anorak's invitation

Ready Player One Reference #9

Page 5: Adventure, a game for the Atari 2600 is described as being James Halliday’s favourite game as a kid. 

Adventure is a 1979[1] maze video game for the Atari 2600 video game console and is considered the first action-adventure game. Its creator, Warren Robinett, introduced the first widely-known Easter egg to the gaming world.” (wikipedia)

The Easter Egg that exists in Adventure is inspiration to the Easter Egg Halliday plants in the Oasis, and plays an important part in reaching it. 

I played Adventure for the first time the other day, and breezed through the first difficulty level, but I haven’t beat the second difficulty level yet, nor have I found Robinett’s Easter Egg.

“‘So the guy who created Adventure, a man named Warren Robinett, decided to hide his name inside the game itself. He hid a key in one of the game’s labyrinths. If you found this key, a small pixel-sized gray dot, you could use it to enter a secret room where Robinett had hidden his name.’ On the TV, Halliday guides his square protagonist into the the game’s secret room, where the words CREATED BY WARREN ROBINETT appear in the center of the screen.

‘This,’ Halliday says, pointing to the screen with genuine reverence, ‘was the very first videogame Easter egg. Robinett hid it in the game’s code without telling a soul, and Atari manufactured and shipped Adventure all over the world without knowing about the secret room. They didn’t find out about the Easter egg’s existence until a few months later, when kids all over the world began to discover it. I was one of those kids, and finding Robinett’s Easter egg for the first time was one of the coolest videogaming experiences of my life.’”

~ James Halliday in ‘Ready Player One’ by Ernest Cline, Chapter 00

Note: I read somewhere online that it didn’t matter what you were holding when you crossed the boundary as long as the gray-dot key was on the screen containing the barrier to the room. As you can see in the above video, if you drop the gray-dot key and then pick up any other in-game object, you can still cross through the barrier. IMHO, using the Silver Chalice (as shown above) is the ultimate win for the Easter egg.

Watch on

Ready Player One Reference #7

page 4: A young Halliday is shown in Anorak’s Invitation wearing a The Muppet Show T-shirt.

The Muppet Show is a comedy-variety television series produced by puppeteer Jim Henson and featuring the Muppets. Wikipedia