* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaI The Legend of Zelda]] (1986)
* [[YMMV/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink The Adventure of Link]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast A Link to the Past]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames Oracle of Seasons/Oracle of Ages]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker The Wind Waker]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwords Four Swords]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures Four Swords Adventures]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTheMinishCap The Minish Cap]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass Phantom Hourglass]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks Spirit Tracks]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds A Link Between Worlds]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaTriForceHeroes Tri Force Heroes]]
* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild Breath Of The Wild]]
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* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaManga The manga]]
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* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaAnimated The animated series]]
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* [[YMMV/TheLegendOfZeldaCDiGames The CDi games]]
* [[YMMV/HyruleWarriors Hyrule Warriors]]
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* YMMV/FreshlyPickedTinglesRosyRupeeland
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!!Tropes across media

* AmericansHateTingle: The {{Trope Namer|s}}, thanks to Tingle's debut in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask''.
* [[AwesomeBosses/VideoGames Awesome Bosses]]: Has its [[AwesomeBosses/TheLegendOfZelda own page]]. Some of the best boss battles in video game history come from this series.
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: Has its [[AwesomeMusic/TheLegendOfZelda own page as well]]. The series has given some of the most iconic tunes in gaming for good reason.
* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: Link is pretty heavily subject to this, as he's a HeroicMime that the [[EscapistCharacter player is meant to be free to project their own personality onto]], while at the same time he shows some broad, yet distinctive personality traits informed by his actions and the animation (both facial expressions and BodyLanguage)[[note]]This trend started with the 3D Zelda games, specially ''The Wind Waker'', and has grown ever since[[/note]]. Mix these two elements together and you have a recipe for having almost as many interpretations of Link as people who have played the series.
* AnimationAgeGhetto: Possibly due to this trope, the "cartoonish" games in the series get lower sales and less attention outside of the core ''Zelda'' fanbase than the "realistic" games.
* AuthorsSavingThrow: From ''Skyward Sword'' onwards there's the "Hero Mode". A higher-difficulty mode where enemies inflict double damage and there are no healing items such as hearts, meaning the player has no choice but to rely on healing potions only. This mode was obviously created for veteran fans and skilled players who considered [[ItsEasySoItSucks the franchise had become way too easy]] since the N64 games, to the point it was detrimental to the experience for them.
* BrokenBase: You don't get to become one of the biggest, most respected franchises in your medium without dividing people to some extent. Here are some of the most popular highlights.
** One of the biggest, yet most subtle divides in the fandom comes from the idea of what makes a Zelda game... a Zelda game! The franchise has become more and more multi-faceted over the years, and thus different people may like it for completely different reasons. Because of this, the fans often find themselves in direct opposition to one another. Sometimes to the extreme that one element may be considered essential to the franchise by one group, but another may consider it even detrimental. The elements that are argued the most are the exploration component, the puzzle solving (especially in the dungeons), and the lore. But there are also plenty of people who will mention the ever changing art style, the story telling, the atmosphere, or even the combat system, especially the boss fights. There's even a fair share of fans who think the answer is "all of the above", and thus there is no point in trying to single out just one aspect and call it THE "Zelda secret".
** Another one of the biggests, and this time, most visible ones is that every single entry of the series ever since ''Ocarina of Time'' (if not even earlier than that) has received accusations of ItsTheSameSoItSucks and TheyChangedItNowItSucks ''[[DoubleStandard at the same time]]''. One second you find a comment trashing the game for not changing the Zelda formula at all, demeaning its new features as "gimmicks", and the next second you find another one that trashes it because those "gimmicks" are new features that totally change (and ruin) the Zelda formula. [[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]] even managed to do both in one review, bashing ''Skyward Sword'' for being formulaic, then for not holding to its own formulas.
** The fans are also divided on whether CelShading or [[RealIsBrown "realism"]] is better for the series.
** Fans and critics frequently argue about which game in the series is the best, often escalating to arguments where (insert game X here) is dismissed as "absolute crap" while (insert game Y here) is objectively the greatest game of all time. This is despite the fact that almost all major ''Zelda'' games are loved by critics and well-received by the general public.
** A smaller faction: which is better, the N64 version of ''Ocarina of Time'' or ''Ocarina of Time 3D''?
** Since ''The Wind Waker'', one of the most prominent debates, not only in the fan base, but also among critics, is whether the franchise should feature voice acting. The two opposing forces are:
*** Those who think the franchise should not feature voice acting at all. They argue the franchise hasn't used them for so long, they would feel out of place at this point. They also think it's better to leave the characters' voices to the player's imagination. Plus, it would mean either giving Link a voice (which would destroy one of the [[HeroicMime key characteristics]] that makes him unique) or make all characters speak except him (which for them would be extremely weird). There's also the concern about localization, and what would it mean to dub the game to the different languages. But there are people who say the solution to this would be for Nintendo to create a fictional "Hyrulean" language, akin to the gibberish that characters like Midna or Fi have already displayed.
*** Those who think they should totally use them. They argue the lack of voices makes the games feel outdated, and it's detrimental to the immersion. Especially considering the games now use cut-scenes prominently, where the lack of voices becomes especially jarring. As for the issue about Link, most people in this camp usually propose to keep him silent, arguing that it wouldn't be nearly as weird as people in the opposing side makes it out to be. Others claim that giving Link a voice doesn't need to destroy his character, since there has been already a successful attempt of giving him a more fleshed out personality in the mangas by Akira Himekawa, which has been embraced by most of the fan base.
** Do the ''Zelda'' franchise and Link himself truly deserve to be Nintendo's biggest {{Sacred Cow}}s among their series and characters respectively? There are those who agree, hence their popularity in the first place, and then there are those who view them with HypeBacklash and HypeAversion (especially given how frequently ''Zelda'' games and characters win in fan rankings and popularity polls); in the series' case, many acclaimed ''Zelda'' games suffer from SeinfeldIsUnfunny down the line, while in Link's case, he's occasionally criticized for being a VanillaProtagonist (particularly among those who don't effectively see him as an EscapistCharacter).
** The "Should Link be allowed to be a girl?" debate. The idea had been around for a while in the early 2010's, but it was only proposed by a small and quite minority. Things changed with the E3 2014 reveal trailer of ''TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', which showed a Link that .looked [[DudeLooksLikeALady more androgynous than usual]], to the point that it created a ''massive'' ViewerGenderConfusion. After that, and the confirmation that this Link was indeed a male, the debate jumped to the forefront of the fandom, with all different kinds of opinions on the matter.
* CompleteMonster: [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Zant]] and [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds Yuga]]. Ganondorf escapes this due to having his sympathetic qualities exposed in ''The Wind Waker''.
* ContestedSequel: ANY of the console games that follow up on ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'', there's no arguing against it. ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Skyward Sword]]'' even became this ''before it was even released!''
* CriticalDissonance:
** According to critics, the series has stayed ''very'' strong throughout its entire lifespan. You wouldn't know this from all the fan complaints about new titles in the series, especially ''Skyward Sword''.
** ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'' has gotten middling reviews akin to a LicensedGame, and nowhere near the stellar reviews of the rest of the series. ''Zelda'' fans, however, adore it.
* DieForOurShip: Anything that threatens the possibility of a Link/Zelda pairing is violently purged. Zelda herself can suffer this when other choices are available. (''Ocarina of Time'', ''Twilight Princess'')
* DorkAge: The CD-i games. Their sting wasn't numbed at all by the fact that Nintendo took its sweet time developing ''Ocarina of Time'', so there were five years between 1993 and 1998 when no Zelda games except for those were being released.
* EnsembleDarkhorse: Many have cropped up over the years, to the point of [[EnsembleDarkhorse/TheLegendOfZelda getting their own page]]. The short version is any character who a) has a major secret in their backstory that changes the player's perception of them and/or b) experiences CharacterDevelopment.
* EpilepticTrees: The timeline alone is a ''big'' piece of fanon madness. Before ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]'' came out to explain it, it was impossible to find a web site or forums of the series (either fan or otherwise) that did NOT have at least one big article and/or open thread discussing this issue at large, with big, crazy theories to boot. And ''after'' it came out, it didn't die. It just evolved into discussing the points that were left ambiguous, debating about the contradictions between the artbook, [[FlipFlopOfGod the interviews to Miyamoto and Aonuma]] and the games themselves, tiding up the remaining loose ends, or trying to give alternate interpretations to [[FanDislikedExplanation the explanations that were deemed unsatisfactory]]. Especially crazy because Nintendo put an explicit MST3KMantra disclaimer in the very same official timeline, explaining that the development team, for the most part, thinks about gameplay first and story later. But fans still treat this topic as SeriousBusiness.
* EscapistCharacter: Part of Link's popularity as a character stems from this and how players can, in addition to wishing they were him, largely project their own personality (or an otherwise desired, idealized personality) onto him as he's a HeroicMime.
* EvilIsCool: Ganon(dorf) is one of Nintendo's coolest and most well-loved villains in all his forms, and is fondly remembered by fans for his overwhelming power, Machiavellian evil schemes, and excellent boss fights.
* FanDislikedExplanation:
** As explained in Hyrule Historia (a guidebook about the franchise by Nintendo), there is a third timeline that also split from [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]. The problem is that it is based on an event that didn't happen anywhere in the game: [[spoiler:{{The hero d|ies}}ying]]. And no, Game Overs do not count.
** Since the timeline was an endless fountain of EpilepticTrees for over a decade, many fans disliked those explanations which [[{{Jossed}} invalidated their own theories]].
* FandomRivalry:
** In general, with games that imitate elements from the Zelda franchise to a certain extend. The most popular examples are ''VideoGame/{{Ico}}'', ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'', ''VideoGames/{{Okami}}'' and, to a lesser extend, ''VideoGame/{{Darksiders}}''.
** Related to ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'', there's also a fierce rivalry between the games' respective horses, Epona and Agro. To their fans, they compete for the position of "most iconic video game horse ever".
** During the UsefulNotes/TheFifthGenerationOfConsoleVideoGames, there was also another one with the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' series, especially ''Ocarina of Time'' and ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' (and also by extension, Link Vs. Cloud). Both franchises were probably the most iconic ones of their [[UsefulNotes/PlayStation respective]] [[UsefulNotes/Nintendo64 consoles]], and people used to compare them out of their fantasy settings (despite the fact that they were for the most part very different). So it was a natural extension of that generation ConsoleWars. Just like with the previous console war's [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]] vs. [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Sonic]] rivalry, an official Link vs. Cloud fight was finally made possible when Cloud was added to the fourth ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' game.
** Later on, ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' (particularly [[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]], since it and ''Skyward Sword'' were DuelingGames) and ''Franchise/DarkSouls'', albeit to a lesser degree. Mostly because both franchises focus on elements that are considered part of the core of the earlier Zelda titles. Some Zelda fans moved on to these two franchises since they consider they expanded on those elements better than Zelda itself.
* {{Fanon}}: The series is one of the most prolific sources of inspiration for fan related works: fan fiction, fan arts, fan remixes and covers, web sites, etc.
* FanPreferredCouple: Technically [[NoHuggingNoKissing the vast majority of them]], especially Link[=/=]Zelda, though there's been an exception or two over the years.
* FanWank: The endless, '''endless''' confusion over "the timeline," something officially confirmed, but NEVER officially explained. Even after ''[[AllThereInTheManual Hyrule Historia]]'' explained it all, it's still going, even if discussing different points (See EpilepticTrees above).
* FriendlyFandoms: With ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'', due to both franchises being Nintendo's most famous "serious" series with games considered among Nintendo's best; there are a ton of fan theories about Samus being descended from Link himself. That said, sometimes the fandoms get into arguments over whether Link or Samus is a better protagonist, as well as the relative quality of both series.
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff:
** While wildly popular elsewhere, the ''Zelda'' franchise isn't ''quite'' as popular in its native Japan (but still popular).
** In many Western gaming communities, Link is Nintendo's most popular character, even surpassing company mascot [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]]. This even has some effect outside of said gaming communities; Link's Toys/{{amiibo}} has consistently been the best-selling amiibo figure in Western regions.
* GoddamnedBats: An early example, though Keese and Fire Keese are hardly the only ones.
* HypeBacklash: Due to the series' and its characters' widespread SacredCow treatment, some people are quick to label popular ''Zelda'' games and characters as "overrated". On many sites, most infamously Website/GameFAQs and Dorkly, ''Zelda'' games and characters frequently dominate gaming- or Nintendo-related popularity polls and consequently bring up this trope. Even one-shot characters such as Midna or Skull Kid, or games that aren't near-universally praised such as ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaPhantomHourglass'', can end up outperforming more famous/iconic characters and more lauded games, respectively. Zelda Informer even has [[http://www.zeldainformer.com/news/why_the_legend_of_zelda_series_is_completely_overrated_and_thats_okay#.VS0nVvnF_Rs an article]] on the alleged "overratedness" of the franchise, acknowledging that the excessive hype is unhealthy for the franchise and that it is "simply praised for its name's sake".
* IAmNotShazam: The main character is Link. The girl is Zelda. Daring to say otherwise will [[FandomBerserkButton get you a lot of ire]] on forums.
* IronWoobie: Link. Even when he [[EarnYourHappyEnding earns his happy ending]], the nature of the [[EternalHero cycle he's trapped in]] means he'll be back for another round with [[AsLongAsThereIsEvil the forces of Evil]].
* ItsEasySoItSucks: A common complaint about entries after the N64 era among veteran fans, specially those who grew up with [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI the]] [[VideoGame/ZeldaIITheAdventureOfLink first]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkToThePast four]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendofZeldaLinksAwakening games]].
* LGBTFanbase: In addition to causing StupidSexyFlanders moments in straight fans, a gay magazine voted Link as the hottest video game character of all time. As an older {{Hunk}}, Ganondorf also has a following in the {{Bara}} community.
* LauncherOfAThousandShips: Go to ff.net and see how many ship fics you can find that don't involve Link.
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt: Ganondorf is apparently KilledOffForReal once or twice a decade. By this stage, we know better.
* MagnificentBastard:
** Ganondorf has gotten [[HijackedByGanon very skilled]] at making his enemies do all his work for him over his career.
** [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaALinkBetweenWorlds Yuga]] managed to [[spoiler: ''hijack Ganon.'']]
* MemeticBadass:
** Link, renowned as one of Nintendo's most {{Badass}} characters. The guy can throw around stone pillars like they were cardboard at the end of ''Ocarina of Time''!
** [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword Groose]], who even thinks of ''himself'' as this.
** Ganondorf, for being a NighInvulnerable KnightOfCerebus RatedMForManly GeniusBruiser in all his appearances and for frequently ''succeeding'' in his evil schemes (granted, Link stops him later, but only ''afterwards''). It helps that ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'' makes him an [[MightyGlacier even harder-hitting]] MovesetClone of [[Franchise/FZero Captain Falcon]], who's already considered Nintendo's answer to Creator/ChuckNorris.[[note]]However, his slowness, controversial moveset and generally low tier standing in ''Smash'' can also make his incarnation there a MemeticLoser [[BrokenBase depending on the fan]].[[/note]]
* MemeticLoser: Tingle is a 35 year-old man who dresses in a green onesie and wishes to become a fairy. He's meant to be a ManChild and is loved by the Japanese fanbase... But the Western fanbase love to loathe him. When you have a trope called "AmericansHateTingle" named after you, you know you're a memetic loser.
* MemeticMolester:
** Tingle and Ghirahim.
** Redeads, in particular the [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]] and [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]] versions.
* MemeticMutation: Too many to list here... so that's why [[Memes/TheLegendOfZelda it has its own page]].
* NostalgiaFilter: ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' [[ToughActToFollow tends to be used as a measuring stick]], by both the fandom and professional critics, to judge [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask the]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker sequels]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess that]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword followed]]. This led to each game getting some form of [[ItsTheSameNowItSucks It's the Same]] / [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks Changed, Now It Sucks]] criticism. This even extended to ''its own remake'', where most of the negative criticism was due to the lack of new features rather than the nature of the game itself.
* OlderThanTheyThink: The completed Triforce is actually the emblem of the Japanese [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C5%8Dj%C5%8D_clan Hojo clan]], which has been around in various forms since at least the 12th century.
* OneTruePairing: Link and Zelda. This pairing has been since the very beginning and is still on top. The only other pairing that comes even close would be Link/Midna, but has the disadvantage of appearing in only one game that feels more like an exception, rather than a norm. Plus, in recent years Nintendo seems to be playing up the romance angle in their relationship, going as far as heavily inferring a ReincarnationRomance (downright confirming it in VideoGame/HyruleWarriors. Even if this game is not canon, there are heavy hints in the main series as well, so it fits the meta-narrative).
* ProtagonistTitleFallacy: Poor Link is one of, if not THE best known example of this trope in the entire video game medium, to the point of MemeticMutation ("What if Zelda was a girl?"). Ever since the first game in the franchise, newcomers tend to think "Zelda" is the name of the green-clothed hero.
* SacredCow:
** The series, as well as its protagonist Link, are unanimously praised and loved by the gaming community [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff in the west]] - even more than ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'', Nintendo's own flagship series and one that's sold many more games than ''Zelda'' and other franchises by a huge margin.
** While the core fanbase is [[BrokenBase split]] as to the overall quality of each game, three in particular - ''A Link to the Past'', ''Ocarina of Time'' and ''Majora's Mask'' - are treated as this and adamantly defended from any sort of criticism, although this raises accusations of SeinfeldIsUnfunny and HypeBacklash. ''The Wind Waker'' gets this treatment to a somewhat lesser extent.
* ScapegoatCreator: A lot of fans blame Eiji Aonuma, the current main producer of the series, of every single thing that is supposedly wrong with the series nowadays. Of course, when they see something that goes right for them, then they praise Miyamoto for it.
* TheScrappy: [[StopHelpingMe Navi, Kaepora Gaebora, Fi]], [[{{Manchild}} Tingle]] ([[AmericansHateTingle to Americans fans]]) and Ralph from the ''Oracle'' games.
* SequelDisplacement: Most of the series' current fans came in after ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime Ocarina of Time]]'' and it was surprisingly common to see ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' referred to as "Zelda 2," even though the '''real''' Zelda II was made ten years before ''Ocarina''.
* {{Shipping}}: A rabbit hole that runs too deep to get into detail here. Long story short, many fans ''really'' like to argue about Link's perfect mate, both in the series as a whole and on a game-to-game basis[[note]]as in, for example, people who like [=LinkXZelda=] in the franchise, and people who like [=LinkXMidna=] in ''Twilight Princess'' specifically[[/note]]. Ironically enough, even people who ''don't'' like the idea of shipping in the series tend to be just as passionate about Link ''not'' being paired up with anyone as people who do want to see him paired up.
* SidetrackedByTheGoldSaucer: Each game is bound to have at least one sidequest or minigame that completely distracts from the main story. In fact, some games make the story seem like a minor annoyance than a matter of importance in the game.
* TastesLikeDiabetes: Some fans feel this way about the series, particularly the Toon Link and Classic Link games, believing that it needs to be mature and gritty to be any good, though the [[SurpriseCreepy actual]] [[VileVillainSaccharineShow content]] is a different matter entirely. ''Twilight Princess'' was a conscious effort to avert this trope after said Toon Link games.
%%* ThatOneLevel
* ViewerGenderConfusion: Inexperienced players have been known to mistake [[IAmNotShazam Link]] for a girl. This became HilariousInHindsight after [[DistaffCounterpart Linkle]] was announced.
* VindicatedByHistory: Actually a recurring element, to the point where the process has been nicknamed the "Zelda Cycle". Since ''Majora's Mask'', every time a new console game is released, it's immediately panned by what seems to be most fans, while the previous title (which also was mercilessly panned when it came out) is suddenly praised as a master piece.[[note]]Should be noted that the "Zelda Cycle" theory is heavily disputed within the fanbase. Many fans argue that there isn't such thing. Just people with different opinions expressing it at different times.[[/note]]
** The cycle seems to [[AvertedTrope have stopped]] with ''Skyward Sword'', though. Although it still has its fair share of fans, the general consensus after 5 years is still that it's one of the weakest entries in the franchise, while its follow up, ''A Link Between Worlds'', was praised both by most critics and fans from day one. Furthermore, while reception to ''Twilight Princess'' has grown warmer over time, it failed to become the fanbase's "[[SacredCow golden game]]" like ''Majora's Mask'' and ''Wind Waker'' became in turn - rather, most of its unanimous love and praise was at the time of release.
* WriterCopOut:
** The addition of the "Link is Defeated" timeline is seen this way by many, since it turns that part of the timeline into a "WhatIf" scenario instead of having a stronger explanation involving legitimate and certain events that lead up to the defeat. And it opens up the question of why there aren't other timelines created by "Game Overs" in games of the series other than ''Ocarina of Time''.
** Some people consider the creation of [[DistaffCounterpart Linkle]] in ''Hyrule Warriors'' to be this. For said people, Nintendo basically took the easy way out in the whole ''Should Link be allowed to be a girl?" debate, and deem it not even close to good enough.
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