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Video Game / The Matrix: Path of Neo

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Everything about Path of Neo screams "Matrix" at nearly every turn.

The Matrix: Path of Neo was made by Shiny Entertainment, Atari and Warner Bros. in 2005 as part of The Matrix series. It was made Multi-Platform for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC. You start play as the office worker, Thomas Anderson and progress into Neo over the course of the game. It takes place during, in between and at the end of the trilogy.

Gameplay is mainly fighting Mooks, Security guards, SWAT, Agents and many others. It's your basic third person problem-solving with killing enemies to open doors, escort-missons, except with Bullet Time!

It was followed by The Matrix Online.

The Matrix: Path of Neo provides examples of the following:

  • Abandoned Area: One level takes place in abandoned church with weak stairs, scaffolding and broken windows. It gets ruined further, the windows of the bell-tower get kicked in by a SWAT team and you can take out sections of the floor by taking out the four bells. A few other levels as well.
  • Absurdly-Spacious Sewer: The sewer levels - absolutely huge, there's plenty of space to wall run and jump from, a few giant platforms you need to blow up.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Unlike the movie in which Neo had to fly away when he was overtaken by Smith's army, here Neo manages to defeat Smith's army.
    • Agents remain a threat throughout the game, unlike the movie where they were overshadowed when Neo became the One.
  • Affectionate Parody: The first training level seems to be this to Mortal Kombat, Neo wears a black tunic with a crest pinned on his chest, a red band wrapped around his head, and 'bandages' or something wrapped around his waist and fists. Further this, is the three round 'tournament' at the end as the screen suddenly flashes 'Round 1', 'Round 2' and 'Round 3' in ragged, bright red, yellow and orange letters, all the while Tank announces, "Fight!"
  • Air Jousting: Neo and Smith can both fly during the last levels, so this is definitely in effect.
  • Alice Allusion: during a level in the city library, in a Continuity Nod to the original movie. The librarian has seen a glitch in the Matrix, specifically, a certain book that keeps on reappearing after she takes it out. She has taken it out so often that there's a small pile at her feet. A few minutes later:
    Neo: What book was it?
    Librarian: Alice In Wonderland.
    Neo: Of course it was.
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: Mostly averted, the only Asians who know fighting are in the training simulations. Played straight with Chang Tzu and possibly others.
  • All Just a Dream: Subverted, a minor character 'Key girl', who saw the Matrix's programming hallway thought it was all a dream...until Neo took her back.
  • All Swords Are the Same: Averted. There's the long sword, katana and a few short swords, which all have different animations.
  • Alternate Continuity: Some of the in-game events are only slightly tweaked from the movies, others were seriously altered or extended to make for a better video game experience.
  • Another Dimension: The Bizarrchitecture maze in the chateau.
  • Arcadia: A variant of this appears in a few of the training levels.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: Averted, all the Chinese/Japanese people speak perfect English they just have accents.
  • Asian Store-Owner: The old Chinese/Japanese man who, likely, owns the tea house.
  • Ass Kicking Pose: Neo, along with a few Mooks, the mooks die.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Mega-Smith.
  • Aura Vision: The herbalist is able to see aura's and/or sense chi.
  • Auto-Revive: One of the Atman Principles allows this ability.
  • Auto-Save: At the start of the level and mixed with Checkpoint, see below.
  • Back Stab: Fatal version, it's one of the Finishing Move when Neo has a sword.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Smith, the Agents, quite a few of the Merovingian's mooks.
  • Badass Longcoat: Morpheus, Trinity and Neo, basically everybody but Agents and Smith.
  • Badass Long Robe: When Neo switches to the cassock.
  • Bad-Guy Bar: During 'The Key' mission Club Hel.
  • Bar Brawl: When Neo saves Ballard, it's in a combined bar/restaurant.
    • Also the first fight in Club Hel.
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: Exaggerated in one of the later levels, it becomes a frenzy of this with nearly every enemy busting out of a column or wall.
  • Bash Brothers: When Neo and Chang Tzu take out a trio of Agents.
  • Battle atop the Poles: The scene where you battle Seraph atop burning wooden posts, which is an homage to the final battle in Iron Monkey.
  • Battle in the Rain: The last Smith levels are this.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Neo's Bullet Dodges You and Dodge the Bullet on the roof-top.
  • Big Brother Instinct: with Neo to an unnamed girl that he has to protect from the Merovingian's mooks.
    Bouncer, Elite Mooks: Get the girl, he (the Merovingian) wants to see her.
    Neo: (as the mooks start to approach) She's not going anywhere with you.
    Bouncer: What are you? Her... big brother?
    Neo: Something like that.
  • Big Fancy House: The Merovinginan's chateau and you get to tour the dungeons and Another Dimension.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The maze is...odd and very confusing, see above and below.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Averted. If you throw the sword at an enemy it hits the enemy and then clatters to the floor. So, also overlaps with Throwing Your Sword Always Works.
  • Blinded by the Light: The rebels and Neo, by the SWAT Flash-bangs, finally an In-Universe reason for the Cool Shades.
  • Blind Seer: Neo in The Matrix Revolutions cutscenes, though like in the flim it doesn't affect in-game play.
  • Bookcase Passage: The one from The Matrix Reloaded it's even got a painting in it.
  • Boss Banter: Smith to Neo in all the Boss Fights.
  • Boss-Only Level: A few like the one with the Witch Queen, the final ones with Smith.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted in actual play, unless you've got the in-game cheat active.
  • Bottomless Pit: Underneath the sewer platforms.
  • Bouncer: The Club Hel bouncer.
  • Breaking the Bonds: The NPC Witch after the cutscene, but before the Male Gaze.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: We actually see Neo learn the various fighting styles in a simulation during the opening tutorials, compared to the movie just uploading the knowledge directly to his brain. Dozer tells Neo to treat it "like a video game tutorial".
    • During the third segment of the extended Neo vs. Seraph fight, the two crash through a roof of a movie theater. They both look at the nearby movie screen, which is playing their fight scene from The Matrix Reloaded. They continue the fight (with the film of their fight playing in the background), whilst the lone member of the audience heckles them throughout their fight.
    • Again, just before the final fight, the Wachowskis make an appearance and explain the reasons for the Revised Ending.
  • Breakable Weapons: Every weapon, except for guns, will break... unless you have the Unbreakable Weapons cheat active.
  • Bring It: Neo in the second stage of the final fight cutscenes.
  • Bullet Time: Being part of The Matrix it has this. It's called Focus in-game and provides the ability to Wall Run and Wall Jump (See below).
  • Buried Alive: Smith and his copies at the end of the courtyard fight.
  • But Thou Must!: With the redpill or it's game over.
  • Button Mashing: Most of the combo attacks use a combination of button pressing to work, at least there's prompts.
  • Camera Centering: It's particularly useful after fights if you move the camera around a lot.
  • Camera Lock-On: The aiming/cross-hair-thingy.
  • Catchphrase: The librarian has one, along with Smith.
    Librarian: A place for every book, every book in its place.
  • The Cavalry: Neo for Niobe, Ballard ect. Roland lampshades it:
    Roland: The cavalry finally arrives, it's good to see you, Neo.
  • Cave Behind the Falls: One of the briefcases is hidden behind one of these.
  • Charged Attack: The killing blow, though you're still vulnerable to attack.
  • Charge Meter: The glowing 'air' strands for when the killing blow and flying is charging.
  • Checkpoint: Typically in the middle of the levels and before bosses in ones that aren't boss-only levels.
  • Choke Holds: Deliberately lethal ones.
  • The Chosen One: Neo, of course seeing without him everybody is pretty much screwed.
  • Closed Circle: What happens when an Agent/the System 'seals' off an area. You can't leave until you've gotten rid of the Agents, or it's subverted in that you sometimes find a way out that they forgot to block off.
  • The Coats Are Off: Neo takes off his during the 'Roof Top' rescue cutscene, and it stays off for a while.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Implied this was going to happen to the witch.
  • Cold Sniper: A particularly annoying one during Captain Roland's level.
  • Combat Parkour: See Wall Run and Wall Jump.
  • Combo Breaker: Some of the moves are this when timed right.
  • Combos: A bunch of them, being combined with Wall Run, Wall Jump and a whole bunch of other things. Along with a host of unlockable combos and an Awesome, but Impractical one.
  • Concept Art Gallery: Has to be unlocked and found, but it has all sorts of stuff.
  • Context-Sensitive Button: Depending on what direction you push the analogue stick when you attack, you do different attacks.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: With the lava pits and bigger lava pit in the first training level.
  • Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind: The NPC Witch 'saves' Neo from a few of the Merovingian's mooks in the second Club Hel sequence, even though he was perfectly fine.
  • Cool Shades: Basically all the rebels.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: During the Breaking the Fourth Wall segement the Wachowskis compare Neo and Smith's final battle to Hulk vs. Galactus.
  • Corridor Cubby Hole Run: The second level is this, extended from just a five second scene, to avoiding capture by security and Agents to get to the bottom floor.
  • Cosmetic Award: The art and Making of...videos.
  • Counter-Attack: These are quite easy to use.
  • Counting Bullets: Neo and Smith in the first train station cutscene.
  • Covered in Mud: Averted, the cutscene might show the mud, but in actual game-play there is a distinct lack of mud.
  • Crate Expectations: Lampshaded.
    Neo: Crates how original.
  • Creepy Doll: The sex dolls in Club Hel, they giggle when they get electrocuted.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Never show any damage until that last hit or bullet then...then just fall over and die.
  • Crowd Panic: In 'Get Me An Exit' when the Agents fire at Neo some of the crowd's panics.
  • Cure for Cancer: The herbalist, tries to make one for his granddaughter—it works.
  • Cutscene: Plenty of these from all of the movies and anime, along with in-game ones.
  • Cutscene Incompetence: Played with, even though Neo could've taken the vampires, the NPC Witch takes them out and asks:
    Witch: Can't you do anything for yourself?
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: In one level Neo busts through a brick-wall, needless to say you can't do it in-game.
  • Cyber Space: The Matrix, obviously.
  • Deadly Lunge: This seems to be the standard attack for vampires and, oddly, Smith in the later levels.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: When you die, if you haven't found a check-point, you have to restart all over again.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Neo and Chang Tzu, beat Tzu and you get to fight Agents together.
  • Degraded Boss: Smith temporarily plays the role of Elite Mook, before regaining their status as boss at the end of the game.
  • Delayed Explosion: With the Det. packs in the sewers.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Two levels, the killing blow level and the winter level.
  • Destination Defenestration: During the timed training level you can throw enemies out the windows.
  • Didn't Need Those Anyway!: Smith, in the final level.
  • Dirty Cops: The Police were depicted as Punch Clock Hero Antagonists at worst in the movies. In the this game, the cops (especially the SWAT) are much more blindly obedient to the Agents, to the point of following outright illegal orders (such as shooting unarmed Redpills on sight, even turning the guns on their own former collegue).
    SWAT 1: What'd this guy do?
  • Diving Kick: Has one of these, looks even cooler in Focus.
  • Dodge the Bullet: In the 'Roof Top Rescue' mission you learn to do this, it becomes an essential part of the level.
  • Don't You Like It?: From the first training level:
    Neo: (referencing his rather Mortal Kombat-like outfit) So, uh, what's with the outfit?
    Tank: (slightly disappointed) You don't like it?
    Neo: ...
  • Double Jump: Neo learns to do this near the end of the above mentioned level to reach the helicopter.
  • Down the Drain: The sewer levels.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Neo gets a few moments, see Crate Expectations below, along with a few minor characters.
  • Dramatic High Perching: Neo standing on the edge of a building during 'The Captains' series of missions, before Ground-Shattering Landing to rescue Morpheus and Trinity.
  • Dramatic Thunder: A bit of this in the final fights, it's not really noticeable during actual play.
  • Drunken Boxing: Neo can actually use some of this.
  • Dual Boss: Actually a Triple Boss. The sword-fighting demons in the winter level, see below, and the Agents throughout the game.
  • Electric Torture: One of the Mooks in Club Hel, pushes one of the animatronic dolls into a wall and a table...everything is electrified, except the floor.
  • Enemy Chatter: The Mooks, basically every enemy has, at least, two pieces of looping dialogue.
  • Escort Mission: Has, at least, ten or tweleve of them scattered through out the game. Fortunately, unlike most examples the escorts can defend themselves pretty well, so it's not too hard to get through them.
  • Essence Drop: Some enemies drop focus or health pick-ups.
  • Establishing Character Moment: The NPC Witch, before she gets off the table, she uses her banshee wail to send the mooks flying into the wall and briefly deafens Neo before she slides onto the floor and says:
    Witch: Hey, aren't you...anyway, I could've taken them, nice timing though.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: Averted, all the bullets are completely normal bullets.
  • Everything Breaks: You can smash couches and stuff in quite a few levels.
  • Everything Fades: The enemies when defeated fade back into the Matrix's code.
  • Everything-Is-Smashable Area: In most levels you can throw people, or just punch and kick and the walls/columns enough to smash or dent them.
    • In the courtyard battle, you have to destroy the buildings to end the fight.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Club Hel bouncer.
  • Fade to White: Levels transition and going to the level-up screen is this.
  • Fictional Video Game: Neo references how he got the high-score on a game called, "Ninja Crisis". Unfortunately, that’s the only time Ninja Crisis is referenced.
  • Finishing Stomp: Neo has two of these.
  • Firing One-Handed: Can be done with nearly every weapon.
  • Floating Platforms: In the second timed level and during the maze level.
  • Flunky Boss: The Club Hel bouncer, also Smith in the last levels.
  • Free Rotating Camera: Of the rotate and tilt variety.
  • French Jerk: Merovingian. Torturing his own former mooks.
  • Frictionless Ice: Played with, the ice is only frictionless if you walk or run too fast.
  • Friendly Local China Town: During the level to rescue the herbalist.
  • Fun with Subtitles: During the first two sword fighting levels, so they're either speaking Chinese or Japanese.
  • Gag Reel: An unlockable feature at the end of the game.
  • Gatling Good: You can actually play this during the extended scene from the movie.
  • Giant Mook: The Club Hel bouncer whose, at least, 6'5 or more.
  • A Glitch in the Matrix: There's a level where you're running around trying to find a way out of an abandoned hotel. The most obvious hallways are cut-off by a flickering of green code and you have to find a secondary route. Another such level is triggered by a stream of flickering, bare code before the floor breaks and you drop into the level. The trashcan bonfires float, the train conductor is missing half his face because it disappears into code. The train itself - one car is upside-down and another has an evershifting floor.
  • God Mode: One of the in-game cheats enables this.
  • Good Witch Versus Bad Witch: The NPC witch vs. the Witch Queen.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: You've got to find all the briefcases for the complete Concept Art Gallery to be unlocked.
  • Grapple Move: A few of them, grab and punch, grab and kick or grab and throw to the ground.
  • Gratuitous French: The Merovingian, of course.
  • Gravity Master: The ceiling crawling guys/vampires.
  • Grenade Launcher: It's really useful.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: When Neo grabs a guys ankles and swings him into other enemies.
  • Groin Attack: You can do this with the right combo to any enemy.
  • Ground Pound: During the in-game cutscenes, the SWAT guys either stagger or go flying.
  • Ground-Shattering Landing: During one of the cutscenes.
  • Guide Dang It!: Good luck finding all the brief cases the first time without a guide, or the maze level.
  • Gun Fu: You can obviously do this and it's still awesome.
  • Guns Akimbo: Of course, you can do this, it wouldn't be any fun without it.
  • Hammerspace: Where Neo pulls all the guns, grenades, the giant grenade launcher, swords ect. from.
  • Hand Cannon: The Desert Eagle aka the Agents' and Smith's gun. You get to turn it around and use it on them.
  • Hand Gagging: Neo does this just before he chokes someone to keep them quiet.
  • Hard-Drinking Party Girl: The girl you rescue from Club Hel.
  • Hard Mode Filler: The first level is a color swapped version of the Govt. lobby.
  • Hard Mode Perks: Play and win the game at higher levels, the more in-game cheats you unlock.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted, as seen in the training simulation levels.
  • Headlock of Dominance: Shown in the train station cutscene, but doesn't actually happen in-game.
  • Healing Herb: A variant, the herbalist gives Neo something to make him stronger.
  • Heal Thy Self: Just wait around while your injured out of danger, it'll go away.
  • High-Altitude Battle: Most of the last Smith levels.
  • Hint System: A few times, a specific example the Witch telling Neo to kill the ants with fire.
  • Hot Librarian: The city librarian.
  • Hurricane Kick: Has a variant of this.
  • Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: Novice, Beginner, Master, The One.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Neo, basically everybody enough to pull off backwards shooting.
  • Improvised Weapon: A tetherball pole, long handled flaming torches, a flag-pole.
  • I Need No Ladders: You almost never have to go up the whole ladder, just jump half way up and grab on or wall-run/jump around it.
  • Inside a Computer System: The Matrix.
  • Inscrutable Oriental: Most, if not all of the Chinese/Japanese people who appear, specifically the old men. Especially, the herbalist.
  • Instant Expert: You find out that Neo's instant 'training' scene in the movie, is actually not that instant as it's a lot of virtual training sims.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: Neo and everybody who picks up a sword, staff or nearly any weapon will give a demonstration of just how good they are with it.
  • Involuntary Group Split: Neo from Morpheus, Trinity, Apoc and Switch when the System cuts off the hotel's hallway.
    • Neo when he gets cut off from Trinity, Apoc and Switch in the later levels.
  • It's All Upstairs From Here: In 'The Security Guard' climbing to the bell tower.
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: The movie guy from the theater in Neo and Seraph's third fight exclaims
  • Jump Physics: Double jump, wall jump, anti-gravity/hover jump covers basically everything.
  • Justified Tutorial: Since Neo's learning the moves at the same as the player.
  • Kill It with Fire: The giant ants.
  • Kill Streak: To earn briefcases.
  • Kung-Fu Sonic Boom: In the last levels seen during in-game cutscenes.
  • Lady in Red: Mouse's woman in the red dress in cutscenes, along with the NPC witch and Witch Queen.
  • Lady of Black Magic / Action Girl: The NPC witch, she saves and helps Neo out a few times. See above Conveniently Timed Attack from Behind.
  • Launcher Move: Kicks, uppercuts, punches ect. combine that with focus and you've got air combos galore.
  • Lava Pit: Seen in the first training level, their deadly, but you respawn a foot away.
  • Leap and Fire: Justified as it makes you harder for enemies to hit.
  • Level Up: Both in-game with gaining more combos from three to four ect. and at the Ring Menu screen.
  • Life Drain: One of the cheats enables a 'Vampiric Draining' which heals as enemies are damaged or killed.
  • Life Meter: Emerald green compared to the code's bright-green.
  • Limited Load Out: You can have about four slots with two weapons for guns, five or more for grenades before you have to switch something out.
  • Locked in the Dungeon: The NPC witch when you first meet her.
  • Locomotive Level: What the second train station level turns into.
  • Lotus Position: Neo uses this after winning the first training mission.
  • Magical Asian: The herbalist, who can sense auras/chi.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The Mega-Smith.
  • Male Gaze: First person from Neo's view when you meet the NPC witch.
  • Mana Meter: Or Focus meter rather.
  • Martial Arts Uniform: During a few of the training levels - the fight with Morpheus.
  • Master Swordsman: All the characters, especially the sword training A.I. and 'demons'.
  • The Maze: The Merovingian's maze, obviously.
  • Mega City: The, uh, what's it called? You think it's called the Mega-city? Let's go with that.
  • The Men in Black: All of the Systems Agents'. They also wear green suits instead of black. While Smith plays it straight when he switches from green to black after exile.
  • Mercy Rewarded: The NPC's in the tea house turn into focus and health pick-ups if you spare them.
  • Mr. Smith: Obviously, Smith, plus the other Agents - Jones and Brown.
    • Then the Upgraded Agents - Johnson, Jackson and Thompson.
  • Monster Closet: Your second time in the second trial, vampires suddenly burst from columns with no way of having, logically, gotten inside said columns. Same goes with the ones in the walls.
  • Mud Wrestling: Averted, in-game there's muddy water, but no mud; the cutscene plays it straight, though.
  • Multi-Mook Melee: A few levels, especially the multi-enemy training simulation and the courtyard Smith fight.
  • Neck Snap: What likely happens when Neo does the run-up and kick somebody in the head as a finishing move.
  • Neighbour Hood Friendly Gangsters: The gang in Chinatown helps Neo defend the herbalist.
  • Nervous Wreck: The ex-cop turned security guard.
  • Never Recycle a Building: The Heart o' The City Hotel and later, the crumbling and broken church.
  • Ninja Pirate Robot Zombie: The programmed ghost and programmed demons.
  • Non Standard Game Over: If you choose the blue pill.
  • No OSHA Compliance: Averted. The saftey equipment and stuff is there, but when Neo rescues Roland from the SWAT, you've got to start destroying the factory to save him.
  • No-Sell: Let's just go with the Upgrade scene from Reloaded in the cutscene, otherwise there would be too many.
  • Notice This: Guns, grenades and most other weapons have a glowing purple circle around them.
  • Not Quite Flight: The anti-gravity jump.
  • Oddly Over Trained Security: The ex-cop becomes a security guard at a church.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: The NPC witch.
  • Off Hand Back Hand: Pull the analog back, press triangle and there you go.
  • Off with His Head!: Though no actual heads fall off Neo can do this with a sword as a Finishing Move.
    • Also the Merovingian orders for this, though it fails:
    Merv: Bring me Neo's head. Now!
  • Old Master: Neo has to defeat one at the end of the first training level.
  • Ominous Floating Castle: During the first timed training level the house is floating in empty white space.
  • Ominous Visual Glitch: A few levels.
  • One-Handed Zweihänder: The longsword and katana.
  • One-Man Army: Neo, of course.
  • Only Six Faces: Most of the background characters are exactly the same, but a few minor characters are distinguished from the rest.
  • Optional Stealth: During the first training mission, if you do it successfully in the control room you get a bonus weapon.
  • Our Demons Are Different: The programmed sword fighting demons.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Has a play on the trope and a straight example.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: The giant ants.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: The guys with the bouncer are likely werewolves in 'human' form.
  • Overheating: The helicopter mini-gun after firing a few rounds until it cools off.
  • Path of Most Resistance: All of the game because of the System making it easier to blow things up and stuff than do it the easy way, but especially in the chateau and maze level.
  • Pistol-Whipping: This happens when Neo disarms an enemy sometimes.
  • Pivotal Boss: Smith in the one of the last levels.