Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 2 Chapter 0022 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Course Hero. "Ready Player One Study Guide." June 14, 2017. Accessed August 17, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ready-Player-One/.

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Course Hero, "Ready Player One Study Guide," June 14, 2017, accessed August 17, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Ready-Player-One/.

Ready Player One | Level 2, Chapter 0022 | Summary

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Summary

Parzival arrives on Archaide, a planet that exists as a tribute to early video games. Its surface is designed to look like a 1980–81 vector-graphic game called Battlezone. Beneath the surface, Archaide is a museum full of antique video game arcades, "each one a loving re-creation of an actual arcade that had once existed somewhere." Venturing into the labyrinth of arcades and exhibits, Parzival finds James Halliday's trophy collection. He soon realizes these are not the trophies mentioned in the Jade Key clue.

Leaving, he stumbles across a restaurant and arcade called Happytime Pizza, which he recognizes as one of Halliday's childhood favorites. Inside the restaurant, he finds an out-of-order Pac-Man machine with a single quarter, dated 1981, welded to the top. He plugs in the machine. When he notices the high score on the screen is ten points away from the highest score possible, he decides the game represents some sort of hidden quest and he must "play a perfect game of Pac-Man" to win it. Parzival succeeds in attaining a perfect score, and the previously immobile quarter falls off the top of the game into his hand.

While playing Pac-Man, Parzival learns Aech has found the Jade Key. Aech sends him a message with a clue to the key's location: a picture of the manual for a 1980 text adventure game called Zork. Parzival figures out he must go to the planet Frobozz, where there are multiple instances of "a detailed re-creation of the game Zork."

Analysis

Although Archaide proves to be a dead end regarding the Jade Key, Parzival's obsessive study of Anorak's Almanac allows him to recognize Happytime Pizza as a place that was important to Halliday. His study of Pac-Man helps him realize there's something strange about an unplugged machine with high scores saved. Even finding out Aech beat him to the Jade Key doesn't break his focus. Parzival intuits the quarter he wins from his perfect Pac-Man game is some sort of magical object, although he has no idea of its purpose. Aech, grateful Parzival led him to the Copper Key's location, repays the favor by leading Parzival to the Jade Key's location. Despite the recent distance between the two friends, they still have a bond of loyalty.

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