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The Cake Is a Lie!

November 6th, 2007 · 8 Comments

I am not ordinarily a big player of video games—and so, a fortiori, not a frequent watcher-of-YouTubes in which other people play video games. But the final battle sequence from the surprise-hit Portal is really worth a look. The game itself looks entertaining, and even features (what struck me as) an innovative play mechanism: You solve puzzles (and dispatch enemies) by creating pairs of miniature linked wormholes. The real feature, though, is your guide-cum-antagonist GlaDOS, a maliciously solicitous, mellifluously homicidal supercomputer who finally answers the eternal question: What if Hal 9000 and Nurse Ratched had a child? The final sequence is a nice, condensed helping of the sense of humor that permeates the game, and which reminded me of nothing so much as the wonderful old slapstick-Kafka RPG Paranoia.

Lest you think I just spend my days trolling for online video game footage, I first discovered the game because I had heard that geek-rocker extraordinaire Jonathan Coulton had penned the song that plays over the game’s closing credits. And indeed, his “Still Alive” (sung in the voice of GlaDOS) is both catchy and hilarious, though it will probably make more if viewed after the previous sequence (or, better still, after playing the game).

Tags: Random Cool Link



8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anonymous // Nov 6, 2007 at 11:36 am

    Maybe your new blog can include software that screens out the “a fortiori” verbal tic.

  • 2 Julian Sanchez // Nov 6, 2007 at 11:39 am

    C’mon, Google shows, what, 12 uses since 2003? And it’s actually a pretty useful phrase.

  • 3 Anonymous // Nov 6, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Right, but seven are from this year. Just sayin…

  • 4 Julian Sanchez // Nov 6, 2007 at 11:51 am

    It’s a fair cop; duly noted.

  • 5 Anornymorse // Nov 6, 2007 at 12:47 pm

    I definitely went as the Weighted Companion Cube for Halloween.

  • 6 Jason // Nov 6, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    “You euthanized your faithful companion cube faster than any test subject on record. Congratulations!”

  • 7 asg // Nov 6, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    Aperture Science: We do what we must, because we can — for the good of us all, except the ones who are dead.

  • 8 Anonymous // Jan 3, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    But there’s no sense crying over every mistake, you just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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