Even More Portal HL2

Okay, it’s been longer than I had intended between posts. The good news is that it’s because I’ve been busy with a few different things. In addition to stuff I’m reading, writing, and even coding in preparation for my classes, I’ve accepted the assignment to write up an article for Shark Bytes. It’s an article on new powers in the Necessary Evil super-villain(and sometimes hero) setting. This has resulted in the total stalling of most of the things I was going to post here and elsewhere, but, on the other hand, it’s like contributing the the unofficial Necessary Evil Companion, so it’s worth it.

I really do need to write up my take on The Orange Box eventually. I was going to do that first, but the temptation to post the first “****** HL2” post before I had played through all of the HL2 episodes was too great.

Anyway, back to Portal HL2:

One of the hazards I disovered early on is that you have to be careful placing portals near things that don’t move. This trash on the ground isn’t movable, so I’m trapped in midair. The portal is trying to get me to fall into it, but the immovable trash is blocking my fall. The solution, of course, is to simply place the orange portal elsewhere.

Apparently Half Life 2 distant scenery models are sometimes confused by portal placement.

As pointed out elsewhere, on Shamus Young’s weblog, I think, the Vorts in Episode 2 are amazingly shiny-skinned as opposed to dull-skinned. Since this vort, the same one that appears in HL2, is shiny when I run Portal, I suspect this has more to do with the updated BSP effects (or whatever macguffin the Source engine is using) than a specific decision to make them look radically different. If you look close, they’re still just as wrinkly, and I suspect that they were supposed to be shiny-skinned all along.

So here we are in Testchamber 04… er, that is to say, the entrance to Eli Kleiner’s lab.

Skipping past a bunch of somewhat amusing scenes where the characters act out their normal actions in pantomime (doesn’t make for good screenshots, but it’s funny to watch), we come over to the HEV suit.

And we can’t put on the suit. Because we already have it via Impulse 101. And the game won’t let us proceed until we put on the suit. Hmmmm…

Okay so I reloaded the map and didn’t Impulse 101, so this should work.

Yes, it worked! I put on the suit and HOLY FREAKING SHADES OF TRON 2.0!!!!!!!

Well now we know why only Gordon Freeman can wear the HEV suit. If Chell tries to put it on, she goes into a temporary psychotropic shock!

This is just awesome. I barely noticed the glass doors the first time through. You should seriously try this.

I mean seriously: the glass is not specifically designed to be compatible with portals, but it works just the same. Considering how certain parts of HL2 act weird when exposed to portals, like how water turns portals invisible (they’re still there and you can make out the outline), it’s interesting that this glass door works exactly like it would if, in real life, you could flaunt the laws of physics with a gun created by an insane AI.

Having the Portal Gun in Ravenholm isn’t quite as wonderful as I was hoping. For example: if you try to shoot a death frizbee (buzzsaw) through a portal, it drops to the ground and skids to a halt. They could fix this with an update, but I don’t know if Valve considers portals breaking death frizbee behavior to be a high priority.

Anyway, see that headcrab through the window?

I shall now proceed to drop a grenade and kill the headcrab from across the street!

Ahhhh… How sweet it is. killing headcrabs by dropping grenades through portals is just as satisfying as killing combine by dropping grenades through portals. Speaking of which…

Dude, I really want to get down there. No seriously. Stop attacking me!

All right, you asked for it…

Yeah, you just keep staring and threatening me while I get out my grenades…

Hey, look out! I dropped a grenade by your foot! I’m not kidding! Turn around! Aw, man…

Heh, heh. This never gets old. (If you do try and go downstars from here, even using portals, you’ll become stuck in an invisible wall. Maybe I should have listened to the guy.)

I actually have a bunch more screens with actual Portal experiments, but it’s a bit of a long sequence, so I decided to split it up into a miscellaneous observations post (this one) and the fun you can have with the teleporter and the portal gun post (next time). Stay tuned, the next one is full of surprises!

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