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 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.


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