The New Look For Portal 2's Heroine Explained

One of the stars of Portal 2, the human heroine Chell, has undergone a few changes during her centuries-long sleep. And during the last year, she's been given a new makeover by Valve's art team, ditching her "dressed by machines" look for something more familiar.

When Portal 2 was first unveiled in the pages of Game Informer magazine, returning protagonist Chell was seen wearing a funky full-body suit designed to make her look like a "dehumanized" test subject. Clean and simple, but a little drab.

Chell has since reverted to her previous get-up, her familiar (but still "dehumanizing") orange jumpsuit, recently seen on the cover of French gaming mag Canard PC. Valve's art team explains the change to Kotaku.

"Portal 2 takes place well after the events of the original game, but for Chell (and likewise the player) all that time has passed in an instant. She's also evolved from a lab rat under the facility's control to the sole cause of its destruction. Her familiar dehumanizing orange jumpsuit is still present, but she's tied the top around her waist and rolled up her sleeves to give her more freedom this time around. This also helps her stand out more as an individual, as opposed to a numbered, anonymous test subject."

"In the end, Chell still functions mainly as a representation of the player in the world. We want players to feel it's their own personal journey they're embarking on in Portal 2, instead of forcing them into the character of Chell and making them role-play that in some awkward way. That said, we wanted players familiar with Chell from Portal 1 to see evidence of a transformation when returning to the world of Portal 2."

Chell from Valve's Portal 2

We're sure future Chell cosplayers thank you, Valve art team!

Portal 2 comes to the PC, Mac, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in April.


    Totally Lara Croft.

    hmm the link in the article doesn't work for the french cover (which i somehow missed :( )

      Not only does that link not work, but any article linked from Google to Kotaku in that style doesn't work and just takes you to the front page.

      Way to screw up your whole site.

        i assume the link works fine on the american site from which this was pulled but because theres a forced redirect to kotakAU when typing in a browser it kind just goes back to kotakAU without knowing what to do

          If you want to get to the US site, type into the address bar.

          I take no responsibility for any suffering incurred while viewing the horrendous layout of the Gawker sites.

    Love Portal

    Love the story of how it came to be as well.

    And am seriously loving Portal 2, even though its not out yet :)

    "but she’s tied the top around her waist and rolled up her sleeves to give her more freedom this time around. "

    should read:

    "but she's tied the top around her waist in order to show her norks better"

    Come on Valve, don't treat us like idiots. The protagonist has been sexed up because sex sells.

      in the first person game where every other character is a robot

      QQ moar, Portal 2 would sell regardless of whether it was 'sexed up' or not. It's not like she's the same ridiculous shape as Lara Croft was...

        Besides, the game's perspective is FP.

      A woman in a pair of orange overalls with the top half tied around her waist (given what she went through in the first game, I can't say I blame her) in a singlet, without exaggerated breasts or general body proportion is 'sexed up'?

      Dude. Get out more. Either that or spend less time on the intarwebs, unnecessary cynicism is intensely boring.

    She needs bigger cans.

    She seems to have changed races or at least nationalities since her first iteration. The new design is distinctly Eastern Asian (correct term? not sure of the politically correct collective noun for folks from Japan, China, Korea etc). The older design looked more like a Pacific Islander with the wavy hair and heavier features and didn't look like someone we'd played as or met a hundred times before in bunch of different titles.

    While it doesn't really make a great deal of difference given the character is seldom seen, it seems kind of a pity to move to the more familiar character design. I wouldn't call it generic yet, but it does feel a bit homogenised.

      "Asian" is less offensive than "East Asian"... I mean, east from where? Oh, from the white man's British Empire, that's where.

      But anyway, she looks Hispanic both in both games to me.

        Well I guess China, Japan etc ARE east Asia i.e. they're at the eastern end of asia, as opposed to Central Asia i.e. the bit in the middle of Asia.

        And since the earth is round, all of these places are also West of the white man's British Empire :P

        Seems like its starting to show similarities to Mirrors Edge with character models? lol

        Sorry but "East Asia" or "Northeast Asia" is fundamentally, academically and literally the correct term when referring to China, Japan or the Koreas. I fail to see how that's offensive in anyway. "Asian" is also not a derogatory term!

      To me it looks more like she got some intense facial botox during the gap. :P

      Actually, in both cases Chell has been designed off Alésia Glidewell, it's just Portal had lower polygon count and so instead of looking like an attractive 25-35 year old she ended looking like a 40 year old with dead, emotionless eyes...

    clearly she is a clone.

    whoops did i just give away the plot? - The real link

    Thats the UGLIEST female hero ever. Kill it with fire, now.

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