Tinfoil Theory: The Weapon is Cortana in disguise

So yeah, I think ‘The Weapon’ we saw in the trailer could actually be the real Cortana in disguise.

Let me break it down.
From what they talk about, it’s clear that there was a mission before the start of the game, that hasn’t gone according to plan. The Weapon was taken to Zeta Halo to infiltrate and ‘replace’ Cortana, and Chief was meant to extract and deliver her to Infinity. But something went wrong. Perhaps the Banished showed up and threw a spammer in the works?

The Weapon says that Cortana has been deleted (though neither of them know by who), and that she was supposed to delete as well, but mysteriously hasn’t.

I think this is a lie.
I think it’s more likely that Cortana beat her digital duel with the Weapon, and instead replaced it to further her own goals. This way, she gets to operate with everyone assuming she is out of the picture, and can manipulate Chief into unwittingly helping her out.

343 might be just flexing their animation skills, but the Weapon does come off as a little ‘overacted’, as if it’s actually the real Cortana trying to pull off a more bubbly personality to win Chief over.
And I think Chief might be suspect of it.
In the grand scheme of things, finding out why the Weapon (an ally to the UNSC) didn’t delete, seems oddly low priority for Chief in the moment. Chief also turns from being quite dismissive of her, to being responsive and urgent. I think he wants to get the Weapon back to the UNSC for possible deletion, in case Cortana is playing a trick.

As a side note, one of Bungie’s ideas for CE was to have Cortana turn evil before the end of the game. 343 keep telling us Infinite is a spiritual reboot. It would be quite fitting for the Weapon to be revealed to be the evil Cortana before the end of the Campaign.

It would also give 343 a potential ‘out’ for Cortana I the future, if they wanted to pull some kind of save for Cortana by combining her memories with the Weapon’s personality. Not a perfect plan, but the option would be there.

Just a crazy tinfoil theory, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

> 2533274810945725;1:
> So yeah, I think ‘The Weapon’ we saw in the trailer could actually be the real Cortana in disguise.
>
> Let me break it down.
> From what they talk about, it’s clear that there was a mission before the start of the game, that hasn’t gone according to plan. The Weapon was taken to Zeta Halo to infiltrate and ‘replace’ Cortana, and Chief was meant to extract and deliver her to Infinity. But something went wrong. Perhaps the Banished showed up and threw a spammer in the works?
>
> The Weapon says that Cortana has been deleted (though neither of them know by who), and that she was supposed to delete as well, but mysteriously hasn’t.
>
> I think this is a lie.
> I think it’s more likely that Cortana beat her digital duel with the Weapon, and instead replaced it to further her own goals. This way, she gets to operate with everyone assuming she is out of the picture, and can manipulate Chief into unwittingly helping her out.
>
> 343 might be just flexing their animation skills, but the Weapon does come off as a little ‘overacted’, as if it’s actually the real Cortana trying to pull off a more bubbly personality to win Chief over.
> And I think Chief might be suspect of it.
> In the grand scheme of things, finding out why the Weapon (an ally to the UNSC) didn’t delete, seems oddly low priority for Chief in the moment. Chief also turns from being quite dismissive of her, to being responsive and urgent. I think he wants to get the Weapon back to the UNSC for possible deletion, in case Cortana is playing a trick.
>
> As a side note, one of Bungie’s ideas for CE was to have Cortana turn evil before the end of the game. 343 keep telling us Infinite is a spiritual reboot. It would be quite fitting for the Weapon to be revealed to be the evil Cortana before the end of the Campaign.
>
> It would also give 343 a potential ‘out’ for Cortana I the future, if they wanted to pull some kind of save for Cortana by combining her memories with the Weapon’s personality. Not a perfect plan, but the option would be there.
>
> Just a crazy tinfoil theory, but I thought I’d throw it out there.

I honestly think there was a merger between the two. Cortana was solid in the series however I am not dismissive of moving on from her. I honestly think losing Cortana would add a lot of depth to Chief and his character. He could have often callbacks to when Cortana brought the human out of Chief. It does seem like they are going toward a PTSD and war torn version of Chief in this game.

> 2533274792737987;2:
> > 2533274810945725;1:
> > snip
>
> I honestly think there was a merger between the two. Cortana was solid in the series however I am not dismissive of moving on from her. I honestly think losing Cortana would add a lot of depth to Chief and his character. He could have often callbacks to when Cortana brought the human out of Chief. It does seem like they are going toward a PTSD and war torn version of Chief in this game.

I agree. I think it would be interesting to play out most of Infinite with the Weapon by your side, recapturing the nostalgia of Chief and Cortana exploring a Halo ring. And then to turn the tables at the end, and her to betray him like that, would add so much extra spice to their dynamic and really messing with John’s head.

It would allow them the opportunity to explore a darker Chief than before in an expansion. All the best sequels are the darker ones.

> 2533274810945725;3:
> > 2533274792737987;2:
> > > 2533274810945725;1:
> > > snip
> >
> > I honestly think there was a merger between the two. Cortana was solid in the series however I am not dismissive of moving on from her. I honestly think losing Cortana would add a lot of depth to Chief and his character. He could have often callbacks to when Cortana brought the human out of Chief. It does seem like they are going toward a PTSD and war torn version of Chief in this game.
>
> I agree. I think it would be interesting to play out most of Infinite with the Weapon by your side, recapturing the nostalgia of Chief and Cortana exploring a Halo ring. And then to turn the tables at the end, and her to betray him like that, would add so much extra spice to their dynamic and really messing with John’s head.
>
> It would allow them the opportunity to explore a darker Chief than before in an expansion. All the best sequels are the darker ones.

I just thought of something 0.o

Chief himself was “made” to be a weapon against humanities biggest threat.
The Weapon was “made” to be a weapon against humanities biggest threat.

This might actually be perfect.

I personally would be surprised if Cortana wasn’t somehow part of the “Weapon”

Yeah, it’s really suspicious that Cortana has been “deleted” and “Miss Weapon” was stopped from deletion. Looks as if we could get something like Chief and ‘Cortana’ for a good part of the game.

> 2533274810945725;1:
> In the grand scheme of things, finding out why the Weapon (an ally to the UNSC) didn’t delete, seems oddly low priority for Chief in the moment. Chief also turns from being quite dismissive of her, to being responsive and urgent. I think he wants to get the Weapon back to the UNSC for possible deletion, in case Cortana is playing a trick.

I think that “dismissive” was Chief hating the whole thing. He didn’t exactly sound excited when he got there and for good reason.

> 2535411936618971;6:
> Yeah, it’s really suspicious that Cortana has been “deleted” and “Miss Weapon” was stopped from deletion. Looks as if we could get something like Chief and ‘Cortana’ for a good part of the game.

That’s the thing, 343 get to have their cake and eat it.
So far, due to the stories they have given us, 343 have only been able to write Cortana as an unstable and decaying in Halo 4, and a brainwashed megalomaniac in Halo 5.

With them wanting to create a spiritual reboot of CE, it makes sense that they would want to recapture that dynamic between Chief and Cortana, and it looks like they will be giving this to us with the friendly Weapon A.I.
But if Cortana has actually been killed, and the Weapon is simply served up to us at the beginning of the game, this is going to feel really cheap and unearned.

It’s better to make us think this is the case, then to reveal it’s been the real Cortana all along, either by having fully replaced her, or by hiding some of her code inside the Weapon and waiting for a good time to strike.

Also, if this happens towards or at the end of the launch campaign, then they will have been able to tell the more self-contained Banished story (after 5’s ending), while reintroducing evil Cortana for new players, which could be followed up on with expansions.

> 2533274810945725;7:
> > 2535411936618971;6:
> > Yeah, it’s really suspicious that Cortana has been “deleted” and “Miss Weapon” was stopped from deletion. Looks as if we could get something like Chief and ‘Cortana’ for a good part of the game.
>
> That’s the thing, 343 get to have their cake and eat it.
> So far, due to the stories they have given us, 343 have only been able to write Cortana as an unstable and decaying in Halo 4, and a brainwashed megalomaniac in Halo 5.
>
> With them wanting to create a spiritual reboot of CE, it makes sense that they would want to recapture that dynamic between Chief and Cortana, and it looks like they will be giving this to us with the friendly Weapon A.I.
> But if Cortana has actually been killed, and the Weapon is simply served up to us at the beginning of the game, this is going to feel really cheap and unearned.
>
> It’s better to make us think this is the case, then to reveal it’s been the real Cortana all along, either by having fully replaced her, or by hiding some of her code inside the Weapon and waiting for a good time to strike.
>
> Also, if this happens towards or at the end of the launch campaign, then they will have been able to tell the more self-contained Banished story (after 5’s ending), while reintroducing evil Cortana for new players, which could be followed up on with expansions.

I know, it’s probably the best thing they could’ve done (new Cortana). We get the spiritual reboot with the nostalgia and Halo 5 can continue at the same time. And yeah, it works new players too.

I’m sure Chief is going to get the old Cortana back somehow. Like Johnson said: “Don’t let her go, don’t ever let her go.”

Interesting theory for sure.
If you haven’t read Shadows of Reach I highly recommend it. It really gives you a bit more insight into this topic.

Personally I believe Cortana & The Weapon are two separate entities. Something has obviously happened to Cortana but we don’t exactly know what quite yet. Possibly recovered by The Banished?
I believe The Weapon is going to play the Cortana role in Infinite until we figure out the fate of Cortana.

while I won’t deny it would be interesting as far as twists go to go through the story only to find out in the end that The Weapon is really Cortana whose been leading you along to meet her own goals I do feel this is a bit obvious and I hope 343 have a better story in mind with better twists to it.

> 2533274865778947;9:
> Interesting theory for sure.
> If you haven’t read Shadows of Reach I highly recommend it. It really gives you a bit more insight into this topic.
>
> Personally I believe Cortana & The Weapon are two separate entities. Something has obviously happened to Cortana but we don’t exactly know what quite yet. Possibly recovered by The Banished?
> I believe The Weapon is going to play the Cortana role in Infinite until we figure out the fate of Cortana.

I’m still waiting for my copy to arrive by mail :frowning: damn Rona! But I know the just of the story, just not the specifics.

Personally, I too would prefer to have them both as seperate entities in the game (at least for a while). I much prefer the mirroring of the Medicant vs Offensive situation from the Forerunner-Flood war. It’s thematically pleasing haha. Though if they do just end it with some kind of A.I. Digital Rumble, I don’t think it will be as satisfying, imo.

Either way, the theory is only based on taking the characters at their word. It doesn’t take into account info that they aren’t aware of yet. 343 likely wouldn’t be showing clips from late in the game, and clearly a lot has happened before the start, so we likely have a lot to learn about prior events at this point the the game.

I’m not a fan of the Weapon business. It feels like another instance of 343i soft-retconning the story set up by the last game. I wasn’t a fan of the Created twist, but it was the big cliffhanger of Halo 5 and it should factor into Infinite in a big way.

About your theory, I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of Cortana. It seems like 343i want her fate to be a mystery throughout the game while we explore the ring with the Weapon taking her CE role and fight the Banished, and I agree that Cortana will return to the focus in the endgame after Escharum is dealt with. Your theory seems plausible. Another option that I saw was already mentioned here is that Cortana and the Weapon have been combined into one AI. It’s possible that they aren’t aware of this, too.

I also hope we’ll learn more of the mission to delete Cortana, and not in a tie in novel

I think they are separate and Cortana is being held by an enemy faction but that would be an interesting plot twist.

> 2533274846978810;12:
> I’m not a fan of the Weapon business. It feels like another instance of 343i soft-retconning the story set up by the last game. I wasn’t a fan of the Created twist, but it was the big cliffhanger of Halo 5 and it should factor into Infinite in a big way.
>
> About your theory, I don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of Cortana. It seems like 343i want her fate to be a mystery throughout the game while we explore the ring with the Weapon taking her CE role and fight the Banished, and I agree that Cortana will return to the focus in the endgame after Escharum is dealt with. Your theory seems plausible. Another option that I saw was already mentioned here is that Cortana and the Weapon have been combined into one AI. It’s possible that they aren’t aware of this, too.
>
> I also hope we’ll learn more of the mission to delete Cortana, and not in a tie in novel

Fore sure the conception of this ‘good Cortana’ as a plot device is a direct response to the reaction of Halo 5, she reeks of damage control. I just hope that she gets a satisfying introduction in the game, and isn’t just flown over or crammed into a couple of throw away lines.
To be honest, I didn’t think we’d see a Cortana replacement until 343 were ready to kill off Halsey. I figured that 343’s answer to defeating Cortana in the future could have been a replacement made from the source; Halsey’s older and wiser brain, and not a mere clone of a younger one. The makings for a superior A.I. perhaps?

And yeah, the weight of her actions in 5 were heavy, and need to be aptly addressed moving forward. She pulled an Emperor Palpatine, and essentially started her own galactic empire. To begin undoing that at the beginning of the following game removes all the weight it gained.

I expect a summary of the mission to delete her will be given at some point, but if it doesn’t factor into the main plot too much, a good way to expand on what happened could be through data pads containing text or better still, audio logs. It could also serve as a way to include characters that didn’t make it into the campaign.