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Cortana is not evil!!!!

OP Casityny

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As we all know, cortana is a clone of Halsey. We'll Halsey has been shown, if you read the books, that she will go to any lengths to save her Spartans. So what if cortana is doing the same thing? What if she is doing all of this to save John? It isn't unbelievable is it?
JMO, but it isn't unbelievable... if you're willing to just accept her quantum shift in personality from H4 to H5 without explanation... I'm not.
She's not evil in her eyes or the eyes of AI's. She's evil in humanity's eyes.
Well, there are several possibilities on that. Two possibilities after what was left of the Didacts ship was blown into slip space and possibly one prior to.

1. The gravemind from H2 who had Cortana imprisoned on High Charity infected or Corrupted Cortana with the same Logic Plague which turned Mendicant Bias
2. The Cortana we're currently seeing is in fact a damaged fragment of her rampant personality (fragmentation occurring during the closing chapter of H4) given form by the Domain.
or
3. The Domain corrupted Cortana with same or similar logic plague on contact.

Regardless, the Cortana we are faced with at this point is apparently either damaged or corrupted and responsible for countless needless casualties when awakening the guardians. She may not be in control of her own actions under those circumstances (if true), but she's definitely batting for the wrong team. If on the other hand Cortana has simply gone nuts/power mad from contact with the Domain, then yeah pretty evil. 'Course it doesn't help that her personality is based on a young Halsey, who probably won't be winning any humanitarian of the year awards anytime soon.

Is the Cortana we all know and love still in there somewhere, or does this have Shakespearian tragedy written all over it for our heroine?

Looking forward to finding out though. :)
After being blasted to Genesis she killed millions when activating the Guardians. She's evil.
Hotrod192 wrote:
I can specify what it is, speaking only for myself. Cortana is not just saying "Oh, AIs are meant to rule, so now everybody dies." I don't believe that for a second... and not that I want to, but I'll give this horrid story arc a miniscule amount of credit for not making her that shallow. Cortana is saying "AIs have attained immortality. They should have the Mantle. Anyone who opposes me will die." That, as well as the rest, is believable.
As far as her being evil... yes. Simple answer and the context has been spelled out pretty plainly IMO. Forcing people to coexist in peace is an oxymoron. The old saying "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions" has already been mentioned once and it applies perfectly. The dead don't care how good Cortana's intentions are and her willingness to sacrifice millions for the "greater good" does not magically erase the fact that mass murder is an evil act.
Ok, I'll give you that much credit. However, just saying that AIs are immortal therefore they should have the Mantle is far from a complex and engaging explanation. I know a good chunk of us understand what that means, since we have read the books, but what about those who only play the games? As far as I am aware, the games have never explained what exactly is the Mantle and why it is so important. Of course, 343i's extreme reliance on outside material to understand their campaign has always been a flaw, and I doubt that will change soon, seeing as how they have not seemed to get the message.

But even then, there's no clear transition between Cortana in Halo 4 to Cortana in Halo 5. She goes from dead to... an immortal Tyrant? And why are AIs suddenly so willing to throw away everything and join her? If 343i slowly built up this story in 1 or 2 games prior to this point in the story, then maybe it would be better. But as of now, we have no explanation as to why anything is happening, other than just "she was in the Domain, deal with it." Again, for those who have not read the books, "Domain" is meaningless. And even for those of us who have read them, it makes no sense. Since when is the Domain a super magical place that heals AIs from rampancy? Last I checked, it was a living reservoir of knowledge... And why would the Warden Eternal see Cortana and think "Hmm, this human AI who is magically no longer crazy would be a great leader for the galaxy! I'll suddenly pop out of nowhere and be her guardian and show up a billion times".

I think many of us were expecting the Didact to return in Halo 5, seeing as how he didn't die at the end of Halo 4, and would have loved to see him interact with other major characters like Mendicant Bias or the inevitable return of the Flood. After all, it did seem like that was the story they were building up. But I guess that would have made too much sense.
"That much credit..." was the only thing I was hoping for, actually. What I found not believable was that one thing and nothing more than that. I agree with what you're saying.

BTW, I haven't read the books. It isn't that I'm not a fan, but I've just always believed that if I can't learn it (even if in a cliff notes, condensed form) from the game, then it shouldn't be part of the story. Note that I don't mean there shouldn't be books or more lore for those who want it.

The terminals strewn throughout the games actually have shed some light on certain things, mostly the Mantle, the Didact and how the flood factors into the equations that sets tension between Forerunners and Humans, also I at least know of the existence of Mendicant Bias, so there's that. So yeah... I knew OF the Domain, but nothing else. Never heard of Warden... Annoying... before I played H5 and the almost mind boggling shift of Cortana's personality.

I mean seriously... from my perspective she goes from:

End of Halo 4 - Touching Chief's armor, saying "I've always wanted to do that." and sacrificing what little was left of her fragments to save him from a nuke blast to... what... ever... she's supposed to be in H5. I guess that should be OK though, right? Because subtlety and nuance...
Don't worry, I hear what you're saying completely. I believe we're both saying the same thing here!

And you're right, it makes sense that, if you can't learn it from the game, it should not be a part of the story. A developer should NEVER expect the players to go and read a dozen novels just to know what's going on. I really appreciate them trying to incorporate all of that lore into the game and tie it all together, but they need to make sure that everybody can follow what's going on. Even a simple introduction to Blue Team, who they were and why they are so important would have been fantastic.

Don't worry though, you're not the only one who is confused about the Warden. He's never been in any of the books, and his mere existence contradicts the source of the Mantle itself. The Mantle is NOT Forerunner in nature, so why is it protected by a Forerunner? And even to us that read the books, the perspective between Halo 4 and 5 is the same. Cortana died after the nuke went off, but now she's suddenly an evil space Hitler? That's terrible storytelling, no matter how much backstory you have.
I don't know man, I don't think you can consider Cortana, as she is now, good. She activated the Guardians and killed millions of people. When Master Chief asked her how many people had died, she didn't answer even though she knew; This leads me to think she still cares about what John-117 thinks, but not enough to not go through with her actions and plans to take on the Mantle of Responsibility. Her views seem an awful lot like tyranny, if you ask me. There are a lot of things that messed her up; I mean she was captured by the Gravemind, and she was going Rampant in Halo 4, but I think it was something in the Forerunner Domain that really changed something in her. I guess we will find out in the next one right?
Spoiler:
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I don't know man, I don't think you can consider Cortana, as she is now, good. She activated the Guardians and killed millions of people. When Master Chief asked her how many people had died, she didn't answer even though she knew; This leads me to think she still cares about what John-117 thinks, but not enough to not go through with her actions and plans to take on the Mantle of Responsibility. Her views seem an awful lot like tyranny, if you ask me. There are a lot of things that messed her up; I mean she was captured by the Gravemind, and she was going Rampant in Halo 4, but I think it was something in the Forerunner Domain that really changed something in her. I guess we will find out in the next one right?
Spoiler:
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OH and I think that we will definitely get more info on what has happened to Cortana and see if she has any good in her. It's just, things don't add up as Cortana isn't answering Mster Chiefs, John-117's, questions🤔!!!
Casityny wrote:
Cortana was blasted to Genesis (or somewhere else). Do you know what plague the Flood inflicted Mendicant with? They infected Cortana w/ that. In my opinion, Cortana is good/bad. Really, the only thing she does is try to end all the wars. I agree w/ Fred and what he told Chief about his opinion. What do you think?
Nope, pretty sure she's evil now. *Rolls eyes*
Cortana is definitely doing the right thing. Restoring forced order is still order. I played the game and was constantly frustrated I couldn't be on Cortana's side. The most unbelievable thing was the Domain existing (which was destroyed with the activation of the Halos, as it was a Precursor technology, and as such, was completely and irreversibly destroyed when the Halos fired. Also unbelievable is that humanity is millions of years behind forerunner tech, yet still manages to kill even one promethean. Forerunners are literally so far ahead I fully expect a single promethean to be able to take on at least 15 or 16 scorpion tanks supported by at least 10 pelicans at once without even losing 30% of his shields. I mean they built buildings which could go under the crust of a planet and come out the other end and ships which haven't collected a single iota of rust or damage in millenia of landslides and whatnot. I mean according to the books, Master Chief's armor was 6 times weaker than the minimum recommended skin to deal with flood, and that's assuming that's like what they wore to take a shower, much less full combat armor, which potentially was thousands of times more durable and effective than Mjolnir. Also, how is Johns team alive? They died.
Wow, this post is sooo wrong...How is killling millions of people good?? Wow...
Casityny wrote:
Casityny wrote:
The Ur-Didact suffers from mental corruption brought on by exposure to the Gravemind and yet 343 still billed him as an ancient evil. Halsey arguably has a more morally conflicted background yet that didn't stop Brian Reed from calling her a monster and 343 approving a trilogy of books effectively calling her a Nazi. Why should Cortana be seen through a different lens? Hell, she's pretty evil in my book for the mass murder she's committed, betrayal and deception towards Chief in order to imprison him, continued threats of death and simply hearing the Galaxy for an all new war with at least the Grunts on her side and an army of robots and humans forcibly composed into AIs. She's not brining any real change to the Galaxy.
I guess, but, like Fred said, "Sounds pretty good. Why would anyone rebel?"
Note he said this before Cortana talked about punishing those who go against her. It's easy to say how good your system will theoretically be, but when you get into the nasty details to get there...one must ask if it's worth it. Sure, the Grunts joined up, but you think the resentment they felt in the Covenant days is gone? Now they have mechs and whatever else Cortana gives them. What's stopping them from undergoing a genocidal retribution against the Jackals for their attempts at sterilizing the Grunts all with Cortana's approval because the Jackals are not likely to join her because of their independent ways?
OMG if cortana uses that, frick this poop im out.
She murdered millions of people without any remorse, you think she'd really care about a subject species of her punishing a rebellious species in her name? Heck, what would rebellion even look like? What if simply politely refusing her offer for rule is enough for her to attack? Lives don't matter to her.
It's true she lost herself through rampancy but their maybe still be good in her.
At the risk of spoilers (having not yet finished the Halo 5 campaign) I clicked on this thread. Given what I know in this moment I think she is an anti-hero. Neither good or bad. Just an AI. Not on the same level as a terminator who has one directive (kill John Connor... and everyone else) but one that makes only logical decisions for the sake of the mission. Her emotion isn't real. Just programmed in such a way to make us believe she is as close to human as you can get without being one. Yep... anti-hero.
Hotrod192 wrote:
Don't worry though, you're not the only one who is confused about the Warden. He's never been in any of the books, and his mere existence contradicts the source of the Mantle itself. The Mantle is NOT Forerunner in nature, so why is it protected by a Forerunner? And even to us that read the books, the perspective between Halo 4 and 5 is the same. Cortana died after the nuke went off, but now she's suddenly an evil space Hitler? That's terrible storytelling, no matter how much backstory you have.
While I agree h5 is very much not an EU game. The warden doesn't contradict anything. The forerunners thought the domain was theres, creating an AI to defend it isn't at all outrageous.

Do egyptian relics in museums run by non-egyptians require the guards to be egytpian? no.
She isnt evil, just has a diferent opinion of what can save the universe.
Hotrod192 wrote:
Don't worry though, you're not the only one who is confused about the Warden. He's never been in any of the books, and his mere existence contradicts the source of the Mantle itself. The Mantle is NOT Forerunner in nature, so why is it protected by a Forerunner? And even to us that read the books, the perspective between Halo 4 and 5 is the same. Cortana died after the nuke went off, but now she's suddenly an evil space Hitler? That's terrible storytelling, no matter how much backstory you have.
While I agree h5 is very much not an EU game. The warden doesn't contradict anything. The forerunners thought the domain was theres, creating an AI to defend it isn't at all outrageous.

Do egyptian relics in museums run by non-egyptians require the guards to be egytpian? no.
No, the Forerunners had no idea where the Domain was physically located until the end of the Forerunner-Flood war. From my understanding, although they very much knew that it existed and could access it, they did not know where it was. There was a rumored ancient Precursor artifact known as the Organon that was one of the most saught-after artifacts. Only near the end of the war did the Flood reveal to the Librarian that the Organon was actually the Domain.

In any case, the Domain was destroyed by the Halo rings, since it, like all Precursor technology, was built on neural physics. So even if they knew where the Domain was beforehand and set the Warden Eternal as its guardian, it should no longer exist. The Domain should be gone, and was even said in Halo 4 to no longer exist. The Terminals in the game could not access the Domain, which is something on which Cortana comments herself. 343i is countering their own lore for the sake of bringing back Cortana as a villain, it's ridiculous.

My theory is that 343i rushed to fill the plot hole of Cortana suddenly being alive, and did not realize (or did not care) that their decision created an even bigger plot hole.
Cortana in Halo 5 is not the same character from Halo 1-3. She definitely is not the same character as she was in H4. That Cortana is dead. This Cortana will just be an evil twin in my eyes until they get rid of her. H4 Cortana was as close to human as she could get. H5 Cortana is as far away from being human as she can be. She. Is not. Cortana. 343 needs to do everything they can to preserve everything good and set up in H4 if they want Halo to have the story it deserves.
She's not evil. She's just good in the wrong way.
If Cortana isn't evil, Hitler wasn't evil.
She killed a lot of people while getting the Guardians
DarkNazo wrote:
She's not evil. She's just good in the wrong way.
I guess Hitler was too then, right?
Nah, she's evil, and the fact that it's left as a mystery is just another example of Halo 5's lazy writing.

Halsey was set up to be the villain, and Spartan Ops showed us the progression of events that led her to become a villain. But nope, she came back to the UNSC all buddy-buddy after the fist mission. No harsh feelings.
Agreed.
cortana tried to be good by activating the guardians to try and police the universe
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