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Central AI Chamber

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The Central AI Chamber,[1] a setting for many major events in Portal and Portal 2, is a large bay that houses a body for the Central Core to manage most of the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.

Throughout the series, GLaDOS controls many aspects of the Enrichment Center through her status as the Central AI. In the climax of Portal 2, Wheatley took over the position; however, he was extremely ignorant, and nearly caused the facility to explode as a result.

Overview Edit

Portal Edit

The room was a large octagonal chamber in the center of the Enrichment Center, in which GLaDOS was stored while suspended from the ceiling. In the small lobby area, the Aperture Science Red Phone is located next to several computers. Under a concealed door, a Rocket Sentry was kept, seemingly for security, and numerous monitor screens line the walls and encircle GLaDOS.

Glados chamber lobby

Lobby of the AI chamber in Portal.

Near the climax of Portal, Chell escapes GLaDOS' testing tracks and makes her way to the core room. Upon finally reaching the chamber, GLaDOS continues lying about having tried to kill her and pretends to have accidentally dropped the Morality Core onto the ground. Chell promptly disposes of this core into a nearby incinerator, causing GLaDOS to reveal that doing so frees her from the restrictions implanted on her to prevent usage of neurotoxin in the facility. Chell eventually defeats her by disposing all of her cores and killing her.

Although the remains of GLaDOS' body parts were primarily scattered around the parking lot in front of a barely-conscious Chell, it is unknown whether this was a non-canonical appearance as, given her initial appearance in Portal 2, after the explosion her body would have had to have fallen back into the chamber. Alternatively, it's possible that the Party Escort Bot dragged these components back into the facility, as they were of major importance and a security breach if left in the open.

Portal 2 Edit

The chamber has been heavily damaged due to the climax of Portal, and is almost entirely in ruins and overrun with nature. GLaDOS' remains are scattered around the room. After Wheatley accidentally reactivates her through the Main Breaker Room, GLaDOS disposes of him by crushing and tossing him aside, possibly to prevent the Announcer from detecting the presence of a substitute core and thus causing a core transfer.

Glados new lair

GLaDOS in the reconstructed chamber.

When Chell returns by Wheatley's assistance to the room at the midpoint of the game, the room has been completely reconstructed in a form bearing little resemblance to the original chamber created by Aperture staff (it is unknown whether GLaDOS did these renovations to keep it from collapsing, or if the chamber DID collapse and GLaDOS rebuilt it completely). Despite this, it appears protocol has forced GLaDOS to retain specific elements of the chamber as part of design, including a Core Transfer Hatch and a Stalemate Resolution Annex (or they may have survived the events of Portal and GLaDOS was never aware of either of them). Via Core Transfer, GLaDOS' core is removed from her body and replaced with Wheatley's, giving him control of the facility. The power almost immediately takes over Wheatley, prompting him to transfer GLaDOS' core into a potato battery and plunge both her and Chell into the depths of the facility.

The chamber is witnessed again at the end of the game upon Chell and GLaDOS' return to the upper structure and completion of several tests composed by Wheatley. Since the last visit, Chell has inadvertently sent pumps of Mobility Gels up into the new facility, which she witnesses are being pumped under the room, along with bombs. It also appears Wheatley has decided to raise the room closer to the surface. Eventually, Wheatley is defeated by the duo and GLaDOS manages to have the previously hidden Core Transfer Hatch plug her back into her body.

When Chell awakes after losing consciousness, the room is shown to have been reverted back to its previous form and location by GLaDOS, having been sunken back down deeper into the facility. The length of Chell's elevator ride up to the surface shows just how far down the room has moved, although not to any exact unit.

Trivia Edit

  • Despite the fact that the white Core Transfer Hatch was never seen in the first Portal, it might be safe to assume that the hatch is a retcon, and therefore technically had always existed underneath GLaDOS. In Portal 2, the only reason the hatch was not seen was due to it being covered in rust and various debris.
  • Although the Core Transfer Hatch is never directly seen in Wheatley's configuration of the room, it is proven to have been hidden by the panels beneath him. This is proven when GLaDOS and Chell were pulled by the Core Transfer maintenance arms after Wheatley was disposed of.
  • During the second visit to the chamber in Portal 2, the rocket sentry hatch from Portal is clearly visible between 2 small sets of stairs leading up to the Stalemate resolution button. However the hatch is never seen in use.

Behind the scenes Edit

  • According to concept art of Portal 2, the player was originally meant to enter the chamber through the catwalks surrounding it.[2] However, they were completely removed at some point in development in favor of reusing the original entrance.
  • There are several unused textures within the game files of Portal 2 that suggests there were originally going to be various signage that informs the player that they are approaching the Central A.I. chamber.

Gallery Edit


Concept art Edit

Screenshots Edit

Portal 2Edit

Pre-release Edit

Concept art Edit
Screenshots Edit

Retail Edit

Screenshots Edit

Game files Edit

List of appearances Edit

References Edit

Half-Life Wiki has more images related to Central AI Chamber.
  1. "signage_you_are_here01.vtf" to "signage_you_are_here05.vtf" in the Portal 2 game files
  2. Original Portal 2 chamber entrance concept

Preceded by
Incinerator Room
Portal journey Succeeded by
Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center (Portal 2)
Preceded by
GLaDOS' Testing Track (Portal)
Portal 2 journey (1) Succeeded by
Incinerator Room
Preceded by
Neurotoxin Generator
Portal 2 journey (2) Succeeded by
Test Shaft 09
Preceded by
Wheatley's Testing Track
Portal 2 journey (3) Succeeded by
Preceded by
Portal 2 journey (4) Succeeded by
Turret Opera

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