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The Portal 2 soundtrack was composed by Mike Morasky, with the exception of the songs "Want You Gone" composed by Jonathan Coulton, "Offering," composed by Larry Stephens, an arrangement of Little Prelude in C Minor, BWV 934 by Johann Sebastian Bach, and "Exile Vilify," composed by The National.
While the music can be found in the game files, most tracks are unmixed and can only be fully experienced in-game, as most of the time the testing elements provide additional musical tones. The soundtrack is largely electronic and differs from the quiet ambient music used in the Portal soundtrack in that it is often upbeat.
On May 25, 2011 on the official Portal 2 blog, the first volume out of three of the complete soundtrack titled Portal 2 Soundtrack: Songs to Test By and featuring the fully mixed tracks was released for free on MP3, alongside ringtone versions for the Android and the iPhone. The soundtrack is marketed as "aural stimulus" developed by Aperture Science on the blog; in the MP3s, Morasky is credited as "Aperture Science Psychoacoustics Laboratory." Below are sections outlining the tracks from this volume.
|"Science is Fun"||An up-beat, techno-esque song.||Played during the Portal 2 TV Spot and other trailers. During the PotatoFoolsDay ARG, a full version was released with the game 'BIT.TRIP BEAT'.|
|"Concentration Enhancing Menu Initialiser"||A heavily remixed version of "There She Is" and "999999".||In the PlayStation 3 menu selection when highlighting Portal 2.|
|"9999999"||A dark and mysterious chimes-and-electronics piece that builds with intensity.||Played on the first main menu screen and in the part near the end of The Escape when approaching the Central AI Chamber.||The title refers to the Announcer's attempt at the beginning of The Courtesy Call to inform Chell of the length of time she has been in suspension for, which due to the high length of time or a malfunction, comes out as "nine nine nine nine nine... nine ni-."|
|”The Courtesy Call"||A story-driven piece that starts slow, then jumps into action as the song progresses. The second half has influences from "999999" and "Reconstructing More Science".||Played when woken by Wheatley in the Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center and throughout the container ride.||The title refers to the name of the first chapter.|
|"Technical Difficulties"||A subdued, mysterious, orchestral song that eventually becomes electronic.||Plays in all Announcer-supervised test chambers except for 01 and 05, and the second fling introductory chamber.||The title refers to a line spoken by the Announcer: We are currently experiencing technical difficulties due to circumstances of potentially apocalyptic significance beyond our control.|
|"Overgrowth"||A quiet, eerie piece with light chimes.||Plays in the ruined Chamber 01.|
|"Ghost of Rattman"||A quiet song with light strings and echoes a strange voice that represents Doug Rattmann.||In the Ratman chamber that surrounds the first Portal device.|
|"Haunted Panels"||Another mysterious, subdued orchestral piece.||Plays in the ruined Chamber 05.|
|"The Future Starts With You"||An eerie electronic song.||The second fling introductory chamber.||The name of this song refers to the Announcer line right before the beginning of the chamber, Testing is the future, and the future starts with you.|
|"There She Is"||An eerie, somewhat dismal piece that plays with GlaDOS' death.||Played when nearing and walking through Central AI Chamber for the first time.||The title refers to the player's first glimpse of GLaDOS in Portal 2, where Wheatley says: There she is...|
|"You Know Her?"||A story-driven piece with choir. The second half is darker and consists of thumping beats and electronic sounds.||Played when waking GLaDOS and climbing through the Incinerator Room.||The title refers to Wheatley's comment as GLaDOS recognizes Chell where he asks: You Know her?|
|"The Friendly Faith Plate"||An arrangement of the Aerial Faith Plate music. It consists of fast, scratchy electronic sounds.||Played when flying through the air via an Aperture Science Aerial Faith Plate everywhere but in Test Chamber 06 in Chapter 2 where 15 Acres of Broken Glass is Played. and Test Chamber 10 of Chapter 2 where I Saw a Deer Today is Played|
|"15 Acres of Broken Glass"||Test Chamber 06 in Chapter 2||The title is a reference to GLaDOS' line regarding the cleanup of the facility: "*I* have to go to the wing that was made entirely of glass and pick up 15 acres of broken glass. By myself."|
|"Love as a Construct"||Contains the Companion Cube singing Cara Mia.||Test Chamber 07 in Chapter 2.|
|"I Saw a Deer Today"||An electric popping-clicking piece. Reminiscent of 4000 Degrees Kelvin from the Portal soundtrack.||Portions are heard while engaging laser locks and ricocheting off of Aperture Science Aerial Faith Plates in Test Chamber 10 of Chapter 2.||The title refers to a line where GLaDOS asserts, "It's a beautiful day out. Yesterday I saw a deer."
|"Hard Sunshine"||Contains a distorted melody of Cara Mia.||Plays loudly when crouched on a Hard Light Bridge and plays quietly when not.||The title is a reference to the Hard Light Bridge, which GLaDOS claims is made of natural light (Example: sunshine), thus "Hard Sunshine."|
|"I'm Different"||Portions are played when carrying or knocking over turrets in Test Chamber 13 in Chapter 3.||The title of this track is a reference to the Oracle Turret found on the Turret Redemption Line, which says "I'm different..." upon being approached. The track's melody seems to bear some similarities with An Accent Beyond, despite being quiet and low-key while the latter is loud and fast-paced.|
|"Adrenal Vapor"||A warbling song produced while engaging laser locks in one of the Test Chambers.||Test Chamber 14 in Chapter 3.||The title refers to GLaDOS' statement just before entering the Test Chamber, "I simulate daylight at all hours and add adrenal vapor to your oxygen supply."
|"Turret Wife Serenade"||A song performed by the Turret Quartet under a Rattmann Den.||Easter Egg in GLaDOS' Test Chamber 16.|
|"I Made It All Up"||A quiet, warbling electronics song.||In Chapter 4, "The Surprise," while engaging the laser locks in Test Chamber 18.
This tune is also played over the menu after completing the Single Player campaign, with additional strings and elements of the Turret Opera. A scaled-down version plays when the laser-activated platform is moving in the fourth chamber of Chapter 2.
|This refers to GLaDOS's line after revealing that her first "surprise" is the complete absence of one: "I made it all up". The song seems to have the same instrument from Self Esteem Fund from the Portal Soundtrack.|
|"Comedy = Tragedy + Time"||A mixture of beats and electronic noises||Played during GLaDOS's Test Chamber 19.||The title refers to GLaDOS's statement, "Well, you know the old formula: Comedy equals tragedy plus time."|
|"Triple Laser Phase"||GLaDOS's Test Chamber 20,||Different parts are played when one or two Thermal Discouragement Beams are given power. but all of the song is played when all three are given power.|
On July 1, 2011 on the official Portal 2 blog, the second volume out of three of the complete soundtrack titled Portal 2 Soundtrack: Songs to Test By and featuring the fully mixed tracks was released for free.
|"You Will Be Perfect"||A fast tempo electronic song with a recognizable theme.||Played in the "Cooperative Testing Initiative" and "Perfect 10" trailers. The title refers to GLaDOS's statement to the robots in the former trailer: "You don't know pride. You don't know fear. You don't know anything. You'll be perfect."||The middle part of the track shows influences from "Reconstructing More Science".|
|"Halls of Science 4"||A series of electronic beeps put together into a melody.||Played at the beginning of the Portal 2 TV Spot.|
|"Bots Build Bots"||A soothing song with harp and winds, gradually turning into a complex electronic song, with the melody still present, eventually ending how it starts.||The second main menu screen, which displays a conveyor belt inside the Turret Factory.||Although listed as "Bots Build Bots" on the website and in filename, the song's title is listed as "(defun botsbuildbots () (botsbuildbots))". This is a program written in LISP that defines a function that recursively (and endlessly) calls itself; effectively, an infinitely continuous loop. LISP is a programming language that has been heavily used in AI research since being developed in 1958.|
|"An Accent Beyond"||An up-tempo song with a repeating electronic melody. Contains remixed segments from "I'm Different".||Plays during the escape after GLaDOS Test Chamber 21.||The title is a reference to Wheatley's claim that he is "speaking in an accent that is beyond her range of hearing".|
|"Robot Ghost Story"||A slow, quiet electronic song with haunting melodies. It has slow, Turret scream-like sounds which represent the screams of the replicas.||Plays when Wheatley tells the story about the robot replicas.|
|"Die Cut Laser Dance"||Choppy electronic noises,||Plays while on the conveyor moving large pieces of metal to be cut and later constructed into turrets.||Contains sped-up segments of "Bots Build Bots".|
|"Turret Redemption Line"||An eerie, quiet track with strings and percussion playing the piece from the other half of "You Know Her?"||Plays on the Turret Redemption Line.|
|"Bring Your Daughter to Work Day"||Plays whilst looking at the science projects produced by the employee daughters.|
|"Almost at Fifty Percent"||The song uses an alarm-like sound that plays throughout the song, near the ending the song runs into an action-like drum and synthesizer, then ends with a wind-like noise. The end of the song shows some influence from "Concentration Enhancing Menu Initialiser".||Plays in the Neurotoxin Generator chamber.||The title refers to Wheatley mistakenly believing the neurotoxin levels went up to 50%, although like "I Saw A Deer Today" the title itself is not actually said during the game.|
|"Don’t Do It"||A choppy electronic piece that gradually builds up with the story. The ending part is a reworked version of "Reconstructing More Science". That part also bears a strong resemblance to "Your Precious Moon".||When arriving in GLaDOS' rebuilt Central AI Chamber and during the subsequent stalemate resolution.||The song title is a reference to GLaDOS' repeated request when Chell is presented with the stalemate resolution button. The track sounds very similar to the track "You Know Her?". At some points are Wheatley's antagonist theme. it also has a part of Caroline Deleted.|
|"I AM NOT A MORON!"||A story-driven piece that shifts with Wheatley's change from good to evil.||Wheatley's takeover after the Stalemate Resolution Button is pressed.||The song title is a reference to Wheatley's reaction to GLaDOS calling him a moron.|
|"Vitrification Order"||An eerie track with brass, slowly building up and becoming more electronic.||When heading through the old Aperture structures toward the condemned testing area.||The title references the vitrification order signs in the old Aperture test chambers.|
|"Music of the Spheres"||Soaring melody with some electronic tones. The tempo increases throughout the piece.||Plays in the entry room of old Aperture after unlocking the massive vault door. The latter portion also plays after completing the 1950s test chambers.||Contains unmixed/mixed segments of "999999".|
|"You Are Not Part of the Control Group"||A quiet, beeping song that rings with the tests of the old Aperture Science Innovators.||Plays during the first Repulsion Gel test.||The title refers to Cave Johnson reminding Test Subjects that they are not part of the unfortunate "control group" who took part in potentially lethal tests.|
|"Forwarding the Cause of Science"||An electronic remix of "You Are Not Part of the Control Group". The faster pieces are played when using the Repulsion Gel.||Plays during the 1950s test chambers.||The title refers to a line said by Cave Johnson while talking about asbestos poisoning.|
|"PotatOS Lament"||The third main menu screen, featuring the old Aperture structures.||The synthesized vocals are that of GLaDOS, whilst being trapped in the potato. The exact language and lyrics of the song have yet to be revealed, but it is most likely in Latin (although some parts may be gibberish), as at the beginning of the song, GLaDOS can be clearly heard to use the Latin word "Lacrimosa", which means "Weeping". The song's lyrics can be found here |
|"The Reunion"||A heavily remixed version of "Forwarding the Cause of Science". The faster pieces are played when using the Propulsion Gel.||Plays in the 1970s test chambers, with Propulsion Gel.|
|"Music of the Spheres 2 (Incendiary Lemons)"||A heavily-remixed version of "Music of the Spheres", with the regular strings replaced by electronics.||Plays at the beginning and end of the 1970s test chambers and in several locations in the 1980s test chambers.||The part of the title in parentheses is a reference to Cave Johnson's message about how he would "...burn your house down! With the lemons!". and Contains unmixed/mixed segments from "999999".|
On September 30, 2011 on the official Portal 2 blog, the third volume out of three of the complete soundtrack titled Portal 2 Soundtrack: Songs to Test By and featuring the fully mixed tracks was released for free, with a link to download the entire soundtrack.
|"Reconstructing More Science"||An electronic that piece vibrates with GLaDOS' renewal of the Aperture Science test chambers.||In the final level when using the Propulsion Gel during the fight with Wheatley and in various trailers, including the Portal 2 teaser.||There's also a short version featuring in the E3 gameplay videos.|
|"Wheatley Science"||An electronic track with underlying strings that play Wheatley's antagonist theme from "I AM NOT A MORON!".||In the fourth main menu.||A reference to when Wheatley takes control of Aperture and starts making tests.|
|"Franken Turrets"||Consists of high pitched ringing sounds.||At the start of Chapter 8, in the Frankenturrets dedicated chamber made by Wheatley.|
|"Machiavellian Bach"||The classical music piece that Wheatley plays in Test Chamber 5||Electronical clips can be heard when using the Aerial Faith Plates. Based off Bach's Little Prelude in C minor BWV 934. Interestingly, the piece has been transposed into F minor.|
|"Excursion Funnel"||Eerie echoing ringing sounds with added electronics.||Played when inside an Excursion funnel.|
|"TEST"||A reference to Wheatley's attempt to distinguish his first test chamber from GLaDOS's by writing "TEST" on the wall with white panels.||All of Wheatley's test chambers, except chamber 5. The theme becomes more intense with each chamber.||Consists of a reworked version of "Franken Turrets".|
|"The Part Where He Kills You"||A fast-paced electronic piece with brass for added suspense.||In the fake Test Chamber 17, when Wheatley attempts to kill Chell realizing that he no longer needs her. The first section also plays when using the Excursion Funnel just after Chamber 12, where the elevator has melted.||Contains a minor-key version of "Excursion Funnel" and elements of "Wheatley Science" within the first minute.|
|"Omg, What has He Done?"||A reference to GLaDOS's cries of dismay at seeing her beloved facility crumble into pieces under the control of Wheatley.||Heard when entering the final area before the boss chamber, in the excursion funnel on the way to the Central AI chamber, and while climbing up to where the corrupted core bin and AI chamber entrance are.||The other half is basically a slowed down remix of "Wheatley Science" with additional strings that would speed up.|
|"Bombs for Throwing at You"||An action-packed electronic track with scratchy electronics that vibrate with Wheatley's insanity and underlying strings that move with his underlying evil.||During the final boss of the game.||In reference to the bombs used in the final battle with Wheatley in his chamber. The version on the soundtrack is a modified version of the in-game music. Wheatley's antagonist theme from "Wheatley Science" is used as the underlying melody in the song, and near the ending, elements from "The Part Where He Kills You" are present.|
|"Your Precious Moon"||The title refers to one of the lines Wheatley will say as the player looks up at the Moon.||Before and during the cut-scene that plays when the Portal is placed on the Moon.||The first half is similar to "Don't Do It". The second half is similar to "Reconstructing More Science".|
|"Caroline Deleted"||Played in GLaDOS' chamber before Chell is taken to the Turret Opera. Contains segments from "999999" and "Reconstructing More Science", as well as a few notes of "Love as a Construct" at the very beginning.||From when Chell wakes up after defeating Wheatley, to when the elevator stops in front of four turrets.|
|"Cara Mia Addio!"||The song sung by the Turret Opera as Chell leaves, the first 3 seconds appear to be a higher pitched sound at similar to the start of "Don't Do It".||The elevator ride out of the facility.||The song is sung by Ellen McLain in bad Italian. Unlike other songs, the version of the song on the official soundtrack has been slightly extended and contains a short segment not included in the original that plays in the actual game.|
|"Want You Gone"||The credits song, sung by GLaDOS.||The credits screen.||The successor to Still Alive, also composed by Jonathan Coulton.|
|"Spaaaaace"||A track mostly made up of ambient sounds. The title is a reference to the Space Core's "SPAAAACE!"||Played during Wheatley's final thoughts while stranded in Space, immediately following the credits.|
|"Space Phase"||A short version of "I Made It All Up" with additional strings from "Love as a Construct".||In the fifth main menu.|
|"Some Assembly Required"||This is the introduction music for co-op|
|"Robot Waiting Room #1"||One of the pieces of music played in the Hub. It has the tune of "You Are Not Part Of The Control Group" with added electronics from "Forwarding the Cause of Science" and the brass of "Music of the Spheres".|
|"Robot Waiting Room #2"||One of the pieces of music played in the Hub. It is a reworked version of "Halls of Science 4".|
|"Robot Waiting Room #3"||One of the pieces of music played in the Hub. It is "Halls of Science 4" with more chimes.|
|"Robot Waiting Room #4"||One of the pieces of music played in the Hub. It is a snippet of "Halls of Science 4" with one of the electronic pieces from "Forwarding the Cause of Science" laid under it.|
|"Robot Waiting Room #5"||One of the pieces of music played in the Hub. It is similar to "Robot Waiting Room #4" with additional strings.|
|"Robot Waiting Room #6"||One of the pieces of music played in the Hub. It's a reworked version of "Forwarding the Cause of Science".|
|"You Saved Science"||Played before the end credits when the Vault is opened.|
|"Robots FTW"||An upbeat, energetic electronic song.||Over the end credits to the co-op mode, behind GLaDOS' comments about the test subjects.||The title is short for "Robots for the Win".|
The following tracks haven't made the final cut due to their original artists' copyrights, or due to their lowered importance in the game, or were simply cut.
||The Rattmann Den near Test Chamber 03 in Chapter 2.||File name is sp_a2_dual_lasers_r1.wav|
|"Offering"||A smooth jazz played to tranquil testers in the face of almost certain death. This song is composed by Larry Stephens and is from his album also titled "Offering".||The original Test Chamber 04 from Portal as seen in Chapter 1. Only a small segment is played before the speakers glitch and shut down.||File name is vo/announcer/prehub42.wav|
|"Say Apple"||A fast-paced cut piece consisting of mostly a piano, a harp, and electronic sounds.||This piece of music would have been part of of "The Courtesy Call," and play when Wheatley is bringing Chell to the original testing track from the first Portal game.||File name is sp_intro_01_05_apple.wav|
|"this classical music"||A piece of unidentified classical music the announcer has Chell listen to during her mandatory physical and mental wellness exercise.||After Chell stares at the art on the wall for a few seconds, the announcer says "You should now feel mentally reinvigorated. If you suspect staring at art has not provided the required intellectual sustenance, reflect briefly on this classical music." The music gets cut off by a buzzer shortly after starting.||File name is /vo/announcer/openingexercise07.wav|
|Aperture Science 1950s Welcome Music||A proud and regal brass fanfare with percussion, violins, and flute, welcoming the prestigious test subject guests at Aperture Science Innovators in the 1950s.||Heard when Chell first restores power to the 1950s chambers at the bottom of Test Shaft 09, as Cave Johnson's voice welcomes "astronauts, war heroes, and Olympians".||This song appears to be based upon the song "Santorini" by Yanni. File name is sp_a3_03_b3.wav|
|Perpetual Testing Initiative Editor music||Various and multiple blips and drones that are assembled and played at random. A sample can be heard here.||Heard in the Perpetual Testing Initiative mode while a player is creating a custom test chamber.||Located in /portal2_dlc2/pak01_dir.vpk/sound/ui/|
- Songs to Test By on the official Portal 2 blog