When we enter the testing area, GLaDOS informs us that she has to go attend to the turbines; before she leaves, she sarcastically gives a radically sped up "explanation" of the test we face in the room. Does she say anything of note in this version? I wouldn't know how to go about manipulating the audio to find out...

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    I'm slowing down the file with Audacity, but it is quite a bit hard to understand anything said. I think I heard something about taking people's hats off, but I might be suffering from TF2-induced hat-fever. EDIT: it definitively ends with 'get to sea as soon as I can'.
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 12:52
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    You could pull out the wav file using this method gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/20498/… Then slow it way down in Audacity
    – Nick T
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 12:55
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    Some progress: 'And methodically knocking people's hats off. Then I accounted <blank> time, and get to sea as soon as I can'. The blank is not 'Valve' BTW.
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:05
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    @Arda Xi: The blank doesn't sound like 'down' at all. It is something that resembles 'height' if anything. I'll have to reflect on this one for a bit.
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:20

3 Answers 3


It appears to be a quote from the first paragraph of Moby Dick (thanks to Billare for figuring that out):

[…], and methodically knocking people's hats off — then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

The full passage in Moby Dick:

Moby Dick opening lines; "knocking hats"

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    But, you know, I'm not sure that my above interpretation is correct, since it is Ishmael, the narrator, who says those lines, not Captain Ahab -- the one with the whale obsession. In the quoted lines I believe Ishmael is remarking on how he becomes unpleasant and anti-social when he's around people and away from sea too long; maybe GLaDOS is saying that being around Chelle, her murderer, and away from maintaing the facilities makes her similarly crazy?
    – Uticensis
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:57
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    From the context, it doesn't seem that the sped-up line was actually supposed to have some deep meaning, since it should be an explanation needed to complete the test. I guess it was just a reference by an employee that happened to like the book. "Ohhh, no. The turbines again. I have to go. Wait. This next test DOES require some explanation. Let me give you the fast version. [fast gibberish]"
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 14:02
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    Melville, Machiavelli...at least a fairly good library survived armageddon.
    – Nick T
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 14:14
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    @Billare: Wheatley mentions it when he pretends not to be paying attention to you at a moment (can't mention why because there are no spoiler tags for comments xP): "Wheatley: Anyway. Just finished the last one. The hardest one. Machiavelli. Do not know what all the fuss was about. Understood it perfectly. Have you read that one?"
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 14:32
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    @danielkza I doubt Valve would put something this unrelated up just randomly. It has some meaning.
    – user56
    Commented Apr 23, 2011 at 8:49

By slowing it down, and working off of danielkza's suggestions, I've think it's this:

And methodically knocking people's hats off. Then I found it high time to get to the sea, as soon as I can.

Here's a slowed down version if you want to hear it for yourself: slowed.ogg

Or on YouTube:

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    I think this version sounds quite a bit clearer: dl.dropbox.com/u/24886021/portal2_glados_slowed.ogg
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:30
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    It seems that this line comes from Moby Dick, the first chapters of it in fact. So is GLaDOS obliquely saying that Chelle is her white whale or something, the thing she's obsessed on catching and killing?
    – Uticensis
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:32
  • @Billare: it seems you're right, I thought 'high' was to obvious and it was actually something else.
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:34
  • @Billare It's Chell by the way, not Chelle.
    – user56
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 21:02
  • @danielkza That link is now broken.
    – pppery
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 4:26

You can slow this down in game, one of the recent changes by Valve is that now when you use sv_cheats 1; host_timescale 0.5 it also slows down the sound and not only the game. Playing with that 0.5 value should allow you to hear what she is saying. Just don't forget to put it back to default or you won't get any achievements, thus use host_timescale 1; sv_cheats 0 afterwards.

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    Just a hint, I tried some values in Audacity, and the one that seemed to be the best match was a 75% slowdown, so a host_timescale of 0.25 should be good enough. The problem is the pitch will probably be completely distorted, something Audacity can (awesomely) correct, unlike the game.
    – danielkza
    Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:43
  • @danielkza: Maybe; it won't sound like GLaDOS anymore, it will more likely be a low male voice now. Commented Apr 22, 2011 at 13:51

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