Forums  /  Speedrunning  /  Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone - PS1 PAL

Hello all!

I'm considering running Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone but just trying to clear up a few things. I have began to understand the strange things with all the different versions but it is PlayStation 1 I plan to do it on since that's what I played as a kid. I have just ordered it from eBay and of course being from the UK it's PAL. However I only just realised I didn't check what region is used. Having just checked I have found out that PAL doesn't seem to be used, like at all, only NTSC and mainly emulators. Is there a reason for this? I tried looking it up and I think I read something about how NTSC is slightly faster yet prone to crashes? Is this true? How much faster?

Kitty 🙂

kykinsonkykinson likes this. 

Versions quite complex for both HP PS1 games, but emulator vs console is fairly simple.
As far as I know, console is more prone to crashing. I have only heard of one crash on emulator, whereas I know of a number of random crashes on console (like when Nitrofski was running 100% and crashed on the last phase of Voldemort).

HP1 is weird with region differences. As for a lot of games, PAL runs slower because of lower framerate. But specifically NTSC-Canada is the best version to use. This is because it almost acts like a PAL60.
(I hope I'm getting this all right, I'm not the expert on NTSC-C vs NTSC-U, but I can't easily contact the expert).
I'm not sure why as from what I remember hearing from UglierGoblin, the WR holder, text-skips rely on speech which is the same for both variations of English, but I think in the process of altering words in the text to be American English for NTSC-U, they also changed certain times in textboxes where you can skip text, and because of this NTSC-U has a slight disadvantage as skipping text is mainly slower than PAL (I don't know how much, but there would be small bits of time totalling up over the duration of the game).
However, NTSC-C, like Canada had with the book and the movie, took everything from British English, including the faster text-skips, and so it's literally just PAL running at NTSC framerate (another comparison to PAL is that while NTSC-U's other two languages are French and Spanish, both PAL and NTSC-C have French and German), so it's generally faster. I think there are some more advantages to NTSC-C, but I don't know them.
On an added note, NTSC-J may also be slower.

Hope this helps, hope this isn't too confusing, and hope to see some runs TriHard

Also, if you need help getting NTSC-C, just PM me on Twitch.


Hey Purple!

Thanks for responding to this. I think I understand. Basically:

NTSC-C = NTSC-U (better framerate) + PAL (better textrate)
NTSC-U = better framerate but slower textrate
PAL = slower framerate but faster textrate

So PAL has faster text but the game overall is slower and despite NTSC-U having slower text the game itself is faster than PAL. While NTSC-C is superior as it has the best of both framerate and textrate? I'm guessing NTSC-C can't be run on PAL PS2's so I would have to emulate it?

So basically.. it would be a waste of time using PAL? 😕 Any idea on the time difference? How much slower is it compared to NTSC-U/NTSC-C? I know being fast is obviously important and the whole point, but I'm not interested in being the best. I just want to play a game I loved and played as a kid, and do it as fast as I can. Depending on how much slower PAL is, I might just use it anyway, as I'm weird like that.


You certainly put the version differences much simpler than I did. Gee, I over-think descriptions.

If you would want NTSC-C, PAL PS2 wouldn't be able to run it, so, yeah, you'd have to emulate it.

I'd say PAL could be at least 10 minutes slower (only calculating by comparing a bad PAL run of 2:08:36 vs a bad but slightly better NTSC run of 1:55:38), but use whatever version you want; I don't want to order people to run on certain versions, I'm only here to try to explain them. OpieOP


Haha sorry 😛 I was just confirming it 😛

I thought so. There's no way of modding it or anything? Can you get NTSC-U/C PS2's in the UK? I think I read somewhere that it depends on the TV? I don't know much so yeah I sound stupid I know >.<

Okay that isn't too bad then. I was worried it would be around an hour or something lol. But 10 minutes is fine, my limit was going to be 30 at max. What warrants the run as "bad"? RNG? Game/console problems? Bad runner? 😛 If I was a decent runner, had good RNG and no problems, what time do you think might be possible? 2:00:00? Lower?

Do you know whether a physical PAL game, aka console, is better than a PAL emulator? Is there much difference between physical/console and emulator? It varies on the leaderboard so it seems to be somewhat the same?

Yeah that's cool, thanks for the help 🙂 I thought I'd ask about all this as Josh is always like "NO, YOU HAVE TO DO IT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, COPY THEM EXACTLY BECAUSE THEY'RE DOING IT RIGHT, YOU GOTTA BE FAST AND GOOD". >.>

EDIT: Yeah, I just spoke to Josh about this and he's still against me using PAL as he thinks its completely pointless and that I should just use NTSC. I know I should but I can't be bothered :') I prefer using the proper stuff instead of emulating. But I'll research more and think about all the possibilities. Also, something Josh has asked is does that PAL run include FDS and does the HP community even allow and use FDS? As he said some communities don't.


PS2s can be modded to play NTSC games. I think I read about opening up the console and doing things with the disc tray, I don't remember completely, you'll have to research that, sorry.

Those runs were bad because I was a bad runner 😛 I'd think a good run with good RNG on PAL could get sub 2 hours, sub 2:05 at least. The only really big RNG parts are both in Diagon Alley: the 'warts' in the Menagerie, and the peacock in Ollivanders. And technically the chance of a ghost input in any of the spell learning sequences.

After rethinking about consoles and emulators, emulator seems an easier choice (but I don't want to make you feel like you really have to), just because of less risk of crashing and also console can also have a higher risk of some stupid 'dropped jump' thing where I'm pretty sure people go full speed towards an edge, but Harry drops instead of jumping as if speed suddenly dropped, but it isn't that bad of a higher risk.
(If we were talking about HP2, I'd really badly recommend emulator because HP2 is much much worse with console crashes happening way too frequently as well as dropped jumps, but we're talking about HP1, which isn't so bad.)
Other than those risks, console and emulator shouldn't be too different.

And I have no clue about FDS, sorry about that. I'd go without it for now, but it'll be hard to decide over FDS because the only console runners on the leaderboards aside from WHiP (who isn't using FDS because he's also wondering about whether it's allowed) haven't touched the game in a while.


I thought so. I think Josh has modded his PS2 but I'm not sure what it does or if it'll allow NTSC. If it does, then can I buy and play a NTSC HP1?

Oh! I didn't mean offence 😛 Sub 2 could be a push I reckon but a nice goal. I'll take note of the RNG and I'll get watching some vids at some point. I did see the peacock on Potterathon, that sucked haha.

So emulator is better over all due to less crashes? Does this apply to both NTSC and PAL? Ah okay, I won't use FDS until I know then. Is there anyone in particular who's "in charge" of the community or sets rules? Maybe this could be discussed as if FDS can save a good amount of time then it would be nice to use it.


Yeah, you can play NTSC on console if you can and want to.
I wasn't offended, I know I was bad, and so was that peacock OpieOP

Emulator should be better overall for all versions only because of less crashes and the dropped jump thing.
I remembered something when reading FDS again, which is that UglierGoblin had said in a stream that "FDS rips HP1". Because I can't remember the context, I'm not sure if he meant it would actually kill the disc or if he meant it would tear apart competition because it would have an unfair advantage (loading screens can go on for a little while in some places), so I PM'd him about it with the link to this thread. Hopefully he'll see it and answer here.


Okay I'll double check if we can play NTSC games on it and look into getting the NTSC disc. Bit annoying since I just ordered PAL one.

Yeah I can imagine emulator is better since it doesn't have the physical hardware problems. I wonder what he meant about "rips" it. How could using FDS ruin the disc? When I first read that, I got the impression he meant that it destroys HP1 in terms of making it quicker/better. It's not really fair that if our PAL version has FDS that we can't use it, as its not exactly cheating. But if a decision is made within the community that FDS is to not be accepted then I'll run without it of course. Rules are to be followed. 🙂 I hope he does see and answer as I'm curious 🙂