13,000 Lines Of Chat In Portal 2

By Alec Meer on January 14th, 2011 at 5:10 pm.

Here is a news journalism dilemma: the main fact to be gleaned from this story is that there are 13,000 lines of dialogue in Valve’s impending physics-abuse sequel Portal 2. If I put that vital statistic in the headline of this story, a bunch of people are very likely to come and read the piece. But then they’ll discover there aren’t really any other facts to be had from this story, and may feel let down or openly angry.

If I don’t put that vital statistic in the headline, I probably can’t come up with an equivalently effective alternative. “Portal 2 has lots of dialogue?” “Portal 2: Clearly Quite Chatty?” At least, though, readers would be rewarded with information they couldn’t glean purely from the headline. Whatever’s a boy to do?

Um. Well, guess I answered that one already.

I can also tell you that the game has jazz in it. How about that? This according to Charles Onyett of IGN (who I’ve met, and is a nice man) in this preview of the first 30 minutes of the game. Other than that, it seems as though Valve may well have played all the pre-release hype cards they’re going to – we know it’s a long game, we know there are more robo-personalities, we know Aperture’s labs have been invaded by the great outdoors and we know GlaDOS is making a comeback. How that all fits together, and what manner of sprawling story those 13,000 lines of dialogue are going to tell us, we just don’t know.

Which, let’s be honest, is half the appeal. It’s a sequel, it’s based around the same core mechanic – but it’s also very much a mystery. I do like mysteries. They’re so… mysterious.

Here’s a video clip associated with that preview, by the way, which I think has a smattering of new footage in it.

April 20 (US/Oz) / April 22 (for us clearly wretched and inferior Euroscum. Bah). Seems far too far away.

Edit- by comparison, Planescape: Torment had some 800,000 lines of dialogue, so Portal 2′s small fry by comparison. But then that was almost all purely text, as opposed to spoken. So there.


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  1. skurmedel says:

    Close enough to my birthday.

    • P3RF3CT D3ATH says:

      Same here. My birthday is the day after Portal 2 comes out. It’s funny that Portal 2 is being released on 4/20.

  2. Meat Circus says:

    I feel let down or openly angry.

    What a shame.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Wow, that video reminds me so much of Quake 3 Defrag, it’s not even funny. There’s your rest of the story right there.
      Especially the wall jumping and the bouncing around trough the air in impossible levels, shooting things.

  3. Rich says:

    I approve of the change in voice for the little personality sphere. It didn’t really sound like it what him speaking though, direction wise, but that could’ve just been the video.

  4. Navagon says:

    Even with 13 lines of dialogue this would still be looking like one of The games of 2011. Yes, it’s not Ep3 / HL3. But we clearly can’t have everything.

  5. Om says:

    Thirteen thousand is meaningless in isolation. Give me a comparison. How many lines of dialogue in Dragon Age or Crysis?

  6. Baboonanza says:

    You could at least have compared it to how many lines of dialogue other games have. For instance that’s probably about 0.5 Fallout: New Vegas’s and 13,000 Peggles of dialogue (I think Peggle must have one line of dialogue?).

    I am angry at your laziness!

  7. Alez says:

    How many lines of talky talky where there in portal 1? I have no idea what 13.000 means in size.

  8. Bhazor says:

    Dragon Age Origins had 68,260 lines of spoken dialogue

    Edit: Damn it that was meant as a reply to Om

  9. Lewie Procter says:

    We know that Jonathan Coulton has done something in it too.

  10. clive dunn says:

    It’s about three football pitches worth of dialogue.

    Or 450 double decker buses.

    Or 0.0003 the size of Wales

  11. JNewt says:

    For comparison, Halo 3 has about 40,000 lines of spoken NPC dialog.

    • Bret says:

      Wait, wait, wait.

      That means, if every value stated so far is correct, Halo 3 has twice as much dialog as Mass Effect 2.

      The fully voiced RPG. With multiple responses to almost all the dialog branches. Each read by two VAs, doubling the count.

      Call me crazy, but something doesn’t add up here. At all.

  12. ChaK_ says:

    A “please read below to know what the news is about” title would be perfect.

    I think.

    offtopic : “You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down.” The hell is that?

  13. Cheese says:

    They take one of our accents then decide to release it 2 days later for us :/

  14. Josh Brandt says:

    April 20?


  15. Lambchops says:

    I have still watched a grand total of zero trailers or previews of Portal 2. Even in that treasure hunt thing I just stuck the trailer on and left the room.

    I want the contents of this game to be a wonderful suprise coloured only by the expectations produced from the first one.

    I will now leave this comment thread never to return avoiding the inevitable replies which will no doubt contain more spoiler than a boy racer’s pride and joy.

  16. Bhazor says:

    Bruce was a ghost

  17. coldvvvave says:

    Angry Internet Men are going to dismantle Portal 2 for not being low-budget puzzle game.

    Rage is going to be comparable to that of an No Mutants Allowed community in 2008.

    Internet will explode.

  18. TheTourist314 says:

    This is why I love RPS.

  19. DHP says:

    But will it have GlaDOS singing? That’s worrth 9000+ lines to me…

  20. Spliter says:

    Not just any 13.000 lines of dialogue.
    13.000 lines of Valve writers’ dialogue!

    From all the content released so far I can easily say Portal 2 will be my new favourite game.

  21. bill says:

    have they revealed the minimum specs? I’m rather worried my laptop won’t play it with all that liquid physics to calculate. And I loved portal so very much.

  22. Kevin says:

    13,000? Pfffft Valve… you’re slacking. Company of Heroes has 50,000 plus. Most of them absolute comedy gold:

    Machine-gun Crew Sergeant: “Then stop leading them so DAMN much!”

    Grenadiers with Panzershrecks: “Time for us to ‘un-pimp’ zer ride!”

    And my personal favourite:
    King Tiger: “Some people think we’re compensating.”

  23. RegisteredUser says:

    “Whatever’s a boy to do?”

    From Arnold movies I learned that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.

    You figure it out, I’m still bamboozled.

    Apparently these days the shoes do all the forking.

  24. TheApologist says:

    I am sticking to my theory that Portal 2 does something so important to the Half Life universe that they can’t talk about HL3 until Portal 2 is out and people have played and digested it.

    So basically I am holding out hope that at least 1 of these 13,000 lines points at the next Half Life.

  25. Muzman says:

    Apart from everything else, that goo/flubber stuff is going to allow for 3d Super Meat Boy action isn’t it. Which is kind of terrifying (somone may have noted this before)

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