CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE

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I don't remember much about these books, except that I marked every spot where I had to make a choice so that I could go back and make sure I didn't miss any pages.

Am I the only person that did that as a kid?
Do kids still read these?

I need to know.

Sara Robinson-Coolidge (Sara R-C), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:28 (fifteen years ago) link

these are one of the few things from my childhood I regret getting rid of.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:30 (fifteen years ago) link

There's an endless thread on realILX about it all but duplicate love is understood. My first one was the early space one.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:30 (fifteen years ago) link

as a rule, kids don't read much these days. do they still make them?

I never marked spots but I did love them. i also remember a text-based computer game that was similar.

Ms Misery (MsMisery), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:31 (fifteen years ago) link

I used to run out of fingers when I read these things.

Jesus Dan (dan perry), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:32 (fifteen years ago) link

they all got repressed dudes. even WAR WITH THE EVIL POWER MASTER but the old cover sure beats the hell out of the new one.

you can buy them in BOX SETS now.

TOMB07 (trm), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Dan, that is why bookmarks were invented! (Actually, though, I think that is what I did, too. Scary.)

There's an endless thread on realILX

I wondered about that but did not check google cache. I will give myself 20 lashes with a wet noodle.

Sara Robinson-Coolidge (Sara R-C), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:34 (fifteen years ago) link

"Interactive Fiction" or "Gamebooks" got killed by the vid.games, but still great. There were so many mutations of this series. My faves:

Be an Interplanetary Spy
Time Machine

I had problems with the original Choose Your Own series, since there were some many fucked up ways you could die or wind up in some Twilight Zone-hell. They were like Sierra games.

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:35 (fifteen years ago) link

The Lone Wolf books were good:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Wolf_(gamebooks)

They had a much more elaborate set of rules to ignore than your usual gamebooks.

Chap (chap), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:35 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.spaceshipnofuture.org/pix/fhblog/yads.jpg

atm (atm), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:35 (fifteen years ago) link

BTW "Space and Beyond" is total nonsense.

TOMB07 (trm), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:36 (fifteen years ago) link

wow they were making these all the way up until 1998?!?

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:36 (fifteen years ago) link

Box sets?!

Hmmmm, this was all just idle wondering, but some of these suggestions are surely going to appear as gifts for my kids someday...

Sara Robinson-Coolidge (Sara R-C), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:36 (fifteen years ago) link

xpost

I seem to remember liking lots of non-Choose Your Own Adventure-branded choice-books better? Or at least one in particular: there was this series of awesomely weird futuristic SPACE ADVENTURE ones where instead of just making decisions you had to solve visual puzzles (they were heavily illustrated, obv), like "which tube leads to safety and which leads to the mutant monster's mouth" -- I definitely remember one with a bunch of creepy clone/mutant stuff going on, and in my memory these are like a cross between the Jetsons and Aeon Flux. I've been trying for years to remember the names of these things, and I think maybe the title started with "You Are an Intergalactic ______" (something or other), but no luck dredging them out of my memory.

The only proper CYOA book I remember is titled The Lost Jewels of Nabooti.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:37 (fifteen years ago) link

i saw one for teen/tween girls at barnes and noble the other week. the premise was what if all the boys wanted you. this made me want to run into traffic and end it all.

Lauren (lauren), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

there were a bunch of fantasy-themed variants of this too.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

Holy crap OMG it's Be an Interplanetary Spy!!! Kingfish you are my hero!

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:38 (fifteen years ago) link

http://www.cyoa.com/

TOMB07 (trm), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:39 (fifteen years ago) link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighting_Fantasy

Dom Passantino (DomPassantino), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:40 (fifteen years ago) link

There was this totally balls-out awesome one that John J had which was written by GARY GYGAX that required you to roll d20 for critical battle sequences and such. Miraculously, I always rolled a 20.

Jesus Dan (dan perry), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:41 (fifteen years ago) link

Gravel Puzz has some photos of a rare British early D&D style CYOA book that was actually pubbed by a university house...?? Obviously really rudimentary and delightful.

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:41 (fifteen years ago) link

I have discovered in the mass of books in storage at the parents' house 1 CYOA book (one with a crappy cousin and some green slime) and 1 non-CYOA CYOA book (the title is "You Are Mikael" or something like that, it is like CYOA but with D&D-esque stat points). Good times ahoy!

x-post I swear to God I have read/played the one Dan is talking about, I think it was actually pre-D&D

has been plagued with problems since its erection in 1978 (nklshs), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:45 (fifteen years ago) link

ally & tom bought me abominable snowman for xmas and it's a real treat. some of the endings straddle the line between incredibly awesome and incredibly thrown-together so expertly it's amazing.

ZR (teenagequiet), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:45 (fifteen years ago) link

Surprised it took a whole nine posts until youaredamosuzuki.jpg was posted.

jaymc (jaymc), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:46 (fifteen years ago) link

"Interactive Fiction" or "Gamebooks" got killed by the vid.games

oddly enough theres supposed to be a series of CYOA type games released soon for the DS, which will be held sideways like a book during play.

zappi (zappi), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:47 (fifteen years ago) link

the cover designs were awesome for the Spy series, whereas the art inside was just kinda crap 80's nondescript comic bleah.

The series did teach me about Moebius loops, cyborgs, and what "next of kin" meant.

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:47 (fifteen years ago) link

There was one I remember set in a haunted Wild West town that gave me nightmares - I read it the once and never dared open it again.

Forest Pines (ForestPines), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:48 (fifteen years ago) link

I had a bunch of these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endless_Quest

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:53 (fifteen years ago) link

Also, the Time Machine ones were good historical learnin', and like with a Lucasarts game, you could pretty much do whatever you wanted w/o getting iced.

I think i lost a TM book about the Red Baron and had to pay the replacement costs to the library. We found it 6 months later under the bookshelf.

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:54 (fifteen years ago) link

I just found a siteful of "Be an Interplanetary Spy" scans that gave me hardcore flashbacks -- like, thinking "oh, I never read one about a pirate, I don't think," then clicking on this picture:

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Exhibit/2762/spy/pics/2-117.jpg

AAH OMG I remember being scared of that thing when I was 7 help HELP it was like grown from an EVIL EAR or something. I dunno, that wonky ear had something to do with something.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:56 (fifteen years ago) link

ARE YOU READY TO FACE THE DANGER?

xp hahaha, yeah, there was some matching puzzle, where if you picked the wrong ear, you got fed to some sorta outerspace snuffalapagus

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 20:58 (fifteen years ago) link

Alternately: "Wait a minute, don't trust that guy, he's bad news."

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Exhibit/2762/spy/pics/6-6.jpg

"I knew it!"

http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Exhibit/2762/spy/pics/6-8.jpg

My childhood reading has successfully prejudiced me against floating triangular Walken-bots.

nabisco (nabisco), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:00 (fifteen years ago) link

here's a bigass list of every series, including every CYOA book, several Dr Who and Dragon Quest series, etc.

It's kinda cool that they published these things in so many languages. It's like they had to mentally feed all the growing dorklings on the planet.


1000 Gefahren (German)
Aukeratu zeure abentura (Basque)
Boken med…olika slut (Swedish)
Choisis ta propre aventure (French)
Choisis ton aventure (French)
Du er hovedpersonen (Danish)
Du und dein Abenteuer (German)
Elige tu propia aventura (Spanish)
Escolha sua aventura (Portuguese)
Escolhe a tua própria aventura (Portuguese)
Is kahani ke hiro ap hain (Urdu)
Izberi svoeto priklyuchenie! [Избери своето приключение!] (Bulgarian)
Kies je eigen avontuur (Dutch)
Kies jou eie avontuur (Afrikaans)
Kraj po va¨a ¸elba (Macedonian)
Macera tüneli dizisi (Turkish)
Odaberi svoju pustolovinu (Serbo-Croatian)
Pilih sendiri pengembaraan anda (Malay)
Pilih sendiri petualanganmu (Indonesian)
Scegli la tua avventura (Italian)
Tria la teva aventura (Catalan)
Valitse oma seikkailusi (Finnish)
Vyber si vlastné dobrodru¸stvo (Slovakian)
Vyber si vlastní dobrodru¸ství (Czech)
Þitt eigið ævintýri (Icelandic)

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:05 (fifteen years ago) link

WAY OF THE TIGER

urghonomic (gcannon), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:11 (fifteen years ago) link

I really liked the Alan Dean Foster Flinx series, I do remember that.

Laurel (Laurel), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:13 (fifteen years ago) link

These kind of predicted hypertext, didn't they?
Still available at most small town thrift stores for 50 cents a pop. I useta have a collection of a hundred or so in college afore I had to move to the city.

forksclovetofu (forksclovetofu), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:15 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, I'm waiting for entire series of these things to be on the auction block in 60+ years.

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:19 (fifteen years ago) link

YOU ARE A SHARK

JordanC (JordanC), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:21 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember the one with the supercomputer, where you could turn it to a walking gundam thing, or choose "the most happiest outcome", where it taught you how the brain worked or some shit. "It's the joy of learning!"


also, am lolling at this sequence:

154. Cyberspace Warrior
155. Ninja Cyborg
156. You Are an Alien
157. U.N. Adventure
158. Sky-Jam!

and how many of the book titles sound like Troy McClure epics.

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:36 (fifteen years ago) link

"You Are A Shark" Kool Keith ft Tracey Morgan

has been plagued with problems since its erection in 1978 (nklshs), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:45 (fifteen years ago) link

jeffk's "chooes yuor own adeventare" is really (really) stupid, but it was funny in 2001. i think.

false cat (sleep), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:49 (fifteen years ago) link

88. Master of Kung Fu
102. Master of Tae Kwon Do
108. Master of Karate
126. Master of Martial Arts (ok, they got lazy here)
148. Master of Judo
166. Master of Aikido
176. Master of Kendo


and theeeeeen : 122. Magic Master

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 21:50 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember being really into Steve Jackson's D&Dized version of the Choose Your Own Adventure, Sorcery!.

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 22:01 (fifteen years ago) link

CYOA Books that never quite made it

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 22:13 (fifteen years ago) link

Reading through this thread has made me realize what a sheltered childhood I had...

Sara Robinson-Coolidge (Sara R-C), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 22:39 (fifteen years ago) link

There was an early one where you're suddenly whisked from an airplane by aliens, and you spent the rest of your adventure trying to get back to Earth. Frequently, you call out something along the lines of "Out of four billion people, why me?" and one of the endings features you alone with a horse inside an Earthling zoo.

The Time Machine ones were my favorite. You had the one where you bounced from ice age to ice age looking for the missing link between the dinosaurs and present-day animals (a real fancy bird that took up two pages of illustration.) There was also the scary Nazi one that even featured actual photographs at the end of some of the "characters" you had been interacting with.

One of those CYOA books once included the phrase along the lines of "You check yourself and realize that you're still you, the same person born in the early 1970s and everything." It was neat realizing that I could read that sentence twenty years later (like now) and it would still be true.

PPlains (PPlains), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 23:39 (fifteen years ago) link

"There was an early one where you're suddenly whisked from an airplane by aliens, and you spent the rest of your adventure trying to get back to Earth."

is this the one that had a utopian ending stuck in the middle that none of the choices led to...? like the only way to get to it was just to violate the rules of the book and turn to that page? that was pretty genius.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 23:41 (fifteen years ago) link

102. Master of Tae Kwon Do

I gave a copy of this to Jon for Christmas.

Another vote here for the Lone Wolf D&D-esque gamebooks! They were great. I was on a listserv for them in middle school. I played up through twelve and then discovered that from thirteen onward they were abridged for US publication (originally being British) and so I relentlessly pursued UK copies of 13-20 or so on ebay but it was hard and i had no money when i was a kid.

ian (orion), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 23:45 (fifteen years ago) link

(xpost) Ha, I was just wondering if there were pages that weren't led to in this type of book. But I was assuming they would be in there accidentally. It never occurred to me that someone would do that on purpose... oh, I am so naive.

Sara Robinson-Coolidge (Sara R-C), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 23:45 (fifteen years ago) link

(a real fancy bird that took up two pages of illustration.)

hahaha yup, where i learned about the archeoptryx, too. Look, a hand-drawn gatefold photograph!

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 23:46 (fifteen years ago) link

I used to run out of fingers when I read these things.
yes!
choose your own adventure totally stressed me out, really. i loved them though. a lot of them made me feel really stoned. (i mean, i had no idea what 'stoned' via drugs felt like but i remember feeling that way, deeply. i mean, i had to come down from those rides.)

impermanent rrrobyn (rrrobyn), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 23:56 (fifteen years ago) link

If you inhale, turn to whatever page you like.

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 2 January 2007 23:57 (fifteen years ago) link

the other annoying CYOA gimmick: getting caught in an infinite loop.

kingfish in absentia (kingfish), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 00:01 (fifteen years ago) link

I think there was one in which the only winning page was not linked to any of the other pages.

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 00:55 (fifteen years ago) link

the first 15 or so "fighting fantasy" books probably had a far, far greater effect on the development of my mind and worldview than i realise. but the ones that really rocked my world were the sorcery! series that sexydancer mentions above; christ almighty, they were BRILLIANT. so atmospheric; so clever; such a wonderfully perfect self-contained universe.

let me see if i can remember the riddle from the second one, which had me stumped for WEEKS. sexydancer, hope this brings back fond memories:


on courga's face you kiss across
and finish with the lips
but careful something ... fuck no i've forgotten
erm erm erm lest he spits

"left eye, right eye, forehead, lips" was the correct combination. might have taken you to 241. or maybe 241 was when the fucker gobbed an arrow down your throat. DAMN, i'm gonna look for my copies of these. i can't have chucked them. surely? failing that, i'm re-buying them.

there was one puzzle where the facing page had a drawing of a scroll on it with a load of runes and LIX (heh, no, not an anag) at the top. "the opposite page should suggest a number," it said. "if so, you know where to go. if not, your adventure ends here." (only slightly less prosaic.) my first introduction to roman numerals. think my dad had to explain that one to me.

hoo. it's like being 11 all over again. only in a good way.

hang on ... what was the jokey series, where you kept being sent to 14 when you died? there was a thing with a frog that couldn't spell. and a fake castle. and garlic. it was really easy to cheat. you were called "pip" ... [googles] ... THIS WAS IT!.

(sorry if all this was done on real-ILX but i never saw that thread and i'm now happily drowning in geek nostalgia.)

grimly fiendish (simon), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 01:10 (fifteen years ago) link

There was a short-lived series of GOOSEBUMPS spin-off CYOA. The only one I recall was about being a bee. No, I think that was a regular Goosebumps. Anyway, he (you?) stung someone at one point and I remember thinking 'I WILL BE SO PISSED IF BEE DOESN'T DIE." but bee did die so I was satisfied.

Abbott (Abbott), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 01:12 (fifteen years ago) link

Those Sorcery books were the End of Childhood.
My all-time favorite remains "The Raging Tide: or, The Black Doll's Imroglio by Edward Gorey"

sexyDancer (sexyDancer), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 01:19 (fifteen years ago) link

www.sexadventure.ca

"To put it in her ass, turn to page 14.
To put it in her mouth, turn to page 75.

14) It turns out that your date, for scientific purposes, is wearing an explosive anal chastity belt that is attached to her internal sphincter. You die upon contact.

THE END"

step hen faps (Curt1s Stephens), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 05:24 (fifteen years ago) link

*applause*

Allyzay heard you got beat up in a club. (Allyzay Eisenschefter), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 05:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Wait, so according to Wikipedia there were 3 separate Steve Jacksons who wrote these things? I only ever read the choose yr own adventre brand books as a kid but I have a strong urge to buy some of these fantasy ones now.

walterkranz (walterkranz), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 05:52 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember this really shitty CYOA ripoff about baseball or something. On page 1 your choices would be "turn to page 2 or to page 142534" then on page 2 it'd be "turn to page 3 or to page 9848" etc. etc. All you had to do to "win" was turn through the pages in numerical order.

step hen faps (Curt1s Stephens), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 05:55 (fifteen years ago) link

hahaha

friday on the porch (lfam), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 06:03 (fifteen years ago) link

I still have all my original Bantam pressings from the early 80s. They're still an amusing read.

Trayce (trayce), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 06:46 (fifteen years ago) link

When the Internet was young, there was a variation of this - kind of a Choose Your Own Exquisite Corpse. If you came to a dead end on the story you were following, you wrote the next section (and offered up choices, which other people would fill in).

It probably predates archive.org, unfortunately.

milo (milo), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 07:23 (fifteen years ago) link

Stephen Jackson, the GURPS guy?

forksclovetofu (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 15:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Hmm,

I remember one about going on an 18-30 holiday, by the comedy double act that the "double-take brothers" were a take-off of on Harry Enfield. (they used to do kids "What to do in the holidays" shows, where they'd walk around going "oh there's nothing to do" and walk into a sports centre where everyone would be playing Badminton sort of thing.) Them.

M Grout (Mark Grout), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 15:44 (fifteen years ago) link

can i just thank Sara for starting this thread. I've enjoyed looking at all the old books from my adventure based childhood. I'm tempted in buying one of those box sets.

The ones I actually remember reading were Rings of Kether (some horrible loops in that one), House of Hell, Citadel of Chaos, and one of the Sorcery books which i remember being massive and I could barely get through the first section climbing a cliff, or something.

Ste (fuzzy), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 15:59 (fifteen years ago) link

>> hang on ... what was the jokey series, where you kept being sent to 14 when you died? there was a thing with a frog that couldn't spell. and a fake castle. and garlic. it was really easy to cheat. you were called "pip" ... [googles] ... THIS WAS IT!.

Bizarro coincidence time... I was just thinking about Grailquest 2 days ago and googled JH Brennan to see if he'd done anything else since then. I loved those books!

My fave CYOA was The Mystery Of Chimney Rock with the creepy cat curse.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 15:59 (fifteen years ago) link

House of Hell was a good one. I loved Deathtrap Dungeon and Trial Of Champions.

I had a later Fighting Fantasy book called Creature Of Havoc which seemed to be impossible to solve, like they'd made a mistake when they printed it or something. I'm sure it wasn't but I got completely fed up with it, after going through the whole maze cheating constantly I still couldn't find a way out to the rest of the book.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 16:01 (fifteen years ago) link

I remember being pretty sure there was a misprint... but there was also a code you had to solve and I can't recall whether I eventually decided that yes there was a misprint, or that I'd just been dumb and solved the code wrong.

I probably have the first 20 FF books, but could never really be bothered to play any of them properly; I just loved the pictures, and the beasties, and the worlds - so obviously I bought "Out of the Pit", the bestiary, and "Titan", the book on the whole FF world.

ledge (ledge), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 16:07 (fifteen years ago) link

Also Tasks of Tantalon, Steve Jackson's illustrated puzzle book - and just last year I found out about and tracked down Casket of Souls, Ian Livingstone's equivalent, which turned out to be somewhat inferior.

ledge (ledge), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 16:12 (fifteen years ago) link

i looked last night after posting here and couldn't find any of my old books at all. either my mum and dad will have them at their new place (very unlikely) or i took them to the charity shop years ago, like a knob.

House of Hell was a good one

that was bloody vicious. IIRC there was some deal with a cupboard/ante-room under the stairs, and you could either be in the real one or one that looked like the real one. very sinister, too; wasn't it set in the present day, unlike any of the rest?

there was a futuristic one where you were driving down a road; number 13 in the series, i think, but i'm not going to check right now. it was bloody brilliant. you could do the whole thing, then die right at the end from a rat scratch you sustained ages before.

grimly fiendish (simon), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 16:16 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah House of Hell was the old car-breaks-down-seek-help-at-creepy-old-house story. Really liked that one, in fact I think I still have it, I only kept that and the 2 Deathtrap Dungeon ones. I still have all 8 Grailquest books though! Although I'm missing the map for book 3.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 16:18 (fifteen years ago) link

xpost X1000 to Dan upthread...I thought they were Gygax too, but looking through wikipeida, I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Fighting Fantasy and Sorcery! (both of which I had/have, sorcery being especially good.)

John Justen, surrounded by frail, wispy people. (John Justen), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 17:51 (fifteen years ago) link

Deathtrap Dungeon was by miles the best. I liked how you came across your rivals over the course of the book and had to choose whether to be allies or enemies.

Matt DC (Matt DC), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 17:58 (fifteen years ago) link

can i just thank Sara for starting this thread. I've enjoyed looking at all the old books from my adventure based childhood. I'm tempted in buying one of those box sets.

You're welcome! I'm happy I wasn't the only kid obsessed with these. (It seems that there were even other kids in the SAME TOWN - shocker!)

I felt like kind of an idiot yesterday when, about an hour after starting the thread, I looked at one of the bookshelves of kid's books in my house and spotted two CYOA books. I don't think my son has looked at them yet, though.

Sara Robinson-Coolidge (Sara R-C), Wednesday, 3 January 2007 18:04 (fifteen years ago) link


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