- For the World of Remnant episode of the same name, see Dust (WoR episode).
Dust is a source of energy in Remnant. The physical properties of Dust make it incredibly useful for a variety of purposes, particularly in the weapons of many characters in the series. It is known to make a distinctive "shimmering" sound passively and when in use.
The name "Dust" is implied to be a reference to the primordial state from which mankind was born. As a natural resource, it is sometimes poetically referred to as "Nature's Wrath", or more prosaically as an energy propellant.
According to ancient legends recounted during the opening narration of "Ruby Rose", mankind was fighting a losing struggle against creatures of darkness known as the Grimm. However, through their resourcefulness and ingenuity, Humanity managed to discover and harness a source of power they named "Dust" in order to battle the Grimm.
The advent of Dust became the turning point in the war. It would appear that after mankind drove back the Grimm and built civilizations, Dust became integrated into everyday life within Remnant.
Despite its widespread use and prevalence in society, Humanity has yet to understand the origins or the implications of their involvement with Dust.
Dust can be found in two distinct states, crystalline and powdered. Both crystalline and powdered Dust are known to be highly explosive. For example, during the Dust store robbery, Roman Torchwick threw a crystal at Ruby Rose's feet and fired at it, causing a sizable explosion. The powdered form appears to be even more volatile since something as innocuous as a sneeze is enough to detonate a cloud of Dust.
For unknown reasons, Dust does not function outside of the atmosphere of Remnant, precluding the possibility of space flight.
Types of DustDust can be found in four basic types. These four types can be combined both artificially and naturally to form other types of Dust, each with their own unique properties. Different colors of Dust appear to correspond to their different natures or effects.
In the RWBY: World of Remnant episode, "Dust", the four basic colors are shown to be red, blue, yellow, and green. Other known colors include dark blue, cyan, white, purple, bright orange, dark orange and pale blue. Each color has its own unique property. During Volume 2, green was said to correspond to wind, but it appears that wind may have been changed to white Dust in Volume 3. Red is known to correspond to fire, and yellow has been shown to generate lightning. It is unclear what property blue corresponds to, but since both steam and ice Dust are "secondary" types of Dust partially consisting of water Dust, it follows that water Dust may be a "primary" Dust type.
Wind, or Air, Dust is a "primary" type, capable of producing wind in various states, such as tornadoes, whirlwinds and brief gusts.
It is first seen in use by Dew, who has a crystal in her spear, in "New Challengers...", when she forms three tornadoes, which surround Sage before combining into one large tornado that throws him out of the ring.
- Green - Wind Dust was said to correspond to the green crescent shape in the World of Remnant episode, "Dust".
- White - In Volume 3, it appears that wind may have been changed to white Dust partway into the Volume's production.
- Green - Around the time of Volume 6, the color of Wind Dust appears to have been changed back to the color green. Rooster Teeth introduced a set of Dust-themed rock candies, with green candy representing Wind Dust. In Volume 6, white Dust is Earth.
Fire, or Burn, Dust creates fire and can be used for fireball and fire wave attacks.
It is first seen in use by Adam in the ""Black" Trailer", when his sword trails fire as he fights Atlesian Knight-130 robots. In the show proper, it is first seen in use by Weiss, who accidentally sets the Emerald Forest on fire in "The Emerald Forest".
Fire Dust can be used to create Steam Dust.
Miles states that fire Dust is red in the RWBY Volume 3 Live Stream.
Fire Dust has consistently maintained its red color throughout the series.
Water Dust can be used to create water. It has yet to be seen in use.
Water Dust can be used to create Steam Dust and Ice Dust.
It is represented by a blue crystal in the World of Remnant episode, "Dust". Similarly, the official Dust-themed rock candy uses bright blue candy to represent Water Dust.
Lightning Dust can be used to generate electricity, in forms such as bolts of lightning and electrical currents.
Ice is a "secondary" type of Dust that can be used to create structures and crystals out of ice.
This type is formed by the combination of Water and Air Dust.
It is first used by Weiss in the "White" Trailer, to trap an Arma Gigas' feet. In the series proper, it is once again first used by Weiss, who utilizes it in "Players and Pieces" to trap a Death Stalker's stinger and save Ruby.
- Dark blue - In "The Shining Beacon", dark blue Dust is shown to be ice, as Ruby sneezes on red, dark blue and yellow Dust, resulting in fire, ice and lightning.
- Lighter blue - In "Volume 6 Adam Character Short", it is shown by Sienna Khan's weapon that ice Dust has changed to a lighter shade of blue.
Steam is a "secondary" type of Dust that can generate clouds of steam.
This type of Dust is created by combining Water and Fire Dust.
Gravity Dust can be used to manipulate gravitational fields, often to pull objects or create a field that pushes outward.
It is first used by Ruby when she uses Gravity Dust ammunition in the "Red" Trailer. In the show proper, it appears to be first seen being used in conjunction with Weiss' Semblance to create black glyphs, as evidenced by the rotation of Myrtenaster's Dust chamber in the "Volume 5 Weiss Character Short". It is later seen in use by Maria Calavera with her weapons, Life and Death.
Gravity appears to have the colors black and purple in its released energy, as seen in "Reloading", the 3rd episode of RWBY Chibi. Gravity Dust crystals are black, but the Gravity Dust that has been processed for Human and Faunus use can also have a purple coloration, as seen in Weiss' rapier Myrtenaster and Maria's weapons, Life and Death.
Earth Dust can be used to generate stone structures and perhaps even sand or dirt.
It may have been first seen in use by Cinder Fall in "Dance Dance Infiltration", when she empties a Dust canister of white powder into the air and proceeds to melt it into glass. In "No Brakes", Blake combines it with her Semblance to create a rock clone of herself.
- White - Through process of elimination, the only Dust color that could have been responsible for Blake's rock clone in "No Brakes" is white.
- Uncertain - In Volume 3, Air Dust was changed to white, leaving Earth as an unknown color.
- White - In Volume 6, Earth Dust is shown to be white again when Caroline Cordovin uses white Dust in her Colossus' cannon to fire rocks and generate spiky rock formations.
Bright Orange (Unknown Type)
Examples of its use include launching a fiery projectile that splatters to the ground when blocked, creating explosive eruptions, making weaponry out of obsidian or some other form of black glass and generating heat to melt ice.
Hard-Light Dust can be used to form solid objects made of light energy. RWBY: Amity Arena says that it is the rarest type of Dust. Caroline Cordovin notes that Atlas is "the father of Hard-Light Dust", indicating that Atlas is a major user and creator of technology that uses this Dust.
One example of its use is laser-like projectiles, first used by Weiss in "Players and Pieces", with a similar version being used in the "White" Trailer".
Another use for Hard-Light Dust is the creation of shields, by both people and technology. Weiss first uses it as a shield while fighting the White Fang Lieutenant in "No Brakes", and its first technological use is seen in the Amity Colosseum throughout Volume 3. Shield technology appears to be its primary use.
The color of Hard-Light Dust has consistently been cyan throughout the series.
Dust can still be used without the aid of weapons or machines and can be unleashed in its raw form such as lightning.
Technology powered by Dust is known to glow.
The people of Remnant attempted to achieve spaceflight and space-based communications with Dust as propellant fuel, but its inability to operate outside of Remnant's atmosphere hindered these endeavors.
When Weiss slices an Atlesian Paladin-290 in half, circuitry is revealed inside, indicating that it is powered by electricity; although, Dust as an additional fuel source is likely as well. Alternatively, this may reveal that Dust-powered objects also require circuits to function. Or simply that lightning dust can produce electricity in a way that can be used similarly to batteries or generators, allowing normal circuitry to function.
The discovery of Dust was instrumental to humanity's initial defeat of the Grimm, and Dust continues to be used extensively in combat. Dust can be harnessed in a variety of ways, but when used in its raw form, its full potential requires both an Aura and the intelligence to use it, meaning Humans, Faunus, and certain artificial beings, such as Penny Polendina, are the only ones who are able to use it for combat in this state. Furthermore, effective use of raw Dust requires a certain level of discipline to keep from losing control of it.
Methods of using raw Dust include weaving it into clothing, fusing Dust with oneself, forging a blade imbued with Dust and inserting Dust crystals or powder into one's weapon.
Dust-imbued clothing is first shown by Cinder who first makes use of it with her original battle outfit in "Ruby Rose" and then again with her stealth outfit in "Dance Dance Infiltration", both of which utilized orange Dust. These two instances occurred before Volume 3 and, as a result, were prior to Monty Oum adding the Maidens to the story.
Hazel Rainart is the first to display the method of fusing Dust with oneself, by stabbing fire and lightning Dust crystals into his arms.
Dust-imbued blades are first shown by Adam Taurus and Raven Branwen, in two somewhat different ways. Adam's sword, Wilt, appears to have a fixed blade, imbued with fire Dust, which he uses in the "Black" Trailer and the Volume 3 Opening. Raven's sword is capable of switching between multiple blades imbued with different types of Dust. She is first seen using the Dust in one of the blades during her fight with Cinder at Haven Academy, when she swings her sword to produce a path of ice.
Adding powdered Dust to one's weapon is first shown by Weiss, who inserts vials of powdered Dust into a revolving chamber in her weapon, Myrtenaster.
Adding a Dust crystal to one's weapon is first shown in different ways in Volume 3 by Reese Chloris, Dew Gayl and Amber. During the Vytal Festival Tournament, Reese pushes an orange Dust crystal inside of her hoverboard to give it the ability to produce heat. Dew has a cut wind Dust crystal embedded in the head of her spear. Amber placed uncut Dust crystals within twisted wooden branches on either end of her staff.
Dust bullets are much simpler to use, merely requiring the user to pull the trigger. Ruby's weapon, Crescent Rose, has also been mentioned to use rounds containing different kinds of Dust. Torchwick also makes reference to Dust rounds as being amongst the merchandise he stole, in the episode "Best Day Ever". It is mentioned that such rounds come in several different sizes and cartridges to be used for any given situation.
One prominent example of raw Dust usage is Weiss Schnee's Multi-Action Dust Rapier, Myrtenaster, which contains vials of numerous colors of powdered Dust in its revolving chamber. She can allow Dust to flow from an exhaust port onto Myrtenaster's blade to augment her attacks, such as casting fire from her blade. She can also use her glyphs to manipulate how Dust flows and manifests. She has demonstrated this ability numerous times with Ice Dust by manipulating what shape the ice would take.
In "Field Trip", it is also speculated by James Ironwood that Cinder utilizes Dust woven into her clothing as a weapon. He refers to it as "an age-old technique" and expresses that someone's identity cannot be proven simply by the fact that they utilize it as a weapon.
Another novel use of Dust is in the episode "No Brakes", where Blake Belladonna inserts Dust vials into her main weapon, Gambol Shroud, and uses it in conjunction with her Semblance. While normally her Shadow images are simply evanescent copies of her, with Dust, they take on the properties of an element, such as stone statues, ice sculptures or explosive fiery apparitions.
During the combat tournament of the Vytal Festival, Dust crystals are scattered throughout the arena for combatants to use. During the match between Team RWBY and Team ABRN, Ruby detonates Ice Dust to immobilize an opponent. Reese also combines orange Dust with her weapon. She later uses her weapon to freeze the leg of an Atlesian Paladin 290 in "Heroes and Monsters".
An unorthodox but effective use of Dust is physically infusing it within one's body. Shown in "Vault of the Spring Maiden", Hazel stabs a few Lightning Dust crystals into his arms. The process causes Hazel's muscles to grow and electricity to be discharged from his entire body, also enhancing his strikes with it.
Apparently, there is a limit to how much raw Dust an ordinary person is capable of metabolizing at a time. A prime example of this is how Hazel Rainart is only capable of utilizing as much Dust as he does due to his Semblance rendering him impervious to the sensation of pain.
Due to being Remnant's only source of power, Dust has many uses in everyday life that even civilians utilize.One example of this early in Remnant's history was when Mantle integrated Dust into a system built in their houses. Stoves use Dust to heat the burners, as indicated by Dust's signature "shimmering" sound effect when Ruby turns on a stove in "Known by its Song".
Vehicles, such as trains and streetcars, make use of Dust in varying ways. The trains seen in "Kuroyuri" have pipes that are a dull gray when the train is powered off and glow cyan when the train is active. The Argus Limited's track has a line of gravity Dust through the middle of it. The streetcar that Teams RWBY and JNPR ride in "The Grimm Reaper" has a faint purple glow beneath it, hinting to gravity Dust being responsible for its levitation.
Construction workers in "The Grimm Reaper" are seen using a levitating cart to haul bricks. This cart makes the Dust "shimmering" noise when one of the workers drops a brick onto it.
Production and Distribution
The Schnee Dust Company is one of the largest producers of Dust in the world. Dust is mined from the Schnee Quarry, purified, and transported by railway lines or by sea to distributors. Dust is then sold to the public by Dust shops such as From Dust Till Dawn.
Crystalline Dust is apparently safe enough to leave out on display openly, whereas powdered Dust is dispensed from tubes on the wall and stored in portable cylindrical canisters. Bags that have been seen on store shelves have the same bright hues as the tubes and their Dust, but whether they contain Dust themselves is unknown.
Much like real-world resources, Dust has been said to be a limited resource as it is mined from the ground. The RWBY: World of Remnant episode "Schnee Dust Company" depicts a crystal-to-bullet process, with a hint that this process is costly.
- Monty had compared Dust to Materia from the Final Fantasy video game series.
- He went on to state that, originally, all of the Dust in Myrtenaster was going to be red but still have different effects. This was because he felt that red went well with Weiss' design, as well as the fact that, design-wise, he was uncomfortable with having a character with a certain color palette walk around with "a rainbow" on them. He ended up putting those feelings aside and deciding that it would be better for the audience if Dust was color-coded.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 RWBY Episode 1: "Ruby Rose"
- ↑ RWBY Episode 2: "The Shining Beacon"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 RWBY Volume 2: World of Remnant: "Dust"
- ↑ RWBY Volume 3: World of Remnant: "Cross Continental Transmit System"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Kristina Nguyen's Twitter
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 "Never Miss a Beat"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 "Beginning of the End" Example 1, Example 2
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 "The Shining Beacon" Image 1, Image 2, Image 3
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 World of Remnant: Dust
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back" Image 1, Image 2
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 Rooster Teeth Extra Life 2015 Livestream
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 RWBY Dust rock candy
- ↑ Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Ruby Rose"
- ↑ RWBY Volume 3 Live Stream
- ↑ "Volume 5 Weiss Character Short"
- ↑ "The Lady in the Shoe" screenshot
- ↑ Ruby Rose
- ↑ "Ruby Rose" screenshot
- ↑ Dance Dance Infiltration (Image 1, Image 2)
- ↑ "Round One" screenshot
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 RWBY: Amity Arena Velvet Scarlatina Card Description
- ↑ Players and Pieces
- ↑ "No Brakes" screenshot
- ↑ "Round One" screenshot
- ↑ "Kuroyuri" screenshot
- ↑ RTX 2013 Panel: RWBY
- ↑ World of Remnant: Dust
- ↑ Volume 3 DVD Commentary
- ↑ Screenshot examples
- ↑ Volume 1 Directors Commentary "Forever Fall"
- ↑ Image of Myrtenaster's mechanics
- ↑ RWBY Episode 6: "The Emerald Forest"
- ↑ RWBY Episode 8: "Players and Pieces"
- ↑ RWBY Vol 2 Episode 4: "Painting the Town..".
- ↑ RWBY Vol 2 Episode 11: "No Brakes"
- ↑ RWBY Vol 2 Episode 12: "Breach"
- ↑ "The Grimm Reaper" screenshot
- ↑ RWBY "Black" Trailer
- ↑ RWBY Episode 16: "Black and White"
- ↑ RWBY Livestream
- ↑ AfterBuzz TV Volume 2 Episodes 1 & 2
- ↑ AfterBuzz TV Volume 2 Episodes 1 & 2