Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Music of The Decade #10: Portal's GLaDOS

Warning: this song is from a computer game. Don't say you weren't told....

This exceptionally lovely song came from the very end of Portal, one of the games of the decade. Throughout the game, GLaDOS has revealed herself to be one neurotic, untrustworthy, cynical and deeply psychopathic computer. It was a shame that you had to be concentrating elsewhere during the final confrontation, because more than anything you just want to listen to her wheedle, rant and fulminate. “Well you found me. Congratulations. Was it worth it? Because the only thing you’ve managed to break so far is my heart”:

Come the game’s ending, we got two things. A: the cake. Rumours of its nonexistence were circulating but there it was, with a little candle and everything; B: this rather beautiful song, the melody to which was subtly prefigured in a tinny bossanova style on the little transistor found in the fugitive’s cell. Some game endings are so crappy–that means you Bioshock—that you feel hollowed out by the wasted hours. But this was unexpectedly touching, a sweet touch in a game full of them. I mean, just listen to this compilation of the gun turret’s voices: