An oral history of The Matrix games: Enter the Matrix and Path of Neo

Within the late Nineties, David Perry received a cellphone name from the workplaces of Silver Footage. The studio wished to ship him the script for an upcoming science-fiction movie, known as The Matrix, from a pair of comparatively unknown writer-directors: Lana and Lilly Wachowski. The Wachowskis wished their subsequent undertaking tailored right into a online game, and so they thought Shiny Leisure — the Laguna Seashore firm Perry had based in 1993 — can be the proper developer to do it justice.

However Shiny finally turned them down. “That was probably the worst decision of my career,” Perry advised Polygon in a current interview. He later took his spouse to see the film, and neither of them might imagine he’d mentioned no to creating a recreation primarily based on the Wachowskis’ masterpiece.

When the provide got here in a second time, Perry rushed to Los Angeles and inked a deal that led to not one, however two Matrix recreation tie-ins. The primary, Enter the Matrix, launched on Might 14, 2003, alongside the Wachowskis’ blockbuster sequel, The Matrix Reloaded. The sport centered on Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Ghost (Anthony Wong), two characters from the movie’s supporting solid, and it included a great deal of live-action footage not discovered within the film.

When it got here time to ship a second recreation in 2005, the Matrix trilogy had come and gone, and the Wachowskis’ method to the fabric started to vary. The Enter the Matrix sequel would give followers the possibility to play as Keanu Reeves’s prophesied hero — the one known as Neo. However the visionary filmmakers wished to take issues a step additional. This wouldn’t be a simple adaptation of the films; the Wachowskis noticed Path of Neo as an opportunity to present their story another ending.

They wished Neo to dwell, and so they wished to talk to their viewers. Path of Neo can be a triumphant retelling of its hero’s story, tailor-made for people who performed video games. The Wachowskis would seem on display as a pair of 8-bit monochrome sprites, the participant would battle a colossal monster known as MegaSmith, and humanity would cheer their savior whereas Queen’s “We Are the Champions” performed. It was the sort of delightfully absurd catharsis the staff at Shiny Leisure might recognize, too.

Amid the hype for The Matrix Resurrections, the fourth movie within the sequence, I spoke to 5 of the individuals who made the Wachowskis’ wild alternate ending a actuality.

Nobody may be advised what the Matrix is

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

Once we had been making Messiah, the Wachowskis really confirmed up whereas we had been engaged on it. This was earlier than the primary Matrix got here out, and we weren’t all in favour of doing any type of licensed merchandise. We had been simply doing our personal factor. They usually got here by means of, noticed our stuff, actually appreciated it — and so they wished us to do a Matrix recreation. They frolicked for a short while, and we performed video video games with them, however we handed on it. Then they got here again after the unique film got here out.

Saxs Persson Sport director

We had talked to them [about working together] earlier than they made the primary Matrix, however with out visible aids, a number of the issues they had been saying — from a online game perspective, they sounded nice. However for a film, it sounded actually experimental.

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

After I did Terminator [for Sega Genesis], we mentioned, “Look, I don’t care what you say. Gamers are gonna want to be the Terminator. They’re gonna want to walk around as the Terminator and have that view of the world.” They usually mentioned, “Well, you can’t do that, because we don’t have the rights to Arnold Schwarzenegger.” So we mentioned, “I guess we’ll just play as Sarah Connor, then.” They usually mentioned, “No, we don’t have the rights to Linda Hamilton.” So who’re we imagined to play this recreation as? They usually mentioned Kyle Reese, the man that dies within the film.

As you’ll be able to think about, when The Matrix comes alongside, we’re like: “Oh, please don’t start off saying you can’t be any of the characters.” However they’re like, “Actually, we’d like to play as this new character, Niobe.” So my alarm bells are ringing. Are we gonna go down that highway once more? However what they mentioned was, “No, no, no, no. We’re actually gonna shoot a whole hour of new movie footage just for your game, and we’re gonna make this story so that someone sitting in the audience that’s a gamer is gonna have a completely different experience.”

A storyboard drawing for Enter the Matrix depicting Niobe and Ghost standing outside on a rainy night

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A storyboard drawing of Niobe’s car getting hit by bullets in Enter the Matrix

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

How deep the rabbit-hole goes

Saxs Persson Sport director

We had no thought what we signed up for after we began on Enter the Matrix. We had simply achieved Messiah, and we had been type of woefully unaware of what it will take to ship throughout a bunch of platforms, and with all of the restrictions of an IP. Most of us had by no means labored with an IP earlier than.

However what we actually appreciated was that the Wachowskis wished to push the boundaries; they thought video games might be far more than only a prop. They wished to inform a distinct story and experiment, and all of it sounded nice to us. Within the midst of it, Shiny was offered off to Atari.

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

Gabe had a problem, since you’re doing animation, so your mind goes, “Well, I’ll just animate everything.” However then whenever you’re working with The Matrix, you have got entry to their amenities, and so they had arrange probably the most superior motion-capture system round at the moment. They usually mentioned, “If you want to use it, feel free.”

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

The choreographer for the Matrix motion pictures is Yuen Woo-ping, and even earlier than we went to do that Matrix factor, he was my favourite Chinese language director. There have been like three guys in China doing actually artistic stuff, and that was Jackie Chan, Yuen Woo-ping, and Sammo Hung, and every of those guys all got here from the very same faculty. Earlier than we received to The Matrix, I grew up doing a bunch of Chinese language martial arts, and I watched all these motion pictures. So earlier than we received into it, I grabbed all of Yuen Woo-ping’s motion pictures and located stuff that felt prefer it match The Matrix.

The stunt staff was insane. They’d undergo and do probably the most unbelievable work, they might do it all day, after which half the fellows would go exterior and chain smoke between shoots. I don’t understand how they had been in such wonderful form. It was completely unbelievable. The one time I used to be starstruck throughout the entire thing was after I met Yuen Woo-ping. After I met my hero, it was no massive deal to work day by day with Jada Pinkett or Anthony Wong.

In a trio of storyboard drawings, characters from Enter the Matrix communicate about an escape plan over the phone

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

In a trio of storyboard drawings, a character from Enter the Matrix smashes through a building window and falls down onto a truck driving down the street below

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

There have been a handful of films that we referenced and paid homage to. There was a Bruce Lee sequence; there was a Onerous Boiled sequence. And drawing that stuff was, arms down, probably the most enjoyable. Since you’re mimicking a number of the greats, and I bear in mind including quite a lot of grain to the storyboards, and type of a movie bounce. All that stuff was actually nice to attract. The perfect factor a couple of job like The Matrix is you actually do try to convey your A recreation.

You don’t at all times have time so as to add shade and shadows and out-of-focus backgrounds in storyboard jobs. However that stuff has quite a lot of worth; it informs the animators on the tone, the look, and the sound design, and the music. All that stuff was actually appreciated, and you got the time to create a few of these luxurious frames. I usually preserve a portfolio of the previous couple of years’ value of work, however the Matrix stuff is nonetheless in my portfolio.

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

One other man, Scott Barrett, had this concept for Enter the Matrix: “Why don’t we put marker balls on a fake camera and pretend to shoot? So we’ll have the camera movement, and we’ll have the people movement, and then you can put the two together, and it’ll feel like you’re shooting.” Regardless, we nonetheless had all of this excellent movement knowledge — most likely far more and better high quality than we might’ve ever afforded for a online game.

A storyboard drawing for Enter the Matrix depicting a close-up of an Agent’s face, with Ghost reflected in the Agent’s sunglasses

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

After I might draw the storyboards, I might then minimize them and paste them into cinematics, and add music and sound results and all these items. So it was this actually enjoyable, artistic method to become involved within the recreation.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

I designed the battle system for Enter the Matrix, alongside with Perry, and the motion system. After which, on the programming aspect, I ended up scripting in like half the animations. It was a brutal schedule. We’d’ve appreciated to have a complete ’nother 12 months, however there have been bonuses and whatnot, so we hit it as laborious as we might. I had a sleeping bag, and I might sleep below my desk. Within the morning, I’d get up, totter into the kitchen, get some espresso, return to work — after which take like a day off on the weekend. A bunch of us mainly had PTSD after the top of it. After which I went and directed the movement seize, which we did on set in Alameda.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

As a fan of movie and cinematics, and making an attempt to eke out as a lot high quality as potential, I used to be taking part in with depth of subject and digital camera lenses and all that stuff. That was actually enjoyable to do — a extra conventional type of storytelling.

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

The language of cinema was actually what Eka had requested for me to information them in, in order that whenever you would do a digital camera transfer in an in-game cutscene, it will ramp up like there was an individual on a dolly and decelerate because it reached its mark. So it was about getting the animators to make choices as if there was somebody working a digital camera. You’d rack focus, or issues can be barely off, or the monitor would type of go from level A to level B.

It was a method to humanize issues in order that these cutscenes wouldn’t take you out of the sport. It felt like a movie faculty. If I used to be on the second recreation for eight or 9 months, solely half of it was drawing, after which the opposite half was overseeing these cinematics.

In a storyboard drawing for Path of Neo, Neo attacks an Agent while dozens of Agents stand in the background watching the fight

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A world the place something is feasible

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

Enter the Matrix, we bit off just a little greater than we might chew, as a result of we needed to do a number of recreation engines, all by a date that may’t transfer. And also you’re taking up a number of completely different platforms that you simply haven’t developed on earlier than, and also you’re gonna ship all of it being nice. It’s that worst-case situation. With Path of Neo, the stress issue dropped profoundly. It was kind of, “Make something cool.”

Saxs Persson Sport director

The Wachowskis went and signed up for 2 motion pictures on the identical time, in order that they had been on an not possible mission, too — simply as a lot as we had been. After they lastly completed, Path of Neo was rather more cathartic: “Let’s do something fun that we think fans would like. Something we wish we would’ve done to begin with.” We might notice extra of the artistic objectives that we had, somewhat than simply telling a specific story.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

The primary recreation, they had been making a movie. However they had been additionally capturing the footage that may go into the sport on the identical time. I feel they had been extra centered on the sport facet the second time round.

Saxs Persson Sport director

They’re saying, “There won’t be the same restrictions. And we like the idea of the game just doing almost like Alice in Wonderland — there’s no limit. These vignettes should be free to be an ode to The Matrix, or a departure from Matrix, or show a different view of it. But they should all be interesting in their own right.”

In a trio of Path of Neo storyboards, Morpheus offers Neo the red pill or the blue pill

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

In a trio of Path of Neo storyboards, Neo reaches out to touch a mirror and his body dissolves into it

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

It wasn’t Path of Neo, initially. We knew we had been gonna do one other Matrix recreation, and the very first thing the Wachowskis wished to do was a Seraph recreation — the aspect character from the teahouse. Collin Chou was the actor who performed him. So we had been constructing the Seraph recreation. We had been constructing out the fight stuff, and increasing on the tech and the instruments we’d used on Enter the Matrix, and sooner or later I feel they wished to retell Neo’s story throughout all three movies. And make it extra of a online game story. By this time, Revolutions had come out.

Saxs Persson Sport director

We wished to make a recreation with Jet Li. That was actually what we wished.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

These concepts, I feel, got here earlier than we launched Enter the Matrix. The actor who performed Seraph was a twin citizen, and wonderful, and we might have gotten ahold of him simply as a result of he lives in California more often than not. However the actuality was, the primary grievance from the followers was that they wished to be Neo. And in order that’s why we went with Path of Neo. We actually didn’t need to disappoint these followers a second time. Plus, we wished to be Superman, too. Who doesn’t?

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

I don’t bear in mind if the fan base was delay by the truth that you by no means adopted Neo [in Enter the Matrix] — it was actually these alternate storylines. Which I believed was a cool take, really, but it surely’s sort of like taking part in a Star Wars recreation as an Ewok or one thing. You need to play Luke and Han.


Video: Warner Bros./Shiny Leisure

I didn’t come right here to let you know how that is going to finish

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

They had been massive on making an attempt to determine, “Why do we have difficulty modes? Why don’t we let the player decide?” So the intro to the sport is the well-known foyer sequence from the primary film, but it surely’s performed out like a dream. There’s waves and waves of enemies, and the farther you get, the tougher the issue you’ll be able to unlock. After which they wished to vary the ending. They had been additionally enhancing footage from the films into these actually abridged variations of the trilogy, to go between the chapters of the sport.

Saxs Persson Sport director

They wished the sport to present you a singular perspective, much like how the films give a singular perspective. Sure, the films are main when it comes to their approachability, however video games, in some ways, can provide you a deeper understanding than a film can ever provide you with. It was actually vital to them that we paid homage to the lore, and deepen it when we’ve an opportunity, and permit individuals to get extra curious in regards to the Matrix universe. Just like The Animatrix.

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

In some unspecified time in the future, I bear in mind simply getting utterly misplaced as to what the hell was happening. I’m like, “Okay, I’m drawing ants and vampires, and there’s a girl lying on some kind of S&M torture rack. I do not know what’s happening anymore.”

In a trio of storyboard drawings for Path of Neo, Neo looks down at a woman chained to a torture rack

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A trio of storyboards for Path of Neo depict Neo fighting a massive ant while a woman in leather writhes on the ground

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

It was extra enjoyable the second time as a result of we sort of knew what we had been doing. It was largely the identical staff — we added some new people, however many of the core people came visiting from the primary recreation. Saxs was the lead programmer on the primary recreation, after which he turned extra of a recreation director on the second recreation. I used to be technically the artwork director, however he and I labored collectively on scoping and the path of the sport. In fact, with David Perry and the Wachowskis.

And type of the large artistic arc of the entire thing is Wachowski-driven. They’re like, “We want to tell the story from Neo’s perspective. We’re gonna fill in some holes that we come up with. And then we’re gonna change the ending.”

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

A number of what occurred within the first recreation, and what didn’t occur, actually knowledgeable the second recreation. You performed Neo; you went by means of the simulation; you probably did the coaching and quite a lot of what they did within the motion pictures. You’re in dojos and all these different environments. And I simply do not forget that that was an enormous, enormous push.

In this storyboard drawing for Path of Neo, a group of Agents huddle together

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

The perfect factor about being me — there’s so lots of me

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

We wished an actual boss battle — this was one thing we mentioned with the Wachowskis. It needed to prime the film. “It’s a game; we can do anything we want.” We began brainstorming. One other massive crowd battle? However we’d already achieved that.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

They wished to do that factor known as MegaSmith, the place all of the hundreds of Smiths fashioned into MegaSmith. So we concepted that out at Shiny, and we’re like, “Here’s what we’re thinking. It’s gonna be made up of a bunch of Smiths, and a bunch of parts of the environment.” Taking the placement from the final battle within the third film, however bringing it nearly into this Godzilla-like kind. As a result of they thought that may be extra enjoyable in a online game, and it was. After which we wished to do a very nice cinematic intro for that, so we reached out to Blur Studio, who had been in California.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

We tried to license Godzilla from Toho. The aim was to have a Godzilla made out of Agent Smiths; that was our preliminary plan. Sadly, Toho was not amused. So big Smith is what all people received as a substitute.

A drawing of MegaSmith for Path of Neo

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A colored render of MegaSmith for Path of Neo

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A rendering for the Path of Neo video game depicting MegaSmith as a Godzilla-like creature stomping through city streets

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A rendering of MegaSmith as a Godzilla-like creature, breathing fire while stomping through a city, created for Path of Neo

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

Saxs Persson Sport director

I feel [design director] Shawn Berryhill and Gabe designed it. Gabriel had spent probably the most time on set of anyone — he was in Australia for over a month, and doing quite a lot of the movement seize up within the Bay Space, and was on nice phrases with the movie crew. After which Shawn was extra of an intuitive designer, which is a pleasant time period for saying he did regardless of the hell he wished to do. I’m fairly positive “MegaSmith” was not more than a phrase from the Wachowskis, and it ended up being this larger-than-life, no-holds-barred implementation.

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

Eka and I received collectively and actually guided the final pre-rendered stuff that Blur Studio did. That’s Tim Miller’s firm — he did Deadpool. The expertise on the second recreation was rather more concerned, and I do do not forget that the issue with video video games again then was that the whole lot’s in focus, and there was no depth of subject. I bear in mind having that dialog with Eka: “This would look so much better if we could blur the backgrounds, or if we could have depth of field.” And Eka actually pushed for that, and his complete staff was continuously developing with methods to trick it. So it had such a terrific look.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

David Hogan did the boards for that. David and I labored carefully on all of the cinematics. He’s an expensive good friend — nice man. I feel he’s engaged on Ms. Marvel for Disney Plus. So David and I went as much as Blur with a bunch of boards: “Here’s what we’re thinking for MegaSmith. Here’s the design for it; here’s what we want to do.” They usually constructed this complete CG cinematic of all of the Smiths coming collectively. As a result of we knew it was gonna be laborious to try this in actual time on a PS2. They did a terrific job with it. I feel they did that in about two or three months. And the in-game model of MegaSmith is similar to the CG model. All the weather are there.

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

The MegaSmith stuff was late in my involvement. We had a sure funds, and so Eka and I storyboarded up like a dream sequence, and it got here as much as like one million bucks or one thing. And we went, “Oh, my gosh. Okay.” So we received about one-eighth of what we had come up with, and but Blur nonetheless knocked it out of the park. It was a brilliant cool sequence, however there was initially much more to it.

Saxs Persson Sport director

We had been all influenced by Japanese anime and Miyazaki motion pictures, and we appreciated the thought of reaching in and throwing your self. That’s very Miyazaki-esque. And it was rated T for Teen, so there have been limits to what we might do. However we’d get an increasing number of absurd, and it simply appeared hilarious that he’s made up of himself and makes use of himself as a weapon, and type of quickly regenerates.

I feel the method was actually: greater.

An in-progress design of MegaSmith for the video game Path of Neo

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

An in-progress design for MegaSmith in Path of Neo

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

An in-progress design for MegaSmith from Path of Neo

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

An in-progress design for MegaSmith from Path of Neo

Picture: Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

MegaSmith was gonna decide up issues and throw ’em at you, proper? So we wished to do the entire kitchen sink — at one level, we had been actually gonna have a kitchen sink thrown at you. As a result of it matches the tone of that complete ending. However what we actually wished to have them do was uproot skyscrapers and throw them at you want spears. In case you suppose in your thoughts’s eye, what’d occur is, you’d dodge up, or to the suitable, and this constructing whips by at excessive velocity, and it’s blurring previous you. Like, when you’d taken that, it will have been brutal. However we weren’t in a position to get the buildings in.

Saxs Persson Sport director

We hadn’t achieved something with flying, or motion within the air, so nearly the whole lot in that boss battle was bespoke. It was cobbled collectively nearly like a prototype; it was to this point exterior of what the engine was good at.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

One of many largest challenges we had was making an attempt to get as many Smiths on display as potential. Particularly whenever you discuss what number of characters you’ll be able to draw on a PS2, relying on the kind of recreation, it’s like perhaps 5 or 6, relying on what else you’re drawing. So we got here up with a method the place, primarily, they’re not particular person characters. They’ve a really base set of runs and jumps, however we deal with them nearly like a flocking conduct.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

We needed to invent methods that had been a glimmer within the eye of lots of people on the time. The trick we used is we pre-rendered them all the way down to multi-angle sprites, which is a very old-school method. However to have a whole bunch of Brokers Smiths on display — in that scene, there’s solely 4 or 5 actual Smiths at any given time. All the fellows within the again are all pre-rendered photographs or, in some circumstances, simplified geometry.

We’d use precalculated geometry frames, storing the meshes for every body of the animation, and that goes actually quick. There’s no bones or advanced math to it. And that was fairly the problem, particularly as a result of it was on PlayStation 2. My present iPhone is sort of a broken PlayStation 4 in its energy. The PlayStation 2 — that’s like a pocket calculator. However we received all that working.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

You draw a path of conduct for the way they’re gonna journey, and the place they go, and so they’re like a bunch of ants. And when you wished to battle one, we are able to spawn a actual model that’s not a part of the flocking. So those you’ll be able to work together with and battle aren’t that many, but it surely looks like there’s much more within the scene.

In a trio of storyboards for Path of Neo, dozens of Agents flock together to form MegaSmith

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

In a trio of storyboards for Path of Neo, the MegaSmith boss constructs itself out of trucks and debris

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A few of my solutions you’ll perceive, and a few of them you’ll not

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

The sport was nearly like a response to how the films had been acquired. As a result of the overall consensus was that the second movie was not pretty much as good, and the third one was bizarre or no matter, however the first one was the proper film. Attitudes have modified since then, however I feel individuals see the primary film as nearly a standalone factor, whereas the second and third really feel like one massive film minimize up into two items. So the sport was a artistic response by the Wachowskis to the entire Matrix trilogy. However they had been havin’ much more enjoyable with it, too.

Saxs Persson Sport director

They wished to complete with one thing the film might by no means do; they wished to interrupt the fourth wall. They didn’t need to be a part of it when it comes to their likeness, however they wished to have their view heard straight. And in order that’s how the sequence ended up occurring with the little speaking heads. They wished to ship off The Matrix the suitable method, I suppose.

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

I do know that the administrators had been way more hands-off on the second recreation, and I don’t know if it’s as a result of they had been overwhelmed or if they simply trusted the builders extra. However quite a lot of the second recreation was actually Eka; he was driving quite a lot of it. I don’t suppose he was writing the script, however so most of the choices had been actually made by him.

Saxs Persson Sport director

We wished them to be a part of the sport as a result of they had been characters as a lot as anyone within the film. They’d made an enormous identify for themselves on this genre-defining, fashionable sci-fi surroundings that they’d constructed. They didn’t need to make it about them; they didn’t need to appeal to consideration. However we couldn’t simply unleash the large Smith and this galactic battle with out saying one thing. So that they got here up with, “Well, why don’t we just say it in text?” And we mentioned, “I don’t think a Star Wars opening crawl is gonna cut it.” So that they despatched us the totally rendered little characters sitting within the chairs and talking, and it was fairly hilarious.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

There was a complete part that I helped animate, which is when the Wachowskis come on display proper earlier than the large MegaSmith battle, of their pixel kinds. Once we received the audio kind, we had been like, “Okay.” They’re like, “We want to be in the game as these pixel characters.” All proper, cool. So I made these little pixel characters and arrange the chairs and did the entire thing.

They usually’re like, “We want to speed up this part with Lana talkin’ about the philosophy of The Matrix.” She actually will get into what they really really feel about the entire of The Matrix, and it’s actually attention-grabbing, but it surely’s nearly a throwaway within the recreation as a result of they simply velocity it up. After which her sister’s like, “I thought you weren’t gonna do that.”

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

Folks desire a joyful ending, and when you noticed the top of Path of Neo — it’s very psychedelic. It’s very unusual. That each one got here from the Wachowskis. And we had been so joyful they went that method, as a result of all people is aware of what occurs within the film, so just a little deviation provides a way of pleasure. I believed it match.

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

It’s humorous, as a result of we’d achieved the identical sort of factor years in the past in our Earthworm Jim recreation, the place the ending is unusual and sudden. And we did that on a recreation known as MDK, as effectively — we did a French music video on the finish of a sci-fi recreation. It causes individuals to go, “What is this?” However then they adore it as a result of it’s not the identical boring factor.

Saxs Persson Sport director

Folks couldn’t simply go on YouTube and discover one thing in two seconds and watch it and digest it. As I bear in mind, it solely turned broadly out there a lot later, so usually it was extra of a assessment factor: What did reviewers take into consideration this expertise? Are we making enjoyable of the participant? Are we making enjoyable of the medium or the style? Or is that this type of a enjoyable, insightful departure from the anticipated? And we had been actually nervous earlier than we shipped it, as a result of the films are fairly critical. They don’t get to a degree the place they type of poke enjoyable at themselves.

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

The Wachowskis — you’ve gotta bear in mind, they’re cool individuals who watch quite a lot of leisure, and so they’re sort of enjoyable. They’re not taking all of it too severely. In the direction of the top of Path of Neo, we mentioned, “What would you like for an ending?” And it was clear as a bell to them. They’re like, “We’re gonna have ‘We Are the Champions’ playing.” And we’re going, “Do you know how expensive it’s gonna be to license that song?” It’s like, “No, no, no. We’re gonna have that song.”

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

They thought that may be hilarious. Not hilarious as in making enjoyable of the followers a lot as the proper film ending. They had been making an attempt to set a tone, perhaps make it just a little extra lighthearted, and we received very fortunate that we had an Academy Award-winning sound editor. At the moment, he had gained some awards for The Quick and the Livid. Between him and the Wachowskis asking, that’s how we received it, ’trigger they was fairly near the chest with who they let use Queen’s music.

Saxs Persson Sport director

That ended up being the only costliest factor we did for the entire recreation.

A trio of storyboards for Path of Neo depicting a massive explosion

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

A trio of images for Path of Neo depicting a massive explosion that turns the entire screen white

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

What’s actual? How do you outline ‘real’?

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

Truthfully, it teaches you just a little bit about how Hollywood works, versus video games. They’ve a imaginative and prescient for one thing, after which the options are made to resolve that downside. And it’s not fairly the best way quite a lot of industries work. Most industries have a look at what’s out there, and that’s what you employ; you’re at all times restricted by what instruments are already on the market. Whereas they’re like, “No, no, no — we have this idea of something that hasn’t been done yet.” And folks should go write software program, or consider a method that it might probably be achieved. Immediately, you’re on the tip of the spear once more, as a result of now you’re inventing.

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

For storyboard artists, you will get on a characteristic, however you don’t go for perhaps greater than a month or two. This was six or seven months out of that one 12 months, but it surely was an unbelievable gig. And it was quite a lot of enjoyable as a result of I had by no means labored in video games, and it was a complete completely different system. The individuals who made the very best choices in gaming weren’t the individuals who made the artistic choices in movie.

Eka is so on prime of the whole lot, and Dave Perry’s as sharp as a tack. These two had been actually the one two I interacted with, and so they had carved out a distinct segment for themselves and cast their very own id as an impartial recreation developer. Right here, they had been dealing with only a company behemoth. And, by all accounts, it was wonderful.


Video: Warner Bros./Shiny Leisure

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

At some point, we’re on the set, and there’s all these individuals — the actors are ready of their trailers and stuff. We had this one man who was answerable for the checklist of all of the [in-game] strikes. And I feel he had the flu or one thing; he ended up passing out on us. So the man with the plan is now gone, and what do you do? And it was fascinating to observe how Hollywood works when one thing like that occurs in the course of a shoot.

The producer actually received on her cellphone and mentioned, “I need someone that can handle motion-capture planning.” And somebody was in that chair inside a pair hours. I don’t even know who she known as, however that’s the fact when you have got a set that’s costly like that. No matter occurred, it was gonna get solved.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

Mocap was busy someday — I wasn’t directing — so I went over to important unit and simply watched ’em work. They usually had been filming the Smith-fight scene [from The Matrix Reloaded]. They usually had employed 12 stuntmen to play Agent Smith. Twelve guys all preventing Keanu Reeves in a long sequence, getting crushed with sticks each take. They had been at take twelve after I was there, and the man who saved getting kicked within the abdomen each take was beginning to flip just a little inexperienced.

So the Wachowskis, on one shot, flip to one another and sort of nod. They usually inform Keanu, “That one’s good.” He appears at them and goes, “No, no, no, no. It’s gotta be better. It’s gotta be better.” He was gonna do that factor. They usually shot it one other eight occasions. That they had a kiddie pool on the set for him, ’trigger he was coaching so laborious after which capturing so laborious that they’d slide him into an ice pool each single day. I don’t understand how he did it; the man was robust.

Saxs Persson Sport director

It was usually quite a lot of enjoyable. It was creatively much more attention-grabbing, and much more free, and at that time we knew just a little bit extra about what it will take to make a recreation like that. Regardless of who you ask, Enter the Matrix was like Dante’s seven ranges of Hell, and Path of Neo was a little bit of icing on the cake for having gone by means of that have.

Jobber Wiki creator Frank Lengthy added to this report.