Samus Wins! Samus Wins! Console Carnage Tournament Recap

That’s all she wrote folks. And by she I mean, Samus Aran, because she’s officially the Console Carnage Tournament Champion.

I don’t want to brag how one of my heroes finished on top. I also don’t want to brag that this is the second consecutive year where my geek-writing partner in crime, Double D, won silver in our nerdy March Madness tournaments. I mean last year his Marvel boys lost to my DC juggernauts (no one beats the Batman) and now this year he loses AGAIN to a chick! How embarrassing, but again I don’t want to boast.

All in all, the tournament was a blast to bring you guys. We had a tremendous amount of fun writing up these columns and putting everything together for the fellow video game fans out there. Just like we did last year with our DC vs. Marvel Madness, we’re compiling a few token trophies for all the characters involved and the impact fan voting had.

I would like to thank all the readers out there who helped make this year’s tournament a success. Don’t forget to check out PBE’s recap on the tournament from his POV!

For now, let’s take a look back at what happened over the course of this competition.

Tournament Champion – (3) Samus Aran

Flicker Danny Choo

Photo credit Danny Choo via Flicker

She won the heroes bracket and consequently the tournament. It wasn’t easy she literally beat Sephiroth by a single vote. By far the closest match of Console Carnage and fittingly so it was saved for the final.

Runner-Up – (2) Sephiroth

Sephiroth wikia commons

Photo credit Danny Choo via Flicker

No surprise the FFVII legend made it to the finals. Albeit, I’ll admit he was one of my picks to possibly win the whole thing. I’m a bit shocked he lost considering how popular he is among gamers, but I’m glad to see my Nintendo gal knock him off his pedestal.

**Editor Note: As a diehard FFVII fan, I had a blast writing up my comical callout on him for the last round of voting.**


Biggest Upset

Heroes Bracket – (16) Sub-Zero over (1) Link

I don’t think there’s any way not for me to call this the biggest upset of the tournament. We had fan-voted seeding and to see the consensus number one pick go down to a character who barely made the cut is unbelievable.

Villains Bracket – (4) Dr. Robotnik over (1) Bowser

The villains were dominated by favorites. This happened to be only one of two upsets on that side of the bracket and it was easily the most shocking. Bowser’s one of the most recognizable characters in the video game community. Yet in this battle between Sega and Nintendo, the huevo man won.

Fan Favorites

 (16) Sub-Zero

Can’t say enough about the Lin Keui assassin. He turned the bracket upside down and nearly made it all the way to the finals. Interestingly enough he made the final cut of 32 on a coin toss. Mentioned at the start of the tournament, we used total video game franchise sales as a tiebreaker for characters who yielded the same number of votes. Ironically, both Sub-Zero and Raiden were tied for the last seed. Being originals from the same franchise, the selection came down to a coin toss. The rest is Console Carnage history. Nonetheless, I would have never have predicted Sub-Zero’s run. His impact on this tournament highlights just how popular the Mortal Kombat franchise is. Who says fighting games don’t matter?

(4) Dr. Robotnik

Tough to pick a fan favorite from a bracket were the top seeds dominated. Yet, Dr. Eggman appeared to be the popular candidate of choice. He beat Bowser and took Sephiroth the distance. Considering Sonic was bounced out the first round on the heroes’ side, I’d fancy that some voters thought the mechanical menace was a video game version of the ‘2000s Hipster.’ We all know how powerful that hipster voting demographic can be. #feartheEggman

Surprise Stories

Heroes – The Mario Bros. falter

I should’ve seen this coming considering that Mario and Luigi only managed a 5-seed after the first round of fan voting. However, I still felt their name recognition would’ve got them a charity case into the semi-finals. Hats off to the Mass Effect fans who made sure Commander Shepard gave the siblings an early exit.

Villains – No underdog story

The villain’s bracket featured only two upsets: (11) Donkey Kong over (6) Pac-Man Ghosts & (4) Robotnik’s upset over (1) Bowser – that was it. I’m not sure if the seeding was that appropriate or the match-ups were that lopsided. Regardless, I’m still flabbergasted that the semifinals had all four top seeds remaining.

Tournament Dark Horse

  • (16) Sub-Zero – Need I say more?

Better Luck Next Year

  • Heroes – (1) Link –What more can I say. The face of the Legend of Zelda franchise couldn’t get out of the first round.
  • Villains – (16) Jack of Blades –One of the vilest villains ever to grace a console. Fable’s antagonist barely made the cut and suffered a first-round defeat at the hands of Bowser.

Tournament Snubs

  • Heroes – Kratos, Starkiller, Star Fox, Chrono, Captain Falcon, Crash Bandicoot, Marcus

If you would’ve told me we’d have a video game-inspired March Madness without the God of War or Playstation’s leading marsupial, I would’ve called you insane. Yet, neither Kratos or Crash Bandicoot made the final 32. Equally, surprising was the absence of Smash Bros. veterans, Captain Falcon and Star Fox.

  • Villains – M. Bison, Magus, Myrrah, Kefka

No Chrono and No Magus. The absence of Chrono Trigger love on either bracket was surprising. With Sub-Zero, Ryu, and Scorpion all making the cut I couldn’t believe Mr. Street Fighter himself, M. Bison was left on the bench. My roommate is still crying about the absence of Kefka. And while Kefka might be regarded as one of the greatest video game villains the truth is, a large portion of gamers didn’t play Japanese RPGs in the 90s (sorry FFVI fans, the truth hurts) and his lack of name recognition showed. Gears of War fell to the same fate as Chrono Trigger – neither pair of leading characters made it through.

Bad Breaks

  • Heroes – (9) Lara Croft, (12) Kirby, (15) Sonic

All three are franchise headliners and all three were one-and-done. Ms. Croft got outmatched by superior technology against Master Chief. Kirby couldn’t outlast his Nintendo forefathers, Mario & Luigi. And Sonic proved that not even his supersonic speed can outrun Mega Man’s Mega Buster.

  • Villains – (9) Nemesis, (10) Pyramid Head, (12) Harbinger

The horror genre’s lone two reps both fell victim to bad seeds. Resident Evil’s Nemesis couldn’t outgun the novelty of Handsome Jack. Silent Hill’s, Pyramid Head – easily the most intriguing match-up of the first round – fell short against Scorpion. Harbinger arguably fell victim to our tournament rules. All things consider all three of these characters deserved at least one victory.

Way To Represent Retro Gaming

The unsung theme of the tournament. We saw a character who made her debut in 1986 win the whole thing, but the alarming part is 15 of the final 32 contenders were created prior to 1995. As a Nintendo kid, I was happy to see my childhood favorites make a strong showing although I never thought they’d dominate this much.


Well that’s it folks. Once again I applaud you all for helping participate in Console Carnage. Now the question is, what tournament theme should we do next year?

We already covered comics. We knocked video games out of the way this year. What’s next? Got any ideas for next year’s geek-themed March Madness for us to cover let us know! We’d love to hear it!


Keep on nerdin’ on folks!



Featured Photo courtesy of Wizyakuza Art via


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