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Level: CPU Crash back home search
Author(s): Richard Lawther
total rating:8.37 Gameplay &
Puzzles
Enemies,
Objects &
Secrets
Atmosphere,
Sound &
Cameras
Lighting &
Textures
bERT 10 9 9 10
Capt. Abbey 8 8 9 8
CC 9 8 9 9
Ceamonks890 6 5 5 6
Cuqui 10 9 10 10
Dimpfelmoser 9 8 10 10
DJTch7 7 5 8 7
Duncan 9 8 10 10
Engelchen Lara 9 9 10 8
eTux 9 7 8 8
G.Croft 8 8 9 8
Gerty 8 8 8 9
gfd 7 7 9 8
Jose 7 7 7 9
Kristina 9 9 10 10
Loupar 8 7 7 7
Magnus 7 6 6 5
MichaelP 8 8 8 8
Moon 9 9 10 10
Phil 10 10 10 10
QRS 10 9 10 9
RaiderGirl 9 7 10 10
Ryan 10 8 9 10
Sash 9 8 9 8
Sutekh 9 8 9 8
Sys 9 8 8 8
Tombaholic 9 7 8 8
Torry 8 8 10 10
Tune Razor 8 7 8 7
Whistle 7 8 8 7
category averages
(30 reviews)
8.50 7.77 8.70 8.50

Reviewer's comments

"A noticeable step-up in quality from Richard, despite this only coming out a mere month after his initial debut, at time of release. Environments are still quite blocky & barren(with plenty of repetitive and stretched textures throughout), but in this respect, it makes sense(considering we're supposed to be inside a computer fixing it internally, as a makeshift antivirus). Gameplay has also been made more engaging(in spite of relatively simple tasks for the required 'software code' & 'CPU silicon'), thanks to the surreal artstyle and fun, laid-back exploration factor keeping things moving. Could do with some better lighting in places, alongside some more enemy & ambiance variety. But overall, a level that is worth playing at the very least by today's standards." - Ceamonks890 (06-May-2018)

"Well, here's something completely different. I can tell this has been put together with great enthusiasm and effort. Gameplay is entertaining and never boring, and the textures have been well chosen and applied. There could have been more enemies and music tracks." - Ryan (12-Jun-2016)

"This time the author have done a big effort with the textures and objects. The glass labyrinth was insane for me. It's easy to get stucked 'cause some climbable walls are not marked, and I'm still thinking what's the hint in the room with 5 red tiles to keep the door open. There are some clever puzzles and the rooms are very well worked; perhaps I missed some more musics, ammo and enemies; even with the very few enemies I've found in the level. Also there are many fails in the design 'cause you can get trapped a lot of times inside the invisible blocks in front of the timed doors if you don't get go through in time. Even so, it's a recommended level, but only to play with the walkthrough in your hands." - Jose (05-Jun-2010)

"Again, Richard wows us with his very unique building style and imagination. More fantastical architecture, textures, intriguing gameplay, and addictive as always. Not so much out of this world, as inside a computer. Our computer has crashed and Lara comes to the rescue. That is, she searches inside the computer for the bugs that caused the crash, and finds the information and parts to get us up and running again... or should I say get Lara running again, back into the Egyptian level she was raiding. What a brilliant idea! The first area is black with a transparent maze, that looks like cobwebs on the dark lower part inside the computer. This looks daunting as we don't immediately see how we can get through this and up to the luminous green floating blocks above. After discovering the first climbable texture we now know to look for these later on. There are a lot of trigger squares, some as part of excellent timed runs, some sneakily hidden crawlspaces (hiding the bugs), great climbs, monkeyswings, and slides, especially that great , almost 'invisible' long slide enabling Lara to pass over trigger tiles on her way down. I personally loved the glass maze and how we can see through it. Also being able to see the harpy making it's way through it towards us. Enemies are demigods and harpys. Not what we would expect in a level like this. Still, it's as if they followed Lara from the Egyptian custom level into the computer itself. I'd recommend the walkthrough, to save on a lot of backtracking. It's hard enough to figure out the route we need to take as it is. I did things the wrong way round at the green floating blocks part and was so relieved that I had a savegame at the start of this part so I could replay and use that pulldown switch the way it was intended. A very unique level, and still as interesting as when first released. Definitely recommended." - CC (02-May-2006)

"This level is weird.. but very unique! Rickard makes it feel like you are really stuck into a buggy computer that needs to be antibugged :) The level included some really nice rooms with Richard's usual touch of what to come in later levels. The black transparent maze and the huge room with semi-transparent green blocks were something special! One of the best end triggers in a game... being back to her usual world after fixing the computer so to speak :) For being the second level from this author it is amazing. With better textures (although they suit the story) and a few more enemies it would have been all tens from me. 2005-04-29" - QRS (01-May-2005)

"How does it feel to be trapped inside your very 'puter, having to remove viruses by hand and fix the damn machine very literally by yourself? This is exactly what this level's about. But don't you think you'll do this by changing one or two cards or running some magical antivirus software, because as it is, YOU are the antivirus. And as such you'll have to go through mazes (3D and transparent, at that), traps, research and some tough fights. It's dangerous in there. And a bit complex too. Served with a very well-done 'Tron-like' settings and an excellent gameplay of above average difficulty in every categories. Highly recommended, if only for the unique atmosphere." - Sutekh (21-Mar-2005)

"Well, my initial attempt at this ended when I stood confused in the green bit room, but now after a break of a few years and the additional help of the walkthrough here and there I finally mastered this funny adventure taking place within a computer. It still didn't really grow on me all that much, but I appreciate the many interesting, creative ideas - I even didn't mind the mazes here - and the looks are crazy, but you soon get used to them. The only blatant bad things here would be the unmarked climbable walls, otherwise I found everything at a decent level, though some of the timed runs are pretty tough. The enemies actually felt superfluous in here and besides the harpy lost in the maze, which looked pretty nifty, I thought the level would've been just as great without them as well, though the few action moments were quite welcome actually. Overall I liked the level, but simply prefer the author's other work." - eTux (05-Feb-2005)

"A nice compact adventure with great atmosphere always interesting though never terribly difficult (especially with the walkthrough). Lots of cleverly hidden places and climbable walls. It gives a nice sense of accomplishment when you finally put the interface in its place and walk out to see you're in Egypt again hooray. Though it's no Lizard King it is certainly very enjoyable; Mr. Lawther never disappoints us." - Capt. Abbey (28-Jun-2004)

"An original and fun idea done in the 'Astrodelica' style of this author. This author is one of the very rare ones to have such an original and distinct style. Highly recommended." - Duncan (12-Jun-2004)

"Each of the three sections of this level has its own distinctive features. The black maze the mirror maze and the quite difficult timed runs of the third part. They all come together in rebooting the CPU at the end. A novel story line which has some great features but the colours are rather garish (including Lara's dayglo yellow outfit). The game play is reasonably straight forward with only a few enemies-Demi-gods and Harpies. Puzzles are of the maze type along with working out your route. The objectives are to find the 'chips' and scripts from each area to reboot the cpu. Keep your eyes pealed for clues as some are not very obvious. The graphics (apart from the colours) are ingeniously sculptured so as to give the impression you could be inside the CPU but more could have been made with lighting variations. All in all a level well worth giving a go." - Whistle (10-May-2004)

"I crown thee Richard Lawther as the master of concept custom level building. This 'inside the computer' level is once again one mother of an idea and brilliantly constructed with again a multiple of original gameplay moments. The man once again succeeds in turning one of my not so much loved aspects (not climbable looking climbable walls) into a gameplay element in such a way it works to the game's advantage. You are really FORCED to think your way through this game hence conquering very strict timed runs consecutive pad touching that opens doors glass/see through labyrinths and such. And all this in settings that do make you feel like you're inside of a computer. Turning the secret finding into bug finding says it all as far as the creative concept thinking of this author is concerned. And then we haven't even talked about the end which makes you believe that by restoring the activity in the CPU you enter the real TR-gameplay world and make Lara start an Egyptian level adventure. Maybe the enemies were a bit unnecessary (demigod and harpy). Anyway other than that a must-play level." - bERT (06-Feb-2004)

"Probably the weirdest level I have yet played (and I mean that as a good thing). The very idea of Lara traveling within her own PC to 'fix' it is just plain strange. This map looks and sounds far different from the norm and so compared to a lot of other maps it feels like a breath of fresh air. There are still some down points though: unmarked climb surfaces a couple of unmarked death-tiles and some of the puzzles will be just a little too outlandish for most (meaning a trip to the forums will be on the cards for almost everybody who plays this one). Well worth downloading though. It took me 2 hours and I found 1 lowly secret." - gfd (06-Feb-2004)

"This is without doubt one of the most creatively inspired levels to date. Not only are you stuck inside your computer that crashed while you were playing an Egyptian level but the enemies of that level are stuck in there with you so what's a player to do? Well have loads of fun is what comes to mind after playing this tricky little level. You should all be quite familiar with Richard's levels so far and here you find the same quirky texturing that is way out there makes everything look complicated but ends up adding a whole lot of atmosphere to the game this mixed with the timed runs unobvious trigger tile puzzles great jumps and moves you have to make all added up to being quite an experience. Make sure you find the 3 secrets which were the actual bugs that caused the crash in the first place and have a great hour and a half of fun trying to find your way out of this bizarre environment." - Sash (19-Jul-2003)

"Count on a some kind of extra ordinary experience after You started this adventure...I chose this because of the above reason but I found this level so weird after the first start. I almost regretted that I chose this but however later I started to enjoy it thankfully for mainly the very interesting gameplay. I have to admit that this is a very big "microprocessor" and perhaps it's the very early ancestor of the ENIAC because I traveled more than 20 km in it! :) So I think don't panic after the first start: it will become interesting and exciting soon...There are 3 sections to collect all of the missing parts of the CPU. They are broadly equally long but are also completely different. The first starts with a large transparent maze which hides the powerful Revolver and after that You'll feel Yourself like in TR2's "Floating Islands" area: the heights are really fearsome. The 1st Secret - literally a bug and it's a "computer bug" also - is also here and it's easy to locate and get it. The second section is my favourite although the searching for the 2nd Secret - in the dark crawlspace in the wireframe maze - took me ages. Later each of the 4 doors hides some short and clever puzzles I really liked them all. The Crossbow is also here it's impossible to not find it. The third part contains so much platforms again - like the first section - and some very closely timed runs. The 3rd Secret is very well hidden here again it's in a secluded dark crawlspace. I also liked the long sliding down which opened the small door. Naturally the order of the sections doesn't matter. There are only 6 enemies - Golden Vraeus and DemiGods - in the whole CPU but they are very tough and the ammo is right enough for them all if You use the Pistols also. The puzzles are very good everywhere: I didn't really understand some of them but however I figured them out. After You collected everything necessary items - 5 CPU Silicons and 3 Software Codes - then You can collect the CPU/Game Interface in the "Main Control Room" and then access the higher places of the CPU to open the final door which leads You back to Egypt. And here comes the final revelation in this level: the Broken Glasses! Well I checked back all the earlier reviews but nobody mentioned this little trinket in the last Egypt-room outside of the CPU. I found it at the very left side on the sandy area under a plant. Anyway I have no idea about what it's doing here but perhaps it was Werner himself who crashed the CPU somehow maybe for preventing Lara from the nasty stucking into the "Temple Of Horus" at the end of TR4... :) I also didn't like the atmosphere after the start but later I enjoyed it: it was interesting to hear how the millions of bits are traveling and how the millions of flip-flops are changing their "0" and/or "1" statuses somewhere in the processor. :) I didn't miss any action tunes but I did miss a bit better and more detailed camera work although there were some nice flybys. The lighting was good enough although I hate dark crawlspaces (2nd Secret). I also found the textures enough simply and repetitive and the transparency caused some strange graphical effects but I think they were good to represent a CPU inside and a CPU isn't nice inside is it? ;) I'm also satisfied with the short background story: I found it weird but it perfectly fits to the adventure...So after my ambiguous first feelings I really enjoyed this unique adventure and I can offer it to All especially who likes the high-tech levels also like for instance the VCI-episode from TR5..." - Sys (12-May-2003)

"CPU Crash hasn't the great sense of humour of Astrodelica this is the reason I haven't enjoyed this level as the others. The story is very original; the gameplay has some mazes puzzles and timed doors to pass but not too hard to beat. After all it's worth the downloading and playing." - Loupar (14-Mar-2003)

"Let me say a word in Spanish: Caray!. What a brilliant and challenging level! An original idea for an ingenious storyline. The gameplay is quite exciting and interesting. The atmosphere is amazing and lighting is perfect. You feel that you are inside a computer. I specially loved the room at the beginning with transparent blocks the maze and the slides on the green slopes near the end (it was so funny that I did it many times). A great experience!" - Cuqui (27-Jan-2003)

"This level is actually not much different from 'The Inverted Dream Factory' which I have already played. It is much easier though. Similar puzzles here just easier. Lara still has to think to get to 3 Software Codes 5 CPU Silicon und 1 CPU Game Interface. She has to climb a lot and of course has to master a few timed doors but they are not too tight. The puzzles are well thought out each one a little different and I like that a lot. There are three secrets to find but I got only one. Textures again similar but also well applied - sometimes very transparent and in one room a screaming green. Did not bother me but is a matter of taste. Not many enemies and I only used the pistols at the start and later you find revolver and crossbow. Ammunition is sparse not to many not too few. All in all this level plays nicely and I would recommend it. Great atmosphere too. Thanks Richard! :)))" - Engelchen Lara (12-Jan-2003)

"One more beautiful level. I will not spoil the fun by writing here the story line you have to read the author's notes. What I will say though is that this guy has talent and great imagination. His last levels are very different from the classic Tomb Raider games and I love that. Although this level has many timed doors at first and then doors that close and leave you with a cold smile if you don't follow the right route to approach them it is not hard but quite interesting. I have the suspicion that the idea about the many timed sequences was Matthias' because we all know around here his obsession with that so blame him for any frustration lol. Anyway retextured puzzle items bugs no no not game bugs read the notes and you will understand but not many enemies only a couple of demigods and a harpy. Well I wondered what to do with the crossbow and the revolver but the whole atmosphere the objects the colours really captured me. I still remain a fan of another level of his 'Astrodelica'. Be sure to play both they are excellent." - Kristina (10-Nov-2002)

"I wished that if my PC crashed I could do something like Lara to repair it much easier than the real thing. This is indeed a novel idea. Find the bugs in this computer they count as secrets and get your hands on some gems and scrolls so to fix it so you can finish the game you're playing. As for me I had very sweaty hands and my heart was constant in my throat as I have an enormous fear of heights. So this level although splendidly done is not my cup of tea. Puzzles are tricky had me put my thinking cap up and then some. Only time I was stuck is with that lever in the green block room as (as always) I did things the wrong way around and by the time I noticed that lever a block was missing so I couldn't climb that structure. Lucky I had a saved game so no real harm done. The timed runs were very very hard to do and so to the author: 'Dick I used every name in the book glad you couldn't hear me'. 05-10-2002" - Gerty (07-Oct-2002)

"First off let me say that this is a very very tough level and I have reduced the score to reflect that. It is for seasoned Raiders only. The object is (as has been said before) to restore the computer so that Lara can continue the game. There are three processors to fix and each throws it's unique challenges your way. I first attempted the timed run gauntlet where there are a series of ever more difficult timed runs to negotiate. Not only are the runs over blocks and 90 degree turns but you also must dive through small openings as a normal jump will not get you through. The second passage was full of tile puzzles. Either flame tiles or tiles to open doors to allow you to proceed. Not so bad this one. The last was a series of opaque walkways and ledges that led to a huge room with green floating blocks. The jumps were tricky and beware there is a jump switch up high that I did not see for quite a while that you must get to. I refused to use the walkthrough and my time of 1 hour 40 minutes attests to this. Now in each of these challenges you pick up a certain amount of CPU units which you then place in the central starting room which allows you to finally leave this nightmare. I saw the bugs (which were secrets) but opted not to go after them and it does not impeed your progress if you leave these. There were a few demigods to dispatch and a harpy or two but I never saw even one of those byte eating dust balls that abound in my own computer. The textures were fantastic and you really were in another world and I am happy to say that the lighting was very good also. This was a neat idea and the author brought it off well. Bravo!" - Torry (15-Sep-2002)

"I can really imagine that this is the way it looks inside a computer and while playing that is the feeling I have! The level is done with a lot of imagination good puzzles and inventive names of the key pickups. The storyline is well thought through and the mission is clear! The computer has crashed while playing and now Lara has to run around inside it to fix it so you can go on with the Egyptian level you were playing before the crash. You have to find 3 software silicon 5 CPU silicon and finally the CPU game interface. You also have to fight some of the enemies from the Egyptian level that have followed you! Good luck and have fun - I did! :)" - G.Croft (21-Jul-2002)

"And now for something completely different...finally a very creative idea about building a storyline with a twist. Lara exploring the inside of a computer and fixing a few things to eventually make her way back into her Egyptian adventure. Very well thought out and the game itself holds quite a few fun things as well. Basically you have to complete three independent paths from the central room and this involves quite a number of timed doors climbing jumping monkey swinging triggering doors via stepping on tiles etc etc. I really liked the three secrets and the rooms they were placed in the ambience sound is well set and Lara's yellow custom outfit sort of special. Not sure if the few harpies and demigods were appropriate but at least that gave some more action. Many good custom textures and excellent ideas in using them as in the transparent black maze and with the greenish floating blocks. The only downsides maybe were the unmarked climbing walls (I hate those - always feels unfair) and the fact that gameplay did become a little repetitive. But still one you have to play as it is really something special." - Michael (21-Jun-2002)

"That Lara Croft - is there anything she can't do? Here she finds herself inside the computer after one of her Egyptian adventures crashes and to escape she'll have to fix the darn thing (recalls the movie "Tron" where a human ends up inside a video game). Anyway it's a really creative idea and pretty well executed. The gameplay is actually quite good with some excellent puzzles timed runs and challenging skill sequences. The atmosphere and texturing are pretty interesting and Richard has done a nice job with existing textures (I loved the way the computer blended back into the Egyptian landscape at the end). But such a novel idea really cries out for some original textures to fully realize its potential. If you're in the mood for a real change of pace though give this one a go." - Tombaholic (21-Jun-2002)

"As the name implies your computer has crashed while playing Tomb Raider an Egyptian level and you must go in to replace a few parts so you can get back to your game. Now this doesn't look much like a computer to me but that doesn't matter because the whole story is so original and it looks great anyway. As you start the level there are three directions you can choose from and it doesn't matter which way you go first - you always end up back at the start. Each direction gives you it's own set of challenges and puzzles that can be quite confusing (I had to eventually use the walkthrough) but once you figure out what to do they are really quite simple. The only thing that gave me problems were the timed doors because I am so bad at them. The highlight of the level though is the textures and the oddly designed rooms - especially the room with the gloating green blocks and the transparent maze (see if you can look at it the first time without your jaw dropping). There are few enemies which are easily taken care of and I found two secrets which were bugs that supposedly caused the problem in the first place." - RaiderGirl (21-Jun-2002)

"A very... different level where Lara is inside a computer after a crash. Her objective is to fix the computer so that she can continue Tomb Raiding. Of course all that can be read in the readme-file but I still thought that I would mention it. Since the level is set in a computer the texturing is abstract to say the least. That is how I would imagine it would look inside a computer but I still thought the textures were ugly. In some places they are used in nice ways though. There are some rather hard puzzles in this level and there's the biggest problem: the puzzles are very confusing. I got through this level mainly by trial and error but the author has included a walkthrough if you get stuck (by the way I never used it). The background-music is 'nice' ('nice' as in 'fits the theme well') and I know that I've heard it somewhere before. One problem with this level is the timed doors. When you finally manage to get through one it might close right behind you leaving you trapped in an invisible block. This is only a real problem at one place though. I managed to repair the computer in 50 minutes but I only found one of the three computer-bugs (and it really was a bug)." - Magnus (21-Jun-2002)

"As earlier reviews have noted this level brings a unique 'look' to the Tomb Raider environment. Its basic concept (in one of the three major areas anyway) appears to be inspired by the Floating Islands level of TR2 but there the resemblance ends. Lara is trapped in the guts of a computer gone haywire and her mission is to navigate the disabled circuitry and restore normal operations. Her splashy pastel colors are easy on the eyes and visibility is refreshingly clear (nary a flare is needed) as she makes her way through the computer's innards. The author includes a walkthrough as a courtesy but let the novice player be forewarned that even with this assistance the level is most challenging. (Excursis: Many of you more experienced gamers turn up your noses at the very mention of walkthroughs while newcomers clamor for them. This demand is being met more and more these days it seems especially with the more difficult and popular levels. Even if the author doesn't co-operate others are stepping in to provide this much-needed service. Witness the Rescue series Center of the World and Justin's levels just to name a few. It's my belief that when an author has produced a level that promises to tax the skills of experienced gamers a walkthrough--even if only in rough outline form--should be provided by the author as an aid to those who appreciate and can benefit from such assistance. Those who don't can simply ignore them. Surely the investment of time required to do this will pale in comparison to the time required to compile the level.) I've decided to award this level top ratings across the board. My reasoning is that this creation is so different from what we're used to seeing it deserves to be recognized as a 'must download' for gamers who are looking for new experiences." - Phil (21-Jun-2002)

"I have been waiting for so long to play an original and extraordinary level like this. What Castle Doomsday did for the medieval times CPU Crash does for the computer age. Yes it's that good. It has a storyline it has a truly unique and magnificent atmosphere there is only one lever and you get lashings of timed runs. Can you ask for more? Well there are only 6 enemies and they might seem out of place if you don't bother to read the story before you frolic around the harddrive but like with Richards first level this adventure doesn't need enemies at all. Ok as you might have gathered from the title this takes place inside a computer and your aim is to repair the wretched thing and fix a few bugs (optional) on the way. I'm not a computer expert but how the inside of this virtual machine is constructed and textured is pretty convincing and the whole TR concept goes so well with this macro high tech setting that you wonder why no-one has ever thought of this before. Jumps seem to be the main means of making progress and near the end I wondered if there could have been a bigger diversity of tasks but it goes without saying that you wouldn't find any water inside a computer and I reckon a movable block puzzle would have been too simple too familiar. Anyway it's great as it is and there are so many brilliant moments like the long slides that take you back to the main area after you completed two of the main missions hopping around the green blocks that were floating above the transluscent walkways or how the harpie aproached through the glass maze. You simply have to go there and see for yourself. I hope that level builders are inspired by this and see it as proof that it pays out to create something new and have a few ideas of your own instead of ruminating the old Egypt style till the end of the world. A class of it's own." - Dimpfelmoser (21-Jun-2002)

"Hot on the heels of Richard Lawther's surreal masterpiece 'St. Trevelyans's Folly' comes the even more bizarre 'CPU Crash'. The action, this time, is set inside a computer (although it's like no computer I've ever seen) as Lara, dressed in a garish custom outfit, attempts to recover the computer code and silicon fragments needed to restore the system and return Lara to her game. On the way, she may also recover the three 'secret' computer bugs responsible for the original crash. The level is based around three large areas each with different challenges. One consists of a large climbing/jumping area of semi-transparent blocks somewhat reminiscent of the start of the Floating Islands level of TR2. Nothing terribly demanding in the jumping department, though the lever that opens the exit from the area may prove hard to find, and quite fun to explore anyway. The second area (not that the order they're attacked in is important) is another large room of climbable walls and walkways with several timed doorways. The timed runs are tricky enough to be demanding without being so tight as to be frustrating. The third area opens with a fire-trapped floorway marked by misleadingly coloured tiles. The key to crossing is elsewhere. This leads to a transparent maze, that had me completely bewildered on my first pass through, though offered no problem on my second play of the level. The area beyond this consists of four puzzle areas, some of which I'm sure I wouldn't have completed without the help of Richard's walkthrough. From there it's just a formality to use the collected items to complete the level. I didn't enjoy this level as much as the 'St Trevelyan's Folly' level, but it was great fun, nevertheless - enough for me to want to play it again - and it is certainly one of the most visually original levels I have played." - Tune Razor (21-Jun-2002)

"Those of you that hate dark levels and want to see something totally unique should check out Mr. Lawther's creation. Set inside your computer after a major crash caused by a TR game you must repair the damage done so you can play again. A very beautiful looking environment with lots of eye candy. I actually went back and redid a couple of the slides just because they looked so cool. Most of the action involves jumps timed runs and puzzle solving. The enemies are few (they came from the game that crashed your computer) but well placed. I liked the way the harpy seems to know the maze she attacks in. This is a fun level. I highly recommend it." - Moon (21-Jun-2002)

"This is a nice long breath of fresh air! There was only one thing I felt the author could have done a little better- I got stuck in the bottom of the green block puzzle. Other than that I'd recommend this as a fun and challenging level." - DJTch7 (21-Jun-2002)
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