Aech (pronounced as the letter 'H') is a main character in Ernest Cline's Ready Player One. Aech has been Wade's best friend for years, although the two didn't meet in-person until much later. Wade claims that they've always shared a great connection. In the beginning, it is clear that Wade and Aech shared many interests — movies, music, video games, and the hunt for Halliday's egg.
Their shared quest for Halliday's egg brought about friendly competition. Aech and Wade would spend their time together discussing pop culture, Almanac findings, the hunt, and girls.
He also attended OASIS public school, at OPS #1172.
In the real world, Aech is a heavy-set African-American named Helen Harris. Helen uses a Caucasian male appearance and voice for her OASIS avatar in order to be more easily respected by her peers.
Within the OASIS, Aech is a PvP (player versus player), a competitor. In the movie, Aech is also a builder and a repair guy who people pay a ton of money. Wade notes that his friend is one of the highest ranked members in both the Deathmatch league and the Capture the Flag league, making a "quite a bit of dough" in the process. This partially explains how Aech is able to afford the large chatroom, the Basement.
It is also mentioned, at the beginning of the novel, that Aech is more famous than Art3mis.
In the book, Aech's avatar is a tall, broad-shouldered Caucasian male with dark hair and brown eyes. Wade once asked Aech if this avatar represented a real-life appearance; Aech responded by saying: "Yes. But in real life, I'm even more handsome."
In the film, Aech's avatar is a cyborg orc that wields Mater Chief's gun.
Helen, or Aech, is an intellectual, dedicated individual. This can be observed by their highly competitive ranking within the OASIS, their "elite" knowledge of video games and pop culture that rival Wade's, and their long-term hunt for Halliday's egg. They also appear to be quick-witted and humorous. This is demonstrated by their exchanges with I-R0k and Wade in the Basement.
Parzival: How'd you get here before me?
Aech: Well, I didn't make a pit stop at the hair salon. What up, Z?
Parzival: What’s up Aech?
Aech: Saved you a spot.
Parzival: Thanks, bro. (BEEPING) I gotta go to the back.
Aech: Ugh. So you can skim coins from crashed cars? That's just sad, man.
Parzival: Fuel's low.
Aech: Oh, but you still had enough to pay for that Something About Mary hairdo.
~ Parzival to Aech.
Aech: Yo, Z, is Art3mis pissed at me?
Parzival: Dude, I'm pissed at you. You've never seen The Shining, have you?
Aech: YOU KNOW I HATE SCARY MOVIES!
Daito: We got the key.
Parzival: Sweet! To room 237!
Aech: We ain't got no business goin' to room 237! We should stay out! Plus, there was this crazy, naked zombie lady in there.
Parzival: There are no zombies The Shining.
~ Aech talking about The Shining
Aech: I’ve never seen The Shinning. Is it really scary?
Sho: Uh, I had to watch it through my fingers.
~ Aech asking Sho he had never seen The Shining.
That thing is IDing my van.
~ Wade to Helen seeing her van IDing.
Aech: [Discussing Parzival's upcoming date with Art3mis] Z, you gotta be more careful about who you meet out on the OASIS.
Parzival: Aech, Art3mis gets me. She'll get my outfit, there's just this connection. I mean, sometimes, we even...
Aech: Finish each other's sentences.
Aech: We have that, me and you.
Parzival: Yeah, I know. But that's because we're best friends, dude. [Puts hand up for a high-five]
Aech: She could be a dude too, dude.
Parzival: Nah, come on.
Aech: I'm serious. She could actually be a 300 pound dude who lives in his momma's basement in suburban Detroit. And her name is Chuck. [Puts hand on Parzival's shoulder] Aech: Think about that.
~ Aech talking to Wade about his 300 pound dude named chuck.
Parzival: Aech! What the hell is going on?
Aech: Just practicing Mario Kart. What do you think? IOI trying to kill us man!
~ Helen to Wade
Aech/Helen Harris on a promotional poster.
Aech, Parzival & Art3mis in a promotional poster parodying the poster of Beetlejuice.
Aech, Helen's avatar in the OASIS.
Aech and Parzival, prior to the Race for the First Key.
(Parzival: "First to the Key!") "First to the Egg!"