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32 Game Endings of Christmas
The Matrix: The Alternate Path of Neo
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 24, 2011   |   Episode 31 (Show Archive)  


Welcome to the 32 Game Endings of Christmas, our daily look at some of the most memorable finales of all time. Every day between Thanksgiving Day (November 24th) and Christmas Day (December 25th) you will see a new installment, complete with information about the ending and why it's memorable in the first place. Best of all, you'll be able to see the video for yourself! Needless to say, beware of some very old spoilers below!
The Matrix: The Alternate Path of Neo
[ Company: Shiny | Year: 2005 | Grade: C- ]

The Matrix: Path of Neo (PlayStation 2)
It's the second to last day in our month-long adventure through the 32 Game Endings of Christmas! We're almost done. Today we're looking at one of the strangest endings of all time. The Matrix: Path of Neo may not sound that unusual, but I assure you this ending will blow your mind. Find out what happens to Neo when you read the penultimate episode of 32 Game Endings of Christmas!

Previously On The Matrix: The Matrix is the story of a simple office worker who discovers that, unbeknownst to him, he might be the savior everybody is looking for. Oh, and his reality was actually some weird computer simulation. After taking a pill and learning the truth, Neo fights thousands of Agent Smith clones, assembles a big group of followers and takes the fight towards the machines. Also, the series goes in an annoying religious direction, takes itself far too seriously and ending with Neo being a martyr for the cause.

Oops ... did I give the whole trilogy away in a single paragraph? Well, Path of Neo allows players to take part in all of the major battles that take place in the three movies. You get the lobby shoot-out, the rooftop assault, the subway showdown, the highway chase and all of the crap that happened in The Matrix Revolutions. Eventually you make your way to what was supposed to be an epic showdown between Neo and a million Agent Smiths. While that stays true to the source material, what happens next does not.

How It Ended: This ending has it all: 8-bit Wachowski brothers, three different aspect ratios, a monster the size of a skyscraper, virtual Keanu Reeves, that annoying kid from The Matrix Reloaded,

At least the Path of Neo has an ending!
Zoe Washburn from Firefly and even Queen. Yes, Freddie Mercury shows up at one point. That's how badass this ending is. Instead of simply recapturing the magical ending from the movie trilogy, Shiny decided to give us a real end boss battle, some whimsy and an upbeat conclusion we can all be happy about.

The ending starts with the two Wachowski brothers, Larry and Andy, as represented by two Atari 2600 era sprites. They sit down on chairs and explain that the movie ending sucks for a video game. I would argue that the movie ending sucks period, but that's just me (and everybody else). We can't let Neo die at the end of a full-priced game, so instead they

This is not the face of somebody who sat through The Matrix Revolutions!
invent a new boss that is made out of cars, people, city streets and even skyscrapers. It's a massive boss that requires players to do everything Neo is good at (namely flying and punching). With that behind him, word gets back to the rest of the humans that our hero had won the war and destroyed the machines. Everybody celebrates and the game pumps up Queen's We Are the Champions. You can't make this stuff up.

How It Should Have Ended: Changing the ending is a good start; I'll give that to the two 8-bit Wachowski brothers. But I would go a lot further than that. What they needed to do is go back and completely rewrite the final act of The Matrix Trilogy. That is, remove the overbearing religious parallel that dogs the final two films. What the third film needed was more of the fun and excitement found in the first film. That sense of unknown, like you're part of the learning experience. All we are left with are mediocre action sequences that are ultimately pointless because we know how the thing is going to end. Just rewrite the whole damn thing.


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