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Do you think the series is better with Sonic as the only playable character?


8ther
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Sonic 06 seems to have left a bad taste in SEGA's mouth since then they've been reluctent to have anyone other than Sonic playable outside spin-off games, even Tails haven't been playable since 06. Do you think it's best for the franchise to be Sonic only?

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I'm going to go ahead and say no, the series isn't better with Sonic as the only playable character. It's okay, mind you, as Sonic is my favorite character and all, along with being the main character of the series obviously. With that, along with the nagging and constant negativity about Sonic's friends, I understand why we have had only Sonic in the main series, although I can't say I agree nor that I like it.

With playing only as Sonic, I'm about tired of it, mainly in part because I like the other characters and would like to play as them. I'm honestly sick and tired of Sonic's friends standing around doing nothing besides pointlessly running their mouths, if anything, which I find very annoying. It's even worse when they don't even get a cameo appearance in the games.

Each and every one of these characters has potential in increasing and differentiating gameplay. I wish they would be utilized in the games somehow, even if it was 1 or 2 of them being playable at a time. I would prefer more of Sonic's friends to be playable than just a few, but I'll take it, as it's better than none of them being playable at all, IMO. Having Sonic' friends playable could really increase replayability, something that I feel Sonic games have been lacking as of late.

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Pretty much like the other guys are saying, I'd like to be other characters besides Sonic, but having Sonic more would be great. 

If there's a game where you can play as Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles in one story, it would be best to play as Sonic most of the time.

Another thing would be making the characters play well, I'm not even going to go into detail due to obvious reasons about why the side Characters in '06 were bad, but if they could make the characters play in a way that would make me want to play as them again, then I think that would work out well too.

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As much as I liked playing other characters in SA and SA2, I found myself always saying 'can it be a sonic level yet?' A LOT.

 

Heck, in SA1, 5/6 of the characters at least at their very core played like a Sonic character (Amy and Gamma just needed to be a little faster), so it wasn't so bad. Its only SA2 that made me feel that way.

 

I don't mind them being playable at all, in fact it just opens up more story opportunities and giving characters more important roles. I'd like them to play like Sonic characters though, not be so dramatically different in controls nor motive.

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No. Other playable characters make the series interesting so long as they are done right. Meaning no genre roulette (adventure games) and no truckload of characters to play as (06). Three to four playables should be the limit.

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I don't think that if say Knuckles or Shadow were playable in Unleashed or Tails playable in Colors would of the games any less great then they are, they would only add to it. People seem to think that other playable Sonic characters = different gameplay styles ala Sonic Adventure series but it doesn't have to be that way at all.

 

The series has clearly pointed out that most of its characters are fast, and with Lost Worlds more toned-down speed levels, other playables make a lot of since to implement; swap out the "kick" attack Sonic has with a addition move for the other characters and rather than have the Wisps, give a unique Wisp-like ability to each character to encourage multiple runs through a level; after using Sonic's Sonic Boom to get through some cyan crystals, you play as Tails and use a faster version of the Eagle wisp-like power to fly over the obstacle.

 

Other characters can better the series if used properly, but that idea isn't used because of Sega's past failed attempts to implement other characters in 3d has really drive home that Sonics "shitty" friend ruined those games when it really was the flawed gameplay that made them suffer.

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It's indifferent to me. It's the execution what matters.

I'd appreciate more playable characters being optional at least, to break the monotony. I'd appreciate them if they're integrated in the story as well. They have to share the core gameplay, be differentiated from the rest, but not to the point it feels out of place.

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Yes and no.

 

Compared to other games we've seen so far with multiple playable characters, to the games we've gotten now with Sonic going solo, yes, the series is doing better with Sonic as a playable character.

 

However, that doesn't necessarily prove the series is better overall with just Sonic. We haven't really gotten playable characters since 06, and Sega has yet to use them to their full potential. 

 

For instance, let's look at Sonic 3 & K. Widely considered to be one of(if not the) best Sonic games ever made. Sonic Team gave us three playable characters. Tails and Knuckles have the same goal as Sonic, getting to the goal ring, but their abilities make them unique, giving you variety with every similar level you play.

 

What I mean is, if Sonic Team were to continue releasing the same quality products and mix in the Sonic 3 & K formula, I do think quite a lot of people would be satisfied and claim that to be better off than the mixed "Sola Sonica".

 

You can't really say for sure whether or not the games would be better off either way until Sonic Team actually started to use playable characters again, and then let us make a proper judgement. 

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Ok, this is something I've always thought was lacking for quite some time. I don't think the series is better with normal speed sonic being the only playable character. I've always enjoyed Sonic Adventure 1 and Sonic Unleashed the most due to their different gameplay styles and high replayability. Sonic Unleashed, by having two different gameplay styles, game the player something different instead of just run run run and thats it. Its refreshing and I often enjoy the different styles and goals to do. I know not many people enjoy the werehog stages sometimes, but I honestly enjoyed them for being different.

 

When it comes to why I enjoy Sonic Adventure 1 a bit more over 2, it comes to a few main reasons. Being able to select your character in a way that reminds me of the dynasty warriors and samurai warriors games, allows many different gameplay choices. By each character having their own stories that all twist together in a way, but are all in their way slightly unique, you bring a massive story that show the other characters aren't just sitting around cheering while sonic does all the work. Sonic honestly doesnt do all the work all the time and if he didn't have the help of his friends, he likely wouldn't have survived many things in the past. When I see people complain that everyone needs to be gotten rid of and just leave Sonic and Eggman, even get rid of Tails, it just makes you wonder really. You even see Tails on lists of most annoying characters and sidekicks there are.

 

Also, the adventure fields from Sonic Adventure 1 and Unleashed are very welcomed. Being able to explore the world at your own pace and not have to be forced to just run around from stage to stage like you do in Sonic Adventure 2 is very welcomed. In sonic adventure 2, the additional characters are great, but the fact they aren't seperated and as someone mentioned, you never know who is coming to where you are constantly switching up like that isn't the best feature honestly.

 

So I do think there should be additional characters, just they need to be more in the Sonic Adventure 1 style to where you can pick who you want to play as ahead of time. This style works in other games that have multiple characters, and I don't see why it couldn't continue to work here if implimented correctly.

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I don't think it's a matter of "if it's better" but "are other characters necessary"

 

It's becoming obvious that wisps are becoming a sort of replacement for having to stick in new characters with specific new powers to get a new gameplay type across. The wisp power ups allow you got keep the core Sonic gameplay while offering a new gameplay experience from time to time within a level, essentially a snapshot situation of playing as a different character in a sense.

 

Personally I feel like this is much more smart to do. While it may leave out some interesting characters to play as, I've always been content with them just being supporting unplayable roles if they fit in the story and such. While I've also been a fan of the classic way of choosing any character to beat the game approach, I do understand how much work that requires in today's standards. If we were to say, have a new Sonic game where Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, and Amy are all optional playable characters for each stage, this means not only do you have to fine tune each of these in a balanced manner where they're still fun to play as, but alter the stage design that accommodates all of them. Not even just that, but in an interesting and smart manner that makes sense and isn't pain-stakingly obvious "well that's knuckles' route because you break a box!"

 

So yeah that'd be cool for sure if they could make it work right, but I just think that's not really the most efficient manner, when they all play like Sonic at the core anyways, meaning why not just give Sonic some temporary power-ups to substitute these alternate "Sonics" that just have some unique power slapped under their belt.

 

I don't know, I feel like this is also a touchy subject because people are just simply fans of various characters, and that's totally cool and something to note as well. Booting up a stage to blaze through it with, well, Blaze, is more exciting than giving Sonic some new wisp that gives him a fire ability for 20 seconds to most people I bet.

 

So I guess to answer the question, from a standpoint probably not intended, I do believe it's better that Sonic is the only playable character. I mean this in the sense that there's less energy trying to figure out the headache of accommodating all those characters in a fun and balanced manner, and more energy in fine tuning the Sonic experience and levels and such even more.

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Yes and no.

 

Compared to other games we've seen so far with multiple playable characters, to the games we've gotten now with Sonic going solo, yes, the series is doing better with Sonic as a playable character.

 

However, that doesn't necessarily prove the series is better overall with just Sonic. We haven't really gotten playable characters since 06, and Sega has yet to use them to their full potential. 

 

For instance, let's look at Sonic 3 & K. Widely considered to be one of(if not the) best Sonic games ever made. Sonic Team gave us three playable characters. Tails and Knuckles have the same goal as Sonic, getting to the goal ring, but their abilities make them unique, giving you variety with every similar level you play.

 

What I mean is, if Sonic Team were to continue releasing the same quality products and mix in the Sonic 3 & K formula, I do think quite a lot of people would be satisfied and claim that to be better off than the mixed "Sola Sonica".

 

You can't really say for sure whether or not the games would be better off either way until Sonic Team actually started to use playable characters again, and then let us make a proper judgement. 

I agree with this. Every console game at dreamcast and on has decent to horrible gameplay in my opinion for the side characters. It never reached the full potential and generally dragged the games down rather then making them better. Having more characters only adds something good to a game when it's done right. We haven't seen that on a console since S3&K.

Edited by Milkman
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The big thing when I played colors though and it came to the wisps, was that the game did eventually become boring over time. You go through all the stages once and thats it. I literally beat Colors in like one day and played it like one or two days past that and haven't touched it since. There was no real reason to come back for more, aka replayability was pitiful. When there is barely any exploration in a way and the path's are straightforward, you make the game good for one playthrough, but that's it, one playthrough. Unless you come back to the game years later, the chances of someone keeping the game in your system for awhile is shot. The other characters would add more story, something that needs alot more attention too in the games, and just a change of pace. Too much of the same thing just gets boring and predictable.

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Other things can add replayability too though, not just extra characters, for example more unlockables (like a secret level for all red rings) more artwork and music (where was my sound test colours!) more extra paths that intertwine so you can play a different route every level.

Not really for or against characters, I can see the point on both sides of the story, maybe having the story to complete as Sonic and then you unlock another character at the end, if you don't like the character you don't HAVE to use them but they are still there and is a pretty decent reward. For example in LW I'd have Tails and knuckles as unlockables, give them wisp powers and flight/climbing and remove the parkour, maybe add some spring or platforms if there a&e any wall running sections and there you have two similar but slightly different play styles!

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So I guess to answer the question, from a standpoint probably not intended, I do believe it's better that Sonic is the only playable character. I mean this in the sense that there's less energy trying to figure out the headache of accommodating all those characters in a fun and balanced manner, and more energy in fine tuning the Sonic experience and levels and such even more.

Dude, they've had years to fine tune Sonic's experience and levels. At this point, it shouldn't take any more energy or be any more of a headache finding out how to differentiate each character than it took them to do with the wisps. And they could do it a la S3&K or SA1 where every character controls the same in general but with different abilities that allow access to other places only certain characters could naturally reach, especially in cases of characters that have already been known to play similar to Sonic anyway like Tails, Shadow, Blaze, Knuckles, and Metal Sonic.

 

There are games out there that have came long after Sonic has that have accomplished balancing several to 100 characters within their gameplays, I don't think it takes that much effort to do with 5 more for Sonic.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonîc
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Not really better, but much more consise. I believe at this point nearly everyone reconized that the main reason for streamlining gameplay to one character was to reduce the margin of supposed error and criticism from gamers.

 

With that said I'd say it's about time the other characters became integrated, at least gradually.

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Dude, they've had years to fine tune Sonic's experience and levels. At this point, it shouldn't take any more energy or be any more of a headache finding out how to differentiate each character than it took them to do with the wisps. And they could do it a la S3&K or SA1 where every character controls the same in general but with different abilities that allow access to other places only certain characters could naturally reach, especially in cases of characters that have already been known to play similar to Sonic anyway like Tails, Shadow, Blaze, Knuckles, and Metal Sonic.

 

There are games out there that have came long after Sonic has that have accomplished balancing several to 100 characters within their gameplays, I don't think it takes that much effort to do with 5 more for Sonic.

 

And yet these years of fine tuning Sonic is still constantly evolving. We've had Adventure era style, Boost season, on-rail, and now Lost World style all thrown in over the past decade with varying results. Even if they do stick to one and work on it, I'm not sure the point of just slapping in the other characters would really do that the wisps don't do already. Like you said many characters already play like Sonic, though if you picked one you'd be stuck to that character for the stage, meaning you'd have to probably either take Sonic's default route or that specific character's set of routes, thus becoming a bit more linear than say, just having Sonic available to a plethora of temporary power ups for those various situations as they come by instead of just being locked to the one.

 

For example, if I chose Knuckles to play the first stage, the only changes would most likely be taking out some enemies differently, taking maybe a small handful of specific routes for Knuckles if I so wished to like digging through a wall or smashing some rock that's too hard for Sonic. The rest would just be Sonic's routes played more or less the same but as a different skin. The thing about this however is when I boot up another character, since there's now routes catered to each other character, it leaves the each individual with a more linear and probably more boring zip through the level.

 

Now take it if I just had Sonic with some wisps. Yeah there may be some spots where I can use the eagle wisp to fly over something, but the fantastic part is that there's the option to also take the route that requires the drill wisp, or just one or even none of these. Basically Sonic becomes every character's trait when needed be for a temporary amount of time, resulting in a much more mix-match pattern of routes to take from A to B. From strictly a gameplay standpoint, I favor this. Does it devalue the other characters in gameplay? Yeah probably, but they're still awesome to interact with in the game's story and whatnot.

 

I just don't see how alternate characters would be much more than a fan package. I mean that's cool and all and I actually would love to play as Metal Sonic in a regular 3D Sonic game in the future some how, but I fear it'd result in how other Sonic games have turned out: a subpar finish in all departments, whereas if all the time was dedicated to the one character, it'd be much more polished.

 

As for the "several to 100 characters" balancing in other games, I can't recall one that'd be relevant to this game type where it's not only the character's differences that matter, but the levels themselves as well. Again, having too many characters would start to result in a "clone" mess and just having cookie-cutter characters that play almost like Sonic but have some ability for specific points in each level that could've just been solved with temporary power ups, ala wisps in most recent Sonic's case I guess.

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As stated before the number of playable characters != better game

But taste-wise, yeah the Sonic/Shadow stages in the adventure series were the popular one since that's the type of gameplay you'd expect from the Sonic series. So I'm saying perhaps have the most of the stages be Sonic-type ones but have some different character stages peppered around for variety. Not as much as focus as they have been given in the earlier games but just some spotlight.(Dare I say it?) Kinda like how Sonic 06 had you switch characters along the way...

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And yet these years of fine tuning Sonic is still constantly evolving. We've had Adventure era style, Boost season, on-rail, and now Lost World style all thrown in over the past decade with varying results. Even if they do stick to one and work on it, I'm not sure the point of just slapping in the other characters would really do that the wisps don't do already. Like you said many characters already play like Sonic, though if you picked one you'd be stuck to that character for the stage, meaning you'd have to probably either take Sonic's default route or that specific character's set of routes, thus becoming a bit more linear than say, just having Sonic available to a plethora of temporary power ups for those various situations as they come by instead of just being locked to the one.

 

For example, if I chose Knuckles to play the first stage, the only changes would most likely be taking out some enemies differently, taking maybe a small handful of specific routes for Knuckles if I so wished to like digging through a wall or smashing some rock that's too hard for Sonic. The rest would just be Sonic's routes played more or less the same but as a different skin. The thing about this however is when I boot up another character, since there's now routes catered to each other character, it leaves the each individual with a more linear and probably more boring zip through the level.

 

Now take it if I just had Sonic with some wisps. Yeah there may be some spots where I can use the eagle wisp to fly over something, but the fantastic part is that there's the option to also take the route that requires the drill wisp, or just one or even none of these. Basically Sonic becomes every character's trait when needed be for a temporary amount of time, resulting in a much more mix-match pattern of routes to take from A to B. From strictly a gameplay standpoint, I favor this. Does it devalue the other characters in gameplay? Yeah probably, but they're still awesome to interact with in the game's story and whatnot.

Right, and yet that's just shortsighted thinking when it comes to the other characters. You think with all that evolving that's been done we could take parts of those eras and create a whole new form of play for the series that could allow other characters even with all the Wisps. You'd also think that with all the characters that have been around that they each had their own quirks different from one another that made them unique instead of cookie cutters even if they had similar abilities, instead of just taking just one ability from each of them, placing it into a wisp, and say that the other characters have little value now.

 

Makes me even wonder how the hell they were capable of differing them in the first place if all it took was just one trait of theirs for Sonic to imitate and make them irrelevant from a gameplay standpoint. Nevermind that the Wisps themselves have generally been one-use temporary power-ups that require you to find another capsule in order to make use of them again after using them up where as the other characters have said abilities permanently ingrained into them that you don't have to search around for a capsule to use their powers again.

 

And this is in addition to having these characters use their abilities in tandem with their other abilities: sure Sonic can climb with the Pink Wisp and dig with the Yellow Wisp, but he can't use them at the same time, now can he? Compare this to Knuckles or Rouge who can climb and dig in the same spot, and with their abilities not being a temporary power-up they could stick to the walls forever until you decide to jump off where as the wisps run on a time limit, unlike Sonic and the Pink Wisp where if you're just chilling out on the ceiling you're going to fall off as soon as you run out of time with it and unlike Knuckles or Rouge's gliding there isn't anything that can save you except to hope that you fall on another wisp form to get you out of that problem. Sonic can smash things with a specific Wisp like a hammer, but Amy could use her hammer while picking up enough speed to catapult her high into the air at rest and reach higher places (something you need to swap out with a Rocket Wisp) or spin the hammer around to knock multiple enemies away without having to worry about losing the ability to do such hammering. Sonic can certainly fly with the Eagle Wisp or float with the Hover Wisp, but if he's over a pit when the power runs out he'll drop like a rock in the air, where as flight characters like Tails and Cream who can not only do both at the player's whim but they can slowly glide over to a ground safely as their flight limit is up or even gliding characters like Knuckles who can only decend in the air can find a wall to cling onto, climb up it and reach a safe point or find another place to glide to. And this is without getting into Silver's telekinesis or Shadow's Chaos Powers that further offer new insight on what we could do beyond simply leaving it to the Wsps.

 

The Wisps come with their own setbacks that the other characters do not have with the same abilities and more, even when you pile them seperately onto Sonic. I'm pretty the other character can still find purposes as playable characters without being devalued by the wisps.

 

And as far as level design goes, we've played games since S3&K that had more than one route to go in the same level that had specialized characters capable of reaching them, whether it was punching blocks in Mushroom Hill, flying above dangerous pits in Flying Battery or Cosmic Angel, scaling the walls of Hydrocity or Red Mountain, homing attacking or lightspeed dashing in too many levels to count, and so forth. Part of game design with multiple characters is to create these obstacles that only specific characters with their more specialized powers could benefit from in the first place to make their experience far more unique than another character in the same game. That's kind of why Tails is made to get tired when he flys and can only reach places depending on his elevation while Knuckles can theoretical start from ground zero and climb indefinitely until he reaches a ceiling, or why anyone can pick up a shield to protect themselves from projectiles while Silver is the only one who could straight up redirect the projectiles back to the sender or to another foe or move multiple objects than other characters who move just one thing at a time with their hands, or why if you make an mis-jump off a platform with someone like Tails or Cream you could just fly safely back into place where as Sonic absolutely needs a specific Wisp to do that or else he plummets to his death with nothing to save him. 

 

So, with that in mind, are you still going to tell me that all these characters are still devalued by the Wisps? Because this is just the introduction of my observations in general, and we have to we can go character-by-character not just on what they have done, but what more these characters could do beyond that.

I just don't see how alternate characters would be much more than a fan package. I mean that's cool and all and I actually would love to play as Metal Sonic in a regular 3D Sonic game in the future some how, but I fear it'd result in how other Sonic games have turned out: a subpar finish in all departments, whereas if all the time was dedicated to the one character, it'd be much more polished.

Shadow the Hedgehog was a game dedicated to just one character. You mind telling me how polished that game was? If anything that should tell you that even a game with one character can be a mess if you don't know what the hell you're doing.

 

As for the "several to 100 characters" balancing in other games, I can't recall one that'd be relevant to this game type where it's not only the character's differences that matter, but the levels themselves as well. Again, having too many characters would start to result in a "clone" mess and just having cookie-cutter characters that play almost like Sonic but have some ability for specific points in each level that could've just been solved with temporary power ups, ala wisps in most recent Sonic's case I guess.

It's relevant because those games have characters that have practically the same roles and styles of play, but with completely different abilities that achieve different results. Not one of them is a straight clone of each other, as would be the case of games like League of Legends that has over 100 characters with similar playstyles, but with different abilities, mechanics, strengths and weaknesses each categorized under only several categories: Tank, Fighter, Mage, Assassin, Carry, and Support. Every one in those categories are the same in what their roles say they should be doing, but the way they cater to those roles is different, and if you want me to open of that can of worms, then allow me to direct you to I made last year that details a thinking exercise as an example in how we could go about translating that idea of variation between similar characters in the Sonic series when going about the notion.

 

Hell, let's even go into platforming titles like Megaman where you had three different characters in the X series that play similarly to each other while still having unique abilities of their own, X making use of armor, Zero making use of melee attacks, and Axl with his copy abilities, or even the ZX series that gave you 5-6 different forms in the first game then tripled that number in the sequel. In fact, platforming as a genre alone is good enough as an example as we have so many different platformers out there each with their own unique quirks while performing the basic aspects that make them platformers.

 

It takes brainstorming to seek out and look for other options, but I'm pretty sure we could think far outside the box in branching other characters than just ending it with "The Wisps can do it" and not even bothering to try at all. Last I checked, we've had several characters that already had superspeed (Sonic, Shadow, Metal Sonic, Blaze, Espio, Amy?), super strength (Knuckles, Vector, Big), and flight (Tails, Cream, Rouge, Charmy) before the Wisps ever came into the picture, and even with those similarities they still had other unique abilities they could differ from each other as well as working with their other abilities they have. Now that the Wisps can just copy the bare minimum without any of those unique abilities, all the other characters are devalued?

 

Yeah, I don't buy it. At all.

Edited by ChaosSupremeSonîc
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Well.....It's not like having other playable characters suddenly adds anything to the experience, as other games have shown us, so they are not anywhere NEAR necessary for the series to grow and I wish people would stop treating the situation like they are. Would they be nice to have? Yes. Are they necessary? Hell no. 

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As long as it was done right, I'd like a return to the genre roulette. It mixed things up rather than just having yu do the same thing over and over in each level and it was good because it let each character control a little differently rather than each level just being a sonic level where you played as tails.

 

If it was brought back however, I'd like to see it done with a smallish cast, Sonic, Tails, Knuckles & Eggman maybe and I'd still like the focus of the game to be Sonic. Rather than all four characters getting a cycle of one level each, maybe give the side characters one each and sonic getting two or three.

It's a sonic game after all.

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