Some 20 hours into Hogwarts Legacy, I stumbled upon the best quest in the game. I was keeping myself busy through the winter, exchanging gaudy clothing for conjuration recipes with the proprietor of Tomes and Scrolls, when I noticed a new quest marker appear on my map. There's a rundown shop for sale at the heart of Hogsmeade, and Cassandra Mason thinks that I – the 16 year-old Witch with just a few months of magical training beneath my cloak – would be the perfect owner of the establishment. I'm not going to lie, I leaped at the opportunity.
I thought Hogwarts Legacy was about to introduce an entire merchant system, allowing me to flunk out of the O.W.L. exams and role-play a different kind of wizarding world fantasy. And in my excitement, I had completely forgotten that the Hogwarts Legacy Deluxe Edition on PS5 includes a special quest titled 'The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop.' I'm sure you can probably guess what happened next. Actually, you definitely can't guess what happens next because this PlayStation exclusive quest goes places. Horrible, awesome, nightmarish places that I wish I could return to again.
Fear of the Dark
Ever since Sony reasserted its position of marketplace dominance in the previous generation, exclusive PlayStation content around the biggest video games has been relatively commonplace. A special skin or item here, early access to a map pack there. But I'm struggling to remember an occasion where the best quest in a game was sequestered to a single platform, leaving PC and Xbox owners with the unenviable choice of buying a new console or hunting for a no commentary YouTube playthrough – almost as daunting as surviving the horrors of the The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop.
Naturally, I'm going to be touching on light spoilers for the quest from here on out, but if you want to experience it for yourself I'll say this: The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop missions features the most inventive level design, imaginative puzzles, and mind-bending battles in Hogwarts Legacy. Perhaps that's why I was so drawn to the quest, which largely takes place within the boundless depths of an enchanted chest locked in the shop's storeroom. It could also have something to do with the drastic shift in tone, where you're suddenly fighting for your life against a haunting.
If the main Hogwarts Legacy quest line is most closely aligned with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, then The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop is more aligned with Alfonso Cuarón's subversive Prisoner of Azkaban film. Seriously, this side-mission starts off with so much hope and excitement, and then gradually descends into the sort of murky depths typically reserved for the best horror games – if you have a fear of the dark, sentient mannequins, or the ravings of a poltergeist, then you may as well consider The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop to be baby's first Silent Hill.
Something developer Avalanche Software does so well through the main Hogwarts Legacy missions is play with standard video game design conventions. The unique composition of the wizarding world's spellcraft means that Avalanche is able to introduce complex puzzles and instances of intuitive problem solving, and play with the concept of fracturing realities. That's best represented in the The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop; the mission plays with environmental structure as liberally as Remedy does in Control, with areas twisting and contorting around you on a whim. It's visually impressive, and makes for some excellent atmospheric buildup as your plight begins to feel more perilous.
How to access the Hogwarts Legacy exclusive PlayStation mission, The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop, and get yourself a storefront you can call your own.
When a level snapshots into darkness, your only respite is to cast the Lumos charm. What awaits when you illuminate the tip of your wand is rarely good, with mannequins arranging around you in increasingly violent patterns. There are battles where all you can do is survive. You'll fight a powerful foe upside down, with the UI inverting entirely. Walls form and doors disappear as you pivot on the spot in fear, isolated from the warmth of a wizarding world which is just out of reach. Should you escape, one of the best duals awaits. Honestly, it's hard to believe that such a good quest has been blocked off from such a large swath of the playerbase.
What's wild is that when it's all said and done, should you escape the haunting on Hogsmeade, you'll have a shop to call your own. I've got Penny, a House-Elf who I was able to free (after presenting them with a hat I found in the nightmare chest) helping me with the maintenance of Vespers and Venum too – that's what I called my home away from Hogwarts, although 'Cladwell and Brewster' or 'Stitches and Draughts' were solid alternatives. Better still, I received a cool Shopkeeper's Cosmetic Set outfit so that I can look like a suave witch about town, and I can sell items and gear to my own shop at better rates than anywhere else in the game. The Haunted Hogsmeade Shop is the best quest in Hogwarts Legacy, and I sincerely hope it comes to PC and Xbox platforms eventually.
If you're still on the fence about getting the new RPG you can read my Hogwarts Legacy review. And if you're stuck, we've got plenty of Hogwarts Legacy tips waiting for you.
The release of Hogwarts Legacy has been the subject of criticism and debate due to J.K. Rowling's public stance on gender identity, which continues to challenge the inclusivity at the heart of the Harry Potter community. Here is our explainer on the Hogwarts Legacy controversy.