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HELP! Information on Red Sea Crossing?

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It seems like this would be on a list of vaporware if it was in a gaming magazine. People here have these magazines and have read through them, but the possibility of a Christian magazine of the time would make sense. Did Color Dreams ever advertise their Religious NES games in a non-gaming magazine?

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Nagn2, some things you should know:

 

- Your cart should have no screw holes and you don't need to bother trying to lift the front label with a heatgun. You can verify this by running your finger over the top feeling for a hole, but Apollo (or Panda) shells had no screws in them. I have the exact shell you have in my hand labeless in my hands right now with the S-15 and all.

* Your only fear would be if they glue the shell shut, but this is unlikely.

 

- If you open the shell it is easy, but be careful not to open it real wide as it will put a crease in the end label if you do. It's as simple as putting your hands in the open ends, and gently shuffling the top and bottom to the left and right of each other while gently pulling up. Do one side at a time.

 

- Please keep that cart out of direct sunlight in case it is a eprom (maybe Wikipedia that term) flashlights are fine as are your lamps indoor (unless they are ultraviolet, lol).

 

- If you have a scanner it might be good to take some quality scans at 200dpi to document the labels as it could very well be the last of its kind. Atarimania has a huge database devoted to Atari, maybe click on the link and read up on them. Don't worry about cropping or resizing others will take care of that for you.

 

http://www.atarimania.com/accueil_2600-MENU-2.html

 

On a side note the sound effects are great. They remind me of Colecovision games. This game is legit in my books. Thanks for all your work so far Nagn2

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I thought it was an "effect" showing movement.

...supported, since the red text and border is not misaligned, only game sprites have the "motion" shadow (and are still colored red as well). A true 2nd pass misalignment would have left them all white.

Actually what you're seeing is a double-printing of the red plate, with one pass offset from the other. It's a printing error - not an intentional effect. You can see this in the black border where the red appears a second time to the left of the game title and the screenshot mockup. (If you aren't seeing it - it's time to re-calibrate your monitor.)

 

Not sure why this particular error happened - but my guess is that since the second red is fainter (most visible in the white areas near the top of the screenshot mockup), the press was contaminated and was printing a ghost image from a previous pass.

 

The odd thing is why the press wasn't cleaned and the job re-run? Any print shop should have done that. But this may have been part of a sheet that was in a stack, and just got missed (the whole sheet would have been misprinted - so there were likely other carts with the same printing error on them). Or it could be that they were out of the label stock (if it was self-adhesive and pre-scored), and needed to keep every copy they ran. Or maybe they just said "eh... good enough."

 

At any rate, it's a pretty esoteric printing error for someone to try and "fake". A more obvious one would just be mis-registration between black and red.

 

For what it's worth, I believe the label to be authentic, for several reasons:

  • Desktop publishing didn't exist in 1983. So for this to be authentic, it had to have been typeset, pasted up and printed traditionally. Since it was a limited run, there would have been budget considerations, preventing the use of professional services and materials. The label seems to support this.
  • The dot pattern making up the light gray part of the label. It looks like Zip-A-Tone used in traditional paste-up. It's not "perfect" like computer generated ones are.
  • The red areas around the sprites look like they were hand-cut from a sheet of Rubylith using an X-acto knife. This also fits in with traditional printing, and isn't something a typical faker would think of doing.
  • Also, the lettering looks like it was phototypeset - not printed from a computer. The letters aren't perfectly crisp (they have rounded corners and bleed slightly into the surrounding black), which is a sign of it being phototypeset, or at least of traditional photolithography, which would have been used to create the plates used in printing. While that effect is doable on a computer, most people (unless they have a background in traditional graphic design) would never know to do that, and it's not something that happens by accident in desktop publishing. To do it as seen in the labels shown here, the letter forms would have to be reshaped. Merely applying effects in Photoshop wouldn't work, because it would leave telltale linescreens around the edges when printed.
  • Also, it looks as if the label has yellowed over the years. The yellowing isn't simply printed on. At least, there's no apparent sign of it being printed on, in that photo. I'd have to look at the original label under a magnifying glass (or a very high-resolution scan) to be 100% sure. (Although the photograph of the cart could have been Photoshopped to add yellowing.)
  • If you look closely around the labels (especially the end label, on the left side) it looks like there's about 20 years of crud stuck to the cart. :D

If it is a fake - my hat's off to whoever did it. I'd have a hard time making a fake that good, and I have the background for it (at least all of that art college was good for something ;) ).

 

Also, I've thought a bit more about the fate of this game, and why this is the first one to ever be found (at least by someone who is aware of AtariAge).

 

The programmer distributed them, without a box or manual. His niche market was likely limited to religious bookstores, locally-owned toy stores or locally-owned video stores. At any rate, all of them basically mom & pop businesses. A nationally-owned chain store wouldn't have touched them. They have their own buyers, and deal with established distributors. I didn't see any mention of mail-order, but that would probably have been another good way to go.

 

Anyway, when the bottom fell out of the market (within a year of the game being published), his game, along with all of the others, would have hit the bargain bins.

 

Bargain hunters (I was one of them) would sift through these bins, buying up cheap games for a few dollars each. But these were all new, boxed, professionally manufactured games. Even the Mythicon games (I didn't say professionally programmed ;) ). If I'd seen this game in the bottom of a bargain bin, I would have passed it up, because it just screams "cheap junk". (No offense to the programmer - but it looks home-made, and at the time, even "professional" game companies were putting out a fair amount of junk, so risking even a few bucks on this, with no manual or box, would have been extremely unlikely.) Even when it was new, it would have looked used, and was probably mistaken for such.

 

Once the industry died and nobody was even picking through the bargain bins any more, the bins would have been removed to regain valuable retail floor space, and the games likely just thrown out. "Hey boss, what do I do with this old Atari stuff that didn't sell?" "Throw it out."

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I thought it was an "effect" showing movement.

...supported, since the red text and border is not misaligned, only game sprites have the "motion" shadow (and are still colored red as well). A true 2nd pass misalignment would have left them all white.

Actually what you're seeing is a double-printing of the red plate, with one pass offset from the other. It's a printing error - not an intentional effect. You can see this in the black border where the red appears a second time to the left of the game title and the screenshot mockup. (If you aren't seeing it - it's time to re-calibrate your monitor.)

 

Not sure why this particular error happened - but my guess is that since the second red is fainter (most visible in the white areas near the top of the screenshot mockup), the press was contaminated and was printing a ghost image from a previous pass.

 

The odd thing is why the press wasn't cleaned and the job re-run? Any print shop should have done that. But this may have been part of a sheet that was in a stack, and just got missed (the whole sheet would have been misprinted - so there were likely other carts with the same printing error on them). Or it could be that they were out of the label stock (if it was self-adhesive and pre-scored), and needed to keep every copy they ran. Or maybe they just said "eh... good enough."

 

At any rate, it's a pretty esoteric printing error for someone to try and "fake". A more obvious one would just be mis-registration between black and red.

 

For what it's worth, I believe the label to be authentic, for several reasons:

  • Desktop publishing didn't exist in 1983. So for this to be authentic, it had to have been typeset, pasted up and printed traditionally. Since it was a limited run, there would have been budget considerations, preventing the use of professional services and materials. The label seems to support this.
  • The dot pattern making up the light gray part of the label. It looks like Zip-A-Tone used in traditional paste-up. It's not "perfect" like computer generated ones are.
  • The red areas around the sprites look like they were hand-cut from a sheet of Rubylith using an X-acto knife. This also fits in with traditional printing, and isn't something a typical faker would think of doing.
  • Also, the lettering looks like it was phototypeset - not printed from a computer. The letters aren't perfectly crisp (they have rounded corners and bleed slightly into the surrounding black), which is a sign of it being phototypeset, or at least of traditional photolithography, which would have been used to create the plates used in printing. While that effect is doable on a computer, most people (unless they have a background in traditional graphic design) would never know to do that, and it's not something that happens by accident in desktop publishing. To do it as seen in the labels shown here, the letter forms would have to be reshaped. Merely applying effects in Photoshop wouldn't work, because it would leave telltale linescreens around the edges when printed.
  • Also, it looks as if the label has yellowed over the years. The yellowing isn't simply printed on. At least, there's no apparent sign of it being printed on, in that photo. I'd have to look at the original label under a magnifying glass (or a very high-resolution scan) to be 100% sure. (Although the photograph of the cart could have been Photoshopped to add yellowing.)
  • If you look closely around the labels (especially the end label, on the left side) it looks like there's about 20 years of crud stuck to the cart. :D

If it is a fake - my hat's off to whoever did it. I'd have a hard time making a fake that good, and I have the background for it (at least all of that art college was good for something ;) ).

 

Also, I've thought a bit more about the fate of this game, and why this is the first one to ever be found (at least by someone who is aware of AtariAge).

 

The programmer distributed them, without a box or manual. His niche market was likely limited to religious bookstores, locally-owned toy stores or locally-owned video stores. At any rate, all of them basically mom & pop businesses. A nationally-owned chain store wouldn't have touched them. They have their own buyers, and deal with established distributors. I didn't see any mention of mail-order, but that would probably have been another good way to go.

 

Anyway, when the bottom fell out of the market (within a year of the game being published), his game, along with all of the others, would have hit the bargain bins.

 

Bargain hunters (I was one of them) would sift through these bins, buying up cheap games for a few dollars each. But these were all new, boxed, professionally manufactured games. Even the Mythicon games (I didn't say professionally programmed ;) ). If I'd seen this game in the bottom of a bargain bin, I would have passed it up, because it just screams "cheap junk". (No offense to the programmer - but it looks home-made, and at the time, even "professional" game companies were putting out a fair amount of junk, so risking even a few bucks on this, with no manual or box, would have been extremely unlikely.) Even when it was new, it would have looked used, and was probably mistaken for such.

 

Once the industry died and nobody was even picking through the bargain bins any more, the bins would have been removed to regain valuable retail floor space, and the games likely just thrown out. "Hey boss, what do I do with this old Atari stuff that didn't sell?" "Throw it out."

Wow, Nathan Strum is officially the CSI guy for Atari 2600 games. ;)

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It seems like this would be on a list of vaporware if it was in a gaming magazine. People here have these magazines and have read through them, but the possibility of a Christian magazine of the time would make sense. Did Color Dreams ever advertise their Religious NES games in a non-gaming magazine?

 

I've been following the 2600 releases since 1978 but I never heard of Music Machine until 1995.

 

it's a newspaper like mag that did get a few ads for videogames in it. Videogame products (where i got many of my Ultra rare stuff from back in the day) did a ad in it.

 

I got a lot of my rare stuff, including Video Life, Eli's Ladder. Cubicolor, and MagiCard, from an LA-based place called Video Take-Out. They too published a monthly newsletter that reviewed all of the upcoming games.

Edited by rolenta

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Does anyone live in the Orlando area? There is a industry trade publication for christian stores called Christian Retailing Magazine.

 

According to their website, they have been around for over 50 years and during the early 80's known as Christian Bookseller. It appears one of the main purposes was to introduce products to the independant stores. If they kept all the back issues, it would be interesting to look through the 82-83 issues.

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I thought it was an "effect" showing movement.

...supported, since the red text and border is not misaligned, only game sprites have the "motion" shadow (and are still colored red as well). A true 2nd pass misalignment would have left them all white.

Actually what you're seeing is a double-printing of the red plate, with one pass offset from the other. It's a printing error - not an intentional effect. You can see this in the black border where the red appears a second time to the left of the game title and the screenshot mockup. (If you aren't seeing it - it's time to re-calibrate your monitor.)

 

Not sure why this particular error happened - but my guess is that since the second red is fainter (most visible in the white areas near the top of the screenshot mockup), the press was contaminated and was printing a ghost image from a previous pass.

 

The odd thing is why the press wasn't cleaned and the job re-run? Any print shop should have done that. But this may have been part of a sheet that was in a stack, and just got missed (the whole sheet would have been misprinted - so there were likely other carts with the same printing error on them). Or it could be that they were out of the label stock (if it was self-adhesive and pre-scored), and needed to keep every copy they ran. Or maybe they just said "eh... good enough."

 

At any rate, it's a pretty esoteric printing error for someone to try and "fake". A more obvious one would just be mis-registration between black and red.

 

For what it's worth, I believe the label to be authentic, for several reasons:

  • Desktop publishing didn't exist in 1983. So for this to be authentic, it had to have been typeset, pasted up and printed traditionally. Since it was a limited run, there would have been budget considerations, preventing the use of professional services and materials. The label seems to support this.
  • The dot pattern making up the light gray part of the label. It looks like Zip-A-Tone used in traditional paste-up. It's not "perfect" like computer generated ones are.
  • The red areas around the sprites look like they were hand-cut from a sheet of Rubylith using an X-acto knife. This also fits in with traditional printing, and isn't something a typical faker would think of doing.
  • Also, the lettering looks like it was phototypeset - not printed from a computer. The letters aren't perfectly crisp (they have rounded corners and bleed slightly into the surrounding black), which is a sign of it being phototypeset, or at least of traditional photolithography, which would have been used to create the plates used in printing. While that effect is doable on a computer, most people (unless they have a background in traditional graphic design) would never know to do that, and it's not something that happens by accident in desktop publishing. To do it as seen in the labels shown here, the letter forms would have to be reshaped. Merely applying effects in Photoshop wouldn't work, because it would leave telltale linescreens around the edges when printed.
  • Also, it looks as if the label has yellowed over the years. The yellowing isn't simply printed on. At least, there's no apparent sign of it being printed on, in that photo. I'd have to look at the original label under a magnifying glass (or a very high-resolution scan) to be 100% sure. (Although the photograph of the cart could have been Photoshopped to add yellowing.)
  • If you look closely around the labels (especially the end label, on the left side) it looks like there's about 20 years of crud stuck to the cart. :D

If it is a fake - my hat's off to whoever did it. I'd have a hard time making a fake that good, and I have the background for it (at least all of that art college was good for something ;) ).

 

Also, I've thought a bit more about the fate of this game, and why this is the first one to ever be found (at least by someone who is aware of AtariAge).

 

The programmer distributed them, without a box or manual. His niche market was likely limited to religious bookstores, locally-owned toy stores or locally-owned video stores. At any rate, all of them basically mom & pop businesses. A nationally-owned chain store wouldn't have touched them. They have their own buyers, and deal with established distributors. I didn't see any mention of mail-order, but that would probably have been another good way to go.

 

Anyway, when the bottom fell out of the market (within a year of the game being published), his game, along with all of the others, would have hit the bargain bins.

 

Bargain hunters (I was one of them) would sift through these bins, buying up cheap games for a few dollars each. But these were all new, boxed, professionally manufactured games. Even the Mythicon games (I didn't say professionally programmed ;) ). If I'd seen this game in the bottom of a bargain bin, I would have passed it up, because it just screams "cheap junk". (No offense to the programmer - but it looks home-made, and at the time, even "professional" game companies were putting out a fair amount of junk, so risking even a few bucks on this, with no manual or box, would have been extremely unlikely.) Even when it was new, it would have looked used, and was probably mistaken for such.

 

Once the industry died and nobody was even picking through the bargain bins any more, the bins would have been removed to regain valuable retail floor space, and the games likely just thrown out. "Hey boss, what do I do with this old Atari stuff that didn't sell?" "Throw it out."

This cuts wood, Nathan.

 

Thanks for posting.

 

Like Omegamatrix, I also believe that this cart (which looks exactly the same as a Panda type cart) has no screws in it and can be taken apart without removing the front label.

 

But I would advice Nagn2 not to do this until he knows exactly how to do it without breaking the plastic.

 

Does anyone have experience in correctly opening a Panda type cart?

 

8)

Edited by Rom Hunter

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I found a little strange, three days pass and no one wants to talk about it any more. Maybe everyone else knows something I dont ;)

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No news is good news. Maybe the right people are involved now.

 

If you were it would indeed be good news but as it stands ??? ;)

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Alright...I've just talked to Steve Schustack myself, and here's the deal:

 

First, Steve programmed this game 25 years ago and really doesn't remember much about it. He also is a busy man and doesn't consider it much of a priority after all these years...he is very surprised that anyone is interested in "obsolete techonology" like the Atari 2600.

 

As far as the game itself, he doesn't remember where he had the cartridges made. He advertized the game in religious magazines, not gaming magazines...he doesn't remember which ones. He made about 500 copies of the game, but he doesn't know how many were actually sold. He may have some unsold copies in storage somewhere...but finding them would take some serious digging (which he is not interested in doing unless there is serious interest in purchasing them). He may place one on eBay just to test the waters.

 

He doesn't want the ROM dumped...he considers it his intellectual property. In this day and age, he certainly cannot stop people from doing what they will, but he'd prefer if the game were not circulated. If people are genuinely interested in purchasing the game, he would sell any unsold cartridges he has at the right price, and would be willing to make more.

 

At this point, Steve has answered pretty much all the questions he is able to answer and unless someone is going to make a deal with him to sell cartridges, he has nothing more to say on the matter. This should be left up to Albert, so no one else should contact Steve unless they're going to throw serious money in his face, as he's very busy and he'd prefer to be left alone.

 

So that's pretty much where we stand now.

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Looks like the cart nagn2 found just took a nose-dive in value. I think Steve will be motivated enough to pop out a few more carts. Should have sold it instead of holding out for more.

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Maybe Albert can work out some deal with Schustack to where the carts can be sold in the AA Store.

Surely something can be worked out :( ......and I worry that I may never get to play this game.

WP

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Looks like the cart nagn2 found just took a nose-dive in value. I think Steve will be motivated enough to pop out a few more carts. Should have sold it instead of holding out for more.

Well, I don't mean to take the wind out of nagn2's sails, but I'm certainly not going to watch Wonder007 drop $3,000 on "the only known copy" of Red Sea Crossing only to have Steve Schustack churn out 100 unsold copies. But, he has no idea what he might have after all these years, so it's not a given that nagn2's cart has plummeted in value...even if Steve has many copies, these will still sell for several hundred dollars. Besides, nagn2 paid basically nothing for it, so that's still a pretty good return on his investment. ;)

 

As far as Steve being motivated...at this point, I hope he is. From what he told me, he's only going to be motivated if there's some money involved...it's simply not worth his time otherwise. Steve is a business man, and he has better things to do than mess around with old Atari games. That's unfortunate, but it's the truth, and that's all that matters.

 

He could not understand why I was even asking him about the game.

 

"Why are you even asking me about this...this is obsolete technology."

 

Those were his exact words. When I told him that people pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for Atari games, he literally laughed out loud. In any event, hopefully he'll be persuaded to pursue the matter further. Let's hope for the best.

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He could not understand why I was even asking him about the game.

 

"Why are you even asking me about this...this is obsolete technology."

 

Those were his exact words. When I told him that people pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars for Atari games, he literally laughed out loud. In any event, hopefully he'll be persuaded to pursue the matter further. Let's hope for the best.

 

 

Stevo is obviously not hip to the homebrew scene or retrogaming!

What a square! :cool: I still hope you fellers can butter him up.

WP

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Looks like the cart nagn2 found just took a nose-dive in value. I think Steve will be motivated enough to pop out a few more carts. Should have sold it instead of holding out for more.

 

 

Well, at least everyone knows this cartridge is legitimate! I wasn't holding out for anything, nobody was going to pay any money if they didn't know it was the real deal. Obviously I want to sell it, but I have no problem waiting to see how things unfold. I have talked to Steve 3 times and emailed him 3-4 times and I get the feeling he isn't going to go hunting for even a few thousand $. He wasn't even sure he kept anything. I think PingvinBlueJeans would agree with me. Either way that is the feeling I get from him, anybody can Google his name and see that he is probably in very good financial shape given everything he is involved in and this isn't going to change his life. Anyway, at this point I have the only cartridge known to exist and am excited that I am the one who brought this to light. So for now that is good enough for me!

Edited by nagn2

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Well, that's it for now I guess.

 

"Let's just wait and see what comes out of the river..."

 

8)

 

River, try sewer. Am i the only one who read his answer and thought he was contradicting himself. First of all he cannot recall any of the information asked him, secondly he cannot understand why anyone is interested in his game as it is obsolete technology but then corrects himself by saying he doesn't want the rom dumped unless he can make some money out of it. Thirdly he is a very busy man, too busy to confirm details and woudl like to be left alone but if the money is right he is willing to work on obsolete technology and start churning these things out. I know most of you on here will kiss ass in the vain hope of this thing seeing the light of day but I am already bored of this. Perhaps I am simply very skeptical of my fellow men but from the start this has not been played right. ;)

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River, try sewer. Am i the only one who read his answer and thought he was contradicting himself. First of all he cannot recall any of the information asked him, secondly he cannot understand why anyone is interested in his game as it is obsolete technology but then corrects himself by saying he doesn't want the rom dumped unless he can make some money out of it. Thirdly he is a very busy man, too busy to confirm details and woudl like to be left alone but if the money is right he is willing to work on obsolete technology and start churning these things out. I know most of you on here will kiss ass in the vain hope of this thing seeing the light of day but I am already bored of this.

I'm glad someone said something, I didn't want to be the one.

 

But yeah, I get the same impression about the guy.

 

I've lost all interest in this game and thread.

 

nagn2, enjoy your find.

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Well I WOULD still like to see the game available but also get the impression that the programmer is not a very pleasant man to say the least.

WP

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Well I WOULD still like to see the game available but also get the impression that the programmer is not a very pleasant man to say the least.

WP

Look, I'm not going to defend the guy...I've never met him and I have no idea how pleasant or unpleasant he is. I can't speak for him, but the simple fact is that he doesn't know very much about this hobby, nor does he care. He is/was a programmer, and this was a simple business venture of his from 25 years ago that never panned out. I'm not kissing his ass or anybody else's...I can't say I disagree with you guys entirely. But unlike you guys, I am a realist...I don't expect other people to understand or appreciate the hobby...if you do, you have unrealistic expectations. Having dealt with other programmers in the past, I can tell you that Mr. Schustack's feelings on the matter are hardly unique...such is life. Money talks, bullshit walks. The guy is honest about it...you guys are upset because the guy has no interest in spending time looking for cartridges just so he can sell them for $20-$30 each.

 

Whatever...we'll see what happens.

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The guy is honest about it...you guys are upset because the guy has no interest in spending time looking for cartridges just so he can sell them for $20-$30 each.

 

Whatever...we'll see what happens.

 

If you are going to qoute me then do so correctly. I am not upset about what he does or doesn't do, all I said was this has not been played right from the start. It doesn't smell right and his answers are either totally vague or he constantly contradicts himself. He might float one on Ebay to test the water, he may begin a production run if enough money is thrown at him and yet in another breath he laughs at the fact anyone is interested in what he terms as obsolete technology. C'mon wake up and smell the damn coffee. Had this been handled differently then yes I would have probably purchased one through Atariage or where ever but not now. I am just not interested and it has nothing to do with being upset about what he does from this point on ;)

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