Valve’s Portal and Portal 2 had a huge impact on the world. Almost everyone was instantly obsessed with the unique puzzle game and couldn’t get enough information about all the little Easter eggs players were finding.
TGN Partner Moxness has compiled a fantastic list of the most interesting facts about Portal – for those of you who may have missed a few, or those who want to relive the nostalgia of some of the best puzzle games of all time. But be careful! Much like the delicious cake, one of these facts is most certainly a lie:
Want to read along? Here’s the episode transcript for you:
“Puzzle games like Sudoku and Tetris are, okay, I guess…but nothing beats flying around from one side of the room to the other, using lasers to destroy obstacles, running away from deadly spikes or simply laughing at the incompetence of your enemies. That is why I love Portal; because it is a unique puzzle game unlike any other. AND there is a few things that you may not remember from your first playthrough.
But hey, that’s why we’ve got TG10s, so hello everyone! I’m Moxness with TGN and today I’ve got 10 interesting facts about the Portal universe. But be warned, like the cake, one of them is a lie. Watch to the end of the video and I’ll reveal the truth there. Alright let’s begin!
Portal Fact 10:
The deadly turrets you have to fight throughout both games were originally meant to protect children’s cribs when the parents wanted to go for a night out. There is one point in Portal 2 where Wheatley tries to surround you with turrets only to find out that those turrets are broken. I mean, some turrets won’t even come out of their packaging boxes. Most people instinctively run quickly away but if you actually take a closer look at the illustration on the boxes you will be able to see a turret guarding a child’s crib while the parents are waving goodbye. Thankfully, for the sake of kids, Aperature never followed through with that plan.
Portal Fact 9:
In Portal 2, if you have made it all the way to puzzle chamber 15 after Wheatley has taken over the facility, Wheatley realizes, as stupid as he is, that he hasn’t made an exit or ‘solution’ for the current puzzle chamber. He decides to make an exit on the fly but, as he rips apart the walls on the right hand side, he destroys another test chamber that is currently in use. If you zoom in to this chamber you should be able to see P-body, one of the co-op characters of the game.
Portal Fact 8:
In Portal 2 when you wake up for the very first time in the tutorial area the game asks you to do a couple of things. One of them is jump, one of them is move around, and one of them is to stare at a painting. After completing the tutorial you are going back to bed, but when you wake up everything looks darker…electricity is out. But if you take a good look at the painting you can see that the painting itself has changed as well. It is suddenly night. Creepy stuff.
Portal Fact 7:
Wheatley isn’t a very clever guy. He has the whole Aperture facility to himself and, spoiler alert, throughout the entirety of Portal 2 he still was not able to kill you. So what do you do when all hope is lost and you have tried everything? Well, you can always try asking. After escaping Wheatley’s deadly spikes once again he pretty much gives up and just asks you to jump in the death pit. He even goes as far as saying that your parents are down in the pit already and that you should unite with them. That is harsh, but most players do it anyway. Why? Well for the glory of secret achievements that’s why! Jump down and you’ll receive a whopping 30 gamers score at the mere cost of,well, your life.
Portal Fact 6:
In the 8th test chamber of Chapter 2 you are subjected to a new type of obstacle that you have not had a proper tutorial for. But before GLaDOS can explain the way it works she has to go and fix some turbines. So she decides to give you the faster version. However, if you decided to record that footage and slow it down, there isn’t much of an explanation. Instead GLaDOS quotes a line from the book, Moby Dick:
‘…and methodically knocking people’s hats off – then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.’
I guess she accidentally opened the wrong audio file.
Portal Fact 5:
Chell’s father used to work at Aperture and when she was a child he took her there on the ‘Bring Your Daughter to Work’ day. Now there are multiple child experiments like a potato battery or a volcano made with baking soda and one of those has the name Chell written on it. The reason her potato battery is the largest is because of the special ingredients from Dad’s work.
Portal Fact 4:
If the previous mind blow wasn’t enough for you, try this. Before she died GLaDOS actually used to be Chell’s mother, but then she got uploaded into this giant robot thing that is now trying to kill her. GLaDOS’ real name is Caroline and she is mentioned multiple times throughout the game in the form of Easter eggs and talking turrets. She can even be seen in a portrait next to the owner of Aperture, Cave Johnson. But that is not all. This is more than just a portrait. It is a family portrait which means that Cave Johnson, the owner of Aperture, is Chell’s biological father! Caroline is her mother, and Chell is all the way on the left side of the portrait – hiding in the dark.
Portal Fact 3:
Remember the ending that Portal 2 had with all the singing and dancing turrets? Quite the show right? Those turrets must have been practicing very hard for that…and they did. In fact, if you load up the game at Chapter 3 and enter the 16th test chamber, you can use the lasers to destroy a turret hiding behind a grate. This destroys the grate as well. Once you pass though that grate you can look down and see the turrets practicing the song we all love and hate.
Portal Fact 2:
Is Aperture also responsible for the Terminators? Of course not, that’s Skynet! But there is evidence of a connection between the two. In the 5th chamber of the Portal 2 co-op DLC you can squeeze through a portal through a half open office door. Sitting on a desk inside that office is one of Atlas’ hands inside a glass case. If it seems familiar it’s because it looks just like the Terminator hand found at Cyberdyne’s headquarters in the Terminator 2. Maybe this means that Portal 3 will involve portals through space, AND time?!? Or maybe, and I know this theory is out there, they’ll put Portals on moving walls!
Portal Fact 1:
The last I have for you is a reference to Half-Life 2. In between the first and the second orange gel challenge you should go past this room to eventually find GLaDOS In the form of a potato. But if you get into the far back left corner of this room you can see an elevator door, which, you probably guessed it, will open and lead to a secret area. The area leads to a dock for a boat, and not just a normal boat – it is the Borealis – which is the ship that mysteriously disappeared in Half-Life 2, possibly through a portal of much larger scale.
And those are the 10 most interesting facts about the Portal universe. Did you spot the fake? If you guessed number 7, you’re right! It is true that GLaDOS actually used to be Chell’s mother and that her real name is Caroline, but it has never been confirmed that Cave Johnson is Chell’s father. The other Easter egg with the ‘Bring Your Daughter to Work’ day must have happened in the years between 2001 and 2009 and that is at least 20 years after Cave Johnson died as a result of a moon rock poisoning in the late ’80’s. He still could have been the biological father but that would mean that Chell was at least 20 years old when she submitted her potato battery experiment which is highly unlikely.
That’s all for the Portal facts, how many of them did you know? Also, let me know in the comments below what game you’d like to see interesting facts about next. And If you enjoyed this video hit that like button and subscribe to TGN if you haven’t already. My name’s Moxness, and until next time: ‘Do not get covered in the Repulsion Gel.'”