What Comes Next?
Well, according to this, you could keep replaying the solo adventure, or you could go out and buy a couple of solo modules, M1 Blizzard Pass and M2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur. I personally have never played either of these, and I've heard that the invisible ink pen needed to play them makes them sort of unplayable after that first time. And from what I hear, PDFs of them are sort of useless. I wonder if a PDF with the invisible stuff unreadable would make a good skeleton for a DM to use to make it into their own adventure? Maybe. But that's sort of off topic.
We finally get an explanation of the Dungeon Master, with advice to the prospective DM to read at least the first section of the Dungeon Master's Rulebook to familiarize themselves with the sample step-by-step group game.
Players are encouraged to just keep playing the Nameless Fighter (as it says, it never hurts to have more Fighters) all with different names, or to take one of the other sample PCs from the middle of the book, read over that character class's description, and have everyone read through the solo adventure stuff or have one player who has read it explain everything. It also gives some page references to some other info later in the book that might be useful to know (or at least be familiar with) in group games.
Good advice to new folks to the game, but unnecessary for more experienced gamers. I guess it's sections like this that give the Mentzer Basic Set a bad reputation. Moldvay Basic makes a much better reference book, to be sure. The meaty information is spread around in the Mentzer book, but the format did allow a large number of new gamers to learn the game without any mentoring. As players (I probably mentioned this before), back in the day, we mostly used the Expert Set for PC information once we had it, since except for low level spell descriptions, it had all the information we needed.
We are again advised that while we could create our own characters, it would be better to use the Fighter or one of the other sample PCs in our first group games. There is definite value in having pre-gens so that new players can just jump in and start playing. On the other hand, character creation is so simple in Classic D&D that it's not so hard to walk a new player through it. For a starting DM, though, the pregens are likely very handy.
I don't remember if we ever did use the pregens or not. My old Elf character Belrain may have used the pregen Elf stats. I definitely borrowed the name from the class description.
We get an explanation of the Prime Requisite concept next. "Each character has a specialty." It explains the XP bonus/penalty attached to the PR, and how to calculate it.
Finally, we get a short reminder of saving throws. The text doesn't explicitly state that each class's saves are different, only that players should note their class's numbers on their sheet, and a reminder to just roll 1d20 and try to meet or beat the number listed when the DM tells you to make a saving throw.
As a kid, I think the most valuable thing on the page were the images of the seven classes. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and these profile pictures (by Easley or Elmore? I can't tell which, although I'd guess Easley) do actually show what to expect from each class rather well.
I'm thinking now, since I play in a few PbP games on RPOL.net, that I should send in these pictures for portraits. I don't remember seeing any of them on there.