|Match Date||Friday, July 25th, 2003|
|Snake - 92.56%|
The final division of the first round finally got its time in the sun, though it was widely believed that this division was the weakest (and thus most boring) of the four. Solid Snake and Mega Man were locks to make the divisional finals, though Vercetti and his massive Vice City hype caused Master Chief-like overestimation from his end. There were a couple of minor matches that were debated a little here and there within the West, but nothing that split hairs even after upsets took place.
One of the strangest matches of the first round was Snake vs Raiden. A lot of MGS fans despised Raiden back in 2003, and as such they expected Solid Snake to SFF Raiden to epic proportions. Many people were calling for Snake to break Mega Man's percentage record in this match. The issue however is that Raiden actually does have a lot of fans out there, and while said fans wouldn't be nearly enough to help Raiden avoid an SFF beating, there were enough to help Raiden from becoming Tanner before Tanner even existed.
All through this match, the only thing people were talking about was how Raiden was doing so well. Not that being below 20% can constitute "doing well", but people expected far worse.
As an MGS2 fanboy, I can safely answer this by saying that both Raiden and MGS2 kick ass. Great story, great gameplay, great graphics... MGS2 is almost perfect save for the lameness of Fatman and Fortune, and I even liked those two. Raiden is no Solid Snake (and in fact Snake looks more awesome in MGS2 -- almost invincible, even -- when you're not in control of him), but there is a certain appeal to watching his maturation. Raiden may have been SFFd to hell in this match, but he and his game garnered him just enough support to avoid a Ms. Pac Man level of percentage.
Raiden has yet to see a contest since this match, but I maintain that he wouldn't be as weak as this match would assume. Lopen's Raiden drive has my support. As for Snake, 2003 was the continuation of a very successful contest career that has only grown stronger with time. In 2003 itself, the only character Snake had to worry about was Mega Man. He likely wouldn't win his Final Four match against Mario/Crono/Sephy if he got that far, so Snake's big goal was to try and upend Mega Man down the line.