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Tuesday, August 12th, 2003

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 1347
Division South Division
Match # 43
Match Date Tuesday, August 12th, 2003
Vote difference 4,510
Alucard - 54.00%
40 for - 14 against
Alucard - 40.40%
(16,589 brackets)

If this match were ever held again, I think most people would go with Kirby fairly easily. He's got all the mainstream appeal, plus recent history would say that Kirby takes it with ease.

But if you rewind back to 2003, it was an entirely different story. Alucard/Kirby/Ramza was a hot item, though Ramza fell out of the race early and made this a two-horse affair. Alucard vs Kirby was an odd debate, given that there weren't really any stats to work with. All we had was one close first round loss from Kirby and a good showing by Alucard in 2002. A lot of people picked Alucard to win this fourpack, but only because Alucard had a mystique about him after the Summer 2002 Contest -- I call this "Scorpion Syndrome", where people overcompensate for getting snake-bit one year by overestimating the characters who surprised come the next contest. Sometimes doing this works (2005 Sora is a good example), but most of the time it doesn't. For people doing this in Summer 2003, backing Alucard was a rare case of this working.

However, if you slap Alucard into Jill Valentine's place in Summer 2002, I almost guarantee that Kirby would have been the massive favorite and that Alucard would have shocked the hell out of anyone watching. Alucard's upset of Tails would have been child's play by comparison.

But this wasn't Summer 2002, and people were a tad wiser this time around. It's not that Alucard turned the hype into a 50-50 style board split out of stats or anything; there was simply a certain aura about him that couldn't really be explained when compared to Kirby's miserable 2002 showing. It should be noted however that even though I'm making it sound like Alucard was the clear favorite going in, he wasn't. At best it was a dead even board split, though more people seemed to favor Kirby winning this match. I'm simply saying that a lot more people would have been on Kirby's side if the events of 2002 weren't taken into account.

The match to decide this hyped fourpack finally began, and it was dead even at the beginning. Come the first poll freeze, Alucard was ahead by the score of 59-55 and it seemed as if we would be in for quite the duel. Unfortunately Kirby fell off the map come the second update, and more of the same would continue until the end of the match. It was a close match on paper, but in reality it was one of those matches where the winner was never in question for more than a few seconds.

For the second year in a row, Alucard won his fourpack in alarming fashion, as a fairly sizable underdog. And for the second year in a row, Kirby suffered a very disappointing, close early loss in the contest. Thankfully for Kirby, a widespread DS-fueled Nintendo boost was only two years away, and he would certainly be a large reason why. As for Alucard, he hasn't made it into the third round since this contest. It's not that he lost his strength, but he was stuck behind Ganondorf in 2004 and Sora in 2005. Alucard is strong, but beating the Square/Nintendo elite isn't something he can handle.

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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)