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Saturday, August 30th, 2003

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 1363
Division South Division Final
Match # 59
Match Date Saturday, August 30th, 2003
Vote difference 28,671
Sephiroth - 50.96%
24 for - 15 against
Sephiroth - 32.76%
(13,452 brackets)

Howdy folks, and welcome to the Kingdom Hearts Invitational™!

Remember when Mario/Crono vs Sephiroth for the South title was the most hyped trio of the entire contest? Mario/Crono certainly delivered, but hardly anyone expected what would happen next. Mario vs Sephiroth was supposed to be one of the biggest matches of the entire contest. It was supposed to be Mario vs Cloud Part the II, only bigger and better this time around. After all Sephiroth was still believed to be more popular than Cloud, and he was the perfect guy to extract revenge on the ol' plumber after the latest Crono screwjob, not to mention what happened to Cloud the year before. But Mario still had.... the clutch, dundundun. Could Mario pull the clutch on a character stronger than Cloud?

For one update, the match looked as expected. Sephiroth was slightly in the lead, though it seemed as if we were in for an epic.

And then another update came. Then another. Then another. Within an hour, Sephiroth was beating the absolute holy hell out of Mario in the poll.

But so what, right? This was FREAKING MARIO! Certainly he would come back and make a game of this, right?

Wrong. As the updates kept pouring in, it became more and more clear that Mario was in for the beating of his life. The man never bothered putting up a fight, but with every coming update people expected Mario to begin the greatest comeback of all time. He never came close. Sephiroth whipped Mario at all points of this poll to the tune of an eventual beatdown of over 60-40, and the onlookers stared at the results as they were unfolding in absolute disbelief. Most truly believed that this would be the second coming of the Mario/Cloud fiasco, but it turned into the second coming of Mario's beating at the hands of Link instead.

Given what had just happened to Sonic, it didn't take much longer for people to decide the cause of all this. Kingdom Hearts, arguably Square's most hyped and successful title since Final Fantasy 7, was released in September of 2002, just after the Summer 2002 Contest. When paired with the massive hype of the Summer 2003 Contest and the massive influx in total votes, it was clear that most of the new voters favored Squaresoft. The evidence was all over this contest. Cloud, Sephiroth, Squall, and even Aeris all did much better than most expected; as such, most people began giving credit to Kingdom Hearts. You could even argue that the Kingdom Hearts Factor (KHF) benefited Tidus. He did finish ahead of Auron in the stats this year, though he likely needed help from SFF to do it.

It was very difficult to deny the game's effect on this contest, unless you feel like believing that several Square characters in the game all boosted for no reason whatsoever, while other Square characters not in the game were fairly disappointing. A voter influx all massively favoring one company arbitrarily was certainly possible, but there needed to be a reason for all of these new voters to come to this site in the first place. As for the non-KH Square characters that disappointed, Magus and Kefka were certainly in the discussion, and Crono's failure to beat Mario despite everything going Crono's way for over 22 hours of the match is certainly evidence.

But for those who weren't quite ready to accept KHF as having a legitimate impact, there was still more contest to be played out.

External Links[]

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2003 Contest Matches

Round One
Link > AiAi
Fox > Pikachu
Ganondorf > Tidus
Magus > Sam Fisher
Squall > Jill
Luigi > Ratchet
KOS-MOS > Crash
Samus > Isaac
Cloud > CATS
Auron > Tails
Bowser > Ness
Yoshi > Conker
Aeris > Sora
Master Chief > Felix
Zero > Scorpion

Sonic > Ken
Mario > Olimar
Shadow > Wario
Kefka > Pac-Man
Crono > Tom Nook
Alucard > Bomberman
Kirby > Ramza
Max Payne > Gordon
Sephiroth > Raziel
Snake > Raiden
Knuckles > Yuna
Ryu > Duke
Dante > Ryo Hazuki
Donkey Kong > Vyse
Vercetti > Kite
Zelda > Lara Croft
Mega Man > Mr. Resetti

Round Two
Link > Fox
Magus > Ganondorf
Squall > Luigi
Samus > KOS-MOS
Cloud > Auron
Bowser > Yoshi
Aeris > Master Chief
Sonic > Zero
Mario > Shadow
Crono > Kefka
Alucard > Kirby
Sephiroth > Max Payne
Snake > Knuckles
Ryu > Dante
Vercetti > Donkey Kong
Mega Man > Zelda

R3 and following
Link > Magus
Samus > Squall
Cloud > Bowser
Sonic > Aeris
Mario > Crono
Sephiroth > Alucard
Snake > Ryu
Mega Man > Vercetti
Link > Samus
Cloud > Sonic
Sephiroth > Mario
Mega Man > Snake
Cloud > Link
Sephiroth > Mega Man
Cloud > Sephiroth (Finals)