The Matrix Online: Developer BlogsDev Blog #5: Chapter 7.3The Matrix Online: Developer Blogs - RSS 2.0
We're back with another story journal from the developers of The Matrix Online. After each major installment of this MMO's story, the developers deliver to us a great big journal that recaps all the developments.
Article by MxO Staff
The Matrix Online's continuing story progresses in chapters, each subdivided into three subchapters. A new subchapter comes out every six weeks, beginning with a new cinematic movie, and then bringing the latest twists and turns of the Matrix story to players via a series of five weekly critical missions for each organization, and daily live events.
Here we'll quickly recap the major new plot developments of Chapter 7.3, and then get an update on the progression of the story from the point of view of each of the five player organizations.
The Machines destroyed the General's base on the Earth's surface (as seen in the chapter 7.3 cinematic), driving him into hiding in the Matrix. With Sati rescued from the General's grasp, the weather in the simulation returned to its standard green-tinged overcast skies.
Zion and E Pluribus Neo pursued the simulacrum who had been appearing recently in the city, impersonating Morpheus. They found data appearing to suggest a link between the simulacrum and the General. The Machines, concerned that the simulacrum might try to threaten the System's stability as Morpheus himself did, questioned it, but decided that it was confused and non-violent, and only bore further monitoring.
Meanwhile, the Merovingian had begun using the Trainman to shuttle the General's commandos out of the Matrix, and back into the real world. The General himself delayed, leaving the train platform to confront his Morpheus simulacrum. He ordered the simulacrum to deactivate itself, but it refused, and successfully defended itself against the General, who was forced to leave. Returning late to the Trainman's station, the General was confronted there by Machine forces. The Trainman managed to shove the General onto the departing train, but suffered severe injury at the hands of the Machines.
Undeterred, the Merovingian put his plan to kill the Oracle into full execution, attempting to get his kill-code into the hands of an assassin planted in Zion's security teams. Zion found the assassin in time, forcing the Merovingian to resort to a new plan, using a stealth commando and a very special key to attempt to surprise the Oracle. She, however, was saved at the last moment by the Kid and E Pluribus Neo. The frustrated Frenchman consoled himself by activating on override code on the General and his Sentinels.
The Cypherites continued searching for information on the mysterious exodus of men and material from Zion. Cryptos, gradually recovered from Seraph's attack, took command of the organization back from the stubborn Veil, to the relief of Agent Gray and the Machines. Veil, however, continued her ruthless quest for information, executing the crew of the Zionite hovercraft Pelageus when they refused to cooperate. In response, the Oracle could offer only dire-sounding predictions, saying that you can't save someone who doesn't want to be saved.
Cryptos wandered for some time in the Matrix, asking those he met about purpose, right, and wrong. He appeared to settle some question in his mind, however, and reasserted his control over the Cypherite organization during an operation in which he led Cypherites to capture a redpill whose attempts to awaken bluepills freed by Seraph from Machine overwriting, like Cryptos, had led to the deaths of some of those civilians. The vindictive Cypherite controller, Veil, grudgingly agreed to recognize Cryptos as leader.
Veil continued leading operations designed to discover the mystery behind unregistered workers and machinery slipping out of Zion, a topic of particular interest to the Machines. She staged an attack on a E Pluribus Neo base as a distraction, while other Cypherite operatives successfully infiltrated a Zionite computer system, recovering data.
Her zealous pursuit of her task led her to hijack, and eventually execute, the crew of a Zionite hovercraft, the Pelageus. Agent Gray, who had supported Cryptos over the Veil's volatile leadership, questioned her methods, but Veil refused to curb her activities, responding derisively when told that her actions threatened the truce between the Machines and Zion.
E Pluribus Neo
E Pluribus Neo, searching for information on the Morpheus simulacrum, discovered a hidden network of old followers of Morpheus, still carrying on the rebel activities that led to Morpheus' death, including the distribution of seditious posters. One of these individuals, Joshua Maston, told the EPN members who found him that they had been distracted by Cypherites and super-villains from what was truly important, and that he fully expected to be killed by the Machines for his activities, but carried on because he believed that what he was doing was right. The Kid said that belief is important, but so is hope.
Recognizing the kill-code threat to the Oracle posed by the Merovingian, EPN asked Zion for permission to assist in guarding her; when the Oracle herself insisted, Zion agreed to share guard duties.
When the Frenchman finally launched his Elite Commando assassin at the Oracle, the Kid, on guard duty at the time, responded to her cry of alarm in time to intercept the fatal bullet with his body. Nearby EPN operatives pursued and eliminated the commando, while the Oracle watched over the stunned Kid. She said he would be all right, but would need rest. Once he reluctantly jacked out to his ship, the Oracle went outside to enjoy the fresh air for the first time in weeks, and moved back to her old home in Mara.
The Machines tracked the fleeing General through the Matrix, rooting him out of the temporary safety of the Merovingian's chateau with the assistance of the Cypherites, and then from the Trainman's tunnel system. They caught up to the General at the train station as he was about to exit the simulation, but the Trainman sacrificed his own chance to escape in order to make sure that his appointed passenger made it aboard the departing train.
With the General out of the Matrix, the Machines switched targets within the simulation, now locating and questioning the Morpheus simulacrum, which showed some indication that it might take up Morpheus' old terrorist tendencies. They found that it had the capability of simulating redpill jack-out and reconstruction. The simulacrum, however, appeared to be non-violent, and the Machines determined that careful monitoring of its activities was a sufficient precaution.
Agent Pace ran an operation in which a special party was staged as a trap for the Merovingian, with the intent of punishing the Frenchman for his role in the General's escape. The Merovingian, however, sent his wife in his stead, and she escaped when loyal operatives pounced on the Agent sent to infiltrate the club. A massive Machinist onslaught cleared the club, however, and Agent Pace decided that this demonstration had served its purpose.
Ever-increasing concerns about the purpose behind materials and manpower sneaking out of Zion led the Machines to attempt gathering information through their own contacts, but this proved less efficient than employing the Cypherites, although Cypherite production, from the Machine point of view, continued to suffer under Veil's stubborn leadership. Cryptos' re-assumption of Cypherite command came as a relief to the Machines, but tensions with Zion caused by their activities remained high, particularly after Veil's hijacking and execution of the crew of the Zionite hovercraft Pelageus.
The Merovingian forced the harried General to give him control over the program used by the commandos to move between the Matrix and the real world. With this in his possession, the Frenchman employed the Trainman to transfer the General's commandos out of the simulation, saving them for the time being from extermination at the hands of the Machines, but losing the Trainman to the Machines in the process. The Trainman managed to limp away from a Machine attack into his own private construct, but it was unclear if the paranoid Exile would survive his injuries.
The Merovingian attempted to send the kill-code made to terminate the Oracle to a spy placed on the Oracle's security detail, but Zion detected the intrusion, and forced the Frenchman to extricate the kill-code from their systems.
In need of an alternate means of getting the deadly code near the Oracle, the Merovingian seized upon a key dug up by the Landlord at the Mahath Tower construction site, formerly occupied by the government building used by Neo to reach the Architect; when this building self-destructed with the body of the Keymaker inside, the key he had been making in the Merovingian's dungeon was buried in the rubble. The Frenchman had originally planned to use this key, capable of transporting the user to a portal near a specific target, to kill the Oracle's previous shell.
After several false starts, the Effectuator managed to transport a borrowed Elite Commando squad back into the city. Seraph detected and hunted the commandos, but Merovingian operatives managed to save most of them, and finally one of them, equipped with the key and the kill-code, attempted to assassinate the Oracle, but the Kid blocked the shot at the last moment.
Frustrated with this failure, which he blamed on the General's soldier, the Merovingian executed a hidden override program the Trainman had inserted into the General and his men when they were transferred out of the Matrix; the program compels the General and his Sentinels to obey the Merovingian's commands in the real world.
Zion tracked down the Morpheus simulacrum, finding evidence of some sort of connection between the unpredictable simulacrum and the General; this connection was confirmed in dramatic fashion when the General himself confronted the simulacrum, berating it for failing in its designated task of re-igniting conflict between the Machines and Zion. Cheered on by surrounding operatives, the simulacrum refused to obey the General's command to deactivate itself, and successfully defended itself when the incensed Sentinel leader attacked.
Meanwhile, Zion found indications that the Merovingian had transferred his Oracle kill-code into their own network. They managed to find the Frenchman's undercover team of operatives, and his spy within Zion, forcing the Merovingian to abort his plan, and extricate the kill-code from Zion's systems.
Although Zion's agreement to allow E Pluribus Neo to help guard the Oracle, at her own insistence, paid off when the Kid saved her from the kill-code-laced bullet fired by an Elite Commando, Zion subsequently suffered the loss of the crew of their hovercraft Pelageus at the hands of EPN's sworn enemies, the Cypherites. The Oracle tried to console Zion over the loss, but could not keep a sense of foreboding out of her message.
Thus ends Chapter 7.3 of the Matrix Online. The story, however, continues...
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