Wheatley

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Weatley
I'll wait--I'll wait one hour. Then I'll come back and, assuming I can locate your dead body, I'll bury you. Alright? Brilliant! Go team! See you in an hour! Hopefully! If you're not... dead.
Wheatley

Wheatley, once an Intelligence Dampening Sphere attached on GLaDOS who to his dismay is always referred to as a moron, is a raw personality core of masculine programming and English West Country accent who appears in the single-player campaign of Portal 2.

He serves as the game's deuteragonist, guiding Chell through her efforts in escaping the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. However, half-way through the game he and GlaDOS switch roles as she becomes Chell's deuteragonist and Wheatley becomes the game's main antagonist.

Wheatley is voiced by British actor and comedian Stephen Merchant.

Background

Wheatley was designed to be an Intelligence Dampening Sphere, one of the cores to be attached on GLaDOS in order to "generate an endless stream of terrible ideas" as a means of delay or stop her unpredictable actions on the Enrichment Center. Although it was never explained, Wheatley was disconnected from her and given other jobs. Sometime before GLaDOS killed off the entire staff in the Portal 2: Lab Rat comic using neutrotoxin, Wheatley had worked alongside staffs before he was put into storage with other cores seen at the end of Portal. After a few years, though under unknown circumstances, he was put into deactivation along with many other personality cores and kept in storage.

Thanks to Chell's havoc on the Enrichment Center via the destruction of GLaDOS at the conclusion of Portal, Wheatley and the rest of the cores were reactivated in order to maintain the facility. Ironically, this backfired as many cores (except Wheatley and the corrupted cores seen at the end of the game) appear to have been either killed off, gone insane, or ran low on power.

Prior to the events of Portal 2, Wheatley took charge of maintaining the Extended Relaxation Center - which houses test subjects in long-term cryogenic stasis before and after they are put through the testing courses. However, what he has done to actually manage the entire wing remains unmentioned. It was only until many centuries later that Wheatley decided to escape the facility. To accomplish this, he attempted to gather help from any remaining test subject that managed to last centuries after running out of cryogenic supply. Luckily for him, Chell was one of them if not the only one that lasted.

Overview

Portal 2

See also: Portal 2
Wheatley's first appearance.

Wheatley is first seen during the very beginning of the game by Chell during the chapter The Courtesy Call, while he is attached to a rail on the ceiling rudely guiding Chell. He later detaches himself from the rail to accompany Chell on a route to the Central AI Chamber, using his compatibility with the Enrichment Center's systems to allow passage through a testing chamber's backstage. When they reach the ruined Central AI Chamber, he promptly attempts to access a poorly placed escape hatch under the main breaker room that flips all the switches that he specifically said not to switch, instead reactivates GLaDOS by accident. The duo are then grabbed away by one of GLaDOS' pincers on the railings, where GLaDOS slightly crushes him before throwing him away from her chamber.

However, he survives and meets up with Chell later on when the latter is forced into being GLaDOS' lab rat once more. During the course of the game, Wheatley often sneaks behind GLaDOS' testing tracks, analyzing a way to break Chell free from her clutches. Later on in the chapter The Surprise, he successfully rescues Chell before she is put through GLaDOS' death trap at the end of testing. During this time, Wheatley plots that before they could escape, GLaDOS' control over the facility would need to be sabotaged first. The duo starts off with sabotaging GLaDOS' turret production line and later her neurotoxin generator.
Wheatley having extracted GLaDOS into a potato battery.
Once the sabotages were made, Chell and Wheatley head over to the Central AI Chamber to confront GLaDOS. Fortunately for them, the Announcer detects GLaDOS as a corrupted central core and offers a core transference. To GLaDOS' dismay on the process, a stalemate resolution annex deploys itself into the chamber for Chell to press a stalemate resolution button. Once GLaDOS' control over the body was disabled, Wheatley is lowered into a hatch where the core transfer occurs where Wheatley then takes over the central core. When he is about to let Chell leave in an elevator lift, Wheatley grows corrupted with power and immediately becomes the game's antagonist. Wheatley extracts GLaDOS' core programming into a potato battery as an attempt to humiliate her, but as GLaDOS reveals to Chell that he was originally an Intelligence Dampening Sphere made to dumb down GLaDOS' decisions or as she put it built to be a moron, he grows aggravated and accidentally knocks both her and Chell into the depths of the Enrichment Center.
The Enrichment Center during Wheatley's control.

After returning from the 20th century remains of Aperture Science deep beneath the Enrichment Center, Chell and GLaDOS learn that Wheatley's moronic actions are causing the facility's reactor to approach a nuclear meltdown - which he insists on neglecting the persistent warnings. Wheatley then decides to put Chell and the potato battery-powered GLaDOS into his own testing tracks - some of which were just stolen from GLaDOS with the word "TEST" written on the testing chambers. As he digs into various Enrichment Center projects, he discovers that GLaDOS had built Atlas and P-body as two robotic cooperative test subjects to prevent "the itch" in the central core body from occurring when she intended to kill Chell. Wheatley makes use of these bots and slowly plots to kill Chell and GLaDOS, later plummeting the duo into a death trap at the beginning of a test chamber. After escaping his traps, GLaDOS suggests causing a new core transfer by implanting corrupt personality cores onto Wheatley.

Chell enters the Central AI Chamber to begin the confrontation with Wheatley. By shutting him down temporarily with bombs, Chell corrupts Wheatley enough to initiate a new core transference, saving the facility from destruction in the progress. However, a stalemate occurs when Wheatley does not agree to transfer himself, and Chell must press the stalemate resolution button to finalize the transfer. However, Wheatley had booby trapped it with explosives, and Chell is flung from the button. Chell survives and launches a portal onto the surface of the Moon, causing both her and Wheatley to be sucked into space. GLaDOS then reacquires her old body and rescues Chell while letting Wheatley be launched into the vacuum of space.

Wheatley is last seen in the epilogue after the end credits, with the Space Core orbiting him, where he wishes he could say he was sorry for all he did to Chell.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Appearance-wise, Wheatley appears to be a variant of GLaDOS' Intelligence Core (the one telling the cake recipe), with a blue "eye" and three dots, though Wheatley has dots only on his right side and possesses a white light as his iris instead.
  • Wheatley's Cockney accent heard in the Meet Wheatley (video) video shown at E3 2010 uses a placeholder voice provided by Valve animator Richard Lord.[1] Due to very positive feedback, Valve considered at some point making the voice official.[2] Later Lord himself emphasized that his voice was temporary, saying that "theres no way you will be dissapointed with the final voice - i'm over the moon with who it might be." [sic],[3] until it was announced that Stephen Merchant would provide the final voice.[4]
  • During the 2011 Video Game Awards, Wheatley was nominated for "Character of the Year". He then made an appearance on the event which depicted him in space as he states that he would be even more honored for a space shuttle rescue.[5] Portal 2 then won the award for "Best Performance by a Human Male" with Stephen Merchant's portrayal of Wheatley.[6]
  • Wheatley makes a cameo appearance in an official plugin, created by Bethesda and Valve, for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, entitled Fall of the Space Core, Vol. 1. In it, he can be seen floating around the Skills menu.

References

  1. Portal 2 Gains a Talkative Companion on Wired.com
  2. Portal 2 E3 gameplay video (single post) on the NeoGAF forums
  3. "Temp voice!" on Last Outpost of Sanity, Richard Lord's official blog
  4. Gamescom: Portal 2 gets Stephen Merchant on ComputerAndVideoGames.com
  5. Wheatley footage at VGA 2011 on GameTrailers
  6. Best Performance by a Human Male on Spike

See also