If in the Matrix the characters could do whatever they want, have different clothes, and hair and all the look was different, could they be someone else? Could they have the aspect of an agent, for example? Or another person? If they believe they were someone else could that be possible?

  • 1
    I don't think there is any technical aspect of the matrix stopping them doing this. The "residual self image" explanation seems to imply it is something deeply embedded in their psyche, they would have to really convince themselves they looked different.
    – BoBTFish
    Oct 23, 2015 at 13:12
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    Look up the initial idea for the character "Switch", it should shed some light on this issue (and reveal some rather neat foreshadowing about one of the Watchowskis!).
    – DavidS
    Oct 23, 2015 at 13:15
  • @DavidS she was kind of androgynous
    – td18
    Oct 23, 2015 at 13:16
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    @DavidS If you can find any references that state those "initial ideas" are actual true, I'd love to have you answer the highest voted unanswered question on M&TV. Personally, I've not managed to find any definitive, direct quotes or anything that doesn't simply quote other fan stuff.
    – Catija
    Oct 23, 2015 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


In a word, yes. In the Matrix Comic "Burning Hope" we encounter a character (the eponymous Hope) who is able to present multiple different residual self-images in order to protect herself from attackers.

The level of surprise experienced by her Zionese rescuers would imply that this was not a common ability, but neither was it so rare as to merit immediate discussion.

The images below depict her present RSI as well as her real-world self. Although we never see her "little girl" RSI in the comics, the fact that she was living in an orphanage and sleeping in a cot bed would strongly imply that her change (into her larger form) happened very recently

enter image description here

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    Is the bottom image set in the real world (as might be suggested by the fact that the character on the left seems to be wearing an ugly sweater rather than the cool leather jacket in the first image), or is it also in the Matrix?
    – Hypnosifl
    Oct 23, 2015 at 17:28
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    @Hypnosifl - You're absolutely right. The lower image is outside the Matrix (I was looking at the rabbit, not the clothes. Doh). That said, I don't think the main aspect of the answer has changed. I've added some text to clarify.
    – Valorum
    Oct 23, 2015 at 17:54
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    With the Watchowskis involved, I'm not really surprised that a little white girl would have the residual self-image of a large black man.
    – Omegacron
    Oct 23, 2015 at 20:18

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