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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, 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 two LEGO games, LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7. This page, however, is dedicated strictly to the EA-produced Harry Potter games. The LEGO Harry Potter game is covered under the Lego Adaptation Game article. And there's the unofficial parody game, Warthogs.

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

  • Hundred-Percent Completion: You can take time to collect all the "wizard cards" and other goodies or not.
  • All Myths Are True/Historical In-Joke: On the third game, the Chocolate Frog cards include a 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 on blood. All games also have Merlin.
  • All in a Row: Ron and Hermione trail after Harry in some of the games.
  • 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.
    • Averted in the Play Station 2 game, where there will only be ten or twenty points separating either side before the snitch is caught.
  • Bag of Sharing: Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • Benevolent Architecture: Deathly Hallows games, being cover shooters, are filled with chest-high walls.
  • 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.
  • Canon Foreigner: Marilyn and Arthur, apparently members of a mixed-race family.
  • Big No: At the end of the PC/Mac version of the second game, after you defeat the Basilisk, the Diary is destroyed and Tom Riddle goes "Noooooooooooooooo!"
    • Earlier, when Harry is chased by a giant boulder (see Indy Escape below), he lets out a completely unnecessary 'Noooooooo!'
  • 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 Gameboy 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.
  • Colon Cancer: Harry Potter: 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 past him with the invisibility cloak.
  • Composite Character: In most versions of the second game, Lucius Malfoy takes over Cornelius Fudge's brif 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.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: 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, but it doesn't seem to work that way on your computer-controlled opponent.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: 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.
  • 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 turning debug mode on.
  • 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...
  • 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 uses Draco Malfoy).
    • 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?
  • 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. If Slytherin has the most points, they will get disqualified.
  • Game Breaking Bug: The Invisibility Cloak in Deathly Hallows Part One lets you bypass many of the levels. This includes the final boss fight. Put on the cloak, hide in the corner, and wait until you win!
  • 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.
  • Gratuitous Greek/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)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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."
  • Indy Escape: In the second PC game, the Chamber of Secrets level includes being pursued by a perfectly spherical boulder.
  • Inexplicable Treasure Chests
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: In most of the games from earliest to latest ones.
  • 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.
    • Also, in the 7th game, the Barrow 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.
  • Kleptomaniac Hero
  • Lost Forever: Philosopher's Stone is particularly brutal about this, especially in the PSX version.
    • So is the PC version of Sorcerer's Stone, unless you level cheat.
  • 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.
  • Mooks Ate My Equipment: In the earlier games, gnomes will steal your Bertie Bott's Beans. In the first game, they are Lost Forever, but in the second game, you can get your beans back by defeating the gnomes which took them.
  • 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.
  • 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". At the same time, however, the words "die" and "kill" are used in-story, e.g. "last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, a Mudblood girl died."
  • New Game+: I don't know about the others, but 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, although strangely, you forget 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 Gameboy 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.
  • No Fourth Wall/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.
  • No Problem With Licensed Games: The games based on the second, third and fourth movies had good reviews. While the first had a mixed response, and the ones from the fifth onward were not well received.
  • Nobody Poops: In Half-Blood Prince, the boys' restroom is full of urinals but has no stalls.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Ocurrs in the second PC game should Harry be caught escaping from the Slytherin common room.

 Snape: "Ah, Potter, I do believe expulsion is in order."

    • Also getting caught by Filch or Ms Norris in the PC version of Sorceror's Stone. 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.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: When Harry fights the basilisk in the second game.
  • The Other Darrin: The voice actors have changed a lot. For the first four games, Harry's voice actor changed with each game. Eventually, they settled on Grange Hill's Adam Sopp, who proved to be a very convincing sound-alike for Daniel Radcliffe. They could never seem to settle on a good voice actress for Hermione and so her voice changed constantly. In the case of Ron, Draco, and several other student characters, they eventually got the real actors (Rupert Grint, Tom Felton, etc.) to do the voices for the games. Interestingly, they managed to get Ralph Fiennes to do Voldemort's voice for the fourth and fifth games, but had to settle for Rupert Degas on the Hallows game. However, McGonagall is voiced through the whole game series by Ève Karpf, who manages to sound remarkably like Maggie Smith. Likewise, Allan Corduner did Filch's voice in all his game appearance. He also did a passable Snape in the early games, but for some reason got replaced by someone with a worse-sounding Snape voice. And it can't have been because Corduner wasn't available since he was still doing Filch's voice.
  • 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 escape Umbridge and Dumbledore when he fights Voldemort.
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: In the second game, the character known in the books and films as "The Fat Lady" is instead called "The Pink Lady". Possibly Lampshaded in the fifth game, in which she is outraged at being called "The Fat Lady".
    • Also, 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.
  • 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. Also a gargoyle boss makes various appearances in the Chamber of Secrets console game.
  • Rewarding Vandalism:
    • 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.
    • Hilariously, the second PC 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.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Giant rats can be encountered in the GBC 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, but averted starting with the fourth game.
  • Series Continuity Error: Whoever wrote the Cutscenes for the second game seemed to think that "non-magical folk" is synonymous with "Muggle-borns".
  • 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?

  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In the GBC version of Philosopher'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.
  • 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 Videogame 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 an uber health potion for yourself and he won't take you to the Horcrux cave until you have it.
  • 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: Especially in Chamber of Secrets. In the first game, you reflect Voldemort's magical bursts back at him in order to defeat him.
  • Third-Person Shooter: The Deathly Hallows games are essentially this with wands in place of guns, leading to Fan Nicknames like Gears of Hogwarts or Call of Potter: Modern Wizardry. There are also exploding potion bottles which are used in place of hand grenades.
  • This Is Reality: "All nonsense, of course. Now, back to magic reality."
  • Vain Sorceress: In the first PC game, there's a background Slytherin girl, who, if you run into her, will say "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).
    • In the fifth game, you can throw curses at 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.
    • And of course, in the Lego game, you can go around turning people into beetles, putting flowers on their heads, or, for shits and giggles, if you choose to play as Voldemort, just blast everyone with Avada Kedavra.
  • Weird Currency: Bertie Bott's Beans is the main currency at Hogwarts that you use to trade with Fred and George for stuff. I mean, who's 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 still looks weird! And in the second and third game, the professors get in on the act by allowing students to visit a Bean Bonus Room.
  • Welcome to Corneria
  • 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 name characters.
    • In the 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.
    • In the fifth game, there's a random Ravenclaw with Seamus' face, just with different hair. It is highly creepy when you see them in the same shot.