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Level: BtB2009 - The Deadly Sands of Bastet back home search
Author(s): TC14
total rating:8.85 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
Bene 8 8 10 8
Cory 8 8 9 8
Czar 9 9 10 10
dmdibl 9 8 9 9
EssGee 9 9 9 9
eTux 10 9 9 8
Eva 10 9 8 10
Gerty 9 9 9 9
Glouglouton 9 8 9 9
Jack& 9 9 10 9
jawi 10 9 9 8
Jay 10 8 9 9
JesseG 9 9 9 9
Jose 10 9 10 10
Leeth 8 6 9 8
manarch2 8 7 8 8
MichaelP 10 9 8 8
Mman 10 10 9 9
Moonpooka 8 7 7 6
Phil 9 9 10 9
Raymond 10 9 10 9
Relic Hunter 10 9 10 9
Ruben 10 8 9 8
Ryan 10 8 9 8
Samu 10 9 9 9
Shady Croft 9 9 9 9
Shandroid 9 8 9 8
Sutekh 8 8 10 9
TimJ 7 9 9 10
Treeble 10 9 9 9
Xela 10 9 9 9
Zhyttya 8 7 9 8
category averages
(32 reviews)
9.16 8.47 9.09 8.69

Reviewer's comments

"A wonderful surprise this level. Well organized, with all the elements you want on a tomb raiding experience. The layout of the level and the platforming were spot on! And even if simple, the puzzles were great and satisfying to solve. The Enemies and objects could have a bit more love and a boss fight for the last item would be a lovely addiction. Still, great camera work, lovely use of the textures and above all an awesome level to play. Completely recommended" - Leeth (03-Jul-2017)

"What seemed that it would be a boring level it turned out to be amazing. The whole concept is brilliant and i love that each level on the tower has it's own stage of traps and puzzles. Very typical "catacombs" atmosphere, nothing new, but it does not fail to set the right mood. Probably my only complain is the lack of enemies to battle, yes it is a more platformed based level but i always like equilibrium. Really enjoyed the whole concept of the level so i TOTALLY recommend this TRLE." - Zhyttya (03-Jul-2017)

"A quite typical TC14 BtB level here with the usual gameplay design of one hub, several side quests and generally varied and entertaining tasks. All the jump sequences over the swamps, the alternating platforms and the grinders room (even if the timed run can be done without filling the sand gaps, a thing that shouldn't be present in great levels even and especially if the builder is aware of that) are well designed. I also liked the way to get one"unreachable" hourglass... perhaps the only things I didn't like were the mentioned thing in the grinder room, the rather avoidable health losses on drops and that most of the level is very, very linear, without any possibility to explore a bit. There are some objects which are creatively used in this game, but still some rooms are a bit empty and could've needed a bit extra decoration, the enemies are also not a very prominent factor in this game but that's okay. The atmosphere created with those TR 1 textures only is pretty nice, texturing is clean and the lighting is good too and the sand areas blend perfectly into another. Perhaps some of the architecture is a bit too blocky and thus feels a bit simple, though. Overall, as expected from this builder a very competent entry in this competition and definitely one of the best when it comes to gameplay. Found both nicely named secrets in 25 minutes." - manarch2 (22-Jul-2016)

"You have to admire Thibault with what he came up with for this adventure. Don't get me wrong I had a hard time to get through and my top three pet peeves are all in here. Mainly popping up spikes, earthquakes and those platforms almost at the end. It was great to figure out where to go and how to do just that. I know I beta tested this one but it still held his charm playing it at this date. Everything was done to a high standard, so chapeau T." - Gerty (22-Apr-2016)

"You will accomplish a lot more than you think you would in this level. This level throws challenge after challenge at you and yet I never found it overdone. Just the right difficulty level for me. Enemies don't play a major role in this level and some textures seemed a bit out of place but still it is not to be missed." - Ryan (10-Apr-2016)

"This one is a true joy to play, from beginning to end. I liked all of the individual trap rooms, which really complimented the feel of an Egyptian tomb or temple. The platform puzzle was especially intriguing, involving carefully timed jumps to accurately make it to the end. The cameras, while potentially overstaying their welcome now and again, keep the player well informed on what switches did what things. This is extremely helpful, considering how disorienting all of the sand can be. And the name doesn't lie in the slightest, seeing as how merely touching any of the sand on the floor will instantly set Lara aflame. This turned out to be my biggest problem with the level, seeing how some of the floor tiles are hard to distinguish as being deadly sand. Regardless, everything fit well in this level, and I felt truly accomplished upon completion. This is a high-grade experience." - Xela (25-Jul-2013)

"There's a St Francis' Folly feel to this level as you work your way around a tower and solve various offshoot tasks along the way. The TR1 Egypt textures are used well and create a quite unique atmosphere, although the heavy use of plain textures can look a bit odd at times. Object use is also strong, and it uses sand floors in a way I've never seen before to add to the gameplay. Things start off a bit odd and bad with multiple forced damage falls and lots of shooting, but once you get the bottom and start working your way back up this problem fades (with one exception) and the gameplay has several fun, original and challenging tasks, including some widespread flipmap use that makes certain areas become completely different. The rest is good enough that I can overlook the bad start (especially as it's only a few minutes). TC14 delivers again and this is another top- level Back to Basics entry." - Mman (13-Nov-2012)

"With a reputation of being one of the best the 2009 competition had to offer, "The Deadly Sands of Bastet" couldn't catch me off guard, but that certainly didn't lower my appreciation and enjoyment of the said level! As with a lot of other levels - the start might seem confusing, but once you set out and simply start doing anything, it all falls into place neatly. The author has used the wad's resources in combination with flipmaps and other TRLE wizardry well, making this one of my favourites from a gameplay point of view. While you get a fair amount of challenging tasks, they are balanced out by the more tamer exploration sections in between or varied enough to present different kinds of challenges so I never felt overwhelmed here. The storyline and the names of the 2 secret items added a humorous touch that again helps to put a smile on one's face, and the sands made an excellent story and gameplay element here. The looks were also well done, with the central tower standing out the most, but overall the level is more memorable to play than to look at. Nonetheless - it's one not to miss!" - eTux (04-Feb-2010)

"I love TC14, he's the man. This great Egypt level is really fun and very well designed. I was a bit confused at first because I wasn't sure that I needed to send Lara down the central pillar, then head back up! I had loads of fun figuring out how to get through each challenge in order to grab the magic sands. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous to tackle the "jumping kitty" room. If you haven't played this level, then you will just have to play it to find out what I mean!" - Shandroid (26-Jun-2009)

"Let me start by saying that the camera work in this level is absolutely icredible. The gameplay is on various levels of a tower, with each section providing a different 'type'. The first problem is getting to the bottom. The first section (or the one I went to first) consisted of tricky jumping and, at times, confusing gameplay. The earthquake possibly going on a bit too long didn't help with the enjoyment of the level. At the end of each section you find a magic sand. The most difficult and best built section is the 'water' section. The slicer dicers were challenging, and a timed run (that wasn't too difficult IMO). The architecture was great here, and it felt a shame (almost) to leave the area, as the architecture in the other rooms wasn't quite as good. The texturing in the level was good but not astounding, and I was expecting it slightly better due to the class of the builder. A lovely finish escaping with the eye and going through the cat's 'mouth'. You can really see the builders technical ability with this level and it was a very enjoyable raid that I recommend." - Cory (15-Mar-2009)

"Uf!!! What a dangerous and hard adventure! But although there are some heavy tasks, this is the level with the best puzzles I've seen in this BtB competition till the moment (3 levels remaining). Your goal is to get four magic sands from rooms connected with a big central tower. As I said, it wont be easy. There are few enemies (only dogs and scorpions) but many times you'll need all your habilities to finally get your prize. There's a room with several moving grinders really hard to pass, and another room with changing ledges very tricky too... I think I had very good lucky to not try some tasks many times. A level not suitable for beginners but perhaps good for advanced players." - Jose (26-Feb-2009)

"Very challenging level for me. There are many traps and difficult moments. My favourite one is room with appearing and disappearing platforms. I had lots of fun with it. I also love all of those large locations. As for a gameplay, it is very inventive; flybys and music are placed in right moments, what creates very unique atmosphere. Architecture is brilliant. Tomb of Seth wad compared with TR1 textures is very good. All puzzles are connected with the title “Deadly Sands”. I think it’s difficult to make level with so many “sand” elements. It’s a pity that I didn’t count jumps which I made in this level - there were lots of them. You have to jump on the platforms in almost every room! Another reason why I like this level, is that I haven’t played original Tomb Raider 1. All of this was new experience for me. In this level author showed that he can build level with textures and objects which basically shouldn’t suit each other, and yet they do. I have to say it once more: I found level difficult and that’s the main reason why I love it. Congratulations to the author for this fantastic level!" - jawi (23-Feb-2009)

"The opening fly-by and cleverly designed central tower clearly shows this will be an interesting raid. What it doesn't show is that this will also be a difficult one. In a search for four Magic Sands Raiders will encounter numerous traps and timed sequences and will need dexterity to dodge grinders that don't look close enough to harm but do....and then there are the spikes. Lots of needed medis to be found and I found 'Deadly Sands' to be aptly named. Interesting, well designed and fun to all who enjoy a good challenge or, rather, many good challenges leading to finally reaching the Eye and end game." - Bene (21-Feb-2009)

"This was probably my least fav of the BtB levels. Firstly, I didn't like the textures, which seems very much the same throughout. Secondly, I hated the water/rolling blade area so much I nearly gave up on the level; only I anted to review them all so I soldiered on. Set in an Egyptian environment, Lara needs to make her way up and around a central structure in order to get 4 sands of time. There is some chain pulling to do to open various doors, and dogs and scorpions will be there to greet her. Each new room does however have its own unique layout, and I found the blade/spike run a lot of fun. Lara will then need to grab the eye to finish the level. This is a rather tricky level with a few frantic and frustrating rooms, and for me, I was glad when it was all over. Sorry if that sounds mean, but what with the timed run, the annoying earthquakes (I think I counted at least 3 of them) and the water blade room, I am ever so slightly in need of a stiff drink." - Moonpooka (19-Feb-2009)

"I'd have to say that this is probably the most challenging of the BtB '09 bunch, but for me it was also probably the most exciting. From the initial flyby to collecting all the magic shards to get to the end, I had a fabulous time in this TR1 Egypt temple. While the texture set is indeed rather dated, the author manages to use it pretty well in order to create a pleasant raiding environment. I really enjoyed the gameplay in this one, there are many traps and some timed runs I enjoyed, and I liked the uniqueness of tasks in the four quest item rooms. My favorite would probably be the shifting tiles room, it was very fun and kept me on the edge of excitement. Also worthy of noting is the booby-trap hallway, which I found quite fun as well. While there are some parts where I felt the objects could have been placed better, particularly the water room grinders, I really don't have complaints about the level. Cameras are plentiful and flybys set the scene pretty well, and good sound is used throughout too. I'd go as far to say that this is probably my favorite of the BtB '09 bunch, so whoever the builder may be, excellent work!" - Relic Hunter (07-Feb-2009)

"This is yet another great Btb09 entry that is probably best described as St. Francis folly meets the Obelisk of Khamoon levels of Tomb Raider 1, and we all know how those are amongst the best official Tomb Raider levels. This is no different, and the same concept is found here, towering room and four puzzle rooms textured with TR1 Egypt. The tasks were really fun and were somewhat challenging at parts, and the jumping around and finding your route while dodging either spikes, grinders or the "deadly sands of the Bastet" was equally fun. The atmosphere was there, and the author really paid attention to detailed texturing, lighting that made the yellow and green look of the level kind of hazy and steamy hot in some parts and really attractive, and the whole level was obvious it was made by someone who knows his level editing skills. An entry of this year's contest that shouldn't be missed." - Shady Croft (07-Feb-2009)

"Have you ever wondered how an Egyptian version of St. Francis Folly would be? That's exactly what you'll find here. I think the use of textures from TR1 actually have enhanced the level experience as a whole, the appliance and selection is just brilliant, accompanied by effective lighting. However, the one aspect that stands out in this level is gameplay: you set off into four distinct puzzles (one at each floor of this tower) in quest for magic sands and behind each door is a different challenge that will keep you on your toes until you're back in one piece on the main tower. This level is bound to become a classic, and one you certainly don't want to miss out. 45 minutes, 1 secret. 01/09" - Treeble (31-Jan-2009)

"Quality, quality, quality. That's what this level screams the instant it loads. As the long flyby sequence, silent but for the desolate howls of a few jackals, pans up and around sheer walls of vine covered brickwork, the extensive arena of play is shown off. Four statues that will require a sands of time to be placed in their hands, and four circular eye of Horus doors which lead to their locations are passed by, one by one, as the camera continues its climb up each of the levels of a large, central tower. Coming to rest upon Lara we have control and are off on our quest to get down and start hunting. As we make our descent, we stop at each platform housed in this tower and tackle a couple of those jackals that could already be heard. There is a pull chain in the centre of each level, but only the one at the very bottom can be pulled first and it becomes evident that we will gradually ascend this tower, back to the top again. Pulling the first chain then and we go through the door and into a creamy-coloured and delicious looking, circular passage. But not far. We soon encounter those deadly sands and have to make our way over blocks and slopes in order to avoid the hazard. This first areas is nicely set up, placing some demand upon the player, but not too much. After pushing a lever we enter an area, pillared with a clever use of stacked plinths amidst chequered tiling, that appears to house three brickwork silos containing more deadly sand. These must be filled to overflowing in order to get the first sands of time artefact. The next room accessed has a little swimming to do and a very tight timed run which can be done without the help intended by the builder. This of course cuts out a section of this room and some terrible rotating blades housed around a large circular, water filled area. There is also a pair of uzi's which can be accessed a different way than appears to be intended, though a little tougher to do. It seems I did everything back to front here. The third room and sands of time is deceptively easy to access, travelling though a series of gallery type rooms with nothing happening, until of course you pick up the sands of time, and then all the traps are triggered. This was great fun and requires just the right timing. Once that is cracked, it's actually very easy to get out again. On to the fourth sands of time and the next challenge involves a number of platforms and slopes that switch in and out of existence, so timing is the essence here. Once all four sands of time are retrieved and placed, the deadly sands below and around the tower become safe water and we happily make our way towards the area containing the final artefact, seen at the start of the opening flyby, only to discover that our way is still blocked by a last section of deadly sands. At least, it seems so. Once the way across this last section of sand is figured out and the artefact picked up, the exit is opened and the level is ended. I could say this level is perfect but for the apparent mistakes in the second sands of time area and the fact that in each area that it occurs I do think the earthquakes are overdone. So, just a slight reduction in my scoring for those elements, the rest was more than enjoyable. Texturing and lighting were great, giving each area a thoroughly professional look and atmospheric feeling. Enemies are no real problem, consisting of the aforementioned jackals and a very few small, red scorpions. This is one level I'll happily play several times over." - Czar (23-Jan-2009)

"I have played so far half of this year's Back to Basic levels and this one is without a doubt the best one I've played. Gameplay contains some very creative ideas such as the use of constantly disappering and reappearing tiles, flipmap room containing pouring sand and many other ideas. Objects from tomb of seth wad fitted well to the setting and texturing was moreover very carefull. As a whole this is a well balanced and thought out level which is certainly one of the must play levels of this year's competition. I definitely recommend it to everybody." - Samu (21-Jan-2009)

"It's a beautiful but quite dangerous level ! I agree with Sutekh about the loss of health and the rolling blades. There is also a very tight timed run in the water room which really annoyed me and was very frustrating. The water room is the one I disliked the most. I had to do it 50 times before managing to pass the door before it closes. There's only a few enemies in this level and they don't really add any difficulty to the level. There's also two scorpions which are triggered when Lara enters a room so they appear suddenly, that was strange and disappointing. The atmosphere of the level is really great and immersive, sounds are really well used. I'm just a little bit disappointed by the fact that there's no great flyby after we used the Magic Sands. Lighting & Textures are just perfect even if I detected some flaws in texturing somewhere. It's not a problem really, because as a builder, I never thought it was possible to make a good level with these textures. Congratulations to the author who really managed to make a good association between TR1 Gold textures and Settomb wad. Great level but perhaps a bit too afrustrating sometimes. Recommended for hardcore raiders." - TimJ (17-Jan-2009)

"Usually, I like my levels tough. Throw me timed-sequences, traps, tricky jumps, devious puzzles and research, and I'm a happy raider. What I dislike, though, is overkill, and that's precisely what this level suffers from. I didn't like being forced to lose health right at the beginning, with no other possible ways to go (and again at the end, by the way). I didn't like the fact that rolling blades would hurt Lara even though I was in a seemingly safe place because their blades passed through the floor or the walls. I mean, I'm OK with four rolling blades in a row (really, I am), but at least, make it fair. Rant over now because good news is: I loved everything else. The gameplay is clever, well-thought and fun, and would have been perfect without the aforementioned "problems". Secrets are surprisingly easy, although one comes with a price (and yes, it's health), and enemies can be dealt with as easily, with a bit of patience. Visually, it's a gorgeous level, very "professional" (you gotta love those running er... panthers? lionesses? in the vanishing platform room), and the light is beautiful. But the level absolute strong point is the camera work. The fly-bys are stunning (especially the opening one), and, along with the camera shots, give just the right amount of information. Helpful without spoiling. Since the sound is good too (right music at the right moment) and the atmosphere is definitely there, that's a ten from me in the department. Overall a good-almost-great level, of rather high difficulty, which I still recommend despite its unfairness." - Sutekh (16-Jan-2009)

"What an original game! Around a tower, 4 puzzles is waiting you. The four puzzles must be resolved not by a big research but only with your agility and speed. My favorite is the puzzle with the pool. A regret, this level is too short, the textures should be more various (or you loves the yellow) and there is not enought objects. In conclusion a good level." - Glouglouton (16-Jan-2009)

"well i just finished the 6 th level in the series ... i could say i like it more than sunken... cos was more challenging one .... this level is for skilled players wich like timed runs and spike trapps + slicer trapps .. is alot in it from both + a very nice and tuff jumping across poping up platforms ... all timed ... personaly i like this game very much only 1 down thing have the slicer Dicers hit u even at safe spots at wich notmaly u wold't have being hurt by it .... but all in all excelent game" - Jack& (16-Jan-2009)

"This is one of my favorites to date as I near the midway point in the 2009 BtB levels. It offers a classic raid in the Egyptian style, and I found the lighting and appointments to be very well done. The trademark pattern here is tricky jumps over deadly surfaces of various kinds while navigating a multi-layered central tower where new areas are opened up periodically by pulling chains. The difference between this one and a couple of the other entries in the competition was that I felt that the tasks here, while challenging, were very fair to the player. I'm proud to say that I made it all the way through legally and as intended, although I had a time getting past that gauntlet of tiles and slopes near the end that kept flickering in and out. There are also jumps through spike fields that require split-second timing. The two secrets are right out there in the open, but the trick is knowing when and where to go hunting for them. When all was said and done, I had a little more than an hour on my game clock and a deep sense of satisfaction upon hitting that finish trigger. This is what raiding is all about. Highly recommended." - Phil (15-Jan-2009)

"A trip into the realms of the Cat Goddess Bastet... why not ;) Lara is almost sorry that she ventured into this trip as the deadly sand seems impassable at first. But of course, Lara finds the way across the chasms and through a multitude of traps, so that she can pick up Bastet's secret at the end. Gameplay in this level is first class and challenging. Even though I do not like those bloody blade traps I have to admit that they are used here very well! I especially liked the tower which you explore step by step from top to bottom and vice versa and the room with the alternating platforms! The bright rooms in which the tone of the lighting effects matches up well with the overall sand colours are also perfectly built. A wonderful scenery for this intense and dangerous adventure." - Eva (13-Jan-2009)

"A very large tower room with many doors branching off, each holdings its own challenges for you to conquer. The sand is not the only deadly thing in this level - there are also many rolling blades, plinth blades, and spikes to keep an eye out for. My gripe with the rolling blade traps was they were placed into rooms that are too small for them - if you're waiting in a corridor next to such a room, the edge of the trap comes through the wall and still kills you. Also, placing four in a row is a bit much. Still the challenge is good, and besides jumping around those traps, you get a clever time run that needs you to "set up" things beforehand, and a tricky sequence of jumps across two alternating sets of platforms. Players get to play around with the environment several times, for example a few sand chambers that you can make overflow to knock one of the timeless sands objects into reach. Another great level in the contest to test your wits for just under an hour." - SSJ6Wolf (13-Jan-2009)

"A well constructed and well textured level with lots of climbing and jumps to do. The author did a good job with a texture set that could have easily been hard to work with, yet everything looks good in the areas one encounters. Spike gauntlets and a cleverly built shifting/floating floor will have your fingers going, and possibly a few expletives muttered about the builder's birth heritage. Also an impressive area featuring the good ol' slicer dicers. Good fun, quite challenging, and varied in its tasks. Good stuff." - EssGee (11-Jan-2009)

"This is one of my top3-levels of this BtB! This level is very nicely constructed with some demanding agility tests and very good texturing and lighting. You`ll go down and up a high tower and make the classic four challenges for the four needed artefacts. Very entertaining and a must play of the BTB09 levels!" - Raymond (08-Jan-2009)

"This is one of these levels where you look at your net gaming time at the end (50 minutes for me) and wonder how it could have been so short, because you feel you have accomplished so much that it should have been much longer. Plenty of things to do here as you first make your way from top to bottom of the high tower, then slowly back up and quickly down again to reach the end. Along your way back up you need to master many fun tasks to acquire the needed timeless sands items, including some devious jumping on alternating platforms, a clever timed run which needs some preparation, jumps through a room and back (wonderful use of a flipmap there) and more. Overall, I thought the standard Tomb of Seth objects have been put to excellent use in this adventure. Enemies are a few dogs that are easily dealt with and I only found one secret of the two. If there is any complaint, then maybe that at the very end suddenly some of the sand textures are not deadly, but this small inconsistency does not spoil and otherwise great level." - MichaelP (08-Jan-2009)

"As I played through this I came to like the TR 1 textures and their cheerful brightness, though near the start the textures seem spottily applied. The opening fly-by shows us that Lara needs to gather four Sands of Time hourglasses. The point here is that the sand underfoot is deadly, and there is sand everywhere, carpeting places you might think were solid rock. So the beginning is mostly careful jumping to get the first hourglass. The second task involves about six huge rotating blades from the beginning of TR 4. (Six? One is good, two is plenty.) Lara gets cut up, then finds she has struggled to get into an exit from the wrong side, or worked to find only a secret "object with no name." Lara had to swim up a shaft with three rotating blades, and if she survives can throw a switch that I think makes the timed run possible. The third hourglass involves dashing through spikes and blades, which is great fun, but would be better if an earthquake weren't shaking everything up. The fourth task is with a tall roomful of many platforms winking in and out of existence. I felt exhausted before Lara began. Sometimes less really is more. After Lara places the four Sands of Time, she finds the path to the final room blocked by deadly sand. Somewhere out there in the deadly sand are unmarked safe squares: Good luck finding them. This is mostly about agility and quick reflexes. If you're up for that, you'll love it." - dmdibl (07-Jan-2009)

"This starts with what I thought was a nice bit of camera work. I'm always slightly nervous about saying things like that, because in my mind I can hear the voices of dozens of builders going"huh, fat lot she knows about it". Still, I can only call 'em as I see 'em and to me it looked good. This is a most interesting idea for a level, involving obtaining four artefacts from each of four levels off a central tower. Enemies are jackals who have invaded the temple of the cat goddess, so obviously they have to go, but you'll get a nice amount of shotgun ammo to see them off. The gameplay is absolutely brilliant, involving some of the best agility tests you could wish to see. My favourite bit was the last level, which involved disappearing/reappearing tile runs. I love those. Occasionally quite challenging, but if you think something is impossible, it may just be that you need to find a way to make it easier - it's all clever stuff and I enjoyed it immensely. ." - Jay (06-Jan-2009)

"A very entertaining level . Lara collects 4 sand glasses before she can access the most wanted artefact . It`s all happening around a huge 4 level tower and on each level she has to put her dexterity to a test , sometimes easier , sometimes not. The most interesting is definetely the third one which includes a tight timed run which , however , requires some careful preparations . The fourth one is just a tour-de-force over changing platforms where you may test your skills in showjumping and it ain`t so easy ! I know it`s not so easy to review a builders effort as to lighting and textures when only the ones from the old editor can be used but this author reveals a certain amount of laziness in the construction of the environments for a lot of textures have just been left "blank" in simple yellow . The gameplay is certainly the highlight of this adventure and apart from two or three hot spots it remains a remarkable issue ." - Ruben (05-Jan-2009)
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