Post- Half Life future hinted at in Portal 2 (SPOILERS!)

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Apparently, Portal 2 takes place decades after Portal 1. Portal 1 takes place before or during the Half Life 2 storyline. Which means that Portal 2 may hint at a Combine-less future.

Here is how it goes:

Half Life (Blue Shift, Decay, Opposing Force)----Portal----Half Life 2---Episode 1---Episode 2-- Episode 3-------(??????????????????????)-------Portal 2
 

Lanthanide

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This isn't news to anyone who has finished Portal 2, and is an obvious conclusion to draw. You haven't actually said anything insightful here.
 
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This isn't news to anyone who has finished Portal 2, and is an obvious conclusion to draw. You haven't actually said anything insightful here.
Its not to enlighten. Its for discussion. On a forum. Where you discuss things
 

Tunnelsnake

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When you get out of Aperture Laboratories it did look pretty peaceful haha. Nice blue sky with no portal storms. Although I'm pretty sure Half-Life 2 and the episodes take place somewhere in Europe and Aperture Science is in Ohio. Not that it'd matter with the combine taking over the entire planet though.
 

function9

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... Aperture Science is in Ohio. Not that it'd matter with the combine taking over the entire planet though.
Don't underestimate the weirdness that is Ohio. Wouldn't surprise me if the Combine didn't even want to touch it. Those people are crazy. :p
 

TigerX

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Maybe i don't remember well, but didn't the anouncer voice say in the first chapter something like "in case of an apocalyptic event"? Then I thought that is the reason why Chell is awake, but at the end of the game everything is calm outside. So where is the "apocalyptic event"?
 

Lanthanide

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At the very start, when you first wake up, the announcer says you've been asleep for 50 days. The little process you go through is the mental and fitness well-being test that they repeat every 50 days (actually from the perspective of the test subject, they would be continually woken up to repeat the same tasks over and over again). The next time you wake up the computer says you've been asleep for 99999 days (that's at least 274 years), clearly the event that shut the system down happened within 50 days of you going back into storage, 274 years earlier. The fact that outside the Enrichment Centre is peaceful blue skies is not unexpected after this length of time - even a nuclear winter from an asteroid or nuclear weapon attack would have passed by then.

It does raise the question of where are the combine and what happened to the parking lot we saw at the end of Portal 1, but really it doesn't provide us with any useful information about the timing of Portal 1 or anything in the Half Life universe.
 

Hectic Glenn

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I'm sceptical about that wheat field though. With crops they need to be tended and the soil turned over and fertilisers added etc. I'm not sure they would grow over at least 274 without changes happening over the cycle of the seasons. For example, winter comes and the crops die and some of the seeds fall into the soil. But there would be competition with things like weeds and hedgerows would start to reclaim fields from the boarders. What I'm getting at, is that I think the field is being tended to.

Regarding the parking lot, Lanthanide, considering the vast size of the facility I imagine if you took a different exit on different sides you could be in a different country almost :p Perhaps life went on, on the surface...the aperture science remnants left on the surface were swept away. There is a newspaper cutting in old aperture saying 'Cave Johnson buys huge salt mine for science' so there would be public knowledge of the facility existing below the surface. Whether they know GLaDOS killed everyone or not, is unknown. No one has attempted to go down there, despite what would have been quite a visible explosion at the end of Portal 1. Makes me think a decision was made to seal it and leave it because of the danger it posed.
 

StarBob

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even a nuclear winter from an asteroid
Thermonuclear asteroids.

The field you emerge from does indeed appear to be a tended wheat field. Original midwestern prairies didn't look anything like that so if they were reclaimed they would be... well I'm sure everyone's seen the images of the flat green expanses. Of course in Ohio those would more likely be corn fields than wheat fields... as anyone who's ever driven through western Ohio or Indiana knows... you're going to be staring at corn for a long time. But anyways... yeah humanity thrives after the combine. Apparently Gordon Freeman doesn't fail at his task that we know nothing about.
 

superluser

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I did notice that no one in the Half Life 2 games seems to need to eat anymore, but I suspect that if you follow them around for long enough, they might actually eat food, and unless the Combine likes to ship all its food from another planet, that would mean wheat fields in a Combine controlled future.
 

DEATH eVADER

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When you get out of Aperture Laboratories it did look pretty peaceful haha. Nice blue sky with no portal storms. Although I'm pretty sure Half-Life 2 and the episodes take place somewhere in Europe and Aperture Science is in Ohio. Not that it'd matter with the combine taking over the entire planet though.
Aperture Labratories is in fact in Michigan, but yeah the rocket that Kleiner and Magnusson sent up didn't just stop the combine portal, but nullified the random Portals as well
 

ríomhaire

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I'm sceptical about that wheat field though. With crops they need to be tended and the soil turned over and fertilisers added etc. I'm not sure they would grow over at least 274 without changes happening over the cycle of the seasons. For example, winter comes and the crops die and some of the seeds fall into the soil. But there would be competition with things like weeds and hedgerows would start to reclaim fields from the boarders. What I'm getting at, is that I think the field is being tended to.
Maybe it's super-evolved wheat?
 

dscuber9000

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Honestly, I'm not sure how "connected" the Portal and Half-Life series are. Obviously I understand that Aperture Science is a part of the Half-Life universe, but I don't think that the people working on Portal 2 were thinking about the Half-Life storyline when they had a peaceful ending.
 

morgs

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I still think it's supposed to say something like 9 years, and the '9' is just repeating because the voice is broken.
 

Lanthanide

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The computer system clearly measures the time duration in days, because test subjects are supposed to be woken every 50 days to check that they haven't suffered any ill-effects from their stasis. From the test subjects perspective, they would constantly be woken up and go through the same meaningless tests over and over - Chell is lucky she was kept in stasis for so long or she probably would have gone insane.

Anyway, I counted the 9s, and there are 5, with a potential 6th that gets a bit stuttery and interrupted. This means she was in there for at least 99999 days, as the counter maxed out and stopped counting at that point. This works out as a smidge under 274 years.
 

kineaesth

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All this "trying to figure out how far in the future Portal 2 is" via that clock is nonsense. I'm sure that all that the 9999999 is supposed to tell the player is that, whoops, Aperture Science is ****ed and the computers are all broken. I doubt it was at all a measurement of time. For all we know, it could have been as little as ten years later - don't trust broken clocks.
 

Lanthanide

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It's been reported in multiple different places that Valve said Portal 2 was set hundreds of years after Portal 1, in part a way to dodge any Half-Life universe issues and keep it a separate storyline. I can't find any specific quotes from Valve on this. The only point of raising the date as told by the clock at the start of the game is to corroborate what Valve said.

It's possible Valve never actually stated this themselves, but instead put it out through magazines or other interviews. Probably that first magazine announcement/preview of the game will contain this nugget.
 

TigerX

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Still, what about this:
"Announcer: We are currently experiencing tehnical difficulties due to circumstances of potential apocalyptic significance beyound our control"

This is why Chell was woken up at that time, but what are those circumstances? Is it possible Valve forgot about this till the finale? I expected that the topside to be in flames, war, or something apocalyptic. Or maybe that field is just another room....?
 

Lanthanide

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It goes like this:
Chell destroys GLaDOS in Portal 1, and is capture by the Party Escort bot.
Chell is put into extended relaxation
The power core starts to destabilise, so Ratman uses the emergency power to put Chell into suspended animation
After 50 days, Chell is awoken for the first mental/physical check, and then goes back into suspended animation
Some disaster occurs, knocking more power systems offline at Aperture
At least decades later (probably at least 274 years), some of the power systems to Aperture are somehow restored, and Chell is awoken, and Portal 2 takes place.

The apocalyptic disaster is *assumed* by the announcer (he says "potential") simply because the normal data feeds he'd expect to be receiving from the outside world aren't coming in. Looking at the time line above, it happened after Chell was put back into suspended animation after her first 50-day checkup. Portal 2 takes place decades, if not hundreds of years after this disaster, so it's not surprising to see the surface with a wheat field and no massive flames or destruction.
 

Acepilotf14

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Does no one stop to think that it's a bit odd she would be woken up exactly 99999 days later, and that a place like Aperture science would have a limit to how many days it counts if it's beyond that?

It's almost certainly simply the counter skipping on the 9.
 

Lanthanide

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I don't think she was woken exactly 99999 days later, simply that the counter reached it's maximum and stopped counting further. Pretty standard thing that can happen in various programs, although programatically a counter aligned with a byte boundary would be more expected, like 65536 days or something.

We don't really know why she's suddenly woken up, but clearly Wheatley was active before she was awoken, and it seems that the announcer was also active as well.
 

superluser

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I don't think she was woken exactly 99999 days later, simply that the counter reached it's maximum and stopped counting further. Pretty standard thing that can happen in various programs, although programatically a counter aligned with a byte boundary would be more expected, like 65536 days or something.
We know that Aperture is wasteful and inefficient. It would not surprise me to find out that Cave insisted on having a computer based on decits instead of bits, and this is the result.
 

popenfresh

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If Portal 2 foreshadows anything about HL2 ep. 3 it's that Valve still knows how to make:
- awesome and overwhelming single player experiences
- enthralling and alluring stories
- convincing and compelling characters

People were afraid Portal 2 was going to be too "cutesy" and diverge too much from the original dark and claustrophobic setting.

Well they managed to give it an even darker and more isolated atmosphere whilst adding new and convincing add-ons and characters.

Expectations will continue to rise and rightfully so.
 

Hectic Glenn

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Also in addition it's worth mentioning that Erik Wolpaw mentioned in "The Final Hours" app that they intended to make Portal 2 around 50,000 years in the future after Portal 1.
 

Darkangel

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I was really hoping for some kind of Half-life tie-in at the end. I was lead on a bit when GLaDOS was talking about the deer and how she only saw some humans that day.
 

cjohnson

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Chell was woken up because there was an "emergency reactor shutdown"
 

The Monkey

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Glados mentions at the start of the game that the world will end in 60 years. I had totally forgot about it until I stared replaying the game just now. Any clues what that is about?
 

Darkangel

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Glados mentions at the start of the game that the world will end in 60 years. I had totally forgot about it until I stared replaying the game just now. Any clues what that is about?
I thought she was just referring to Chell's lifespan. If Chell's like 25 or something than she will be 85 in 60 years...
 

Tenebrais

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Pretty sure she meant Chell would only live for another sixty years. More or less. She didn't have the actuarial tables in front of her.
 

Lanthanide

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Also in addition it's worth mentioning that Erik Wolpaw mentioned in "The Final Hours" app that they intended to make Portal 2 around 50,000 years in the future after Portal 1.
Yeah, so we can say from the in-game malfunctioning timer that it is, at least, several hundred years after Portal 1 and similar Half-Life time period.

The announcer at the start reads out 5 clear 9's, and a glitchy 9 where it starts stuttering in the middle, unclear whether that was an 'error' or a genuine 9 that wasn't properly read, or whether there may be even be additional 9's after that. Anyway, 5 9's gives us just under 274 years, and 6 9's gives us 2,739 years.

Personally I think the state of Aperture is more in line with hundreds of years, rather than thousands. For example the school science projects are still legible - the paper hasn't turned completely brown or rotted away. In the old aperture test areas in the 60's-70's I think it is (propulsion gel, where they give everyone $60) there's a dead potted plant which is a black twig - I think after 1000's of years that would've completely rotted away or at least collapsed into dust on the floor.
 

cjohnson

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If you watch(ed) the Life After Humans thing, it seems more in line with hundreds - plus all the portaits are still intact whereas after 100s they would have rotted too. Most of the lights still work etc... so I think it's early hundreds.
 

The Monkey

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I seem to recall an early preview in a game magazine about a year ago (right after the alternative game thing ended) where they specifically stated the amount of time that has passed between the games. It was something like 300 years I think.
 

ríomhaire

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I don't think the amount of time has been set in stone. I'd say it was left vague on purpose.
 

cjohnson

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I really want them to finally tie the two games together, so 50K years would be too much, but if somehow the people in Ep3 get transported to Chell's time/place then it would be good. Just my opinion and it probably isn't gonna happen.
 

superluser

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I really want them to finally tie the two games together, so 50K years would be too much, but if somehow the people in Ep3 get transported to Chell's time/place then it would be good. Just my opinion and it probably isn't gonna happen.
While I wouldn't mind seeing, say, an extended cameo by Dr. Mossman in Portal, or someone from Aperture in Half Life, incorporating all of the baggage from Portal into Half Life and Half Life into Portal does not seem like a good idea to me.

Perhaps the best way to do that would be to have a cameo by a character like Eli Vance or Cave Johnson—someone clearly dead at the time in the other canon, to emphasize the fact that these are not the same canon.
 

[Dragoon]

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Yeah, so we can say from the in-game malfunctioning timer that it is, at least, several hundred years after Portal 1 and similar Half-Life time period.

The announcer at the start reads out 5 clear 9's, and a glitchy 9 where it starts stuttering in the middle, unclear whether that was an 'error' or a genuine 9 that wasn't properly read, or whether there may be even be additional 9's after that. Anyway, 5 9's gives us just under 274 years, and 6 9's gives us 2,739 years.

Personally I think the state of Aperture is more in line with hundreds of years, rather than thousands. For example the school science projects are still legible - the paper hasn't turned completely brown or rotted away. In the old aperture test areas in the 60's-70's I think it is (propulsion gel, where they give everyone $60) there's a dead potted plant which is a black twig - I think after 1000's of years that would've completely rotted away or at least collapsed into dust on the floor.
The repeating 9s seemed more like an error than an actual time, sort of a VCR-flashing-12:00 thing.

It's also possible that the entire complex was hermetically sealed or something, which could have preserved the contents somewhat longer. With science!
 
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A giant facility like Aperture Science, despite being underground, is never discovered by the Combine? I'm sure their vast technology that often expands underground (like the citadel) would have located the facility by now.

Heck that random toilet stall in the middle of the wheat field, if examined by the Combine, should lead them directly to the facility.
 

Kyzr

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In a facility falling apart on itself, a clock is one of the last things that I would expect to work. And really, 2,739 years? The 9's were only there to set a certain mood, nothing else.

This also wouldn't be the first time something in the half life universe has messed up timing. If you look at the calenders in black mesa, they say December of some year. But then in the half life: opposing force manual under Shepard's diary thing, it says that he went into the Black Mesa Research facility in March, which isn't December.

What I'm trying to say is that just because the thing said 999999 days, doesn't make it legit.
 

Tony

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Has this been posted yet?

http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/04/26/erik-wolpaw-on-portal-2s-ending-the-spoiler-is-probably-lurking-out-there-somewhere

You learn whatever you learn and you’re out and it doesn’t look so bad – but we know the Combine’s probably lurking out there somewhere.
PC Gamer: And is the Combine out there?

Erik Wolpaw: The only qualification is something we’re just kind of saddled with – you know that the world to some extent has gone to shit, right? It’s not a happy world she’s exiting into. Although having said that we don’t know how much time has passed – maybe the Combine have been beaten back and the world is nice. If nothing else we want to give her as happy ending as we can, entering into the Half-Life universe. It’s a fairly bucolic scene, it’s very nice. She gets serenaded on the way out, that’s always pleasant. She does get a happy ending, there’s no point in being negative about it, I just can’t let go of the fact that we know where she gets that happy ending, and there could be some danger out there. I’m an adult, terrible shit happens to me all the time. I want happy endings for everyone, the kind I’m not gonna get in real life – I mean, we’re all gonna die, let’s face it.
 
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