Portal: Prelude

Barney: The Apple Years

Oh, your face just then. It was all like WTF ZOMG NO WAY!!!!!! Like, rilly.

Sorry, but this isn’t a reveal of the rumoured official prequel to the gamette that stole our hearts and minds around about this time last year. Instead it’s a mod, but considering pretty much every other Portal mod has been little more than a level pack, this is a particularly ambitious one.

Specifically, it has a storyline. It even has NPCs that aren’t cubes or turrets.

It’s not due out until October 10th, but the three man team behind it are cranking up the hype machine in readiness.

Here’s the setup:

Its story revolves around the pre-GlaDOS epoch, even before she was plugged in. At this time, test subjects were monitored by real Aperture Science employees, whose work was tedious, lengthy and repetitive. This is why they decided to build a great artificial intelligence that could both replace them in these difficult tasks, and also take responsibility for many other tasks within the complex and compete with Black Mesa’s superiority. All employees of the Aperture Science complex are now eagerly awaiting GlaDOS. Maybe even a little too eagerly, as the upcoming events will tell… This game is totally free and set to be released somewhere around the end of the month. It offers a bit more gameplay hours than the original Portal, with 8 chapters, 48 challenges, 6 advanced maps, a brand new storyline and more than 400 lines of speech with english and french subtitles.

And here’s a trailer:

Portal: Prelude Official Trailer from NykO18 on Vimeo

The idea of Portal with people is an odd one, but should hopefully add a very different flavour to those test lab aesthetics we’re now so familiar with.

Eight months in the making, apparently. Follow its progress at its official site or its Moddb page.


  1. fishmitten says:

    Portal with NPCs just doesn’t seem like Portal to me.

  2. nakke says:

    That’s quite rude to the companion cube, fishmitten.

  3. fishmitten says:

    Humanoid NPCs then :P

  4. Duke Goosington IV says:

    That -looked- really good to me. I’m interested to see their take on what things would be like before GlaDOS, and more than the puzzles, I really hope their dialogue/voice acting ability is good. And what the hell, that trailers soundtrack is from linkin park? Wonders never cease.

  5. Naurgul says:

    The trailer doesn’t say much, although I didn’t really expect it to. Still, I’m looking forward to this. By the way, this song was used in a Half-Life 2 machinima quite a long while ago.

  6. TheDeadlyShoe says:

    Well, they’re excellent trailer makers, I can say that much.

  7. Andthensobecause says:

    Fine idea. Was expecting the trailer to show off some of the story and to have less linkin park.

  8. The Guy says:

    By its nature, this mod is different because it features a new storyline and NPCs. As such the trailer really should’ve focused on that, not new gameplay as much.

  9. AlexW says:

    Session is by far the best thing LP have ever done.

    Also hooray for more significant Portal undertakings. I almost never look for new maps unless it looks like it took effort to make them (e.g. TFV pack), because the possibility for rubbish levels is just so enormous. This will hopefully provide a challenge somewhere between ordinary Portal and TFV.

  10. MetalCircus says:

    Whats the song?

  11. Monkfish says:

    October 10th – exactly one year after Portal/Orange Box. Cool.

  12. Nimic says:

    I don’t know. I’ll definitely try it out, and I do love my Portal, but that’s just it. This is a fan-made mod, and unless Valve suddenly decide to hire these guys and treat their work as canon then it won’t really be Portal. Half the reason Portal is so good is the absolutely fantastic story with the absolutely fantastic black humor.

  13. Theory says:

    I’m glad I had the post to read. The trailer is far too long and I stopped it after about a minute and a half of nothingness.

  14. AlexW says:

    @HGD: Hi, troll! How’s life? I see you’re not sitting under your bridge at the moment – not enough people crossing it nowadays?

    @MetalCircus: Would you look at that? A simultaneous question and answer. Put more clearly, the song is Linkin Park’s ‘Session’, from the album Meteora if I recall correctly.

  15. Pace says:

    Yeah I thought that trailer was pretty pointless. If you don’t look too closely it could’ve just been random footage from the original Portal. Or any level pack made since then. Still I’m all for mods that make an attempt at story, will keep an eye out for this.

  16. KP says:

    This made me think that I’d like to see a list or pack of good Portal levels.

  17. Chris Evans says:

    Any new reason to play in the Portal world is good to me

  18. phuzz says:

    I dunno, the trailer worked for me…
    maybe because I’ve not really played many fan made portal levels, I just prefer the ones with a good story

  19. Downloads_Plz says:

    you guys need to obsess over a better game

    Though I’m sure this was a troll attempt…I actually agree.

    I thought Portal was a fairly average game with a neat concept. Certainly worthy of one (far too short) playthrough, but featuring no replayability and being nowhere near the amazing game that a lot of people have made and still make it out to be.

  20. Nimic says:

    So you played it with the sound off, then?

  21. MacBeth says:

    I played through it twice, actually, and haven’t been back… but it’s still an amazing game. The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long – and it burned so very, very brightly…

  22. Homunculus says:

    Linkin Park, y’say? Sounded all sorts of homage to Boards of Canada.

  23. Shadowmancer says:

    Is ot just me or does it look like they have stolen the portal flash map pack and reused most of the maps, looks very familar maps like I’ve played them before.

  24. Alex says:

    Has it finally come to this.. are we hyping mods now?


  25. Pace says:

    What’s wrong with hyping mods?

  26. Jim Rossignol says:

    I think this “reporting on” anyway.

  27. Agrajag says:

    Good choice of song for trailer, sounds very similar to the Half-Life 2 soundtrack. Actualy went ahead and listened to the whole thing just make sure.

  28. Sahagin says:


  29. Jeremy says:

    “So you played it with the sound off, then?”

    I did :( I’m still traumatized. I waited for sooo long for this game, then had the maddening experience of running around a game with no people and nobody talking. I even deliberately avoided reading about it so I could go in completely unknowing what to expect. Wish I’d read about the bugs, though.

    This mod looks like it might be worth playing.

  30. I don't understand this comment system says:

    @Homunculus: I am with you, originally I thought it was Boards of Canada also, but as it progressed it sounded less ambient then the stuff they do. The opening sounds definitely sound like they were lifted directly from a Boards of Canada track.

    I have definitely heard this before, isn’t it off the animatrix soundtrack or something? I have no idea where I could have heard this obscure linkin park track.

  31. internisus says:

    A lot of you likely recognize this Linkin Park track because of the machinima music video that nearly made it the unofficial HL2 theme music.

    link to youtube.com

    I also agree that it bears a resemblance to BoC.

    This project sounds exciting. There’s a lot for them to get right, though–not only do they have to nail level design to seem relevant after the original game and the flash map pack, but they also have to do really well with the writing, voicework, and scene setting/pacing. I really hope they get it right.

  32. The Sombrero Kid says:

    of course glados was designed to be a fuel line ice inhibitor not to take over the observational tasks in the lab, that was just the use they found for her, at least that’s the way i like to think of it anyway.

  33. macc says:

    I like the music. Kudos to the trailer.

  34. Axton says:

    Its really not nice of them to have a giant “Download” link that just leads to a “coming soon” page.

  35. Shane says:

    Umm, you can download it now from file planet:


    BUT you have to register AND wait in line if you are not a subscriber…don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  36. Noobzor says:

    This Mod is Utter crap, Its just Portal with Humans instead of Glados. They make the worse jokes (jokes that would only be funny from glados) And they even try to kill you…. Not worth it