February 26, 2015

Portal 2: A Tale of Two Chairs

While I'm trying to make it a habit to blog about my indie Steam adventures, I found this story a little too delectable to pass up.

When Portal 2 was on sale for about five bucks, I was poked by a friend of mine. We had talked before of buying good games for one another - Portal 2 for him, and The Talos Principle for me when it went on sale - as a sort of exchange, and I hopped onto the discount immediately with only one condition: I needed a co-op buddy to occasionally blog about. And so, the legacy of The Little Curly One on this site begun. Curly's a pretty good friend of mine, and I expected laughs over Voice Chat as we progressed through the levels, but not...not like this. Not at all like this.

"Think there are whiteboards in here?" I asked during the end of the light bridge levels, scanning through an office room. As we'd progressed through levels, I had loved poring over the whiteboards with various messages and math scrawled onto them, oftentimes taking up extra time to try and decipher and reflect on things. If you know me at all, this is a highly expected exercise I intend to extend to every letter inscribed in the game.

"Nah, don't see any." Curly, due to my mandatory look-sees, was already steps ahead of me. He'd scanned both rooms, and I was going over them for the second time over. Something did catch my eye, though: A flash of orange, and the orange Aperture insignia on the back. I approached what seemed to be a completely normal chair...

...without any idea that it would, within seconds, rank above Curly in favor.

“Hey, check this out!” I exclaimed, swinging the chair into P-Body's face. Curly laughed and picked the other up. Luckily, there wasn't an item-destroying barrier before heading into the main chamber, so we didn't worry at all. While we attempted to solve the puzzle, we constantly talked about the Chair Buddies we'd made in hopes of being able to take them into the (main chamber) at the end.

In short, absolutely no progress was made as we threw chair puns and the like back and forth, glorifying the furnishings way past the extent of its use. Of course, that's one of the things I love about Portal 2 – all the things to pick up. I have been playing through the single-player campaign lately and launched myself into a Rat Man Den (check this video out for spoilers of the locations; these things are the bomb), cleaning up all the supplies that Doug had left on the floor. (As it is, my version of Chell is a neat freak, which makes Rat Man Dens fun...and the paint levels frustrating.) To me, the chairs we found were immediately mementos of success and utter fails all at the same time, and I was determined never to let mine go -

...and then Curly dropped his off the edge of a light bridge.

“Just wanted to see what would happen,” he said dismissively, then dropping himself from the edge. I think that's when the real fun began. He started to laugh loudly into the mic. “Drop your chair,” he said, “Then drop yourself and see what happens, just look!” And so I did. I didn't see anything special, so I did it again. And again. I took loads of screenshots along the way, and still didn't see anything. I shrugged and we kept trying to solve. I was assured I'd see it later.

“Okay, I've got to head out,” Curly sighed, “We'll finish solving it later.” I yawned and agreed. I then dropped myself from the edge once more, just to see if I...if I could see anything.

And there they were.

The chairs.

Slightly (badly) image-processed to bring out the chairs

Special thanks to the Little Curly One, not only for being an awesome co-op buddy,
but also for putting up with me while I tried to find a place to fit this post for a month.
Thanks, amigo, and happy Portaling!

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