Ready Player One

Ready Player One

by

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One: Level Three: 0038 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Wade can no longer hear the voices of his friends; the communication system has obviously been cut off. Wade tries turning on some of the computers in the room, and eventually succeeds in powering up the same one Matthew Broderick’s character uses in WarGames. The computer asks for a login, and Wade remembers that the password for the supercomputer in the movie is the name of one of the character’s sons, “the person he’d loved most in the world.” Wade tries “Ogden” and “Kira,” but these do not work.
This final stage of the hunt requires a different kind of knowledge about Halliday—one that could not be gained by reading biographies or Anorak’s Almanac. Rather, Wade must thoughtfully consider who Halliday loved most—a difficult task considering that he never actually knew the man.
Themes
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
After ten minutes of failures, Wade remembers a detail from Morrow’s biography, which stated that Halliday would only address Kira by the name of her D&D character, Leucosia. Wade types in “Leucosia” and every system in the room suddenly turns on at once. Wade retrieves a cartridge for the videogame Adventure and inserts it into the corresponding computer. In the game, he rushes straight to “the Secret Room,” in which he finds an egg. “The egg.” Wade picks up the egg, and immediately finds himself into a crystal portal leading back to Castle Anorak.
The fact that Wade learns the password to Halliday’s computer through Morrow’s biography indicates that sometimes it is the people around us who know us better than ourselves. Even the most isolated people are not islands, and the key to understanding them is often found in those who love them. 
Themes
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade walks up to Anorak’s study. He looks out the window and sees that the Cataclyst’s devastation has been erased, and all of Chthonia has been restored. Inside the study, he finds a gold chalice and places the egg inside it. A fanfare of trumpets plays, and Wade suddenly sees Anorak in front of him, congratulating him on winning the game. The two shake hands, and lightning erupts all around them. Anorak transforms out of his wizard robes and into an ordinary-looking version of Halliday. Wade, meanwhile, has suddenly acquired a seemingly infinite list of special skills, powers, and magical items. He is now at level infinite, and his credit readout shows he is a multibillionaire. 
Halliday’s transformation out of Anorak’s robes and into his normal outfit is symbolic, particularly given that it occurs at the same moment as Wade accrues a mass of new wealth and powers. Halliday is ritually transferring everything he possesses to Wade, entrusting him with his fortune, abilities, and responsibilities as ruler of the OASIS.
Themes
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Halliday tells Wade that his avatar is immortal and all-powerful, and that he is in charge of the OASIS. He asks that Wade use his “powers only for good.” Castle Anorak also belongs to Wade, along with a red button that will delete the entirety of the OASIS forever. Before leaving, Halliday tells Wade that as “terrifying and painful” as the real world is, it is the only place where it is possible to be truly happy. He advises him not to hide inside the OASIS forever. Finally, Halliday wishes Wade luck and thanks him for playing his game. He then disappears.
The fact that the red button exists suggests that, as much as Halliday loved the OASIS, he suspected that it might not always be a force for good in the world. It is possible that a twist of fate could turn the OASIS into a negative, destructive thing, in which case it would be better that the simulation didn’t exist at all.
Themes
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Related Quotes
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After Halliday leaves, Wade is able to 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 the Scoreboard showed Wade’s win, the remaining Sixers’ vidfeeds disappeared. Wade realizes he can now instantly teleport anywhere in the OASIS for free, and transports himself to the entrance to Castle Anorak. The remaining Sixers are standing there, having been ejected from the final stage of the hunt. Wade kills them all. 
The book concludes with a happy ending. The underdog triumphs over the evil corporate overlords, and—in a larger sense—good triumphs over evil. The fact that Wade kills the remaining Sixers quickly indicates that he takes no pleasure in seeking revenge on them. He is simply carrying out his duty as the new ruler of the OASIS. 
Themes
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon
Wade then resurrects the avatars of Aech, Art3mis, and Shoto. Aech and Shoto eagerly log back into the OASIS, but Aech notes that Art3mis wanted to get some fresh air first and said she’d be outside waiting for Wade. Before Wade logs out, Aech shows him news clips of Sorrento being arrested by federal authorities on the charge of murder. The news channels have been playing clips of Aunt Alice’s trailer being blown up all day. Wade sighs, pointing out that IOI will hire “the best lawyers in the world.” Aech points out that Wade can now afford to do the same.
The conclusion continues on a triumphant note, with the implication that justice will be served to Sorrento and IOI. It is true that IOI remain wealthy and powerful, and nothing is guaranteed. However, as Aech points out, the gunters no longer have to fight from a massive disadvantage. They will be able to use the OASIS’ vast resources in order to do good in the world.
Themes
Reality vs. Illusion Theme Icon
Nerds, Underdogs, and Obsession Theme Icon
The Individual vs. the Collective Theme Icon
Inequality, Elitism, and Corporate Power Theme Icon
Utopia vs. Dystopia Theme Icon