Halo 5 left many players disappointed but one thing that didn’t disappoint everyone was the ending. Cortana’s seemingly unknown rise to power as she takes control of the free runners and Master Chief’s failed attempt at stopping her was a surprise to everyone.
A lot has happened since then and seemingly a new AI called the ‘Weapon’ is now part of Master Chief’s arsenal in Halo Infinite. But what about Cortana? Is she gone? Dead? Let’s find out!
Is Cortana in Halo Infinite?
It’s too early to predict Cortana’s presence in the game but considering all the signs, it does seem that she will be a part of the story. At the very least we should get a flashback or fleeting exposition that explains the whereabouts and demise of Cortana even if she has been killed off. Halo Infinite trailers give us a tease at Master Chief’s new AI ‘The Weapon’ who explains herself that she was meant to be plugged into the Installation 07 systems which would lure Cortana out, the Weapon could then be terminated, trapping Cortana in the Installation. Master Chief could then return to capture the rogue AI and take it back to UNSC Infinity for deletion.
As the story goes in Halo Infinite, we pick up a few months after this ominous ending where UNSC Infinity is in ruins, after being ambushed and demolished by a mercenary group, the Banished. A seemingly stoic Master Chief looks on at the destruction in Zeta Halo.
The tight-lipped nature of this ambush and Master Chief’s direct jump into the story with a seeming loss of recent memory all tease to the return of Cortana. She probably won’t return in the form we know her to be, but everything does point to Cortana being part of the elaborate new story in Halo Infinite.
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New Cortana in Halo Infinite: What we know
Halo Infinite’s Cortana isn’t actually a Cortana clone or a new take on the existing AI. Cortana was a smart AI in the game developed from one of the cloned brains of Dr. Halsey. She goes rogue after she goes past her lifespan of 7 years and starts deleting neural pathways in her brain to store more recent and relevant information, a condition known as ‘Rampancy’ for Smart AIs in the Halo Universe.
The Weapon seems to be another creation of Dr. Halsey where one of her recovered Cloned brains was used to create ‘The Weapon’. The new AI’s novice nature and textbook perception of Master Chief along with the old Purple hue all point to this.
The AI at the start of the trailer also explains that she was solely created to lure and trap Cortana after which she was scheduled for deletion. As we all know, that does not happen, this also implies that as the deletion sequence wasn’t completed, maybe The Weapon failed to capture/trap Cortana leading to the failure of Zeta Halo at the hands of The Banished which might have been secretly assisted by Cortana’s escape. This brings us to our next section, will we see Cortana in Infinite? Let’s find out!
Will Cortana be in Halo Infinite
This is too early to presume or comment on but all signs to do point to Cortana being alive and somewhere out there. Her current state and involvement in the fall of Zeta Halo are still a mystery but if the trailer is to be believed, then Master Chief and The Weapon seemingly failed their mission of capturing and deleting Cortana which could very well mean that she could show up in Halo Infinite.
She could be a wild card that ends up helping Master Chief in the campaign as she no longer suffers from Rampancy. She could also be the wild card that ends up helping out The Banished due to their seemingly crossed paths. All this remains to be seen and if 343i really wants to get the most out of her appearance, then she could also be a part of one of the upcoming campaign DLCs for Halo Infinite in 2022 or 2023.
Is Cortana dead?
For now, it seems Cortana is still well and alive. This is because of Halo Infinite’s cryptic trailer where Master Chief and The Weapon both seem to have failed at their mission. Master Chief wakes up amid the wreckage of Zeta Halo and The Weapon too is seemingly well and alive. This shouldn’t have happened as if The Weapon had managed to capture and contain Cortana according to plan then she should be already deleted and nonexistent.
Additionally if Master Chief had followed up with his part of the deal then he would have ended up with Cortana at UNSC Infinity where she was scheduled to be deleted. This however did not happen as UNSC Infinity is in shambles at the start of the trailer and Master Chief is seemingly at Installation 07, retrieving the weapon.
Where is Cortana in Halo Infinite?
This is anybody’s guess at this point but Cortana could have been right in front of our eyes all this time disguised as a new character, the Harbinger of Truth. This new ruthless character is equipped with numerous modifications and seemingly infinite speed which makes it one of the prominent adversaries of the game.
This very well could be Cortana’s new form after striking an alliance with the Banished. After her fall in Halo 5 and after being let down by the traditional Forerunners, Cortana likely switched sides as the AI was still figuring out its world and finding its place.
The Banished are a broken off group of Forerunners that rebelled against the traditionalists and rose to power in rebellion under the watchful eye of Atriox. Atriox is a powerful yet surprisingly charismatic and convincing leader that managed to create his own rebellion against the traditionalists.
His way with words, hate for the UNSC, and Forerunners could all be the reasons that made it quite easy for him to manipulate Cortana into being on his side. The new look and mods that the Harbinger of Truth sports could very well be the new technology keeping Cortana “sane” this time.
Another character where Cortana could be hiding in plain sight is ‘The Weapon’ herself. This is a personal theory of mine and a few signs are pointing to the same. A new AI talking to Master Chief would not react as The Weapon did upon seeing him. If the voice acting is to be believed then there is a slight pause and adjustment to The Weapon’s behavior as she starts explaining everything. Additionally, with the recently revealed Campaign overview, we get a few more shots of The Weapon who has now turned ‘blue’ instead of the original Purple hue.
Another Smart AI turning colors like Cortana, talking like Cortana, looking like Cortana, and coming from the same cloned brain where the original was supposed to trap the rogue version, seems like a recipe for role reversal. Considering The Weapon’s recent infancy and Cortana’s infinite experience when compared to her, Cortana could have very well found a way to overpower The Weapon and take her place instead.
This would also fit with her takeover of the Forerunners where she is now planning to get rid of the hated Banished with the help of Master Chief himself…that is until she doesn’t need him anymore.
Is Cortana evil?
Though there is a lot of speculation around her moralities, IMO, Cortana is evil considering what she has suffered through and there is now no going back. Though Cortana manages to find peace and infinite space when she reaches the Dominion, something needed to cure Rampancy in Smart AIs, she has already suffered through months of the condition. Her thoughts are muddled, wants skewed, and needs manipulated, finding peace in such a mind state does not seem to help Cortana at all as she begins recruiting her army of AIs with the promise of immortality via the Domain.
The damage once done is done, and Cortana at this point is definitely evil IMO. This however could change as we do not know the exact events before the destruction of Zeta Halo nor what exactly happened when The Weapon was trying to lure Cortana. Sadly, a change of heart and ideology seems very unlikely, especially for a rogue Smart AI in the Halo universe.
What happened to Cortana after Halo 5?
This is anybody’s guess at this point but IMO all signs point to Cortana surviving and having to play a big part in the destruction of Zeta Halo. As for how she survived or where she is currently, we have very little information on the same to even start speculating. More should be revealed as the Campaign version of the game is released to the public in the coming weeks.
We hope this post helped shed some much-needed light on the fate of Cortana in Halo Infinite. If you face any issues or have any more questions for us, feel free to reach out to us using the comments section below.
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