Portal is iconic for many reasons: the taxing puzzles, wicked sense of humour and of course Jonathan Coulton’s big closing number ‘Still Alive’, sung by maniacal AI GladOS. But did you know that it wasn’t originally supposed to be at the end of the game? Find out what happened below.
Speaking with RPS, Coulton explained that Still Alive was originally planned to be sung by GlaDOS mid-way through the game, about the point after you escape the furnace and start exploring the restricted areas of Aperture Science’s facility.
It was supposed to be part of the AI’s attempt to reconcile with Chell, says Coulton, “The great thing about GladOS is that she’s a pathetic villain. Your relationship with her is complicated, emotionally, because she’s funny and she’s trying to kill you, and she’s not particularly self-aware.
“Halfway through Portal, when you foil her plan to kill you, and you’re sneaking around backstage… she spends the rest of the game trying various ways to convince you to come back. And she tries everything and none of it works, and you really start to pity her.
“We wanted the song to be a song that she sang, almost a bit of musical theatre. In fact that was Eric’s thing, he wanted a musical theatre number in the middle of the game, a character singing about their emotions.”
Would Still Alive have had the same impact if it was slotted in the middle of the game, or is it perfect as a closing treat? Let us know below.
Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here.