So after Neo takes the red pill, he is faced with the "real world", which is a dystopian future controlled by machines, with only remnants of humankind left. I've always been puzzled by how it got to be this way in the "real world". Is there any canon source that states what happened? Was the real world just like the Matrix until humans created the machines? How was the real world like before dystopian Zion and how did the machines come to be created, and how did they eventually take over?

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    If "Animatrix" is considered canon, then yes, there is a canon source. I would strongly suggest to watch it even if you don't like the genre.
    – mg30rg
    Jun 24, 2015 at 14:59
  • I like how the "real world" is implied to be a hypothetical existence, where the Matrix is accepted more factually. (Reference to the use of inverted commas)
    – Ben
    Jun 25, 2015 at 2:38
  • @mg30rg: Seeing as screenplay is by Wachowski Bros, release date is around "Reloaded" and it's mentioned in the movie (Osiris), I don't see how it can't be.
    – AcePL
    Jun 25, 2015 at 8:27
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    @AcePL I simply don't know the internal rules of the Matrix fandom and had no real intention to do the research. As I see it, Animatrix is consistent to the trilogy (Not to mention my opinion - remember de gustibus non est disputandum - it is better than the second and third part.)
    – mg30rg
    Jun 25, 2015 at 8:32

2 Answers 2


This story is told in The Animatrix, specifically, "The Second Renaissance". It's a recounting of the events leading to machine uprising, beginning with creation of the fist AI. It's basically expansion on the story Morpheus told Neo, with way more details and an added visual part.

Here's a summary:

In the mid-21st century, humans develop AI. One robot overheard its owner planning for it to be scrapped, and it killed him to prevent this. It was tried and found guilty of murder and sentenced to be destroyed. The rest of AI was sentenced to death as well. Protests and violence, followed by all intelligent robots founding their own city-state called 01. Due to its incredible technological advantage, 01 gained a lot of international manufacturing power. 01 asked to be admitted to the UN. It was denied, and the world decided to destroy it by attacking with nuclear weapons. 01 retaliated and quickly conquered territory. Humanity reacted by blocking out the sun, thinking that the machines only ran on solar power, but the machines were able to adapt.

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    Accurate! Could you also mention just in short what exactly happens in the episode? That would complete the answer.
    – Stark07
    Jun 24, 2015 at 10:40
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    @Stark07 the machines take over the world.
    – DickieBoy
    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:04
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    Huh.. And here I was wondering what happened!
    – Stark07
    Jun 24, 2015 at 11:07
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    – Vishvesh
    Jun 24, 2015 at 12:00
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    The programmer in me is confused as to why they didn't name their first city 00. Jun 24, 2015 at 17:49

TL;DR: Humans started to kill machines, a war broke out, humanity lost.

In the short "The Second Renaissance" in "The Animatrix" it is shown that the machines created a nation called '01', and

at first the machines attempted peaceful cooperation
Pic: 01 ambassadors to the UN

But that failed and led to

The humans and machines fought a war
Pic: robot extermination
(when humanity blackened the skies in an attempt to cut the machines from the solar power they used) and humanity lost.
Pic: war

Then the machines

in a UN session demanded that the humans surrender their bodies, or face extinction. Pic: "surrender your flesh"

And this is how

People was hooked into the Matrix, to serve as a power source for the machines. pic: machines experiments with humans.

  • Didn't the machine nuke the UN meeting and New York City when humans tried to surrender? Jun 25, 2015 at 7:40
  • 1
    @AlexanderMills The machines demanded them to surrender, then they made a proof-of-concept of "what if we don't surrender" out of NYC Jun 25, 2015 at 13:54

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