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Son of Iron Game Chef!

Started by Mike Holmes, April 12, 2004, 03:29:35 PM

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My submission is: Dawn of the Day of the Monsters (A Atomic Fantasy). Can't reveal more right now, but I have the concept and now starting to work on the core mechanics.

Mike Holmes

The Chairman says:
Quote from: Paul CzegeIn past IronGC competitions we've had folks not announce their intent to participate until they'd basically already completed their entry, which then comes as a complete surprise to spectators and contestants alike in the very late stages of the competition.
Cheggy-san, it is considered part of the challenge of the competition (and any betting therupon) that some will post their games late. This is a strategy that some pursue, and we'd not have it any other way. There is honor to be had in posting early and letting us see your game as it evolves (not to mention that it can be good strategy to clear people off your ideas). But there is honor, too, in coming in quietly in the late running with a gaming dishes that surprise the judges.

QuoteConversely, a couretsy question: how certain should I be of completion if I want to announce a potential entry? (This could be a reason for the not announcing.)
The amount of dishonor that a designer has when bowing out after posting a design idea is only proportional to the amount of boasting he may have done. Which is to say that it is expected that not all contestants will finish their games. So even if you have less than full confidence, it is fine to post. Any contestant may withdraw at any time (which is a good idea for any very incomplete games which would otherwise recieve embarrassingly low scores). Better to bow out honorably than to simply fade into the shadows without comment. But no dishonor at all to those who bow out humbly.

(Oh how I wish I could be involved in the side betting...)
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Mike Holmes

Quote from: OtaFukui-san? You'll note that several more challengers have decided to join the competition. Perhaps most notably, Iron Chef Laviolette, himself! In his inimitable fashion, he's already found meanings for some of the elements that nobody had considered previously. His presence will really turn up the heat on the other chef's competing.

Still no sign of Iron Chef Freitag, but there's still plenty of time for him to enter the fray. He came in relatively late in the last competition, and maybe that's what's happening this time. It could be strategy, or timing, or just as likely he may just not plan to compete. But until we hear from him, the chefs all have to consider the possibility that they may be in competition with him as well.

Other notable entrants include Lumpley-san, Forrest-san, and Cherry-san, all proven avant gard game chefs. Less known, are hanschristiananderson-san and crackerjack-san. Who are these competitors? Could they sweep out of the unknown to take the competition? Or are they, perhaps, well known game chefs in disguise?

Eero-san seems to be quavering in his resolve despite seeming to be ahead of the pack in terms of volume of material created. Will he have the confidence in himself to continue? Who will be the first chef to succumb to the pressure?

[again, if someone wants to take over Ota, please go ahead]
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As I was going to sleep last night, I came up with this, which I emailed to myself at work so I could post it this morning.  There's a rather obvious inspiration from Clockworx in here, but AFAIK inspiration from other sources isn't generally considered bad form:

Island at the Dawn of Time: Basic Character/Game Mechanics

Characters are completely undefined in this system, apart from having a name.  Instead, the GM (who we'll call the Unmaker, for reasons that should be obvious below) keeps the only sheet, which is the World Sheet.  The World Sheet keeps everything that has been Named, and its rating.  Ratings can be from 0 to 7.  At 0, a thing barely exists.  At 7, a thing can no longer be unmade, but neither can it be used to help make other things; it has solidified.  There is a rating below 0 - X.  At this point, something has been unmade, and cannot be remade.

The World Sheet starts with just the character's names, each at a value of 4.  This signifies that the character exists.  Other things that always exist include the Island (6), the Sun (7) and the Ice (7).  At the dawn of each day, including the first day, each player gets 1 point.  This can be put into a new thing (which they then Name), or it can be given to an existing thing.  If a player's character ever reaches 7, or goes below 0, they lose their ability to Name. Note: Need something for players who have lost characters to do.

For each day (between sunrise and sunset), each character gets one "action."  They describe what they do during the course of their day, and which Names they are using.  It can be one Name; it can be many Name; but the Unmaker can veto anything that doesn't make any sense.  If using the Name of another character, they may veto it as well. (Note to self: Need to figure out how to order the player's actions).

For each Name, the Unmaker picks a number between 1 and 12.  The player then tries to guess that number.  You may then move forward or back a number less than or equal to that Name's score - with a 0 between 12 and 1 on the cusp.  If the number chosen fits within this range, it succeeds.  

The player needs at least half his choices to be successes.  If this happens, all the Names, even the ones he failed at, are raised by one.  If he fails, then they remain the same.  A Name with a rating of 0 must be guessed exactly; on any Name other than 0, if you guess the target exactly, you get an extra point that MUST be used to create a new Name, at a rating of 1.

After each character gets their day, night falls, and frost sets in.  The ice and cold of the night reduces each and every Name that hasn't reached 7 by one point.  Names that are at 0 are reduced to X, and become unmade, never to be Named again.  Then, as the day dawns, each player gets 1 new point to put into a new thing, or augment an old thing and the cycle starts over again.
Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
Maker of many fine story-games!
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Jack Aidley


Attributes are well and good, but a game needs a setting. Thus do I bring (by way of some rather contrived fiction) a early taster of all-that-is:

The young Chanters sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the teacher for their first lesson, excitement was obvious in their faces but they already possessed the discipline to sit still and be quiet. The teacher was old now but he still wore the bone armour proudly – its intricate carvings badges of honour from past glories. In his hand he held a hard-boiled egg.

"All-that-is is shaped like this egg. We are here," he stabbed a gnarled finger at a point on the fattest part of the egg. "Although, of course, on the inside, not the out - for how could there be an outside to all-that-is?" Taking up a knife he sliced the egg into two neat halves. "And like the yolk lies central in the egg, so the sun lies central in all-that-is. Every night the sun dies, and its ashes fall to earth, and before every dawn you will perform the chants that bring the new sun and by this ancient duty you will ensure the life and health of all-that-is."

One child dared raise a trembling hand. The teacher raised an eyebrow. "Yes?"

"We know of the sun, master, we see it everyday and we have heard the chants. Tell us of the rain, master? From whence does it come? What must we do to ensure its fall?"

"We know not of where the rain comes, child, for it falls only in the dark when the Sun is not. You must fill the sacred bowls and bless the waters so that they may call to their loved ones that they may fall as the rain by night. All these things will be known to you at the proper time."
- Jack Aidley, Great Ork Gods, Iron Game Chef (Fantasy): Chanter

Eero Tuovinen

Like the reed, bending in the wind, your humble gamesmith bends but doesn't break in the pressure of master designers. A cynic might even speak of false timidity, uncoiling to strike when least expected. Here's some contest resolution mechanics for the Battle of the Frozen Waste. I'll include the character creation too, now that I'm here.

Play preparation

Each player chooses individually one of the following character archetypes:

   High Noble: the masters of the Order, either born and bread northlanders who've risen to their positions with experience, or southerners who have gained their position by deeds or breeding outside the order. The High Nobles will advice the Grandmaster in planning the Battle and will lead the men in battle.

   Knight: lesser nobles and their closest men. All men mounted and in armor are considered knights in the order, although some may hold higher social positions than others. These are the strong offensive fist of the Order when fighting the Ambassador, not the least because many demons are averse to steel most knights are clothed in.

   Footman: armed either with pikes or bows, the footmen are the actual backbone of the Order's army, able to withstand horrible attacks with bravery. Footmen are commoners, and are usually led by commoners or petty nobles.

   Oracle: there are other magicians in the middle lands, but apart from the barbaric ice shamans there is none in the icy wastes behind the borderlands able to withstand the Ambassador's corrupting influence. The Order however has some oracles, whose magical and arcane knowledge might spell victory, if trust is acquired and treachery avoided. All the oracles are women.

   Hero: the general riff-raff that joins armies of freedom in fantasy epics and will save the day against all odds. By definition these can be anything, from talking animals to forgotten princes. They have to still have a reason for being there, though, both from the viewpoint of the high nobles and their own.

   The Ambassador: the great demon of the North, hankering to swallow the middle lands. There is beauty in the ice sculptures and blinding whiteness of His domain, but it's not beauty fit for human life.

The choices the players make degree largely the focus of play, as different characters have different kinds of worries in the day before the battle. Apart from this narrative focus there's however no limits at all to the character details, and if a player wishes to play a peasant prince who forces himself on the gatherings of high nobles, he's welcome to choose the archetype of High Noble and play his character as a commoner. The archetypes decide what the character /does/, not what he /is/.

   Only one player may play the Ambassador, and if two or more players want it, randomization must be used to determine the player.

There is no traditional character creation. Instead the players decide on facts about their character independently and in cooperation, to the degree preferred. What mechanical impact these decisions might have is realised later in the game by the choices the players make. It's preferable that a player have some kind of concept about what his character is about in the game when it starts, but likewise a degree of moderation is hoped for: a player should not feel a need to frontload his character unnecessarily, as this will only constrain his choices in the end.

   As far as the game world goes, it is divided into the midlands and the frozen waste. The former is the domain of the other players, while the latter is that of the Ambassador only. The players share rights of narration about things of their own domain equally in the following way: Any world detail or color that doesn't limit another player is completely free and allowable, while details that make limiting statements about the domain are possible only by concensus, that is, if nobody disagrees. All the players should remember that the world being a scetchily defined fantasy, many things are possible and nothing should be discounted as long as it doesn't damage the designs of another player. It's assumed that anything alluded to in the rules is true to some degree, but that leaves great swathes of room for cultural, geographical, cosmological and other kinds of detail for players to fill in on their leisure.

   For players unused to this kind of free-for-all, an example about the differences between limiting and non-limiting statements: "There is a knightly order of the South." is a non-limiting statement, while "There is only two important knightly orders, Snow and Sand." certainly is limiting. The above world creation rules allow players any non-limiting statements about the world, but limiting statements are only possible by concensus, that is, every player except the Ambassador has to agree about things of the midlands.

   For the Ambassador things are simpler, as the player has the sole power to decide on general facts about the frozen waste. The Ambassador player may still offer suggestions about the midlands, as the other players can about the waste, but the other party has to accept such suggestions for them to become a truth.

   This freedom of general description of certainty doesn't include the actual play actions of characters or other normal play, but is only limited to background facts and milieu of play. So the Ambassador player may freely decide on the general description of werewolves, but he cannot simply degree any actions of those same wolves. There's rules for that kind of thing.

The players will have to prepare the Bag before play can begin. The Bag chapter details the procedure. The last part of the preparation is for the players to assign meanings to the stones. Stones will act as randomizers and a kind of an oracle for deciding how the play will progress. Most of their meaning is generated during play, but as with the characters, something will be fixed at the start. Each player will choose one meaning for one color of stone in accordance with the Bag chapter. The decisions are made individually and may all concern the same stone color. Any non-sensible meanings are redecided until an agreement is reached.

When the play preparation is sufficiently finished, so that the players are raring to play, it's time to start the game. The first phase of play is called "Waiting for Dawn", as in it the players come to learn to know their characters and the perils ahead, while the characters are preparing for the morning of the battle. This will be described in detail in the chapter of the same name, after the chapter about stone mechanics.

Conflict resolution

When using the stones during the game the players will have a bunch of /free stones/, which are displayed in front of the player for all to see. These are used to affect changes in the scenes played in various ways. Free stones come from the Bag and are either discarded or added to traits after use.

   Conflicts are always against another player's intentions. When two players disagree about something concerning the story they can resolve the disagreement by burning stones. This happens by concealing your free stones and revealing a fistful of them simultaneously with your opponent. The player who discards more stones of a suitable color wins the conflict. The resolution is narrated cooperatively by all the players.

   Colors suitable for burning depend on the particulars of the conflict and the meanings of the stones. If a stone represents a relevant attribute, ideal or symbol that implicates a certain result for the conflict, then it can be used. The players shouldn't give colors meanings they don't know how to use, so it's simplest to limit yourself to straightforward skills and such at the beginning.

   If both players discard the same amount of stones then neither will gets his wish, but instead the conflict is cut short for some reason. The difference is split by the other players in narration, as usual.

   /Traits/ are stones that are added to a character. Whenever a character participates in a conflict where the player discards one or more stones one of them can be added to the character. In such a case the player will choose one of the color's meanings and put the stone on a piece of paper with the meaning. From now on the character has that meaning as a trait, to be interpreted in a way the player prefers. If another stone of same color is added to the character it has to be added to the same trait until there's at least three stones in the trait. After that the player may either start another trait of the same color or continue adding stones to the old one.

   The narration of the conflict's resolution is based on the stones and traits used. Although only appropriate meanings are accepted when counting the victor, any meanings of any burned stones are suitable for the narration. The narrating players should take stones in turn from all participants and narrate at least one fact for each stone, taking freely of any of the stone's meanings. Thus a "werewolf" stone that's discarded in a war council situation might in the extreme case mean that a werewolf attack interrupts the council. The narrators start with one of the players and take stones from them in turn until only the winner has appropriate stones left. After that come the actual repercussions of the conflict. In this process inappropriate stones are used to help narration but are not counted against the idea of taking turns. Thus each participant loses  appropriate stones in turn, and other stones when the narrators wish. The end result is that the winner is left with the difference in the amount of appropriate stones.

   In the end of the conflict narration the narration rights move to the player who still has stones left. He uses the leftover stones to narrate repercussions of the conflict. One fact of the story costs one stone, as does one stone of a negative trait for another participating character. You all know how these things work.

The above is the simple conflict resolution, to which the following additions apply.

   Using traits is simple: when a character participates in a conflict and has traits with meanings appropriate for the situation, the stones of the trait are added to the player's sum of burned free stones. The trait stones are however not lost, but are returned after the conflict.

   If more than two players participate in the conflict each of the players will narrate in turn with his own stones until only concordant players have stones left, in which case they deal with the repercussions stone by stone, taking turns.

   A player can add a meaning to a color before the resolution by paying a stone of appropriate color and incorporating the change in the narrative. This however signals his intention to the opponent quite strongly.

   If a player uses all of his free stones in one color his is considered a /dramatic/ effort, but only if he had at least one stone in that color in the first place. A dramatic effort cannot lose and will instead tie a non-dramatic effort. If a player uses two of his colors the effort is /heroic/ and will tie even dramatic efforts. By adding further colors the player can force ties against even greater efforts. For this purpose stones of otherwise inappropriate colors are counted.

   A player may discard one stone from his character's trait after the fists are opened. This is considered a /sacrifice/ by that character. The narration will include the character sacrificing something and the player may use that traits of that color for any meaning of the color in that conflict.

   A trait might have a negative impact on a given conflict, in which case it may be counted in the other player's favor. Such negative traits may come from losing conflicts and cannot of course be sacrificed. They can be removed as a repercussion of a conflict, though.

The Ambassador has traits in the same way other characters do, but in His case they are much more abstract. The Ambassador is always considered to be present in any conflict that happens in the frozen waste, and his traits most likely manifest through his minions. Otherwise the Ambassador is played like the other characters, in accordance with the later rules about scene resolution.

Next up is the general lay of the game, I guess.
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Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

Darcy Burgess

First time entrant, but I love working under a deadline.  This may be good.

Burgess-san, having left his ingredients at home, enters the ring a little late!  Will it be a tasty dish?  or merely a disappointing mish-mash?  Only the chairman can decide.

Isolation Therapy (Working Title)

Premise: all characters are prisioners in a collective hallucination, sent there to atone for their (perceived) sins.  The hallucination is a product of childrens' dreams.  Although all characters occupy the same prison, they do not interact -- think of it as parallel universes.

Goal: to escape the prison and redeem yourself in the minds of the children.

Style: primarily narritavist, with gamist elements for flavour (cool fiddly bits to pass around the table, etc.)

Notable Features:
- competitive (one player will be the "winner")
- no single GM
- little or no pre-game prep required (great for "fill-in" games)

How the heck does this tie in with the Ingredients?  For that matter, how is this Fantasy?
- fantasy (def): the creative imagination, unrestrained fancy
    The world is strange, surreal, and full of whimsy -- you're in a dream fer pete's sake!

- island (def): something/someone resembling an island, especially in being isolated and surrounded.
   The "uber-theme" of the game is isolation, that you are alone -- an island.

- dawn: this game will be a race against time -- each character will only have until the next sunrise to escape the prison (island).
- ice: to redeem yourself, you must thaw the mantle of ice that clutches your heart -- to become more like a child.
Dawn and Ice will both be 'scores' that vary as the game progresses.  Essentially, it's "ingredients as victory conditions".

Not enough good things can be said about Jack Aidley, whose work (both on this Iron Chef and Great Ork Gods) provided some excellent jumping off points.  Ingredients as Stats?  Good golly, that's a good idea!  We all stand on the shoulders of giants...

(c)2004 Darcy Burgess
Black Cadillacs - Your soapbox about War.  Use it.


Ota-san wrote:
QuoteLess known, are hanschristiananderson-san...

Aiiee!  Ota-san, you dishonor my axe-murdering Norwegian predecessors by spelling  my name with an "-on" instead of an "-en"!

Only one thing can avenge this slight - I challenge you to a snowball fight!

Snow Day - Snowball Fights

In a Snowball Fight, everyone says what they and their Ice Monsters are doing, then everyone rolls either a Reality Check or Fantasy Check, and all successful actions take place.  When two successful actions directly conflict, Fantasy Checks trump Reality Checks; but otherwise, it goes to the character whose die roll was higher.  While a Kid can do any action that a kid could reasonably do, an Ice Monster can *ONLY* do one of its abilities.

Throwing a snowball at someone requires a Reality Check.  If you're hit, you accumulate 3 Slush Points.  If you have more Slush Points than your age, your Ice Monsters melt, and you're driven from the field of battle.  You can also throw snowballs at an Ice Monster; when an Ice Monster has accumulated more Slush Points than its Ice Monster Power, it melts.

(Going inside for cocoa heals 6 Slush Points; if you drink a thermos filled of cocoa, you also heal 6 slush points.)

When Ice Monsters attack, perhaps by Breathing Fire (for a Fire-Breathing Ice Dragon) or by Chasing Timmy With A Wiffle Bat (for a Big, Mean Frost Troll), the attack is handled just like throwing a snowball.

Since it takes two hands to form a proper snowball, you have to drop anything you're carrying.  It takes a whole turn to scoop up a proper snowball, but if you have a stash of pre-made snowballs you can scoop one up and throw it in the same turn.  Similarly, if someone crafts a snowball for you, they can hand it to you and you can launch it that turn.

If you want to spend a whole second turn after crafting a snowball, you can craft either a Slushball or an Ice-packed Snowball.  Slushballs are particularly humiliating, and they inflict 5 slush points.  Ice-packed snowballs hurt like heck, and if you use one with any adults around, you'll be in Big Trouble...  Ice-packed snowballs don't inflict any Slush Points, but any kid hit by one must immediately make a Reality Check; failure means that their Ice Monsters melt immediately!

(Still to come - Special Rules for directly assaulting Fort Joey, stats for Joey's Gang, rules for Sneaking Out After Bedtime, and Hazards and Perils that you might encounter around the neighborhood.)

Hans Christian Andersen V.
Yes, that's my name.  No relation.

Walt Freitag

Posting late last time wasn't a strategy, it was a scheduling crunch. And history repeats itself: most of the writing for this game is going to be completed during the weekend, if at all. But I don't mind presenting a teaser...


When Shazaman-Yugurovich, Sultan and High-Ranking Amateur Pairs Skater, caught his partner skating with another man, it drove him into a jealous rage. In his fury he made a terrible vow: that each day he would take a new pairs partner, skate with her in a Special Exhibition in the evening, and at dawn, kill her.

As the days went on and the Sultan began to carry out his vow, it became more and more difficult for his Vizier to recruit new partners. Soon, even the Ukrainian coaches learned to refuse the "opportunity" of having their best new talent perform in a Special Exhibition with the Sultan. The day came when the Vizier made his peace with Allah and prepared to tell the Sultan that no partner for the day could be found, knowing that his own head would be forfeit.

But, desperate to save the kingdom and her father's life from Shazaman-Yugurovich's madness, Vizier's faithful daughter Scheherazade volunteered to skate with the Sultan herself. Her father was dismayed, but he did not know that she had conceived a clever plan. Hastily she assembled a small army of professional skaters, costume designers, set builders, musicians, sound engineers, lighting technicians, special effects experts, and Zamboni drivers. Then, when the evening's Special Exhibition was over, she offered to entertain the Sultan with her own presentation. Her aim was to direct dramatic on-ice performances that would fascinate the Sultan, so that he would spare her life to allow the stories to continue. Her survival would depend on the Technical Merit and Presentation of the characters in the show, and on the Sultan being totally enthralled by their tale at the moment dawn, the time for morning prayers, arrived.

Thus begin the famous Thousand and One Arabian Nights ON ICE FAMILY SPECTACULAR.

You will become Scheherazade's characters, as they live magical adventures in a fantastic world, from the smooth icy streets of Baghdad to the smooth icy expanses of the great Desert to the smooth icy bedchambers where ardent princes and irresistible slave girls meet in leaping twirling passion. Keep your blades sharp, because you must use all your skills -- footwork, jumping, spinning, synchronization, spirals, lifts and throws -- to confront fearsome monsters, corrupt courtiers, dangerous djinn, impious infidels, and biased French judges. Most of all, you must make sure the Sultan is entertained by your adventures, or else your tale, and Scheherazade's, will end at dawn.

- Walt
Wandering in the diasporosphere


I'm thinking that Iron Chef Fantasy has become Iron Chef Fantasia.

Like Fantasia, many of these games seem well suited to being enjoyed while in a state of...shall we say...elevated sensory perception...


Man, I thought the penguin pirate idea was weird until I read Walt's idea. You guys are fucked up. (That's a compliment.)

Jonathan Walton

As always, Walt knows how to bring the pain.  Well, bring it, bi-atch.  Ain't none of us intimidated by you and your Iron Game Chef Championship Belt.  It's time to see who's the real King of the Rink, fool.  Let's get ready to RUUMMMMMBBBBLLLLLE!


Y'know, I'm not a big fan of "fantasy", but I suddenly had this vision... of dark hearts, soliced words, stoicked hearts and maladroit visions, black fire and steel, nordic fighters and racial cliches, heads and heart held de-sundry as volumnious strains of METAAAAL strained upon the metallic icy lands... and hence, comes:

The Dance and the Dawn
A romantic shoujo-fantasy fable of the Islands of Ash and Ice, and a Thousand-Stepped Midnight Waltz for Love and Dreams at the Ice Queen's Eternal Court of Infinity.
(working title)

The 3 Guests of the Island of Ash meet the 4 Captives of the Queen of Ice, and are so pledged to dance the Midnight Waltz upon the Ice Queen's court. for three and only three nights. Will they find true love, or be trapped upon the Island of Ice forever?


As you watch the night sky start to gray over what appears to be a sea of clouds, you recall how you ended up on top of the icy slopes of Mount Fuji. As a ronin, you were use to a hard and lonely life, traveling from village to village looking for whatever employment you could find. So naturally, when you were approached this time you quickly accepted the offer, though not realizing exactly what you were getting into. Now you find yourself on top of this cold mountain preparing for an assault on the mountain witch along side a group of men you neither know nor want to know. Men who all carry a similiar story as yourself.

Who knows what the dawn of this day will bring? How will desperate men uncapable of trust react when their only means of survival is to rely on each other?

The Mountain Witch
An rpg by timfire
--Timothy Walters Kleinert

Mike Holmes

Quote from: Fukui-sanAnd there he is, last competition's champion, Walt Freitag. And what's this preposterous concoction he's promising to cook up for us? Will it perhaps be a multi-layer delight similar to Extreme Vengeance (only with figure skating instead of actors?) Or will it be something else entirely? Will the end result be a playable avant gard game, or an unapproachably pompous monstrosity? Freitag-san has the skills if anyone does - will it work out?

And the entrants are piling high. Burgess-san, another relative unknown has joined. The active newcomer Dev-san has joined the chase (obviously preying on the chairman's well known fetish for heavy metal). And timfire-san of enters with yet another west pacific rim cuisine entry? Will the high number of entries from this tradition work for or against the chefs in question?

Hansechristianandersen-san should realize the honor that the mispelling in question represents. Ota made the same mistake with Jared Sorensen on his first encounter. Mayhap this is a good omen? Only time will tell!
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