Portal Application


So it seems Valve have made their way onto the ARG bandwaggon, with a rather humourous site for the forthcoming Portal. For those of you who don’t know, it’s being shipped with Half Life 2 Epsiode 2 (as well as Team Fortress 2) and is a puzzle game involving the manipulation of the titual entities. Apparently the game is set “in the HL Universe” – so how and if it will link in to Freeman’s adventures is still to be seen…

However, the website – hosted by the fictional “Aperture Science” company, for whom which your character “works” for, takes on a classic DOS prompt-alike interface, the username and password being the first test (Clue: the password is the title of the game). But once you are through, so far all you seem to be able to do is run the APPLY.EXE program, which then takes the form of a 35 question test. Questions range from the unusual to the downright sinisister, but the site also seems to have managed to pepper a lot of the questions with some great humor in the style of the trailers so far released for the game. The example in the picture above is one instance, I don’t know why but these bits made me chuckle:

“If permission to type “CONTINUE” has been granted, please do so now, unless the box labelled “DO NOT TYPE CONTINUE” on the “Forms Re-Sanction” form you should have recieved from your supervisor has been checked, in which case you should remain at your workstation not typing “CONTINUE” until such a time as you are instructed by your supervisor to discontinue not typing it.”

“Are you a liar?
A) Can’t honestly say no
B) Yes
C) Most definitely”

Some questions are multiple choice, some are more open. However, of note is the fact it asks you to remember a personal ID, which actually changes while you attempt to write it down. And the last question then asks you to type it in again. Obviously you’ll always get it wrong, and the quiz then asks you to wait while another department is informed. Now, I don’t claim to be a very good ARG player, if you could call me one at all – however, if anyone can get any further than me on it, I commend you. And possibly give you an imaginary cookie. Anyway, try it for yourself.

And for all three of you yet to see the Portal trailer, here’s the first one again. Because it’s fantastic.
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“It at first you don’t succeed… You fail.”

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