Okay so in the Final Hours of Portal 2 we learned that the first Portal game takes place sometime during 2010, and that is helpful for finding out her age. But the problem is finding out her age during the Neurotoxin Massacre and Portal 2 itself. Aperture Science’s Bring Your
Daughter to Workday took place sometime in the same year as the Black Mesa incident of Half-Life… That sure helps a lot, doesn’t it? 200x… What is x…? Well in Half-Life there is a calendar which page is on December, the date on the calendar shows that the year was 2002 or 2007 since the Sundays of the 8th 15th 21st 27th only occurred in 2002 and 2007 we can assume this calendar is outdated making the dates 2003 and 2008 either way 2002 and 2003 are much, much more likely because I highly doubt Chell is a toddler when we are playing her in Portal…
Let’s say 2003 because it’s much more likely that Black Mesa just never switched out the calendars for some reason then they get the month wrong, an explanation being during the rivalry with Aperture, Breen chose to re-use calendars to save money, dumber things have happened in that universe…
Chell in Portal LOOKS to be in her early twenties or late teens…. It would make sense that during Aperture’s BYDTWD she was around ten or eleven. Meaning she is in Portal 1 most likely 17 or 18… In Portal 2 Chell was awoken after 9999999 years… It’s much more likely the damn thing broke.
She was in stasis for years, but how many years? Portal 2 takes place after the Combine has been defeated, and 2010 was 7 years into the occupation. Obviously 7 years isn’t enough for nature to reclaim Aperture Science as it’s own… In the show Life After People towns started to be covered by plants in a similar fashion to the way Aperture was starting to get after around twenty years, assuming that the AI’s had helped at all to stop the spread of plant life, we could say it would be about thirty or forty years…
So Chell is somewhere between 47 and 58… And for the record, Gordon in Half-Life 2 is about 47
Well, of course, BYDTWD happened, but in a time of dot matrix paper (look at the BDTWD banner), discontinued in 1995. Also, I doubt that an 11-year-old girl would spell observations as “observations.” At the most, I’d guess she could be about 8, which puts her year of birth at around 1985.
Here’s my timeline (with estimated dates):
1985 – Chell Johnson is born.
1990-1995 – GLaDOS is activated on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. According to Wheatley, it did not end well.
Later – GLaDOS is fitted with a morality core, and Chell gets a part-time job at Aperture.
200X – Chell, in her twenties, attends Aperture’s BYCTWD, and GLaDOS uses neurotoxin to kill all of those that do not opt into the testing program.
Black Mesa Incident happened in 200X (presumed to be 2003 due to Raising the Bar), which happened several weeks after the Rise of GLaDOS, which was the same day as Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. Chell was evidently there during that day due to her project being on display. Based on her writing style, the dialect of words used in the project, we can assume she was 10-ish. 7 years later, she wakes up in an unfamiliar, older body that has passed through puberty and looks older than she really is due to the lack of nutrition of doing nothing but sleeping, frozen in space and time (She now being 17 years old).
100 – 200 years later (based on the presumed size of the modern Aperture Science facilities [a small-medium city] and how long it would take for it to decay) Chell rises in a much younger-looking fit body, due to the cryo chamber technology is better than that of a simple “cryo-bed” (biological age = 17. Actual age = Anywhere around 117 – 217)