This is a list of recurring characters in the Pokémon video game series. Characters may appear in multiple continuities within the Pokémon franchise, such as the various animated adaptations, films, manga, or books. In these spin-offs of the video games, the characters may take on the same basic role (such as with Professor Oak and Giovanni in the long-running Pokémon TV series) and sometimes in very different roles (such as with Misty and Brock).
Each main-series Pokémon game features a player character protagonist or set of protagonists, one or more rival characters, a hometown "Pokémon professor" who introduces the mechanics of the game, and a large selection of fellow Pokémon trainers, "Gym leaders," and villainous teams to battle against.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Red, Green, Blue (1996), Yellow (1998), FireRed, LeafGreen (2004), Let's Go, Pikachu!, or Let's Go, Eevee! (2018). These video games are all set in the fictional Kanto region. Many of these characters recur throughout the Pokémon franchise.
Red (レッド, Red) is the only protagonist of Pokémon Red, Green, Blue and Yellow and the male protagonist of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Red later appears in Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal as a secret boss fight on Mt. Silver, and makes further reappearances in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Pokémon Sun and Moon, and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, as well as in Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, reprising his role from the originals. In Pokémon Adventures, he is the champion of Kanto.
Leaf (リーフ, Leaf) is the female protagonist of Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen.
Chase (カケル, Kakeru) and Elaine (アユミ, Ayumi) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.
Blue (グリーン, Green) is the rival character of Pokémon Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, FireRed, and LeafGreen. He is pushy and competitive, but is generally a good Pokémon Trainer. He is the grandson of Professor Oak and the player character's childhood friend. He briefly precedes the player character as the Champion of the Kanto region, waiting for the player to challenge him. Blue is the basis for Gary Oak in the anime. IGN listed Blue as the 98th best villain in video games, though they stressed that it was difficult to view him as a villain. He reappears in Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal and their remakes as the Viridian City Gym Leader. He again acts as Kanto's Champion in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2's Pokémon World Tournament, and alongside Red in Pokémon Sun and Moon and their Ultra versions.
Trace (シン, Shin) is the rival character of Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. He eventually becomes Champion of Kanto, and acts in a similar vein to Blue.
Professor Samuel Oak (Professor Yukinari Ōkido (オーキド・ユキナリ博士, Ōkido Yukinari-hakase)) is a Pokémon researcher and the grandfather of Blue in all the Kanto-based games. He is described as the leading Pokémon expert, specializing in Pokémon behavioral science. Alongside his research, he is also authorized by the Pokémon League to give new Pokémon trainers one of the three starter Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Charmander. In the anime, he gives Ash Ketchum his Pikachu after Ash arrives too late to receive one of the usual three starter Pokémon. In Pokémon Yellow, he gives Red a Pikachu after Blue takes an Eevee. A younger version of the character has a major supporting role in the movie Pokémon 4Ever.
Each main-series Pokémon game includes a group of eight "Gym leaders", who award the player character a badge upon defeat. Each Gym leader possesses a team of several Pokémon of similar type or theming, such as electricity-themed Gym or a greenhouse-themed Gym. Particularly notable Gym leaders of the Kanto-based games include:
In addition to Brock and Misty, the remaining gym leaders are Lt. Surge, Erika, Sabrina, Koga, Blaine, and Giovanni.
Each main-series Pokémon game also includes a group of elite-level trainers at the end of the game, which is called the Elite Four in Kanto. This team includes the Ice-themed Lorelei, Fighting-themed Bruno, Ghost-themed Agatha, and Dragon-themed Lance.
Giovanni (Sakaki (サカキ)) is the leader of the villainous Team Rocket. He runs the ground-type Gym in Pokémon Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, and their remakes. He later disappears and is not seen again, though Team Rocket attempts to locate him in Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, and their remakes. He also appears as the final boss of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon in the postgame story event. Giovanni is a recurring character in the Pokémon anime series as well.
Jessie (Musashi (ムサシ)) and James (Kojirō (コジロウ)) are a pair of Team Rocket grunts who originate from the Pokémon anime series. The appear as mini-bosses in Yellow, Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. The duo's name is a reference to Jesse James, an outlaw. Their Japanese names are references to two famed swordsmen in Japanese history, Sasaki Kojirō and Miyamoto Musashi, who famously fought each other on the Island of Ganryū in 1612, resulting in Musashi's victory and Kojirō's death.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Gold, Silver (1999), Crystal (2000), HeartGold, or SoulSilver (2009). These video games are all primarily set in the fictional Johto region.
Gold/Ethan (ゴールド/ヒビキ, Gold/Hibiki) is the protagonist of Pokémon Gold and Silver, and the male protagonist of Pokémon Crystal, HeartGold, and SoulSilver.
Kris (クリス, Kris) is the female protagonist of Pokémon Crystal. Lyra (コトネ, Kotone) is the female protagonist of Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Silver (シルバー, Silver) is the rival of all the Johto-based games. This character steals his first Pokémon from Professor Elm and tends to see Pokémon as tools, to use and discard. Unlike the first rival, Silver is depicted as a mediocre trainer, though both the Sprout Tower sage and Johto Champion see talent and great potential in him. He eventually realizes his wrongdoings and changes his ways by treating his Pokémon with respect. Silver also appears in Pokémon Masters EX, in which he is identified by Ho-Oh as being pure of heart. Here he is revealed to be the son of Team Rocket boss Giovanni.
Professor Elm (Professor Utsugi (ウツギ博士, Utsugi-hakase)) is an absent-minded Pokémon researcher and former student of Professor Oak. In Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, he is authorized by the Pokémon League to give new trainers one of the three starter Pokémon: Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile. He specializes in research regarding Pokémon breeding and is credited with the discovery of Pokémon eggs, even gifting the player character a Togepi egg for research.
Jasmine (Mikan (ミカン)) is the Olivine City Gym Leader and an expert on Steel-type Pokémon. She initially refuses the player's challenge because she is tending to a sick Ampharos named Amphy that provides light for the city lighthouse. Only after giving Amphy proper medicine from Cianwood City can Jasmine be challenged. Jasmine reappears as a minor character in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum.
Archer (Apollo (アポロ, Aporo)) is the head Neo Team Rocket Executive. He is one of the Team Rocket Admins in FireRed and LeafGreen and the sole Team Rocket Admin in Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!. He also appears as the final Rocket Executive in HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire (2002), Emerald (2004), Omega Ruby, or Alpha Sapphire (2014). These video games are all set in the fictional Hoenn region.
Brendan (ユウキ, Yūki) and May (ハルカ, Haruka) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald and Omega Ruby, and Alpha Sapphire. The player can select which character they want to play as, and the other character takes the role of the main rival.
Wally (ミツル, Mitsuru) is an additional rival character in these games. In the beginning, he is a sickly young boy who needs help in catching a Pokémon. Using a borrowed Zigzagoon, Wally is helped by the player character to catch a Ralts. When he later battles the protagonist, he seems healthier and is in tune with his Pokémon. He battles the player for the last official time in Victory Road and waits there, always ready for another battle.
Professor Birch (Professor Odamaki (オダマキ博士, Odamaki-hakase)) is a Pokémon researcher, known for his fieldwork and research on Pokémon habitual distribution. In these games, Birch gives the player character and his son Wally each a starter Pokémon: Treecko, Torchic or Mudkip. At the beginning of the game, he is attacked by a dog-like Pokémon and drops his bag, resulting in the player having to use one of his Pokémon to save him from his attacker. In the anime, he gives May her Torchic. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, he is the father of the character Sapphire.
Norman (Senri (センリ)) is the Petalburg City Gym Leader and an expert on Normal-type Pokémon. In the games, Norman is the protagonist's father. In the anime, he is the father of May and Max. In the Pokémon Adventures manga, he is the father of Ruby and a close friend of Professor Birch.
Wallace (Mikuri (ミクリ)): Wallace is the Sootopolis City Gym Leader in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. He is an expert on Water-type Pokémon and also happens to be a skilled artist and a top Pokémon Contest star. In Pokémon Emerald, Wallace becomes the Pokémon League Champion, leaving the post of Gym Leader to his mentor, Juan. In the anime, he does not make an appearance until the Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl anime series, where he is a Contest Master hailing from the Hoenn region who holds a Contest called the Wallace Cup.
Steven Stone (Daigo Tsuwabuki (ツワブキ・ダイゴ)) is the Champion of the Hoenn League in Ruby, Sapphire, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. He is the son of the president of Devon Corporation and aids the player in their battles against Teams Magma and Aqua. In Emerald, he has retired from competitive battling, but can be challenged at Meteor Falls as the game's ultimate superboss. His signature Pokémon is his Metagross.
Maxie (Matsubusa (マツブサ)) is the leader of Team Magma, which has the goal of waking Groudon to cause a drought to dry out the oceans and expand landmasses, to make the world a better place. In contrast, Archie (Aogiri (アオギリ)) is the leader of Team Aqua, which has the goal of waking Kyogre to cause a heavy rainfall to flood the landmasses and expand the oceans, also to make the world a better place.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Diamond, Pearl (2006), Platinum (2008), Brilliant Diamond, or Shining Pearl (2021). These video games are all set in the fictional Sinnoh region.
Lucas (コウキ, Kōki) and Dawn (ヒカリ, Hikari) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Brilliant Diamond, and Shining Pearl.
Barry (ジュン, Jun) is the rival character in Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum. He is often impatient and is determined to be the best Trainer of all time. He is best friends with the player and his father, Palmer, owns the Battle Tower in Sinnoh. Sometimes he will aid the player. He tends to accidentally crash into people quite often as he runs about, and often tries to fine people for being too slow. This is due to him apparently wanting to save up for a Battle Tower to compete with his father's.
Professor Rowan (Professor Nanakamado (ナナカマド博士, Nanakamado-hakase)) is the Pokémon Professor in the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games, having returned to Sinnoh after four years of traveling abroad. A senior researcher to and old friend of Professor Oak, Professor Rowan is known for his research on Pokémon evolution. He is authorized to give trainers one of three Sinnoh starter Pokémon, Turtwig, Chimchar or Piplup. In the anime, he gives Dawn her Piplup. He has an assistant, either Lucas or Dawn, depending on which player character was not chosen by the player.
Cynthia (Shirona (シロナ)) is the Sinnoh League Champion, who uses mostly female Pokémon. She is very interested in mythology and history and spends her time researching and exploring various sites associated with "Legendary" Pokémon of the Sinnoh region. In the game, she helps the protagonist fight against Team Galactic and she assists them once the legendary Giratina appears. In the anime, Ash first meets with Cynthia after she defeats Paul in a battle; she later helps the group fight against Team Galactic. She also appears in Black and White and their sequels, where the player can battle her.
Cyrus (Akagi (アカギ)) is the leader of the villainous Team Galactic. Although it appears he wants to work with his team to create a new dimension, he really wants to create the dimension solely for himself, making it one devoid of emotions that he sees as weak and useless.
"Looker" ("Handsome" (ハンサム, Hansamu)) is a member of Interpol who appears in Pokémon Platinum investigating Team Galactic. He appears again in Black and White to seek the player's assistance in apprehending the seven sages of Team Plasma. During the events of Black 2 and White 2, he is in another region searching for N with the player character of Black and White. In X and Y, he poses as a detective to investigate a Team Flare scientist. In Sun and Moon, he comes to Alola to assist the player with capturing the Ultra Beasts that were let loose there.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Black and White (2010) or Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 (2012). These video games are all set in the fictional Unova region.
Hilbert (トウヤ, Tōya) and Hilda (トウコ, Tōko) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon Black and White. Nate (キョウヘイ, Kyōhei) and Rosa (メイ, Mei) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
Cheren (チェレン, Cheren) is one of the rival characters in Pokémon Black and White. Cheren is intelligent and trustworthy; he often gives the player character advice and battles the player to test his skills. Like the player, he aims to become the Champion. He is one of the player's childhood friends. Two years later, in Black 2 and White 2, he becomes Aspertia City's Gym Leader. His name is from the Bulgarian word for black: черен (cheren).
Bianca (ベル, Bel) is another rival character in Pokémon Black and White. Bianca is spontaneous and sometimes unreliable, but she develops over the course of the journey. She also has a strong side, which she shows when she goes on a Pokémon journey against her father's wishes. Her father wants her to stay back at home, believing it unsafe out in the world, until he is eventually convinced to keep Bianca on her journey by Elesa. She is one of the player's childhood friends. Two years later in the events of Black 2 and White 2, Bianca becomes an assistant to Professor Juniper and gives the player their starter Pokémon. Bianca's name is from the Italian word for white, while her Japanese name "Bel" has the same meaning from Russian: бел (bel).
Hugh (ヒュウ, Hue) is the sole rival in Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. He is from Aspertia City and one of the player's childhood friends. Like the player characters, he is also seeking to become a Pokémon Master. Throughout the game, the player helps Hugh retrieve his sister's Purrloin which was stolen by Team Plasma years prior.
Professor Aurea Juniper (Professor Araragi (アララギ博士, Araragi-hakase)) is the Pokémon Professor in the Pokémon Black and White games, the first female professor to appear in the video game series. Professor Juniper specializes in research involving the origins of Pokémon. She gives the player character, Bianca, and Cheren, each one of the game's starter Pokémon: Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott. In the anime, she gives Trip a Snivy and allows Ash to keep an Oshawott that escapes from her lab. Her father, Cedric Juniper, was also a Pokémon Professor and has since retired.
Fennel (Makomo (マコモ)) is a Pokémon professor who studies Pokémon trainers and the dreams of Pokémon. The player encounters her when Team Plasma abducts a Munna from her research facility to use its Dream Mist powers to reach its goals. She gives access to the games' wireless capabilities and online systems.
Alder (Adeku (アデク)): Alder is the former Champion of the Unova League, who helps the player battle Team Plasma throughout Unova. N successfully challenges him to battle and wins, forcing the player to fight N instead. The player can later challenge Alder after finishing the main story of the game. While he does not specialize in a particular Pokémon type, half of his Pokémon are Bug types and his signature Pokémon is Volcarona. He later reveals he had another Volcarona that died before the games begin. He retires from his position by the time Black 2 and White 2 take place (having been succeeded by Iris), but can be battled in his home in Floccesy Town after the player has completed the main story.
N (エヌ, Enu): N is the leader of Team Plasma. He is a very mysterious trainer who shows up at inconvenient times and believes that all humans and Pokémon should be separated. He was forced to grow up with abused Pokémon, as a plot by his adoptive father Ghetsis, so that he would want to liberate all Pokémon from humans. By following through with the plan, he captures either Zekrom in Black or Reshiram in White in order to show the world his power. N returns in Black 2 and White 2 in a supporting role, enabling the games' mascot Kyurem to transform into its iconic form for the game version. N finally becomes a character the player can challenge on a monthly basis, with the team changing with the games' seasonal cycle. His full name is Natural Harmonia Gropius (ナチュラル・ハルモニア・グロピウス, Nachuraru Harumonia Guropiusu).
Colress (Achroma (アクロマ, Akuroma)): Colress is an independent Pokémon researcher and a proxy leader of Neo Team Plasma, who works to learn about the powers of Pokémon and tries to bring out the true strength within them. He battles the player several times throughout the game to test the player's ability and the power of the player's Pokémon. He eventually aligns with Neo Team Plasma, as they will allow him to study Pokémon the way he wishes. In the main story of Black 2 and White 2, he is the helmsman of Team Plasma's primary mode of transportation. After Neo Team Plasma is defeated, he helps the group reform their ways. He returns in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, helping the player character defeat Team Rainbow Rocket in the post-game story. He has a larger and more antagonistic role in the anime, as he is building a device that would allow Ghetsis to control Reshiram and he takes control of various Pokémon, including Team Rocket's Meowth.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon X and Y (2013). These games are set in the fictional Kalos region.
Calem (カルム, Karumu) and Serena (セレナ, Serena) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon X and Y.
Shauna (サナ, Sana) is one of the rivals/friends of the player character in Pokémon X and Y. She is energetic and curious, but still does not know what she wants to gain from her experiences. She gives the player character a nickname at the outset of their journey.
Tierno (ティエルノ, Tierno), meanwhile, is more interested in finding new Pokémon to make a perfect Pokémon Dance Team. Trevor (トロバ, Trevor) is a studious character who wishes to fill up all three parts of the Kalos Region's Pokédex.
Professor Augustine Sycamore (Professor Platane (プラターヌ博士, Puratānu-hakase)) is the professor who debuts in the Pokémon games Pokémon X and Y. He battles the player from time to time. Unlike previous professors who gave out the regions' new starter Pokémon, Kalos's starter Pokémon Chespin, Fennekin and Froakie are given to you by one of the player character's friends. Instead, Professor Sycamore gives the player a choice amongst Kanto's starter Pokémon: Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle.
Diantha (Carnet (カルネ, Karune)) is the Kalos League Champion, but she does not reveal this to the player when they first meet in Lumiose City. She is known in the Kalos Region as a popular celebrity, appearing in films and advertisements, but it is not until the end of the game does the player discover her place in the Pokémon League. She does not specialize in a particular Pokémon type, but her signature Pokémon is her Mega Gardevoir.
Lysandre (Fleur-de-Lis (フラダリ, Furadari) is the leader of the villainous Team Flare, seeking to attain eternal beauty. He follows the player's progress closely, seeking the player character in his plans and revealing the history of Kalos and the king AZ, his ancestor, who nearly wiped out all life. After his identity as Team Flare's leader is revealed, he admits that he wishes to use his ancestor's weapon to enact a mass extinction, believing the Mega Ring to be central to his plans. The player ultimately defeats Lysandre and when Lysandre attempts to activate the weapon, despite the player having captured its power source, the weapon crumbles and destroys the headquarters. In the anime, Lysandre appeared as a recurring antagonist.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Sun and Moon (2016) or Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon (2017). These games are all set in the fictional Alola region.
Elio (ヨウ, Yō) and Selene (ミヅキ, Mizuki) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon.
Hau (ハウ, Hau) is one of the rivals of Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon. Compared to previous rivals, he is more friendly, and loves malasadas. He is Melemele Kahuna Hala's grandson. Gladion (グラジオ, Gladio) is another rival character in these games. This young man lends his strength to Team Skull as an enforcer. He places a high value on being strong in Pokémon battles. His partner Pokémon is the mysterious Type: Null, which later becomes Silvally. He is Lusamine's son and Lillie's brother.
Professor Kukui (ククイ博士, Kukui-hakase) is the Pokémon Professor in Pokémon Sun and Moon. Professor Kukui studies Pokémon moves. He takes Lillie under his wing as his assistant and is married to Professor Burnett. He has a secondary double life as The Masked Royal and is one of the strongest opponents in the Battle Royal Dome. He is good friends with Molayne, who keeps his double life a secret. He takes one of the Alolan starter Pokémon under his wing, whichever was not chosen by Hau or the player, and later uses it in battle in its final form. He acts as the final opponent before becoming Champion in Pokémon Sun and Moon.
Team Skull (スカル団, Skull-dan, Skull Gang) is a gang of street thugs who are the resident villain team of Alola in Pokémon Sun and Moon, secretly working with the Aether Foundation on the promise of money. They were disbanded following the events of the games.
Lusamine (ルザミーネ): The leader of the Aether Foundation, the mother of Lillie and Gladion and the real villain of the original Sun and Moon games. She is obsessed with the Ultra Beasts, specifically the Nihilego species having fallen under their influence; Gladion speculates her fixation started after her husband vanished while studying them. She unleashed the Nihilego upon Alola before deciding to live a solitary life amongst them in their home realm. She is taken over by a Nihilego at the games' climax in a last-ditch attempt to destroy the heroes. In the Ultra versions, she works with the Ultra Recon Squad and harnessing Nebby's power to fight Necrozma, but is easily defeated by it. She reforms at the end, choosing to no longer interfere in the lives of her children, but is captured by Team Rainbow Rocket and taken hostage in the post-game.
The Ultra Recon Squad (ウルトラ調査隊) is an organization appearing in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Their main goal is to investigate Ultra Wormholes, Ultra Beasts and return the light that was stolen from their home by Necrozma.
Lillie (リーリエ, Lilie) is an important character in Sun and Moon and their Ultra versions. She hates Pokémon battles (because she does not like seeing Pokémon getting hurt) and likes reading. She has Nebby the Cosmog in her bag, which she stole from the Aether Foundation because she knew her mother's intentions could end up killing it. She takes refuge with Professor Kukui.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019). These games are set in the fictional Galar region.
Victor (マサル, Masaru) and Gloria (ユウリ, Yūri) are the male and female protagonists of Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Sword and Shield features a large number of rival characters. These are:
Professor Magnolia (マグノリア博士, Magunoria-hakase) is the Pokémon Professor in the Galar region. She studies the Dynamax phenomenon. She is responsible for the player and Hop's "Dynamax Bands". She steps down as Professor near the end of the game.
Professor Sonia (ソニア博士, Sonia-hakase) is the granddaughter of Magnolia. She becomes the Galar professor after announcing her discovery of the legend of the Darkest Day. She appears throughout the story prior to this, often assisting the player and Hop. She publishes a book on her Dynamax research and in turn the true history of Galar, which causes Sordward and Shielbert to start the events of the postgame story. In The Crown Tundra, she is researching the Swords of Justice, Cobalion, Terrakion, and Virizion.
Leon (Dande (ダンデ)) is the Champion of the Galar League. He often appears throughout the story, and defeats various out of control Dynamax Pokémon caused by Eternatus. He has a horrible sense of direction and often gets lost. He was childhood rivals with both Sonia and Raihan. After defeating him and becoming the Champion, he will convert the villain's tower base into a Battle Tower. He also sets up the Galarian Star Tournament at the end of The Crown Tundra.
Mustard (マスタード, Mustard) runs the dojo on the Isle of Armor. He is a former Galar Champion who trained Leon in the past, reigning undefeated for 18 years until he retired due to being asked to participate in a rigged match. He purchased the Isle of Armor and developed an interest in video games.
Rose (ローズ) is the chairman of the Galar Pokémon League, the president of a large business conglomerate, and the main villain of Sword and Shield. He is obsessed with solving Galar's future energy crisis, and wants to awake Eternatus believing harnessing its power would solve the problem. After the player defeats and catches Eternatus, he voluntarily surrenders to the authorities. He specializes in Steel-type Pokémon.
Sordward (ソッド, Swod) & Shielbert (シルディ, Shildy) are the two main antagonists of the post-game story for Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Characters that were introduced in Pokémon Legends: Arceus (2022). This game is set in the Hisui region, taking place in the far history of the Sinnoh region of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
Characters that were introduced in the video games Pokémon Scarlet and Violet (2022). These games are set in the fictional Paldea region.
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