Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
Flying through space and firing missiles! A dreadful Godzilla, whose whole body is a weapon, appears! (宇宙をとびミサイルを撃ち込む！全身が武器の凄いゴジラが現われた！)
— Japanese tagline
Godzilla battles his robot double to prevent destruction of the Earth!
— International tagline
See the mighty Godzilla in a fight to the death with his cosmic double!
— American tagline
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (ゴジラ対メカゴジラ is a Gojira tai Mekagojira, lit. Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla)1974 tokusatsu kaiju film produced by Toho, and the fourteenth installment in the Godzilla series as well as the Showa series. The film was released to Japanese theaters on March 21, 1974.
The film which introduced Mechagodzilla, one of Godzilla's most popular foes, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was also the final Godzilla film to be directed by Jun Fukuda and scored by Masaru Sato. When archaeologist Saeko Kaneshiro deciphers an ancient Okinawan prophecy foretelling of a monster which will appear to destroy the world, Godzilla suddenly appears from the crater of Mount Fuji and goes on a rampage. However, Godzilla's friend Anguirus attacks him, aware that this Godzilla is actually an impostor. The real Godzilla soon arrives to challenge his double, exposing it as a robotic duplicate called Mechagodzilla. Mechagodzilla is under the control of the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens, who aim to use it to conquer the Earth. Saeko and her ally Keisuke Shimizu now race to awaken the Okinawan guardian deity King Caesar to defeat Mechagodzilla, pursued by the sinister alien agent Yanagawa and shadowed by the mysterious INTERPOL agent Nanbara.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Staff
- 3 Cast
- 4 Appearances
- 5 Gallery
- 6 Soundtrack
- 7 Alternate titles
- 8 Theatrical releases
- 9 U.S. release
- 10 Box office
- 11 Reception
- 12 Video releases
- 13 Videos
- 14 Trivia
- 15 External links
- 16 References
- 17 Comments
While observing a traditional Okinawan ceremony being performed by Azumi royal family descendant Nami, Keisuke Shimizu and his brother Masahiko witness her suddenly freeze in terror and collapse. Nami's grandfather runs to her and asks what is wrong, to which she replies she has seen a vision of a monster laying waste to civilization and trampling on those who try to flee. Afterward, Keizuke drops Masahiko off at Gyokusen Cave as he heads to his job at an excavation site on the island. Inside the cave, Masahiko finds a bizarre piece of metal, and brings it to Professor Hideto Miyajima at Mount Fuji. Miyajima remarks that the metal is unlike any found on Earth, and likely originated from outer space, giving it the name "Space Titanium." As Miyajima studies the metal more closely, an earthquake suddenly strikes his laboratory. Miyajima's daughter Eiko mentions that these tremors have been occuring frequently over recent days. Meanwhile in Okinawa, Keisuke investigates a cave that has recently been uncovered, and is joined by government archaeologist Saeko Kaneshiro. Inside, they find a mural that seems to depict a prophecy, along with a statue of King Caesar, the legendary guardian monster of the Azumi royal family of Okinawa. Saeko begins deciphering the prophecy, observed in secret by two mysterious men. Saeko boards a plane for Tokyo, and runs into Keisuke on the flight, who is also traveling there to visit family. Saeko reports that she has deciphered much of the prophecy: "When a black mountain appears above the clouds, a monster will appear to try and destroy the world. But when the red moon sets and the sun rises in the west, two monsters will appear to save the people." She says she is going to visit Professor Wagura in Tokyo to see if he can help decipher more of the prophecy. One of the shady men that was observing Saeko earlier is also on board the plane, and introduces himself to Saeko and Keisuke as a freelance reporter. He says he hopes she will share her story with him, as he will "make a lot of money" if he reports on it. Just then, the passengers notice a strange cloud formation that resembles a black mountain. Saeko is concerned this is the black mountain from the prophecy.
When Keisuke and Saeko arrive in Tokyo, he accompanies her to Professor Wagura's house and reveals that Wagura is actually his uncle. That night, Wagura works with Saeko to decipher the prophecy, but the other strange man who was stalking her, Yanagawa, breaks into the house and holds her and Wagura at gunpoint, demanding they give him the statue of King Caesar. Keisuke enters the room and attacks Yanagawa, successfully disarming him in a brief fistfight before he flees the house. Keisuke tries to pursue Yanagawa, but finds he has escaped. As Keisuke stares out into the night, the other observer continues watching from a distance. The next day, Mt. Fuji suddenly erupts and expels a huge rock from its crater. The rock bursts open to reveal Godzilla, appearing unusually hostile and aggressive. Saeko is astonished to learn that the evil monster predicted by the prophecy is Godzilla. Godzilla begins rampaging through the countryside, destroying buildings in his path as he gradually makes his way to Tokyo. Suddenly, the ground opens up beneath Godzilla and he trips and falls. Anguirus soon surfaces from underground, roaring before leaping at Godzilla and attacking him. Knowing his brother is near Mt. Fuji, Keisuke drives there to try and help him, remarking how strange it is that Anguirus attacked his friend Godzilla. As the battle rages on, Anguirus slams into Godzilla with his spiky carapace and tears off some of his skin, revealing metal underneath. Godzilla retaliates and brutally beats Anguirus, finally breaking his jaw and sending him retreating back underground. Godzilla roars victoriously and continues on his way to Tokyo. Keisuke finds the road blocked by debris left by Godzilla and Anguirus' battle, and notices a chunk of metal lying nearby. Keisuke brings the metal to Miyajima's laboratory, and he identifies it as also being Space Titanium. Miyajima says he wants to get a closer look at Godzilla, and travels to Tokyo with Keizuke, Masahiko and Eiko. There, they witness Godzilla obliterate the port area of the city with his atomic breath. As Godzilla rampages, a second Godzilla suddenly appears from underneath a building. This Godzilla roars at the other, and the two beasts begin fighting. During the battle, the second Godzilla reveals a large portion of metal underneath the other's skin. Miyajima realizes that the Godzilla that emerged from Mount Fuji is actually a cyborg impostor, or a "Mechagodzilla." With the ruse exposed, Mechagodzilla sheds its disguise and reveals its true mechanical form. Mechagodzilla bombards Godzilla with missiles from its fingers and laser beams from its eyes. Godzilla fires his atomic breath at the mechanical monster, which counters with its eye beams, causing an explosion that knocks Godzilla into Tokyo Bay and badly damages Mechagodzilla's head controls. Mechagodzilla flies away, while Godzilla vanishes. Miyajima believes Mechagodzilla is being remotely controlled by aliens, and asks Eiko and Masahiko to accompany him to Gyokusen Cave in Okinawa.
When Miyajima and the others reach the cave, they are held at gunpoint by two strange men wearing silver jumpsuits. They are brought into a secret lair inside the cave, and are greeted by Kuronuma, who introduces himself as the leader of the Black Hole Planet 3 Aliens' invasion force. Kuronuma has Eiko and Masahiko taken to the execution room, and promises Miyajima they will be spared if he helps them repair Mechagodzilla. Kuronuma then gives the order for the alien agent Yanagawa to retrieve the statue of King Caesar before anyone uses it to awaken the monster. Miyajima reluctantly agrees, and gets to work on fixing Mechagodzilla. Keisuke and Saeko, meanwhile, begin traveling to Okinawa on board the cruise ship Queen Coral, bringing the King Caesar statue with them. Elsewhere, Godzilla is repeatedly struck by lightning, but manages to harness its electrical power to produce a magnetic field. One night, Yanagawa breaks into Saeko's cabin and steals the King Caesar statue, only to be attacked by Keisuke, who was waiting for him. After a brief scuffle, Keisuke shoots Yanagawa in the face, revealing part of his true green ape-like face underneath it. Yanagawa takes the statue and runs onto the ship's deck, pursued by Keisuke. Yanagawa ambushes Keisuke and takes his gun, and prepares to shoot him, only to be shot and sent falling overboard with the statue by a hidden assailant. Saeko runs onto the deck and finds Keisuke, telling him the statue is gone. As she and Keisuke stand on deck, the "freelance reporter" reveals himself and says the two of them should be talking about love on a night like this. When the Queen Coral arrives in Okinawa, Keisuke reveals that the statue that went overboard was a duplicate, and he kept the real statue in a safe on the ship. When Saeko and Keisuke arrive at the hotel where Miyajima and the others were staying, they learn none of them have been seen in several days. Keisuke heads to Gyokusen Cave to search for them, while Saeko stays behind at the hotel with the statue. At the aliens' base, Miyajima completes his work on Mechagodzilla, only to be thrown into the execution chamber with Masahiko and Eiko. Kuronuma activates the chamber, which releases hot steam and produces intense heat in order to boil the prisoners alive. When Keisuke searches the cave, he finds Miyajima's special metal pipe, which contains positive and negative electrodes that allow it to destroy the circuits in machinery. Keisuke is then held at gunpoint by a Black Hole Planet 3 Alien, who is himself shot by the "freelance reporter" from earlier. The strange man finally introduces himself as Nanbara, an INTERPOL agent. Nanbara reveals that INTERPOL had been following the aliens for sixth months, and he started following Keisuke once he got caught up in the aliens' scheme. Nanbara takes the alien hostage and forces him to give them access to the aliens' base. They manage to overpower two aliens and steal their uniforms, then open up the execution chamber to free Miyajima and the others. Two more aliens arrive and hold them all at gunpoint, but Nanbara quickly shoots and kills them both.
The humans flee the aliens' base and prepare to get in Keisuke's car, but Nanbara anticipates a trap and uses a wire to turn the ignition from outside the vehicle, activating a car bomb set by the aliens. Kuronuma assumes the humans are killed once the car explodes, and prepares to launch Mechagodzilla. As dawn approaches, the moon takes on a red color and begins to set, further completing the Azumi prophecy. Nanbara tells Keisuke and the others to get the King Caesar statue and awaken the monster while he goes back into the aliens' base and deals with them. Masahiko and Miyajima insist on accompanying Nanbara, and the three of them go back into the aliens' base. Keisuke returns to the hotel to retrieve Saeko and the statue, then travels to Izumi Castle. There, they find two aliens holding Nami and her grandfather hostage, demanding they hand over the statue. Before Keisuke can give the aliens the statue, Nanbara's partner Tamura shoots and kills them both. As the sun rises, it produces a mirage that makes it appear another sun is rising in the west, bringing the prophecy even closer to completion. The statue is placed on a pedestal, and fires two beams from its eyes at a cliffside, revealing King Caesar sleeping within. Kuronuma launches Mechagodzilla and orders it to destroy King Caesar while he's sleeping. At that moment, Nanbara, Masahiko and Miyajima enter the aliens' control room, only to be trapped by their security system. The men are handcuffed and forces to watch Mechagodzilla on a monitor. Because King Caesar can only be awakened by a member of the Azumi royal family, Nami runs down to the beach and sings a sacred prayer to the beast. King Caesar awakens, and is promptly attacked by Mechagodzilla. King Caesar reflects the machine's eye beams back at it, but cannot withstand Mechagodzilla's missiles. King Caesar hides behind a mountain, which Mechagodzilla cuts in half with a beam fired from its chest. Mechagodzilla charges at King Caesar and begins savagely beating him, then throws him into a ditch. As Mechagodzilla prepares to fire its finger missiles, it turns to witness Godzilla surface from the water. Saeko remarks that the prophecy has finally come true, as Godzilla is the second monster prophesized to appear and save the world. Godzilla joins forces with King Caesar and battles Mechagodzilla, but the Earth monsters are outmatched by the machine's countless weapons. Mechagodzilla unleashes a hail of missiles and lasers at Godzilla and King Caesar, who struggle to keep their footing. Before Godzilla can finally reach Mechagodzilla, it takes off and flies into the air, blasting Godzilla in the neck with its eye beams and causing him to bleed profusely and fall to the ground. Mechagodzilla fires several missiles at the fallen Godzilla, which become lodged in his flesh. Godzilla gets back to his feet and begins emitting a magnetic field, pulling power lines into his body and pulling Mechagodzilla out of the sky. Mechagodzilla finally falls to the ground and is grabbed by Godzilla, allowing King Caesar to repeatedly attack it. Mechagodzilla tries to retreat but is weighed down by Godzilla, who pulls it back to the ground. Godzilla grabs Mechagodzilla's head and twists it around until it finally causes the machine's entire head and neck area to explode and fall off.
While Kuronuma is astonished by Mechagodzilla's defeat, Nanbara picks the lock on his handcuffs and frees his hands, then throws the two halves of Miyajima's pipe at opposite ends of the aliens' computer, causing it to malfunction. Nanbara runs behind one of the aliens and, using him as a shield, shoots and kills Kuronuma. The computer begins sparking, and triggers the aliens' entire base to self-destruct. Nanbara unlocks Miyajima and Masahiko's handcuffs, then they all escape from the base as it is rocked by explosions. As the aliens' base goes up in smoke, Mechagodzilla's wreckage explodes along with it, sending Godzilla falling into the ocean below as shards of Space Titanium fall from the sky. Godzilla surfaces shortly afterward, while King Caesar returns to his slumber inside the cliff. Keisuke, Saeko, Eiko and Masahiko then return the King Caesar statue to its rightful place in Azumi Castle, with Nami's grandfather remarking that the spirits of the Azumi royal family can now rest in peace.
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla/Credits.
Staff role on the left, staff member's name on the right.
- Directed by Jun Fukuda
- Written by Jun Fukuda, Masami Fukushima, Shinichi Sekizawa, Hiroyasu Yamamura
- Produced by Tomoyuki Tanaka
- Music by Masaru Sato
- Cinematography by Yuzuru Aizawa
- Edited by Michiko Ikeda
- Production design by Kazuo Satsuya
- Assistant directing by Tsunesaburo Nishikawa
- Special effects by Teruyoshi Nakano
- Assistant Director of Special Effects Koichi Kawakita
- "Miyarabi's Prayer" Performed by Beru-Bera Lin
- Lyrics by Jun Fukuda
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla/Credits.
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Masaaki Daimon as Keisuke Shimizu
- Kazuya Aoyama as Masahiko Shimizu
- Akihiko Hirata as Professor Hideto Miyajima
- Hiroshi Koizumi as Professor Wagura
- Reiko Tajima as Saeko Kaneshiro
- Hiromi Matsushita as Eiko Miyajima
- Goro Mutsumi as Black Hole Alien Leader Kuronuma
- Shin Kishida as Interpol Agent Nanbara
- Masao Imafuku as Azumi High Priest
- Beru-Bera Lin as Azumi Princess Nami
- Takayasu Torii as Interpol Agent Tamura
- Daigo Kusano as Black Hole Alien Agent Yanagawa
- Kenji Sahara as Captain of the Queen Coral
- Yasuzo Ogawa as Construction Foreman
- Isao Zushi as Godzilla
- Kazunari Mori as Mechagodzilla
- Kinichi Kusumi as Anguirus and King Caesar
International English Dub
Actor's name on the left, character played on the right.
- Matthew Oram as Keisuke Shimizu / Black Hole Alien Agent Yanagawa
- Michael Kaye as Professor Hideto Miyajima / Interpol Agent Tamura / Captain of the Queen Coral / Construction Foreman
- Linda Masson as Saeko Kaneshiro
- Michael Ross as Kuronuma
Weapons, vehicles, and races
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla/Gallery.
- Main article: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (Soundtrack).
- Showdown in Zanpamisaki: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (残波岬の大決斗 ゴジラ対メカゴジラ Zanpamisaki no Daikettō Gojira tai Mekagojira, Early Japanese Title)
- Godzilla vs. Bionic Monster (Original United States Title)
- Godzilla vs. Cosmic Monster (United States Poster Title)
- Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster (Revised United States Title)
- Godzilla vs. The Mechagodzilla (Godzilla 1998 Database Title)
- Godzilla vs. Cyber-Godzilla, the Destruction Machine (Godzilla contra Cibergodzilla, máquina de destrucción; Spain)
- MechaKing Against Godzilla (MecaKing contra Godzilla; Mexico)
- King Kong vs. Godzilla (King Kong gegen Godzilla; Germany)
- Godzilla vs. the Robot (Godzilla contro i Robot; Italy)
- Terror of Mechagodzilla (Terror MechaGodzilli; Poland)
- Godzilla Against the Mechagodzilla (Godzilla a Mechagodzilla ellen; Hungary)
- Robot Against Godzilla (Ρομπότ εναντίον Γκοτζίλα Robót enantíon Gotzíla; Greece)
View all posters for the film here.
- Japan - March 21, 1974 [view poster]
- United States - 1977 [view poster]
- England [view poster]
- Germany [view poster]
- Italy [view poster]
- Poland [view poster]
- Hungary [view poster]
- Mexico [view poster]
- Thailand [view poster]
In 1977, Cinema Shares purchased the North American distribution rights to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla from Toho and released the movie through Downtown Distribution under the title Godzilla vs. The Bionic Monster. As they had done with Godzilla vs. Megalon the previous year, Cinema Shares simply utilized the Toho-produced international English dub. In July 1977, Universal Studios filed a lawsuit threat against Cinema Shares, claiming that the title was too similar to their TV productions, The Six Million Dollar Man and its spin-off The Bionic Woman. Cinema Shares then re-titled the film Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster (simply written as Godzilla vs. Cosmic Monster on posters).
As with most of the other 1970's Godzilla films, the Japanese version of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla featured several scenes with violent content and strong language. However, unlike in the past, Cinema Shares retained the violent monster action, including a shot of Godzilla spraying blood. The edits include:
- A new title card. In the Japanese and international versions, Godzilla's name flashes several times while a mountain explodes in the background. As Masaru Sato's music plays, the full title is revealed. In the Cosmic Monster version, the screen turns bright red (covering up the original title) and the film title and copyright information appear, along with the American poster artwork. In TV versions of the film, the artwork was cropped out of this title screen.
- The opening credits were deleted.
- Also deleted is a scene in which Nanbara, the INTERPOL agent, strangles one of the aliens. The final shoot-out between Nanbara and three of the aliens is similarly edited.
- At the end of the Japanese version, King Caesar returns to his resting place and Godzilla to the sea. In a short epilogue, the Azumi princess Nami runs through her homeland celebrating with many of the characters. One of the King Caesar statues appears as the Japanese symbol for "end" appears. Cinema Shares cut this short epilogue, with the exception of the final shot of the statue. A red bar appears on the right side of the screen, with "THE END" overlaid on it.
In 1988, New World Video released the film along with Godzilla 1985 and Godzilla vs. Gigan. This print was Toho's original, uncut international version, which restored all the cuts made by Cinema Shares. The film was shown on the Sci-Fi Channel throughout the 1990's under the title Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster, although this version was in fact Toho's international version but with a new title card.
In 2004, TriStar Pictures released the film on DVD under its original international title, with Japanese and English audio options. The DVD has since gone out of print, and as a result Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is one of the most difficult and costly Godzilla films to obtain on Region 1 DVD, matched only by Son of Godzilla. However, a digital copy of its English dub can be purchased through an online content delivery network called Vudu.
The film sold approximately 1,330,000 tickets in Japan, 350,000 more than the previous Godzilla film, Godzilla vs. Megalon.
Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla has remained popular among fans in recent years due to its jazzy music, colorful special effects and entertaining monster fights. The film's robust themes and fairly complex plot stand out against a time when the Godzilla franchise was being fueled by increasingly lower production values. It is widely considered the best of the 1970's Godzilla films, and is one of the most popular films in the series.
Power Multimedia DVD (1999)
- Region: N/A
- Discs: 1
- Audio: English (Mono), Mandarin (Mono)
- Special Features: None
- Notes: Presents an unaltered 16mm transfer of the film's international version, albeit cropped to 1.33:1. Includes traditional and simplified Chinese subtitles. Out of print.
Toho DVD (2002)
- Region: 2
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono and 5.1 Surround)
- Subtitles: Japanese
- Special Features: Audio commentary by Teruyoshi Nakano and Yasuo Kurashiki, theatrical trailer, scans of the theatrical program, "Mechagodzilla Encyclopedia," Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla teaser trailer, still gallery, Shisa information, map of Okinawa locations in the film, examination of Mechagodzilla's design by Shin'ichirou Kobayashi
TriStar Pictures DVD (2004)
- Region: 1
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono), English (2.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: English, French
- Special Features: Trailers
- Notes: Out of print.
Madman DVD (2006)
- Region: 4
- Discs: 1
- Audio: Japanese (2.0 Mono, 5.1 Surround), English (2.0 Mono)
- Subtitles: English
- Special Features: Theatrical trailer, image gallery, trivia
- Notes: Cropped to 2.55:1.
- Region: A/1 or B/2
- Discs: 8
- Audio: Japanese, English
- Subtitles: English
- Special Features: All bonus features on Criterion's Godzilla Blu-ray, 1990 Ishiro Honda interview by Yoshimitsu Banno, interview with director Alex Cox, interviews with actors Bin Furuya and Tsugutoshi Komada, 2011 interview with critic Tadao Sato, unused effects sequences from Toho releases including Destroy All Monsters, trailers, illustrated hardcover book with an essay by Steve Ryfle and liner notes on each film by Ed Godziszewski
- Notes: Uses a new English subtitle translation. Sony distributed a Region B/2 version of the set in the United Kingdom.
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was Godzilla's 20th anniversary film.
- This was the first Godzilla film to credit the monster suit actors' respective roles on screen.
- Special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano adopted Mechagodzilla's walk from the formal movements of Kabuki.
- The suit used to portray the disguised Mechagodzilla in this film would later be used at the end of Terror of Mechagodzilla to show Godzilla swimming away.
- Strangely, when the Azumi princess has her vision at the beginning of the film foretelling of a monster coming to destroy mankind, it is portrayed through film stills from Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster and Submersion of Japan with flames overlaid on them. King Ghidorah can clearly be seen in the shots, and his roar is used as background sound. However, King Ghidorah does not appear again at any point in the remainder of the film, nor is he ever mentioned.
- Ryuhei Kitamura, the director of Godzilla: Final Wars, stated that Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was his favorite Godzilla film, with King Caesar being his favorite kaiju.
- This would be Anguirus' last film appearance for 30 years. Anguirus was planned to appear in multiple scrapped films during this time, including Godzilla vs. Ghost Godzilla and Godzilla X Varan, Baragon and Anguirus: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack, but he did not make his next appearance until Godzilla: Final Wars.
- This film is one of, if not the bloodiest Godzilla films. With the death of Eiji Tsuburaya in 1970, the series began to become more graphic in order to compete with rival monster films, like the Gamera series. Such scenes of gore includes the fight between Mechagodzilla (as Fake Godzilla) and Anguirus where Mechagodzilla breaks Anguirus' jaw in a brutal display, during the first fight between Mechagodzilla and Godzilla, when Godzilla falls into the water and blood rises to the surface, and when Mechagodzilla repeatedly fires his laser beam at Godzilla's neck, prompting blood to spray out of the wounds.
- This film marks the second time Godzilla draws strength from lightning; the first was in Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, and the third time was in The Return of Godzilla.
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is the last Godzilla film directed by Jun Fukuda.
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla was released at the Spring Toho Champion Film Festival alongside a theatrical version of episode 11 of Ultraman Taro titled The Blood-Sucking Flower is a Young Girl's Spirit, as well as other live-action shows and animated films.
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla is the first Godzilla film to feature a beam lock, not counting the clashes between Godzilla and Minilla's atomic breath and Kumonga's web in Son of Godzilla. The beam lock does not last long, but it happens when Godzilla breathes atomic breath and Mechagodzilla shoots his eye beam during their first battle. The beams lock for a few seconds before the combined rays explode, sending Godzilla into Tokyo Bay and causing Mechagodzilla to short-circuit.
- Godzilla vs. The Bionic Monster filmbook in Famous Monsters of Filmland #135 (July 1977)
- Godzilla vs. The Cosmic Monster title card
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