One of the highlights of Microsoft’s E3 show – besides Keanu Reeves and the tease of the next console generation – was a chunky cinematic trailer for Halo Infinite, the next full-blooded entry in the Halo series. The six minute trailer showed the Master Chief being discovered floating in space by a pilot on his last legs. The Chief is woken up and the trailer ends with big green charging into battle. All very fancy and fun. Except, beneath all that there was something hidden, something that’s only just been discovered.
A Halo fan going by Xepyal on Twitter discovered a QR code hidden in the video. When the Master Chief is woken up, red bars flicker across his screen, Xepyal scanned these and was taken to a media file hosted on “halocdn.com”.
Now, if you want to avoid all spoilers for Halo Infinite, don’t read on past the trailer below.
The audio clip is of someone who sounds an awful lot like Cortana saying “This… this is part of me. I don’t know why, I don’t know how, but it is me.”
Now, since Halo 4, Cortana’s been having a particularly rough time. Her sub systems began disintegrating, sending her a little bit mad, before she was then uploaded to the domain – the collective intelligence of the Forerunners. She then took over that alien army and led them to enforce an imperial peace over the galaxy. That sounds like it might be nice, but she was going to do it with force – which is bad.
Now, it’s no great surprise that Cortana would feature in the new Halo, at the end of the E3 trailer her voice is heard saying “I chose you because you’re special”. It may be remembered speech but it certainly suggests she’d be returning. What is interesting about the audio file hidden in the trailer is twofold: firstly, it means this may be the start of a breadcrumb reveal of more Halo news, which is always fun; and, secondly, this fragment of Cortana may be separate to the one now leading the Forerunners, this fragment may be uncorrupted and the route to getting a Cortana back on side.
I guess we’ll have to wait until 2020 to find out.