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Semblances [Discussion]

Discussion in 'RWBY General Discussions' started by The Juggernaut, Dec 6, 2013.

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  1. Mudkip

    Mudkip Well-Known Member

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    There's something that I thought about which I doubt will happen but I think it would make sense if it did. Because Yang's semblance is that the more damage Yang takes the stronger she gets so then shouldn't her non robot arm be permanently super strong as one of her arms got cut off which is a huge amount of damage.
     
  2. AceofAces

    AceofAces Impyrrial Admin at Law, Esq.
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    That's not how it works. Her semblance operates on having pain inflicted on her, or more accurately, adrenaline coursing through her body, hence why she wants to be a Huntress for the thrills and excitement. Losing a limb does not mean that adrenaline is constantly coursing through her body. Her body has adjusted and healed to the loss of her arm, so she is not constantly supercharged as you think. There's a big difference between taking immediate damage in the moment, and more long-term disabilities.

    Moreover, her strength gains are systemic, not just targeted to one body part, so if she were to gain a power boost, it would be her entire body and not just her arm. And even if we were to apply your logic, her non-robot arm isn't damaged, so it wouldn't be getting a power boost because of the missing arm.
     
  3. Cybuster

    Cybuster Well-Known Member

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    I thought it actualy worked by her absorbing the kinetic energy from the impact of the blows.
     
  4. AceofAces

    AceofAces Impyrrial Admin at Law, Esq.
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    And that absorption induces the production of adrenaline for the "Fight or Flight" response, just like when our own bodies absorb a hit. But we've also seen Yang's semblance flare up from rage, like when she was arguing with Blake in Volume II, so it's more than just the absorption of kinetic energy.
     
  5. AceofAces

    AceofAces Impyrrial Admin at Law, Esq.
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    Here's a thought regarding the beliefs that Qrow's semblance is in fact misfortune. If we think about Aura and Semblances as products of human evolution, is it even possible for a semblance to have a direct negative effect on the user and its allies (aside from the general negative side effects of overuse or lack of control)? Why would a soul express itself in a way that is detrimental to its own survival?

    We know that humanity was created by the 2 brother gods, and that Aura was a part of this creation, but it seems as if humanity has evolved over the millennia to further develop Aura and start producing semblances. We already know that there are three tiers of Aura-users: (1) the majority with dormant Auras; (2) those who have awakened their Auras; and (3) those who have developed their Auras enough to express semblances. Evolution has already dictated that having Aura is superior to not having Aura, hence why everyone in Remnant has Aura, and if there were early humans who didn't have Aura, they went extinct and fell into oblivion. It's just that with the rise of civilization, people could survive without developing their Auras, hence the different tiers that have survived for thousands of years. If the conditions of Remnant were much harsher to necessitate that everyone develop their Aura for their protection, the dormant tier would cease to exist, and each successive generation of humans would be naturally able to develop their Aura to the 2nd and 3rd tiers.

    Given that the goal of evolution is continued survival, humanity would only develop traits that aid in its survival, and traits that prove to be a detriment cause that bloodline to die off. To that end, I'm starting to think that semblances are not capable of having direct negative consequences in their use, as this would undermine the basic laws of evolution. There can be (and are in fact) negative consequences from overusing a semblance (such as burning out one's reserves of Aura) or an inability to control it, but that's a characteristic of all semblances, while what I'm referring to are the specific direct consequences of a Semblance's use.

    If we look at every other known instance of a semblance (aside from Qrow), not a single one has a direct adverse effect in its use, and all of them serve an evolutionary advantage in promoting survival.

    - Ruby: Propulsion/Speed: Able to move super fast and leave a trail of rose petals. Handy for dodging attacks or running away from threats.
    - Weiss/Winter: Glyphs with various effects, such as push/pull, time dilation, summoning etc.
    - Blake: Shadow Clone: Creates a shadow clone of herself that distracts an enemy while she escapes a hit
    - Yang: Converts damage sustained into boosts in strength (though has also been seen to work off of rage as well if she throws a temper tantrum). Although its full potential requires Yang to take damage, if used properly, as Taiyang explained most recently, it prolongs Yang's ability to fight by making sure she's got a little extra power in reserve just as her opponent would be nearing exhaustion.
    - Jaune: Although we don't know the specifics, it's been alluded to something related to healing and defense, both good tools for survival.
    - Nora: Producing and channeling electricity to her muscles for improved strength while gaining immunity to electricity.
    - Pyrrha: Polarity: use magnetism to manipulate metal objects.
    - Sun: Create spectral clones of himself to be in multiple places at once.
    - Velvet: Mimicry*** (via the RWBY Wiki): the ability to copy the fighting styles of others that she observes (hence why she was able to perfectly mirror other fighters with their weapons being forged by her camera)
    - Neon: Propulsion with a rainbow trail
    - Flynt: Killer Quartet that amplifies the sonic power of his trumpet
    - Neo: Physical Illusions
    - Emerald: Hallucinations
    - Glynda: Telekinesis

    With all of these semblances, there isn't a negative consequence directly associated with their uses, only negative effects from overuse and/or lack of control. So why is Qrow different? Why does Qrow's semblance act as a detriment to himself or others regardless of whether they're friend or foe? Moreover, all of these semblances are centered around conscious activation and use, so again, why is Qrow's different? Sure Weiss had an accidental activation and Jaune healed himself without conscious activation, but these are indications of a lack of control rather than something inherent in how the Semblance operates normally, that given time and practice, such aspects can and will be controlled, such as Weiss finally mastering summoning.

    Yet Qrow apparently is the only one who is different. From an evolutionary standpoint, this makes no logical sense. A person who had a semblance that caused personal detriment, especially without the person's conscious control, would have an incredible difficulty in surviving and procreating. Not to mention, all the aforementioned semblances are focused on self-preservation in some way, conferring an advantage in fighting, defending, or evading, so having a semblance that contradicts self-preservation also doesn't make sense.

    Moreover, from a spiritual point of view, it just doesn't make logical sense that a soul would put itself in danger by causing its vessel to experience misfortune. Most internal conflicts stem from an attempt by the conscious mind to reject a part of the soul, and the internal contradiction of trying to be something you're not, rather than the soul attempting to undermine the vessel. Corruption of a soul is more about an external invasion than something the soul is doing to the vessel internally, and even then a corrupted soul would seek to promote its self-preservation.

    Yet Qrow's "semblance" somehow defies all of these inherent rules that have been staring us in the face as completely contrary to both the principles of survival inherent in evolution and spirituality as something that is actively doing him harm, that is trying to isolate Qrow from friends and loved ones (which is also contrary to evolution because humanity has evolved to be social creatures that survive better in groups than alone). And once he is alone, the only person then to experience misfortune is himself until it kills him and the soul destroys itself. No one else suffers from this inherently fatal flaw in their semblances. No one else is going to directly hurt themselves from one use of their semblance.

    Unless, of course, none of this is true, and Qrow's semblance is just that he turns into a bird, which carries with it the evolutionary advantage of being able to fly away from danger.......

    No, but that can't be it, right? After all, Qrow told us he causes misfortune, and he's never wrong or possibly reachs an incorrect conclusion after taking faulty assumptions to their logical result, right?

    Or is he.......?

    EDIT: And although I'm talking about semblances in an evolutionary sense, I'm not saying that the specific expressions of semblances are hereditary since such things are unique to each person's soul. Rather, I'm talking about the general principles of semblance expression being something found in all humans/Faunus, such as the fact that overuse of a semblance drains one's Aura reserves. It's principles like those that are evolutionary in nature and point to one's ability to survive.
     
    #465 AceofAces, Jan 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2017
  6. MechaG11

    MechaG11 Well-Known Member

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    I do feel like you ignored two things though.

    •Evolution also has a tendency to create mutations that aren't beneficial. In this day and age many people who would've died off naturally due to similar developments are alive now thanks to medicine and living conditions. Basic Darwinism, but maybe semblances don't work like that.

    •The benefit of bad luck being that misfortune for enemies gives Qrow an inherent combat advantage and is impossible to counteract since Qrow doesn't actively control its method and outcomes. A detrimental gamble sure but not entirely useless.

    These don't necessarily mean you're wrong or that a bad luck semblance doesn't break some consistency. Just playing devil's advocate.
     
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  7. Cybuster

    Cybuster Well-Known Member

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    I think it's important to note that the bad luck semblance (let's just say it is his semblance for arguments sake) probably dosn't affect Qrow himself just those around him. It would certainly stack the deck in his favour in a one on one fight.
     
  8. AceofAces

    AceofAces Impyrrial Admin at Law, Esq.
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    1. True, but as you pointed out, such people that have these detrimental mutations would have died naturally but for artificial intervention by the advances of medicine, and even then there are some genetic diseases that don't have cures, only medicine to manage or prolong the condition to increase the person's lifespan. Such medical advances however are biological when Auras, Semblances and souls transcend biology in a way. It's not like you can take a pill or a cream and suppress/regulate a hazardous semblance, if such a semblance actually exists in the first place.

    2. The arbitrariness of who Qrow's "semblance" affects is too much of a gamble to be viable from a survival standpoint, and it certainly seems as if Qrow regards his semblance as a bad thing rather than something to be praised. After all, like I mentioned in the Qrow thread, if he benefits from the misfortune, how is that not called "good luck"? What about it distinguishes it as "bad luck" as opposed to "good luck"? What we got from Qrow's explanation is that something bad always happens around it, but it's a crap shoot in who it affects.

    Can we really say that though, since I'm sure people would argue that being poisoned by Tyrian is an example of him being a victim of his own bad luck? And if it's not the product of bad luck, but rather some other explanation, then who's to say that any other instance of "bad luck" can also be explained another way? This is where the logic of a bad luck semblance begins to break down because then either everything is influenced by luck, or nothing at all.
     
  9. Cybuster

    Cybuster Well-Known Member

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    @AceofAces

    Fair enough. Either way I wonder if CRWBY would be able to pull off a semblance along the lines of the weirdly specific powers found in JoJo's Bizarre adventure. More specifically along the lines of Darby's powers. On the one hand it would be interesting to see an enemy that required the heroes to deal with them, in a way that dosn't involve a straight up fight. On the other hand I'm not sure it would fit the world or the story and it's questionable weather crwby would be up to the task of writing that kind of character.
     
  10. Eights

    Eights Well-Known Member

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    If I quarter for how many times I've said Semblances would benefit from being more like Stands, I'd probably be able to quit my job.
     

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