It’s one of the best games to release this year, and is undoubtedly the star of Valve’s Orange Box.
One of the most important skills you need to master in Portal is “flinging” yourself. It makes use of the fact that your momentum is conserved when you move through portals, so if you fall into a portal from a height, you’re flung out of the exit portal with the same speed. The game gives you some pretty clear hints when it’s time to use a fling manoeuvre—a protruding segment high up on the wall, and a subtle checkerboard pattern on the floor. Just create one portal on the wall segment and one on the checkerboard and go through the latter. You’ll come out the wall and (if you’ve aimed right) fall through the floor portal again—only this time, you’ll exit the wall portal with greater speed. To do a double-fling, create another portal on the floor at the spot you’re just about to fall, and say “Whee!”
Beat The Turrets
Test Chamber 16—the one with all the cute but deadly turrets—is quite hard to beat if you’re playing a “Least Portals” challenge map, but it’s actually possible to clear the level by making just two portals! We won’t spoon-feed you the recipe, but here’s what you need to know: you can use turrets as shields against the bullets from other turrets as well, and when you’re close enough, use them to knock over turrets. Ditto the cubes. Holding a cube in front of you will deflect a number of bullets, but for more solid protection, crouch when you’re holding a cube—you’ll be hit by barely five bullets before you’re close enough to knock the turret over.
Sometimes, you don’t need to deal with the turrets at all—in the Test Chamber 18 advanced challenge, for example—if you time yourself well, you can fling yourself off the inclined wall and reach the spot with the cube directly. Remember to hide behind the cube, though.
While a lot of the test chambers require you to complete all aspects of the puzzle to reach the final elevator, you can cheat your way out of some situations—Test Chamber 14, for example, can be completed with just two portals, one of which goes next to the elevator. We’ll leave you to figure out where the other goes. No need to bother with the cube or the energy pellet!
Play HL 2 With The Portal Gun
If you extract all HL2 (or Episode 1 or 2, for that matter) maps to your Portal maps folder, you can play the games with the portal gun at your disposal! Here’s what to do:
l Back up your Portal directory ([your steam install folder]\[your username]\portal.
- Download GCFScape from http://nemesis.thewavelength.net/index.php?p=25. This opens and extracts data from Valve games’ GCF files.
- With GCFScape, open half-life 2 content.gcf in your Half-Life 2 directory. From the folder tree, extract the “maps” and “scenes” folder to your Portal directory ([your steam install folder]\[your username]\portal\portal) and merge with the existing maps folder.
- Fire up Portal and enter the console (hit [~]). Type “maps *” to see a list of maps available to you—some of them should sound familiar. Type “map [map name]” to start playing!
- In the console, enable cheats (sv_cheats 1) and type “impulse 101” to get all the weapons—including the Portal gun.
Get yourself more maps and mods for Portal at http://www.portalmaps.net/ and http://www.portal-mods.com/. And finally, to play the game that started this madness—Narbacular Drop—pop in this month’s Gaming DVD!