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Portal 2: The Lost Code

  • Portal 2: The Lost Code
  • Game development is a long and ever-changing process. Ideas get cut, features dropped and characters dumped. Sometimes, though, these things make it to the final product – unseen - hidden in the code.

Portal 2: The Lost Code


The insanely popular puzzle FPP (or First Person Portaller) that stole the hearts of gamers and cemented its place among 2011’s best, Portal 2, is a game with code chock full of hidden goodies left for the curious to discover. What follows are the best of the best.

Portal 2: The Lost Code

Before Portal 2’s co-op consisted of two robots (Atlas and P-Body) it was indented to feature human test subjects. One of which was MEL, a character revealed in the games files. Originally Portal 2 was designed to allow gamers to be anti-social and experience the co-op mode by themselves with the help of MEL as a PC controlled side-kick. This was scrapped though for unknown reasons. It is likely that Valve felt an AI co-op partner would take too much time to develop and therefore abandoned the idea.

GLaDOS and Garfield

A lot of unused dialogue was left in the games files. Most of the dialogue is from GLaDOS, recorded for an early adaptation of the co-op story which surrounded making robots more human. That story was ditched and replaced with one that instead focused on the robots finding humans. How does Garfield factor into all that? Watch the video below to find out:



The Diversity Vent

Some game content just barely misses the cut; the Diversity Vent is one of those things. You might have heard about this mechanic from Portal 2 that was pretty well developed but never made it into the final game. The Diversity Vent was essentially a vacuum tube that sucked up objects.
From what we can see in the video below this was a very cool concept, rumors speculate that it might see the light of day in future DLC.


Tricky Furniture

This video demonstrates some code for Portal 2 that may have been left in as a sweet Easter egg for the adventurous. Here we see some pieces of collapsible, seemingly magic, furniture that might have played a significant role in the game at some point down the development line.


What Portal 2 Could Have Been…?

In an interview with Rock, Paper, Scissors writer Jay Pinkerton revealed that Portal 2 “was a prequel” and “two years ago Cave [Johnson] was the bad guy and GLaDOS wasn’t in the game.”

The prequel script had no Chell, and more surprisingly, no portals. “We try everything,” Jay says “and we play test everything.” In the end though, they scrapped the prequel setting simply because “we realised, you know what, we want to see GLaDOS again. We want Chell back.” He’s right, the game wouldn’t have been the same without our favorite “frenemies”. We hope to see them again in future titles with some more hidden gems in the code!