Matrix Games: The Matrix Online

Developed by: Monolith Productions
Published by: Sony Online Entertainment and WB Interactive

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

This section consists primarily of the storyline summary of everything that takes place in The Matrix Online. The plotline is not created directly by the Wachowskis, but the man who writes the story for Sony Entertainment operates under the Wachowskis' seal of approval. Before reading the summary (links provided below), be sure to read the following introductory information - otherwise you will be confused by many things that happen in the storyline.

The Matrix Online (MxO) is an MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) first released in the United States on March 22, 2005. The game begins just after M3 ends in peace, so Zion (and therefore redpill hackers) are not considered enemies of the machines. Like other MMORPGs, missions are generated randomly, but they are much more complex in MxO, involving everything from lock picking to fighting and from hacking to disabling security devices. The game also includes Live Events, in which main characters (Niobe, Morpheus, etc.) jack in and interact with the players. Sony has significantly decreased the role of Live Events, probably due to having too few subscribers to support the cost of live events, which were even produced with full-time actors.

The Matrix Online begins at the same place M3 ends, just after Neo bargains for peace between humans and machines and the Architect agrees that bluepills who want out of the Matrix will be freed. The Matrix has been rebooted, but there are still plenty of places within the Matrix that are recognized from the Matrix movies.

Gameplay

The player first chooses which side he will be loyal to (Merovingian, Machines or Zion), depending on which cause sounds most worthy So, throughout this summary, keep in mind that all three organizations (Merovingian exiles, machines, and Zionist redpills) consist mostly of human players. Special characters such as the Merovingian, agents and Zion commanders are controlled by the makers of the game, and this is what controls the plotline. However, players help to shape the outcome of each plotline event within the game. When you read about “operatives”, you’re almost always reading about actual players of the game.

Players also choose what kind of player they will be: an operative, coder, or hacker. Each type of redpill develops their own special abilities as they gain experience. All three redpill types benefit from additional awakened abilities. All redpill players have the ability to hyperjump. As players build their skill and experience, other organizations try more and more to recruit them. A high-ranking player is in great demand among all organizations, and often the most important missions are given only to the most experienced redpills. There are also a large variety of emotes players can use to communicate with other players.

Merovingian operatives report to an exile named Flood, an outdated program who, despite the fact that he did the work of other programs when they failed, was still scheduled for deletion because another program was created that could do his job a little faster. He quickly learned his place beneath the Merovingian but resents being second in rank to the Merovingian. Nevertheless, he does his job well.

Machine operatives report to Agent Gray. Agent Gray was one of the Agents originally infected with the Smith virus. When the Matrix was restarted, Agent Gray was quarantined in case any part of the Smith virus was still hidden in his RSI, and his code was deconstructed and recompiled in a vicious error-checking routine. Agent Gray is still not allowed to return to the Source in case any part of him is still infected.

Zion operatives will eventually report to Tyndall, but for the first 4 chapters of the game, Tyndall is not in the picture, so I assume they report directly to Commander Lock (from the movies). I will save Tyndall's introduction for when she is introduced in the game.

All human redpills have the benefit of the auto jack-out, a new security measure that causes a redpill to automatically jack out of the Matrix right before they are killed, preventing death. After this happens, the player can either “reconstruct” at the nearest hardline and lose code fragments in their inventory, or another player can resurrect them if the required ability is loaded. The only unit of currency that is valued among all organizations (Zion, Machines and Merovingian) is the currency of $info.

The Matrix Online is also run on three main servers, all of which sometimes offer slight variations in plotline. These servers, called instances, include Recursion, Syntax, and Vector.

Other Notes

My primary source in writing the summaries below is CloudWolf’s MxO Storyline Summaries, and my version is simply a more brief version of his for the sake of readers (it is too long for most people to justify reading). In his document, CloudWolf references “DN1” links that are no longer valid, so I have removed these links. DN1 stands for Data Node 1, and it is an actual forum-style website that is considered an integral part of the game itself, allowing for communication among redpill players, machines, programs and exiles. Not only can players post messages there, you can also find messages by characters from the movies.

There is a newspaper released within Megacity called The Sentinel. My Sentinel summaries and interpretations are probably the most original part of this section, and links to them will be found within the pages below. You will gain a lot of further insight into the Matrix by reading what I say about each article found in Sentinel editions. You can read about Beta editions of the Sentinel by going to the Matrix Games: The Matrix Online: The Sentinel section. You don't need to follow this link if you plan to read the MxO summary below, because Sentinel links will be given chronologically as they come up in context of the game.

The game's storyline moves in titled chapters, and you'll find that while the first few chapters are very short, Sentinel newspapers come out fairly often in the beginning, which gives you more to read. The chapters tend to get longer as they go, while Sentinel issues are released less and less often.

Chapter 1.1 - The Race for The One   ·   3 Sentinel editions
Chapter 1.2 - Nightfall   ·   2 Sentinel editions
Chapter 1.3a - The Hunt for Morpheus   ·   1 Sentinel edition
Chapter 1.3b - The Hunt for Morpheus’ Assassin   ·   1 Sentinel edition
Chapter 2.0 - Choice & Consequence
Chapter 2.1 - Double Cross
Chapter 2.2 - (Double Cross continued)
Chapter 2.3a (Double Cross continued)   ·   1 Sentinel edition
Chapter 2.3b - Death of The Destroyer
Chapter 3.1 - (Death of the Destroyer continued)
Chapter 3.2 - Enigma of Cryptos   ·   1 Sentinel edition
Chapter 3.3 - Veil of Cryptos
Chapter 4.1 - (Veil of Cryptos continued)
Chapter 4.2 - (Veil of Cryptos continued)
Chapter 4.2b - A Piece of Blue Sky   ·   1 Sentinel edition

Once you finish reading the chapter summaries, you may also like to view the Pandora's Boxes, which gives background information on previous versions of the Matrix, and The Kid's Blog, which presents some interesting theories about Cryptos (a major character in MxO) and even provides a little bit of information that adds to our understanding of the Matrix movies. The General's Blog is not recommended for reading until you've read Pandora's Boxes as well as the Kid's Blog.

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