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ruadath

HHM Ranked LTC

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Something that I always though would be an interesting challenge to run involves S-Ranking HHM in the lowest amount of turns possible. You can find a lot of runs like this for games like FE4 and FE5, but for some reason it doesn't appear that anyone has done anything like this for FE7. I'm hoping to run this challenge concurrently with my Max Star Playthrough, and hopefully the two playthroughs will end up sharing some strategies (though I doubt that will happen).

The rules/goals for this challenge:

- S Rank HHM in the fewest amount of turns possible
- Limited RNG abuse allowed (not like 50 RNs burned at once)
- Game will be played on vanilla HHM (no LHM preparation)
- Not all characters will be recruited and most (if not all) gaiden chapters will be skipped

What do you guys think? With very low expectations, I'd say that a sub-200 turn playthrough is very possible; General Horace's LTC clears HHM with full recruitment and Farina in 136, so this gives me plenty of breathing room to gain extra EXP if/when necessary.

[spoiler=Turn Counts and Links]Chapter 11 (6 turns)
Chapter 12 (3 turns)

Chapter 13 (4 turns)

Edited by ruadath

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I'd guess you could probably S-Rank and clear in around 170 turns, the toughest rank would probably be funds since you use a lot of expensive weapons and such to clear stuff faster. I definately didn't recruit Farina though, I cleared her chapter in 2 turns. I also didn't recruit Lucius (I could have, but I figured out after the fact and I didn't need him), Wallace/Geitz, Karel/Harken, Karla, and Renault. You could probably skip them all too, Farina's contribution to exp probably isn't worth the money you lose by recruiting her.

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Chapter 11

Like normal, I chose the tactician affinity to be Thunder. My standard clear of this chapter won't work here, because BASE Matthew gets killed by the archer, but I wouldn't take it anyway since I'm looking to maximize my EXP gain this time around instead of minimizing it.

Turn 1: Hector and Matthew break the wall.

Turn 2: Hector kills the soldier with his Hand Axe. Matthew attacks the archer.

Enemy Turn 2: The archer takes a step back and shoots Matthew.

Turn 3: Matthew kills the archer. Hector moves west of Matthew.

Turn 4: Matthew opens the Door and Hector moves below him.

Enemy Turn 4: Enemy units begin advancing toward Hector. The enemy thief gets the Red Gem.

Turn 5: I burn 5 RNs, the Hector charges west (Hand Axe still equipped), and Matthew moves as far east as he can go.

Enemy Turn 5: A soldier attacks Hector and dies. Two archers attacks Hector and he hits both in his counters.

Turn 6: Matthew steals the Red Gem from the thief, Hector Wolf Beil crit kills Wire.

uYzzZQo.png

Chapter Totals:

252/0 EXP

12825/0 G

Campaign Totals:

252/0 EXP

12825/0 G

Edited by ruadath

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Chapter 12 (initial attempt)

EDIT: This playthrough is outdated; I have since found a better clear of the chapter that gets more EXP in 4 turns and gets some important levels for Chapter 13. Scroll down further to see this playthrough near the bottom of the page.

Turn 1: The standard start to this chapter works for the northern team here as well. Serra moves a space east, Matthew moves below her (for some reason I had him trade his Red Gem to Oswin), then Oswin chucks a Javelin at the PK and Hector kills it with Wolf Beil

k2ZE4cL.png

Back in the south, Marcus moves a step down, gives his Iron Sword to Eliwood, then heads toward the village. That's right, Marcus is benched for this chapter since we don't want him stealing any of our EXP (yet). Don't worry, I'll still get the 4 turn clear. Everyone else arranges themselves as follows (Dorcas is on the fort)

LpoDAyJ.png

Enemy Turn 1: A brigand misses Lowen and gets countered. Same for Matthew. A couple of PKs get mashed by Wolf Beil, and Bartre deals a good blow to one as well. A Hand Axe bandit hits Hector, and then archers hit both Lowen and Hector. Hector is down to 11 HP.

OU7ShYG.png

Turn 2: 2 RNs are burned, then Hector moves above the brigand and crit-kills him with Wolf Beil. Rebecca attacks the brigand from below, then Lowen finishes him off from above. Matthew circles around the bandit who attacked him and kills him from below

AfJkVOJ.png

Matthew doesn't have a ton of opportunities to get EXP in this run, so anything I can give him is great. Dorcas moves up and attacks the archer from the east, Eliwood finishes off the PK, and Bartre kills the archer from below with the Hand Axe. Marcus visits the village for the Secret Book and then charges back south. Oswin takes a step east and kills the PK to the south. Serra does nothing.

Enemy Turn 2: The merc doubles Dorcas, but importantly, he hits his counter. The bandit strikes Lowen, and the PK gets crit killed by Dorcas. This was unfortunate, but it ended up working out for the best. A PK attacks Hector, taking him down to 8 HP, and an archer misses Matthew.

pxbN0om.png

Turn 3: Hector moves around the PK and takes it out from the east.

YyJrJGz.png

Down south, Bartre attacks the brigand from below, and Eliwood kills him from the east. Rebecca moves west of Dorcas and attacks the merc, then Lowen kills him from the east with his lance. Marcus continues to charge toward the main party.

49adAAB.png

Oswin attacks the archer from the north, then Matthew kills him from the west. Serra heals Matthew from above and Dorcas kills the injured PK. With this, I'm already at 549 EXP, so anything else is surplus.

Enemy Turn 3: The bandit attacks Lowen, reducing him to 1 HP.

C7tcMjY.png

The PK attacks Hector and gets one-shotted.

Turn 4: The RNG is conveniently set for a critical...

KzpPL0q.png

Hector crit kills Zagan.

UEr7GSk.png

I would have preferred a more offensive level for Hector, but I needed the crit kill to finish in 4 turns. At least Hector's Res is looking pretty good.

Dorcas runs up, Serra heals her, Rebecca attacks the brigand, I burn 2 RNs, and then Bartre misses a Hand Axe strike on the enemy.

At this point, Marcus is to going to grab someone's weapon; I have a save state and I'll decide later

I would love to have Lowen take the kill and level up, but he can't get a level with both Str and Spd here, so I just let Eliwood take the kill.

Chapter Totals:

725/550 EXP

17931/12000 G

Campaign Totals:

977/550 EXP

30756/12000 G

Edited by ruadath

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goddamn it, ruadath, another one?

Is funds really the hardest rank? Silver Card should fix things up if you aren't recklessly wasteful in earlygame.

Also, are you just winging this, or are you planning strats for later chapters already?

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Yeah sorry about that. I don't imagine that the funds rank will be the hardest to get either; I imagine EXP will be the most difficult (at least when trying to figure out the minimum number of turns)

Also, are you just winging this, or are you planning strats for later chapters already?

As you've no doubt come to realize at this point, all my playthroughs are winged (to a certain extent; I mean I have general ideas about what things need to be done in certain chapters, but I haven't written out stat benchmarks or anything like that just yet).

Speaking of things that I'm winging, I'm starting school again on Monday, so expect the frequency of my updates to go down.

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I tried to do something like this with 0% growths but I kinda got bored before I even began. Well, I didn't went strictly for the absolute lowest turn count possible but something close to it.

Is funds really the hardest rank? Silver Card should fix things up if you aren't recklessly wasteful in earlygame.

Funds is the hardest by far and the main reason why I ended up not trying to go for minimum turn count. Going for the lowest turn counts often stands in contradiction with boosting your funds, every other rank should be easily manageable.

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But by 31x, you should have enough liquid gold for you to stock up on silver weapons with the Silver Card, boosting your funds easily to A.

Edited by PanneKnight

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I'm not sure yet, but there is a reasonable chance (if funds isn't tough to rank) that the Silver Card might not be picked up, since I'm not visiting gaiden chapters I don't have to (same goes for 31x). But like I said before, I haven't done much planning yet, so I don't know.

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A-ranking funds also generally involves hording gems and stat-boosters, whereas LTC involves heavy use of stat-boosters and generally also liquidating gems. This problem would be even larger in FE6, which has buyable stat-boosters including Boots.

Also, can you spoiler the chapter images?

Edited by BBM

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A-ranking funds also generally involves hording gems and stat-boosters, whereas LTC involves heavy use of stat-boosters and generally also liquidating gems. This problem would be even larger in FE6, which has buyable stat-boosters including Boots.

Also, can you spoiler the chapter images?

I could see if it were possible. I mean, it wouldn't be too difficult I don't think because FE6 gives you a stupid amount of turns for the best rank.

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I could see if it were possible. I mean, it wouldn't be too difficult I don't think because FE6 gives you a stupid amount of turns for the best rank.

Well I mean, trying to LTC while also doing Ranked, which means you're not really paying attention to the Turns rank because you're going to blow by it.

I'm guessing that compared to a regular LTC, you'd lose at least 10 turns on just the last few chapters without a bunch of 15-move units running around everywhere. In comparison, I doubt you'd lose as many on FE7.

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FE7 isn't nearly challenging enough to make you feel you really have to use boosters on anyone. Level-up rigging (even if modestly applied) helps a lot to circumvent any need for boosters, too. It's quite easier on your funds so you might sit on some gems, but don't the endgame S-rank weapons comprise most of the rank? I've always been too bored by the prospect of playing for rank tbqh.

Edited by Espinosa

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Well I mean, trying to LTC while also doing Ranked, which means you're not really paying attention to the Turns rank because you're going to blow by it.

I'm guessing that compared to a regular LTC, you'd lose at least 10 turns on just the last few chapters without a bunch of 15-move units running around everywhere. In comparison, I doubt you'd lose as many on FE7.

True, hmm. Maybe i'll play around with the idea here in a bit.

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Sorry I haven't provided any updates here in a while; I had been focusing on 4 turning Chapter 16 in my other run and that took much longer and much more effort than I anticipated.

When I get back to this, I plan to rerun Chapter 12 in order to avoid the Dorcas critical on the PK and get Serra an extra heal (for staff EXP). We'll see how that goes; hopefully, I can hit 1000 total EXP by the end of the chapter!

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Alright, I managed to significantly improve my clear of Chapter 12, not only getting 34 more EXP (at the low cost of 44G!), but also getting Eliwood and Lowen a level, which will do wonders for them in Chapter 13. I'll have the new playthrough posted soon.

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Chapter 12

Turn 1: The standard start to this chapter works for the northern team here as well. Serra moves a space east, Matthew moves below her (for some reason I had him trade his Red Gem to Oswin), then Oswin chucks a Javelin at the PK and Hector kills it with Wolf Beil

k2ZE4cL.png

Back in the south, Marcus moves a step down, gives his Iron Sword to Eliwood, then heads toward the village. That's right, Marcus is benched for this chapter since we don't want him stealing any of our EXP (yet). Don't worry, I'll still get the 4 turn clear. Everyone else arranges themselves as follows (Dorcas is on the fort)

LpoDAyJ.png

Enemy Turn 1: A brigand misses Lowen and gets countered. Same for Matthew. A couple of PKs get mashed by Wolf Beil, and Bartre deals a good blow to one as well. A Hand Axe bandit hits Hector, and then archers hit both Lowen and Hector. Hector is down to 11 HP.

OU7ShYG.png

Turn 2: 2 RNs are burned, then Hector moves above the brigand and crit-kills him with Wolf Beil. Rebecca attacks the brigand from below, then Lowen finishes him off from above. Matthew circles around the bandit who attacked him and kills him from the south

AfJkVOJ.png

Matthew doesn't have a ton of opportunities to get EXP in this run, so anything I can give him is great. Dorcas moves up and attacks the archer from the east, Eliwood finishes off the PK, and Bartre kills the archer from below with the Hand Axe. Marcus visits the village for the Secret Book and then charges back south. Oswin circles around the mountain, ending up west of the archer, and kills the PK with a Javelin throw. Serra heals Matthew from the west.

Enemy Turn 2: The merc doubles Dorcas, but importantly, he hits his counter. The brigand misses Lowen and gets countered, as does a PK with Dorcas. Another PK attacks Hector and gets injured severely, and then the archer charges west and hits Matthew.

As2G9vp.png

Turn 3: Dorcas heads two steps down, gets Bartre's Hand Axe, and attacks the nearby brigand.

hHCpZ9L.png

Dorcas misses, but that was intended! This serves both as a convenient method of burning RNs and yields extra EXP with no cost (well, except to our combat rank, but that is trivially satisfied), so it is something that you will see occur quite a bit during both this chapter and the overall playthrough.

Bartre then moves east of Dorcas and attacks the same brigand. He hits this time, and dodges the counter. Hector moves around the PK and kills her from the east with Wolf Beil. His position is important to aggro the remaining enemy PK on the next turn.

KQkMt0N.png

Eliwood then finishes the brigand off, and Lowen kills the PK from the north with his lance. Marcus continues toward the main party, and Rebecca moves below Lowen and attacks the merc. Oswin attacks the archer from the east, and Matthew finishes him from above. Serra moves east of Matthew and heals him.

bUJMVEr.png

Enemy Turn 3: Zagan begins charging toward Hector, then the merc doubles Rebecca, leaving her at 1 HP. The brigand attacks Eliwood from the fort, and the remaining PK gets one shotted by Hector.

Turn 4: Dorcas moves up a couple of spaces and chucks his Hand Axe at the merc, missing again. Hector crit kills Zagan.

bcVcp79.png

Again, I would have preferred a more offensive level for Hector, but I needed the crit kill to finish in 4 turns. At least Hector's Res is looking pretty good.

Rebecca moves up and finishes the PK, then Serra heals her. Bartre attacks the brigand, and then Eliwood finishes him off.

38AYI1K.png

Excellent level for Eliwood, getting exactly the procs that I need for him to become an effective fighter. Before the start of Chapter 14 (i.e. during Chapter 13), I need him to gain another point in Str and Def, but
otherwise he is in excellent shape.

Lowen's early game levels are important enough that I decided it was worth it to manually burn 10 RNs so that he gained both Str and Spd. He finished off the merc with his lance

iHad9hN.png

EDIT: I forgot to add, before Lowen takes the final kill, Marcus grabs the Iron Axe from Dorcas.

Chapter Totals:
759/550 EXP
17889/12000 G

Campaign Totals:
1011/550 EXP
30714/12000 G

Edited by ruadath

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I suppose I might as well post stats:

Name:     Lv.XP  HP STR SKL SPD LCK DEF RES    W/B
Hector:    5.20  23  10  4   8   5   10  2     8/15
Matthew:   3.53  19  5   5   12  3   3   0     3/7
Eliwood:   2.07  19  6   5   8   7   6   0     3/4
Marcus:    1.00  BASE                          0/0
Rebecca:   1.59  BASE                          1/4
Lowen:     3.21  24  8   5   8   3   7   1     3/6
Dorcas:    3.32  BASE                          0/5
Bartre:    2.60  BASE                          1/4
Oswin:     9.26  BASE                          1/3
Serra:     1.33  BASE                          0/0

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Finally got a 4 turn clear of Chapter 13 that I'm happy with! But I have an important question for you guys: how much would you say EXP is worth in terms of G in this run?

The reason I am asking this is because I have the option at the end of the last turn to either get an extra kill with Matthew or to visit the second village for the Mine. I'm obviously never going to use the mine in the run, so this is really a question of whether or not I prefer ~500G to ~30 EXP.

At first, I thought that picking up the Mine was the obvious thing to do, but after thinking more about it, I realize that eventually I will be Physic staff spamming, which gives EXP at a rate of 22 EXP per 250G, or 44 EXP per 500G. Since this isn't that far off from that ratio, what would you guys do? Would you go for the kill, or go for the torch?

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Come on guys, really? I'd hoped someone would have given me a response by now...

You'll get to see the playthrough if you do!

Edited by ruadath

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This is true, but the ratio I get here is about the same as using a Fortify staff...

Furthermore, both of us are implicitly assuming in these calculations that Priscilla/Serra will never promote and gain full EXP from every staff use they make. I'm not sure whether or not this is true yet, but it's certianly possible that I will have someone like Pent or Renault fire off a staff at some point, right? In that case, I would think that this EXP trade would be worth it...

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Sorry for the delay in getting the playthrough posted; I just had an idea that could possibly improve my chapter clear (i.e. improve my EXP gain). Instead of Marcus taking the Iron Axe at from Bartre at the end of Chapter 12, taking the Iron Sword might work equally well, since Lowen doesn't use it in this chapter. However, Marcus (weighed down by Hector), won't be able to ORKO the PKs with the sword, which could result in a clear with extra EXP if I'm lucky.

EDIT: Believe it or not, it appears that a better solution might actually be to take Lowen's lance!

Edited by ruadath

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Chapter 13 (outdated, scroll down for the updated playthrough)

It's finally here! Note that in terms of preparation, I had Marcus grab Lowen's Iron Lance (instead of Dorcas' Iron Axe) at the end of the last chapter and I didn't skip any of the intro cutscenes

Kgpy8CT.png

And here is the awesome formation that you get when playing vanilla HHM! Marcus' position at the front is what makes it possible to 4-turn this chapter.

Turn 1: Matthew moves as far south as he can, then Rebecca moves above him, and Hector above her. Bartre positions himself west of Hector and grabs his Hand Axe, then Marcus makes sure his Iron Lance is equipped, grabs Hector, and moves down and 1 SW of the western forest that is in his range. Serra moves to the spot where Hector was, then Dorcas moves NW of Bartre. Oswin breaks the snag like usual, Lowen grabs and equips Oswin's lance and moves east of the forest, and then Eliwood moves south of Oswin.

zBov0Yo.png

Enemy Turn 1: The brigand attacks and misses Matthew, and gets doubled. A PK attacks Lowen, who doubles but misses his second counter, and another two attack Marcus.

oFKmZSf.png

This is the reason why I had Marcus grab the lance and not the axe. With the Iron Lance equipped, Marcus kills neither of the PKs and leaves them both with 1 HP perfect for my other units to finish off for additional EXP. Note that Marcus gets the same amount of EXP for battling these guys as killing them.

The Steel Bow archer misses Marcus. By the way, Marcus dodged one of the PK's attacks as well, so he is still at a healthy 28 HP. The other archer attacks Matthew, and the Javelin cavalier misses Lowen.

nxsSorM.png

Turn 2: Bartre charges down south and kills the northern PK with has Hand Axe.

3vlj2jG.png

This is followed by Rebecca moving 2 south of him and killing the other PK.

tdMDmIY.png

Some good levels for the two of them, but unfortunately, unlike my other playthrough, these guys are probably not going to end up seeing much use in this campaign beyond perhaps Talons Alight.

Serra takes a step down and heals Matthew, who then doubles the archer from south of Marcus. Oswin moves above Lowen and deliberately misses a Javelin throw at the PK. Dorcas kills the brigand, then I burn 2 RNs, and send Lowen around to attack the cav from the south, dodging his counter. Eliwood then doubles and kills the PK. I burn 2 RNs before moving Marcus 4 west 1 south, trading both of his lances to Hector and dropping him west into the river. Marcus then cantos one space SE. The reason he unequipped is so that he aggros Guy on the EP instead of Hector.

nEXGgjC.png

Enemy Turn 2:

Guy charges out and attacks Marcus

Fi4tQUa.png

This was the reason for those RN burns; I didn't want Guy to waste a precious Killing Edge use.

A soldier attacks Hector and gets double, followed by a cav who attacks him and gets one shotted by Wolf Beil. A PK attacks Lowen, and a cav misses Marcus. An archer misses Mathew, two more archers strike Hector, and yet another archer attacks Serra.

TwtGmRk.png

Finally, a Hand Axe brigand misses Hector and the Javelin cav misses Eliwood.

qeGhEyt.png

Turn 3: As you can see from the above image, some careful movements will have to be made to get both Marcus and Hector to the gate by turn 4 as desired. First of all, Matthew recruits Guy from below him and Serra heals Bartre from the forest. Oswin attacks the Javelin cav from the west with his own Javelin, and then Guy uses the Killing Edge to crit kill the archer who is SW of Hector.

zMUi5RS.png

I love how the characters turn into random splashes of color on the screen when they critical! Speaking of which, I burn one more RN, and then Bartre crit kills the nearby cav with his Hand Axe from the northeast. By the way, this puts above 350 EXP already!

Since Guy cleared a path, Marcus now rides around the river to get west of Hector, grabs both of his lances back, and kills the brigand to the west with his Iron Lance. Eliwood moves into the forest, and brings the Javelin cav down to 2 HP, again dodging the counter. Hector moves west onto the forest and intentionally misses the archer with Wolf Beil.

MMOUnZ2.png

Nice how that positioning worked out, wouldn't you agree! Both Hector and Marcus can make it to the boss from here, assuming no enemy units are in their way.

Lowen finishes off the PK from above, then Dorcas attacks the Steel Bow archer from above as well. Rebecca burns 6 RNs, then finishes the archer. The RN burns were to ensure Lowen and Serra survive on the enemy phase.

Enemy Turn 3: The Steel Bow archer charges up and misses Serra; the Javelin cav misses Lowen. The remaining cav near Boise suicides on Hector, then the PK up north brings Lowen down to 2 HP but gets hurt in the process. An archer hits Guy, the Hand Axe brigand misses Matthew, another archer strikes Matthew, and finally one more archer misses Serra. This puts me at 451 EXP.

3gsZmcs.png

Turn 4: First things first, Serra heals Rebecca, and Matthew steals the Vulnerary from the archer near Guy, and Rebecca visits the village for a Mine. Dorcas attacks the nearby archer, then Guy moves up a space and crit kills the archer that Matthew stole from. Bartre finishes off the archer Dorcas attacked, and Eliwood kills the cav (finally!) Marcus then crit kills Boies with his Silver Lance.

NiUwLtO.png

Cool! I burn 8 RNs, then Lowen kills the PK

4uLNltq.png

Sweet. Oswin visits the village for a Torch, and the Hector is free to seize and clear the map!

Chapter Totals:
674/750 EXP
1584/3600 G

Campaign Totals:
1685/1300 EXP
32298/15600 G

I'm pretty happy with this, I was hoping for only 600 EXP, and roughly a loss of 2000 in funds. Both of these were met, so things are looking pretty good. The only thing I'm a little bit annoyed about, though I couldn't have done anything about it without losing a good chunk of EXP (and possibly the Torch), is that Lowen didn't get to move across the river and visit the armory for some weapons. I won't have access to a shop again until Chapter 16, and since all of the Caelin party might be busy fighting for their lives and EXP at that point, it's very possible that I won't be able to buy anything until Pirate Ship!

Yikes. But overall, I'm still extremely happy with this, and I think I can manage my weapons well enough that it hopefully won't be an issue.

On a different note, I obviously did not accept the sidequest. Getting Merlinus early and 5000G aren't worth 8 turns. Although the money would really be quite nice...

Edited by ruadath

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