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The True Tragedy of Three Houses

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21 minutes ago, Licoriceallsorts said:

Something I feel the game rather glosses over in the CF route is why Byleth would choose to ally themselves with someone who was working together with Jeralt's murderers. Please forgive me if this question has already been discussed to death. I'm new to the site and this discourse. 

 

12 minutes ago, Axel987 said:

In CF Hubert directly states that they are only allied with TWSITD out of necessity and Edelgard doesn't -want- to work with them but feels she needs to, for their resources and power. It's one of CF's weaker points in that the actual catharsis of finally sticking it to them is left entirely to the credits, when more than anything CF is the route where you would most want to do so. Edelgard even points out that Dimitri in the end was just another puppet for Thales to use against her, Thales even appears before you take the fight to Rhea at Fhirdiad.

Personally this is what soured me on CF a bit, despite actually coming to slowly like it a lot in spite of my initial view, as things progressed. CF is straight up missing 2 incredibly important chapters that end up making what could be an excellent route feel like it blue-balled you.

 

It is rather annoying, I agree as much. But there's no use in crying over spilt milk. 

I will say, though, that the Agarthans are the ones that made the weapons like Aymr and Crescent Sickle, and even had other types of weapons like Indra's Arrow, weapons nearly as strong as a Relic, but does not require Crests to draw their power out. Though Edelgard doesn't use their Crest Beasts here like in the other routes, they are still providing help in other ways. 

But even with their help, Hubert makes it clear that when it comes to comparing the Empire's best with the Church's, the Empire comes up short. 

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3 hours ago, omegaxis1 said:

You know, it's actually amazing how Felix is the only character from Faerghus to realize how messed up Faerghus's culture is about how it treats knights. Where Rodrigue and Ingrid basically doubled down on the culture and believe that knighthood is great, they overall try and glorify Glenn's death.

Sylvain points this out in some of his conversations, but it's for different reasons.

3 hours ago, Axel987 said:

It's a different way of handling grief; Rodrigue and Ingrid romanticize Glenn and think the absolute world of him. It's a way of keeping themselves from falling into despair, because if they allow themselves to think his death was for nothing, that he didn't die in the line of duty honorably, that realisation would hurt far more than anything else.(As toxic as it is, I think Faerghus is incredibly interesting as a result.) Felix thinks it's absolutely garbage. However it's an interesting thing to note that Felix handles his grief by taking parts of those he lost upon himself; Dimitri in an AM conversation points out that Felix has "Become just like Glenn" in terms of personality, vs when he was younger and relatively a lot meeker. Notice how he ends up taking up parts of Dimitri in VW and SS and even in CF thinks he also becomes the same as him? Yeah.

Personally I'd say he still becomes like Dimitri in CF, he just actually realises it rather than it happening slowly and without him noticing. It's a difference of interpretation there I suppose.

There's a bit of irony in CF's Felix.  CF itself is about wresting history from the church and self-realization. . .which is exactly what Felix does.

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1 hour ago, Licoriceallsorts said:

Something I feel the game rather glosses over in the CF route is why Byleth would choose to ally themselves with someone who was working together with Jeralt's murderers. Please forgive me if this question has already been discussed to death. I'm new to the site and this discourse. 

Well, the way I understood things was that Edelgard wasn't directly responsible for Jeralt's death, and not only that, went out of her way to break out of the his/her grief by delivering Kronya and Solon directly into his/her hands. I could be mistaken, but up I remember of things were done correctly, it wasn't the church that exposed their location,  but Edelgard in the Black Eagles route. 

1 hour ago, Axel987 said:

In CF Hubert directly states that they are only allied with TWSITD out of necessity and Edelgard doesn't -want- to work with them but feels she needs to, for their resources and power. It's one of CF's weaker points in that the actual catharsis of finally sticking it to them is left entirely to the credits, when more than anything CF is the route where you would most want to do so. Edelgard even points out that Dimitri in the end was just another puppet for Thales to use against her, Thales even appears before you take the fight to Rhea at Fhirdiad.

Personally this is what soured me on CF a bit, despite actually coming to slowly like it a lot in spite of my initial view, as things progressed. CF is straight up missing 2 incredibly important chapters that end up making what could be an excellent route feel like it blue-balled you.

 

Despite loving crimson flower as much as I do, this is a legitimate weakness of this path as I would have loved to see Edelgard directly deal with the Slitherers,  she has an even stronger motivation to hate Thales than any other due to what he did to her and her siblings. I sometimes wonder if the developers just ran out of time or if this was  an intentional decision. After all, it was decided that the Slitherers would be dealt with from the shadows, rather than with open warfare.

Edited by Darkmoon6789

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1 hour ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

Despite loving crimson flower as much as I do, this is a legitimate weakness of this path as I would have loved to see Edelgard directly deal with the Slitherers,  she has an even stronger motivation to hate Thales than any other due to what he did to her and her siblings. I sometimes wonder if the developers just ran out of time or if this was  an intentional decision. After all, it was decided that the Slitherers would be dealt with from the shadows, rather than with open warfare.

I do think the developers ran out of time when it came to Three Houses. Crimson Flower seems a tad rushed and the Death Knight seems like a character they had great plans for until the time and budget started running out. 

However I think that not depicting the fight with the Slitherers was the correct choice. An ending should have a certain degree of climax and few things are more climactic then fighting an insane Rhea in the burning ruins of Faerghus. On his own Thales is already a bit of a loser and having him be an opponent after the climactic Rhea fight would just reinforce how lacking he really is. They could have made Nemesis the final boss instead of Thales but that might have weakened the Verdant Wind route. 

Its also somewhat fitting for Thales to be dealt with as a mere afterthought considering he's such a loser. The Slitherers were never as powerful or enlightened as they claim to be. Sure, they have nukes but in the end they are just a single city of almost extinct mole people who cling to delusions of grandeur. As the emperor of a united Fodlan Edelgard has surpassed Thales and should be able to crush him like a fly. 

I certainly wanted more chapters for Crimson Flower but rather than waste time with Thales I'd have preferred it if the war between Claude and Dimitri had lasted a little longer. Both are crushed in two chapters with them only taking a direct role in a single chapters. They deserved better than that. 

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20 minutes ago, Etrurian emperor said:

I do think the developers ran out of time when it came to Three Houses. Crimson Flower seems a tad rushed and the Death Knight seems like a character they had great plans for until the time and budget started running out. 

However I think that not depicting the fight with the Slitherers was the correct choice. An ending should have a certain degree of climax and few things are more climactic then fighting an insane Rhea in the burning ruins of Faerghus. On his own Thales is already a bit of a loser and having him be an opponent after the climactic Rhea fight would just reinforce how lacking he really is. They could have made Nemesis the final boss instead of Thales but that might have weakened the Verdant Wind route. 

Its also somewhat fitting for Thales to be dealt with as a mere afterthought considering he's such a loser. The Slitherers were never as powerful or enlightened as they claim to be. Sure, they have nukes but in the end they are just a single city of almost extinct mole people who cling to delusions of grandeur. As the emperor of a united Fodlan Edelgard has surpassed Thales and should be able to crush him like a fly. 

I certainly wanted more chapters for Crimson Flower but rather than waste time with Thales I'd have preferred it if the war between Claude and Dimitri had lasted a little longer. Both are crushed in two chapters with them only taking a direct role in a single chapters. They deserved better than that. 

I think the issue with that is that the game explicitly acts like that is what's going to happen. The moment you get done with fighting the Church, you're turning your blade on Those Who Slither in The Dark. There's even a small plotline started up with Edelgard lying about what happened to Arianrhod, providing some grounds for character growth where she reveals the truth or is forced to do so later on. Part of her character is that she begins to actually trust those around her, use that more! IIRC there's even a character/npc after Arianrhod who worries that Edelgard isn't telling them the whole truth.

Rhea's fight is hella climactic but it doesn't have the same emotional payoff that taking down Thales would IMO. We're talking about the guy that orchestrated everything, led to the experimentation of her siblings, led to her one remaining sibling wanting to kill her, experimented on her and is actively threatening her with WMD's.

 

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7 minutes ago, Axel987 said:

Rhea's fight is hella climactic but it doesn't have the same emotional payoff that taking down Thales would IMO. We're talking about the guy that orchestrated everything, led to the experimentation of her siblings, led to her one remaining sibling wanting to kill her, experimented on her and is actively threatening her with WMD's.

Disagree. Literally the entirety of CF sets Rhea up as the big bad, with Thales relegated to a minor nuisance. There's a reason Edelgard delays her revenge to focus on the big picture.

EDIT: I would, however, be up for a playable epilogue fighting Slither as DLC, because honestly, every route still leaves them open at the end. In AM you never even learn they exist. Some VW endings explicitly state that Slither's remaining forces and the remaining Imperial troops join forces for an offensive. If it happens in VW, it's fair to say it happens in SS as well. So imagine a DLC epilogue clearing out what's left of their forces. You would choose any ending you've already completed and get that faction's units in your roster.

Edited by Sid Starkiller

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13 minutes ago, Sid Starkiller said:

Disagree. Literally the entirety of CF sets Rhea up as the big bad, with Thales relegated to a minor nuisance. There's a reason Edelgard delays her revenge to focus on the big picture.

Him being a minor nuisance is what irritates me, I feel. Dude just bombs your new stronghold the moment you make a move against him. I hate to quote TvTropes but he's effectively set up as the Greater Scope Villain. Actually seeing what he would do now that you basically finished his dirty work for him would've been interesting. He already knows you can and will act against him.

Maybe I'm expecting too much from TWSITD given they mostly get wiped out in a single raid with a few stragglers left in VW. They're as threatening or non-threatening as the plot demands, I suppose. I think what I'd want from that ending would probably require more changes to CH16 through 18 of CF to work well.

Quote

EDIT: I would, however, be up for a playable epilogue fighting Slither as DLC, because honestly, every route still leaves them open at the end. In AM you never even learn they exist. Some VW endings explicitly state that Slither's remaining forces and the remaining Imperial troops join forces for an offensive. If it happens in VW, it's fair to say it happens in SS as well. So imagine a DLC epilogue clearing out what's left of their forces. You would choose any ending you've already completed and get that faction's units in your roster.

Interesting proposition. Honestly i was hoping the DLC was more Agarthan based, or War of Heroes stuff. That'd have felt a lot more interesting than what effectively ended up being an AU + Bandaid.

Edited by Axel987

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5 minutes ago, Axel987 said:

Him being a minor nuisance is what irritates me, I feel. Dude just bombs your new stronghold the moment you make a move against him. I hate to quote TvTropes but he's effectively set up as the Greater Scope Villain. Actually seeing what he would do now that you basically finished his dirty work for him would've been interesting. He already knows you can and will act against him.

This troubles me greatly too in CF, like why would Edelgard tell him about her plan to attack TWISTD after war with Rhea?

Or why didn't TWISTD afterward just bomb Enbarr (such as during ending mural scene), wipe out whole Imperial leadership in one strike, that way they easily destroyed both church and empire. Since without church, none has ability to defend against those Javelins. We already know that TWISTD could at least fire it twice if not more times.

They really dumb down TWISTD sometimes just for plot purpose.

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19 minutes ago, Timlugia said:

This troubles me greatly too in CF, like why would Edelgard tell him about her plan to attack TWISTD after war with Rhea?

Or why didn't TWISTD afterward just bomb Enbarr (such as during ending mural scene), wipe out whole Imperial leadership in one strike, that way they easily destroyed both church and empire. Since without church, none has ability to defend against those Javelins. We already know that TWISTD could at least fire it twice if not more times.

They really dumb down TWISTD sometimes just for plot purpose.

Basically what Hubert said in his paralogue: Thales is so confident that he's in charge that he doesn't consider Edelgard a threat. Hence the bombing of Arianrhod: She bit, and he reminded her who holds the leash.

As for after the war with Slither starts...all we really know is that several endings state that Edelgard won. The specifics are beyond us.

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11 minutes ago, Sid Starkiller said:

Basically what Hubert said in his paralogue: Thales is so confident that he's in charge that he doesn't consider Edelgard a threat. Hence the bombing of Arianrhod: She bit, and he reminded her who holds the leash.

As for after the war with Slither starts...all we really know is that several endings state that Edelgard won. The specifics are beyond us.

Hubert probably plays a major role, I always thought that early on Thales did hold Edelgard's reigns early in their relationship and when the war begins, but after the war the power dynamic shifted. After all the Slitherers are few in number, they are more a danger as a knife in the dark than as an actual army. Edelgard after the war leads a continental empire, having somehow broken free from their reigns. Maybe it is as simple as Hubert having traced the location of their base. I do think that CF Edelgard is ultimately more independant from the Slitherers than otherwise.

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59 minutes ago, Sid Starkiller said:

Disagree. Literally the entirety of CF sets Rhea up as the big bad, with Thales relegated to a minor nuisance. There's a reason Edelgard delays her revenge to focus on the big picture.

Same. I'm genuinely starting to wonder if Three Houses could have been done without a comically evil manipulative group in the background. It would take some major rewriting, though.

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11 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Same. I'm genuinely starting to wonder if Three Houses could have been done without a comically evil manipulative group in the background. It would take some major rewriting, though.

Would it be possible to write a conflict that solely motivated by the forces we see?  Probably, but we'd have a huge number of complaints.  You'd have to write some serious flaws in everyone.  Any golden route would have to rely on a third party to be the bad guy - and the closest we have is the church.  Though I'd LOVE a route where you say "screw everyone", and take out all three countries at once.

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37 minutes ago, Sid Starkiller said:

Basically what Hubert said in his paralogue: Thales is so confident that he's in charge that he doesn't consider Edelgard a threat. Hence the bombing of Arianrhod: She bit, and he reminded her who holds the leash.

As for after the war with Slither starts...all we really know is that several endings state that Edelgard won. The specifics are beyond us.

That itself also has major logical issue:

- if Slither was so powerful to begin with, why do they even need Edelgard and imperial army to fight Rhea?

- If Edelgard became so powerful that took down what Slither couldn't, how could they still be so confident in their own fighting abilities?

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18 minutes ago, Shanty Pete's 1st Mate said:

Same. I'm genuinely starting to wonder if Three Houses could have been done without a comically evil manipulative group in the background. It would take some major rewriting, though.

Edelgard would seem more justified without them, maybe too much so for a balanced approach. They might be a neccessary as a factor to muddle things with Edelgard.

She straight up would not do things like what happened in Remire on her own and if she was truly to blame for the assassination of Jeralt Byleth would have less incentive to join her

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You can get rid of the evil cult pulling the strings behind the scenes and still make a good story. Human history has made it abundantly clear how men can be driven to do horrible things in pursuit of power.

Buuuut that requires a certain amount of finesse I'm not sure IS can pull off, so it's easier to just make the primary threat a group of cartoonishly evil racial others who are intelligent enough to be a considerable threat prior to the events of the game, but dumb enough on screen so a group of inexperienced teenage future rulers and their emotionally stunted professor can reasonably defeat them. Eventually.

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1 minute ago, Timlugia said:

- if Slither was so powerful to begin with, why do they even need Edelgard and imperial army to fight Rhea?

They aren't. The Insurrection of the Seven and Tragedy of Duscur, even the Red Canyon Massacre, are events that the Agarthans can only take advantage of using other people, taking advantage of corrupt nobles and such to help them overall. 

The Agarthans are like parasites. They attach themselves onto things that are already there. 

This entire conflict in 3H could only be done because the Agarthans needed Edelgard to bear the Crest of Flames, the power needed to defeat Rhea. 

2 minutes ago, Timlugia said:

- If Edelgard became so powerful that took down what Slither couldn't, how could they still be so confident in their own fighting abilities?

Because the Agarthans are arrogant. 

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16 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

Edelgard would seem more justified without them, maybe too much so for a balanced approach. They might be a neccessary as a factor to muddle things with Edelgard.

She straight up would not do things like what happened in Remire on her own and if she was truly to blame for the assassination of Jeralt Byleth would have less incentive to join her

I think it could have worked as a two-path story,  with just the Church vs Edelgard. Dimitri and Claude could end up joining either side depending on your actions possibly. It'd have to rewrite a lot of things though since without the Agarthan's existing a lot of Rhea's actions lose some sympathetic context and hence siding with her would be much more difficult to justify.

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3 hours ago, eclipse said:

Sylvain points this out in some of his conversations, but it's for different reasons.

There's a bit of irony in CF's Felix.  CF itself is about wresting history from the church and self-realization. . .which is exactly what Felix does.

I feel like a wonderful idiot for forgetting that,oh yeah in other routes Felix is indeed like that.
The irony is almost omnipresent.

14 minutes ago, eclipse said:

 Though I'd LOVE a route where you say "screw everyone", and take out all three countries at once.

Ah, a person like me who loves to look at blood flying, and tasting it !
But alas poor Yorick, we'll never have such tales of shock, betrayal blood, tears, and other delicious things.

I often imagine how fun it could be gameplay wise, the poaching.

Just now, omegaxis1 said:

They aren't. The Insurrection of the Seven and Tragedy of Duscur, even the Red Canyon Massacre, are events that the Agarthans can only take advantage of using other people, taking advantage of corrupt nobles and such to help them overall. 

The Agarthans are like parasites. They attach themselves onto things that are already there. 

This entire conflict in 3H could only be done because the Agarthans needed Edelgard to bear the Crest of Flames, the power needed to defeat Rhea. 

Because the Agarthans are arrogant. 

A funny way to look at it: they can only be stupid, arrogant and psyco because their targets are just like that too. One could see them as a metaphor for evil.
...which is a pretty awkward way to write a raceThat, or the metaphor is: dubstep is just that evil. 😛

Still pretty awkward, and someone will have to explain me as to why would they want to waste a nuke on something so trivial. I get it, they almost won, but sheesh, it's nuke, you don't waste nuke.

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2 minutes ago, B.Leu said:

I feel like a wonderful idiot for forgetting that,oh yeah in other routes Felix is indeed like that.
The irony is almost omnipresent.

Ah, a person like me who loves to look at blood flying, and tasting it !
But alas poor Yorick, we'll never have such tales of shock, betrayal blood, tears, and other delicious things.

I often imagine how fun it could be gameplay wise, the poaching.

A funny way to look at it: they can only be stupid, arrogant and psyco because their targets are just like that too. One could see them as a metaphor for evil.
...which is a pretty awkward way to write a raceThat, or the metaphor is: dubstep is just that evil. 😛

Still pretty awkward, and someone will have to explain me as to why would they want to waste a nuke on something so trivial. I get it, they almost won, but sheesh, it's nuke, you don't waste nuke.

Maybe because keeping Edelgard in line is very important as this is what secures them an army. Or maybe Thales really liked Cornelia. The nuke did serve its purpose at least for a time. A better question is why they don't do this more often

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35 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

Edelgard would seem more justified without them, maybe too much so for a balanced approach. They might be a neccessary as a factor to muddle things with Edelgard.

She straight up would not do things like what happened in Remire on her own and if she was truly to blame for the assassination of Jeralt Byleth would have less incentive to join her

Ehh, that's not really true. You could remove the Slithers from the plot and I still wouldn't find her actions justified. Now if removing them changed most of the events of the game then you could have an argument, but when most people say to remove them, they just mean to remove the shadow people pulling the strings from behind the curtain and shift events over onto Edelgard or Rhea. Which would cast both characters in a worse light, not a better one.

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23 minutes ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Ehh, that's not really true. You could remove the Slithers from the plot and I still wouldn't find her actions justified. Now if removing them changed most of the events of the game then you could have an argument, but when most people say to remove them, they just mean to remove the shadow people pulling the strings from behind the curtain and shift events over onto Edelgard or Rhea. Which would cast both characters in a worse light, not a better one.

Maybe so, but considering that the fact that one reason I like Edelgard so much her being so well intentioned and well...human despite of everything, which also applies to Rhea, maybe making both of them seem more evil would detract from the story. 

If they could be written to cast in a light either could interpreted as justified (or both being wrong but have reasons to think what they do), that would be better. But that is pretty much what is the case already in my opinion

Edited by Darkmoon6789

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9 minutes ago, Darkmoon6789 said:

Maybe so, but considering that the fact that one reason I like Edelgard so much her being so well intentioned and well...human despite of everything, which also applies to Rhea, maybe making both of them seem more evil would detract from the story. 

If they could be written to cast in a light either could interpreted as justified (or both being wrong but have reasons yo think what they do), that would be better. But that is pretty much what is the case already in my opinion

id say the problem there is that even with the slitherers around edelgards kind of a dick, and instead of leaning into her as a sympathetic villain the likes of zephiel or her inspiration arvis the game bends over backwards to maker her more cutesy marketable. it would be one thing if it was framed as a tragic battle between two deeply flawed individuals with trust issues, but instead its framed as this weird yas queen thing that feels incredibly disingenuous especially when taken in conjunction with the other routes.

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Didn't really get the feeling the game was trying to make her cutesy, tbh. The drawing thing in CF was the only point where it clearly drew into that.

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1 hour ago, Silver-Haired Maiden said:

Ehh, that's not really true. You could remove the Slithers from the plot and I still wouldn't find her actions justified. Now if removing them changed most of the events of the game then you could have an argument, but when most people say to remove them, they just mean to remove the shadow people pulling the strings from behind the curtain and shift events over onto Edelgard or Rhea. Which would cast both characters in a worse light, not a better one.

 

6 minutes ago, NobodiePichu said:

id say the problem there is that even with the slitherers around edelgards kind of a dick, and instead of leaning into her as a sympathetic villain the likes of zephiel or her inspiration arvis the game bends over backwards to maker her more cutesy marketable. it would be one thing if it was framed as a tragic battle between two deeply flawed individuals with trust issues, but instead its framed as this weird yas queen thing that feels incredibly disingenuous especially when taken in conjunction with the other routes.

Let's consider something here, really.

If you remove the Agarthans from the story, then...

  • Lonato and the Western Church attacked on their own.
  • Flayn is never kidnapped. 
  • Remire is never attacked.
  • Jeralt is never killed.
  • No Crest Beasts are made. 

So... some of the biggest factors people like to bring up for not wanting to side with Edelgard are basically gone.

 

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Additionally, remove the Slitherers and you can no longer say Edelgard is being strong armed or forced to do any of the actions she does in the story. Which I honestly would like better.

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