In case you need to catch up, I’ll leave links to the previous parts for you right here:
Picking right up where we left off, the episode opens with all the different characters using their different abilities and skills to land safely in the forest. Honestly, there’s not much I’d change here. Except for one detail.
In our version, both Ren and Nora land safely while Jaune still soars through the air. Noticing this, Ren moves to help him before Pyrha spears him to the tree, much like the original. Now at ease with his new friend safe, Ren allows himself to focus on finding Nora and passing the test.
Because remember: Ren actually has a personality in our version.
After everyone touches down, Ruby immediately books it, desperately looking around for Yang, much like the original version. Unlike the original, however, Ruby only has one possible back up partner: Blaike, as our version of Ruby hasn’t met Jaune. Still, she isn’t eager to work with anyone else, and she makes a mad dash to find Yang.
Meanwhile, Yang touches down and starts looking around for Ruby. She is aware of Ruby’s panic and anxiety, and even more aware that she’s the only one capable of keeping her calm, so she immediately starts looking. However, almost right as she gets going, she’s attacked by a large group of Grimm (which I wouldn’t change a bit). After a brief fight, Blaike rushes in to help, and the two are partnered up (which opens a large pit of worry in Yang’s stomach).
Cutting back to Ruby, she continues her mad dash through the forest when she hears the sound of battle a little ways ahead. Hoping to find Yang, Ruby goes to investigate, where she finds Weiss being attacked by a large group of powerful Grimm. When one of them attacks her from behind, Ruby leaps into the fray to help, and the two fight off the remaining Grimm together, all without Weiss noticing who came to her aid.
Once the fight is over, Weiss goes to thank her savior, but when she discovers it’s Ruby, she simply storms away in a huff. An anxious Ruby is left in silence, and she considers going the other way and leaving her alone, but she remembers the rules of the test and follows close behind, awkwardly trying to get Weiss to talk to her at all.
After both of these scenes, we cut back to Jaune, who is still pinned to the tree by Pyrha’s spear. He struggles to pull it out and move on, but the blade is tightly lodged into the wood. After a moment of fruitless struggle, Pryha arrives and helps him down, awkwardly apologizing for the inconvenience. Embarrassed, Jaune thanks her and begins to move on, with Pyrha following behind. When he asks why she’s following him, she reminds him of the rules, and he awkwardly (and rather ecstatically) accepts her partnership.
Meanwhile, Ren is attacked by the snake Grimm, where Nora pairs up with him and helps him fight them off. It’s very similar to the original scene, but our version of Nora takes a moment of seriousness to make sure Ren is okay before returning to her usual goofy antics.
With all eight of our characters paired up, we return to Professor Ozpin, who uses the school’s surveillance footage to keep an eye on Ruby while Teacher-Lady (wasn’t her name Goodwich or something? I’ll just keep calling her Teacher-Lady) keeps tabs on the others. After this, we transition back to Ruby and Weiss.
Ruby desperately tries to get Weiss to talk to her, asking her what her weapon does or what her Semblance is. The ladder question gets Weiss to finally snap; she wheels around and snaps at Ruby, and Ruby shrinks away from her like a small child. When Weiss demands to know why Ruby is asking so many questions, Ruby shyly explains that she needs to know what her partner is capable of so that they can better fight their way through the test. Weiss is especially infuriated by this, and makes her opinion abundantly clear: she doesn’t want to be partnered with a little girl from nowhere, and she storms off, going so far as to create an ice wall using the Dust in her weapon.
Despite her feelings being extremely hurt, Ruby takes a note of Weiss’ use of Dust instead of a Semblance. Although she is curious, Ruby is too hurt to pursue it, and she turns to leave when she hears a loud pair of wings flap down, followed by Weiss screaming. Forgetting everything else, Ruby uses her scythe to climb over the ice, managing to climb to the top just as a giant bird Grimm begins to take off with Weiss in it’s claws. Stomaching her panic, Ruby leaps onto the beast’s back without putting much thought into it, and the two are carried off by the creature.
Meanwhile, Yang and Blaike make their way through the forest. Yang asks if Blaike would be fine if they took a detour to find Ruby, which Blaike is okay with, although she states that a detour implies that they know where they’re going. Yang chuckles at that, admitting that she’s right, and simply continues on. Blaike tells her to hold up a moment, then gracefully climbs up the trees to get a look at the surrounding area, where she notices a small clearing up ahead and a large bird soaring above, which she quickly figures out is a Grimm. She relays this info to Yang, and the two move forward to the clearing.
Rejoining Ruby and Weiss on the bird, Ruby tries to move closer to Weiss (Shadow-of-the-Colossus style) and help get her out of the Grimm’s talons safely. She asks Weiss what she can do, from her weapon to her Semblance, and Weiss continues to avoid the question. Ruby finally starts getting angry, yelling at Weiss to stomach her stuck up pride and help her help her, and Weiss snaps once again, telling Ruby that she doesn’t have a Semblance.
Genuinely surprised by this, Ruby is at a loss for words, and Weiss demands to know what Ruby can do. She confesses that she doesn’t have one either, which surprises Weiss almost as much as Ruby was. The two gawk at each other for a moment; in this moment, Ruby is nearly knocked off of the bird, but manages to keep her grip. Remembering the situation they’re in, Ruby begins calculating a plan.
Noticing the bird begin to descend closer to the ground (that ground being the clearing Blaike noticed earlier) Ruby comes up with her plan, and warns that Weiss isn’t going to like it. As the bird gets reasonably close to the ground, Ruby makes a desperate swing at the bird’s talons with her scythe, leaving a deep cut. The creature lets go, letting out a loud caw of pain, and drops a screaming Weiss below. Swallowing a lump in her throat, Ruby lets go and drops not far behind her.
Moments before, Blaike and Yang quickly make their way through the clearing, where they find the objective of the test: the chess pieces. They take up the Knight piece, just as in the original, before Weiss comes crashing Down, with Ruby close behind. Yang and Blaike run over to check on them (and by them, I mean primarily Ruby). After a very brief reunion, the bird Grimm touches down and goes to attack.
Now, here’s where I’m making another big change. In the original story, the soon to be Teams RWBY and JNPR split apart to fight two separate Grimm; the giant bird and a giant scorpion. In our version, we’re going to cut out the scorpion. While the fight was pretty cool, it did make the finale of this arc feel cramped. Plus, our version of these characters are yet to truly interact as a group.
Let’s fix that, shall we?
In our version of the story, the future team JNPR members arrive just before the battle begins. Pyrha rushes in to help, with Ren and Nora not far behind, and Jaune taking up the rear (mostly because he’s slow). After the four do some small damage, they join up with the RWBY girls, and all eight characters are joined up for the first time. After very brief introductions, the bird Grimm rises again, readying itself for attack.
At this point, everyone splits off into two groups: the RWBY girls unite to take the front, while the JNPR guys and gals take the creature from behind. As they split, team RWBY lays down heavy fire to catch the creature’s attention, and the JNPR characters move around behind it. Ruby and Jaune analyze the creature from their respective sides and leads their teammates in the battle.
Which I won’t be specific on. I’m primarily trying to change the story to be more character driven. When it comes to things like the action, animation, or music, I don’t feel the need to change them. These posts are entirely about the story, so the only real specifics I’ll go into during action scenes are why each character is fighting instead of how they’re doing it.
Anyways, lets get back on track.
After the two teams murder the bird monster together, the rest goes pretty much as in the original. Teams RWBY and JNPR are officially put together by Ozpin, with both Ruby and Jaune shocked to be assigned the role as leader (with Ruby especially terrified by the sudden increase in her responsibilities). While both Yang and Blaike are okay with this choice (and Yang is especially excited for her sister), Weiss is shocked and angry at the role not being given to her, thus setting up further conflict between the team members for the rest of the season.
And thus, we’ve reached the end of the first major story arc of RWBY, putting us roughly at the halfway mark of the first volume. And it’s at this point that we start getting into the really meaty changes to the story.
Now we’re gonna have some fun!