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Old 11-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #1
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Default The golden age: how could you be there?

I first wanted to post this in the Golden Age - U had to be there thread but then I realised it's very off-topic so I decided to start my own thread. If you mods prefer to telescope this post into the previously named thread that's fine.

Okay so here goes: I was born in 1991 and got my first pc in 1997 which was a second hand pc that had Windows 3.1 and cost my mother a small fortune. Thing is, I was one of the very few people in my class who had a pc, the only other kid who had one had a much newer pc with Windows 95 and later one with Windows 98 but his parents were very whealthy. Also even though I lived in a big city(Rotterdam) and visited several gamestores occasionally I never saw any AGs lining the shelves, it was nothing but platformers for the pc and games like Tekken for the arcade. The first AG I ever saw was in 1999: Starship Titanic. Which a friend of mine had(a friend in his mid 30s) and which was like 80 Guldens (Dutch currency at the time) so he made it very clear that I could watch but absolutely under no circumstance touch.

So the obvious question for me is: how come you guys have all these fond childhoodmemories of playing one AG after another. Was Holland so far behind on the rest of europe? Or were your parents just very whealthy and even so where did you get those games?

I'm not doubting your memories or trying to degrade them. I just don't understand it.
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:06 PM   #2
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Games and computers were extremely expensive and they still are. If you got your first PC in 97 you were a little late to experience the golden age of adventuregames. I got my first PC in the same year you were born thanks to the fact that my father worked with computers (I was around 9-10 year old at the time).
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:55 PM   #3
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I was born in 1988 and by no means had a wealthy family. My experience began in DOS, which had a host of games from CRPG's to Adventures (Zork or the original Sierra adventures). Computers were indeed expernsive, but we were able to get one.

A lot of our experience came from my dad bring home shareware games from work (A paper manufacturing company), which they had a working computer there and a lot of employees played games on their free time.

My most fond memories came from a shareware game company that had Wiz in its name. Don't remember the full name lol. Duke Nukem 2, Doom, Wolf 3d, etc.

I wanted to be a game developer from a VERY early age, but by no means was it the product of being wealthy. Damn I miss modding wolf 3d and Duke Nukem 3d. Not to forget Arena and Daggerfall. I recall make a fantasy rpg mod for D3d. Scary spider monsters, portals, fantasy weapons, etc.

Oh not to forget about the original 3d fps Catacomb 3D. Fond memories indeed. Then again, I still think gaming is at its best now since despite focusing on holding your hand through the beginning of the game, games now are the best interactive story telling medium.
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:41 PM   #4
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I started playing adventures at around age 9 or 10 (1988) and continued pretty steadily through my senior year of high school (1996), then a bit more sporadically in college. The only time I really remember getting games as gifts were KQ5 on my 14th birthday, and 7th Guest one year for Christmas. We did have a few pirated games that my dad brought home from work, and that my sister's boyfriend copied for me. But otherwise I bought them with my own money, maybe one or two a year.

I remember waiting for sales at Egghead Software and buying directly from Sierra, who sometimes had good deals (got the Quest for Glory VGA remake for free in a "buy one, get one" sale). Thinking back on it I can count maybe 18-20 adventure games that I owned by the time I graduated from college. (Some which were no longer playable, after we switched from an Apple IIGS to a Mac.) It sounds like a lot, but spread out over 12 years, not really. It usually took me months to finish a game, so it might have been "one game after another," but not necessarily tons of games in a row.

I can also remember flattening all the boxes at some point and throwing them away. Gahhh.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:53 PM   #5
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You just missed what most call the classic era of adventure games. most of the best known Infocom games were released in the 1980s. A list of some of the favorite Sierra and LA games with dates shows that few were released after you got your first PC.

King's Quest - 1984
King's Quest II: Romancing the Throne - 1985
King's Quest III: To Heir is Human - 1986
King's Quest IV: The Perils of Rosella - 1988
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder! - 1990
King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown SCI remake - 1990
King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow - 1992
King's Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder - 1992
King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride - 1994
King's Quest: Mask of Eternity - 1998

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers - 1993
The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery - 1995
Gabriel Knight 3: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned - 1999

Space Quest: Chapter I - The Sarien Encounter 1986
Space Quest II: Chapter II - Vohaul's Revenge 1987
Space Quest III: The Pirates of Pestulon 1989
Space Quest IV: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers 1991
Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter VGA remake 1991
The Space Quest Saga: Roger Wilco 1993
Space Quest V: The Next Mutation 1993
Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier 1995

Maniac Mansion - 1987
Day of the Tentacle - 1993
The Secret of Monkey Island - 1990
Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - 1991
The Curse of Monkey Island - 1997
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders - 1988
Sam & Max Hit the Road - 1993
Grim Fandango - 1998
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure - 1989
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - 1992

When you were looking the adventure games had already started to not be so common.
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Old 11-18-2011, 01:06 AM   #6
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I’d always been interested in computers, an interest I luckily shared with my dad, so I got my first PC for my Catholic Confirmation (something which is usually celebrated with loads of gifts in Belgium) in 1993. We weren’t particularly wealthy, and neither was anyone in my entire family, maybe let’s say upper lower class / lower middle class, so the purchase of a PC was something that got a lot of preparation. Everyone in the family was instructed to give money for my Confirmation instead of gifts (money that of course went into the purchase), I had to take typing lessons in advance (on an old type writer that nearly broke my fingers) and my dad took some computer lessons (and in turn taught me what he had learned).

1992-1996 was about the period where most people in my environment (friends/family) were getting their first PC, and even though very few games were available in stores pre-1994, a lot of pirated floppies went around. Heck, that’s how I got introduced to the first Larry game, the first Space Quest, Fate of Atlantis (non-talkie), etc.
But my love for adventure games really kickstarted in 1995 when I got a CD-player for my PC. With the rise of CDs, a lot more games were starting to become available in stores, and one of my first acquisitions was a LucasArts box that had Fate of Atlantis (talkie), Sam & Max, Day of the Tentacle, Full Throttle and an X-Wing/TIE-Fighter game in it. It also had a demo for The Dig that I loved, so that was my second purchase later that year.

Between 1995 and 1998 a lot of games were also lent out among my friends in school. There were a couple of other adventure game enthousiasts, and we each owned different games, so I got the first two Simon the Sorcerer games from this friend, the first two Monkey Islands from that one, Zork Nemesis from a cousin of mine (I actually still have his copy – don’t tell him ), The 7th Guest, Phantasmagoria and KQ7: The Princeless Bride from my nieces boyfriend, etc. You get my drift here…
I bought several of those games when they were on sale later (The Larry Collection, 7th Guest + 11th Hour combo pack, Phantasmagoria, etc.). But as you can see, the games I played were very LucasArts-oriented (since I didn’t like dying every five seconds in Sierra games).

Basically, with the right friends, you could experience nearly all of the 90s classic adventures while only having to own a couple of them…
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:10 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, for sharing all these memories with me. Really appreciate it.

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Originally Posted by Monolith View Post
I was born in 1988 and by no means had a wealthy family. My experience began in DOS, which had a host of games from CRPG's to Adventures (Zork or the original Sierra adventures). Computers were indeed expernsive, but we were able to get one.

A lot of our experience came from my dad bring home shareware games from work (A paper manufacturing company), which they had a working computer there and a lot of employees played games on their free time.

My most fond memories came from a shareware game company that had Wiz in its name. Don't remember the full name lol. Duke Nukem 2, Doom, Wolf 3d, etc.
That makes a lot of sense and it sounds more like the 90s I remember. I vividly recall seeing Duke nukem for the first time (I think it was 3D though) and er well...unfortunately hating it. Same with Doom.

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Originally Posted by fov View Post
I started playing adventures at around age 9 or 10 (1988) and continued pretty steadily through my senior year of high school (1996), then a bit more sporadically in college. The only time I really remember getting games as gifts were KQ5 on my 14th birthday, and 7th Guest one year for Christmas. We did have a few pirated games that my dad brought home from work, and that my sister's boyfriend copied for me. But otherwise I bought them with my own money, maybe one or two a year.

I remember waiting for sales at Egghead Software and buying directly from Sierra, who sometimes had good deals (got the Quest for Glory VGA remake for free in a "buy one, get one" sale). Thinking back on it I can count maybe 18-20 adventure games that I owned by the time I graduated from college. (Some which were no longer playable, after we switched from an Apple IIGS to a Mac.) It sounds like a lot, but spread out over 12 years, not really. It usually took me months to finish a game, so it might have been "one game after another," but not necessarily tons of games in a row.

I can also remember flattening all the boxes at some point and throwing them away. Gahhh.
That explains a lot, obviously you could buy one or two games a year even if they were expensive. When I was in high school I bouht a lot more games, true they were cheaper and I had probably had more money to spare considering it was a different time but yeah teenagers have more money than kids, that's a fact. Thanks

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Originally Posted by Collector View Post
You just missed what most call the classic era of adventure games. most of the best known Infocom games were released in the 1980s. A list of some of the favorite Sierra and LA games with dates shows that few were released after you got your first PC.When you were looking the adventure games had already started to not be so common.
I completely see what you mean. It's because of classics like CoMI, BS2, Grim Fandango, GK3 and TLJ that I thaught that the late 90s were still golden age but looking at your list I guess those were more very pleasant aftershocks.

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I’d always been interested in computers, an interest I luckily shared with my dad, so I got my first PC for my Catholic Confirmation (something which is usually celebrated with loads of gifts in Belgium) in 1993. We weren’t particularly wealthy, and neither was anyone in my entire family, maybe let’s say upper lower class / lower middle class, so the purchase of a PC was something that got a lot of preparation. Everyone in the family was instructed to give money for my Confirmation instead of gifts (money that of course went into the purchase), I had to take typing lessons in advance (on an old type writer that nearly broke my fingers) and my dad took some computer lessons (and in turn taught me what he had learned).
That's a great story. I also learned typing on a typewriter. In fact I used the thing throughout my entire elementary school period because due to a motorical disabillity I was unable to write by hand(my handwriting still is very bad, someone once compared it to runes) and you can't bring a pc to school and in my classroom there was only one pc that was to be used by all students. As a result I never learned how to type with more than two fingers and I type allmost as vigorously on my laptop as you do on a typewriter. (my poor poor laptop)

Quote:
my love for adventure games really kickstarted in 1995 when I got a CD-player for my PC. With the rise of CDs, a lot more games were starting to become available in stores,
Wow, you were early. I didn't see the first CD-rom untill 1999. The computers in my school didn't even have CD-rom drives.

Quote:
Between 1995 and 1998 a lot of games were also lent out among my friends in school. There were a couple of other adventure game enthousiasts, and we each owned different games, so I got the first two Simon the Sorcerer games from this friend, the first two Monkey Islands from that one, Zork Nemesis from a cousin of mine (I actually still have his copy – don’t tell him ), The 7th Guest, Phantasmagoria and KQ7: The Princeless Bride from my nieces boyfriend, etc. You get my drift here…

Basically, with the right friends, you could experience nearly all of the 90s classic adventures while only having to own a couple of them…
Lucky guy, all I ever played thanks to my friends in school was Tomb Raider, which admittedly is not a bad game but no AG, and a platformer about a guy with a banana on his head.

Last edited by gray pierce; 11-18-2011 at 03:15 AM.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:59 AM   #8
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Wow, you were early. I didn't see the first CD-rom untill 1999. The computers in my school didn't even have CD-rom drives.
It helps if your dad is also into computers. We used to fight over the use of the PC (and that only ended when he bought a laptop when I was in college), so he happily assisted in investing in a CD-player early on.

Quote:
Lucky guy, all I ever played thanks to my friends in school was Tomb Raider, which admittedly is not a bad game but no AG, and a platformer about a guy with a banana on his head.
For some reason (maybe it's my enthousiasm when talking about my hobbies) I got a lot of people interested in the things that I liked, so even if some friends in school weren't really gamers, they became so after I'd introduced them to some awesome games...

Heck, my best friend and my brother-in-law weren't into movies before they met me, and now they're almost as movie-crazy as I am...
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:26 AM   #9
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Apart from getting Simon the Sorcerer 1 & 2, Titanic: Adventure Out of Time, and later on, Broken Sword 1 & 2 in the middle of the 90s, I, too, didn't really experience the 'Golden Age of Adventure Games'. I really wish I had.

I shared bedrooms with my brother from 1994 to 2000, and during that time we had our first PC, which was a DOS-based machine with Norton Commander, and then sometime after we had our first Windows computer with Windows 3.1/5 from my dad's sister. The computer stayed in our room, but between my brother, my dad and myself, we had to juggle turns. As a result, there was a bit of falling out if I remember right.

The machine itself wasn't very powerful, because my dad used it/semi-owned it he had this crazy notion that PCs weren't designed for games and was quite strict about what went on it, me and my brother mostly played Megadrive games anyway, we hardly ever visited game shops and weren't clued up on what was great back then, and we never had the money to actually buy games. For those reasons, we were very sheltered and never learnt about the classics.

I wish things were different back then... I'm just glad that I grew up, learnt/researched about these great games we missed, and had the means to buy them.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:28 AM   #10
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I was born in 1983 and started playing adventure games in 1994 when the PC stores were lined with adventure titles, promotional materials, cardboard cutouts of Larry Laffer and Ben from Full Throttle. It was a pretty glorious time for the genre in Australia up until the end of the 90s when Sierra's Yosemite studio was shut down and PC games all started to look the same. That's the thing about the appeal of adventure games for me: variety!

In the 00s it looked really bleak and it seemed like the only adventure games people knew about was the Myst series, which I despised, and LucasArts and Sierra were already distant memories.

It's much better now from only a few years ago but there's one thing that hasn't changed: mainstream game reviewers are still a bunch of FPS-loving shills.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:53 PM   #11
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I was born in 1983 and started playing adventure games in 1994 when the PC stores were lined with adventure titles, promotional materials, cardboard cutouts of Larry Laffer and Ben from Full Throttle. It was a pretty glorious time for the genre in Australia up until the end of the 90s when Sierra's Yosemite studio was shut down and PC games all started to look the same. That's the thing about the appeal of adventure games for me: variety!

In the 00s it looked really bleak and it seemed like the only adventure games people knew about was the Myst series, which I despised, and LucasArts and Sierra were already distant memories.

It's much better now from only a few years ago but there's one thing that hasn't changed: mainstream game reviewers are still a bunch of FPS-loving shills.
You shouldn't say FPS, more like First Person loving Shills. Remember Myst that pretty much killed the Adventure genre? Was it the game or were people disappointed with the fact its first person. Who knows. lol
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Old 11-18-2011, 02:28 PM   #12
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I started in 1982 with a ZX Spectrum I got for Xmas from my family.

It was an inexpensive computer with 48k of RAM and played mostly text adventures http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hob...8video_game%29 . Me and my friends would swap games etc so pocket money on those £15 games was shared.

When I went to college in the late 80's I bought an Amiga 500 which was a fountain of adventure games and because I was working while at college I could get games like Monkey Island etc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETHGr...eature=related) either by buying them or by trading them with friends.

I couldn't afford to buy a PC until I graduated in 1991 and had my first job. I bought a 486 PC on credit and paid it off.

As I was working full time I could afford to buy more games by then and I was into adventure games as well as other types.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:39 PM   #13
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Born in '84, started around maybe '92 or '93. Older brothers had friends who introduced us to PQ, KQ, and other series. Good times.
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Old 11-24-2011, 05:38 PM   #14
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Well. let's put things in perspective. I was born in 1947. I was an English Literature major in college, but minored in computer programing and computer-based marketing statistics. This goes back to the days of Fortran, Cobol and honest to god key punch cards. So I was fairly computer savvy long before the first PC hit the market.

My first PC was an 8088-based machine, with a hard drive no less, which meant I didn't have to use a DOS boot disk every time I started a session. I think I purchased it around 1983-or 4. It, an RGB monitor and a dot-matrix printer got me started. Think the basic setup cost about $3000US. An enormous sum of money at the time. But to compete in a business environment, it was necessary to have the same equipment the Big Boys had.

Of course you can't do business 24/7. Well, you can, but it will drive you nuts. And. I heard about these things called games. Almost all the first games I played were produced by independent developers. I could download trial versions via my blaziningly fast 1400kbs dial-up modem. (Another extravagent expense.)

Then, via the CompuServe GAMERS forum, I heard about this fledgling company called Sierra. They were producing games with actual pictures instead of text and connect-the-dots-style games. WOW! First game I purchased was Iceman. Absolutely hated it.

I called Sierra customer support. For all I know, I may have talked to Ken Williams himself. I was told that Iceman was not the best game for someone just starting. Whoever it was recommended KQ1. Bought it, and have been hooked ever since.

Bottom line is that it doesn't matter when you were born. If you bought a PC in 1990, it was basically going to cost the same as any other computer purchased in 1990. The only relavent thing is when you started playing games. If you're 21 today, you were born in 1990. If you started playing games when you were 12, that would be 2002. That means there are almost two decades of games you may have missed.

There's a lot of nostalgia about the "golden era"of gaming. Some of it is justified. Much of it is not. People remember the "golden age" of television, but tend to forget that for every Show of Shows or Playhouse 90, there was also a Mr Ed or Green Acres.

If you want to go back and play some of the very early games, be selective.
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:04 AM   #15
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@ rtrooney: VERY good post!

An interesting read and a great conclusion!
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Old 11-25-2011, 02:18 AM   #16
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....and a great conclusion!
So go play The Last Express NOW!

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Old 11-25-2011, 03:05 AM   #17
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So go play The Last Express NOW!

I already added it to my list of games to play in the upcoming months. And I did so several weeks ago...
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:48 AM   #18
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My first computer was an Amstrad CPC 6128 my Dad got in about 1986 and that and the BBCs, Spectrums, Commodores and Amigas etc. of my friends and at school were my experience of computers until we got a PC in about 1991/1992. KQ6 was one of the first games I had and it changed everything for me! I started discovering the Sierra back catalogue (the 80's stuff) and by the time Gabriel Knight came along I was absolutely hooked. Later Broken Sword and others through the mid 90's kept it going strong.

I went to University in 1998 and even by this time I think the "Golden Age" had passed in England. I remember going into Game and a few other computer game shops around when GK3 was released. There was so little information about it anywhere to be found I didn't know where to find it and when I asked "Do you have Gabriel Knight 3?" I can clearly remember the vacant looks on the faces of staff, it seemed like no-one had even heard of it. It took me ages to even find a copy. Even then it was all about consoles and I even spent a not inconsiderable part of my student loan on a Playstation, Fifa 98 and the original GTA!

I was brought back to adventure games in the early 2000's by Adventure Game Studio when I played Yahtzee's Rob Blanc games and other free titles. I think that my next commercial adventure game purchase after GK3 was probably Black Mirror in 2003 ish and that got me back into commercial adventure games. Since then I would say things have picked up again and now we are in quite a good place genre-wise, compared to the end of the 90's and beginning of 2000's anyway.

Still never played the Last Express though.
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Old 11-25-2011, 04:49 AM   #19
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Also even though I lived in a big city(Rotterdam) and visited several gamestores occasionally I never saw any AGs lining the shelves, it was nothing but platformers for the pc and games like Tekken for the arcade.
I did my shopping in Rotterdam around that time and I was able to find games in shops like:

- Under a Killing Moon
- The 11th Hour (a favorite, came on FOUR CD's!! )
- Blade Runner
- Beneath a Steel Sky (which was already a classic then)

So maybe it's just a question of looking hard.

Although I do admit that we did a lot of copying of Sierra Online games when we were like 10 years old, and played many of those games together after school.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:19 AM   #20
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Well i played adventure games on the amiga. i didn't have a pc until after the millenium.
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