The Piston Platform comes in two variants. One of them, called the Victory Lift, features two black handles and X-shaped metal bars in its flooring. The second one has the bars plus-sign-shaped and features no handles - its platform is the same as in the Unstationary Scaffold. Both sometimes need to be activated by an Aperture Science High Energy Pellet but occasionally they can be seen already moving. When there is no one on the Victory Lift, it will always move downwards until it reaches the bottom, or when the player touches it. When this happens, it will move upwards until reaching the top, or when the player leaves them. When the latter happens, it will always move down again. The exception to this rule is the Goo-filled room in Test Chamber 14, where the Victory Lifts are seen moving only upwards and downwards, with no regard to the player's actions.
Piston Platforms can also be seen static, supporting testing elements, as seen in the second part of Test Chamber 18 where they hold Sentry Turrets. Even though both Platforms and Aperture Science Panels include pistons, they should not be confused. The main difference is that the former are made of glass.
While the Aperture Science Panel is known to be a successor to the lift, the Platforms do reappear in Portal 2, but not as often as some of their functions were taken by the improved Unstationary Scaffolds. They have been graphically updated and simplified - they only move upwards or downwards depending on the status of the connected testing element.
The old lift from Portal can also be seen in Portal 2's Co-op Mode, for example in Test Chamber 05 of Team Building course.
Behind the scenes
According to Valve's Realm Lovejoy, the Victory Lifts in the final chamber of Test Chamber 15 were added after playtesters could reach the goal in time using stairs, without seeing the intended solution, leading the developers to include the slow-moving lifts, making the intended solution more clear.
Piston Platforms in Test Chamber 17.
Piston Platforms in Test Chamber 11 of Wheatley's testing track.
Piston Platform icon in Perpetual Testing Initiative.
List of appearences
- Portal: First Slice
- Portal: Still Alive (Non-canonical appearance)
- Lego Dimensions (Non-canonical appearance)