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What Does ‘Modal’ Mean in The Matrix Resurrections?

Matrix Resurrections

If you’re watching The Matrix Resurrections (aka Matrix 4), then you no doubt heard “modal” over and over again during the movie. But what does it mean?

This article will have spoilers for the new Matrix movie.


The Modal Is a Coding Sandbox

A helpful discussion on Reddit here delved a bit into the meaning of “modal” in the new movie. Redditor Malachi108 explained that “modal” refers to a personal sandbox that Thomas (aka Neo) built. The first Matrix game he created in this new reality was basically his entire experience in the trilogy, now repackaged as a “game.” Now, in the fourth movie, his reality has him building a sequel called Binary. But in the meantime, he created a personal coding sandbox using the code from the first Matrix (repackaged as a game.)

Malachi108 wrote: “It (the sandbox) put Morpheus/Agent Smith hybrid through a repeating Groundhog Day loop in order to advance his artificial intelligence. Thomas did it subconsciously, which finally enabled to others to find and free him.”

If you’re not familiar with coding, the term “sandbox” might be throwing you off. Understanding what a sandbox is can help better understand how the modal served within the Matrix storyline.

As Wikipedia explains: “A sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment or repository… Sandboxing protects “live” servers and their data … from changes that could be damaging to a mission-critical system or which could simply be difficult to revert, regardless of the intent of the author of those changes. Sandboxes replicate at least the minimal functionality needed to accurately test the programs.”

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The Modal Became Like an Inception Situation Within the Matrix

As other Redditors pointed out, the Modal became a bit of an Inception Matrix situation. It’s a game engine using the code of the older Matrix, and Bugs was hacked into it in order to free Morpheus after the program became sentient. But freeing Morpheus within the Modal didn’t just release him into the “big Matrix,” it allowed him to gain full autonomy and access to the real world too.

One Redditor wrote: “At the beginning Bugs hacked into a matrix within the Matrix. It think it was supposed to be a nod to all the fan theories of a matrix within a matrix that came about between the 2nd and 3rd movies.”

Note that a lot of things in the Matrix movie are confusing and may take some time to fully process. We’ll update this story as we get new theories and explanations.

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Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. Her favorite shows of all-time are Attack on Titan, Battlestar Galactica and Lost, and she's always happy to talk about her cats. 🙂 She's a licensed attorney (currently not-practicing) and has a master's in science and technology journalism.

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