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- In the folder "
sound/temp/eli" from the playable Half-Life 2 Beta files, Eli Maxwell seems to be telling Gordon about an entity called the "Storm." In that speech, Eli warns Freeman to run when he sees a "flicker of green light" while being "out there," as it managed to tear off one of his legs when he made "the mistake to study it" (while the final version uses a Bullsquid instead). The "Storm" was therefore to emit a green light, somehow recalling the portals' and the Resonance Cascade's green color seen in Half-Life and its expansions.
Behavior and skills
- In the speech mentioned above, Eli also talks about having seen a Particle Storm tear gunboats, filled with soldiers, to bits, and believes that, contrary to some stating it is a mere "electrical disturbance," Particle Storms are somehow intelligent ("(...) but if you ask me, there's an intelligence in there, somewhere..."). He wishes the Resistance could communicate with it so that it could join their side as a "powerful ally." This indicates that it is not a Combine creation, but rather a wild "creature," sentient and powerful enough to destroy gunboats, kill living beings and simply cut off a leg, as mentioned above, possibly acting like a black hole.
- Another related folder from the playable Half-Life 2 Beta files named "
particle_storm" can be found in the "
sound/npc" folder. It contains four sounds the Particle Storm was to emit, associated with different moves: "form," "dissipate," "hover," and "lightning." It was therefore to probably form out of nowhere in front of the player, hover above the ground and emit lightning flashes.
- At the end of Half-Life 2, Breen refers to "gas giants inhabited by vast meteorological intelligences;" at the start of Portal 2, the announcement made by the Announcer when the Animal King is introduced refers to a "sentient cloud;" these two references may be related to the Particle Storm.
- One of Cave Johnson's lines during the Perpetual Testing Initiative DLC in Portal 2 reveals that the sentient cloud exists in an alternate universe as Earth's sole governing body, worshiped as a deity and a political entity. It is also stated that the cloud "hates getting its picture taken," and thus banned all camera technology. Those who anger the cloud are said to be "consumed" by it. Cave advises any test subjects who anger the cloud to leave the facility so they can be consumed. Another deadly feature of the cloud is apparently its ability to leech off all of a person's skin.