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05 March 2010

Another Portal Update Today?

Valve has been messing with our minds, and making us return to thinking with Portals!  And it's been a fun ride to start March out... here's what's going on:

01 March 2010 - Portal Update Released;
"Changed radio transmission frequency to comply with federal and state spectrum management regulations"

... which spawned this viral thread on the Steam Forums that, as of this morning has 656 pages of replies, and is constantly growing ...

It also brought a new achievement called "Transmission Received" that has us all replaying the game, frantically looking for radios with red lights on them, playing "Still Alive".  When radios are found, the player must run around the level with it until they find a point where the radio goes to static.  As they find the right spot where it can "tune-in", the radio light turns green and different sounds are heard (morse code, etc.)

Most levels have one radio, two to three of them have multiple radios.  Some of them are very cleverly placed and the hunt is an enjoyable way to replay the game.

Even more interesting... the audio files that were added with this update contained embedded images that people have been extracting and attempting to decipher.

Needless to say, the community is buzzing around the clock trying to solve the mysteries.  And we're all anticipating an announcement soon of either a sequel, a new episode (or new version) of Half-Life, or both!

Valve has an Aperture Science BBS up that people have been dialing in and finding more vague and bizarre clues.

Two days later...
03 March 2010 - Portal Update Released:
"Added valuable asset retrieval"

This update added an extra 5-10 seconds to the ending of the game... which sparked more conversation and theories about what is going on.

Today is another two days later... will get get another update through Steam which will bring us any closer to knowing what's going on and/or give us more reason to continue replaying the fantastic game that is Portal?

Here's to hopin'...

One thing I have to say, is a HUGE kudos to Valve for doing something so fun in the PC gaming community (again - since they had similar action before Portal was originally released.)  As of late, it seems the hype around new killer game announcements is always quickly stifled by rantings and ravings (including my own) about crappy DRM and DLC schemes that other big publishers seem to be so into lately.  Thanks, Valve for giving us something fun to chase instead.  It's an incredibly nice diversion, and breathing new life into the PC gaming community.

I can't wait to find out what's going on.

If you haven't checked out the updates yet, and you're a Portal fan, you owe it to yourself to snag the updates and go replay Portal.

"There was even going to be a party for you. A big party, that all your friends were invited to. I invited your best friend, the Companion Cube. Of course, he couldn't come because you murdered him. All your other friends couldn't come either, because you don't have any other friends, because of how unlikable you are. It says so right here in your personnel file: "Unlikable. Liked by no one. A bitter, unlikable loner, whose passing shall not be mourned." Shall NOT be mourned. That's exactly what it says. Very formal. Very official. It also says you were adopted, so that's funny, too."

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