Board 8 Wiki


Round One


Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3244
Division 1
Match # 1
Match Date Thursday, September 18th, 2008
Wario - 35.12%
Zack Fair - 32.94%
Cecil Harvey - 22.14%
Jade Curtiss - 9.81%
Zack first place (2pts) - 23.36%
Zack second place (1pt) - 32.72%
Wario second place (2pts) - 31.59%
Wario first place (1pt) - 43.97%
Zack - 56.08% (24,060)
Wario - 75.56% (32,418)

To this day I don't know or care whether or not Tales of the Abyss is any good, despite actually owning the game. At some point I should log all the games I own that I haven't played yet, but to the point. This match had two major stories in it. One was how utterly goofy it was as a first match for a contest. In every contest leading up to this one, the first match winner, in order: Mario, Link, Mario 3, Link, Bowser, Mario, The Legend of Zelda's series, Samus, and Yoshi.

Yoshi is a clear oddball in that bunch, and then this match happened. Cecil, Jade, Wario, and Zack isn't exactly the murderer's row that is LinkMarioSamus, yet here they were in all their glory setting the tone for the entire contest.

And set the tone they did. That is a ridiculous vote total. Jade getting blown out is who cares, but I did a little homework here. If you plop Cecil's 22142 votes into the 2020 games contest, only Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey have any individual performances that are better. Isn't it nuts how far we ended up falling? A little falloff is okay, but looking back on the old polls really makes it eye-opening.

The other story was Wario and Zack. Board 8 is a smart bunch, and after an entire contest where we all screwed up our fourway picks by underestimating overlapping fanbases, we all adjusted accordingly. Most of us saw Cecil and Zack in a poll together with Wario sticking out like a sore thumb, we had all played Brawl for the entire year, and we penned in Wario > Zack and moved on. A few people didn't think Cecil would hurt Zack at all and got rewarded for it big time. This poll was close for a couple minutes, but then Zack just annihilated these clowns. We would see in later rounds it was no fluke, either, but more on that when it comes time for ZackFAQs. As of this match, there wasn't much evidence that this wasn't just Zack strutting all over a bunch of garbage. It's not like Cecil and Wario have ever been worth much.

Wario may have gotten second place here and advanced in the contest, but this was just an embarrassing performance by him. I know people who have played those WarioWare games defend them to death, but let's not pretend the vast majority of his popularity doesn't come from Smash -- and given Brawl plus the massive Nintendo boost, Wario should have handled his business. Let's not pretend Crisis Core was any good, either. Zack is an amazing character, but his game is garbage. I will never be convinced otherwise. Crisis Core was so bad I can't even bothered to review it, and that's WITH abusing Costly Punch to speed through it.

This was just the start. The real king was coming in match #2.

Stats and Analysis[]

Last year's Round 1 was only a warmup. THIS was the most debated match of any contest's Round 1, ever. In all honesty, it will probably always will be. It was easily debated more than ANY other potential match, period - other than the natural continuation of it NEXT round.

And of course, it was all due to one character - Mr. Buster Sword, Black-Haired Cloud, the TRUE hero of Final Fantasy VII - ZACK FAIR. (aka Zack UNfair, Zack Attack, aka "I'll Crisis your Core"). This one character, given all of about five minutes of screentime in FF7 - most of it in optional, out of the way sequences - and his own game on that juggernaut of portable systems, the PSP.

...okay. So with any other character, Zack being uber-fodder would have been a given. But because he had the FF7 pedigree, because he's the spitting image of Cloud and bore his sword, and because Random Piece of Final Fantasy VII furniture would probably have won the contest this year, he was given all the consideration in the world, and then some.

There were some that warned of him being the next Balthier, or worse - some had Zack so low as to fall to Cecil. Most had him losing to Wario here, and Zack vs Shadow was considered THE match of Division 1. Get it right, and you get who got out of the division correct.

Well, after enough discussion that even thinking about it now still brings on a migraine, the match was at hand. And upon looking at the picture, Zack had everything going his way - not only did he have the Buster Sword prominently displayed in his picture, it's probably more accurate to say his picture WAS more the Buster Sword. Zack had zero excuses.

...and he didn't need them, because he started off the match on fire and didn't let up. Wario, who advanced to Round 2 last year behind Fox and getting his debut in SSBB, got absolutely CURBSTOMPED en route to a routing, and the first big conventional wisdom in the contest - BrawlFEAR - was suddenly in terrible doubt (funny how since I popularized that term, none of its subjects have really warranted the terror, huh?). Zack, despite Cecil in the match, looked better than even his most ardent supporters had expected - and that luster would only glow brighter once the rest of the field started performing. But that would be seen later. Wario, for his part, had no excuse - no matter how strong Zack was, the only Nintendo option in the match should look somewhat good, right?

The last thing to note about this match was how Cecil did - absolutely pitifully. This was perhaps to be expected considering what he did last time, but between FF4 DS and him having a more recognizable picture this time, it was perhaps not unwarranted to expect more. And after what the rest of FF4 did this contest, I have to postulate that Zack had a pretty fair (oh I slay myself) amount of overlap with Cecil here.

That was downright scary. The rumblings began - could he make it into the semifinals? Against Mario and Mega Man X?

Time would only tell.

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

Wario's a chump, and everyone knows it. But he has a few things going for him here... he's out of those suspenders and into his (slightly) cooler biker gear, he's been in Brawl since we've last seen him, and most importantly he sticks out like a sore thumb against all these long haired efeminine J-RPG leads. When you're Nintendo, there's nothing better than being able to stand out in a crowd!

Weird to predict Zack for second, as he's going to ride Link's wake all the way through to the final of this division according to my bracket, but as I explained, he's bound to be held back by having so many other Final Fantasy/RPG options in the lineup. So even though I think his Buster Sword and Looks Like Cloud advantage should be enough to easily defeat Cecil, Wario should have just what it takes to edge him.

As for Jade, pffffffffffffffft. There's never been a character in history we needed to see less than Jade. We're talking about a guy who managed less than 8 and a half percent against Balthier, Ada, and Frank West, a guy who is quite possibly the weakest entrant we've experienced since Tanner Himself. Why anyone would expect him to score more than 8% here is beyond me.

So with those points in mind, these percents pretty much create themselves!

  • Wario - 35.55%
  • Zack Fair - 34.75%
  • Cecil - 22.56%
  • Jade Curtiss - 7.14%

And there you have it. Looking forward to another exciting season!

Ngamer Says: Wario > Zack

Next Day Review[]

Ouch, Crew season is only just underway and already we've made a mistake! Well, I think our readers had better get used to it- even assuming the joke characters don't rise up and sting us, this is an extremely tricky bracket that I think will be full of surprises right down to the wire.

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)