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The Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center is a section within the Aperture Science Enrichment Center where Test Subjects are accommodated and sometimes put into long-term relaxation, shortly after or before their testing courses.
- The Relaxation Center is a massive compound, consisting of thousands of docked "Relaxation Chambers", life support containers that can be moved along a rail and which, on the inside, resemble cheap motel rooms with 1970s decor and appliances that date from the late 1970s to early 1990s (the "packing date" on one chamber, shown below, is 1976).
- Within the Relaxation Chambers, Test Subjects are encouraged by a PA system to stare at art, listen to classical music, and exercise at regular intervals, presumably to prevent muscular and intellectual deterioration between periods of stasis. The amount of stimulation required to legally meet federal regulations on physical and mental well-being is apparently not high.
- Relaxation Chambers are also used to put Test Subjects in long-term relaxation (i.e. cryosleep), in which case they are named "Cryo-Chambers". They are managed by the Cryo-Control system, which regulates the cryo-suspension process and life support through Cryo-Units. The Cryo-Control system has a main power grid and a reserve grid in case of failure. When the reserve grid takes over the main grid if the latter fails, the wake-up date cannot be programmed.
- It appears that despite the propaganda slogan "The cryo-suspension process is both safe & fun!", a warning also suggests that the long-term relaxation is not fail-safe, and that Test Subjects may die in the process.
- The Relaxation Chamber should not be confused with the Relaxation Vault, used by Test Subjects while testing.
- Following the partial destruction of GLaDOS, Chell found herself outside the facility, and was brought back in by the Party Escort Bot, which placed her in a Relaxation Chamber. However GLaDOS' destruction had damaged the main power grid, and Doug Rattmann saved Chell by patching her Cryo-Unit in the reserve grid to restart her life support, putting her in long sleep for an unknown amount of time ("both alive and dead, until someone opens the box"). Several years later, Wheatley awoke Chell in her damaged but still functioning chamber, took control of the Chamber, lead it through the Center and lead her through the ruined facility by leaving the Center through a hole in the wall.
- All of the other Test Subjects besides Chell in the Relaxation Center have died, seemingly due to the main power grid being damaged after GLaDOS' destruction.
- On the back panel of the Relaxation Center room, there is a label that describes the Test Subjects that are occupying the rooms by a barcode, their age, body type, gender, and height as well as the day the subjects were put into the room and the day that the Test Subjects "expire".
- Some of the Relaxation Chambers glimpsed from Chell's are in a far worse state of repair than hers; many have outright collapsed, or crashed into one another. Since Wheatley implies later that he tried to use other test subjects to help him escape before her, it is possible the wreckage in the rest of the Relaxation Centre is the result of his earlier attempts to recruit and transport them (but since, according to the Rattmann story, Chell's chamber was the only one with its stasis system to remain powered, these attempts would have to have happened immediately after the end of Portal 1, long before Wheatley found Chell). Alternatively, if Chell's Relaxation Chamber was the only one to continue to be supplied with backup power, its stasis system may have slowed the decay of the whole room as well, or the room may just have had self-maintenance systems.
Behind the scenes
- The Relaxation Center was first glimpsed in the Portal 2 teaser trailer shown at E3 2010, then shown in its final state at PAX East in 2011, in a video showcasing the opening of the single-player campaign in Portal 2.
- Concept art also appeared in the game files of the video game The Ball, as part of the PotatoFoolsDay ARG.
- Several unused models related to an earlier version of Chell's Relaxation Chamber can still be found in the game's files.
- When Chell first awakes, the mural depicts a man sitting on a beach. When she is woken up again, it shows a wolf on the beach howling at a full moon. The painting Chell is required to observe also changes its appearance to a nighttime version, complete with full moon.
- It is unknown how exactly the Relaxation Chamber's bed puts its Test Subject into stasis, as it does not seem to contain any technology required to sustain the Test Subject's vital functions, unlike the Relaxation Vault bed. It's possible that it is the Relaxation Chamber itself that keeps the Test Subject in stasis.
- It is unknown if a supervisor is capable of seeing inside a chamber without entering it. When Wheatley is knocking at the door, one attempt to get in involves him speaking Spanish: "Hola, amigo. Abre la puerta. ¿Dónde estás?" (Hello, friend. Open the door. Where are you?) This could imply that he doesn't yet realize that Chell is a female, or he simply is marginal with speaking Spanish. However, given the fact that he asked "Where are you?", this would imply that he cannot see inside the chamber without entering it.
- When Chell wakes up the second time, there is a crease in the bed were Chell was. The room is also noticeably more dirty.
Portal 2: Lab Rat
List of appearances
Central AI Chamber (Portal)
|Portal 2 journey||Succeeded by|
GLaDOS' Testing Track (Portal)