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Captain N: The Game Master

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This article is about the cartoon series and comic book series. For the title character, see Kevin Keene.

Captain N: The Game Master is a cartoon series and comic book series depicting two different versions of the same basic story: a war between good and evil in the universe of Videoland.

OriginsEdit

Main article: Captain Nintendo

The origins of Captain N: The Game Master can be traced to a two-part prose story called Captain Nintendo by Nintendo Power editor Randy Studdard. It was serialized in the November/December 1988 and January/February 1989 issues. The story, beyond a very basic premise, bears almost no resemblence to Captain N.

Cartoon SeriesEdit

The cartoon series was produced by DiC Entertainment and ran on NBC from 1989 to 1992.

Each episode (but perhaps not every Season 3 episode) was prefaced with a teaser before the opening during the NBC run and the YTV syndicated run. These teasers were narrated by a character and gave a short preview of the episode. They are highly sought-after, since they have not been seen in the United States since the NBC run and in Canada since the YTV syndicated run.

Basic OverviewEdit

The series' title character is Kevin Keene, a teenager that is brought from Earth to a universe known as Videoland, where video game characters are real, in fullfillment of an ancient prophecy. He joins with others as the N Team to fight the Forces of Chaos, led by the evil Mother Brain, and restore freedom to Videoland.

The tone of the series is mostly comical and consists of jokes, visual gags, and slapstick humor (reportedly at the requests of the studio and network, according to Season 1 writer Jeffrey Scott). Character development usually takes a back seat to action and humor. However, there are some dramatic moments throughout the series. There is plenty of video game-like action.

Each season was animated by a different animation studio (two South Korean and one Japanese), resulting in an inconsistent appearance between seasons, mostly drastically between Season 3 and the rest of the series. The animation in Seasons 1 and 2 is average (with different fans each preferring the slightly different appearances), and the animation in Season 3 is of a very low quality. There are numerous animation errors throughout the series. See the individual episode articles for lists of these.

The music in the series consists of a mix of DiC stock music (which also appears in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!), perhaps some original music exclusive to the series, and NES video game music (likely re-recorded). In addition, most Season 1 episodes feature cover versions of popular songs (mostly from the 1980s), Season 2 episodes feature original songs (sometimes parodies of popular songs), and most Season 3 episodes did not feature songs at all. See the individual episode articles for lists of identified music.

The voice cast is primarily Canadian. While the voice acting is competent and generally fits the character designs, the character voices of Simon Belmont, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus are generally regarded as being unsuited to the original video game characters.

Season CharacteristicsEdit

Season 1Edit

  • All thirteen episodes of Season 1 were written by Jeffrey Scott, who was hired for the job after Jim Henson convinced Phyllis Tucker-Vinson of the strength of his writing in his Muppet Babies scripts.
  • Season 1 was the only season not paired with a Mario cartoon.
  • Season 1 was the only season in a normal half-hour block.
  • Season 1's intro is one minute long.

Season 2Edit

  • The thirteen episodes of Season 2 were written/cowritten by nine writers.
  • Season 2 episodes were paired with The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3 in a one-hour block, sandwiched between two Mario episodes.
  • As a result of this, Season 2 episodes were spread over two half-hour blocks.
  • Season 2's intro is thirty seconds long.

Season 3Edit

  • The seven unique episodes of Season 3 were written/cowritten by six writers.
  • Season 3 episodes were paired with The New Super Mario World episodes in a half-hour block, the Captain N episode airing second.
  • Season 3 episodes were half of the length of Season 1 and Season 2 episodes.
  • Season 3's intro is thirty seconds long.

CharactersEdit

The N TeamEdit

  1. Kevin Keene (Captain N)
  2. Princess Lana
  3. Simon Belmont
  4. Mega Man
  5. Kid Icarus
  6. Duke
  7. Gameboy

The Forces of ChaosEdit

  1. Mother Brain
  2. King Hippo
  3. Eggplant Wizard
  4. Dr. Wily

Minor CharactersEdit

See: list of Captain N: The Game Master characters

EpisodesEdit

Main article: list of Captain N: The Game Master episodes

It is generally regarded that there are 34 unique episodes of the series - plus some variants (see individual episode articles for specifics) and filler.

PersonnelEdit

ProducersEdit

  1. Andy Heyward (Executive Producer, Seasons 1-3)
  2. Michael Maliani (Producer, Season 1; Supervising Producer, Season 2)
  3. Robby London (Coordinating Producer, Seasons 1-3)
  4. Winnie Chaffee (Production Executive, Seasons 1 and 2)
  5. John O'Sullivan Francis, Jr. (Supervising Associate Producer, Season 1)
  6. Kenneth T. Ito (Production Coordinator, Season 1; Associate Producer, Seasons 2 and 3)
  7. Thierry P. Laurin (Executive In Charge of Post Production, Seasons 1-3)
  8. Brian A. Miller (Production Supervisor, Season 2; Executive In Charge of Production, Season 3)
  9. Trace Ellis (Production Staff, Seasons 2 and 3)
  10. Chris Hammond (Production Staff, Seasons 2 and 3)
  11. Brian McGowan (Production Staff, Season 2)
  12. Vickie Yeo (Production Staff, Season 2)
  13. Fifun A. Amini (Post Production Coordinator, Season 2)
  14. John Grusd (Producer, Season 3)
  15. Stacey Gallishaw (Production Supervisor, Season 3)
  16. Kurt Weldon (Production Coordinator, Season 3)
  17. Joshua Lou Friedman (Production Staff, Season 3)
  18. Maria C. Mercado (Post Production Coordinator, Season 3)
  19. Jamie Edlin (Producer, live-action sequence)

DirectorsEdit

  1. Michael Maliani (Director, Season 1)
  2. Chuck Patton (Director, Season 2)
  3. Marsha Goodman (Voice Director, Season 1)
  4. Greg Morton (Voice Director, Seasons 1 and 2)
  5. Stu Rosen (Voice Director, Season 1)
  6. John Grusd (Director, Season 3)
  7. Madeline Bascom (Voice Director, Season 3)
  8. Kit Hudson (Director, live-action sequence)

Story EditorsEdit

  1. Jeffrey Scott (Season 1)
  2. Dorothy Middleton (Seasons 2 and 3)

Talent CoordinatorsEdit

  1. Josanne B. Lovick (Seasons 1 and 2)
  2. Doug Parker (Seasons 1 and 2)
  3. Wendi Laski (Season 2)
  4. Marian Sloan (Season 2)
  5. Randall Wade (Season 2)
  6. J.W.N. Hicks (Season 3)

CastEdit

Voice CastEdit
  1. Gary Chalk (Seasons 1-3)
  2. Ian James Corlett (Seasons 1 and 3)
  3. Mike Donovan (Seasons 1-3)
  4. Doc Harris (Seasons 1-3)
  5. Matt Hill (Seasons 1-3)
  6. Alessandro Juliani (Seasons 1-3)
  7. Andrew Kavadas (Seasons 1-3)
  8. Doug Parker (Season 1-3)
  9. Venus Terzo (Seasons 1-3)
  10. Tomm Wright (Seasons 1-3)
  11. Levi Stubbs Jr. (Seasons 1-3)
  12. Jonathan Potts (Season 2)
  13. Cyndy Preston (Season 2)
  14. Frank Welker (Season 2)
  15. Anthony Holland (Season 3)
Additional VoicesEdit
  1. Long John Baldry (Seasons 1-3)
  2. Don Brown (Seasons 1 and 2)
  3. Tony Dakota (Season 1)
  4. Angela Gann (Season 1)
  5. Anthony Holland (Seasons 1 and 2)
  6. Campbell Lane (Season 1)
  7. Lelani Marrell (Season 1)
  8. Pauline Newstone (Season 1)
  9. Mark Weatherly (Seasons 1-3)
  10. Len Carlson (Season 2)
  11. Babs Chula (Seasons 2 and 3)
  12. Ian James Corlett (Seasons 2 and 3)
  13. Violet Crumble (Season 2)
  14. Marcie Goldberg (Season 2)
  15. Lee Jeffrey (Season 2)
  16. Al Jorden (Season 2)
  17. Annabelle Kershew (Season 2)
  18. Colin Meachum (Season 2)
  19. Shane Meier (Season 2)
  20. Alvin Sanders (Season 2)
  21. Kurt Weldon (Season 2)
  22. Suzanne E. Balcom (Season 3)
  23. Chris Gaze (Season 3)
  24. Blu Mankuma (Season 3)
  25. Scott McNeil (Season 3)
Live-Action SequenceEdit
  1. Dorian Barag - "Kevin"
  2. Louie From Critters of the Cinema - "Duke-the-Dog"

TranslationEdit

  1. Minoru Terao (Seasons 1-3)
  2. Noriko Norvell (Seasons 1 and 2)
  3. Rumio Satoh (Season 1)
  4. Kazuko Yamamoto (Seasons 1 and 2)
  5. Kazuko Smith (Season 3)
  6. Minnie Sm Kim (Season 3)
  7. Jung Ran Son (Season 3)
  8. Joseph C. Cho (Season 3)

StoryboardsEdit

  1. Kurt Conner (Storyboard Supervisor, Season 1)
  2. Ryan A. Anthony (Season 1)
  3. Tim Burgard (Seasons 1 and 2)
  4. Armando Carrillo (Season 1)
  5. Romero Francisco (Season 1)
  6. Adrian G. Gonzales (Season 1)
  7. Tom Nesbitt (Seasons 1 and 2)
  8. Brad Rader (Season 1)
  9. Michael Swanigan (Seasons 1 and 2)
  10. Glen Hill (Season 1)
  11. Robert Souza (Season 1)
  12. Budd Lewis (Seasons 1 and 2)
  13. Michael D. Diederich (Season 2)
  14. Robert L. Dranko (Season 2)
  15. William T. Hurtz (Season 2)
  16. Steven Dean Moore (Season 2)
  17. Steven Burpo (Storyboard Clean-Up, Season 2)
  18. Ken Harsha (Storyboard Clean-Up, Season 2)
  19. Linda Rowley Blue (Storyboard Supervisor, Season 3)
  20. Romeo Lopez (Storyboard Cleanup, Season 3)
  21. Rodolfo Messina (Storyboard Cleanup, Season 3)
  22. William Reed (Storyboard Slugging, Season 3)
  23. Vincent Davis (Storyboard Slugging, Season 3)

DesignEdit

Character DesignEdit
  1. Marcelo Vignali (Season 1)
  2. Edward D. Lee (Season 1; Character Supervisor (Season 2))
  3. Fil Barlow (Seasons 1 and 2)
  4. Michael D. Diederich (Season 1)
  5. Micheal Goguen (Season 1)
  6. Joe Barruso (Season 2)
  7. E. Michael Mitchell (Season 2)
  8. Maureen Trueblood (Season 2)
  9. Jiunn Yu (Season 2)
  10. Sandy Kopitopoulos (Season 3)
  11. Stephen Burpo (Season 3)
  12. Donn Greer (Season 3)
  13. Charlie Steve Zambillas (Season 3)
Background DesignEdit
  1. "Fingers" Felix (Season 1)
  2. C.G. Chavez (Season 1)
  3. Ray Shenusay (Season 1)
  4. Steve Olds (Season 1)
  5. Gary Montalbano (Seasons 1 and 2)
  6. Sean Platter (Seasons 1 and 2)
  7. Russell Chong (Season 1)
  8. Alex Stevens (Season 1)
  9. Drew Graybeal (Season 2)
  10. Steve Olds (Season 2)
  11. Warren Manser (Season 3)
  12. Amado Sangalang (Season 3)
  13. Vladimir Spasojevic (Season 3)
  14. Gil Hung (Season 3)
Prop DesignEdit
  1. Steve Swaja (Seasons 1 and 2)
  2. Gil Hung (Season 2)
  3. Larry Nelson (Seasons 2 and 3)
  4. Wayne Schulk (Season 3)
Color DesignEdit
  1. Allyn Conley (Seasons 1 and 2)
  2. Derdad Aghamalian (Seasons 1 and 2)
  3. Sharon Huth (Season 1)
  4. Suzette Darling (Season 2)
  5. "Puppy" Hutchins (Season 2)
  6. Alison Gefre (Season 3)
  7. Kathy Gilmore (Season 3)

Color BackgroundsEdit

  1. Ann Guenther (Season 1)
  2. Hector Martinez-Yelsa (Seasons 1 and 2)
  3. Richard Ziehler-Martin (Seasons 1 and 2)
  4. Timothy Barnes (Season 2)
  5. Brooks Campbell (Season 2)
  6. Tim Flattery (Season 2)
  7. Bari Green (Season 2)
  8. Tim Maloney (Season 2)
  9. Joan Igawa (Season 3)
  10. Stephen Lee (Season 3)
  11. Teri Shikasho (Season 3)

Lip AssignmentsEdit

  1. Sandi Hathcock (Seasons 1-3)
  2. William Kent Holaday (Season 1)
  3. Jeff Hall (Season 1)

MusicEdit

  1. Haim Saban (Music, Season 1)
  2. Shuki Levy (Music, Season 1)
  3. Andrew Dimitroff (Music Supervisor, Season 1)
  4. Barron Abramovitch (Engineered and Mixed By, Season 1)
  5. Michael Tavera (Orchestration and Arrangement, Season 1; Music, Seasons 2 and 3)
  6. Joanne Miller (Music Supervisor, Seasons 2 and 3)

EditorsEdit

Dialogue EditorsEdit
  1. Richard Bruce Elliott (Season 1)
  2. Gregory K. Bowron (Season 1)
  3. Elvida Abella (Season 1)
  4. Michelle Rochester (Season 1)
  5. Richard S. Gannon (Season 1; Supervising Editor, Seasons 2 and 3)
  6. Theresa M. Gilroy (Seasons 1 and 2)
  7. Robert T. Gillis (Season 1)
  8. Heather C. Elliott (Seasons 1-3)
  9. Ron Fedele (Seasons 1 and 2)
  10. Donald P. Zappala (Seasons 2 and 3)
  11. Robert O'Brien (Season 2)
  12. Peter Tomaszewicz (Seasons 2 and 3)
  13. Lida Saskova (Season 3)
Format EditorsEdit
  1. Lars Floden (Season 1)
  2. William P. Magee (Season 1)
  3. Mark A. McNally (Seasons 2 and 3)
  4. Susan Odjakjian (Seasons 2 and 3)
  5. Warren Taylor (Season 2)
  6. Mel Ashkenas (Season 3)
  7. Jill Goularte (Season 3)
Music EditorsEdit
  1. Stuart Goetz (Season 1; Supervising Music Editor, Season 2)
  2. Gregory K. Bowron (Season 2)
  3. Danielle J. Johnson (Season 2)
  4. John Mortarotti (Season 3)
Film EditorsEdit
  1. Gregory K. Bowron (Seasons 2 and 3)
  2. Richard Bruce Elliott (Seasons 2 and 3)
  3. Allan Gelbart (Seasons 2 and 3)

Video Tape SupervisorsEdit

  1. Phil R. Defibaugh (Season 1)
  2. Elvida Abella (Season 1)
  3. Mario Di Mambro (Season 2)
  4. Dennis Graham (Seasons 2 and 3)
  5. Tonda Lark (Season 3)
  6. Fifun A. Amini (Season 3)
  7. Gerri Kessler (Season 3)

Sound EffectsEdit

  1. Bill Koepnick (Season 2)
  2. Paca Thomas (Season 3)

Misc.Edit

  1. Ellen Levy (Creative Consultant, Season 1)
  2. Lori Crawford (Script Supervisor, Seasons 1-3)
  3. Mark A. McNally (Track Reader, Season 1)
  4. Michael J. Cowan (Supervising Sound Engineer, Seasons 1-3)
  5. Jim Hodson (Re-Recording Engineer, Seasons 1 and 2)
  6. Stu Rosen (Casting, Season 2)
  7. Maureen Trueblood (Lip Models, Season 3)
  8. Ray Leonard (Re-Recording Engineer, Season 3)
  9. Winnie Chaffee (Overseas Consultant, Season 3)
  10. Larry Cariou (Overseas Supervisor, Season 3)
  11. Andy Heyward (Creative Supervisor, Season 3)

AssistantsEdit

  1. Dawn Jackson (assistant to Winnie Chaffee, Season 1)
  2. Stacey Gallishaw (assistant to Winnie Chaffee, Season 1)
  3. Steve Gold (Production Assistant, Season 1)
  4. Jose Gonzalez (Production Assistant, Season 1)
  5. Irene Toporzysek (Production Assistant, Seasons 1-3)
  6. Anne Mathisen (Recording Assistant, Seasons 1 and 2)
  7. Don Parker (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  8. Daniela Spiwak (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  9. Mark McCorkle (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  10. Gary K. Ushino (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  11. Robert Schooley (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  12. John Tirpak (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  13. Peter Harvey (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  14. Victor Villegas (Recording Assistant, Season 1)
  15. William A. Ruiz (assistant to Lori Crawford, Seasons 1-3)
  16. George Robinson (assistant to Lori Crawford, Season 1)
  17. Kimberly R. Cronin (assistant to Thierry P. Laurin, Seasons 1 and 2)
  18. Donald P. Zappala (Assistant Editor, Season 1)
  19. Karen Rosenbloom (Assistant Editor, Season 1)
  20. Firooz Adelamini (Post Production Assistant, Season 1)
  21. Nye Tucker (Post Production Assistant, Season 1)
  22. Grant Leavins (Production Assistant, Season 2)
  23. Danielle Ferraro (Production Assistant, Season 2)
  24. Alvin Sanders (Recording Assistant, Season 2)
  25. Eben F. Eldridge (assistant to Lori Crawford, Seasons 2 and 3)
  26. Quentin Kniola (assistant to Lori Crawford, Season 2)
  27. Trudy Alexander (Assistant Editor, Seasons 2 and 3)
  28. Kris Gilpin (Assistant Editor, Seasons 2 and 3)
  29. Judy Sampson-Brown (assistant to Joanne Miller, Seasons 2 and 3)
  30. Melissa Gentry (assistant to Joanne Miller, Seasons 2 and 3)
  31. Patrick Amschler (Production Assistant, Season 3)
  32. Amanda Ruhland (Production Assistant, Season 3)
  33. Shirley McGregor (Recording Assistant, Season 3)
  34. Kimberly R. Francis (assistant to Thierry P. Laurin, Season 3)

CompaniesEdit

  1. Zound FX (Sound Effects By, Season 1)
  2. I Square Communications (Live Action Main Title Designed & Produced By)
  3. Saban Productions (Produced In Association With, Season 1)
  4. Spectrum Animation Studio (Captain N Overseas Animation, Season 2; Storyboards, Season 3)
  5. Canvas, Inc. (Opening Titles, Season 3)
  6. Sae Rom Plus One Productions (Animation, Season 3)

SyndicationEdit

The Family ChannelEdit

Seasons 1 and 2 were syndicated on The Family Channel as part of its Fun Town line-up in the 1991-1993 seasons, when Season 3 was airing on NBC.

There were at least two unique teasers that aired before the opening.

The commercial bumpers referenced Captain N, but they were spoken by generic cartoon characters.

In addition, Captain N footage was used in at least two "10x10 Giveaway" commercials involving Super Nintendo consoles.

YTVEdit

The series was syndicated on YTV in Canada from 1992 to 1993.

Episodes were time-compressed, but not to the extents that the Family Channel and VGM airings were.

The NBC episode teasers were included.

The cover songs were included.

USA NetworkEdit

The series was syndicated on USA Network's "Cartoon Express" on Sunday mornings from 1993 to 1994. When airing, all of the episodes used the Season 1 intro and closing credits, and the songs were taken out and replaced with the "Mega Move" instrumental as in the VGM airings. Episodes were time-compressed to fit the schedule, and bumpers were narrated by Keith Olbermann.

Captain N & The Video Game MastersEdit

Main Article: Captain N & The Video Game Masters

The series, along with The Legend of Zelda, The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3, and The New Super Mario World, was syndicated in a weekday package called Captain N & The Video Game Masters. It ran from September of 1992 to August of 1993. This syndication package is commonly referred to as VGM in the Captain N fandom.

  • VGM opened with its own unique 30-second intro, which was immediately followed by a commercial bumper. Upon return from break, the relevent series' opening would play.
  • The Season 1 songs were removed and replaced with an instrumental version of the song from The Feud of Faxanadu.
  • At least once, an alternate version of Quest For the Potion of Power was played. It used the same soundtrack as the 2-part version that aired as filler in Season 3. This version was also released on VHS, along with the normal version.
  • Both The Feud of Faxanadu and the alternate version of Quest for the Potion of Power strangely aired with the Season 3 opening, while most other episodes used the Season 2 intro.
  • When Season 3 episodes and The New Super Mario World episodes aired, both had their series title cards cut out.

Reception and LegacyEdit

No Internet feedback on Captain N: The Game Master dating from the time of its original broadcast has yet been discovered.

However, it is safe to say that people viewed the series either before or after playing the NES games that the series was loosely based on. Some people enjoyed the series until playing the games. Other people enjoyed the series despite its inaccuracies. Still other people always hated the series. Therefore, it can be concluded that the series had (and continues to have) a mixed reaction from viewers.

Compliments generally include the overall concept and the character of Captain N himself. Criticisms include numerous game inaccuracies, mischaracterizations of video game characters, sloppy animation, and imbecilic writing.

Regarding marketing Nintendo games, it could be presumed that viewers of the series, whether they were fans of the series or not, got introduced to Nintendo games and stayed with the games and characters. Considering all of the games in the Mega Man, Castlevania, Metroid, Dragon Warrior, and Final Fantasy series alone, the amount of money that the series made (and continues to make) for the video game industry becomes incalculable. From this perspective, Captain N: The Game Master is a definite success.

The series could also have been a boost to the music industry, exposing new fans to the songs of Bob Seger, Billy Idol, Creedence Clearwater Revival, James Brown, Kenny Loggins, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and The Cars.

Comic Book SeriesEdit

The comic book series was produced by Valiant in 1990. It was generally more serious in tone than the cartoon series.

CharactersEdit

The N TeamEdit

  1. Kevin Keene (Captain N)
  2. Princess Lana
  3. Samus Aran
  4. Kid Icarus
  5. Duke

The League of DarknessEdit

  1. Mother Brain
  2. King Hippo
  3. Eggplant Wizard
  4. Uranos

Minor CharactersEdit

See: list of Captain N: The Game Master characters

Comic Book StoriesEdit

The comic book stories were originally printed in two separate titles: Captain N: The Game Master and Nintendo Comics System. The stories are presented here in rough chronological order by month with Nintendo Comics System stories arbitrarily presented before Captain N: The Game Master stories in July.

  1. Welcome To Videoland
  2. All's Well That Ends Swell
  3. The Fruit and Vegetable War
  4. Every Dog Has Its Day
  5. Money Changes Everything
  6. The Happy Zone
  7. Villains' Do's and Don'ts
  8. The Item
  9. Just a Dog
  10. The Master Machine
  11. The Coming of a Hero
  12. Metroid
  13. Deceit Du Jour
  14. Nervous Meltdown
  15. The Fabulous Powers of Captain N
  16. Video-Town
  17. A Dog's Life
  18. The Real Game Master
  19. Secrets of the Warp Zones
  20. Videoland Guidebook: Prisonworld
  21. Breakout
  22. A King of Shreds and Patches
  23. Videoland Guidebook: Garbageworld
  24. From the World of Metroid: Samus Aran's Starship Hunter IV
  25. Videoland Guidebook: The Locker
  26. When Friends Fall Out

Reception and LegacyEdit

No Internet feedback on the comic books dating from the time of their original publication has yet been discovered.

However, today, the comic books are generally viewed as being vastly superior to the cartoon series - primarily for the inclusion of Samus Aran and the absence of Simon Belmont, Mega Man, and Kid Icarus.

The comic book series faded to obscurity, compared to the cartoon series, after the original publication in 1990, but it has received new exposure through the Internet since the late 1990s, thanks to the online fandom.

Super Smash BrosEdit

Since the end of Captain N, several of the characters have since appear in the Super Smash Bros series. Having appeared since the first game are Samus Aran, Link and Donkey Kong, with Zelda appearing since the next game, Super Smash Bros Melee.

Making his debut in Super Smash Bros Brawl is Pit, with Mega Man set to debut in the 4th title in 2014.

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