• Topic Archived
You're browsing the GameFAQs Message Boards as a guest. Sign Up for free (or Log In if you already have an account) to be able to post messages, change how messages are displayed, and view media in posts.
  1. Boards
  2. Portal
  3. Portal's Backstory ***MASSIVE NUCLEAR SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT BEATEN PORTAL***

User Info: BadmanX

BadmanX
13 years ago#1

Okay, here's the complete backstory from the ApertureScience.com website, game resources and commentary. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE BEATEN PORTAL! SRSLY!

First, the notes from the CJOHNSON/TIER3 login on ApertureScience.com:

"1953 - Aperture Science begins operations as a manufacturer of shower curtains. Early product line provides a very low-tech portal between the inside and outside of your shower. Very little science is actually involved. The name is chosen to make the curtains appear more hygienic.

1956 - Eisenhower administration awards Aperture a contract to provide shower curtains to all branches of the military except the Navy.

1957 - 1975 - Mostly shower curtains.

1978 - Aperture Founder and CEO, Cave Johnson, is exposed to mercury while secretly developing a dangerous mercury-injected rubber sheeting from which he plans to manufacture seven deadly shower curtains to be given as gifts to each member of the House Naval Appropriations committee.

1979 - Both of Cave Johnson's kidneys fail. Brain damaged, dying, and incapable of being convinced that time is not now flowing backwards, Johnson lays out a three tiered R&D program. The results, he says, will 'guarantee the continued success of Aperture Science into the fast-approaching distant past.'

Tier 1: The Heimlich Counter-Maneuver - A reliable technique for interrupting the life-saving Heimlich Maneuver.

Tier 2: The Take-A-Wish Foundation - A charitable organization that will purchase wishes from the parents of terminally ill children and redistribute them to wish-deprived but otherwise healthy adults.

Tier 3: 'Some kind of rip in the fabric of space... That would... Well, it'd be like, I don't know, something that would help with the shower curtains I guess. I haven't worked this idea out as much as the wish-taking one.'

1981 - Diligent Aperture engineers compelte the Heimlich Counter-Maneuver and Take-A-Wish Foundation initiatives. The company announces products related to the research in a lavish, televised ceremony. These products become immediately wildly unpopular. After a string of very public choking and despondent sick child disasters, senior company officials are summoned before a Senate investigative committee. During these proceedings, an engineer mentions that some progress has been made on Tier 3, the 'man-sized ad hoc quantum tunnel through physical space with possible applications as a shower curtain.' The committee is quickly permanently recessed, and Aperture is granted an open-ended contract to secretly research on the 'Portal' and Heimlich Counter-Maneuver projects.

1981-1985 - Work progresses on the 'Portal' project. Several high ranking Fatah personnel choke to death on lamb chunks despite the intervention of their bodyguards.

1986 - Word reaches Aperture management that another defense contractor called Black Mesa is working on a similar portal technology. In response to this news, Aperture begins developing the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System (GLaDOS), an artificially intelligent research assitant and disk operating system.

1996 - After a decade spent bringing the disk operating parts of GLaDOS to a state of more or less basic functionality, work begins on the Genetic Lifeform component.

Several Years Later - The untested AI is activated for the first time as one of the planned activities on Aperture's first annual bring-your-daughter-to-work day.

In many ways, the initial test goes well..."

From this and the events that occur in Portal, it's pretty clear that GLaDOS immediately locks down the facility and takes over the security system. She then attempts to kill everyone in the facility with a deadly neurotoxin, but is stopped when a hastily-constructed "morality core" is installed into her main processor. She does not relinquish control of the facility, however, and continues to work on the Portal project herself. Meanwhile outside the events of Black Mesa and its aftermath occur and the Combine began its takeover of Earth.

GLaDOS finally completes work on the portal gun. It is strongly suggested that the girls who visited Aperture on its first annual "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day" are now young women due to the years spent trapped in the facility, and it is they who are the test subjects that GLaDOS is using.

One test subject sneaks a wrench and a pair of pliers into the testing course and manages to break into the infrastructure. She seems to have had trouble progressing through the course; it apparently taking her weeks or perhaps even months to get through some of the tests. It is possible that the reason she has so much trouble is that she is not equipped with the heelsprings that your character starts the game with, and thus is not protected from falling damage. She makes "nests" in the infrastructure in tests that take her a long time to complete and writes notes on the walls about what she is doing. These seem to get more and more erratic as she progresses through the test.

At the end of the test she breaks out and gets into the infrastructure again, this time making it much farther than she ever had before. She marks her path as she goes. She apparently gets to the final turret ambush before dying (I am assuming this because the mark that points you to the turret ambush is the last one of hers you ever see).

GLaDOS, dissatisfied with her performance in the test, selects a new test subject - your character. At this point the game begins. The second test subject (your character) progresses through the test much faster, possibly due to changes in the test, changes to the portal gun, and the fact that your character is equipped with heelsprings. Your character also escapes at the end of the test, follows the path of the first test subject, and eventually finds, confronts, and destroys GLaDOS' current computer core. This apparently opens a huge portal to the surface that the debris and your character get sucked through, apparently allowing your character to escape (this is disputable, however - it is possible your character did not survive). Unfortunately, GLaDOS has many backup cores that she can use to re-create herself, and her domination over Aperture Science (and obsession with cake) will continue.

Interesting facts: I think by far the most interesting thing about Portal is the fact that there are no men in the game at all. You are female. The previous test subject was female. GLaDOS self-identifies as female. GLaDOS mentions "Bring Your Daughter To Work Day" and also states at one point that you can donate your organs to the Aperture Self-Esteem Fund for Girls. In fact, the only male presence in the entire game are a few pictures on the wall and the CJOHNSON/TIER3 easter egg you find in one of the nests.

The final song "Still Alive" was written by Jonathan Coulton, which explains why it's so awesome. It was performed by Ellen McLane, the voice of GLaDOS. Ellen McLane also voices the announcer in Team Fortress 2 and the Overwatch voice in the Half-Life 2 series, making her the only person to be in every game in the Orange Box.

User Info: Iarheer

Iarheer
13 years ago#2
I thought Chell was wearing leg braces because she was handicapped or something. Which is why Curios GLaDOS (the Orange Eye) says "Ew! what's wrong with your legs?" when you carry her to her incineration.
if its a radioactive monkey named sal then he would win and if not then HULK SMASH!!!-darkerthanlight

User Info: BadmanX

BadmanX
13 years ago#3
In the commentary the designers state that they added the heelsprings to the character to answer questions testers had about why she could fall so far without taking any damage. I guess the Curious Core had just never seen something like that before.

User Info: fan357

fan357
13 years ago#4
I'm sorry but I guessed I missed this. How do you know the main characters name?
Shutup and enjoy whatever console you own. It doesn't matter what you have, just that you enjoy it.

User Info: Just_a_Bucket

Just_a_Bucket
13 years ago#5
I thought Chell was wearing leg braces because she was handicapped or something. Which is why Curios GLaDOS (the Orange Eye) says "Ew! what's wrong with your legs?" when you carry her to her incineration.

I took it as a humorous take on the fact that after 15 years, FPS characters STILL DO NOT HAVE LEGS.
SFA, Supez Tha 6'4", MFing BOB ROSS
PSN: MyNameIsBucket

User Info: Kiyana Va Sala

Kiyana Va Sala
13 years ago#6
(I think by far the most interesting thing about Portal is the fact that there are no men in the game at all.)

"Interesting"? I call sexism.
My karma + 542 = My real karma. RIP Soul Fire. Banned but not forgotten. ex-LUEser I'M A GUY!

User Info: theskillessone

theskillessone
13 years ago#7
EPISODE 2 SPOILERS:

Am I the only one thinking that the end of portal and the "Borealis" event they were talking about in episode two are the same?

I was also considering whether or not the character you play in portal was Alyx's mother, but given the time line I doubt it.

User Info: Harkonn

Harkonn
13 years ago#8
@fan357

During the credits, at one point it credits someone for use of their face (for the character model, obviously) and it says: <Persons name> - Chell

It credits no one else and you see no one else, so it must be her name.

User Info: marcusdom

marcusdom
13 years ago#9
I knew it couldnt be Alyx's mother but I actually had another idea. We all know that there have been several freak coincidences where you can spell out the name: Adrian Shephard (Half Life: Opposing Force). Well what if Adrian had a daughter? I mean Shephard has been MIA since the Gman put him into stasis, maybe he has a daughter and she'll find a way to use the portal gun to rescue him.

Its just an idea though. Who knows. Maybe Valve just killed Shephard off (they shouldnt. In my opinion he's just as popular as Gordon Freeman).

User Info: BadmanX

BadmanX
13 years ago#10

Harkonn posted...
@fan357

During the credits, at one point it credits someone for use of their face (for the character model, obviously) and it says: - Chell

It credits no one else and you see no one else, so it must be her name.


Hmmm...that's a possibility. I didn't see that in the credits. The designers go out of their way to never name her during the game or the commentary so I assumed she didn't have one. Perhaps "Chell" is what they called her internally.

  1. Boards
  2. Portal
  3. Portal's Backstory ***MASSIVE NUCLEAR SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT BEATEN PORTAL***
  • Topic Archived

GameFAQs Q&A