These are Drakeryn's Top Ten Mercs Matches ranked for Ed Bellis's What Would You Do.

Top 10 Mercs MatchesEdit

In these final days of Mercs where the matches are all too often eclipsed by ability hailstorms, it seemed fitting for me to make a list of my favorite matches: some due to exciting arguments, some due to sheer hilarity, some due to pure and unadulterated personal bias.

10 ~ final trance [ FFD > GANON ]

GANON’s heroic last stand.

A dying team, bleeding negative RI, on the brink of elimination – facing FFD’s Crimson Flames, rising star of the Big Three. There was no more hope of redemption for the Administration of GANON; their economic woes were too severe for them to live another day. Just one final chance at glory. Five fighters at GANON’s side, taking on the combined might of the Crimson Flames, eighteen men strong. Yet one of GANON’s five was Trance Kuja.

Arguments raged throughout the night and throughout the following day, whether Trance Kuja had the power to take down Augmented Mega Man and the rest of his army. Mercs’ most powerful archmage was not going to succumb easily to death; if his team was doomed, then he was determined to take three of FFD’s infra with him in his downward spiral. I stayed in the topic all day, arguing for GANON, cursing those voters who dropped a vote for FFD and then leaving before they could hear the words I shouted at their retreating backs. Wanting to give GANON his final well-deserved victory.

It was not to be. When time was finally called, FFD was the winner by a score of 11 to 10. I am still utterly convinced that Trance Kuja should have been the victor that day. And that’s why this match is not higher on this list. Yet there’s still glory there – to nearly solo the Crimson Flames, on a defense match no less, is no mean feat.

09 ~ DANCE WATER DANCE [ TWTNW Faction > Red ]

Apologies to Red for this one. I’m a bastard, I know. But it was hilarious.

The entire CATS Army stepped forward to challenge The World That Never Was Faction of Organization XIII. Aether against Reaction Commands, a hail of gunfire against masters of magic, berserk Diablo lashing out against both friend and foe. And, in the middle of it all, Demyx – thoroughly humiliated, having constant seizures due to Cyan and stuck inside a giant cake by Len.

The fine print on Demyx’s ability went unread for a long time.

Demyx’s ability was to summon a water clone for every post falling on an even seconds number. Not every vote; every post. Before anyone realized what was going on there were thirty of them running around in the match, then forty, then fifty, with GANON running around doing cartwheels and somersaults in the topic and the rest of us half-stunned by the unearthly brokenness of it all. Red getting numbers advantage’d with his whole team on the field? Watch carefully, I told myself, because you’re never gonna see this sight again.

Demyx has since found a good home on FFD’s team, nerfhammered to heck and back, this incident largely forgotten – except for the time Red was facing FFD and ran into the topic screaming “DIE CLONES DIE.”

08 ~ rogue championship [ Chichiri > Red ]

In retrospect it looks like the three of us planned it all in advance. But we didn’t, not really. Things just happened to come together perfectly to enable Chichiri and the Scornful Egotists to seize their first championship.

The day before, Red declared on me and insta-won me with Dante to regain the championship. While Devil Trigger Dante was busy demolishing my team, HK-47 shot and killed Snake, KOing and injuring him. A small, meaningless gesture of defiance. Kind of cute. Setting Snake as my HK target didn’t even really make sense; he’s not that much of a threat most days. But hey, at least I did something.

Then Oddname saw that Snake was injured, and thus that Red was vulnerable to a visit from Sam Fisher. So he sent Sammy boy out the door in the direction of Red’s base, planning to use the grue to nullify ninety percent of Red’s arsenal and Sam to take care of the rest.

Then – a little hitch in the plan – Chichiri declared on Red before Oddname could. For Chich was hungry for championship glory as well.

Bam, samotage. Red’s entire defense system was wiped out, his strongest team member Mecha-Vergil reduced to a pile of scrap metal. Even Chich couldn’t quite believe his fortune. “You mean I can win this match with one ability?” he said.

One ability: Bass’s ability Rogue allows him to duel the members of the enemy team, one by one, until he falls in battle. But with Mecha-Vergil out of the way, Red lacked any fighter capable of taking on the robotic juggernaut. One by one the members of the CATS Army fell to the rogue, duels continuing straight through the night and into the following morning, until finally there was nobody left to battle Bass and Chichiri was crowned the new champion.

Oddname and I weren’t quite sure how to react. Neither of us meant for things to turn out as they did. Even though everything fit together so elegantly.

(P.S. It was cute when Bass did it. It’s not cute when Dark Invisible First-Strike Augmented Blessed E-Tank Man does it. I don’t even want to hear it.)

07 ~ dahaka > id [ Mana > DC ]

Fei Fong Wong, more than any other single mercenary in the game, has defined the term “RNG screwed.” There’s Id getting nulled by the Plan. There’s the long string of inevitable Weltall failures in close matches, punctuated by Id getting Weltall when DC’s already used enough other abilities to overkill the enemy twice over. And then there’s the Dahaka incident.

It was supposed to be an easy win for DC, busting out Id in Spekkio’s Arena, a tiny little terrain with no place to hide and no time to form a concerted defense. It was supposed to be a slaughter.

Well, it was a slaughter.

The 1% chance that nobody ever thought would hit: that day, it hit. The Dahaka appeared to fight for Mana’s team. And suddenly the tables were turned, and Id’s soul was consumed by the sands of time, and there was a minor riot in the topic as a virtual mob stood exclaiming at Mana’s incredible luck and DC swore eternal revenge and hatred against his team.

What can I say, I’m drawn to mass chaos. It was a good popcorn match.

But when I eventually fought Mana’s team, I made good and sure that I had insurance against the possibility of the Dakaha screwing me over – because I sure wasn’t about to tempt fate by banking on that 99% chance.

06 ~ falling to the moon [ Oddname > Wang ]

Perhaps the ultimate in absurd situations. The Soldiers of the Wasteland, all of them, fighting against…Raine. And then the moon from Majora’s Mask started to fall. And then Alucard’s Plan in all its brilliance reversed gravity in the terrain, so that all the characters began in the air – falling to the moon. And when the fighters landed on the moon, that’s when trouble started – because there are caves on the moon. Raine. And caves. Combo of death. newbie and others started arguing that The Cave Factor would allow psycho-Raine to solo the entire enemy team. A few months later the moon was falling again in one of Oddname’s matches. Mana walked in, exclaimed “What the crap? The moon’s falling to them?” and promptly walked out without voting. Because it’s just not as exciting once you’ve seen it the other way.

05 ~ ness/sigma boss fight [ Wang/Chichiri > Ness/Sigma ]

I’ve never seen such walls of text.

Karma Hunter put up the second topic (the second topic, mind you), and Wang immediately posted something like half a dozen full posts about how their team would defeat the bosses. After everyone scrambled out of the way to avoid being crushed by the wall (a couple people didn’t make it and their bodies later had to be dragged out from under the rubble), we all stood there in awe. Then four voters in a row stumbled forward and said, “…uh…what Wang said.” While there was plenty of fervent arguing before and plenty of fervent arguing after, that moment was decisive in the final vote tally.

Some victories are won with strategy, some with raw might. Others are won through sheer sweat and tenacity. Whether or not you agreed with the outcome on this one, you had to agree it was a well-earned victory.

04 ~ raziel and neclord against the world [ FFD > Drak ]

A crushing defeat, to be sure. But out of all my matches, this was probably the one that I had the most fun arguing, which is what earns it a high spot on this list.

Day 46 dawned with me stuck at the bottom of the declaration order and FFD cheerfully pledging to shred my team for what I’d done to him the day before. (Technically Red was below me in the order, but Wang had already announced his intention to declare on him, so in practical terms there was nobody.) So I did what any right-minded Merc leader in my position would have done, namely, sending out my vampire to kidnap and rape his womenfolk. And by “womenfolk” I mean “Jill Valentine,” nuller of undead, bane of my existence.

Protip: FFD does not take kindly to having Jill yoinked. If people had paid attention to this, a lot of trouble might have been avoided later. But I digress.

Wartime came, FFD sprang for my throat, and he fired off KO ability after KO ability until all but two of my mercs lay dead. Raziel and Neclord were alone against half the Crimson Flames, including that soulless wretch of ultimate doom, Mega Man. I stood there for a long moment blinking, taking in the carnage, trying to form coherent thoughts. And then I said to myself, Hey. That wasn’t as much overkill as I expected. If I can write a good enough argument I bet I can come back and win this.

So the following afternoon I wrote up my argument, trying to give it a sense of narrative, a sense of solidity that would draw the reader in and demand a suspension of disbelief. Oddname kept shooting sidelong glances toward me. Like he thought I was insane but didn’t want to say anything for fear he’d push me over the edge. I ignored him. I was busy writing. If I won this match, I told myself, it would be the most epic thing ever.

The match went up, and Raziel and Neclord began the cat-and-mouse games, leading the enemy hordes to their deaths in the twisted corridors of Northwindow Ruins. They battled on even as FFD and I battled in the topic. We debated hotly for hours about Raziel’s invisibility, about James carrying Harman’s wheelchair up the stairs, about whether Mega Man had air-cushioned joints (no). A fierce battle; a worthy opponent; a match small enough that every merc mattered and was heavily argued for.

Can’t ask for much more than that.

Well, I could (and did) ask for victory, which I didn’t get – but still, it was a more entertaining match than virtually every one of my wins.

03 ~ Kir-TM [ GANON > Crono ]

What else is there to say? Kirby inhaling a giant spider robot is by itself an awesome image. Cloud then riding inside that robot is like the best thing ever.

02 ~ maria traydor > dark matter magus [ Chichiri > HM ]

It’s an ability-heavy game. Even in early Mercs, abilities were more important than the actual characters a good proportion of the time; now it seems like abilities are all we’ve got left. But sometimes, dedicated arguments can win the day even in the face of massive ability usage and superior raw might. This was one of those times.

The black wind howled. Magus called upon the power of the void to swallow his enemies’ strongest team members alive. And to all appearances it looked like Chichiri might as well write the day off as a loss and head for home, since Dark Matter Magus gets a ton of respect.

Chichiri’s newest team member, Maria Traydor, thought otherwise.

3/day, not all that powerful, not all that well-known, not all that well-respected, but designed to be an anti-mage with her MP-depleting gunner techs. Mac and Phase and I argued long and loud for her. And for every voter who came in, saw Dark Matter, voted for it, and left, there was another voter who hung around to listen to our arguments. That match was on the line right until the very end, but once all the dust and all the clamor had cleared, arguments and technique had prevailed against raw power.

And since Maria Traydor was the first character I managed to get into Mercs, I was quite pleased to see her making such a major difference in her first close match.

01 ~ clash of the undying [ Drak > Red ]

I’d just been handed control of the Neverland Ranch Survivors after their former leader Shake left the game, and to be honest I had no clue what I was doing with the team. Keeping track of everyone’s abilities was a big enough task (and one that I was not particularly good at). Strategic planning was beyond me. But there was one simple truth that I clung to: I had been brought here to defeat Redtooth, and I was determined to do so.

Sometimes determination means nothing. The first time I faced off against Red’s army, I came in with high hopes – then watched helpless as, ability after ability, he gleefully demolished my team and then activated Turf Wars. I was outnumbered five to 17, with one of them crippled, two of them near-worthless in combat, three of them stuck in a giant cake. And CATS killing off three fighters on each team every hour. A hopeless situation.

Pride was all that kept me from forfeiting that day.

Yet the RNG saw fit to have compassion on this noob. Beginner’s luck, as they say. Schala randomly warped Ganondorf onto my team. And that made things interesting – because when Ganondorf is KOed he transforms into Ganon, and at the time Ganon was immune to all KOs not involving a form of magic. That plus CATS’ bomb meant that I actually had a chance.

There was vigorous debate throughout, with Wang in Redtooth’s corner, Mac and Metool in mine, a united front. It was a day for the impossible. Zigs blasted through the battlefield; Red’s fighters as well as mine fell one by one; and at last the only surviving fighters were my savior Ganon against KO-immune Aether Ike and The Nameless One. I continued arguing desperately, bumping the topic at regular intervals to try and draw in more voters now that the numbers were down.

Final score: 12–11, my favor.


By all rights I should’ve lost that day. But an incredible confluence of factors conspired to save me. I think the technical term is “luck hax.”

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