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Ratman infobox
Doug Rattmann
Biographical information
Homeworld

Earth

Function(s) / Belongings
Rank/ Occupation

Programmer[1]

Physical description
Species

Human

Gender

Male[1][2]

Hair color

Dark brown[2]

Eye color

Light blue[2] (may have anisocoria)

Chronological and political information
Era(s)
Affiliation
Game information
Voiced by

Unknown (mutterings heard in dens and on soundtrack)

Designer(s)
 
"The cake is a lie."
―Doug Rattmann scrawling[src]
 

Doug Rattmann,[1][2] also known as the Ratman,[4] is a former Aperture Science employee, and one of the few survivors of GLaDOS' flooding of the Enrichment Center with neurotoxin. Introduced through his murals in Portal, his story was expanded in Portal 2: Lab Rat.

BiographyEdit

BackgroundEdit

When working for Aperture, Rattmann was charged with the maintenance of the Aperture Image Format, an interactive graphics format created in 1985.

He had access to Aperture Science's bulletin board system, with the login "drattmann" and the password "h0nee".[1] He apparently never directly took part in GLaDOS' construction.

Henry doug glados

Rattmann and Henry chat while the latter is working on GLaDOS.

At some point late in GLaDOS' construction, Doug went to see his colleague Henry while he was working on the AI in his chamber. Henry praised their technological advances, stating that artificial consciousness is the next frontier. Doug was not convinced by this since GLaDOS attempted to kill everyone each time she was turned on, forcing them to switch her off. Later, Doug came across Henry while he was designing the Morality Core. Henry asked him to turn it on, then Doug asked him what it was, to which Henry answered that it was the latest in AI inhibition technology, that it would act on GLaDOS as her conscience. Rattmann believed it was insufficient to stop her murderous intentions, arguing that "you can always ignore your conscience."[2]

Doug jump

Rattmann jumps into the file room.

When GLaDOS was activated in 200-,[5] she became self-aware, locked down the facility, and flooded the Enrichment Center with deadly neurotoxins. Rattmann was one of the only survivors, and GLaDOS turned onto taunting him about his schizophrenia. She attempted to convince him that his situation was a result of his paranoia, but he ignored her.

Rattmann got a hunch about a Test Subject, Chell, who he thought could make a difference. He fled to the file room and found her file. It said that she should not be tested, as she is abnormally stubborn and "Never gives up. Ever." Convinced she is the one he needs to stop GLaDOS, he put her on top of the Test Subject list, so that she would be the first to be picked in the next test.[2]

Rattmann then spent the next several months surviving in the Test Chambers and maintenance areas of Aperture. Having only two pills left, he kept them for the day GLaDOS would wake Chell. Consequently, he slowly lost his sanity, his schizophrenia completely taking him over.

He spent hours scribbling on walls, painting murals, graffiti and arrows and hints for the day Chell would wake up and try to escape, and became obsessed with the Companion Cube that his schizophrenia made talk to him and give him advice, acting as his source of logic.[2] It also appears he had several Cubes, as his scribblings show him mourning over the loss of one.

His scribbles and artwork on the walls could be a temporary fix to his illness. This can be inferred from Rattmann reading a book called, "Art Therapy" in the comic Portal 2: Lab Rat.

AppearancesEdit

PortalEdit

Testchmb a 13001

The second Ratman den, near Test Chamber 17.

Although unseen for the entirety of Portal, Rattmann is made aware to Chell through his "Ratman dens", where each time he appears to have been living for a while (sleeping on unfolded Aperture Science boxes, eating beans and drinking milk and water along with 4 stolen detached cameras), and where his frantic scribblings and graffiti can be seen abundantly.

The first den is found near the Test Chamber 16, behind a broken wall held open by two Weighted Storage Cubes. It is here that the well-known statement "the cake is a lie" is written in black.

The scribblings in Test Chamber 17 reveal further information, notably his obsession with the Companion Cube.

After Chell escapes the incineration at the hands of GLaDOS, in the Test Chamber 19, she finds more and more of Rattmann's scribblings of help and warning, and the directions he previously laid to guide her through the hazardous innards of the facility.

Rattmann's hints stop just before GLaDOS' massive Sentry Turret ambush, suggesting that he was unable to go on past this point.

GLaDOS tells Chell that the Companion Cube does not talk, and that if it ever did, to not believe what it said. This is a connection to Portal 2: Lab Rat where Rattmann's schizophrenia causes him to consider his Companion Cube as his consciousness which told him how to avoid turrets and where they were positioned.

Portal 2: Lab RatEdit

Lab Rat p18 no text

Doug passing out after being wounded by Sentry Turrets.

In Portal 2: Lab Rat, Rattmann is shown to be observing Chell during her quest through the final stages of Portal, and taking his two last pills he was saving for that day. After she destroys GLaDOS, he follows her to the surface and thinks about taking the opportunity to escape once and for all, but upon seeing her being dragged back inside by the Party Escort Bot, he starts to feel guilty, feeling he is responsible for her predicament, and goes back into the facility to rescue her, despite his Companion Cube's objections.

Back in the facility, he discovers that Chell has been placed in a Cryo-Chamber in the Relaxation Center. He soon discovers that GLaDOS' explosion blew the main power grid, and that all the Cryo-Chambers are off-line. He attempts to reach the Cryo-Control to rescue Chell, but without the advice of his Companion Cube, which is no longer talking due to the anti-psychotic pills he previously took, he is incapable of selecting the right way, and is shot in the leg by a Turret, and falls unconscious.

Upon regaining consciousness, he is back into his psychosis, discovering that he can no longer rescue Chell. However, the Companion Cube tells him that he can save her by patching her Cryo-Chamber into the Reserve Grid, placing her in stasis for an unspecified amount of time, but saving her from death. After doing so, he goes to sleep in a Relaxation Vault. His future lies unknown.

Portal 2Edit

Portal chamber graffiti ashpd

The ASHPD in a Test Chamber filled with Rattmann graffiti.

Rattmann is said to have died some time after saving Chell, suggesting he died from the wound inflicted by the Turret in Lab Rat.[6] However, Eric Wolpaw refused to confirm or deny that this was the case in an interview.

Additional scribblings are seen in Portal 2, indicating his survival. Early during the game, Chell is required to enter one of his dens to find the single-portal ASHPD, in a room covered in murals detailing the events from GLaDOS's creation up to the end of Portal, as well as a large mural of Chell.

Furthermore, one of the Portal 2 Achievements requires finding the hidden signal in one of Rattmann's dens. The Achievement icon is similar to that of the "Transmission Received" Achievement added to Portal during the Portal ARG. To complete it, an Aperture Science Radio must be taken into one of the Rattmann dens (specifically, the one where the radio is received because the Aperture Science Vital Apparatus Vent is full of garbage). It produces an SSTV signal similar to the radios in the Portal ARG, showing an image of a Companion Cube on the Moon. The Turret Quartet can be found in another Ratman den.

It is also clear as progressing through the game, that by standing close to the murals in certain dens, a frantic voice can be heard crying out in barely audible gibberish (though attempts have been made by the community to translate the ramblings). This voice has been guessed to be that of Rattmann himself, giving a hint that he may actually still be alive and wandering around the facility. This voice can also be heard in the song "Ghost of Rattman" on the Portal 2: Songs to Test By soundtrack.

Appearance Edit

As seen in Portal 2: Lab Rat, Rattmann appears to have a pupil larger than the other. This may be anisocoria, a condition characterized by an unequal size of the pupils. As for his face, his errancies in the Enrichment Center and his slow loss of sanity made it unrecognizable, gaunt and exhausted, with disheveled hair and beard, while he remained in scientist attire (labcoat and shirt), likely the most available outfit in the facility.

Personality and skillsEdit

Doug pills

The effects of Doug's medication on his mind.

Rattman has obsessions over objects such as the moon, cats and Companion Cubes. Shown in one of his drawings, he was trying to use science to combine a cat and a companion cube (likely reference to Schrödinger's cat, which was explicitly mentioned on page 21 of Lab Rat).

Prior to the activation of GLaDOS, despite already being schizophrenic and taking medication, Rattman was otherwise quite sane and level-headed, and was skeptical and worried with the work on GLaDOS, believing that a conscience would not be enough to stop her, as opposed to Henry's enthusiasm. However, as time passed when he was trapped in the facility, he grew increasingly insane, and started being obsessed with the Companion Cube, making it work as his source of logic.

The results of the Aperture Science Collaborative Disposition Test tell that Rattmann is the quiet, artistic type, happy to ponder the solution to a puzzle in quiet solitude, and that compatible cooperative test partners include introspective loners, deaf-mute invisible people, and mannequins.

The scribblings seen in Portal show that Rattmann is an educated man, quoting both Dickinson and Longfellow to express himself over the loss of his Weighted Companion Cube, as well as a small reference to Auden. Rattmann's drawings range from simple scribbles to more elaborate artwork, such as a giant mural of Chell in Portal 2.

Aside from his scribblings, Rattmann appears to have adept technical skills. Apparently using the login name and password he managed to procure, he was able to open up certain wall sections in Test Chambers, make Vital Apparatus Vents dispense more Weighted Storage Cubes, and take pictures of the Companion Cube (probably by using the cameras in the Test Chambers). He is also able to create makeshift stoves out of computer heat sinks.

TriviaEdit

  • The fact that Rattmann was talking to the companion cube might be a reference to the fact that in Portal, GLaDOS states it can not talk to you or stab you.
  • The fact that he is eating beans and milk is probably a reference to Isaac Asimov's story "Escape!", where the inhabitants of a computer-designed starship are only given canned beans and milk to eat. This story also involves a malfunctioning robotic brain with a twisted sense of humor torturing a pair of human technicians.
  • Portal features six Ratman dens. The first can be found near Test Chamber 16 (in "testchmb_a_11"), the second near Test Chamber 17 (in "testchmb_a_13"), the third near Test Chamber 18 (in "testchmb_a_14"), the fourth (in "escape_00"), fifth and sixth (in "escape_01") in the maintenance areas.
Ratmanstale

"Rat's Tale" Achievement logo.

  • A Portal: Still Alive Achievement named "Rat's Tale" requires to find all of the Ratman dens. Its logo reuses a texture seen in-game.
  • The username "cjohnson" and password "tier3" can be used on ApertureScience.com to gain administrator access. It is possible the hacker who posted the message about the lockdown access with the command THECAKEISALIE is Rattmann himself. However, this website has now been removed and may no longer be canon, due to its timeline being contradicted by evidence from Portal 2.
  • When Portal 2 was officially announced on March 5, 2010,[7] several alphanumerics were underlined in the text, as part of the Portal ARG. When reorganized together, these letters gave the words "drattmann" and "h0nee", which are a second set of usernames and passwords (belonging to Doug Rattmann) for the BBS number (425) 822-5251. Upon entering them, one has access to data that will eventually give access to a program to read Aperture Image Format files.[1]

GalleryEdit

PortalEdit

Portal 2: Lab RatEdit

Graffiti listEdit

Texture image Location found Transcription Comments
Overlay scrawlings002a

the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie

Hello? Can I help you?

Among two Aperture Science posters, Rattmann wrote five times "the cake is a lie", drew a Weighted Storage Cube falling on a Sentry Gun through a Portal, the sentry gun is saying "Hello? Can I help you?" as the cube falls, as well as what may be a GLaDOS Personality Core falling into the incinerator, with 180 days crossed out, with arrows directed to the Personality Core.
Overlay scrawlings006a
Test Chamber 17.
(testchmb_a_13)

The vital apparatus vent will deliver.
oh it will
WILL
The weighted companion cube DOES speak.
R.I.P.
Superstition, perceiving inanimate objects as alive, and hallucinations
I'm not hallucinating. You are.
The companion cube would never desert me. Dessert. So long...
Cake. Ha ha Cake. A lie.
The companion cube would never lie to me
Trust me
NEVER

Login: cjohnson
Password: tier3

  • The login name and password (which are referring to Cave Johnson and his three tiered program) may give an explanation as to how Rattmann opened up certain areas of the Test Chambers and gained access to other areas of the facility, etc. They are also the password and username for the administrative account on ApertureScience.com.
  • The following portion of text can be considered a conversation between GLaDOS and Rattman, with the Italicised lines being GLaDOS' words

The vital apparatus vent will deliver.
oh it will
WILL
The weighted companion cube DOES speak.
R.I.P.
Superstition, perceiving inanimate objects as alive, and hallucinations
I'm not hallucinating. You are.
The companion cube would never desert me. Dessert. So long...
Cake. Ha ha Cake. A lie.
The companion cube would never lie to me
Trust me
NEVER

Overlay scrawlings006b
Test Chamber 17.
(testchmb_a_13)

Where are you? I will find you.

COMPANION CUBE
You said to take care of it.
How can I
You wouldn't let me.
I should disregard your advice. Leave me alone!

STOP WATCHING

Though earth and man are gone,
I thought the cube would last forever.
I WAS WRONG

  • The left part consists of separate words mixed with hearts and pictures of the Companion Cube in situ.
  • In "COMPANION CUBE", every alternate letter is black or red.
  • "You said to take care of it..." is written around an Aperture Science poster, with the picture of a Companion Cube pasted on the head of the poster's stick figure.
  • "I should disregard your advice. Leave me alone!" and "STOP WATCHING" are probably addressed to GLaDOS.
  • "Though earth and man are gone" is an extract from Emily Brontë's poem "No Coward Soul Is Mine". It may refer to either the Combine rule over Earth or his isolation due to GLaDOS' lockdown of the Aperture Laboratories.
  • "I thought the cube would last forever." and "I WAS WRONG" is a pastiche of the third verse of W. H. Auden's "Funeral Blues", "I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong."
Overlay scrawlings006c
Test Chamber 17.
(testchmb_a_13)

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me
The cube had food and maybe ammo
and immortality.

Why? (written in red 18 times with several question marks)

Not in cruelty,
Not in wrath,
The REAPER came today;
An ANGEL visited
this gray path,
And took the cube away.

  • The original picture of the family with Companion Cubes pasted on their heads, titled "Family watching television", was taken around 1958, and it part of the National Archives and Records Administration photo archives.
Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The Carriage held but just Ourselves
And Immortality.
  • "Why? Why? Why?" surrounds a Companion Cube with a skull replacing the heart, referring to the death of the cube.
O, not in cruelty, not in wrath,
The Reaper came that day;
'Twas an angel visited the green earth,
And took the flowers away.
Overlay scrawlings001a
  • Test Chamber 16.
    (testchmb_a_11)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (testchmb_a_15 and escape_01)

the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie.
the cake is a lie

Overlay scrawlings004a
Test Chamber 16.
(testchmb_a_11)
Used in Test Chamber 16 to indicate where to place portals to defeat the Sentry Guns.
Overlay scrawlings004b
  • Test Chamber 16.
    (testchmb_a_11)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (escape_00)
Used in Test Chamber 16 to indicate where to place portals to defeat the Sentry Guns. Also used to cross out the cake image in the fourth Ratman den.
Overlay scrawlings003a
  • Test Chamber 16.
    (testchmb_a_11)
  • Test Chamber 17.
    (testchmb_a_12)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (testchmb_a_15 and escape_01)
Help Used several times. Rattmann was desperately asking for help.
Overlay handprint
  • Test Chamber 16.
    (testchmb_a_11)
  • Test Chamber 17.
    (testchmb_a_13)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (testchmb_a_15 and escape_01)
Found in most places where Rattmann has been. It is used for the "Rat's Tale" Achievement logo featured in Portal: Still Alive.
Overlay scrawlings005a
  • Test Chamber 17.
    (testchmb_a_13)
  • Test Chamber 18.
    (testchmb_a_14)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (escape_01)
BEEP

SHE'S WATCHING YOU

Refers to GLaDOS watching Test Subjects through the security cameras.
Overlay scrawlings005b
Test Chamber 18.
(testchmb_a_14)
Another way Rattmann chose to show he does not believe in the cake anymore.
Overlay scrawlings exit01
Maintenance areas.
(testchmb_a_15, escape_00 and escape_01)
Used several times to indicate an exit. Mocks the standard stick figure exit sign.
Overlay scrawlings exit02
Maintenance areas.
(escape_00 and escape_01)
Over here Used several times to indicate directions.
Overlay scrawlings arrow01
Maintenance areas.
(testchmb_a_15, escape_00 and escape_01)
Used several times to indicate directions. Its orientation may vary.
Overlay scrawlings arrow02
Maintenance areas.
(escape_01 and escape_02)
It is the only Ratman scribbling seen in the last maintenance area map, right before the Sentry Gun ambush, and therefore the very last Ratman scribbling.
Cake picture
  • Test Chamber 16.
    (testchmb_a_11)
  • Test Chamber 17.
    (testchmb_a_13)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (escape_01)
Official Aperture Science propaganda poster, promoting the "tasty" cake.
Aperture poster001a2
  • Test Chamber 16.
    (testchmb_a_11)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (escape_01)
Official Aperture Science propaganda poster, with the motto "A Trusted Friend in Science". It is sold at the Valve Store.
Aperture poster002a2
  • Test Chamber 17.
    (testchmb_a_13)
  • Test Chamber 18.
    (testchmb_a_14)
  • Maintenance areas.
    (testchmb_a_15 and escape_01)
Official Aperture Science propaganda poster, with the motto "Not Never But NOW". It is sold at the Valve Store.
Aperture poster003a2
Test Chamber 18.
(testchmb_a_14)
Official Aperture Science propaganda poster, with the motto "Courage is Not the Absence of Fear". It is sold at the Valve Store.

List of appearancesEdit

ReferencesEdit

Imagecat
Half-Life Wiki has more images related to Category:Doug Rattmann images.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Portal ARG
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Portal 2: Lab Rat
  3. Expanding the World of Portal 2 on IGN
  4. Portal commentary
  5. Aperture Science: A History on Game Informer
  6. Special Edition Podcast: Portal 2 - podcast on Game Informer
  7. Portal 2 Announced - March 5, 2010 - on Steampowered.com

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