Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Edits, The

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
One Edit to Rule Them All
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2012/2013/2014
Original Running Time:
533
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
290
Time Cut:
242
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The Hobbit is changed.

I see it in the Films.
I read it on the Forums.
I tell it, on the web.

Much that once was, is cut. And none now live, who remember it.


It began with the forging of the Great Edits.

Three films were given to the nerds, immortal, wisest and fairest of all beings.

Seven years to the Editors. Redesigners, and craftsmen of the Forum Walls.

And Five, Five Edits were gifted to the Academy, who above all else, revise for hours.

For within these edits was bound the length and the skill to govern each film.

But they were all of them deceived, for another edit was made.

In the land of Indoors, in the fires of "My Room," the Dark Lord Stromboli forged in secret, a master edit, to combine all others.

And into this edit he poured his creativity, his talents, and his will to culminate all Five.

One Edit to Rule Them All.

Intention:
To take the “best” elements from the other Hobbit edits out there and combine them\ to create something akin to a “Greatest Hits” Hobbit edit.
Additional Notes:
Extra huge shoutout to DonKamillo, whose edit served as the framework for my own. Alongside DonKamillo, I’d like to thank Spence, Dustin Lee, L8wrtr, and Adam Dens whose edits were the “Big Five” that I drew tons of inspiration from. Later on, I decided to include some things from Wraith and M4’s edits, and then even later on I added a few things from TM2YC on top of a lot of community feedback! Without these eight other editors, their magnificent work, and this wonderful community, my edit would not exist. Thank you so much to all of you for your own hard work, your invaluable feedback, and your guidance as I crafted what I consider to be a Tribute to the brilliance you have each poured into your own projects.
Other Sources:
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Soundtrack
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Official Soundtrack
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Official Soundtrack

CinePacks Fire and Water FX

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Special Thanks:
Most importantly, I want to thank my wife, whom I married on Frodo on Bilbo's birthday! Without her this project would not exist, nor would I have had the opportunity to show it off at my local movie theater to almost 30 of my closest friends!

I would also like to thank Jasper Rex for the awesome artwork he did, Wraith for taking the time to watch (over and over) and review my edit, and Artisdead for doing everything in his power to see my project come to light, and flourish!
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
April, 2022 Update - Since I initially finished this project in November, 2021, I have rebuilt the entire edit from scratch in order to improve the overall quality (including subtitles). I also implemented several changes that were suggested by members of the community, friends, and other viewers alike!


This edit has an episodic structure, consisting of 5 Volumes/Episodes, complete with a custom title-card, and simple “To Be Continued” outro. The total runtime is 4:51:34 (291 minutes and 34 seconds) with episode runtimes of:

An Unexpected Journey - 53:29
Riddles in the Dark - 52:42
A Warm Welcome - 1:01:05
Fire and Water - 52:35
There and Back Again – 1:11:43 (58:25 + 13:18 end-credits)

DonKamillo's: The Anti-Cringe Cut provided the scaffolding for my edit. I have changed many things about it, but his edit has the largest inclusion of them all in my edit. The first and foremost being the episodic structure, as well as the names for each episode.

This is not a "book" cut. There are some elements from the books that I have excised, and there are some elements unique to the films that I have chosen to retain. This project came from my goal to create the best possible version of these films, without any constraints outside of quality.
Cuts and Additions:
A more detailed Episode-by-Episode changelog is listed further below!

This is a short list of common/major scene removals:

Musical Numbers
Most things that defy the laws of physics (stone giants, certain barrel stunts, etc)
Prologues/Flashbacks (The Black Arrow Flashback remains)
Dor Guldur/High Fells/Radagast/White Council
White Orc Plot (90% deleted, he is the nameless leader of the army at the end, like Gothmog in Return of the King)
No orcs during the Eagles rescue
Legolas/Tauriel/Kili – Romance removed, Gundabad subplot removed, Legolas and Tauriel only appear in a few scenes, including showing up at the battle at the end (Tauriel doesn’t do anything)
Azog vs Thorin – Heavily restructured




Detailed Changelog


Episode 1 - An Unexpected Journey

o This episode retains 99% of its structure from the Anti-Cringe Cut (No Prologue, No Azog, No Radagast) except for a few small things:
o Cut Gandalf scaring Bilbo by looking through the window, and added back the scene of Bilbo going to the market
(Both modeled after M4’s cuts)
o Cut the “have a feel of me tubers, nice and firm they are” line from the end of the scene where Bilbo is in the market in the shire because…yeah.
o Removed the line “You must be Mister Boggins!” so that the sequence goes “Fili, Kili *bow* at your service.” “NOPE you can’t come in you’ve come to the wrong house” (TM2YC)
o Cut Blunt the Knives (TM2YC)
o Minor, yet significant change of: swapping Thorin’s 2 reactions to Gandalf saying “to look ahead/looking behind” and then “He had the nous to play for time. None of the rest of you thought of that!”
o Thorin now smiles after Gandalf talks-up Bilbo (TM2YC)
o Since Thorin and Bilbo no longer have their big moment at the end of the Eagle rescue, I figured it was important to include some of these moments that TM2YC implemented in an effort to both diminish Thorin’s over-the-top hatred of Bilbo, and to make their friendship grow more organically. It’s the little things that count here!
o Took the first half of the Post-Rivendell-Walking-Montage and placed it here to better transition the company from the troll caves into Rivendell. The second half occurs where it does originally (M4)



Episode 2 - Riddles in the Dark

o This is where things start changing quite a bit from Anti-Cringe, starting with a few small continuity errors
o Gandalf mentioning the orc/sled chase sequence that had been excised; once when Elrond arrives, once at dinner, and then once at the start of Episode 3
o Cut Bofur singing and dancing on the dais they used for the One Ring in the Fellowship (Love the joke, don't mind the song, but too goofy)
o I always loved how Anti-Cringe moved the scene "My lord Elrond, the dwarves.... They're gone." to come right after Galadriel shows up. I thought it was genius. However, someone pointed out to me that we see Thorin and Bilbo dropping eves on that conversation like 30 seconds prior to that announcement, so it was a continuity error that was perhaps pretty minor, but one that bugged me enough to change it!
o As a result, the Rivendell sequence now only has 1 night, instead of 2.
o Day arrival -> Dinner -> Night Moon Runes -> Night Eavesdropping -> Galadriel -> Bilbo explores Rivendell the following morning -> Departure
o Used the 2nd half of the walking Montage that originally shows up here
o As mentioned above, I used the 1st half in Episode 1 to transition from the troll hoard to Rivendell like M4 did
o My version differs from M4’s slightly here by including the Gandalf/Galadriel conversation
o Removed a line where Gandalf mentions Saruman when he’s talking to Galadriel. While most of us know who he is, Saruman doesn’t appear in this edit, and so it implied that he was referring to a conversation with someone that happened off-screen. Is that a problem? Eh, maybe not. But I cut it anyway.
o Used Maple's version of removing the (Rock & Stone) Storm Giants, which includes Bilbo slipping and falling and needing rescuing, rather than ALMOST falling
o Toned down Thorin raging at Bilbo for said fall, just a little (TM2YC)
o No Goblin King song (kept the very short version that appears a bit later in the Theatrical)
o Bilbo does not witness Gollum dropping the Ring out of his pocket; he finds it like he did in the book. The rest of the Gollum sequence is 100% intact
o I tried using a couple different versions of the Golbin Tunnels escape/battle, but most of the fighting in these scenes is just too silly and CGI heavy for me, so I went with L8wrtr's version:
o Gandalf shows up, chase begins, cut to Bilbo and Gollum which then concludes with Gollum hiding from the party as they run by, Bilbo escapes and joins them.
o There’s some fighting initially when Gandalf shows up, but everything after that has been excised
o Removed Gandalf noticing Bilbo put the ring in his pocket (M4)
o Added back his "Awwww" expression towards Bilbo once Bilbo gives his wholesome speech (I accidentally cut this in an old version)
o Hal9000
o The Eagles rescue occurs with a few Orcs, but no Azog. I then used M4 and eric1894's version of the carrock scene; Thorin's scars have been digitally removed, and the scene occurs without the complicated Thorin/Bilbo bonding scene.
o Episode ends with the company gazing out at the Lonely Mountain
o I have an alternate version that keeps the original ending of this episode that DonKamillo did. Bilbo says “I think the worst is behind us” and it cuts to just before Bilbo sees Beorn.
o This version also exists in my Single-Film Version and is the only real change going from the Miniseries to the Single-Film
o I always liked this transition, but it was a complaint from viewers, more often than not, and I DO see why people don’t like it. So I decided to cut it from my main version.
o Replaced the slowed shot I used of Bilbo in this alternate ending with a cropped and zoomed version of the same shot for removing the caption. Wraith and I discussed this a while back and I thought it looked weird, but when I saw TM2YC's edit and barely noticed, I realized it was the way to go!



Episode 3 - A Warm Welcome

o Episode now begins Post-Bree-Prologue
o Bilbo pops his head up over the rock to gaze down at the Wargs (caption removed)
o He then sees Beorn
o Desolation of Smaug title removed
o This is now the “Main” version of this episode’s beginning. The “Alternate” Version begins right after this, with Bilbo running down to warn the company about what he just saw (at the end of Episode 2, in the Alternate’s case)
o Cut one of the dwarves (Thorin?) saying “and be run down by a pack of orcs?”
o There are Orcs in the distant mountain shots, and I don’t feel that that’s so much a plot hole (or at least, a big enough one for me to care about) as it is just part of the world of Middle-Earth; Wargs and Orcs hang out. However, I cut the line originally because the attack was from “just” Wargs (I just adjust it a bit here)
o Used M4's transitions for the party arriving at Beorn's house and Gandalf's departure outside Mirkwood
o Beorn's intro from the extended edition is here because I loved it in the book and they kept it pretty close to verbatim
o Removed any mention of Azog
o Sauron's eye at Mirkwood moved a bit so it’s not tied to the Ring
o Entering Mirkwood up to the Spider attack is untouched.
o Some spider-battle antics cut
o Bilbo doesn’t lose the Ring, nor kill the baby spider
o Kept "That's my wee lad: Gimli" because I love it and you can’t stop me…
o Reversed shot of Bilbo peeking around the corner inside Thranduil's house (M4)
o The Legolas/Tauriel/Kili love story has been completely excised
o Thranduil DOES do his weird melty-face bit because he lays down some foreshadowing about Thorin being "just like [your grandfather]"
o No changes here, just information
o Legolas and Tauriel’s only real roles are capturing the dwarves in Mirkwood, shooting some Orcs during the barrel sequence and then, and warning Gandalf about Bolg's army later in Episode 5
o The Barrel Chase scene remains, with Bolg, but has been trimmed heavily in my own modified version of Maple Films's version
o The Company arriving in Lake Town is a modified version of DonKamillo's, with a sprinkling of M4
o There’s no Anti-Bard conspiracy
o Sorry Stephen Colbert



o Episode 4 - Fire and Water

o The dwarves don’t stay behind with Bard and his family; Maple Films handled this beautifully, and I replicated it (including his digitally edited shot(s) of all the dwarves walking to the mountain)
o I previously mimicked L8wrtr's version of the dwarves not giving up when they couldn't find the keyhole, then I tried Maple's, ended up with M4's.
o Remove Sauron's eye when Bilbo takes off the ring (Smaug encounter). Now, the only time Sauron's eye shows up in my edit is right before Gandalf leaves Mirkwood. This was done at Wraith's recommendation to disassociate the Ring from feeling so "LotR-Prequel"y, and place that foreshadowing on Gandalf's shoulders, so it can be fleshed out in Episode 4.5
o Created new sequence during the Smaug encounter (modeled off of Maple Films) to make a better transition
o The dwarves do not enter the mountain until after Smaug has been defeated
o No Golden Smaug – I used L8wrtr’s version of Smaug’s exit and applied M4's (Formerly Maple's) color correction to Smaug
o The lead-up to Smaug decimating Lake Town is of my own design, and I'm very proud of it!
o Cropped the shot of Bard pulling back on his stupid makeshift bow to make it look more like he’s pulling back on a regular bow, rather than one that breaks the laws of physics.
o I always knew this shot was a continuity error if you realized what you were looking at, but I never knew how to deal with it.
o Thanks JPePe for the suggestion!
o Used M4’s digital removal of Bain from the clocktower
o Bard then uses a regular arrow in a modified version of L8wrtr’s Smaug fight which makes perfect sense to me because:
o (Already stated above) I always felt that having the Black Arrow be the only thing that could pierce the dragon's hide was fine, but then having that also be the "only" thing that could kill him once the armor was already broken was.... Overkill?
o Used a combination of M4/Maple Films's version of the post-Smaug lake town carnage/recovery efforts
o Tweaked this further to remove Alfrid entirely (we assume he died with the Master) and mention of the Black Arrow, whilst keeping the scene of Bard giving his rallying speech to the people of Laketown (.......We find shelter etc)
o You don’t see Bilbo hand over the Arkenstone, nor do you see Gandalf return and consult with Thranduil and Bard about the incoming orc assault. Episode 4 ends with Bilbo leaving the company on the wall at night, and Episode 5 begins in the morning with the elves and men knocking at the gate.

o I did this for three reasons:
1) Gandalf telling Thranduil and Bard that Azog has an army that has "been bred for war" is a line I got sick of hearing, it also diminishes the entire existence of the Uruk-hai in LotR
2) Gandalf's return is now also seen as a surprise, as the viewer sees his return at the same time the dwarves do, which doesn't automatically make it a good thing, but I believe it is in this case. Gandalf has been disappearing and reappearing for like 4 hours (7 originally) straight at this point so it's very in-character
3) Cutting Bilbo's Arkenstone delivery adds a layer of mystery to his departure. Sure, we can all guess why he left, but we don't KNOW why he left, until it is revealed. I am aware that his delivery is a scene that's in the book, but I feel cutting it from my version helped with the pacing and added a little dose of mystery to the film(s).



o Episode 4.5 - The Necromancer

o This episode contains the entirety of the Dor Guldur subplot, much in the same way that Maple Films has his "Durin's Folk and the Hill of Sorcery" but mine won't include any flashbacks. It strictly follows Radagast and Gandalf as they investigate the High Fells and the Necromancer. It's intended to be watched only if you enjoy the Dor Guldur content and wish it had been left in!
o Some digitally altered shots from TM2YC have been used, as well as how he handled the White Council meeting (Radagast gives Gandalf the Morgul blade in a flashback during the council meeting)



o Episode 5 - There and Back Again

o The large majority of the Battle occurs the way it does in Adam Dens's edit (silliness removed, worms removed, the usual stuff)
o Adam Dens is the only edit I've ever seen that removes the absolutely atrocious elves-leaping-over-the-dwarven-phalanx bit. That scene gives Game of Thrones a run for its money for the Worst Military Strategy I've ever seen (Looking at you Battle of Winterfell) Thank God for Adam. It's gone.
o Azog kills Fili and Bolg kills Kili (Adam Dens)
o Azog is never mentioned by name, (re-used and reversed a shot of Thorin to cover up Bilbo saying "Azog" in one shot)
o A lot of editors trim out Bard leading the humans in battle inside Dale, but Adam chose to leave it and intertwine it with the second phase of the Battle. I kept this because giving Bard an actual story (rescuing his kids, leading the humans) was an excellent choice by the filmmakers to fix Tolkein's Deux Ex Machina of having some random dude named Bard show up and One Shot "the chiefest and greatest calamity of our age" and then be completely inconsequential.
o Thorin still experiences dragon sickness but it is toned down just a tad. In the book it's not some magical illness, things are just going to his head (primarily greed) but I felt that trying to cut out all of the film's version left things feeling magically resolved, so I left it. Plus I absolutely love all of Richard Armitage's acting during this bit. He portrays the sort of Gollum/Smeagol-esque dual personality disorder VERY well. Not everyone is, but I am especially partial to when Thorin spits out a Smaug line word-for-word to Bilbo and he just stares back in disbelief.
o There are some scenes containing “CGI monstrosities” like the catapault-trolls, and I have added back in the war-goat ride up to Ravenhill
o I know not everyone loves the goat sequence, but it gave Balin some much-needed time in the spotlight, which lets me overlook the CGI
o Azog kills Fili
o Bolg kills Kili
o Azog vs Thorin: M4 had a solid version of handling this that removed the entire bit of Azog breaking out of the ice, but it involved cutting out so much of the fight that when we come back to it after seeing the Eagles/Beorn wrecking shop, all of a sudden Thorin is on his back about to die. To circumvent this I rearranged the sequence of events here so that the Eagles/Beorn show up before Thorin and Azog even start their fight, and then the fight plays out until Azog knocks Thorin off his feet with his rock flail, and capitalizes on it. Both of our versions have some slight continuity errors, but those errors pale when compared to Azog's physics-defying jump out of the ice.
o I further modified this sequence so that the Eagles now arrive AFTER Thorin defeats Azog. I didn’t love this idea at first, but JPePe had some sound reasoning, and after some thought, I think it actually makes even more sense than he initially realized!
o To my knowledge, nobody has ever done it this way before, JPePe you’re a wizard
o Thorin now fights and defeats Azog thinking that this is the ONLY way they're going to win the Battle; by cutting the head off the snake. This adds weight to their duel, whereas in the originals (and my edit originally) their duel was overshadowed pretty heavily by the fact that a handful of literal Bird Deities just showed up with gigantic Bear-man to start absolutely wrecking shop. If Thorin had lost this duel, chances are the good guys would have won the battle anyway, and probably would have killed Azog. Delaying the Eagles means that the characters and the audience are both operating under the assumption that Thorin's life isn't the only thing at stake here; He has to win this, or the good guys are hosed!
o By extension, the impact that the Eagles and Beorn have on the battle is now reduced (Azog is dead, it has been implied that this will cause the army to fall apart) and makes them more of a Clean-up Crew, rather than Tolkein's signature Deus Ex Machina (A complaint I hear, and agree with, quite often!)
o This was surprisingly a super easy change (I basically just cut and pasted), but I think it actually has a pretty substantial impact on how the final act plays out. Thanks again JPepe for all of your suggestions, and for finding all my other goofs, too!
o Used Maple's/M4's digital removal of Radagast riding an Eagle
o Funeral has Gandalf's deleted scene speech reinserted (M4)
o Removed Gandalf acknowledging that Bilbo possesses a Ring (M4)
o I kept the full BoFA credits because although there are a few characters (like Radagast) who don't show up in this edit, I don't intend to diminish the time and effort they put into making the original films by excising them from the credits!
o Added shoutouts to everyone who was a part of this project!
New Trailer


Smaug Demo


Thorin vs Azog Demo

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So I have a unique perspective when it comes to watching this edit. My grandpa gave me his extended copies of LOTR and The Hobbit to watch for the first time. I spent 11 hours watching LOTR for the first time and they were very long but enjoyable. However, I was told by others after I had finished it, The Hobbit was a bit of a mess and someone suggested looking up a fan edit of it to save time. I then come across this cut and after considering the two that are here on IFDB, I decided to watch this version and I have to say, it felt very seamless and not bloated at all. The episodic format especially helped give me a bit of breathing room as the LOTR extended versions I couldn't find a good place to stop. I would even say it is pretty close to the quality of the LOTR trilogy as best as it could and I highly recommend this edit to anyone interested. I will be saving this copy and even share it with my grandpa when we I get the chance.

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As others have already said - this is probably the best way to watch Hobbit movies. It concentrates primarily on Bilbo and Dwarves and cuts out most of the other plotlines, from which the movies only benefits. As far as i can tell, visual/audio quality has been superb every second of it. Editing is very smooth and feels like it has been done by a real professional. The source material itself however is not even remotely in the same league as LotR trilogy, so naturally there are things that even the best of the fanedits cannot fix, but overall this is definitely deserves the praise.

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Attempting to reimagine the Hobbit franchise into something stomachable has become a favourite pastime of various editors in recent years, spawning dozens upon dozens of edits over the years. The original films were a bloated mess overall, with any scene of notable quality being crushed flat under the weight of the surrounding trilogy's endless cavalcade of shoehorned b-plots, excessive CGI, and a main character who gets little overshadow somehow.

With those past flaws in mind, I am happy to report that the work Stromboli has done here is nothing short of extraordinary. By mixing the narrative structuring, editing techniques, and CGI touch-ups of a variety of editors (including his own important additions) into a cohesive whole, he has managed to make an episodic version of the Hobbit which surpasses the original in every conceivable way.

The audio and visual quality were superb, with the editing somehow being rarely noticeable in spite of the sheer complexity of the cuts.
The narrative of this cut never fully breaks its own internal logic at any obvious point, managing to be mostly book accurate while also not being afraid to flesh out action sequences/characters if it improves the series. The elimination of so many problem plot-lines/characters/scenes without losing any vital information is both a testament to the skill of the edit and how much useless filler was stuffed into the trilogy.

Finally, the pacing of the edit was a notable highlight. The only time I felt it drag a bit was during the titular final battle, but even then it still blows the original pacing away. Overall, the pacing made the action set pieces of each episode much more enjoyable.

I would recommend this to just about anyone who likes fantasy shows. One last note: there is a plethora of audio/visual quality options to choose from for this edit if your particular about that and have the space for it. Thanks for the edit Stromboli!

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This was an excellent edit! It felt like a super fun mini series version of The Hobbit, highlighting what worked in the original films: the excellent cast, costumes, music, effects, and sets; and cutting out the gratuitous elements: Legolas running up falling bricks, the Tauriel love triangle, and most importantly Azog--I really appreciated how cleanly this edit removed Azog as a named and backstoried villain without compromising the final fight between Azog and Thorin. The episodic structure worked well too, emphasizing the different structure of The Hobbit as compared with The Lord of the Rings. What I was especially looking out for was the Battle of Five Armies, since this was something that various edits I've seen have handled with the widest degree of variance. What I appreciated here was how Fili's death gave Thorin's final fight with the now unnamed lead orc (previously Azog) impact despite the two of them having no other backstory together, and too I appreciated that in this edit Kili got to go on a little revenge killing spree before he too was brought down.

I would certainly recommend this edit and will be watching it during my LotR marathons!

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As I am writing this the last scene, of the last part of the edit is playing and my eyes are wet, my throat has a lump in it, and I have goose bumps on my scalp. The Lord of the Rings, in its conclusion, would bring this emotion up in myself. Never before has The Hobbit been able to cause my heart to swell like this. Jesus, I have watched this movie over the last two (2) days and am so damned upset it is over.

Ok, let me pull myself together. This is a masterpiece. I love this movie. It all works. A lot was removed from the original films, and based on what is left, it should never have been there. I blasted...are you frickin' kidding me?!? I just got it together, the credits are rolling and now Billy Boyd is coming through my speakers singing "The Last Goodbye." ... ... ... I am going to try this again. I initially blasted Peter Jackson for The Hobbit. Then I read about how the production went and all the issues with time, money, and the studio. I realized it wasn't his fault. He did the best he could with what he had. After watching this I see poured his special kind of magic in to these movies as much as he did for LotR. It was just hidden beneath all the "extra". Without pale orcs, inter-species romances, and innumerable extraneous scenes there is an absolutely brilliant movie here.

The sound, the video, the narration, and the enjoyment are perfect. Ok, I know if I go digging I could find SOMETHING I could critique but I am not going to do that. This is it, this the seminal version of this movie. I think it is fitting as such. This edit is a compilation of primarily five (5) major edits and then the editor decided parts of two (2) other edits were needed as well. I can not imagine the number of hours and work went in to making this movie. Considering the total hours used between the eight (8) editors, including the one who wove them together, it makes perfect sense that this would be the result. This feels like someone's life's work and considering the cumulative effort that was put in, it might as well have been.

Let me be clear, I don't care if you like The Hobbit, or Lord of the Rings, or even JRR Tolkien's work; if you like high fantasy in any way shape or form, do yourself a favor and watch this film. I just restarted the credits because I just want to bask in the ambiance of this movie just a little longer...

Thank you Spence, Dustin Lee, L8wtr, Adam Dens, DonKamillo, Wraith, and M4 for all the time and effort you took in making your edits. Stromboli Bones I thank you for having the vision to weave all their respective projects in to a seamless masterpiece. Kudos to you all.

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