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These are FFDragon's Top Ten Members of the Crimson Flames ranked for Ed Bellis's What Would You Do.

Top 10 Members of the Crimson Flames[]

As anyone who has been visiting Board 8 for the past year knows, Mercenaries has been one of the longest lasting and consistant board projects to happen in quite some time. Love it or hate it, since December 2006 MWIS' brain child of a strategy game involving the hire of various video game characters as ruthless Mercenaries has filled the board on an almost daily basis. As one of the few original team leaders left standing, heading into the final tournament as the overall 3 seed, I'll be listing off the top 10 characters that I believe helped The Crimson Flames get into the position we are today. Some are fighters, some are support, but in the end I wouldn't have been able to make it to the end without these core group of video game characters at the center of my army. This isn't necessarily a list of my favorite characters on my team (<3 the buttpants and bears on a plane, but they just haven't been integral to success) but my interpretation of who's added the most to the team since joining.


10. James Sunderland (Silent Hill 2)

Minimum GP Bid: 35 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 2 GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Suicidal (Passive) / Pyramid Head (Passive)
Day Purchased: Day 21

Always the humanitarian, James could sometimes be seen pushing Harman Smith around in his wheelchair in the midst of a bloody and brutal battle. That's just the kind of good guy he is! Seriously though, James has never once been a factor on the battlefield. Usually he's the first to die, and most of the time it's his fault. Where he has come in useful is in his ability "Suicidal" where he will intercept the first KO/Injury/Possession/Removal/Whatever and force the move to hit him instead. This was invaluable since the day I bought him, and he took Kefka's Light of Judgment for Mega Man, allowing me to win my first championship battle. Making an opponent waste an ability to get rid of James, or better yet them forgetting about James and them leaving a huge hole in their defense has almost always worked in The Crimson Flames' favor. Now with Pyramid Head showing up whenever James can't kill himself for some reason, and the cheap merc found by Fox has become a cornerstone to the team. PS: Pillow James > All


9. Kirby (Kirby Series)

Minimum GP Bid: 54 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 3 GP / "day."
Class: Furry
Special Ability: Consume (Pre-Battle)
Day Purchased: Day 43

When Kirby quit GANON's team, he was instantly a hot commodity. Every one of the top teams wanted him, because being able to replicate one of your opponent's abilities every single day is a huge advantage, especially when you have things like Anima, Bahamut, Cronobomb, Tyrant, The SHELL, The Plan, Augmentations, etc running around. A luckily timed bid and the purge monster throwing the board for a loop allowed Kirby to join the Crimson Flames as his second employeer. Since joining, Kirby's "Consume" is usually one of the first abilities I use in order to turn the enemy's own team against them, and always with great results. He also fits in perfectly with the Chameleon gimmick my team formed, which always adds bonus points.


8. Samus Aran (Metroid Series)

Minimum GP Bid: 84 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 5 GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Crystal Flash (Pre-Battle)
Day Purchased: Day 59

The latest purchase on my list, but no one can argue with the logic on this one. As a fighter, Samus is a top-notch gunner with various different weapons at her disposal and a power suit that makes her a running and gunning tank. That alone is a great asset to any team, but it's her ability that really makes her shine. When The Pikaness Experience disbanded, everyone wanted Samus for one reason: "Crystal Flash". Using that move, the enemy can not use a single special ability in that day's battle and it even trumps the attacker's use of abilities. In short, it cripples your opponent to the point where you can pick them apart without having to worry about any retaliation. Couple all this with the bidding war that got her services for my team (Same Time Post with a matching bid) and I'm glad to have the bounty huntress as a core member of my team.


7. The Killer 7 (Killer 7)

Minimum GP Bid: 141 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 7GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Killer 7 (Garcian:Pre-Battle) / Collateral Shot (Dan:Pre/Mid-Battle) / Rain of Blood (KAEDE:Pre-Battle) / You're ****ed! (Coyote:Pre-Battle) / Shades (Kevin:Pre-Battle) / They're Coming! (Con:Pre-Battle) / The Strongest (MASK de:Passive) / God-Killer (Harman:Pre-Battle)< Day Purchased: Day 11

Oh boy, the Killer 7. Started out good, quickly became horrible, got better again, and then got godly. Eight fighters in one, all with unique pros and cons, and with eight different special abilities to go around. Harman Smith alone and his "God-Killer" ability can lay waste to the top end of both teams in no time at all (plus images of James pushing him around are always funny). Dan is a great gunner with his Collateral Shots, KAEDE is a sniper that can make mercs crazy by slitting her wrists, Coyote can steal the weapons right out of people's hands, Kevin can become invisible and decapitate people, Con can hear enemy plans from miles away and can run as fast as almost any merc in the game, MASK had dual grenade launchers and a sick headbutt, and Garcian has the ability to call all other members of the Killer 7 to battle. They truly are the best multi-purpose mercenary in the game, with somebody for every situation, and they've been with the team longer than most. Why so low then? It took 2 upgrades and a reduction to get them to this point, but now that they're here I couldn't imagine the team without them.


6. Doctor Cidolfus Demen Bunansa (Final Fantasy 12)

Minimum GP Bid: 70 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 4 GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Paling (Pre-Battle)
Day Purchased: Day 28

Good ol' Doctor Cid, the bane of Dp's existence. Seeing as I had already built up team's reputation as being a squad of competent gunners by Day 28, I was good to go in almost any terrain. My one glaring weakness was a small terrain where quick melee could bash my face in before they could act. Enter Dr. Cid. With his gattling gun alone, firing at an insane 66 rounds per second it was going to be near impossible for melee to get into range as it was. However, his special ability "Paling" negated all melee attacks on the entire field. While by gunner team was relatively unharmed by this blanket effect, it crippled melee based teams to the point where matches became unfair and I came about quite a few wins this way. Simple, yet oh so effective.


5. Squall Leonhart (Final Fantasy 8)

Minimum GP Bid: 70 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 4 GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Lone Wolf (Pre-Battle) / Lionheart (Pre-Battle)
Day Purchased: Day 22

Squall, like Kirby and Samus before him, was also an acqusition off of a disbanded team, this time from Lady Ashe's Angels of Death. Your typical Final Fantasy hero, he is a jack of all trades with a mastery in his use of the gunblade. Where he really shines though is his "Lone Wolf" ability. Every single day he can challenge one member of the other team to a one-on-one duel, with the loser being KOed for that day and injured for an additional day. So if you know what you're doing, Squall should always come out of that duel on top. Eliminating a targetted threat every day was one of the most vital abilities in the game at that time, and is still very useful even in the endgame. It could get rid of an ability that could possibly threaten your team (Vyse and Pirate's Wrath, Volgin with Shockwave, etc) or simply take away a lesser person so your random KO effects have a higher chance of taking out someone important. And if a duel would ever be close, Squall could activate "Lionheart" to give him the extra edge in the duel. There are many days where I've relied on Squall's dueling prowess and while some days make me tear my hair out (Shion, WCC) I can't deny that Squall has been one of the pillars on my team.


4. Brett (Lunar: The Silver Star Story Complete)

Minimum GP Bid: 40 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 2 GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Bonus Round [Pure Support] (Pre/Post-Battle)
Day Purchased: Day 27

The one and only pure support to make my list, and it's one that is utterly useless on its own. Brett by himself is worthless. Brett is an enabler. Any ability involving random chance, Brett can have done again free of charge without negating the previous result. What this means is if an ability goes down but it falls to hit who you want, you can have Brett roll it again and hope for a better result. This is a decent ability for pre-battling, but where it really showed its worth was in the post-battle damage assessment. Twice Brett has taken a Mega Man miss and turned it into a learned ability and I can't even begin to calculate how much extra GP I've gotten since Day 27 with the Brett/Lara Bonus Round Combination of awesome...


3. Lara Croft (Tomb Raider Series)

Minimum GP Bid: 51 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 3 GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Treasure Hunting (Pseudo Support)
Day Purchased: Day 3

...Speaking of Lara, this list would not be complete without the little Econo-Girl that could. Another one of my team gimmicks was my army of Economic support characters, and there was no doubt who was the leader. Fox may have come first, but Lara led the pack from the moment she was purchased. Despite having a rough start, Lara always managed to come through with a "Pimp Hand" special right when it mattered most, lending to almost all of my big purchases over the course of the game. I never had a good RI, and in fact there were very few days I was in the black so I relied soley on faith and Lara's leadership in leading the Econo3, Econo4, and Econo5 in bringing back gobs of GP in the results. Once Brett was purchased, Lara was a double threat, bringing in tons of GP every other day. Once she was upgraded she lost the nasty miss streak that had plauged her early and she became my primary source of income. *pimp hands*


2. Jill Valentine (Resident Evil Series)

Minimum GP Bid: 30 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 1 GP / "day."
Class: Human
Special Ability: Nullify Undead (Passive)
Day Purchased: Day 1

*smirks* One of, if not THE, most controversial characters in all of Mercenaries right here, who was also my very first purchase. She is a lot like James in the sense that she doesn't bring a lot to the battle scene. She is merely human with a grenade launcher- There are a lot of things that can take her out in on-- two shots. However, her ability "Nullify Undead" is one that I based my entire team around. Whenever Jill is on the battlefield, no undead Mercenary on the other team can ever use their ability against her team. That means No Alucard's Plan, no summoning Anima, no Supernova, no Bio-Organic Weaponry, no Leadership, etc... A bunch of abilities that other teams have built their teams around. Having her around was probably one of the few things that allowed me to topple the number one team at the time, The Neverland Ranch Survivors, ran by Shake and Drakeryn. She was my first merc, and one of my favorite mercs, even if she did almost kill the entire project... twice. Remember those we lost in Jillmageddon. *bows head*


And of course...................


1. Mega Man (Mega Man Series)

Minimum GP Bid: 141 GP
Daily Upkeep Cost: 9 GP / "day."
Class: Robot
Special Abilities: Learn Abilities (Post-Battle) / E-Tank (Passive) / Mega Man X (Pre-Battle) / Rogue (Pre-Battle) / Legacy of the Dark Templar (Passive) / Possession (Pre-Battle) / Augmentations (Passive) Day Purchased: Day 7

Who else could number one be besides the character with the single most potential to break the game (and arguably nowadays the one who has broken the game)? I'll be honest when I say that I didn't even want Mega Man the day that I bought him. No one wanted him in fact. He cost waaaaaay too much at that point in the game and had a staggeringly high daily upkeep that looked to break whoever bought him. However, I was desperate. My first purchases had revolved around setting up my economy (which in the end proved very smart) but by the time battles rolled around I was practically defenseless with only Jill on my side of the field. I had been saving money to buy Cloud Strife, but GANON would end up taking him from me (I would end up buying Cloud 55 days later when GANON got eliminated) in what would end up being my luckiest break of the game. I needed a heavy hitter, and Mega Man was the last one left at the time so I took the chance and laid down the money on the long-term investment Merc...

...and it paid off BIG time. The day after buying him I won my very first match and thing only went up from there. After winning a battle, Mega Man's "Learn Abilities" ability gave a shot at copying the special ability of a member of the opposite team and storing it in one of his 4 permanent slots. He was my original chameleon. Besides his other inate abilities (E-Tank [KO Protection] and Mega Man X [Transformation]) Mega Man has had 10 different abilities throughout the game making him everything from a mindraper, to an economy merc, and everything in-between. In order of learning:

  • Flurry of Dancing Flames [Axel] - Slows everyone on the field, burns the terrain, berserks and powers up Mega Man.
  • Legacy of the Dark Templar [Zeratul] (Current) - Permanently Invisible to all technology, gains first strike.
  • Ultimate Technique [Ryu Hyabusa] - KO/Injure an enemy
  • The Triforce of Courage [Link] - Transform into Fierce Deity Link with all equipment
  • Not Ghaleon, dear Quark...Magic Emperor Ghaleon! [Ghaleon] - Gain Chaos Shield Orbs, all of Ghaleon's spells, and multi-cast
  • Possession [Abe] (Current) - Possess an enemy merc to fight on Mega Man's side for the day
  • Augmentation [JC Denton] (Current) - Permanently augments Mega Man with Speed, Combat Strength, Energy Shield, Regeneration, Ballistic Protection, Vision Enhancement, and Aggressive Defense System
  • Blue Falcon Exploration [Captain Falcon] - Return in Peacetime with a random amount of GP
  • Id [Fei] - Transform into Id
  • Rogue [Bass] (Current) - Challenge every member of the opposite team to a one-on-one duel until he loses. (Lone Wolf on crack)

So in short Mega Man has become a walking death tank over the past 70 days... One that you would have a hard time arguing any single other mercenary over him. It's clear who the figure head of the Crimson Flames is, and it's the Blue Bomber. He got me my first win. He got me my first championship. He got me my first win over the Neverland Ranch Survivors. If I hadn't picked him on Day 7 like I did, things would have turned out very differently for me. And to top it all off, Mega Man laid the foundation for two of my three gimmicks (Chameleons and Guns) and even functioned as part of my third gimmick (economy) for a short while as well. Mega Man quite simply is The Crimson Flames.


Who wants to see a Rogue Dark Version of an Invisble, Fully Agumented Mega Man X with a Blessing of Protection slaughter an entire team one by one while mindraping someone and possessing them? I know I do! ^_^


So there you have it, the ten characters I think are the core ball of my team. While many of you hate Mercenaries, or grew to hate it as the team sizes grew too large, there are still some of us who enjoyed it and will see it to its end. Hopefully the voter turnout will increase for the final few matches, and we can give MWIS' vision a good final send off. If anyone wants to take a full look at The Crimson Flames, you can check out this link:

The Crimson Flames: http://mercswiki.pbwiki.com/The%20Crimson%20Flames

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