The Flame of Olympus was the absolute power that was formed by the Gods, and was also one of the only ways to defeat them. It may have an enticing glow, but its touch was lethal to both Mortal and God.
The Flame of Olympus was originally meant to be the lock for Pandora's Box. However, Hephaestus lied to Zeus to safeguard Pandora, preventing the need to sacrifice her if Pandora's Box had to be opened, by convincing Zeus to lock it on the back of Cronos. After Kratos opened Pandora's Box, it was relocated to its original lock, the Flame of Olympus, which would prevent all from touching the flame, and by extension the box without using Pandora to extinguish the flames.
After Gaia betrayed Kratos and let him fall in the depths of the Underworld, Athena returned to aid a de-powered Kratos in his quest to kill Zeus. Puzzled on why Athena would help him kill their father (especially after she gave her life for him), Kratos learned that the Flame of Olympus was the only way to defeat a God-including the King of the Gods. When he reached the Flame of Olympus, Kratos discovered Pandora's Box at the heart of it; the very box that he used to kill the former God of War, Ares. Athena explained that the true power to kill a God rested within, but to reach it, he must first seek out Pandora herself. As explained by Hephaestus, he used the Flame to help him forge the Box to contain the evils born from the Titanomachy. The Flame itself would be the perfect safeguard for the Box, but to pacify it, a key was required. The key he created was born out of the heart of the Flame: Pandora.
Kratos sought out Pandora and managed to rescue her from the Labyrinth. But to get her to the Flame, he had the raise the Labyrinth. Kratos descended into the Caverns where it was stored and solved it- thus assembled the Labyrinth, before he broke the Chain of Balance down in the Underworld, and freed it from the grasp of the deceased Judges. Then, using a crank by the Flame, he raised the Labyrinth; brought Pandora to it, while it caused the foundations of Mount Olympus to crumble. After a fight between Kratos and Zeus, Pandora attempted to enter the Flame, but was stopped by Kratos. He attempted to pull her away from the Flame, with her begging him to let her go, and Zeus encouraging him to save her. However Zeus' "encouragement" soon involved him taunting Kratos about his failures, which enraged Kratos to the point of releasing Pandora into the Flame in order to attack Zeus. That granted Kratos access to the Box, but when he opened it, it was empty.
- That arena was used in Mortal Kombat as PS3 exclusive.