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The Faceless / Video Games

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  • Most games in the Dating Sim genre have a very generic, if not completely faceless, look for the main character so that the player can project themselves into the game. This extends to the animated adaptation of some of them: Sentimental Journey, for example, the protagonist isn't even named.

  • Battlefield 3 plays this trope straight with Corporal Miller and averts it with Staff Sergeant Blackburn and Dima, albeit Dima's face is revealed when you switch to Blackburn for the end of "Kaffarov," which had mostly been Dima's level and in the ending cutscene.
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  • All characters in Beholder are shown as silhouettes with glowing eyes and personal accessories such as glasses, to emphasize the fact that the game takes place in a totalitarian dystopia where very little is private.
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine's Sammy Lawrence always wears a mask of Bendy's face. Eventually, he's revealed to have No Face Under the Mask.
  • The first two protagonists of the BioShock series, who never speak either. The second is a Big Daddy, who is The Faceless by definition.
  • Taokaka and the rest of the Kaka clan from BlazBlue wear hooded jackets that show nothing of their face except glowing eyes — red, for Taokaka — and a mouth full of sharp fangs. They probably look like normal catpeople under the hoods, though. Probably.
  • Zer0 and Krieg from Borderlands 2, though you can see at least part of Krieg's face.
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  • Captive: Throughout the first mission the player has faced gunslingers in samurai-like armor (don't ask) that have the face of an orc, an insect and a skeleton, in ascending order of toughness. In the second mission, it has no face at all. The fact that it was armed with a pretty dang powerful flamethrower didn't help.
  • Chzo Mythos: Trilby's face is never shown in detail; during the ending of The Art of Theft, he's only shown from the nose down, his eyes shadowed.
  • This is the Dark Souls look, extending to the covers, which - in order to encourage designing the character you want to play - show the Chosen Undead in the all-concealing Elite Knight set, the Bearer of the Curse in the even more all-concealing Faraam Set, and either the Soul of Cinder or the Unkindled One in the similarly anonymising Firelink Set. A complete list of enemies, NPC's and bosses who wear face-concealing helmets would pretty much be an entire wiki unto itself, and even a list of significant characters would take up a decent whack of this page. Of course, there's nothing actually preventing your character from running around in, say, the filthy rags of a random hollow, or the Desert Pyromancer set, but that's not the same thing as it being a good idea, and there will still be a ton of people running around with their faces hidden under bulky helmets.
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  • In Dead Space, Isaac Clarke's head is completely concealed by his helmet throughout the whole time you play as him. His face is only revealed in the ending, and also in the game's intro, if you use the analogue sticks to fiddle with the camera angles, though unlike the ending, he will never directly look at the camera. This is averted in Dead Space 2 - although he still has his helmeted suits, he is often shown with his face on display.
  • Angels in the Diablo series all wear hoods that obscure the fact that they don't have faces to begin with.
  • Dishonored's Corvo is never shown unmasked. His face is visible on wanted posters of him at in one image in the Low Chaos ending, but it makes sense that it never appears in normal gameplay as the game is first person. He's unmasked in the Low Chaos ending as well, and he's initially visible at the beginning of the sequel.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II: Undead characters are this by default to hide from the living, though thanks to Gameplay and Story Segregation, the headgear they equip needn't actually obscure their features. One Player Character starts the game with a face-concealing Transformation Trinket; another starts In the Hood. Defied and Discussed by Eithne, a Death Seeker who doesn't care about hiding for her own safety.
  • The Dynasty Warriors version of Wei Yan is always portrayed wearing a mask. A cutscene in Dynasty Warriors 4: Empires shows Wei Yan's mask accidentally getting knocked off. He's only shown from behind, and the other characters react with shocked horror. Pang Tong, meanwhile, wears a veil that obscures his face from the eyes down.
    • Pang Tong's is a more justified example, as in the novels, he was portrayed as being ugly. Despite his major contribution to deflecting the Wei forces at Chi Bi, Sun Quan refused to hire Pang Tong on the grounds that he was butt. Though Liu Bei took him in, he supposedly was not a Pang Tong fan, either.
  • Eagle Eye Mysteries: The player becomes this via first person perspective.
  • Jack of Blades, the Big Bad in Fable, always wears a white and red mask. In Fable: The Lost Chapters, it's revealed that Jack is a body surfing ancient entity that lives in the mask itself, who's moved from age to age by possessing the various dumb schmucks who've put the mask on.
  • In Fable II, the Wraiths are examples of this trope. These are floating spirits who summon ghostly children to attack you. They also mock you with revelations about your past and mistakes you have made.
  • The Masters of the Bazaar in Fallen London, whose hoods and robes hide their true nature.
  • Fallout 3 DLC "Operation: Anchorage" allows the character to command a squad of men- each one seems to wear a full face balaclava that means every one looks exactly the same (the same applies for the Chinese soldiers you fight against, and for the player character in the similation). This trope does not appear in the main game, though.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Legate Lanius, The Dragon to Caesar, wears a concealing mask almost all the time. He supposedly only takes it off in the privacy of his own quarters, where he's attended by slaves that he's blinded specifically so that they can't see his face. You can't even take the mask off of him when you kill him, because he's the last opponent, and the game turns into a cutscene followed by the end after that.
    • In the DLC Honest Hearts, there's Joshua Graham, whose face is covered in bandages ever since that little incident where he was thrown into the Grand Canyon while covered in burning pitch. However, a slide at the beginning of the DLC shows what he looked like before he got burned.
  • Final Fantasy series
    • Several Black Mage classes throughout the series have had a wide-brimmed hat to mask their face in shadow, save for their glowing eyes. It started with the original Final Fantasy I Black Mage, and lasted out to Vivi in Final Fantasy IX.
      • The original Final Fantasy I had the Black Mage show his face when he upgraded to the Black Wizard. More recent remakes have redesigned the Black Wizard to retain the iconic look.
      • Lampshaded in Brentalfloss' Ballad of the Mages
      "I'm the Black Mage, but I bet you knew that
      Yellow eyes, my disguise, do you like my pointy hat?"
    • The Garif of Jahara in Final Fantasy XII wear masks to cover their faces.
    • Starting in Final Fantasy IV, it's become a tradition to hide most of a dwarf's face in shadow, save their eyes and a luxurious beard, should they appear in the game. The sole exception is Lucca - while she holds true to this in Final Fantasy IV, she reveals her face in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. She's also the sole dwarf who never has a beard.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Grima hides his/her face beneath a hood until their big reveal moment.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, the standard enemy is literally named "Faceless", though their faces can be seen when they are attacked for a split second as they die. Anankos also uses the same method of hiding their face as shown in Awakening.
  • The Silent Protagonist of First Encounter Assault Recon wears a full-face mask. His face is revealed in the third game however.
  • In Fredbear and Friends, the murderer, implied to be the Purple Guy, is only every seen as a shadowy silhouette, with only once scene giving the player a peek at his purple shirt.
  • Freedom Planet has the Royal Magister. Only his (rather large) eyes are visible.
  • Carmine from Gears of War is a (different) named soldier present in each installment who always wears his helmet while every other named soldier doesn't.
  • The men in suits are only shown neck down in this trailer for Giana's Return.
  • In Guilty Gear, a certain non-playable character is referred to only as That Man, on top of which his face is constantly in shadows for no readily apparent reason.
    • Faust from Guilty Gear X onwards has a rationale. He constantly wears a paper bag over his head to hide a previous identity he'd rather not be remembered for. This identity is strongly implied, but never directly stated, to have been Doctor Baldhead, the homicidally insane playable character from the first game in the series. He removes the paper bag in Guilty Gear XX during May's storyline, but you still don't see who he is due to his face being shaded. The only thing you can really tell is that he's bald — made obvious by the bright light shining off his head. He apparently only does it to freak May out, as she claims to despise (and appears to fear) bald people. Things get hairy. Or rather, they don't.
  • .hack// had a few of these:
    • Helba is always shown with a crown/mask covering her eyes. Her full face is shown in XXXX, but the XXXX series is not considered canon
    • The same goes for Morganna. Whether she even has a face can be called into question, since she is The World itself. Every phase does have an eye located somewhere on its body, and this is commonly believed to be Morganna's eye watching through her phases. Again, in XXXX her face is somewhat shown, but these books are not considered to be canon due to their constant clashing of the original video games and plot line.
  • Semi-averted in most of the Half-Life games, wherein you don't see what the P.O.V. character looks like and there are no mirrors anywhere in Black Mesa, but the protagonists are shown in the box art... except Cpl. Shepherd in Opposing Force, who wears a Black Ops-style mask there.
  • Halo:
    • Master Chief's face, hidden behind a face mask and clever camera work, is a source of debate among fans. This was because, despite Chief having a voice and personality, Bungie wanted to keep an active Featureless Protagonist factor going. Their successors at 343 Industries have kept this up too; at the end of Halo 4, the screen goes black just as the Chief's helmet is taken off, though this is halfway averted in the Legendary ending, where you get a brief glimpse of the area around his eyes (though the eyes themselves are shadowed out). In the novels, we do occasionally get a description of the Master Chief's face in the rare moments when he takes off his helmet: he's described as being deathly pale from spending so much time in his armor, and having brown hair and blue eyes.
    • The Rookie of Halo 3: ODST is the one member of the squad who never reveals his face; he even sleeps in full armor.
    • In Halo Wars, all the marines except Sergeant Forge wear balaclavas, and the Spartans never take off their helmets.
    • Noble Six of Halo: Reach keeps up the faceless protagonist tradition; even when a dying Six is forced to remove his/her damaged helmet during the epilogue, you still don't get to see his/her face. There's also an NPC squad member, Emile, who never removes his helmet (which has a skull etched into the front of it) either; however, concept art does show his face, which reveals he's black.
    • In Halo 5: Guardians, this is used to contrast Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris; the former never show their faces, representing the fact that they've been Spartans for their entire lives, while the latter often show their faces during cutscenes, representing how they're adult volunteers who already had their identities long formed before becoming Spartans.
  • In Heretic D'sparil's body is entirely covered by his robe and hood. He appears to be roughly human sized and shaped, and when you kill him his robe and flesh disintegrate completely, and his skeleton looks the same as a human's, meaning he could be basically a Human Alien for all we know.
  • The face of Jacket from Hotline Miami has never been shown. It might have been shown when he made an appearance in Payday 2, but we don’t know if that’s the real Jacket or not.
  • Driver X in Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights is an extremely skilled driver (i.e. maxed attributes), but his face is obscured by a racer's helmet. The lesser drivers act with a normal personality.
  • A few of the characters from Killing Floor wear gas masks, or otherwise face-obscuring fashion, the aforementioned Pyro even being one (technically two) of them. The most famous of these, however, is without a doubt the ever popular Mr. Foster, whose gas mask was apparently impressive enough that the Pyro decided to get one just like it.
  • Vanitas from Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep transcends the normal way of remaining ambiguous in the series by wearing a mask-helmet-thing to hide his face, so he can pull off all of his badass stunts without restraint. He's seen with the helmet removed at least once (before The Reveal, anyway); however, his face is hidden by the camera angle.
    • Amusingly, if you can alter the camera angle to scroll up in that scene, you'll find out that under that helmet is... another helmet.
      • Kingdom Hearts has this as a requirement for every game, the first one ends with us just about to see a spiky-haired blonde "Roxas" before the camera stops, and the same in Sora's story in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. In Riku's story we finally see him... but now part of Riku's face is hidden to hide his blindfold. In Kingdom Hearts II not only do the Organization cloaks hide most Nobody's faces, but the Masked Boy in the extra scene, and (in Final Mix) the Lingering Sentiment, who are revealed in Birth By Sleep, only for Young Master Xehanort to be hidden. In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, 6 members of the new Organization XIII hide their faces beneath the usual dark cloaks, but Young Master Xehanort's face is clearly seen this time, including in the secret ending.
  • Shermie from The King of Fighters, who combs her bangs down over her face so that her eyes remain hidden. It's said that they have a malevolent glare about them.
  • Meta Knight from the Kirby series. He will challenge Kirby to a swordfight, and when defeated, his mask is cleaved in half. He is briefly revealed to look very similar to Kirby, before wrapping his cape around his face and vanishing.
  • In LOOM, viewing the face of a member of the perpetually hooded Weavers' Guild is said to be fatal (note that their eyes are still visible within the darkness of their hood, as in many cartoons). This seems close to being revealed, only to skip to a brief scene happening outside the room in medium and easy mode, and being obscured by a flash of light in hard mode. The witness screams and is never seen again.
    • Note the "riddle" that Bobbin tells to the man who wants to see under his hood: "If what you fear is Nothing, then you'd better not touch me."
  • Rina Tennouji from Love Live! School idol festival ALL STARS hides her face with her "Rina-chan Board", which is a notebook with a cutely-drawn face on it that tells everyone what she's feeling. When she performs in concerts, Rina wears an LED mask instead that syncs up with her facial expressions underneath. At any other point when she is not using the Rina-chan Board, her face is concealed by convenient camera angles.
  • Professor Granz Florian of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable : The Gears of Destiny was only shown once at the beginning, which shows him with his two daughters when they were kids. One of said daughters was happily waving her arms around, coincidentally covering his face with the stuffed toy she was carrying.
  • All of the wizards in Magicka, including NPCs and the Big Bad, have their faces permanently hidden in the darkness of their hoods, with the exception of Vlad (who is not a vampire). In fact, every set of robes you can get for your wizards has the same hood, resulting in the same face-hiding. Strangely, they're all still surprisingly expressive.
  • Marathon: The AI characters have neither face nor voice, communicating text-only via computer terminals. Despite this, they do sometimes use a specific graphic as a kind of "signature" so you can tell which one you're talking to: Leela and Durandal use a green Marathon logo captioned with their name (less confusing than it sounds: by the time you're talking to Durandal with any frequency, Leela is "dead"), Tycho uses a red and slightly corrupted version of the same, and Thoth uses a weird yellow S'pht glyph.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Justified by Tali. Her species has spent the last 300 years on completely sterile ships, so their immune systems are practically nonexistant. Anyone leaving the fleet is forced to wear full-body armored environment suits, otherwise they'll die of airborne infection in days. In Mass Effect 2, a male Shepard can romance Tali. During the love scene, Shepard removes the mask, but the player does not see her face. Mass Effect 3 ultimately revealed quarians to be facially Rubber-Forehead Aliens whose most inhuman facial features were the glowing yellow eyes and a few unusual skin patterns. This was shown not by taking off Tali's mask on camera and leaving the camera on her, but by having her leave a photograph in Shepard's cabin upon saving the quarians during the Rannoch arc, which was a photoshop of a stock image, and in the Extended Cut, a brief slideshow picture of a maskless quarian assuming you brought about geth/quarian peace and chose the Synthesis ending. Tali lampshades this after playing poker with Shepard and members of the engineering crew: "And I thought I had a good poker face."
    • In addition to quarians, the Mass Effect universe also gives us the volus, a race of beings from a very-high-pressure world with an ammonia atmosphere. In addition to not being able to breath without a mask, they would explode without a suit.
    • In the third game's multiplayer, a few of the multiplayer characters wear helmets. What is notable is that every single human wears a helmet. Probably because while it's acceptable for a few dozen aliens to all look pretty much identical...
    • For all of the first game, Admiral Hackett is only heard but not seen, in the opening and final battle cutscenes and as Mission Control for for sidequests. He doesn't appear until the Arrival DLC of Mass Effect 2, then becoming one of the major players in Mass Effect 3.
  • We never see Vile without his helmet in Mega Man X. But being a robot, the helmet could very well be his head. It's never clarified.
  • In Mega Man Zero, X's "face" is just a ball of light, since the Big Bad in the first game is a clone of him and looks exactly like him, save for the red eyes, and from the sequel onwards his face is always obscured by light in the dialogue boxes. Ditto Omega: he hides his face with armor, to set up the reveal that his real face is that of Zero, since this Omega is possessing Zero's original body.
  • Samus Aran usually takes her helmet off at the very end of each Metroid game. At the time when the original game came out, the fact that Samus was a woman was a big revelation, but nowadays this is common knowledge.
  • There is one notable racing game exception to this, though. Midnight Club: Los Angeles has a player character with a face, but remains nameless, oddly enough...
  • The Mortal Kombat series has a few examples, most notably the various ninjas, though a couple of them have appeared unmasked, and Kabal. In Kabal's case, it's because his face was scarred in an attack by Shao Kahn's death squads that requires him to constantly wear a mask that doubles as a respirator. One of his fatalities does involve him removing the mask, causing his opponent to literally die of fright upon seeing his uncovered face. A pre-scarring Kabal appeared without a mask in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, but it doesn't really count since that game is not canon to the main series. He has a slightly different face in Mortal Kombat 9. The new canonical story mode reveals that he has pale, almost grayish skin and dark hair with piercing light green eyes. This all naturally goes out the window when he is once again nearly burned to death, reverting him to the familiar scarred, burned complexion.
  • The Nancy Drew game Danger By Design features an eccentric fashion designer who's begun wearing a mask all the time. Solve the crime, and you earn The Reveal that she's hiding a really stupid tattoo on her cheek.
  • Most street racing games (such as Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Test Drive Overdrive) and realistic racing simulators (like Gran Turismo or Forza) seem to thrive on this trope. Need for Speed: ProStreet, which is set in a sanctioned racing series on race tracks (think Forza Motorsport 2), even goes so far as to make the player character wear a full-face helmet akin to The Stig.
    • In other NFS games, the PC's face is blurred/pixelated if he's not named. Prior to Need for Speed Heat.
    • In a funny subversion, in Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005), a generic driver model is used in every car, even the cars on the Blacklist.
  • Shadar from Ni no Kuni is not unlike the page image, right up to his final moments.
  • Oki from Ōkami wears a bear mask at all times, in fact every denizen of Wep'keer Village wears an animal mask. The imps wear simple white paper masks as well and when Amaterasu dons a similar mask, she's accepted by them to be an imp, despite obviously being a wolf.
  • The Wraith in the Otherworld series has a fanged mouth and no other facial features.
  • The Overlord has a pair of glowing eyes glaring out of the shadowy void beneath his helmet, and no other visible facial features.
  • Pokémon:
    • The player character of Pokémon Stadium has his eyes hidden by a hat similar to Red's hat. Oddly enough, he and his female counterpart in the sequel are the only faceless protagonists in the series.
    • We never see any Cubone and Marowak without their skull helmets, either.
    • Inverted with Diglett and its evolution Dugtrio, however. We actually never see their bodies from the neck down, to the point where The Un Reveal is common in situations that would show what their bodies look like, even if the developers have to think out of the box in order to do that.
  • Hector from the Riviera: The Promised Land and other Dept Heaven games is always seen wearing a weird hat that hides his eyes. Perhaps to make him more menacing as he'd be pretty cute without it.
  • In Rocket: Robot on Wheels, Dr. Gavin's face is never seen.
  • In Save the Prince the good and bad witches have shadowy areas with glowing eyes under their bonnets.
  • The nameless main character from Science Girls! wears a mask for the entire game. She claims it's a psychological experiment.
  • The player characters in Spiral Knights have their faces hidden in shadow with only their eyes peering out. This is to make them look gender neutral, as the only way to make your character look like a female is to wear a feminine-looking armor set or accessories, and also to keep the player in the dark about their race.
  • Star Wars Legends: Knights of the Old Republic:
    • Darth Revan, whose face is masked during flashback scenes to hide the fact that the player character is Revan him/herself, having been memory-wiped by the Jedi and put into the service of the Republic.
    • Darth Nihilus in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, whose face is obscured and who speaks only in an incomprehensible series of tones. In a partial subversion of the trope, Nihilus is unmasked after his death, but his identity is not revealed to the player; depending on how the game is played, he is described either as "Just a man, nothing more", or something along the lines of "infinite darkness" before his body inexplicably disintegrates. The one who saw his body was his blind apprentice who "saw" things through the Force. However in an unusual example, concept art for the game and a possible action figure shows him as a dark-skinned human male.
    • Mandalore, in the same game series, is a subversion of the trope; as Canderous Ordo, the character is a member of the party in the first game and makes no effort to conceal his name or face. By the time the player meets him in the second game, however, his entire body is concealed by a suit of armor that he refuses to remove and he does not acknowledge his real name, since by the point Mandalore isn't a person so much as an idea.
  • The Shy Guys from the Super Mario Bros. series. They all wear masks, and the trope is played straight even through Mario Power Tennis, where the Shy Guy's mask comes off during a cutscene. Luigi is the only one who sees its face, and all we get is his Reaction Shot. This is also played straight in Luigi's Mansion where, AGAIN, Luigi is the only one who sees them sans masks... but all you see is two yellow eyes in a dark void, meaning that they still count, specially since it's implied that they aren't "real" ghosts, but creations of Vincent Van Gore.
  • Super Robot Wars dabbles in this a lot, usually replacing a character's portrait with a ? and ???ing out their name. Sometimes, they make fun of this, such as in MX, when their shadowing technique was to only partially shadow someone's face, so its really obvious who they are. At one point an EVA Monolith is partially shadowed out, but you can still see the words on it that say who is speaking through the monolith. In addition, Mooks virtually always have their face above their nose obscured, either by a helmet or shadows in place of their eyes.
  • The protagonist of the Super Solvers learning games. Or is he The Blank?
  • The Pyro from Team Fortress 2, to the point where even the gender is ambiguous. In fact, we're not even sure that the Pyro is a human being. Or any organic lifeform, for that matter. The Spy is a downplayed example - we can see his eyes, mouth, and the general shape of his face and head, but he never takes that balaclava off.
  • King from Tekken, a Masked Luchador. In the intro of the first game he is shown donning his mask with his head offscreen.
  • Agent XYZ from Tonic Trouble is permanently hidden behind a newspaper.
  • Ultima V: The Shadowlords, in a similar fashion to the Nazgul. Robes, hoods, and points of light for eyes in the darkness.
  • The Tenno from Warframe have never been depicted in anything less than full-body armor, and their default helmets are designed without any real discernible features, to evoke the feeling of The Blank. The exception is Mesa, who promptly wrapped her face in a big yellow bandana. The Second Dream Wham Episode elaborates why: The Tenno armor as we know it are simply mindless techno-organic automatons, operated by telepresence by the actual Tenno, the children that survived the Zariman disaster.
  • The shop clerk in 9-Volt's stage in Wario Ware: Smooth Moves is only seen from the mouth down. His eyes and nose are never seen. However, he is mentioned in the credits to be then-Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, so that might give you enough of an idea.
  • The Dark Savant, Big Bad of the last two Wizardry games, wears a face-concealing helmet at all times.
  • Shiki's true self in The World Ends with You is only shown by the bottom half of her face.
  • World in Conflict does this with the main character, Parker, which represents the player and isn't defined at all with the exception of his name and rank. He appears in cutscenes, but always has his back to the camera or something blocks out his face. The game also features a name- and faceless president.
  • The Council Spokesman in X Com Enemy Unknown is always shown with a light behind them, casting a shadow on his face. His only features visible are that he is a bald, sharp-dressed man.
    • In X Com 2, he still looks exactly the same, although a long time has passed. This time around, though, we see more of his face briefly when he gives you the information required to hijack the ADVENT Tower, and then gets discovered and attacked by the aliens, with uncertain fate. He has a medium nose and a big mouth, and what seems to be a scar behind his head.
  • The hosts of You Don't Know Jack and The Jackbox Party Pack never show their faces, and are generally only heard. The exceptions are at the end of YDKJ: The Ride and in Quiplash's "Quip Pro Quo" achievement.
  • From the Zero Escape series, we have Sigma, K, and Q. Their faces are plot points.
  • The Zettai Ryouiki NEW Android app from Hastysoft stars a busty redheaded girl whose eyes are never shown - even in angles that would, she does the developers the favour of covering them with her hands!


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