Episode Review

Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street

Friday, October 25, 2002, 6:00 PM - Saturday, October 26, 2002, 4:22 PM

Introduction (Friday, October 25, 2002, 6:00 PM - 6:07 PM)

I've received feedback on my previous episode reviews, and I'm taking some of the advice they I'd been given. Starting with the review of this episode, the reviews will be better organized. Previously, I'd nitpicked as I'd trudged deep into the episodes. From now on, I will give a story summary first, followed by misc. tidbits (title puns, multiple versions, etc.), a list of great lines, a list of dumb lines, a list of sick moments, and then my rant.

Summary (Saturday, October 26, 2002, 8:50 AM - 10:30 AM)

On Metroid, Mother Brain asks the "burning question" of her "all-knowing computer mind mirror". She asks who's the fairest of them all. When the mirror replies that Princess Lana is, MB gets angry. She has the Eggplant Wizard make her an apple and Dr. Wily make her a deep sleep potion.

At the Palace of Power, Kevin is making Lana a "Captain N Special" - a pizza that he had learned from his Uncle Lenny in New York. Duke steals the pizza and runs off with it. While Kevin chases Duke, Lana answers the door. Eggy is there, dressed as a beggar. He offers Lana an apple for 25 cents. After Duke eats the pizza, Lana buy the apple, and Eggy leaves. Lana eats the apple and falls asleep. She falls to the floor, a warp opens beneath her, and she's warped away. A holographic projection of Mother Brain appears and informs Kevin that Lana's been warped to Castle Ironspire, and, if she isn't awakened before midnight, she'll sleep forever.

In a corridor, Simon is adding a portrait of himself to the royal portraits. He falls off of his stool, and the portrait falls on his head. Kevin arrives and tells Simon, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus what happened. Kevin, Simon, and Duke (who has the hiccups) warp to Excalibur, the land of Wizards and Warriors.

Kevin, Simon, and Duke head for Castle Ironspire, but Simon starts arguing about how he's better at it. Simon accidentally kisses a werewolf and gets scared. Kevin shoots the werewolf, and it turns into a diamond. Kevin says they'll need gems to bribe the guard at Castle Ironspire. Simon decides that, if he wants to get to Lana first, he'll have to make sure that Kevin is "unavoidably detained".

The evil wizard, Malkil, sees this and decides that he'll have no trouble manipulating Simon's "feeble mind". He send out a frog to them. The frog turns into a magic key. Simon takes the key from Kevin and pushes him. A door appears on the sides of a rock, and Kevin falls inside. He falls and grabs hold of a branch. Simon walks away, but Kevin yells that it's a trap, because there are no "green keys" on Excalibur.

Simon finds a green door and uses the "green key" to unlock it. He walks into a house. Seven dwarfs appear, declare him to be "lunch", and put him on a table.

Back at the Palace, Kid Icarus and Mega Man "stand guard" by sitting at the conference table and watching the viewscreen. Suddenly, Eggy appears on the viewscreen as a news reporter. Then he and King Hippo warp into the Palace by using Dr. Wily's newest invention, the TV warp zone remote control. Mega Man and Kid Icarus can't fight them, so Eggy serves them each an apple. Then open their mouths, bite the apples, and fall asleep. A warp opens in the floor, and they fall through. Eggy then calls MB to tell her, "Mission accomplished".

Back on Excalibur, giant spiders approach Kevin. Duke helps Kevin get out of the rock. Kevin sees a projection of Lana telling him to "come quickly". Kevin hears Simon's scream. He and Duke go into the dwarfs' house. Kevin frees Simon. The three of them battle the dwarfs, and all the dwarfs are destroyed. A lot of gold and jewels are left behind for the three N Team members.

After a "long and treacherous journey", Kevin, Simon, and Duke arrive at the "sinister" Castle Ironspire. Kevin and Simon bribe the guard. He allows Kevin, Simon, and Duke to go inside. They race up the stairs and find Lana sleeping in a coffin. Kevin kisses Lana on the lips. She doesn't awake. Simon combs his hair and kisses Lana passionately on the lips. She snores. Duke licks Lana. It's past midnight. Holographic projections of Mother Brain and Malkil appear. MB admits to lying about a kiss waking Lana up. Malkil informs them that Lana is in the Nightmare Zone, where your worst nightmares are real. A basket of apples appear. After the holograms disappear, Kevin and Duke bite apples, fall asleep, and float into a warp horizontally. A worm comes out of Simon's apple and bites him on the nose. He falls asleep, too. MB then says that "an apple a day keep the N Team away".

In the Nightmare Zone, Kevin finds Lana, but her face looks like Mother Brain's face. She's dreaming that she's "turned into a monster". Kevin assures her that it's just a dream, and her face turns back to normal. They run through a door with a light on the other side. Kevin is in an animated version of his bedroom and thinks that he's home. Then the junk in the room attacks him. His Zapper won't work against it, so he and Lana run out of the room. Lana says they have to find a way out of there quickly. Simon dreams that he's a contestant in the Mr. Videoland Universe contest, but his nightmare is that he loses his hair, teeth, and muscles; gets pimples; and becomes "disgusting". Kid Icarus dreams that his bow attacked him. Mega Man dreams that Ice Man gave him a "mega dose" of his Freeze Ray. Kevin and Lana arrive. They haven't found a warp out of the Nightmare Zone. Kevin and Lana say they woke up in this world by going to sleep in the real world, so, if they go to sleep in this world, they might wake up back in the real world. Kevin then says that, if he's wrong, they might wake up in a worse nightmare. They all decide to take the risk, lie down, and go to sleep.

Back at the Palace, Mother Brain, King Hippo, the Eggplant Wizard, Dr. Wily, and Malkil are there. Malkil is sitting on Lana's throne. The minions give a toast to "Queen Mother Brain". The doorbell rings, and Eggy goes to see who it is. A short man declares that he's bringing a gift for the new ruler of Videoland. Eggy opens the door, and the man pulls in a cart full of apples into the room. The N Team comes out of the cart. Kid Icarus shoots an apple into Hippo's mouth. Hippo falls asleep and falls on top of Wily. Lana throws an apple into Malkil's mouth. He falls asleep on the throne. Kevin juggles some apples and throws them onto Mother Brain's jar. They splat, and her jar fills with apple juice. MB falls asleep. A warp opens, and all of the bad guys float through it. After the warp closes, Lana tells Kevin that Videoland owes him another debyt of gratitude. Kevin is just disappointed that he didn't get to wake Lana with a kiss. Lana kisses Kevin on the lips. Simon says that he came to Lana's rescue, too, and asks where his kiss is. Duke licks Simon on the face. The rest of the N Team laughs.

Misc. Tidbits (11:30 AM - 11:55 AM)

I have been reviewing the Season 1 episodes in the order that Jeffrey Scott wrote the scripts. Recently, I found out the original air dates to the Season 1 episodes. So, here are two lists:

Original written order:
Kevin in Videoland
Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain
How's Bayou
Mega Trouble for Megaland
Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street
Three Men and a Dragon
Simon the Ape-Man
Wishful Thinking
The Most Dangerous Game Master
Metroid Sweet Metroid
In Search of the King
Happy Birthday, Megaman

Original air order:
Kevin in Videoland
How's Bayou
Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain
Mega Trouble for Megaland
The Most Dangerous Game Master
Three Men and a Dragon
Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street
Simon the Ape-Man
Metroid Sweet Metroid
Wishful Thinking
In Search of the King
Happy Birthday, Megaman

"Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street" is the sixth Captain N episode script that Jeffrey Scott wrote and the eighth episode that aired.

Title pun: A Nightmare on Elm Street. It could have also come from a line that Kevin spoke in "Mega Trouble for Megaland".

When this episode aired on The Family Channel, the original scene with Malkil in Castle Ironspire was cut, so I had no idea where the frog had come from. This episode also aired in Season 3 on NBC in cut form. Half of the episode was removed. Among the cuts were Eggy changing Mother Brain's face, the initial pizza moment prior to Lana opening the door, the scene in the corridor with Simon's portrait, probably the Kevin/Simon scene after Simon falls into the mud, probably everything from after Kevin picks up the magic key to the arrival at Castle Ironspire, the nightmare in Kevin's bedroom, and perhaps some other things. I don't believe that I have the short version of this episode on tape anymore, which is a shame, because the background music was used differently, such as no music during Lana's kiss. ^_^ Um, anyway, let's move on to the dialogue.

Great Lines (12:00 PM - 1:21 PM)

Mother Brain: "Metroid mirror on the wall, am I the cutest of them all?"
Mirror: "Princess Lana is the cutest chick. You're so ugly, you make me sick!"
Mother Brain: "What do you know, twerp?!"

Mother Brain: "You idiot! I don't want to be an apple! I want to have an apple!"
Eggplant Wizard: "Cool off, Mother Brain, or you'll become a baked apple!"

(after Duke runs off with Kevin's pizza)
Lana: "I think you better rename it the Duke Special."

Kevin: "What have you done to the Princess?!"
Mother Brain: "What's the matter? Don't you like fairy tales? You remember this one. The beautiful princess eats the poisoned apple and falls into a deep sleep, and the handsome prince - ha! I suppose that's you - has to wake her out of the spell."
Kevin: "It's also the one where the prince destroys the ugly witch, isn't it!"
Eggplant Wizard: "That's the one!"
Mother Brain: "Shut up, you mental midget!"

(after Simon's portrait falls on his head)
Simon: "I've been framed!"

(after Duke walks over with the hiccups)
Kevin: "Serves you right for eating the whole thing."

(after Simon lands in the mud)
Simon: "If you're a good boy, I may teach you that trick someday."
Kevin: "Uh-huh, I look forward to it."

Kevin: "Simon? What goin' on up there?"
Simon: "Nothing to worry about. Just a...werewolf!"

Kevin: "We'll need as many of these gems as we can get our hands on."
Simon: "Ha! I should have known you were in this for the money."

Simon: "The only thing Simon Belment needs is brains, and I've got plenty of those right here."
Kevin: "Amazing they can fit inside that swelled head of yours."

(after Simon traps Kevin)
Simon: "I'm doing this for your own good, Captain N! Rescuing princesses is a man's job!"
Duke growls.
Simon: "Shut up."

Mega Man: "Lemme at him! I'll mega punch him and mega kick him and mega chop him!"
King Hippo: "Yeah?! And I'm gonna give you a mega belly bump!"

Kevin: "The only thing I hate more than spiders are giant spiders!"

Kevin: "Think, Kevin, think! What would you do if you were sitting in front of your TV now, playing Wizards and Warriors? Oh, you'd probably lose."

Kevin: "It's only fair that I tell you, I'm the fastest zapper this side of my TV screen."

Kevin: "Simon! Don't just sit there like a Thanksgiving turkey! Gimme a hand!"
Simon: "Yes, well, I'd love to, but I'm tied up at the moment."

(after Duke defeats a dawrf by licking him)
Kevin: "Way to slurp, Duke!"

Guard: "Halt! No one enters Castle Ironspire and lives!"
Kevin: "But we're prepared to pay."
Guard: "I don't accept credit cards!"
Kevin: "How about gold...and jewels?"
Guard: "Well,...why didn't ya say so? Go right in and make yourselves at home."

(after Kevin kisses Lana)
Simon: "Ha! You couldn't wake up a frog with a kiss like that. Let a real man show you how it's done."

Kevin: "I don't get it! It's not working!"
Simon: "Maybe it's my breath."

Kevin: "But you said all we had to do was kiss her."
Mother Brain: "Yes. Wasn't that romantic? I lied, of course."

Mother Brain: "The fools! Don't they know an apple a day keeps the N Team away?!"

Lana: "I don't get it, Kevin. How could someone so organized in the video world be so disorganized in his own bedroom?"

Announcer: "And here he is, ladies and gentlemonsters, the next contestant in the Mr. Videoland Universe contest - Simon "The Body" Belment!"

(after looking in the mirror)
Simon: "Not that! I'm...I'm...disgusting."

Malkil: "Foolish humans! I've got to teach you a lesson."
Lana: "And I've got an apple for the teacher!

Kevin: "Well,...I was kind of disappointed when I didn't get to wake you up with a kiss."
Lana: "Well, I'm glad you never got the chance, Kevin,...because I'd much rather get kissed while I'm awake."

Dumb Lines (12:03 PM - 1:21 PM)

Mother Brain: "...and you, Eggplant Wizard, are going to help me do it."
Eggplant Wizard: (after looking around) "Me?"
How many Eggplant Wizards are there on Metroid?

Kevin: "It's my bedroom! I'm home!"
Did the animated appearance of the room not convince Kevin otherwise? Did Kevin forget that he's in the Nightmare Zone?

Simon: (to Kevin) "This is all your fault. If you hadn't made me eat that rotten apple, I never would have entered this sleepless nightmare."
Kevin had told Simon that he could do what he wants. Simon had decided to bite the apple. Why is he blaming Kevin now? To make Kevin look bad in front of Lana, perhaps?

Sick Moments (12:07 PM - 1:22 PM)

Captain N, for all of its apparent innocence, is actually a pretty sick series. So, in each episode review, I'm going to list the sick things that occur in each episode.

In this episode:

When Mother Brain's face is turned into an apple pie, King Hippo says, "Hey! You look pretty tasty, Mother Brain! Can I have a slice?" King Hippo wants to eat Mother Brain's face.

After Duke runs off with the pizza that Kevin's making, Kevin chases after him and yells, "Duke! You come back here with that, or I'll make a pizza out of you!" Not only is this show promoting pet cruelty, it also reveals that Kevin (in jest or not) wants to eat Duke.

Also, why does Kevin want the pizza back? Because he wants himself and Lana to eat a pizza that's been in a dog's mouth.

Simon says, "It might have been an illusion,...but it kissed like a werewolf." Uuuhhh, how would Simon know how a werewolf kisses? Personal experience?

The seven dwarfs want to eat Simon.

Duke licks Kevin on the face.

Duke licks Lana on the face.

Duke licks Simon on the face.

Rant (1:40 PM - 4:22 PM)

Now that I've given you an overview of this episode, I can wander into the thick of it and destroy it from within. ^_^

Right from the beginning of this episode, there were problems. The writer was trying too hard (through the narration) to make Mother Brain and Metroid sound scary, and the effect is immediately ruined when Mother Brain straightens up her grey matter before looking in the mirror.

Mother Brain has an "all-knowing computer mind mirror". Uh-huh. This is another stupid plot device that the writer has tossed into the series. If Mother Brain has such a powerful source of information, then how come she isn't the ruler of Videoland already?

This mirror is apparently also the same thing that we saw in "How's Bayou" and "Videolympics".

Mother Brain's "burning question" is if she's the cutest? Come on! She should be asking for ways to defeat the N Team and take over Videoland! What kind of archvillain is she?!

Kevin makes a weird pizza with nuts, nectarines, and nachos as toppings. He actually expects Lana to like this?

Lana is the smartest character on this show by far. So, when she fails to recognize the Eggplant Wizard in a brown robe and hood (with his staff in his hand), it makes the rest of the N Team look even dumber.

The warp to Castle Ironspire appears right beneath Lana, so why doesn't she immediately fall through?

Why is Simon hanging a portrait of himself with the royal portraits? Even he's not dumb enough to believe that he's royalty,...right?"

Mega Man and Kid Icarus are stuck with guard duty again. I guess the reason for that was to have an uninterrupted competition between Kevin and Simon later on, which is just fine, since I don't like Kid Icarus and don't care for the show's version of Mega Man.

Kevin makes Duke come to Excalibur, even though he's sick. What kind of a pet owner is Kevin to mistreat his dog like this? Of course, Duke's sickness disappears right after they get to Excalibur.

Kevin, Duke, and Simon digitize into Excalibur after going into the warp. Weird. Can't they keep warping consistent on this show?

Kevin's Power Pad never loses power in this episode.

Why does Simon grab a werewolf and kiss it on its nose?

How could Simon not realize that he was kissing a werewolf until he opened his eyes?

How could things fall out of the bottom of Simon's backpack?

Malkil looks like some weird, four-fingered, animal midget. The following year, "Video Power" debuted. In the cartoon segments, called "The Power Team", Malkil looked human, was tall, and looked like a real evil sorceror. Here on Captain N, though, he ain't scary at all. He does say the word "deadly" in this episode, though. That's cool.

Simon tries to defeat the frog with a golf club and a bazooka. While I, and even my dad, find this very funny, it shows just how stupid Simon really is.

Ah, yes, the infamous betrayal. To reach Lana first and wake her with a kiss, Simon pushes Kevin into an underground cave or something. I have no clue how Simon knew that a door would appear in the exact place that he pushed Kevin, but let's not dwell on that. This isn't like "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain", where Simon was under the influenece of a love arrow. In that episode, Kevin called Simon a traitor. He should call Simon a traitor in this episode! Simon has betrayed a fellow team member! There is absolutely no excuse for this! Lana should have kicked Simon off of the N Team for this - assuming that Kevin even told her about the incident. It doesn't happen, and Simon remains on the N Team.

The "green key" isn't green at all. It's yellow.

Kid Icarus and Mega Man are left behind to guard the Palace. This proves that there are no other guards in the Palace of Power at all. Why hasn't Lana hired new guards by now?

Kid Icarus and Mega Man are sitting at the conference table, watching a viewscreen. I guess they might be watching the outside of the Palace, so they're not just slacking off.

How does Mega Man have a feeling that something "mega bad" is about to happen right before it actually happens?

TV warp zone remote control? Could this new invention of Dr. Wily's operate on the same principle that the Ultimate Warp Zone used to pull Kevin through his TV screen in "Kevin in Videoland"? Yes, I realize that it was just a lame plot device made up to get King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard into the Palace of Power, but you can't blame me for trying to fanwank an explanation.

Now, tell me, how come Hippo and Eggy never used this device again to get into the Palace? Did they lose it in the battle at the end of this episode? Did the N Team have a security system installed (ha!) in the viewscreen to prevent warping?

Why does Mega Man try to punch, kick, and chop King Hippo? Why doesn't he just shoot him? Oh, wait, that would be the smart thing to do.

When Eggy send the poisoned apples at Mega Man and Kid Icarus, then open their mouths! My reaction would be to keep my mouth shut!

How does Lana appear to Kevin to tell him to come quickly? This is never explained and doesn't serve any real purpose either.

How does a guard on a medieval world know about credit cards?

Why did Malkil hire a guard that could be bribed?

The part where the lightning flashes while Lana is lying in the coffin is nice. I like that.

How long has it taken for Kevin, Simon, and Duke to reach Castle Ironspire? If we assume that it was around 11:00 AM when Kevin was making lunch, and that time is the same on both worlds, then it took around thirteen hours, but, of course, we don't know that, because we aren't told.

With it being so close to midnight, Simon takes time to comb his hair before kissing Lana. He cares more about his looks than the Princess. How did he ever get on this team?

Why do they get warped away by floating horizonally? This is inconsistent with how Lana got warped away.

How does a worm biting Simon cause him to fall asleep? Did it perhaps eat some of the apple and receive the poison? If so, then how come the worm didn't fall asleep?

The Nightmare Zone is weird - not to mention not in the Wizards and Warriors game series at all.

The "worst nightmares" of the N Team members are interesting. Lana's worst nightmare is being a "monster" and "too horrible to look at". This doesn't mean that Lana's vain. It just means that she's very protective of her physical attributes.

Kevin's worst nightmare is the junk in his messy room attacking him. Okaaay. And how is it that, soon after telling Lana that it's just a bad dream, Kevin becomes convinced that he's home?

It's a nice touch to hear a slow version of the theme music and Kevin's mom in this scene, though.

Simon's worst nightmare is looking "disgusting", of course. Kid Icarus' worst nightmare is his bow attacking him. Huh? Is his bow alive? Mega Man's worst nightmare is Ice Man shooting him with his "Freeze Ray" (the correct term is "Ice Slasher"). Mega Man has already defeated Ice Man. Is he worried about Ice Man being rebuilt?

We never see Duke's nightmare.

How come Mega Man's teeth chatter when he's cold?

Presumably, the short man pulling the cart is Mega Man (since he doesn't come out of the cart). I guess he disguised his voice - or Lana enhanced his voice chip. Perhaps the voice caster was dumb and assumed it was a new character, so a different voice was used. You can see his mask under the hood. Also, his four-fingered hands are white. Can Mega Man's metal actually come off? Of course, we'll never find out.

Where did the N Team get so many poisoned apples?

Even if they got the poisoned apples from the basket and bought the rest to hide in, how did they know which ones were poisoned?

The "N" on Kevin's jacket is missing at one point. How did the animator forget that?

Now this is really dumb. Mother Brain mentions that she's surrounded by "protective glass", so the apples can't hurt her, but Kevin tosses three apples onto the glass on the outside, and Mother Brain's jar fills full of apple juice! This makes no sense at all!

How come the Eggplant Wizard and Dr. Wily are shown to be asleep when they're warp away? Perhaps they received poisoned apples off-screen?

Mega Man looks like he usually does at the end of the scene.

Why is music from The Adventures of Bayou Billy played throughout this episode?

Lesson: Don't betray your teammates? No. No bad consequences for Simon. Being kissed is better while you're awake? Maybe.

This entire episode is a lame Snow White rip-off. Why couldn't the writer come up with something original?

Judging by the title of this episode, the made-up Nightmare Zone was meant to be the focus of this episode. If the writer was focusing on the Nightmare Zone, then he should have ditched the whole Excalibur adventure and offered the N Team the trip to the Nightmare Zone right after Lana had fallen asleep. The inclusion of Excalibur and Malkil seem unnecessary, except to make the episode "video game-related" and for some fight scenes - against made-up villains.

I first saw this episode on The Family Channel, then on NBC during Season 3, and, finally in whole form, on "Captain N & The Video Game Masters".

Interesting notes:

Lana opens the door in the kitchen. It's presumably the back door, which means that the kitchen is located on the first floor in the back of the Palace of Power. As in previous episodes, there's no natural surrounding shown outside the Palace, just weird lines and colors.

Kid Icarus mentions the Palace Jail. We never see it, though. Does the jail even have any prisoners at all?

Two of the royal portraits look kind of like King Charles and Princess Lana, but I don't know if they were meant to actually be them.

There's a poster of something that looks like the Enterprise on one wall in Kevin's "bedroom". Is Kevin a Star Trek fan?

Simon has a teddy bear...

Lana tells Kevin that Videoland owes him "another debt of gratitude". Nice continuity touch from the end of "Kevin in Videoland" - if it was meant to be a continuity touch or not.

Lana kisses Kevin on the lips! This is the only episode where they kiss on the lips in the entire series!

As for what to cut out, the first thing to go would be the part where Eggy changes Mother Brain's face. It's dumb. Removing it would have freed 54 seconds. The next thing to go would be the pizza. It seems that the whole point of that was to have some Duke comedy and make the mutt sick, but this is dropped once they get to Excalibur. Removing the kitchen scene up until Lana opens the door would have freed 42 seconds. The whole seven dwarfs thing was just plain stupid. Removing everything from Kevin's warning to the first dwarfs scene would have freed 1:12. The image of Lana appearing to Kevin was never explained. Removing that and the second dwarfs scene would have freed 1:30. That's what I'd pick to remove. In total, 4 minutes and 18 seconds were wasted. That 4:18 could have been better used for more nightmares, fighting real Wizards and Warriors baddies, or Lana yelling at Simon for betraying Kevin. Perhaps all three.

All in all, this episode is really dumb, using multiple plot devices and ripping off a fairy tale. The one thing that saves the episode is the kiss. I wouldn't mind seeing 20 minutes of Kevin and Lana making out. ^_^

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 4 (defeating the werewolf and 3 dwarfs)
Lana: 1 (defeating Malkil)
Simon: 3 (defeating 2 dwarfs, sort of giving Kevin the idea on how to get out of the Nightmare Zone)
Mega Man: 1 (sneaking the N Team into the Palace)
Kid Icarus: 1 (defeating King Hippo)
Duke: 1 (pulling Kevin up from the spider web)

The running total usefulness ratings so far are:

Kevin: 26 (6 episodes)
Lana: 4 (6 episodes)
Simon: 9 (6 episodes)
Mega Man: 5 (6 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 9 (6 episodes)
Duke: 7 (6 episodes)

That's the end of my review of "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street". Wow! I've never written an episode review in one day before! (Of course, I'm not counting the Introduction in this statement.) I'm definitely sticking to this format! Please let me know what you think! I'm gonna watch the rest of my 5th "Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040" DVD now. Next episode - "Three Men and a Dragon"!

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