Thursday, September 5th, 2013
So, remember when Dante was supposed to beat Squirtle? Remember when people said the big Pokemon RBY > Final Fantasy 7 upset in the Rivalry Rumble bonus poll would mean nothing in this contest?
I think Leon overlapping with Cloud to some degree had a lot to do with Cloud losing in this match, but in years past it would not have mattered and Cloud would have stomped this poll anyway. But now, with all the decline in FF7's strength that will only continue on a downward trend? Squirtle can open up a 250 vote lead in an hour an no one even blinks, because by the time this match happened most people expected something similar. But expecting a cool upset is waaaaay different from actually seeing one happen. I'm a huge FF7 fan, but this match was AWESOME.
Cloud made a game of things overnight, erasing Squirtle's lead by the time the morning vote hit. And FF7 does have a really good day vote, so in theory if the Squareheads showed up in numbers Cloud could win this while the sun was up, similar to how he beat Samus in 2010.
But it was simply not to be, and Cloud's trends in this match were eerily similar to his match with Mario in 2002. Squirtle build a lead of 150, and that lead fluctuated between 150 and 250 for pretty much the entire day. One would assume the evening and second night votes would then be friendly to Cloud in this regard, but just like in 2002 that support completely abandoned Cloud when he needed it most. Come the evening, Squirtle pushed this thing up to 450 votes and simply never looked back. It would end up another loss on the FF7 resume that the game will simply not be able to recover from. It's unfair to FF7, but it's the GameFAQs mascot for Square hatred in the polls these days. This also wasn't one of those upsets where a rally or cheating was needed; Squirtle just outright beat Cloud fair and square, which probably made it the coolest upset of the contest. No stupid 4chan or Reddit rallies required.
This would also start a run where in the next 8 matches, 7 of them would feature Pokemon. I know Draven and Link were the story of the contest, and for good reason, but Pokemon dominance is also a storyline in there somewhere.
ere's the next entry in the "Fuck It I Give Up" Sextology, this time involving a funny blue cartoon turtle beating former contest champion Cloud Strife because reasons
Reason 1) 4chan did not like Cloud and wanted Squirtle to win. Ulti mentions in his writeup that Squirtle didn't need a rally but I really don't think that's the case. You can see the votal increase on this match and 4chan had mentioned in a lot of their previous rallies that they were going to support Pokemon in the matches, and although there was less support it was still there. Again, we also still had a little spillover from the Draven rally posts, which probably benefit the Pokemon more than anyone else.
Reason 2) Ain't nobody give no shits about FF anymore unless it is specifically Sephiroth when he is against Kirby or Gilgamesh I guess
Reason 3) That weird PlayStation All-Star SFF hurt Cloud a bit, Leon is the man
Reason 4) Fuck It I Give Up
We all collectively saw this coming by this point but it hurt to watch it unfold all the same. Ulti mentions in his writeup that the vote trends are very similar to the original Mario / Cloud match from 2002, where Squirtle got a good size lead and even though Cloud made cuts he couldn't gain any momentum and eventually got beaten by this thing.
Don't get me wrong, I chose Squirtle as my first ever starter like any sane person would, but I can't believe it's strong enough to beat legendary character Cloud Strife under any circumstances. Maybe I'm just old fashioned. Bring back asbestos, it didn't do anything wrong.
Take Leon out this match and give Cloud the boost from KHIII and Smash Ultimate in 2018, what do you get? Probably a much more boring match where he wins pretty easily. It's just surreal how this contest ended up playing out. We had Vivi beating Mario, Draven beating Link, and now Squirtle beating Cloud. Eventually Sephiroth would get knocked out to Draven and Mewtwo.