Cypher was a redpill assigned to the Zion hovercraft Nebuchadnezzar under the command of Morpheus. He was also the one who betrayed the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar to aid Agent Smith to help him achieve information on the Zion mainframe.
Search for the OneEdit
Cypher's job, as with all other operatives, was to free human minds trapped within the Matrix. Cypher was disgusted with the nature of reality in comparison to the relative comforts found within the illusory world of the Matrix.
Although a former bluepill, Cypher had skills on the operator console that allowed him to monitor the virtual reality broadcast feeds. When Neo quietly approached from behind, Cypher was startled, then switched off one of the the displays at the console. He offered Neo a drink of the crew's homemade alcohol, which startled Neo in return from its powerful concentration. Cypher chided Neo on his selection by Morpheus' and his belief of being The One: "Jesus...what a mind job." He warned Neo to do the same thing that all other Zion operatives do when they see an agent: run.
Meeting with SmithEdit
In the next scene, it is revealed that Cypher was preparing for an illicit face-to-face negotiation with Agent Smith within the Matrix. Eating steak, Cypher exclaims that "ignorance is bliss" and organises that, in exchange for Morpheus, his body would be reattached to the power plant and his memory of his life outside of the Matrix erased. He also stated his desire to be "someone important, like an actor." Despite Smith's persistence, Cypher did not know the codes to the Zion mainframe but planned a trap for Morpheus, who did.
Raid at the rendezvous pointEdit
Cypher's plan begins as Morpheus takes Neo to see the Oracle for the first time. He drops his activated cell phone into a trash can, allowing the agents to trace its location. When Morpheus returns to the Lafayette Hotel, the Agents suddenly alter the hotel's programming, replacing all the doors and windows with brick walls, ambushing the resistance. Neo witnesses a cat strangely repeat its own action, and mentions "Déjà vu." This alerts the others to a possible trap, as it is explained that déjà vu is a glitch in the Matrix caused when something is changed. Unfortunately, Mouse is already discovered and killed by the police.
Morpheus and his team attempt to escape down through the main wetwall of the building, but dust kicked by Neo makes Cypher sneeze, leading to their discovery by the police. Agent Smith possesses the policeman's body and grabs Neo through the wall, but Morpheus jumps the agent, breaking his hold on Neo. While Morpheus' team escapes hastily down the wetwall, Morpheus fights Smith, but is outmatched and eventually and captured for interrogation.
Betrayal for NeoEdit
Cypher manages to separate himself from his escaping comrades and jacks out before the others at an old TV repair shop. As Tank is guiding the rest to the same location, Cypher picks up a lightning rifle and blasts Tank. The beam glances off Tank's chair and Tank attempts to counter before a second blast knocks him away. Tank's brother, Dozer, attacks, but Cypher gets a direct hit and kills him. Dropping the weapon beside Tank's body, Cypher takes the operator headset and calls Trinity, revealing his plan to the team.
Sadistically, he unplugs Apoc and Switch's headjacks from their bodies, killing them instantly. As he prepares to do the same to Neo, darkly testing the theory that Neo can't be killed if he is actually The One, Tank manages to regain consciousness and kills Cypher with the same lightning rifle he left beside him.
With Cypher's damage partially undone, Morpheus is later rescued by Neo and Trinity, but the agents realize that Cypher, their informant, may have failed. Morpheus was still alive but no further communication from Cypher was received. They order a Sentinel strike against the Nebuchadnezzar, which is stopped moments after Neo, now empowered as The One, returns to the ship after his later encounter with agents.
At the beginning of The Matrix, viewers can witness Cypher's plan taking hold to return himself to the power plant. Knowing that Trinity is enamoured with watching the bluepill known as Thomas Anderson, he allowed a call he received from Trinity to be traced by Agents.
- ↑ An archaic definition for the term, "cypher" is "zero," making the character the (human) opposite of "The One," Neo, who encounters a negative later in his adventures.
- ↑ Cypher's role is akin to the role of the biblical figure Judas and his betrayal of Jesus Christ.
- ↑ Joe Pantoliano revealed the character's motivations in an interview as having fallen into disillusion with reality. Having been one of the previous men scouted as a potential "One," he has fallen from grace and is aware of previous candidates who had died, as well as others after himself. He has gained a desire to return to the Matrix as a result of his discontent.