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Fanfic / The RWBY Loops

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Part of The Infinite Loops project.

While the world of Remnant itself is not unusually remarkable, being filled with somewhat derivative characters from fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, the world inside of the Loops has been consistently strange and interesting. From its overly cute Anchor to its surprisingly large number of Stealth Loopers and Villains, Remnant has long been a hotspot for activity, and all of it is centered around the veiled history of the world.

RWBY's world is an enigma and a mystery, self admitting that its history is long forgotten, and any explanation would be incomplete. It's a world of soulless monsters, fairy tale characters, transforming weapons, of kingdoms and bandits and princesses and magic and science. It is a fantasy world with robots and sniper scythes and cute girls that want to fight monsters.

The RWBY Loops have become one of the largest and most active Loop series in the Infinite Loops' canon, with only a handful longer and more diverse than it. It has countless characters, both good, evil, and canine, from many species and with many secrets. It is the home of two of the Multiverse's few married couple’s. Many of its Loopers are dead in Baseline. It was once filled with Stealth Loopers, and even today the characters hold deep secrets that threaten their world. All of this, and more, lurks within the RWBY Loops.

The project has been posted to the SpaceBattles forums (first thread; second thread), with a version that combines the content of both SB forum threads.

In General, The RWBY Loops provide examples of:

  • Absurd Phobia: Ruby Rose has developed what she calls a healthy respect for rabbits, hares, and all things lagomorph. She attempts to justify it by pointing out the multiverse is filled with literal killer rabbits who can pass for 'harmlessly cute' until it's far too late, but while other Remnant loopers are portrayed as being somewhat wary around errant bunnies and bunny-themed individuals Ruby is consistently terrified of them (unless they are people she already knows are decent).
  • Complexity Addiction: Ozpin, who just can't get enough of conspiracy, to everyone's chagrin.
  • Conversational Troping: Several of the loopers have mentioned browsing this very wiki when they visit the Hub, and have taken to referring to certain tropes by name.
  • Death Is Cheap: Demonstrated with Ruby in her first loop. Getting run through will do that to ya.
  • Divergent Character Evolution: The looping versions of the cast have become significantly different from their baseline selves, to the point where they often struggle to understand their own motivations when a baseline expansion reveals them to have taken an action that their looping self would never consider.
  • Doorstopper: At 187 chapters and two million-plus words, the RWBY loops definitely qualifies.
  • Family of Choice: Downplayed, but important. While the majority of Remnant's loopers are more than okay with their baseline families, a long-running plot point is their decisions to adopt each other as siblings, cousins, romantic partners, etc., to such a degree that Ruby deliberately arranges for everyone to have a shared adoptive family tree. This extends beyond even the bounds of universes, with Blake, Yang, and Ruby claiming brothers and sisters from other realities. It is also crucial to saving the universe from a near apocalypse, as Cinder's adoptive sisterhood with Ruby proves to be more important to her than her urge for godhood.
  • For the Evulz: Roman and Neo's major drive in the loops is to do what they can because they can.
  • Happily Married: Jaune and Pyrrha.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Ruby's 'asexuality' was this, especially since she was only choosing to be celibate rather than actually asexual.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Ruby and Weiss, big time. They have long conversations about random subjects, help each other with their looping issues, their annoyance at being shipped together is a running gag... it gets to the point where Yang openly declares them morails and they simply agree that she's probably right.
    • Roman and Neo also qualify, as each is one of the few individuals the other cares about in more than a practical manner.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Blake and Yang traded off being this for each other for a while, but both of them realized it was unhealthy and worked to make their relationship more stable.
    • Downplayed with Qrow and Winter. They became aware of each other looping but were Locked Out of the Loop in regards to the others and so played the role of the only support they had for each other until the others caught on and brought them in.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Averted. The involved characters agreed that should Qrow turn out to be Ruby's biological father in Baseline, Taiyang will still be considered her dad.
  • Messiah Creep: Ruby, when she let everyone else's issues with Baseline start to get to her, leading to an obsession with doing everything perfectly.
  • Meta Fic: Like many other loopers, the cast here are aware that they are fictional in the Hub, and will often save a copy of the corresponding episode in their pocket whenever they have an expansion. Unlike most though, RWBY's loops started early on in the show's run before the series' Myth Arc had been established or much worldbuilding had been done, meaning the loopers have effectively had to learn about who they are and the world they live in episode by episode along with the rest of us. Much of the plot comes from the loopers coming to terms with new plot revelations in baseline, or trying to reconcile the differences between their looping selves and their baseline.
  • Multiple-Choice Past:
    • The Remnant Branch of Yggdrasil was one heavily affected by the Crash, to the point that, when it was finally activated, only the first two Volumes were stabilized. Because of this, numerous details pertaining to the Loopers pasts are heavily loop variable, and continue to be so until an expansion reveals more. In spite of the Remnant Loopers declaration of war on Baseline however, they welcome the expansions that solidify more of the background since it at least gives them a foundation for who they are/were, Blake for example being in tears when the Volume 4 expansions began as it solidified that she had living parents.
    • It's believed that this trope is partly why Baseline is causing so much psychological distress for the Loopers, as their very beings are heavily undefined, they openly welcome being given pieces to solidify who they are, even if they've long established looping identities. They end up placing value on Baseline since it ultimately is revealing who they truly were before the Crash. Even then though, of the Remnant Loopers, only two of them have had fully solidified pasts. Some of the others have large portions stabilized, but enough undefined to be very loop variable. Others meanwhile have very little about their pasts defined, which has had negative effects on their identities, specifically Cinder as it was one of the contributing factors building up to her attempted-Ascension.
      • The looper who suffered from this the least, Roman, was because his backstory was undefined and he had died in Baseline, freeing him of worry that Baseline had anything else to effect him and allowing him to live hedonistically. The moment Brunswick Farms appeared however and the possibility was raised that Roman and Neo were the sole survivors there, numerous variant loops where that was the case happened, and Roman was suddenly affected by Baseline like the others.
  • Nuclear Family: Team JNPR, despite all of them being physically 17, and Pyrrha on occasion being dead.
  • Ontological Mystery: Thoroughly explored and played with, maybe even abused. The characters regularly comment on their unstable histories, the unknowable future, and how it personally affects them and drives their actions, when it is not mercilessly abused by Yggdrasil to create interesting situations. For just one example, Jaune Arc's Semblance changed from Loop to Loop, often wildly and with no consistency, with abilities ranging from literally making it rain money to increasing the size but not mass of any body part. This was eventually dropped with the volume 5 finale.
  • Polyamory: After Weiss finally confesses to Ruby and they, along with Penny, sort their feelings out, Weiss and Penny agree to both date Ruby.
  • Screw Destiny: After the tragedy of Volume 3, many of the loopers grew disturbed by what happened. This caused Ruby to do something unheard of in Yggdrasil, and declare war on Baseline, to the support of the other loopers. Problem was, doing so led to massive psychological issues as the Ontological Mystery grew, though it initially seemed like the loopers were moving past it once Weiss become their psychiatrist. This however would be flat out deconstructed by Alucard. After Weiss starts closing in on herself due to the Volume 7 expansions, Blake and Yang hire him to stage an intervention and be her psychiatrist. During their session, he outlines in no uncertain terms that the Remnant loopers are ultimately hurting themselves. He clarifies that while they call it war, that's not what they're doing. If they declared war on it, they'd be ignoring it entirely. Instead, they let themselves be heavily affected by what Baseline throws at them, as if they were shackled to it. He says what they're really declaring is outrage at baseline, directly comparing it to a child's tantrum over being denied something, that they pick and choose what it is they accept from Baseline and reject what they don't. He points out that Ruby has ultimately taken the hardest path, trying to understand Baseline, and that if she can't persevere, it will destroy her. That ultimately, the source of all the Remnant loopers issues comes from their obsession with Baseline.
    Alucard: Some Loopers choose to accept Baseline, some choose to refute it, and others still make war against it in truth. Of them all, you have chosen to do none of these. You alone, of all those whom I've seen and met, have chosen to do all three; and in so doing, have failed to do any.
  • Status Quo Is God: Violently averted. Ruby's first loop has her learning that Cinder is the big bad, almost immediately. Roman and Neo, who are villains, start looping by mistake quite early on.
  • Talking Animal: Zwei ends up as one of these. Particularly notable, as he's the only one on Remnant; a running gag is that when he speaks up around nonloopers their reaction is treated to a Blunt "Yes" before the loopers move on with the conversation.
  • Tangled Family Tree: The Extended Remnant Looper Family Tree, which spans nine universes and has between forty and fifty members. It has its own page.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Ruby insists on treating Unawake and nonlooping individuals as respectfully as she does loopers, fully knowing her time with them is relatively brief and the bonds she forms with them will end when the loop does. This has been noted to feed into her cyclical depression, but she points out the other extreme—simply ignoring them as 'passing reflections of friends'—is also unhealthy. A number of snips have her (and other loopers) struggling to find an appropriate balance.

Specific sections of The RWBY Loops provide examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Chapters 1- 30 
  • Becoming the Mask: Cinder zigzags this trope something fierce. It would be more accurate to say she has two masks, one where she's a nonlooping villain, and one where she's a friendly sister. The conflict between the two leads directly to her insanity.
  • Break Her Heart To Protect Her: Jaune tried to pull this on Pyrrha when she confessed her feelings to him, accusing her of playing a joke on him when he knew she was being honest, and that he returned her affections, because he was convinced he wasn't strong enough to be worthy of her. Thankfully, his friends put a stop to that.
  • The Confidant: Glynda served as one to Ruby, as Ruby herself is Glynda's confidant, knowing that Glynda was a Stealth Looper.
  • Eviler than Thou: Cinder hated that Salem ended up usurping the title of Big Bad from her.
  • Genre Throwback: Chapter one is meant to be this, with focus squarely on the first few loopers, while also showing, rather than telling, the audience the rules and common tropes of the setting through a Genre Roulette of snippets.
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: Ruby reaffirms to Weiss that she is not attracted to her romantically.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Cinder's big plan was lost to the ravages of time, though later expansions transferred this status to Salem.
  • Horror Hunger: Ozpin's initial Fused Loop was Tokyo Ghoul, leading him to become a half-ghoul himself. The change needs to be a conscious decision though, and Ozpin can avoid the cannibalistic desires well enough with Aura.
  • If It's You, It's Okay: Yang and Blake, despite claiming to be straight, do start dating after the expansion with Adam cutting Yang's arm off shakes them both up. Later loops have them acknowledge they might have been closeted bisexuals, but by that point they're in a committed relationship.
  • Ironic Fear: Penny Polendina has a Trauma Button in the form of Pyrrha Nikos, the warrior who (accidentally) killed her in Baseline. Given that she herself was designed to replace front-line warriors, this has quite the effect on her psyche and identity, and is Played for Drama.
    GLaDOS: "A war machine with PTSD? What will they think of next?"
  • Loss of Identity: Pyrrha feared this when she learned that gaining the Fall Maiden's power in Baseline might destroy her looping persona as well. This fear did not bear out though, because she died.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Chapter nine has this little exchange:
    Yang: What? I can't hear you, I'm too busy smothering you with love.
    Weiss: *Pulls back, gasps for air* Love and tits!
  • Menstrual Menace: Parodied with Yang. Canonically, she gets stronger as she gets hurt. In one variant, cramps count as hits, and that makes her dangerously reckless.
    Nora: Sometime's I'm REALLY jealous of Yang's semblance. I just get power from dumb, old electricity, but Yang gets power from cramps. Do you KNOW how strong I'd be? Do you?!
    Ren: I shudder to imagine, Nora, really. But the chance you'd both just synch up and go mad with power is just too likely. Forgive the multiverse for desiring a sense of peace.
    Nora: NEVER!
  • Oblivious to Love: As in canon, Jaune. He has consistently missed the many, many hints that Pyrrha was crushing on him. However, they do eventually get together.
  • Secret Secret-Keeper: Ozpin acted as one for Roman and Neo for a while Stealth Looping. Furthermore, all three plus Zwei act as these for the other Loopers, as Stealth Loopers are want to do.
  • Sense Freak: Penny is hit with a stint as this during her first loop as a biological human. She downplays it in further loops, seeking out artificial noses and modifying her body, but otherwise acting normal.
  • Sharing a Body: Variants occur where the Fall Maiden powers have Amber's consciousness attached.
  • Stealth Expert: All the adult loopers (and Zwei) either were stealth loopers or (in Ironwood's case) regularly engage in stealth looping.
    • Ozpin manages to stealth loop while interacting directly with the other loopers by using his own Multiple-Choice Past to claim his semblance that loop made him aware of the loops.
  • Tears of Joy: Weiss shed these when given clear confirmation that Winter Schnee, her big sister, was a good person.
  • We Can Rule Together: Roman tried this in his first Fused Loop with Jack Spicer when Roman looped in taking Wuya's place. Jack played along at first, but quickly locked him back in the puzzle box and left Roman there until the Loop was over.

    Chapters 31- 60 
  • Best Woman: Nora is this to Jaune during his wedding. She realizes only too late that, as Jaune and Pyrrha opted for a Klingon style wedding, she will have to fast for a week...
  • Blanket Fort: At one point Ruby and Blake have an actual debate over whether a pillow fort is better than a box fort. Yang refuses to get involved, since Ruby's her sister and Blake's her girlfriend, and Weiss torpedoes the argument by suggesting a book fort instead.
  • Kent Brockman News: Two recurring segments, even! First is The Blonde Report, where Yang and Jaune hijack the Vale News Network and report on things loopers would find interesting but are otherwise irrelevant. Second is Cinder News Network, the best—and only—news network in Cinder's subspace pocket, which offers up three categories of news before advertising a somewhat off the wall TV show.
  • Nightmare Sequence: Both Yang and Cinder get these, with separate causes and each preying on their insecurities. Notably, Yang's are guided by a specific entity and, eventually, she manages to conquer the issue without losing her mind; Cinder's are portrayed as surreal and mind-breaking, probably because they're caused by Slenderman, and by the time she shakes them off she is utterly insane.
  • Sharing a Body: Ozpin and Oscar seemed to be suffering this as Ozpin's soul merged with Oscar's after his death. Neither were particularly happy about it.
  • Split Personality: Cinder develops one due to a combination of her internal conflict being unwittingly pressed by Ruby and the machinations of Slenderman. This leads to her eventually trying to Ascend, nearly destroying the world in the process...
  • Twirl of Love: Interestingly played with; Blake glomps Yang with a kiss, and Yang obligingly goes through a full three and a half revolutions before noting that Blake is unusually happy. This is because the Volume 4 expansion revealed Blake was not an orphan, as had been previously assumed by everyone.
  • You're Not My Father: Weiss eventually decides to refer to Jacques solely by his first name in an explicit sundering of their relationship.

    Chapters 61- 90 
  • Action Survivor: Kali Belladonna turns into this during the Tale of Two Sisters. All the other featured non-loopers at least have some huntsmen and huntress training, making them Badass Normal by looper standards. Kali, however, is explicitly stated to be a civilian, only joining in the fight because she couldn't stand not knowing what happened to the rest of her family. By the end of the whole thing she's destroyed a factory, helped kill a vampire, befriended a bandit queen, and become an icon for her people—all within what's implied to be a few hours.
    • Lisa Lavender also counts, with the bonus of having physically survived the destruction and recreation of her universe. She was kidnapped by robots, found herself at ground zero for an invasion of vampires, Grimm, and monsters from beyond her dimension, was one of only two to ever witness a Looper come within inches of Ascension, and when it was all over had the fortune (or misfortune) to convince Ozpin to take her into the next Loop after.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Sun was dismayed, when he started Looping, to find that Yang was engaged to his crush Blake. Everyone involved agreed the situation sucked and have been trying to help him move on.
  • Odd Friendship: Raven Branwen and Kali Belladonna certainly qualify. One is a no-nonsense Social Darwinist bandit queen, the other is a former civil rights protester and civilian. Nonetheless, they do appear to care for each other; it helps that they saved each other's lives during a near-apocalypse.
  • Opt Out: Interestingly played with during the Tale of Two Sisters. A small number of enemy Pennydrones walk out due to what is essentially a combination of ennui and boredom. While this is initially played for laughs, it's eventually pointed out by one of them that they literally cannot feel anything anymore, and only joined in the fight because they had nothing better to do.
  • The Stars Are Going Out: This happens during the Tale of Two Sisters. It's accompanied by shards of the moon entering the atmosphere. And then, the sky itself seems to vanish...
  • Trickster Mentor: For a value of Trickster. Roman takes Sun under his wing for a while, and this leads to him causing Sun’s death in a variety of ways to teach him how to avoid death. It works.
  • Villain Ball: Downplayed and justified in the Tale of Two Sisters. While Cinder starts off with remarkable competency, as time goes on her actions grow more and more cliche, as acknowledged by the other characters. It turns out her good half was subconsciously sabotaging her efforts.
  • Wham Episode: The Tale of Two Sisters, a wham so big it takes four chapters. Basically it was the series of chapters where Cinder revealed she was evil, kidnapped Ruby, tried to become a goddess, unleashed an army of vampires, Grimm and Penny on Vale, psychologically tormented all of her so-called friends and annihilated all of creation so thoroughly that even the afterlife was destroyed. Fortunately, everything got better.
  • Wins by Doing Absolutely Nothing: In Chapter 87, Qrow uses Luigi's cap to defeat an Ursa while standing completely still.
  • You're Not My Father: Downplayed by Yang with Raven. When the latter starts looping, Yang makes it very clear that she does not think of her as her mother, but does consider her to be family.

    Chapters 91- 120 
  • A Rare Sentence: As Ilia is being introduced to her new extended family in Chapter 120, Nadia is caught using her hand to steal snacks. Kali's Response?
    Kali: Oh let her be. So long as she isn't spraying blood in the pantry, I'm more than happy to stuff her silly.
    Ghira: And there's another sentence I never thought I'd hear.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Meta example, the one-hundredth chapter could’ve been something akin to Tale of Two Sisters, but instead... it was a game of Dungeons & Dragons.
  • Breather Episode: While the loops are already mostly silly one-off ideas, Chapter 100 has Cinder DM-ing a game of Dungeons and Dragons with all of the other currently active RWBY loopers.
  • Marshmallow Hell: in chapter 104, Yang pulls it again with Nadia Fortune; Ruby jokes she's now officially part of the family, implying Yang does this with everyone at least once.

    Chapters 121- 150 

  • Loophole Abuse: After the Volume 6 expansions, Ruby and Weiss preemptively banned recreating either of the Brothers' respective pools for fear of causing a loop crash. During a loop where there was no alcohol, Qrow and Roman got around this by invading Salem's hideout and modifying the God of Darkness's baseline pool into alcohol, shanghaiing a reluctant Oscar into helping them along the way. Unfortunately for everyone, that resulted in Tainted Grimm — and a subsequent closing of the loophole.
  • No Fourth Wall: Ilia has a Hub loop where she funds a kickstarter for a RWBY board game, and gets her own name in the credits of the rule book. The cognitive dissonance of not only looping into a world where she and her friends have merch, but also being able to fund said merch, be acknowledged by name as a backer of said merch, and (if she had opted for the highest tier) being able to play a game with the creators of said merch, heavily weirds her out. Emerald mentions having a similar freak out in an earlier loop when she saw Cinder wearing official RWBY merch pajamas.
  • Jerkass Gods: Everyone's opinion of the Brothers after the Volume 6 expansions. They're now considered fair game and at one point a visiting Pinkie Pie forced them back to Remnant to apologize to a purified Salem and Ozpin.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Unlike in canon, where the main characters were more focused on the fact that Ozpin was still keeping secrets from them, everyone has a more nuanced perspective on his and Salem's past thanks to the loops. They actually pity Salem and unanimously agree that Oz and her got a raw deal from the Brothers, and no longer treat killing her and stopping her plans so casually. When they can, they even try to purify her, if not stop her descent altogether.

    Chapters 151- 180 

  • Noodle Incident: Mercury manages to accidentally spark an eleven-way world war by giving Salem a pizza with pineapple on it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: After Mercury starts Looping he becomes this with Emerald, and the two hang out since she's one of the few people Mercury is willing to trust. Emerald explains that she sees Mercury as annoying and someone she neither hates nor likes, but will come to her defence when she's threatened. She's usually relegated to explaining the Loops to Mercury, but threatens to hack his legs if he gives Ilia a hard time.

    Chapters 181+ 

  • Story Arc: BoatRWBY'd, known in-universe as the 'Memelord Coffee Loop', a collection of skits featuring the cast looping in as Ruby beginning from Emerald...and everyone has to pick up from the actions the previous Looper made. Hilarity Ensues as In-Loop Ruby gradually becomes an absolute memelord who justifies her insanity as having ADHD and therefore finds coffee to induce sanity.