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Round Two


Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3288
Round Division 7 Semi Final
Match # 45
Match Date Saturday, November 1st, 2008
Master Chief - 30.98%
Kirby - 27.35%
Big Boss - 24.99%
Raiden - 16.80%
Kirby first place (4pts) - 26.78%
Kirby second place (2pts) - 27.03%
Master Chief second place (4pts) - 37.53%
Master Chief first place (2pts) - 42.55%
Kirby - 53.81% (23,086)
Master Chief - 80.08% (34,357)

For the people who whined all match long about Big Boss losing because of a match picture, pictures do not matter as much as you people think they do. And even if they did, it's a distant fourth on the list of reasons why Big Boss lost. But before that, let's start with first place.

Pre-contest, almost everyone agreed this match would be Chief and Kirby advancing in some order. For the Kirby backers, the logic was easy. This match was always going to be Big Boss, Kirby, Chief, and either Kain Highwind or Raiden. Kirby is the lone Nintendo character of the bunch, and he's near-elite. Kirby being the lone Nintendo character in a poll is a far cry from, say, Falco being the loner. There was a 0% chance for Kirby not to advance here, be it in first or second place.

For the Chief backers, the logic was equally simple. If he recaptured some of that 2007 magic (and Halo + GAME FUEL was still well-liked in 2008, unlike the state Chief is in now), Chief would threaten for first place here. Granted, he had more potential to get leeched than Kirby did with having to deal with Big Boss and Raiden, two characters who are much closer to Chief in fanbase than Kirby is. Kirby was the very likely favorite, but Chief winning first place here wouldn't have floored us. 2007 was that big for the guy. But once again, first place duels don't matter much in this format.

The main discussion revolved around Big Boss, for some reason, even though Raiden being in the poll all but guaranteed his loss barring a Master Chief meltdown. People also pointed to Big Boss's round 1 result where he beat Kirby, somehow forgetting that the Nintendo vote got split three ways. Big Boss was never going to finish ahead of Kirby here now that Kirby was alone with all the Nintendo votes. That said, Boss put up one hell of a fight with Master Chief for second place. Him and Chief were basically tied when this poll started, which allowed Kirby to slowly fly off with first place. Kirby's win ultimately wasn't impressive, but he did end up winning in the end. More on that in a sec.

Big Boss and Master Chief spent the first few hours of this poll having a MANLY DUEL OF TESTOSTERONE, and stayed legitimately tied the entire time. It was anyone's game until late into the night, where Big Boss started running away with things. He built up a pretty nice 800 vote lead going into the morning vote, where Master Chief then started making his move. I'm going to pause here and get into those three reasons for Big Boss's loss that I promised earlier.

1 - Master Chief rallied. A lot of people blame Raiden for Big Boss losing here, but given how hard the Chief's base rallied in this match, it's possible Chief gets second place even without Raiden there. I remember this match very well, and around 9am, Chief started getting these wild updates. Not only did Chief erase the 800 vote lead like nothing, but he did so so sharply that human intervention was clearly involved. You don't go from sub-100 vote updates to 150-200+ out of nowhere like that. This rally lasted all through the rest of the match, and not only did it leave Big Boss in the dust, he made a decent run at Kirby for first place. Kirby had a 2300 vote lead on Chief going into the ASV, and Chief managed to only lose by 1500 votes. Had Chief fans rallied that hard for the entire match, he may have won this poll outright. Chief has had crazy rallies before, so it's not inconceivable.

2 - Raiden's presence can't be ignored. Two Metal Gear Solid characters in a match is different from, say, Yoshi and Bowser sharing a poll. Raiden and Big Boss have 100% overlap in their fanbases, and Raiden being here unquestionably hurt Big Boss's chances.

3 - Big Boss is simply not that strong. I don't know why people can't accept this one, but it's the truth. Pictures have nothing to do with it.

In the end, we were treated to a very entertaining match in which we got to enjoy a rally completely erasing a lead in seconds. And you know me, I live for rallies causing meltdowns. This rally caused quite the lot of crybabies to pop up, though given most people had Chief and Kirby in some order the whining wasn't quite the level one might expect.

This would ultimately set up another match with Kirby versus TESTOSTERONE.

Stats and Analysis[]

This was one of the more anticipated matches of the second round, as the favored first placer among them had laid one of the bigger eggs we'd ever seen in his last match. There was not only talk that Kirby, standing out as only he can against three mature characters, could take first, but that Big Boss - y'know, who had KILLED Kirbs in the previous match - could place or take first outright here even with Raiden holding him down. All he would need is luck and a Naked Snake pic on his side again...

...and for the first time it would matter, he didn't, and it would cost him. The board abandoned the MGS3 protagonist's train as quickly as they had gotten on, as now we were presumably dealing with the entity that had gotten tripled by Auron and needed Mario to beat Pac-Man. There was a good amount of chatter on the old man losing to Raiden, and it wasn't exactly unwarranted - Raiden had gotten the "wow" role of his career in MGS4. The first indication that most people got that Big Boss was even IN the game was the picture in this match. And as weak as he may have been last year in struggling to beat Sam Fisher, that's a far cry from being tripled by Auron.

So when old man Boss started the match ahead of Master Chief, you better believe people took notice. Kirby was WAY out in front, which people were kinda anticipating at this point, but still... Master Chief behind a Big Boss with an old man picture, one that was being held down by Raiden (a Raiden that he was SFFing to death, but c'mon). Chief would break back into the lead based on his impressive bracket support, but Big Boss would not let up. By the night he had taken a decent lead of his own on Chief, and even though Chief would end up shredding that lead in minutes when the day vote hit, it was still a sight to see.

As for the Chief/Kirby showdown, it ended up being the highlight of the match when Chief got going. Kirby was up by an insurmountable lead, but when the day came Chief gave it his all in what was likely his most impressive showing in this contest. Ending up only 1500 votes away from Kirby in a match where the MGS vote would have almost certainly broken his way had BB/Raiden not been there is something. Granted, we had to deal with the fact that Kirby is a bit of a cupcake when he's not standing out, but the fact remains - Chief holdouts had a little more to cling to after this match.

As for Big Boss, he ended up having something more akin to MGS trends of old - running purely off of hardcore fans will do that - but the fact that he did as well as he did with Raiden holding him back was a sign that whether because of MGS4 or people just finally figuring out who the devil the guy is thanks to his Naked Snake pics, the Fox operative has come a long way in these things and clearly established himself as the #2 MGS character. Well done, old soldier. *salutes*

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

Another matchup I've got high hopes for takes place tonight. Let's get that hype train a'rollin.

X-Stats from Round One:

  • Master Chief - 31.01% (based on Layton = Tom Nook)
  • Raiden - 26.98% (based on Layton = Tom Nook)
  • Big Boss - 33.77% (based on Jinjo = '07 Banjo)
  • Kirby - 29.27% (based on Jinjo = '07 Banjo)

What absolute garbage numers. Since no one out of the Jinjo/Lucas/Kain/Layton group made the bracket in '07 I didn't have any comparisons to make, so bah. Regardless, you can see BB will go down as the strongest character based on results pretty much no matter how you adjust those numbers, and from there it's a mish mash. Raiden at 27 looks so wrong, but how far below 30 would you really be willing to place MC, this format's former stud? But yeah, remove the Nintendo LFF that held Kirby back and it seems clear that Kirby/Naked Snake BB/de-boosted Halo should be right around even in strength, with Raiden not all that far behind.

Unfortunately for the MGS guys, these GameFAQs polls don't take place in a vacuum; the same LFF that has been killing Nintendo while making them look like superstars all year to this point is about to suddenly backfire on them, and its a backfire that will be chalking up two casualties tonight, in my opinion. Big Boss had two chances at advancement: One, get a full on Naked Snake picture. Mission Failed. Two, SFF Raiden into the ground so hard he pushes up dandelions in Australia. Well, this DID seem possible for about 5 minutes, and then Raiden went and put up 43% on MC directly. Uh oh! Mission Failed. Frankly I'm not sold on Raiden's picture either, but without the full on Snake effect I can't see BB topping him by more than 60/40 or so, which means that unless the MGS fanbase became half the site overnight (hello there Ocelot!), they're going to be coming in third and fourth.

That leaves us with MC vs Kirby, and this one could very well end up being quite the entertaining battle. It would be awesome to see Kirby power out to a big lead with his morning vote and hold off MC's ASV for the win, especially for how it would turn all this "lol Nintendo es ded" talk right on its head, but... I'm not quite feeling it. Yes, Kirby will be the one standing out against all these mature PS2/Xbox options, but on the other hand all of the Contest elites have been recovering from their bad R1 showings here in this round, and Cloud today is just one more example. Yes MC's performance was the most disappointing of all of them, but even so I'm imagining he'll be able to score just enough of a comeback to save his reputation and sneak this one out in the after school period.

But feel free to go ahead and prove me wrong, Kirby old pal. Okay, MC ~= Kirby with a decent gap before BB and Raiden, that ought to give us results somewhat along the lines off... *pots and stirs and delivers*

  • Master Chief - 30.18%
  • Kirby - 29.75%
  • Big Boss - 22.40%
  • Raiden - 17.67%

Hm... crazy as it sounds, I'm actually feeling pretty confident with those numbers! (Now watch them get blown to high heaven.)

Ngamer Says: MC > Kirby

Next Day Review[]

Haha, what a fun match that was! Sure, it lost some of its luster due to Kirby never being in any real danger of losing to MC, and even when Boss had opened up that nice lead we were still very confident that Chief would be killing him in the Day to make up for it, but even so I maintain that this was a highly entertaining poll. I mean, just check out those vote trends! *points to graph above*

Note to self: Europeans really loved MGS4, and really, really dislike Halo. I could see that little tidbit coming in handy for the upcoming Game Contest! (Actually I think it's more a case that Europe will go crazy for anything recent and Sony, like how FFX and now MGS always pounds people during those hours, while they refuse to support anything Xbox, which explains why guys like MC and Marcus last year are able to put on such amazing fireworks displays as soon as that continent falls asleep and it's back to 100% American voting.)

Okay, well this sets up a HECK of an interesting proposal for Round Three. MC's so weak that he's no longer assured third place in that pack, let alone first, while Kirby will once again be getting the full advantage of going cutesy against three mature action stars. Unless Leon hurts him with GameCube appeal he ought to be able to survive and advance out of that match... but wait, will Riku be the one there instead, evening the mature versus cutesy appeal at 2 to 2?

External Links[]

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2008 Contest Matches

Round One
Zack > Wario
Link > Zidane
Marth > Duke
Altair > Lucario
Luigi > Liquid
Bowser > Phoenix
Mario > Zelda
X > Mudkip
Samus > Nightmare
Ganondorf > Frog
Vincent > Falco
Scorpion > Gordon
Crono > Amaterasu
L-Block > Ryu
Alucard > Falcon

Pikachu > Arthas
Cube > Tidus
Mega Man > Nero
Ryu H > Zero
Snake > Vivi
Sora > Fox
Squall > Yoshi
Cloud > Midna
Mewtwo > Pac-Man
Big Boss > Kirby
Master Chief > Raiden
Leon > Riku
Dante > Hogger
Sonic > Sandbag
Auron > Sub-Zero
Sephiroth > Tifa
Kratos > Jill

Round Two
Link > Zack
Duke > Altair
Liquid > Luigi
Mario > X
Samus > Ganondorf
Vincent > Gordon
Crono > L-Block
Pikachu > Alucard
Mega Man > Cube
Snake > Zero
Squall > Sora
Cloud > Mewtwo
Kirby > Master Chief
Dante > Leon
Auron > Sonic
Sephiroth > Kratos

R3 and following
Link > Zack
Mario > X
Samus > Vincent
Crono > Pikachu
Snake > Cube
Cloud > Mewtwo
Kirby > Dante
Sephiroth > Sonic
Link > Mario
Samus > Crono
Cloud > Snake
Sephiroth > Kirby
Link > Crono
Snake > Cloud
Link > Snake (Finals)
Classic > CD-I (Bonus)