Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 1 Chapter 0010 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 1, Chapter 0010 | Summary



Parzival exits the tomb and teleports to the planet Middletown, the 1980s-themed planet designed by James Halliday that contains 256 replicas of Halliday's childhood home. Walking down the street, Parzival checks the scoreboard and realizes Art3mis has just secured her own copy of the Copper Key. Inside Halliday's childhood bedroom Parzival plays Dungeons of Daggorath on an ancient TRS-80 computer. When he defeats the game the First Gate appears as an iron gate in the bedroom wall. He unlocks the gate with the Copper Key and falls into a field of stars.


On Middletown, nothing is ever wrong; it is "always a perfect late-autumn afternoon, circa 1986." In his replication Halliday has omitted the difficult parts of his past. There are no quarreling, unstable parents inside the house; it is empty except for its furnishings, including his books, video games, and movies, which were very dear to Halliday. In the OASIS Halliday has erased his childhood unhappiness. Parzival knows Halliday's childhood was unhappy, so he wonders why he replicated it. In this case obsession with the past is another form of escapism. Not only does Halliday escape into the past, but he also escapes into a better version of the past.

To prepare for the quest, Parzival has studied everything Halliday loved, putting himself inside Halliday's psyche. Now that the quest is in progress, Parzival puts himself inside Halliday's childhood bedroom—or at least a realistic simulation of it. This room, with its ancient television, computer, and video game equipment, is likely where much of Halliday's psyche took shape. Success in the quest requires a gunter to become ever more intimate with Halliday's life. The more Parzival becomes like Halliday, the more successful he is.

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