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In What kind of program is the Merovingian?, we learn that the Merovingian was likely a kind of operating system, and was the Oracle's predecessor for at least one of the previous versions of the Matrix.

My question is, do we know exactly which of the previous versions he was in control of?

Unless it's the last option, who was in control when he wasn't (before the Oracle in the current version)? I doubt that it's the Archetect because he only designs and creates them, he doesn't serve the same purpose as the Merovingian did, so then, who was it?

Null's answer from the above Q&A says:

The Merovingian controls many powerful exile programs from the Matrix betas. He controls fallen angel (demon) programs from the Paradise Matrix (these are the programs that can defy gravity in Club Hel) and a variety of programs from the Nightmare Matrix (vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc.). These programs were exiled along with the Merovingian once the Oracle took over, which explains why they work for the Merovingian -- they used to work for him before they became exiles.

and the Matrix wiki page on him says this:

A connection between the Merovingian and the second failed Matrix may exist.

It has been confirmed [has it?] that the Merovingian's purpose prior to exile was the Operating System ... for an earlier version of the Matrix, the second of the two Matrix betas.

This would all imply that he's at least very likely in control of the Nightmare Matrix at least (and the pages on the Nightmare Matrix and Matrix betas seem to back this up), but then the Paradise Matrix page says:

As one of the oldest programs, it is thought that The Merovingian may have been part of the Paradise Matrix, though his original purpose is not known.

So it seems as though my second option is most likely, but there's enough ambiguity around this that it is not clear. I doubt it has been explicitly said, but is there any way for us to know which beta versions the Merovingian was in control of, and if not both, then who was in control of the one he wasn't in control of?

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We know very little about the Matrix betas so we don't really know which program was the information trafficker / operating system for them. It is very likely that the Merovingian was the operating system for the Nightmare Matrix, since that Matrix immediately preceded the Oracle's choice-based Matrix versions and the Merovingian's hatred for the Oracle suggests that she was his direct replacement (and thus the cause of his exile).

There are several pieces of evidence that suggest the Merovingian was in control of both betas:

  1. We know of no other program like the Merovingian or Oracle who could have served as the operating system for the Matrix betas. It's possible such a program was successfully deleted already, but such a program should be just as difficult for the system to delete as the Merovingian if it chose exile. And if such a program was in exile then it should be either in alliance or rivalry with the Merovingian as a fellow Exile -- yet we have no such evidence.

  2. Seraph has existed since the time of the Paradise Matrix since he's a Seraphim, and we know that Seraph worked for the Merovingian at one time but that he now protects "that which matters most" -- the Oracle. It's likely that Seraph's original purpose included his role in protecting the Merovingian during the Paradise Matrix. If the Merovingian was not the operating system of the Paraside Matrix then perhaps Seraph originally protected the Merovingian's hypothetical predecessor -- but then Seraph would have been exiled along with the hypothetical predecessor unless for some unknown reason the Merovingian "hired" Seraph to be his protector. Or maybe Seraph was just a normal Seraphim who did not protect the Merovingian's hypothetical predecessor -- but, again, why wasn't he exiled along with the rest of the Seraphim when the Merovingian took over? The simplest explanation is that the Merovingian was the operating system of both Matrix betas and Seraph was originally his protector during that entire time, until both the Merovingian and Seraph became exiles when the Oracle's choice-based Matrix system began.

  3. Although it's hard to believe that the Merovingian could have been in charge of a Paradise Matrix considering how evil he is, Persephone does mention that

    A long time ago, when we first came here, it was so different. He [the Merovingian] was so different. He was like you [Neo].

    The Matrix Reloaded transcript

    Indeed, Persephone's comment suggests that the Merovingian might have been fairly good (and therefore an appropriate operating system for a Paradise Matrix) before his fall. This fits with the symbolism of the Merovingian as Lucifer / Satan -- originally a beautiful creature who fell from heaven / paradise.

It seems likely that the Merovingian was the operating system for both the Paradise Matrix and Nightmare Matrix since that's the simplest explanation for these points. However, the evidence is quite weak since we know so little about the Matrix betas and it's quite possible that he was not the operating system for the Paradise Matrix. It is entirely possible that the Merovingian did have a predecessor program who was deleted (perhaps the Merovingian helped the system delete such a program), and the Merovingian's association with the Seraphim exiles is entirely due to the fact that he's the only information trafficker able to help them avoid deletion.

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    I like all three reasons you present, but I particularly like your reasoning for #3 (before then, I was indeed thinking "but he's so evil, how could that be true?", but yeah, that 3rd point does a good job of explaining how that can make sense despite his "evil" personality as we see him in the films). Overall, all of this makes sense to me, and I am inclined to agree with your conclusion. – NathanS Aug 18 at 15:25

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