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Portal 2 introduces players to the founder of Aperture Science, Cave Johnson. While Cave is long dead, Chell hears his recordings as she explores the older test chambers. You would think listening to a recording wouldn’t be as interesting as GLaDOS’ all encompassing presence. From the first moment Cave’s voice blasts over the speakers, it’s obvious he’s quite a character. Here’s some of Cave’s best quotes.
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“All of these science spheres are made of asbestos, by the way, keeps out the rats."
Aperture Science is one dangerous place, but Cave Johnson always puts a cheery spin on it. This quote is heard as Chell starts the 1950’s test chamber section. While test subjects may get sick from the asbestos, according to Cave that’s not a problem. All you have to do is tell someone if your heart stops during testing.
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“If you need to go to the bathroom in this next series of tests, please let test associates know. Because in all likelihood, what ever comes out of you is going to be coal."
I think I’d pass on these tests, thanks. This Cave quote is found with one of the special doors that unlock the “Door Prize" trophy. Three doors are located on a ledge near the elevator before Chell enters the first test chambers. Don’t worry, the coal is only a temporary effect that shouldn’t last more then a week.
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“Now maybe you don’t have any tumors. Well don’t worry, if you sat a folding chair in the lobby and weren’t wearing lead underpants, we took care of that too."
Cave thinks of everything. When it’s announced that a test will pump experimental genes in your tumors, it’s okay if you don’t have any. You have them now. This quote is right before the second test chamber in the 1950’s section of Aperture.
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“We haven’t entirely nailed down what element it is yet, but I’ll tell you this, it’s a lively one and it does not like the human skeleton. “
Right after Chell finishes the first test chamber with repulsion gel, Cave announces it’s not a good idea to get covered in the stuff. While he never elaborates on what exactly the gel does to skeletons, knowing Aperture’s safety record, it can’t be good.
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“Alright, this next test involves trace amounts of time travel."
I think this is one of the weirder test chamber side effects and that’s saying something. This quote is found in the 1970’s section. Cave has some important advice in case you see yourself, all you have to do is ignore “that handsome devil." If you don’t, it could wipe out time.
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“...if you’ll let us take you apart, put some science stuff in you and put you back together. Good as new."
As Chell progresses through the 1970’s chambers, it’s obvious that Aperture is falling from its former glory. Test subjects went from astronauts, athletes and other important people to what Cave calls “hobos." He tries to entice these subjects with an extra $60.00 if they let him fiddle around with their innards. During this section, he also proclaims that with this money the hobos could buy “tattered hats" and “beard dirt."
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“I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down. With lemons. I’m going to get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down."
In the 1980’s section, the recordings reflect Cave at the end of his life and he’s not happy. This quote is what I fondly refer to as the lemon rant. It goes from referencing the old “when life gives you lemons" saying to torching houses. Cave wants to see life’s manager and make it sorry it gave him lemons. What’s even more amusing then the rant is GLaDOS’ reaction to it. Of course, she enthusiastically agrees with him.
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Cave Johnson was one of the best surprises in Portal 2. Not only does his quotes crack-up the player, they offer interesting insights to the rise and fall of Aperture Science. Without his recordings guiding Chell through the forgotten sections of the compound, the game would have lost some of its charm.