Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles (TV Series 1999– ) Poster

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The best "Sleeper" Animation of 1999
HyperPup16 January 2000
Roughnecks omits most of the stylings of the movie in favor of bringing elements from the novel "Starship Troopers" and creative savvy from the producers and directors that make the show. This is all computer generated animation for television at its finest, watchers will be treated to the continuing ventures of Johnny Rico and the Roughnecks as they travel to strange and dangerous worlds in their quest to rid the galaxy of the Alien Insects that wish to conquer them. Be prepared for exotic and very realistic looking characters, locations, vehicles and enemies. This is the future of animation so don't miss it.
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Very good, but unfinished.
stevenishershel30 September 2005
This animated series was better than the movie (though I love the movie too), but was unfinished. There were only 37 episodes (though you can see several that never aired on the "Trackers DVD). The problem is that the series ended before the Roughnecks saved earth and kill the Queen. THat being said there were many more positives. First, the animation was top quality (though I would have gone for traditional cartoon over computers). Secondly the character development was fantastic. Thirdly, the "serial" nature of the episodes were reminiscent of some of the old 40's serials. The story starts out on Pluto were the Roughnecks are sent to save miners from the Arachnids. After Pluto is saved, the Roughnecks go to Hydora a waterworld (and probably the best campaign) to find the transport bug which had escaped Pluto. From there they go to Tophet, were we meet the "Skinnies," a race of aliens who are controlled by the Bugs. After liberating the Skinnies, the Roughnecks move onto Tesca, a jungle campaign where the Roughnecks must battle spiders and prejudice. From Tesca, the Roughnecks are marooned on an asteroid infested with "Firefrys" and a living asteroid. From here they attack the Bugs on their home world of Klandathu were they discover the bug queen. The Bug Queen escapes and heads to earth where the series culminates with the "Homefront Campaign."

Good Luck Apes!
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Better than the movie, not as good as the book
deapod6 July 2001
I first read the book STARSHIP TROOPERS when I was ten years old (now some 25+ years ago) and I have always loved that book. So much of modern SF has come from that novel, like the movie ALIENS, and novels such as ARMOR and THE FOREVER WAR. STARSHIP TROOPERS is more than just a great story, it's actually about the US island hopping campaign in the Pacific during WW2 (Heinlein was a Naval Academy graduate who served in troopships moving soldiers and Marines into battle), and it speaks eloquently about a society and its military, their roles and what is right and wrong with them. It also addresses such things as force structure, officer training, and the "tooth to tail" ratio. This book is even on the USMC reading list for NCOs, as much of the book deals with the interactions within a small, platoon-sized unit. Realizing this, it gives a different perspective on ROUGHNECKS than it does for someone who has never read the book and maybe only seen the movie. ROUGHNECKS does attempt to keep faith with the book, especially with the addition of the Skinnies, even in portraying them as they are in the book--allies, then enemies, then allies again. It also blends in the movie characters, like Zander Barcalow, with new characters like Brutto and Doc. It even leaves Dizzy as a girl (in the book, Dizzy is a guy, and he dies in the first chapter). Also, there is an attempt to add in what made the book so special to begin with--the battle armor. I saw about a dozen episodes in whole or in part, mostly on the local channel that showed it. I can only hope that SCI-FI channel will reshow them, or maybe another cable network, like TNN, could pick it up. New episodes would also be good. One person said that there was more character development in ROUGHNECKS than in five seasons of VOYAGER. That's true, especially as all the characters in ROUGHNECKS were allowed to evolve, whereas on VOYAGER only Seven or the Doctor were really allowed to expand and grow. And for all those out there who have never read the book, or any of Heinlein's work, I would highly recommend it. You'll gain a new insight into this show, the movie, and maybe even more.
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Great show!
klchu24 June 2000
For a "kids" show, this is one of the better shows on TV. There is more plot and characterization in one season of "Roughnecks" than in five years of "Voyager." The computer animation is excellent (for it's time), but it is not a crutch or the star of the show. Rather, the CGI is just a well-used tool that is used to create an excellent show.

I think this show, as a whole, is much better than the movie in many ways. It has action without being too violent, and drama without being too frightening for kids.

Even though the show is targeted at kids (older kids), there is plenty for adult sci-fi fans to enjoy: good stories, long story arcs, morals, consequences, and characters that are more real than 75% of the "real" shows on TV. The animators give the characters life and the voice actors give them souls.
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the roughneck series
applseed24 August 2005
I found the roughneck series 100% better than both movies and the book. All six of the dvds are worth purchasing. The stories are very good and the animation excellent. I continue to watch them to this day. There was a little goof up in the continuity when they company had to outsource the production. However, it does nothing to detract from the stories. The only one I did not like was trackers. And the DVD's left out 3 very major episodes. There are episode guides that will fill in the missing pieces. All in all the cgi animation series is excellent entertainment.

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A great show.
JGSLICK9931 August 2005
Oh, I remember this show so fondly. I came across it in the summer of 1999. It was before The Sci-Fi Channel was sold to Paramount Entertainment and got ruined. From 7AM to 9AM five days a week in the summers. Like many small budget, yet effective, channels it was a BKN (Big Kids Network) outlet. They played a lot of mid-level budget cartoons those days in the morning. Mummies Alive, Extreme Ghostbusters and Roughnecks.

I remember so fondly waking up in the morning and lounging in bed watching Roughnecks. Oh, man I miss my youth. It's right up there with the one summer Sci-Fi played nothing but Anime when I was sick for two months and did nothing but watch it and sleep.
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Surprisingly Wonderful Show!
SnacksForAll7 January 2000
Despite negative reviews, I actually loved the film "STARSHIP TROOPERS." It ran on a feasable and likable theme, and had a good "feel" to it, even if it was a little campy. Why the critics seem to hate it is beyond me.

But to get on with this review, I didn't expect much from "ROUGHNECKS," The Starship Troopers Television series, but in the morning before going to work I managed to catch an episode. I was impressed at first by the visual computer effects. The movements of the CGI characters are very lifelike and believable. But what really had me tuning in from then on were the great storylines. They are deep and intelligent; I have no idea why this show is marketed to children. As an adult, this is one of the few "cartoons" I can still sit through, probably because this show isn't exactly written for younger audiences. From the few episodes I've seen, I can already tell that "ROUGHNECKS" is a completely valid series, and not just because it is entertaining. It refrences many classic moral themes that pertain to the horrors of war, and also references many historical points in military history (most noticeably the Roughnecks' Home Ship, the VALLEY FORGE).

My only complaint is that the three main characters should

closer resemble their real-life counterparts. Call me shallow for wanting to see the familiar faces of Hollywood celebrities, but I can't think of "Johnny Rico," "Dizzy Flores," or "Carl Jenkins" without seeing the faces of Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer and Neil Patrick Harris in my mind (though to be honest, the CGI character of "Diz" actually does resemble Dina Meyer).

All in all, a great show that is very worthy of all praise it receives. Don't miss "Roughnecks: The Starship Troopers Chronicles." You won't be sorry.
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How not to do Heinlein
sarastro72 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I cannot help awarding this TV series a low 3 out of 10 rating, because it is specifically about everything that is *not* interesting about Heinlein's Starship Troopers concept. It is purely about action. There is virtually no characterization, and certainly nothing at all about the most interesting thing: the kind of society the story takes place in. The whole world-building dimension is completely and mercilessly cut away, perhaps to make this a kids' story. Heinlein's original novel was juvenile fiction, but it didn't talk down to its readers. It contained all sorts of hardboiled social commentary and philosophy, which today is apparently considered dangerous, or at least uncommercial. The producers of this series have certainly succeeded in utterly sanitizing this concept. Into complete meaninglessness.

But the animation sure is pretty. What a shame to have wasted it on such insubstantial material.
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What can I say?
khhsdude23 February 2002
I just can't get enough of this show. Saw it in syndication and it just blew me away. It does a good job creating the illusion of the war with the bugs. The music is what first grabbed by attention, and the excelent writing kept me there. Decent visuals with plot situations that did not seemed to be contrived. Good serises for kids, but also enjoyable by adults. Any chance the last few episodes will be made?
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CGI Model Supervisor says "Hope you enjoy it!"
LWDave14 September 1999
As the CGI Model Supervisor for 90% of the "Roughnecks: The Starship Trooper Chronicles" I just want to wish all "Trooper" fans an enjoyable viewing experience. This is the most difficult show I've ever worked on, and we at Foundation Imaging have poured a lot of sweat (and extra hours) into the attempt to make this the best looking CGI daily show ever produced. If you think we succeeded, drop me a line. --Dave Adams
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I guess I'm alone in hating this...
lons20025 April 2002
I liked the "Starship Troopers" movie as far as it goes (it does get a bit repetitive, like most Verhoeven films). But, this show is totally mindless. The characters spout action movie cliches, the drama is non-existent (even by kids show standards), and every episode basically devolves immediately into random shooting. Haven't read the book, but it must have more to it than this show.

But, the animation does look nice.
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Thanks to all who love this show!
Robbie Robfogel13 June 2006
Working on this show was one of the highlights of my career! The team that brought this to the masses was as hard working as any in the business. To those of you that are into backstage info, these shows took about 9 weeks each to produce, and with what were considered massive teams of animators at that time. This show had some of the best CGI modelers and animators in all of CGI-Dome. Was a thrill to work on as a technical director and a pleasure to work with such talented folks. The production was fast paced and well thought out. Was the first show where I was introduced to motion capture and it worked out great! Glad folks here like it, was a labor of love for all involved.
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Dear God, please make the horror stop.
imdb-374228 May 2004
Let's go on a little journey. I'll take you back to last year some time. One of my good friends works in Blockbuster so we were taking a look around to see what we could rent, for free, probably the best perk about working there. Hell, i don't even work there and he gets me free rentals.

But anyway, moving along, we scanned virtually each and every shelf in the store (Not small by any means) and in the Sci-Fi section we stumble upon Roughnecks. Having thoroughly enjoyed the first Starship Troopers movie, i convinced my friend that this would be worth a rent. So we grab some Pringles and dip, a few drinks from the coolers, a cheesy low budget horror movie and then proceed to pay for what we'd bought and head back to my place to watch our rentals.

What i expected from Roughnecks would be the same quality action from the first movie, in fact no, i expected more. Being entirely CGI i expected to see epic battles or exciting action. I'm sorry, but this movie failed to deliver.

I don't think there was a single redeeming feature about Roughnecks. The animation was, well, laughable, the modeling was awful, the voice acting was lacking, the story was simple and virtually non-existent and was probably the most boring thing i've ever had the misfortune to endure.

Now i know what you're expecting. You're expecting that i turned my TV off, ejected the disc and moved on. No. I actually gave Roughnecks the chance to prove me wrong. I actually sat through most of two episodes, nearly bored to literal tears, laughing at the poor animation and making jokes regarding the modeling being sub-par to that of Wolfenstein 3D.

Eventually we put the DVD back in it's case and threw in the low-budget horror we also rented. It was great and really brightened up my night from the painful experience that watching Roughnecks was.

So in short, if you've had a full frontal lobotomy, are deaf, dumb and blind, you'll probably appreciate Roughnecks, otherwise i fail to see a redeeming feature of Roughnecks. Even getting the rental for free was paying too much and i feel cheated. I want my goddamn time back.
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This is tough as nails, hard core SciFi
grafxman28 August 2008
To me hard core SciFi doesn't mean pornographic. It means non stop action, fearsome enemies, space ships and thrilling, soul pounding music. This series has it all! Our heroes get caught, escape, run, jump, fly space ships, penetrate enemy defences, fly troop transports, battle flying bugs, shoot guns, etc. It seems nearly every episode involves a new and never seen before bug with new and frightful powers.

There is none of that mushy, mushy wimpy navel gazing, soul searching crap that ruins so many otherwise excellent SciFi shows and movies. This takes place on distant planets, in space, in the water, underwater, etc. About the only thing I could criticize about this series is the animation. It's a solid modeling type that wasn't very well done in the first part of the series. However, either it got better latter on or else I got used to looking at it.
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Excellent series!
LeeThomp4 September 1999
The new all CG series adapting the Robert Heinlein novel has finally got it right! After a complete failure (the 1989 Japanese anime attempt), a partial success (the 1997 motion picture) we can finally really get into the story of Johnny Rico and the others.

If you didn't like the movie's adaption, or liked the movie but want the *rest* of the story - check your local listings!
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just ordered the DVDs
ibsrgmd3 December 2006
my brothers and i would wake up at 6:30 before school so we had enough time for 3 things: eat breakfast, shower, and set the VCR to record Roughnecks. this show was absolutely amazing. the CGI work was groundbreaking at the time, and the storyline was the most compelling dramatic series that we watched. the thing is, we discovered this series on the BKN network without ever having heard of the movie or the book. i later went on to watch the movie, which i enjoyed knowing that it was a complete action flick. i have yet to read the book, but hopefully will change that this winter break. i also recently found out that there was a second movie (that most people say isn't worth watching) but having two brothers in the industry and being a big movie fan myself, i think i'll just have to give it a shot. there is also a computer game that i haven't played yet, but apparently it's a mindless shooter that gets old fast. but getting back to the TV series, it has everything to keep people from 9-10 years old and up happy and interested. sure there are cheesy parts sometimes, but it just adds to the masterpiece that is Roughnecks: STC. watch them, buy the DVDs, it's definitely worth it.
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Great computer animated series
Agent109 May 2002
This was clearly a predecessor to Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. What I liked most about this show was the constructed violence and the fact it followed the book a little closer. While most Japanimation cartoons are absolutely terrible, this show was a welcome change. Also, I wonder why they made this cartoon much closer to the book than the movie. The equipment was more conducive to that described in the book, and the cartoon even had the `Skinnies,' a group of aliens who work in conjunction with the bugs. A great little cartoon, its too bad they don't make more shows like this.
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It's great!!
Jumboto3 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
First off you have to know what you are getting into. It was a half hour(w/commercials) weekly kid's TV series that was made into several DVDs. The DVDs are 5 episode story arcs that take place on different planets.

Let me state for the record: I really enjoy these DVDs.

I was hooked when I was watching them on TV back when they were on.. now that I think about it, maybe they were daily not weekly...anyway.

What I love the most about these shows is the character development and the story arcs. Not many American cartoons are so bold to include these types of things. *spoiler* where else can you see main characters get killed or permanently paralyzed? I don't know, help me out...

But like I said, you have to remember and appreciate what you are watching. It's made for a G rated audience. The battles are very GI Joe shooting lasers and taking down just afew bugs. You see green blood. Lots of cliché episodes. Still better than all American cartoon dramas.

The movie version is one of my all time favorite films. This most definitely effects my opinion for most things Starship Troopers. But i also really didn't like the maybe they cancel each other out? Sorry if this is not really a review. They are my comments though.
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My favorite show of all time!
bocsibtt21 November 2004
It was already 2 years ago, that I've seen the series on Hungarian TV. It was simply FANTASTIC! I've seen the film first, and it wasn't very good, but made me interested, so, when i saw the series was on, I decided to tune in. It well worth it! The animation, the sounds, the music, the voicework, in one word EVERYTHING was excellent! It didn't contain much fighting and horroristic scenes, maybe because of the kids,but the storyline was very good. The characters were also well formed.My favorite is Carl Jenkins, but I also like Rico, Dizzy and Higgins. I just started to read the original book, so I don't know how much the series resemble to it. I'm so in love with this show, that I'm going to buy it on DVD. And I don't consider it as a "kids" show, it has much to say to adults too. And sometimes the episode stories aren't fully understandable for kids. To finish it, I could only repeat myself: I LOVE THIS SHOW! I just don't know why I didn't tape it when it was on TV... Regards: bocsibtt (or Detti for friends)
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Some serious action...
evilned-121 April 2002
This movie delivers some really heavy action scenes, and very cool music that goes with them. Sure, script isn't really breathtaking (its basicly just "Ok, we got another mission!" *boom*boom*boom*dead bugs everywhere*) but almost everything else is great! As I mentioned, the action scenes are great, the soundtrack is awesome, the effects are great (you almost start thinking that CGI is the way to go. Starship Troopers/Roughneck-wise.) I still love the 2 hour Hollywood movie, it was like an instant classic for me. But this movie is just as great. Sure, there's almost no love story or anything else drama-related involved, but I still kinda like the scenes where they aren't fighting for some reason. While watching this movie I kept comparing it with Final Fantasy (Which was really, REALLY bad!), and I guess I should have. Since they are both CGI movies where a small band of humans are fighting an alien race. And besides, Final Fantasy was corny as heck, those one-liners just made me want to puke. But here they are more "funny" than "corny", and in a good way to.

9/10! If you like Sci-Fi and heavy action, this is for you!
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Just on one itty-bitty detail
LokiFirefox15 September 2001
I read the book about five or six years ago and I didn't think I'd enjoy as much as I did. This is the book that helped influenced my brother's decision to join the army after all. However, I fell in love with the book. Rico is one of the coolest characters to grace sci-fi. Unlike his protrayal in the movie or in the series, he is NOT a maverick or a hot-shot. He's very low-key and goes with the flow. And, the detail that bugs me no end, he is FILIPINO. I'm not a rabid national, it's just that there are hardly any cool characters in movies, tv or books that are Filipino in descent. Johnny Rico is and it just bothers me something fierce that they changed that. If you want proof, read the last pages of the book, he says something in his native tongue, which he mentions is Tagalog. That's principally why I disliked the movie, they got blonde-nordic-looking guy van Dien to play Rico.

Aside from that, I actually like the series. At least it's more faithful to the book than the movie was. The only good thing about the movie is that it offered a variety of bugs which the series expanded on even more.
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Count me in as being pleasantly surprised....
innocuous14 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
While I enjoy watching the film version of ST, it always ticked me off that Verhoeven bought the rights to Heinlein's book and then completely changed the whole message that Heinlein intended to convey. I've also been disappointed that the film failed to depict the MI as fighting in power suits. This was a missed opportunity that is all the more surprising because of his experience with "Robocop." This animated series gets a lot closer to the novel in its themes and message. I normally don't care for animated series that try to be realistic (give me "Lloyd In Space" any day) but this is the exception. The CGI is not as creepy and is actually pretty impressive for 1999. The story arcs are broken up into manageable chunks, too.

On the down side, Verhoeven was the executive producer of this series and he still doesn't "get it." The power suits in this series are still pretty wimpy...much more like the light armor of the MI depicted in the movie than in Heinlein's novel. Also, unlike the movie, no central characters die.

Some of the technology depicted in the animated series is pretty interesting, too. And it's always nice to know that ALL women in the future will have huge breasts. I guess that another few hundred years of hormone-infused beef will do that.

All in all, a fun series that's easy to watch. Recommended.
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Excellent series
bogdan_hitech24 December 2006
The episode list that exist is not good. First Volume/Campaign is Pluto with 5 Parts: 1)Freefall 08 / 30 / 99 2)Plasma Bugs of Navarone 08 / 31 / 99 3)Handle With Care 09 / 01 / 99 4)Basic Training 09 / 03 / 99 5)Deep Trouble 09 / 22 / 99 Second Volume/Campaign is Hydora with also 5 Parts: 1)Water, Water Everywhere 10 / 12 / 99 2)Swarm 09 / 30 / 99 3)Search and Destroy 10 / 21 / 99 4)Missing in Action 11 / 12 / 99 5)Sole Survivor 11 / 04 / 99 3th Volume/Campaigne is Tophet 5 Parts: 1)Betrayal 02 / 16 / 00 2)Stranded 09 / 02 / 99 3)Of Flesh and Steel 09 / 08 / 99 4)Captured 01 / 28 / 00 5)The Face of Truth 02 / 14 / 00 4th Volume/Campaigne Tesca with 5 Parts: 1)No Substitute 11 / 19 / 99 2)And Then There Were Two 12 / 09 / 99 3)Marauder 12 / 03 / 99 4)Liquid Dreams 12 / 17 / 99 5)Heart 01 / 03 / 00 5th Volume/Campaigne Zephyr 5 Parts: 1)Ice-Olation 02 / 08 / 00 2)Mixed Signals 02 / 15 / 00 3)Hot Ice 11 / 25 / 99 4)The Inside Story 01 / 17 / 00 5)The Ice Men Goeth 03 / 08 / 00 Next Volume/Campaign is Klendathu with 5 Parts: 1)Metamorphosis 02 / 18 / 00 2)D-Day 02 / 17 / 00 3)The Mission 02 / 25 / 00 4)Letters Home 02 / 21 / 00 5)Checkmate 03 / 06 / 00 Last Volume/Campaign is The Homefront Campaigne with also 5 Parts: 1)Among Us 03 / 05 / 00 2)Hide N' Seek 03 / 17 / 00 3)Requiem 03 / 13 / 00 4)Funeral For a Friend 03 / 14 / 00 5)Spirits of the Departed 03 / 15 / 00 -finale-

And there are 4 clip shows (extra episodes): CS1 Pluto and Beyond Campaigns: Various 09 / 17 / 99 CS2 Propaganda Machine Campaigns: Various 01 / 14 / 00 CS3 Marooned Klendathu: Part 4.1 02 / 22 / 00 CS4 Court-martial of Lt. Razak Klendathu: Part 4.2 04 / 03 / 00
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A Fantastic Film- don't dis it!
bound-to-sanzo28 May 2005
I first saw this film, when my brother bought it off a friend, I looked at the front cover and naturally thought it wouldn't be very good and be a bit too young. I was totally wrong! I watched it with my brother on a rainy day- after much whining and pulling about- and at first I was completely uninterested, but after a few minutes in, I was hooked. The story's great, the characters are each unique and the animation is wonderful.

This then lead me on to watching the Starship Troopers film and then I read the original book by Robert Hienlein. The book is completely different to the film and the animation is more like the film. But all three are brilliant- although the film, I found, quite confusing.

My favourite character has to be Higgins. However, I haven't seen the whole set yet, just: Pluto and Tesca Nemarosa one's, but i'm determined to find them all and watch each one too. They're all funny, imaginative and full of action, suitable for all sci-fi fans and those over eight years old, to fully understand hidden meanings. Enjoy!
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I want the whole series!
pamela7723 April 2003
I rented Roughnecks off of Netflix and thought it was great. Plus its a much better idea going to animation than trying to out do the original movie. The writing is cool. Its got the feel of some those old WW2 combat films. Kudos to Paul Verhoeven!
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