The Fire Shadow is an undead creature that appears as a bearded man whose head and hands are engulfed in flames. The fire shadow seems only to inhabit areas where other undead roam being found only in two locations in Thief Gold.
The fire shadow's nature and predilection are unknown, but it seemed to share a lot of traits with the Undead. They have only been seen in the Bonehoard and behind The Barricades in the sealed areas of the Old Quarter district.
The Fire Shadow is an extremely rare opponent, encountered only in Thief Gold. Its appearance is grim and looks intimidating, but it is actually quite easy to defeat. Sneak behind it to backstab it with the sword, as this is the fastest way to make one flee. Use Water Arrows, as they are the most effective ranged weapon. The Shadow is an Undead creature, but the Holy Water Arrows do the same damage to it as regular Water Arrows. However, Holy Water Arrows are completely unnecessary and should not be wasted on Fire Shadows. Normal Water Arrows are equally efficient against Fire Shadows. Fire Shadows are immune to any form of Fire Attack, and cannot be knocked out. Since gas extinguishes fire, Gas Arrows deal some damage to them, but using Gas Arrows are impractical against them namely due to the high price they carry and their rarity in-game. Also, Gas Arrows are not encountered until The Mage Towers. By that point, both Fire Shadows would have been encountered in previous missions (Down in the Bonehoard and The Haunted Cathedral), meaning that you cannot use Gas Arrows against them unless you are playing a fan mission.
It is also possible to "drown" them where deep water is easily accessible. Due to its swiftness, the fire shadow can easily slip over the edge of a massive well chamber in the Halls of Echoing Repose.
When a shadow is damaged enough it begins fleeing at superhuman speeds until it leaves Garrett's line of sight and vanishes. When it does, it leaves behind a Fire Crystal. If trapped in a location from which there is no escape, a defeated Shadow will either wander aimlessly at an ever increasing "walking pace" or become frozen in place. After a few seconds it will disappear. Fire Shadows are bound together with the Fire Crystals, as they release one every time they run off. Note however, that the Shadow will return to the place it once patrolled after about 20 seconds. It always reappears in the same location and does so only when Garrett is not nearby. It is the only enemy that rises back again after it was firmly disposed of. Use the Fire Shadows as a supply of Fire Crystals, since they return after they have been "scared away". They are seen only twice in Thief Gold and usually near door puzzles requiring fire to be solved.
- Backstab - routs a Fire Shadow with one swing (being careful not to touch it)
- Water Arrows – takes two or three to finish a Fire Shadow
- Flash Bombs – as a back up, it takes three to kill it
It was confirmed by the developers around the time of the launch of Thief Gold that the Fire Shadow was invented in order to avoid a non-winnable gamestate when the player had expended too many fire arrows to have enough left to complete puzzles such as the ones mentioned above. Hence, a renewable supply of Fire Crystals was required, and the Fire Shadow was born.
The web sites in the IGN network sometimes refer to Fire Shadows as "Flaming Spirits", for unknown reasons. The name Fire Shadow - which, like most of the monster names usually only appears in DromEd, and there only as a contracted, intracapped word: "FireShadow" - bears some resemblance to an AD&D monster first appearing in the Dragonlance module DL4 Dragons of Desolation, under the name of "Fireshadow". This might or might not be an inspiration for the name, but as monsters, the two have little in common.