Friday, June 30, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #1 + more!

Hello there. And welcome to the final post in my Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels listing. I hope you’ve enjoyed counting down some of the best platformer levels of all time, and counting down the thirty days until the Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy comes out. I’ll be playing the game later today. I can’t wait. I hope it’s as good as the originals! I may even review it some time. We’ll see.

Before I reveal what my favourite Crash Bandicoot level of all time is, here’s a recap from #30 to #2…

#30 - Heavy Machinery (Crash 1, Level 18)

#29 - Snow Go (Crash 2, Level 2)

#28 - Bone Yard (Crash 3, Level 4)

#27 - Jungle Rollers (Crash 1, Level 2)

#26 - Piston It Away (Crash 2, Level 21)

#25 - The Lab (Crash 1, Level 29)

#24 - High Time (Crash 3, Level 13)

#23 - Night Fight (Crash 2, Level 23)

#22 - Road Crash (Crash 3, Level 14)

#21 - Crash Dash (Crash 2, Level 5)

#20 - N. Sanity Beach (Crash 1, Level 1)

#19 - Dino Might! (Crash 3, Level 11)

#18 - Native Fortress (Crash 1, Level 9)

#17 - Double Header (Crash 3, Level 15)

#16 – Boulders (Crash 1, Level 4)

#15 - Cold Hard Crash (Crash 2, Level 18)

#14 - Midnight Run (Crash 3, Level 10)

#13 - Castle Machinery (Crash 1, Level 27)

#12 - Eggipus Rex (Crash 3, Level 32)

#11 - Rolling Stones (Crash 1, Level 7)

#10 - Toad Village (Crash 3, Level 1)

#9 – Upstream (Crash 1, Level 5)

#8 - Bear It (Crash 2, Level 8)

#7 - Hog Ride (Crash 3, Level 8)

#6 - Hog Wild (Crash 1, Level 8)

#5 - Turtle Woods (Crash 2, Level 1)

#4 - Orient Express (Crash 3, Level 3)

#3 - Hang Eight (Crash 2, Level 3)

#2 - Hang'em High (Crash 3, Level 7)

So! Here we are! What is my favourite Crash Bandicoot level of all time? It happens to be…

#1 Un-Bearable
Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 15 (of 27)
Level Type: Chase
Random Fact: This is the only Chase level in the entire series where you also ride an animal. The level is called “Escape From Papa Bear” in Japan, which confirms that the large bear running after you is in fact Polar’s dad and possibly his relatives too?
Imagine this. You’ve played Crash 1. You’ve beaten Boulders. You’ve played through the other Chase levels. They were fun.

You then play Crash 2. You’ve beaten Crash Dash. You’ve noticed that the Chase levels in Crash 2 are similar but longer chase levels to the ones in Crash 1.

You then get to Level 15. But something’s different. It’s not a big lump of rock chasing you, oh no. It’s a MASSIVE polar bear!

You run away from this magnificent beast, with even more adrenaline pumping through you than the other chase levels. That rock was a pain in the butt to deal with, but this bear makes the whole thing so much more exhilarating.

The level is nearly over. But what’s this? Is that Polar, from the 8th level “Bear It”. Seriously?? I’m going to ride Polar whilst running away from a bear ten times his size?? This is insane!!

For me, Un-Bearable is the most fun Crash Bandicoot level of all time. I love Chase levels. I love riding the Hog, Polar and Pura in each game. But for me, Un-Bearable combining the Chase levels whilst riding Polar is just the most fun I’ve ever had in a Crash Bandicoot game. The only problem is that that part of the level is too short. Otherwise, the whole level is brilliant in its design, and it’s clever in the way it throws the player right off, when they expect another rock chase level but instead get the massive polar bear chase instead. It’s just genius. And so much fun! And is my favourite Crash Bandicoot level of all time.

And this is what Un-Bearable looks like in the Remaster!



So there we have it! If you’ve been following this listing every day for the last month I thank you. I hope you’ve enjoyed the list, and by all means, tell me what your favourite Crash Bandicoot levels are!

Here are some nerdy things that I tend to do when I do a big listing…

Most Popular Level Styles
5x Jungle Levels (Turtle Woods #5, Rolling Stones #11, N. Sanity Beach #20, Night Fight #23, Jungle Rollers #27)

3x Chase Levels (Un-Bearable #1, Boulders #16, Crash Dash #21)

3x Prehistoric Levels (Eggipus Rex #12, Dino Might! #19, Bone Yard #28)

2x Arabian Town Levels (Hang'em High #2, High Time #24)

2x Factory Levels (Castle Machinery #13, Heavy Machinery #30)

2x Medieval Levels (Toad Village #10, Double Header #17)

2x Pura Levels (Orient Express #4, Midnight Run #14)

2x Race Levels (Hog Ride #7, Road Crash #22)

2x Snow Levels (Cold Hard Crash #15, Snow Go #29)

2x Stream Level (Hang Eight #3, Upstream #9)

Those level styles account for 25 of the 30 games in the list!







As you can see, I was quite impartial when choosing my favourite levels. It wasn’t completely intentional, I genuinely do believe these are my thirty favourite levels. I’m surprised Crash 1 had so many levels in the list to be honest, because overall, it’s my least favourite Crash game by some margin. Crash 3 is my favourite though, but Crash 2 is nearly as good and sometimes I do think, do I prefer it? But then reaffirm to myself that Crash 3 is the best.

In play-through order – here are the levels in order of which you would play them if you were to play Crash 1, 2 then 3 in order. Note that secret levels are at the end of the games, even if you can play them earlier.

Crash Bandicoot
#1 N. Sanity Beach (#20)
#2 Jungle Rollers (#27)
#4 Boulders (#16)
#5 Upstream (#9)
#7 Rolling Stones (#11)
#8 Hog Wild (#6)
#9 Native Fortress (#18)
#18 Heavy Machinery (#30)
#27 Castle Machinery (#13)
#29 The Lab (#25)
Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
#1 Turtle Woods (#5)
#2 Snow Go (#29)
#3 Hang Eight (#3)
#5 Crash Dash (#21)
#8 Bear It (#8)
#15 Un-Bearable (#1)
#18 Cold Hard Crash (#15)
#21 Piston It Away (#26)
#23 Night Fight (#23)
Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
#1 Toad Village (#10)
#3 Orient Express (#4)
#4 Bone Yard (#28)
#7 Hang'em High (#2)
#8 Hog Ride (#7)
#10 Midnight Run (#14)
#11 Dino Might! (#19)
#13 High Time (#24)
#14 Road Crash (#22)
#15 Double Header (#17)
#32 Eggipus Rex (#12)

 
Level Numbers Featured Multiple Times
Very nerdy, I know, but these levels are featured across multiple games:
Level 1 – 3 times – (N. Sanity Beach,  Turtle Woods, Toad Village)
Level 2 – 2 times (Jungle Rollers, Snow Go)
Level 3 – 2 times (Hang Eight, Orient Express)
Level 4 – 2 times (Boulders, Bone Yard)
Level 5 – 2 times (Upstream, Crash Dash)
Level 7 – 2 times (Rolling Stones, Hang'em High)
Level 8 – 3 times (Hog Wild, Bear It, Hog Ride)
Level 15 – 2 times (Un-Bearable, Double Header)
Level 18 – 2 times (Heavy Machinery, Cold Hard Crash)

…and that’s the end! Thank you so much, if you read towards the end. I’m not sure when I’ll be back to do a website post, but subscribe to my site if you wish, or give me a “like” on Facebook below or follow me on Twitter, to keep up to date with what I do next! I’m still doing radio shows so I’m always busy! Until next time, take care!


To go back to #2 click here.

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #2

#2 Hang‘em High

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 7 (of 32)
Level Type: Arabian Town
Random Fact: The three Arabian levels in Crash 3 are actually prime numbers - Levels 7, 13 and 23. Also, they all have a coloured gem in each one, strange really, because there’s only five in the whole game!
It might be a surprise to people that one of my favourite Crash levels is Hang ‘Em High. My kids have started playing Crash over the last few months, and they’ve both struggled with this level (bless them, they are eight and four years old). But for me, I love this level from start to finish. I love jumping on all of the white bed sheet things, the hanging parts (especially when you are Aku Aku’s invincibility moment, when you glide across the panels really fast), I love the bad guys flailing his sword at you like a madman, and the death animation if he hits you too which is hilarious. It’s just from top to bottom an incredibly fun level.

Well that’s it now! The countdown is over! Tomorrow Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy comes out, and I’ll be revealing what is my favourite Crash Bandicoot level of all time! Come back tomorrow to find out!
Friday.
If you missed #3 click here.

Join me tomorrow to find out what the final entry is in this listing!

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #3

#3 Hang Eight

Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 3 (of 27)
Level Type: Stream
Random Fact: It can be argued that this level is the first ever Time Trial level in Crash history – to turn the level into a Time Trial you have to run through around a third of the level (just before the jet board) quick enough to activate the timer.
Another random fact - it’s also the first level in Crash history to have parts of a level both on land and on a vehicle in the same level!

The stream levels in Crash 1 were cool, and the music was great. But the Stream levels in Crash 2 were so much better. They were longer, they were cooler, they were harder too but in a good way. The music in Hang Eight is just as good as the music in, say, Upstream in Crash 1, but it’s a completely different style of music, it’s more surf rock. It’s damn cool anyway. And doing the timer adds a layer of speed to the level never experienced before in a Crash game, obviously, not until Crash 3 anyway. But it’s more than that. Hang Eight has some awesome bad guys to deal with, obstacles to avoid, and going on the jet board is so much fun. The bonus levels are great too. For me, Hang Eight is simply one of the best platformer levels of all time, and it’s one of the levels I’m most excited to play in the Remaster on Friday.
If you missed #4 click here.

For #2 click here.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #4

#4 Orient Express

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 3 (of 32)
Level Type: Pura
Random Fact: It is believed that the inspirations of this level (and Midnight Run) are from the south end of the Great Wall, somewhere in the Jinshangling section. This is because of the look of the watchtowers, which have similar looking sections in real life in that location!
I do love the Pura levels, like a I love all of the animal riding levels. The original Pura level is simply a thrill ride you’ll never forget, or at least, it was when I played it as a kid in the late nineties! As I mentioned in “Midnight Run”, the other Pura level that got to #14 in my list, I do love the fact that you can run even faster with Pura, in comparison to the Hog in Crash 1 and Polar in Crash 2. And I absolutely love doing the time trials for these levels too, they go incredibly fast and create a thrill that isn’t there in any other Crash levels. They’re just so much fun to play and Pura is absolutely adorable as well.
If you missed #5 click here.

For #3 click here.

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Monday, June 26, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #5

#5 Turtle Woods

Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 1 (of 27)
Level Type: Jungle
Random Fact: To get the blue gem in this level you need to break ZERO boxes. To my knowledge, this is the only level in the entire series that you get rewarded for nothing!
If you were to ask me what my favourite of the “first” levels of the Crash trilogy were, then it’s “Turtle Woods”. Comparatively for quick reference, Crash 3’s “Toad Village” got to #10 in my list and Crash 1’s “N. Sanity Beach” got to #20 in my list. And, like always, it’s hard to point out why I prefer this level the most. I must try and explain though, that’s why you’re here.

I love that despite the fact that this level is relatively easy, it has some difficult layers to it. Like, getting the blue gem. Getting NO boxes, it’s gotta be easy right? It’s not! There’s a part of the level where there’s around 8 boxes creating a wall and not hitting them when jumping over them is a skill in itself. You’re not allowed checkpoints because they’re boxes too. See what I mean? I also love the secret part of this level. I played through this level many many times when I was a kid and had no idea it was there. Little secrets make games so much more fun when you discover them. And “Turtle Woods”, for the first level in a video game, has many.
If you missed #6 click here.

For #4 click here.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #6

#6 Hog Wild

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 8 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Hog
Random Fact: This is the first level in Crash history where you don’t control Crash but the animal he’s riding! He rides the Hog in Crash 1, Polar in Crash 2, and Pura and Baby-T in Crash 3!
Strange, the last three entries have been the eighth level of the three Crash games! Anyway, again, I know I’ve said it a lot already but this level is a CLASSIC. Genuinely, I think those people playing Crash 1 back in 1996 probably never saw this level coming. The first seven levels of the game (one being the first boss, Papu Papu) have you control Crash, and, even if they are very different levels in style, NOTHING compares to what’s to come when you get to Hog Wild. It must have been such a shock to those players! The level’s music is also legendary, and to be fair, considering it’s the first level where you control an animal in the series, the level design is pretty good. Crash 1 suffers with its controls at times but “Hog Wild” is pretty much spot on.
If you missed #7 click here.

For #5 click here.

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #7

#7 Hog Ride

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 8 (of 32)
Level Type: Race
Random Fact: The four different “Race” levels in Crash 3 are at different times of the day. This one is at midday, “Orange Asphalt” is at sunset, “Road Crash” which was #22 in my list is late at night and then the secret level “Area 51?” is overnight when aliens come to play!
Ah, “Hog Ride”. The level so famous it’s actually the cover of the game itself. I remember Crash 3 coming out, having played Crash 1 before (believe it or not Crash 2 was the last Crash game I played out of the three), and seeing the motorbike on the cover, not knowing if Crash actually drove a motorbike in the game or if it was just a “cool” cover.

As you can imagine, when I got to level 8 in the game, I was so chuffed to find that it was a motorbike race level! And in fairness, the motorbike levels don’t disappoint at all. Sure, the controls are a little clunky, but they’re meant to be, I think. This isn’t a racing game, this is a platformer, so the motorbike levels can be excused for not being genuine racers. It’s all fun and games after all! I’ve placed “Hog Ride” as my favourite Race level, not because it’s the easiest but because it’s the most accessible of them all, in the end, it’s the first you play and the track itself is lots of fun! It’s just truly one of the most memorable Crash levels of all time.
If you missed #8 click here.

For #6 click here.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #8

#8 Bear It

Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 8 (of 27)
Level Type: Polar
Random Fact: Before you enter this level, Polar sits outside of the portal. If you jump on him enough times, you’ll get ten extra free lives! It only works once though.

I love the Polar levels! And they’re all so very well designed too, a large improvement on the “Hog” levels from Crash 1. Polar is the cutest animal too, more so than Pura I find. The first Polar level, “Bear It”, is definitely up there in the best and most memorable levels in Crash history. The music is super cute, the ice is slippy to provide some difficulty and the bad guys lifting the blocks up and down can be a pain too. But it’s not that hard really, and the difficulty that does exist adds to the fun. “Bear It” is simply one of the best Crash levels in the trilogy, and very few people would say otherwise.
If you missed #9 click here.

For #7 click here.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #9

#9 Upstream

Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 5 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Stream
Random Fact: This is the first Stream level in the entire series! Stream levels were expanded on for Crash 2.
I do love this level a lot. I love jumping from lily pad to lily pad, there’s something free flowing about that experience when you do it for the first time. And even though it’s the first level, there’s some difficult parts in it, especially again, if you’re playing through it for the first time. But the best thing about this level? The music. I find myself humming along to it every time I play it, it’s such a peaceful track but it also has some good beats to it too. It’s just one of the best designed levels in Crash 1, no doubt about it.
If you missed #10 click here.

For #8 click here.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #10

#10 Toad Village

Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 1 (of 32)
Level Type: Medieval
Random Fact: The chicken at the beginning of the level can’t be defeated… unless you come back after unlocking the Bazooka and using it!
Kicking off the Top 10 is the first level of Crash 3. To many people this was the first Crash Bandicoot level and it is one of the best. It’s probably the easiest of the first levels of Crash 1, 2 and 3 too I’d say. The music, when it hits me when I play the game for the first time in a long time, just fills me with such joy. Also, the Medieval levels consistently have the funniest death scenes in the entire series and you get introduced to a lot of them here. The frog one is probably the best in the first level, when you get kissed by the frog, and turn it into a lab assistant. It’s just hilarious!

If you missed #11 click here.

For #9 click here.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #11

#11 Rolling Stones
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 7 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Jungle
Random Fact: In the prototype of Crash 1, there were POW crates in only three levels, this being the main one. A POW crate acted like a firework and blew up nearby crates (similar to a TNT crate), but doesn’t harm Crash in any way. The idea was dropped in the actual release of Crash 1.
I can’t put my finger on what it is about the large rolling stones in Crash 1 and Crash 2, but I find the levels really entertaining. Dodging the large rolling stones is just simply a joy, and because “Rolling Stones” has the most in any Crash level, I just find this level a hoot. “Jungle Rollers”, level 2 (which got to #27 in my list) is a very similar level to this, but the main difference is the difficulty. For me, the two levels aren’t particularly that hard, as I find dodging the stones to be quite easy. So because this has more, I definitely like it the most. There’s nothing more else to say really, it’s just a fun level early on in the game!

If you missed #12 click here.

For #10 click here.

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Monday, June 19, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #12

#12 Eggipus Rex
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 32 (of 32)
Level Type: Prehistoric
Random Fact: This is the only Time Trial level to have Wumpa Fruit, and therefore, you could collect a load of Wumpa Fruit, restart the level, and get even more Wumpa Fruit endlessly to get 99 lives!
Eggipus Rex is actually the only secret level to feature in my Top 30. That’s not to say the other secret levels aren’t good, I just prefer many of the regular levels more. But Eggipus Rex is incredible fun. Riding Baby T in Crash 3 is a really enjoyable experience, and in Dino Might (#19 in my Top 30) you only ride him for a brief part of the level. So when you basically ride Baby T in the entire of Eggipus Rex, the level naturally becomes so much fun. There’s a lovely feeling playing this level, not only because it’s a secret level, but also because you don’t feel under any pressure to deliver the goods, due to a lack of enemies and the fact that it’s actually quite a nice pace too. That’s not to say there’s no difficulty here, there’s some, but it only really plays a big factor in the actual Time Trial mode, when you’re trying to get a fast time.

If you missed #13 click here.

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Sunday, June 18, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #13

#13 Castle Machinery
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 27 (of 31)
Level Type: Factory
Random Fact: This level, by a large margin, has the most extra lives that are not in crates in Crash history. There are 27 lives in a secret area all in one place (see the picture below)
Considering how hard Crash Bandicoot 1 is, you’d expect that Level 27 would be one of the hardest in the entire game. And while there are some very tricky parts in the level, the truth is, the level is quite easy. More than that though, this level is so much FUN. All of the platforms and steam machines are great to jump on, it honestly feels at times like a Sonic level. The enemies are few and the difficult obstacles aren’t that hard to get around. This level apparently was one of the last levels Naughty Dog created for the game, so maybe they just thought it’d be a good mercy level for the player. It’s a hoot, that’s for sure!

If you missed #14 click here.

For #12 click here.

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #14

#14 Midnight Run
Game: Crash Bandicoot 3 Warped!
Level: 10 (of 32)
Level Type: Pura
Random Fact: This is only one of two levels with Pura the tiger in. Despite what many people thought, Pura is a male tiger!
It’s such a shame they only did two Pura levels in Crash 3, they were both so much fun. Of course, the formula had been done before, first with the hog in Crash 1 and Polar in Crash 2. By Crash 3 they got the formula spot on but added the Great Wall of China theme to it instead. So many obstacles to manoeuvre around, and you can even speed Pura up, something you couldn’t do in Crash 1 and 2. And on top of all of this, Pura the tiger is just so damn cute! I always look forward to playing these Coco levels, it almost makes up for the horrible jet ski levels!

If you missed #15 click here.

For level #13 click here.

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Friday, June 16, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #15

#15 Cold Hard Crash
Game: Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
Level: 18 (of 27)
Level Type: Snow
Random Fact: This level has the most levels in all of the first three Crash Bandicoot games – a whopping 155!
This is supposedly the longest level in the game, but it’s certainly one of the hardest. Going through the level from start to finish isn’t too bad, but it’s when you try and get the clear gem to get all 155 crates where this level becomes SUPER tough. And I mean, SUPER tough. I pull my (beard) hair out trying to get every single box on this level at times. It’s so easy to miss boxes at many parts of this level, and the only way to get every single box on it is by going through the death route (which is really hard) and then not going on the lift at the end of the section, but turning back round again and using the original lift that you came from. Getting through all of those Nitro boxes not once, but twice is just HELL.

I know I’ve put down that this is my fifteenth favourite level, and it is lots of fun, mainly due to its length, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t frustrating too! It’s a brilliant level and very well thought out by Naughty Dog.

If you missed #16 click here.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

My Top 30 Favourite Crash Bandicoot Levels: #16

#16 Boulders
Game: Crash Bandicoot
Level: 4 (of 31, including boss battles)
Level Type: Chase
Random Fact: The level is playable in the game Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, also made by Naughty Dog!

This is the first ever chase level in Crash Bandicoot history. It’s legendary, it’s iconic and is the most recycled Crash level of all time. Crash Bandicoot chase levels are simply some of the most fun and exhilarating moments in platform gaming history. That’s not to say that the first one is the best of course. The controls for Crash 1 aren’t the best and it makes for added difficulty in the Chase levels. But it’s still lots of fun, and I remember vividly playing this level for the first time and was completely on edge, running away from this massive boulder, and thinking video games can’t get better than this. It’s just so much fun!

If you missed #17 click here.

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