Pandora's Tale Wiki:Pandora's Tale Volume 1 Character Tournament

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In 2021 and 2022, readers voted for their favorite character in Volume 1 of Pandora's Tale. All named non-metafictional characters were eligible. The tournament was divided into 13 matches, from 2021 November 24 to 2022 March 9. Noor Shah ultimately won the tournament.

Eligible Characters

The tournament included all named non-metafictional characters. To qualify as a named character, a character had to satisfy all of the following conditions:

  • The character must visually appear in some way on-panel in the comic.
  • The character's name must be spoken or written somewhere in the comic.
  • It must be possible to determine, using only information in the comic itself, that the name given in the comic corresponds to the visual appearance of the comic.
    • For an example of a character that doesn't meet this condition, the names "Cyprian" and "Yorba Linda" are mentioned in the episode description shown in the background of Chapter 6, Page 17. One of those names might refer to the metafictional human shown two pages later. However, it is not possible to determine from the comic itself whether that character is Cyprian, Yorba, or someone else, so that character isn't included on the named character list.

Only chapters one through seven were available at the time the tournament ran, and hence only characters named and appearing in those chapters were eligible. In particular, Kyndley was not included: even though she appeared in Chapter One, she was not named until Chapter Eight.

The inclusion criteria for this tournament formed the basis for the first table on the list of characters.

In total, there were 20 eligible characters.

Eligible Characters
Character First appearance First named
Pandora 1:0 2:7
Zero Angiers 1:15 1:16
Isabelle Monday 1:15 1:17
Veronica Fortuna 1:15 2:2
Con Yung 1:15 2:2
Noor Shah 2:10 2:10
Zufolene 3:4 3:9
Tallulah Zaragoza 3:4 3:9
Lyra Lujic 3:7 3:7
Natalya Ustrashkina 3:10 3:10
Hemmel 3:10 3:10
Gabriel Glenholm 4:18 4:18
Maple 4:18 4:19
Petrichor 5:9 5:4
Eric Michael Fishguard 6:5 6:5
Hamilton Smith-Rawnsley 6:9 6:5
Adrastea 6:10 7:12
Andromeda 6:15 6:16
Cassiopeia 6:15 6:16
Leo 6:15 6:16

Tournament Format

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At the start of each round, the characters were divided into matches, as evenly as possible. Since there were 20 characters in total, the first round consisted of four matches, each with five characters. In each match, each reader could vote for up to , and the top advanced to the next round. Prior to the semifinals, matches were determined pseudo-randomly using the round's start date as a seed. Once five or fewer characters remained, matches were decided using the semi-finalists' performance in previous rounds.

Tiebreakers

A tie only matters if there is a tie for 'th place. When such a tie occurs, the following rules were used for tiebreakers:

  1. If all characters in a match are tied, then the tournament organizer's votes (i.e. my votes) are discarded.
  2. Otherwise, if more than half of the characters are tied for last place, then all of the characters tied for last place are eliminated.
  3. Otherwise, the tie will be resolved by allowing more characters to advance to the next round.

Rule (2) ensures that at least once character is eliminated in every match. It was intended to prevent the possibility of an infinite loop. Rules (1) and (3) were intended to reduce the likelihood that a popular character would be eliminated early just because of random match-ups.

Semifinal Placement

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When five or fewer characters remain at the end of a round, the following round constitutes the start of the semifinals. Characters are placed into the semifinals based on their vote-shares in previous rounds. A character's vote-share for a match is defined to be the number of votes they got divided by the total number of votes in the match. Their average vote-share is the arithmetic mean of their vote-shares in matches prior to the semifinal. All matches are weighted equally, not by the number of votes.

All semifinal and final matches are one-vs-one. Hence, the only tie-breaker rule that could come into effect is the rule that when the entire match is tied, the tournament organizer's vote is discarded.

Unlike all matches prior to the semifinals, each semifinal and final match lasts two weeks, except for the "third-place match" if applicable.

How exactly the semifinalists are placed depends on the number of semifinalists. Note that without tiebreakers, there will always be exactly four semifinalists.

5 Semifinalists

The semifinalists with the 4th and 5th highest average vote-shares face off against each other in a "pre-semifinal" match. The loser is awarded 5th place and eliminated from the tournament. The tournament then proceeds as if there were only four semifinalists.

4 Semifinalists

The semifinalists with the highest and 4th average vote-shares face each other in one match, and the characters with the 2nd and 3rd highest average vote-shares face each other in another semifinal match.

The losers of the two semifinals then face each other in a "third-place match." Unlike all other semifinals, the third place match lasts only one week. The loser is awarded 4th place while the winner is awarded 3rd place.

Finally, the winners of the semifinals face each other in a 2-week final match.

3 Semifinalists

The semifinalists with the 2nd and 3rd highest average vote-shares face each other in a semifinal match. The loser is awarded third place and eliminated, while the winner faces the character with the highest average vote-share in the final.

2 Semifinalists

The semifinals are unnecessary, and the only two "semifinalists" immediately face each other in the final match.

Motivation for the Rules

The intent of these rules was to meet two simultaneous goals:

  1. There should be a high probability that the strongest two candidates make it to the finals. A single-elimination tournament with 1-vs-1 matches was therefore undesirable, since the two most popular characters could be randomly paired against each other in the first round. The system I wrote allows multiple characters to advance in each match prior to the semifinals, and the fact that each voter can vote for multiple candidates reduces the likelihood that the front-runner will be eliminated due to vote-splitting.
  2. The tournament should happen in a reasonable time frame even for a large initial cast. A double-elimination tournament of 1-vs-1 matches would require 38 matches, and even a single-elimination tournament would require 19. This system allowed the tournament to conclude with match 13.

Detailed Results

Part 1

The first match consisted of four matches, each with five characters.

Match 1

  • Veronica Fortuna: 8 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Gabriel Glenholm: 0 (Eliminated)
  • Maple: 5
  • Lyra Lujic: 2 (Eliminated)
  • Con Yung: 4

Match 2

  • Hemmel: 3 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Natalya Ustrashkina: 4 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Tallulah Zaragoza: 3
  • Petrichor: 1 (eliminated)
  • Cassiopeia: 0 (eliminated)

Match 3

  • Andromeda: 6
  • Isabelle Monday: 9 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Noor Shah: 10 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Eric Fishguard: 0 (eliminated)
  • Zero Angiers: 2 (eliminated)

Match 4

  • Hamilton Smith-Rawnsley: 0 (eliminated)
  • Pandora: 12 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Adrastea: 5
  • Leo: 4
  • Zufolene: 4 (including the tournament organizer)


Four characters received zero votes. Three of those characters are villains with no redeeming qualities (Gabriel Glenholm, Eric Fishguard, and Hamilton Smith-Rawnsley). Cassiopeia is the only non-villain to receive no votes

Part 2

Match 5

  • Hemmel: 6 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Natalya Ustrashkina: 7 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Veronica Fortuna: 8 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Adrastea: 4 (eliminated)
  • Zufolene: 1 (eliminated)

Match 6

  • Tallulah Zaragoza: 0 (eliminated)
  • Isabelle Monday: 5 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Maple: 1 (eliminated)
  • Pandora: 6 (including the tournament organizer)

Match 7

  • Noor Shah: 9 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Con Yung: 4 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Leo: 0 (eliminated)
  • Andromeda: 4

Part 3

Match 8

  • Isabelle Monday: 4 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Andromeda: 2 (eliminated)
  • Noor Shah: 3
  • Pandora: 3 (including the tournament organizer)

Match 9

  • Hemmel: 4
  • Natalya Ustrashkina: 7 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Con Yung: 4
  • Veronica Fortuna: 2 (including the tournament organizer) (eliminated)

Along with the announcement of Match 9, Xan said "We've officially reached the "All main characters apart from Zero" point of the poll." [1][archive link needed]


Part 4

Match 10

  • Natalya Ustrashkina: 5 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Hemmel: 3 (including the tournament organizer)
  • Con Yung: 2 (eliminated)

Match 11

  • Pandora: 4 (including the tournament organizer) (eliminated)
  • Isabelle Monday: 4 (including the tournament organizer) (eliminated)
  • Noor Shah: 5

Arguably the highlight of the tournament, Match 11 saw Noor trigger the tiebreaking rules to eliminated both of the main characters, clearing the stage for the semifinal.

Part 5

With only three characters remaining, characters were placed into the semifinal based on their vote shares in prior rounds. The "vote share" of a character in a given match is defined to be the number of votes the character got divided by the total number of votes in the match. Semifinalists were placed based on the arithmetic mean of the vote shares the received in rounds 1-4.

Average vote shares
Character Average vote share
Natalya 3755/9724≈0.38616
Doctor Shah 36623/95472≈0.38360
Hemmel 25253/97240≈0.25970


Natalya had the highest vote share, so she was automatically placed in the final.

Match 12

  • Hemmel: 3 (including the tournament organizer) (eliminated)
  • Noor Shah: 11

Doctor Shah easily won the semifinal.

Part 6

Match 13

  • Natalya Ustrashkina: 5 (including the tournament organizer) (eliminated)
  • Noor Shah: 11 (winner)

Doctor Shah won the tournament.

Aftermath

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