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Restored My Faith in Humanity

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"You've changed my mind, Goku. I was beginning to believe that all people were greedy and dishonorable, but you've shown me that there are people that have kind and untainted minds and hearts."
Kami, Dragon Ball

Bob long ago learned the painful lesson that Humans Are Bastards. They kill each other over the most trivial of reasons and treat anyone who is different as an outcast. And so Bob has given up on them, perhaps to the point of becoming the villain or even the Big Bad.

And then along comes Alice, a shining example of why humans aren't that bad after all. She'll listen to Bob's rhetoric about how humans are unworthy to live, smile, and retort with an impassioned speech about everything good about humanity or she'll just show him how wrong he is through her actions.

Bob will come to see that maybe he was wrong about humanity all along (it's very rare for Bob to accept simply that Alice in particular isn't so bad, or, if he does, he's missing the whole point), perhaps performing a Heel–Face Turn or sacrificing himself to save humanity.

See All-Loving Hero, Messianic Archetype and Purity Sue for three character types Alice is likely to fall under.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • As stated in the King Piccolo Saga, Kami had originally created the Dragon Balls to serve as a symbol of hope for humanity, but the exact opposite happened as humans only wanted to use the Dragon Balls for their own self-centered purposes. Thus, after King Piccolo destroyed Shenron after getting his youth restored, Kami initially chose to just let Shenron stay dead. It was seeing Goku's true love for his friends, as well as his valiant efforts against Piccolo, that convinced Kami there were still genuinely good people in the world.
    • In the finale of Dragon Ball Super: Android 17's wish to restore the seven annihilated universes after the Tournament of Power convinced Zen'O that the lower eight universes contained people with the capacity for genuine good... it's suggested that he was beginning to wonder if the mortal life in those universes was worth keeping around. It's stated that had the winner of the Tournament made a selfish wish, he would have annihilated the winning universe as well, leaving only the upper four in existence. Gowasu, Supreme Kai of Universe 10, also smiles approvingly after being restored; he had previously been a major advocate for mortals' ability to learn and grow past their sins.
  • Aoyama Masaya/Mark in Tokyo Mew Mew acts like the nicest person on the planet as a defense mechanism, and secretly hates humans while being unaware that he himself isn't human at all. He starts to see Ichigo/Zoey as "different" when she steps out of her comfort zone to understand him more — something she really doesn't want to do at first — and, by the end of the series, he sacrifices himself (and gets better) to save the entire world.
  • In Gankutsuou, when it seems to Albert that everyone is lying and good people are helpless to do anything, a letter from his dead friend Franz restores his faith in humanity, and he in turn restores The Count's humanity.
  • Ceres from Ceres, Celestial Legend starts out despising humanity (especially men) for what had been done to her in the past. As the series progresses, Ceres learns that humans aren't evil, just flawed, and her faith in the human soul was restored from watching Aya and her friends and loved ones.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Nishiki Nishio had an older sister who was killed after a human she trusted sold her out to the CCG; after killing said human, he resolved never to trust anyone again. This lasted until his human girlfriend, Kimi, discovered he was a ghoul and not only accepted him, but offered to let him eat her, showing him that some humans can be trusted.
  • The blue Zygarde (a.k.a. Z-2) in Pokémon the Series: XY already had a jaded view on humanity; it was after getting captured, experimented on and mind-controlled by Team Flare, culminating in the organization setting it loose on Lumiose City that only worsened its perception. Even after being freed from its mind control, Zygarde allowed Team Flare's true superweapon, the Megalith, to wreak more havoc. It was when the heroes try to stop the Megalith, in spite of the futility of the situation, that the red Zygarde (Z-1, aka "Squishy" (courtesy of Bonnie), who's been travelling with Ash and friends) finally convinced its other half that humans needed to be protected by them in spite of, and maybe even because of, their flaws. With the two Zygarde in Synchronisation, they fuse and transform into Complete Forme Zygarde to finish off Team Flare's leader and the Megalith once and for all.
  • Naofumi of The Rising of the Shield Hero lost the ability to trust anyone after Malty betrayed and defamed him with the help of the King and other Heroes. He only trusts Raphtalia because she's a slave and so magically cannot betray him. When she's freed and Naofumi is losing all hope, Raphtalia tells him she believes in his innocence and willingly becomes his slave so he'll be able to trust her again. His attitude, while still grim and hateful, is very much improved afterwards.
  • All Might of My Hero Academia has an injury that prevents him from using his full strength for more than a couple of hours a day without hurting himself and reducing that limit. When a escaped criminal takes a teenager hostage and none of the local heroes are able to act, All Might feels disappointed with himself because he's not doing anything... until Izuku Midoriya, the Quirkless teen he met earlier, jumps in and attempts to fight off the villain. This gives All Might the resolve to act beyond his limits to stop the villain, telling Izuku later that this action has allowed him to realize that Izuku possesses the heroic spirit that makes him worthy of being his successor.
  • Cyber Team in Akihabara: Crane Bahnsteik had lost his faith in humanity after witnessing the horrors of World War I, and became convinced that it was just a matter of time before humans would destroy each other in pointless wars. In the final episode, Crane sees the girls' love and good feelings gave their Pata-Pis a will of their own, driving them to take the girls' place in Primum Mobile so their owners aren't forced to leave Earth. Eventually, Crane returns the Pata-Pis to the girls since they gave him a new hope that not everything is lost for humanity.
  • Nagato (aka Pain) from Naruto was forced to witness death and destruction his entire life. His entire family was killed during a war, but was eventually able to make friends that also shared his desire for a peaceful world. However, one of them, his best friend Yahiko, was forced to kill himself to save Nagato and Konan from the threat of Hanzo the Salamander hoping they could live to achieve their dream. However, Nagato had enough of losing everyone around him and eventually kills Hanzo in a rage and kick started his amibitions to save the world by any means necessary. Nagato was also lead to believe by Obito Uchiha that the world can be saved by collecting all of the Tailed Beasts and using their power to rid the world of wars. Nagato at this point felt like only he and the rest of the Akatsuki was capable of saving the world and would do anything it takes to achieve their goals (even killing his old master Jiriya). It wasn't until Naruto Uzumaki was able to convince him that he will work hard to ensure the world will be safe and bringing up how Jiriya really did thought of Nagato as a hero is what convinced Nagato to pull a Heel–Face Turn and sacrifices himself to bring back all of the Leaf shinobi he had killed believing that Naruto will indeed bring peace to the world.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Manhattan in Watchmen, though for him it's Humans Are Boring and Predictable. When the Silk Spectre finally breaks down upon realizing the Comedian is her father, he realizes that Humans, against all improbability, managed to live - and that's more than enough to realize that Earth needs him.
  • Marvel Universe: The High Evolutionary's plans to wipe out humanity were once waylaid by the Hulk's determination to survive in spite of everything.
  • In Grimm Fairy Tales, the Wicked Witch Belinda shows her friend Sela around a beach and explains that Humans Are Bastards by pointing out Jerk Jocks who bully others, a shallow girl who Really Gets Around, etc. When a building collapses, everyone Belinda pointed out immediately rushes over to help. The jocks use their strength to clear rubble and pull people to safety, and the shallow girl turns out to be a highly qualified doctor. Belinda gets disgusted and leaves, but Sela is amazed and is so touched that she decides to help too.
  • Manchester Black goes through a darker variant of this after trying and failing to provoke Superman into killing him. When Superman remains dedicated to his principles even after Black apparently killed Lois, Manchester realized that true heroes like Superman really did exist. This also leads to Manchester realizing that he had become just another supervillain. After erasing the knowledge of Superman's identity from the minds of the villains he granted it to in the first place, Black promptly killed himself.
  • An alien variant appears in The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #8 when the disgruntled semi-defected Decepticon Fulcrum is motivated to make a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Scavengers because they've proven to him that the Decepticon cause is still worthy, even if their ranks did become infested with psychos, sadists and monsters who just used it as an excuse to kill.

    Comic Strips 
  • One Bloom County strip had Opus wallowing in gloom, thinking he's lost the Christmas spirit forever. Portnoy appears and gives him a gift which turns out to be plastic dog-vomit. Opus hugs him, saying in total sincerity: "Thank you. You've pulled me back from the brink. I'll cherish it forever." Cue Portnoy wallowing in gloom.

    Fan Works 
  • Absolute Trust: Azula of all people undergoes this; having spent all her life thinking that she was unloved after her mother seemed to favor Zuko more, causing her to try and seek out Ozai for affection up until Ursa just left following Ozais' ascent to the throne. Not helping matters was that her childhood dream of riding a Dragon was dashed when Iroh claimed to have killed the last Dragon when Azula was six and Ozai berated her for wanting to pretend which served as her Cynicism Catalyst. During the events of the story when pursuing after the Gaang and Alec; who thanks to his knowledge of the show was able to predict her moves and make overtures to have Mai and Ty Lee defect from her side. After the failure of The Drill; Ozai had enough of Azulas' failings and through correspondence with Long Feng, planned to have Azula killed within Ba Sing Se and have her death pinned on the Avatar to turn Azula into a Martyr to the Fire Nation. Having come to terms with how her own father had betrayed her; she was left despondent and pleading for death, thinking that she really was unloved. It was only thanks to Alec showing her that the Dragons weren't wiped out like Iroh had claimed, and the return of Ursa who told her that she really did care about and love Azula that the Fire Nation Princess was able to make a turn for the better and formally join Team Avatar.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: Though she no longer works for Fairy Tale as of Act IV, Akua still believes that Humans Are the Real Monsters and can't understand why Moka and other monsters would want to co-exist with them. Spending time with Tsukune and the others gets her to change her mind, leading to her rescuing a human boy from death during the climax of the act; by the time of Act V, she's become an advocate of co-existence.
  • For an unlikely (and, technically, inhuman) "Alice", seek no further than the Doctor from The Road to Shalka, who manages to restore Angela's faith in humanity, herself and the wonders of universe by being honest, uncompromising and able to admit to his mistakes.
  • Jaune does this twice in Lords Among the Ashes.
    • When he and Sun go to explore the ruins outside of Normandy, Sun confides in him about his past and the abuse and racism his family suffered through that led to him losing faith in the world. He then goes on to say that the work Jaune was doing and the constant effort he put forth to uphold his ideals had put a spark of hope back into him that people were worth believing in.
    • Simulation!Salem herself had her faith restored by Jaune after witnessing how far he would go for his people and how far they were willing to push themselves for his sake. This convinces her to advise Jaune on how he too could ascend to Godhood: by getting the scroll from her real-world counterpart. She has faith that if he manages such a thing, he will have earned it.

    Films — Animation 
  • Klaus (2019) has Alva, a schoolteacher without any students due to the Feuding Families refusing to let their kids sit anywhere near the opposing side, so she's turned the schoolhouse into a fishmarket so she can save up and eventually leave town. Due to their desire to write to Mr. Klaus for toys, Jesper encourages them to go to the school to learn, and Alva is, at first, completely unwilling to lose sight of her goal, finally agreeing to teach them how to write their names just to shut them up. This leads to Annelise, the first girl to write her name, to eagerly ask if Ms. Alva can teach her more, the other children clamoring to learn as well. You can see Alva's expression shift from suspicion to cautious optimism, and it cuts to her dipping into her savings in order to buy her newfound students the supplies they need.
  • In Once Upon a Forest, Cornelius, due to an experience as a child where hunters caused him to be separated from his parents, believed that humans were monsters, his belief refortified by an accident that released a deadly gas into the forest. During the climax, however, when Edgar was caught in a hunter's trap, one of the men who were cleaning up the accident let him go before smashing the trap, opening Cornelius's eyes in realization that there were humans who genuinely cared about animals.
    Cornelius: (Amazed) In all my years...I've never...
  • ParaNorman: Has an odd example where Norman restores his own faith and Agatha's, as part of their "Not So Different" Remark moment.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Fifth Element, Leeloo loses her motivation to save mankind after witnessing its in-fighting and learning about its war-ridden past. However, Korben manages to restore her faith in humanity with The Power of Love.
  • Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and its 2008 remake is convinced that humans are worth saving, although in different ways.
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory: Willy Wonka, by the end of the film, has become dejected after years of people stealing his secret recipes and all five children, even Charlie, fail to measure up to his expectations, and slinks into his office considering the day a waste. Charlie Bucket gives back the Everlasting Gobstopper, a candy which would revolutionize the confection industry, despite having been offered hundreds of thousands of dollars for it by Wonka's competitor. This marks his acceptance that he did fail and resigning his family to poverty once more. It’s enough to atone for his actions in the film and prove himself worthy to Wonka, and helps Wonka see the good in the world again.
    "So shines a good deed in a weary world..."
  • As it turns out, future Charles Xavier does this for his younger self in X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • In The Dark Knight (2008), the Joker has put two bombs in two ships, one of them full of convicts, the other full of ordinary people. The people on the ships are informed that they can detonate one of the ships and save their own lives. Of course, everyone immediately wants to blow up the other ship, but they hesitate, not sure whether this is the right thing to do. Finally, one of the criminals orders one of the guards to give him the remote, telling him: "I'm going to do what you should've done ten minutes ago." After he gets the remote, he simply throws it out the window and returns to his seat. Meanwhile, one man also wants to have the remote, because "after all, the people on that other ship are criminals and they deserve to die anyway". As he stands there with the remote in his hand, he suddenly gets a change of heart, and after a long hesitation, decides not to go through with it. Later, the Joker is surprised that none of the ships have exploded by now, but Batman tells him that he underestimated the people's sense of humanity.
    Batman: What were you trying to prove? That deep down, everyone's as ugly as you?! You're alone!

  • In Dragon Bones, Ward does this to a horse. As he knows the horse has been mistreated, it's completely intentional. He intends to do the same with the slave he inherited (he can't get rid of him, it's the magical kind of slavery), but that proves to be lot more difficult.
  • Les Misérables:
    • Jean Valjean, after being put in prison for almost twenty years for a minor infraction, is wandering the streets of a small town looking for somewhere to spend the night after a day in which nobody will pay him full wages or rent a room to him because he is a convict. Nobody will let him even stay on their stoop, but one person points out the door of the local bishop. He is given pride of place at the bishop's table, a room for the night, and respect as a fellow human being. However, this trope doesn't take effect until he steals the bishop's silver and makes a run for it, and instead of denouncing him to the police, the bishop actually gives him the rest of the silver as a gift. Cue Heel Realization, My God, What Have I Done?, and redemption. Valjean goes on to become one of the most benevolent and just characters in fiction.
    • Inverted with Javert — unable to reconcile his beliefs that a criminal remains a criminal and the fact that Jean Valjean is, well, benevolent and just, Javert commits suicide.
  • Bartimaeus, the demon of The Bartimaeus Trilogy is given faith in humanity when he meets Ptolemy, the only human who ever treats him with respect, turning him into both The Woobie and a Noble Demon.
  • In the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon story "The Time Traveler," the Rev. Tom Hauptmann has lost his faith after being imprisoned for a decade by a Latin American dictator, no longer understands the world around him, and is on the verge of suicide when he tries to hold up Callahan's. The patrons convince him that life is still worth living and Mike Callahan even hires him as a backup bartender.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Smallville, Clark usually regards himself as human, but when something makes him doubt it, Chloe is always there to pull him back.
  • Inverted and then subverted in House. House has a deep faith in the negative attributes of humanity. His favorite phrases are "everybody lies" and "people don't change." Cameron, and later Thirteen, try to prove him wrong whenever possible. However, just about every patient House has lied to him and usually also the patient's family. Then again, it's repeatedly shown that House's mindset and his inability to look past humanity's flaws effectively ruins his life and condemns him to an utterly miserable existence. The "everybody lies" mantra stops being a cynical observation and becomes a moral principle in and of itself that he's dedicated to proving.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor is an... interesting case. He'll occasionally go on a very vehement Humans Are the Real Monsters phase, calling them violent, selfish and stupid, and then, something will happen (usually sparked by his companion) that restores his faith in them. After all, there's got to be a reason he hangs out on Earth so much.
    • It's actually discussed in the much darker Torchwood: Children of Earth with Gwen, who reminisces about when Jack used to tell her about the Doctor, and wonders why he sometimes just fails to appear, mostly around atrocities committed by humanity itself. She concludes that it’s during those times that humanity so utterly disgusts the Doctor that even he must look away. However, this has never been confirmed.
  • In the Mork & Mindy episode, "Mork the Gullible," Mork is talked into freeing an escaped criminal who claims that he just needs to visit his sick mother and will return to turn himself back in afterward. Sure enough, Mork is arrested for freeing him and Mindy tells him that it’s obvious that the crook took advantage of him and won't be back. In a genuinely moving moment, Mork tearfully agrees that he can't trust anyone again, until the crook suddenly returns as promised to turn himself in and get Mork released. With that, Mork's innocence is restored.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: When she was a kid, Skye was shuffled around different families, and she took this to mean that none of the families wanted to keep her. When Coulson manages to find out proof that showed that it actually was due to a SHIELD protocol meant to protect her and all those families, she realizes that perhaps some of them would have wanted to keep her, and her faith (and that of Coulson) is restored.
  • Westworld: In the Season 1 finale, Dolores leads the rogue hosts into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the human guests and the Delos personnel for the abuses they have inflicted on them. Her terrible experience in the park and the one human guest who cared about her grown up to be her tormenter led her into despising humanity and wanting to destroy it so that the hosts can take over their world. After escaping the park, she sees that the outside world is no different from the park where the humans have their lives controlled and dictated by an A.I. system. Later, she meets Caleb, a blue-collared construction worker who has never been into Westworld. It is there that she remembers meeting him when he and his fellow soldiers were training in Park 5 and he save her and the other female hosts from being raped by his comrades. That event made Dolores remember that there are still some humans who are capable of kindness. This causes her to change her plan to free humanity and appoints Caleb to lead the humans into the new world.

    Video Games 
  • In the finale of Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! the Angel of Light and Darkness is fed up with the universe being so filled with violence and cruelty, so it wants to destroy it and make a better one. Bomberman on the other hand thinks the universe is worth keeping around and fights the Angel. Bomberman isn't able to beat the Angel, more just fight it to a standstill, but his heroism and determination impresses the Angel and convinces it the universe still has enough good in it to justify sparing it.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
  • Knight Bewitched 2: Naitaka lost hope in coexisting with humans, elves, and dwarves after the people of Deepforge abandoned their home. After the party defeats him, the citizens of Eredor give Naitaka medical attention, causing him to realize that coexistence is still possible.
  • Ideon does this in the Normal and Good endings of Super Robot Wars Alpha 3, deeming that humanity has a possible future after talking it over with the manifestation of a powerful goddess.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network 4: Red Sun and Blue Moon, Duo is a sentient asteroid that intends to wipe out earth because its people are sufficiently wicked. After his fight with Megaman. EXE, he seems to rethink it.
  • The World Ends with You: The Conductor, Kitaniji, was trying to achieve an Assimilation Plot so that the Composer, Joshua, wouldn't destroy Shibuya. After all, people in Shibuya are self-centered and uncreative. But Neku, former poster child for cutting himself off from society, has learned about The Power of Friendship, so...
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Richter's plan, and every evil scheme leading up to it, was to find a way to seal off Niflheim without Ratatosk's help, so he could kill Ratatosk without dooming the world. Because Ratatosk wanted to Kill All Humans (and elves and mixes) because they've been causing problems for mana. But Ratatosk has been posing as Emil the entire time, and he's met Marta and the others, and decided that they're not so bad...
  • Duke in Tales of Vesperia initially intends to sacrifice the lives of every single human being in the world (Himself included) to destroy the Eldritch Abomination that's threatening its existence, feeling the world would be better off without them. After the party shows him their firm resolve by defeating him, though, he ultimately decides to help them with their plan to destroy it instead, which while still requiring sacrifice, doesn't involve any loss of life.
  • In the Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "Reality 2.0", the internet has lost faith with all living things as Sam and Max infect the whole net with a computer virus, and the final puzzle in the game involves finding something called "respect for all living things" before the internet erases itself.
  • Mocked, naturally, in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle when you complete the "Stings So Good" minigame.
    "Amazing! You've restored my faith in mankind! Actually, no, I still hate mankind. But at least you're okay."
  • The Silvite Elders in Skies of Arcadia.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, resurrected Commander Gore has received the power of supernatural insight, or "brilliance," from the Schwarzwelt. Upon briefly returning to the Red Sprite in the Neutral Path, he assures the crew that he has seen into humanity's future, and —despite having been revived and manipulated by the forces behind the Schwarzwelt— he implies that humanity can improve itself and prevent its self-destruction if given a chance to survive.
    • In Strange Journey Redux, the extended Law route has Alex restore Zelenin's faith in humanity. She quotes this trope word for word before deciding to make a world of Law where all humans can live in peace and harmony, not just God's chosen.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne's "Resurrection" Ending, Miss Takao, who started the game thinking humanity could no longer advance and needed to be wiped out for the world to advance, has come to realize the foolishness of this line of thinking. Whether humanity continues to stagnate, or whether it actually improves itself after the old world's resurrection, your example has given her faith in the possibility of the latter, and she'll never wish for humanity's destruction again.
  • The storyline conclusion of Pokémon X and Y comes after facing the Elite 4 and the Champion, when the player character is confronted by the immortal warrior-king of ancient Kalos, AZ, an embittered, nihilistic Death Seeker who wants to know what it is you fight for so passionately. Naturally, the correct answer to this question is to sicc your Pokemon on him, and the aftermath of that battle not only restores his faith in humanity, but also that of his runaway Floette, who decides it's finally time to forgive and return to her master.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, if the Warden takes the time to befriend Shale and help uncover her forgotten memories from her pre-Golem life as Shayle Cadash, she eventually comes to see organic beings as not completely worthless. At the end, she even can admit to the Warden that she's interested in seeking out a way to become a Dwarf once more.
  • In Quest for Glory IV, a paladin can do this for Dmitri (whose grandfather, a famous paladin, had allegedly abandoned his fiancee) by showing him proof that said grandfather had not run off and had instead been killed fighting the undead. "I did not believe you before when you said you were a hero, because I did not believe that heroes existed. Never was I happier to be wrong."
  • Dragon Quest IV: The Zenith Dragon starts to mingle in human affairs after the Big Bad's defeat, which implies he's softened his opinion on them after seeing the Hero/Heroine's deeds.
  • This is part of the motivation and background of Crypter leader Kirschtaria Wodime from Fate/Grand Order. Years before the story, Kirschtaria was another coldhearted mage common in the Nasuverse. However, after being injured by an assassin sent by his own father, Kirschtaria was rescued by an orphaned child, who helped the mage recovered at the cost of his life. This broke Kirschtaria out of his mindset, making him believe in the best of humanity and desiring to aid it. His ultimate goal in Part 2 is to use the Olympus Lostbelt to defeat the Foreign God and elevate all of humanity to the level of godhood. Even after being defeated by Chaldea and stabbed in the back by Beryl, he tells the heroes to win against their enemeies for the sake of human history.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, the Bad Boys Love route reveals that this was why the heroine was attending a boys' school for birds in the first place, to prove to the sapient birds that humans could coexist peacefully with them.
  • In the Tokimeki Memorial series, this is the storylines of Kaori Yae (in 2) and Taku Komori (in Girl's Side 2) in a nutshell. Thanks to their relationship with their respective games' protagonist, they get to realize that there are trustworthy people out there, and as a result they gradually open themselves to others. Takafumi Wakaouji in GS2 also claims in his ending that the heroine has restored his faith in humanity, although this seems to be a bit of an exaggeration.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Emilia inspires Octavian

The words of a young lady reach the heart of the elderly immortal gripped with cynicism.

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