Doug Rattmann

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Ratman infobox.jpg
Doug Rattmann
Biographical information


Function(s) / Belongings
Rank/ Occupation


Physical description




Hair color

Dark brown[2]

Eye color

Light blue[2] (may have anisocoria)

Chronological and political information

Aperture Science

Game information
"The cake is a lie."
―Doug Rattmann[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. Rattmann was introduced through his murals in Portal, and his story was expanded on in Portal 2: Lab Rat.


[edit] Biography

[edit] Background

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] While he apparently never directly took part in GLaDOS' construction, it appears that he was somehow involved in the work on the modern version of the portal gun.

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 her chamber. Henry praised their technological advances, stating that artificial consciousness is the next frontier. Doug was not convinced by the progress, 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 designing the Morality Core. Henry asked him to turn it on, then Doug asked him what it was, to which Henry answer 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]

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, and 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 ever" gives up. 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.

[edit] Appearances

[edit] Portal

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", in which he appears to have been living for some time (sleeping on unfolded Aperture Science boxes, eating beans, and drinking milk and water), and his frantic scribblings and graffiti can be seen abundantly. The first den is found near 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 incineration at the hands of GLaDOS in 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 he was unable to go on due to his lack of equipment against the Turrets, and that he trusted Chell to overcome them with her stubbornness and above all her ASHPD.

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 began to consider his Companion Cube as his consciousness which told him how to avoid turrets and where they were positioned.

[edit] Portal 2: Lab Rat

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 takes his two last anti-psychotic pills he was saving for that day in order to have a clear head. After Chell destroys GLaDOS, he follows her to the surface, considering taking the opportunity to escape once and for all, but upon seeing her being dragged back inside by the Party Escort Bot, he begins to feel guilty. Feeling he is responsible for her predicament (as he put her on top of the Test Subject list), he 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 Cryo-Control to rescue Chell, but without the advice of his Companion Cube, which is no longer talking due to the pills he previously took, he is incapable of choosing the right direction, and is shot in the leg by a Turret, falling unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness, he is back into his psychosis, discovering that he can no longer rescue Chell. However, the Companion Cube informs him that he can still 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.

[edit] Portal 2

The ASHPD in a Test Chamber filled with Ratman graffiti.

Rattmann's fate is left unclear in Portal 2. 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, there are also implications in the game that Rattmann was not killed and survived, most notably, the Relaxation Vault located in Test Chamber 00 near the Extended Relaxation Center has no traces of his body, and it is highly unlikely that someone had moved his body in the meantime, given the state of the facility. However, it is not completely certain that it was this specific vault used by Rattmann, as it is possible that several are scattered around the Enrichemnt Center.

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 Ratman 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 you play through the game, that by standing close to one of the murals in a Ratman's den, you can hear a frantic voice crying out jibberish. 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.

[edit] Appearance

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.

[edit] Personality and skills

The effects of Doug's medication on his mind.

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 conscience was not 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.

[edit] Behind the scenes

"Rat's Tale" Achievement logo.
  • The username "cjohnson" and password "tier3" can be used on 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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]
  • As explained by Valve, originally Chell was to meet Rattmann and help him destroy GLaDOS. However, the developers ran out of time to include him and all the offices in Aperture Science.[source?]
  • In Lab Rat, Rattmann is seen reading a book called Art Therapy: The Bennet Way This is a possible reference to Walter Bennet. Art Therapy is also the name of the new co-op testing course in the Peer Review DLC for Portal 2.

[edit] Gallery

[edit] Portal

[edit] Portal 2: Lab Rat

[edit] Graffiti list

[edit] Portal

What follows is a list of all graffiti, scribblings and Aperture Science posters left by the Ratman in his dens. The texture files are used for better clarity.

Texture image Location found Transcription Comments
Overlay scrawlings002a.png

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 Vital Apparatus Vent, as well as what may be an Aperture Science High Energy Pellet, with 180 days crossed out, with arrows directed to the High Energy Pellet. "Hello? Can I help you?" is said by a Sentry Gun.
Overlay scrawlings006a.png
Test Chamber 17.

The vital apparatus vent will deliver.
oh it will
The weighted companion cube DOES speak.
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

Login: cjohnson
Password: tier3"
Trust me

  • 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.
Overlay scrawlings006b.png
Test Chamber 17.

Where are you? I will find you.

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


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

  • 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.png
Test Chamber 17.

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.png
  • Test Chamber 16.
  • 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.png
Test Chamber 16.
Used in Test Chamber 16 to indicate where to place portals to defeat the Sentry Guns.
Overlay scrawlings004b.png
  • Test Chamber 16.
  • Maintenance areas.
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.png
  • Test Chamber 16.
  • Test Chamber 17.
  • Maintenance areas.
    (testchmb_a_15 and escape_01)
Help Used several times. Rattmann was desperately asking for help.
Overlay handprint.png
  • Test Chamber 16.
  • Test Chamber 17.
  • 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.png
  • Test Chamber 17.
  • Test Chamber 18.
  • Maintenance areas.


Refers to GLaDOS watching Test Subjects through the security cameras.
Overlay scrawlings005b.png
Test Chamber 18.
Another way Rattmann chose to show he does not believe in the cake anymore.
Overlay scrawlings exit01.png
Maintenance areas.
(testchmb_a_15, escape_00 and escape_01)
Used several times to indicate an exits. Mocks the standard stick figure exit sign.
Overlay scrawlings exit02.png
Maintenance areas.
(escape_00 and escape_01)
Over here Used several times to indicate directions.
Overlay scrawlings arrow01.png
Maintenance areas.
(testchmb_a_15, escape_00 and escape_01)
Used several times to indicate directions. Its orientation may vary.
Overlay scrawlings arrow02.png
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.png
  • Test Chamber 16.
  • Test Chamber 17.
  • Maintenance areas.
Official Aperture Science propaganda poster, promoting the "tasty" cake.
Aperture poster001a2.png
  • Test Chamber 16.
  • Maintenance areas.
Official Aperture Science propaganda poster, with the motto "A Trusted Friend in Science". It is sold at the Valve Store.
Aperture poster002a2.png
  • Test Chamber 17.
  • Test Chamber 18.
  • 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.png
Test Chamber 18.
Official Aperture Science propaganda poster, with the motto "Courage is Not the Absence of Fear". It is sold at the Valve Store.

[edit] Portal 2

A gallery of the artwork left by Doug Rattmann through the Enrichment Center made by artist Andrea Wicklund.

Texture image Location found Transcription Comments
Lab Rat cover clean.jpg
  • Chapter 1
Ratman art 02.jpg
  • Test Chamber 12, Chapter 3
  • There is no magic
  • Only
  • Lost
  • Physics
  • Who are you?
Ratman art 03.jpg
  • Chapter 1
Ratman thenational 02.png
  • Test Chamber 3, Chapter 2
  • Takes your mind
  • Exile
  • 219
  • Sucker´s luck
  • Exile
Ratman art 05.jpg
Ratman art 06.jpg
  • Circulous
  • Logic
  • Tell me not in binary numbers
  • Life is but a madman's dream
  • All the frozen testers slumber
  • And walls are not what they seem
Ratman art 07.jpg
  • Chapter 1
Ratman thenational 01.png
  • Test Chamber 3, Chapter 2
  • Vilify
  • Don´t even try
  • Feels like a trial
Ratman art 09.jpg
  • Test Chamber 17, Chapter 3
  • This thing like seeing
  • Only not with my eyes
Ratman art 10.jpg
  • Chapter 1

Depicting a woman without lab coat during GLaDOS' activation.

Ratman art 11.jpg
  • Test Chamber 3, Chapter 2
  • Too many variables
Ratman art 12.jpg
  • Test Chamber 17, Chapter 3
  • Tenacity
  • The bell invites
  • Hear the turret for it is knell
  • That summons to heaven or to hell
Ratman art 13.jpg
  • Armstrong
Ratman art 14.jpg
  • All i want is a life without pain
  • Tough said God
Ratman art 15.jpg
  • Test Chamber 6, Chapter 2
  • Nothing is real
  • Smooth Jazz Fails.
Ratman art 16.jpg
Ratman art 17.jpg
  • Test Chamber 16, chapter 3

[edit] List of appearances

[edit] References

Combine OverWiki has more images related to Doug Rattmann.
  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

[edit] External links

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