GLaDOS sounds, quotes, and clips. Amuse and entertain your friends!
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GLaDOS, short for Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System, is a fictional artificially intelligent computer system and the main antagonist in the video game Portal as well as its sequel, Portal 2. She was created by Erik Wolpaw and Kim Swift and is voiced by Ellen McLain. She is responsible for testing and maintenance in Aperture Science research facility in both video games. While she initially appears to simply be a voice to guide and aid the player, her words and actions become increasingly malicious until she makes her intentions clear. The game reveals that she is corrupted and used a neurotoxin to kill the scientists in the lab before the events of Portal. She is destroyed at the end of the first title by the player-character Chell but is revealed to have survived in the credits song "Still Alive".
The inspiration for her creation extends from Wolpaw's use of a text-to-speech program while writing lines for the video game Psychonauts. Other Psychonauts designers were finding the lines funnier as a result of the text-to-speech voice. GLaDOS was originally intended to be used in the first area of Portal; she was well-received by other designers and her role was expanded as a result. Play testers were motivated to complete tests in the game due to her guidance. While the game was originally designed to have other characters, they later decided to remove them and leave GLaDOS as the only character players encounter. The physical appearance of GLaDOS went through several designs, one which featured a large disk below her. McLain imitated dialog written in a text-to-speech program with her own voice, which was later processed to sound more robotic. She also sang the lyrics for "Still Alive", written by Jonathan Coulton, which played during the credits of Portal. The song became hugely successful; it appeared in the Rock Band series and has been a popular song for YouTube users to cover.
GLaDOS has been well-received by critics and gamers, some of whom called her narcissistic, passive-aggressive, sinister, and witty. She is considered one of the greatest video game characters, particularly among those created between 2000 to 2009. She was universally praised for her contributions to the quality of Portal's narrative and was awarded multiple awards for best new character in 2007 from GameSpy, GamePro, and X-Play. A number of websites and magazines listed her as one of the greatest video game villains, including IGN, which ranked her first all-time. She has been the subject of significant analysis from both journalists and video game developers, who have compared her to other villainous computer systems in fiction, including HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey and SHODAN from System Shock.
For much of Portal, GLaDOS is a voice that acts as a narrator and guide for players. Her voice is robotic, but distinctly female. Over time, players learn that she is in fact leading the player-character Chell to her death. Her personality has been described as passive-aggressive, witty, narcissistic, and sinister. She has a number of system personality cores installed into her, partly in order to prevent her from killing anyone (other than the ones she already did before the failsafes were installed). Eventually, once the player encounters her, she is revealed to be a complex computer, with robotic parts hanging from a larger device.
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