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Round Five


Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3305
Round Semi Final
Match # 62
Match Date Tuesday, November 18th, 2008
Cloud Strife - 32.60%
Solid Snake - 27.80%
Sephiroth - 20.57%
Kirby - 19.34%
Snake first place (32pts) - 13.02%
Snake second place (16pts) - 10.35%
Cloud second place (32pts) - 14.21%
Cloud first place (16pts) - 37.57%
Snake - 23.37% (10,026)
Cloud - 51.78% (22,215)

The match picture was a prophecy! All four of those characters ended up in Smash Bros!

Thanks to a few factors -- Cloud and Sephiroth in the poll together, Solid Snake being on a rampage thanks to MGS4 and Brawl, and Kirby somehow being the only Nintendo rep in the match -- this semifinal match was guaranteed to be a lot more interesting than the first. There was some hope that either Kirby would pull another crazy upset, or that Snake would manage to sneak out a first place finish from Cloud and Sephiroth eternally dueling. The only real guarantee going in is that Sephiroth had no chance. Before this poll, Cloud and Seph had been in 6 matches together. Cloud was 6-0. The only chance Seph ever had was in the 2003 final when he was boosted up by angry Link fans. Beyond that, unless Smash fans miraculously decide to 100% vote for him against Cloud in the future, Seph will never finish ahead of the guy on our site.

For an hour, we almost got both crazy spots. When this poll started, Snake was flying off with first place, and Kirby was riding high as the only Nintendo rep while Cloud and Seph were off dueling somewhere. The first half hour of this poll was something else, because Snake was in first and Kirby was in second, with the latter having a 100+ vote lead on Cloud. Cloud did eventually shake Kirby off despite Sephiroth's best efforts at leeching support, but by the time Cloud got into second place he was already more than 650 votes behind Snake.

Kirby would never again contend in the match, but shout out to the little guy for the run he made this year. Of Kirby's 5 matches this year, 4 were very entertaining, including really fun upsets over Master Chief and Sonic, two Ertyu Specials, and a near-upset against Cloud. You can't ask for better than that.

Conventional wisdom would say that Cloud would begin coming back on Snake any time now, but the problem is he was sharing this poll with the worst possible albatross there is. Only Tifa could have leeched him this badly, and it led to Cloud never actually threatening for first place at all. Cloud was able to cut 200 votes off of Snake's lead overnight, but Snake got it all back when the sun was up, and had such a hold on first place that he built up an 800 vote lead at one point.

By the time Cloud made a legitimate push at first, it was too late, but he still gave it one heck of a run. Snake fell off pretty hard in the evening and second night vote, and Cloud used this time to chop off almost 500 votes from Snake's lead. If Seph wasn't there, Cloud takes first place. If this format wasn't dog shit, this battle for first place might have actually mattered. But I've said enough on that subject for one contest. Let's wrap this PCA up and go home.

Stats and Analysis[]

A lot of interesting things were going to happen here. Cloud/Sephiroth is never good for the latter, and Cloud would take some SFF damage, thereby putting him within striking distance of Steroid Snake, who was going to walk into this match high on overperformance. And then there was Kirby/Sephiroth to watch. Woohoo!

The Nintendo Power Hour yelled out as soon as the match started. Kirby was beating Cloud. Granted, that's reasonable, and wasn't going to last long, but the FF7 fanboys had to be crying over it. Dignity -1 for Cloud. But, not even the NPH could overturn Solid Snake. The guy got a vice grip on the lead and never let go.

Kirby later folded to Cloud, and after that it was never in question as to who was getting through, although the order still could be debated. To get the unimportant point out of the way, Kirby made Sephiroth look like dirt--SFF takes no prisoners in the 4-way format, and Sephiroth is not immune. From a vote ratio of 1.67 in Sephiroth's favor to 1.41 in Kirby's favor is a testament to the power of split fanbases.

However, the real show here was Cloud's inexorable march towards Snake. Cloud is the #2 guy in the Noble Nine by most any account, and he wasn't going to let this Snake guy get in the way of that. Well, math got in the way. anyone here know what an "asymptote" is? Imagine Cloud is the function, and Snake is the asymptote. That's it in a nutshell. Unfortunately for Cloud, he didn't have infinite time. The match was going to be over when the clock struck midnight, and Snake never showed any real signs of a breakdown.

Cloud's climb eventually leveled off simply because he wasn't going up in anything other than percentages. He won a few updates here and there, but every time he did that, Snake would come back and take the votes right back. The lead just couldn't be cut down below 300 at any time, and with the two having a tango of practically equal vote incomes, Cloud eventually settled in second place. The match could have lasted another day, but there was no way anything significant could have happened beyond this point without rallies or cheating. Either way, cue the Link > Snake ruckus for the finale.

And I'm going to reiterate: lol sephiroth

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

Speaking of which, time for another match featuring Captain Wacky himself- Kirby! Will The Little Puffball That Could be sending his fans home happy once again? Let's see what the stats say.

X-Stats from Round Four:

  • Cloud - 54.10% (based on '07 Mewtwo)
  • Snake - 45.26% (based on '07 Mewtwo)
  • Sephiroth - 55.11% (based on '07 Sonic)
  • Kirby - 38.70% (based on '07 Sonic)

For the third round in a row I say, Kirby you beast! Like the last two times though, you have to call this result very much into question. No one seems to know what in the world happened to Sonic, but however you explain that he was clearly nowhere near his 2007 level of strength and so Seph and Kirby both need to come down about three notches. The Mewtwo values are surely closer to legit, though even there I hesitate to put too much faith in a guy who went from Chump to Champ and back to Chump again in three straight matches.

Even lowering Kirby to 35%ish looks absurd, I'll admit. But then again, consider the competition- he's once again getting the ultimate in Sore Thumb treatment, standing out big time as the lone cutesy/cartoony bright pink ball of Nintendo against three very grey/drab realistic mature Sony stars. And two of them share the same game! And if there's anything to those persisting rumors of "FF7/MGS SFF", Kirbs could even be considered the outright favorite! Right? Sooo... why am I not backing the upset? Two things: Snake's newfound Nintendo support post-trailer, and the beating Big Boss laid down on Kirby back in R1. The only justification I've been able to make for that crazy result was that because the casual Brawl totem pole goes Snake > Kirby > Lucas, that's the way the poll ended up playing out. That being the case, nothing's going to save Kirby here... still, no shame in third place!

One upset shot down- time to back the other! After all, Snake stayed within 9% of Cloud in a fair match last round, so once Seph is thrown into the mix FF7 will surely be weakened enough that Solid's hardcore fanbase will be able to push him into a first place finish. Right? Uh... hate to say it, but I'm going to have to back down from this upset as well, badly as I'd like to see it. Yes, Seph's going to bring Cloud down to his level, but now I can't help but see this surprisingly resilient Kirby likewise throw some LFF around, and all it would take is a Brawl-style 1 or 2 percent and the upset hopes would be dashed. So great work in getting here Kirbs, but I fear you may have doomed Snake in the process!

As for Kirby/Seph, eh... give me Kirby. Anything could happen there really, but with the way that guy has been swallowing opponents left and right it just doesn't seem wise to bet against him.

Cloud >~ Snake >> Kirby =~ Seph. Sounds like an Instant Classic! I'll give it a classic scoring of *stirs and pots and stirs some more*

  • Cloud Strife with 30.74%
  • Solid Snake with 29.39%
  • Kirby with 20.14%
  • Sephiroth with 19.73%

That looks... mighty tasty! But come on Snake, pull it out!

Ngamer Says: Cloud > Snake

Next Day Review[]

Awwww man, my boy Snake providing an awesome capper to an awesome Contest right now. People have been bashing this season ever since the bracket first came online and we saw how 4-ways were returning, and I've never thought that was fair. Sure, I can understand how badly we all want to see 1v1 games, but to let that overshadow all the really fun, really strange results we saw out of this bracket isn't too cool. And today is the biggest highlight of all IMO, as this crazy Snake upset means that your 2008 Contest Champ is... creativename! The $500 couldn't have gone to a better or more deserving guy, even though he's actually way more concerned with the Oracle (which he is ALSO going to win this year, for his much-deserved first #1 finish). Paratroopa is going to win the Guru, which I'm pretty pleased with as well- I trust him to make an excellent Game nomination choice. But if you don't, be sure to pester him into picking your own choice!

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)