Monday, January 10, 2011

An ANGEL visited this gray path, / And took the cube away.

You might be saying to yourself, "Why, that sounds a bit like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow." Well, it does, but today we are not discussing Longfellow. What I have quoted above is part of a pastiche of his "The Reaper and the Flowers" which could perhaps more accurately be titled, "GLaDOS and the Cube."

The Weighted Companion Cube is a unique character, as video games go. It cannot speak. It will also never threaten to stab you. It is a silent box, decorated with hearts, that is your only friend for one level of the game Portal.

At the end of the level, you must incinerate it. Or, as GLaDOS puts it, euthanize it.

I actually spent far too much time trying to figure out how not to euthanize my Companion Cube. Some people have figured out how, but I am not presently among them.

The words I quoted above were written on the wall of a small, hidden room by a previous test subject whose attachment to the Cube becomes startlingly evident with the help of Longfellow and Dickinson. This room and graffiti are also the source of the tired Internet meme "The cake is a lie." You win some, and you lose some.

At any rate, now I can have it back, with the plush version from the Valve Store! It is not as heavy as the original, and not as big, but it is cuddly and you will never, ever have to euthanize it.

Buy through Valve for $29.95.


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