What Are You Playing Wednesday

Mordin from the Mass Effect series: The very model of a scientist Salarian! A salarian in white armor standing behind a computer console.

It is midweek question time, fellow Border House people!

  • What games are you playing this week?
  • Would you recommend those games to other Border House readers?
  • What games have you ranting?
  • Are any of those games listed ones that you want to see covered on the site?

I have spent the last week immersed in Mass Effect 3. I won’t discuss any of the plot because I don’t want to give any spoilers. I have enjoyed meeting old characters from the previous games and I adore the story so far. It has been an emotional journey and I have cried. I think that BioWare did an amazing job of bringing together the story arc of all three games in order to give this one a lot of emotional impact. If you have an old Mass Effect save, then I believe that this game is absolutely worth playing at some point. Otherwise, I have restarted the original Mass Effect so that I could create a second Commander Shepard and import different choices into a future Mass Effect 3 game. I have already heard about one of the differences in a quest line possible with a Renegade Shepard and I would love to see these changes for myself.

So, what have you been playing this past week?

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95 Responses to What Are You Playing Wednesday

  1. Bolegium says:

    I just finished my play through of Mass Effect 3 – and I can’t really articulate all the huge mess of emotions I feel about it. Now i’m feeling drained and not really interested in anything else, although there’s ‘Journey’ for the PSN being released this week that i’m going to be getting! Now if you don’t mind me, i’ll return to reminiscing sadly about all of my adventures with Shepard & gang.

  2. Twyst says:

    ME3. I am trying to finish soon.

  3. Llamaentity says:

    I’ve been primarily playing Monster Tale this past week, a sadly overlooked Metroidvania-style game in which you level up and evolve your monster friend/sidekick, Chomp. Lots of fun! I keep meaning to play more Icewind Dale, but that’ll probably have to wait until I finish Monster Tale. That or I’ll resume Radiant Historia… we’ll see :P

    Oh, and I also played some Magicka and Left4Dead 2 when hosting the weekly community multiplayer sessions, which have been quite successful already! We even got.a full 8 players for Left4Dead 2 versus mode at one point.

    • Ike says:

      Ahem. You left out the NBA video game. Embarrassed? =P

      I have been playing a lot of Pocket Frogs.

    • I forgot all about Monster Tale til you mentioned it! I loved that game, although I did find that once I got Chomp’s blue flying-drill form, there was no real reason to use anything else ever, except occasionally one of the healing forms.
      I finally beat RE:Gundemonium’s final boss, Elixirel, without taking a single hit and got that achievement. My heart was pounding SO hard through the last few phases – I switched weapons to burn through the hard phases even faster (but at much closer range) and it finally worked.
      Played ME:3, don’t know what to think about the ending and don’t want to spoil it. There were some really frustrating/annoying faily parts, some amazing conversations and scenes and accomplishments, and one Renegade interrupt that my nearly-pure-Paragon characters will always, ALWAYS take, because Kai Leng. Just… because Kai Leng. Also, Asari Adept is amazingly fun in multiplayer.
      Other than that, a little bit of various MMOs… Allods, Star Trek Online, City of Heroes, Dungeons and Dragons Online… not much, though, since the friends I normally play them with have been busy or having computer problems or various real life emergencies to deal with. Games like those are way more fun with good friends.

      • I’ve just been playing through Monster Tale myself and yes, once I got the blue drill all the other attacks seemed pretty pointless. I unlocked several more forms just for fun but it had no real effect on anything. That, Healing, and in a few rare circumstances Vertical or Side Spike (that latter for dealing with certain ambushes that can overwhelm)

        Still, really fun game.

  4. Noirsam says:

    Flight to freedom.

    It is a game where you play as a 14 year old slave in Kentucky in 1848.

    And her journey toward freedom.

    It is free by the way.


    • Lassarina says:

      I think I played a game very similar to that on the Apple IIe computers in my grade school computer lab. It sounds very familiar.

    • KA101 says:

      Looks worthwhile. If I was a formal teacher, I’d consider asking them for the full-offline workaround.

      [KA101 doesn’t have a computer available for games that require an internet connection.]

  5. Ari says:

    Finally started on ME3 way, way too soon to make any judgements about it, save that it keeps hard crashing my PS3, which is extremely annoying.

  6. Jean-Paul says:

    Still playing Lost Odyssey! Been super-busy, so ‘reward’ myself with about an hour of it a day. I’m on disc 3, and the plots getting nice and juicy – the main team have all been split up, and it’s following their storylines a bit at a time, and cutting between them, which is surprisingly effective! Cliffhangers abound! Oh, I do enjoy this game!

    Having a brief King of Fighters session with a pal tonight. Luckily in two player mode you can choose which stage you want to play on, so I can avoid most of the hideous objectionable stuff in the backgrounds.

    • Cuppycake says:

      I really loved that game. I played it through a couple years ago and thought it was really fun and underrated.

      • Jean-Paul says:

        I had mostly heard bad things Lost Odyssey, until I read a single positive review that convinced me otherwise, then saw some nice comments about it in a Border House comments section. I am enjoying it loads, to the extent I might be a bit sad when it is over. I have grown very fond of the characters, which is always handy in an RPG!

  7. AtlAggie says:

    Mass Effect 3 for me also. I’m very near the end, should probably finish tonight. It’s been really emotional so far, and I’m expecting the ending to kick that up a whole ‘nother notch. I’ve been really impressed with the game, and I came in with high expectations. Gameplay, design, story, writing, acting — everything has been superb, with the exception of the terrible import-face glitch.

    I’ve never been this conflicted about finishing a game before….I want to see the story through to the ending, but am dreading the adventure being over. Which, to me, is a sure sign of great storytelling.

    • Maria says:

      “It’s been really emotional so far, and I’m expecting the ending to kick that up a whole ‘nother notch.”

      Oh, you’ll feel an emotion alright.

        • AtlAggie says:

          Well, I finished — and as y’all confirmed, there were plenty of emotions at the ending. Won’t discuss specifics because of spoilers, and also because I honestly am having a hard time sorting out all my feelings. Dang.

          Need more time to reflect.

          Since the whole ME series seems to be pretty popular around here, maybe the PTB would consider a future open thread for the game, where we can discuss our reactions with other Border House folk? Don’t know if anyone else would participate, but I’d certainly welcome the opportunity to hear other’s opinions.

          • Cole92 says:

            This. ^

            I was thinking the same thing. Trying to have an in-depth discussion about the ME3 endings without spoiling things is, well… pretty much impossible.

            There is so much that needs to be said, it really does deserve its own, *spoilers allowed* thread.

  8. From yonder land says:

    Have to get started on ME3. Can only play during weekends, and the people at my student dorm in charge of the arriving packages managed to lose it my package…sigh…

  9. Corbiu Geisha says:

    I got the Civilization 4 complete pack from a Steam sale. Don’t know if I can stomach Colonization though.

    And Guild Wars with a few of us.

  10. Patches says:

    Still SSX when I’m not playing MTG.

  11. Lassarina says:

    The paladin and I finally got to start Mass Effect 3 over the weekend; we’ve put in about 12 hours and are still not out of Act I. The return of assorted members of the previous games’ parties delights me to no end whatsoever. This time we are playing as a Paragon fem!Shep Vanguard who has in the past romanced both Garrus and Liara (we are going with Garrus this time, mostly because my squealing flailing fangirl reactions to everything Garrus says ever amuse my paladin and he likes to give me nice things.) We’ll do another playthrough later with our renegade m!Shep.

    Otherwise, I’d been taking a break from games because I just felt cranky about everything, but I think tonight I’ll finally pull out Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor and get started on it.

  12. Norah says:

    I’m trying to forget about ever playing any of the ME trilogy, because it’s painful to remember now.
    I’ve just focused on adventure games and I’ll get back to DA2 soon.

  13. Beth N. says:

    I’m still on Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (360), going through the side quests in Plains of Erathell. I’ve transitioned out of marathon mode and am playing it for a couple hours every other day or so, which means I’ll be playing it for a good long time yet.

    In the “guilty pleasure” department comes Trinity Universe (PS3). So far it’s done a decent job of avoiding the grindy, pandering stuff that’s irritated me in other Idea Factory games. It’s obvious they’ve taken shortcuts in the dungeons and in-battle models, but the battles themselves are fun, and the characters are adorable. Kanata’s my favorite, with Pamela a close second.

    On PSP it’s Legend of Heroes: A Tear of Vermillion. Its pacing is terrible, with a useless prologue, way too many boring NPCs, and side quests that do nothing to move the story forward or develop the world. When you actually get a chance to do some RPG battlin’, it’s all right. Some aspects of it remind me of the Grandia games.

  14. Kimiko says:

    I’m still playing Grandia. The game is quite fun, although the story and characterization have their flaws.

  15. menunu says:

    I beat Mass Effect 3 last night.

  16. Trisha says:

    I’d been playing Skyrim like crazy, but then I found a crack in my disc last week. So, while it’s being returned at Amazon, I’m playing Kingdom Hearts (again). I swear, I always go back and play that game. It’s amazing and gives me all sorts of warm fuzzies. And yes, I recommend it. ;)

  17. Maria says:

    Finished ME 3. Love everything until the end.

  18. GLaDOS says:

    I received my copy of ME3 on Saturday. I’ve been playing it every free hour I have. I’m at least half way through and so far I’ve burst into tears three times. :3

  19. Zel says:

    My sisters and I picked up Tales of Graces f yesterday. All three of us play together once the particular characters we want to play as join the party. (While we’re waiting, we watch and game.)

    So far, I’m really enjoying the plot and the characters. Since the character I want to play as isn’t around at a 5-hour-mark, I can’t comment on the combat but I like what I’ve seen so far. :)

  20. Rahab says:

    Oh God you guys, I finally got to play Journey yesterday after months of waiting. It is *AWESOME.*

  21. Chris Hill says:

    Just finished ‘El Shaddai: Ascension of the Matatron’ this morning. That is one weird game! Visually it really isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen before (well, a little bit like ‘Nier’ in sections I suppose). The fighting part of the game is reasonably straightforward (it’s almost impossible to actually die in a battle – well, in easy mode anyway!) but the platforming sections can be tough; there’s a mixture of 2D and 3D platforming and both can be a bit frustrating at times. Anyway, I’d cautiously recommend it – especially as it really is very different.

    Since then I’ve been playing a little DC Universe Online while deciding what to play next. ME3 is sitting on my hard drive ready to play, but I really can’t yet. For those still counting I’m now on week 5 of the labyrinthitis… :-(

  22. SleekitSicarian says:

    I wrapped up ME3 on Saturday, and just started Journey! And made a mysterious online friend. It’s such a pretty game T_T

    And then I had to go off to bed and I felt terrible. :( If you are reading this, online buddy, I am sorry I abandoned you to the desert.

  23. tossca says:

    Well, unfortunately ME3 turned out to be huge disappointment for me. So, I’m trying to forget about it and instead I’m trying out The Last Story. I’ve only just played through the tutorial and gotten to the first town, so I can’t say for sure yet how much I’ll like the game. But so far I’ve had a lot of fun just doing a little exploring and some mini side quests.

  24. Nigel says:

    Started my second playthrough of Mass Effect 3, which feels like my first “true” playthrough. I just wanted to see what would happen the first time so much of that run is a blur! I also think I made the wrong choice at the end, but rather than go back to a previous save I prefer to do a run with a different Shepard.

  25. Ermoss says:

    Played Dear Esther and Stacking PC. Both were excellent. Dear Esther is artistically beautiful, and the story is quite engaging. Stacking is excellent and quite unique, with interesting mechanics, fun puzzles, good art and story, and of course all the humor you might expect from a Double Fine game.

  26. Zaewen says:

    I’m slowling working (and blogging) my way through Mass Effect 3. There’s quite a bit to love (the grand scope of things, the beautiful details, the epic storyline) and quite a bit to loathe (I’m pretty sure y’all know what I’m talkin bout), but it’s a damn good game so far. I even got to play some multiplayer this afternoon and didn’t suck half as bad as I thought I would… tho I did have some rather experienced FPSers helping me out.

  27. Cole92 says:

    I don’t normally post on here (I enjoy lurking in the shadows), but after hearing everyone’s reaction to ME3 (and it’s ending), I felt the need to present this forum to the community…

    I also want to make a note right now – THIS CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS! So please do not read if you haven’t beaten the game as of yet.


    After really thinking about it, the arguments presented in this forum have really started to make sense. Regardless of whether or not it turns out to be valid in the end, it has helped my cope with and better understand the intense emotions I felt after playing ME3. I hope it does this for others as well.


    • Ms. Sunlight says:

      Okay, here’s my tuppence worth. Spoiler-free, I hope:

      I was a bit bemused at all the fanrage over the ME3 endings; I liked the ending I got and I thought it brave of BioWare to do something a bit interesting and philosophical. Then, I read a few people on forums like The Escapist saying things like, “Why couldn’t BioWare have given it an amazine ending like Baldur’s Gate 2?” It all made sense.

      For the record, I hated the endings of BG2. I felt they were trite, dull power fantasies. BG2 is a great game, and has one of the great video game villains of all time in Jon Irenicus. It’s endings however amount to little more than “Woo, you’re amazing!” with a little colour text about your companions tacked on. I hated it.

      On the other hand, I consider the “best” ending of Planescape: Torment to be one of the finest RPG ending of all time, and that’s both short and downbeat.

      So what do fans want? A BG2-style ending where your awesomeness is validated and your fur stroked? A Star Wars episode IV ending where space magic makes the Reapers go boom, the Asari councillor gives everyone medals in a moving ceremony aboard the presidium and the Krogan goes RARRRR? BioWare have given us complex, nuanced endings that make us think. I think that’s far better than, “Woo, you’re amazing! Now go and make space babies with Liara.”

      • Cole92 says:

        I think the main reason why the endings of ME3 have upset so many people (or maybe it’s just me) is because of how utterly inconsistent they are with ME lore. Not only that, but BioWare had promised that the end of ME3 would provide the closure that fans very much wanted. There wasn’t really any closure what-so-ever, in fact it created even more questions than answers.

        Are the endings of ME3 nuanced? No, I wholeheartedly disagree. They were so out of line with what we’re used to seeing with the Mass Effect franchise that I was left utterly baffled at the end. There are so many plot-holes it’s impossible to ignore them, and I was perplexed at how drastically the writing changed at the very end (going from incredibly consistent and immersive to just downright horrible).

        During the entire end scene everything felt strange. Things just didn’t make sense (considering everything we know from the first two games), and a lot of people noticed it. That’s why I personally refuse to just accept them at face-value, and the arguments presented on that forum do the best job of analyzing and making sense of what all of that… chaotic writing… was about.

        Now, if BioWare does come out with a statement confirming that those endings were indeed THE endings… My heart will be forever crushed.

        • Nigel says:

          I agree that the writing of the ending makes one wonder whether the writers went on holiday, but plotwise I think it is a very fitting end to the series. And as far as closure, well the whole game is closure! There were many great final moments with most of the characters. It’s amazing we have this culture where people will judge dozens of hours of enjoyment on the basis of five minutes worth of content.

          • Cole92 says:

            I agree, the game as a whole should not be judged based on the endings alone (because I thoroughly enjoyed it and think it was very well presented). The endings just really bugged me… but then again I am a huge ME nut, so perhaps I just have a proclivity to notice the unusual.

            In any case, I wish BioWare would at least make a statement about them. They’ve been really hush-hush and all of the speculating is taking a toll on me. =/

            • Ms. Sunlight says:

              Nah, it’s the same drill as when Dragon Age 2 came out. I’m sure you can remember the fanrage, the Metacritic bombing, the rampant homophobia, the whinging about the ending etc. Anyway, as I recall (and I was active on the BioWare Social Network forums at the time) the devs were remarkably quiet on the story choices and narrative. Yes, they copped fairly early to technical issues and stuff like the recycled maps, but they stood behind the story they wanted to tell and didn’t engage in arguing with the fans over their reactions.

              I would imagine BioWare is once again letting the worst of the fan rage burn out (and seeing how the sales figures fare over the crucial first few weeks) before taking a public position, if they ever do.

              For what it’s worth, I think that anyone who didn’t clock that the whole series of games was about transformative technology, posthumanism and transhumanism wasn’t paying attention. I liked the ending I got and although it wasn’t expected, it made sense. Mind you, I liked the ending of Fallout 3 too, and was very disappointed when Bethesda was pressured into changing it in the Broken Steel DLC.

      • AtlAggie says:

        Re: the question of what fans want from the ending, I think this article does a good job of laying out and walking through the main complaints I’ve seen:


        (Hopefully it’s obvious that the article is full of spoilers, so don’t read if you don’t want the ending spoiled).

        I’m still haven’t made up my mind how I feel about the endings, and am not saying I agree with everything (or anything) in the article. Just sharing because I think it shows that the anger most fans are expressing is not coming from a desire for a “happy” ending.

  28. KA101 says:

    A long time ago, I got stuck at the Honolulu mission in Syndicate Wars. Never passed it and ultimately uninstalled the game. Still kept the CD, though.

    Now, with D-Fend, that time is over. And now I’m working the mission right *after* Honolulu, but I’m fairly confident that I’ll make it through. Much better coordinated and funded this time.

  29. Ophelia says:

    Does anyone know of any particularly good queer/feminist gaming groups that play League of Legends? It’s pretty consistently the only game I play, and I’d really like to find some others to consistently play with sometime.

    • Ms. Sunlight says:

      As an aside, how easy is LoL to get into as a newbie? It looks fun but a bit intimidating, especially as I haven’t played a lot of RTS before. (Not since the 90s, actually!)

      • Ophelia says:

        LoL is a lot more forgiving than dota, which was utterly brutal. One of the better aspects of LoL is how many steps they’ve made to try to make it more newbie friendly. There are tutorials, team games against bots, and 30 levels to work through before you really hit “big kid time” and can try ranked games or just create full builds/buy runes, etc. It’s still hard, especially since to be good you have to learn 94 champions to know what to expect/counter. At first, it’s really kind of frustrating and confusing.

        That said, I think it’s manageable and well worth it. There’s so much depth to every game that no game plays the same. Teamwork really matters, and if you have other people playing with you it’s a lot easier to let the ever-so-typical (if not often more rage-filled) community not phase you as much.

        As for RTS’s, I’m pretty bad at micromanaging, so I’ve never been good at them. But with LoL, you just have one unit to control which makes it a bit more like diablo controls than Starcraft. I’d highly encourage anyone to try it. I’m Ophelia24 if anyone wants to play.

        • Ms. Sunlight says:

          Well, I’ve downloaded and installed it but I don’t expect I’ll be up to playing online for a wee while. I’ll spend some time in the next couple of weeks playing against the computer though to see if I can get a grip. Thank you very much for the info!

  30. Omar Little says:

    It’s difficult to back up an argument without spoilers here but I don’t believe the “end” of ME3 is really the end. There are a number of things being floated around regarding it being something of a false ending with the “real” one coming later, a’ la ME2:Arrival. No doubt the great DLC mill will be churning and I hope they manage to cough up DLC other than more multiplayer components, which IMO is the lazy way out.

    That said – I don’t mind it. Definitely not what people expected. To be honest, the last time I’ve seen Bioware do a “good” game ending with lots of closure it was the original Dragon Age although the first Mass Effect was short, sweet, and generally upbeat. Anyway, back to the ME3 ending. it doesn’t ruin the game for me although I AM curious where Bioware goes from here.

  31. washuuchan says:

    I’ve just finished ME3 right now and… I don’t really have words right now, too many emotions.

    That was hell of a ride, and wish it wasn’t over already.

  32. Alex says:

    Mass Effect 3! My copy finally arrived yesterday!! I’m elenielstorm on XBL if anyone wants to play multi :D

    • nucl3arsnke says:

      Me and my s.o are up for this! Expect friend requests from BuzzNJ and nucl3arsnke and hope to kill some Reapers with you soon!

    • Gunthera1 says:

      I am krazykluu on xbox and PS3 if anyone wants to add me as well. Just mention Border House in a message. =D

  33. feministgamer says:

    ME3 has been awesome so far … except when its not. Just when I feel like I’m playing a man’s game and not just a game. Which is often. And then I watch a good cutscene and I forget it. And then I watch a mediocre cutscene and realize … that’s what FemShep was given? That’s all? And then I research what the MaleShep’s get, and it’s so much better, and I weep.

    I know I’m super nitpicky, but it’s the little problems that make way for the bigger ones. There are too many nitpicks with ME3. Way too many. It’s officially a real damn problem. And the worst part is, I knew that before I even picked up the game, from seeing Ashley’s makeover and this supposed new Diana Allers character. I knew that I wasn’t going to like the attitude the developers had in regards to women, but I wasn’t expecting the regression in the attitude towards women players — coming from a game and a company that explicitly wants to accommodates women players. Set aside the same objectifying BS we see in many games, the romance interests are not balanced. Their treatment was not equal. A developer outright admits that the writing staff FORGOT about Thane, and it shows. Add that to Jacob being a straight out slap to the face. =\

    • tossca says:

      This has been very close to my experience. All the little things keep adding up until I’m so frustrated that I have to step away from the game for days at a time to cool off. It’s not even the ending that everybody’s complaining about. In fact, I haven’t even been able to stomach the game long enough to even reach the ending.

      I think part of the problem is we’re not given enough options to avoid these things, and there’s not enough dialogue options to actually talk to characters about the things you want to talk about or tell them what you really think. We’re just streamlined right into whatever it is the game thinks we want to see. They assume you’re a straight guy so you must want to see some long drawn out romance dialogue with the new botox Ashley, and you could probably care less about Thane/Jacob.

      I’m used to having more pathways available to me in a Bioware game. It’s great that there’s more options in building your character for combat, but it feels like a lot of other roleplaying aspects are missing.

      Oh, and don’t even get me started on all of the krogan scenes…

      • feministgamer says:


        • SleekitSicarian says:

          The scenes with her were already pretty gross playing as my ladyShep; I’m not really looking forward to enduring them with my dudeShep on the second playthrough. I suppose I’ll get less of the 90’s fauxminism, at least. (Sure, lady. We gots the power because we are wise and sensible in the face of simple-minded masculine aggression. …Because my Renegade Shepard totally doesn’t solve her problems by headbutting people).

          Wrex, when you did become such a jerkface. :[

          • tossca says:

            Ugh, I know. And the worst part about it was that I was so excited when I heard there was going to be a female Krogan and that I was actually going to get to talk to her!

            Then, each and every line in her dialogue made me feel more and more irritated until finally it got to the point that I wished they had never introduced her in the first place.

            A slap in the face? Yes. This very accurately describes how it made me feel.

          • feministgamer says:

            Thank you for putting a name to that icky feeling I got when Eve went girl power on me. Never heard of “fauxminism” before but it perfectly explains how I feel about some stuff, like this.

            • Deviija says:

              Yep. That’s what it is. Terrible early 90’s ‘GRRL POWAH’ fauxminism. ‘Yeah, FemShep, we’ll show them boys how it’s done, cuz we’r all Sisterhood of the Yaya Pants wise and got ovaries!’ Really? Because my Renegade FemShep wasn’t headbutting everyone and asserting her dominance with intimidation throughout the series, as a soldier.

              Blah. Just the entire plotline with the Krogans and the horrible, horrible machismo sexist dialogues. It’s not even alien cultural/societal differences unique to Krogan governance… it’s awful modern day HUMAN sexism and BS slapped onto Krogans. And it shows when Wrex is being all, “WOMEN! HMPH!” and, “Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without them.” How Eve paints the role of women in their culture, as if it’s something other than slavery. There are many stories about Krogan warlords getting their pick of any fertile female they wish, and as many of them as they want, etc. Wrex’s giddy letter about how he’s going to be banging everything in sight, and how excited he is by it. :P Right, that’s really free agency for the women, like they were trying to claim in ME2 with the women clan crap.

              Moreover, Eve. She also paints the picture that women’s entire existence is for birthing babies and being fertile. The bit she says about women going off into the desert to get eaten by Maws because they were infertile… It all came across as though it was framed around a woman’s worth and value being her fertility/babymaking capabilities. I hated that. Moreover, her (given) name is Eve. Another human cultural thing slapped onto Krogans, reinforcing certain ideas.

        • Korva says:

          Wow, that sounds absolutely abhorrent. Is there any option whatsoever to express disgust with the situation, or is it all about giving the males the brood sows they want without a second’s thought for the women?

          I hadn’t heard the term “fauxminism” before, but it certainly seems fitting. I do wonder who wrote this, and whether they actually believe it’s progressive.

          Now I want to dig up my barely-played ME1 and see if I can blow Wrex’ brains all over the place somehow.

          • feministgamer says:

            Wrex is killable I think 2 times. Once in ME1 on Virmire, and once in ME3 on his home planet if you chose the Renegade option at the end. His brother will replace him, so it’s not like you’ll fix much. In fact, if you do do the renegade thing, it will keep the situation with the Krogans the same — which is abhorrent, we agree. And when you outright tell Wrex “this is a horrible way to treat your women”, he’ll first say it’s the women’s idea so that makes it okay (because writer’s totally didn’t write this), and that their awful treatment is a product of their times, so better treatment is something to look forward to if you do whatever Wrex wants.

            So the women of their clan are basically being held hostage unless you take a certain choice on Tuchanka, which is of course morally grey and comes with sacrifices.

            • tossca says:

              I must have done something strange then. I picked the renegade choice (more because I was just pissed off about the whole thing than anything else) and stupid misogynist Wrex didn’t die for me! booooo

              and another thing

              more SPOILERS for renegade sheps below!

              I think because I had taken the renegade choice and destroyed the cure in ME2, Eve died at the end of the mission. In a last scene the krogans had a funeral for her. Jerk Wrex was giving a speech or something and all the krogans were listening.

              I couldn’t help but notice that all the male krogans were standing in front and the women were standing behind them. Ha! That was like the icing on the cake.

              But out of all of this, I think the worst part was Eve’s dialogue. And how all the women’s lives are meaningless because they can’t make babies. Heck, she even says that half of them are killing themselves or something because of it.

              There was such a great opportunity here to have meaningful dialogue about reproductive choice. It ‘s really upsetting that Bioware can have such interesting dialogue about marginalization of various races in their ME universe (and in the DA series), but when it comes to women’s rights they’ve completely failed.

            • re: tossca (can’t reply) // spoilers

              I haven’t done it, but apparently Wrex will find out later what you done, maybe on the ship? I heard he gets mad and starts a firefight. You might have to have saved Maelon’s data from ME2. This is just word of mouth though, I haven’t personally done it. x_x

              I couldn’t help but feel all of Eve’s dialogue was written after the quests received criticism. She miraculously has a name now that no one calls her by except one, fleeting character? (Shepard goes back to calling her “the female” after learning her name!! WTF!) She lays on the “boys got cooties, amirite?” pretty thick, too. It’s all tacked on to me, and totally doesn’t help anything. It’s like making up lore on the spot to justify your naked Amazon babes OH WAIT THEY DO THAT TOO.

            • tossca says:

              Oh, hey if Wrex does indeed find out and starts a fight, I might just have to play the game some more to see if my renegade shep will get the chance to kill him. :)

            • Deviija says:

              I regret ever saving Wrex in ME1 and sympathizing with the fate of his species. That’s how bad it has gotten.

            • Nigel says:

              Really Deviija? I’d fault the writers before I fault Wrex. In fact, throughout the entire game Wrex is off key (sometimes literally) relative to his character in MEs 1 & 2. Since there is no reason given for this shift in tone for Wrex I attribute it to bad writing, a general problem for Mass Effect 3.

            • Omar Little says:

              Sorry for the upcoming wall of text, but this has been eating at me for several days:

              In what seems to be a pretty solid trend for Bioware (and honestly, most game writers) I kind of got the impression that the Krogan were a poorly-executed mixed bag of ideas from the moment their society was expanded in the second game. Specifically when I hit Tuchanka.

              Because space opera with anthropomorphic aliens is usually an excuse to write about various human cultures the Krogan struck me as a reference to certain developing-world societies, at least in terms of how Western colonial powers dealt with them. Think some pre-cold war Arab or Afghan peoples as an example.

              The Council races came in and found a lower-technology people (the Krogan) with a resource that could be easily harvested – in this case warfare. The “developed” Council races “Uplifted” them “developing” Krogan by giving them a metric shitload of technology that was leaps and bounds ahead of theirs and said “uh, ok, you’re going to repay us by fighting this external enemy that we have a huge problem with.” Having already taken the nuclear option on their own planet, they went from “oh wow we bombed ourselves out but continue to live in a hideously warlike society” to “whoah, we have someone else to kill and are paid good money to do it. Thanks for the toys folks!” Meanwhile, the Krogan themselves hadn’t adapted to the new way of life this technology brought and still waged warfare, destroying the Rachni. They didn’t stop there, though. One thing about a society built around war – sooner or later someone’s going to use all that weaponry sitting around on something.

              So, the Council races suddenly faced a crisis of their own making – a people they meddled with and armed suddenly decided they didn’t like being talked down to or told what to do and were downright hostile to them. Heh, uh, sound familiar, Western Europe? How about you, America? I’ll refrain from dragging politics into this but the last century or so has pretty much illustrated the horrible consequences of colonialism and imperialism.

              Anyway, the Council decide that the “humane” way to end the Krogan uprising is to selectively sterilize them, crippling a society that never really changed from its foundations. What I don’t know is if rampant sexism was prevalent amongst the Krogan before the genophage or not, because its made quite clear that contemporary Krogan society is a pretty awful place to be – female Krogan are flat-out treated as economic assets rather than people due to the rarity of births. Am I alone in thinking that Bioware clumsily tied this to (again) certain *cough* “real-world” cultures where women’s reproductive rights are heavily dictated by (male-dominated) society? I realize I’m treading some potentially explosive ground here but I couldn’t shake this impression. Hell, Krogan women even wear a form of veil; Bioware might as well have flashed text on the screen stating “BTW THIS IS A HIJAB FOLKS”. Ugh.

              “Eve” is an example of a woman coming from a culture that thinks a woman’s primary job is reproduction. Which is a nigh-impossible task, which of course leads to — yeah, their society is pretty awful and sexist. Unfortunately the game just sort of throws this at the player to digest without the ability to go “Wow – this is NOT ok.” And I agree 100% about Wrex’s behavior above – he came across as this friend you’ve had for a long time who suddenly, out of nowhere just drops a racist or sexist comment in the middle of a conversation and you’re stunned. Unlike real life, you’re just forced to witness it and you have no option to call him on his bullshit.

              tl;dr, if you’re still reading this rambling post, thank you. I feel like this whole plot could have been handled in a responsible way. If the writers were really thinking this stuff through. But unfortunately — they weren’t.

            • Deviija says:

              @Nigel Yes. Truly. That’s the issue, though. An argument can be made for poor writing and that Wrex is not written in a consistent manner. He is not the same person he was in ME1, nor ME2. However, counter to that, we can argue that a character shouldn’t and wouldn’t be the same person after everything that occurs within these three years since ME1.

              Eitherway, it is sloppy and messed up a character I did like. It’s about as severe as what they did to DeathThreat VENGEANCE Liara in ME2 in terms of character ‘growth.’ Only Wrex has wonderful piles of sexism and subjugation added in.

            • @Deviija, Nigel: Definitely. We should be holding the writers accountable, not the characters. I think new writers for the characters were brought on for ME3, and it’s basically resulted in a clusterf**k. (pardon my french)

              Wrex has always been cool in my mind. He was the definition of badass. However, in ME3, that somehow shifted to him being an uncontrollable teenage boy, trying to make badass to mean “masculinity”. Not only does he attribute strength to testicles (“she’s got a quad!”), but one of his strongest character qualities is him being horny. Why does he need to keep proving he loooooves sex? How awful is his behavior when Eve can’t be happy that Wrex is there to save her, and instead describe him as being a sexual predator? And then, in the society that Wrex is in charge of, his women go off and kill themselves if they’re not fertile?

              Seriously, Bioware? You ruined Wrex for me. He was cool, he was an activist for his people. He treated Grunt with respect, despite being tank-born. He was open-minded, to me. A female Krogan is introduced, and the writer has to freak out and exacerbate that men are from Mars, women from Venus? The only way this writer could think to make him “cool” was to make him horny and let him get away with it? Why support that sort of behavior as “cool”, or okay at all? Wrex tells the Salarian that he’s not “The Krogan” and he’s got a name! But lol female krogan is female! Something is NOT right about that.

              … we could probably rant about this forever.

            • Nigel says:

              “Wrex tells the Salarian that he’s not “The Krogan” and he’s got a name! But lol female krogan is female! Something is NOT right about that.”

              feministgamer you are absolutely right. The inconsistencies are numerous and baffling. Furthermore a salarian decides to call a krogan “Eve.” Why would they use human mythology as if they don’t have their own let alone the fact that a doctor would simply give her a designation like, I don’t know, maybe “Subject 0″?

              Meanwhile, the asari matriarch on the citadel is savvy enough to call Shepard a jackass for referring to her in the traditional human was as a mother when as an asari she considers herself the father in the relationship.

              It’s as if there was no one making sure all the writing was consistent and they just trusted their writers to put whatever they wanted in the game.

        • Omar Little says:

          Also, for the record – why are there no female Turians ever? Garrus even recounted that there are male and female Turins in their military in the second game – I read somewhere that the developers just “had trouble designing them” which is a lazy, crap excuse. Obviously you spent time designing that horrible reporter that I wouldn’t even let on my ship so I guess your priorities were a little out of whack, Bioware.

          • Deviija says:

            @Omar: The thing about Krogan society? Is that they keep rewriting and retooling and subtly changing what their culture is about. Either to hide the god-awful sexism and subjugation of women aspects, or they just are inconsistent.

            In ME1, we learned of Siagur. A lady Krogan Warlord that had a grand and famous campaign across the galaxy. Many revere her for her prowess and cunning, and many Krogan boast to this day that they have Shiagur blood in them.

            In ME2, Wrex tells us that women have free agency to accept or decline mating with men that come calling for some nookie nookie. A couple Krogans speak about this in ambiance dialogue on Tuchanka. One talks about putting papers/request in to go to the lady camps to have an opportunity to mate with a lady. But it is within her right to decline any prospective mate (really, breeding partner) that she wishes. Wrex also mentions the women have made clans for themselves and all live within a camp together, as a sort of consolidated power. (And to be kept ‘safe’ of course. :P)

            In ME3, we are softballed a very different image. I think some of it is in ME2’s planet lore, too, though I can’t remember accurately. Anyway, we are shown that women’s worth and value is solely in their capacity to be fertile, to be birthing slaves. Eve isn’t even given a name until pretty much everything in the quest is over. It makes it pretty clear she is but a thing, an object for breeding. Not a person. That’s her entire value, and (as she tells FemShep aboard the Normandy) the value of all women. Moreover, we learn that esteemed heroes can sleep with any and all women they want. They have the pick of any fertile females they wish. This is seen on one of the planet infobits, retelling a story about a prominent dude Krogan. And the general giddy tone of Wrex in his e-mail to Shepard, being so excited to get started on breeding all he can.

            Another thing is that Siagur’s story is mentioned again on a planet infobit, but this time it mentions men fighting to have breeding rights with her. She can’t just be a badass Warlord that got tired of her planet and went out to wage war on her own, no, she also has to be bedded with. (This is also a recurring theme in the game that I hate. Seeing powerful/prominent women characters’ sex being called out for sexual implications and designs. Example being Aria and the Mercenary dude — he is under the impression that ‘her ass in my bed’ is part of the deal for joining up with her. She can’t be a scary, badass, powerful leader-character in her own right, she has to be a sex object as well. It’s not like we see men or women prompting sexual implications for cooperation on male prominent characters.)

            As for lore on Krogans, Wrex and Eve mention that women were elevated higher (i.e. equality) in ancient times. Prior to the bombs dropping that ruined their planet.

            Oh and on lady Turians? I am still baffled as to why there are none shown in C-Sec, Palavan, or anywhere that is military or security or elsewhere. They do not need ‘lipstick’ or ‘breasts’ or a ‘bow’ to signify that they are a woman (which is what the guy joked about in the video about ‘how do we design a lady Turian?’ derp derp). Change the voice is all that is really required. What’s more is that even though we get to see lady Krogans/Eve and the lady Salarians (the Dalatrass), there are none out there in the world itself. There are no Krogan ladies kicking arse or as some NPC merc you talk to, there are no Salarian lady STG folk that have shirked their roles as matriach/egg-layers (which is another terrible race bag, imo). It’s disappointing.

            • Ms. Sunlight says:

              Eve not having a name would not be problematic if she was addressed as “Shaman” – if you recall, in the second game a male Krogan shaman explained how they give up their names in service to the role, so it would have been perfectly consistent for her to be addressed that way.

              That the writers failed to be consistent in this does not speak well for them. Why make her a shaman, make her ordeal to become a shaman something she shares with Shepard and an important part of writing her as determined and competent, then undermine that?

            • Cole92 says:

              For some reason I’m unable to reply directly to Ms. Sunlight’s post, so I’ll have to reply here.

              I’m not sure if anyone has mentioned it previously, but Eve does have a name, Urdnot Bakara (not that it makes the female Krogan situation any less atrocious). I found it curious myself that she was never referred to as “Shaman”, and how it utterly ridiculous it was that nobody ever bothered to ask Bakara what she wanted to be called. The fact that other characters could dictate what she would be named made her seem less like an individual person and more like an object (but we already know this by the way female Krogans are treated in ME…).

            • @Cole92: You’re right … I should probably be calling her Bakara, and not Eve. It’s not fair that we’re not given the chance to know this until the very end, when up to that point, it’s been “female” or “Eve”. Like I said before, it’s so tacked on like someone with half a brain saw this quest and was like, “dudes, this is so totes misogynistic,” and some writer scrambles to invent some lore to justify his own failure to see a problem.

            • Regrading the Krogan. I’m a little surprised that so many find there to be a great inconsistency between how the Krogan are portrayed in Mass Effect 2 vs. Mass Effect 3. I didn’t feel that women had free agency to pick their partner in two at all, they may say that is the case but I felt the real situation was always as it was painted in 3. I know of at least one other person that felt that way and went as far as referring to the Krogan female camps as “rape camps” and quite viciously arguing with anyone who tries to paint ME2’s off screen female camps as anything less. This may be due in part to differences in our plays of the game…

              I notice that everyone here refers to Wrex and not Wreav. I had Wreav in both 2 and 3 (didn’t play one till after two. 2 defaults to Wrex’s death and Wreav taking over, that file is what I imported into three) and he is as far as I can tell is even worse the Wrex, this may be why I’m not surprised at all on how the Krogan are portrayed in three. It a lot harder to buy Krogan women having any free agency to pick breeding partners with Wreav in charge. Compare how the two act, at the start of the following youtube clips to see how much worse Wreav is.

              Wrex: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgmDTnuku9M “Are you ok?”
              Wreav: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJWer5CVwgA “She doesn’t belong to you.”

              And if I recall correctly Wreav is later on referred to the worse thing that could possibly happen to the Krogan’s future. Perhaps it would be different if I played all the way through with Wrex?

              Did anyone here have a Wreav play thought? Very curious how people who had him in 2/3 instead of Wrex feel. All I can say is Wrex was in the demo and it felt a lot more uncomfortable playing the same part of the game with Wreav in the actual game. I feel kind of weird now since this makes me essentially the one person who in this thread that wants to save Wrex instead of killing him after playing 3…lesser of two evils.

              Although after the ending… I now know that the writers’ capacity for inconstancy knows no bounds.

            • Omar Little says:

              @Deviija Oh yeah – Shiagur got occasionally mentioned and I always got confused if she came before or after the Genophage and quick internet check told me it began when she was around and raising Hell. Don’t know if that’s factual.

              All the bullshit we’re talking about got retconned into canon in the second and third game where the women of the Krogan race were arguably targeted by a war crime on a massive scale by other races and the writers scrambled to come up with ideas that would “fit into” their vision. The unfortunate reality of this was it was so poorly handled that the writers got lazy and just ended up either consciously or unconsciously creating their version of “Space Afghanistan” (again – this is a WHOLE other dimension to the issue) when you got to Tuchanka that — well, that’s a whole other can of worms. Creating a nasty Handmaid’s Tale-like society where women are fundamentally denied control over their own reproductive rights isn’t exactly an easy, lighthearted task in a work of fiction and clearly they did everything wrong here.

              On the “No female Turians” thing, well, I attribute this ultimately to not only writer laziness but just a fundamental stacking of priorities. The icing on the cake was the aforementioned shortchanging of romance options like Jacob and Thane which I believe Bioware laid out some kind of half-assed attempt at justification with their statements on player datamining from previous games. Which kind of hits the root of a problem I have with the game industry in the first place. They did some kind of survey and quoted results from feedback that tracked players’ game progress stating things like:

              * “Over 80% of people played a male Shepard”
              * “Jacob and Thane were at the bottom percentages of romance options chosen” (which can be PARTIALLY attributed to the first point mentioned here)
              * “Over 70% played a Soldier class or made plot choice ‘x’ (which may or not be relevant to this particular argument but whatever)

              What all that tells me is that BW overextended themselves with options in 2 and rather than give equal weight to what all players wanted, they figured out who the “masses” were to them and subsequently gave those in the minority some degree of shafting as they were busy with other ‘things’. Limited time, limited budget, limited staff, etc, etc. In other words, this whole thing was a big focus group intended to pull demographics to sell to a perceived majority, and anyone who didn’t fit into this bracket played second fiddle.

              Isn’t capitalism grand?

              I don’t know how I even would have fit into the data mentioned above, as I did what I always do with games where I can choose my protagonist’s gender: I played them both.

              At any rate, the Thane/Jacob thing took a moment for me to notice as my first Shepard immediately got herself back together with Garrus who’s far and away the most entertaining and likable companion in the game. Never looked back. He also doesn’t have an angsty, tragic past or a dead lover sitting in a fridge somewhere which makes him infinitely more appealing.

            • Omar Little says:

              Also, I just read some “behind the scenes” stuff for the game series which went through the complete writing team, it’s pretty much exclusively male and white. I realize that this is shocking news or I’m assuming that these guys are automatically bigoted or biased in any way. However, but as feministgamer mentioned above -if you feel like you’re playing a game “for men” the problem starts here. And Bioware is one of the BETTER companies out there in terms of trying to accomodate people outside of the stereotypical “core heterosexual cismale gamer aged 16-34″ demographic (Which are usually the only people the marketing teams for big publishers remember exist in the first place).

              I feel like people wishing for more diversity and social justice represented in gaming like pretty much everyone who reads this blog are going to be fighting an uphill battle until some level of diversity has been achieved on the creative teams who MAKE games. Which is a problem in itself – the path to getting a writing/design job is heavily skewed to particular demographics in the first place.

          • Cole92 says:

            This bugged me as well. Female Turians play a prevalent role in their society (military, economic, political), which can’t be said for female Krogans or Salarians. And it’s not like the “we didn’t know how to design them because we’re lazy” excuse can even be used anymore, since we’ve seen a female Turian in the Evolution comic. I was kind of hoping we’d get to see one in the third game, but I was hoping for too much I guess. Would have been nice if I could’ve met Garrus’ sister…

            • nucl3arsnke says:

              I’ll have to look at that comic. Up until this thread, I had simply assumed that turians are one of those species where, unless you’re a member of the species, your chances of being able to tell the difference between men and women are slim to none.

              And honestly, I really liked that idea, as I felt it really rounded out the myriad sex/gender styles of the various species, from the mono/non-gendered but female-presenting asari, to the “women are very rare for reproductive reasons” krogan and salarians, to what I previously thought of as the “gender exists but is completely unimportant” turians.

            • Cole92 says:

              Yes, I also figured male and female Turians would pretty much look exactly the same, but I find the difference in appearance actually works really well. Female Turians are basically identical except that they don’t have any head fringes, which would make sense considering how they are based off of an avian design. The females are slightly less flashy than the males (lack of head fringe), but anatomically the same (they don’t look “feminine” by human standards with breasts and soft, curvey features).

              Here’s a link for you if you haven’t already seen Lt. Abrudas: http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/8/87821/1691805-femaleturian1_super.jpg

            • nucl3arsnke says:

              Thanks! I did actually look it up shortly after I saw your comment, and I’m…dubious about it. On the one hand, as you say, it absolutely works, and I like it. On the other, if you romance Garrus, he says that if you were a turian woman, he’d compliment your fringe (before awkwardly complimenting your hair instead), so I feel the comic and the game are inconsistent, and I also really liked the idea of male and female turians being indistinguishable to outsiders. But then again, I understand that inconsistencies have happened before with ME, so, no big, I guess. Or I can just headcanon it that “fringe” means either the male or female…uh…spikes coming off the face, or that that turian woman simply happens to be bald, either by birth or by choice.

              And I’m left in a little bit of the same place I was with the ending of ME3. On the one hand, it would have been nice to Bioware to address this question more fully so I don’t have to “headcanon,” and on the other, their lack of doing so means that I can imagine it any way I want, as can other players.

  34. Cuppycake says:

    League of Legends for me. I’m really enjoying playing Nidalee and I feel like I’m getting better. :)

  35. Korva says:

    I must be among the few NOT playing ME3. ;) (Tried the first game, but the setting doesn’t grab me and the combat was frustrating, so I lost interest after finding Liara.) Instead, I snatched up Orcs Must Die! when it was 75% off on Steam a couple days ago, and gave it a whirl today when some quick cartoon violence felt like the way to deal with anxiety/depression. And it works. It’s fast, it’s fun, and the first couple of levels are pretty easy. I had to replay a few because the perfectionist in me refuses to progress without 5/5 skulls per level. At the beginning of the second act, though, I’m starting to get my butt kicked by gnoll hunters, who are plain evil. *shiver*

    • Deviija says:

      Heh. It’s okay, I felt/feel the same way about TOR. ;) I’m one of the only ones that didn’t get it. Happily so, mind.

      Not that you need reassurance, but you’re not missing anything at all with ME3.

      • Korva says:

        Mm, I don’t get TOR either, mainly because I never liked Star Wars except for the Jedi. Plus, I’d just quit WoW in December in abject can’t-take-this-shit-anymore disgust over what they’re doing with the lore, the characters (what few semi-prominent women there are, in particular) and the night elves — and playing TOR made me realize that I’m burned out on the MMO-stuff in general as well.

        I DO want to experience the class stories. I do NOT want to deal with crappy crafting, rude know-it-alls, jerks who act like I (especially as the tank, my usual role) need to have every fight memorized and play 200% perfectly the very first time I go anywhere, wannabe-pro raiders gloating from their sky-high throne of “all content belongs to us” entitlement, insults from PvPers for “carebears” …

        Nothing about the game inspires me to roleplay, either. Plus, I can’t stand the companions, nor the concept of being so dependent on having one with me all the time. Why do both Jedi classes get a womanizing sleazebucket as their sole healing companion? Why does my Shadow-tank-Consular have to run with a mass-murderer and said womanizing sleazebucket who can’t tolerate any mention of the Force — two very appropriate companions for a Jedi, eh? Why are there so few female companions compared to the male ones, all young and human-pretty, and almost all “available”?

        Eh, sorry for the minor rant. :p I actually poked my head in yesterday to see how I feel about the game now, and it’s still the same, so it’s all “fresh” in my head again.

        • feministgamer says:

          Just so you know, I had the same reservations about most MMOs, about being expected to know the game inside and out and rude jerks, etc. When I played SWTOR, however, I found none of that. It was actually quite refreshing. People put up with an exceeding amount of my newbness and reassured me it was okay every time. In my experience, I’ve met with only extremely friendly people on LIGHT population servers, and RP servers, Republic side. Stay away from PVP and HIGH-VERY HIGH pop servers.

          I played the female smuggler, and I got a very friendly farm boy (who is a romance option, who I believe is written by a lady from Dragon Age 2) as my starting companion, so I haven’t suffered through any womanizing sleazebag to be honest. I absolutely adore all of my Smuggler companions.

          If you want a good guild to run with, I’m on the Nathema server, name Freefall.

          • Korva says:

            Thanks. :) I don’t really have anything to offer to a nice guild, sadly, since I feel the game doesn’t really have anything to offer to me — beside the class stories, which by themselves aren’t worth the monthly payment and the many annoyances, both gameplay-wise and with the “community”.

            Good guilds and good guildies can be a treasure, in-game and beyond. I had that in WoW, and I do miss the people and the RP fiercely still.

        • Deviija says:

          I’ve heard about that awful womanizing character. Bleh. It’s not like there’s some male-equivalent nagging and skeeving out a male PC, no; it’s only a special thing reserved for women. Because that’s not harrassment for being a woman at all, right? :P When playing a game is supposed to be a form of escapism and fantasy, not dealing with the same shit one deals with in RL.

          That’s something I really don’t think the majority of (game) writers understand AT ALL. They certainly seem to understand that when a hetero man comes to the table, he is getting a big serving of heroic power fantasy with a heap of male gaze on the side. But for a woman coming to the table, she cannot get the heaping pile of heroic power fantasy with a size of lady gaze. She can’t even get past sleezy characters assaulting her because she has a vajayjay. :P ‘But it’s realism! It is a character trait!’ No, it’s poor writing.

  36. Finally got around to playing Yume Nikki.

    Nearly finished but still have some awkward places to go to get all of the effects. Had to stop playing it for a while as I have problems with Night Terrors sometimes.

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