Anything that is gaming related that doesn't fit well anywhere else
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CFFJR
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by CFFJR Wed May 20, 2020 7:24 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:The LRG physical copies of Chex Quest delight me to no end. There’s even a collector’s edition! And, a vinyl soundtrack! Who likes Chex Quest that much?!


I love that the fanciest one comes in a cereal box.

I did buy a physical copy though, the one that comes in a pc big box.
GameSack wrote:That's right, only Sega had the skill to make a proper Nintendo game.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by prfsnl_gmr Wed May 20, 2020 7:30 pm

prfsnl_gmr wrote:The LRG physical copies of Chex Quest delight me to no end. There’s even a collector’s edition! And, a vinyl soundtrack! Who likes Chex Quest that much?!


The answer is CFFJR! That’s who! :lol: I think it is so cool you got that.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Fri May 22, 2020 3:28 am

74. Charlie Murder

Charlie Murder is a beat em up, that feels like a gothic, rock inspired river city ransom.

You start the game in hell, turns out your character was murdered, so you fight your way out of hell in a brief tutorial level, come back to life where there is a zombie apocalypse going on and then the game begins. The story is told through cutscenes but there are not too many of them and they are skippable if you just want to punch things.

You can choose any of 4 characters at the start and have a pretty typical beat em up arsenal of punch, strong punch, grab, jump, the typical things you would expect but this game offers a lot to set it apart from other games in the genre. As the game progresses you level up which unlocks new moves and strengthens your character, there are also tons of shops around where you can buy new equipment, buy food that boosts your stats, and get tattoos which are your special moves that can be used on a cool down timer.

The variety of options at your disposal is pretty big, as you progress you unlock lots of new moves and buffs that deepen the combat. Fighting in this game is a lot of fun, this is a very gory game and there are tons of weapons laying around, which play a huge role in the combat. Just about anything can be used as a weapon, you can pick up the decapitated heads and toss them at enemies, use severed arms as clubs, you can pick up and throw cars, barrels, find guns, chainsaws, axes and so much more. There are just a ton of weapons in this game and they are all really satisfying and fun to use. Enemies can also pick up and use these weapons, which means you should always pick up the best weapons before the enemy can grab them.

There is a world map here with some minor exploring but the game is pretty linear, you progress from level to level, stop at shops, level up, fight bosses, but there is also a nice selection of mini games which are all fun time killers that break up the standard beat em up segments which comprise most of the game, this is also a fairly long game for a beat em up, my first playthrough was about 5 hours but the game never felt like it was dragging.

My only complaint about the game, which made the ending bittersweet, is there is a glitch, that I had no idea existed, that stopped me from getting the real ending. As you progress through the game and kill bosses some of them will leave behind glowing body parts (clearly inspired by castlevania 2), I was not able to collect or interact with them in any way so I just figured they were for show and moved on. Turns out, you have to collect all the body parts to get the good ending, but there is a glitch that does not let you pick them up making getting the good ending impossible. Combine that with a fairly difficult final boss that is preceded by an unskippable cutscene that plays every time you fight him and the endgame definitely left me feelinga bit agitated at the end of it.

Still, despite the low note the game ended on I can't ignore the rest of the games virtues and fans of games like caslte crashers or river city ransom would definitely enjoy it.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by SamuraiMegas Fri May 22, 2020 10:16 am

Beat Yu Yu Hakusho Makyou Toitsusen last night; holy shit has anyone else played this? Probably the best anime game I've played. Felt like a pretty competent fighting game and the times I lost I learned how to adapt and won the next game. I do wish there was more than one round however.
Hobie-wan wrote:Milk the banana for all it's worth.

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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Fri May 22, 2020 1:15 pm

1. ACA NeoGeo: Cyber-Lip (Switch eShop)
2. Pengo (Atari 2600)
3. Kirby's Epic Yarn (Wii)
4. Knights of Xentar (PC)
5. Hoshi o Sagashite... (Mark III)
6. Dead Zone (Famicom Disk System)
7. Samurai Sword (Famicom Disk System)
8. High School! Kimengumi (Mark III)
9. Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom (NES)
10. Sindbad Mystery (SG-1000)
11. Steins;Gate (Vita)
12. Champion Boxing (SG-1000)
13. Squidlit (Switch eShop)
14. Skyblazer (SNES)
15. Tokyo Dark: Remembrance (Switch eShop)
16. Bubble Bobble (Famicom Disk System)
17. Steins;Gate Elite (Switch)
18. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Joe and Mac Returns (Switch eShop)
19. Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Express Raider (Switch eShop)
20. Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Genesis)
21. Sword of Vermilion (Genesis)
22. Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace (Switch eShop)
23. Oink! (Atari 2600)
24. Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa (Famicom Disk System)
25. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)
26. Phantasy Star Online (Dreamcast)
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The original Phantasy Star -- with its pertinacious female protagonist, riveting science fantasy setting, gorgeous art and musical backdrops, and esoteric dungeon designs -- is one of the best 8-bit JRPGs ever conceived. No, the best. It's the reason we still (occasionally) discuss the Sega Master System. The following three 16-bit sequels weren't quite as delicious as the debut entry (well, the fourth game comes close), but all were fascinating in their own right. RPG aficionados waited patiently for that "next gen" 32-bit CD-ROM follow-up that never came to fruition. All the Saturn had to show for itself was a compilation of those first four Phantasy Star titles, a compilation that only saw release in Japan. There never was a Phantasy Star V. When Sega's final console, the venerable Dreamcast, hit the scene it promised something bigger and better. Something that ditched turn-based combat. Something that utilized dial-up internet.

This is not a typical review. A big part of the Phantasy Star Online experience is (was) the, ya know, "online" gameplay, which is now virtually nonexistent. Well, technically it's still possible to access private servers (easiest on the PC port), but even if you were to jump through hoops to achieve online functionality on the Dreamcast, who else who be willing to do the same? Thankfully, the game offers a robust single-player experience, the focus of this very review, which requires zero internet and will thus be playable for additional decades to come. For clarification purposes: Phantasy Star Online was never a "true" MMORPG experience, though there was a social lobby. That is, there's no staggeringly huge virtual world that's meant to be "lived" in; rather, this is a straightforward hack and slash (and loot) action-RPG that gave one the option to play with others. Comparisons to Diablo are obvious, though PSO is distinctly Japanese and console-like in its design.

The story is rather minimalistic. Following the opening cutscene, advancements made to the plot are revealed if and only if the player consistently interacts with choice NPCs. All gameplay occurs within the spaceship Pioneer 2 and the planet of Ragol. Ragol had been chosen as a settlement for refugees from a nearby dying planet. The first arriving ship, Pioneer 1, goes missing in tandem with a massive explosion on Ragol's surface. Inhabitants of Pioneer 2 find all occupants of Pioneer 1 missing and Ragol itself overrun with monsters. The only "clues" are scattered (and rather creepy) messages left by someone named Rico. It's up to the playable character (or "characters" when the game was securely online) to uncover the mystery.
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There's no Alis Landale to be found in this game. Nor is there a Rolf or a Mieu or a Chaz. Instead, first time players are greeted with a character creation segment. There are three species to choose from plus three professions, for a total of nine different character types. Professions include hunters who specialize in close-range combat, rangers who utilize guns for long-range combat, and forces who are essentially the magic-wielding "mages" of the game. Within these professions character statistics and abilities will vary based on whether one chooses to play as a human, android, or (hello) newman. Androids, for instance, cannot use techniques (magic, basically) but compensate in other departments. The nuances of each character's appearance can be altered: face, hair, armor colors, and so forth. Note, however, that there is no gender customization in the original Dreamcast version of PSO. So, for instance, if I play as a human ranger (my personal favorite) my only option is a male protagonist. The "RAmarl" (female human ranger), among others, did not become available until the GameCube PSO release.

The general "flow" of the game is rather straightforward. Pioneer 2 serves as a central hub: it's the "town" containing the shops, hospital, bank, Hunter's Guild, and plethora of NPCs. Departing the ship leads to four Ragol environments, which must be completed in order: the forests, the caves, the mines, and the ruins. It's impossible to steamroll one's way through these areas. They must be picked at slowly: explore and retreat until each respective boss can safely be challenged. Expect to dedicate an average of (at least) seven hours to each individual environment.

PSO flexes its graphical muscles from the get-go. Pioneer 2 is a sight to behold, teeming with all sorts of flashing light, holograms, windows peeking at dimensions beyond. As for Ragol, each section is gorgeous and meticulously detailed. The environments are broken into "levels" which are granted their own individual look. For instance, the first segment of the forest is a sunny and grassy stretch. Continue to "Forest 2" and things become dank and gloomy. As for the caves, they're first characterized by the stereotypical rocky subterranean appearance, until the player ventures deep enough to discover a glistening stretch of riverbed adjacent to a rainbow. The mines are a futuristic robotics workshop which eventually degenerates into a creepy rusted-out series of tunnels. And the ruins is like a doomed cathedral with winding hallways, massive rooms, and (eventually) pulsating animate walls and ceilings. The enemy roster is great, and perfectly suited to each environment. The forest, for example, is teeming with hostile mammals: bipedal "Boomas" and charging wolves. The caves are home to terrifying underground mutants, the mines a series of a hostile robots, and the ruins sees the player confront an army of wraiths and ghouls. The enemy animation is lovely, with some amusing little quirks. Foes announce their presence with an arm raise and aggressive growl, and subsequently die in a spectacular fashion by screaming and spewing blood (which varies in color). The NPCs are also granted their own distinct looks: this is a Japanese game so expect to make some elven friends and encounter more than a few cutesy anime android girls. One type of visual that does appear strangely unsettling: the "still" NPCs, such as shopkeepers, who look a bit too much like cardboard cut-outs.
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Now, the soundtrack is one of the more unusual ones. It's generally on the quiet side, and pretty close to "ambient music" at times. It's synth-based and subtle, seeming to float around in outer space itself. These are the types of tunes you won't always be consciously be aware of while playing, but will find yourself humming when the game's shut off. There are some interesting "transitions" between tunes too: for instance, if one walks from the main area of Pioneer 2 into the shops a new song won't abruptly start but will "blend" briefly into what was previously playing. Look for the occasional vocals too. Mainly just a "la la la" female voice, simplistic but quite pretty. The ending theme is absolutely stellar, and probably the highlight of the entire soundtrack.

Controls are intuitive and rather ingenious. The game utilizes a system called the "action palette" which is just a fancy way of stating that the functions of the face buttons can be reassigned. Well, with the exception of Y, which is bound to the now-useless "chat" window. That leaves X, A, and B... And X, A, and B again whilst holding R, for a total of six. By default, two buttons are set to execute light and heavy attacks. That particular duo should be left alone, leaving four additional openings for techniques and items of the player's choice. These assignments can be switched up at any time. For instance, as one progresses further into the game they'll want stronger and better healing items at their disposal. Of course, there is an all-inclusive menu that can also be activated by pushing Start. But it's important to be able to execute spells and items "on the fly" as PSO cannot be paused! This is due to the game's (formerly) online nature. While pressing Start indeed brings up the aforementioned menu, the action continues unabated. It's not as bad as it sounds: Pioneer 2 always functions as a "safe" resting zone, as does any room on Ragol that's been cleared of monsters. Just don't expect to be able to answer the phone during a boss battle.

Traversing the "dungeons" of Ragol is quite fun, primarily due to how streamlined navigation is. A playable character is controlled with the thumbstick (the d-pad is for menu selections) and trots at a moderate pace. The developers blessedly had little use for "mazes" in PSO. While each environment is guaranteed to contain some branching paths and warp points, all roads eventually lead home and it's nigh impossible to get lost. There's an extremely helpful "radar" display situated in the screen's top-right, which can be blown up into a larger area map. Contained within the map are an icon representing the player, dots for the enemies, and color-coded doors representing which have been unlocked vs. those that are still sealed. Doors are opened once a set number of monsters are slain, or when a switch is activated. The game's "camera" doesn't need much fiddling with. A quick press of the left shoulder button simply reorients it behind the protagonist.

Combat: or, a lesson in the importance of reading instruction manuals. First time players may get stumped here, as you absolutely cannot mash buttons and expect to advance. Rather, combat is predicated on a series of measured "1... 2... 3..." button presses. Combos can be activated this way with light/light/heavy attacks being a classic. Lining up attacks is aided with an auto-target system, which works reasonably well. Things can occasionally get iffy when wielding a firearm as the game can't always "decide" who to target, but as everything needs to be blasted anyway it's not a huge issue. Most importantly, battling enemies is enormously entertaining. There's a pleasing "weight" to all attacks and quick feedback regarding how much damage was inflicted. There are few things more satisfying than carefully honing hit and run tactics, and then mowing down a horde of androids, aliens, or demented woodland creatures. The enemy AI isn't especially advanced -- it's quite easy to trick everyone into following in a slow-moving circle -- but they make up for lack of brains with big ol' globs of HP.

Bosses are truly a sight to behold. They're massive bullet-sponges, each with a dedicated musical theme. These are absolutely fierce endurance rounds; a slightly underleveled player could spend an hour or more slashing away at one of these beasts. Boss battles represent the only spots in the game where the camera becomes questionable. Constant rotation is needed to square up every inch of these behemoths, and of course they have a tendency to ceaselessly move. Each boss is guaranteed to drain the player of many resources and perhaps their very sanity, but it's a beautiful sight to witness one of these fiends launch into its overdramatic zoomed-in death animation before exploding into a cluster of treasure chests and opening the way to the next sector of Ragol.
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In addition to the standard weapons and armor, each player is granted a floating protector unit called a MAG. MAGs do a couple of things. First, having one equipped raises baseline stats: attack, defense, and so on. But MAGs also have the power to store energy, later unleashing a powerful photon blast. Keeping a MAG healthy requires one feed it healing items. Early in the game, it's easy enough to have the MAG scarf down "extras" -- you can hold ten of each healing item, so have the MAG nom nom on that eleventh monomate you run across. However, as the game progresses the MAG evolves, becoming stronger but also pickier. It will soon have preferences for certain items, and feeding it the "wrong" stuff can result in a stat reduction. Maintaining MAG satisfaction is my least favorite aspect of the game, honestly, though those fans of "monster-raising" RPGs are sure to get a kick out of it. They are cute little things.

As stated earlier, one cannot expect to simply enter a sector of Ragol and make a beeline straight for the boss. That's a suicide mission. You gotta gain some levels first. Get better weapons and armor. Learn spells, collect items, beef up that MAG. Pump those numbers up. The game is as grindy as anything, but rote level-grinding is ditched in favor of a series of quests. Just sign up at the local Hunter's Guild. Successfully completing a quest grants the player an additional monetary bonus. And if a player fails to complete a quest they still get to keep the XP and loot accrued during the attempt, so it's a win-win. Quests fall into various categories. Some are missions to retrieve a particular item, or to meet with a specific character. Others are races against the clock, to complete an objective within a narrow time window. The most notable quests pair the player with an AI assistant. During the game's early stages, the additional "hunters" provide tremendous help, as they're at high levels and drop some fine hints. Later on come the dreaded escort missions with weak characters. These can be brutally tough and require some advanced tactics to clear successfully. Overall, the quests are basically a necessity. They enrich what would otherwise be a painfully monotonous game, flesh out the PSO lore, and introduce all sorts of endearing characters. Quests need not be completed in a strict order, but all the forests quests must be cleared before the caves quests open up, and so on.

Ragol's surface is littered with loot. And much of it is worthless. PSO is full of item drops that are extraneous and unequippable. As such, frequent trips back to Pioneer 2 are needed, to get rid of garbage and replenish on the good stuff. The wares sold in the item shops are somewhat randomized, so it's wise to buy anything that looks even remotely worthwhile. There's a vast array of weapons and armor that can be equipped, though each character is somewhat limited to what their profession allows. It's not always immediately clear what the "best" gear is, as each of two competing guns, for instance, may boost one statistic while lowering another (like attack vs. evasion). Armor is even trickier. One piece of armor may boast a high defense value, while a weaker one may offer up two "slots" that can then be filled with additional accessories. There's a lot to consider, and many PSO players will juggle batches of gear, ready to switch off based on the situation and enemies present. Thankfully, there's a storage bank available so the ever-so-small player inventory need not fill. Techniques themselves are initially activated via items, and can't be used until a specific level threshold is reached.

In addition to PSO being unpausable, the game lacks any semblance of save points. Again, this is due to the "online" nature of play. You can save, of course, but saving and quitting are bundled up into one menu option. And no matter where the game is quit from, restarting causes the player to spawn back on Pioneer 2. This necessitates long play sessions (cue the anecdotes of PSO all-nighters). It also creates tension and forces one to assess risk. Being ready for the final boss isn't enough. You must be ready for the final boss and the two-hour dungeon trek that precedes it. Game Over is a tough pill to swallow as well. "Dying" in PSO causes the protagonist to drop their money and weapon(!) at the spot in which they were slain, and then a warp to Pioneer 2. It's a long walk back to regain the goods. While the game's overall difficulty isn't notoriously high (at least not on "normal" mode) it's still worthy of respect.

There are a great many hack and slash RPGs to be found these days. A seemingly infinite amount. And Phantasy Star Online remains the best of the bunch. With deep combat, memorable environments, and peerless aesthetics, it perfectly scratches that "just one more dungeon" itch. It's worth addressing the other "versions" of Phantasy Star Online before concluding. A literal Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2, also for Dreamcast, is essentially the same game with some tweaks. For those who can't get enough of Dreamcast PSO, hit Ver. 2 up second as one has the option to import their character. PSO with additional "Episodes" for the GameCube and PC (the Xbox version is now a worthless frisbee as it required a connection to a now-dead server even for single-player!) contain all the Dreamcast content plus more. It's enticing stuff, but almost veers into "too much of a good thing" territory. I always find myself coming back to the self-contained vanilla DC game. I can't play as the girl human ranger, I can't save everyone on Pioneer 1, but I can catch a glimpse of Sega at their absolute peak.
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Fri May 22, 2020 1:23 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:25. Super Castlevania IV (SNES)

In summary, this is quite a sumptuous platformer. It may not be one of my all-time favorites within the genre, but as far as Castlevania games are concerned, it's undeniably one of the strongest. I'd rank it a touch higher than Simon's Quest (which I do indeed enjoy) and a touch lower than Symphony of the Night (which is really a different beast altogether). It's also a mandatory playthrough for anyone interested in hitting all the "big names" on the SNES, the finest console we're likely to ever see.


Awesome that you finally beat this one! Was fun to read your take on the game too since I also finished it for the first time not too long ago. I also didn't really play the Castlevania games growing up, not for any specific reason, except that I had limited access to games and went for others. As far as Castlevania titles go, I'll most likely play Symphony of the Night next. Perhaps later in the year, as I was able to track down a copy. Now I just need another PS1 memory card.
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Fri May 22, 2020 1:56 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:26. Phantasy Star Online (Dreamcast)

There are a great many hack and slash RPGs to be found these days. A seemingly infinite amount. And Phantasy Star Online remains the best of the bunch. With deep combat, memorable environments, and peerless aesthetics, it perfectly scratches that "just one more dungeon" itch. It's worth addressing the other "versions" of Phantasy Star Online before concluding. A literal Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2, also for Dreamcast, is essentially the same game with some tweaks. For those who can't get enough of Dreamcast PSO, hit Ver. 2 up second as one has the option to import their character. PSO with additional "Episodes" for the GameCube and PC (the Xbox version is now a worthless frisbee as it required a connection to a now-dead server even for single-player!) contain all the Dreamcast content plus more. It's enticing stuff, but almost veers into "too much of a good thing" territory. I always find myself coming back to the self-contained vanilla DC game. I can't play as the girl human ranger, I can't save everyone on Pioneer 1, but I can catch a glimpse of Sega at their absolute peak.


Also, just wanted to chime in and say PSO is one of my favorite games of all time, and might be the online game I put the most time into. It's up there with Counter-Strike, Ragnarok Online, and Diablo 2.

I experienced it on the Gamecube, with human ranger being my favorite class. Around the time of release, I trekked down on the train, about an hour from my neighborhood just to pickup a Japanese broadband adapter (which also worked on a US system) from a mom and pop video game store in a small mall in Chinatown -- great times. Later on, I also purchased that large GC keyboard controller. I really went all out for this game. Unfortunately, I ran into save file corruption problems (which seemed to be a common issue in the GC version of the game), and the character I put the most time into was lost. I'd like to revisit either the single player option and maybe pickup the original DC version, or see if my girlfriend would like to try a co-op campaign on the GC port. She's a fan of hack-and-slash action RPGs and I think she'd like this title too.

Thanks for the great review, brought back some good memories of all the hours I clocked in this game.
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by BoneSnapDeez Fri May 22, 2020 4:51 pm

Did you ever play Blue Burst? It's the only version of PSO I actually played "online" -- as you're required to do so. Nevertheless, I still played single-player. Fun times, though Episode IV is just so-so.

Some day I'd still like to play a cracked ISO of the Xbox game. Never got to experience that.
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Note
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by Note Fri May 22, 2020 5:20 pm

BoneSnapDeez wrote:Did you ever play Blue Burst? It's the only version of PSO I actually played "online" -- as you're required to do so. Nevertheless, I still played single-player. Fun times, though Episode IV is just so-so.

Some day I'd still like to play a cracked ISO of the Xbox game. Never got to experience that.


I never tried Blue Burst or the Xbox port of the game actually. I was interested in downloading Blue Burst since I heard there were people still playing it online, but I have a Mac at home and have found it tough to get PC games that need additional setup steps to properly run.

A funny PSO related story ... when I was in college, I mentioned how much I liked the game to one of my roommates at the time, and he ended up grabbing Phantasy Star Universe for Xbox 360. He also purchased a new TV ... I believe it was a plasma TV and around the time they were just released. He ended up playing the game so much, it permanently burned the life bar and status menu into the TV. Lmao.
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Re: Games Beaten 2020

by pook99 Fri May 22, 2020 6:05 pm

I never played PSO but my brother logged well over 1000 hours into the game, he was absolutely obsessed with it and it was literally all he played for pretty much the entire lifespan of the game.

75. Epic Mickey
76. House of the dead 3

My first 2 games for the summer challenge are completed, I will post some thoughts in the summer games section about these 2 games.
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