To Kill or Not to Kill

I love Cortana. She is one of my favorite characters in the Halo universe. So, y’all understand why I don’t want her to die. See, I thought she got a brilliant send-off at the end of Halo 4, (coincidentally my favorite Halo title), and subsequently cried my eyes out. (Green and Blue, man, what a piece of music) But I always expected her to return in some fashion, and wasn’t at all surprised to see her in the H5 marketing material. I almost like the crazy mad -Yoink- Cortana because I think it opens up lots of cool possibilities regarding Chief’s character, his emotions, and his humanity. I genuinely don’t think she should die. I think the whole Chief-Cortana relationship is very interesting and beautiful, (yeah I know blue team and his spartan friends and all but Cortana is the one we’ve got to know most in gameplay). Cortana’s death in Infinite if done well could be a very beautiful, emotional and tragic moment (I’m stocking up on the Kleenex already), and y’all already have a bunch of excellent ways she could die. (I like the one where she allows herself to be killed redeeming herself at the last moment before dying, yet chief will never know) But if Chief kills her it will again be a case of his duty and Spartan-ness triumphing over his humanity, but I think 4, Andy to a degree 5 have really emphasized his humanity, and I really liked the Chief going AWOL to save Cortana, and having him kill Cortana would throw all of it away.

I’ve got some different perspectives on many of the points you’ve made, but I respect your passion and enthusiasm for Cortana. I feel like she’s been mishandled narratively since 343i took over- Halo 4, to me, seriously missed the mark in humanizing Chief at the expense of him suddenly feeling like a different character. Cortana likewise suffered serious chsracter alteration- I understand that the out of rampancy explains this, but as an audience, we lack the gradient between her personality at the end of H3 and the beginning of H4, which made it a jarring transition for me. Most damaging was the sudden shift in their relationship as portrayed in Halo 4, though. What had appeared to me to have been a venerable partnership built on duty and trust in the vein of law officers or longtime co-workers suddenly took on some much more overtly romantic flavor- to me, this was rather terrifying on account of the fact that Cortana is based on Dr. Halsey, the closest thing John can ever remember having to a mother.

Leaving all of that aside, though, I would argue that Cortana having to die in Halo Infinite wouldn’t “throw away,” her and Chief’s development in Halo 4-5. In many ways for me, it can justify and ammend issues I’ve had with that development. Chief went AWOL to save Cortana, assuming she could be saved. Turns out, maybe she can’t. And if she can’t be saved from what she’s become, his duty to humanity as a soldier and to the memory of Cortana pre-rampancy is to eliminate the threat she poses to the freedom of the galaxy.

I agree that any killing of Cortana would need to be handled very well–but in my opinion, it’s the way to tidy up Halo 1-6 with a narrative throughline that ties them all together.

I’m getting Jon and Daenerys vibes from this, and Jon did decide to put duty over love

For me it depends on why she went corrupt. If it’s something tangible that we can stop that caused to her to go insane I think it would be cool of we could solve that and save her but if she just went power hungry out of nowhere then I think she should die.

You can’t kill an AI, it is just lines of code, Cortonas code has become corrupt because it has decided to continue to operate beyond the 7-year period unlike Serina in HW2.

If she absolutely has to appear in the next game (which is almost a given unless they explain her absence away somehow… or kill her off in a comic), not only do I want her to die, I specifically want to have a boss fight. I don’t want Chief to kill her, in a cutscene, QTE or otherwise… I want to put a bullet in her myself.

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> If she absolutely has to appear in the next game (which is almost a given unless they explain her absence away somehow… or kill her off in a comic), not only do I want her to die, I specifically want to have a boss fight. I don’t want Chief to kill her, in a cutscene, QTE or otherwise… I want to put a bullet in her myself.

Yeah but how could you do that with an A.I. With no real body?
Maybe by destroying the core of the Domain if such a thing exist (Don’t know alot about the lore, only played Halo for the games and only got really into it recently) but it’s very unlikely and even if Cortana create a body for herself it would likely be something like the Warden so destroying it won’t kill her.
The only way to kill her would be with something like a killing A.I. chip like in one of the theory about Halo Infinite.

If the writers do indeed decide to finish off Cortana, who or what should take her place? Cortana has always been a major part of the gameplay, and would be hard to replace. A new AI, whether it be Roland or another UNSC smart AI, or even a Mendicant Bias or another Forerunner AI would feel empty in my opinion, and it’s another reason I hope she doesn’t die.

@DuckierBoat3087, Understandable. But ostensibly there is already slated to be a “replacement” of sorts in Infinite, if we’re to take the teaser from E3 '18 at face value. Who or whatever is on that chip Chief is slotting into his helmet at the end of the trailer is yet to be determined, and it is possible that they’ve since abandoned the idea of having another AI occupy the co-pilot role in the campaign this time around. I remember some speculation based on when Cortana alludes to being replaced by “another Cortana model,” in the H4 campaign.

Tough to say what way they’ll decide to take things. I think that literally replacing her with “another” Cortana is severely risky, but potentially also quite interesting if it is made clear that, although this hypothetical new Cortana and the one we’ve been with since CE are based on the same underlying personality of Halsey, they are not the same character. This could create nice drama between old and new Cortana as well as between Chief and new Cortana. It could add a lot of tension in a very understandable way if John and Cortana 1 both really resent Cortana 2 because she is, in a sense, a “Monument to All their sins”. So to speak. So that could be very interesting. On the other hand, odds are that if there is a Cortana 2 (for lack of a better nomanclature), they’ll probably make her resemble Cortana 1 from CE-H3 in just about every sense, right down to the personality.

It depends on whether this is Cortana or not. If it is her, then 343 fundamentally misunderstood her character and bastardized her for little more than shock value. They ruined her character that had been built up over the years. Yes, she’s made questionable choices, but you want me to think the Cortana we saw at the end of Halo 4 would just suddenly and randomly go on to be a mass murderer and tyrant? You can say it’s the Gravemind, rampancy, or whatever excuses 343 put in the Halo loot crates, but ultimately to get to her character in Halo 5 they had to see her development over the years and toss it in the trash. She’s a parody of a who she was and if she has the mental clarity to see that she’d probably beg to be put down the second she hurt Chief.

If it’s just some crazy rampant fragments, who cares if she lives? It’s not really Cortana.