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Video Game / Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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"Now, Hogwarts is full of secrets, Harry, so search behind every door. But keep in mind, not all secrets are rewarding."
Albus Dumbledore, introduction in the PS1 and PC versions

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (retitled, as always, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the U.S.) is the first Harry Potter video game. It was released by Electronic Arts in 2001 to coincide with the release of the film by the same name.

As was the norm at the time, the versions released on different platforms are essentially different games. But in general, Harry is the only Player Character, and all or most of the game takes place at Hogwarts, with the early part of the story getting quickly skimmed over. Gameplay consists of a series of linear levels, punctuated by learning new spells from the teachers. The Stations of the Canon come into play as you rescue Neville's Remembrall from Draco Malfoy, save Hermione from the mountain troll, and ultimately, stop Lord Voldemort from capturing the titular rock. Depending on the platform, other events from the original story may or may not be included.

The PlayStation game is notable for being the last mega-seller in the console's history, being (originally) the only console version of the Philosopher's Stone games. It was a massive success despite launching in the twilight of the PS1's life cyclenote , selling 8 million copiesnote , good for sixth all-time in PS1 sales ahead of iconic games like Metal Gear Solid, every entry in the Crash Bandicoot and Tomb Raider series, among many others.

In 2002, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets became the first Potter game released on 6th generation consoles. However, with 2003 being a gap year between the second and third films, EA opted to release a Philosopher's Stone game for 6th generation consoles in that year. This game reuses assets from the preexisting 6th generation Chamber of Secrets game and is therefore essentially a Prequel to that version. It is also closer to the film than the other Stone games since the movie had obviously been released by that point.

In all versions of this game, the majority of the music was composed by Jeremy Soule, who would return for the next three games, or four, if you count Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup.


  • Adaptational Badass: In the PC version, Malfoy fights you by himself, instead of being backed up by his goombas in the PS1 version.
  • Adaptational Jerkass:
    • Ron gets a bit of this in the PS1 adaptation. 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.
    Ron: Hi, Harry. Have you met Hermione yet? She's a real know-it-all and a teacher's pet.
    Hermione: No, I am not!
    • While Draco Malfoy is already a bully in the books and movies, the PS1 adaptation takes this even further to have him steal Harry's owl Hedwig.
  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Professor Quirrell in the PC version. 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.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Besides adding back in elements from the book that were cut from the film (and even adding a few of its own) the game considerably trims certain aspects of the story.
    • When McGonagall appoints Harry as Gryffindor seeker, the first match he's expected to play in is later that very same day.
    • Harry and Hermione getting detention and sent into the Forbidden Forest when they're caught after smuggling Norbert up the tower doesn't happen at all in the PC/MAC version (Harry alone delivers Norbert and it's Game Over if he gets caught). It does in the PS1 version though, and in the PS2 version the venture into the Forest is instead part of a quest to collect ingredients for Potions class.
    • The whole story of how the Trio discover the secret of the Philosopher's Stone is heavily simplified and seems to involve several leaps of logic. They never encounter Fluffy until the climax but instead just hear growling coming from the forbidden corridor, and for some reason decide that whatever it is must be guarding the Philosopher's Stone, and then conclude that Snape wants to steal it as he has been "acting very suspicious".
  • Adaptation Expansion: The PC and PS1 versions include an original plotline about gathering "fire seeds" in order to get Norbert's egg to hatch.
  • Animated Armor: Several variants appear in Hogwarts in the GBC game, starting with the boss in the dungeon leading up to the castle itself. Several suits of armor in the PC version move their helmets back and forth.
  • Body Horror: In the final battle of the PC version, 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 him spending the ensuing Boss Battle walking around backwards.
  • Boss Bonanza: The Forbidden Corridor is this in the GBC game, featuring boss fights against the Devil's Snare, multiple chess pieces, and a final Sequential Boss fight against Quirrell and Voldemort.
  • Canis Latinicus: Played straight compared to the books, where all the Latinate spells are at least based on real Latin. "Flipendo" just means to flip something on its end.
  • Canon Foreigner: In the PC game, there's a background Hufflepuff girl who, if you run into her, announces, "Hi, my name is Marilyn. I have a lovely collection of beetle pincers!" If you run into the girl next to her, she says, "Don't mind Marilyn. She's a bit off."
  • Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are: Said by Filch, at the part when you're sneaking with the invisibility cloak.
  • Contractual Boss Immunity: In the GBC game, bosses are immune to certain card combinations. Among these are Alter Enemy, Healing Attack, and any card combo with a Ring Out effect.
  • Cores-and-Turrets Boss: The Devil's Snare is this in the PC game. Its "cores" are the two large vines holding Ron and Hermione at the back of the room. Its "turrets" are five thorny vines that reach toward Harry and need to be driven back with magic before they make contact to deal damage.
  • Creator Cameo: In the PC version, the people in the paintings are all KnowWonder employees.
  • Cycle of Hurting: In the GBC version, 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.
  • Demoted to Extra: Filch and Mrs. Norris in the PS2, Xbox and GameCube console versions.
  • Early Adaptation Weirdness:
    • In this game, Hogwarts students are not depicted wearing the movie uniforms. Instead, they wear black robes over their regular clothes, like in ​Mary GrandPré's illustrations.note 
    • For the most part, Hogwarts in this game doesn't look especially like it does in the films. Instead, it seems to be an original interpretation of the book's description.
    • In the PC version, Filch locks a bookcase passage with magic, despite being a squib.
  • Early Instalment Character Design Difference: Professor Sprout's appearance in these games precedes her first appearance in the movies. Because of this, she has a different design in these games, having short black hair and a rather slim figure in the PC version or red hair tied in a ponytail and a more youthful appearance in the GBC version. The second game and the others use her movie look.
  • Failed a Spot Check: In the Sneak levels of the 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: Quirrell/Voldemort, with Harry playing a rather more active role than in either the book or film.
  • Forced Transformation: The GBC game has the Alter Enemy card combo, which turns an enemy into a chicken.
  • Foregone Victory: In the 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 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 if you don't think to search around the Hogwarts Grounds.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Surprisingly averted in the PS1 version, when Professor Quirrell exclaims "Damn you, Potter!"
  • Grenade Hot Potato: Used to defeat Malfoy in the PC game.
  • Guide Dang It!: The 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 or spend time looking around the Hogwarts Grounds.
  • Hammerspace: This is apparently where Harry has put Norbert during the first part of The Sneak in the PC game.
  • Healing Shiv: One of the GBC game's card combinations, Healing Attack, turn enemy attacks into this. Bosses are, of course, immune.
  • Heroic Mime: Harry hardly has any dialogue at all in the 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.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the PC version, we are introduced to Peeves and informed that "he's always causing trouble" - this is said by Fred and George Weasley!
  • Jump Scare: for the intended demographic, at least—during the final boss fight with Voldemort, he shoots green spells at you (obviously the Killing Curse, but thankfully they don't cause instant death) and you need to hide behind pillars while he fires them, causing the pillars to shake and then you can topple them over onto him with Flipendo. When you get to the last one, though, Voldemort just blows it up. Yikes!
  • Lethal Lava Land: The PlayStation version has lava in the Forbidden Forest.
  • The Lost Woods: The Forbidden Forest is a level in all of the games except for the PC version. In the PS1 version, it has lava. In the GBC version, items are hidden among the roots.
  • New Game Plus: Finishing the GBC game's main story opens up New Game+, where your EXP levels, cards and combinations are carried over. Your spell list reverts back to square one but you are given the Full Enchantment card combination, which you can use at any time to instantly unlock every spell in the game.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: The PS1 version has the Queen pieces in the Chess scene perform one during their capture animation.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: Getting caught by Filch or Mrs. Norris in the PC version (although what exactly happens to Harry after he's caught isn't specified, presumably expulsion). More bizarre, perhaps, is that getting caught by a professor, Snape especially (or any prefect) in the sneaking sections of its GBA cousin will only lose you some points and force you to restart the area. The PC version also has the Potions puzzle: you have to remember the positioning of the potion to cross the fire and cast Flipendo on it a few times, becoming harder each time you hit it after the potions shuffle. Pick the wrong potion and Harry will get poisoned and die, forcing you to try again.
  • Not His Sled: In the GBC version, you can't one-shot the troll with Wingardium Leviosa like Ron did in the books. In fact, the troll is entirely immune to the spell.
  • The Paralyzer: The Locomotor Wibbly, Locomotor Mortis, and Petrificus Totalus spells paralyze enemies, though damaging them breaks them out of it early. The spells also Palette Swap the enemies to gray or green while they're in effect.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • Because you are unable to revisit past areas in the PC game, any Famous Wizard Cards you failed to acquire are permanently lost to you.
    • The same is true for the PS1 version, with many cards hidden behind secret passages and / or difficult mini-games.
    • The Locomotor Mortis and Petrificus Totalus spells and the recipe for the Herbicide Potion are hidden in the Restricted Section of the library and can only be found before Harry trips the alarm during the first invisibility cloak segment. The Mucus ad Nauseam spell can likewise only be learned by using the Curse Book before you return it to the library.
  • Poison Mushroom: The Herbicide Potion deals damage to Harry if he drinks it. That said, you can only get the potion by brewing it yourself, so that's on you if you use it. There are also a few card combinations with detrimental effects such as Nausea and Sluggish.
    • After you defeat Malfoy in the GBC version, he gives you a card combination which he tells you to use if you're in danger. The combination will drain your MP if used.
  • Potion-Brewing Mechanic: The GBC game allows you to use your cauldrons at any time outside of battle to brew the game's seven potions. Each cauldron can only be used to brew certain potions, with the collapsible and self-stirring cauldrons being interchangeable with each other. The ingredients are found around the castle grounds. This is also the only way to obtain the Vitamix and Herbicide Potions.
  • Red Herring: Like in the book, Severus Snape is not the real culprit, it's Professor Quirrell. Though especially the PS1 version really tries to make Snape look like he is after the Stone.
  • Ring Out: In the GBC game, the Snitch Strike and Drone card combos chase enemies away with a Golden Snitch and a dreadful noise respectively. The Tempest combo blasts them out of the battlefield with a gust of wind.
  • Scratch Damage: In the GBC game, the minimum amount of damage that can be dealt is 1. Zero damage means that an attack missed.
  • Simon Says Minigame:
    • In the GBA game, Harry learns spells by copying his professor's wand movements.
    • In the GBC game, Harry learns Wingardium Leviosa from Professor Flitwick via one of these, following increasingly complex motions to levitate heavier objects.
  • Status Buff: The GBC game has several card combinations that boost Harry's stats or have other beneficial effects that last the duration of the battle. The Vitamix Potion also strengthens Harry's spells.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the GBC version, 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.
  • Suspicious Video-Game Generosity: Occurs before the showdown with Quirrell; depending on the version it's either a bunch of chocolate frogs or a Wiggenweld Potion.
  • Tennis Boss:
    • 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.
  • Truer to the Text:
    • The game features Gryffindor's second Quidditch match (against Ravenclaw) which was omitted in the film.
    • In the movie, it's simply stated in dialogue that Dumbledore had Norbert sent away to Romania. The game version includes the part from the book where Harry agrees to sneak Norbert up the Astronomy Tower to deliver him to Charlie Weasley's friends.
    • As in the book, Harry lulls Fluffy to sleep by playing a flute gifted to him by Hagrid, whereas the film featured Fluffy already put to sleep by a self-playing harp that Quirrell left behind.
    • The movie pares down the obstacles to the Philosopher's Stone, cutting the potions challenge and a troll that was already knocked out by Quirrell. The game adds the potions challenge back in, playing it as a Shell Game or a brewing minigame depending on the version. The troll also appears in the GBC and PS1 version, waking up in the latter.
    • Also in comparison to the film, Harry’s physical appearance and the way the Hogwarts students are dressed are a lot closer to how they are described in the novels, and Peeves appears as a boss character.
    • The 6th generation console version features some shot-for-shot recreations of scenes from the film. However, it does take some dialogue from the book and corrects where Hagrid got Fluffy from (a Greek man instead of an Irish one).
  • Vain Sorceress: In the 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!"
  • Vancian Magic: The GBC game's card combinations use your wizard cards to produce unique one-off effects, consuming any non-rare cards used in the process.
  • Vocal Dissonance: In the movie, Professor Quirrell stutters "p-poor, st-st-stuttering Professor Quirrell." In the video game, he says "poor, stuttering Professor Quirrell" with a deep voice and doesn't falter in his words.

Alternative Title(s): Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone


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