LFF, aka the Leech Fanbase Factor, is to 3-or-more way polls what SFF is to 1v1 polls in terms of impact. The basic idea is that whereas in a one-on-one situation between two characters sharing a fanbase the stronger character will make his weaker counterpart look bad, in a four way poll both characters sharing a fanbase will make each other look worse.
- Link - 54%, Cloud - 46%
- Cloud - 42%, Link - 41%, Ganon - 7%, Zelda - 7%, Tingle - 2%, Midna - 2%
Even though he was given four opponents he can SFF nearly to death, the small amount of support from the Zelda fanbase that those four alternatives received "leeched" enough strength away from Link to make up the sizeable gap between himself and Cloud, resulting in his second place finish.
The argument against LFF is basically, "but including non-Zelda characters would hurt Link way more!" While this is true, the point is that these new characters would also hurt Cloud way more, resulting in a win of comparable size to the original 1v1 matchup. Let's run an example using four new characters who don't share a fanbase with Link or Cloud: Snake, Dante, Ryu, and Kerrigan. That 6-way would end with this result:
- Link - 26%, Cloud - 23%, Snake - 18%, Dante - 15%, Ryu - 13%, Kerrigan - 5%
Yes, not being able to SFF his opponents hurt Link badly, costing him 15 percentage points off his old total. But having to compete against something other than the Zelda fanbase hurt Cloud far worse, as he lost a full 19 percentage points, well more than enough to cost him the victory.
LFF in the 2007 Character Battle Edit
- New Square competition from Vaan (9.54%) holds Rikku (27.14%) back from advancing ahead of Knuckles (27.84%)
- Diablo (15.42%) and Arthas (15.67%) leech the Blizzard/PC vote from one another, allowing KOS-MOS (18.43%) to advance ahead of them
- Ryu (36.30%) blows past Bowser (28.62%), who was heavily Nintendo-leeched by the surprisingly strong Mewtwo (24.95%) and also Toad (10.14%)
- in the following round Ryu topped Bowser again (26.16% to 24.07%), proving himself to be stronger in this format, but regardless, LFF made the R1 result more lopsided than it should have been.
- Donkey Kong (27.66%) gets pounded by Kratos (40.13%) after he and Marth (20.65%) hurt each other
- Ryu Hayabusa (45.80%) destroys Riku (27.24%), who was being leeched by Roxas (17.67%), though no amount of LFF can explain why Ryu H outscored Riku and Roxas combined
- Squall (35.33%) and Aeris (25.48%) hold each other back, allowing Akuma (23.05%) to sneak up and finish closer to second than most expected
- Sephiroth (57.11%) takes full advantage of there being three Nintendo characters (Fox 19.74%, Meta-Knight 13.19%, Wario 9.97%) LFFing each other to score an otherwise astounding R2 percentage
- Vincent (27.75%) sort of takes advantage of likewise facing three Nintendo opponents, but Bidoof (13.27%) refuses to crumble and Link (51.19%) remains untouchable, limiting the LFF damage
- Vergil (15.86%) uses triple Nintendo SFF (Ganondorf 31.06%, Luigi 28.11%, Mudkip 24.97%) to look slightly less pathetic than he deserved
- Vivi (21.73%) and Tidus (20.82%) ruin each others chances of stopping Pikachu (24.14%) from advancing to Round Three
- Donkey Kong (14.39%) looks awful, but nevertheless manages to leech enough strength from Kirby (24.81%) to allow L-Block (28.33%) to move on to Round Three
- With Roxas out of the picture, Riku (19.43%) takes full advantage of the lack of Square/RPG characters to leech his strength, making up the entire distance between himself and Ryu Hayabusa (18.91%)
- Square SFF stomps a mudhole in Aeris (19.15%), to the tune of Squall (33.56%), Sora (29.92%); this also allows Lara Croft (17.37%) to look much better than she deserved
- Yoshi (19.13%) leeches enough Nintendo support from Samus (33.10%) to keep her in danger of losing to Mega Man (30.43%), at least in the early going (though how much of MM's strong showing should be chalked up to pic factor is up for debate)
- An ugly SFF beatdown at the hands of Cloud (49.59%) keeps Auron (18.16%) from advancing ahead of Ryu (20.25%)
- Fox (8.06%) gets stomped, but nevertheless manages to make Mario (35.08%) look bad compared to Sephiroth (45.85%)
- Link (45.37%) pounds Zero (12.27%) into the ground (though he was certainly helped by SFF); the jury is still out on if Vincent's (21.78%) 2nd place upset of Crono (20.58%) was a result of Link's considerable influence
- With some help from pic(g) factor, Luigi (23.48%) advances ahead of Ganondorf (22.47%), with their pretty even split allowing Yuna (18.63%) to score a respectable total below them
- Dante (30.43%) and Leon (23.85%) shock the world by Capcom SFFing each other badly, allowing Pikachu (33.79%) to slip by for yet another win (as Okami was another Capcom title, some think Amaterasu's 11.93% should be forgiven because of triple Capcom SFF)
- Whether through "badass SFF" or casual appeal, Snake's (32.44%) presence allows L-Block (28.63%) to improve 10 points relative to Kratos (20.91%) and easily advance to Round Four
- Mario (22.24%) refuses to let Link (36.42%) SFF him as badly as he did in the Battle Royal, allowing Sephiroth (31.48%) to hold up very well against the defending champion
- Pikachu's (18.22%) presence allows Dante (26.59%) to score an easy win over Luigi (23.07%)
- L-Block's (29.03%) old-school appeal sinks Sonic (21.63%) in relation to Snake (28.86%)
- Even the mighty L-Block (30.03%) is proven LFFable, as the presence of other silly options grants ? Block (41.41%) an easy win due to its Mario appeal
LFF in the 2008 Character BattleEdit
- Geno (16.52%) and Bowser (45.11%) LFF each other, allowing Phoenix Wright (23.91%) to avoid a doubling against Bowser and Deckard Cain (14.46%) to actually come close to beating Geno for third place.
- Nintendo overlap between Mario (40.47%) and Zelda (24.58%) allows Knuckles the Echidna (20.9%) to overperform on the latter, while Knuckles' own Nintendoesque trends meant that Fei Fong Wong (14.05%) was able to come closer to all three of them than he should have.
- The Dog (14.01%) used joke/old-school LFF to hold L-Block (31.81%) back, nearly allowing Ryu (31.57%) to defeat it.
- Diddy Kong (18.92%) LFFed Captain Falcon (28.39%) to allow an easy win for Alucard (35.54%); an LFF-free rematch 5 years later would see Alucard and Falcon as near-equals.
- Ike (25.94%) and Pikachu (32.15%) leeched the hell out of each other, allowing Arthas Menethil to advance with 26.69% of the vote, beating out Ike and coming far closer to Pikachu than he should have.
- Tails (14.81%) LFFed Donkey Kong (21.25%) enough for the Weighted Companion Cube (32.21%) to take first place in this match, although the fact that it took first ahead of Tidus suggests that it was probably stronger than expected to begin with.
- Lucas (5.65%) and Jinjo (9.49%) didn't do much in this match, but they made the gap between Kirby (36.78%) and Big Boss (48.08%) look bigger than it was. Jinjo getting third place in this match was also LFF in action as any support Lucas might have had disappeared in the face of a Smash veteran like Kirby.
- In one of the most bizarre matches ever, Sandbag (24.99%) leeched Sonic the Hedgehog (36.83%) hard enough for Magus (24.8%) to break 40% on Sonic, despite the fact that it wasn't enough for Magus to beat Sandbag.
- Lucario (15.28%) weakened Marth (23.16%) enough to keep either one from advancing, though the closeness of the top two makes it tough to tell exactly who, if anyone, benefited from this.
- The presence of Bowser (22.69%) allowed Liquid Snake (30.59%) to beat Luigi (27.88%), directly reversing a result from the previous round (39.68% for Luigi and 33.1% for Liquid)
- Zelda (20.09%) and Mudkip (18.88%) provided a double-dose of Nintendo LFF for Mario (31.04%), allowing Mega Man X (29.98%), himself pseudo-Nintendo as his series started out on Nintendo systems before migrating elsewhere, to nearly score the upset.
- Captain Falcon (19.23%) and Pikachu (30.3%) both find this match eerily familiar, as Falcon takes over Ike's role of losing to Arthas Menethil (21.21%), a foe he'd easily beat in a 1v1, while Alucard (29.23%) punishes Falcon harder than he did with Diddy Kong in the match and comes even closer to the stronger Pikachu than Arthas did before.
- Squall (30.47%) and Sora (28.31%) were splitting votes, but Yoshi (22.44%) couldn't take advantage because he was being LFFed more traditionally by Fox McCloud (18.77%) whereas Sora vs. Final Fantasy characters tends to hurt the Final Fantasy character more than it hurts Sora.
- Midna (16.16%) used her series' place at the top of the Nintendo hierarchy to pull Mewtwo (16.91%) down to her level, barely above Pac-Man (13.44%), whom she was expected to lose to outright.
- Kirby (31.47%) got his revenge for the previous round, taking first over Master Chief (30.32%) while two other mature characters, Big Boss (26.17%) and Raiden (12.04%) LFFed each other and possibly to a lesser extent MC.
- Sandbag (15.15%) LFFed Sonic (29.69%) again, allowing the Noble Niner to lose to Auron (34.64%).
- Brother Luigi's presence (15.91%) once again allowed Mega Man X (29.44%) to come close to Mario (32.73%).
- Ganondorf (16.96%) provides the LFF to allow Vincent Valentine (30.38%) to get close to Samus Aran (34.84%), but can't resist SFF from Samus well enough to avoid a loss to the most infamous loser in Character Battle history (17.82%)
- Zero (14.81%) pulls the ultimate coup, allowing X to outlast Mega Man (23.72%) himself as the Blue Bomber suffers a heartbreaking loss to the Weighted Companion Cube (23.88%).
- Sora, Squall, and Cloud all pull on each other, leading to Cloud (44.72%) being unable to double Mewtwo (23.16%) after more than tripling the Pokémon the previous round (53.49%-16.91%) while Sora (15.74%) uses his KHF rSFF to get even closer to Squall (16.39%) than last time.
- Leon Kennedy (19.76%) is unable to avoid being Capcom SFFed into last place, but drags Dante (26.15%) down to being closer to third-place Master Chief than first-place Kirby. The fact that Dante was even able to advance at all shows just how far the lack of Game Fuel has dropped Master Chief.
- With Link (40.28%) in the poll, Mario (21.67%) barely beats out Zack Fair (20.82%). In turn, Mario's presence (and possibly also Mega Man X's) allows Zack to avoid the doubling by Link in a third-place finish after twice managing to advance in second place while being doubled.
- A double-dose of LFF as Pikachu's presence (18.54%) allows Vincent (25.25%) and Crono (25.31%) to come closer to Samus (30.91%) than they normally would, while at the same time the SFF between the two of them keeps either one of them from beating Pikachu by as much as they normally would.
- Link did his usual "SFF all other Nintendo into the ground" thing as both Mario (19.56%) and Samus (16.71%) easily lost to Crono (25.28%).
- Sephiroth (16.1%) provided just enough LFF to hold Cloud Strife (30.5%) below Solid Snake (30.74%), while Cloud's sucking up Sephiroth's votes in an attempt to prevent this meant Sephiroth was absolutely crushed by Kirby (22.66%).
- Crono (12.23%) getting into this match thanks to the triple-Nintendo split last round meant that Cloud Strife (26.33%) had a fellow spiky-haired Square protagonist in the poll--and another loss to Solid Snake (27.76%).
- With Classic Link (62.34%) sporting his Ocarina of Time look and thereby sucking up most of the "serious" Link vote, CD-i Link (16.97%) was able to take second place on the strength of his memes.
LFF in the 2013 Character Battle Edit
- Fox McCloud has Star Fox/Smash Bros votes drained by Wolf O'Donnell and Pokémon Trainer Blue wins in a close bout.
- ? Block has the serious Nintendo vote sucked by Lyndis, and Rikku passes through.
- Big Boss wins a tight contest over Luigi by a head as Nintendo holds the third spot with Ness.
- Crono becomes the first 1 seed/Noble Niner to fall, as Magus' presence meant he had even less of a chance against Pikachu.
- Already screwed by 4chan rallying for Vivi, Mario ends up losing because Ganondorf is leeching the Nintendo vote.
- A Nintendo three-way ends with Charizard beating Zelda for 16 votes and Donkey Kong in third.
- Sonic lost to Mewtwo, with Bowser as the third. Of course LFF for all three having a fanbase overlap is just one of the involved factors (Pokémon was strong amidst X&Y hype, the Draven backlash made people back Mewtwo).
- After his LFF upset, Vivi ends up on the wrong side of the factor, given Squall drags him down and Pokémon Trainer Red goes on.
- Zero leeches from Mega Man to make Charizard lead for most of the match... though not enough to stop the Blue Bomber's last minute comeback.
- Again, no matter how high the X/Y hype is, when it's a Noble Niner (Mega Man) versus two Pokémon (Mewtwo and Pikachu) you bet on the former.