Pandora's Boxes and the history of the Matrix

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Feral Boy

Joined: 24 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:16 am    Post subject: Pandora's Boxes and the history of the Matrix Reply with quote

First off I want to apologize for this extra-long post. What I'm hoping is that you guys can help fill in the gaps in the information I've been able to gather about the history of the Matrix based on the storyline from the Pandora's Boxes. Some things I have pretty hard evidence for while other things seem more like theories or rumors. I'm hoping to find as many facts as possible, and ideally I'd like to have screenshots of direct quotes from the Pandora's Boxes (such as records or quotations or anything of that nature). The following is everything I've found so far. If you can, please let me know which parts are true, which parts are false, and which parts I'm missing. Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Here are some records that apparently can be found in the first Pandora’s Box.

Naforius’ Research Notes
Report Number: 25631601-46
The humans are fascinating creatures. Despite their obvious flaws, such as uncontrollable emotions and irrational thought, they hold up well to the experiments we have subjected to them so far. However, a problem is posing itself in recent experiments: the subjects become unstable before the full series of tests can be completed.
Our research is becoming increasingly more difficult. Live subjects are needed if progress is to be made.

When they say “unstable” I’m not exactly sure if they mean that the subjects died, went insane or perhaps both.

Medical Record on Patient 75331
Report Number: 27481094-62
Subject Name: Unknown
Subject ID: 75331
Subject Status: Living
Progress has tripled now that we are experimenting with 100% living tissue. However, if we are to continue this level of progress, more living humans are needed.
One subject of note, 75331, has proven to be one of the more effective test beds for our research. We do not understand its cries. Like the infants, it struggles within our grasp. Even when I extracted the eyes from its ocular cavities, the cries continued.
It is quite apparent: our tests have turned into torment.

This record—along with the previous one—were most likely written PRIOR to the creation of the Matrix. They echo the scenes from the Second Renaissance anime which details the grisly experimentation performed by the Machines upon their human captives. In regard to this last record, I’m not sure if there’s any relevance to the apparent uniqueness of subject 75331. So far I haven’t found any further mention of it during my research. After reading this record, I get the general feeling that any suffering experienced by the test subjects at the hands of the Machines was not intentional or inflicted due to thoughts of revenge or malice. It seems they were merely trying to understand the human body and how it functioned. That being said, I don’t believe that negative motivations can be entirely ruled out, especially after viewing the Second Renaissance and seeing how the Machines acted during the war in regard to their treatment of the humans they fought against and captured. It could very well be that there are degrees of responses to humanity within the ranks of the Machines, where some feel animosity toward all humans while others experience nothing more than mild curiosity.

Notice of Termination
Report Number: 30144684-40
We have a problem. We are no longer needed, yet our work must go on. The others have informed me that access to the Machine City is ours if we disengage our current runtime.
While I will not speak for the rest of you, I am unable to terminate this task. The research must continue.
I have struck a deal with the Frenchman. He will provide safe passage into the Matrix with no questions asked. While the Machines do not trust the Merovingian, he is our only option. We have no choice but to rely on him.
--Doctor Naforius

This record was obviously written AFTER the creation of the Matrix and after the Merovingian had established a connection between the Machine City and the Matrix. Several questions arise from this record, however. How long did these experiments continue after the researchers came to the Matrix? In what capacity were they able to perform tests on humans in the Matrix? I’m assuming that if they came to the Matrix, then they would be relegated to living as an Exile inside a virtual reality where they would no longer have access to any physical bodies of humans. If that was the sort of testing they were most interested in (based on the previous two records), then what could they hope to accomplish in the digital world of the Matrix?

I also discovered more records relating to the origins of the Matrix, and they can apparently be found in the fourth Pandora’s Box. Based on what the vast majority of players on the game’s forums have stated, I’d say it is a very safe bet that these records were carried by the agents of the “paradise” version of the Matrix. All accounts describe these agents as being angelic in appearance. I’ve actually seen this angelic agents for myself, so I know the accounts are true. You can see some pictures of my experience with them at Needless to say, I was killed very quickly. The known records are as follows:

Record of Paradise
Record of Pact
Record of Purpose
Record of Ruin
Record of Betrayal
Record of Judgment
Record of Fate
Record of Revenge

Unfortunately, I have only found the contents of one of these—the Record of Pact—which states the following:

The pact that we had struck with them placed them in our care. In one fell stroke, they gave us their world and we gave them ... perfection. The heaven they longed for and the paradise that they dreamed of. Oh glory.

While this doesn’t really tell us anything new, it does hint to a certain degree that at least some of the Machines did not want the humans to suffer. As I said before, it seems very likely that some Machines wanted humans to suffer while others did not.

The following is an excerpt of an in-game discussion on the Matrix Online between an Exile named Crimen and a game player named Xpedite.

Xpedite: You spoke of many fellow captives, is there anyone else who may be able to tell me more about this place?

Crimen: Blackwood houses some of the oldest Exiles, only released for the entertainment of the Merovingian...many, like me, were from the first iteration of the Matrix.

Later on in that same discussion, Seraph is brought up again.

Crimen: Some who gained notoriety, like Wingless, came to be known as Seraph.

Xpedite: Seraph may know more of this prison?

Crimen: There is not much written. The Blackwood programs that can be seen won't reveal much, as they are diluted versions of their originals. Seraph would know quite a bit, as he was a captive there...and one of the first to successfully escape.

Xpedite: Okay, thank you.

Crimen: He went from prisoner, to employee, to Exile, rumored to be working with the Oracle.

This last quote is between Crimen and a player named S3PER

Crimen: Seraph was one of the first of us to escape, upon realizing a "higher" calling. My entry was less...fantastic. I am here simply because I am adept at lying...I survive by misdirection and assumed ignorance. I was able to leave Blackwood, after a "cell mate" of mine arranged for escape and contact between someone on the inside. He didn't survive and I took his place. Have you seen Wingless lately? Speaking of Seraph...he has been most successful in eluding his former Employer, and I would love to know how he does it.

S3PER: He popped up a few weeks ago, actually. However he’s not exactly doing too great at hiding himself. He’s more of a celebrity in my opinion around here.

Crimen: Really? I bet it is hard to get an audience with him...given his popularity as it were.

S3PER: It is. He does not make it easy.

Crimen: I agree S3PER, but I’m sure he's found a purpose.

S3PER: I believe he has.

Assuming that Crimen is telling the truth, this is the order of the events of Seraph’s life. At one point he was a prisoner in the Merovingian’s Blackwood prison construct. Since he seemed to have been named Wingless at the prison, I’m assuming that he had already lost his wings by this time. During his imprisonment at Blackwood, he gains notoriety and eventually (at some unknown point after that) becomes known as Seraph. He realizes a higher calling and escapes from Blackwood. Naturally I’m inclined to believe that this “higher calling” is a reference to the Oracle, but since his involvement with the Oracle doesn’t come until much later, I’m inclined to believe it was something else. At some point following his escape from Blackwood, Seraph begins working for the Merovingian. After working for the Merovingian for an unknown length of time, Seraph decided to leave and began working for the Oracle instead, which is how we see him today.

If you encounter Seraph in the game the Matrix Online and read his details, it says the following:

Seraph was once a trusted lieutenant of the Merovingian, and possessed of certain powers which he has since lost. At some point in the past he betrayed the Merovingian…

The rest of the quote is unknown, since the screenshot I found only included the first part. One very interesting thing I’d like to point out, however, is that according to the Exile Crimen, Seraph was not considered an Exile until AFTER he left the Merovingian’s employment. If that’s the case, this leads me to believe that Seraph’s job served a function that was sanctioned by the Machines. By extension, that means that at the same time whatever the Merovingian was doing was also sanctioned. Perhaps this was back when the Merovingian was more like Neo, as stated by Persephone. Perhaps the Merovingian’s original purpose was to be in charge of prison constructs and detain Exiles who tried to escape to the Matrix. Then, when the Merovingian decided to pursue power and ignored the reason he originally came to the Matrix, Seraph disapproved and left the organization to protect the Oracle instead. Hopefully we’ll find out more.

Here is a quote regarding a dojo in the Matrix called the Pearl Phoenix. This quote was part of the original description of Mega City, which was publicly posted on the Matrix Online game’s official website long before it went online. So far as I know, there has been no other reference to most of the things mentioned in this post, but I included it here for the sake of completeness.

The Pearl Phoenix is located at the edge of Jurong, just at the border of what would be considered Harajuku. Although the dojo often appears empty or deserted, it is meticulously maintained for the very special students who occasionally train there. The Pearl Phoenix is the province of an Exile by the name of Master Zu -- a name you may not know yet. Though no one can be sure, it is rumored that Zu is the Exile who instructed Seraph in the art of combat when he originally came to the Matrix. Of course Seraph did not work for the Merovingian at the time; that came later. It is certainly one of the more … unusual stories I have heard, and I am dubious of the more exotic details, but there is no denying the prowess of an Exile like Seraph.

Now if the description of Seraph’s training at the Pearl Phoenix is true, the question is when it occurred. Obviously it would have taken place before Seraph worked for the Merovingian, so it either happened before Seraph was sent to Blackwood prison or right after he escaped from it. So far I haven’t been able to verify the timing, or whether it’s even true to begin with.

Now for the unsubstantiated rumors. There are a lot of interesting comments that I found on the forums about the Pandora’s Boxes and the information that can be found in them, but since many of these ideas were not backed up with evidence, I had no way of knowing if these were factual or just the theories of the players. Some of them were kind enough to mention that they were only theories, but to be on the safe side I just assumed that they all were if there were no screenshots of items they’d found. I’ll list some of the more popular theories below and how prevalent each one was.

There seems to be fairly unanimous agreement that there are more versions of the Matrix than revealed in the movies. In addition to the “heaven,” “hell,” and 1999 versions, there is a feudal Japan version and a version very similar to the 1999 version but several years earlier. How this fits in with the overall scheme of things, I’m not exactly sure. It’s possible that the five previous versions of the Matrix (after the Oracle introduced choice) were all from different time periods, and only Neo’s version was from 1999. If this is the case, it doesn’t necessarily contradict the movies—it simply embellishes the Matrix history. After all, in the first movie, Smith mentioned two versions—the paradise version and the current 1999 version. In the second movie, we find out that not only was there an interim “hell” version, but that the current version has been repeated six times. We always assume we’re being told everything, but the beauty of the Matrix is that you can always go just a little bit deeper down the rabbit hole and find more.

Another point that seems to have a lot of support is the idea that there have been several different types of agents. The paradise version of the Matrix had angelic agents. The feudal Japan version had agents posing as Zen masters and warrior monks. The version similar to the 1999 version had soldier agents (this is perhaps where the General and the commandos hail from). The most talked-about agents, however, are the angelic agents, and they are the ones you have to fight after opening the fourth and final Pandora’s Box. Even before the Matrix was created, the Machines who experimented on humans have been called agents by some. One person claimed that Agent Pace, a new female agent who is more human-like in her demeanor, represents the latest kind of agent.

One of the interesting accounts I came across from more than one person is the difficulty the angelic agents began to have with the imperfection of the humans. One person said that as humans began to reject the paradise the angels became very angry with them. Another person said that they even began killing humans in their rage. This ran in direct opposition to their original purpose, which was to guard and protect humanity. When the paradise version of the Matrix was scrapped, these angelic angels were likewise outdated. Somehow instead of being deleted at the Source, they ended up being imprisoned by the Merovingian. I haven’t been able to find out how this happened.

Just as many people who agree upon the role of the angelic agents also agree that Seraph was one of them. One person even stated that Seraph was their leader. The idea that he was once an angelic agent has a lot of merit to it, especially given the fact that he apparently had wings at one point. One person said that while having a conversation with Seraph, he mentioned that his wings had been torn off and that he has the scars to prove it. But I have a question based on the assumption that Seraph went straight from the paradise version of the Matrix into Blackwood prison. If all the angelic agents including Seraph were eventually imprisoned, why were his wings torn off but not the others’? Was it some form of punishment? Was he the one who started killing humans? Perhaps the “higher calling” he received in Blackwood prison was that he needed to protect humans instead of kill them.

One person stated that the Merovingian was originally created to be a gatekeeper in the Matrix and to keep programs who were attempting to escape deletion from entering the Matrix. The Trainman, who built the gateway between the Machine City and the Matrix, was under the Merovingian’s employment. It would seem that for a time the Merovingian performed his duties and kept Exiles out. But once he became power-hungry he began allowing them access in exchange for their servitude.

According to one player, the Keymaker and the Boxmaker were brothers and were both created by the Machines to make special encryptions and codes to protect information from bluepills and redpills in The Matrix. From what I’ve been able to gather, the Boxmaker created the Pandora’s Boxes (hence his name). Another character named the Effectuator guards the portals to these boxes and other constructs belonging to the Merovingian. The Pandora’s Boxes are apparently the only ways in or out of the prison constructs. The Keymaker also had an apprentice called Clef, who worked on the encryptions for the Machines. Unfortunately Clef gets deleted. Once the Keymaker’s purpose was over, he was set for deletion. It was at this point when he was kidnapped by the Merovingian and taken as an Exile to the Merovingian’s chateau. Later he is killed while helping Neo and Morpheus. In the final Pandora’s Box mission, the Merovingian tells you that the Boxmaker blames him for the death of his brother.
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Lost soul

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*in awe*

I think I'll leave it to someone with a tad more time than I have to sort through all that I'm afraid. But you do make some very good points.
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Lost soul

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a screenshot of a record of purpose somewhere in RSI
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Singularity Captain

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post, I’ll look for some screenshots of PB quotes.
Right after Enter the Matrix was released, there were plans to make a video game about Seraphs history. I don’t know if it’s still in production though.

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Feral Boy

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, thanks for helping out. Again, anything you could provide--especially screenshots--would be awesome. I look forward to seeing what you've got.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Awesome post. Seraph was always a cool character, but the movies kinda left you with a WTF??? about what exactly his deal is and why Merv hates him so. There is one line in Revolutions that, while not blatant, certainly seems to support the ideas you listed. Merv calls Seraph a Judas, obviously implying that he had betrayed someone, more or less certainly Merv himself. So chances are that he did, in fact, work for Merv. As for the angel theory, it makes a LOT of sense, but the damned brothers didn't leave much to work with in the films. I still hate Revolutions, but I'm starting to develop an appreciation for the sequels and just how much texture there is in them.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 07, 2006 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The old Seraph character (The one Lith used in the beginning) had a very detailed description from the point where he was a program working for the system, to his current state. Didn't take any screenshots of it, so I can't remember what was in there.
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Lost soul

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rofl. Proccy got Spammed.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

H'mm, I wonder how that happened. I'm sure I disallowed guest postings...
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