Board 8 Wiki


Round Four


Friday, November 14th, 2008

Ulti's Analysis[]

Poll 3301
Round Quarter Final
Match # 58
Match Date Friday, November 14th, 2008
Samus Aran - 31.71%
Vincent Valentine - 25.62%
Crono - 25.11%
Pikachu - 17.69%
Samus first place (16pts) - 29.31%
Samus second place (8pts) - 15.74%
Crono second place (16pts) - 14.50%
Crono first place (8pts) - 9.11%
Samus - 45.05% (19,328)
Crono - 23.61% (10,129)

This is it. The most hyped match of the contest, the best match of the contest, and the entire reason I finally got up off my ass and did these writeups after 12 years. I didn't like this contest overall, but 12 years with no PCA is just awful and I'm sorry for that. And of all the random blurbs you see out there, this is somehow the one match on the wiki that had nothing before today. It's time to fix that.

To understand why this thing was so hyped for a full year, you don't merely have to go back to 2007. That would be easy. You have to go back to the beginning. The final of this match had the stars aligning for it for more than 6 years.

People talk of bandwagons and rallies. In 2002, Crono was the rallied bandwagon. Mario was the heavy, heavy favorite that year, followed by characters like Link, Cloud, Sonic, and Solid Snake. Crono was no where to be found, and more importantly, neither were things like x-stats, Oracle picks, match trends, update charts, guru contests, and board odds projects. We were just a bunch of kids cheering on our favorites every match, ignorant of everything else. It was a better time back then. I don't want to go off on my usual tangent about how advanced metrics are the worst thing to ever happen in sports, so I simply move on.

In that contest, Crono was the star of the whole show. The little 5 seed that could. People expected him to win his first match, and that was about it. Most people thought Dante would beat him. Crono won. Most people picked the 1 seed, Lara Croft, to beat him. Crono utterly demolished her. Then, right after the back to back to back trio that gave us our best 3 day run in contest history -- Samus > Sonic, Sephiroth > Mega Man, Mario > Cloud -- Crono went out and pulled another upset, this time over Solid Snake. A looooot of people were pulling hard for Snake that year. Crono beat him with ease.

This set up the first of many Crono vs Mario duels, and by the time that match happened, Mario was the contest villain. He straight up cheated to beat Cloud, and back then CJayC was such an idiot about catching cheating that he just up and allowed a phantom 500 vote spike around dinner time to stand, even though there was literal visual proof of the script used to do it. Before it happened, a user went around posting a screenshot of the script, with an image saying there was no way he would allow a crossdresser to win (his words, not mine) and that there would be a 500 vote spike. I'll never understand how that one stood, but I digress, and Cloud did eventually get a pittance of revenge anyway.

By the time the Mario v Crono match happened, people were losing their minds. Mario had to lose that contest. The poll was close for awhile, but Mario was proving to be a bridge too far, and built up a lead of 1000 votes going into the final few hours. You guys know the rest. Crono started pulling off one of the most clutch comebacks we'd ever seen, erased the lead, and then CJayC took 400 votes away before admitting a few years later that Crono had 3000 scripted votes that day. If Crono cheated fine, but we know Mario cheated one round earlier and nothing was done. It just left the entire thing feeling incomplete.

A year later, Mario and Crono were blatantly set up for a rematch, and the saga of that match could be made into a documentary at this point:

Not only was the match started early for some inexplicable reason, not only did it last past 24 hours with no warning that it would, but it went 5 minutes past the usual closing time (which was 1am est back then) to "check for cheating". After all, Mario erased an 800 lead in 2 hours when trends were pretty close before then. That just isn't natural. Did CJayC find any cheating, even though there was yet another provable script being floated around? Of course not. Mario cheated in that match, and CJayC ignored it. He also ignored the cheating against Cloud. I will absolutely never be convinced otherwise. We know too much about contests and how they work now to look back at the numbers involved and think of them as anything but impossible. I had even picked Mario in 2003 and was rooting for him to win, and it's the dirtiest I ever felt in being right on a match. It's finally getting with the dream girl you've been chasing, only to find out later she has herpes. It's just gross.

If you weren't there, you'll never understand the unreal meltdown that occurred.

True fact -- there is no 24 hour period in that match that Crono lost.

Crono's luck wouldn't get much better in the years to come. In 2004, he finally got his win over Mario, but it was meaningless. That contest was among the worst we've ever had, and Mario went berserker in 2005 and got his win back in spades anyway. In 2006, Crono hit a low point when he blew a 2200 vote lead against Sonic, which I believe was the biggest comeback in contest history to that point. The dude just didn't have that 2002-2003 magic anymore, and it would still get worse.

Enter Vincent, who has always been a Final Fantasy 7 fan favorite (, but never could make the contest field before 2005. His debut however was a huge success. He got thrown into one of the most difficult divisions we've ever had, and won the thing despite being in three straight debatable matches. Well Kerrigan wasn't debatable to anyone with sense, but people argued for weeks that she would win that one. I still couldn't tell you why. Vincent destroyed Kerrigan, then had close wins against Dante and Squall before facing... Crono. Vincent had a very respectable 55-45 loss there, and it began the hype train that maybe Vincent would be the guy that cracked the Noble Nine.

For the unaware, the Noble Nine is a winning streak. Nine characters -- Link, Cloud, Mario, Samus, Sephiroth, Crono, Mega Man, Solid Snake, and Sonic the Hedgehog -- never lost a match to anyone outside of their group until 2007, which I'll get into in a bit, but the point here is that the hype around breaking the winning streak was palpable. People talked about it every year, and more importantly, people wanted to be on the right side of history and pick it in their brackets. Every year, there was so much hype around any match one of them might lose to an outsider. Would this be the year?

In 2006, we got some more hints. Sonic, Crono, and Mega Man all looked like monkey trash. Vincent and Ganondorf, two characters hyped up to be Noble Nine breakers for years, had a really fun round 1 match. Vincent won it close, then Vincent turned around in round 2 and had a 52-48 loss to Sonic. That one perked some ears up, though in fairness we saw something similar in the past and we know how that turned out:

That's the thing. The hype of being a breaker has ruined a lot of these characters. Not Vincent, though. And that's when the absurdity of 2007 hit. L-Block aside, one of the most hyped matches of that entire contest, if not the most hyped match, was Link, Vincent, Crono, and Zero. The match itself was basically a mortal lock to happen, and the hype surrounding that thing was palpable. I helped make sure of that, because I was sick of everyone obsessing over the Noble Nine's winning streak and whether or not a loss in a 4way would be "legitimate" or not. You would think these characters are Board 8's actual children with how much that streak was defended by some people. It was embarrassing then and it's especially embarrassing to look back on it all. Not our finest hour, guys.

In contest lore, Vincent/Crono isn't what Mario/Crono is, and frankly nothing can be, but Vincent/Crono certainly comes close. It's an all-time series of matches, and the 2007 match was dope. Crono looked early on like he would reclaim the old glory, and jumped out to an 1150 vote lead overnight. Vincent then spent the rest of the match swinging nearly 3000 votes his way, and that was that.

At the time, a lot of people claimed this didn't actually break the streak and that Crono lost due to the format. In 2020 I'm inclined to agree with that logic, but at the time, I felt like the streak was over and people should stop talking about it. I found the argument to be incredibly dull. I've gotten some new perspective in my old age, so I can see where people were coming from back then. Still, a loss is a loss and Crono was the first guy in the Noble Nine to lose to an outsider, regardless of format. That will never change, and frankly it's better that it happened to Crono under these circumstances. Do you guys not get that without this match, L-Block would have been the one to break the streak, and it would have come against Solid Snake and Sonic? I'll take Crono losing to Vincent over ever having to type that sentence again.

Oh and not to brag, buuuuuuut....

52 of us called our shot and got it right. Crono looked terrible for years, was trending down, and Vincent was trending up and had a match against 3 characters who are titans on Nintendo systems. All the makings were there.

Which finally, at last, brings us to 2008. Vincent and Crono's duel was hyped for good reason, and the other two characters would be Samus and Pikachu instead of Link and Zero. Those are acceptable substitutes and wouldn't get in the way. All that was left to do was to finally have the match itself, and these two definitely came in ready to throw down.

In the first hours of the match, the trend mirrored 2007. Last year, Crono built up a lead over 1100. This year, he built up a lead of about 950 -- almost to the hour. A lot of people figured the match was over at this point, not because Crono was winning, but because the year prior Vincent was able to swing 3000 votes. People were expecting the comeback this time, and with Crono unable to build an equal or bigger lead than last year, a lot of people lamented the inevitable. We had seen the guy get beat in these close debated matches for long now.

Right on cue, Vincent started his push. The numbers from 2007 to 2008 were almost exactly the same, which felt so bizarre. At 7:30 am both years, Crono's lead was chopped all the way down to 350. Vincent's win felt inevitable at this point, especially given Chrono Trigger's historical ineptitude with the day vote contrasted with FF7's day vote being really good.

But then, the most unthinkable thing of all happened. Crono this year said screw this, we're not rolling over and dying this time. Vincent got stuck at 300, and though he pushed the lead below 300 for a bit, he was just.... kind of stuck there. We all assumed an inevitable day vote would push Vincent over the top, but it just wasn't coming. Crono kept stalling, and stalling, and stalling, and hour after hour, update after update, we were stuck in this bizarre phantom zone of Crono holding this 250-350 vote lead.

To give you an idea of how insane the board was during all this, Vincent was the favorite and though a lot of us wanted the guy to win for our brackets (he was the favorite, after all), it wasn't with the typical fervor. As this madness kept going, more and more people remembered the old wounds and wanted to see Crono finally pull one of these things out.

The match stayed in this period of odd flux until the ASV, where Crono was still nursing a 250 vote lead. This in and of itself is a miracle given the guy's trends and how the match went down last year. By the time the ASV hit in 2007, the match was already over. Vincent had come back by then, led by over 100, and used the ASV to end the match.

In 2008, it once again looked like Vincent was going to use the ASV to put this thing to bed, much to the dismay of pretty much every Crono supporter other than red sox. He was the one guy on Board 8 who never lost hope, and he deserves props for that. Vincent pulled a 166 vote update out of his ass, his highest since early in the match, and that looked like the beginning of the inevitable. It wasn't, but it looked like it. Crono fought like hell, but Vincent literally tied the match up within a couple hours. From there, Crono pulled off the unthinkable for the second time in this match. Instead of Vincent rising to heaven and ending the match like he did at this time last year, Crono refused to quit. Vincent quickly built up a lead of 100, and then just got... stuck there for two hours. And even as Vincent finally started increasing his lead a bit heading into the evening vote, it was never by much and Crono kept fighting back at him. It wasn't until nearly 9pm, with a mere three hours to go, that Vincent breached the 150 vote barrier. Last year, his lead at that time was well over 1400. Obviously, times had changed, and the final three hours were just a mad rush to the finish line.

For the next hour of the poll, Vincent looked like he had this thing on lockdown. He slowly increased his lead to 200, and though he and Crono were both really going for it, the clock was running out. I'd say votes were drying up, but there was definite rallying going on. One of the most entertaining parts of this match is that Samus, the character I have yet to even mention thusfar in this writeup and the one who actually won first place, was getting her winning percentage wrecked here. Check out the trend graph and how much of the green was below her actual trend line while all this was going on. It's one of the funniest visuals to come out of this contest.

With two hours to go and Vincent up by 200, this thing seemed like a done deal. Even worse for Crono is that the usual Chrono Trigger second night vote wasn't showing up, so while Crono managed to stop the bleeding, Vincent wasn't losing any ground. The 200 vote lead stayed at 200 for a solid hour; as entertaining as this was, it looked bleak for the Crono faithful.

The final hour was absolutely wild, and it brought us all back to those childhood days of just cheering for favorites regardless of anything else. First update, Vincent brought his lead from 184 to 192. From there it was all a blur, and the explanation for what happened is easy -- BOARD 8 RALLIED THEIR BALLS OFF.

We had seen enough of Crono getting his poor heart broken. Enough of cheating only being enforced one way. Enough choke jobs, enough blatant bracket rigging to always see Mario, enough nonsense. We were going to finally give Crono his moment or fuckin die trying. The next 4 updates went -20, -30, -30, -30 to get the lead under 100. Vincent then stalled to keep his head for an update, but it was postponing the inevitable.


For the last half hour of this match, Board 8 rallied so hard and so well that it went far beyond a simple rally in hopes of helping one character win. This was six years of pent up frustration at always seeing Crono get dicked over and pushed around, and while Vincent himself isn't to blame for a lot of Crono's contest history, this rally felt like helping the bullied kid suplex their tormentors and justifiably crack some skulls open. The next three updates were -20, -20, and -30 to tie the match up with 10 minutes to go.

God himself wasn't getting in Crono's way at this point, and even if the good lord above tried, Crono has time travel on his side and Dr Strange probably would have let him borrow the Eye of Agamotto just this once. Crono deserved this. Nothing was getting in the way. Not this time!

The penultimate update was won by Crono with a totally insane 146 vote push, giving him a 59 vote lead and basically ending this match. He put out 100 more votes in the final five minutes just to be sure, and that was that. Crono finally won one of these damn things. A weird, hyped, close, heavily debated match finally went his way. No cheating, no phantom time extensions, no one-sided scripts, no bullshit, no nothing. Crono won. It was real. It actually happened.

Crono's final push was so laughably insane that he didn't just pull the clutch comeback on Vincent. Samus got 1058 votes in the final hour of this poll. Crono got 1191. That's how bad Board 8 wanted this, and remember, this was a time when rallying was REALLY hard to do because of the high vote totals. This wasn't like when we pushed Mega Man ahead of Charizard, Mario ahead of Samus (sorry but I had to do it!), or Resident Evil 2 ahead of Bloodborne. This took a borderline miracle to pull off, but hey. Board 8 was not going to be denied here. Not this time.

Crono's reward for pulling this off? He, yet again, had to stare down his oldest of enemies -- FREAKING MARIO. But this time, Crono was bringing friends with him. Samus and Link didn't want any of that smoke.

In the long run, we all know this didn't stop the overall decline of Crono. We know what happened against Missingno and Pikachu. We all know about the laughably awful Rivalry Rumble. Doesn't matter. Nothing will ever change how great we all felt when Crono pulled this thing off.

The unintended consequence is that this match basically ended Vincent's contest career as an elite.

Not that it matters. No one cares. This match was, and still is, a celebration of the greatest contest underdog these things will ever have. For the record, I will never be convinced under any circumstances that Chrono Trigger wasn't on track to win the 2015 contest before rallies happened. I am in favor of those rallies, you all know this, but the board explosion would have been nuts had Chrono Trigger of all games annihilated Ocarina in the final. There is a universe where that happens. I wonder what it's like there?

Match Trends[]


Ngamer's Same Day Analysis[]

Match Prediction[]

This sets us up for Link/Mario/Samus/Vincent. Wait, or do I mean Link/Mario/Samus/Crono? Let's look closer...

X-Stats from Round Three

  • Samus - 32.94% (based on '07 Gordon)
  • Vincent - 30.14% (based on '07 Gordon)
  • Crono - 32.97% (based on '07 Alucard)
  • Pikachu - 29.85% (based on '07 Alucard)

Oh my, we're in for a real slugfest just based on those numbers! However, it seemed fairly obvious that Gordon has had a nice boost since '07, so to keep those legit you'd have to push Sammy and Vince up at least a couple points... that puts Samus out of danger but fortunately moves VV directly into Crono's range. So here we go again!

As I'm sure everyone remembers, Crono jumped out to a very big lead on Vincent last season before giving it all back and then some to lose by 1.2%. Let's look at some pros and cons for Vincent here in '08:

  • won't have Link hurting Crono's Hero of Time/sword-wielding fanbase, or Zero hurting Crono's SNES fanbase
    • WILL have Samus hurting Crono's SNES base and Pikachu pulling some of his Nintendo fanbase

...arg, can't decide! I was all set to back Crono for the upset, and with a decent bit of confidence, but then Pikachu shocked us by making it here and that swung my scale back into coin flip territory. I'm going to flip a coin and go with.... Crono, final answer! He just seems to be a touch stronger than last year, perhaps thanks to CTDS, and beyond that I expect Samus to limit the damage Vincent does to him thanks to her strong morning vote, while Pikachu limits Vincent's damage later in the match with his good ASV. Also, if it's a nailbiter in the final hour I don't see any way Crono loses, thanks to CT's "clutch" ability and how much the board vote despises Vince.

Second question is, if Pikachu goes crazy like last time, is there any chance that the Square boys could catch up to Samus? And my answer is... nay. During the euphoria of L-Block's demise I was considering this possibility, but now that my head is cleared I realize that even if Pika holds on better than Ganon (and he should- darn you, you stupid pig!), it probably wouldn't be by 5% like V or C would need. And even if it WAS by that much, don't forget that they're going to be dragging each other down in a dogfight all day. Given that I'd be shocked if Samus is ever not in first beyond the opening 90 minutes or so.

As to Pika, well, I'm expecting good things. He was in this position last year and did well, scoring 18 percent to Luigi's 23, so he seems a good bet to pull down about that much once again.

A comfortable Samus win, comfortable Pika last, and a down to the wire finish between the Square leads ought to result in something alot like... *pots, stirs, deliberates, and delivers*

  • Samus Aran - 31.74%
  • Crono - 25.13%
  • Vincent Valentine - 25.08%
  • Pikachu - 18.06%

That looks pretty wild... but heck, my bracket's dead, my Oracle is floundering, might as well go with my hunch for once!

Ngamer Says: Samus > Crono

Next Day Review[]

Gah, how am I supposed to do a writeup when there's this epic Crono/Vince battle going on in the background? Currently VV is up about 150 with 2 hours left and it's anyone's ballgame... but in any case, good showing for Crono! He's going to end up having a much better showing directly against Vincent than last season, which is a decent justification for those of us who picked him based on CT:DS hype or lack of Link overlap or whatever else we came up with. Also a nice showing for Samus- will be interesting to see how much she can improve on her '05 outing against Mario in this next round, although I don't see a way for either of them to keep up with Crono/Vincent, considering Link's presence.

External Links[]

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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)