Frank O’Connor, the game director for the recently released Halo 5: Guardians, explains whether or not Master Chief’s AI companion Cortana is actually nude.
It’s a question that has raged throughout history: is Cortana, the helpful artificial intelligence companion seen in the Halo games, nude? Well, according to Frank O’Connor, the director of the well-received Halo 5: Guardians, the answer is no.
Cortana is the AI that works with Master Chief throughout much of the Halo franchise, and is also an important part of the recently released Halo 5: Guardians. She materializes as a blue hologram of a woman, and while she does appear to be “nude,” O’Connor has explained why that’s not exactly the case.
“She’s not actually nude because she has neither clothes nor private parts. She’s effectively just wearing kind of a holographic body stocking; that’s the conceit.”
In the expansive Halo fictional universe, AI are able to choose their appearance. This ability is illustrated in Halo 5: Guardians, as an AI that looks very different from Cortana can be seen interacting with Fireteam Osiris and Dr. Halsey. This means that Cortana deliberately makes herself look similar to a naked human woman, and there’s a reason behind her decision.
“[…] one of the reasons she [dresses as she does] is to attract and demand attention. And she does it to put people off so that they’re on their guard when they’re talking to here and that she has the upper hand in those conversations.”
That being said, O’Connor admits that Cortana was not originally designed to be that way in Halo: Combat Evolved. As one can probably guess, she was made to look the way she does simply because sex sells, and the developers needed an attractive female character to pair with the intensely masculine Master Chief.
That being said, the ESRB apparently didn’t think Cortana was ever truly nude. After all, Halo 5 has a T for Teen rating, as opposed to the M rating that was attached to previous games in the franchise, and she appears in this “naked” form in most all of them. Nudity is a surefire way for a game to receive an M rating in most cases, so it seems Cortana’s nudity, or lack thereof, hasn’t really been an issue for the series.
Regardless of her appearance, Cortana has proven to be one of the most popular characters to come out of the Halo universe, perhaps second only to Master Chief. Her popularity has even been recognized by Microsoft, as they’ve created the Siri-like Cortana to work with Windows 10, and we’re sure that she’ll continue to leave a lasting impact on Microsoft and the Xbox brand moving forward, nude or not.
The latest game in the Halo franchise, Halo 5: Guardians, is now available exclusively for the Xbox One.