Cortana's Role in Halo 4 and 5

Am I not the only one who felt a little cheated by Cortana’s role in Halo’s 4 and 5?

First she dies at the end of Halo 4 to save John, of which the game has been building up since the second mission in the campaign. The entire theme of purpose and existence, and the subject of rampancy, brought Cortana to the emotional forefront. We knew she would more than likely die, and were still somewhat distressed to see it happen. With Cortana gone, it created an interesting angle for John in Halo 5. But…

…as it turns out, Cortana actually survived the events of Halo 4, her entire self uploaded to the Domain. By upholding the Mantle of Responsibility alongside the Warden Eternal, she started awakening Forerunner Guardians in the hopes of ending war and bringing peace by uniting all the Created (AI’s from across the universe). So, essentially, Cortana is now the main antagonist, and is now going into Halo 6 as John’s new nemesis.

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Yep, if by “cheated” you mean outraged at the fact that one of the series’ most popular characters had a beautiful, dignified death in Halo 4 that flawlessly closed the story of her life, then her character was absolutely assassinated in the name of Shock Value ™ because none of the other candidates to be Halo 5’s villain instead - the Didact, Halsey, etc. were deemed to be exciting enough during development. Cortana herself is the most cheated of all of them.

Haruspis’ analysis of Mission 14 in his level-by-level is awesome, he goes medieval on the writers there.

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> Yep, if by “cheated” you mean outraged at the fact that one of the series’ most popular characters had a beautiful, dignified death in Halo 4 that flawlessly closed the story of her life, then her character was absolutely assassinated in the name of Shock Value ™ because none of the other candidates to be Halo 5’s villain instead - the Didact, Halsey, etc. were deemed to be exciting enough during development. Cortana herself is the most cheated of all of them.
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> Haruspis’ analysis of Mission 14 in his level-by-level is awesome, he goes medieval on the writers there.

I’ll have to check that out.

Guardians’ story is cool, but it takes chances that are way too unnecessary. Cortana didn’t need to be resurrected and brought back from the dead, because her arc had come full circle. But Brian Reed shelved a perfect character arc and completely cheated the fans, the character of Cortana, and the ending of Halo 4 as it was. If anything, the ending is (almost) totally useless now.

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> I’ll have to check that out.
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> Guardians’ story is cool, but it takes chance that are way too unnecessary. Cortana didn’t need to be resurrected and brought back from the dead, because her arc had come full circle. But Brian Reed shelved a perfect character arc and completely cheated the fans, the character of Cortana, and the ending of Halo 4 as it was. If anything, the ending is (almost) totally useless now.

Oh yes if you haven’t read his full level-by-level analysis of Halo 5 you absolutely must. It’s lengthly but worth it.

Nope she most certainly did not need to be brought back for this story to work. There were a lot of people in the post Halo 3 era that were starting to look forward to the kind of storytelling that could happen with humanity being an equal player in the galaxy, maybe even ascending to becoming the top dog, but 343 decided no, we’re gonna throw things back to a galactic dictatorship and the same kind of oppression that existed under the Covenant. Okay, fine - even if they’re gonna do that, there are other characters that would have served the same role better. The Didact, Halsey, the Librarian, Jul, Mendicant Bias, any one of them could have filled the same role. They used Cortana precisely for shock value and because she was more readily recognizable - it was SIMPLER, which is a prime example of why “simplified storytelling” may not be such a quick and easy fix to all the storytelling problems. Halo 5’s problem wasn’t that the story was too complex, it was that it just stunk.

And as you said, Halo 4’s beautiful ending is completely utterly ruined. Even if they decide to commit down the path of saying this version of Cortana is not the “real” original but a rampant fragment, it’s too late to undo the damage no matter how they spin it going forward. Now every time you see her in the previous games, you sit there and wonder if this psychopath was lurking just beneath the surface.

Haruspis is A B O S S and yes you should absolutely read his takedown of Satana’s writers. It is one of the singularly most finely-crafted dissections I have ever read in regards to literally any fiction ever and if 343i had any sense whatsoever they would actually read it, too, and take. Frigging. NOTES.