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Streets of Rage 4, known as Bare Knuckle IV in Japan (ベア・ナックル IV), is a side-scrolling beat 'em up developed by Guard Crush Games and Lizardcube, released by Dotemu in April 30th, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC. It is the first new installment in the series since Streets of Rage 3 released in 1994. The game takes place around 10 years after the events of Streets of Rage 3.

Story[]

Ten years have passed since the fall of Mr. X and his Syndicate. The city has been at peace... until now. A new crime empire has arisen, corrupting everything good in the city. It is rumored to be led by Mr. X's own children: the Y Twins.

Former detectives Axel Stone and Blaze Fielding join forces with their old friend's daughter, Cherry Hunter, along with Floyd Iraia, an apprentice of the brilliant Dr. Zan.

Together these four vigilantes stand against the Y Syndicate on the... Streets of Rage.

Gameplay[]

Streets of Rage 4 carries on the style of previous entries in the series. Players advance from left to right on each stage, defeating enemies as they go. Players can pick up healing items and weapons. At the end of each stage the player must face the boss.

Combat has been greatly refined, such as players being able to juggle opponents against each other and walls for extended combos, as well hit enemies that are on the ground with low attacks that lifts them, allowing for more juggling.

Combo are calculated on consecutive hits that deal damage to the enemies (hitting an breakable object and picking up health/point items will prolong the combo but not increase the counter). Taking any form of direct damage or taking too long to hit enemies will reset the combo counter. There are different level of combos, with highest value achieved displaying message "OUT OF THE WORLD!!!" once the combo counter resets. Out of The World combos are critical for high score and achieving S Rank. Counter has not a linear increase but exponential: that means that one consecutive combo of 100 identical hits would generate a much higher score than, for instance, 4 split combos each of 25 hits.

New to the gameplay formula is a revamped Special Attack system, where after using one, a green gauge will appear over the healthbar, marking the amount of health lost. Each consecutive hit the player delivers against enemies will replenish replenishes some health based on damage dealt; however, should the player take a direct hit, the remaining green bar will disappear and the health recovery effect will be lost. In addition, characters now have access to an Aerial Special Attack.

Another major addition are the Star Moves; these are limited use moves which consume the star icons below the player's healthbar and deal massive damage to multiple enemies at once, while also making the player completely invulnerable for its entire duration (except for a few, namely Shiva's Spirit Dance and Max's Iron Will). Players always start with one Star Move by default at the start of each stage, and can find hidden around the stages are Star icons, which add a Star Move stock when collected.

In order to prevent the classic infinite jab combo, where the player taps the jab button, pause and repeat, essentially locking opponents infinitely, the developers added a limitation where all enemies will fall down after taking up to 8 hits.

During Story Mode, players can pause the game and select "Retry" at any time, restarting the stage, as well being able to change character. In addition, when retrying, the player can pick "Assists", which are namely increased lives and Star Moves; however, doing so adds a penalty to the score the higher the assist.

The game can be played locally with up to four players, while online play allows up to two players simultaneously. After each stage players are graded on their performance, with points being added to a meter which serves to unlock the retro characters. In addition to the main Story Mode, the player can also unlock a Stage Select, as well as Arcade Mode and Battle Mode.

Mr. X's Nightmare DLC[]

Launching in 15 July, 2021, the DLC pack titled Mr. X's Nightmare adds in three new playable characters, one new secret character, while the previous characters received new moves, along with new weapon pickups, new enemies and exclusive brand new tracks by Tee Lopes. This DLC also added a new gameplay mode:

  • Survival Mode allows the player to face off against enemy waves of ever increasing difficulty. In between waves the player can pick up random power ups and buffs to aid against the upcoming challenges. This mode is set up as a simulated virtual reality training created by Dr. Zan using the data from Mr. X's brain.
    • In addition to the normal enemies, "retro" enemies from the Genesis titles also appear.
    • After each run the player will get experience points based on their score, which will unlock alternate moves.
    • There are 4 different backgrounds (with variations), plus 8 retro backgrounds :
Sor4 survival warm-up.jpg
Warm up
Sor4 survival transition.jpg
Transition
Sor4 survival jungle fresco.jpg
Jungle (fresco)
Sor4 survival jungle fountain.jpg
Jungle (fountain)
Sor4 survival volcano lava.jpg
Volcano (lava)
Sor4 survival volcano fortress.jpg
Volcano (fortress)
Sor4 survival volcano doors.jpg
Volcano (doors)
Sor4 survival volcano altar.jpg
Volcano (altar)
Sor4 survival airbase day.jpg
Airbase (day)
Sor4 survival airbase night.jpg
Airbase (night)
Sor4 survival airbase rain.jpg
Airbase (rain)
Sor4 survival airbase sunset.jpg
Airbase (sunset)
Sor4 survival factory hall.jpg
Factory (hall)
Sor4 survival factory robots.jpg
Factory (robots)
Sor4 survival factory tubes.jpg
Factory (tubes)
Sor4 survival factory elevator.jpg
Factory (elevator)
Sor4 survival arena blue.jpg
Arena (blue)
Sor4 survival arena green.jpg
Arena (green)
Sor4 survival arena red.jpg
Arena (red)
Sor4 survival retro bar.jpg
Retro (bar SoR2)
Sor4 survival retro alley.jpg
Retro (alley SoR2)
Sor4 survival retro alien.jpg
Retro (alien SoR2)
Sor4 survival retro boat.jpg
Retro (boat SoR2)
Sor4 survival retro blue-island.jpg
Retro (blue island SoR3)
Sor4 survival retro temple.jpg
Retro (temple SoR3)
Sor4 survival retro roof.jpg
Retro (roof SoR3)
Sor4 survival retro final.jpg
Retro (final SoR3)

It came along with a free update which adds a new difficulty level: Mania+, new color palettes per character, and balance changes. This update also adds a new gameplay mode:

  • Training mode allows the player to practice against dummy opponents or to play various lessons to learn combos.

Pickups[]

Items[]

  • Apple*: Small health refill, +300 Points at full health
  • Chicken*: Full health refill, +1000 Points at full health.
  • Power Star: Special Star Move
  • Money Bag: +200 Points
  • Money Case: +500 Points

*Health items can now be customized in the options menu to change their appearance. Doing so has no effect in their potency, being just a cosmetic change.

  • Apple can be changed into: Onigiri, Croissant, Onion Rings, Pizza Slice, Tofu, Caviar, Sliced Pineapple, Breakfast Plate, Spring Rolls.
  • Chicken can be changed into: Bowl of Ramen, Ham, Poutine, Cheeseburger, Salad, Lobster, Fruit Basket, Durian, Fried Chicken, Stir Fry, Birthday Cake.

Weapons[]

  • Knife: Knocks enemies down and has low durability. Breaks instantly when thrown.
  • Lead Pipe: Swings above the player and to the front, knocking enemies.
  • Taser: Electrifies enemies, dealing high damage and stuns them for few seconds. Breaks instantly when used.
  • Tonfa (Nightstick): Fastest attack speed of all the weapons. Briefly stuns enemies.
  • Bottle: Functions similarly to the knife. Breaks instantly when used, but can be picked up again, becoming the broken bottle.
  • Baseball Bat: Functions similar to the metal pipe, but has lower durability.
  • Pool Cue: Breaks upon first swing, but can be picked again. The broken version has a much lower range.
  • 8-Ball: Can only be used once. Deals medium damage, more when thrown.
  • Toxic Bottle: Slowly depletes health and also slow down enemies on it. Also affect player characters. Lost health from acid damage can be recovered by dealing damage as long the player doesn't take any direct damage.
  • Fire Bottle: Explosive damage; deals high knock back. Also affect player characters.
  • Lightning Bottle: Creates a lightning area that stuns enemies. Also affect player characters.
  • Motor Bike: Inflicts massive damage and knocks down enemies. Can only be used once.
  • Boomerang: When thrown, it returns towards thrower. Can only hit enemies once in one thrown cycle.
  • Katana: Pops enemy into air allowing multiple hits with weapon.
  • Sai: Functions similarly to the knife, but has slightly higher durability.
  • No Entry Sign: Very long reach and high damage, but low durability. Can break through guard/block/armor.
  • Cleaver: Pierces through enemies when thrown. Relatively low durability.
  • Halberd (Naginata Spear): Long reach, good durability, can break through guard/block/armor.
  • Grenade: Detonates few seconds after thrown; its explosion can hit multiple enemies. Grenades thrown by enemies flash red, and can be picked by players. Grenades thrown by players flash green and do not inflict damage to them.
  • Golden Chicken: Deals extreme damage, but can only be used once. Only found on Stage 8; take it to the boss room at the end of the stage to receive achievement.
  • Broom (Floor Squeegee): Long reach and high stun rate, decent durability.
  • Nail Bat: A much more powerful version of the Baseball Bat.
  • Hammer: Very short range, but high durability and damage. Deals massive damage when thrown.
  • Mace (Mallet): Pops enemy into air allowing multiple hits with weapon.
  • Brick: Breaks once when used. Deals more damage when thrown.
  • Sword: Deals high damage and has high durability.
  • Morning Star Mace: Deals high damage and has high durability.
  • Shuriken: One time use, good for staggering enemies.

DLC Weapons[]

All weapons below are exclusive to the Mr. X Nightmare DLC, and must be unlocked in Survival Mode first. After that, some of them can be found in the Story and Arcade Modes.

  • Golf Club: Deals low damage but has high durability. Found in Stage 2 boss room.
  • Electric Eel: Deals electric damage when used. Randomly produced on Stage 6's boiling pot (hold up until something drops from the pot).
  • Energy Saber (Lightsaber): Has the second fastest attack speed after the nighstick. When thrown it comes back like the boomerang.
  • Umbrella: Covers a large area in front of the user. Found on Stage 3 explosive barrel.
  • Pugil Stick: Briefly stun enemies, similarly like the floor squeegee.
  • Hockey Stick: Deals moderate damage and has high durability.
  • Trident: Functions similarly to the naginata.
  • Durian: Deals massive damage and can bounce enemies off the ground. Doesn't travel very far when thrown.
  • Black Sword (Buster Sword): Deals massive damage when used. Second most powerful weapon in the game after the Marlin.
  • Fire Sword: Deals very high fire damage.
  • Poison Sword: Deals very high damage and poisons enemies.
  • Thunder Sword: Deals very high damage and shocks enemies.
  • Bowling Ball: Breaks after one use. Deals high damage when thrown.
  • Puffer Blowfish: Deals high damage and poisons enemies. Doesn't travel very far when thrown.
  • Chilli Pepper: Deals high fire damage to enemies. Doesn't travel very far when thrown.
  • Tuna: Deals very high damage and knocks enemies horizontally.
  • Sword Fish (Marlin): Deals extreme damage and knocks enemies horizontally and very far. It is the most powerful weapon in the game, and has extremely low spawn rate.
  • Combat Knife: Slightly stronger and with more durability than the regular knife.
  • Axe: Functions similarly to the mallet, but launches enemies horizontally.
  • Chinese Sword: functions similarly to the katana.
  • Stun Grenade: Detonates few seconds after thrown, dealing no damage, but stunning them for around 3 seconds; its explosion can hit multiple enemies. Grenades thrown by enemies flash red, and can be picked by players. Grenades thrown by players flash green and do not inflict stun them.
  • Land Mine: When thrown, it'll arm and flash green. Enemies who walk over it will trigger its detonation, dealing massive damage. Players can pick up the armed land mine to arm it again.
  • Golden Knife: functions exactly like a regular knife but deals extreme damage and has very high durability. Can only be obtained in the Survival Mode as a possible power-up between waves.
  • Golden Pipe: functions exactly like a regular metal pipe but deals extreme damage and has very high durability. Can only be obtained in the Survival Mode as a possible power-up between waves.
  • Golden Boomerang: functions exactly like a regular boomerang but deals extreme damage and has very high durability. Can only be obtained in the Survival Mode as a possible power-up between waves, and also has a random chance of spawning after breaking barrels or crates in that mode.
  • Golden Halberd: functions exactly like a regular halberd but deals extreme damage and has very high durability. Can only be obtained in the Survival Mode as a possible power-up between waves.

Playable Characters[]

Returning[]

  • Axel Stone - A former member of the Wood Oak City Police Department. He left his simple life in isolation to fight the New Crime Syndicate after being called by Blaze.
  • Blaze Fielding - A former member of the Wood Oak City Police Department and currently a dance instructor. When she heard rumors about the New Crime Syndicate, she instantly contacted her old friends for help.
  • Adam Hunter - Currently an agent of the Special Forces. He was assigned to investigate and infiltrate the New Crime Syndicate.
  • Max Thunder (Mr. X Nightmare DLC) - Axel's old friend who helped rescuing Adam over 10 years ago. His current whereabouts are unknown.
  • Shiva (Mr. X Nightmare DLC) - Mr. X's former right-arm who since abandoned the life of crimes to atone for his sins.

New[]

  • Cherry Hunter - Adam's daughter who joins the fight against the New Crime Syndicate. She fights
  • Floyd Iraia - An assistant and apprentice to Dr. Zan after losing both arms in a work accident, and receiving robotic prosthetics from him.
  • Estel Aguirre - A Special Forces agent who takes her job very seriously.

Classic[]

As well as the new characters, the classic, sprite-based versions of the cast from the previous games can be unlocked.

Enemies[]

  • Galsia (B.T., Galsiaaaaa, Jonathan, Joseph, Garam, Brash, Surger, Frank, Daniel)
  • Donovan (Altet, Gudden, Z, Brown, Martin, Ried, Bruce, Dennis)
  • Signal (Y. Signal, G. Signal, R. Signal, D. Signal, P.Signal, T.Signal)
  • Dylan (Kevin, Francis, Brandon, Mike, Hal)
  • Garnet (Ruby, Diamond, Pyrop, Saphy,)
  • Goro (Dokuja, Tatsu) (Tora, Sobu) (DLC)
  • Raven (Condor, Pheasant, Sparrow, Ibis, Raptor)
  • Assassin Agent (Silver, Gold, Iron, Bronze, Platinum)
  • Feroccio (Dick, Barney, Lou) (Barnaby, Leo, Paul, Doug) (DLC)
  • Sugar (Honey, Caramel, Candy, Chocolate)
  • Victoria (Elizabeth, Margaret, Anne, Sue, Sam)
  • Koobo (Baabo, Fuubo, (Zeebo) (DLC)
  • Big Ben (Gourmand, Anry, Heart, Titan, Balloon)
  • Murphy (Dunphy, Sand) (Ralphy, Fred)(DLC)
  • Shadow
  • Diva (Boss), (Beyo, Riha) (Weetnee) (DLC)
  • Commissioner (Boss), (Deputy, Lieutenant) (DLC)
  • Nora (Boss), (Queen, Belle, Stiletto)
  • Estel (Boss)
  • Barbon (Boss), (Vulure, Wayne) (DLC)
  • Max (Boss)
  • DJ K-Washi (Boss), (DJ K Zushi, DJ K Nashi) (DLC)
  • Mr. Y (Boss), (Mr What, Mr Whatever) (DLC)
  • Ms. Y (Boss), (Ms What, Ms Whatever) (DLC)
  • Jet (Tomcat, Mach, Griphis, Comet, Stealth, Spitfire)
  • Sonic (Rochester, Wilson, Banyan)
  • Jack
  • Zamza
  • Abadede
  • Shiva (Kubo)
  • Mr. X
  • Electra (DLC)
  • Hakuyo (DLC)
  • Robo X (DLC)
  • Goldie (DLC)
  • Fog (DLC)
  • Zack (DLC)
  • Tiger (DLC)
  • Mona and Lisa (DLC)
  • Kusanagi (DLC)
  • Bruce (DLC)
  • Adam (Boss) (DLC)
  • Break (Boss) (DLC)
  • Blaze (Boss) (DLC)
  • Cherry (Boss) (DLC)
  • Floyd (Boss) (DLC)
  • Antonio (Boss) (DLC)
  • Souther (Boss) (DLC)
  • Bongo (Boss) (DLC)
  • R. Bear (Boss) (DLC)
  • Yamato (Boss) (DLC)
  • Max (Boss) (Daniel, Ken, Vlad)

Stages and Bosses[]

Stage Name Boss Background music (BGM)
1 The Streets Diva They're Back
The Streets
Chill or Don't
Overflow
2 Police Precinct Commissioner Call The Cops
Funky HQ
The Commissione
3 Cargo Ship Nora The Storm Boat
Nora
4 Old Pier Estel Aguirre Ghost Fair
Down the Beatch
Estel: Round 1
5 Underground Barbon The Undergrounds
On Fire
Barbon
6 Chinatown Shiva Chow Time
Do Joe
Shiva
7 Skytrain Estel Aguirre and Commissioner(s) Aphex Train
Estel: Round 2
8 Art Gallery Beyo and Riha An Exhibition
Double Divas
9 Y Tower Max Thunder Rising Up
Maximum
10 To The Concert DJ K-Washi 25 Years Ago
DJ K-wash
11 Airplane Mr. Y A-Ki-Ra
Lift The Ground
Mr Y
12 Y Island Ms. Y, Mr. Y and Y Mecha Ti Un Fou
Mrs Y
Next of a Kin Showdown

Retro Levels[]

During the game, the player can find hidden levels by hitting the breakable Arcade machines with a taser gun. These levels consist only of short fights against bosses from Streets of Rage 2. If won, players will be awarded with a star.

If players die in this level it won't trigger a game over; instead they'll be sent back to the normal level. Regardless of winning or losing, players are sent back at full health.

  • The first level is found on the second stage, leading to a fight against Jack.
  • The second level is found on the fourth stage, leading to a fight against Zamza.
  • The third level is found on the fifth stage, leading to a fight against Abadede.
  • The fourth level is found on the eighth stage, leading to a fight against Shiva and Mr. X. Much like in the original game, Mr. X will be accompained by ever spawning Galsias and Donovans.
    • In Mania+, Shiva and Mr. X will be fought at the same time.

Achievements and Trophies[]

There are 37 available achievements, with an additional trophy available on PlayStation 4.

Icon Name Description Trophy
100 Yen.png 100 Yen Clear the Arcade mode on Hard difficulty or higher. Gold
All Clear Adam.png All Clear: Adam Clear all stages in single-player mode as Adam. Silver
All Clear Axel.png All Clear: Axel Clear all stages in single-player mode as Axel. Silver
All Clear Blaze.png All Clear: Blaze Clear all stages in single-player mode as Blaze. Silver
All Clear Cherry.png All Clear: Cherry Clear all stages in single-player mode as Cherry. Silver
All Clear Floyd.png All Clear: Floyd Clear all stages in single-player mode as Floyd. Silver
All Clear SOR1.png All Clear: SOR1 Clear all stages in single-player mode with a "SOR1" character. Silver
All Clear SOR2.png All Clear: SOR2 Clear all stages in single-player mode with a "SOR2" character. Silver
All Clear SOR3.png All Clear SOR3 Clear all stages in single-player mode with a "SOR3" character. Silver
All Too Easy.png All Too Easy Complete a stage on Mania difficulty. Silver
An Elegant Death.png An Elegant Death Use a chandelier to kill an enemy. Bronze
Birth of the Cool.png Birth of the Cool Catch a weapon in the air. Bronze
Bleeding Knuckles.png Bleeding Knuckles Reach a lifetime score of 5,000,000. Gold
Broke My Toy.png Broke My Toy Break a spear. Bronze
Collateral Damage.png Collateral Damage Use a barrel or a grenade explosion to kill 3 enemies at the same time. Bronze
Combo Expert.png Combo Expert Achieve an "Amazing!!" combo. Bronze
Combo Master.png Combo Master Achieve an "Out of this world!!!" combo. Silver
Combo Pro.png Combo Pro Achieve a "Super!" combo. Bronze
Demolition Man.png Demolition Man Use a wrecking ball to kill an enemy. Bronze
Dojo Master.png Dojo Master Beat Shiva. Bronze
Dude, My Car!.png Dude, My Car! Break the car in The Streets. Bronze
Eating off the Ground.png Eating off the Ground Consume a healing item. Bronze
Family Reunion.png Family Reunion Get the Golden Chicken from the art gallery to the stock room. Silver
It's Chilly in Here.png It's Chilly in Here Break both elevator window panes. Bronze
Life's a Struggle.png Life's a Struggle Free yourself from a grab. Bronze
Maniac.png Maniac Get an S-Rank on all stages on Hard difficulty or higher. Gold
Miss Me.png Miss Me? Meet Adam. Bronze
My Work Here is Done.png My Work Here is Done Obtain all trophies. Platinum
Old-Schooled.png Old-Schooled Beat Mr. and Ms. Y. Silver
Oops.png Oops Hit an ally. Bronze
Perfect.png Perfect Complete a stage without taking damage. Silver
Snap Out of It.png Snap Out of It Beat possessed Max. Silver
Somebody Call the Cops!.png Somebody Call the Cops! Call the police with a Streets of Rage 1 character. Bronze
Stage Mastery.png Stage Mastery Get an S-Rank on any stage. Silver
THIS IS WOOD OAK CITY!!!.png THIS IS WOOD OAK CITY!!! Kill an enemy by tossing them in a hole. Bronze
Throwback.png Throwback Discover a retro level. Bronze
Walk on Foot.png Walk on Foot Destroy all motorcycles. Bronze
Wasted Wine.png Wasted Wine Break a wine bottle. Bronze

Development[]

Rumors of a fourth entry in the series being in development have circulated since the mid-1990s. Following the success of Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, a 2017 remake of 1989's Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, publisher Dotemu and developer Lizardcube approached Sega about creating a sequel in the Streets of Rage series. Sega agreed and production on the game began in the beginning of 2018, with the game publicly announced on August 27, 2018. The game is co-developed by Guard Crush Games, using a modified engine from their Streets of Fury game. It was released for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One in April 2020.

The soundtrack is mainly composed by Olivier Derivière, with participation of original series composers Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima, along with Yoko Shimomura, Harumi Fujita, Keiji Yamagishi, Scattle, Das Mörtal, XL Middleton and Groundislava. Koshiro was not a part of the project from the start, but joined after playing a demo of the game at BitSummit, an indie game showcase in Kyoto, in June 2019. He cited fan requests and how the game was coming along as reasons for joining. Initially Hideki Naganuma was supposed to be taking place of Fujita, but in March 2020 Dotemu announced that he would no longer be composing for the game due to scheduling complications.

According to Jordi Asensio, a game designer at Guard Crush Games, Joe Musashi from the Shinobi series was proposed as a playable character, along with other Sega characters outside of the Streets of Rage series, but the idea was turned down by Sega of Japan.

Reception[]

Streets of Rage 4 received "generally favorable" reviews on Metacritic getting a metascore of 84/100 on PC[1] and 82/100 on PS4[2] & Xbox One.[3]

The game reached number 14 in the UK sales charts.[4] It also reached 20th on the US downloads chart.[5][6] As of September 2020, the game has sold over 1.5 million digital copies worldwide.[7][8]

Gallery[]

Videos[]

Trivia[]

  • This game follows Bare Knuckle III's storyline instead of the censored Streets of Rage 3 version.
    • The Rakushin element is mentioned on both Floyd and Zan's profiles, together with the city being referenced as Wood Oak.
  • This is the first game in the series not developed nor published by Sega.
  • This is the first game, since the original, to not feature robotic enemies (the Koobo's don't count as they're cyborgs).
  • This and Streets of Rage 2 are the only games where Big Ben (and any other heavyset enemies) are throwable (though, they have a slower throw/slam animation).
  • A motorcycle segment (which is set after Stage 5) was supposed to be implemented once again (as it includes an unused motorcycle segment in Streets of Rage 3's screenshot), however due to the amount of work needed to include it, it was scrapped.
  • This game uses the original names for both Galsia and Garnet (whom they are called Garcia and Soozie in the US/EU version of SOR3).
  • Some of the enemies (Galsia, Donovan, Signal, Dylan, Murphy, Garnet and Goro) had an unused final palette swap (two in Goro's case) as seen in their respective galleries. As these are unused, they have no names.
  • Due to the first three DLC characters are also bosses in base game, if one of them is selected, they will only face their hologram counterparts at some designated stage(s): Estel at Stages 4 and 7, Max at Stage 9, and Shiva at Stage 6.
    • In the Survival Mode, any boss that is also a playable character will appear as an hologram, regardless of them being selected by the player or not.
  • The achievement "THIS IS WOOD OAK CITY!!!" is a reference to the iconic scene in the 2007 film 300, where King Leonidas (played by Gerard Butler) kicks a Persian messenger into a well while yelling "This is Sparta!". The scene later became an internet meme and has been spoofed in many media.

External Links[]

References[]

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