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Dark Souls 3

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I liked the accessibility of DS2, I saw it as an improvement over DS1. 

 

In DS2, everything just sort of branches out in separate directions, without much coherency between them. Every level in DS2 is its own isolated rabbit hole, and to get back to the hub? Warp to Majula. Very different from DS1, and I personally prefer DS1's handling of navigation better (lots of manual shortcut rewards).

 

Yea, I did like the navigation of the first game more, the storytelling, while still cryptic, was a bit easier to grasp as well. In ds2 they just drop you in and fail to tell you anything for half the game, sort of like Bloodborne. That said, I found ds2 to be hard IMO, with bloodborne being the hardest, but most rewarding to play.  Excited for the 3rd game though. 

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Bloodborne 2... ahhh don't tease me  :oops:

 

If you missed out on challenge in Bloodborne because of a lack of weapon diversity, try running through the whole game with the Threaded Cane

 

Or do something unique like do a full Bloodtinge or Arcane run. (I never bothered with those)

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The only thing that I found to be flawed with Bloodborne, as I said in the thread I made for it, is that I really did find the game to be one extreme or the other. By yourself and with certain equipment, some of the bosses felt nigh invincible. With even just one other person of a decent level helping you out, it could become very easy. I actually think the only boss where you can summon help, but I still found it difficult was that damn spider.

 

As I recall, in Dark Souls, summoning another player doesn't give you much of an advantage. 

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As I recall, in Dark Souls, summoning another player doesn't give you much of an advantage. 

 

Summoning another player makes fights trivially easy. I summoned someone else for Ornstein and Smough and the fight was over in a mere couple minutes.

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I've never summoned anyone for boss fights in Dark Souls. It would feel too much like giving up.

 

In that respect, I guess, it doesn't seem like a problem to me that assistance might make a boss fight extremely easy, because it seems to me like the whole point of the assisted boss fight mechanic is to allow people to get through frustrating, progress-blocking sections of the game in a fun way that fits with the benefit-from-the-experience-of-others theme that's already present in the message system.

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I'd say it's always more valuable to complete the game and potentially miss out a little bit of its highest difficulty than to simply get stuck and give up. Getting stuck and giving up is a waste of money and it doesn't complete the conveyance of the narrative (which is what makes Dark Souls good in the first place).

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Right, and judging both by the Souls games' continuing reputations as very difficult games and by the pride Souls players generally take in their hard-won boss victories, it's pretty clear to me that having the option to substantially reduce the challenge of bosses hasn't cheapened the boss fight experience for those who choose not to exercise that option. It's a beautifully organic way of allowing players to, in effect, set a difficulty level.

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I'd say it's always more valuable to complete the game and potentially miss out a little bit of its highest difficulty than to simply get stuck and give up. Getting stuck and giving up is a waste of money and it doesn't complete the conveyance of the narrative (which is what makes Dark Souls good in the first place).

 

I agree.

 

 

Right, and judging both by the Souls games' continuing reputations as very difficult games and by the pride Souls players generally take in their hard-won boss victories, it's pretty clear to me that having the option to substantially reduce the challenge of bosses hasn't cheapened the boss fight experience for those who choose not to exercise that option. It's a beautifully organic way of allowing players to, in effect, set a difficulty level.

 

Touche. Honestly, for me, calling in back up is not as much about reducing the challenge. I just find co-op, especially in a monster-hunting kind of game to be a lot more fun than going it alone. In Bloodborne anyway, I just wish the bosses would've changed up their tactics to deal with more players. Not necessarily to make it harder, but just to make it seem like a different fight instead of the same attack patterns, but now the boss is out-numbered. Adds even more replay value imo

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I never thought of it as a giving up aspect or whatever. If I were to get DS3 I would want co-op because I am a co-op gamer, I prefer to play with other people, that's why 99% of the time I am playing Destiny.. Bloodborne was a fluke and I did kill a few bosses early on with friends but later went solo, but was always in a party on PS4 talking about the game with other people who were playing

 

The only reason someone would need to summon a friend for Rom though is because of a lack of getting good, which is understandable, it's a pretty early boss

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I never thought of it as a giving up aspect or whatever. If I were to get DS3 I would want co-op because I am a co-op gamer, I prefer to play with other people, that's why 99% of the time I am playing Destiny.. Bloodborne was a fluke and I did kill a few bosses early on with friends but later went solo, but was always in a party on PS4 talking about the game with other people who were playing

 

The only reason someone would need to summon a friend for Rom though is because of a lack of getting good, which is understandable, it's a pretty early boss

 

Wut? Rom was like, the halfway point in the main story. Also, he's one of the only bosses who summons minions that do tons of damage if they hit you - same goes for his laser attack thing. 

 

Vicar Amelia, Father Gascoigne, Shadows of Yharnam were all way easier even solo imo.

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Bloodbourne like most spiritual sequels / likenesses to similar games has improvements and short comings when making comparisons. Personally I enjoy the difficulty of the game. If it was easy I wouldn't have a desire to play it as it wouldn't challenge me. In that regard I feel achievement systems in games are pointless as it is a personal thing that is different concerning every player. If developers took achievements seriously then I wouldn't have a beef with them. The "You beat the tutorial" and "You killed your first goomba" achievements aren't that... "achievements". Achievements need to be wow moments for hard to pull off feats like not getting hit at all in a game. I also solo the games bosses at least once as I do enjoy hanging out and chatting with friends.

Darks Souls 2 > Bloodbourne list

-----------------------------------------

1) More weapon and fighting style variance. (You aren't forced to always roll evade. Dual wield. Mix and match dual wield weapons You can use a shield if desired.)

I'm positive Miyazaki will add a ton more weapons and variety in sequels to Bloodbourne. He has the engine built and graphic assets already made meaning more time for new weapons and balancing in future sequels.

2) Better magic system. Equip any combination of magic you want (Iron King crown is great too. Broken but great).

3) Pvp? Just kidding. Ive never pvp'd or co-oped in bloodborne so I can't comment here. I will lament the failings of DS2 though. Epic soul memory failure here. People like hanging out and messing around with friends. Games get boring eventually but other human interaction can drastically prolong the life of any game. A perfect Pvp system would be nice but dedicated servers require money to upkeep. I don't like paying monthly fees for things. Pvp will never be fair if lag exists. Lag will always exist (I miss those local co-op / and head to head goldeneye / timesplitters 2 / smash bros melee days).
 

Bloodbourne > Dark Souls 2 list

-----------------------------------------

1) Better graphics (Victorean theme is wonderful and improved cloth physics look great)

2) Seemlessly fluid controls.

3) Cool weapon transformations (Sheaths are back again!).

4) Weak randomly generated dungeons with predictable map layouts. At least they have them but they could have taken notes from the Dark Cloud games on better randomness. The alternate rune placement on found weapons doesn't feel like enough incentive to keep going through these things.

5) Gems as replacement to enchanting. I could go either way on this but I will say sorting inventories and deleting inferior gems is a negative for this game. Its the same shortcoming that the Borderlands games have.

6) Interconnected world layout like DkS1 is well done. DkS2..... well the lava castle at the top of the poisoned windmill area kinda takes you aback...

Just my stream of thought on the Miyazaki franchise wars.

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It seems like this is fast becoming Bloodbourne vs DS2, but I just wanted to say that because of this thread, I started up DS2 again. I think its the fluid transition between online functionality and story that makes the souls series soooo satisfying to play. I was playing last night and when another player trespasses in Door of Pharos, I actually feel like they're trespassing in my game and must dispatch them with prejudice. I am patiently awaiting another trip in to the abyss with DS3...PS3 version plz :(

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The Bloodborne was brought up by Bleck with a valid concern that DS3 potentially could have its game design influenced (in some ways polluted) by Bloodborne followed by people expounding on general comparisons between Dark Souls series mechanics and Bloodborne's. In anticipation for a next series entry, it's a completely relevant discussion to have.

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Honestly Bloodbourne is more comparable to Demon's Souls. Miyazaki might be planning to repeat history and start a "Blood" series spiritual successor that FROM completely owns, As long as the Dark Series combat is customizable and not watered down it should make for a better experience. Next up is ensuring the boss fights are truly unique which is becoming an increasingly difficult task. I've always tackled first time boss fights much like I would bosses in megaman games. Start the battle then stay back and observe the patterns until I think I can successfully land blows without getting hurt. The framerate being 60FPS is a huge help for reacting quicker and seeing attack windups beforehand in order to dodge. Prepare To Die edition on the computer is only 30FPS and is much harder because of the lowered framerate.

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It's seems strange to question whether DS3 will be unduly influenced by Bloodbourne. Mr. Miyazaki has created some of the best games I have ever had the pleasure of playing and with regard to the Souls ( and I suppose the Bloodbourne) its rare to find a game nearly beyond reproach, with regards to story, gameplay, graphics and presentation, especially when dealing with sequels and the expectations they create ( ok the corpses that get tangled in you character is the only real criticism that I could level)  He has demonstrated his commitment to the principle of continual improvement and I have little fear DS3 is going to be anything less than stellar. 

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It's seems strange to question whether DS3 will be unduly influenced by Bloodbourne. Mr. Miyazaki has created some of the best games I have ever had the pleasure of playing and with regard to the Souls ( and I suppose the Bloodbourne) its rare to find a game nearly beyond reproach, with regards to story, gameplay, graphics and presentation, especially when dealing with sequels and the expectations they create ( ok the corpses that get tangled in you character is the only real criticism that I could level)  He has demonstrated his commitment to the principle of continual improvement and I have little fear DS3 is going to be anything less than stellar. 

 

I know that posting in a thread of Dark Souls fans, I'm going to get shit for this, but I don't care I'll say it anyway. I'm always kinda mind blown when people say or suggest dark souls had a good story.

 

I think easily the best non-gameplay improvement Bloodborne offered was that it actually had a story. I mean, I didn't finish, but I did at least play to a reasonable extent the first two Dark Souls enough that I should be able to understand something of the story. I honestly couldn't tell you what Dark Souls is even about - I'm not not even sure where I was ultimately headed or just what was going on and the few cutscenes and NPC banter didn't offer much insight into wtf was happening. I just tried to make it to the next bonfire and survive the trip.

 

If a game or film requires you pay attention to all sorts of easily missed clues and piece together the story for yourself, that's a great example of bad story-telling. Having to read all these texts scattered about, listen to cryptic NPC dialogue, etc. and having to stop just short of sending Scooby and the gang to find all the other clues is lazy. Dark Souls may as well come with a link to the wikipedia article saying "I O U 1 Plot"

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I know that posting in a thread of Dark Souls fans, I'm going to get shit for this, but I don't care I'll say it anyway. I'm always kinda mind blown when people say or suggest dark souls had a good story.

 

I think easily the best non-gameplay improvement Bloodborne offered was that it actually had a story. I mean, I didn't finish, but I did at least play to a reasonable extent the first two Dark Souls enough that I should be able to understand something of the story. I honestly couldn't tell you what Dark Souls is even about - I'm not not even sure where I was ultimately headed or just what was going on and the few cutscenes and NPC banter didn't offer much insight into wtf was happening. I just tried to make it to the next bonfire and survive the trip.

 

If a game or film requires you pay attention to all sorts of easily missed clues and piece together the story for yourself, that's a great example of bad story-telling. Having to read all these texts scattered about, listen to cryptic NPC dialogue, etc. and having to stop just short of sending Scooby and the gang to find all the other clues is lazy. Dark Souls may as well come with a link to the wikipedia article saying "I O U 1 Plot"

I was debating this myself 2 days ago. If an artist uses minimal details to convey a story, does that translate to a lack of forethought and structure or rather does it allow for a deepening of the story by having the participant project themselves in to the art. 

 

Both of the paintings below depict Icarus, but they do it in different ways. The Matisse is less detailed, but without the hangups of what Icarus looked like or where he was flying it allows the viewer to have a deeper connection to the story of Icarus, maybe even capture what the more detailed painting eschews in favors of greater visual cues? It's all relative so each of has to make our own call and I don't think anyone is right or wrong, just what we do with the experiences the art provides, that's what counts. 

 

icarus-1944.jpg!Blog.jpg800px-Gowy-icaro-prado.jpg

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I was debating this myself 2 days ago. If an artist uses minimal details to convey a story, does that translate to a lack of forethought and structure or rather does it allow for a deepening of the story by having the participant project themselves in to the art. 

 

Both of the paintings below depict Icarus, but they do it in different ways. The Matisse is less detailed, but without the hangups of what Icarus looked like or where he was flying it allows the viewer to have a deeper connection to the story of Icarus, maybe even capture what the more detailed painting eschews in favors of greater visual cues? It's all relative so each of has to make our own call and I don't think anyone is right or wrong, just what we do with the experiences the art provides, that's what counts. 

 

icarus-1944.jpg!Blog.jpg800px-Gowy-icaro-prado.jpg

 

 

While I do see your point, I don't think this is a good comparison because in your examples, we already know the story of Icarus and those paintings don't actually tell the story. Rather, they show one second in time from it. Also, telling a story and visual art are not necessarily the same thing. Not all paintings actually tell a story.

 

In my opinion, "minimalist" isn't a word that comes to mind with dark souls' story as much as "vague" does. 

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One of my favourite things about Dark Souls is its story. Comparing it to a painting is an interesting analogy because you can come up with your own interpretations and everyone can question it a bit differently. This is what Miyazaki wants from players because he had to do the same thing when reading Western books when he was younger with limited understanding of the English language -- which led him to do the very same thing. What is more important about Dark Souls is purpose, nearly everything in that world has a reason and a why. If someone was to say they didn't like how Dark Souls portrays its story or it just wasn't for them I can completely understand that, but to say it's not a good story or there is no story that is just ignorant. I am not taking into account Dark Souls 2 by the way, it's a good game but it does not have anywhere near the depth and meaning of the first game. I'll admit that in my first playthrough of Dark Souls I didn't really observe as closely as I should have or piece up the dialogues and item descriptions because I just wasn't used to that from a game. Then when I did that in my second playthrough, it was like a whole new world opened and I was understanding how wonderful the world and its characters were. It's a very rare thing and I hope that Dark Souls 3 offers this again. 

I really liked Bloodborne, it's a fantastic game. I don't think it has the depth of a Dark Souls game story wise and I think there are things about that world which could have been embelished more. However it does have depth, if you haven't finished it there is quite a lot to it you probably still don't understand. I really hope the DLC adds to this and isn't just more gameplay. Artorias of the Abyss for Dark Souls I think is possibly the greatest DLC ever made and it added so much more to the lore of the game that was worth every penny. 

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If it interests you, I highly suggest watching DARK SOULS: The Movie by SunlightMaggot (who sadly stopped creating content). He did a fantastic job of recording the game and role playing as certain characters to re-enact their stories, as well as the Chosen Undead's journey to link the fire: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL65k1Kyrgf2O2Zb-GZ7KzT-4ov-IEuBEx

Also this music video by ThePruld is a pretty great watch too, he's a cool guy: 

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In my opinion, "minimalist" isn't a word that comes to mind with dark souls' story as much as "vague" does. 

^^^ This is truth, well put

 

Going back to an earlier statement I made, "It's hard to believe I'm the Savior of the World, simply cause I was the first to press this very large button in the middle of the town square, with the neon sign over it that says "PRESS HERE"

A story isn't going to be laid at your feet in any sort of immersive environment, and this is where the Souls series excels, it draws you in by allowing you to piece together the fragments of the story and draw your own conclusions. 

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I like the way Dark Souls conveys its story because the lore is suitably sophisticated and engaging but the gameplay itself is mostly about exploration and combat and isn't bogged down with extensive story/dialog nonsense like most RPGs are. I find it to be both satisfying storytelling and satisfying gameplay, whereas a lot of RPGs try to integrate the two more directly and end up weakening both. Unlike in many other video games, I've never felt at any point in a Souls game like the narrative was trying to convey something that would have been better conveyed by a movie or book.

 

 

If a game or film requires you pay attention to all sorts of easily missed clues and piece together the story for yourself, that's a great example of bad story-telling.

 

I disagree. I tend to prefer movies that tell stories this way, at least in part because they engage me in the story rather than asking me to sit passively and absorb it. Working out what Mulholland Drive was about was one of the most fulfilling movie experiences I've ever had.

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I know that posting in a thread of Dark Souls fans, I'm going to get shit for this, but I don't care I'll say it anyway. I'm always kinda mind blown when people say or suggest dark souls had a good story.

 

I think easily the best non-gameplay improvement Bloodborne offered was that it actually had a story. I mean, I didn't finish, but I did at least play to a reasonable extent the first two Dark Souls enough that I should be able to understand something of the story. I honestly couldn't tell you what Dark Souls is even about - I'm not not even sure where I was ultimately headed or just what was going on and the few cutscenes and NPC banter didn't offer much insight into wtf was happening. I just tried to make it to the next bonfire and survive the trip.

 

If a game or film requires you pay attention to all sorts of easily missed clues and piece together the story for yourself, that's a great example of bad story-telling. Having to read all these texts scattered about, listen to cryptic NPC dialogue, etc. and having to stop just short of sending Scooby and the gang to find all the other clues is lazy. Dark Souls may as well come with a link to the wikipedia article saying "I O U 1 Plot"

 

 

SPOILERS AHEAD

 

It's really not that vague, you just might not be used to involved story telling. The best critically acclaimed films are all about paying attention to small details. The power of your narrative coming from the meticulous construction is the finest example of story telling, whereas storytelling with people talking and having dialogue and then other people telling the main characters what they should do next is incredibly boring and often results in some pretty 1 dimensional themes about saving the world or the power of love/friendship or whatever. 

 

Dark Souls's narrative is good for two big reasons, to me, which are the themes presented and the way in which they are presented. All of the elements are clear to convey the narrative, it's just not handed to you on a silver platter like Final Fantasy.

 

You're an Undead, going Hollow, and you have to kill things to get souls to retain your humanity. All the enemies you fight are people like you who failed in their journey. Bosses like Ornstein and Smough were once alive, like you before, and became hollow after a long time in their journey; because of the power they achieved before going hollow, they were enabled to begin terrorizing the Undead, sort of as bullies. Imagine you becoming powerful and then failing; it's implied in the narrative universe that from then on, you would become a boss that fights other Undead who are one the same pilgrimage.

 

Your job is to ring the bells, after you're directed both by cutscene and by the Crestfallen Knight to do so. Kingseeker Frampt tells you to seek Anor Londo, to acquire the Lordvessel in order to begin your path to link the fire. Linking the fire is what must be done to preserve the world and not have it fall apart. You fight the end bosses (seath, Bed of Chaos, nito, who were spoken of in the opening cutscene, and the Four Kings). These were people who in some way or another, caused chaos related to the First Flame. You beat them, you get to fight Gwyn, the past soul who linked the fire and locked himself away in eternal solitude.

 

Now here's the "meaning" of Dark Souls. Dark Souls is about the empty and pointless nature of your existence. Your entire life (or undeath, rather), is a big directive to "advance". You're fighting through all this shit without really clearly understanding why. Meaning is assigned to nothing except for boss fights, the only moments of clarity in the game (and appropriately, the only moments that have actual music). That's the point. Dark Souls is supposed to feel empty and direction-less because it is empty and directionless. But why?

 

Because linking the fire doesn't accomplish anything from a utilitarian standpoint. You're only delaying the inevitable, and causing suffering to the other hollows and undead. There's a reason the NPC's like the Crestfallen Knight tell you not to bother. Nothing you do matters in this game, because once you link the fire, you are just another Lord Gwyn, and another undead will come to fight you as the final boss of their journey and take your place. It's a cycle.

 

You, as a player, have the agency to recognize this and decide to not play into the cycle. You can become a Dark Lord by leaving the room after fighting Gwyn. You killed the soul keeping the fire alive, and now you let it go out, thus you're saying "I understand this is what's going on, but fuck that".

 

Looking at the game as a simple progression to linking the fire is the superficial "heroic" interpretation of the game. Something needs my help, I fight bosses, and then do my heroic deed. When in actuality, Dark Souls leverages things like player despair (through respawning at faraway bonfires), emptiness (the lack of music, which becomes the lack of narrative meaning in the specific things and places you take part in throughout the game), ambiguous morality and selfishness (killing NPC's to get their shit, killing NPC's who you know are bad people, etc.) and self awareness (realizing linking the fire is pointless, thus giving you the choice not to do it) to convey the opposite. Dark Souls is a massive power fantasy (don't even get me started on how well this game does at making you feel powerful) that results in the ultimate crumbling of your ego. You beat Ornstein and Smough, you smash the Bed of Chaos, you become god-like enough to take on 7 capra demons at once, and where does it get you? Being just as useless and unable to help the world as Lord Gwyn, and every other Undead who's doing the same shit you are to reach the same destiny.

 

Dark Souls is a high quality game story specifically because it doesn't tell you the narrative through dialog and cutscenes (though it tells enough from the opening scene and Kingseeker Frampt's dialogue that people less inclined to delve deeper still understand what's going on), it tells you the story through the gameplay mechanics and through consequences of the actions you take in the game. It's a high place on the storytelling ladder, and there's rarely been a game that leverages a story through video games that well.

 

When all's said and done, Dark Souls is actually a really deep exploration in the concept of life after death, and the question of if immortality really worth it.  It explores it through the game mechanics, through the other NPC's storylines, what you understand about the boss lore, and then the ending. And unlike more standard/primitve game stories , it doesn't have an ending with a cutscene that answers the question like ""yes the world is worth saving!" It lets you, the player, decide what to get out of the story.

 

You can't really complain that the story wasn't being conveyed to you, because you, the player, ARE the main character of the story, and the story is about how you proceed through the game, what it does to your attitude, and how you interpret the ending. Your playing of the game is the manifestation of the story. And that's why it's good, because Dark Souls uses that as a way to convey meaning and depth, rather than it just being some stupid metaphysical observation without substance.

 

There's more to it than just that, that's the broad overview. There's all the deeper meanings behind NG+, and the online mechanics as well.

 

 

 

 I've never felt at any point in a Souls game like the narrative was trying to convey something that would have been better conveyed by a movie or book.

 

To me, that's a perfect example of what a game story should be. Told through player agency, mechanics, and consequences, something other mediums don't have. And I'm not talking about consequences like "other characters won't show up later in the game if you dont make them happy OH NO", I'm talking about consequences like "if I shoot Gwynevere because I know she's an illusion from Dark Sun Gwyndolin, Anor Londo is permanently cast into twilight, the sun disappears, and the entire area becomes dark and dead, the Firekeeper turns against me, rendering the bonfire permanently unkindled and severely affecting my gameplay expereince in Anor Londo for the rest of the game, and it's irreversible".

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