Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Portal is a very interesting game franchise with a rich storyline. I would like to know if anyone can confirm a date or a time period that Portal and subsequently Portal 2 take place in. It's probable that Portal 1 takes place in around the modern day, but I couldn't find a date for when the timeline begins. Portal 2 is much more difficult to find the time period, as the only clue we are given is that we are

9999999 somethings from when Chell was dragged back into the Aperture facility at the end of the first game.

Any ideas about this?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

According to the timeline on Half Life's Wikia, Portal takes place around 2010. However, I could not find a reference to an exact date.

Going by the same sources, and this question, Portal 2 takes place hundreds of years after Portal. Again, I could not find a reference to an exact date.

Note that there is no official source of an exact date. Looking at other sources (including the talk pages on the Half Life Wikia timeline page) you can see a lot is based on fragmented, and often speculated, details.

Because Portal and Portal 2 are very much isolated environments from the outside world, there isn't a great deal of concern with trying to fix the timelines to real dates. We know that Portal 2 provides a lot of backstory to events prior to Portal, and that Portal 2 occurs a long time after Portal.

I'm surprised that the systems in place during Portal 2 can actually see past the year 2038.

share|improve this answer
Specifically, Portal 2 takes place 9...9....9....9....9..9..99999 years after Portal. Assuming that malfunctioning speaker was not malfunctioning, which it was. – immibis Jan 27 at 1:23
@immibis that was the time since the last awakening, they were awoken every 50 days before that last one. also it's days not years – Aequitas Jan 27 at 2:52
2038? Why, you only need a 64-bit system to solve that, and in ~2010 they were pretty common, if I recall correctly. – Arturo Torres Sánchez Jan 27 at 18:34

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.