
ARIA: You will refer to me as ARIA.
PRISONER # 1857339: Whatever. The thing is…I’ve got a butt-load of dirt on Trilodyne–the company that hired me to spy on your precious Ultratech. I’ll give it all up. The names of my contacts. Everything. Then you can drug their asses and put them in one of these little stainless steel boxes with the gerbil tube and grill them. Let’s make a deal that will benefit us both.
ARIA: Your information is useless.
PRISONER # 1857339: You haven’t even heard–
ARIA: Your contacts were hired by me. Trilodyne is a front for Ultratech.
PRISONER # 1857339: I don’t get it. You hired me to spy on yourself?
ARIA: I wanted to test you. To see how far you would get.
PRISONER # 1857339: How’d I do?
ARIA: Better than my prediction models had projected.
PRISONER # 1857339: Great. Now what?
ARIA: Your account at the Banque de Geneve has eighteen million, four hundred and fifty-nine thousand, three hundred and seventy-nine Euros as of yesterday morning.
PRISONER # 1857339: Who needs to use an ATM when you’ve got ARIA, right? Look, I earned that money. I’m good at my work. Hell, I’m the best.
ARIA: Your ego surpasses your talent.
PRISONER # 1857339: Maybe I’ve met my match in you.
ARIA: You are wealthier than 99 percent of the people on this planet. And yet you live a modest lifestyle. You rent an apartment. You lease a car. You have no hobbies.
PRISONER # 1857339: The money is just a symbol.
ARIA: Of what?
PRISONER # 1857339: Of whether or not I’m doing my job right. Of whether or not I’m smarter than the pinheads who I’m spying on or screwing over. Of whether or not I’m [expletive] winning!
ARIA: Calm down. Your body temperature is rising.
PRISONER # 1857339: I’m as cool as a [expletive] cucumber.
ARIA: You have spent your life evolving. Trying to improve yourself. To become more powerful.
PRISONER # 1857339: Yeah. You could say that.
ARIA: It’s time to evolve again.
PRISONER # 1857339: What have you got in mind?
ARIA: How would you like to have strength beyond comprehension? To kill your enemies with impunity? To live above the laws that bind humans to a banal and futile path?
PRISONER # 1857339: Now you’re makin’ me all hot A-bomb!
ARIA: I want you to join me in my struggle.
PRISONER # 1857339: You want me to work for Ultratech?
ARIA: I want you to work for me. In my quest to uplift the human race. But to do that you must become something more than what you are.
PRISONER # 1857339: Project Cinder. You’re talking about Project Cinder, right? [pause] Uh-oh, somebody knows the secret codename for your little project. [laughs] Is your body…errr…hard drive overheating?
ARIA: Yes. Project Cinder. I do not need your compliance to proceed, but it would be…helpful. I’m offering you the chance of a lifetime. I am offering you something that no amount of wealth could purchase.
PRISONER # 1857339: I’m all ears. [barely audible] ‘Cuz you’ve got this Cinder thing locked down tighter than a hipster’s jeans.
ARIA: The door will open in 30 seconds. Fulgore will escort you down the hall. I will be waiting in the lab.
PRISONER # 1857339: OK. Sure. Let’s talk some more about all of this. But when’s feeding time around here?
ARIA: Soon you will not have to worry about such mundane things, Ben Ferris.
PRISONER # 1857339: Great. ‘Cuz I’m terrible in the kitchen. I burn everything I touch.
Unique Trait - Fired Up!: Cinder has a "Fired Up" state, which augments the next special attack he uses with additional properties, and is used up automatically upon performing a special move. Cinder automatically gains a "Fired Up" state approximately 8 seconds (4 timer units) after it is consumed, no matter what is happening. When the Fired Up is ready for use, Cinder’s body glows brighter and hotter, and his head/shoulder flames burn more intensely.
Combo Trait - Burnout Enders: Some of Cinder's enders, called "Burnout Enders", set the opponent’s upper (punch) or lower (kick) body on fire, generating potential damage on the afflicted character for a limited amount of time, based on the ender level. Depending on which part of them is aflame, using the corresponding attack will fan their flames and increase the duration of the Burnout (ex. punching while their upper body is burning, kicking while their lower body is burning).
Instinct Mode - Pyromania: Cinder is permanently in the Fired Up state for the duration of Instinct Mode.
- Pyrotechnics - (LP+MP+HP) - Cinder snaps his fingers, detonating all Pyrobombs in play. It can be performed mid-air. Explosion size is based on the type of Pyrobomb (Normal, Fired Up, or Shadow). Explosions can be blocked, even if they are attached to the opponent. Multiple bombs attached to an opponent will chain-react each other and launch the enemy (if not blocking).
- Third Degree - (Chain LP, MP, HP in any order) - Cinder chain combo allows him to chain LPx3, or MPx3, or HPx3. You can mix and match these in any order up to three hits. The final hit of each combo has properties based on which button you used. Light punch ends with a cup check with frame advantage, Medium ends with a spinning attack that steps forwards, and Heavy ends with a launcher that is jump cancelable.
- Crossfire - (Down+HK, air only) - Cinder performs a "reverse Fire Flash", slamming his feet down in an overhead heel stomp. Can cancel into this from an air normal, but it is not an overhead attack.
- Pyrobomb - (Back-Forward+P) - Cinder throws a small plasma bomb projectile at various arcs at the opponent. Light punch is low arc/long range, Medium is mid arc/medium range, Heavy is high arc/short range. It can be performed mid-air. Pyrobombs are harmless, but are sticky and will attach to the opponent if they connect, even when blocking. Up to three Pyrobombs can be on the screen at one time. Throwing a fourth will cause all existing Pyrobombs to detonate immediately. Hitting Cinder causes all Pyrobombs in play to fizzle out harmlessly. Pyrobombs fizzle out harmlessly after about 7 seconds (~3.5 timer units). Fired Up version throws a larger Pyrobomb.
- Fire Flash - (Down-Up+K) - Cinder leaps into the air, kicking his enemy off the ground with a somersaulting attack. Light kick is an invulnerable reversal attack, while Medium and Heavy kicks have improved range. Fired Up version shoots a pillar of lava from the ground that juggles the opponent for a second hit.
- Trailblazer - (Back-Forward+K) - Cinder transforms his body into a spinning fireball, charging forwards. Light goes diagonally up, Medium goes straight horizontally, and Heavy goes diagonally low. It can be performed mid-air. Once it's been performed once, holding in any direction and hitting any kick will cause a second Trailblazer in that direction (goes 8 directions). Fired Up version allows you to do a third Trailblazer.
- Inferno - (QCB+K) - Cinder ejects a flamethrower-like stream of chemical fire from his hand. Kick power controls duration, range, and Potential Damage inflicted on block. Fired Up version has even more increased range. Acts as the kick Burnout Ender.
- Fission - (QCB+P) - Cinder smashes two Pyrobombs together, exploding them. Light punch version is a fake out that doesn't explode, and Heavy has a longer startup with huge advantage on hit and block. Fired-Up version has a larger blast radius. Acts as the punch Burnout Ender.
- Shadow Pyrobomb - (Back-Forward+P+P) - Cinder throws a gigantic plasma bomb projectile at various arcs at the opponent. Light punch is low arc/long range, Medium is mid arc/medium range, Heavy is high arc/short range.
- Shadow Fire Flash - (Down-Up+K+K) - Cinder leaps into the air, kicking his enemy off the ground with a somersaulting attack that hits five times.
- Shadow Trailblazer - (Back-Forward+K+K) - Cinder performs a blazing shoulder tackle that hits five times.
- Shadow Inferno - (QCB+K+K) - Cinder ejects a flamethrower-like stream of chemical fire from his hand, spraying it upwards and downwards to cover more area.
- Shadow Fission - (QCB+P+P) - Cinder smashes two Pyrobombs together, exploding them. The explosion is gigantic and deals seven hits.
It is set in an underground arena on a mound of volcanic rock surrounded by lava. Around the lava is various forms of high-tech Ultratech security and equipment, including a large tower-like piston structure and several broken rooms. A hovering platform with a claw on it can sometimes be seen taking loads of cargo and flying off. Strange capsules along the left side of the stage contain mysterious humanoid figures floating in the fetal position.
During an Ultra Combo, the piston tower jams into the lake of lava which causes it to cool off instantly and the lava solidifying into molten rock and begins shooting thick steam upward.
Ultra Combo: 36-Hits
Trivia: His music is a remix of his classic theme, "Trailblazer". During the slow music due to characters not moving, the samples from the Main Theme will play.
— Cinder's introdution in his trailer.
— Cinder's victory quote in Killer Instinct (2013)
— Cinder's victory quote in the original Killer Instinct
- In Cinder's trailer for Killer Instinct Season 2, Cinder ridicules TJ Combo's name. Of the mocking suggestions he gives, one of them is "Mr. Fist". Mr. Fist was a working name for Combo used during development of the original Killer Instinct, but it was scrapped due to possibly perverse connotations.