Interact with the spirits of the dead, solve the puzzles of the mysterious mansion and help Elena find her missing father in the horror/adventure puzzle game: Whispering Willows.
User reviews: Very Positive (185 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 9, 2014

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Digital Art Book, Soundtrack, and Wallpaper


Recommended By Curators

"I would therefore sooner recommend the game to inexperienced puzzlers and those looking for a good story about Native American folklore."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (15)

April 8

Price Change & Bug Fixes- Patch 1.23

Hello spooky soldiers!

Going forward Whispering Willows will be $9.99 with the Deluxe Edition at $14.99! We hope this attractive new price incentivizes many new players!

We have been working the last few weeks fixing lingering bugs and issues to tighten up the game as much as possible. The full change log is below.

Patch Notes:

  • There is now mouse support on the main menu
  • Various issues with the Chinese translation has been fixed including missing characters and hard to read font
  • Translated the space bar in all languages. Previously it read [SPACE] no matter what language you had selected
  • Cutscene audio can now be adjusted by the SFX tab in settings. Previously it was unaffected by either audio tab
  • You can change the pages of notes/diary entries by pushing left and right
  • Elena can now enter buildings while running
  • Elena can now crawl under designated areas while running
  • We simplified some stairwells by allowing you to continue holding the direction you were moving, instead of pushing up or down. This doesn't apply for complex stairwells i.e. the one in the entrance of the mansion
  • Fixed bug where only one resolution would display in Settings
  • Fixed bug where you couldn't change the graphics quality in Settings
  • Fixed bug when you exited Credits, the flame cursor disappeared
  • Fixed bug where if you went through the tutorial and quit the game (after you flipped the switch), you'd be unable to enter the first door once reloaded
  • Fixed bug where if you hit the run button while going down a ladder, human Elena would float and walk in the air
  • Fixed bug where if in particular spots if you paused the game, Elena would float upwards
  • *SPOILER* Fixed bug where evil Martha continued to move towards Elena while the game was paused

1 comments Read more

March 18

Check out the updated Night Light website!

We've launched a new and updated Night Light website! With this redesigned cleaner look we hope to highlight the best qualities of Whispering Willows and the company. You'll also notice a sneak peak of our next title Nomad!

Check it out and stay tuned for upcoming big news :)

1 comments Read more


“A horror/adventure puzzle game with an absolutely gorgeous aesthetic.”

“If you are looking for something a little dark with paranormal undertones, you are going to like this game.”
8.5/10 – Altered Confusion

“Steam users have a delightful adventure game to look forward to.”
8/10 – Noob Feed

About This Game

Young Elena Elkhorn embarks on a harrowing journey to find her missing father and discover the secrets of the Willows Mansion. Aiding her journey is a unique amulet, she received from her father, which allows her to astral project her spirit into a ghostly-realm and communicate with the dead. Play as Elena to find her missing father, use your astral projection to solves the mansion’s tricks and puzzles, help the lingering souls and discover so much more in Whispering Willows.

Game Features

  • Immerse yourself in a beautifully hand-drawn 2-D world as you traverse the Mansion grounds
  • Allow the haunting music and chilling sound effects to send goosebumps across your neck.
  • Let the history of the Willows Mansion draw you into a plot full of twists and betrayal.
  • Explore the vast Mansion and unlock its puzzling secrets as you search for your missing Father.

Deluxe Edition includes:

  • Digital Art Book - A 56 page Digital Art book exploring the concepts and style used to create the art of Whispering Willows
  • Soundtrack - 10 Tracks of original music from Whispering Willows
  • Wallpaper - 1920x1280 Wallpaper of Elena Elkhorn

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2 cpus 2.3 Ghz to 2.69 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • OS: 10.7 or higher
    • Processor: 2 cpus 2.3 Ghz to 2.69 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Processor: 2 cpus 2.3 Ghz to 2.69 Ghz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 4000 or higher
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
Whispering Willows is a monkey's-paw of a game. Everything about (the art style, the story, the soundwork) is absolutely stellar.

Then you have to move around. Elaina can run - when you're outside. Except there's nothing to do outside except run to the next building, and the choice to have Metroidvania-style backtracking in a game that makes you walk, verrrrry slowly, is just a game-killer.

I want to like it, everything about it is extremely my jam, but the frustratingly slow pace just feels like completely artificial and aggravating padding. I'd rather the game be short (because you can actually traverse the damn world) than un-fun.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 22, 2014
I was a backer of the Kickstarter and I'll admit that I was originally in it for the soundtrack. I wasn't sure what to think about the story and gameplay at first. However, after playing the game I found it a rather enjoyable experience. Certainly a huge step up from the Web-based demo I had played previously. While there are a few things that did frustrate me a bit, particularly the lack of running indoors, those are minor nitpicks when you take into account the positive aspects. The story starts off with a girl trying to find her father and she quickly discovers a mystery at the Willows mansion and her journey takes her delving into a centuries-old tale that tugs at the heartstrings. If you like stories that evoke emotion and make you think then you can't go wrong with this one. Just make sure you pick up all of the notes lieing around for the entire story.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2014
Whispering Willows is an intriguing horror/adventure puzzle game that takes cues from Native American lore to bring the "haunted mansion" levels so often seen in RPGs to the forefront of the story. The game is about Elena, a girl whose father went missing and who keeps getting nightmares about his disappearance. Determined to find him, she sets off to the mansion, but it turns out that the Ghostbusters hadn't exactly come here yet. (There's actually an achievement referencing this, so I'm allowed to make that joke! :P)

The best part of Whispering Willows has got to be its aesthetic. I absolutely love the art style of this game; everything is so beautifully rendered, from Elena to her spirit to the environment and all of the buildings and effects. Even torches and fireplaces look absolutely magnificent.

Unfortunately, that's pretty much it for the good. The story is extremely bland; there's no voice acting besides some sounds in the cutscenes, and little is actually said by any of the characters that talk to Elena. She herself doesn't seem to have any lines besides the aforementioned cutscenes. Outside of the intro cutscene, there isn't much to what's going on, and it's just "solve this mystery, now solve this mystery, oh hey someone's chasing you".

The gameplay mechanics are there, but even these are under-utilized. What Whispering Willows allows players to do is take control of Elena's spirit separate from her body, using it to get through tight spaces or possess items or switches to help Elena advance. Unfortunately, this isn't used enough times, and it feels like a gimmick more than anything when you do have to use it. Most of the time it's just used to talk to characters that don't really add much.

Probably the worst part of the game is its pacing. It feels like everything is happening so slowly... Elena walks too slow, or there's too many corridors, or there's too many levers, or you don't know what to do next because almost nothing is explained to you, or usually a combination of all of that. I was getting really bored really fast. Not to mention, every time I tried to press the SHIFT key to start running and speed things up, Elena turned to me and refused. It's like Elena wants to admire the scenery of human bones more than I do.

It's still regarded as a really good game by the few people who have reviewed it, so don't let my experiences completely shroud your potential of playing this game. Especially if you're looking for something based off of Native American lore; there's plenty of that in the journal entries.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
This is a cute little adventure game. I was actually a kickstarter supporter of this project, but like many kickstarter projects, they sound better on paper than they are in execution.

This is not to say this is a bad game. The story is charming, the 2D art is incredibly well drawn, and the music is appropriately creepy. This is Night Light studios' first foray into gaming, and they did a decent job.

The overall experience was lacking in a few areas, however. The puzzles are quite simple, your character is rarely in any kind of danger and there's a lot of backtracking involved. This can get tiresome when considering Elena's plodding walking pace (though I hear a subsequent patch has fixed this).

The game is also quite short. You're looking at about five hours of play, so keep that in mind before you decide to spend your money.

If you're a fan of adventure games, you'll probably like Whispering Willows, but I think that the full price tag is perhaps a little high for this game. I'd recommend putting it on your wishlist and waiting for a sale.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
A friend of mine bought this game after I expressed interest in it since the puzzle mechanics looked a lot like the ones in Ghost Trick, and while I did have fun playing the game, there were some difficulties to be had with it.


First off, while I didn't run into a lot of glitches in my playthrough, getting Elena up and down stairs was ocassionally finicky when it came to placement, which can get sort of annoying. I also don't understand why the choice was made to have her unable to run around indoors, but that's just me. When Elena loses her powers halfway through the game, it really puts a damper on the fun of it all, not to mention it seems unecessary cop out and sort of ruins the purpose of having the powers as a prominent showcase if you're just not going to use them in the second half of the game. Puzzles involving interesting mechanics like this shouldn't be shoved into the corner for the climax of the game only to be brought out to do one or two things at the end.

Secondly, as far as story goes, the game is a little... lacking. It starts out well enough, and a reversal of the Dad Looks For Missing Daughter trope is always welcome. It even continues fairly well with the way that you were able to help a few of the people who's lives Wadsworth ruined in his mad attempts to speak to his wife again. While I liked that you could reconcile Darby and Skyflower, I had a problem with the fact that Elena couldn't explain to Fleur that Wadsworth was kind of ♥♥♥♥, or that you couldn't find out more about the veritable ♥♥♥♥ing menagerie of ghosts milling about the mansion.

It also makes no sense that Wadsworth is showing her the suffering that he's had to go through in his life, but despite it not really being time travel and basically being projections in his own mind, Elena can still somehow alter events and give him knowledge of what could have happened when none of the characters have a reason to know any of this stuff at all. And in addition to that, after seeing that his own greed and desperation to see Martha again lead to a genocide, the murder of two people he'd loved, and the probable neglect of his son, to have him be able to flit off to the afterlife scott-free (especially since Elena's nonsensical foray into what could have been doesn't actually change the fact that he killed two people and slaughtered her ancestors) is unsatisfying and anticlimactic. While it's all well and good for us to consider the nature of good and evil, setting up the Big Bad of your game as an admittedly realistic portrayal of the attitude taken during Western Expansion in the U.S. and then having it turn out to be some mysterious dark lady-shaped force posessing him for no reason is just disappointing.

Finally, merging those two points, I feel like the game could have been stretched out a little more if the random ghosts had been given little miniquests or something that would allow you to accomplish certain tasks for rewards (e.g. tellings about hte history of the mansion, turning the notes or locations of notes into rewards, making it a little harder to get the keys by having a miniquest needing to be done first, etc.). There could have also been more variety in the puzzles and a more satisfying resolution to the story.

Overall, I do reccomend playing the game, because it's actually pretty short, pretty fun, and Elena is a very likeable character. Even with all the flaws it has, it's still worth a run-through at least once.

Honestly though, if you did like this game, I highly reccomend picking up Ghost Trick for the Nintendo DS. It's an older game that has a similar gimick that it does much better, and it's the reason I picked this up in the first place.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2014
I bought this game because it was on sale and it looked interesting. I really enjoyed the game. Its a simple 2d adventure game that I beat in one sitting. It was more enjoyable than I expected which is always good. Worth a playthrough :)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 18
The game is good, has two stories really. The one you're playing of a girl trying to find her father in a haunted mansion, and the one told through the notes you find lying around of the genocide of a native american tribe and the man who's responsible. The game is worth a play but I HIGHLY suggest you buy it on sale. My 6 ish hours on the game is essentially me beating the game twice, the second time because I only needed 4 more achievements, also I left the game running while I was afk eating and such so probably only 5 hours or so on this. Also if you skip reading the notes and such this game would probably only take you 2 hours or even less.

Interesting story
Decent puzzles involving your native american ability to project your spirit.

Incredibly short (I think $10 is too much for the length)
Knight puzzle was kind of lame, it was really touchy for me anyways
Not actually that much danger, there are only 2 enemies in the entire game and one's harmless if you're running.

Worth considering if it's on sale, I got it for $3 so pretty good I'd say.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
I feel like my mom was a dev on this game...... there's a very frustrating "no running in the house" rule

Honestly, I don't really have anything too bad to say about Whispering Willows. It's a fairly short game, but that works in it's favor as the gameplay, story and incredibly slow walking pace does wear thin by the end. It killed a couple of hours and I didn't hate it... best praise I can muster.

That said the current asking price of $15 is VERY hefty for what you get. I cleared it in under three hours and there is little to no replay value for most people. I'd personally recommend waiting for a sale.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 5
Whispering Willows is a sidescrolling adventure game, driven by its story and atmosphere, about a haunted mansion and the surrounding grounds. It's charming, and can pull you in for a little while, but it's hampered by some cumbersome situations and rudimentary elements. I beat it in five hours, while taking my time, and had a decent amount of fun despite the flaws. There are a few last achievements you can hunt down when you're done, but no real replayability.

The game has very attractive graphics, with nice lighting and glow effects. The ghosts you meet have a cartoony style, but are still depicted with various fatal injuries that add some distinction to each one. I'm not a fan of the cutscene artwork, as it looks a lot more crude and clumsy than the game itself.

The sound is nice as well. Subtle music and eerie ambient noises give each indoor and outdoor location its own feel. Invisible creatures, both helpful and harmful, are signaled by the noise of your character's amulet, or of their own mysterious movements.

The game is played by exploring each area of the mansion. This is a mostly linear experience: talking to ghosts, unlocking doors and collecting necessary items along with documents that gradually tell the game's story. Experiencing new environments and reading the story are really the high points of the game, but toward the end, many of the rooms are bleakly similar to each other, the abritrary size and layout of the mansion leading to some slow backtracking. If you manage to miss something, you'll be plodding around for a few minutes, trying to figure it out, and the feeling of reward when you get it right isn't as satisfying as in some more elegantly built games.

Puzzles are often solved by assuming a spirit form which can pass through openings in walls and ceilings, and manipulate objects like switches or keys. There are a few moments of novelty to this, but compared to some games about changing forms or manipulating your environment, Whispering Willows uses it in a fairly simple and straightforward way. The final scenarios of the game remind me of the game Ghost Trick, but Whispering Willows can't really compare to something like that.

The story is fairly interesting, largely delivered through notes that you pick up. It's fairly easy to find them all, so you probably won't miss out on any details. The story falters a bit near the end, in my opinion, by trying to be a bit more epic than it is, but it reveals some final truths and then wraps itself up without dragging on too long.

In the end, parts of the game shine more than others, but it still all comes together to a decent experience. It can feel slow or annoying in some areas, but I've played worse. If the ghostly atmosphere, solving a few puzzles, and collecting and reading notes and letters to piece the story together sounds fun, you might have a good time with this game; otherwise, I would steer far away from it. Either way, I would wait for a sale. This isn't a game so amazing you just have to play it right now, and $15 is a lot for a short one like this.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 18
instructions unclear. I hope all the indians rise up and kill the girl at the end. 2.5/5

EDIT: Ok half-a55ed detailed review:
Note that i only played half of the game up to the end of Chapter 3 where i found out i had 2/3 flowers.

Art: 9/10
For 2D, the walking animations and the ghost form was really eye catching. The background art and characters were detailed as well, which i loved, and the mix with the quirky storyboard frames made it kind of dynamic somehow.

Story: 5/10
The story was kind of a drag. Although the back-story was extremely cohesive and rich and helped to keep me playing on, the game's introduction to the story was too fast, and I missed out on why we were looking for Elena's father, until i redownloaded the game to watch the intro(there was only 1 frame-her father is the missing grounds keeper lol taken away by ghosts). I thought a bit more could be explained if I played on, but that wasn't even a real issue.

Gameplay: 5/10
In the end, I kept on playing for 1+ hours because of the art/ambience, but the uninspiring story line and tedious, unrewarding and seemingly unrelated tasks made me want to stop playing altogether. I estimated the story would not get better, and that the first half of the game would be an accurate depiction for the latter half. The maze and memory element of the game is enjoyable up to a point, but if you miss something it becomes annoying.

I know this is a somewhat ignorant review as I only played half of the game, and the issue of giving up in frustrating games is common-but some recommendations I would like to make are:

-give more clues to what I need to do to advance to the next chapter-maybe if i walk around finding the next clue for 15+ minutes, make a hint available so I don't have to look up a walkthrough. - the notes were good clues, but sometimes not enough. I can't remember the exact tasks, but one was turning the clock to just before 4, and the other was returning to Darby after i uncovered something-to-do-with-him-in-the-past which took me 15+ minutes each to figure out. The last straw was the 2/3 flowers where i cbf to find out where I went wrong as I was sure i talked to every ghost and poked at every corner of this gigangasaur maze.

-make the tasks more rewarding somehow- the piano notes task was a really nice touch.

-other tiny issues, make transform animation faster/smoother, make going up down stairs controls better somehow

TLDR: 5.5/10. good art. ok story. some tasks unrewarding, some tasks unclear and dull. maze puzzle element was enjoyable, but frustration>reward. Would recommend to play, would not recommend to pay.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
15.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
The plot is quite interesting, and the graphic is lovely, but the gameplay is way too slow. Still, if you are looking for a simple and short experience, Whispering Willows can be a decent suggestion.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
Whispering Willows is a short adventure game in which you control a girl searching for her father. The story takes place in a mansion and its surrounding locales (garden, catacombs, guest house, ...).

The game world is presented in a 2D perspective and is drawn very beautifully, the only time I disliked the look of the game is during cutscenes which are really quite underwhelming. Couple that with the fact that there is no voice acting in the game, and you have yourself a story hindered by a lack of immersion. I guess it is lucky then that the game is so short (2 hours, maybe less), so that you can manage to retain focus throughout the game.

Besides the movement keys you only have 2 keys, one is for switching to an ethereal version of yourself which can fly, move through tiny openings and talk to other spirits. And the other is for interacting with objects. This probably did not help with making the puzzles challenging, since they are extremely easy. And the only thing which presents any sort of challenge is remembering what you have to do next, because the game does not do a good enough job of tracking that for you.

In the end Whispering Willows is a short, easy game with a likeable protagonist. Thre is nothing particularly special here, but it is most definetly worth playing, if only to experience something slightly different.

6 ½ / 10
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
5.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 28
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 24, 2014

This game is so great. If you love adventure games this one is just hitting a sweet spot. Not too complex but engaging, with a beautiful art style and simple controls on keyboard or gamepad.

I bought it on a whim and fell in love.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
This game has absolutely beautiful artwork, a compelling story, and a haunting soundtrack. Strongly recommended for any fans of puzzles, ghost stories, and gorgeous art styles. 4/5
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 11
Great game. Full playthrough takes about 2.5-3 hrs if you don't get to in depth with the notes, so I would recommend buying it on sale and not paying to full price.


+Story was very well written
+Great artwork
+Controller supported
+Very low chance of dying (Thats a plus for me. :P)

-Expensive for how long it is.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 27
Even thought it's rather short, Whispering Willows makes sure to get you right into the feel of the game! A must have for those who love platformer games!
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 24
This was a very pretty game, with amazing cutscenes and artwork. In fact, if it was my first time playing this game, the best advice I could be given is to set aside 2-3 hours of nighttime and set to it. The game does an excelent job at creating the perfect atmosphere for what it intends. I think the easiest way to describe the atmosphere is with the word 'eerie', with well timed music and the creaking and cracking of old buildings, the whispers that you think you hear at night all provide an excellent setting. The game is fairly straght forward with the only choice I found myself having to make was which room to explore first.

In my opinion there are a few down sides, first for a game that took me 1.5-2 hours to complete the price is rather steep seeing as there isn't much replayability(having completed it on the first playthrough). Secondly for those who watched the trailers, or have played the game, the black ghosts don't have much of a role in the game. Don't get me wrong, when the black ghosts come its fairly heart racing, but I was just expecting them to appear more often and for my character to have to hide from them in some hole or cupboard(though there seem to be plenty of games with that included already, so maybe less of a downside).

All in all it's a really good game, 2-3 hours worth of play time. Again, since there isn't much replayability I would suggest waiting for the game to go on sale, or for the price to drop a tad.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 15
This game was a nice break from my usual diet of FPS and character action games. It isn't very difficult. You'll spend most of your time backtracking as you gain access to additional areas in other regions of the game. I found the art style and the story to be compelling. The gameplay is a little flat.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 5, 2014
Now if you don't like reading much or you hate backtracking large map exploration stuff you wont like this game. but if you love a good read, appreciate in game music and love exploring every inch of a game map/dungeon then this is the game for you. it may be a side scrolled but don't let that fool you. getting a bit lost a part of the game play. also there is a lot of retrieving items for various spirits and its not the easy kind that just lets you go everywhere and get them all at once, no, you have to do things in order and figure out what needs to be done next by listening to the ghosts you run into and reading the notes you pick up. The story is intriguing and the art and character animations are beautifully done. its defiantly and "acquired taste" sort of game. Its not for everyone but i enjoyed it for what it was. A beautifully creepy atmospheric game that makes you pay attention to the little details and explore a fantastically drawn and haunting world with a sad history and a lot of heart.
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