By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on January 27, 2017
Welcome ladies and gentlemen, to the very first official Big Red Timemachine of 2017! I, Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams will be your host today on this journey through time and space. My esteemed colleague, Dennis "CallMeBackdraft" Aspers and I have, as you may have read, settled our differences and decided that it was about time we worked together instead of against one another, which has resulted in a much more easy-going atmosphere in our brand new Big Red HQ. Unfortunately, I cannot divulge the location of said HQ just yet due to security reasons. We haven't installed a security system yet, so it's best that, for the time being, we keep our exact location a secret.
So, what's on today's program? Well, we are going to take a look at one of my favorite games of all time! Now, you may be wondering how many favorite games I have. Although I don't know the exact number, I can tell you that I have a lot! Even more than the number of beers I had yesterday evening. You see, Dennis and I were out celebrating our renewed partnership when he suddenly jumped up from his stool and yelled "EUREKA" at the top of his voice. After this, he ran out of the pub to pursue whatever brilliant idea it was that popped into his head, leaving me to finish the approximately 85+ we had just ordered.
Now, I was never one to shy away from a challenge, so I finished all the beers, after which I ordered another round of the same. How I got home is still a bit of a mystery, just like why the hell I woke up next to three lovely ladies that kept calling me "Jim" and "Captain"...
Let's just forget that for a moment and get cracking on our new adventure! We will be travelling back to the year 2000 in search of a game that has everything to do with science. Or, rather, a very nice science company called Aperture Science Laboratories, which offers their employees free workouts and, more importantly, free cake when they perform their tasks like they should... Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls; it's time for PORTAL!
Portal was originally released in October 2007 by the Valve Corporation and distributed by Electronic Arts. It put the player in the comfortable shoes of a silent protagonist that went through life by the name of Chell. As we start the game, Chell is awoken in her room by GLaDOS, Aperture Science Laboratories' resident AI. She is coerced into taking part in a series of tests which, as GLaDOS assures her, are perfectly safe. Quickly after she starts, Chell is provided with the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, more commonly known as the Portal gun. By using this gun, Chell is able to create two portals that are linked together, enabling a person to enter one of the two portals and come out the other.
The object of each level is the same. Solve the puzzle at hand in order to reach the exit and move on to the next level. Each level is a puzzle in itself. The first few puzzles entail little more than getting to know the basics of working with the portal gun in order to move through ones surroundings. Later puzzles however, despite GLaDOS' constant assurance that you are perfectly safe, tend to be quite a bit more complex and dangerous, not to mention potentially harmful to Chell's health. I mean, toxic pits are one thing, but I wouldn't really classify automatic gun turrets as "safe", no matter how cute they might sound. In order to reach the designated exit, the player will mhave to make use of his or her wits, a series of switches, weighted companion cubes to weigh down said switches and, of course, your portal gun!
Portal's puzzles revolve mainly around physics. If you fall from a great heigt into one portal, your exit velocity when you exit out of the second portal will be just as high as your entry velocity was at the time of entering the first portal. You can make use of this knowledge to catapult yourself over great distances onto otherwise unreachable areas of the level on your way towards the exit. All the while, you're being "cheered on" by GLaDOS, who monitors your every move. She also gives you details of your past, albeit not quite clear if she's lying or telling the truth. To her own admission, she is a liar, so how will you know when she's speaking the truth? And where's that damn cake?! I'm starting to get hungry!
Portal was the very first game that let us play around with physics to such a degree. I remember being stuck a couple of times while, when I finally saw it, the solution to my problem had been staring me right in the face the whole time. Succesfully playing Portal is a matter of thinking outside of the box, while at the same time trying not to overthink matters and make sure you don't fall into a deathtrap or get shot to pieces by the most friendly sounding turrets you'll ever encounter.
I really, really, REALLY love playing Portal. It took a fresh approach to puzzle games and turned that approach into a game that was extremely fun to play. It also introduced the world to one of the most excellent antagonists it has ever seen: GLaDOS. Although she is actually trying to kill you, it's hard to stay mad at her. It's like staying mad at a cute puppy that has just chewed on your favorite pair of sneakers; she just can't help herself!
Alas, that's all the time we have today! Remodeling our new HQ really took it out of me and I still have to find Dennis. Who knows where he may have run off to?! So, from the still undisclosed location of the Big Red Timemachine HQ, I wish you all the best and hope you will be joining us again in two weeks, when Dennis (if I ever find him, that is!) will take you on our next trip in search of great games of yore, right here in our Big Red Timemachine!
Hmmm, before I start searching for Dennis, I think I'll have a piece of cake first... Yes, I'm definitely in the mood for cake! What...? What do you mean, the cake is a lie?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!