Portal ARG

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

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 Portal fans part of the game.[1]

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


[edit] March 1, 2010

Test Chamber 02's newly added radio.
The "Transmission Received" Achievement logo.

At 2:33 pm PST on March 1st, 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 "..?".

[edit] The 26 radio sounds

The sounds added in the March 1st, 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" is a reference to the "dinosauric" (archaic) nature of the technology used (the Morse code and SSTV technologies) compared to today's standards.[7]

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.

[edit] Sound list

Sound file Image Description / translation
dinosaur1.wav Only Morse code. Translates as "interior transmission active, external data line active, message digest active".[8]
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.
A sheet of paper with the Aperture Laboratories header above, and the crossed out BBS number, identified as "(425) 822-5251".
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",[8][9] the infamous pangram used to test typewriters and computer keyboards.
Portion of the ASCII image of GLaDOS.
Contains the alphanumerics "128B". Reuses the sheet of paper of "dinosaur2.wav". The other images are again keyboards.
The back of a computer case, with the fan location clearly visible.
The photo of a skull, two radio tubes and other items on a desk, found at Adam Foster's Flickr account.[10]
Another view of the sheet of paper with the BBS number.
Possibly bulbs and a ceramic rooster.
dinosaur12.wav Only Morse code. Translates as "system data dump active, user backup active, password backup active".[8] It includes the username ("backup") and password ("backup" again) to login to the BBS number (425) 822-5251.
Contains the alphanumerics "D4FD". Features several sheets filled with math formulas. The red F is reversed.
Unknown subject seen through a telescope or a similar device.
A toy cow.[11]
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".[8]
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.
Encrypted phone numbers written in a way similar to that of the Portal credits.
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.
Aperture Laboratories white lab coat, with the collar on the left.
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.[12]
The edge of a circuit board of Herbert, a robot built at MIT in 1987,[13] also taken at the MIT Museum, and also found at Adam Foster's Flickr account.[14] The robot head also found at Foster's Flickr account does not belong to Herbert but another MIT robot named Kismet.
A mouse trap.
Contains the alphanumerics "C6CA". Reuses the same C as "dinosaur4.wav" and "dinosaur16.wav", and the same 6 as "dinosaur2.wav".
Close-in shot of what may be a printed circuit board, seen through a microscope or a similar device.

[edit] (425) 822-5251

The GLaDOS login right after identification.
The disclaimer.

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",[15] registered to an unpublished landline in Kirkland,[16] a Seattle suburb where Valve was founded. A BBS (bulletin board system) is some sort of 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).[17] 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.[17] 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."

[edit] March 3, 2010

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

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.[18] 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]

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

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 30th, 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][19]

[edit] March 5, 2010

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"
The first, unnamed image.

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.

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

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.[20][21][22]

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.

[edit] March 11, 2010

Gabe Newell and GLaDOS' BSOD behind.

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" before leaving.


The message in that second BSOD was headed by GlaDOS' name, followed by a seemingly standard "fatal exception" message. 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.[23]

[edit] June 1, 2010

As the last ARG activity, cryptic e-mail was sent to members of the press claiming that the Portal 2 World Premiere,[23][24][25] scheduled for June 14 at E3, was canceled for a "surprise":[26]

"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."

[edit] June 9, 2010

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.[27]

[edit] June 15, 2010

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[28]), announced by Newell himself during Sony's conference.[29]

[edit] After E3

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' texts and images.

[edit] BBS resource list

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[30]), 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.[31] 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.[32] 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 in-game screenshots. Most of the images have had their original version officially published since, but it is still not the case for many of them.

Image Resource (file) name Pre-display error message Size
(in bytes)
Type Description / transcription
Portal 2 turret slices.jpg
00781706.309\05441580.485 WARNING: UNDISCOVERED CORRUPTION IN ERROR CORRECTION (ABEND 132) 7124 Image Informative poster for the Aperture Science Sentry Turret.
00830915.173\05162493.588 WARNING: DETECTING POSSIBLE MFM CORRUPTION ON ATA BUS 3 7304 Image Screenshot or concept art. May require reversing.
00948720.247\01544256.369 ERROR: ERROR NOT UNDETECTED 3731 Image Possibly chemical products handling instructions, with beakers, one of which being held by a hand, two eyes and a pair of glasses.
Pneumatic diversity vent poster.jpg
01980182.265\07179630.193 WARNING: EXTERNAL DATA-LINE STABILITY COMPROMISED 9644 Image Pneumatic Diversity Vent informative poster.
02010175.163\04544046.237 ERROR: NO ERROR DETECTED 4221 Image Possibly the enlarged image of an organic compound.
Chell jungle.jpg
02031577.300\02103700.758 WARNING: NO ERROR DETECTED 6244 Image Concept art of Chell discovering the ruined GLaDOS' chamber.
Atlas P-body first.jpg
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\05394148.360 WARNING: THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK (73) 8634 Image Screenshot of Wheatley being held by Chell.
02555900.684\00190290.393 WARNING: AMBIDEXTROUS POINTER DETECTED INSIDE DATA (136) 3225 Image Possibly a portal, with the word "meta" above it.
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\07556322.827 CAUTION: ANOMALOUS EMOTIONAL RESPONSE DETECTED (#226) 3239 Image A stylized exploding heart.
03386419.996\03864460.840 ERROR: NO ERROR DETECTED 3175 Image Undetermined instructions. The image on the left is probably a notepad.
Chell concept portal 2 side.jpg
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\06656556.646 WARNING: EXTERNAL DATA-LINE STABILITY COMPROMISED 4149 Image The enlarged image of an organic compound, apparently related to an apple.
Aerial faith plate poster.jpg
04907382.298\05948424.111 ERROR: NO ERROR DETECTED 8844 Image Aerial Faith Plate informative poster.

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.

Portal 2 beta ruined chamber 7.jpg
05283220.113\04227957.284 WARNING: ERROR NOT FOUND 7834 Image Screenshot of a ruined Test Chamber 07.
Test chamber door plants.jpg
05806485.562\07015013.220 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY BELOW 640KB (-879) 7184 Image Screenshot of a ruined Test Chamber.
05889440.652\03173138.235 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY BELOW 640KB (-3) 2167 Image At least two fish and an arrow pointing left.
Area under chamber.jpg
06239586.355\05842709.309 WARNING: ERROR NOT FOUND 8084 Image Screenshot of a maintenance area under a Test Chamber.
Portal 2 beta destroyed chamber2.jpg
Portal 2 beta destroyed chamber.jpg
Portal 2 beta ruined chamber3.jpg
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.
Thermal discouragement beam poster.jpg
06928073.711\05251074.104 CAUTION: UNEXPECTED DISCONNECTION EXPECTED (#568) 6929 Image Thermal Discouragement Beam informative poster.
Ap maintenance area p2.jpg
06964631.350\09767166.647 WARNING: BIOS INSUFFICIENTLY BASIC (#334) 7854 Image Screenshot of an area around Wheatley's Test Chambers.
Glados outside jungle.jpg
07423498.218\06523520.892 WARNING: BIOS INSUFFICIENTLY BASIC (#702) 7430 Image Screenshot of GLaDOS in a ruined Enrichment Center.
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\02524629.442 WARNING: PLEASE PLACE DISK #14 IN DRIVE B: 7052 Image Screenshot of GLaDOS. Also featured partially in dinosaur6.wav.
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.

Wheatley floor Test Chamber 08.jpg
08176575.188\05344825.893 WARNING: BIOS INSUFFICIENTLY BASIC (#572) 965 Image Screenshot of Wheatley on the floor of a ruined Test Chamber 08.
Turret laser ruined chamber.jpg
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.
Thermal beam redirection cube.jpg
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.
Turret crib day poster.jpg
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.[33]
08849055.101\03175671.255 WARNING: OUT OF MEMORY BELOW 640KB (-689) 4774 Image What may be Hoopie on a shiny surface.
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.

Interactive floor.jpg
09468599.954\07097587.922 CAUTION: NOT IN THE MOOD (ABEND 701) 7944 Image Three screenshots showing Panels in action.
Moving walls.jpg
09757631.570\06496685.284 CAUTION: ANOMALOUS EMOTIONAL RESPONSE DETECTED (#980) 7506 Image Screenshot of a Test Chamber wall.
Chell concept portal 2.jpg
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".

[edit] References

  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 1st, 2010 - on Steampowered.com
  6. 6.0 6.1 Portal Update Released - March 3, 2010 - on Steampowered.com
  7. Fun coincidences section: http://gamasutra.com/blogs/AdamFoster/20130617/194321/Alternate_Reality_Game_puzzle_design.php
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Morse code translations on the Steam forums
  9. MD5 conversion and MD5 reverse lookup results
  10. February on Adam Foster's Flickr account
  11. 4D-Vision Puzzle Toy - Cow Anatomy Model 26100 on the Fame Master Enterprise website
  12. Inertial navigation system for Apollo Guidance Computer on Adam Foster's Flickr account
  13. DSpace@MIT : Herbert: A Second Generation Mobile Robot
  14. Circuit board image on Adam Foster's Flickr account
  15. MD5 conversion and MD5 reverse lookup results
  16. White Page results
  17. 17.0 17.1 BBS on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  18. Exploring Portal’s Creation And Its Ties To Half-Life 2 on Game Informer
  19. The Progress Bar on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  20. Aperture Image Format on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  21. Aperture Menu Format on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  22. APF Images on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  23. 23.0 23.1 Portal 2 Hijacks Blue Screen of Death At GDC Awards on Kotaku
  24. E3 2010 – Video Game Convention – Gaming News, Previews, Press Conferences, Trailers, Demos
  25. Portal 2 coming to E3; Valve hosting event Monday, June 14 on Joystiq
  26. Valve Replaces Pre-E3 Portal 2 Reveal With "Surprise"
  27. Portal 2 Delayed to 2011 on IGN
  28. Gabe Newell: 'The PS3 is a Total Disaster' on 1UP
  29. Gabe Newell at Sony's conference at E3 2010 on YouTube
  30. Known Images on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  31. BBS Resources List on the Portal Puzzle Wiki
  32. Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum manage (single post) on the Steam forums
  33. Game Informer, April 2010 issue

[edit] External links

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