Chell will be returning in Portal 2, but Valve says this wasn't the initial plan.
"She fit into the world really well and complemented it without the distractions that a more flashy character would bring. She served a utilitarian purpose for that game, but at the same time when we started out on Portal 2 we weren't sure if we wanted to bring her back. So we explored a few other characters before returning to Chell," Valve concept artist Matt Charlesworth said.
In considering other possibilities Valve realized that Chell encapsulated what Valve was looking for in a primary protagonist. However, that doesn't mean it isn't considering changing some of the details.
"We explored changing Chell's nationality for a little bit. Nobody really knew what Chell was in the first game. She kind of had a hint of Japanese ethnicity to her, but we were still not quite sure if we were going to keep her or make her a new character," Charlesworth said.
Because Valve is still working with her design, some old mainstays in her design, such as the spring heels, may change.
"We're still not entirely sure what we're doing with the spring heels. They were always something that was in Portal 1, and some of us are attached to them, and some of us aren't, so I've experimented with how we can do with them right this time around, and how we would go about replacing them. Everything should look 10 times better than the first Portal, that's the goal," Charlesworth said.
In the end, Chell simply fit with Valve's vision for the game. She, as well as GLADoS, were ultimately are slated to return for Portal 2, though somehow flung one hundred years into the future. Valve may still have some surprises up its sleeves, but it'll be nice to see a familiar face.