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How have early 3D games aged in your opinion?


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Poll: How have early 3D games aged in your opinion? (78 member(s) have cast votes)

How have Early 3D games aged to you?

  1. Like a Fine Wine (Mostly Fine) (16 votes [20.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 20.51%

  2. Like Generic Soda (Mixed) (36 votes [46.15%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.15%

  3. Like a mild seizure. (Mostly Horrifying) (26 votes [33.33%])

    Percentage of vote: 33.33%

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#101 Flojomojo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 1, 2017 6:01 AM

Colony Wars on the PSX is still and incredible game. Also - the 3DO version of Return Fire is awesome.


Incredible to look at. I wish it were more fun to play. :-(

#102 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 7, 2018 11:48 AM

I know this is a 9-10 month bump but i figured think this thread will continue to be relevant as the years go by. As we get closer to CG movie quality this question will become more and more relevant.

 

Recently I tried replaying the 3 original Alone In the Dark games on PC and the Three Original Resident Evil games on PSX. 

 

Now I never liked the look of RE, and always though they way AitD presented its artstyle made it a bit easier to look at. But these days they both look pretty bad. But RE is the worst!!!!

 

The PSX 3D issues are in full scale here. The low resolution backgrounds also give me a headache. I get in some part sof the PSX Resident Evil games they use weird coloring or angles to give a fake 3D feel, but man they aren't pleasing to the eyes.

 

The monster designs in the AitD games are pretty funny looking due to limitations at the time., especially the first game .But I still think the flat models in AitD are slightly more pleasing to the eye than the textured attempt on the PSX RE's. 

 

Also both trilogies have some pretty nonsensical puzzles. 



#103 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 1:59 AM

I'm a fan of old 3D gfx - it still looks great to me in general, apart from games which were ugly even back then. With these 2 it's bit mixed bag because of prerendered backgrounds. I still love AitD,  It was that magical time when Infogrames was still releasing innovative, quality games. The art style and 3D techniques used were top notch, so was the gameplay. I'd still rather play the original 1-2-3 than any of the turdistical new ones.

 

PSX RE, I can agree is not very pretty, mostly because of these poor backgrounds. That's why I've never played any original ones and was blown aways by the GC remake - probably one of the most beautiful games ever. But that's all about the renders, not so much the 3D polygons itself.



#104 CatPix ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 6:36 AM

Yep, RE really suffer from poor backgrounds - which are 2D processings. You can really tell on many surfaces that the images were hastily digitalized on a 16 bits machine.

The decors lack details and are very bland.

RE and 3 on the other hand, have really better made models and 32 bits less-compressed background.

Also, in RE, all backgrounds are just like a canvas on the back of a blank screen, which give the feeeling that characters are floating on the screen; RE2 and 3 have background and foregrounds that the 3D character can ge behind, giving an impression of depth on the 2D.

redc.jpg

A bit... bland. Notice the 16 bits shades aroun the lamps.

647404-residentevil2_screen1.jpg

More detailed, less compression (I believe that here, it's due to the PS1 limitation and not much the process used). The 3D models were upgraded too.

Resident-Evil-3-PS1.jpg

Even more details, better coloring, better lights, and better 3D models.



#105 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 10:21 AM

I know this is a 9-10 month bump but i figured think this thread will continue to be relevant as the years go by. As we get closer to CG movie quality this question will become more and more relevant.

 

Recently I tried replaying the 3 original Alone In the Dark games on PC and the Three Original Resident Evil games on PSX. 

 

Now I never liked the look of RE, and always though they way AitD presented its artstyle made it a bit easier to look at. But these days they both look pretty bad. But RE is the worst!!!!

 

The PSX 3D issues are in full scale here. The low resolution backgrounds also give me a headache. I get in some part sof the PSX Resident Evil games they use weird coloring or angles to give a fake 3D feel, but man they aren't pleasing to the eyes.

 

The monster designs in the AitD games are pretty funny looking due to limitations at the time., especially the first game .But I still think the flat models in AitD are slightly more pleasing to the eye than the textured attempt on the PSX RE's. 

 

Also both trilogies have some pretty nonsensical puzzles. 

 

I thought that AitD had laughable graphics even at the time. The low polygon count makes everything look like origami. The original Resident Evil doesn't look as bad as that.


Edited by mbd30, Sat Sep 8, 2018 10:22 AM.


#106 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 10:41 AM

Issue with RE is it never was a good looking series that pushed polygons on the PSX. By the time RE3 came out Crash 3 and Spyro 3 were 2 years old, the Dreamcast was out, and I think PD came out the same year RE3 released.



#107 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 1:36 PM

 

I thought that AitD had laughable graphics even at the time.

 

Pretty refined taste then, seeing as the 3D competition to AitD in 1992 consisted of...well...umm...not sure what. Wolfenstein 3D? Even that had sprites :)

Comparing it to RE, game released 4 years later - an entire era at those times - is a bit unfair too. Besides, for me AitD still wins, seeing as their environs were much more organic and blended better with the 3D characters whereas RE's raw renders look totally disconnected.

 

I started paying attention to RE when it moved into real 3D. Code Veronica looked amazing.


Edited by youxia, Sat Sep 8, 2018 1:42 PM.


#108 mbd30 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 2:23 PM

 

Pretty refined taste then, seeing as the 3D competition to AitD in 1992 consisted of...well...umm...not sure what.

 

The issue with Alone in the Dark is that it's supposed to have a creepy atmosphere and the silly origami enemies ruin it. This is what I remember thinking when I played it at the time. You're right that it's unfair to compare it to RE which came out later.

 

EDIT: I don't remember exactly when I played AitD. It may have been a couple years after it came out.


Edited by mbd30, Sat Sep 8, 2018 2:29 PM.


#109 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 2:41 PM



 

I, Robot was released back in 1984. I think that was one of the first ones, if not the very first one. I played Hard Drivin' a few years ago in an arcade, and it was still playable. The 4-speed manual transmission rules!

 

Since the thread's been exhumed and I, Robot mentioned...

 

That's one early 3D game that I feel has held up really well.  It may not have been a huge success in the arcade, but is still very playable today.  The graphics hold up well IMHO simply because they're not seeking to be photorealistic - everything takes place in an abstract world, so doesn't need to be anything visually other than what it is.

 

 

By the way, there is some question as to whether it was I, Robot that made it to the arcades as the first polygon game, or if that honour should more correctly go to Simutrek's Cube QuestCube Quest was a laserdisc game, but contains what appear to be polygon-rendered overlaid graphics (including the player's ship) in a number of places.

 

 

It's not completely clear as to which one hit the arcade first, but they were released very close to each other.

 

And yep, I'm a huge fan of Cube Quest and feel that its graphics have held up as well as I, Robot for many of the same reasons.



#110 youxia OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 2:42 PM

@mbd30: fair enough. I also only played it few years later on my own machine. At the release time I was stuck in Amiga's strictly 2D world and only had access to 3D PC marvels at my rich-parents classmate's house. Back then, I was more amazed by the tech side and possibilities than spooked, I guess.

 

On topic of early 2.5D survival horrors I'd like to honourable-mention Bioforge and Ecstatica 1/2. I suppose some of you folk could say these "didn't age well" either, but I still consider them as landmark titles and dig the gfx even. I guess that transition from 2D to 3D period is really burned-in in my memory and I still appreciate the efforts of those paradigm shifting coders.


Edited by youxia, Sat Sep 8, 2018 2:43 PM.


#111 CatPix ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 6:26 AM

I remember being spooked by AITD... and I haven't yet completed it yet XD

But same as youxia, When I played it, even if it was maybe 6 years after it's release, I found it amazing... but scary, too. More than spooky.

I was in a bit of backward region when it came to video games (you had to drive at least 2=30 km to get one) so me and the few other kids in school who had video game were a generation late.

Like, we got the Super Nintendo at home in 1995.

I still think that AITD aged rather well, in as it achieve today what it did at the time : conveying a spooky, lovecraftian atmosphere. But to get that, you have to play the game (and knowing Lovecraft helps a great deal, too).

Many people judge by the graphisms, which is ironic on a Retrogaming site, isn't it? If you get in the atmosphere then you should be hooked up.

Some games have aged poorly not only because of the graphisms, but also because of the storytelling and control scheme.

That's probably one point where AITD fail; moving is so slow. I mean I understand that the developers had to work hard to develop a 3D engine able to handle that game on a varieoty of computer processors and video hardware, but that point didn't aged well at all.

This, and the then common "one mistake death", and I don't mean the trap that kill you instantly, but the "Use an item for X, too bad, it was needed for Y, you can't finish the game".

 

IMO, the early 3D games that have aged the worst are more the "second generation" 3D games. It's that generation when developers realized that a texture was looking much better and with 3D cards, was much easier to do than addings tons of polygons.

I'd say it's the generation of games released between 1997 and 2002.

That generation of games where people had a flat face with a GIF sticked on, where cars had hexagonal wheels with a pristine rim picture on them, etc.

It's creepy as fun.

 

max.jpg

uvotyuF.jpg

 

I mean, nope.

 

halflife-patch-640x327.jpg

"Zombie time"

I mean, those games mostly look good today, as far as static items and scenery goes. But take anything that moves, and it always move on 90° rails, with shoddy, unnatural movements, slide all over the place. In Max Payne, car wheel doesn't move when the car drive. Hugh. At least early 3D games had the excuse to be rough on all edges.



#112 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 2:09 PM

I'd agree, and while were at it, that face always on Max Payne, perpetually for all time looking like he's constipated and struggling which is funny as they were going for pissed off instead. :)

 

Those 2nd generation console 3D visuals trying to reality were pretty bad, bad in a funny way though in some cases.  That generation usually the cartoony or non people stuff like space ships and things looked stunning but going into that realm of trying to get real and it gets weird in all sorts of ways.



#113 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 2:19 PM

 

Since the thread's been exhumed and I, Robot mentioned...

 

That's one early 3D game that I feel has held up really well.  It may not have been a huge success in the arcade, but is still very playable today.  The graphics hold up well IMHO simply because they're not seeking to be photorealistic - everything takes place in an abstract world, so doesn't need to be anything visually other than what it is.

 

 

By the way, there is some question as to whether it was I, Robot that made it to the arcades as the first polygon game, or if that honour should more correctly go to Simutrek's Cube QuestCube Quest was a laserdisc game, but contains what appear to be polygon-rendered overlaid graphics (including the player's ship) in a number of places.

 

 

It's not completely clear as to which one hit the arcade first, but they were released very close to each other.

 

And yep, I'm a huge fan of Cube Quest and feel that its graphics have held up as well as I, Robot for many of the same reasons.

 

But CQ isn't rendered in real-time right?

 

 

 

The issue with Alone in the Dark is that it's supposed to have a creepy atmosphere and the silly origami enemies ruin it. This is what I remember thinking when I played it at the time. You're right that it's unfair to compare it to RE which came out later.

 

EDIT: I don't remember exactly when I played AitD. It may have been a couple years after it came out.

 

To be fair, for PC computers Alone In The Dark likely had as much polygons as the hardware could do back then.  think the only way 3d monsters could have gotten more details is if it was made for an arcade machine.

 

Where Resident Evil was on hardware that could have done MUCH more than what we got.



#114 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 2:40 PM

But CQ isn't rendered in real-time right?


The backgrounds aren't. But the player's ship, enemies, and a number of the other gameplay elements (such as the rotating, opening / closing gates in the bonus sequences) are, and are overlaid on the background.

#115 Atari Pogostick OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 2:50 PM

Remember when DOOM had an engine so advanced that even "polygonal" game consoles could barely run it despite it being 2D? That should tell you we were not even close to ready for real 3D at the time. Old 3D arcade games still gave N64 a run for its money and that was the best we could do?



#116 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 2:55 PM

raycasting (not tracing tracing is even worse but at least its "real" 3d) is a hog on cpu power to fake 3d, doommmmm and the like were able to do their thing thanks to heavily optimised low level code, the ports however were just trying to get a game out, not make a technical wonder 


Edited by Osgeld, Sun Sep 9, 2018 2:55 PM.


#117 Tanooki OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2018 9:02 PM

Stop confusing things with facts, this like the rest aren't about facts but making points, lots of lots of safety scissors kind of points here.



#118 Atari Pogostick OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:51 AM

raycasting (not tracing tracing is even worse but at least its "real" 3d) is a hog on cpu power to fake 3d, doommmmm and the like were able to do their thing thanks to heavily optimised low level code, the ports however were just trying to get a game out, not make a technical wonder 

 Carmack trying to max out the Jaguar version and the 3DO version (originally intended to be an enhanced extended version of the original game) disagree with this statement, and nether could run PC doom despite being "polygonal machines" and that's ignoring the 3DO version that was released, guys have tried to get the regular game to run a few levels on the 3Do and they can't get it to run like the PC version without compromises just like the Jaguar.

 

All I'm saying it that consoles likely were not ready for 3D until around 1998 or so. Which is also around the time 3D compatible chips and software dropped down in price. What we had before that were games running often sub-30fps with weak central processing and heavy fog use.


Edited by Atari Pogostick, Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:52 AM.


#119 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:53 AM

The backgrounds aren't. But the player's ship, enemies, and a number of the other gameplay elements (such as the rotating, opening / closing gates in the bonus sequences) are, and are overlaid on the background.

 

Interesting. One thing that I, Robot has though is camera control in a 3D space, for 1983 really amazing. Too bad Laserdisc FMVS were popular and completely stole I,Robots shine. Everyone was too busy playing Dragons Lair.



#120 Osgeld OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:03 PM

 Carmack trying to max out the Jaguar version and the 3DO version (originally intended to be an enhanced extended version of the original game) disagree with this statement, and nether could run PC doom despite being "polygonal machines" and that's ignoring the 3DO version that was released, guys have tried to get the regular game to run a few levels on the 3Do and they can't get it to run like the PC version without compromises just like the Jaguar.

 

All I'm saying it that consoles likely were not ready for 3D until around 1998 or so. Which is also around the time 3D compatible chips and software dropped down in price. What we had before that were games running often sub-30fps with weak central processing and heavy fog use.

 

but doom is not 3D, ok it looks 3D but from the code side of things its flat planes and drawn on a 2D plane one sliver at a time ... with textures being sliced into slivers and scaled so it not a matter of how many polygons you can push its how fast can you do the math (see what I did there hur hur)

 

I have written a couple test engines just for giggles one on PSP and one on PC, the psp I never got above like 15FPS and that was without textures (course I was using an interpreted language and SDL so that could be pushed to probably 30FPS before textures and of course no hardware acceleration, and obviously I am not a coding guru like those guys were bitd) 


Edited by Osgeld, Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:04 PM.


#121 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:27 PM

Interesting. One thing that I, Robot has though is camera control in a 3D space, for 1983 really amazing. Too bad Laserdisc FMVS were popular and completely stole I,Robots shine. Everyone was too busy playing Dragons Lair.


I, Robot had a few bigger problems unrelated to the laserdisc craze:

  • It was not cheap to produce.  In addition to the four POKEYs and a 6809 that provided most of the gameplay grunt, a custom 3D coprocessor (developed in-house) was also needed to render the polygon graphics.
  • It was released post-crash - and just as operators were tired of getting burned by laserdisc games not earning their keep when they were supposed to have been the saviours of the industry.
  • The gameplay was just far enough removed from what people were comfortable with that it never really built up much of a following - people would try it and walk away confused.
  • The Doodle City ungame mode also further confused players.  I can remember the first time that I tried it, ended up in Doodle City, and missed the timer to escape back to the game proper.  It did not make me happy, but for some reason I gave it a second try anyway.

The game was basically ahead of its time in so many ways, and this contributed greatly to its demise.  Had it landed two or three years later, it likely would have been heralded as a quantum leap in videogaming rather than something semi-incomprehensible to the average player.



#122 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:47 PM

I, Robot had a few bigger problems unrelated to the laserdisc craze:

  • It was not cheap to produce.  In addition to the four POKEYs and a 6809 that provided most of the gameplay grunt, a custom 3D coprocessor (developed in-house) was also needed to render the polygon graphics.
  • It was released post-crash - and just as operators were tired of getting burned by laserdisc games not earning their keep when they were supposed to have been the saviours of the industry.
  • The gameplay was just far enough removed from what people were comfortable with that it never really built up much of a following - people would try it and walk away confused.
  • The Doodle City ungame mode also further confused players.  I can remember the first time that I tried it, ended up in Doodle City, and missed the timer to escape back to the game proper.  It did not make me happy, but for some reason I gave it a second try anyway.
The game was basically ahead of its time in so many ways, and this contributed greatly to its demise.  Had it landed two or three years later, it likely would have been heralded as a quantum leap in videogaming rather than something semi-incomprehensible to the average player.

I though post crash was 84?

You are correct that there were other issues but Dragons lair guaranteed no other arcade game would was taking it's spot.

Only the arcade crash itself bested Dragons lair

#123 derFunkenstein OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:53 PM

max.jpg

uvotyuF.jpg

 

To me, Max Payne is one of the greatest experiences ever created, but you're right...these days that looks terrible. I'd pay full price for Max Payne 1 and 2 remastered. Remedy is a really great developer even if their experimental stuff (Quantum Break, for example) comes off kind of pretentious. Between Remedy, who is based in Finland, and French studio Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls) some of the best narrative experiences in video games this century have come from some eccentric-assed Europeans. The graphics may not have aged, but I look at these games through some rose-tinted glasses. 

 

Also, because of Max Payne 2's ending, I found one of my all-time favorite bands: Poets of the Fall. The song from the ending credits, Late Goodbye, was good, but then I found their Signs of Life and Carnival of Rust albums and I was SOLD. 


Edited by derFunkenstein, Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:54 PM.


#124 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:55 PM

I though post crash was 84?

You are correct that there were other issues but Dragons lair guaranteed no other arcade game would was taking it's spot.

Only the arcade crash itself bested Dragons lair

 

Laserdisc games in general were pretty much done by 1984.  Dragon's Lair is a good example of this: once players complete the game, there's no real need to come back for another play.  It's also sufficiently on rails that there were people (and I remember seeing them) who could play it blindfolded by relying only on the audio cues.

 

Reliability was never laserdisc games' strong point, either.  I say this as someone who has owned a few, and can only imagine how much worse it must have been for an operator with a game on location that was a) expensive and b) routinely broken.

 

I, Robot was just the wrong game at the wrong time.  A good (and historically-significant) game, to be sure, but one that was ultimately too expensive to produce, too weird for most players' tastes, and hitting the market at a time when operators were being extremely cautious as to what they wanted on location.



#125 JaguarVision OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:51 PM

 

Laserdisc games in general were pretty much done by 1984.  Dragon's Lair is a good example of this: once players complete the game, there's no real need to come back for another play.  It's also sufficiently on rails that there were people (and I remember seeing them) who could play it blindfolded by relying only on the audio cues.

 

Reliability was never laserdisc games' strong point, either.  I say this as someone who has owned a few, and can only imagine how much worse it must have been for an operator with a game on location that was a) expensive and b) routinely broken.

 

I, Robot was just the wrong game at the wrong time.  A good (and historically-significant) game, to be sure, but one that was ultimately too expensive to produce, too weird for most players' tastes, and hitting the market at a time when operators were being extremely cautious as to what they wanted on location.

 

Oh I remember my locale arcade owner putting up a sign that Laser games were not going to be around anymore because he said he was tired of spending money getting them fixed. Back then there was only 1 arcade store in the mall that had Laser games.

 

 

 

To me, Max Payne is one of the greatest experiences ever created, but you're right...these days that looks terrible. I'd pay full price for Max Payne 1 and 2 remastered. Remedy is a really great developer even if their experimental stuff (Quantum Break, for example) comes off kind of pretentious. Between Remedy, who is based in Finland, and French studio Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls) some of the best narrative experiences in video games this century have come from some eccentric-assed Europeans. The graphics may not have aged, but I look at these games through some rose-tinted glasses. 

 

Also, because of Max Payne 2's ending, I found one of my all-time favorite bands: Poets of the Fall. The song from the ending credits, Late Goodbye, was good, but then I found their Signs of Life and Carnival of Rust albums and I was SOLD. 

 
If I recall, their last two big Xbox projects (Alan Wake and Quantum Break) flopped.  I liked Remedy's games, Max Payne 3 was just disappointing without them at the helm. I'm a bit concerned for their future though, the new game they showed off at E3 just looks like a remade Quantum break with gravity. Hopefully it's much better than that.

Edited by JaguarVision, Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:54 PM.





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