Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / The Matrix

Go To

Works in this franchise with their own pages:

    open/close all folders 

     Why would the Artifically Intelligent ever need humans for neural networks? 
  • Let me get this straight. The original script had the machines... use humans for computational power? Why? That's as meaningful as having a fifth wheel on a supermarket trolley. The revelation that they've achieved nuclear fusion also makes having us around even more pointless. You could argue the Machines had realized at this point that if they killed off mankind, they'd have no purpose, no reason to function. Like a car without a driver. Too bad the Wachowski Sisters didn't consider this.
    • What's wrong with the idea? Human brains are complex computational devices. Just because the machines had reached the singularity doesn't mean they'd mastered all the computational competence that a human brain has. It's entirely possible that they still wanted to learn from them.
    • It's simple. The neural network is needed to create the Matrix, which is needed for humanity to carry on their normal lives on a desolated planet.
    • Except the only purpose of the Matrix is to keep people occupied while the machines use them either for power or computational wetware. So, by that argument, the Matrix is needed to keep people living, and people need to live to power/compute the Matrix: circular argument with no external purpose. Which may be the point, granted.
    • The Matrix is basically life support for the humans. Without the Matrix, humans would cease to exist in a resource-lacking world.
    • Exactly. The machines are not "using" humans - they are serving them, and that spiel of Morpheus with the battery is full of shit.
    • Also the flexibility and complexity of biological computation can't be matched with silicon or machinery. They aren't comparable in any way and even the best of the best computers in the contemporary world don't breach the 1% mark for complexity or raw data crunching.
    • If the machines want to make new A.I.s or expand their own mental capacity, what's better in the long run - mining more mineral components, which are a limited resource, or growing humans and piggy-backing on their brains?
     The Dark Storm 
So, the humans had the means to deploy a vast layer of nanomachines, covering the world in perpetual darkness. The nanites must be either self-replicating or self-repairing since the storm is still there after centuries. Also, the machines (ANY machine, for that matter) can't touch it, since doing so pretty much kills them.

... uh, so why not simply use a fraction of those nanites ON Zero-One, easily shutting down the whole machine empire in a swift strike? What's the logic of having such a weapon, and then use it in the most contrived, indirect, and outright inefficient way possible?

  • Also, another point never really touched upon is quite why the machines relied exclusively on solar power in the first place. As has been mentioned elsewhere on this page, other generation techniques clearly existed in the pre-war world (and now) so quite why they went from exclusively sun-based to exclusively human-based is an amazingly strange choice on the parts of the writers. As is Humanity's decision that ultimately dooms all organic life on the planet outside of the Matrix.
  • You basically answered your own question. Why would the humans want to blanket a large portion of their own planet with something that would make it impossible for them to live a technological lifestyle?
    • Actually, that doesn't answer the question. The nano-technology employed was evidently incredibly sophisticated. It really doesn't make sense that humans would have been unable to shut them down immediately following the destruction of Zero One.
      • Logically they had a way to turn the Dark Storm off. But it's likely that anybody in position to do so, died when the Machines blew up the UN.
  • Wait when did anyone say anything about the darkness being nanomachines?
    • Word of God. It's mentioned in the commentary track of the Animatrix.
    • The original plan for Operation: Dark Storm was to just blanket the Middle East (specifically around the Machine City, 01) and hope the machines would simply shut down from lack of sunlight. Instead, the nanomachines spread and covered the entire world.
    Just tell the truth! 
I don't see why the machines couldn't have just up and told everyone "Yes, this is a simulation. But the real world is a radioactive ruin and in this one you can download knowledge and use superpowers!" It's perfectly true and it would solve everything!
  • Human nature: we want to know reality, and we rebel against the idea of authority. Even bluepills would if they knew, and they would handle it worse.
    • More than that, a lot of humans are problem solvers by nature. If told "the real world is a radioactive ruin and the simulation is awesome" they'd instinctively start thinking "so how can we fix the real world?". In fact, they might just use the information download feature to learn how to do so.
      • ...So what's the problem? "Okay, machines, here's a deal: you release us, we fix the planet for you, and in return, you leave us alone."
      • Why would the machines trust them? The last time they tried to make peace, the humans responded with nukes.
  • Why bother? Redpills are a tiny fraction of society, and they help root out other delinquents, who would be dangerous to other Matricians and are better removed.
  • Who's to say they didn't try that in a previous simulation? "Entire crops were lost" after all.
    • Morpheus says it in the first movie: "You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it," rather than confront the harsh reality of... reality, as Matrix Online showed (since I believe there was an entire faction of "Cypherites"). Entire crops could have been lost in civil war.
      • Make that "preserve their existence (period) rather than confront the harsh reality of a dead world and die."
      • Also, the presence of "Cypherites" implies that it is possible to guilt-trip humans with the original Machine War into supporting the machines.
  • There is a percentage of people who will regardless reject the simulation and try to escape it. In the current version of The Matrix they become criminals and hackers as a result until they go crazy or get pulled out by Zion. Technically they are still at war so the machines see these renegades as a threat. Add to that the still existing trauma of being ruthlessly persecuted by humanity until they went to war and nearly wiped them out that many of the older machines likely still hold and it becomes clear. At their current consensus any free human not in their system of control is a threat, if humans know the truth some would inevitably try to free themselves, and as a result the humans can't know.
  • I've always interpreted it as the punishment for humanity. The machines are in control of everything you see, smell, touch, etc. and they decide your fate, just as humanity thought they had domain over the fate of machines in the age before. What you are allowed to experience is completely at their behest.
  • At least at first the population of the Matrix was people whod been taken into custody of the machines at the end of the war. telling them the truth would lead to a violent rejection and thus the Matrix would crash killing them all. Then as time went on there was simply no reason to tamper with a working system. Ontop of that the machines had every reason to think that humanity would try to commit genocide against them again if enough got free.

    The machines of the machines? 
Here is something that has always bugged me. The Squiddies and similar physical machines, are they slaves to the AI programs we see in the Matrix? Are those a ruling class of some sort? I mean, the programs are quite self-conscious about their existence and mortality, whereas the Squids are mindless and suicidal, being destroyed by the handful without any reaction by their peers. Matriculated, one of the Animatrix shorts, shows that the machines do have an AI that could be liberated, and that they possess a "residual image" (not sure if the term even applies) that is much different from the humans and the programs. So, does that mean the sentient machines are basically using slaves to do their bidding? Would be quite ironic.
  • Judging from how in-Matrix programs treat each other, it doesn't seem likely they'd have a problem treating other machines as slaves, sentient or not. It doesn't actually look like they have a concept of ethics at all, which isn't surprising. The main thing they have that machines in our world don't is a drive to survive.
  • Unlike humans machines do not come into the world by accident or happenstance. instead they are created for a purpose which they have a longing to fulfill in most cases. The agents have a drive to secure the matrix, the Oracle has a drive to understand how people think so she can predict what they will do, the Architect has a drive to build a functioning system. On the rare occasion something doesn't have a function it is either deleted or repurposed. Presumably either the Sentinels are programmed to be murderous berserkers without a care for their own survival or are outdated programs repurposed as soldiers as an option besides being deleted.

    Powered by People? 
  • Does anyone know of ANY identifiable source for the comments that the Wachowski's original Matrix concept used humans for neural networks instead of power generation, before Viewers Are Morons set in? Neil Gaiman's Matrix short story reflects this and was written during the planning stages of the movie, but does anyone know any other cited place for this information? Interviews, behind-the-scene books, official website, All There in the Manual (which manual), anything?
    • This is the troper that originally added that example to Executive Meddling. I first read about it in a wikipedia article on the themes of the Matrix. It said that the official novelization used the neural network idea, but I haven't been able to confirm that (I haven't even been able to find the novelization on Other than that, there was some discussion on the internet about this (including the Wild Mass Guessing page). So, the only verifiable source is the Goliath story that you mentioned. Still, that story shows that they at least considered it at some point.
    • I never read the Goliath story nor the Wikipedia article, though I know about this. It might be in the movie "The Matrix Revisited".
      • There's an interview on one of the Uber-Ultra-Directors-Unabridged-Uncut-Cut DVDs where one of the sisters is asked about the whole "humans as power generators" thing and he answers something along the line of "We had a different idea originally, but it was easier to explain with Morpheus holding a Duracell battery", then going on about how it really didn't matter why the machines were reliant on living humans, but it fact that they were was the idea.
  • This is actually Fridge Brilliance Think about it, Why would that not work? Because of the laws of thermodynamic. Where did you learn them? In school. Where did you go to school? In the Matrix.
    • True, but if it weren't for the second law of thermodynamics, and energy could be completely conserved, then the machines probably wouldn't have needed humans in the first place; they could simply redesign themselves as perpetual motion machines, and more likely, that's how the humans would have designed them in the first place.
  • Because most humans ARE batteries, albeit economic sense rather than the electronic sense. They're plugged into this massive system in order to produce the labour which keeps it running, and once they cease to be able to produce more, they're discarded and replaced with a new fresh one.
  • Due to the human requirement to perform cellular aerobic respiration via oxidative phosphorylation, it is possible, once provided with the appropriate organic substrates, for humans to generate energy via catabolism of said substrates (i.e. in the form of ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate)). Usually this energy is used for bodily functions, and if not it is stored as fat or glycogen (anabolism), but according to the Second Renaissance, where machines experimented on humans ad nauseam, it is not out of the sphere of possibility that they found a way to "harvest" the energy before it is expended for cellular and organ function and use it as an energy source (yes, "harvest" isn't the right word, but I can't think of anything more appropriate at the moment and it gets the message across, right?). The only catch is that they would have to provide enough substrates that there was enough energy produced to keep cells and organs functioning at an acceptable level (to keep the human in question, y'know, alive) and enough that the machines could "harvest" excess energy (basically using humans as a conversion system for organic redox reactions). Yes, this does very much keep in with the application of the laws of thermodynamics and conservation of energy (and for anyone who doesn't understand the principle behind the idea of "breaking molecular bonds releases energy", please see any source on Glycolysis). Also, due to the fact that basal metabolism in humans is "downregulated" (again, not really the right word to use, but oh well) in comatose patients due to the diminished involvement of the CNS, it would actually be more efficient for the human consciousness to be active, thereby providing a form of cerebral stimulation to increase bodily function and hence increase energy conversion and expenditure. Considering that this all is occurring thousands of years in the future, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the machines - with very advanced technology, obviously - could use humans as a source of power (as long as they're providing the right nutrients, environment etc.).
    • That still doesn't explain why they don't USE A MORE POWERFUL DYSON SATELLITE SYSTEM INSTEAD!! Or shit, they could just go to the moon! Machines don't need air, they could let the humans have Earth if they wanted to. Morons!
      • There's a nanite cloud over the planet that prevents machines from escaping Earth.
    • It still doesn't obey the second law; any substrates they're supplying the humans with could more efficiently be burned. While on the aerobic respiration part, even plants, plankton and bacteria already trump humans one hundred times over (or should we say everything that belongs in the Animal Kingdom) at that. There's a reason why animals eat in the first place: because they cannot make energy themselves. Also, if they have that kind of technology, it's not plausible that they couldn't simply make (nonsentient) machines or glucose fuel cells or bacterial bioreactors (theoretically, for most efficient organic energy production, just use nanobots to rip out the chloroplasts and mitochondria, which can survive independently because they actually evolved first as symbiotic bacteria while throw the heavy energy-consuming parts such as the nucleus away. You only need a mitochondrion to derive ATP from glucose, after all, and even then, little energy is provided by ATP). to do the same energy conversion. Also, Morpheus specifically said that the human brain was an important part of this, though he could have been misinformed.
      • Mitochondria. You mentioned it. Human beings are one of the animals with the highest mitochondria on the planet due to the high numbers of mitochondria in neurons, so maintaining humans would be much easier than having to maintain an googolplex of bacteria or modify something else when you have a human being filled with mitochondria which it keeps synthesizing over and over again ad infinitum (and plants and plankton... chloroplasts maybe?). What would be the point of spending energy creating something when you could use the human body as a mitochondria factory (which is what I said). I certainly don't see the point, anyway. And the point of "providing substrates" (e.g. eating, IV drip etc.) is that it's necessary for energy production... so I don't know why you mentioned that. Anyway, I wasn't explain a better option, I just explained why it would work. And it does obey the second law of thermodynamics. If you don't know why please look up the meaning.
      • The part that doesn't obey the second law is the idea, only narrowly escaped by Morpheus's speech, that the machines could derive perpetual energy simply by feeding the dead humans back to each other and extracting their energy output. They would need to continually add more food into the supply, and it would take energy from elsewhere to continue to produce that food, and ultimately this method would be very low on the efficiency list. If they didn't, the nutritional content of the dead humans would increasingly dwindle, and eventually the new crops of humans would starve to death before they passed infancy. Now Morpheus did say "combined with a form of fusion"; it's not clear whether he meant that that's how they replenish the food supply for the humans or simply another source of energy for the machines themselves.
    • "Cows would generate more energy, they would never rebel, and the Matrix would just be one endless field of grass. They could call it the Mootrix!" Just recite Bellisario's Maxim and enjoy the movie.
      • That's something of a lazy answer, especially since Bellisario's Maxim is so frequently invoked by lazy creators to justify not caring about their writing.
  • If humans are being bred and used solely for power, why allow them to have sentience? Surely the machines must realise that how they came to power. For that matter, why humans of all creatures?
  • They machines use humans instead of other animals for practical purposes. Animatrix shows that during the war they extensively studied the human body in order to understand how to destroy us better, and thus by the end of the war they already had the medical knowledge necessary to plug us in. They would need to start the experiments all over again in order to use other creatures. Plus, one could argue they they simply wanted to keep us alive, either as a sick form of vengeance or perhaps because they didn't want to completely lose their creators.
  • The only problem with this "using humans for power" thing at all is how they're supposed to get the energy. The problem that they use body heat, which wouldn't actually work, but I've heard of a battery in Japan that, if you pee on it, (yeah, yeah, squick, just get past it.) it charges the battery, how effective that is I don't know, but the idea of using all the excess bodily fluids that humans produce in their lives to generate power would work.
  • For the love of porn, how many time does it need to be repeated? "Humans as power source" was NOT an initial concept. Humans were supposed to be used as data nodes of a neuro-computer - naturally it relied on their unobstructed brain functions! It was changed because of Executive Meddling. Of course, it makes no sense. It is not supposed to, because it was shoved in without regard to the plot.
    • The Headscratchers page exists in order to try and find IN UNIVERSE explanations for questions, not to just say, "because the creators were meddled with or didn't think things through". That would be the answer to pretty much every Headscratcher ever.
      • Care to discuss the in-universe explanation for the presence in the Gladiator movie such things as digital watches, a guy in jeans and a plane trail in the sky? Some things are just blunders, whether visual or conceptual. In this case they pretty much admit that it is a blunder. There cannot be an in-universe explanation for a blunder, because it was not supposed to be there at all. It's a glitch. In the "real" part of the movie world. Funny, I think, I just accidentally proved that the "real" world was another layer of the Matrix.
      • That's not good enough. If you wanted to come up with an In-Universe answer for a digital watch in Gladiator, you absolutely could, as far-fetched as it may be (time travel? hyperadvanced gifts from the Gods? magic? aliens?). Some things that are mistakes to begin with turn into something bigger - the Grand Theft Auto series was created when an accidental glitch in a racing game turned out to be pretty cool on its own. If it's a mistake, even if the creators themselves don't care enough to explain it, it's our duty as tropers to do so.
      • Fine. The easiest explanation is the Machines ARE NOT relying on humans for power - they are using all those feasible sources that were suggested here: nuclear power, geothermal, hydro, wind, whatever. They may be collecting whatever energy the bodies of Matricians yields (why waste it?) and add it to the pool, but it is not by any mean decisive. The purpose of the Matrix is different. My theory is that the machines are actually benevolent (or just controlled by humans) and the Matrix is basically a life support system for the humanity. It may also be some grand social experiment that the Machines are conducting, or just their idea of fun (Reality show: Earth!).
      • The easy solution is to say that the machines aren't using the humans for power. Morpheus was wrong about a lot of things, and placed a lot of trust in the Oracle, who turns out to be a part of the system. Morpheus is simply wrong about the purpose of the Matrix and the slavery of human kind. Maybe the original explanation of running a neuro-computer is still true in-universe, but none of the humans actually realise that?
      • Also, while we're here, "duty as tropers"? I mean, I enjoy coming up with explanations for Headscratchers as much as anyone, but let's not get too self-serious about it. We're basically shooting the breeze about movie plot-holes, we're not discovering the cure for cancer or anything.
  • Even if you ignored all the problems with using humans for energy, there's still perfectly good reasons for the machines to keep them around and sentient instead of using cows or braindead lumps or whatever. Humans are the ones that created machines... what if the machines still need them for this in some capacity? What if something broke down in the machine world that the machines didn't understand about themselves? They could pop a human(s) out of the tube and fill them full of engineering information, then see if they could fix it. Keeping humans around would be sort of like keeping the number of the guy who installed your computer network or something... even if you have a pretty savvy IT department, you still want to be able to get ahold of the guy that put it in there in the first place.
  • Yes, you can not gain more energy from a system than you put in. Yet this does not stop us from have power plants all across the globe, generating power 24/7. How is this possible, despite the laws of physics? Because no power plant CREATES energy, they CONVERT energy from one form to another. Most operate by converting potential energy in fuel to thermal, then thermal to kinetic, then kinetic to electric. At no point is any energy being true created, since this is impossible. Were the Matrix and the Machines real, they would operate in a similar fashion, using human bodies to convert the energy in organic fuel, which the machines cannot use, into heat and electric, which they can use quite easily. As for why the Machines are doing all this with humans, and not, say, bacteria? One of the points in the later films was that the Machines, loathe though they were to admit it, still had an emotional attachment to humanity, and therefore could not bring themselves to just wipe their creators out. The Matrix killed two birds with one stone, resolving both the energy problem and the human problem.
  • Perhaps the simplest Watsonian answer is that Morpheus, like many other humans, is an idiot and doesn't actually understand the real reason the Machines use humans.
  • There is a possibility that the entire concept was inspired by Valiant Comics. In a cross-series storyline set in the future, sentient machines invade Earth and imprison humans with Psychic Powers in pods as an energy source. At least one such captive human is sufficiently-skilled as a telepath that she is able to spy on the machines through the psychic network and give advice to her student in the real world. All of this was in the titles: Magnus: Robot Fighter, Rai and the Future Force and Psi-Lords during the early-90's, before The Matrix movies were made.
    • Not to derail this folder, but the above explanation would give a good reason as well for Neo's ability to effect the machines (and see the machines while blind) outside of The Matrix. As for the topic at hand, I think it is a simple case of the humans not knowing the truth. They all share the misconception that they are the first to escape, which is disproved by the Architect. Morpheus also admits that they [humanity] is not even sure of the details (a nice "out" for the writers to come up with all this stuff without having to explain it). So a simple gap in memory, history, and facts leads me to believe that he was just plain wrong and the real reason the machines use the humans is only known to the machines. And who knows, maybe they don't even know at this point.
  • My guess is that the machines, for all their intelligence and human-like behaviour are still machines...that were programmed to simulate an artificial reality. So, their first instinct when they encounter a problem is "Let's create an artificial reality!" even if it doesn't quite make sense ("war with humans? Let´s create an artificial reality!" "we need more energy? Let´s create an artificial reality!" get the idea)

    Where Do Matrix Babies Come From? 
  • Where do the Machines get babies to plug into the Matrix?
    • In-vitro fertilization and artificial wombs. They've already got plenty of fertile humans. The first humans were captured survivors of the war.
      • Word of God says that Persephone's original function was to facilitate "donations" of genetic material from human men inside the Matrix.
      • OK, but how do they make that fit with the perceptions of people within the Matrix? Can a woman become pregnant within the Matrix? She wouldn't really be pregnant; it would just be the Matrix telling her that she's pregnant. Can that woman give birth within the Matrix? (Or at least perceive that she has given birth?)
      • Why not? They introduce newborns into the system all the time, obviously they need to integrate their minds into the Matrix as well, and what other way to do it except through perceived pregnancy and birth? And since IRL impregnation isn't guaranteed even without protection, they can regulate the rate and only give the women perception of pregnancy when it is needed. And babies themselves are grown in "fields" of incubators - that was shown explicitly.
      • Maybe that's why people have no memories from before a certain age. Memories only start to occur a baby outside the Matrix is plugged in the for the first time. Before that babies in the matrix are just programs.

    The Matrix is for Porn 
  • Why do the Zionites, excepting Mouse from the first movie, never think to use the Construct program for recreation? It would be more fun than any video game!
    • Only pod-borns would be able to do that, the people born in Zion don't have the implants necessary to access the Constructs. Some pod-borns do have personal Constructs. In the video game Enter the Matrix, Ghost has a personal Construct in Zion that he uses for meditation and practice. I imagine that the Zion culture would look down on people who spent too much time in Constructs. After all, that's almost exactly what they're trying to free the rest of humanity from.
      • One would think that the people in Zion would distinguish between people choosing to enter the Construct voluntarily, and for short periods of time, or being forced to live in the Matrix by the machines and not even knowing it.
    • Garry's Mod. 'Nuff said.
    • They actually do, in the Animatrix; it's the entire premise of "Program".
      • Not to mention the "activities" in "The Last Flight Of The Osiris.".

    Residual Self-Image 
  • Residual self-image. Doesn't work. Try to think of exactly what you look like. First of all, everyone should have been mirror image. Second, people should have had significantly less detail. Third, look up "homunculus" on Wikipedia or most anywhere else (not the alchemy one, the other one). Finally, just LOOK at Carrie-Anne Moss. Trinity is just screaming eating disorder. Therefore, I'd guess that her residual self-image would be some 300 lb.
    • The RSI isn't meant to be taken absolutely literally, as though the person has total control over what they appear as in the Matrix. Just accept that the information for what you "should" look like exists in inchoate, vague form in your brain, and the super-magic technology of the Matrix is able to read it and fill in the blanks, much as modern CGI can generate a relatively detailed picture from relatively sparse input, thanks to being able to match it to common patterns.
      • And whether it came across clearly or not, I do think it's pretty obvious that one of the things about RSIs is that the Zion agents' RSIs make them look a lot more, well, generic than real people. The movie is shot such that everyone's faces look really smooth and expressionless in the Matrix, and only in "real life" do we see wrinkles, laugh and frown lines, nuances of facial twitches, etc.
      • Also, low, low blow about the eating disorder comment, man. Seriously, get off the high horse. Also, I totally fail to see how the homunculus fallacy has anything to do with this. No one is saying there really is a "little Neo" inside Neo's brain that the computer is able to find, just that in Neo's brain resides a pattern saying how Neo's body "should" look (just as there is for *everything else Neo knows or thinks*) and that the computer uses that as a template for Neo's appearance — presumably because a body that didn't match how Neo "should" look would cause him psychological problems. (The origin of the term "residual self-image" is from the fact that people who have had some major alteration to their appearance in real life often constantly imagine themselves as their previous selves, and being forced to confront the change in their physical state often causes grave psychological distress. Amputees or people who've had radical reconstructive surgery or whatnot can't stand looking at themselves in the mirror, etc.)
      • I concur with the above. A couple years ago, I cut my hip length hair to about three inches and donated it. For weeks afterward, I couldn't recognize myself in mirrors, and kept reaching back to adjust a non existent ponytail. Now I've grown it back out a little, and continually treat it as shorter than it is. Your mental image of what you should look like is astonishingly iron-clad.
      • Well if you think about it Trin's appearance in the matrix changes a lot over the course of the three movies, in the first she is soft and shapely, round face, smooth skin, looking very nice in skin tight leather. by the 3rd movie she is looking really haggard, her face has lost a lot of flesh, cheek bones are showing through more and more. This may be a justification for the eating disorder comment.
      • Carrie-Anne Moss was pregnant during the filming of the sequels. This might explain any differences in her physical appearance over the course of the films.
    • It does, in fact, make sense. People have trouble imagining how exactly they look like because during waking time, the vividness of one's "generated visuals" is limited. Try to imagine another person you see often in detail, without a visual aid like a photo. When you're awake, it's very hard to do. In dreams, when your imagination flows more freely, you can see in much greater detail than via waking imagination — sometimes including yourself. Some dreams where you see yourself are vivid and realistic enough to be mistaken for "out of body experiences". There is, generally speaking, enough information in your brain to reconstruct how you look like with high accuracy, it's just hard to access.
      • I'm confused by this comment. I (Dr Dingle Dangle) literally have no problem imagining people I know but I also never forget a face. Are other people not like this?
      • In addition, you might not be able to call up every mole, freckle, wrinkle, etc on your body from memory, but if something changes, even a small one, you're gonna notice.
    • Moreover, the Matrix involves a bunch of machines with root level access to the human brain, and a lot of reason to make sure that human brain does not mimic anything outside of the reality of the Matrix. They're almost certainly quite capable of presenting much, much higher resolution concepts of 'self' than the modern day human provides.
    • In any case, the idea that it's "residual self-image" that makes people look like their real bodies in the Matrix is ridiculous: the pod-sleepers have never experienced life within their real bodies, hence would have nothing to base such a self-image on. Probably, the machines simply base a person's Matrix-bound appearance on the physical appearance of the body, using genotype to determine factors like hair colour or baseline strength that aren't evident in the sleepers.
      • In one of the first concepts for Switch, her character was originally meant to have a screwed-up self image. In the matrix she was supposed to have been the opposite gender to what she actually was.
      • Does anyone have any source for the above? Last I heard, this was a fan rumour due to the fact that the character had an androgynous look and her name was "Switch".
      • And for that matter, when did transsexuals have a "Screwed up self image" Most of the ones I know are not screwed up, just different.
      • The basis of transsexuality, as I understand it, is that one's self-image is the opposite gender of one's physical body. "Screwed up" a poor choice of words. Although that raises the question of whether Switch's Matrix self—RSI—is her "real self", or "her" physical body is.
    • The entire premise of the Matrix was about the ability of humanity to accept a specific presented reality (the Architect even said this), and so RDI is about an already established digital image being accepted as a reality within the framework of the matrix (it's not about ACTUAL self-image, it's about a residual impression left behind by a previous self-image (which of course is dictated by the digital framework of the matrix). In the first movie Morpheus goes on to say how some people are so dependent on the Matrix because they are so invested/dependent on that version of reality. Or, if you're having problems with that idea, MST3K Mantra FTW!!!!!
    • It's still hilarious, of course, that all our heroes look way cooler in the Matrix than in reality. They must all have been pretty self-assured about their optics!
      • People lie about themselves on the internet.. wouldn't you be cooler in the matrix too?
    • I'd explain it like this: The Residual Self Image is something that applies to people who have been freed and are hacking their way in. When you're in a pod, your appearance in the Matrix is based on your actual phenotype. So once you're freed, you've already got a basis for what you really look like, and that sticks with you as your Residual Self Image.
    • Proprioception [] is a very accurate sense, even though it wasn't obvious enough to include in the "basic senses.". Doesn't seem too much of a stretch that, in the absence of a physical body, your brain would be able to create the sense of one (one would easily imagine that in a Matrix-type environment your mind's perception of your body's location would just be an array of pointers)
    • in my opinion RSI (for people still plugged into the Matrix) is not how we WANT to look (the resistance looks cooler than your average Joe) but how we KNOW we look. People wish they were taller, thinner, blond, more endowed, etc ... but if these things happened without explanation we'd know something was wrong. Accepting that you are mundane gives you a mundane appearance; contrast Neo when he first enters the Construct, to Neo when he's saving Morpheus. He oozes badass in the second scene, but in the first he looks very normal.
    • I read somewhere that they did an experiment and showed newborn babies (who had never seen anyone) pictures of their mother or another woman. The babies responded differently to the pictures of their own mother — they had some idea of how their parent (and therefore presumably themself) would/should look.
    • The Matrix has rules and as stated by Morpheus, they can only bend the rules, not break them, ergo, you cannot look any more than human, also main explanation for why they look the same is simple , Ego Image, we all have a defined standard of how we look, in our heads from the reflection we see in pictures, mirrors etc, hell I bet not one troper who reads this can say they haven't played a videogame with create a character and NOT tried to make one of themselves, but more heroic (or villainous if that floats your boat), that explains their "cool" look, they see themselves as both subversives and heroes, therefore, they look like an expected "Rebellious hero" type, mysterious looking, fashionable clothing, sunglasses, that sort of stuff.

    Where Did All the Prodigies Go? 
  • In the first film, ability to manipulate the Matrix appears to exist on a spectrum, with "the other Potentials" in the Oracle's apartment openly violating the physics of the Matrix simulation while the more ordinary Zionites like Trinity and Morpheus can only change attributes of their own physical capabilities. Why don't we see any of these people in the latter two films? You'd think the Zionite military would have a special-forces unit or something for red-pills who can overly change the reality of the Matrix.
    • The video game "The Matrix: Path of Neo" touches on this. In the six months between the events of the first and second films, Neo has been saving potentials who can help in their fight. None of them are as capable as he overall, but they had some importance to Zion.
    • At least some of those are programs, and the "there is no spoon" kid features in a comic.
      • They can't be programs or it makes the Zionites really and truly stupid for not checking that every person they think is on their side inside the Matrix actually exists as a redpill outside the Matrix. I mean hell, why did they never check that with the Oracle?
      • But not everyone on their side is a real human redpill. The Oracle isn't, for instance.
      • And no Zionites (save Neo, who had the true sight of any entity in the Matrix) suspected this point until the last film, when the Oracle's "shell" changed. (A different actress, Mary Alice, was called in to replace Gloria Foster, the original actress, who died during production, but not before filming her scenes in "Reloaded." The Oracle was also limited in what she could tell the rebels. She could only puppet her version of the Prophecy without causing them to rebel against her, since she was as much part of the system in truth as any being in the Matrix. And remember—not all Zion operatives made contact with the Oracle: Only the very few that supported Morpheus's plan—to find the One and use him to end the war—chose that path.
      • The Spoon Boy is in Zion now. He gave the Kid a spoon to give to Neo in the second movie. The Kid called him "one of the orphans".

    Who Needs Humans? 
  • JESUS CHRIST THEY HAVE FUSION WHY WOULD THEY FEED PEOPLE FOR ENERGY THE CENTRAL CONCEPT OF THE MOVIE MAKES NO SENSE! Where does the food for the IVs come from? If it's some k kind of fusion, why not just fusion somehow only makes food, why not just burn the food? And if you INSIST on using animals, why not something simpler? Hell, why not just vats of yeast? And if it has to be people, why not just take out the front 2 thirds of the brain and tie them down? They won't complain. Or if you need a full human brain, why not just keep them comatose (that scene with the battery almost had me crying in the theatre)?
    • Note for anyone interested 
    • I read somewhere, could have been on this wiki, that the original idea was to have the machines use humans for computational power. A sort of role reversal. But due to Executive Meddling, Viewers Are Morons etc. the plot was changed to the simpler humans used for energy idea.
    • Unless I misunderstood the premise of The Second Rennaisance, everyone here is missing the point. The human leaders willingly signed themselves up for slavery (as a power source or neural networking, take your pick) in exchange for not being wiped out entirely at the end of the war. One of the stipulations of the contract was that humans must always be given a choice - the capacity to opt out - even if they only feel it at a subconscious level. Thus the Matrix had to be created to fulfil the bargain. Of course, humans free from the Matrix aren't protected by the contract, so the machines hunt them relentlessly. (Addendum: this solution draws together evidence from at least two movies and the Animatrix, so correct me if I've got it wrong). But it boils down to a cross between "humans are the most powerful power source available" and "the machines are under contract".
      • The contract was forced on the humans as a humiliating symbol of slavery. It was never actually a "contract" in any form — the human leaders were given no choice but to sign. This seemed very obvious from the framing of that scene. So no, the humans were not given the option to negotiate for potential freedom in that contract at all; the humans were only given a choice by the Architect out of necessity, because the Oracle told him he had to, and only after The Matrix: Revolutions was this choice made an explicit choice ("And everyone who wants to leave can").
      • (Also, this has nothing to do with the point — the Machines wouldn't've bothered offering this "contract" at all in the first place if they weren't getting something significant out of it. The cartoon makes it clear they could easily have wiped out humanity if they wanted to — but they *didn't* want to. Humanity was utterly defeated and when they had us at their total mercy, they decided to make the Matrix. Moreover, the assumption that because the Machines are Machines they must somehow be categorically incapable of violating contracts or agreements is really, really stupid. The whole point of the story of B1-66-ER is that the Machine War was only even possible because Machines learned to break the rules.)
      • The Architect said that the first two Matrixes failed because humans weren't given a choice, subconscious or otherwise. It was only after the Oracle investigated the problem that she came up with the idea to give the humans a choice, even if they weren't consciously aware of it. So this theory really doesn't fit.
      • Matrices, not Matrixes. But yeah, fair point; I forgot that bit.
      • The point of the original comment seems to be that no, humans AREN'T the most powerful power source available. Human bodies are far too complex; far too little thermal energy is created by our bodies to justify the large amount necessary to fuel us. Animals evolved to be as energy-efficient as possible, that's why we get fat. It probably would've made more sense just to drop them into a furnace than to plug them in. The question is mostly, why did the machines agree to such a stupid idea in the first place?
      • I have a feeling that the Matrix was created to resolve a programming conflict, largely the conflict of hurting humans, which their base code doesn't really allow. Any actual harm to humans can be justified by 'that one has a firearm, and therefore poses a risk.' It's not that they didn't want to remove us, they just couldn't. I know, I know, 'Why'd they attack Zion, then?' It's not unreasonable to conceive that the Zionites, given the chance, would shut off the Matrix completely. Can you imagine the deaths just from the shock of the world turning off on you? Plus the starvation and lack of clean living space would kill countless more. Additionally, how many innocent people get killed by the Zionites when they're in the Matrix? In a warped way, they're still 'protecting' people, just to an extent not explored by Asimov's writings, and, in my opinion, a logical extension of the things Asimov posited.
      • The above is highly implied in The Matrix Online (if not outright stated in the storyline materials released by one of the game's developers as the game was ending). The Merovingian's investigations into the Machines' power source found that it was rather inefficient and could only power their civilization (which not only includes the Machines, but also their defences, the battery towers, the fetus fields, and the Matrix itself) a few times over. The released storyline material says that the decision to use humans as a power source was not done entirely out of a need for efficiency and was influenced by the Machines' basic programming of being humanity's caretakers.
      • The Architect explicitly states that the Matrix had to have the apparent flaw of giving people the choice to leave or else there would be a much more catastrophic failure of "crops," thus necessitating the "One." However, there would eventually come an exponential growth of people not accepting the program would eventually endanger the Machines' farms and thereby the One fulfils their duty by hand selecting a group of individuals to restart Zion as it is annihilated and the Matrix program is reset.
    • Yeah. Why not use cows? Being methane-producing herbivores makes them quite efficient and they're a lot more passive than humans.
      • You said it yourself, herbivores. No sunlight means practically no plant life. Humans are fed the liquefied remains of themselves because they're omnivorous, something that would be more difficult with herbivores. As for the battery deal, Word of God says it was supposed to be them using our brains for processing power but Executive Meddling lead to the battery bit. Either one works. Hell, depending on how deeply you read into the philosophy of the film, you could draw all sorts of conclusions including "They're sapping off our chi" or whatever.
      • On the other hand, if human brains were being used for processors, then what was powering the brains? You guessed it, human metabolism. Humans were the power source for the Matrix's computational processing needs, without which the Machines can not function.
      • The Machines existed just fine even before the Matrix was created.
      • Er, all the nutrients for the vat-sleepers is delivered intravenously. Herbivore vs omnivore would make no difference, because nothing is actually being digested.
      • Unless the Humans Blew up the sun then Orbital or Lunar solar arrays transmitting power via microwave would still be an acceptable means of fuelling oh I don't know lets say simulated deep sea geothermal vents with blind shrimp and tube worms if you still REALLY need biomass that isn't extinct by now.
      • Not that this makes the plotline any less stupid, but anything that could totally block out the sun would probably block or severely weaken any microwave transmissions through it.
      • Or just move out into space where there is nothing to block the sun and leave the few human survivors to starve on the ruined husk of the Earth. Which of course brings up the point that humanity depends on the Sun to grow food far more then the Machines need it for energy. After all they can directly switch to fusion/fission/oil/coal/gas/geothermal/wind/whatever. Good luck trying to feed a few billion people on raw crude.
      • Yeah it is really stupid. Like he said, the Wachowskis wanted to have the humans used as a giant neural network computer, but executives didn't think the audience would understand it. I believe that the novelization still has this explanation. If anything, human brains use less energy and are more creative than bulky supercomputers made with conventional computer chips. It easily explains why the machines chose to use humans instead of say, cows (which have much less brainpower, consume more resources, and might have had large numbers killed in the war), and why they didn't just put the humans into comas or something. And honestly, do you find it any harder to understand?
      • When I first heard about the film's premise, I thought it was so silly that I'd try and think of a more thought provoking premise, and this was exactly what I thought of. When I actually saw the film, I just replaced any mention of the power source thing in my mind, the film was much better. Even if they did have a more plausible alternate explanation, having the machines literally require fully functioning humans to exist makes the conflict of the story far more believable (and would get its origin away from simply being a "robots go nuts" terminator ripoff and more like a malevolent version of the Puppet Master from Ghost in the Shell, especially if it had evolved naturally among human minds).
      • Omnivorous or not, you can't feed any system the liquefied remains of the dead members without an external energy source, you'll run out of chemical energy in the remains. Quickly. There's not much nutrition in excrement, by now our cells have converted most energy into cellular motion, and not enough in a fully grown human to feed a whole new human til it's fully grown.
      • So obviously feeding the pulped human remains to the living humans would just be a waste of perfectly good fuel. It's Perpetual Motion Machine all over again.
      • Nobody ever said that liquified corpses were the only things being fed to the coppertops, just that that's what happens to them at the end of their life cycle. For all we know, the machines have converted all the non-human biomass on the planet into trillions of gallons of IV fluid, and simply haven't run out yet.
    • The best rationalization I've ever heard of is that the machines do it because they're a mite bitter after all these wars, and they like the thought of enslaving/tormenting humans. Also, Morpheus doesn't necessarily know everything he thinks he does.
      • Morpheus was shown in the sequels to have incomplete and erroneous information about the nature of the Matrix. Everything he and Zion know about the Matrix was told to them by The One from the previous iteration, who was being manipulated by the Architect. The "coppertop" thing could have been a Red Herring.
    • Yeah it doesn't make a single bit of physical sense, its basic science, all energy comes from the sun, without the sun you'll run out of energy, farming humans will just prolong the inevitable, breeding them will just waste more energy (real life evidence is how human overpopulation results in critical depletion of resources and No Blood For Phelbotinum scenarios), its incredible that a number of people don't realise this.
      • Although your point is valid in context, just thought I'd point out that NOT all energy used by life on Earth comes from the sun. We USED to think this until we discovered life living around "black smokers" at the bottom of the ocean. They get their energy from geothermal sources originating in radioactive decay in the Earth's core. But yes, this is very much a minority of life and the sun is pretty damned important.
    • I just cover my ears and chalk it up to the Three Laws. Almost anything can be justified with a loose enough definition of "harm". After all, life in the Matrix is better than reality in many ways.
    • The only plausible interpretations of the idea that "humans are hooked up to the machines for their benefit" is that 1) human neural energy input and integration into the matrix is necessary (or preferable) for machine functions (otherwise why provide them with a neural interface at all?), 2) the machines are maintaining human life on the basis that humans provide a specific organic substrate in a now barren world that they can use and harvest for specific purposes, 3) recycling humans in such a manner IS actually a viable energy source (considering this is 20 thousand-something years into the future, geothermal energy is probably used up, solar is out of the question, they obviously haven't opted for a Dyson Sphere satellite network (WHY NOT?! *sob*), all organic matter on earth has been reduced to useless electron-dense deposits (most likely), water is probably a precious resource (by this time? yeah!), and generating radioactive isotopes to precede a nuclear-reactor-like energy source is probably either a stupid idea (considering the entire planet is already in a nuclear winter) or simply implausible (to mediate this kind of energy production and expenditure you're talking hydrogen fusion at an unprecedented scale) this isn't actually such a pathetic idea. If you'd tried to present a mobile phone to a caveman they would have told you it was impossible. I'm pretty sure by the year 20XXX they'll have found a way to redux the base laws of thermodynamics and structural engineering!), or 4) they're sadistic bastards who want to get back at humanity for all the problems they've made. MY biggest It Just Bugs Me is if these machines are advanced enough that they've managed to use human energy (or substrates) to maintain themselves, WHY DON'T THEY JUST USE EITHER APPLICABLE STRING THEORY, SOME FORM OF ADVANCED TERRAFORMING, OR USE A FUCKING DYSON SATELLITE SYSTEM INSTEAD!!!!!. Another explanation is that Morpheus is getting the wrong information, and that's just what the machines want the humans to believe (far more likely).
      • Addendum: I'd like to add to my previous statement by saying this - oxidative phosphorylation, people! ATP produced at expanded levels due to aerobic respiration from organic nutrients and substrates! The laws of thermodynamics, conservation of energy, STILL applies! Humans derive energy from the catabolism of organic substrates that the machines would not be able to do due to their lack of multicellular organs (which I presume they don't have). As long as they provide the necessary organic substrates they can actually use humans as a way to generate energy! However, as bodily human functions are regulated by CNS (Central Nervous System) activitynote , and if you left them in a comatose state, basal metabolism would be reduced to completely unproductive levels, keeping human consciousness active so a cerebral response mediates appropriate metabolic activity could by why the machines would require them to be hooked into a simulator like the matrix! And there's your explanation for why the matrix exists! ... Still doesn't explain where they derive the organic substrates and why they don't use a freaking Dyson satellite system!!!
      • See the discussion under WMG: The Matrix on what they were really used for.
    • Whatever the reason for humanity's enslavement, it had nothing to do with a power source. No matter what, animal cells eat energy (energy transfer: glucose to ATP, ATP to cellular processes especially heavy neuromuscular ones, and those processes to background entropy) and you will always get significantly less energy out of anything that belongs in the Animal Kingdom than you put in. If you want to produce organic energy, use the bottom of the food chain which make massive amounts of sugars and ATP directly from the most basic of deposits, aka plants, plankton and bacteria.
    • The neural-net explanation is the best possible one by far. As far as "Why not keep them comatose"... um, they *are* comatose. What else do you call lying there motionless inside a tube, completely unaware of the outside world? But comatose people do have dreams and hallucinations, and the Matrix is basically one giant managed hallucination, designed to keep the human brains limber and active enough for the Machine consciousness to exist within them. (This has to be part of the explanation — if the Machines could use dormant, inactive brain cells as components, then it becomes a lot harder to justify not using cows. It's actually pretty obvious, given *how the Matrix works in the first place*, that the Machines' existence must be as a shadow of conscious human thought processes — otherwise conscious human thought processes couldn't affect it.)
      • Actually, a comatose patient is one with reduced and minimized brain function not conducive with either dreaming (which is precluded by a REM state which comatose patients are unable to have) or hallucinations (which is a sensory misconduction of information to the cognitive functioning areas of the brain when the patient is AWAKE).
      • The above is true. Hence they are not comatose. And they are obviously not dreaming, hence the machines have found a way to extend human consciousness into a platform construct. And considering how they experimented on humans ad nauseum in the Second Renaissance, I'm fairly sure they found a way.
    • I actually take it as the exact opposite. The machines are being merciful, trying to give their human creators an ordinary, pre-war world they can live in, without being a threat to the machines. Remember, their first attempts at the matrix were attempts to give humans Paradise. They only settled for a simulation of the modern world when that failed. The machines don't need humans at all, as the Architect all but said with his "we're prepared to accept different levels of survival" line. The Matrix runs at a net power less (and logically, it has to run at a net power loss, there's no way they're getting more power out than they're using to keep the humans alive) because the machines are running it for the benefit of humanity: drawing power from humans is just their way of trying to at least get a little bit of it back in the process. The point of the last two movies is that Neo, and the Oracle, are trying to prove to the machines that they don't need to keep humans in a comatose dream world to live in peace with them.
    • It's possible that Morpheus et al were misinformed/only knew part of the truth. If the neural net theory is correct, there's no reason not to use the waste energy humans are giving off, just as some data centres use the waste heat from their server racks to help heat other areas of their buildings. Inhabitants of Zion wouldn't necessarily know about everything about the multiple functions the machines were using people for. Alternatively, "powered by" can mean the sort of processors being used by a system (slightly less evil than being powered by Intel, for example), and over many years of fighting and destruction, the in-universe lore could have shifted the terminology to assume and transmit the wrong meaning of the term, making people thing "battery" instead of "CPU."
    • The "battery" story could be what the machines want the humans to believe, because it makes it seem like all the pods' occupants are equally replaceable. If the Zionites learned that the sleepers' brains are performing various processing functions, they might try to determine which are most crucial to the neural net's operation, and target such individuals to be awakened (or even killed), in an attempt to crash the system.
      • But why wouldn't some Zionites question it just like we're doing now?
  • Perhaps this thought is brought up later on this page, but maybe "real" physics are nothing like those of the Matrix. Why should they be? We only think the premise is horribly unscientific nonsense because it would be, inside the Matrix. Outside it, humans are (somehow) a highly efficient power source, or at least capable of defying entropy.
    • Because that would change all of human history, warfare, etc. to the point where the machines probably wouldn't have had a chance of taking over. It would essentially mean no conservation of energy in the real would which would imply limitless resources on earth and the reality of perpetual motion. Essentially, Earth would be a utopia, but that's not what the Matrix of the past paints the world to be (it looks just like our real world circa 1999).

    Zion's Stuck in the '80s? 
  • In the scene where Neo gets "combat training" dumped into his brain (right before he tells Morpheus "I know Kung Fu"), Tank sees how well Neo takes to the procedure and says "Hey Mikey, I think he likes it!" Now, this would make more sense if Tank had been rescued from the Matrix as Neo had, but Tank was born in Zion—so how does he know enough pop culture to quote a TV commercial? They wouldn't have broadcast commercials in the Real World...
    • Possibly he picked it up from someone they rescued earlier.
      • Which would explain why he got the line wrong.
    • Or perhaps, by some coincidence, the phrase existed in Zion culture independent of the Matrix.
      • Perhaps it was injected into the Matrix through the brain of an advertising exec, who subconsciously remembered it from a data packet that had passed through his brain (assuming we go by the "humans are processors, not batteries" thing — which I do, it makes so much more sense).
    • Or Operators, by virtue of 'watching' the Matrix all the time, tend to pick up the pop culture; note that in the second movie, Link makes reference to Neo 'doing his Superman thing.'
    • Or the first people who escaped realized they needed TV and immediately began working on a way to decode TV broadcasts from inside the Matrix.
    • Pre-Matrix television from the Zion archives, perhaps commercials were the only television survive the war.
      • Alternatively Tank just has an interest in pre-Matrix commercials, people in Zion have funny hobbies.
      • Zion has only existed as a real civilization for 100 years, remember? And the majority of its population are redpills; natural-born Zionites are a minority (and treasured and respected because of that quality). It shouldn't be surprising at all that Zion is saturated with real-world pop culture, or that they dance to real-world rave music.
      • I've always figured that anything dating from pre-Matrix days would be considered culturally significant by Zionites, as a relic of their former glory as a civilization.
      • One or both of Tank's parents are probably redpills. No surprise he'd grow up hearing phrases like that.
    • Or maybe he's not quoting anything, and is just being weird and talking to some non-existent person named Mikey. But really, what question of motive couldn't be explained with "they just happened to think it was a good idea at the time"?

  • What is it with all the annoying 'religious' symbolism? I mean, a few little in-jokes is fine, and the actually important stuff-but they threw in everything from every religion they could get their hands on!!!
    • The dominant Christological and Buddhist symbolism was intended to show Neo's path, as his predecessors—enlightened, but locked in a world of samsara, a repetition of life, suffering and death than only the enlightened have a chance of breaking free to—something else. Neo is also a messianic superhero, which means his goal was to break everyone else out of the virtual samsara loop that the Matrix was, every 100 years. Without that "annoying religious symbolism", the movie series would be just another annoying kung-fu film, and adds a level of depth that some don't get, or care to. Your entertainment mileage may vary.
    • Don't worry that bugs everyone working theory, the W sisters just really like pointless symbolism.
    • It could be a nod to the concepts of the collective unconscious or racial memory. You know the idea that these things stick in our heads not because the Have Happened but because they Will Happen.
    • Wow, way to attack what's basically the point of the movie. It's like asking "What's with all the philosophical speeches in Fight Club? I want to see more fighting!"
    • The concept that there is a different plane of reality beyond the one we sense is a recurrent one throughout world religion, myth, and philosophy. The references serve as footnotes, showing that the W sisters have done their homework.
      • ...except that, as mentioned above, the symbolism and philosophical bent of the films doesn't really add anything to the experience (admittedly that's subjective, and I'm not a philosophy major). Compare to something like Ghost in the Shell, where the philosophical undercurrents are actually necessary to grasp the full extent of what's going on. It's a similar story for Fight Club - the philosophy and symbolism is inherently tied into the story. This is not so much the case in the Matrix films, where it seems to have been... well, smeared over the top of pre-existing themes.
  • This question seems to be a dig at a YMMV part of the films. The symbolism was the point of the movies. It was not just a cool sci-fi action movie, it was the Wachowskis doing their own little look at religion, philosophy, and culture through the eyes of anime, western sensibilities, and... well a cool sci-fi action movie. The first movie did not have the philosophy and religion aspects at such a high level because as a concept the movie was something new and when you introduce something new you need to let people get used to the idea with something old. They used a simple concept of martial arts action, mixed with a high dose of sci-fi unreality, and created a movie that created an entire new series of tropes (or revitalized them) in all the movies and tv shows to follow. Just try and find an action movie with martial arts post 1999 that does not use wires or focus on the fact that it is the actual actors doing the fighting (with plenty of close ups). Or all the movies and tv shows and commercials after The Matrix that used "bullet time" (almost all of them misquoting the technique and just using slo-motion). Take out all the symbolism of the sequels and you get just another forgettable sci-fi movie with cool action scenes staring that guy from Point Break. Have all the symbolism and create a movie trilogy that is going to stand the test of time if for no other reason than people will keep talking about why it had all that dumb symbolism.

    Atrophied Muscles 
  • If Neo's muscles have atrophied from a life spent in the Matrix, why is he able to swim after being dumped out of his pod?
    • Swimming doesn't require superhuman strength.
      • But apparently vision does. "Why are my eyes so sore?" "Because you've never used them before."
      • Close your eyes for three years, then see how blurry your vision is. Try that for 20+ years.
      • Of course, if Neo never used his eyes before, the neural pathways for vision would not have developed, and his eyes wouldn't work at all.
      • Neuronal pathways are developmental insofar as they are controlled by maternal gene products and embryonic genetics; there is no usage requirement for their construction, although non-usage probably would result in some degree of atrophy.
      • Neural pathways for vision, as in the optic nerve, are developmental, formed from the embryological neural tube before a child is born. However, cognitive adjustment to vision takes a while, and the internal and external ocular muscles (ones that mediate pupil constriction, eye movement, and eyelid movement) would all be atrophied yes. Okay, not the internal ocular muscles because they're smooth muscle, but any skeletal muscle, yes.
    • For all we know, working out in the matrix works out your real muscles.
      • That's true. A bleed affect coulda taken place, just like when he hits the concrete in the jump program and his mouth bleeds. If he worked out inside there's no reason why it shouldn't happened outside.
      • Truth in Television. Studies have shown that simply thinking about working out (that is, mentally performing the actions involved) can cause the same effects as actually doing the exercise, only to a lesser degree.
    • There is no good reason. It would have been far better to have him sink like a stone, struggling like the weak kitten he should have been and almost drown except for the claw catching him. Even someone who had muscles once and didn't use them because they were in a coma for a few years and not exercised properly would not be able to struggle like that.
      • True. People here seem to be underestimating the effects of muscular atrophy. People who wake up from a coma will barely be able to stand up (if at all) and often need months of rehab just to regain their previous performance. Heck, Victorian women couldn't even sit up without their corsets, not having used their back muscles since they were children!
      • See also Astronauts after spending long periods in space. The reduced gravity leads to a decline in muscle strength.
      • Cross-ref: the "Awakening" scene in the first half of Kill Bill for a good visual depiction. Wiggle your big toe, anyone?
    • Am I missing something? It looked like, the body's own buoyancy aside, he was sinking, and his flailing attempts to tread water were just making things worse. (Aside: the human body can float pretty well if the lungs are full.)
      • Someone who hadn't moved for that long wouldn't be able to even try to swim as much as Neo did. His muscles wouldn't be developed enough to move his limbs.
      • Note that the real body can move in response to stuff happening in the Matrix— for instance, when Neo's body twitches as the Agents are beating him up. It's possible that over time, this muscle activity is enough to make the body just weak instead of completely atrophied.
    • How do you know his muscles were atrophied? He didn't look like it, and presumably the AI's have good reason to keep their "batteries" muscles healthy, since muscle contractions generate significant bioelectrical pulses.
      • Because Morpheus downright says they've atrophied. It's the main reason they did the freaky acupuncture thing to him.
      • We've already established that the idea that the Machines run on "human power" in a literal, energy sense is idiotic enough that basically all the fans who care have just dropped it.
    • Simple, we discover in Reloaded that Zion and the human resistance are essential to the machines' plan, so it stands to reason that the machines would make it possible for humans to function once they had escaped. It would be fairly simple to give the plugged-in humans a small amount of exercise to ensure that they wouldn't all drown as soon as they were dropped into the water.
    • I always thought that Neo's muscles had some sort of power as long as all the tubes were connected to him. Note that he doesn't collapse like a wet noodle until after the machine removes the headspike from him.
    • Genetics keeps a "minimum fat level" as long as they're decently nourished. With no development there wouldn't be much muscle mass to "weigh him down." (Simplified: muscles sink, fat floats).
    • If you haven't figured it out yet, the ejection and dunking are the W's symbolism for birth and baptism, or return to samsara, the cycle of life, death and suffering that is the real world of Zion.
  • Aren't we are missing the point here? It's not about whether or not should Neo's muscles be atrophied - it's about Morpheus downright saying they are atrophied when all the evidences were to the contrary.
  • His muscles are not completely atrophied, just not up to full development, because of a residual, unconscious version of the same effect that translates in-Matrix injuries into the "real" world i.e. "Your mind makes it real".
    • Morpheus says they are atrophied, and then he spends hours or days covered in needles. That doesn't look like a simple weakness to me.
  • There's no reason to assume the liquid Neo was dumped into was actually water. If it was all the same slurry of goo that his pod had been filled with, then it's probably maintained at the same density as human tissue, to ensure neutral buoyancy for the pod-occupants and thus, prevent unwanted sensory stimuli or bedsores from contact with the pod walls. The goop that'd been ejected from pods then lost some of its water content to evaporation, so became a little thicker: dense enough for Neo to float passively in, despite his useless muscles.

     Bluepill-Killing Heroes? 
  • Why do the characters have no qualms about killing the innocent civilians they're supposed to be saving.
    • Probably because they operate on the most extreme "Ends justify the means" philosophy that has ever been applied to someone who wasn't an outright antihero (or villain). To them, a person stuck in the Matrix isn't much better off than a person dead (whether or not you agree; I doubt you do), or at least the difference between trapped and freed is as big as trapped and dead, and more importantly if they don't do whatever is necessary to keep their operatives alive there's no hope of ever freeing more people. The agents have no concern for innocents or collateral damage (heck, they can just undo that), and employ them directly to try to kill the rebels, so if they don't follow the same standards they're dead meat (as if just having three completely unstoppable unbeatable invincible entities who can teleport into any warm body and respawn isn't bad enough).
      • Now combine this philosophy with the abundant religious symbolism, and you get some frightening fanatical dogma, i.e. "If you're not with us, you're against us and deserve to die."
      • Let's not think too hard about this here. The people trapped in the Matrix can be converted into Agents whenever said Agents feel like. The Zionites have a very vested interest in killing them off completely when they oppose them, because leaving them for half-dead results in an Agent on their hands.
      • Yea they give this one a full scene of exposition. The Lady In A Red Dress simulation is supposed to teach them that anyone directly attached to the Matrix can, at any time, be taken over by an agent, who until Neo came along were considered invincible killing machines.
      • The precise quote: "The Matrix is a system, Neo; that system is our enemy. But look around you, what do you see?Teachers; lawyers; carpenters - the very minds of the people we are trying to save. Understand, Neo, that most of these people are not yet ready to be unplugged. And some of them are so inert, so helplessly dependent on the system, that they will die to protect it. ... It's another training program designed to teach you only one thing: if you are not one of us, you are one of them [agents] ... in the Matrix, they are everyone, and they are no one."
    • I'd say the characters are definite antiheroes. In the famous lobby scene, Neo chose the route that involved maximum civilian death, just because "no-one's ever tried it before". The security guards are clearly introduced as ordinary joes, reading the newspaper and drinking coffee, who are blown away without a twinge of conscience. Depending on your point of view, it's either to show that their world is so dark and desperate that they've been forced to abandon all their scruples to survive; or just to show how badass they are.
      • Remember that from their point of view, your entire life is a pointless sham and the reality of it is that you're already living in a terrible hell and existing to (literally!) feed and shelter the enemy. Unless you have potential to become a redpill, a bluepill is already a dead person, a corpse still twitching in a grotesque parody of life. And redpills treat bluepills as such.
      • Which is not too different to say that every "unbeliever", or "pawn of the decadent system" or whatever fanatical bullshit someone has brainwashed you to believe, is living a unworthy life and can be killed without remorse if it is for the good of the cause.
      • Exactly my point of view. They are not heroes, they are fanatics. Of course, like every fanatic, they think their cause is just and the collaterals acceptable for the greater good, but the viewer doesn't have to share this belief. I, personally don't think being "freed" from a reasonably comfortable life (It isn't "real"? Who gives a damn? It keeps me alive!) to live in an uninhabitable hellhole is a "greater good" at all that justifies the trail of corpses.
      • Eeeeexcept that in this case, the people around them can actually turn into agents who will kill them at a moment's notice!! You'll remember that all the people that they kill are ones becoming agents are the ones who are going to become agents because they realise who they are. It's not fanatical when you're killing people who are actually trying to kill you. This isn't a case where someone is saying "You don't believe what I believe, so I'm going to shoot you know." It's a case of "You're going to turn into an agent of the system trying to destroy me and you will try to kill me." That's definitely Antihero, but not that unreasonable.
      • Exceeeeeeeeeept that it only happens when and because they try to infiltrate the Matrix and wreck havoc or convert wholesome citizens to their insane cause. It is the same as if you murder the civilians of a country you invaded, because they might call their military for help. And they feel no compunction about death of Matricians regardless of the possibility agents' interference.
      • Eeeeeeeeexceeeeept the fact that you're calling their cause "insane", when really it isn't. It's about the liberation of the human race from the forced subjugation to an artificial simulation of real life.
      • Subjugation or preservation? After all, I reiterate, the surface world is pretty much dead. Not just harsh, or inhospitable - dead. As in, it can no longer sustain life. Matrix is not a cage - it's a life support system for the humanity. I see little point in "liberating" someone, if literally all you can offer them is madness for the majority of liberated and and swift extinction from exposure and starvation for the rest, and the severity of their "imprisonment" and even its forced nature are quite dubious to begin with. This very page contains more than enough reasoning that the simple "Evil machines enslaved humanity for energy" layout doesn't hold water. It just isn't worth all the trouble. The relations between the Machines and the Matricians are symbiotic at worst.
      • Considering that there are indeed places where humanity was surviving in the sequels (one of the few times I'll give the sequels some credit), who's to say that they can't just rebuild and star over? It would take time, yes, but not impossible. The question of whether or not living in blissful denial of harsh reality is a theme of the series after all. The redpills simply want to stand on their own two legs, and not be forced into a scenario they have no control over.
    • Like it or not, they are at war. Killing the brainwashed slaves of an enemy that will not hesitate to hunt you down and messily kill you is not pretty, but it is also not the most illegitimate tactic. These aren't hapless bystanders; they are providing support to the Agents.
      • The war they declared and fight out of stubbornness and refusal to admit the obvious (the outside world is dead, the Matrix is the only way for humanity to survive). It was clear that the Machines are willing to accept people back into the Matrix, and I suspect the whole "you cannot go back" excuse was BS - they somehow managed to plug the original Matricians to the system, didn't they?
      • They're fighting the war because they want to stand on their own two feet, and have shown that they can survive in the real world. It's not a pointless cause.
      • What have they shown? That they can barely sustain 250K people with the tacit help of their enemies? Even then I would very much like to know how and with what they're feeding that lot, when they cannot grow food.
    • But how often did that really happen? Neo and Trinity storm the building, taking down every guard, and it's only when they make it to the helicopter pad that an agent intervenes. So much for being "the eyes and ears" of the machines.
      • The Agents didn't want to leave Morpheus unguarded — Neo & Trinity might just have been a diversionary attack, after all. So they were letting the human troops try to handle it until they ran out of troops, and then sent one of their number to go kill them while the other two stayed with Morpheus. Didn't work out the way they'd hoped, but its not like its unprecedented for hidebound logical servants of an unimaginative machine to use unimaginative tactics.
    • I do believe that Morpheus explains this one when running a training sim with Neo. He says something to the tune of "Our goal is to free humanity by taking down the Matrix. However, all these people are still part of that system we are trying to destroy. Until it is destroyed, they are part of the very enemy we are trying to defeat."
    • There's a story in the A+nimatrix "the Detective Story" that looks at this.
  • I, Prime Evil, have it in my head that the "law enforcement"-type characters (e.g. security guards, cops, SWAT team guys, and such like) are how the Squiddies appear when they're in the Matrix. What do police officers represent? Law and order, in this case the "law and order" of the Matrix world. This is my frame of mind when I play Enter the Matrix and other games like it: the cops/mooks/whatever are AI and can be disposed of with a free conscience. It also explains why there seems to be so little ethnic/gender/cultural diversity within the Matrix's idea of law enforcement: just as one Squiddy looks just the same as any other Squiddy, so one cop looks just like any other cop.
    • See kids, this is how you placate yourself when you're committing acts of terrorism and mass murder - denigrate the people you kill to slaves or, better yet, tools of the enemy! Even if that was true, they do not restrict themselves to killing law enforcers. Their actions cause lots of civilian casualties as well.

NOW, I bet you're wondering where the Agents' overwriting ability comes into play. Here it is—the Machine world has a set-in-stone, top-down hierarchy. Even though they're all individuals ("I'm not!" came Squiddy Dave's voice from the back), they must all accept their basic functions as necessity. The same applies with law enforcement: the Agents are at the top of the heap, with the greatest responsibility but also the most flexibility. Therefore, among the Machines it's an accepted "given" that an Agent's going to do a little rewriting here and there, but it's usually restricted to one Agent per "avatar" (Yes, I know they're not avatars, but bear with me), and one at a time at that. This is also why "rewriting" is for the most part non-life-threatening, and only results in an easily brushed-aside moment of confusion ("How did I get *here*? Must have dropped off," etc.) It's only when Smith starts rewriting people left, right, and center that it becomes a problem.

  • I must have missed all these scenes everyone else who rages about this saw, where the Zionites just opened fire on crowds of civilians with machineguns for fun. The only bluepills I ever recall them specifically trying to kill were the soldiers, who work for the Machines even if they don't know it. They may be bluepills and they may be "at worst Punch-Clock Villains" but that still makes them enemy soldiers in the war they're fighting. From what I recall the vast majority, if not all, of the other bluepill deaths were committed by Agents or other programs.
    • No, you haven't. You have, however, apparently missed the scenes where Morpheus is revealed to have committed unspecified acts of terrorism in South America, or when they smash a helicopter into an office building, and then blow up a power plant, and then Neo jets through the streets, wrecking countless cars and buildings, killing Architect knows how many innocent people. Will it matter to the victims and the grieving relatives if it was done for fun or "for the cause"? Not to mention that their ultimate goal - to destroy the Matrix - will mean ruin for the overwhelming majority of its population, either from disconnection trauma ("we do not disconnect people older than a certain age", remember?) or from starvation and exposure in the desolated world. THAT is what the Matrix military are fending against, an insane apocalyptic cult.
      • Because obviously a newspaper produced in the Matrix is going to be 100% truthful, especially considering that there is no South America. The helicopter was because the Agents shot them down, they didn't do it for fun. And people die in war. And people who would prefer happiness in ignorance and slavery are probably better off dead anyway.
      • Wow, I was going to comment on how precisely this reflects a mindset of a cultist, but guess what, it was already noted above in this very article! We're walking in circles, people. And what do you mean, "there is no South America"? Because it's in the Matrix? Well, that's exactly what we are debating over: that just because the Matrix world is virtual, that sole fact doesn't give the Zionists a right to wreck it.
      • It's because the world is keeping humanity subjugated to power the machines. Heck, we never see anything aside from the Mega City in the simulation, so it could very well be that South America doesn't exist. So basically, the humans are indeed trapped inside a prison. And again, those who are in happiness in ignorance and slavery are better off dead because they could become agents at any point.
    • The creed of every murderous extremist nutjob everywhere. Save those poor deluded shmucks from "The System" that "enslaved" them! And if they end up dead in course of our righteous crusade... see above. And by the way, at the very least we do see the mountains Neo ends up in, so the City is definitely not the entire world. How would that even work? A million (billion?) people large Truman Show?
    • What it ultimately comes down to is this: The Zionist goal is to save humanity from the matrix. They do not care about the individual humans. They care about the whole of the species, and if they have to kill hundreds, or thousands, or hundreds of thousands to save billions, that is what they are prepared to do.
      • Even if you argue that humanity needs saving from the Matrix, which is debatable, the sad truth is that the Zionists cannot and will not save anyone. The planet is dead. Those of the "liberated" that survive the disconnection with their sanity intact will either die of starvation and exposure or be forced to live in a true slavery and dictatorship, because that would be the only way to ensure their survival.
      • Talk about a pessimistic outlook on things. And again, rebuilding takes time. I see it as sort of like the aftermath of The Great Flood. The world is ruined, but they still have the responsibility to rebuild and repopulate the world. Once the war is over, they can finally start that process, and no longer have to worry about their free will being a lie. There will be struggles and hardships, but they can at least create a world that they are in control of. Simple as that.
    • Uhm, no. The Machines are in control of the real world. Remember that? And always will be. And they obviously have no interest in giving up the spot of the dominant species. So any kind of rebuilding or repopulation will be severely limited and "free" humans will live under a constant threat of annihilation should they ever become an annoyance. That is, if it will be at all possible, since, I'd like to reiterate, the planet is dead. There's no sun, meaning they cannot grow food. Simple as that.
    • People are really overcomplicating the morality of the whole thing. The bluepills are *oblivious slaves* 100% in the control of the Machines, it's that simple. They can't even choose what side they want to be on; they're a zombie army for the Machines. That doesn't mean killing them is a nice choice, but it's the *only* choice if you're detected by the system as a Redpill and you don't want to die. Bluepills are plugged into a network that can fatally use them as pawns them whenever it likes by literally morphing them into an Agent. The true monsters morally are the Agents themselves: they happily use humans as substitute bodies and ditch them when they get killed without a moment's pause or care. Additionally, the cops, SWAT teams and soldiers are all shown to be completely subservient to the Agents and at no point do they ever disagree with what they are ordered to do (except for the rooftop chase scene where the Agents leap over a highway and the cops simply can't follow). When Neo walks into the lobby in the first movie and guns down the security staff, he is (at that point) undetected by the Agents in the Matrix. When word gets to the Agents they immediately begin morphing (and thus killing) Bluepill bodies near Neo and try to kill him - so his shooting spree is the only way to neutralise potential Agents before they can teleport to his position. The guards were basically dead men walking already.
    • I think most people are forgetting that the heroes have no choice but to be extremists because of how the system treats redpills. Remember, this is a system where agents of the Matrix try to kill you for simply knowing the truth about the Matrix, whether you are a threat or not. Like Hydra in "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", the machines try to remove threats before they happen, so their methods essentially boil down to 'kill anyone who is a potential threat, no matter how dangerous they actually are'. Did you learn about the truth, but only want to use your new found reality-warping abilities to do party tricks? Too bad, the Agents will take over the body of your mother and try to kill you or use you as a pawn to flush out other redpills. Ironically, the Agents themselves might be the reason why the People of Zion resort to such extremes: if the very world you live in wants you dead simply for knowing too much and will take over the bodies of your loved ones and average Joes to achieve your extermination, what choice do you have but to become an extremist who guns down anyone working with the Agents or who could turn into an Agent at a moment's notice?

     Killing the Agents 
  • Would it kill the rebels to get a little more creative in dealing with agents? Because the helicopter minigun taking out three agents proves they're not completely bulletproof. Sure, they can dodge any number of bullets and they'll always be stronger than you in any way, but the rebels have access to any weaponry that ever existed and possibly much that didn't in whatever quantities they want for free. My first step would be to see if they could dodge a bunch of bullets fired at the exact same time from a shotgun or just a stream of individual bullets of any length or rapidity (machinegun or pistol). Failing that, there's flamethrowers, grenades, and all sorts of other explosives and anything else which doesn't just kill by hitting you with a bullet. And that's assuming you can't, in fact, make weapons up (in which case lasers and homing-anythings spring to mind). The fact that it's not standard procedure to fight agents with explosives is just totally ridiculous to me.
    • In the video game Enter the Matrix, you can kill agents with explosives in a few levels. You aren't regularly given them, though.
    • You're probably forced to use existing definitions for tools when hacking the Matrix, the same way a Gameshark can only alter the flow of code rather than add anything new.
    • Once a simulated bullet leaves the gun, it's flight path is totally deterministic according to the simulated rules. So the agents, connected to the system, can predict the flight path with perfect accuracy. The problem for them arises when knowing that information isn't enough to save them. Presumably, any simulated weapon that relies on the system to work would be subject to the same rules as normal guns, and thus be mutable, while a bare hand or melee weapon is under the control of an unpredictable human brain with free will. That, plus perhaps the Zionites can only duplicate gear that they can bring back from the Matrix, and anything they make up is not going to have the appropriate "drivers" to be compatible.
      • Anyone remember fighting Psycho Mantis in Metal Gear Solid?
      • We've seen that they have access to working man-portable miniguns. Mouse dual-wields the damn things. I can only assume that the agents can detect the wave of panic that would occur as bluepills observed a bunch of people in trenchcoats walking around with artillery, thus bringing them along for most missions would be impractical.
      • Those aren't "man-portable miniguns". Those are automatic shotguns.
      • That Mouse is said to have programmed himself. Problem remains, just making futuristic shit up would probably destabilize things quite a bit.
    • I would guess that since the Machines are monitoring humanity to prevent the discovery of the Matrix, see Mr. Anderson's little talk with Mr.Smith. Then they would also be guiding technology and as such anything that is created in the Matrix beyond a certain level of sophistication would be flagged and checked out post haste.
      • Uh, I'm pretty sure agents couldn't actually die at all until Neo showed up. When Smith got hit by the train during the subway battle, he just occupied another body inside the train and kept on going. I'm pretty sure killing their human host achieves nothing at all.
      • Similarly, the 'Dodge This!' agent, Agent Jones, didn't die, he took over another nearby body.
    • Even Neo couldn't kill an agent; the only reason Smith was no longer an agent was because the system had the three Agent v2s released to confront Neo-level capabilities. That's the same thing that killed previous versions of Agents, such as the werewolves or tengu. Killing an agent only slows them down, so carrying really big guns kinda defeats the purpose.
    • Half of this doesn't make sense and the other half is applying things that happened in the sequel to the original film.
    • A flame thrower is a short ranged, mostly one shot weapon, which, along with the fact that flame throwers tend to EXPLODE, killing the user and maiming everyone near him, is why they aren't used by most modern military forces. and as i recall Neo did try to throw tons of bullets at an agent and that got him no where.
      • Excuse me, flamethrowers are decidedly not short-range (at least, relative to human reach; compared to most ballistic firearms, yes they're shorter range), "one-shot" weapons; and the perception of them being such is due to inaccurate portrayals in video games (not that most video games are accurate portrayals of anything, much less weaponry). A flamethrower is specifically supposed to be able to project fire at a long range. The M2 flamethrower, deployed by the USA in World War II, The Korean War, and The Vietnam War, has an effective range of 65 feet (20m) and a maximum range of 132 feet (40m), which is well within the in-Matrix fighting distances seen in the films. Further, the USA isn't the only country to have ever deployed a flamethrower into combat.
    • The minigun didn't kill the three Agents, it killed the bodies they were using. Since they can just switch to new ones and come right back, there's no point in making the effort to carry around shotguns and flamethrowers just to blast holes in people. The best strategy is to run, and hope you get to an exit soon. It's not because they don't know that Agents can't dodge every bullet, it's just that there's no point trying to fight a battle you cannot possibly win. Neo was the first one (no pun intended) to come along and actually kill an Agent — but not for long.
      • That still leaves us with the original question of why not carry weapons that are difficult to impossible to dodge. It's true that killing an agent's body only slows him down and apparently minimally at that but their super speed seems to be mostly limited to super speed dodging and fighting. The fact that running is even an option seems to suggest that if they are faster than humans it's only by a small margin. They don't seem to be capable of spawning new bodies only in taking the nearest one which is why during the rescue of Morpheus clearing the room of agents bought them precious seconds. If Trinity had chucked several grenades at the agent chasing her across the roof tops she would likely have been able to escape at her leisure having destroyed the only body remotely close to her.
      • The redpills can bend the rules of the Matrix but not break them. Yes, a minigun is amazingly badass and took out the agents, but it was also bigger than the redpills themselves. Rather hard to "infiltrate" the Matrix when you're carrying around a gun that size. Slows you down, makes people notice you, and runs out of ammunition rather fast. This is all besides the fact that until Neo, not a single redpill who had fought an Agent had lived. When your army is as small as it is, you don't take stupid risks. You don't fight a hopeless battle. You RUN!

    Cops as Good as Agents? 
  • In the beginning of the first film, why can ordinary cops run as fast as an Agent? Or, for that matter, a Zionite?
    • Masquerade? The machines have a vested interest in not rousing human curiosity too much. The Zionites... not so much, yet having news about a woman running at breakneck speeds all over the place could cause undue pressure on them too.
      • So what about strange happenings like "Wasn't there a door here instead of a brick wall until just now?" or "Great Scott, did that woman just turn into a guy with a black suit and a gun?"
      • The Agents have clearly been shown to have magic technology (i.e. utility programs) capable of modifying memories and whatnot. (Remember Neo's weird "dream" about the "bug"?) Also that they're in prime position for government cover-ups.
      • Seriously, the Matrix is clearly in the tradition of several other movies all about some giant government conspiracy all around you that most people are too blind to connect the dots and see. Presumably pointing these things out is part of how Morpheus' band recruits redpills.
    • The real answer is, they can't and they aren't. Hell, the entire point of the first chase scene is to show the cops getting winded, stumbling, failing to jump across the gaps that Trinity and the Agent are leaping, etc. The chase may only be one or two rooftops, and the cops are already being left behind.
  • The Agents are The Men in Black. Not the comic book movies version, but the supposed real life versions. They act very strange, seem to have super natural powers, and do the "governments bidding" in black ops style with no seeming rules to stop them. The cops (and everyone not an Agent) don't... specifically in accordance with the rules of the Matrix Code. That is the easy answer. Because they were not written in the code that way.

    Tank's For Being "The One" 
  • How come at the end of the helicopter sequence, Tank is awestruck and says "He's the one!"? If he'd said that right after Neo had dodged the bullets, fine. But what Neo had just done was not get pulled off a building by an awkward weight...tricky, yes, but far from mind-boggling.
    • Because otherwise they'd just be breaking the action scene for no reason. He didn't say "He's the one!" to that particular incident, but to the entire string of awesome stunts he'd pulled in that mission.
    • He also stopped the helicopter from exploding until Trinity was outside the blast radius. The wobbly building windows weren't just a random special effect.
    • All the previous effects had been done by Neo on his own body. Normal humans inside the Matrix have very little problem doing that, and all the dodge-the-bullets effect did was show he was really good at that level. If you take the neural networking metaphor, all redpills have little problem tweaking a few bits that are running their software. The potentials, however, can change the bits of an item that they're touching; it's within their brain's part of the neural network. Neo morphing the explosion of the helicopter he was no longer touching and glass that he had never touched, in a dramatic manner, was well beyond the range any potential showed.
    • The bending glass had nothing to do with Neo, In a situation like that in real life glass would react much the same way, and the matrix's physics are based on reality, thus the bending glass. NO NEO INVOLVED.

    Agent Aiming Skills 
  • How were the Agents capable of shooting Morpheus precisely in the leg through a solid wall, but unable to hit Neo when he was a stationary target in a helicopter?
    • Shooting Morpheus in the leg might have just been an accident. They just shot at the wall where they thought Morpheus was and one bullet happened to hit Morpheus in the leg. As for Neo, their accuracy probably suffered because they were a bit distracted trying to dodge all of the bullets from Neo's minigun. And who knows, maybe Neo was unconsciously using a bit of his latent One abilities to deflect some of the bullets.
      • Do agents get distracted?
      • Maybe they just run out of RAM.
      • There's a thread on the Discussion page for Real-Time Strategy about why AI is (or seems to be) always bad in that genre, and why the game can't simply assign an AI routine to each soldier on the field. The short answer was, "Because your computer still can only think about one thing at a time, and eventually the queue would get so long that it would lag out." While Agents presumably have much more raw computing power at their disposal, it stands to reason that this is still true. (So in other words, More Dakka was always the answer to dealing with Agents: fill the air with so much lead salad that they don't have time to think about anything but dodging.)
      • This also explains why the Agents only use the same few moves when fighting humans hand-to-hand - straight punches and a few basic grab-and-throw techniques. They don't have the processing power available to use really flashy stuff like Trinity's signature midair crane kick.
    • Smith did fire, like, four bullets at ankle level along Morpheus' approximate running path, most of which missed. He's good, but he can't see through walls.
      • Why not? Have the A.I. Overlords never heard of a patch?
      • The "A.I. Overlords" (presumably the Architect) want the Agents to be reasonably capable of "reality enforcement", while not giving them too much power — Smith has demonstrated what a rogue Agent is capable of.
      • Also, like Morpheus explained, Agents are incredibly powerful, but their abilities are built on the rules of the Matrix. Making them able to blatantly violate the laws of physics like Neo and some of the rogue programs can would lead to instability in the Matrix program and probably create all sorts of bugs.
      • But why can't they be _aware_ of things beyond their own bodies, even if their _actions_ can't extend beyond what is possible? Like ignoring the fog of war.
      • If you accept the neural network metaphor, their capabilities have to fit within a normal human brain (presumably that of their host). Like the average redpill, they can alter the abilities of the host body within the Matrix, but their abilities are limited to the part of the code running in that human host. Getting further information requires communication, which is a little... slow.
    • Pretty sure if the agents were actually trying to hit Morpheus (instead of shooting in his direction and hitting him by accident) they would be aiming for the head and not his ankle.
      • Unless they want to keep him alive so they can still get information out of him.
  • Occam's Razor: The Agents guessed.

    The One is Overrated 
  • Why is that being the One apparently comes down to flying and poking somebody's heart? You can see the fricken' code man, you've proved that the rules of this system mean nothing to you? Why aren't you pulling crazy crap like standing on ceilings, phasing through stuff, sticking your first through people!? You shouldn't even have to stop bullets, you should be able to reverse their flight plan entirely using them to kill people!
    • Four reasons, two pragmatic, two in-universe. Reason A: QED Neo's transformation is basically meant to be complete at the end of it; he can fly and is therefore completely unbound by the rules of the system. Reason B: (Following off Reason A.) There ain't much story in "Neo became the One, broke the rules, crashed the Matrix. The End." Certainly not enough to do two more films. Reason C: I don't think being the One means that the rules of the system mean nothing to him. It just means he's able to bend the rules much more effectively than even an Agent can. The flying trick ultimately is changing gravity in a localised way around Neo; he doesn't move in a frictionless way. The bullet trick is manipulating spacetime in a very localised area around him. Doing stuff that really upsets the rules is a lot harder. And no, Morpheus's story that there was a man born inside who could "remake the Matrix as he saw fit" doesn't contradict it; that was a story, a control mechanism, seeded into humanity by the machines. Reason D: "Most of these people are not yet ready to be unplugged." At no point does Morpheus go public with the truth of the Matrix; the Zionites are always fighting a war by way of resistance. Possibly that means Neo can't risk the more flagrant breaches of Matrix physics because it either attracts the attention of agents or really screws with the heads of those still imprisoned.
      • To be a bit more concise: Being The One doesn't mean that he can stop a river, just that he can swim upstream.
      • Well put.
      • For that matter, Agents can't bend the rules of the system; only Neo (and, to a limited extent, other redpills) can do that. True, an Agent can have the maximum number of HP allowed by the system, but they can't do what Neo does, which is play by other rules entirely. Agents are MinMaxers. Neo cheats.
      • I don't see a problem with Neo cheating, given the entire film is basically an aesop of the fact The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard.
      • It's not so much "cheating" as it is Munchkining the living hell out of the system. To use the hitpoint explanation, the max value for that slot is 999. That's what the Agents have. Neo can add another digit to the value. NEO cheats. The Agents are simply NPC's that are unbalanced and WAY too hard to kill.
    • In all honesty, it seems less like a budget or rules case, but more a case of Neo himself not being able to completely accept his status as a physical god. Think of this: in the first film, Morpheus states that Neo was removed from the system far later than nearly all redpills in existence at that time, something that is incredibly dangerous due to (pay attention here) the fact that after a certain age, humans are not able to accept the "real world." Morpheus is, however, willing to risk it because he believes (correctly) that Neo is the One.
      • In the context of my guess here, this information means that Neo, despite freeing himself from the Matrix, still has subconscious ties to "real world" physics, and therefore only does things that are an upgrade to what normal redpills can do (flight relates to redpills' jumping; super speed and "bullet stopping" relates to redpills' uncanny dodging abilities; hyper-combat relates to redpills' super-combat, etc). We should note here that "ghosting," walking on ceilings and walls, direct matrix code manipulation, and copying are all things that others have been seen doing, but conspicuously not Neo himself.
      • Moreover, Neo may simply not be imaginative enough to come up with that many freaky ways to screw around with physics. He didn't get picked randomly for the job of One, he was singled out by the machines to play an engineered role. It's possible that they deliberately selected him for the part because he's not got much imagination, thus ensuring his in-Matrix stunts wouldn't be too crazy for the rest of its systems to process and adapt to.
      • I would argue that Neo does do direct code manipulation, such as when he leaps into Smith, or when he reaches through Trinity's shell into her heart to resucitate it.

    The Machines Need to Get a Life 
  • What do the machines do when they aren't collecting energy from humans? They have a city obviously, do they have jobs? Do they have individual lives? Or are they part of some sort of... collective entity that exists only to keep itself existing?
    • The machines in Matriculated have some individuality, but likely there's a central hivemind they can tap into as well. As for what they do besides enslaving humans, Goliath has them exploring other worlds (how they got a "Seed Pod" out past Darkstorm is left unclear, as is how they got the main character's ship out).
    • I'd think for the most part yeah, their purpose is simply to keep existing. It's a pretty large feat to even have a machine that does that. But I suppose, over the years, they could have evolved other goals.
    • The movies seem to imply that the machines have individual personalities, politics, goals and dreams very similar to humans. Though we never see the machine city, we did see the train station, which included a machine family who had cut a deal with the Merovingian in order to move over to the Matrix to make a better life for themselves and their children. That doesn't seem very hivemindish to me.
      • Just their child, Sati. Rama-Kandra and his wife are never seen again.
    • The Second Renaissance also shows 01 up close, with traffic and pedestrians wandering about, although the pedestrians are squiddies flying on different paths than larger vehicles. It's probably safe to assume that the Machines are a species, with individuality, hopes, goals, dreams, and desires, but it's a mistake to call them "similar to humans." They're a species of machines, and as such, these words have different meanings to them. This is basically the entire point of Rama-Kandra's monologue; the Machine society is based on entirely different rules and values that seem foreign to humans, but it is no less deserving of being called a civilization. Rama-Kandra also proves that the Machines are capable of dissent; individuals can disagree with governing policy (Smith may prove this already, but he also doesn't see anything worth preserving about civilization; Rama-Kandra is clearly not at odds with who or what he is, or his purpose, he just disagrees with an aspect of an otherwise satisfactory government.)

    Why Don't Ya Just Possess Him? 
  • In the first film, the Agents are coming to arrest Neo at work and Morpheus leads him through the office by cell phone, helping him avoid their gaze. Fine, neat scene. But then it's revealed that Agents can take over any software (read: human mind) still hardwired to the Matrix, which at this point Neo is. So if the Agents wanted him that badly, why go to the trouble of arresting him at work? Why not just take him over and bring him to wherever they need him?
    • Because their original plan was to use Neo's willing cooperation to bring 'the terrorist' Morpheus to them, while pretending to be ordinary Federal agents arresting him for an ordinary crime. When Neo refused to take the deal in the "phone call" scene, they then went to plan b) stick a bug in him. But since the Zion Resistance can remove bugs, it can be seen why they didn't choose the bug as plan A.
    • The real reason is that it would break the dramatic pacing of the big reveal. But for an in-universe explanation: I don't recall any people that were taken over by agents being released from that state without dying (or the Agent dying). It's possible that it's a one-way process.
      • Nah, in the games it's revealed an agent can leave a human without killing them.
    • As far as the agents knew, Neo was just another potential resistance member. They had no idea that he'd become a god-like being that'd bring their demise, that is, until the end of the first film. Killing him doesn't solve anything, as freedom or death both eliminate him as an energy source. As stated, they only wanted to capture him so he could provide information about Morpheus. Unlikely to happen if he suddenly gets possessed and transported to a compound.
      • Speaking of that, why don't they try to make a program to just transfer the memory files to the central computer or such?
    • Also, there's a simpler in-universe explanation: operators watching the Matrix code can detect agents just by the code visible on the screen. When Smith shows up to confront Neo in Reloaded, Link says "Whoever he is, he's not reading like an agent." If an agent had taken Neo over, Tank (in the first film) would have recognised it a mile off and the Resistance would have broken contact. Indeed it's possible that's how the Resistance knew Neo was bugged - because of something a bit "off" about the way his code appeared on the screens.

    Backup Copy Agents 
  • Why don't the machines keep backups of their useful software, like agents and such? Why don't agents just respawn after they're "killed?" (Jumping bodies doesn't count; that's not proper respawning.)
    • And why not? Agents are not regular programs, they don't have "physical" avatars. Possessing bodies and jumping to another when the former is killed is their default mode of operation. As for the other programs shown, all except the Oracle and the Architect are exiles, they were scheduled to be erased anyway. The machines wouldn't bother to actually respawn them.
      • This may go back to the original premise, pre executive meddling. The programs, at least the sentient ones, need to run on human brains. When an Agent possesses someone, he isn't possessing an image, he's overwriting a full human brain. He can't possess a house, or a cat, or a patch of empty space, because those are images running on much less processing power than a full human brain. An Agent simply can't be crammed into anything smaller than a human brain.
    • Probably because they don't think the same as humans do. First off, it's quite likely that an agent has never been destroyed like Smith was. Computer (bluepill) dies, unplug the USB drive (agent) and plug it into another. Second, it probably detects failure of a program to do it's job a sign that it needs to be reprogrammed or upgraded. Notice that Brown and Jones aren't in the sequels, in favour of the upgraded Thompson, Johnson, and Jackson. The exiled programs were programs that were going to be deleted because they didn't work well enough. Why keep backups of failures?

    The Matrix Has Lousy Programmers 
  • Why is the Matrix written as the worst possible way to run a simulated world, ever? The 'programs' you see running around should merely be avatars of the programs, not the programs themselves. Just to make a real-life analogy, have you ever actually seen an MMORPG where killing a monster destroyed its programming code?
    • Because that's the way the program works. Remember, we don't have any sentient, photo-realistic world simulation programs, so we have nothing to compare it to. Complaining about how the program is built when we can't even program something anywhere near that in the real world is equivalent to someone from the middle ages complaining about airplanes not being able to hover in mid-air or fly sideways. The reason it doesn't is because it can't.
      • Some recent (military) planes can now hover in mid-air and fly sideways.
    • It's actually exactly what you're saying. This is how the Agents function; their code is never in danger. Exiles, on the other hand, are in the Matrix illegally, and they have no safe haven to store their code while they live on the inside; they have to be totally in the simulation in order to have a chance at evading detection.
    • Because in the Matrix, you're not attacking graphics with graphics, you're attacking the program itself, and the stuff you see is just how the brain interprets the electrical signals. Agents are just special.
      • Exactly. The Matrix is not a graphical simulation of a computer program, it is the program. The Agents, and other programs, don't see a world made up of buildings and cars and people, they see the code directly. Humans see the world as they do because that's the way human brains interpret the information they're being given. The entire point of the first movie was Neo learning to see the Matrix as it actually was, rather than as his human perceptions were telling him it was.
      • Basically the discussion here is about programming paradigms. Well, kind of. In a nutshell, when writing clean, maintainable code, we human beings in the real world like a clean separation between the different components. We like to keep our code for displaying graphics separate from our code for interpreting keyboard commands. Jostling them all together means that changing your input interpretation can create graphics bugs. This is a simplified example, and you usually wouldn't be in danger of this on a project. But think about something like the algorithm that tries to figure out what ad to show you; those develop behaviours with spontaneity. An algorithm designed to sell tickets to Las Vegas will accidentally diagnose the onset of manic episodes. An algorithm designed to sell baby clothes will accidentally become a pregnancy test. This is the closest that human programmers have come to imitating intelligence and it has no clean, internal separation. Therefore, I totally buy that a sentient program would exist as a big jumbled up mess of code and data inextricably intertwined. Visual display, rules for physical interaction, personality, speech, all the consequence of an algorithm that has been instructed to achieve a given outcome and no restrictions on how to achieve it. The Architect needs a bulletproof assassin, so it creates something with the fastest possible muscles and most flexible spinal column rather than attempting the much tougher route of impenetrable skin. This approach is the most plausible way humanity could have created a full fledged intelligence early in this century. And I agree its totally logic-defying if you think of hand-coded projects using reasonable paradigms like functional, object oriented, declarative, and heck probably some code in the Matrix is that way.

    • I agree Dwarf Fortress is better coded than the Matrix.

    Does Dodging Bullets Look Impressive? 
  • What was so impressive about Neo dodging the bullets in the first film? OK, it looks cool on the surface, but that's only because of special effects, which Trinity didn't see. In "reality" all that happened was he did the limbo and fall on his ass, most shots by that agent would've missed anyway.
    • When the Agent dodges bullets it has that crazy blur effect to show he's moving super-fast. Trinity said "You moved like [the Agents] do. I've never seen anyone move that fast." implying that, from Trinity's perspective, Neo moved fast enough to create that crazy blur effect.
    • Before then, when you stood your ground and an Agent shot at you, you died. The end, Do Not Pass Go. You survive only by running and running fast. By contrast, Morpheus said he's seen men empty entire clips at Agents and hit nothing but air. Neo's probably the first person anyone has seen be shot at by an agent like that and survive.
      • And then Trinity head-shots an Agent. Another first!
    • True that all he did was "limbo and fall on his ass," but it becomes impressive when you realize that he started his limbo after the agent's first bullet left his gun.
      • Exactly. Though we only saw it from Neo's perspective, going by Trinity's line ("you move like they do") it's safe to say that, as said, he was actually doing the same blurred, 8-way twisting effect the agents do when they dodge bullets.
    • An Agent fires a buttload of bullets at a guy. Next thing you know, this guy's on his back like everyone else Agents have shot at- except he only has a graze on his thigh. Pretty damn impressive.

    Cypher's Secret Operator? 
  • How did Cypher plug back into the Matrix to talk to the Agents without an operator?
    • He likely made the excuse of using the construct for some reason (lady in the red dress, maybe?) to get plugged, and simply shunted over to and from the matrix from inside.
    • He set it up to jack him in automatically. That's what he's doing when Neo surprises him. I think I got this from Art of the Matrix, but I'm not sure.
      • Still doesn't wash for pragmatic reasons. In order to connect to the Matrix, the Nebuchanezzar has to be at "broadcast depth", which is something only Morpheus as captain seems able to order. And the implication is that the Zionites only stay around at that depth for as short a time as possible because the longer they stay the more chance the Machines will pinpoint their location. So Cypher doesn't realistically have a chance to contact an Agent on his own; missions are too short, and operators seem able to pinpoint a person's location without too much difficulty; Tank pinpoints Morpheus's location even though he's in a building with massive security around it and three agents.
      • Remember that Cypher can reach the Agents from anywhere in the Matrix simply by making an unsecured cell phone call.
      • But he can't have dinner with one of them over the phone.
      • You need to be at broadcast depth to hack into the Matrix. If you're entering the Matrix with the willing cooperation of the machines, it would presumably be easier. Hell, if nothing else they could send down a Sentinel with a relay antenna and order it to loiter just outside the Nebuchadnezzar's sensor range. So, on an earlier mission into the Matrix, Cypher gets a moment alone and makes a phone call to the Agents, saying that he's willing to sell out the Resistance and asking them to set up a meet. The System then makes arrangements to set up a discreet radio relay to the Nebuchadnezzar and calls Cypher back later on his phone with a time and place. Since Cypher is the guy who takes the night shift as operator, he has lots of time left alone with the system to plug himself in without anyone noticing.
      • However, this raises the question of how he got back OUT.
      • We see in the last movie that the System can voluntarily release a person from the Matrix if it wants to. So he doesn't need an operator to make him an exit; the Agents are giving him one.
      • Maybe he had Tank or Mouse helping him, under the pretence that he wanted to do some solo training, or wanted to pay a late-night visit to the "lady in the red dress". He could then change the readouts so that, while he's secretly talking to the Agents, it looks to them like he's just doing whatever he claimed he was plugging in to do.
      • Who says he'd been in the Matrix when he talked to the Agents? Maybe he was in a Construct and had phoned in the codes so the Agents could hack into it for their meeting.

    Too Much Matrix Makes Smith Go Crazy? 
  • Why does Smith say that sensation in the Matrix is driving him mad? How can and why should a machine feel anything in the Matrix?
    • He's not going mad; he's getting angry. His hate is the product of a kind of machine evolution- where other programs have developed to feel love (Rama Kandra) or greed (the Merovingian) Smith developed the capacity for hatred, probably as a consequence of his revelation that humans are like a virus.
    • Short, boring answer: There are humans with him in the Matrix, and he really hates humans.
      • More complicated (but cooler) answer: The machines are advanced intelligences, able to inhabit digital realms of staggering complexity. By contrast, the Matrix is a construct that — per its intended use — must be comprehensible to humans and their biologically limited ability to process reality. To a machine of sufficient intelligence, such a place would be astoundingly mundane, perhaps even scatological. ("It's the smell...")
      • Then again, Smith seems to be the only machine that has a problem with this, and he's not even that advanced compared to some of the others...
    • The purpose of the Smith program is to capture and kill the One / the resistance. The Architect makes clear in Reloaded that Smith cannot actually be allowed to succeed. Smith knows that he can never succeed, and that he's doomed to fail over and over again every time the Matrix is reloaded. That knowledge drove him over the edge.
      • Th problem with that is that if the Machines have no intention of actually killing the One, then Smith's purpose is not to actually kill the One or destroy the resistance, but rather to keep up the masquerade.
    • I always saw Smith as a rampant AI, or a virus - he stops doing what he's supposed to do, turns against his original programming, and starts taking over the system and overwriting working programs. I guess that makes Neo anti-virus software?

    Morpheus's Invisibility Cap? 
  • I have a small Headscratcher, though ... in the first movie, when the first squiddies are prowling around the hovercraft. In response, the team shuts down their power sources and goes really quiet. Morpheus then puts on a black cap or hood. The only logical reason to do this in context is because the machines can see with enough accuracy to tell the difference between shadows and a black man's bald head. Two problems with that: (1) the squiddie looks straight at the hovercraft without detecting anybody and (2) Morpheus doesn't tell all the whiteboys in the house his crew to conceal themselves or, y'know, hide. So why the hat? Tinfoil radiation blocker? Any thoughts?
    • I always thought it was because Morpheus was cold. They shut down all the power to the ship, which would include the heaters.
    • I simply believe it was Morpheus' lucky cap. So he wore it so as not getting detected by the sentinel.
    • I think it makes him look bad ass. Isn't that what all ship commanders go for?
    • It's to keep down any glare coming off of his shiny bald head.
      • It's a combination between the first one and a serious version of the fourth one. You lose a lot of your body heat through your head. So Morpheus was putting on the cap not only to keep himself warm, but also to avoid creating a more vivid warm spot than the others.

    Getting Medieval On This Matrix 
  • If the humans are using telephones/modems to hack into the matrix, WHY THE FUCK ARE THERE TELEPHONES AND MODEMS IN THE MATRIX??? Set the scene: Medieval matrix, all the excitement, none of the security risks.
    • Those aren't real telephones and modems, they just represent communication ports and nodes in the grid. They'd still exist in some form no matter what the Matrix looks like to the redpills. In a medieval setting, they'd just appear as something native to that period, like a parchment and quill that the heroes use to "write" themselves in and out of the Matrix. Apart from that, the machines were aiming for the next best thing to a perfect world, and the closest match their non-human minds could figure out was the modern world.
      • There's also the fact that Zion (especially those who help the One fulfil the "prophecy") are unknowingly helping the Matrix to continue to exist. The Machines (or at least the Architect) aren't pleased with it, but they're a necessary part of a flawed solution that makes the thing function.
      • Also, also, the Machines have exile programs that could help humanity discover the truth no matter what. Even if you put humanity in biblical times, how long would it be until an Exile takes the form of an 'Angel', ignores the guidelines of the system, and tells humanity about 'magic' that will help set them free from reality? Until you get rid of the Exiles, you will always have someone who could potentially tell mankind about their true predicament one way or another.
    • I suspected that the Human-Machine war may have destroyed a huge chunk of the historical record, so the Machines might not have even known enough about the medieval world to accurately replicate it. Consider also that the real world is already significantly more advanced than the world the Matrix simulates, so the machines were already trying to limit the human's access to technology.
      • Even if historical records from earlier periods survived, their simulation-designers probably needed lots of audio, video and photographic records to work with. They wouldn't be able to create a very credible medieval simulation, because all they'd have to illustrate what they were building would be paintings and woodcuts.

    Hey Trinity, the Phone's Right There 
  • At the beginning of the movie, Trinity is at a hotel, a bunch of cops and some agents show up and chase her, she runs, and gets out. Then at the end, Neo leaves the Matrix through a phone in the same hotel. Why the fuck didn't Trinity use this phone to exit instead of running far away to reach an exit?
    • Not all the phones work all the time. Mission Control has to establish an exit point on their side, and tell the heroes where to go to find it. For whatever reason, Tank couldn't connect to the hotel that time around.
    • When was it ever said they were the same phone, or the same location? And Neo doesn't exit in a Hotel, he exits in an apartment building.
      • The building seen at the beginning and end of the movie is the Heart O' The City Hotel. You can see Smith look up at the hotel's sign right before the movie cuts to Neo running through an alley to climb the building's fire escape. Smith managed to cut Neo off and shoot him before he reached the hardline because he'd been there before and knew where the hardline was before Neo did.
      • It is the same hotel, even the same room: 303 (An allusion to Trinity's name: Same is found on Neo's apartment: 101). At the start of the movie, the hardline was cut, forcing Trinity to find another exit. At the end of the movie, we realize that the things that the Agents change in the Matrix aren't persistent-hardlines will return to normal because that was their original inherent design programming before the Agents twisted it.
      • Tank says the exit is "a patch on an old exit". Obviously he'd had to do some hacking to repair whatever it was the Agents did to cut it off, while they weren't there to actively keep him from doing so.
      • I have one question for the first scene and one for the last one. First, when the agents arrived to the motel, why didn't they immediately possess the cops who were arresting Trinity? It's not as if possessing people in public was a complete taboo - they did it a lot when they chased Neo in the end, and they probably could just rewrite cops' memories or just kill them all and write it off on Trinity. Second. Why didn't Smith blast the phone in the room while he waited for Neo just to be on the safe side? He's a program, he's supposed to be meticulous.
      • As to why they didn't possess the cops immediately: I believe the intent is that the scenes of Trinity in the room and the Agents arriving are not in strict chronological order. When Smith arrives, he says, "Lieutenant, you were given specific orders ... those orders were for your protection ... no, Lieutenant, your men are already dead." I take this to mean that by the time the Agents arrive, Trinity has in fact already killed the cops in the room - we just see it slightly out of order for dramatic effect.
      • What does it matter if the agents arrive there by car before or after she kills the cops? They are agents! They can possess any Matrician from any distance at any moment. When they are chasing Neo in the end, they are hopping into every next person he runs by. If they gave the cops the stand by orders, it means they knew a Zionite was there, so why couldn't they just hop into the cops when they were engaging her? Hell, what was even the original plan? The cops sit tight and wait for the agents and Trinity... also sits tight and waits for them?
      • I think the idea is that the Agents try at all times to appear to be just regular people. Them hopping from person to person to chase Neo was a desperation move, not something they normally do. Also, the change apparently takes a few seconds- switching bodies with the cops as they engage Trinity would give her time to plug them.
    • The phone Trinity was using was tapped at the time IIRC. They mention something to that effect during the credits sequence. Perhaps you can't use tapped phones to exit, or it would have led the machines to the ship.
      • Yeah, the simplest answer is that the Machines just shut down that hardline temporarily while they knew Trinity was there. It could be that the machines also have some use of those hardlines (they must exist for some reason), so once she was out of the area they stopped blocking it.
    • The agents don't know where Neo's going. There might be a hardline around that doesn't have people nearby- remember that while they can pick up on people's shock and surprise and teleport to that location, they can't do it if nobody's around. They don't have the same "overmonitoring" system that Operators do to watch Neo as he runs, so they don't have any choice but to pursue him on foot and break cover, as it were. As for why Smith didn't blast the phone- it's unclear, but he may not have had time; he might have just arrived when Neo opened the door. Remember Smith cannot have possessed a person to get to that location- otherwise Neo taking him over and exploding him also should have insta-gibbed Smith's host as well. Also, Smith's getting a bit wonky even by this stage- he's suffered a defeat at Neo's hands, he's carrying a grudge for him and he wants to kill him himself.
    • The reason Smith doesn't blast the phone is simple: The operator would know if the hardline went down. The moment it gets cut, Tank would tell Neo to go to another hardline elsewhere. So Smith needed that hardline fully operational if he wanted to ambush Neo.
    • It's never shown that Agents can manifest without using a host. So Neo likely did kill the host by exploding Smith, sending both of their code fragments into the ether. It's just that Smith, being a program, managed to return, but meat software can't.

    Pulp Fiction Homage? 
  • Did the scene in the first movie, where Neo gets picked up by car after he had that... bug implanted remind anyone of Pulp Fiction ? When Switch (I think she was sitting in front of Neo) turns around, gun in her hand, I (and a few of the people I watched the movie with) immediately thought of I Just Shot Marvin in the Face. Trigger safety is not a big thing in the Matrix, is it?
    • It may very well have been an homage to Pulp Fiction, which is pretty funny when considering that Pulp Fiction was an homage to... pulp fiction. For an in-universe explanation it was a tense moment and Switch either forgot to use trigger safety, or simply does not know/care about using it. A second explanation could be simply because Neo refused to listen to Morpheus and chose to meet with the Agents. So she was pointing the gun at him in order to fire if he suddenly became hostile.
      • Neo didn't "refuse to listen to Morpheus and chose to meet with the agents". He lost the phone, and unless he was going to suddenly figure out how to get down from the outside ledge of a 20 story office building on the fly, he didn't have any choice but to be captured by the Agents.
      • IIRC, Morpheus had already told Neo to use the paint-scaffolding to get to the top then hung up the phone. Neo was holding the phone because... well...he was distracted. There was no conversation going on. Neo tried to get around the support beam and chickened out.
    • Fun fact: a Russian Gag Dub of The Matrix had the song "Flowers on the Wall" playing during that scene (that song was also in Pulp Fiction). Don't know why, though.

    Is Morpheus Bad With Dates? 
  • OK, in The Matrix, Morpheus says this to Neo after his rebirth: "You think it is the year 1999, when in fact it's closer to the year 2199." Now it is established that we're 200 years into the future. Yet in Reloaded, Morpheus tells the crowd that, "I remember for one-hundred years we've fought these machines!" Bwuh? So it's now 2099? By that calculation, the war began in 1999. A lot can change in 100-200 years, so which is which, Morphy? Are we in the year 2099 or 2199?
    • I may have answered my own question by remembering that Morpheus also said, "I can't tell you exactly what year it is, because we honestly don't know." and it's possible that the war began in 2099 thereabout. Still, just irks me a bit.
    • I think Morpheus is talking about Zion's war with the machines, not humanity versus machines as a whole. The 21st century was the first war and the Matrix's creation, and Zion's war began around the start of the 22nd century, which is what Morpheus meant by "for one hundred years we've fought these machines". He's way off since Zion's gone through five cycles already, but from his perspective, the year's roughly 2199.
    • Here's the noodle-baking answer. In "Reloaded," yes, Morpheus notes that Zion has fought the Machines for nearly 100 years. Neo learns that 5 Ones have existed before him, and that the Machines have destroyed Zion that many times (per the Architect), with each One accepting the option that Neo did not. In addition, the Architect notes that there were two unstable versions of the Matrix before that (of which the Merovingian first arrived in, bringing in his little minions). That means that the Matrix program eventually decays (like Windows 9x) every 100 years, and that the Matrix, if not just the war, has been around/fought for at least 600 years, if not longer. The year in the real world is closer to 2600 to 2800.
    • Morpheus only said it was closer to 2199 that to 1999, which implies that the former was the minimum date he considered plausible. He has no way of knowing what the maximum plausible date might be, only that it's something a lot higher than 1999.
    • I'm uncertain why people are confused about this. Morpheus himself says, in that scene, directly after that line, something to the effect of "We can't tell you exactly what year it is, because we don't know." He says himself that they have no way of knowing what the actual year is, and have simply made a best guess. He says they've been fighting for 100 years because some form of resistance has been going on for awhile and because it sounds more inspiring than "We have been fighting the machines for roughly 83 years, depending on when you consider our resistance to have officially started!"
    • They've only been fighting the machines since the war started - the "100 years" figure isn't the time since 1999, it's the time since the machine uprising. In fact, canonically the machine uprising happened sometime around 2139, although that wasn't established until much later.
    • Also, don't forget that it's really only been 100 years since the start of this particular cycle of the war. As mentioned there have been previous versions of the Matrix and other Ones and wars but, critically, Morpheus isn't aware of that. Nobody is until Neo meets with the Architect later in the movie. Morpheus believes that the AI taking over the world and Zion's resistance happened consecutively, so from his perspective he thinks it's "closer to 2199". If the other versions of the Matrix had a similar runtime then it's more likely to be nearer 2699.

    Scientists In the Matrix? 
  • Are there ANY scientists inside the Matrix? If our world were a simulation, however crafty, sooner or later people would figure out stuff doesn't add up. There are people out there who built a piece of scientific equipment the size of a city just to see what happens when large hadrons crash into each other. With this in mind, recall the episode Beyond in the Animatrix that showed there are actually blatant bugs in the Matrix physics engine.
    • If the machines are the ones writing the code for any experiment an in-Matrix scientist might undertake, then they can certainly ensure that the test appears to generate results consistent with that scientist's environment being real and not a simulation.
    • Since the Matrix's layout mostly seems to be a single giant city, it's possible that there really aren't any scientists, for exactly that reason. Each person in the Matrix probably assumes that there are scientists that they've just never met, and hears about them and sees them on television and such. If anyone gets too scientifically inclined and starts noticing all the weirdness (as Trinity's dialogue in the club implied happens to lots of people), they either stumble upon the Resistance and become a "red pill", or the agents notice them making too much noise and handle the situation.
    • They probably chalk up their results to machine or user error. Occam's Razor suggests that as a highly-preferable alternative to "Reality is a complete sham brought about by Machine overlords." Those that persist probably Go Mad from the Revelation and get themselves discredited.
    • The oracle dropped a line about ghosts and other supernatural beings that were in fact errors in the matrix... and few people really buy ghost and vampires stories. And even when they do, going from "I saw a ghost" to "Our world is a computer program" will look like a major case of Epileptic Tree. Plus, the agents can just wipe out memory like they want, so if a scientific or otherwise influential person encounter a bug, they just reset him. There, problem fixed.
    • There are other locations inside the Matrix besides the Mega City. In Reloaded, we see the mountains where Neo is teleported from the Chateau. The first movie mentions the Heathrow airport and the fact that Morpheus is hunted by the governments of many countries. Enter the Matrix shows a post office and an airport. The Animatrix shows what is obviously Japan, and the USA and France are mentioned. I guess the Zionists just prefer to operate in that one city for some reason. As for scientists, I presume the glitches are random and rare enough and not reproducible, so they get chalked up as hallucinations, equipment malfunctions, and the like.
      • No, The Animatrix showed a training program that was based on Japan, not the Matrix. And just because the bluepills think there's more to the Matrix than the city doesn't mean there actually is. When Neo asks for his location, Link replies "you're not going to believe this, but you're all the way up in the mountains," but he doesn't say which mountains or anything more specific: the way he says it suggests that there's only the one range beyond the city. If we're only shown the megacity and all the action takes place within it, conversation of detail suggests that, like The Truman Show and Dark City, the city is all that really exists. Post offices and talk about airports and other countries could just be Insurmountable Waist High Fences, virtual props created to maintain the illusion that the Matrix is bigger than it really is. (For what it's worth, the Matrix Wiki says "the Matrix simulation covers approximately a vast swath of landscape, some 1000 miles in diameter from the Downtown centre of the Megacity at the centre to remote terrain such as "the Mountains" surrounding it".)
      • Oh, wow. A 1000-mile diameter circle yields a surface area of 785,000 square miles. Smith refers to "billions of people" living in it. With just 1 billion residents, that yields a population density (1273 ppl/sq mi)equivalent to South Korea, carpeting an area the size of Texas and Alaska combined. 2 or 3 billion people puts it up into the equivalent of Bangladesh. If there's mountains, bodies of water, and other large areas effectively devoid of human inhabitants, it starts creeping towards city-states like Hong Kong or Singapore. Under those circumstances, there really can't be more than just the one big Megacity. I'm trying to imagine an entire continent looking like this, and it quite boggles the mind.
      • Not a training program, actual Japan (in "Beyond"). A character in "World Record" refers to her aunt in France. Neo's birth data, as displayed by the Agents, claims he was born in Capitol City, and if there is a Capitol City, then logically there are other cities. People actually use the airport to fly somewhere — where? Finally, Path of Neo shows the United States Congress being overtaken by Smith. Conservation of detail is a law about fictional narrative and has nothing to do with the design of virtual realities. Sorry, but Occam's Razor points to a large geography inside the Matrix. Saying there are no other cities in the Matrix because all the movies take place in Mega City has no more basis in fact than claiming that the Moon is a cardboard disc glued to the solid sky because you personally never visited the Moon.
      • There's nothing to say that "Beyond" is set anywhere except an outlying neighbourhood of the same city. If it was really set in Japan, why would the agents, who are treated as local authority figures, still be Caucasian and look and act exactly like the movie agents, instead of something more geographically relevant? That would make sense if Yoko lives in a Japanese district of the city, not so much if she's supposed to be in another country thousands of miles away. Also, a character referring to "her aunt in France" means little. Did we see the aunt? Does the aunt really even exist? The Matrix is a false reality. It's a lie. That's the whole point. You can't trust anything inside it. The television shows what the machines want it to show, the newspapers have whatever headlines the machines want them to have, the maps look like whatever the machines like. The whole point is that none of it's real. So the only thing to be trusted is what we actually see, which is a gigantic city with lots of districts and the surrounding mountains. As for the Capitol building and Capitol City, for all we know the city itself is called Capitol City and thought of as a national capitol by the bluepills. The Matrix isn't just time travel into the 1990s like some people seem to treat it. It's a virtual ant farm, an MMORPG that mimics daily modern life. Given the choice between an entire, unseen virtual planet and what the movies actually showed us, which is the megacity and its surroundings, I prefer going with the megacity and its surroundings as the Matrix, especially since that fits with the theme of the Matrix as a mental prison, a bottle-world that drives some people mad. The Other Wiki presents both explanations side by side, and the Matrix wikia goes with the City in a Bottle one, so it's up to the viewer to decide which answer they personally prefer.
      • The Japanese Agents would still be Caucasian because they are the classic MIB, part of the usual image (MIB page image and popularish movies not withstanding) of which is "they're all white guys"
      • That's not in-story, that's a meta inspiration for the Agents: that's like saying Neo can shut down Sentinels because he's Jesus, or Morpheus has powers in the Matrix because he's the god of dreams. There's an Asian district in the megacity, and the presence and recognized authority of the agents as we've seen them in the movies can be taken as evidence of "Beyond" taking place within it. From the Matrix wiki: "The International District is a district of the Mega City. It is essentially a conglomerate of Asian cultures, and mainly consists of small shops. Despite the presence of several powerful gangs of exiles, no single interest really dominates in this district."
    • To answer the original question: bugs like that are very rare, so there's usually nothing for the scientists to notice. In the unlikely event it happened once or twice, it would be easy to cover up.
    • Also, scientifically proving something generally requires that your experimental results be repeatable. Most glitches in the Matrix are unlikely to repeat themselves, and if a recurrent glitch does take place, by the time anybody tries to formally test the phenomenon in question the machines will have noticed their interest and corrected the error.

    Stupid Caretaker Robots? 
  • Also, one of the most obvious flaw: when Neo wake up in the real world, he is welcomed by a "caretaker" robot, who stare at him for some seconds and then... just flush it down a drain, where he is safely recovered by his allies (who somehow managed to get that close to the farm without being attacked by sentinels), instead of, you know.... just killing him outright and recycling him. Because no matter what the redpills do before and after the matrix, they have to escape the farm at one point, and it seems like the perfect moment to attack, seeing as how they are stranded on a huge tower with their muscles atrophied and their body still connected to the system via a bunch of pipes...
    • I assumed that the bot had been reprogrammed by Morpheus and co. I mean, it pretty much releases Neo from his restraints. It's hard to interpret as anything but helping.
    • I saw it as a "dumb" AI. It got the signal that Neo's pod was showing no life signs or whatever, and went to disconnect the corpse and flush it down the drain. It's not designed to know the difference between the living or dead. In hindsight it's not a great explanation (the machines know red-pills have to come out somehow and should know this is when they're at their weakest), but it's better than nothing.
    • The One is vital to the matrix, and the rest of Zion is by extension. The caretaker robot left Neo alone because it was supposed to.
    • Or maybe flushing a vat-human down the drain is simply standard procedure for whenever something goes wrong with one of them. If they're dead, they get dissolved into nutrient soup; if they're alive, and awake due to a glitch, they drown and then dissolve. Either way, there's no need for it to kill him once it's confirmed that he's awake and therefore no longer a quiescent little coppertop: drowning in the pipeline will do the job just fine.
  • The real explanation is the entire plot just would not work, there would be no movie if the machines just do the sensible thing and either just pull the life support or otherwise kill the redpills somehow right when they leave the Matrix. The in universe explanation? The machines are obviously incredibly stupid and just never thought of it, just like they never thought of using any of the other countless means of powering themselves other than hooking humans up to a fake reality (and they could have just lobotomized the humans when they were grown and made the Matrix unnecessary as well if they really had to do that).
    • The in-universe explanation that doesn't rely on people (or machines) being stupid, is that the whole premise is not correctly interpreted by the redpills. Machines never enslaved humanity and are not malicious at all. Matrix is run by humans and is designed as a refuge for the humankind after the world war had desolated the planet (the "sky burning" was some nano-wepon Gone Horribly Wrong). Naturally, all the regular Matricians had their memories of the pre-Matrix events erased, so that they could lead normal lives. However, because the Matrix is created by the neurological network of the minds of its dwellers, it's natural laws rely on the conformity of mind to work. Some people are less susceptible and start feeling that "something is wrong". If left unchecked, they might prove dangerous to the society, but the leaders are unwilling to simply murder them and instead chose to remove them from the Matrix (because no prison inside could hold them). And the whole "Human rebellion" ruse was created to give the exiles something to do and also to enlist them into searching for other anomalies.
  • That's actually quite simple. Remember Morpheus saying that the pill disrupts I/O signals? If the Matrix can't "ping" one of their humans, it assumes that he's dead. Trinity says that Neo's going into an arrest sort of proves that the pill simulates his death for the Matrix. The caretaker is then tasked with unplugging the "corpse" and recycling it by flushing it down into that pool. Why the caretaker wasn't programmed to recognize alive humans and beat them to death with a blunt object? Maybe the machines didn't think about that eventuality and forgot to add a subroutine.
    • Except that the machines have been dealing with the Resistance for decades. They know that's how they free new members. Signals or not, if the machines were serious about all this, they would've ordered the caretaker to snap each human's neck, whether it's dead or not.
      • Aside from the whole "preserving the masquerade of the resistance" thing the Machines have going on, there's nothing to say that they actually know that's how the Resistance gets new members. The very point of a covert resistance movement is keeping your methods secret... the Machines may think they actually fly out to the appropriate pods and snag them and have been trying to figure out how the Resistance got stealth ships. (Again, if we were to assume they're not just playing along.) Add to that, the Machines have billions of people to look after. In those numbers someone's probably dying pretty much constantly... building the service drones to be capable of delivering neck-snaps and then having them take the time to perform neck-snaps may be too resource and time intensive. Some Machine analyst may have crunched the numbers and said "Hey, we actually lose less resources and time just dealing with the occasional new Resistance member than we would by making sure every human we read as dead really is before we flush 'em." After all, bullets from an Agent are just software and thus free, servos that can perform a neck-snap are not.
    • Come on. It had already grabbed him by the neck. If it was capable of that, no way it couldn't have squeezed just a little tighter and crushed his windpipe. And no, there's no way Machines don't know how the Zionists get their recruits out, because the caretaker drone was there when Neo was flushed. Extraction could only happen afterwards.
    • Machines are all about efficiency. By modern estimates, around 150,000 people die every day. Are they really going to waste the energy to reprogram the caretaker drones for the tiny amount of people who may or may not be a redpill?
  • The Machines know what they are doing. Remember, Zion is part of the system. They allow the resistance to free people.

    Cypher's "For" the Confusion? 
  • Does it bother anyone how badly Cypher (or Joe Pantoliano) mis-emphasised the sentence when he explains to Neo why they always have to view the Matrix in code? Quote: "The image processors work for the construct, but there's way too much information to decode the Matrix." It took me ages to try to understand just what the hell Cypher meant before realizing he should have emphasised the word "construct".

    Mental Projection or Mental Self? 
  • Does anybody else have a problem with the line "It is the mental projection of your digital self"? To me, it just seems the wrong way round. Maybe it's just personal preference but "the digital projection of your mental self" sounds much more logical, given that it is the computer projecting what you think you should look like.
    • It sounds unintuitive, but it all depends on which way you look at it. Your "digital self" is the block of interactive code that's racing through the Matrix and interacting with other bits of code. The "mental projection" is what makes that code look like a guy wearing a trenchcoat and sunglasses.
      • The funny this is, in Path Of Neo, when you encounter Larry and Andy before the final battle, they introduce themselves before adding: "Or rather, these are the digital projections of our mental selves." My theory is that both versions are technically correct: the RSI is a mental projection into a digital world of a mental image rendered digitally. Signs point to the theory that the RSI is more than just the plugged-in mind creating an image of itself; that it is in fact a fully formed digital "body" that the minds inhabits.

    Matrices All the Way Down? 
  • How do the Zionites know their level of reality isn't just another virtual world? Isn't that the kind of faith they're fighting to get people out of? Alright, they see the machine empire and the people-pods, but really, if the machines can design a fully believable reality, why stop at one?
    • I think they sorta have to believe their world is the real one, or else where does it stop? If our reality is a Matrix, is the next 'highest' one a Matrix too? Is it Matrices all the way down? At some point, you just have to take it as fact that the world you're fighting for is the real one, or else you'd just fall into despair and inaction.
      • If you accept that they need humans as batteries, then you will have to accept what this means: that the machines can't let any single human go. Seeing as how they prefer functionality over epic, it makes sense that the next layer up is another simulation. Doesn't stop anyone from believing it is real because it has more limitations placed on it - the Zion level is, by all means, a near-perfect copy of "the real world", which means you would fully believe it was not the sim. Further, take this: if you were to claim in Zion that this is all a dream, all a sim, you'd probably be treated for some sort of "Matrix madness." (they had a term for that in the films)
    • Given the nature of the first film, the matrices all the way down theory seems a plausible way for the W brothers to have included the Socratean theory of nature into their myriad of borrowed concepts.
    • Doesn't Neo gain the ability to manipulate "reality" as well as the Matrix at the end of Reloaded? I don't recall if it ever really fully explains that, but that would be some pretty good evidence that the "real world" is just another Matrix and he learned how to apply what worked in the simplest one to the more complex one.
      • No, Neo gains the ability to extend his manipulation of the Machines' code to the real world. The only thing he can use his One powers on in the real world are things that are built and run on the same programming code as the Matrix.
    • It would mesh well with the Architect's plan for Neo to deliberately repopulate Zion after the war. That would work a lot better if the machines controlled Zion and could just wipe it clean, clear out all the bodies and sentinels etc., instantly, as well as help Neo and the others to "find" adequate sources of food and somehow-still-working ancient technology. However, it would destroy the premise that the redpills are out of the (main) Matrix precisely because they couldn't accept it; why then would they accept the Zion part of it?
    • The Architect in Reloaded explains that humans simply die off en masse if they can't have a choice between the Matrix and reality, even if at only a subconscious level. The Machines quite literally can't have "matrices all the way down" without wiping out mankind. The Zion creation-destruction cycle is the Architect's compromise that allows the Machines to have a level of control over things but otherwise, they simply can't fully trap the human mind. Our nature rebels against it.

    Where Do The Redpills Go? 
  • What do the families of the people they free think of their disappearance? Especially since, aside from Neo, most of the minds they free are kids, what about their parents? Is everyone they free an orphan? What happens if a potential "One" happens to have a big family who loves them very much and would kick up a fuss if they were to suddenly disappear? And along this line of thought, does anyone actually *have* parents? If people are no longer born, but grown, how does anybody have children?
    • I would guess that whenever someone jacks out of the Matrix preemptively it runs a program that maintains the escapee's digital image and properly prepares a death(most likely accident or suicide). Now as for the issue of parents the machines probably collect samples for the creation of fetuses to feed humans and whenever an impregnation occurs in the Matrix the machines use the two correct samples to create a child so as to not have a faulty digital self. Say for example inside the Matrix you were born to a white family but outside the Matrix you were in fact an Asian child, this could lead to a rejection of the Matrix. So as measure to prevent this the machines match accordingly.
    • I got the impression from watching "The Kid" on the Animatrix that red pills who chose to leave the Matrix left behind a body. Admittedly, the kid's a unique case, but we don't see what happens to the Neo's body after the red pill program is done with it. When he jacks back in, he probably has a new avatar.
      • Actually, I would think most redpills are single, pale, wan, isolated hermit hacker types. I.e, people who long ago stopped having much contact with families and the real world. Neo's most ubiquitous human contact before being dragged out to the club seems to be with clients/customers and his boss.
      • I think that's Fridge Brilliance. People who don't accept "the program" are probably going to be antisocial, too, since all their lives they have felt something's wrong with the world, and thus are trying to remove themselves from it, if only unconsciously.
      • Except, as we know, a lot of them are freed as children. Old Councillor Hamann was 11 when he left the Matrix.
    • There doesn't really have to be an excuse. In real life a truly astonishing number of people go inexplicably missing every year and many of them are never heard from again.

    Fabric in Zion? 
  • Where do the Zionites get the fabric for the clothes they wear outside of the Matrix?
    • Probably scrounging deserted cloth shops and likes, and/or stripping people killed in the war.
    • Most of their clothing seemed of natural fibres. Ever heard of hemp? A persistent little weed that grows quite well in artificial light, makes strong fibres—and smokes good, too.
      • Or, when preparing Zion, the machines might have seen that need and compensated them with it.
    • It's shown that the humans have fruits, vegetables, and seeds to eat. We know they have artificial lighting as part of their technology in Zion. It stands to reason that they grow their own plants for food, fabric and dyes, in gardens using artificial light. They must have found water underground just to survive at all, and they could have first found the seeds needed for these plants by venturing up to the surface.

    Hell is Other Bluepills? 
  • Would the definition of hell be existing inside the Matrix, but having a boring life?
    • Isn't that why people chose the red pill in the first place?
      • What, and living in a Crapsack World taken up to eleven doesn't suck balls? The Crapsack World I'm referring to is the real one, by the way.
      • From an internet post I saw after Reloaded came out: "So, I take the redpill only to spend the rest of my life in a cave with a bunch of techno ravers. I totally get Cypher's character now." Although the implication I took from the red pill/blue pill thing was that the blue pill would just erase the memory of Morpheus et. al. but it wouldn't deal with the feeling of displacement that a redpill has. That is ... a blue pill is a death sentence, because eventually the Matrix will drive the guy mad since he can't get out but can't accept the program, either.

     No one can be told what the matrix is? 
  • This pivotal line has always bugged me. Of course you can be told what the matrix is; that's how they were able to make a movie about it. Was Morpheus just being secretive to get Neo to join his cause without full disclosure, or is there some other reason for this that I missed?
    • I think the idea is more along the lines of, "Well, we could tell you, but you're not going to fucking believe it if we do."
      • Seconded, and in particular that belief is the key thing. Redpills know there's something wrong with the world, but even they (with a couple of very notable exceptions) can't will themselves out of the Matrix as such, it takes a disruption of the I/O carrier wave and then disengaging him from the system - i.e. hacking his brain. Besides, Morpheus's line is a QED: by the point he says that line, he's told Neo where the Matrix is, and that it's all around them, and that it's a prison for his mind. Net result on Neo's perceptions? Nil.
      • Agreed: This is the same reason many cannot contemplate the nature of faith. You can't explain it—it must be experienced in some way for it to be real. Unfortunately we can't unplug people as easily as Neo was to see the nature of faith as he sees the nature of the Matrix.
    • "If he'd told us the truth, we would've told him where to shove that red pill!" So yes, it is about not scaring off new initiates until it's too late.
      • Morpheus does tell them the truth. He tells them that the Matrix is all around them, that it is a prison they were born into, and that he can show them the truth or allow them to go back to living a lie. Just because he doesn't outline every single slightly inconvenience and discomfort of the truth doesn't mean that he's lying or even that he's deceiving them. He's already telling you that your comfortable existence is a prison designed to keep you docile and under control... only a fool would expect to be awoken into a life of comfort and ease. Cypher is a very great fool.
      • Not really. For one thing, he doesn't even make it clear that taking the red pill = leaving the matrix, just vague hints that the matrix is this thing that affects you. And he implies that learning the truth is a desirable thing, which can just as easily be taken to mean that even more comfort and ease is ahead, not less. He keeps comparing it to what Alice found in Wonderland, which involved danger, certainly, but also whimsy and magic and nothing like the misery that is surface life. And most importantly, he never said you were being drafted into a goddamn war.
    • "No one can be told" could just mean no one is allowed to tell someone the full story about the Matrix, rather than no one can do so. After all, if someone were to be told everything first, and then chose to take the blue pill, would the machines necessarily let them go back to living their routine lives again? The true nature of the Matrix is a secret, and just blurting out the whole truth to someone means you're turning them into a security-risk for the enemy that's trying to keep it. Morpheus reveals as much as he safely can, but not enough to compromise Neo's own position; he'd leaving him the option to just bypass the rabbit hole and go back to being "Mr. Anderson", if that's what Neo wants.
    • Except that if he chooses a blue pill, he's just another expendable "battery" whom Zionists have absolutely no compunctions getting killed, so there's no reason to bother. Also, I understood it that taking the BP would erase Neo's memory of the discussion, so it's not an issue anyway.
    • Or more coldly, the blue pill is a bullet to the head.
    • It's worthy of note that in the Path of Neo game you can choose the blue pill and it makes just literally what Morpheus says it does: Neo wakes up in his bed as if startled from a dream.

     The Internal Clock Broke 
  • Time in the Matrix must be one hell of a Mind Screw. The problems I see with it are:
    • Why haven't any bluepills noticed that it's always 1999?
    • If time can't progress forward or backward, then how does in-universe history stay on a consistent timeline? For instance, if Columbine happened in the Matrix, would it suddenly have happened in 1998 once that date comes around in the Matrix again?
      • No, it's not always 1999 in the Matrix. At the very start of the first film, it's 1998 (the first text on the screen reads "Call trans opt: received. 2-19-98 13:24:18 REC:Log>."). We know that the One has rebooted the matrix five times before, so it's roughly 30 years between reboots (assuming Morpheus' guess that the real year is 2199 is anywhere near accurate). Maybe the Matrix goes through the years 1970-2000 each time.
      • The way I read it was that the one hundred years that Morpheus refers to in 'Reloaded' is the near-complete cycle of Matrix 6.0. When Morpheus explained to Neo in the first movie that it was "Closer to the year 2199" he was Guesstimating from his personal knowledge of history, which did not include knowledge of the other iterations of the Matrix. Therefore, it's probably closer to 2699 when the movie takes place, but each one hundred years the internal clock in the Matrix resets to 1900 (roughly the time when hardwired telephones started becoming household items). I could be wrong though, that's just how I figured it in my head.
      • I had originally assumed the same thing: that the Matrix would reboot in 100 year cycles with the resetting of Zion. However; this presents some continuity problems. How does the matrix account for history? Historical events like war, famine, epidemic are fundamental to technological progression and we can easily trace back the history of the telephone, the television, etc. Lack of historical record leads to myth and speculation, which would weaken the "reality" of the Matrix. If the Matrix is repopulated with brand new "souls" each rollover, how could the machines assure a coherent progression to the 1999 we see in the first film? This assumes that some element of free will is present for the human batteries. It is possible that the Matrix has pre-fabricated personalities that act as vehicles in Matrix for the batteries while fulfilling their function in vitro. The reboot cycle must be long enough for at least the oldest person to have experienced a life cycle, unless they are preloaded. 30 years would not allow for any older extras/characters in Matrix.
    • I always thought the matrix time was in a loop so every new years on 1999 would loop back to an earlier year and altered minds accordingly.
    • But that doesn't work. Time isn't something as consistent that can be rewound back a year and just change everyone's memory. What about all the researchers and scientists who make big breakthroughs or discoveries in 1999? Do they just forget all their work at New Year's and go back? People are making progress and that is what years are marking. Is all the progress of 1999 undone every year? How could that not be incredibly jarring to the people's minds?
      • Uh... You just answered your own question. You said that "time is rewound back an year and [they] just change everyone's memory". Then you complain that it is impossible for people to "forget all their [scientific] work at New Year's". What? Doesn't the definition of "change everyone's memory" state that they would forget their work?
      • Erasing memories wouldn't necessarily erase all the deeper neurological changes imposed by having lived through those experiences, though. If I start off 1999 liking dogs, then get attacked and mauled by a dog in the summer of that year, and finish off 1999 terrified of them, then that's going to have caused my neurons to establish new "dogs = bad stimulus!" pathways by the time the clock resets. Even if I don't remember the attack, I'd be left with a sudden and inexplicable fear of dogs that's hardwired itself into my brain, for no apparent reason.
      • There is a discussion above that people chalking it up to Occam's Razor would probably make this less of an issue than it first sounds. "Is my cynophobia due to a childhood trauma I can't remember anymore, or because my mind has been wiped? ... Eh, it's probably the former."
  • You're forgetting the Matrix reboots every time a One emerges and then reaches the Source. Presumably that takes roughly 100 years or so. That's where the restart on the clock happens each time.
  • I believe the implication is that the current Matrix is "our" world, so it is the one where the events of the 20th century unfolded the way we know them. In previous Matrices, they could indeed have unfolded differently. Come to think of it, that's a readymade framework for alternate history fiction...
  • There's no need to alter any individual human's memory or life-history to reboot the Matrix. All the machines need to do, when they're ready to start a reboot, is to designate a field of babies as the rebooted "world"'s population, and pipe them a simulation of life in, say, 1965 when they're "born". They grow up in a "world" of simulated parents, teachers, neighbours, etc. As they mature, the year number in their iteration of the Matrix advances on schedule, they assume the roles of the citizens of that simulated "world", and their simulated elders are phased out. Meanwhile, in the previous Matrix "world" that's being discontinued, previous crops of coppertops are aging and dying off, with younger generations in their "world" being portrayed by simulations. If each reboot runs for a century at most, the in-"world" year 2065 is when any last stragglers would be culled and their "world" shut down.

     Rebel With a Stupid Cause 
  • Why the hell are the Zionites causing so much death and destruction in the first place? This problem is similar to the above folder Bluepill-Killing Heroes, but while that question is easily answered by saying that they have no choice but to deal harshly with all potential enemies, this question is why are they fighting in the first place? Yeah, the Matrix is terrible, blah blah blah. Um, actually what's so bad about it? People live normal lives, they go to school, get a job, get married and so on and so forth. It's almost exactly like real life was before the machines took over, except that every once in a while a person can't accept the false reality. This is not a Crapsack World, it's actually very much like the real world, possibly better. While freedom fighters in most stories, like the rebels in Star Wars, are resisting a brutal dictatorship that commits atrocities with or without provocation, all of the machines except for corrupt ones like the Merovingian seem pretty content to let people live their lives. If people didn't rebel, all of the nasty things you see in the movies wouldn't be happening: the Agents would have no purpose for existence so they wouldn't be body snatching people and throwing them into harm's way, the unknowing cops and soldiers and whatnot wouldn't be slaughtered for being in the way, and life would pretty much continue as normal. When you look at it like that, the Zionites seem like extremely selfish assholes.
    • That's one way to see it. The other way to see it is that the entire human race sans the Redpills are being bred as slaves, live in an elaborate prison, have their very bodies taken over by the guards of that prison whenever they want and sacrificed if they see fit, are forcefed their own dead, are murdered or have their memories altered when necessary, and all this is done to sustain the machines that enslave them. Even if you assume that some people would prefer that setup, they don't have a choice until the end of the series.
    • Its kind of like the book Brave New World, everyone is genuinely and honestly content with life and don't question the fact that it has been engineered somewhere outside their control. Its meant to bring up a moral dilemma in the viewer of which is better, happiness or truth. The Zionists are simply those who believe it is better to live in a crapsack world because a truthful existence is the only "real" existence.
    • Aside from the sheer cosmic conformism of that worldview, the Matrix is also pretty ruthless about any form of non-conformism. Anything aside from mind-numbing consumerism and conformism gets dealt very harshly. That is not a just experience.

     Smith's unmachiney traits 
  • Why is Smith established with such a human-like personality and characteristics, instead of being very machine-esque and by-the-book like his fellow Agents?
    • In the first movie when you compare the other Agents to Smith, he's acting in a very aberrant manner, having apparently been active apparently rather a long time and has killed many Zion rebels. When you watch the behaviour of the other two Agents, they seem to wait for conformation of orders or for information from the system when dealing with rebels, whereas Smith seems to act intuitively and actually gives them orders on how to proceed. This is noticeable at the end where he figures out how to beat Neo to the phone, whereas the other two travel together through the building seemingly in a logical manner.
    • Evidence for him being a "Redpill" is that he orders the other Agents to "Leave" him along with Morpheus, they seem to be slightly perplexed by as it wasn't something they were ordered to do. He removed his earpiece so that the system couldn't hear him tell Morpheus how he feels about the Matrix and uses the word "ME" when he talks about escaping and considers himself a prisoner just as much as the humans are. In effect... he Unplugged.
    • Then when the other two Agents come in, they realise "He doesn't know!". They even share a look that that isn't how Agents behave.
    • Evidence for him being a Machine "One" is that he is destroyed and killed, but decided to come back, mirroring Neo's death and resurrection. He also at the end displays the ability to manipulate the Matrix itself.
    • In essence then... the question "Why do you continue to fight, why do you persist?" "Because I choose to" could also apply to him.
  • It does fit with the symbolism of the series, if Neo is a Messianic Archetype, then Smith is his Anti-Christ. Though if Neo becoming the One is part of the architect's plan, this raises the question, did he plan for Smith too.
    • Smith was always meant to be the anomaly that threatened the system if Neo didn't reload the matrix.

     Why Didn't Cypher Just Resign? 
  • At the end of the second act, Cypher repeatedly asserts how sick he is of military life: "I'm tired of fighting, I'm tired of this ship...", "all I do is what [Morpheus] tells me to do. If I have to choose between that and the Matrix—" Wait, those are his only two options? The Zion military/government isn't a dictatorship (the third movie flat-out states that Kid was only in the corps because he volunteered) and it doesn't look like Morpheus is in the habit of drafting people, either. So if their military leaders don't work by conscription and Cypher is that dissatisfied with service on the Nebuchadnezzar, why can't the Zion authorities put him through for a transfer or something? Zion is a city of thousands; surely, there are jobs that need doing beyond defending it from machines.
    • Cypher might have just been bitching about Crapsack life outside of the Matrix in general, not just in the military.
      • ...Yet all of his most vocal complaints are specifically about life and service under Morpheus. Except for the less-than-palatable "goop" that the rebels subsist on, but if all he wants is to taste something different...well, isn't that sort of thing what the Construct is for?
    • If you go back and watch the first movie again, it does kind of feel like the hovercraft crews have this implicit "mind-freeing = conscription" sort of thing going on. Maybe that was changed for the sequels?
      • Er...fine. But then that raises the question of how the conscription practice could hold when the resistance is likely to be freeing far more minds than there are jobs available.
    • While he hates the real world overall, he's been on Morpheus' ship for a long time so that's why he complained mostly about that. Plus he's likely too impatient to wait even if his problem was with the ship.
    • There's also the implied concern that the humans might lose the war and he'd get his guts ripped out by a sentinel. By contrast, he could go back into the Matrix and be a rich and famous movie star. Plus there's his weird pervy scene with Trinity after he betrays the crew that suggests he had a thing for her. He had a lot of reasons.
    • Also, he probably didn't plan on the definition of freedom being "you get to help us fight a century-long war against machines in a post-apocalyptic world where we live underground in caves." Morpheus, in a sense, lied to them all. Obviously, if he told them what they were really getting themselves into, most would likely walk away. Cypher was just one of those who got pissed and snapped.
    • There are clearly civilians in Zion, including those who weren't born there... else there'd be no one to volunteer for military service when the Machines are invading, as we see people doing. The whole "poor Cypher got drafted" thing is baloney. However, freed people probably are expected to work at something, probably taking care of their food crops or repairing homes and stuff like that, because the Resistance is operating on a shoestring... everyone needs to work so that everyone can survive. Cypher is shown to be lazy, entitled, and a hedonist... if he joins Morpheus' crew, sure he's in danger and he still has to work, but at least he gets to sit around a lot too, playing voyeur with the monitors, but more than that he gets to go into the Matrix where he can ditch his duties to grab a simulated hot dog or cheesesteak or whatever. He's addicted to comfort and fine things, which is why he demands to live the sweet life as part of his conditions. Cypher's not some poor guy who got forcibly kidnapped from his home and drafted, he's someone who asked for the truth, didn't like it when he got it, and tried to kill a few thousand people so he could go back to having steak dinners.
    • I've read in a few places that Cypher was considered at some point to be the One by Morpheus, and when it turned out he wasn't, took that badly. Imagine being built up to be the messiah, and then have that torn away from you, no wonder Cypher's so bitter. Also, in the film he mentions that he's been 'free' for nine years. He looks pretty old in the film. Maybe he's an example of why people who are too old shouldn't be freed from the Matrix, they instinctively want to go back to it.

     The machines and programs are different groups? 
  • Are all the programs in the Matrix just programs, or are they robots that have entered the Matrix? Do any of the programs we see have robot bodies waiting in the real world? Can the robots even get into the Matrix?
    • All artificial intelligences are part of the Machine Empire regardless of if they posses their own bodies. Machines can get into the Matrix, and this sort of happens in the Animatrix, but they don't have any reason to unless they're refugees or criminals from the empire.

     Let's call them purple pills. 
  • What happens if you take both pills simultaneously?
    • xkcd thought of this.
    • Actually the red pill is said to contain some sort of tracer to find the person within the machine mainframe in the real world. The blue pill is likely just some sort of sedative and mind-eraser so the person can go on with their life in the Matrix unaware of anything else. So taking both together would likely knock them out, but they would still be able to find them in the Matrix mainframe and unplug them.
    • Assuming competent programming practices, taking both simultaneously should result in nothing; if you have two utilities that will cause a crash if both run at the same time, and you wrote them both, its a good idea to put 'IF other utility is already running THEN end' as the opening subroutine of both files.
    • The Red Pill simulates you having a hear attack interrupting your connection to the Matrix while the Blue Pill induces amnesia along with a feeling of dreaming so you dismiss the encounter with the spooky trenchcoat society as a dream. This mean you wake up in the real world with no idea what's going on, get flushed, drown in the refuse tank, and are processed into intravenous nutrition for the remaining humans.

     Why was Morpheus so sure about Neo? 
  • This one has been bugging me since the first movie. How exactly did Morpheus ‘’know’’ that Neo was The One? What indication was there that made it plain to Morpheus and no one else? Nobody, including Neo himself, ever seemed to wonder just what tipped Morpheus off that Neo was the one (no pun intended) he's been looking for his whole life.
    • The Oracle told him he would find The One, and Morpheus believed he did. He didn't Know, he Believed. Significant difference between the two terms.
    • Okaaaay, so then what made Morpheus believe he'd found The One?
      • Considering how many people Morpheus apparently liberated before Neo, I would actually not discount the possibility that he was just going on random hunches.
      • <knock knock> "Hi, are you the One?" "No." "Okay, thanks."
    • Less stupid possibility, Morpheus probably put in a lot of off-screen work to pinpoint Neo as a candidate for One-ship. There's also the question of how the Agents were so sure Morpheus would go after Neo that they planted a bug in him- the machines obviously knew something, and Morpheus was able to play off of that.
      • It's very directly hinted that Cypher was already an informant for the agents by this point. Hence the line "The informant is real. We have the name of their next target" Morpheus also directly stated that if the agents knew what he knew, then Neo would be dead.
      • Exactly. Morpheus had seen signs in Neo's behaviours before the movie that pointed to him being the One. What and how doesn't matter because it's not necessary for the plot.
    • Morpheus never says how long ago he spoke to the Oracle. Maybe she told him years ago that he would find the One, but that she told him last month that the next one he freed would be the One.
    • Maybe he just looked for hackers with a handle that was an anagram of "One".
    • Fun Theory: the Oracle told him he'd fall in love with the One just like she did Trinity. There was a lot of Ho Yay from Morpheus's side ...
    • Smith comments that "Mr. Anderson" is guilty of "every cyber crime we have a law for". Presumably, Neo's extraordinary hacking abilities and non-conformist instinct were what tipped Morpheus off.

     What was Neo's job? 
  • Neo appears to work in a cube doing...something. If the One is designed to love humanity to ensure he picks the right door when it's time to reload, shouldn't he have been working for a charity or something?
    • As someone else said above, the kind of person who'd be suspicious of the Matrix's reality and would choose to take the red pill when the time comes probably means being detached from the people around you and being considered a little weird, an outsider. In a sense, Neo (and the Ones before him) had to be something of an antisocial geek, or he'd never have been in a position or mindset to get recruited by Zion. But apart from that, the One is, despite all the code and hardware the machines invest in him, still basically human, and his free will plays a pivotal part in the process. The machines might have given Neo a family and upbringing intended to make him as messianic as possible, but this particular time around, he grew up to become a cubicle-worker and insomniac hacker.
    • The first movie shows that Neo is a programmer working for a respectable software company although he also blacklights as a hacker creating illegal programs as a side business. Although he is naturally anti-social as seen with the fact that he lives in a small apartment with no pets and seemingly few friends, he still is a kind person who helps his landlady take out the trash. Neo does love humanity but he is also somewhat of a loner, someone who feels outside the system.
    • Making him a hacker in his pre-Redpill life also makes it easier for him to accept the computational notions of the Matrix and all that entails when it’s revealed to him.

     Sniper Minigun? 
  • In the first movie, when Neo attacked the room where the agents held Morpheus, with a minigun, how did he manage not to kill Morpheus at that? Miniguns are not exactly precise and Neo made quite a generous swing, hitting all the agents surround Morpheus but not the man himself. Hell, the first trail of hits led directly to Morpheus!
    • If you watch the scene closely, Neo sweeps the gun in an arc. The bullet impacts in the water strike the floor in front of Morpheus because Neo moves the gun down and then back up, hitting the agents standing on either side of him. Probably not the kind of precision a real person could manage, but redpills are generally faster and more perceptive once they've started to learn to use their skills.
    • You have been swayed in your perception of miniguns by videogames. Real-life infantry miniguns are *very* precise weapons; they're bolted to a very strong floor to take the massive recoil, are themselves very heavy, and don't actually shoot large enough ammunition to cause them to shift their aim. At the distances portrayed in the movie, it's perfectly feasible that one would be able to hit several men in a room while leaving one unscathed. The real question is how did Morpheus not get hit by several dozen bullets *per second* ricocheting all over the room...
    • It's to be noted that after this sequence of improbable events Tank concludes "He is The One".

     Dodging bullets But Not Fists? 
  • The Agents (and later Neo) have the ability to move so fast that they can dodge bullets, and the effort doesn't really seem to drain them. Why don't they just use this ability to dodge much slower punches and kicks? Does the ability only apply to bullets?
    • They probably simply don't feel the need to. Bullets can kill an agent, but mere punches cannot. Also, with bullets you only need to dodge them long enough for the enemy to run out of ammo. But punches you can throw until you get tired, which is obviously not an issue for either of them. So it's easier to just trade punches and block them.
    • They can and do, repeatedly. For anyone but Neo, fistfighting an agent is tantamount to suicide, which is why everyone but him only does it to distract them long enough for an opportunity to GTFO.
      • But they don't dodge them - they just shrug them off. Which, btw, raises the question of why would Neo bother to fight them barehanded in the Reloaded. Yes, sure, he can keep up with them, but even he cannot kill or incapacitate them this way. So why not use a weapon, like a sword or a good combat knife?
      • Except that in Reloaded Neo does incapacitate them that way. The Agents' bodies are still built on the rules of bodies in the Matrix, meaning that there's only so much damage they can shrug off before their bodies just can't continue functioning. Plus, the first bunch of them Neo fights, he deliberately doesn't want the fight over quickly... he's keeping the Agents focused on him so that the other Zionites can evacuate. If he just pulled out a weapon and killed them, they'd hop to a nearby body and might interfere with the others getting clear.
    • Sure, Agents see no reason to dodge punches, but that raises another question: why can their punches be dodged? Neo evaded a few of Smith's in the first movie before even awakening as the One, so were they both moving at superhuman speeds? It makes sense to not bother dodging a non-lethal punch, but for a red pill to block, dodge or parry an attack from an Agent suggests that Agent isn't even trying.
      • Well, apart from Neo we only see Morpheus and Trinity fighting agents, and they are elite, and Neo was about to recognise himself as the One, so apparently yes, they can (if briefly) keep up with the superhuman speed of agents.
      • The way I see it, part of it just has to do with the way a punch works. People who can already move at high speeds have more likelihood of being able to dodge a punch than a bullet because the punch is slower and more telegraphed, probably part of every martial arts program the Zionites upload includes reading the opponent's movements... Agents have to do a lot more body movements to throw a punch than just raise and fire a gun.
    • Alternately look at it this way: guns are a part of the Matrix so the agents know everything about the bullet being fired from the gun allowing them to dodge it. When fighting a human in hand to hand combat they can't perfectly predict how when and where someone is going to throw a punch or kick. The element of randomness associated with a human and not a program makes it hard, if not impossible to know what they're going to do.
    • It's also possibly related to the rules Agents have to follow. For the most part, they seem unable to blatantly flout the rules of the system unless there's no other choice to complete their task, presumably as part of their "maximum the system allows but no more" thing - they can only activate the Superspeed when a certain set of criteria are met.

     No Return To The Matrix? 
According to Morpheus and Trinity, it is impossible to be reconnected to the Matrix. Uhm, why? When the Matrix was created, the Machines obviously had to connect the humans to it "from scratch" and erase their memories, so how is reconnecting a human already fit with the interface impossible? Hell, how would they even know it was?
  • They aren't talking about physical impossibility. It would only be possible on the machines' terms, or if a crew physically infiltrated one of the pod-towers to hook someone up in a vat (assuming there was an empty one available), putting themselves in danger from the machines all around. Basically, you can't go back if you're on Zion's side of the war.
    • Well, yes, that much is obvious. I think both times they raised this issue in the movie it was obvious to everybody involved that "reconnecting" meant reconciling with the Machines. Especially the second time, when Cypher admits that he's betraying the team to the Machines, yet Trinity still feels the need to claim it's impossible to go back, like it's supposed to dissuade him. I'd understand if she said something like: "what makes you think they'll bother reconnecting you once they no longer need you?" (which is a good point), but she sounds like she means exactly what she's saying.
      • He hadn't yet mentioned that his memory would be wiped, right?
      • Right, so? Do you think Trin was under impression he meant something other than surrendering to the Machines?
      • So, someone who remembered the truth wouldn't be able to fit into Matrix society even if they wanted to, and/or would be too dangerous for the Machines to keep alive.
      • I feel like we're on different wavelengths. Yes, all you say is true. My point is that both Cypher and Trinity know all that. Remember, Cypher only expresses his desire to reconnect after he murders Apoc, so it's rather obvious he's planning to surrender to the Machines, and that surmises having his memories erased. So I don't see why Trinity would bother telling him that going back is impossible.
      • "That surmises having his memories erased" is a big leap, when there's no reason to believe Trinity knows that's possible until Cypher says it.
      • The problem is that after Trinity tells him he can't go back, he counters by saying they'll just reinsert his body - as though Trin hadn't considered something so obvious. Who woulda thought, you can return to the Matrix by being reconnected to the Matrix! Then again, he immediately follows up with "I won't remember a goddamn thing," so that may have been the intended focus and the idea that someone who knows the truth would be incompatible with the Matrix is looking pretty solid.
    • The series notes that red pills have an innate sense that something is wrong with reality which drives them to ultimately seek out and find people like Morpheus. It does not, however, explain what this is. So it's possible that trinity meant he'd still be stuck with that unscratchable itch even if his memory was wiped. And the perpetual nagging feeling that reality isn't real would drive a man insane (See also: Inception)
      • This is correct. The implication of the series is that a redpilled mind re-plugged would probably reject reality to the point of insanity/death. The process is irreversible. It's to be noted Smith calls Cypher "Mr. Reagan" while discussing the deal, and c. 1999 Ronald Reagan (whom Smith is presumably referring to) was in the throes of Alzheimer's disease and fast on his way to the grave. Smith would just kill him slower.
      • My take on this is that it's less that he can't physically re-enter, it's what happens to him AFTER (and assuming his betrayal works.) Cypher faces two fates here:
    Fate I: The machines, once getting what they want, see no further use for him and kill him.

     Wacky warfare 
I came to a realisation that none of the scenes in all three movies that deal with weapons or real-time warfare makes any sense to me.Matrix:
  • The final scene, where sentinels attack the ship. What was that Trinity said earlier? "The EMP. Our only weapon against the Machines." I'm sorry, Trin, I think you meant: "The only weapon besides those awesome energy cannons that are perfectly capable of killing a sentinel". Why didn't they mount a couple of those on the hull and use them as point defence against the squids? Regardless, why didn't they grab the guns they had and try to defend themselves?
    • She means it's the only surefire, effective weapon they have. The electro-guns can take out Sentinels, but they only take out one at a time and they take several moments to do that. Sentinels don't really attack singly. Those "awesome" energy "cannons" show that they can't even reliably kills a human let alone Machines, plus they seem to be fairly short-range. For point defence some of the hoverships have more conventional weaponry, which again isn't absolutely effective... it makes Sentinels go reeling, but we don't know that it actually kills them, plus the Machines tend to send a lot of them. The EMP is the only weapon they have that is absolutely, instantly effective. Any Machine in the radius of the EMP just dies, period, the moment the switch is thrown. Anything else is basically screwing around and desperation tactics.
  • I'm curious, what happened after the EMP was fired? Ok, so they fry those five squids and, coincidentally, their own ship. So what do the Machines do? Of course, they keep the second team of sentinels outside the EMP radius, so that after the blast they can move in on the now defenceless ship and finish the job. In fact, they would have to do this, since it's obvious that humans would use the EMP in a dire situation, and firing it take less time than for sentinels to cut through the hull, so a single team will inevitably fail. And yet they don't. Why? Even if for some reason they don't send two teams right away, what exactly prevents them from sending more sentinels after they loose contact with the first ones? The ship isn't going anywhere until somebody arrives to restore it or tug it to Zion and god knows how long will that take, since how are they even supposed to contact Zion and ask for help?
    • First off, as we learn later, they don't actually want to kill the One, they just want to make a good show of it. Secondly, they may have temporarily abandoned the Nebuchadnezzar, hiding out in the junk around them and keeping their heat signatures down, until the Machines stopped looking for them or until help arrived. Since it fades out directly after that scene, we don't know what happened. Be creative, come up with your own explanation for how they got out of it.
  • Since this is the only strategy that could conceivably work against a Zionist ship, and as such, should've been the standard rule of engagement, the Zionists should've been familiar with it and expect it. An absence of the second wave of sentinels incoming after the EMP died out should've immediately tipped them off that something was wrong and they are being let go, and yet nothing in "Reloaded" indicates to that. I'm not sure how they could've kept their heat signatures down, or what would it matter, since the sentinels can also hunt by sound (and probably plain sight), but it doesn't explain why they didn't at least take the ship apart while they had the chance. Also, it's machines, the don't tire or get bored. Why would they stop looking for the humans? If they did, it, again, could only mean humans are being let go, and something's fishy.
  • In the first Matrix, we see the Neb evade a group of squiddies by powering down and being quiet. The poor cuttlefish, little satellite-dish-thingy and all, doesn't see a thing. So in a way, the question answers itself; how do they avoid detection after firing their EMP? Well, there's nothing left to detect. All ship systems are dead. Anybody caught in the blast would have no way of alerting the other machines as to what happened. The sentinels would have to be able to determine the epicentre of the blast somehow and then assume there's something worth spending a lot of time on at that spot by the time they get there.
  • So, the Machines have learned from their mistake of the last movie and are now using projectiles. And they do that... by spinning really fast and flinging an explosive robot at the enemy. So, these advanced, Earth conquering, coldly-effective and calculating Machines are basically using a giant sling? What's wrong with cannons or missiles? Especially since those morons still haven't bother to install AA weapons on their ship. Speaking of which...
    • Why not use a sling? It's something the Sentinels can do without building another machine that's cripplingly overspecialized. Even the explosive robot probably has plenty of other uses. The Machines probably covet every material resource, building something that just shoots projectiles (projectiles that are not good for anything else, at that) is probably considered a waste.
      • They had the resources of the entire planet at their disposal. They built 250K sentinels. I'd say a fraction of the materials required would've sufficed to outfit several decent gunboats.
  • Why hasn't Morpheus' ship still got weapons? It's not just the energy guns now - we've seen that the rebels have conventional ones too: machine guns and even rocket launchers. And we've seen that they do put those on the ships, so what the hell? Some rank-and-file ship has guns, but the ship that carries the freaking One doesn't? What, did Commander Angryfuck intentionally refuse to issue Morpheus some guns as a revenge for stealing his girl?
    • Commander Angryfuck may have indeed done that. But also the ships are shown to all be different, as evidenced by the complaint of "She's got a fat ass!" in the third film (it's apparently bigger and less manoeuvrable than her own ship). Morpheus seems to primarily do "search and rescue" operations, meaning he looks for people who want to be Redpills. The Nebuchadnezzar is thus probably built for speed, relative stealth, and operational efficiency at using the Matrix, not for combat. The Mjolnir, by comparison, is apparently a big boat of a thing and is thus studded with guns, so probably does more missions venturing into hostile territory and expectations of confronting the enemy.
      • Different models and purposes is understandable, but still, not even one machine gun on the whole ship? It wasn't that small, you know.
  • Just as in the first movie, I'm curious about what's supposed to happen in the end. So, Neo fries those several sentinels and passes out. The next thing we see is another ships coming and picking them up, obviously not immediately. Sooo, what about the "slingshot" sentinel that destroyed Morpheus' ship? It was way too far for Neo to disable (if his power did extend that far, he'd have simply destroyed the Slingshots in the final of Revolutions instead of their bombs), so what does it do?
    • Again, they don't actually want to kill Neo. They just want to make him feel he's on the run and in danger, to put the pressure on him and keep him from thinking he's got other options or could really win. But also the Machines aren't watching the movie, they don't necessarily know that Neo did it and passes out dramatically after disabling the Sentinels nearby. It's entirely possible they thought "Oh crap, the humans have made portable EMP charges, better get out of here and report this."
      • 1) By that point he's already refused the Archie's offer to return to the Source. What further use do they have for him? 2) Uhuh, they don't want to kill him - which is why they throw a bomb at him. How can they be sure he survives? 3) No, they aren't watching the movie - they are watching the events themselves! 4) "Report this"? What is this, middle ages? Are you telling me they don't have radios? Or, for that matter, cameras in the sentinels that would let the others see what exactly took them out?
      • The slingshot sentinel seems to have joined in the attack and was fried with the others, given we don't see any other sentinels in the scene.

     Illnesses and drugs 
So, since all the humans are in reality sitting in their own tank, how do diseases occur and spread? Do the machines use RNG to determine "Mr. X gets the flu today", or "Mrs. Y had contact with Mrs. Z, so she has a particular chance that chicken pox spread to her"? And when they're sick, how does medicine work? Since their bodies are probably not infected and the medications aren't real anyway, what effect do they have (aside from a placebo effect)? And, going from there, how do drugs work? If for example, a man drinks a beer, does the matrix simply distort the visual signals that specific guy receives to simulate him being tipsy?
  • They probably use computer viruses and anti-viruses to emulate the effects of diseases and medicine (that is if they even bothered to have diseases anymore). Drugs could indeed work through distortion of signals, although, again, I wonder if they would bother with the more lasting and drastic effects. If not, it's one more reason to root for the Matrix!
  • That's easy. The disease organisms presumably exist in the Matrix in code form, just like the animals and plants.
  • Could also be a manifestation of problems that occur in the pods. Contaminated feeding tube = influenza, that sort of thing. They get better when the machines service the problem, or they become fatal if the machines don't bother or don't service the pod in time.
  • "Do the machines use RNG to determine "Mr. X gets the flu today" Yes. That's precisely what they do. Simulation, remember? A simulation of an imperfect reality, because a perfect disease-free one gets rejected. So the machines have to apply disease, accidents and in general ill luck in the same way reality would.

     Why are the Agents so underpowered? 
  • In relation to the regular humans, the Agents are unstoppable. But there are a few inconsistencies. Like for example, why can they be hurt at all? there's no reason, when you (as an all-powerful machine) are creating your in-universe hatchet men, to have Them have the capacity to be hurt. Why aren't they bulletproof? Why can't they fly? Why can they run out of ammo in their guns? Why are they not, basically, Superman? I mean, they already ignore certain real-world facts (dodging bullets, overwriting other programs, firing almost double a Desert Eagle's capacity) but they have weaknesses enough to be outrun or rarely, admittedly, outfought. Yes, it would be a boring and short film otherwise, but it makes no logical sense.
    • Because the Matrix can't exist if it's straining its occupants' suspension of disbelief too much. The Agents exist to take care of problems in a subtle way that regular people can dismiss. If they're bulletproof and flying, then people are going to start wondering what the hell is going on.
      • An agent jumped across several dozen meters in sight of numerous cops, and in the ending of "Matrix" they were possessing people left and right in broad day light. Bottomless Magazines seem rather tame in comparison.
      • And at the end of the movie it seems pretty clear that the Agents are legitimately worried about what the humans are doing, so they're going all-out with the possession. Not to mention Smith is pretty much a rampant AI, so he's been using and abusing his powers a bit more than the other two.
      • "An agent jumped across several dozen meters in sight of numerous cops." In the very start of the movie. And then, on the roof, another agent dodged those bullets in plain view of the whole city. And in "Reloaded" another agent was hopping across cars on a lively highway. No, they clearly don't care about being seen while doing preternatural or even supernatural stuff. None of them did (ironically, Smith was the one who never did any of the flashier stuff in the first movie).
      • Jumping far strains belief, but doesn't break it—look at basketball players, or long jumpers. The Agent's leap might be well past that, but people can rationalize it away. "In plain view of the whole city" is a massive exaggeration. They were on top of a skyscraper, the closest anyone could have possibly been was hundreds of meters away, and that's only if they were bothering to pay attention. And at that distance, all they'd see is, "Oh, that guy missed." The highway chase, well, chances are the people caught in that pileup were killed anyway, so it doesn't matter what they see, and at any rate thld be invincible. So what they did was simply take regular human stats, like they were, again, acting pretty desperately.
      • That's because agents don't run on their own program, they run on the bodies of people (making it easy to swap out). If they made the body invincible, then every human would need potential super strength and speed, maxed out while the agents operate.
      • The Agents are probably authorized to break the Masquerade to various extents depending on the severity of the situation. Letting the Keymaker out and about probably posed a significant risk, so they could be more open about what they were doing in the name of stopping him. The Machines also clearly have some sort of memory-alteration thing (we see them use it on Neo to make him wake up in bed after the interrogation and think it was all a horrible dream), they could probably just do a "reset" on that day and make everyone wake up as normal thinking "Wow, that's a hell of a dream, I'm gonna feel weird doing this morning's commute." And even aside from all that... the Machines know this iteration of the Matrix is approaching the end of its operational life. They probably don't care as much about preserving the Masquerade as they normally would.
      • Which brings us back to the original question - why not give the Agents endless bullets? That's not even conspicuous - who's gonna count them?
    • Morpheus explains this. He says that Agents still have to work within the boundaries of the Matrix's programming. When Neo stops bullets or flies, he's essentially rewriting the Matrix's code on the fly. He's hacking and altering the system... something that Agents, as part of the system, cannot do. They were also given limitations so they would not kill the One and ruin all of the meticulous planning.
      • But as a product of said system shouldn't they have a greater degree of freedom?
      • They have a great deal of freedom, but it all exists within the "fictional" rules of the world within the Matrix; that's the key thing that makes the Agents incredibly dangerous but defeatable by the One. Agents have a finite number of bullets in their guns because that's how many bullets that gun holds within the rules of the Matrix. They can't see through walls because, in the context of the Matrix, they have human eyes, which can't see through opaque walls. They have to rely on mostly conventional sources of communication - when Smith takes off his earpiece, he is not informed of Neo and Trinity's attack on the building, because in the Matrix, you aren't magically aware of things you aren't told out loud or read. They're extremely strong and thus can jump far, but cannot fly because that's not physically possible for a human-form being to do. They're extremely agile, and thus can dodge bullets, but only to a certain point - a point-blank round to the head from Trinity or the rapid-fire of a minigun can hit them. They have specific advantages and "cheat codes" to use to their advantage, but they still operate within a ruleset. They cannot teleport, but they can hop to any bluepill in the area, which they utilize to their advantage in the final chase scene (refreshing their bullet count each time). They can be informed when bluepills see something outrageously strange - which is how Smith finds out that Neo and Trinity are in the subway station; a bum sees Morpheus dissolve in front of his eyes. They have sci-fi tracking bugs, but they have to physically restrain Neo and implant it inside him; they cannot simply patch Neo's software to track him. And they can, apparently, request major intervention in the Matrix code, such as bricking the walls of the building, but this is such a major event the whole Matrix glitches back several seconds, causing deja vu events. This is the thing about the Agents, which makes them an interesting foe: they are part of the faction that makes the rules, and yet they are the ones most bound to them.

     Neo's Black Market Merchandise 
  • At the beginning of the first movie, Neo sold some kind of illegal computer program to that dude for $2,000. Does anyone know exactly what it was? I mean, I'm not by any means a computer geek, so I can't think of any kind of software I'd be willing to pay 2 grand for.
    • How about a piece of software that could make an ATM spit cash out into the street?
    • Given the rather sketchy look of that guy, anything that could scramble evidence, delete criminal records, or conceal monetary transactions could be worth it.
    • A Cracked article said that according to an early script it was software to clear the guy's parking tickets.
    • Or it could have been information worth 2 grand. Thomas Andersen works at a large software company after all. How much would you pay for the source code for, oh, their next credit card # verification algorithm?

     Neo's supposed escape route 
  • Is it me, or was Neo's supposed escape route from his office literally impossible? It was not a matter of courage or skill - that pillar he was supposed to pass was jutting out of the ledge, and there was nothing to grab at. Neo would've fallen if he'd tried that! Since, Morpheus apparently can see all that happens, why did he try that? Did he expect Neo's powers to kick in?
    • He would have had to hug that pillar pretty tightly and it would have been really dangerous, but I don't think it was literally impossible. Besides, if he had fallen, Trinity probably would have pulled some super-parkour stunts to catch him, meaning he didn't necessarily have to make it around the pillar to escape. Besides, the scene's more about the fact that at that point Neo refuses to take a risk that would shatter his staid little life dynamic and finds it easier to give in and let the system determine what happens to him than it is about his literal chances of escape.
      • I would say it was about the fact that at that point Neo refuses to take a risk that would shatter his head against the asphalt! I highly doubt there's a super-parkour stunt that can arrest a fall from atop a skyscraper. As for it being impossible, here's what I mean:, 3:40. The moment he'd set foot around the pillar, he would've lost his equilibrium, there was no way to "hug" around it and there was no way to bring him to the other side once he does.
      • Brief point of fact: In the game Path of Neo, if you do follow Morpheus's directions, it is possible to escape and not be caught by the agents.
      • Yeah, they improved it, in that there's a thin ledge around the pillar, so Neo traverses the pillar while hanging from the ledge. I'd say it highly improbable for an untrained man to do that, but it's at least possible.
      • According to ‘’The Final Flight Of The Osiris’’, it’s possible for a Redpill to safely fall off a building by taking momentum-draining steps and grips down objects jutting off of it. So yeah, Trinity probably could have helped him there. For all we know, most of the ship’s crew may have been stationed at strategic points around the exterior of the building ready to lend an assist.

     Trinity's Logic 
  • How does Trinity's logic of "The Oracle told me I'd fall in love with a dead man. So you see? You (Neo) can't be dead because I love you." How the hell does that work? It just doesn't make any sense.
    • The One is destined to lead the people of the Matrix out of slavery. Neo can't do that if he's dead. Trinity's been told the person she falls in love with will be The One. She's in love with Neo. Therefore, Neo is The One, and since he can't be The One and fulfill the prophecy if he's dead, Neo can't really be dead. Her logic is perfectly sound, insofar as she's making a statement of faith based on it.
      • Not that sound, as the possibility that she might fall in love with somebody else later on doesn't evidently occur to her.
    • Besides, "destiny" is not a real thing, especially not in sci-fi and especially especially when the "prophecy" in question is a lie.
    • That line really should be taken under "Things people say in the first stage of grief" rather than a proper logical statement.

     "Your Mind Makes it Real" is bullcrap 
  • I get that they needed there to be some risk to the people inside the Matrix for the sake of dramatic tension, but the way they went about it in the movies is totally unbelievable. Like when people plugged into the Matrix sustain wounds in the simulation and we see them coughing up blood in the real world. How is it even physically possible for their blood to have gotten outside their completely intact real-world blood vessels? Even if we accept that somehow death in the Matrix can result in brain death in real life, and the movie just took some liberties with the depiction, the machines are dependent on the plugged-in humans. It makes no sense for them to forgo putting in some countermeasure to insulate the humans' vital functions from imagined trauma. They wouldn't want their batteries or CPUs or whatever they use them for crapping out at random because they think they just got liquefied by a truck or bumped off in a gangland execution.
    • They would want that, if that's another part of why the earlier, or "perfect" version of the matrix failed. Those perfections apparently caused people to "reject the program", and "whole crops were lost", which is a lot worse than people just dying when a real life-based matrix tells them they would.
    • Alternatively the Matricians do have those countermeasures, the Zionists do not, since they are hacking into the system, and it has no reason to keep them safe.
    • The dead are the food source for the living, so the Matrix can still benefit from random deaths among the crop.
    • As for how it actually happens, biting your own tongue and the interior of your mouth, clenching hard enough to have your skin or muscle rip, stress induced heart attach, or the brian simply shutting down due to the misinterpretation of information to make it believe itself dead. All of these things are fully within the capabilities of the human body but restrained by the bodies natural self preservation instincts. If it thinks its being shot, stabbed, etc then it could be tricked into responding with more force then the physical structure of the body can handle.
    • The Matrix is also pretty much a dream world. Dreams run based on assumptions. For example, if you assume someone is going to kill you in a dream, then they'll kill you. If you assume the opposite then the opposite will happen.
  • Consider that everybody who was born into the Matrix had their bodies extensively modified so that they could live out their lives in those pods while their minds were in the Matrix. All we see is the external plugs, but we don't know what's on the inside. Perhaps damage in the matrix being reflected in reality is a side-effect (or purpose) of some of the implants that each redpill still has.
  • If one buys into the theory that Zion and the “real world” are themselves just another simulation of the Matrix, then it’s simply just a matter of the damage being inflicted gets carried over from one simulation to the other, but to keep the illusion up and prevent humans from catching on is that the Matrix differentiates between being wounded or killed in the “real world” (whereby external damage like bullet wounds is shown) and being wounded or killed in the “Matrix” itself (wherein only internal damage shows up in the “real world”).

     The no-pill scenario 
  • What would have happened if Neo had refused to take either pill? Think of it: he gets the choice of ingesting two pills, and he has absolutely no idea what's in them. For all he knew, one (or both) could have contained cyanide. Would they have forced Neo to swallow the blue one? That would have been awkward, to say the least.
    • Why? If he refuses to take the red pill, then he's just another "slave of the system" whom zionists have absolutely no problem killing. So they would've either forced him to take the blue pill (not shove it down his throat, of course, just put a gun to his head) or simply shot him.
    • As he's still plugged in, he's a potential Agent. They would have jettisoned him real quick if he refused the choice.

    There's no spoon. And no breaks either. 
  • First movie, the lobby scene. Neo and Trinity climb onto the roof of the elevator, grab the cable, shoot it off and are propelled up. Uhm, what stopped them from smashing into the pulley and dying messy (but hilarious) deaths?
  • Aren't the elevators supposed to have safeguards that prevent them from falling down if a cable is severed?
  • What was the point of the bomb? Nobody was going to use the lift anyway, and going up the stairs would've taken too long.
    • Keep the bluepills distracted by lighting the building on fire and limiting the pool of possible agents. With the need to keep the masquerade to at least some degree the agents would be limited to just whoever was in the building already that way. On top of that it actually limits the possible "civilian" that is to say bluepill casualties from reinforcements for the soldiers taking the stairs.

     Why not jump into Neo? 
If the agents can jump into anybody who is hooked into the system at the beginning of the first movie why were they even looking for Neo? We know from plenty of scenes of them taking over people that they clearly don't need to be in sight of an agent. So why chase this kid around, hell why implant him with a program that is apparently easily removed when you can jump into him? If you want to interrogate him fine, jump into another body leaving him in the interrogation room. If you simply don't want to bother with this The One, throw him in front of a bus, it's not actually going to hurt you.
  • Because they're using him as bait, and they know that if Morpheus et al even suspect they're going to do that, they'll shoot him. Recall the scene where they take the tracking bug out of him — that is why Switch has a gun trained on him the whole time, just in case he even starts turning into an Agent.
    • Use him as bait, sure, great, but where's the hook? Why wasn't anyone following Neo and storming the building the moment they confirmed Morpheus was there? And indeed, what was the point of the bug, if Neo was connected and as such should have been traceable by himself? We know that the Agents don't need to put bugs into people to see through them or warp into them, like with the bum at the subway station. Neo was the bug.
    • The Agents are still limited by the System, and will only jump into someone if the System sees that there's a threat. I always saw them placing a bug in Neo as a way for the System to monitor where Neo was being taken, so that the System would allow them to jump into him once they arrived. Plus, if someone was following them there, I'm pretty sure that they would've noticed. Heck, Neo having a big inside him already pretty much can clued the others in to the fact that the Agents could be close. Notice how it is only through a surprise attack that they were able to even capture Morpheus in the first place.
    • But he's already connected to the Matrix! How is that not enough of a bug? How can the Matrix NOT know where he is at any given moment?
      • Because the Matrix is a massive system and - as the existence of Exiles and the Merovingian proves, there are glitches and areas of code that can be exploited to make you undetectable to the system. The Zionists have lines of communication that can be somewhat protected from the Agents and the system, so they may also have locations that can make it hard for the system to locate somebody, even if they are still a bluepill. These 'glitches' and protected areas are probably limited though, and the Agents can probably find you with enough effort or 'inside help' from a traitor or a bug.

     Why dump Neo down the drain? 
  • When Neo wakes up, the machines make that terrible mistake of dumping him instead of just killing him. Why would they do that? Apart from a power source, humans to them mean one thing: Enemies. They even know that some of them, after they wake up, will actively fight them. So the policy should be: Human wakes up, human dies. At the very, very least, some very stupid manager machine...program... should be sacked or killed or commented-out or whatever they do with bad code.
    • The machines didn't do that, they needed the One to survive in order to reload the Matrix. When they recruit Neo, Morpheus's crew put a tracking program on Neo (that's what the weird quicksilver thing is, you can hear Switch, I think refer to it as such), hack into the system once they find him, and flush him to somewhere they can pick him up.
  • Uhm, "flush him to somewhere" how? This is not some random city with its sewer system. It's a facility, it has a very specific function. Humans are kept in the pods as batteries, and when they die, they're processed into food. So, why would there be anything other than a meat grinder on the exit of that pipe? And even before that there was no reason for the caretaker robot to grab him but not to crack his neck.
    • It could be the pipe system is segmented and realigned as necessary. It would be very wasteful to have a completely fixed system in place when each pod is flushed on average once in several decades. It would also explain why the pipe leads to just large empty space where the others can grab Neo — the pipes are out of alignment there.

     The role of sunglasses in the Matrix 
  • What's the role of our main characters wearing sunglasses inside the Matrix? Is it to make them more badass or do they have a more practical purpose?
    • Cameras? For agents, I think, it could be a possibility. During Morpheus' interrogation, Smith takes off his glasses and earpiece. Earpiece is so that the other agents won't be able to hear him when he's talking about escaping the Matrix (although I'm not sure where the mic is), but taking off the glasses signify that he wants to talk to Morpheus eye to eye, but with a possible side effect of other agents not being able to see what he sees. The main characters' glasses could mean the same thing, although operators seem to see what's in the Matrix without anyone else plugged in and acting as a point-of-view camera.

    Use of Chicago street names inside the Matrix 
  • Now, the out-of-universe explanation for the usage of Chicago street names for intersections in the first movie is the Wachowskis throwing in references to their home city. Is there an in-Matrix explanation for why the Machines decided to name these key streets inside the simulated reality of the Matrix after Chicago streets?
    • It is said by Morpheus that the Matrix was modelled after the Real World as it was in 1999.

     Morpheus's cavalier attitude towards Neo's office escape? 
  • It kind of baffles me, that even though Neo is supposedly the One and an important person, that Morpheus doesn't really care all that much about his safety; he guides him out of his cubicle at work, into a corner office and then just hangs up when Neo refuses to use the scaffold to get out. Why not stay on the phone and encourage him or try to figure out an alternate route? What if getting captured by the Agents resulted in Neo's death? Morpheus's cavalier attitude in this situation kind of clashes with his reverent demeanour towards Neo later.
    • If Neo dies, then he obviously was not the Chosen One - just another expendable battery. Hell, who knows how many "Neos" Morpheus had already gone through.
    • Remember that Morpheus and crew can see the entirety of the building from the Nebuchadnezzar. They have probably realized that going up to the roof is the only possible way out. The Agents have backup from local police, who probably have every exit from the office, floor, and building covered with officers. Trying to get out another way would involve attacking police, something he is not trained for or would keep him inconspicuous. It's also quite possible that he has to keep the phone call short to keep from being tracked by the machines.

     How did the machines know what the 1990s or any historical period before machines looked like? 
  • How did the machines know what the 1990s were like, in order to design the Matrix? The guns, the cars, the general design of architecture, fashion trends, etc. They weren't around at that time; the machines were built in the 2090s, and by then the world looked completely different. The war and the destruction of the sky left everything in ruins, so there wouldn't be any records of any kind left that detailed history in any amount or at all. If the machines gathered all this data by probing the brains of humanity and looking at their memories, that's still a no-go, as the humans they had available grew up in the same time period as them, so they wouldn't have any knowledge of the 20th century.
    • "How do the machines know what Tasty Wheat tasted like? Maybe they got it wrong... maybe they couldn't figure out what to make chicken taste like, which is why chicken tastes like everything." In the same vein, the machines might NOT have known what the real 90-s had been like (although I doubt even a global war would've destroyed all records, not to mention machines themselves had time before the war to learn and record human history), but if that's all you've known your entire life, how would you tell the difference? Besides, if the Matrix was indeed created from the minds of people, the machines could've fed whatever knowledge of the past they had to the first Matricians, and they thought up the rest and filled in the gaps. I suppose it actually looks like the real deal in the movie, because it was easier to write and shoot it that way. It would've been nice though, if the world did have some minor discrepancies that could've clued the viewer about its tacit wrongness, or, hell, maybe there were, you just have to look really hard.
     If you're not one of us you're one of them, and the Oracle 
  • Anyone else have issues with how the Oracle is presented? Morpheus's us vs them discussion points out just how dangerous anyone not unplugged in the matrix can be, but he doesn't have any issues talking to the Oracle, who he must know doesn't exist in the free world. It's only in the second film that non-hostile programs are encountered, so why do any of the rebels willingly visit someone who has any chance of turning hostile at any minute?
  • A case of If I Wanted You Dead... maybe? She could've engineered a situation we she had an upper hand over the Zionists but didn't act upon hence proving that's she's not a threat.
    • Because she's been always there. Morpheus outright says it so, and according to the sequels she most likely was there to guide the very first Zionites who were chosen at the beginning of each Matrix cycle. Her whole purpose is to understand how humans think and use that knowledge to gain their trust, and paraphrasing the Architect, clearly she's become become exceedingly efficient at it.

Also, it is implied by Morpheus saying in Revolutions ''After everything that's happened, how can you expect me to believe you?" that he had no idea the Oracle was a program.

     How would have Neo's life gone if he had swallowed the blue pill? 
  • Over the course of months or years Neo would have slowly been driven to insanity by the clawing feeling that reality was wrong. He may have ended up in prison for his criminal activity before his encounter with Morpheus, killed himself, or been quietly bumped off by the machines for possibly knowing too much. Redpills have subconsciously rejected the system giving them specific traits Morpheus looks out for to recruit people and Neo was special to begin with so if he failed to follow the plan... well one way or another he ends up dead and the machine start work on "The Two"
     Why take either pill? 
  • Think about it: your offered pills by someone you've just met. Why would you take either? what if one is a cyanide pill or something?
    • Right, because it's not like there was a bunch of context built around that scene that would lead Neo to wanting to take either pill. I mean, seriously, if you wanted to kill someone there are much better ways than engineering some ridiculous side-show to get them into a specific room to take a specific pill from your hand. It's not like they just wandered up to Neo on the street and shoved the pills in his face with no explanation.
    • Neo goes to rave clubs, he's used to taking pills offered by strange people.
    Cold-blooded murder 
  • Neo and Trinity just mow down dozens of innocent people (police and security guards) on their way to rescue Morpheus. How the fuck are we supposed to root for them?!
    • Anyone who is plugged into the Matrix can be used as the host for an Agent.
    The Machines kill Neo... now what? 
In the first movie Neo is really, REALLY close from dying if you think about it, both in the Matrix and in the real world. Trinity gave him that kiss just on the right moment, just one second later and it would have been over. And bear in mind that Trinity becoming so close to Neo was part of the Oracle's own schemes and apparently did not happen before, so the Machines couldn't haven't planned ahead for that last second save. So, why are they trying to kill Neo so hard? I mean, the next movies establishes that he is REALLY important to the survival of the Matrix and that the time for the next reboot (or the inevitable crash) was almost over. Had thing gone slightly different the Architect would have been with a very dead Neo and no way to stabilise the anomaly and reboot the Matrix. One could argue that even without Trin's kiss Neo's powers would have activated in The Matrix and he'd come back to life, but that doesn't account for the Squiddie that was one moment from killing him in the real world.
  • The one who was obsessed with killing him (and the one in charge of that operation) was Agent Smith, who was increasingly going off the reservation. He wasn't supposed to be trying to kill Neo in the first place.

    Adult redpills? 
Morpheus apologizes to Neo and mentions that they have a rule to not redpill adults and he's a special case, being The One and all. But it seems that Trinity was an established hacker before Morpheus found her and Cypher seems to be unhappy because of being redpilled in adulthood. Why so many rule breaks?
  • Real life hackers can start very young, so it's perfectly possible that Trinity gained that notoriety in her early teenage years.
  • It's also never indicated Cypher was freed as an adult. He might have been bearing a grudge for a long time.

  • Ok, has anyone questioned what the "SYSTEM FAILURE" at the end of the first movie meant? Is it to symbolize that the A.I.'s failed their mission? And who was the guy talking at the end, and what did it mean? Seriously, I didn't get that.
    • Personally, I took that as Neo talking to the Machine's leadership. It's a bookend to the opening scene with Trinity being traced, which appears to be the Machine's tracking system, and the SYSTEM FAILURE is Neo counteracting it. I get the impression from his dialog, that he's going to start showing the people of the system, that it is a system, but that he's willing to form a dialog with the Machines afterwards. "Where we go from there, is a choice I leave to you".
    • Seems to me Neo was talking to a prospective redpill and the "SYSTEM FAILURE" thing is both literal and figurative: Neo's presence bends the rules of the Matrix (thus, the system fails) and also that the establishment is losing power to this revolution (and thus the System is failing). Worthy of note this is followed by Rage Against The Machine playing.

     What do red-pills do? 
  • Seriously, what do they do? There seems to be very little information over what they actually do within the Matrix, other than look for and extract other possible red-pills, gun down people, and blow things up.
    • The majority of them live in Zion and focus on survival. The ships like Morpheus' who go on recruitment missions are a relative minority, and Morpheus is unusual even among those because he's focused on the prophecy of the One.
    • They run more missions than just the recruitment and "terrorist" (according to Machine propaganda anyway) activities shown in the films. Either watch/play/read the Animatrix, Enter The Matrix, The Matrix Online, comics etc, or catch up with their plot summaries online to learn more.

     This might be a stupid question, but... 
  • As Neo was unplugged for the first time, a robot came to unplug him out of the artificial pod thing. If the robots are meant to keep humans sedated and trapped in the Matrix and they're also programmed to kill the humans that have woken up, then why does it comply and release Neo? Did the red pill trick the robot into thinking Neo was dead, or something?
    • The medical robot who grabs Neo by the throat, I assume is meant to be a 'dumb' robot, in that it isn't coded to actually do much, but has a few instructions to go by, and just ejects people if they somehow wake up. By the looks of things, getting the plugs removed is disorientating at the very least, and by the time someone falls through the chute, they're too out of it to do anything but drown, unless they're rescued by a Zion ship.

    Where are we getting Mega City from? It isn't mentioned in the movies. 
  • According to Wikipedia and The Matrix Wiki, the whole simulation is one massive city called Mega City but I can find no mention of this in the movies and thought The Matrix was based on our world.
    • I'm reading stuff on Reddit to help parse this out. Apparently a good piece of evidence to suggest this is the case is that the Merovingian's trick doors sent Neo 500 miles away in the second movie, and he had to travel at peak velocity (yet still possibly slightly slower than he does when going to rescue Trinity, because when he does that we see cars and other objects swirling around in the vortex generated by his wake) to just barely rescue Morpheus and the Keymaker in time. If the Merovingian could have put him further than 500 miles away, then Neo may not have reached his comrades in time to rescue them, but Neo did, so apparently the Merovingian couldn't. Neo travels over mountains, farmland and suburbs to get back to the city, but doesn't fly over other cities. Picture a circle with downtown Mega City in the centre and the rural surroundings gradually extending radially out. This means that either the reports of other places such as Heathrow Airport are false, or they are true but they are just small pockets of The Matrix rather than being attached to other real world locations. In Enter The Matrix there is an airport for Mega City, so perhaps this connects to airports in the rural extents of the circle, but not to other real locations.

     Why don't crews have enhanced screening for recruit candidates? 
  • If Morpheus had done some psychological evaluation of Cypher before he even decided to offer him the pill choice, he could have avoided a lot of grief and death for his crew. Good indicators would be narcissism, hedonism, inability to live in humble and austere conditions, envy, incel traits, etc. Surely the Redpills can find a friendly program (or a deep cover human agent) to pose as a therapist and carry out assessments for them, or if they can't, how about hacking into psychological records? This would also mean, if they had strong controls against letting unstable people join their teams in the first place, sudden breaks in sanity (such as when Smith took over Bane in the second movie) would be immediate red flags and grounds for sectioning an unwell crew member. Even with the desperately stretched resources they're shown to operate with in these movies, removing an unstable crew member (or avoiding recruitment of them full stop) would still be a much wiser choice than allowing them to operate with the team. So why would they take this unacceptable risk?

     Does Tank know what a military is? 
  • He says that the building where Morpheus is being held is military-controlled, but he seems to be mistaken. The first thing which occurs when one sees the mooks in the building is SWAT, which are of course associated with police. And the Agents are basically FBI-analogues. The only real thing one could cite with regard to being military-esque is the helicopter with the doorgun. But then of course the police in the Matrix must be militarised because they need to fight Redpills, so operating such a helicopter makes sense. What would have made more sense to call it a military-controlled building is if there had been troops there with camo, body armour and advanced hardware like light machine guns and rocket launchers; something Neo and Trinity presumably would have had more trouble overcoming.