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The Expanded Galaxy Mod is a Game Mod developed by Kinkojiro and several other modders for Mass Effect 3 which adds to and overhauls many aspects of the game, via new gameplay assets, missions and more.

The mod completely revamps the Search and Rescue system — not only can every system visited in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 be revisited on the Galaxy Map, but many of them have new War Assets, items, intel, and more which can be obtained for use onboard the Normandy or during missions. The Normandy herself is significantly overhauled, and adds a new "Crew Manifest" mechanic that allows you to recruit specialists who will offer character bonuses — as well as the ability to bring back any of the other specialists from the previous game as squadmates on certain missions.

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New armors and weapons (including the N7 armor sets from the multiplayer mode) can be bought or obtained through the Galaxy Map. Additional missions and Assignments are also added, including a massive rescue mission set during the evacuation of Thessia.

Additional modules co-developed by the team behind EGM include the Alliance Warpack, which gives additional armors to the Virmire Survivor, James, and EDI (effectively the second Alternate Appearance Pack DLC), the EGM Squadmate Pack (which expands the number of missions ME2 squadmates can be brought on, along with a set of alternate appearances for them and Tali), the Spectre Expansion Mod (which adds additional star system, War Assets, Spectre authorization messages, emails and sidestories to the game), the Miranda Mod (readds Miranda Lawson as an Executive Officer/squadmate for the final missions, along with an additional set of terminal missions and bonus War Assets) and the Priority Earth Overhaul Mod (a large-scale reworking of the final mission that restores cut content, shows the effects of decisions made throughout the game and greatly expands the final levels).

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The mod is available to download on NexusMods.


This mod contains examples of the following tropes:

  • 100% Completion: Several of the new achievements revolve around this, including the acquisition of every Shuttle Bay customization option in the game, as well as whether every main and side mission in both prior games was completed.
  • Adaptational Badass: If Sidonis was spared in the previous game, an email (which is given as part of the Veterans vs. Criminals assignment) mentions that he's leading a group of turian veterans behind battle lines to fight the Reapers.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Several events of the game have been greatly expanded, including the events centering around Thessia. Additionally, all of the multiplayer elements (including the N7 special forces and Awakened Collectors) and Canon Immigrant characters like Tazzik from Mass Effect: Redemption are brought into the fold.
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  • Ammunition Backpack: The new MOHLE Backpack armor piece, which gives you additional grenades and ammo at the cost of increasing your encumbrance.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: If the Virmire Survivor became a Spectre and survived the events of the Cerberus coup, the Council will deliver a free set of Spectre armor and a new gun (the M-57 Gladius assault rifle) to Shepard in the Spectre Requisitions office on board the Citadel. It is likely that this armor will be generally weaker than anything else the player has, making it more of a cosmetic choice than anything else.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating:
    • Scanning certain planets throughout the galaxy will net you additional mechs and transport vehicles which can be displayed in the shuttle bay.
    • The Captain's Cabin is expanded with additional items that can be collected and displayed. Aside from the save bonuses (your N7 helmet and the Prothean Sphere will automatically appear if you imported a file routed through both prior games), you can purchase import-exclusive ship models like the Mako and Hammerhead, and snag a copy of Fornax to display on your bedside table. If the Miranda Mod is installed, you can get a Cerberus ship model based on your success in the associated terminal missions in the War Room.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: The shuttle bay can be customized in a variety of ways. Aside from an armory that automatically updates as you find new weapons and displays them, the bay can hold several variants of unique mechs and transport vehicles, as well as a set of Javelin missiles once the associated upgrade is unlocked. By the time you reach the final mission, you may even have an entire platoon of soldiers on-hand who will salute Shepard as s/he walks by.
  • Bag of Spilling: Notably averted if a save is imported. After leaving Mars, the player will receive several emails letting them know that their cabin items (which normally don't appear in the retail game) were saved and put in storage while the Normandy was in Alliance lockup, and that they've been returned to their original spot. This includes the N7 helmet (from the Normandy Crash Site DLC) and the Prothean Sphere (from the Firewalker DLC), both from Mass Effect 2. Additionally, the weapons that the player had in the previous game are stored in a weapons chest in the Shuttle Bay for the first few missions. Picking them up gives you the Level V versions of those weapons, up to and including some powerful late-game weapons like the Geth Pulse Rifle.
  • Book-Ends: With the previous game, in a way. The second mission of 2 has Shepard visiting Minuteman Station, where s/he first meets the Illusive Man and obtains the Normandy SR-2. The final Assignment in the mod (given just before assaulting Cerberus Headquarters) tasks you with finding and raiding the station. Your choices throughout the trilogy impact the overall success of the assault, and the best result nets you additional Normandy-class frigates, resources, and more.
  • Bragging Rights Reward:
    • If the Krogan were helped all throughout the prior games and the genophage arc is completed in the optimal fashion (genophage cured, Wrex and Bakara are alive, Grunt's loyalty mission was done in 2, etc.), the player will get an achievement and an email from Wrex, who sends over the Tomkah they used during Priority: Tuchanka as a gift of friendship. The vehicle can subsequently be displayed in the cargo hold.
    • Completing the Evacuation of Thessia in a certain way nets Shepard one of the Asari (Talon) gunships, which were seen in the previous main mission (Priority: Thessia). Like the Tomkah, it can be displayed in the cargo hold.
    • The Cerberus Cruiser model is given as a reward for completing Miranda's terminal sidequests in a specific order in the Miranda Mod.
  • Brick Joke:
    • If Jack and the students were rescued from Grissom Academy, the mission ends with Jack offering to give the students tattoos of their choice for free. If you walk around the Normandy right after this mission, you'll find the students in one of the lounges on the Crew Deck ... along with Jack using her omni-tool to etch a tattoo on Rodriguez's shoulder.
    • Picking up the Spectre Armor in the Spectre Requisitions Office after the Cerberus coup will cause Shepard to sarcastically proclaim, "This is my favorite store on the Citadel."
    • Reading enough issues of Fornax in Shepard's cabin will eventually net you an email from EDI, who has taken notice of your habit and says she took the liberty of purchasing a year-long subscription for you.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • One of the main draws of the mod (provided you have the Citadel DLC) is the ability to take any of the ME2 squadmates (who normally can't be recruited onto the ship in the base game) on certain missions as "Non-Crew Specialists". This includes Jack, Jacob, Zaeed, Samara, Kasumi, Grunt, and Aria (the last of which requires the Omega DLC).
    • Sidonis will you send Shepard an email if he was spared during Garrus' loyalty mission in 2. He is later included in the "Veterans vs. Criminals" Assignment, where Shepard must choose which of the two groups to save before the Reapers kill them.
    • Admirals Ahern (from ME1's Pinnacle Station DLC) and Mikhailovich return as the parties convening a meeting just before the evacuation of Thessia.
    • Depending on whether you completed the Quarian Pilgrimage sidequest for Kenn on Omega (in 2) and resolved the Geth–Quarian conflict in 3 with Tali alive, Kenn can be recruited to the Normandy as a specialist who provides an exclusive ship upgrade.
    • With the Miranda Mod (which requires the EGM to function and was co-developed by the same author), Miranda will return to the Normandy, provided that she survived the events of Priority: Horizon. Completing her associated terminal mission chain in a certain way also nets you Corporal Toombs from ME1.
  • Bus Crash: In the N7: Cerberus Lab mission, the player can find a new terminal that displays a report mentioning how Mess-Sergeant Gardner (from 2, if he was rescued at the end of that game) has been caught, interrogated and processed. Normally, the character in question is absent in 3 and never even mentioned. Reading this terminal causes Shepard to comment that "it's one more thing Cerberus is going to pay for".
  • Canon Immigrant:
    • Rescuing the Shadow Broker Wet Squad nets a new group of NPCs who will hang out on the shuttle bay until you return to the Citadel – including the "giant salarian hitman" Tazzik, who had only appeared up to this point in the Mass Effect: Redemption comic tie-in for 2.
    • The Miranda Mod also does this for Randall Ezno from Mass Effect: Infiltrator, who can be hired as a member of Miranda's team of defectors.
    • The Spectre Expansion Mod adds a tie-in text storyline based on the "Ghosts of Antilin", a race of "virtual aliens" that are said to have been encountered by the Salarians in a Cerberus Daily News post, part of the tie-in marketing used for the third game. The storyline itself begins when the player is able to access a computer on Sur'Kesh that gives details as to their whereabouts.
    • The Ark Mod, a tie-in module that was originally planned as a series of missions integrated into the Expanded Galaxy Mod, begins with a mission that takes place on Palaven's moon — and gives the player the opportunity to find and salvage an ND1 Nomad, with a datapad explaining why it ended up on the planet.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • If the From Ashes DLC is owned and Javik has been recruited, the player can offer to let him negotiate with a group of Awakened Collectors in one of the systems. Doing so allows them to be recruited as a War Asset.
    • In the Priority Earth Overhaul Mod, the Rachni will appear to aid Shepard at one point during the "No Man's Land" sequence if the Rachni Queen was rescued on Arrae.
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • The Black Widow sniper rifle (a piece of teaser gear that is sold in the Spectre Requisitions Office and normally costs 250,000 credits, which the player likely won't have until much later in the game) can be acquired for one-tenth of the price very early on by visiting the Dealer's Shop and picking it as one of the "gifts" he allows you to choose from. Doing so gives you one of the most powerful sniper rifles in the game (DLC or otherwise) right from the get-go.
    • Owing to his already-powerful status in the Citadel DLC, Wrex can be used as a squadmate for missions up until Priority: Tuchanka begins. He has the potential to solo most enemies (up to and including Harvesters and Banshees), depending on how his abilities are upgraded, making the missions he can be used on a cakewalk.
    • The Old Save Bonus weapons (delivered if you imported a savefile from 2) functionally turn 3 into its New Game+ mode... without the enemy scaling that normally occurs. As a result, having a boatload of Level V weapons right at the start of the game makes enemy encounters much easier for the first third of the plot, and there's nothing stopping the player from upgrading them to their Level X versions immediately.
  • Driven to Suicide: If the Normandy finds and rescues the MSV Strontium Mule during the associated assignment, the captain of said ship kills himself out of guilt for allying with Cerberus and instigating the Citadel coup.
  • Dummied Out: Earlier versions of the mod allowed the player to go back through the Omega 4 Relay, in a manner similar to a rejected concept from 3 (which would have allowed the player to go back through after recapturing Omega). The finished version of the mod removes the ability to access the relay and changes the place where you can get the Collector weapons to a different planet. Attempting to go through the relay causes a message to pop up that says that the crew would rather not relive that experience again.
  • Easter Egg:
    • Morlan's Pawn Shop, which returns from 2 in the form of a terminal that can be accessed by a soldier on the Crew Deck, and allows you to buy in-universe versions of the Mass Effect novels (like Ascension and Deception, which show up as their own codex entries).
    • The "Cooking with Zaeed" video, which can be bought from the Morlan's Shop terminal on the Normandy and played in the Shuttle Bay.
  • Fetch Quest:
    • The Dealer's Shop (a new vendor added to the Galaxy Map) has a shopkeeper who tasks you with recovering several relics hidden on planets throughout the galaxy, in exchange for a choice of free items from his stock.
    • Depending on how Priority: Rannoch was completed, scanning certain planets will start a sidequest to find and recover several Geth Supply Caches scattered throughout the systems. Collecting all these upgrades the Geth War Assets.
  • Flashback: Visiting certain plot-relevant planets from previous games (such as Virmire or Ilos) nets you flashbacks of what happened in those games, complete with a variation based on which crew member you sacrificed at Virmire in ME1.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Several sets of collectibles are added to the mod and are scattered throughout the Galaxy Map.
    • Several different shuttles and small ships can either be purchased from certain merchants (e.g. the Dealer's Ship) or discovered by scanning planets, and can be displayed in the Shuttle Bay.
    • Likewise, several variants of the YMIR Mech (including models with Alliance, CAT-6 and Triton colors) can be salvaged or bought and displayed in the Bay.
    • The Shuttle Bay also adds an armory that automatically updates to display all of the weapons you've collected across your playthroughs.
    • The Prothean Implants, a set of cybernetic upgrades that can be scavenged from various planets and confer different sets of bonuses (with their own disadvantages) for Shepard.
    • The Spectre Expansion add-on module adds a number of star charts that can be bought from the Citadel, which open up new galaxies to explore and additional War Assets to collect.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: The Evacuation of Thessia mission is initiated via a conference Shepard has with Admirals Ahern and Mikhailovich (from the first game). Ahern wants to save as many people from Thessia as possible, while Mikhailovich advocates leaving them to their own fate. Both men make reasonably strong arguments for each case, but regardless of which option is picked, not everyone on Thessia makes it out alive.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: If he's alive, Wrex can be taken along as a squadmate to several missions during his stay on the Normandy (from Priority: Sur'Kesh up until Priority: Tuchanka). Considering his damage protection and set of abilities that are normally only found in the Citadel DLC, he can come off as a Disc-One Nuke as he is able to solo most enemies unaided.
  • Guide Dang It!: Getting all of the unlockable vehicles that can be displayed in the Shuttle Bay. While most are purchased through Alliance stores or black-market sources, getting the Tomkah (from Priority: Tuchanka) requires you to have finished the Krogan storyline across all three games in the most opportune fashion — starting a new game automatically locks the player out of getting it. Conversely, the Talon Gunship can only be acquired during the Evacuation of Thessia Assignment, which requires picking certain clusters of evacuees in a specific order, which still isn't fully known to all players.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: Attempting any kind of scan in the Local Cluster (where Earth and Mars are located) causes multiple alarms to sound and EDI repeatedly warning you that the Reapers are coming and you need to flee as quickly as possible, while a horde of them begin closing in from all sides of the local map.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Tali's alternate outfit from the EGM Squadmate Pack has her wearing her hood down, which displays the entirety of her helmet and is more casual in nature.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters:
    • Depending on how many of the side missions/Search-and-Rescue ops are completed, several groups of individuals will spend a brief amount of time hanging out on the Normandy, including Jack and the students from Grissom Academy, Liara's Shadow Broker Wet Squad, Legion, a horde of Geth Primes, and others. Not to mention certain packs of guards who appear whenever dignitaries are onboard the ship (krogan guards for Wrex, turian guards for Primarch Victus, and quarian guards for Admirals Xen and Raan).
    • Depending on your crew setup, you can enlist additional personnel as permanent fixtures in the Normandy, including a chef or barman, two additional nurses, two additional engineers and more Marine guards, up to and including an entire platoon situated in the Shuttle Bay.
  • Lower-Deck Episode:
    • Finding the Prothean Implants on Ilos causes a report to be displayed, written from the perspective of the Normandy's chief medical officer due to Shepard receiving a Prothean vision and falling unconscious.
    • Minuteman Station is also an example of this, as the "mission" consists of comm chatter between Alliance Marines as they storm the station, potentially with EDI's help.
  • Nerf:
    • As a rule, the value of War Assets have been changed to make getting the best endings more difficult to achieve. This forces the player to rely on salvaging War Assets from as many planets as possible to make up the difference.
    • The value of the promoted N7 multiplayer assets in the single-player is changed from 75 per unit (in vanilla) to 1 per unit. This was done to prevent an exploit that could be caused by continually promoting units, to such a point that every other War Asset in single-player would come off as meaningless. This is slightly mitigated by a War Asset that can be obtained from Earth during the Search-and-Rescue on the Galaxy Map, but the value is much lower and encompasses most of the N7 character classes in the game.
  • Old Save Bonus: Aside from the existing save bonuses from the base game, the mod adds new variables that impact the success or failure of assignments throughout the galaxy.
    • Depending on whether you imported a save from 2, you can get all the weapons you had in that game back, along with several cabin items if you acquired them (including Shepard's N7 helmet, Mako and Hammerhead models and the Prothean Sphere).
    • The Minuteman Station assignment's success hinges on aspects of all three games, including whether you've helped or hindered Cerberus in various missions throughout the series and have made certain upgrades.
    • If you have a savefile routed through the previous games with all of the Krogan missions completed in the most opportune fashion (Wrex and Grunt alive, max Thresher Maws killed in the first game, Maelon spared) and complete Priority: Tuchanka by curing the genophage, Wrex will send over the Tomkah he used during the mission as a gesture of friendship, and it can be displayed in the Shuttle Bay.
  • Optional Party Member: Any former squadmate who isn't part of the lineup in the vanilla game can become this, provided that the player has completed their personal mission in 3. Wrex, Zaeed, Samara, Jack, Jacob, Kasumi, Grunt, and Miranda can all be enlisted as "Non-Crew Specialists" who can be deployed in certain missions. The EGM Squadmate Pack expands the list of possible missions they can be brought on.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Played with. The specialists you can recruit to the Normandy each have their own specific crew bonus, and several of them (including the extra doctors in the med bay and the engineers) can be seen either treating patients who are sick or analyzing components of the Normandy. However, the additional Alliance soldiers you recruit (as part of the "Squad Strength" mechanic) seemingly do nothing except stand around and lounge, and salute you when you walk past them in the Shuttle Bay at max strength. Despite the Squad Strength tab noting that the highest number of soldiers are on the Normandy expressly to protect it from an enemy boarding attack, no such action ever occurs.
  • Porn Stash: It's revealed that James has a copy of Fornax in his possession. Taking this magazine will cause it to be displayed in your room, and viewing it enough times will cause EDI to send you a message informing you that she's ordered a year-long subscription.
  • Race Against the Clock: Several of the new assignments have this mechanic.
    • The N7 Extractions assignment asks you to rescue a group of highly trained N7 Special Op units (essentially multiplayer units that have already been promoted without player assistance) from Earth. Attempting any scan in the Local Cluster causes a horde of alarms to sound, Reaper forces to rush at you from all sides and EDI repeatedly telling you to get the hell out of there. What follows is a rush to extract the soldiers and flee to the mass relay before you're destroyed.
    • The Evacuation of Thessia, where you must rush between the planet and various fleets, prioritizing civilian/unit evacuations all the while, while the Reapers get faster and faster and fleet losses mount. As the official FAQ for the mod states, "you can't save everyone".
  • Rainbow Pimp Gear: Thanks to the new mix-and-match armor system, it's possible to have Shepard wear armor pieces that are wildly incongruous, like slim chestplates mixed with bulky heavy leg pieces or vice-versa. You could conceivably mix pieces of four or five different armor sets if you wanted.
  • Sadistic Choice:
    • The Evacuation of Thessia. The readme for the mod states that "you can't save everyone". You'll have to prioritize who you want to save, and while it may be easy to pick orphans and civilians first, they are not as valuable from a War Asset standpoint. Additionally, committing the full fleets to the operation causes reports to pop up between rounds of Alliance crewmen crying out for help over the radio while their ships are torn through by the Reapers.
    • The Veterans vs. Criminals assignment. Both Garrus and Aria send you separate emails asking Shepard to rescue a group of stranded individuals (Turian soldiers [including Sidonis]) or a high-level group of mercenaries. You can save one group, and those you fail to save are immediately written off and presumed dead/converted into Husks.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Dealer makes an offer to trade any relics you find for a choice of items from his private stock, because he's liquidating everything and plans on fleeing the galaxy for parts unknown before the Reapers destroy everything.
  • Shooting Gallery: A shooting range can be bought for the Shuttle Bay through the terminal on the Engineering deck, and displays targets similar to the range set up in the Spectre Requisitions office onboard the Citadel. Unlike that range, practicing enough on the Normandy's gallery (shoot 250 targets or more) nets you an achievement and a bonus intel upgrade that either improves your weapon or headshot damage.
  • Sidequest Sidestory:
    • The Miranda Mod adds a series of missions accessed through a terminal (similar to Lair of the Shadow Broker from 2) that revolves around Miranda leading a group of Cerberus defectors, including Randall Ezno and — depending on your choices in the first game — one of the characters from Shepard's origin-exclusive side mission. The terminal will give you mission reports, with different outcomes (and permanent deaths for some of her squad) depending on how it's completed.
    • The Spectre Expansion Mod adds a sidestory called "Ghosts of Antilin" (referencing a minor race in the ME universe) that plays out via journal entries, and must be accessed in the STG lab on Sur'Kesh.
  • Sleep Cute: The mod adds a "cabin invite" system similar to the ending of the previous game, where you could invite your love interest up to snuggle on the bed or couch together. If you romanced Liara, there's even a special contextual prompt in her office to lay together on the bed, complete with a short reprise of "Reflections" from the last game's soundtrack.
  • Static Role, Exchangeable Character: The "Normandy Manifest" gameplay mechanic. You can assign characters to specific roles on the ship, and assigning certain people to certain positions will net unique crew bonuses and emails. For instance, assigning Dr. Chakwas back to the Normandy's Med Bay will net you an email where she gives you a list of preferred candidates to join and help out on the ship, and these additional specialists will give minor health or power damage bonuses. Choosing Tali to become the Chief Engineer over Adams will get you more engineering specialists to pick from, including one that is conditional on a side-mission from 2.
  • Storming the Castle: Minuteman Station. How successful the Alliance marines are depends on the player's actions through all three games, as well as whether EDI is present to help.
  • Take That!: One of the options in the hidden Morlan's Shop terminal is the option to buy a set of targets for the shooting range that feature the Electronic Arts logo.
  • Timed Mission: A couple of the new assignments run on a short timer that begins as soon as you read the associated e-mail alerting you to it. Failure to rescue the stranded parties on the Galaxy Map will cause them to be gone for good.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The Evacuation of Thessia. Players unfamiliar with the mod will likely be confused with the set-up and not understand the format, which forces you to quickly fly from the planet, scan the nearby ships and fleets and dock at the nearest one that registers a signal). Even beyond that, it's impossible to know which rescued Thessian refugees/units are worth the most, and there are several variables at work — namely, whether you chose to commit only the Normandy, a single fleet or full fleets in the preceding meeting with Ahern and Mikhailovich.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change:
    • The Evacuation of Thessia, which is essentially a space battle (over several "rounds", depending on your choices) that plays out entirely on the Galaxy Map. It forces you to scan the planet multiple times and fly back-and-forth between said planet and various fleets while avoiding Reapers that get more and more aggressive as time passes.
    • Both the Miranda Mod and Spectre Expansion Mod tie-ins do this in the form of text adventures that can either reward or hinder the player based on their choices, in a manner similar to the expeditions found in the Pinnacle Station and Lair of the Shadow Broker DLCs from the previous games.
  • Virtual Paper Doll:
    • The mod itself does this via a modular mix-and-match armor system, which allows for many different and unique combinations. Additionally, several sets of armor and accessories are added, including the Z-4 Rangefinder (essentially a monocle that improves weapon damage for Shepard) and the MOHLE Backpack (a large piece that has its own customizable light color).
    • The EGM Squadmate Pack adds additional armor variations for all of the returning squadmates who can now be taken on missions, as well as an alternate look for Tali that has her hood down.
    • The Alliance Warpack module adds a set of new armors for the Virmire Survivor, as well as an additional appearance for EDI (black heavy combat armor) and James (prototype GARMR multicam armor).
  • The Voiceless: The player can attempt to interact with Tazzik in the cargo hold if the Shadow Broker Wet Squad is rescued, but the prompt does nothing and he simply continues to stare at you.
  • Wall of Weapons: The Shuttle Bay is upgraded to feature an armory that automatically updates and displays all of the weapons you've collected in the game. While the assault rifles are displayed freely on the wall, the pistols are locked behind a window that can only be opened by the player.
  • With This Herring: Averted. If you import a save from 2, you gain all your weapons from that game back via a chest that appears in the Shuttle Bay, with the explanation that the crew kept them in storage in the event that you were released from the Alliance lockup.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Inverted. Kai Leng's broken sword can be collected from EDI on the Normandy just before the final mission, and serves as a decoration in Shepard's cabin.
  • You Bastard!: Diana Allers will call Shepard this verbatim in an email if the player chose to lie to the Bekenstein government and force a treaty with them to produce weapons for the Alliance earlier in the game.

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