Board 8 Wiki


Round Three


Saturday, November 8th, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3295
Round Division 4 Final
Match # 52
Match Date Saturday, November 8th, 2008
Crono - 31.38%
L-Block - 27.53%
Pikachu - 22.92%
Alucard - 18.44%
Crono first place (8pts) - 31.88%
Crono second place (4pts) - 11.97%
Pikachu second place (8pts) - 19.80%
Pikachu first place (4pts) - 5.47%
Crono - 43.85% (18,813)
Pikachu - 25.27% (10,842)


Apparently this all was just a part of The Plan™. Alucard brought Pikachu here to finish the job, and that job was booting L-Block out of this contest. Crono getting first and Alucard getting last was pretty much expected, though with L-Block involved who knew if a crazy bandwagon would boost him into first or not.

If you look at this match in 2020, you'll think to yourself "well derp, of course Pikachu was going to win, what's the problem?". To understand how silly this actually was, there are two things to consider. One was L-Block's 2007 run, which everyone knows already. The other is that Pokemon used to be legitimately despised on GameFAQs. Just for fun, I'm pulling up every match Pokemon had up until 2006.

That's the entire list. I was there for all of it, and Pokemon anti-votes most definitely used to be a thing. It's a huge reason people picked Fox in 2003. It was a huge reason people picked Xenogears in 2004. No Pokemon even made the field in the 2004 or 2005 character contests. Pokemon getting close to Metroid in the series contest was seen as flabbergasting, and it was the first remote hint that the worm was turning.

Fast forward to 2007. Pokemon looked... okay. Bidoof and Mudkip both got into round 2, but that was mainly due to joke votes. Mewtwo bombed completely. Pikachu made a deep run, but a lot of people felt he got lucky and credited the sprite and thought (erroneously) that Dante and Leon Kennedy leeched each other. Even as late as 2007, Pokemon anti-voting was still a thing.

The hype around this match was palpable, but then again so is the hype around every "joke character" match. This was a little different, though. The warning signs were all there that perhaps this wasn't the same L-Block as last year. That perhaps those rooting for him to lose so we could get an airquotes legitimate contest winner would get what they wanted.

Boy did they ever. In pro wrestling (yes I make a lot of meme, sports, gaming and wrestling comparisons, shut up), there is something called a double turn, where the good guy and the bad guy switch places during a match. If you get two extremely talented people doing it, like Bret Hart and Steve Austin, you get the best double turn in the history of the business. That doesn't really apply here though, since Bret actually won the match where that double turn happened. People were rooting for Austin, but he still lost.

As such, you get the best possible comparison for this match:

Vince = Crono
Pikachu = Steve Austin
L-Block = Kurt Angle
Ric Flair = Alucard

Believe it or not, Kurt Angle was the hero the night before. He turned on the (ugh) Alliance and prevented a hostile takeover. Steve Austin, who has been incorrectly booked as a heel for way too long, was the guy that got screwed over. The night after, fans were over it. They never really wanted to cheer for Kurt Angle. They never wanted to boo Austin. So the night after Survivor Series where WWF won, they did a perfect double turn involving Ric Flair, who much like Alucard, always had The Plan™. By the end of that segment, Austin was back to being the top babyface, Kurt Angle was being booed out of the building, and the fans got what they were secretly rooting for all along.

It's exactly what happened in this match. 2007 was great and all and we all had our fun, but anti L-Block sentiment was building up little by little over time, culminating in this match. Conversely, Pokemon was finally shedding the stigma of anti-votes. You could practically feel this coming a mile away, because no one really wanted L-Block to win again. No one really hates Pokemon anymore. Some people don't like it, but they don't actively hate it.

It all culminated in a wild celebration on Board 8, much like how the fans in Charlotte lost their minds that night. L-Block had his early joke vote, but Crono was well ahead in first place and Pikachu was tied with him. That's when the double turn happened. Suddenly almost everyone was cheering for Pikachu to pull this thing off, regardless of what they might have had in their bracket. When you get people cheering against their own interests -- Undertale, Vivi > Mario, Knuckles > Magus, Sonic > Crono, et al -- you get these amazing matches. Pikachu and L-Block stayed tied for a few hours overnight, and then.... it finally happened. L-Block choked. Pikachu pounced. By the time the morning vote was in full swing, this was all over barring an absurd rally.

This was arguably the most important result of the entire contest. It showed these crazy rallies do in fact have a ceiling, it was the Pokemon face turn on our web site, and it all but closed the door on a joke character winning the contest this year outside of Weighted Companion Cube and Zack, the latter of which would have Link to deal with in every single match.

It also ensured our other match of the contest, which was the long waited rematch between Crono and Vincent. There was some fear here Crono might choke and rob us of our fun, but it was not to be. All that was left to do was to finally let those two destroy each other.

Stats and Analysis[]

Alucard was a bit out of his league, and there's Crono SFF'ing him into the floor. Everyone knew Crono was going to get first, and Alucard last, but the tango between Pikachu and L-Block wasn't so easy to guess.

After the initial smackdown that occurred between the Pokemon and the Tetris piece, it was pretty clear that Crono > Pikachu was set in stone for the rest of the day, even if the block looked to be within pixels of the pokemon. L-Block dipped just a few percentage points from its normal value, but that turned out to be its undoing. This came totally out of the blue, and can't easily be explained, but it definitely involved a large antipathy vote against the Character Battle VI champion. Pikachu acted as the tool to remove L-Block.

Another possibility is an SFF phenomenon, in which a chunk of L-Block supporters voted for Pikachu instead--perhaps these were people who played Pokemon Yellow. In any case, L-Block's percentage over 24 hours always followed a sort of flipped square root curve, whereas Pikachu often hits a minimum percentage right around three or four hours into the match and goes generally uphill from there, with maybe one other valley. When L-Block is going down, Pikachu is going up, and the mouse is already urinating on the bunch of squares in placing, there's no question as to how it will end.

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

Oh well, at least I won't be able to continue killing my preds with bracket favoritism tonight, since I had Ryu advancing out of this one. Let's do a quick check to see if there's any real shot of killing off that L joke in the next 25 hours, shall we?

X-Stats from Round Two

  • Crono - 32.90% (based on '07 Ryu)
  • L-Block - 30.51% (based on '07 Ryu)
  • Pikachu - 20.38% (based on '07 Arthas)
  • Alucard - 20.02% (based on '07 Arthas)

The Crono and Block numbers look okay, which makes sense since Ryu is Mr. Consistency, after all. The Pika/Aly stuff is way off due to Diablo hurting Arthas so badly last year, but eh, we should keep in mind that Pika wasn't going to look good in any numbers so far this season regardless thanks to Ike and then Falcon holding him back. The King of all Pokemon gets to unleash his full Nintendo potential tonight... but will it be enough?

Let's start with Alucard. I sure hope he amended his Plan for this season to mention getting bumped off in a match where he's never remotely in contention for getting out of the basement, because that's all he'll be able to accomplish here. Oh well, at least he increased his Contest stock this season by easily outclassing Arthas and going toe to toe with an LFFed Pikachu; he's a vet that's still well worth seeing in these brackets, so no shame in that.

Moving on to Crono, a guy I continue to gain confidence in every day. With Ryu out of the way and the older SNES-loving voters most likely swinging his way, I don't think the CT star should have any problem increasing his margin of victory over the Block. With the way Vincent dropped the ball today, I could easily see Crono impressing us enough tonight to set himself up as a slight favorite in the long-awaited R4 rematch between the Square stars. But will that rematch actually mean anything, or is L-Block going to rain on the parade and turn it into a "just for pride" third place battle?

That all depends on Pika riding Nintendo's recent wave of good performances to a second straight season of shocking bracket advancements. Can he do it? Short answer: no. Long answer: I give the electric rat a ton of credit in this format... he's been held back by Ike and Falcon and Luigi and triple RPG LFF, but the one time he was given free reign to flex his muscles he shocked the world by pounding Dante and Leon straight up. Part of that was his surely his classic R/B/Y sprite coming into play, but hey, he's once again rocking that baby in a few pics for tomorrow, so I'm certainly expecting to see a Pikachu closer to peak strength than we've ever seen since that infamous '07 result.

So why can't I pick him? For one, Alucard (like Ammy before him) is a legit character with a pretty diehard fanbase, so he isn't going to shrivel up and die tomorrow, which will leave fewer non-joke votes to go around for Crono and Pika. And for two, the match pictures for this round are ridic. A Tetris piece at a presidential debate, wearing a tie behind a podium? If that doesn't scream "lol support the joke vote!" I don't know what does. I think part of the reason for L's growing success in '07 was the internet rallying behind him as he went along, certainly, but that another significant portion of his strength came from looking so silly as the pictures got more dramatic. Like remember Mt. Rushmore, with the "faces" of Link/Cloud/Snake/L carved in? That's the kind of stuff that I'd imagine does a joke character wonders.

Alright, so with Crono looking good but L refusing to fold to Pika, while Alucard holds up decently well, we get something along the lines of... *stirs after potting for a bit*

  • Crono - 32.07%
  • L-Block - 26.95%
  • Pikachu - 24.04%
  • Alucard - 16.94%

Alright Nintendo, bet against you two days in a row... time to prove me right with another good showing today!

Ngamer Says: Crono > L-Block

Next Day Review[]

Yes. Yes. YES! The King is Dead! WCC can go right ahead and make it to the finals and kill off my bracket in the process and I wouldn't even mind at this point, because... what a fantastic result today! To get the Block knocked out at any time would have been great, but for it to happen like this, with another miracle third round result for The Little Rat that Could when we were once again all counting him out... just wow! By far the most pleased I've been with any result in many a year.

External Links[]

Previous Match       • Next Match

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)