Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 3 Chapter 0036 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 3, Chapter 0036 | Summary



The blast vaporizes Castle Anorak and everything in its vicinity other than the Third Gate, which remains suspended in the air. Parzival realizes that the Sixers detonated the Cataclyst and destroyed everything inside Sector Ten. He thinks he is about to receive a "GAME OVER" message, but to his surprise, the message he receives is "CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE AN EXTRA LIFE!"

Standing in the crater left by the explosion, Parzival realizes his inventory is empty except for the quarter he won for his perfect Pac-Man game on Archaide; the quarter has earned him an extra life. Morrow, Shoto, Art3mis, and Aech patch into the simulation to talk with Parzival. Art3mis is clearly angry she has died and Parzival hasn't. Entering the Third Gate becomes a race against time; although Sorrento and most of the Sixers are dead, 20 Sixers with copies of the Crystal Key still remain and now know how to open the gate since they watched through hidden cameras as Art3mis, Aech, and Parzival opened it.

Parzival struggles to figure out how to reach the Third Gate high above him. He has none of his magical items after the blast. With a running start, he flies toward the gate. Before entering, he tells his three friends he will split the prize money with them "because it's the only honorable thing to do." They promise to coach him as he attempts to clear the gate.


The mysterious quarter Parzival wins from the Pac-Man machine several chapters ago finally comes into play when it gives him an extra life, leaving him the sole gunter in Sector Ten after the Cataclyst detonates. Aech, Shoto, and Art3mis are all out of the running now since their avatars have died. No one has been given a second life inside the OASIS before, but Parzival has been richly rewarded for his attention to the details of Halliday's life.

Art3mis, instead of expressing joy that Parzival remains in the simulation after her avatar has died, expresses jealousy and annoyance. Since meeting Parzival, she has kept up a strong rivalry with him—much stronger than that of the other gunters. Aech has always cheered on Parzival's successes, and Shoto has stopped caring about the quest, focusing only on revenge after Daito was killed.

Although he is about to fulfill his dream by winning, Parzival is more concerned about his personal code of honor, which has developed throughout the quest. His relationships with the other three gunters have taken on a greater importance for him than winning. His promise to split the winnings speaks to the degree to which he has come to regard himself as part of a team. For the first time in his life, he experiences belonging.

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