Mark Plays ‘Portal 2’: The Finale – Want You Gone

In the final moments of Portal 2, I’m reminded why I love these games so much. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to finish Portal 2.

The Finale: Want You Gone

Sometimes, I think about how integrated video games are into our culture, and it’s just weird. As I said when I started Mark Plays, I didn’t grow up with video games in my life. it’s always been a subculture I was terrified to join, too! What little interaction I had with other gamers in my teenage years was always negative. I didn’t play the right games, and the few games I did know, I wasn’t very good at those either. (I was decent at the Tony Hawk series; I could beat them, but if I ever went head-to-head with my friends, they’d annihilate me.) Plus, I grew up poor, so I just didn’t have the resources to get back into gaming.

It was great to discover over the past few years why gaming is such a huge part of people’s lives. I just happened to have been recommended the right set of games, and it just clicked. Honestly, if I had more free time (HAHAHAHA WHAT A CONCEPT HAHAHA FREE TIME HAHAHAHA), I would burn away most of it playing video games. I have so much I need to catch up on!

So I’m glad that I’m going to be taking this journey through the world of video games with all of you. While I was watching the closing scene and the credits to Portal 2, thinking of what I wanted to write about, I realized just how fun this is going to be. It’s not that I haven’t thought critically about video games in the past. (YOU SHOULD SEE THE NOVELS IN MY HEAD ABOUT UNCHARTED OR KATAMARI DAMACY. Oh my god.) But suddenly, I realized just how awesome video games are these days. I mean, if you take the entirety of the Portal series, I honestly believe this is a (excuse the unfortunate pun) game-changing entry into this world. It’s meta, it’s funny, and it takes the concept of a puzzle game into an area I’ve never seen before. (Though I have to admit I have played so few puzzle games that I might be stating total bullshit right now. PERHAPS MY THOUGHTS WILL CHANGE.)

Plus, Portal 2 is gorgeously designed in nearly every aspect. The story is stellar. The colors, the shading, the graphics, the physicality of the game, they all make this a unique and thought-provoking experience. Oh god, the end sequences are animated so well and THAT FUCKING SONG. Jonathan Coulton and Ellen McLain return for “Want You Gone,” a bittersweet ode to Chell from GLaDOS. Do I read some confused emotions from GLaDOS regarding her feelings for Chell? I TOTALLY DO. And she says goodbye to her “only friend,” and that’s totally Caroline. Caroline/GLaDOS is my new OTP, you can’t tell me otherwise. But honestly, I know I sound like I’m being silly. However, I think it’s pretty spectacular that I can feel so many things about a fictional robot and another character who I never once meet. I’m just at a point where I’m so done with analyses of video games as nothing but mindless entertainment. Portal 2 just told an entire story through a video game. Just because the medium is different, why is it any worse than a film or a book? Why can’t we be entertained and intellectually fulfilled in this way? Plus, this is a story that unfolds through agency and choice. Isn’t that awesome? YES. YES IT IS.

Anyway, I had quite a few screencaps I wanted to get to, and I want to talk about how Mark Plays Dragon Age is going to work just so y’all are slightly prepared for the posts starting tomorrow. LET’S DO THIS.

Highlights

An image of GLaDOS at the end of the game. She is reattached to her body and staring at you.

GLaDOS’s character growth over the course of this series is probably my favorite element of the game. Here, at the end, she lets Chell go. It’s not that she necessarily forgives her for what she did. She just wants to get on with her life of testing and not have to deal with Chell’s possible intrusion ever again. Secretly, I bet she respects. She totally does! This is my headcanon.

A screenshot of four turrets facing Chell; the two in the center are firing red lasers at her.

Despite that I noticed the higher quality in the render, I still thought I had to fight the turrets and panicked at this point. Then they started playing music. Then my heart swelled with joy. I LOVE YOU, TOO, TURRETS. I LOVE YOU.

A shot of HUNDREDS of turrets arranged in a semi-circle with a giant leopard-skinned turret in the background. There’s one medium turret on a raised platform in the middle with a spotlight on it.

Yep, I totally lost it at this part and started tear up. The turrets are honoring me. With a goddamn song. I’M SORRY I KNOCKED SO MANY OF YOU OVER.

A shot of a large yellowish field of wheat with a pale blue sky full of clouds.

IT’S A WINDOWS DESKTOP BACKGROUND LOL

A screenshot of a shed that Chell came out of. it’s made of corrugated metal and has a warning sign on the front in yellow.

HOLY SHIT, CHELL ESCAPED. She made it to the outside world!!!

A screenshot of Wheatley floating in space.

No, I really feel bad for Wheatley now. He wants to take it all back! Now he’s left to drift alone in space.

A screenshot of a blurry Space Core as it passes by the screen rapidly.

LOL JUST KIDDING HE HAS A FRIEND TO KEEP HIM COMPANY.

I had a fantastic time playing this game. It’s been a challenge to think of how I would write these posts, but I’m glad I’m doing this. It’s a work in progress, too, so I’ll be changing the posts starting tomorrow as Dragon Age: Origins begins in full. I’ve asked a few close friends who have played the game what sort of structure the game has (without spoiling much for me), and I’ve decided that since it is story-based, I’m going to do entries that are more like Mark Reads and Watches. Think of it like a diary of my experience through the game. You’ll see what device I am going to use to narrate the posts, and it’s already proved to be very hilariously thrilling. PURPOSEFUL CLIFFHANGERS.

All right, onwards I go. I’m going to organize a Portal 2 co-op campaign really soon, so I’ll post the info about that ASAP as a separate post. I’ll figure out a way to get folks from the community to be my co-op partner, too! THIS IS GOING TO BE SUPER EXCITING. Oh god, Dragon Age: Origins is finally tomorrow THIS IS WONDERFUL.

And now, since I cannot be spoiled anymore, PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I MISSED. What easter eggs or tricks or little jokes did I not notice? I WANT TO KNOW ALL OF THEM.

Mark Links Stuff

– You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook for any updates and live commentary on upcoming reviews I’m writing.
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– If you’d like to support what I’m doing, you can click the little Donate button in the right sidebar, buy eBooks on MarkDoesStuff, or purchase physical books on Lulu.com.
– Mark Watches Doctor Who: Series 3 has just been released for only $3.99!!!
– 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.
– I’ve started reading The Shoebox Project for Mark Reads, the first fanfic “series” I’ve ever covered! Join me!

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115 Responses to Mark Plays ‘Portal 2’: The Finale – Want You Gone

  1. celestineangel1 says:

    Sooooo… I did it. I downloaded Steam, and the first Portal game. ^_^* Now, let's hope I can actually get through it without being too much of a dumbass.

  2. TeaLovingDave says:

    There is a persistent fan theory that Caroline was the mother of Chell, and that this accounts for some of the ambiguity in GLaDOS' feelings towards Chell at the end of this game. Moreover, it is somewhat hinted that GLaDOS did not, in fact, delete her memories of being Caroline – rather, she claimed to do so in order to ensure Chell left and would not return.

    The turret song is a major piece of evidence in this theory; sung by Ellen McLaine (of course) it is entitled Cara Mia and is sung in Italian. Roughly translated, the lyrics say:

    " Beautiful dear, my darling beauty!
    My baby, oh heavens!
    That she esteems!
    That she esteems!
    Oh my dear, farewell!

    My dear child…
    Why don't you walk far away?
    Yes, far away from Science!
    My dear, dear baby…
    Ah, my beauty!
    Ah, my dear!
    Ah, my dear!
    Ah, my little girl!
    Oh my dearest one… "

    These lyrics do indeed almost sound like those of a mother bidding farewell to her daughter.

    • John Small Berries says:

      Also a little bilingual punning going on there; the "oh heavens!" is O ciel in the Italian, which is pronounced like "oh, Chell".

      • JEmontague says:

        I'm a professional-level singer (not a real professional, just paying a fortune for advanced lessons), and recently I was working on an operative piece called either "Che Faro" or "Orpheo ed Euridice". It's in Italian, and I don't speak Italian, so I learned it phonetically. Half way through the song there crops up the phrase "Ne dal ciel", which I pronounced in the French way "see-el" until I realised it sounded like "Chell" and now I visualise Chell every time I sing it (I also visualise the Sandman).

    • JEmontague says:

      Chell being Caroline's daughter is always my headcanon, and I never needed anything more than "bring your daughter to work day" (which I think is mentioned in the first game too?" to confirm it.

      If it were real canon it would be awesome.

      • Jabberwocky says:

        The timeline and math gets a little tricky if you want Caroline to be Chell's mom, but then, GLaDOS *does* repeatedly say that Chell was adopted, so who knows? I do think that whether or not Caroline was Chell's mother, GLaDOS perhaps feels a little bit motherly towards Chell by the end.

    • birdbrainblue says:

      I've always hated this fan theory, actually, because it erases the fact that Chell's not white. Given Caroline's appearance and the fact that she held a position of wealth and influence in the fifties, she's definitely white, but Chell's face model is an actress and model with Japanese and South American heritage. So not only is Chell an amazing protagonist in the sense that she's a practically-dressed woman AND one who is supposed to be the default for all players regardless of gender, but she's also a woman of color. And for someone to think that Caroline is her mother – especially if they also consider Cave to be her father – means that they're overlooking that fact and essentially whitewashing her.

  3. katherinemh says:

    Remember the room with all of the potato projects from Take Your Daughter To Work Day?

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/uR65u.jpg&quot; &lt;="" a="">

    Remember that one?

    <img src="http://i.imgur.com/tymzM.png"&gt;

  4. Psyched180 says:

    Here's the bit I had to cut out of my comment yesterday when I realized the ending was getting its own post

    "And here's a neat little site thingy
    http://rain.nxe7.com/

    Fanart of Chell after the end + Exile Vilify and some rain sound effects, rather soothing stuff… The image (originally from Deviantart, um, I'm sure there's a link to it in my link somewhere /lazy) has been my desktop background ever since I beat Portal 2!

    …I haven't changed my desktop in a while, huh? Hmm…"

    And yeah!

    I think I prefer Want You Gone to Still Alive, just a little bit, which might just be because I've been over saturated with Still Alive over the years and Want You Gone still seems so fresh to me, Iunno…

    Still feel really bad for Wheatley, it's not his fault plugging him into the GLaDOS unit turned him evil! Also feel bad for the Space Core, because there's some dialogue (unused I believe, but still) where he gets tired of space and just wants to go home instead… Seriously, Portal 3, be about a space rescue mission! SAVE ALL THE ROBOTS

    Fun Fact! The Turret opera is, I believe, the only time Chell's name is ever uttered in either game! At least, I think the Opera Turret says Chell in there? It's kinda hard to tell, but I've been told this… (There is also unused GLaDOS dialogue that says Chell, though… Portal 2 unused Dialogue I'm pretty sure)

    GLaDOS is also never said out loud… Wheatley always awkwardly calls her 'Her' or 'She'… Unless you count the Still Alive lyrics written on screen in the first game, where 'glad' is spelled 'GLaD' twice

    Bar bs gur nygreangr Pnir Wbuafbaf va gur Crecrghny Grfgvat Vavgvngvir nyfb zragvbaf gur Trargvp Yvsrsbez naq Qvfp Bcrengvat Flfgrz ol anzr, fb gung'f pybfr V thrff

    Some day, you need to do the co-op stuff, Mark! (And so should I, but I've already spoiled it for myself, YOU CAN STILL ENJOY IT FIRST HAND) Also: Either play a bunch of Perpetual Testing Initiative fan levels, or just look up the new dialogue from it, because that's awesome too

    You've now completed 2 of my top 3 favorite PC games! I'll hold out hope for a Cave Story playthrough

    • NB2000 says:

      The image (originally from Deviantart, um, I'm sure there's a link to it in my link somewhere /lazy) has been my desktop background ever since I beat Portal 2!

      Mine too! On both my PC and my laptop. I'm not really in a rush to change either tbh, it's just too lovely to get rid of.

    • ZeynepD says:

      That Chell in the Rain was what I didn't post yesterday; it fit my "want! out!" feeling so perfectly.

    • Psyched180 says:

      Oh, and Chell gets the Companion Cube back! The ORIGINAL companion cube, complete with scorch marks! It makes me so happy they used the original design instead of the new one there, all the feelings and such

      And I guess it proves that all Aperture equipment really does remain functional up to 4000 degrees Kelvin! …so what ever happened to the Morality, Curiousity, Knowledge(?), and … Anger(??) cores from the first game? Oh, and could Wheatley survive atmospheric reentry on the off chance he ends up getting knocked back towards the planet somehow?

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      There is one line in Portal 2's sound files in which GLaDOS says Chell's name. I wish they had kept it in the actual game.

      [youtube 9bvJ7i90dbI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bvJ7i90dbI youtube]

  5. jerssica says:

    I was so glad none of my roommates were home when I beat this game, because I just sat on my couch and wept. This ending is just so gorgeous. Weirdly beautiful and touching. The turret's opera of Cara Mia gives me all the feelings. I can't even talk about it eloquently 4 months after I've beaten the game. Also, you get your companion cube back!!! AHH GLaDOS I LOVE YOU FOREVER

    I feel equal amounts of pity for Wheatley and joy for the Space Core that they are stuck in space.

  6. Genny_ says:

    Your experience is so different from mine with video games; even when we had very little money, I absolutely grew up from a very young age with video games. Of course, I'm a good few years younger than you, which probably makes a difference. But even so, some of my earliest memories are of obsessively playing Pokemon Red, or of reading Nintendo magazines. And I was definitely a gamer, not just 'someone who has a game console', from a very young age too- my brother fell into the latter category and I ended up just monopolizing all his stuff because I cared much more about it than him. So it's going to be so interesting for me to watch you go through all of this because it's so far from my own experiences!

    And I agree that Portal is a game changer in a lot of ways- in terms of how to present games to a viewer, for example, I think it's pretty unparallelled and really damn important. Portal 2 is one of my favourite games ever because in a lot of really very basic and simple ways, it sets a standard for things which I feel hadn't been considered enough before, like integrating gameplay and plot (which is a really big problem for me when playing story intensive games, personally). A LOT of games could take a primer from this one on how to actually do something different with the video game format, rather than clumsily trying to replicate movies or books or other narrative structures. And I definitely agree that it is really fresh and innovative as a puzzle game.

    'Want You Gone' has been described as a break up song by the team, and as a result it makes me laugh every single time. There was originally a scene planned that's outlined here that would have made the song even better/funnier for me, I have to admit.

    And it is in no way silly to OTP them. I don't understand people who don't, to be honest. JEALOUS AI EX GIRLFRIEND MURDERER ROBOT, come on. What is not to love there?! I can't believe I have so many Feelings with a capital F for GLaDOS, but like you say, this game really manages to work so much clever character stuff in there that before you know it you're being grabbed by the throat. GLaDOS is probably the most triumphant example of a sympathetic villain I've encountered, because at no point does being sympathetic to me every compromise how terrifying and badass a villain she is!

    Just to finish off because WHOOPS, THIS GOT LONG, the final shots of the beautifully saturated and colourful outside world Chell has escaped to have left me feeling more satisfied than anything else I've played. All that slogging through Aperture, two games in a row, multiple murderous AIs, puzzles and turrets and so much white and grey, and then you've actually escaped and everything is so gorgeous looking. What a fantastic ending.

    Thank you for doing this, Mark. Because this has been SO MUCH FUN. I can't wait for DA:O because I am actually playing that through myself, so watching you do it will be fun!

    • Elexus Calcearius says:

      My parents thought it rather weird that I consider myself a gamer, but I don't really see how I couldn't be. Even though I didn't have a game system until I was at least fifteen, I grew up playing games on the PC or at my friends' houses. It was just…part of my life. I played smashbrothers, Pokemon, Harry Potter, GTA, Zelda, Tetris…it was just any other form of entertainment for me. I wasn't making some grand life statement from playing them.

      • Genny_ says:

        My parents have always found it kind of amusing in a nice way that I'm so into games. I think they mostly just like knowing there's always something they can get me for a Christmas present or something…

    • @Joysweeper says:

      Apparently there was game idea where Chell stumbled upon a society of lost turrets and ended up married to a bride turret.

      Imagine how angry GLaDOS would be about *that*.
      http://www.themarysue.com/chell-married-to-turret

  7. NB2000 says:

    I don't think I caught it the first time, probably distracted by the moving panels, but there's a very subtle shift in the lighting when GLaDOS deletes Caroline. The room gets a little bit colder and GLaDOS' voice shifts back to a more processed, robotic tone (or lack of tone).

    Cara Mia Addio, so sweet and beautiful. Once again, when you go back through the game you start to notice how much it was woven into the score. The new style companion cube plays it if you get close enough and there's a variation on it when you're introduced to the Hard Light Bridges. I love that there's a cameo from a Frankenturret way at the back, the poor little guys aren't forgotten about, as well as paying off the Animal King turret gag from the beginning of the game. I squeed so loudly when the original companion cube is thrown out to you at the end. The cube lives! All is right with the world!

    Possibly unpopular opinion, I like Want You Gone better than Still Alive. Not that I don't like Still Alive, but Want You Gone ties into the storyline so well and I just like it better.

    Portal 2 just told an entire story through a video game … Plus, this is a story that unfolds through agency and choice. Isn’t that awesome? YES. YES IT IS.

    I mentioned to a friend, who's also played, that I kept going back and replaying it and she asked me why when "The puzzles are the same!". I'm not replaying for that, although there is a lot of satisfaction from acing a puzzle that took you ages the first time, I keep going back because I enjoy the storyline so much. There's so many nuances that you won't catch if you just play it the once, and especially if you just rush through to get to the next puzzle. I love the characters and the development they go through, GLaDOS and Wheatley are so different by the end of the game and it's so much fun to watch them grow and change. Most of all I love that you, through Chell, are an active part of what is happening and you're driving the story along.

    • Genny_ says:

      I prefer I Want You Gone, too! Still Alive is catchier but IWYG makes me laugh harder. And isn't thrown everywhere, like you say.

      And I'll have to go rewatch the ending, because I never caught that shift. Huh.

  8. rav3style says:

    I have bad news for you man…

    you havent finished portal2 yet

    the story continues in the multiplayer, but i wont say anything else but this: PLAY COOP

    • Genny_ says:

      You say bad news. I say great news. More Portal 2 is never a bad thing!

      I really need to play Co-op myself…

    • tanbarkie says:

      Not to mention that there's cooperative DLC, which has its own self-contained little story.

    • Jabberwocky says:

      Yeah, Co-op is definitely a must play. Even though it is so, so much harder than single-player. I mean, it's totally worth it, but daaaaamn. My roommate and I played it and even with our combined skills, we ended up looking up a LOT of the solutions.

  9. TheDMG says:

    Cyhf, guvf vf n fgbel gung hasbyqf guebhtu ntrapl naq pubvpr. Vfa’g gung njrfbzr? LRF. LRF VG VF.

    Lbh’er ernyyl tbaan ybir gur Qentba Ntr naq Znff Rssrpg frevrf.

    • cogsandcurls says:

      Frevbhfyl, V nz fb rkpvgrq sbe guvf. Gur wbl bs jngpuvat n arjovr cynl guebhtu QN:B vfa'g whfg jngpuvat gurz qvfpbire guvf nznmvat havirefr cvrpr ol cvrpr, vg'f gur snpg gung rira lbh qba'g xabj jung'f tbvat gb unccra va gurve fgbel! V'ir lrg gb rapbhagre nalbar jub'f unq gur rknpg fnzr tnzr rkcrevrapr V unq jvgu QN:B be QN2, vg'f jbaqreshy.

      • mreeb says:

        LRF. Guvf. V'z fb rkpvgrq V pna uneqyl pbagnva zlfrys. Rirel gvzr ur zragvbaf ybivat gur fgbel naq cynlre ntrapl V jnag gb fpernz WHFG LBH JNVG. Nunununununsss.

  10. Haeralis says:

    Out of all the easter eggs in Portal 2, the Final Transmission has to be my favorite. It's so bizarrely complex for an easter egg (though not THE most complex one I've seen in a video game).

    [youtube 0LEDH1BJTn4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LEDH1BJTn4 youtube]

    The transmission is an SSTV signal, which, if you enter it into a decoding program, gets you this:

    [youtube 9iV7Gg7COJA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iV7Gg7COJA youtube]

  11. BornIn1142 says:

    http://www.fastcompany.com/1750003/portal-2s-crea

    Erik Wolpaw (Portal 2's head writer): "GlaDOS does let Chell go, and then deletes her own human emotion–at least she is telling you she did. Having said that, we're pro-human here at Valve."

    You can decide for yourself whether that means that Caroline is well and truly gone.

    Also (Half-Life series spoiler): Gur raqvat xvaq bs fcbvyf gur bire-nepuvat fgbelyvar bs Unys-Yvsr, qbrfa'g vg?

    • John Small Berries says:

      Abg arprffnevyl – onpx oruvaq n uvqqra qbbe va Grfg Funsg 09 (ba gur sybbe nobir gur oveq'f arfg CbgnQBF jnf ylvat va, VVEP) bar svaqf gur rzcgl qelqbpx sbe gur Obernyvf; gur vagrepbz/erpbeqre ba gur jnyy zragvbaf gurve rkcrevragf va gryrcbegngvba. Fb gur fuvc pbhyq unir fbzrguvat ba vg gung'f orra gurer fvapr gur 1970f (orsber TynQBF jnf rira perngrq, naq jubyyl vaqrcraqrag bs ure), whfg jnvgvat sbe Tbeqba Serrzna gb fghzoyr npebff vs Inyir rire eryrnfr Rcvfbqr Guerr.

      • BornIn1142 says:

        V jnf ersreevat zber gb gur snpg gung gur Rnegu jnf bapr ntnva n oevtug naq urnygul cynpr jvgu svryqf bs jurng vafgrnq bs n qrnq, Pbzovar-enintrq uhfx.

        • John Small Berries says:

          Nu, gung. Jryy, jr qba'g xabj rknpgyl ubj ybat Puryy jnf va fgnfvf…

          • Jake Was Here says:

            Crezvg zr gb cbvag bhg gung gur Cbegny tnzrf NOEHCGYL fgbc orvat shaal jura lbh nffhzr gur ulcbgurfvf gung gurl'er unccravat va gur fnzr havirefr nf Unys-Yvsr. TYnQBF naq Jurngyrl naq Pnir Wbuafba naq Ncregher Fpvrapr va trareny ner nyy irel nzhfvat ba gurve bja, ohg bapr lbh ortva gb gurbevmr nobhg gurz va gur pbagrkg bs gur qrnqcna-frevbhf jbeyq bs Unys-Yvsr, gurl gnxr ba n sne zber qvfgheovat gvatr. Pnir jnf fb ongfuvg penml gung vg'f n zvenpyr ur yvirq nf ybat nf ur qvq jvgubhg orvat pbzzvggrq, Ncregher Fpvrapr unf gb unir orra bar bs gur haurnyguvrfg pbecbengr phygherf rire qrcvpgrq va NAL sbez bs svpgvba, gur pnergnxre bs Ncregher vf n fncvrag naq ubzvpvqnyyl vafnar NV… Ohg vs lbh npprcg gur yvax gb Unys-Yvsr, gura nyy gung fghss vf abg fbzr Qbhtynf Nqnzf-fglyr snepr; vg'f pbzcyrgryl gehr naq npphengr, naq pbzcyrgryl frevbhf.

            Gur bayl fvzvyr gung pbzrf gb zvaq vf guvf: Vzntvar fbzrbar lbh xabj ba gur Vagrearg, fbzrbar jub'f nqbcgrq na raqrnevatyl fgenatr, shaal, naq rknttrengrq crefban. Abj vzntvar zrrgvat gurz va erny yvsr, naq vzntvar lbhe ernpgvba ng qvfpbirevat gung vg'f abg na rknttrengvba — GURL'ER NPGHNYYL YVXR GUNG NYY GUR TBQQNZA GVZR.

  12. Elexus Calcearius says:

    So, you’ve finished Portal 2….
    …and are looking for ways to deal with your portal cravings. Well, no fear! The fans have created a host of different things to entertain yourself with.

    1)Play the Portal Flash Game
    Made before the first portal was even released, this fan-made flash game gives us a glimpse at what portal would be as a 2-D side-scroller. It may not have a plot, but its puzzles are challenging, nonetheless.
    http://portal.wecreatestuff.com/
    2) Watch some Fanvids
    Video games lend themselves excellently to machinimas, and Valve has done everything to encourage this. A few months ago they released the “Source Filmaker” to the public, so anyone and everyone could make high-quality videos on par with theirs. There are a lot- I stress, a lot of awesome ones, and I couldn’t possibly list them all.

    I’m gonna go with this one, though, partly voiced and animated by an amazing Wheatley impersonator. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YlFXCC4Hfa0&f

    3)Play the Co-Op mode and Perpetual Testing initiative.
    Don’t know why I didn’t put this at number 1, tbh- oh, right, I sort of forgot and didn’t want to go back and redo the numbers. But seriously, do. The Co-Op has amazing puzzles, two adorable new characters, and even a plot! And the Perpetual Testing intiative (which I can’t access, since I got the X-Box version) apparently has some amazing user-made puzzles, and it also has a plot (of sorts).

    4)Read Blue Sky
    I originally found this on TVTropes when searching for Wheatley. The fic has its own page there- which, outside Harry Potter and MLP, is a pretty rare occurrence. I found it described as so good that it ruined all other fanfics in the fandom- and well, I suspected there was a little bit of hyperbole there.

    TVTropes was not exaggerating.

    Here’s the summary: "Meteors, signals, apologies, and that tricky little thing called humanity- four years after the events of Portal II, Wheatley’s been handed a second chance, but it’s not going to be plain sailing…"

    This fic has a lot of fanwork. In addition to a fully fan-made, unabridged audio-book which is currently being made, there’s almost as much fanart as for the actual game. Its tough to find any that’s not spoilery, but here’s the hypothetical hard-back cover;
    <img src=http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwlz6jw5oy1qhjxxmo1_1280.png>

    You will need a bag for all the feels you’ll get reading this.

    Here’s the Fanfic.net link, though you can also find it on Tumblr and LiveJournal if you so prefer. http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7434133/1/Blue_Sky

    • katherinemh says:

      The other day I got totally sucked into watching a bunch of Harry101UK's Portal vids. They're so gorgeous.

      AND OF COURSE BLUE SKY FANCLUB/FEELINGS SUPPORT GROUP! WOO!

      • mreeb says:

        I just discovered his videos too and and have been binging his music and yeah. Talented guy.

        I'm so excited for the audio book, I pee a little bit every time its mentioned.*

        *not really**
        **as far as you know

    • megotelek says:

      I just read Blue Sky for the first time a couple of weeks ago and SO MANY FEELS. V unq arire rira GUBHTUG bs gur cbffvovyvgl bs Puryyrl nf n cnvevat, ohg gur jnl vg'f jevggra, vg whfg JBEXF. Naq Jurngyrl'f ibvpr, rfcrpvnyyl, vf whfg jevggra fb cresrpgyl. TNU.

      • affableevil says:

        bzt FNZR

        Jura V fnj fbzrbar fnl vg cnverq gurz gbtrgure V jnf xvaqn "juhhhu???" ohg vg jbexf ORNHGVSHYYL.

        • mreeb says:

          NNUUU ZR GBB. V frevbhfyl qvqa'g fuvc gurz rira n yvggyr ovg (rkprcg nf sevraqf V WHFG JNAG GB TB ONPX GB ORVAT SEVRAQF) ohg vg'f fb cresrpgyl qbar naq nqbenoyr naq ornhgvshy naq naq naq nfywfyxwynsxtwynxqstw *qrnq*

    • leahsfiction says:

      Ahaha, when I opened the vid by Harry101UK an ad for TMNT started playing. NQN, the artist who did the humanized animations you've all seen, worked as an animator on one of the upcoming episodes.

      That said, YESSS THANK YOU for these recs! I don't have anyone to co-op with, but I've checked out all of the others and can attest to their brilliance*.

      *or oenmvyyvnapr. FEELS

    • mreeb says:

      BLUE SKY BLUE SKY BLUE SKY

      Sorry, got excited there. I love it so much, it fills me with so many feels and naq V qba'g rira fuvc Puryy naq Jurngyrl ubj qvq gurl znxr zr qb gung aaah so good. Seriously, though, the author just nails everyone's voices, it's awesome. And I'm so excited for the audio book, it looks like they are really going to town with it. *flails* *dies*

  13. xyliane27 says:

    That audio from the Space Core while Wheatley is apologizing was my alarm clock for about six weeks after I beat Portal 2. I only stopped using it because my roommates threatened to dismantle my phone and my laptop and throw them out the window.

    I am SO EXCITED for you to start DA:O! The hours I've put into that universe…I wish I had time to boot it up again and play, but I think I will instead live vicariously through your playthrough. It's such a fantastic game.

  14. megotelek says:

    "You know what my life used to be like? I just tested. Nobody murdered me. Or put me in a potato. Or fed me to birds. I had a pretty good life." I love how Ellen McLain says 'potato'.

    <img src="http://www.myspacelayoutsupport.com/myspace-graphics/images/funny/potatoes.gif&quot; />

    I still haven't played the co-op story, so looking forward to see what you set up! Or if we can sign up in pairs or something and play with other people from the community (that would be AWESOME).

    In Dragon Age: Origins news, I dug out the copy I got for my birthday a couple of years ago (that I've never played) and got to Erqpyvssr Pnfgyr va gur pbheglneq naq unq gb ghea qbja gur qvssvphygl gb rnfl. V'z fhpu n jvzc. Bs pbhefr, vg jbhyq unir urycrq unq V npghnyyl pubfra n onynaprq grnz gb tb va jvgu, abg ernyvmvat V jbhyqa'g or noyr gb fjnc crbcyr bhg (frevbhfyl, V unq Nynfgnve, Zbeevtna naq gur qbt. Naq V'z n fjbeq/fuvryq jneevbe. FB abg onynaprq.) V'z va Qrarevz abj, grfgvat bhg Fgra, ernyvmvat vg urycf vs lbh npghnyyl rdhvc lbhe pbzcnavbaf jvgu nezbe naq jrncbaf…*snprcnyz*. V'z trggvat gurer! Nyfb, Zbeevtna ungrf zr orpnhfr V bssre gb uryc rirelbar.

  15. katherinemh says:

    This link has a pretty awesome list of Easter Eggs…. Well, for the first two pages, at least. There are co-op spoilers on pages 4 and 5, and I think there are Half-Life spoilers on page 3, but I've never played those games, so I'm not entirely sure how spoilery they are? The first two pages are totally safe, though!

    Relatedly (is that a word…?), if Portal 2 is pretty much the only video game that I have any experience playing that is not a racing game or Guitar Hero, would I enjoy Half-Life? Half-Life spoilers, I think: V xabj gung vg naq Cbegny ner fhccbfrq gb gnxr cynpr va gur fnzr havirefr, evtug? V nz vagevthrq.

    Also, I know what they meant, but "THANKS FOR THE USE OF THEIR FACE" in the credits always makes me laugh. It just… sounds weird.

  16. Nanima says:

    Something that always bothered me about the Chell is Caroline's (and presumably Cave's) daughter is how it screws with the timeline.
    The 'bring your daughter to work' day happened in the 2000s. So Chell was probably born sometime in the early 1990s or very late 80s.
    Cave was most likely to sick/dead to father a child.
    Plus, Caroline has been working at Aperture since the 50s. She must have been at least in her 20s. So she would be in her 60s by the time Chell was born.
    Since she was most likely infertile by then it is very unlikely for her to be Chell's biological mother.

    Chell could be, and most like was, adopted though, so Caroline was still her maternal figure.

  17. theenglishman says:

    I second the Portal Testing Initiative. Can we send you maps to play?

  18. Atrus says:

    Awww, GLaDOS is a softie and gives you back the Companion cube too!
    On that note I don't think she really deleted Caroline. Like the song hints, she's probably very conflicted about it. She might have removed Caroline from her personality, but I'm sure she has her stored somewhere safe. Just in case.

    And the soprano turret is fat. Because "it's not over until the fat lady sings". We leave no bad joke unturned here, people.

    • Genny_ says:

      Personally, I think that even if she deleted Caroline, the 'damage' is done. Any changes that happened aren't going to stop having happened because she deleted the original personality, right? And she basically IS Caroline, just changed massively over the years.

      So yeah, I'm sure there's a little something left.

  19. Josh says:

    At the end, all I can think of is, Oh crap, she's going to die of dehydration isn't she? There's no water or civilization for as far as the eye can see…

    • theenglishmanCA says:

      Considering this game takes place in the Half-Life universe, Gur Pbzovar jvyy unir tbggra ure ol abj. And she doesn't even have a portal gun to defend herself ._.

      • Josh says:

        No, I'm positive she still has her portal gun. You can't tell me differently.

        (Headcannon is a beautiful thing).

      • Jabberwocky says:

        V gubhtug gung gur zbfg erprag Unys Yvsr tnzr unq lbh ba gur jnl gb qrsrngvat gur Pbzovar? Cbegny 2 vf snveyl sne vagb gur shgher, fb V nffhzrq gur urnqpeno nyvraf jrer qrsrngrq ng gung cbvag, nygubhtu pvivyvmngvba unf bayl fgnegrq gb erpbire. (Gung VF n jurng svryq, gubhtu, juvpu fbeg bs vzcyvrf fbzr xvaq bs pvivyvmngvba.)

  20. theenglishmanCA says:

    Let me try this post again under a non-boring account…

    I second the Portal Testing Initiative. Can we send you maps to play?

  21. @Chiparoo says:

    This is my favorite Portal 2 fanart, and now you can see it. :) http://rain.nxe7.com/

  22. jerssica says:

    Oh! So this was posted before, but it deserves reposting and rewatching now that you've beaten the game. I love you Oracle Turret!
    [youtube V40gyvljUK8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V40gyvljUK8 youtube]

  23. Skye says:

    Here's some things you may have missed!
    -After you're let out of the facility, a Companion Cube is tossed out for you. It is burned. It is your Companion Cube that you had to sacrifice in the first game.

    -There are multiple Ratman dens throughout the game, each featuring a mural of some sort. You found one – "Exile Villify." In the final room, you can HEAR Ratman talking to himself. He's just behind a wall – you can't get to him, but he's still IN the facility!

    -In that one chamber that has Companion Cubes (with the broken emancipation grill) the cubes SING. When you're near them, you can hear them 'humming' the Cara Mia (sp?) the song that the turrets sing you at the end of the game. :)

  24. BradSmith5 says:

    Your thoughts on gaming as a legitimate story-telling device were beautiful, Mark. If only more naysayers could give video games a chance like you did. I now look forward to Dragon Age; since I dismissed the entire thing as "stupid and clunky" based on fifteen minutes of play time. ;)

    And Portal co-op! Ungh! Right here! I'll take the whole day off, man! That first, trivial gap in the floor won't know what hit it!

  25. cogsandcurls says:

    I've been lurking on these so far (old-time Mark Reads reader, but I'm yet to comment on Mark Plays) and I just wanted to say, it's been so great watching you enjoy Portal 2 so much. It's just such a tight game: everything is polished, not a line of dialogue is superflous, there is not a single misjudged mechanic, it is beautiful. I couldn't think of a more perfect introduction to games for someone who's so good at analysis but is also so new to the medium.

    Really looking forward to seeing you play Dragon Age, too. It is one of my favourite series of all time and I'll be really interested to watch you navigate it!

    V nz nyernql gelvat gb thrff jung xvaq bs bevtva fgbel Znex cvpxf. V'z cnegvny gb Qjnes Aboyr, ohg V'z tbvat gb gnxr n tnzoyr naq thrff Qnyvfu nf zbfg yvxryl, jvgu Pvgl Rys pbzvat va frpbaq naq Zntr guveq. V'z abg fher jul gubhtu! Can't wait to see what happens.

  26. leahsfiction says:

    Portal 2 music thread, anyone? There was a fan music video contest for "Exile Vilify", for instance. The ones I'm going to link draw from the "Lab Rat" comic and a lot of the backstory from the depths of Aperture you may not have had time to digest, so… I hope they're not too confusing.
    [youtube O9MY3CBhXh8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9MY3CBhXh8 youtube]

    • katherinemh says:

      Exile Vilify has held the spot of my #1 most played song in iTunes for a longggg time now, and I always put the soundtrack on when I'm doing homework or reading or writing. I didn't really pay a whole lot of attention to the music my first time through, but after I downloaded the soundtracks, I started noticing it a lot more the next time I played. It has such a perfect soundtrack, I am so glad they released it (and for freeeeee!).

      Here! How about Space Phase, the little song that plays over the main menu after the credits and end scene? It is pretty and it has a teeny bit of Cara Mia Addio in there and Iiiiii like it.

      [youtube zYVRvC4X03k http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYVRvC4X03k youtube]

  27. mreeb says:

    I recommend, on a future play through, doing what Wheatley says at the beginning of The Part Where He Kills you – you know, when you run off and he's all COME BACK COME BACK I WON'T KILL YOU IF YOU COME BACK BFFS RIGHT – is hilarious. That is to say, go back when he asks and stand at the edge of the pit the spike plate smashers were all around. Completely unprepared for you to actually come back, Wheatley has some HILARIOUS dialogue as he tries to convince you to just jump into the bottomless pit and GLaDOS is baffled that you listened to him. If, at the end of all that, you actually jump in, you get an achievement. And die.

    Another great way to get more Wheatley lines is, in that same chapter, when he says the line about holding all the cards and sets the "spinny blade wall" trap, you can interrupt his monologue by exiting the excursion tube (over the catwalk so you don't die) before he finishes talking. Do this three times to hear all his hilarious frustration that you're not letting him finish his villainous speeches.

    There's a bunch more, a couple of bonus Cave Johnson lines and stuff, that you can get if you do a play through where you try and get all the single player achievements.

    • caysie renee says:

      Oh my gosh. never jumped at the end of Wheatley trying to get you to come back, I was too busy laughing at GLaDOS' line after all of it. I suppose I'll go back through that dialogue for the achievement some time.

  28. mreeb says:

    "Just because the medium is different, why is it any worse than a film or a book?"

    THIIIIIIIIS FOREVER. Holy god, [expectation SPOILERS for a future Mark Plays project] abg fvapr Uneel Cbggre unf n fgbel znqr zr pel nf uneq nf Znff Rssrpg Guerr qvq, and when I tell people that and they're all "but it's just a video game" I'm just like NO YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT MAKES ME CARE SO MUCH. I think there is something really exciting and different about video games as a story telling medium. I would love to write for a video game company.

    Anyway, I'm so excited for Dragon Age to start. I keep flailing my limbs about. I'm bound to break something soon.

  29. Cora says:

    Looks like no one's mentioned this yet, so I'll just leave this here –

    "Chell died at the end of Portal 2. The turrets shot her and she died instantly without noticing the turrets shooting her, since it happened so fast.
    According to Greek Mythology, heaven is a cornfield. As you rise to heaven, you are accompanied by your friend and hear calming music.
    The turrets break into song. Then you get shoved out of a shed into a field of wheat, accompanied by your only friend, the Companion Cube."

    • Atrus says:

      Maybe in some other mythology but definitely not Greek.
      In Greek myth the dead did not ascend but rather descend into Hades, the underworld. According to their deeds in life they were then sorted either into Tartarus (hell) or Asphodel (somewhat like limbo).
      Later mythology invented Elysium, a sort of paradise for heroes where they kept at what they were good in life, as well as music and the arts. Elysium was either a small archipelago or a plain, and it was located either at the extreme west of the Earth (past Gibraltar) or as another part of Hades.
      'The heavens' was a name for the celestial vault where the stars are, and had nothing to do with the dead.

      In fact, it's easier to see the parallels with Portal as an Underworld story. Chell is already dead at the start (she's been cryo-freezed for years) and GLaDOS/Hades gives her a set of tasks that she can't escape and where she 'dies' repeatedly, only to have to face them again. This is akin to being in Tartarus.
      When Wheatley takes over, Chell and GLaDOS are cast into the pit of the Underworld and must make their way back up to the top, reflecting other Greek stories including Ulysses'. Once GLaDOS is back in the seat of power, she rewards Chell with a new shot at life and, like a modern day Eurydice, escorts her back to the outside world with a song.

      • misterbernie says:

        reflecting other Greek stories including Ulysses'
        Is this the part where I cringe at the Latin form of Odysseus?

        Also, it's the Asphodel Meadows (the asphodel being the favourite food of dead souls) /nitpicky bernie is nitpicky

        • Atrus says:

          Is this the part where I cringe at the Latin form of Odysseus?

          This is that part.

          And yes, sorry. One of the downsides of being forced to study Latin in high school is that I now mess up the names all the freaking time.

          • misterbernie says:

            Heh, it's okay, actually I felt a bit dickish writing that comment but Greek mythology is one of those topics where I just become Hermione at her worst >_>

            I had Latin, too, and I would usually be called to give larger mythological background to the bits and pieces we were translating. But because I was more familiar with the Greek names, I ended up going "so Persephone I MEAN Proserpina who was the daughter of Dem- CERES…" a lot.

      • drippingmercury says:

        Nice explanation. I've seen this around and it makes my Classics-nerd rage flare up.

        The whole "corn" thing bugs me too because I've seen people interpreting it as maize and not a generic term for grain. Sure, Elysium was far to the west, but the only way maize would be mentioned in myth is if Cassandra said "popcorn will be delish, but bring a toothpick!"

  30. @RadagastWiz says:

    As for Want You Gone, there are a couple fan videos I love for it.

    This one is my favourite, using a pencil-sketch approach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIGGsZZWzZA

    This one uses a full 3D render, but is still quite good: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25ClYY5mwbc

    (Sorry, don't know how to embed witohout an ID account).

  31. t09yavosaur says:

    Tony Hawk games had the best cheat codes.

  32. @BubuBORG says:

    Well here we are again. It's always such a pleasure.

  33. Courtney says:

    Thank you so much for making this your first Mark Plays. I love Portal and GLaDOS more than is reasonable and it's just so lovely seeing a new fan get excited as I do.
    For easter eggs: rule of thumb, Wheatley almost always has more dialogue if you just stand around instead of doing whatever he wants you to do. And it's always gold.

  34. Maya says:

    There’s a small Easter egg that either people dont find or don’t understand. I myself didn’t get it until my ex pointed it out to me.

    When you’re about to get to the notsoreal testing – out when you’re first on rafters and such, there’s a door. Behind the door is a passage, and in the passage is a life preserver. On it is the name of the area that Halflife 3 is supposed to take place at. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of it.

    Either way, we figured it was a hint that HL3 wasn’t too far in the future.

    Which I love.

    Because I love Valve.

  35. djinn says:

    There's a canon comic that goes between Portal 1 and Portal 2. It tells the story of the man behind all that grafitti and Chell art in both games. I'm not exactly sure where you can view it but the comic came with my Steam copy of Portal 2. I reccomend you take a look at it if you would like some more story/worldbuilding. The art is pretty neat too.

  36. Aspasia13 says:

    There's a well-done fan-made video of Chell post-Portal II. Its short, but good:

    [youtube T4VwJb7najw http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4VwJb7najw youtube]

  37. adan_aileron says:

    [youtube LEPZ-drnUKE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEPZ-drnUKE youtube]

    Another song for Wheatley.

  38. Janse says:

    Mark I really hope you watched all the extras.

  39. ugg says:

    sorry my bad english. at the start of the chapter, when you escape the spiky trap and weathley asks to turn back, if you actually turn back you can hear some funny dialogue. gura, vs lbh qb jung jrnguyrl nfxf lbh, lbh jvyy bognva na npuvrirzrag.

  40. Pixie says:

    Here's a link to a photoshoot from my boyfriend's cosplay as Rattmann & our friend as Chell: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4230072

  41. Arvata says:

    You've missed the story of Rattman!!! Mark, there's another person in the Portal universe that actually has played a MAJOR ROLE all along!!! Remember all those markings on the wall, in both the first and second game? HE MADE THEM! He's been following and guiding you from the shadows this entire time!! Look him up!! ^^ By the way, in the extra section in Portal 2 you'll find the COMIC that explains it all! Chell, Rattman, GLaDOS… it'll all make sense! I promise you it'll be mindblowing for you to read up on it!!! ^^

  42. Lalapocolypse says:

    I don't know if you've heard of this yet, but there's a rather interesting fan theory inspired by this one sound clip you can hear somewhere in the game.

    [youtube 6Qswrj2RVGY http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Qswrj2RVGY youtube]

    So, the fan theory goes kinda like this:

    Originally, Cave Johnson wanted to become immortal by placing himself inside of the AI, GLaDOS, and through GLaDOS, he would run the place for eternity. However, he made it clear that if he died before the technology was finished, and he was dying, that someone else was to be placed inside of the machine, someone he trusted most. This person was Caroline. Which brings us to the audio files. It's assumed that Cave is telling Caroline of his plans and she's expressing clearly to him that she doesn't agree, that she doesn't want to live forever in a machine. Soon, Cave Johnson does die before the AI project is completed and once it is finally completed, Caroline is brought to the Aperture laboratory and forced into the AI against her will. Awakening as the machine, she loses herself in anger and rage and tries to kill everyone with the deadly toxin she has been given. Caroline, now GLaDOS, is shut off and reprogrammed with the Morality Cores, but when she was brought to life again, the whole fiasco with Bring Your Daughter To Work Day happened and so went the story. Caroline, living inside GLaDOS, forever trapped inside of the machine against her will, which is believed to be the real source of GLaDOS' hatred.

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