Through the Fire and Flames
As Performed By DragonForce
Year 2006
Appears in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Guitar Hero: Smash Hits
Guitar Hero Live
Tier GH3: Bonus
GH:SH: Quebec City
★★★★ (Expert) 404,670 Expert; 296,676 Hard; 203,132 Medium; 123,504 Easy
★★★★★ (Expert) 566,538 Expert; 415,347 Hard; 284,385 Medium; 172,906 Easy

Through the Fire and Flames (also known as TTFAF for short) is a song written and recorded by English power metal band DragonForce, appearing as the first track (and single) on their third studio album, Inhuman Rampage (2006). It is widely considered to be the hardest Guitar Hero song in the series. There are two ways to play this song on Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock; the lead guitarist (Herman Li's part, some of Sam Totman's part) which is harder and more popular, or rhythm guitarist (Sam Totman's part). In Guitar Hero Smash Hits, the song is available for full band play, with the bass replacing the rhythm guitar.

Because of its inclusion in the game, DragonForce's sales greatly increased following its announcement in the game.[1] The song is also considered by some to be DragonForce's most popular song to date.

Through the Fire and Flames later returned for Guitar Hero Live in GHTV mode, being teased briefly on January 11, 2016 for a few hours but was officially released on February 3, 2016 in the Shred-A-Thon special music channel and was later added back to the music catalog on February 8, 2016. However, it is the 5-minute music video version in Guitar Hero Live due to GHTV having music videos.

Walkthrough[edit | edit source]

The intro is generally considered the hardest part of the song. The intro is all hammer-ons, but its speed results in many players failing at less than 5%. A common method for passing the intro to the song is Tapping, but many find it passable while sticking with one fretting and one strumming hand. Some common tapping methods include tapping blue and orange, or tapping yellow blue and orange. Another way is to hold green with any right hand finger, leave it there, and quickly hit the hammer ons in the second (RYBO) hand position. Either way all notes higher than green should be hit and released to green very quickly.  During the real song the intro is played on the clavichord. Simply hold down the green button and ignore it, focusing on the melody played on the red, yellow, blue and orange buttons and remember to release them to "pull off" to the green note. Many people prefer to tap this section. One trick is to put a rubber band around the green note for the intro. This is not considered "cheating" but more of a cheap trick used to progress more easily. In addition to a rubber band, they could also have another individual hold down the green button.

Technically, the intro is actually full of pull-offs, since in the game and real electric guitar, the ability to pull off makes the green note automatically play and is what propels players through this intro. Had the first note been green, and then the second red, rather than the reverse, then the whole intro could be termed hammer-ons due to the notes approaching from left to right. This would also make the intro very slightly easier due to the ability to hammer on the first note then pull off to green.

Piano style players could try holding green with their pinky and their pointer finger above red. Their other hand could go above Yellow, Blue and Orange. They could then strum the first note with their foot. This would be entirely counterproductive as if they miss a single note then they need to strum with their foot again to restart the streak.

The song involves intensive strumming and fret work and contains the "Red Snake" (within the section of the song entitled So Far Away 3 in Practice Mode on GH3) which has been calculated at about 26.6 notes per second, with ludicrously fast hammer-ons and pull-offs from red, green, red and up to yellow, blue and orange. Shortened up it would be RGR(Y,B,O) around 6.5 times per second. It can be FC'ed by anchoring and releasing the green and red notes right after the Y, B and O taps. In Smash Hits the Red Snake has been changed to similarly fast Y-R-G, B-R-G and O-R-G descending triplets.

It is also worth mentioning that some of the keyboard sections are charted as guitar, such as in Verse 1 and "Synth Death" in GH3. In Smash Hits the keyboard parts have been converted into tap notes which helps identify them.

The song's overall difficulty[edit | edit source]

This is often considered to be the hardest song on the PS2 and Wii version of Guitar Hero III and competes for hardest song on the XBOX 360 and PS3 versions with "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (Downloadable Content - Boss Battle Track Pack). It is almost always considered the hardest song to pass in any Guitar Hero game, along with Bark At The Moon (GH1 Version), Jordan, Free Bird, Satch BoogieScatterbrain (Live)Sudden DeathBlack Widow of La Porte and Fury of the Storm. If DLC songs are included, then TTFAF competes with Bark at the Moon (GH2), Surfing with the Alien, Operation Ground and Pound, Revolution Deathsquad, Heroes of our Time, TDWDTG and Duelling Banjos.

Appears In[edit | edit source]

This song appears as a Master Track.
This song appears as a Music Video in GHTV.

A Full Combo[edit | edit source]

On June 3rd, 2008, Chris Chike (Known as Iamchris4life) posted a video of his first full combo (FC) run of the song. It was the first recorded FC of the song. On October 1st, 2008. Baseballkid7 scored the third FC, which also was the last song he had to FC. JPrez44 has also managed to FC it, along with ggamerman. On July 15, 2009, Guitarherodude2008 also got an FC on this song. TTFAF was FCed by Chris Chike long before The Devil Went Down to Georgia was FCed by Danny, although this may be due to the fact that more time was devoted to TTFAF than TDWDTG: TTFAF was in the bonus setlist from the start of the game, while TDWDTG was released as DLC later on.

GuitarHeroPhenom, Danny Johnson, has now FCed this song 27 times (on record). Danny made the Guinness record on February 26th, 2009, breaking Iamchris4life's 8-month streak of holding the title. Danny Johnson, Jprez44, GuitarHeroAddict112, and a few select others have recorded Full Combos of the Guitar Hero: Smash Hits version of this song.

On February 8th 2016, DarklyinDarknessGH became the first person to FC the shortened version on Guitar Hero Live. The difficulty of the song is still incredibly high on GHL, even with it being the shortened 5-minute version. Nearly 3 years later, 2 days before GHTV's shut down, MarinoGaming became the 2nd ever (and the last) person to FC this version of the song on its corresponding engine.

GuitarHeroPhenom, megapengproductions, FrostedGH and randyladyman are the only people to have Full Comboed the song with only one hand (without two-hand tapping). As of 21st January 2018, randyladyman is the only person to have ever Full Comboed the song while blindfolded . UKOGmonkey has also achieved a Full Combo while playing on a note size of 5%, making the notes almost impossible to see.

Ever since the introduction of custom songs in Guitar Hero III and Clone Hero, many of the higher skilled players prefer to play the song at a faster speed than the original song to see how well they do. UKOGmonkey became the first person to FC the Guitar Hero III version at 125% speed and since then many other higher tier players have FCed the song at 125%, while Acai28 became the first person to FC the Guitar Hero Smash Hits version at 125%. However, randyladyman made further history by becoming the first person to have Full Comboed the song at 150% speed on August 5th 2018. On April 28, 2020, GHAddict became the first person to FC the song at 165% speed.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Most people that try this song on any difficulty can't play the intro of the song.
  • Herman Li, the lead guitarist for DragonForce, failed the song on Hard with 2% completion and has stated that it is impossible. Since then dozens of people have FCed it and Danny Johnson has done so 27 times.
    • Furthermore, in a YouTube video titled "Can DragonForce play their own song on Expert?" Herman Li and Sam Totman attemped a Pro Face-Off playthrough of the song, as they both play the same instrument in real life. Not even 2 seconds in and the plunks and wails of missed notes are heard. Apparently, they can't play their own song on Expert any more than most other people. Sadly, the video is no longer available to watch.
  • As of February 13th 2016, there are over 60 people with a legitimate FC of this song on Guitar Hero III. The amount of FCs on Guitar Hero: Smash Hits is drastically lower, with a total of 15 FCs. The amount of FCs on Guitar Hero Live is the lowest, with a only 2 FCs by DarklyinDarknessGH and MarinoGaming.
  • Iamchris4life was the first person to achieve a Full Combo of this song on Guitar Hero III, Danny Johnson (known as GuitarHeroPhenom) achieved the first Full Combo on Guitar Hero: Smash Hits and DarklyinDarknessGH was the first person to achieve the Full Combo on Guitar Hero Live.
  • This is one of only three bonus songs that does not have to be purchased in order to be played. (Along with Kings and Queens and the Joe Perry Guitar Battle)
  • This is also the final encore song, which is playable in the end credits. The game does not watch the player's performance in this variant, so the score tracker, Rock Meter, and Star Power Meter are absent; because of this, the player cannot fail the song. This also happens in Kings & Queens in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, Pull Me Under in Guitar Hero World Tour, 21st Century Schizoid Man in Guitar Hero 5, and American Pie in Band Hero.
  • On the 360 version of the game, if the song is completed on Expert, the player achieves the "Inhuman" achievement. This is a reference to the DragonForce's album Inhuman Rampage, in which TTFAF is the first song on the album.
  • When you start up this song on Expert on either the Wii or PlayStation 2, the loading screen will always say "Good Luck."
  • This song was FCed on Expert before it was FCed on Hard.
  • This is the only song contained on the original disc that the "Now That's Impressive" Achievement can be obtained on (Achieve a score of 750,000 on a single song).
  • In Expert and Hard, the note difference is 999 notes. This is possibly a reference of Studio 999, which is a reference of Neversoft.
  • This song has 32 different sections, more than any other song in both games it appears in.
  • This song is the only bonus song from Guitar Hero, Guitar Hero II or Guitar Hero III to appear in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits (Guitar Hero Aerosmith's bonus songs were all either by Aerosmith themselves or Joe Perry).
  • One of the most popular YouTube videos is of a (then) 9 year old kid named Ben Eberle playing TTFAF on Expert. He holds the world record for the youngest person to get 5 stars on this song.
  • This song is mentioned in the final tutorial. When The God Of Rock and Lou are arguing with each other about a guitar battle, The God of Rock suggests going to Mt. Olympus for some "Expert DragonForce".
  • The song was originally supposed to be the final campaign song, but it was put as the end bonus song instead because of its extreme difficulty. It was replaced by the Lou Guitar Battle, which itself would be released as DLC (TDWDTG).
  • The current world record for this song on Guitar Hero III is held by UKOGmonkey with a score of 990,518.
  • The unofficial world record for the Guitar Hero III version of the song is currently held by randyladyman on Clone Hero, who achieved a score of 1,000,262 on January 6th 2019. Because Clone Hero uses the overlapping Star Power mechanics from Guitar Hero World Tour and above, he was able to stack Star Power in a way that wouldn't have been possible originally in Guitar Hero III, and thus became the first person to achieve one million points on this legendary song.

Song Stats (Expert)[edit | edit source]

Notes in Guitar Hero III: 3,722

Notes in Guitar Hero: Smash Hits: 3,715

Star Power sections: 25

Average NPS throughout the song (GH3): 8.54

Video[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Songs of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
Starting Out Small
Slow Ride - Talk Dirty to Me - Hit Me With Your Best Shot - Story of My Life - Rock and Roll All Nite
Your First Real Gig
Mississippi Queen - School's Out - Sunshine of Your Love - Barracuda - Bulls on Parade
Making the Video
When You Were Young - Miss Murder - The Seeker - Lay Down - Paint It Black
European Invasion
Paranoid - Anarchy in the U.K. - Kool Thing - My Name is Jonas - Even Flow
Bighouse Blues
Holiday in Cambodia - Rock You Like a Hurricane - Same Old Song and Dance - La Grange - Welcome to the Jungle
The Hottest Band on Earth
Black Magic Woman - Cherub Rock - Black Sunshine - The Metal - Pride and Joy
Live in Japan
Before I Forget - Stricken - 3's and 7's - Knights of Cydonia - Cult of Personality
Battle for Your Soul
Raining Blood - Cliffs of Dover - The Number of the Beast - One
Co-Op Encores
Sabotage - Reptilia - Suck My Kiss - Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll - Helicopter - Monsters
Guitar Battles
Guitar Battle vs. Tom Morello - Guitar Battle vs. Slash - Guitar Battle vs. Lou
Bonus Tracks
Avalancha - In the Belly of a Shark - Can't Be Saved - Closer - Don't Hold Back - Down n' Dirty - F.C.P.R.E.M.I.X. - Generation Rock - Go That Far - Hier kommt Alex - I'm in the Band - Impulse - In Love - Mauvais Garcon - Metal Heavy Lady - Minus Celsius - My Curse - Nothing for Me Here - Prayer of the Refugee - Radio Song - Ruby - She Bangs the Drums - Take This Life - The Way It Ends - Through the Fire and Flames
Downloadable Tracks
Carcinogen Crush - Tina - Putting Holes In Happiness - All My Life - The Pretender - This is a Call - She Builds Quick Machines - Slither - Messages - Guitar Battle vs. Tom Morello - Guitar Battle vs. Slash - The Devil Went Down To Georgia - Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix - No More Sorrow - Sleeping Giant - Pretty Handsome Awkward - Ernten Was Wir Säen - So Payaso - Antisocial - We Three Kings - Peace of Mind - Any Way You Want It - Juke Box Hero - Dream On - Escuse Me Mr. No Doubt - Don't Speak - Sunday Morning - The Arsonist - Hole in the Earth - Almost Easy - Famous for Nothing - (F)lannigan's Ball - Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya - Nine Lives - Rock of Ages - Photograph - Top Gun Anthem - I Am Murloc - The End Begins (To Rock) - Surfing With the Alien - Supermassive Black Hole - Stockholm Syndrome - Exo-Politics - Heroes of our Time - Operation Ground and Pound - Revolution Deathsquad
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