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Has the Sonic series got to many characters?


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Aa fans of this franchise you maybe noticed over the years the complains form critiques and as well from fans themselves about this series. Not only are their many complains about the low quality of the games, especially the big broken ones like Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom, but also about the ridiculous story lines and overall questionable ideas like turning Sonic into a Werehog or let him fall in love with a human girl that looks like a taller version of Kairi from Kingdom Hearts. NO! Seriously. I'm the only one that see the resemblances between Elise and Kair, do Ii? But anyway...
 

One of the biggest complains this game series gets from critiques is the overload on main characters. 
Critiques say the the Sonic series has way to many characters at this point. That the series has way to many of Sonic's friends and over all way to many useless characters. Are their right with those statements? Sort off but not quite. Let me explain.

The problem is not necessarily that Sonic has to many characters. For me the problem lies more that the Sonic franchise has to many of the same type of characters. Most of Sonic friends are like Sonic himself: Action heroes that fight against Dr. Eggman or an other evil bad guy. Characters that are designed and written like they should be also the main star in centre of the spotlight. Let me explain. Take Blaze the Cat for an example. She is technically, and also logically, if you know her backstory, a female, purple, royal cat version of Sonic. She is just like him. To the point where her main antagonist is just a re-colored version of Sonic's archenemy Dr. Eggman. Same goes also for Shadow. Shadow has got a much more complex told story than any other main character of this series. To the point that he even got his own relationships with his own cast of characters like with Rouge, Omega, Maria, Gerald Robotnik, G.U.N. and Black Doom. Shadow is written like a character who follows his own storyline, his own adventure. Not one that he has to share with Sonic, the main star of this franchise.

Anyway. The point is, that almost all of Sonic friends will end up as action heroes like him, who can fight and have their own special powers. Amy, even thought she started out as a damsel in distress, ist now in the newer games an action heroine like her friends. Same goes with Knuckles, Tails, Team Chaotix, Silver, Cream and Sticks. A lot of them have also similar backstories. Shadow, Rouge, Knuckles, Blaze, the Babylon Rouges and Silver started out as rivals/antagonists for Sonic and then became allies/heroes at the end.

And you can not fill your entire game with all those action heroes, otherwise you will loose the focus. I think this is also a reason why we barley see any other characters anymore in the newer games. Because after their stories are done in their debut games, you can use them really anymore. Why do we need Blaze or Silver on Sonic's side when we already have Tails and Knuckles, why do we need Jet as a team player to Sonic when we already have Amy for that? Hey. Even Sticks the Badger doesn't show up in all Sonic Boom episodes. If they had to remove one of the five main heroes, it's always Sticks that has to sit on the sideline.

You can see guys. The problem is really not that their are to many Sonic characters. But that their are way to many of the same type. Take the Banjo-Kazooie or Crash Bandicoot Series for an example. They have also many characters in their games. But a huge part of them have different roles. Banjo and Kazooie are the heroes of the games, this also goes for Crash, Coco is a supporting character and sometimes even playable, Gruntilda and Dr. Cortex are the main villains of their series, Mumbo Jumbo, Bottles, Humba Wumba are supporting NPCs, Polar and Pura are rideable characters in some levels, Ripper Roo, Dingodile, Tiny, are all bosses, The Jinos are some sort a collectable and others like Aku Aku are some sort of power up. 
All of them have a different kind of roles in their games. The Sonic series is not really that balanced, because they do not have a big variety with their characters. All of the, have to be action heroes. Super heroes with their own star quality roles.

Two of the best created Sonic characters in the last years are actually for me Orbot and Cubot. Because those two are given a different role unlike the other character sin the past. Their are the very unhappy henchmen of Dr. Eggman. Because of this the writers can use them for more storylines in the newer games. Even Big the Cat, although he is not the best written character, appears lately way more often in the new Sonic games than for example Cream or Rouge. Not because he is a good character, but at least a character with a different style, role and personality.

I would even go so far, that even the Deadly Six at this point have more of a purpose to show up in upcoming Sonic games. Because of their roles a bad guys than be recurring antagonists for Sonic.

You can see ladies and gentlemen. The problem with the  Sonic series has nothing to do with to many characters. But with similarity. This is also the reason why characters like Mighty the Armadillo or Ray the flying Squirrel never showed up again in a Sonic game for years. Because they are almost like Sonic or one of his friends. And I will not be surprised, if some of the resent Sonic characters will start slowly to disappear. It actually already started. When was the last time we saw Cream the Rabbit or Rouge the Bat in a huge role?Or the Babylon Rouges or Marine the Raccoon? It's been ages. But maybe it's for the best. Better not force a character to be in a games just for the sake of having them their. 

If Sonic Team and Sega really have to create more recurring main characters, then it should be in the way of the Deadly Six or Orbot or Cubot. Characters that can be used in a different, recurring role. Like another bad guy or a new love interest or a supporting character. But better no action heroes more.

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You have an interesting argument about numerous characters occupying similar roles, but nothing is obliging Sonic Team to use all or even any of them at once.  Characters don't need to appear in every game.  They don't even need to appear in more than one game (Chip, Marine).  At an extreme, it wouldn't be unnatural for certain characters never to appear again.  Having lots of characters is never a problem in itself; it's the official attitude towards using them that can create difficulties.

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I don't think the franchise has too many characters, per se- It just doesn't do much with the cast it already has.

Every game introduces at least one new face that hogs the spotlight despite getting little-to-no development. Meanwhile, characters like Knuckles, Silver, and the Chaotix- on the rare occasion they actually show up- don't really evolve as characters beyond their simplistic traits.

I just think Sonic Team needs to focus on their established cast and do more with them instead of constantly chugging out allies and enemies to add onto the pile.

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Hmm, well the Babylon Rogues are exclusive to the Riders series but also appear in the occasional party game. I also agree that the Deadly Six could be so much better if they are written better. I'd like to know what the heck they are or where they come from, for example. I know the Lost Hex, but what is the Lost Hex??

I think if SEGA expanded the franchise in a way like Nintendo does with Mario, the other characters will have more chance to shine. I liked the different titles on handhelds that we used to get for example. Because those titles had a different story structure, other characters like Cream, Amy, Rouge, Shadow, Silver and even Espio had a chance to be the main. They were doing more things with the franchise before, with mixed results, but they've stopped doing that for some reason...

A new racing game from Sumo with only the Sonic cast? Sonic and friends taking up Golf? Tennis? A new Sonic fighting game? Cross over with the Rabbids? I dunno...I want more, more!

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Comic wise, can’t say the same for the games, since they’re barely used anymore. Then again, the comics were discontinued, but we still don’t know much about the upcoming IDW conics. It’s hard to say there are many characters, when Sega keeps introducing and dropping characters like crazy.

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On 25.10.2017 at 8:39 PM, DemonLord DanJ86 said:

A new racing game from Sumo with only the Sonic cast? Sonic and friends taking up Golf? Tennis? A new Sonic fighting game? Cross over with the Rabbids? I dunno...I want more, more!

I hope not. The Sonic & All-Stars series works so good because of all the Sega characters. With out them it would just be another Sonic game. 

As for the roles of other characters. It is really not easy to use most of them again when their story arc is finished. Believe it or not but a lot of Sonic friends and allies fall for me in the same category like character like Chaos, Chip, Merlina, Shahra or Elise. Just like those characters I mentioned so many of them have just no purpose anymore when their story was told in their debut games / series. Their are actually only a bunch of characters that we can use for future games.

1. Sonic = Main character

2. Tails = Sidekick for Sonic

3. Knuckles = friendly rival / second sidekick for Sonic

4. Amy = love interest / damsel in distress / female lead

5. Dr. Eggman = Main antagonist 

6. Metal-Sonic = antagonistic Rival / secondary antagonist 

7. Orbot & Cubot =henchmen for Dr. Eggman

8. (Maybe) Big the Cat (+Froggy) = but only as a gag character / cameo character / easter egg character 

9. The Deadly Six = Recurring antagonists 

I also think the reason why so many characters do not work for ongoing storytelling, is because a lot of them have no real connection ore a relationship with Sonic the main character. That is why we see so much of Tails, Knuckles, Metal-Sonic and Amy, because each of them have some sort of a connection towards Sonic. All the other characters have more their own ongoing story. Rouge and Omega for example are more closer to Shadow's story, same also with the Babylon Rouges and Team Chaotix, they are their own teams with their own goals and stories, Silver is more connected towards Blaze, same goes als for characters like Marine. 

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1 hour ago, Swing said:

Aa fans of this franchise you maybe noticed over the years the complains form critiques and as well from fans themselves about this series. Not only are their many complains about the low quality of the games, especially the big broken ones like Sonic 06 and Sonic Boom, but also about the ridiculous story lines and overall questionable ideas like turning Sonic into a Werehog or let him fall in love with a human girl that looks like a taller version of Kairi from Kingdom Hearts. NO! Seriously. I'm the only one that see the resemblances between Elise and Kair, do Ii? But anyway...
 

One of the biggest complains this game series gets from critiques is the overload on main characters. 
Critiques say the the Sonic series has way to many characters at this point. That the series has way to many of Sonic's friends and over all way to many useless characters. Are their right with those statements? Sort off but not quite. Let me explain.

The problem is not necessarily that Sonic has to many characters. For me the problem lies more that the Sonic franchise has to many of the same type of characters. Most of Sonic friends are like Sonic himself: Action heroes that fight against Dr. Eggman or an other evil bad guy. Characters that are designed and written like they should be also the main star in centre of the spotlight. Let me explain. Take Blaze the Cat for an example. She is technically, and also logically, if you know her backstory, a female, purple, royal cat version of Sonic. She is just like him. To the point where her main antagonist is just a re-colored version of Sonic's archenemy Dr. Eggman. Same goes also for Shadow. Shadow has got a much more complex told story than any other main character of this series. To the point that he even got his own relationships with his own cast of characters like with Rouge, Omega, Maria, Gerald Robotnik, G.U.N. and Black Doom. Shadow is written like a character who follows his own storyline, his own adventure. Not one that he has to share with Sonic, the main star of this franchise.

Anyway. The point is, that almost all of Sonic friends will end up as action heroes like him, who can fight and have their own special powers. Amy, even thought she started out as a damsel in distress, ist now in the newer games an action heroine like her friends. Same goes with Knuckles, Tails, Team Chaotix, Silver, Cream and Sticks. A lot of them have also similar backstories. Shadow, Rouge, Knuckles, Blaze, the Babylon Rouges and Silver started out as rivals/antagonists for Sonic and then became allies/heroes at the end.

And you can not fill your entire game with all those action heroes, otherwise you will loose the focus. I think this is also a reason why we barley see any other characters anymore in the newer games. Because after their stories are done in their debut games, you can use them really anymore. Why do we need Blaze or Silver on Sonic's side when we already have Tails and Knuckles, why do we need Jet as a team player to Sonic when we already have Amy for that? Hey. Even Sticks the Badger doesn't show up in all Sonic Boom episodes. If they had to remove one of the five main heroes, it's always Sticks that has to sit on the sideline.

You can see guys. The problem is really not that their are to many Sonic characters. But that their are way to many of the same type. Take the Banjo-Kazooie or Crash Bandicoot Series for an example. They have also many characters in their games. But a huge part of them have different roles. Banjo and Kazooie are the heroes of the games, this also goes for Crash, Coco is a supporting character and sometimes even playable, Gruntilda and Dr. Cortex are the main villains of their series, Mumbo Jumbo, Bottles, Humba Wumba are supporting NPCs, Polar and Pura are rideable characters in some levels, Ripper Roo, Dingodile, Tiny, are all bosses, The Jinos are some sort a collectable and others like Aku Aku are some sort of power up. 
All of them have a different kind of roles in their games. The Sonic series is not really that balanced, because they do not have a big variety with their characters. All of the, have to be action heroes. Super heroes with their own star quality roles.

Two of the best created Sonic characters in the last years are actually for me Orbot and Cubot. Because those two are given a different role unlike the other character sin the past. Their are the very unhappy henchmen of Dr. Eggman. Because of this the writers can use them for more storylines in the newer games. Even Big the Cat, although he is not the best written character, appears lately way more often in the new Sonic games than for example Cream or Rouge. Not because he is a good character, but at least a character with a different style, role and personality.

I would even go so far, that even the Deadly Six at this point have more of a purpose to show up in upcoming Sonic games. Because of their roles a bad guys than be recurring antagonists for Sonic.

You can see ladies and gentlemen. The problem with the  Sonic series has nothing to do with to many characters. But with similarity. This is also the reason why characters like Mighty the Armadillo or Ray the flying Squirrel never showed up again in a Sonic game for years. Because they are almost like Sonic or one of his friends. And I will not be surprised, if some of the resent Sonic characters will start slowly to disappear. It actually already started. When was the last time we saw Cream the Rabbit or Rouge the Bat in a huge role?Or the Babylon Rouges or Marine the Raccoon? It's been ages. But maybe it's for the best. Better not force a character to be in a games just for the sake of having them their. 

If Sonic Team and Sega really have to create more recurring main characters, then it should be in the way of the Deadly Six or Orbot or Cubot. Characters that can be used in a different, recurring role. Like another bad guy or a new love interest or a supporting character. But better no action heroes more.

What you’re saying is that we need more supporting characters that dob’y Really command a following...

 

The thing is, Sonic is NOT Crash or Banjo territory despite also being a cartoon animal. He kinda needs actual action heroes, that’s the series’s shtick. These characters can actually have multiple roles within a story by virtue of being rounded. 

 

And while the series has had spinoff games, they’ve gone missing since Boom went belly-up. I think we need to add both main action heroes AND disposable supporting characters AND develop extant characters. And about ge extant characters, give them GIVE THEM THIER OWN GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING GAMES, GODDAMNIT!!!! 

 

Damn! Or at least have them in spinoffs all the time, unlike Mario, which displaces certain characters in favor of fodder grunts, baby versions of extant characters, and recolored.

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6 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

The thing is, Sonic is NOT Crash or Banjo territory despite also being a cartoon animal. He kinda needs actual action heroes, that’s the series’s shtick. These characters can actually have multiple roles within a story by virtue of being rounded. 

But here is the problem. Not all characters can be the main centre of the spotlight. We can not make everybody the star of the story. Sure, they can be a team, but each team member needs a different role and different amount of screen time. You can not make each 12 important sonic hero character as important than everybody else, you need to have a main character, a main focus of your story, and that is usually the main character. Which in this case is Sonic.

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29 minutes ago, Swing said:

But here is the problem. Not all characters can be the main centre of the spotlight. We can not make everybody the star of the story. Sure, they can be a team, but each team member needs a different role and different amount of screen time. You can not make each 12 important sonic hero character as important than everybody else, you need to have a main character, a main focus of your story, and that is usually the main character. Which in this case is Sonic.

Give them their own games then. 

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25 minutes ago, Swing said:

But here is the problem. Not all characters can be the main centre of the spotlight. We can not make everybody the star of the story. Sure, they can be a team, but each team member needs a different role and different amount of screen time. You can not make each 12 important sonic hero character as important than everybody else, you need to have a main character, a main focus of your story, and that is usually the main character. Which in this case is Sonic.

Your pushing the idea that Sonic is the only person we should care about and everyone else should be helpless citizens who can't open a pickle jar without him. Sonic had plenty of time in the spotlight to himself. Having other characters actually contributing to the action is something many fans have been wanting for years.

No one is saying throw them all in at once. But at least 3 non Sonic character should be fine. Or is Sonic too insecure for that.

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11 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Give them their own games then. 

That could maybe work. But only if their are really popular enough and also worthy enough to earn their own games. Nintendo also do not put all of their beloved characters in their own games. King Dedede from Kirby is probably as iconic and beloved as most of Sonic friends but did not got his own game yet. Same also goes with Rosalina from Mario, Coco from Crash Bandicoot or Captain Quark from Ratchet & Clank. Not every popular character really needs his own game series at the end. 

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4 minutes ago, knuckles20 said:

Your pushing the idea that Sonic is the only person we should care about and everyone else should be helpless citizens who can't open a pickle jar without him. Sonic had plenty of time in the spotlight to himself. Having other characters actually contributing to the action is something many fans have been wanting for years.

No one is saying throw them all in at once. But at least 3 non Sonic character should be fine. Or is Sonic too insecure for that.

They did that with the Advance games and fans seemed to like that.

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4 minutes ago, Swing said:

That could maybe work. But only if their are really popular enough and also worthy enough to earn their own games. Nintendo also do not put all of their beloved characters in their won games. King Dedede from Kirby is probably as iconic and beloved as most of Sonic friends but did not got his own game yet. Same also goes with Rosalina from Mario, Coco from Crash Bandicoot or Captain Quark from Ratchet & Clank. Not every popular character really needs his own game series at the end. 

Which is to say, DK and Wario were nobodies before their own games. And they could be additional recurring characters rather than just gone. 

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4 minutes ago, knuckles20 said:

Sonic had plenty of time in the spotlight to himself. Having other characters actually contributing to the action is something many fans have been wanting for years.

Their is a reason for it. This series is named after Sonic. He is the title character of this series. This would be the same thing if Crash Bandicoot would have to share his spotlight with characters like Coco, Cortex and Ripper Roo even thought he is the title character of this game.

Sure having only the the main character in the centre all the time can become very boring. But in the end that is the main purpose of a main character. 

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IMHO if you are trying to build a world and a lore, you NEED a lot of characters, i'll use the comics as an example, they used almost the entire roster of characters from the games and cartoons (sans underground and OVA), and it had a cohesive and interesting world, with every character in it's role, so no, the series does not have too many characters, these characters need good writing to support them, that's it.

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7 minutes ago, Swing said:

Their is a reason for it. This series is named after Sonic. He is the title character of this series. This would be the same thing if Crash Bandicoot would have to share his spotlight with characters like Coco, Cortex and Ripper Roo even thought he is the title character of this game.

Sure having only the the main character in the centre all the time can become very boring. But in the end that is the main purpose of a main character. 

I like Sonic but at the same time I also like Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow, Rouge, Cream, Silver, Blaze, Espio, Vector, hell even Big. I haven't played any of the games since Generations because I got bored with him and I never wanted the other characters to be his designated ass kissers.

Sonic being the main character is not a valid reason he should be the only playable character all the fucking time. He had plenty of time to himself and there are plenty of fans who want other characters playable after a long absence.

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8 minutes ago, Swing said:

Their is a reason for it. This series is named after Sonic. He is the title character of this series. This would be the same thing if Crash Bandicoot would have to share his spotlight with characters like Coco, Cortex and Ripper Roo even thought he is the title character of this game.

Sure having only the the main character in the centre all the time can become very boring. But in the end that is the main purpose of a main character. 

Power Rangers has had characters show up to take some names despite not being Rangers, in addition to their ranger squads that sometimes have more than six members. Examples include Ninjor, Robo Knight, Magna Defender, and Blue Senturion.

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48 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Which is to say, DK and Wario were nobodies before their own games. And they could be additional recurring characters rather than just gone. 

Sure but the different here is those characters are once again very different if you compare them to Mario. Which in the end they could get their own spinoffs which are very different in style and presentation. King K. Rool, DK's arch enemy and Captain Syrup, Wario's arch enemy, are both very different if you compare them to Bowser. Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong are very different to Luigi and Princess Peach. The gameplay style of Wario is very different to Mario's. Also the atmosphere, music, enemies etc. all of them are unique enough to separate them from Mario's universe.

With Sonic's friends on the other hand you could just end up with a game experience that is way to similar to Sonic's. Take Blaze for an example. An only Blaze game can not work in my opinion because, once again, Blaze is just way to similar to Sonic. She has almost the same powers like Sonic (+ some fire ability), her gameplay style is very similar like Sonic's, the level design too, her arch enemy is just another re-colored version of Dr. Eggman, she has a super form who is almost identical to the one from Sonic, the most important item in her world are also 7 magical gems who even have the same color pattern like the ones from Sonic's world and the same function, her world is very similar to that of Sonic and she even has a little sidekick in the form of Marine who is also a mechanical genius liek Tails. 

This is the reason why DKC and Wario Land worked so well. Because the character where unique enough to become part of their own franchise, where most of the other Sonic characters would just end up in a very familiar game. 

 

36 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Power Rangers has had characters show up to take some names despite not being Rangers, in addition to their ranger squads that sometimes have more than six members. Examples include Ninjor, Robo Knight, Magna Defender, and Blue Senturion.

They worked because their are one team who share the same story. Most of Sonic's other super powered friends have go their own ongoing story. 

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27 minutes ago, Swing said:

Sure but the different here is those characters are once again very different if you compare them to Mario. Which in the end they could get their own spinoffs which are very different in style and presentation. King K. Rool, DK's arch enemy and Captain Syrup, Wario's arch enemy, are both very different if you compare them to Bowser. Diddy Kong and Dixie Kong are very different to Luigi and Princess Peach. The gameplay style of Wario is very different to Mario's. Also the atmosphere, music, enemies etc. all of them are unique enough to separate them from Mario's universe.

With Sonic's friends on the other hand you could just end up with a game experience that is way to similar to Sonic's. Take Blaze for an example. An only Blaze game can not work in my opinion because, once again, Blaze is just way to similar to Sonic. She has almost the same powers like Sonic (+ some fire ability), her gameplay style is very similar like Sonic's, the level design too, her arch enemy is just another re-colored version of Dr. Eggman, she has a super form who is almost identical to the one from Sonic, the most important item in her world are also 7 magical gems who even have the same color pattern like the ones from Sonic's world and the same function, her world is very similar to that of Sonic and she even has a little sidekick in the form of Marine who is also a mechanical genius liek Tails. 

This is the reason why DKC and Wario Land worked so well. Because the character where unique enough to become part of their own franchise, where most of the other Sonic characters would just end up in a very familiar game. 

 

They worked because their are one team who share the same story. Most of Sonic other super powered friends have go their own ongoing story. 

Well then, transform the characters to make them stand up better on their own! Introduce new foes for them! 

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7 minutes ago, Miragnarok said:

Well then, transform the characters to make them stand up better on their own! Introduce new foes for them! 

Sure. You can do that, but also here we have yet again another problem. The reason why Blaze or Shadow or Espio are so beloved characters is because their look and play just like Sonic. Their are all super fast, slinky, athletic, cool anthropomorphic cartoon animals with a bit of an anime-like style to them. If you changed them so drastically fans of this Characters could get turned of by their new gameplay style.  

It is way to late to change them.

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38 minutes ago, Swing said:

They worked because their are one team who share the same story. Most of Sonic's other super powered friends have go their own ongoing story. 

And this is bad why? Because we get to see characters stand on their own feet and not relying on Sonic for everything they do? Not seeing the downside of this.

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