"We do what we must, because we can." -- GlaDOS, and likely the company slogan

Aperture Science
Aperture Science logo

We do what we must, because we can.

Location Northern Michigan

Type Technology

Featured in Half-Life 2: Episode 2
Portal 2

Aperture Science is the main and single location you travel through in the video games Portal and Portal 2, both games are also from the company that made Half-Life and Team Fortress 2, Valve.


Aperture Science was founded sometime in the 1900s, focusing on shower curtains. According to the founder of the company, Cave Johnson, the name Aperture Science, at the time known as Aperture Fixtures, was created to make the company sound "clean". Eventually, after breakthroughs in the science industry, Aperture Fixtures' purpose of shower curtains was reformed into science, therefore changing the name to Aperture Science. They worked on several science experiments, including the famous Portal Gun, Cores, Repulsion Gel, Propulsion Gel, and many other things. A project of theirs, Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System (GLaDOS) was created along with all the other inventions.

Cave Johnson was a victim of moon rock poison during the 1970s. Cave eventually died from his illness, and his death wish was to put Caroline, his assistant and possible love interest/wife into GLaDOS so she could attain immortality, maintaining and operating the facility for the foreseeable future. However, when GLaDOS was activated she apparently lost contact with the part of her that was Caroline and turned to homicidal intentions.

GLaDOS killed nearly all of the scientists on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day with a deadly neurotoxin excluding only the stored test subjects, and the facility was near abandoned. A scientist named Doug Rattman survived due to his suspicion of GLaDOS and wandered the facility, creating multiple hide-outs throughout the labs that contain stashes of food as well as computers re-purposed as hotplates and served as hidden areas within Portal. Unfortunately, Rattman is afflicted with schizophrenia and often hallucinates, mostly auditory hallucinations involving a Companion Cube that he carries around, though he attempts to deal with his lack of medication by attempting therapeutic painting sessions, the effectiveness of which is debatable. In one of the additional comics produced by Valve, Rattman apparently has access to the employee locker areas, where he has stored a pill bottle containing the final pill of his medication, which he has labelled "For the End Times". how Rattman gets around the facility while avoiding detection and capture by GLaDOS is unknown, though he has been able to modify her code quite a bit, meaning that it is possible that he has reprogrammed her to perceive him as a blank spot or not at all.

To keep GLaDOS' malicious intentions in check, they installed a Morality Core, which was debatebly successful, as it prevented her from outright killing Chell for the majority of Portal. To satisfy her devotion to experimentation, her overwhelming curiosity and her homicidal tendencies she intended to recruit test subjects from the large pool, but her selection was modified by Rattman, who placed the test subject with the highest tenacity score at the head of the list, a survivor named Chell. Afterwards, GLaDOS tests two robots named Atlas and P-BODY as an alternative to test subjects, and there are hints that while she kept them around, she instead drew from the many test subjects stored in a vault deep beneath the labs that was opened by Atlas and P-BODY during the Co-Op campaign in Portal 2.


It is unknown what Aperture looks like from the outside, but the test chambers are usually similar to padded cells, but with a few dangers thrown in. They are also puzzles the player Chell must complete to survive.


  • It is unknown what happened to Aperture Science after the events of Portal 2, other than the fact that the facility was stabilized and GLaDOS continues testing despite the absence of Chell, thanks to a huge vault of test subjects beneath the labs.
  • Aperture Science is rivals with Black Mesa, another science company in the Valve universe, which includes Aperture, Black Mesa and a number of other competing companies, though their names are never defined.

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