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  • After my first viewing of The Matrix, I was wondering why the Oracle lied and told Neo he wasn't The One. I eventually hypothesized that she needed to lie to him so that the proper sequence of events could be set into motion. It was only upon a later viewing that I realized that her actual words, "Your next life, maybe. Who knows." were completely correct, since Neo had to die first before becoming The One. —Onigame
    The Oracle: Now I'm supposed to say, "hmm, that's interesting, but...", then you say...
    Neo: But what?
    The Oracle: ...but you already know what I'm going to tell you.
    Neo: I'm not the One.
    The Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you're waiting for something.
    Neo: What?
    The Oracle: Your next life, maybe. Who knows.
    • For Trinity to love him. To give him purpose. And Neo doesn't fully become the One until after he's died. So he was waiting for his next life. - Saintheart
    • It also explores the theme of belief. Morpheus believes Neo is the one. Neo doesn't believe he's the one. Trinity comes to believe Neo is the one. It doesn't matter what Morpheus or Trinity believed, it matters what Neo believed. Trinity confessing her love and the Oracle's prediction finally allowed Neo to believe as he came back to life. Remember the Jump program? "Free your mind" indeed.
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    • The Oracle told Neo that he isn't The One so that he would not set his own life over Morpheus' during a situation later in the movie where Morpheus is in danger. She needed Morpheus to live on, and knows Neo will only save him if he knows he is not the One: "Fuck it, might as well risk my life for this guy, The Oracle said I wasn't The One anyway". — Merzer
    • The Oracle doesn't tell Neo to choose either way, she lets Neo answer. If she had said either way, then she is telling Neo what he is and not letting Neo find out on his own, thus the whole reason for showing his "know thyself" in latin above the door. This is also the better way as it frames the choice Neo has to make for Morpheus (as the parent comment states).

  • It took me years to understand the scene in The Matrix where Neo has a breakthrough and decides to go rescue Morpheus. The obvious reason is that he sees The Oracle's prophecies come true and thinks that since he is not The One as Tank and Trinity believe, then Morpheus is more important than him and must be rescued at whatever cost. But if you look closely to her words, The Oracle said that "One of you is going to die...", which means that since her words are true, there are two possibilities for Neo: he can either go and save Morpheus at the cost of his life, or he will fail and Morpheus will die, but that means Neo will survive the attempt. Whatever the case, it either won't be suicide as Trinity says, or his sacrifice will not be meaningless. That is also why he doesn't want Trinity to go, because she is the wild card and can end up dead in either case.
    • Which comes right back around to one of the series' main themes. The Oracle wasn't telling him to go or not to go. She was opening the doors and letting him decide which to walk through. Choice. The problem is choice.

  • Speaking of the Matrix, it's the only film in which bottomless magazines do not annoy me. Why? Because the world is a virtual simulation that the characters are hacking. They're simply using the infinite ammo cheat. - Sordid
    • OMG! Infinite Ammo is usually the most common and most frequently-used cheat in video games, which would mean that anyone in the matrix who had the slightest understanding of how it worked would know of that cheat and be using it! Which is why everyone's got infinite ammo!
      • Except for: "You're empty." "So are you." So it's more likely a case of magazine capacity of plot than a conscious decision to give the characters infinite ammo.
      • Because they could only have one cheat active at once. Okay, that's getting into Fan Wank territory.
      • I figured they ran out of bullets because of Neo's subconscious preference for a hand to hand fight at that point. By now he's really starting to hate Smith, maybe he wants to feel him die...and causes both their bullet supplies to dry up at the psychologically appropriate moment. If so this explains Smith's moment of discomfiture at Neo's riposte - his expression is one of momentary confusion.
      • Except there aren't bottomless magazines...not really. Sure, I can't remember seeing anyone reload once, but that doesn't mean there isn't an end to the supply. Remember what Morpheus said of the rules of the Matrix. "Some can be bent, others can be broken." You can't put infinity bullets in a magazine, because the computer can't process that, but you can put fifty or a thousand because it's a definite number. So, effectively bottomless magazines. It also explains why they can even move with that many guns and that much leather on - they've set the weight to something equivalent of fighting in your skivvies. And why they can jump across buildings - they can't turn on Noclip, but they can fiddle with their personal gravity settings in real time.
      • This troper, a professional software developer, notes: Even a planet-girdling computer made of human brains is finite in capacity, and modeling a whole universe in as much detail as necessary means you optimize wherever you can, as for example by not simulating detailed physics for a firearm's magazine, when the weapon is in use and all that actually matters is the number of rounds in the box. Such abstractions offer much broader attack surface than a detailed rendering would; if, when you fire a round, all that happens to your remaining ammo is that the number gets decremented by one, then all you need do to have effectively infinite ammo is hook the weapon code so that either the decrement doesn't happen, or it's immediately followed by an increment which leaves the ammo count where it was before you fired. Similarly, if you don't want to be affected by gravity, just fiddle with the value of your body's velocity vector.
      • I always assumed that the Smiths simply turned off the cheats themselves whenever they fought against people using them. Problem is, they have to obey the rules as well.

  • You know, Smith's Hannibal Lecture about how humans are so destructive compared to other animals is aggravating because real animals don't act that way. But considering that Smith has never actually studied animals in the wild, nor has likely had any interaction with them beyond the programs found in the Matrix, he may be speaking from genuine ignorance. You know that paradise world that was the first Matrix? Probably not nearly as awesome as the programs think it was.
    • Smith thinks he's describing humankind in comparing them to viruses, but he actually is foreshadowing himself in the very next movie. All he does is spread through the Matrix viruslike until every person has become a facsimile of himself. He becomes the "disease" he bragged about being the cure for.

  • Literally just realized that, in The Matrix, Agent Smith's story of how the first Matrix was a perfect reality but was rejected for the painful world exactly mirrors the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden and Adam/Eve's rejection of it. They, like the humans in the Matrix, were condemned to an imperfect world because they couldn't accept paradise. — Long Ranger 2

  • 'Neo' is an anagram of 'One' - How this didn't occur to me before now is anyone's guess.
    • Neo means 'new' and Anderson, Neo's name in the Matrix, is derived from the greek Ander, meaning 'man'. So he's basically "the new son of man".
      • Also:His first name, Thomas, is a reference to the Biblical "Doubting Thomas."
      • Also Also: Thomas is often translated as meaning "Twin". "Thomas Anderson" is the "Twin of the Son of Man."

  • While we're on the subject of characters having a Meaningful Name: Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams. Need I say more?

  • This just struck me reading the Wham Line for the Matrix. Neo asks for his phone call, and Smith says "What good is a phone call if you're unable to speak?" Now you tell me, what are phones used for in the Matrix? It's got to be a deliberate parallel to how they use phones to exit the Matrix!
    • Presumably a telephone, in the Matrix, represents some sort of communication channel.
      • Alternatively, the use of telephones to exit the Matrix is a reference to dial-up Internet connections. Once the person has been "dialed" and the connection made, they can be sent back to their real body, using the phone line to transmit the data.

  • When Morpheus and Neo are seemingly walking down the street together in what appears to be the Matrix, Neo is being jostled by everyone who passes, while Morpheus is not. Makes sense when you learn a minute later that they are in a training program; Morpheus has been in this simulation before, and knows exactly where to step.
    • It also shows how uneasy Neo is now that he sees through The Masquerade. He was more or less at ease when he just felt something was wrong, but now that he knows, he doesn't feel like part of the system anymore.

  • Early on in the first movie, when Neo is being chewed out by his boss, the boss says something that seems like standard angry boss lines, but in hindsight after the reality of the Matrix is revealed, is actually foreshadowing.
    Rinehart: "You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson. You believe that you're special, that somehow the rules do not apply to you. Obviously you are mistaken. This company is one of the top software companies in the world because every single employee understands that they are part of a whole. Thus, if an employee has a problem, the company has a problem. The time has come to make a choice, Mr. Anderson: Either you choose to be at your desk on time, from this day forth, or you choose to find yourself another job."
    • Everything anyone in the Matrix says other than an Agent or someone who has been unplugged is foreshadowing. Remember the guy who bought the software from Neo. "Hallelujah. You're my savior, man. My own personal Jesus Christ." "I know. This never happened. You don't exist." "You need to unplug, man."
    • Even some things that Agents say are foreshadowing too. When Agent Smith is talking to Neo about his double life, he tells him, "One of these lives has a future...and the other does not." He was right about that; he was just wrong about which life had the future.
    • He was right about which one had a future. It's simply incorrect to assume he wanted any of the humans to have a future. Or that he had the first clue what that future would hold, of course.

  • The Oracle is pretty much the embodiment of this trope. Everything from the first movie onwards keeps coming back to her.

  • Switch calls Neo "copper-top" early on, before being ejected out of the Matrix. Copper-top used to be the Catchphrase for Duracell batteries, which Morpheus shows when he explains the Matrix.
    • If it's your first time seeing the movie, or you just don't get the Duracell reference, you could be forgiven for assuming that Switch was just hurling random insults at the naive civvie for being a pain in the ass. Actually, it goes deeper than that: it's Switch's way of saying that she thinks rumors about the One are just bullshit, and that the errand to recruit Neo into the Resistance is a waste of time. To her, he's just another one of the Machines' batteries, and that's all he'll ever be.

  • In the first movie, Agent Smith curb-stomps Morpheus. In the second movie, despite being unable to last two minutes against Smith, Morpheus takes on one of the upgraded Agents and does much better. So does Trinity, for that matter. This makes no sense...until you remember that Agent Smith was already losing his shit in the first movie. While he was doing a better job of hiding it then, his anger at his situation was already driving him, giving him an edge over both the old and new Agents, who have no motivation of their own.
    • On top of that, Agent Smith uses a more varied fighting style than the newer Agents. Why? Because the "upgrades" may be stronger and a bit faster or more used to the resistance's reality-bending fighting styles, but they sure as hell aren't more creative. After Agent Smith went rogue, the Machines probably downgraded the Agents' initiative.
      • It could also be a result of less processing power; every person that was taken out of the Matrix reduces available power for the Matrix's servers, probably meaning less memory being free for non-essential parts of the Matrix, hence the weakened ability of programs that haven't gone rogue since they would be limited in how much memory can be allocated to their functions. And with Neo having become the One, that would be a massive drop in power.

  • In the subway fight in the first movie, Neo managed to execute a specific trick, which resulted in him hitting Agent Smith right in the neck. But when he attempts the same on Agent Johnson, he performs a block, indicating that this particular flaw has been fixed.
    • Indeed, but remember Neo even addresses the agents as upgrades after they make that specific block.
      • Except Smith wasn't plugged into the Matrix at that point (or however the Agents are connected), and was a rogue. Unless Agent Smith ate an agent that had been upgraded and stole the upgrades for himself.
      • Probably meant that Johnson was an upgrade from Smith's initial programming, before he diverged so much.

  • I think it's fairly well established that the One is a blatant Expy of Jesus, but this is not because the Wachowski Sisters ripped off the Bible, but the Machines did. Think about it - religion is one of if not the most long-lasting complex memes; of course they'd use it as the basis for their control scheme.
    • Actually, the most long lasting complex meme the machines ripped off is the Hero's Journey. The One is not just Jesus, he's Gilgamesh, Apollo, Ramayana, Buddha, Luke, Frodo, etc. etc.

  • You remember thinking how people as energy source does go against everything you learned about Physics? Well, where do you get your Physics from? Rule one of Science: How do you know what you know? Because you learned it in school, in the Matrix. Everyone thinks it is so, in the Matrix. Also you can test it, in the Matrix. Well people, Computer Simulations run on mathematics, I can't say the same about the universe.
    • Even if perpetual motion machines are possible in the really Real World outside the Matrix, there are still better options than using humans. Cows (and an endless simulated sea of grass) are often mentioned. Face it, the original idea (pre-Executive Meddling) was just better, though slightly harder for Joe Bluepill to understand.
    • Assuming that our world is the "real world" in the movie, I can say this: The universe shows a incredibly great predisposition for Mathematics. If our world is the Matrix, then *shrug*
    • There is a simpler explanation. Others have said that humans provided the processing power for the Matrix with their brains. But what is the energy source for the brains upon which the Matrix relies for processing power? Humans.
      • Humans aren't an "energy source" unless you pile them up and burn them, and they're not a very good one then. You eat food, don't you? Food, of which a relatively small fraction ends up as a relatively permanent part of your body's structure; the rest you use to power your life functions and eventually radiate as waste heat, which is why your body runs at a temperature so much higher than ambient.
      • Expanding on that: The "power source" explanation, for why humans are installed in the Matrix, has never made sense, and I think is best understood as an artifact of the general ignorance likely endemic in the machines' new dark age; the only way to take any energy at all off a running human body, for use in powering other processes, is as heat, and that's both vastly inefficient — you'd get more heat by just burning the food directly than by dumping it into a human body — and inconsistent with the atrophied state of newly disconnected humans — a human body generates maximum waste heat during strenuous exercise, which would lead to muscle development. The "brains as processors" hypothesis, conversely, is consistent with all observed facts regarding the state of Matrix-installed humans, leaving only the question of why the machines bother keeping any humans alive in the first place, but presumably that's either addressed later in the series or ignored as part of the later films' general disintegration into trivial allegory.

  • The whole "humans as batteries" thing left me perplexed at first, and I was quick to dismiss it as a goof or the result of Executive Meddling. Then I realized that the fact that it does not follow the laws of thermodynamics may have been intentional! The laws of thermodynamics we know are valid within the Matrix; in the real world, they may be entirely different! This would also explain how the entire Neb crew does not freeze to death, nor does the vapor they breathe out condense into fog, when they are forced to abandon the ship before it blows up and they walk around an environment that has not received any heat for centuries: because thermodynamics works differently in the real world than it does in the Matrix.
    • The Earth receives heat from the Sun, even during "nuclear winter" conditions; even a largely opaque atmosphere can only reflect so much. Between that, waste heat from the gigantic machines girdling the planet, any functioning leftovers of human infrastructure, and the planet's quite ample geothermal heat, it's plausible that deeply buried tunnels would be warm enough for breath not to condense. (Also, where was it suggested that the movie's audience was made up of Matrix inhabitants?)

  • In the first film, I wondered why the Sentinels didn't kill off the remaining crew of the Neb right away, instead dilly-dallying around as they did long enough for the humans to set off the EMP. I watched the entire trilogy the other day and it just now hit me: The Machines had set up Neo to be The Chosen One and repopulate the Matrix, so they were unable to kill off everyone on the Nebuchadnezzar; they were maybe even becoming confused and unable to act due to a lack of instructions/instructions against action when they got inside the ship.

  • All the scenes filmed inside the Matrix have a green-ish hue. Just like the green Matrix Raining Code.
    • This tint also makes the rain during the scene under the bridge look like falling code.

  • When still inside the Matrix, Neo is contacted through his computer by Morpheus who tells him to "Follow the White Rabbit." When Choi and Dujour (and friends) visit Neo soon after that, we find out that the "White Rabbit" is represented by a tattoo on Dujour's shoulder. When Neo tells Choi that he's late, Choi says "I know. It's her fault," blaming it on Dujour ... the White Rabbit ... As in "I'm late! I'm late for a very important date!"

  • It's a measure of how good the Wachowskis are at establishing a visual metaphor that when Agent Smith casually removes his earpiece to talk to Morpheus off-the-record without Agents Brown and Jones knowing, This Troper sat bolt upright and whispered, "wait, can he do that?" A seemingly mundane action has vast implications for what this particular program is capable of.

  • The exact time period inside the Matrix (i.e. Is it always 1999?) has been a subject of debate among fans for a while, with many people raising the question of why the Machines specifically chose the year 1999 for their simulation. Agent Smith seems to think that it's because the end of the 20th century was "the peak of human civilization" (which is debatable), but it was also the last period before the internet took off and became a major presence in human life. The internet would make it much harder to safeguard the truth about the Matrix, since people all around the world could openly discuss the world's apparent artificiality.

  • The old question of "Where do babies in the Matrix come from?" is utterly trivial. Humans are known to interact directly through the medium of the Matrix. Humans are also known to have physical bodies outside the Matrix. When two humans conceive, their gametes are combined in vitro and the resulting zygote implanted in the female of the pair, by means of techniques developed by trivial extension of those known to modern medical science as in-vitro fertilization. From there, gestation and parturition proceed as they ordinarily would, and the pregnant woman's sensorium is extended to include whatever information is necessary for verisimilitude; a woman pregnant in the Matrix is also pregnant outside the Matrix, and her mediated sensorium feels pregnant either because the sensations of her physical body are being piped to her mind, or the Matrix is synthesizing a suitable equivalent accurate to her physical situation. Once birthed, the newborn is removed from its mother's pod and installed in a vacant one, and the relationship proceeds again as it would outside the Matrix, subject to the Matrix's usual mediation of all parties' sensoria. (For example, if the newborn is surplus to the machines' requirements, perhaps it's euthanized and reprocessed as feedstock, while the parents observe their infant dying by accident or illness.)
    • Oh, well, I mean, sure, you could take at face value all that nonsense about robot baby farms, if you're untroubled by the trivially obvious implication that the machines are blatantly stupid — there is no other adequate adjective to describe the choice of such an incredibly wasteful and failure-prone technique as that depicted over Morpheus' narration, when there's a much cheaper and more reliable alternative available, one which has stood the test of millions upon millions of years worth of time, and which also offers the not inconsiderable benefit of greatly enhanced verisimilitude. The only evidence of robot baby farms is Morpheus, early in the first movie, saying that they exist; I don't assume he was wrong, or lying, but it's quite possible that the robot baby farms, like the "Garden of Eden" initial design for the Matrix's user interface, were merely one of possibly very many failed experiments which informed the Matrix's evolution.
    • Or perhaps the machines are just cloning the dead bodies over and over again. A cloning plant seems far more likely to me than such a convoluted method of replenishing their batteries.

  • The two cities are never directly mentioned together in the same sentence at any point in the series, but at some point you realize that the Humans and the Machines both live in single cities called "Zion" and "Zero One". When written out, the two names actually look surprisingly similar: both begin with a "Z" sound and end with an "N" sound, and the middle two letters of the word "Zion" ("I" and "O") actually look like "1" and "0". This subtly hints at the recurring idea that Humans and Machines are really Not So Different.

  • Tank suffering from Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome was a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, but consider his situation at the end of the first movie: sure he managed to have a Heroic Second Wind and take down Cypher, but he was still leagues away from any sort of proper medical attention for the copious burns he suffered and the adrenaline rush he's going through thanks to the multiple dangers to his life would only make things worse (adrenaline increases blood flow, meaning his wounds would also be bleeding a lot more than normal). Most likely, after Neo woke back up and they began the trek to Zion, Tank died on the way back.

  • The Agents look a lot like The Men in Black. Now, imagine how their job must look to anyone in the Matrix: they cover up unusual events (vampires, werewolves, aliens, freaking super humans) to keep you from learning the truth. They are The Men in Black.

  • I could never fully understand why Neo says "There is no spoon" when he shoots the elevator cords. All he does is shooting the cords, right? Wrong! Elevators have emergency brakes that prevent them from falling even if the cords are destroyed. Neo bends the the emergency brakes in the same way as he bent the spoon before.

  • Trinity places a hand against the glass of a phone booth; when Neo stops bullets just by raising his hand, we realize what she's trying to do.

  • The main characters speak in monotone voices, and their dialogue sounds stilted. This is actually justified by their origins, since they grew up in a fake world that the machines designed for them. Monkey sees, monkey do.

  • The environment of the Matrix is immaculate, urban, symmetrical and monochrome. It's deliberately styled that you can tell the artificiality of it and know that it's a simulation.
    • Additionally, there is no sign of natural environments - blue sky, green grass, sunlight - until the end of the trilogy, when the computers allow a less controlling and more natural, harmonious stance on their relationship with the humans.

  • Cypher nearly jumps out of his skin when Neo walks up behind him during night duty. He says that Neo scared him, but he looks around as he says it, like he's seeing if anyone else is around. Why? Because he was getting things ready for his meeting with Smith, and anyone besides Neo (who can't "read" the scrolling code on the screen) would have noticed what he was doing and started asking uncomfortable questions.
  • At the beggining of the movie, Neo opens up the book to give the USB that was inside of it to the man behind the door. The book was titled: "Simulcra and Simulation. He probably brought it because he was paranoid that he wasn't real from the very beginning!

Fridge Horror

  • Cypher asks to be returned to the Matrix as "someone important, maybe an actor" and doesn't want to remember anything. Smith assures "Mr. Reagan" that this will happen. This seems like just a throwaway joke until you remember that, by 1999 (the year being observed in the Matrix), Ronald Reagan was in the throes of Alzheimer's disease.
    • What makes it worse is that Agent Smith called him "Mr. Reagan" BEFORE Cypher told him he wanted to be famous and important; therefore, upon striking the deal, the Machines must have altered the records of their "1999"'s past, giving everyone (except for Redpills and Exiles, who wouldn't care anyway) false memories of Cypher having been a Hollywood actor and a president - and all he really received for his betrayal was the "remember nothing" part.

  • Here's some Fridge Horror: what happens to people taken over by Agents that don't get killed by the protagonists? Which, after all, was unheard of before the events of the trilogy. Since Agents revert upon death to the people they took over, they really are hijacking their simulated bodies rather than just replacing them, and they would presumably leave when they're done. So imagine you get bodysnatched by an Agent who either loses their prey or succeeds in killing them; you come to in a strange place, possibly in the company of a dead body (and forensic evidence might support the conclusion that you killed them, but then again it might not), and you have no idea how you got there or what you've been doing in the missing time. You might have nonfatal injuries as well if the rebel managed to hurt the Agent before escaping/dying. For the ones who don't wake up at the scene of a crime, this could explain alien abductions.
    • Could explain how people have blackouts sometimes and why certain people go missing without a trace; since the Agents are so hard to kill, it stands to reason that they would inhabit the same body long enough for the original person to become a cold case. - Ze Mogan
    • Unless the unfortunate bluepills are aware of what's happening and stuck in And I Must Scream while the Agent chases the redpills down, anyway, which is even worse.
      • Which is exactly why a person "possessed" by an Agent would be permitted neither to perceive nor to remember it. There are lots of mundane ways in which such "missing time", &c., could be explained; allowing Matrix inhabitants to become aware of Agent possession would all but guarantee at least a few of them would become aware of the simulation, with potentially disastrous results.
    • Presumably the Agents have some sort of neutral body they can return to, allowing them to return the shanghaied body and ensure the system continues running as designed.
      • Why assume they need inhabit any body, except when they need a Matrix avatar? Smith, in the first movie, spoke of wanting to leave the Matrix, which would be impossible if he couldn't exist outside a Matrix avatar.
    • This actually comes up in The Matrix: Path of Neo, where a security guard involved in being taken over by Agent Smith as a cop to kill Neo actually pops up again later and has a Freak Out when he sees Neo again. Because he and his memories were effectively re-written to think that he was the one that did the deed, but with no traces of what occurred, he was considered mentally unstable and lost his job. You won't remember what the Agent does or why, you just think you murdered the person yourself.

  • Imagine if two people were having sex, when suddenly the female morphs into an Agent.
    • And it's not all that likely, either. Agents possess Matrix inhabitants' avatars when they need a body for tactical reasons; having to disentangle a body in the midst of coitus imposes a certain degree of encumbrance, and probably wouldn't be worth it unless there's really no one else around.
    • Imagine they BOTH morphed into Agents'. Imagine blacking out in the middle of getting some then waking up naked with either, your' partner, also naked, in the middle of a strange place or your partners' Corpse!

  • There are no cats, maybe even no animals in the matrix. Like the scene A Glitch in the Matrix shows, the cat is just part of the background program. When that program was reset, so was the cat.

  • One of the original ideas for Switch is for her to have a very unique form of gender dysphoria: she was a man in the real world and a woman in the Matrix after accidentally being put in someone else's pod by the machines. In the wake of the revelations regarding the Wachowski siblings it is obvious why they both wanted to include this and why they didn't feel comfortable including this plot point back before they came out - meaning that this is still potentially a canon thing that can happen, just not for Switch. If it is, just imagine how horrific that would be to either be in the right body in the Matrix only to be freed to find yourself in the wrong one, or being in the right body in the real world only to find yourself in the wrong body in the Matrix. And taken to its logical conclusion, it's not just physical sex that could be affected by this.
  • The robots in this film have been stated to be "Sentient" A.I., which actually makes sense if you consider he possibility that either (a: the robots run on the "Smith" program, or (b: the robots have the minds of humans who have been raised to be perfect drones.

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