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Thread: The Demo is Officially Out

  1. #31
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    Considering this is the same demo that was used at trade shows I'm going to assume that you start with an ample amount of potions and pick up more (+phoenix downs) along the way because they don't really want people getting a "Game Over" at the booth after queueing for hours to play it and then leaving the booth feeling miserable. IIRC the demo of FFVIII back in 1998 of the Dollet Mission gave players access to a bit more stuff item-wise (and even ability wise) than what they would normally have had at that point in the game.

    Also, if they made the combat Souls level of difficulty from the first boss, the backlash they would've faced would be insane. FFVII is after all a beloved game, and the hype around this means that it's going to be bring in new and old alike. I think a Souls level of challenge type game from the first boss would immediately alienate a lot of that audience.

    Do I think it's a tad on the easy side on Normal? Yes. Though am I also happy that magic and abilities are actually impactful after FFXV? Also yes.

    From all the preview videos I've seen from press/influencers who got given a three hour demo to try recently which covered further parts of the game all commented on how the Air Buster fight at the Sector 5 reactor was challenging etc. (SPOILER)And also has an optional mechanic inside the reactor where you can find keycards to re-configure the boss before you fight it.

    So I expect it to ramp up in that regard, but never really reach a Souls level unless they've snuck in some optional super bosses.

    Who knows, maybe they'll even patch in a free harder difficulty like they did with KHIII.


  2. #32
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    Maybe I'm just really bad at video games but I tried to be very strategic and still used almost all of my potions lol

    I'm still not sure how I feel about (SPOILER)Shinra making the blast larger. It changes a lot. Or maybe it doesn't?

  3. #33
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I'm not saying it needs to be Souls level hard, but if you're going to build a battle system around a skill based system, I simply wish it represented that. As I said, the stagger and party switching mechanics just don't feel like they have any weight in the demo, so why make a big deal about them? As it stands, I simply feel like the options presented in the game feel like padding and fluff as opposed to being important tools. It's like being given a test your professor tells you that everyone will pass with B- as long as they write something, so why bother putting in the extra effort for an A if failure is never an option? Its not even like I feel these issues are unique to the demo or the game itself. This is what I feel is a problem with Action-RPGs in general is that they push for heavier involvement in controlling your characters, but are so afraid of turning off players that they deprive their mechanics the actual point of enjoyment with action battle systems which is a sense of reward and growth.

    I feel one major change that would really benefit the battle system is if everything required the ATB bar, including your basic attack, blocking, and dodging. That would have completely changed some of the battles if you had to seriously manage your ATB bar like it was a stamina gauge.

    I don't doubt that the final product will have a few real challenges in them, but I also feel strongly that these challenges will largely be isolated experiences in a sea of mediocrity, which is unfortunately typical of RPGs in general. I don't imagine the demo is going to be radically changed from the final version of that section. It really feels to me like it will be the FFX demo all over again with a straight port of just the first section of the game.

    I do disagree about the VIII demo. Though I feel this is more about which demo you're playing since I know there are slight variations based on whether you're playing the U.S. or PAL version of it, and whether its the PlayStation version vs. the PC version. While you certainly have access to more stuff than your typically would by that point, you also have no access to the Junction system and Draw is limited to a maximum of three per spell. So I actually do feel the demo version of VIII is much more challenging than the final product simply because you have no direct access to the system that actually makes the game easy.
    Last edited by Wolf Kanno; 03-06-2020 at 08:45 PM.

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno
    If you're going to do an action battle system, then yes, I expect some challenge, even in the tutorial. I'm a Dark Souls/DMC fan, if you're going to make the game be an action title, bring the challenge or don't bother
    1) I'm so glad you're not a game designer. I've never completed Dark Souls in part because it's so brutal from so early on. It's better when games ease you into their systems, especially when they have complex mechanics. Which to be fair even Dark Souls does do, relatively speaking, it just the starting point is much higher up the difficulty scale.

    2) I found the VII demo way harder than DMCV's tutorial, why does DMC get away with it?

    It seems like your only actual issue with the the demo was too many healing items. As you said, when you 'Leeroy Jenkins'd everything you had to use an extra 7 potions. Seems to me like if the mechanics of the game didn't actually matter, you would have used the same number of potions each time. If the game had given you 6 potions instead of 16, you'd have died. I, too, hope the game is somewhat less generous when the tutorial is over. I'm not a super hardcore action game player, but I like having to be tactical and engaging with the mechanics.

    ...Apart from Turbo Ethers. I have to save all my turbo ethers for when I REALLY need them and thus finish the game with 99 of them.

    I also think you're looking at this from slightly the wrong lens. This isn't really an action battle system, it's a real-time RPG. Yes there are some elements of positioning and timing, but mostly it's a resource management game. There's no skill involved in doing my Braver attack, I just choose it from the menu. RPG combat is all about managing which bars are full and which bars are empty at any given time, and VII is no different.
    Last edited by Fox; 03-07-2020 at 02:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Barret was over-the-top.
    ...and I still don't like his sunglasses.
    Judging from the trailers, he loses the shades during a key event. I reckon they might be an equippable accessory anyway - in earlier gameply demos they showed the full menu screens, and Barret's character model doesn't have the glasses on that screen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    1) I'm so glad you're not a game designer.
    I always find it amusing how divisive the idea of me being a professional game designer is for people. I may have mention this before, but the first game I ever coded was impossible to win by design. My instructor was rather amused.

    I've never completed Dark Souls in part because it's so brutal from so early on. It's better when games ease you into their systems, especially when they have complex mechanics. Which to be fair even Dark Souls does do, relatively speaking, it just the starting point is much higher up the difficulty scale.
    Honestly Dark Souls isn't difficult. The biggest hurdle I feel most players need to overcome with the series is basically realizing how trivial death is in this game and not losing their trout when it happens. I mean it actually feels nice to just take minor setbacks in stride, and that's pretty much the real learning curve of the Souls franchise outside of PvP nonsense. I don't even feel like the games have a high learning curve as much as they simply require approaching them with a different outlook than a Pass/Fail mindset.

    2) I found the VII demo way harder than DMCV's tutorial, why does DMC get away with it?
    I have not had a chance to play DMCV, so I'm basing this really more on DMC1/3.

    It seems like your only actual issue with the the demo was too many healing items. As you said, when you 'Leeroy Jenkins'd everything you had to use an extra 7 potions. Seems to be like if the mechanics of the game didn't actually matter, you would have used the same number of potions each time. If the game had given you 6 potions instead of 16, you'd have died. I, too, hope the game is somewhat less generous when the tutorial is over. I'm not a super hardcore action game player, but I like having to be tactical and engaging with the mechanics.
    There are certainly too many potions in the demo, but even the rare times I came close to losing a character, and its almost always just one of them being close to dying, I honestly just never noticed until Cloud started whining at me about his wounds and I saw he was in the red. I mean Cloud starts with 3x as much health as he did in the original and both party members take hits like a champ. It seemed like it took forever to get either down that far. Even then, most of my potion use was between battles and I almost never topped the party off like I did the first time, so technically I used more the first time around due to OCD rather than because playing with skill matters.The fights still felt like they took about the same time, so I can't exactly say I feel staggering opponents is actually rewarding.

    ...Apart from Turbo Ethers. I have to save all my turbo ethers for when I REALLY need them and thus finish the game with 99 of them.
    I have spent the last few years finally breaking myself away from conserving items anymore in games, cause I always did that silly "save it for when its actually an emergency" and likewise ended the game with a bunch of powerful items maxed out. I think SMTIV finally broke me out of the habit because they would limit how many of the really powerful items you could hold, and would prevent you from opening treasure chests if you already had the item maxed out. So I had to basically have my two RPG OCD traits battle it out to see which was more OC. Unopened treasure chests won.

    I also think you're looking at this from slightly the wrong lens. This isn't really an action battle system, it's a real-time RPG. Yes there are some elements of positioning and timing, but mostly it's a resource management game. There's no skill involved in doing my Braver attack, I just choose it from the menu. RPG combat is all about managing which bars are full and which bars are empty at any given time, and VII is no different.
    Actually the problem I generally have with action-rpgs is that I hate how they try to create a fusion of two very different gameplay styles, because they usually fail to appeal to either. The game is more interactive and gives you more reactionary commands, but the difficulty curve is usually so low that the skill based mechanics are simply not rewarding cause they don't really matter. The RPG command based mechanics are also never rewarding because the core action commands are usually just as efficient to get the job done, completely negating resource management based design, which frankly is an issue in even modern turn-based RPGs.

    I hardly ever used Braver because it was useless. Why waste the ATB bar on a skill that does slightly more damage than your basic Punisher combo? Even the Thrust move used to increase Stagger feels arbitrary cause staggering an opponent simply means you get 30 seconds of free hits on an enemy that would still not be able to do enough damage to actually be a threat. If the combat was really about ATB bar management, then they should have either treated it like a stamina bar and linked all actions to it like I suggested earlier, or they need to make those moves actually worth using with Staggering being more important by making the enemies a bigger threat. Even with magic, I felt Cloud's Fire magic was only useful for giving me an options not to switch to Barret. Even the fact the normal guards are extremely weak to it never tempted me to use it on them since it was a waste of my time considering how easily your basic attacks tore through them. So its not about having too many healing potions or not getting this is an RT RPG. It's about the moves not carrying enough weight to them, either due to poor results cause several enemies are too tanky for their own good, or because the enemies are not challenging enough for me to waste it on them. Its about my party having too much health that even the Guard Scorpion has to put in real effort to tear them down or I have to be purposely playing recklessly to notice.

    My overall issue is that I never felt like my party was ever in danger and everything felt pretty effortless on my part. There is no tension in combat because my party's stats are too high to put them in direct danger, and my skill set isn't important enough to really matter, which just kind of made combat boring for me. Granted, I will fully admit that I am simply incredibly picky about action-rpg combat system. I feel if a game is going to try this hybrid system, I'd rather they do a 80/20 split for one side or the other than try to make it even, cause it never works out otherwise due to the enjoyment of both systems coming from very different places. I simply hope that SE might do what Aulayna suggested and add a hard mode, cause if this is a taste of the overall game, it will need it.

    In retrospect, I feel like the first encounter with the Sweeper was a missed opportunity here. It just seemed boring how you had to see it and then rush in to fight it, whereas I felt they could have added a bit of a stealth option here. Of anything, I really feel the devs should have taken some crib notes from The Last Story with how the party interacts with the environment, like letting Cloud have the option to duck behind walls and stuff causing the enemy to lose sight, and give the player the option for a stealthy first strike. Or let the Guard Scorpion dive above the battlefield onto some rafterd and give you the option to either strike the Guard Scorpion for minor damage or strike the rafters themselves to cause them to break and send the whole boss crashing down for high damage. Hell let us hit the reactor and cause it to spurt out Mako juice to cause environmental damage to the boss. The most disappointing thing about real time RPGs is how little they incorporate the environment as a tactical option.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big D View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Barret was over-the-top.
    ...and I still don't like his sunglasses.
    Judging from the trailers, he loses the shades during a key event. I reckon they might be an equippable accessory anyway - in earlier gameply demos they showed the full menu screens, and Barret's character model doesn't have the glasses on that screen.
    He's the leader of an eco-terrorist group, so the sunglasses are probably a disguise. Once he puts them on he becomes unrecognisable as the same man.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno
    WK, I think you and I must have got a different version of the game. When I try playing in the manner you describe without exploiting the ATB or character switching, not making the most of stagger etc. it all goes to trout.

  8. #38
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    All I read are spoilers after spoilers.
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  9. #39
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fox View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno
    WK, I think you and I must have got a different version of the game. When I try playing in the manner you describe without exploiting the ATB or character switching, not making the most of stagger etc. it all goes to trout.
    I feel we just play differently and likely have different opinions of when a battle is going south. The only enemies that can actually do serious damage to your team when you're reckless are the Sweepers and the Scorpion Sentinel. Even then, you can still stagger them without using abilities, and magic just makes the fight go quicker. Everything else can be pretty much slaughtered with your basic combos.

    Replaying it a third time, I played even more recklessly than before and even made sure I got hit with the Tail Beam attack just to see how dangerous it is. I did uncover a hilarious exploit with the Guard Scorpion though. So here's a few new observations:


    • I am really disappointed with Barret's Limit Break, I had to pretty much switch to him for a good while in the boss fight in order to make him a primary target long enough to actually raise his Limit Break. "Fire in the Hole", the name of his Limit, is just a new name for Heavy/Big Shot, nothing else. I shouldn't be surprised, but I did get my hopes up.
    • Your MP actually regenerates on its own. Incredibly slowly, but it actually does regenerate if you just stand around for awhile. It will be interesting if the rate of regeneration is attached to your Spirit/Mind stats.
    • Dodge Roll/Evade is only really useful against moves with limited range or have no tracking. It doesn't have invincibility frames, so don't think you can Souls/KH/CC your way through an attack with it. It is not as useful against machine gun fire from basic security guards unless you roll to the side from a straight on attack or roll by an obstacle that will interrupt the line of fire. This is made most obvious with the the fights with the Shock Troopers as all of their attacks have tracking and they will either hit you while you roll, or if you were able to roll away in time, they will simply follow you and then perform their attack when they get in range.
    • Your party A.I. definitely falls into KH levels of stupidity. Their attack patterns are obviously set to only going after whatever is closest, they won't use magic even when its obviously the only option such as leaving Cloud to fight a Sentry Ray, and I don't think they even really use abilities much either. I switched to Barret in the boss fight and was drawing away its 99 Missile Attack away from Cloud in hopes the A.I. would deal with the Barrier section, and Cloud just kept being dumb and doing frontal assaults that kept getting interrupted by the barrier, so he wasn't even targeting the barrier device. Switching to Cloud made Barret run over to the boss, putting both characters in range of its missile barrage blast zone. Likewise, neither of them are terribly aggressive in fights, usually waiting between combos for a few seconds longer than I feel is necessary. Like KH's basic setup, its obvious the A.I. is designed to make you do all of the work. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, but I'm going to be curious if the main game is going to give the player a means to do some limited A.I. control over party members or if the main game is going to have more competent and aggressive A.I.
    • In the Guard Scorpions second phase, after you deal with both its barriers if you don't knock it into its final phase, almost all of its attacks are reactionary and only counter physical attacks by the player controlled character. I trout you not, the boss will just stand their passively as Barret fires off a few meager shots from his gun, and Cloud can just stand a distance away and use Fire magic and the boss will never retaliate and it will not do any attacks. In fact it seems like the majority of the enemy A.I. is designed to target the player controlled character unless you move out of its aggro range and then it might go after another party member. This seems to ring true with other phases, as the boss will only limit itself to one of its weaker group hitting attacks while most of its powerful close range strikes are used for countering aggressive close range fighting.
    • The Tail Beam does hurt a lot, probably the most single damage (about 630hp) I saw anything do in the demo, but you can actually survive it easily at full health. Granted, I think it could potentially multi-hit you if you're unlucky to be knocked into its path after the initial hit, but I haven't seen this yet. The Scorpion Sentinels true dangerous attack is its six hit Scorpion Strike attack it will do if you're silly enough to linger too long behind it. This is probably the only attack that can outright kill a character in the demo, and that's only if you somehow were unlucky enough to get hit by most of the strikes, which doesn't seem likely considering you get a reasonable amount of invincibility frames when you're knocked off your feet, but it may still be possible. Granted, this move is telegraphed and doesn't have much tracking when it starts, so its easy to avoid.
    • I'm not sure if I simply never noticed this the previous times, if this was just a weird RNG thing, or if I may have done something in the demo differently enough to have it appear; but I found a strange key item called the Moogle Medal while escaping the reactor with Jessie. Not sure what it does, part of me is wondering if this might be something that can be transferred to the main game for a perk, or if this is just a useless item in the main game that will do diddly squat for finding it in the demo.
    • After listening to it some more, I really dislike the Remakes version of "Fight On" not only does it fail to really stand out to the rest of the orchestrated OST, but it really doesn't invoke much of that adrenaline rush of the original. It loses a lot of its hard rock vibe by going full orchestra. I actually didn't even realize it played during the boss fight until I noticed it while exploiting the boss A.I. for free hits.
    • To end this on a more positive note, I feel the smartest move in the demo was having the Thunder and Cure Materia on Barret instead of Cloud. The reason being that it will either force you to switch to Barret in fights more often, or in my case since I'm an aggressive ass, force me to use the Command Menu to issue orders to Barret to actually use his magic materia. This is why I'm not as bothered by the party A.I. kind of being ho-hum cause its forcing you to control everyone and dictating orders which means you have more control than usual in these styles of games. Maybe not FFXII good, but at least I feel more confidant about my success and failure being my fault over say... FFXIII's botched A.I. where you may learn too late how easy it is for the enemy to send them into a negative A.I. loop that makes them useless in fights. If I have a concern, its just how overwhelming this might all be when you finally get a third party member thrown into the mix. I fear this may lead into some Star Ocean level shenanigans where you'll either never use certain characters because the A.I. is not good enough with them, or more likely that you'll have to accept having certain characters always playing sub par because its more useful to be using the other character. I mainly thinking about how Aerith is going to play, because I can see her being the type of character where you're going to get the most mileage out of her by controlling her directly, but that means leaving Cloud to the A.I. and as the demo has shown me, he's a little thick and not aggressive enough considering he's a powerful wrecking ball of a fighter. This may end up being similar to the Claude/Dias dilemma in SO2 or Abel/Maria problem in SO3. This might not be a problem if there is some means of programming the A.I. in the final version which I fully expect.
    Last edited by Wolf Kanno; 03-07-2020 at 09:13 PM.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno
    I really dislike the Remakes version of "Fight On" not only does it fail to really stand out to the rest of the orchestrated OST, but it really doesn't invoke much of that adrenaline rush of the original. It loses a lot of its hard rock vibe by going full orchestra.
    If that were the only version of Those Who Fight Further in the game I would be a bit disappointed, but as it is I know for sure that it is not, and there are more versions to look forward to that are more in the style that you remember. I thought the version that played during the Scorpion fight was fine for what it was, a cinematic, set-piece version for your first boss, dynamically changing as you go through the phases. It's also technically not gone full orchestra by the way, there are a couple of banging hard rock moments in there. It's also interesting as it mixes in some of the Bombing Run theme.

    One of the things I'm looking forward to in the full game is all the different variations on the old music. I've already heard... it must be 4 versions of Those Who Fight, two of Those Who Fight Further, and the Mako reactor shows that there are battle variations of certain location themes as well.

    As much as I do love this excellent battle system overall, I do hope we get a little bit more control over the AI in the full version. As you say WK, it doesn't need to be gambit levels of detail, hell I don't think they even need to use any of their abilities automatically. Just the ability to designate a target would be great, maybe with a 'Use/Don't Use' option on the triangle ability, just so I can get Barret to focus on the high up enemies while I use Cloud to stagger those pesky Shock Troopers.
    Last edited by Fox; 03-07-2020 at 10:35 PM.

  11. #41
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Good to know there are more themes to look on. I feel the two tracks I'm looking forward to the most are J-E-N-O-V-A and the Main Theme.

    I imagine the main game will have some kind of A.I. control. It will probably be introduced when they finally let you have control of materia placement as well, so I'm not quite as worried about this aspect. I would actually be all for a Gambit style system, just maybe one that only give me three to five slots as opposed to the ten in XII. Perhaps limit it to how many battle use materia you have equipped. Though I imagine it will be closer to KH's party A.I controls.

    I'm also wondering if support or independent materia will be used to augment moves like Evade and Defend. I already have a feeling Cover will be replaced with a materia that does the Decoy effect instead.

    I also imagine that Summon materia, due to their new mechanics, will likely be a one per person deal like VI and XIII. It will be interesting to see if they'll have any customization options in terms of A.I. Thinking of how they work now, I can only imagine how much bulltrout KotR is going to be in this game, though we probably won't know until Episode 7.

    The biggest thing I'm curious about is how the game is going to handle having more than three characters on the field? In the trailers, we've seen Cloud being part of the group while escaping the Shinra building by the elevator, so I'm wondering if the player is limited to three active party members, but may have the option to switch one out for a reserve party member like in X or XII? Granted, like the original, its also very likely this won't be explored until Episode 2 because they may simply keep the scenario written in a way where the full party is never with you.

  12. #42
    Feel the Bern Recognized Member Del Murder's Avatar
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    I thought the demo was really fun. I like the combat changes, it's kind of like a blend of Kingdom Hearts and FFVII. I appreciate that it plays so differently from the original, thus keeping the original as a unique gaming experience. I thought Cloud was more fun to play though I appreciated that Barret played very differently and was useful for flying enemies or getting quick ATBs for Cure.

    I thought Cloud and Barret were very well portrayed. I loved that scene in the elevator where Barret was spewing his idealisms. I didn't mind some of the story changes, it again just means it is still worthwhile to play the original to see the differences.

    My only concern at this point is the episodic nature of these games. The bombing mission played out almost exactly like it did before and took as much time, or even less, than I remember it. Since this first game is just in Midgar (which is about 10% of the whole story? or less?), what do they plan to do to make this a "full game experience"? Also how many of these do they plan to do? Seems like at least 3-4 games are needed and I'm not sure I want to fork out $240+ just to play FFVII.

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    I feel the demo is actually longer than the original. I mean the Scorpion Sentinel lasts like fifteen minutes lone in the demo, and considering the timer in the original was around ten minutes instead of the generous 20 to 30 given here, I'd say it was about twice as long as the original. Unless of course you're the type of person who likes to grind that early in the game.

    Though this did remind me how the demo is a little over 7GBs large and the final game will be over 70GB, meaning we may have played the first tenth of the game, assuming the demo is not carrying a bunch of extra stuff from the full game that is locked out of course. I'm not really as concern about the length, as I feel the game was probably going to safely hit the 30-35 hour mark for a basic run. Probably longer for a completionist run. My real concern is how they are going to fill that time, cause as I've argued in the past, Midgar originally can take anywhere from five to ten hours to complete in the original, and now we're going to stretch that out to an average game length of 30ish hours.

    As for how many episodes this is going to be, I'm still assuming it will be four or five total. I can foresee them dragging it out to seven, but realistically, four or five sounds about right. I feel the real judge of how they're going to go about this will come with Episode 2 when they have to deal with the first real story lull in the plot. It may also come down to whether the Nibelheim Flashback will still take place in Kalm like the original, or if fan speculation is true and they moved it into Episode 1. If the flashback takes place in Kalm, then I can see the second Episode only carrying us slightly past the Junon arc as they have a lot of material to work with and to expand with both the flashback and Junon scenario. It comes down to how much they want to expand the scenario I guess.

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    FFXIV Character

    Sarangerel Qestir (Sargatanas)
    Contributions
    • Former Cid's Knight
    • Former Site Staff

    Default

    All I know is when that pizza falls I am going to care this time

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