The word "portal" in science fiction and fantasy generally refers to
a technological or magical doorway that connects two distant locations
separated by spacetime . It usually consists of two or more gateways,
with an object entering one gateway leaving via the other
Places linked by a portal include a different spot in the same
universe (in which case it might be an alternative for teleportation
); a parallel world (inter-dimensional portal); the past or the future
(time portal ); and other planes of existence, such as heaven , hell
or other afterworlds . A parallel world, such as
C. S. Lewis 's Wood
between the Worlds in his Chronicles of Narnia, may exist solely to
contain multiple portals, perhaps to every parallel world in
Portals are similar to the cosmological concept of a wormhole , and
some portals work using wormholes.
* 1 Use
* 1.1 Film and television
* 1.2 Literature
* 1.3 Games
* 2 See also
* 3 References
A "jumpgate " of the X Universe , part of a space-travel
network. A "Rift Gate" of the Video Game Primal used for
transport between different realms of Oblivion
Portals are often used in science fiction to move protagonists into
new territory. In video games the concept is often used to allow the
player to cover territory that has already been explored very quickly.
A related book plot that is commonly used is the struggle to get to
the opposite end of a new gate for the first time, before it can be
FILM AND TELEVISION
In film and television, a portal is often portrayed using a ripple
* STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES: One of the earliest examples is
Guardian of Forever , in
Star Trek . The device could open a
spacetime portal to any point in history on any world in the universe.
It was ring-shaped, with a watery "event horizon". This device was
introduced in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The City on
the Edge of Forever " in 1967.
Other examples of portals include:
* BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25TH CENTURY (TV SERIES): Portals appeared in
the series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979–1981), where
interstellar travel was facilitated by a network of portals.
* COWBOY BEBOP: In the anime
Cowboy Bebop , hyperspace gates allow
for faster—though not instantaneous—travel between the planets and
colonies of our solar system.
* DONNIE DARKO: In the movie
Donnie Darko a portal appears on a
cinema screen. A fictional book within the film (Philosophy of Time
Travel) serves as the basis for fan theories about time travel ,
parallel universes and portals.
* DORAEMON: A more lighthearted use of portals can be found in the
Japanese comic and anime series
Doraemon , where the Anywhere Door is
used to travel from any point to another. This door looks like and
operates like an ordinary household door.
* THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (FILM): In the movie The Final Countdown , the
aircraft carrier USS Nimitz is transported via a portal to 1941, where
its Captain must decide whether to intervene in the Pearl Harbor
* HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: In the cartoon series
He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power
the characters are able to travel through time and space by using
magic space portals and time corridors. They can be used by characters
with magic abilities, and are usually of a yellow colour. Sometimes
they can have a pink or purple appearance. In some instances a portal
allows travel from one place to another in just a few moments. In
other cases (the She-Ra-Episode "Darksmoke and Fire"), the user
travels through a separate dimension and can change his destination en
* GARGOYLES: Two types of portal existed in Disney's mid-1990s
Gargoyles animated fantasy adventure series; one was usable from any
body of water while in a boat of any size, and took the traveler(s) to
the series' depiction of the enchanted island of Avalon through the
reciting of the Latin-language "Avalon spell", while the other was
through the use of the fictional, enchanted "Phoenix Gate" artifact,
which took the traveler(s) to any time and place that the person that
held the device was thinking of when they recited a different
Latin-language spell to activate the artifact's occult powers.
* HOWL\'S MOVING CASTLE: In the Hayao Miyazaki film Howl\'s Moving
Castle , based on the novel by Diana Wynne Jones, Howl's castle has a
door with a four color dial above it, and each color setting causes a
different location to appear on the other side of the door, only one
of which is immediately outside the castle.
* JACKIE CHAN ADVENTURES: In the cartoon series Jackie Chan
Adventures , eight demons were sealed away using portals to trap each
of them in a different realm. The portals could be opened again. The
demons were released but later recaptured and returned in the
netherworld. A spell was used on each portal to seal it forever,
ensuring that the demons could never escape again.
* JAK AND DAXTER: "Warp gates" in
Jak and Daxter are rings enclosing
a rippling blue substance used for transportation.
* LOST IN SPACE (FILM): The 1998 film Lost in Space featured a
space-bound hypergate system. The premise of the film is that the
Robinson family will pilot a spaceship to
Alpha Centauri to construct
a receiving hypergate, allowing instantaneous travel between
* MIGHTY MAX: In the Mighty Max television series and toyline , the
titular character Max receives a magical baseball cap capable of
projecting wormhole-like portals that allow Max to teleport across
time and space and even travel to alternate dimensions and the astral
* MONSTERS, INC.: The animated film
Monsters, Inc. involved portals
that open into children's closets. This enabled the inhabitants of the
monster world to enter children's bedrooms and cause them to scream.
Children's screams are the power source of the monster world, and are
siphoned through the portals into containers for refinement. Each
portal is an exact replica of a child's wooden closet door in a metal
frame, allowing a monster to enter that child's room. Some portals
have metal doors and open to counterparts in remote locations in the
human world. The finale features a wild chase through a massive
gallery of closet door portals, causing jumps between places such as
Paris, Japan and Tahiti.
* REBOOT: A portal in
ReBoot , created by the villainous character
Megabyte, displays a rippling event horizon.
* STARCRAFT (SERIES): The StarCraft series features warp gates that
are similar in style and function.
* STARGATE FRANCHISE: The
Stargate franchise uses portals as one of
the primary methods of travel between planets. Large rings are placed
on, or in orbit around planets throughout the universe. When the
travelers "dial" the address of their destination, a wormhole is
formed between the two portal gates.
* STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION:
Star Trek depicted devices called
"Iconian gateways" with angular frames and ripple effects such as the
one in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Contagion ".
* STAR TREK: VOYAGER: In Star Trek: Voyager and the game Star Trek:
Armada II , the Borg have a technology known as the transwarp conduit
. The aperture of the conduit at the transwarp hub resembles the event
horizon of a stargate crossed with the wormhole effect created by the
* TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (1987 TV SERIES): The 1987 Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon , where the dimensional portals allow
fast transportation between distant locations, and some portals are
even used to travel in time. The portals are connected to machines and
often look like a pulsating light in different colors.
* TRANSFORMERS: In
Transformers , the
Decepticons built the Space
Bridge, which serves a similar purpose. A large round ring built on
Earth (lying flat) would create a subspace tunnel to a destination
Cybertron . One key difference in function was that matter
was not broken apart for transport.
* TREASURE PLANET: In
Treasure Planet , the portal (also referred to
as "a 'big door' opening and closing") is an enormous energy doorway
that allows practical, rapid travel between two distant locations
anywhere in the universe. The spherical map (holographic projector )
that led to
Treasure Planet also worked as the portal's control panel
once plugged into a keyhole and would project an orbital list of
locations. One touch on one of the projected destinations and the
portal would instantly open a doorway to that destination, large
enough for a ship to pass through. It is possible that the portal was
built by the ancient alien race that created the map and the planet
itself (which is actually a large, spherical mechanism composed of
incredibly advanced technology).
* GRAVITY FALLS: In
Gravity Falls , Dipper and Mabel's Great Uncle
Stan constructed a portal underneath the Mystery Shack. It was used to
bring his twin brother back from an unknown location.
* THE LEGEND OF KORRA: In
The Legend of Korra , the two spirit
portals, located in the north and south poles, connect the physical
world and the spirit world, allowing passage to the spirit world
without meditation. However, a new portal was created in the center of
Downtown Republic City after Kuvira's sprit energy weapon overloaded.
Hyperion Cantos novel series,
Dan Simmons imagines a network
of portals called "farcasters" which connect most human-inhabited
planets. The form these portals take can vary, and they may be opaque,
completely transparent, or semi-transparent. The completely
transparent variety is very commonly used and effectively turns all
connected places into one giant WorldWeb where distance becomes almost
meaningless. Some of the more opulent occupants may have houses where
each room is built on a different planet, and some rooms themselves
may be partially built in several different physical locations but be
joined by farcaster portals to form one complete room.
Stephen Robinett's book
Stargate (1976) revolves around the
corporate side of building extra-dimensional and/or transportational
stargates. In the novel, the stargate is given the name Jenson Gate,
after the fictional company that builds it.
Andre Norton 's 1958 novel
Star Gate may have been the first to use that term for such portals.
The plot of Robert A. Heinlein\'s
Tunnel in the Sky (1955) uses a
portal. Raymond Jones' Man of Two Worlds (aka Renaissance) (1944)
employs a portal that turns out to be a fraud.
The Shi\'ar , an extraterrestrial race introduced by
Marvel Comics in
1976, also utilize a network of stargates. The
Shi'ar utilize both
planet-based stargates (for personal travel) and enormous space-based
versions (equivalent to the Ori supergate and used as portals for
spaceships), though both are usually depicted without any physical
structure to contain the wormhole. They are used for travel across
His Dark Materials trilogy,
Philip Pullman has characters use
the 'subtle knife ' to carve a doorway from one world to another. CJ
Cherryh 's Morgaine series see the main characters travelling via
'gates' from world to world, closing them as they go.
Since the introduction of the stargate on the big screen other
authors have referenced the stargate device. Authors
Lynn Picknett and
Clive Prince also write of The
Stargate Conspiracy: The Truth About
Extraterrestrial Life and the Mysteries of Ancient Egypt. The book
details an alternative theory links the term stargate with Egypt's
past: Either the pyramid itself is a gateway to the stars (because of
the shafts pointing to a star) or a construction of
Heaven on Earth
based on geographical location of the great and outlying pyramids
(see: Orion ).
Warp (gaming) The basic concept of the portal as a
link to another point in space, within the same universe. Going
through the blue portal from a height induces momentum when exiting
the orange portal.
Stargate-like devices, referred to as warp zones , are abundant in
video games , as they can be used to split a game neatly into levels .
The video games Primal and
Turok the Dinosaur Hunter feature gateways
allowing instantaneous travel between locations to this effect. In
Metroid Prime 2: Echoes , a number of ring-shaped dimensional portals
allow the main character to travel between Light and Dark versions of
the planet Aether. In the game
EVE Online , a large object called a
"stargate" lets the player travel between solar systems, and in
Homeworld 2 , Hyperspace Gates serve as the centerpiece of one of the
game's final missions, in which massive rings create wormholes capable
of transporting matter great distances. In
Super Mario 64
Super Mario 64 and its
Super Mario Sunshine , various paintings and warp pipes
lead to levels, all connected by a bigger level that houses these
portals. Portals are used frequently throughout the
Spyro (series) ,
with each individual level, or world, separated by portals, allowing
for loading screens which do not damage the games immersion.
In "Bioshock Infinite ", Elizabeth is able to open up portals
("Tears") from another period of time either future or past, in an
alternate dimension of their world.
In the Half Life franchise, Combine forces use portals to travel to
Earth from Xen , a parallel plane of existence.
In Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars , the alien race
portals to transport their armies onto and across the battlefields.
The description of their Gravity Stabilizer states that the structure
compensates for Earth's intense gravity and magnetic field, "allowing
Alien spacecraft to execute short-range teleportation jumps directly
to the battlefield".
Portals are common in MMORPGs . In
RuneScape , portals can be used
domestically. Players can install portal chambers in their houses that
link to different cities in the world, allowing free transport to
these places for both them and any visitors to their houses. In World
of Warcraft , mages can summon portals that can teleport the mages and
their group members to various cities.
In the augmented reality game Ingress portals are placed at
sculptures, statues, and other public art , unique businesses, and
historically and architecturally significant buildings and the like,
but serve as nodes in the game mechanics (see graph theory ) without
any transportation function.
Portal and its sequel,
Portal 2 created by Valve Corporation
features a portal-creating device as a central game mechanic which is
used to solve puzzles and reach otherwise-inaccessible destinations.
The portals are depicted with few special visual effects; instead,
they are shown as representations of the destination, bordered by blue
or orange particle effects. In the video game Half-Life , portals are
displayed as glowing balls of energy which instantly teleport the user
to an inversely colored exit point.
In the game
Minecraft created by Markus Persson and Jens Bergensten,
it is possible to build a portal to an alternate hell-like dimension
called "The Nether". It is accessed by making a frame of obsidian
blocks, with a 3×2 rectangle in the centre, then setting it on fire
using any object that can make fire. When lit, the frame will be
filled with blocks resembling whirlpools. A player standing in the
portal long enough will be transported to "The Nether," which consists
of caves, lava, fortresses, mushrooms, neutral zombie pigmen,
magma-slime creatures, tall black "wither skeletons", and fire
shooting "ghasts" and "blazes". Another kind of portal in "Minecraft"
is the End Portal, which is a rare portal found only 3 times
throughout the world. The players use "Eyes of Ender" to find the End
Portal, and places one Eye of Ender in each frame block (if not
already there). When completed and entered, the player will go the
"End", filled with mobs called "Enderman". The only way out of the End
is to either get killed or kill the Ender Dragon, which opens a portal
back to the Overworld.
The role of a portal serves the tunnel network of GLA in the game
Command and Conquer Generals . This is a building that can garrison
some units. These units can exit from every tunnel network of their
base without any relay. It is supposed that they travel underground
with relatively high velocities, but they seem to be teleported.
Science fiction portal