Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0008 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0008 | Summary



Inside the tomb Parzival realizes everything is the same as it is described in the Dungeons & Dragons module. Still he proceeds cautiously and finds gold and silver coins as well as magical armor and weapons along the way. Finally he encounters Acererak, a fearsome demi-lich, waiting on a throne. Acererak challenges him to a best-of-three match at Joust, a coin-operated video game from 1982. If Parzival wins, he receives the Copper Key; if Parzival loses, he dies. Acererak wins the first game, but Parzival, discovering holes in Acererak's technique, wins the final two games.

Acererak gives the Copper Key to Parzival and then vanishes. Reading the key's inscription, Parzival understands that to pass through the First Gate he must go to Middletown, a planet containing multiple re-creations of James Halliday's childhood home, and play the 1982 video game Dungeons of Daggorath on Halliday's computer. He decides to go immediately, but as he is leaving, he encounters another avatar inside the tomb.


Parzival's extensive investigation of popular 1980s video games has prepared him for his adventure inside the tomb. Since he read about it in the Dungeons & Dragons module, Parzival knows how to avoid falling into potentially lethal traps. Still he doesn't succumb to overconfidence, either; he proceeds with humility and careful attention.

Luckily Parzival is quite familiar with the game of Joust because he and his best friend, Aech, have routinely settled disputes between themselves with Joust matches. Driven to outperform Aech at Joust, Parzival has practiced furiously to become highly skilled. Although Parzival prides himself on being a solo gunter, he gains the skill to beat Acererak at Joust because of his relationship with Aech.

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