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Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center

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Extended Relaxation Center
General information
Location

Aperture Science Enrichment Center

Usage
Era(s)

Portal 2

Faction

Aperture Science

Game information
Map(s)

sp_a1_intro1

Designer(s)
"Good morning. You have been in suspension for -FIFTY- days. In compliance with state and federal regulations, all testing candidates in the Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center must be revived periodically for a mandatory physical and mental wellness exercise."
Announcer[src]

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 the first location in the single-player campaign of Portal 2, where Chell is awakened by a distressed Wheatley in the chapter, The Courtesy Call.

Overview[edit]

Chell's Relaxation Chamber in disrepair when she wakes up several years later.
  • The Relaxation Center is a massive compound, consisting of thousands of docked "Relaxation Chambers", life support containers that can be moved along a rail, which on the inside, bear a striking resemblance to the interior of hotel rooms, circa 1950.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Doug Rattmann looking at Chell sleeping in her Relaxation Chamber.
  • 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 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".

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • 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.
  • Several unused models related to an earlier version of Chell's Relaxation Chamber can still be found in the game's files.
  • At the early stages of Portal 2 development, when the game was set in 1980s, the Relaxation Center was a decorative island, where the movement of Test Subjects was limited with automatic glass panels. It was shown at GDC 2012.[4]
  • The Relaxation Chamber was based on the Super 8 motel.[3]

Trivia[edit]

  • 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.

Gallery[edit]

Portal 2: Lab Rat[edit]

Portal 2[edit]

Pre-release[edit]

Retail[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]

Other[edit]

References[edit]

Preceded by
Central AI Chamber (Portal)
Portal 2 journey Succeeded by
GLaDOS' testing track (Portal)