|Match Date||Monday, July 8th, 2002|
|Cloud - 80.20%|
Despite the seeding, the board hyped the hell out of this match, due to it being the first real Square/Nintendo duel. The board was busier during this match than at any point in 2004, and this match was important because it would start giving comparisons between Mario and Cloud.
After all the hype and all the debating (and there was a ton), the only thing left to do was to start the match. And once the match was started, Cloud kicked the ever-loving crap out of Fox and never looked back until the poll was over. The contest was young, but Cloud set almost every record he could after the beating he laid into Fox on that day. He had the most votes in any poll of the contest to that point, his poll had more total votes than any other poll to that point, and his margin of victory was the largest of the contest to that point. Simply put, Cloud mocked the hell out of all the hype given to this match. Fox was never in it at all, and if you cite the stats that we now have access to, it's clear that Fox never had a chance in the first place. It was a thorough beating by Cloud, and even though we were but eight matches into the contest, Cloud looked like he would be a force to be reckoned with later on in the contest. If you compare Cloud's match with Fox to Mario's match with Servbot, Cloud was far more impressive against a much more impressive opponent. Mario looked to be in trouble, but the contest was still young.
Now given how bad the beating of Fox was, one would assume that the board would calm down and move onto the next match, right? Heh, no. Not just no, but hell no. Fox's beating only fueled the fire that was the Square/Nintendo bloodbath on Board 8. All of the pre-match antagonizing that was given to Square fans by Nintendo fans before the match was being thrown back in the direction of the Nintendo fans in full force, and this match was the beginning of the Square/Nintendo Board 8 feud as we know it today. Fox getting his ass kicked meant little to either side after a few hours, because everyone started ignoring the results and tearing into each other with a venom that would only be heightened in later matches. This 2002 blowout had our board busier than it was at any point in either 2004 contest. Part of this has to do with the fact that the poll used to open/close at 1 AM, but another part was that the contest was fresh. As I said, there were no stats to work off of or trends to follow. There were simply hundreds of people rooting for their favorite characters and companies, and it was only natural that a Square/Nintendo match would generate the most hostility yet. And if Cloud/Fox could cause the board to be that busy, one could only imagine what we were in store for later on.
And yes, you read that correctly. Cloud/Fox 2002 was a busier day on this board than any of the 126 matches held in 2004. It was simply the nature of the contest. It was new and unpredictable, whereas most people today don't even bother due to knowing who will win most matches before they ever happen.
Oddly enough, people started predicting how the rest of the North division would go during and after this match, and despite a ton of people making some insane picks (I remember one guy having an Aya Brea over Duke Nukem final), we all knew where this division would end up: Mario vs Cloud, clash of the titans. Slice it however you want, but it was obvious that there would simply be no other way to solve this division, and even though Cloud currently looked stronger, Mario's match with Servbot was somewhat of an aberration. The Mario/Cloud hype, as well as the board tradition of fanboy wars and massive amounts of whining/fighting all began during Cloud/Fox and helped mold the board into what it is today. Sure there was arguing before the Cloud/Fox match, but it was nothing compared to what went on that day.
I'll say this again. Cloud vs Fox 2002 was busier than any day in 2004. Think about that for a minute, then try to digest the fact that this contest was just getting started. As massive as Cloud/Fox was for the board, it served as only the beginning of the massive attack that would end up being SC2K2.
Stats and Analysis Edit
Before the Match Edit
Despite the seeding there was a lot of hype going into this match, mostly because they were from Nintendo and Square, but also because this was the first match where almost everyone knew about both characters. Cloud is from Final Fantasy VII, the game that basically put GameFAQs on the map and Fox is from Star Fox, one of the many Nintendo series. Despite already being the underdog many Fox fans thought that just being from Nintendo would be a big factor and would guarantee them the win. After days of debating the match would soon come.
After the Match Edit
Not only did Cloud win, he won by even more than what the Cloud supporters thought he would. At the time Cloud had the biggest win percent and vote wise, the highest individual votes and the highest total votes. Any reason for any hype people thought was laughed at and the Cloud fans were making sure that they laughed at every single person that thought Fox would have been able to make a match out of it. Flame wars followed suit which lasted for days. This match also added fuel to the hype in Mario/Cloud, the most likely division finals. Both characters were one of the five most predicted winners and by comparing both matches Cloud did better on what many people agreed to be a stronger opponent. There still may be two more matches to prove themselves before they meet up, but already Mario is at a disadvantage.
Interesting Facts Edit
- First Nintendo/Square match.
- Started Nintendo/Square rivalry.