Every year since 2002, the video game information web site gamefaqs.com has held one or two competitions to determine the most popular video game characters or series. The competition is run via a series of polls that are open to anyone who loads the webpage. The competitions between video game characters are called Character Battles. Sometime in 2003, after the first few character battles had occurred, a member of a video game forum called Board 8 noticed a pattern in the battles. This member, known as Slowflake, realized that 9 specific characters did consistently well in the Character Battles and only ever lost in polls against each other. Slowflake coined the term “Noble Nine” to refer to these nine members.
The Noble Nine are Link (Legend of Zelda), Mario (Super Mario Bros.), Samus Aran (Metroid), Cloud (Final Fantasy VII), Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII), Crono (Chrono Trigger), Mega Man (Mega Man), Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid), and Sonic the Hedgehog (Sonic the Hedgehog). While it may have been premature to label these characters after only a year, the Noble Nine lived up to their title for almost seven years. Until 2010, the Noble Nine won 124 one-on-one battles during Character Battles against characters not in the Noble Nine. During the same time, the Noble Nine characters never lost any one-on-one battles against characters not in the Noble Nine.
There are different characters whether it is Noble Nine or Non-noble nine buy let’s not categorize them in either because each one has their own brand value like Pokemon and one needs to have skills to achieve Pokemon go accounts for sale to get to goals and all of the above mentioned games fall in similar line.
In addition to being popular characters in the gamefaqs.com Character Battles, it is quite probable that these nine characters are the most popular characters in all of video games. But, if these characters really are the most popular characters in all of video games, the question is what exactly makes them so popular?
For Link, Samus, Mega Man, Mario, and Solid Snake, there appears to be one consistent answer. All of these characters are the main characters of long running series originally made popular by a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game. While console gaming existed on the systems like the Atari and Commodore 64 before the NES was released, due to the Video Game Crash of 1983, Nintendo is generally considered to be the godfather of the video game industry. Many NES games are considered classics, especially those that started popular series. The love that gamers have for games like Legend of Zelda and Mega Man transfers to a love for the characters.
The single notable exception to the above is the incredibly popular Final Fantasy series. Despite thirteen games in the series, which originally started on the NES, only one game in the series has characters in the Noble Nine. This is primarily due to the fact that Final Fantasy games rarely maintain plot or character continuity in sequels. Thus, the characters from each game are judged independent of the series. Unsurprisingly, the most popular game in the series, Final Fantasy VII, is the game that produced the two most popular characters. And, most fans of the game would claim that the reason the game is so popular is because Cloud and Sephiroth are such excellently designed and portrayed characters.
Looking further down the list, there is one character that is the main character of a series that did not start on a Nintendo console. In fact, the popularity of Sonic the Hedgehog can almost be entirely attributed to the fact that the game is not a Nintendo product. The original console wars between Nintendo and Sega were fierce. And, while Nintendo eventually won, Sega fans never forgot the rivalry. The rivalry is long since forgotten by the companies, but millions of fans continue to root for the underdog. As such, Sonic the Hedgehog is something of a dark horse favorite and has gained a cult following that is as strong as or stronger than Mario’s fan base.
The final character in the Noble Nine is considered the most unlikely. Crono is the main character of the SNES classic Chrono Trigger. While the game is generally considered a classic, it is comparatively unknown relative to the other games that feature Noble Nine characters. Chrono Trigger was a role playing game released before Final Fantasy VII made role playing games mainstream. It also has never produced a true sequel, nor did it sell particularly well on initial release. Despite this, role playing game fans almost universally agree that it is one of the best role playing games ever made. This unified popularity among fans of the genre is rare, with even classics like Final Fantasy VII having a large number of detractors. So, while the game doesn’t have mass popularity, the near universal appeal to genre fans gives the game, and the main character, a surprisingly strong fan base.
Nearly a decade later, the designation of the Noble Nine seems to be a rather insightful bit of nomenclature. In the gamefaqs.com Character Battles, these characters continue to dominate year after year. Outside of the Character Battles, despite the creation of new games and new series, no character seems to have garnered any form of massive popularity amongst a high population of video game players. Partially this is due to which games have become popular. World of Warcraft has no protagonist and Halo has an unnamed protagonist. But, this is also partially due to the fact that these original nine characters were simply incredibly well designed characters that appeal highly to gamers. Even should a new popular character come along, the Noble Nine is likely to remain popular for a long time to come.