Portal 2 Trickshots

By John Walker on May 4th, 2011 at 9:33 am.

Update: More videos added below.

This one appeared during our second weekend of yacht-hammocking, and is well worth a watch. It’s one of the first truly impressive Portal 2 trickshot videos I’ve seen, themed around the throwing of cubes. I love that there are people out there who see games completely differently to me. They see paths my mind would never think of. Take a look.

I think it’s all the more impressive that this guy, schrobotindisguise, is doing this on a 360, really. I’d love to see what he’d be capable of with the far more effective mouse and keyboard. Also, if you’ve seen any similarly impressive videos, link them in the comments and I’ll add them to the post.

Via AtkinsSJ and AlephAleph:

And for fun, here’s the same player’s speedrun of Portal 1:

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51 Comments »

  1. Delphiki says:

    It never even occured to me i could fling the cubes around…

    I need to go back to Aperture for some new experiments

  2. Armante says:

    That’s just crazy play!

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Like a poor man’s Quake 3 Defrag.
      This is truly a different level: CATUTTHAJ JHANA. (Whoever flagged this as a dangerous site is a retard. It’s the well-known Shaolin Productions! You can enter the site without danger. [Although FF seems to not load the style sheet.])

    • MD says:

      Avast reacted to that link too. Isn’t it possible that the site has been hacked in some way, and is genuinely risky? I know that’s happened to legitimate websites before.

    • the_muttster says:

      ESET doesn’t like the link either. I think either the site has been compromised or one of the ad banners is running a compromised ad. There is at least one link to content on a cz.cc domain which has been used by very naughty people to throw some scareware at you. I dealt with a very nasty infection from a cz.cc site at work a couple of months ago, it successfully managed to pull down a 1.5MB trojan masquerading as HTML which was then converted to a JAVA applet which then set up a fake anti-spyware spyware package demanding money. Luckily, the user didn’t have admin rights because it slipped right past two different AV vendors to do what it did.

  3. poop says:

    this is on 360 which has different physics for flicking things around

    • Dachannien says:

      Makes sense, because I can’t get anything even remotely like that to happen on the PC. I just thought it was because I sucked.

    • Dominic White says:

      Actually, in the comments, he confirms that all the tricks are possible on the PC, too.

    • Pop says:

      The Mac version however most certainly has totally different Physics.

    • stele says:

      @Pop – due to the Reality Distortion Field, right?

    • Eukatheude says:

      It makes sense, since the cube just doesn’t fly like that on pc.

    • Kato says:

      Why would this be the case? It’s Valve’s custom physics engine, as always.

    • passingstranger says:

      I can see it being harder in that the mouse is a very different movement mechanism than the analog stick. I imagine it’s easier to get used to holding a thumb at a certain angle than smoothly and consistenly moving a mouse along only the X axis, as is the case for a lot of the shots.

    • Premium User Badge Big Murray says:

      Having attempted cube-throws before, I’m pretty sure it’s not possible to that extent on the PC.

  4. itsallcrap says:

    Anyone know how he gains height with each pass through a pair of vertical portals? Seems like you could use that to ‘cheat’ on quite a lot of the puzzles.

    • cubed2d says:

      If you pop down two portals like he does, jump though one, while your still in the air replace one of the portals (im normal in a blind panic by this point, but as far as i think it has to be the portal you exited from?). For some odd reason, when you re-enter the portal you gain velocity. Its good fun.

    • Ecto says:

      Cubed2d almost has it right. You have to shoot the portal right as you fall through it, and it has to be the entry portal. The way this works is, when you shoot the portal is closes the old one (which was in the exact same place). When a portal closes with you inside, you get pushed out – you use this push to get extra momentum.

    • Crescend says:

      A small hint, the portal gun glow changes color to the same as your last shot portal. He seems to be replacing the portal he enters from, thus gaining momentum from the closing portal which tries to push him out.

    • cubed2d says:

      Thanks for explaining what the hell aim actually doing during those panic filled moments :)

      Ive managed to do some of the cube throws, seems to be all about building momentum on the cube and well timed releases so its got some power behind it, any more insite in to that?

  5. JackShandy says:

    And you guys said there was no room for bodging experimental solutions.

  6. Premium User Badge Fatbubba says:

    I already tried plenty of time to throw boxes and those balls at my coop partner, but it didn’t seem to work on the PC

  7. Jonathan says:

    So what even happens in the 1:18 trick? *boggled*

    • diebroken says:

      Thought the trick would’ve been to have a portal above the button already… oh, well.

  8. Bilbo says:

    It’s possible to keep the companion cube in the final scene. There’s even an achievement for it.

  9. Radiant says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s tool assisted.
    As in he’s using a programmable 360 pad.

    Like how they do those insane streetfighter combo videos.
    http://shoryuken.com/content/super-street-fighter-4-chun-li-tool-assisted-combo-movie-maj-3004/

    Look at how crisp the spins and 90 degree looks are.

    Sorry to kill wonder like that; the video is still interesting!

    • paterah says:

      The spins are crisp because they are done using a gamepad analog stick, no other reason.

    • Radiant says:

      Whilst that’s all very possible, it’s very unlikely.
      Look at the tool assisted combo video.
      You’d have to have the patience of a million popes to repeatedly get the precise timing and movement for each /single/ manoeuvre.

      read this:
      http://sonichurricane.com/?p=2157

      You still need to know the techniques but execution is simple

  10. jealouspirate says:

    For first person games I’ve never really noticed a difference between a gamepad and a keyboard+mouse. I don’t think they’re as different as so many PC gamers claim.

    • Premium User Badge Diziet Sma says:

      I am inclined to agree. To each his own, us lot being PC gamers have a lot of experience with mouse and keyboard. There is nothing intrinsic to a mouse that makes it more natural than a gamepad. This guy probably has a lot of experience playing games on a console and a gamepad is his preferred platform. I doubt he would be any more proficient on a mouse and probably less so.

    • MD says:

      Try using a controller against mouse + keyboard users in Quake or Counter-Strike, and I reckon you’ll change your mind.

      I do have to admit that I don’t know how big the discrepancy actually is, because my opinion of gamepads is coloured by how hopeless I personally am with them. Still, there’s definitely a significant difference in games where fast and precise aiming is important.

    • MD says:

      “There is nothing intrinsic to a mouse that makes it more natural than a gamepad.”

      Not more natural, perhaps, but capable of greater speed and precision. A gamepad is always going to have to compromise between the two, but with a mouse there’s no necessary limitation aside from the speed (and accuracy) of your hand and the size of your mousepad. (I guess I’m ignoring things like DPI and polling rate, but those sorts of limitations are trivial in this context.)

      Of course, speed and precision aren’t the be-all and end-all, so there’s no grounds for arguing that mouse + keyboard is simply ‘better’ than a gamepad. Some people will prefer the feel of the latter. But I do think it’s fair to say that m+k is better in the sense that it places fewer constraints on the player’s ability to control the game quickly and accurately.

    • JuJuCam says:

      If this were true, developers wouldn’t need to augment pad controls with the software. This probably isn’t even the best writeup on the issue, but it’s the clearest one in my recent memory.

      If you’re not willing to click the link, the upshot is that one can move a move a mouse with “infinite” speed as long as it’s not somehow throttled. Take as a thought experiment a standard PC desktop. Move your mouse to the top left corner as quick as you can. Pretty quick, right? Now imagine if your pointer was controlled with a gamepad’s right thumbstick. The amount of time it takes to get your cursor to the top left has nothing to do with the agility of your thumb as you flick it up there. You have to hold your thumb in position and wait for the cursor to drift over at whatever speed the software vendor thinks is an appropriate maximum. It can’t be infinite speed because any point in between the top left and the start position of the cursor would be impossible to access.

      Yeah, it’s probably better to read up on this at Penny Arcade than my clumsy analogy.

    • JuJuCam says:

      I will grant, however, that given enough practice time with either method of control, there would most likely be little difference between peak players using either input device.

    • Tei says:

      The analogic control pad is less natural, you don’t control the movement of things, but the acceleration, that affect movement. The digital one is both limited and too complex. A control pad is a usability nightmare hell. It would make a helicopter driver feel home.

    • phosgene says:

      I can’t find the reference now, but there was an article written a while back detailing a planned cross platform multiplayer release by Microsoft for the xbox and PC. I don’t remember which game it was, not sure if it was even mentioned, but it was definitely a first person shooter.

      Anyway, during testing the xbox control group (using controllers) got wrecked by the people playing on the PC. The disparity was so great that the project was abandoned.

    • Amuro says:

      The reason you are not noticing a difference has little to do with equivalency of control method. Console FPSs all have built in Aim assist functions to compensate for the shortcomings of the game pad. Some of them are so obvious as to be ridiculous. For instance, you can be aiming clearly off target and still nail it.

    • Bob5602 says:

      The article you are thinking of is about Monday Night Combat I believe. They talked about how they had to change the number of bullets for snipers because on a M+K, playtesters were much much faster and more deadly. They apparently made a large number of changes because of the playstyle differences when you allow a player to use M&K. Can’t find the link at the moment.

      Edit – This is the article thingie I was thinking of – http://www.penny-arcade.com/2011/1/24/

    • Premium User Badge TheTourist314 says:

      Time to get out the pitchforks and torches!

    • Falx22 says:

      Strangely enough when i first played an FPS on the PC I purchased a gamepad specifically because I couldn’t get my head around the mouse and keyboard controls thinking, “My fingers can’t handle this WASD nonsense!” I eventually go the hang of it but still I reckon its mostly about what one has more experience with.

  11. Nallen says:

    Does firing portals give you momentum? Most interesting part of that for me was the increasing height while falling through the floor stuff…

  12. Premium User Badge AtkinsSJ says:

    Transgenic, who did the ‘Portal Done Pro’ speedrun a while back, has some pretty impressive videos, while he’s preparing to do a speedrun of Portal 2. Linky. In particular, this chamber is spectacular.

  13. HilariousCow says:

    I am super impressed with the physics funneling going on in Portal 2. It kind of “bends” the physics model to be useful for game play, maintaining believability. Seems like it’s applied to boxes approaching buttons, too? Or maybe they’re just subtle point forces for boxes over the buttons.

    Either way, those subtle kinaesthetic tweaks are the kind of attention to detail that I love.

  14. WASD says:

    This one is quite impressive John. Take a look at the upload date: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldPSITyKlaw

  15. Avenger says:

    Some people think portal is a tricky game that requires skill and controller finesse. I love how you can play Portal, at your own pace. Slow and quiet as it was intended or… like this guy.

  16. Surgeon says:

    He is most definitely doing that for science.

  17. Basilicus says:

    This is what I was waiting for when critics (including those here) kept complaining there was only one way to solve each puzzle.

    There was only one way to solve all the original Portal’s puzzles…until more talented folks than I swept in and took the game on sideways, just like this.

    • Phydaux says:

      It certainly feels like this: http://nerfnow.com/comic/502

      I’m sure I came up with better ways of solving some of the rooms in Portal 1, than my first go. And I enjoyed the challenges too. But with Portal 2 most of the time there really was only 1 way to solve it. A lot of these trick shots are just throwing the cube onto the button not placing it there, so I wouldn’t really call them a new way to solve it, just a more stylish way. :)

  18. starclaws says:

    Some of these will be used in future speed runs. But I’d love to see more edgeless safety cube trick shots ;p

  19. Hatsworth says:

    This guy is pretty sick:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/nubSawace

    Portal 1 only though, mostly challenges.