The Matrix

Question: If the pay phones are the only entrance/exit points in the matrix, why did the robots add it in?

Answer: Pay phones are not the only way in or out of the matrix. In fact, pay phones are only used twice in the film. The other times people are shown entering or leaving the matrix, they do so via a plain black rotary phone sitting on a table. Any hard-line (that is, physically connected to the system by wires) phone can be hacked to provide an entrance or exit. Several have been hacked already and, as the process takes time to complete, rather than begin a hack of the hard-line phone nearest to the operative, operatives are directed to the nearest previously hacked phone when a quick escape is required. The robots did not add this feature to the matrix, it is merely a manipulation of the code on the humans' part.

Phixius Premium member

Question: How does the Oracle get her powers of foresight? How does she know the things she knows?


Chosen answer: The oracle is a program, inside the matrix which is an even bigger program. The oracle is simply able to "read" the Matrix and make predictions based on the balance of probabilities.


Question: I have wondered this for a while about the movie. If the agents know that Neo matters and needs to be killed, why don't they take over his body and let themselves die?

Answer: At first, the agents know that Neo is being sought out by Morpheus and his crew, but don't know why. The Machines decide to use Neo as bait in an attempt to capture Morpheus and gain access to Zion's codes. Later, when destroying Neo becomes the priority, he has already been removed from the Matrix and the agents can no longer jump into his mind's Matrix location to take over his body.


Question: What kind of gun is the weapon that Cypher uses to wound Tank and kill Dozer?

Answer: It is an electrical lightning gun, gives an electrical charge that can scramble the workings of the machines, it's the only real thing that can hurt the machines.

Ben W Bell

Question: When Smith interrogates Morpheus, Smith says "I must be free", the other 2 agents come in and say "what are you doing", what's this about? Why were they concerned with what he was doing and why does Smith seem less "robotic" than the other 2 agents, it is like he has actual wants and needs?


Answer: Smith has spent too long in the Matrix, according to himself, and wants to leave. He has gone quite insane already unlike the other agents, call it a bug. He might be older than the other agents and malfunctioned, or something went wrong with his programming. In any case he went outside of his programming as an agent, developed a personality and emotions.


Answer: When Agent Brown says "What were you doing?", I believe he is asking why Smith removed his earpiece and disconnected himself from the others, meaning they don't know what he said to Morpheus and he doesn't know about the rooftop attack.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: Morpheus says the "one" was born inside the matrix in film 1. What happens if you're born there? This seems like a flaw in the matrix. How can millions of people live in it for hundreds of years and not reproduce? The matrix is their mind world; if they reproduce there, does the mother get pregnant and have her baby in the real world even though she has no idea she's there? How can you be born inside the matrix? I don't understand.


Chosen answer: None of the people jacked into the Matrix actually get pregnant. It's likely their bodies experience some of the "symptoms" of pregnancy. That's a real world phenomenon: a woman who sincerely thinks she is pregnant, or very strongly wishes to be pregnant, will start producing the same hormones and undergo the physical changes involved with pregnancy, up to a point. When someone becomes pregnant within the Matrix, another artifically grown human baby is jacked in and "assigned" to be their baby. The original "One" who was born inside the Matrix was like Sati in Matrix: Revolutions. The result of two programs, which were written outside the Matrix and then inserted into it, using bits of their own code to create an entirely new program within the Matrix. This individual had unique powers, having been "born" inside the Matrix rather than inserted into it, and woke up the first humans. The cycle perpetuated from there.

Phixius Premium member

I wondered about this too now I watched it again. Aren't the babies supposed to be actual offspring? I mean that's the poit of the fields of humans batteries, to make more and more right? But in order to do that they'd have to taken semen from the right man and artificially inseminate the right woman and then take the baby away and grow it seperately. But that would mean the baby growing inside the woman's belly in the matrix isn't real, so when does it become real? Do they simulate the birth too and then replace the fake baby with the jacked in baby that was grown seperately? That would make you wonder about many things. Or me in any case. It's a problem with that system.


Question: If agents are programs that are actually embedded into the Matrix coding themselves, then in theory, shouldn't they never miss the targets they are shooting at? We have aimbots and other programs today that can be used in video games, I've never used one but my understanding is they don't miss. Why would this not be the case in the Matrix?


Chosen answer: It is theoretically possible for agents to get something similar to an aim-bot since the matrix is a simulation and agents probably do have access to the data needed to calculate how they should move and how they should fire their gun, calculate trajectories etc. in order to hit their target. The fact that they don't have an aim-bot mechanism only points to one thing. They don't have access to the computing power to calculate all that. It may take very little computer power in our games but if you want to make a prediction in the matrix you will need to simulate part of the matrix (not to say all of it if you wanna be 100% accurate) and have enough processing power to fast forward it and check if the outcome is you hitting the target in the coming seconds. But that's not all, you have to run that for every possible move you can think of until the outcome of this calculation is yes. Oh and every agent in the matrix should have that processing power available and with no delays, all this has to be real time or it's gonna be useless. So just like in our world when you don't have the computer power to calculate something you estimate it, you make an algorithm that is kinda good at it but far from perfect. Vis-a-vis agents AI algorithm.

Question: On the rooftop in chapter 31, Neo asks Trinity if she can fly "that thing". Trinity says "not yet" and calls Tank for a B212 helicopter pilot training program. How does she know what kind of helicopter it is if she's never piloted one?

Answer: Its not out of the question. My 8 Year old nephew knows the make and model of most cars but he's never driven one.

dgemba dgemba

Question: Why don't the machines use geothermal energy? What do the humans in the real use to make their clothes? Where do the humans in the real get their food from? Why don't the machines just kill humans when they are unplugged instead of letting them become soldiers for Zion? Why don't the machines just attach a gadget to a hover craft, that when it returns to Zion will either blow up or spread a virus (al la 2nd renaissance part 2)? Why don't the humans in the real plug into the matrix and just carpet bomb the entire planet thereby destroying the machines energy source and they can just repopulate the earth naturally? How come Neo has superpowers in the real world? Without sunlight where do humans in the real get vitamin D?

Answer: 1: The machines have found an acceptable fuel source with the Matrix and haven't bothered to pursue geothermal energy (Converting to geothermal may be one of the "levels of survival we are willing to accept."). 2: Their clothing seems to be mainly natural fibers, so it could be that they have cotton, flax, or hemp crops under grow lights underground. 3: They eat either from the aforementioned crops or the synthetic protein that the ship crews eat. 4: The machines have accepted that some people will always reject the Matrix and have orchestrated the creation of Zion as a sort of Trash Folder to deposit and occasionally purge their rejects. 5: See 4. 6: Since Zion is set up by the machines each time, we can safely assume that they're not going to give the humans of Zion the technological means to destroy them. By the time they might develop such means on their own, the purge happens. 7: Neo is The Chosen One, sometimes miracles happen for people like that. 8: See 2 and 3.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: Might be a classical one, but I'm still clueless :) The story includes the imprisonment of humans because of the energy they produce. It's clear though that the human body cannot give back more energy that it requires to stay alive. Employing humans for that matter is simply a waste of energy. Maybe the humans there have this as an "urban legend" and the machines keep humans in this form for some other reason?

Answer: Remember Morpheus mentions a type of fusion as well, which nicely blurs any power analysis we can do based just on body energy. The theory I've heard and quite like is that while power considerations are part of the reason, connecting billions of human brains together would also make for a hugely powerful parallel processing system, capable of all the computing power the machines need for both running the matrix and their own needs.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: This actually applies to all the Matrix movies. I began thinking about it one afternoon when I had nothing better to do. What is the significance of sunglasses in the three movies? The characters only ever wear them when they're in the Matrix and, to me, it makes them look more like the machines they are warring with; possibly because it conceals their eyes and our eyes are the "window to the soul", the soul being one of the things that makes us different from the machines. Is this a deliberate tactic on behalf of the directors to make the characters stand out from everyone else in the Matrix? Is it a deliberate tactic on behalf of the characters to present a powerfully uniform front? Or is it simply to make them look cool? I just wondered whether anyone else had given it as much thought as I had and what conclusions they had reached.

Answer: From the commentary: The sunglasses actually have a lot of meaning. They represent power and confidence etc. etc. that is why they are removed during fights and more meaningful moments. Especially in Reloaded you''ll see the glasses are removed during the talk with the oracle, when Morpheus is fighting on the truck (he is weak and vulnerable here) and during Trinity's "death", and in the first movie notice the first time Neo effectively hits Smith (as he begins to believe) he breaks Smith's glasses. One other tidbit, notice all the good guys have circular glasses and bad guys have square ones.

Question: About the "Obvious Special Effects Blur" picture: why would there be special effects there? Is it because it was shot with a blue screen, and added the background later, or...?

Answer: The top of the building was just a set, with the background filled in digitally to add perspective - true of most of the film. Still doesn't really explain why it's so blurred - never seen anything like that in any other films.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Question: In the first movie, in the theatre, I could swear that there was a scene of Zion. It was quick, but it was a modern, high tech view of what Zion supposedly looked like, deep within the earth, out of the range of the AI machines. I remember being disappointed when the 2nd movie came out, and Zion was instead portrayed as a smart but rough kind of camping out place, with obvious dirt issues. Can anyone confirm that they saw such a high tech scene of Zion in the theatrical release? I know the DVD doesn't have it. Things like this do occasionally happen - in the last original cast Star Trek movie, "Undiscovered Country" the Klingon who tries to kill the President and Captain Kirk at the end, and falls to his death, is "de-masked" to reveal a co-conspirator in the theatrical release and the first DVD release, but in subsequent DVD releases, including the Blu-Ray, this scene was removed.


Chosen answer: I've seen The Matrix many times (20+) in the theatre, and I have not seen any such imagery of Zion. There is no artwork in the book "The Art of The Matrix" which shows it either and no mention in the shooting script. It seems unlikely that Zion would be "shiny" and high-tech as the appearance of Zion in the sequel films matches the decor and dress sense of the Nebuchadnezzar and her crew in the first film - grungy and "used". There are some modern looking Zion scenes in Reloaded with the traffic control operators, but they are working in a virtual construct.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: Where do humans get their power from, like electricity? Because there is no sun and I know they're like a big furnace thing, but surely there are no resources left because there is no sun. Also, life cannot be sustained without sunlight, so the film is flawed. But I still love it.

Answer: Zion runs on geothermal energy, drawn from deep within the Earth. Given the advanced technology of the future, it seems entirely reasonable that they could produce enough food to keep Zion fed using artificial lights and hydroponics techniques. Life might not be overly pleasant, but it would be sustainable.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: Is there a reason the machines use humans for energy? Why not nuclear power or maybe even animals?


Chosen answer: Nuclear power would eventually run out, the impression is that the Machines occupy almost all of the planet's surface, so a LOT of power is needed. Animals are probably not used as their minds are a lot more instinctual and so it would be a lot harder to create a Matrix that their minds could accept, plus most animal and plant life probably died off when the sun was blocked off.


Question: What exactly is the Matrix for? Was it designed solely to keep the human mind sane? Or does it have other uses?


Chosen answer: Without it, the human race would effectively be locked in sensory deprivation tanks, their minds active, but with no stimuli, which would have a derogatory effect on their well-being. The Matrix is designed to keep them busy and, yes, sane, ensuring a good survival rate and decent longevity to stop the machines having to deal with a high turnover in their power plants.

Tailkinker Premium member

Chosen answer: The human body generates heat and a small degree of electricity. EKG and EEG machines for instance measure the electric activity in the heart and brain. It is thought that the energy generated by the human body could be harnessed to create power, obviously The Matrix is an evolution of that idea.


Question: How do the hovercraft work? I know the glowing pads contribute to the hovering ability, but is that based on any real technology? And why don't the sentinels have the hover-pads?

Nick N.

Chosen answer: The hover pads work by electro-magnetic repulsion much like the mag-lev trains we have today only much more so. They would not leave a trace of propellant to be followed/tracked/traced nor would they be especially hotter than ambient temperature like jet engines etc. The sentinals do not care if they are tracked, but it is not clear if they use a more advanced form of this technology or something else. Remember that the Zion people have to start over from scratch every so often while the machine culture is constantly advancing so the humans' technology would not necessarily be as advanced.


Question: How do the agents get the police and swat team to work for them? Do they pose as FBI or something like that?

Answer: Sure. Agents are perfectly equipped to hand the local police force any kind of identification whatsoever to prove that the Agents are federal officers and the locals would be compelled to assist.


Question: Trinity tells Neo to trust her because he knows what's in the end of the street. What's in the end of the street?

Answer: Neo has "been down that road before" for all of his life. It is the road of the mundane, of accepting reality at face value and refusing to take any action to change either oneself or one's environment. Neo's relatively recent search for Morpheus was part of breaking out of this mould. At the end of that road is an empty existence and eventual death after a life of normalcy and conformity.


The Matrix mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Agent Smith is interrogating Neo, after Smith has sealed Neo's mouth shut and he is backed into the corner, when the camera cuts back to Smith you can clearly see a reflection in his glasses of Neo still sitting down in the chair. (00:19:50)

More mistakes in The Matrix

Morpheus: Stop trying to hit me and hit me!

More quotes from The Matrix

Trivia: It's been said that Neo is an anagram for "one". I think it's more important to realise that Neo means "new". His real name is Thomas Anderson. He is called Thomas at the beginning of the movie, when he doubts the truth -- that the world as he knows it is not real. Thomas is the "doubting" disciple in the Bible. Moreover, Anderson means "son of man". Hence, Neo Anderson is the New Son of Man. The biblical references go on and on... Trinity, Nebucadnezzar (the name of the ship -- in fact, the name plate on the ship makes reference to a verse in Mark chapter 3), Zion... So not only is Neo "the One", he has gone from being the doubter to the new son of man.

More trivia for The Matrix

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