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Video Game / Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an Augmented Reality game developed for mobile devices by Niantic. It is published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment under its Portkey Games subsidiary, which is dedicated solely to games "inspired by" this universe. Similar in style and gameplay to Pokémon GO and Ingress, Wizards Unite has players take on the role of volunteers in a Ministry of Magic task force. Their mission? Get to the bottom of a massive conspiracy that threatens the Statute of Secrecy and will lead to the exposure of the wizarding world to Muggles across the world. Said conspiracy involves the theft of objects, creatures, and even fellow wizards (called foundables), which are randomly scattered across the world and guarded by potent magical guardians in the form of wizards or monsters (called confoundables).

On November 2, 2021, the development team announced that the game would be closed on January 31, 2022.

This work contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Peeves the Poltergeist of all people gets this. This is what Peeves looks like according to J. K. Rowling. This is what he looks like in this game.
  • Alternative Continuity: WB's official stance is that like everything everything published as a Portkey Games project, this is only "inspired by" the universe and shouldn't be considered canon.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The game is much much more solo-friendly than Pokémon GO. Even at launch, the game featured a wider variety of confoundables available to solo players, and players were able to deal with fortresses by themselves.
    • In 2020, the Knight Bus was introduced, allowing players to go to fortresses without having to physically go there due to COVID-19 lockdowns. Pokémon GO allowed the same thing.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Quite a few of the confoundables transfigure people into animals or other objects. Encountering them requires the player to undo the spell by casting Finite. Some of the examples include:
    • Arthur Weasley turned into a rubber ducky
    • Professor Sprout turned into a Mimbulus mimbletonia plant
    • The female Slytherin student transfigured into a ferret
  • Boss Battle: The holiday 2020 update introduced Adversaries to the game, enemies taking the form of the series' villains such as Fenrir Greyback and Slytherin's basilisk, among others, who are much more difficult than the normal Oddities players can face. Defeating them typically requires players to be high level in their chosen profession and often the usage of potions.
  • Boss Rush: Adversary encounters work this way, requiring the player to fight between 3-5 opponents in a row to win a battle. Best exemplified with the Voldemort battle, which forces the player to fight all four of the other Lethal Adversaries to even have a chance to fight the Dark Lord himself.
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  • Broken Masquerade: The whole point of the game is to prevent this.
  • Butt-Monkey: The male Ravenclaw student has been interpreted as one by fans due to how common he appears as a Foundable.
  • The Chosen Wannabe: In some of the unused text for the Voldemort encounters, Constance states that the reason she helped create the Calamity was because she knew that the SOS Task Members secretly want to be the Chosen One themselves just like Harry. It's hard to argue her point.
  • Capture and Replicate: In a mirror of Barty Crouch Jr. using the Polyjuice Potion to replace Alastor Moody for nearly a year, Constance managed to capture her grandfather Matthias and take his role as the leader of the Unforgivable using Polyjuice Potion, as well.
  • Combat Medic: Magizoologists are the best of the three professions when it comes to healing their teammates, being able to restore a lot of stamina and even being able to revive knocked out players. Professors are able to heal as well, but their healing is quite insignificant compared to what the Magizoologist can do.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: If this game is to be believed, Wrackspurts, one of the creatures Luna Lovegood and her father believed in, do in fact exist.
  • Damage Over Time: One of the specialities of the Professor in Fortress battles. Deterioration Hex causes the enemy to take damage themselves any time they attack the player they are facing. Although it has been nerfed, it is still very useful since it can cause enemies to knock themselves out without even having to spend valuable spell energy.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Wizards Unite is drastically different from both Pokemon Go and Ingress:
    • There are no PVP elements.
    • The majority of combat is similar to Glyph entering in Ingress (repeating a certain stroke pattern), but there are no set dots to follow, and strength is based on how fast you can input the glyph, not necessarily accuracy.
    • There IS real-time combat against monsters, but it is different from the tap-and-hold of Pokemon Go or defending/attacking sites in Ingress: it is more like a traditional RPG, and requires more screen inputs to aim your wand to attack or defend.
    • There is no switching between professions as soon as the player enters a fortress or starts an enemy encounter.
  • Demoted to Extra: Despite being one of the main trio in the books and films, Ron is noticeably featured much less compared to Harry and Hermione, who is head of the Aurors and Minister for Magic respectively in the game. He isn't even featured on the poster for the first Fan Festival and ultimately spent most of the game's storyline out of the action since he was kidnapped and eventually suffered from amnesia.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Dark wizards and Death Eaters show up in Fortresses and Adversary chains as some of the enemies the player can fight. Naturally, Aurors specialize in defeating them. Wizard Confoundables are of a lesser evil, being copies of actual wizards mindlessly guarding anomalies.
  • Eye Scream: Slytherin's Basilisk has already been conveniently blinded if it is faced by the player. It is still a formidable opponent to face, but can't use its fatal stare as a weapon anymore.
  • Final Boss: Lord Voldemort serves as the game's final boss for all intents and purposes, being the strongest Lethal Adversary in the game with a whopping 13,000 Stamina and requiring the player to fight all four of the other Lethal Adversaries in a row to even face him.
  • Floating in a Bubble: The Ebublio spell does this, trapping the target in a magical water bubble that can only be burst by magic. Conversely, there are also foundables that are trapped in water bubbles themselves, requiring the player to cast Bombarda to make the bubble burst.
  • Freudian Excuse: Constance was exposed to the injustices of the Wizarding World as a young girl, being abused by her grandfather who was a wealthy and powerful wizard himself. She ends up using his role as the leader of the Unforgivable for her own goals.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Numerous. Infamously, spell energy gifts became impossible to open without crashing the game for months.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The attack animation for Slytherin's Basilisk is biting the player character with its large fangs, but this is treated as a normal attack by the game and can be healed with potions. In the original canon, basilisk venom is fatal and can only be cured by a phoenix's tears.
  • Giant Spider: Acromantulas, the giant spiders featured in the books and films, appear as some of the enemies that players can face in fortresses and adversary battles. Magizoologists specialize in defeating them. Aragog himself was eventually added as an Adversary that players can defeat, too.
  • Having a Blast: Bombarda is used to shatter the enchanted glass that traps some of the foundables, as well as repelling giant snakes and banshees.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Hermione has done some pretty questionable actions in her quest to stop The Unforgivable, such as discretely slipping some Veritaserum to every member of the team, including Harry, then wiping their memories of her questioning them, in order to figure out who among them was a mole. This has raised quite a few eyebrows among players.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The Professor is the most balanced of the three professions, not having the same raw power of the Auror and lacking the healing spells of the Magizoologist. In a group, professors serve as a Support Party Member since they can buff their allies and debuff enemies.
  • Making a Splash: The Aquamenti spell conjures a jet of water, used for putting out magical fires that commonly show up as confoundables in the game.
  • Multiple-Choice Past: Constance Pickering, Hermione's personal assistant and the leader of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force, has stated that she's Muggle-born, but has also stated that she visited a dragon sanctuary as a young girl and that one of her brothers is a Squib. It was believed for quite some time by players that the writers must have forgotten what blood status she was supposed to be. Or because she turns out to be the actual leader of The Unforgivable.
  • Mummy: The Adversaries update finally added mummies as an enemy as one of the Ancient Ukrainian Ironbelly's guards after appearing in the game's files for a long time.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Unforgivable, who are apparently made up of some of the wealthiest and most influential members of the Wizarding World.
  • Our Banshees Are Louder: Banshees make an appearance in this game after being absent from the films, guarding a portrait of Salazar Slytherin.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Dragon oddities were one of the most anticipated features in the game, eventually being added in September 2019 for the Day of the Dragons event. All four dragon species were available worldwide in September 2020, as well. Four dragon species were also added as Feared Adversaries in a late 2020 update, being some of the strongest enemies that a player can face (although less so for Magizoologists).
  • Our Sphinxes Are Different: Sphinxes were added to the game as regular enemies as part of the Adversaries update, being one of the magical creatures from the books that was left out of the films.
  • Out of Focus: Ron is not much of an active participant in the game's storyline and at one point, he was even kidnapped by The Unforgivable. He was eventually rescued, but is now amnesiac and Harry and Hermione have taken it upon themselves to help him remember events that he participated in from the original books.
  • Playing with Fire: Incendio is used either to set fire to blocks of ice that have frozen foundables solid or is used against Inferi, which are weak to fire.
  • Shout-Out: At least one, added in a major update to the game's skill and spell-mastery system; the description of one of the added lessons makes reference to a "multi-day trip into the desert". The lesson's name makes the reference obvious: "A Horse With No Name".
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Naasz, one of the unseen characters who is described in the game's flavor text as a celebrity magizoologist. She is often described as cooking up hare-brained schemes to satisfy her ego and sometimes hampers the player character's quest to stop the spread of the Calamity.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Dark witches were one of the first enemies shown off before the game's worldwide release, but they couldn't be fought proper until the Slytherin's Basilisk Halloween event in 2019, also being joined by the female dark Ministry official. Although the list of human enemies the player can fight grows, only those two are female.
    • The Adversaries update added Narcissa Malfoy as one of the characters the player can face off against. The Lethal Adversaries updates in late 2021 eventually added both Dolores Umbridge and Bellatrix Lestrange as some of the strongest opponents in the game.
  • Snakes Are Sinister: Giant snakes are encountered several times as confoundables and eventually as adversaries. Much like in the seventh book and film, they are repelled with the use of an explosive spell. Serpents and even Slytherin's Basilisk itself can be faced as Adversaries, as well.