The Noble Nine in all their glory

The Noble Nine were the inspiration for the 2013 Character Battle logo. From left to right Link, Snake, Samus, Mario, Cloud, Sonic, Mega Man, Crono, and Sephiroth are represented.

The Noble Nine are an elite force consisting of nine of the most popular video game characters ever. Until Winter 2010, no member of the Noble Nine had ever been defeated by a non-member in a 1v1 environment. This held true over the course of six and a half tournaments, as they extended their streak to 124-0 against outside competition.

The Noble Nine's winning streak officially ended on February 14, 2010, when Crono was defeated by Missingno in the first round of the 2010 contest.

See Also[edit | edit source]

When will the NN be broken?[edit | edit source]

It won't. Even though a character has finally lost, all it means is the winning streak is over. The 9 characters are still the same. They will not become the Elite Eight. Why? Because their Contest Histories create a domino effect that, once set in motion, cannot be stopped. Using Crono as an example...−

The same chain is created no matter which member of the NN falls first; the end result is always that the Noble Nine becomes the Noble Zero. For another example, look at the following chain of what has occurred in battles:

In other words, Link > Sephiroth > Samus > Snake > Mega Man > Sonic > Crono > Mario > Cloud > Link. Anyone falling breaks the chain.

Why can't we remove Crono and call it the Elite Eight?[edit | edit source]

Once again, if Crono is no longer an NNer, then he becomes part of the "outside competition." But, he beat Mega Man in 2005, he beat Snake in 2002 and he beat Mario in 2004. Now neither of those three are undefeated against outside competition either. But, they beat... and so forth, creating the chain of destruction seen above.

Close Calls for the NN[edit | edit source]

Though the NN was not beaten 1v1 until 2010, there were several close calls over the years. The matches where an outside opponent brought a member of the NN to below 55% during their 124 match win streak were as follows:

  • Sonic over Zero, 52.34% in 2003
  • Sonic over Aeris, 53.02% in 2003
  • Snake over Frog, 51.39% in 2004
  • Snake over Bowser, 50.59% in 2005 (1,196 vote margin)
  • Snake over Zelda, 54.41% in 2005
  • Samus over Tifa, 50.49% in 2006 (1,418 vote margin)
  • Sonic over Vincent, 52.09% in 2006
  • Mega Man over Sora, 54.28% in 2006
  • Crono over Auron, 54.50% in 2006

Noble Nine Controversy - 1v1 Only?[edit | edit source]

There is debate as to whether Vincent's finishing in 2nd place (ahead of Crono and behind Link) in Round Three of the 2007 Character Battle should qualify as a "breaking" of the Noble Nine, and whether or not this result has created a "Terrific Ten" as an alternative to the NN. For the purposes of this article it will be assumed that the Noble Nine's streak can only be jeopardized in a standard 1v1 tournament, as that is the environment where the concept was born and where the streak has always taken place.

NN upsets in 4-ways[edit | edit source]

The Noble Nine was "broken" several times in the 4-way format, but because of the complexity of 4-ways, only a 1v1 loss would have been considered a "streak-breaker." The following is a list of 4-way breaks:

NN upsets in 3-ways[edit | edit source]

Again, the different format in the Summer 2013 Contest (which incidentally made the N9 the 1-seeds) allowed for some rallying and LFF-related upsets.

Round 2
  • Pikachu defeated Crono, with the presence of Magus being a possible factor.
  • Vivi beat Mario due to both outside rallying and the presence of Ganondorf to leech the Nintendo vote.
Round 3
  • Draven defeated Link (with Commander Shepard as the third contestant), due to rallying from Reddit and the League of Legends forum. There was also an 85 minute website downtime that was also a major contributing factor.
  • Mewtwo defeated Sonic in a LFF-fest where Bowser was the third participant.
  • Squirtle defeated Cloud and Leon Kennedy in a close match. Sore Thumb Factor also contributed.
Round 4
  • Draven rolled over Sephiroth, as did a boosted and bandwagoned Mewtwo, resulting in him ending up at 3rd place.
  • Despite Board 8 trying to counter-rally Snake (complete with tweets by David Hayter and Jennifer Hale plus a RT by Hideo Kojima himself!), Draven again rode the Reddit vote, with the fact that the rallying thread eventually got stickied sealing the fate. LFF was also involved given Samus got more votes than Draven's final lead.

NN upsets in 1 vs. 1[edit | edit source]

Until 2018, no NN member had lost a 24-hour contest match to a non-member.

  • Jay Solano > Link 2006: This was a Board 8 match, so there was no contest to eliminate Link from. Given its format, this wasn't seen as breaking the NN.
  • Missingno > Crono 2010: This was a 12-hour match.
  • Pikachu > Mega Man 2018: First 24-hour break of the NN. Mega Man won the raw vote count by 53 votes, but Pikachu won by 62 votes overall thanks to the registered-users bump.
  • Zelda > Snake 2018: The first 2018 upset to not rely on the registered-users bump. Zelda won raw votes by 252 and the overall count by 185.
  • Tifa > Sephiroth 2018: In the first proven case of rSFF, Tifa eliminated Sephiroth from the losers' bracket.
  • Zelda > Sonic 2018
  • Zelda > Mario 2018

NN "upsets" in the Rivalry Rumble[edit | edit source]

With the Fall 2011 Contest being tag teams, two pairs lost to a pair with fewer NN members.

Noble Nine Characters Which Have Never Faced Each Other 1v1[edit | edit source]

This list does not include the 2006 Battle Royal, 2007, 2008 or 2013 Contests, as they were not one-on-one.

  • Link: Snake (met in 2013's bonus battle)
  • Cloud: Mega Man
  • Sephiroth: Sonic, Crono
  • Crono: Samus, Sephiroth
  • Mario: Sonic
  • Samus: Crono, Mega Man
  • Snake: Link
  • Mega Man: Cloud, Samus
  • Sonic: Sephiroth, Mario

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Personal Details[edit | edit source]

  • Samus is the only female member of the Noble Nine.
  • Sephiroth is the only villainous member of the Noble Nine, and as a result the only member to have participated in the Spring 2005 Contest.
  • By company:
    • Link, Mario, and Samus are from Nintendo.
    • Cloud, Crono, and Sephiroth are from Squaresoft (all predating the Square Enix merger).
    • Mega Man is from Capcom.
    • Snake is from Konami.
    • Sonic is from Sega.
  • By main weapon:
    • Cloud, Crono, Link, and Sephiroth wield a sword.
    • Mega Man, Samus, and Snake fight with guns.
    • Mario and Sonic do not normally use weapons.

Game Appearances[edit | edit source]

  • Cloud and Sephiroth are the only two members to originate from the same series and same game.
  • Snake is the only character to appear in an M-rated game, as much of his home series is rated M.
  • 8 of the Noble Nine are playable in a Super Smash Bros. game:
    • 3 are playable in Smash 64 and Melee. (Link, Mario, Samus)
    • 5 are playable in Brawl. (Link, Mario, Samus, Snake, Sonic)
    • 6 are playable in Smash 4. (Cloud(DLC), Link, Mario, Mega Man, Samus, Sonic)
    • 8 are playable in Ultimate. (Cloud, Link, Mario, Mega Man, Samus, Sephiroth(DLC), Snake, Sonic)
    • 1 has never been playable. (Crono)
  • Crono is the only Noble Nine member to not have at least three playable fighting game appearances:
    • 6 appearances: Cloud (Ehrgeiz, Dissidia x3, Smash x2), Link (Smash x5, SoulCalibur II), Mega Man (home series x2, Marvel vs. Capcom x2, Smash x2)
    • 5 appearances: Mario (Smash x5), Samus (Smash x5), Sonic (Sonic the Fighters, Sonic Battle, Smash x3), Sephiroth (Ehrgeiz, Dissidia x3, Smash)
    • 3 appearances: Snake (DreamMix TV, Smash x2)

Contest History[edit | edit source]

  • Mario and Samus are the only members who have yet to lose to outside competition in 4-ways.
    • Cloud, Link, and Snake lost to L-Block in 2007.
    • Crono lost to Vincent Valentine in 2007.
    • Mega Man lost to Weighted Companion Cube in 2008.
    • Sonic finished 2nd behind Auron in 2008, then was eliminated by Kirby two rounds later.
    • Sephiroth has not been eliminated by outside competition, but finished 4th behind Kirby in 2008.
  • Mega Man is the only member who has yet to lose to outside competition in 3-ways.
    • Link, Samus, Sephiroth, and Snake lost to Draven in 2013.
    • Cloud lost to Squirtle in 2013.
    • Crono lost to Pikachu in 2013.
    • Mario lost to Vivi in 2013.
    • Sonic lost to Mewtwo in 2013.
  • The non-NN characters to face the most NN members are Ryu and Zelda, both with 7 (Ryu hasn't encountered Link and Mario, while Zelda lacks matches with Sephiroth and Crono).
  • The non-NN characters to defeat the most NN members are L-Block and Draven, who defeated 4 of them in each in 2007 and 2013 respectively.
    • The only non-NN character to defeat a NN member in two separate contests is Pikachu, in 2013 and 2018.
  • Out of the other seven characters in the Never Miss Club, the one with the fewest NN encounters is Gordon Freeman with two, both in 4-ways (Sonic in 2007, Samus in 2008). Tidus also only faced two NN members, but has three total NN matches (Sonic 02, MM 04/08). Everyone else has encountered at least four of the NN.

Outsiders With the Most Encounters[edit | edit source]

  • Ryu: 7 (Samus 02, Snake 03, Sonic 04, MM 06/07, Cloud 07/10, Samus 07, Crono 08, Seph 18)
  • Zelda: 7 (MM 03, Snake 05/18, Samus 06/10, Link 07/18, Mario 08/18, Sonic 18, Cloud 18)
  • Bowser: 6 (Cloud 03, Mario 04, Seph Sp05, Snake 05, Crono 06/18, Sonic 13)
  • Zero: 6 (Sonic 03, MM 04/08/13, Mario 05, Link/Crono 07, Snake 08)
  • Ganondorf: 6 (Link 04/18, Seph Sp05, Samus 05/08, Sonic 10, Mario 13, MM 18)
  • L-Block: 6 (Snake/Sonic/Link/Cloud 07, Crono 08, Samus 13)
  • Vincent Valentine: 6 (Crono 05/07/08, Sonic 06, Seph 07/10, Link/Mario 07, Samus 08)
  • Pikachu: 6 (Cloud 02, Crono/Samus 08, Snake 10/13, MM 13/18, Link 18)
  • Alucard: 5 (Cloud 02/18, Seph 03, Crono 08, Link 10, Snake 13)
  • Auron: 5 (Cloud 03/07, Seph 04/08, Crono 06, Sonic 08, Snake 18)
  • Mewtwo: 5 (Cloud/Snake 08, Sonic/Seph/MM 13)
  • Sora: 5 (Samus 04, Snake 05, MM 06, Sonic 07, Cloud 08)
  • Knuckles: 5 (Snake 02/03/04, MM 07, Mario 08, Sonic 10, Samus 13)
  • Jill: 5 (Link 02, Cloud 07, Seph 08, Samus 10, MM 13)
  • Fox: 5 (Cloud 02, Link 03, Seph/Mario 07, Snake 10)

Honorable mentions: Squall, only 4 adversaries, but the same one four times (Snake 02/06/07/10, Samus 03, Cloud 04/08, Sonic 07), and Tifa, 8 encounters with 3 adversaries (Sonic 05, Samus 06/13/twice in 18, Seph 08/10/18)

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The Noble Nine's streak continues to be highly regarded even many years after it was broken. In March of 2018, Ngamer ran a poll comparing their accomplishment against the greatest streak in North American sports (#1 seeds going 135-0 against #16s in the NCAA college basketball bracket before #16 UMBC beat #1 Virginia), and the NN fought the #1 seeds to a stand-still.


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