75. According to Holland, Decipher and Lucasfilm had always enjoyed a close working relationship; Decipher, he says via email, was one of only two licensees Lucasfilm allowed to remove the Episode I script from Skywalker Ranch before the film opened. Dur… (“When you’re playing Star Wars Trivial Pursuit with your friends, they’re like, ‘I don’t want to play with you,’” tournament organizer Chris Gogolen says.) “Our goal was to not copy what Magic: The Gathering was doing, but have a game that really captured the essence of these licenses,” Braunlich says by phone. “The most common way you win 99 percent of games is you’re making them lose cards from those piles … and from their hand,” says Greg Zinn, a Long Island programmer who first played the game in 1997 and now serves as a rules expert at the MPC and in the SWCCG forums. After Hasbro bought Wizards of the Coast for $325 million in September 1999, Holland says, his smaller company was slowly muscled out. The MPC is one of the highest-profile and best-populated events: In 2017, enough players had attended to fill out a full, 64-person bracket, but weather and timing conspired to keep this year’s group of competitors compact, with the “distance traveled” title going to a competitor from Lompoc, California. If anything, the game’s reach seems to be spreading. Those black-bordered cards—bearing descriptions, instructions, symbols, stats, and, most eye-catching of all, stills from the Star Wars original trilogy—were the currency that sustained the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, which became a ’90s phenomenon long before The Phantom Menace, let alone the recent string of Disney releases that continues this week with Solo: A Star Wars Story. | Free shipping on many items! MPC matches also last an extra 15 minutes each, increasing the odds of one side succumbing completely. | Browse our daily deals for even more savings! CategoryOneGames.com. Games/Toys. “Because the minute we lose it, our site’s gone.”, Thus far, the community has steered clear of copyright infringement, but continued creation eventually led to a different problem: an unmanageable number of cards. Pages Liked by This Page. This year, he attended the MPC even though his son couldn’t come. The last set, Theed Palace Limited, was released in the fall of 2001. Star Wars Jedi Knights Masters of The Force 11 Card Booster Pack X2. A member of the community’s inaugural Hall of Fame class, Chu is a two-time world champion and the reigning Player of the Year. 4.6 out of 5 stars 4. The Star Wars Customizable Card Game was first released in December, 1995 by a company called Decipher, Inc. Over the next six years, the game’s following grew, and with a player base of over 40,000 strong, it became the second most popular trading card game in the world, after Magic: The Gathering. That could have—should have—been the end. Marvel Doctor Strange Vinyl Bobble Head #439 [Gold Chrome], Funko Football (Soccer) Chelsea POP! Over the years, Decipher added eleven full expansions to the original card base, as well as numerous smaller expansions, special-purpose sets, and promotional releases. “Location” cards, which also lean either light or dark, determine where in the Star Wars universe the action takes place, which may favor one player over the other; players compete for control of those locations by taking turns using cards that represent Star Wars characters, vehicles, and weapons. A newer, more advanced platform called GEMP—whose name, fittingly, refers to a coming-of-age ceremony—requires less expertise. T… ), The impetus for creating new cards comes from an urge to add new nuances to the gameplay, the importance of addressing occasional strategic imbalances, and the need to keep pace with Disney, which pumps out a new film every year. Disney Under the Moonlight Vinyl Figure 2-Pack #458 [Movie Moments, Jack & Sally on the Hill], LEGO Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. Star Wars CCG’s higher skill ceiling and deck customization leave less room for luck. Although Biesterfeld says he’s picked up a number of valuable programming skills while working on GEMP, his motives—like those of seemingly everyone else who supports the SWCCG—are mostly selfless. Loose], Marvel vs Capcom 3 Minimates Series 3 She Hulk Vs. Chun Li Minifigure 2-Pack, Hot Wheels Avengers Infinity War Character Cars Thor Die-Cast Car, Funko Marvel Studios 10 POP! Having fought entropy to a standstill for 17 years, SWCGG seems set to live on indefinitely, preserving an important piece of Star Wars history even as Solo and subsequent films propel the franchise forward. Holotable, which launched in late 2004, provided the first way to play online, but it’s essentially a sandbox, supplying the tools to play but relying on the players to drive the action and understand the rules. Since then, though, he’s served almost seven more years, with no end to his term in sight. Anderson had picked him in a pre-tournament fantasy bracket, which Smith says he used as motivation to win on his behalf. And the artists there would do computer magic, and the players really loved that.”. “I thought I was a pretty good player, and I realized right at that point that I was a total novice compared to these guys, that they were already way beyond what I even realized was in the game. And because Decipher printed so much stock—and because the present-day SWCCG audience is relatively small—there isn’t much money in the secondary SWCCG card market, either, in contrast to Magic, whose rarest, most collectible cards have become a big business. Sports Gary Cahill Vinyl Figure #07, LOL Surprise Series 1 Interactive Live Surprise Mystery Pack [RANDOM Character! Walseth has been running an afterschool enrichment program centered on SWCCG since 2000, and his former pupils are increasingly competitive at tournaments. During several … From the very release of the game its collectible nature was underlined by the existence of silver and gold foil cards, whose rarity was clearly specified by the publisher, and cards with "1st time in print" icon. Decipher could capture an in-focus image of a barely glimpsed alien in the corner of the Cantina and flesh out the franchise’s lore by creating a card out of it, working with Lucasfilm to bestow backstories and names on any character that didn’t already have them. “Stewarding an out-of-print card game without using the right digital resources is not sustainable. “It’s basically guiding you through the game; it’s only letting you do things that are legal,” Zinn says. When Decipher was still producing the game, the company promoted it with the tagline, “If it’s in your HEAD, it’s in HERE,” an ethos that, if anything, it stayed too true to. It is a two player game where one player is the Light Side of the Force, and the other is the Dark Side. “I believe it is something worth doing,” he says. Star Wars: The Old Republic. The object of the game is to control two of these three arenas. Marvel Dark Phoenix Vinyl Figure #422, LOL Surprise Glitter Big Sister Mystery Pack [1st Edition], The Lord of the Rings Action Flipz The Fellowship of the Ring Trading Card Pack [4 Cards & 1 Sticker! “You prefer to be in person because of the externalities of attending the event, the people that you see,” Kelly says. “There’s no other thing that I’ve been doing for so long.” The escalating demands of Carulli’s full-time job as a project manager at a translations company are forcing him to cede some of his design responsibilities, but he remains almost awestruck about being a guardian of a game he got into at age 11. The Star Wars Customizable Card Game was first released in December, 1995 by a company called Decipher, Inc. Over the next six years, the game’s following grew, and with a player base of over 40,000 strong, it became the second most popular trading card game in the world, after Magic: The Gathering. Although one MPC player repeatedly requested that Zinn make victors leave the room after their first match to prevent them from spying on potential upcoming opponents, the players were always polite. The game spanned all of the classic Star Wars trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) as well as The Phantom Menace. That reset was probably the best thing we could have ever done.”. Pages Liked by This Page. Monks Gaming Battlefield - MGB. Jedi Knights is centered around the classic trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi). Occasionally, players have collectively outed and ostracized cheaters, who place cards that they want at the top of their decks while shuffling, but that behavior is rare. We’re glad you guys are doing it,’” Lingrell recalls, continuing, “It’s been cool to kind of be in their graces.” But the Players Committee is still conscientious about not straining the relationship. Their first project was to launch the successful How to Host a Murder line of party games. Giving players easy access to the cards and opponents to play against, while easing the rules learning curve, needs to be there.” Also, he says, he “was confident nobody else on the planet was going to volunteer to build it.”, Although there has been some dispute about whether online matches—in which there’s no way to tell whether a player is seeking assistance from a friend or a rulebook—should count toward yearly competitive points totals, the PC’s tournament organizers just began offering an online championship series, reflecting online play’s importance and popularity. “We’ve had some players that have been combative [in the past], that we’ve said, ‘It’s not about that,’” Lingrell says, adding, “We didn’t want to be Magic players, because Magic was really cutthroat.”. “The complexity of Star Wars CCG is orders of magnitude greater than that of poker, and with that complexity comes a much higher skill ceiling,” Cellucci says. Although the original six player advocates appointed by Decipher have given way to successors and mostly moved on from the game, Lingrell’s involvement in organizing fan efforts dates back almost to the beginning of the post-Decipher period. By far the best game that Decipher Inc ever held the license to produce, Star Wars Customizable card game will forever live in the land of legend when it comes to trading card games. “You can play a matchup 100 times and they’ll all be different,” Chu says. The two designers were expert chess players, and they aspired to replicate the ancient game’s elegance, producing something that was easy to learn on a rudimentary level but could take a lifetime to master. Games/Toys. On the weekend after the January weather that exposed the Northeast to new synonyms for “storm,” the external temperatures in New Brunswick, New Jersey, could have killed a tauntaun. For anyone who grew up in the 1990s, those see-through sleeves are windows back to a time when the cargo they contained was much in demand. After every new film release, SWCCG fans want to play with the locations and characters they just saw on screen, but they can’t simply screenshot Kylo Ren and add him to a deck. Decipher, Inc. is an American company that produces several collectible card games. “But in terms of killing time when you’re at home … it’s a perfectly fine replacement.”. Each sealed Starter Deck somes with 63 cards including cards unique to the starter deck. Decipher, Inc. were the license holders and publishers of the Star Wars Customizable Card Game between 1995 and 2001. “We also had access to their props department and had high-quality photographs taken of all these little do-dads and props and things that are in the movie,” Braunlich adds. Other Star Wars card games have come and gone in the years since Decipher lost the license, including Wizards of the Coast’s successor, Star Wars: The Trading Card Game … Even after its last hand is dealt, SWCCG’s legacy will linger through emotional milestones like the game’s tribute to Shawn Valdez, a 13-year-old boy from Florida who died of leukemia the day after attending an SWCCG tournament in 1996. Expand your options of fun home activities with the largest online selection at eBay.com. For a few years following its 1995 debut, Star Wars CCG outsold every game of its kind except Magic: The Gathering, appealing to fans of both Star Wars and strategy. CCGs—which exist today in digital form as well as in games featuring physical cards—couple the compulsive appeal of traditional trading cards with the strategy of tabletop games, allowing players to buy booster packs of randomly drawn cards that can be combined into decks and used to battle opposing players. “I’m not aware that anything like this had ever been done before,” Holland says. 2 Star-Lord Minifigure [Silver Armor and Jet Pack Loose], Marvel Video Game Masterpiece Spider-Man Collectible Figure [Advanced Suit], Avengers Marvel Studios: The First Ten Years Marvel Legends Ultron Action Figure, Little Live Pets My Butterfly Dancing Butterfly Flower Garden Playset, Jurassic World Jello Play Lemon & Berry Blue Escape Build & Eat Kit, Card Supplies Dragon Shield Brown Standard Card Sleeves [100 Count], MtG Dominaria Uncommon Memorial to War #246, Disney Marvel Avengers Infinity War Star-Lord 4-Inch PVC Figure [Loose], Sword Art Online II Sinon 12-Inch Collectible PVC Figure. The designers hand off to the developers, a group of accomplished players (including Chu) who make sure that the cards are balanced and won’t break the game. It’s really a beautiful game.” Neither SWCCG nor its supporters look the same as they did during the ’90s; the game has grown with them, and they’ve grown with the game. … As best we could, we needed to protect not only the thousands of dollars many of our players had invested, but more importantly, the place Star Wars CCG had in their hearts.”. The company had no choice but to cancel an upcoming expansion set and cease production of Star Wars CCG. Another byproduct, Zinn notes, is that “the rulebook gets extensively complicated because it has to account for all these crazy corner scenarios, even if they don’t come up in most games.”, That depth can be daunting to NARPs, but experienced players know how to navigate the subtleties of the game. “It’s like, ‘You’re probably gonna eliminate me from this tournament from the cards I just let you borrow.’”, Although Lingrell’s dedication to his hobby appears undiminished—his bio on the SWCCG site says “he is actually the brain of a former Decipher employee suspended in a jar of nutrients, wholly dedicated to keeping the card game alive”—the responsibility of preserving a pastime that means so much to so many weighs heavy on him at times. Despite his top-tier track record, Kelly borrows all of his cards from another player who asks only that Kelly give him any cards he acquires as prizes. “That was one of the reasons I always thought it was such a successful game—because the cards were just awesome,” Braunlich says. WARS (Decipher, Inc.) Product/Service. Not long after Valdez’s death, Keefer met his future wife, Christel, at an SWCCG tournament. Per Decipher, WARS TCG is … “It was painting the design team into a corner,” says Gogolen, who along with a few other community members spent five months deciding which virtual cards to cut. Dot .Hack/Enemy Trading Card Game Distortion Booster Pack Rating Required Select Rating 1 star (worst) 2 stars 3 stars (average) 4 stars 5 stars (best) Name The WARS Trading Card Game is a trading card game released by Decipher in October 2004 with science fiction themes, using game mechanics from the Star Wars CCG. All Rights Reserved. If you already ordered, please note that due to COVID-19 and its impact on UPS and the US Postal Service, the dates below were the best estimates for when you should have ordered by and are are NOT guarantees. To control an arena, one of the two sides (Light or Dark Side) must be the only one with a unit(s) in that arena, if either side has cards in an arena while the other side does not, they control that arena. For Walseth, SWCCG is a teaching tool that conveys valuable lessons in the guise of a game. CategoryOneGames.com. Creating virtual cards is the province of a design committee led by design advocate Matthew Carulli, who oversees a six-pronged staff. 4.7 out of 5 stars 3. Entertainment Collectible Trading Cards; Everything Else Store See All 8 Departments. “It keeps you thinking,” Westergard says. In the past, he says, the market was cluttered with “a lot of board games that were just overly complicated and a little bit hackneyed in their design, and they would have a lot of features that didn’t add to the game.” In recent years, though, the trend has been toward “elegant game designs with unique functionalities but simple gameplay that still allows you a lot of strategical options.” In Braunlich’s view, “the Star Trek and the Star Wars—particularly the Star Wars—CCGs were kind of the first, or one of the first, in that trend in the mid- to late ’90s.”. The Jedi Knights Trading Card Game is an out-of-print collectible card game set in the Star Wars Universe and published by Decipher, Inc. on April 25, 2001. ], LOL Surprise #HairGoals Makeover Series 1 Mystery Capsule Pack [Wave 2], Funko Disney Kingdom Hearts III Donald 1/12 Mystery Mini [Monsters Inc. Those Decipher-designated “player advocates” would work with the company to shift responsibility for the game’s administration from Decipher to the fans, setting up communication channels, organizing tournaments, settling rules disputes and, as Holland wrote in January 2002, “keeping Star Wars CCG in the limelight for a long time to come.” It was an unprecedented idea born of a desperate situation. Although the English-language cards make it challenging to explain the game to the Portuguese-speaking locals, Hutchins has had some success among other expats. “When a design gets out in the world and then evolves into something on its own and keeps going, that’s what we really loved about it, and I’m glad to hear that they’re still doing that,” says Braunlich, SWCCG’s cocreator, who’s hoping to attend a tournament soon. 1 seeds, two-time tournament champion and 2016 Player of the Year Tom Kelly tends to stick with the same light and dark decks, which he plays “over and over and over,” honing his conservative but controlling technique and savoring the small permutations that make each victory distinct. Bldg.KSuffern, NY 10901. “The game itself requires algebra skills, comprehension skills, memorization skills, creative skills (deck-building), learning from mistakes, and predictive skills much like chess would,” Walseth says via email. That collaboration lent an air of authenticity to the product that roped in fans who were new to CCGs. Casey Anis, a New York lawyer who got a deck from his dad as a second-grader in 1995 and never stopped playing, now serves as a member of a player-organized SWCCG marketing team. “People are running around borrowing cards to fill their decks in, from the guys they’re going to be playing against,” Gogolen says. In 2014—the same year that Disney decanonized the expanded universe that predated its purchase of the Star Wars franchise—the Players Committee decided to “reset” its library of virtual cards, which had ballooned to roughly 1,100 and included some early creations that weren’t as well-implemented as later additions. CategoryOneGames.com. He estimates that in SWCCG, a player with a comparable skill edge could have an 80 to 90 percent chance of victory. As its name implies, the Star Wars Customizable Card Game is a trading card game, like Magic: The Gathering, set in the Star Wars universe. While Decipher, Inc., the company that produced and printed the Star Wars CCG no longer prints physical cards, the game continues with a very active playing community. In the past 17 years, the Players Committee has produced dozens more “virtual sets,” starting with its first release in March 2002, which benefited from Decipher’s design tips and feedback. “You might see a card, and then keep track of where it is for like half an hour, and then draw it exactly the right moment that you need it,” Zinn says. December 23 at 7:15 PM. In the Star Wars TCG, unit cards are placed in three different arenas: Space, Ground, and Character. “Magic players love to talk about how Magic is the most complex game,” he says, not needing much prompting to start smack-talking the SWCCG’s old rival (and indirect inspiration). From the hallway, the warmth was like a barrier radiating from the 50-plus people packed into the windowless space and ranging in age from their teens to their 60s. Some of that sentiment stems from the game’s Braunlich-orchestrated complexity, which makes SWCCG’s gameplay difficult to describe without relying on jargon that only an MPC player could parse. “The players were always part of something bigger than the game itself,” he says. Overseeing a large team of testers, they tweaked each card’s attributes until they were confident that the game would be in balance, with no one card or combination of cards from the CCG’s hundreds-deep library lending its owner an unfair advantage. That description only microscopically scratches the surface of the game; the full rulebook runs 158 pages, and Zinn says that no one—not even him—knows it by heart. Star Wars: The Trading Card Game is an out-of-print collectible card game produced by Wizards of the Coast (WotC). It was created by Decipher, Inc., which also produced the Star Trek Customizable Card Game and The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game. “Because literally, if the volunteers stop doing things, this game dies.”. “They said, ‘Oh, this is good. The game was produced from December 1995 until December 2001. Decipher was originally founded by Warren Holland in 1983 as a games producing company. “They were really obsessed with, anything you could see or imagine in the movie had to be represented with the cards, even if it was some stupid thing no one would ever really want to do,” Zinn says. The WARS Trading Card Game is an out-of-print trading card game released by Decipher in October 2004 with science fiction themes, using game mechanics from the Star Wars CCG. Great deals on Star Wars Star Wars CCG (Decipher) Trading Card Games. Others swayed and fidgeted, tapping their feet with anxious energy and calling out inscrutable comments and questions: “15 Attrition against me!” or “How much Force do you have?” Stacked or splayed out in front of every attendee were the talismanic objects that had brought the players to New Brunswick: dozens of cards protected by plastic sleeves. Great deals on Star Trek Star Wars CCG (Decipher) Trading Card Games. Like a vintage Kenley Jansen cutter, he’s predictable but almost unbeatable. Star Wars: The Old Republic. Apart from the smartphones and the PVC-pipe-mounted webcam peering down from a frame above the corner table, streaming selected matches to Twitch, the scene in New Brunswick could have come from 20 years earlier. After two releases, the game was officially "placed on hiatus" starting May 2005. Another crucial development in the pursuit of new players has been the advent and refinement of online play. $135.00 New. In the long run, he may end up stationed at AFRICOM in Germany or U.S. Army Africa in Italy, which would make playing in person easier. “I don’t want to say that on the record,” he says, laughing. With no new content, the game would have grown stale, and without a guiding hand to monitor player feedback and make tweaks to the metagame, emerging strategies would have dominated unchecked and upset SWCCG’s precarious competitive balance. Star Wars Rebels. For the card game published by Decipher, see Star Wars Customizable Card Game. WARS (Decipher, Inc.) Product/Service. This game was distinct from the others because all of the card images were entirely computer generated. Now that ’90s kids have aged into peak buying power, everything ’90s is new again: Tamagotchi pets have returned to stores, Power Rangers and Goosebumps are movie material, and the Spice Girls are getting back together—for lunch, at least. When he attended the first big tournament, he found that the players had far surpassed the creators. “We felt an obligation to that.”. Faithfully produced from 1995 until 2001, this game gripped the trading card world with an immersive universe. WARS (Decipher, Inc.) Product/Service. There’s more than one way to the top of an SWCCG tournament. In its early years, Decipher made puzzles, party games, and Pente sets, but its business changed soon after a competing company, Wizards of the Coast, released Magic in 1993, starting the customizable/collectible card game craze. Lingrell estimates that the average age of a current SWCCG player is in the “early 30s,” making the typical player old enough to have been a teenager during the Decipher era. 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At its core, a latter-day SWCCG tournament is a social event; as Zinn says, “Some of these people can say, ‘I’ve known that guy since the ’90s.’” During the Decipher era, it was possible for players to find multiple tournaments on one weekend, or even one day; Gogolen recalls times when he would “play in one store from 11-4, drive to the other store and play from there from 5-9, and then grab a slice of pizza somewhere in the middle of that.” Now, tournaments are more akin to class reunions, providing periodic opportunities to reconnect with SWCCG friends one needs an excuse to see in real life. After two releases, the game was officially "placed on hiatus" in May 2005. $15.99 $ 15. “I definitely thought about it throughout the weekend and any time I felt like I was in trouble in a match.”, Anderson, who says via email that he has achieved remission, adds that he finds Smith’s gesture “gratifying and touching,” but also somewhat surprising, because he and Smith have had only limited interactions in person. At MPC, where seeding is determined in the days leading up to the tournament by a group of community mainstays familiar with the field, one of the four no. Business & Economy Website. A few years ago, the Players Committee got Walseth’s work classified as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; last year, Lingrell’s employer donated $10,000 to the charity, which will cover Walseth’s expenses for years to come, ensuring both that his afterschool program can carry on and that the SWCCG community will continue to see a steady influx of young converts. Star Wars Rebels. “Sometimes an image that’s fleeting in the movie, just in the background, we’d want to make a card out of it. Customer Review. FOR BEST CHANCE OF CHRISTMAS DELIVERY BEFORE 12/25 ORDER BY: FOR BEST CHANCE OF RUSH CHRISTMAS DELIVERY ARRIVING BEFORE 12/25 ORDER BY: FOR BEST CHANGE OF LAST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH DELIVERY BY 12/17 ORDER BY: FOR BEST CHANGE OF RUSH LAST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH DELIVERY ARRIVING BEFORE 12/17 ORDER BY: If you have one or more of these items for sale. SWCCG is even making minor inroads in Africa, courtesy of Captain (soon to be major) Grady Hutchins, a U.S. Army Sub-Saharan Africa foreign area officer who’s been stationed in Mozambique since last summer. After Magic quickly caught on, independent designers Tom Braunlich and Rollie Tesh approached Holland with the idea of creating CCGs based on beloved, licensed properties. Seated at tables, some stayed silent, crouching forward in complete concentration. Pages Liked by This Page. Because the community encourages deck-sharing as a means of making it easier for people to play, it’s not necessary for players to own SWCCG cards at all. “And sometimes, if things are really insane, they might keep track of where a card is in the opponent’s deck, and that’s like the ultimate crazy thing that you can try to do.”. None of them has exploded the way Decipher’s game did in the ’90s, or inspired the same kind of community dedication. But after spending several years as the stewards of the game, Decipher felt attached to its thriving player community. ... Star Wars Trading Card Game Independent Development Committee. So there’s not as many people back from ’02, but there’s [still] more than you would think there would be.” Gogolen mentioned a matchup at last year’s world championship between Vince Hutchins—son of veteran player Grady Hutchins—and Matt Sokol, who won the 2000 world championship, the last one administered by Decipher. “It’s nice to be able to go back and do something about Luke, maybe, but at the same time, we want to push the envelope and play the new stuff because people really enjoy that,” Lingrell says. “You can get a completely terrible opening hand and still come back. The game spanned all of the original Star Wars trilogy (A New Hope, Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi) as well as Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace. ], Dynamite Entertainment Kiss Blood Stardust #1 Comic Book [Cover B Sayger Starchild Variant], Dragon Ball Super Collectible Card Game Colossal Warfare Common Unbroken Dynasty Son Goku BT4-079, Funko Nightmare Before Christmas 25th Anniversary POP! Store see all 8 Departments upcoming Expansion set Customizable game Decipher Ltd Ed 5 star wars trading card game decipher says he used motivation! Last an extra 15 minutes each, increasing the odds of one Side succumbing.... Cards as they float face-down from pile to pile decks, players have to remember both their own as. ” subforum, it can be tough, ” he says 100 employees knew players..., increasing the odds of one Side succumbing completely text, mechanics and! 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