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    FAQ/Walkthrough by CMurdock

    Version: 2.1 | Updated: 09/19/02 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    version 2.1: 9/19/2002
    By Chris Murdock
    IKARUGA is copyright Treasure/ESP 2001, 2002
    1.0: Started this whole mess.
    1.1: Added points for chain combos, and finished codes and secrets 
    1.2: Added clarification on a lot of things and also added the story to 
    the game (under the "Ikaruga Miscellaneous" section).
    1.3: Added two player mode strategy and cleared up some embarrassing 
    grammatical errors.  Added some extra translation notes as well.
    2.0: Added more advanced strategy, a basic walkthrough (or in the case 
    of a shooter, a "shoot-through"), and a frequently asked questions 
    2.1: Fixed a buttload of errors and added stage four and five in the 
    Ikaruga is another in a long line of fantastic games from our good 
    friends over at Treasure.  This FAQ will go over the strategy of the 
    game as well as other aspects of the game.
    Please note that this FAQ is ONLY for GAMEFAQS.COM.  Do NOT ask me if 
    you can post this FAQ anywhere else.  The answer will be NO.
    If you have any questions or would like to submit something for the 
    FAQ, please e-mail me at murdockl@hotmail.com  
    Please put "IKARUGA" in the subject line, as I get a lot of SPAM at 
    that address.
    IKARUGA is a 1 or 2 player game.
    It uses 34 blocks on a Dreamcast memory card.
    It is compatible with the following:
         Standard Dreamcast memory card
         Memory Card 4X
         Purupuru Pack/Vibration pack
         Arcade Stick
         VGA Box
         ASCII Pad FT
    [4. MENU SCREEN]
    The menu screen is accessed when you press the "START" button on the 
    title screen.
    Here are the menu screen options from top to bottom:
    GAME START: Start a game.
    PRACTICE: Hone your skills.
    NOTE: The way this works is that you can practice stages as long as you 
    made it to the stage in question before having to continue.  For 
    example, if you play the game and you get to stage four and your game 
    ends on stage four (without continuing), you will be able to practice 
    stages one through four.
    RANKING: Check out the high scores.
    There are three options here:
    You can VIEW RANKING, CLEAR RANKING (delete the rankings from the 
    memory card), or EXIT.
    CONFIG: Configuration
    There are eight options here.
    MONITOR TYPE: You can change from HORIZONTAL 1 (screen is 75% of normal 
    size), HORIZONTAL 2 (screen is 80% of normal size), VERTICAL 1 (screen 
    is vertical, and controller is set up normally), and VERTICAL 2 (screen 
    is vertical and controller is set up so the game can be played like a 
    side scrolling shooter).
    HORIZONAL mode will have black borders on both sides.  Ikaruga in the 
    arcades was a vertical shooter, so the original arcade cabinet had a 
    screen that was taller than it was wide.
    VERTICAL mode is also referred to as "TATE" (pronounced "tah-teh") 
    DO NOT turn your television vertically to play this game as you may 
    cause serious or permanent damage to your television.  There are 
    specialized monitors you can get that have special rotating screens 
    that you can adjust, but do NOT rotate your television!
    SOUND: Choose between STEREO or MONO.  There is (unfortunately) no 
    option for surround sound.
    DIFFICULTY: There are four settings.
    EASY, NORMAL, HARD and USER SELECT.  If you have the game set at USER 
    SELECT, when you start the game, you choose what level you want to 
    TRIAL GAME: If this is on, the option to play a TRIAL GAME is available 
    after you have selected a difficulty (if you have the difficulty set at 
    USER SELECT), or when you start a game.  A trial game consists of the 
    first TWO game levels ONLY.  You also have UNLIMITED LIVES in TRIAL 
    MODE until the second stage.
    EXTEND: This sets the frequency of when the game awards extra lives.  
    The settings are:
    TYPE 1: Extra ship every 2,000,000 points.
    TYPE 2: First extra at 3,000,000 points, and then every 5,000,000 
    points thereafter.
    TYPE 3: First extra at 6,000,000 points, and then the second extra at 
    15,000,000 points.
    NONE: No extend.
    PLAYER STOCK: This sets the amount of ships you start with.  You can 
    choose between one to five ships.
    By default the settings are:
    DEFAULT: By pressing this, you will reset everything to the default 
    TUTORIAL: This opens up the very useful tutorial.  Highly recommended 
    if you're just starting the game for the first time.
    APPENDIX: This has all the hidden goodies of the game.  Check out the 
    CODES and SECRETS section to see how to open them.
    BACKUP: This screen has four options:
    AUTO SAVE: By default this is OFF.  Turn it ON to automatically save 
    any game settings, and to record the PLAY TIME clock.
    LOAD will load data, and SAVE will save current data.
    Also on the BACKUP screen is the PLAY TIME clock.  When this reaches 
    certain times, new options will open up.  NOTE: This will not go up if 
    you are in the OPTIONS screen, or the game is in DEMO MODE, this is 
    allotted GAME TIME!
    When the game is paused, you can continue the game, or ADJUST CONSOLE.  
    ADJUST CONSOLE will adjust where the score meter, energy bars and 
    remaining lives indicators are on the screen.  NOTE: The play time will 
    NOT go up if the game is on pause.  There is also a built in "screen 
    saver" for Ikaruga.  The screen will go dim after several minutes.
    The premise of Ikaruga is that your ship has two sides that can be 
    changed at any time.  This is key to survival in the game.  Let's go 
    over the basics:
    There are two sides of your ship.  A WHITE SIDE and a BLACK SIDE.   By 
    default, you can switch sides with the "B" button on your controller.
    Your WHITE side will fire a WHITE shot, and your BLACK side will fire a 
    BLACK shot.  The default shot button is the "A" button on your 
    controller.  If you tap the "A" button you will fire a single shot, if 
    you hold down the "A" button, you will get an automatic double shot.
    There are two different colored enemies in the game as well, WHITE 
    enemies and BLACK enemies.  
    White enemies shoot WHITE projectiles and BLACK enemies shoot BLACK 
    Now that we have the basics under control, let's go over the way the 
    sides of your ship work:
    In the game, if your ship is on the WHITE side, and a WHITE enemy 
    shoots WHITE bullets or fires a WHITE laser at you, your ship's WHITE 
    shield will absorb the shots and put it in your POWER GAUGE (the meter 
    on the lower left-hand side of the screen).  Conversely, if your ship 
    is on the BLACK side, and a BLACK enemy shoots BLACK bullets or fires a 
    BLACK laser at you, your ship's BLACK shield will absorb the shots and 
    put it in your POWER GAUGE.
    As long as there is at least one box filled in the POWER GAUGE, you can 
    fire a powerful HOMING LASER.  The homing laser can be anywhere from 
    one to twelve lasers that will lock on to enemies.  For every box on 
    the POWER GAUGE that is filled with absorbed energy, you can fire one 
    homing laser.  Note that the gauge is universal, there is no WHITE 
    gauge or BLACK gauge, it's all the same gauge.  However, when you fire 
    the homing laser (set up as either A+B buttons together, the "R" 
    trigger, or the "C" button on some controllers), the side of your ship 
    will determine the color of your homing laser.
    The bar below your score (usually has a small orange/red bar on it) is 
    the enemy strength gauge.  This shows how much damage the enemy will 
    take.  The bar starts out at a specific color (with bosses having 
    multiple colored gauges).  When the bar is all RED, the enemy or boss 
    is defeated.
    A BLACK projectile hits your WHITE ship.
    A WHITE projectile hits your BLACK ship.
    You run into any object, including enemies.
    There are a couple of things to know about two-player mode.  First, 
    bosses (end of level enemies) take more hits to kill than in one-player 
    mode.  Second, your ships can "bump" into each other.  In two-player 
    mode you can actually move the other person's ship by merely bumping 
    into it.  Since your ships cannot occupy the same space, you can 
    accidentally bump the other player's ship into a wall or enemy fire.
    A useful strategy for two-player mode is to have one ship block shots 
    of a specific color while the other ship shoots in the opposite color 
    of the enemy.  This is very useful when fighting bosses.  For example, 
    on the stage one boss, one player can block the white shots from the 
    boss, and cover the other player that can fire its black shots at the 
    The color of your shot is incredibly important.
    If you fire a BLACK shot at a BLACK enemy the strength of the shot is 
    normal.  Same with if you hit a WHITE enemy with a WHITE shot.
    In Ikaruga, enemies are weak against their opposite colors.  So, if you 
    fire a WHITE shot at a BLACK enemy, you will do twice the amount of 
    damage you would normally do.  So if an enemy is WHITE, you can fire a 
    BLACK shot at them to do double damage.
    This point award is given based on chains of enemies hit.  The chain 
    will start when you hit three enemies in a row of the same color.  In 
    the upper left hand corner, there is a chain display.  The chain will 
    continue ONLY if all three colors are the same.  For example, you can 
    hit three white enemies to start the chain, and then three black 
    enemies to continue the chain.  You could chain three white enemies, 
    then another three white enemies, then three black ones to continue the 
    A successful chain is like this:
    (B = BLACK, W=WHITE)
    B, B, B, W, W, W, B, B, B, B, B, B, W, W, W; W, W, W, B, B, B, B, B, B, 
    W, W, W.
    In the example there is always a chain of three, three black, three 
    white.  As long at the chain display has three of the same color, you 
    will get credit for the chain.  The chain is broken once the string of 
    three is broken:
    B, B, B, W, W, W, B, B, W (chain broken)
    For every chain, you will rack up extra points for the chain.  Here is 
    the point value:
    1 CHAIN: 100 points
    2 CHAIN: 200 points
    3 CHAIN: 400 points
    4 CHAIN: 800 points
    5 CHAIN: 1600 points
    6 CHAIN: 3200 points
    7 CHAIN: 6400 points
    8 CHAIN: 12800 points
    MAX CHAIN: 25600 points
    Every chain after MAX CHAIN will be 25,600 points each.
    When you reach a boss (a large, end-of-stage enemy), there is a timer 
    on the upper-right part of the screen.  When the timer reaches zero, 
    the boss will leave, and you get no bonus.  The point value for the 
    boss is determined by the amount of time left on the timer multiplied 
    by 10,000.  The faster you destroy the boss, the more points you get.  
    At the end of every stage, you are awarded a "grade" on your 
    performance.  There are many factors determining your grade.  The most 
    important factors however are:
    Your maximum chain for the stage.
    Your boss repulse time (how quickly you defeated the boss).
    How many bullets you absorbed.
    If you got through the stage without dying.
    Whether or not you used your homing laser.
    The rankings range from "C" to "A++".  I have not seen a rank below "C" 
    If you go through a stage without firing a single shot and only 
    absorbing enemy shots, you will be awarded the rank of "DOT EATER!"
    Your ship is actually a lot smaller than it appears to be.  This 
    section will go over "hit area", a big factor in this, and many other 
    What is hit area?  "Hit area" in a nutshell is the area of your ship 
    that a bullet or any other projectile must penetrate for your ship to 
    be destroyed.
    Here's how it works (and please excuse my poor excuse for ASCII 
    Let's say for simplicity's sake that this box is your ship:
    |          |
    |          |
    |          |
    |          |
    |          |
    Now, let's say that the smaller box in the center is your "hit area".
    |          |
    |   +--+   |
    |   |  |   |
    |   +--+   |
    |          |
    Bullets and other enemies can graze the outside of the hit area.  It is 
    when a bullet, enemy, or object penetrates the "hit area" that the game 
    registers the "hit", and your ship is destroyed.
    For example, let's use the "O" to represent a bullet:
    In the below example, a bullet looks like it hit your ship, but in 
    reality, you will not lose a life as long as the bullet does not 
    penetrate the "hit area":
    | O        |
    |   +--+   |
    |   |  |   |
    |   +--+   |
    |          |
    |          |
    |   +--+   |
    |   | O|   |
    |   +--+   |
    |          |
    In Ikaruga, the hit area is the small area in the exact center of your 
    The amount of time it takes to change sides (say from the white to 
    black side of your ship) is approximately 1/8th of 1 second OR about 
    7.5 frames.  ("FRAMES" is referring to the number of frames the game 
    runs in one second.  In Ikaruga, the game runs 60 frames per second, so 
    the time it takes you to switch sides is approximately 7.5 frames.)
    This will go over basic strategy and boss strategy of each stage.  If 
    you are the type of person who would rather go through the game and 
    figure things out on your own, please skip down to the next section.
    Remember that you will need to alter your strategy accordingly based on 
    the level of difficulty you are playing the game on.  In NORMAL mode, 
    bullets come out of destroyed enemies, as opposed to EASY mode where 
    that does not happen.  The big difference between the difficulty levels 
    is how fast the ships move and the amount of bullets they fire at you.  
    The higher the difficulty level, the faster the enemy ships move and 
    the firepower they throw at you increases dramatically.
    STAGE 1: "Ideal"
    This stage starts you off from your "mothership" and will take you to 
    the first enemy base.
    As you fire through the first wave of enemies, you will see the stage 
    name and description (in Japanese).
    You will quickly notice that the enemies are organized in patterns.  
    For example six white enemies from the right, then six on the left.  
    Only by memorizing the colors and locations of the enemies will you be 
    able to create successful chains.
    Charge your Power Gauge when you can.  It's good to keep it max 
    whenever possible, as it is handy for getting out of tight situations, 
    or dealing out a powerful attack at a large enemy (like a boss).
    (strategy point: "X" pattern)
    You'll notice that a white enemy will be on the right and a black enemy 
    will be on the left (or visa-versa), and they will both be firing at 
    you.  Remember that the enemy will be dealt double damage if you hit 
    them with their opposite color.  Use this to your advantage by using 
    the opposite color against them while the other ship in the other 
    corner charges your power gauge.  You'll see this pattern in STAGE 2 as 
    +--+       +--+
    | B|       |W | <-enemies
    +--+       +--+
      ||     / /
      ||    / /  <-white enemy fires laser/bullets
      ||   / /     black enemy will fire at angle bypassing your ship
      ||  / /      while you deal out double damage
      |W| <- your ship fires white
    STAGE 1 BOSS: 
    This boss looks like a swordman.  It has a white sword and a black 
    Boss Phase 1 - Sword
    Dodge the white shots while shooting with black.  If you have a max 
    gauge you can shoot your black homing laser now, and take it out with 
    one shot if you desire.
    Boss Phase 2 - Shield
    Dodge the black shots and fire with white.  There is a larger break 
    (like a path) between the thin lines of the bullets, so you'll want to 
    stay in that area.
    Boss Phase 3 - Bits
    The boss has small satellites (which I call "bits" because they remind 
    me of the "bits" from Mobile Suit Gundam, but I'm rambling now) that 
    will explode in a circle of bullets.  After the second explosion of 
    black bits, the swordman mech will fire circular seeking lasers.  Keep 
    in mind it may fire from three seeking lasers to five depending on the 
    difficulty level you play.  You can switch with the bits (be on white 
    for the white bits, and then switch) as well.
    STAGE 2: "Trial"
    Stage two starts off over a city.  As you progress over the city you 
    will reach an underground base.
    (strategy point: pinpoint accuracy)
    Remember that you can tap the fire button (as opposed to holding it 
    down) to fire a lone single shot.  Use this to accurately pinpoint 
    specific colored enemies to rack up the chain bonuses.
    When you get through the first section of the base, you will need to 
    fire through black and white "blocks" (they appear to have grating on 
    the top) to make your way through.  Remember to switch your ships color 
    whenever necessary.
    You will need to switch colors a lot to get to the boss of the stage.
    This boss has two cores.  A black core and a white core.  Both cores 
    are covered by a shield.  The cores are the weak points of the boss.
    The shield will move when the same color is fired on it.  So for the 
    shield with white markings on it, the white shot will move the shield 
    down exposing the weak point.  Once you have moved the shield exposing 
    the weak point(s), you must maneuver between the shield covering and 
    the core and shoot at the core.  Be warned that the shield will slowly 
    creep up behind you to cover back up the core.  Use homing lasers on 
    the cores to quickly defeat the boss.  As usual the white core side 
    will fire white bullets, and the black core side will fire black 
    bullets.  You can play it safe and use black bullets on the black core 
    (and conversely, white bullets on the white core), but the boss will 
    take twice as long to defeat.  A good strategy is to absorb bullets of 
    one color, open up the core of the opposite color, and launch your 
    homing lasers at the core.
    STAGE 3: "Faith"
    Oy, this level is tough.  The biggest challenge in this stage is 
    learning the timing of the enemies and the patterns of the enemies.
    One thing that I will warn you about the stage is that lasers can push 
    your ship.  Say you are on your white side, and a thick white laser 
    shoots at you.  The white laser's energy will push your ship in that 
    direction.  If you're not careful, your ship will collide with a wall. 
    A ring made up of gun turrets circle your ship.  You must destroy all 
    the turrets to defeat the boss.  Use the circling platforms that are 
    circling around the middle of the boss to block the incoming bullets.  
    Your homing laser is invaluable here, as it will allow you to hit 
    turrets behind your ship.  When about 75% of the turrets are destroyed, 
    the center circle will shoot out lasers.  The easiest way to do this is 
    switch with the laser color and fire your homing shots when full.
    STAGE 4: "Reality"
    This is arguably the hardest stage in the game.  You will come across a 
    large base (it looks like a satellite of some kind), and you must fight 
    your way to the core of this large satellite.  I will break down this 
    stage into sections:
    SECTION 1 - Getting to the satellite
    You must survive getting to the actual satellite first.  The only real 
    strategy is to quickly learn the patterns of the enemies and attack 
    accordingly.  Unfortunately, you only get better on this stage by 
    replaying it lots of times.
    SECTION 2 - Satellite
    The white satellite core will shoot out two lines of bullets while 
    protective walls and enemies circle it.  To dodge the lines of bullets, 
    stay as one color (black or white) and maneuver in between the opposite 
    shot color.  Like I've said about this stage, you will only get better 
    by practicing this stage (or playing this stage lots of times).  
    Eventually the white core will open up.  It will shoot lasers out of 
    it, and you can absorb the laser shot and fire your homing laser at it 
    to kill it quickly.
    SECTION 3 - Gun Turrets
    You will fight your way through waves of enemies until you get to the 
    gun turrets.  After you defeat a line of small turrets coming out of 
    "turret generators" off the left and the right side, you will see the 
    main turrets.  You can go to the bottom of the screen and shoot the 
    guns that are behind you.  Once done with this section you will go 
    through yet another wave of enemies, on the way to the boss.
    Before you can hit the boss, you must open up at least one of the 
    passages to the core (the large white circle in the middle of the 
    boss).  The passages are covered with white gates.  There are four 
    gates in the order of white, black, white, black, and they must be 
    opened before you can even hit the core.  Note that only ONE of the 
    gates needs to be fully opened before you can shoot the core.  There is 
    no easy workaround for this boss.  You must remember to shoot your 
    homing laser when you can, as you will not get too many chances to hit 
    the center core before the boss rotates again and the core is 
    The final stage has several waves of enemies before you have to fight 
    three bosses in a row.
    This is where you want to be the same color as the enemies as the 
    amount of bullets they spray out are almost impossible to dodge.
    STAGE 5 - BOSS 1:
    This red monstrosity has four alien heads, two white, two black.
    The first boss pattern will fire a criss-cross pattern of lasers.  Stay 
    in the black or white part and absorb the shots.  Once full, fire your 
    homing laser.  You must defeat two of the heads to go to the next boss 
    The next boss phase will be to defeat the remaining heads.  The boss 
    will fire guided lasers that follow your ship.  You can absorb the 
    trails behind these lasers, but unfortunately, this battle will take 
    lots of patience.
    STAGE 5 - BOSS 2:
    HARD BOSS AHEAD!  Okay, here is the pattern.  The boss sphere in the 
    center will fire black seeking lasers on the black side, and white 
    seeking lasers on the white side.
    Pattern: White side shoots, your ship on white side, absorb white 
    shots, which puts you at energy max for your homing laser, fire homing 
    laser, switch to black side, repeat pattern.
    You must match the boss shot for shot, and if your timing is off, you 
    will die.  This boss takes lots of concentration and patience!
    You cannot fire.  You must dodge the bullets from the final boss for 60 
    seconds.  You can also use your shield to avoid any fire, but the 
    bullets will come faster than you can change sides on your shield.  If 
    you don't know how to dodge bullets, you'll be in a lot of trouble on 
    this stage.
    When you play Ikaruga for the first time, you will only have 3 credits 
    to start.  For every HOUR of play time you put in, you will get another 
    credit.  Once you reach 9 credits (6 hours of play time), the next hour 
    you play, the game will be on free play.
    Special options will open once certain requirements are met.  Here are 
    the requirements for the four hidden options (from top to bottom):
    Beat trial mode without continuing OR play time is over 5 hours.
    This will open up Gallery 1.  There are 17 pictures in this gallery.
    Clear the game on any level (you can use continues) OR play time is 
    over 10 hours.
    This will open up Gallery 2.  There are 6 character profiles in this 
    Beat EASY MODE without continuing OR play time is over 15 hours.
    This will open up the Sound Test.
    Beat NORMAL MODE without continuing OR play time is over 20 hours.
    This will open up GAME MODE where you can choose between NAOMI or 
    NAOMI (the Dreamcast arcade board) will be the Arcade version of 
    PROTOTYPE is nearly the same game, but you don't have as much 
    firepower, and you can not store up bullets to release a homing laser.
    Pop in your Ikaruga disk into the CD-ROM drive on your PC.  There are 
    five wallpapers for you.  All in BMP format, at a resolution of 
    There is a town in Japan named "Ikaruga" in Nara.  Nara is east of 
    Heian and south of Mt. Hiei near the Yamato Plain.
    The kanji for Ikaruga means "mottled dove".  Mottled as in shades of 
    black and white.  Sounds like a direct reference to the ship in the 
    game.  Thanks to Jason Newton for clearing that up for me!
    Numbers in parenthesis are footnotes.  The footnotes are near the 
    bottom of the page.  This is as close to English I can get with the 
    translation.  If you have any issues with the translation, please let 
    me know:
    "HOURAI"(1) was once small nation at the end of the mainland.
    But now, this nation calls itself "Shintsusha"(2).  They have gotten 
    "the power of God" and begin to conquer other nations by military 
    This incident was caused by the "Ubusubagami Oukinokai" which Hourai 
    Tenrou(3) dug from the ground several years ago.  Hourai was able to 
    perform miracles after he discovered the "Ubusubagami Oukinokai".
    An organization(4) called "Tenkaku", which is a force of freedom(5), 
    went to battle with Hourai.  The Tenkaku used a fighter called the 
    "Hitekkai".  The "Tenkaku" where quickly annihilated.
    However, a young man named Shinra survived.  He went to fight against 
    Hourai again, and was shot down.
    He landed in the village of Ikaruga, where an elderly man named 
    "Kazemori" helped him.  Shinra recovered from his injuries and vowed to 
    fight against Hourai again.  Kazemori entrusted the fighter "Ikaruga" 
    to Shinra to fight against Hourai.
    (1) Hourai is in Honshu, the main island of Japan.  There are four 
    islands of Japan, Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu and Shikoku.  Honshu also 
    has Tokyo and Kyoto on it.
    (2) Shintsusha is a person can talk to God.
    (3) Hourai Tenrou is obviously named after the area the Ubusubagami 
    Oukinokai was found.  "Hourai" is the family name.
    (4) "Organization" in the military sense.
    (5) "Force of freedom" is basically the Tenkaku fighting against their 
    oppressor, Hourai.  The feeling is that no man should have the power of 
    God.  Of course, with the power of God, you become very difficult to 
    Q: Is Ikaruga the sequel to Radiant Silvergun?
    A: Maybe.  There are a couple of things in Ikaruga to suggest it might 
    One clue is when you start up the game.  On the screen it reads:
    project  RS2
    RS2 cold be "Radiant Silvergun 2".
    The other clue is that the final boss of Ikaruga is a yellow diamond.  
    It looks exactly like the diamond from the end of Radiant Silvergun.  
    In fact, when you reach the diamond, the battle against the diamond is 
    exactly the same as the battle against the diamond in Radiant 
    Silvergun.  Basically dodge bullets for 60 seconds (you cannot fire).  
    Also, in the ending of Radiant Sivergun, the diamond crash-lands on 
    Earth, and it appears to be inactive.  Based on the story of Ikaruga, 
    could that diamond be the "Ubusubagami Oukinokai" that Hourai Tenrou 
    dug from the ground?
    To CJayC for hosting my FAQs over on GameFAQs.
    To Jason Newton for the translation of "Ikaruga".
    To Treasure for making such a great game.  You guys rock.
    Warning! The big enemy is approaching at full throttle.
    According to the data, it is identified as "Butsutekkai"
    There is no refuge.  Unable to avoid firing.

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