This article contains spoilers. Read at your own risk!
It might spoil your gaming experience when first playing the related games.
The Aperture Science Weighted Storage Cube, along with its Weighted Companion Cube variant, is the most common and basic testing element in Portal and Portal 2. It is used throughout the testing courses of the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.
The Weighted Storage Cube is a device used for solving cube-and-button based puzzles in the various Test Chambers found throughout the Enrichment Center. In Portal and the Single Player campaign of Portal 2, Weighted Storage Cubes are to be placed on a Super Button to allow Test Subjects to advance. In the cooperative campaign of Portal 2, the Weighted Storage Cubes are to be placed on Cube Buttons. The Cube was also Doug Rattman's partner.
Weighted Storage Cubes appear either via an Aperture Science Vital Apparatus Vent or are already in a test chamber. It can be picked up by using the "use" key and can also be taken through portals. The Weighted Storage Cube can also be used as a makeshift weapon against an Aperture Science Sentry Turret by dropping it on the Sentry Gun from a Portal, or as a makeshift shield to block turret fire and energy pellets.
Like most objects, the Weighted Storage Cube will disintegrate upon touching an Aperture Science Material Emancipation Grill. In Portal 2, the cubes have a circular blue light on each side, and when left on a button it changes to a yellow light. They are also notably smaller in size than in Portal. The Weighted Companion Cube in Portal 2 bears a resemblance to the standard Cubes. Their only difference is that they have a heart on each face of the Cube, emit a pink light, and have a white outer casing instead of a grey outer casing.
The Weighted Companion Cube
A special type of Storage Cube, the Weighted Companion Cube appears in both Portal and Portal 2. It is identical to the regular Weighted Storage Cube in both games, except that it has a heart where the Aperture Science logo generally appears. At the end of the Test Chamber 17 in Portal, the player is forced to throw it into an Aperture Science Emergency Intelligence Incinerator. Narrative provided by GLaDOS and Doug Rattmann suggests that the Companion Cube is designed to test emotional stress by having subjects develop affection for it before being forced to destroy it. In Portal 2's second chapter Test Chamber 07, GLaDOS reveals that there are warehouses full of Weighted Companion Cubes shortly after disintegrating two of them. She also contradicts her statements from the first game, openly stating that they are sentient. As the Material Emancipation Grill for that chamber is not functioning, Chell can remove the companion cube from that chamber (earning the player the "Preservation of Mass" achievement/trophy), only to have GLaDOS destroy it herself shortly before reaching the elevator. It is unknown whether the Companion Cube can communicate openly in any way. Although generally the Cube actually talking seems to be a sign of madness, if the "Preservation of Mass" achievement is earned, GLaDOS claims the Cube was about to say "I love you," and in Portal 2, you can hear music emanating from the Cube when in close proximity to it (which foreshadows the Turret Opera). This tune can be heard in "Love as a Construct" from the official soundtrack.
Twentieth century prototypes of the Storage Cubes were seen in the old condemned parts of the Aperture Science Innovators test chambers, where they also served a similar purpose: weighing down buttons. These cubes can react to the Mobility Gels, as well. It is unknown if the early cubes were simple crates with nothing inside, or if they were actually weighed down to help push and hold the early Aperture Science Super Buttons. These cubes also appear to be made of wood, held together by staples. No analogue of the Companion Cubes appear.
Behind the scenes
- The Weighted Companion Cube was invented because playtesters often failed to realize that the puzzle required players to use the same cube throughout the level, so they made it unique and more noticeable, and had GLaDOS put a great deal of emphasis on it in her voiceover.
- A Weighted Companion Cube plush and fuzzies are available to purchase online at Valve.
- When the Companion Cube is dropped into the incinerator at the end of Test Chamber 17, it will re-spawn in the Vital Apparatus Vent at the beginning of the chamber, though at that point the player is no longer capable of returning to that spot.
- A Companion Cube prop can be unlocked for Xbox Live avatars by completing the Portal 2 Single Player campaign.
- The teaser trailer version of GLaDOS' Incinerator Room features the burned Companion Cube.
- In Transformice, there is a skill in Skill Tree named Companion Crate.
- The Companion Cube from Portal is implied to have never been completely incinerated during the ending sequence of Portal 2. This is noted by the amount of burn marks it has sustained; GLaDOS has stated that the Portal Gun and many other Aperture technologies can survive at high temperatures. Additionally, the Companion Cube in Portal 2 sports a new design, but the cube in the ending sequence sports the design used in Portal.
- In Portal 2, the Companion Cube plays a quiet song during its appearances similar to the music playing during the activation or use of certain testing elements such as the Aerial Faith Plate. The tune is a loop that foreshadows the upcoming Turret Opera at the end of the campaign.
- Despite the name, weighted storage cubes are never shown to contain anything.
- In the Xbox 360 game Fable III, a crate with a heart painted on each of its sides can be found in one of the game's dungeons, being worshipped by a creature called a Hobbe. On the table next to the cell in which the Hobbe is being kept, there is also a Cake.
- In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 there is an unlockable title called "Companion Crate" on hearts background, most likely referring to Portal.
- In the web-based game Kingdom of Loathing, there is a familiar called the Bulky Buddy Box, which is an obvious reference to the companion cube. Playing off of the advice GLaDOS gives about disregarding the Companion Cube's advice, the Bulky Buddy Box often advises the player to rob banks and that everyone will abandon them.
- In Terraria there's a pet named after the Companion Cube. However, this cube is capable of damaging the player in complete darkness (Other pets are entirely cosmetic). It will also play strange noises when it sinks into lava with a cooldown of 1 minute.
|Fratricide||Portal||Do whatever it takes to survive.||5G||Test Chamber 17|
|Preservation of Mass||Portal 2||Break her rules in Test Chamber 07.||20G (B)||Chapter 2: The Cold Boot|
|Schrödinger's Catch||Portal 2||Catch a blue-painted box before it touches the ground||20G (B)||Chapter 6: The Fall|
|Dual Pit Experiment||Portal 2||Do the same test twice.||15G (B)||Chapter 8: The Itch|
|Drop Box||Portal 2||Place a cube on a button without touching the cube.||20G (S)||Any chapter|
|Iron Grip||Portal 2||Never lose a cube in Chamber 6 of the Mass and Velocity co-op course.||20G (B)||Mass and Velocity|
|Party of Three||Portal 2||Find the hidden companion cube in co-op test chamber.||25G (B)||Excursion Funnels|
List of appearances
- Portal (First appearance)
- ApertureScience.com (Non-canonical appearance) (Not before Christmas 2007)
- Portal: First Slice
- Portal: Still Alive (Non-canonical appearance)
- Portal ARG
- PotatoFoolsDay ARG
- Portal 2: Lab Rat
- Portal 2
- The Final Hours of Portal 2
- LEGO Dimensions (Non-canonical appearance)
- Weighted Pivot Cube
- Edgeless Safety Cube
- Cube Button
- Edgeless Safety Cube Receptacle
- 1500 Megawatt Super Button
- ↑ GDC 08: Portal Creators on Writing, Multiplayer, Government Interrogation Techniques on Shacknews
- ↑ RPS Interview: Valve’s Erik Wolpaw on Rock, Paper, Shotgun
- ↑ Scott Klintworth's official website
- ↑ Weighted Companion Cube Plush at the Steam store.
- ↑ Weighted Companion Cube Fuzzies at the Steam store.
- The Companion Cubes seem to replace Storage Cubes in the Aperture Investment videos.