The game “HP and the Philosopher’s Stone” for Sony PlayStation 2

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18.07.2011. Fixed: new PlayStation 3 models do not support games for the previous platform, so this console is no longer mentioned in the text of the article.

The Sony PlayStation 2 version is one of the best games released from 2001 to 2010.

Features of the game. A typical adventure game. The player just needs to: check all the corners, climb on the cabinets and under them, look around carefully, understand what spells need to be used in this situation, since the enemies are not asleep :-). Almost all the scenes are very well combined with each other and there is a sense of continuity of the gameplay. If you do not take into account the distortion of the plot, then this game can be called wonderful without exaggeration.

The main goal of the game is to earn points for Gryffindor, search for Bertie Botts candy beans, cards with images of famous wizards and something else. Gryffindor is awarded a certain number of points for performing certain actions. Periodically, a video is shown indicating the intermediate results of the competitions between the houses.

Plot. The plot is in many ways similar to the book and the film, but still differs from the original sources: many scenes have been redone, new features characteristic of the genre of the game have been added. Fragments of the passage (videos found on YouTube are used) can be found below.

Well, let’s get started!

The video demonstrates the background – the events of the night when Harry, in fact, became the “boy who survived”, as well as part of the events that occurred on Harry’s eleventh birthday, including: acquaintance with Hagrid, a trip to the Leaky Cauldron, acquaintance and conversation with Quirrell, entrance to Diagon Alley, acquaintance with Ollivander, wand selection “the wand chooses the wizard”, an introductory test from Ollivander, introducing the player to the features of the gameplay.

It shows the continuation of the player’s acquaintance with the gameplay, the study of Flipendo, Hagrid gives Harry Hedwig.

After that, the player is shown first-year students sailing in boats under the leadership of Hagrid. The boats dock, the first-year students climb the stairs (implied), pass over the bridge, get into the castle. There is a ceremony of distribution by faculties. The ceremony itself is not shown – you have to listen and look at the wall :-). Soon the children run out of the great hall, Harry, Ron and Hermione get acquainted (Ron has a dirty nose 🙂 ).

Percy leads the first-year students into the Gryffindor living room. At the same time, the player is shown how to handle movable ladders, Peeves attacks Harry and Hermione with his jokes.

The lady in pink portrait guarding the Gryffindor living room asks for the password. Percy calls him (“Kaput draconis”). The portrait moves aside and the students go into the living room.

The following scenes show an introduction to Draco Malfoy and his bodyguards – Crabbe and Goyle.

The first lesson takes place at Snape’s. It is very short, as you need to find everything you need for the potion chosen by the teacher.

Snape’s Dungeon

The second lesson is conducted by the teacher Quirell – the guys have to learn the Lumos spell. Neville never managed to master this spell and Harry went next.

The study of Lumos, part 1

The study of Lumos. Part 2

Well, now about the peculiarities of teaching lessons by Hogwarts teachers. All classes are conducted of the same type and consist of the following stages:

  1. The teacher briefly explains what and why you need to do.
  2. The portrait on the wall moves away and a secret passage is visible behind it.
  3. The student climbs into it, the test begins. The student (Harry) needs to overcome various obstacles, fight with negative characters, search for a spell book and independently study what is necessary, practice the application of the studied spell.

Harry is learning a new spell

When studying the spell of Alohomora, Hermione acts as a teacher.

The following videos show Flitwick’s lesson on learning the Incendio spell.

Flitwick

Filius Flitwick explains the lesson

The study of Incendio. Part 1

The study of Incendio. Part 2

The study of Incendio. Part 3

A lesson from Snape, finally. Harry adds all the components found to the potion and to Quidditch – fly through the rings. Everyone who has ever watched the movie of the same name is familiar with the main events in this match: the broom enchanted by Quirrell, Hermione’s trick, Harry catches the snitch with his mouth. After the game, the guys tell Snape that they need Dumbledore (in the book they said it to McGonagall). To no avail.

Soon Hermione brings a book into the living room. Neville’s gift card puts everything in its place. The guys are making an action plan for the evening.

The final part of the game.

Three friends enter the forbidden corridor. Music is heard – The Fluff is lulled to sleep by the melody of the flute, The guys run up to the open hatch, sit down next to it and discuss a plan of action. They are interrupted by the appearance of a saliva Cannon on the Ron and the growl of the dog himself – the flute stopped making a melody and he woke up. All three manage to jump into the hatch at the last moment.

The snares caught only Ron, Hermione and Harry watching from the sidelines. Hermione remembers the Incendio spell. Harry gets down to business. After defeating the mutant plant, Ron is free.

Devil’s snares, aka tentacula

The guys and Hermione move to the next hall and see a lot of flying keys. Harry sits on a broom and the chase for the right key begins: again you need to fly through the rings. After flying through several rings in a row, you need to catch the key, like a Snitch in Quidditch. Ron and Hermione quickly open the door, and Harry flies in on a broomstick. As soon as the door closed, the keys chasing Harry stuck into it.

In pursuit of the key

The next stage is chess. Ron suddenly disappeared somewhere. It turned out that he was wounded – unsuccessfully played part of the game. Harry needs to finish the game with a victory. By the way, the developers of this part of the game, apparently, do not know the basic rules of chess! For example, the horse controlled by Harry should move with the letter “L”, and not one square in any direction!

Harry is on a horse as always!

Harry instructs Hermione to report everything that has happened to Dumbledore, and he himself must prevent Snape from taking possession of the Philosopher’s stone. Harry goes to the next room, and there is a surprise waiting for him.

So, the final battle. Harry sees that Quirrell is in the hall instead of Snape. The teacher no longer stammers telling Harry about Snape, his tricks. After that, Quirrell lets several ghost dogs loose on Harry, and he stands next to the mirror and creates a wall around himself and the mirror, it looks like it’s made of water. At certain intervals, he orders the wolves to kill Harry.
When the wolves are defeated, Harry goes to the mirror and sees the reflection winking at him and puts the Philosopher’s stone in his pocket. And now Voldemort gives his voice. Quirrell takes off his turban. Voldemort begins to intimidate Harry, after which the battle begins with him. Various spells are used, including the Wingardium Leviosa. There is one feature here: when Harry is near the mirror, the images of his parents protect him from the spells of Voldemort. But Harry, as a rule, manages to reduce the enemy’s health. Periodically, Voldemort manages to take Harry away from the mirror and the protection disappears. Chocolate frogs come to his aid, appearing in different parts of the hall.

Harry is protected by his parents’ images

As soon as Voldemort’s health level drops to a certain limit, a video begins showing Quirell’s death. After that, Harry goes to the mirror, takes out a stone and looks at the reflection of his parents, meanwhile, Valdik’s spirit comes out of the Quirrell, which notices the image of Lily, Harry’s mother, but it’s too late – the spirit passes through Harry and the boy loses consciousness.

James and Lily Potter in the Mirror Erised

After that, Dumbledore distributes house points based on night events. For some reason, he does it in the Gryffindors’ living room!

Summing up the results of the year. Exclusively for Gryffindors

Well, that’s it – now you can wander around the castle and the surrounding area and complete the tasks you started.

And a few more useful comments.

  • As you learn new spells, you need to visit the so–called Hagrid’s garden – all new territories become available there. The main purpose of visiting this location is to search for potion components for Snape’s lesson. Several times you need to go through practical classes of studying spells.
  • There are guerrilla tasks in the game, such as visiting Fred and George’s secret store and searching for a book in the library. In the first case, distracting Percy with dung bombs, you need to slip through to the secret passage – the entrance to Fred and George’s store. Interestingly, at night there is a brothers’ store, and during the day there is Myrtle’s toilet (she herself is not there). In the second case, Harry must first wear an invisibility cloak, and then go to the forbidden section of the library without it, bypassing numerous prefects, Argus Filch, Madame Pins, Mrs. Norris.
Peeves

Peeves, as always on time

A toilet during the day, and a store at night

  • Hedwig helps to perform some tasks – Harry can call her if he finds a perch and treats for her.
  • Part of the tasks is to fly over the castle and find secret areas. Very interesting – Harry sits on a broom and takes flight! You can fly over all the surroundings of Hogwarts, including the castle itself of considerable size, the lake, the courtyards. From a certain point in the passage, you can use a broom to, for example, visit Hagrid, climb one of the towers and look at the view.

Hogwarts Castle from the height of Harry’s flight

  • Periodically, Harry will have to fight with trolls (at least three times). The only way to get rid of the troll is to periodically activate the springs with a Sponge spell, lure the troll to them and dodge blows with a club. As soon as the Troll hits the spring with a club, it bounces off and hits him, which surprises him a lot.

The troll is friendly as always

  • Harry met the gnomes in the second book, but as in some previous games, they are also present here. They need to be stunned and thrown into burrows – this is the first part of the task. After a while, they get out of there and they need to be thrown there again, but at the same time not to be attacked – the attacks of the dwarves have a bad effect on Harry’s health.
  • Devils are found only in games, this one is no exception. The only way to fight them is to stun them and put them in cages. Harry is also not happy about their attacks.

Spells. There are few of them: Flipendo, Lumos, Spongify, Alohomora, Diffindo, Incendio.

Flipendo: Used to trigger mechanisms, throw enemies aside.

Lumos: for using a magic wand as a flashlight, searching for secret areas, showing hidden passages.

Spongify: can only be used on special tiles – after casting a spell on them, they become springs, which allows Harry to jump on high-lying areas of the castle.

Alohomora: serves only for opening doors and chests marked with a special sign.

Diffindo: spell-scissors – cuts fabric, plants.

Incendio: allows you to ignite or burn some objects and plants: torches, tentacles.

Rewards. The main awards for Harry are: house points, cards with images of wizards and inventors, chocolate frogs, pumpkin cookies, Bertie Botts beans.

Wow! Harry found a set of cards

Graphics in general. The graphics are very good: large game spaces, while many characters and objects are beautifully detailed. Not a bad animation: Harry walks, runs, flies, moves boxes, opens chests, desks, makes faces, performs other actions. In terms of the graphic component, the developers have worked hard.

Character control. Quite convenient, however, there are problems with choosing a target for casting a spell. Three keys are allocated for spells, while during the game you need to reassign one of them for another spell.

Casting spells. To cast a spell, you need to move Harry towards the object you want to cast a spell on. If everything is done correctly, a blue spiral appears on the object. After that, you need to have time to press the call button for the desired spell, otherwise you will have to “catch” the object again and press the button. Who did not have time – he was late :-). The effect of spells is limited in time – actions last from fractions of a second to several seconds. The main thing is not to yawn :–).

Characters. Hurray! The characters are recognized almost without difficulty, especially if you watch a movie before playing :-). The faces of the characters are somewhat strange, especially when the light falls on them…

But as for the expression of emotions: gestures, facial expressions – at the highest level! For example, when Ron reads an article in the newspaper, his pupils run! After Quirrell ran into the Great Hall, reported the troll in the castle and fainted, Snape looked around and quietly left.

Snape

Professor Snape, have you figured out who let the troll into the castle yet?

Enemies. Quirrell, Voldemort, Percy Weasley (at night), Argus Filch, Mrs. Norris, Draco Malfoy, Crabb, Goyle, Madame Pins, devils, Slytherins, prefects, ghost girls (upper part), ghost wolves, fire crabs, dwarfs, Doxy, bowtruckles, trolls (not only in the toilet, but also in herbology!), tentacles (plants), roots, bubbles with thorns, flying books.

Ghost-wolves – what did Harry do to them?

At first glance, it seems that this is a kind ghost

But at a second glance, everything becomes clear, Lumos!

Friends. Hagrid, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, Hedwig, Gryffindors, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw.

Music and voice acting. Exemplary musical design of the gameplay: high-quality, perfectly matched melodies. All the dialogues are perfectly voiced, sound effects. All sounds and special effects are in place.

What you can play on . The game can be played normally only with the help of a game console (console 🙂 ) Sony PlayStation 2 and PCSX2 emulator, which is very fond of modern video cards, may not work on office computers with a built-in video subsystem, it may be necessary to select BIOS images and plug-in settings for your computer.

Summary.

Disadvantages. The only thing that spoils the impression of the game is a somewhat overestimated complexity, a lot of things were invented by the developers of the game (often very successfully!), several delusional moments, including chess (developers of this level do not know how to play chess!). It is a pity that there are no games with such elaboration for personal computers yet.

Advantages. Hogwarts and its adjacent territories are very well implemented (if compared with the games in the first book for any other platform, then it’s just perfect!). In no game will you be allowed to fly on a broomstick through the territory of Hogwarts! Many moments are taken from the film and the book, not quite exactly, but that’s not the main thing. The effect of presence in the school of Witchcraft and wizardry is present almost all the time. It is recommended to all owners of Sony Playstation 2, as well as fans of J. K. Rowling’s creativity.

Harry flew to class, it’s a pity that you can’t join him!


Author of the article: АlехeyMS

Video materials were used in the preparation of the article ZeppelinG1993 (published with the author’s permission)