Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone (Or Sorcerer's Stone, if you're in the US) is the first piece of the Harry Potter series, and this movie tie-in game loosely follows the story of the book and movie, surprisingly becoming one of the best-selling PS1 games in the process.
Unlike the movie or books, though, Harry Potter also has the additional magic powers of walking through walls and blatantly ignoring people, as well as skipping half of his own game in order to finish the game in a magical 1:13:57.
Aah, I am -so- glad that this over! After restarting this TAS several times, and getting annoyed at the game more times than I care to admit, this project of mine, after months of effort and hard work, has finally concluded; And to think, I only started TAS'ing 6 months ago!
This game turned out to be a lot more challenging to TAS then I originally expected. Frame-perfect skips, unexpected glitch findings and just general annoyances stretched out how long this run should've taken to finish.
Many thanks to the guys in the Harry Potter Discord, for all your help with glitch finding and investigation! This really wouldn't have been possible without you, so sincerely, thanks.
I'm really happy with the results of this TAS, both with the video and the circumstances surrounding it. I've learnt a lot, met new friends, and overall had a blast making this. Here's hoping you have half as much fun watching it as I have had doing it.
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, you play as Harry Potter, the boy who lived, through his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Going through the school year is no easy feat - learning new spells and defending yourself against the dark arts as you unravel a mystery surrounding the Philosopher's Stone, a powerful artefact that is being hunted down by the evil Lord Voldemort, the man who murdered your parents while you were still young.
- OoB - Out Of Bounds
- HP - Harry Potter
- HP1 - This Game
- AAT - Acute Angle Trick
- CS - Cutscene Skip
- Voldy - Voldemort
The main reason why HP1 took so long to TAS is mainly because of frame dilation; entering a door one frame early or one frame late can result in the load times dilating by as much as half a second, which can knock your inputs completely out of wack, even when they should theoretically be sync'ed. Adding to that also is that the game only accepts inputs at 30, or in some cases, 20FPS, which combined with the previous dilation means that a simple change early in the TAS can have drastic effects later on.
Acute Angle Trick
The Acute Angle Trick (AAT) is a programming oversight in the HP1 engine. Basically, if you walk into the point where two solid geometries join, and the resulting angle is smaller than than 90 degrees, the game will get confused and push you into one of the geometries, resulting in HP acting bizarrely. Sometimes, HP can teleport upwards, as shown in Forest, or HP can jump upwards and grab the wall geometry itself, at which point alternating the inputs you used to activate the AAT can result in HP scaling the wall very quickly as he jumps up the wall geometries, leading to an OoB. This is the basic theory behind FSS.
Skipping Cutscene Triggers
Cutscenes in HP1 are triggered when HP walks into a specific area - usually these trigger areas are large enough to the point where you can't skip the cutscene, but in certain areas where the level design is sloppy, you can walk around or jump over cutscene triggers, and skip cutscenes entirely. This results in quite nice timesaves across the board.
In the second room, we slide down the banner not only because it's faster, but also because landing the jump in a specific way can skip the door entering animation.
Cutscene Skip on Ron saves 2-3 seconds.
Padlock Skip - if you press Square on the same frame the door unlocks, you can skip the animation of the lock coming off. You need to be standing near the door to do this; we do this twice.
Potter Parkour - You can Flippendo the block whilst going down the banister, which, combined with an earlier Flippendo and the speed boost of the banister, results in another minor timesave.
It's possible to skip the Broom cutscene, but the door remains locked if we do this, so instead I just walk circles around Ron.
Broomstick Practice - Because of the ring geometry, the game will count you as having gone through the ring even if you haven't if you cut it close.
Fire Seeds Skip
Going into the class, I do a bit of Wizard Sniping to get the block in the right spot, then go to class.
Fast Incendio - Incendio inputs are always the same, so by punching them in before the game asks for them, you can do this section ultra-fast.
Fire Seeds Skip - Using the AAT described before on this specific piece of geometry, you can grab a higher part of the wall geometry, then repeat the action to scale the wall and jump over the fence, saving about 20 minutes.
By bumping into Malfoy and hitting Square at the same time, HP does double damage.
The same ring glitch from Broomstick Practice is used throughout Quidditch League.
By saving the game, quitting, doing the Quidditch League and returning, the game gets confused and spawns Hagrid in way too early, skipping a good hour or so of the game.
...I hate this part of the run. 20 minutes of unskippable autoscroller. Eww, eww, eww.
Spawns in the Menagerie and Ollivanders are manipulated by what time you leave the shop cutscenes.
Forest is a neat little gem, showcasing most of the glitches from earlier in just a few minutes.
Fast Incendio on the first Incendio Wall, Trigger Skip to get around having to Incendio the bridge, and AaT to skip all the other Incendio parts. Overall, quite a quick, entertaining part of the run.
We start the split by tooting the flute. Doot doot!
Then, we have to do FSS again to get to the sloth brain. The execution's slightly different, but it's mainly the same.
To skip the Sloth Brain puzzle, we have to walk into the hedge wall at a specific angle - once done, though, all's good.
Banister slide for extra speed.
Now, 4-eyes. The first two eyes are simple, but on the third eye, if you leave the room whilst the eye dies, you can skip the death animation.
The fourth eye is the most complex. First we use the eye death skip from the third eye, then re-enter the room, let the cutscene finish for the eyes flying off, and then fall into the hole underneath the eye to death-warp to the exit.
And finally onto the endgame!
Forbidden Corridor mainly uses movement tricks to get through it as fast as possible, abusing the sightlines of Filch and Norris and generally sneaking.
Trials, despite the name, isn't really much of a challenge.
First off, Fluffy. Mash all the buttons. Sleepy 's. EZ.
Next, Devil's Snare, probably the toughest challenge. Flipendo all the tentacles when they light up, then Incendio the main tendril. Standing in a specific place during the Incendio makes Ron push you into a loading zone, saving 10 or so seconds.
Next, key. You liked Quidditch? Well, here's more of that. Nothing special.
Finally, Wizard's Chess, otherwise known as "this makes no sense" chess. Luckily, it's pretty easy to move to the right spaces with just a little bit of common sense.
Troll - basically move all the objects out of the way. There's a small timesave at the end by dropping the chair at the same time the troll falls into the pit, giving us control over HP a few seconds earlier than usual.
Knight - running into the bell saves having to Flippendo it, which gives us more time to charge up the second Flippendo.
Knights II - Basically skipped with one precise jump. Usually you'd have to fight them all, but you can just skip the fight entirely.
Voldemort Phase 1 - By keeping the pillar out of the line of sight of the camera, the game keeps spawning it, allowing us rack up hits on Voldemort quickly.
Voldemort Phase 2 - Dance around the mirror, Flippendo it twice to hit Voldy with a big ol' blast. EZ.
Voldemort Phase 3 - Mash Square, then hit X at the right time to do damage. Even easier.
And that's HP1!
This TAS could be improved by optimising movements and not saving at the start of the game - however, the Frame Dilation I previously mentioned means that I'd practically have to re-do the whole TAS, and I really can't be bothered with that. Besides, the timesaves wouldn't be that major, so it's really not worth the effort.
I've got a few screenshots to suggest:
- First off, Potter Parkour at 19038.
- Next, Fire Seeds Skip at 64247.
- Incendio Wall Skip: 164461
- 4-Eyes Glitched Ending: 197643
- CHAAAAAIR!!!: 251209
- Clody Skip: 256339
Once again, thanks for watching, and happy TASing, you speedrun wizards!
: Replaced with a spiked file that fully syncs.
: Someone else can judge this.