This Chell Cosplay Will Send You to a New Dimension

Players of the hugely popular and critically acclaimed Portal game franchise spend hours upon hours with the silent main protagonist, Chell, though very little is actually known about her. Much of Chell’s past remains mystery. At the end of the first Portal, main antagonist GLaDOS (an AI) mentions numerous times that Chell was abandoned at birth, and those references continue through Portal 2. In Portal 2, GLaDOS also mentions that Chell was adopted, although there’s no proof of this, and GLaDOS’ motives make it a hardly credible source. Much of GLaDOS’ comments in Portal 2 and the latter stages of Portal are made to belittle and distract Chell from achieving her goal.

Although Chell’s origins are unknown, she was definitely among the people present during GLaDOS’ activation in 200-, as GLaDOS locked down the building immediately after. In the first Portal web comic, Portal: Lab Rat, it was revealed that Aperture employee Doug Rattman was responsible for moving Chell’s name to the top of the list of test participants. According to the psychological profile in her file, Chell is “abnormally stubborn,” and refuses to give up, no matter how daunting the challenge. Originally, she was rejected as a test subject, but Rattman altered the testing order, having guessed that Chell’s extreme tenacity might allow her to defeat GLaDOS. Chell’s Test Subject Application Form states that she refused to answer the essay question, and instead answered in binary. That infamous bit of binary can be translated to “The cake is a lie” – five words that spawned thousands of internet memes. Further information revealed in Portal 2 implies that Chell was the child of an Aperture scientist because she signed one of the “Bring Your Daughter To Work Day” science projects. She could, in fact, have been both abandoned and then adopted by an Aperture scientist, and it’s possible that we’ll never know the full truth.


According to Portal writer Erik Wolpaw, Chell doesn’t speak because she doesn’t want to give GLaDOS the satisfaction of a response. Also, she’s the proverbial “straight man” in a comedy series, and giving her dialogue would have cut much of the AI’s chattering. Still, she doesn’t need to speak to be a compelling character. As Test Subject #1 (previously 1498), Chell works her way through GLaDOS’ testing courses, utilizing the Handheld Portal Device (aka the Portal Gun) to avoid hazards and bypass various sections of the Facility.

For those who haven’t played Portal or Portal 2, look no further than Hikari Kat‘s excellent Chell cosplay for a wonderfully rendered real life depiction of the games. Here, Hikari Kat is wearing Chell’s look from Portal 2. This photo series excellently shows what it was like for Chell to navigate the Facility in hope of besting GLaDOS and then in the hope of escape. The photo manipulation is perfectly done, and her hair, costume, and Portal Gun prop are all on point. She even looks a bit frustrated, which most players were when dealing with antagonizing from GLaDOS and the personality core Wheatley. Wheatley even called Chell a “fatty fatty,” which she most certainly is not! Hikari Kat makes a damn good Chell, and the cosplay combined with the scenery and photo styling really tells the story and perfectly captures the essence of the Portal games.



Photography by Hidrico Photography




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