The Theory Files: What’s in the Companion Cube? Part 2

Hello everyone, hope you all enjoyed the first part of my Portal theory last week. This time I’ll be looking at two other equally plausible scenarios that could shed some light on the infamous companion cube.

Firstly, let’s consider this for a moment, what if the cubes don’t actually contain human bodies but rather the human mind?

So, we know that Cave Johnson had become obsessed with trying to cheat death and that a number of the tests we carried out in order to test just what the human body and, more importantly, the human mind were capable of. We also know that a vast number of these involved experimental techniques and theories as shown by the many repulsion gel chambers in both Portal 1 and 2 and, of course, the portal gun itself. So what’s my point, I hear you cry?! Well, GLaDOS was originally designed as Cave Johnson’s way to cheat death by transferring his consciousness into the machine. This is vital to this theory as it shows what sort of research was being conducted outside of what you see in the games. Now, a man in Caves’ position wouldn’t want to risk being the first guinea pig in his own experiments, especially considering their “success”  rate, but at the same time he wouldn’t want to risk losing control of GLaDOS, and in turn the Aperture Science facility if it did work, thus the companion cube was born.

As the companion cube could do nothing but speak, the experimenters were under no danger if something were to go wrong. Think if Ultron had transferred his consciousness into a football; he might not like what he saw but was powerless to do anything about it. If he tried to say or do anything he would just get tossed in a warehouse and be forgotten about, which is exactly what GLaDOS says; that they have warehouses full of these cubes. Sorry to those of you who aren’t fans of the Avengers and just sat there reading this with puzzled looks on your faces. And since I’m already off subject, Civil War, it’s amazing, just saying, you need to watch it. Anyway, as there were more and more successes with the transference of consciousness, they began to try with more and more intricate designs of machines, and that my friends is where Wheatly, Atlas, and P-body came from. This idea would also support the Rattmann theory, as I said last week he posted images of companion cubes over the faces of the former researchers; maybe he chose to do this specifically because it was only their minds trapped inside the cubes. In another of his scrawlings he writes;

I thought the cube would last forever… I was wrong

Perhaps this is a direct reference to what they were trying to do with the creation of the companion cube; allow someone to live forever in a digital format. This theory also explains why GLaDOS tells you not to listen to the cubes if they speak, especially if they used to be former researchers as they would know every inch of the various test chambers that they built, and therefore they would know how to solve the puzzles. This would of course aggravate GLaDOS as the puzzles are tests, and what’s the use in having tests when you already have all the answers?

My final theory for the companion cubes could possibly throw a spanner in the works. What if we are looking too deeply into this? What if the simplest idea is the most accurate, and that is that the weighted storage companion cube is just that, a storage cube? Void of any mystery or intrigue, just a box with a heart in it. Let’s look at it this way, you open a can of beans then you expect to find beans inside, no bodies or advanced A.I. hell bent on destroying humanity to save it from itself, just beans. This could be why GLaDOS is so quick to destroy them, because they really are meaningless. As I said earlier, GLaDOS says they have storage rooms full of them, and what do you find in storage rooms? Storage boxes, of course.

Now, before you start telling me what a cop-out this theory is, consider the following; you want the companion cube to be something more than what it is. Ever seen the film Castaway? Well, for those of you who haven’t, a man named Chuck Noland gets stuck on a deserted island alone for 4 years. During this time Noland personifies a friend in the form of a volleyball with a bloody hand print on it. During the course of the film he even gives it the name ‘Wilson’. The ball even won an award for its role, but that’s a different story. So, why is this important? Well, you, Noland, and Rattmann all have one thing in common; you are all alone. Rattmann only became obsessed with the cube once GLaDOS had already killed all the other personnel in the lab, leaving him alone. Your character is the only active test subject in the facility. Across both games you never once see another living person. You see evidence of Rattmann but that would only make your longing for human contact more intense, and as I said, Noland was alone for 4 years on a deserted island. And when it comes down to it, there aren’t many differences between a white volleyball with a hand print on it and a white cube with a heart.

These are my theories on the companion cubes. What do you think? Which sounds best to you? I would love to hear more of your suggestions if you have another idea that I haven’t listed here, and if there are any topics you want me to cover, then let me know in the comments. That’s all from me, see you back here next Friday for more!

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