This subject is related to the Portal 2 era.

Aperture Science Hard Light Bridge

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This subject is related to the Portal 2 era.

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Hard light surface.jpg
Hard Light Bridge
General information

Aperture Science


Translucent surface

Used by
Game information
  • prop_wall_projector (Portal 2)
"These bridges are made from natural light that I pump in from the surface. If you rubbed your cheek on one, it would be like standing outside with the sun shining on your face. It would also set your hair on fire, so don't actually do it."

The Aperture Science Hard Light Bridge is a testing element featured in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. First appearing in Portal: Still Alive's challenge maps, it was introduced proper in Portal 2.


  • The Hard Light Bridge is a translucent but solid surface that can be redirected through portals to reach or serve as a blockade to certain areas.
  • Bridges may be emitted horizontally or vertically depending on the position of its emitter. Horizontal bridges can be walked upon, and players can continue seamlessly along them through any portals they pass (given enough headroom). Vertical bridges act more as portable walls that can be used as obstacles (for example, to intercept Weighted Storage Cubes).
  • In the cooperative campaign of Portal 2, ATLAS and P-body are sent to the Hard Light Bridge Factory in the Hard-Light Surfaces Testing Course. In the factory, it is revealed that the bridges, like the Sentry Turrets, are required to pass a quality monitoring before they can be put into testing. To achieve this, each emitter is attached to a support beam in a lineup, as the quality and strength of the surface is tested against a concrete wall.

Related Achievements[edit]

Portal 2
Bridge Over Troubling Water.jpg Bridge Over Troubling Water (10G)
Complete the first Hard Light Bridge test. Reference to the song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel.
HUG NAME.jpg Bridge Building (15G)
Complete all test chambers in the Hard-Light Surfaces co-op course.
LIMITED PORTALS.jpg Portal Conservation Society (20G)
Complete Chamber 3 in the Hard-Light Surfaces co-op course using only 5 total portal placements.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • The Hard Light Bridge was officially introduced briefly in a GTTV promotional showcase of Portal 2. At the time, the Hard Light Bridge possessed a texture similar to the one found in Portal: Still Alive. The texture has since changed and was given more detail.
  • In Portal: Still Alive, the Hard Light Bridge was simply named as a "blue wall" by the signage found in the game files. This name comes from the Portal: The Flash Version MapPack, which the the Still Alive maps are based on (and by extension Portal: The Flash Version itself, which refers to them as "blue plasma fields"). The map pack uses the Combine Force Field texture from Half-Life 2, though Still Alive replaces the texture with one that more closely resembles the appearance of the Hard Light Bridge in The Flash Version.
  • In Portal 2, the emitters are made in the shape to that of Portal's Material Emancipation Grill emitters, which would further prove that the Hard Light Bridge was based on the testing element in Portal: Still Alive as the emitter was the Emancipation Grill model.


  • The Thermal Discouragement Beam is unaffected by Hard Light Bridges.
  • According to the screens seen at the start of certain test chambers, the light used to create the bridges are absorbed through vast farm fields, then filtered to create the bridges. The field shown in this video resembles the field Chell is sent to at the end of the game.
  • The Hard Light Bridge appears to be opaque to Sentry Turrets. Unlike glass, turrets do not appear to recognize Chell if she stands behind one; however, since the turrets appear to aim with infrared lasers, it could be argued that the light from the bridge interferes with a turret's ability to detect targets (as both are very close on the electromagnetic spectrum, as seen here).
  • When standing near the bridge in the single-player campaign, Cara Mia can be heard playing slowly about 30 seconds into the audio file.


Portal: Still Alive[edit]

Portal 2[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]


See also[edit]