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a crooked mile

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a crooked mile

Have you ever wanted to see your favorite childhood fairytale characters as scumbags, liars, criminals, and prostitutes? The Wolf Among Us is a five part point and click game by Telltale Games letting you do just that. Based on the Fables comic book series, you play as Bigby – the human version of the Big Bad Wolf. You’re the sheriff in Fabletown – an underground community of fairytale characters who have lost their home world. For the past two episodes, Bigby has been investigating the murders of two prostitutes, with the help of Snow White.

In this episode, everything you thought to be true about the villains is wrong. By the end of episode three, you find out that there are bigger powers at play – not just Ichabod Crane acting out his sick and twisted fantasies. We find out about a new villain – The Crooked Man. He might be the real mastermind behind the crimes, but with the way the plot twists, you never know.

I think episode three has been the best so far because the plot is paced better than the other two episodes. I never felt like I was in a cut scene too long, or clicking on clues too long. There were just enough quick time events and dialogue woven throughout the game to keep it interesting. There was never a dull moment and I didn’t feel like the episode was too short, like I did with episode two. I never felt like the creators put all their eggs in one basket in one scene. Because of this, I say The Wolf Among Us – A Crooked Mile is a must buy.

The Wolf Among Us is available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

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When I was first asked to play Conception II I haven’t played an RPG in quite sometime. Going into this game I didn’t expect an extremely fantastic title or anything remotely interesting…mainly because I didn’t know anything about the title or series for that matter. Then I realized that the more of it I play the more intrigued I became. Then the experience became a little more jaded. While the game wasn’t bad it became slightly repetitive and more so cumbersome than anything.

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The game takes place in the World of Aterra where they worship the Star God where they prosper through the power of Star Energy. You are known as God’s Gift who trains at an academy for disciples which is a special group of people who are summoned to fight against monsters who come from Dusk Circles. As God’s Gift you and a collective of females perform a ritual for the church known as Classmating to generate Star Children. Why is this important? The Star Children assist you in combat along with you and a female partner and they all have a particular class and several set of set of skills.

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I’ve never been so confused and befuddled with confusion quite like I have been while playing the game. I’m not so much confused into the depth of the world as I am with why some of these things are especially necessary. For a lack of better words, classmating is essentially having sex to produce children who can fight. It is blatantly obvious considering the underlying tone of everyone and the way each girl presents themselves before and after it occurs. Doing it just makes you feel slightly more dirty. Even more so when you are forced into doing classMANting which while really funny is in a way kind of perverse.

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Engaging enemies is where the game gets even more unique. Once you encounter an enemy inside one of the games many labyrinth’s you are forced to choose between normal JRPG actions such as attack, skill and defense. The most interesting aspect is the combat system in which you choose the side to attack your foe. Every enemy has a weak side and the choice of each side benefits you during combat. My only main concern with the battle system is that you are given the option to guard and yet it does nothing. It states that you will take less damage but you still take just as much as if you weren’t defending. I have also noticed that for a JRPG it’s pretty easy. I have played much easier games but I never really felt as if I there was too much going on and the difficulty made matters worse.

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Graphically the game is rather impressive as it features fully animated anime style cut scenes and moves at a silky smooth 60 FPS. The in game engine isn’t bad as it looks more like an above average PlayStation 2 title with a few more bells and whistles. The thing I was more impressed with was the music and the character design. These two things were probably my main drive for playing this game as I was more intrigued just to see what the next monster would look like. To be quite honest the designers seem to draw heavily from the Persona series as the music and monsters seem as if they came straight from that source.

Overall the game is like “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears” as it doesn’t do anything overall really impressive nor does it do anything really bad. Although it’s themes may not be quite suitable for everyone it’s still interesting enough with it cool soundtrack and character design. The game may not be for everyone but I do feel as if it worth a play through for anyone who is itching for a new RPG to play for their Vita. It hits the mark at being just right.

 

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Hi, Sean Jacobs here I would like to present my interview with Switchblade Monkeys the wonder team behind the upcoming title Secret Ponchos. I would like to apologize for the delay but, I went Clark Kent and transcribed my interview via my handy digital voice recorder. Lets get into this tasty treat why don’t we.

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Me: Hi, Sean Jacobs here from RealOtakuGamer.com can you Please introduce yourself to our readers at realotakugamer.com

Yousuf Mapara: Hi, I’m Yousuf Mapara and I am the Creative Director (and President of Switchblade Monkeys) of Secret Ponchos.

Me: Well, you just answered my second question because I was going to ask you what you’re relation to Secret Ponchos was!

(Shared Laughter)

Me: What inspired Switchblade monkeys to create such a unique game like Secret Ponchos?

Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that takes us back to multiplayer fun, That’s just fun to pick up and is not this huuuge learning curve of like 30-40 hours just to be able to have fun. We are all hardcore fighting game kinda fans and so we love that depth but not the (inaudible) Though, the main thing is that we wanted to make a Spaghetti Western game so, that’s where it all started, ya know? its just such a cool genre. Basically our musician and I were sitting playing Soul Calibur and we had um, were playing Ennio Morricone in the background at the same time and all of a sudden everything just magically synced up the music, the epic trumpets and uh ya know the drama from the music and it felt like everything we felt like everything we were doing was just choreographed to the music so, we were like “WOW we really need to make a fighting western game”

Me: Isn’t it weird how things just come together like that?

Yousuf Mapara: I know, I know it wish there was a cooler version on how the game started but, its stupid but, that’s how it came together.

(Shared laughter)

Me: That’s OK because that is the most organic way to come up with an great idea.

 Me: Were there any other influences drawn from other games pulled into making Secret Ponchos?

Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that has this competitive, you pick it up and we want your adrenaline to start pumping, that kind of fun. You pick it up and we want it to feel competitive, fun kind of game… I remember lining up to Street Fighter and getting our quarters and this is the type of game that we wanted to make so you could enjoy. A lot of games recently are awesome experiences but, they have also have became like interactive stories with a lot of cinematic experiences

Me: Yeah, like watching a movie you sometime play.

Yousuf Mapara: …and we wanted to take a step back from that, we have developed plenty of projects like that at AAA studios and we wanted to get to the feeling of  “ah man you got me this time I’m going to go home and practice to get the best of you”

Me: Given the multiplayer nature of Secret Ponchos when it is released will Switchblade Monkey launch some sort of DLC to compliment that element?

Yousuf Mapara: You know uh, so our model for DLC is very interesting we don’t want to be very aggressive with dlc. When you buy Secret Ponchos its a complete experience on its own you don’t need to pay more money or buy stuff to be able to fulfill your experience, with that being said the genre is such an interesting genre for character archetypes that we only scratched the surface with our characters so, we are going to keep expanding on the Secret Ponchos Universe and that’s a better road to DLC. As long as the fans want to see the game universe expanded we will keep have new guys and use DLC to fund new characters.

Me: When I was doing research on you guys on YouTube that’s what I was thinking. I was like  They could be in a good position to be able to spin DLC in a good way if infused correctly. I don’t like the aggressive DLC, I don’t like aggressive salesmanship at all so like, if your company create a great package its going to make us the fans want to buy it.

Yousuf Mapara: Yeah don’t want people to have their defenses up when playing our games as if we are trying to pitch them, if they bought the game its a fun universe, right? we hope people are looking forward to new expansions and new characters and we could use DLC to fund that. When you are really excited for a game, like Diablo and you are really looking forward to the expansion and its a worthwhile purchase that is the type of feel we want to lean towards.

Me: What about this game excites you the most and what can you tell people about secret ponchos that haven’t heard of it?

Yousuf Mapara: The two things we are the most proud of is the art style we really tried to focus on a great art style but, secondly when you look at team shooters and fighting games and there is a lot of them and they are all feeling kind of similar it was really exciting that we have found a new twist a new presentation for a combat game in this genre hey we are a small indie company and just by moving the camera over top we kinda made our own type of combat game and that’s what we are excited about it doesn’t have this superficial feel of a slight change on an existing shooter game it has its own thing and that’s what we are most excited about.

 Me: Thank you again Yousuf and it was a pleasure standing here with you and playing with your staff on multiple matches. I can’t wait for Secret Ponchos and the many ways you will possibly expand its universe.

*Before our scheduled interview Yousuf and I had several conversations one that revealed that Secret Ponchos will be on the Steam for early access. Secret Ponchos was originally slated for PS4 release but, after the outcry of the PC community Switchblade Monkeys have decided to appease the masses and give the Steam community an early shot of the former PlayStation 4 exclusive.

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Here is the Trailer for the game.

 

By Amy McGarey On 16 Apr, 2014 At 06:18 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 1 Comment
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As part of the 75th anniversary celebration of Batman, a new comic book series called Batman Eternal debuted last Wednesday. This series will last 60 issues and be written by a revolving team of all-star Batman writers including John Layman, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Ray Fawkes, Kyle Higgins and Tim Seeley. Batman Eternal will work alongside the regular Batman series, which is also written by Scott Snyder. Batman #28 serves as an introduction to this new series.

In Batman Eternal #1, we see Commissioner Gordon battling head to head with Professor Pyg. Gordon makes a mistake while trying to apprehend one of his henchmen and causes a disaster of epic proportions. Batman can’t even save Gordon from the wrath of the corrupt Major Forbes. We’re also introduced to a new transfer cop from Detroit, Jason Bard, who seems to represent a younger Jim Gordon – someone who believes that Gotham City is worth fighting for.

With Gordon off the grid, I’m excited to see how Batman’s relationship with the Gotham City Police will survive. Will Jason Bard be Batman’s new go-to man? Are Batman’s allies going to be picked off one by one? Batman Eternal is well worth picking up. The first issue already has some movie-worthy scenes which further the battle between light and dark in Gotham. This first issue was written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV with art by Jason Fabok.

 

 

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 Nintendo I am a multi-console gamer, with that being said I have personally had numerous conversations and debates with other gamers from other platforms. What I hear from gamers from such platforms like the Xbox brand and the Sony brands and the consensus is that you are missing key features that are current in today’s console market. These features are Technologies like in-game chat and cross-game chat, I am Not sure if your system is setup in such a way that you can add something like in game or cross game chat into the Wii U infrastructure but, these are very important in today’s social gaming scene.

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 It behooves me that with such the foresight to create a social gaming network like the miiverse you did not have the insight to add something like in-game chat. In-game chat has been around since the original Xbox, something that has proven to be a valuable additive in the gaming scene. Since then the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 continued on that idea that online social gaming is the next logical evolution of local multiplayer. It is understood that the local multiplayer experience is one of the pillars of gaming even today. In-game chat helps family and friends who are no longer available to physically sit down with friends and play games with in-game chat we can join online with our families and friends to stay connected. The inclusion of cross-game chat helps us play the same multiplayer games that we enjoyed playing while sitting on our families and our friends couches.

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 It is known that PlayStation 3 infrastructure was not set up for the addition to cross game chat though it did have a fairly decent in-game chat system to later with the Playstation 4 add cross-game chat. I know that the Wii U for the new Nintendo network is set up to be updated via the web framework design. I am not sure how this could be applied to this feature though, I hope it is possible that you could add some features like in-game and cross-game chat into the Wii U if not both. There is a couple of my friends on PlayStation 4 that actually got rid of their Wii U’s simply because there was no in-game or cross-game chat.

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 Here are the experiences that draw today’s gamer with in-game and cross-game chat. Today’s gamer loves to play online multiplayer and that is a fact games like first person shooters, sports titles such as NBA, NFL, FIFA and any other genre that local multiplayer could be used. We totally enjoy poking fun with our friends or helping them get through a certain level of a game. The Miiverse does fill in that gap but, this method while highly viable is not a constant stream of interactivity that is sometimes wanted or needed as far as social gaming is concerned. Nintendo, you of all people know how fun it is to sit and have fun with your loved ones in your living room or wherever you have your console. The inclusion of in-game and cross-game chat will help to dramatically raise interest in the Wii U along with helping developers see the light that the struggling platform is much more than something that only Nintendo loyalists flock too. The Nintendo Wii U has provided a safe haven for independent developers and I believe with the addition of current features like in-game and cross-game chat the major AAA developers will give your console a second look. I love the Wii U and at this point from my experiences with my playstation 4 you can actually compete with the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 but, you first have to catch up with the times and add in-game chat/cross-game chat though, you should focus on inputting cross-game chat because thats where it truly matters and much more simpler. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!

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The staff here is wonderful

 I was so amazed by what I walked into the main show floor at PAX East I witnessed all developers, hardware manufacturers have their very own nook carved out of the Boston convention center. Before I walked down the long steps and I snapped the 1st picture of my face in utter amazement. I first walked into the Boston Convention Center and stood in line to receive my first media badge. I proceeded to walk towards the big glass doors spotted with a few security guards and some structures promoting PAX. As I walked through the door  I had an Idea of what was to be in store for me but, what took me by surprise the most was the amazement that stemmed from the actuality that I have finally made it! I have made it to one milestone of mine to go to one of the big shows in the gaming world PAX East!

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  I descended the staircase I first noticed Bethesda Softworks booth showcasing large walls of Wolfenstein & The Evil Within images the large titan tron screen had no image up yet, later they were to display two titles ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) and Wolfenstein.The two titles displayed are good as some of you know already of ESO but, the beginning sequence to Wolfenstein was awesome a far cry from the original game of course in the graphics department but, more importantly story. Later, I wandered around snapping selfies of me in from of Turtle Beaches mammoth sized headphones and snapshots Xbox One’s large setup. In Microsoft’s booth they were setting up Kinect Rivals Sports definitely a game I would love to play on the show floor tomorrow. I also snapped a picture of a barely set up of Project Spark another title I must play coming from the wonders over there at Rare Games. As I moseyed around the corner from there I saw roughly 15 monitors half in which had Xbox One’s hooked up, I’m sure the rest will plug into the flat screen tvs. I wandered around avoiding heavy machinery and guys and gals pushing carts around with serious merch and building supplies and I got side swiped by that hinted at behemoth two legged dinosaur monster from the game Evolve and this statue is surely fine crafted and gargantuan!

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 There was several sections setup for pc play for titles from developers like NC Soft & Carbine Studios WildStar  and games like Infinite crisis which has a large section carved out with custom comfy gamer PC chairs on stage and off… sounds like some great things will happen in that side of the convention center. I have heard some rumbling about Infinite crisis but, when I saw a little bit of the cast which is DC universe characters, if you didn’t know made me flip my wig (just a tad). When I took a deeper look on the outskirts of the show floor where all the large displayed casted its shiny shadows I saw random geekery merchandise from creators like Fangamer whom makes all types of stuff showing reverence to our video game favorites like Animal Crossing New Leaf socks and Legend Of Zelda shirts and the flying P from Super Mario Bros 3. There is plenty from these wonderful folks and hopefully I can catch the ear of one of their booth reps to ask them a few questions for realotakugamer.com. I also saw small booths displaying mobile games, This weekend I will try to over the small indie mobile games that are glue that binds this convention. I saw merchandiser booths for retro games and even retro systems to go along with those classic gems. Oh yeah, The Crew had a grand display too giving us the feel of working in the garage set of fast and the furious RIP Paul Walker.

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Come to find out after I recharged my body phone and wrote part of this article on the 1st floor when I went back inside to check out some more booths for around 20 minutes an “Enforcer” people whom are hired to secure the floors for random things that shouldn’t be happening, spotted me and noticed I had a Media Pass. The nice fellow asked if i had any “other passes like a vendor badge”, I honestly said “no” and he politely asked me to leave. He walked me to the front counter, the information counter and explained to them that the security at the door was not checking badges properly. I was elated that i was able to experience the behind the scenes of PAX East while also giving you, our readers the inside scoop on my Twitter account.

Boy oh boy I have plenty to say about my 1st PAX East but, to the thing is it hasn’t even started yet! This is only the beginning and oh how sweet it is even at the crunch time for the shows main opening. Stay tuned for future reporting from myself Sean “NoirZilla Gamer” Jacobs and Tiffany Marshall on whats going down on the show floor at PAX East 2014 from RealOtakuGamer.com

PAX East

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PAX East

Who’s Going?

This year it will be me and fellow editor Sean Jacobs aka NoirZillaGamer that will be at PAX East.

Where to Find Me

We’ll be all over the place, especially the show floor as that’s where all the gems are at! We’ll also be at a few of the parties. You can find me and say hello at these parties:

Thursday, April 10th : Pokecrawl (registration for this closed)

Friday, April 11th : 8-Bit Boston, Indies Need Booze party (registration for this is sold out)

Saturday, April 12th : Bethesda party, the ASUS/PC Gamer party

Keep in mind this is a tentative list as my plans may change when I’m actually at PAX East.

To get live updates follow me on Twitter at LadyLoveMonster.

By Brandon Boatman On 8 Apr, 2014 At 03:07 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Remember that time you went out for the midnight release of that highly anticipated Wii/Wii U game? Oh you don’t? Well that’s okay because neither do I. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a game and thought man I can’t wait to play this on my Wii U…that I don’t own.

Like most gamers I love Nintendo, or at least I think I do. I bought a 3DS XL last Christmas, does that count? Having been brought up alongside the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo I feel wrong saying anything otherwise.nintendo-nes-box

That’s the problem though. Whenever I think of Nintendo it’s never of their latest console or future plans; it’s purely of Super Mario Bros., Super Metroid or The Legend of Zelda whose gold cartridge captivated me.

So we’re going to try and help our good friends at Nintendo out with some things the staff here at ROG thinks they need to do to #WiiUvenate. My contribution to this effort is ads.

Since the Wii U was released back in November of 2012- yeah it’s been that long- I haven’t seen a single ad. For games or for the console. That’s not to say they don’t have any though. At the end of last year Kotaku actually wrote an article about their ads…and how they ignored the biggest selling point which is their off-TV play.

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That’s kind of a problem. The Wii U’s best feature isn’t showcased. Another problem is how I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what games for the Wii U are coming out or when.

So Nintendo that’s where I think you should start. Take a page from Sony and run an ad about a single little feature. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see the Playstation 4′s “sharing is caring” commercial.

Simply put, at least use ads so you become relevant again. It’s kind of sad that you’re still developing great games yet gamers can’t tell you their title, aside from Super Mario Kart (arbitrary number here). You may have never been big on advertising games or your console but times change. I want to be 23 and experience this again.

By NoirZillaGamer On 1 Apr, 2014 At 05:23 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, Editorials, Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U | With 2 Comments
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 The Wii U has been the butt of a lot of jokes for sometime now but, to the majority of the install base it is known as an underrated piece of hardware. Some of our ROG staff including myself would like to share our perspectives on this and what Nintendo could possibly do moving forward to gain more traction in other demographics beside the Nintendo loyalists.

 It is commonly known since summer of last year that Nintendo has embraced the small time developers (Independent Studios) in droves. According to Nintendo Enthusiasts there are reportedly 120+ indie games all slotted for the launching on Big N’s Nintendo eShop for the Wii U. In addition to all these indie games being released Nintendo’s Senior Manager of Marketing, Damon Baker also announced during the Game Developers Conference that 50 titles are being developed with the Unity Engine 9 in which were on display at that event, games like Nihilumbra, Teslagrad, Ballpoint Universe: Infinite & Armillo. If you don’t know the Unity Engine is a recently popular software engine gaining steam late last generation for most consoles and now handhelds.

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 What I would like to see coming from Nintendo since they have a strong current and future lineup with independent studios is possibly a better exposure of these Online and Television advertisements. Flexing off their eShop indie title muscles Nintendo could flush in a great amount of indie-centric gamers along with Retro & Casual gamers. The eShop has favorites of mine like EarthBound, Unepic, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara all titles that proven to shine with me and are apart of my 52 games for the wii u along with resonating with the awesome social experience the Nintendo Miiverse.

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 I should jump on this while its fresh, Nintendo should also promote heavily their as always family friendly gamer social network Miiverse (here’s my personal Miiverse profile follow or friend me) this experience can only be absorbed on the Wii U and within recent months the Nintendo 3DS. Here you can gather true Nintendo gamers thoughts on such subjects like connecting with new friends, displaying all types of artwork using the Wii U gamepad sharing hints, tricks, funny glitches, gripes on issues within certain games but most importantly what game out there is actually a great game. Nintendo Miiverse is set up to be like a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook built from the ground up for Nintendo gamers. This is another Wii U strong suit that should be advertised on all media outlets and no longer be kept close to the chest of Nintendo and only promoted by us Nintendo loyalist. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!

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For those that are in the area of Maryland and DC (and Viriginia as well if you’re willing to make the trip).  On the campus of the University of Maryland, there lies a little gem known as the TerpZone.  It’s open for anyone to use, even those that aren’t students.  They welcome any and everyone.

So what does the TerpZone offer?  Well, they offer many things! They offer bowling, billiards, gaming, ping pong, arcade games, game nights (spades, etc.), and a lot more.

Most Fridays, the TerpZone offers video game tournaments for anyone to participate in for FREE! The games range from Call of Duty: Ghosts to Super Smash Bros. Brawl to NBA 2K14.  They have their sign ups for the tournaments at 6pm with it starting at 8pm.

The schedule for the rest of this semester (until early May) is as follows:

Mario Kart Wii : March 28th

FIFA 14 : April 4, April 11, April 18, April 25

Super Smash Bros. Brawl : May 2nd

For more information on the video game tournaments, the contact is Leonard Greene at lg7989@umd.edu. For any general questions about The TerpZone or to find out more, the contact is Kevin Alexander at kalexan4@umd.edu.

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