The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

The Portal Gun

The Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, is a fictional device originally marketed in the 1950s as an Aperture Science Portable Quantum Tunneling Device, also commonly known as a Portal Gun or by its acronym, “ASHPD”, is an experimental tool used to create two portals through which objects can pass. For those unfamiliar with it, the portal gun manufactures two linked portals. No matter the distance between them, any object which passes through one portal will emerge from the other and vice versa instantaneously. The portals can be placed on almost any surface which is flat, white coloured and large enough to accommodate them. Moving objects, or certain types of surfaces, will usually prevent the formation of a portal. Material Emancipation Grills will block any attempt to shoot portals through them, as well as reset any active portals should the ASHPD pass through it. The ASHPD is held with a hand behind the weapon, holding the handle/trigger, while the other hand supports the barrel.

  • Insofar, I have yet to actually beat Portal 2. I’ve beaten Portal once over a two hour period during Thanksgiving long weekend. I had finished all of my assignments and readings then and had no papers; having downloaded Portal during an educational promoter, I found the game to be highly amusing.

  • Portal is a brilliant puzzle game; portals can only be spawned two at a time, and only on certain surfaces. A degree of creativity and patience is required to beat some of the levels. The latter is important because it is crucial to wait for things to happen (such as waiting for objects to move through a portal).

  • The story within Portal is simple but brilliant: a player takes on the role of Chell, a female test subject who is awakened to undergo a series of experiments involving the Portal Gun. She is initially guided by GlaDOS, an AI directing operations at the Aperture Science facilities, but as the levels wear on, it becomes apparent that GlaDOS is insane, and the game’s objective suddenly changes to surviving and escaping.

  • I wouldn’t pay 150 dollars for a model of the portal gun, primarily because I don’t have that kind of money to spare. 150 dollars is the equivalent of one textbook.

  • Otafest is just over the horizon: I wonder how many attendees will cosplay as Chell. From the screenshots from last year, I think a handful of people were able to do so, and they had their own portal guns to boot.

  • This is probably one of the best Chell cosplayer I’ve seen and reflects the in-game character very nicely. Chell is a young woman in her early or mid 20’s. Her ethnic background is somewhat ambiguous; she appears to be of Latin or multiracial descent, and Valve concept artist Matt Charlesworth described her as having a hint of Japanese ethnicity, as she is modelled after Alésia Glidewell.

Given that it is only a week before Otafest kicks off, I imagine several fans of Valve’s Portal series will cosplay as Chell from said game. That said, no costume is complete without the Portal Gun. Fortunately, a while back, ThinkGeek released a limited edition of a 1:1 replica model of the Portal Gun. It is capable of looking every bit as cool as the original portal gun, having orange and blue LED lights, triggers that manipulate the LEDs and posable manipulator claws. It costs roughly 150 USD, and as only 5000 units were ever produced, are sold out now. That said, I imagine several cosplayers will also probably hand-craft their portal guns.

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