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Friday, August 20th, 2004

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 1737
Division Midgar Division
Match # 20
Match Date Friday, August 20th, 2004
Vote difference 23,943
Squall - 71.00%
68 for - 0 against
Squall - 79.82%
(26,517 brackets)

In 2002, Jill Valentine went through Kirby and Bomberman in order to reach the Sweet 16, with Kane from Command and Conquer being the odd man out. In 2003, Bomberman and Kirby got stuck in a fourpack with Alucard and Ramza, with Alucard being the one to go through both Bomerman and Kirby. Ramza was the weakest link, and he was left out.

In 2004, we have more of the same. Bomberman and Kirby are both thrown into the same fourpack as a character who is clearly stronger than both of them (Squall), and a contest newbie who is clearly weaker (Kain). I don't know if this is a running gag or what, but at least it fits. In all three contests, we have had a character go through Bomberman and Kirby en route to the Sweet 16. However this year, the character who was the benefactor of this position -- Squall in this case -- was royally screwed over. Squall deserved far better a reward for upending Jill Valentine and Luigi last year than being stuck in a company-based bracket in which his fate would be to get his ass mercilessly beaten all over the place by Cloud in the third round. In a better bracket, people could have underestimated or overestimated the holy hell out of Squall. In this bracket, his role was all to clear. Beat up the weaker characters, then take the expected loss to Cloud. But more on that later in the contest.

Based off of 2003 numbers, Bomberman was only projected to get 30.88% on Squall in this match. He did nearly 5% better than what he was projected to, which bodes a few questions about the Final Fantasy 8 lead. First off, what was going on here? How could Squall return back to his 2002 level while characters such as Link, Cloud, and eventually Sephiroth, were all performing up to their current standards? Did Squall take a drop between last year and this year, or was it possible that Luigi and Jill were simply far weaker than what we first anticipated? Whether Squall truly took a dive or not remained to be seen, but if this had anything whatsoever to do with the Kingdom Hearts Factor wearing off, then this could only mean good news for Link. It was nice seeing Bomberman doing so well, but to see a match off by almost 5% of the original projection with little to no reasons is very odd.

Personally, I think that Luigi and Jill Valentine are simply far weaker than everyone thought after the 2002 contest, and that Squall looked stronger in 2003 than he truly is. Take creativename's 2004 Xsts as an example. Despite Squall's underperformance against Bomberman, 2004 numbers project Luigi getting 38.81% against Squall, and they project Jill Valentine to get a mere 34.89%. Squall's aura of power had little to do with Squall being that good on his own. Luigi and Jill simply made him look that way. I'm not saying Squall did nothing on his own, but when he can take an appeared dive in 2004 yet be projected to blow away some of his 2003 numbers regardless, it puts the strength of his opponents, not Squall himself, into question. For all we know, Squall may very well have remained constant across all three contests.

Match Trends[]


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2004 Summer Contest Matches

Round One
Link > CATS
Ganondorf > Alucard
Yoshi > Ryo Hazuki
Luigi > Pac-Man
Magus > Luca Blight
Crono > Conker
Bowser > Guybrush
Mario > JC Denton
Mega Man > Earthworm Jim
Tidus > Shadow
Vercetti > Max Payne
Zero > Protoman
Frog > Liquid
Master Chief > Crash
Knuckles > Kefka

Snake > Tanner
Cloud > Duke
Vyse > Laharl
Kirby > Kain
Squall > Bomberman
Ness > Jak
Auron > Scorpion
Vivi > Donkey Kong
Sephiroth > Sly Cooper
Sonic > Terry Bogard
Tails > VJ
Dante > Ratchet
Sora > HK-47
Ryu H > Jill
Sam Fisher > Gordon
Samus > Lara

Round Two
Link > Ganondorf
Yoshi > Luigi
Crono > Magus
Mario > Bowser
Mega Man > Tidus
Zero > Vercetti
Frog > Master Chief
Snake > Knuckles
Cloud > Vyse
Squall > Kirby
Auron > Ness
Sephiroth > Vivi
Sonic > Ryu
Dante > Tails
Sora > Ryu H
Samus > Sam Fisher

R3 and following
Link > Yoshi
Crono > Mario
Mega Man > Zero
Snake > Frog
Cloud > Squall
Sephiroth > Auron
Sonic > Dante
Samus > Sora
Link > Crono
Mega Man > Snake
Cloud > Sephiroth
Samus > Sonic
Link > Mega Man
Cloud > Samus
Link > Cloud (Finals)