Exile
It takes your mind again
Exile
It takes your mind again

You've got sucker's luck
Have you given up?
Does it feel like a trial?
Does it trouble your mind
The way you trouble mine?

Exile
It takes your mind again
Exile
It takes your mind again

Oh, you meant so much
Have you given up?
Does it feel like a trial?
Does it trouble your mind
The way you trouble mine?

Does it feel like a trial?
Now, you're thinking too fast
You're like marbles on glass

Vilify
Don't even try
Vilify
Don't even try

You've got sucker's luck
Have you given up?
Does it feel like a trial?
Does it trouble your mind
The way you trouble mine?

Does it feel like a trial?
Did you fall for the same
Empty answers again?

Vilify
Don't even try
Vilify
Don't even try
Vilify
Don't even try
Vilify


Lyrics submitted by fordandfitzroy, edited by jillx123, BlahBlackSheep

Exile Vilify song meanings
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  • +6
    General CommentKnowing nothing about the game I'll talk about the possible meaning from the writers point of view.

    I think "Exile" stands for the state he is in, as he says that it takes his mind again. Exile is the feeling you have when you start asking yourself abstract questions, when you start losing touch to everydays life and think "Why?". Exile is when your mind starts drifting away from your routine, from your friends and your family, when everything seems absurd and ridiculous.
    It's a situation the narrator or the person he's talking about knows really well, "it takes your mind again". It's a kind of up and down thing like in R.E.M.s "Low": "Up and down, High and low, Low low low" that symbolizes the cours of life. You feel low then it goes better, then low again and better again and so on.

    In those situation everything seems heavy: "suckers luck", you feel like giving up, "feels like a trial": life feels like a burden ect.
    Then "you lived so much" sounds like if he actually doesn't want that "living" anymore and want to take a break.
    Although I'm not sure about the link between "does it feel like a trial" and "No, you're thinking too fast, You're like marbles on glass", i think the second one is a beautiful image.

    Then I think "Vilify, don't even try" means, that the person sould stop asking itself because it's senseless and just accept the condition even if it seems absurd. Vilify, don't even try to understand.

    "Did you fall for the same empty answers again?" means the attempt to give yourself reasons to eplain why things are like they are, because it's always easier to believe in something than to accept the senselessness of your condition. And in contrast to that the advice of the resigned and disillusioned narrator that says "Accept instead of trying to find empty answers".
    marth1080on July 22, 2011   Link
  • +4
    My InterpretationI believe the song is about the 2 stages of an unrequited breakup.

    The first stage, exile, when you've been left, or thrown out, and feel utterly alone and abandoned. The first part of the song describes the thoughts that go through your head in such a state. Terrible luck, a trial of your strength and character, an all consuming pain and denial over someone who meant so much giving up on you and your love, and the wondering whether they are as troubled over it as you are. All you want to do is quiet your painful thoughts, but all alone, your only company is an overactive and uncontrollable mind. Like marbles on glass...

    The second stage is vilification. Once exile sinks in, both parties will vilify one another. The other will begin to vilify you to sooth their guilt and grief, and you will vilify them over the cruelty they've shown by giving up on and abandoning you. Once vilification begins, just trying to communicate is nearly impossible. Don't even try.
    iteration2on February 07, 2014   Link
  • +3
    My OpinionI think it's unusual that this song would only be about Chell, since she's described as incredibly tenacious -- she never, ever gives up -- and the song seems to be about feeling powerless. It reminds me more of Doug Rattmann, another character from the game. My explanation is a little spoilery, though, so skip it if you want your Portal experience to be totally fresh:

    [SPOILER!] If you read the promo comic "Lab Rat," (viewable @ thinkwithportals.com/comic/) you find out that Rattmann was a scientist employed by Aperture who survived GLaDOS's purge, and spent years wandering the facility alone, increasingly suffering from schizophrenia as his medication ran out. Eventually, he became the "rat man" whose writing you find on the walls of the passages behind the test chambers (you can thank him for the "cake is a lie" meme). He found Chell's file and believed she might be able to outwit GLaDOS, so he put her into the test rotation before Portal 1, and made sure her stasis chamber had enough power to keep her alive while the lab was falling apart at the beginning of Portal 2. [/SPOILER]

    In the game, the only place you hear "Exile Vilify" playing is on a radio in one of his "rat nests," a tiny, dilapidated room hidden in one of the tests chambers, with some of the lyrics ("sucker's luck" and "don't even try") and illustrations of them painted on the walls. I feel like this story makes the song even more poignant... I get the feeling that Chell might not even know enough about her situation to grasp how hopeless it really is -- as a vessel for the player, she has no past and no memory; she doesn't really have a choice other than to just roll with the punches -- but Ratman has been watching her and suffering for the both of them. Goes to show that there's definitely more to Portal than just laughs.
    venusvictrixon May 09, 2011   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationIn relation to Portal 2, I've always heard this song as if a third party were watching you (playing as Chell) and wrote a song about your experience through the game. Documenting your thoughts and encounters throughout.

    "Does it feel like a trial" - You're constatly being tested.
    "Well, you lived so much" - You can't die in this game, it will keep going until you finish.
    "Have you given up?" -

    "Does it trouble your mind
    The way you trouble mine?" - I see this as it "troubles your mind" as the puzzles are tricky, but "the way you trouble mine" (GLaDOS) is just as troubled/annoyed by your persistence.
    fluxweedon May 26, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHmm, I'd always thought the line in the second verse was "Well you've MISSED so much", which I think would fit in well with Chell's story -- she's been trapped in Aperture for long she's missed out on living her life. Hell, by the end of game 2 she's lost a few centuries of history.
    But "lived so much" as an above poster mentioned goes perfectly with Rattmann's story. Spending years alone, hiding and crazy would give anybody the worn-out and hopeless tone this song has.
    everyfloatingcaton October 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation[SPOILER]
    I suggest this song is from Rattman's point of view, not addressed toward Chell but toward Caroline, the human being who became the basis for the GLaDOS AI. Since Rattman was on the crew that created GLaDOS it seems likely that he would be deeply troubled by the horrific results of his work.

    "Exile, it takes your mind again" refers to how they literally took her mind and it is now trapped apart from humanity and everything she used to be.

    "Vilify" refers to how being connected to the Aperture network has turned her evil (as it did for Wheatley when he was connected instead)

    "Sucker's luck" refers to her becoming effectively immortal at the cost of her humanity (not a great trade for her).

    "Have you given up" is asking if she's even trying to remember who she used to be any more.

    "No, you're thinking too fast, You're like marbles on glass" refers to the increase in her mental capacity and accompanying loss of sanity from the cybernetic conversion.

    "Don't even try" may be Rattman's acknowledgement that Caroline has no choice, she can not escape her fate or stop herself from doing what she does.
    [/SPOILER]
    Phasmuson July 13, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNothing to add, beyond that "you're thinking too fast, you're like marbles on glass" is a great line.
    el_hon March 09, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentBest choice for the Portal 2 soundtrack ever. The mood, the lyrics, everything screams of Chell.
    aamaryllisson May 05, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment(spoiler for portal 2)

    ok. did anyone else notice that both songs with words(in english at least); seem to be about departure.
    an exile is one who is forced to leave, perhaps because they have been vilified(i.e. scapegoated into being a villan.) also, both Glados and wheatley both blame you for things that is their fault. In other words Glados hates you because you tried to kill her, but she started it, by exposing you to more and more dangers(in the first game of course). Then in the second game she tells you that she is researching sharks for an upcomming test. Then she asks you if you know who kills people who are only trying to help them and asks if you thought it was sharks. She then tells you that thats wrong, that only you are that pointlessly cruel. Also wheatley, once hes plugged into the mainframe; tells you that hes on to you too and that hes tired of you bossing you around. um...chell cant even say the word apple. she is as glados says "a dangerous mute lunatic", but not really. Its just that shes mute(or silent at least). So...something in that mainframe makes people go mad with power and makes the emperor have no clothes.


    Also the name "evile villify" almost sounds like a banishing spell name. lol
    STUDLYCUDDLYBUDDYon June 12, 2011   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningOkay first off I highly recommend reading the comic "Lab Rat". It explains the story of Doug Rattman (you find this song in one of his "holes") and gives the song a lot more meaning. Contrary to many people's comment, it's actually more about Rattman than Chell.

    MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS

    If you don't want to read the comic, here's a quick summary. One of the scientists working on GlaDOS manages to survive her attack (she requested toxin claiming it was for an experiment), and was on the run from her, trying to escape. He finds a companion cube and starts talking to it, as he develops schizophrenia from not taking his meds. He places Chell at the top of the "testing list" because of a report stating her dangerous tendency to never give up - a perfect adversary to GlaDOS. But when he manages to escape, he suddenly feels guilty for using her, and goes back to try and save her. He places her in a cryogenic chamber, which practically places her into a comatose state. From that point onwards, it's not known what happens to him.


    Exile - means "away from home". Both Doug and Chell are far from their homes, but the lab sort of becomes home.
    It takes your mind again - refers to Doug's schizophrenia. His mind forces him to listen to inanimate objects as if they were real

    You've got sucker's luck - Both of them are trapped in the lab, in their destiny to stay in the lab. They can't escape.
    Have you given up?
    Does it feel like a trial? - these two lines refer to the difficulty of the trials that GlaDOS places, as well as Doug's trials.
    Does it trouble your mind
    The way you trouble mine? - My favorite line. It's so damn romantic, as if Doug has fallen in love with Chell and at the end cares more about her survival than his own.

    Whatever the case may be, few video game songs are as deep and thematic as this.

    TheDestroyeron December 16, 2011   Link

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