Board 8 > Tsunami's Post-Contest Analysis

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Safer_777
03/06/19 12:00:35 PM
152
I guess up.
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TsunamiXXVIII
03/06/19 3:15:38 PM
153
Match 111: Sephiroth vs. Amaterasu

Sephiroth 19901
Amaterasu 12525

I believe it was sometime during Round 4 that the "lineal Noble Nine" concept was introduced, and I bring it up again because at the time, people were still expecting the Noble Nine to largely hold serve and possibly restore the Lineal Nine to something closely resembling the actual Nine, with probably seven and as many as 8 of them in there--with the one guaranteed outlier, there in place of Sonic, being Amaterasu, courtesy of her Round 1 blowout of defending champion Draven combined with Sephiroth having managed not to lose his spot in 2013 despite finishing in third place in his eventual defeat--largely because said defeat came in the semifinals and as such, everyone else involved in the match had already gotten past an actual Noble Niner that still possessed a spot in the Lineal Nine at the time. (In Mewtwo's case, the aforementioned Sonic.) Of course, things didn't go that smoothly--Zelda ran over almost everyone, taking Snake's spot (which he was unable to win back); Tifa defended the spot she won from Mewtwo by defeating Sephiroth; and Mega Man won the rematch with Pikachu so it was his spot, not Pikachu's, that Crono took in Match 143. (Yeah, 2013 did a lot of weird things to the Lineal Nine--the lowest finisher is the one that loses their spot, so three characters outright earned their spots in second place finishes because they were the only ones entering the match without a slot and a fourth actually defended their slot with a second place finish because the third-place finisher also had one to give up to the winner.) When this was stated, someone said they were fine with the idea of it being Eight Noble Niners and Amaterasu. Slaying Draven certainly gained her a lot of good will here, but I feel like she's been a favorite here for awhile. The public perception of Board 8 is that we're a bunch of sticks-in-the-mud who hate anything upsetting our established order of expectations, but the truth is that we hate it just as much when things are too predictable, finding it boring. The nuance that the outsiders that invaded us in 2013 and 2015 didn't understand is that the upset has to make sense. Draven and Undertale putting up 201st-decade numbers in the 202nd decade and generally making a mockery of the elites didn't make sense; it was a clear aberration, and furthermore, because it eventually polarized things to "pro-X vs. anti-X" instead of "pro-X vs. pro-Y", it meant that entrants of vastly different natural strengths could get comparable numbers on the eventual champs, leading to the proven fodder Jak and a game whose ending was so ill-received that the creator's eventually released a "fixed" ending as DLC winding up near the top of the X-Stats. Amaterasu pulled "upsets" because we just vastly underestimated her. In her very first match, she was up against a proven midcarder, an unproven (Round 1 loss to Link in his only previous appearance) but recognizable character, and a potential target for a joke rally; as a new character without the benefit of joke appeal, people weren't expecting her to advance. She did, then advanced again when a more hyped newcomer flamed out massively. Actually, nothing she's done since then can reasonably qualify as an "upset" except maybe beating Shadow in 2010--she's made it to Round 2 in every contest, sure, but she's gotten favorable draws every time. We've learned to stop underestimating her.
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
03/08/19 7:36:30 PM
154
Dog factor.
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TsunamiXXVIII
03/09/19 5:14:48 PM
155
Up
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
03/11/19 5:47:44 AM
156
Hi.
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slykirby
03/12/19 9:13:43 AM
157
Up
TsunamiXXVIII
03/12/19 12:22:12 PM
158
Match 112: Ryu vs. KOS-MOS

Ryu 21099
KOS-MOS 11325

As is often the case with these bracket set-ups, Round 3 closed with a whimper. The later divisions in the bracket are often stacked with the lower-glamour entrants, though it's not a hard and fast rule. 2002 had some interesting matches in the last division, but a bit too high up to truly close out any rounds until we were getting double-elite matchups. 2005 had two good upsets ending its two contests' first rounds, and the 2006 Character Battle had a couple of nice ones, too. 2010, like 2002, largely only suffered in that the notable matches were in the top half of the final division. And...2013 actually had two great matches to close out rounds, which is impressive because it didn't have that many rounds. So maybe it just seems worse than it is because of how Games Contests usually have the designated non-Squintendo divisions near the bottom of the bracket. And yes, even in the division-by-era contests, the final division is the closest thing to the non-Squintendo division, because when we talk about those companies' mystique, we're talking about their classics, not their recent output. We refer to just about everything from the 8-bit era, and much of the 16-bit era, as "pseudo-Nintendo" for a reason.

On another note, this was the second match of Round 3 to be a rematch of a Round 1 match from 2004. KOS-MOS was more relevant in 2004 than she is now, so it's no surprise that match was closer than this one was.
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
03/14/19 12:52:33 PM
159
Hey now though we have the Waifu culture so KOS-MOS is more relevant now!
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Safer_777
03/16/19 10:20:14 AM
160
Up.
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TsunamiXXVIII
03/18/19 9:38:23 AM
161
Match 113: Ganondorf vs. Vivi

Ganondorf 16008
Vivi 14803

Vivi narrowly managed to take the unregistered vote, but registered voters easily carried Ganondorf to a win. This was especially satisfying as Ganondorf was the third-place finisher in Vivi's legendary upset of Mario in 2013, definitively declaring that RallyFAQs was truly dead.

Match 114: Zero vs. Pikachu

Zero 13387
Pikachu 17428

Division 2's final was a yawner, as while rallies may have been dead, PokFEAR was still alive and well. But it was still worth something to look at. Pikachu won this match with 56.56% of the vote. Way back in 2004, despite theoretically having SFF on his side, Mega Man was only able to beat Zero with 56.01%. Granted, Zero's fared worse against Mega in two later fourway matches, culminating in Mega Man beating Charizard with Zero as an anchor after having previously lost to Weighted Companion Cube, but 2013 especially showed that SFF is magnified in multiways because the fans will abandon the lesser of the two characters to support the one with the better shot of winning. Last-Place Factor, we call it.

Match 115: Pokmon Trainer Red vs. Alucard

Red 13041
Alucard 15195

The PLAN! Alucard may not have been the intuitive choice to win Division 3, and both the Guru and the casuals' prediction percentages show that, but he staked his claim as the favorite to win the division back in Round 2, when he was beating Yuna with the same percentage that Kefka was beating Bomberman. Was he the weakest division winner? Yeah, probably. But he took advantage of a weak division and showed that he's still got some strength, 16 years after he initially shocked the board with a deep run in CB1.
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
03/18/19 11:50:30 AM
162
Man Vivi lost with less than 2% there. I believe if BOTW hadn't come out he would have won.
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TsunamiXXVIII
03/20/19 2:07:06 PM
163
Maybe so, maybe not.
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
03/22/19 11:48:04 AM
164
Up!
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Safer_777
03/24/19 8:47:33 AM
165
Hi!
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TsunamiXXVIII
03/24/19 9:07:36 AM
166
Match 116: Bowser vs. Kirby

Bowser 15211
Kirby 13033

When a greater percentage of Gurus get a match correct than Oracles, you know we've screwed up somewhere along the line. Bowser has always been one of the strongest midcarders; by raw votes, his match with Snake in 2005 was still the closest 1v1 between a Noble Niner and a non-Noble Niner (though that would obviously change this year because of the horrible vote totals), closer than even Samus-Tifa 2006. He'd beaten Kirby before, during that same 2005 season. Now, Kirby had established quite a resume since then as well, so Bowser was only a slight favorite there--69 to 60, with 28 of the remaining 31 Gurus picking Charizard. But in the Oracle, which was made with the additional "knowledge" of the first three rounds? Kirby received 80% of Oracle predictions.

But it's a shame it even came to that. I love both of these characters, and if one of them had been in Division 3 or 6 instead, that'd be great. Preferably Division 3, if it's Kirby who was moved; for someone who hadn't faced any Noble Niners until 2008, Kirby sure has a lot of matches with Sonic. Why do I love them so much? For Bowser, it's mostly the more recent games. The RPGs were what allowed Bowser to really show his character--I was planning on spamming SMRPG and BIS quotes any time Bowser did anything good in his matches with Crono, but he never really did--but it's since carried over into the main games. A common criticism of video game leads is that their personalities are very generic, a necessary evil because they're supposed to represent the player. Think Mario, Link, Crono, and especially Red, who Game Freak has decided shall forever remain silent even when not the protagonist. The villains are not bound by this restriction, so they get all the good lines. Remember all the hype surrounding Magus in 2003? It's because Magus actually had a character, so he was thought to be much more popular within the fanbase than Crono. Kirby, on the other hand, appears at first to be one of those low-characterization leads, and in some ways he is, but it's more accurate to say that his characterization is a child-like simplicity. Kirby has faced all sorts of cosmic horrors, and he still maintains his cheerful demeanor, waving and dancing and constantly smiling (no matter how much American box art tries to hide this last fact). We could all learn a lot from Kirby.
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Safer_777
03/25/19 4:01:28 PM
167
This is the only division final match that I didn't even thought about. I was so sure that Kirby would win.
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TsunamiXXVIII
03/26/19 11:28:34 PM
168
I was among those with Bowser in my bracket and Kirby in my Oracle, because I am susceptible to Groupthink.
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
03/30/19 6:21:30 AM
169
Up.
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Safer_777
04/02/19 11:36:24 AM
170
Soon.
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TsunamiXXVIII
04/03/19 9:12:47 PM
171
Indeed.
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
04/07/19 5:08:06 AM
172
You can do it!
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Safer_777
04/09/19 11:23:01 AM
173
Probably.
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So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
Safer_777
04/12/19 2:28:14 PM
174
As per tradition I will bump this once more. Hope you will finish it in 2019.
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So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
TsunamiXXVIII
04/14/19 7:50:24 PM
175
Match 117: Zelda vs. Aerith Gainsborough

Zelda 18235
Aerith 11088

Okay fine I guess I can't avoid this forever. Because honestly, at one point I was all ready to go back to this, then I saw what match was up next and was like "nah, I'm good". Because most of these division finals, even if they were never really in question, the loser still put up a good show. This was just a steady beating, and nobody was really that surprised by it, not after what Zelda did to Squall the previous round. For the casuals, it didn't even take that long--Zelda's prediction percentage was still above 25% and proportionally she lost more brackets this round than the last one (even by raw numbers, it's close) even though Aerith making it this far was considered fairly surprising. Though that's mostly from fear of rallies that never materialized; she was considered an underdog with the casuals all the way back in Round 1.

Match 118: Geralt vs. Auron

Geralt 13739
Auron 15582

LOLCasuals. 9.97% for Auron isn't necessarily funny in its own right since this was somewhat of a wide open division, but how we got to that point is. Over 30% of brackets had him losing in Round 1 to Lucina, and the first time that he actually lost more brackets than he retained was this round, even though the top half of Division 6 was extremely weak. I was willing to blame it on RallyFEAR but Pac-Man was actually the slight favorite against Sans in R1 and Geralt seems to have retained enough percentage to be considered the clear favorite every round. 1-seed fear? Whatever; this was a pleasantly close match. Here's hoping that Geralt really was a trial for a character battle that openly embraces having characters not originating from video games. It doesn't even have to be a fully open one; there can still be some sort of requirement for a gaming tie-in. You'd probably have to institute something like what Allen did to determine the field for BGE3, too, when considering the games involved, since most licensed video games are awful and serve little purpose other than to be licensed video games. None of that. I'm talking about characters from highly acclaimed games such as Goldeneye 007, the Kingdom Hearts series, the Arkham series.
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Also known as Cyberchao X.
Safer_777
04/15/19 11:20:14 AM
176
Aeris reaching the Division Finals was the best any 15 seed has done ever. That is impressive.
Also Geralt's run was really good the whole contest. Nice.
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Safer_777
04/18/19 1:23:16 PM
177
So there you go.
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