DabigRG The Enemy Within Impressions and Review

As a quick recap, when I first heard Telltale was a making a Batman game, I was pretty skeptical and very disinterested. However, upon learning of a second season and seeing commercials, review scores, and even comments from otherwise very critical fans praising it, I couldn't help but slowly consider checking it out for myself. So I bought it in the late third or early fourth quarter of 2018 only to sit it on the backlog while I gradually attended to other games that had priority and later got the second season during impromptu Christmas Eve shopping alongside Telltale's Jurassic Park. In the time between New Years and mid-to-late March, I have played Season 1 and found it to be quite a good experience, recognizing that my initial dismissal was very much ignorant of proper thought and wrote chronicling impressions in a similar style that I did The Wolf Among Us; in the time between then and now, I also played Jurassic Park, which I wrote transcripts and review of in the appropriate section. And now, after a fairly considerable delay, I'm finally getting around to playing it's acclaimed sequel, The Enemy Within.

As a hopefully accurate heads-up, there's a couple of things I wish to establish about this playthrough. First and foremost, there will still be slightly delays between posts per episode as has been the case for other games. Secondly, for those who have/will read my previous impressions and gotten used to their style, I've made it a point to change that up into a simpler form with this. As I found after doing the finale of Jurassic Park, that style of jotting as I play is unfortunately just prone to inflating already long episodes into even longer time sinks. Finally, the review of the first episode will probably and/or hopefully be up by the end of this week, though I can't exactly make promises.

Comments

  • Hey there. Time for a update.
    Still haven't put the game back in the system after already having installed it following the finale of Season 1. Been playing Dragonball FighterZ's Hard Story Modes in the meantime and repeatedly flaked on the prospect of simply changing the discs when I'm done with a play session.
    Not sure if anyone besides maybe mods and Rias(Press F) has actually been waitin on it, but I might try to actually do so tomorrow if I don't have to go anywhere AND/OR get distracted doing other stuff again. Good night.

  • edited May 12

    So after a long ass delay, I finally played Episode 1 The Enigma last night.

    This was a fairly relaxed start off to the sequel aside from maybe the stuff Riddler's traps and puzzle box resulted in. It's been a few months since I did Season 1 as well as apparently a year in universe and yet it almost felt like I slipped right back into the fold a bit seamlessly. I mean, I obviously forgot a bit of what happened in Season 1, but it's not really crucial for the most part.

    As a change up from my previous style of recap/review, I focused more on just playing the episode and only started to jot down quick things like dialogue, character identities, and the occasional observation; the same basic pattern as before, yes, but more brisk for the sake of time and focus. Of course, I was vividly reminded why it takes so long for me to actually play these games--because the episode's themselves are pretty long. I started at around 8:30 and the occasional 5 minute or so break included, it took me till a little after midnight to finish. Like, holy shit.
    Anyway, enough about me, let's talk about the game! Overall, I'd say this was an okay episode that leans towards good or rather enjoyable, but there were a few concerns in places. As a reflection of my adjusted effort, I will confine the actual elements of discussion in order to keep things focused.

    Also, the music in the water was kinda goofy. That ain't got nothin to do with anything, I just thought I should mention it.

    The Riddler

    Continuing with how these games seems to know what elements to use, I liked how they implemented the Riddler here. His penchant for mind games, be they his riddles and/or traps, makes him an ideal choice for a villain that emphasizes puzzles. And I kinda like the idea of him being this notorious villain from back in the day, as odd as that might sound--Gotham's original costumed criminal and Scourge of the Underworld, who even Carmine Falcone avoided. The fact that he is said to have disappeared suddenly, only for it to be revealed that he allowed himself to be arrested in Pena Duro just so he can cause a mass breakout before going on a lowkey spree elsewhere for the rest of that time is a great backstory element that just goes to show what a notorious mastermind he is. Also, the one trap in the Water Tower was very good, having a clear motif that was pretty cleverly tied into not only the solutions but also the second trap.

    However, there are a couple of issues with how he's executed. First off, while it's not uncommon for spinoff media to make characters like him and the Penguin more capable, I found it was actually a bit diluting. So while it kinda works that he can actually fight, I thought he was a little too on the rough side. The Riddler is primarily known for carrying himself with a punctuated narcissism, be it the 60s show & Forever's wacked energy or the Animated Series' calm class or the Arkham games' insufferable showmanship. And to be fair, that stuff is here in how he keeps newspapers of himself on a board and ultimately wants to prove himself superior to the younger Batman. However, his portrayal here seems to make him more of a tranquil thug that slips into rougher talk at a few noticeable points.

    Another issue is the Riddles themselves: outside of the ones around the Monkey Senses, the others are surprisingly minimal and rather unimaginative ones. I remember actually being concerned once he really got going, wondering what in the world I'd be having to figure out for crucial encounters, but the ones on the boat in particular are super basic and quite frankly petty. In fact, another aspect of the Riddler that may or may not work is how fair he is about the penalties--while he themes the traps after the answers and it ultimately does tie in with what this version is trying to prove, I seem to recall him having some minor degree of neurosis regarding the challenges being completed in a specific way. That's not as big an issue, just one that creeps to mind.

    And finally, there's the big result at the end that I'm sure many take issue with(and that I knew of from a previous skim). Killing him off here kinda felt like a bit of a waste and arguably added to the criticism of the riddles. Given his backstory and motivation with the Agency, which is prevalent in this season due to the presence of Amanda Waller, you would think they'd have kept him around a while longer. Now for all I know, they might go into him some more as in the next episodes, but considering the detail that Waller wasn't around for his start, it just feels like a prospective unresolved plot.

    The Agency

    Sporting a near nonexistent set of credentials yet lots of overturning authority, The Agency is an international government organization that deals with terrorists and other major threats to the US, such as civil rights violations, domestic black sites, and accountability. The regional group that occupies the North East apparently tortured the Riddler in the past and made him who he is, which gives off the impression that they might be unfettered bordering on corrupt. Fittingly enough, it is this same group that repeatedly fought him during his time away from Gotham, always a step behind to the point that Riddler managed to acquire personal information like phone numbers for each of them at some point.

    After their last encounter in Sudan ended in something of a stalemate, they followed him back there and now seem poised to act as a rival policing force to the GCPD. They are currently led by Amanda Waller, a former congressional aide with a political science PhD. Director Waller is ruthless and somewhat uppity is her efforts and thus has a fearsome reputation. It was peculiar, yet interesting to see her becoming so involved with fighting the Riddler of all people and act as conflicting authority to Gordon. I generally play on guard yet cooperative when it comes to her, though I also got a laugh out of how someone so tough instantly became concerned if Batman used the signal to get Eli to talk. Among those working under Waller were Iman Avesta, Agent Blake, and Agent Fernandez.

    Special Agent Avesta works with Intelligence and thus is in charge of looking into the backgrounds and motivations of majors suspects in order to get an angle. Batman is asked for any information he has on Riddler's connection to Mori and Bruce is questioned about John Doe's whereabouts due to his history with Gotham's Most Notorious Criminals. She kinda feels like a stand in for Vicki Vale from the previous Season by being a pretty face that sticks her nose into everything hoping to uncover secrets. Though there is a mild degree of sympathy to be had with her where Vicki just increasingly came across as scoop prying for any angle she can use against people; as she is apparently a fan of what Batman does for the city and gets captured alongside a few of her colleagues before the climax after her snooping got the better of her. It likely due to her earlier investigation that Waller was able to figure out Batman's identity at the end, which is wtf moment otherwise.

    Another major enforcer under Waller's command is Mario Fernandez. He is presumably of a high caliber as good or better than Avesta, carrying out direct orders at the Virago's crime scene and investigating tips on own. Dispatched to investigate word that Riddler is hold up within the East End, the poor man end up being tortured by the villain and fell pray to each of his traps before dying alone. It is through the extra clues left around his corpse, such as one eye being dilated or his fingers being sliced off that Batman and Gordon were able to solve the riddles in order to learn what Riddler had planned for his enemies. As if Mori wasn't a good enough establishment and Lucius wasn't personal enough(which it was), it is this guy's death that probably ranks in second place for how sadistic the Riddler is.

    Working alongside the more inquisitive Avesta is Agent Vernon Blake, a terse crackshot who uses electric bullets to take down criminals for likely capture and later interrogation. We don't really get to know much about him or hear him speak outside of when he feels he has to back up his partner, though it's likely he would've opened up if it wasn't for the events of the climax. Unfortunately, the two and some other guy end up being lured into a trap by the expecting Riddler after attempting to track him using Port Authority Logs and are held captive aboard his armed ship, The Lady of Dublin. It is here that Riddler enacts his final riddles before his defeat by asking Batman to identify three people involved in their own feud: blasting Iman when he gets it right and threatening to behead her cohorts if he gets it wrong or refuses. Unfortunately, he is killed when it is revealed she can only take a two blasts without being killed outright and thus pleads with Batman not to answer--a final request that is carried out.

    Alfred

    The Wayne Family Butler and Bruce's father figure, Mr. Pennysworth still supports him in Batman's crusade even after his far from quiet kidnapping by the Children of Arkham. Alfred now wears an eyepatch(?) and suffers from occasional tremors as a result of the trauma he endured at the hands of Lady Arkham. After this, years of being complicit of Thomas's backdoor dealings, and especially what happens with the Riddler's disc, he vaguely seems to be fine about doing what it takes to inflict justice upon those to harm the innocent. He isn't in the episode very long, from what I could tell, but what time he did have reinforced the bond between he and Master Bruce.

    Lucius and Tiffany Fox

    The Head of Wayne Tech's R&D Department, Mr. Fox also apparently played a part in Bruce's upbringing following the death of his parents. He also provides Batman with his state of the art gadgets and other crime fighting equipment. Effectively a third member of their team, Lucius can be relied on when Batman himself isn't smart enough to figure out a technological issue. And this time, he seems to have the company of his daughter Tiffany, who he seems to want to involve in his secret work. Given the events of this episode, it is very likely she is someone Batman can fall back on if necessary.

    After Bruce and Alfred fail to figure out what the Riddler's Puzzlebox is actually for, they bring it to Lucius at Wayne Tower the follow Tuesday morning. At first, I assumed it was some sort of bomb or tracker when it was first unfolded at the Batcave and then was like "Are you fucking kidding me?" when it finally seemed to be a record--a constantly beeping record. Tragically, Lucius ended up being lost when the unfolded Puzzlebox that emits Micropulse waves turns out to be a target signaling a missile strike(Oh shit!).

    Having graduated from Cornell University in molecular engineering, Lucius' oldest is a genius in her own right. She snuck out of orientation to show that she made a radio controlled drone for Bruce that ends up coming in handy for Batman. Despite presumably pushing her mid-20s, she strikes me as being rather spirited with a prodding nature for things that are "above her clearance." While some may see her as being younger & hipper than her pop and affirmative action in play, I was honestly more concerned about why her skin is so pale. And that hair....

    Starting her first day at Wayne Tech on the same day that ended up being his last, Tiffany seemed to be following in her dad's footsteps. She reaffirms his observation that the sound it makes seems to be emitting Micropulse waves, as well as deducing that the circuit seems intentionally unorthodox to show off. But due in part to being left out of the loop regarding what it is, the disk's actual functionality still required testing to figure out--or so they thought. She later admits to having seen his remains--there was little of him left.

    Attending his funeral at Divinity a week or so later alongside her mom and little brother, she mentions that he was rarely home because he loved his work. Tiffany then asks whether the disk had anything to do with it and angrily demands to know if Bruce knowingly put him in danger. As foul as it is to withhold that information to her, it was hard not to given not only the reason Lucius had the disk, but Bruce's own ignorance of what it did until it was a little too late. It didn't help that I ended up hurting her feelings with my blunt sarcasm and attempts to block her.

    Commisioner Gordon and GCPD

    Jim Gordon is current head of the Gotham City Police Department and Batman's connection with the law proper. He unfortunately got that position due to his predecessor Commissioner Loeb being killed in battle with Two-Face's militia but fortunately fit into the role well. He does what he can to police the streets of Gotham while remaining one of the few honest cops with the City. Which naturally means he ends up having to bend to the authority of The Agency when The Riddler returns after being missing for so long.

    This sets the situation's atmosphere as one where there are two crime fighting forces with varying levels of conduct and so the vigilante has to choose which one to work with at any given time to deal with the Riddler. Because the area between 42nd and 48th is lawless due to lack of funding after Mayor Harvey Dent blew it up, Gordon travels to East End with Batman to follow a lead regarding where the Riddler may be hiding. This leads them to a water tower, where they indeed find a hideout where the Riddler laid his head, planned his next move, and communicated with another group of terrorist led by an H. Due to the place locking them in as soon as they enter and a Faraday Cage blocking the electromagnetic fields that allow their phones to work, the two had to work together in order solve the riddles that open the door, survive the traps that killed Agent Fernandez, and discover the clue as to how the Riddler plans to deal with the Agency.

    Also still in active duty is Renee Montoya, who essentially acts as Gordon's right hand. After being manipulated into killing Carmine Falcone in custody, Montoya was welcomed back into the force thanks to Batman proving she was drugged by the Children of Arkham. And ironically having a brief stint of vigilantism, the detective received a recent promotion and is seen as the True Blue Cop. The Sergeant represented Gordon in his absence during a grilling session in their station, but supported Batman's efforts and thanked him for not going too far.

    Gordon himself unfortunately comes off as just a tad too distrustful this time around, namely due to the presence of Amanda Waller. He seemed to be familiar with the Director and was very reluctant to give her any leeway within his jurisdiction. But because she has connections with the Governor and can cause some serious problems for him, he ultimately has to allow her people to do their thing if he wants to keep at least some of his authority. He instead settles for telling Batman not to give her anything if he can help it--the keyword there being "IF."

    Quite frankly, I didn't really get the Commish's personal problem here. He becomes very doubtful of Batman after he learns that he gave the Riddler's box to Lucius, which ended up getting him killed by a missile. He explains that he figured Batman had a team of people within the city helping him anyway, given the sheer amount of things he does, but the fact that he learned Lucius was one of them from the Riddler instead apparently made him second guess working with him. This unsettled reaction is one thing, but he breaks contact with Batman entirely after he interrogates Knable behind his back and the Riddler ends up dead!

    Look, I definitely understand him being apprehensive about the Agency--I disproved of Waller myself and let them know whenever it wasn't inconvenient. But Gordon's backlash at Batman felt unprovoked and made him out to be moody. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture: he got angry at me for trusting Waller--quote on quote trusting, btw--but you gotta look past that. Gotham is in danger and ya gotta do what ya gotta do in order to save the City.

    The Pact

    A mysterious group of terrorists who are packing serious firepower and are apparently named after some code of honor they supposedly follow. They are compromised of the world criminal minds in the world and seem poised to be a crisis unlike any Gotham has seen before. They allegedly made such a pact with John Doe and want people like Bruce Wayne for whatever it is they have planned for Gotham. And most relevantly, they were the ones supplying the Riddler with some of the equipment he intended to use to get his revenge on the Agency and take back his hold on the City. Their liaison with the Riddler or possible leader "H," who may actually be the awol psychiatrist Dr. Harleen Quinzel according to Waller, was most displeased with how the narcissist endangered the plan by using those resources to fight Batman and so sent someone to kill him following his defeat.

    John Doe

    A mysterious mental patient who appeared out of nowhere, John befriended Bruce when Lady Arkham drugged him into attacking Oswald Copplepot and helped him escape in exchange for a favor.
    As of the day of Lucius's funeral, he had been discharged from Arkham Asylum months ago for some reason. It's clear that he doesn't know what to do with the freedom he's been given and he admits to missing the Asylum. But now that he's out, he's finally came for the favor: John made a pact with some people he wants him to meet and he doesn't want to take no for an answer--he can't handle rejection....

    So dropping the really brief fuckin recap and the pretense that comes with it, I actually kinda forgot this guy was a thing. Yeah, he's undoubtedly the selling point and a major element of this Season's success to jump the gun a bit here, but I honestly didn't remember him. All this stuff with the Agency & the Riddler was going on and he shows up in the black. So when I saw him at Lucius's funeral talking to Tiffany, I was like, "This guy. This Fucking guy."
    He mentions that Dr Leland just up and claimed he was cured, which is why he's been in the city looking for Bruce. Which is odd and I can't help but wonder why--didn't he cause the riot?In fact, this was alarming enough that it's a favor in Agents Avesta and Blake investigating Wayne. Why? Because John listed him as an emergency contact.

    The fool clearly needs his medicine, as he displays signs of anger bordering on violence. He's apparently made enemies with the Riddler, who he understandably considers an egomaniac, and threatens to knock a man's teeth out for shushing him during the funeral service. In fact, it is because of John that Bruce was tipped off regarding where to find Riddler's hideout. Apparently, Mr. E Nigma is a loner that always made people come to him at East End. The fact that John knew all this has me wondering if he actually made some deal that fell through.

    Rumi Mori and Eli Knable

    A well known businessman and secret arms dealer, Mori ran guns during Arab Spring and lives a double life of his own--philanthropist by day, war profiteer by night. He previously had a arrangement with the Riddler, who apparently threatened his family to bully Rumi into dealing with him. After completing a significant transaction, Mori asked Riddler to leave them alone and ended their arrangement. It is perhaps due to him that the Riddler finally returned to Gotham. Having a night of gambling at The Virago, which he owns, Mori is unknowingly being watched by Bruce.

    When unexpectedly approached by his ex-contact, Mori furiously maintains that their deal is over and demands that he leave. Unfortunately for him, Riddler wasn't just taking no for an answer and took the place over alongside his Goons. He then locked Mori in one of his traps and forced him to answer his Riddles, which he inevitably got wrong. Among those helping Riddler make an example of Mori is Eli Knable, his second in command. The goatee'd criminal confident throws down with Batman after he swiftly takes out most of Riddler's Goons, but is defeated and gets arrested by Montoya. Losing a few figures due to the trap, Mori is saved by Batman, Commissioner Gordon, and the Agency and taken to receive medical treatment.

    After finding out Riddler intends to use Micropulse wave seeking missiles to take out the Agency, Bruce and Alfred set about trying to figure out where he has them stashed and intends to launch them from. This presents a choice: go talk to Mori as Bruce Wayne to see if he has any information or have Batman go interrogate Knable about the next phase of Riddler's plan. I honestly didn't see why we should bother talking to Rumi when he just provided Riddler with the ammunition, so I of course went to grill Eli. Which is supposedly done behind Gordon's back, but nevermind that.

    Buddy had them Converses on as he cowered in a fetal position in the interrogation room, though he was ultimately not talking. The fact that he was happy Batman was there was really not what I was expecting and it almost makes you wonder what did they did to him. Regardless, I overall tried to get his trust & Waller's embarrassment by promising to protect him and when that was proving to be nothing compared to his fear of Riddler, I bluffed him with the signal and scared the shit out of both of em.

    Newspaper and Codex

    Councilwoman Gail Dent doesn't trust Batman.
    Harvey Dent's trial is constantly pushed back, with the next two months being the fourth delay. Brandon Hoffman's team recused themselves and are the third set of attorneys Dent went through before he decided to represent himself.
    Oswald Cobblepot is a model prisoner at Blackgate Prisoner, even accepting his sentence of 40 years and forgoing a hearing in court.
    Martha Wayne is essentially the mystery of the Wayne family with her actual involvement in their crimes being unknown, though Bruce considers her the source of his morals.
    Gotham currently has a population of 10.5 million.

    Choices

    We all hide or true selves
    I’m undercover. Shh
    [Lie] meet me outside
    tear gas
    pole
    tear off
    the gun
    wrench
    tie him down
    you're yesterday's news
    i believe in justice
    body slam
    He's arrogant
    I haven't had the pleasure
    you could have warned off
    I only work with Gordon
    back off
    They had some kind of deal
    Its unavoidable
    I don't like threats

    ambient on record player
    I always worry about family
    They're going to make things harder
    Arkham has plenty of room
    Eye of a needle?

    Something for Lucius
    not when aimed at my head
    please don't say old
    its above your clearance
    you should go
    Can't decide future
    see ya later
    am i in trouble
    My family owes a debt to Gotham
    on the news
    no more than anyone else
    John may say so
    I tried to stop the fight
    that's creepy
    What's your point
    I'm not a criminal
    I'll be right there

    You held us together
    Riddler will suffer
    I know how you feel
    I asked too much of him
    I'll tell you, just not here
    Of course I didn't
    don't bother her
    very thoughtful of you
    that's where you belong
    stayed silent
    i'm pretty busy
    Calm down, John
    Only from the news
    You can trust me
    Don't get involved
    Risk tracking device

    The rest deserve our sympathy
    We all need limits
    Inform Waller
    I won't fail
    Haven't you killed enough
    You're a worse enemy
    You're still responsible
    I don't sacrifice lives
    I worked with him
    It's hard to talk about

    I couldn't lie
    I still have you
    I don't want you to see this
    ::Why Mori?::

    Just keep them off of me
    We'll find your agents
    Your Agency created Riddler
    I'm doing this my way
    Turn camera on
    Ignore the screaming
    They hurt you pretty bad
    Riddler was right
    I'll get to it
    Let me protect you
    I won't let you die
    Bluff him with the signal
    It's your move Eli

    It makes me a hero
    Let her go
    Lucius
    There is no right answer
    That would be me
    Anchor Punch
    This isn't your fault
    This is your fault, not mine
    They're next on my list
    I'm sorry Jim
    But we're a good team
    You'd have done better?
    Riddler was betrayed

    Results

    Gordon was Betrayed 22.3%
    John was Hopeful 41.4%
    Imam was Guilt Ridden 44.4%
    Alfred was Grieving 31.3%
    Waller was Collaborative 38.1%
    Tiffany was Comforted 22.1%

    Achievements

    Are you Dead
    All in a day's work
    New Game in Town
    Goodbye Old Friend
    A Friend in Need
    Made of Madness

    Questions

    Why did Alfred have an eyepatch in this?
    Did Bruce install cybernetic eyes into himself or something?
    How did John get Bruce's number?
    What are domestic black sites?
    Should Bruce and Luscious really have been talking about the disk in Bruce's office?
    Iman said Bruce fled the riot John started with Zsasz, when I thought he got knocked out. What's up with that?
    Lucious helped raise Bruce?
    If the Faraday cage was incomplete, how was it still blocking signals
    Why didn't Batman just look at the message screen from other side of the chamber's window while it was open?
    I didn't understand the puzzle where Bruce decodes Lucius's last words and how it was more a word match. Wasn't the point to clear the audio for the emitters sound?
    What the fuck was Waller on about when she brought up Carmine Falcone in the cell? I fucking impaled him, so how could I go further?
    What exactly gave Fernandez brain trauma? I don't remember it being stated.
    What happened to that other Agency guy Riddler captured? I thought the idea was that he'd die if I mess up once, then Blake would be next.
    Why did Riddler claim I came at him? Cause that's bullshit and he should know it.
    Why are most of the women in this kinda homely?
    Why does Mori's ID say No Fly?

    Technical Issues

    The sound cut out for a moment at beginning of fight with Riddler.
    Gordon's lipsynch was off at one point in the water tower, I wanna say when they found the second statue.
    Couldn't observe the newspaper above the Riddler's bed.
    Can't talk to Gordon in tower.

    Memorable Quotes

    He's a thief, And a killer. And worst of all, he's...he's rude.
    Hey, maybe we'll get lucky and they'll kill each other.
    She keeps chipping away at my authority, I'm gonna crack.
    Trust is hard earned, yet easily lost.
    He can hurt you in ways they ain't got names for

  • edited May 10

    Great review! Can't wait to read your thoughts on the rest of the episodes.

  • Alfred's eyepatch is a result of the choice of revealing your identity to Lady Arkham in the finale of the last season. If you don't take off your mask, she'll damage Alfred's eye.

    Were your saves imported correctly?

    DabigRG posted: »

    So after a long ass delay, I finally played Episode 1 The Enigma last night. This was a fairly relaxed start off to the sequel

  • Ope, well that answers that question! So clearly not.
    I was wondering if there was a way to check or redo that aspect. But unfortunately, I had already did the importing separately from actually playing.

    Pipas posted: »

    Alfred's eyepatch is a result of the choice of revealing your identity to Lady Arkham in the finale of the last season. If you don't take off your mask, she'll damage Alfred's eye. Were your saves imported correctly?

  • edited May 12

    Okay, so I created another file, used the Story Recreator to get more accurate main choices, and completed Episode 1 again on it. I may update my initial review according to reflect the few changes and/or extra notes.
    Hopefully, I'll play Episode 2 within the next two days as planned.
    EDIT: I editted Episode 1 to make a few slight addendums and have played Episode 2. I will convert the notes on that into a review tomorrow.

  • Thank you! I'm pleasantly surprised to see that there are still people visiting these other parts of the community.

    Putinovich posted: »

    Great review! Can't wait to read your thoughts on the rest of the episodes.

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