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 to Middletown. He walks hesitantly, as the planet is a PvP zone. The planet is covered with 256 copies of Halliday’s hometown, and Wade hopes that he will find one that doesn’t have any gunters in it. Just as he turns on to Halliday’s streets, he hears a trumpet fanfare and sees Art3mis’ name appear on the Scoreboard. She has received 1,000 fewer points than Wade, presumably because he was the first to find the Key. He sprints toward Hallidays’ house.
Wade may have begun the hunt in a highly-isolated, solo manner, but now that his name is on the Scoreboard, he will never have the same level of privacy again. Furthermore, now that Art3mis has obtained the Copper Key, he has to worry about her catching up to him in the hunt—something he brought on himself by giving her the clue that finally allowed her to beat Acererak.
The house has no people in it, but otherwise it is a perfect replica of Halliday’s childhood home. Wade finds it confusing that Halliday chose to recreate a place in which he had been so unhappy. As he steps into Halliday’s bedroom, he shivers. Wade powers up Halliday’s ancient computer and retrieves Dungeons of Daggorath from a shoebox, inserting the cartridge into the computer. He quickly loses himself within the game, forgetting that in reality he is still in his hideout in the stacks. It takes a long time, but eventually Wade beats the Evil Wizard of Daggorath and wins the game. After he does so, Halliday’s old printer prints off a single page reading “Congratulations! You have opened the First Gate!”
This scene shows that Wade is following in Halliday’s footsteps—literally. Although Halliday was a shy and awkward loner during his life, in death he has created a competition that forces people to see the world from his perspective and come to know the environment in which he grew up. Wade thus becomes a kind of protégé to Halliday despite the fact that Halliday dies before they can ever meet in real life.
Wade suddenly sees an iron gate appear in the bedroom wall, and he slides the Copper Key into it. The gate swings open, revealing a mass of stars. He hears a voice say: “My God it’s full of stars.” Without hesitating, Wade jumps through.
Wade’s lack of hesitance betrays a trust in the OASIS, the hunt, and Halliday—a trust that serves him well as he is required to complete increasingly scary quests. The phrase “My God it’s full of stars” is associated with the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.