The Stanley Parable
|The Stanley Parable|
This game has a hidden developer message.
This game has a prototype article
The Stanley Parable is a game about choice, a British narrator, and the lack of (or, alternatively, the inclusion of) free will in video games. It's...hard to explain, to say the least.
An expanded version, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, was released in 2022.
- 1 Sub-Pages
- 2 Unused Graphics
- 3 Hidden Developer Text
- 4 Console Easter Eggs
- 5 Old-School Cheats
- 6 Unused Commands
- 7 Player Model
- 8 Leftover Entities from Portal 2 and Half-Life 2
- 9 Unused Audio
- 10 Inaccessible Platform
- 11 Unused Baby Game Ending
- 12 Oddities
- 13 Revisional Differences
- 14 References
With the exception of the words "LOADING DOCK ABCDE", this image is entirely unused. It features an early sign for the Mind Control Facility as well as an altered line of the opening text that replaces Stanley's name with "Loading Dock A".
A Minecraft version of the "Nodraw" Hammer tool. Stored with the Minecraft graphics.
There are also lots of leftover Portal 2 textures scattered around the materials folder, including chapter previews, co-op HUD icons, and GUI elements from the Robot Enrichment store.
The Linux version of the game (Tea Edition) adds four screenshots to the game's directory - one 512×384, one 512×384 , and two 1920×1080 . While the TGA and VTF files appear to be normal screenshots of the game (albeit in... unusual formats for screenshots), the JPEGs are screenshots of The Raphael Parable, a fan-made mod for The Stanley Parable.
Hidden Developer Text
- In an extremely interesting feat of programming, the developers left a peculiar little file in thestanelyparable/bin - README.txt, which contains the word "sup". In the demo, this contains "hi timmy!" instead.
- client.dll which is also in the same directory contains a message:
PLEASE STOP LOOKING AT THE GAME BINARIES. THANK YOU.
- In the game's default configuration file, one of the last lines includes a comment:
name "Gran PC" // that's me! <3 you all!
- In the facepunch_brushbased.vmt material file, this message can be found:
// Hi FP!
- In the dev/cabinets.vmt material file, another secret message was included:
"%keywords" "SECRETS SECRETS WILLIAM IS GOOD AT HIDING SECRETS"
- In the coffee3.vmt materials/overlays file, yet another secret message was included:
"%keywords" "IF YOU FIND THIS DONT SHOW THIS TO DAVEY OR ILL GET YOU - WILLIAM"
Console Easter Eggs
Certain commands entered into the developer console will result in Easter eggs instead of actual development things:
- _430_disable - Presumably would disable the Click on door 430 five times achievement, but just outputs "heck no!" into the console.
- _u - Based on its name, it would seem to give you the Unachievable achievement, but it instead outputs "Hey don't you even try" to the console. Despite this, there are ways to get this command working.
- bark - Barks whenever you click on anything. The lower-right corner of the whiteboard in the Whiteboard Ending mentions this Easter egg.
- hideous - Opens a Steam Overlay web browser window pointing to the Official Team Fortress 2 Wiki, opened to a random hat that Hideous (one of the 3D artists who worked on The Stanley Parable) contributed to.
- imabird - Enables the "flight" effect from the downstairs path/Mariella Ending during normal play.
- raphael - After entering this, every line of narration will be replaced with "Stanley.", in reference to a gleefully caustic teaser trailer wherein the Narrator responded to an email from a chap named Raphael.
- sv_cheats 1 - When entered into the full version, instead of enabling cheats, it will instead whisk you away to a secret map to get a stern talking-to from the Narrator, about why the player has forcibly entered the command, reasoning that the player will break the game. Repeat two more times for additional dialogue. In the demo, however, it simply outputs "Why?", meaning that the command was unfinished.
There are a couple of secret commands that can be entered during gameplay, instead of in a console, that enable Easter eggs:
- Typing facepunch during gameplay will replace most of the game's textures with a hand-drawn sketch of the Facepunch Studios logo. This is a shoutout to the Facepunch forums, where a lot of the development team originated.
- Typing secret on the title screen, then clicking the "Credits" button will play a very silly kazoo song over the credits.
- Typing vinh during the Credits makes Kevin Macleod's Who Likes to Party play, along with pictures of the Employee of the Year to scroll across the screen.
- tsp_enablemenunarrator - Judging by the Museum Ending and the different iterations of the Zending, this command would have been activated upon getting to that specific ending. Its sound file "narrator/zen_final_escape.wav" is missing, but there is a closed caption saying "No please- Stanley, don't quit- I'm asking you, please- don't take this away from me!", in which the Narrator would plead Stanley not to quit the game and take his happiness away when pausing the game. Surprisingly, this console command also exists in the Demo.
- ent_create_portal_/paint_bomb_* - Portal 2 "ent_create" Developer commands. Sadly, the Gels were removed from The Stanley Parable's source code.
- +coop_ping - The ping tool which is also unused in Portal 2, this one sprays a red X on the wall temporarily and brings up no menu when used in the game which the mod used the engine from.
- portal_(insert argument here): Portal commands.
- mp_usehwmmodels/vcds - Team Fortress 2 console commands for Hardware Morph.
- tf_(Arena Mode and Escort) - Team Fortress 2 Arena Mode commands. Mentions Escort commands as well.
*References the cubes. **The game used Portal 2 as the base engine and source code. Maybe the devs spotted the Gels and removed them from the game's source code.
forcebackwardswalking and allownormalwalking: These inputs for the player entity configures whether or not to only allow backwards movement. Why they're in The Stanley Parable is because two months before release, the development team was also working on Davey's next game called The Beginner's Guide, using the former as a base by running the maps in The Stanley Parable.
The player model used for "Stanley" is not actually the model for him, but instead is the model for the unused Portal-like Chell found in Portal 2, without proper textures and no functional animations other than the reference pose. This is because she was not properly set up for use with the animations, as they were made for Chell's Portal 2 model.
Leftover Entities from Portal 2 and Half-Life 2
- npc_personality_core: Hey, at least the personality cores are still here, including Wheatley! Materials and models required.
- npc_security_camera: Aperture Science's security cameras are also here, and they too still need their model and textures!
- npc_turret_floor: The Combine Turret (no, not the 'Portal one) works perfectly in this game, save for missing sounds including model and textures. It also lacks the AR2 tracer effect however, since it isn't precached, resulting in red Xs being emitted where the gunfire should be.
- npc_wheatley_boss: "WheatDOS", another variation of Wheatley, this time in GLaDOS' Central Core. Same with original Wheatley. When spawned, he creates rendering errors since a model isn't specified from spawning him in-game.
- prop_button: The Aperture Science Switch is in here too. It still has programming for instructor hints, but it is missing in the localization files for The Stanley Parable.
- prop_floor_button, prop_floor_cube_button, and prop_floor_ball_button: The Super-Colliding Super Button, Cube Button, and the Ball Button all exist in The Stanley Parable's code.
- prop_weighted_cube: The Weighted Storage Cube from Portal 2. Its programming still has the instructor hint for picking it up, though that is missing from the localization files for The Stanley Parable. A related file called metal_box_fx_fizzler.mdl was also left over and unused. While the Games Ending does include a cube, it's implemented using a prop_physics like in the original Portal, leaving this entity unused. The Weighted Companion Cube and its other variants also exist, but they require their own models and textures.
- prop_portal: The portals. Gosh, the devs really need some learning how to remove Portal 2-esque entities.
- weapon_smg1: The SMG1 from Half-Life 2. Does not have the ammo entities. Like the player input for only allowing backwards movement, this weapon was intended for use in The Beginner's Guide. Same with the Paint Gun, but without gels, and references Half-Life 2 sound listings. Usable both in the demo and full game, as code was accidentally included in the "bin" directory's DLLs.
There is unused narration that's meant to play in the Playtest Ending after dropping into the hole. However, these lines (with the exception of the third) and their soundscripts are called PlaytestFinale_1_00 and PlaytestFinale_2_00 respectively, whereas the actual map is looking for PlaytestFinale_1 and PlaytestFinale_2. Because these quotes are played from ambient_generic entities and the third quote has no inputs or outputs to ensure it too plays, it goes completely unused.
|"Stanley? Where are you? Don't go anywhere, I c- I can't follow you there, I can't help you!"|
|"You need to come back! You need to- no, ju- just stay there! I'll find a way to get you out!"|
In turn, this unused dialog from the Museum Ending hints at it originally being more similar to the mod. The standalone game instead has Stanley fall into the machine.
|"And so he entered the chamber and stepped into the machine."|
In the Museum Ending, there is a large room dedicated to unused narration takes that are not otherwise heard in the game. The narration can be found in the "echoroom" folder in the game's files.
|"Now then, this elevator for sure would get him right back on track to where he was supposed to be in the story."|
|"Where were all of his co-workers? Oh, I don't know, how about... they're throwing a surprise party for him for all his button-pushing. Does that sound plausible to you?"|
|"Oh, for crying- is this that other building?"|
|"Hmm, let's see. Stanley walked through the green door."|
|"Nothing there? Shoot. Well, try the other one, then."|
|"Still nothing? Hmm. I don't know. Well in that case, tell you what, you win. Congratulations. You did it. I know you put in a lot of hard work, and it really paid off. So, good job. [pause] Hmm, what do we do now? I don't- Stanley, where are you, right now? Wh-Where am I? I'm- I'm trying to figure out, but I- I can't- Stanley? Who am I? Can you speak to me? Please talk! Have we done this before? Have we been in this room before? How many times have we done this? How many times have I said these exact words? Say something, anything! Help me Stanley, I don't know who I- what I- I- Stan- Stan- help- don't-"|
|"When Stanley came to the lift, he traveled upward to the power source at the top of the facility to end this injustice forever."|
|"Now look closely, Stanley. See how it's impossible for the player to do anything in this room? Perfect example of poor level design. Textbook mistake. It's the kind of thing you pick up on intuitively if you had even the most fundamental understanding of good and bad game design. But of course, you being you, you'll probably spend the next hour trying to solve it. Here, I'm just going to make this easy on you."|
|"Stanley pushed the number six."|
|"Then he pushed the number four."|
|"Then he pushed the number eight."|
|"And finally, he pushed the number six."|
|"And finally, he pushed the number nine."|
|"Stanley walked over the bridge."|
|"Stanley pushed the big red button."|
|"Stanley pushed the orange lever."|
|"Stanley jumped in the river."|
|"Stanley stood on the roof."|
|"Stanley stood on the snow."|
Unused Sound Effects
Located in the "sound/ambient/levels/canals" directory are some unused sound files labelled headcrab_canister_ambient.
One piece of music (officially called Anticipating Stanley) goes unused in The Stanley Parable, though it is used in the demo.
- There is a normally inaccessible platform above the Countdown Room of the Mind Control Facility that can be reached with the console command "ent_teleport player" (sv_cheats not needed). It has catwalks that lead to three locked doors that lead nowhere (as they are really just walls) and a computer that does nothing. This was likely a remnant from an earlier version that had the power control located above the main room rather than in a separate room, as is the case in the original mod. In fact, an early version of the room seen in the Museum Ending shows an elevator.
Unused Baby Game Ending
The map for the Baby Game includes entities to implement an unused, simpler version of the ending obtained after playing the Baby Game for four hours. There is an env_fade entity that fades to white and a series of game_text entities that display text in the game's default font:
These entities are present in the map file, but they have no inputs or outputs, so the game never actually triggers them. The entity names are similar to the ones in the used ending: whitefade and finaltext[1-3] in the unused ending, whitecamera and finaltextb[1-7] in the used one.
- Using the Sub-Machine Gun (Half-Life 2) or Paint Gun (scrapped Portal 2 entity), the E key and MOUSE1 button are both forced to fire and use. This results in very strange actions, taking over the game.
To prevent secrets from being discovered too quickly, many of the game's files were initially stored in an encrypted archive at
platform/dump0.tmp. After a decryption tool was released by a third party, an update removed the archive and placed all the files into the game's content directory.
After a schoolteacher complained, the "Choice" video was changed to show more wholesome values.
The next slide was similarly edited to show Steven considering setting fire to orphans rather than actually doing it.
Baby Game Ending Monolith
|Original||December 27, 2016 Patch|
The original version of the Baby Game ending has what the developers call a "weird black monolith" obstructing the text. This is caused by the door for the puppy not closing, and has since been fixed.
The Stanley Parable series
|Windows, Mac OS, Linux||The Stanley Parable • The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe|
|Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X||The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe|
- GranPC. (2018-04-01) "[…] we began working on the game around 2 months before shipping Stanley Parable, and in the beginning we just ran the maps inside Stanley. There's a chance there's a small amount of code from Beginner's Guide in Stanley too. Cheers"