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Imagine what would happen if a shy red-hooded aspiring Huntress and weapon nut found out that she'd spend the next four years of her life with a natural-born leader with charms and a manifestation of the Shinto God of Creation as his partner, a moody teen who can manifest a sword which can cut through anything and a foul-mouthed ex-bounty hunter armed with the ability to devour souls and trained by a legendary hero as they all trained to become Huntsmen. What would you get? Not the plot of RWBY.

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Against Despair is a Fan Fic written by d3alora set in the world of RWBY but with heavy influences from the three other franchises it had crossed fates with. The premise is simple in that it seems to be a retelling of the RWBY story with one major twist: many of the original team compositions from the canon are not formed, and in their places are brand-new teams that make use of the crossover - one key example is Team HRRN (Heron), comprised of Ruby Rose, Hyde Kido, Yu Narukami and Ragna the Bloodedge. As they and their classmates brace for the challenges ahead as the future defenders of Remnant, the mysterious Cinder Fall has assembled allies of her own to help bring Salem's vision of a collapsed society to come.


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Tropes contained in Against Despair include the following:

  • The Ace: Almost every team has one.
    • Yu Narukami is this for Team HRRN, being an experienced and intelligent leader as well as the most well-rounded fighter.
    • Team TWNE has Tsubaki, whose skills in both academic and combative fields can only be matched by a scant few.
    • Pyrrha is, unsurprising, the overall-best fighter and student of Team JMPR.
    • Kagura is not only the best of the Vale Police Department, but one of the best warriors in Remnant. He's one of the few with both the power and martial-prowess to fight and defeat the Mad Dog in single combat.
    • The Six Heroes where an entire team of aces who set the standard for Remnant's best warriors. In their respective fields, they stand unrivaled.
  • Action Girl: This being set in the world of RWBY, any female character qualifies.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Both Ragna and Jin heavily invert this. To make a long story short, their lives were extremely screwed up when Terumi burned their home to cinders, Mind Raped Jin into cutting off Ragna's arm and leaving him for dead, kidnapped Saya and killed off Celica. Here, Jin was adopted normally, Ragna still has both arms, and neither of them have ever met Terumi at this point.
  • Adaptational Heroism:
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    • While Ragna was the protagonist in canon, he did start out as a vengeful mass-murderer who killed countless soldiers to get back at the one guy who ruined his life. Here, his occupation prior to coming to Beacon was a bounty hunter and not a violent criminal.
    • Not presently, but in Terumi's past as Susano'o, he was a benevolent god who aided in the creation of mankind. In canon, he was a complete prick from the very beginning. Unfortunately, being cast out by his siblings and disobeyed by Osiris (which caused him to be casted out) left him exceedingly bitter. This built up until he is now the monster we know him as.
    • Jin is confirmed to be slightly less of a dick than he was in the games. He also completely lacks a psychotic yandere side of his personality.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: A justified case with Weiss. See Adaptation Relationship Overhaul for more details.
  • Adaptational Villainy: While Under Night portrayed Gordeau as a neutrally heroic figure, he is hired to be part of Cinder's contingent here, although he does stress that it is part of his line of work as a mercenary.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • The Nox Nyctores, while still weapons wielded during the Dark War, aren't as powerful as they were in BlazBlue.
    • Downplayed with Salem. In canon, she has Complete Immortality, to the point where an all-knowing relic stated that there is nothing that can kill her. Here, while still immortal, said immortality is tethered to the existence of the Black Beast. If it's killed, then she will die as well. The downplayed part comes from the fact that this is only a temporary solution and killing the Beast is a feat in of itself.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: The Six Heroes still exist as the ones who defended Remnant from the Black Beast, who is now stated to be the very first Grimm.
    • Murakumo units are now Atlesian Androids that were originally shut down years before the start of the fanfic, but a similar project based on the Anti-Shadow Suppression Weapons from Persona has taken its place and is being backed up by the Imperator, who is now the ruler of Atlas rather than the entire planet.
    • Zig-zagged with Saya and the Imperator. In BlazBlue, Hades Izanami was using Saya's body as a vessel to interact with the world.invoked Here, Saya is the prototype for "Project: Murakumo" and isn't Izanami's vessel, though Word of God does confirm that they still have an unspecified connection to each other.
    • The Shinto Deities are the ones who shaped the foundation of Remnant as opposed to the "Brother gods".
    • During the Dark War, Nine is known for having been the one to discover Aura and Semblance while Trinity is known for having been the first to discover Dust.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: Team RWBY's non-formation here means that, at first, none of the girls (barring Ruby and Yang for obvious reasons) really get to know each other like before. Ruby implies that she was still responsible for Weiss' luggage being destroyed, but not being in a team together prevented them from ironing those issues other with each other. Blake is now part of a separate team and is first seen applying for a job at Junes.
    • This also applies to the Investigation Team, which once existed in this canon like normal. When Yasogami High got attacked by the Grimm, all were offered the chance to continue studying in Beacon, but only Yu and Kanji accepted, though Rise is also attending after leaving her idol career (which she returned to, though she is micromanaging both); Yosuke was forced to stay behind and take over Junes as he grew up with Teddie working as an employee, Chie entered the Vale Police Academy, Yukiko started travelling to help with the Amagi Inn and Naoto pursued her own private investigation practice. The attack seemed to have dismantled the Team for good.
    • Team JNPR has also been disbanded as well. Jaune and Pyrrha have the benefit of being together in a team with Rise and Mika while Ren is now teammates with Blake in their own team with Seth and Ken. Nora is still currently unaccounted for.
    • In this continuity, the church fire that forms Ragna's Dark and Troubled Past is absent, and Jin and Saya are adopted normally. Ragna still receives his mentor-ship under Jubei, and gets sent to Beacon on his recommendation.
    • Rachel is now included as one of the members of Ozpin's inner circle. Ozpin himself is said to be connected with the Six Heroes: he likely knows Valkenheyn through their shared connection to Rachel, he accepted Ragna into Beacon on Jubei's recommendation and has Hakumen hidden away under Beacon to be called forth in a time of great peril.
  • Adaptational Superpower Change: As the story is primarily set in Remnant, the non-RWBY characters' powers (Drives, Personas and EXS Abilities) were re-contextualized as their Semblances instead.
  • Age Lift: Ragna, Noel, Tsubaki and Makoto are in their mid-to-late teens as opposed to being in their mid-20s at best, making them much younger than in their home canon. Justified in that they're supposed to be high school/university-level students.
    • This also applies to certain Under Night characters as well. Enkidu, for example, is now the same age as the other Beacon students instead of being a fully grown man like he was in the game.
    • The Black Beast was only around 100 years old in the series lore. Here, it's almost 1000 years old.
  • All-Powerful Bystander: The gods sought to avert this by passing through the Arcana so that they could serve mankind. While they aren't really bystanders anymore, they kinda lost the all-powerful part.
  • Butt-Monkey: Every team has at least one fall guy:
    • Team HRRN has Hyde. At this point, he's lost a bet and was forced to be tutored by Tsubaki and Pyrrha and lost an off-page fight against Ruby. Ragna jokes that people will start to think he enjoys getting beaten up by girls.
    • Kanji is this for Team MNYK. He gets forced into a bet against his will where he has to wear a dress if he loses against Tsubaki and Pyrrha(which he does lose pretty easily, though he gets Yu to take the fall and wear the dress), and has to eat Noel's cooking.
    • Jaune is this to Team JMPR, unsurprisingly.
    • This even applies to the villain's side with Roman Torchwick. He doesn't really get a lot of respect despite his reputation as a high profile mob boss. Then again, considering who he works with, he can't really do much to stand out.
    • He may not be a student at Beacon, but Yosuke sure ain't slacking off on his duties. His parents prevented him from applying for Beacon in favor of maintaining the family business. On his date with Blake, he was promptly stood up when she noticed a White Fang member going down an alley.
  • Crapsack World: Remnant is probably far worse off than it was in canon, which is really saying something...
  • Composite Character: Both the characters and Remnant as a whole have combined elements from all 4 franchises:
    • The lore and mythology of Remnant is set within Persona lore, specifically with the Shinto deities(and a few Greek here and their) taking the place of the "Brother gods". Though Susano'o is more strictly his BlazBlue counterpart while Izanami has elements of both Hades and Izanami-no-Mikoto/Marie.
    • Composite Event, but The Dark War is also referred to as The Hollow Night.
    • Ozpin was known as Osiris in his past life and his time as the unsung seventh member of the Six Heroes mirrors Bloodedge's.
    • Kazuma and Hazama are the same person in this fanfic whereas in BlazBlue, they were completely separate characters.
    • Ruby is going to inherit Ragna's hatred toward Terumi, while Ragna gains a personal vendetta against an unrevealed RWBY villain.
    • Atlas and the NOL are basically combined into The Imperium of Atlas.
    • While the Underworld is primarily rooted in Shinto/Greek mythology, it has similar functions to The Boundary.
    • Yosuke is composited with canon!Sun Wukong, having his affiliation with Blake.
  • Cosmic Plaything: Combining BlazBlue with the other three should give you an idea...
    • Ruby: She's one of the Silver-Eyed warriors who were created by the gods to aid in the destruction of the Black Beast. This basically means she's fated to protect the planet, which wouldn't be so bad except for...
    • Ragna: He's the reincarnation of the Black Beast itself. Whether by his own, very unlikely admission or not, he's going to turn into a horrific monster that will bring about the end of the world. Just to kick that puppy even more, this means that Ruby may have to kill him when that time comes.
    • Hyde: As the bearer of the "Indulgence of Insulation", he carries within him the key to opening The Great Seal that shall unleash Nyx, goddess of the night into the world, bringing about death and devastation.
    • Yu: Being bonded to Izanagi, god of creation, means that he must destroy the "Indulgence of Insulation", and by extension Hyde, to prevent Nyx's return.
  • Dead Fic: It is confirmed by Word of God that he will not be continuing the story.
  • Demon of Human Origin: If the story that Ozpin told Ragna is true, then the Black Beast was originally the son of one of the Maidens who bore an immense amount of anger within him. This rage grew as he became more sociopathic and sadistic in nature, warping his body and mind until he became the monster that the world fears; The Black Beast.
  • Everyone Has Standards: When discussing the terms of their bet, Pyrrha boldly suggests that she wear whatever Hyde wanted to if he won. He refuses to be taken for a pervert and declines and goes for the more practical option of having her and Tsubaki do his homework for a month.
  • Fun with Acronyms: New continuity means new teams, and thus new examples of this trope:
    • HRRN: Hyde, Ragna the Bloodedge, Ruby Rose, Yu Narukami
    • MNYK: Makoto Nanaya, Noel Vermillion, Yang Xiao Long, Kanji Tatsumi
    • TWNE: Tsubaki Yayoi, Weiss Schnee, Nanase, Enkidu
    • JMPR: Jaune Arc, Mika, Pyrrha Nikos, Rise Kujikawa
    • SKRB: Seth, Ken Amada, Lie Ren, Blake Belladonna
  • Great Offscreen War: Besides The Great War and the Faunus Rebellion, The Dark War where the Six Heroes fought against and saved the world from the Black Beast also happened in this timeline.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: When Hyde is roped into joining Jaune and Kanji for a tutoring session with Tsubaki and Pyrrha, he opts out of it by directly challenging the girls to a fight with Kanji; winning would have them take care of their coursework for a month, and losing means Kanji is forced to wear a dress to class. Hyde and Kanji proceed to lose their fight, but the latter is somehow able to let Yu take his place as a very willing Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Both Ozpin and Salem are technically Ragna's parents, though he's unaware. For context, Ozpin, in his past life as Osiris, fell in love with one of the Four Maidens and they had an affair. The child born from that affair became the Black Beast, while the Maiden was corrupted and became Salem, while Osiris was cursed to forever reincarnate for his actions. Ragna is the reincarnation of the Beast itself, so for all intents and purposes, Ozpin and Salem are his father and mother.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: The weapons of the other three franchises fit the world of Remnant very well.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!:
    • Ozpin/Osiris falling in love with a Maiden and fathering a child when he was explicitly warned not to resulted in said child eventually becoming the Black Beast. Meaning that he is unintentionally responsible for almost every tragedy that occurs in Remnant.
    • The gods passing through the Arcana allowed them to serve mankind, but it also left the world completely unguarded when Terumi and Izanami escaped the Underworld.
    • Ragna getting too aggressive with Weiss. While he was doing it to protect Ruby, he also ruined her chance at making amends with Weiss.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Both Gordeau and Azrael sport this look. They're from Vacuo, not exactly a shirt and tie place.
  • Police are Useless: Averted with Kagura. He's not just good at his job, but he's the only person known to have ever defeated Azrael in single combat.
  • Ship Tease: Yang takes the time to make fun of her younger sister's supposed crush on Ragna. Rise uses Himiko to basically confirm it, and Ruby's reaction doesn't do anything to dissuade it.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Ruby and Blake have gone from being part of an all-girl team to being the only female members of Team HRRN and SKRB, respectively.
    • The One Guy: The flip-side is that Kanji is the only male in the predominantly female Team MNYK. Ditto Enkidu and Jaune in their respective teams.
  • Villain Team-Up: Cinder's group here expands beyond her original group of herself, Emerald, Mercury, Roman and Neo. Hazama is Cinder's equal as a spy inside Atlas' Bureau of Intelligence, Tohru Adachi is a mole within the Vale Police Department, Gordeau is a hired gun and Azrael is the team's bruiser.
  • World of Badass: It's a combination of four different worlds of badass. So obviously this comes in at full force.
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