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  • :: General Info ::
    Title (Europe)
       Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
    Title (USA)
       Sonic 3D Blast
    Title (Japan)
       Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
    Developer
       Traveller's Tales
    Platform
       Sega Mega Drive
       Sega Saturn
       Windows PC
    Format
       cartridge
       CD-ROM
    Genre
       Platformer
    Rating
       CERO: 全年齢
       ESRB: K-A

    :: Release Info ::
    :: Mega Drive version ::
    Europe
       November, 1996
    USA
       November, 1996

    :: Saturn version ::
    USA
       November, 1996
    Europe
       February, 1997
    Japan
       October 14, 1999

    :: PC Version ::
    USA
       September, 1997
    Europe
       September 25, 1997

    :: Game Credits ::
    :: Mega Drive version ::
    Executive Producer
       Shoichiro Irimajiri
    Producer
       Katsuhiko Sato
    Senior Producer
       Yutaka Sugano
    Producers
       Yoji Ishii
       Kazutoshi Miyake
       Manny Granillo
       Mike Wallis
    Head Designer
       Takao Miyoshi
    Game Concept Design
       Katsuhiko Sato
       Takao Miyoshi
       Kenji Ono
       Takashi Iizuka
    Playfield Design
       Takao Miyoshi
       Hirokazu Yasuhara
    3D Modeling
       Toshiyuki Mukaiyama
    Music & SFX
       Tatsuyuki Maeda
       Jun Senoue
       Masaru Setsumaru
       Seiroh Okamoto
    Program Design
       Jon Burton
    Head Artist
       James Cunliffe
    Programmer
       Jon Burton
    Background Artist
       James Cunliffe
    3D Models & Animation
       James Cunliffe
       Neil Allen
       Dave Burton
       Will Thompson
       Jon Rashid
    Sonic Animation
       Dave Burton
    Bonus Game Implementation
       David Dootson
    Additional Programs
       David Dootson
       Gary Vine
       Neil Harding
    Advisors
       Yuji Naka
       Naoto Ohshima

    :: Saturn version ::
    Enhancement Design
       Takashi Iizuka
    Code Conversion
       Neil Harding
       Steve Harding
       Gary Vine
       Jon Burton
    Graphic Conversion
       Neil Allen
       Dave Burton
       James Cunliffe
       Jeremy Pardon
       Jon Rashid
       Alex Szeles
       Barry Thompson
       Will Thompson
    Utility Programming
       Gary Ireland
       Dave Dootson
       Andy Holdroyd
    Music
       Richard Jacques
    Vocals
       Debbie Morris
    SFX
       Richard Jacques
       Thomas Szirtes
    Movie Creation
       Norihiro Nishiyama
    Movie Processing
       Yuji Sawairi
    Special Stage Designers
       Takashi Iizuka
       Daisuke Mori
    Special Stage Programmers
       Tetsu Katano
       Yasuhiro Takahashi
       Atsutomo Nakagawa
       Kazuhiko Hattori
    Special Stage Artists
       Kazuyuki Hoshino
       Yuji Uekawa
       Nobuhiko Honda
       Shinichi Higashi
       You Nishiyama
       Sachiko Kawamura

    :: Platforms ::
    Sega Mega Drive
       Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
    Sega Saturn
       Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
    Sony PlayStation 2
       Sonic Mega Collection Plus
    Nintendo GameCube
       Sonic Mega Collection
    Microsoft Xbox
       Sonic Mega Collection Plus
    Microsoft Xbox 360
       Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
    Sony PlayStation 3
       Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection
    Nintendo Wii
       Virtual Console

    Windows PC
       Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
       Sonic Mega Collection Plus
    Internet
       RealNetworks RealArcade
       TBS GameTap

     
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    Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island
    Last update: 10/13/07

    :: Quick Jump ::
       [Story | Gameplay Info | Comparison | Lost in Translation | Codes | Behind the Screens | Notes | Miscellanea]


    :: Story ::
       While scouring the ocean with a reconnaissance satellite, Dr. Eggman detects the presence of the seven Chaos Emeralds on the mysterious Flicky Island, a small oasis named after the colorful Flicky birds often seen in its jungles. Upon his arrival, however, Eggman is surprised to find no trace of the namesake birds. Just as he's wondering if he's landed on the wrong island by mistake, the Doc's eye is drawn to a sparkle in the distance: a Big Ring materializes from thin air, and a flock of Flickies emerges from its center. The birds gorge on nuts and berries before disappearing back into the Ring. With this chance observation, Eggman determines that the Flickies are able to warp through space by using Big Rings as dimensional gates. With this knowledge, the mustachioed villain excitedly begins construction of a Big Ring generator: as Flickies begin popping through the artificially created gates, they're captured one-by-one and transformed into robot slaves.

       Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, unaware of Eggman's ambition, arrive on Flicky Island after hearing of the Chaos Emerald legend. The trio are shocked to discover the island in pandemonium, but fortunately, the Emeralds yet remain hidden from the iniquitous Eggman. Sonic sets off to locate the gems and free the hapless Flickies.


    :: Gameplay Info ::
       Sonic's encore appearance on the platform that spawned him borrows mechanics both from its immediate lineage and the ancestral Flicky, an early 80's Sega coin-op (and former mascot contender). While Sonic still clips through his isometric world at a fair pace, high speeds take a backseat to exploration. Despite some admittedly well-rendered environments (particularly impressive considering the Mega Drive's limited color palette), the results are uninspired and mostly forgettable.

       Sonic's physics are greatly simplified to cope with his isometric surroundings. Max speed is achieved almost immediately after pressing the D-pad and remains constant unless Sonic screeches to a complete halt. (Note that the default action button commands can be toggled in the options menu.)

    run -- Sonic's basic movement. Push any of the 8 directions on the D-pad to have Sonic scoot off in the appropriate bearing.
    screech -- While running, quickly press and hold the opposite direction on the D-pad to make Sonic screech to a halt. He'll skid for a short distance.
    Spin Attack -- While running, tap the B button to have Sonic curl into a rolling spin attack.
    Jump -- Tap the A or C button to have Sonic leap into the air with his trademark Spin Attack.
    Spin Dash -- While standing still, press and hold the B button to have Sonic rev up with a stationary Spin Dash. Release to blast away.
    n/a
    Sonic Blast Attack -- With a Gold Barrier equipped, jump and tap A or C while in midair to home in on any nearby enemies.

       The goal in each stage is to locate all 5 Flickies on the board and lead them to the exit gate. Each Flicky is trapped in one of Eggman's robots: pop the baddie with a spin to free the bird. Tag the liberated tweeter before it wanders too far and it will follow Sonic in baby chick fashion: lead the feathery entourage to the Big Ring and they'll gleefully warp to freedom. Each individual Flicky is worth 100 points at the exit, but the bonus doubles for each bird rescued in one sweep: 100, 200, 400, 800, or a sweet 1,600 for all 5 Flickies at once. A Flicky Bonus is awarded at the end-of-Act score tally, and can be worth as much as 10,000 points based on how many birds are freed in succession.

       Liberated Flickies trail behind Sonic in a straight row: if the line comes into contact with an enemy or obstacle, the inflicted birds break away from the procession and fly around aimlessly. If Sonic himself sustains damage, all collected Flickies break away. Color determines how the birds behave when flying loose:

    • Blue Flickies struggle to follow Sonic even before they've been tagged. Stand still to let them catch up.
    • Pink Flickies fly in large, irregular circular patterns, but still home in on Sonic.
    • Red Flickies don't travel far, but leap around high into the air, making them difficult to tag.
    • Green Flickies make no effort to follow Sonic whatsoever and wander aimlessly across the entire board.

       In addition to Flickies and enemies, each board is sprinkled with power-ups and obstacles of all manner:

    Ring -- As long as Sonic has some of these, he won't lose a life if he takes damage. Sustain a hit and all your collected Rings will scatter, giving you a brief opportunity to grab a few back before they disappear. A 1up is awarded for every 100 Rings collected and each is worth 100 points at the end-of-Act tally.
    Item Box -- In each stage, you'll find a number of these power-up bearing monitors. Pop them open with a spin to procure one of 7 power-ups:
  • 10 Ring - Worth 10 Rings
  • Blue Barrier - Absorbs one hit and nullifies electrical damage
  • Red Barrier - Absorbs one hit and nullifies fire damage
  • Gold Barrier - Absorbs one hit and enables the Sonic Blast Attack
  • High Speed - Temporary speed increase
  • Muteki - Temporary invincibility
  • 1up - Gives Sonic an extra chance
  • Sonic Medal -- Collect 10 of these to earn a Continue, worth a full set of 3 lives. They're usually found above springs, and in most cases a full entourage of 5 Flickies is needed to reach the lofty medals.
    spring -- Leap onto the broad side to catapult Sonic and his Flicky troop into the air.
    landmines -- These mines explode into a shower of damage-inflicting projectiles when approached.
    Tails -- Run up to Tails and he'll hold all of your Rings: once he amasses a total of 50, he'll fly Sonic away to the Special Stage. Each Ring deposited with Tails is worth 100 points at the end-of-Act score tally.
    Knuckles -- Like Tails, Knuckles is your ticket to the Special Stage if you bring him a minimum of 50 Rings. Each Ring deposited with Knuckles is worth 100 points at the end-of-Act score tally.
    Big Ring -- Lead all 5 Flickies in each Area to this warp gate. Once all 5 Flickies have entered, the Big Ring disappears, opening up the path to the next Area.

       Eggman's latest crop of enemies isn't particularly memorable - it's basically the same half dozen models repeated throughout the game with different skins. Each enemy houses an imprisoned Flicky, so the board must be cleared of all robots before Sonic can proceed. As usual, each busted bot is worth 100 points.

    ??? -- Bee bots that hover slowly along the ground in erratic patterns, but pick up speed and give chase if approached. They hold pink Flickies.
    ??? -- Purple turd-looking bots that stand in place and rotate stupidly. Each one is guarded by a single spinning mace, making them difficult to hit. They hold blue Flickies.
    ??? -- Caterpillar bots that leap between holes in the ground. Only their spikeless noggins are vulnerable to attack. They hold red Flickies.
    ??? -- Gator bots that trod slowly along the ground in a straight line. They hold green Flickies.
    ??? -- Bee bots that fly in jerky, erratic patterns along the ground. They hold blue Flickies.
    ??? -- Spider bots that crawl slowly along the ground in a straight line. They hold green Flickies.
    ??? -- Dragonfly bots that fly in jerky, erratic patterns along the ground. They hold blue Flickies.
    ??? -- Blowfish bots that fly through the air in a straight line. They can't be damaged when inflated. They hold pink Flickies.
    ??? -- Crab bots that roll slowly along the ground in erratic patterns, but pick up speed and give chase if approached. They hold red Flickies.
    ??? -- Snowman bots that slide in square patterns along the ground and fire damage-inflicting snowballs from their hats. They hold frozen blue Flickies: spin the ice cube to free the bird.
    ??? -- Penguin bots that waddle slowly along the ground in a straight line. They hold green Flickies.
    ??? -- Rabbit bots that pogo along the ground in erratic patterns. They hold pink Flickies.
    ??? -- Ladybug bots that roll slowly along the ground in erratic patterns, but pick up speed and give chase if approached. They hold green Flickies.
    ??? -- Wasp bots that fly in jerky, erratic patterns along the ground. They hold blue Flickies.
    ??? -- Bat bots that fly through the air in a straight line. They hold pink Flickies.
    ??? -- Scorpion bots that crawl slowly along the ground in a straight line. They hold red Flickies.
    ??? -- Immobile octopus bots that turn their heads to follow Sonic, firing blobs of damage-inflicting blue ink. They hold red Flickies.
    ??? -- Mouse bots that roll slowly along the ground in erratic patterns, but pick up speed and give chase if approached. They hold green Flickies.
    ??? -- Spider-like walker bots that crawl along the ground in a straight line, firing projectiles in the 4 cardinal directions. They do not contain Flickies.
    ??? -- Chopper bots that hover around in jerky, erratic patterns. They do not contain Flickies.

       There are a total of 7 Zones, each with 3 Acts. The first 2 Acts of each Zone are further subdivided into 2 or 3 Areas, each containing 5 Flickies to be rescued. There are no time limits, but points are awarded based on how quickly you were able to complete each Act. The third Act of each Zone consists of the boss fight and nothing more. There are a few Rings sprinkled around each boss arena, but use them sparingly because there are no replacements. Conquer the boss contraptions for 10,000 points a piece.

    Green Grove Zone -- The requisite tropical stage with palmtrees and checkerboard hills. Stand on dash panels to boost through loop-de-loops. Leap into cannons and press A or C to blast off to another portion of the stage.

    Boss: Eggman hovers around just out of jumping range lugging a heavy spiked ball. He occasionally pauses to drop the ball, which chases Sonic along the ground for a short distance. When the ball stops, Eggman flies over it and lowers himself down to pick it up: this is the only chance to attack. Defeated in 5 hits.

    Rusty Ruin Zone -- The ruins of Atlantis have surfaced, and Eggman's outfitted the ancient traps with new technology. Stand over fan blocks to be whirled into a tornadic vertical spin: while in tornado mode, Sonic can destroy enemies and smash through otherwise indestructible columns, but he becomes slippery and difficult to control. Jump or sustain damage to have him revert to normal posture.

    Boss: Eggman lowers his Eggmobile into an ancient sphinx-like wall carving, bringing the stone golem to life. The golem will attempt to smash nearby hedgehogs with his two hovering paws while sweeping the arena with stone bullets from the gun in his crotch. Jump on the paws to reach the golem's head where Eggman sits. Defeated in 5 hits.

    Spring Stadium Zone -- The floor of the stadium is littered with spring blocks: some catapult you into the air while others are just dummy panels. There's no way to tell which is which until you stand on them. Keep moving along floor panels with holes - as you stand on them, spike traps rise through the openings. Leap into the air to make the spikes drop back down, or use the balloons overhead to hop your way across.

    Boss: Eggman hovers just out of reach, waving two spiky mechanical hands around in a menacing fashion. He periodically lowers himself to the ground and pounds the floor with the damage-inflicting appendages: this is the only chance to attack from ground level, but a frontal assault is risky. At the north corner of the arena, there's an upraised platform from which the Eggmobile can be reached while it's still in the air, but keep jumping if you don't want a spike up the pooter. The machine gains speed with each hit, so keep on your toes. Defeated in 8 hits.

    Diamond Dust Zone -- Stand in front of snowblowers to be encased in ice (it won't inflict damage) and slide down frozen slopes. Jump repeatedly or smash into a wall to break free. It's safe to land on rivers of slush, but keep jumping against the flow if you don't want to be swept into a spiky death. Jagged crystal bushes can be shattered with a Spin Dash, but don't try to jump on them.

    Boss: Eggman hovers around, as per usual, just out of reach, dropping trap snowmen that explode as Sonic approaches. Eventually, the bad Doc will lower himself to the ground for a direct attack: this is your only chance to inflict damage, but the Eggmobile is guarded by a belt of snowblowers. Get caught in a puff of icy breath and Sonic will be frozen solid. He won't sustain damage from this attack, but it leaves him vulnerable to a direct hit from the Eggmobile. After each hit, the Eggmobile loses a snowblower, but gains speed to compensate. Defeated in 8 hits.

    Volcano Valley Zone -- Leap onto stone panels to destroy them: some hide chutes to secret areas. Spin Dash on elevators (ala Lava Reef) to activate them. Red Barriers are an asset in this Zone: they absorb damage from flame throwers and allow Sonic to walk on lava. (Pink Flickies in this stage appear to be on fire - evidently a bug due to palette limitations.)

    Boss: The Eggmobile lies right in the center of a crosshair river of lava. The only way to reach the vulnerable cockpit is to traverse the narrow pipes that extend down each branch of the crosshair. Small flame throwers periodically spout fiery breath around the edge of the cockpit while a larger puff of airborne flame will actually chase Sonic around the arena. Defeated in 8 hits.

    Gene Gadget Zone -- Step into giant chutes for quick transport to different areas of the board. Keep moving along electrified floor panels unless you're equipped with a Blue Barrier, in which case you may dawdle all you like. Industrial fan blocks send Sonic hovering through the air, leaving him totally vulnerable to attack. (Note that Tails and Knuckles don't appear in this Zone.)

    Boss: Eggman hovers around out of reach at the mouth of a giant conveyor belt. Don't fall too far to the rear of the belt (which leads to spiky doom), but leave enough distance to dodge the jagged shrapnel flowing from the mouth of the machine. Eggman periodically lowers himself down to fire missiles along the belt: this is your only chance to attack. Defeated in 8 hits.

    Panic Puppet Zone -- The level names are starting to get really weird, which can only mean one thing: you're near the end. Each Act of Panic Puppet only consists of a single Area, and most of the obstacles are borrowed from Gene Gadget. In Act 1, Flickies are not to be found in robots but are trapped in glass containers. In Act 2, there are no Flickies to rescue at all, just a long, difficult obstacle course that weaves in and around a giant Eggman statue. (Tails and Knuckles do not appear here.)

    Boss: Eggman sits in a large glass chute at the top corner of the arena. In the first phase, he controls a pair of smashing arms while guns mounted on each shoulder toss projectiles onto the board. Stand in the shadow of an arm long enough for it to home in on Sonic, then dash out of the way just before it smashes into the ground: for a brief moment, a blue button behind the machine's arm flashes. Spin the button to inflict damage on the machine. 4 hits deactivate each arm, and once both arms have been destroyed (total of 8 hits), Eggman flees to the second tier. Pursue and phase 2 begins: in this round, each arm is outfitted with a flame thrower. The aerial puffs of flame will chase Sonic around the board for a few seconds before dissipating: dodge the flame and quickly attack the blue buttons while they're still flashing. Once more, 4 hits on each arm and Eggman flees to the third tier. In this phase, each arm is outfitted with a gun that fires a shower of ricocheting shrapnel. Dodge the bounding projectiles and land 4 more hits on each arm (grand total of 24 hits) to finish the job. If you failed to collect any of the 7 Chaos Emeralds, the game ends here and you get the bad ending.

    The Final Fight -- This final boss is only accessible if you collect all 7 Chaos Emeralds and clear Panic Puppet. The board is divided into 5 different areas, and the Eggman robot uses a unique method of attack on each. After each assault, the robot hauls itself into the middle of the arena for a direct attack, which is your only opportunity to inflict damage. After each hit, the robot flies off to the next area of the board. Here's a list of the machine's attacks:
    • round 1: fires laser rays from its fingers.
    • round 2: fires puffs of flame from its nose. The flame chases Sonic around the arena for a few seconds before dissipating.
    • round 3: attempts to smash you to death with 2 detached hands on a narrow arena. Get out of the shadows before the hands slam down. After 3 attempts, the hands will fly to either edge of the arena and sweep the floor with a dash attack.
    • round 4: fires off a series of aerial missiles which rain back down onto the arena wherever Sonic is standing.
    • round 5: fires a gun that sweeps the arena with ricocheting projectiles.

    After circling through all 5 areas twice (for a total of 10 hits), the machine explodes and your efforts are rewarded with the good ending.

       Tails and Knuckles can be found hiding in the first two Acts of every Zone except Gene Gadget and Panic Puppet. Sonic must usually pass a trigger point before they appear, so backtrack thoroughly to locate them. Tag one with at least 50 Rings on-hand and you'll be whisked away to the Special Stage. In the Special Stage, Sonic runs along a pseudo 3D peninsula filled with Rings and mines. The goal is to nab the requisite number of Rings to pass each checkpoint while avoiding mines, which subtract 10 Rings from your total. Pass the third checkpoint to be rewarded with a Chaos Emerald and a 10,000 point bonus. (Note that Tails and Knuckles each have a unique set of stages, so there are a total of 14, though only 7 Emeralds to collect.) Clear a Special Stage once all Emeralds have been collected to be rewarded with a 1up. Nab all 7 of the precious stones and clear Panic Puppet to access the secret final boss.


    :: Comparison ::
       Originally designed as a Mega Drive exclusive, Sonic 3D was hastily ported to the Saturn to fill the holiday gap left by the cancellation of Sonic X-Treme. The Saturn version is structurally identical to the MD original, but features a number of cosmetic enhancements. Here's a bullet list of the changes:
    • Enhanced graphics with more background detail and an occasional polygon structure (such as the bridges in Green Grove)
    • Weather effects such as rain and fog in Rusty Ruin, snow in Diamond Dust, and steam in Volcano Valley
    • A new CG opening cinema
    • New soundtrack composed by Richard Jacques with a vocal ending theme performed by Debbie Morris
    • A map screen of Flicky Island that displays while stages load
    • New pause menus that display your current score
    • Polygonal 3D Special Stages based on the Sonic 2 half-pipe style with a number of enhancements, such as springs, platforms, and tunnels. The object is to collect the requisite number of Rings to cross each checkpoint while avoiding mines, which subract Rings from your total. Cross the second checkpoint for the Chaos Emerald.

       About a year after the MD and Saturn versions, a Windows PC version was released in the US and Europe. The PC port is identical to the Saturn version except for the Special Stages: although they still utilize the Sonic 2 half-pipe format, they're less graphically advanced than the polygonal Saturn renditions. Furthermore, each Stage only consists of a single checkpoint instead of two.


    :: Lost in Translation ::
       By 1996, Sega was no longer supporting the Mega Drive in Japan, but the aging console still had a strong following in Western markets (where it was far more successful to begin with). As a result, Sonic 3D was developed exclusively for the American and European markets. The two versions are identical except for the title: in the Americas, the game was released as Sonic 3D Blast.

       The Saturn version of the game was released in Japan three years after the fact to coincide with the release of Sonic Adventure International on Dreamcast. The Japanese version uses the European title (Sonic 3D: Flickies' Island) and became the last in-house Saturn game released.


    :: Codes ::
    Level select: (Mega Drive version) At the title screen, press: BAACA. Start a game as normal to access the level select menu. Pause the game at any time and press A to skip to the next Act.

    Master code: (Saturn version) At the title screen, press: +A+C. The "Press Start" message should stop blinking. Begin a game as normal. Pause at any time and press a button to unlock a cheat:

  • A: skip to the next Act
  • B: skip to the next Zone
  • C: skip to the boss of Panic Puppet
  • X: get a free 1up
  • Y: get a free Sonic Medal
  • Z: get all 7 Chaos Emeralds
    :: Behind the Screens ::
       CG rendered graphics were all the proverbial rage in the 16-bit twilight, and with Rare's illustrative Donkey Kong Country dominating retail in Western markets, Sega struggled to produce similar results on the graphically inferior Mega Drive. Their proven cash cow Sonic seemed an adequate guinea pig, and while creative duties were handled internally, programming and rendering were outsourced to UK-based Traveller's Tales, renowned for their ability to manipulate the MD's limited hardware.

       As the MD version of the game took shape, Sega's own resources were being devoted to Sonic X-Treme, a vaunted 3D Sonic title for Saturn. As the ambitious project wore on, however, its fate became apparent. By late summer, X-Treme was dead in its tracks, leaving a huge gap in the Saturn's holiday lineup. At the last minute, Sega approached Traveller's Tales for a graphically enhanced Saturn port of Flickies' Island. The port was whipped up in a mere four months and released at the same time as the MD version.


    :: Notes ::
    Flicky: Although these days she's relegated to bit parts, the bluebird named Flicky was once one of Sega's biggest stars. Flicky, a Sega arcade game released in 1984 on System 1 hardware, put players in control of its namesake protagonist, a little bird out to save her children from ravenous housecats. The object is to catch all of the baby birds (Pio-pios) in the stage and take them to the exit. The Pio's form a chain behind Flicky as you collect them; points are multiplied for each Pio you have when you reach the exit. Avoid housecats (Nyan-nyan) and iguanas (Choro). If an enemy touches your Pio chain, all the inflicted Pio's will separate themselves and run off. If Flicky herself takes damage, the entire chain scatters. (The character Flicky made cameo appearances in many Sega games in the late 80's, including TeddyBoy Blues, SDI, Flash Point, Super Monaco GP, and Bloxeed.)


    :: Miscellanea ::
    • In December 1996, Archie Comic Publications released a 48-page comic titled and loosely based on Sonic Blast. The special was released as a supplement to their ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series.

    Written content and original graphics copyright 1997-2007 Jared Matte. Hosting and administration thanks to Nathan Tsui. Sonic the Hedgehog characters, logos, and images are trademarks of
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