Literature Study GuidesReady Player OneLevel 3 Chapter 0038 Summary

Ready Player One | Study Guide

Ernest Cline

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Ready Player One | Level 3, Chapter 0038 | Summary



Communication has been disabled in James Halliday's office, so Parzival can't speak to his friends on the outside. Following his instincts he tries to turn on the pieces of equipment in the room. Only one boots up. It prompts him for a login, which he doesn't have. After several wrong attempts he enters the word Leucosia, the name of Kira's character during her high school Dungeons & Dragons sessions with Halliday and Ogden Morrow. The login is correct, and all the equipment turns on. He plays the game Adventure on an Atari 2600, reaching the game's secret room where programmer Warren Robinett hid his name—the very first video game "Easter egg." Instead of Robinett's name, Parzival finds a real (virtual) egg—"a large white oval with pixelated edges." When he picks it up, there is a flash of light, and Parzival is holding a large, reflective silver egg. Doors open in the office and lead back into a restored Castle Anorak. Parzival goes to Anorak's study; he finds a golden chalice, in which he puts the egg.

Halliday's avatar, Anorak, appears and tells Parzival, "You win." When Parzival takes Anorak's hand, he finds himself wearing Anorak's robes. He notices that his avatar now has unlimited powers, immortality, and a 12-digit number of OASIS credits. Anorak himself is transformed into Halliday: "Pale. Middle-aged. He was dressed in worn jeans and a faded Space Invaders T-shirt." Halliday tells Parzival to use his powers for good and shows him the Big Red Button, which will destroy the OASIS forever if pressed. "I trust your judgment," Halliday says. He tells Parzival he created the OASIS to make up for the discomfort and fear he felt in the real world, but at the very end of his life he realized "as terrifying and painful as reality can be, it's also the only place where you can find true happiness."

Parzival discovers his friends have heard everything that happened in Halliday's office, aside from Halliday's final words about happiness. Art3mis gives Parzival a sincere congratulations. Leaving the castle, Parzival casually vaporizes the remaining Sixers, and then he resurrects his friends' avatars. Just as he is about to log out and meet Art3mis in real life, Aech shares the news that Sorrento has been arrested and accused of murder.


Parzival achieves the goal of his great quest. When he first sees the egg, it is underwhelming—just a few pixels on the screen of an ancient video game. When it transforms into a silver egg in his hands, Parzival briefly looks at his reflection in the surface. He sees himself, literally, in the egg. His life has long been defined by the quest, and now it is achieved.

The two most powerful transformations of the novel take place in this chapter. Having inhabited Halliday's mental and physical spaces for so long, Parzival now finds himself inhabiting the robes and powers of Halliday's avatar, Anorak. Halliday "disrobes," not only giving up his robes but also his avatar, and he stands metaphorically naked before Parzival. He is an ordinary looking middle-aged guy dressed in scruffy clothes. The metaphor of Halliday's nakedness intensifies when he shares his emotional vulnerability with Parzival. Halliday designed the OASIS as a perfect escape from his real-life struggles but realizes too late that only real life has meaning. He gives Parzival a second, more meaningful quest: find the courage to find happiness by living life in the real world.

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