Last Order: Final Fantasy VII

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Last Order: Final Fantasy VII
Last Order Final Fantasy VII Logo.jpg
Last Order Poster.jpg
Last Order logo and promotional artwork featuring Zack (front), Sephiroth (middle), and Jenova (back)
ラストオーダー -ファイナルファンタジーVII-
(Rasuto Ōdā -Fainaru Fantajī Sebun-)
Genre Fantasy, action, Science fiction, cyberpunk
Original video animation
Directed by Morio Asaka
Produced by Masao Maruyama
Jungo Maruta
Akio Ofuji
Written byScreenplay:
Kazuhiko Inukai
Kazushige Nojima
Original story:
Hironobu Sakaguchi
Kazushige Nojima
Music by Takeharu Ishimoto
Studio Madhouse (animation production)
Square Enix (production)
Licensed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
ReleasedSeptember 14, 2005 (Japan)
February 20, 2007 (North America)
Runtime25 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Mangaportal

Last Order: Final Fantasy VII(ラストオーダー -ファイナルファンタジーVII-,Rasuto Ōdā -Fainaru Fantajī Sebun-), also abbreviated as Last Order or LO, is a 2005 Japanese anime original video animation (OVA) produced by Madhouse and released by Square Enix. It was directed by Morio Asaka and produced by Masao Maruyama, Jungo Maruta, and Akio Ofuji. Tetsuya Nomura acted as the supervising director. The OVA is an alternate rendition of two flashbacks found within the 1997 video game Final Fantasy VII . Last Order was released in Japan with Advent Pieces: Limited, a special edition release of the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children , and as a bonus feature in the North American "Limited Edition Collector's Set" release of Advent Children.

Anime Japanese animation

Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan.

Original video animation animated films and series designed for release in home-video formats

Original video animation, abbreviated as OVA and sometimes as OAV, are Japanese animated films and miniseries made specially for release in home video formats without prior showings on television or in theatres, though the first part of an OVA series may be broadcast for promotional purposes. OVA titles were originally made available on VHS, later becoming more popular on LaserDisc and eventually DVD. Starting in 2008, the term OAD began to refer to DVD releases published bundled with their source-material manga.

Madhouse Inc. is a Japanese animation studio founded in 1972 by ex–Mushi Pro animators, including Masao Maruyama, Osamu Dezaki, Rintaro and Yoshiaki Kawajiri.

Contents

Last Order is associated with the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII , a series of prequels and sequels to the original Final Fantasy VII. Although not an official Compilation installment or canon within it, the OVA has nonetheless been included in official guidebooks. The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII includes the games Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII , Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII , and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII , as well as the film Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and the collection of short stories On the Way to a Smile . Last Order's soundtrack was released with the music of Before Crisis, and select songs were later remixed for Crisis Core. The OVA was created due to the success of promotional commercials for Before Crisis, with production lasting six months.

<i>Compilation of Final Fantasy VII</i> media franchise

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a metaseries produced by Square Enix. A subseries stemming from the main Final Fantasy series, it is a collection of video games, animated features and short stories based in the world and continuity of Final Fantasy VII. Officially announced in 2003 with the reveal of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, the series' core products are three video games and one movie release. Alongside these are tie-in products and spin-offs including books, mobile games and an original video animation. Advent Children and the mobile title Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII are a sequel and prequel to VII, respectively focusing on Cloud Strife, the original game's main protagonist, and covert operatives known as the Turks. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII follows the story of Zack Fair, an important major character in VII, while Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII, which acts as a sequel to Advent Children, follows Vincent Valentine, one of the original's optional characters.

In fiction, canon is the material accepted as officially part of the story in the fictional universe of that story. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction. The alternative terms mythology, timeline, universe and continuity are often used, with the first of these being used especially to refer to a richly detailed fictional canon requiring a large degree of suspension of disbelief, while the latter two typically refer to a single arc where all events are directly connected chronologically. Other times, the word can mean "to be acknowledged by the creator(s)".

<i>Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII</i> 2004 video game

Before Crisis: Final Fantasy VII is an action role-playing video game developed by Square Enix and originally released for the FOMA mobile service on September 24, 2004. It was later released for SoftBank Mobile and EZweb in 2007. Before Crisis is a prequel to the 1997 video game Final Fantasy VII and forms part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, a metaseries expanding on and continuing the story established in Final Fantasy VII. It takes place six years prior to the events of Final Fantasy VII and focuses on the adventures of the Turks, a group of covert operatives working for the Shinra Electric Power Company, and their fights against both rebel group AVALANCHE and their corrupt employers.

The plot of Last Order encompasses two events that occurred before the main events of Final Fantasy VII. One storyline revolves around the Nibelheim scenario that focuses on Zack Fair, Cloud Strife, Sephiroth and Tifa Lockhart. The other event follows Zack and Cloud as they run from the megacorporation Shinra. The OVA cuts back and forth between these two flashbacks, linked by the narration of Turk leader Tseng and his reflections on the Nibelheim event. Originally meant to focus on Zack, Last Order highlighted Tseng's feelings and position in the Shinra company, as well as his moral values.

Zack Fair character in Final Fantasy

Zack Fair is a fictional character first introduced as a non-player character in the 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII by Square, and subsequently expanded upon in the metaseries Compilation of Final Fantasy VII.

Cloud Strife protagonist in Final Fantasy VII

Cloud Strife is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Square's 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII and several of its sequels and spin-offs. In Final Fantasy VII, Cloud is a mercenary claiming to be formerly of SOLDIER, a group of elite supersoldiers employed by the Shinra Electric Power Company, a megacorporation responsible for draining the life from the planet. Fighting against Shinra in the resistance group AVALANCHE, and driven by a feud with the primary antagonist, Sephiroth, Cloud learns to accept his troubled past and adapts to his role as a leader. Cloud reappears as the protagonist in the 2005 computer-animated sequel film, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, in which he fights a new threat to the world while dealing with a sickness that infected his body. He acts in a supporting role in other Compilation of Final Fantasy VII titles, and is featured in several other games outside the Final Fantasy VII continuity. Additionally, he has been featured in Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. series, and the Kingdom Hearts series by Square Enix.

Sephiroth (<i>Final Fantasy</i>) character in Final Fantasy

Sephiroth is a fictional character and main antagonist in the role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII developed by Square. Character designer Tetsuya Nomura conceived and designed Sephiroth as an antagonist to - and direct physical opposite of - the game's main character, Cloud Strife. The character was voiced in Japanese by voice actor Toshiyuki Morikawa and in English by both Lance Bass in Kingdom Hearts and George Newbern in all his subsequent appearances.

Although the 77,777 copies of Advent Pieces: Limited that were released in Japan sold out months in advance of the official release date, Last Order received a negative fan response due to changes in content and presentation from the original Final Fantasy VII game, and because of this, the crew working on Crisis Core avoided recreating certain scenes from Last Order.

Background

Last Order explores situations shown and referenced within Final Fantasy VII and other Compilation titles. [1] The world of Final Fantasy VII, referred to as "the Planet", is dependent for its survival on a flow of spirit energy called the Lifestream. [2] [3] The megacorporation Shinra eventually rises to power and begins extracting the Lifestream through Mako reactors, killing the Planet. [4] Shinra uses the Mako as an energy source [5] and to manipulate the strength and abilities of their paramilitary organization, SOLDIER. [6] Sephiroth, considered the strongest member of SOLDIER, is sent to investigate a Mako reactor in the secluded town of Nibelheim and is accompanied by the SOLDIER Zack and two grunts, one of whom is Cloud. [7] [8] While there, Sephiroth spends most of his time reading in the Shinra Mansion, which had previously been used by the Shinra scientist Hojo to conduct experiments. Through Hojo's log books, Sephiroth comes to learn of his past, in which he was injected with Jenova's cells. The Planet had once been inhabited by the Cetra (or "Ancients"), who were almost completely destroyed by Jenova, an extraterrestrial lifeform that crashed onto the Planet 2,000 years previously, and began infecting the Cetra with a virus. [9] When Jenova was unearthed by a Shinra science team, it was mistakenly identified as a Cetra. This caused Sephiroth to believe he was also a Cetra, and that humans had betrayed his ancestors. [10] [11]

Paramilitary Militarised force or other organization

A paramilitary is a semi-militarized force whose organizational structure, tactics, training, subculture, and (often) function are similar to those of a professional military, but which is formally not part of a government's armed forces.

Infantry military service branch that specializes in combat by individuals on foot

Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and tank forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, and typically bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress.

Extraterrestrial life Lifeform that does not originate from Earth

Extraterrestrial life, also called alien life, is life that occurs outside of Earth and that did not originate from Earth. These hypothetical life forms may range from simple prokaryotes to beings with civilizations far more advanced than humanity. The Drake equation speculates about the existence of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe. The science of extraterrestrial life in all its forms is known as exobiology.

Plot

Narrated by Tseng, leader of the elite espionage and assassination division known as the Turks, Last Order switches between the Nibelheim incident and Zack Fair's escape to Midgar with his unconscious friend, Cloud Strife. During the Nibelheim event, Sephiroth, insane after discovering his origins, sets fire to the village of Nibelheim. After killing many villagers, he proceeds to the Nibelheim reactor where Jenova has been encased. Tifa, a resident of Nibelheim, attacks him soon after he arrives. Sephiroth knocks her aside and continues to Jenova's body, preserved in a large glass tank filled with liquid. Zack follows Sephiroth into the reactor and they engage in combat, but Sephiroth is able to disarm and incapacitate him. Sephiroth returns to Jenova's body, but does not notice Cloud approaching.

Cloud is impaled by Sephiroth and hung over the reactor core, a scene also explored in other Final Fantasy VII series' titles Last Order screenshot.jpg
Cloud is impaled by Sephiroth and hung over the reactor core, a scene also explored in other Final Fantasy VII series' titles

Cloud immediately impales Sephiroth with his sword, cracking Jenova's glass tank. He returns to Tifa and the two converse, while Sephiroth cuts off Jenova's head. He carries the head with him towards Cloud and they engage in battle. During the fight, Cloud is impaled through the stomach and hung over the reactor's core. In a feat of strength, he grabs Sephiroth's sword and moves himself down the blade to solid ground and hurls Sephiroth aside. Sephiroth abandons the battle and jumps into the reactor core with Jenova's head in an attempt to reach the "Promised Land". Although Zack and Cloud survive the ordeal, they are taken to the Shinra Mansion by Hojo for experimentation.

The other event detailed in Last Order illustrates Zack and Cloud's escape from Shinra. While at the Shinra Mansion, Cloud had succumbed to Mako poisoning caused by a surge of memories flooding through his mind, [14] rendering him in an unconscious, non-reactant state. Zack escapes with Cloud from the Mansion with the intention of returning to Midgar, the headquarters of Shinra. However, Shinra orders their paramilitary and the Turks to find and eliminate the two escapees. Tseng decides to capture them alive.

On a bluff overlooking Zack and Cloud, who had hitched a ride on a truck, Shinra operatives decide to ignore orders to wait for the Turks. One takes aim at the incapacitated Cloud. Zack jumps in front of Cloud, yelling at him to escape.

Cast

Kenichi Suzumura Japanese voice actor

Kenichi Suzumura is a Japanese voice actor and singer who is the founder and representative of the INTENTION, a voice acting company he founded in March 2012. He was raised in Osaka Prefecture. He voiced Morley in Macross 7, Hikaru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Masato Hijirikawa in Uta no Prince-sama, Atsushi Murasakibara in Kuroko's Basketball, Momotaro Mikoshiba in Free!, Shinn Asuka in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Leo Stenbuck in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, Sōgo Okita in Gin Tama, Rogue Cheney in Fairy Tail, Lavi in D.Gray-man, and Ryutaros in Kamen Rider Den-O. He is called Suzu and Muraken by Soichiro Hoshi and his fans and Suzuken by other voice actors and fans. He is part of the group Nazo no Shin Unit Starmen (謎の新ユニットSTA☆MEN) with Junichi Suwabe, Daisuke Kishio, Hiroki Takahashi, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Makoto Yasumura, and Kosuke Toriumi. He is married to fellow voice actress Maaya Sakamoto.

Takahiro Sakurai Japanese voice actor

Takahiro Sakurai is a Japanese voice actor who was born in Aichi. He was a member of 81 Produce and since July 20 of 2014 is attached with INTENTION, the management company established by Kenichi Suzumura, one of his good friends.

Toshiyuki Morikawa Japanese voice actor and singer

Toshiyuki Morikawa is a Japanese voice actor and singer who is the head of Axlone, a voice acting company he founded in April 2011. His name is also sometimes mistranslated as Tomoyuki Morikawa. In 2003, he and Fumihiko Tachiki formed the band "2Hearts", one of their works being the ending theme of the video game Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires. He has voiced many characters in anime and video games, including Sephiroth in the Final Fantasy series and Kingdom Hearts series, Dante in Devil May Cry, Isshin Kurosaki in Bleach, Minato Namikaze in Naruto: Shippuden, both Eneru and Hatchan in One Piece, Tyki Mikk in D.Gray-man, Naraku in InuYasha, Griffith in the 1997 series of Berserk, and the main and titular character of Tekkaman Blade. He attended Katsuta Voice Actor's Academy with Kotono Mitsuishi, Chisa Yokoyama, Wataru Takagi, Sachiko Sugawara and Michiko Neya. Because of his deep voice, he is often cast as imposing characters.

Other roles include Keiji Okuda, Atsushi Imaruoka, Ryūji Mizuno, and Daisuke Kirii as members of Shinra's military unit who attempt to apprehend Cloud and Zack. Yōhei Tadano and Katsuhisa Hōki voice villagers at Nibelheim. [15]

Production and release

Last Order was released in the collector's set of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in North America Advent Children Special Edition Cover.jpg
Last Order was released in the collector's set of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children in North America

Last Order: Final Fantasy VII was produced and scripted by Madhouse [16] and directed by Morio Asaka. [19] The decision to create Last Order arose from the positive reaction towards a popular promotional clip created by Madhouse for the game Before Crisis. Madhouse was chosen to produce the OVA partly because of their success with the clip and because the president of Madhouse was very enthusiastic about the project. [16] However, the main reason for choosing Madhouse was that the company "understood the significance" of making a Final Fantasy VII animation, as it was considered a large responsibility to animate "the most popular game in the FF [ Final Fantasy ] series." [16] Tetsuya Nomura, the character designer for the Final Fantasy VII series and co-director of Advent Children, [20] [21] [22] acted as the supervising director. [16] He had the right to reject or accept concept drawings for Last Order. As a result, Nomura had a large quantity of images redrawn, to the extent that "the entire production was in jeopardy." [16]

Production lasted six months. The production crew considered the most challenging part of creating the OVA to be making "Nomura's drawings move on screen." [16] Because Last Order was hand-drawn, the crew faced difficulties creating uniform lines. Another issue was the overall feel of each scene; original drawings were done by several artists, resulting in various scenes having different styles. [16] Producer Akio Ofuji [15] [16] explained that they "wanted to make sure the final product was of very high quality, so [they] worked with the production company day and night, straight through to the deadline." [16] Nomura and Ofuji agreed that many scenes showing important events and feelings in Final Fantasy VII had been fragmented and disjointed, and so they had decided that those scenes would be the subject of Last Order, giving the audience of Advent Children (the film Last Order was released with) a "more enjoyable understanding." [16] They used the film as an opportunity to portray Zack "properly" as a "handsome, light-hearted man [who] was in everyone's memory". [16] Last Order also details Tseng's growth and his feelings towards his both job and events depicted, wherein he attempts to "get his own ideas of justice heard" but later abandons his moral values "in order to carry out a cruel mission." Ofuji commented that "those are the kind of scenes we wanted people to be more aware of." [16]

Last Order was originally released in Japan with the "Ultimate Edition" of the Advent Children movie, Advent Pieces: Limited, on September 14, 2005. [23] The OVA was included in the North American "Limited Edition Collector's Set" of Advent Children, released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on February 20, 2007. [18] [24] The North America release did not come with an English dub and the OVA is subtitled. [15] Last Order was not included in the release of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete , a 2009 director's cut of Advent Children with extra footage. [25]

The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII is a series of prequels and sequels to the original Final Fantasy VII game. Last Order is not part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII and is considered an outside work. [26] However, it has been associated with the Final Fantasy VII series since its creation, [27] and is mentioned alongside official installments in official guidebooks and Ultimanias. [16] [26] Compilation titles include the film Advent Children and games Before Crisis (mobile phone), Dirge of Cerberus (PS2), and Crisis Core (PSP). Like Last Order, Dirge of Cerberus Lost Episode: Final Fantasy VII (a mobile phone spin-off of Dirge of Cerberus) is an outside work associated with the Compilation. [26]

Music

Last Order's score was composed, arranged, and produced by Takeharu Ishimoto, including the ending theme entitled "Last Order". [15] The music was combined with the music from Before Crisis on a single soundtrack and released in Japan on December 19, 2007. [28] The soundtrack was later made available in North America by Square Enix. [29] Tracks 13 through 27 on the disc contain the score from Last Order, while tracks 1 through 12 contain music from Before Crisis. [28] Select tracks on the soundtrack of Crisis Core contain music and remixes of music from the OVA. [30]

OverClocked ReMix's four-disc tribute album, Voices of the Lifestream , has a disc entitled Order. The name was chosen to coincide with Last Order, and the music is themed after it. [31]

Response and cultural impact

Only 77,777 copies of Advent Pieces: Limited were produced in Japan, and they are no longer available, having been sold out months in advance of its release. [32] They retailed for ¥29,500, or US$300, each [32] while the North American collector's edition retailed for $49.95. [33]

Overall, Last Order garnered positive feedback from Western critics. Chris Carle of IGN noted that Last Order was "the true meat of the new extras [in the Advent Children collector's set]… a traditionally animated chapter for FF [Final Fantasy] fans that centers on the story of Zack and Cloud" and that "it adds even more dimension to the story [of Final Fantasy VII]." [18] Todd Douglass Jr. from DVD Talk called Last Order "the real reason to check out the Limited Edition release for Advent Children" and commented that as "a long-time anime fan and lover of Final Fantasy," he "was enthralled by every minute to be had in Last Order." [34] However, Hideki Imaizumi, the producer of Crisis Core, stated that they had received "considerable negative feedback" from fans, who were displeased with changes made to the Nibelheim event in Last Order. Due to this, the scene was redone for Crisis Core, and the production crew was careful to avoid making the same decisions. [1]

Related Research Articles

<i>Final Fantasy VII</i> 1997 video game

Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 role-playing video game developed by Square for the PlayStation console. It is the seventh main installment in the Final Fantasy series. Published in Japan by Square, it was released in other regions by Sony Computer Entertainment and became the first in the main series to see a PAL release. The game's story follows Cloud Strife, a mercenary who joins an eco-terrorist organization to stop a world-controlling megacorporation from using the planet's life essence as an energy source. Events send Cloud and his allies in pursuit of Sephiroth, a superhuman intent on destroying their planet. During the journey, Cloud builds close friendships with his party members, including Aerith Gainsborough, who holds the secret to saving their world.

<i>Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children</i> 2005 film by Tetsuya Nomura

Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is a 2005 Japanese computer-animated science fantasy action drama film directed by Tetsuya Nomura, written by Kazushige Nojima, and produced by Yoshinori Kitase and Shinji Hashimoto. Developed by Visual Works and Square Enix, Advent Children is part of the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII series of media, which is based in the world and continuity of the highly successful 1997 role-playing video game Final Fantasy VII. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children was released on DVD and Universal Media Discs with Japanese voice acting in Japan on September 14, 2005, and on April 25, 2006, with English voice acting in North America and Europe.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 McCarthy, Dave (April 28, 2008). "Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII UK Interview". IGN. Archived from the original on February 21, 2009. Retrieved March 8, 2009.
  2. Bugenhagen: "Lifestream... In other words, a path of energy of the souls roaming the Planet. 'Spirit Energy' is a word that you should never forget."(Final Fantasy VII)
  3. Cloud: "If the Spirit energy is lost, our Planet is destroyed..."(Final Fantasy VII)
  4. Bugenhagen: "Ho Ho Hoooo. Spirit energy is efficient BECAUSE it exists within nature. When Spirit energy is forcefully extracted, and manufactured, it can't accomplish its true purpose."/Cloud: "You're talking about Mako energy, right?"/Bugenhagen: "Every day Mako reactors suck up Spirit energy, diminishing it. Spirit energy gets compressed in the reactors and processed into Mako energy. All living things are being used up and thrown away. In other words, Mako energy will only destroy the Planet..."(Final Fantasy VII)
  5. Marlene: "The Shinra Electric Power Company discovered a way to use the Lifestream as an energy source."(Advent Children)
  6. Sephiroth: "Normal members of SOLDIER are humans that have been showered with Mako. You're different from the others, but still human."(Final Fantasy VII)
  7. Sephiroth: "Our mission is to investigate an old Mako reactor. There have been reports of it malfunctioning, and producing brutal creatures. First, we will dispose of those creatures. Then, we'll locate the problem and neutralize it."/Cloud: "Brutal creatures... Where?" /Sephiroth: "The Mako Reactor at Nibelheim."(Final Fantasy VII)
  8. Marlene: "Anyway, there was one SOLDIER named Sephiroth, who was better than the rest."(Advent Children)
  9. Ifalna: "That's when the one who injured the Planet... or the 'crisis from the sky', as we call him, came. He first approached as a friend, deceived them, and finally...... gave them the virus. The Cetra were attacked by the virus and went mad... transforming into monsters. Then, just as he had at the Knowlespole. He approached other Cetra clans...... infecting them with... the virus..."(Final Fantasy VII)
  10. Sephiroth: "...an organism that was apparently dead, was found in a 2000 year old geological stratum. Professor Gast named that organism, Jenova...X Year, X Month, X Day. Jenova confirmed to be an Ancient...X Year, X Month, X Day. Jenova Project approved. The use of Mako Reactor 1 approved for use..."(Final Fantasy VII)
  11. Sephiroth: "You ignorant traitor. I'll tell you. This Planet originally belonged to the Cetra. Cetra was an itinerant race. They would migrate in, settle the Planet, then move on...At the end of their harsh, hard journey, they would find the Promised Land and supreme happiness. But, those that disliked the journey appeared. Those who stopped their migrations built shelters and elected to lead an easier life. They took that which the Cetra and the planet had made without giving back one whit in return! Those are your ancestors."/Cloud: "Sephiroth..." /Sephiroth: "Long ago, disaster struck this planet. Your ancestors escaped... They survived because they hid. The Planet was saved by sacrificing the Cetra. After that, your ancestors continued to increase. Now all that's left of the Cetra is in these reports./Cloud: "What does that have to do with you?" / Sephiroth: "Don't you get it? An Ancient named Jenova was found in the geological stratum of 2000 years ago. The Jenova Project. The Jenova Project wanted to produce people with the powers of the Ancients...... no, the Cetra....I am the one that was produced."(Final Fantasy VII)
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