Portal 2 soundtrack
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The Portal 2 soundtrack was composed by Mike Morasky (credited in the soundtracks as "Aperture Science Psychoacoustics Laboratory"), with the exception of the songs "Want You Gone" composed by Jonathan Coulton, "Offering," composed by Larry Stephens, an arrangement of Little Prelude in C minor, BWV 934 by Johann Sebastian Bach, and "Exile Vilify," composed by The National.
The soundtrack is marketed as "aural stimulus" released for free on MP3 over the course of mid-2011, alongside ringtone versions for the Android and the iPhone.
While the music can be found in the game files, most tracks are unmixed and can only be fully experienced in-game, as most of the time the testing elements provide additional musical tones. Mixing in-game is usually sequential or layered samples, the latter being mostly looped. The soundtrack is largely electronic and differs from the quiet ambient music used in the Portal soundtrack in that it is often upbeat.
On September 24, 2014, the soundtrack was made available on Steam as a free DLC to all owners of the game, under the name Portal 2: Songs to Test By.
Note: * = not present.
On May 25, 2011 on the official Portal 2 blog, the first volume out of three of the complete soundtrack titled Portal 2 Soundtrack: Songs to Test By was released featuring the fully mixed tracks. Below are sections outlining the tracks from this volume.
|OST #||Game #||Track title||Filename||Time||Level location||Comments|
|1.01||*||Science is Fun||
||02:33||Played during the Portal 2 TV Spot and other trailers.||An up-beat, techno-esque song. Technically: Guitar-ish sound with square waves, a somewhat high pitched sine wave and noisy percussion, ending with noise; lastly with a bass. Some tunes of the song are played when the player gains high speed using Propulsion Gel. During the PotatoFoolsDay ARG, a full version was released with the game 'BIT.TRIP BEAT'.|
|1.02||*||Concentration Enhancing Menu Initialiser||
(real length: 02:56)
|In the PlayStation 3 menu selection when highlighting Portal 2.||A heavily remixed version of "There She Is" and "999999".|
||03:11|| Played from the beginning on the first main menu screen.
The Escape: Played from a middle intense part when approaching the Central AI Chamber.
|A dark and mysterious chimes-and-electronics piece (string-like sinewave-based synth) that builds with intensity. Then percussion is added in, drop then builds up again but slows down. The title refers to the Announcer's attempt at the beginning of The Courtesy Call to inform Chell of the length of time she has been in suspension for, which due to the high length of time or a malfunction, comes out as "nine nine nine... nine nine ni-."|
|1.04||1||The Courtesy Call||
||03:37||The Courtesy Call: When woken by Wheatley in the Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center and throughout the container ride.||A story-driven piece that starts slow, then jumps into action as the song progresses. The second half has influences from "999999" and "Reconstructing Science". The title refers to the name of the first chapter.|
(in-game: 0:22 + 0:07 + 01:54)
|The Courtesy Call: During parts of the Announcer-supervised testing chambers.||A subdued, mysterious, orchestral song. The title refers either to the television in the Extended Relaxation Vault, which says "We are currently experiencing technical difficulties." during the container ride, or to a line spoken by the Announcer, "We are currently experiencing technical difficulties due to circumstances of potentially apocalyptic significance beyond our control."|
(Raw files: 9 seconds each)
|The Courtesy Call: Ruined Chamber 01.||A quiet, eerie piece with light chimes.|
|1.07||4||Ghost of Rattman||
||04:06||The Courtesy Call: In the Rattmann Dens of Portal 2.||A subdued choir-and-electronics piece overlaid with an indistinguishable voice track. The strange voices heard in this track are presumed to be from Doug Rattmann. (However, it is unknown if he was dead or alive at the time.)|
|The Courtesy Call: Ruined Chamber 05.||Another mysterious, subdued orchestral piece.|
|1.09||6||The Future Starts With You||
|The Courtesy Call: The second fling introductory chamber.||An eerie song. The name of this song refers to the Announcer line right at the beginning of the chamber, "Testing is the future, and the future starts with you." The songs seems to have a element from Technical Difficulties.|
|1.10||7||There She Is||
(in-game: 01:03 + 01:52)
|The Courtesy Call: When nearing and walking through Central AI Chamber for the first time.||Calm piano with some sine chimes, later a pad comes in, high pitched percussion. A build-up that drops then decays abruptly shortly after building up again. The title refers to the player's first glimpse of GLaDOS in Portal 2, where Wheatley says "There she is..." (Which conveniently when the phrase is said, the second part of the song begins)|
|1.11||8||You Know Her?||
(in-game: 01:46 + 01:13)
|The Courtesy Call: When waking GLaDOS and climbing through the Incinerator Room.||March-like orchestral piece representing the way to the player's first boss. The title refers to Wheatley's comment as GLaDOS recognizes Chell, where he asks "You KNOW her?" The end of the song seems to resemble part of the music played whilst fighting Wheatley.|
|1.12||?||The Friendly Faith Plate||
||02:59|| Portions are heard when flying through the air via an Aperture Science Aerial Faith Plate.
The Cold Boot:
|An arrangement of the Aerial Faith Plate music. Noise-dominant in a rhythmical fashion. (Distortion guitar? Kick drums, Synth bass?)|
|1.13||?||15 Acres of Broken Glass||
||04:59||The Cold Boot: GLaDOS' Test Chamber 06||Electronically eeire and dark yet upbeat-ish. The title is a reference to GLaDOS' line regarding the cleanup of the facility: "I have to go to the wing that was made entirely of glass and pick up fifteen acres of broken glass. By myself." It is also featured in the VR demo Moondust.|
|1.14||?||Love as a Construct||
(Raw files: 02:57, 01:28)
|The Cold Boot: GLaDOS' Test Chamber 07||Seems to be influenced by the Robot Ghost Story foundation. Contains the Companion Cube singing Cara Mia.|
|1.15||?||I Saw a Deer Today||
||03:13||The Return: Portions are heard while engaging laser locks and ricocheting off of Aperture Science Aerial Faith Plates in GLaDOS' Test Chamber 10.|| An electric popping-clicking piece. Reminiscent of "4000 Degrees Kelvin" from the Portal soundtrack. The title refers to a line where GLaDOS asserts, "It's a beautiful day out. Yesterday I saw a deer."
||02:48||?: Some Hard Light Bridge emit this.||Contains hints of the Turret Opera. Only one that draws a 'proper' Lissajous figure when viewed through a XY oscilloscope, incomplete square in diagonal. The title is a reference to the Hard Light Bridge, which GLaDOS claims is made of natural light (Example: sunshine), thus "hard sunshine."|
||04:28||The Return: Portions are played when carrying or knocking over turrets in GLaDOS' Test Chamber 13.||The song seems to take some of its melody from "An Accent Beyond". The title of this track is a reference to the Oracle Turret found on the Turret Redemption Line, which says "I'm different..." upon being approached.|
(Raw files: 5 seconds each)
|The Return: GLaDOS' Test Chamber 14, where GLaDOS mentions adrenal vapor, hence the name.|| A warbling song produced while engaging laser locks in one of the Test Chambers. Purely a sine wave based synth the note sequence described below is played in a alternating manner on each channel producing wave phasing. The title refers to GLaDOS' statement just before entering the Test Chamber, "I simulate daylight at all hours and add adrenal vapor to your oxygen supply."
|1.19||?||Turret Wife Serenade||
||01:38||The Return: Easter Egg in GLaDOS' Test Chamber 16.||A song performed by the Turret Quartet under the Rattmann Den. Jazz influences, Beat foundation is done by a turret being trumpet-like. Exact copy of the in-game file.|
|1.20||?||I Made It All Up||
||03:56|| The Cold Boot: A scaled-down version plays when the laser-activated platform is moving in the fourth GLaDOS chamber.
The Surprise: While engaging the laser locks in GLaDOS' Test Chamber 18.
|A quiet, warbling electronics song. This refers to GLaDOS's line after revealing that her first "surprise" is the complete absence of one: "I made it all up". The song seems to have the same instrument from Self Esteem Fund from the Portal Soundtrack.|
|1.21||?||Comedy = Tragedy + Time||
||03:29||The Surprise: GLaDOS' Test Chamber 19.||A mixture of beats and electronic noises. Upbeat, driven by a eerie sound highlighting a metallic pounce. The title refers to GLaDOS' statement, "Well, you know the old formula: Comedy equals tragedy plus time."|
|1.22||?||Triple Laser Phase||
||04:15|| The Cold Boot: GLaDOS' First Four Test Chambers when Thermal Discouragement Beam catchers are enabled.
The Surprise: GLaDOS' Test Chamber 20.
|A plaintive song that fades between tones. Resembles laser vocalization. Softened laser synth that's also used in Die Cut Laser Dance|
On July 1, 2011 on the official Portal 2 blog, the second volume out of three of the complete soundtrack titled Portal 2 Soundtrack: Songs to Test By and featuring the fully mixed tracks was released for free. This one includes exclusive ringtones of some of the in-game sound effects.
|OST #||Game #||Track title||Filename||Time||Level location||Comments|
|2.01||?||You Will Be Perfect||
||02:39|| "Perfect 10" trailer.
Coop Campaign: The "Cooperative Testing Initiative" trailer.
|A fast tempo electronic song with a recognizable theme. The middle part of the track shows influences from "Reconstructing More Science".|
|2.02||?||Halls of Science 4||
||04:35||The beginning of the Portal 2 TV Spot.||Mock up of slightly distorted sine waves, finishes with a clean sinewave. Similar execution found in Adrenal Vapor, Forwarding the Cause of Science and You're not Part of the Control Group.|
|2.03||?||Bots Build Bots or (defun botsbuildbots () (botsbuildbots))||
||04:07||The Escape: The second main menu screen, which displays a conveyor belt inside the Turret Factory.||A soothing song with harp and winds, gradually turning into a complex electronic song, with the melody still present, eventually ending how it starts. Contains Die Cut Laser Dance beat. Although listed as "Bots Build Bots" on the website and in filename, the song's title is listed as "(defun botsbuildbots () (botsbuildbots))". This is a program written in LISP that defines a function that recursively (and endlessly) calls itself; effectively, an infinitely continuous loop. LISP is a programming language that has been heavily used in AI research since being developed in 1958.|
|2.04||?||An Accent Beyond||
||02:58||The Escape: During the escape after GLaDOS Test Chamber 21.||An up-tempo song with a repeating electronic melody. The title is a reference to Wheatley's claim that he is "speaking in an accent that is beyond her range of hearing".|
|2.05||?||Robot Ghost Story||
||03:07||The Escape: When Wheatley tells the story about the replicas.||A slow, quiet electronic song with haunting melodies.|
|2.06||?||Die Cut Laser Dance||
||02:00||The Escape: While on the conveyor moving large pieces of metal to be cut and later constructed into turrets.||Choppy electronic noises, with fun dance melody in the background. Isolated and extended version from the slowed-down cameo in "Bots Build Bots".|
|2.07||?||Turret Redemption Line||
(Raw file: 01:38)
|The Escape: On the Turret Redemption Line.||Representation of turret's fate? The track seems to have influences from "I AM NOT A MORON!" and "You Know Her?".|
|2.08||?||Bring Your Daughter to Work Day||
||02:40||The Escape: Whilst looking at the science projects produced by the employee daughters.||Upbeat electronic, one of the few songs with abrupt volume changes. Gets softer and orchestral as it progresses.|
|2.09||?||Almost at Fifty Percent||
||01:59||The Escape: In the Neurotoxin Generator chamber.||The song uses an alarm-like sound that plays throughout the song, near the ending the song runs into a action-like drum and synthesizer, then ends with a wind-like noise. The title refers to Wheatley mistakenly believing the neurotoxin levels went up to 50%, although like "I Saw A Deer Today" the title itself is not actually said during the game.|
|2.10||?||Don’t Do It||
||05:16||The Escape: When arriving in GLaDOS' rebuilt Central AI Chamber and during the subsequent stalemate resolution.||GlaDOS homage with a Rock tune. ending with ambience. The song title is a reference to GLaDOS' repeated request when Chell is presented with the stalemate resolution button. The track sounds very similar to the track "You Know Her?".|
|2.11||?||I AM NOT A MORON!||
||03:46||The Escape: Wheatley's takeover after the stalemate button is pressed.||A story driven song that starts off as an ambient melody which slowly builds up in intensity. The song then transitions to a very enthusiastic and upbeat electronic tune, followed by another slow ambient build up. The song ends with an orchestra that once again builds up to a violent end. The song title is a reference to Wheatley's reaction to GLaDOS calling him a moron.|
||06:34||The Fall: When heading through the old Aperture structures toward the condemned testing area.||The title references the vitrification order signs in the old Aperture test chambers.|
|2.13||?||Music of the Spheres||
||03:38||The Fall: In the entry room of old Aperture after unlocking the massive vault door. The latter portion also plays after completing the 1950's test chambers. It is also featured in the VR demo Moondust.||Soaring melody with some electronic tones. The tempo increases throughout the piece. Contains unmixed segments of "999999".|
|2.14||?||You Are Not Part of the Control Group||
||03:24||The Fall: During first Repulsion Gel test.||The title refers to Cave Johnson reminding Test Subjects that they are not part of the unfortunate "control group" who took part in potentially lethal tests. Sinewaves playing interchangeably, speeding up. Execution similar to Adrenal Vapor except for being slower with more clicks.|
|2.15||?||Forwarding the Cause of Science||
||03:40||The Fall: During the 1950's test chambers.||Appears to be a noiser and faster remix of "You Are Not Part of the Control Group".|
||01:59 (raw files: 1:49)||The Fall: The third main menu screen, featuring the old Aperture structures.||Orchestral strings with eerie crying GlaDOS vocalization. The synthesized vocals are that of GLaDOS, whilst being trapped in the potato. The word "potato" can also be heard frequently throughout the song. The exact langauage and lyrics of the song have yet to be revealed, but it is most likely in Latin (although some parts may be gibberish), as at the beginning of the song, GLaDOS can be clearly heard to use the Latin word "Lacrimosa", which means "Weeping". Vocal sample present in isolated form.|
||03:45||The Reunion: In the 1970's test chambers, with Propulsion Gel.||A heavily remixed version of "Forwarding the Cause of Science".|
|2.18||?||Music of the Spheres 2 (Incendiary Lemons)||
||02:43||The Reunion: The beginning and end of the 1970's test chambers and in several locations in the 1980's test chambers.||Basically a continuation of "Music of the Spheres", with the instrumentation gradually being replaced with beeps reminiscent of primitive MIDI synthesizers. The part of the title in parentheses is a reference to Cave Johnson's message about how he would "...burn your house down! With the lemons!" Contains unmixed segments from "999999".|
On October 1, 2011 on the official Portal 2 blog, the third volume out of three of the complete soundtrack titled Portal 2 Soundtrack: Songs to Test By and featuring the fully mixed tracks was released for free, with a link to download the entire soundtrack.
|OST #||Game #||Track title||Filename||Time||Level location||Comments|
|3.01||?||Reconstructing More Science||
||02:36|| Various trailers, including the Portal 2 teaser.
The Part Where He Kills You: In the final level when using the Propulsion Gel during the fight with Wheatley, at the beginning of the ending elevator ride.
|An electronic that piece vibrates with GLaDOS' renewal of the Aperture Science test chambers. There's also a short version featured in the E3 gameplay videos.|
||02:29||The Itch: Played in the fourth main menu.||Upbeat pop/rock-ish. Represents Weathley's personality? A reference to when Wheatley takes control of Aperture and starts making tests.|
||04:08||The Itch: In the first Weathley chamber, which consists of the FrankenTurret-dedicated chamber and the chamber with the harmless "moat" area.||Consists of high-pitched ringing sounds and a rhythmic backing track, which gives a sense of a high-tech environment, while also portraying slight feelings of mourning and nostalgia.|
(raw files: 2:00 each)
|The Itch: The classical music piece that Wheatley plays in Test Chamber 5.||Based off Bach's Little Prelude in C minor, BWV 934. Interestingly, the piece has been transposed into F minor. Electronic clips can be heard when using the Aerial Faith Plates.|
||04:32||When inside an Excursion funnel.||Eerie echoing ringing sounds with added electronics. Muffles in-game audio.|
||06:14||The Itch: All of Wheatley's test chambers, except chamber 5. The theme becomes more intense with each chamber.||Consists of a reworked version of "Franken Turrets". A reference to Wheatley's attempt to distinguish his first test chamber from GLaDOS's by writing "TEST" on the wall with white panels.|
|3.07||?||The Part Where He Kills You||
||03:32||The Part Where He Kills You: In the fake Test Chamber 17, when Wheatley attempts to kill Chell realizing that he no longer needs her. The first section also plays when using the Excursion Funnel just after Chamber 12, where the elevator has melted.||Contains a minor-key version of "Excursion Funnel" and elements of "Wheatley Science" within the first minute.|
|3.08||?||Omg, What has He Done?||
||02:24||The Part Where He Kills You: The Excursion Funnel ride towards Wheatley's Lair.||Parts of it are basically a slowed down remix of "Wheatley Science" that would speed up. A reference to GLaDOS's cries of dismay at seeing her beloved facility crumble into pieces under the control of Wheatley.|
|3.09||?||Bombs for Throwing at You||
||05:48||The Part Where He Kills You: Final boss of the game.|| In reference to the bombs used in the final battle with Wheatley in his chamber, as introduced in his sentence "Bombs. For throwing at you.".
|3.10||?||Your Precious Moon||
||01:55||The Part Where He Kills You: When the Portal is placed on the Moon.||The title refers to one of the lines Wheatley will say as the player looks up at the Moon. Similar to "Don't Do It"|
(final part of the speech mix, a5_x1 starts at like 0:10 of OST and lasts 01:20 by itself)
|The Credits: In GLaDOS' chamber before leaving.||Deletion's mourning fading into a happy and fast melody towards GlaDOS' positivity. Contains segments from "999999" and "Reconstructing More Science".|
|3.12||?||Cara Mia Addio||
(Video length: 02:07)
|The Credits: Ending before credits. Sung by the Turret Opera as Chell leaves on the elevator ride out of the facility.||The first 3 seconds of the song appear to be a higher pitched sound similar to the start of "Don't Do It". The song is sung by Ellen McLain in bad Italian. Unlike other songs, the version of the song on the official soundtrack has been slightly extended and contains a short segment that can barely be heard for a few seconds at the end of the cutscene.|
|3.13||?||Want You Gone||
||02:21||The Credits: The credits screen sung by GLaDOS.||Replica of the song found in-game. The successor to Still Alive, also composed by Jonathan Coulton.|
||00:45||The Credits: During Wheatley's final thoughts while stranded in Space, immediately following the credits.||A track mostly made up of ambient sounds. The title is a reference to the Space Core's "SPAAAACE!"|
||01:32||The Credits: Fifth main menu after completing the Single Player campaign.||A short version of "I Made It All Up" with additional strings from "Cara Mia Addio!".|
|3.16||?||Some Assembly Required||
(fmv: 01:02, transitions: 0:05)
|Coop Campaign: During the co-op introduction and when you get disassembled on level transitions.||Beginning with a sine pulse, bursts into a cacophony, very electronic rock-ish piece. somewhat palindromic as many other songs.|
|3.17||?||Robot Waiting Room #1||
(Raw file: 1:07 each)
|Coop Campaign: Plays in the Hub when nothing is unlocked.||A snippet from "You Are Not Part of the Control Group". Combination of Hall and Hub game files.|
|3.18||?||Robot Waiting Room #2||
(Raw file: 1:07 each)
|Coop Campaign: Plays in the Hub after Team Building is completed.||A snippet from "You Are Not Part of the Control Group". Combination of Hall and Hub game files. It is also featured in the VR demo Moondust.|
|3.19||?||Robot Waiting Room #3||
(Raw file: 1:07 each)
|Coop Campaign: Plays in the Hub after Mass And Velocity is completed.||Combination of Hall and Hub game files.|
|3.20||?||Robot Waiting Room #4||
(Raw file: 1:07 each)
|Coop Campaign: Plays in the Hub after Hard-Light Surfaces is completed. Also plays after starting The Final Hours of Portal 2.||A snippet from "Halls of Science 4". Combination of Hall and Hub game files.|
|3.21||?||Robot Waiting Room #5||
(Raw file: 1:07 each)
|Coop Campaign: Plays in the Hub after Excursion Funnels is completed.||Combination of Hall and Hub game files.|
|3.22||?||Robot Waiting Room #6||
|Coop Campaign: Plays in the Hub after Mobility Gels is completed.||A reworked version of "Forwarding the Cause of Science", influenced by "The Friendly Faith Plate" beat and "Halls of Science", "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day" foundations.|
|3.23||?||You Saved Science||
||00:47||Coop Campaign: Before the coop credits when the Vault is opened.||Refers to the robots finding the Vault and GLaDOS' saying "You saved science!"|
|Coop Campaign: Ending movie and over Coop Credits, behind GLaDOS' comments about the test subjects.||An upbeat, energetic electronic song. The title is short for "Robots For The Win".|
The following tracks haven't made the final cut due to their original artists' copyrights.
Location played: The Rattmann Den near Test Chamber 03 in Chapter 2.
A smooth jazz played to tranquil testers in the face of almost certain death. This song is composed by Larry Stephens and is from his album also titled "Offering".
Location played: The original Test Chamber 04 from Portal as seen in Chapter 1. Only a small segment is played before the speakers glitch and shut down.
- Songs to Test By on the Official Portal 2 Website