Released October 29, 2007, to much controversy, Manhunt 2 is very similar to the first game, yet not actually a direct sequel in terms of storyline. This time you take the role of Daniel Lamb, a man struggling to recover his past one clue at a time and to uncover the truth behind his involvement with a secretive and powerful organization known as The Project. They will stop at nothing to kill him to prevent any information from getting out, sending countless men to kill him, none of which have any sense of night vision and are easily duped by hiding in thin shadows cast by walls and other smaller objects. Manhunt 2 was a potentially great game butchered by the last-minute censoring Rockstar was forced to do. It was also banned in the United Kingdom, because UK has become known as the "nanny state" and hates everything.
Note: The Wii and PS2 versions are separate categories due to various differences, including enemy AI and placement differences.
Best time, Wii version: 1:00:39 by Keith 'The Quiet Man' Skomorowski on 2008-09-20, done in 15 segments.
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PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE MP4 VERSIONS OF THIS RUN FOR THE BEST LOOKING RESULTS.
Sorry about the caps fury, just has to get your attention and make sure you read that important message.
This is the chronological order in which the levels are completed (past/present timeline excluded):
3. Sexual Deviants
4. Red Light
5. Best Friends
6. Safe House
7. Bee's Honey Pot
9. Most Wanted
10. Ritual Cleansing
12. Broadcast Interrupted
13. Altered State
14. Domestic Disturbance
15. Personality Clash
When I thought about speedrunning this game, the first thing I did was make a list of the levels in order of the difficulty I had with them during my first play-through, also taking into account the amount of planning and restarting I'd have to do, just off the top of my head:
14. Red Light
13. Domestic Disturbance
11. Safe House
10. Sexual Deviants
9. Best Friends
8. Bee's Honey Pot
7. Ritual Cleansing
5. Altered State
4. Most Wanted
2. Broadcast Interrupted
1. Personality Clash
I've posted a revised list at the end of the comments. See if you can guess by what I say and the videos you watch what the revised list looks like and where each level winds up.
I have to angle the control stick just right after load screens in many places to avoid having it disappear and revealing me running into it like a glitched bad guy that I'm sure you've seen at least once in your many years of game playing.
That guy I have to fight hand to hand needed not to hit me at all, or else I'll stumble back and get hit by more punches.
I have to avoid that guy coming out of the door or else he'll swing and clock me in the back of the head, sending me stumbling forward and allowing him to do it again.
When it comes to climbing over that ledge, if I run any further and use the hole, a guard appears that chases you around and opens the doors you close.
Those last two guys you need to kill and hide in the shadows (I don't know why, given the situation) always seemed to start in different places and take different routes, and I could never figure out what determined either of them. Sometimes the first guy is all the way back around the corner. Not even making noise seems to get him over to where I need him to be. The way I do it seems to be the fastest way. If I had knocked a second time (after they are already in caution mode), it would alerted a guard to my location, causing them to see me.
The two guys behave differently almost every time I use the strategy to kill the crowbar guy. Sometimes they both come into the area where I am, sometimes the crowbar guy takes his sweet time turning around, sometimes he doesn't even come far enough before turning around and walking away.
After you come out of that loading screen after climbing the fence, your running ability is canceled out, which is why I'm sidestepping. The same goes for when I get into the house and the yellow flashback occurs.
Yes, the drugs are always in the 7th box you open. Here my biggest challenge, again, is not running into walls like an idiot while searching for them.
I can also kill those two guys either downstairs or on the main floor (where they break in) but in order to do so, I'd have to run all the way back downstairs for the 7th case, kill them, and then back up to the top floor to advance. That would be poor route planning on my part. And it's not guaranteed that I'll always get them to behave the way they do for me in one segment compared to another. They used to be tricky until I figured out a fast and foolproof strategy that you see in the video.
The reason I back off of the guy that crashes through the window is because he not only can knock me back and do decent damage (run restart do to time costing mistake), but if I attack him instantly I'll end up pushing him off the roof and he'll survive and enter the house again to look for me. Since the mission is to kill the remaining Watchdogs, I can't let that happen.
I actually skip a small cutscene by being in alert mode on the stage.
The next part is actually a bit easier, but that doesn't mean I can afford to be any less cautious. There is lots to it too, which starts after the door closes. Killing that guy is no problem, but that room after him is annoying, and lots can go wrong, fast. I can't let that guy see me, and I still can't believe he didn't here. I'm damn thankful though, because that means the guys upstairs come running and I have to start over since I need to get the axe (the shattering glass will alert them all over again) and sneak up behind one and do the choppy-choppy. I have a back-up plan if I'm seen once I hit the stage (very rarely), but I didn't need to use it here.
The two cutscenes after I chop the doorman aren't skippable, even if there are guys chasing you.
The last part is just a switch sprint. And thank God it is, because by now I've just about had it with this level. I skip reading a sign that can eat up 8 seconds. Activating it this late into the segment would have really sucked.
Fun fact: It took me more than 7 hours of practice and recording time to get this segment. That's not even including the planning time.
There's really not a lot to say, because most of the level speaks for itself. What ended most of my runs were those two gang members who come out of the building hitting me when I tired to run by them.
The rest is just a sprint to the finish.
I like to think of this mission as a direct parallel to the SDA forums. Picture Alucard as Leo chasing down Mike as Mike after his creepy obsession with him goes to far. Michael also alternately screams "What did they do to you!?", "Stop! It's me, Michael!", "This is not you, you don't have to do this!", and "Snap out of it! It's me, remember?!" for extra effect.
Sometimes those mercenaries don't cooperate, but it's no where near as bad as Sexual Deviants was. And yes, you have to kill all those guys in the machine hall and get the gun from the last guy. If you don't and just run through the door, they kill Michael and you fail the mission... even though you only need the boat key... and you end up killing him anyway. Yeah, I don't get it either. Video games tend to use that logic sometimes though. But if that wasn't enough for you, he's carrying a gun, and they don't disarm him. Yep, it's gotta be a video game, or a very bad movie.
I did a lot of experimenting with this part. I can honestly say the way I do it is the fastest. I'll spare you details of what my route used to be and how it evolved, I'll just say that it's come a long way, and there are a lot of things that need to happen correctly in this room if I want to move on.
No, I can't just run past all these guys and into the factory, don't you think I would have if I could? The door is locked until you kill all the bad guys, and so is the one that Michael runs through. You guys probably know by now that I do the things that might seem avoidable because they aren't.
The reason why I alert the guards and run back is because if I kill the two guys normally, I walk into a long cutscene showing the player that there are many more bad guys patrolling the area. So why not just skip the cutscene by staying in alert mode and have them all come to me at once? It's a two for the price of one deal, and it's a great trick, because usually I'd be chasing them all around the courtyard while taking a ton of damage.
You like my Michael strategy? I love discovering things like this.
After Alucard kills Mike and takes the keys to SDA, it's just a non-stop dash back to the boat.
By the way, I have no idea why it faded in at the start like that. Usually it uses normal colors, and that filter is only used after you kill people. I took it as an omen and went with it.
Memorization for this level was tough at first, because everything looked the same and there are guys blasting the crap out of me everywhere. In the beta version you could just run by all these guys without losing even half your health. But since this is the finished version, that is obviously no longer possible.
My biggest obstacle is the guy on the stairs with the shotgun. I need at least 3/5's of my health to survive that last sprint to the door, or some really good luck if I have less. That translates to "More than two shotgun blasts + an extra bullet or two = restart". This level isn't anywhere near as easy as I'm making it look. It required a lot of restarts and luck. But hey, anything for a really good time, especially since it's the shortest level in the game.
Using the strategy that I do isn't anywhere near as fool-proof as I make it look. The guy who runs through the door (unlocking it for me) can just stand in the doorway and block my path, leaving me unable to push him out of the way. After that, there's a guy waiting outside the room with a sawed-off shotgun along with his buddy with a handgun. When I pass through that gate, there's another set of the same guys waiting for me. The handgun guy really liked to ruin my segments by doing many things, including running away, not noticing me, starting in a weird spot, and having his shotgun friend end me if my health was too low. I need that handgun for the next section.
The courtyard was the next huge run-ender, because you can get shot to death in a matter of seconds if the guys are in the wrong spots when they get alerted. If they don't shoot me to death right away, they usually like to hide until I've killed two guys, and kill me right before I take aim at the third. Assholes. Approaching the courtyard like I do ensures the best rate of survival.
The rest is running past anyone in my way.
After the lift reaches the top, I restart where I do because not only does it give me the health refill that I need (which, unlike here, is usually drained down to a quarter), but more importantly, it re-places those two guys that come down the stairs so I can run by them without confrontation or slow down. If I try to run by them on the stairs, it won't work because I won't be able to squeeze past them, and they'll magnum me at close range.
I used to run through the next few parts on one health bar, and stop behind the green barrier in order to recharge my stamina and kill two of those guys for the health. I'd then run the rest of the way and restart in the third place like I usually do. After watching the segment which I though was perfect (for what I was planning), I had one of those "I wonder.../What if...?" sort of moments. I went back and tried putting a restart from checkpoint between the first and last points (at the window jump) so I wouldn't have to stop to recharge my stamina or kill those two guys. The bad news for this strategy meant that I had to run past the four guys and all the way to the final restart point without any health refills. As you can see, I make it to it about one shot away from death. The difficult part is not taking any damage running to the red beams to cross the building after the second restart point. If I take too much damage, the four guys will fill me with more holes than a plot for a Michael Bay movie. It usually happened a lot.
The good news is that I shaved off a full 10 seconds from the segment's time by using this new strategy. It wasn't easy, especially since there wasn't really anything I could do to make enemies miss their shots, but I did it. This is definitely one of the best segments in the whole run, if not THE best one. I'm very proud of it.
This mission was interesting because I had two choices when it came to planning the fastest time:
1. I could wait a second after exiting the shack, kill the guy, take his gun, pop the next guy in the head, and take his Uzi. I'd get all the way to the end, where I'd alert the guy in the garage, causing him to call for the backup that is waiting outside. I'd waste them all.
2. I could run my ass off as soon as I exited the shack and hope that most of the shots miss me for the entire level, much like in Assassination. I'd get to the garage, where I'd wait for the guy to turn around, sneak up behind him, and take his gun after killing him. I'd walk into a small cutscene and have to deal with all these bad guys that run around like madmen, and without an Uzi.
I did a lot of experimenting, and I determined that it was dumb to try and fight the guys at the end of the level with a magnum that takes about 2-3 shots to kill one guy at yellow target range, especially since they run around like crazy and have lots of cover. So I just went with my first option and got a very good result.
Sometimes the guy that runs away after I exit the house gets caught in various places, and even effects the guy that I kill for the magnum, throwing everything off and causing me to restart. Sometimes the way in which he's effected means he'll turn around right before I kill him in the spot that I do, and other times it just means I have to wait a few seconds longer.
It's actually possible to wait for that guy to walk over to the wall, allowing me to run the same path as the Uzi guy, but I have to wait, the helicopter usually sees me (alerting the other guys), and it's rare that I get him to do that thanks to the Uzi guy's running screwing everything up. Wait, unskippable cutscenes at the beginning of the level, uncooperative bad guys, hiding in the shadows hoping they do the right thing, limited weapons, restarts... it's Sexual Deviants all over again! Well, not really, this was no where near as a hard or annoying. The cutscenes were also of no bother.
There's only one real error here, and it's where I go to aim at the lock on the gate and it swerves in the opposite direction. The game chooses to do this if I'm holding my Wii- mote at slightly the wrong angle. Since I had such great luck with the bad guys at the end of the level, I chose to allow it and kept the segment.
Not really much to say about the first part (non-warehouse part), except that the gas puddle is probably the only killing method you can do with the victims facing forward. Also, for some reason, it won't form if you put it too close to a wall. Sorry about the darkness when I'm luring those two guards into the trap, I can see it fine on my TV, but after the transfer, it seems it came out a lot darker then normal. It's weird.
Yes, you have to set those paper stacks on fire in order to lure the guard out of the office. Tapping on the wall doesn't work.
I used to have no idea what caused that guard that spawns behind me to behave the way he does once I climb over the wall. Sometimes he followed me into the warehouse, other times he didn't see me at all. If he followed me into the building, it's a run restart because he'll hear me dropping into the storage area and either come over and cause me to hide until he goes away, or just stay in the building for a while before leaving, neither of which I can allow. He eventually has to die because he patrols the area where I get the gas can anyway.
Setting the first set of files on fire gets rid of two guards that I'd normally have to kill.
The next part is hard, because I have to rely on enemies spawning correctly and behaving the way I need them to. There are two different spawn options, and luckily, the one I need occurs 90% of the time. The part after that is where the fun begins, because that trick you see me use I've never been able to get to work the same way twice. At first I just bricked that guy in the head and ran to the door to open it, but usually the other guy got alerted and screwed that up. If I managed to get past that, there was the third guy who'd patrol the yard where I got the gas can, and his route was incredibly unpredictable. Besides, I didn't want to take the time to sneak up behind him to kill him (most of the times he turned around for no reason anyway), because the walk would be too far. So, I just distracted the first one, killed him, and used his body to distract all the other guys. Getting this trick to work is next to impossible, but I have yet to even come close to my end time when I try other methods.
This level was a lot more trouble then I make it sound. Most of the times the last part (after I burn the first set of files) was what screwed me up, and it was really annoying because that meant I had to do the first boring sections over and over again.
After the first real cutscene (which is 20 seconds long), I used to have to see if the crowbar guy is taking the right path. That path of course, was directly towards me. Sometimes he patrols the balcony on the other side rather then the one I'm on. I have no idea what determines his choice. On rare occasions, when he's on the side I'm on, he's already in caution mode, which really gets me wondering. I have a plan for all three options though, all mostly equal time-wise. I can do this first section restart-free.
You can actually always tell which side he's going to before the cutscene ends. In the very upper left corner of the screen, just as the guy closet to the camera turns, he'll walk behind the pillar and out from behind it if he's going to the right (which you see here). You won't see him at all if he's coming towards you.
When I get to the animal lab, I need to lure those guys over to me the way I do because if they don't come close enough and I try to sneak up behind them from a distance, the dogs will start barking and alert them. Little bastards.
That first guy that runs down the stairs really behaves oddly. Sometimes he pauses on the stairs, other times (read: never) he runs right out the door. Most of the time, as you'll see here, he gets confused. And yeah, it's faster to simply run out and hack him to death with the saw rather then try to get him to cooperate.
Every bad guy has an automatic shotgun from here on out. That means it only takes about 3, or at max if I'm extremely lucky, 4 shots to end me. And there's no health items from here on out. So that means that, yes, I need to kill these guys.
As soon as that long cutscene starts, just skip ahead two minutes. I usually go and do something else, like take a leak.
As soon as you start climbing the stairs, the timer until the cutscene occurs starts ticking down. I try to shoot the speaker just for fun.
After I awaken from the second passed-out state the game puts the player in (the first was caused by the cutscene you just watched, or hopefully skipped), we get some odd game mechanics. If I try to get that weapon normally, I'll touch the chair and alert the guard no matter what direction I approach it from. But if I land on it from the desk, it doesn't disturb him at all. In fact, in the Beta version, there was actually a fire extinguisher on the wall you could use to kill him. I can't see why they chose to change it to make it stupidly harder for everyone. Well, the Wii players anyway; that chair isn't there in the PS2 version.
I love this last part, it's just a Killer 7 kind of deal where you run, stop, shoot, and keep going, occasionally pressing a button here and there while following a single path.
The ending part sucks, because if that guy in blue shoots me, I can't pick up the damn gun until the tranquilizer wears off. That's why I kill him where I do. The worst thing is that I can't use the gun on the stairs to hit Pickman. The screen scrolls left and right while aiming, but not up and down! The controls are what fuck me over here, and they did it a lot. But Pickman does cooperate very well here, because sometimes he runs right up behind me on the stairs. And if you don't hit him within a certain amount of time, he says the failsafe phrase and you die, making it even more frustrating after all I've come through. But that stuff is a long and distant problem, because I've done this segment so many times.
I actually accepted a run of this with most of the mistakes I mentioned because I was sick of doing it after a while. After watching it again and again, I was like, "my God, what have I done!?" I went back to it and within an hour (of picking it up again a week later) managed to shave off 21 seconds.
After I was about to send this run in for encoding, I took a look at that segment and realized even more time could be saved, because there were spots where characters decided not to cooperate and various other things that could have gone better. I went at it for 2 hours straight and came up with a segment that was 13 seconds faster than the one I was going to settle for. It felt so damn good. I actually jumped up and shouted out "YES!" when I finished the run of it.
Oh, during my countless runs of this level, I also discovered a weird out of bounds glitch that, despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to recreate. It'd make a speedrun of this level a bit faster, but like I said, it's only happened once. Check it out: http://hosted.filefront.com/TheQuietManSDA/
For the first guy I kill, I need to wait for him to move out of the electric panel box kill area, because that kill takes more then three times longer to do.
Speaking of which, by the time I kill those two Uzi guys, I still need half my health if I want to do the next few sections.
Look at my health when I go through those blue doors that lead to the hallway (with the three Uzi guys in it) to the last studio. I could have sworn that bullet that hit me (at long range thankfully) was going to be the end of another great run, but wow, somehow I survive on 2% health and made it to the health refill. I don't think I've ever seen the health drop to that number in all the time I've played this game.
Those assault rifles pack a shotgun's blast worth of damage, only they can fire faster and the range on them is incredible, too bad I don't use them until the next mission.
For the last two parts, I need ammo. I also need to make sure I don't die obviously. Notice I finish the segment with no bullets left in my Uzi. Talk about coolness and luck.
That was for the level itself, the run is an entirely different experience all together. Running this stage is like having a big bad Rottweiler bite you right in the nuts; it hurts like hell, leaves you scared for life, and makes you wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?"
So much can go wrong with that first part that I will, in fact, rant this time so you can see what a pain it was. There is usually a first guy I run around who has to not shoot me, because I need to hold onto my health like insurance companies want to hold onto your money. He can get as many as two shots in and that alone will drain half my health. Here we see a rare sort of glitch where he gets stuck and doesn't run to the top of the hill, and he pays for it. I need to not run into wall near the church entrance, and sometimes the game doesn't let you jump out the window at first. Perhaps the most maddening and random part happens here; the bad guys need to be in the right places, as in, away from me. Their behavior pattern is so off the wall. If I make a noise in the church, sometimes they all run, sometimes half just keep walking around as if they didn't hear it. Fortunately, whenever that guy gets caught on the side of the hill, it seems to make all the guards cooperate for this spot. But there's a guy with an Uzi that I need to not come near me at all. I'm totally exposed as I'm opening the sewer entrance - the animation does not make you invincible, and can be interrupted at any point. I allow myself one interruption, and it needs to happen during the first half of the animation, but it doesn't happen here. On top off all of this, I run right into another Uzi guy who needs to hold still, not damage me, and die quickly. Like I keep saying, I need at least half my health, because going though the next few sections with any less guarantees I won't make it. Hopefully once I shoot down that hay bail that Uzi guy and crossbow guy are in the right places either for quick dispatching (half health or less) or dodging (more then 80%).
After that, it's onto the second part. I need to get into the barn with full health or very close to it. I'm really going to need it and hope these next few guys miss like enemies in a Rambo movie, because I'll be dodging more Uzi's and magnums at close range.
After that, I get sort of a break, I just have to sprint up to a house and navigate through it, and hope that the guy in black with the sickle doesn't block my path in a doorway. The next two guys aren't a problem to kill, but that second guy can go behind the little shack and cause me problems.
Following the example set by Broadcast Interrupted, this level has a last section that isn't that hard to survive, but hard to make look good in a speedrun. It's suicide to run around the yard trying to kill them, not to mention a waste of ammo, so I have to make them come to me. They can be stubborn too, by refusing to come up to meet their maker, but more than happy to spot me when I try to exit the stage. The reason I have to kill these guys is because I'm not invincible while turning that crank, and getting shot causes the door to fall back down. As a point of interest, notice how the first two guys I kill don't show up on the radar until after I alert them, even though I can see them.
I know I make this level look easy, despite all the ranting, but that's probably because I've had to do this level over and over and over again. And behind the controls, I'm gritting my teeth, knowing that for the most part, all I can do is hope things go well. I'm just really grateful there are no unskippable cutscenes anywhere in this level. Well, there is one that lasts about 8 seconds, but you get the idea.
Actually, there's a funny story behind this segment. I cracked under pressure and accepted a run of this stage with a 10 second time waster that involved the Uzi guy before the last part hiding behind that shack, and me waiting for him to pop out so I could kill him. There were no other mistakes and the rest went really good, but upon watching it again, I deemed that this was not acceptable at all. I headed down into the basement to try again the next day, prepared to remain there all day if it meant getting a better time. I usually do a run or two of the level to re-familiarize myself with it before I start recording, but I thought "Hey, maybe I'll get good luck like I usually do with other levels when I first run them" and started recording. What you just watched (or will watch... or are watching) is the first attempt at an improved run. It's almost flawless, so I didn't even bother trying again.
Man, I had to listen to the guy I'm playing as say, "I can't do this" before each level attempt. Since there were a lot of restarts (mostly due to the random location of the syringe), I think they just put it in there to mess with your mind.
Does it surprise you that the last level is really difficult and not anti-climatic? It should, because a lot of games today are following a disturbing trend in which they aren't.
First off, Leo has the crowbar I need to progress to the next part, and he doesn't show up a the radar, which is awesome, because he shouldn't. Second, I need a Gruesome-level kill in order to get rid of Leo. Third, this is kind of tricky since Leo is unpredictable, moves first, fades in and out of existence, and performing a level 3 kill takes a good deal of time, in which the victim can easily wonder out of the charge-up range or turn around.
I've got to admit, I didn't think the strategy I used at the beginning would work when I first tired it. I'm amazed it did, and I saved countless hours of failure and frustration thanks to it. The syringe location is random by the way. If it isn't in one of those four places that I check, it's a restart.
Ah, the joys of being able to just run though the next few sections. I need to not let those guys follow me to closely, or else it blows the next section (and the segment) by being in alert mode and causing the other guys to become aware of my presence, which I need to not happen. So those hits that get taken are planned because I need to get by them in that narrow hall, and I need them not to pursue me at a close range.
After the cutscene, if I get hit with a tranquilizer dart, I can't open that floor grate. This is why I have to lure Pickman over and murder him... again. His and Michael's patterns prevent me from getting in there unless he dies.
The catacombs part seems to have a bunch of different options for the spawning guards to take. I just need to make it to that gun and the rest should go alright. You'll quickly see why I need to be very cautious here - it's because every other bad guy is armed with an assault rifle, which drains my life from 60 to 0 in about 1.64 seconds. If I'm lucky, an assault rifle bad guy will be the first one to walk by, so I can pop him in the head and take it in order to finish off the rest with ease.
The last of the Leo resistance team are easy to defeat. Making them come to me is really the most sensible option. Usually, you'd have to run around the graveyard and over a wall in order to shoot that lock off, but I figured out you could just blast it from the other side if you're at the right angle.
Those weird camera angles at the end were caused by the censoring they were forced to do. That, or I need a wide screen TV or something. They actually don't appear in the PS2 version, which leads me to believe that someone screwed up the programming in this version.
If anyone wants to beat this time, they just need to pick up the PS2 version, which lets you skip all the cutscenes and even the kill animations. I can understand the Wii version not allowing you to skip the killing, but why still make us watch the cutscenes? This run would easily be under an hour if I could just skip them. Well, maybe not so easily...
Updated difficulty list:
15. Red Light
14. Domestic Disturbance
11. Safe House
10. Most Wanted
9. Bees' Honey Pot
8. Best Friends
7. Sexual Deviants
5. Altered State
4. Broadcast Interrupted
1. Ritual Cleansing
1. Personality Clash
Yes, I tied those three for first place because they were all equal in terms of level difficulty, enemy cooperation, cutscene length, and low possibility of pulling off hard tricks.
In closing, I'd like to thank Mortyre45 and Fakk for their Beta speedrun videos of this game. I learned a lot from them. Of course, some of the stuff they did I wasn't able to do in the finished product, but I was surprised by the stuff I could. Mortyre45 also provided a lot of amazing level runs for the PS2 version in a thread in the Newer Consoles forum section for me to learn from.
I was thinking about thanking Radix, but since he hasn't been seen on SDA for the longest time, I figured that he wouldn't even know if I did or not. He is nothing but the Dave Thomas of this website now. He founded it, set a good example, and retired, leaving others to carry on his vision. I will thank those people instead:
The guy who took over for DJGrenola
The British guy who used to moderate the forums and always seems to be angry.
Philip Cornell for Anri-chan.
The SDA speedrunners who keep me entertained and astounded with their work.
See you guys again soon, depending on how much my next run wants to cooperate.
Just kidding by the way Radix, I love you man.
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