- "Sentient programs. They can move in and out of any software still hardwired to the system. That means that anyone we haven't unplugged...is potentially an Agent. Inside the Matrix, they are everyone...and they are no one."
- ―Morpheus explaining Agents to Neo [src]
- "Every single man or woman who has stood their ground, everyone who has fought an agent, has died. I've seen an Agent punch through a concrete wall. Men have emptied entire clips at them and hit nothing but air."
- ―Morpheus to Neo [src]
Agents possess extraordinary powers to manipulate their surroundings (including superhuman strength and the ability to flawlessly dodge incoming bullets). However, Agents still have limitations, being "based in a world that is built on rules". Thus, they cannot fly (except Smith in the final fight against Neo, as he essentially controls the Matrix by that point), walk through walls, or perform any other actions outside the boundaries of their programming. They are programmed to keep order within the system by terminating troublesome programs and human avatars which would otherwise bring instability to the simulated reality.
Agents have the ability to take over the simulated body of any human that is a part of the Matrix, converting it into a copy of their own. If that body is killed, or an Agent needs to change its location quickly, it can assume the shell of any other human hard-wired to the Matrix in a matter of seconds. Agents also have the ability to communicate with each other instantaneously, represented via their earpieces (thus, when Agent Smith once removed his earpiece, he briefly severed his link with the other Agents).
DescriptionEditAgents typically appear as Caucasian males with brown hair, and dress formally to greatly resemble (and appear to possess governmental authority similar to) Secret Service, FBI, NSA, CIA or MiB government officials with dark green suits, dark green ties, communication earpieces, square sunglasses, white dress shirts and ordinary (if somewhat out of place) appearance. In contrast, when Smith was destroyed and became a virus, his sunglasses changed slightly in shape and his outfit is now black instead of dark green.
Agents may appear to be human, but collectively lack a substantive personality. Agents normally work in a trio, where one Agent has a more defined personality for discussions or interrogations of bluepills.
Agents are endowed with incredible agility, strength, speed, damage resistance (it is implied that they can feel pain, but it appears to be more of an annoyance than a hindrance), and the ability to possess other bluepills connected directly to the system (Agents cannot possess redpills as they are not hardwired to their system). The ability to possess anyone connected directly to the Matrix power plant makes any human living in the Matrix a potential Agent of the system.
As such, Zion operatives working within the Matrix could encounter an Agent at any time. The Agents seem to be able to possess bluepills directly after they have spotted a potential target or person of interest, although the exact functions and limitations of this ability are ambiguous at best. An example of this ability is when a homeless man spotted Morpheus exit the Matrix through a public telephone, alerting Agent Smith to their whereabouts.Should a Zion operative be discovered by an Agent, their only option is to flee. Morpheus explicitly states to Neo that literally everyone who has stood their ground against an Agent has died. Agents are endowed with superhuman agility, allowing them to avoid bullets (except for point-blank shots or weapons with extremely high rates of fire) and easily outpace the average redpill in hand-to-hand combat.
An Agent's programming grants them similar abilities to bend or break the laws of physics to trained redpills, albeit to a much greater degree. Should a redpill be fortunate enough to defeat an Agent, their victory would be short-lived as they would simply possess another body or call upon their comrades. Agents are relentless, and nigh invincible, giving them a fearsome reputation.
Compared to redpills, Agents appear to rely less on martial arts skills and more on their superior agility and reaction times. They tend to favour more conventional punches and kicks, but also display an extensive list of acrobatic skills and fighting moves when necessary. They tend to utilize their superior speed and strength to overpower and outpace their enemies in combat.Agents are typically armed with the Desert Eagle chambered in .50 AE (.50 caliber Action Express) as their primary sidearm. They take incredibly accurate shots, demonstrated when Agent Smith was able to track and shoot Morpheus in the leg through a wall. Their sidearm is carried over when an Agent possesses a new body just as their clothing and general appearance is, and is similarly replicated for each Smith clone.
Agents are also tasked with the elimination of Exiles, rogue programs who have outlived their purpose within the Matrix, but refused to return to the Source. The Keymaker and Seraph are notable exiles targeted by Agents. Agents prioritise targets, for example during the freeway chase they ignored The Twins and focused on eliminating The Keymaker.
Upgraded Agents, unlike the original Agents, have a change of appearance: their suits are lighter and in a more greyish green tone than the original Agents, they are bulkier, wider and taller in appearance, and their last names are two syllables long instead of only one (all ending in "-son").
Upgraded Agents were deployed to defeat The One, whom they call the Anomaly. Since Neo's powers outmatch the ones of regular Agents, Upgraded Agents were allowed to bend the rules of the Matrix at a greater stretch than the original Agents: increased stamina and speed, more powerful punches and much faster reactions. Neo realized the nature of Upgraded Agents when one almost managed to punch him in hand-to-hand combat: but thanks to Neo's new powers, they were outmatched.
However, Upgraded Agents were a more serious threat to other redpills: since they were faster and stronger than regular Agents, they were even more difficult to kill. In addition to police the Matrix and eliminate redpills and Neo, Upgraded Agents were deployed to destroy Exiles which are allies to Zion: For instance, Keymaker, who was helping Morpheus and Trinity, was one of the Agent's targets.
Appearance and DesignEdit
The look and manner of Smith and his fellow Agents seem to be drawn from the common pool of paranoia and American pop culture. One influence appears to be the popular image of the Men in Black agents from the 1997 film, Men in Black, and its two-sequels, as well as the black suit and tie getup from the 1992 film, Reservoir Dogs, the 1994 film, Pulp Fiction, the 1980 comedy film, The Blues Brothers along with its sequel, and federal law enforcement agents as ruthlessly efficient automata who carry out their duties with cold precision and General American Accent.
Agents wear dark, square, frameless sunglasses with corners or smooth angles, dark green suit jackets with gold satin lining, matching dress pants, a dark green tie with a communication earpiece on the right ear, along with a tie clip, and a white dress shirt. It's also interesting to note their choice of suit color in relation to the matrix itself. Their suit color is based off of the green encoding for the matrix, further identifying themselves as programs. Nearly all Agents appear as Caucasian males (with a minor exception of African American Agent Perry and female Agent Pace), which also provides a dynamic compared to the majority population of Zion, containing many diverse cultures and walks of life.
Apart from Agents Smith and Jones, the Agents simply show blandness and apathy for the human race, although Smith had an obsession with destroying Neo and a general hatred of humans, especially their smell, and Jones implied at one point, uttering "only human," in a disgusted tone of voice, that he too has a strong dislike of humanity, though his contempt for them is not as strong as Smith's.
Other Agents have names like Brown, Johnson, and Thompson; common, innocuous, Anglo-Saxon names.
- "Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet; you are a plague, and we - are the cure."
- ―Agent Smith [src]
- "It's him"..."the anomaly"..."do we proceed?"..."Yes"..."He is still"..."only Human."
- ―The Upgraded Agents [src]
- "Only Human."
- ―Agent Jones [src]
- "Tell me Mr. Anderson... what good is a phone call... if you're unable to speak?"
- ―Agent Smith [src]
- ""Then you were meant for one more thing. Deletion.""
- ―Agent Johnson to The Keymaker [src]