Monday, September 9th, 2013
The divisional final round ended with one HELL of a match, because anyone looking at this would automatically assume Charizard wins. Mega Man and Zero have massive overlap, and Pokemon had just been beasting for this entire contest. It seemed like yet another raw deal for Mega Man, who has a contest history just loaded with raw deals. Look at this list:
Summer 2002: Puts up two of the biggest beatings ever, loses to Sephiroth by 1000 in round 3 after building an early lead.
Summer 2003 - Gets a rematch with Sephiroth in the semifinals, gets blown the f*** out. Also the peak of FF7 love on this site.
Games 2004 - Not a single Mega Man game makes the field. Seriously.
Summer 2004 - Wins his division, blown out by Link in the semifinal in what is probably the strongest year Link has ever had.
Summer 2005 - Mega Man goes on a huge run, beating the likes of Sonic, but loses to Crono by 3000 votes in the semifinals. Notable here is that Crono was beginning the downswing of his career.
Series 2006 - Mega Man X gets fed to Zelda in round 2, Mega Man gets fed to Final Fantasy in.... round 2.
Summer 2006 - As a HEAVY favorite, loses to Solid Snake in the quarterfinals. Had Mega Man won that match, he ay very well have won the entire contest. Sonic and Samus were both very weak that year.
Summer 2007 - The first fourway contest. Mega Man gets out of his division, but Cloud and Samus are just stronger than him in the quarterfinals.
Summer 2008 - Loses to Snake again. There's no shame in that, but he lost to Weighted Companion Cube by 240 votes for second place. By far the worst loss Mega Man has ever had to deal with, and to add insult to injury, Mega Man X was finally allowed into a contest and got much farther than the original character did.
Spring 2009 - Three Mega Man games get in -- 2, 3, and X -- but only 2 manages to get out of the second round and that game would lose to to the NES titans of Zelda 1 and Mario 1 in round 3.
Fall 2010 - Mega Man X gets fed to Link in round 3, Mega Man himself loses to Mario in the divisional finals. This is notable because in that contest, Mega Man X got 32.72% on Link. In 2004, Mega Man got 32.39% on Link. Stuck in X's shadow once again.
Game of the Decade - Mega Man 9 pulls an upset over Demon's Souls, then loses to Okami in round 2.
Rivalry Rumble - Mega Man once again fed to Link in round 3.
So yeah, it's a who's-who of unlucky bracket placement and having to deal with others at their peak. The lowest point here is statistically being worse than Mega Man X, which is absolutely a match we need to see one day.
So yeah, if ever there was a contest character that deserved a big break, Mega Man is it. And though the final push is what gets talked about the most in this match, Charizard lost this match in the first three hours. We jokingly call the first hour of a poll the Nintendo Power Hour, and what does Charizard do in that hour, with freaking Zero also in the poll? A 6 vote lead for Mega Man.
Those two stayed deadlocked for awhile, and it took a couple more hours for Charizard to finally start making a push to build a lead. A lot of theories get thrown around for why Charizard was seemingly the short straw of the Pokemon this contest, but the two that make the most sense are Charizard's competition and anti-voting. Charizard had to deal with Zelda and Mega Man, which is a much taller order than what Red or Blue had to go through. It's also a very real thing to be at the bottom part of a bracket when people have seen you before. Charizard's run happened in 2010, and though Pokemon anti-voting is hardly what it was back in 2002 or so, people got tired of seeing Pokemon stomp this contest so hard. I think that's what led to Mega Man doing so well early.
But it would not last, as Charizard's strength and Zero being in this poll would eventually take over. Between overnight and the morning vote, Charizard built a 600 vote lead by lunch. Then Mega Man cut 100 votes off in 15 minutes, and the comeback train was on. From here, the push was about as close to consistent as it could possible get. Mega Man cut off about 30-50 votes an hour, until we were looking at a 200 vote lead for Charizard with 2½ hours left. The assumption was that the Pokemon would get the late push, but it did not work out that way at all. Mega Man got that thing down to 100 with 2 hours left, and then it was just a massive rally for Mega Man the rest of the way.
Mega Man took the lead with over an hour left in the poll, 27 votes to be exact, then immediately Charizard cuts it down to 13. The standard groan happened here, because Pokemon had won every close finish of the contest. Mega Man fans then watched in horror as Charizard took back complete control of the match, which can best be summed up as him having a 58 vote lead with 20 minutes left. It seemed like a given at this point that Charizard would escape again, just like he had done against Zelda last round.
With the next update, Mega Man cut 35 votes off out of no where, then he gained 40 more votes next update to take the lead for good. Mega Man fans unleashed more than 10 years of contest frustration into a rally that managed to outdo a Pokemon rally, and when it was all over Mega Man won the poll by 23 votes. Charizard went from another win to getting completely blitzed and losing in a span of 20 minutes, which is going to be a hard one to forget about in the offseason. Remember, Zero was also in this poll, and he did some very clear and obvious damage to Mega Man's vote totals. Between that last push and Charizard doing nothing for so long when the poll opened, this was a choke job. Plain and simple.
For Mega Man fans, yeah it's another contest where he doesn't even make the finals, but the little guy finally gets over the hump and wins one of these barnburners. As a huge fan of his, I'm really hoping this springboards him into finally making the final one day. He deserves it.
Zen's (Late) Analysis
It's amazing how a match with Serious Sam in it pulled in more votes than this crazy quarterfinals match. I'm bringing this 2002 classic up just to show how Mega Man always finds a way to impress in these things.
This was the match that ruined my shot at winning the Guru; if Charizard had pulled this off you would all have been nominating Metal Sonic right now. I probably wouldn't have made this topic, though, or if I did it would have been called ~*~Zen's "Road to Victory" CBIX Analysis - 5 Years and He Still Hasn't Let It Go~*~.
I really didn't care if I won or not, though. I'm happy we got to see POKEFEAR stopped dead in its tracks here. Everyone had counted Mega Man out thanks to Zero being in this poll; Zero had looked pretty good up until this point, too, and Charizard was just considered too strong of an obstacle. A lot of other Noble Nine members had let us down and at this point Mega Man really didn't have many "new" games at the time other than 9 and 10 which were a few years old and basically just cash grabs. Good cash grabs, but cash grabs nonetheless.
Charizard never really had a shot at this match once it started. Out the gate he looked like garbage and even when he managed to pull ahead Mega Man was right there to take first place back. It was good to see Mega Man of all NN members escape to the semifinals.
How did this happen? Is Mega Man just that universally loved? Is Mega Man so deeply mired in Nintendo SFF that Zero was affecting Charizard too? I don't know. Probably. Fuck it at this point it's 2013 and that's all the excuse I need
Here's a fun exercise, rank the Noble Nine members by how much you personally give a shit about them. I'll start:
Snake Sonic Link Mega Man Mario Samus Crono Cloud Sephiroth
Allen can keep Sephiroth out of the CBX banner forever