Halo Legends is a collection of seven short stories relating to the Halo universe. Announced at Comic-Con and financed by 343 Industries, the animation was created by five Japanese production houses: Bones, Casio Entertainment, Production I.G., Studio 4°C, and Toei Animation. Shinji Aramaki, creator and director of Appleseed and Appleseed Ex Machina, serves as the project's creative director.
Runtime: 20 minutes
Halo Legends - Cortana (Halo) - Netflix
Cortana is a fictional artificial intelligence character in the Halo video game series. Voiced by Jen Taylor, she appears in Halo: Combat Evolved and its sequels, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. She also briefly appears in the prequel Halo: Reach, as well as in several of the franchise's novels, comics, and merchandise. During gameplay, Cortana provides backstory and tactical information to the player, who often assumes the role of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. In the story, she is instrumental in preventing the activation of the Halo installations, which would have destroyed all sentient life in the galaxy. Cortana's original design was based on the Egyptian queen Nefertiti; the character's holographic representation always takes the form of a woman. Game developer Bungie first introduced Cortana—and Halo—through the Cortana Letters, emails sent during Combat Evolved's production in 1999. The relationship between Cortana and Master Chief has been highlighted by reviewers as one of the most important parts of the Halo games' story. Cortana has been recognized for her believability and character depth as well as her sex appeal. The character was the inspiration for Microsoft's intelligent personal assistant of the same name.
Halo Legends - Character design - Netflix
Cortana was designed and modeled by Bungie artist Chris Hughes. Cortana's original The character model's face was based on a sculpture of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Cortana's name is a variant of Curtana, the sword used by the legendary Ogier the Dane, just as the titular AI character of Bungie's previous game Marathon 2: Durandal is named after the legendary sword Durendal. Curtana's inscription reveals that the sword has the same “temper as Joyeuse and Durendal”. Cortana and the Master Chief's relationship was a core part of Halo 4's story, part of a desire to feature a more human story. Creative director Josh Holmes' mother was diagnosed with dementia during development, and his real-life struggles informed the characterization of Cortana's descent into rampancy and the Chief-Cortana relationship. Cortana's new appearance for Halo 4 was one of the game's most dramatic changes. Early in production, concept artists created a variety of “crazy ideas” and explorations for how Cortana might look. Promising 2D designs were turned into simple 3D maquettes to prototype them in the game engine. Character artist Matt Aldridge recalled that Cortana was one of the hardest characters to envision in the game because of how beloved the character is by players; one of Aldridge's goals was to create a character where scrolling lines of code would flow uninterrupted from her feet to her head. Art director Kenneth Scott was responsible for Cortana's final design. The character's motion capture was performed by Mackenzie Mason. For Halo 5, Cortana's appearance changes significantly. Describing her previous appearance as soft and “deceptively vulnerable”, 343 Industries took the story opportunity provided to change her look to reflect her new role as self-declared ruler of the galaxy. “In the first draft of the ending she was going to wear a flowing gown, have long hair, etc. She'd be very regal, very “powerful high queen.” Very obviously different than she was," writer Brian Reed recalled. Her final design incorporated elements of the Spartans and Forerunners on top of her previous look, including a Forerunner glyph. “Having her wear [the Mantle] was a nice way of having her own it too, from a symbolic standpoint,” Reed said. The character was modeled and animated using motion capture and talent at 343 Industries and Axis Animation.
Halo Legends - References - Netflix