This question contains spoilers

In The Thirteenth Floor (1999), we learn that if someone ("a user") logs into a simulated world and controls one of the simulated personalities, there if this person is killed inside the simulation, then the simulated personality will escape to the "real world". In the movie we see that happening 2 times, once when Ashton body of 1999 is invaded by the bartenders character of 1937. Another is at the end of the movie when David's body of 2024 is invaded by Hall's conciseness of 1999.

But there is another time that we don't get to see it. At the beginning of the movie when Fuller's body of 1999 gets killed.

Do we assume that Fuller-1999 is the same one in 2024 (having his conciseness escaped from the simulated 1999)? Maybe because he was killed while no user from 2024 was controlling him. And that makes escaping the simulated 1999 impossible for him, but does that mean that this character can no longer be controlled ever again?

1 Answer 1


The mind of Fuller-1999 does not escape to 2024. The mechanism of the consciousness escaping from the simulation is explained by Whitney early in the film (before we know that this can happen):

While my mind is jacked in; I'm walking around experiencing 1937; my body stays here and kinda holds the consciousness of the program link unit.

From this explanation, we know that when jacking into the simulation, not only does the user's consciousness inhabit the unit's body, but the unit's consciousness is removed from the simulation and stored in the user (who is lying "asleep" in the machine). When the unit is then killed, there is no way for the consciousnesses to swap back, and the user's body wakes up with the unit's consciousness.

Jane's father was not jacked in at the time that David killed Fuller, and thus he simply died, and did not escape from the simulation.

The answer to the second part of your question is not explicitly addressed, however there is a strong implication that the user-unit relationship is 1-1: In the final explanation scene, Jane refers to David as "your user", and Hall refers to himself as "his program link". Additionally, everyone always downloads to the same unit, and the unit looks exactly like them.

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