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HUGE members get first dibs on free codes!
Just a heads up for all of our HUGE members. Our colleagues at Destructoid are giving away 1,000 indie game codes courtesy of IndieGameStand. Those of you who've signed up for HUGE, our network-wide subscription service,...

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Automatic contest entries, discounts, responsive mobile site, and new video shows
We here at ModernMethod are rolling out a membership program across all four sites called HUGE. The program is meant to be a game-changer for the entire network, allowing us to bring you better content than you've ever seen b...

Xbox One Everyday Online photo
Xbox One Everyday Online

Microsoft: Xbox One not always-online...just every day


Also goes pro-publisher on used games
Jun 06
// Josh Tolentino
You'd think they'd get this sort of thing out of the way back when they announced it, but mere days before E3, Microsoft has finally shed some light on the burning policy questions hounding their upcoming Xbox One console. In...

Say Hello to the Xbox One

May 21 // Josh Tolentino
New Xbox reveal photo
The Next Xbox, revealed
No, not the first Xbox, or the Xbox 360. The third of Microsoft's consoles has opted to dial down its numbering by three hundred fifty-nine while dialing up its hardware. And it's called the "Xbox One", which means that...


A special message from our founder

Mar 09 // Josh Tolentino
Relax. We're still friends. Last month, I learned that the primary way we support Destructoid was quickly shrinking due to a browser plug-in: the ad-blocker. On the bright side, it brought some closure on why our ad checks never quite kept up with perky site traffic or growing bandwidth bills. No, I'm not going to chainsaw your face for installing an ad-blocker. Chances are, though, you understand that blocking ads denies us some coffers and you probably feel a little bad about it, but all ads intrinsically annoy you. That's okay. Still, it is enough for me to say that it's a problem facing my site and other sites like it, and a few weeks ago, I started to appeal to readers to whitelist us -- that mostly failed. Is asking for nickels the best way to future-proof a gaming site? "Almost half of your readers block your ads. We don't think we're mistaken." BlockMetrics was easy enough to set up and monitor. At first, it was about 10%, then 20-something. When I dared to blink it just increased faster. Over a few days it never got better, averaging at an ominous 42-46% block rate. I thought their tech might have been flawed, so I performed my own tests and contacted another company who returned a similar result.  This means that we're working twice as hard as other sites to sustain our company, as if keeping a group of game writers fed isn't difficult enough. We see gaming sites shut down or selling out so often these days. Feeling my pain yet? So, what would you do, standing in my one shoe remaining? I took these sobering stats to Twitter, and this is what people close to me said: [embed]28178:2202:0[/embed] Nobody wants ads in the way while they're trying to read something I know there's a fine line a publisher must walk when inviting ads in. We work with a very reputable outside company that respects our readers and is quick to ban ads we don't like. Destructoid does not allow ads that play automatic audio, and also doesn't allow ads that automatically expand without your interaction. If you ever see any of those, please report them. Also, if you stay logged in on our existing free accounts, you'll never see a full-page interstitial advertisement (the skip to continue kind). We've also moved most of our new videos to YouTube, which allows ad skipping in most circumstances. Despite adhering to what I believe are best practices for all parties involved, we're having this conversation. Still, I assume most of you haven't singled out blocking Dtoid for malicious reasons, so I went onward with my appeals.    Would you kindly un-block Destructoid? BlockMetrics' technology allowed me to overlay a special message to those who have Ad-Blocker installed. I didn't mince words: My appeal read something to the effect that ad blockers primarily hurt our writers, and if you are reading our site, we'd like your support. Indeed, our ad rate dropped slightly overnight. I didn't like guilt-tripping our readers, but it seemed like a better option than hijacking the site away from them. Ultimately, the best feedback came from one reader who, despite willingly denying our passive revenue, thought I was being too bold. A frank letter to the editors: Dear Destructiod,  Just a quick feedback. Today I found a message in red on top of my browser window telling me not to block ads on your site. I have an ad blocking software installed my my browser, as many of the more tech savvy users who are often gamers, do. I understand that you need to make money off the site traffic through ads. For a moment, I considered making an exception rule in my ad blocking software. However, there was no way to turn off the intrusive red message until I 'do what I was told'. I was intending to have a quick read of an article you have posted before proceeding to 'support your writers'. This made me uncomfortable, and alienated. Your site was no longer welcoming.  I have therefore decided not to visit your site or any of your affiliates. I can get my gaming news from similar sites that do not 'dictate' my actions, such as Kotaku, Eurogamer, vg247, Gamespot, Joystick, IGN, Giantbomb, Edge-online, Polygon - the list goes on. In this day and age, you might want to rethink the way you make money against the way you treat your readers because your competition is way too varied and strong to pull sustainable readership. I'm sure many others felt the same way as I did and a handful might actually give a damn to give feedback as I have. Just something to consider.  (Name Withheld)  What was most annoying about the letter is that he was right, and I knew it.  When I first read the letter, I felt like I was reading those kinds of hippie stories on the news where the guy comes into your house to rob someone; then when he gets beat up, he wins a lawsuit for aggravated assault. The principles of the matter don't matter -- you're just wrong and you can't punch your way out of it. It didn't help that my appeal was presented in a red floating box, and my tone was all wrong. Dating site OKC had the right idea. (Thanks, Chris) Still, I had to say something to this person that I've offended. Deep breath:  First of all, thanks so much for your candid letter and caring enough to write. May I ask why you use an ad-blocker on Destructoid? I'm also taken back that, despite learning that you had the option to indirectly help us fund the site by doing almost nothing, you found this request to be offensive. Was it what we said, and/or how we said it? I know you have many options in gaming sites, but I urge you to notice that gaming magazines and blogs are increasingly shrinking and ad-blockers are not helping. Every website relies on ad revenue. Sure, some new ones will pop up with funding but once they get running they'll rely on ads, too. While others may be less forthcoming about it we're all in the same boat, and that's not an easy boat to keep afloat. Even IGN, who arguably has the most successful ad-free subscription model, was sold last week. If I can't appeal to people to at least passively support it with ads I'm not convinced you'd be willing to reach into your pocket and help us either, because there are and always will be free options that come and go. Am I correct in that assumption? As a personal note, I love that we give everything away for free. If I can continue to do that without silly things like pay walls or begging for donations then my company will face no uncertain future. That's all we're asking for here. We could offer twice the coverage, a bigger travel budget, better computers, and have more well-fed team running the show if everyone just passively allowed the ads. That's not reality, and I get that. The results so far are not good, but show promise. Since we put up the message only 3% of people have accepted our appeal, so you're correct in stating that others do feel the same way. Since I received your letter I've revised the alert from red to a soft blue so it isn't so jarring. What else might you do if you were in my shoes? Re: "I certainly was not expecting a reply." Thank you for respond to my feedback. I am aware that the competition is tough and downsizing/ bankruptcy is rampant in gaming industry as well as game-related media. Moreover, journalism itself is under immense pressure - I should know because I, myself is in the news business (editorial design, not a reporter). I did not activate ad blocker only on your site - the plugin blocks almost all ads automatically and I can tell it not to block anything on certain sites. So it is only a few clicks away to disable that if anyone really wanted to help out. I think you missed my point on why I was not willing to do it. It is a question of choice. If I was given a choice to unblock the ads out of good will, I would have done it. but the pop up doesn't seem to go away UNTIL I unblock. So there wasn't any choice to keep viewing without having it 'nagging' me all the time whenever I visit your site, and covering search fields etc. I think that is what put me off primarily. Maybe a gentle reminder that runs across the banner (there is plenty of space between the search field and sign up/ login buttons) or even posting an article about all the facts you've sent me will further enlighten the community and even shed light on the innerrworkings of your site might help. I find that 98% of the rolling news and pictures are repeated in most of the gaming sites and I'm sure you are aware there are reposts for exclusives (albeit with a credit and link to the owner) plus twitter etc so the only reason to check a certain site is for reviews and original content. Therefore, when reading itself becomes a hassle, the battle is already lost. I hope somehow this shed some light to the matter. This is of course, an opinion one one person but I have a feeling I'm not the only one that thinks so. As for my support, your sincere reply has made me unblock the ads on the site without a second thought and I will be visiting often.  I wish you and your team well and the best of luck in your future endeavours. If this were a movie, I'd dramatically turn to the camera with puppy eyes and blurt a dramatic call to arms: "Where were you when your favorite gaming site died?" Maybe I've won this battle, but I've lost a war I wasn't even aware I was fighting. I'm not alone -- ArsTechnica once fought back by limiting access to those running the plug-in and saw an immediate backlash. Clearly, fighting your readers head-on is not the right solution.  Ad-blockers have gone mainstream. Actually, it probably hit gaming sites the hardest because gamers are some of the most savvy computer geeks. We're tinkerers and tweekers, so what's a simple browser plug-in? Only 4% of our Internet Explorer users block our ads, which the tech elite have written off years ago. Another citing: When GameSpot's Total Access program ended three months ago, the news was met with the most ghastly of comments. It's one thing to see it on a spreadsheet but when you see your readers bragging about it, it's pretty fucked up: The solution must be weirder, more creative. No wonder Valve is selling hats If left unchecked, small publishers like me may face an ad block rate of 75% or higher with no way to pay my bills. I'm not going to lobby congress to make ad-blocking illegal. That ad block percentage is not really negotiable, and is only going to go up. Other technology trends are also closing in on independent publishers: ad rates are dropping, mobile adoption is booming and dragging old ad models that don't work into them, and (let's be honest) my Internet generation expects everything to be free, cheap, and plentiful. As a pro-consumer site operator, I'll be the first to admit none of that sounds unreasonable, so it's on me to figure it out. Yes, I can raise capital and wait for the market to evolve. I'm not going to do that. Everyone that's raised capital gets sold to someone they will later wish hadn't bought them. To quote a founding editor of a recent downsized publication: "Never lose control." Larger websites with massive inventories with in-house control of their ad supply chain can appeal Ad-Blockers to whitelist them, but unless you're at the massive scale of Reddit I don't see this happening. This isn't feasible for small publishers relying on the wild west of ad networks, whose ads are made by horny Flash designers trying to win design awards. This also seems idealistic: the savvy user will eventually just use a different ad-blocker that blocks all.  I needn't point out to anyone that the videogames press has shrunk at record speed this year. Whether you're a freelancer for an established site or well-fed at a temporarily funded business that relies on ads, this ad-block trend will eventually take a slice from your livelihood. Take stock, do your diligence, and have a quiet conversation with your staff and readers about it. Yes, it is a business issue, but it also a matter of the viability of the independent press.  Destructoid will somehow offer you an awesome membership program this year If you had to choose one single editorial or swag perk, ad-free browsing aside, what would make an annual membership on Destructoid worth your while?  That's the magic question. To offset ad-blocking or advertising altogether some top bloggers are trying the unspeakable: asking their readers to become the customer. Giant Bomb, ScrewAttack, and Penny-Arcade have all famously made this work. From the research I've done, the perks that these programs offer seems like the most respectful alternative to slinging the advertising hustle. We'll follow suit, and aspire to do the right thing. I certainly wouldn't put up the sites you know today behind a paywall. Instead, I'd challenge my teams to justify a network-wide membership with a bunch of bonus stuff, and the money we earn would go towards making even more perks. We're having those conversations internally right now, so we're open to ideas. Speak up. This is an interesting time to arrive at these crossroads, as our company turns seven years old next week. Thanks for sticking with us, blocked ads or not. We'll make it our way.
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Insights from the boss
As you may know, Japanator is part of the esteemed ModernMethod network, a group of sites that includes our figure-loving friends at Tomopop, the film buffs at Flixist, and of course, our gaming pals at Destructoid.  Ear...

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Woah: Wii U gets MegaTen x Fire Emblem, Xeno- game, more


Meets, 'x', 'versus'...
Jan 23
// Josh Tolentino
Oh, boy. Time for me to start seriously considering a Wii U. It seems Nintendo have carpet-bombed the gaming public with a new slate of announcements, enough to send our own Dale North into a tizzy.  First and strangest ...
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The Wii U is loose, go mad!


Reggie is watching you
Nov 18
// Chris Walden
It feels like quite some time since the world simultaneously smashed their heads on their desks upon seeing Nintendo Land instead of Super Smash Bros. Something, rounding off a pretty neat but somewhat confusing Wii U showing...
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E3 2012: Did I just fall in love with a tech demo?


Jun 06
// Hiroko Yamamura
Square Enix took the wraps off a Final Fantasy real time tech demo at E3, and I know it's just a video --but I'm in love... Like I said it's just a tech demo, not on any game hardware or system, but this short clip just hit ...

PSA: Grab a Rusty Hearts beta key right now

Jul 22 // Josh Tolentino
#mce_temp_url#
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Rusty Hearts is a thing that is going to happen, and by "thing", I mean "Free-to-Play Massively Multiplayer Online Game". That's "F2P MMOG" for people who like to make acronyms.  Developed by WindySoft and run by Perfect...

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Just as it became the topic of Tuesday's Otaku Debate, the eternal question of "Dubs vs. Subs" is about to get video game-y. Destructoid's conducting a big survey regarding that. Our founder and head robot Niero had this to s...

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Destructoid the Show set to premiere tonight


Oct 11
// Tim Sheehy
Just a quick reminder -- Destructoid's very own Jonathan Holmes is hosting the premiere of Destructoid (the show), along with co-host Tara Long, over at Revision3.com in less than an hour. The show, being ...
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Ten Minute Taste: Last Rebellion


Feb 10
// Josh Tolentino
[As posted on Destructoid]If you've ever played one, you'll know that ten minutes is barely enough for a whiff, much less a taste of the typical RPG. That's why we recorded eleven minutes of footage from NIS-America's ne...
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Rumor: Dead or Alive 5 coming to the PS3


Jan 10
// Jon Snyder
[As posted on Destructoid by Hamza CTZ Aziz] The latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine hints that the next Dead or Alive game won't be exclusive to the Xbox 360 anymore. The rumor section of the mag sta...
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Square Enix's Death By Cube launches January 20


Jan 10
// Jon Snyder
[Originally posted on Destructoid by Jim Sterling] Ever heard of Death By Cube? You should have, because it's absolutely mental. Square Enix's blood-soaked and hilarious looking shooter Death By Cube has been finally been giv...
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DS successor confirmed, will have motion control


Jan 09
// Jon Snyder
[Originally posted on Destructoid by Jim Sterling] For the first time, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has openly discussed a Nintendo DS successor and some of the features that will be included in this two-sc...

Review: Bayonetta

Jan 09 // Jon Snyder
Bayonetta (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Platinum GamesPublisher: SegaReleased: January 5, 2010MSRP: $59.99 I can't honestly tell you what Bayonetta is about, exactly, because I still don't know. It has something to do with a war between angels and demons and a witch who is flipping around and beating the crap out of everything with her guns and swords. Kind of like Constantine meets The Matrix. I'm not entirely sure the story is even meant to make sense, as most of the cutscenes exist purely to show off ridiculous fight scenes and shameless crotch shots.  Players take on the role of titular heroine Bayonetta, a seductive witch with an English accent who destroys angels for a living. In being hounded by the forces of Heaven, Bayonetta finds herself on the wrong side of a fellow witch called Jeanne who knows something about her forgotten past, and the journalist Luka who wants to expose witchcraft to the world. Cue lots of explosions, monsters with upside-down baby heads, and even more crotch shots.  Despite not making a lick of sense, Bayonetta is a very funny game. Slapstick humor, sneaky videogame references and incredibly silly characters make for a highly memorable and laugh-out-loud affair. I was giggling before the first chapter had even finished, which is more than can be said for most games that try so hard to be hilarious. Bayonetta is genuinely amusing, if not for the mockery of games like Resident Evil 4 and references to Fantasy Zone, then for the simple pleasure of watching a demon dog made out of hair eat an evil angel.  Bayonetta isn't just an endless stream of fan service interspersed with self-referential humor, however. The game justifies its silliness with an incredibly intense action experience that manages to be more like Devil May Cry than Devil May Cry itself has been for years. The sheer chaos that is Bayonetta's combat system never lets up for a second, as Platinum weds mindless button mashing to a surprisingly intuitive cat-and-mouse ballet of acrobatics and counter attacks.  The trick is in the dodging. Players can dodge enemy attacks with a press of the right trigger, and if Bayonetta evades the attack at the optimal moment, she will trigger "Witch Time." Time will slow down and enemies will forced to a standstill, allowing Bayonetta to launch a full assault on the angel of her choice without fear of reprisal for several seconds. Witch Time is meant to be abused, and players will find themselves in dire need of it as the game progresses and gets more challenging.  Commendation must also be reserved for the combo system. Using the B and Y buttons, as well as directional input and shoulder button presses, Bayonetta has been designed so that any combination of buttons will lead to the main character doing something awesome. Simply mashing the buttons randomly will lead to Bayonetta summoning giant boots or fists made out of hair, or grabbing an enemy to "punish" them with pistol whips or ground pounds.  As Bayonetta racks up attacks without getting hit, she builds magic power. When the magic meter is full, players can press the Y and B buttons together near an enemy to pull off a devastating "Torture Attack." These special finishers change in accordance with the enemy and Bayonetta's position, but each one is sadistic, gory, and thoroughly ridiculous. Whether she's trapping angels in guillotines and kicking their exposed posteriors or tying up overtly sexual female opponents in chains so tight that their breasts pop out with a funny noise, Bayonetta manages to make an already silly game even more nonsensical with her range of deadly attacks. In addition to her four guns (two in her hands, two strapped to her legs), Bayonetta will get access to more weapons and accessories by shopping the "Gates of Hell." Halos gathered from enemies act as in-game currency, and one can also find a number of LPs that Bayonetta's friend Rodin can turn into new combat gear. The weapons look cool and have some neat attacks, but they often don't feel as good to use as Bayonetta's standard weapons and tend to come up short in the cool combo department. The same can be said for the new techniques that can also be bought, many of which just seem to make Bayonetta more prone to attack. On the whole, combat is surprisingly deep, and the balance between attacking and dodging has been crafted expertly. However, almost predictably for a game of this nature, Bayonetta's charms have a tendency to wear thin after prolonged exposure, especially when the game starts to get more challenging. The dodging and hammering of buttons can get pretty exhausting, not to mention the fact that one can grow desensitized to the over-the-top nature of the game after about an hour of playtime.   This isn't helped by the fact that Bayonetta can get very frustrating as it progresses. Even though dodging is an essential component to the game, the game becomes so chaotic that it's sometimes impossible to tell where attacks are coming from. Later enemies move at lightning speed and often have attacks that aren't telegraphed efficiently. They also tend to shrug off Bayonetta's attacks outside of Witch Time, yet her own combos can be broken easily. While Bayonetta is surprisingly forgiving for a game of this nature, players are graded at the end of each fight and stage on completion time, number of deaths, items used and damage taken, and it can be annoying to get graded poorly simply because the screen was full of too much information for the human eye to process, or they were ambushed by one of Bayonetta's weird and random QTEs.  There are also some ill-advised minigame sections. Angel Attack is a shooting range sub-game that appears between levels and is not only quite bland, but frequently irritating after the tenth time. Some of the stages have interesting minigames with some very funny retro nods to past Sega games, but the major problem is that they go on for far too long and the joke soon stops being funny. That is a major problem for Bayonetta -- the laughs are frequent, but they can really drag on sometimes. To its credit, the game looks terrific, which is helped in no small part to the rather saucy animations of Bayonetta herself. The art direction is amazing as well, with the enemies looking angelic and holy, yet thoroughly monstrous at the same time. Some of the designs are absolutely freaky, especially the range of huge and grotesque bosses that seem to pop up every few minutes. The voice acting is also pretty superb, despite the sometimes cringe-worthy dialogue, and the jazz music that makes up the majority of the game's soundtrack is rather brilliant as well.  Ultimately, Bayonetta is a great game that fans of hardcore Japanese action games should be incredibly satisfied with. It looks amazing and can feel great to play when combos are rolling, Torture Attacks are earned and giant demons made out of hair are summoned to crush bosses. However, the pace-killing minigames and the frustrating nature of the chaotic combat hold it back from being a truly superb title. Definitely recommended playing for all fans of the genre, despite the few flaws keeping it down.  Oh, and did I mention how sexy it is? Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)
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[Originally posted on Destructoid by Jim Sterling] How can one accurately describe Bayonetta? The truth is, one can't, and that makes starting a review very difficult indeed. You could list any number of adjectives that parti...

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Square Enix: We don't separate East and West markets


Jan 03
// Jon Snyder
[As posted on Destructoid by Jim Sterling] There has been a lot of talk lately about Japanese studios "going West" and "appealing to Western gamers" as the Japanese market allegedly sinks i...
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Already? Final Fantasy XIII now #4 on the Japanese charts


Jan 02
// Jon Snyder
[As posted on Destructoid by Jonathan Holmes]Do I need to get my eyes checked? Did Final Fantasy XIII, one of the most advertised, hyped games of the past four years, just get outsold by New Super Mario Bros Wii, LoZ: The Spi...
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Japan's top ten games of 2009


Jan 02
// Jon Snyder
[As posted on Destructiod by Jim Sterling] As videogame news becomes thinner on the ground, you can expect the slack to be made up for with lots and lots of reflective top ten lists. Here's one from Japanese ga...
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Destructoid rocks 24 hours of games for Extra Life charity


Oct 17
// Topher Cantler
Over at our sister site, Destructoid, the Miami crew is participating in Extra Life -- a 24-hour gaming marathon which will raise money to fund research for pediatric cancer. If you're a Dtoider, you probably remember SingSte...
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TGS 09: The Tokyo Experience on video


Sep 30
// Dale North
 Our sister site, Destuctoid.com, sent four editors, including our own Dale North (me!) and Colette Bennett, to the 2009 Tokyo Game Show to report on the hottest games and systems. Of course, being the Japanophiles we ar...
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Japan's AOU arcade show: booth babes and tree fondling


Feb 23
// Dale North
The Arcade Operators Union Entertainment Expo is a show that I never seem to make it out to. It takes place in the same joint that the Tokyo Game Show does, but just at the wrong time of year for me. I love arcades, arcade ga...
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Destructoid is at Tokyo Game Show 2007 and you are not


Sep 20
// Zac Bentz
If you've been living under a rock for the past year or so, then you might not know that Japanator is actually part of a vast network of tightly intertwined tentacles, each more majestic and penetrative than the last. W...
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Podtoid-san 19: When angels attack edition


Jun 25
// God Len
John can’t join us this episode because he is fighting to protect the world from the third impact; so give him hugs. In this episode Aaron Linde from Destructoid joins us for a little bit to talk about his one true love i...

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