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[Let's Play] S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl

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Posts

  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The stuff I used for the LP seems to work okay with 1.005, but when I added the Zone Reclamation Project (download link here) it cause a crash after getting the first mission from Sidorovich. Reverting to 1.004 allowed it to work normally. One step forward, two steps backward... go figure.

    Still looking forward to Clear Sky, however. They've pretty much already got my gaming dollar, but if they can temper the engine with the lessons they've learned from the first game then it just may be a slice of awesome. Big 'if', of course.

    Ah well. The ZRP does seem to change a lot, so I'm gonna mess with it a bit more. So far I'm noticing a marked difference in the text (Wolf, for instance, mentions Bes and points out a stash location after helping out Petruha's guys at the factory) and Sidorovich's inventory expands more noticeably with each completed quest. I'm also running with objects dynamic lighting, and I found that turning down grass density helps a lot with the framerate. I'll note any major differences with the ZRP as I come across them.

    Changes in the ZRP for the interested:
    - Repeating event fixes: Skull's group examines the Freedomer bodies only once and the Dark Valley scam only goes down once. (*Requires new game.)

    - Tuskanos (rats) are now considered enemies of the human NPCs.

    - Fox won't immediately go into alert mode after you heal him.

    - Skull's quest to kill the sniper will now fail if Skull is killed first.

    - Fewer location markers remain after quest completion. This may require loading a game, saving, then loading the saved game.

    - Helicopter noise ends in Dark Valley level at the end of the scripted fly-over after returning from X18. (Yantar choppers fixed via all.spawn, below.)

    - The conversation with Bes in Garbage does not loop.

    - The +30 burn protection artifact is correctly called "Shell" instead of "Battery".

    - The ecologist's mutant quests are fixed.

    - There are several new quests available, like the "Kill the stalker from the Monolith faction" autoquest (no need for return) in Red Forest.

    - Max really gives you the Desert Eagle (Black Kite) when you complete a certain quest.

    - The "Find X16 documents" marker tip no longer says "no hint".

    - You can exit the Agroprom tunnels either way and still get task completion credit by the time you talk to the barkeep.

    - Many, many, many typos and bad translations (e.g., cellar instead of attic).

    - And of course, all the bug fixes in bardak's bug fix attempt. These include fixed quests, many game crashes, and additional bug fixes.

    - You can complete the "eliminate Skull group" quest even if you save/reload in the middle of the fighting.

    - Stalkers don't die in fires when they spawn. No more NPC barbecues.

    - Reputation won't flip back and forth between excellent and terrible, so you can more easily get a different Wish-Granter ending if desired.

    - Fanatic's rookie group now acts the way it is supposed to.

    - Removed teleport at end of Pripyat stadium cutscene; you no longer immediately change levels to Chernobyl NPP after the stadium cutscene.

    - Fixed ducking-causes-level-change near guard tower in northeast corner of military base in southwest Agroprom.

    - Fixed return from Dark Valley to Garbage; no more prompt to return to DV.

    - Removed helicopter noise from Yantar level after scripted attack on zombies.

    - Bar guard, bar drunk, Snitch, bar bouncer, and Sakharov no longer repeat those phrases. Others can be added; see ZRP_ModdingNotes.txt.

    - Slightly less memory usage, due to some optimizations. There should be somewhat less lag later in the game, since no-longer-needed resources are removed more often.

    - The check for critical items during inventory changes is much more efficient. You should see a difference in some level transitions; synchronizing should be a bit faster.

    - It is easier to select "eat" or "use" on the right-mouse-button popup menu in inventory.

    - Over-the-top background battle sounds in Pripyat silenced or replaced with wind.

    - When discussing quests with quest-givers like Sid or the Barkeep, you can now bypass a quest that you do not wish to do. Just select the quest, and its description will appear with the possible rewards. Now there will be three menu choices instead of two. The new third choice is "I do not want that task." Selecting this choice will defer the task until the idle_time has elapsed, at least one day. You can then select the next task in line, if one is available from the same category.

    - Quests and secrets are marked by colored text. Quest updates are now added to the Message History.

    - Inventory, trade, and corpse and stash search screens have more squares on the grids to reduce scrolling.

    - PDA Log and Message History links are lowered to above the main link bar. While this is not currently aesthetic, it is extremely functional. If you don't like it, see ZRP_ModdingNotes.txt.

    - The "Last save" option is moved to the top of the initial menu.

    - Quitting the game from the main menu does not prompt you for confirmation, nor does loading the last save after being killed (duh).

    - Save game name field lowered.

    - For modders: Some added debug support. Press ESC followed by TAB to toggle rs_stats, and press ESC followed by D to toggle the on-screen actor location data in the upper right. Adjust it for your own needs.

    - Many of these features are easily changed by the Modifier program.

    - Optional: Weapons are much less frequently dropped by NPCs (non-playing characters); instead the weapon is stored in the backpack. Exceptions are unique weapons, quest items, rocket launchers and gauss guns. Regular weapons will be dropped when NPCs die while reloading or "transitioning" the weapon. Note: See the ZRP_ModdingNotes.txt file to change this, or use the Modifier
    program. (Default is normal dropped weapons.)

    - Corpses disappear after four game hours, after you leave a level.

    - Quests have a five-day default time limit, but changing this is as simple as changing a number in a text file. It can be two days, 10 days, or no time limit (0). Some additional quests have been re-enabled or fixed. Auto-quests also have a separate time limit, defaulting to 0 -- no time limit. Generally, until
    you claim the reward, the quest will not be re-issued. There are fewer auto-quests; the former "eliminate camp" auto-quests are now available from the quest's source via dialog. You can also disable auto-quests entirely. Sid's auto-quests do not need returns for reward.

    - You can also set the time that must elapse before a quest can be given again.

    - Many more quests, and more coming with efforts from others.

    - Secrets are generally less boring to read. (Yeah, I know -- that's not saying much.)

    - Secrets show the zone where they can be found with a level abbreviation prefix in your PDA's Message History. The notice will stay on the screen a bit longer when you get the secret, and you can make it longer or shorter. (Stash contents listing is optional.) Stash emptying also shows what secret you are claiming.

    - Zombies run from grenades a lot more slowly.

    - You can complete the Strelok quest. (Requires new game.)

    - Skinflint will offer you the village bloodsucker quest even if you have talked to the cook.

    - Ammo found on bodies in later levels are more likely to be armor-piercing. If you encounter a rocket launcher dude, he is more likely to have rockets in his backpack. (Optional; enabled by default)

    - Other optional enhancements (NOT DEFAULT):

    - There can be more combatants in later levels who use armor-piercing ammo. (Requires new game and optional gameplay files moved out of the gameplay\optional directory)

    - Wolf can start off with an AK74 and AP ammo. He can use it later in the game. Fox can get a better shotgun, but it doesn't help him much. (Requires new game and OPTIONAL gameplay files moved out of the gameplay\optional directory)

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    I write for these people. Shadowrun skillcheck guides: Dragonfall, Hong Kong
  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    ZRP sounds like a cool mod. Doesn't make too many changes to the game, just a whole lot of bug fixes that GSC ought to do anyway.

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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    OT: Good call on that Anachronox machinima. That was pretty entertaining.

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Wow, it seems I really need to replay with the ZRP

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | 3DS: 0130-2805-2850
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  • TimmerTimmer Registered User
    edited November 2007
    I don't know what to say about this game. I got it from Steam since it looked interesting and I like FPS/RPG hybrid games. I love the atmosphere and the story so far, a lot.

    However, I don't think a game has pissed me off and begged me to stop playing it as much as this one has.
    - I haven't gone more than like 5 minutes without having to reload, usually due to death. I've had the game forget I had weapons.
    - I've had missions fail on me before they begin ("Hey help me defeat these bandits?" ... "Objective failed: defeat bandits").
    - I seem to have a big target on my face as, even though I can't hit anything over 10' away, bad guys seem to be able to see me and have dead-on aim at me from about 300 yards away.
    - I just died due to some radiation 'slowly' eroding my life away (i was trying to read the message about how radiation works and then tried running away but apparently once you're radiated running away from the radiation area doesn't help).

    But the biggest issues for me are:
    - The game doesn't pause for you to read the dialog. So you talk to a guy, respond he gives you a paragraph to read and then, wham, something happens. What? I don't know cuz I wasn't done reading it, but now I'm dead. After the third time trying to speed-read, I see the last sentence "hey help me with these dogs okay?". You can't pause the game and then read even if you want to! UGH. Horrible game design foul.
    - The PDA system is cool but it confuses me more often than not. For instance, I'll see purple markers on the map telling me to do things but I have no idea where I got that information from or how it relates to any of my missions.
    - I really have no clue what I'm doing most of the time; I don't know what it is, but I feel completely lost (and not in a good way), despite the mission log.

    On a lesser note, it seems to disregard my graphical settings. I've tried changing the slider for AA and it makes no difference. I have everything on max and get 60-100fps which is telling me something is wrong because, while I have an okay system and just got the 8800GT, I doubt this game should be playing at 1920x1200 with max AA and Ansitropic Filtering with full lighting/shadows at 60+fps. (Not that I would mind! But just sets of a flag for me sayign something is not getting set right and taking affect.)


    The only reason I am posting all the above negatives here is because I want to like and play this game. The concept is great and I'd love to get further into it but constantly restarting every couple minutes many times due to unfair game play, bad design and bugs is just not fun :( If anyone has tips for fixing some of the above, please let me know. Thanks!

  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    As soon as you come under fire, you should always automatically hit crouch (toggle it to the 'c' key, its easier).
    The radiation thing is basically that you become contaminated and have to use either alcohol or a anti-rad syringe to counter it. If you have neither then you can count on your health slowly deteriorating til you're dead.

  • TimmerTimmer Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Big Isy wrote: »
    As soon as you come under fire, you should always automatically hit crouch (toggle it to the 'c' key, its easier).
    The radiation thing is basically that you become contaminated and have to use either alcohol or a anti-rad syringe to counter it. If you have neither then you can count on your health slowly deteriorating til you're dead.

    Thanks -- the kind of tips I was hoping to hear. I'll try to go into crouch more often then. It seems to have such little impact from my perspective (I barely go down) and the two-step crouch is kind of a pain, so don't really find myself using it much. I'll try to work that in!

  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    ALso, always use the iron sights, seriously. I never used to use it as I always found it difficult, but literally in minutes I was headshotting folks. It's also important to remember that the guns aren't accurate, well... the earlier ones anyway. You're not gonna hit a target from over 100 metres away everytime.

  • TimmerTimmer Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Big Isy wrote: »
    ALso, always use the iron sights, seriously. I never used to use it as I always found it difficult, but literally in minutes I was headshotting folks. It's also important to remember that the guns aren't accurate, well... the earlier ones anyway. You're not gonna hit a target from over 100 metres away everytime.

    Yeah... I feel like I can't hit anything even 10' away. Sounds like things get better though as you progress, which is good. Maybe I should put it on easier combat mode. I usually don't like to play games on easy but I may need to make an exception ;)

  • PharezonPharezon Struggle is an illusion. Victory is in the Qun.Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Travolta in a roadside picnic type movie?! NO DAMN IT NO

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  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Timmer wrote: »
    But the biggest issues for me are:
    - The game doesn't pause for you to read the dialog. So you talk to a guy, respond he gives you a paragraph to read and then, wham, something happens. What? I don't know cuz I wasn't done reading it, but now I'm dead. After the third time trying to speed-read, I see the last sentence "hey help me with these dogs okay?". You can't pause the game and then read even if you want to! UGH. Horrible game design foul.
    - The PDA system is cool but it confuses me more often than not. For instance, I'll see purple markers on the map telling me to do things but I have no idea where I got that information from or how it relates to any of my missions.
    - I really have no clue what I'm doing most of the time; I don't know what it is, but I feel completely lost (and not in a good way), despite the mission log.

    1) Your recent conversations and messages are recorded in the PDA, check the diary section and click the message history tab. That'll tell you anything you were just told. You can pause the game - hit the pause button - and even while browsing the PDA; it'll lock the cursor but the PDA will still be visible. It's not ideal, but it should give you some breathing room if you're checking it out in the open.

    2) In most cases those purple markers are just stash locations, you'll get those as you search bodies and sometimes from completing quests. You can sometimes get quests simply for entering a location, but these are usually repeatable quests and most of them are based on stuff you'll do during the course of the game; in Garbage, for instance, there's a repeatable to wipe out the bandits west of Seriy's men at the train station (indicated as "Protect the Stalkers").

    3) When in doubt, hit Tab. That'll tell you the quest you're currently on, and unless you manually designate a side quest as your primary (double-clicking on it in the tasks tab), it should almost always indicate where you're supposed to go next for the plot.

    4) Medkits also contain a portion of antirad, and you can protect yourself with appropriate artifacts (thorns, urchins, fireballs, etc). Use your cash to buy extra medical supplies in the early game, when you tend to need it more.

    As I said throughout the LP, this game will try its very best to turn people away from the get-go. A lot of people won't give Stalker the time of day, and deservedly so, but buried under the bugs and the sloppy coding is something you just don't see every day. I'm always a little easier on games that, for better or worse, try something truly different, and once I grew accustomed to Stalker's quirks - and there's the key phrase for the following - it quickly became one of my favorite games.

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    I write for these people. Shadowrun skillcheck guides: Dragonfall, Hong Kong
  • TimmerTimmer Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Stolls wrote: »
    As I said throughout the LP, this game will try its very best to turn people away from the get-go. A lot of people won't give Stalker the time of day, and deservedly so, but buried under the bugs and the sloppy coding is something you just don't see every day. I'm always a little easier on games that, for better or worse, try something truly different, and once I grew accustomed to Stalker's quirks - and there's the key phrase for the following - it quickly became one of my favorite games.

    Thanks for all those tips! And yes, I totally agree which is why I posted here. I can sense the greatness underneath I just need help getting to it ;)

    I was playing a little earlier today at night, getting hunted by the bandits and I shot a couple by some trees in the darkness then got out my flashlight to look for their bodies and just the way the light moved across the grass was spookie -- almost campy horror like but real -- and then I'd hear some animals howl in the distance and I quickly looked around to find nothing.

    Amazing atmosphere and realism. Now if only those bandits would give me more then 2 minutes between showing up!

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    BTW, the game uses some AA method that doesn't really work very well, so just ignore AA.

    Be sure to turn on Dynamic Lights, though.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | 3DS: 0130-2805-2850
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  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    http://kotaku.com/gaming/gsc-game-world/stalker-devs-get-360-certified-326287.php

    STALKER Devs gets 360 certified. Could we expect stalker on the 360? fuck knows.
    "We are happy to say the big efforts of our company aimed to obtain the official Xbox 360 developer status now ended with success. Obtaining such a status for an independent developer based in ex-USSR means a lot - it took us over 2 years to get. We are very thankful to Microsoft for the assistance and high esteem of our team's professionalism.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Big Isy wrote: »
    http://kotaku.com/gaming/gsc-game-world/stalker-devs-get-360-certified-326287.php

    STALKER Devs gets 360 certified. Could we expect stalker on the 360? fuck knows.
    "We are happy to say the big efforts of our company aimed to obtain the official Xbox 360 developer status now ended with success. Obtaining such a status for an independent developer based in ex-USSR means a lot - it took us over 2 years to get. We are very thankful to Microsoft for the assistance and high esteem of our team's professionalism.

    I just hope they keep making STALKERs on PC.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | 3DS: 0130-2805-2850
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  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Roadside Picnic was pretty good, but I was a little disappointed in the ending of the book. (*ahem*)
    I thought he was going to work his anger up and wish for the zone to disappear, almost out of spite.

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  • blindiblindi Registered User
    edited November 2007
    Tim James wrote: »
    Roadside Picnic was pretty good, but I was a little disappointed in the ending.
    I thought he was going to work his anger up and wish for the zone to disappear, almost out of spite.

    There are 7 different endings to the game, 5 of them depend on how you played the game and 2 of them depend what path you followed.

  • TimmerTimmer Registered User
    edited December 2007
    Ack! So STEAM just updated the game when I launched it (haven't played in a week) and when it did, all my settings were set to defaults and no saved games were loaded!

    Anyone have any ideas? I really don't want to start over... :(

    EDIT:
    Just in case anyone else has this issue you can check the support forums
    To restore my saved games I did some browsing on the HD and found Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\stalker shadow of chernobyl\_appdata_\savedgames contained my old saves so I copied these to Users\Public\Documents\stalker-shoc\savedgames and this got everything back to “normal”.
    That was for Vista, for XP, copy to Documents and Settings\All Users\Shared Documents\stalker-shoc
    P.S. Actually found some helpful information at a game's support forums. Imagine that! :)

  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah I had the same shocker too. I was furious as nnot only were my saves lost but the game seemed to run even worse.

  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Man, I completely missed the bump. Sorry guys. Glad you got it figured out, though.

    Been doing some more testing with the ZRP. It's not perfect, but it really seems to have streamlined a lot, as well as thrown in some extra stuff here and there. A few of the more prominent things I've noticed:

    1) Upon saving Nimble and keeping his men alive, Wolf mentions that he knows Bes and points out the location of an ammo stash Bes keeps in the tower. The tower actually has a busted ladder and isn't a normally marked stash; instead there's a breakable box over the ladder. Shooting it open causes a ton of 9x19mm PB1s rounds to spill out - close to a thousand. Basically you won't need to worry about SMG or heavier pistol ammo for a while.

    2) Completed quests and reputation now seem more closely tied to shopkeeper inventory, though it still depends a lot on how far along you are in the game. After doing every possible repeatable in Cordon before heading to Garbage, Sidorivich was selling a stalker suit. Barkeep's inventory improved more noticeably, carrying better armor earlier on (particularly armored suits; he acquired the Military Armored Suit just after X16, which is normally found at the stash in Pripyat), and the scientists carried the pump shotgun initially, later including Tunder rifles, guard scientist suits, and even exoskeletons. The Duty and Freedom traders both improved their inventories drastically after doing quests, including hard-to-find sniper rifles and ammo.

    3) The whole quest system seems much more streamlined. Certain quests have cash rewards transmitted immediately (usually of the 'go here and kill this' variety), and you can now cycle through the traders' and factions' repeatables to get the more rewarding ones - these refresh after every in-game day, with some exceptions. Certain assassination targets that never left safe zones do occasionally wander away after you clear further areas; one of Sidorovich's targets hung out by the bar, and any attempt at a stealth kill usually pissed somebody off, sometimes a quest giver at the bar itself. After clearing Dark Valley, he wandered into Garbage, where his death carried no repercussions.

    4) The Fanatic camp defense quest now works like it's supposed to. It's still not perfect, as a loitering stalker or two in the main camp doesn't always get out of the way and spoils the ambush, but the rookies do hide as told and stay quiet long enough to let most of the mercenaries get in close. In my last test, they took out about half the mercenaries unaided, which isn't bad considering their vastly inferior firepower. Additionally, if you follow the Strelok questline, the Find/Kill Strelok quest does become completed, and a note appears in your diary:
    "Meeting with the Doctor

    I don't know what to say... should I be happy or sad? I found out that I am Strelok, the famous stalker. A stalker who lost his memory in one of the last passages leading to the center of the Zone. A stalker who lost all his friends except for the Doctor. A stalker who found out something that made him a target. What exactly did I find out?

    Next question. The Doctor managed to save the key and the location of the secret stash of our group at Pripyat. It's located in one of the rooms of the old hotel in the center. He says that there must be something there that will shed some light on the "Granter of Wishes" or Monolith. He knows only one thing: after the second to last scouting expedition to the Chernobyl NPP I kept on saying that there's something shady with Monolith. Well, Monolith, we're going to try and deal with you. Who are you and what are you?"

    5) The stash system is more refined, too. After finding a stash, a note will appear on your screen, telling you in what area it can be found. You'll also receive a message when it's been emptied, and it'll disappear from the map until you find it again. I'm noticing more of the rare stashes now, though I'm not sure if that's part of the patch; I did find an FT2000 at the start of Red Forest, and a Martha handgun at the northeast end of the Bar, and I even got Fang's stash marked on the map - the result of loners in Yantar going up against a horde of zombies.

    Just cleared the Brain Scorcher. I'll see if there's anything else of note the rest of the way.

    (Oh, and there is indeed more rocket launcher ammo on dead Monolith troopers. Score!)

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    I write for these people. Shadowrun skillcheck guides: Dragonfall, Hong Kong
  • Waka LakaWaka Laka Riding the stuffed Unicorn If ya know what I mean.Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Its the thread that keeps on giving :^:

  • TimmerTimmer Registered User
    edited December 2007
    ... and I keep fighting this game. I can never tell if I'm in the right area or not. For instance, I was supposed to find some guys stash in the sewer system. I found something then it got updated with a map and set of directions (in a dead-end room in the sewers). I followed the sewers the direction opposite of the way I entered and now I'm in some compound with tons of people shooting at me. I think I need to be here for other quests but I have no idea what happened to the 'find more info about stash' portion.

    That's probably my biggest complaint: the lack of feeling like you know how you're progressing in a given quest. it makes me stop playing, even more than the difficult combat.

    On the other hand, every day or two, I do keep playing and I can't say enough about the atmosphere.

  • Tim JamesTim James Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    You're on the right track. Skim a walkthrough if you're lost. Don't just get frustrated about it.

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  • StollsStolls Brave Corporate Logo Chicago, ILRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Yeah, it can sometimes be difficult to tell where you have to go next, but your objectives will always be marked on the main map. Click Tasks on the PDA and click the target icon for your current objective and it'll center on where you're supposed to go.

    In this case, you're in Agroprom, right?
    Main thing about there is the Strelok stash quest and the Agroprom documents quest coincide, thus most people will go through the tunnels to get at the documents. Consult these two posts if you're really stuck, but if you got the fast-shooting AKM from the stash then it's definitely possible to shoot your way through the base. The documents are on the third floor. Nab them and Sidorovich will contact you, letting you know the Duty checkpoint at the north end of Garbage will let you pass now.

    Interesting side note, it is possible to bypass the quest and head straight to the bar by killing the Duty warrant officer at the checkpoint.

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    I write for these people. Shadowrun skillcheck guides: Dragonfall, Hong Kong
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