April 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM ET
"Portal" fans, rejoice! The cake is no longer a lie, at least if you trust Amazon UK seller "Portal 2," who recently made a new baking kit available under the air-tight moniker "Portal The Cake Mix! Official licensed!" for £11.99 (a little over $18).
Despite the cheeky chicanery of this Amazon UK missive, sources at Valve Corporation, which makes "Portal," confirmed that this is indeed a verifiable cake mix inspired by the game company's acclaimed puzzle shooter.
"The Portal cake mix linked below is really cake mix! No jokes!" Valve's Arsenio Navarro told NBC News.
While fans and cosplayers have been making their own home-brewed versions of the video game's iconic dessert since the game was first released in 2007, Navarro said that this first officially "licensed Portal cake mix was created by Valve merchandise licensee Gaya Entertainment based over in Germany." The cake mix is currently only available to Amazon UK customers, but he added that it will eventually become available internationally.
For the uninitiated that still don't get the whole "the cake is a lie" joke, a bit of background: "Portal," which was originally developed as a sort of cheeky non-violent component of "Half-Life's" extended universe, put players in the role of silent protagonist Chell as she solves a series of puzzles presented by a HAL-esque comic robot villain known as GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System). GLaDOS promises to give Chell a cake as a reward for solving all of the environmental puzzles set before her in the abandoned facilities of the giant evil corporation Aperture Laboratories. As Chell continues to progress through the game, however, the player starts to see a number of foreboding hints that GLaDOS is not all that it seems, such as hand-scrawled messages exclaiming, "The cake is a lie!"
Chell never does get her cake. But that hasn't stopped gamers and "Portal" fans from making many tchotchkes and baked shrines to GLaDOS's undelivered promise.
Still, of all the gaming swag supporting "Portal's" intense cult following, this new Portal Cake Mix has to be one of the most impressive. I mean, just look at the Aperture Laboratories branding on its packaging! According to its product description, the mix comes with 275g of cake mix, 50g of cream powder, chocolate flakes, 80g of liquid thickener, and even the "rewarding candle" that was (SPOILER ALERT) extinguished at the end of "Portal's" story. Some assembly is required, but assuming the cake in question is not a lie, baking it probably proves easier than solving some of the later-stage puzzles in the game.
Amazon users have already started to have fun playing around with the alleged realness of the cake.
"First of all. This is not a fake. I bought one and can tell you it contains an actual cake. And a pretty decent one - at least for a Cake Mix," one reviewer noted. "I think it's a very funny Idea. The package alone is hilarious."
Given that it once tortured its own fans with an April Fools' Day joke promising the long-awaited return of "Half-Life," I'm still understandably suspicious about the reality of the cake in question. Navarro told me that Valve will be sending a box of the cake mix over to NBC News so we can get to the bottom of this.
Incidentally, Navarro also said that the original cake depicted in "Portal" is a black forest cake that is still available a local bakery near Valve's headquarters in Seattle,. Why did they have to go all the way to Germany to get this new cake mix? Apparently Gaya was just the first company to approach them with the idea. Why it took more than half a decade to make a cake is anyone's guess.