Doctor Robotnik’s Flame Craft (ファイヤーブレス,Faiyā Buresu?, lit. "Fire Breath") is the first sub-boss in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. The player encounters it at the end of Angel Island Zone Act 1. It only takes six hits to being destroyed. The boss encounter is different depending which character the player is controlling.
The Flame Craft is a mass-produced dark blue robot created by Dr. Robotnik. It has a bulky design and a small robotic head above the flamethrower, and is able to fly around with four jets on its underside and three rocket launchers behind its head.
The Flame Craft first appears halfway through Act 1 (along with numerous other Flame Crafts that fly across the background at the same time) and sets fire to the whole jungle, turning it from a beautiful serene place into a complete inferno. In this first appearance, the Flame Craft can be hit any number of times but cannot be destroyed. It departs when the cutscene ends. In Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, this scene gets repeated in Knuckles' story as well.
When Sonic/Tails confronts the Flame Craft at the end of Angel Island Zone Act 1, the robot descends to the arena and starts its rather simple pattern. After firing it's flamethrower once, Flame Breath then raises and flies to the other side to fire its flamethrower once. The robot keeps repeating its pattern until it gets destroyed. Flames coming from the thrower are rather the only thing to avoid in this battle, while small fires coming from jets on its underside can hurt the player as well. After dealing six hits on the Flame Craft, the robot explodes into pieces. When the signpost falls down, Invincibility, Flame Shield and Water Shieldmonitors are hidden underneath the ground, with all of them having a small gap between each other.
In the Sonic 3 & Knuckles lock-on, while Knuckles is unable to reach the upper part, where Sonic and Tails can fight the Flame Craft, the player has to go to a lower pathway by destroying huge breakable piles of rocks and face the Flame Craft again. However the robot's pattern is only somewhat challenging, as the Flame Craft is able now to fire three missiles from its launchers, which will fall down to the ground and are able to do damage. Despite that, the robot can be taken down after six hits. Invincibility, Water Shield and Extra Life monitors are hidden under the bottom of arena, while all of them having small gap between them.
If the player picks up Flame Shield from the monitor on left side of the before entering the boss arena, it can make the battle even more easier than it already is, as none of Flame Craft's attacks can hurt the player on his Flame Shield unless the player touches without being on Spin Attack mode.
It is possible that after defeating the Flame Craft, a glitch may happen to where you can still go through a huge portion of Act 1 of Angel Island Zone instead of going on to Act 2.