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What Hogwarts Legacy Looks Like As A Free Game

"Hogwarts Legacy" has been the subject of much controversy as of late. Many are on the fence about whether to pick it up, and it being part of the first wave of $70 triple-A games is another reason many are avoiding it. While there's not exactly a current-day alternative to the "Harry Potter" world for gamers, a YouTuber has developed something that sort of comes close: "Wacky Wizard Legacy."

On February 7, 2023, ThrillDaWill uploaded this downgraded take on "Hogwarts Legacy" for free to indie gaming site itch.io, and it's pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. "Wacky Wizard Legacy" is directly inspired by and adapted from "Hogwarts Legacy" but with its own amateur and ridiculous spin. It was developed by ThrillDaWill, a YouTuber known for making custom games based on other popular media and meme culture with self-imposed restrictions. "Wacky Wizard Legacy" took just 24 hours to complete, both a testament to the developer's skill and the reason for the game's lack of polish.

"Wacky Wizards Legacy" has since been taken down because the title is too large to host, but according to its new landing page, ThrillDaWill plans to optimize and get it listed again. Wizarding World fans who want to mess around in Hogwarts without the meta politics of "Hogwarts Legacy," and gamers who want to try a remake that is as ridiculous as it is impressive will surely find something enjoyable in "Wacky Wizard Legacy."

Wacky Wizard Legacy was made in 24 hours by one person, and it's more accurate than one might think

In the past, ThrillDaWill has created video game parodies and adaptations like "LEGO God of War: Ragnarok," "Family Guy RTX," and a parody of the VR game "Boneworks" in the form of "Bone Marrow." Of course, their games aren't meant to be taken seriously, but it's still undeniably impressive to see what one person can make under time restrictions with access to Unreal Engine assets — even if it is slightly scuffed.

The game was made in a single day, and the secret to that quick turnaround is the veritable Library of Alexandria of assets that the service offers in its store. The developer joked that even though the game is free, he should track how much he spends on assets. Luckily, almost every asset in his preview video was free, save for some advanced plugins like cloth physics and the inventory.

It can take a long time to put together a video game, especially if one is going about it alone, but a few awesome games were made entirely by one person. Eric Barone and "Stardew Valley" or Toby Fox and "Undertale" may spring to mind, but in truth, ThrillDaWill probably wasn't aiming to make the next generation-defining indie game. If anything, he was going for the opposite in an attempt to vaguely replicate "Hogwarts Legacy" within the self-imposed time limit. 

It aspires to emulate Hogwarts Legacy mechanics, but only so much could be done in a day

"Wacky Wizard Legacy" is far from a perfect game, but all things considered, it does emulate the "Hogwarts Legacy" experience. It offers nearly all of the same features — like spell casting, missions, goblins, and broomstick flight — but because of his self-imposed challenge, variety was sacrificed to complete the project. In the overview video, ThrillDaWill noted that they were just one person, and their time was limited, so only necessities were focused on, like three different enemies, a handful of spells, and a rudimentary inventory system.

But "Wacky Wizard Legacy" wouldn't be playable without a fake Hogwarts to explore. To design and render all of the school would be quite the feat for one person, especially with everything else that had to be done. So, ThrillDaWill used a 3D printer render of Hogwarts and spent the final hour applying textures to its colorless polygons. When "Harry Potter" and "Polygons" are in the conversation, the PlayStation 1 version of Hagrid instantly springs to mind, and sure enough, players can find the disturbingly polygonal Hogwarts groundskeeper in "Wacky Wizard Legacy."

"Hogwarts Legacy" had an enormous budget, sold millions of copies in WB Games' biggest launch ever, and external controversy aside, critics mostly agree that it's a satisfyingly original "Harry Potter" game. But for a free game with virtually no budget, development time, or staff, "Wacky Wizard Legacy" is not a bad alternative. If nothing else, it turned out way better than "War Gods Zeus of Child," the truly bizarre "God of War" clone that randomly popped up in the Xbox Creators Collection last year.