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  1. Art by: toloveL Before I start and go anywhere further, please be aware this will be a very long text, and there's a lot to cover. Still, it was an exciting adventure, and it will be rewarding to read it to the end. This is also from my Perspective, but since there are other people involved, they might share theirs as well. Keep that in mind. This is also a very compressed version of the story, since it was a long one. I have detailed everything into a 20-page document with more details, but I still didn't have the time to proper edit it. So, I might do it later. Earlier this year I was bored, and since I always loved Pokémon and Pokémon events, I started to research and read more about Pokémon archivism. This ended up with i getting to know about the first ever Pokémon distributed via event: The Legendary Offer Mew, from April 1996. I am sure many of you know about it already, but for those who don't: In April 1996, the first ever Pokémon distribution event was hosted by the Japanese magazine, “CoroCoro”. The event was made as a prize-draw where chosen players sent their Pokémon Red or Green cartridge to GameFreak, after they correctly answered a question from the magazine prompt. 20 players from this first Pokémon distribution were selected as winners to receive the first ever Mythical Pokémon: Mew. By the end of CoroCoro’s contest, more than 78,000 players had applied to win a Mew. In the end, as promised, 20 players were chosen and have been given one Mew each. Due to its scarcity, the “Legendary Offer” Mew is considered by most Pokémon Event archivists to be one of the rarest Pokémon ever distributed. Although many sources, including Bulbapedia, state that the winners were named in the July 1996 issue of the magazine, the exact names and other details of these winners cannot be found online, as of the time of writing this report. It is said that GameFreak generated only 20 Mew to be distributed, by-hand, on a computer software that they developed just for this event. It has been speculated that the very first CoroCoro Mew event was made as a last-minute publicity stunt, due to the unexpected, massive popularity the original Gen 1 Pokémon games received after many Japanese kids discovered Mew through glitches. This specific Mew was coded by Mr. Shigeki Morimoto on his own PC, and then traded with the winner cartridges using a regular link cable. According to Bulbapedia, this specific “Legendary Offer” Mew… was level 5 only had move, “Pound” when traded over gen 2, would always hold a bitter berry had an OT (Original Trainer) of コロコロ or, “CoroCoro,” in English. had an ID number that ranged from 00001 to 00020. To common knowledge, only 20 of those were ever given away by Game Freak. which made this search exceedingly difficult. Unlike modern Pokémon cartridges, Gen 1 and 2 games had the save data that only lasted as long as the physical battery in each cartridge. Once the battery in the cartridge died, the save with all of its progress, unfortunately, was lost forever. The only speculated ways that a Mew could be found in modern times would have been one of the following: If a player had the proper technology to back up their save data, externally, and either change the battery on their cartridge or send the .sav file to a computer. -If a player traded Mew to Pokémon Stadium for safe keeping. -If a player traded Mew to other Pokémon Gen 1 and 2 games while they changed their original game’s cartridge battery. -Through cloning or other glitch exploits. -If a player’s original save file with Mew somehow lasted all these 26 years with the original battery in-tact. However, this would clearly be the most unlikely way of finding one of these 20 Mew… I then went on a journey to search for this Mew. Or at least, what happened to one of those Mew, which for me held immense historical importance for the franchise. Long story short: I found a reddit post on r/lostmedia from another user, called Viskeroo. He was dead serious in finding this Mew, and i decided to help. Keep in mind this post was pretty much dead for 2 months until I found it. I posted a reply and wait. The post itself was not of much use in the start, there were a lot of people saying stuff, and even someone that claimed to have lots of Green Japanese cartridges to look for this Pokémon. I ve kept in contact with the original poster, and we made our own personal research on the matter. I ended up in a thread in Project Pokémon from ajxpk, which ended up giving more data on the entire thing. Fast forward some days, and I decided to look for the names of the winners. Most of sources said they were revealed in the July 1996 issue of the CoroCoro Magazine. And then, I dived into a CoroCoro archive of digitalized magazines with an extremely detailed use of Google Lens and help of a friend from Japan. I didn't find anything at all, that was the harsh way to find that most of the sources got it wrong, and the names of the winners were never shown in the July 1996 CoroCoro. I even look on other issues, but it also returned nothing. My friend explained that Japan is strict about sharing the identities of children, which may have been a possible explanation for the lack of information about the winners in CoroCoro. By May, I even tried to contact Dr. Lava from YouTube and Twitter. Although Dr. Lava replied, the search went cold again. The original OP from the r/lostmedia post even returned and we discussed resuming the search or trying to contact the CoroCoro publisher, but, again, it ended up not going anywhere, since the language barrier was too great. And then everything changed, on July the 14th, 2022 My comment on the original r/lostmedia thread had received a new reply from a user, called u/AkonnWalker. Akonn went on detail about how he bought a Pokémon Green cartridge in Barcelona, Spain on late 2020. In early January 2022 Akonn noticed the game had a save, and then started to mess with it. He noticed a ''weird Mew'' which his friend said it could be special, since Mew were not easy to obtain on the 90s. He also thought the sprite was very funny, and so he took a picture of it and uploaded to Imgur: About it he said: ''After some investigation and asking in forums it kind of looks like one of those mews you are looking for, i got the game copy and box from an old market here in barcelona, if you guys want more information feel free to ask!'' Akonn found the thread on r/lostmedia because he was on his own personal research on the topic of old special Mew. At this time, I could not believe my own eyes. Looking up the ID number and OT it seemed to be a perfect match! If it was correct, this could be the 16th Mew given out on that event. I immediately tried to contact Akonn, and for my surprise we got in touch pretty quickly. We talked a little about the purchase, and the history of the cartridge. He also provided pictures of the receipt of the purchase, as well from the game case. (Since it was paid for using an app, via money transfer. There was no physical receipt, but he found the purchase history) Akonn made a detailed post about its findings on PokéCommunity. And, soon enough, other users from the forum were attracted to the thread, all of them seemed to have the same idea as myself— This Mew could, indeed, be it. The forum users were also keen on the idea of making a backup of the save file and dumping it on the internet. It was for sure, very important to have a backup to preserve the save. So, the next step in this investigation was to back up the save data. Which Akonn did, by buying a cartridge reader. He bought a Jrodrigo Flasher, as indicated in the PokéCommunity forum by other users. This was a piece of equipment that could read, and back up save files from Game Boy Cartridges. Despite the excitement, I was not entirely convinced that it was a genuine Mew but was also not-so-sure that it was fake, either. I was at least sure that Akonn’s posts were older than the initial one at r/lostmedia, which seemed to help verify Akonn’s story. As they chatted, it was clear that, if the Mew was not legit, it probably was not Akonn’s fault, but from whoever previously had owned the cartridge. This was because everything Akonn said matched up; the dates matched up pretty well, the events he was describing were also too specific to be made up easily. It all seemed to match up. By Akonn’s original post on Reddit, I could reach some Pokémon archivists that were mentioned there. The first one he tried to contact was Mewisme700 on Instagram. Her work is amazing, and she kindly pointed me to talk with her friend, known in the community as toloveL. I found toloveL on twitter, and immediately fell in love with her work, after extensively reading through her posts, Tiktok and other stuff to make sure that she was the right person. She’s very interested in Pokémon preservation and was absolutely the best one to reach in this case. She had previous experience with preservation as part of her work to preserve the memory of the Pokémon Center New York City. toloveL was interested in helping to determine if the Mew was legit, and also put me in contact with other two archivists and active members of the community that could also help. Those were Gridelin and Sabresite. In no time a discord chat was set up, and we all started to do our best to verify the Mew in question. Akonn sent the save file to Gridelin, which started to work right away. Gridelin also asked Ajxpk, to help. With that, the team was assembled. (I am sure most of you know those community members very well, so I don't need to properly introduce them, right?) Firsthand, nothing on the cartridge seems suspect, or on Mew. The team agreed that hacked Pokémon on that save file would make the chances of the Mew being hacked very high. But they could not find any hacked monsters in that file. The data was also checking with what we had of info about the real ones. But in the end, we did not have another Mew from that event to compare to, so it was hard to tell. It was agreed that Ajxpk could help to verify the save, and possibly have some notion of any abnormality on it, and after it could be possible to bring all the evidence together, and at least try to say for sure what the team had been dealing with. Here the group also noted that Mew was played with. A lot. It was level 100 and had learned HM moves. It adds as interesting evidence, because that’s exactly what a kid would do with a Mew. The Licktung Arc Ok, so the >Licktung< part of the research is not exactly fully relevant for the Mew case. Anyways, it was such an interesting part of the case that it had to be put here. Enjoy: After looking up the save file, the only thing that seemed suspicious was a certain Lv 100 Licktung on the party. Gridelin’s software (he was using PkHex to analyze the Pokémon data) was not able to read Licktung’s OT name. Displaying in its place a ‘’*’’’. This could be a bad sign. The reason the team looked it up, as explained earlier is that any hacked or suspicious Pokémon in the save file would hurt the Mew chances to be legit. So it had to be done. The quick conclusion was that it could be a hacked Licktung, but in the end it seemed to be just PkHex acting up because of its Japanese name, since when looked at in-game, nothing seemed wrong. The group had ruled that out, believing instead that was PkHex not reading the Japanese characters on the OT’s name. That’s when things get weird… And this search goes to places none of us, never in our lives expected it to go. First, Licktung here is at Lv 100. This is unusual for this kind of save, because there are no real reasons to train a Licktung up to this level. (At least not from the team’s point of view, but nothing can be said for sure) toloveL then explained that Licktung was kind of a meme in Japan at the time, and it's for the same reasons it was a meme here. It's a weird Pokémon that licks things, and has a big tongue. You know. The thing that caught the group’s attention the most in this Pokémon, however, was its name. It was not Licktung’s Japanese name on it, but rather a nickname. It was: なめぞう when translated it goes as ‘’Namezou’’. When you google Namezou, you end up finding that… That’s the name of a hentai artist. And I say: This is important for the search, because after some dirty research, we just found that Namezou's earlier work uploaded on the western internet dated back from 2003. This don't exactly match up with the Mew's age, so that's something. At that point in time, the Mew Recovery Team was in standby mode. The group need to wait Ajxpk word on the matter, and they were absent at the time. So, me, toloveL, Akonn and Gridelin continued to investigate Licktung for the time being. Eventually however, toloveL found out on the Japanese web that it seems this name was pretty popular in Licktung for some reason. She found many videos, screenshots, of plenty of Licktung having this same nickname in many games. Then it hit the team: A YouTube video confirmed the origin of this Licktung: In Pokémon Green, this is the very Licktung a player can get via trade on route 18… This means, this Pokémon was given by an NPC. This also meant that Game Freak named an NPC Pokémon after a hentai artist, Japan memes it to this day and the west did not find out about it somehow. The team burst some laughs finding this out. Anyways, the fact that this Licktung was leveled up to max, still meant that our boy Namezou here was used, and a lot by its original owner. This would match with the Licktung meme in Japan, that very few westerns had known until now. This could be evidence in favor of the cartridge not being tempered with. Just played by some Japanese kid. It's absolutely possible the kid knew about the Licktung meme, and found it funny to have it on its party with a maxed level. For the team, that’s a pretty believable behavior from a kid playing with this cartridge, in the late 90s. We then waited Ajxpk word on the matter. But at the end of the Licktung investigation the team agreed that the Mew could very well be fake but still, lots of very small and specific things would be very hard to think of if you were to fake it. Also, there was still not a good reason the group could think on why someone would do that, and not take the chance to make easy cash, for example. In the end of the day, those were just conjecturing the team was throwing around, and investigating. Everyone agreed Ajxpk word was very much needed to continue the investigation. But in the meantime, Gridelin and Akonn talked about the origins of the cartridge, who sold it, where it was sold, etc… As stated earlier in the text, Akonn provided the information that it was bought in some kind of flea market, by a guy with a French accent, and it was located in Mercat de San Antoni in Barcelona, Spain. Akonn also said that as far as he knows, this seller bought the game from a Japanese couple he knew. I asked about the seller’s contact info, but Akonn said he did not have it, given the nature of this kind of flea market. At this point, the team was not 100% sure, but the evidence was leaning towards the Mew being legit. The group however, never excluded the idea it could be a clone, this is important to have in mind as well. The paper saga, Enter Ajxpk! Later that week, Ajxpk joined the team and began their own analysis of the Mew data and save file. But they already pointed out most of the old events had a sticker that helped to identify it was part of an event. Akonn’s cartridge was missing. Right away, Ajxpk stated that it would be impossible to know for sure just with the data the team has. They needed more concrete evidence, so they started to ponder about the physical stuff that the event could have. The first thing was the sticker. Another piece of physical evidence that could help, would be an instruction paper. Ajxpk told the team that back in the day of those old events, participants would get instruction paperwork, containing messages and overall information that could be useful. The october 1997 event had a paper that surfaced on Twitter in 2021. Ajxpk showed the team, as a means to know what they should look for: Immediately I started to run through the pictures Akonn sent earlier, the box pictures, the packaging, the cartridge, and also questioned him about any suspicious piece of paper he could have missed. But the hopes were pretty dim at that time. Ajxpk even stated that he believed that could be the case of the Mew being traded over, and the physical evidence being lost. But still, it was not possible to verify its authenticity without the physical evidence for him. Akonn was not at his home at the time, and we needed him to go home and see if there was any suspicious paper in the packaging. But eventually, He remembered something. He said that actually, he remembered a piece of paper that came in the packaging with the game, one that had a small screenshot of a Pokémon party on it, and Japanese writing. At the time, he had ruled it as just a merchandising pamphlet. The next day Akonn sent a picture of the paper. Everyone was shocked, because at first glance, it matched exactly on what the team expected. It was pretty much degraded, but not yellowed which meant it was not exposed to sunlight, being all this time probably tucked inside the packaging. Thanks to toloveL's experience with preservation of old documents, and paperwork, the team could guide Akonn on how to properly handle the paper without daggering to destroy it. After all, it could very well be 26 years old! Akonn gave more details on how the paper was when he found it. According to him, it was inside the packaging, behind the booklet. In some cases, Andy put the paper inside the paper box, but that was not how it came with it. HE also reported a very small water damage on the booklet, but this did not affect the Mew paper in any way, according to him. Meanwhile, Ajxpk was scanning the image to text, so we could have total access to what was written on that paper. He noticed it was slightly different from the second letter. Me and toloveL were interested in knowing more about the differences between those two. That would be important do determine if the Mew paper could be a copy of the second one, or a mockery. Ajxpk was the first to bring up an incomplete sentence in the letter. It seems one of the instructions was missing a part, as if the person typing it just… forgot to continue it. The others also noticed the screenshot in Akonn’s paper was somewhat different from the other one. There was also an extra sentence in the second letter. The letter from October also continued the sentence our paper cut. Now, this could say anything. Probably the second letter would have a bit more work put into it, and maybe they decided to change something. Yet, some things seemed amiss. This made me decide to question Akonn again about the entirety of the paper’s timeline with him. But in the end, it was possible to verify Andy was not at home when Ajxpk brought the paper up, as stated earlier, and Andy spent the entirety of that night in a friend’s house at a party. Akonn had sent me a picture of him in the pool with his friends the night before. So... he did not temper with the paper, or at least he could not at that night. As far as I know, he was also very far away from home to be able to do that in one night. So, it was extremely unlikely Akonn had the time to fake something so specific during a party night. One could argue he could have faked it beforehand but given the second letter just emerged in early 2021, and he provided a receipt of the cartridge being bought in 2020, this was also extremely unlikely. The team also noticed wrinkles in the paper. This was first brought up by Sabersite. The wrinkles did not match with the paper being stored in a tiny box. toloveL said that by her work-related experience, those wrinkles could be the result of just movement. Taking the cartridge out of the box and putting it again on it could very well cause some wrinkles. There was at some point the idea of carbon dating the paper. But this tech is not easily accessible to normal, day-to-day civilian people. I tried to contact my fiancée, who is a chemistry student, and the labs from her university could have this tech accessible at their labs. Sadly, that was also not the case. It also could be that the paper was faked in 1996 or circa 1996, so the carbon dating would be futile. Sabresite asked a friend who speaks japanese to help with the text, there was a sentence that was cut, but the text seemed to be very natural. The differences with the second letter being the screenshot used in the August 96 paper, and the one used in the October, also the font seemed to be different and there was a space in a word, where it should not be. Then we thought to verify on how this paper could have been done. And this is another weird turn of events, but we ended up asking ourselves if this was typed in a typewriter. I ended up in a discord server of Typewriter enthusiasts. After some time, we ruled out the possibility of a typewriter. But it was indeed a very weird way to spend my late night Saturday, talking about typewriting for long hours. Shout outs to all the typewriters in the world. In a second analysis of the sentences in the paper, Ajxpk and toloveL made an astonishing discovery. There was a spelling error in the text, tha in their opinion was strong evidence of the paper not being written by GameFreak. The error was that they wrote セ instead of ゼ. For Ajxpk and toloveL this was very strong evidence of it not being real, since in their eyes it’s a typical error of someone not proficient in Japanese. And there comes the weirdness of it all: This could be very well a typo, and this also could indicate its legit, because the Mew event is well documented as a very rushed thing. But assuming it is fake: Why do typos if you are trying to fake something so specific? Why give yourself all this work for nothing, if this Mew never surfaced on the internet before, in sites such eBay? How would they fake the paper if they had nothing to go by, since the second letter just surfaced in 2021? Yeah... Yet, the evidence against the authenticity was too much to be ignored. The typos, the cutted sentences, the weird spacing in words, etc… That’s a pretty much stalemate on the investigation. Well, there was only one way to know for sure: Asking GameFreak themselves. Asking GameFreak: Lickgunt Strikes Back We all agreed on our last resort: There was only one way to find out about this mew authenticity, and that was try and reach for its possible parents: GameFreak. They could very well refuse to tell us or could simply say it was none of our business if this 26-year-old paper was real. But it was our only option, and we chose Junichi Masuda, the man himself to approach. Because not only he was very old in the company, but he also is very active on twitter, interacting even with me on many occasions. We were waiting for the team to give their OK on the matter, so everyone would be in the same page. That's when toloveL noticed something weird on the Leichtung from before... Namezou, our Licktung boy, had a very weird HP bar in Akonn’s save data, which sadly went under the team’s radar all that time! Namezou, the Hentai Licktung, had only 10 Health Points. This is… Unusual, at best. ToloveL also gathered visual evidence that this was not a visual bug, and Namezou in fact had only 10 functional HP. Namezou, ironically, had concrete signs of being hacked. Or at least tempered with in some way. Sabresite theorized that it was a glitchmon. TLDR: You could glitch your game doing weird stuff to generate a specific Pokémon. Sabresite detailed that it happened because of memory checks or shared variables being absent from Gen 1 and 2 game codes. But, Glitchmon should have its HP fixed when stored in a box… And toloveL did just that, and just as the team suspected, it was fixed. Sabresite concluded that the Mew could only be hacked through a Glitchmon. The abnormalities in Mew’s data could be reminiscent of it. Sabresite also suspected this was a ‘’ACE hacking using Licktung’’, which explained why Licktung was acting weird. This could not explain the HP however. Licktung traded in route 18 should be at level 37, with 120 HP. The team was assuming the glitch leveled up Namezou to 100, but the hacker forgot to fix the HP as well, in result staying low. But it should be 120. Still, the Licktung was definitively messed up, this could not be ignored. Sabresite said he would look at the Licktung DVs once he had the time to do so, but he was also very determined that Licktung proved Mew was indeed fake. However, he did believe the letter was very hard to fake. The group theorizes that even if a picture of the letter did not exist, some kind of description of how it would look, could have made its way into the Japanese internet back in the day. It was almost impossible to verify at the moment, the language barrier is too much. But… Gridelin came back with a question: ‘’What if it was not Mew, but another glitched Pokémon the original trainer got from another player to complete the dex?’’. In Gridelin’s mind this could not be all the evidence needed to disprove Mew. It just did not made logistic sense in his mind. He also pointed out that the paper being fake was very weird. The person faking it should have known how it was supposed to look in the first place. Another good point is that, due to code problems, once you glitch your game, the hall of fame should have been disturbed. This did not happen in this save as well. Gridelin also stated that, there were no leftovers of previously tempered Pokémon in the save file. He could very well be wrong but stated that he refused to lose to the ‘’Licking hentai monster.’’ So, in his eyes… Mew still had a chance. The most compelling piece of evidence against it being faked, the team had, is the letter being so close to the twitter one from 2021, with people supposedly not having access to it before that. We then, made the tweet to Masuda. toloveL was the one chose to this task, since her profile was way more professional and Pokémon oriented than mine. At the time of writing, this tweet has gathered 815 likes, and 13 quote tweets. The japanese users seems to have the same exact opinion as us, and others seems to believe it. Masuda however, never replied to the tweet, nor any other way to contact him about the entire situation. We also had a very weird turn of events of a pornographic account tagging a Japanese account on our tweet. This other account seems to know something about the Mew, but when questioned by me, they said they could not help with the research. If i got a cent by every time pornography interfered with this research, id had 3 cents. Which is not much, but it's weird that it happened 3 times. The last evidence gathered by the team was a possible typo in a CoroCoro page from the July 1996 Issue. There, they wrongly referred to Mew was ‘’Miii’’. This was brought by a friend of mine, after he did his own digging on the matter. This could potentially be further evidence that a typo would not be so unheard of, especially in a private letter if it was in their own magazine. But given the investigation course, this came a bit too late. Still, worth mentioning. In conclusion: In the end, there’s no conclusive evidence gathered by the Mew Recovery Team (Aka Namezou Squad) to give a definitive answer on Mew’s legitimacy. There is compelling evidence to why it should be real: -The random and specific nature of it all. There’s never a good reason the Team could come up with on why someone would do all of this. Getting a Mew from other distributions, or the glitched one is just way more simpler. Also, why commit so much typos and errors if you are trying to fake something genuine? -The Mew never appearing in any auction site, excluding it was being faked for money -There’s no definitive answer on how the letter could be faked without having the second one to compare with, being that the second one only appeared online in earlier 2021, and the Mew was only discovered in 2022. -Aside from Licktung, the save data had no abnormalities. The hall of fame was intact, there were no leftovers of hacks, glitches or anything of that kind. -The typo in the CoroCoro magazine could prove that spelling errors could happen, and the letter was not immune to it. -lastly, the Mew’s data does not show any signs of being tempered with, asides from the oddly high IVs and the weird space in the OT name. -Every single expert that analyzed the save said there’s very few things that could imply the Mew is not legit. But there’s also very compelling evidence of it being fake: -The letter has a lot of errors. There's half of a sentence missing, there’s a spelling error, and a different font is used. -Even if Mew’s data is ok, one could argue this simply does not raise any relevant evidence to prove it’s legitimacy as well. -The space in the OT could very well be an error of a faker -The glitched Licktung is too much to ignore, even if the rest of the save is intact -Even after hours have passed, and the tweet has blown up, Masuda did not reply to it. His silence speaks tons of it. -The cartridge could very well be tempered with, since the battery survived for so long and no one could give a good explanation to that. -We can never know for sure if the previous, western owner tempered with that paper and or the cartridge. -Every single expert and Japanese proficient person that looked at the paper noted the weirdness of it pointing to it being written by a non-Japanese proficient person. -Every single expert that analyzed the save file concluded that there's nothing in it that speaks for it being legit. This is not all evidence the team gathered, nor it concludes the thoughts on the matter. But it makes a good point on how drawed the entire investigation is at the moment. The team went so far as to theorize that this could be a work of an ill intended kid. This Japanese kid from back in the day could have glitched this Mew, and wanted to use it to trade with other kids for their rare Pokémon. Going as far as to fake the letter for it having an authentic look. This does not explain how the kid got the letter’s information in the first place, nor how the glitched work. It's known that, if that’s the case, it involved a Hentai-named Licktung. If the team could replicate the method, this could be strong evidence. But this theory is just that, a theory, and it’s the best one the group could reach right now. The other, less detailed theory is that it was faked in the west by the previous owner and there’s no good explanation on why he would do that, nor how. That said, the team reached a consensus on letting it cold for now. Wait to see if anyone comes to the group with some answers, if Masuda notices the tweet. It’s simply not good to risk the work falling in the wrong hands to rush this. The early conclusion is that: No evidence we have now can prove anything, it's just speculation and conjectures. Every team member has their own hypothesis and thoughts, and they all agree that this is absolutely the weirdest Pokémon search ever done. If you, read all the way through and got here, thank you! If you could help us, please offer your thoughts! If this Mew is real, it's a very important piece of history! This text was in part, edited by toloveL. Thank you! ... I also want to thank from the bottom of my heart, every single soul involved in this case. We spent countless hours on this, and it was not easy! Thank you! I wish I could send you all a Gracidea flower bouquet to show how thankful I am. My sincere thank you to The Legendary Offer Mew Recovery Team: -toloveL -Gridelin -Sabresite -Akonn -Ajxpk
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