Evoland is a journey through the history of action/adventure gaming, allowing you to unlock new technologies, gameplay systems and graphic upgrades as you progress through the game. Inspired by many cult series that have left their mark in the RPG video gaming culture, Evoland takes you from monochrome to full 3D graphics and from active...
User reviews:
Recent:
Mixed (39 reviews) - 58% of the 39 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (4,152 reviews) - 83% of the 4,152 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 4, 2013

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Reviews

“If You Like Final Fantasy Or Zelda, You Need To Play Evoland”
Kotaku

“Evoland is a fascinating study of the adventure game genre, and surprisingly funny at the same time.”
Wired

“Evoland's elements form a love letter to some of the most venerated games in their respective genres, and it's surprising just how well the shifting gameplay types work together”
Destructoid

“Evoland is a fantastic advert for indie gaming. It's creative, unique, highly entertaining and wonderfully nostalgic. This is a must-play.”
eGamer

Steam Greenlight

About This Game

Evoland is a journey through the history of action/adventure gaming, allowing you to unlock new technologies, gameplay systems and graphic upgrades as you progress through the game. Inspired by many cult series that have left their mark in the RPG video gaming culture, Evoland takes you from monochrome to full 3D graphics and from active time battles to real time boss fights, all with plenty of humor and references to many classic games.

Key Features

  • Play through the history of action-adventure video games
  • Discover many evolutions, from old school 2D action/adventure to active time battles and full 3D action
  • Revisit the starting area rendered in full 3D or explore the overworld with your own airship!
  • And have fun with the dungeons, puzzles, a heap of secrets to uncover, and dozens of achievements and stars to collect

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor:1.7 GHz single-core
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Directx 9.0c compatible video card
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:Windows 7
    • Processor:2.5 GHz dual-core
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:Directx 9.0c compatible video card
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS:10.6 Leopard
    • Processor:1 GHz CPU
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768 or greater desktop screen resolution
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
    Recommended:
    • OS:10.6 Leopard
    • Processor:1 GHz CPU
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:1024x768 or greater desktop screen resolution
    • Hard Drive:100 MB HD space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Mixed (39 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (4,152 reviews)
Recently Posted
Shady Shopkeep
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
The first hour or so of Evoland is fun. Its premise -- explore a world where the graphics and game mechanics continuously evolve via treasure chest unlocks -- is a good one, and one that I don't see enough in gaming. It's nice to see the world shift around you, as you go from a monochrome, GameBoy-esque scene with only one usable button to a 3D world with prerendered graphics, and the sense of generational progress really applies to my sense of nostalgia.

If only they taken that idea and run with it.

About halfway through the game, when you go to 3D, the tone of the game noticably changes. The focus of the game is no longer on constantly evolving graphics and game mechanics; instead, the game tries to be a straight-faced clone of Zelda and Final Fantasy at the same time. If well-executed, this would also be a welcome development, but the game from this point onward has no depth; sure, there are Zelda-like dungeons, Final Fantasy-like random encounters and a story going on, but the dungeons have fairly basic level design, the random encounters occur WAY too frequently (one every five-six steps in the overworld), the combat draws from a miniscule pool of enemies, and the story is so shallow that I couldn't bring myself to care about anything. The first hour was great, but from there the game got very dull, very quickly.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
baconface
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 21
A terrible attempt at satire and contemporary game references. The joke is on the player.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wolf
( 11.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 19
A great but somewhat short RPG for all the fans of the genre out there from all the different decades.

So many nods to other RPG's that we all know and love on some level, some subtle, some not so much.

Despite its short playabilty and lack of replay value, this title is worth a look, I wouldn't pick it up unless it was in a sale however.

I personally 100% cleared all the game had to offer in 11 hours, if you play it more casually and don't go for every single unlock in the game it might be a few hours shorter.

Despite this, its still a great game, I look forward to playing the next one when the time comes.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kahooo
( 1.9 hrs on record )
Posted: June 15
Fast dvd player was the best item, buy that first. Also ♥♥♥♥ lava traps.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SkyGuyAster
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 13
This game is as about as long as the amount of time I spent playing it
Helpful? Yes No Funny
seafox
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 12
Charming indie RPG that takes you through the evolution of RPG gaming's developing styles and designs (From 8-bit turn based to color to 3D sidescroll etc). On the shorter side, but definitely worth a play through if you can pick this up on sale for a few bucks.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SuperHexagod
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 11
The game starts out with some element of fun but as it goes on it gets boring and unbearable to play. I used to think this was a great game but having replayed it today I have no idea what I saw in it. It has no substance and its humour is terrible. It literally has zero redeeming features.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
CtrlAltDestroy
( 7.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
Evoland is one of those joke games where you progress by unlocking a bunch of the fundamental components of video games, such as a pause menu, sound effects, save points, and color graphics. It presents the joke much better than DLC Quest did (And unlike DLC Quest, actually lasts for over fifteen minutes). However, it makes the terrible mistake of emulating some of the worst parts of the games it’s trying to pay homage to, and forcing you to unironically play through them. Such things include:

  • Areas with random encounters every ten steps,
  • A save point system; dying will make you lose progress and revert back to the last save,
  • Entire rooms filled with invisible pits which only appear when you stand next to them,
  • Enemies which teleport around you, enemies you can only attack from the back, and the ever-popular irritating bats,
  • A painfully slow walking speed within dungeons,
  • No minimaps (For most of the game, anyway)
  • Secret collectables hidden behind fake walls with no hints whatsoever,
  • A ridiculously long desert you’re forced to walk across with random encounters every five steps.

The game starts out showing such promise as you unlock interesting bits of game history such as non-grid-based movement, 16-bit graphics, Zelda items, and eventually hi-def 3D graphics. You will even encounter some puzzles which require switching between 2D and 3D versions of the game. However, this all falls apart about halfway through the game, as the game seems to just run out of things to unlock. Before you know it, instead of unlocking cool stuff like minimaps and combo systems, you’ll mostly be getting messages like “You unlocked fireball traps in the next room!” or “You unlocked an enemy ambush!” …I wish I were joking.

The music is nothing spectacular. Most is forgettable, intentionally generic midi-like renditions for satire's sake.

Then there are the stylistic and gameplay inconsistencies. It seems like Evoland is actually 20 separate programs cobbled together in a big pile. Most unlockables will only work for certain areas of the game; Some areas keep their 2D graphics for the entire game even after 3D is unlocked. At one point, you unlock a minimap that only works for about three areas in the entire game (and not the places where you really need them). Plus, you actually have three different, independent kinds of HP which apply to different game areas (Zelda hearts, RPG HP, and a Diablo-style red orb), and getting “fully healed” in one area will only heal you for that specific kind of area. So you might get healed in the town or drink a life potion, only to discover you’re still at half a heart when you return to hunt for secrets in the mine dungeon. It’s not a very well-polished game in this regard.

I give Evoland a 4.5 / 10. There was obviously a lot of soul and humor put into the game by the designers, but the joke goes a bit too far as the game forces upon you hundreds of tedious random encounters, slow-paced dungeons, and unfairly-hidden secrets. The first hour of the game is decent as a work of satire, but everything after that gets tiring fast. Recommended only for the patient.

(It’s about 5 hours to fully complete for an achievement hunter, but be warned: if you’re going for 100%, you might want to forego the blind playthrough and keep an eye on the guide from the start, since the game gives no indication of which collectables you’ve found already. If you’re not careful, you might have to play the game twice.)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
sigh of dog
( 5.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 7
It's a cute little game with a very cool concept -- start with a bare-bones, barely even playable adventure game circa the early 80s, and gradually unlock upgrades to the game's engine until you're playing essentially a reasonably polished PS1 RPG. There have been Flash games such as Upgrade Complete that have toyed with this concept but Evoland's the first one I know of to apply it to the action-adventure/RPG genre.

Sadly, there are problems on the other side of the coin; the first area is charming and innovative, and a bit past that is still fairly amusing, but it quickly becomes apparent that with a tiny handful of exceptions, the game spent the majority of its gimmick early on. Large swaths of the (admittedly tiny) game after that starting area are simply fairly boring treks through generic locales, swapping back and forth between ultra-simple Zelda and ultra-simple Final Fantasy segments back and forth, with Ys-Lite style bosses and one singular area that offers a fun genre shift into hack-n'-slash. There are also various smaller annoyances to add on, such as...

- The random battle rate for the RPG sections and especially the overworld is way, way, WAY too high;
- A few enemies (especially the wasps) dodge attacks too often, and even spells! I see no reason why missing should have even been a mechanic in this game at all;
- There's no way to use your healing magic or items outside of battle;
- The healing fountains/inns are ridiculously few, far between and quite out of the way, even for such a small game;
- As far as I can tell, there's absolutely NO USE to the collectible 'stars' you find throughout the game, except a pointless achievement;
- LIkewise, the collectible cards only serve to let you play an extremely bare-bones ripoff of Triple Triad from Final Fantasy 8, with no rewards earned for winning even the highest difficulty except, again, a pointless achievement;
- In said card game you can't organize decks and it picks at random from all cards you own, meaning it would be most efficient to only collect 5 of the strongest cards and no others, though the minigame's easy enough that it doesn't really matter;
- There's really no story and not even much humor or charm in the dialogue -- it's VERY cut and dry.

The game probably would have also benefitted greatly by either being even shorter and to-the-point but filled with as much love and care as the first area was throughout, or with a bit more length and substance to more fully flesh out the slightly grander ideas presented.

Still, though, it's small and harmless enough to be worth checking out, and when it does do well it's really great. Could have been better, but definitely recommended for the small time commitment and asking price considering how cool the ideas presented are.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
15 of 26 people (58%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
Evoland is one of those joke games where you progress by unlocking a bunch of the fundamental components of video games, such as a pause menu, sound effects, save points, and color graphics. It presents the joke much better than DLC Quest did (And unlike DLC Quest, actually lasts for over fifteen minutes). However, it makes the terrible mistake of emulating some of the worst parts of the games it’s trying to pay homage to, and forcing you to unironically play through them. Such things include:

  • Areas with random encounters every ten steps,
  • A save point system; dying will make you lose progress and revert back to the last save,
  • Entire rooms filled with invisible pits which only appear when you stand next to them,
  • Enemies which teleport around you, enemies you can only attack from the back, and the ever-popular irritating bats,
  • A painfully slow walking speed within dungeons,
  • No minimaps (For most of the game, anyway)
  • Secret collectables hidden behind fake walls with no hints whatsoever,
  • A ridiculously long desert you’re forced to walk across with random encounters every five steps.

The game starts out showing such promise as you unlock interesting bits of game history such as non-grid-based movement, 16-bit graphics, Zelda items, and eventually hi-def 3D graphics. You will even encounter some puzzles which require switching between 2D and 3D versions of the game. However, this all falls apart about halfway through the game, as the game seems to just run out of things to unlock. Before you know it, instead of unlocking cool stuff like minimaps and combo systems, you’ll mostly be getting messages like “You unlocked fireball traps in the next room!” or “You unlocked an enemy ambush!” …I wish I were joking.

The music is nothing spectacular. Most is forgettable, intentionally generic midi-like renditions for satire's sake.

Then there are the stylistic and gameplay inconsistencies. It seems like Evoland is actually 20 separate programs cobbled together in a big pile. Most unlockables will only work for certain areas of the game; Some areas keep their 2D graphics for the entire game even after 3D is unlocked. At one point, you unlock a minimap that only works for about three areas in the entire game (and not the places where you really need them). Plus, you actually have three different, independent kinds of HP which apply to different game areas (Zelda hearts, RPG HP, and a Diablo-style red orb), and getting “fully healed” in one area will only heal you for that specific kind of area. So you might get healed in the town or drink a life potion, only to discover you’re still at half a heart when you return to hunt for secrets in the mine dungeon. It’s not a very well-polished game in this regard.

I give Evoland a 4.5 / 10. There was obviously a lot of soul and humor put into the game by the designers, but the joke goes a bit too far as the game forces upon you hundreds of tedious random encounters, slow-paced dungeons, and unfairly-hidden secrets. The first hour of the game is decent as a work of satire, but everything after that gets tiring fast. Recommended only for the patient.

(It’s about 5 hours to fully complete for an achievement hunter, but be warned: if you’re going for 100%, you might want to forego the blind playthrough and keep an eye on the guide from the start, since the game gives no indication of which collectables you’ve found already. If you’re not careful, you might have to play the game twice.)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 12
Charming indie RPG that takes you through the evolution of RPG gaming's developing styles and designs (From 8-bit turn based to color to 3D sidescroll etc). On the shorter side, but definitely worth a play through if you can pick this up on sale for a few bucks.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
The first hour or so of Evoland is fun. Its premise -- explore a world where the graphics and game mechanics continuously evolve via treasure chest unlocks -- is a good one, and one that I don't see enough in gaming. It's nice to see the world shift around you, as you go from a monochrome, GameBoy-esque scene with only one usable button to a 3D world with prerendered graphics, and the sense of generational progress really applies to my sense of nostalgia.

If only they taken that idea and run with it.

About halfway through the game, when you go to 3D, the tone of the game noticably changes. The focus of the game is no longer on constantly evolving graphics and game mechanics; instead, the game tries to be a straight-faced clone of Zelda and Final Fantasy at the same time. If well-executed, this would also be a welcome development, but the game from this point onward has no depth; sure, there are Zelda-like dungeons, Final Fantasy-like random encounters and a story going on, but the dungeons have fairly basic level design, the random encounters occur WAY too frequently (one every five-six steps in the overworld), the combat draws from a miniscule pool of enemies, and the story is so shallow that I couldn't bring myself to care about anything. The first hour was great, but from there the game got very dull, very quickly.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 19
A great but somewhat short RPG for all the fans of the genre out there from all the different decades.

So many nods to other RPG's that we all know and love on some level, some subtle, some not so much.

Despite its short playabilty and lack of replay value, this title is worth a look, I wouldn't pick it up unless it was in a sale however.

I personally 100% cleared all the game had to offer in 11 hours, if you play it more casually and don't go for every single unlock in the game it might be a few hours shorter.

Despite this, its still a great game, I look forward to playing the next one when the time comes.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
Evoland is basically every bad old RPG rolled up into one. Boring enemies, boring combat, excuse plot, character who dies who you just don’t care about at all (or indeed, care about any of the characters at all), ect.

The game is meant to poke fun at old RPGs, including Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Zelda, Diablo, and others, but frankly, it falls flat. All of the “humor” in the game is basically the game pointing and saying “isn’t this dumb?” It is basically explaining the joke, except there is no joke, just a reference to an older game which isn’t very funny.

The game seems to suggest that you’re going to gradually move through various eras of games, but by about a third of the way into the game, you’re already up to 3D graphics, and it doesn’t really go beyond that. The game feels almost as if it has to rush through to unlock all the earlier stuff and then get to 3D for some reason, even though, quite frankly, the 3D gameplay isn’t very good (but then, neither is the 2D gameplay).

Ultimately, the game is meant to be funny, but isn’t, and is meant to be fun, and also isn’t. The gameplay is as tedious as any old, poorly designed game with very little content; the JRPG overworld encounters happen every five steps or so and are pointless and tedious, while the dungeon Zelda-type movement is very basic, containing very little variety of monsters, none of which are particularly interesting to fight. The game contains three bosses, two of which are pretty boring; one of them is basically “stand there and hit it until it dies”, and another is a standard “dodge the charge and hit them” boss. Only the final boss shows any signs of real gameplay, and even there, it was kind of tepid.

There’s just nothing here for anyone. If you’re looking for humor, the game isn’t funny; if you’re looking for a game which is fun to play, this isn’t. It doesn’t even feel original, as literally everything in it is referential, meaning any “originality” it might have from the whole idea of evolving into the modern day of gameplay is basically dead on arrival, buried under a pile of old video game references.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
159 of 174 people (91%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
You start as an 8-bit/2D adventurer and evolve into a 3 dimentional beau sabreur on your journey. You get better music, you get a storyline and you get to chop-chop skeletons and come across a new lady friend. Entering caves, you collect crystals, sometimes cards, sometimes stars. You notice there's a village with people in melancholy. Perhaps there's something wrong? And then you discover about the evil which has caused widespread chaos(huh? not really) and decay in the reign.

What Evoland is good at :
  • Strong, visionary concept.
  • Great soundtrack.
  • A great mix of elements taken from the classic oldies.
  • Potrays somewhat good visuals.
  • Real-time combat is fun to meddle with.
  • Reference/citations to some great games.

What Evoland does wrong :
  • Horrendous exceution of an intently created artistic concept.
  • Turn based combat irritates you more than it does to entertain.
  • A very short story of 3 hours that leaves you with quite disappointed.
  • Collectibles are futile to attain.
  • A typical, generic story.

Evoland feels more like a documentary and parody of the classics than it does at being authentic. Perhaps that is the point? Evoland feels fun at times, of course it does. It lives off your nostalgia, being the sole reason you should play it but more often than not it simply name checks. It strives to imitate the plus points of the great games but fails to evolve as one itself.

Evoland is a good game to journey through and revisit memories if you get it for less than five dollars. But if you pay more than that, your experience will seem more unworthy than fun.

My Rating - "Gets the job done"
Traditional Rating - 6 on 10.
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418 of 558 people (75%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2013
What starts off as a promising concept falls badly flat. The first half of the game is all about unlocking more and more features, which is implemented very well, and would have made a great game if they'd stuck with it. But as soon as you unlock "3D" the game just becomes alternately a bad zelda clone and a bad FF clone. The concept of "unlocks" goes out the window, in favor of "whatever gimick we feel like giving you for a short while, then taking away".

The puzzles requiring you to switch between different "eras" are briliant. Pity that this idea was so sparingly and arbitrarily applied.

Bottom line: A great set of ideas looking for a better game.
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68 of 77 people (88%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2013
A short, sweet, but well written love letter to the games of the 80s and 90s, Evoland is a must play for anyone who grew up on classic Zelda, Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. There's even a Diablo level thrown in for good measure. Evoland is quite literally a walk through RPG history, starting with black and white 8-bit and ending with 6th gen level graphics. Nintendo's infamous "rule of 3" is in abundance, as are the frequent turn based FF/DQ battles. The game has a few bugs, and hit detection on some things is a bit off in the Zelda segments, but it's hardly game breaking. I have to stress that the game is short and has little to no replay value, but it's still well worth it for fans of the old school.
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90 of 115 people (78%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2013
Might not be the best RPG around in terms of story and lenght, but it features a very interesting concept of multiple environmental and combat systems which can be found througout the history of RPG games (i.e. Legend of Zelda, Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy and Diablo game mechanics and graphics, among others). As you continue through the game, you'll unlock new mechanics and new graphic modes which resemble the next step in the genre's evolution - hence the name "Evoland". It's worth the price for a couple of hours of fun, a nice story and a look through the story of the genre.
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54 of 60 people (90%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: September 17, 2015
It's not often that I find myself really enjoying a game but agreeing wholeheartedly with the people who gave it a negative review. Yet, that's what I experienced with Evoland, an RPG that bills itself as a "journey through the history of action/adventure gaming".

Evoland exists more as unrealized potential than as a genuinely good RPG. The gameplay/story elements it gets right are amazing, but it also has many problems that keep it from being a standout in the genre.

The game itself takes heavy influences from the Final Fantasy games. You start out as an random knight in a forest, quickly gaining the ability to do basic things like walk in different directions, fight enemies and learn more about the plot (which is only there for the sake of an achievement joke). From there, you meet a young girl who aids you in your journey and you both set off to defeat the evil lord who's trying to take over the world. Pretty standard stuff.

More than anything else in the game, the plot (and by proxy, the introduction and jokes about various RPG concepts) is really only good for the first hour. Many of the gameplay elements fall apart the further you go into the game.

Chief among them is the random battle system. Not only is it incredibly annoying (you get attacked every few steps on the world map), but there's no real purpose for any of it. You can attack or heal, and you gain levels that give you more HP or magic power, but this doesn't translate to the rest of the game. There are three distinct battle systems - the standard RPG turn-based system, a Torchlight-inspired hack-n-slash with a health globe, and a Zelda-esque dungeon mode with heart containers. None of these systems have anything to do with each other, and there's no point grinding in the overworld.

The same goes for the collectibles you find. There are gamecards (based off Triple Triad/Triad Master from Final Fantasy) that are scattered throughout the world, but their purpose is never clear until halfway through, and playing games with them is pointless. There's a powerful magic attack that unlocks after a boss battle, but you have to wait a very, very long time to use it, and its only use is to kill trash mobs. You get a bunch of items dumped on you during the hack-n-slash dungeon, but most of them don't do anything at all, and the minimap you gain in said dungeon doesn't even work half the time.

It's frustrating, because when the game is firing on all cylinders, it's a wonderful experience. There was a moment where I was trying to figure out a puzzle in a forest, seamlessly switching between 2D Zelda-style graphics and a full 3D realization of the same forest, and marveling in awe at how fluid the transition was. Likewise, there are some amusing jokes and throwbacks to games like Final Fantasy VII and VIII that had me smirking as I played.

The best part of the game is the sense of achievement you get when you find a new chest, and open it for a random surprise. This runs the gamut from increased graphics to gameplay changes, new weapons and more. It's that sense of pursuit for the next unlock that drives my enjoyment of the game.

The gameplay itself is also enjoyable, and the constant belittling of the main characters by NPCs is quite amusing, especially when you can't speak to adults in the early game until you eat a magical seed that inexplicably causes you to age a decade and become an adult.

In the end, I felt that Evoland was a great experience in spite of the problems associated with it, and I'm excited to see what the developers will bring to the table for the sequel (also available on Steam). The evolving gameplay and charming characterization is what sets this apart from a lot of other RPGs.

Definitely worth checking out, if only for the first hour.

For more reviews, visit my Curator page, Alex's RPG Recommendations!
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