Doug Rattman

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Doug Rattman after the events of Portal, as seen in the Lab Rat comic.
Reality is a story the mind tells itself. An artificial structure conjured into being by the calcium ion exchange of a million synaptic firings. A truth so strange it can only be lied into existence. And our minds can lie. Never doubt it...
Doug Rattman
I'd rather have gone to the moon.
Doug Rattman

Doug Rattman (commonly misspelled as Doug Rattmann), also nicknamed as simply the Rat Man, was a scientist at the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. Prior to the events of Portal while GLaDOS began flooding the entire facility with neurotoxin, Rattman is the only known employee to have survived. A paranoid schizophrenic, he is dependent on anti-psychotic medication as a means of keeping him sane.

Rattman does not appear in-game in any form, instead leaving behind paintings and murals which can be found throughout the backstage of various testing chambers in Portal and the single-player campaign of Portal 2.

Overview

Portal 2: Lab Rat

See also: Portal 2: Lab Rat
Rattman as he appears in the Lab Rat comic, holding his schizophrenia medicine, prior to the events of the Portal series.

In the Portal 2: Lab Rat comic, he is revealed to be an Aperture Science employee who worked on the Handheld Portal Device.[1] He expresses doubts about GLaDOS and the effectiveness of a morality core, remarking "You can always ignore your conscience".[2] His fears turn out to be justified when she poisons all the staff in the Enrichment Center with neurotoxin upon activation during the company's Bring-Your-Daughter-To-Work Day.

Prepared for the outcome, he survives the initial attempts to kill him and proceeds to sneak through parts of the facility, avoiding GLaDOS who is actively hunting him. Acting on a 'hunch', he breaks into the test subjects' filing room and arranges Chell's name to the top of the test subject roster,[3] leading to the events in Portal.

Portal

See also: Portal
Crude bed that can be found in most of Rattman's dens.

Delusional, running low on medication and travelling with what he sees to be a talking Weighted Companion Cube, he watches from the shadows as Chell is put through GLaDOS' testing course. Although he is never spotted in-game in any of the playable Portal series, his refuge areas (referred to as dens) can be found by Chell, containing crude bedding, empty cans of beans and scribblings and dioramas on the walls. It is in one of these dens that the warning phrase "The cake is a lie" can be found scribbled on a wall; as GLaDOS continually promises that there would be cake at the end of testing.

Following Chell's conflict with GLaDOS after her escape from the testing tracks, the Lab Rat comic details Rattman's point of view after the events of Portal in which he follows the sound of the explosion and finds a route to the outside world after the destruction of GLaDOS. His joy is short-lived as he witnesses an unconscious Chell being dragged back into the facility by the Party Escort Bot. Feeling guilt, as it was his actions that resulted in her being the first test subject, he once again enters the facility and finds Chell has been put in long-term cryogenic relaxation.[4] Finding out that Chell's Relaxation Chamber is offline due to the downfall of GLaDOS, the overall facility operator, he proceeds to save Chell's life by unplugging all other available chambers from their cryogenic supply and into hers. He is injured in the process when he is shot by Turrets that are still left in nearby test chambers.[5] He then submits himself into Chell's cryogenic stasis bed found in the Relaxation Vault previously used in the events of Portal, and falls asleep in it.

His fate is left unknown as the entire bed with him is nowhere to be found when Chell later revisits this Relaxation Vault at the beginning of the single-player campaign in Portal 2.


Portal 2

See also: Portal 2

During the events of the single-player campaign of Portal 2, Rattman's fate is left unknown. Whether or not he is dead is left up to debate, as Chell's cryogenic stasis bed that she used before the events of Portal he took refuge in, had disappeared entirely. One piece of evidence for his death is the song called "Ghost of Rattman". Some speculate that Rattman may have made it to the moon, as shown in a hidden picture encrypted into the game's audio file. You can find the audio file by bringing a radio into Rattman's den in Portal 2 Chapter 2 Test Chamber 6.

A Rattman den during Portal 2's single-player.

All that is left of him in Portal 2, like in the first game, are wall scribblings and various dioramas depicting either what he witnessed or simply what he feels like expressing.

Rattman's graffiti work makes no appearances whatsoever during the game's Cooperative Testing Initiative. However, a Weighted Companion Cube can be spotted by Atlas and P-body in the last test of Course Four: Excursion Funnels. The cube is apparently attached to a Core Receptacle, indicating that it may in fact be as sentient as any other Cores in the series.

At some point in the events of the Perpetual Testing Initiative, in which the player takes role of stick figure Bendy - is shifted into a variety of alternate universes at the Enrichment Center as a means of still having Cave Johnson as ongoing CEO. There is a universe in which Rattman is CEO of the Aperture company. Cave (now former junior claims representative of Aperture) hijacks the intercoms to yell out and warn everyone that Rattman (the current CEO) is embezzling from the staffs' paychecks.

Ghost of Rattman

See also: Songs to Test By

Ghost of Rattman is the 7th track on the Portal 2 soundtrack "Portal 2: Songs to Test By." It includes what is speculated to be Rattman speaking to himself, his Companion Cube, or even Cave Johnson. The ramblings draw parallels with the Borealis as well as multiple events in the 2011 comic Lab Rat. You can access this recording in Den #7 in Portal 2, located in test chamber 17.

(Unintelligible)
I had no choice, help me, Uncle Johnson,
Help me chose my desire!
(Unintelligible)
They took me to Mesa (unintelligible) mutilation
It was coming soon!
It's gone, sir, it's been stolen!
The ship is stolen!
(Unintelligible)
He's dead. Everyone, dead!
But she lives! Please, help me, Chell!
I can touch it!
Johnson? (Unintelligible)
The ship is gone, they're moving it to Mesa Hill!
That's where it all started.
(Unintelligible)
Little girl, it's ok.
Your pain is ignored by a little pill.


Connections to the Borealis

It's gone, sir, it's been stolen!
The ship is stolen!
The ship is gone, they're moving it to Mesa Hill!

By "the ship," Rattman is referring to the Borealis.

Connections to events in Lab Rat

He's dead. Everyone, dead!
But she lives! Please, help me, Chell!
I can touch it!

This could refer to two incidents, both described in Portal 2: Lab Rat.
The first incident is the infamous Bring Your Daughter to Work Day. He's dead. Everyone, dead! could refer to the people killed by GLaDOS during this incident, with But she lives! referring to GLaDOS herself.
However, these lines could alternatively be referring to the dead bodies in the cryo-chambers. As shown on page 17 of Portal 2: Lab Rat, all of the chambers were offline, however Rattman was able to save Chell by resetting her life support and putting her in "the long sleep." This would also align with the next line I can touch it, referring to page 25, where Rattman had to reach to push a button to save Chell.

Little girl, it's ok.
Your pain is ignored by a little pill.

As shown in Portal 2: Lab Rat, Rattman is dependent on antipsychotics to fight his schizophrenia.

Known dens

Aside from leaving paintings, murals and messages behind, Doug Rattman also discovered a number of hidden rooms in Aperture Science. He adorned these rooms with messages and artwork and primarily used them as refuges in order to escape GLaDOS' scrutiny. The hidden rooms are present in both Portal and Portal 2, and are known as the Ratman's Dens. A total of 13 have been discovered, 6 in Portal and 7 in Portal 2.

Den locations in Portal:

Den locations in Portal 2:





Gallery

Trivia

Rattman's hidden den in Lego Dimensions.
  • Doug Rattman was behind the Aperture Image Format, used in the Portal ARG.
  • Doug Rattman's voice can be heard in certain Rat-Man dens in Portal 2, and during the Portal 2 OST track "Ghost of Rattman". These are both voiced by former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw.[6]
  • The “Armstrong Cube” artwork references his transmission in Portal 2 Chapter 2 Test Chamber 6. If one follows the actions to achieve Final Transmission, the radio emits a Morse-code like sound. When translated, the noise leads to a staticky image of a Weighted Companion Cube on the lunar surface.
  • Doug Rattman's last name is commonly misspelled as "Rattmann." The correct spelling is confirmed by Valve in the title of the track "Ghost of Rattman," which can be found in the Portal 2 soundtrack.
  • Various wall art by Rattman can be found in the Portal 2 Adventure World in Lego Dimensions, along with a hidden Den. The infamous "cake is a lie" scribblings can also be found on walls, though instead of trailing off, it ends with "the cake is in the kitchen on the second floor."
    • Over a year later, the game's developers teased that there were still undiscovered secrets within Lego Dimensions[7], one of which was related to Portal. In November of 2016, players finally discovered that Doug Rattman himself was hidden throughout various parts of the level "GLaD to Meet You".[8]

References

  1. Portal 2: Lab Rat comic, page 13
  2. Portal 2: Lab Rat comic, page 14
  3. Portal 2: Lab Rat comic, page 21
  4. Portal 2: Lab Rat comic, page 15
  5. Portal 2: Lab Rat comic, page 17
  6. https://twitter.com/marc_laidlaw/status/1387546992927068161
  7. https://twitter.com/doa1984/status/781878793778724865?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
  8. http://www.brickstolife.com/found-doug-Rattman-in-lego-dimensions/

See also