The Search Master: Metal Gear Solid Edition

Get ready for the upcoming Metal Gear Solid Touch for iPhone with Multiple:Option's latest effort - The Search Master: Metal Gear Solid Edition. Look for things, touch them, get points! Strangely addictive amongst friends for 5 minutes or so as you try to beat each other's score.

Another B-side from me, following The Blackjack of Haruhi Suzumiya. Something quick and dirty for the MGS fans who like tile searching :)

Download (3MB)

Youtube gameplay video

Buy Metal Gear Solid games and goods at Play-Asia, including Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots for PS3.

Easy Proposal Maker featuring The Search Master

Multiple:Option is proud to introduce a new concept into the DS homebrew world - Relationship Middleware. Want to give your loved one a special message in the geekiest gamer way? Easy Proposal Maker featuring The Search Master has done all the hard work for you. Just put in your message, and then let your loved one play "The Search Master" (a tile search game). When they finish the level, surprise! Your message will be displayed. Whether it's a marriage proposal or just a simple confession of love, Easy Proposal Maker lets you concentrate on what's important - your relationship!

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as an R4. If using an emulator, I recommend No$GBA.

Download: Ver 20081214 - search_ds.zip (4MB), 3M version (see update)

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, PDRoms, GoNintendo, Tiny Cartridge, GBATemp, GBArl.it, Nintendomax, GamingAngels, Offworld, Maxconsole, Kotaku, Inside Games

UPDATE 2008/12/20 - Added a 3M version - It should have greater compatibility with more flash carts, but at the expense of lower-quality music. Give it a go if the normal version didn't work for you.



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Video:

Tomb Raider: Hell's Fury - Thoughts on a Lara Croft/Carmen Sandiego Crossover

"What happens when two women want the same thing?"

Kotaku had a competition involving making a cover for an imaginary Tomb Raider game. This gave me an opportunity to think about an idea which I've had for some time: a crossover game starring Lara Croft and Carmen Sandiego.

Why would this game work? Let me share my reasons.

Mainstream Appeal - When it comes to video game characters that have crossed over into the mainstream, Lara Croft and Carmen Sandiego are up there with Mario and Pac-Man. Tomb Raider has the very public face of Angelina Jolie and two successful films, and Carmen Sandiego had a children's TV game show that ran for 5 seasons.

Successful Franchises - The original Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? is the mother of all edutainment games, having debuted in 1985, spawning sequels and spin-offs ever since. Tomb Raider and its sequels were key titles for the PlayStation and PS2, with the latest in the series having just been released (Tomb Raider Underworld, 2008).

CARMEN: "Me? A petty thief? And I suppose tomb raiding is a respectable line of work? Perhaps 'grave robber' is a more accurate description... and that means you are the same as me, my dear little thief."

Story and Character Dynamics - If we treat Carmen Sandiego not as a cartoon villian but as a criminal mastermind, we have a strong counterpoint to Lara Croft. You have the simple good guy bad guy angle, the older woman / younger woman clash, and the argument of what Lara does (as a "tomb raider") versus what Carmen does (as a "thief"). When approached with a serious and dark tone, both of these characters offer plenty of dramatic conflict.

Complimentary Game Styles - Designer Bruce Shelley said once that he believes that the only reason that kids nowadays know what a "trebuchet" is, is because of Age of Empires. While Carmen Sandiego games are first and foremost educational titles, and a stark difference to the action/adventure of Tomb Raider, the bringing of educational elements into the standard Tomb Raider experience need not be heavy-handed. Treating "education" in the context of a puzzle (which Tomb Raider has many of) would bring enough of Carmen to Tomb Raider.

"Famed archaeologist Lara Croft is asked to retrieve the ancient Hell's Fury Mirror from the depths of the Amazon jungle by a mysterious benefactor - infamous master criminal Carmen Sandiego. Lara is tricked into doing Carmen's dirty work and then betrayed. Can she find Carmen and reclaim the Mirror before it is lost forever?"

And for the nitty-gritty, it's a Tomb Raider game, so there's jumping and shooting in third-person. You probably shouldn't play as Carmen, or if you do, only for a level or two. Plus there's yet another chance for Eidos to get another Lara Croft model, and the world is dying for some real-life Carmen action too.

So what do you think?

PS. It turns out that Carmen Sandiego is now owned by The Learning Company, but their logo is kinda crap, so I didn't bother updating the mock cover.

An Apology to insani

insani contacted me recently about Fate/stay night Trial Edition (Abridged for DS). They are unhappy with the way that I used their English translation, specifically in regards to the editing that I did. The editing was done for purely technical reasons (in that I could not fit the entire translation onto the DS and thus had to cut some of it out). These edits were in no way a criticism of the quality of the translation and I am sorry for any offense caused.

I have removed the download links to the game, and I ask that any third-party sites that have the game to remove it as well.

Once again, apologies to insani.

UPDATE 2008/12/08 - For those of you still looking for Fate/stay night on DS, please try out VNDS which uses Mirror Moon's English translation of the full game.

Sexy Blackjack Trainer II featuring Maria Ozawa

Sexy Blackjack Trainer II featuring Maria Ozawa is a card game that teaches blackjack basic strategy and card counting. Play blackjack, win points, and unlock sexy pictures! New features include HI-LO card counting, option to gamble your winnings (double-up), and an item shop that increases your chances to win big!

This game contains adult material and is not appropriate for minors.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4 or Neo MK5. If using an emulator, I recommend No$GBA.

Download: Ver 20081019 - blackjack_2_ds.zip (4MB)
Buy Maria Ozawa goods at Play-Asia!

This game is not approved or endorsed by Maria Ozawa

Featured at: GBATemp, DS-Scene, NDS Freakz, PDRoms, DCEmu.co.uk, Player Advance, DPGvideos.us, Modcontrol,


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UZA: The First Journey

UZA: The First Journey is an arcade action game similar to Robotron/Geometry Wars. Guide UZA through fifty rounds of frenetic action, where wave upon wave of relentless enemies test your speed, accuracy and coordination. Watch as your gameplay performance creates a piece of real-time abstract art. With only one life, how long can you survive, how much can you score, and what will your actions look like?

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4 or Neo MK5. If using an emulator, I recommend No$GBA.

Download: Ver 20081008 - uza_ds.zip (3MB)

Music by Dark and Martyr

Featured at: DCemu.co.uk, GBAtemp, NDS Freakz, gbarl.it, ndss.nl, Nintendomax, TehSkeen, DS-Scene, Modcontrol.com, PDRoms, GameSetWatch, auntie pixelante

UPDATE 2008/12/09 - UZA: The First Journey is an official entry into the 2009 Independent Games Festival Mobile competition: Official Site, GamesOnDeck, Gamasutra, Tiny Cartridge


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Gameplay video:

Obama Says: Yes We Can

Obama Says: Yes We Can is a Simon Says game based on Barack Obama's New Hampshire Primary speech, as later turned into song by will.i.am. Watch the game create a pattern of button and direction presses, and repeat that pattern correctly to score! The more you get correct, the harder the patterns become - can you keep up?

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4 or Neo MK5. If using an emulator, I recommend No$GBA.

Download: Ver 20080913 - obama_ds.zip (4MB)

Music by will.i.am
Photos from Obama '08
Graphics from Bittbox

Featured at: PDRoms, DCEmu.co.uk, Modcontrol, GBAtemp, DS-Scene, Moonbooks, Tiny Cartridge, NDS Freakz, HomebrewWelt, Puissance-Nintendo, GoNintendo, GameSetWatch



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Gameplay video (Normal difficulty):

The Blackjack of Haruhi Suzumiya

I made this for a friend. It's a Sexy Blackjack Trainer variant based on the anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Same game but with appropriate graphics and music - play blackjack, win points and unlock pictures.

Recommended if you like both blackjack and Haruhi Suzumiya; or you're a Multiple:Option collector :) That said, I'm not counting this as an official M:O release - it's a side project and what you see is what you get. Use No$GBA if you're emulating.

Download (7MB)

Youtube gameplay video

Lots of Haruhi games and goods at Play-Asia

Sexy Blackjack Trainer featuring Sunny Leone/Sora Aoi

Sexy Blackjack Trainer featuring Sunny Leone/Sora Aoi is a card game that teaches blackjack basic strategy and card counting. Play blackjack, win points, and unlock sexy pictures!

Warning: This game has adult content and is not appropriate for minors.

This is an entry for the Neoflash Summer Coding Competition 2008.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4 or Neo MK5. The game will create a save file called "sbt*_sav.sav" on your flash cart. Works well in emulators, except for saving.

Download Sunny Leone version: Ver 20080819 - blackjack1_ds.zip (4MB)
Download Sora Aoi version: Ver 20080819 - blackjack2_ds.zip (4MB)

This game is not approved or authorized by the featured models, Sunny Leone and Sora Aoi.

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, DS-Scene, Moonbooks, TehSkeen, PDRoms, DS Fanboy, WiiDNA, NDS Freakz, Wii Wii, Nintendomax, Videogaming247

Screenshots:

Game Trivia Catechism - The Secret of Mister X -

Game Trivia Catechism - The Secret of Mister X - is a multiple-choice trivia game, testing your knowledge of video gaming. It can be played as straight trivia, or as part of a story that follows Mister X's journey through the King of Game Trivia Tournament. Two new game modes allows players to tackle challenging missions, or try practice mode and perhaps learn something! A new story and even more questions; download the latest in the GTC series!

This is an entry for the Neoflash Summer Coding Competition 2008.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4 or Neo MK5. The game will create a save file called "gtc2_sav.sav" on your flash cart. Works well in DeSmuME, except for saving.

Download: Ver 20080819 - trivia2_ds.zip (4MB)

Original music by Eric Skiff, 8-Bit Terror, PDF format, Breakfast Afternoon, Circles, ne7, 777minus111, Girljoy, Nintendude, and Falco Lombardi.

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, DS-Scene, Moonbooks, TehSkeen, PDRoms, DS Fanboy, HomebrewWelt, gbarl.it, Radio Ninty, GoNintendo, Tiny Cartridge

UPDATE 2008/09/16: The game came 6th in the Neoflash Summer Coding Competition 2008 - Thanks to everyone who played and reviewed it!

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Gameplay Video:

Game Trivia Catechism

Game Trivia Catechism is a multiple-choice trivia game, testing your knowledge of video gaming. It can be played as straight trivia, or as part of a story that follows Al and Sally as they compete in the King of Game Trivia Tournament.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4 or Neo MK5. The game will create a save file called "gtc_save.sav" on your flash cart. Works well in DeSmuME, except for saving.

Download: Ver 20080712 - trivia_ds.zip (3MB)

Original music by Eric Skiff, 8-Bit Terror, PDF format, Breakfast Afternoon, Circles, ne7, and 777minus111

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, Moonbooks, GBATemp, PDRoms, Zonahomebrew, GameSetWatch, Homebrew Welt, DS Fanboy

Please check out the official site at http://www.gametriviacatechism.com


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A Question of Promise: Digital Comic

A Question of Promise: Digital Comic is the DS adaption of the comic by Thuyen Nguyen; a light-hearted story of a guy, a girl, and a sentient pool-of-water. Eric finally decides to ask Eden out on a date. She's free that night, but he's already made plans with his housemate Dice. Can Eric have his cake and eat it too?

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4 or Neo MK5. The game will create a save file called "aqp_save.sav" on your flash cart. Works well in DeSmuME, except for saving.

Download: Ver 20080511 - question_ds.zip (9MB)

Original comic by Thuyen Nguyen
More issues in PDF format at Devinquest.com

Featured at: DS Fanboy, Byson, DCEmu.co.uk, GY.A.K, Nintendomax, DS-Scene, NDS Freakz, NDSBBS.Com



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Gameplay video:

Game Melody Oratorio Volume Two

Game Melody Oratorio Volume Two teaches more simple game melodies via a virtual piano. Featured melodies are Outrun (Sega), Duck Tales (Capcom), Dr. Mario (Nintendo), Super Castlevania VI (Konami), Streets of Rage 2 (Sega), Double Dragon (Technos), Metal Gear Solid (Konami), Final Fantasy VII (Square), Leisure Suit Larry (Sierra On-Line) and Halo (Microsoft).

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4. The game will create a save file called "gmo2_sav.sav" on your flash cart. Works well in DeSmuME, except for saving.

Download: Ver 20080427 - melody2_ds.zip (3MB)

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, Homebrew Welt, Moonbooks, DS Fanboy, GBAtemp, GBAtemp (The Temper Post), GBArl.it, PDRoms, QJ.net, ElOtroLado.net, Insert Credit, GameSetWatch, Destructoid





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Game Melody Oratorio

Game Melody Oratorio teaches simple game melodies via a virtual piano. Featured melodies are Super Mario Bros (Nintendo), Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega), Tetris (Nintendo), Bubble Bobble (Taito) and The Legend of Zelda (Nintendo). An entry for the Neoflash Spring Coding Competition 2008.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4. The game will create a save file called "gmo_save.sav" on your flash cart. Works well in DeSmuME, except for saving.

Download: Ver 20080319 - melody_ds.zip (3MB)

More info about the Neoflash Spring Coding Competition 2008 at Neoflash

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, DS Fanboy, GBAtemp, GoNintendo, PDRoms, Cubed3, GBArl.it, NDStuff, Byson, GameSetWatch, Insert Credit, Destructoid,

UPDATE 2008/03/21: I've been told that the game may not run if your flash cart doesn't support auto-DLDI patching. If this is the case, you'll need to patch it yourself. DLDI patch tools and instructions are available here.

UPDATE 2008/04/14: Game Melody Oratorio came 4th in the Neoflash Spring Coding Competition 2008. Thanks to everyone who played and reviewed it!

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Fate/hollow ataraxia Prologue

Multiple:Option heads back into Fate territory with its third DS homebrew release: Fate/hollow ataraxia Prologue. The sequel to Fate/stay night, my version is a port/remake of the visual novel game's prologue, as translated by Blue Gunner.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4. The game will create a save file called "fha_save.sav" on your flash cart. Works well in DeSmuME, except for saving.

Download: Ver 20080307 - fate2_ds.zip (6MB)

Original game by TYPE-MOON
Buy Fate/hollow ataraxia goods at Play-Asia

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, GBAtemp, DS-Scene, Akenaide yo~, Byson, EmuZone, NDStuff, Encubed, NDS Freakz, Insert Credit

UPDATE (2008/05/11): Added "3MB Version," which should provide better compatibility with some flash carts, such as the Neo MK5. If you couldn't get this game to work before, please try the 3MB version.

UPDATE (2008/11/08): Removed "3MB Version."

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Snatcher Pilot DS

Multiple:Option's second DS homebrew release is Snatcher Pilot DS, an adventure game by Konami and an early game of Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid). This game is a demo (hence "Pilot") and is based upon the PC-Engine "Snatcher Pilot Disk," but uses the Sega CD version's assets.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4. Mostly works with DS emulators, but there are a few issues.

Download: Ver 20080225 - snatcher_ds.zip (6MB)

Original game by Konami
Buy Snatcher at Play-Asia

Featured at: DCEmu.co.uk, Homebrew Welt, DS Fanboy, DS-Scene, PDRoms, Retro G-NDS, Sniper Notícias, Byson, Insert Credit, NDS Freaks, NewsInside.org, GayGamer,

UPDATE (2008/05/11): Added "3MB Version," which should provide better compatibility with some flash carts, such as the Neo MK5. If you couldn't get this game to work before, please try the 3MB version.

UPDATE (2008/11/08): Removed "3MB Version."

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Same As It Ever Was

My new film is the follow-up to The Most Powerful Person in the World. It deals with a similar theme: video games aren't the bane of society. While the previous film was a self-described "love letter," promoting the good of games, the new film is a direct response to all the video game critics. The critics argue that games are "bad," but their arguments are the same as the ones that were thrown at music, movies, comics and everything new that the previous generation doesn't (or refuse) to understand.



Featured at: GameSetWatch, The Age, Sumea
Original Post

Pippin Video Blowout! Part 3 & Final Thoughts

The last of my Pippin videos, today we'll have a look at the CDs that came with the system itself. These aren't particularly interesting (as pack-in discs usually go), but they are worth posting.

The first video is of the PEASE disc. It has a bunch of Mac games and utilities. It's a Mac disc through and through, loading you straight into the MacOS GUI (complete with the Mac boot jigsaw icons, if you know what I'm referring to?) The games are mostly clones (Tetris, Space Invaders) but there are a few original Mac games (shareware, weirdly enough). If you weren't holding the controller, you'd swear you were just looking at an ordinary Mac.

video


My last video is of the Pippin Title CD-ROM Catalog Vol. 1, which is self-explanatory. Going through the catalog, you'll note that most Pippin titles are edutainment, reflecting its Mac background. Nothing really surprising in terms of games, but it's interesting to see the number of announced titles - far more than I've ever expected or seen (in real life or otherwise). I have no idea whether all of these were actually released or not. Sadly no demos were included on the disc.

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Final Thoughts
So, should you get yourself a Pippin? No, unless you are a console collector or a Mac collector. For your average gamer, the Pippin offers no stand-out exclusive titles worth playing. The console is heavy, and the controller is awkward. The hardware and software are difficult to track down, and frankly you'll spend a lot of time for little gain. It isn't worth it.

Don't think I'm completely down on the Pippin though. There are two things I quite like about it:

  • Internationalized hardware - Not only is the Pippin 100v-240v power capable, it also outputs NTSC/PAL and VGA with a simple switch on the back on the console. Lovely.
  • Pippin technology licensing - Like the 3DO (though not in reality), the Pippin tech was meant to be licensed to other companies. So we could have had a Sony Pippin, a Sharp Pippin, a Panasonic Pippin, etc. I firmly believe in the tech licensing idea, and hope that one day Microsoft/Sony/Nintendo embrace it whole-heartedly.
And thus ends the tale of the Apple Bandai Pippin Atmark.

Pippin Video Blowout! Part 2

Part 2 of my Pippin Video Blowout! focuses on the games. Not many were made, and most were of so-so quality. If you can imagine (or remember, if you're old enough) games that were made in the 1990's when the word multimedia was the rage, then you'll know exactly what these were like.

The first video is Racing Days for Pippin (Kitt Peak Inc., 1995-1996). A racing game with a poor framerate, one camera view, two race modes, three tracks and five cars. Pretty bad now, and would not have impressed in 1995, considering Ridge Racer on PS1 was available during the same time period. Does allow the player to repaint the car with the in-game texture editor, which is nice; and also has network play.

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The second video is Power Rangers Zeo vs. The Machine Empire (Bandai, 1996). A side-scrolling action game with a poor framerate (again). Live-action FMVs introduce each level, with acting on par with that of the Power Rangers TV show. For an action game, controls are woefully imprecise. Attack animations tend to push you back, causing your punch or kick to fall short of the target. Simply frustrating. Yuk.

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The last video is of Gundam Tactics ~Mobility Fleet 0079~ (Bandai, 1996). A strategy game based on Gundam, I have completely no idea how to play it. Granted, it's all in Japanese, but there isn't any obvious "attack" or "defend" buttons. I did manage to move my units, and eventually die, so that's something. Nice pre-rendered attack animations. I suspect it might be a good game, but I'll reserve my judgment until such time as I figure out what's going on.

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Next in Part 3: System pack-ins!

Pippin Video Blowout! Part 1

A bunch of Pippin videos I captured for prosperity. But before that, you ask, what is an Apple Bandai Pippin Atmark? From Wikipedia: "The Apple Pippin was a multimedia platform marketed by Apple Inc. (then Apple Computer Inc.) in the mid 1990s. It was based around a 66-MHz PowerPC 603 processor, a 14.4 kbit/s modem and ran a stripped version of the System 7.5.2. The goal was to create an inexpensive computer aimed mostly at playing CD-based multimedia titles, especially games, but also functioning as a network computer. It featured a 4× CD-ROM drive and a video output that could connect to a standard television monitor."

It was something like this:
Apple = 3DO Company
Bandai = Panasonic
Pippin Atmark = 3DO FZ-1

The first video is the Pippin's boot sequence. Nothing fancy. It repeats until you insert a CD.

video


The second video is the Pippin's CD player. Looks a lot like the Sega Saturn's CD player, except without the animating starfield or the spaceship. Static and dull, but gets the job done. Note that the Pippin has standard CD buttons (play, stop, etc.) on the hardware itself, so no need to have the TV on and/or use the controller.

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Next in Part 2: Games!

Fate/stay night Trial Edition (Abridged for DS)

My first DS homebrew is an abridged port of the Trial Edition of Fate/stay night, a Japanese visual novel game, as translated into English by insani.

Read the readme.txt for more information.

Requires a DS (obviously) and a flash cart, such as a R4. Works in DeSmuME, except saving.

Download: Removed - See note below

Original game by TYPE-MOON
English demo translation by insani
Buy Fate/stay night at Play-Asia

Featured at DCEmu.co.uk, Byson, NDS Freakz, TehSkeen, PDRoms, Temple Knights, Wii.DS-Scene, TGBus, Otaku.fm, Hobby Blog, Insert Credit

UPDATE (2008/02/16)
: The game has been downloaded almost 1,000 times! Thanks, but now I'm running out of bandwidth! I've moved the game to Rapidshare and changed the link accordingly. If you want to link to the game, please link to this page in case I need to upload it again!

UPDATE (2008/03/26): Re-uploaded the game to Hyperfileshare.

UPDATE (2008/04/27): Uploaded new version (20080427). Saving, D-Pad control, better navigation and updated engine.

UPDATE (2008/05/11): Added "3MB Version," which should provide better compatibility with some flash carts, such as the Neo MK5. If you couldn't get this game to work before, please try the 3MB version.

UPDATE (2008/11/08): This game is no longer available. Please see this post as to why.

Apple Bandai Pippin Atmark Comparison Pics

Haven't seen any new ones lately on the web, so I took a few.

An Xbox and a Pippin side by side, like ebony and ivory.

The white Pippin gently mounts the black Xbox in what can only be described as "digital jungle fever."

Controllers side by side. Note the trackball and the button colors, which have been flipped and reversed.

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