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Fanfic / The Games We Play (The Gamer/RWBY)

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The Games We Play (much-more-updated discussion threads #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, Story only thread here) is a The Gamer/RWBY crossover fanfic by Ryuugi/rgm0005. It starts pre-series, with a pinch or two of Alternate Universe Fic..well, no, scratch that, more like a truck load of Alternate Universe Fic.

After getting rejected from Signal again, Jaune Arc starts seeing strange blue screens, titles and levels appear above people's heads, and weird things begin to happen to him, as if he was in a game. Jaune realizes he has become a Gamer, with all the RPG Mechanics 'Verse shenanigans that involves. At first ecstatic about finally unlocking his Semblance, his life takes an unwanted turn when he accidentally gets himself involved with the White Fang and their struggle. Annoying as this is, little does he know that this is far from the limit of the "fun" he will encounter…

There are commented out Zero-Context Examples.

See also this thread for a running tally of other information gathered by readers.

On 12th November 2015, Ryuugi officially announced that The Games We Play is nearing its end and that there will be a sequel, The Lies We Tell.

On 31st December 2015, the final update was published for The Games We Play. Ryuugi will take an indefinite break to work on other stories before beginning The Lies We Tell.

For the Magic: The Gathering fic go here and for the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfic go here.

Spoiler warning: The Games We Play is fast-moving and heavy on cliffhangers, Wham Episodes and Lines. Reasonable effort has been made to mark spoilers, but trope names are not to be spoilered. Read on at your own risk.

The Games We Play provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • After the general introduction chapters Jaune quickly loses interest in hunting for additional new spellbooks, raising Luck to at least 50 after spending at least one early chapter on getting two-thirds there, deciphering the Babel literature (which should’ve been easy for his 200-300 INT), exploring the newly-unlocked Quest Arrow and Quest Objective abilities, etc.
    • Technically, Jaune knows Babel through Metatron and unlocking the Arcana, as for the other two points, Ryuugi has stated that he never liked Luck from the start and he never thought Jaune would actually do what a quest tells him from the danger of Malkuth being behind it.
  • Advice Backfire: Jaune's dad gave him one, which ended in Terrorism
    "Son, when a girl asks you if you want to come over and help her with something, the answer is yes," He told me seriously, before suddenly letting me go as mom placed a hand on his shoulder.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Jaune gets the ability to combine his elementals into higher tiers, Water + Wind = Ice, Earth + Wind = Sand + Fire = Glass, Earth + Lightning + Metal = Dimensions, all of them combined = Light, who's Jaune's soul personification, Jaune calls him Keter since he doesn't remember his real name. Similarly, later a metaskill for combining skills gets unlocked.
  • Always Someone Better:
    Isabella: Knowing where you stand is vital to any battle. Knowing when you have to fight and when you can avoid it, perhaps even more so.
    • Adam, Blake, Penny and Weiss are well above Jaune's level at first. Perfectly demonstrated when fighting the first Giant Nevermore; Jaune lands a hundred hits and deals only 5% damage in total. Adam takes out 60% with one admittedly long-charging hit.
    • Jaune's parents, Jacques and Isabella, are so strong that he can't even perceive their Levels for part of the story - which, given that he can see the level of anyone up to 50 levels above his own, shows how vast the difference in power is. After he beat Penny his mother spent weeks wiping the floor with him effortlessly as training, without even using her Semblance. The only time we see him spar with his father, after Jaune killed a Goliath, his father bats him through buildings without missing a beat.
    • Raven Branwen is so dangerous that Jaune is certain she would kill him if they ever had to fight, and he fears for the life of his grandmother Jeanne, who is implied to make his parents look like chumps. Some of the most dangerous people in the story are wary of her; likely for good reason. She suppresses Isabella with little effort and Ryuugi has declared that she would kill Jacques with ease and even Conquest puppeting and enhancing him would only make it a bit more difficult.
    • When Jaune accompanies his father on a mission he eventually winds up meeting two different teams of experienced Hunters, each of them at least 20 Levels higher than him and capable of holding the line against an army of Grimm.
    • By "Conditions" it's been inverted as Jaune is the one who's far superior to Yang and Ruby. And he already surpassed Adam and Blake a while back.
    • In "Increase" Jaune starts reuniting with his sisters, all of whom are much higher-levelled than him even after his gains from the previous arc. Some are even higher-levelled than their parents.
    • Glynda has yet to appear as of "News Report", but Ryuugi has declared that she is vastly stronger than Jacques. Which... says worrying things about Cinder, considering they were matched in Volume 1 Episode 1. Indeed, Raven - Raven! is concerned about the latter's actions.
    • In "Building", Jeanne says that she would lose a duel against Ozpin.
    • Cinder finally shows a fraction of her true power - stopping time with a thought and growing a crown of white dust crystals.
    • Malkuth - when he's introduced he calls Jaune 'old friend' then starts playing with him and Jacques; after Jaune flees from Jacques's soul, a process of about one second, Jacques is dead and Malkuth is in control. Basically compared to him all others on this list are little more than 'playthings'.
  • Amplifier Artifact/Artifact of Doom: Wearable loot dropped by bosses; the Black dust crystal.
    • Go Mad from the Revelation: Said equippable items are also shown to likely cause serious mental damage if their user doens’t have sufficient mental defences.
    • Also dust in general (minus the Doom part), in a broader sense — you can enhance clothing and weaponry with it.
  • An Arm and a Leg:
    • Jaune rips off all of them from Penny, knowing that she can be repaired in order to stop her after she uses her weapons to remain suspended and keep fighting.
    • In the fight against Conquest, Jaune's mother has lost both her arms and a leg in order to avoid infection.
  • And I Must Scream:
    • The Adamant Skin skill Jaune learns had been known to trap users lacking sufficient strength in their own skin.
    • In "Boss Rush" Jaune learns through his new abilities that those infected by Conquest are at least conscious enough to feel emotions. In "Mind Games" Jacques confirms that he could see and hear just fine despite being puppeted by Conquest.
    • In "Reaction Time" Jaune learns that those who are turned into Pandora Shells remain conscious.
  • Anti-Hero: Much to his own displeasure, Jaune is shifting in this direction.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: In "Bar Games" Adam is confused by the talking dog. Jaune says it's a pretty odd thing to finally get to him after all the weird things he's already seen.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Actually a plot point. Jaune is entirely aware that the known laws of biology shouldn't let the Grimm exist. He suspects that figuring this mystery out will bring him closer to determining where they come from.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Ohr Ein Sof weaponises this. It's not an attack in the traditional sense so much as dragging both user and target up from the material realm, into a plane where material things, the body, the mind, even ideas and concepts cease to be, leaving behind only the purest expression of their souls and selves. For those without a sufficiently strong self-identity, the process can be very unpleasant. When pulled up into the Truth, one might just discover that the Truth will set you free... from your existence.
  • Astral Projection: The aptly-named Projection Skill lets Jaune do this. In "Reaction Time" he uses it to merge with his Fighting Spirit and continue fighting even after Conquest turns his body into a Pandora Shell.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: The weaker Grimm can be killed easier if specific attack patterns are chosen against them. Some of the stronger monsters have to be killed in a specific manner if you don’t want to only make things worse.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Both Played Straight and Subverted. The various Supernatural Martial Arts of Remnant's past are very powerful, but the costs like long Training from Hell time or being Cast from Hit Points make them too difficult to use for most people, especially with Dust-powered weapons providing a much easier alternative. For Jaune, though, it's merely an immediate cost and his Gamer's Mind and Body nullify any further adverse effects.
    • The official explanation for why Jaune hadn't gotten an earth elemental in time for the Conquest arc is that, for all the power it might have, it would be cost-intensive even for him. He gets around to contracting one in "Knowledge".
    • Jaune rarely used his Dimensional because in a serious fight it could burn through as many as several hundred Dust crystals.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis / Omniscient Database / Sherlock Scan: One of the things Jaune gains from being a Gamer is the Observe skill. Though it has its limitations (e.g. the information is often lacking, targets that aren't within 50 levels of Jaune are unobservable, etc), it is still supremely useful.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Mistral has one etched into the Arch of Triumph, the legendary gates of the city.
      Many have stood before us;
      Go now and look for them.
    • Jaune delivers one in "Liaisons".
      "Why would I quit?" I asked with a smile. "There's too much on the line for me to ever give up and…more than that, I've decided that this is what I want to do. So…I'll do it, whatever it takes, and go as far as I possibly can. Before all of this, I was always uncertain of everything and I guess I still am in a lot of ways, but at least this much I'm sure of. That asshole is up to something and he and the Grimm are playing some messed up game with the entire world—and whatever they're after, they've killed countless innocent people to get it. But…if this is a fucking game, then I'm going to win it, because I'm the fucking Gamer."
    • Raven gives a short and to-the-point one to Malkuth in "Close".
      “I don’t see any point in making introductions to people I plan on killing."
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Cinder, presumably. Also possibly Ozpin.
  • Badass Bookworm: Quite literally, seeing how Jaune "consumes" books for Skills.
  • Badass Cape: Dreary Midnight, gotten from a Giant Nevermore, made of its feathers and infused with its power, which greatly increases a user's Air Element Affinity.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Bai Hu's fighting style is all about this mashed with Supernatural Martial Arts and was chosen specifically because it is so different from Jaune's normal sword-and-board that people are unlikely to connect the disguise with the real Jaune.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Jaune gets on the Schnee Dust Company airship by wearing the garb and acting as though he belongs.
    • Jaune was never really a part of The White Fang, but acting in charge, getting things done, and simply acting confident ended with him in charge of the whole organization, it does help that Raven's on his side.
  • Being Good Sucks: In "Choice" Jaune laments that his fear of collateral damage and loss of innocent life means he can't just use a lot of Dust as an improvised explosive.
  • Berserk Button: In a more meta example, do not bring up the Luck stat in the latest threads. Discussions as to why Jaune does not train it to rank 50 are as follows: The amount of time it would take to grind that particular stat is better spent grinding other base stats and skills. Once again, do not talk about the Luck stat. You have been warned.
  • Blade Run: Jaune does one on Penny's blades in "Counter Attack".
  • Boring, but Practical: The final skill in Bai Hu's tree, White Tiger of the West, doesn't have much flash to it. It only improves the effects of the other White Tiger skills, lets Jaune use them without additional cost, and gives him a Fighting Spirit. Even directly referenced in the chapter he learns it, in words reminiscent of Bruce Lee's famous "I fear the man who has practised one kick 10,000 times":
    It wasn't a complex technique, not truly—not a grand expression of advanced Aura theory or anything like that. It was something more basic and personal; a simple art honed to utter perfection through endless use, until sheer mastery of form had eventually led to something more.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: Almost every stronger Grimm species is monstrously powerful. For example, the first Leviathan he encountered was level 107, higher than the professor in charge of Haven's combat training. The mook part comes in when one realises that these are species of Grimm, meaning there are a whole lot more of them.
  • Breath Weapon: The Goliath releases some sort of thing that emits multiple kinds of radiation, including possible gamma radiation. Several other Grimm also demonstrate a similar attack.
  • Bullet Catch: In "Conditions" Jaune does this to two of Ember Celica's shells.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Yang in "Conditions". Did you really think antagonizing a guy who shrugged off a direct hit from you was a good idea? From someone less restrained than Jaune, it would have ended poorly.
    • Jaune himself often chooses this as a tactic against much more powerful opponents to bluff his way through and seem more powerful then he issuch as in his first meeting with Raven.
  • Cain and Abel: This was the cause of the fall of Babel. Malkuth wanted to exterminate humanity so that he wouldn't have to suffer from feeling their negative emotions. Keter refused to let him. The Archangels split evenly on both sides and so they went to war, brother against brother with mankind caught in the crossfire. By the time they were whittled down to Keter and Malkuth, all the other Archangels were dead and much of humanity with them.
  • Call-Back: In "Horde" Jaune and Adam decide to go take on a Giant Nevermore once again.
  • Calling Your Attacks: On occasions, particularity during the early chapters, Jaune often calls out his attacks even though there’s no particular reason for doing so.
  • Can't Catch Up:
    • Jaune defies this for Adam by dragging him out to do grinding in "Sighted".
    • When Jaune meets Hei Xiong again in "Bar Games", he hasn't gained a single level since their last encounter.
    • In "Return" we see Blake and the other members of RWBY and JNPR who have ended so far behind that Jaune could possibly take them all at the same time and not even sweat.
  • Car Fu: Jaune's Aura Crash skill is all about crashing vehicles into things.
  • Cast from Hit Points: White Tiger's Five Hundred Years drains both HP and MP. So does White Tiger of the West.
  • Character Level/Power Levels: One of the basic features of Jaune's Semblance let him achieve this, providing a steady development of his powers. Skills and Stats can be developed separately, though. Played with for other people, as their levels are more of a rationalization of their power and how they use it rather than raw capability - for one, Bianca's displayed level is actually below that of her true potential because she holds herself back out of fear of the massive collateral damage potential.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Choice" Jaune sends Vulturnus out to do... something. In "Timed Battle" we learn what it is: destroying robots so he can get a level-up to help him against Penny.
    • Pandora Shells were mentioned briefly as bad, bad juju long before they showed up in "Fortress Defense".
    • Back when Jaune first gained "the Hidden Heart", its description told him that leveling it up would provide additional, then-unspecified benefits. In "Splitting Up" we finally see one of those benefits.
    • Jaune gained "Gorgon" some time back but found it wasn't much use. In "Cooperation" he finally found a use for it.
  • Chekhov's Skill: In "Practice Mode" Jaune devised a means to create a Leviathan-like "water shadow". In "Hit Box" he uses it to devastating effect against Carmine.
  • Cliffhanger: It’s like a chapter would get shamed if it didn’t end with one.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Jaune, who Had to Be Sharp seeing as he's so often pitted against far stronger foes who would destroy him utterly if he tried to fight fair. He goes for weak points, turns out the lights while using equipment that lets him see in the dark, uses his foes' fear against them, uses the Hunters' refusal to fire upon a city to his advantage, fires into the Grimm to use them as distractions, abuses Dust crystals to keep himself healed and buffed and lets his elementals distract and hurt his foes.
  • Contagious Powers/Super-Empowering: The game mechanics of Jaune’s semblance allows his party members to gain levels and stat points with them, which they can then reallocate freely like he does. That means that even Hunters that have hit their peak like Raven can grow by being near him, and even things that can't normally be easily trained like intelligence or wisdom can be directly improved. Similarly he’s able to create high-level hunters from regular animals and plants.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Jaune’s skills often level-up or upgrade at the right moment to allow him to switch from the underdog to the winner. It's later implied that this is a direct consequence of being Keter, and having his Semblance tilting the scales from a perspective outside time.
  • Cool Chair: In "Practice Mode" Jacques uses his Semblance to create a floating throne for himself out of debris. He repeats it in "Fortress Defense".
  • Cool Mask: Jaune gets one in order to pretend to be a White Fang member. He gets even cooler ones after killing various types of boss Grimm.
  • The Corruption/Sealed Evil in a Can: The Dark Crystal; the Pandora Shells; the Red Rider.
  • Cosmic Horror Reveal: The Grimm are revealed to be the creations and minions of a godlike entity who has taken an interest in Jaune. And then Jaune, or rather his soul, is revealed to be a brother-of-sorts to said entity and probably the only one who can stop him.
  • Cosmic Horror Story: There are strong hints that the Grimm aren't just preying on mankind out of need or For the Evulz, but rather that there is some kind of inscrutable intelligence, maybe an Eldritch Abomination or God of Evil, behind their actions. Pretty much confirmed in "The Final Round".
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Jaune can't use White Tiger of the West in his normal persona because the Fighting Spirit is too obviously tied to Jian Bing and would give away his secret identity. Once the Pandora Shell opens he decides to use White Tiger of the West anyway because the situation is screwed up enough that he can't afford to hold back.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Mistral is this. Between the fact that open misery draws the Grimm and The Mafiaesque grip the ruling Families have on the kingdom, Granny's city is crime infested in such a way that people can cover their eyes and pretend its (sic) clean.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The game mechanics provides an inventory with no limits on capacity or weight.
  • Create Your Own Villain: In "Reminiscence" we learn that Keter was partly responsible for creating the creatures of Grimm. In "Tenth Interlude - Metatron" we get the full rundown: He was trying to Malkuth with the Past-Life Memories of the souls that were ripped apart to create the latter by offloading them into the Grimm using the Qlippoth. Unfortunately, this made Malkuth into The Empath, but only for negative emotions, of which there were so many that it became physically painful. After centuries of trying and failing to relieve it, Malkuth became convinced that the only way was to kill all mankind. Keter refused, and thus the brothers went to war.
  • Critical Existence Failure: One of the benefit of the Gamer's Body is that Jaune takes only HP damage when hurt but doesn't suffer other effects like dismemberment. It saves his life more times than he can count.
  • Crossover Cosmology: Remnant's history includes allusions to Christianity, Hinduism and Judaism, as well as Chinese, Greek, Irish and Norse Mythology.
  • Cruel to Be Kind: Jaune's mother worries about her children choosing the Hunter lifestyle, fearing that they might one day fall in battle. To counteract this, she put all of her daughters, and Jaune now that he's awakened his Semblance, through Training from Hell to ensure that they'll survive whatever Remnant can throw at them. All of her daughters have survived to this day, but they avoid visiting as much as possible. To make it even sadder, in "Reintroductions" we see that Bianca at least hated her for it, and suffered for most of her life because of what happened to her, and she refuses to consider that it might have had any part in helping make her stronger.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Isabella does this to Jaune over and over again during the latter's Training from Hell.
    • In "Conditions" Jaune passes it on to Yang. He dodges all her attacks without even opening his eyes and his one going easy on her counter - which explicitly stops short of actually making contact with her - sends her flying to Destination Defenestration.
    • After getting accepted to their academy, both Jaune and Adam initiate such fights against multiple opponents at once to dominate the social hierarchy.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: In contrast with the Curb-Stomp Battle Isabella gives him, when Jaune fights Jacques he's able to force the latter to use his Semblance and destroy the latter's improvised throne before he loses.
  • Cyborg/Disability Superpower: James Ironwood, to the point that he’s likely to refuse an offer of limb regeneration simply because his cybernetic improvements are much better now.
  • David Versus Goliath: Both in terms of power and size, Jaune v.s. many of his enemies.
  • Deadly Lunge: The aptly-named White Tiger's Lunge lets Jaune do this.
  • Death-Activated Superpower: Both Jaune and Summer Rose change their Semblances after dying and reincarnating.
  • Death or Glory Attack:
    • One of the buffs Jaune picks up is Adamant Skin, which greatly improves a user's defence but, if they are not strong enough, will leave them trapped in their own skin.
    • Ohr Ein Sof is an attack that goes beyond physical damage and can unmake the target back into Light, but can and apparently has also unraveled some of its past users into Light themselves.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion/Self-Destruct Mechanism: The first Hydra Jaune and co. fight eventually decides to construct a self destruct inside itself and blow everything up with a city-killing explosion.
  • Degraded Boss:
    • The first Giant Nevermore Jaune fought was a massive endeavour requiring a Bullhead and Adam to do the heavy lifting. By the time "Horde" comes around, he can take one down by himself. When he fights a Goliath starting in "Target Acquired" he takes down three as a side note to the Flunky Boss in question, and does so without even needing to jump down its throat in order to Attack Its Weak Point.
    • When Adam, Jaune, and Gou fight a second Leviathan in "Try Again", they have a much easier time of it.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Due to Remnant being a Death World, the Kingdoms as a whole tolerate or even condone a lot of things, like Training from Hell or Huntsmen purchasing large quantities of weapons, that would be suspicious if not outright illegal in liberal Western society.
  • Determinator:
    • Penny still insists on fighting Jaune, even though she has lost both an arm and a leg.
    • Jaune himself, as noted both In-Universe and out, has had many chances to just let things go, but he keeps pushing on nevertheless. Being infected by Grimm bacteria? Being forced to kill his family friends? Fighting time itself? Being turned into a Grimm? No!
  • Demonic Possession/Heroic Host/Superhuman Transfusion/Cursed with Awesome: Grimm bosses are able to possess humans through various means.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Gilgamesh has seen a lot — having existed for thousands of years will do that - but even he is surprised by Thaumiel.
  • Die or Fly: Invoked in "Light-Hearted". Jaune observed that certain Skills were only developed when their original creators had a critical need for them. This drove him to seek out similarly dire circumstances.
  • Dirty Business:
    • Much as Jaune knows that preying on fears is the only way he can beat Weiss, he hates himself for having to use this method.
    • In Second Interlude Ironwood says that he would prefer to not have to rely on faunus slavery-in-practice, but there is too much opposition to any attempts he could make to change the system.
  • Dissimile: As Jaune states in "Noticed", battle is "not really like chess at all."
  • Drop the Hammer: Jacques uses a hammer as his primary weapon.
  • Eat Me/Throat Burster: Can be also catalogued under Attack Its Weak Point.
  • Elemental Embodiment: Jaune's elementals are this, at lower levels they appear almost like Anthropomorphic Personification, but when reach True Elementals they can be categorized as Titans:
    • Crocea Mors, his first elemental, representing Metal, summoned originally into his blade&shield, carries the pair's name, shows as a reflection on metal surfaces.
    • Levant, his second elemental, represents Wind, summoned before the White Whale Incident given the Wind Affinity given by the equipment dropped by the giant Nevermore.
    • Suryasta, summoned along the next two, represents Fire, one of the three Jaune summoned to put the White Whale to work.
    • Vulturnus, summoned along the other two, represents Electricity, one of the three Jaune summoned to put the White Whale to work.
    • Xihai, summoned along the previous two, represents Water, one of the three Jaune summoned to put the White Whale to work.
    • Ereb, summoned after the White Rider Incident,
  • Elite Mooks: Jericho Falls recycles some weak enemy designs by simply making them much larger and more powerful.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: In "Bar Games" we learn that when Adam was younger, he had already been making a name for himself even before he had had his Aura awakened.
  • Energy Absorption:
    • Adam's Semblance allows him to absorb energy into Wilt and then release it in a wave. He later becomes able to contain it as a field around Wilt. Even later still, as of his Interlude, he has become able to absorb the energy to directly enhance himself.
    • Lux Aeterna does similar, but comes out as a Kamehame Hadoken of light instead.
  • Energy Weapon: After Jaune figures out that Pyrrha's Semblance is making it hard for him to land blows using Crocea Mors, he shapes his Aura into weapons so his foe can't stop him that way.
  • Evil Matriarch: Jaune's mother and grandmother do not get along. It's all but outright said that grandma is involved in shady business.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Played straight with White Fang leaders. Averted and highlighted with Cinder.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Jaune uses lightning-element Dust to pop one of the Goliath's eyes.
    • Subverted when Jaune fights Conquest-infected Tenne. The White Tiger pops his enemy's eyes, only for them to regenerate.
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: The Conquest-infected Hunters have multiple eyes in odd places. On Jaune they show up on his shoulders, torso and back.
  • Face–Heel Turn / Face–Monster Turn: During Jaune’s first official mission several of his new teammates get infected and eventually have to be put down.
  • Facepalm of Doom: In "Expansions" Jaune grabs Gilgamesh by the face and feeds him a Lux Aeterna.
  • Fantastic Nuke:
    • In "Hidden Enemies" Jaune discusses "Astrals", the result of Dust taken to its most destructive extremes. The two types he mentions are nuclear and space-manipulating.
    • In "Trial Run", Jaune gives a glimpse of Brahmastra, which is basically a Magic Nuke, with a decay status and lingering area of effect.
  • Fantastic Racism: Humans v.s. faunus.
  • Fighting Spirit: White Tiger of the West gives Jaune one of these. As the name suggests, it's a giant white tiger.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Starting from "Defeat" Jaune is forced to fight the Conquest-infected Hunters. In "Counting Down" Ren is forced to kill his own infected grandfather.
  • Filler/Recap Episode: There are entire chapters devoted to Jaune ruminating over his current position and future plans, or him retelling what happened in previous chapters to one ally or another.
  • Final Boss Preview:
    • At the end of the Conquest arc, just when Jaune thinks victory is within reach, Malkuth shows up and shows him that he's got a long way to go.
    • When Jaune accidentally pushes Cinder a bit too far, she reveals that she's the host for Famine and far more than he can handle.
    • As difficult as the fight with Malkuth controlling Gilgamesh's body is, it isn't even him at full power.
    • Talking to Jeanne, Jaune discovers Ozpin singlehandedly defeated the Royal guard, the four Witches, and the Queen in the battle to retake Vale, using insanely versatile time fields.
  • Flechette Storm: In "Continue" Jaune uses his glass elemental to rain glass on himself as part of training.
  • Flunky Boss: The Goliath is not just a Mook Maker but can also call other Grimm to its aid. So can Leviathans.
  • Foreshadowing: Metric tonnes of the stuff. Everything from the names of Jaune's Elementals to the nature of his Semblance foreshadows something, some of which took over a year of daily updates to even come to pass.
    • Back in "Party System" Jaune encountered an Alpha Beowolf that acted oddly. It took many chapters but in "The Final Round" we learn why.
    • Why does Autumn's favoured form have way more eyes and mouths than is natural? For a long time, the only way she could sense was via Aura, meaning she was constantly looking at Jaune's soul. As we later learn, she was just reflecting the appearance of Jaune's soul.
    • Talking about "Party System", the Quest Jaune got was called "What Lies Beneath". And what lies at the bottom of the Sephirot? Malkuth.
    • When Malkuth first appeared he took on the appearance of Jaune. We later learn that he and Jaune's soul are brothers.
    • For much of the story, Jaune struggled to define his own identity, instead taking on roles as demanded by those around him. This turns out to be a reflection of his original incarnation's powers.
    • Back in "Sleepless", Jaune remarked, “Two of me? The world wouldn’t be able to take it." Guess what comes to pass in "Splitting Up".
    • Back in "Sea Level", Jaune wondered about not being consumed by Lux Aeterna like his illusions were. Guess what the potential drawback of Lux Aeterna's prestige skill, Ohr Ein Sof, is?
  • Friendly Enemy: Penny is this in "Invasion." "Salutations!" She greeted. "I have been sent to apprehend you!"
  • Genius Bruiser: Bai Hu and his disciples are implied to have been this, since Jaune has to raise his Intelligence and Wisdom pretty high to learn the final move in the White Tiger style.
  • Glass Cannon: The White Tiger style is this - massive boosts to offence and mobility, but no buffs to defence. It left practitioners capable of dealing lots of damage, but being no tougher than an ordinary human. This was only slightly mitigated by the later development of the White Tiger's Hide, and is exacerbated by the Cast from Hit Points nature of the style's two strongest skills. As a result, while a master of the style is a tiger, tiger burning bright, he will not last the night. Jaune gets around this problem by picking up other defensive skills.
  • Godzilla Threshold:
    • During the Conquest arc, things go so far to Hell that Jaune says screw it to the Cover Blowing possibilities of White Tiger of the West and uses it anyway.
    • Jaune outright says "desperate times call for desperate measures" when he makes use of Etz Hayim to greatly boost his EXP gain at the cost of having to stay at low health.
  • Going Cosmic: The story starts off with Jaune working with the White Fang for their goal of faunus liberation, as well as doing battle with the Grimm. Eventually it moves on to ask questions about the nature of existence, reality and souls, questions that, if answered, might just also let Jaune answer the question, "How do I defeat The Man Behind the Man?" Foreshadowed extensively by all the mythology and religion references.
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Blake's plan to hijack the White Whale and liberate the faunus slaves in Atlas was intended to show that it was possible for the White Fang to act nonviolently. It ended up going not as planned very fast.
  • Good is Not Nice: To Jaune's disgust, he ends up discovering that the Wisest choices are not always the most morally palatable.
  • Healing Hands: Jaune's Soulforge Restoration lets him do this.
  • Homage:
    • In "Practice Mode" Jaune recreates the "water shadow" of Leviathan from Worm, only to get hit by a time dilation effect just like the progenitor was.
    • Gilgamesh's power is essentially Evolution to Victory. Both fics are written by the same author.
  • Hope Spot:
    • In "Fortress Defense", the Huntsmen seem to be winning against the Grimm horde, and then a Pandora Shell appears.
    • In "The Final Round", Jacques and Jaune defeat Conquest, only to encounter its creator, who makes it look like a chump. It doesn't end well.
  • Horse of a Different Color: After Jaune learns White Tiger of the West, he gains the utterly metal ability to ride a Fighting Spirit formed from his own soul into the shape of a giant white tiger.
  • Humongous Mecha: One of Atlas’s current countermeasures against the Grimm.
  • I Am a Monster: Keter describes himself and his fellows as demon emperors rather than benevolent deities. Not entirely an undeserved epithet.
  • I Can Still Fight!: Penny keeps saying this.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Improving the WIS stat is supposed to make Jaune choose more optimal and advantageous solutions but often he does not consider them or at least even explain why they won't work (e.g. looking for more spellbooks across the world; looking for more information on Babel, mining dust for spam-killing high level Grimm; concentrating on levelling up instead of levelling skills, since each 50 stat points effectively doubles his power etc).
    • Cinder doesn’t sever her connection to a house that ties her to her history.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The Sea of Monsters is an inland sea full of Grimm more powerful than anything near Mistral's boundaries.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...:
    • In "Surprise Box", Jaune assures General Ironwood that if he wanted to attack, he'd have done so already.
    • Inverted when Jaune successfully calls Malkuth's bluff, telling him that if he really wanted to Kill All Humans, he could have just unleashed the full force of the Grimm on mankind a long, long time ago.
  • Immune to Mind Control: Gamer’s Mind grants Jaune this passive skill, allowing him to sidestep doom artefacts’ mind control attempts.
  • In Memoriam: "Continue" is dedicated to Monty Oum, who died the day before its release.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • In "Third Interlude" we learn that Blake still ended up leaving the White Fang, even if under more amicable conditions than canon.
    • "Bar Games" reveals that the Black Trailer's events still went down, though only Adam was there and he didn't set charges to destroy the whole train this time. Also, at the end, Yellow Trailer is a go.
  • Incendiary Exponent:
    • The Goliath creates a lava pit in an attempt to keep Jaune away.
    • How do you know Jaune's achieved some serious, serious Super-Speed in "Quick Time"? The air catches fire around him.
  • In the Back: Death literally stabbed Keter multiple times in the back as he was locking himself and Malkuth away in Metatron's Cube, leading to his first death.
  • Infinity +1 Sword: White Dust is the rarest, most potent type of Dust. It is so rare that Raven has only managed to forge three blades' worth of the stuff despite her decades as a Huntress. While its full potential remains unrevealed, what glimpses we seenote  suggest it more than lives up to the hype. Jaune and Ozpin consider a certain character's ready access to large quantities of it to be more dangerous than Time Mastery.
  • Infodump: Especially with some background exposition chapters and the explanations throughout some later battles.
  • Instant Expert: One of the benefits of being a Gamer is that Jaune can consume a skill book and instantly know how to do everything within. The Skills gained usually take years if not decades to hone for anyone else.
  • It's a Small World, After All: Returning to Beacon Academy reveals that many of Jaune’s previous encounters ended up in the same hunter training teams, including Blake and Weiss.
  • Just Hit Him: Played straight in the Penny fight, especially after Jaune activates a buff that reduces the damage he takes from being thrown through walls. Inverted in the first Goliath fight, where Jaune does far more damage using Meteor Moves than he ever did with strikes.
  • Just Think of the Potential!: Conquest's body-jacking power? Originally intended as a crimefighting measure by paralyzing any hosts in the midst of doing evil.
  • Kill It with Fire: Flame is the only thing that can reliably purge Pandora Shell bacteria.
    • Jaune also uses flames to kill a Humbaba by himself, he uses enough heat to make the almost Mythological Grimm melt away.
  • Knight of Cerebus: It is when Weiss becomes involved in the plot that it takes a decidedly dark turn. And many chapters later Conquest raises the stakes again.
  • Knowledge Broker: Ozpin.
  • Know When to Fold Them: In this post, Ryuugi explains that the Hunters who live the longest are the ones who know when a battle is unwinnable and need to retreat rather than throw their lives away in a Senseless Sacrifice of a Last Stand. It also deconstructs the idea by showing just what kind of cold, calculating bastard you'd have to be (and Jaune's maternal granny is far from a saint) to throw present lives under the bus for the sake of living to fight another day. Notably, when such a situation comes up, Jaune refuses to cut his losses and run.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: For given values of 'mook'. The Aura of others needs to be overcome before most effects can be applied to them, which is why many moves that can be directly lethal against Grimm or robots, like warping the metal they're made of into uselessness, can't be used against humans.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In "Battle Royale".
    At once, her shadow moved, drawing itself protectively around her like a—
    Like a blanket.explanation 
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Jaune sometimes gets the feeling like he’s seeing his body through a screen of some kind. Keter’s semblance was about telling his life’s story like he was writing a book.
  • The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort: In "Expansions" Gilgamesh tanks three Brahmastra and a point-blank Lux Aeterna without bothering to dodge, but when Jaune uses a Longinus, the foe tries to get out of the way.
  • Legacy Character: Learning Bai Hu’s signature fighting style, Jaune is eventually able to perfect it to a degree where he becomes the bearer of its legacy.
  • Level Grinding/Stat Grinding: The Gamer system uses a mix of this and normal levelling; Jaune can boost a particular stat by doing specific actions, but every time he gains a level, he also gains points that he can put into his stats for an immediate boost.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: In "Search and Rescue" Onyx tears off his infected leg. In "Counting Down" Jaune cuts out Ren's infected right hand. In "Rematch" Jaune's mother amputates herself to avoid Conquest infection.
  • The Man Behind the Man/The Man Behind the Monsters: In "The Final Round" Jaune encounters a humanoid(presumably) being that is the source of the Grimm. The entity personally confirmed that any strange or illogical behavior on their parts, as seen by Jaune, his grandmother, and Ozpin, was him moving pieces along to advance his goals. So far, no one knows what his end game really is...
  • Marathon Boss: Fights with some Grimm or bosses last for 5 to 15+ chapters.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": In "Fortress Defense" two teams of experienced Hunters (and Jaune) stare 'eyes wide and terrified' when they see a Pandora Shell.
  • Mêlée à Trois: In "Noticed" someone else, initially unknown but eventually revealed to be Torchwick in "Reunion", attacks the ceremony for the White Whale before Jaune can steal it. Similarly, "Rulebook" eventuates into a three-way fight between Jaune, Finn, and Albus.
  • Mighty Glacier: Tegmines are described as "mighty as glaciers" but "about as fast", allowing Jaune and Adam to easily dodge their attacks.
  • Million to One Chance: There are many improbable things that happen to support the plot’s advancement in the right/chosen direction. The narrator often highlights this, then handwaves it away.
  • Mind Screw: When Jaune uses his Dimensional in "Second", the results are so disorienting that Jaune himself can't even.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters:
    • Leviathans have heads not quite like crocodiles or sharks, but their teeth are reminiscent of both, and their long, serpentine bodies bear a wide variety of limbs - crocodile legs, tentacles, 'pincers and claws and other such things'.
    • Hydra bodies change to deal with the threats they face, meaning they can look very weird. The one Jaune starts fighting in "Unlocked Area" has a snakelike head, a dragonlike one, one like a wolf's, one somewhere between a spider's and an ant's, and who knows what else.
    • Humbabae have the chest of a man, lionlike arms, ravenlike legs, a tail like a two-headed snake, and a head made of a mass of tangled "strings" with a pair of horns.
  • Mook Chivalry: In "Details", Ozpin reveals that the aversion of this was one of the reasons why Jericho Falls was such a slaughterhouse. One Humbaba alone is enough trouble. A large number of them coordinated to a level that matches or exceeds trained, experienced Huntsmen? A nightmare.
  • Mook Maker: In "Call" Jaune discovers that Goliaths can spawn more Grimm. Leviathans are also able to do so.
  • Mundane Utility: In "Bar Games" Jaune uses Acceleration to get dressed super-fast.
    • At one point he also uses his Gamer Inventory for shopping.
  • My Skull Runneth Over: In Gou's Interlude he mentions how using Clairvoyance and Extrasensory Perception results in so much input that anyone without Gamer's Mind could get a stroke.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • "I'll be lord of the battlefield and lord of the dance—though I assure you, my moves don't need much help in that regard."
    • Adam's explanation to Jaune about why the White Fang wear masks in "First Boss" is the same as the one Blake gave in canon Volume 2, Chapter 4.
    • "For it is in passing that we achieve immortality…"​explanation 
    • The fact that Jaune has repeatedly refused to cut and run against superior forces is sadly amusing considering that his canon self was happy to "run and live" in Volume 1, Chapter 8.
    • In "Expansions" Jaune briefly brings up landing strategies. This far into the story, he and his team's idea of landing strategies are far more impressive than what the canon teams came up with.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • In "First Class", Jaune launches into a detailed explanation of the pros and cons of using Dust Eating vs Dust Weaving vs Dust ammunition.
    • Arcana gives massive bonuses but also potentially massive disadvantagesnote  and are literally highly situational because which "card" he draws depends on Jaune's situation and actions. As such, activating it at the wrong time may result in him making a bigger tradeoff than he gains.
    • One of Jaune’s skills gives him exp gaining boost if he keeps his HP either below 1% or precisely at 1 point.
  • No Conservation of Mass: Jaune's Semblance seems to make things appear from nowhere. So does Conquest with his infected thralls' modifications. Jaune suspects that there is some link between the two that will help him deal with the latter.
  • No-Sell:
    • Gamer's Mind prevents almost all negative mental conditions, including fear and panic, from affecting Jaune. Similarly, Gamer's Body reduces everything to either HP damage or status effects, but leaves him unimpeded by little things like dismemberment. Word of advice: Do not bring up the subject of Gamer's Mind and what it can and can't do in the latest threads. It's been discussed to death, and is every current poster's Berserk Button. The author eventually waded in to explicitly state that Gamer's Mind does not remove Jaune's emotions, only prevent him from being compromised by them.
    • In "Conditions" Jaune takes a direct hit from Yang and the Malachite twins. It does nothing.
    • Kavacha and Kundala both negate a certain amount of damage from physical and Aura-based attacks, but Kavacha negates more from physical attacks and Kundala more from Aura-based attacks.
  • Noodle Incident: Jaune's father mentions something happening at the Vacuo embassy.
  • Not So Above It All: Despite Keter's detachment in earlier appearances, he ends up going along with the other two Jaunes' antics when he makes his return in "Hit Streak".
  • Nothing Is the Same Anymore: While Conquest was a Knight of Cerebus, it's the appearance of Malkuth that changes things permanently, by killing off Jacques and confirming that the Grimm have a creator and guiding intelligence, one with plans for Jaune that may result in apocalypse if Jaune doesn't thwart them.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Jaune's maternal grandmother is normally unfazed, except for two occasions thus far - She visibly froze when Jaune mentions Raven, and she snaps to him, "shockingly intense", when Jaune mentions that the skill he gets from the Goliath lets him create Grimm.
    • In "Opening Shot", Conquest was speechless "for quite possibly the first time in his godforsaken blasphemy of a life" when Ozpin mentions his Sole Survivor experience and what he found then.
    • In "Concealed" Jaune's revelations chip steadily away at Raven's assured facade.
    • When Jaune gains the new skills for raising Wisdom above 250 in "Storage", he became distracted, which Adam is disturbed by because it doesn't happen anymore.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In between "Render" and "Fulfillment", Jaune obliterates a City of Webs containing a Neith and a lot of Arachne. "Render" cuts out as Jaune tells the Grimm in question to burn and "Fulfillment" fades in with Jaune being informed of the loot he's acquired.
  • Oh, Crap!:
  • One Stat to Rule Them All: Jaune's investment in Wisdom seems to be paying the biggest dividends compared to the others, and has directly and indirectly fed into his combat prowess too. Contrast Jee-Han from canon, whose neglect of it has bit him in the arse multiple times already.
  • One-Winged Angel: The first Goliath they fight eventually grows himself an armour; their first Hydra evolves into an Ananta; Cinder shows her true form when feeling threatened; any Grimm general/Rider they kill turns into an avatar for Malkuth.
  • Only I Can Kill Him: Jaune’s Plot Armor is partially explained through his arch-nemesis forbidding his minions to kill him. Similar plot devices are applied first to "some" of Jaune’s allies (when he manages to convince one of the Riders to not kill them while playing a Sheep in Wolf's Clothing), then to "all" of them (when he negotiates a temporary cease-fire with Malkuth).
  • Open-Minded Parent: Jaune's father Jacques takes his antics very well. His mother Isabella... a little less so.
  • Phlebotinum: Dust (magic crystals), nanotechnology, “soul light” from higher dimensions, etc.
  • Parents as People: A recurring theme in the story is that the characters with children have all made mistakes of one kind or another regarding their kids, and that doing so is a pretty natural thing. Jaune's parents tried their best with him, but he was still quite depressed before the story started, and his sisters all have some very good reasons to avoid home. Weiss Schnee and her family issues are still prevalent. Jaune's mother has issues with her own mother. Raven struggles with her sense of duty and her love of her family. And Jaune himself eventually becomes a father and struggles to avoid making mistakes in raising Autumn.
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Building" Jeanne says that Ozpin is a "fucking time manipulator".
  • Playing with Fire: In Firefight, Jaune shows how to turn things even more on fire, he starts by turning his aura into fire, then expanding said aura in a large sphere centered on him, adds temperature by turning it blue with white on the center, to top it off, he fuses with his fire elemental to shape it like a huge version of his tiger soul that melts Grimm and ground alike.
  • Power Copying: One of Jaune’s eventual skills allows him to copy weapon-related skills by quick-scanning through a weapon’s previous “memories”. Learning skills through books is also technically an example.
  • Powers as Programs: Even skills that’ve been honed throughout someone’s life can be copied by Jaune or his brothers. Improvement through stat points also applies.
  • Power-Upgrading Deformation: Activation of many powers partially or completely changes Jaune’s body.
  • Powers via Possession: Seems to be the case with the Black Crystal. Willing Channeler or Symbiotic Possession is another possibility.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Jaune appeared to be headed this way during the White Whale arc. First he stole books from a library to learn Skills. Second his errand boy quest quickly devolved into him becoming a get away driver when he first meets the White Fang. And third when he's planning to steal an airship from the Schnee Dust Company, he plays on Weiss's fears because he knows he'll lose in a fair fight, momentarily takes her hostage after incapacitating her in the fight and he leaves behind friends he wanted to save. Understandably he's become sickened by his actions. Ultimately didn't come to pass.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Pure Light of Creation that doesn't pass through any of the spheres and isn't refined or shaped by a Semblance is only good for destruction and nothing else.
  • Put Them All Out of My Misery: After hundreds of years of experiencing pain from humanity's negative emotions and with nothing the other Archangels did able to alleviate it, Malkuth wanted to exterminate humanity so that he didn't have to suffer any longer. Keter refused to go along with it and thus it was on.
  • Railroading/Traveling at the Speed of Plot: Some plot changes, that are made to work with canon, feel jagged and forced, while others feel like contrived coincidences (e.g. how Jaune manages to unlock the right skills at the right time).
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: By "Call" Jaune can make hundreds of attacks in seconds.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech/You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Jaune uses both simultaneously to try to convince Penny that they shouldn't fight and how they both care about doing the right thing. In "Results" he uses this to attempt to convince Penny that the fight is over. Once the fight is over he has a heart to heart with her, they end the conversation on good terms.
    • Conquest, full of himself as he is, dishes the former out like candy at Halloween, trying to break Jaune.
  • Required Secondary Powers:
    • Acceleration is Time Mastery applied only to Jaune, but not to his Elementals or allies, which means he can't use them as effectively while he's sped up. Also, spending all that time while dilated means he's physically older than the calendar would suggest.
    • Time Stop halts his mana regeneration because time's not moving.
    • Tenne's ability to guide projectiles using his eyesight is disrupted when he blinks, and training and experience only go so far in trying to counteract this natural tendency. When Conquest infects him, he gains many more eyes, and unblinking Grimm ones at that, making him much more effective.
    • In "Homecoming", we see how many things Jaune has to do in order to be stealthy. It's not enough to use Delusory to bend light and hide himself visually - he needs to control air to prevent sound leaking or unwanted wind motion, control heat to prevent the air from heating from friction as he moves at Super-Speed, and harden the ground to prevent it cracking under his Super Strong footfalls.
    • Some of the Skills Jaune learns explicitly don't provide their user with any protection should they backfire on him.
    • In "Examination" Jaune notes that Aura doesn't increase mass or provide additional anchoring. In high-level combat, even if an attack doesn't deal enough damage to noticeably deplete Aura reserves, it's still possible to have someone Blown Across the Room.
    • Grabbing something while moving at Super-Speed can cause whiplash. Jaune actually weaponises this by grabbing Grimm and letting physics take over.
  • Reincarnation: At least two documented examples, with several more suspected, though as Ryuugi explains, it can be complicated. Jaune/Keter/Metatron has a huge advantage because of the unique nature of his soul, to the point that had it went completely right, his previous life would have gone beyond Past-Life Memories and just basically taken over wholesale to continue where he had left off the first time around. For most others:
    Several people have asked how much of a person persists across incarnations varies? Generally speaking, it's hard to really tell. ... imagine a loved one had an accident and got a really bad, and permanent, case of amnesia. A case that went beyond just memories and took away their ability to speak or remember skills and stuff they'd learned—different types of memories stored in different parts of the brain. And now imagine that the accident mauled them so badly that they had to be transferred into a new body; a baby's body because the doctor misplaced everything else.

    Is it still them? When you see things that strike you as familiar, are you just projecting things onto them or has something truly remained?

    Nobody really knows, because stuff like that is the realm of Keter. Still, it's generally accepted that something remains, or what's the point of reincarnation? But from there things depend on the person—i.e., there's a little bit of nature and a lot of nurture in every person, some more than others.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Jaune is able to perceive his surroundings even throughout a stopped frame of time.
  • RPG Mechanics 'Verse/Sudden Game Interface: The story’s genre makes these mandatory.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: In "Link" we learn that Tyrian and Castanea were able to avoid being infected by Conquest by using the interaction of their Semblances to get out of dodge.
  • Secret Identity: To quote a comment, Jaune regularly LAR Ps as the reincarnation of a mythical magical tiger-man, while in actuality he's "merely" super-consciously aping the techniques, body, and role of a reincarnated mythical magical tiger-man. One of his enemies is the host of an ultra-powerful qliphothic crystalline superweapon, who is LAR Ping as an terrorist, who is LAR Ping as an ordinary student, and he escapes her attention by personally LAR Ping as a qliphothic biological weapon, who is LAR Ping as a reincarnated mythical magical tiger-man. His oversoul LAR Ps as and gives life to various elemental forces, including himself. He's also two different people, simultaneously, who are also the same person, who are also both him.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • The whole fic can probably be summed up in two questions. 1) What crazy powerful ability is Jaune going to gain next? 2) What even more crazy powerful foe is going to show up and prove that Jaune still has a long way to go?
    • How many simultaneous Lux Aeternae is Jaune going to fire this time, and how much more is it going to bend physics over a barrel than the last time?
  • Sequential Boss: Jaune managed to prevent the full Hydra→Ananta transformation by using its temporary vulnerability. Not so much with Conquest→Malkuth or Gilgamesh→Malkuth.
  • Shapeshifter Showdown: The fight with Gilgamesh becomes this as Jaune pits Metamorphosis against the latter's Intelligent Design, adapting, modifying and transforming themselves in an attempt to gain the upper hand.
  • Sheathe Your Sword: Invoked by Jaune in his spar with Finn. Jaune has difficulty landing a good hit on the latter because every time he tries, the latter's Spider-Sense flares up and he teleports away. After a while of this, when Jaune deliberately does not attack him as he's coming out of a teleport, he misses a beat. Things go downhill for him rapidly.
  • Sheep in Wolf's Clothing: Jaune in Conquest’s.
  • Shoot the Dog: In "Hit Box" Jaune is forced to kill the infected Carmine because she's just too dangerous for him to try and restrain while he fights the other enemies.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shown Their Work: Ryuugi puts a lot of work into coming up with appropriate names and terms from myth and religion.
    • While he doesn’t mention all the stats for the underlying game mechanics, those that he does usually don’t contradict with what had been revealed in previous chapters (mana capacity, for instance, or mana regeneration rate).
  • Sidekick: Jaune converts Adam into one.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: The White Whale arc made it look like Jaune was going to end up this, though it was eventually subverted.
  • Sole Survivor: Ozpin was the only survivor of an expedition into an exceptionally well-defended set of ruins that 14 Hunter teams went into. And as we see in "Fortress Defense", just two Hunter teams go through an army of Grimm like a wrecking ball through rice paper.
  • Spell My Name with an S: Jaune's mother's name keeps switching between Isabella and Isabelle.
  • Spider-Sense: Jaune gained the ability to Sense Danger just before fighting a Giant Nevermore. Word of God explains that every Huntsman worth his salt has a similar deal going on.
  • Spy Speak: Qrow and Taiyang do this in "Homecoming".
  • Square-Cube Law: The more powerful types of Grimm blatantly ignore this, and Jaune suspects that figuring out how they do so will help him in his quest to stop them permanently.
  • Stop, or I Shoot Myself!: In "Breaking Down", Jaune does this. When Malkuth threatens to unleash the full power of the Grimm to wipe out mankind, Jaune in turn threatens that, should his family and friends get killed, he'll just throw himself into the biggest, strongest concentration of Grimm and die fighting. Malkuth listens because he needs Jaune alive to release him from his Can. While he's done a remarkable job of remaining lucid for the past thousands of years, he doesn't want to risk that he won't disintegrate entirely waiting the next few millennia Jaune would need to reincarnate again if he dies.
  • Story-Breaker Team-Up: Happens In-Universe in "Plead". In an ordinary drama, Porfyro's family troubles would be something that might take a whole arc to work through. Jaune's information-gathering and analysis powers let him resolve it in one chapter.
  • Strictly Formula: Jaune is thrown in front of someone with overwhelming power that he perceives as a threat. He struggles to become powerful enough to match up with them, only to stumble into someone yet "more" powerful. Go to step two.
  • Summon Magic: One of the first skills Jaune picks up in story is learning how to call on elemental spirits.
  • Super-Detailed Fight Narration: Fights and Skill use effects usually have thorough and detalised descriptions, reading which feels like playing an HD graphics game. Similarly, the game’s mechanics usually gives Jaune’s skills specific formulas for their properties.
  • Super-Empowering:
    • In "Reunion" Jaune unlocks the Aura of 1000 Faunus ex-slaves.
    • We eventually learn that Conquest was meant to be this, changing the host to give them superhuman abilities. Jaune notes that the tougher body means infected Huntsmen don't have to maintain as large a reserve of Aura for defensive purposes, thus allowing them to use more Aura on the attack.
  • Super-Senses: In "Pets", by raising his base INT above 100, Jaune gains Clairvoyance, which not only boosts his existing senses but also allows him to sense in ways that normal humans can't, such as seeing in the full electromagnetic spectrum down to the cellular level. For example, this allows him to detect that Raven is a portal-creator even though she has no obvious tell.
  • Super Serum: A cocktail made from the distilled Sephirot of over a billion souls, in this case.
  • Super Weight: Jaune’s powers, so far, managed to progress from Tier 0 (Muggle Weight) to Tier 5 (World Weight). His arch-nemesis is currently a sealed Tier 6 (Cosmic Weight).
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: The Four Beast Kings' fighting styles involve extensive use of Aura to empower the user. Jaune picks up Bai Hu's White Tiger style early on, and in "Team Battle" it's revealed that Ren and his grandfather are practitioners of Xuan Wu's Black Turtle.
  • Superpower Lottery: Discussed in "Nighttime". Jaune notes that the Kingdoms could awaken the Aura of far more people than they normally do, but they don't want to risk the possibility that someone might gain a ridiculously powerful Semblance and decide to use it to upend the existing system.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Summer's had been this, so abrupt that even Raven had not been able to do anything about it.
  • Talking Animal: Tiangou, a dog Jaune rescues from the streets who eventually gains the ability to talk and grow to massive size.
  • Talking Your Way Out: Jaune even manages to infiltrate a terrorist organization and become one of its leaders without ever even talking with the majority of other leaders.
  • Thanatos Gambit: In "Counting Down" Conquest intended for Ren to kill his own infected grandfather so that he would get infected by the spilled blood and go on to kill Nora.
  • Thicker Than Water: Averted in Tenth Interlude - Metatron. Keter and Malkuth may have been as close as brothers but Keter wasn't willing to put ending Malkuth's suffering above the lives of billions of humans.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding/Poor Communication Kills: Averted and highlighted. After careful deliberation Jaune decides to reveal the true nature of his powers to his allies; and once mentions that he wouldn’t want for his enemies to use such a secret against his team-mates at a crucial point.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: In "Search and Rescue", Ozpin's response when Jaune tells him about the Pandora Shell opening is "Oh. Oh no." From someone as usually composed as him, it's equivalent to a full-fledged Oh, Crap!.
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Jacques's Semblance lets him create bombs from Dust.
  • Time Master: Ozpin.
  • Time Stands Still
  • Training from Hell: How Jaune's mother trains him in "Shift". Deconstructed, as it's mentioned that without his Semblance Jaune wouldn't benefit from this type of training as much as he does, and that a normal person training like that would suffer mentally and physically. In fact, it's implied, and eventually confirmed, that their mother's training is the reason that Jaune's sisters avoid visiting home as much as possible, having been traumatized by her brutal methods.
  • Tranquil Fury: Malkuth's state at the end of "Breaking Down". His voice is described as "almost frighteningly empty. It wasn’t angry, wasn’t loud—it was soft, distant, and entirely devoid of anything human."
  • Two Siblings In One, inverted With The Hidden Heart prestiging into Thaumiel, Jaune gains the ability to give temporary body to his second soul, this new soul holds an exact copy of Jaune's powers and looks exactly like him They show perfect Synchronization as Tag Team Twins and even some Twin Telepathy. They show together that The whole is more than the sum of the parts by kicking Gilgamesh's ass.
  • Upgrade Artifact: Skill books for Jaune, possibly the Dark Crystal for Cinder.
  • Unstoppable Force Meets Immovable Object: Jaune brings this up in "Retort" as he uses Longinus, a power that by cutting through the very space of the target has absolute defence penetration, on the portal at the centre of Gilgamesh that should have been untouchable.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Progressively worsens with story’s progression. Jaune can often spend whole chapters on useless generic descriptions or reminders about his current situation without mentioning any specific options for winning the oncoming conflict or battle. Same starts happening with newly-acquired or upgraded skills and items: the reader has no idea what they do until the moment they are first used to salvage a situation.
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The Inner Monologue often repeats things that have been established only several chapters prior, or wastes several sentences per paragraph to explain and reiterate obvious things.
  • Villain Override: Malkuth loves overriding his minions.
  • Virtual Ghost: In the computer at Jericho Falls, the one that Jaune's been looking for nearly the entire story, one of these manifests in the form of his past life.
  • The Virus: Pandora Shells release a bacteria that infects people and turns them into allies of the Grimm, with the end stage being more bacteria to infect others with. In "Defeat" Jaune's father gets infected, causing his flesh to turn black, spikes and armour plate to sprout and a mask to form over his face.
  • Voice of the Legion: The Light Elemental has 'a chorus of a million voices, male, female, animalistic, robotic, and everything else you could think of, so numerous that it should have drowned out what he was trying to say, but didn't only because every single voice spoke in perfect unison.'
  • We Have Reserves: The Grimm have always been said to benefit from this, but "Homeward" really drives it home — Jaune spends a night turning a ten kilometre sphere into an "Instant Death" Radius, and come daybreak the Grimm are still pouring bodies into the breach like they were the Imperial Guard. Same can be said about the substance that Grimms summon from another dimension to heal themselves.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Seems like a staple of the story. Jaune is always up against enemies who are much stronger than he is, and if he currently isn't that just means the next one's going to sucker punch him all the harder. Also literally as he usually has lots more Skills but poorer stats than his foes.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In "Escape" Jaune accidentally awakens the legendary mountain-sized Grimm Ziz.
    • In "Reunion" Jaune sees off the Faunus refugees and catches up with Adam and Blake, after which he heads home and has a reunion with his parents... only to discover that his father had asked one of his friends to keep an eye on him, with the implication (confirmed shortly afterwards) being that it's Ozpin.
    • "Ties": Jaune has received a quest to help the White Fang take power in Mistral, and has revealed his identity as Jian Bing to his grandmother, who was Dumb Struck by the mention of Raven.
    • In "Hacking" Jaune and Raven's information theft at the Schnee Dust Company leads to the discovery that the Dust deposits the Four Kingdoms rely on to hold back the Grimm are starting to run out, and will be depleted within Jaune's lifetime.
    • "Fortress Defense". Another super-Grimm appears, one strong enough to shatter Jaune's barriers like they were eggshells, and that's before the Pandora Shell shows up.
    • "Defeat" directly follows the above and things go From Bad to Worse. Jaune's mother pushed herself to the edge of death trying to protect him, and would have actually died if not for his Healing Hands, and we learn just what the Pandora Shells do when his now-infected father appears.
    • "Last Minute". Jaune has become... a sapient Grimm?
    • "The Final Round". Jaune and Jacques defeat Conquest, only to find the source of the Grimm. He's as much of a Jerkass as his minion, but even stronger - Jaune can barely resist him and Jacques has to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to allow Jaune to Bring News Back - and then Jaune has to decapitate (the possessed body of) his own father in order to temporarily halt the bad guy.
    • "Raiding". Summer Rose may still be alive and another carrier of the Red Rider.
    • "Lighting". Jaune summons a Light Elemental and starts to receive a lot of very vital information.
    • "Retort". Jaune almost defeats Gilgamesh, only to once again cause Malkuth to manifest.
    • "Breaking Down". Jaune and Malkuth establish a ceasefire.
    • "Tenth Interlude - Metatron". We learn, at last, how it all began.
  • Wham Line:
    • "New Objective".
      "Sir?" I blinked at him as he turned back to me at last—and then, with a snap of his fingers, made Naraka shatter, returning us to his office.
    • "Landing Party".
      "How many?" My father finally asked and I switched tracks to try and count.

      Then I just gave up.

      "A lot," I said, finally looking up at him. The rest of his team was nearby, as was Ren's grandfather, all of them frowning at the ground. "Thousands, tens of thousands, maybe more. There's a network of tunnels that…I can't feel the whole thing, but it's at least as big as this town."
    • "Team Battle".
      “Do you think he hasn't tried?" Ren asked. "Your master must have taught you well, but so did my grandfather. Don't underestimate the students of Xuan Wu, White Tiger. I can protect myself for a while."
    • "Quick Time".
      You have received the Status Effect 'On A White Horse He Rides [Low].'
    • "Reaction Time".
      You have received the Status Effect 'Pandora Shell [Low].'
    • "Recovery Time".
      "I'm home," I said pointlessly as I opened the door and entered, knowing there'd be no reply.

      Except there totally was.
    • "Conditions".
      The Red Rider
      LV 50
      Ruby Rose
    • "Check".
      On A Red Horse He Rides [Low]
    • "Interconnected"
      "Of course," I said. "My name in this life is Jaune Arc. And it is, as always, a pleasure to make your acquaintance."
    • "Initiation"
      LV ???
      Cinder Fall
    • "Lighting"
      "That," He said gravely. "Is not my name."
    • "Reminiscence"
      "They called us the Brothers Grimm."
    • "Illumination"
      "If it's possible for souls to merge, however difficult," I continued. "Then what about the souls of a parent and a child?"

      There was a moment of stunned silence on Raven's part and careful contemplation on Keter's.

      " If it was a mother and a daughter, in close proximity, and aided by one of the Riders…then…" Keter mused aloud before flicking a wing and nodding. "It might be possible. Yes."
    • "Forethought"
      Cinder was leaving the school, but not immediately. Instead, it would be in a matter of days. Two days, to be precise.
    • "Multiple Stages"
      Either way, the explosion itself wasn't the worst part, or even the only thing I'd learned. As I looked through the smoke, I realized absently that this was the first time.

      That I'd seen a Grimm evolve, that is.
    • "Pressure"
      “Finally,” An unfamiliar voice said, the tone low as it interrupted my thoughts. Gilgamesh continued to watch me as he quietly spoke. “You’ve kept me waiting for a very long time, Archangel.”
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: As of the first story's end, a lot of Jaune's Items and Skills remain without a description, even ones gained early in his journey.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jaune's grandmother gives him such a speech in "Alarm", though it plays with the idea — instead of condemning him for wrongdoing, it's more of a Spec Ops: The Line-style "you should have just walked away rather than insisting on being a hero".
  • Willfully Weak: Jaune can drop his HP to 1% or 1pt to boost experience gain. Various Grimm can intentionally let some damage through for various goals.
  • Worf Barrage: Jaune recognises that Malkuth has done a Villain Override on Gilgamesh when Lucifer, which had been burning him down to his core portal, is suddenly ineffective.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • When Malkuth first appears he effortlessly overpowers Jaune.
    • Jaune himself does this to Yang, No Selling a direct hit from her and then sending her to Destination Defenestration with one Razor Wind.
    • In "Class Introductions", Adam demonstrates the fruit of his training by easily handing the arses of the third strongest freshman team to them.
    • In general, this tends to happen to various Grimm species that get chapter-long fights on their first encounter after Jaune levels up a bit. So far, Giant Nevermores, Goliaths, Leviathans and Humbaba have been singled out as targets for this, each getting pasted with only a token effort on Jaune's part on subsequent encounters.
  • The World Is Just Awesome: When using Cathedral for the first time, Jaune reflects on how, as powerful and physics-bending even a high-tier Huntsman like himself is, all that pales before the energy Remnant the planet generates and manipulates naturally.
  • Writer on Board: Jaune from time to time speaks against The Needs of the Many and Shoot the Dog thinking. One character (Raven) pulled a Screw This, I'm Outta Here on her bosses because they held such attitudes. The one major character who does subscribe to such is not shown very sympathetically. Gee, subtle.

Alternative Title(s): Ryuugis The Games We Play