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Video Game / Harry Potter

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And so Electronic Arts branches out into magic.
Warner Bros. didn't stop at turning the Harry Potter books into a series of movies. They also decided to release a video game adaptation in conjunction with each film and Electronic Arts obliged.

The earlier Harry Potter games were realized as typical Action-Adventure games with the usual tropes of Inexplicable Treasure Chests, Rewarding Vandalism, Bottomless Pits, Floating Platforms, and so forth. Almost exclusively playing as Harry, you learn spells from the teachers to get through the Malevolent Architecture of Hogwarts and win Boss Battles. Along the way, you collect goodies — mainly Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs, and collectible wizard cards — while vaguely drifting through the canon storyline. Rather cartoony animation and cheesy voice acting also figured in.

As the series went along, the graphics became more photo-realistic until they reached the point where they started using digital scans of the actors. Hogwarts as well gradually evolved from not particularly looking anything like the castle of the films to being a seamless duplication of it. Some of the actors from the movies, mostly the cheaper ones (though Ralph Fiennes is a notable exception), were eventually brought in to voice their characters for the games. Out of the central trio, Rupert Grint has voiced his character for the games, but Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson have not. The format also changed into more of a Wide Open Sandbox with various Mini Games such as dueling other students, playing Quidditch, and brewing potions.


The format changed again with the Deathly Hallows games (two to go with the two movies), which shifted the gameplay into more of a Third-Person Shooter. The Hallows games do continue with basically the same "look" as the fifth and sixth games, however.

There are also four LEGO games; Two LEGO Creator games, as well as LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7. After WB had smashing success developing video games based on some of their other IP in house (including Lord of the Rings and Batman) throughout the 2010s, they decided to stop licensing. In 2017, they created a subsidiary called Portkey Games solely dedicated to this franchise. Its projects include mobile games like Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and an upcoming open world RPG called Hogwarts Legacy. This page, however, is dedicated strictly to the EA-produced Harry Potter games. And there's the unofficial parody game, Warthogs.


Tropes exclusive or at least especially prominent to the video games:

  • 100% Completion: You can take time to collect all the "wizard cards" and other goodies or not. But you really want to take your time in Prisoner of Azkaban and the PC version of Philosopher's Stone.
  • Abandonware: The older PC games use SafeDisc DRM, which means that on Window 7/8/8.1 as of a September 2015 Windows Update you need to manually enable a Windows service that's off by default in order to play it, and that on Windows 10 they are unplayable since that service has been dropped.note  EA has not digitally re-released the games, so the only official versions are the original discs.
  • Adaptational Badass: Gilderoy Lockhart in the PS1 version. Rather than being incompetent at magic, he's a fairly challenging boss with unique spells and acts as something of a Final-Exam Boss for the game's dueling mechanic. He’s even able to teach Harry a couple of useful spells. The latter is also true for PC version, where he also teaches the player how to fight enemies at the beginning of the game.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Ron gets a bit of this in the PS1 adaptation of Philosopher's Stone. In the book and the movie, he complained about Hermione to some of his friends, not knowing she could hear him. But in this game, he openly insults her while introducing her to Harry.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Professor Quirrell in the PC version of Philosopher's Stone. He teaches Harry Flipendo and Lumos and helps him practice those spells; additionally, he awards Harry house points if he follows the patterns well enough and if he collects all the Challenge Stars. Kind of qualifies in the PS1 version too; he teaches Harry the Verdimillious spell and if you get to class late he apologizes that he must take points from Gryffindor.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the books and films, Aragog never harmed Harry or Ron himself out of respect for Hagrid. In the Chamber of Secrets games besides the GBA one, he's a boss.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Professor Sprout is a redhead in the Game Boy Color games instead of having gray hair. Zig-zagged with Harry; earlier games retained his green eyes from the books, but in later games which use digital scans of the film actors, he has Daniel Radcliffe's blue eyes. His hair is also dark brown rather than black in some games.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: Gameplay takes precedence over J. K. Rowling's complicated plots, so the storyline of each book/film is more-or-less reduced to this for the game. But let's face it — practically everyone who plays these games knows the plot already anyway.
  • Adaptation Name Change: In the Quidditch World Cup game, Slytherin's Keeper is named Kevin Bletchley. In the novels his first name is Miles.
  • Adapted Out: The House Cup ceases to be a gameplay mechanic starting in Prisoner of Azkaban. In the various adaptations of the first two years, winning it was either pointlessly easy, annoyingly hard, or made meaningless by Deus ex Machina, so relegating it to non-interactive story was perhaps inevitable.
  • Airborne Mook: Frequent in the games set in Hogwarts. The dragonfly-like Billywigs, blue and extremely annoying fairies, books that drift out of their bookshelves to bite you, etc.
  • All Myths Are True: In the third game, the Chocolate Frog cards include an Israelite boy who killed a Giant, another Giant who lived atop a beanstalk by the time of his death, and a vampire who bathed in blood. All games also have Merlin.
  • All in a Row: Ron and Hermione trail after Harry in some of the games.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: While more of a puzzle stage than a battlefield, the GBA version of Chamber of Secrets' bean challenge rooms have backgrounds so colorful and wildly animated that some players become too nauseous to complete them.
  • And I Must Scream: At the end of the PC version of Chamber of Secrets, Hermione states that "being petrified was awful, but I've learned a great deal from it", indicating that those who are petrified are, in fact, aware in this state. The petrification was only temporary, but still... some of the students were in this state for months. And what happened to those who were petrified by Basilisks before the mandrakes were discovered?
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different:
    • The fifth game allowed you to briefly control Fred and George, Sirius Black, and even Dumbledore!
    • The second and seventh games allow you to play as Harry when disguised as Gregory Goyle and Albert Runcorn.
    • The Game Boy Color version of the second game has a brief moment where the player can choose actions for Lockhart and the DS version of the fifth game has Lupin also playable during the Department of Mysteries battle.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: In Prisoner of Azkaban for home consoles (PS2, Xbox, GameCube), pots, vases, shrubs, etc. would typically spawn Every Flavor Beans when hit by Flipendo (primary attack) spell. However, there was a chance of them spawning healing snacks to provide minor healing if your character was wounded.
  • Art Evolution: Compare the cartoony look of the early games to the realistic look of the latter games.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The Quidditch matches in the second PC game, where Gryffindor will almost always go 0-110 down... or even more, and rely on you to catch the Snitch. In the home console game, though, there will only be ten or twenty points separating either side before the snitch is caught.
    • The home console Prisoner of Azkaban game had over-zealously friendly AI, which would always shoot at the enemy as often as possible, regardless of whether or not you're standing in between them. At least they apologize if they hit you.
    • In the Quidditch World Cup game, one of the requirements for unlocking Germany's Team Special is to win when the other team catches the Snitch. Sound easy? It is, but the "best" part is actually letting the other team catch the Snitch. Long story short, they take FOREVER to catch it.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Prisoner of Azkaban features a Greek phrase on many tapestries — it's completely meaningless. (τηε τηα χρ ωψν τηε τηπα χμαρ — transliterated tēe tēa chr ōpsn tēe tēpa chmar)
  • Attack Reflector: The "Expelliarmus!" spell fulfills this function in the dueling portions in Chamber of Secrets and the games that followed, instead of its canonical role as the disarming spell (and despite still being referred to as such in those instances). Eventually has Protego take its place proper as of the fifth game.
  • Bag of Spilling: Downplayed; the second PC game carried over most of the spells from the first one, except it dropped Wingardium Leviosa and Incendio (the latter of which was replaced with the functionally near-identical Diffindo).
  • Bandit Mook: In the earlier games, gnomes will steal your Bertie Bott's Beans. In the first game, they are gone for good, but in the second game, you can get your beans back by defeating the gnomes which took them.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Deathly Hallows games, being cover shooters, are filled with chest-high walls.
  • Big "NO!": In the PC version of the second game:
    • When Harry is chased by a giant boulder, he lets out a completely unnecessary "Noooooooo!".
    • After you defeat the Basilisk, the Diary is destroyed and Tom Riddle goes "Noooooooooooooooo!".
  • Body Horror: In the final battle of the PC version of Philosopher's Stone Quirrell grabs his head and literally rotates it 180 degrees on his neck so Voldemort can see Harry face to face - and also presumably so Voldemort is facing forwards, as realising it in the same way as the book and the film did would mean he spent the ensuing Boss Battle walking around backwards.
  • Bonus Boss: In the second Game Boy Color game, Lockhart's Dueling Club can count as this. You can fight a student from every year up to 7th, the latter ones being much, much harder than the final boss.
  • Bonus Stage: The Bean Bonus Room in the second and third PC game. You got to collect tons of Bertie Bott's Every-Flavored Beans under a time limit.
  • Bowdlerise: In the second game:
    • The character known in the books and films as "The Fat Lady" is instead called "The Pink Lady". Lampshaded in the fifth game, in which she is outraged at being called "The Fat Lady". This particular change is only present in the American version of the game, presumably due to the word "fat" being considered more offensive in America than in Britain. But even then, it seems pretty unnecessary considering that the American version of the books left the term "Fat Lady" intact...
    • Ron's line after the Ford Anglia leaves for the Forbidden Forest in the book and film are respectively "Dad'll kill me" and "Dad's gonna kill me". In the game, it becomes "Great. My dad won't be happy that I lost his flying car." You know, in case people might get confused and think Ron's father would actually kill him.
  • Brick Joke: In the first Game Boy Color game, Harry trips on his way into the Gringotts dungeons, separating him from Griphook and Hagrid. In the second game, the same thing happens, and he says "They should make the floors more even in here. I trip every time I visit."
  • Camera Lock-On: Present in the PS2/GameCube/Xbox versions of the first three games.
  • Canon Foreigner: Marilyn and Arthur, apparently members of a mixed-race family.
  • Captain Obvious: Some gems:
    • "This leads to the dungeons". The best part of this is the fact that Harry says this every single time you enter the dungeons — and the first time, that is, is when Hermione is explicating leading you to the dungeons.
    • "We could change Harry into a Slytherin. No one would realize it was really Harry."
    • "Oh, no! The door closed!"
    • "Ow, that plant has spikes!" "And I imagine they're quite sharp?"
    • "Oh look, a bean!" "Thank you for pointing out the obvious, Ronald." "Will you stop going on about beans, Ron!"
    • "That's a phoenix!"
    • "It bursts into flames!" (Admittedly, the fire effect was really shoddy and might not have been identifiable as fire without the dialogue.)
  • Chain of Deals: There are several of these in the GBC version of Chamber of Secrets.
  • Chaos Architecture: You think the movies were bad about keeping the layout of Hogwarts consistent? Well, the games are worse. The earlier ones went so far as to have different platforms for the same game each include a completely different version of Hogwarts. The fifth game adopts the movie version of Hogwarts, attempting to smooth over the films' Geographic Flexibility. The sixth game reuses the Hogwarts of the fifth game with some areas added and others removed.
  • Chest Monster: During the Skurge challenge in the PC version of Chamber of Secrets, Peeves is hiding in a chest near the end. Be prepared for a Jump Scare as he's basically absent from the game (contrary to the previous game) until this point. He also hides in a couple of other chests in the game. There's no way of knowing which chests he'll jump out of the first time…
  • Colon: Cancer: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1: The Video Game
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Said by Filch in the first game, at the part when you're sneaking with the invisibility cloak.
  • Composite Character: In most versions of the second game, Lucius Malfoy takes over Cornelius Fudge's brief role in the story, making Lucius both the one who sends Hagrid to Azkaban and suspends Dumbledore. Also, Flitwick takes Binns's lecture on the Chamber, much as McGonagall did in the film.
  • Cycle of Hurting: In the GBC version of Sorcerer's Stone, if you fail to defeat the troll you get thrown back to just before the fight. Without any valuable healing items you may have used in the process, leaving you to get thrashed by the troll again and again and again.
  • Degraded Boss: A cross-game example. In the PC version of Sorcerer's Stone, you fight Draco Malfoy by catching Wizard Crackers he throws at you and throwing them back at him. In Prisoner of Azkaban, Imps are introduced as common enemies that are handled with the same tactics.
  • Dem Bones: The third PC game (and on GBA, which carries over the RPG element from the GBC releases) had you fight skeletons in the tunnels underneath the Shrieking Shack. Besides simply clawing at you, they could also throw their own bones, which did a surprising amount of damage.
  • Deus ex Machina: The games differ on how they adapt the traditional year-end "200 points from Dumbledore for being the main characters" bit. Some of them calculate the scores fairly, and if the last-minute points aren't enough to win the Cup, then you don't win the Cup. Others rig the scores so that Gryffindor is guaranteed to be in last place before Dumbledore steps in, and in first afterward.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • In the console version of Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione can enter the boys' dormitory, but Harry and Ron can't enter the girls', just like in the books. It's a pity the stairs don't fold into a slide if you try it, though.
    • On the first day in Prisoner of Azkaban, the fourth floor is supposed to be locked. If you take a secret passage located on the seventh floor down to the fourth floor and then exit, one of the prefects will question how you got there.
    • In Chamber of Secrets, getting caught by prefects while disguised as Goyle will cause house points to be deducted from Slytherin instead of Gryffindor.
  • Dummied Out:
    • The GBA version of Prisoner of Azkaban has remnants of a Tapper clone floating about in the data. You can cheat your way into it, but its Unwinnable, as the "catch the mug" routine was either removed or never finished.
    • The PC version of Chamber of Secrets has a hidden challenge level in the Gryffindor common room that can only be accessed by enabling the debug mode.
    • The first game was to feature a spell [Flintifors] for turning small objects into matchboxes. If you happen to come across the Transfiguration classroom, McGonagall briefly mentions this spell note .
    • In PC version of Philosopher's Stone, you were supposed to learn Avifors, like in PS1 and PS2 versions, but it was cut out.
  • Endless Game: In a way, the Quidditch World Cup can be this. You cannot end the game until you catch the Snitch, and you cannot catch the Snitch until the Snitch bar at the top of the screen meets, which progresses according to how many times you pass the Quaffle. So if you play without passing, it can take forever to ever get to the Snitch-catching itself. And when you get a Bludger or Team Special Move, you can significantly reverse the progress of the Snitch bar…
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the Sneak levels of the first PC game, Filch can hear Harry's footsteps on wood and stone, as well as doors opening and closing and vases smashing, but he seemingly can't hear Harry climbing up or falling down bookcases, or the noise made when Harry tries but fails to cast a spell. (There are also certain times when he is oblivious to Harry's footsteps unless you deliberately walk right into him, such as when he's crossing the bridge at the beginning of the Sneak Down level.)
  • Final Boss: If you've read the books or seen the films, you can probably guess:
    • Stone: Quirrell/Voldemort.
    • Chamber: The basilisk.
    • Azkaban: Not really one - closest are the Dementors (the GBA version has Draco Malfoy jump you at the very end. PC version has final version of Peeves, who will attack Harry and his friends at the Entrance Hall first time they enter after saving Sirius).
    • Goblet: Voldemort.
    • Phoenix: Voldemort (you play as Dumbledore.)
    • Prince: Bellatrix, kind of. You fight a series of Death Eaters, ending with her. Harry tries to fight Snape in the concluding cutscene, but fails as per the plot.
    • Hallows, Part 1: A group fight, you vs. most of the evil cast at Malfoy Manor.
    • Hallows, Part 2: Come on, do we really have to tell you which two characters fight to the death?
  • Fixed Damage Attack: In the Chamber of Secrets Game Boy Color game, Aragog's attacks always do 80 damage exactly regardless of your defense.
  • Foregone Victory:
    • In the fifth game's Dumbledore vs. Voldemort duel, Dumbledore is unaffected by any curses which hit him. The duel can only end with Voldemort's defeat. In the sixth game, Crabbe and Goyle attack Harry after he takes the Felix Felicis, and in the ensuing duel, they are unable to hit him. Also while under Felix Felicis, you brew a potion which is impossible to screw up.
    • In the second PC game, it is impossible to lose the House Cup. Even if Slytherin has the most points, they will get disqualified.
    • In the first PC game, Slytherin always has the most points at the end of actual game play. In the concluding cutscene, Dumbledore gives the Cup to Gryffindor in the same way he does at the end of the book/film.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: The first GBC game can have a glitch during Potions class that can prevent one of the needed ingredients from spawning, which will force you to restart your file.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • In the PC version of Chamber of Secrets, the polyjuice potion level ends with a sequence where Harry has to sneak out of the Slytherin common room undetected. However, it's almost impossible to get out without at least one student spotting you, so the more common scenario is Harry bolting for the door with a horde of angry Slytherins on his tail. No matter how many students see him, Harry will only get expelled if one of them catches up to him.
    • When the time for the Prisoner of Azkaban comes to be freed, he does so thanks to Buckbeak who also escapes execution. That doesn't prevent the players from revisiting Hagrid afterwards and have the hippogriff flight as many times as they like.
  • Gameplay Roulette: So much every character needs to remind you how to play after every cutscene.
  • Gang Up on the Human: In the PS2 version of Chamber of Secrets, prefects, gnomes, and gytrashes are found on the Hogwarts grounds at night. Prefects, despite the fact that they're supposed to protect Hogwarts from intruders, completely ignore the dangerous creatures roaming the grounds and are simply hellbent on chasing Harry to catch for being out of bed.
  • Genre Shift: The first four games are action adventure games, with the first three leaning more towards adventure and the fourth leaning more towards action. Five and six are wide-open sandboxes, while seven and eight are third-person shooters.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In the GBA version of Prisoner of Azkaban, the Final Boss is Draco Malfoy, who has absolutely no context for his presence in the final dungeon and is basically placed there solely for the purpose of giving Harry and Hermione someone to fight.
  • Goomba Stomp: In at least the PC versions, the way the game is designed allows you to do this to almost any NPC, although it doesn't affect them and merely makes Harry bounce off their heads. Repeatedly, if you're skilled enough.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!:
    • In the PC version of Chamber, Harry's response to the Sorting Hat's "You would have done well in Slytherin" speech is "Oh my gosh!" Apparently the canon response of "You're wrong" was just too subtle.
    • Surprisingly averted in the PS1 version of Sorcerer's Stone, when Professor Quirrell exclaims "Damn you, Potter!"
  • Grenade Hot Potato: Used to defeat Malfoy in the first PC game. In the third PC game, the imps will throw such explosive Crackers that need to be tossed back likewise.
  • Ground Pound: A flaming-pot-and-lantern mecha boss in the home console Prisoner of Azkaban game can do these.
  • Hammerspace: This is apparently where Harry has put Norbert during the first part of The Sneak in the first PC game.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: After you fight off a bunch of Dementors, it turns to a cutscene where Harry is failing and has to be saved by his future self, just like in the book/film.
  • Heart Container: The wizard cards in the Chamber of Secrets worked this way: Collecting 10 of them would increase your stamina bar. The home console releases Prisoner of Azkaban had the same mechanic, but you only needed to collect five of them, though they were better hidden to compensate.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Characters, especially the teachers in the earlier games, are always telling Harry which keys to press and so forth. You can't help but think of how completely nonsensical that would be in-universe.
  • Heroic Mime: Harry hardly has any dialogue at all in the first PC game, except when he's casting spells and during a cutscene while climbing the tower at night. Even more so in the PS1 game, where Harry only speaks when he casts spells.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: Many examples, especially when Harry-as-Goyle tells Malfoy he has to go the hospital wing in the second game.
  • Hopeless Boss Fight: When the Room of Requirement is discovered in the fifth game, Harry has to fight the entire Inquisitorial Squad. The fight is unwinnable — you will lose (if not, run out of time) and Harry will be brought to Dumbledore's Office as per the plot.
  • Hurricane of Puns:
    • Professor Sprout in the second PC game: "Let's dig right in, shall we?", "Harry Potter, would you like to plant your feet in front of class?", "We've planted a seed of greatness here today".
    • The Game Boy Color games, being much more humorous than the others, contain a lot of puns.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: Harry and other characters can heal by eating chocolate frogs. In some games, Cauldron Cakes will also give minor healing.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the PC version of Philosopher's Stone we are introduced to Peeves, and informed that "he's always causing trouble" - this is said by Fred and George Weasley!
  • Ice Crystals: The Glacius spells are represented with these, and even are visually shown to be crystals in Prisoner of Azkaban's GBA game.
  • Indy Escape: In the second PC game, the Chamber of Secrets level includes being pursued by a perfectly spherical boulder. Weirdly, it also has a marking on one area that looks useable for the Flipendo spell, but it doesn't work.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests: Found in nearly all games set in Hogwarts.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In the second GBC game, some of the things the people in Diagon Alley can say are very on-the-nose. One person tells you that your parents must be very proud of you; one woman comments that you look very pale and asks if you spent your summer in the cupboard.
  • Insecurity Camera: The suits of armor fulfill this function in the games. Their vision takes place of a highly visible cone, which is rather wide, buts moves around very slowly, giving ample time to sneak.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: In most of the games from earliest to latest ones. Though in the first two games, at least for the PC, you can climb to the top of the grand staircase and jump off, more often than not killing Harry. This was fixed in the third one.
  • It's Up to You: Ron and Hermione like to essentially say "You handle this, Harry — I'll do something inconsequential".
    • The second game has the most hilarious instance of this. Harry and Ron follow the spiders into the Forbidden Forest and encounter a pile of logs blocking the way in. Ron responds a little too cheerfully, "I'll give you a leg up — you'll have to brave the Forbidden Forest alone. Good luck, Harry!" Absolutely justified here, as even in the original story Ron's scared of spiders.
    • In the fifth game, Hermione's recurrent excuse is that she and Ron are prefects and shouldn't really be breaking rules.
    • In the 6th game, the Burrow is attacked by Death Eaters and while you (as Harry) fight, Ron and Hermione hang back and do absolutely nothing except yell pointless advice at you.
    • The early games would have Harry (joined by Ron and Hermione in Prisoner of Azkaban) be sent by his teachers into a large, elaborate Zelda-esque dungeon for the sole purpose of testing out a new spell, while the rest of the students sit back and relax in the classroom (although the second and third games do imply that other students get to attempt these challenges at some point).
    • In most versions of the second game, Ron and Hermione just assume Harry is willing to drink the polyjuice potion and risk everything by sneaking into the Slytherin common room on his own. And look for all the ingredients. However, it's pleasantly averted in the Playstation version for a change: Harry, Ron and Hermione all drink the potion, and all agree to find a few ingredients each. Harry's list is longer, but it’s established that Hermione's ingredient is the hardest one to find.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero: Harry and co. in all games, collecting every Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans, collector card, etc. that is loose. You can even steal beans from Dumbledore's office or grab a wizard card straight from some unlucky Gryffindor's chest! Taken to extreme with Ron in the third home console game, where he can find false walls as well as extract hidden beans and other valuables from bookcases. The game has several rooms practically lined with bookcases. You do the math.
  • Last Lousy Point: In the Spongify Challenge in the PC version of Chamber of Secrets, one of the secret areas is unlocked by casting Alohomora on an owl that flies by. This is the only secret in the entire game that is hidden in such a way, it is not a given you will even see the owl at all, and there is no indication you need to do anything with it even if you do.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The PlayStation version of Philosopher's Stone has lava in the Forbidden Forest.
  • Lip Lock: It's really bad in the earlier games to the point that at times it was pretty clear they animated the mouths without knowing what the dialogue was at all.
  • Magic Skirt: If you cast Levicorpus on a female student, she turns upside down in the air, with her skirt remaining down (up?) to protect her NPC dignity.
  • Malevolent Architecture: Hogwarts already had a degree of this in the books, but it's taken much further in the games. Interestingly, everyone but Harry seems to be able to teleport over the obstacle courses ubiquitous in the earlier games.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Venomous Tentacula
  • Master of Unlocking:
    • Hermione in the Hallows, Part 2 game.
    • Ron has this gift in the home console Prisoner of Azkaban game, where he can easily find false walls along with the treasures they contain.
  • Metroidvania: The PC version of Chamber qualifies, as you gain new abilities and can explore more of the castle grounds. In addition collecting wizard cards also gains you life points.
  • Mismatched Eyes: Professor Sprout's dialog box sprites in the Game Boy Color games show her with one blue eye and one green eye.
  • Missing Secret: In the second PC game, the number of secret areas unlocked is shown in the pause menu. The final segment leading up to the Chamber of Secrets indicates there are four secret areas to be found when there are really only three. Then again, perhaps the final secret area is the Chamber itself. On the other hand, one said secrets is actually two rooms on opposite sides of a corridor. It's possible the developers just missed an event flag for one of them.
    • There are several Lumos gargoyles in the same game which don't appear to serve any purpose (casting Lumos on them doesn't reveal any secret areas or hidden objects).
  • Monster Compendium:
    • Lupin gives you a textbook which serves as this in home console Prisoner of Azkaban. However, it only has one page at the beginning and you need to collect the rest, typically from Inexplicable Treasure Chests.
    • The Folio Bruti in the second Game Boy Color Game contains the weaknesses and resistances of each monster as well as a one-sentence description.
  • Multiple-Tailed Beast: There are several references to the Gytrash, which are ghostly dogs with forked tails. The gytrash is a creature in English folklore, though only the Harry Potter games describe it with a forked tail. Could be a Composite Character with the Crup, which is, in the books, described as being "indistinguishable from a Yorkshire Terrier, except for its forked tail".
  • Never Say "Die": In the earlier games, dying in-game is described as "fainting", e.g. "the game will restart from this point if you faint". So if Harry falls into a bottomless chasm, that only caused him to "faint". Downplayed, however, as the words "die" and "kill" are used in-story, e.g. "last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, a Mudblood girl died". Also Die, Potter!.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The opening for the Chamber of Secrets console games includes many scenes that don't appear in the game or original story: Harry, Ron and Hermione crossing a crumbling stone bridge (nothing close to this happens at any point); Malfoy attacking Harry with a Beater's club (Malfoy is a Seeker, and is no more aggressive than the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff Seekers); and Harry preparing to fire a spell at the Basilisk (the battle with the Basilisk is fought entirely with Godric Gryffindor's sword).note 
  • New Game+: The Sorcerer's Stone game for the Game Boy just starts over at the end of the year. You keep all your stats and wizard cards, sans all your spells if you didn't win the House Cup, meaning that you are stuck using only high level spells. This also applies to the Game Boy Color version of Chamber of Secrets and the GBA version of Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • No Flow in CGI: Presumably why Ginny Weasley and Lucius Malfoy have short hair in the second game while otherwise duplicating the general look of their filmic counterparts. Hermione got her (badly animated) long hair, though.
  • Nobody Poops: In Half-Blood Prince, the boys' restroom is full of urinals but has no stalls.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: The PS1 version of Philosopher's Stone has the Queen pieces in the Chess scene perform one during their capture animation.
  • Non-Dubbed Grunts: At least in first two games, when Harry jumps or climbs his grunts are same in every dub.
  • Non Standard Game Over:
    • Occurs in the second PC game should Harry be caught attempting escape from the Slytherin common room.
      Snape: Ah, Potter, I do believe your expulsion is in order.
    • Getting caught by Filch or Mrs. Norris in the PC version of Sorcerer's Stone (although what exactly happens to Harry after he's caught isn't specified). More bizarre, perhaps, is that getting caught by Snape (or any prefect) in the sneaking sections of its GBA cousin will only lose you some points and force you to restart the area.
  • No Peripheral Vision: Downplayed with the prefects, Filch and teachers, who can generally see rather well around them. Played straight with the knights' armours, which can only see within a narrow, visible cone of vision.
  • Not His Sled: In the GBC version of Philosopher's Stone, you can't one-shot the troll with Wingardium Leviosa like Ron did in the books. Quite the opposite, in fact — it's completely immune to that spell.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting:
    • When Harry fights the basilisk in the second game.
    • It's in the third PC game during the intro and on the menu screen.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The Chamber of Secrets Game Boy Color game has Ron's wand backfiring as a game mechanic that deals damage equal to a quarter of Ron's current health rounded down to the nearest one.
  • Perfect-Play A.I.: In the Dueling Club section of the second game, the spell "Mimblewimble" works on you, causing you to mess up the next spell you cast. When you do that to your computer-controlled opponent, they almost instantly shake it off by quickly using a random spell (which fails due to the "Mimblewimble" effect) and then start preparing a new charm (which works correctly).
  • Permanently Missable Content: Because you are unable to revisit past areas in the first PC game, any Famous Wizard Cards you failed to acquire are permanently lost to you.
  • Player Character: You play as Harry, for the most part. In the third and fourth games, you play as Ron or Hermione at some points, but it's still mostly Harry. For the fifth game onward, you're Harry almost all the time and only play as other characters when they had a big action-y scene in the canon. For example, you get to be the Weasley twins when they cause trouble for Umbridge and Dumbledore when he fights Voldemort.
  • Potion-Brewing Mechanic: In the Chamber of Secrets game for PC, you can use special cauldrons to make Wiggenweld Potions, a.k.a. the game's healing potions, so long as you have at least one sample of Wiggentree bark and Flubberworm mucus. This is also an important game mechanic in Half-Blood Prince.
  • Procrastination: In the Chamber of Secrets video game, the reason why Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express is because the Weasley family made the extremely poor decision of not shopping at Diagon Alley until the same day as when they were supposed to go to King's Cross Station. Not that it stops the others from somehow reaching the train on time.
  • Promoted to Playable: Ron and Hermione in the GBA RPG adaptations, Prisoner of Azkaban, and Goblet of Fire.
  • Record Needle Scratch: Used in the Half-Blood Prince game when Harry and Ginny start to have a "moment", but then Ginny mentions she's going to Hogsmeade with Dean. Yes, really.
  • Recurring Boss:
    • Peeves, oddly enough, since he wasn't in the films.
    • A gargoyle boss makes various appearances in the Chamber of Secrets console game.
    • The Prisoner of Azkaban home console game has enchanted books as mini-boss encounters. The first one is ostensibly the same Care for Magical Creatures textbook that featured in the novel, but later ones will also spit out spells at you.
  • Reformulated Game: As was common with licensed games of the time coming out on as many systems as possible, each game had different versions tailored to different platforms. The first three games had separate versions for home consolesnote , handheld consoles, and PC. Starting with the fourth game they used the same version for consoles and PC while retaining (by necessity, of course) a distinct handheld version.
  • Rewarding Vandalism:
    • Played straight in most games, where shattering vases, boxes, shrubs, etc. gave you chocolate frogs, Every Flavor Beans and other goodies. Downplayed in the home console version of Prisoner of Azkaban, where pots, vases, etc. didn't shatter when hit by spells. Instead, there was a minute-long delay before the beans regenerated to discourage milking them.
    • Inverted in the fifth game, which rewards tidying up Hogwarts. Oddly, this is the one game which actually justifies this trope, as there's a whole section of the game where you go around vandalizing the school in defiance of Umbridge's takeover. And, yes, you can still get points from tidying up Hogwarts while you're wrecking everything for Umbridge.
    • Chamber of Secrets:
      • Hilariously, the game has a Cutscene in which Filch mistakes Harry for breaking a vase when Harry spends the whole game breaking vases open to get the Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans inside. Figures Filch had to catch him the one time it actually wasn't his fault.
      • You're sent up to Dumbledore's office, facing potential expulsion. What do you do while waiting for the headmaster to arrive? Why, raid his office for Bertie Bott's Beans and wizard cards, of course! What could possibly make him more inclined to keep you in school?
  • Rocket Fist: Early boss monster in the third home console game can detach one of its torch arms and fire them at you. This hurts a lot if it hits, but the only way to defeat it is to freeze and then shatter these.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Giant rats can be encountered in the GBC and PSX games, and even feature as the occasional boss.
  • Save Point: The "save game" books.
  • School Uniforms Are the New Black: Played straight for the first three games where everyone wears Hogwarts robes except at the very beginning, but averted starting with the fourth game where characters wear casual clothes.
  • Sequence Breaking: In the first two PC games, it's possible to do this with some careful jumping. For example, the final puzzle in the "Sneak Up to the Tower" level can be completely bypassed, but at the beginning of the "Sneak Down" level the bridge has still rotated and Filch is crossing back from the other side.
  • Shaped Like Itself:
    Goyle: Hey! You losers from the Gryffindor team of... losers.
    Katie Bell: That's imaginative. Did you think of that or did Malfoy?
  • Shield-Bearing Mook: The Red Caps from the home console Prisoner of Azkaban game, equipped with daggers and rough metal shields. However, the shields are useless in this case, since you're blasting them with spells.
  • Simon Says Minigame: In the first GBA game, Harry learns spells by copying his professor's wand movements. The Chamber of Secrets GBC game has a Dance Dance Revolution-style minigame with this sort of gameplay featuring Harry and Professor Flickwick, resulting in the amusing images of Harry doing things like shaking his tush at the screen or breakdancing on his head.
  • Slide Level: Some parts of the Glacius challenge from the third game feature this kind of gameplay, by using the Glacius spell to freeze the water Harry is going to slide down. You can collect goodies like Beans and Cauldron Cake, but if you fall, you have to restart this part of the challenge.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The Chamber of Secrets Game Boy Color game brings us the Venomous Tentacular.
  • Standard FPS Guns: The second Deadly Hallows game essentially converts all attack spells to this, ignoring their canonical effects for the sake of (relative) balance. The Expeliarmus spell is equivalent to a pistol, Petrificus Totalus is an overpowered sniper rifle, etc. with one spell even acting as self-guiding missile launcher that can break through (some) walls. One wonders why the Death Eaters even bother with Avada Kedavra …
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the GBC version of Sorcerer's Stone, after Harry and Hermione send off Norbert at the top of the Astronomy Tower, the player can see that they are no longer wearing the Invisibility Cloak as they head back down. But there's no option to find it and pick it up, and no way to avoid getting caught by Filch as a result.
  • Super Drowning Skills: In the third home console game, even slightly touching the lake or any other water body will kick you back to the spawning area. Characters will actually sneeze right after that happens!
  • Supernatural Is Green: Ectoplasm left by ghosts, which can be cleared with the Skurge Charm, is coloured green.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: One of the things Percy says if you bump into him in the second game: "I don't wanna hear any more rubbish about me having a secret girlfriend!"
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Before the showdown with Quirrell in the first game and Tom Riddle in the second. Also, before the climax of the sixth game begins, Dumbledore directs you to make a Wiggenweld Potion for yourself and he won't take you to the Horcrux cave until you have it.
  • Sword Beam: How Harry fights the Final Boss of Chamber of Secrets contrary to both the book and movie.
  • Tactical Suicide Boss: In the Prisoner of Azkaban home console game, there's a boss monster in one level that assembles itself from the metal pots and torch casings lying around. It can stomp for shockwaves and fire self-guiding fireballs, but it's only vulnerable after launching one of its torch arms at you, which can then be frozen and shattered.
  • Tagline: "Dare you return to Hogwarts?" for Chamber of Secrets.
  • Take Cover!: Deathly Hallows games have conveniently placed chest-high-walls all over the place.
  • Take That!: One of the wizard cards you earn in the third game is of Amarillo Lestoat, a "flamboyant American vampire" who wrote a book called A Vampire's Monologue, which is "intended to bore the reader into a stupor, making him/her easier prey for vampires." If that isn't a parody of The Vampire Chronicles
  • Take Your Time: Ron, Hermione, and various other characters are always telling you to hurry or you'll be late for the next class. Of course, you can take forever and you'll still arrive just on time. Inverted in the first PC game at one point: no matter how quickly you go to Potions, Snape always decides you're late.
  • Tennis Boss:
    • In the first game:
      • Malfoy ambushes you on your way to Herbology class and begins to throw Wizard Crackers at you. The only way to defeat him is to pick them up once they fall to the floor and throw them back before they explode.
      • You reflect Voldemort's magical bursts back at him in order to defeat him.
    • In the second PC game, Dueling Club typically degenerates into a game of tennis with Rictusempra as the ball and Expelliarmus as the racket.
  • Third-Person Shooter: The Deathly Hallows games are essentially this with wands in place of guns, leading to Fan Nicknames like Gears of Potter or Call of Potter: Modern Wizardry. Part 1 also had three kinds of exploding potion bottles in place of hand grenades, though they were removed from the sequel for balancing reasons.
  • This Is Reality: "All nonsense, of course. Now, back to magic reality."
  • Truer to the Text: Some of the games follow the books more faithfully than the films. The character of Peeves appears despite being completely left out of the films, and in Chamber Of Secrets, after being blinded, it's stated that the basilisk now uses its sense of smell to find Harry instead of its hearing.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Not many people care about you randomly using spells for no reason. Shoot up a pot or a painting in front of some students or a teacher? Nothing. Levitate a desk or two and throw them around? Unless it's in a plot, nothing.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: The first GBC game has a Game-Breaking Bug that can trigger if you get the ingredients for Potions class in the wrong order; the one that's supposed to be in Snape's office will never spawn, forcing you to restart your file.
  • Vain Sorceress: In the first PC game, there's a background Slytherin girl, who, if you run into her, will ask "I wonder if there's a spell to make me even MORE beautiful!"
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • In the fifth and sixth games, you can Wingardium Leviosa benches and toss them around in the air, meaning you can also throw them at people. In an interview on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Emma Watson reported that her brother once vented his frustration with her by throwing benches at Hermione in the game (here's the clip).
    • Starting with the home console games, since you have free will to cast spells. The reactions from various NPCs sure are entertaining when you Flip- their - endos! Partially invoked in the I'm Game For That fanfiction for the first game.
    • In the fifth game, you can hex random students in the hallways. Most will just run away, but some fight back. Fred and George even encourage you to practice your curses on "any passing Slytherin", though you can curse kids from other houses as well. You can curse teachers, but they'll just put you in detention.
    • In the fourth, you can also drop boulders on people and push them into spiky plants.
    • In the Lego game, you can go around turning people into beetles, putting flowers on their heads, or, for giggles, if you choose to play as Voldemort, just blast everyone with Avada Kedavra.
    • In the third game, you can use Glacius, the ice making spell, on obnoxious Slytherin prefects, who will yell at you to stop. Most of the wandering children are too fast to catch with this spell.
    • In the first two PC games, or at least the second, you can climb to the very top of the Grand Staircase and jump off, gleefully killing Harry or, if you have max health and have all the Wizard Cards, almost kill him. In the third, you can always drop Ron down "bottomless pits" (in several of them you can actually see the bottom if you just look down) or send Harry flying off the edge of ice slides. And then there are the gnomes and the imps… with the gnomes, you hex them and then throw them around (you can actually carry them around until the game gets rid of them for you if you wanted), and with the imps you throw exploding wizard crackers at them in the third game (previously used on you by Malfoy). Also, there's Peeves.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the first movie, Professor Quirrel stutters "p-poor, st-st-stuttering Professor Quirrel." In the video game, he says "poor, stuttering Professor Quirrel" with a deep voice and doesn't falter in his words.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: In the third home console game:
    • A ghoul attacking Neville suffers from this. The only way to defeat him is to shine light into his eyes with Lumos Duo after Ron gets it.
    • The Hinkypunks are made out of gas and only become solid when you shine the light from Lumos Duo onto them. However, you have to do it for at least fifteen seconds. While they're rapidly moving around and throw explosive fire at you.
  • Weird Currency:
    • Bertie Bott's Beans is the main currency at Hogwarts that you use to trade with Fred and George for stuff. Whose idea on the development team was it to use candy as money? It's revealed that the twins were using them to play a practical joke on Snape by burying him with beans in the first game, but it doesn't make it any less weird. And in the second and third game, the professors get in on the act by allowing students to visit a Bean Bonus Room. It's particularly strange for the third game, because Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw students will discuss Fred and George's shop, which is in Gryffindor Tower. Of course, it's possible they might run secondary shops in other towers, but still...
    • Averted in the first two GBC games, which use Sickles.
  • Wolfpack Boss: Deathly Hallows - Part 1 ends with a fight against the Malfoys and Bellatrix at Malfoy Manor.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The word "muggle" is absent in the Chamber of Secrets video games, replaced by "non-magical" write-arounds. This is because at the time, JK Rowling was involved in a lawsuit and her own counter-suit with American author Nancy Kathleen Stouffer over ownership of the word "Muggle", who claimed the word was copyrighted to her via her 1984 self-published novel The Legend of Rah and the Muggles. Although the courts swiftly ruled in favor of Rowling thanks to fraudulent evidence (for instance, Stouffer had retroactively added the word throughout her book leading into the lawsuit), Warner Bros. and Electronic Arts decided to cover themselves during development when litigation was ongoing and omitted the word in the Chamber games. That way, in the likelihood of Stouffer winning or another outcome that resulted in not being able to use the word, the games wouldn't have to be recalled and fixed.
  • You ALL Look Familiar:
    • The background students in the earlier games. They had one or two pairs of male and female students per house duplicated endlessly. And everyone looks like they're the same age as Harry — older students only exist when they're named characters.
    • Fifth game:
      • When you go to find the first years who had skipped detention with McGonagall, they're also the same age as the Trio.
      • There's a random Ravenclaw with Seamus' face, just with different hair. It is highly creepy when you see them in the same shot.
  • You Have Researched Breathing: In the third game, Harry, Ron and Hermione get different special abilities in addition to the spells. Some are plausible (Harry is the only one who can climb up ropes), others not so much. Harry is the only one who can jump and Ron is the only one who can search bookshelves.


Video Example(s):


Harry Potter - Weasley's Wares

For God knows what reason, the Harry Potter video games use Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans as money at Hogwarts instead of the standard wizarding currency Knuts, Sickles, and Galleons.

How well does it match the trope?

4.43 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / WeirdCurrency

Media sources:

Main / WeirdCurrency