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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents

 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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MysteryScienceTheater3000PresentsDetective
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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })This page concerns two Interactive Fiction games, one of which includes the entirety of the other but plays off of it in a wholly different manner. It's a bit complicated.To begin with, Detective was an early text adventure game written and released by one Matt Barringer. The player, the titular detective, is told that the mayor has been murdered and entrusted with the job of finding out who did it. The author was just 12 years old at the time, and it showed – the game quickly became infamous for its poor writing, confusing navigation, unfair and un-telegraphed deaths, and other basic logical inconsistencies. A review in issue 5 of SPAG (a long-running Interactive Fiction e-zine) noted that it was So Bad, It's Good enough that it could easily be used as fodder for the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000…Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })...which gave one of his fellow IF authors an idea.Christopher E. Forman found himself with some free time after finishing co-writing The Path to Fortune, and (after gaining approval from the review author to flesh out his idea) decided to enter the 1995 IF competition with a conversion of the game featuring added riffs by the Satellite of Love crew. In four days, he created Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents "Detective", which packages the game like an episode of the series (complete with introduction, conclusion, and stinger) and lovingly mocks several of the game's shortcomings.One year after its release, the author uploaded the Silver Screen Edition, which slightly alters some parts of the game (largely aesthetic changes) and adds several essays regarding its creation, Detective, and Mystery Science Theater. It also includes a postmortem for an abortive sequel (riffing on The Caverns of Chaos) and an interview with Matt himself, who regarded his game as an Old Shame and was not bothered by Foreman mocking it.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })You can play the game for yourself online here. The source code can be found here.
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Padding
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Padding: invoked Many of the rooms in the mayor's house serve no real purpose, and it begins to wear on the riffers (Crow in particular) as it goes on. In fact, the only rooms that have anything necessary to continue are at the very start!
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Anachronism Stew
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Anachronism Stew: The game mentions Franklin D. Roosevelt as though he were still president, yet features things like McDonald's burgers, a prisoner who was caught with three ounces of crack, and a reference to Jurassic Park.
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Mythology Gag
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Mythology Gag: Quitting the game prompts it to respond "KEEP CIRCULATING THE GAME!", referencing the original series (at the time) ending several episodes' credits with "Keep Circulating the Tapes". One joke references the lengthy transitions to and from the theater segments:
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Ass Pull
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Ass Pull: invoked The riffers react this way when, after spending the entire game failing to find any clues towards the identity of the mayor's murderer, one room near the end features this description: Similarly, when the player character inexplicably manages to get pictures and secret Xerox copies of the drivers' licenses of every person at a Holiday Inn's fifteenth floor, the riffers respond with another collective Big "WHAT?!", followed by:
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Non-Indicative Name
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Non-Indicative Name: The player character is a police officer, not a detective. He doesn't do much actual detective work, either. The ending lampshades this:
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Trial-and-Error Gameplay
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Trial-and-Error Gameplay: The only way to know which screens will kill you (and many will, without warning) is to keep restarting (or reloading a save).
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A Date with Rosie Palms
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A Date with Rosie Palms: Alluded to in one riff:
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Bland-Name Product
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Bland-Name Product: One of the game's locations is a "Brickbuster Video" store.
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Even Evil Has Standards
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Even Evil Has Standards: Played for Laughs in one riff, commenting on how going to the mayor's favorite restaurant leads to two men killing you instantly while going to a McDonald's prompts no such violence:
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Cowboy Cop
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Cowboy Cop: The player character suddenly acts like one near the game's climax, putting some "suspicious guys" at gunpoint to learn the floor the murderer is staying before shoving them away.
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Beige Prose
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Beige Prose: Lampshaded.
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Big "WHAT?!"
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Similarly, when the player character inexplicably manages to get pictures and secret Xerox copies of the drivers' licenses of every person at a Holiday Inn's fifteenth floor, the riffers respond with another collective Big "WHAT?!", followed by:
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Clueless Mystery
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Clueless Mystery: The player very rarely finds any real evidence hinting towards the murderer's identity (aside from a note early on where the villains inform them of their next target) up until near the end, when the narration abruptly mentions several different clues out of nowhere.
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Donut Mess with a Cop
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Donut Mess with a Cop: Invoked if the player (a law enforcement officer) visits Doughnut King.
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Mathematician's Answer
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Mathematician's Answer: A stock one is used among the SOL crew when the player eats a hamburger:
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Alcohol Hic
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Alcohol Hic: One part of the game has the player encounter a drunken man whose only line is followed by a hiccup.
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Act Break
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Act Break: The prologue includes one:
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I Don't Like the Sound of That Place
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I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Taking a wrong turn at one point will lead to you to "the so called 'Murderers Lounge'. Unfortunatly, there ARE murderers here, and when you check around, they get angry." Cue instant game over.
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Political Correctness Gone Mad
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Political Correctness Gone Mad: Serves as the basis for one riff:
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Orphaned Reference
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Orphaned Reference: Depending on how thorough you play the game (it can be completed in as little as 27 turns), later riffs and the ending segment make references to moments of the game that are completely skippable. For example, leaving the McDonald's or visiting the drug house both result in the bots making a reference to the restaurant you could visit at the beginning of the game before entering the mayor's house.
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Rouge Angles of Satin
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Rouge Angles of Satin: Typos are common in Detective. The very first line of dialogue sets the tone:
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You Can't Get Ye Flask
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You Can't Get Ye Flask: Parodied throughout the game. The introduction touches on it when Mike attempts to play Gypsy's game Richard Basehart Adventure. He's unable to EXAMINE or TALK TO RICHARD BASEHART, and Gypsy has to tell him that the solution is to KISS RICHARD BASEHART (which is the only puzzle in the entire game). The Invention Exchange directly spoofs it with the Mads' "Fictionary", which circumvents the problem by sending the game's vocabulary directly into your brain. Naturally, the demonstration goes awry: The game itself has an example almost exactly like the Trope Namer: one room outright tells the player they see a knife, yet refuses to allow them to interact with it.
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Keep Circulating the Tapes
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Quitting the game prompts it to respond "KEEP CIRCULATING THE GAME!", referencing the original series (at the time) ending several episodes' credits with "Keep Circulating the Tapes".
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Continuity Nod
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Continuity Nod: When the player character notices that the mayor's bathroom is nearly the size of his apartment, Tom makes a realization: Similarly, visiting a music store prompts the bots to panic and recall Mr. B Natural. Mike eventually calls Matt Barringer "the Coleman Francis of Interactive Fiction". A twofer late in the game: Even later, Tom admits he starts to miss Roger Corman, Sandy Frank, and Bert I. Gordon.
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Viewers Are Morons
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Viewers Are Morons: Detective assumes that the player doesn't know what vigilantes are and tells them to look it up. The MST wastes no time in pointing out the irony:
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Bottomless Magazines
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Bottomless Magazines: Examining your gun states that it only has 10 bullets loaded, but the description doesn't change after using it.
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Alien Geometries
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Mike reacts to the player entering two adjacent closets from one direct and then being told to exit it from the sane direction by remarking "Beam us up, Scotty."
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Take That!
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Take That!: Examining what the game calls a "food hamburger" prompts this exchange: Later in the game, Tom references another infamously poor IF game by noting that Detective "makes Space Aliens Laughed at my Cardigan look like Trinity." At the end, Mike and Tom agree that Detective was still better than Leather Goddesses of Phobos 2.
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Hypocritical Humor
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Hypocritical Humor: The history included in the Silver Screen Edition discusses a review of the game that went off-track on a tangent about MSTing and IF satire in general, then goes on to say this:
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By "No", I Mean "Yes"
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By "No", I Mean "Yes": From the "About the Silver Screen Edition" page:
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Review Ironic Echo
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Review Ironic Echo: Frequently occurs in the riffs, such as when the player enters one of the mayor's many closets:
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Better Than a Bare Bulb
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Better Than a Bare Bulb: A good chunk of the game's humor comes from the characters pointing out the game's many strange aspects, including going through a door and being prevented from returning ("Sorry, folks, it looks like the door just vanished into thin air") and a dead end that inexplicably kills you ("Oh, I get it! It's a 'dead' end! See?").
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Shout-Out
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Shout Out: Mike nicknames the Mads "Duncanthrax and Dimwit Flathead" in the introduction. Forester later sarcastically calls Mike "Michael Berlyn" (a famous Infocom implementer and creator of Bubsy). Tom reacts to a mention of the FBI with "Tonight, on 'The X-Files!'" Returning to the Chief's office leads to Mike questioning if he's Commissioner Gordon. Reading the note in the mayor's house leads to this: Going into the mayor's closet prompts this riff: Mike reacts to the player entering two adjacent closets from one direct and then being told to exit it from the sane direction by remarking "Beam us up, Scotty." Going into Brickbuster eventually leads to this exchange: Dying instantly to a man who shoots you on sight causes Crow to comment "Once again, the social effects of listening to Ice-T's 'Cop Killer' song." Once you shoot the man in the music store, this exchange follows: Entering a "Mob House" or a "Drug House" prompts Crow to follow up with "Of pancakes.". Revisiting the police station leads to two of these: Crow reacts to the repeated description with an imitation of Rocket J. Squirrel ("Again?!"), and all three respond to one prisoner's Funetik Aksent with "DA Bears!" One riff at the Doughnut King ends with Mike dipping into a Coffee Guy impersonation. When the woman at the Holiday Inn's registration desk gives the player character the "master ring", Crow replies "One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them!" Visiting "the Wall" prompts the riffers to immediately sing "We don't need no ed-u-ca-tion!" During the ending segment, during a list of the game's many flaws, Crow mentions "closets that TELEPORT YOU AROUND LIKE THE STARCROSS DISKS]]". The legal disclaimer at the beginning of the Silver Screen Edition spirals off into a brief tangent that's partially cribbed from a Calvin and Hobbes strip: After the game proper ends, one of the final lines (after TV's Frank pushes the button to turn off the signal) include another shout-out to Zork:
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Rage Breaking Point
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Rage Breaking Point: Crow hits it after the game's over, going on a long, almost entirely capitalized rant about the game's flaws.
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Lame Pun Reaction
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Lame Pun Reaction: When the player visits a music store: After the game ends:
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Every Episode Ending
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After the game proper ends, one of the final lines (after TV's Frank pushes the button to turn off the signal) include another shout-out to Zork:
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_d076824c
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_df1793de
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Updated Re-release
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_df1793de
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Updated Re-release: The Silver Screen Edition primarily adds several new essays about the game's creation, MST3K, and Detective.
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_df1793de
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_df1793de
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_df1793de
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e41b38d3
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Classic Cheat Code
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e41b38d3
comment
Classic Cheat Code: "XYZZY" gets a nod during the ending segment, as Dr. Forrester learns that it's a "special magic word" that forces TV's Frank to push the button and end the "episode".
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e41b38d3
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1.0
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e41b38d3
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e4884264
type
No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e4884264
comment
No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: The game railroads you fiercely, with many rooms allowing for exactly one correct path to take – with the others either being dead ends or instant death.
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e4884264
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1.0
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e4884264
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FakeDifficulty
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e4e86215
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Fake Difficulty: The game has a number of rooms that will invariably kill you with no warning whatsoever.
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e4e86215
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1.0
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_e4e86215
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_eeb4a5eb
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Anti-Climax
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_eeb4a5eb
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Anti-Climax: The bots feel this way about the game's ending.
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_eeb4a5eb
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1.0
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_eeb4a5eb
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f6e10f3e
type
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f6e10f3e
comment
Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: invoked Lampshaded when a drunken man randomly tells the player character "Boycott FDR".
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f6e10f3e
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1.0
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f6e10f3e
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f6e10f3e
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f9f2c33
type
Running Gag
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f9f2c33
comment
Running Gag: After an unnecessarily lengthy and dull segment traversing the mayor's house, the riffers (particularly Crow) start to dread any and all of the game's hallways.
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f9f2c33
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1.0
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_f9f2c33
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_fc151e9d
type
Department of Redundancy Department
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_fc151e9d
comment
Department of Redundancy Department: The game makes a habit of this, particularly redundant descriptors (most infamously "wooden wood"). It gets exaggerated by the MST crew during one particularly noticeable instance:
 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents / int_fc151e9d
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1.0
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents

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 Alien Geometries
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 Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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Beige Prose / int_68ca3727
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 MST
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents
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