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"We hope your brief detention in the Relaxation Vault has been a pleasant one."

The Aperture Science Relaxation Vault is a sealed chamber temporarily housing Test Subjects at the beginning of a Testing Track, after being extracted from the Extended Relaxation Center.

After exiting through automated portals, Test Subjects will immediately begin mandatory testing. The room starts the events of Portal as it is used by Chell in Test Chamber 00.


Vault from outside

Outside Test Chamber 00's Relaxation Vault, after GLaDOS opens the two portals.

At the start of Portal, Chell wakes up in a Relaxation Vault in Test Chamber 00, where she was apparently staying in stasis in a sealed off bed. A sealed room with transparent glass walls set within a Test Chamber (and thus with no privacy at all), a Relaxation Vault typically contains a bed (also apparently sealed with a transparent cover, and two gas cylinders, probably containing a sleeping/stasis gas and/or oxygen), a small table with a radio on it (which introduces "Still Alive" as an upbeat instrumental), a lavatory bowl saying "Your business is appreciated" after being flushed, an IV stand (present only in the menu background map), a wall-mounted portal generator, and a countdown to show when the portal opens. It is also watched by several security cameras. Chell's Vault in Test Chamber 00 also contains on the small table a "Portal Test Sequence - Hazard Identification Card" clipboard, and an empty cup.

The Relaxation Vault has no direct door to the outside. To enter it or exit it, GLaDOS must activate a portal connected to another set outside the vault. The Relaxation Vault first appeared on ApertureScience.com. When entering THECAKEISALIE, one has access to a message left by what is most likely either a Test Subject or a former employee who seems to have hacked the system, with the view of Test Chamber 00's Relaxation Vault through a security camera browsing from right to left (with placeholder Half-Life 2 models). In the message, the hacker expresses their concern about their freedom, among other things. In the message, the Relaxation Vault is mentioned: "Whatever the hell a 'relaxation vault' is, it doesn't have any doors."

A variation of the Relaxation Vault that appears in Portal 2 is the Extended Relaxation Center. Test Subjects contained here are periodically awakened to be reinvigorated through use actions of staring at art and listening to classical music, although contrasted by a loud, startling buzzer.[1]

Behind the scenes[]

Early Relaxation Vault

Early Relaxation Vault in one of the earliest known screenshots, with placeholder Half-Life 2 props and textures.

  • As seen in early Portal screenshots and the security camera view on ApertureScience.com, the Relaxation Vault was originally made of, like much of Portal, elements recycled from the previous Source games by Valve, notably Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One:
    • One of the earliest known screenshots has a more gritty tone and is filled with much junk, which was how the Enrichment Center started during development. Of note is a Combine Force Field used in place of the Material Emancipation Grill, its Portal counterpart, as well as a "CMB" Combine logo on the wall.
      • It appears that not only the Relaxation Vault had this style in early stages; most prefabs featured in the Source SDK are Half-Life 2-styled.
    • While very close to the final version, a more recent screenshot of the Vault also seen on ApertureScience.com still features Half-Life 2 and Half-Life 2: Episode One props as well as a security camera reused from Counter-Strike: Source.
  • Test Chamber 00's Relaxation Vault, as used in gameplay and in the menu background, have slight differences. The lighting in both is different; the menu background version has the round door closed and a stain can be seen on the floor nearby. The menu version has an IV stand in the Relaxation Vault itself, which is not found in the gameplay map.
  • Although the bed is missing from the variation of Relaxation Vault visited in Portal 2, the texture for a decayed bed is still within the game files.
  • In Portal 2, the roof of the Relaxation Vault seems to be made of glass, rather than being solid like in Portal. Though it is important to remember that in Portal 2 the vault was in a large chamber where the ceiling was high above, in Portal it was in a room just barely big enough to fit it in.


  • In Portal, GLaDOS' introduction is cut out by a badly translated Spanish phrase: "Please refrain from failing. Thank you very much for failing. Thank you." The phrase itself also seems corrupted.
  • In the Peer Review DLC, GLaDOS raises the eggs she took from the "evil" bird's nest in a modified Relaxation Vault, an "ovivapourous warming vault." It is similar to the Relaxation Vault, but smaller, fishtank-shaped, and does not seem to put the inhabitants to sleep.



Portal 2: Lab Rat[]

Portal 2[]



List of appearances[]