Note: Spoilers for Halo 4 follow.
When Microsoft first unveiled Cortana for Windows, their answer to Apple’s Siri, there was little doubt that they would somehow tie in the AI’s real-world existence to her video-game counterpart in the Halo franchise. The surprise is in how this link was established.
Halo 4 was the first game in the Halo franchise that delved deep into the Master Chief and Cortana’s relationship, using the two characters and their dependance on one another to explore what it really means to be human. The game ended with Cortana sacrificing herself to save the Master Chief. This leaves Halo 5: Guardians’ story open to him searching for his purpose in life.
Whilst taking part in the Windows 10 Beta, Reddit user ‘Brishollne’ posted a screenshot of what happened when he asked Cortana how the Master Chief was doing, and the result hits a little close to home for long-time fans of the series.
The response is as surprising as it is touching and saddening. Good going, Microsoft. Way to warn me before you start cutting onions.