Mark Plays ‘Portal 2’: Chapter 4 – The Surprise

In the fourth chapter of Portal 2, these levels are going to be the END OF ME. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to play Portal 2.

Chapter 4: The Surprise

The fact that the creative staff behind this game probably sat around cackling while constructing Portal 2 is the only thing giving me comfort at this point. I made it through five chambers in one chapter. IT TOOK ME TWO AND A HALF HOURS TO DO THIS. I’m pretty sure this chapter was as hard as the entirety of Portal. WHY MUST YOU TORTURE ME SO???


IT’S REALLY FUCKING HARD. Oh my god, let me just explain this, first of all. After I found out what GLaDOS’s surprise was for me, I moved on to the next room. Here is what my brain did:

1) Man, how do I get out from behind this glass? I can’t shoot a portal anywhere in this room?

2) Okay, I can shoot a portal through the glass. Hmm.

3) Damn, the turret can shoot me through the glass??? Well, that’s not fair.

4) Maybe I can construct a bridge across and –

5) Oh. Oh, I just accidentally fell. It was a ledge. There wasn’t glass here at all.

6) oh.

7) Well, I’m embarrassed.

After this, I followed the exact same pattern for each step of the puzzle. I simply could not figure out how I was supposed to do everything. After I got to the button that activated the dispensation of the Redirection Cubes, THEY KEPT GETTING AERIAL PLANED INTO THE ACID WATER STUFF. What the fuck??? Was I supposed to catch them in mid-air? How was I supposed to block them?

THE HARD LIGHT BRIDGES, DUH. Then it became a fun adventure in not getting shot. You goddamn turret, I WILL KILL YOUR WHOLE FAMILY. So it was a meticulous process: set up a Hard Light Bridge barrier, move a bit towards the beam, then repeat. After I finally got this down, laser’d the turret into its eternal grave, and set up the second Redirection Cube, I was stumped. Again. For the silliest reason. How did I get to the exit? I wondered if I could use the Aerial Faith Plates, or maybe get launched across by using momentum portals, and when I finally realized it was as easy as getting a perpendicular Hard Light Bridge to run over the water, I was really happy I had not recorded this part of my journey. I’M SO BAD AT VIDEO GAMES.

This was a common theme for this chapter. I’d just stand around in these rooms, feeling like they were unbearably impossible, and generally, I’d discover the answer entirely by accident. Do you know how long it took me to figure out that in the level with the three-ledge laser puzzle, you could LIFT THE REDIRECTION CUBE ABOVE YOUR HEAD? I thought you could only keep it eye-level, so I was so confused as to how I’d get that fucker up on the Aerial Faith Plate. After that, though, I figured it out pretty quickly.

The easiest level for me was the smallest one, the first in the newly rebuilt facility. It was weird to see a room that was white, clean, and totally spotless. All of the chambers in this game so far are derelict and falling apart. Anyway, once I saw there were only two redirection cubes and three laser bases that needed a connection, it was pretty easy to figure out that one of the lasers had to go directly through a portal.

And then the gameplay changes once again when Wheatley opens a wall to help you escape. It’s such a jarring moment, and I love that you’re forced to think on the run. It’s not terribly difficult to run down corridors, but you still had to react swiftly to turn the right way. I of course chose to obey GLaDOS and try out the final room, wherein I was gassed almost immediately. WHY AM I SO TRUSTING OF VILLAINOUS VIDEO GAME CHARACTERS? Will I never learn?

I’d have to say that as frustrating as this is, it’s SO SATISFYING TO PLAY. Even if it takes me thirty minutes to pass one room, that sense of satisfaction when you do is WONDERFUL.


Endless sassy GLaDOS is so entertaining. THEY LIED TO ME. Oh god, I was so nervous about the surprise, and it ended up being confetti. Then GLaDOS called Chell’s parents, and that was mean, too. WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU? Oh. Right. I killed you once. Whoops!

Wheatley returns just in time to pull me out of the chambers, and he’s just as entertaining as GLaDOS. I don’t know that there’s much development on anyone’s part, aside from the fact that GLaDOS doesn’t seem to be afraid of me escaping. They actually are relatively calm, and that’s kind of scary to me.


Wow, how GREAT is the music once Wheatley’s escape sequence kicks in??? It fits so well because I’d gotten used to the ambient background music in every other chamber. Then, quite suddenly, the music is louder, faster, pulses harder, and MAKES ME FREAK OUT ABOUT WHATEVER IS AROUND THE CORNER. A+++++.


There are really only two additional changes to the game’s design in this chapter. First of all, that chamber that’s been fully repaired is gorgeous. It was easy to imagine the first game with this sort of design aesthetic. But OH MY GOD, THAT HUGE WAREHOUSE/ASSEMBLY LINE PLACE YOU GO THROUGH WHEN ESCAPING. I wish I had time to explore it because it was massive and WHAT ARE ALL THOSE THINGS and holy shit, it looked incredible.


Wheatley has returned! It seems like he’s going to take Chell off the main course to find an escape route. As difficult as it was, I loved playing that entire last section of the final level. It was like practical puzzle solving. I hope I have to do the same thing here. GLaDOS also promises another secret, but I am not falling for that trick again.


Comedy = Tragedy + Time. GLaDos, you’re just so poetic.

A screenshot of a ‘Portal 2’ chamber with three criss-crossing red lasers across a wide expanse.

This chamber stole minutes from my life that I will never get back. I don’t regret this.

A screenshot of an elevator shaft area in ‘Portal 2’ with a bunch of colorful turrets on the wall.

OMG THE BRICK TURRET IS SO CUTE. I probably insulted its pride saying that.

A screenshot of a bunch of white/gray mechanical… arms? I don’t know what they are, but they’re covering a wall labeled “37” in yellow paint.


A screenshot showing a long metal catwalk with rows of white robotic arms on either side of it.

Nope, these creep me out. NOPE.

A screenshot of a chamber with a bright blue digital clock that says “00:00:00” on it. There are two jets of greenish fume being sprayed into the chamber.

Hey, look! I totally fell for it. I’m not going to fall for GLaDOS’s trickery again. I WON’T. I SHALL REMAIN VIGILANT.

Anyway, HERE IS MY FIRST TEST VIDEO FOR MARK PLAYS! This is a screen capture using Quicktime Pro. At the time, I hadn’t attempted to clean up my computer, so there are moments of lag. I will have double the RAM in a couple days, so this should take care of this issue. Would y’all enjoy videos like this of me playing certain parts of the games I’m doing?

Mark Links Stuff

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– You can purchase your very own Mark Reads OR Mark Watches video for just $25, and I will read ANYTHING you want, OR I will record myself watching any upcoming episode for Mark Watches OR I will record my playthrough of a level with commentary. There is a complete list of all claimed episodes/chapters/levels at the link!
– Mark Reads is now on YouTube, and you can watch all my videos right here! 
– I am now putting Mark Watches videos on Vimeo as well (they’re all located here) to avoid copyright issues I’m having on YouTube. Mark Reads videos are still on YouTube.
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