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Portal 2's Wheatley, Now In Puppet Form

| 11 Aug 2011 18:24

As if you needed more proof that Portal fans are the most creative people on Earth, here's a frighteningly spot-on puppet replica of Portal 2's beloved megalomaniacal idiot.

For those of you who didn't play Portal 2 -- what is wrong with you? -- let me explain "Wheatley." Without spoiling the plot, I can say that he's exceedingly British (unavoidable really, given that he's voiced by comedian Stephen Merchant), endearingly stupid, and has absolutely no grasp of his own limitations.

I don't mean that as a compliment.

As a result, Wheatley immediately became one of the most beloved characters in the whole of Portal canon. He joins Cave Johnson, GLaDOS, Rat-Man, those explosive lemons, the cake that may or may not exist, the stupid crow, the Companion Cube, Chell and -- okay, let's just say that he's yet another amazing character in a series full of amazing characters.

It's no surprise that cosplayers would jump at the chance to portray Wheatley, but how does one cosplay a small metal sphere without losing limbs and major organs? If YouTube user trpchakai is any indicator, the answer is "puppetry."

Though it should be pointed out that the creation of the Wheatley puppet was a long, involved process (you can find an intensely detail walkthrough on the creator's blog), the end result -- as seen in the above video -- is stunning. No hyperbole; I had a hard time telling if that was an actual puppet or a clever bit of video editing and special effects work designed to screw with the 'net for fun and profit.

According to the YouTube description however, that clip only shows off a small bit of what the puppet can do. It's been programmed with 10 quotes directly from the game, and trpchakai says that she's still learning to properly operate the thing. Apparently this puppet is going to be even more convincing in the future, somehow.

While we're on the subject of Portal fan creations, I think I'll again point you all toward the results of the recent "Exile, Vilify" music video contest. Both because they, like this puppet, are phenomenally well-crafted, and because that song has been stuck in my head for most of this week.

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