Discuss the theme of friendship in Ready Player One.
The theme of friendship is an important one in Cline's novel. Each of the friendships he delineates is instrumental in driving the protagonist's success. For example, Wade's collaboration with Daito and Shoto in the Shodai Urutoraman quest leads to the trio winning Hayata's Beta Capsule. After Daito's death, Shoto bequeaths the Beta Capsule to Wade. The Capsule is the same artifact that helps Wade defeat Sorrento's Mechagodzilla during the battle at Anorak's Castle.
Meanwhile, Wade's friendship with Aech benefits him in two important ways. First, it is Aech who reveals to Wade the location of the Jade Key on planet Frobozz. Aech's tip allows Wade to make substantial progress towards his goal of finding Halliday's egg. Second, Aech's confidence in Wade's ability to bring down IOI's shield bolsters Wade's confidence and keeps morale high before the battle at Anorak's Castle.
Wade's friendship with Art3mis is also significant, as his drive to succeed partly stems from his desire to win her regard and admiration. Wade's integrity and tenacity so impress Art3mis that she unequivocally devotes her full attention to helping him overcome his Third Gate challenges.