Party Escort Bot
|Party Escort Bot|
Modified Personality Construct
- "Thank you for assuming the party escort submission position."
- ―Party Escort Bot[src]
The Party Escort Bot, also known as the party associate, is an Aperture Science Personality Construct originally only mentioned in Portal but later reintroduced in the game for the retconned ending added as part of the Portal ARG.
The party associate is first mentioned by GLaDOS after Chell escapes certain death at the end of Test Chamber 19. There, she says that they are throwing a party in honor of Chell's tremendous success and that a party associate will arrive shortly. GLaDOS then orders Chell to assume the party escort submission position by lying down on her stomach and putting her arms at her side so that the associate may collect her. As Chell disregards GLaDOS' words, the party associate is never seen at that point. At the very end of the game, however, when Chell finds herself lying in the Enrichment Center parking lot after destroying GLaDOS, the party associate finally comes to pick her up and drags her away back inside the facility, thanking her for assuming the party escort submission position.
|Make the correct party escort submission position decision.|
Behind the scenes
According to Erik Wolpaw, the party associate mentioned by GLaDOS was originally going to be watching over Chell and be partially heard and glimpsed during the second half of Portal, waiting for her to assume the party escort submission position. The final payoff would have been that, once Chell had finally defeated GLaDOS and collapsed on the parking lot ground, the party escort robot that had been following her all this time would finally drag her back to their "party" inside the facility. Wolpaw states that this would have been a "super happy ending" for the escort robot, albeit a less happy one for the player.
In the update made to Portal on March 3, 2010, the update notes simply stating "Added valuable asset retrieval", this original ending concept was implemented. Now, instead of closing directly with a fade to black, Chell is first dragged away by the Party Escort Bot as it thanks her for assuming the party escort submission position. This was meant to "re-energize" Portal and bridge the gap between it and Portal 2, as Chell awakens back inside Aperture Laboratories in the sequel. However, the presence of the bot in the second half of the game was not brought back. Additionally, as part of the Portal ARG, around 10 minutes before the Portal March 3, 2010 update, the progress bar and the words "VALUABLE ASSET RETRIEVAL INITIATED" appeared in the BBS, suggesting the BBS itself dispatched the Party Escort Bot. According to Valve's Jason Holtman, changing the ending to Portal was not decided until a few days before the start of the ARG, and the versatility of the PC platform greatly helped its inclusion.
In the updated "
escape_02.bsp" map, Chell's first person camera movement for the ending cutscene is handled by model called
GhostAnim.mdl which visually appears in-game as a cube using the texture file of the can of beans seen several times throughout the game. Found in the newly-added "props/camera" folder in the Portal game files, the model has two animations, "
idle" and "
move", the latter being used for the movement pattern seen when being dragged away. If a portal is shot on or anywhere near the cube, the game will crash.
Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game features a character card with what appears to be a model render of the Party Escort Bot, showing a design consistent with the Lab Rat appearance.
The track "Party Escort" in the Portal soundtrack is a reference to the Party Escort Bot.
List of appearances
- Portal (First appearance) (Originally mentioned only, then retconned as a character)
- Portal 2 (Game files only)
- Portal: Still Alive (Non-canonical appearance) (Mentioned only)
- Portal ARG (Indirectly in the BBS dump, and the retconned Portal ending)
- Portal 2: Lab Rat
- Portal: The Uncooperative Cake Acquisition Game (Non-canonical appearance)
- Lego Dimensions (Non-canonical appearance) (Mentioned only)
- Exploring Portal’s Creation And Its Ties To Half-Life 2 on Game Informer
- Portal Update Released on Steampowered.com (March 3, 2010)
- GameInformer, April 2010 issue
- Portal ARG Still Ongoing on The Escapist