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Frankenturrets are hybrids of Aperture Science Weighted Storage Cubes and two Sentry Turrets. They are made by Wheatley during the course of Portal 2. No official name has been given for the turret cubes, Frankenturrets being the name used by the Portal 2 developers in the commentary tracks referred to in the developer's commentary (they may also be called "box creatures", which is the name they given in Portal 2's sound files). The Perpetual Testing Initiative (PeTI) refers to them as Franken-Cubes.
Wheatley designed the Frankenturrets to compensate for his lack of test subjects, having intended to design a cube which could walk on buttons themselves. However, they are shown to be utterly useless for that purpose, only wandering around aimlessly and falling over. After their introduction, they are used in place of normal cubes, with the only major difference between them and the standard cube being that the Frankenturrets will try to hop away if placed right-side up. This can be a nuisance in Wheatley's tests, but placing them so they land on their back negates the problem.
- Because they were excluded from the standard cooperative chambers, whenever a player picks up a Frankenturret from either a community-made chamber or created into the map using console commands, the shaking animations and sounds in single player are not played, resulting in a zombie-like Frankenturret. The Frankenturrets' skins also change from, if they have their plating on, to losing their plating when being picked up.
- Another strange event is when the player takes it into the Grill, a skin change will convert it to the one without the plate armor before the Frankenturret disappears.
Behind the scenes
- The developer commentary notes their withdrawing into a cube was initially just to make them be cubical when picked up, but it was so cute they added shaking animations and wide-eyed reactions to the turret to make the player sympathize with their plight.
- Instead of speaking like standard turrets, they make unusual chirping sounds similar to that of the Combine Advisor. They sound like sped up and gargled voice clips which can be roughly translated to "Let me think about this.", "What are you doing?", "Up!" and "Please put me down!".
- When picked up, they tuck their turret bodies and legs into the cube, like hermit crabs; the term "hermit" is used in the related animations. It is also interesting to note that their form of locomotion is very much reminiscent of hermit crabs.
- Their cube fixtures feature a modified version of the Enrichment Center logo, reading "Wheatley Laboratories" instead of "Aperture Laboratories". This change is also visible on the loading screens during the time in Wheatley's testing track.
- The turret heads on the cube are not consistently patterned. Occasionally they will be missing half or all of their plating.
- If placed right side up, they attempt to headbutt Chell, but to no effect.
- If they are moved against one of Wheatley's screens through an Excursion Funnel, they will smash it after a short amount of time.
- While they do not speak themselves, they do appear to understand speech, since a number of them were disabled by GLaDOS' paradoxical statement. Wheatley is unaffected by GLaDOS' paradox, which suggests that the Frankenturrets are not only sentient, they are more intelligent than Wheatley.
- Unlike most objects throughout the Enrichment Center, Frankenturrets do not react to the Mobility Gels. The Repulsion Gel and Propulsion Gel do not make Frankenturrets bounce or slide respectively.
- Whenever Chell picks one up, they tuck their turret legs in and shiver, looking visibly terrified. This may be because of something Wheatley had done to them before, after or during their creation. Also, as Wheatley is very frustrated with their lack of progress, he may have physically punished them.
- A Frankenturret can be found on one of the walkways shortly after Chapter 9 begins. It becomes excited when it sees Chell and bounces up and down. However, before Chell can reach it, it is destroyed by a poorly aimed crusher which Wheatley intended for Chell.
- In the ending of story mode, where all the turrets sing, a Frakenturret can be seen hopping around in the background to the right.
- During the co-op credits, a Frankenturret can be seen hopping along in front of the conveyor belt. Another also appears on the belt to be scanned, as do most of the NPCs and objects in the game.
- Unlike normal turrets, the turret portion of a Frankenturret cannot be destroyed by lasers, possibly because Wheatley stripped them of their ammunition parts and thus made them non-explosive. (However, the "live ammunition" label can still be seen when on its side)
- While Frankenturrets are able to move about with their legs, normal turrets do not seem to be able to. This would indicate a usage modification which ultimately failed on Wheatley's part. However, turrets are able to fold their legs inside of themselves for storage. Frankenturrets, lacking the back leg, might be attempting this motion in a way that would drag themselves forward.
- The Frankenturret may be a reference to Frankenstein's monster, who in turn is also a monstrosity forged from various corpse pieces. This is more evident from the name, however.
- Valve likely either had the misconception of treating Frankenstein (the scientist who made the monster) as his monster or deliberately included it as a convenient reference.