Portal 2

May. 13th, 2012 01:45 pm
janegray: (Default)
[personal profile] janegray posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Five days ago, the videogame Company Valve released free Portal 2 downloadable content titled "Perpetual Testing Initiative." Basically, it's a free in-game map editor, which allows players to create and share maps with other player.

Everybody knows the "the cake is a lie" meme, but not everybody knows where it's from. Well, the answer is Portal.

The new maps reminded me that I really, really, really love the Portal games. So I've decided it's about time I shared my love for them by posting some scans from the comic "Lab Rat."

I love the art in this comic. The main character suffers from schizophrenia, and the art reflects his state of mind: when he is off his medication, it's all sketchy, but in flashbacks the pictures are clear.

16 pages out of a free 27-pages comic. At the end of this post you can find the link to the full comic.

WARNING: Lab Rat takes place between Portal and Portal 2, and as such is full of spoilers for the first game.

Of course, Portal is a 5-year-old game, so you might say that anybody who wanted to play it already has. But I got it 5 months ago, so I think it's always best to put spoiler warnings :P

Doug Rattmann, also known as "the Ratman," is the person who wrote all those "the cake is a lie" warnings in the first game. He is the only survivor (excluding the frozen test subjects) of GLaDOS's initial mass murder at the Aperture Science Enrichment Center; as GLaDOS locked the facility down, he couldn't escape, so he has been hiding from her and leaving clues for Chell, the playable character of the games.

Yes, that's a Companion Cube. When Rattmann is off his medication, he can hear the CC speak as if it was sentient. The CC actually gives him good advice.

Even so, Rattmann figures that he'll have better chances of survival if he has a clear head when the time comes to take out GLaDOS. So, he has saved the last of his medication until now.

Now, flashback time!

Back to the present, Chell has defeated GLaDOS!

This is where Portal ends, with Chell captured and dragged back to the facility.

Rattmann to the rescue!

I really love him. He has gone through a mass murder and spent a long time (months?) locked in a dark and cold prison, without his medication and with the sole company of an inanimate object, running away from a murderous AI and countless death-traps. Then, he finally, finally gets away and sees the sun, sweet freedom awaiting him... and he chooses to go back to save Chell!

He is not an action hero or anything. He has no military training, no equipment. But he is a genuinely kind guy, and he wants to help.

Flashback again! Right after GLaDOS' flooding of the Enrichment Center with neurotoxin.

You can read the conclusion, as well as all the pages I cut, here:


Date: 2012-05-13 12:35 pm (UTC)
stolisomancer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stolisomancer
If it'd help the tags any, I'm pretty sure Michael Avon Oeming does all the line art for the Valve comics.

For "Lab Rat" in particular, though, I don't know if he actually got David Mack in there to do some work or if he was just doing his best David Mack impression. That first page looks like something out of Kabuki.

Date: 2012-05-13 01:36 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
There are a couple of different artists for some of the Valve comics, I think. But Oeming is the most prominent one - he's done a boatload of the TF2 comics. Amazon even has him marked up as the artist for the collected edition of the Valve Comics from Dark Horse.

Date: 2012-05-14 03:48 am (UTC)
lissa_quon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lissa_quon
Well, there was Makani - who was a fan artist- she did a rendition of the TF2 Administrator before there was any sort of depiction of her officially. Valve ended up using her design and she does some of the TF2 comics.

She also does a lot of TF2 art, slash or otherwise. Not sure if that helped her get the gig though.

Date: 2012-05-13 01:00 pm (UTC)
rainspirit: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rainspirit
"Never gives up. Ever."

I loved this series.

Date: 2012-05-13 01:38 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Well, rumour has it we'll either see Chell in Half-Life 2: Episode 3 or something along those lines, but really, I have to agree - to put her in Portal 3 would really not work after GLaDOS basically expels her from Aperture Science for being too difficult to kill.

Along the same lines, I wouldn't really want Wheatley back, either.

Date: 2012-05-13 02:21 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Well, that's just the common rumour going around when it comes to Chell and Half-Life, given some of the stuff for Half-Life now actively involves Aperture Science. Plus, we don't exactly know how long Chell was under, given the timer malfunctions and Wheatley never specifies how long it's been - just that it's longer than anticipated, I think?

As for Wheatley, I think he was a great character, but I don't know, I just felt that he got what he deserved, really. I just don't feel like there's an incredible amount to explore with him, now, and I think the joke of having the rather intelligent Stephen Merchant back to play the total idiot again would be kind of stale. I think the series - if it's going to continue - should just have GLaDOS as a constant. That said, I would love to be proven wrong, and if anyone could do it, Valve could.

Date: 2012-05-13 02:36 pm (UTC)
drexer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drexer
Here's the thing though, Wheatley's arc as a character was linked intrisecally to the Chell-GladOS relationship, and he was a storyline element in it which helped create and extend the character arcs to their full conclusion. His insertion in any future game would be past the role for which he exists and be stale and non-complex.

Personally, I disbelief that we'll see any kind of Portal 3 at least for a very long time. We've already gotten a lot of mechanics and tools inserted into it with Portal 2, and with the release of the map creator I find it very improbable that the employees at Valve at the current time have any interest in it. I believe they might translate elements of it into future games(Not episode 3 personally, as I do believe they understand the drastic difference between the gameplay of the two series), but I'm not seeing any sequel coming in the next years. Even less so a thematic sequel which explroes the same issues and character arcs.

Of course, all of this also comes from my viewpoint of Portal 2 as plainly a feminist mother-daughter story, with the only male presences of Cave Johson, Wheatley and Ratman as secondary characters in that story. So I see no point in exploring it further with those characters which were very secondary to the underlying story dynamic.

Date: 2012-05-13 04:51 pm (UTC)
nezchan: Navis at breakfast (Default)
From: [personal profile] nezchan
There's an interesting idea, since this has been established as the same continuity as the Half-Life games, we know there are technologically capable aliens out there. Add Wheatley to the mix and stir vigorously, could be interesting.

Date: 2012-05-13 01:44 pm (UTC)
damar148: (Default)
From: [personal profile] damar148
The other scientist was hilarious in his typical Aperture to everything.

"Just put your hand past all those gears to activate the machine, and preferably use the hand you would miss the least."

Date: 2012-05-13 08:19 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Reminds me of the Doctor Who line sa he's trying to get his sonic screwdriver out of the gullet of a flying shark

The Doctor: You know, there's a real chance the way it's wedged in the doorway is keeping its mouth open.
Kazran: There is?
The Doctor: Just agree with me, 'cause I've only got two goes and then it's your turn.
Kazran: Two goes?
The Doctor: Two arms!

Date: 2012-05-14 01:56 pm (UTC)
jkcarrier: me, at my old office (Default)
From: [personal profile] jkcarrier
Or this Starburst commercial:


Date: 2012-05-13 03:01 pm (UTC)
glprime: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glprime
Major love for Portal.

It's one of my all-time favorites; fun concept with FPS-playform-puzzle solving, great world-building & storyline, and one of the most truly inspired HORROR games I've ever played (games that use jump scares and say "boo!" could learn something). Seriously, how messed up and torturous and just damn tragic everything is in Aperture really gets to you (and I fully believe Chell's last name is Johnson).

I was lucky enough when I decided to first do the co-op DLC to get a really good partner, and we had a fun couple of hours running through the maps all night, gelling as a duo like Atlas and P-Body, and then the payoff. It was great. I started downloading player made maps, and that was awesome, but a bit cumbersome at times. This new feature could make that fun again. I also like that the backstory opened up a whole new element with parallel-earth outsourcing.

Date: 2012-05-13 05:39 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
I do think it would be a little too convenient if Cave was Chell's father. There'd be no reason for it, given Cave Johnson doesn't even seem like the sort to have a family and we know he appointed Caroline (with her brain in a computer) as his successor for Aperture in the event of his death, rather than any family member. I don't think there's any need for that sort of link to be made between Cave and Chell nor GLaDOS and Chell, really. I think it cheapens Cave's role as this weirdly enigmatic but really quite powerful Howard Hughes-esque presence throughout the second game to just have him be the protagonist's father, because.. Well, I like the idea that Chell is just this really fucking smart person trapped in a massive problem someone else made.

And the only trait Cave and Chell have in common that I can see is determination. Cave and his insane pushing science forward to the ends of making... Shower rails.. And Chell being Chell. I don't see that many links between the two otherwise.

Date: 2012-05-13 05:46 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Well, that too.

Date: 2012-05-13 06:40 pm (UTC)
stolisomancer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] stolisomancer
Chell is played by Alesia Glidewell, who's half Brazilian and half Japanese. If you operate on the assumption that Chell the character has a similar if not identical ethnicity, the only character in the entirety of Half-Life or Portal that you could realistically say she was related to is Azian Vance, Alyx's mother.

Date: 2012-05-13 06:44 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Well, based on her appearance in Portal, at least, Chell definitely seems to share her performer's nationality, I think. But there is some debate as to where Portal fits into Half Life's timeline that had led people to speculate exactly where Chell could fit into any prospective Half Life appearances, given GLaDOS references the Combine invasion and yet I find it difficult to believe after Portal 2 that GLaDOS would basically turf Chell out into a Combine-controlled world where she could die.

So, it's a tough one.

Date: 2012-05-13 06:49 pm (UTC)
drexer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drexer
It is quite, quite far into the future though.

Date: 2012-05-13 06:55 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
The minimum for Chell being asleep seems to be twenty years, which still gives enough time to account for the ridiculous potato growth given, hey, it's Chell's and all the other kids potatoes suck, as we can easily see. The maximum seems to be around two hundred years.

Date: 2012-05-13 11:54 pm (UTC)
stolisomancer: (dracula loves sluts)
From: [personal profile] stolisomancer
If they really wanted to stick Chell into the Half-Life games, most likely as an Easter egg, they've got all the tools they'd need to do it. Kleiner's teleporter already has a weird habit of interposing people in time (he teleports Alyx and Gordon across City 17 and a week forward at one point during HL2), and it'd be way too big of a coincidence for two separate top-secret projects in roughly the same time frame to be working on teleportation technology that shares absolutely no common elements. I can already see it now: Gordon goes into one of those flickering teleportation sequences that Valve loves so much, and one of the destinations is an overgrown field full of wild grass with a woman in orange walking through it.

Hell, there's your Portal 3 right there. Red is one end of the portal; blue is the other. White is forward in time; black is backward. The game as it stands right now is mostly about the challenge of actually thinking in three dimensions, so go ahead: add a fourth.

The only problem would be getting the portal gun back to Chell, but we don't know what happened to the broken prototype guns that Cave Johnson mentioned in the advertising trailers, and we have no guarantee that the portal gun in Aperture is the only portal gun that's ever existed.

Sure, odds are pretty good that Chell at the end of Portal 2 is punted out into a post-Combine Earth, where she very well could be the only living human on the planet, or the only unmodified pre-Combine human. That doesn't mean she has to stay there, and we already know that if there's absolutely one thing she wouldn't do, it's give up.

Date: 2012-05-13 09:19 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
Plus, Caroline being Chell's mother would really harsh the Les-yay vibes between Chell and Glados.

Yeah, I ship it.

Date: 2012-05-13 03:19 pm (UTC)
thatnickguy: Oreo-lovin' Martian (Default)
From: [personal profile] thatnickguy
I'm pretty sure everybody and their dog knows where the "cake is a lie" meme came from.

Date: 2012-05-13 03:35 pm (UTC)
espanolbot: (Default)
From: [personal profile] espanolbot
As much as I love Portal and Portal 2... I'm honestly not sure if I'd want another sequel to be honest. I mean, if there was one I'd definately play it, but really the entire thing seems to have played out. Though that's just my opinion.

Can't get enough GLaDos though,

Date: 2012-05-13 05:40 pm (UTC)
mrstatham: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mrstatham
Random note, but anyone who liked Portal 2's gorgeous design sense might like to know Dark Horse are publishing an 'Art of' volume for the game come this October.

Date: 2012-05-13 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
Glados is a little bit off about what a "culture bound" phenomenon is. She's right that the delusions of schizophrenia are heavily shaped by culture, but it's not a culture bound syndrome.

Now Koro, that's a culture bound syndrome.

Also, what's with Chell being all whitewashed and prettified? She's supposed to be an average, somewhat frazzled looking

Date: 2012-05-13 07:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
Nothing she says about it is inaccurate, exactly, she just gets that particular term wrong. I think it's more likely that it's just an error on the writer's part.

Date: 2012-05-13 08:27 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
It's very possible Chell's appearence is due to Ratman's mental state or a bonus of the sleep pod.

Date: 2012-05-13 08:32 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
I'll believe that when I see someone hallucinating rose-petal pink cheeks and luscious pouty lips on Gordon Freeman.

Actually, I kind of want that now. Bonus points for big, big bishounen eyes with flirty lashes.

Date: 2012-05-13 08:41 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
I'm pretty sure that's already on the internet.
I don't think it's so odd he'll see Chell as an idealization of her true self, all things considered.

Date: 2012-05-13 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
I think it's all kinds of messed up that the 'idealization' of a woman should be passive, comatose, and wearing full face make-up.

Date: 2012-05-13 08:47 pm (UTC)
biod: Cute Galactus (Default)
From: [personal profile] biod
Well, it's certainly not mine, but I think they were going for the "sleeping beauty" image. And I probably should have said true appearance instead of self.

Date: 2012-05-13 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
I think my real point is that why should the most idealized portrayal of a woman be the most beautiful?

Chell is a great character. She isn't beautiful--at least, not this kind of beautiful. Definitely not in the first Portal, and not really in Portal 2, although they'd already modified her features a great deal by then (and made her look much younger as well as more conventionally attractive).

And what does she symbolise to Rattmann here? Hope, and strength. I think they could have communicated that in better ways than making her look like a glossy teenage cover girl to his eyes.

I can't imagine Freeman morphing into a seventeen year-old Abercrombie & Fitch model under these circumstances, so I don't see why Chell should either.

Date: 2012-05-13 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
I sincerely hope he's not looking to mate with Chell here.

By the way, I associate taut abs, nice biceps, and big eyes with good things in a man. Rattmann doesn't seem to have *any* of those features, so you know, fuck that guy. He's clearly not someone the creators intend me to care about. If he was, then surely they'd have idealized him!

Date: 2012-05-13 09:57 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
And I think the original Chell was plenty cute too. Pity the artist doing this comic doesn't seem to agree, and has substituted a white teenager instead.

I'm glad you've cut to the chase though, and just admitted that this was made for dudes, so who cares what women think. Very refreshing.

Date: 2012-05-13 10:34 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
This discussion reminds me of the Mirror's edge character designer responding to a fan's photoshop 'makeover' of Faith. He said "I remember when I first had that image sent to me. To be honest, I found it kind of sad. We've spent time in developing Faith. And the important thing for us was that she was human, that she was more real...We wanted her to be attractive, but we didn't want her to be a supermodel. We wanted her to be approachable and far more real. It was just kind of depressing that someone thinks it would be better if Faith was a 12-year-old with a boob job. That was kind of what that image looked to me."

Chell was supposed to be an everywoman, not eyecandy. She was an average, everyday person who got swept up into something bigger, just like Gordon Freeman. I get that people like pretty people, but come on, she already *was* pretty. Just not perfect.

Why is a woman who's not perfect treated like a broken object that needs to be fixed?

Date: 2012-05-13 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] whitesycamore
The engineer in the fanart still looks like the same guy in the official art though! Just with his shirt off. He doesn't look any more beautiful, just more sexualised--and the person who drew it isn't deviating massively from the character design to do so.


Date: 2012-05-13 11:02 pm (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl
When I watched someone play the original Portal game, the first thing that really fascinated me were Ratman's dens. I remember the player going through the clean, pristine rooms and pushing over turrets, and than he came across a small room with the word "HELP" written on the ground. When he looked up, a piece of wall was wedged open revealing what was behind it. A stark contrast didn't even begin to describe what I saw. Not only was Chell outside of the test chamber for the very first time, she found signs of life. Ratman was no where to be seen, but without a doubt he was there. And the music that played when you first walked into that room is still one of those things that tells you "You thought this was messed up? It just got a whole lot darker".

And the more dens you discover, the more you started to understand who this character was. And more importantly, find out that he's actually been helping you with the wall markings. He's a full fledged character who you don't even get to see! Is he dead? Is he still roaming around the facility? You never find out. You're only certain of one thing. He existed. And for a setting like Portal, it's like seeing a small flint of light in a pitch black room.

Which brings us to Portal 2. In the comic, Doug is shot in leg and is supposedly bleeding to death. The comic ends with him climbing into Chell's sleeping chamber as seen from the opening to the first game. In Portal 2 when Chell revisits the same room, the sleeping chamber is gone. Not only that, but Doug has also been nosing around the facility and making more dens... and the most interesting part? Recent dens. There is no way Doug could have done all of these dens in the shape the facility was in before the destruction of Glados.

And if you have a special sound/imaging device and find the radio signal and the easter egg commentary track, you'll find that Doug managed to get his wish. :)

Re: Ratman

Date: 2012-05-14 02:15 am (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl

You really missed a bunch of them. They're only in act one and they're certainly hard to find since the whole facility is in disarray. My favorite one is actually the last one you encounter in the game. You get out of the test chamber through an open panel in the ceiling and you walk through some abandoned offices. If you look up at the ceiling, you'll see a fan room where Doug made his Den where he's collected lots and lots of coffee drinks. You will also see his final art piece of Chell which is my personal favorite. What makes this particular room interesting is that it's the most detached den from the test chambers, and is the only one that Glados actually seals you out of once you reenter the test chamber.

Also, next time you're in one of his dens in Portal 2, get very close to his murals and listen very very carefully.

When Valve updated the original Portal game with the slightly altered ending, they also incorporated a new Radio game that played audio signals which could be translated into images. These images showed very early concept images of Portal 2 and some strange text that even today nobody understands. In Portal 2, there are two audio files that make up one whole image. The radio has the upper half while the commentary has the lower half. It's not until you put both images together that you see an image of the Companion Cube on the moon. He wanted to go to the moon. That's where he is in Portal 2, along with his faithful companion.

Also, if you're not afraid of the dark, you can also find the dry dock area where the Borealis was constructed. If you've played the Half Life games (Specifically Half Life 2: Episode 2), you'll finally know the answer as to how the ship just suddenly disappeared.

Re: Ratman

Date: 2012-05-14 10:37 am (UTC)
drexer: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drexer
"you'll finally know the answer as to how the ship just suddenly disappeared. "

Wait what? Where do they explain that in Portal 2? I saw the drydock but I didn't see any definite explanation as to the Borealis events there.

Re: Ratman

Date: 2012-05-14 11:07 am (UTC)
jeyl: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jeyl
Activate the speaker on the hatch at the end of the hall where the blown out hatch to the Borealis is.

Cave Johnson: Alright, we're working on a little teleportation experiment. Now, this doesn't work with all skin types. So try to remember which skin is yours and if it doesn't teleport along with you, we'll do what we can to sew you back right into it.

Date: 2012-05-14 11:56 am (UTC)
kraesil: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kraesil
Reading this and the comments.. well, you've gotten me curious. Could somebody tell me how to obtain Portal? I'm a bit too lazy to sort through Google search results.

Date: 2012-05-14 12:00 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
Thanks for the spoiler warning!

Date: 2012-05-15 12:13 pm (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
I'm a big Portal fan^^

Wheatley by *theEyZmaster on deviantART

Date: 2012-05-15 12:13 pm (UTC)
eyz: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eyz
stupid link didn't work... :(

Date: 2016-10-20 01:59 am (UTC)
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lb_lee
Years late, but oh man, this is making me want to get and play Portal, even though rotating 3D shapes in my head is one of THE most difficult things for me to do!

Date: 2016-10-20 07:35 pm (UTC)
lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
From: [personal profile] lb_lee
That might be the better idea; I'll have to see if one of my favored Let's Players did a play of it! (I don't get nauseous or anything, but I was that guy who took forever to learn how to understand driving in reverse, and that was just a simple flipping in my head. So figuring out 3D space is HARD.)


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