RocketSquid

For Science! (And we're back!)

173 posts in this topic

Introduction:

This mission report will catalog my exploits in a certain science mode save. It starts in the midst of a minmus exploration program, near the beginning of Year 3 (This may seem late, but I had some warp-related shenanigans earlier). Duna launch will be at day 309, with a probe launch at day 250.

Prologue: Deorbit and a Party:

Jeb sat quiet in his capsule, contemplating the calm beauty of space.

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"Alright Jeb, now it's time to fire your engines for a deorbit burn," came the voice over the radio. "We wouldn't want you to miss the party."

Jeb sighed, knowing that this would be his last time in space for months. On the other hand, the party was going to be fun, so he fired up the Monopropellant Ullage motors and then the main engine.

A few minutes later, after coming through a bath of plasma, his small capsule splashed down softly, and the recovery crew came to pick it up. Soon, after wishing the capsule goodbye, he walked into the admin building, where the party had just started. Just as he was filling his cup with punch, Linus Kerman walked in. "Everyone, quiet, we're getting the images now!"

A hush fell over the room, and the projector hummed to life.

(Link to album)

At once, the room erupted into mad cheering.

"Haha!" Shouted an engineer. "We did it! The first successful autonomous biome hopper, and WE built it!"

"Phew," Sighed Gene Kerman, "It didn't crash. Nothing went wrong"

"Wow! We now have access to temperature, pressure, and magnetism research from most of Minmus!" Exclaimed Linus Kerman

"Well, I know where I'm going," Said Jeb, half serious.

Just after the party, A strange kerbal walked in the door. He was at least 5 years older than anyone in the room, and was headed straight for Gene.

"Hello, Flight Director. I have some good news for you."

"Oh? Well, we seem to have a surplus of that today, not that I mind."

"I'm Mortimer Kerman, from the Department of Funds. Your 7 year budget has been approved. You won't need to worry about funds until year 10 at earliest. And there's something else you should know: We're all supporting you, from the lowliest intern to the President himself. Go out and get some science!"

Edited by RocketSquid
New Chapter
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Wow, an overtly friendly Mort.  That's a new twist. :D

 

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14 hours ago, Geschosskopf said:

Wow, an overtly friendly Mort.  That's a new twist. :D

 

Oh yes, since this is in science mode and funds simply aren't an issue, there was no reason for him to be an antagonist. And now for:

Chapter 1: Munshot:

"Well, goodbye, friends!" Said Jebbro. "I hope you enjoy the new scanner, the new pod, and the new snacks!"

"Of course!" replied Karen. "But mostly just the snacks!"

HiJSogU.png

The Mun 6 had stayed at the Mun Polar Observation Station for days after delivering the new module, but now it was time for them to leave. After Gusler, Kenmin, and Jebbro had piled aboard the Mun 6, Gusler began undocking.

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After reaching a safe distance, he turned the ship and fired the nuclear engine to push them into a lower orbit.

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After the nuclear propulsion bus was discarded, he triggered the descent engines to begin landing. Aiming for the southernmost of the twin craters, he pulled of the landing successfully, the proud commander of the sixth Mun mission. Of course, he would be getting out last, since Kenmin had called dibs on first out, and Jebbro on second.

Even so, they messed around on the Mun for a while, enjoying the low gravity and their fully fueled jetpacks, which were actually both mission critical, seeing as the lander didn't have any ladders. Eventually, they climbed back into the landers and took off, ready to return to Kerbin.

They returned to Kerbin orbit uneventfully, with enough fuel to de-orbit. The pods three occupants hurried to do a pre-entry status check before burning.

"We are good on fuel," said Jebbro, "but we don't have much extra."

"No problems with the pod structure," came Kenmin's visual inspection report over the radio, "and the engines are fine, if a bit scratched."

"Good job, you can come back in and we'll finish up," responded Gusler. After Kenmin returned, they prepared the decoupler diagnostics.

"Bolts one and two are good," Jebbro began reading, "Bolt 3... Bolt 3 is not responding. We cannot decouple. I repeat, we cannot decouple."

Gusler turned on the radio. "Mission control, we have a problem. We have diagnostic failure on bolt 3."

Back in mission control, KAPCOM Erwell Kerman was having a hard time believing his internal auditory organs. "Can you please repeat that?"

"I repeat, we have a decoupler failure"

"Roger," Erwell replied nervously, before taking off his headset. "Attention! We have an emergency, Code A-10"

Silence fell over the room, as mission controllers scrambled for their emergency response handbooks. Reading carefully, Erwell said "Okay, Gusler. The official procedure is to expend all remaining fuel to reduce the inclination of your orbit, then to turn off all non-critical systems."

Gusler responded, "Affirmative," and began re-orientating the ship for the burn. He remained cheerful, as did the rest of the crew.

 

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1 hour ago, RocketSquid said:

Silence fell over the room, as mission controllers scrambled for their emergency response handbooks. Reading carefully, Erwell said "Okay, Gusler. The official procedure is to expend all remaining fuel to reduce the inclination of your orbit, then to turn off all non-critical systems."

That should work.  The less fuel, the quicker the tank will heat up and blow off the capsule, so as not to overload its chute

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Well, that could work, but it hadn't started the de-orbit at the time. The goal was actually to make it easier for the rescue ship to rendezvous with them. The decoupler failure happened because SDHI requires AnimatedDecouplers, which I thought I had, but actually didn't. Thankfully, I have it for the rescue misssion. But before we get to that, how about an...

Interlude: Neighborhood watch:

While most of KSC was worrying about the stranded astronauts, a few kerbals in a remote corner in R&D were abuzz with excitement, despite the stranded mission. These kerbals made up the SENTINEL team, and they were happy because it was launch day. The SENTINEL was mounted on a Kerbin 3-V (3 stacks-5 engines. They go up to 5 stacks, 9 engines) and was sitting on the launch pad in all of its glory.

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The launch went off without a hitch, and the Kerbin 3-V proved unnecessary for such a payload.

After the craft reached the upper atmosphere, the boosters were separated and the main engine began to fire.

kYAtRfa.png

It kept firing for quite a while, since it was entirely unnecessary for this.

Op32g2H.png

But hey, it worked. And after all, they didn't have to worry about budget.

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Hmm. A bit odd, so few replies. Oh well, the story will continue even if the audience remains silent.

Chapter 2: Rescue: Part 1:

"And these Kerbs went up, knowing that they were doing a great and heroic thing, but at the same time expecting to get home, or at the very least get stranded on the Mun, rather than in orbit. And so it is our duty to do whatever we can to bring them home," President Kerman concluded.

From the back of the audience, Gus Kerman could be heard shouting at the interns whose job it was to pull back the big curtains and show everyone the rocket. Eventually, the rocket was revealed. Many in the audience fainted, not expecting such a medium rocket.

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"Now, Ladies and gentlekerbs, we ask you to please head over to R&D and bother them while you're watching the launch," Announced Gene.

"Hey!" Shouted Linus Kerman.

Eventually, after Linus's sandwich was nearly thrown off of the VAB, the crowd was corralled into R&D and the launch could start.

When the telemetry came back from space, the crowd was ecstatic. But now, the launch experts handed off the controls to the orbital experts, as always.

Now they were set, maneuvers plotted, and ready to rescue the stranded kerbonauts. Will they succeed? Only time will tell!

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Chapter 2: Rescue: Part 2: (Aka The little capsule that could)

After three days of carefully timed burns, precise maneuvers, and idle drifting, the time for rendezvous had finally come.

KqcOKg5.png?2

The pilots had succeeded in lowering the intercept distance to 4.3 km, and the intercept speed to a moderate 13 m/s. Now, it was time for the precision business of docking the craft. The docking camera in the otherwise deserted command pod silently blinked to life, and began a orderly conversation with the external control panel. "Beep?" asked the panel. "Beep boop bleep," responded the enthusiastic docking cam. Honestly, this would be really annoying if there was anyone aboard. The effort truly strained the tiny radioisotope battery in the panel, but it persevered. The docking procedures would nearly deplete its battery reserves, but still it pushed on, for it knew, somewhere in its tiny electronic brain, that it had to persist, it had to save those kerbals. Soon, the approach began.

Meanwhile, in the Mun 6 capsule, Kenmin was groggily waking up. "Hunhh... Oh wait, I'm in space. Right. Well, time for space stuff," he muttered as he checked the flight systems. "What? Proximity alert?" It was at this point that he looked out the viewport and saw a largish speck approaching. "Mun 6 Rescue?! Gusler, wake up! We need to be ready to dock!"

"What? What are we docking with?" Said Gusler, groggily.

"The rescue ship!!" shouted Kenmin, waking up Jebbro.

Gusler immediately spun the ship about, handily smacking Jebbro's head into the wall. They eagerly awaited the incoming rescue ship, so eagerly, in fact, that it was visible to Kerbin-based eagerness detectors. And at last...

LZu1nG5.png?1

Mission part one is a success! The rescue ship is on the right in this picture.

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It'll be a while, but the next update will be big. Very big. A few brief teasers:

Spoiler

fuEePt9.png

"Jeb! We already told you, it's a CARGO plane. It can't turn that fast!"

------

"So, wait, why do I have to go on EVA to bring the data into the other capsule?" said Jebbro.

"Poor hatch design," responded Kenmin, casually.

------

"So, we're supposed to make a probe, which will go farther than any probe in history, out of parts that haven't been invented yet?" asked Gus.

"Ja!"

"Okay, just wanted to make sure we were on the same page."

 

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Wait a second... do you just launch straight up for your orbit? 

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14 hours ago, Tangle said:

Wait a second... do you just launch straight up for your orbit? 

Well, I launch straight up, but it turns east at about 36-50 KM (Gravity turn), so I'm pretty much just burning prograde.

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Huh. Most of the time I'm turning half of the flight! 

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Woo! I made some biggish progress! So, another chapter!

Chapter 3: More Rescuing and Planetside Operations.

Gusler had almost fallen asleep again when he heard Erwell's voice over the radio.

"Okay, Mun 6, you are approved to switch capsules and undock. Be sure to get the science, we'll see you in a day or two."

Gusler opened the intercapsule hatch. He would miss having a capsule all to himself, even if it was just for a day. Jebbro and Kenmin were predictably floating in the old capsule, playing kards.

"So, it's time to go home," Gusler told them. "But first, one of you will need to go on EVA to get the samples."

"Okay," responded Kenmin. "Whoever loses our kard game will go get the samples."

"That'll take too long," said Jebbro, "and besides, Gusler isn't even in our game. We'll just do rocket-paper-booster."

"Oh wow, I haven't played that in years!" replied Kenmin. "Remind me of the rules again."

"Okay, so rocket beats booster, since you can't get to space on boosters alone. Paper beats rocket, since every gram counts. And booster beats paper, either through incineration or lifting it, depending on who you play with."

"Ready? Rocket, paper, booster,... LAUNCH!"

Jebbro throws paper. Both of the others throw booster.

"Aw, chute!" mutters Jebbro.

Minutes later, outside the capsule:

b4ca31J.png

"So, wait, why do I have to go on EVA to bring the data into the other capsule?" said Jebbro.

"Poor hatch design," responded Kenmin, casually. "You can't access the sample return containers from the inside, since they don't fit through the inner airlock hatch. "

"Okay, fine. I've got all of the samples from our capsule into the other. But there isn't any room for the samples still in the experiments. We'll just have to leave them."

"Hurry in. We're about to leave."

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"Woo hoo!" All three kerbals cried in unison.

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Meanwhile, on Kerbin...

"Mission control, I may have a problem."

"What is it, Jeb. I imagine it can't be worse than when you almost crashed the cargo plane."

"It's not my fault the plane wasn't built right!"

"It wasn't built wrong, it was just built for stability rather than maneuverability!"

"So it was built wrong. Anyways, you know how you guys warned me about how Kerbin's deserts contained kwiksand? And how I was supposed to avoid falling in it? Well, fortunately, I have not gotten stuck in quicksand."

"So what exactly are you calling about?"

"The crate containing the hab was not so lucky. On the other hand, I didn't have an engineer in the first place so..."

"Fine. Just push the remaining crate away and come home."

08YoHfN.png

"I guess we'll just have to file away the desert outpost project away for another day," Sighed Gene, as he prepared to leave for the staff meeting.

Five minutes later, in the administration building:

"Alright, everybody. Settle down. Snacks will be served as soon as everyone is seated." said Gene. On this he started blinking and felt a breeze. As soon as he opened his eyes, the previously disorderly crowd of KSC employees was now politely seated, and the catering staff had entered the room.

"So, let's start. First of all, Geoff, how's the rescue mission coming?"

Geoff Kerman, director of Kerbin Orbital operations, stood up and replied, "Gusler and his crew should be moving down to LKO through a highly safe "Switchback" style orbit. They will have circularized by this afternoon."

"Good, and now Wernher... Oh wait, he never comes to these things... and now Linus, how are things going down there in R&D?"

"The "Research" Part has been pretty slow, since our data from the Mun 6 has been delayed, but we did pull off some directed research into glass and some big nuclear engines, and we've made some real progress in the "Development" area."

"How so?"

"We're designing two new craft: The Beryl-1 probe, which will be sent to Jool and the other outer planets, is in the works now. Most of the body has been fabricated, so all that's left is to install the engines."

"Has work started on engine installation?

"No, sir. The engines haven't been invented yet. And the other craft..."

"Is ze Duna Interplanetary!" Interrupted Wernher, who had just walked in the door. "I normally haff more important things to do than to attend zese meetings, but I simply couldn't let my intern spoil the reveal!"

"I assume by the name that the Duna Interplanetary is the long awaited Duna mission?"

"Ja! And also no, it is only part of the Duna mission. But it is the biggest part, and is very important as vell. It vill transport the kerbonauts from Kerbin orbit to Duna orbit, and back safely. Ve haff currently finished the bridge segment and propulsion segment."

"In orbit assembly!?" Shouted Gus. "How big is this thing!"

"Big." Said Linus. "Four segments long. 3 nuclear thermal engines for thrust, and it's currently planned to be powered by either a nuclear reactor or a set of RTGs. Of course, we haven't researched either of those yet, and we'll probably need some sort of new construction technique to assemble this thing, so we're going to need a lot of science."

"Fortunately, there's a perfect place to get it," Finished Gene, "Minmus."

That afternoon, back in the Mun 6 rescue ship,

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"WE MADE IT! LKO!" Shouted the crew. "Just 250 KM from home!"

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Aw, 'chute' :D Also love the name Jebbro. It's like he's a really, really male Jeb fan. Like, "Do you even space, Bro?"

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14 minutes ago, Kuzzter said:

Aw, 'chute' :D Also love the name Jebbro. It's like he's a really, really male Jeb fan. Like, "Do you even space, Bro?"

The random name generator strikes again! In my other saves, I have gotten a "Haddock Kerman" who was assigned immediately to a boat, and a "Kirk Kerman" who I tucked away until later. But in this save, the most interesting names are probably Luke Kerman, and the Jebbro-Kenmin-Gusler trio, who each have a normal name as the first half of their names.

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Fun! Gotta watch out for those crates, they tend to be touchy in some areas...

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4 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

The random name generator strikes again! In my other saves, I have gotten a "Haddock Kerman" who was assigned immediately to a boat, and a "Kirk Kerman" who I tucked away until later. But in this save, the most interesting names are probably Luke Kerman, and the Jebbro-Kenmin-Gusler trio, who each have a normal name as the first half of their names.

If I ever get a Haddock Kerman, he's immediately being promoted to Captin and given a ship full of 'hydrazine'. I bet @Hotaru knows what I'm talking about :) 

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Just now, Angel-125 said:

Fun! Gotta watch out for those crates, they tend to be touchy in some areas...

Yeah. That was an annoying mission. It took 2 hours of piloting the plane, which had to be done in real time because for some reason it would drop like a rock whenever I tried to physical warp. The plane kept nosing down during landing, beyond the abilities of the SAS to fix, and after a non-fatal crash I loaded the save from right before landing and used hyperedit to set it down. Then I realized that I had forgotten the engineer...

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45 minutes ago, RocketSquid said:

Yeah. That was an annoying mission. It took 2 hours of piloting the plane, which had to be done in real time because for some reason it would drop like a rock whenever I tried to physical warp. The plane kept nosing down during landing, beyond the abilities of the SAS to fix, and after a non-fatal crash I loaded the save from right before landing and used hyperedit to set it down. Then I realized that I had forgotten the engineer...

Yikes! I hate it when I do that! That's one reason I set up Pathfinder so that you can hit Alt P and turn off that requirement. Next update will have an app menu button so you won't have to remember Alt P. Anyway, looking forward to reading more. :)

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1 minute ago, Angel-125 said:

Yikes! I hate it when I do that! That's one reason I set up Pathfinder so that you can hit Alt P and turn off that requirement. Next update will have an app menu button so you won't have to remember Alt P. Anyway, looking forward to reading more. :)

Oh no, I needed the engineer to attach the muncrete slab to the ground. And it still would've been moot, I forgot a drill.

Edited by RocketSquid

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Chapter 3: Part 2: Homeward Bound!:

3W3oxVv.png

"I'm sittin' in the floating capsule," Began Jebbro, who had a surprisingly good singing voice. "Got some fuel for my deorbit."

"On a tour among the stars, my supplies and science in hand. And ev'ry ship is neatly stocked, for a pilot and some friends!"

All of the kerbonauts joined in on the chorus "Homeward bound! I know I am, Homeward bound! Home where my snacks are waiting! Home where my couch is sitting! Home where my life is waiting, down there in the world!"

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"Farewell, service module! we will miss you!" Shouted Kenmin

"Wait, why?" asked Jebbro.

"Now we have to turn off the heated seats" said Gusler

"Hold on, we had heated seats?"

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"You're in a spacesuit. You have a heated seat even when you're standing up."

And with that they struck up another verse, drifting back into the atmosphere to the tune of Simon and Karfunkel Kerman.

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And speaking of atmosphere, it was starting to get hot outside!

They remained unphased. Soon the plasma subsided, and after a bit longer the drogues deployed.

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They suddenly became very, very scared.

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Fortunately, this drogue-o-phobia seemed to subside once the mains deployed.

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And by Jool, there were a lot of parachutes:

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They came to an unsurprisingly safe landing in the mountains.

niAE8z4.png Despite the long journey, Kenmin found the strength to leave the capsule. Using an extra flag as a walking stick, he inadvertently deployed it and decided to just pose for a picture.

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He managed to leave a witty message before Jebbro came out and posed for a picture.

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They were already in the helikopter by the time Gusler had said goodbye to the pod and left. It would remain there until they found a helikopter big enough to carry it (or until I hyperedit it to the KSC).

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Farewell, capsule, hello, SCIENCE!!! Between the pod and some minor experiments on crew health and landing conditions (AKA EVA reports and surface samples from the return site), they had brought in over 500 Science. With results from Kerbin Station, it totaled 515 science! and a defective scanner on the MPOS registered as giving 50 more science from an orbital survey, which just goes to show that the R&D staff never actually reads those things. Either way, the experiments on the munar surface had allowed the R&D staff to develop drills and compact refineries that they believed would work on other planets. Additionally, the space particle research facility had just developed something they called a "Gravioli Detector", a device exploiting a few recent breakthroughs in universal graviolity theory to detect negatively charged gravioli particles, the particle behind gravity. They had also figured out how to use neutrons to detect hydrogen. SCIENCE!!!

Also, my save is getting increasingly unstable. It took 3 tries to recover gusler without crashing, and I'm having problems launching vessels. I may have to scrap a couple of as-of-yet unused mods.

Edited by RocketSquid
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Heated seats hah! Sadly i am out of replikes for today. Also, love that song--I did a version of it myself way back in the days of Duna, Ore Bust. It lends itself perfectly to the longing a kerbal feels for getting back to Kerbin--so they can launch again as soon as possible of course :) 

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There will be a hiatus coming soon. May be brief, may be long. My game has finally decided to stop letting me into the VAB.

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On March 1, 2016 at 7:53 PM, Kuzzter said:

If I ever get a Haddock Kerman, he's immediately being promoted to Captin and given a ship full of 'hydrazine'. I bet @Hotaru knows what I'm talking about :) 

I believe you are talking about Captain Haddock from Tintin. He was my favorite character.

 

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I removed 3 mods, and my game started letting me into the VAB again. It still refuses to let me leave. Or launch things from the pad.

Edit 1: Progress report: Sorry DeepFreeze, ocean effects, and "good" graphics setting. You will be missed. But hey, now it at least reports it when it crashes on attempting to launch things.

Edit 2: Graphics setting lowered even further. It still crashed, but it lasted about 2.1 seconds longer!

Edited by RocketSquid

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Intermission: Profound Change:

 

Our world has changed...

First there was a wave of destruction.

Much that was no longer is.

Much that could have been,

Will not.

 

But now there is a wave of rebirth.

Things that were gone have returned.

And the universe has gotten...

Deeper. But at the same time...

Brighter.

Space and time have been forever changed.

This is going to be very, very...

 

 

Fun.

 

So, yeah. Thanks to 64 bit community workaround, my game WORKS again!!!!

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