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X GON GIVE IT TA YA! Wait, isn't someone from the Noble Nine missing?

GameFAQs Contests
CJayC Era SBAllen Era
Characters 2002
Characters 2003
Games 2004
Characters 2004
Villains 2005
Characters 2005
Series 2006
Characters 2006
Characters 2007
Characters 2008
Games 2009
Characters 2010
GotD 2010
Rivals 2011
Characters 2013
Games 2015
Years 2017
Characters 2018


Ulti's Pre-Contest AnalysisEdit

This was the tenth GameFAQs character battle, and the first contest anyone has actually cared about since 2015. This was our first 1v1 character battle since 2010, our first 1v1 character battle with 24 hour matches since 2006, and our first 1v1 character battle with a traditional format since 2005. 2006 had a half male, half female split that led to a ton of snubs, whereas 2005 was a very traditional format with its seeding even considering the legend rule. So for all intents and purposes, Character Battle X was our first traditional bracket in over a decade.

SBAllen walked back the legend rule for Character Battle X. After opening nominations up to Board 8 first and foremost for a few weeks before letting the entire site pick entrants, two cool new features were revealed. The entire Noble Nine outside of Sephiroth was put into a legends bracket where all eight would face the eight division winners, and that bracket would become double elimination for our first ever double elimination championship format. When I get to that in my writeups, I'm putting the seeding in a proper order for the wiki. My PCA, halfway my wiki, my rules =p

Seeding was a standard 1-16 per division format, though with Board 8 having far and away the most nominations in the field, some of the seedings were way out of whack. The #1 overall seed was Dante, for instance, but then we had some insane things like Waluigi as a 2 seed, Metal Sonic as a 5 seed, Metal Man finally making a bracket, and 2B from NieR Automata getting a 1 seed. It was all in good fun, because come voting time seedings don't usually matter much. I could spoil a whole bunch of stuff here, but we have 150 writeups and I need to save some material.

Rallies were a huge sticking point in the past, even though those people were all over any related subreddit during this contest begging for votes in every close match. Isn't it funny how that works? Anyway, here is the list of voting changes that Allen implemented to help stymie the effects of rallies:

-registered user votes counted double (only users registered before the start of the contest got the bonus when voting, which prevented registering mid contest to rally)
-poll start time changed to midnight UTC (8pm EDT/7pm EST), which was very smart because it essentially gives the favorite an extra 4 hours to build up a lead, the theory being that a rally usually doesn't kick off until the next day and then whoops, you only have until 8pm to come back instead of midnight
-to vote, one HAD to vote in every match; this one was very underrated pre-contest but its value became apparent later

If you want to skip all the writeups and just go right to the post contest section, this contest was very easy to summarize: GameFAQs likes Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Zelda: Breath of the Wild a lot. The former came out mid contest and the entire contest had very noticeable results based on Smash hype. VERY well deserved hype, I might add. Am I allowed to call Ultimate a better game than Melee? Is that blasphemy? Is that a thing I'm allowed to do?

I can? Good. Because Ultimate is the better game. Yeah I said it. Don't even try to @ me.

Final side note before we get going on this bad boy. For those reading this on the wiki it won't affect you, but for GameFAQs readers I'm skipping match pic links this time around unless it's called for. Allen used super generic images for the first few rounds this contest and digging them up on creativename's site is a massive annoyance. Then when user pics were finally a thing, Allen split up the submissions between character and background, which meant one user could have a character pic chosen and someone else could have a background pic chosen. Why we couldn't just, you know, make a picture is beyond me, but hey. I think Allen wanted to double up the chances people's stuff got picked, because things like "quality over quantity", "the law of diminishing returns", and "less is more" are not in that man's lexicon.

Anyway, let's go. My writer's block is gone and I'm ready to beast through this thing.

Ulti's Mid-Contest AnalysisEdit

Say what? A mid contest analysis? Yeah, never done one of these but I have to say something that can't be plopped into any one match. I also wanted to explain when this contest shifted, and it deserves its own writeup.

Starting in round 4, Allen allowed for user made pictures (finally), there was a Thanksgiving break from voting, and each division winner was plopped into a legends bracket with our top 8 waiting. It was the Noble Nine minus Sephiroth, so (1)Link, (2)Samus, (3)Snake, (4)Cloud, (5)Crono, (6)Sonic, (7)Mario, and (8)Mega Man. There was actual seeding down there, and the more I look at this the more I realize how botched this idea was in execution. It was a good idea, but the actual way Allen did it was all wrong. Those were how the legends were seeded, but they were ordered in the legends bracket like this:

(1)Link
---
(8)Mega Man
---
(4)Cloud
---
(5)Crono
---
(3)Solid Snake
---
(6)Sonic the Hedgehog
---
(2)Samus
---
(7)Mario
---

Allen has gotten 4/5 and 3/6 backwards compared to the NCAAs for years, which is annoying but ultimately doesn't change much. But while the seeding was sort of done by the NCAA style, the order of the legend bracket placement was done by order of division winners. This meant Division 1's winner would face Link, 2's winner would face Mega Man, and so on. This made no sense, and Allen also never bothered explaining how the legends were seeded. Personal preference? Nominations? No one knows.

On top of that, this was a double elimination bracket, which is great, but it was done in bracket order instead of NCAA style order for the rerack. So for the loser's bracket, seeding was thrown out and everything was done chronologically instead of just doing the entire winner's bracket first like any tournament would do. It's difficult to explain why this was bad with words, so just look at this page and hop to the bottom: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/features/cbx_bracket

See how the loser's bracket is chronologically ordered instead of spacing everything out to prevent rematches? The loser's bracket was a great idea, but it was done horribly. How it usually goes is this:

Match 1 loser
Match 8 loser
Match 5 loser
Match 4 loser
Match 6 loser
Match 3 loser
Match 2 loser
Match 7 loser

And then you do it chronologically. If it was done like this even including the weird placement of the winner's bracket, as it should have been, the loser's bracket would have looked something like this:

Ganondorf vs Sephiroth
Solid Snake vs Bowser
Auron vs Alucard
Mega Man vs Tifa

Sephiroth vs Pikachu
Solid Snake vs Crono
Auron vs Sonic the Hedgehog
Mega Man vs Samus

And on down the line as things get moving.

Or something along those lines. Basically, the correct way prevents most rematches and people would have cared a lot more about the double elimination idea, which I legitimately love in tournaments but it's clear Allen either has no experience doing a bracket like this or just doesn't care.

Two. The legends and double elimination idea was good. But not allowing the main bracket to conclude was unbelievably stupid. This was the first time in contest history, even in contests where tournament of champion stuff has happened, where we had no main bracket winner. This pisses me off the more I look at it. The division winners could have all been plopped into a legends bracket anyway, so why rob us of a main bracket contest winner? People not being more upset by that one blows me away. Seeing Zelda win the main bracket and destroy Sephiroth in the process would have been unpredictable, hilarious, and it would have given us more matches to pick. This contest had 150 matches stuffed into a 2 month time frame anyway. What's 7 more matches to make sure the main bracket has a conclusion? DUMB move.

Three. Match pictures this year were... bizarre. We could only submit a character or a background, never both at the same time. So for most pictures, one user would have a character credited while another could have the background, which was the case for most of the contest. Ange and I thankfully figured out a style that we could work off of each other with where I would submit most characters and he would get credit for most of my backgrounds, but why can't we just.... you know. Make a full match picture? It made zero sense and it took a really good team of smiths to work around whatever Allen was going for there. I can't even explain the logic there on Allen's part. It was really, really weird.

Lastly, I've been holding this one in for years but it needs to be said.

https://www.dictionary.com/browse/sabotage

Every time user-made match pictures are a thing, the usual cacophony of losers, crybabies, and idiots that contribute nothing whatsoever to this site all cry pic sabotage. If you have a contributor page or you're a picsmith, I'm not talking to you. Well, most of you. One of you is getting called out later. But if Zen or yoblazer or whoever wants to offer constructive criticism and not be a dick, I always listen. But people whining who contribute nothing? Fuck off.

Sabotage implies a clear and intentional undermining. You not liking a match picture does not imply sabotage. It just means you don't like a match picture. Match pics are a public forum and anyone can submit them. Instead of crying like a little bitch, submit something better or fuck off. Nothing is stopping you. And yeah, I have a big contributor page, submit a picture for every match, and my stuff gets chosen more often than other people. I've given a LOT of free time to this web site and Allen likes my material more often than not. So I asked for a sprite round this year, submitted in advance as if we were getting a sprite round, and got one. Don't like it? Too bad. I don't care. A lot of us love the sprite round. There are mature ways of giving criticism past crying sabotage every year, and some of you are complete failures about it. I'll even call you out by name, KP. I don't know when you jumped off the deep end and started acting like vcharon circa 10 years ago, but you very clearly need to look in a mirror and reevaluate yourself. You've done a ton of match pictures and know how difficult they are. For you to whine about pictures and troll people is very unlike you, and you really need to knock it off. That paired with your meltdown during Mario/Samus was as big of an embarrassment as anything I quoted from anyone else this year, but I expect that stuff from people like StupidRaptor and Black Turtle. You? Come on bro, you used to be better than a guy who whines about match pictures and embarrasses the stats topic. I could have quoted you and made you live in PCA archive infamy, but chose not to. But if you repeat this stuff next contest, I'm going full pit bull on you. You were warned.

Expanding on that, some characters don't have good sprites and sprite rounds have been a thing since the very first contest. I and many other people love the sprite round. The people who complain about sprite rounds every year are people I just don't get. Why ruin other people's fun? Sprites are harmless.

That's all I got. Sorry for getting upset here, but I love making pictures and I legit feel unappreciated on that front. Unless you're lazy and crop a known image (http://www.gamefaqscontests.com/gallery/albums/cb8/cb8-121-2.jpg), these are very difficult to do. Some of you who complain really need to take the time to make images before whining about other people's stuff, because it's really not as easy as it looks.

By the way, user pictures in 2008 were mostly garbage, and I never once attacked anyone personally over them. Grow up.

Anyway, back to the show :)

Ulti's Post Contest AnalysisEdit

Either get rid of the anti-rallying measures, allow fictional characters that make sense, or stop having contests. At least, stop having character battles and focus on games for awhile. We're at that point. We've now had three contests that either existed as an anti-rallying measure (years, rivalries) or this contest where a bunch of anti-rally stuff was put into place to appease a bunch of hypocritical crybabies who magically love rallying the second one of their characters or games wins because of it. As someone who sees the bigger picture here, it's now plain as day that rallies are a net positive on contests. We can see the difference in vote totals, and the people who think rallies are bad are proof that it's possible for an opinion to be factually wrong.

Most matches in this contest struggled to hit 30,000 votes. Most were in the 26k-29k range, including a final between Link and Cloud after 150 matches happened, and this was WITH registered users having their votes count double. In reality, most matches this contest scored about 7k-9k less than the actual total, so really we had most matches struggling to hit 20,000 votes. That is unacceptable garbage. Get rid of forcing people to vote in multiple polls and put the poll start time back at midnight. Those two changes completely murdered this contest in cold blood. I know we had some good matches, but a good match without an audience doesn't mean anything. It's the old saying about trees falling in woods not making sounds if no one hears them. For the wrestling fans, I need a good crowd. If that isn't there, the match is bad for me. AJ Styles v Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania 2018 and Finn Balor v Seth Rollins at Summerslam are great examples. Both were good matches, but the crowd didn't give a shit about the former and was too busy booing a belt design to care about the latter. But if you watch those matches on mute, they were good matches.

That also works in reverse. If you watch Rock/Hogan from Wrestlemania on mute, that was a terrible match. But the crowd reaction makes it A+ and rewatchable forever. This contest was essentially a good wrestling match with a dead crowd. We had some good matches, some good drama, good comebacks, photo finishes, underdog runs, really surprising results, random "how the hell?" moments, you name it. Everything you could want from a contest was there. Hell, even with all the anti-rally garbage, one of the big stories from this contest was people using porn subreddits to rally for Tifa. It's blatantly obvious that the anti-rally people are just talking out of both sides of their mouths and actually do want full rallies, which I've been supporting for 16 years now.

This contest wanted to be a good contest. But with how dead this site is and how awful these vote totals were, most of it will go unremembered. Let's take these two matches as an example.

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/poll/6175-best-game-ever-day-39-semifinal-smash-bros-melee-vs

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/poll/7347-division-7-semifinal-tifa-vs-mega-man-x

Which match means more? Obviously Undertale vs Melee. Now swap everything around. Make Undertale vs Melee a round 3 match with 32,424 votes and Tifa vs Mega Man X a contest semifinal with rallying on all sides and 176,159 votes. Which match means more? That is what this contest was missing. There might be a QB out there better than Tom Brady, but if we don't see that with an audience, no one gives a shit.

One final point before I wrap up, which I intentionally left out of my Mario vs Cloud writeup because I wanted to mention here during the wrapup. During the early parts of that match, Maximilian Dood was streaming Smash Bros Ultimate, and someone in the stats topic thought it would be a good idea to donate to the guy to rally on stream. So I threw the guy 10 dollars and asked for Cloud votes. Why not, right?

http://gamefaqscontests.com/drupal/node/22?matchnum=7385&sort=time&type=ASC&num=2

Skip to 2:15 am. When it popped up on stream, Max read my note and then went "GameFAQs still exists?". Cloud got updates of 65 and 68 before going back to normal levels. I don't know the answer to our vote total problem or the reputation we have, but actively putting things in place that tell people not to vote in our polls probably isn't the answer. Dumb move. Geralt should have easily won this contest with a rally, but the creators of Witcher 3 didn't care enough about our site to bother. These contests used to draw in new people, they get people talking about our site, and the contests or matches with rallying are by far better than the rest. I don't care how many good matches this contest had. No one can convince me this was actually a good contest. Average maybe, but not good. As a total side note, Twitch rallying meant dick, because the second the message is read it's gone. It's takes something sustainable like twitter or reddit or a combination of things to actually take off.

I will compromise on the registered double vote. Double votes for users is fine, even if I hate it. Everything else has to go. Let Contests Rally Again.

Last point. I promise. This was the first PCA where I was looking at it going "150 matches? Where the F am I going to find the time for this?". I can delve up passion all day long, but 150 matches is just stupid. The legends bracket as a single elimination was really enough. Double elim was overkill with all the rematches and such. Less is more, Allen. A big reason for these vote totals is the law of diminishing returns.

Contest Ranking:

Fall 2015 (Games)
Fall 2010 (GotD)
Spring 2004 (Games)
Summer 2002 (Characters)
Summer 2013 (Characters)
Winter 2010 (Characters)
Summer 2003 (Characters)
Summer 2005 (Characters)
Spring 2009 (Games 4-way)
Summer 2007 (4-way Characters)
Summer 2006 (Female Bracket)
Spring 2006 (Series)
Summer 2008 (Characters 4-way)
Summer 2004 (Characters)
Fall 2018 (Characters)
Spring 2005 (Villains)
Fall 2011 (2v2 Characters)
Spring 2017 (Years)

Last, but not least... The Ultimate Loser™!! The double elimination thing made this a little weird to figure out, but The Ultimate Loser this year was...

Goro Majima! Link > Cloud > Zelda > Mario > Samus > Tifa > Luigi > Tails > Master Chief > Goro Majima. How fitting for one of those useless Yakuza characters to be this contests's ultimate loser. I mean really.

Thanks as always and see you next time! I'd like to give a special thanks to my readers, and an extra special thanks to the guys you've never heard of behind the scenes who keep the wiki looking nice. Ngamer and I get all the credit, but without those unknown folks also helping out we could never do it all. Igordebraga, Averiah, MetalmindStats, Bwburke94, and anyone I might have missed, thanks guys! I really appreciate the help! Bottom's up, bros.

https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/facebook/000/001/274/brofistcover.jpg

Safer777's Pre Contest AnalysisEdit

Oh hi! This is my first ever analysis on these contests! I just decided to write analysis for this contest since it is the 10th one and I am here since the 2nd contest so I thought why not? Of course I wrote these analysis as the matches went on. So that means I didn't know how far and how strong were the characters so you will see some strange remarks and such.

So I repeat. These analysis aren't post contest, meaning I didn't had the full picture of all the matches and characters. For this read Ulti's analysis. He always was the best on these things and well he still is of course. Also don't expect in depth analysis and such. I write these for fun. Read Ulti's posts once again! Anyways here I go!

So after so many years we finally had 1 VS 1 24 hour Character battle since 2005!!! We had contests since then of course but not with all these things together! Seriously it is that long! We had some changes too this time. Double Register Votes(to counter rallies I guess)and we had to vote in every match to count our votes normally. I like the 2nd thing but not the first. Come on now rallies are fine! 

Another thing is that 8 of the NN'ers went to the Legends Bracket where they would face the winners of the 8 divisions. Yeah I said 8 of the NN'ers. Sephiroth was in the normal bracket and that was because the Admin said that we had already Cloud representing FF 7 so we didn't need another representative there. So Sephiroth got an easy dividion with potentially only 1 character posing a slight chance to beat him.

Also we had a Loser Bracket too! Meaning characters that lost in the Final 16 had another match with the characters that lost in the final 16 too. Meaning another chance to advance too. So we had 3 Final matches actually! The Normal Bracket one, the one from the Loser Bracket and the Final one where the winner of the Normal Bracket would face the winner of the Loser Bracket! That is a lot of Finals! 

So out of all these things I like the we have to vote in all matches thing and the Loser Bracket too. Of course the Loser bracket ended not that exciting but it can be tweaked in the next contest.

BracketEdit

Regular Bracket
Division 1 Ganondorf
Vivi
(1) Dante
(16) Cuphead
Dante
Lightning
Dante
Ganondorf
(8) Chloe Price
(9) Lightning
(5) Spyro the Dragon
(12) Chun-Li
Chun-Li
Ganondorf
(4) Ganondorf
(13) Neku Sakuraba
(3) Vivi
(14) Yu Narukami
Vivi
Aya
Vivi
DK
(6) Victor Sullivan
(11) Aya Brea
(7) Tidus
(10) Donkey Kong
DK
Leon
(2) Leon Kennedy
(15) Dragonborn
Division 2 Zero
Pikachu
(1) Zero
(16) Primrose
Zero
Knuckles
Zero
Wario
(8) Zidane Tribal
(9) Knuckles the Echidna
(5) Noctis Lucis Caelum
(12) Master Hand
Master Hand
Wario
(4) Monika
(13) Wario
(3) Yoshi
(14) Shantae
Yoshi
Velvet
Yoshi
Pikachu
(6) Velvet Crowe
(11) James Sunderland
(7) Pikachu
(10) Scorpion
Pikachu
Kratos
(2) Kratos
(15) John Marston
Division 3 Red
Alucard
(1) Sora
(16) Ryo Hazuki
Sora
Red
Red
Big Boss
(8) Neptune
(9) Pokémon Trainer Red
(5) Crash Bandicoot
(12) Cecil Harvey
Crash
Big Boss
(4) Big Boss
(13) Ridley
(3) Alucard
(14) Princess Peach
Alucard
Yuna
Alucard
Kefka
(6) Yuna
(11) Godot
(7) Kefka
(10) L-Block
Kefka
Bomberman
(2) Kazuma Kiryu
(15) Bomberman
Division 4Bowser
Kirby
(1) 2B
(16) Cayde-6
2B
Ness
2B
Bowser
(8) Shadow the Hedgehog
(9) Ness
(5) Terra Branford
(12) Charizard
Charizard
Bowser
(4) Bowser
(13) Gordon Freeman
(3) Phoenix Wright
(14) Chris Redfield
Phoenix
Ike
Phoenix
Kirby
(6) Ike
(11) Joel
(7) Estelle Bright
(10) Isaac
Isaac
Kirby
(2) Kirby
(15) Guile
Division 5 Zelda
Aerith
(1) Squall Leonhart
(16) Hat Kid
Squall
Garrus
Squall
Zelda
(8) Garrus Vakarian
(9) Ramza Beoulve
(5) Metal Sonic
(12) The Boss
The Boss
Zelda
(4) Zelda
(13) Ezio Auditore da Firenze
(3) Aloy
(14) D.Va
D.Va
Fox
Fox
Aerith
(6) Jill Valentine
(11) Fox McCloud
(7) Shovel Knight
(10) Captain Toad
Toad
Aerith
(2) Waluigi
(15) Aerith Gainsborough
Division 6 Geralt
Auron
(1) Geralt
(16) Rosalina
Geralt
Simon
Geralt
Bayonetta
(8) Ryu Hayabusa
(9) Simon Belmont
(5) Sans
(12) Pac-Man
Pac-Man
Bayonetta
(4) Bayonetta
(13) Riku
(3) Auron
(14) Lucina
Auron
Vincent
Auron
Sub-Zero
(6) Magus
(11) Vincent Valentine
(7) Shulk
(10) Sub-Zero
Sub-Zero
Claire
(2) Ren Amamiya
(15) Claire Redfield
Division 7Luigi
Tifa
(1) Luigi
(16) Miles Edgeworth
Luigi
Frog
Luigi
Tails
(8) Frog
(9) Monokuma
(5) Master Chief
(12) Goro Majima
Master Chief
Tails
(4) Nathan Drake
(13) Tails
(3) Tifa Lockhart
(14) Geno
Tifa
Mewtwo
Tifa
Mega Man X
(6) GlaDOS
(11) Mewtwo
(7) King Dedede
(10) Revolver Ocelot
Ocelot
Mega Man X
(2) Mega Man X
(15) Isabelle
Division 8 Sephiroth
Ryu
(1) Sephiroth
(16) Albert Wesker
Sephiroth
Falcon
Sephiroth
Amaterasu
(8) Richter Belmont
(9) Captain Falcon
(5) Amaterasu
(12) Draven
Amaterasu
Lara
(4) Lara Croft
(13) Metal Man
(3) Ryu
(14) Lloyd Irving
Ryu
Shepard
Ryu
KOS-MOS
(6) Commander Shepard
(11) King K. Rool
(7) Ellie
(10) KOS-MOS
KOS-MOS
Aqua
(2) Aqua
(15) Quiet
Finals Bracket
LegendsLink
Zelda
(1) Link
Ganondorf
Link
Pikachu
Link
Cloud
(8) Mega Man
Pikachu
(4) Cloud Strife
Alucard
Cloud
Crono
(5) Crono
Bowser
(3) Solid Snake
Zelda
Zelda
Sonic
Zelda
Mario
(6) Sonic the Hedgehog
Auron
(2) Samus Aran
Tifa
Samus
Mario
(7) Mario
Sephiroth
Loser BracketFinal Battle
(new entries on top and italics)Cloud
Mario
Zelda
Cloud
Link
Cloud
Ganondorf
Mega Man
Pikachu
Mega Man
Mega Man
Crono
Cloud
Crono
Alucard
Bowser
Crono
Bowser
Solid Snake
Auron
Sonic
Snake
Snake
Samus
Mario
Samus
Tifa Lockhart
Sephiroth
Samus
Tifa