The Nintendo Download – 3/27/2014

There is no shortage of crazy stuff going on in the Nintendo Download this week, and the craziest part of all is free! Or is it that the craziest one is free the craziest part?

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Dr. Mario for Wii U – Call the doctor, Mario! Oh-oh! If you’re more interested in a vintage cure for boredom than what’s on offer from Dr. Mario Online Rx on WiiWare or Dr. Luigi in the Wii U eShop, then today’s Nintendo Download is just what the doctor ordered! Play single-player to see how many levels you can complete before the number of viruses and the speed of the capsules is too much, or take on a friend and score some combos to really put the pressure on them.

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Clu Clu Land for Nintendo 3DS – Join Bubbles, the brave bubble fish, as she seeks to uncover all of the golden bars stolen by the greedy Sea Urchins and hidden in the underwater mazes of Clu Clu Land! 20 stages await, and you can even bring along a friend for more fun.

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Sonic Lost World Downloadable Content for Wii U – A new, free downloadable level for Sonic Lost World features a theme based on The Legend of Zelda, and it looks pretty cool! Sonic dons the iconic green tunic and floppy cap of the Hero while Link himself swoops by overhead on his red Loftwing from Skyward Sword. Using the power of the Black Bomb Color Powers, Sonic is able to uncover hidden chambers and treasure chests with valuable items within, all while taking on the villains of Hyrule as only he can.

Since there’s no video on Nintendo’s Sonic Lost World page, you should click here to see it for yourself.

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My Style Studio: Hair Salon for Wii U – Five characters await having their hair done, and you’re the one tasked with the job! Thirteen tools allow you to cut and style their locks any way you please, and you can even deck them out in hats, glasses, and other accessories for more options.

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Skater Cat for Nintendo 3DS – Join Ollie, the sleekest cat around as he skates through flee stray cats and collect tasty treats through 25 levels spread across three worlds. There are 90 medals to collect and other bonus features, such as the unlockable option to use your Mii. And with StreetPass, you can exchange ghosts and best times with other Skate Cat players.

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I am an Air Traffic Controller Airport Hero Hawaii for Nintendo 3DS – This air traffic control simulator sets you in sunny Hawaii, at the the Honolulu International Airport. Oversee four landbound runways and two floating ones as direct domestic and international flights from cargo planes, water planes, and light aircraft.

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I am in the movie for Nintendo 3DS/DSiWare on Nintendo DSi – This software promises Hollywood-like special effects which would normally require expensive software and a considerable time investment to learn, all in the palm of your hand for just $1.99. Peter Jackson may have little to fear from your productions, but you can still add thermal vision, cloaking, morphing, and explosions to your videos, as well as record your own sound effects.

Plus, in case you missed it, a bunch of Ubisoft games are on sale on the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShops until March 31st. Get all the details here.

As always, click on the corresponding links above for more information, screens, and videos on this week’s releases.

Today, Nintendo posted a new surprise Nintendo Direct video to show us what games are to come for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in 2014. As it turns out, there were not only some new announcements made, but some reveals of new games which are available as we speak. Here’s the video, followed by a rundown.

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The first part of the video revealed an all-new title coming in 2014, tentatively titled “Hyrule Warriors”. “A new game for Wii U developed by Tecmo-Koei that will feature the action-packed Warriors series set in the world of The Legend of Zelda“, says the press release, “[t]his is a separate project from the new installment of The Legend of Zelda series that is in development for Wii U by longtime series producer Eiji Aonuma and his team.”

I’ve never really played any of the Warriors games very much, so this seems like a good introduction to me. Besides which, I don’t mind seeing The Legend of Zelda spread its wings a little more beyond the core series (says the guy who loves Link’s Crossbow Training).

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Kirby: Triple Deluxe: The game is a side-scrolling platformer, but players can move Kirby to the background and foreground to dodge enemies and solve puzzles. Kirby can also use a new Hypernova ability, which powers up his inhale ability and enables him to suck up everything in his path. The game includes more than 20 different copy abilities, including four new ones created for this game. Kirby: Triple Deluxe also includes two new game modes: Kirby Fighters lets up to four players pick one of 10 copy abilities for their Kirby and then fight to see which is the most effective in battle. Dedede’s Drum Dash asks players to press buttons in sync with Kirby music while jumping and collecting coins. The game is planned for 2014.

I’ve seen people say this is a sequel to Kirby Super Star, but it’s looking less like that as we see more of it– at least, insofar as having a ton of smaller games in one package goes. Nonetheless, it’s good to see Kirby take advantage of the potential 3D background interaction where New Super Mario Bros. 2 did not. Kirby Fighters sounds fun, though I’m a little let down that Dedede’s Drum Dash is a rhythm game, mainly because I’m terrible at those.

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Yoshi’s New Island: The game launches this spring, and will be produced by Takashi Tezuka, the creative director of the original Yoshi’s Island for Super NES.

This one is a bit tough to get a pulse on. Nintendo hit on something special with Yoshi’s Island and have tried to replicate its success ever since, but have never been especially successful in doing so. Yoshi’s Island DS was decent, but unspectacular, and a bit on the hard side as well– and not simply “oh, I can’t do this” hard, but “keeping track of things in the gap between screens and across two screens at once kind of sucks” hard. That one didn’t have Tezuka’s involvement, but another did: Yoshi’s Story, an underrated game which didn’t set the world on fire. Tezuka produced that one as well, and while I enjoyed it quite thoroughly as a $10 Wii Virtual Console title, I can see how those who paid upwards of $50 or so might have felt a bit less satisfied.

Fingers are crossed here that this time, Nintendo finally figures out how to make the magic happen again.

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Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder: Everyone’s favourite helpful 4-inch-tall robot is back! This time Chibi-Robo has been tasked with helping a new museum get off the ground. Players are given silhouettes of needed objects, then use the Nintendo 3DS camera to find matching objects, known as NostalJunk, in the real world. Chibi-Robo will also help characters like superheroes and singing sponge-bears with various tasks, all while keeping an eye on his electricity reserves. The game also features community events called NostalJunk Challenges that focus on particular silhouettes, and give players opportunities to showcase their creativity and maybe earn a special outfit for Chibi-Robo to wear in the game. A demo will soon launch exclusively in the Nintendo eShop, with the full version landing on January 9, 2014.

I’m honestly not sure what to say on this one; Chibi Robo has a cult following (the “cult” part perhaps being why this latest entry is a Nintendo eShop release), but I’ve never really gotten to play one of the series. I have the Nintendo DS game kicking around somewhere after picking it up on sale a few years ago, but I’ve never had a chance to try it.

Suffice to say, I’m interested, but also wary– the AR-driven action worries me, as I wasn’t able to much with Spirit Camera.

Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter: Pokémon Bank is software that lets players store up to 3,000 Pokémon from the Pokémon X and Pokémon Y games. Poké Transporter is an application that lets players take the Pokémon they’ve caught through the years and transferred into Pokémon Black and Pokémon White, as well as Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2, and transfer them into Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Pokémon Bank and Poké Transporter launch December 27. Players can download a 30-day free trial version anytime between launch and January 31, 2014. Following the free trial, an annual usage fee will apply for Pokémon Bank. Anyone who accesses a Pokémon Bank box by September 30, 2014, will receive the Pokémon Celebi as a special gift.

Bringing all your Pokémon from one game to the next always struck me as slightly odd, at least in an in-world way. I certainly see the real-world desire and practicality of it, but in the games, isn’t catching everything part of the journey of your character? It just seems weird to me that Red (for example) would effectively go up to some new trainer one day and say “hey, why don’t you take all my Pokémon? I’m not using them.” But that’s probably just me thinking way too much about it.

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Bravely Default: A free demo of the game launches in the Nintendo eShop on January 2, but this is much more than a demo. It’s an exclusive story with hours of content not included in the main game. The full game launches in stores and in the Nintendo eShop on February 7 at a suggested retail price of $39.99. If players with the full game close their system while the game is active, they might gather additional warriors via the StreetPass feature, but they also earn Sleep Points for every eight cumulative hours of down time. Sleep Points can then be used during battle to change equipment, revive a fallen party member, heal or unleash attacks beyond the game’s usual damage cap. Players who don’t want to wait for their Sleep Points to refill have the option of purchasing SP potions in the Nintendo eShop to refill all three Sleep Points at once. Also launching February 7, a Collector’s Edition including the game, an art book, a soundtrack CD and 34 augmented-reality cards will be available via select retailers at a suggested retail price of $49.99.

I have absolutely nothing to add here.

Wait, that’s not true; it looks nice! But that’s really it.

Okay, that’s not it: This sounds like a really good demo for people looking forward to the game. Demos which add to the experience, rather than merely sample from a random part, tend to be kind of cool. That’s all.

Now, back to the Wii U!

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze: Veteran Cranky Kong joins playable characters Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong as companions for Donkey Kong. Cranky Kong comes with his own set of special moves that allow him to bounce off enemies and obstacles using his cane. Players who collect 100 bananas in a stage can execute a new move called the KONG-Pow, which turns all enemies on the screen into items. Now that Cranky Kong is setting off on an adventure, instead of overseeing the in-game shop as he did in the Donkey Kong Country Returns game, the aptly named Funky Kong will assist players by offering them items for trade in the game. The game launches February 21 in stores and in the Nintendo eShop.

I can’t look at Donkey and Cranky together without hearing the first verse of the Goof Troop theme song. Also, I’m glad to see Funky Kong is back! Now to cross my fingers that he’ll show up elsewhere, like perhaps in a certain racing game (along with a returning R.O.B.).

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Sonic Lost World: A new Nintendo-themed level is coming to the Nintendo eShop. Yoshi’s Island Zone is now available for free. Done in a Yoshi art style, the level has Sonic speeding through areas filled with pipes, coins, Shy Guys and Piranha Plants.

Wow, where was this during the marathon? Also, it went unmentioned in the press release, but a Zelda-themed downloadable content pack was also hinted at in the video. You can see Kotaku’s screencap of the teaser image above.

Beyond that, I have to wonder: Between the game’s similarities to Super Mario Galaxy and the Yoshi’s Island Zone DLC, could Sonic Lost World be part of an effort by SEGA to create a Mario/Sonic platforming crossover they previously said couldn’t be done?

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Wii Sports Club: Launching today, golf becomes the third sport added to the Wii Sports Club lineup, joining bowling and tennis. In a move not possible on any other system, golf asks players to place the Wii U GamePad controller on the floor in front of their TVs. Players can then use a Wii Remote Plus to swing at the ball on the ground, just as they would a real golf ball, enabling more precise control with each stroke. When they take their swing, the ball flies from the screen of the GamePad to the TV screen in one fluid motion. Wii Sports Club – Golf includes the nine-hole course from the original Wii Sports game, in addition to a newly developed nine-hole course based on Golf US Course, a Famicom game that Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata helped develop more than 25 years ago. Wii U owners can play a free 24-hour trial of Wii Sports Club, which lets players sample all three sports. The trial offer is open to everyone, even to people who previously sampled the 24-hour free trial. A Club Pass for the full golf game, allowing unlimited access, can be purchased for $9.99. Boxing and baseball will be coming to Wii Sports Club in 2014.

Finally! I’ve been waiting for this one ever since they first showed the Wii U off at E3 a couple of years ago.

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NES Remix: Select parts from 16 classic NES games have been remixed with new challenges. For example, players might be tasked with completing a familiar Super Mario Bros. stage while running to the left. Or they might encounter a revamped level of Donkey Kong that allows them to play as Link from The Legend of Zelda series. NES Remix includes Miiverse compatibility, so players with broadband Internet access can show off their skills, complete with cool 8-bit stamps. NES Remix is now available exclusively in the Nintendo eShop for $14.99.

I’m eager to try this out and put my skills to the test. This is a pretty cool way for Nintendo to leverage their library of classic games, and I hear it’s surprisingly substantial, which is good, given the admittedly hefty price.

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Dr. Luigi: The Year of Luigi continues to deliver surprises, with a new title starring Mario’s green-clad brother. Much like the classic puzzle game Dr. Mario, Dr. Luigi requires players to line up colour-coded pills to destroy viruses. Dr. Luigi offers different skill settings and attacks in multiplayer games, and an original mode where the pills are, of course, L-shaped. The game comes with a Dr. Mario mode, Wii U GamePad compatibility and online play, so wannabe virus busters from all around the world can compete. Dr. Luigi launches exclusively in the Nintendo eShop on December 31 for $14.99.

This sounds like fun! I never did get Dr. Mario: Online RX, and I guess this sort of negates the need? That actually saddens me, slightly. Still, it’s funny to see Luigi follow his older bro into the pharmaceutical business, though Mario seems to show a touch more professionalism by not wearing his cap to this job. Also, a strange thing: The virus designs on the left are different, but in the playing field, they look just like the original three.

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Super Smash Bros.: Rosalina, who was introduced in the Super Mario Galaxy games for Wii and makes a surprise appearance in the new Super Mario 3D World for Wii U, will be a playable character, accompanied by her starry friend, Luma. The game will launch in stores and the Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS in 2014.

Oh, Nintendo, you are a dirty, dirty tease! In the Nintendo Direct video, this portion opens by making it look like Kirby might be joining Mario Kart, answering a plea for a full Nintendo roster of racers fans have had for years. But nope; Rosalina comes down to put the star warrior in his place pretty quickly, and reveals herself to be the latest addition to the Super Smash Bros. roster. Meanwhile, Daisy fans are left steaming.

That aside, I’m cool with this; I love Rosalina, though they seem to have gotten rid of that cool echo effect her voice had previously. She looks like she’ll be interesting to use, too, as she’s accompanied by Luma, who looks like he might act somewhat independently of the princess of the stars. One positive to take away from this is that if they do operate separately to a degree, that’s a good sign for the Ice Climbers, who people have been worried about being dumped due to trying to get the same rosters working on both Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.

Incidentally, that intro… could Rainbow Road be a new stage to fight on?

With that, there’s just one more game left:

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Mario Kart 8: New playable characters include Rosalina and various “Baby” Nintendo characters, like Baby Mario and Baby Luigi. New course settings include an airport, the desert and high in the clouds, and vehicles include UFOs, four-wheel ATV buggies, standard karts and bikes.

Sigh, who keeps asking for the babies to come back? Were they tracked as widely-used in Mario Kart Wii? I just don’t get it– they’ve even made a Baby Daisy just for the series, but I don’t know of anyone who is that big a fan of the lot. I guess they must have their audience somewhere.

Between Super Mario 3D World and Super Smash Bros., plus being in the last two entries in this series, I don’t think Rosalina’s inclusion is much of a surprise any more. I am curious about the new UFO vehicles they mention, though. As for stages, the airport looks neat, but I hope we get more like the Shy Guy Bazaar and Piranha Plant Pipeline from Mario Kart 7— the ones which really brought the worlds of the regular Mario games to life.

That’s pretty much it, but that’s also plenty for now, wouldn’t you say? 2014 is looking pretty good!

Sonic Lost World for Wii U – Available October 29th, Sonic’s latest adventure with an all-new style of gameplay comes blasting at you in the Wii U eShop. Of course, you can get an early look at the Blue Blur’s adventures in Lost Hex this Saturday, and donate to Sick Kids for the chance to win a number of prizes, including the game itself (and a console to play it on).

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Sonic Lost World for Nintendo 3DS – Also available October 29th, the Nintendo 3DS version of Sonic Lost World is the first 3D-styled portable Sonic game in the franchise, and boasts different moves, levels, and features from its Wii U counterpart, which it can also connect with.

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PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures – On October 29th, the Pac is back! Up to four players can partake in this game based on the new animated adventures of Pac-Man, which are produced by Avi Arad, the acclaimed founder and director of Marvel Studios.

For more information about the cartoon on which this game is based, click here.

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Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Available October 29th: The year is 1715, and a lawless pirate republic has been established. It is during this time that young Captain Edward Kenway, a pirate whose deeds have even earned the respect of Blackbeard, now finds himself drawn into an ancient war which threatens to destroy all the pirates have built.

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Batman: Arkham Origins – The third installment in the Batman: Arkham series will be available October 25th, and takes place before the Dark Knight became the seasoned crime-fighting veteran seen in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. But with an enormous bounty on his head, will you be able to help see the Caped Crusader through long enough to become that legend?

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Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate – Also available October 25th, this companion to the above game is a 2.5D side-scroller set three months after Origins, and has Batman investigate an explosion at Blackgate Prison which has seen several of his foes stake out a controlling claim of different areas of the prison.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destines – Phoenix Wright is back, and this time, you can only get his latest episodes through the Nintendo 3DS eShop. Plus, everything is now rendered in 3D graphics to help put you right in the heart of the courtroom action.

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Pinball – A simple, charming arcade and Nintendo Entertainment System classic from the company’s earliest days in the video game scene. Hit targets, rack up points, and even join Mario and Pauline in the bonus stage! A second player can join in for alternating fun.

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Baseball – Two alternating players play through nine innings of America’s favorite pastime in this new Wii U Virtual Console release.

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Star Soldier – Now on the Nintendo 3DS, take control of the compact Caesar star fighter as you blast off to stop Starbrain’s galactic invasion through 16 stages of action which set the standard for vertically-scrolling shooters.

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Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land – Available on October 29th, join Mordecai and Rigby as they use their unique abilities to escape the eponymous 8-Bit Land in an all-new story by series creator J. G. Quintel.

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Monster High: 13 Wishes for Wii U – Available October 29th, join Frankie Stein and her “ghoulfriends” on an adventure to track down the 13 missing magical mirror shards needed to set things right, before it’s too late!

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Monster High: 13 Wishes for Nintendo 3DS – Everything mentioned above, except it’s on the Nintendo 3DS.

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Jewel Master: Cradle of Egypt 2 – Tap to match three or more tiles to earn jewels and treasures to rebuild Egypt’s ancient civilizations. New buildings attract new citizens, and eventually, you may even get to reconstruct the pyramids!

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My Little Baby 3D – All the fun of raising and taking care of a baby, now in the palm of your hand! Use the Nintendo 3DS’s capabilities to teach it to speak, rock it to sleep, and more!

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Nintendo eShop Sale: Urban Trial Freestyle – Until 9am PT on November 7th, get this action bike racing game for $4.99 in the Nintendo 3DS eShop.

That’s everything for this week. As always, click the corresponding links above for more screens, info, and videos for this week’s releases!

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Just a reminder for everyone that this weekend, starting at noon EST on Saturday, October 26th, I’ll be holding the Sonic Lost World “First Play” Charity Marathon to benefit the Sick Kids Foundation. Joining me will be Ian Flynn, writer of Archie’s Sonic the HedgehogSonic Universe, and Mega Man comics.

When the time comes, you can check it out at live.nyteworks.net, or go directly to Twitch.TV or YouTube to view. Over the course of the marathon, we’ll also have a chat running, so you can ask questions of us as well. And while this is a Sonic-focused event, it’s not like we’re going to deny our respective involvement with Mega Man, so we might even take a few such questions related to that topic as well.

From there, it gets even better: On the website, you’ll see that we’ll be raffling off a number of prizes over the course of the event as well, with winners selected from those who purchase a “ticket” by donating a certain amount to Sick Kids (and yes, you can buy more than one). Among the prizes being featured are:

  • Four green Sonic Lost World lanyards from the Sonic Boom 2013 convention, featuring images of the Deadly Six and Sonic on one side, and the game’s logo on the other
  • Four digital one-year subscriptions to Nintendo Force magazine.
  • 12 different Archie Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Universe comic collections and magazines.
  • Four hardcover first editions of UDON Entertainment’s The History of Sonic the Hedgehog book.

And the two big ones:

  • One customized Sonic Lost World “thank you” illustration, featuring the winner’s name, by fan-favorite Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man artist Patrick “Spaz” Spaziante!
  • One Wii U Deluxe Set from Nintendo with a copy of Sonic Lost World.

The fun begins this Saturday, so don’t miss it! You can even RSVP on  Facebook and Google+, if you use either, and be reminded so you don’t forget.

In the latest edition of Nintendo Direct, the company not only revealed a closer look at several of the games coming out this holiday season, but also revealed a previously unannounced title and an unfortunate delay. Following is a recap of the video (seen above) for those unable to view it by way of Nintendo’s press release.

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In a move many have been saying the company should make, yet few ever actually expected them to actually do, Nintendo announced today the release of the new Nintendo 2DS: A new, more cost-effective version of the Nintendo 3DS which dispenses with the somewhat controversial stereoscopic 3D and clamshell design in favor of a form which should be more appealing to– among others– children, and moreover, the parents who buy things such as video game systems for them.

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With SEGA’s latest upcoming release in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise on the Wii U, we are happy to officially announce plans to hold a special Sonic Lost World “First Play” livestreamed marathon to raise money for charity.

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