Quake (video game)
|Distributor(s)||MacSoft (Mac OS)
Midway Games (N64)
PXL Computers (AMI)
Macmillan Digital Publishing USA (Linux)
Nine Inch Nails
|Distribution||CD-ROM, cartridge, download|
Quake is a first-person shooter video game, developed by id Software and published by GT Interactive in 1996. It is the first game in the popular Quake series. In the game, players must find their way through various maze-like, medieval environments while battling a variety of monsters using a wide array of weapons.
The successor to id's Doom series, Quake built upon the technology and gameplay of its predecessor in many ways. Unlike the Doom engine before it, the Quake engine offered full real-time 3D rendering and early support for 3D acceleration through OpenGL. After Doom helped popularize multiplayer deathmatches, Quake added various multiplayer options. Online multiplayer became increasingly common, with the QuakeWorld update and software such as QuakeSpy making the process of finding and playing against other competitors on the Internet far easier and more reliable. Various multiplayer mods were developed including Team Fortress and Capture the flag.
The game received much acclaim on release and its commercial success led to several sequels, starting with Quake II, which abandoned the gothic stylings of the original for a science fiction theme. Quake has been an influence on user mods and machinima.
In Quake 's single player mode, players explore and navigate to the exit of each dark and Gothic level, facing monsters and secret areas along the way. Usually there are buttons to press or keys to collect in order to open doors before the exit can be reached. Reaching the exit takes the player to the next level. Before the start level, there is a set of three pathways with easy, medium, and hard skill levels. The fourth skill level, "Nightmare", was "so bad that it was hidden, so people won't wander in by accident";) the player must drop through the water before the Episode 4 entrance and jump into a secret passage.
Quake 's single-player campaign is organized into four individual episodes of about eight levels each (each including a secret level, one of which is a "low gravity" level that challenges the player's abilities in a different way). As items are collected, they are carried to the next level, each usually more challenging than the last. If the player's avatar dies, he must restart at the beginning of the level. Games may be saved at any time. Upon completing each episode, the player is returned to the hub Start level, where another episode can be entered. Each episode starts the player from scratch, without any previously collected items. Episode I (which formed the shareware or downloadable demo version of Quake) has the most traditional ideology of a boss in the last level. The ultimate objective at the end of an episode is to recover a magic rune. After all of the runes are collected, the floor of the Start opens up to reveal an entrance to the End level which contains the final boss.
In multiplayer mode, players on several computers connect to a server (which may be a dedicated machine or on one of the player's computers), where they can either play the single-player campaign together in co-op mode, or play against each other in multiplayer. When players die in multiplayer mode, they can immediately respawn but lose any items that were collected. Similarly, items that have been picked up previously respawn after some time, and may be picked up again. The most popular multiplayer modes are all forms of deathmatch. Deathmatch modes typically consist of either free-for-all (no organization or teams involved), one-on-one duels, or organized teamplay with two or more players per team (or clan). Teamplay is also frequently played with one or another mod. Monsters are not normally present in teamplay, as they serve no purpose other than to get in the way and reveal the positions of the players.
The gameplay in Quake was considered unique for its time because of the different ways the player can maneuver through the game. For example: bunny hopping or strafe jumping can be used to move faster than normal, while rocket jumping enables the player to reach otherwise-inaccessible areas at the cost of some self-damage. The player can start and stop moving suddenly, jump unnaturally high, and change direction while moving through the air. Many of these non-realistic behaviors contribute to Quake 's appeal. Multiplayer Quake was one of the first games singled out as a form of electronic sport. A notable participant was Dennis Fong who won John Carmack's Ferrari 328 at the Microsoft-sponsored Red Annihilation tournament in 1997.
In the single-player game, the player takes the role of a protagonist known as Ranger who was sent into a portal in order to stop an enemy code-named "Quake". The government had been experimenting with teleportation technology and developed a working prototype called a "Slipgate"; the mysterious Quake compromised the Slipgate by connecting it with its own teleportation system, using it to send death squads to the "Human" dimension in order to test the martial capabilities of Humanity.
The sole surviving protagonist in "Operation Counterstrike" is Ranger, who must advance, starting each of four episodes from an overrun human military base, before fighting his way into other dimensions, reaching them via the Slipgate or their otherworld equivalent. After passing through the Slipgate, Ranger's main objective is to collect four magic runes from four dimensions of Quake; these are the key to stopping the enemy later discovered as Shub-Niggurath and ending the invasion of Earth.
The game consists of 28 separate "levels" or "maps", grouped into four episodes. Each episode represents individual dimensions that the player can access through magical portals (as opposed to the technological Slipgate) that are discovered over the course of the game. The various realms consist of a number of gothic, medieval, and lava-filled caves and dungeons, with a recurring theme of hellish and satanic imagery reminiscent of Doom (such as pentagrams and images of demons on the walls). The latter is inspired by several dark fantasy influences, most notably that of H. P. Lovecraft. Dimensional Shamblers appear as enemies, the "Spawn" enemies are called "Formless Spawn of Tsathoggua" in the manual, the end boss of the first episode is named Chthon, and the final boss is named Shub-Niggurath (though actually resembling a Dark Young). Some levels have Lovecraftian names, such as the Vaults of Zin and The Nameless City. Originally, the game was supposed to include more Lovecraftian bosses, but this concept was scrapped due to time constraints.
A preview included with id's very first release, 1990's Commander Keen, advertised a game entitled The Fight for Justice as a follow-up to the Keen trilogy. It would feature a character named Quake, "the strongest, most dangerous person on the continent", armed with thunderbolts and a "Ring of Regeneration." Conceived as a VGA full-color side-scrolling role-playing video game, The Fight for Justice was never released.
Quake was programmed by John Carmack, Michael Abrash and John Cash. The level and scenarios were designed by American McGee, Sandy Petersen, John Romero and Tim Willits. The graphics were designed by Adrian Carmack and Kevin Cloud. Music and sound design was by Trent Reznor, founder of Nine Inch Nails. The game engine developed for Quake, the Quake engine, popularized several major advances in the 3D game genre: polygonal models instead of prerendered sprites; full 3D level design instead of a 2.5D map; prerendered lightmaps; and allowing end users to partially program the game (in this case with QuakeC), which popularized fan-created modifications (mods).
Quake was given as a title to the game that id Software was working on shortly after the release of Doom II. The earliest information released described Quake as focusing on a Thor-like character who wields a giant hammer, and is able to knock away enemies by throwing the hammer (complete with real-time inverse kinematics). Initially, the levels were supposed to be designed in an Aztec style, but the choice was dropped some months into the project. Early screenshots then showed medieval environments and dragons. The plan was for the game to have more RPG-style elements. However, work was very slow on the engine, since John Carmack, the main programmer of Quake, was not only developing a full 3D engine, but also a TCP/IP networking model. (Carmack later said that he should have done two separate projects which developed those things.) Eventually, the whole id team began to think that the original concept may not have been as wise a choice as they first believed. Thus, the final game was very stripped down from its original intentions, and instead featured gameplay similar to Doom and its sequel, although levels and enemies were closer to medieval RPG style rather than science-fiction.
Before the release of the game or the demo of the game, id software released QTest on February 24, 1996. It was described as a technology demo and was limited to three multiplayer maps. There was no single player support and some of the gameplay and graphics were unfinished or different from their final versions. QTest also gave gamers their first peek into the filesystem and modifiability of the Quake engine, and many entity mods (that placed monsters in the otherwise empty multiplayer maps) and custom player skins began appearing online before the full game was even released.
The first ports to be completed were the Linux and SPARC Solaris ports by id Software employee Dave D. Taylor in 1996. The first commercially released port was the 1997 port to Mac OS, done by MacSoft. In 1998 a port for the Commodore Amiga was made available by clickBOOM Software. Finally in 1999, a retail version of the Linux port was distributed by Macmillan Digital Publishing USA in a bundle with the three add-ons as Quake: The Offering.
Quake was also ported to console systems. In 1997, it was ported to the Sega Saturn by Lobotomy Software. The Saturn port used Lobotomy's own SlaveDriver engine (the same engine that powers the Saturn ports of Duke Nukem 3D and PowerSlave) instead of the original Quake engine. It is the only version of Quake that is rated "T" for Teen instead of "M" for Mature. A Sony PlayStation version of the game had been planned by Lobotomy Software, but was cancelled. In 1998, Quake was ported to the Nintendo 64 by Midway Games. Both console ports required some compromises because of the limited CPU power and ROM storage space for maps. The Saturn version has most of the maps from the original PC version of the game, though the secret levels (Ziggurat Vertigo (E1M8), The Underearth (E2M7), The Haunted Halls (E3M7) and The Nameless City (E4M8)) didn't make the cut. Instead, it has four exclusive maps: Purgatorium, Hell's Aerie, The Coliseum and Watery Grave. There are no multiplayer modes in the Saturn version; as a result of this, all of the deathmatch maps from the PC version were removed from the Saturn port. The N64 version is missing The Grisly Grotto (E1M4), The Installation (E2M1), The Ebon Fortress (E2M4), The Wind Tunnels (E3M5), The Sewage System (E4M1) and Hell's Atrium (E4M5) levels. It also does not use the "START" map where the player chooses a difficulty level and an episode; the difficulty level is chosen when starting the game, and all of the levels play in sequential order from The Slipgate Complex (E1M1) to Shub Niggurath's Pit (END). The Nintendo 64 version, while lacking the cooperative multiplayer mode, includes two player deathmatch. All six of the deathmatch maps from the PC version are in the Nintendo 64 port, and an exclusive deathmatch map, The Court of Death, is also included.
Two ports of Quake for the Nintendo DS exist, QuakeDS and CQuake. Both run well, however multiplayer does not work on QuakeDS. Since the source code for Quake was released a number of unofficial ports have been made available for PDAs and mobile phones, such as PocketQuake, as well as versions for the Symbian S60 series of mobile phones and Android mobile phones.
In 2005 id Software signed a deal with publisher Pulse Interactive to release a version of Quake for mobile phones. The game was engineered by Californian company Bear Naked Productions. Initially due to be released on only two mobile phones, the Samsung Nexus (for which it was to be an embedded game) and the LG VX360. Quake mobile was reviewed by GameSpot on the Samsung Nexus and they cited its US release as October 2005; they also gave it a Best Mobile Game" in their E3 2005 Editor's Choice Awards. It is unclear as to whether the game actually did ship with the Samsung Nexus. The game is only available for the DELL x50v and x51v both of which are PDAs not mobile phones. Quake Mobile does not feature the Nine Inch Nails soundtrack due to space constraints. Quake Mobile runs the most recent version of GL Quake (Quake v.1.09 GL 1.00) at 800x600 resolution and 25 fps. The most recent version of Quake Mobile is v.1.20 which has stylus support. There was an earlier version v.1.19 which lacked stylus support. The two Quake expansion packs Scourge of Armagon and Dissolution of Eternity are also available for Quake Mobile. The game is available for download at download.cnet.com as are both expansions.
A Flash-based version of the game by Michael Rennie runs Quake at full speed in any Flash-enabled web browser. Based on the shareware version of the game, it includes only the first episode and is available for free on the web.
The game has also been ported to the PlayStation Portable (PSP), with multiplayer options and the ability to load maps and mods, and has inspired homebrew like Kurok, a mix of Turok and GoldenEye 64, and Left 4 Quake, a fan-made Left 4 Dead in Quake.
Mods and add-ons
Quake can be heavily modified by altering the sounds, graphics, or scripting in QuakeC, and has been the focus of many fan "mods". The first mods were small gameplay fixes and patches initiated by the community, usually enhancements to weapons or gameplay with some new foes. Later mods were more ambitious and resulted in Quake fans creating versions of the game that were drastically different from id Software's original release.
The first major Quake mod was Team Fortress. This mod consists of Capture the Flag gameplay, but with a class system for the players. Players choose a class, which creates various restrictions on weapons and armor types available to that player, and also grants special abilities. For example, the bread-and-butter Soldier class has medium armor, medium speed, and a well-rounded selection of weapons and grenades, while the Scout class is lightly armored, very fast, has a scanner that detects nearby enemies, but has very weak offensive weapons. One of the other differences with CTF is the fact that the flag is not returned automatically when a player drops it: running over one's flag in Threewave CTF would return the flag to the base, and in TF the flag remains in the same spot for preconfigured time and it has to be defended on remote locations. This caused a shift in defensive tactics compared to Threewave CTF. Team Fortress maintained its standing as the most-played online modification of Quake for many years.
Another popular mod was Threewave Capture the Flag (CTF), primarily authored by Dave 'Zoid' Kirsch. Threewave CTF is a partial conversion consisting of new maps, a new weapon (a grappling hook), power-ups, some new textures and new rules of game play. Typically, two teams (red and blue) would compete in a game of Capture the flag, though a few maps with up to four teams (red, blue, green, and yellow) were created. Capture the Flag has become a standard game mode included in most popular multiplayer games released after Quake, in addition to Deathmatch first introduced in Doom. Rocket Arena provides the ability for players to face each other in small, open arenas with changes in the gameplay rules so that item collection and detailed level knowledge are no longer factors. A series of short rounds, with the surviving player in each round gaining a point, instead tests the player's aiming and dodging skills and reflexes. Clan Arena is a further modification that provides team play using Rocket Arena rules. One category of mod, "bots", were introduced to provide surrogate players in multiplayer mode.
There are a large number of custom maps that have been made by users and fans of Quake. As of 2008[update], new maps are still being made, over fifteen years since the game's release. Custom maps are new maps that are playable by simply loading them into the original game. Custom maps of all gameplay types have been made, but most are in the single-player and deathmatch genres. More than 1500 single-player and a similar number of deathmatch maps have been made for Quake.
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Quake has received near-universal acclaim from reviewers since its release, receiving an aggregated score of 94% on both Metacritic and GameRankings. GameSpot agreed with positive reviews and praised every aspect of the game, stating "Quake is a masterpiece on every level, with its ominous atmosphere, silky-smooth animation, incredibly well-balanced gameplay and level design, and unparalleled soundtrack."
As an example of the dedication that Quake has inspired in its fan community, a group of expert players recorded speedrun demos (replayable recordings of the player's movement) of Quake levels completed in record time on the "Nightmare" skill level. The footage was edited into a continuous 19 minutes, 49 seconds demo called Quake done Quick and released on 10 June 1997. Owners of the game could replay this demo in the game engine, watching the run unfold as if they were playing it themselves.
This involved a number of players recording run-throughs of individual levels, using every trick and shortcut they could discover in order to minimize the time it took to complete, usually to a degree that even the original level designers found difficult to comprehend, and in a manner that often bypassed large areas of the level. Stitching a series of the fastest runs together into a coherent whole created a demonstration of the entire game. Recamming is also used with speedruns in order to make the experience more movie-like, with arbitrary control of camera angles, editing, and sound that can be applied with editing software after the runs are first recorded. However, the fastest possible time for a given level will not necessarily result in the fastest time used to contribute to "running" the entire game. One example is acquiring the grenade launcher in an early level, an act that slows down the time for that level over the best possible, but speeds up the overall game time by allowing the runner to bypass a big area in a later level that they could not otherwise do.
A second attempt, Quake done Quicker, reduced the complete time to 16 minutes, 35 seconds (a reduction of 3 minutes, 14 seconds). Quake done Quicker was released 13 September 1997. One of the levels included was the result of an online competition to see who could get the fastest time. The culmination of this process of improvement was Quake done Quick with a Vengeance. Released three years to the day after Quake done Quicker, this pared down the time taken to complete all four episodes, on Nightmare (hardest) difficulty, to 12 minutes, 23 seconds (a further reduction of 4 minutes, 12 seconds), partly by using techniques that had formerly been shunned in such films as being less aesthetically pleasing. This run was recorded as an in-game demo but interest was such that an .avi video clip was created to allow those without the game to see the run.
Most full-game speedruns are a collaborative effort by a number of runners (though some have been done by single runners on their own). Although each particular level is credited to one runner, the ideas and techniques used are iterative and collaborative in nature, with each runner picking up tips and ideas from the others, so that speeds keep improving beyond what was thought possible as the runs are further optimized and new tricks or routes are discovered. Further time improvements of the continuous whole game run were achieved into the 21st century. In addition, many thousands of individual level runs are kept at Speed Demos Archive's Quake section, including many on custom maps. Speedrunning is a counterpart to multiplayer modes in making Quake one of the first games promoted as a virtual "sport".
The source code of the Quake and QuakeWorld engines was licensed under the GPL in 1999. The id Software maps, objects, textures, sounds and other creative works remain under their original license. The shareware distribution of Quake is still freely redistributable and usable with the GPLed engine code. One must purchase a copy of Quake in order to receive the registered version of the game which includes more single player episodes and the deathmatch maps. Based on the success of the first Quake game, id later published Quake II and Quake III Arena; Quake 4 was released in October 2005, developed by Raven Software using the Doom 3 engine.
Quake was the game primarily responsible for the emergence of the machinima artform of films made in game engines, thanks to edited Quake demos such as Ranger Gone Bad and Blahbalicious, the in-game film The Devil's Covenant and the in-game-rendered, four-hour epic film The Seal of Nehahra. On June 22, 2006, it had been 10 years since the original uploading of the game to cdrom.com archives. Many Internet forums had topics about it, and it was a front page story on Slashdot. On October 11, 2006, John Romero released the original map files for all of the levels in Quake under the GPL.
Quake and its four sequels, Quake II, Quake III Arena, Quake 4, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars have sold over 4 million copies combined.[verification needed] In 2002, a version of Quake was produced for mobile phones. A copy of Quake was also sold in 2001, labeled Ultimate Quake, which included the original Quake, Quake II, and Quake III Arena. In 2008 Quake was honored at the 59th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards for advancing the art form of user modifiable games. John Carmack accepted the award. The band Quake from Illinois used the video game as their band name. Years after its original release, Quake is still regarded by many critics as one of the greatest and most influential games ever made.
There have been two official expansion packs for Quake. The expansions pick up where the first game left off, use all the same weapons and powerups, monsters and gothic atmosphere/architecture and continue/finish the story of the first game and its protagonist. A third unofficial expansion pack, Final Mission: Abyss of Pandemonium, was developed by the Impel Development Team.
Quake Mission Pack 1: Scourge of Armagon is the first official mission pack released on February 28, 1997. It was developed by Hipnotic Interactive. It features fifteen new single player missions, a new multiplayer arena, and gameplay features not originally found in Quake, including rotating structures and breakable walls. New enemies include Centroids, large cybernetic scorpions with nailguns, Gremlins, small goblins that can steal weapons and multiply by feeding on enemy corpses, and Spike Mines, floating orbs that detonate when near the player. New weapons include Mjolnir, a large lightning emitting hammer, the Laser Cannon, which shoots bouncing bolts of energy, and a Proximity Mine Launcher, which fires grenades that attach to surfaces and detonate when an opponent comes near. The storyline follows Armagon, a general of Quake's forces, planning to invade Earth via a portal known as the 'rift'. Armagon resembles a giant gremlin with cybernetic legs and a combined rocket launcher/laser cannon for arms.
Quake Mission Pack 2: Dissolution of Eternity was the second official mission pack, released on March 31, 1997. Developed by Rogue Entertainment, it featured sixteen new single player levels as well as several new enemies and bosses. New enemies included Electric Eels, Phantom Swordsmen, Multi-Grenade Ogres (which fire cluster grenades), Hell Spawn, Wrath (floating, robed undead), Guardians (resurrected ancient Egyptian warriors), Mummies, and statues of various enemies that come to life. The bosses were Lava Men, Overlords, large Wraths, and a dragon guarding the "temporal energy converter". Rather than offering new weapons, the mission pack gave the player new ammo for already existing weapons, such as "lava nails" for the Nailgun, cluster grenades, rockets that split into four in a horizontal line, plasma cells, and a grappling hook to help in moving around the map.
In late 1996, id Software released VQuake, a port of the Quake engine to support hardware accelerated rendering on graphics cards using Rendition Vérité chipset. Aside from the expected benefit of improved performance, VQuake offered numerous visual improvements over the original software-rendered Quake. It boasted full 16-bit color, bilinear filtering (reducing pixelation), improved dynamic lighting, optional anti-aliasing and even improved source code clarity, as the improved performance finally allowed the use of gotos to be abandoned in favor of proper loop constructs. As the name implied, VQuake was a proprietary port specifically for the Vérité; consumer 3D acceleration was in its infancy at the time, and there was no standard 3D API for the consumer market. After completing VQuake, John Carmack vowed never to write a proprietary port again, citing his frustration with Rendition's Speedy3D API.
To improve the quality of online play, id Software released QuakeWorld on December 17, 1996, a build of Quake that featured significantly revamped network code including the addition of client-side prediction. The original Quake 's network code would not show the player the results of his actions until the server sent back a reply acknowledging them. For example, if the player attempted to move forward, his client would send the request to move forward to the server, and the server would determine whether the client was actually able to move forward or if he ran into an obstacle, such as a wall or another player. The server would then respond to the client, and only then would the client display movement to the player. This was fine for play on a LAN—a high bandwidth, very low latency connection. But the latency over a dial-up Internet connection is much larger than on a LAN, and this caused a noticeable delay between when a player tried to act and when that action was visible on the screen. This made gameplay much more difficult, especially since the unpredictable nature of the Internet made the amount of delay vary from moment to moment. Players would experience jerky, laggy motion that sometimes felt like ice skating, where they would slide around with seemingly no ability to stop, due to a build-up of previously-sent movement requests. John Carmack has admitted that this was a serious problem which should have been fixed before release, but it was not caught because he and other developers had high-speed Internet access at home.
With the help of client-side prediction, which allowed players to see their own movement immediately without waiting for a response from the server, QuakeWorld 's network code allowed players with high-latency connections to control their character's movement almost as precisely as when playing in single-player mode. The Netcode parameters could be adjusted by the user, so that QuakeWorld performed well for users with high and low latency.
The tradeoff to client-side prediction was that sometimes other players or objects would no longer be quite where they had appeared to be, or, in extreme cases, that the player would be pulled back to a previous position when the client received a late reply from the server which overrode movement the client had already previewed; this was known as "warping". As a result, some serious players, particularly in the USA, still preferred to play online using the original Quake engine (commonly called NetQuake) rather than QuakeWorld. However, the majority of players, especially those on dial-up connections, preferred the newer network model, and QuakeWorld soon became the dominant form of online play. Following the success of QuakeWorld, client-side prediction has become a standard feature of nearly all real-time online games. As with all other Quake upgrades, QuakeWorld was released as a free, unsupported add-on to the game and was updated numerous times through 1998.
On January 22, 1997, id Software released GLQuake. This was designed to use the OpenGL 3D API to access hardware 3D graphics acceleration cards to rasterize the graphics, rather than having the computer's CPU fill in every pixel. In addition to higher framerates for most players, GLQuake provided higher resolution modes and texture filtering. GLQuake also experimented with reflections, transparent water, and even rudimentary shadows. GLQuake came with a driver enabling the subset of OpenGL used by the game to function on the 3dfx Voodoo Graphics card, the only consumer-level card at the time capable of running GLQuake well. Previously, John Carmack had experimented with a version of Quake specifically written for the Rendition Vérité chip used in the Creative Labs PCI 3D Blaster card. This version had met with only limited success, and Carmack decided to write for generic APIs in the future rather than tailoring for specific hardware.
On March 11, 1997, id Software released WinQuake, a version of the non-OpenGL engine designed to run under Microsoft Windows; the original Quake had been written for DOS, allowing for launch from Windows 95, but could not run under Windows NT-based operating systems because it required direct access to hardware. WinQuake instead accessed hardware via Win32-based APIs such as DirectSound, DirectInput, and DirectDraw that were supported on Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 and later releases. Like GLQuake, WinQuake also allowed higher resolution video modes. This removed the last barrier to widespread popularity of the game. In 1998, LBE Systems and Laser-Tron released Quake: Arcade Tournament Edition in the arcades in limited quantities.
After the departure of Sandy Petersen, the remaining id employees chose to change the thematic direction substantially for Quake II, making the design more technological and futuristic, rather than maintaining the focus on Lovecraftian fantasy. Quake 4 followed the design themes of Quake II, whereas Quake III Arena mixed these styles; it had a parallel setting that housed several "id all-stars" from various games as playable characters. The mixed settings occurred because Quake II originally began as a separate product line. The id designers were forced to fall back on the project's nickname of "Quake II" due to the failure to gain rights to the title they wanted. Since any sequel to the original Quake had already been vetoed,[clarification needed] it became a way of continuing the series without continuing the storyline or setting of the first game. In June 2011, John Carmack made an offhand comment that id software was considering a remake to the "...mixed up Cthulhu-ish Quake 1 world and rebooting [in] that direction."
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