Ready Player One

Ready Player One

by

Ernest Cline

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Aech Character Analysis

Aech is Wade’s best friend and one of the most famous gunters in the world. Every Friday, Aech competes in televised fights, earning money and experience points. Aech’s private chatroom, the Basement, is an exclusive hangout for “top-level gunters.” (S)he is generous and supportive, and is a good friend to Wade. Although Aech uses a white male avatar, toward the end of the novel it is revealed that in real life (s)he is a young black lesbian named Helen Harris. Aech is nervous for Wade to discover this truth, but in the end it turns out that nothing changes between them.
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Aech Character Timeline in Ready Player One

The timeline below shows where the character Aech appears in Ready Player One. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Level One: 0002
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...Hughes movies. He then opens an instant message window to chat with his best friend, Aech. There is still half an hour until class starts, so they agree to meet in... (full context)
Level One: 0003
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...“stand-alone simulations” that can be accessed from the OASIS but aren’t technically part of it. Aech has programmed the Basement to resemble a rec room from the late 1980s. Although he... (full context)
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Aech and Wade chat, teasing each other and arguing about Halliday’s interests. They are interrupted by... (full context)
Level One: 0004
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Aech’s avatar is on the 30th level. Wade considers being on the 3rd level “a colossal... (full context)
Level One: 0007
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...he could teleport in minutes for a few hundred credits, but he doesn’t have any. Aech would lend him the money, but he doesn’t want to raise any suspicions. Wade suddenly... (full context)
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...armor, shield, and sword and runs toward the forest. He gets a phone call from Aech but lets it go to vidmail. Aech asks where Wade is and if he still... (full context)
Level One: 0008
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...and a stork—and joust each other, as well as enemy knights. It is one of Aech’s favorite games and there was a period when they played every day. Wade became so... (full context)
Level One: 0010
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As Wade exits the Tomb, he receives dozens of missed calls and text messages from Aech, who has seen his name appear on the Scoreboard. Wade ignores them and immediately teleports... (full context)
Level One: 0012
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...emails since clearing the First Gate, but only two are from his contacts: one from Aech, and one from Art3mis. Aech insists that Wade call him immediately, which Wade does. Aech... (full context)
Level One: 0013
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The next day, Aech clears the First Gate, and on Monday Wade returns to school. The reinvigoration of the... (full context)
Level One: 0014
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...until his first endorsement check comes through and then flee. First, he needs to warn Aech. (full context)
Level One: 0015
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...above him, and is relieved to remember that Ludus is a no-PvP zone. Wade calls Aech via vidfeed. Aech discusses the Sixers descending on Ludus and says that he is going... (full context)
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...the Basement “the coolest chat room I’ve ever seen.” Wade feels jealous of how well Aech and Art3mis are getting along. Daito and Shoto arrive; they are both Japanese avatars wearing... (full context)
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...one winner, and he and Shoto log out of the chatroom. Left by themselves, Wade, Aech, and Art3mis agree that they do not actually intend to start an alliance. Art3mis bids... (full context)
Level Two: 0017
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Meanwhile, Wade dreams of meeting Art3mis in real life, and neglects his friendship with Aech. Aech warns that Wade’s relationship with Art3mis is risky, but Wade proceeds anyway. When Wade... (full context)
Level Two: 0020
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...to keep himself busy and distracted from his own loneliness. Having neglected his friendship with Aech because of his relationship with Art3mis, Wade and Aech have grown apart. Wade laments that... (full context)
Level Two: 0022
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...several times. However, he eventually gets into the swing of things. While playing, he sees Aech’s name rise on the Scoreboard and realizes that Aech has now also found the Jade... (full context)
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Wade receives an email from Aech saying that they are “officially even now” and that Aech is repaying his debt to... (full context)
Level Two: 0023
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...simple text instructions in order to play the game. After being given the tip by Aech, Wade can now see how the quatrain hints that the Jade Key is hidden in... (full context)
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...transforms into a key, and Wade’s score increases by 18,000 points—putting him between Art3mis and Aech. The key is wrapped in silver foil, which Wade removes. The key is inscribed with... (full context)
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...is nonetheless damaged, so Wade stops at Joe’s Garage to have it repaired. He sends Aech an email thanking him for the tip and checks his feed for news about the... (full context)
Level Two: 0024
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...he has cleared the Second Gate. Wade begins to have a panic attack. He calls Aech and Art3mis, but can’t get through to either of them. He tries to talk to... (full context)
Level Two: 0027
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...a new, more difficult level, requiring a new approach. He devises a plan, emailing Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto and telling them how to obtain the Crystal Key. He knows that he... (full context)
Level Three: 0030
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...his flash drive, he finds a folder called “Threat Assessments” featuring information about himself, Art3mis, Aech, Shoto, and Daito. He sees that after he fled to Columbus they lost track of... (full context)
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...Daito don’t look anything like their avatars. There is no photo and little information in Aech’s file, and Wade can tell that the name listed is fake. Daito’s file, meanwhile, contains... (full context)
Level Three: 0031
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Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto have all written to ask Wade where he is. Wade replies to Art3mis... (full context)
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...every OASIS user, but doesn’t send it yet. Finally, he logs into the Basement, where Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto are waiting. (full context)
Level Three: 0032
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...he assumed a fake identity, purposefully got himself indentured, and hacked into the IOI database. Aech and Shoto express their admiration, but Art3mis remains skeptical, telling Wade it was a “stupid”... (full context)
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...Hope. Faith.” Sorrento tries reciting them in different languages, to no avail. Suddenly, Wade, Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto exclaim in unison that the words are taken from “Three Is a Magic... (full context)
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...fall under IOI’s imperialist rule.” Art3mis is uncertain that the gunters will show up, but Aech is confident that they will. Wade adds that most of the gunter clans have already... (full context)
Level Three: 0033
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Wade, Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto stare at Morrow in shock. Aech asks how he got there, and Morrow... (full context)
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...to fly him from Osaka, and has done the same for Art3mis. Morrow knows that Aech is in Pittsburgh, and asks him to pick up Wade in Columbus, where a jet... (full context)
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...asleep in the Plug’s rig, clutching his gun. He wakes up to the sound of Aech calling him. He returns his rented gear and goes outside, seeing Aech’s RV on the... (full context)
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Despite her smile, Aech seems nervous. Wade cannot help but start laughing, which quickly makes Aech laugh too. When... (full context)
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Aech’s real name is Helen Harris. Her father died in Afghanistan, and she was raised in... (full context)
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As Aech and Wade talk, Wade realizes that nothing in their friendship has really changed; they are... (full context)
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...the mansion’s grand entrance. As they walk, Wade nervously confesses his love of Halcydonia Interactive. Aech laughs at Wade’s enthusiasm, but Morrow accepts the compliment graciously. He promises to give Aech... (full context)
Level Three: 0034
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...shocked by the swarms of avatars standing there. At the entrance of the castle stand Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto, each inside their respective robots. (full context)
Level Three: 0035
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...“certain death.” Sorrento receives the vast majority of gunter fire, but his robot remains undamaged. Aech, Shoto, Art3mis, and Wade all direct their blasts at Sorrento, and Art3mis’ beam weapon disables... (full context)
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Aech and Art3mis abandon their robots and head for the castle. Shoto attacks Mechagodzilla, slicing off... (full context)
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...it, killing Sorrento’s avatar in the process. Wade returns to normal and goes to meet Aech and Art3mis at the castle. They take out their keys and, after Wade declares “three... (full context)
Level Three: 0036
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...an extra life, the first time this has happened in OASIS history. Suddenly, Wade hears Aech’s voice, along with that of Morrow, Shoto, and Art3mis. They explain that the Sixers killed... (full context)
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Aech, Shoto, and Art3mis all wish Wade well. Artifacts cannot be destroyed by a Cataclyst blast,... (full context)
Level Three: 0037
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Aech warns Wade that three Sixers are now inside the Holy Grail Flicksync too. Wade completes... (full context)
Level Three: 0038
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...talk to his friends again. They congratulate him, and Wade thanks them for their help. Aech tells Wade to check the Scoreboard, which now reads: “Parzival Wins!” Aech says that after... (full context)
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Wade then resurrects the avatars of Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto. Aech and Shoto eagerly log back into the OASIS, but Aech notes... (full context)