Harry Potter is the boy-wizard protagonist of the Harry Potter series of novels and the movies upon which they are based. Each of the stories he has appeared in has been adapted into at least one video game. The majority of the Harry Potter games that have been produced were published by Electronic Arts, though these games more closely resemble Harry's adventures as they're depicted in the films. In these games, his character model is based on the appearance of Daniel Radcliffe, the actor that portrayed him throughout the series. However, his voice is provided by a sound-alike.
Brief Character History
Harry Potter is the son of the wizard James Potter and his wife Lily. He is perhaps the most famous wizard of his time due to being the only person in history to survive the Killing Curse. The body of his assailant and his parents' murderer, Lord Voldemort, was destroyed by the curse instead. After he was orphaned, Harry was left in the care of his only surviving relatives, the Dursleys; a muggle family that abusively raised him in an effort to prevent following in his parents' magical footsteps until the day he was officially accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
At least one video game has been based on each of the novels/movies chronicling Harry's adventures, with each story covering one year at Hogwarts. In order they are:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Harry's first year at Hogwarts, in which he meets his new friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Together, they stop Professor Quirrell from stealing the Sorcerer's Stone (the Philosopher's Stone in the original British text) and prevent him from bringing Voldemort back.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: After a series of attacks leave several students literally petrified, Harry and his friends investigate the cause and discover that a basilisk lives in a secret chamber under the school. Harry kills the basilisk and destroys a cursed diary that once belonged to Tom Riddle; the young Lord Voldemort.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: After Sirius Black, the man convicted of betraying Harry's parents and leading Voldemort to them escapes from confinement at Azkaban, Harry returns to a Hogwarts under tight security from Azkaban's dementors. He eventually learns that not only is Sirius innocent, but that the wrongly-convicted man is his godfather.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: With the Triwizard Tournament set to begin, Harry is entered into the deadly contest by an unknown foe. After overcoming the three trials, Harry is whisked away to a graveyard where he is helpless to watch while Voldemort is returned to the flesh with the help of Harry's own blood.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: After being publicly considered a fraud for claiming Voldemort had returned, Harry returns to Hogwarts for his fifth year with the corrupt Ministry of Magic official Dolores Umbridge put in place as his new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, though she has no intention of teaching the students any actual defenses. Harry then takes it upon himself to teach his fellow students in secret. After a battle in which Voldemort tries to kill Harry at the Ministry of Magic headquarters, it is proven that Harry was right all along.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince: While the wizarding world begins taking the threat of Voldemort seriously again, Harry returns to school and is given private lessons by Professor Dumbledore, who educates Harry on Voldemort's past. He is eventually asked by the headmaster to help him retrieve one of Voldemort's Horcruxes; items imbued with pieces of Voldemort's own soul as a means to grant the dark wizard immortality. The retrieval of the Horcrux severely weakens Dumbledore, however, and upon returning to Hogwarts, they find the school under attack by Voldemort's Death Eaters. In the assault, Dumbledore is killed by Professor Snape.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Harry and his friends Ron and Hermione drop out of Hogwarts in order to hunt down Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes and find a way to defeat him once and for all. The novel was divided into two films, and as such, the video game adaptation was split into two parts as well.
Harry's Depiction in Video Games
Because the majority of Harry's adventures are not particularly action-oriented, most of the games based on his earlier adventures are designed as a series of minigames that string together events in the stories. Activities commonly seen in the games include brewing potions in Snape's Potions class and flying a broom during Quiddich matches. The depiction of Harry within the constraints of his video game world produce a unique vision for Harry's world. For example, in the novel Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry gains access to his family money at Gringotts bank with Hagrid's assistance. Video game Harry Potter goes to the bank alone, where he is forced to play cruel goblin games for an allowance consisting of exactly as much money as he needs.
The games based on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows are more action-oriented and based on common concepts found in modern third-person shooters. Some of Harry's spells have been redesigned to better fit the context of the action game genre. Further, the developers are allowing him to use the spell Crucio as an attack, though in the novels and films, the spell is considered forbidden and one that Harry uses sparingly.
In Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4, Harry is given the unique ability to fly using a broom. This ability is based on the natural ease with which he is capable of broom flight as seen in the original source material.