Hogwarts Mystery Quidditch: I Have So Many Questions …

I’m playing Hogwarts Mystery again, and I’ve just started on quidditch, which must have become an option somewhere in between the time I stopped playing and started again. As I said in the heading, I have so many questions.

  • Skye Parkin. I take it she, like Rowan, is automatically in the same house as the player? One problem with that: I’m a Ravenclaw, and Skye – who rips pages out of books and is about to get kicked off the team if her grades don’t improve – is one of the least Ravenclaw characters in the game.
  • Speaking of Ravenclaw, I’ve noticed that in the “friendly” games, it’s Ravenclaw vs. Ravenclaw. As in, I’m trying to score a goal and the commentator is talking about how it’s going to be hard to get past the Ravenclaw keeper. Is that because it’s just practice, or because the game forgets what house you’re in?
  • Why is Charlie Weasley not involved in the Quidditch story? He’s the Gryffindor Seeker, right? Out of all my character’s friends, he’s the one I can most easily imagine convincing me to go to a Quidditch game and getting me interested in the sport.
  • Why are we acting like my character has never been on a broom before? She may not be an experienced Quidditch player, but she’s been taking flying lessons for 4 1/2 years! I also find it hard to believe that she’s in her fifth year at Hogwarts and has a friend who’s on the Gryffindor team, but has never attended a Quidditch match before.
  • Even though she’s a Hufflepuff, Penny is supporting Ravenclaw in the first match because she’s a fan of a professional Quidditch team that Skye Parkin’s family is involved with. Okay, great. Why do both she and my character make such a big deal about that, as if she’s rooting against her own house team, when the match is between Ravenclaw and Slytherin? Luna Lovegood once wore a massive lion hat to a Gryffindor vs. Slytherin game. Lots of students probably show up to support their friends’ or siblings’ teams when their own isn’t playing.

 

Twentieth Century History of Magic

Occasionally, when I go to History of Magic class in Hogwarts Mystery, this bit of dialogue comes up:

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Ismelda wants to learn about the Wizarding War for all the wrong reasons. She idolizes Voldemort and will almost certainly join the Death Eaters when he returns. However, she brings up an interesting point. Professor Binns seems largely unaware of anything that happened after his death. There’s not even any mention of the war against Grindelwald being taught in History of Magic, much less even more recent events. History is added to all the time, and aside from being taught in a boring way, it seems like History of Magic is decades if not centuries out of date.

When will the war against Voldemort be added to the curriculum? Is it being taught nineteen years later? The kids in Cursed Child seem very familiar with recent wizarding history, but then, Scorpius is a history buff who geeks out over seeing Bathilda Bagshot in person, and Albus is Harry Potter’s son. The fact that they know who Cedric Diggory was and all about Voldemort’s attempt to kill baby Harry is not evidence that any 20th century magical history is actually being taught at Hogwarts.

Really, Hogwarts needs a new History of Magic teacher, and I think Scorpius would be a great one. Once he grows up, of course.

Unlike Professor Binns, who gives endless, monotone lectures and has his students memorize lists of names and dates, Scorpius brings an endless amount of enthusiasm to his study of history. He’s also kind and encouraging, the sort of person who, as a teacher, would be truly invested in his students’ success. He’s a shining example of a Slytherin with a moral compass, someone who could become Head of House and guide the next generation of Slytherins in a different direction. And he understands on a very personal level, having been to the alternate timeline where Voldemort won, just how important even the small details of history are, not to mention how relevant it all still is.  Given his obsession with history and his experiences in Cursed Child, he will almost certainly grow up to write history books, but I think he could be a great teacher as well. Maybe his Slytherin ambition, which is just beginning to surface at the end of the play, becomes a determination to replace Professor Binns and inspire an appreciation of history in Hogwarts students.

Professor Rakepick Theory

So I’ve been playing Hogwarts Mystery again (I got locked out for a while on my old phone – it’s a long story). I’m partway through year 5, and I’ve started to think that Patricia Rakepick might have been a Death Eater.

Here’s my evidence:

  • She’s definitely a suspicious character, one that the player is set up to distrust.
  • Snape, who hates my character and her brother, sees Rakepick as such a great threat that he’s willing to work with me to find out what she’s up to. Presumably he has already tried to convince Dumbledore and failed.
  • She and I are currently trying to get the Marauders’ Map from Mundungus Fletcher, who is a no-good thief and smuggler, but also a member of the Order of the Phoenix. He seems to be taking the possibility of her torturing him very seriously.
  • Dumbledore trusts her enough to hire her as a teacher, but that doesn’t mean much. Dumbledore trusts a lot of people that probably don’t deserve it. The position of Defense Against the Dark Arts is hard to fill, and if nothing else, he might be suspicious of her and be setting her up to fall victim to the curse the way he did with Lockhart.
  • She went to Hogwarts at the same time as Lily, James, Snape, etc., but was several years older than them. Most of the known characters from that generation fought in the first Wizarding War. We know she wasn’t a member of the Order of the Phoenix, so there’s always the chance she was fighting for Voldemort rather than against him.
  • She was apparently a Gryffindor and was sort of a mentor in mischief to the Marauders. That’s according to the Harry Potter wiki; I don’t actually remember this being revealed in the game. However, remember that Peter Pettigrew joined the Death Eaters and everyone was convinced that Sirius had for a long time. Clearly, Gryffindor at the time was producing dark wizards as well as heroic ones.
  • For that matter, why did Snape, who was a spy at the time, definitely knew Peter Pettigrew was a traitor, and helped Dumbledore to protect the Potters, believe that Sirius Black was the one who betrayed them? Maybe it wasn’t too hard to believe that two of the Marauders had become Death Eaters, because he knew an older Gryffindor they had looked up to was one.
  • If he thinks Rakepick had any part in turning Sirius and Peter to the dark side, Snape would have all the more reason to hate her, since he thinks Sirius is the reason Lily is dead.
  • We’ve met several characters whose parents were Death Eaters – Merula, Ismelda, Barnaby, Felix – but no Death Eaters aside from Snape who avoided punishment for their actions. In the Harry Potter books, while many Death Eaters went to Azkaban or died fighting for Voldemort, a lot of them got off scott free by bribing the Ministry or pretending they were under the Imperius Curse. It makes sense that one of these would be the main villain of the game.
  • Rakepick is not still around in Harry’s time. She’s not part of the Order in either time period, and she’s not one of the Death Eaters who appears in the graveyard the night Voldemort returns. If she really is the villain of the game, she probably dies in year 7 – or sooner, for that matter, since she’s teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts and the job is cursed.
  • When Rakepick is putting together a group of students to be her “apprentices”, two of the three have connections to Voldemort. Merula’s parents are in Azkaban because they were Death Eaters, and my character’s brother is rumored to have been one as well, which I’m becoming more and more convinced is at least partially true.
  • Someone who signed their letters with the initial R was writing to Jacob, threatening him, and offering him rewards for doing what they wanted. Now, who has the initial R. and an interest in the Cursed Vaults?
  • In Year 5, Chapter 7, it’s revealed that R. was trying to recruit Jacob and his two friends, Olivia and Duncan, into some kind of group. Whoever survived the longest while searching for the Cursed Vaults would earn the right to join them. Duncan and Olivia died, Jacob took the blame and was expelled, and went on to become “one of the most feared wizards in Knockturn Alley”. Sounds like the group might have been the Death Eaters.

Conclusion: Patricia Rakepick was a Death Eater.

 

Aunt Bellatrix

So I was playing Hogwarts Mystery, and this happened:

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Do I even need to ask which one of her aunts we’re talking about here?

Actually, it’s strange to think of Filch and Bellatrix being at odds with each other. Filch never misses an opportunity to crack down on students misbehaving, but he doesn’t seem to make any distinction between good-hearted pranksters like Tonks, kids like Harry who break the rules for a good reason, and people whose intentions are truly sinister. Teenage Bellatrix must have really been awful.

So why does Filch not hate Malfoy the way he apparently hates Tonks? Bellatrix is his aunt as well, he’s hardly a perfect rule-follower, and he spends book six actively plotting to bring the Death Eaters into the castle, but Filch seems to have no opinion at all about him. Is it because it’s been longer and his grudge has softened? Because he’s on good terms with Snape and Malfoy is one of Snape’s favorites? Because Narcissa was a rule-follower and Andromeda was more of a rebel? Because the books were written years ago and the game isn’t always consistent?

Hogwarts Mystery Dueling Club

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The Hogwarts Mystery dueling club opened up for me yesterday, and I really can’t complain, because I did manage to win eight duels with three tickets and get all the prizes. Not that they were especially good prizes, certainly not ones I’d have paid gems for if they had been in the clothing store, although I do like the pants. But the whole dueling club system seems like a letdown, in more ways than one.

Let’s start with the obvious: you’re not really playing against other players. You’re playing against a computer using the face of another player. Lots of people online have commented on this, but even if it wasn’t the common consensus, I’d have figured it out when my phone lost its signal halfway through a duel and let me continue right where I left off when I got connected again, about five minutes later. I don’t really mind the computerized opponent, in theory, but it seems deceptive to use real players’ characters and stats and try to market it as more interactive than it really is.

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But more importantly, the computer doesn’t play like a real person. One duel I won by choosing “sneaky” attacks over and over and over, because my opponent kept choosing “defensive” over and over and over. Another swapped between “aggressive” and “sneaky” on every move, so I just kept swapping between “aggressive” and “defensive” once I figured out the pattern. But others followed no pattern at all and seemed to pick the winning move far more often than a 33% chance would indicate. My first instinct when I thought I was dueling other players was to try to outthink my opponent by figuring out what move they would expect me to make. But a computer program that picks random moves rather than using some kind of strategy or even an identifiable pattern makes it purely a game of chance.

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The duels I won the most easily were the ones against opponents with lower attribute levels than me, and the ones I lost were all against opponents with the same attribute levels. That makes sense. It doesn’t make sense, though, that in an equally balanced duel, where my opponent was also year 4 and also had level 19 courage/empathy/knowledge, they would be able to cut my health points in half with a single spell, while I was barely able to chip away at theirs, little by little, with the most powerful spells I’ve learned. I don’t want to sound like a sore loser, but some of the duels almost seemed to be rigged.

Which wouldn’t matter as much, if dueling were free, or even if dueling tickets were cheaper. If we could pay for dueling club in coins, the way we already do for duels that are part of the storyline, or if the dueling club tickets cost more like 20 or 30 gems, that would be reasonable. But three tickets – three chances to duel – cost 120 gems, which is almost as many as you get for winning the house cup and more than most clothing items in the store.

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If dueling was free (or even much less expensive), I’d keep doing it even after I won the prizes, for the energy points you earn when you win a duel and for something else to do when I can’t progress in the storyline. In fact, that’s how I lost my last ticket. But for 120 gems, it’s not worth it. Maybe if there’s another dueling club event, they’ll give everyone new tickets for it. If not, well, I refuse to spend real money on “free” mobile games, and I have better things to spend my hard-earned gems on.

In other news, gems are on sale right now: 575 gems for $4.99. Coincidence? I think not.

A Hogwarts Mystery Theory

I’m beginning to think that Jacob, the older brother from Hogwarts Mystery, is in Azkaban.

All the clues were pointing to him being trapped somewhere in the Cursed Vaults, but I just talked to Madam Rosmerta, and she said she witnessed him being dragged away by aurors. That makes it sound more like he was arrested.

He was expelled from Hogwarts, which doesn’t necessarily mean he’s in prison. Newt Scamander and Hagrid were both expelled. However, they both had Dumbledore on their side, and neither of them were accused of being Death Eaters. I seriously doubt that Jacob actually was a Death Eater, but the possibility has been mentioned several times, so it has to be important.

It seems like every Slytherin student at Hogwarts has parents in Azkaban. Merula definitely does, and I’ve heard that Barnaby does as well, although I’ve just met him and haven’t learned that yet in the game. Possibly Felix, too, since – as I’ve mentioned before – the age difference is too small for Evan Rosier, who is dead, to be his father. Ismelda talks about bringing back the Dark Lord the first time you meet her, so if her parents aren’t Death Eaters, I’ll be very surprised – but whether they’re in Azkaban or not is a different story.

None of that is necessarily related to Jacob, but at the same time, it’s a lot of emphasis on Azkaban and the Death Eaters for a story that takes place in a time when Voldemort was supposedly gone. We also know from what Sirius tells Harry that the trials held after the first war were not conducted fairly and not everyone got a trial at all, leaving the possibility that Jacob was innocent, but was sent to prison anyway. He might have looked suspicious because of his involvement with the Cursed Vaults, which Ismelda is already hoping will be able to bring back Voldemort.

If he was sent to Azkaban, what about the clues that he’s at Hogwarts right now, trapped in the Cursed Vaults? It’s possible he escaped from Azkaban and returned to the school, but it’s also possible those hints are a false trail laid by Merula, who has already asked the main character to tell her if they find any more of the vaults and may be trying to give them incentive to keep looking. For all her bragging, she must have noticed we always find the next vault before her – maybe she’s trying to ride on our coat tails.