Ready Player Two

by Ernest Cline

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0030–Continue? Summary and Analysis

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Last Updated on February 3, 2021, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 847


Wade logs back into the OASIS and uses the robes of Anorak to resurrect his slain friends' avatars. He asks them to meet him at Leucosia's shrine, teleporting himself back to the stone altar where he found the seventh shard.

As he lays the shards on the altar, Art3mis materializes to join him. Together, they combine the pieces and the shards lock themselves together, clicking into place as though they're magnetized. Once the complete shard is fully assembled, a force throws both avatars back as the pieces coalesce into a spinning, glittering blue jewel. The jewel begins to grow, soon transforming into the familiar visage: Kira just as she looked in her mid-twenties, dressed in her OASIS avatar's blue and white robes.

Wade and Art3mis introduce themselves, and Kira thanks them for bringing her back. "I wasn't sure anyone ever would," she tells them. When she asks if Og is still alive, Wade and Art3mis morosely relay the recent events. As they finish, she gives them each a hug. "I'm grateful he died helping people he loved," she tells them.

They ask Leucosia what she remembers about Halliday and Anorak, and she tells them that Halliday thought of his experiments as a "real-life 'savegame' file." Though studying Anorak allowed him to perfect his process and then create Leucosia—a stable form of AI—she had been furious with him for copying her without her knowledge. Now, though, she tells them, she's come to appreciate what immortality has to offer her.

As a reward for solving the quest, Leucosia offers Wade a powerful magic item: the Rod of Resurrection, imbued with the power to create new AIs from digitized user files. When he expresses his fears of creating another Anorak, she quickly alleviates them. Anorak was a corrupted file, she tells him, jeopardized by Halliday's attempt to remove the less desirable aspects of himself. The system now employs failsafes against this: only a user's most recent unaltered ONI file can be used to recreate their consciousness.

As Wade begins to understand the true implications of the ONI software—that it doesn't just create a sensory experience for the users, but actively backs up their brains to the OASIS every time they put on the headset—he realizes that these backups include Og, too, since he used one in his final moments to fight Anorak. With high hopes, they test the Rod of Resurrection. It works—Og's avatar reappears, and the two lovers are reunited. Next they resurrect Art3mis's grandmother, and she and Art3mis, too, are overjoyed.


Concerned about the implications of the "Anorak Incident" on human trust of artificial intelligence, the High Five copies the resurrected AIs to the self-contained ARC@DIA servers onboard the Vonnegut. They add copies of themselves, too—even Art3mis wears an ONI for just long enough to participate. Once the ship is "staffed" with copies of the High Five and their loved ones, they use the remaining storage space to back up the ONI consciousness database and Earth's entire cultural record for safekeeping. Wade gives administrative command of the Vonnegut to his own backup copy, and the AI crew heads to Proxima Centauri in search of the nearest Earthlike planet. It's a long trip, but none of the immortals onboard seem to mind.

After the Anorak ordeal is over, the mortal members of the High Five finally begin to thrive as well. Aech and her partner, Endira, are married; Shoto and his wife, Kiki, have a baby; and Wade and Art3mis soon do both.


When Wade is given the power to create artificially intelligent beings from ONI backups, the OASIS...

(This entire section contains 847 words.)

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owners have to determine where the new beings should safely live. Unanimously, they decide that society isn't yet ready and they should be sent to Proxima Centauri aboard theVonnegut's computer system. But it's not just the implications of coexistence that require careful thought on the part of the owners as they make this decision—it's also the lasting implications of Halliday's misconduct.

Much like the early arguments in which Wade and Art3mis debate the costs of releasing the ONI to the public, there is a moral question involved in this decision: this group has just completed a long journey to restore Kira's legacy, and one of the biggest affronts Kira suffered was the nonconsensual copying of her consciousness by James Halliday. The climax of Halliday's own redemption arc comes in "0028," when Anorak shows Wade the letter saying that Halliday finally realized that doing so was wrong.

As the owners learn soon after the end of their quest, the ONI creates a full backup of the consciousness of anybody who uses one. This is what allows Wade to resurrect Og, as well as Art3mis's grandmother, Evelyn. But it also means the owners have all been inadvertently complicit in exactly the same thing they've just fought against—the copying of a user's brain without permission. They haven't just inherited Halliday's company or his money—they've inherited his responsibility and his moral quandary, too.


0027–0029 Summary and Analysis