Abyss Watchers

abyss watcher enemies dark souls 3 wiki guide
General Info
hp souls Location
1548 18,000 Farron Keep
Drops Soul of the Blood of the Wolf
Cinders of a Lord
Defenses
Weak Resistant Immune
icon lightningbonus Lightning icon darkbonus Dark
icon wp bleed Bleed
icon poisonres.pngPoison & Toxic

Abyss Watchers is a Boss in Dark Souls 3. This Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Guide features locations, strategies and videos on how to defeat the Abyss Watchers easily, as well as tips, weaknesses, trivia and lore notes for the Abyss Watchers boss.

The Abyss Watchers are tall humanoids clad in leather armor, wielding a greatsword in their right hand and a dagger in their left hand. Players will find the Abyss Watchers seemingly fighting amongst themselves when they encounter them. After being brought down to a certain health threshold, the main boss' greatsword is infused with Fire, boosting their attacks. The Abyss Watchers, their soul, passing from one body to the next, forever warring, is one of the Lords of Cinder, and is the first of 5 the player will encounter.

This boss is relatively straightforward to deal with, with no particularly dangerous move to watch out for. In the first phase of the fight, players will be able to fight alongside one of the Abyss Watchers. Besides them, there are 4 NPCs that can be summoned to aid you in combat:

This boss is not optional and must be defeated to access the Catacombs of Carthus.

Bosses are unique and challenging Enemies that drop Boss Souls capable of being transformed into powerful Weapons, Spells, and Items for the player.

 

Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Location

Where to find the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3?

  • Farron Keep at the very end through the big stone door with the three sconces for fire.

 

Abyss Watchers Drops

What do you get from defeating the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3?

 

Abyss Watchers Notes & Tips

What should you know about fighting the Abyss Watchers in Dark Souls 3?

  • Uses the Farron Greatsword.
  • This boss can be backstabbed and Parried/Riposted. Also staggers easily.
  • During phase one, an additional Watcher will spawn every 20 seconds, to a maximum of two.
  • The first additional Watcher will be hostile to the player. If a second additional Watcher is allowed to spawn, it will have glowing red eyes, and will target the boss as first priority; however, it also appears to target the player if they are closer.
  • Play defensively when the second watcher spawns, as watchers will target whoever hit them most recently.
  • Fire Resistant Armor and Shield recommended.

 

Abyss Watchers Stats

 Playthrough NG NG + NG ++ NG +3 NG +4 NG +5 NG +6 NG +7
Health 1,584 3,250 3,575 3,738 3,901 4,226 4,388 4,551
 Damage Type Standard Strike Slash Thrust Magic Fire Lightning Dark
Absorptions 15% 14% 18% 16% 10% 8% -12% 35%

 

Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Boss Guide & Strategies

DS3 Abyss Watchers Video Strategies

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Below are video strategies from our Youtube Partners:

Dark Souls 3 Abyss Watchers Attacks

Phase I (Multiple Enemies)
Attack Name Attack Description
Stab The Boss lunges at the player with his sword. Range varies depending on distance away from the boss.
Dash Slash The Boss dashes forward a great distance and does an almost 360 degree slash.
Uppercut The Boss swings his sword upwarda followed by a large dust cloud. Can knock the player down. 
Jump slam The Boss jumps towards the player and slams his sword into the ground upon landing.
Phase II (One Watcher)
Attack Name Attack Description
Dash Burn A Wild Flaming Dash Slash at the player where the boss swings his sword, except now a fire trail soon follows the boss's path and burns everything in the way, slight delay for the trail to start. Woe to any who stick to his back too long once the trail of flame starts to move. The boss may combo these, and alert rolls and moving around is recommended.
Fire Sword The Boss attempts to hit the player with his flaming sword using various swings. This includes a gap closer where a delayed blaze of fire burns you if you dodge roll into the space behind the enemy. This delayed fire effect is similar to the explosive laser beam attack used by lesser amygdala in Bloodborne, with the exception that only the explosion, and not the laser itself, did damage.

How to Fight and Beat the Abyss Watchers

Strategy 1 (Melee)

The boss is pretty standard as bosses go during the first phase. Straight forward regular sword attacks followed by dash attacks. Your main goal is to get a few hits in while dodging and waiting for the their openings after each attack/combo. During the fight, two corpses will rise up and join the battle. The first corpse, which looks just like the boss, is a foe who will resurrect shortly after being felled, so don't worry too much about him. The second corpse, however, has glowing red eyes and will attack the Boss and the other corpse, though he can still hurt you with his attacks. He is very useful for drawing aggro from one or both of the opposing Abyss Watchers and will also resurrect shortly after dying. Take advantage of his distraction and focus your attacks on the primary boss.

  • Backstabs: Since the boss's "cooldown" after attacks is long, if he misses you there's a chance you can perform a backstab by approaching him as he recovers.
  • Heavy weapon user: Attack after rolling/dodging, using the "cooldown".

In the second phase the boss will ignite his sword on fire in a small cutscene and the other two watchers will die. His attacks are far more powerful, more violent and have extra range. Play safe and wait for the end of his combos, most of his attacks are easily avoided if you aren't standing right next to him. Distance is viable. No corpses will rise from the floor during this phase.

  • Backstabs: Opportunity arises after 3-hit combos. Boss either does dash slash+slash+jumping smash or slash+slash+jumping smash. Learn to identify the second move, barely outrange it and then simply walk left and behind the boss while he does the jumping smash. Then you can backstab him easily. Dodge everything else.
  • Heavy weapon user: Roll out of his attacks and wait for the 3-hit combo as above.

 

Strategy 2 (Magic)

For casters you want to have around 20 int and your casting weapon upgraded to +4. 

The main strategy on this boss is running. Instead of rolling like any other boss here you need to be running. While you're in extremely close quarters rolling is needed, but outside of that keep running away from the boss at all times, as your key to winning is being out of range at all times.

In the first phase you can kite the boss until the adds spawn. Once the first add spawns, the one without the red eyes, keep running around and only cast when there are perfect opportunities, those come up once in a while as the main boss will start being more defensive after the first add spawns. Once the second add spawns either the boss or the first add, or both will drop aggro and attack the red eye add, and he will attack them. Note, if you're the closest to the second add when it spawns it might attack you instead. The adds will respawn after dying depending on when they died, does not matter in which order they died. While the boss is focused on the red add, try to get your highest hitting spell/weapon attack on him, possibly backstab if you have a good weapon. With the help of the red eyes add phase one should be fairly easy.

Phase two gets tricky, remember how you are supposed to run away during the first phase? Now you really have to run away. With the fire the boss's attacks have more range. There's no more adds so all the aggro is always on you. In this phase, your only hope as ranged is to run and run and run. Especially on his charges and combos, if you try to roll from those he will catch you and possibly combo you, so just run out of range. Running in a big circle to the left helps avoid most of his attacks.

 

Strategy 3 (Specific Sorceries) 

NG: Use Great Heavy Soul Arrow in the first phase, use Great Soul Arrow in second phase. On NG+: use Crystal Soul Spear all the way - Sage Ring or Dex 40 is a must for both. When you enter the room, target lock and fire immediately. The boss will either glide towards you with sword extended, run towards you and attack or stay where he is. Once you see his reaction, roll to the side. Most attacks in the first phase are best evaded by rolling to the side. When the 2nd watcher arises from the ground stay locked on the main boss but only attack him if you see where the other guy is. Once the 3rd watcher comes out you can pretty much ignore the 2nd one and focus on the boss.

What ever you do, be sure that you are near the entrance when the boss dies for the first time. This is crucial because he will respawn near the end of the hall and walk slowly towards you, leaving you plenty of time to heal up and restore your FP. Don't be shy to attack him with a Great Heavy Soul Arrow while he's still walking towards you. When he breaks his walk and begins to swing it's best to switch to the Great Soul Arrow because it casts faster. In the 2nd phase it's best to roll backwards away from the boss, some attacks need two rolls in a row. Be sure to have about 20 END and therefore enough stamina to roll twice (or trice) and cast. Kite him while walking/rolling backwards through the room and attack whenever there's an opening.

On NG+ this is a very short fight for dedicated Sorcerers with Crystal Soul Spear at INT 60 and all magic buff equip you can get your hands on. Same tactics as on NG but way faster, see video above.

 

Strategy 4 (Pyromancy)

This boss will be tough as a pyromancer. Try to upgrade your flame as much as possible. The boss will pursue you rather relentlessly, making getting casts off difficult, especially during the first phase when there are multiple Watchers. Take your chance to get in as much damage as possible before the other Watchers spawn. Once they do, try to bait them into fighting each other. Trying to kill the main Watcher with one or two others chasing you at the same time is extremely difficult. If all three begin fighting, you've hit the jackpot, and can essentially just stand there are free cast. 

During phase two, keep as much distance as possible. The boss is quite fast and can close big distances quickly. Attack after one of his slides or slams, which have longer recovery, and during his combo, provided you are far enough that you are at no risk of being hit. If you simply run away from the boss, he won't be able to catch up with you, and you'll be able to take the chance to counter attack after his slide misses.

 

Abyss Watchers Lore Theories

  • The Abyss Watchers are the heads of the Undead Legion. They are enemies of the Abyss, and will destroy kingdoms if they even show the slightest sign of exposure.
  • Two Darkwraiths can be seen fighting their way to the boss room. It could be interpreted that they have come to defeat the Watchers as well.
  • They look up to the Wolf Blood Master (heavily implied to be Artorias), and they all shared the blood. However, it seems as if this binded their souls into one, and left it constantly going between bodies of the Watchers, hence why they are fighting.
    • The only Watchers that attack the others are the ones with glowing red eyes. Similar to other creatures in the world, red eyes indicate that they are affected by the abyss, which the Watchers must eliminate, regardless of the target and circumstance.
  • The Abyss Watchers are entirely based on the legend of Artorias the Abysswalker, who braved the abyss and saved the city of Oolacile, as told in stories.
    • In reality, however, the Chosen Undead was the one who did this during the first Age of Fire, through a distortion in time, while Artorias was consumed by the abyss. But, as promised by Elizabeth the mushroom, their identiy is left out of the legend.
  • It's speculated the Abyss Watchers' souls became one shortly after linking the flame. It's likely the fire could only ever be linked by one person at a time but since the Abyss Watchers themselves were linked by the blood of the wolf, they were able to link the fire at the price of their individuality, their souls becoming one in the process.

Abyss Watchers Trivia

  • During the second phase, all the sword attacks are enhanced, and most have a secondary fire explosion in addition to his actual swing, the hitbox on the explosion is usually different from the arc of the swing.
  • Hawkwood is a former member of the Undead Legion, possible former Abyss Watcher. His armor matchers theirs except his helm, which is possibly symbolic of his leaving them. He also knows a good deal about them, though his weapon and combat style is different. He also rewards you with the Farron ring, which could had been worn by the Abyss watchers.
  • However Hawkwood doesnt seem to have the shared bit of the Wolf Blood Soul. He isn't possessed like how these bodies seem to be possessed. He certainly was undead legion. His rank may have been lower than the watchers, or he may have left them before everything went to hell and was spared the misfortune that befell them.
  • The attire of the watchers, the blood healing that takes place during the cutscene of the second phase, and the chalice that reveals the way to the dungeon, are all perhaps a reference to Bloodborne.
  • Yoel of Londor dies after this fight. If you intend to free level up and go hollow, make use of him before you beat this boss.

 

 




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    • Anonymous

      Attacks are flashy, yet perfectly dodgeable. Combo always ends in a puff of smoke, with enough time to get a hit in. Second phase is just glorious. Lore is part of the fight and finally they're extremely ****ing good. No instant stab bullshit *cough* pontiff *cough*, attacks are so well made rolling is almost instinctive and they look like they're dancing. 10/10 would fight again

      • Anonymous

        I always beat these guys on my first try and I always wondered why everyone seemed to have so much trouble with them, and I only just now realize it's because I always farm Lothric Castle before fighting them lul

        • Anonymous

          Has anyone ever seen the attack where he jumps up onto the wall in phase 1? I have 230 hours in this game and I just saw it happen for the first time, one of the abyss Watchers jumped up onto the wall and then jumped back off. Has anyone else ever seen this???

          • Anonymous

            Such an amazing boss battle. I have fought them many times and it always delivers but holy crap they become so hard on NG+ and on. Im lvl 232 mostly dex and str and theyre kicking my ass. Besides that theyre one of my favourites.

            • Anonymous

              worst boss fight in ds in my opinion. i mean ofc there are joke of a bosses like sage or old demon king but evry playtrough this boss is a pain in my ass he will always hit me with something that is not suposed to hit. Dunno maybe i will try to do them after sage and cathedral and become casual. Not even close to being epic fight like champion gundyr wihout parry, gael or friede.

              • Anonymous

                Me currently playing my first SL1 playthrough:
                "Wow this is easy af, raw weapons are OP"
                Gets to abyss watchers:
                "Wow raw is still op but I keep getting one-shot by that two hit spin attack"

                • Anonymous

                  they hyped the lords of cinder up so danm much but when you reach the abyss watchers they are the most baby easy boss known to man.

                  • Anonymous

                    Guys, this boss is PISSSSS EASY if you get a good phantom, I'd recommend Londor Pale Shade (he's the only one I tried, so maybe there is better choices but she's awesome), it's just next to the bonfire on the way to the crystal lizard bud. Let me tell you, the second phase lasted only 30 seconds! LOL. Just keep R1'ing his ass, along with your buddy phantom, you can easily stun-lock him for an eternity. Btw this is my first time playing Dark Souls, and also my first try on the boss :P.

                    • Anonymous

                      I assume I'm not the only one that wishes this fight had been more like phase one the entire way through.

                      What if they had all had one massive shared HP pool and there had been like 10 of them over the course of the fight who are all hostile to you and each other and keep fighting and reviving instead of it swapping to a boring single target when "the real" abyss watcher goes down to really show what the intro cutscene was showing

                      • Anonymous

                        Some say they edgy some say they are awesome me I think they are both and love their lore and character for it

                        • Anonymous

                          First run: oh god help why are they so fast oh my god let me heal why are there three of them what is this chaos WHY IS THERE A SECOND PHASE

                          Fifth run: I have killed champion gundyr and Gael and have a +11 weapon now shoo

                          • Anonymous

                            did anybody know the watchers are weak to magic? im using magic weapon to beat them, and it does about as much damage as lightning resin!

                            • Anonymous

                              I heard someone say the abyss watchers are chosen undead followers which i get but due to the connection to artorias the real one it indicates he's the wolf bloods master so they still follow artorias by right of the wolfs blood if I'm getting this right

                              • Anonymous

                                I like this boss fight, but I would love it if first phase was longer or didn't completly change in second. What I mean is, the 2 on 2 fight is pretty unique (ignoring summoning phantoms of course) and exhilarating. Unfortunatly it's too short - main Abyss Watcher has little health and allied one does so much damage you can basically only dodge and still win pretty quickly. Second phase is OK, but not as interesting - more damage, more health, fire traces, I don't even remember if he gets any new moves.But second phase is supposed to be "main event" and first only appetizer, so changing it might make whole thing too long, I don't know.
                                Great soundtrack tho.

                                • Anonymous

                                  What a stupid boss.

                                  Attacks that are impossible to avoid. Hit boxes that came straight out of 1999. Damage output that's incredibly ridiculous. You do 150hp he does 4/5 of your HP in one hit.

                                  Incredible job devs.

                                  • Anonymous

                                    This fight could've just start with the abyss watcher killing the last other abyss watcher then the fight is just the phase two but longer

                                    • Anonymous

                                      How did this boss curse me, when he hit me in the second phase i got a small amount of curse, is this some sort of bug?

                                      • Anonymous

                                        fighting the abysswatchers with their armour and sword equipped is a amazing and risky battle at times you actually feel like one of the npc watchers during the fight fighting the main watchers

                                        • Anonymous

                                          Yoel doesn't die after this fight, he dies once you enter the catacombs. If you beat abyss watchers and use the bonfire to immediately return to firelink, Yoel will still be there. But as soon as you trigger the area text for catacombs he dies.

                                          • Anonymous

                                            i got 3 random guys i summoned to cosplay them with me one time. probably my most memorable experience in the series tbh.

                                            in the end we decided to commit ritual suicide via seppuku

                                            • Anonymous

                                              anyone notice that he abyss watchers are taller than the average person is that because of their wolf blood?

                                              • Anonymous

                                                I dont know my Ds lore why exactly are the abyss watchers lords of cinder. they seem like they fit in the same role pontiff sulyvhan fits into

                                                • Anonymous

                                                  I absolutely love this boss fight. The intense music, the unexpected third party help, and overwhelmingly awesome moves. My only problem is that the fight ends to quickly. I really wish that it was longer.

                                                  • Anonymous

                                                    Now that I think about it, I think the Abyss Watchers stemmed from the destroyed country of Mirrah.

                                                    1) Mirrah is a land associated with many highly skilled honorable swordsmans and constantly at war, only using magic for tactical reasons: Farron Spells
                                                    2) Hodrick (strongly associated with the undead legion bears a Mirrah shield, with the sunless realms likely being Mirrah, a country "without rest" of war)
                                                    3) Lucatiel of Mirrah's storyline is strongly associated with two things "The Undead Curse" and "Family". Both things are associated with Hodricks storyline, and the brotherly shared blood of the Abyss Watchers. All of these storylines end tragically.
                                                    4) The Mirrah greatsword is a possible reward for the boss above Hodrick. All of these things are encountered before you get to the Abyss Watchers, besides Hodricks Storyline.

                                                    My theory is that after Mirrah faded away, the countless warriors formed the Undead Legion getting inspiration from Artorias, constantly fighting just as they did in their homeland towards an honorable goal. They also got pointy hats like the mirrah hats.

                                                    • Anonymous

                                                      just a question what are the chances the watchers are actually related to each other like they are real brothers in arms

                                                      • Anonymous

                                                        If you're struggling at the part where the two "good" Watchers gang up on you, I'd suggest targeting the one with the smaller health bar. If you do that, the one with the bigger health bar will just politely stand there and watch the fight happen, at least until he starts fighting the evil Watcher.

                                                        • Anonymous

                                                          For some reason I carnt help but respect the watchers I even bowed after I defeated the main watcher

                                                          I guess Even after they have fallen I still see them as hero’s and legends

                                                          • Anonymous

                                                            i remember from dorksouls the watcher dose the pose only to drop the sword and flips the player off that needs to be in game

                                                            • I dont know if this has been said before but I think it needs to be added to this page. When you give a pale tounge to rasaria to summon yellow finger it fails the sirris questline. I'm an idiot and didnt know this until after I tried it and wasnt seeing the sirris summon sign. Maybe its just me but it would be nice to have that here for others who may not know.

                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                i made my character s mission to continue the watchers work as a abyss watcher and surprisingly its a lot of fun

                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                  The watchers theme is one of the best in the series it’s. Sad to show how they have fallen to the place they are but it’s graceful like

                                                                  The watchers themselves as they show by how they fight

                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                    This boss is my personal favorite in the souls series my first playthrough it seemed super daunting and eerie now everytime afterwards that I play against this boss it always feels like an epic fight but albeit easy

                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                      i actually found a server were like 20 players were all dressed as abyss watchers and they were just waiting for me and there was a sign on the floor which read fear the legion

                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                        Farron's Undead legion included the Abyss Watchers and the army acolyte of Ghrus. Crystal Sage teaches sorcery to Farron, who in turn teaches his Ghrus. As for who is Farron? We might see him/her in Dark Souls 4.

                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                          So which main boss from ds1 is this a reference to? Prince Lothric is 4 Kings? Aldrich is Nito? That left Scaleless and Bed of Chaos.

                                                                          • My new favorite way to sunbro is to put on full Abyss Watchers armor + weapon + Untrue Dark Ring and plop my sign down for this fight. The only downside is that when the Watchers all start attacking each other, you can't just let them duke it out. You HAVE to join the action.

                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                              Artorias only looks cool whereas in fact he is a failure loser that lost to the abyss, failed his mission.

                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                When I was about to enter there arena the darkwraiths glitched though the fog wall and started attacking the watchers and they actually kicked their asses and I somehow was able to just stand there and watch

                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                  When I look at the abyss watchers for some reason I can just imagine all when you walk in the four of them drop from the ceiling while the pillar men them plays then the middle watcher dose the legion equitte and artorias appears as his stand if this was real I would die from how epic and bazar it is

                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                    My watcher jumped into the wall and got stuck in to it in phase 1.
                                                                                    Meanwhile i was busy killing the watchers spawning. After i approached the boss stuck i could not hit him but he fould attack me. And then he suddenly died (i think he fell from the wall)
                                                                                    And i won; no phase 2.
                                                                                    But i could not light the bonfire. Had to go back to the previous fire and come back after loading to light this one again.

                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                      About 4 hours into the boss, still no luck. The second phase is ****ing impossible with the flames surrounding the boss and dealing instant damage to you even if you roll dodge the attacks. Tips?

                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                        The SECOND ABYSS WATCHER HAS LOW HP - LIKE A REGULAR ENEMY. You can kill him quickly. Also if first phase takes TOO LONG there will be fourth abyss watcher atacking you. Chances are the pattern will continue longer if you can survive...

                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                          Well that fight was exciting, but... Y'know, not what I'd call tough.

                                                                                          I swear the swamp itself was harder than this dude XD

                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                            I'm not implying anything here but the abyss watchers are boys right i know it says they are in the wiki but that can be misleading i just cant tell due to the armor and face masks

                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                              This is just me but I find their fight sad if you look at their lore they are all corrupted by the abyss so they kill each other to uphold their vow to stop the abyss and other than their a boss you fight they try to kill you because your a host of cinder and they know your going to try and keep a fire that s dying going it’s the reason they stopped rekindleing the fire themselves so they attempt killing you because they know the age of fire needs to end and they know if you light it you will share their fate

                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                Dude at 25 vig 24 str with a heavy +5 basta rd sword it was I who felt like the boss. Launched him to death in second phase using wa.

                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                  Inside their boss arena there are piles of body’s of abyss watchers everywhere did these four guys wipe all the rest out damn

                                                                                                  • Anonymous

                                                                                                    i love how they are literally murdering each other when you wall in and after they see you their like hey lets kick this guys ass instead and be friends again like wtf

                                                                                                    • Anonymous

                                                                                                      The ads don’t necessarily spawn on a 20 sec timer. It also depends on the damage he takes, whichever comes first.

                                                                                                      • Anonymous

                                                                                                        I was struggling with this fight on my bandit knife build, until I realized all his Jump/slam attacks can be easily countered with a quickstep/backstab. Became trivial after that.

                                                                                                        • Anonymous

                                                                                                          if you guys are having trouble with this boss on sl1 or just cant beat him, try this. for sl1, get the light crossbow, doesnt have to be reenforced if you dont want to waste titanites, and shoot when he starts running at you. easiest cheese in the game. for non sl1, get a crossbow, not a bow, best crossbow is arlabest, which can be accessed in deacons of the deep. if you cant get arbalset, just use light crossbow. like i said before, same strat. shoot when he runs at you. since we are not sl1, we can take some risks. during second stage, or flame stage, he does a very obvious chain combo where he ends with a big frontflip. if you time your roll so that you end up behind him, you can get a backstab. sl1 people can do this, but it is a bit risky. thank you for reading this, good luck, and have fun :)

                                                                                                          • Anonymous

                                                                                                            coolest fight in the game for me. only comparable to yhorm, soul of cinder, and gael in terms of pure epicness

                                                                                                            • Anonymous

                                                                                                              Absolute banger of a backstory, bossfight and design. Only trumped by Yhorm and Siegward imo, though maybe I just have a thing for edge.

                                                                                                              • Anonymous

                                                                                                                Phase 2 cheese strat: hitting him after a dash (the one that leaves a trail of fire) is almost guaranteed safe unless you're too far away. I wouldn't recommend because then he's too easy

                                                                                                                • Anonymous

                                                                                                                  Strange how from decided to give them no poise but dark wraiths, black/silver knights has infinite point and hit harder than Abyss watchers. From's way of working is wonderful.

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