Beyond Good and Evil 2 is online world of space pirates

Oh look at that, Beyond Good and Evil 2 [official site] has been shown off at E3 (sans ampersand), featuring anthropomorphic monkeys, criminal pigs, Hindu and Buddhist temples projecting neon lights, angry space police with silly missiles, steering wheels in the shape of skulls and quite a lot more. It’s an explosive trailer and you should probably see it for yourself so get down there and SORT IT OUT.

Woof. It’s a pity there’s only a cinematic and no in-game footage. Lest we forget, we’ve been offered a cinematic trailer for this very title 9 years ago as well as some brief not-very-real “gameplay” footage. But it looks like the story has radically changed since then. It now takes place in a “profoundly multicultural world” before Jade, the hero from the first game, has been born and follows a group of space pirates in “System 3”. Here’s what Ubisoft are saying:

System 3, as it turns out, is a place where limited resources are viciously warred over by various private enterprises. The struggle for survival amid a rich milieu of evolved species and diverse cultures from Old Earth creates an ideal environment for space piracy, as a new generation of captains rise up to carve out a piece of the galaxy for themselves.

As you rise from lowly pirate to legendary captain, you’ll traverse System 3 at light speed to explore freely on your own or with friends. Presenting its solar system as a massive, seamless online environment, Beyond Good and Evil 2 gives players the chance to dive into the foundations of the franchise’s universe while traveling between diverse planets and moons in search of adventure.

So, multiplayer!? I suppose so. But it is still unclear how that will function, or how anything will function for that matter, or how much of the actual game has even been made – where are the moving parts? What do you do? Creator Michel Ancel has asked fans to sign up to a “Space Monkey Program” so they can “help by sharing ideas and feedback” – but feedback on what exactly? A single CGI trailer? Even if the trailer does present a wonderfully created world, at this stage I would have expected at least something more concrete. But others will likely be satisfied by sci-fi explosions and grappling-hook hands.

You can see more about the characters and story on the official site, including some pics of Knox the “Punk-ass hybrid monkey who is always looking for trouble” and Shani, who’s described as “Badass biker and ingenious mechanic of Somalian ancestry”. There’s also some bits on the cityscapes of the game including the huge Ganesha statue complete with holographic headband.

It’s been a long wait for fans of the original, regardless, which was released 14 years ago. And this industry has taught us that we should be naturally cautious about any game that long in the pipes. But let’s just hope Ubisoft doesn’t turn it into an icon-clearing open world, eh? LET’S HOPE.

94 Comments

  1. Pich says:

    Once you strip out the marketing-speak, it just means the game has co-op.

  2. Ejia says:

    My computer crashed in the middle of the trailer which I am going to put down to the horrible sweary monkey.

    But oh my, I don’t like this online bit, not at all. I DO like space pirates, though. Hopefully this turns out more like The Last Guardian (good, but flawed) than DNF (why did we wait for this?).

  3. Paradukes says:

    I really wish I could have played the original, but even after repeated attempts over the years, I just cannot get the damned thing to work on a modern system…

    • Andrew says:

      You can do it, I believe in you! I replayed it last year on Win 10.

      As an alternative, you can play GameCube version on Dolphin, if you OK with that sort of stuff.

      • baud001 says:

        I even played it for the first time last year on Win 10. It was a good game, but I think I would have appreciated more if I hadn’t played a handful of open-world games since its initial release.

        On the other hand, I really did not enjoyed the characters in the trailer. I mean, going from an altruistic wildlife photographer “Punk-ass hybrid monkey” thief?

    • Crafter says:

      For what it is worth, I find it to be a great game but a bit overappreciated.

      The storytelling for exemple is pretty weak and very manichean. A shame, it could have easily been way more interesting with such a good core idea.

  4. turth says:

    Looks dope fam

  5. Stijn says:

    I am very happy that there’s a good chance this will actually be released now, but I’m not really getting the same magical feeling that I got from the first game from this trailer. On the other hand, Michel Ancel makes nice things. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt, but I do hope future trailers/info have more of the original’s strengths in them.

  6. kud13 says:

    oh no. I missed the online bit in the conference. I guess I should not be surprised, Ubi is all about multi-player.

    Still, perhaps it might be possible to play offline? If the game is actually story-focused, that should be the case, right?

    • LeBob says:

      Ubisoft has been slowly moving towards online-only through multiplayer games. Main reason being their fear of piracy.

      At the conference, they kept using the words “seamless multiplayer”. I don’t expect it to be any different for BGE2. Seamless is just another term for “always online” singleplayer experience that can easily translate to multiplayer.

      Just my guess though.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      That raised an eyebrow with me as well but as I’m not sure multiplayer is what I want out of this series, but:

      “Play the adventure by yourself or with friends in a vast and seamless online playground.”

      This suggests it’s optional co-op + open world.

  7. Jstn says:

    I feel like this was A Different Game (TM) that Ubisoft took and said, “Let’s make it Beyond Good and Evil 2! I mean, pigs, right?”

    And since when is a 2 appended to a prequel? BG&E2 is set long before BG&E1? And I guess the 14-year cliffhanger is destined to never be answered?

    I feel as though we were given family-friendly, fun, full of heart and humor The Empire Strikes Back in 2003, and we’ve all waited for 14 years to find out what happened to Han, only to have Return of the Jedi skipped in favor of a tangentially-related gritty prequel where the characters must meet a quota of swear words in every line because this is a “serious” story.

    :(

    • Premium User Badge

      Nauallis says:

      Hmm, I’d watch that. Sounds better from you than the drivel that was Episode 7.

      • Ralsto says:

        “I hate this thing so much that I wish it was replaced with something else I hate because I am edgy beyond the point of rationality”

        • modzero says:

          This is a thread of people being angry at thing being called “2” instead of, I dunno, “0” or something.

          I for one wouldn’t call this “gritty,” and BG&E was pretty dark in more than one spot. Yeah, this one is quite a bit more sweaty and the gangsta ape is… let’s call it “insensitive,” but to me it’s very recognisably BG&E.

    • Doctor K says:

      I came all the way down to the comments section to make the point you did, and you’ve already gone and made it. This absolutely looks like they wanted to make a game about space pirates, realized that new brands are scary, and just slapped an old title on it.

      You know, kind of like Bethesda and Prey.

    • Loimographia says:

      They dropped the ball on calling it ‘Before Good and Evil’ as a prequel…

    • sillythings says:

      Thank you! Yeah, it absolutely does not make sense to call this “2” if it’s a prequel. Don’t even get me started about how visually incongruent it looks as a continuation of the first game.

      I hate this and I think I’d have preferred it just be called “Beyond Good and Evil”. It’d still have been disappointing, but it would have been a clearer message of “Hey, please forget about the first game, enjoy this totally different thing instead.” Like Prey, except not good.

    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      Let’s just be happy that *someone* in the gaming industry still remembers what number comes after 1. Plenty of modern devs would have just fucking called it “Beyond Good & Evil” again.

    • thekelvingreen says:

      It seems obvious to me that as a prequel this should have been called Before Good and Evil, but what do I know?

  8. Turkey says:

    Best trailer of E3 so far. Too bad they couldn’t just make another Zelda-like.

  9. LearningToSmile says:

    Well, that IS a pretty good trailer.

    I’m moderately hyped.

  10. Frank says:

    What on earth was that? So sweary and murdery and humorless. This does not look like what I’ve been waiting for.

  11. Spuzzell says:

    I’m not totally sure about the sweary monkey.

    I don’t hate that aspect as much as I feared from reading about it, and good lord I want to dive into that game world a lot.

    I’m glad however they didn’t base BGE2 on Hilys and Jade, which I’m sure isn’t a widely shared opinion. I would love to go back to that setting, but not until the third game. Clean that palate, Michel.

    So, 2030 sometime.

    • Sound says:

      Agreed, regarding the weirdness of the swearing monkey. It didn’t match the tone, imo.

      Also agreed that it’s good that they’re willing to set down the old characters. IMO, if an IP can capture the feel of a predecessor title, then character continuity isn’t necessary. Personally, I wish more stuff(especially TV & movies) would take the anthology approach, and play looser with the “main characters”. If a setting, premise, and aesthetic is worth exploring, then EXPLORE IT!

      • sillythings says:

        That’s fair, I approve of anthology IPs and I mean, it’s what Ubisoft does with Far Cry. It’s more about the overall gameplay and mood than characters and stories. However, the first Beyond Good And Evil ended on a cliffhanger so I don’t feel it’s is suited for that kind of treatment? I mean, lack of plot closure is the last reason I’m upset this new game, but still.

  12. haldolium says:

    Why the fuck does that motherfucking monkey has to swear every 5 seconds?

    Also is Swiss chocolate really a thing in 30xx??

    Great trailer, except for the unnecessary blunt script. Doesn’t seem very close to what the first BG&E was however… well, its Ubisoft. I’m sure I stop caring for minor details like that the second I have to collect all the items on the map.

  13. Stevostin says:

    This… is… really… charming.

    No issue with icon clearing here, provided it’s enjoyable all along. Icon clearing it’s just a way to organize progression.

  14. Caiman says:

    Very disappointed with the vibe they’re going for. I guess it’s exactly what I should have expected: BG&E as reinterpreted by modern Ubisoft.

  15. coldvvvave says:

    I hope they keep the swear-level through the whole game. Every dialogue. Every item description. Every menu option. Every console command. Every game file. Everything should have at least one “fuck” in it.

  16. horrorgasm says:

    Holy shit, that is the absolute cringiest thing I’ve seen in a while.

    • Menthalion says:

      You must have missed the Lawbreaders beta then..

      I agree fully though, this is all mouth but no heart, the antithesis of BG&E.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      Yeah, I know, right? I actually assumed everyone here was being sarcastic, but I’m slowly realising that they are serious when they say that was good…

      I mean it was very French in that quirky, not actually very endearing style that ruined Alien: Resurrection (to give one example). Like a sort of forced edgy funky something something.

      Very pretty to look at but I can’t imagine sitting through hours and hours of that sort of stuff.

  17. beleester says:

    I think there’s been a mistake. The title says “Beyond Good and Evil 2”, but the trailer was clearly for Grand Theft Titanfall.

  18. Holderist says:

    Those CGI dumplings looked really tasty.

  19. Unknown says:

    “Punk-ass hybrid monkey who is always looking for trouble”

    Oh god this is some Poochie the Rapping Dog shit.

    • April March says:

      This is an excellent opportunity to do the thing from that XKCD comic and change it to “punk ass-hybrid monkey”. Ew.

    • durrbluh says:

      So *this* will be the real story behind how Poochie died while returning to his home planet. It all makes sense now.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      Remember kids… always recycle… TO THE EXTREME!!!!

      Agreed, like Poochie but they have rastafied him another 200-300% in this case.

  20. April March says:

    It’s weird how much that is like BG&E while also being completely unlike it. Can you say gritty reboot?

    Though I must say, I like how un-European that world is. I know it’s just baiting for people like me, but wow.

    • JarinArenos says:

      Yeah, I’m forcing myself to just look at it as its own thing, separated from BG&E entirely. It might turn out fun in that respect. I could get behind GTA:5th Element here.

  21. Sargonite says:

    Damn it, I shouldn’t have trusted the trailer. It’s a fantastic trailer! But I hate multiplayer, and I do believe games that are sold on their multiplayer suffer in the development of the single-player experience. Too bad.

    Reminds me of Age of Empires Online. Oh look, another beloved franchise that was only resurrected in a way contrary to the spirit of the original.

    I long for the days of games that are uncompromisingly singleplayer, internally focused experiences.

  22. racccoon says:

    “Computer says yes”. anything else i can help you with?

  23. mitthrawnuruodo says:

    Yup… another beloved single-player franchise becomes a multiplayer one. Pass.

  24. Dachannien says:

    Well, I already fucking know I won’t fucking play this fucking game because of fucking Uplay. But I feel like one fucking word sums up that fucking trailer: FUCK

    • d3vilsadvocate says:

      But, it’s got everything we love in games! Ubisoft with their great storytelling and game-making, UPlay with it’s great DRM features, open-world elements which always make a better game, multiplayer which also always makes a better game, and now swearing and boobies!! Yay! I mean it can’t go wrong with swearing and boobies, right??

  25. Kingseeker Camargo says:

    BG&E was one of the games I played with my daughter when she was around 10 years old. It was a game I had loved back in 2003 for being so funny and vibrant and charming, and in my mind it got a whole new bunch of great memories by replaying it with her.

    My daughter is turning 16 this year, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable having her anywhere near that thing I just watched –let alone her 10-year old self.

    I already knew I wasn’t going to like the art style because they had teased plenty about their photo-realistic turn and the gritty atmosphere, but I never imagined it would be this bad. That was a 4 minute long video and the words “fuck”, “fucking”, “fuck me” and “motherfucker” featured a dozen times.

    This is exactly the kind of drivel you’d fear Ubisoft to release in 2017, only worse. I can’t imagine anyone who enjoyed the original not hating this. This is like having a sequel to The Iron Giant be Michael Bay’s Transformers.

    Fuck you, Ubisoft.

    • sillythings says:

      I’m so glad to find people here that feel the same way about this that I do. My Twitter timeline yesterday was just full of people being excited about this and I felt like I was going crazy, being the only one who absolutely hated it.

      Also, to be honest, I think I was too upset about the art style to even notice the amount of swearing, but now that you mention it… Ugh.

      I shouldn’t have hoped for this to ever turn out good considering the company Ubisoft turned into, but they still put out fun, genuine stuff in recent years like Grow Home. However, this is so much worse than I could have expected.

      The only way I’m willing to give this a chance is if they’re actually keeping the “wildlife photography and indexing” mechanic from the first game, but I honestly doubt it would occur to them as something that stood out as a defining feature to fans of the first game, considering how they already scrapped the original’s brilliant and timeless art style.

      • d3vilsadvocate says:

        +1

        There are plenty of people who hate this new approach.

      • J_C says:

        I’m glad I’m not alone with this opinion. Seeing all the people cheering for this makes me so lethargic. I mean, it is good that they are excited and would probably have fun with this, but I also feel that these people don’t even know what made the first game great. Because this trailer has nothing about the charm and character BGE1 had. Yes, the game could be very good, amazing even, but there are so many good games out there, but so few with the charm and character of BGE1. And it is just a damn shame that this game went this way instead of following in the footsteps of the first one.

        Thankfully another game which has a similar status to BGE, Psychonauts will have a proper sequel, not some reinterpreted shit.

    • Pich says:

      I’m sure a 16 yeras old is gonna be fine with the word Fuck.

      • Premium User Badge

        The Borderer says:

        I’m sure most 10 year olds would be too. Most of the kids at my primary school had a basic repertoire of swear words by that age, but we had enough sense not to say them in front of adults.

      • modzero says:

        TBH I wouldn’t have the problem with the swearwords, but the execution is quite a bit your low-key racist uncle going all “hello, fellow kids.”

        I really disagree with (not you) the people who question the art style, though. Not only it’s similar to previous trailers/demos of BG&E2, it really feels like it to me. There’s a balance between being naturalistic and yet vivid and cartoony. BG&E was very much not Mario. That Simon guy linked elsewhere must have not noticed Pey’j’s scar and terrible too small t-shirt, not to mention the general attitude towards life, social norms and everything.

        • sillythings says:

          Hi, I’m that Simon guy. I think you misunderstood my intentions with that example of Mario rendered differently. Mario is a lot more cartoony than Beyond Good and Evil ever was (the body proportions being the most immediately noticeable difference), but it still had a cartoony look and didn’t attempt to render its characters realistically and with lots of detail like some other games at the time did. Which this new game definitely is doing now. Yeah the character designs are still cartoony, but there’s very realistic textures now and lots of details. Which I personally feel doesn’t fit what the original BGAE looked like nearly as well as a visual style similar to Overwatch would have. But hey, if you think it still feels like the same game, then good for you. I’m jealous.

          • modzero says:

            I’m quite close to being sure that it’s the old one that was limited by technology and what the publisher were willing to, erm, publish. Note that even the oldest trailers/demos/whatevers of BG&E2 were definitely in the direction of what’s in this trailer, and while much has changed, the aesthetic didn’t. I mean, snorting a fly?

            And the game itself involved a grumpy, working class pig, slavery and brainwashing, police state and so, so much implied swearing.

    • Guy Montag says:

      Michel Ancel created Rayman (and therefore the Rabbids), and the BG&E series is his passion project. If there’s anyone to reject your argument that this is Ubi forcing vulgar language and a rough art style to further a brand image, it’s him. The original game was steeped in counterculture and populated by ‘wild animals’ in lower class positions, so I’m really confused by anyone being surprised at the politics on display (and calls that it’s a grim reboot, maybe people were blinded by the cartoon-y graphics in the first one, because it was pretty thematically dark, most of the time, maybe the advancement in style is a good thing).

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        Yeah, I mean I can see being caught off-guard by the shift in style, especially visually, but maybe just doing the same thing again with more pixels would not make for a worthy sequel. Given this is clearly a labour of love for Ancel, I’d say give it the benefit of the doubt at least.

    • Laurentius says:

      I 100 % agree. To swap charm and good heart for this sweary drivel, even pseudo realistic graphics is loosing it. Ubisoft is the worst publisher.

    • FFabian says:

      *sigh* prude USians ruining the fun once gain …

  26. Arglebarf says:

    Liked
    Aesthetic: Multi-cultural hodge-podge neither here nor there look to the environment. Very tropical developing world Fifth Element, which I mean as high praise. Good music, too.
    Tone: Funny, irreverent, lovable rogues with crazy action
    Space pirates: Okay.

    Did not like:
    Swears: I have no problem with well-crafted profanity – in its place, but the 12.3 megafucks per second in a trailer for the sequel to a game that was squarely in the “young adult science fiction” genre does not compute
    Pey’j: Uncanny valley nightmare fuel.
    Lack of detail: Another CGI trailer with no gameplay, really?
    Prequel: FINISH THE DAMN CLIFFHANGER BEFORE YOU START NEW SHIT!

    Nervous about
    Online: Ubisoft stated a while back that everything from them was going to have an online component from now on, which seems like a sure-fire way to leech development resources and institute unnecessary feature creep.

    So, I guess I will see everybody for the next CGI trailer in another, what, seven years? Seriously, they should just laugh all the way to the bank with a remake of the original with a modern save mechanic. Resolve the cliffhanger with a spot of DLC, Bob’s your uncle.

  27. Guy Montag says:

    It’s so wildly different than what I was expecting (and looks so fucking inspired) that I’m basically good with whatever Ancel’s got in store.

  28. bill says:

    Oh god… they’ve Warrior-Within-ed Beyond Good and Evil?

    :-(

  29. Joe The Wizard says:

    Man, I’ve never understood the collective love for Beyond Good & Evil. I’ve tried playing through it like 4 or 5 times and never get more than a third of the way through the game. Not to say it’s bad, just to say it never grabbed me and I don’t understand the hype.

    That said, this trailer was very nice looking. Very Luc Besson. The music felt SUPER 90s to me (in a good way). I look forward to reviews. And I really appreciated that Michel Ancel was moved to tears during the Ubisoft show. Seems like a good sign.

  30. CrunK says:

    The Artstyle is pretty cool but the City and the larger Ships are more than a bit inspired by Warhammer 40K, what never is a bad thing.

  31. MartyJ says:

    Like others have stated, I’m absolutely gutted about it being online. I’m crying like Michel was onstage but mine are of sad, spiteful tears. I feel like games are have a massive hard-on for being online now. “Oh, you enjoyed that rich immersive experience with the first game? Well too bad, there’s no room for that when online is the future!”
    … Well if I learned anything from this trailer… FUCK!

  32. Premium User Badge

    pegolius says:

    I’d watch that movie in a heartbeat.

  33. BooleanBob says:

    Oh lord. Fifteen years waiting for a sequel. And it’s a prequel. And the tone has been completely changed. And the focus is online and multiplayer. And it’s an icon mopper.

    Pretty deflating.

  34. thelastpointer says:

    I have mixed feelings.

    I wanted more of the same, and I guess I’m not going to get it.

    On the other hand, the trailer has a Luc Besson feel and cultural mish-mash, which I approve. I also like the gritty style — Overwatch’s blizz-cartoon thing never clicked with me.

    The online thing though… I need more info on the gameplay.

  35. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    I’m excited. I’m not sure about the more realistic art style – the vibrant cartoony visuals were a big part of BG&Es charm – and I have some misgivings about making it multiplayer (though optional co-op only it seems)… and also, yes, prequel seems an odd choice given cliffhangers, but if they can retain and build on the spirit of the original (and with Ancel at the helm there’s no reason to believe they can’t) I think it will be something special. At any rate, this seems like a world I would be interested in visiting.

  36. Serenegoose says:

    Prey 2 looks better every year.

  37. GernauMorat says:

    So. I like the cyber-Hindu aesthetic. I do not like the cringinly awful 90’s attempt at cool. And I really, really do not want multiplayer BGE.

  38. Marclev says:

    WTF, a prequel???

    People have waited since 2003 for a sequel because the original ended on a massive cliff hanger that was never resolved, and they give us a prequel? That hasn’t even got Jade in it?? Who asked for this?!

    As you rise from lowly pirate to legendary captain, you’ll traverse System 3 at light speed to explore freely on your own or with friends.

    Oh I get it. It’s Far Cry: Beyond Good and Evil.

    Talk about crushing disappointment.

  39. tanith says:

    I am really disappointed. Why all the swearing? Why the monster cleavage and jiggle physics? What happened to our beloved characters? What happened to the light-heartedness and humour of the first game?

    I was looking forward to BG&E2 for such a long time. What an incredible let down.

  40. Daymare says:

    A number of people involved in the making of this trailer watched Blomkamp’s Chappie once or twice.

    And/or some Die Antwoord music videos.

  41. Michael Anson says:

    I’m rather surprised nobody mentioned how the ship and the captain’s focus (“true freedom”) mirror Captain Harlock.

  42. rondertaker says:

    oh no the monkey said a bad word and its not the same as the first one!

    this looks fucking cool, i just hope i dont have to wait 5 years for it to get finished.

    • grimdanfango says:

      Couldn’t give a fuck about a few narratively appropriate swears. More like oh no, the dialogue is the cringiest attempt to appeal to “the youth” we’ve ever heard!

      I can’t believe there’s not only a trailer for BG&E 2, not only does it *look* fantastic, but that I can’t bring myself to endure watching it a third time because the writing is so goddamned embarrasingly stupid.

  43. monsieurZb says:

    Soooo… It’s Shaka Ponk, the video game?

    • batraz says:

      I’m pretty sure none of our british nor american friends have heard about this beautiful band, and I fear they don’t fully get the populist vibe of all that exotic crap.
      We have to deal with it : we were once Degas and Debussy, now Besson and Shaka Ponk. What a shame.

  44. geldonyetich says:

    I suspected it was Good & Evil 2 from pretty early into the trailer, largely because of the swine gangster, but everything was so advanced-looking that I entertained the thought it was Shadow Warrior 3 for a moment in that first scene.

    I was happy for them being able to announce Good & Evil 2 was going to come out at last, but the game was so different looking from the first game I couldn’t help but think that this was actually Good & Evil 5 but they were unable to release the last 3 games.

  45. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Not sure with Ubisoft if they would make a game like the original BGAE again.
    Something fun, clever, original, lighthearted and indie?
    They’ll have “online” whatever, Uplay, keep pig and journalist girl for positive coverage and player bait, add lots of useless collectables for length and radio towers for casual gameplay.

  46. GunnerMcCaffrey says:

    Everything about that header image and that trailer make me embarrassed to play video games. Cringeworthy in a way I’d almost forgotten after the early ’90s.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      Not a fan of the header image, which is a little high on the “badditude” but y’all are greatly exaggerating about the trailer. Yeah the swearing might be a bit much, but there was nothing insincere about that trailer. Given the world they’re going for it did not seem out of place. It’s a contrast with the original, sure, but we already knew from earlier teasers that the style and setting would not be the same.

    • Raoul Duke says:

      It’s like they distilled down the pure essence of that bit in Minority Report where Tom Cruise’s jetpack ‘accidentally’ fries hamburgers on a stove and/or the Indiana Jones 4 fridge nuking scene.

  47. mercyRPG says:

    NICE!!! This is the most promising trailer so far, Far Cry 5 being most fun! Wait, that was no realtime polygonZ? Guessed at the beautiful scene, when the ship came out of the clouds.

  48. Chillicothe says:

    That chimp is preeeeeeeeeeeeetty cool…

  49. McCabbe says:

    Surprised no one mentioned Shaka Pok yet…

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