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Video Game / Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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"Lovely. Molting Boomslangs and corridors full of goo. This should be enjoyable."
Harry Potter in full Sarcasm Mode (PC version)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is a 2002 Harry Potter video game released by Electronic Arts to coincide with the release of the film by the same name.

The most significant difference from the previous game is that gameplay is a bit less linear this time, with Hogwarts becoming more of a Wide-Open Sandbox. Still, there are levels that you, as Harry, must ​advance through in order to complete the game. Based on the events of the book and film, these levels vary according to platform but generally consist of escaping the Whomping Willow, collecting ingredients for the Polyjuice Potion, sneaking into the Slytherin Common Room while disguised as Goyle, encountering Aragog in the Forbidden Forest, and rescuing Ginny from the Chamber of Secrets.

Fans have traditionally ranked this as the best of the Potter games, it marking the height of the Zelda-esque approach of the first three entries. The PC version in particular has its own mini-fandom, complete with an active modding community. And there's also the Game Boy Color version, which was one of the last games released for the system and squeezed every bit of power it had into an fine RPG.


  • Adaptational Badass: As in the previous entry, a large part of gameplay involves learning new spells from the Hogwarts professors. Since you ultimately have to leave Lockhart's classes knowing a new spell, he comes off as less incompetent than he was in the book and film. And in the PS1 version in particular, ​he's a fairly challenging boss with unique spells and acts as something of a Final-Exam Boss for the game's dueling mechanic. In the GBC version of the game, when he joins the party he comes with all spells known and fully levelled-up, although he can't actually use any of them due to having been previously disarmed by Harry and Ron. Despite all this, the characters still talk about Lockhart as though he was incompetent.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: In the book and the movie, Harry and Ron missed the train to Hogwarts because of Dobby's ruse and it wasn't their fault at all. In the PC game, they instead spent too much time in the bookshop without any explanation. Where all the other students and Ron's parents used to be before too, and eventually left to the train...
  • Adaptational Early Appearance: In a minor case of this, the PS2 video game features Lucius Malfoy making a passing reference to "Dementors" during the scene when Hagrid is being sent to Azkaban. In the books and films, the term "Dementors" is not used until Prisoner of Azkaban, with them referred to exclusively as "Azkaban guards" in the book version of Chamber and not mentioned at all in the film version of Chamber.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the books and films, Aragog never directly 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 Expansion: The trio stealing Polyjuice ingredients is a brief scene in the second book and not included in the movie version at all, but most of the game adaptations turn it into a massive Fetch Quest.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: In the book, Ginny has such an overpowering crush on Harry that she only rarely manages to speak in his presence. In some versions of the game, Harry and Ginny have a significant amount of interaction before they get to Hogwarts, and she seems to have no trouble talking in front of him.
  • Adapted Out:
    • In the PC version, the basilisk victims are pared down to Mrs. Norris, Nearly Headless Nick, and Hermione, cutting out Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and Penelope Clearwater. You know, almost all the actual Muggle-borns, whom the Heir is supposedly targeting. In the PS2 version, Mrs. Norris is cut as well, reducing the victims to just Nick and Hermione.
    • Neville Longbottom is not included in the PC version.
    • Dobby is nowhere to be seen in the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox versions. Even in the PC version, he only appears in one cutscene at Privet Drive to warn that Harry shouldn't go back to Hogwarts but is never shown or revealed to be trying to stop him or get him sent away.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: While more of a puzzle stage than a battlefield, the GBA version the 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, 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:
    • You play as Harry while he's disguised as Gregory Goyle.
    • The Game Boy Color version has a brief moment where the player can choose actions for Lockhart.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: In the Game Boy Color version, most of the enemies in the Weasleys' house are animate household appliances. Fans, toasters, desk lamps, and even garden hoses stalk the halls and yard. Some of them also appear in the Muggle Studies classroom.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions: Watching or interacting with the other students can be pretty hilarious. Some just jump down from high platforms like it's nothing, others spend all day studying a painting on the wall of their own dormitory.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • The Quidditch matches in the 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.
    • Even though the Prefects in the next-gen version are scary, their AI is... not that great. If you manage to avoid the Leg-locker charm they throw at you, they stand in place and you can hide behind something while they're looking at you and even run past them and they'll be left wondering where you went.
  • As You Know: When Harry says he has to see Hagrid after seeing Riddle's memory in the PC version:
    Ron: Hagrid's hut is out in the grounds Harry, but you know that.
  • Attack Reflector: In the duels, it's Expelliarmus that works like this. As it works both ways, prepare for magical tennis.note 
  • Auto-Revive: In the PC version, healing potions always work like this, except when Harry falls in a bottomless pit (which is the most common way of dying anyway).
  • 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, which Harry has to learn rather than already knowing like he does with the spells from the first game).
    • The PS1 version lets you keep Flipendo and Wingardium Leviosa, but attempts to justify Harry having to relearn Incendio and Verdimillious by turning them into the functionally-identical "Duo" versions.
  • Big Fancy Castle: Unlike the first game which treated Hogwarts as a nice background to otherwise detached platform challenges, this time around Hogwarts is freely explorable with a lot of secrets and sidequests, even including the moving staircases from the books.
  • Big "NO!": In the PC version:
    • 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!"
  • Bonus Stage: The PC game was the first one of the series to introduce the Bean Bonus Room, where Harry can collect as many Bertie Bott's Beans as possible within a limited time frame.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • 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 PC 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.
  • Broken Aesop: The PC version ends with a message about friendship, with Harry talking about how he couldn't have succeeded without the support of his friends. The problem is that in this version of the story, Harry actually kind of did do everything on his own.
  • Canon Foreigner: In a call back to Marilyn from the previous PC game, this one features her younger brother Arthur, complete with a fellow student explaining that he's "a bit off." While Marilyn was a blonde white girl, Arthur is black, so apparently they're part of a mixed-race family.
  • Captain Obvious: Some gems from the PC version:
    • "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."
    • "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, usually ending with you getting an item you can't get any other way. One that starts in Diagon Alley nets you a Dragon Skin Cloak before your first class.
  • Chest Monster: During the Skurge challenge in the PC version, 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…
  • Composite Character:
    • In most versions of this 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.
    • In the PC version, Flitwick takes Binns's lecture on the Chamber, much as McGonagall did in the film. Notably, Flitwick explains the legend with the same disbelieving attitude that Binns had in the book, which is something that was not exhibited by McGonagall in the film.
  • Corrective Lecture: Harry, Ron and Hermione each have special abilities in addition to spellcasting; while Harry can use Chocolate Frog Cards for special attacks and Ron can sic scabbers on enemise, Hermione's unique ability is that she can give lectures to power up the party.
  • Depending on the Artist: Basilisk's colour is different in every game adaptation.
  • Developer's Foresight: Getting caught by prefects while disguised as Goyle will cause house points to be deducted from Slytherin instead of Gryffindor. Only in the Playstation 2 version though. The Gamecube and Xbox versions keep the dialogue in, but it has zero effect on the gameplay.
    • Additionally in the Playstation 2 version is returning to the seventh floor and getting caught by the Prefect, also having two unique lines of dialogue, and interacting with the Fat Lady who refuses to let you in, even if with the password.
    • There's a brief portion of the GBC version in which you can enter combat with Lockhart in the party. You can command him to use any spell the player can learn and he even has all of them fully leveled up, as one might expect from a professor...but because Harry and Ron took his wand away, commanding him to cast any of those spells causes him to turn to the camera and shrug.
  • Easter Egg: In the GBC version, there's a hidden Unexpected Shmup Level. To play it, set the initials for the highest score in each difficulty of the Flitwick Boogaloo minigame to FUN, then use the telescope in the Astronomy Tower and press select.
  • Ectoplasm: Harry can be injured by ectoplasm goo dropped by beings like Peeves the poltergeist. There are also larger buildups of it that block the path and have to be cleared with spells. In the PC version a bridge leading to the Slytherin common room needs to be held in place with it.
  • Enemy Scan: The GBC version's Informous spell adds full information on any enemy except for bosses to the Folio Bruti.
  • Final Boss: You fight the basilisk at the end, as you might have gathered if you've read the book or seen the film.
  • Fixed Damage Attack: In the Game Boy Color game, Aragog's attacks always do 80 damage exactly regardless of your defense.
  • Foregone Victory: In the PC game, it is impossible to lose the House Cup. If Slytherin has the most points, they will get disqualified.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the PC version, 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.
  • Gang Up on the Human: In the PS2 version, 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 him for being out of bed.
  • Goodies in the Toilets: In the PC version, certain toilets in Moaning Myrtle's bathroom spill beans when they are hit with the Flipendo spell.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: In the PC version, 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.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Gilderoy Lockhart in the GBC version. See Joke Character for more info.
  • Heart Container: Collecting ten wizard cards increases your stamina bar in both the PC and PS1/PS2/Xbox/GC versions.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: When Harry-as-Goyle tells Malfoy he has to go the hospital wing.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Professor Sprout in the 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".
  • Indy Escape: In the 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.
  • Innocently Insensitive: In the 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.
  • Invincible Minor Mook: In the PC Version, the Venomous Tentacula plant enemy can only be stunned, not killed. However it can be stopped in its tracks (particularly the mobile kind) if both of its arm tentacles/jaws are severed, though aiming at them specifically is hard as the cursor would more often than not snap to aim at the main body instead.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Lose to the Basilisk in the sixth gen console versions, and there’s a special cutscene where the memory spirit of Tom Riddle fully manifests into reality as a new body for Voldemort.
  • It's Up to You:
    • In most versions of this 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.
    • The PC 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.
  • Joke Character: Gilderoy Lockhart in the GBC version. After his boss fight, he joins your party and he can't help you fight mainly because Harry and Ron took his wand. If you try to cast a spell as Lockhart, He'll turn to the camera just shrug. You can even have him write autographs and throw them at enemies. It doesn't do anything though.
  • Last Lousy Point: In the Spongify Challenge in the PC version, 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.
  • Locked Door: Almost all doors in the game are locked. Some can be unlocked with the Alohomora spell, but for others, Harry shows complete indifference and doesn't even try. There is even the door to the bonus level, which is locked with four visible locks. No, you can't use Alohomora, and you can't even try without any explanation.
    Harry: "I wonder why this door is locked? Oh, well."
  • Metroidvania: The PC version qualifies, as you gain new abilities and can explore more of the castle grounds. Collecting wizard cards also gains you life points.
  • Missing Secret:
    • In the 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 secret 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).
    • In the GBC version, the Folio Bruti entries for the Doxy Queen, Emerald Firecrab, and Dark Goblin can never be unlocked because those monsters are never encountered no matter how thoroughly you look.
  • Monster Compendium: The Folio Bruti in the Game Boy Color Game contains the weaknesses and resistances of each monster as well as a one-sentence description.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The opening for the 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); Harry dodging a giant stalactite; and Harry preparing to fire a spell at the Basilisk (the battle with the Basilisk is fought entirely with Godric Gryffindor's sword).note 
  • No Flow in CGI: Presumably why Ginny Weasley and Lucius Malfoy have short hair while otherwise duplicating the general look of their filmic counterparts. Hermione got her (badly animated) long hair, though.
  • Non-Standard Game Over
    • Occurs in the PC game should Harry be caught attempting escape from the Slytherin common room.
    Snape: Ah, Potter, I do believe expulsion is in order!
    • The PS1 version also has several unique game over cutscenes for certain unique failures, such as being caught by Lockhart’s cupids and being subjected to their Singing Telegram.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: When Harry fights the basilisk.
  • Optional Boss: In the 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.
  • Percent Damage Attack: The 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, 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).
  • Potion-Brewing Mechanic: In the 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 Flobberworm mucus.
  • Procrastination: In the 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.
  • Random Number God: In the GBC version, when you get to the Whomping Willow, Ron's wand breaks and from then on, when he casts a spell, it's a gamble whether he'll cast it successfully or it backfires and damages him.
  • Recurring Boss: A gargoyle boss makes various appearances in the console game.
  • Rewarding Vandalism: As usual.
    • 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?
  • School Uniforms are the New Black: In most versions, the kids wear their school robes for the whole game, even before they get to Hogwarts. Amazingly, several versions feature Ginny wearing Gryffindor robes at the start, despite her not being sorted yet.
  • Simon Says Minigame: The GBC game has a DanceDanceRevolution-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.
  • Singing Telegram:
    • The PS1 game features a version of the Valentine's Day Episode from the book, with Harry having to escape from Lockhart's "friendly, card-carrying cupids" before they can subject him to a singing valentine. Notably, Harry failed to escape from the singing valentine in the book, but in the game, being subjected to the valentine is a Game Over, and the story only progresses when Harry successfully gets away.
    • This episode is also present in the GBC game, there playing out a bit more faithfully to how it occurred in the book. This version comes with the humorous addition of Harry claiming that his name is "Bartholomew Mashingspoon" in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid being subjected to the singing valentine. However, not even this version features ink getting spilled on Riddle's diary (which is supposed to be how Harry finds out that it absorbs ink) or Draco trying to steal the diary (which is supposed to be how Ginny finds out that Harry has it).
  • Spell My Name With An S: The Game Boy Color game brings us the Venomous Tentacular.
  • Stealth-Based Mission: The last stretch of the Slytherin Common Room level requires Harry to sneak out without being spotted by the Slytherins after the Polyjuice potion wears off while he's still inside. In the PC version, this typically ends with Harry making a mad dash for the exit while being chased by the Slytherins, as it's almost impossible to make it out without being spotted by at least one of them. However, a secret passageway in the common room library that can be found while exploring as Goyle can be used to skip past most of the Slytherins, leading almost out right to the exit.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: One of the things Percy says if you bump into him: "I don't wanna hear any more rubbish about me having a secret girlfriend!"
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Occurs before the showdown with Aragog and again just before you meet Tom Riddle.
  • Sword Beam: How Harry fights the Final Boss, contrary to both the book and movie.
  • Tagline: "Dare you return to Hogwarts?"
  • Tennis Boss: In the PC game, Dueling Club typically degenerates into a game of tennis with Rictusempra as the ball and Expelliarmus as the racket.
  • This Is Reality: "All nonsense, of course. Now, back to magic reality."
  • Truer to the Text:
    • While the actual game portrays the Chamber of Secrets looking the way it did in the film, the game's cover art shows Harry in a room that resembles the book's description of the Chamber, with pillars entwined with serpents.
    • Several versions of the game include a level based on de-gnoming the Weasleys' garden, an episode from the book that wasn't in the movie. The GBC and PS1 versions also include Nearly Headless Nick's Deathday Party and Lockhart's Valentine's Day celebration.
    • There are numerous instances in which the game takes dialogue verbatim from the book when the equivalent scenes in the movie altered the dialogue in some way. For example, after the basilisk has been blinded, Tom Riddle says that it now uses its sense of smell to find Harry instead of its hearing.
  • Turn Undead: The Skurge spell is used to drive Peeves away and get rid of ectoplasm in the PC version. In the Game Boy Color version, it deals damage to ghostly and otherwise undead enemies and does Scratch Damage to everything else.
  • Unexpected Shmup Level: One of these appears in the GBC version as an Easter Egg. You play as a generic Gryffindor Quiddich player, flying on a broom and shooting spells at chickens that fly at you from the other side of the screen.
  • Useless Item: In the Game Boy Color version, completing sections of the Folio Magi gives appropriately-themed rewards. Not all of these rewards do anything; among them is Polyjuice Potion, which is not normally obtained as an item and has no gameplay effect.
  • Voice of the Legion: The PC game seems to have a thing for characters talking this way after they reveal themselves to be villains. It's one thing that Riddle starts talking like this after he reveals that he's Voldemort, but why does Lockhart start talking like this when he's about to put a Memory Charm on Harry and Ron?
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In the PC version, Dobby appears at the beginning of the game to warn Harry not to go back to Hogwarts. After that, Dobby is never seen or mentioned again.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: The word "Muggle" is absent, 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.


Bouncing Spells

Just bouncing some spells back and forth in Duelling Club.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / TennisBoss

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