— 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. His death at the hands of Glacius in the original Killer Instinct was retconned, and his backstory has been altered.
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".
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 when performing a Trailblazer linker
— Cinder when performing Inferno in Killer Instinct (2013)
— Cinder's victory quote in the original Killer Instinct
- Heated rival of TJ Combo.
- Forced to work under ARIA when Ultratech used him as a guinea pig for Project Cinder.
- As a product of Project Cinder, Cinder has had his DNA spliced with the alien Glacius, and now he has orders to defeat the alien and prove human technology superior. This relationship has created a fearsome rivalry between them.
- Reluctant ally of Fulgore, a fellow creation of Ultratech.
- Reluctant ally of Riptor, a fellow creation of Ultratech.
- Reluctant ally of Spinal, a fellow creation of Ultratech.
Killer Instinct (2013)
- 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.