Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior Box Art

Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior is a Warhammer 40,000 first person shooter video game available for the PlayStation 2 and the PC. It was developed by Kuju Entertainment for the publisher THQ and was released in September 2003.

The game focuses on the Tau Fire Warrior Shas'la T'au Kais, a newly-trained member of the Fire Caste seeking to rescue his Ethereal and defend his race from the aggressive assaults of the Imperium of Man and the forces of Chaos on the Desert World of Dolumar IV.


The game is made up of 21 levels, taking place in a variety of settings from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. There are wide variety of Tau and Imperial weapons available to the player. However, only two weapons can be carried at a time, one of which must be a Tau weapon. In addition to these, the player is armed with grenades and a sword, and can use weapons such as the Rail Rifle (the most powerful gun in the game), Burst Cannon, Pulse Rifle, Pulse Carbine, and many other weapon types.

There is also a multi-player mode consisting of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. Eight multiplayer maps are included with the game, Deathmatch having its own, and Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag having their own. Fire Warrior was one of the first Playstation 2 games to support 8 player games using its broadband adaptor.


The story takes place over a period of 24 Terran hours. The game begins with Kais' first mission; an attempt to rescue the Tau Ethereal Ko'vash from the corrupt Imperial Planetary Governor Meyloch Severus on the Imperial Desert World of Dolumar IV. There, Kais infiltrated Severus' prison-fortress and escaped with Ko'vash intact. As the Tau Orca dropship carrying La'Kais and Ko'vash began docking with a Tau Emissary-class Cruiser, it was attacked by an Imperial Battleship and Space Marine boarding pods were launched.

Kais then fought a desperate battle against a force of Ultramarines Space Marines as they tried to disable the Tau Cruiser's engines and assassinate the Tau captain commanding the vessel. After Kais rescues the captain, he and several teams of Fire Warriors are launched by boarding pod at the Imperial vessel. There, Kais disables the ship's guns and nearly captures the ship's commanding flag officer, Admiral Constantine. Kais is clubbed on the head by Captain Ardias of the 3rd Company of the Ultramarines, however, and is captured.

Ardias brokers a truce between the Imperium and the Tau, and it is revealed that Governor Severus has been seduced by the Ruinous Powers of Chaos through the machinations of the Lord of Change named Tarkh'ax and has teleported a contingent of Word Bearers Chaos Space Marines onto the Imperial ship. The Traitor Marines capture the ship's remaining guns in an attempt to re-start the conflict between the Imperium and the Tau Empire, but are stopped by Kais' destruction of the ship's weapons.

Ardias then sets the ship to self-destruct, and Kais escapes via a massive Drop Pod intended to carry a Space Marine Dreadnought into combat. Landing in the midst of a ruined Imperial city, Kais fights his way towards a contingent of his fellow Tau Fire Warriors, and learns from Ardias that Severus plans to use an Imperial Titan held in the city against the forces that oppose him.

Kais destroys the Titan, enters Severus' fortress, and kills Severus and ultimately his daemonic master Tarkh'ax after the Greater Daemon possesses Severus' body so that he can fully enter realspace. The game ends with Ardias ordering that Dolumar IV should be destroyed by an Exterminatus to prevent the taint of Chaos from spreading.

Many adversaries from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are encountered by the protagonist Kais, such as Dreadnoughts, Chaos Space Marines, troops of the Astra Militarum, Daemon Princes, and an Imperial Valkyrie gunship.

Notable Characters

  • Shas'la T'au Kais -- Kais is the game's Tau protagonist. The game begins with Kais' first day of live combat action. Kais proved instrumental not only in the initial rescue of the Ethereal Ko'Vash from Dolumar IV, but also in the resulting battle against the Forces of Chaos, who had orchestrated the entire incident in an attempt to release the greater Daemon Tarkh'ax from a dimensional prison within the Webway. Guided only by his commander Shas'el T'au Lusha, and later Captain Ardias,of the 3rd Company of the Ultramarines, Kais fought through a whirlwind of blood and fire before finally facing down Tarkh'ax himself. Reports on the incident are varied, and often contradictory. Some claim that Kais was able to defeat the Lord of Change singlehandedly, while others state that he was helped by both Captain Ardias and an XV8 Crisis Battlesuit team led by El'Lusha. In the end, Ko'Vash was unfortunately killed, and Dolumar IV was duly cleansed by an Exterminatus ordered by Ardias and carried out by the Imperial Navy. Kais ended up in a Tau mental hospital suffering from an extremely severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder, though it seemed possible that he might recover. His ultimate fate remains unknown.
  • Governor Meyloch Severus -- The corrupt Planetary Governor of the Imperial Desert World of Dolumar IV. Prior to the mission "No Rest for the Wicked", he was interested in the Tau psyche, and was disappointed that they were not a psychically attuned race. He aligned himself with the Greater Daemon Tarkh'ax, and summoned Chaos Space Marines of the Word Bearers Traitor Legion onto the Imperial Battleship. The Word Bearers destroyed the ship, and Severus holed up in his fortress on Dolumar IV, called "The Pit." Traitor Marines under his command also attempted to capture and control an Imperial Titan, but they were foiled when Kais destroyed the great war engine. When killed by Kais, Severus' corpse was possessed by Tarkh'ax.
  • Admiral Constantine -- The Imperial Navy flag officer who commanded the Imperial Battleship that attacked the Tau in an attempt to retrieve the Ethereal after Kais rescues him. His boarding force is repelled, and the Tau launch a counter-boarding action, where Kais eventually attacks the bridge and nearly captures the Admiral. He is later taken by Governor Severus and the Word Bearers, and lasts just long enough to give Kais a final warning before he is turned into a Chaos Spawn.
  • El'Lusha -- The Tau Commander of Kais' force. He guides Kais through the first half of the game. In the novel, he dons an XV8 Crisis Battlesuit and his team helps defeat the Daemon for good.
  • Aun'el Ko'Vash -- Ko'Vash is a Tau Ethereal who has been captured by the Imperium. The first missions for Kais on Dolumar IV are to rescue Ko'Vash.
  • Ardias -- Captain of the 3rd Company of the Ultramarines Space Marine Chapter. He saves Admiral Constantine's life when Kais storms the bridge. He negotiates a truce between the Imperial force and the Tau, where later, he overrides Kais' communications, allowing him to direct Kais through the second half of the game to fight the Chaos incursion. In the novelization, he also fights against the daemon Tarkh'ax in the Chaos temple. Despite showing a degree of respect for the Tau and La'Kais that is unusual for a servant of the xenophobic Imperium, he was later ironically killed battling the Tau in the Joran Retaliation in 745.M41.
  • Tarkh'ax -- Tarkh'ax was a Lord of Change, a Greater Daemon of Tzeentch, who was trapped by the Eldar in the 31st Millennium on the Desert World of Dolumar IV, by means of a psychic incantation known as the Songweave. This held Tarkh'ax and his warband of Word Bearers Traitor Marines within a section of the Webway, which was then sealed off by the Eldar. it was only through actions of the planet's Imperial Governor, Severus, through the subtle manipulations of Tarkh'ax, that he and his troops were released. It took an orchestrated war between the Imperium and the Tau as well as a series of Chaotic incantations to release the Traitor Marines, and the blood sacrifice of Severus himself at the precise time of sundown at the hands of Kais to summon Tarkh'ax himself. During his brief foray into realspace he received blessings from each of the Chaos Gods before losing them again in conflict with Kais, Shas'el T'au Lusha and Captain Ardias before being destroyed entirely by Lusha and a squad of Tau wearing XV8 Crisis Battlesuits.


In October 2003, Black Library Publishing released a novelization of the game under the same title by Simon Spurrier. The book explores the plot of the game in much greater detail, as well as providing a closer look at Tau culture.


The commander of the Tau strike force in Dawn of War - Dark Crusade is named Shas'o Kais. Whether or not this is the same Kais is unconfirmed, though unlikely, as Kais is only a recruit in Fire Warrior and the rank of Shas'O approximates to that of Field Marshal.

However, "Kais", which means "skillful" in the Tau Lexicon, is a common name in Tau society (for instance, O'Shovah's full name is "Shas'O Vior'la Shovah Kais Montyr"). Also, at the end of the Fire Warrior novelization, Kais was shown to be mentally broken by his experiences fighting the Forces of Chaos, and would be unfit for battle, though Tau medics indicated he would probably recover his mental balance.


  • Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior (Video Game)
  • Fire Warrior (Novel) by Simon Spurrier
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