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The Perpetual Testing Initiative (abbreviated as PeTI) is the in-universe name for the simplified Portal 2 level editor, or Puzzle Maker, and the Steam Workshop integration for it, released as one DLC package on May 8, 2012.
PeTI was first officially introduced in an informational video narrated by Cave Johnson, officially released on April 27, 2012, and featured as an introduction in the level editor itself. It can be replayed at any time from Portal 2's in-game Extras menu.
In the new storyline of the Perpetual Testing Initiative (which is possibly set in 1988, according to its trailer), Cave Johnson wants to lessen Aperture's spending, to avoid bankruptcy. In order to do so, he establishes the Extra-Earth Outsourcing Initiative. Instead of having test chambers built in our own dimension (known as Earth One), the plans are sent to versions of Aperture Science in other dimensions within the multiverse, and these alternate Apertures will then build the test chambers. Test subjects from Earth One are then sent there to test the chambers. In-game, the test subjects are represtend by models of the stick-figure (known as Bendy) used in trailers for Portal, as well as Portal 2.
Several of the announcements from Cave Johnson can be pieced together to create an overall storyline taking place during testing. Test subjects from another "evil" dimension began testing on Earth One while playing malicious pranks, much to the annoyance of Cave, who orders the player to find a "money-verse", a universe made entirely of US currency. "Evil Cave", meanwhile, requests the player bring any information of a money-verse to him, promising to double their asparagus rations and give them all the methane they can breathe. This culminates in a bidding war between the two Caves, before the player's own evil counterpart finds two money-verses, which they split, solving their financial issues. Cave then brings the player back to Earth One to continue testing now that they can afford their own chambers.
During the course of the DLC, the player is sent to multiple universes via the Multiverse Device, to test chambers built by alternate versions of Aperture Science. These universes act as parallel dimensions where different Apertures exist, each one with a different version of Cave Johnson, and a different backstory. While none of these dimensions are really seen outside of the test chambers, announcements from Cave Johnson played at the beginning of each test reveal the nature of the universe the player is testing.
It appears that some of the audio announcements in these parallel universes are overheard by Cave Prime (the Cave Johnson of Earth One), making him aware of how different those alternate Caves are from him, and how these parallel Aperture facilities might work. To avoid confusion with other "Cave impostors" from these parallel dimension, the original Cave Johnson uses "chariots" as code word (although later on he starts using "chariots chariots", after learning that alternate Caves might also have the habit of saying "chariots").
There are a number of dimensions the player passes through on his voyage through the Multiverse:
- 1st Universe, also known as Earth One. This universe differs from the one featured in the main Portal 2 storyline in that Cave Prime has cancelled the GLaDOS project in response to Computer Cave's universe. Also, his assistant is Greg rather than Caroline. The player is sent to test chambers in other universes from here.
- 2nd Universe, where Earth has been taken over and is governed by the Sentient Cloud.
- 3rd Universe, where Aperture Science is instead the occult Aperture Rituals, experimenting a mating ritual with a giant bird to stave off the end of the world.
- 4rd Universe, where Soylent Green is legal (a reference to the movie of the same name), though too much expensive for Aperture's expenses.
- 5th Universe, where a dancing Cave Johnson greets test subjects, reminding them that testing is not a dance exemption, according to the law.
- 6th Universe, where Aperture Science seems to test half-man and half-machine police officers named "Robot-a-Cop", as a reference to the movie RoboCop.
- 7th Universe, where mankind travels through the galaxy with hyperdrive and where Aperture Science is instead the Terra III Penal Science Colony, experimenting with test prisoners in space under the supervision of warden Cave Johnson. Later the prison is having a security breach after power fails, and warden Johnson can be heard recording his last message before dying from being stabbed numerously.
- 8th Universe, where Mantis Men are the dominant species on Earth, and man-mantises are the guinea pigs of Aperture's research.
- 9th Universe, where Aperture is testing in a space satellite orbiting the Earth and composed of Science Spheres, though the test subjects, unaware of it, are always trying to break out.
- 10th Universe, where the Enrichment Center is instead the Aperture Hollow Science Jungle ruled by "Michigan Slim" Cave Johnson, the hobo king, and where test subjects (hobos) are asked to "scrounge around for some science".
- 11th Universe, where Cave Johnson's assistant Blarch-Barg (replacing Caroline as the backbone of the facility) kept behind glass is not human and produces seeds that hurl at high speed, hunting down human hosts.
- 12th Universe, where Aperture has successfully performed a telekinesis incubation program, though the selected test subjects are trying to blow the employees' head off, especially Cave Johnson.
- 13th Universe, where Cave Johnson is 51 and where selected people among the most aged have to report to the government to be killed.
- 14th Universe, where a younger Cave Johnson, former Junior Claim Representative of Aperture, is accusing Doug Rattmann, the president of Aperture Science in this universe, of embezzlement.
- 15th Universe, where Mantis Men are taking over the Aperture Science facility.
- 16th Universe, where Cave Johnson has been resurrected inside of a computer, as part of the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System initiative and has fired all employees (including Greg) in case he turns mad due to his new condition, which does finally happen. However, he then realizes the flaws of being immortal. This universe references one of the original storyline for Portal 2, including exact texts from the Portal ARG.
- 17th Universe, where Cave Johnson bought Black Mesa, and has renamed it Blaperture Mesa. He has also shut down anomalous materials research, preventing the infamous Black Mesa Incident from ever occuring.
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