General Video Game Thread



  • I've been playing Fire Emblem: Awakening for the past week. I have almost 15 hours on it so far. I'm stuck on the Paralogue 15 battle. I'm trying to recruit Noire but she either dies or Chrom dies. It's really hard but I'll keep trying. I have to try to make a better strategy.

    Another Fire Emblem fan? That's rare :O

    I've just restarted from the beginning, and so far I've just done chapter nine. 
  • I'm not a Fire Emblem fan. I'm more into Action RPGs/Turn-Based RPGs than tactical RPGs. FE:A is my first Fire Emblem game.

    Speaking of Fire Emblem, I just beat Awakening this evening. Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable game. The gameplay was pretty fun and the story was fairly decent if cliché. The characters were decent too. If there's a few complaints I have about the game it's the difficulty spikes can make the game challenging. Also, I felt as if the villains were kind of clichéd if entertaining to watch. Overall, in spite of its flaws, Awakening was a engaging game.

  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-08 06:37:05
    The rest are mostly much more serious.  Awakening is the only one I can think of that seems to enjoy getting wacky with the dialogue.

    Fates is probably better for combat.  The abilities get much more interesting, and they change the pair-up to be less broken as well as have more reliable and predictable mechanics.  The random dual strikes/guards are replaced entirely.  Pairing up starts a gauge that builds as you dodge or take hits, and when it's full the next attack is auto-guarded.  Dual strikes only happen from adjacent characters while not paired up, and they're always for half damage.  The net effect is that you pair up for defense and unlink to quickly take ground -- or if you know you're fighting a boss that hits like a truck, you build up the guard against the minions so you can null his attack.
  • So, I managed to buy some new games from GameStop. Shadows of the Damned and Ni no Kuni:Wrath of the White Witch. I'll play these when I get the chance.
  • I've been playing Shadows of the Damned since yesterday evening. It's a pretty interesting game. The last Suda 51 game I played was Killer is Dead (which I liked). So far, this game is pretty cool. I like the aesthetic and the voice acting is pretty good and kind of funny at times. 

  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-13 20:41:40
    Cassius down.  Wound up being one of the easier ones just because I'd been planning the strategy since before the run.

    Everyone should be running Earth Guard, two with Gaia Shield, and at least two with Thelas.  Two casting offense with Dark Matter EX.  Start at four corners of Tactics grid, hit Grail Sphere, and immediately run to the four corners of the map to neuter Lightning Flash.  He'll move to dog someone, but other than his S-craft nothing can hit more than one.  Finish buffing, then use DMX to unstick him from his preferred target and suction him into Richard's corner.  His speed buff is obscene, but as long as everyone has Earth Guard you can keep up with patching holes.

    Also the Gladiator cheese completely destroys the 2nd set of Arena battles as well as the fight with Cid.  It's hilarious.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-15 21:26:50
    I'm pretty much past all the hard parts by now, so run is basically complete.

    I saw a theory about the ending a while back and it seems more legit the more I consider it.  Spoilers for the entirety of Trails 3rd.

    "And this makes me think that Anima Mundi has been lying its virtual ass off.

    Consider the people, or engrams of people, that we've run into in Phantasma. Every last one has been on Kevin's side. Some were compelled to fight against Kevin's team, but they were still rooting for him to solve this mess and escape. Even Weissmann of all people wanted to help, in his own...oh so special way.

    Anima itself is based on Rufina Argent, Zemuria's Number One Kevin Booster for fifteen years running, and his Stigma. Now Stigmas are powerful, alien, and not very nice, but we haven't been given any reason to believe that they ever act to endanger their bearers. If Anima's composite personality is as intact as everyone else who's been copied into Phantasma, it won't inflict any lasting harm on Kevin. It can't.

    If it really wanted to, it could have just hauled Kevin into Gehenna alone and been done with it. There'd be no point in setting up six planes of trials, or calling in allies to support Kevin along the way like Estelle Bright, Living Avatar of the Power of JRPG Friendship, or Ries Argent, the only family he has left in the world. Even when Kevin was right in front of it and submitting, it didn't take the chance. It did threaten Ries, though...and that sure lit a fire under Kevin's ass, didn't it? Maybe it was the last thing that could have.

    The Lord of Phantasma has never been serious about eating Kevin, or punishing him for his sins, or taking over the world, or whatever else. It wants Kevin to make peace with all the horror in his past. It wants him to grow stronger and win. This has all been for his sake."

    Building off of that, the impetus for the story is that the Aureole's RAM bank got its mother hardware yanked out from under it, reflexively reached out and caught whatever it found to fill in the gaps, and had enough power left to manifest in the real world and abduct very specific people from across half the continent.  We're told that Anima manifested because Phantasma's orphan process latched onto the strongest trauma it could find, and that was Kevin.  That doesn't quite line up (and the guy who tells you that much is Weissman, so...).  Hell, if all it wanted was trauma, Kevin's totally up there, but Joshua, Renne, Loewe, or even Weissman himself probably qualify better.  It leaves me with a few conflicting theories that turn out very different ways.

    1) Anima is lying -- it's Celeste staging an intervention.

    We're told the Lord of Phantasma hijacked Celeste's power...which means presumably she initially had the capacity to do all this herself.  When the Aureole vanished, Phantasma did indeed reach out by reflex and catch everyone's traumas.  But without the Aureole running the show directly anymore, Celeste could act on it independently.  Most notably, even if she was reluctant to act, Kevin's corrupted Stigma posed a long-term threat to basically everyone, and would have forced her hand.  So she decided to let Phantasma go out with a bang -- an elaborate apology tour to everyone she could, to try and make up for the Aureole's chaos, as well as expend its leftover power to make sure it doesn't bleed into the real world.

    She spent six months stalking peeps as a projected ghost, constructing an excuse to draw everyone together into a high-pressure bonding moment around Kevin.  Richard and Renne would probably have been Loewe's suggestion, as he seemed to have higher degree of leeway than the other imprints.

    And she centered the whole thing around drawing out Kevin's Stigma, with the intent to goad him into properly cleansing it.  Even dragging Kevin through all of his old regrets and ghosts in Gehenna was to goad Ries into invading his angsty lone wolf bullshit and ending it forever.  And she ends it by having Kevin kill the bulk of Phantasma's remaining power to make sure the place stays neutered afterward.

    2) Anima is lying -- it's Weissman trying to hijack Kevin.

    The final boss of SC was Weissman merged with the Aureole, and we later find the Aureole disappeared because he hid it in his staff.  So it makes sense that he'd have dibs on a foothold in Phantasma, even if unintentionally.  Before his death, he learns that Kevin is a Dominion, and as a former bishop would have even known which vacant Stigma he would've filled.  Weissman's imprint, whether autonomously or through on-the-fly input from Weissman as he's dying, hatches a plan to post-date his own death.

    Over the next six months, he stalks the cast as the ghostly Lord of Phantasma and uses its processes to sense their desires and traumas.  He finds out Kevin's past and improvises further -- all he has to do is draw Kevin into the deepest parts of Phantasma, leverage his self-loathing to trick him into submitting himself...and then hijack his Stigma.  The ghosts in Gehenna are his last attempts to twist the knife.  The Weissman we fight in Gehenna is Weissman III, looking to kill two birds with one stone by completing both that task and his old emotionless superhuman thing.  Anima is Weissman Jr., after having gained partial control over the Stigma throughout the game, and it is trying to ultimately extend its influence back to the real world.

    And because he's Weissman, he makes everything needlessly sadistic and complicated by drawing in everyone else he hates to try and make them self-destruct too, causing his own downfall again because he still doesn't get this whole friendship and emotional support thing.

    3) Anima is half-lying -- it is the Stigma, but the good part.

    Without the Aureole, Celeste would have had control of Phantasma by default, but it's last-second outreach latched onto Kevin's Stigma, which is some weird divine alien bullshit that overpowered Celeste and manifested itself as Phantasma.  So face value, everyone was telling the truth, right?

    Well, not quite.  Anima displays itself as the BLUE Stigma.  Kevin's basically had the corrupted killbot side under control (for now), so when Phantasma reached out, the neglected good half of the Stigma reached back and started hatching a plan to reassert itself.  The rest pretty much plays out as if it were Celeste, except that she's now as out of the loop as everyone else.

    4) Anima is lying -- it's mostly just Phantasma itself...but hopped up on some startlingly benevolent shit.

    Phantasma reached out when the Aureole vanished.  It caught the traumas, Kevin's wish for punishment, the Stigma, etc.  But it caught everything else too.  So Phantasma picks up this big gestalt of angst and wishes, and gets infused with a dose of this crazy eldritch Stigma for good measure to overpower that pesky ghost in the shell Celeste while it decided WTF to do.  It's got Kevin wanting to be thrown into Hell, Weissman's general sadism, the memories of multiple mass murderers in varying states of rehab, and a whole lot of people who just want it gone from the world.

    It picked up all that stuff...including the eager little orbital bombardment of friendship we call Estelle Bright, and most of the people she's touched the hardest.  Funny thing about Estelle -- her infectious optimism and good will are such a force of nature that she's literally able to overpower divine artifacts designed to mindfuck people.  No, really.  That happened in an official manga.

    So now you've got a rogue orphan AI holding a clusterfuck of wildly different personality imprints, a lot of conflicting desires mixed in with a steaming nuclear pile of friendship, and several months' worth of phenomenal cosmic power to work with it.  It doesn't have a moral compass, just a lot of pieces to work with.  And they happen to fall together into something pretty good.

    Kevin wants to end up in Hell, but his friends don't want that, so he gets the next best thing.  Joshua, Kevin, Ries, and potentially Renne want closure with loved ones.  Loewe probably wants a measure of peace for Renne and Richard, so in they go -- and Richard is probably why Anelace showed up.  Olivier just wants a good time with his pals before he goes off to fight Osborne, so that's an easy bonus.  Most of the rest are just brought in to crystallize the various interventions.  Weissman wants sadism and SCIENCE so there's a good bit of needless trials and knife-twisting.  Gilbert wants to be relevant, and that happens.

    And just about everyone wants it gone at the end, so that happens too.  Process terminated.  Exit code 0.
  • “Alice is like Princess Kaguya, except instead of being found in a stalk of bamboo and sending suitors on impossible quests, she was found in a toy store and eats all the candy.” – Fossilmaiden
    Gotta love iOS
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-15 21:37:02
    I guess paste it into Notepad.  I tried to make the built-in spoiler tag work but it just made a blue box and didn't actually hide anything.  Trying to highlight and black-box the text itself exploded the character count far beyond allowed limits because it modifies individual spans with inline style instead of trying to wrap it.
  • immune to splash damage
    that is one big black box
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-15 22:05:41
    It's 4 different theories about the ending to the mindfuck conclusion of a trilogy spanning some 120 hours of story, not counting the game in between.  God knows what I'm going to do when I get to Cold Steel.
  • You will place offerings at the Shrine of Toshihiro Kondo and interpret the smoke signals that result.
  • This video is quite fascinating:
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-19 17:15:26
    5/9 Mythic Dazar.  Conclave of the Chosen is a nightmare to heal on Mythic.

    Also we cleared Heroic Crucible the night it came out, something like 220th world.  Which feels pretty good, seeing how we're a semi-casual guild, on a dead server, AND playing the underrepresented faction.  The fights are very creative, lot of careful use of risk/reward mechanics.  Uu'nat is probably one of the most abstractly complicated ones I've ever seen in the game.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-19 20:26:32
    I finished I Am Setsuna, and...don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this game enough, but there's not a lot to it beyond the plot of FFX and the guts of Chrono Trigger.  I'm reading Dark Id's LP of it now, and I can't help but wish he'd do dialogue consulting for JRPG developers or something.  JRPGs tend to feel like the writers hoped the pretentious story would carry its characters, but structurally it kind of has to be the other way around or the players won't fucking care that your universe has spacetime herpes or whatever.  When a random Lets Player's wacky italic asides are legit better dialogue and personality than ingame, it might be time for some advice.

    Now that I think about it, just having one character be a total weirdo asshat like he's doing with Endir actually kind of helps bring out the others to a degree that never happens in the actual game.  Seriously.  Setsuna's sweet naivete gets foiled amazingly, Aeterna's hostile banter has something to play off of other than a mute shell, Nidr is alternating between being in on the asshattery and getting out-asshatted into mute shock.  Chaotic neutral protagonists are surprisingly effective.
  • Munch munch, chomp chomp...
    @glennmagusharvey: Been following that channel for some months now, pretty legit IMO.
  • @Crystal yeah it seems pretty neat.  Can be a bit much to wrap my head around in terms of it just raising more questions than I started with, but I can follow it well enough to understand most of how it works and it is fascinating.

    @Bee I feel like I'd personally disagree with that.  But that's probably more to do with me honestly preferring to take a story seriously and expecting the characters to act accordingly as opposed to what might amount to an immersion-breaking fount of edgy humor.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-04-20 18:10:07
    Yeah, obviously a game specifically like Setsuna would need to find another way -- melancholy is the whole point.  I was just making the observation that by mocking it with a fount of edgy humor (which would honestly be right at home in a game like Shadow Hearts), he managed to draw out, you know, actual personality that the original game almost lacked entirely.  Every wacky meta quip inserted in the LP could've been replaced with something more serious but containing just as much friction, but it kind of requires the main character to be in a position to offer it.  i.e., not an antiquated scarecrow you can almost replace at any moment with a carnival plushie without anyone noticing.

    Even FFX took time to break the constant stream of depression and let characters to play off each other and have some silliness and banter along the way.  You wouldn't have cared half as much about that suicide mission if they didn't.

    And like, I can even get what Setsuna was going for.  The main character is a merc from a mysterious tribe nobody knows much about, and the silent protag bit is supposed to help believably cloak his (your) intentions.  The problem is he spends the whole game inexplicably getting steamrolled by a party he may not have wanted to join and likely wouldn't have given a rat's ass about for another several chapters.  The key moment where it turns from prologue assassination to game-long escort is literally a dialogue box where your choices are A: "Yes" and B: "Let me think about it", and it comes far too soon to be able to even attach any implicit personality to him that would justify not having C: "Fuck off."

    Obviously that would break the game because that's the premise -- so the answer is to develop and motivate your characters enough to justify agreeing to the railroad choice.  Have the temporary back-out let you wander around town, change the NPC dialogue, have Aeterna and Setsuna hang around instead of being mysteriously absent so one can confront you and the other can actually try to crack your armor instead of just naively assuming you'll go along with whatever she says.  Dark Id suggests having Setsuna straight-up hire you.
  • Actually, now that you say that Setsuna is about melancholy, I suddenly (for the first time) have a reason to put it on my radar.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-05-14 08:48:59
    6/9 Mythic Dazar.  King Rastakhan is simultaneously an incredibly frustrating and incredibly fun fight that pushes every aspect of healing.  I even managed to hit a solid middle-of-the-pack healing parse instead of the usual green/gray, lol.

    I doubt we're going to even attempt Mekkatorque, who's like the second-nastiest boss in the place.  Several core raiders have finals coming up, and a new tier is slated to drop sometime next month.  We're likely going to take it easy until 8.2 hits.  I kind of want to at least get some pulls in on him though.
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-05-20 02:41:59
    And Trails 3rd Nightmare Arena down.  Most of the fights are simple enough.  Philip/Morgan/Dunan is hilarious because not only can they all be debuffed but Philip is vulnerable to confuse, lol.  Orgueille is trivial because you can just outspeed it and grind it down.  Kilika/Walter is a bit nasty because Kilika S-breaks right out of the gate and Walter gets a free turn before you can move no matter how fast you are (unlike previous games you can't preempt the first turn with an S-break, it only accepts input once the first turn has started), but once the fight is underway you can maneuver Walter to a designated tank with DMX and Kilika goes down fast.

    But of course, you're not here for those.  You're here for Team Blade.


    So in most of these multi fights they toned down the AI of the bosses that team up on you -- they don't use their deadliest moves that much.  Loewe has.  He rarely heals, he mostly starts spamming Earth Guard once you start hitting him, and only Body Splits near death instead of turn 1.  But Cassius hasn't been toned down a damn bit -- he's exactly as much of a monster as in the story boss fight, and Loewe throws out just enough damage to mess with your walls.

    I used:

    Kevin with Gaia Shield, Athelas, Time Gem, and geared for speed.  He ended up with 180 speed, which is honestly absurd in this game for any purpose other than this fight.

    Richard with ultimate katana, Earth Wall, DMX, and wearing (ironically) Bladelord and Divine Blade medals.

    Anelace with Jinu for the sweet upgrade reward, Earth Wall, DMX, Brilliant Crown for free Petal Dance, and Phantom Thief Cape for the MOV boost.

    Kloe with Earth Guard, DMX, Thelas, and accessorized for speed (even with accessories she's a sad 110 or so).

    Turn 1, Grail Sphere and run Richard, Anelace, and Kloe to the corners to stop Lightning Flash spam, and start buffing up with Clock Up, Sylphen Guard, and Zodiac.  While buffing, use DMX to suck Cassius to Richard's corner and Loewe to literally anyone else's.  If someone dies while getting into position (Kevin did!) you have two ranged rezzes and one is a full HP rez.  Move out of Silver Thorn instead of tanking it to save walls and make sure Cassius doesn't double-tap anyone.  Once buffs are all rolling, DMX Loewe to Anelace and let her just tap him on free turns to goad him into wasting turns on defense.  Then slam Richard's spam crafts and eat Zeram Powder until Cassius is down.  Loewe basically isn't a threat alone.

    Final bosses have me a bit worried because they all get a free nuke turn and it'll hurt like hell, but the bosses themselves look trivial.
  • immune to splash damage
    I ran a combo randomizer of Zelda ALTTP and Super Metroid today.

    Ganon spoke of being a burrito.
  • I ran a combo randomizer of Zelda ALTTP and Super Metroid today.

    Ganon spoke of being a burrito.
    I'm Glenn Magus Harvey and I approve of this message.
  • edited 2019-08-07 07:54:19
    If you're interested in DuckTales Remastered, you should pick it up now on Steam.  It's heavily discounted (-75%), and it's reportedly going to get removed from all digital storefronts tomorrow (August 8).

    edit: better source for the delisting times, including for non-PC platforms:
  • BeeBee
    edited 2019-08-16 18:59:11
    WoW 8.2 is almost complete crap.  The raid and new dungeon are okay and I stuck around for AOTC (Azshara is ridiculously complicated), but literally nothing else in the patch feels good and I'm not sticking around for Mythic.  New zones are a tedious mess of densely packed HP sponges that are somehow still utterly nonthreatening and only serve to pin you in place longer  Essences pretty much kill alts by being absurdly grindy to unlock generic class-agnostic abilities so powerful as to eclipse some specs' entire moveset.  PVP has basically devolved into deleting people with the generic punchcard laser and essence cone.  The story is somehow even more idiotic than usual.  Overworld chores give gear that performs as if it were 50 ilvls higher and outperforms max titanforged and socketed Mythic raid gear, completely invalidating about 1/3 of the raid's drop table.  New M+ affix is an obnoxious and laughably unsuccessful attempt to stop 3 rogues from being the faraway dominant comp.

    It's pretty awful and I'm out, and achievement stats seem to indicate the game has lost about 2/3 of its players since the expansion started.

    And I'm a bit sad about that because they're finally upgrading worgen models to not look completely stupid, and it genuinely looks good.  Art team has been hard carrying this expansion, but they can only carry so much.
  • Does anyone know whether the Crypt of the Necrodancer DLC -- the one that lets you play as Nocturna -- is worth it?
  • edited 2020-04-29 18:31:10
    I guess I hadn't mentioned it here yet though I feel like I've opined about this somewhere on HH before...

    I do not like the new Steam Library user interface, the one that debuted in late October 2019.  It's gotten a few updates since then, but it's now the end of April and it's still got many of the same problems.

    I wrote up a list of the major problems I have with it.
    (Note that the new client has long since been out of beta, but they've shoved all the complaints about the Steam client into the beta feedback forum which is why I have to post there and not the main Steam forums.)

    TL;DR of this link is the following list:

    1. No way to turn off What's New shelf (basically a shelf for attention-advertising games in your library with recent dev activity, stuck prominently on the homepage for your game library, in a very space-hogging way that pushes off your actual game list)
    2. No List View with its information density and options (new library UI is essentially a mashing together of Grid View and Detail View, while List View, which I used, was pretty much eliminated)
    3. No way to turn off images in main Library view, and no plaintext game names
    4. Library lags while scrolling, just to load images (and because the images are mandatory, there's no way to reduce lag; and because the game tiles have no plaintext names, there's no way to buffer more inputs)
    5. Still not keyboard-navigable
    6. Mouse-over still produces slideshow of screenshots from store page, just pauses it
    7. Small Mode still unable to uninstall games on its own (confirmation prompt is routed through a browser-rendered page)

    (And these don't include complaints about the game detail pages, which I don't have because I don't even use those pages.)

    Basically the only things they really improved since October 2019 are:
    * officially restore access to Small Mode.
    * allow turning off the icons in the left sidebar, which makes it load faster and scroll more responsively.
    * give a whole bunch of ways to tweak and customize what shows up in the What's New shelf...but just not actually give us a simple way to turn it off.

    The new Steam Library UI does look very nice, when it loads right, but it acts so laggily and is such a pain to use that that prettiness is pretty much useless to me.  I'd rather have an ugly plaintext list of game names that launches faster, than a pretty one that lags like mad and advertises at me at the expense of actually showing me my games.

    So that's why these days I launch steam I include the launch parameter -no-browser which causes Steam to not launch any of its browser-rendered portions.  This entirely breaks the primary library UI, but Small Mode still works, as does Big Picture Mode.  Small Mode is what I use to launch games; it's literally just a list of game names.  And it's keyboard-navigable and keyboard-launchable.  Big Picture Mode is something I had ignored previously.  Except Small Mode can't uninstall games by itself, because for some stupid reason the confirmation prompt for an uninstall is a browser-rendered page...while Big Picture Mode can uninstall games.

    Meanwhile, I've bought nothing from Steam since the update launched.  I will continue to buy nothing from them until these issues are improved.

    I get that the new Steam client is supposed to be more developer-friendly and allow developers to communicate more effectively to their customers.  I think this may be a noble goal, but the way it's implemented is NOT the right way to do it.

    giant bundle of games (and other things, including at least some asset packs and one novel and one music generator and one tabletop RPG engine etc.)

    743 items total, for a minimum of $5

    D&D games on sale. Eye of the Beholder, specifically, is free for the next two days
  • edited 2020-07-05 04:42:05
    turns out there's a lot more than just one tabletop game in that giant itch bundle

    here's a list of all of them
  • edited 2020-08-25 04:50:06
    Big fall sale on GOG right now ( ) - the "Harvest Sale"

    Free game (until August 26, 1pm UTC = 9 am US EDT): Serious Sam: the First Encounter -

  • edited 2020-10-06 18:46:54
    The 12th anniversary sale on GOG is on for another 3 days and a few hours.
    Also, in a separate promotion, if you've spent like $25 or more on GOG with a Visa credit card you can get a game for free.  (For what it's worth, I haven't, since I've been using another payment method, heh.)

    edit: fixed the links
  • “Alice is like Princess Kaguya, except instead of being found in a stalk of bamboo and sending suitors on impossible quests, she was found in a toy store and eats all the candy.” – Fossilmaiden
    Somehow, GOG only having been around since 2008 feels way too recent and simultaneously makes perfect sense.
  • so apparently if you put a link in greater/less than brackets the system here parses them weirdly
  • immune to splash damage
    playing Blaster Master Zero, it's a good game, that is all
  • immune to splash damage
    update, I beat the game and got the good ending, go me
  • edited 2020-10-09 03:53:49
    I could buy Hyper Light Drifter for $7.99, Ori and the Blind Forest for $9.99, Hollow Knight with its soundtrack for $11.99, and Shantae and the Pirate's Curse for $9.99

    But i don't want to spend $40

    what do
  • immune to splash damage
    read a book
  • Europa Universalis II - currently free to claim on GOG -
  • also in the end i bought none of those that i mentioned in my last post lol

    just punted on all of them
  • I had this post written up for a Discord conversation that never went in this direction.

    The PICO-8 is a "fantasy console" in the sense that someone designed all the technical specs for a console, including precisely how it works, and even though said console has never existed in real life, you can basically emulate it.
  • For anyone who picked up the giant Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality on several months ago, you may find this site useful for sorting through its offerings:

  • im playing Undetale and I can't beat that spider boss
  • immune to splash damage

    u gotta get gud
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