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Portal 2 – JK Simmons Playing Cave Johnson, The National Will Be Contributing A Special Portal 2 Song to its Soundtrack, Jonathan Coulton Teases Us With His Portal 2 Song, And More Previews

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Ain’t that a mouthful.

Portal 2 – JK Simmons Playing Cave Johnson, The National Will Be Contributing A Special Portal 2 Song to its Soundtrack, Jonathan Coulton Teases Us With His Portal 2 Song, And More Previews

First things first.

Yes, Cave Johnson has been revealed at long last. A Portal 2 casting call was leaked back in 2008. The casting sheet, which stated that the start date for voice acting was the end of July of that year, featured… well, Cave Johnson.

In case you don’t know who he is, Cave is the eccentric billionare founder of Aperture Science. After being exposed to mercury in 1974 while developing seven deadly shower curtains he wanted to send to the Navy commitee members who had turned down Aperture’s offer to manufacture shower curtains for them, he suffered massive mercury poisoning, and died two years later.

The casting call stated that he had been brought back to life within a computer, and that he would start off as a sidekick, but gradually become an antagonist, losing his grip on humanity and isolating himself from others as the story progresses.

Back in March of last year, the Dinosaur ARG’s BBS file dump featured several memos that appeared to be from Cave Johnson. Some of them seemed to have been written after his resurrection, implying that Cave may have been revived by Aperture before GLaDOS was started up on that faithful day in 1998. Or 200X, depending on which you prefer.

However, Game Informer stated during their Portal 2 Podcast that GLaDOS would be the only antagonist, and that Cave Johnson might appear as a Personality Core, or not even at all.

Buuuut, back in August, during an interview with GTTV, Erik Wolpaw seemed to imply Cave Johnson wasn’t done just yet.

And he isn’t! Cave Johnson is back, as IGN proudly proclaims, and who is playing Cave? None other than the great J.K. Simmons!

Want footage? You got it, but this is so spoilerific it’s not even funny. “DANGER”. “DANGER”. If you want to skip straight to Cave Johnson, then start at 07:20. His segment continues all the way to the end.

That’s about all. So, J.K. Simmons. Hot damn. Talk about star power. Pew pew.

Next up is… music! Indie band “The National” will be doing a song for Portal 2!

             Valve, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source),  today announced an original song by popular recording artist The National will be included in its upcoming game, Portal 2, when it is released the worldwide the week of April 18.

             Portal 2 is the highly anticipated sequel to the title that earned over 30 Game of the Year Awards in 2007. The sequel adds new characters, game mechanics, and multiplayer co-op to the award-winning formula that made the original a global phenomenon in gaming.

            “The inclusion of the original song, Still Alive, in the first Portal game was part of what made the game special,” said Chet Faliszek, writer at Valve. “For Portal 2, we wanted to extend the use of music. When Bug Music mentioned to us that The National might be interested, we  jumped at the opportunity to work with them.”

            “After I met with Valve and learned about the intricacies and story line of the first Portal game, I knew The National’s music would fit beautifully in the sequel.” said Julia Betley, Bug MusicManager. “The National’s raw and emotive music evokes the same visceral reactions from its listeners that Portal does from its players. It was exciting and a privilege to bring together two exceedingly talented creative teams to create something special for Portal 2.”

It’s not KMFDM, nor is it Slick Idiot, but I’m sure it’ll be pretty awesome nonetheless.

It was even mentioned on the newest episode of GameTrailers TV. It was episode 405, a GDC 2011 special. Check it out here. Starts at 09:50, ends at 10:15.

In other music-related news, Jonathan Coulton appears to be teasing us! Check out this tweet he made back on February the 24th:

Shot from today in the studio (yes, I am taunting you):

And this is what he linked us to: (not embedded so folks who don’t want spoilers can easily avoid them)

Oh, snap.

Seems real, but hey, JC could always be screwing with us.

Speaking about screwing with people, check this fake out. Good god. Note that that isn’t the original uploader.

Oh, and some new Portal 2 screenshots have also surfaced, from Amazon. You can find them all in this Steam Forum thread:

Preview time!

AusGamers spoke to Valve’s Jeep Bartnett about… you guessed it, Portal 2.

We don’t know if it’s got any spoilers, but there can’t be too many. Apparently there is some “never-before-seen footage”, so watch out. Here’s the link.

Next is an interview with Chet and Erik on Portal 2, with The Telegraph.

Some interesting tidbits here:

Would you consider elaborating on [the Ratman] in Portal 2?

Chet: We can’t really talk about that yet.

Erik: There’s some ancillary stuff outside the game coming up that will answer that.

Ooh! A comic? A video? All of the above?

Chet: There are a lot of player experiences that aren’t puzzles, like the intro ride in the container, that you didn’t really see in Portal 1.

Erik: For pacing purposes as it’s a longer game we’ve introduced some scenes in the interactive Half-Life mode, giving you a break from the puzzle solving. The co-op of course is the biggest new feature. You don’t immediately think that adding a second set of portals changes the dynamic that much, but it really forces you to rethink how you approach a puzzle – both in terms of design and solving.

Yes, we sure do love tram rides.

In any case, here’s the article.

Oops! Seems like that is all for this particular post.

We’ll be posting some great-looking Portal community stuff over the next few days, so stay tuned.


  1. Army of mantis men.
    I sign up.

  2. J.K. bloody Simmons? Thats epic!

  3. I now really want this game.

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