|Match Date||Saturday, July 19th, 2003|
|Kefka - 43.47%|
This match was unintentionally hilarious to the highest degree even before it started, and it would only get better as everything unfolded.
Kefka was one of the most hyped newcomers to the contest field. There were people literally talking about how he was a real threat to Crono, and some even went as far as to say that Kefka could win the division. This was back during the days of everyone thinking that FF6 could be at or near FF7's level, as well as the pre-X-Stats era where every newcomer could be overestimated to hell and back without recourse.
Unfortunately for Kefka, there aren't any good pictures of him outside of his sprites. When the match pic for this thing was released, it marked the single biggest picture-related board explosion to ever grace this place.
And if that thing was representing one of your favorite characters in a match, wouldn't you be a little peeved?
People went nuts over this thing, and I distinctly remember going to SS and making a petition for the picture to be changed. It got over 200 posts within hours before being closed, and the picture was left alone. Kefka went from being the massive board favorite to win the match to causing everyone to be scared to death about his chances of doing much of anything in the contest.
Forgotten in all of this was the fact that Pac-Man himself isn't exactly a slouch. He was coming off of being a 1 seed in 2002, and people kept treating this match as if Pac himself were the 12 in this 5-12 affair. Pac was perfectly capable of winning this thing even before the Lettuce Kefka fiasco hit, and the match pic being so horribly in favor of everyone's favorite pill popper only opened the window of opportunity wider for him.
And people knew all of this, hence why Kefka's lettuce mug annoyed everyone so much. This was a classic battle of Board 8 versus the casual bracketmaker, and all that was left to do from here was to actually get the match going. The early stage of the match was all Kefka, and though he didn't dominate he was able to use the board's massive support for him to build a lead of over 1000 votes. I don't fully remember where this capped off (TRE, a little help? <_<), but I'm 99% sure it was in between the area of 1000 and 2000 votes before Pac Man was able to stall Kefka from pulling away with the match entirely.
Kefka has been a champion of the board vote from the very beginning, though most people think that this trend began with Kefka's match against Knuckles. There's always been a certain sympathy/overestimation surrounding Kefka in these contests, with the sympathy coming from how damn ugly he is and the overestimation coming from Lord knows where.
But Pac-Man would have none of Kefka simply running away with this thing, and in the wee hours of the morning Pac was able to stall Kefka and begin a slow comeback attempt. It was during this match that the now-popular "X number of votes needed per update to tie" thing got popular in the update topics, and given how slowly Pac Man was chipping away at Kefka's lead it was almost a necessity. Pac spent most of the morning and afternoon whittling Kefka's lead down to the hundreds, but Pac's dream of putting Kefka down ended once the evening vote hit. Kefka exploded in the latter stages of the match to pull away once and for all, though permanent damage was done to his reputation in the process.
Kefka was no longer a real threat to Crono at all, and there was literally nothing stopping a Mario-Crono rematch as a result. Crono being a 4 seed in Mario's division looked like a setup, and it was. A few people clung to the hope that Kefka performed badly solely because of his picture (someone even created a lettuce Kefka account, and you can still catch it posting even today) and that he had nothing more than his name to get him by in this match, but that still wasn't enough to explain how Kefka would turn around and get past Crono after this. Kefka would eventually go on to having a decent contest career, though it hasn't come close to matching the early hype surrounding him.
As for Pac-Man, he's always been an oddball case. He's never been one to draw in votes, and as such I'm convinced that Pac wins this match if 2002 vote total levels are in place. Part of the reason why Pac was able to upset Ocelot in 2005 was because of the vote totals being so hideously low. But on the down side, Pac is more prone to SFF than most other characters (everyone has played a game of his... I hope) and has been on a gradual decline since his days of being a 1 seed. His recent upset of Ocelot probably only prolongs the inevitable, which is that Pac-Man's time in gaming, and these contests, is coming to an end. He only appeals to an older audience and can't hack it against most characters. Seeing what's happened to Pac Man in his contest career is like watching Brett Favre in the 2005 NFL season. You can't help but respect the guy regardless of how you feel about his games.
Pac may never see a good seed again and his upset of Ocelot may not be a sign of things to come, but he still means as much to gaming as anyone else. He's simply not been able to recover from Scorpion whipping his ass in 2002, though it's funny to think about the fact that Pac Man has held a 1 seed, while Crono has not.
You may have noticed a user by the name of “lettuce Kefka” around these parts. Well, he got his name from this catastrophe of a match, featuring one of the most infamous match pictures in contest history.
In 2003, the Noble Nine concept hadn’t yet come into play. People thought all sorts of crazy things – Magus could upset Link, Tommy Vercetti could make the semifinals, and generally the board abounded in chaos and disarray. Kefka was one of the most hyped newcomers to the game, especially since he was fated for an epic showdown with his fellow 16-bit gaming icon, Crono. But first he had to get past Pac-Man. Piece of cake, right? Pac-Man lost to friggin’ Scorpion last year. But then the match picture came out:
Ask yourself, dear reader: what the hell is that on the right? If you answered "Why, it's Kefka, of course! Uwehehehehe!” you probably have the mental stability of a radish.
This piece of lettuce would go on to fight in Kefka’s stead, doing quite horribly and actually turning a lock of a match into a semi-debatable, close slugfest. Unfortunately for Pac-Man, Kefka went on to look horrible in Round Two, even with a scary clown picture. But Lettuce Kefka has become something of a running gag in these contests, and the joke began here.
Interesting Facts Edit
- Due to the picture fiasco this was the last time CJayC posted the picture early in the 2003 contest.