Everyone is a snappy dresser in the Halo universe. Master Chief wears his trusty Mjolnir armour, Spartan Locke has a more organic set of equipment strapped onto him and Cortana walks around buck-naked like that drunk uncle who ruined your wedding. And that’s kind of weird.
Now granted, she’s an AI program with bits of data conveniently recovering her naughty bits and bytes, but Cortana has also evolved into a very human character over the course of the Halo series.
And her design pretty much sums up the game development environment of the early 2000s, where developers could create a sexy sidekick that was pure eye candy, without anyone criticising them for it. Times have changed however, and people want more than a page three companion with a great personality. Or maybe they want both. Crap, I don’t think I even want to get into the middle of this debate.
Cortana’s nudity honestly doesn’t phase me. I’m pretty much so used to after several Halo games, I don’t even notice her running around in her binary suit. But for other people, seeing that kind of character on their screen can be uncomforting. And right now, that’s an intentional part of 343 Industries current Cortana design.
“She’s not really nude … but that’s what it makes you think of,” Halo franchise director Frank O’Connor said to GamesRadar.
So one of the reasons she [chooses to appear without clothes] is to attract and demand attention. And she does it to put people off so that they’re on their guard when talking to her and she has the upper hand in those conversations.
It’s kind of almost like the opposite of that nightmare you have where you go to school in the nude,” O’Connor said. “You’re terrified and embarrassed and she’s kind of projecting that back out to her audience and winning intellectual points as a result.
Remember, Cortana isn’t like other artificial intelligences either. She was created from a cloned human brain, resulting in a different personality as well. I think. Look, the Halo universe is weird and we’ve already seen AI programs who portray themselves as World War 2 era pilots for Didact’s sake.
Last Updated: October 29, 2015
October 29, 2015 at 14:08
So if I want the upper hand in a conversation…I – drop my pants? Thanks for the advice.