An oral historical past of The Matrix video games: Enter the Matrix and Path of Neo


Within the late Nineties, David Perry received a telephone name from the workplaces of Silver Photos. 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 challenge tailored right into a online game, they usually thought Shiny Leisure — the Laguna Seashore firm Perry had based in 1993 — can be the right developer to do it justice.

However Shiny in the end turned them down. “That was in all probability the worst determination of my profession,” Perry informed Polygon in a latest interview. He later took his spouse to see the film, and neither of them might imagine he’d stated no to creating a sport 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 sport 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 sport in 2005, the Matrix trilogy had come and gone, and the Wachowskis’ strategy to the fabric started to vary. The Enter the Matrix sequel would give followers the prospect 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 an easy adaptation of the flicks; the Wachowskis noticed Path of Neo as an opportunity to present their story another ending.

They wished Neo to reside, they usually wished to talk to their viewers. Path of Neo can be a triumphant retelling of its hero’s story, tailor-made for folk who performed video games. The Wachowskis would seem on display screen 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 type of delightfully absurd catharsis the group at Shiny Leisure might recognize, too.

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

Nobody could be informed what the Matrix is

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

Once we had been making Messiah, the Wachowskis truly confirmed up whereas we had been engaged on it. This was earlier than the primary Matrix got here out, and we weren’t interested by 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 preferred it — they usually wished us to do a Matrix sport. They frolicked for a short time, 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 stated, “Look, I don’t care what you say. Avid gamers are gonna wish to be the Terminator. They’re gonna wish to stroll round because the Terminator and have that view of the world.” They usually stated, “Nicely, you may’t try this, as a result of we don’t have the rights to Arnold Schwarzenegger.” So we stated, “I suppose we’ll simply play as Sarah Connor, then.” They usually stated, “No, we don’t have the rights to Linda Hamilton.” So who’re we speculated to play this sport as? They usually stated Kyle Reese, the man that dies within the film.

As you may think about, when The Matrix comes alongside, we’re like: “Oh, please don’t begin off saying you may’t be any of the characters.” However they’re like, “Really, we’d wish to play as this new character, Niobe.” So my alarm bells are ringing. Are we gonna go down that street once more? However what they stated was, “No, no, no, no. We’re truly gonna shoot a complete hour of latest film footage simply on your sport, and we’re gonna make this story so that somebody sitting within the viewers that’s a gamer is gonna have a totally totally different expertise.”

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 finished Messiah, and we had been form of woefully unaware of what it might 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 preferred was that the Wachowskis wished to push the boundaries; they thought video games could possibly 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 bought off to Atari.

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

Gabe had a problem, since you’re doing animation, so your mind goes, “Nicely, I’ll simply animate all the pieces.” However then once you’re working with The Matrix, you might have entry to their services, they usually had arrange probably the most superior motion-capture system round at the moment. They usually stated, “If you wish to use it, be at liberty.”

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 inventive 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 group was insane. They’d undergo and do probably the most unimaginable work, they’d do it all day, after which half the fellows would go outdoors and chain smoke between shoots. I don’t understand how they had been in such wonderful form. It was completely unimaginable. The one time I used to be starstruck throughout the entire thing was once I met Yuen Woo-ping. After I met my hero, it was no huge deal to work each 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 flicks that we referenced and paid homage to. There was a Bruce Lee sequence; there was a Laborious Boiled sequence. And drawing that stuff was, fingers down, probably the most enjoyable. Since you’re mimicking a number of the greats, and I keep in mind including loads of grain to the storyboards, and form of a movie bounce. All that stuff was actually nice to attract. The most effective factor a couple of job like The Matrix is you actually do attempt to deliver your A sport.

You don’t all the time have time so as to add shade and shadows and out-of-focus backgrounds in storyboard jobs. However that stuff has loads 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 few years’ value of labor, 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 pretend digital camera and fake to shoot? So we’ll have the digital camera motion, and we’ll have the folks motion, after which you may put the 2 collectively, and it’ll really feel such as you’re taking pictures.” Regardless, we nonetheless had all of this excellent movement information — in all probability 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’d draw the storyboards, I’d then reduce them and paste them into cinematics, and add music and sound results and all these items. So it was this actually enjoyable, inventive approach to get entangled within the sport.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

I designed the battle system for Enter the Matrix, together with Perry, and the motion system. After which, on the programming facet, I ended up scripting in like half the animations. It was a brutal schedule. We might’ve preferred 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’d 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 attainable, I used to be enjoying with depth of area 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 once you would do a digital camera transfer in an in-game cutscene, it might 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’ll rack focus, or issues can be barely off, or the observe would form of go from level A to level B.

It was a approach 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 sport 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 sport engines, all by a date that may’t transfer. And also you’re taking over a number of totally different platforms that you just 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 one thing cool.”

Saxs Persson Sport director

The Wachowskis went and signed up for 2 motion pictures on the identical time, so that they had been on an unimaginable mission, too — simply as a lot as we had been. Once they lastly completed, Path of Neo was way more cathartic: “Let’s do one thing enjoyable that we expect followers would really like. One thing we want we’d’ve finished to start with.” We might notice extra of the inventive targets that we had, somewhat than simply telling a specific story.

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

The primary sport, they had been making a movie. However they had been additionally taking pictures the footage that may go into the sport on the identical time. I believe they had been extra centered on the sport side the second time round.

Saxs Persson Sport director

They’re saying, “There received’t be the identical restrictions. And we like the concept of the sport simply doing nearly like Alice in Wonderland — there’s no restrict. These vignettes needs to be free to be an ode to The Matrix, or a departure from Matrix, or present a distinct view of it. However they need to all be attention-grabbing in their very own proper.”

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 sport, and the very first thing the Wachowskis wished to do was a Seraph sport — the facet character from the teahouse. Collin Chou was the actor who performed him. So we had been constructing the Seraph sport. We had been constructing out the fight stuff, and increasing on the tech and the instruments we’d used on Enter the Matrix, and in some unspecified time in the future I believe 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 sport with Jet Li. That was actually what we wished.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

These concepts, I believe, 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 criticism 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 wish 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 keep 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, truly, but it surely’s type of like enjoying a Star Wars sport as an Ewok or one thing. You wish 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 huge on making an attempt to determine, “Why do we’ve issue modes? Why don’t we let the participant determine?” 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 may unlock. After which they wished to vary the ending. They had been additionally modifying footage from the flicks 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 flicks give a singular perspective. Sure, the flicks are main by way of their approachability, however video games, in some ways, can provide you a deeper understanding than a film can ever offer you. It was actually essential to them that we paid homage to the lore, and deepen it when we’ve an opportunity, and permit folks to get extra curious concerning the Matrix universe. Just like The Animatrix.

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

Sooner or later, I keep 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 woman mendacity on some type of S&M torture rack. I do not know what’s taking place 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 type of knew what we had been doing. It was largely the identical group — we added some new of us, however a lot of the core of us came to visit from the primary sport. Saxs was the lead programmer on the primary sport, after which he grew to become extra of a sport director on the second sport. I used to be technically the artwork director, however he and I labored collectively on scoping and the route of the sport. In fact, with David Perry and the Wachowskis.

And form of the massive inventive arc of the entire thing is Wachowski-driven. They’re like, “We wish to inform the story from Neo’s perspective. We’re gonna fill in some holes that we give you. After which we’re gonna change the ending.”

W. D. Hogan Cinematic co-director and storyboards

Lots of what occurred within the first sport, and what didn’t occur, actually knowledgeable the second sport. You performed Neo; you went by means of the simulation; you probably did the coaching and loads 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, big push.

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

Picture: David Hogan/Warner Bros. and Shiny Leisure

The most effective 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 high the film. “It’s a sport; we will do something we would like.” We began brainstorming. One other huge crowd battle? However we’d already finished 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, “Right here’s what we’re pondering. It’s gonna be made up of a bunch of Smiths, and a bunch of components of the surroundings.” 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 purpose 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 everyone 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 believe [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 loads 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 certain “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 sport was way more concerned, and I do do not forget that the issue with video video games again then was that all the pieces’s in focus, and there was no depth of area. I keep in mind having that dialog with Eka: “This might look so a lot better if we might blur the backgrounds, or if we might have depth of area.” And Eka actually pushed for that, and his complete group was continually arising with methods to trick it. So it had such an incredible 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 a pricey pal — nice man. I believe he’s engaged on Ms. Marvel for Disney Plus. So David and I went as much as Blur with a bunch of boards: “Right here’s what we’re pondering for MegaSmith. Right here’s the design for it; right here’s what we wish 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 an incredible job with it. I believe 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 give you, and but Blur nonetheless knocked it out of the park. It was an excellent 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 preferred the concept 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 form of quickly regenerates.

I believe 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 suits 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. When you assume in your thoughts’s eye, what’d occur is, you’d dodge up, or to the correct, and this constructing whips by at excessive pace, and it’s blurring previous you. Like, when you’d taken that, it might have been brutal. However we weren’t capable of get the buildings in.

Saxs Persson Sport director

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

Chandana “Eka” Ekanayake Artwork and cinematic director

One of many greatest challenges we had was making an attempt to get as many Smiths on display screen as attainable. Particularly once you discuss what number of characters you may draw on a PS2, relying on the kind of sport, it’s like possibly 5 – 6, relying on what else you’re drawing. So we got here up with a way 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 habits.

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

We needed to invent techniques 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 extremely old-school method. However to have lots of of Brokers Smiths on display screen — 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 pictures or, in some instances, simplified geometry.

We might use precalculated geometry frames, storing the meshes for every body of the animation, and that goes actually quick. There’s no bones or complicated 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 habits for the way they’re gonna journey, and the place they go, they usually’re like a bunch of ants. And when you wished to battle one, we will spawn a actual model that’s not a part of the flocking. So those you may work together with and battle aren’t that many, but it surely looks as if 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 flicks had been obtained. As a result of the final consensus was that the second movie was not nearly as good, and the third one was bizarre or no matter, however the first one was the right film. Attitudes have modified since then, however I believe folks see the primary film as nearly a standalone factor, whereas the second and third really feel like one huge film reduce up into two items. So the sport was a inventive 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 wish to be a part of it by way of their likeness, however they wished to have their view heard immediately. And in order that’s how the sequence ended up taking place with the little speaking heads. They wished to ship off The Matrix the correct means, 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 sport, and I don’t know if it’s as a result of they had been overwhelmed or if they only trusted the builders extra. However loads of the second sport was actually Eka; he was driving loads of it. I don’t assume he was writing the script, however so lots 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 title for themselves on this genre-defining, fashionable sci-fi surroundings that they’d constructed. They didn’t wish to make it about them; they didn’t wish 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, “Nicely, why don’t we simply say it in textual content?” And we stated, “I don’t assume a Star Wars opening crawl is gonna reduce 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 screen proper earlier than the massive MegaSmith battle, of their pixel kinds. Once we received the audio kind, we had been like, “Okay.” They’re like, “We wish to be within the sport 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 wish to pace up this half with Lana talkin’ concerning 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 sport as a result of they only pace it up. After which her sister’s like, “I believed you weren’t gonna try this.”

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

Individuals need a glad ending, and when you noticed the top of Path of Neo — it’s very psychedelic. It’s very unusual. That every one got here from the Wachowskis. And we had been so glad they went that means, as a result of everyone 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 finished the identical type of factor years in the past in our Earthworm Jim sport, the place the ending is unusual and surprising. And we did that on a sport known as MDK, as nicely — we did a French music video on the finish of a sci-fi sport. It causes folks to go, “What is this?” However then they find it irresistible as a result of it’s not the identical boring factor.

Saxs Persson Sport director

Individuals couldn’t simply go on YouTube and discover one thing in two seconds and watch it and digest it. As I keep in mind, it solely grew to become broadly obtainable a lot later, so usually it was extra of a overview 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 form of a enjoyable, insightful departure from the anticipated? And we had been actually nervous earlier than we shipped it, as a result of the flicks are fairly severe. They don’t get to some extent the place they form of poke enjoyable at themselves.

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

The Wachowskis — you’ve gotta keep in mind, they’re cool individuals who watch loads of leisure, they usually’re type of enjoyable. They’re not taking all of it too severely. In the direction of the top of Path of Neo, we stated, “What would you want for an ending?” And it was clear as a bell to them. They’re like, “We’re gonna have ‘We Are the Champions’ enjoying.” And we’re going, “Have you learnt how costly it’s gonna be to license that tune?” It’s like, “No, no, no. We’re gonna have that tune.”

Gabriel Rountree Animation director

They thought that may be hilarious. Not hilarious as in making enjoyable of the followers a lot as the right film ending. They had been making an attempt to set a tone, possibly 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 received some awards for The Quick and the Livid. Between him and the Wachowskis asking, that’s how we received it, ’trigger they was once fairly near the chest with who they let use Queen’s music.

Saxs Persson Sport director

That ended up being the only most costly factor we did for the entire sport.

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 ‘actual’?

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 way in which loads of industries work. Most industries take a look at what’s obtainable, and that’s what you utilize; you’re all the time restricted by what instruments are already on the market. Whereas they’re like, “No, no, no — we’ve this concept of one thing that hasn’t been finished but.” And other people must go write software program, or consider a means that it might probably be finished. Instantly, 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 possibly greater than a month or two. This was six or seven months out of that one 12 months, but it surely was an unimaginable gig. And it was loads of enjoyable as a result of I had by no means labored in video games, and it was a complete totally different system. The individuals who made the perfect choices in gaming weren’t the individuals who made the inventive choices in movie.

Eka is so on high of all the pieces, and Dave Perry’s as sharp as a tack. These two had been actually the one two I interacted with, they usually had carved out a distinct segment for themselves and cast their very own identification as an impartial sport developer. Right here, they had been coping with only a company behemoth. And, by all accounts, it was tremendous.


Video: Warner Bros./Shiny Leisure

David Perry President, Shiny Leisure

Someday, we’re on the set, and there’s all these folks — the actors are ready of their trailers and stuff. We had this one man who was answerable for the record of all of the [in-game] strikes. And I believe 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 telephone and stated, “I want somebody that may deal with 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 might have 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 predominant 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 an extended sequence, getting crushed with sticks each take. They had been at take twelve once 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 type of nod. They usually inform Keanu, “That one’s good.” He appears to be like at them and goes, “No, no, no, no. It’s gotta be higher. It’s gotta be higher.” He was gonna do that factor. They usually shot it one other eight occasions. They’d a kiddie pool on the set for him, ’trigger he was coaching so laborious after which taking pictures 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 powerful.

Saxs Persson Sport director

It was usually loads 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 might take to make a sport like that. Irrespective 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.



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