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Piston Hondo
Piston Hondo Transparent.png
Statistics
Rated at 174 lbs. (78 kg)
Height 6' 2" (187 cm)
Nationality Japanese
Age 28
From Tokyo, Japan
Stance Orthodox
First appearance Punch-Out!! (1987)
Boxing record
Rank Minor Circuit Champion, #5 World Circuit1
#3 Major Circuit2
Total fights 27
Wins 26
Wins by KO 18
Losses 1

Piston Hondo (ピストン・ホンドー Pisuton Hondō)/Piston Honda (ピストン本田 Pisuton Honda) is a boxer from Tokyo. His quirks include the fact that Piston Hondo's name and trademark Banzai Rush (also known as the Hondo Rush) are reminiscent of Piston Hurricane from the earlier Punch-Out!! arcade game and later Super Punch-Out!! Super Nintendo game. The theme music played for Piston Hondo is a quote from Sakura, a Japanese folk song. Also, derived from Honda's quotes; NHK is an actual broadcasting company in Japan (but is replaced by "my camera crew" in Virtual Console version) and "Sushi, Kamikaze, Fujiyama, Nipponichi..." is genuine, if randomly babbled, Japanese.

Piston Hondo has also appeared as a Hasbro Action Figure and in a Topps trading card series. Hondo also appears in the pages of the Nintendo Comics System in a story called "Outsiders" where, despite his fearsome demeanor in the game, he is shown to be an altruist who is a boxer to raise money to build hospitals and schools in poor parts of the country. Hondo is one of the 3 fighters that can dodge your attacks, the other 2 are Mr. Sandman and Don Flamenco.



Appearances[]

Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream (1987–1990)[]

Piston Honda
Nes Piston Hondo.gif
Statistics
Rated at 174 lbs. (79 kg.)
Nationality Japanese
Age 28
From Tokyo, Japan, 1959
Boxing record
Rank Minor Circuit Champion, #5 World Circuit
Total fights 27
Wins 26
Wins by KO 18
Losses 1
Piston Honda.png

Piston Honda made two appearances on the 1987 Nintendo Entertainment System game Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! first as the Minor Circuit Champion and later as Little Mac's first opponent in the World Circuit. The first real challenge for new Punch-Out!! players, Honda has a weak defense but is much improved when compared to Glass Joe or Von Kaiser. His jab and uppercuts hit hard and for an unprepared opponent, the Honda Rush (a series of rotating left and right jabs) can be bad news.

After dispatching Piston Honda for the Minor Circuit Championship, Little Mac meets up with him again in the World Circuit. Honda returns with increased defense, aggression, a "wiggling uppercut", and an improved version of the Banzai Rush. During this, if jabbed at the right time, he can be easily KO'd.

His palette swap is Mike Tyson or Mr. Dream, depending on the edition of the game.

Star Opportunities:

  • Jab him when his eyebrows twitch before he throws a jab.
  • Left Uppercut him while he winds up his Right Hook.
    • Jab him up to 3 times right after he is stunned.
  • Counter the Banzai Rush with a jab or body blow.

Instant Knockdown:

- Counter the Banzai Rush with a jab or body blow (Honda 1)

- Star punch him whenever there is a 4 on the counter

- Star punch him when his eyes twitches (almost impossible)

Instant Knockout:

- Counter the Banzai Rush with a jab or body blow. Timing is difficult. (Honda 2)

Attacks:

-Left Jab: His eyebrows will twitch, before he throws a quick left jab. Hook or jab him when his eyebrows twitch for a star, can be dodged or ducked.

-Right Hook: A right hook, jab him before he attacks for a star, can be dodged or ducked.

-Right Uppercut: A strong right uppercut, can be dodged or ducked.

-Banzai Rush: Honda steps back and jumps from side to side, then comes back to the center and attacks. He does four or five consecutive jabs, which can be dodged or blocked. If any of the jabs hit Mac, Honda will keep throwing them continuously until Mac goes down.

Attacks (Honda 2):

-Quick Left Jabs: Similar to his normal left jab. He do a eyebrows twitch but this time he do 3 Quick Left Jabs usually with two uppercuts after. This one attack can't be hooked for a star, you can dodge or duck the three jabs.

-Fake Right Uppercut: He will do some fake outs, then a strong right uppercut, can be dodged or ducked.

-Supercharged Banzai Rush: Honda steps back, but doesn't jump, before coming back to the center and attacking. In this one, he will do four jabs, and finally two right uppercuts. It is possible to dodge all the attacks.

Punch-Out!! (2009)[]

Piston Hondo
PO Hondo1--article image.jpg
Statistics
Rated at 174 lbs. (79 kg)
Height 6'2"
Nationality Japanese
Age 28
From Tokyo, Japan
Boxing record
Rank #3 Major Circuit
Total fights 27
Wins 26
Wins by KO 18
Losses 1

Piston Hondo made an appearance in the title Punch-Out!! for the Wii. He uses the same attacks that he used in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!. The only difference from the NES "Punch-Out!!" is that Piston Hondo is the first fighter you see in the Major Circuit instead of the Minor Circuit champion. He is voiced by Japanese anime voice actor seiyuu Kenji Takahashi for this edition of Punch-Out!!. In his intro, it is revealed that he trains by meditating barefoot at his house. His lines are very formal and respectful, reminiscent of a samurai. He has only been defeated once, by Mr. Sandman. Small sushi items fly off when you punch him, and they appear again after you knock him down. Additionally, in a rather polite manner, he will bow during the beginning of the match. Although, he bows whilst looking at Mac in the eyes, which is very disrespectful in Japan in most circumstances. In the context of martial arts, however, it is considered a sign of prudence to maintain eye contact while bowing if the combatants are within striking distance. If Mac loses to him, Hondo will throw several punches and show off his muscles.

Contender[]

Star Opportunities:

  • Jab him when his eyebrows twitch before he throws a jab.
  • Jab him when he flashes yellow on his Bow taunt.
  • Throw a delayed jab after dodging his right uppercut.

One Hit Knockdowns:

  • Throw a Star Punch when he bows.
  • Counter the Banzai Rush.

One Hit Knockouts:

  • Throw a Three-Star Punch when he bows.
  • Counter the Banzai Rush with a Three-Star Punch.

Four Punch TKO

  1. Counter his first jab to earn a star.
  2. Throw your star punch on his Bow taunt to instantly knock him down.
  3. Counter the Banzai Rush to knock him down again.
  4. When he gets up, counter the Banzai Rush to give Piston Hondo a TKO for Tokyo!

Attacks:

  • Bow Taunt: Hondo bows at Mac. Jab him for a star.
  • Jab: Hondo's eyebrows twitch, and then he throws a quick jab. Jab him when his eyebrows twitch.
  • Uppercut: A strong uppercut that can come from either side.
  • Hook: A fast hook, usually coming from Hondo's right. Dodge left or duck.
  • Banzai Rush: Piston Hondo's signature move is back and as dangerous as ever. He will throw 3 jabs, and follow up with an uppercut.

Stun Limits:

  • His Jab: 3
  • His Hook: 4
  • His Uppercut: 4
  • Any attack after the Banzai Rush (at least tested): 3

Title Defense[]

Piston Hondo
Title-Hondo.jpeg
Statistics
Rated at 174 lbs. (79 kg)
Height 6'2"
Nationality Japanese
Age 28
From Tokyo, Japan
Boxing record
Rank Challenger (#4 Major Circuit)
Total fights 28
Wins 26
Wins by KO 18
Losses 2

Piston Hondo returns to fight Little Mac once again in Title Defense to win the champion's belt. His clothes change from black to white this time, and he gains some new moves from his training. Since the last time he was fought, he has trained more vigorously, having learned how to eat without gaining weight, catching swords with his bare hands and outrunning a bullet train as well as rewarding himself with tea breaks at the back of his house overlooking a zen garden.

His existing moves also become faster. When he bows, he can be punched for an easy star. However, this only works if his eyebrows are twitching while he bows and if you punch him with the right timing. Otherwise, he will dodge your punch and counter with a quick jab. However, you will get a star if you block this jab and counter it.

After getting knocked down he'll start to use his new delayed uppercut, where he'll often switch left and right, smiling and an eyebrow twitching indicating which side he'll attack from. Hooking him while he's alternating can earn you a star and using a Star Punch during his alternation can instantly knock him down. A Three-star Punch will instantly KO him. Also, his Hondo Rush will contain more jabs and a delayed jab halfway through his combo. The third time he gets knocked down, he'll switch sides more often before his uppercut and his Banzai Rush becomes even harder to counter or block.

If Mac loses to him, Hondo will show off his strong toughness and face the camera.

Star Opportunities:

  • Jab him when he flashes yellow on his Bow Taunt.
  • When you get a star off his taunt, throw two delayed punches. The second punch must be delayed more.
  • If Hondo counters you when bowing, block the jab and hit him with a jab of your own.
  • When Hondo counters when twitching, block the jab and hit him with a jab of your own.
  • Delay a jab after dodging his right uppercut.
  • Counter his right uppercut, and land two delayed punches. The second punch must be delayed more.
  • Counter his left uppercut, and land two more delayed punches. The second punch must be delayed more.
  • When Hondo changes sides for a delayed uppercut, hit him when he's in the center.
  • Land a delayed hook after any of his right uppercuts.
  • Mistime a Banzai Rush counter, as long as it hits Hondo.

Instant Knockdowns:

  • Throw a Star Punch when Hondo actually bows.
  • Counter the Banzai Rush. The faster versions have stricter timing.
  • Throw a Star Punch when he switches sides for a delayed uppercut.

Instant Knockout:

  • Throw a Three-Star Punch when Hondo switches sides for a delayed uppercut.

Moves:

  • Bow Taunt: The same as his Contender bow, but rarely will he do a bow taunt that flashes yellow, allowing you to earn a star (provided you don't punch too early or too late).
  • Fake Bow Taunt: Unlike his other taunt he'll smile and dodge your attack and counter with a quick jab. This can be blocked and countered for a star.
  • Jab: A faster, stronger version of his Contender jab. His eyebrows will still twitch, but he will dodge and counter with a jab if you try to hit him.
  • Uppercut: A faster, stronger uppercut that can come from either side.
  • Delayed Uppercut: Similar to his normal uppercut, but he will delay the attack. He may switch the side where he attacks from up to three times. Watch his punching hand; when he twirls it, he's about to punch. Hondo throws one of these after he gets up from a knockdown, and will switch sides based on the number of times he's been knocked down in the match (i.e. If he's been knocked down once, he will not switch sides; if he's been knocked down twice, he will switch sides once, and so on).
  • Hook: A faster, stronger version of his Contender hook.
  • Supercharged Banzai Rush: Once again, it's back, and more dangerous than ever. The Rush is much faster, harder to counter, and has much more punches than its Contender counterpart. The counter remains the same, though its timing is stricter. Hondo sometimes uses the Contender version of this move as well (but adds one more jab).

Glitch: If you make him block right before he twitches his eyebrow, he will jab afterwards, but it strangely does no damage (and doesn't even knock you down in Champion's Mode). It only takes a star away. If you block the glitched jab and stun him, the camera angle remains the same, it won't show sushi flying around his head, and you can only hit him twice, but if you only hit him with right jabs, it will last forever (As long as you keep hitting him quickly).

Stun Limits:

  • His Right-Uppercut: 3
  • His Left-Uppercut: 4
  • His Delayed-Uppercut (Both sidestep version and normal version): 5
  • His Hook: 3

Exhibition Challenges:[]

Contender:

  1. Defeat Piston Hondo and land EVERY punch thrown!
  2. Find both one-punch-knockdown weak spots.
  3. Win the fight with 34 or more remaining hearts!

Title Defense:

  1. Knock Piston Hondo down in under a minute!
  2. Block 44 jabs!
  3. Defeat Piston Hondo and never lose a Heart!

Rule Infractions[]

As per the unified rules of boxing established by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combat Sports:

  • In Punch-Out!! (Wii), Piston Hondo wears a headband during fights. This may be considered a head covering, allowing high punches to slide off and potentially lose power.
  • During corner breaks, he may produce sushi ingredients while speaking. The only nourishment allowed in the ring is water.
  • he is shown reading a book which could be classed as having outside advice hidden inside.
    • though it could be possible that the ref checked it before the fight so it could be clean to have in the ring

Piston Hondo has a total of 3 infractions.

Super Smash Bros for Wii U (2014)[]

In this game, Piston Hondo appears as a trophy. He has two different descriptions depending on your console region.

NA: This classy Japanese boxer bows before every match. He's so polite, in fact, that he cues you to his oncoming attack by twitching his eyebrows. Landing solid hits on him will pit him in a daze. He must have forgotten to eat before the match - instead of little birdies, Piston sees sushi floating around his head!

PAL: This classy Japanese boxer bows before every match. He's so polite, in fact, that he lets you know when he's about to attack by twitching his eyebrows. Land solid hits on him, and sushi will fly out from...somewhere... it's just an illusion though, so you can't eat it. Sad times.

SSB4 - Piston Hondo

Quotes[]

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!/Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream (NES):

  • "I still remember our first fight. Now I'm gonna pay you back.. Banzai!!" (World Circuit fight)
  • "I'll give you a TKO from Tokyo!"
  • "Sushi, kamikaze, fujiyama, nipponichi..."
  • "You should wear a helmet when you fight me."
  • "Where is my camera crew? Hello Tokyo!" (In the current version of Punch-Out!! featuring Mr. Dream available for the Virtual Console, this quote replaces "Where is the NHK TV camera? Hello Tokyo!" which Honda utters in NES pressings of the game.)

Punch-Out!! (Wii):

  • "Sessha, Hondo to mousu." (拙者、ホンドーと申す。) meaning "This humble one is called Hondo." (Contender intro, said in a very humble way, proper of a samurai; sessha is an archaic pronoun used to refer to oneself)
  • "Ichi, ni, orya!" (一、二、おりゃっ!) meaning "One, two, orya!" (before throwing an uppercut - orya is just a shout)
  • "Shimatta!" (しまった!) meaning "Oops!" (Missing a jab)
  • "Iyaru!" (いやる!) meaning "Oh no!" (Missing a hook)
  • "Nani!?" (何!?) meaning "What?!" (Occasionally, when he gets hit)
  • "Dame da!" (だめだ!) meaning "Not good!" (Occasionally, when he gets hit)
  • "Masaka!" (まさか!) meaning "Impossible!" (Before getting hit with a Star Punch in Contender)
  • "Dou da?" (どうだ?) meaning "How was that?" (After knocking down Mac)
  • "Amai, amai!" (甘い、甘い!) meaning "Naive, naive!" (After knocking down Mac)
  • "Omoi shitta ka!? (思いしったか!?) meaning "What were you thinking?!" (After knocking down Mac)
  • "Osoi!" (遅い!) meaning "Too slow!" (Dodging after a fake taunt)
  • "Yossha!!" (よっしゃあ!) meaning "All right!!" (Right before the Hondo Rush)
  • "O sushi... O sushi..." (おすし...おすし...) meaning "Oh, sushi... Oh, sushi..." (Knocked down with a jab)
  • "Tamago... Tamago..." (卵...卵...) meaning "Egg... Egg..." (Knocked down with a hook)
  • "Mada mada!" (まだまだ!) meaning "I'm not done yet!" (Getting up from a knockdown)
  • "Mou ippon!" (もう一本!) meaning "Another go!" (Getting up from a knockdown)
  • "Shintō mekkyaku sureba, hi mo mata suzushī." (心頭滅却すれば、火もまた涼し。) meaning "If the heart and mind are at peace, the fire will stay cool." (Contender intermission)
  • "Niku o kirasete, hone o tatsu." (肉を切らせて、骨を断つ。) meaning "Let them cut your flesh, and you will break their bones." (Contender intermission)
  • "Ninjin, shiitake, renkon, kanpyou." (人参、椎茸、蓮根、干瓢。) meaning "Carrot, mushroom, lotus root, gourd shavings." (Contender intermission)
  • "Shouyu murasaki, gari shouga." (醤油紫、ガリショウガ。) meaning "Soy sauce, sushi ginger." (Contender intermission)
  • "Te o agete, ōdan hodo o watarimashou." (手を挙げて、横断歩道を渡りましょう。) meaning "Raise your hand, and then cross the road." (Contender intermission)
  • "Ichi, ni, san! Orya!" (一、二、三!おりゃ!) meaning "One, two, three! Orya!" (Start of a new round in Contender - as above, orya is just a shout)
  • "Katte kabuto no, o shime." (勝って兜の緒を締め。) meaning "Tighten the helmet of victory." (Title Defense intermission)
  • "Ko ketsu ni irazunba, ko ji o ezu." (虎穴にいらずんば、虎児を得ず。) meaning "If you don't enter the tiger's den, you won't get the tiger's cubs." (Title Defense intermission)
  • "Ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi!" (一、二、三、四、五、六、七、八!) meaning "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight!" (Start of a new round in Title Defense)
  • "Munen..." (無念···) meaning "Regrettable..." (during the KO/TKO animation)

Doc Louis Tips:

  • "Be careful in there, Mac! Watch out for the Hondo Rush! Keep your blocks up, baby! Keep your blocks up!"
  • "You're still in this, Mac. Counterpunch when you see the Hondo Rush coming baby!"
  • "Hey, Mac baby. It's time to send Hondo back to his dojo, baby."
  • "This sucka needs an oil change! Flatten him out with a one-two star punch, Mac! You got it, baby!
  • "Hey, Mac baby. It's time to repay the favor... Send him a TKO for Tokyo!"
  • "This sucka's got quick moves! Stay sharp, and remember to use your blocks."
  • "Hey son! It's time to say sayonara! This sucka is overheating baby! Let's send him to the scrapyard!"
  • "Hey, hey! Did you eat some of my chocolate bars?!"

Mid-Round Intermission[]

Punch-Out!! (Wii):

Piston Hondo has six confirmed "Intermissions". They appear in pairs, but only the first two are usually seen. It is unknown what triggers the other pairs of animations, though it may be tied to Little Mac's performance and tactics during the match.

1 & 2: Sitting down and speaking. (Contender)

3 & 4: Standing and speaking. (Contender)

5 & 6: While sitting down again, he holds up one of two items (both of which are sushi ingredients), and speaks, before putting them down again. (Contender)

Trivia[]

  • In Career mode, his bio shows that he's the first of Mac's opponents to take his training at least somewhat seriously, as Glass Joe is seen spending time around Paris instead of training, Von Kaiser getting thrashed by his young students (Though he is putting in an attempt to train, and the sequence is implied to actually be a nightmare that he experienced before the match, leading to his trauma), Disco Kid would rather be showing off his dance contest trophies, dancing and partying, and King Hippo eats one half of the day and sleeps the other half. In Hondo's intro in Contender, he is seen meditating in his private dojo/gym and in Title Defense he is seen sword-catching, speed-eating at a sushi train, racing against a bullet train and meditating at his dojo again with a cup of herbal tea.
  • If Piston Hondo is expecting a star punch in Contender, he will look cautiously at Little Mac and speak before getting hit.
  • Oddly enough, his name changed from Honda to Hondo between the NES and Wii versions of the game. Speculations as to the reasoning behind the change are to avoid references to either the Honda line of vehicles or to sumo wrestler E. Honda from the Street Fighter series (despite Honda being a common surname in Japan).
    • Evidence towards the former can be seen in two of Doc Louis' quotes in the 2009 Wii version, specifically, "This sucka needs an oil change! Flatten him out with a one-two star punch, Mac! You got it, baby!" and "Hey son! It's time to say sayonara! This sucka is overheating baby! Let's send him to the scrapyard!"
  • In Contender, it's possible to dodge the entire Hondo Rush. However, it's not really worth it, as you can only do 3 to 4 hits afterward.
  • In the NES game, Honda's hachimaki read 日本一 ("Nippon'ichi", which was also one of the words he said in one of his break banters), meaning "Japan's number one"; In the Wii game, Hondo's hachimaki now reads 一番 ("ichiban"), which means simply "number one".
    • Notably, in the NES, Honda did not wear said hachimaki during the fights, unlike the Wii.
  • In the Title Defense intermission, Hondo is seen reading a manga. By hacking the camera, one can see that Hondo is actually reading manga with a similar appearance to that of the popular series Sailor Moon (albeit upside down).
  • Piston Hondo's all-white attire in Title Defense has similar connotations to the color black in Western cultures, like Don Flamenco's ensemble in his own Title Defense bout.
  • Counting all games in the Punch Out!! series, Piston Hondo and Bald Bull are the only characters to be featured in the Minor, Major and World Circuits, not counting their Title Defense bouts in Punch Out!! (Wii).
  • Interestingly, although Hondo is ranked at the bottom of the Major Circuit, he has the best record of said circuit and has only been defeated by Mr. Sandman, much like Super Macho Man, the #1 contender of the World Circuit.
    • It is possible that he didn't fight the opponents of higher ranks and only fought the opponents that are ranked lower than him, Mr. Sandman excepted.
  • In Japanese and Chinese cultures, the number four is associated with bad luck, as it can be pronounced identically to the word for "death" or "die" ("shi" in Japanese, "si" in Mandarin, and "sei" in Cantonese). This is referenced by the second Exhibition challenge in Title Defense, in which Little Mac must block 44 jabs from Hondo.
  • When Piston Hondo bows to Little Mac in the Wii version, he looks him in the eye, which in normal circumstances would be a sign of disrespect in Japan. However, martial arts combatants bow without breaking eye contact if they are within striking distance. This is simply being prudent and has nothing to do with the etiquette of bowing.

Piston Hondo bowing to Little Mac; note the one eye focused on him.

  • Doc Louis's quote in Punch-Out!! (Wii), "Send him a TKO for Tokyo!", is a reference to one of Piston Honda's quotes from Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, "I'll give you a TKO from Tokyo!"
  • Piston Hondo's signature move, the Banzai Rush/Hondo Rush, varies slightly between games. In Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, the Banzai Rush consists of four jabs, plus two additional uppercuts during his second match. In Punch-Out!!(Wii), the move always consists of three jabs and an uppercut.
  • Some of the traditional Japanese proverbs that Piston Hondo quotes between rounds in Punch-Out!! (Wii) may be intentional references to other features in the game.
    • "If you don't enter the tiger's den, you won't get the tiger's cubs" could be a reference to Great Tiger.
    • "Tighten the helmet of victory" could be a reference to the headgear gained by boxers who acquire 100 losses in their overall record.
  • Piston Hondo is one of various boxers featured in the live-action promos for Punch-Out!! (Wii), alongside Little Mac, Doc Louis, Great Tiger, and King Hippo. Here, Hondo is seen running a restaurant.
  • Piston Hondo is likely the least real-life rule-breaking boxer in Punch Out!! Wii as while Little Mac's fighting style is standard, he isn't old enough to compete and Glass Joe's headgear has a chance of being used in a fight where Little Mac has no headgear on his head
  • Hondo is the only boxer in the series to have two rematches that have a faster World Record than the first encounter across his two appearances.
    • In Punch-Out!! Wii, Hondo shares this "rematch faster than first encounter" trait with Disco Kid and Aran Ryan.
    • Hondo is also the only boxer in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! to have this trait.
Punch-Out!! characters
Punch-Out!! (1984) Challenger · Glass Joe · Piston Hurricane · Bald Bull · Kid Quick · Pizza Pasta · Mr. Sandman
Super Punch-Out!! (1985) Challenger · Bear Hugger · Dragon Chan · Vodka Drunkenski · Great Tiger · Super Macho Man
Punch-Out!! (1987) Little Mac · Doc Louis · Glass Joe · Von Kaiser · Piston Honda · Don Flamenco · King Hippo · Great Tiger · Bald Bull · Soda Popinski · Mr. Sandman · Super Macho Man · Mike Tyson/Mr. Dream
Super Punch-Out!! (1994) Little Mac · Gabby Jay · Bear Hugger · Piston Hurricane · Bald Bull · Bob Charlie · Dragon Chan · Masked Muscle · Mr. Sandman · Aran Ryan · Heike Kagero · Mad Clown · Super Macho Man · Narcis Prince · Hoy Quarlow · Rick Bruiser · Nick Bruiser
Punch-Out!! (2009) Little Mac · Doc Louis · Glass Joe · Von Kaiser · Disco Kid · King Hippo · Piston Hondo · Bear Hugger · Great Tiger · Don Flamenco · Aran Ryan · Soda Popinski · Bald Bull · Super Macho Man · Mr. Sandman · Donkey Kong
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