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Western Animation / The New Adventures of He-Man

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The New Adventures of He-Man was a 1990 65-Episode Cartoon used to promote a revival to the Masters of the Universe toyline. Unlike its predecessor, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), the series is almost purely Science Fiction, though it still contains Continuity Nods to the franchise. However, the effort didn't last long, and the show only lasted one season of 65 episodes, only half as many as the original cartoon. It took twelve years for there to be another cartoon version of the franchise.

In the distant future, the world Primus is a peaceful society unused to the ways of war. When a society of Mutants led by Flogg lays siege to Primus, their leaders decide to use a Time Machine to call for help from heroes from the past. Prince Adam reluctantly agrees to help them, and after telling his parents his secret, he goes with the time travelers as He-Man. Unfortunately, He-Man's arch enemy Skeletor follows them, quickly joining forces with Flogg.



  • 65-Episode Cartoon
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Towards the end of the series, in the episode “There’s Gems in Them Hills”, some of Artilla’s past is hinted at. It is implied that he once served a mysterious, unseen being known as “The Great One”, who now wants to recapture him. As the series ended not long after this episode aired, this storyline was never followed up.
    • Ramlin from “The New Wizard in Town” flees to the dark side of Moon Nordor at the end of the episode, and swears he will return, but is never seen again.
  • Ace Pilot: The Galactic Guardians and the Mutants all appear to be capable fighter-pilots. Among the Guardians, Flipshot and Spinwit are often portrayed as being particularly good. On the Mutants' side, Hoove sometimes leads their assaults and is often praised by Flogg.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Nocturna’s action figure has black hair, but in the series he was blonde.
    • Teela's hair has changed from Red to Blonde when she appears in "Once Upon A Time" (though in the early Mini Comics of the original toyline, she was portrayed as having long Blonde Hair).
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  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: The New Adventures of He-Man was launched with four pack-in minicomics explaining the setup changes, including the change in appearance of He-Man and Skeletor, and the change of He-Man's "By the Power of Grayskull!" to "By the Power of Eternia". In the TV series, they appear from the beginning in their hi-tech costumes, and He-Man with his new transformation phrase, with no explanation for the changes. Some things in the comics were ignored by the cartoon, however, such as Skeletor finding out Prince Adam was He-Man moments before the He-Man identity became permanent, as well as the redesign of the sword to match the recently released toy, as the new Sword of Power in the cartoon looked nothing like the new merchandise. He-Man's secret identity also remained secret in the cartoon, and no explanation is given in the show for Skeletor becoming an apparently cybernetic being, though this was addressed in the comics. Perhaps the writers were expecting people to assume a tie to the 1987 feature film to explain Skeletor's cybernetic augmentation if they hadn't gotten ahold of the minicomics. If so, it didn't work.
  • Affably Evil: Skeletor. A running theme of the series is that Skeletor presents himself as the good guy and paints He-Man as the villain, and people keep falling for it, much to He-Man’s annoyance.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Skeletor often refers to Flogg as "Floggy".
  • Alien Sky: Primus has three suns.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Crita is instantly smitten with Skeletor when he arrives in the future.
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Flogg sets himself up in Master Sebrian’s home after the Mutants conquer Primus.
  • Almost Kiss: Skeletor and Crita nearly have one in “The Seeds of Resistance” before Flogg pulls them apart.
  • Animation Bump: “The Ultimate Challenge” has noticeably more impressive, detailed animation than the rest of the series. Other standouts include “Crack in the World” and “Four Ways to Sundown”.
  • Animesque: Some episodes have a much stronger anime influence than others (these episodes also tended to be the better looking ones.)
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • He-Man and Skeletor. In fact, their relationship is much more at the forefront in this series than it had been in the past.
    • Mara and Crita.
    • Sagitar and Staghorn.
    • General Nifel and President Pell.
  • Bald of Awesome: Sagitar.
  • Band of Brothers: The Galactic Guardians.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Crita, after being gifted her new outfit by the Gleanons.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • In "Sword & Staff" it seems He-Man gets rid of the crystal by destroying it, but at the end it turns out that Skeletor still has the crystal's powers.
    • In "The Gift" the Mutants actually manage to conquer Primus by infiltrating little creatures named Zeps that become huge monsters. This status quo remains for other four episodes until "The Battle for Levitan".
    • In "Slaves to the Machine" Skeletor successfully outwits the heroes and escapes with a stolen Super Computer (it ends up overloading and exploding, but He-Man doesn't know that).
  • Beard of Evil: Ramlin has a very large one.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Nearly all of He-Man's Galactic Guardians are normal humans using technological equipment in lieu of actual powers. Meanwhile, Flogg and Skeletor's Mutants are all, well, mutants, each possessing a variety of deformities and superhuman abilities (the only aversion among the Mutants is Toyless Toyline Character Crita).
  • Berserk Button:
    • Flogg, any time he has to deal with Slush Head’s incompetence. Skeletor usually has to hold Flogg back from physically attacking him.
    • Whatever you do, don't insult Optikk's vision.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Master Sebrian.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In "The Bride of Slushhead", after Alcon uses a Get A Hold Of Yourself Man slap on Gepple:
    Gepple: Why did you do that?
    Gepple: Well, this isn't a movie. This is a cartoon!
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: He-Man has one, although this time it's "By the Power of Eternia".
  • Catchphrase:
    • Take a shot every time someone says "The Power of the Good and the way of the Magic".
    • Flipshot often says "I was born ready!"
    • Skeletor shouts "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiit's showtime!" on several occasions.
  • Character Development:
    • Flogg begins the series as a ruthless leader determined to destroy the human race, and easily manipulated by Skeletor. By the end of the series, he has grown tired of the endless battles and Skeletor’s schemes, and refuses to listen to him any more. When his final invasion attempt fails, he agrees to sign a peace treaty, and seems to be relieved that the war is finally over.
    • Mara goes from being Master Sebrian’s bookish assistant, to helping He-Man launch a rebellion against the Mutant occupation of her planet, and later becomes a full Galactic Guardian. She permanently moves from Primus to the planet Nekron after the Mytes make her their Queen.
    • Crita becomes increasingly close to Skeletor, and begins emulating his behaviour as time goes on. She moves to the planet Nekron and becomes the Mutant representative to the Gleanons, eventually plotting to become their Queen and usurp General Nifel. Her obsession with defeating Mara makes her act increasingly unhinged as time goes on.
  • Cessation of Existence: A particularly grim example. In "He-Man: The Eternity War" comics (2014), with Adam depowered, disheartened and considering their options, Hordak contemplates the Eternians' choices himself, showing a planet to where the possible survivors can flee and that, in a distant future, becomes the Planet Primus. We even have a glimpse of Master Sebrian and other characters from New Adventures. So, to smash any string of hope Adam and the others can still have, Hordak explodes. Primus. Entirely. Effectively purging that timeline.
  • Cool Starship: The Starship Eternia.
  • Continuity Nod: With over half of the series episodes written by creator Jack Olesker, there is a strong sense of continuity and consistency. Events of past episodes are often referenced in episodes penned by Olesker.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Skeletor, frequently.
    • He-Man, surprisingly.
    • Gleep.
  • Demoted to Extra: Happens to several characters.
    • Lizzor is only ever used as a background character, and never even gets any lines.
    • Nocturna appears several times, but does not speak until the final episode.
    • Vizar disappears for most of the series, returning for the final few episodes.
    • Karatti is reduced to non-speaking background appearances as the series goes on, despite being prominent in early episodes.
    • This also happens to Hoove and Kayo, but they both return for much larger roles in the series final storyline.
  • Depending on the Writer: Flogg is sometimes depicted as an intelligent, wary military leader, and sometimes as a vain, gullible oaf.
  • Deus ex Machina: The Sorceress, in several episodes, when she extends her magic into the future and directly assists He-Man.
  • Does Not Understand Sarcasm: Slush Head.
  • The Dragon:
    • Skeletor is ostensibly this to Flogg, but he is really the power behind the throne.
    • Beneath Skeletor and Flogg, Quakke and Hoove often appear to be the more intelligent, higher ranking Mutants.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Artilla acts as this to the Priman recruits.
  • Dumb Muscle: Butthead and Slush Head.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": The Tech Mutants appear in several episodes, but are never named. Skeletor asks the taller of the two what his name is at what point, then cuts him off before he can answer:
    Skeletor: What a brilliant invention. If it works, we’ll rename the planet Primus after you. What is your name anyway? No, never mind, you can tell me later.
  • Evil Counterpart: Butthead is quite similar to Ram-Man from the original series.
  • Evil Feels Good: Skeletor isn't just bad. He have the time of his life and genuinely enjoys every moment of villany he have.
  • Evil Genius: Flogg has a pair of short, sinister looking Scientists working for him, addressed only as "Tech Mutants."
  • Evil Is Dumb: Slush Head lives to the trope. Flogg could easily fill the role, since he's basically manipulated by Skeletor.
    • For all the craftiness and intelligence he displays, why Skeletor didn't recognize Adam as the Prince of Eternia from the past is surprising.
  • Evil Laugh: In one episode, Skeletor mocks Flogg's halfhearted chuckle and insists he leave these things to the professionals.
  • Evil Redhead: Crita.
  • Evil Twin: Skeletor creates a clone of He-Man in “The Nemesis Within” called “He-Slave”. He mimics He-Man’s familiar chant but changes the words to “By the Power of Skeletor, I have the Power!”.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Artilla wears a blue one.
  • Faceless Goons: The Mutant Troopers are never seen without their helmets.
  • Face Ship: Skeletor's personal vehicle, the Skullcopter, is a Helicopter with a giant Skull on the front.
  • False Flag Operation: Skeletor’s plan in “Glasnost Schmasnost” has him faking an assassination attempt on Mara, just so that he can step in and “save” her.
  • Fangirl: The episode “He-Fan” is about an obsessive super-fan of He-Man’s named Melindra.
  • Fiery Redhead: Crita begins the series quite stoic, and becomes increasingly psychotic as time goes on.
  • Five-Episode Pilot: The series begins with a five part story, which was edited into a movie version for a home video release.
  • General Failure: Flogg isn't a particularly intelligent mutant and his strategies often leave something to be desired, but he manages to subvert this occasionally — he's not smart, but he's a savvy and intimidating military commander who can draw up a battle plan that'll leave 'em reeling sometimes.
  • Giant Eye of Doom: Optikk, one of the evil mutants, is essentially a giant eye sitting on a suit of armor. Optikk is an alias; his real name is pronounced through a series of blinks.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Skeletor’s eyes sometimes glow purple when he is angry.
  • Graceful Loser: He occasionally flips out when He-Man pulls a victory out of nowhere, but Skeletor usually takes defeat very well.
  • Grand Finale: Unusually, for the time, the series actually has a final episode which acts as a conclusion to the storyline that began in the first episode. As this series was intended to be a continuation of the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon, it could also be seen as grand finale to that show as well.
  • Happily Married: Slush Head and his wife, Felca.
  • Helmets Are Hardly Heroic:
    • Mostly averted with the Galactic Guardians, who almost always wear their helmets into battle.
    • He-Man's action figure came with a helmet, but he never wore it in the show.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Hydron and Flipshot are rarely seen apart.
    • Also, Quakke and B.H.
  • Important Haircut: In an inverted example, He-Man's hair inexplicably (but quite explicitly) gets ponytail-length longer during a moment of awesome mystical display.
  • Insufferable Genius: The Scientists of Primus are this, to a massive degree, both to the other characters and the fan base.
  • Kidnapped Scientist: Skeletor and the Mutants kidnap the Scientists of Primus in both “The Heat” and “Planet of Junk”.
  • Killed Off for Real: The only death in the series is when the evil clone of He-Man, He-Slave, sacrifices his life trying to kill Skeletor.
  • Kindhearted Simpleton: Slush Head, despite being a villain.
  • La Résistance: The Makkinaks fighting against the Protectons in “Slaves to the Machine”.
    • He-Man mounts an underground resistance movement against the Mutants in the series' second five part story, after they manage to successfully conquer Primus.
  • Latex Perfection: Skeletor's Mutant spy, Evan, wears a rubber, human mask to cover his Mutant appearance (complete with antenna).
  • Leitmotif: For the most part, individual characters do not have their own themes; but Skeletor has an ominous one which plays whenever he appears.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Skeletor. He consistently succeeds at coercing people into doing exactly what he needs them to do.
  • Meaningful Name: The Galactic Guardians and the Mutants, in time honoured He-Man tradition, are mostly named after their powers or abilities.
  • Merchandise-Driven: To be expected, when the show was based on a toyline. However, the characters created specifically for the cartoon who did not receive action figures, such as Master Sebrian, Mara, and Crita, are much more prominent than many of the toy characters.
  • Mind Rape: In "The Mind Lens", Skeletor acquires the Mind Lens of Denebria, which allows him to control other people's minds.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: Slush Head.
  • Mook Lieutenant: Sgt. Krone serves as this to General Nifel.
  • Mysterious Past: Master Sebrian. He is implied to be centuries old, and is hinted to be far more powerful than he appears.
    • Caz and Drissi's parents are strangely absent - and even they don't seem to really know what happened to them.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Skeletor has several of these (as well as several actual victories). The most noteable is probably “Crack in the World” where he is beating He-Man in a fair fight as Primus explodes around them.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • As in the original, He-Man can perform feats that supposedly aren't part of his power set. However, while his main power in the original show was his strength, He-Man receives many new powers in New Adventures, mostly thanks to his sword (fire magic beams, levitate objects, project force fields, etc.).
    • The Crystal of Nordor boosts Skeletor's powers (and wardrobe) considerably.
    • In "The Blacksmith of Crelus", both sides gain upgrades to their weapons.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: "You're in the Army Now" features a One-Shot Character based on Woody Allen, believe it or not. His introductory scene is even a parody of Allen's appearance in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask).
  • Non-Human Sidekick: He-Man has Clawber, Skeletor has Grr.
  • Noodle Incident: In “The New Wizard in Town”, Skeletor and Ramlin are stated to have encountered one another before, but Ramlin was not seen before or after his introductory episode.
  • The Obi-Wan: Master Sebrian serves as He-Man's Mentor and guide.
    • The Sorceress also continues in this role, as she did in the original series.
  • Off-Model: Several episodes, due to the outsourcing of animation to various different animation studios. Skeletor suffers the most, as, depending on the studio, he can be drawn to look either sinister or goofy.
  • Old Hero, New Pals: He-Man and Skeletor travel to planet Primus, where they join the Galactic Guardians and the Evil Mutants respectively. The Sorceress appears regularly, communicating telepathically with He-Man. King Randor and Queen Marlena appear in the first episode, and Teela briefly travels to the future later for a guest appearance.
  • Old Master: Master Sebrian may look harmless, but he has great magical powers, and his staff isn't just for show. Perhaps his most badass moment comes when he takes on Skeletor's evil clones of the Inner Council single handedly, displaying considerable fighting skill and deflecting their laser blasts with his staff.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Skeletor reprimands Flogg for not realizing the Primans were using the Mind Lens to control his actions:
    Flogg: But you said “please begin the attack”!
    Skeletor: Idiot! You should have known that wasn’t me, I never say please!
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: The episode “Fading Star” is about an ancient hero of Primus called Dukan, who looks and sounds like John Wayne. The final battle of the episode is in a Wild West-themed mining town.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: Sagitar and his people are quite Centaur-like in appearance, but can stand upright and have an extra set of arms.
  • Power Crystal:
    • Trifusium Crystals are used to power Primus's generators.
    • The crystal of Nordor is an immensely powerful one which increases the strength of those who absorb its power, as well as giving them a Significant Wardrobe Shift.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Flogg will not risk his Mutants without good cause, and tries to abide by the laws and regulations set down by the Galactic Council. When Skeletor finds a powerful crystal that greatly increases Quakke's power, Flogg refuses to allow him to use it on the other Mutants, seeing that the crystal's power is too dangerous to tamper with.
  • Predator Pastiche: In the unsubtly titled "Dreadator", the titular character is "the unbeaten gladiator-champion of the universe", and Skeletor maneuvers him into defending his title by fighting He-Man.
  • Public Execution: Skeletor plans this for He-Man in "The Battle for Levitan", with him personally carrying it out.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Slush Head.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Mara's hair eventually grows so long that she can ties it in a braid and uses it as a weapon.
  • The Rashomon: The Battle of the Quagmi Swamp. Flipshot, Hydron, Slushhead and Flogg each tell their own version of the story - their versions, of course, exaggerating their own role and aggrandizing themselves. Interestingly, we never get the real story and are forced to simply piece it together from the common elements in each tale.
  • Recycled In Space: To be perfectly fair, little more than He-Man and Skeletor themselves remained from the original series, and in both cases their appearances were altered quite a bit.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Skeletor's eyes permanently turn red following his transformation in "Sword and Staff" (though sometimes they are orange, depending on the animation studio).
  • Remember the New Guy?: This appears to happen with Artilla, Tuskador and Spinwit, who suddenly turn up after the five part opener with no explanation. The story of how they joined the team was later told in flashback form in “The Galactic Guardians”.
    • Quakke, B.H and Staghorn do not receive official introductions – though it is possible they were simply stationed at Moon Nordor or Denebria in previous episodes.
  • Robot Buddy: Gleep and U-R.
  • Send in the Clones: Skeletor creates an evil clone of He-Man in one episode called “He-Slave”, and evil clones of the Inner Council in "Council of Clones.
    • In the latter, Skeletor even says "It's time to send in the Clones!" followed by an evil laugh.
  • Sequel Hook: Although Skeletor is defeated and exiled into space in the finale, he is last seen declaring that he will be back.
    • Word of God says that the second season would have featured He-Man’s return to Eternia.
  • Servile Snarker: Gleep often has to assist the Scientists with their experiments, and bombards them with sarcasm. They are often so wrapped up in their own importance that they tend to just ignore his insults.
  • Space Opera
  • Spikes of Villainy: The big Mutant Mothership has several long, curved spikes protruding from its hull.
  • Snarky Non Human Side Kick: Gleep has no time for you or your human shenanigans. He is especially disdainful of the Scientists wacky behaviour.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Skeletor becomes so frustrated by the Mutants stupidity that he tries to increase their intelligence with a Brain Amplifier in "Brain Drain". It works a little too well, and the hyper-competent Mutants soon turn against him and Flogg. Skeletor eventually decides to turn them into idiots again.
    Skeletor: Hmm, what would I prefer; a bunch of stupid Mutants I can boss around, or a bunch of smart Mutants bossing me around? What a ridiculous question...
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Usually done to coincide with a character getting a new action figure.
    • Skeletor gets a big one in "Sword and Staff" after absorbing the power of the Nordor Crystal, and keeps it for the remainder of the series.
    • Mara and Crita both receive new costumes after they travel to the planet Nekron and ally with the Mytes and Gleanons, respectively.
    • Flipshot, Hydron, Kayo, Hoove and Optikk all receive a minor one after getting their weapons upgraded in "The Blacksmith of Crelus".
  • The Starscream:
    • Skeletor appears to be this to Flogg early on, but seems to drop the idea of overthrowing him as time goes on.
    • Staghorn attempts to overthrow Flogg at one point.
    • Crita plans to usurp General Nifel and become Queen of the Gleanons.
  • The Stoic:
    • Optikk is a man of few words, and spends most of the series serving as the Navigator on the Mutant Mothership, a task he takes very seriously.
    • He-Man, even more than in the original show.
    • Hydron very rarely loses his cool.
    • Skeletor can be this on occasion as well.
  • Super Toughness: He-Man appears to be more or less invincible. He survives laser blasts, asteroid storms, the vacuum of space and being crushed by boulders.
  • Super Strength: He-Man, though it is toned down somewhat compared to other incarnations of the character.
  • Tagalong Kid: Caz is often portrayed as this.
  • Third-Person Person: Flogg occasionally slips into this ("Go now, you have displeased Flogg!").
  • Those Two Guys: The Scientists begin as a foursome, but later episodes mostly just use the double act of Alcon and Gepple.
  • The Speechless: Lizzor never says a word in the entire series.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Skeletor is far more intelligent, manipulative and competent than he was in the original series. He faces off against He-Man directly on many occasions, and seems to be closer to him in terms of strength.
  • Toyless Toyline Character:
    • Quite a few: Master Sebrian, Mara, Crita, Caz, Drissi, Grot, Werban, Clawber, Grr.
    • Mara, Clawber, the Mytes and the Gleanons were all planned as figures, but the toyline was cancelled before they could be released.
    • Mara and Crita were both released, over twenty years later, as part of the "Masters of the Universe Classics" toyline.
  • Transformation Sequence: Adam changes into He-Man by chanting "By the power of Eternia, I have the power!". The same stock footage is used for the transformation sequence, but a few episodes have a more elaborate, better animated transformation sequence.
  • Unfortunate Names: One of the Skeletor-allied mutants was a helmeted, headbutt-happy mauler called... "Butthead". (No relation.) The cartoon mercifully refers to him solely as "BH".
  • Unholy Matrimony: Skeletor and Crita are implied to be this. Many of their scenes involve Skeletor flirting with Crita and her swooning over him. At the end of the series, He-Man sarcastically proclaims them "King Skeletor and Queen Crita" before he exiles them into space.
  • The Chessmaster: Skeletor’s plans are often quite complex, and he manages to pull off several victories. On the heroic side, Master Sebrian was often shown to be a cunning strategist.
  • The Unmasking: Before leaving for the future, Prince Adam transforms into He-Man in front of his parents, finally revealing his secret identity.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Skeletor suffers one in the final episode, after learning that Flogg has surrendered.
    • "Surrender? SURRENDER?! You Fool!, Flogg! I fought your ridiculous battles, allowed you to order me around, put up with your stupidity...ONLY FOR THIS MOMENT!"
  • Villain Episode: "Mutiny on the Mothership" focuses almost completely on the Mutants, who are trapped in an Ion Storm aboard the Mothership. The good guys show up, but only for the beginning and end of the episode.
  • Villainous Friendship: Initially their alliance is quite an uneasy one, but Skeletor and Flogg eventually seem to become this, particularly when their plans are going well.
    • Hoove and Karatti.
    • Quakke and B.H.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Several episodes show Skeletor and the Mutants hanging out in Gorn City in their spare time.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: He-Man, as in the original series.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In "A Time to Leave" Skeletor manages to recruit a rogue Myte named Wulk to train the Mutants in an ancient fighting technique. He leaves with the Mutants at the end of the episode, but is not seen again (possibly because there were only three episodes left in the series at this point).
  • Worf Had the Flu: In an episode, Adam is temporarily unable to transform himself after be struck by... a lighting (Ironically, if you consider how his old transformation sequence worked). In his defense, Skeletor's plan altered the atmosphere's components, so you could expect that had some unexpected effect.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Despite supposedly being a continuation of the original He-Man series, the only characters from that series to appear regularly outside the first episode are He-man, Skeletor and the Sorceress, and they don't look or sound like they used to. He-Man, while still stoic and reserved, doesn't display the light mood and occasional puns, being even more serious. In the early episodes Skeletor is very soft-spoken, almost nice. This is in stark contrast to the verbally abusive Skeletor from the original show. However he does sound less kind as the series goes on. His head looks less skull-like than it used to, and he has eyeballs instead of eyeless pits.


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