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Mt. Coronet



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Mega Man's 30th

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Dec 17 2017 · 0 views

It’s been a rocky few years, but things are actually looking really freaking bright right now.

For those unaware, earlier this month Capcom did a special livestream to celebrate the anniversary, and showcased a neat little retrospective of the franchise’s releases over the past three decades. It got pretty hilarious past Mega Man 10, with year upon year of absolutely nothing (barring Xover)…but then to the shock of everyone, this turned into a trailer for an honest-to-God new game. Mega Man 11 is going to be a thing!

You can watch the retrospective and trailer here if you missed it. 11 is trying to retain the essence of the Classic series while updating it for the modern age, as opposed to 9 and 10’s throwback to 8-bit, and it looks pretty darn nice. It’s tough to change my tune so completely, but honestly, everything the team has been saying sounds like they really, actually care about making this game good, and I think I’m actually starting to be optimistic about it. Mega Man might survive after all! Who knew! Of course, the game won’t be released until late 2018, and it sounds like we won’t be hearing much if anything more until summer. These things both strike me as odd, but, y’know…I want to believe.

(Plus there’s a screenshot where Mega Man’s armor has shifted to look a lot like Geo’s, no one has said a single word about this but it’s gone a long way towards getting me excited.)

My experience with Mega Man isn’t exactly what might be considered typical. See my first exposure to Mega Man was the NT Warrior anime, which was airing on Saturday mornings when I was a kid. That naturally led me to the Battle Network games, and while I was vaguely aware of Classic and X and maybe Zero (probably not Legends though), I realized they were their own separate things and didn’t really bother for a while. As I came to play more video games, Battle Network concluded and we got Star Force, which naturally I was all over, plus Mega Man ZX came out around the same time and I saw that as the perfect opportunity to try out the robotics timeline. Since I’ve never actually been good at video games, most of my attempts to enter that timeline have gone…pretty poorly. But I’ve always held the three series I experienced as a kid very close to my heart, and I’ve always had a respect for the franchise at large. This has deepened somewhat in recent years, where I’ve been making more attempts to escape reality familiarize myself with the other series. I’m still not good, but with how Let’s Plays have taken off that isn’t as much of an issue anymore! I feel a good deal more knowledgeable about the franchise now than I did at the beginning of this drought, so you know what, if I somehow have the money I bet I actually will try my hand at Mega Man 11! (Helping this decision is the fact that it has two easy modes.)

I didn’t expect to ever say it again, but I am looking forward to seeing Mega Man’s future. Admittedly I’m still not entirely sure what to feel about the upcoming cartoon, mostly because we’ve been given so very little, is that even still happening? But 11 exists, it seems promising, and it might even include the subseries in some form! I’m also quietly hoping this could somehow lead to the revival of the Archie comic, like I said before it was great and I really want it back. We’ll see.

If nothing else, we can now actually celebrate Mega Man’s anniversary, as opposed to just trying fruitlessly to console each other, so that’s neat! Plus this reunited me with one of my favorite YouTube videos. Things are looking up.


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Finalize! Red Joker!

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Dec 14 2017 · 0 views
writing advert
I swear I didn’t mean to take nine months.

The plan was to take a short break to detach from Tribe and switch mindsets, then get a small headstart before I began posting. Then Life happened. And Hobbies happened. And Writer’s Block happened. And then I realized it would be really cool to post it on Mega Man’s 30th anniversary, but just recently I remembered today is Star Force’s 11th anniversary so I moved it up…a little…

Anyway, partly to celebrate both these anniversaries, and partly to apologize for the extra wait, I’m kicking off Shooting Star Sonia 3: Red Joker by posting a chapter a day for a whole week! After I hit chapter 7 on Wednesday I’m going to shoot for biweekly like I did with Tribe, and we’ll see how that goes. For now, happy anniversary Star Force! Happy anniversary Mega Man! (I’ll have another blog post on the 17th about that, MEGA MAN 11!) And again, sorry for the wait, and thanks for your support! I wouldn’t have gotten this far without it!

So, I should probably address the title—you may be wondering why I went with Red Joker. I was initially considering Noise as the title, to better fit with Tribe, but that felt a bit too unspecific and I wanted to go with something that felt more direct. And, though you’ve probably guessed, this does mean Sonia will be getting the Joker Program, and we won’t be seeing a Black Ace Harp Note. Let me explain! I originally wanted to use both Finalized Noise Changes, but trying to balance their usage seemed like it would be challenging, plus I would’ve needed to come up with a name for a program that could use both…Jokace? Acer? Meteor G Program? I don’t like any of those names. This is easier. Also, ah, coming up with an idea for Red Joker Harp Note was going smoother than designing a Black Ace Harp Note, so…I guess I wanted to save myself a little work. (What I was thinking of seemed too close to Black Ace Mega Man, and I wasn’t sure how to properly contrast it with my ideas for RJ, it just wasn’t really coming together.) There’s also another very good reason why Sonia’s only getting one program, but I won’t spoil that just yet. Trust me, though: you’re going to love it. There are a few other reasons why RJ got picked over BA (admittedly some bias was involved…don’t get me wrong, Black Ace is awesome, but I’ve always been a power over speed guy so Red Joker was what I grabbed first), but they’re plot relevant so I’ll discuss them as they come up.

That’s all I’ll say here. I hope you enjoy the story!


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Potential Technic Fighting Series Revival No One Asked For

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Dec 03 2017 · 0 views

“Technic Fighting Series” is long-winded and bland but this isn’t really Coliseum or Tournament and it’s definitely not Warzone so I didn’t know how else to get the point across, ANYWAY.

I’m thinking of taking another crack at this series with Technic Survival, not in any way influenced by the current Dragon Ball arc I don’t know where you’re getting that, but I’m very hesitant. Mainly because the idea here is team vs team, and to do that I’ll need a decent number of players, which I’m not sure I can draw in. Heck, because of that, my thought process was that we’d have a sign-up period, then I’d decide on the size and number of teams and have people pick slots as a secondary sign-up phase, which feels complicated but kind of necessary. Obviously the teams would be different constraction themes; each team would have a select few characters, and players would select who they want to manage. So for a G1 team, we’d probably have characters like Tahu, Kopaka, and Gali as fighters to work with.

The team aspect is that each team shares a pool of items and currency, and at the start of each round they need to get together and determine what they’re going to buy, and which fighters will be using which of their items that round. (Team PMs will be provided of course.) Maybe they could also give suggestions to each other on how to proceed in battle? But the downside comes in why this is called “Survival”: when a team accumulates enough losses amongst them (I’m thinking twice their number of fighters, so if a team of three hits 6 losses), that entire team is eliminated from the game. We keep going until only one team remains.

I should probably get to the combat system, since it’s been completely revamped from previous entries in the series. Like in Coliseum, we’ve got stats, though I’m thinking the manager will get to decide the spread, and the stats in question have changed. Now it’s down to just Muscle (for physical attacks), Spirit (for elemental attacks), and Stamina (essentially health). When a match begins, players will take turns executing maneuvers—let’s say Player 1 starts with a Muscle-based maneuver, like “Tahu will swing his sword”. I’ll compare Tahu and his foe’s Muscle stats and RNG a number, decide how damage is dealt, and then Player 2 gets their turn. Maybe “Kopaka fires a blast of ice,” which means I’ll compare Spirit stats and RNG a number. As for how that RNG is going to work…

Let’s start at the baseline, or how the RNG would work if both fighters had an equal stat. I’ll RNG a number 1 through 5, with these results: 1 (attacker loses 3 stamina), 2 (attacker loses 1 stamina), 3 (both lose 1 stamina), 4 (target loses 1 stamina), 5 (target loses 3 stamina). Having a difference naturally modifies these values—for example, let’s say Tahu has 12 Muscle and Kopaka only has 10. There’s a difference of 2 in Tahu’s favor, so if he attacks using Muscle, I’ll RNG a number 1 through 7, with these results: 1 (attacker loses 3 stamina), 2 (attacker loses 1 stamina), 3 (both lose 1 stamina), 4 (target loses 1 stamina), 5 (target loses 2 stamina), 6 (target loses 2 stamina), 7 (target loses 3 stamina). The point advantage adds chances for middling damage. Naturally, if Tahu’s Muscle was lower, he’d gain chances that his attack would backfire and cause middling damage to him.

The goal of a fight is to reduce your opponent’s Stamina to 0 using these maneuvers. I’d also like to have players lose 1 stamina for every post they make, to add a sort of time limit to these battles. In addition, after I post the results of a maneuver, the other player will have 24 hours to respond—if they do not, their opponent gets a free shot (2 damage) and it becomes their turn again.

When a battle is over, the winner receives Widgets equal to [10 X s], where “s” is the number of Stamina points they lost over the course of the battle. (You won’t get much for an easy win, but a narrow victory will grant a huge payoff.) Widgets can be spent on items which grant their users stat buffs and passive effects. The loser gets 3 stat points to be allocated as their manager sees fit. While this does allow the loser to get a permanent increase, remember that items can be passed amongst a team, so they have an extra degree of versatility.

Other ideas I could implement to spice this up:
-I’d like to give each fighter a unique passive ability, but I don’t know how many I’ll have to come up with so I can’t be sure if this is feasible. Maybe a specific ability for each theme?
-Different choices for maneuvers, like Feint or Defend (which would probably have an additional benefit of nullifying the stamina drain for that post). These along with standard attacks would probably have a rock-paper-scissors relationship.
-And of course items are a whole thing. Some of the stronger ones will need to have drawbacks, so I’ll need to balance those.
-I suppose I should consider bringing back trainers, but this might interfere with the balance of giving winners Widgets and losers stat points.
-I should probably also try to think of further perks for team play. Maybe…team mates can make posts during your turn shouting encouragement, and that activates an RNG with a chance of giving a one-turn increase to the stat you’re using?

Hm. Again, to properly have a team vs team game, I’m going to need players, and I’m not convinced this will attract numbers comparable to Mafia and Realms. Of course, the more players, the longer each round, and the more work I’m going to have to do…a co-host could help, but there’s potential for confusion there, plus one fewer interested member to serve as a player. And my gosh, what if after the signup period I try to figure out the team size to make them all equal and find out we have a prime number of players?!


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Ultra Sunset

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Nov 29 2017 · 22 views
Pokemon
Hm.

Well I finished Ultra Sun’s story and post-game episode. My feelings are mixed.

There are a lot of things added to the game that I like, but there are two big things that irritate me. One is that it felt a good deal harder than SuMo, which I already didn’t think was particularly easy, but I know, git gud and all that, whatever. The second is that I…guess I had my hopes for the story too high.

Spoiler


Well, either way, here’s my team:
-Fistleo the Incineroar
-Tempo the Dusk Form Lycanroc
-Flipjack the Alolan Raichu
-Kaitafish the Wishiwashi
-Eggman the Alolan Exeggutor
-Dusk Buster the Dusk Mane Necrozma

I know this is mostly complaining but there really are some strong points to these games, I just don’t want to make this even longer and I’m sure you can find plenty of people talking about those. I do have Ultra Moon, but I’m not sure when I’m going to tackle that; I’m liking the team I’m planning but I am dreading that Necrozma fight…


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Ultra Sunrise

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Nov 18 2017 · 52 views
pokemon
I've gotten a few hours into Ultra Sun. There have been some ups and downs, but progress is being made, and I'm eager to see what else awaits. I was able to get the special Rockruff and evolve it into Dusk Lycanroc (by messing with the 3DS clock, that works in case you want to know), started with Litten to round out my Living Dex, and I managed to catch a Pichu and eventually evolve it into a Pikachu. (You can get Soothe Bell fairly early on, that was a nice surprise.)

Also, Route 1 has Munchlax now. And sometimes they have Leftovers. I caught a Munchlax with Leftovers only five hours into the game. Rad.

Hm, what else? The Photo Club is fun, I'll probably be spending some time there, and the Roto Loto has proved quite useful already. Most of the changes I'm noticing right now are fairly minor, but I imagine that'll snowball as I go forward. Also, Mantine Surf is pretty darn fun. While you were required to do it, you were not required to be good at it, which was an immense relief.

Next thing I need to do is take on Lana's trial, which I'm...a bit nervous about. Pikachu's going to need to pretty much solo it and the only electric move he knows is Thunder Shock. Hopefully it won't take too long, I need that fishing rod to catch a Wishiwashi for my team.

(Also, Pokemon Bank will apparently be getting patched to work with USUM in late November. Trading with Sun and Moon works fine, though.)


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Important Mantra

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Nov 09 2017 · 122 views

If someone's talking smack about Turtwig


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That's when you gotta lay down the hurtwig




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My NEW Worst Idea Ever

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Nov 01 2017 · 115 views

You thought RoboRiders Mafia was a bad idea, get a load of this.

Glinch Festival

Every player gets assigned one of four species from Galidor, and then each round they target another player and say which of their limbs they want to swap. So Player A can target Player B’s Left Arm, and boom, they switch Left Arms. The goal is to end up with one limb from every species.

Plus maybe one or two Royals inserted who are wild cards, one of their limbs can be counted as any other species you need.

Not sure if the game would end when one player does this or each player “wins” when they do or if we have a deadline and see how many players can achieve this by the end of the game (or how many times/how long it lasts).

Probably no point in doing this. Though if what I glimpse in the BZP Tweets sidebar is any indication, ironically liking Galidor might be cool right now.


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It's Happening

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 28 2017 · 74 views
DBZ, Super, excuse me while I and 2 more...
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OH MY GOSH

I wasn't sure what to make of the rumors of Kale and Caulifla fusing but it is happening and it's Potara Fusion and now I'm just so dang excited for next week holy Kanohi


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Gold Team Rules

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 24 2017 · 81 views
pokemon
(In which this morphs more and more into a straight-up Pokemon blog maybe I should find a new hobby for some variety)

I’ve still been playing VC Gold, though it’s been sort of an on-and-off thing. There have been a few places where I’ve realized I needed to buckle down and grind, and that’s…not the most fun you can have with a Pokémon game, so it was rarely a speedy event. But I managed to get past the League on my first attempt, and getting through Kanto after that was rather brief. Then came Mt Silver, which actually has high enough levels that I can get decent EXP, so grinding hasn’t been too bad. I also realized you can rematch Silver on Mondays and Wednesdays, and discovered the Trainer House in Viridian City, so those have helped me train. Other than that I’ve been slowly expanding my Unown collection—I’ve decided I want to get another complete set here, since it’s their original appearance…sorta. The best way I’ve found is using the Level Ball made from Red Apricorns, so I’ve been trying to check in every day to bring one of those to Kurt if nothing else.

Of course, there was still the ultimate goal of any Johto game: fighting Red. His levels aren’t quite as bad here as they are in HGSS, but still…73-81 is terrifying, especially when the second strongest trainer, Blue, doesn’t even hit level 60. I wasn’t sure how much I would need to grind, but after a while I decided that when my team reached level 60 across the board, I’d give it a shot.

Turns out, that did it. It was nerve-wracking, but my team was able to pull off a victory against Red himself. Wow. And everyone got to be in the battle for at least a little, too, which I was concerned about, and I rather like that it was my starter that took out his starter (even tanking a crit Thunder in the process). So, a round of applause for my team!

-Blaze V, the Typhlosion
-Will, the Crobat
-Mettaur, the Forretress
-Lurerre, the Lanturn
-Tau, the Xatu
-Gori, the Primeape

I still have a few more Unown to catch, and even once I’ve done that and Pokémon Transporter gets updated to send these Pokémon to Gen VII…I might hold off a bit. Being back in Gold has been wonderful, and now that I’ve proven just how awesome my partners are, I kind of want to enjoy where we stand a while longer.


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Personal Ranking of Pokemon Regions

Posted by Pahrak #0579 , Oct 19 2017 · 101 views
pokemon
Because why not. Subject to change as time goes on, surely, but as of right now, here’s how I feel about the seven main series regions.

1. Sinnoh, to the surprise of no one. You’re probably saying this is solely based on nostalgic bias, and that is a huge part of it, I’ll admit that. Pokémon Diamond was what brought me back into Pokémon, and it and Platinum were the first times I started to really consume all the data I could about the games, which set the trend going forward. Sinnoh’s the reason I’m playing Pokémon today, so it will always have a very special place in my heart. Of course, there is more to love about Sinnoh: personally I very much like the general design aesthetic of Gen IV Pokémon, I adore that the region is steeped in legend and myth, Cynthia, you can play your badges like a xylophone, and how could you not enjoy the Underground? I know Sinnoh has faults, but it’s very special to me, and I dearly hope the eventual remake is on a system I own.

2. Alola. Probably not surprising either. It’s a beautiful and extremely unique region, and it introduces many new twists on the Pokémon formula without rendering it unrecognizable. Many things I liked about other games/generations/regions were present in Alola, and while they weren’t all handled perfectly, I do think they were handled well, and it helps give the region a more “complete” feel. The plot and mythology are both engaging, though I do wish they’d intertwined a bit more. The Pokédex features favorites from every generation, and as for the new Pokémon…well, I’m a bit 50/50 when it comes to Gen VII’s design aesthetic, but that doesn’t weigh it down too much. And Alola forms are inspired (even if I can’t seem to get behind any that end up Dark-type). There are a few miscellaneous things from ORAS that I wish had stuck around, but Sun and Moon are improvements over X and Y in every conceivable way, and that helps me just really love this region. And judging from what we’ve seen of USUM, I’m beginning to wonder if it could even give Sinnoh a run for its money.

3. Johto. Kind of bumpy getting here, but…nostalgia played a big part again. Gold version was the first Pokémon game that was really mine and I didn’t have to share, so it’s the focal point of nostalgia as far as I’m concerned. Yeah, some of my memories of Gold are hazy, I don’t feel like I excelled when I played HeartGold, and now that I’ve got VC Gold I’m just baffled by some of the Pokémon distribution choices, but the feel of the region is something that just works. Difficult to explain, but this is all subjectivity anyway. And there’s something interesting about this graphical style, something notably old but still in vibrant color, that helps it retain this feeling of being a refreshing update to Gen I. There are some great Pokémon here too, though it can be difficult to find some of them—Typhlosion will always be a favorite, and darn it, I love Unown, I know they’re utterly useless in a battle but I’m too fascinated by their concept to feel anything but love towards these letters with eyes.

4. Hoenn. Before ORAS, if you heard me mentioning Hoenn, it was only to disparage it. I lost interest in Pokémon during Gen III, a large part of which I still blame on not being able to send Pokémon from Gen II up to the new Generation, and even now a large number of the Pokémon designs introduced here just feel a bit odd to me. Again, this hatred was all before ORAS. ORAS, when they came out, were the utmost pinnacle of Pokémon games on a mechanical level, and are still pretty darn close. They took a great deal of the good things in X and Y and really drove them home, capitalized on everything people already liked about the region (except for trumpets), and introduced plenty of new things that all worked very well. I utterly adore soaring, I can’t speak too highly about that feature. Hoenn’s personality also shone really well in those games, and it’s helped me find a much greater respect for the region. Though, since nearly all I like about it is strictly from ORAS, Hoenn itself falls smack dab in the middle.

5. Unova. Really, I’ve always had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Unova, largely stemming from the fact that during Gen V I was unfortunately going through a bit of a genwunner phase. (Thank God that’s over.) Make no mistake, I still stand by some of my criticism: Black and White try far too hard to distance themselves from the other games, worst of all by expressly forbidding us from catching any Pokémon from the first four Generations until we beat their main story, and that issue is exacerbated tremendously by the general design aesthetic of Gen V Pokémon, which I find to be, well…pretty terrible. (With notable exceptions—Chandelure, Gigalith, and Zekrom are some of my all-time favorites.) But there’s also a lot that Gen V does right. It was an enormous step forward in story and characterization—the Gym Leaders never felt more like an actual ensemble of people, to say nothing of Team Plasma, and it’s always impressed me that the plot actually interrupts your initial League challenge. There’s also a wealth of post-game areas to explore, and we’ve still only covered Black and White. Black 2 and White 2 (as opposed to the expected Pokémon Gray) were a unique choice in and of themselves, and retained the best of their predecessors while strengthening the mechanics, adding loads more content, and no longer restricting you to Unovan-original Pokémon, thank God. (Though now that I think about it, I did only use Gen V mons when I played B2 and W2…huh…) Taking a fairer look at Unova, it really is a wonderful place, and as that teenage inclination towards arbitrary bad decisions abates it might actually move up this list. Still…Gen V Pokémon designs…I haven’t gotten over most of you.

6. Kanto. Kanto is just, well…basic. And I mean, it’s the first Gen, it kind of has to be since it’s the template. But still, I just kind of…I don’t know, I guess I’ve used up all the nostalgia I had for it and feel like there isn’t really much else going for it? I’ve trekked through this region probably more than any other, but I don’t know that I really have anything in particular to say about it. The last two slots on this list were hard to decide between, and part of why Kanto’s here and not the bottom might just be extra slack for having the burden of getting the franchise off the ground. Again, I don’t know that I really have anything to say.

7. Kalos. And like, I like Kalos. I do. But X and Y left me wanting more from it in the worst possible way, and while I was focusing on the positives and giving it the benefit of the doubt when I was expecting them to do a third version or a second pair to fix that, they dropped this region like it was hot and moved right along to Gen VII. So ultimately, Kalos feels like a half-baked trial run for the rest of the 3DS titles and even GameFreak doesn’t really care about it all that much. And that sucks. Because there are a lot of things I like about Kalos: the Gen VI Pokémon design aesthetic is marvelous, its Pokédex being a collection of favorites across all Gens was a wonderful decision that thankfully seems to be the new norm, and I love Mega Evolution and have honestly docked points from Sun and Moon for being so quick to discard it. It’s controversial, but I’m very glad for the changes made to experience—I’m in my 20s, I don’t have the time or patience to grind and now I don’t have to. But for everything Kalos did well, there’s a lot that is just so sloppy. Characterization is a huge step back from Gen V. Plot is about as bare as Gen I. Can’t say there’s much of a post-game. X and Y, in hindsight, just feel like they could have been so much more, and while we can forgive that at the start of a generation, not following up with a correction just makes it look so much worse. Because now X and Y are all we have to judge Kalos with, and it doesn’t compare well. Again, there’s a lot that I like about X and Y and Kalos—I enjoyed playing these games. I just wish I could have had an even better Kalos game after that. Sun and Moon feel like far more complete games, and remembering how abrupt the transition from Gen VI to Gen VII felt at the time, that’s somewhat strange to me. So I guess my relationship with Kalos now is a bit like what I once had with Unova, and maybe as time goes on I’ll be less bitter about the lack of a third game and I’ll feel better about this region. Chances are there will in the distant future come a day when X and Y are remade, and I dearly hope those take better advantage of Kalos.

So, there you have it. Who’s offended? :P






Recent Works and Writing Collections

The Twins of Justice (9/12)
A story introducing the Temple of Justice into the world of Olkir.

Out of Bounds: Part V (10/26)
Vhisola and Ehrye trek across Spherus Magna in search of a promising rumor.

Shooting Star Sonia 3: Red Joker: Chapter 3 (12/16)
A Mega Man Star Force fanfic where Sonia takes the lead role.


Full Library
One big collection of everything.

Okoto 579
A few connected G2 stories.

Divine Strength Collection
An original idea I'm trying to build.

FFFC Collection
Flash fiction from when we had contests for that.

Unsorted Works
What doesn't fit into the above three collections.

I Have Approval Now?!

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