Why Cortana must "NOT" die.

Intro:
Yes, this will be a controversial one… I know a lot of people (possibly most) will strongly disagree with this. I don’t expect anyone to agree, I don’t even expect people to read all of this because I predict that it won’t be short, knowing myself I would just get exhausted seeing a text this long.
I won’t be trying to change anyone’s opinion, the main idea here is to present a full(ish) view of this perspective.

This is something I think about a lot. I have touched on this in other threads but I think it’s worth making a proper post about it. If nobody is interested then so be it :slight_smile: .
Here I will be going over the reasons for why I think that killing off Cortana would be a massive mistake.

  • Her role in the Halo Universe:
    Nobody will be surprised to hear that Cortana’s role in the Halo games and lore is huge. Marty O’Donnell’s perspective (while I disagree with him) was that Cortana was "the" main character of Halo, while Chief was some sort of human vessel. I would for sure say that John is the primary main character if anyone, but i do think that they are both the main characters together. And the duo of them both, has since day 1, has been one of the biggest key parts of the franchise. I can not think of a more iconic duo for me, Chip n’ Dale can sign those divorce papers.
    So my first concern here is based around, “What will Halo feel like to me without Cortana?” without that half, she’s part of Halo. And Jen Taylor <3.
    For those of you who would even want to get rid of Chief, I assume this would be the smallest issue in the world for you lol. I would protect Chief in the same way, but that’s another topic.
    Think of the idea that we would never ever again get a new experience with Cortana inside Chiefs helmet, talking to us, being a smarty-pant and helping us out along the way (while her story ended the horrible way it did). Surely I can’t be the only person who gets a little heartbroken by that? Enough sentiment.
    Another aspect of her role comes down to her connection to Forerunner times. I’ll get into that more later.

  • Abandoned “potential” plot points?:

  • **“Fragments”: (**note. I have not yet gotten to the short story that covers Cortana’s arrival to the Domain, so excuse me if there are inaccuracies regarding this point)At the end of Halo 4, Cortana splits up her rampant personality spikes. These fragments go onto saving John. After this we know that Cortana ended up in the Domain, we don’t know however (as far as I’m aware of) if all those fragments got put back together or not. If not, we don’t know where the other fragments ended up or in what condition.
    This way (to me) the character could still be saved from destruction (and I don’t mean only her death, but the actual character too). Consider that “Evil Cortana” would only be 1 fragment, or a few fragments from the full version, the dangerous fragments from Halo 4.
    To give an example of how this could resolve, imagine if Chief finds a way to free the other Cortana fragments from the Domain (assuming they are there) and then they both kill off the h5 Cortana off somehow, or something similar.
    All of a sudden Cortana re-establishing trust between Cortana and humanity doesn’t seem quite as impossible anymore (to me), assuming ofc that she isn’t rampant anymore, because she was not actually the one (in a way) to have committed those crimes, and the “evil” personality spike is gone.
    I know this might sound cheesy presented like this, I’m no story-writer, but I think you get the idea, take it as you will. This way we would also avoid any “copy of Cortana who isn’t actually her”, which would feel wrong to me, and to Chief (Quote: That’s not going to happen).
    I really felt something along those lines was hinted in Halo 4. I think this would be a missed opportunity to not touch on this at all.

  • **“The Forerunners planning?”**The Librarian tells Chief:
    "I hid seeds from the Didact. Seeds which would lead to an eventuality. Your physical evolution. Your combat skin. “”****Even your ancilla, Cortana"". You are the culmination of a thousand lifetimes of planning."
    Chief: "Planning for what?"

The conversation is interrupted there, but the main point here is that Cortana is part of this plan. In what way? Well that depends on what the plan was, so let’s talk about that.
I find it slightly hard to believe that the Libriarial of all people would intentionally want Cortana to steal the Mantle of Responsibility and use it against Humans (the Reclaimers), that makes absolutely no sense to me, so I’m not gonna see that as a likely possibility.
One could also wonder, maybe it was only to defeat the Didact once the day came, and nothing more. Again this makes no sense to me, because the Didact survived and Chief defeated him without her. Also Chief was the one who freed him in the first place. Could be this, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

The most likely possibility to me, is that this “plan” is something that isn’t finished yet. Which makes it 100% necessary that Cortana remains alive to not turn this plot point into an awkward contradiction. She is part of this.

  • They already did this…:
    I’m not gonna lie, after Halo 4 I felt almost 100% sure that Cortana would return in Halo 5, I didn’t exactly expect it to happen quite the way it did, as soon as I realised she was evil my brain went “that must be a fragment” but it saddened me when that was never confirmed.
    Despite this Cortana had an absolutely beautiful farewell to John in Halo 4, I literally still cry watching this… Enough sentiment.

The idea of bringing this iconic character back (in a horrible way, with a horrible story) just to kill her off again, not only destroys the beautiful farewell, but also takes away to whole point of bringing her back in the first place. Negative negative does not become positive here to me. Just killing her off again feels like a lazy solution.

It’s like they “kinda” ended her story, (even though I don’t think that was ever the plan), but then someone said: "waait a minute… Before we dump this character forever and kill her off for real, can’t we just completely ruin her first?
As you call tell this doesn’t sit right with me, I believe this character deserves to be redeemed.Outro:
This took me about 2 hours lol, writing and reading does nooot come naturally for me, I hope I didn’t write like a 2 year old and made at least slight sense… sometimes.
Thanks to the 1 person who read all of it, thanks mom, thanks dad, nobody is gonna get all the way down here, so I can just make a fool of myself freely down here right? Anywaay…

Now comes the part where you get to disagree with me on everything. It’ll be fuun!
Questions to you:

  • What are your main reasons for wanting/not wanting cortana to get killed of? - Did anyone agree or relate to anything I just said?Have a blast and play Halo etc :slight_smile:

lots of interesting thoughts so I figured id share my view

  • While she did play a major role, one could argue that she as a secondary main character is no longer a thing. While I can see the idea that she was the main character of 1 and even 2, she very much was absent from 3 (outside of her hallucination parts). Her role went from being there with chief to being a generic damsel in distress. That in a way, was carried over to 4 in which it was used to break chief into accepting his humanity. You could argue that H5 was him basically in denial about Cortana. The only real way I see to even have her involved with the story is to have chief kill her (eventually). - Yep, it means that would have to abandon the fragments idea (which at this point is just a theory). They could tweak it as well so you still go the fragment route but ultimately kill her but that’s a bit messier.
  • as for the forerunners, I don’t think that was really anything. It was more of the idea that AIs of that complexity was planned to happen eventually. It’s the same thing with chief being special. Right now people only assume it’s like this because of bornstellars gene song. Again though, that’s a theory and it could just be the librarian using chief as an avenue for humanity. She could have accelerated any humans evolution if they were in chiefs shoes.3. Yep, they did, and bringing her back undermined the meaning and impact of 4’s ending. To me, the only correction is for chief to kill her with his own hands and actions. Doing this seems to be the only real way to resolve the created idea without feeling like a cheap write off. If we were to go through the stages of grief, one could view chief finally killing the evil Cortana as a form of acceptance towards both himself and her death. Chief did not accept it in 5 and it broke him in 4. The only right way IMO is to have him kill her and accept she’s gone. You could also make the argument that the created are the second coming of the flood and are humanities test to see if they can hold the mantel as current Cortana was essentially born from the logic plague that erupted further during her rampancy.

> 2533274840624875;2:
> lots of interesting thoughts so I figured id share my view
> - While she did play a major role, one could argue that she as a secondary main character is no longer a thing. While I can see the idea that she was the main character of 1 and even 2, she very much was absent from 3 (outside of her hallucination parts). Her role went from being there with chief to being a generic damsel in distress. That in a way, was carried over to 4 in which it was used to break chief into accepting his humanity. You could argue that H5 was him basically in denial about Cortana. The only real way I see to even have her involved with the story is to have chief kill her (eventually). - Yep, it means that would have to abandon the fragments idea (which at this point is just a theory). They could tweak it as well so you still go the fragment route but ultimately kill her but that’s a bit messier. - as for the forerunners, I don’t think that was really anything. It was more of the idea that AIs of that complexity was planned to happen eventually. It’s the same thing with chief being special. Right now people only assume it’s like this because of bornstellars gene song. Again though, that’s a theory and it could just be the librarian using chief as an avenue for humanity. She could have accelerated any humans evolution if they were in chiefs shoes.3. Yep, they did, and bringing her back undermined the meaning and impact of 4’s ending. To me, the only correction is for chief to kill her with his own hands and actions. Doing this seems to be the only real way to resolve the created idea without feeling like a cheap write off. If we were to go through the stages of grief, one could view chief finally killing the evil Cortana as a form of acceptance towards both himself and her death. Chief did not accept it in 5 and it broke him in 4. The only right way IMO is to have him kill her and accept she’s gone. You could also make the argument that the created are the second coming of the flood and are humanities test to see if they can hold the mantel as current Cortana was essentially born from the logic plague that erupted further during her rampancy.

Well explained, and interesting thoughts! Thx for sharing :slight_smile:

I am a little torn on this. I do not believe she qualifies as a main character outside of CE, 2, and 4. 4 was a great swan song for Cortana and I will never get over how they just nuked the feelings that 4 instilled in me and others.

But now she is back for better or worse. I think if they kill her off again in Infinite it will not feel meaningful having her died and revived so soon. I would like some sort of redemption arc for her and maybe have her stick around fro the next game or so (or possibly story DLC as that seems to be what will happen).

I feel like she needs to die again, but just not soon as it will feel cheap and non meaningful.

Realistically, there really isn’t anywhere that Cortana can go as a character near as I can tell. After the stunt she pulled being a wannabe tyrant, nobody should trust her ever again. Even if you argue brainwashing or corruption by the Flood, all that means is she was compromised and could end up compromised again. Best case for her would be for her to be thrown into whatever passes for an AI jail. And really, if the Cortana from 5 is just a bunch of crazy fragments stitched together then it isn’t actually Cortana and I have no attachment to that thing dying.

> 2533274812652989;5:
> Realistically, there really isn’t anywhere that Cortana can go as a character near as I can tell. After the stunt she pulled being a wannabe tyrant, nobody should trust her ever again. Even if you argue brainwashing or corruption by the Flood, all that means is she was compromised and could end up compromised again. Best case for her would be for her to be thrown into whatever passes for an AI jail. And really, if the Cortana from 5 is just a bunch of crazy fragments stitched together then it isn’t actually Cortana and I have no attachment to that thing dying.

Yeah I get why most people feel that way.
My idea would be that the remaining fragments would not directly be the ones who were compromised. But then again you are still right in way, it applies that she is still capable of being compromised. But that would apply to every existing AI in that case, would it not?
I’m also kinda attracted to the idea of Cortana being kept a secret with some good old ONI shade, with only a hand-full of people knowing she’s around.

> 2535449665894532;4:
> I am a little torn on this. I do not believe she qualifies as a main character outside of CE, 2, and 4. 4 was a great swan song for Cortana and I will never get over how they just nuked the feelings that 4 instilled in me and others.
>
> But now she is back for better or worse. I think if they kill her off again in Infinite it will not feel meaningful having her died and revived so soon. I would like some sort of redemption arc for her and maybe have her stick around fro the next game or so (or possibly story DLC as that seems to be what will happen).
>
> I feel like she needs to die again, but just not soon as it will feel cheap and non meaningful.

Yeah I think that would be a bit more reasonable to me. If she would be redeemed in a good way and then eventually die.
These characters won’t be eternal I suppose, Steve Downes won’t be getting younger either. Though I personally feel like by the time they decide to get rid of these characters, they should maybe think about possibly bringing the main line games to a close. I don’t want it to become milking thing. I might feel differently when we get to that point however.

Yes, it would cast serious problems with other AIs and judging from Shadows of Reach we see AIs being removed from any serious position even if they still ally with humanity. Cortana just destroyed the relationship between humans and AIs. I guess that can lead to some decent narratives, but Halo had been good about avoiding the whole cliche “Skynet” nonsense you tend to see in sci-fi.

And honestly, doesn’t Cortana deserve better than being locked up or imprisoned AGAIN (last time by the Gravemind)?

> 2533274812652989;7:
> And honestly, doesn’t Cortana deserve better than being locked up or imprisoned AGAIN (last time by the Gravemind)?

Oh yes I completely agree, I wouldn’t want that, and I don’t either think that it would make much sense in the story to do that.
But I think she also deserves a better story than: killing her off, reviving her to make her evil and and destroy her character, and then just killing her off again… I don’t want the last memory of her to be as a villain lol :’(.

> 2533274947805189;8:
> > 2533274812652989;7:
> > And honestly, doesn’t Cortana deserve better than being locked up or imprisoned AGAIN (last time by the Gravemind)?
>
> Oh yes I completely agree, I wouldn’t want that, and I don’t either think that it would make much sense in the story to do that.
> But I think she also deserves a better story than: killing her off, reviving her to make her evil and and destroy her character, and then just killing her off again… I don’t want the last memory of her to be as a villain lol :’(.

If it’s just fragments, then that problem solves itself. It ain’t really her and therefore the real Cortana was never involved.

> 2533274812652989;9:
> > 2533274947805189;8:
> > > 2533274812652989;7:
> > > And honestly, doesn’t Cortana deserve better than being locked up or imprisoned AGAIN (last time by the Gravemind)?
> >
> > Oh yes I completely agree, I wouldn’t want that, and I don’t either think that it would make much sense in the story to do that.
> > But I think she also deserves a better story than: killing her off, reviving her to make her evil and and destroy her character, and then just killing her off again… I don’t want the last memory of her to be as a villain lol :’(.
>
> If it’s just fragments, then that problem solves itself. It ain’t really her and therefore the real Cortana was never involved.

Yes precisely, that’s a big part of the reason I’m drawn to that potential path. Though I can’t blame anyone for not thinking that’s the right way to go.

> 2533274812652989;7:
> Yes, it would cast serious problems with other AIs and judging from Shadows of Reach we see AIs being removed from any serious position even if they still ally with humanity. Cortana just destroyed the relationship between humans and AIs. I guess that can lead to some decent narratives, but Halo had been good about avoiding the whole cliche “Skynet” nonsense you tend to see in sci-fi.
>
> And honestly, doesn’t Cortana deserve better than being locked up or imprisoned AGAIN (last time by the Gravemind)?

I could see Cortana ending up like Mendicant Bias: locked away until her final role is set to play out. When you think about it, she’s already followed in Bias’ footsteps by going rampant after a “conversation” with the Flood and then eventually holding her creators at gunpoint.

Who knows, maybe Cortana’s uprising was part of some massive long-term plan orchestrated by the Gravemind, put into motion when it held her captive and only now starting to unfold in earnest.

First of all I must say don’t be down on yourself for your passion you are just weeding out those who are less likely to give a response and some of us love these longer posts so chin up.

Second I really feel like 343 has written themselves into a corner that is gonna be difficult to extricate themselves from. Cortana was a part of you from the beginning and messing about with the character without a high level of care and finesse was a mistake. I thought it was daring to kill her off in 4 but it all feels a bit ham fisted now in the light of her resurrection as a villain in h5.
She is also a character who has in my opinion been victimized. As a result she has now turned villain which makes it even more unenjoyable to fight and potentially defeat her.

Third point is this:

> "waait a minute… Before we dump this character forever and kill her off for real, can’t we just completely ruin her first?

I feel this in my very soul.

Fourthly you have done a poor job making a fool of yourself and I am disappointed. Perhaps try something like “we should have more micro transactions in halo” if you want to get the job done next time.

On the whole I would say I agree. And the story telling needs to be great this go round. We need finished story arcs that don’t contradict, and that support non-game stories while also standing alone. No more dropped threads about the forerunners either. And most importantly we need to get a sense that the writers get who Cortana has been to the fan base since before they took over and then they need to respect that. I get it. It is their property and they had some ideas; but lack of focus as to what they were doing and where they had already been in the era before halo 4 has not done justice to Cortana.

Now I can admit I read the first couple paragraphs then skimmed the rest to the bottom. Im sure your mom and dad were excited to be mentioned in here.

When it comes to Cortana I agree with you 100% Cortana and the Chief are the perfect team and I was sad to see them do Cortana like this. If they were going to get rid of Cortana which it made sense that her lifespan was coming to an end then I thought Halo 4 was a great ending for her. H5 while I love that game and still play it almost ruined her bringing her back the way they did. They should have kept her dead and had Chief find halsey and make her either “revive” or recreate Cortana as Halsey is the one who made her. I love Cortana and after all of this would love to get her back inside our heads going forward if they could structure a rebuild or her back into the story.

When it comes to Chief to Halo and whether to lose him or not. I think its absolutely ridiculous to try and get rid of Chief for a new main like Locke. Locke was fine but just as a side character maybe a new teammate or coop player 2s can play as him. But Chief is to Halo as Shepard is to Mass Effect, as Doom Slayer is to Doom, as Link is the Zelda. They are inseparable now and any future Halo without the Chief although I would hate to think the game would fail but it just wouldnt be the same game they would have to name is Halo something something spin off.

Oh well we shall see what the future hold for Cortana but at least for now they have said Chief is yet again at the forefront in Infinite.

I wish so hard that halo 5 could just be forgotten. Halo 4 was such a perfect sendoff for the character. It also damaged halo as a setting, as it went from a rare series with a positive outlook on AI, to one of the hundreds with a pessimistic view of AI.

Even if they redeemed her, I don’t see a plot line for her that doesn’t feel like the marketing team parading her corpse around to appease fans. The old days with her were great, but there’s this lovely descent of her sanity from 1-4 that if you try to avoid that just makes the character dry.

And no, ‘fragments being stitched back together’ still ruins the character. If your pet died, and it came back as a zombie that tried to take over the world, and then it died off or whatever, would that not ruin your pet’s memory? It may not have ‘really’ been your pet, but it definitely looked and sounded like it.

> 2533274862926994;12:
> First of all I must say don’t be down on yourself for your passion you are just weeding out those who are less likely to give a response and some of us love these longer posts so chin up.

Oh, I might have come across more down on myself than I feel that I am, a part of that may just be kidding around a bit. Ofc it would be convenient if everyone just saw my own opinions as ideal facts and all, but that would also be ridiculous, and probably get boring lol.
Thank you never the less!

> 2533274862926994;12:
> Fourthly you have done a poor job making a fool of yourself and I am disappointed. Perhaps try something like “we should have more micro transactions in halo” if you want to get the job done next time.

Are you questioning my ability to be a fool? I’m offended. Fine I’ll try the micro-transactions trick next time.
Regarding the rest, I relate to all of it. It’s very refreshing to hear such a similar perspective, thanks for the reply! :slight_smile:

> 2533274833071719;13:
> Now I can admit I read the first couple paragraphs then skimmed the rest to the bottom.

Can’t blame you, I probably would too lol.

> 2533274833071719;13:
> Im sure your mom and dad were excited to be mentioned in here.

This is the part you were supposed to skim through lol.
As for the rest, I’m wouldn’t be very happy about a copy, it would feel wrong to me, but I would prefer that option over just getting rid of her.
I completely agree that Chief to Halo is like Link to Zelda etc, if they get rid of Chief I only see it working well in the end of the series. A replacement would be weird.
In general very interesting thoughts, and yes we’ll just have to wait and see where things go.

> 2533274964189700;14:
> I wish so hard that halo 5 could just be forgotten. Halo 4 was such a perfect sendoff for the character. It also damaged halo as a setting, as it went from a rare series with a positive outlook on AI, to one of the hundreds with a pessimistic view of AI.
>
> Even if they redeemed her, I don’t see a plot line for her that doesn’t feel like the marketing team parading her corpse around to appease fans. The old days with her were great, but there’s this lovely descent of her sanity from 1-4 that if you try to avoid that just makes the character dry.
>
> And no, ‘fragments being stitched back together’ still ruins the character. If your pet died, and it came back as a zombie that tried to take over the world, and then it died off or whatever, would that not ruin your pet’s memory? It may not have ‘really’ been your pet, but it definitely looked and sounded like it.

I respect that, it makes complete sense.
As for the dog part. No if my dog wasn’t the one who “really” did it that wouldn’t ruin my memory of the dog, if it’s just a “clone” with some of the dogs emotions and memories.
A difference I wanna mention, is that Cortana is intelligent “life” compared to a dog who is driven by other things than intellect. Which to me gives Cortana a bigger “responsibility” in a way, and a bigger blame.
If the real Cortana is going these things, THAT is what would destroy her memory to me.

See , there’s no way Cortana would be functioning for unsc ever again after the uno card she pulled in halo 5. Chief might accept her? But what about UNSC. Unless chief decides to ‘hide’ her. Which I think isn’t likely and seems a child’s plot to me. Second possibility is that she dies, by chief hands and then chief decides to retire. And his and her story arc gets finished. Which I think should be the case. Third possibility is that they both die, together. This will be the saddest conclusion to their arc, but somewhere inside me, I want both of em to die for each other.
I won’t play any sequel to halo infinite if Cortana has died for real this time, and chief has accepted and decided to move on with and operate for UNSC. No! Halo was always meant to be ,one way or another, the story of Cortana and chief.

> 2533274812652989;5:
> Realistically, there really isn’t anywhere that Cortana can go as a character near as I can tell. After the stunt she pulled being a wannabe tyrant, nobody should trust her ever again. Even if you argue brainwashing or corruption by the Flood, all that means is she was compromised and could end up compromised again. Best case for her would be for her to be thrown into whatever passes for an AI jail. And really, if the Cortana from 5 is just a bunch of crazy fragments stitched together then it isn’t actually Cortana and I have no attachment to that thing dying.

The brief yet important role Cortana plays in halo reach’s campaign would seem to contradict this last point you make about stitched together Cortana not really being Cortana as would some of the early books when they touch on ai fragmentation and later reintegration. The reach Cortana is just a splinter herself.

I would agree with the sentiment of all you said though, however I would prefer an eternal exile in defence of humanity redemption arc or like a self sacrifice redemption arc.

But yeah I feel you she is stuck from a story perspective with few possible satisfying outcomes still left to her.

> 2533274862926994;17:
> > 2533274812652989;5:
> > Realistically, there really isn’t anywhere that Cortana can go as a character near as I can tell. After the stunt she pulled being a wannabe tyrant, nobody should trust her ever again. Even if you argue brainwashing or corruption by the Flood, all that means is she was compromised and could end up compromised again. Best case for her would be for her to be thrown into whatever passes for an AI jail. And really, if the Cortana from 5 is just a bunch of crazy fragments stitched together then it isn’t actually Cortana and I have no attachment to that thing dying.
>
> The brief yet important role Cortana plays in halo reach’s campaign would seem to contradict this last point you make about stitched together Cortana not really being Cortana as would some of the early books when they touch on ai fragmentation and later reintegration. The reach Cortana is just a splinter herself.
>
> I would agree with the sentiment of all you said though, however I would prefer an eternal exile in defence of humanity redemption arc or like a self sacrifice redemption arc.
>
> But yeah I feel you she is stuck from a story perspective with few possible satisfying outcomes still left to her.

Hmm well yes I’d say that it would still be Cortana. But the remaining fragments would not be guilty what so ever. Can’t help to think a bit of BB (Black Box) in the Kilo 5 trilogy, when he made a splinter who started thinking in ways that could lead to early rampancy. So he didn’t rejoin with it, if I remember correctly he even destroys it.
Cortana’s case is different ofc. She didn’t just make a clone like in Reach or like BB did, she used her rampant personality spikes to literally split herself up it seems, if I understood Halo 4 correctly that is… I would see it as if those negative sides of her were killed off. It would of course help a lot if the evil Cortana was a minority of the full version, so that we would still feel like the majority is left, and good.

> 2533274812652989;5:
> Realistically, there really isn’t anywhere that Cortana can go as a character near as I can tell. After the stunt she pulled being a wannabe tyrant, nobody should trust her ever again. Even if you argue brainwashing or corruption by the Flood, all that means is she was compromised and could end up compromised again. Best case for her would be for her to be thrown into whatever passes for an AI jail. And really, if the Cortana from 5 is just a bunch of crazy fragments stitched together then it isn’t actually Cortana and I have no attachment to that thing dying.

I just read this again and realised that I misunderstood you the first time, so if my previous replies seemed out of context it’s because I didn’t quite grasp all of what you were saying, just thought I’d say lol

it could be an interesting plot point where chief kills off cortana and then has to deal with it throughout the game in like little episodes or som. maybe give the chief ptsd? i dont know how would 343 pull it off but if they did that would be kinda cool

1st of all, appreciate this long and well thought out post.

I personally agree with the general sentiment that Cortana, as a character, is irreplaceable. I personally wasn’t actually a huge fan of Chief/Cortana’s portrayal in Halo 4 (holy crap, she manipulates hard light buttons on the Forward unto Dawn? She’s an A.I… she doesn’t push buttons…) and I wasn’t crazy on the ending/her death (it seemed overly dramatic and didn’t make a lot of sense, but I’m generally not a Halo 4/5 fan.) But all that said, I think we’re set up for an interesting situation and I’m curious to see how it plays out.

So in regards to the Forerunners, I think the Librarian is essentially just saying that in the geas she planted in the humans (explained in the Forerunner novels,) she planted the inevitability that they would create mjolnir, the spartans, cortana, etc. It isn’t clear to me if this is just incredible biological engineering, that somehow they planted a seed for this in our DNA, or if there is some kind of hidden Forerunner Ancilla that has been guiding humanity along.

I think that the potential for Forerunner involvement in Cortana’s plotline actually relates more to a mirroring of Mendicant Bias and Offensive Bias. Remember that Mendicant Bias was the most powerful Forerunner AI when it was created, just as Cortana was the most powerful human AI when she was created. Just as Mendicant Bias defected, and was replaced by Offensive Bias, I suspect that Cortana will be replaced by/countered with another AI. All the lore around Cortana’s creation, and the context with Shadows of Reach, leans towards something along those lines. I personally would be a bit unhappy if the plot of Infinite either A: Doesn’t resolve this at all, or B: does so by killing Cortana. I agree that she is a key character, especially after those lines about how they would replace her with another Cortana model.

I understand that redemption seems improbable considering the amount of people she’s killed, but I could see some sort of way around that. Here’s my vision (although sadly they’ve probably already got a plot, one that was written and finalized before Joe Staten got hired.)

Cortana is on Zeta Halo because of the flood. Because this was the Gravemind’s plan all along. After what Halo 3 set up with Gravemind, I would love to see an ongoing conflict between them and Cortana. So imagine this, when Cortana was captive to the gravemind in High Charity, he had a significant effect on her psyche/personality matrix. When Chief finds her in Halo 3, she “wakes up” enough to be herself and help him destroy the ring and finish the fight. Then, he plops down for a long nap in cryo while she slowly goes rampant (a process which has been accelerated by her assimilation of the Halo data and her fight with Gravemind.)

When she “died” at the end of Halo 3, she discovered access to the Domain and was manipulated by the flood into forming the created and attacking humans/subjugating the galaxy. I can’t help but feel like the flood and the created have similar goals in some ways, and it would make a lot of sense if the flood have been manipulating AIs.

This would be a great way to get a sense of darkness in the game, i.e. we have no contact with anyone so we don’t know who’s around and if anyone is left, etc… makes the game feel pretty dire.

Then, perhaps with the help of Mendicant Bias, or with the help of the new Cortana AI (or an old fragment,) Chief can maybe fix Cortana. I’m imagining a wicked terrible battle against the flood, banished, forerunners, everything is going crazy and you’re battling Cortana, and she EMPs your suit so you lose a bunch of HUD options, then finally boom, you reach an access point to the domain or something and you’re able to recomplile her personality matrix or something, and she says some classic line like “I do know how to pick them,” and poof, Cortana is back. Would be into that personally, especially if they include flood/the gravemind.