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YMMV / Crash Bandicoot

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  • Adorkable:
    • Crash himself is a goofy Heroic Mime who makes cute Happy Dances.
    • His sister Coco, too. She is a cute, perky and kind-hearted teenage girl who likes science but is often shown to be perfectly happy to participate in her brother's goofiness.
    • Krunk has some hilariously endearing moments, such as his amazement at the yoyo Crash gives him (and his subsequently getting tangled up in it), or his failed attempts to handstand in his Nitro Fueled podium animation; both of which result in a goofy smile.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Crunch is a justified example. He makes his entrance in Wrath of Cortex as a gruff, musclebound and defiant Evil Counterpart to Crash who can change into powerful elemental forms. After being broken out of Cortex's mind control and forsaking his powers, Crunch spends the rest of the series attempting to atone for his past villainy by being a positive role model to children. However, his fashion of doing so by way of inserting bits of advice into his own dialogue (e.g. "Eat your greens!" and "Mow the lawn when your parents ask you!") more often than not comes off as awkward and haphazard.
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    • Coco. Her intelligence made her more The Hero than Crash in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back due to stopping Crash from basically handing all the crystals over to Cortex and growing into a full blown Action Girl in Warped and The Wrath of Cortex. Later games dissolved her role mostly into a bratty Damsel in Distress almost as dimwitted as Crunch. Reversed a fair bit in Mind Over Mutant where she ascends to a fully playable character of the same level as Crash (albeit only after rescuing her again). It's About Time reverses it more thoroughly by having her take part in her big brother's adventures from the start, as well as having her smart, yet kind and goofy demeanor established by the remakes. Amusingly however, this is among few full Character Rerailments that is met with Broken Base, since Coco being a more flawed and comedic equal to Crash instead of a standard Women Are Wiser Hyper-Competent Sidekick archetype was considered one of the more refreshing changes of the later titles, with many considering the remakes the finer balance of a kindly and precocious but still clownish and impulsive tempered characterisation. This trope may also be considered a Drama-Preserving Handicap for Coco since, as observed with her Spotlight-Stealing Squad status in It's About Time, Coco given all of Crash's physical prowess with none of her own flaws to balance it basically converts her into Crash's Superior Successor, with him undergoing the trope instead. Overall, it's a meta case of We Want Our Jerk Back.
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    • Tiny Tiger. Tiny started out as an angry, roaring monster who talked in Hulk Speak. As time went on, they started showing off his stupidity more for comical moments, such as in Crash Nitro Kart. And then in Crash of the Titans, he somehow transformed into a Bengal Tiger from a Tasmanian Tiger, got his intelligence upped, and began acting like a campy Mike Tyson knock-off who idolizes Crash, and only attacks him because he's hired to do so.
    • And, of course, Cortex. He goes from creating an army that would destroy the world, to being sacked by Uka Uka and replaced by his own niece. He regained a bit of his reputation in Mind Over Mutant, where he took revenge on them both and claimed the role of Big Bad once again, but still maintains a much more demented disposition throughout it all. Partially reversed in It's About Time, where he starts off on a low, upstaged by the more composed N. Tropy and stuck in a Wile E Coyote-esque revenge plot against Crash, though gradually becomes a credible menace once more, and even after he's forced to team up with Crash to defeat a rebellious N. Tropy, he remains the final boss.
  • Base-Breaking Character: While Coco's upgraded role was met with general acclaim following the series' revival, some have started to fear she's approaching Creator's Pet territory. While an online favourite in Nitro Fueled, many fans were annoyed she got the lion's share of legendary skins, with many other fan favourites being lucky to get one. It's About Time punctuates her Spotlight-Stealing Squad status further in story, to the point of making her Crash's Superior Successor, compared to their previous two-way-comedic Brains and Brawn dynamic (not helped by Toys For Bob expressing the change was because they wanted the female cast to be "equal" to Crash, which Coco had long already been).
  • Broken Base:
    • It is generally accepted that Wrath of Cortex was better once the loading times were made more manageable in re-releases. Whether or not it was a good Crash game, good in comparison to the later series, or it just plain wasn't a good game at all is up to debate.
    • In recent years, you'll find fans pretty split down the middle in terms of characterisations and storytelling. Some prefer the more nuanced and earnest storytelling of the original games, while some prefer the more wacky and meta plots and characterisations of the Radical era games. This counts as a bit of Vindicated by History for the Radical era, which was largely slammed for its character liberties and excessive humour in its day, though when It's About Time reversed back a lot of its more unique dynamic changes, and even tried to be more dramatic than the earlier titles, the reaction was divisive. Generally however, the remakes are considered the happy balance for the most part.
    • The character designs, to the point that with the release of each game, a large percentage of debate will be over any retools to the characters, however minor, and whether they work or are an improvement, or have ruined them completely. Coco's especially tend to be the most varied and thus more divisive, though no one is safe.
  • Complete Monster: Yes, even a series like this has an example. See this page for details.
  • Contested Sequel: Pretty much every post-Naughty Dog Crash game is this at best, for reasons that vary from game to game. Usually, Wrath of Cortex and the GBA entries are criticized for being way too similar to the Naughty Dog games, while the Radical-era titles are bashed for the exact opposite reason. All games have their defenders, though.
  • Critical Dissonance: Given their poor fan reception, it may be a surprise to hear that Crash of the Titans and Mind Over Mutant were given generally positive reviews from critics, and that the games won industry awards for their writing.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Bats showed up in later levels of the original Crash Bandicoot game in one of those really tricky, walls coming-in-and-out and floor-disappearing at random moments, side-scrolling levels. Fortunately, these enemies were pretty much limited to the game's Scrappy Levels.
    • Sludges in Crash of the Titans. They are fast, do tons of damage, and do a near-impossible to avoid counterattack nearly every time you hit them, and they usually come in groups.
      • Battlers are also a pain in the behind, as they constantly block, come in large groups, and have a very powerful special attack which they love to spam.
    • TKs in Crash: Mind Over Mutant. They have ranged attacks which are impossible to avoid, an annoying melee attack that they are invincible while using and has a large area of effect, and can throw you off your titan.
  • Die for Our Ship: The moment Pasadena made a cutesy comment at Crash in Crash Tag Team Racing, all hellfire was unleashed in the fandom. Tawna finally reappearing the following game after (officially stated to have a fondness for Pinstripe) didn't help.
  • Dork Age: While fans will almost unanimously agree that the franchise has gone through one, when exactly it started is a source of debate, with some saying it started the moment the series continued without Naughty Dog with Crash Bash, others saying it started with the multi-console transition delivering rehashes such as The Wrath of Cortex, and others saying it started with Radical Entertainment's retool, or anytime inbetween. Either way, there is a consensus that the end of Naughty Dog's development run and the franchise being pawned off to multiple other developers was at least a starting pivot for said Dork Age occurring, whenever it truly occurred.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Dingodile is considerably popular thanks to his intro, design, accent, and being one of the few of Cortex's mooks who's not (as much of) an idiot. It's likely that his continued popularity contributed to him being Promoted to Playable in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time.
    • N. Gin is another popular lackey for a multitude of reasons. He's a cyborg for one, a majority of his boss fights are against Humongous Mechas, which are always unconventional, yet awesome, and his fights tend to have some of the best music in the franchise. Even his portrayal in the Radical Entertainment games has been received well, as Nolan North's absolutely batshit insane portrayal as N. Gin has been seen as some of the most hilarious voice acting in the series.
    • A rather odd example in this case; Back in 1998, before the release of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, there was a licensed Crash game for the 99X line of dot-matrix screen handhelds by Tiger Electronics. In it, the main antagonist was not Dr. Neo Cortex, but Mr. Crumb, an evil old miser so greedy, he summoned monsters to guard the treasure in his mansion, and even after he died he continued to guard it as a ghost. While he was obscure for the longest time, he recently gained a surge in popularity (Especially on Reddit) with many fans wanting him to return in Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, due to that game bringing back equally obscure characters Rilla Roo and Yaya Panda, and is so highly requested it's to the point where he beats out the Evil Twins. It also helps that he's a supernatural villain, which makes him stand out in the more science-focused franchise. He ultimately was confirmed to make his return in the modern mobile entry On The Run.
  • Epileptic Trees: Coco's actions in N. Sane Trilogy. Her deciding to use the Time Twister to help Crash in his prior adventures, alongside Cortex and N. Tropy's messing around, may have caused the minor changes in N. Sane Trilogy to eventually result in the post-Warped timeline being completely changed.
  • Even Better Sequel: Pretty much everyone agrees that Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped are much better designed and more enjoyable games than the original game. Some might go so far as to say that Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped is better than Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back. Certainly, the critics thought so.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Calling the wumpa fruits "apples" or "peaches" is the bane of any Crash fan's existence. Except Japanese ones, as in Japan they are officially called "apples".
  • Fandom Rivalry: With Sonic the Hedgehog, another 90's platformer series featuring a Mascot with Attitude. Fans often debate over which series has better games and characters.
  • Fanon: While the mutants introduced in Crash Tag Team Racing (Pasadena, Chick, Stew and Willie Wumpa Cheeks) have no officially-stated origin, the general fan consensus is that Von Clutch, being a Cortex fanboy, somehow managed to obtain plans for Cortex's evolvo-ray and went on to create them to work in his park.
  • First Installment Wins: Regardless of what one thinks of the later games, in the general consciousness, the original Naughty Dog games are the most well known and well loved games in the series. The remakes only contributed to this even further.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: It isn't too uncommon to see Coco paired with either N.Gin or Nina.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The original games made by Naughty Dog were actually equally fickle with lore and cast (eg. Coco replacing Tawna without explanation, Uka Uka abruptly introduced as The Man Behind the Man, Tiny going from Brio's cohort to Cortex's most faithful subordinate), though many of these trial and error changes were agreed to help build the mainstay elements of the franchise and otherwise the games maintained a very coherent direction, compared to the later Crash titles traded around multiple developers which suffered from inconsistent handling and in some cases made drastic changes for the supposed sake of it, leaving the franchise in something of an identity crisis. Activision fully rebooting the series from N. Sane Trilogy onwards had left fans to wonder if this would finally put it back on track with a more unified vision.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
  • Game-Breaker: N. Gin in Tag Team Racing has the single most overpowered weapon in the game. It wipes out almost everyone in one or two hits, and is pretty much a guaranteed win if you're doing Rolling Thunder, where it's pretty hard not to go way above the requirement. If you're doing multiplayer and someone else picks him, don't expect to do well.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Crash in Japan. It definitely helps that he was "cutened" for Japan, making them feel more at-home with it. Shockingly, he's actually got a significant amount of requests from Japanese players to be Super Smash Bros. DLC, despite his status as an American-made, PlayStation-associated character. He's clearly still got fans over there. Several elements of the games themselves were made to appease Japanese fans. You can thank Japan for the Crash dance and Coco following the second game. Japan was absolutely hyped for the release of Crash Bandicoot 4.
    • Fake Crash is one of the most popular characters in Japan, so much that he was included in the Japanese CTR bonus video and the Japanese version of Crash Bash.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Iron Woobie: Crash is a cheerful little nut considering all he puts up with throughout the series. Where do we begin? Mutated torturously by Cortex and then branded a failure and kicked out, went through hell to rescue Tawna in the first game (who abiding by official bios, coldly dumped him for Pinstripe, ironically one of Cortex's loyal minions shortly after). Led on a wild goose chase by Cortex in the second game, victim to endless revenge schemes afterwards, often with his beloved baby sister as a pawn, and often put in the middle of any conquests by other evil doers in-between. All with a ton of cruel and unusual cartoon slapstick abuse throughout.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Nina Cortex and Dr. N. Gin are quite sympathetic characters, especially in Mind Over Mutant.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • In part due to her being the only recurring female character for a good portion of the series, Coco has been shipped with just about everyone, with several of them being Crack Pairings: Cortex, N. Gin, Tiny, Dingodile, Pinstripe, Crunch, Tawna, Nina and even Crash himself.
    • Fake Crash, of all people, became this in light of Nitro-Fueled's post-launch GP DLC, with him not only getting shipped to Pasadena, but also most members of the Nitro Squad as well. This may be due to his rather doofy personality shining more than ever for that game.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • The Original Timeline: Dr. Nefarious Tropy is a brilliant time traveler who justifies his ego with his cunning plans. Debuting in Warped, Tropy comes up with the Time Twister in order to steal the Power Crystals from their respective time periods, a plan that would've succeeded had it not been for Aku Aku finding the Twister. Halfway through the game, he fights the Bandicoots himself, putting up a tough fight before being defeated. Somehow recovering from his first defeat, he reappeared as the host of the challenging Time Trials in Crash Team Racing and Crash Nitro Kart, and lead Cortex's former minions to search for The Evil Twins' treasure in Twinsanity. Becoming the Big Bad of N. Tranced, he recruits his friend N. Trance and has him kidnap the Bandicoots, hypnotizing them into serving him, once again nearly succeeding had it not been for Aku Aku's intervention and Trance mistaking Fake Crash for Crash. Even then, he uses the trio to great effect, tactically retreating when cornered and facing off with Crash when found.
    • Crash Boom Bang! (2006): The Viscount is a wealthy Tasmanian Devil who seeks the Super Big Power Crystal. Upon realizing that he would need help to solve its puzzles, he organizes a tournament to con Crash and his allies into finding it for him. To this end, he disguises the puzzles as mini games, participating in some himself to keep up the charade. Calmly stating his true goals after a botched highjacking from Cortex, he still manages to persuade the gang into helping him, having them search an underwater shipwreck for a key to unlock the crystal's tower. Finally reaching the Tower, Viscount manages to beat the gang to the Crystal, nearly winning in the end and only failing due to Crash's quick intervention.
  • Memetic Molester: Crash wiggling his eyebrows before mounting other animals in the first two games has been joked to be more than just mischief.
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Crash Bandicoot has always found itself a dedicated following in Australia thanks to its Aussie setting (at least for the first two games) and its surprisingly large usage of Seldom-Seen Species, but Dingodile, who is practically every single Australian stereotype shoved into one mutated package, has been thoroughly embraced by the Australian fandom for practically every reason mentioned in Ensemble Dark Horse above.
  • Mis-blamed: It is often thought that the mediocre reception of Mind Over Mutant caused Radical to kill the franchise. However, Radical was already working on not one but two Crash games up to 2010. Not long after Radical was bought out by Activision, Activision laid off the entire team behind the upcoming games, cancelling their production. It didn't help that one of those games had internal staff strife over which direction to take it, making development severely behind schedule.
  • More Popular Replacement:
    • Tawna Bandicoot was Crash's Satellite Love Interest and Damsel in Distress in the first game in the series, though it quickly touched a nerve with Universal executives due to her over-sexualised appearance. Naughty Dog became disillusioned with the character after the conflict it caused and complied to Sony of Japan's request to make a replacement female sidekick for Crash. Coco Bandicoot, Crash's little sister, remained a mainstay after the second game and became popular enough to be Promoted to Playable in future titles.
    • Also from the first game, Koala Kong existed as Cortex's Dumb Muscle, though by Crash Bandicoot Warped he is supplanted by Tiny Tiger, who became more iconic a member of the Rogues Gallery due to his more developed childlike personality and dogged loyalty to Cortex in later titles making him somewhat likeable.
  • Narm: Most of Wrath Of Cortex's cutscenes, especially the ending. Crunch tries his best to be dark and brooding, but it just doesn't work out in a Crash game. Later titles got the point and made him Denser and Wackier.
  • Newer Than They Think: More recent fans who were introduced to the franchise through the remakes may be surprised to discover the Crash universe wasn't nearly as fleshed out in many regards in the original games. Coco and Tawna in particular had their personalities completely undefined originally, with later titles slowly defining Coco's Genki Girl habits and chemistry with Crash that the remakes retroactively added in, and Tawna only getting her Action Girl persona and even just her first speaking role within the remakes themselves.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: The Naughty Dog games are considered the best entries in the series, while the post-Naughty Dog games tend to be loved or hated to various degrees. The three exceptions would be Crash Bash, Twinsanity, and It's About Time, though even those have reasons for being accepted: Crash Bash was the first game not made by Naughty Dog, and is designed to be played by up to four people; Twinsanity was made by a developer who imitated Naughty Dog's games in spirit if not in formula, and It’s About Time which faithfully recreated and expanded upon the ideas in the original trilogy; Even then though, those games still qualify as Contested Sequels to varying degrees based on the game.
  • Popular with Furries: Thanks to its multiple games and high acclaim, Crash Bandicoot is one of the '90s platformers with the biggest fandoms. Unsurprisingly, its fandom has more than its fair share of furries. The bandicoot characters (especially Coco, Tawna, the Trophy Girls/Nitro Squad, and Crunch) and Pasadena in particular attract furries, while Crunch, Tiny and Dingodile are popular among furry fans of the Bara Genre.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Though Coco wasn't void of fans early on, she tended to get slammed by critics and fans of the games for her playable appearances, due to her weaker gameplay mechanics and the fact she was probably the least cartoony and expressive of the entire cast, making her considerably less fun to play as than Crash. Starting with Mind Over Mutant, Coco was made a full alternate character from Crash and more effort was put into her animations and personality. It says something that not only did Vicarious Visions push hard to make Coco fully playable for N Sane Trilogy, but the fan base went ecstatic over the announcement.
    • Rilla Roo was rescued once he went the way of Waluigi and Big the Cat and became a meme character the fans liked ironically. This eventually led to his big comeback in Nitro-Fueled.
  • The Scrappy: The In Name Only version of Tiny Tiger in the Radical Entertainment games is probably the best example the series has. Instead of being a hilarious Dumb Muscle with Undying Loyalty to Cortex and a memorable Tasmanian Tiger design, Tiny was subjected to the heaviest redesign of any character; being a Bengal Tigernote  instead and losing practically all of his old character traits in favor of being a Mike Tyson patische. He was widely derided for not only not even being the same character, but being very unmemorable in general relative to his old self. Not even the biggest Radical fans will ever defend him, and many tend to use him as one of the first examples of that era's characterization problems.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: While Coco herself is a fairly popular character with fans, her playable appearances (which mostly play as a weaker variant of Crash) tend to be rather underwelming. Fixed somewhat in Mind Over Mutant even if you have to activate (and/or deactivate) the game's co-op mode to play as her, and playing the story makes a lot less sense, and averted entirely in N. Sane Trilogy, where she plays every bit as good as Crash does.
    IGN: Coco (is) a less powerful and less enjoyable playable character. Coco pops into specific levels and must be used to pass that area. She's just not fun the way Crash is. Crash is a silly creature to look at. He's almost absurd, which works great with his various animations. Coco isn't really silly at all. The game isn't called Crash and Coco so why must I be forced to play her?
  • Shallow Parody: The cutscenes in Mind Over Mutant are drawn in different art styles, including hand puppets, American comic book style, South Park and Dragon Ball Z. As for why the cutscenes are done in parodies of different art styles aside from Rule of Funny is still up for debate.
  • Shipping:
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Owing to both of Crash's love interests being in Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, Crash/Tawna and Crash/Pasadena shippers have developed a rivalry regarding which one Crash should end up with.
    • Amusingly enough, it took a much friendlier turn for Nitro-Fueled after Tawna and Pasadena were confirmed to arrive into the game, with some fans going for the Fake Crash/Pasadena option so that Crash can be with Tawna.
  • That One Level:
    • "Sunset Vista" in the original Crash Bandicoot game is so hard that the Japanese versions of the game swapped it and "Slippery Climb" in level order. Ironically, the level was made easier in the final product, as it was even longer in the prototype, bats and moving blocks that crush you moved more quickly, and there were moving candle/torch platforms that could light up at any moment.
    • The Dummied Out "Stormy Ascent", which was later restored in N. Sane Trilogy, is an even harder version of "Slippery Climb". It's a Marathon Level filled with platforms that move in complicated patterns, retracting steps that cause Crash to slide to his doom if not traversed with perfect timing, and long platforming sections where fast-moving birds must be used as Goomba Springboards.
    • "The Lab". A Marathon Level with no Aku Aku crates and an annoying gimmick where Crash must hit ! blocks to temporarily unlock doors. It also must be beaten without dying if the player wishes to acquire a gem, but there are traps everywhere, including hidden TNT boxes in clusters of normal crates.
    • "Fumbling In The Dark", which is basically "Lights Out" if it had the same difficulty as "Sunset Vista." Dozens of pendulums and platforms, various thin platforms you can jump past if you aren't careful, and spiders you have to jump on in order to cross certain gaps. Even "Sunset Vista" was kind enough to give the player no less than five checkpoints; "Fumbling In The Dark" only has three. Even if you know all the traps and tricks to beating the level, chances are you'll die anyway because you jinxed yourself into jumping too soon/too late/too far/not far enough.
    • "Tomb Wader" in Warped has a gimmick where sections of the stage are periodically flooded, forcing Crash to keep up the pace or lose a life.
    • Levels where the player has backtrack to break all crates are reviled as a whole, but some of the worst offenders are "Tomb Time" (backtrack through a gem course filled with traps); "Diggin' It" (backtrack through an area with bees that ambush you from off-screen), "Cold Hard Crash" (backtrack through the death course itself), and "Piston It Away" (backtrack through traps that are far trickier to deal with when approached from the "wrong" direction).
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The general opinion of the Crash games after Crash Team Racing, although the newer games are gradually getting better reviews.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!:
    • Crash Bash and Crash Boom Bang! are considered to be bad Mario Party clones by many.
    • Crash Nitro Kart and Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex are often seen as watered-down PlayStation 2 versions of Crash Team Racing and Crash Bandicoot: Warped respectively. Ironic for The Wrath Of Cortex, which was originally to be a more innovative free roaming platformer before remaking it in fear of the changes not receiving well.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Crunch Bandicoot seemed all set to be a cool powerhouse for the bandicoots following Wrath Of Cortex. However his appearances in most games after were minor, playable only in racing and party games (and the Atlasphere stages in N Tranced) which play identically for every character. In the Titans games, he exists as little more than a gag character and is pretty easy to forget he even appeared.
    • The series was notorious for utilising several popular characters that never got used outside one or two usually minor appearances. Even within the first game, Tawna and Koala Kong practically disappeared afterwards, never getting real development.
  • Uncanny Valley:
  • Viewer Species Confusion: Quite a few people have called Crash a fox. He's actually a bandicoot, an obscure marsupial.
  • Vindicated by History:
    • While always popular with kids and casual gamers, the hardcore gamer audience wasn't always fond of the series. In the 1990s, many (predominantly teenage and adult) Playstation fans hated Crash Bandicoot, calling it nothing but a kiddie Mario cash-grab that didn't fit the "mature-geared" console. As the core demographic of Crash displaced the older gamers, the series has become Sacred Cows amongst 3D platformers.
    • Most of the post Naughty Dog era Crash games were often considered slapdash and inferior to the originals at the time of their release. However the moderated references to them in newer titles has earned them some nostalgia and popularity, to the point that when the first proper sequel, It's About Time announced it would mostly be starting fresh from where Warped left off in its own timeline, the reaction was extremely divisive. Even the highly controversial Radical Entertainment games will get some defence for having genuinely good ideas these days.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The original trilogy had impressive animation considering the relatively low tech.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Mind Over Mutant sadly strayed into this territory, as the humor can basically be described as "Let's make as many pop culture references as we can."

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