There’s been a considerable resurgence in interest for older Harry Potter games lately. Perhaps it has something to do with the recently released Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them film, or maybe it has more to do with the forthcoming next-gen Hogwarts Legacy, the first major Harry Potter-themed video game to come to consoles since the seventh generation. Whatever the reason, gamers are returning to older Harry Potter titles on the PS1 and PS2, and one Redditor managed to find a fourth-wall-breaking Easter egg that went largely unnoticed for some time.
In a clip posted to r/HarryPotterGame, Reddit user u/pastadudde showed off a strange idol animation found in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for the PlayStation 2. Should Harry be left alone long enough, he’ll slyly turn to look at the camera, shrug his shoulders, and then wave his hand, wordlessly communicating a sort of “let’s get on with it already” flippancy. Interestingly enough, Harry looks to be standing in the titular chamber in this clip, and, with the recent reveal of an explorable Hogsmeade in Hogwarts Legacy, it’s worth wondering if the iconic Chamber of Secrets will make an appearance, as well.
According to u/pastadudde, this out-of-place animation is exclusive to the PlayStation 2 version. Adaptations of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were developed for everything from the PC to the GameBoy Color, but, as far as anyone knows, there aren’t any other semi-sarcastic idol animations to be found in that era of Harry Potter video gaming. The game recaptures many of the same story beats and is relatively faithful to the Harry Potter film and novel on which it is based, and this may be one of a very small number of deliberately immersion-breaking moments in any piece of Harry Potter media.
While not explicitly related, this slightly silly scene calls to mind another meme-able instance in a retro Harry Potter game. In late 2020, retro gamers collectively guffawed at the very unfortunate character models on display in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for the original PlayStation, the funniest of which was the ludicrously polygonal Hagrid. “PS1 Hagrid” became a beloved meme, but impatient, fourth-wall-breaking Harry could be the next big thing.
Hogwarts Legacy is bound to spawn at least a handful of memes when it releases in late 2022, but, as the game is set to take place in the 1800s, familiar faces like Hagrid and Harry almost certainly won’t be making any kind of appearance. With that in mind, it’ll be up to hitherto unknown characters to convey the slightly quirky sense of humor for which some of these games are now remembered.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is available on Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, PC, PS1, PS2, and Xbox.