At the end of the film The Matrix Revolutions, two of movie's heroes--Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss)--perish. Now a third leading character in the Matrix sci-fi film series has bitten the dust--in the Matrix Online game.
In a press release sent out this afternoon, Sega and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced that "the unthinkable has happened--Morpheus is dead." The captain of the human hovership Nebuchadnezzar, Morpheus, named after the Greek god of sleep, was played in the films and in the Matrix Online by Laurence Fishburne.
Morpheus' end apparently was the culmination of one of the Matrix Online's "live events." The typically week-long narratives see staff at the game's developer, Monolith Productions, controlling characters to advance the story of the MMORPG.
This week's live event was appropriately called "The Hunt for Morpheus," and began with the titular character "setting off virus-encoded bombs around The Matrix MegaCity, threatening the very fabric of The Matrix," according to the release.
Understandably worried, the Machines that control the Matrix dispatched a super-agent, called the Assassin, to whack Morpheus. "The Assassin was able to catch up by bending the rules of the Matrix," said Sega and WBIE. "In the end, Morpheus was trapped and even he could not escape the hail of bullets that ensued."
While generating understandable publicity, the WBIE/Sega statement hints that Morpheus' death may not in fact be permanent. "It is now up to the players of The Matrix Online to solve the mystery of this giant cliffhanger," read the release, implying there is more to the story.
But whatever the outcome of the Matrix Online's live event, Morpheus will return to games. He is featured prominently in Atari's The Matrix: Path of Neo, due out later this year for Xbox, GameCube, and PlayStation 2.