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So, I'm in Test Chamber 003 of Portal 1, and am trying to get into a door, but I can't reach it. I have to go down a set of stairs and then there is no way up... How can I get up there?

enter image description here

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I assume this is Test Chamber 002, did you wait for a portal to appear by you and go through it? Then jump off of the ledge and take what is making those strange portals. – Krazer Dec 9 '11 at 6:18
its actually Test Chamber 003 @Krazer, just figured it out. – studiohack Dec 9 '11 at 6:24
This is one of the chambers where you really need to come up with the solution yourself :) – badp Dec 9 '11 at 6:30
Ironically you unspoilered my solution when I was trying to give hints first @badp. :P – Jeff Mercado Dec 9 '11 at 6:37
@JeffMercado if it's the whole point of your answer it mustn't be spoiler protected. If somebody visits this page, it's because they've given up already and want this spoiled for them. – badp Dec 9 '11 at 7:04
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Based on where you are standing in that screenshot, there should be an orange portal already in place to your right. You can only shoot blue portals so how would you get a portal on the other side so you can use the one that you can already reach?

Just shoot a blue portal to the other side and walk through the orange portal that is nearby.

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The point of this test is teaching you that the two portals are functionally equivalent: you are not going to always enter the blue portal and leave the orange portal.

This time, you instead need to enter the orange portal and leave the blue portal by placing the blue portal by the door.

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If I remember the game correctly, there's an orange portal behind you, high up on the wall. You need to get across this gap. You can't reach the orange portal to go through it to the other side, but you can use momentum to launch yourself through it.

Put the blue portal on the ground at your feet. Jump through it. OMG FLYING! Now, before you land, shoot the blue portal right where you're going to hit the ground. Suddenly, FLYING REALLY FAST. You should be going fast enough to launch yourself completely over the gap, onto the ledge on the other side.

This process is referred to as "flinging", and becomes very useful later in the game.

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I don't think that's the point in the game where you learn about the flinging. IIRC, you had just gotten the blue portal gun so that's a bit advanced at that point. – Jeff Mercado Dec 9 '11 at 6:25
@JeffMercado, agreed. This shouldn't be the accepted answer, although flinging is definitely something useful to know. – Kotsu Dec 9 '11 at 6:28
My bad - I had misinterpreted where he was in the game. – nhinkle Dec 9 '11 at 7:16

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