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Written and illustrated by Dr. Hugh
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Level 13: Gryffindor Challenge

(The Secret Level)


Hidden Areas

The game setting for a 3D game is like a jigsaw puzzle that has a geometrical shape. These puzzle pieces– the game areas – have to fit as tightly as possible. With the first four Tomb Raider games this body was a cube divided into smaller cubes. These areas fit tightly together, so there are no empty spaces. However, with the Harry Potter games that body isn’t a cube but – say, a sphere.

Hence, there are always spaces and these areas are sealed off with the default game play. The designers usually fill these empty spaces though with all kinds of creative stuff using their imagination. The game makers need access to any part of the game without having to play a whole section. There may be a bug to be fixed or... whatever. They have a built-in cheat code for that and in this Harry Potter game that particular code is the Debug mode.


Debug mode

The debug mode adds one button to the controls of the game: the Delete key. Other useful buttons for the debug mode are F4 to select a level, F6 to get full health, and F9 to automatically learn all spells, but these are not of our concern here, as cheating during game play takes all of the fun away. I don’t encourage cheating in my walkthroughs. When playing in Debug mode Harry plays just the same as in Normal mode. However, by pressing Delete the Debug mode is activated which has the following effect:

The controls by the key arrows and mouse convert to first person view and you can then explore the entire sphere and all of its clusters. You’re simply navigating a camera in a 3-D computer graphic environment. Hence, you can pass through all obstacles like walls, floors, and ceilings; go up and down, in circles, etc.

When you pass the boundaries of the sphere the screen becomes black because there is nothing there, so you simply backtrack and you’re back within the sphere. But now comes the interesting part. Wherever you stop in whatever spot of an area and you press Delete again, Harry materializes at that spot in the real environment of the game! I know of at least a couple of such sealed off areas that Harry cannot enter: a kind of cave without any opening and a large area that contains an entire Level!

Poor Harry would be stuck forever in this room.


Now the purpose is to find a way to get into this huge area and play that Level!

Secret Level

This Level is hidden behind a door that Harry cannot open during normal game play. It can only be entered in the Debug mode. It now becomes clear that the Harry Potter games are very complicated games that may be played on different levels of difficulty. Children play the games for fun collecting Wizard Cards and secret seekers who are real computer enthusiasts look for Secret Levels.

Now why have the game designers hidden this Level so well? Was it a Level that they did not find satisfactory, but did not want to delete it? Was it the first ever Challenge they created? Would they purposely open a way for the real Aficionados to discover this Level? My guess is a combination of all.

A real computer wizard is interested in some of the game Directory files and with a boot process there is a BOOT.ini written in Wordpad with all kinds of data determining the boot process. There is such a GAME.ini in the System folder of the game Directory as well.

When reading this text, most items end in “=True”, but some end in “=False”. One of these data is “bDebugMode=False”. This explains two things: firstly the Debug in their current game mode is disabled by default. Secondly, replacing False by True would enable the Debug mode.

Conversion into Debug Mode

First let’s convert the game into Debug mode. Open Windows Explorer and look for the installed Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets directory in the left hand part of the Window. Click on the + prefix and all folders will unfold. Click on the System folder and all its files will appear on the right side of the Window. Somewhere in the middle you’ll find the file GAME.ini

The System folder and its contents; the arrow points to the GAME.ini file.


Double click on that and the text of the file appears. Go to the bottom of the (long) file. Counting from the bottom up the third paragraph is:


The bottom of the GAME.ini text.

Highlight False and type True:


The altered button of the GAME.ini text.


When you go out of the GAME.ini text a window will now ask if you want to keep the changes. Select yes. Now you’re ready to play Harry in Debug mode.

So in order to enter that sealed off area where the Gryffindor Challenge is located, you must go in there in activated Debug mode and materialize Harry in there. Then deactivate, so you can play that Level after all like any other Level, and this is what we intend to do here.

Finally, as a precaution, copy the last saved game [12.13] of the slot you have played the game in, to at least two other slots or to a folder of your choice. Start the game from your regular slot and load the game. You’ll automatically load the last save block of the game.




[13.1] You will find Harry standing by the fire in the Gryffindor Common Room near the Save Book he just used.

Harry stands by the fireplace.


Note there are small green letters in the front right corner now indicating you’re playing in the Debug mode. Also Harry will only have the first of his stamina lightning symbols operative out of six in the upper right corner.

However, if you still have Wiggenweld potions in your inventory, you can use them and fill up the lightning symbols – one per bottle. Run all the way up the stairs again until you reach the upper balcony and turn right. This door was not accessible in the game, remember? That is the sealed off entrance to the Gryffindor challenge.

The inaccessible door on the balcony


The Secret Entrance

Now face the door and press Delete and then press Upper Arrow. The view will turn into first person and you will penetrate the door. Once inside the room behind the door release the Upper Arrow and press Delete again to get Harry back to normal. The game will then load.

There are 10 Challenge Stars and 9 Secrets to be found. The Secrets constitute hidden rooms that upon entering produce a typical sound of chimes. At each moment the number of discovered Secrets can be checked on the menu by pressing Esc. As always, when Harry takes the Completion Star, the Challenge will be over.

The Bridge over the Void

Harry is standing on a ledge now and has to perform a running jump over the gap to reach his first of 10 Challenge Stars spread throughout this Level.

Harry’s initial position for the Challenge


First turn around and you’ll notice a chest standing in each corner. Extract the Beans with Alohomora. Sometimes each contains a Choco Frog too, so try to catch it and increase you stamina.

Two chests in the corners near the entrance


Now jump to the middle platform and make sure you don’t fall down. If so, you’ll have to start allover from [13.1]

Do a running jump to the first Star


Turn right and jump through the arch to the next balcony. In the left corner is a Diffindo rope that will open the door on your left. Take care of the chest with Alohomora for the goodies. Standing in front of the Spongify carpet you will already hear the grumbling sound of some Gnomes. Spongify the carpet and jump high to the next ledge.

Do a Spongify jump to the opposite higher ledge.


Empty the cauldron for Beans with Flipendo and cast Alohomora on a suspicious looking niche under the arch. Enter the room with the cauldron and you’ll hear the sound of chimes. This is your 1st Secret Room! Cast Flipendo on the cauldron and take the Beans.

The First Secret


Turn left and cast Alohomora on a dark niche under another arch.  You’ll see a chest in there. Go inside and listen to the chimes again. There is your 2nd Secret Room.  Open this chest with Alohomora. Go outside and follow the track of colored Beans on your right until you reach a mechanism with a rope.

Diffindo on the rope will lower both halves of the bridge on your left where you’ll see Harry’s 2nd Challenge Star in front of a spider web. Destroy the web with Diffindo and open the lock on your left with Alohomora.

The Tower

The Antechamber contains a cauldron with Beans. Now you’ll be standing high on a ledge. Look down: you’ll see the floor of a high Tower with two chests and 4 Gnomes. Now also look up to notice how tall that Tower is. Obviously you’ll have to climb that Tower all the way up through the protruding platforms.

Floor of the Tower

View from the bottom


Be very careful with the Gnomes since Harry has only one lightning symbol. Left of the ledge you notice a staircase with high steps. Go down the stairs and stand on the lowest step. Stun a Gnome with Flipendo and quickly jump down to throw him into the closest of the four holes. Immediately run to the step again and repeat this until all 4 Gnomes are safely thrown into their holes. Now open both chests with Alohomora; one usually also contains a Chokkie.

On the highest ledge you’ll notice another wheel mechanism with a rope to cast Diffindo on. A ledge with a Magic Carpet will protrude from the wall. Spongify the Carpet and jump up to a higher ledge. Wait, do not Spongify this Carpet yet!

Follow the track of Beans all around the ledge. At the end a panel in the wall will slide upward revealing a Flipendo sign. Charm the sign and a short cut will show how a new track of Beans is formed along the ledge again.

A magic track with Beans


Follow the track again to the Carpet and Spongify it now. Take a high jump to another ledge with a Carpet.

Still another higher ledge with a Magic Carpet


Again do not jump higher yet, but turn right and follow another track of Beans until you reach the wall. Turn around and in the opposite corner notice a staircase with three ledges and a chest on top. Walk there and open the chest with Alohomora.

A chest in the opposite corner


Most likely the chest contains a Chocolate Frog besides a number of Beans, but is very hard to catch the Frog and he’ll probably drop all the way down. Take a jump from the Spongified Carpet and jump to the highest ledge with the 3rd Challenge Star!

Harry’s 3rd Star on the highest ledge of the Tower


Open the lock of the door with Alohomora and Flipendo the cauldron most likely containing a Frog. On your right a staircase goes down to a Save Book behind a spider web. Diffindo on the web and the saved game is yours.

The sole Save Book of this Level

The Room with two Blocks

[13.2] HP enters a room with a block puzzle, a ledge and a roof both full of Beans, a Challenge Star on a ledge, one on another ledge behind bars and one in the center of the roof beams that seems beyond reach. Hmm... your main puzzle in the Secret Level!

You’ll have to catch all three Challenge Stars in this room in a certain sequence. First we’re going for the Star on the roof. Push the tall block near the ledge with the beans by casting multiple Flipendo’s. Now push the square block behind the other block.  The new position of the blocks looks like this:

A way to the ledge with Beans


Climb from the smaller block to the larger and do a running jump to the ledge. Cast Alohomora on the section of the wall right in front of you and a secret rectangle in the wall will open up revealing a hidden room. Enter and listen to the Chime sound, indicating this is your 3rd Secret Room.

Alohomora on the middle part...

...lowers a part of the wall


Go inside and climb the ledges on your left until you reach a ledge with a wheel mechanism. Cast Diffindo on the rope and a wall will lower allowing access to the beam construction under the roof.

The secret entrance to the attic


Grab the 4th Challenge Star and carefully walk over the Beams collecting all Bertie Bott’s Beans and then return through the Secret Room to the ledge and grab all Beans there too before jumping down to the tall block and back to the floor. Now push the small block to a side groove. Then you can push the blocks in a position in front of the balcony with the grilled fence:

The way to the grilled balcony


Shoot both ropes with Diffindo and the grille will slide upwards. Go inside and seize your 5th Challenge star. Open the chest for the goodies, turn around and direct Alohomora to each part of the walls near the entrance. These are your Secret Rooms # 4 and 5. Open each chest with Alohomora and increase your treasure of Beans. Jump down to the floor and shuffle the blocks in front of the third balcony. Jump to it and you’ll see two Challenge Stars.

Two Challenge Stars in that passage


Take your 6th Star and enter the passage.

The Library

Immediately on your left you’ll see a door with a lock. Deny that for now and go on to your 7th Challenge Star. The door behind you will close and you’ll hear the grumbling sounds of Gnomes again. Go seize the Star and look at the Gentleman’s painting in front of you. Cast Alohomora on the painting and it will slide left and reveal a Magic Rope. Cast Diffindo on the Rope and a cut scene will show a bookcase sliding open on your right.

A tricky painting


The new opening gives access to a dark passage going upward to your 8th Challenge Star. Walk inside and you’ll here the chimes: your 6th Secret Room! Grab the Star and turn left and right. Cast Alohomora on each wall to find two Secret Rooms # 7 and 8 - each with a chest on the floor. Open them – most likely at least one of both contains a Frog as well.

Another Secret in these walls


Walk around the landing and look down at the Library. The Completion Star is on a bookcase and downstairs you see a bunch of Fire Crabs and a couple of Gnomes patrolling around!

Some nasty guards downstairs!


Go out to the left side of the Library and cast Alohomora on the Lord’s painting. It will slide aside revealing a Magic Rope. Cast Diffindo and a cut scene will show a bookcase in a corner of the Library halfway retreating into the wall.

Alohomora and Diffindo move the bookcase inward


Now run to the other corner and repeat that on the Lady’s painting. A cut scene will now show how the case fully retreats revealing a room with a Challenge Star!

The bookcase has now fully disappeared


Turn around and cast Alohomora on the chest at the end of the landing. Look downstairs from this spot and notice that the room with the Star is in the far left corner and that there are lots of chests between the bookcases.

Fire Crabs, chests and the corner room


Go down the stairs through the open entrance near the Lady’s Portrait and notice that it gives access to the Library. Now return to the locked door near the sealed entrance of the second floor landing and open the door with Alohomora. Go down and find another door with a lock to open.

This one gives access to an Antechamber of the Library. On the other side of the wall you’ll see a spider web sealing off an entrance. Don’t run towards it yet but before entering the Antechamber turn right and find another spider web.

Open it with Diffindo and find a chest in there. Get the Beans out of there with Alohomora. Now walk into the Antechamber where the Crabs and the Gnomes won’t bother you and notice a cauldron and two Gnome holes in a wall. Cast Flipendo on the cauldron for the goodies.

Cast Diffindo on the spider web in the corner and enter a dark passage where you’ll find your 9th Challenge Star. From the spot of the flipped cauldron watch the entrance giving access to the Library, and should you see a Gnome pass by, cast Flipendo on him, quickly run to him, grab him and throw him into a hole.

You may run in to chase the second Gnome and stun him too for disposal in one of the holes. Watch the attacks of Fire Crabs and avoid them as much as you can, or flip them on their back by quickly casting Rictusempra. Run to the 9th and final Secret Room and capture your 10th and final Challenge Star.

You may run around the Library now while stunning Fire Crabs with Rictusempra and opening the chests. Then run up again to the corner with the Gentleman’s painting. Jump through the gap in the banister to the first bookcase.

Jump to the first bookcase


Do not jump to the opposite case that holds the Completion Star because chances are that you’ll drop down to the floor. Instead, turn right jumping to all the bookcases in a large circle to the Completion Star, meanwhile grabbing all of the goodies that are on top of them. Finally, win that Completion Star!

End of Challenge!

[13.3] Harry is now in front of the Pink Lady outside the Gryffindor Common Room and has accomplished his Secret Gryffindor Challenge.

Harry seems a bit puzzled



Harry is now free to discover the Castle and the grounds and find out if there are any other doors or walls that might hide things. To activate the Debug mode again each time press Delete and pass a wall or door or go flying around the stages of the game, through walls and floors and discover the Castle and the grounds! Perhaps you may discover some new secret areas! Have fun!

The setup of the stages

Thanks to Warner Bros for this great game!!

And even more thanks to Dr. Hugh for this excellent job!!!