Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

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The Wolf Among Us: Season 2 – Telltale Summer Update

After a grueling two years, Telltale finally tells us that they’re working on Season 2.  As someone who’s been a fan of Fables since I read the first comic book, I’m definitely excited!  Even if I’m way behind on the actual series.

Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 2: Under Pressure

After the resurrection stone brings Starlord back from the dead, everyone wants to find out its deal.  Meanwhile, Nebula’s back and she’s ready to take vengeance for her father’s death.

This story picks up where Episode 1 left off, with Starlord’s resurrection and everyone wondering what happened.  You can bet that the Guardians are not going to believe that Starlord came back from the dead and, when they finally do, they’ll want to investigate the relic that made it possible.  To do this, they have to go to Yondu.

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That’s right, our favorite blue-skinned pirate finally made his appearance.  The meeting even brings a few funny scenes, such as Yondu and Rocket meeting for the first time.  That’s what I love about Guardians of the Galaxy; it can be humorous without undermining the tragedy in the story.  Believe me when I say that there is some serious tragedy.

The main plot of the game is Nebula retrieving Thanos’s corpse from either Nova Corp or the Collector, whomever you gave the body to.  However, there is a side story involved with Rocket, should you choose to take it.

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Yes, when I said the game involved serious tragedy, this is what I meant.  The side story explores Rocket’s past and reveals that he once loved, and still loves, a female Otter named Lylla.  Even though her character is, to use a common saying, stuffed in the fridge, the story of how the scientists treated living beings as science experiments is still a serious tearjerker.  Add what happens after we meet her and it gets worse, much worse.  Just watching this scene and seeing Rocket’s emotions afterward made me cry.  Even after I played the game, everything about Rocket’s side quest put me in a seriously bad mood.  Even as I write this, I feel like crying.  Despite the effect the scene had on me, I still recommend that you take a break from the main story and explore Rocket’s side quest.

The rest of the story involves Gamora trying her best to fix things with Nebula and failing.  Unlike Rocket’s back-story, Gamora’s plot actually ties in with the main story.  The language of the relic is Kree and only Nebula can speak it.  However, it’s tough luck getting her to cooperate.  I wish I could give a more detailed review of the main plot but the problem is that I still find myself affected deeply by Rocket’s side quest.  Therefore, it’s a little hard for me to focus on everything else going on in the game.  I will tell you that Yondu has the hots for Gamora which, considering Starlord, who Yondu raised as a son, and Gamora’s ship tease in the movies, I find a little creepy.  However, there doesn’t seem to be a ship tease between Starlord and Gamora in the games, more like a deep friendship.  Then again, I could be wrong.  I will admit that I kind of like the hint that Yondu and Starlord’s mother might have been involved.

The game play is much like your average Telltale, picking dialogue options for Starlord being the main aspect.  However, I’ll admit, from the description of the episode and having not seen the trailer before playing, I thought that you’d play Rocket for the whole episode.   Since Rocket’s my favorite character, you can bet that this excited me.  While you can play as Rocket if you choose to take the optional side quest, you mostly play as Starlord.  The game also features QuickTime events requiring you to press the right key or button in order to survive.  Let me warn you, it will come when you least expect it.  You can also explore the ship and, once again, check your monitor.  However, the second part didn’t feel quite as fun as I found it in the last episode.  Mainly because you learn nothing new about the characters or places in the codex, save for a few places and characters that the game adds.  In addition, you can’t respond to email people send you; you just read it.  However, it is a bit cute to discover that Groot believes in chain mail.  At the end of the Episode, you can compare your choices with ones from other players.

This game is tragic and a bit of a disappointment.  I give it 7 out of 10, two points added for Rocket’s side quest.

Game of Thrones Episode 3: The Sword in the Darkness (Steam Store)

It’s out of the frying pan and into the fire for the Forrester family.  The Whitehills occupy Ironrath, Cersei reveals Mira’s alliance with Tyrion, the Lost Legion pursues Asher as he looks to hire sellswords and Gared must choose between saving the Forrester family, or staying true to the Night’s Watch.  Can the Forresters survive this entire struggle and win back their livelihood?

So far, there seems to be one serious problem with this plot and it’s that there is not one single likable person among the Whitehills.  Every single one of them has been made cartoonish to the point of being a Power Rangers villain.    They go so far as to re-enact the death of Ethan Forrester and run the land as if it is their own, chopping down trees needlessly to make ironwood and causing deforestation.  The only exception is their daughter, who I will talk about more in the future.  While the original Game of Thrones had your classic evil villains, such as Joffrey and Ramsay, there were plenty of smart villains to maintain the balance, Tywin Lannister and Roose Bolton being prime examples.  As the lawful evil characters, they were both responsible for keeping the chaotic evil characters in line.  Another thing that separates the show from the game is that, while Rob is clearly on the side of good and Joffrey on the side of evil, both have people of good and evil who fight for them.  For instance, Barristan Selmy is a member of the King’s Guard and, as such, shows loyalty to whoever the current King may be, whether his intentions are just or selfish.  The only reason Barristan sided with Daenarys is because Joffrey had the man thrown out.  Davos is another example of a good man who is on the wrong side, loyal to the insane Stannis due a lordship granted by him.  The prime example would be the episode where Stannis tries to siege King’s Landing to take his rightful place as heir to the throne.  Even though Joffrey is the villain, we still see the women and children huddled up in a shelter and know that, if Stannis is successful, his soldiers will rape and murder them.  Later on, Margaery Tyrell introduces herself to King’s Landing by helping the orphaned children, one of them living in these conditions due to a war Joffrey started.  Not only does it show the horrors of war, how it destroys lives and how, no matter which side wins, innocent people when die, it also serves to make Joffrey more despised as a character.  Those of you who’ve seen the show know that the War of the Five Kings started because Joffrey refused to show Ned Stark mercy when he pled guilty.  So many innocent lives lost because Joffrey acted through anger and hatred.

Speaking of Joffrey, the lengths this game goes to not show him borders on downright ridiculous.  At the beginning of Episode 3, Cersei forbids both Mira and Sera from attending the wedding, which contradicts the original show.  For those of you who don’t know, the designers based Mira Forrester’s look on that of an extra who played a handmaiden to Margaery Tyrell.

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Now, I might be wrong about this but, in the show, I distinctly remember that extra being at the wedding.  Don’t get me wrong, it is a little pointless to remake The Purple Wedding for the game, but it feels a little strange to contradict the show like this.  The only point this scene plays is that Tyrion Lannister, at first played as a valuable ally to Mira, is now a liability due to Cersei suspecting him of Joffrey’s death.

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This is what motivates her to take action.

Asher Forrester’s character seems incredibly similar to Han Solo from Star Wars. Lovable rogue who makes wisecracks, manages to make time for money and even gets a scene with an old friend similar to Han and Lando in The Empire Strikes Back.  For those of you who’ve been living under a rock, Han goes to see Lando when there’s no one else for him to turn to.  Lando, at first, greets Han with hostility but then laughs to reveal that it was little more than a joke.  Then he betrays Han to Vader.  Thankfully, Asher’s friend works for Daenarys, so it doesn’t play out exactly the same.  He also has his own little conflict between Malcolm and Beshka who don’t really trust each other.  Beshka is Asher’s partner in crime and I do appreciate that she’s not a love interest as so often happens when fiction teams a man and a woman up.  However, the game does imply that she’s a lesbian.  Malcolm is the brother to Lady Elissa Forrester and, in Episode 2, sent by her to retrieve Asher for extra muscle.  He is Asher’s only connection to the Forrester family.

Meanwhile, Gared continues serving in exile at The Wall.  His job is to locate the North Grove, even if it means breaking his vows.  For those of you who haven’t seen the show, when you join the Night’s Watch, it’s for life.  Desertion is punishable by execution, as seen in the very first episode.  Therefore, you can bet that Gared’s uncle Duncan is asking too much of him.  It doesn’t help that Britt, the man who murdered Gared’s family, has also taken the black.  Jon is the one who reminds Gared of his vows that he would never harm another member of the Night’s Watch.

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Regardless of whatever crime they committed. Those of you who’ve read my previous reviews for Game of Thrones know that Jon Snow is the love of my life.  I even have a T-shirt that reads Run like White Walkers are chasing you and Jon Snow is waiting for you at Castle Black that I wear often.  However, this is one of the instances where Jon is being too naive to see the big picture.  While he does remind Gared to uphold his vows and not kill Britt in vengeance, it doesn’t occur to Jon to give the same lecture to Britt regarding Gared.  I doubt it would’ve done much good, but Britt seeking out Gared and trying to murder him never even crosses Jon’s mind.  Spoiler alert, that’s exactly what Britt does.

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Earlier, I mentioned the Whitehills committing deforestation and the only good member being their daughter, Gwyn Whitehill.  However, what I have yet to tell you is that she arranges a meeting between herself and Rodrick, the current head of the Forrester household.  It’s Gwyn who wants to see peace between the feuding families while, at the same time, still loves her family.  She goes against her family’s wishes and sees Rodrick in secret.  Those of you who have read my review for Guardians of the Galaxy know the problem I have with Gamora’s character and I take the same issue with Gwyn.  While I appreciate that she expects Rodrick not to trust her, going as far as praising him for bringing a knife with him, once again the story tasks the only woman with being the good and reasonable one of the group.  This scene also takes the time to give an environmental message by showing the destruction the Whitehills have done to the forest.  Let me point out that the source of the Forrester family’s income is Ironwood, which they get from the trees in the forest.  While the Forresters also chop down trees, they are not so reckless in their endeavors that they destroy every tree in sight.  If they destroy the forest, then there is no more ironwood.  Such a move will destroy their business, something the Forresters take into consideration, and the Whitehills do not.  It’s similar to the message in Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, where reckless chopping for thneeds puts the Onceler on top for a while but, in the end, destroys his business and livelihood when the last truffula tree falls.  However, considering that the Onceler only needed the leaves, it was stupid of him to chop down the trees for his product in the first place.

In my last review, I talked about how amazing the ending to episode 2 was with the switch between scenes as Talia sings.  This ending, while not ending on a song, does not disappoint.  The scenes pan to Rodrick and Talia talking about how to handle the Whitehill occupation while Mira destroys the document Tyrion had not yet signed before Cersei arrests him.  Gared also faces trial for the murder of Britt and Asher meets the one and only Daenarys, who is my second favorite character on the show.  Each of them, in their own ways, is doing what they can to help House Forrester.  Even Mira, who is not combat proficient like her brothers are, but is still risking her life retrieving Tyrion’s unsigned document in order to make another deal to save her family.

The game play is typical Telltale with you getting to pick dialogue options for the characters you play.  Some choices are more important than others though, let me tell you, they don’t really matter in the end.  For instance, there is one point where Tyrion wishes to talk to you in private but Margaery, who tells you that she will fire you if you continue to associate him, won’t allow it.  She gets mad at you whether you go off with Tyrion or not.

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There will be times when you have to press the right button for QuickTime events or end up dead.  Other scenes will have you walk around with the character you play while examining certain items as you explore.  When you’ve finished the episode, you can compare your choices to that of other players.

This game is fun but, so far, seems like wasted potential.  I give it 6 out of 10, a must if you’re a Game of Thrones fan.

Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 1: Tangled Up In Blue (Steam Store)

Thanos is on the rise and it’s up to the Guardians of the Galaxy to bring him down.  Can they save the galaxy and still make a profit doing it?

Many people might play this game thinking that it’s set in the movie timeline and they couldn’t be more wrong.  Others might suggest that the game is set in the comic book universe and I’ll admit to having a very limited knowledge of the comics.  Therefore, I wouldn’t be able to confirm that.  However, I have heard that, while the game draws inspiration from the comics and the movies, it actually takes place in its own universe.  For one thing, and this is a huge spoiler, Thanos dies in the first episode of the game.  There are also other hints, such as Starlord admitting that he never met the collector, Starlord’s tape being called the rad mix rather than the awesome mix and the flashbacks to Starlord’s past being different than what they were in the movie.

As I said earlier, this game takes place in its own universe.  For starters, I doubt setting the game in the movie universe would allow them to kill Thanos so easily.  Just in case you’ve been living on Mars for the past decade, Thanos is not only the Big Bad of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but also features in the Avengers movies behind the scenes.  Rumors claim that Thanos will be the Big Bad in the Avengers: Infinity Wars movies, resulting in the Avengers and the Guardians teaming up to defeat him.  In the video game, the Guardians kill Thanos in the very first episode and the rest of the story is about life for the Guardians after the one enemy who brought them together is defeated.

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Despite not being set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the characters are still true to form to their movie counterparts.  Starlord is still the smartass leader, Drax the literal-minded vengeful warrior, Rocket the greedy tech genius with an attitude, Gamora the former assassin turned voice of reason and Groot is just… Groot.  Each of them even go through their own little subplots.  Starlord has to deal with his team falling apart, Rocket considers leaving and living off his fame, Drax is wondering what to do now that his quest is complete and Gamora has to make things up with her sister, Nebula.

As I mentioned earlier, there are flashbacks to Starlord’s past in the game, but what I didn’t tell you is that it’s the case of a new artifact known as the Eternity Forge.  This device is capable of bringing life back but at a strong price, you have to murder someone.  Therefore, you can bet that this device is trying to tempt Starlord to bring his mother back and he’s not the only person who wants it.  Hala the Accuser wants to use it to bring back the Kree race and is willing to kill billions in order to do so.

I’m sure many of you are familiar with the smurfette principle, which is one token woman among men.  The Guardians are no exception with Gamora being the single woman among a whole group of men.  I’ll admit, I actually love Gamora’s character.  She’s a tough as nails former assassin gone good, she doesn’t take any crap and she actually lives up to her reputation.  Unlike most arrangements where you see the man with a sword and the woman with a gun, Starlord usually handles the guns and Gamora fights with her sword.  Since Starlord is a former space pirate and Gamora a trained assassin, it makes sense that the former would specialize in ranged weaponry while the latter is more proficient in close range combat.  Gamora also has her own past and problem and, despite being what tvtropes calls a Green-Skinned Space Babe, there’s more to her than being an exotic beauty.  If the Star Trek writers plan to bring Orion women back, they need to watch Guardians of the Galaxy and take notes.

However, there are still some problems with Gamora’s character.  More often than not, she is the voice of reason and morality.  When the Guardians discuss what to do with Thanos’s body, it’s Gamora who suggests bringing it to Nova Corps while Rocket wants to sell it to the Collector.  There is another situation where you have to choose whether to bring Drax or Gamora on a mission.  Drax is the one that wants to kill every Kree they come across while Gamora feels that it would be best to sneak in and not draw attention to themselves.  Maybe this wasn’t intentional but, to me, it feels like they purposely made the only woman on the team the mature and responsible one.  Which, as a woman myself, I am neither one.  Not to mention that, once again, a franchise makes a hot alien woman for men to gawk at but women don’t get exotic fan service.  Yes, I am well aware that Starlord is hot but keep in mind that he is also human.

The game play is your typical Telltale style.  You take control of Starlord and pick his dialogue.

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There are some scenes where you make important choices and you have to be fast to respond to quick time events.  Let me tell you, they will sneak up on you when you least expect it.  However, there are some differences.  One is the ability to use a communicator to contact people who aren’t with you.  You also get to explore the ship and can check the terminal for codex info and your email.

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I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for games that let you do the latter.  Don’t know why.

The game is intriguing and addictive.  I give it 7 out of 10, a good take on the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Dripping Mascara (Birthday Message)

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Dripping Mascara is a story on the iPhone app, Episode: Choose Your Story, about a young girl named Shelley who moves to California to reunite with her childhood friend, Matthew.  She also discovers that she has magical powers and is the reincarnation of a Queen.  Believe me, it’s not nearly as stupid as I make it sound.

Just so you know, this is not a review.  Genevieve, the author, has a birthday today and I thought I could post a message on my blog.  I consider apps on your phone video games and, since Dripping Mascara is a story on the Episode app, it qualifies.  I first heard of her when I saw the winners for the Valentine’s Day contest and played Wasted Roses.  Through there, I went to play Dripping Mascara and discovered a whole new world through Episode.  I met many people through Genevieve and became an honorary member of the Episode Community.  It’s because of her that I decided to post all of my original fiction on Episode, even if I want to publish it in the future.  Even if my work is still being outlined.

So, Happy Birthday Genevieve and thank you for introducing me to a wonderful community.  As for the rest of my readers, be sure to check out Dripping Mascara.

Delicious: Emily’s Home Sweet Home (Gamehouse.com)

After having Paige, Emily and Patrick move to a house that they like to call a fixer-upper.  When they get on the bad side of one of their neighbors, she vows to have the house condemned.  Can Emily and Patrick get the house up to code before they lose it forever?

The game has a dilemma and Emily and Patrick do have to struggle to end it.  I do mention that they get on the bad side of one of their neighbors due to a stage mom’s child injuring herself in their house.  Let me tell you that said stage mom is a woman who has power in their neighborhood to the point where she can ruin a man’s life for not voting for her daughter in a pageant.  However, I have to admit that she does have a point about condemning Emily and Patrick’s house.  Sharon’s daughter (the stage mom in question) didn’t simply bang her head on a table; she fell down a hole in the floor caused by a fallen chandelier.  Their house is a deathtrap and I really can’t blame Sharon for wanting to have it condemned.  Yet, we’re supposed to see Sharon as unreasonable for trying to shut down a death trap.

Another problem is, I can’t feel too much sympathy for Emily and Patrick when the former’s parents let them stay in their house while all this drama’s going on and will let them stay permanently in the event that their house turns out to be condemned.  In one level, Emily complains about how her house is condemned, many people are taking the side of their enemy.  Emily even mentions how she and Patrick will be living with her parents until they turn sixty.  Many people can find themselves in a situation like this and don’t have their parents to turn to.  In a promo for Two and a Half Men, I saw one of the character’s beg his mother to take him in because he’ll be out on the street.  The mother blew him off and told him to pick a street in Beverly Hills so she can visit him.  To someone like that person, Emily would sound like a whiner.  In this game, Emily’s isn’t the only one with problems.  One section has to deal with a guy coming to terms with the fact that his daughter is not the great adventuring scout he wants her to be and that technical knowledge is every bit as important as the hands on activities.  Another has a guy who runs an amusement park dealing with children who don’t want to work there and would rather spend all summer playing.  The third section deals with an overprotective parent dealing with being a single mom to her only son.  One who is also trying to have a life outside of her son.  The fourth section is about a stage dad who dreams of his daughter being a great Olympic skier, one she doesn’t share.  Every section is about a parent’s relationship with their child and, all the while, a stage mom is trying to ruin Emily and Patrick.

The game play is like the previous ones in the Delicious series with you delivering food to your customers, trying to get the highest score possible in each level, and purchasing upgrades in-between.

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There are differences, such as being able to change the menu for your restaurant by serving enough of a product.

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Each level also comes with an extra task for you to complete.  Do so to get a diamond for each level and use them to purchase items for your house.  In the case of Paige’s room, you have to fulfill certain conditions to get a trophy.

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While this was a fun addition to the game, some of the rooms in the house seemed a little too traditional for my taste.  For instance, why does Patrick get his own man cave and Emily doesn’t get a woman cave?  I did some research on the concept and, apparently, the idea is for the man to stick all of his stuff in one room while the woman decorates the rest of the house.  The problem is this idea enforces gender stereotypes.  As a woman, I do have a love for flowers, candles, stuffed animals and dolls (provided that they’re Monster High, Ever After High, or DC Superhero Girls products) but I also like action figures, video games, Game of Thrones and super hero posters.  Therefore, I find the idea that I wouldn’t allow such items in my house insulting.  Another problem is the idea that the man needs to get away from the stress of it all but women have the same desire.  Some of the things said about the objects in Patrick’s man cave enforce gender stereotypes, such as Emily making a remark about how most wives hate it when their husband plays video games.  If I did get married (big if), the only thing I’d hate about it is if my husband hogged the game cartridge and wouldn’t let me play.

Like many games in the Delicious series, you can pay extra for the platinum version.  One of the extras it comes with is more levels about Emily throwing a housewarming party and finding a nanny for Paige.  Since Francois has his own plot about finding his calling in life, you can imagine that he’s the obvious choice.  However, I do have one question.  What happened to Francois’s interior decorating business?  For those of you who don’t remember, Delicious 2 introduced him with this pitch.  Sharon is also part of the plot, but this time as an ally to Emily and Patrick.  However, she doesn’t lose the traits that made her a threat to them, as so often happens when the bad guy joins the side of good.

This game is fun if not a bit traditional.  I give it 7 out of 10, a fantastic addition to the Delicious series.

I’m Back!

That’s right, back from the dead and I’ve got big plans for this blog.  As many of you already know, I review video games from Final Fantasy to Diner Dash. This time, I plan on reviewing dollmakers as well because, whether you think they’re art or not, they are video games in the loosest sense of the word. I’m also expanding my repertoire to board games and, like before, you can even request reviews.

This time, it won’t be just a review site. I’ll post anything related to video games or board games in even the loosest definition of the term. Who knows? I might post pictures of my time playing video games and board games with my friends. Maybe I’ll write fanfiction based off of them, such as narrating the Mice and Mystics game from the point of view of Prince Colin, the character I usually play as. I’ll even post what I create from dollmakers because, as I said before, they are video games.

The best part is, not only can you request video games and board games for me to review. You can also submit your own stuff to me to post on my blog. It can be anything from art, to fanfics and even your Let’s Plays of video games. Just don’t submit any reviews, because that’s my job.

Gotcha: Celebrity Secrets (Gamehouse.com)

Gaby was just a little known celebrity blogger until an anonymous source texts her tips on finding the biggest Hollywood scoop. Can she make her blog popular enough to win the competition and interview Erik Von Hunk?

That’s right; I’m reviewing a video game about a blog on my blog. The storyline is about the lives of celebrities and some of them are parodies of real life ones. The lives they lead go from marriages to plastic surgery and all the way to sleazy affairs. I know, it’s not very deep but it is fun.

The game play is a unique take on the hidden object genre. The game separates each level into a blog post. You collect people and some of them will give you information. After you’ve gathered everyone you need, you get to complete a mini-game and read the post Gabby makes at the end. During the game, you can collect items in order for you to purchase different designs for the blog.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 8 out of 10; a fun take on celebrity life.

Notice

I apologize for my lack of posts but I’m afraid that I haven’t been feeling well.  I promise that next week I will be back on track with my new posting schedule of Tuesdays and Fridays.

My first collaborative review.

Michael Dulson

For my 300th post, I have 3 reviewers with me on this one. Me, Nerd Atlas ( http://nerdatlas.wordpress.com/ ) & TimeWaster ( https://suburbantimewaster.wordpress.com/ ) all played a free to play browser game, Realm of the Mad God and even though it is free, do you really need to play it? Read our reviews to find out!

NERD ATLAS – This MMORPGS (S for shooter) is a browser based game where you enter a world thrown into chaos by the Mad God.

You are forced to start out as a wizard, and slowly unlock the other 12 available classes by leveling up & surviving (the level cap is 20). Each class gets it’s own weapon load out and skill bonuses, it’s a shame it takes so long to get to some of the more interesting ones like Assassin.

As far as actual gameplay goes, it’s fairly streamlined and simple. You enter…

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