Cool Rick

Raspberri Pi as an emulator

55 posts in this topic

So, is anyone using their Raspberri Pi (partly) as an emulator?

 

I'm thinking about getting one and I am wondering how well it works.

 

I still have a working SNES but my N64 died, the games that will be available on the Switch's Virtual Console I'll get through there so I'd use it mostly for the games that will not be available for the Virtual Console and the non-Nintendo consoles.

 

I already have a SNES USB controller and could easily order an N64 USB controller, don't know if the rest is common enough around here.

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Retropie is the best fucking thing ever: https://retropie.org.uk/

I paid around 100€ for a Pi 3 with case, cooler, 128GB Samsung Evo+ card and it plays everything well from NES to PSone. Sometimes some games on PSone drop in framerate and I haven't tested N64.

Have tested NES to USB, SNES to USB, Gamecube to USB adapters, a wired 360 pad and my PS4 pad with a micro USB cable and all were working fine.

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3 minutes ago, soniq said:

Retropie is the best fucking thing ever: https://retropie.org.uk/

I paid around 100€ for a Pi 3 with case, cooler, 128GB Samsung Evo+ card and it plays everything well from NES to PSone. Sometimes some games on PSone drop in framerate and I haven't tested N64.

Have tested NES to USB, SNES to USB, Gamecube to USB adapters, a wired 360 pad and my PS4 pad with a micro USB cable and all were working fine.

 

 

Thanks for the link!

 

Do you really need a cooler?

 

Good to know that the PS4 controller works, that should make it a lot easier to play stuff.

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Not sure if you need a cooler but I wanted to have one. Passive coolers are less than 3€.

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Yeah seeing as the Pi itself is about €45 and a 128GB micro SD card can be about €50, your package price seemed worth it.

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I use one with retropi. Its awesome. Word of warning tho - i bought those usb snes controllers and they were poop. Input lag was a constant problem. Ended up just using some cheap 3rd party ps2 style controllers and they were much better. 

 

Ps. No cooler. Pi doesnt seem to ever heat up - at least not while emulating snes games.

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If you just want to use the Pi to fill gaps in your VC library and don't care about PSone you could also just go with the smallest Samsung Evo+ card. Even N64 and Neogeo games won't have more than a few megabytes. :)

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19 minutes ago, DrBloodmoney said:

I use one with retropi. Its awesome. Word of warning tho - i bought those usb snes controllers and they were poop. Input lag was a constant problem. Ended up just using some cheap 3rd party ps2 style controllers and they were much better. 

 

Ps. No cooler. Pi doesnt seem to ever heat up - at least not while emulating snes games.

 

I have a SNES USB controller that I've already used on my laptop and it worked just fine. I can check at home which one it is.

 

19 minutes ago, soniq said:

If you just want to use the Pi to fill gaps in your VC library and don't care about PSone you could also just go with the smallest Samsung Evo+ card. Even N64 and Neogeo games won't have more than a few megabytes. :)

 

I'm a bit scared about running an N64 emulator since I've never seen one on a PC work properly. Yeah for me it would be about gaps in the VC library as well as other classic systems like the Megadrive, probably I'd mostly be doing Nintendo stuff though.

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9 minutes ago, BillyHorrible said:

I'm a bit scared about running an N64 emulator since I've never seen one on a PC work properly. Yeah for me it would be about gaps in the VC library as well as other classic systems like the Megadrive, probably I'd mostly be doing Nintendo stuff though.

On PC Project64 has been running great for years now. It can even tweak the graphics and plays Waverace64 in Widescreen 1080p. Probably every other game too, but I don't care about anything else on N64.

On Mac you can use OpenEmu which runs a Mupel64Plus core, configures everything automatically and supports a very wide range of controllers. The UI looks amazing too, which makes OpenEmu one of the best reasons to get a Mac. :D 

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If you want the portability of the Switch and the power to play some PC games on the go as well, this is what I plan on getting soon:

 

https://www.amazon.com/DroidBOX-GPD-Windows-Powered-Portable/dp/B01MFB2V89/ref=s9u_simh_gw_i1?_encoding=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pd_rd_i=B01MFB2V89&pd_rd_r=B96JN9DZW57WVB7B9BF1&pd_rd_w=dJ4iR&pd_rd_wg=dtFaE&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_r=FSBM6ZSJF6AHCP0PGGTE&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=781f4767-b4d4-466b-8c26-2639359664eb&pf_rd_i=desktop

 

It's a bit more expensive, but it apparently can run Skyrim with mods even. Depends on your needs though. Raspberry Pi is an excellent device but do keep in mind it's limited to its much smaller community. Windows has more people developing and supporting emulators than Linux based devices, so naturally on a Windows based device you're going to get the best emulation around, however I have played with the Pi and it's pretty damn good for its price.

 

Just some option.

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58 minutes ago, soniq said:

On PC Project64 has been running great for years now. It can even tweak the graphics and plays Waverace64 in Widescreen 1080p. Probably every other game too, but I don't care about anything else on N64.

On Mac you can use OpenEmu which runs a Mupel64Plus core, configures everything automatically and supports a very wide range of controllers. The UI looks amazing too, which makes OpenEmu one of the best reasons to get a Mac. :D 

 

I never had a Mac, Last time I tried an N64 emulator on my Windows laptop (don't remember which but it was mentioned as being reliable) was two or three years ago, and the image was constantly stuttering.

 

20 minutes ago, Cynthia-Roses said:

If you want the portability of the Switch and the power to play some PC games on the go as well, this is what I plan on getting soon:

 

https://www.amazon.com/DroidBOX-GPD-Windows-Powered-Portable/dp/B01MFB2V89/ref=s9u_simh_gw_i1?_encoding=UTF8&fpl=fresh&pd_rd_i=B01MFB2V89&pd_rd_r=B96JN9DZW57WVB7B9BF1&pd_rd_w=dJ4iR&pd_rd_wg=dtFaE&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=&pf_rd_r=FSBM6ZSJF6AHCP0PGGTE&pf_rd_t=36701&pf_rd_p=781f4767-b4d4-466b-8c26-2639359664eb&pf_rd_i=desktop

 

It's a bit more expensive, but it apparently can run Skyrim with mods even. Depends on your needs though. Raspberry Pi is an excellent device but do keep in mind it's limited to its much smaller community. Windows has more people developing and supporting emulators than Linux based devices, so naturally on a Windows based device you're going to get the best emulation around, however I have played with the Pi and it's pretty damn good for its price.

 

Just some option.

 

HOLY SHITSNACKS, damn Amazon uses some pretty long links!

 

Nah the portability of the Switch is enough portability for me. I'm not much for handhelds, mainly because I have to play different games on them than I do at home on the television so it's always a choice of what to get and what to keep but the Switch has solved that problem perfectly by being a hybrid console. So with Raspberri Pi, I'm not looking for portability, I'm just looking for an easy way to emulate a lot of stuff on the television - as in, easier than just connecting my laptop to the television, which I may end up doing instead. Just feel like having a dedicated device on the television for gaming is a lot easier than having to drag the laptop around.

Edited by BillyHorrible
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1 minute ago, BillyHorrible said:

 

I never had a Mac, Last time I tried an N64 emulator on my Windows laptop (don't remember which but it was mentioned as being reliable) was two or three years ago, and the image was constantly stuttering.

 

 

HOLY SHITSNACKS, damn Amazon uses some pretty long links!

 

Nah the portability of the Switch is enough portability for me. I'm not much for handhelds, mainly because I have to play different games on them tahn I do at home on the television so it's always a choice of what to get and what to keep but the Switch has solved that problem perfectly by being a hybrid console. So with Raspberri Pi, I'm not looking for portability, I'm just looking for an easy way to emulate a lot of stuff on the television - as in, easier than just connecting my laptop to the television, which I may end up doing instead. Just feel like having a dedicated device on the television for gaming is a lot easier than having to drag the laptop around.

Understandable. You'll want to get a Pi with an HDMI port then, and you should be all set.

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Well, it's been a while but I'm probably putting together my RetroPie this weekend.

 

Does anybody know what good Raspberry Pi supported controllers there are?

 

I already have a SNES USB controller, and I'm thinking about getting an N64 one, but having one that works for many emulators might be a good idea.

 

I may just get a long enough microUSB cable and keep using my PS4 controller.

 

On 26-4-2017 at 9:44 AM, soniq said:

On PC Project64 has been running great for years now. It can even tweak the graphics and plays Waverace64 in Widescreen 1080p. Probably every other game too, but I don't care about anything else on N64.

On Mac you can use OpenEmu which runs a Mupel64Plus core, configures everything automatically and supports a very wide range of controllers. The UI looks amazing too, which makes OpenEmu one of the best reasons to get a Mac. :D 

 

Going to try Project64 today or tomorrow.

 

Mupel64Plus is the one that RetroPie also has preloaded in their image. Seems like not nearly everything works on that though, but it might also have to do with the hardware.

 

I've found a pack that contains Raspberry Pi 3 (Model B), a case, some heat sinks and a 5V 2,5A power supply cable. Seems like that should be enough to get going (I've already got a microSD card and an HDMI cable).

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I've been looking into something like this myself.  Being a little lazy... I found this on eBay and have been seriously mulling it over.

 

<link removed>

 

Unfortunately my living room setup is currently overloaded with HDMI devices (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, cable box... PS3 on reserve if I ever want to play it again).  I dunno if I can feasibly work one more in. xD

Edited by Dreakon13
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13 hours ago, Dreakon13 said:

I've been looking into something like this myself.  Being a little lazy... I found this on eBay and have been seriously mulling it over.

 

<link removed>

 

Unfortunately my living room setup is currently overloaded with HDMI devices (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, cable box... PS3 on reserve if I ever want to play it again).  I dunno if I can feasibly work one more in. xD

 

Please don't buy that... It's not even legal to sell RetroPie, some of the common copyright programming in there is not open for commercial use. It's a free program with lots of work behind it from people who won't get a cent from this.

 

Quote

Anybody selling RetroPie images are doing it illegally. The software has specific licensing that prohibits the selling of it and if these come preloaded with ROMs, then it's definitely illegal.

 

https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/6909/shop-selling-retropie/2

 

 

Anyway, the whole thing seems seriously easy to set up on your own. They've got a complete image with everything installed, they've written a step by step program, and even made it so that if you download ROMs to a USB stick, it'll automatically pull them in.

 

I'd say, do the extra work, and if you're satisfied with the result you could always donate a bit of that saved money to the RetroPie project.

 

Edited by Simple Rick
reflecting removed link edit from Dreakon
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1 hour ago, Simple Rick said:

 

Please don't buy that... It's not even legal to sell RetroPie, some of the common copyright programming in there is not open for commercial use. It's a free program with lots of work behind it from people who won't get a cent from this.

 

 

I guess I don't really see the issue.  If buying a starter kit and setting it up myself gave RetroPie any money (short of donating to the project which I could do either way), you'd have a point... but they don't.  And when you consider the gray area roms and emulators sit in, it's all pretty morally questionable.  One way is just easier and I pay a bit more for the convenience.  No different than slipping some kid down the street an extra $20 to put one together for me and throw in some extra goodies.  Unless I'm missing something.

 

Either way... I'm leaning towards doing it myself anyways since Thesnipergecko has me intrigued by the idea of building a cabinet with one, and I should probably understand the guts of it a little better if I did.  I could use a project (that isn't some dull house renovation) and it'd get some use once I dust off the bar in the basement that's been sitting there since I bought the place... along with other cool basement ideas (pool table??).

Edited by Dreakon13
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1 hour ago, Dreakon13 said:

 

I guess I don't really see the issue.  If buying a starter kit and setting it up myself gave RetroPie any money (short of donating to the project which I could do either way), you'd have a point... but they don't.  And when you consider the gray area roms and emulators sit in, it's all pretty morally questionable.  One way is just easier and I pay a bit more for the convenience.  No different than slipping some kid down the street an extra $20 to put one together for me and throw in some extra goodies.  Unless I'm missing something.

 

But it's not some kid down the street (I'd get that). These are people making money off of other people's work. And that whwn those people who did the work said their thing should be free, and who are actively trying to help people to do it themselves.

 

I guess I just get annoyed by people stealing credit, trying to make a profit. Like those assholes making knock-off fidget cubes when the real cube's Kickstarter project wasn't even finished yet.

 

1 hour ago, Dreakon13 said:

 

Either way... I'm leaning towards doing it myself anyways since Thesnipergecko has me intrigued by the idea of building a cabinet with one, and I should probably understand the guts of it a little better if I did.  I could use a project (that isn't some dull house renovation) and it'd get some use once I dust off the bar in the basement that's been sitting there since I bought the place... along with other cool basement ideas (pool table??).

 

@Thesnipergecko probably has some tips then. If you want to go the semi-easy route, there's people selling kits online, like https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/picade

 

I might go for an arcade cabinet as well, a year or two from now, if I have a bigger mancave then.

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1 hour ago, Simple Rick said:

But it's not some kid down the street (I'd get that). These are people making money off of other people's work. And that whwn those people who did the work said their thing should be free, and who are actively trying to help people to do it themselves.

 

I guess I just get annoyed by people stealing credit, trying to make a profit. Like those assholes making knock-off fidget cubes when the real cube's Kickstarter project wasn't even finished yet.

 

 

Don't get me wrong, if there were an "official" means of buying something like this where the proceeds went to the RetroPie project, or if the Raspberry Pi device itself were free and this eBay guy was charging for it anyways... I'd say F this guy.  Otherwise, IMO they're no different than someone on eBay offering to build custom PC's with Ubuntu for people for the marginal uptick in price that labor/research amounts to.  Sure I could do it a bit cheaper if I built the PC myself, but I don't blame people for paying for the convenience factor.  And honestly, I dunno why the Ubuntu guys would be pissed about that situation (as it seems the RetroPie guys are; other than the fact their software is technically toeing the line legally in the first place).

 

I don't see how something can be a "knockoff" when RetroPie doesn't offer a similarly complete product (they're a critical piece of software yes, but they don't own the hardware)... and it's effectively the exact same thing that I'd build if I did it myself.  In my mind, I'm not paying this guy for RetroPie, I'm paying for him to put my new Raspberry Pi together for me.  But I guess there are a few different ways to look at it.

Edited by Dreakon13
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7 minutes ago, Dreakon13 said:

 

Don't get me wrong, if there were an "official" means of buying something like this where the proceeds went to the RetroPie project, or if the Raspberry Pi device itself were free and this eBay guy was charging for it anyways... I'd say F this guy.  Otherwise, IMO they're no different than someone on eBay offering to build custom PC's with Ubuntu for people for the marginal uptick in price that labor/research amounts to.  Sure I could do it a bit cheaper if I built the PC myself, but I don't blame people for paying for the convenience factor.  And honestly, I dunno why the Ubuntu guys would be pissed about that situation (as it seems the RetroPie guys are).

 

I don't see how something can be a "knockoff" when RetroPie doesn't offer a similarly complete product (they're a critical piece of software yes, but they don't own the hardware)... and it's effectively the exact same thing that I'd build if I did it myself.  In my mind, I'm not paying this guy for RetroPie, I'm paying for him to put my new Raspberry Pi together for me.  But I guess there are a few different ways to look at it.

 

We can just agree to disagree, but I should elaborate in the specifics here.

 

You could very well offer to install Ubuntu for someone while you are making them a computer anyway. But you couldn't advertise it as "Ubuntu Computer" on eBay.

 

https://askubuntu.com/questions/93688/can-i-legally-build-and-sell-desktops-with-ubuntu-pre-installed

 

This is what the person behind the add you shared did: he made the RetroPie name a selling point, and that's not allowed as a lot of software in the RetroPie image is freeware that's not allowed to be used for commercial purposes.

 

An annoying difference here is what the actual object is. Ubuntu is Ubuntu, its own thing, but RetroPie hinges on sharing emulators. As you said, it's a grey area - emulators are legal, ROMs aren't unless you own the actual game - technically.

 

The problem here is that if enough assholes ask money for RetroPie, they could land in the scopes of, say, Nintendo, and the whole project could be taken ruined just because some asshole had to make a quick buck.

 

Also, there's a lot more to making an entire computer than there is to installing a bit of software on a Raspberry Pi.

 

 

Taking the discussion in a different, and more on topic, direction: hope you'll enjoy making an arcade for Raspberry Pi. I'm definitely keeping an eye on people doing projects like this as, like I said, I'll want to do the same thing a couple of years from now.

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@Simple Rick Selling an emulation machine.  The legal grey area of a legal grey area. xD  Probably why I choose to not think too much about the eBay listing and the potential ramifications of it.  Agree to disagree.

 

 

EDIT: I'm going to go legit with it.  I just ordered the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B board itself.  Should be fun.  I guess now I need a case, a microSD card, a microUSB cable/power adapter and a controller of some kind.  I'm just going to slowly do this piece by piece instead of rushing it like I normally would.  I'm guessing the case probably doesn't matter too much, just want something to protect the precious, precious circuitry... so I'll just go for something that looks sturdy and nice.

 

Any recommendations of microSD size for a RetroPie emulation machine?  I'm thinking 64GB but that's probably overkill, since PS1 would be the only thing taking any real space and I dunno if I'm gonna go there yet.  32GB?  EDIT2: Thinking I might go something smaller like 8GB to play with initially, then probably consider moving any roms onto a bigger USB thumb drive (and just keep RetroPie on the microSD).  People seem to be recommending that since USB drives are a bit more reliable.

 

Also, any recommendations of controllers that will likely work with RetroPie out of the box?  Preferably wireless (if possible)?

Edited by Dreakon13
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7 hours ago, Dreakon13 said:

@Simple Rick Selling an emulation machine.  The legal grey area of a legal grey area. xD  Probably why I choose to not think too much about the eBay listing and the potential ramifications of it.  Agree to disagree.

 

Yeah, it's pretty weird legally. I think it takes ridiculously long for software to enter public domain. It's not like they're songs/books/movies, which have better mediums for passing time. Who the hell suffers from someone getting a SNES emulator to play Jurassic Park 2? That game will never see a port to a current system. I get it if we're talking about things like Donkey Kong Country, which are available on the Wii U and 3DS and will definitely end up on the Switch within a year or three, but for each title Nintendo puts on their Virtual Console, there's two dozen good or great titles being neglected. You could buy an old SNES with cartridges, but Nintendo won't see a cent of that money either.

 

For the record, I own a SNES and I have it still plugged into the television in my mancave. I also own an N64, but it has broken down and my lost library from that is what made me consider the Pi, even though N64 emulation isn't that great on it. Once the Switch starts getting VC games, I'll definitely pay to get the titles I want to play on there. I've already bought VS Super Mario Bros. and Mario Bros. when they hit the Arcade Archives on the Switch.

 

7 hours ago, Dreakon13 said:

 

EDIT: I'm going to go legit with it.  I just ordered the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B board itself.  Should be fun.  I guess now I need a case, a microSD card, a microUSB cable/power adapter and a controller of some kind.  I'm just going to slowly do this piece by piece instead of rushing it like I normally would.  I'm guessing the case probably doesn't matter too much, just want something to protect the precious, precious circuitry... so I'll just go for something that looks sturdy and nice.

 

Nice going!

 

Yeah getting a case would be important, there's a few official ones. I ordered a 'light' pack, with Pi 3B (it's the latest model and really the only model that matters now to emulation people), a case, some passive heat sinks (take note, I've heard several people say this is very useful and they don't cost much) and a 5V 2,5A power supply. Technically a Pi could do with 1,5A but for emulation, you'll really want 2A at the least, probably even 2,5A. Wouldn't hurt either if you found a power supply that actually managed a wee little bit over 5V, like 5,1V or even 5,25V.

 

As for the casing, I'm going to see if I can find my old N64 (We've moved since it broke down, I should have it somewhere in the backmost boxes of the basement), empty the N64 shell and put the Pi in there (inside its own case, just to be certain).

 

7 hours ago, Dreakon13 said:

Any recommendations of microSD size for a RetroPie emulation machine?  I'm thinking 64GB but that's probably overkill, since PS1 would be the only thing taking any real space and I dunno if I'm gonna go there yet.  32GB?  EDIT2: Thinking I might go something smaller like 8GB to play with initially, then probably consider moving any roms onto a bigger USB thumb drive (and just keep RetroPie on the microSD).  People seem to be recommending that since USB drives are a bit more reliable.

 

@soniq also said above that a small microSD card would be fine if you only care about emulation. I should have a spare 8GB one lying around somewhere, which I'll use initially.

 

I think SanDisk is a very reliable brand for SD cards. I'm using several from them - micro for my phone, regular for the cameras of me and my wife - and I've never had any issues.

 

You could also just use SFTP, of course - the Pi 3 Model B comes with a built in Wifi connector.

 

7 hours ago, Dreakon13 said:

Also, any recommendations of controllers that will likely work with RetroPie out of the box?  Preferably wireless (if possible)?

 

I've asked this question myself above but haven't gotten an answer yet. Last year when I started thinking about getting a Pi and made this thread, @soniq said this on the matter:

 

On ‎26‎-‎4‎-‎2017 at 8:06 AM, soniq said:

Have tested NES to USB, SNES to USB, Gamecube to USB adapters, a wired 360 pad and my PS4 pad with a micro USB cable and all were working fine.

 

Personally, I already have a SNES USB controller and if enough N64 games work fine then I'll also get an N64 USB controller. I'll probably try using my PS4 controller as well as that's just a very comfortable controller in my opinion, but technically any wireless controller that does wireless through a USB receiver should work. I'm going to look into this if I've set up everything else, as it would be really great to be able to do most everything with just one wireless controller.

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@Simple Rick

I'll probably just get a smaller-ish microSD (16GB probably just to be safe) and see how it pans out.  Oddly enough, despite having a ton of devices that could use them, I've never really handled SD cards before... so I'm a bit out of the loop about their reliability.

 

As for controllers, I guess I'll give my wireless Xbox 360 adapter/gamepad a try initially.  If I can go wireless that'd be nice... but now that I'm thinking about it, a USB SNES controller (with a USB extender most likely) would be awesome for that old school feel.  Maybe get one USB pad of each (NES, SNES, N64) just for funsies, if its not too expensive.  Until the idea for an arcade cabinet materializes anyways.

 

I'm curious just how cheap I can get this RetroPie device done, without seriously cutting corners anywhere.  Considering I ordered the Raspberry Pi board itself for $25... and I only have a few cards/cables to go until its done, and a case... it shouldn't cost much more than $50-55 when all's said and done.  If it works out, maybe I will throw a few of those saved bucks as a donation to RetroPie, like you said.

 

I'll need to look into those heat sinks.

Edited by Dreakon13
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