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Configurable artificial intelligence
|Entity / spawn codes|
Jeremy Bennett (concept art)
Aperture Science Personality Constructs, also known as Personality Cores or Personality Spheres, are artificial intelligences developed by Aperture Science. They are housed within spherical casings for ease of transport, and are used for a wide range of purposes in the Enrichment Center. Alongside the Nanobots, they are the backbones of the facility.
Personality Cores are typically stored within a case equipped with two handles, above and under, which fits around the Core itself. They have a large, single "eye", which glows in a color related to its function, a pupil varying in size, and a varying number of dots at each side of the eye. The Core can rotate in all directions within its case, allowing it to see in every direction not hidden by the case. In the back of the Core, a three-pin plug to connect it to computer terminals can typically be found.
Personality Cores are very solid and robust devices, as they are unaffected by long falls, and can withstand moderate trauma (such as being partially crushed by a robotic clamp).
In Portal 2, Wheatley states that a Personality Core is never to disengage itself from its ceiling rail, as doing so would supposedly result in the termination of the core; this proves to be untrue when Wheatley still functions after his fall. While a detached core cannot move, it appears to have an extremely long battery life. The Aperture Science Apocalypse announcements indicate that in the event of the collapse of society, Aperture Science Personality constructs are designed to function on power sources as low as 1.1 volts for protracted periods of time.
As demonstrated by Wheatley, there is also a flashlight on the side of a Personality Core's case, seemingly for use if the Core ends up in a low-light environment. For unknown reasons, Wheatley was told that he would die if he used the flashlight; this is in fact untrue, and the belief is more than likely a result of Wheatley's status as an "idiot core."
When Chell detaches all of GLaDOS' Cores in Portal, the Cores are flung to different locations once GLaDOS is hit with a rocket. Despite no longer being physically attached to GLaDOS, they appear to be still linked to her somehow with a greenish, semi-transparent beam/thread. It is only when grabbed by Chell and destroyed in the Emergency Intelligence Incinerator that their effect on GLaDOS starts (In Portal 2, the Personality Cores only affect Wheatley when attached to it). GLaDOS is also equipped with four discs and four servers installed in the entrance of her chamber. These may be related to her Personality Cores, but it is unknown to what extent. The The Orange Box Prima Guide states that these four discs "represent each aspect" of her Personality Cores, but it is unknown what that means exactly.
Cores are not foolproof and can become corrupted. Using these corrupt cores to control another will also corrupt that core in the process. Several of these corrupted cores were seen in Portal 2: the "Space Core," a yellow core with a rapidly dilating pupil who speaks enthusiastically and disjointedly about space; the "Adventure Core" (who also claims his name is "Rick"), a green core with a cat-like pupil and highly macho personality who attempts to flirt with Chell; and the "Fact Core," a pink core with a large round pupil who spews random (and often inaccurate) trivia while also claiming to be superior to the other two corrupted cores. Wheatley himself had already become partly corrupted prior to his fight with Chell. The Space Core puts him on 50% corruption, the Adventure Core on 75% and the Fact Core on 100%, effectively preventing him from doing any further actions without shutting him down fully in the process.
All cores appear to have a built-in failsafe that prevents them from telling the Test Subjects how to solve a test, when they attempt to do so, they receive a jolt of pain as GLaDOS partly explained and Wheatley demonstrated in one test chamber.
In Portal, the Personality Cores are introduced on GLaDOS, whom is dotted with four of these types: the Morality Core, a purple core with a rather blurred pupil and two dots installed onto her to stop her from flooding the Enrichment Center with neurotoxin; the Curiosity Core, an orange core with an average size pupil and four dots that is insatiably curious about everything around it (it even recognizes Chell as "the lady from the tests"); the Intelligence Core (also known as "Crazy Core" and "Cakemix Core"), a blue core with a very dilated pupil and six dots that gives a twisted cake recipe, and the Emotion Core (also known as "Aggressive Core" or "Anger Sphere"), a red core with a rather small pupil and eight dots that emits angry growling sounds.
While the destruction of the cores in Portal appeared to negatively effect GLaDOS' ability to function, according to GLaDOS in Portal 2, the cores restricted her by injecting their thoughts into her process. She stresses that after she regains the awareness of her Genetic Lifeform component, Caroline, that it was a very different feeling to hear her own voice expressing these morals instead of the voices of the Cores. She also mentions that when Wheatley was originally attached to her prior to the events of Portal, he was a Core that would force her into doing the dumbest ideas as a means of controlling her.
Whenever the Cores are not connected to the Central A.I. system or are one themselves, they are confined to ceiling-mounted Management Rails, allowing traveling around the facility. They can be linked to computer terminals to reposition a test chamber's panels, accessing mainframes, or to activate breaker-room elevators. While some Personality Cores have very basic functions like in Portal, some are capable of being sentient independently, and are able to learn from their experiences and display human-like traits. Wheatley and GLaDOS would express various feelings such as enthusiasm, fear, or anger, in an advanced way. The cores also are able to simulate the feeling of pain and will react to surges of electricity running through their circuits as displayed by Wheatley. One of GLaDOS' taunts in Portal also mentions that the difference between her and Chell in Portal was that she could feel pain.
Other purposes Edit
Sometime during the events of the singleplayer campaign in Portal 2, ATLAS and P-body, two robots made out of scraps are used in couples in Testing Tracks as part of the Cooperative Testing Initiative by GLaDOS. One of them, apparently with masculine personality (ATLAS), was built from a modified Personality Core. Although, the other with feminine personality (P-body), upon blueprints seen during game loading times implies that the interior of its eye is very much similar to a Personality Core. Apparently, it was later confirmed that they are both Cores when GLaDOS stresses on them on how their Cores were based on "basic calculators".
The Rocket Sentry, the fifth known type of a basic Core, also appears to be a Personality Core mounted on a moving arm and equipped with a rocket launcher. Instead of talking, it emits beeps before projecting its rockets. It also has three colors instead of only one, related to its different modes (green: idle, yellow: locked on target; red: firing). The size of its pupil is similar to that of the Anger Core.
Storage and disposal Edit
At the end of Portal, numerous Personality Cores stored around the promised cake and a Companion Cube can be seen waking up. During the time that elapsed between Portal and Portal 2, these Personality Cores carved out sections of the neglected Enrichment Center as their own, while traveling around the facility via the laboratory ceiling rails they are confined to.
At the conclusion of Portal 2, a large bin of corrupted cores is discovered before the final encounter with Wheatley, three of which are used as a means of corrupting him and forcing a core replacement. The fourth was warned about not turning on his flashlight.
Notable cores Edit
Since almost all sentient machinery in the Enrichment Center are generated from Personality Cores, including Sentry Turrets, Rocket Sentries, and both ATLAS and P-body, there are only few cores that were designed to handle the more operational duties in the facility.
The main antagonist of Portal and the first half of the single player campaign in Portal 2, she is a murderous sentient computer system and is a yellow-eyed core that is significantly different in shape from other cores, being of a "half-cylinder" shape and without any coating. She was primarily designed to handle the Central Core body, therefore handling all responsibilities for the Enrichment Center. Once in the body, she loses all memories she had from her Genetic Lifeform component, Caroline.
- "Do NOT plug that little idiot into MY mainframe."
When Wheatley takes control of the Central Core body in Portal 2, he opts for installing her into a potato battery. From there, until she was plugged back into her body at the end of the game, she was commonly referred to by the community as "PotatOS".
- ""Yes sir, Mr. Johnson..." Why did I just-Who is that? What the HELL is going on he----?"
Morality Core Edit
Appears in: Portal
This purple-eyed core was installed onto GLaDOS to control her from flooding the Enrichment Center with neurotoxin. (This supposedly occurred in the 2000s, though no year is specified.) It neither speaks nor moves around, even when held. However in Portal 2, GLaDOS comments about hearing the voices of others giving her morals. This means the Morality Core was merely instructing her programming. In the Portal 2: Lab Rat comic, Doug Rattmann notes that, even with a moral awareness, a human being can still ignore its own morals and doubted that the Morality Core was enough to keep GLaDOS under control. His doubts in the core were well-founded.
Curiosity Core Edit
Appears in: Portal
An orange-eyed core with a very inquisitive mind. It constantly looks around, repeatedly questions about things it sees, people it meets and pretty much everything else in a high-pitched, child-like voice. According to GLaDOS, she only kept Chell alive out of curiosity until the Curiosity Core was destroyed.
- "Who are you? What is that? Oh, what's that? What's that? What is THAT? Ooh, that thing has numbers on it!"
- ―The Curiosity Core
Intelligence Core Edit
Appears in: Portal
This sphere's eye is light blue and has a heavily dilated pupil. When held, it lazily rolls around in its shell, reciting a long cake recipe containing dozens of unusual and often inedible ingredients. When the core's voice is pitched up by about 20 percent, it is possible to hear that actually GLaDOS reciting the recipe.
Anger Core Edit
Appears in: Portal
A red-eyed sphere with a shrunken pupil that twitches and shakes around madly, growling and snarling incoherently like a wild animal all the time. When the player is about to incinerate it, the core starts whimpering like a small dog. This core may be the source, or at least part of the source, of GLaDOS' fury.
Wheatley (Intelligence Dampening Core) Edit
Appears in: Portal 2
A blue-eyed core that is one of the main characters of Portal 2. Wheatley helps Chell escape the facility for the entire first half of the game. According to GLaDOS, he was one of the cores put onto her to see how she would react. It worked by putting foolish thoughts into her head, preventing intelligent thoughts from appearing.
GLaDOS stressed how moronic this core was, having been created to be the biggest moron known to mankind and described him like a tumor. Oddly, despite his lack of intelligence, he is quite logical on occasions, but often is quite blunt on his resolutions and doesn't think things through thoroughly. He is also the only known core that lacks a pupil.
Space Core Edit
A yellow-eyed core who lets off sparks as it twitches. It speaks rapidly and endlessly about space and space-related activities. At the end of Portal 2, when it is floating in space with Wheatley, it repeats "I'm in space! So much space! We're in space!" It does not however seem to know much about space, despite being obsessed with it.
- "Dad! I'm in space! [low-pitched 'space' voice] I'm proud of you, son. [normal voice] Dad, are you space? [low-pitched 'space' voice] Yes. Now we are a family again."
- ―The Space Core
- "Play it cool, play it cool here come the space cops. System on trial. Guilty! Of not being in space!"
- ―The Space Core
Judging from the available voice samples and subtitles, it appears the Space Core becomes bored of space after a while. Once that happens, it decides that it wants to go back to Earth.
- "Earth. Wanna go to earth. Wanna go to earth wanna go to earth wanna go to earth wanna go to earth. Wanna go to earth. Wanna go home. Wanna go home wanna go home wanna go home wanna go home. Earth earth earth. Don't like space. Don't like space. It's too big. Too big. Wanna go home. Wanna go to earth."
- ―The Space Core
However, the lines were cut from the final game but are present in the game files.
Years later, it seems the Space Core has landed on the planet Nirn of the Elder Scrolls game series in the province of Skyrim, Tamriel. However, this was in the official Space Core mod by Valve for The Elder Scrolls V; so it is unknown whether or not it is canon, though it is generally considered not to be.
Rick (Adventure Core) Edit
Appears in: Portal 2
A green-eyed core whose iris appears pixellated, rather than a solid light like the other cores. Its pupil is rectangular in shape. Besides having a proud and boastful male voice, it claims its name is Rick, and that it enjoys thrills and danger, and even attempts to flirt with Chell during the final battle. When Rick is first seen, it is hanging and swinging on a wire, in a manner not unlike that which would be expected from an archetypal adventurer coming to the rescue. If the player holds on to him for long enough he repeatedly asks for a weapon, sings an adventure song and flirts with Chell. At the conclusion of the battle, Rick is the first core to be sucked into Space, though he is not seen with Wheatley and the Space Core after the credits.
- "I'll tell ya, it's times like this I wish I had a waist so I could wear all my black belts. Yeah, I'm a black belt. In pretty much everything. Karate. Larate. Taekwondo. Jiu Jitsu. Kick punching. Belt making. ... Bedroom."
If the player, during the final boss fight, holds onto Rick for long enough, He will mention "Saying a good line". He then tells the player to get Wheatley to say "You've been a thorn in my side for long enough". Upon saying this, after the Fact core is attached, Wheatley will yell this line at the player, causing Rick to answer "Yeah? Well this thorn is about to take you down! Man that sounded a lot better in my head."
Fact Core Edit
Appears in: Portal 2
A pink-eyed core who rapidly rattles off multiple erroneous historical, mathematical, and scientific facts of various accuracies, some true, some false, and some just plain illogical. It also boasts about its own intellect and appearance while dismissing the other two cores. It describes itself as "the most intelligent and handsome sphere," while it insults the Space Core, the Adventure Core, and even Chell in addition to words of discouragement. In the final boss battle, one of the facts he states is "the world's best name is Craig." Some speculate that it may be the name he gave himself, as the Adventure Core named himself "Rick", but it has yet to be confirmed by the creators.
- "Cellular Phones will not give you Cancer. Only Hepatitis."
- ―The Fact Core
Some of the Fact Sphere's facts contain in-game references. A few of them are:
- Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mt. Everest, did so accidentally while chasing a bird. (This refers to Chell going through Test Shaft 09 after GLaDOS was kidnapped by a bird.)
- The Schrodinger's Cat paradox outlines a situation in which a cat in a box must be considered, for all intents and purposes, simultaneously alive and dead. Schrodinger created this paradox as a justification for killing cats. (Referencing GLaDOS using this thought puzzle to trick the scientists into supplying her with neurotoxin.)
Core transfers Edit
- "To initiate a core transfer, please deposit substitute core in the receptacle."
- ―Aperture Science Announcement System[src]
When the cores become damaged, they usually develop problems. Some include a feedback loop, which causes them to have the same thoughts or processes over and over again, or multiple personalities, where a core will constantly switch between the personality of someone else and its own, or try and make sense of random data. When a core experiences these symptoms, the Aperture Science main computer (usually GLaDOS or Wheatley) cannot function properly; therefore, a core transfer is needed. If an alternate core is present in the main computer chamber, the Aperture Science Announcement System will detect it and note that a core transfer may be needed and ask that an associate plug the replacement core into the Aperture Science Core Transfer Receptacle. It will then ask the cores if they would like to proceed with a core transfer. If both cores agree or disagree then the transfer will either continue or stop. However, if one core disagrees with the other, then a stalemate occurs and it is up to a qualified Stalemate Associate to decide if the core transfer procedure should continue or stop. To continue the transfer, the Stalemate Associate needs to press the Stalemate Resolution Button in a room just off the main computer chamber. Once pressed, the core transfer will proceed and the new core will be installed onto the main computer system. However, in one instance, the button did blow up when Wheatley tried to kill Chell. Defective cores are then taken to a storage space, most likely awaiting incineration or destruction.
(It should be noted that the button itself did not explode, but that Wheatley had concealed several bombs behind raised panels opposite of the Resolution Annex entrance, which he then detonated when the button is pressed. The bombs can be seen just after the room is revealed and can be seen through the panels after they are raised.)
Core transfers are extremely painful to the cores involved. Considering that the core controlling the facility is connected to the central body by large amounts of wiring rather than the usual three-pin plug, the likely explanation is that core transfers require the replacement core to sustain a large amount of damage during the procedure.
- "Are you just saying that, or is it really going to hurt? You're just saying that, aren't you? No, you're not. It is going to hurt, isn't it? Exactly how painful are we - AGHHHHHH!"
Behind the scenes Edit
- The Personality Core went through several design iterations. At some point during development, the Cores were simple grey spheres attached to a large ring with an undetermined blue glowing matter, with GLaDOS being a large sphere above the ring. Later in development, they were glowing light blue spheres, hanging to a "Birth of Venus"-like GLaDOS, until they were given their more detailed design with the different colors, reminiscent of a webcam design.
- Interestingly, the first Ratman Den in Portal 2 contains a mural of GLaDOS's activation in which the early light blue cores are attached to her.
- Personality Cores were said to play a more important role in Portal 2, as they appear to have rebuilt and transformed Aperture Laboratories themselves. A Personality Core even fills the role of Chell's sidekick during the first part of the game, in the role of Wheatley. However, the idea of multiple cores besides Wheatley shown throughout the facility was cut due to the amount of time it would take to introduce more than one core. The idea was partially recycled into the three defective cores.
- The Personality Core model is much more advanced in Portal 2, an example being the animation of Wheatley's model. While the Core itself is still independent from its case, the "face" has more unique plates that turn on themselves when the Core is achieving a task or has a particular emotion, and the eye is dotted with mock eyelids.
- The Final Hours of Portal 2 states that the inspiration for the Space Core came from a commercial for Oregon Coast Aquarium. Its striking similarities can be seen in the YouTube Video Oregon Coast Aquarium commercial.
- The core with its flashlight stuck on above the pile of corrupted Personality Cores in sp_a4_finale4 reuses the Adventure Core's eye texture.
Portal 2 Edit
List of appearances Edit
- Portal (First appearance)
- Portal: Still Alive (Non-canonical appearance)
- Portal ARG
- PotatoFoolsDay ARG
- Portal 2: Lab Rat
- Portal 2
- The Final Hours of Portal 2
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim