Besides, the last of the heavy lifting is being taken care of thanks to our clever little friend.

Overview Image Gallery

The Black Queen was a computer virus created by Arthur Watts and used by Cinder Fall to hack Atlesian Technology in the Fall of Beacon.

The Black Queen was also sometimes used as Cinder's callsign and symbol.


The Black Queen virus was created by Watts to hack technology at some point before the start of Volume 2.


Cinder hacks the CCTS

During the Beacon school dance in "Dance Dance Infiltration", Cinder, who was masquerading as a student from Haven Academy, broke into the Cross Continental Transmit System Tower while the school staff was distracted by the dance.

Cinder fought her way up to the terminal room and inserted her Scroll, infecting the tower with the virus.

Vytal Festival

In "It's Brawl in the Family" when James Ironwood visited Ozpin in his office to discuss valuable information, he unintentionally infected his personal Scroll with the Black Queen virus when he connected himself to the tower system, which allowed Cinder to access his secrets.

Cinder gains access to Atlas' secrets

Cinder uses the virus throughout the Vytal Festival to manipulate the battles. She changes the match-ups between contestants that should in normal situations be random. In "It's Brawl in the Family", she engineers the next match-up of the Vytal Festival tournament doubles round, with Emerald and Mercury facing Coco Adel and Yatsuhashi Daichi of Team CFVY.

In "Never Miss a Beat" Cinder is shown researching the data on Ironwood's Scroll and comes across blueprints for Penny Polendina, realizing she can use this information in her plan to ruin the reputation of the Huntsman Academies.

Fall of Beacon

Cinder's message is sent across the world

In "Destiny", the finals match orcastrated by Cinder are between Penny and Pyrrha Nikos, which was planned due to the latter's Semblance. The battle ends with Pyrrha unintentionally destroying Penny, with Cinder then using the virus to hijack the worldwide Vytal Festival broadcast and transmit her anti Huntsman Academy message to all of Remnant. All of this negative energy causes the world's Grimm to start attacking.

The Black Queen virus infects all of Atlas' robot soldiers

Meanwhile Neopolitan helps Roman Torchwick escape the Atlesian Airship he was locked in and uses his Scroll to infect the Airship as well as the entire Atlas Military network with the Black Queen. This effects all of their AI which includes the Atlesian Knights-200 and Atlesian Paladins forcing the Huntsman to fight both Grimm and Atlas' robot army.

The infected robots are all disabled when Ruby Rose fights Roman Torchwick and crashes the Atlesian Airship they were fighting on. The destruction of the airship stops the virus broadcast.


Following the Fall of Beacon, Ironwood was greatly affected by it and showed many symptoms of PTSD regarding the trauma in the image of the Black Queen. In "Worst Case Scenario" he has a flashback to Beacon while talking about Salem to Oscar Pine.

Cinder leaves a message

In "Gravity", while Ironwood is occupied by Watts, Cinder sneaks into his office in Atlas Academy and leaves a black glass Queen chess figure on his table. When he returns and sees the piece on his desk, he panics and calls his allies back, questioning if everything that he and the others did was part of Salem's plan. Ruby realizes that the chess piece is made of glass, leading everyone to realize that Cinder is alive and somewhere in Atlas. The Black Queen, along with Salem's impending arrival to Atlas, is what causes Ironwood to decide on raising the city away from her reach using the Relic of Creation.

Black Queen Village

In RWBY #6, Team RNJR encounters a village being attacked by a pride of Manticores in the Forest of Hinoki. The village is quick to turn on the Huntsmen, having bought into Cinder's speech during the Fall of Beacon. They also proved to be afraid towards the Huntsmen Academies, resenting how they had been training child soldiers.


  • It isn't clear if the virus itself reprograms technology or if it only acts as access for Watts to infiltrate Atlesian technology himself.
  • The Black Queen is likely a reference to Salem.