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Who is Master Chief?[]

As odd as it may seem, Master Chief, the main character of the Halo series, was the first character inducted into the (illegitimate) Video Game Hall of Game, head of the likes of even Mario and Link. Halo is arguably the most popular series in gaming right now, and at the very least, it is by far the most popular series on the Xbox. The fact that Master Chief can be so popular while being the Xbox mascot in and of itself is amazing, given how hated the Xbox is on many major gaming sites, but Master Chief taking down both Mario and Link in a Hall of Game poll shows that both Master Chief and his series are here to stay.

In the Halo series, Chief is battling the Covenant, and his mission is to stop them from using the Halo, a direct ripoff of the Death Star from Star Wars if there ever was one. But the Halo series is of the First Person Shooter genre, so naturally its story won't win it many awards (unless you decided to go and read the books). What the Halo series gives is a solid gameplay experience, but not necessarily in the single player mode. Multiplayer is where it's at, and with Halo 2 going on Xbox Live, frat boys will never have to leave their houses again. And in the middle of all this? The main character himself, Master Chief.

"[Tucker and Church of Blue Army are spying on Grif and Simmons of Red Army. Church is using a sniper rifle to watch the Reds]

Tucker: What are they doing? Church: What? Tucker: I said, what are they doing now? Church: God damn, I am getting so sick of answering that question. Tucker: You have the fucking rifle, I can't see shit. Don't bitch at me, because I'm not going to just sit up here and play with my dick all day. Church: OK, OK, look. They're just standing there and talking. OK? That's all they're doing. That's all they EVER do, is just stand there and talk. That's what they were doing last week, that's what they were doing when you asked me five minutes ago. So five minutes from NOW, when you ask me, "What are they doing?", my answer's gonna be, "They're still just talking, and they're still just standing there." Tucker: [after a long pause] What are they talking about? Church: You know what? I fucking hate you."

-Red vs Blue

Master Chief's Contest History[]

Win-Loss Record: 12-9

Summer 2003 Contest - East Division - 3 Seed

  • Eastern Round 1 --- Defeated (14) Felix, 56549 [52.96%] - 50231 [47.04%]
  • Eastern Quarterfinal --- Lost to (11) Aeris, 43161 [39.85%] - 65136 [60.15%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 26th Place [25.31%]


Summer 2004 Contest - 20XX Division - 3 Seed

  • 20XX Round 1 --- Defeated (14) Crash Bandicoot, 54469 [70.72%] - 22552 [29.28%]
  • 20XX Quarterfinal --- Lost to (6) Frog, 45517 [49.9962%] - 45524 [50.0038%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 14th Place [29.96%]

Master Chief is another example of mainstream popularity not necessarily translating into GameFAQs popularity. Selling millions of video games is nice, but on a site that favors console RPGs, Master Chief simply doesn't fit in, and without a lot of outside help, Master Chief simply cannot hang with the characters in the upper tiers. He may make a small jump after the success that Halo 2 has given him, but Master Chief has a very long way to go before he reached the fabled "Noble Nine" status, a level that he may never reach as is.

But despite all this, Master Chief got his outside help in 2004 in the form of a link posted on halo.bungie.net; whether the link posted on that site during his match was a direct cause for Master Chief going from being down by 2400 votes to up by 600 cannot be proven, but the fact remains that Chief took a Square character to the brink on GameFAQs. This is not easy to do, outside help or not, and it is a far cry from the flop that Chief pulled in 2003. It will be very interesting to see Chief in the field in 2005 so that his strength can be verified.


Summer 2005 Contest - Flood Division - 1 Seed

  • Flood Round 1 --- Defeated (8) CATS, 65022 [68.83%] - 29446 [31.17%]
  • Flood Semifinal --- Defeated (4) Donkey Kong, 50165 [50.79%] - 48597 [49.21%]
  • Flood Final --- Lost to (2) Crono, 38028 [38.71%] - 60203 [61.29%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 23rd Place [28.29%]

Master Chief is one of the oddest characters in the contest. GameFAQs is anti-Xbox and anti-Halo, and it shows in the first few hours of every poll Master Chief is in. Yet come the second half of all his matches, the Halo freaks that will vote anything Halo over anything else all show up to make Master Chief look better than everyone else, to the point where MC is arguably the king of the day vote.

It might feel odd to think of MC as being the comeback king, but it happened. After a less-than-stellar win over CATS in the first round, Chief gave up 2100 votes to DK before taking them all back with ease in winning the match fairly easily. Chief then followed this up by allowing Crono to nearly break 70% on him before taking off a huge chunk of Crono's momentum come the day.

It's hard to correctly look at all of this, though it's proof that Chief isn't transitive at all. He gets anti-voted to hell in every match he's in (which likely causes a lot of the opponents he faces to become overestimated), yet has a hardcore fanbase that will vote for him over anyone. And given how popular the Halo series is, we're likely to see much more of this in the future.


Summer 2006 Contest - Time Division - 2 Seed

  • Time Round 1 --- Lost to (7) Sub-Zero, 62932 [49.05%] - 63538 [50.95%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 30th Place [29.96%]

Most people expected the Chief to go down early in this contest, but not THIS early. Sub-Zero's upset was especially shocking given a, Halo 2's success, and b, Chief's X-stat values compared to Scorpion over the years. You'd have to do some heavy manipulating with the numbers to get Scorpion close to the Chief, and it's hard to take such numbers seriously. Perhaps the release of MK: Armageddon on the day of the match made a significant difference. Regardless, Chief is working against a severe bias in every match he'll ever be in from here on out, regardless of how popular Halo 3 is.


Summer 2007 Contest - Division 5 - Third Group

  • Division 5 Round 1 --- 1st place, 59910 [45.69%] - Yuna, 39571 [30.18%] - Tommy Vercetti, 19268 [14.69%] - PaRappa the Rapper, 12382 [9.44%]
  • Division 5 Round 2 --- 1st place, 64881 [43.78%] - Yuna, 35505 [23.96%] - Alucard, 28481 [19.22%] - Liquid Snake, 19332 [13.04%]
  • Division 5 Finals --- 1st place, 50156 [35.42%] - Luigi, 33242 [23.48%] - Ganondorf, 31809 [22.47%] - Yuna, 26384 [18.63%]
  • Contest Quarterfinals --- 1st place, 44799 [32.12%] - Dante, 37086 [26.59%] - Luigi, 32179 [23.07%] - Pikachu, 25420 [18.22%]
  • Contest Semifinals --- 3rd place, 39515 [24.04%] - L-Block, 56925 [34.63%] - Solid Snake, 43081 [26.20%] - Dante, 24880 [15.13%]

Perhaps nobody was better suited to take advantage of this format than Master Chief, and many people were banking on that, taking him far in their brackets. They were not disappointed. With anti-votes negated, a rabid XBox contingent, and the release of Halo 3 during the contest, the Chief utterly dominated the first two matches. Throwing Luigi and Ganondorf into the mix brought him down a bit, but MC still cruised to an easy victory. He also got a win in the quarterfinals of the contest, though the competition kept getting closer to him.

The semifinals were the end of the line for Master Chief. L-Block and Solid Snake proved to be too much for him, though he performed respectably against the Noble Niner. It will be interesting to see what he can do next year if we return to one-on-one matches. The XBox fanbase continues to grow on GameFAQs, and he now has Halo 3 to back him up. We will have to wait and see, but this year will never be taken away from him.


Summer 2008 Contest - Division 7 - Second Group

  • Division 7 Round 1 --- 1st place, 49936 [36.82%] - Raiden, 38447 [28.35%] - Kain Highwind, 34477 [25.42%] - Professor Layton, 12744 [9.40%]
  • Division 7 Round 2 --- 2nd place, 40903 [30.32%] - Kirby, 42464 [31.47%] - Big Boss, 35307 [26.17%] - Raiden, 16245 [12.04%]
  • Division 7 Final --- 3rd place, 34425 [24.12%] - Kirby, 42756 [29.96%] - Dante, 37324 [26.15%] - Leon Kennedy, 28204 [19.76%]

Master Chief wasn't able to take advantage of the format as he did in 2007. He got stuck with Kirby early on and probably wouldn't have advanced past the second round if Kain had beat Raiden for second and held back Big Boss from taking second over Master Chief.


Winter 2010 Contest - Mushroom Division - 2 Seed

  • Mushroom Round 1 --- Defeated (15) Spy, 46974 [60.22%] - 31029 [39.78%]
  • Mushroom Round 2 --- Lost to (7) Ryu Hayabusa, 35800 [47.44%] - 39666 [52.56%]
  • Extrapolated Strength --- 115th Place [15.59%]

Despite having a new game and receiving a high seed, Master Chief performed his worst in years. It's definitely clear that 4-ways help out his anti-voting. The Ryu vs. Chief match in round two was a very exciting match. But due to his underperforming he came in very low in the x-stats.


Summer 2013 Contest - Division 8 - 4 Seed

  • Division 7 Round 2 --- 2nd place, 11426 [34.84%] --- (15) Yuna 13279 [40.49%], (25) Claire Redfield, 8087 [24.66%]

One of the most interesting things about Master Chief is that he never loses badly, while he may underperform he never truly looks terrible in his loses. Despite the contest going back to multi-option polls that helped Master Chief in the past and new Halo games still coming out, the Spartan didn't do justice to his high seed. Six years after beating Yuna in two matches and then outlasting her, the FFX female this time lead the whole match and took down Master Chief, who now has two Round 1 defeats.

Fall 2018 Contest - Division 7 - 5 Seed

  • Division 7 Round 1 --- Defeated (12) Goro Majima, 19954 [69%] - 8963 [31%]
  • Division 7 Round 2 --- Lost to (13) Tails, 12771 [44.51%] - 15923 [55.49%]

Halo is not as ubiqutuous as it used to be, specially when the last game was in 2015. Yet it is widely more popular than the still niche Yakuza series, helping Master Chief get a sizeable victory and not fall in round 1 again. And then he went to face another Sega franchise... the flagship! And of course Master Chief had no chance against a Sonic sidekick, with its retro value and popular recent games.

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