Board 8 > Tales of Arise Review Zone

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colliding
09/14/21 8:51:47 AM
#202:


KamikazePotato posted...
Gave this notion a bit of thought, and came to the conclusion that, despite its reputation as a lighthearted JRPG series, Tales is actually best when it's being serious and/or edgy.

The skits are fun and all, but a lot of times the humor falls flat, and they have a tendency to flanderize the cast. Comedy in Tales tends to be very 'anime', and frankly speaking it misses more than it hits. You get some memorable lines, sure, but is it really worth the cringe-inducing moments and painful mascot characters? It's amazing that Magilou didn't turn out to be an awful character. She's amazing, but based on the series' track record, she shouldn't have been.

But the serious parts of the story? That's where the games shine. Symphonia's best parts are the revelations of how shitty the world is; for example, the truth of the Exspheres and Derris-Kharlan. Abyss' best parts are widely considered to be Luke's characterization and Akzeriuth. Vesperia's best parts are easily when Yuri does Yuri things. Berseria's core is Velvet's dark journey, and the storyline is all the better for it.

Now look at the games that aren't very well-regarded. Graces, Xillia, Zestiria. Those games make much less of an attempt at tackling darker subject matter, and as a result, they feel kinda milquetoast. That's not to say they're completely devoid of serious elements, but yeah. Their tone feels very different from the fan favorite games in the series. It's not impossible to construct a great JRPG story with a more lighthearted leaning, but I don't think Tales is actually very good at it.

I half agree, though I'll go to bat for Graces most days. I think it's just balance: the story needs to have stakes but the actual journey needs to feel a bit lighthearted.

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NBIceman
09/14/21 10:53:11 AM
#203:


This is a really interesting discussion, because as mentioned the lack of humor in Arise is very noticeable and I've... definitely been missing it. I don't want to go so far as to call it a complaint, because A) I think the cast chemistry is just fine without it and B) this is one of the darker worlds the series has ever featured and none of Arise's party members except for maybe Law really have the kind of characterization that lends itself to silly moments.

Like, I agree in principle that the franchise is at its best when it gets serious, but I still feel like the comedy has become something of a Tales staple and I don't think they're mutually exclusive philosophies. Berseria, as mentioned, balances the two really well, because the cast has an excuse to be as out there as they are, especially with Magilou around. Xillia 2 probably still takes the cake for darkest story and its characters still find a lot of time to joke around (although I think I'm the high man on this board when it comes to X2 so maybe some would disagree on how well that works).

Yeah, Graces is in contention for most lighthearted and funniest Tales game and its story is a mess, but those things are independent of each other in my opinion. It still attempts to go darker at times and it ends up as a swing and miss purely because those serious story beats are bad in and of themselves. Xillia 1, which again, I think I like a little more than most, is admittedly a little dry, but there's also very little comedy going around in that one, so I think it's hard to point to lightheartedness as the issue there. And Zestiria especially has problems that go far beyond any one simple explanation.

The overall point is that while I think there might be something of a correlation, there are more reasons for the divide between the top-tier Tales games and the bottom tier than just the encompassing tone. The absence of laugh-out-loud moments in Arise is definitely gonna end up as a mark against it for me unless there's more game left than I realize and those hits start coming after this part of the plot is wrapped up, not to the point where it's stopped from being a fantastic game by any stretch of the imagination but to the point where it definitely loses something compared to the absolute upper echelon of titles.

As much as I've enjoyed it and will almost definitely continue to enjoy it, there have been times in Arise where I felt more like I was playing a Final Fantasy game with a Tales coat of paint than I was a Tales game proper. That's a really esoteric claim that I'm gonna need to sit back and parse more upon completion, and I want to stress than I'm very much in support of the series going outside of its comfort zone a bit in service of joining us all in the modern era, but I do think there's small aspects of its overarching identity missing, and I hope that's not necessarily indicative of the direction moving forward.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/14/21 12:01:59 PM
#204:


Zesteria has one legitimately hilarious moment and that's about it, I think. Maybe it just stands out because everything around it is subpar, but I watch that damn fake marriage seen often.

Arise definitely does feel different. Not in the moronic way where you've got people on the Arise board calling it a fake Tales game for cucks, but it's not as simple as "skits aren't anime so game is western now" (unless I'm mistaken this game has more in game anime cutscenes than any other Tales, at this point...which is actually a wierd disparity because they do feel off as a result, I mean they don't even give mystic Artes anime cut ins, unless they're saving that for a level 3 MA or something).

There are some people calling it a Star Ocean game in Tales clothing, which is just super disengenuous since plenty of Tales games have these Sci fi elements.

I'm definitely looking forward to post game discussions, because there's some interesting stuff to talk about in this part 2 and I've barely scrapped the main scenario of it so far. I'm particular there is a..."dungeon" I only touched for a little bit before wiping I'm going to try and go back to later (it SEEMS optional which doesn't make sense to me) to see just what it's all about.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/14/21 12:35:45 PM
#205:


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Strife2
09/14/21 1:30:38 PM
#206:


I think Berseria can be funny and get away with it BECAUSE the characters are so far comically evil or anti-heroish, that fucking around with Laphicet and Eleanor works. The only times I hated the comedy was anytime Bienfu or the TOITLEZ showed up. Arise is very self serious, and most of the humor is Alphen/Shionne misunderstanding each other. It's kinda flat, but I appreciate the serious story enough I don't need the comedy right now.

Something tells me that is gonna change when the final three characters I get show up. Right now, Alphen, Shionne, and Rinwell are very stiff in a good way. Alphen's oblivousness is kind of endearing, to counterbalance Shionne being a curmudgeon.

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Menji
09/14/21 1:32:34 PM
#207:


Finally got my Amazon dlc code and man is it funny to walk around with everyone wearing freaking angel wings

Think I'll save that for end game.


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UshiromiyaEva
09/14/21 1:49:18 PM
#208:


Strife2 posted...
The only times I hated the comedy was anytime Bienfu or the TOITLEZ showed up.

Oh for def Bienfu is a blight on that game. It's mostly the VA, though.

The only good comedy in Arise is stuff characters say to eachother in the world after finishing some of the goofier sidequests.


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Strife2
09/14/21 2:01:06 PM
#209:


And I like Monica Rial a lot (Seres and Celica were voiced by her too). They just had her be "annoying cat mascot thing" and she played it how she had to. Bienfu as a rule just plain sucks. BIEEEEEEEEE-EEE HEEE HEEEEEEEEEN!

*cringe*

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colliding
09/14/21 2:46:32 PM
#210:


Bienfu sucks obviously but I won't have any anti-turtlez talk in this thread

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Strife2
09/14/21 3:08:14 PM
#211:


Shionne was fun at first, but this "let's stop the small talk and just get shit done" one track mind isnt' nearly as fun as "Velvet the Murderhobo." They are definitely saving the big reveals for later, but it feels like it is going to be a LONG ass wait for her to lighten the fuck up.

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colliding
09/14/21 3:30:35 PM
#212:


Again, I really think Shionne's attitude wouldn't be a problem with more expressive character models/faces or even anime skits. The story reasons for her attitude make a lot of sense and I wouldn't want to change that but she comes across as robotic instead of intense.

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Strife2
09/14/21 3:59:11 PM
#213:


The difference to me is Shionne's past is going to be revealed later. I'm sure it's justified and makes a whole lot of sense. Outside of Zephyr standing her down, she has no moments were she's like, "oh I can be funny now and lighten up." However, Velvet's was front and center and well, is the entire fucking plot of the game. Kinda easy to recognize "Yeah...she's just like this, deal with it." when the game gives you every reason right off the bat to understand it.

Outside of, "Don't touch me, you'll get electrocuted," she doesn't have much going for her right now.


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Xiahou Shake
09/14/21 4:04:43 PM
#214:


The world of this game doesn't really lend itself to humor at all out of the gate so I'm fine with everyone being more serious up front. It feels like it's loosening up a little as more people join the party, which also works since there's more room for characters to feel optimism and joy as they come along.

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Shadow Dino
09/14/21 4:14:27 PM
#215:


Could be that I have lower standards, but the game finds ways to inject a little bit of light hearted comedy once the full party is assembled. It isn't too over the top, which is nice.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/14/21 4:18:36 PM
#216:


Oh there's some fun moments here and there. Jumping off that one cave cliff, on the way to the 5th lold, if you don't look down first was hilarious for many reasons, including the aftermath.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/14/21 8:18:27 PM
#217:


Arise breaking new ground as the first game in the series to have an actual "Which Tales Character are You" surveymonkey sidequest.

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NBIceman
09/14/21 8:53:03 PM
#218:


Alright, I take some of what I said back; game's getting funnier.

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colliding
09/14/21 9:57:01 PM
#219:


Finished the first dungeon, beat the big axe dude. Fun enough; I know it's a joke these days to say that stuff reminds you of Persona, but the boss confrontation definitely felt persona-y, just from like the actual scene direction. If all of the cutscenes were of this quality, oh boyzie.

Speaking of funny, it was pretty funny when MC learned his name and screamed ALLPPHEEEEENNNN because it reminded me of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

The dungeon itself was kind of eh. It was built up to be a big thing but it was way too easy/simple. Like you literally walk 100 yards to get to it, you easily just walk inside, and then it's pretty much just a spiral upwards to the boss.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/15/21 12:47:27 AM
#220:


Tales of Arise plz stop with the depressing revelations.


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SaveEstelle
09/15/21 8:48:53 AM
#221:


I didn't review this at RPG Site, but I did get the other advance copy so that I could do some guide-writing. Best Tales game in a long, long time. The plot's got that onion thing going on -- layers and layers. The combat's snappy and addicting. The world zones are so much better than PS3-era Tales. Sakuraba's best score in years doesn't hurt, either.

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RikkuAlmighty
09/15/21 10:44:07 AM
#222:


Oops I played until 3am on a work night. Headed to Balsef. Unlocked the DLC and got access to a ton of spells and artes and skills lmao. So i bumped the difficulty up to Hard.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/15/21 11:14:39 AM
#223:


SaveEstelle posted...
I didn't review this at RPG Site, but I did get the other advance copy so that I could do some guide-writing. Best Tales game in a long, long time. The plot's got that onion thing going on -- layers and layers. The combat's snappy and addicting. The world zones are so much better than PS3-era Tales. Sakuraba's best score in years doesn't hurt, either.

I need to go back and listen because I think I agree but could not really tell you any tracks in particular. I think it's because the OST for this game is so non distracting and never feels detached from the game itself, even when it is being prevelant. In a good way though, not in a bad way like Vesperia where you get to Dahnhrest and realize "oh the rest of this OST is super whatever huh?"

Yeah, it doesn't have that big bombastic piece to make you remember "oh hell yeah, THAT song" like most of the other games have, your Zaveid's themes and your True Wills and your Meaning of Births and your Fury Sparks, but instead it's a much more unified and fitting score. As such it doesn't have any of the many jarring, distracting bummers all those games have as well, your The Evil Surging on Prison Islands if you will.

The game could bust out a real memorable track still, though, I still have some left afterall.

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Xiahou Shake
09/15/21 4:36:37 PM
#224:


Anybody have tips for playing Rinwell? She's got a super obviously amazing air game once she lifts an enemy in range, but I'm having trouble figuring out how to smoothly launch enemies. Best way I've found is just comboing two lower level spells to semi-reliably break, then walk up and do the launcher. Feels like there should be more she can do on the ground, though - maybe I just don't have the tools to do so yet. (Photon Shot and its ilk seem almost completely useless but maybe I'm missing something there.)

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UshiromiyaEva
09/15/21 4:59:54 PM
#225:


My only Rinwell tip I have for you in the little of her I have played is that, somehow, she benefits from movement speed up more than any other character in the game.

Smack that 50% on there and watch her go for a brisk jog while charginf.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/15/21 8:20:43 PM
#226:


lol these story revelations are WILD.

They certainly earn their wide angle lens uncomfortably zooming in on someone's face.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/15/21 9:12:16 PM
#227:


I think I will be finishing this tonight, at least the main game.

Took a look back on Opencritic to see if my assumption that this would have dropped a point was right...it went up one back to an 88.

Looks like that #1 rated game in the series is staying for good.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/15/21 9:31:34 PM
#228:


...just encountered a VERY wierd sidequest scene where the dub and actual text were not matching up throughout the ENTIRE thing. It's not plot relevant at all, so will just say it's a sidequest that involves you being at a wedding. It was truly bizarre. It was like a mix of the insert dialogue they sometimes use to just say a few words during sidequests and actually reading from the script.

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MysteriousStan
09/15/21 9:35:50 PM
#229:


Oh HELL naw!

Just fought the mysterious swordsman for the first time and the bastard tried to kill Hootle! I will NEVER forgive him!
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colliding
09/15/21 9:36:32 PM
#230:


On to the second main area.

I will say a pet peeve of mine: when areas that shouldn't be right next to each other for climate reasons are. for example: when you're in a desert on fire and then walk through a tunnel to get to a really cold snowy temperate forest area. that's just now how the world works y'all. It looks great though.

Also why will they not let me make the map the touchpad and the menu the square button. so annoying.

having fun though

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UshiromiyaEva
09/15/21 9:45:56 PM
#231:


OK they absolutely flood you with skits and sidequests that are hilarious in the literal endgame. I can't say it's not a little annoying that none of that is present in the actual narrative process, but I suppose they wanted to keep the serious and dour tone of most of the main story. Can't say I'm not enjoying it all being thrown at me now, though.

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Sorozone
09/16/21 12:02:49 AM
#232:


Got my ass kicked by the second lord a few times there.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/16/21 1:28:56 AM
#233:


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UshiromiyaEva
09/16/21 2:52:47 AM
#234:


I did every sidequest instead of the final dungeon.

But final dungeon is tomorrow!

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ninkendo
09/16/21 3:20:24 AM
#235:


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UshiromiyaEva
09/16/21 3:40:23 AM
#236:


Yeah...naw I ain't reading that.

This is definitely the shortest mainline Tales game, though, other than maybe Legedia but I've barely touched that. I don't think that's a bad thing.

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ninkendo
09/16/21 4:56:32 AM
#237:


UshiromiyaEva posted...
https://twitter.com/gematsucom/status/1438368804896186369?s=19


For reference the top 3 worldwide as of March 2021

Tales of Symphonia 2.4 million
Tales of Vespiria 2.37 million
Tales of Destiny 1.72 million

After that the rest of the top 10 no numbers are actually given

Tales of Zesteria
Tales of Berseria
Tales of Phantasia
Tales of the Abyss
Tales of Eternia
Tales of Xillia
Tales of Destiny 2

And as of 2019 the sales of the entire series were over 20 million

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ninkendo
09/16/21 5:37:08 AM
#238:


Although I guess breaking news

https://twitter.com/tales_ch/status/1438374900817797120?s=19

Berseria's numbers have been just updated to over 2 million.

Vesperia now at 2.88 million making it #1

No other games mentioned. I do think it's interesting both games sold an extra 500K or so each in the 6 month buildup to Arise when those numbers were previously reported

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KamikazePotato
09/16/21 6:15:37 AM
#239:


Berseria at 2 million is actually kinda huge. It was at 1 million a year and a half after release, and selling a million more after that is very impressing for a JRPG. Word of mouth is strong.

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_stingers_
09/16/21 8:55:42 AM
#240:


Tales being one of the few JRPG franchises to embrace Steam, as well as going on sale frequently helps a lot in the longevity I'm sure

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pyresword
09/16/21 9:34:51 AM
#241:


Finished what I guess is the first major area. So far I feel like I'm not as big on this game as everyone else, but I guess we'll see where it goes from here now that the game presumably has a chance to open up. It's a fine RPG, but I don't think anything about it has really grabbed me yet.

I will say I had some of the same feelings about Berseria early on in that game, and that game was able to either address those issues or make up for them by excelling in other areas. So there's a reasonable chance I like this a lot more as things progress also.
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SaveEstelle
09/16/21 9:47:04 AM
#242:


pyresword posted...
Finished what I guess is the first major area. So far I feel like I'm not as big on this game as everyone else, but I guess we'll see where it goes from here now that the game presumably has a chance to open up. It's a fine RPG, but I don't think anything about it has really grabbed me yet.

I will say I had some of the same feelings about Berseria early on in that game, and that game was able to either address those issues or make up for them by excelling in other areas. So there's a reasonable chance I like this a lot more as things progress also.

I've noticed there's a common trend of people not fully clicking with the game until a little bit further in, so hopefully, that follows suit for you.

UshiromiyaEva posted...
Yeah...naw I ain't reading that.

This is definitely the shortest mainline Tales game, though, other than maybe Legedia but I've barely touched that. I don't think that's a bad thing.

I found the game a good deal longer than at least half the mainline entries, personally.

That's still a weird take from Kotaku, imo. It's not some 200-hour behemoth. And I would have been pretty disappointed if the game ended when "OP2" plays.

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ninkendo
09/16/21 10:02:27 AM
#243:


time to see what HLTB says. I'll go by Story + Extra so more than just beating the game, but less than doing 100% just to have an average between the two because not everyone's like me and has to do that with every game.

Vesperia - 73 hours
Berseria - 68 hours
Graces f - 67 hours
Symphonia - 64 hours
Abyss - 64 hours
Rebirth - 61
Zestiria - 58 hours
Legendia - 57 hours
Xillia 2 - 56 hours
Destiny - 55 hours
Xillia - 52 hours
Destiny 2 - 49 hours
Arise - 49 hours
Hearts R - 45 hours
Innocence - 45 hours
Symphonia: DotNW - 43 hours
Eternia - 41 hours
Phantasia - 38 hours

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_stingers_
09/16/21 10:08:05 AM
#244:


The first 5 on that list are the only 5 I've played I guess my expectations will fail me once I start this...

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ninkendo
09/16/21 10:11:02 AM
#245:


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Strife2
09/16/21 10:12:45 AM
#246:


Arche is the best.

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colliding
09/16/21 10:17:20 AM
#247:


pyresword posted...
Finished what I guess is the first major area. So far I feel like I'm not as big on this game as everyone else, but I guess we'll see where it goes from here now that the game presumably has a chance to open up. It's a fine RPG, but I don't think anything about it has really grabbed me yet.

I will say I had some of the same feelings about Berseria early on in that game, and that game was able to either address those issues or make up for them by excelling in other areas. So there's a reasonable chance I like this a lot more as things progress also.

I'm not super sold on it either tbh. I'm in the second area. I'm having fun, but so far I don't think the combat is as fun or fluid as Graces f or Berseria, and the overall story is not as compelling as Berseria/Abyss/the first half of Vesperia (so far). All that being said, it's still better than most other Tales games.

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NBIceman
09/16/21 11:08:47 AM
#248:


I'm definitely gonna come in over that HLTB estimate considering I spent the entirety of my playtime yesterday doing sidequests and going around talking to generic townspeople after the latest big story event, which brought me to right at 40 hours and I'm getting the impression I've still got a good bit of game to go.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/16/21 11:16:54 AM
#249:


ninkendo posted...
Berseria's numbers have been just updated to over 2 million.

That's word of mouth for you!


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UshiromiyaEva
09/16/21 11:55:22 PM
#250:


FINITO

Well credits are rolling but it's fancy Marvel style credits so I'm sure there's stuff after.

Putting this in a solid 3rd place. Story did start to peter, though were not talking Vesperia style collapsing here, and I definitely had some issues with the late game combat (Mystic Artes in this game are BAD, party AI is not good, especially in regards to healing which is pretty awful when the MC has a sacrifice health system, and I'm starting to think the lack of individual party member strategy customization was because they couldn't get it working) , but the foundation is just that strong. I think the game is fantastic in spite of some big flaws, and with this game and it's engine as a stepping stone the next game has the potential to be the best in the series as long as it can nail story and characters.

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UshiromiyaEva
09/17/21 12:15:19 AM
#251:


Well...that certainly is an interesting start to a bonus dungeon.

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