Emptyeye’s Excellent Portal Excursion, Part 2

After writing the last entry, I played the game for another hour-plus and made some more progress. As of the end of this entry, I just passed the chamber that’s a testing ground for androids that uses live ammunition (In other words, the first part where the game actually tries to kill you). At some point during this play (My notes are not the most detailed), the atmosphere of the game hit me again, going through a hallway that could best be described as “thermal”, with a reddish tint to it. Also, at some point, GlaDOS informed me that I would be missed. How nice of her.
I have to admit that this was the section of the game where my love affair with it slipped a bit. It wasn’t because I’m a moron and couldn’t figure out one of the puzzles (Although in hindsight, I think I was making it harder than it had to be), though, that would’ve been fine. Rather, I knew what the game wanted–heck, it gave me a little illustration to show the concept–and just couldn’t execute it. I eventually got it, via turning up vertical sensitivity on the controls, but it was frustrating to know that it wasn’t my inability to figure out the puzzle but my inability to execute its solution that was preventing me from moving on. Similarly, faced with basically the same puzzle just a little later on, I herp-a-derped for a bit before I realized I could make things a lot easier by simply aiming one of the portals higher up on the wall.
The android course. I presume that, if you haven’t had the story already spoiled for you, this is where you’re really meant to realize that not everything is to be taken at face value, between the “HELP” written in blood on the floor and the glimpse “behind the scenes” at Aperture Science. In terms of the gameplay, though, it was a source of a couple more “I’m a moron” moments, mainly “Oh, duh, I can just portal my way past that laser”. Still, it was actually pretty gratifying to realize the solutions to the area, especially since I used marginally less obvious objects than the provided cubes to take out the turrets (Namely, other turrets, which gave me an achievement no less). Trying to arrive at that solution was kind of amusing, though–first, I tried to block the lasers by using objects to give me cover. When that didn’t work, I grabbed one of the turrets, hoping it would “detect” the others and shoot them before they shot me (The layout of the room should have told me that this wouldn’t have worked. If that didn’t, the fact that the turrets don’t detect other turrets definitely did). Finally, kind of by accident, I arrived at the fact that the turrets could be knocked down, and took note of the bloody “X”s above some of them to realize that I had to drop stuff on them to disable them.

So I’m still moving along, and it’s still really fun. We’ll see if that lasts.

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