Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 2 Chapter 0027 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 2, Chapter 0027 | Summary



Parzival verifies the symbol on the Black Tiger screen is indeed the same one on the cover of 2112, a "classic sci-fi themed concept album" by James Halliday's favorite band, Rush. He travels to Syrinx, a planet named for one of the album's songs and modeled after the world described in the lyrics and liner notes. Guided by these lyrics, Parzival enters the Temple of Syrinx. He comes to an altar but is not sure what sort of offering to make.

After reexamining the liner notes, Parzival travels to a cave hidden behind a waterfall. Inside a hidden chamber in the cave's floor, Parzival finds an electric guitar identical to the one used by Rush's guitarist "embedded in the stone, neck first." He pulls the guitar out and plays a song from the album; this song makes a riddle flash on the wall. Parzival thinks this clue is a warning that the Third Gate "cannot be unlocked alone." He returns to the Temple of Syrinx, places the guitar on the altar, and watches it turn into the Crystal Key. Once again Parzival finds himself in first place in the contest.

A calligraphic letter A etched into the Crystal Key prompts Wade to travel to Castle Anorak in search of the Third Gate. He arrives to find the Sixers have beaten him there and installed an impassable magical shield around the castle. The gunters determine the shield is generated by an artifact called the Orb of Osuvox and can remain in place "as long as the wizard operating the orb remained immobile and kept both hands on the artifact." Despite the gunters' best efforts, they can't budge the shield. Many of them give up, deciding the Sixers will win the contest. Parzival, undaunted, formulates a plan. He begins by giving Art3mis, Aech, and Shoto instructions to find the Second Gate and the Crystal Key.


Parzival has no trouble finding the Crystal Key and resuming his position as the leading contestant because as usual he is well prepared. He's even learned to play guitar since Halliday took lessons in high school. His obsession with becoming just like Halliday serves him well.

The clue provides a crucial advantage, indicating that cooperation is necessary to complete the quest. The individual efforts that brought them so far will not earn them the egg. Parzival responds confidently to the Sixers' force field: "Like any classic videogame, the Hunt had simply reached a new, more difficult level." Rather than give in to despair, Parzival formulates "an entirely new strategy." Bolstered by his success with the Crystal Key and his first-place position, he vows "to reach the Third Gate, or die trying."

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