Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. If you love games with perfect platforming, beautiful art, infectious music, crazy bosses, humor and levity, and real heart… Shovel Knight is for you!
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (4,008 reviews)
Release Date: Jun 26, 2014

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Buy Shovel Knight + Soundtrack

Includes the base game and soundtrack DLC


Recommended By Curators

"I'm personally not much of a fan of retro platformers, which is why I was surprised that I enjoyed this so much. A tight and enjoyable experience."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (11)

January 27

Version 1.2.3B - Minor Controller Fixes

A tiny update today which address two input issues:

Fix: Unable to enter bindings menu with a controller while another device is detected as disconnected in slot zero. Pretty common with Bluetooth devices.
Fix: Mac bindings for Retrobit NES USB adapter didn't include bindings for the dpad.

2 comments Read more

January 9

Version 1.2.3A - More Technical Fixes

A new technical fix update is here. I hope your new year is off to a pleasant start!

•Fix: “shaking” movement on map which could occur when playing with VSync disabled.
•Fix: Defeating a wandering encounter while on the sides of the screen could result in a bugged cinematic with the player running endlessly off screen. That’s ice cold, SK. At least stick around long enough to their departing dialogue!
•Fix: German typo in opening text.
•Linux: Improved audio configuration. For more check out Linux Audio Troubleshooting Thread
•Additional controller support. Thank you for continuing to submit your devices!
•Controller bindings made from within Steam (Big Picture, etc) are no longer overridden by bindings within the game’s controller database.
•Fix: Crash when a large number of controllers are connected.

10 comments Read more


“Shovel Knight is one of the best platformers I've ever played, period.”
9.5 – Destructoid

“Whether you were weaned on an NES like I was, or don't yet know what you missed in a time before you were born, Shovel Knight is an absolute must-play.”
9.0 – IGN

“Shovel Knight is so much more than a love letter to the genre — it is, in fact, the kind of game people write love letters about.”
9.0 – Polygon

About This Game

Shovel Knight is a sweeping classic action adventure game with awesome gameplay, memorable characters, and an 8-bit retro aesthetic. It's a hot mashup of new and old! You play as the eponymous Shovel Knight, a small knight with a huge quest. Shovel Knight has come to this land with two goals: to defeat the evil Enchantress and quest for his lost beloved. He wields a Shovel Blade: a multipurpose weapon whose techniques have now been lost to the ages. Always honest and helpful, Shovel Knight is a shining example of the code of Shovelry: Slash Mercilessly and Dig Tirelessly!

But, between Shovel Knight and his beloved stands a cadre of villainous knights. These terrible foes, known as The Order of No Quarter, have been dispatched to prevent Shovel Knight from reaching the Enchantress, and will pursue their mission at any cost. If you love games with perfect platforming, beautiful art, infectious music, crazy bosses, humor and levity, and real heart… Shovel Knight is for you!


  • Shovel Knight’s beautifully authentic style bridges the gap between yesterday and today. Design, art, and audio hearken back to the days of 8-bit.
  • The systems of today also give Shovel Knight modern touches: detailed animation, multilayered parallax backgrounds, and evolved game design.
  • Perfect your platforming skills as you take down each of the knights of the Order of No Quarter.
  • Flip enemies! Leap over gaps! Duel with foes! Dig up treasure! Find Secrets! Upgrade! Shovel Knight is simple to learn and play, but challenge lies everywhere.
  • Awesome soundtrack by Jake "Virt" Kaufman with additional songs by Manami Matsumae!
  • Master an array of magical Relic subweapons.
  • Amass riches to upgrade your armor and weapons.
  • Detailed, living background and animation! Big, beautiful pixels!
  • Crazy bosses and lovable characters.
  • Balanced gameplay is a warm welcome to newcomers, and an old embrace for experts.
  • A light touch to narrative with humor, levity, and heart.
  • Overworld Map allows your quest unfold in a unique order!

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP SP2
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2nd Generation Intel Core HD Graphics (2000/3000), 256MB
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • OS: OS X 10.7.5 or later
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0 ghz or equivalent
    • Graphics: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 and Newer
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1 ghz or equivalent
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2nd Generation Intel Core HD Graphics (2000/3000), 256MB
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
71 of 89 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
Video review embedded below.

Shovel Knight is quite possibly the best faux-NES game I've ever played.

It's an homage to 8-bit glory, in love with the past but never constrained by it, taking everything that was ever great about the era and bringing it together with a modern design insight. There's a purity driving the experience, distilling the essence of classic 2D platformers without sacrificing depth or refinement, continually asking you to reevaluated your expectations as it pours out an abundance of creativity. It gave me something I already loved and then found ways to make it better, as I made my way through with a stupid grin on my face like I was rediscovering games again for the first time.

There's this fundamental mechanical understanding at the heart of Shovel Knight that forms the invisible glue holding it all together. Every platform, enemy, and secret area is tuned so perfectly to how the game plays that playing it feels almost instinctual, like you knew before even picking up the controller exactly how everything works. And that's likely in large part do to how much Shovel Knight borrows from the games that built the genre it resides in, but there's never a feeling that it's ripping anything off. It's entirely its own creation, with its own quirks and strategies, but playing it is so natural and fluid that it feels like an old friend that's been hiding all these years.

Shovel Knight's understandable nature shouldn't be mistaken for simplicity, as the burden has simply been shifted from interfacing with the game to relentless level designs and boss fights. Progression always feels earned and satisfying, be it a treasure chest at the end, a tricky enemy, or just managing to clear a difficult platform sequence. But Shovel Knight also never falls into the realm of being unfair. Its rules are plainly laid out and death is simply another learning experience, as you figure out new ways to tackle a situation. No matter how many times I died it never seemed as if the game was cheating me, and I always wanted to rush immediately back in to try it again.

Where so many 8-bit games require root memorization and perfect execution, Shovel Knight doesn't want to waste your time or break your abilities; it wants to teach you how to play better. Success is rewarded and brings with it new challenges such as destroying checkpoints for a bigger reward, or secret areas you couldn't access or weren't aware were there before. It made me want to seek out everything there was to see, to take on the biggest challenge to discover new tools and places, and never failed to have something cool to show me at the end.

Playing Shovel Knight was probably one of the more nostalgic experiences I've ever had with a game. It reintroduced me to that raw joy and excitement I had when I first started playing games as a child, but without the memory shattering disappointment that so often comes with revisiting the things I used to love. It stands on its own as a brilliantly executed creation without dismissing that which came before it, familiar yet completely inspired and so unbelievably fun with every swing of your shovel; the sort of game I feel compelled to tell others about and all but force them to play in the hopes they experience what I did from the very first screen.
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39 of 43 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2014
Looking for another fake retro game by lazy developers cashing in on oversaturated trends? One with immature memes, pointless obscure NES references, low-effort pixel graphics, and trial-and-error difficulty that'll make you pull your hair out? Good, then look at literally everywhere else, and stay away from Shovel Knight.

Unlike the useless piles of Super Meat Boy clones and the uninspired puzzle platformers, this game does something that nobody has thought of before: it shows us the reasons we love retro gaming by removing all the things we hated about it. Take out the punishing difficulty, unintuitive physics, blinding-speed reaction times, tedious grinding, and ridiculously stressful objectives, and it turns out, yes, there’s still something left to love about the old games beyond masochism and nostalgia, something that was lost over the ages.

Difficulty is not hard, but not easy; it's about just at the right level to feel satisfying when skill takes over. The controls and jump arc are simply perfect. There are tons of secret tricks that aren't explained, but will make you feel smart when you discover them yourself. Tough challenges become simple if you find clever ways to use your items. Graphics use the retro color palettes to great effect and can only be described as sweet, shiny eye candy, nothing like the crappy MSPaint doodles you'll see in other pixel games. It's got powerful, energetic chiptune music that doesn't always make sense, but is catchy and gets you pumped to play -- every track is like some offspring of the Wily fortress music from Mega Man 2 and Castlevania 2's Bloody Tears. You can wreck enemies with the Downstab from Zelda 2, the Deluge from Faxanadu, the microphone from Kirby's Adventure, or even a fishing rod -- or sneak past them with invincibility, if you've got magic power to spare. Best of all, the challenges are rewarding and simply a joy to play from beginning to end -- you'll never feel afraid of what the game has in store for you, you'll just want to see more. And even if you die, you can even get your stuff back if you dare to try again.

Believe the hype. As of now, I consider Shovel Knight the best fake retro game of all time. If you don't get why the retro fad is even happening in the first place, how so many gamers could possibly have such blind nostalgia for such old, technically inferior games with chiptunes and pixel graphics, this game might just show you why we all love retro gaming and why it will never go away. A rare 10/10!
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36 of 45 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: February 12
Simple, retro-styled gameplay coupled with tight, responsive controls and a stellar soundtrack all come together to make Shovel Knight an instant indie hit. Shovel Knight is the tale of a knight with an unconventional weapon out to take down the Enchantress and rescue his beloved. Giving nods to old 8-bit titles such as Mega-Man, Super Mario, and Castlevania, Shovel Knight shows us that retro still holds up even now. Borrowing all of the best bits and pieces of each of those titles and making them it’s own, Shovel Knight perfects each aspect and delivers a thrilling game experience.

*Simple, tight controls
*Detailed 8-bit environments and animations
*Retro gameplay and mechanics
*Lots of sub-weapons to mix up your arsenal
*Challenging boss battles
*Amazing soundtrack
*Effective upgrade system for health and magic
*Tons of secrets to find
*New Game +

*Bad? There isn’t anything bad about Shovel Knight!
*Ok fine, If you have to have a con, it’s that the game isn’t nearly long enough for how awesome it is. If it were a 200 hour adventure, it MIGHT be long enough.

Shovel Knight's greatest feat is disguising itself as "old school" when it's design philosophy couldn't be any further from it. This title is a game every fan of retro classics of the NES era should own, and it’s available on a variety of platforms, including Steam and the Nintendo 3DS.

If you liked this review or want to see more recommended games, be sure to follow our curator group: Follow Original Curator Group
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36 of 46 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
9.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
+ Beautiful artwork
+ Awesome soundtrack
+ Great variety of enemies and levels
+ Challenging

- ???

Definitely one of my favorite games this year!!
Everyone 20+ years old will love it!

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21 of 24 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
25.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Shovel Knight is one of those games that you instantly fall in love with. It borrows from all the best games (Zelda 2, Megaman, Mario 3, Ducktales and Castlevania) while retaining a style and humor all its own. It has incredible platforming, a lot of items, but the thing I loved the most was the design of each one of the characters from The Order of no Quarter. WOW! The environments and characters have so much detail and personality to them, it's surprising to see that level of detail in an NES 8-bit style game. Yacht Club did such an amazing job with this game. It gives the nostalgia off the NES and it does it by it's classic-style game play. If you like Mega-Man, Link's Adventure, and other 8-bit adventures, then this is for you.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
22.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 5
Platformer perfection. A love letter to days of gaming past where games were challenging but not unforgiving and stories didnt take themselves too seriously, only rather than just be a love letter, they improved on every aspect of platformer gameplay and made what might be considered the most perfect game of all time. Literally perfection.

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19 of 26 people (73%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 9
Shovel Knight begins as most adventures do. Two adventurers, Shovel Knight and Shield Knight, are off on a journey when they come across the Tower of Fate. Inside they find a cursed amulet, which knocks Shovel Knight out. When he wakes up, Shield Knight is nowhere to be found. Shovel Knight becomes depressed and begins living a life of solitude, until one day the Evil Enchantress and her Order of No Quarter arrive to take over the land. Shovel Knight takes up his trusty shovel and makes his way to the Tower to defeat the Enchantress and her Order. Why he’s got a shovel in particular is never really made clear, haha.

While simple, the story does it's job. It keeps you interested and gives you a purpose. This of course is accented by amazing gameplay inspired by old school retro classics such as Mega Man, Castlevania, The Adventures of Link, Super Mario Bros, and even Ducktales. Shovel Knight borrows a few mechanics from some of the aforementioned game, but succeeds in making them its own. You can use your shovel to attack enemies, as well as dig up piles of dirt to find treasure, gems, and coins (these serve as your currency). You can also do a downward plunge attack, very much like Scrooge's pogo stick in Ducktales. This is pretty much all you can do, that is until you get your first relic. Relics are your sub-weapons, similar to Castlevania, with each use costing Magic to use. You can swap between relics at anytime via the inventory screen. They each have a specific use, like the Phase Locket allowing you to temporarily become invulnerable, or the Fiery Wand, which allows you to shoot fireballs in a straight path in front of you. Relics are found in one of two ways: either by finding the NPC Chester hidden in each stage, or by buying it from Chester in the first town. Buying it from him in town is more expensive though! In addition to these attacks and relics, you can aslo purchase abilities and armor upgrades in a later area.

The range and variety of enemies is impressive for any game, retro or otherwise, and there are some particularly good Mega Man-inspired boss battles. They all have their movement patterns to learn, but rather than just shooting a red flashing body part three times each encounter always has a more complex puzzle element. In Shovel Knight boss battles are things you actually look forward to as a culmination of the level’s ideas – not a semi-interactive cut scene before the next stage. Where the game doesn’t excel quite as well is the level design, which vacillates between making clever use of the shovel and more generic 2D platform arrangements. There are a lot of cleverly hidden secrets and shortcuts though, which together with the fact that you have to collect dropped gold from your corpse when you die is as reminiscent of Dark Souls as it is Super Mario World. Instant death whenever hitting a spike pit seems excessive punishment though and even if the checkpoint-ing is relatively generous the platforming gets so difficult by the end that it still won’t be enough for many less experienced gamers. Shovel Knight himself is also quite heavy for a platform character, although after an hour or so play you simply adjust to his slightly slower rhythm.

In most cases the game understands exactly when to stay old school and when to defer to more modern design theories. Even the visuals aren’t really anything like a NES. The number of colours and larger sprites are PC Engine level at least, which may seem inauthentic but allows for much more interesting visuals while still maintaining the retro tone. Shovel Knight’s creators clearly understand that while graphics are never entirely timeless good gameplay is, and if Shovel Knight really had been released back in the early ’90s it would’ve been rightly acknowledged as a great example of its art. The soundtrack for the game is fantastic. Each level has their own catchy tune, as does each boss fight. As you collect songs from the stages, you can sell them to the Bard in town for 500 gold each. Then at any time, once you've returned a song, you can request that the Bard play it in town for free! Good times are had by all.

Shovel Knight is a fantastic call to nostalgia and is a well-designed game overall. There's also a New Game+ feature where enemies deal more damage to you, and 45 achievements to collect in all! Thankfully you don't even need to open the Steam overlay to see what achievements you have, because at the main menu you can select "Feats" so see all of your accomplishments. The game is playable both with and without relics, so the game is as challenging as you want it to be. Can you dig it? I sure can!

A Must Play

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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 10
This game is a perfect tribute to the 8 bit glory and the best freakin platformer i've played in a while.


+Simple and easy controls
+Amazing 8 bit music
+Perfect Retro gameplay and mechanics
+Lots of Magic, armor, weapon and health upgrades
+Gold farming mini game
+Creative boss battles

-Boss battles and the game in general is too damn easy
-Short :(
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
One of the best games of 2014. It's like the best parts of castlevania and mega man with some modern convienence.
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 7, 2014
I was born one morning when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked into a mine
I pogoed on some critters while digging up some loot
now when my life bar is full I can finally shoot
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 25
Shovel Knight is a gem.
It is an action-platformer wearing the armor of an 8-bit NES game, but at it's heart it plays like a brilliant modern platformer.
I personally did not like the graphical style when I saw screenshots of the game, but as soon as I started playing it I thought that with all the animations and unique settings, it looked good. The 8-bit music is great and suits perfectly the game.

Now that the style is out of the way, I will focus on the flesh of the game:
The Shovel Knight has to battle through 8 levels and their associated boss before being able to tackle the final levels and the final boss. A few other levels or boss fights exist on the world map, which is presented in a style reminiscent of Super Mario Bros 3. Unlike Super Mario Bros 3 there is only one world map to explore, so the game might appear short (around 8-10h), but each level is long and received so much care and is so unique that Shovel Knight is really a tight experience that doesn't overstay this welcome or feels like a repetitive grind.

I started this section with the description of the levels on purpose, because each level is actually very unique and has its own gameplay quirks and its own visual style and its own original boss fight. This is really where the game shines, in its variety of situations associated with an excellent level design.

The Shovel Knight is able to perform a drop-down attack with his shovel, which will be at the center of the gameplay. Some harder sections require to navigate through screens only with drop-down attacks. Some platforms can only be activated with a drop-down attack on a switch. Some secret places can be accessed through a drop-down attack then rebound on an enemy.
The combat features a lot of different enemies with their own visual style and attacks. Unlike recent Rayman or old Mario games where enemies feel more like a moving obstacle rather than a dangerous threat, Shovel Knight requires more subtlety and fighting skills.
A secondary attack which can be equipped with a wide range of magic powers helps deal damages or evade them.

The only real controversial point about the game is that a player loses money upon dying. The money can be retrieved on the location of death, but it can sometimes be impossible to retrieve. The good thing is that there is an incentive not to die even though there are no finite "lives" and that it creates mini-challenges, the bad thing is that some levels can squeeze their fortune out of the player and will make it harder on already struggling players.

Overall, Shovel Knight is a polished game full of personality made by talented developers, it offers a tight and satisfyingly challenging experience, and shines through its perfect gameplay and excellent level design. An easy recommendation for anyone looking for a good action-platformer.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: April 27
I struggle to think of a single thing I don't love about this game. The music is stellar, the pixel art looks crisp and authentic, every level is varied and unique, and the Mega Man/Castlevania-inspired gameplay kept me going from start to finish.

This game is a must-buy for 2D platformer enthusiasts.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Awesome game and rocking soundtrack! :)
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9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 4
A must have if you're a massive fan of shoveling ♥♥♥♥!
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
medieval megaman
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
This game is amazing. It not only successfully replicates the aesthetic and design philosphies of the 8bit era games that it's paying homage to (primarily Mega Man) but it manages to, in my opinion, be straight up better than those games in nearly every way.

Even if you found titles like Mega Man 2 to be too archaic for whatever reason, Shovel Knight adds in enough modern convenience through the likes of intelligently placed checkpoints to allow practically anyone to succeed. For those wanting a more traditional challenge, you can manually destroy those checkpoints to get bonus gold - a great example of scalable difficulty.

The audio visual aesthetic is sublime - it does its best effort to stay within the confines of the NES's hardware while cheating slightly to expand upon the color pallette and allow environmental/lighting effects. If you're even remotely fond of chiptune music, the OST here should be enough reason for you to check this title out.

Seriously, just pick this title up. Only downside is it's quite short - taking around 4-6 hours for a playthrough.
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 24
First of all, I'm one of those people who wasn't in age to play the NES era, I always found it overrated by people who think that this was the golden era of gaming because they had full nostalgia glasses most of the time. I'm still a fan of games like castlevania, megaman or the mario series, but most of the other games are not very good and hasn't aged well in my opinion.

Saying this, I love shovel knight, is a game that made a good mix of 8 bit gameplay with modern gameplay. This is a game where difficulty is skill related and not unfair like some games from the NES era. The levels are well designed, with tons of secrets locations that require some strategy to reach. Also the shovel mechanics are remniscent to the duck tales series, which is great since makes the plataforming very funny.

Graphics are great, isn't like most indie games where one has the feel that they used nes sprites for laziness or skill rather than artistic direction. The animations are superb and do a good job on telling the emoions of some characters. I's true, Shovel Knight pulls things that couldn't be used on a real NES, but still, is a game that feels close to those game from the final years of the console.

Music is also good, nothing to write home about but makes his job well. The writing is also well done, it has a great sense of humour and the story gets an emotional ending that will make you want for more.

In conclusion, shovel knight is one of he best games that I had played this last year, is a proof that kickstarter games could work when you put realistic goals, and is a test that you can make 8 bit games this day that doesn't feel lke lazy jobs and that could get the status of timeless clasic,
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
I absoultley love this game. Its like the old Mario games on nes but with a knight twist to it. If you are Dark Souls and old school Mario fan,then this is the game for you.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
It's awesomely cool.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
This is my #1 platfomer game on steam :)
the developer stick to 16 color pallete and nintendo/famicom music (they even use tracker that use VC6 mode!)
the art, music and gameplay are awesome
can't wait for plague knight update
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