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02099218.347
ATLAS and P-body ASCII art.
URLAdded by URL
 
"Thank you for assuming the party escort submission position."
―The Party Escort Bot[src]
 

On March 1 and March 3, 2010, Portal was updated to feature parts of an eventually highly successful[1] alternate reality game (or ARG) to promote its sequel, Portal 2, leading gamers and journalists to postulate that an announcement for Portal 2 or Half-Life 2: Episode Three might soon be made,[2][3] until Portal 2 was announced on March 5, 2010 for release in Q4 2010.[4]

The ARG was created solely by Portal 2’s development team; there was no marketing team behind it. While it mostly promotes their game, it was also seen as an effective way to extend the Portal universe, and make the Portal fans as part of the game.[1]

In 2011, it was followed by another Portal 2-themed ARG, the PotatoFoolsDay ARG.

March 1, 2010Edit

Radio test chamber2
Test Chamber 02's newly added radio.
KlowAdded by Klow
Portal transmission received
The "Transmission Received" Achievement logo.

At 2:33 pm PST on March 1, 2010, the first update to Portal was made, with the description "Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations".[5] It consisted of an additional Achievement, "Transmission Received". Playing Portal reveals that the game now has a total of 26 radios (including the ones already present before the update) playing in the Test Chambers, always in an area more or less difficult to reach (but given to the player by the music playing), and with a red sprite added to the switch. The radio transmission frequency is also said to have been changed, "to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations", as said in the update. In-game, the radio must each time be moved in a particular spot of the Test Chamber. When doing so, the music will be scrambled by interferences, then Morse code or data transmission sounds will be heard, and the red sprite will turn green. To be made in each Test Chamber, finding all radios and jamming the transmission will unlock the new Achievement, "Transmission Received", although its description is simply "..?". The presence of these new radios seen through the Enrichment Center are likely non canonical, as they only serve the ARG. They may even be removed one day, though this is unlikely.

The 26 radio soundsEdit

The sounds added in the March 1, 2010 update can be found in the folder "ambient" in the Portal sound files. They all bear the prefix "dinosaur". They include "dinosaur1" to "dinosaur26", used for each changed transmission, "dinosaur_noise.wav", for when the music is scrambled, and "dinosaur_fizzle.wav", as well as "dinosaur_fizzle2.wav" and "dinosaur_fizzle3.wav" (added in the March 3, 2010 update[6]), when the radio goes through a Material Emancipation Grill. Most sounds from "dinosaur1" to "dinosaur26" contain a hidden image that can be viewed in an SSTV software (Judith Mossman also hid images in her Borealis transmission, but she did not use the same system) - somewhat similar to the images seen on GLaDOS' screens at the end of Portal, the others contain Morse code (some of them also reveal voice chatter and music after clean up, possibly contained in a second layer). The name "dinosaur" may be a reference to the book Dinosaur Alphabet, by Harry S. Robins, notable voice actor for the Half-Life series, emphasized by the fact that there are 26 main sounds, which is also the total number of the alphabet letters, or a reference to the "dinosauric" (archaic) nature of the technology used (the Morse code and SSTV technologies) compared to today's standards.

When the update was applied, many players launched Portal to see what it was about, and slowly discovered how it consisted in-game, then soon began to investigate the radio sound files on the Steam forums, which led to many intriguing finds.

Sound listEdit

Sound file Image Description / translation
dinosaur1.wav Only Morse code. Translates as "interior transmission active, external data line active, message digest active".[7]
dinosaur2.wav
Dinosaur2
Contains the alphanumerics "3068". The images are of a sheet of paper with "B•dA = 3" written on it ("B•dA" is Gauss's law for magnetic flux), the three others are images of a black keyboard.
dinosaur3.wav
Dinosaur3
A sheet of paper with the Aperture Laboratories header above, and the crossed out BBS number, identified as "(425) 822-5251".
dinosaur4.wav
Dinosaur4
Contains the alphanumerics "C8C2". The first C is written on a yellow sheet of paper, 8 on a 8 ball, the second C on a white keyboard, and the 2 is apparently the half of a 24 on a cap.
dinosaur5.wav Only Morse code. Translates as "9E107D9D372BB6821BD91D3542A419D6", the MD5 hash of "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog",[7][8] the infamous pangram used to test typewriters and computer keyboards.
dinosaur6.wav
Dinosaur6
Portion of the ASCII image of GLaDOS.
dinosaur7.wav
Dinosaur7
Contains the alphanumerics "128B". Reuses the sheet of paper of "dinosaur2.wav". The other images are again keyboards.
dinosaur8.wav
Dinosaur8
The back of a computer case, with the fan location clearly visible.
dinosaur9.wav
Dinosaur9
The photo of a skull, two vacuum tubes and other items on a desk, found at Adam Foster's Flickr account.[9]
dinosaur10.wav
Dinosaur10
Another view of the sheet of paper with the BBS number.
dinosaur11.wav
Dinosaur11
Possibly bulbs and a ceramic rooster.
dinosaur12.wav Only Morse code. Translates as "system data dump active, user backup active, password backup active".[7] It includes the username ("backup") and password ("backup" again) to login to the BBS number (425) 822-5251.
dinosaur13.wav
Dinosaur13
Contains the alphanumerics "D4FD". Features several sheets filled with math formulas.
dinosaur14.wav
Dinosaur14
Unknown subject seen through a telescope or a similar device; possibly the moon or the circuit board from "dinosaur26.wav".
dinosaur15.wav
Dinosaur15
A toy cow.[10]
dinosaur16.wav
Dinosaur16
Contains the alphanumerics "7CC6". Reuses the two "dinosaur4.wav" Cs. The numbers are written on a blackboard with a chalk.
dinosaur17.wav Only Morse code. Translates as "BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP", in turn translating as "LOL".[7]
dinosaur18.wav
Dinosaur18
Contains the alphanumerics "9459". The 9 is on a white keyboard, the 4 is the same as in "dinosaur13.wav", the 5 is apparently on an old typewriter keyboard, and the 9 is written on a blackboard.
dinosaur19.wav
Dinosaur19
Hidden phone numbers written in a way similar to the Portal credits where #'s replace numbers.
dinosaur20.wav
Dinosaur20
Contains the alphanumerics "03B8". Reuses the 0 from "dinosaur2.wav". The 8 is likely on the same sheet featuring the 4 in "dinosaur13.wav" and "dinosaur18.wav". Each image contains the Aperture Science "aperture" logo on the bottom left.
dinosaur21.wav
Dinosaur21
Aperture Laboratories white lab coat, with the collar on the left.
dinosaur22.wav
Dinosaur22
Reversed image of the inertial navigation system for the Apollo Guidance Computer taken at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, found at Adam Foster's Flickr account.[11]
dinosaur23.wav
Dinosaur23
The edge of a circuit board of Herbert, a robot built at MIT in 1987,[12] also taken at the MIT Museum, and also found at Adam Foster's Flickr account.[13] The robot head also found at Foster's Flickr account does not belong to Herbert but another MIT robot named Kismet.
dinosaur24.wav
Dinosaur24
A mouse trap.(possibly a reference to ratman)
dinosaur25.wav
Dinosaur25
Contains the alphanumerics "C6CA". Reuses the same C as "dinosaur4.wav" and "dinosaur16.wav", and the same 6 as "dinosaur2.wav".
dinosaur26.wav
Dinosaur26
Close-in shot of a printed circuit board (possibly the CPU?), seen through a microscope or similar device.

(425) 822-5251Edit

Glados login backup
The GLaDOS login right after identification.
KlowAdded by Klow
BBS disclaimer text
The disclaimer.
KlowAdded by Klow

The "dinosaur" images 2, 4, 7, 13, 16, 18, 20 25 are each cut into four images, each containing an alphanumeric highlighted or circled, and each with a number from 1 to 32 in the bottom right. Put in the order given in the bottom right numbers, these images will give: "9459 C6CA C8C2 03B8 128B 7CC6 3068 D4FD". This string is the MD5 hash (the encrypted code) of a BBS number, "(425) 822-5251",[14] registered to an unpublished landline in Kirkland,[15] a Seattle suburb where Valve was founded. A BBS (bulletin board system) is an example of a predecessor to the Internet, popular from the late-1970s to the mid-1990s. When connecting to a particular number using a terminal program, users could download and upload software, send e-mails, chat, play games, etc.

Upon calling the number using a BBS software and a 56k modem (calling the number with a standard telephone or with a broadband connection will not yield any results), the user is presented with a login prompt that reads "GLaDOS login:". Then, entering the username ("backup") and password ("backup" again) given in "dinosaur12.wav"’s Morse code will show the BBS identification, "APERTURE LABORATORIES GLaDOS v3.11", followed by "COPYRIGHT (c) 1973-1997 APERTURE - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED" (updating GLaDOS' most known recent version, v1.09, dated 1982, found on ApertureScience.com).[16] It has been speculated that "3.11" may be referring to March 11, 2010, when Gabe Newell was awarded the Pioneer Award during the Game Choice Awards, and that he would reveal more information on Portal 2 that day, which was more or less proven to be true. (see below)

What follows is what seems to be a random file dump, consisting of ASCII art images and memorandums seemingly written by Aperture Science CEO and founder Cave Johnson (they actually are sentences said by Johnson in Test Shaft 09 in Portal 2; several sentences were also cut). (For more details, see the complete list below.) If left idle for 4 minutes, the user is presented with a warning that reads "Hey! Please login now. You have one minute left.". If left idle for another minute, the message "Your login time (5 minutes) ran out. Goodbye.", and it disconnects.[16] The BBS came to be the most important part of the puzzle, as almost everything stemmed from it.

The following disclaimer will also show upon connecting: "This computer system is for authorized use only. The use of this facility may be monitored for computer security purposes. Any unauthorized access to this system is prohibited and is subject to criminal and civil penalties under Federal Laws including but not limited to Public Laws 83-703 and 99-474." It appears to reuse and adapt the actual disclaimer "Information from this server resides on a computer funded by a U.S. Government agency. The use of this system may be monitored for computer security purposes. Any unauthorized access to this system is prohibited and is subject to criminal and civil penalties under Federal Laws including but not limited to Public Laws 83-703 and 99-474."

March 3, 2010Edit

Glados parking lot
GLaDOS' remains on the Aperture Laboratories parking lot shortly before Chell is dragged away by the Party Escort Bot.
KlowAdded by Klow

At 2:24 pm PST on March 3, 2010, Portal was updated a second time, with the description "Added valuable asset retrieval."[6] making further changes to the game. The game's original ending was expanded, having, instead of a direct fadeout, Chell being dragged back inside the facility by a Party Escort Bot, thanking her for assuming the party escort submission position, an event initially cut from the game's release, and bridging the gap between Portal and Portal 2, since Chell is again in the facility.[17] Two new "dinosaur_fizzle" sounds, "dinosaur_fizzle2.wav" and "dinosaur_fizzle3.wav", were also added. According to Valve's Jason Holtman, changing the Portal ending was not decided until a fews days before the start of the ARG, and the versatility of the PC platform greatly helped its inclusion.[1]

Progress bar
Overview of the progress bar after logging in with "backup", with the "Late Eocene" ETA.
URLAdded by URL

March 3 also saw changes made to the file dump accessed with (425) 822-5251: at approximately 2:15 pm PST (thus around 10 minutes before the second Portal update) a new prompt appeared. It included a progress bar counting from 00 to 76, the words "VALUABLE ASSET RETRIEVAL INITIATED" (suggesting the BBS itself dispatched the Party Escort Bot), and an ETA changing seemingly randomly, displaying sometimes humorous ETAs such as "2797 millennia", "43 femtoseconds (or smaller)", "about seven", "96 fortnights", "Late Eocene", "91 weeks 46 days 95 hours (approximately)", "5321 millennia", "1946 geological eras", "66 femtoseconds (or smaller)", "last Thursday (except on weekends)", "next Tuesday (unless otherwise redetermined)", "12:00 am February 30, 15,354 BC", "Early December, Furongian Epoch", "39 cubic steradians", "after the heat-death of the universe", "89 inverse acers (unless otherwise redetermined)", "Y2K", "91 weeks", "2871 geological eras", "49 weeks", "Early Precambrian", "64 months 10 months 45 months (exactly)", "4781 millennia", "late evening, early Ordovician", "100 inverse acres (unless otherwise redetermined)", "Cave Johnson's birthday", "more like six days", "when the cows come home", "68 fortnights", "36 days before next Saturday", or "precisely", probably referencing the Valve Time. The progress bar was actually a countdown to Portal 2's official release announcement. It completed at 10:04 am PST on March 5, 20 minutes after the announcement on Steam.[4][18]

March 5, 2010Edit

At 9:44 am PST on March 5, 2010 (20 minutes before the completion of the progress bar), Portal 2 was officially announced on Steam,[4] with several alphanumerics underlined in the text:

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Left 4 Dead, Counter-Strike and Half-Life) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Portal 2 for shipment this coming holiday season.

Portal 2 is the sequel to 2007's Portal, which won 70 industry achievement awards.

For more information, please visit www.steamgames.com

UNKNOWN
The first, unnamed image.
KlowAdded by Klow

When reorganized together, these letters give the words "drattmann" and "h0nee", which are a second set of username and password for the BBS number (425) 822-5251. Upon entering them, new ASCII art images were shown, along with code prefaced by the header "APERTURE IMAGE FORMAT (c) 1985".

After the completion of the progress bar, logging back to the "backup" account gave access to the source code of a QBasic program to decode the new code retrieved with the "drattmann" account, actually consisting of two new images. When running the program, the first image is shown (its name is unknown so far). It consists of a blue text on a grey background, headed by the Aperture Laboratories logo: "Thank you for participating in the trial phase of the Aperture Science Cooperative Testing Initiative. Because of your success, we are moving forward with this project. You will be contacted when the live fire phase of the Cooperative Testing Initiative is ready to accept applicants." Pressing "9" will exit the program, "1" will launch the second image (its name is "SIGN"). This image consists of two Test Subject stick figures with the thumbs up, one with its arm around the neck of the other, on a red background, with the text "Cooperative Trial Completed" under them. "9" is the only available key, and again will exit the program. To go back to the first image, one has to reboot the program.

SIGN
The second image, "SIGN", reusing the stick figures from an Aperture Science poster.
KlowAdded by Klow

These two images use the Aperture Image Format, an interactive graphics format created in 1985 and as recent as 1987 (as seen in the source code of the program, headed by "COPYRIGHT (c) APERTURE LABORATORIES 1985-1987"), and maintained by Doug Rattmann (also known as the Ratman), owner of the "drattmann" account, again as seen in the source code of the program. The Aperture Image Format consists of two files types: "AMF", or "Aperture Menu Format", determining what buttons are displayed in each APF image file (they can range from 1 to 9), along with the data these buttons contain and what colors the image is given, and "APF", "Aperture Picture Format", containing image data. All AMF and APF files must be stored in a directory named "DATA". In the case of the two images revealed by the BBS, "Exit" and "Next" are the AMF files, and the images themselves are the APF files.[19][20][21]

The "Aperture Science Cooperative Testing Initiative" (also called "Cooperative Portal Testing Initiative" in the "Portal is Free" video promoting Portal being free from May 12 to May 24, 2010) refers to Portal 2's co-op mode; its trial phase ("Cooperative Trial", or the ARG itself) probably refers to the collective effort of the fanbase at solving the puzzles presented in the ARG, being itself a co-op game. The two APF images apparently represent the conclusion of a sequence, suggesting that more images might exist (such as "APERTURE.APF", that should be the first file of the sequence), although no others have been eventually found.

March 11, 2010Edit

Gabe BSOD large
Gabe Newell and GLaDOS' BSOD behind.
KlowAdded by Klow

On March 11, 2010, Gabe Newell was awarded the Pioneer Award during the Game Choice Awards. During his acceptance speech, he evoked partnership with the customers, and the ARG itself (as predicted by GLaDOS' 1997 version, "3.11" - or "March 11", revealed by the BBS number), until he announced he was going to answer some of the unanswered questions fans might have regarding the ARG. Then he launched a slideshow where those answers were supposedly to be found, only to have it "crash" to a Blue Screen of Death after he said "This isn't working". A normal BSOD first showed up, then another came, sparking boos then applause in the assembly, as it revealed this crash was intended, and part of the ARG. Following the fake crash, he joked by saying "That's what I get for working at Microsoft", then simply thanked everybody and his wife, and finally added "Good luck figuring it out" (Come on, Gordon!) before leaving.

Glados bsod
GLaDOS' BSOD.
KlowAdded by Klow

Segelet means sail, and nestled in the second BSOD along with GlaDOS' name was a seemingly standard "fatal exception" message. Yet in that message were actually letters hidden behind their Hexadecimal counterparts, that, after being converted to EBCDIC, resulted in the series "SUSPENDUNTILEEE", thus "suspended until E3", suggesting that no further word about Portal 2 would come from Valve before E3 2010 in June 2010.[22]

June 1, 2010Edit

As the last ARG activity, cryptic e-mail was sent to members of the press claiming that the Portal 2 World Premiere,[22][23][24] scheduled for June 14 at E3, was canceled for a "surprise":[25]

Dear Subject Name Here,

Aperture Science is pleased to inform you that we have partnered with Valve to announce the gala CANCELLATION of the June 14 Portal 2 event at the Regal Theater. The event will be replaced by a surprise. And even though the cancellation of the event certainly counts as a surprise, we are pleased to further announce that the cancellation of the event is not THE surprise. However, per International treaties regarding the definition of the word "surprise", of which both Aperture Science and Valve are signatories, the time, date and content of the actual surprise will only become available as you experience the surprise.

If you'd like to ask fruitless questions about the E3 Portal 2 surprise or, more fruitfully, schedule an appointment to attend a Portal 2 screening at the Valve booth during E3, please contact Valve's Special Envoy to Surprises, Doug Lombardi.

Thank you for **RECORD SCRATCH!!!**

PS: The surprising record scratch is also not the surprise.

June 9, 2010Edit

While unrelated to the ARG, June 9 saw the announcement of a delay in Portal 2's release, being moved from Autumn 2010 to 2011.[26]

June 15, 2010Edit

On June 15, 2010, the second day of E3 2010, Portal 2 was shown as originally planned, but only in Valve's booth, as suggested in the June 1 message. As for the cryptic surprise, it was revealed to be Portal 2 coming to PlayStation 3 (despite Gabe Newell's initial reluctance at developing their games for that console[27]), announced by Newell himself during Sony's conference.[28]

After E3Edit

Main article: PotatoFoolsDay ARG

After E3, a new ARG, the PotatoFoolsDay ARG, succeeded to the original ARG. Instead of relying on the BBS and the original Portal, this new ARG relied on several indie games, found on Steam as the pack The Potato Sack and all getting an update for the occasion, and where potatoes were to be collected to reboot GLaDOS, among other things.

On April 19, 2011, Portal 2 was released, ending the second ARG, and answering many questions revealed in both ARGs, as text or images.

BBS resource listEdit

What follows is the list of each resource obtained in the BBS dump from March 1 to March 5, containing ASCII art images, memos, and Aperture Image Format resources, listed per their resource name order (they were not obtained in that order, rather revealed randomly[29]), and accompanied by their original version when available. Each resource is preceded by a line where can be found an error/warning message, then a line featuring the message "BEGIN RECORD", followed by the resource name in a path starting by "C:\" (the letter commonly use to identify the first active primary partition of a computer's first master drive in Microsoft's line of operating systems), and the resource size, in bytes. Each resource is then followed by the message "RECORD ENDS".

The error/warning messages and resource names of a resource were always identical each time it was checked by someone. The same error/warning messages are also sometimes used for several resources, suggesting a possible relation between them.[30] Some error/warning messages such as "CAUTION: NOT IN THE MOOD (ABEND 984)" or "ERROR: NO ERROR DETECTED" are sometimes rather peculiar, may they have a meaning or not.

During that part of the ARG, most images were modified by gamers in image editing programs to help identify them, with noise reduction or added colors.[31] The only changes made to the images provided here are cropping and changes in orientation.

The images are all from Portal 2. Some are informative posters, some are concept art, some are screenshots. Most of the original images have been revealed since.

Image Resource (file) name Pre-display error message Size (in bytes) Type Description / transcription
00781706.309
Space
Portal 2 turret slices
00781706.309\05441580.485 WARNING: UNDISCOVERED CORRUPTION IN ERROR CORRECTION (ABEND 132) 7124 Image Informative poster for the Aperture Science Sentry Turret.
00830915.173
00830915.173\05162493.588 WARNING: DETECTING POSSIBLE MFM CORRUPTION ON ATA BUS 3 7304 Image Screenshot or concept art. May require reversing.
00948720.247
00948720.247\01544256.369 ERROR: ERROR NOT UNDETECTED 3731 Image Possibly chemical products handling instructions, with two eyes and a pair of glasses.
01980182.265
Space
Pneumatic diversity vent poster
01980182.265\07179630.193 WARNING: EXTERNAL DATA-LINE STABILITY COMPROMISED 9644 Image Pneumatic Diversity Vent informative poster.
02010175.163
02010175.163\04544046.237 ERROR: NO ERROR DETECTED 4221 Image Possibly the enlarged image of an organic compound.
02031577.300
Space
Chell jungle
02031577.300\02103700.758 WARNING: NO ERROR DETECTED 6244 Image Concept art of Chell discovering the ruined GLaDOS' chamber.
02099218.347
Space
Atlas P-body first
02099218.347\03659131.810 ERROR: PRESS ANY KEY (#637) 5093 Image Concept art for ATLAS and P-body, the two protagonists of Portal 2's co-op mode, holding hands, with ATLAS holding an ASHPD.
02303171.977
Space
Wheatleyfull
02303171.977\05394148.360 WARNING: THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK (73) 8634 Image Screenshot of Wheatley being held by Chell.
02555900.684
02555900.684\00190290.393 WARNING: AMBIDEXTROUS POINTER DETECTED INSIDE DATA (136) 3225 Image Possibly a portal, with the word "meta" above it.
02622055.965
02622055.965\06615262.757 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY ABOVE 640KB 863 Memo MEMORANDUMS: Filed under CJohnson: 1085839-G

This one's important, folks, so no skimmin'. Cave Johnson here, your boss and founder of Aperture Science?the best damn applied sciences company on Earth. How good is the science here? Get a load a? this: as of this morning, I am dead!

Now, yer probably askin? yourself, "Cave, come on now, how is this possible? Are you some manner of Dracula? Or Frankenstein? Or dependin? on yer cultural heritage, a Blackula or Latin Frankenstein?"gh632jj3

ksjdo sir! It's science. Thanks to our diligent Aperture engineers, I am writin' memos to you today, literally, from beyond the grave! Furthermore I'd l#ke t5o inf))))m 34verybody wePPPPPing a blue shi%%$rt today th32232t y*u @##re f)*# TF FFs0&^t ##f gd fghDFRt 665 ^ $%& 4%^^$. ZSFGS D FGsd5 E$ 5^57&w$% &6&778*$ 4^77 r6ty u$65####################3

Cave Johnson lines cut from the final game. The garbled text at the end is apparently: "Furthermore, I'd like to inform everyone wearing a blue shirt today that you are f" (likely "fired"), beyond which is unintelligible.

02737904.938
02737904.938\07556322.827 CAUTION: ANOMALOUS EMOTIONAL RESPONSE DETECTED (#226) 3239 Image A stylized exploding heart.
03386419.996
03386419.996\03864460.840 ERROR: NO ERROR DETECTED 3175 Image Undetermined instructions. The image on the left is probably a notepad.
03397070.362
Space
Chell concept portal 2 side
03397070.362\08935841.143 WARNING: PLEASE PLACE DISK #54 IN DRIVE A: 8199 Image Concept art for Chell in an upgraded Test Subject outfit, holding an ASHPD.
03997821.398
03997821.398\06656556.646 WARNING: EXTERNAL DATA-LINE STABILITY COMPROMISED 4149 Image The enlarged image of an organic compound, apparently related to an apple.
04907382.298
Space
Aerial faith plate poster
04907382.298\05948424.111 ERROR: NO ERROR DETECTED 8844 Image Aerial Faith Plate informative poster.
05083881.801
05083881.801\04186850.542 WARNING: UNDISCOVERED CORRUPTION IN ERROR CORRECTION (ABEND 143) 1751 Memo CONFIDENTIAL

October 17, 1976

Re: Human Enrichment & Testing Initiative, Resource Acquisitions

1. "Low Risk" Human Resource Acquisitions

a. Hoboes and Tramps

Lives spent wandering aimlessly, cowering before authority, and drinking concussive amounts of home-distilled potato alcohol make hoboes the perfect Human Enrichment test subjects. The hobo questions nothing, will follow orders if fed, and, like all hoboes, has a restless, wandering heart. (Note: The wandering heart of the hobo should not be confused with Drifting Heart Syndrome, which several transients contracted during testing.)

b. Child Orphans and Foundlings

Deep-rooted abandonment issues leave most orphans highly susceptible to shame-based psychology (for a complete list of opportune moments to obliterate the esteem of test subjects, please consult Training Video #89-D, "You'd Perform This Test Better if You Had Parents"). Recent advances in the use of scorn, flattery used in an ironic context and naked contempt as motivational tools have yielded similarly profitable results.

c. Psychiatric Patients

Past experience shows these fellows are simply not shy at all about carrying on, disrupting tests and defecating just about anywhere that pleases them. Frankly, itís off-putting, and small wonder why Aperture-brand mental institutions are being phased out in favor of more orphanages.

d. Seniors

Frail, brittle hands make holding science devices difficult. Most were born before the advent of science, and can become confused and disoriented when asked to participate in relatively simple tests (teleportation, invisibility, adjusting esteem levels of orphan children).

Apparently the answer to a (confidential) letter received by Cave Johnson. It apparently describes the four types of Test Subjects and their behavior.

05283220.113
Space
Portal 2 beta ruined chamber 7
05283220.113\04227957.284 WARNING: ERROR NOT FOUND 7834 Image Screenshot of a ruined Test Chamber 07.
05806485.562
Space
Test chamber door plants
05806485.562\07015013.220 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY BELOW 640KB (-879) 7184 Image Screenshot of a ruined Test Chamber.
05889440.652
05889440.652\03173138.235 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY BELOW 640KB (-3) 2167 Image At least two fish and an arrow pointing left.
06239586.355
Space
Area under chamber
06239586.355\05842709.309 WARNING: ERROR NOT FOUND 8084 Image Screenshot of a maintenance area under a Test Chamber.
06841106.860
Space
Portal 2 beta destroyed chamber2
Space
Portal 2 beta destroyed chamber
Space
Portal 2 beta ruined chamber3
06841106.860\07108663.317 CAUTION: NOT IN THE MOOD (ABEND 984) 8020 Image Three part screenshots / part concept art images of a ruined Test Chamber 13.
06928073.711
Space
Thermal discouragement beam poster
06928073.711\05251074.104 CAUTION: UNEXPECTED DISCONNECTION EXPECTED (#568) 6929 Image Thermal Discouragement Beam informative poster.
06964631.350
Space
Ap maintenance area p2
06964631.350\09767166.647 WARNING: BIOS INSUFFICIENTLY BASIC (#334) 7854 Image Screenshot of an area around Wheatley's Test Chambers.
07423498.218
Space
Glados outside jungle
07423498.218\06523520.892 WARNING: BIOS INSUFFICIENTLY BASIC (#702) 7430 Image Screenshot of GLaDOS in a ruined Enrichment Center.
07533945.935
07533945.935\09823219.940 CAUTION: UNEXPECTED DISCONNECTION EXPECTED (#838) 570 Memo MEMORANDUMS: Filed under CJohnson: 1564029-G

&&*&)90 &^@^@% &@!%@$%@!&@^ (#(kjkjsdsajdlkdjsk ^@%% and do not 2612%^54talk to me about casualty rates. The bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man just for bein in a wheelchair. Did it anyway! Ramps are expensive. Or when they said I couldn't practice beekeeping in the office. They should have told that to the honey that won first place in the state finals! &43$$$ $#@^^&@*&^

Hell, they even said I couldn't cheat death. You know where I'd be if I followed the rules? Dead! Dead, and honey prize-less!

Cave Johnson lines again, partially cut from the game. He also refers to a group of persons as the "bean counters", probably official accountants / financial officers who might nitpick too often to Johnson's tastes, as well as his home-made honey winning first place in the state finals.

07753863.540
07753863.540\02524629.442 WARNING: PLEASE PLACE DISK #14 IN DRIVE B: 7052 Image Screenshot of GLaDOS. Also featured partially in dinosaur6.wav.
08041249.801
08041249.801\00366566.522 WARNING: SEGMENT SEGMENTATION SEGMENTED (264) 6554 Memo MEMORANDUMS: Filed under CJohnson: 76550293-G

A lot of you have been raising concerns about the so-called "dangers" of what we're all doing here. The beancounters told me to tell you that as of today, testing will no longer be as mandatory or as dangerous. That's not gonna happen, and here's the reason:

Science isn't about why, it's about why not. You ask: Why is so much of our science dangerous? I say: Why not marry safe science if you love it so much. In fact, why not invent a special safety door that won't hit you in the butt on the way out, because you are fired.

Plus, in the event of your death, I personally guarantee that, thanks to the form you were required to sign this morning, your family will not suffer the indignities of a prolonged and costly legal battle against Aperture Science. Trust me, I am rich, and it is a burden I would not wish on anyone.

To summarize: 6218376213 wjqehkjh -213&&&^%@5*(*@))@)#*&@ +---+++

Appears to be a letter from Cave Johnson to several Test Subjects who raised their concerns about the dangers of the research conducted by Aperture Science. Again, the beancounters are mentioned. This also consists of Cave Johnson lines, some in the final game, some cut.

08176575.188
Space
Wheatley floor Test Chamber 08
08176575.188\05344825.893 WARNING: BIOS INSUFFICIENTLY BASIC (#572) 965 Image Screenshot of Wheatley on the floor of a ruined Test Chamber 08.
08404033.250
Space
Turret laser ruined chamber
08404033.250\03067854.332 WARNING: AMBIDEXTROUS POINTER DETECTED INSIDE DATA (988) 6469 Image Screenshot of an Aperture Science Sentry Turret pointing its laser in a ruined Enrichment Center.
08640460.837
Space
Thermal beam redirection cube
08640460.837\01854277.742 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY ABOVE 640KB (-995) 7934 Image Screenshot of a Thermal Discouragement Beam being redirected by a Redirection Cube.
08692436.580
Space
Turret crib day poster
08692436.580\05637080.262 CAUTION: ANOMALOUS EMOTIONAL RESPONSE DETECTED (#654) 8340 Image Informative poster illustrating the merits of using an Aperture Science Sentry Turret to ward off potential baby snatchers.[32]
08849055.101
08849055.101\03175671.255 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY BELOW 640KB (-689) 4774 Image What may be Hoopie on a shiny surface.
09394469.756
09394469.756\07583916.313 WARNING: UNDISCOVERED CORRUPTION IN ERROR CORRECTION (ABEND 898) 371 Memo MEMORANDUMS: Filed under CJohnson: 188454-G &&^521762 jsow remind you that Aperture Science is built on three pillars. Pillar one: Science without results is just witchcraft. Pillar two: Get results or you're fired. Pillar three: if you suspect a coworker of bein' a witch, report them immediately. I cannot stress that enough. Witchcraft will not be tolerated.

Likely other cut lines for Cave Johnson.

09468599.954
Space
Interactive floor
09468599.954\07097587.922 CAUTION: NOT IN THE MOOD (ABEND 701) 7944 Image Three screenshots showing Panels in action.
09757631.570
Space
Moving walls
09757631.570\06496685.284 CAUTION: ANOMALOUS EMOTIONAL RESPONSE DETECTED (#980) 7506 Image Screenshot of a Test Chamber wall.
09902956.832
Space
Chell concept portal 2
09902956.832\08552226.566 WARNING: PLEASE PLACE DISK #54 IN DRIVE A: 7054 Image Concept art for Chell in an upgraded Test Subject outfit, holding an ASHPD.
01645136.732\04696011.581 CAUTION: DATA-LINE ENCODING NOT 100% DOS-COMPATIBLE 147 AMF The AMF file for "SIGN", the red Aperture Image Format image.
02792716.141\02207361.344 CAUTION: DATA-LINE ENCODING NOT 100% DOS-COMPATIBLE 2208 APF The APF file for "SIGN".
04357836.527\06134110.915 WARNING: COULD NOT LOAD ERROR MESSAGE (-495) 6546 APF The APF file for "APERTURE", the Aperture Image Format image not found.
07192904.836\03628231.929 CAUTION: ANOMALOUS EMOTIONAL RESPONSE DETECTED (#833) 1693 BASIC QBasic program source code.
08884462.927\01915453.473 WARNING: ERROR NOT FOUND 156 AMF The AMF file for "APERTURE".

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Portal ARG Still Ongoing on The Escapist
  2. Portal Patch Adds Morse Code, Achievement - Portal 2 Speculation Begins on Shacknews
  3. Geeky Clues Suggest Portal Sequel Is Coming on Wired
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Portal 2 Announced - March 5, 2010 - on Steampowered.com
  5. Portal Update Released - March 1, 2010 - on Steampowered.com
  6. 6.0 6.1 Portal Update Released - March 3, 2010 - on Steampowered.com
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Morse code translations on the Steam forums
  8. MD5 conversion and MD5 reverse lookup results
  9. February on Adam Foster's Flickr account
  10. 4D-Vision Puzzle Toy - Cow Anatomy Model 26100 on the Fame Master Enterprise website
  11. Inertial navigation system for Apollo Guidance Computer on Adam Foster's Flickr account
  12. DSpace@MIT : Herbert: A Second Generation Mobile Robot
  13. Circuit board image on Adam Foster's Flickr account
  14. MD5 conversion and MD5 reverse lookup results
  15. White Page results
  16. 16.0 16.1 BBS on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  17. Exploring Portal’s Creation And Its Ties To Half-Life 2 on Game Informer
  18. The Progress Bar on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  19. Aperture Image Format on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  20. Aperture Menu Format on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  21. APF Images on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  22. 22.0 22.1 Portal 2 Hijacks Blue Screen of Death At GDC Awards on Kotaku
  23. E3 2010 – Video Game Convention – Gaming News, Previews, Press Conferences, Trailers, Demos
  24. Portal 2 coming to E3; Valve hosting event Monday, June 14 on Joystiq
  25. Valve Replaces Pre-E3 Portal 2 Reveal With "Surprise"
  26. Portal 2 Delayed to 2011 on IGN
  27. Gabe Newell: 'The PS3 is a Total Disaster' on 1UP
  28. Gabe Newell at Sony's conference at E3 2010 on YouTube
  29. Known Images on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  30. BBS Resources List on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  31. Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum manage (single post) on the Steam forums
  32. Game Informer, April 2010 issue

External linksEdit


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