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Microsoft trolls the world by putting Clippy in Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Season 2 has arrived and brought one of the most divisive mascots of the tech industry with it. Clippy – Microsoft Office’s notorious animated assistant – has joined the game as an optional cosmetic.

As shared by product manager for Xbox James Shields, the cartoon paperclip has been added as a Halo Infinite nameplate, so you can proudly display the googly-eyed office essential to others. It's also available as a gun charm that can be hung from your weapons. After all, if there’s one thing Spartans are known for, it's their love of tacky trinkets of 20th century digital mascots.

The cosmetics are little stationary for our liking, though. Clippy wasn’t just an icon in Microsoft Office, but a fully animated interactive assistant that would regularly interject with well-meaning (if often redundant) suggestions, hop about your screen, and morph into weird shapes when you asked it questions. You could even right-click the fella and select “Animate!” to watch it spontaneously transform into a bike, throw a paper airplane, or put on a pair of headphones. It was definitely a very productive tool.

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Would it be too much to want a similarly spirited Clippy in Halo Infinite – one that hops around the screen, transforming into a Warthog or Ghost whenever you want it to? Undoubtedly, yes. But it would also be nothing short of brilliant. 

“Would you like help to capture that flag?”, the obsequious little rascal would call out, thinking it was helping as it dumped a huge text box over your screen, obscuring the exact area you’re trying to read.

“Try wiggling your mouse to move the camera”, it would suggest in a vain and totally unnecessary attempt to be helpful.

Some Halo Infinite players might be glad that Clippy has only been added as a tiny cosmetic easter egg. The virtual assistant wasn’t particularly loved when it appeared in Microsoft Office back in 1996 and was widely criticized for its irritatingly frequent interjections. Microsoft finally sunset the character to much applause in 2007.

But the paperclip holds a lot of nostalgia for some people and was returned to Microsoft 365 last year. In a Tweet, Microsoft said it would replace its paperclip emoji with an image of Clippy if it received over 20,000 likes. The Tweet quickly gained the necessary votes and the tech giant followed up on its promise; Clippy is now preserved as an emoji, albeit without the ability to talk.

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