Your Highness Your Highness

This is Zigoni.In real life he is a Serie B striker for Venezia.

In PES life (the reallest life), my Zigoni looks happy because he has just scored a goal that won a tight match. The goal might even qualify as a long-ranger (just about). It’s the final goal on the brief compilation video at the end of this post.

The win gave me a shot at taking my Irregulars up to Top Player difficulty for the first time.

And I won that second match. The Irregulars are playing on Top Player now.

Finally, finally, finally. To the baffled bemusement of many readers, I have been patiently plugging away at single-player myClub for the past few weeks, trying to move my Z-squad – The Irregulars – up the only ladder of achievement that single-player myClub has to offer: getting to play at harder difficulty levels.

In single-player myClub, there are all the familiar levels of difficulty, up to and including Legend. But within each difficulty there are three sub-levels.

So Professional, for example is subdivided into:

  • Professional Weaker
  • Professional Medium
  • Professional Stronger

It works as you would expect it to work. Professional Weaker is close to Regular. Professional Stronger is more like Top Player. It’s a straightforward, and for me strangely compelling, idea. The main attraction for me is the sense of progression in and of itself. But you also earn more rewards – the mode’s currency, GP, plus better items – the further up the difficulty ladder you get.

I have spent most of the past few weeks bobbing up and down between Professional Medium and Professional Stronger. In the course of the struggle I have bonded with my no-hoper Irregulars in a way that doesn’t tend to happen outside the early seasons of Master League – and one of the older, classic Master Leagues at that.

You move up the levels (and sub-levels) by winning consecutive matches: 1 home, 1 away. Opponents are other user-created myClub teams (controlled by the AI). It is peculiarly hard to get back-to-back wins. It’s taken me this long to do it on Professional Stronger. (And back-to-back losses, of course, see you demoted the other way.)

I rarely feel I have the time or the energy for the ‘proper’ myClub experience, i.e. played online versus another player. The typical online player plays in the kind of way that drains my bloody stamina, never mind my players’ stamina. Single-player football gaming is still the king of modes.

It’s hard to appreciate just how hard it is to get anywhere in single-player myClub with a team like this:

Kramaric at 79OPR is the best player in the squad. That difference in quality shows.

Veldwijk and Zigoni are catching up fast, as are a few others.

The time is coming soon when PES2018’s myClub will be abandoned. This will probably be in a few weeks’ time, to give myself a nice cooling-off period before PES2019 hits.

Yes – the pre-order is in. There will be an Irregulars story in PES2019, this time starting from Day 1 (and at least half the time online). Maybe even a Master League dabble too.

Here is Hettich celebrating the win that finally got the Irregulars ‘promoted’ from Professional Stronger to Top Player Weaker:

The name of the other team interests me here. MAN RED. The player who made that team had to have called them MAN RED deliberately. That suggests some peculiar reverence for pre-Option File PES.

Finally a brief highlights video, 1m 30s long, featuring three notable goals. Zigoni’s possible long-ranger is last of the three (does it qualify, from 23 yards or so?).

First of the goals is a remarkable AI goal, from Liverpool. A free kick that Pogba(!) steps over to allow a strike that completely flummoxes my keeper. I loved seeing this. One of the replays shows the wicked swerve on the ball.

The goal sandwiched between the two is a direct, fast-breaking effort from an opposition corner that I don’t remember scoring many of with the Irregulars.

(*Bonus points to any reader who can ‘solve’ today’s post title.)

Updated: 21st July 2018 — 16:04


  1. That Free Kick had a bit of swerve to it, but the stepover would never ever flummox a GK in real life, it was about 30 yards out and plenty of time for the GK to adapt his footing, it was just a complete hash by the keeper to let it in.

    There’s a bug with free kicks in PES 2018, any shot placed just inside either post, almost always results in a goal, theres tons of videos all over youtube showing it.

    Nice strike for the third goal though!!

  2. Nice vid there. Admittedly, I watched it a few days ago as I’m subscribed to your channel on the old YouTubes.

    Try as I might, I still can’t score any long range goals. I’m not talking about the “Long Ranger” card either, just an honest thump from outside the box, much like your last goal.

    What am I doing wrong? Straight down the ‘keepers’ throat every time. Do I need to be pushing up or pulling down on the stick when I strike it?

  3. Tommy — quietly one of the biggest scandals of nePES is its nerfing of long-range goals. I’ve scored maybe 4 or 5 in PES2018, which is more than many. I don’t think there’s anything you’re doing wrong, as such. It’s just direction+shoot. Pre-PES2014, when nearly every week saw me post a replay of a proper long-ranger, people often used to ask me what I pressed and didn’t press. I remember Uncle Turf seeming taken aback that my PES2012 long-rangers were scored using just direction+shoot. He’d always assumed I used some modifier button.

    Paul — of course it was a keeper howler — but they’re the Irregulars, remember. That’s Hubert, a 61OPR-rated GK with stats to match. Part of the Irregulars story is howlers like that one. Given several months’ development, would Hubert get up to the level of a late-stage ML keeper? (PES database says not: 76OPR would be his upper limit.) Looking forward to PES2019 fleshing out a lot of this kind of thing.

  4. nG – Still, that’s 5 more than me. When you say “direction”, are you aiming for the corner of the goal (which I am doing, out of instinct) or are you aiming wide of the goal?

  5. NG – I doubt a 90 OVR keeper would have saved that FK, such as the bug prevents it being saved.

    Tommy – the aiming on PES 18 is very very delicate. The reticule circle that appears when you take a penalty or manual shot…. it gets bigger the more power you apply, and the need to only nudge the LS in a direction to move the reticule to corners of the goal ….. this applies to normal shooting too.

    Next time you try taking a shot, be conscious of the amount that you are pulling the LS into corners, try more minimal direction applied to shiots and you should find more success.

    Obviously player stats plays a part too, Messi can smash them into corners with a nudge of the stick, whereas someone like Lovren will either put it down the keepers throat, or hit row z.

  6. Paul – I have heard of the FK near-post glitch, but thought it was a human player thing only, I’ll take your word for it that it applies here. At this stage of the PES year, with PES2018 about to sail into the sunset, it hardly makes a difference either way.

    Tommy – what Paul says above. If you’ve never taken a penalty (or so few that the ‘feel’ of them has never sunk in), head for the practice pitch and/or deliberately set up an Exhibition to go to penalties. I aim at the goal. Aiming wide of the goal used to be how to plant a long-ranger right in the corner, but now it just goes wide. There is a sweet spot, but so hard to hit it. Keeper save/hitting post-or-bar/screaming wide is the seemingly hard-coded outcome to 99.9% of efforts.

  7. nG/Paul – Sage advice, both. I’ll put in the time at the training facility

    I keep wanting to smash one with Renato Sanches, my midfield general, as hes always there at the edge of the box and willing, but he’s not found the target yet. He has the Long Range Drive card, but I’m not sure what that means or what to do with it…

  8. Tommy — the decision to nerf long-range shooting from PES2014 onward was a balancing decision for the sake of online play IMO. I’ve not played that many online matches — about 50 I think — but not only have I never seen a goal scored from outside the box, I have rarely seen opponents even try them. I try them often, of course, so far to no avail. Deliberately nerfed for sure. Scorelines online would get out of control if long-range goals were ‘allowed’.

  9. I scored a few good mid and long rangers but in order to do so I had to buy players with the necessary stats (kicking power + finishing). Below is a video of a few a scored in my most recent Master League in February. All of these are scored by either Hernani or Bourhane.

    Apologies if windowed mode triggers anyone.

    I’ve been playing FIFA CM for the past couple of weeks. I’ve recently changed to semi-assist passing which is just right to stop me ping ponging it about. I’m hoping PES 2019 PA1 isn’t as assisted as before, it’d make the whole experience more enjoyabe.

  10. I’m surprised we haven’t had posts simply saying ‘we knew all along…’

    What seems a shame I is why if you’re doing this mostly offline konami haven’t lumped some of that development and sense of effort into ml, still retaining its money making myclub for the onliners. Purely so when they turn the servers off you have to buy anew? Or do they now feel ml is a pointless add on. I’ve got no interest in it myself I’m afraid, much as I like the ball spinning flammery I think FIFA just does it better with the packs. Have you tried that lately? i imagine it has a similar shelf life but it’s years since I ventured into that world. I see a year of zero pes/FIFA gaming for me. I appreciate any comments about games lacking depth are completely undermined by my new found love of doing kids dances while shooting people in a five minute runaround.

    The quote is blackadder, Prince George dressed up as him, when they swap coats, Hugh Laurie, hmm, no, can’t link it to zigoni

  11. Cook – they’re all great goals, my favourite coming at 1:29. Windowed mode doesn’t trigger me. My various PC PES games have always often started windowed for no particular reason. I’ll happily play away for a while before eventually hitting Alt-Enter almost as an afterthought.

    Uncle Turf – people were saying ‘we knew all along’ almost from the start.

    I don’t think FIFA does do it better for one huge reason: player development. It adds dimensions to myClub that Ultimate Team hasn’t got. 70-rated journeymen strikers are only ever going to be that in UT. In myClub, that isn’t so. You can change players and customise teams.

    I do want to take a look at Ultimate Team again though. Maybe one rainy day before the end of summer.

    And re. the post title, yes it’s from Blackadder, but why is it the post title? You’ll kick yourself when you see why (that’s a clue). If nobody’s got it by tomorrow afternoon, I’ll post the answer.

  12. nG – It’s a shame. I recently watched a bit of the PES League finals and just like every year, it’s all tiki-taka through the middle, 20 one-two passes inside the box and finish. Quite boring. I was begging someone to cross it in, just once.

    Cook – Shameless plug there, but well executed. I know Hernani well from the early days of my ML. Great in the tackle, but useless at long range, for me anyways. I am cursed.

  13. Nope, no idea but the commentary is awful for that first goal, truly the most hapless amateurish guff year in year out. The music is a tad weird too, as if it’s about to break out into the opening of ‘Hello’ by mr Lionel Richie but never quite does.

    I didn’t know about ultimate team and player development as I never got deep enough into it. I simply liked the packs more than the balls. Somehow more panini esque.

  14. Turf/NG – yes I got the Blackadder bit but was scratching my head for a link yesterday.

  15. Tommy – In true Konami fashion, the long range drive doesn’t actually do what it says, as in enable players to hit long shots with drive and power, here is the official explanation from the Konami Manual.

    Long Range drive – This ability enables players to take curled (controlled) shots more accurately from a greater distance.

    Think Coutinho, the way he whips in those pacey curlers into the far corner from outside the box.

  16. Paul – Yeah, L2+shoot. Can’t say I’ve tried it myself. Some time spent at the training ground tonight, I think.

  17. Tommy – controlled/finesse shot is R2+shoot, as I’m sure you meant to say. Not that it makes much difference. The controlled shot from a longer distance has the same % chance of beating the keeper and going into the net, i.e. a minuscule chance.

    Darryl – the answer to Your Highness Your Highness is so obvious. It’s right there in the post. I’ll reveal all around noon.

  18. nG – Yes, that makes more sense. I think I misread.

  19. The answer to ‘Your Highness Your Highness’ is in the above screenshot of my myClub squad.

    Several weeks ago I called that squad (just that one squad, within the overall club) ‘The Irregulars’.

    About a week and a half ago, I changed the name of the club as a whole to ‘The Irregulars’, while leaving the squad name the same.

    With the result that the squad screen now says ‘The Irregulars: The Irregulars’.

    Your Highness Your Highness. I’m surprised nobody got it.

  20. errr …yeah … most contemporaneous link ever.

  21. Paul — tenuous? 🙂

    I think it’s not tenuous, because the form of the two phrases makes their connection more obvious than any other kind of link would be. Your Highness, Your Highness was said repeatedly by Blackadder to Prince George, cementing the repetition as a comedy form that we all remember fondly to this day. The appearance in the above post of The Irregulars: The Irregulars is a solid link.

  22. Solid link, but I thought that was too obvious so didn’t say anything!

  23. Bloody autocorrect!!!
    Was meant to say Tenuous.

    Having never watched more than 1 episode of Blackadder I guess it was lost on me.

  24. Tommy – it was so obvious I was surprised it didn’t go immediately.

    Paul – that’s OK, the likes of Uncle Turf and Darryl are steeped in Blackadder lore and both of them missed ‘The Irregulars The Irregulars’ as the answer. If anything it was more a test of observation than linking the post content to Blackadder. Not quite an observation fail on the same level as the famous Invisible Gorilla test, but it’s on the spectrum.

  25. I did actually think ‘duplicity of the irregulars name must link to your highness your highness somehow’ but without the Blackadder reference i didn’t have a clue how.

  26. Paul – yes it really was just that. ‘Your Highness Your Highness’ is the most pop-culture parallel to ‘The Irregulars The Irregulars’ that immediately sprung to mind when I spotted that my club’s name-change had created the doubled name in the screenshot. I can’t really think of any others. Duran Duran? Hodor Hodor?

    If I was doing a Blackadder post title trilogy, I’ve got a great idea that I won’t be able to use so I might as well splurge it now. Imagine if I had got Maradona in that giveaway thing a few weeks ago, and also imagine that I had ‘fallen out’ with him for whatever reason and wasn’t picking him. My post title could then be ‘Me No Speako Diego’. This is one you do have to be properly steeped in Blackadder to get though.

  27. nG – Actually, despite being a Blackadder fan the first thing that sprung to my mind was O Captain! My Captain!, and also, Ferrari’s LaFerrari. Much like your Irregulars, so good they named it twice.

  28. Ah, it’s a scythe…

  29. NG – like Paul I had spotted the screenshot below and had thought that there must be a link to the fact your team was called The Irregulars: The Irregulars but thought there must be more to it than that and somehow Your Highness and Irregulars where linked further. Just shows the human mind to try and look into things to far and miss what was there all along.

  30. This should come as no surprise but it looks like pes 19 has revealed its true colors (again) with the latest videos circulating on the forums. Ulta-assisted, end to end backheel spammy shit. Par for the course. Must say I’m still disappointed even though I saw it coming… Final judgment after the demo of course but not looking very good.

  31. Downloaded the update for NMS yesterday and sadly my suspicions were confirmed. All my previous data from a saved game is fucked up. This is an ongoing save I dip into here and there from the last 18 months or so. As for the game itself it is moving further and further away from what I felt made the original so great. The focus is now more on combat and building. If I wanted to do either of these I would play Fortnite or Minecraft. In an attempt to appease the on-line gaming crowd the game has moved to a whole new solar system. I find myself wishing I was in the previous one but my waypoint back has been removed. Shame really but we have been here before.

  32. #1 – I saw the comments too, unsurprisingly all from people who haven’t played any of the E3 or other builds, just commenting on what they think they see.

    Did see one reliable person say the new videos look more assisted in passing, but without having played both builds of the game it’s impossible to tell.
    I guess the demo on the 8th will be as close to retail as possible as the game will have gone into physical production by then.

    Surprisingly, I haven’t heard much around FIFA 19 at all, its been very low key.

  33. Paul – the build up for Fifa has been the same on recent years as the game sells enough so they don’t need to go over the top with the hype. I have seen there is going to be a new tactics system to replace the old slider model.

  34. #1 – no surprise at all, we’ve been in the same cycle for several years now. What gets me is that every year comes the same ‘hope’ (for a traditional old-school PES with fouls, injuries, player individuality etc) that’s based on nothing but the hope itself. PES just isn’t made for us anymore.

    Paul – a game no worse than PES2017-18 is all we can reasonably expect.

    Darryl – the NMS update was a full reset of the in-game universe. I understand some players kept all their previous progress/ships etc, while others didn’t, but I have no idea why or how. I started a new game in Survival mode and had a wonderful time. It does still seem the same mysterious, lonely galaxy to me. NEXT brought better graphics and more things to do – ‘loops’ in gameplay design terms – but the multiplayer is optional. Turn on and offable. I won’t be dabbling with the NMS equivalent of myClub.

  35. I’ve created your PES nemesis. On PES 16 I’ve hiked the speed up to +2 (to play more like the great four), boosted some players shooting accuracy and power, dribbling and balance; and created a hyper speed super league to quell my craving for football gaming. Most games end with 13 fouls committed by me (I like slide tackles) and 1 foul by them. Max. The AI is a supremely gifted tackler.

  36. NG – the save is there as is all the planet names but everything is messed up. I did a restart on Normal mode and there is a big difference as you are attacked by sentinel’s the moment you start mining things. Then when you get to your first space station there is a whole host of things to do such as customisation of your player and various stations with creatures etc. So it does lose that loneliness feel somewhat, which I agree was the specialness of the game. At its chore it was a very retro game but doesn’t feel like it anymore. But my 6 year old loves the update.

  37. Just back from holiday with absolutely no idea what’s what with PES 2019. I plan to keep it that way until the demo. I’m sure it will play a good game.

    I have had a bit of time for gaming and it has been spent on No Man’s Sky. My hours on pre this latest patch were spent with the aim of getting me prepared for this NEXT version of the game but having read the changes made I decided to start afresh.

    I’m glad I did now and I’m glad I had those hours with the game as it was because what they have done with this game is utterly stunning. Everything has changed to the point this is worth of being released as NMS2. Of course the bad press around the game at release two years ago would make a sequel rather pointless in terms of making money but the work that has gone into NEXT is well worth sampling.

    There’s a few bugs to be ironed out but the game is now everything I hoped it would be and more. Visually, it’s stunning and the scale if it all is just incredible. I spent a few hours repairing my ship to get off of the nasty radio active planet I started on before sorting myself out with a new Brighton style blue and white space suit and flying off to start base building on a paradise of a ringed planet.

    I might post up some pics of my adventures later.

  38. I have seen a gameplay video of PES 2019 in an Spanish videogame website, and while they are talking in a Shalke 04 vs Liverpool game, there is a bloody penalty to Mane that the game does not concede. Even though you won’t understand what they are saying, please check this video out, from 1:51 to 2:00.

    I guess some things will never change…

  39. Darryl – the reset was known beforehand – all NMS progress thus far would either be wiped or messed up so much it would be the same as being wiped.

    I’ve not gone to a station yet. Still messing around following the tutorial, on Survival mode, which takes longer. I was killed by sentinels within the first 30 seconds of my first attempt. Finally worked out that when you see the ‘alert arrow’, stop mining. They definitely have bumped up the ‘gamey’ aspect of things, but I welcome that as it boosts the substance of the core task of NMS, which is just drifting around amusing oneself. Apparently the missions etc are as vague as before, so there is still no campaign as such. I can foresee them making this more of a standard Elite-type MMO in time, because market forces will determine that, but for now, it’s exactly what I wanted it to be 2 years ago and I am loving it.

    Shed – I had to start on Survival, and am sticking with it despite it delaying progress so much. (Not got to a Station yet.)

    Graphically and in terms of mood, it’s very much like a classic sci-fi cover. Like this:


    That image makes me pass out with nostalgia and desire for vintage sci-fi. NMS hits all the right spots. No, it doesn’t make any sense – we all know the planets and moons could never exist in the way they do, all hanging over each other – but it’s fantasy sci-fi in the right way.

  40. JS Hutt – the surprise remains, every year, that anyone at all is surprised! Looks like the player doesn’t so much as graze the ball and just takes his legs. No I didn’t understand the commentary, did they remark on it at all? We have now got to the stage where the fast-and-furious PES gamers are almost the majority and they rarely comment on no fouls, no injuries, no pens etc. Because they’re not bothered and Konami know they’re not bothered, and it’s for them that the game is made now. Guaranteed next summer the exact same cycle will play out of expectation of a ‘total revamp and return to basic PES values’ for PES2020. Where this bogus expectation comes from every year, nobody quite knows, but it’s always there isn’t it?

    This time next year, we’ll be saying ‘any fouls? any pens? any injuries? no?’ and being surprised, and this is quietly one of the most intriguing mental blocks we all collectively have now.

    p.s. I have watched the Schalke-Barca vid with two fouls in it. I’m still not sure I didn’t dream it.

  41. n-G – I too love that kind of vision on other worlds and NMS is positively bursting with them from the smallest detail on characters and ships to whacky plants and creatures.

    I re-started on normal mode but even on this you can tell the difficulty has been ramped up – in a good way. I died once from lack of resources for my spacesuit before getting the hang of it. Fuelling and repairing the ship took some working out too compared to what it was.

    JS Hutt – That’s the first I’ve seen of PES 2019 in motion. There’s two penalties there that should have been given but were not in most predictable nuPES fashion. The ball looks a lot more free than in PES 2018 but that means nothing with the inevitable patches to come.

  42. That penalty not given doesn’t bode well.
    and it infuriates me that they always get Liverpools kit colour wrong even though they’re a partner club, its bright red in this vid, when it should be a deep dark cherry red.

  43. There’s a whole host of other double named people such as Sirhan Sirhan, Neville Neville, and Jerome (K) Jerome. You’d have to go some to beat Major Major Major Major though.

    Can’t believe nobody commented on a video call “Bangers”.

    Anyone got any good SF/fantasy book recommendations for my holiday? So far I’ve got Red Sister by Mark Lawrence.

  44. NG – it didn’t need to be more gamey in my opinion. This was a natrual part of the gameplay as the more you got into your journey your presence started to become known and as a result you became targets of sentinel’s. This was a bit like the Master League journey and moving up through the difficulty levels. I thought this was one of the clever aspects which has been diluted. The game looks lovely and like the new camera option. My PS4 is slowly being taken over by little Darryl anyway. Makes a nice change for Plants v Zombies 2 to not be on.

  45. I’ll be giving No Man’s Sky and the PS4 a break today due to this ridiculous heat. I did just fire it up to save a couple of pics of my avatar and even that little effort had the machine blowing like a blowy thing.

    Anyway, here’s NMS me on my recently discovered home planet and enjoying the view from my work-in-progess sun terrace…

  46. Paul – my new obsession is investigating where we get the idea, every year, without fail, that PES is going back to basics (i.e. awarding fouls and penalties, doing in-game injuries, etc etc.). The fatigue system might still be a thing of course, but I remain deeply sceptical.

    Where does the idea come from, every year? Is it from Konami’s first splurge of PR around May time? Is it anything that Konami says or does around then? Or do we all just collectively wish it? And then somehow forget that we wished it?

  47. n-G – First of all, how do you get pics to show in comments again?

    Secondly, if the wider PES community do not want fouls and injuries mucking up their online goal-fests, why isn’t the game sold on the fact that there really is very little of all that. It’s all very odd yet every year we cling to the hope that we may actually get back what has been purposefully removed from PES.

  48. Chris99 – Sirhan Sirhan is one of my favourites.

    I’m not much of a fantasy fan these days. A Song of Ice and Fire excepted, it doesn’t speak to me. Sci-fi all the way, and I like sci-fi of ideas at the moment. Vernor Vinge’s A Fire Upon The Deep is a peculiar mix of Astounding Stories-style schlock and high-concept hard sci-fi. If you haven’t already caught up with The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, it’s the best take on the Groundhog Day theme I’ve come across. Or there’s The Tethered Man, a philosophical tale about an AI on a spaceship that kills its human crew – except for one particular crewmember, who mysteriously can’t be killed. All 3 are heavy on the ideas, with the action-o-meter going from High to Medium to Low respectively.

    Darryl – it needed more substance for sure. There just wasn’t enough there to detain me for more than the couple of hours here and there that I gave it since launch. Once I’d marvelled at the sights and sounds (that music!), had a few pew-pew-pew space battles, what was there? I wanted to trade, or spend hours amusing myself in one spot building things, and so on. I know they were possible before, but trading was miniscule and the building was never quite extensive enough to satisfy me as a former Minecraft player. Gameyness in a game like NMS is much more than just the multiplayer add-ons which I’ll never bother with. It’s adding dimensions to a universe that it did lack before. I’ve read a few interviews with the makers this week where they regret much of the pre-launch PR a few years ago. They say people were expecting Star Wars while the game is much more 2001: A Space Odyssey. That still holds true now, although the dial has been tweaked to make it less austere and haunting.

    I think they’ll now be planning a paid expansion for next year, and I imagine it’ll make the multiplayer more than it currently is – something like Elite’s multiplayer maybe, which is a proper hardcore space sim in single-player that I keep meaning to get into but never do. I fail the combat tutorial.

  49. NG: not a single comment in the whole video about fouls or penalties. It is amazing to me because the first time I saw the video I clearly saw that penalty, but that is something nobody cares about.

    We will have David Beckham, Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos and some others in a game that does not concede 90% of penalties and fouls.


  50. JS Hutt – 90%?! Optimist…

    The attitude in the vid is that of the year 2018 football gamer. The forums – and my blog posts – and most of the comments here – are emphatically the minority, that seems to get smaller every year (as we all age and move on/die…). It’s really time for us to stop being surprised that nuPES is nuPES. We whip up this needless anticipation-disappointment cycle for ourselves every summer now. The series has been handed over to another set of interests, and it will follow that mould from now on.

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