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Chell: The Test Subject From Portal

Updated on November 11, 2012

Chell - The Protagonist and the Test Subject. Her Design and Story

Chell (Subject #1, Formerly Subject #1498), is the protagonist of the first-person, crazy-physics, puzzle game, Portal and the upcoming sequel, Portal 2. She is the test subject of Aperture Science - or at least, of the only known remaining remnant of that company: the Artificial Intelligence GLaDOS, who instructs and leads her (you) through the game. Chell wakes up in the Enrichment Centre, with no back story, and only the voice of GLaDOS to guide her. As GLaDOS becomes increasingly unstable, it becomes clear that nothing she said was trustworthy.

Chell's distinguishing trait, according to her files, is sheer stubbornness. She was moved up as a test subject by Doug Rattman, on a hunch.

It is possible to go through most of the game without seeing her as it is played in first person, but if you're paying attention you can get a good look at 'yourself' through portals that you happens to be standing next to. She was designed to be utilitarian, ordinary - to fit in to the environment. Her ethnicity is unknown and as the setting is futuristic, it may not even be relevant. While she was overhauled for the upcoming Portal 2 game, they still tried to keep the feel of her the same.

Quick, what do you think of Chell?

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Officially released just in time for Halloween and Christmas. And based on every similar item beforehand, they will sell out, and sell out fast.

This limited edition Portal Device sold out pretty much instantly when it was released!

Can't afford/missed out on the above? You can modify these overalls for Chell's costume instead!

US Air Force Style Mil-Spec Military Flight Suit CoverallsCHECK PRICE

Taste The Cake - A Portal Rap Video - A rap music video explaining Portal

Fanart of Chell, by Tom Siddell, the creator of Gunnerkrigg Court

Sung by Ray Koefoed

Directed by Machinima

All alone and she's wondering why she has a bad feeling like she's going to die.

She hides from the cameras and begins to cry.

She'll never believe the cake is a lie.

Meet Chell With Portals - Getting a good look at Chell during the game

Chell and Portal Gun
Chell and Portal Gun
Chell and Alesia Glidwell
Chell and Alesia Glidwell

Portal 2 Redesign: Concept Art

Portal 2 Chell: Final Version

The final Chell design for Portal 2
The final Chell design for Portal 2

[Chell’s suit] is not supposed to look like a sexy Marvel superhero suit. It’s supposed to look like it was designed without any thought of making her look attractive. We don’t want to make her be unattractive, but we want to balance that out. Chell is a test subject, so she should look like one. –Matt Charlesworth, concept artist, Valve

Chell was designed to play a part - the utilitarian test subject, just another warm body, a realistic and not overly ridiculous player character/escapee/lab rat.

However, other people have complained that she's... well, ugly. Are they just too used to the excessively buxomed and blonde babes of most games? Is it a design flaw? Does it interefere with the game?

Should they try and make her 'prettier'?

Chell: Portal 2 and the Longfall Boot - See Chell in action in Portal 2!

An Awesome Chell Cosplay Skit - Complete with portals!

SPOILER: Portal Prelude - Chell Cloning Lab

Chell's Mind Videos: A Fan-Dub - Follow the thoughts of Chell, Aperture Science Test Subject and schizophrenic individual, as she makes her way through the maze

Chibi Chells Dancing

Share your stories, sightings, thoughts, rants, raves...

Shout Out For Chell!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

    • CastleRoyLisa profile image

      Lisa 7 years ago from Rhode Island

      I think she looks great I would love to try this game Blessed by a squidAngel

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 7 years ago from Benson, IL

      Chell sounds like a neat character. Looks like a game I would want to play and I'm not a big gamer.

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      MichaelJones 7 years ago

      I don't hate her :)