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Soapbox: Is The Best Harry Potter Game On Game Boy Color? Quite Possibly



Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Game Boy Color© Nintendo Life

We recently asked you Nintendo Life readers to rate your favourite Game Boy Color games, and as we’re preparing to publish the Top 50 results, we’re taking a look back at a handful of our favourite GBC games. Here, Kate remembers one particular handheld Harry adventure — the one where the Philosopher and the Sorcerer bickered about whose Stone it was…

There have been an awful lot of awful Harry Potter games, from the janky, physics-bending Chamber of Secrets (“Flipendo!!” will continue to haunt my nightmares) to the downright disappointing Xbox 360 and PS3 games. Considering the vast fortunes generated by franchise, it’s honestly wild that it’s apparently been so difficult for Warner Bros. to find a studio that can turn the massively-successful Wizarding World series into a half-decent game that captures the magic of the books.

Now, I don’t want to tar all the Harry Potter games with the same brush. The PS1 Potter game brought us Large Hagrid, who is brilliant, and the LEGO Harry Potter games are lovingly-made versions that don’t stick slavishly to the movies. Apparently, the PS2/GameCube Prisoner of Askaban is pretty good, too, although by that point I had been FLIPENDO-ed into never checking out another HP game until the LEGO ones.

But, shining like a raw diamond buried in dirt amongst all the mediocrity lies one of my favourite games of all time: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on Game Boy Color. Among the readers right now will be two groups of people: the first will be thinking, “ah, one of your favourite games? That’s nostalgia talking, lassie”. The second will be vigorously nodding their heads and weeping tears of joy in the knowledge that I am extremely right.

The story is not groundbreaking, because the story is roughly that of the first Harry Potter book — i.e. young lad gets forcibly taken from his abusive adoptive parents’ house and dumped in a boarding school full of weirdos, where he spends the year attempting to break all the rules in order to get one creepy teacher arrested. Of course, it turns out to be the wrong teacher, but he doesn’t get punished. Unless you count being sent back to his abusive adoptive parents’ house.

There are a few extra plot points, because it’s a video game book adaptation, so every now and again Harry will have to fight rats in the library, or subdue a bunch of angry mandrakes in the greenhouse, which is more than a normal ten-year-old has to deal with, but by and large the plot is pretty familiar.

[turn-based battles] fit so well with the Harry Potter theming that it’s weird to see that they kept trying to make the sequels into 3D platformers

But the battle mechanics, and how the spells are integrated into the game, are what elevate the GBC version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone above the rest. It takes its cues from Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger, you see — a turn-based JRPG-style interpretation of the magical world.

Harry is equipped from the beginning with a basic wand and basic equipment, each of which will affect his stats. If he manages to collect enough money, he can buy new clothes and a better wand; if he levels up enough, he can learn new spells; if he uses spells often, he’ll learn more powerful versions of those spells. It’s a system we’re all extremely familiar with by now, I know, and even back then it wasn’t revolutionary, but it fit so well with the Harry Potter theming that it’s weird to see that they kept trying to make the sequels into 3D platformers. When did Harry ever do platforming in the books?

Turn-based combat was a brilliant way to portray the wizarding world, because it put the focus on the spells, even if most of the enemies were… random rats (which were apparently a huge problem in Hogwarts — way more than Voldemort). Seriously, there are so many rats in this game. But there are also stealth sections, collectibles, shortcuts, and mini-games, including a Quidditch Flappy Bird predecessor, and a Wingardium Leviosa memory game.

There was even an entirely optional part of the game where you could collect Famous Witches and Wizards cards, either by buying and consuming Chocolate Frogs, or by finding the cards in the Hogwarts grounds. These cards could be combined to make extra-powerful attacks, or they could just be… collected, much like Pokémon cards (well, not at the moment — the Pokémon card scene is pretty crazy right now). You could even trade with friends, if you had a Link Cable. And friends.

There were secrets, too! Some spells can only be learned in side-quests, or by doing things in a specific order; there were small deposits of coins, cards, clothing, healing items, and potion ingredients hidden all around the castle, as well. As someone whose favourite Pokémon activity is “using the Itemfinder“, it was all I’d ever wanted.

Book and movie tie-ins were notoriously… not great in those days. They were oftentimes rushed through to coincide with movie release dates, and likely didn’t have much creative control over the story, either. A lot of game studios just had to make do with what they had, so it wasn’t until the movies were already out that we got better versions, like the LEGO ones, that could take their time with development. But, for whatever reason, HP & The P Stone is just… really good. Even without the Potter label, it’s just a good game. It’s Final Fantasy, but about ten-year-olds. It’s Chrono Trigger without the “Chrono” bit. Dragon Quest, but no dr—

Okay, no, Harry Potter does have dragons. It’s just magic, okay?

Don’t forget you can rate your favourite Game Boy Color games and help us build our reader-ranked Top 50 GBC games, to be revealed soon. And if you want to lust over some lovely colour variants of the GBC hardware, feel free to let us know your favourite Game Boy Color hue, too.


Woman passenger from UK tests Covid positive at Hyderabad airport



Hyderabad: A 35-year-old international passenger who reached the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday has tested positive for Covid-19 after undergoing an RT-PCR test at the airport itself. The woman passenger had traveled from the United Kingdom, which has been categorised as an ‘At Risk Country’. 

The passenger has been admitted to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) and samples were collected and sent for genetic sequencing. Officials said she did not have any symptoms and that her health condition was being monitored closely. 

According to officials, the woman hails from Rangareddy district and was on a visit to UK from Hyderabad. Though her close relatives tested negative, their health condition is also being monitored. 

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Revealed: how Sidney Powell could be disbarred for lying in court for Trump | US elections 2020



Sidney Powell, the former lawyer for Donald Trump who filed lawsuits across America for the former president, hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, has on several occasions represented to federal courts that people were co-counsel or plaintiffs in her cases without seeking their permission to do so, the Guardian has learned.

Some of these individuals say that they only found out that Powell had named them once the cases were already filed.

During this same period of time, Powell also named several other lawyers – with their permission in those instances – as co-counsel in her election-related cases, despite the fact that they played virtually no role whatsoever in bringing or litigating those cases.

Both Powell’s naming of other people as plaintiffs or co-counsel without their consent and representing that other attorneys were central to her cases when, in fact, their roles were nominal or nonexistent, constitute serious potential violations of the American Bar Association model rules for professional conduct, top legal ethicists told the Guardian.

Powell’s misrepresentations to the courts in those particular instances often aided fundraising for her nonprofit, Defending the Republic. Powell had told prospective donors that the attorneys were integral members of an “elite strike force” who had played outsized roles in her cases – when in fact they were barely involved if at all.

A couple poses for a photo in front of a Trump campaign bus at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, on 2 December 2020.
A couple poses for a photo in front of a Trump campaign bus at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, on 2 December 2020. Photograph: Nathan Posner/REX/Shutterstock

Powell did not respond to multiple requests for comment via phone, email, and over social media.

The State Bar of Texas is already investigating Powell for making other allegedly false and misleading statements to federal courts by propagating increasingly implausible conspiracy theories to federal courts that Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States was illegitimate.

The Texas bar held its first closed-door hearing regarding the allegations about Powell on 4 November. Investigations by state bar associations are ordinarily conducted behind closed doors and thus largely opaque to the public.

A federal grand jury has also been separately investigating Powell, Defending the Republic, as well as a political action committee that goes by the same name, for fundraising fraud, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.

Among those who have alleged that Powell falsely named them as co-counsel is attorney Linn Wood, who brought and litigated with Powell many of her lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the election with her, including in the hotly contested state of Michigan.

The Michigan case was a futile attempt by Powell to erase Joe Biden’s victory in that state and name Trump as the winner. On 25 August, federal district court Judge Linda Parker, of Michigan, sanctioned Powell and nine other attorneys who worked with her for having engaged in “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process” in bringing the case in the first place. Powell’s claims of election fraud, Parker asserted, had no basis in law and were solely based on “speculation, conjecture, and unwarranted suspicion”.

Parker further concluded that the conduct of Powell, Wood, and the eight other attorneys who they worked with, warranted a “referral for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment to the appropriate disciplinary authority for each state … in which each attorney is admitted”.

Wood told the court in the Michigan case that Powell had wrongly named him as one of her co-counsel in the Michigan case. During a hearing in the case to determine whether to sanction Wood, his defense largely rested on his claim that he had not been involved in the case at all. Powell, Wood told the court, had put his name on the lawsuit without her even telling him.

A man holds a sign reading "The dead cannot vote" at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Trump supporters attend a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, where Sidney Powell spoke on efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Photograph: Nathan Posner/REX/Shutterstock

Wood said: “I do not specifically recall being asked about the Michigan complaint … In this case obviously my name was included. My experience or my skills apparently were never needed, so I didn’t have any involvement with it.”

Wood’s attorney, Paul Stablein, was also categorical in asserting that his client had nothing to do with the case, telling the Guardian in an interview: “He didn’t draft the complaint. He didn’t sign it. He did not authorize anyone to put his name on it.”

Powell has denied she would have ever named Wood as a co-counsel without Wood’s permission.

But other people have since come forward to say that Powell has said that they were named as plaintiffs or lawyers in her election-related cases without their permission.

In a Wisconsin voting case, a former Republican candidate for Congress, Derrick Van Orden, said he only learned after the fact that he had been named as a plaintiff in one of Powell’s cases.

“I learned through social media today that my name was included in a lawsuit without my permission,” Van Orden said in a statement he posted on Twitter, “To be clear, I am not involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin.”

Jason Shepherd, the Republican chairman of Georgia’s Cobb county, was similarly listed as a plaintiff in a Georgia election case without his approval.

In a 26 November 2020 statement, Shepherd said he had been talking to an associate of Powell’s prior to the case’s filing about the “Cobb GOP being a plaintiff” but said he first “needed more information to at least make sure the executive officers were in agreeing to us being a party in the suit”. The Cobb County Republican party later agreed to remain plaintiffs in the case instead of withdrawing.

Leslie Levin, a professor at the University of Connecticut Law School, said in an interview: “Misrepresentations to the court are very serious because lawyers are officers of the court. Bringing a lawsuit in someone’s name when they haven’t consented to being a party is a very serious misrepresentation and one for which a lawyer should expect to face serious discipline.”

Nora Freeman Engstrom, a law professor at Stanford University, says that Powell’s actions appear to violate Rule 3.3 of the ABA’s model rules of professional misconduct which hold that “a lawyer shall not knowingly … make a false statement of fact of law to a tribunal”.

Since election day last year, federal and state courts have dismissed more than 60 lawsuits alleging electoral fraud and irregularities by Powell, and other Trump allies.

Shortly after the election, Trump named Powell as a senior member of an “elite strike force” who would prove that Joe Biden only won the 2020 presidential race because the election was stolen from him. But Trump refused to pay her for her services. To remedy this, Powell set up a new nonprofit called Defending the Republic; its stated purpose is to “protect the integrity of elections in the United States”.

As a nonprofit, the group is allowed to raise unlimited amounts of “dark money” and donors are legally protected from the ordinary requirements to disclose their identities to the public. Powell warned supporters that for her to succeed, “millions of dollars must be raised”.

Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, Powell told prospective donors that Defending the Republic had a vast team of experienced litigators.

Sidney Powell speaks at a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Sidney Powell speaks at a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Among the attorneys who Powell said made up this “taskforce” were Emily Newman, who had served Trump as the White House liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services and as a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security. Newman had been a founding board member of Defending the Republic.

But facing sanctions in the Michigan case, some of the attorneys attempted to distance themselves from having played much of a meaningful role in her litigation.

Newman’s attorney told Parker, the judge, that Newman had “not played a role in the drafting of the complaint … My client was a contract lawyer working from home who spent maybe five hours on this matter. She really wasn’t involved … Her role was de minimis.”

To have standing to file her Michigan case, Powell was initially unable to find a local attorney to be co-counsel on her case but eventually attorney Gregory Rohl agreed to help out.

But when Rohl was sanctioned by Parker and referred to the Michigan attorney disciplinary board for further investigation, his defense was that he, too, was barely involved in the case. He claimed that he only received a copy of “the already prepared” 830-page initial complaint at the last minute, reviewed it for “well over an hour”, while then “making no additions, decisions or corrections” to the original.

As with Newman, Parker, found that Rohl violated ethics rules by making little, if any, effort to verify the facts of the claims in Powell’s filings.

In sanctioning Rohl, the judge wrote that “the court finds it exceedingly difficult to believe that Rohl read an 830-page complaint in just ‘well over an hour’ on the day he filed it. So, Rohl’s argument in and of itself reveals sanctionable conduct.”

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Govt to introduce important Bill, Covid situation likely to be discussed



The government on Thursday will table ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021’ in the Lok Sabha. A discussion on Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its various related aspects is also likely to take place in the lower House.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will move the ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill’ in the Lok Sabha to amend the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act, 1998.

Under rule 193, a discussion on Covid-19 pandemic and various aspects related to it will likely take place. According to sources, the members may also raise their concern and ask for the government’s preparedness for the new Omicron variant. Under Rule 193, members can seek details about the new Covid variant. “Short duration discussion is likely to be held in the Lok Sabha on the Covid and its various aspects, including new Omicron variant,” sources said.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Prahlad Singh Patel, General V.K. Singh, Krishan Pal, Bhanu Pratap Verma, Rameshwar Teli and Kaushal Kishore will lay papers on the table. Reports and action reports of different standing committees will also be laid in the day.

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Amendment) Bill 2021 (ART) by voice vote as the amendments moved by the DMK MP N.K. Prem Chandran, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut were negated. The ART Bill seeks to regulate fertility clinics. All such clinics will have to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.

The opposition is likely to continue to raise its voices on price rise, unemployment and extended jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in some states. The opposition parties are also demanding a law guaranteeing the minimum support price (MSP).

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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