10 Things You Didn't Know About Portal

Aperture Science is home to countless secrets.

Portal 2

Brain-bending puzzle game Portal is commonly considered to be one of the greatest games of all time, as is its superb sequel, Portal 2.

One of the best things about the series is its inherent mystery, thanks to its sprawling setting filled with secrets: Aperture Science. Behind the sterile simplicity of the test chamber walls, there are countless secrets to discover. Rat-man dens, hidden Easter eggs, cryptic messages... the list goes on.

Perhaps even more interesting than hidden in-game secrets, however, are secrets from Portal and Portal 2's development history. Valve, the developer behind the games, is notoriously shrouded in mystery and likes to play its cards close to its chest.

Fortunately, thanks to various interviews and developer talks, fans have been able to glean quite a number of juicy secrets about older versions of the game, including scrapped ideas, story beats, and gameplay mechanics.

Whether you're a hardcore Portal fan or a new test subject, this list will probably teach you something you didn't already know. And if it turns out that you did already know everything, congratulations: you have successfully passed the Aperture Science List-Based Trivia Intelligence Quotient Testing Exercise.

10. Portal 2 Originally Didn't Involve Portals

Portal 2

While developing the hit sequel to the original Portal, Valve were keen to blow gamers' minds just as much as the first game did. To do that, they felt they needed to introduce a new gameplay mechanic to revolve the game around: one which would match or even surpass the iconic and ingenious Portal mechanic.

It sounds like a tough task to live up to, and it certainly was: Valve created a brand-new mechanic called "F-Stop", about which very little is known. The plan was to have Portal 2 retain the Aperture Science setting, but focus entirely on this new F-Stop mechanic, with the beloved portals that gave Portal its name nowhere to be seen.

F-Stop must have been interesting if Valve were confident it could replace Portals entirely, but playtesters weren't so convinced. Most playtesters reportedly finished their session underwhelmed, questioning the fact that, if this is a sequel to Portal, why are there no portals?

Valve ultimately reversed their decision, canned F-Stop, and started development again with the focus on portals. Quite right, too, as Portal 2 went on to achieve commercial and critical acclaim. It's intriguing to theorise about what exactly F-Stop was, but we wouldn't sacrifice the phenomenal Portal 2 just to get a glimpse.

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Patch is a pop culture enthusiast and purveyor of puns. He writes about media in a vague attempt to justify the alarming amount of time he spends consuming it. Nobody's convinced... but nobody's told him that yet. He spends his spare time working on Portal 2: Desolation, an ambitious fan-made sequel to Valve's beloved puzzle games.