|Match Date||Monday, July 7th, 2003|
|KOS-MOS - 42.45%|
The pre-match debates involving this one were fairly low-key, though this match would have been a much bigger deal if it weren't one of those "Oh well, the winner is guaranteed to lose so it's only one point" things. Contests back then weren't as easy to predict as they are now, so one point didn't matter so much. It's not like today where everyone has a fairly decent chance at going perfect.
There was a split, though if I remember correctly, KOS-MOS fans picked the right winner but had a totally whacked out argument. Apparently since Xenogears kicked all sorts of ass, KOS-MOS being from Xenosaga would be a clear case of popularity leeching and she would win with ease despite Crash's popularity. On Crash's side, his fans... pretty much supported the favorite. It wasn't as if Crash were overly powerful or anything (especially when looking at 2002....God), but someone as well-known as Crash should surely be able to take down some cult character who takes all of her popularity from her game's title, right?
Come match time, KOS-MOS went out and proved what many of her supporters have believed all along, which is that KOS-MOS isn't necessarily strong (though she sure as hell looked it early) but that people no longer cared about Crash Bandicoot at all. Crash was the easy favorite going into the match, but was simply blown away from the beginning. He made a nice percentage recovery as the match progressed, but couldn't take away from the fact that this match was good symbolism of the era of the 3D platforming character being over. And if this match couldn't convince people of that, the Summer 2004 Contest (featuring Crash, Jak, Ratchet, Conker, and maybe others I'm forgetting) sure as hell would.
The odd thing about this match is that it didn't seem like most people were upset about Crash losing, almost as if they expected it to happen. If a favored character's loss being greeted with complacency isn't a sign of people not caring about him, I don't know what is. Unfortunately for KOS-MOS, this match sort of gave a false sense of her being stronger that she really was. Not that it would matter in the grand scheme of things, but it's odd looking back on 2003 and remembering all the people who thought that KOS-MOS could possibly give Samus a run...