RWBY Volume 8 – Episode 12 ‘Creation’ REVIEW

As Ironwood keeps Mantle hostage, team RWBY still has a trick up their sleeve.

rwby creation

As the volume draws closer and closer to its ultimate conclusion, the way everything’s going to turn out is still in question. Some fans – including myself – are still feeling the whiplash from having Ironwood take centre stage as the main villain of the show, especially since Salem was supposed to be the biggest threat. However, though this may have been a questionable choice from my perspective, ‘Creation’ as an episode effectively wraps up this plot point in a pleasant manner that felt cathartic.

Cultured Vultures spoilers

‘Creation’ opens up with Ironwood and the Ace Ops preparing to take Penny into custody, while some Atlesian drones load the Monstra bomb onto a ship, ready for deployment. However, Qrow and Robyn have infiltrated the academy’s hangar and taken out the drones, prompting the Ace Ops to intervene while Winter stands guard with the general. It’s interesting to note how Vine and Elm don’t seem as confident in following through with their orders, while Harriet is still all too focused on her revenge, getting visibly pumped up by the order she is given. Also, just before Penny arrives, Winter has some dialogue with Ironwood which is worth noting for later.

“Sir, this course of action- “

“I hope you’re not going to try to talk me out of it.”

“No, sir. I don’t think that’s possible.”

As Penny arrives, Winter arrests her while Ironwood keeps a massive energy weapon trained on her. It looks like his two revolvers can either transform to perform different functions or be attached to different things. An interesting concept which would have been intriguing to explore – especially since RWBY tries to show off crazy weapons when it can. But there isn’t much time to admire it, as turns out what Ironwood and the audience thought was Penny was actually Emerald using her semblance of illusion, cloaking herself, Jaune, Ren, Nora and Oscar. She lashes out at the last moment, leading into probably the most satisfying fight scene in the volume thus far.

In last week’s review I made a prediction that Winter and Marrow would turn against the general , and this plot point was developed so well: Marrow ambushes the Ace Ops and uses his semblance to freeze them in place before they have a chance to start a fight with Robyn and Qrow, while Winter helps the others take on Ironwood. Though it’s a five on one fight that lasts about a minute, it’s a cool scene that’s so fun to watch. Having Winter deliver the knockout blow was nothing short of awesome, and the vocal track that plays in the background is just that sweet additional layer of hype that adds to the sequence. Also, to mention the dialogue earlier, I wonder if this was Winter’s last attempt to draw Ironwood away from his plan before all this took place.

With the general out for the count, ‘Creation’ goes back in time to where the previous episode concluded. The group make the plan to access the Staff of Creation’s vault to evacuate Atlas and Mantle – Oscar points out that the floating city will come crashing down when the staff is used – and restore Penny’s condition. Meanwhile, Winter contacts Weiss to help her in her coup while bumping into Qrow and Robyn (also, called it.) There’s also finally some more information given about the Staff of Creation, and its attached spirit.

“The spirit in the staff, like Jinn. But, well, he’s a character. He can build you anything, but only if you can explain to him how. Like any craftsmen, he’ll need blueprints, some sort of reference.”

As previously established with Jinn back in Volume 6, the spirits of each relic can provide an otherworldly power, but with some limitations – Jinn can answer any question, but she’s only limited to three every one hundred years. The way the writers have tried to develop this is certainly intriguing enough. It would be really easy to have this all powerful spirit that could create anything at the snap of his fingers, but instead having him be this a talented craftsmen that still needs schematics and references to work from makes him that bit more interesting.

‘Creation’ then returns to the present, with the remaining group taking Penny to the vault. While I thought it was a good writing choice using the hole Oscar blasted at the end of Volume 7 to tie into this plot point, wouldn’t it have made a bit more sense for Jaune to accompany the group? They’re going to the vault to help their android friend, and it’s been established that Jaune’s semblance amplification ability was the only solution stopping the virus. More on this later.

The group access the vault and use the staff’s powers, releasing a muscular humanoid spirit called Ambrosius who feels like a slightly more arrogant version of the genie from Disney’s Aladdin. He even makes a reference to some of the genie’s dialogue!

‘It seems someone has come to engage my creative wiles! All I’ll say is, it had better be worth it after my last project. A floating city? How pedestrian… I’m going to go ahead and assume you know it’s against the rules for me to bring people back from the dead.”

RWBY’s characters tend to draw inspiration from fairy tales, like Ruby being inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, so I wonder if and where Ambrosius takes his from. Perhaps it’s a reference to Merlinus Ambrosius because of his powerful magic, but that is only an assumption. Besides this, I love how he is passionate about constructing things, getting curious and excited when Ruby tells him that Penny is not a normal girl, as well as showing interest in Yang’s robotic arm.

But when he starts investigating Penny, he very quickly spots the virus. How? He tells the group that he does see something ‘eating away at her,’ but isn’t the virus designed to override Penny’s system, not destroy it? Does he have an intimate knowledge of computer systems? Ozpin mentioned earlier how Ambrosius needs a blueprint or a reference. If that’s the case, how did he know the virus wasn’t supposed to be there?

The group tell Ambrosius that they would like to recreate the mechanical version of Penny with the virus, while separating her soul in a different form. It conveniently works out for them, Penny is turned into a human (and the music playing as Ambrosius creates the pair is beautiful), but that was a serious gamble to take. Even Ambrosius describes the process as ‘very exciting and dangerous.’ I was waiting for Penny’s soul to be a ghost or even just become invisible to the group. It’s not like it would be getting rid of Penny’s soul – Ambrosius isn’t allowed to destroy his creations – so I was waiting for RWBY to not be able to see her, and the spirit saying ‘what? She’s right there. You said keep her soul.’

When the mechanical version of Penny is created, though she self destructs due to the virus, there was a small part of me that was waiting for a ‘destroy the copy’ moment like in gen:LOCK. Though, as a side note, it’s absolutely adorable how human Penny is excited to hug team RWBY because the feeling makes her ‘feel this warm inside.’

Meanwhile, at the Atlas Academy, Jaune and his group try to send out a live broadcast – I’m not sure if the writers just thought to split the group into the same splinter teams again, or if Jaune is trying to play hero rather than being helpful with Penny by being to give out the message – but the CCT network goes down before they have the chance to relay their full message. In the prison area of the academy, Winter locks an unconscious Ironwood next to Jacques, who asks her if he’s going to be left there when Atlas falls. Winter tells him they will both be moved to safety, but only because it was Weiss’ decision to save her father.

Back at the vault, the gang use the staff again to evacuate Atlas and Mantle by creating multiple doorways that lead to a central location before arriving at a singular location in Vacuo, RWBY provide city layouts of Atlas and Mantle, and Ambrosius uses a pocket dimension similar to the vaults to help funnel the refugees, which is an admittedly interesting solution to their problem. I’m just surprised at how willing the civilians are to step through these doorways. Barely surviving a siege and all of a sudden, these random oval forms pop in front of them? I’d have thought they would be absolutely terrified of this unknown thing.

Furthermore, Ambrosius gives them the ominous warning, ‘do not fall.’ My theory is that other than the bridges between doorways, this dimension is infinite space with no bottom. I imagine it’s going to be the setting of one of the volume’s final fight scenes, and either one of the heroes, villains or even some of the refugees are going to be doomed to fall through this infinite space if they slip. ‘Creation’ concludes with the group deciding to go to Vacuo, closing out on a cloaked Cinder in a crowd of refugees.

As far as episodes of Volume 8 of RWBY go, ‘Creation’ has been one of the more enjoyable and stronger in terms of story. The dialogue doesn’t feel as clunky or as heavy in some previously criticised episodes, the fight scene where Ironwood is taken out was just so cool, the introduction of Ambrosius is interesting enough, and it has left me looking forward to the ending. I’m very curious to see how the writers will conclude this volume as the Atlas arc seems to be tied up in most regards, but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Read more of our RWBY reviews here.

Some of the coverage you find on Cultured Vultures contains affiliate links, which provide us with small commissions based on purchases made from visiting our site. We cover gaming news, movie reviews, wrestling and much more.

rwby creation
With a short but kickass fight scene, and an interesting conclusion to a plot element, Creation is probably one of the best episodes in volume 8.