|Division||Snake Division Semi Final|
|Match Date||Friday, July 21st, 2006|
|Kingdom Hearts - 52.63%|
80 for - 54 against
|Kingdom Hearts - 29.90%|
Chain of Memories might be an odd game, but you can't deny that it arguably has the best sprites in any game of all time. Also odd is that a once-predictable slot in the bracket became one of the best matches of the contest.
Kingdom Hearts was the big favorite to win this fourpack, though a few Halo > KH dissenters were always around. I'm also fairly sure that the casual pick was Halo winning the fourpack as well. The problem with all this was that Castlevania whipped Halo's ass so badly that the upset here was worth discussing. Going solely by Spring 2004 stats, Halo was stronger than Kingdom Hearts. Castlevania the series beat Halo the series, and by a large amount. If Kingdom Hearts 2 wasn't able to give the series a fairly decent boost, then we were possibly in for a nuclear meltdown in the prediction percentages.
Though early on, it looked like the whole CV > KH mystique would disappear with ease. A large board vote bandwagon pushed Castlevania fairly well, but it barely had 45% of the votes after the first minute. However, Castlevania pulled near-even at the first five minute update. The two would literally go back and forth in near-even status for the first hour of the poll, setting up a potentially legendary match. Had Castlevania not gone berserk in the final five minute update of the first hour, I'm fairly sure it would have been the closest first hour of any contest match.
Speaking of that, Kingdom Hearts tailed off badly (in close match terms, anyway) once the true night vote hit. Castlevania used its best voting block to begin building a lead for itself, though Kingdom Hearts was able to win updates and stall every now and then. The end result was a slow grind by Castlevania in which it would build an 1100 vote lead for itself by morning. Kingdom Hearts massively stalled Castlevania once said morning vote hit, but CV was actually able to increase its lead to 1200.
Ironically enough, what Kingdom Hearts did throughout the night is what everyone was expecting of Halo. It prevented Castlevania from going totally berserk and put itself in a position to win once its day vote came along. It took a little while for Kingdom Hearts to gain some steam once said day vote hit, but it was unstoppable once it finally happened. In virtually every match that Kingdom Hearts has been involved with (and Ngamer has a chart of this lying around somewhere), it's gained percentage if not votes during the day. This is what allowed Ansem to finally shake off CATS. This is what allowed Kingdom Hearts to come back twice against Soul Calibur, with the final push being to come back from down 700 for an easy win.
And more importantly, Alucard and Sora were deadlocked last year until the morning vote hit, where Sora then took off to win by 10000 votes. Being down 1200 was barely anything for Kingdom Hearts, which has had vote swings of several thousand votes before. When paired with Castlevania's historically pathetic day vote, one could have called this match over the second Kingdom Hearts stalled the advance. Not surprisingly, Kingdom Hearts took off during the day. By the end of the match and despite every effort that Castlevania could possibly give, a 1200 vote lead turned into a 3400 vote loss. Given that Alucard allowed Sora to swing 10000 votes on him, Castlevania only allowing 4600 could be considered an improvement <_<
It's interesting to consider whether or not Castlevania would have won this if Kingdom Hearts 2 didn't exist, but it's a moot point. Barely anyone even expected Castlevania to beat Halo, let alone hang around with Kingdom Hearts for 12 hours. CV was more or less the biggest surprise of an otherwise mundane contest. As for Kingdom Hearts, the parallel to 2005 was crazy. Alucard beats Kratos, Sora beats some joke fodder, and Sora/Alucard have a struggle before Sora gets his ass whipped by Solid Snake. This year, CV beats Halo, KH beats joke fodder, and CV/KH have another struggle before the winner goes on to get his ass whipped by Metal Gear. The only things missing were Kratos' man-boobs and Snake getting ready to snipe Sora again.
By the way, I have to hand it to the fans of the two series in this one. You quite literally made the board unreadable throughout every part of this match, turned this match into the biggest whinefest of the contest and made the more mature members of the board feel disgusted be associated with you. It's easy to say that Castlevania fans were the worse of the two groups ("HOW is CV losing to some kiddy series? It's got HISTORY!!"), but KH weren't exactly any better during the time that CV was winning. Matches like this make me miss the offseason, even if the offseason is generally filled with boring nonsense and people having nothing better to do than troll each other with alts. It's at least better than sitting through what went on during this match, which was amazing otherwise.
Match Trends Edit
There are few matches in contest history more maligned than this one – not for the result, but for the board’s behavior. What most forget is that this match was actually very entertaining – despite Castlevania’s excellent performance in Round One, most people still thought Kingdom Hearts would take it with ease. That was proven wrong very quickly when Castlevania actually started off with a commanding lead and would hold onto it for the first part of the match. Kingdom Hearts would eventually come back and win via the afterschool vote (again, I think – voting patterns aren’t my specialty), but it was a great fight, and Castlevania gave it everything it had.
The board, of course, wouldn’t sit quietly for this, and the sheer amount of whining that went on here was quite possibly the worst since 2003 and until L-Block’s run in 2007. But hey, that’s what good matches often do – provoke mindless fury.