So I understand why the Machines gave Neo the opportunity to defeat Smith. Smith was uncontrollable and the Matrix was practically lost. Neo defeating Smith was (perhaps or perhaps not) a long-shot from the perspective of the Machines, but the Machines were backed into a corner so-to-speak.

However, once Smith is defeated and the Matrix is reset, what incentive do the Machines really have for upholding the peace deal? Why couldn't the Machines have simply lied to Neo, used him for defeating Smith, and have proceeded with purging Zion as they did all previous cycles?

  • 5
    The machines are Lawful Evil (or Neutral), not chaotic. They'll keep their word because they gave their word.
    – Jeff
    Feb 21, 2012 at 14:57
  • 3
    @Jeff: lawful evil can break their word, but they usually do it only if there is significant long-term gain out of it, because they value their reputation, unlike those of chaotic alignment.
    – vsz
    Mar 1, 2012 at 7:11

2 Answers 2


Why shouldn't they uphold the peace deal? The machines have never been shown to break their word. They are not mischievous and, as shown in the Animatrix, they only started the whole Matrix thing as self-defence, after the humans attacked the machines repeatedly without provocation and left them no other way to survive.

After genocide by the humans on the machine(-slave)s, they were still willing to peacefully coexist and trade with the humans after retreating to a newly founded machine city. Even then, the humans declared war on the peaceful (but massively wealthy) machine nation - again without direct provocation.

It is not at all far fetched for them to accept the olive branch, extended by Neo (especially since he saved their butts). He was willing to help them with Smith, maybe they figured the humans would now be willing to help them remove the clouds (pure speculation on my side).

  • 2
    The history presented in Animartix might as be just propaganda.
    – vsz
    Mar 1, 2012 at 7:09
  • 1
    @vsz: Propaganda by whom? It's stated that it comes from the "Zion Archives".
    – bitmask
    Mar 1, 2012 at 7:34
  • 6
    We all know that Zion was part of the plan to make the humans docile. Who do you think designed and rebuilt Zion over and over after each "reboot"? So this can as well be propaganda made by the machines to make humans feel more guilty. It works today as well, so why shouldn't it work in the future?
    – vsz
    Mar 1, 2012 at 11:05
  • 4
    @vsz: I never considered that, but I would expect at least some hints somewhere in the Animatrix film if it was propaganda.
    – bitmask
    Mar 1, 2012 at 11:12
  • 1
    "except agent Smith"?
    – n611x007
    Jul 1, 2012 at 4:20

Most likely because keeping the peace was part of the cycle. Just like humans refused to accept the first Utopian matrices, they would, at least at a subconscious level (i.e. "a dream that you were so sure was real") refuse to accept a matrix with no exit.

Neo refused the usual plan of founding the new Zion because of his love for Trinity. The machines most likely had to restart the cycle in an alternative way. The "peace deal" would ensure that those who were plugged in would continue to supply the machines with power. At some point in the future, the machines would inevitably break the agreement. But by this time, I would imagine Zion would have been relocated.

Perhaps this particular scenario would be taken into account by the Architect come next cycle.

  • 1
    Neo's refusal was just part of the Oracle's "unbalancing" of the equation. The Architect provided Neo with the "balanced" answer to the equation; as harmonious as a system with a "leak" can be. Neo refused it, instead bringing everything to the brink of destruction before finally figuring it out. That's the nature of the relationship between the Architect and the Oracle. However, you're quite right; once the Matrix was rebooted, its continued functioning depended upon humans having a way out, and so if Zion didn't exist they didn't have a viable "out".
    – KeithS
    Mar 7, 2012 at 15:53

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