Tuesday, February 12, 2008
‘Portal ’ is a game that was released together with Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 in a special bundle pack called The Orange Box. In the game, you are challenged to make your way through various ‘test chambers’ using a portal gun. The game’s originality and dry sense of humour meant that Portal became an instant hit. At varoius points in the game, you are promised a cake as a reward for completing all the chambers. But as the levels progress, the initially helpful AI voice becomes more and more suspiciously sinister.
On one level, it is possible to find a hidden room, filled with graffiti, including the phrase: ‘the cake is a lie’.
This phrase became a shared joke amoungst Portal players all over the net.
Is the cake a lie?
While the final sequence of the game does show a chocolate cake, your character doesn’t necessarily ever get to enjoy it.
A further in-joke:
The Portal game takes place within the "Aperture Science Enrichment Center". Aperture science are the Portal Gun manufacturers. Gamers soon discovered the website www.aperturescience.com . This viral marketing device is basically a mini ARG (Alternative Reality Game). When you login to the system, you are given a chance Apply to aperture science by taking a bizarre 50 question test.
If you play portal, look out for the Username and Password to enter the site. (If you don’t have any DOS knowledge, you need to know that to enter the username and password, you will need to type ‘login’. To find out what's on the drive, type DIR)
If you haven’t played the game, but you’d still like to take a look, you can enter the site by typing any user name using the password ‘PORTAL’ – but this will give you access to less information. Andrew Neo gives a good breakdown of what happens and what to do on this site.