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The Rocket Turret, also known as Rocket Sentry, is a Personality Construct-based, static rocket-firing gun platform developed as a security mechanism by Aperture Science, eventually used by Chell to defeat GLaDOS in the Central AI Chamber at the end of Portal.
Rocket Turrets consist of what appears to be a Personality Core mounted atop a robotic arm that retracts in the ground, only leaving the top of the Personality Core visible. When activated, the Core's left panel slides out so a rocket launcher and sensory device that emits a blue-green laser for targeting are revealed. In addition, the Personality Core "eye" is used to indicate the current status of the turret by color: green means idle, yellow - locked on target, red - firing the rocket. While activating, the rockets slide down towards the barrel before the laser is set up. When locking on, one rocket is removed from the rack and loaded into the barrel, then fired.
The Rocket Turret can't be destroyed by its own rocket, which vaporizes upon contact with the Turret.
After locking on, the Rocket Turret will always pause briefly, emit a loud electronic beep, and then fire a single rocket after its eye turns from yellow to red.
Rocket Turrets do not seem to be programmed to track targets since they will launch their rocket even if the target has moved. Thanks to this, Chell can "trick" Rocket Turrets into breaking objects hindering her path such as windows, a Pipe Network pipe, and GLaDOS herself, detaching one of her Personality Cores with every rocket.
A direct hit from a rocket will be deadly to Chell. However, she can use simple objects found around the Enrichment Center to totally shield herself from taking any damage and use portals to redirect the rockets.
|Portal: Still Alive|
|Saw That One Coming (5G)|
|Cause a rocket sentry to destroy its own rocket when the rocket has been redirected back towards it.|
Behind the scenes
- The Rocket Turret's Personality Construct-based design is derived from the Walking Turret, an enemy cut from Portal.
- As stated by Bill Van Buren, the Rocket Turret originally fired lasers. The team switched from lasers to rockets after they introduced the glass-breaking mechanic, mainly because glass shattering in a massive rocket explosion turned out to be a lot more satisfying than glass just slowly being melted by a laser. The lasers were also considered boring to dodge. Aiming with them was also considered difficult, and it was hard to tell when the player was hit.
- Originally, the Rocket Turret also spoke, just like the Sentry Turret. However, because players often redirect the rockets with their backs to the Rocket Turret, a distinct, uncluttered sound cue was required. The voice simply added too much noise to the rocket redirect mechanic.
- As stated by Realm Lovejoy, breaking the Pipe Network tube with the office Rocket Turret gives players a chance to test out their newly trained rocket-redirecting and glass-breaking skills in a slightly different context, which helps cement the training.
- The rockets were originally incredibly weak - even a direct hit was not fatal. This was later updated to be more realistic, and have them kill Chell in a direct hit.
- The Rocket Turret originally had a successor in Portal 2, named the Hover Turret. In the game's files, there are leftovers of the Rocket Turret's Personality Core being scanned by the tubes as a "laser turret". The Hover Turret was removed from the game, but it can still be spawned using the console.
List of appearances
- Portal commentary
- Integrating Narrative and Design: A Portal Post-Mortem by Kim Swift and Erik Wolpaw