Portal: Almost Within Reach

If you’ve pre-ordered the Orange Box, you may have noticed that your pre-load info now shows a countdown clock, numbering in but a few hours. The biggest event in PC gaming since the last big event in PC gaming is almost upon us, and the tension is making it hard to move. So, in our unhelpful manner, here’s another exclusive Portal screenshot to make the aching worse.

Brain. Hurt.

The countdown does just as good a job of telling you how long there is to wait for our verdicts on both Episode Two and Portal, to appear here at 8:01am UK time (12:01am Pacific time) Wednesday morning.

P.S. An Appeal

This is a Rock, Paper, Shotgun Appeal. With your copy of The Orange Box, and presumably with your download, you will receive a song. Please don’t listen to it before you’ve played Episode Two and Portal. Please. We’re really hoping Valve have thought of this too, but it contains some serious spoilers that will rob you of a wonderful moment.


  1. Kast says:

    I solemnly swear I will not listen to the song until I have completed Portal and Episode Two at least once each.

    And thanks for the heads up on spoilers.

    Hmmm… screenshot – what’s the logo on the back of our character’s jacket? Looks peculiar and not very familiar.

  2. Andrew says:

    The logo will be the Aperture Science logo, I presume.

    Thanks for the warning about the spoilery song. I will not listen for some time.

  3. CrashT says:

    Decisions, decisions.

    My new computer (Well components) arrives tomorrow, do I wait until then to download everything or do I pre-load it now, and hopefully get a few hours in before I have to reinstall everything…

    I really want to play Episode 2 and Portal as soon as, but I’d much rather play them on my new Dual Core machine, than my less than optimal current setup.

  4. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the warning- I loved Coulton’s song-a-week stuff and work on the audio version of John Hodgman’s “Areas of My Expertise,” I probably would’ve gone straight to the song (CD single? mp3?) after cracking open the package.

    Seconding Andrew’s comment- it looks like the Aperture Science logo we’ve seen in a few trailers.

  5. Seniath says:

    Why?! Why must you taunt us so!

  6. Dan says:

    Thanks RPS!

  7. Thelps says:

    Just wondering how the aforementioned song will be conveyed to us Steam users? Haven’t noticed it downloading anywhere or anything. Then again I doubt there’s a lot of point in pre-loading an MP3 or .wav file, heheh.

    Aaaaaaaanyway, I just can’t wait to extract every last floating point-rich drop of gaming nutrition from this smorgasbord of exotic American cuisine, then roll lethargically on my side and drool, satiated, onto my pillow, like a young snake having just consumed its first rat. Hissss, baby.

  8. Monkfish says:

    Thanks for the heads-up on the song.

    Looking forward to sitting at my PC at 08:01 waiting for everything to unlock along with other HL2 fans across the globe. Haven’t done that since 16th November 2004, as I was away when Ep1 unlocked.

  9. dartt says:

    Thank you for the warning!

    They work so hard to keep the plot secret the spoilerfy it all with an mp3, tsk.

  10. roBurky says:

    Other than the welcome info about the spoilery song, what was the point of this post? You’ve already done two that say the same thing.

  11. SteveTheBlack says:

    roBurky: To taunt us with the screenshot, duh :p

  12. Masked Dave says:

    Gah! I’m in Manchester for the next two days! I shall miss the launch!


    Of course when I return home I can play till I bleed!

    Although which to play first? Oh my! How can I decide?!?

  13. John Walker says:

    Well roBurky, since you asked so politely, first it was to post a new screenshot of Portal you won’t have seen before. Then it was to warn about the song spoiler. And finally it was to further promote the pieces going up tomorrow morning. That, and I celebrated finishing the polishing on each of the pieces by posting one of these as a victory lap.

  14. The Sombrero Kid says:

    why does this thing give me 7:01 then?
    link to timezoneconverter.com

  15. Monkfish says:

    “why does this thing give me 7:01 then?”

    Because it doesn’t take daylight saving time into account. It may not feel like it, but it’s still British Summer Time…

  16. Cargo Cult says:

    Only listen to the music CD when you fully understand what it is. Seriously!

    (It’s brilliant!)

  17. Tom says:

    looks like a female in that picture

  18. Andrew says:

    It is.

  19. roBurky says:

    John: Apologies, I was a bit needlessly rude with that comment.

  20. John Walker says:

    np – everything we do is for the betterment of mankind.

  21. simonkaye says:

    Well this isn’t awkward at all.

  22. John Walker says:

    So… anyone seen any good films?

  23. Andrew says:

    No. :(

  24. Aimless says:

    That screenshot has made me reevaluate my plan of action. I had originally decided to tuck into the Aperture appetiser before serving myself up the rest of the Box’s contents, but I get the feeling my brain might be the consistency of guacamole by that point. Portal looks to be episodic in a very different way to Half-Life 2.

    This isn’t really related to the topic, but can we use any kind of markup in comments? My inner pedant demands italicisation of game names.

  25. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i can never keep track of BST, does anyone know if it’ll do the last bit of dl for me automatically, cause i’ll be pretty pissed of if i get in from work and can’t get straight into some orange box action!

  26. Mario Granger says:

    Speaking of spoilers John, a question for you, and any other staff members who have played both Portal & Episode 2:

    In terms of plot, should either of the 2 games be played before the other? Would my experience with the Portal storyline be ruined by playing Episode 2 first? Or does it not matter either way?

  27. John Walker says:

    Mario – no, not at all. You’re safe to tackle them in any order.

  28. Gameraotaku says:

    Does anybody know how to access the MP3 in the Steam version of the Orange Box? Or did we get screwed for supporting Valve again? I beat Portal this morning, loved it. Just want to listen to the song again without going through the game again.

  29. geek says:

    easy.. download a gcf explorer and open the portal_content.gcf and go to portal/sound/ there it is.. named portal_still_alive.mp3

    have fun

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