Video Game: Doctor Lautrec And The Forgotten Knights
They Tame Ghosts!Doctor Lautrec and the Forgotten Knights
is an Action-Adventure game by Konami
for the Nintendo 3DS
, released in 2011.Doctor Lautrec
is a French professor
at a museum who studies ancient treasures, solves mysteries, and tames ghosts
that he cannot even sense. and all the while he's got a suit
, top hat
with a monkey in it
, a peppy female assistant (who can
see these ghosts) named Sophie, and a few more colorful characters to go with it.
Now there is a Character Sheet
Contains examples of:
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The Catacombs of Paris are sometimes improbably shaped and located (especially when the entrance glyphs are sometimes placed on ROOFS of buildings, yet the tileset for the catacomb in question will still be an underground one).
- Arch-Enemy: Professor Gustav to Doctor Lautrec.
- Driven by Envy: Milady reveals that the reason for their rivalry is her telling Gustav that Lautrec's silk hat looks better.
- A Day in the Limelight: One questline has you controlling (and therefore watching walk around the maps) Sophie instead of Lautrec, and deals with her frustration at playing second fiddle to him (and her mother's displeasure with her adventuring ways).
- Adventurer Archaeologist: Lautrec, although he always takes offense at being called "a mere adventurer".
- And the Adventure Continues: Chapter 7 is a Post Script Season of sorts, tying up the personal plot lines of each character and wrapping up the story of the titular knights in the aftermath of what happened in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
- In a greater sense, the multiple Sequel Hooks strewn about the latter third of the game, as Lautrec and Sophie depart for Italy once you complete Chapter 7.
- Artistic License – Geography: The in-game Paris is significantly condensed from the real one, but all the major streets and squares are represented, complete with landmarks and little historical tidbits like their prior (and future) names and historical significance.
- As You Know: Used in order to fill the player in on information about French history they wouldn't otherwise be aware of, sometimes at the cost of making various characters seem ill-informed.
- Badass Longcoat: Lautrec, Claude and Vidocq all sport these.
- Badass Mustache: Doctor Lautrec, of course.
- Barrier Change Boss: Sang Maudit. The Final Boss does this also.
- Bechdel Test: Passes, although barely. There are three major named female characters, they do regularly converse with one another, but rarely without the presence of male characters, and when they're alone, while they DO talk about marriage, that's not the only thing they discuss.
- Beta Couple: Milady and Claude to Sophie and Lautrec.
- Boisterous Bruiser: Professor Gustav. He prefers to break down walls of the labyrinths instead of solving the puzzles on the door locks.
- Boss Corridor: Before virtually every final Treasure Animatus in a given labyrinth.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Several.
- Lautrec himself. He does surprisingly little... well, doctor-of-natural-history-ing, and on many occasions goes into lengthy rants about why he's superior and different from all those run-of-the-mill 'adventurers'... yet most of the time the only thing he does is adventurer-ing. And unlike Indiana Jones, he doesn't have anything to show for it for the museum's benefit afterward, since the Treasure Animatus he recovers is deadly. It's a miracle he keeps his job.
- Gustav is actually a shrewd businessman, it's just that he spends too little time in the office and too much time traipsing about adventuring. Lautrec tricks him into going back to his office at one point to prove it.
- Character Name and the Noun Phrase
- Clark Kenting: Milady and her mask. Once Sophie sees her 'real' persona, she almost immediately spots the resemblance, but keeps it to herself.
- Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: The different Knight orders. The different spirit types also have their own colours.
- Complexity Addiction: Why Lautrec got into hunting for Treasure Animatus to begin with, as he has no actual use or interest in the Treasures themselves, only in the puzzles protecting them. See also Nice Job Breaking It, Hero.
- Curse: The Treasure Animatus. At least one person who touched it unprotected died on the spot, and multiple quests mention that even if they don't kill you outright, you can still get hurt from touching them before they're tamed.
- Domino Mask: Milady wears a variant.
- Dueling Games: With the Professor Layton series in general and Professor Layton and the Last Specter in specific.
- Dungeon Crawling: Under Paris, finding ancient treasures and the like haunted by ghosts.
- Eiffel Tower Effect: Played with. It's IN the game logo, but since the game takes place as it is being built... well, so is the tower in the logo.
- Escape Rope: The Aller Simple item.
- Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Milady, the owner of Le Repaire. Also, the Phantom (yes, of The Opera).
- Faceless Goons: The titular Knights all wear iron masks and long flowing robes that entirely mask their shape, giving them an inhuman appearance. This goes into ridiculous territory when you learn that there's more than one order of the Knights...
- Fleur de Lis: Used in several variations as the insignia for all the orders of the Knights you run into, as well as to denote the entrances to labyrinths and as the sigil on the Treasure Animatus containers, puzzle doors, treasure chests... Sigil Spam at its finest.
- Follow the Leader: The core of the game feels very firmly based on the Professor Layton games with the top hat-wearing historian protagonist that goes around claiming "there's no mystery he can't solve", solving puzzles and combating shadowy secret societies. The meat of the game, however, also includes elements from Konami's own Boktai and, as such, it's a lot less of a direct copy.
- To make things worse, the first Layton game for the 3DS added very similar action-puzzler block-moving enemy-avoiding elements.
- Gatling Good: Paul spends a good portion of his screentime carrying an impressively portable steam-powered Gatling gun. It jams or leaks steam or explodes most of the times he tries to actually use it.
- Gameplay and Story Segregation: The game mostly averts the mechanics associated with this trope and its subtropes, but does fall into it a couple of times nonetheless.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Justified. You can only carry (and therefore use in battle) up to three Treasure Animatus at once into a labyrinth, but that's practicality, since the items vary in size between hairpins and suits of armour (with the interim items being of varying degrees of bulkness, from planks and brooches to vases and helms).
- Separate, But Identical: Justified. The Knights used to be one order before splitting into factions. They may dress different and act different in cutscenes, but in gameplay they are identical, since they all share their outlook on treasure hunters.
- Take Your Time: Even though the plot implies that you move between the plot dungeons of Chapters 4, 5 and 6 with no dawdling in-story, you're free to do as many side-quests before moving to the actual story portion as you please.
- Took a Shortcut: Justified most of the time. The Knights and those aligned with them can open the puzzle doors since they put them there to begin with, and Gustav never actually uses doors.
- Heel-Face Turn: Jean and Paul.
- Impact Silhouette: Gustav does this at one point, complete with the outline of his hat and all. Lautrec and company use the hole as an emergency exit.
- Infinity+1 Sword: There are four, one for each of the "main" spirit types, available in the jewel shop from around the middle of the game. You will only be able to afford to buy ONE of them in a single playthrough in time for it to be useful, and only if you managed to complete ALL of the optional dungeons with perfect or near-perfect results in battles and found all of the treasure chests - there simply is just barely enough gems in the game to afford them. With luck, you'll get one of them before you do the final, hardest, optional quest. Without luck, you'll get it before the The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. Without any luck whatsoever, you'll only save up enough gems to afford them in the post-ending play (you don't actually need them that badly to defeat the final boss, or at all, as most post-ending quests provide you with better ones just for completing them).
- Insistent Terminology: Milady always calls Sophie "Madame" and pokes fun at her becoming "an old maid". Sophie, being in her early twenties, finds this highly offensive.
- Lautrec is most definitely not an "adventurer", how dare you suggest that.
- Like Reality Unless Noted: All the historical events happened (and keep happening) as they actually did. Treasure Animatus generally don't do anything supernatural other than kill people that touch the cursed objects, and while some of them are rumoured to possess supernatural powers or grant them to their wielders, absolutely none of them come to pass once Lautrec and Sophie obtain them, usually to Sophie's chagrin. The only illogical objects in the game are the guns the villains use... which don't reliably work, just as one would expect from a steam-powered Gatling gun.
- Lower Deck Episode: Although you're always playing the game as Lautrec and Sophie, several sidequests focus on (and consequently contain dialogue mostly from) Claude, Milady, various people from Sophie's past...
- Loyal Animal Companion: Nico, Lautrec's pet monkey, is fiercely protective of him. Also absurdly cute.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The leaders of each Knight order. For some reason, they both opt for left-side-of-the-face-covering masks. Partly enforced, of course, since one of them IS The Phantom of the Opera...
- Modest Royalty: See Royals Who Actually Do Something.
- Mons: The whole set of mechanics surrounding Treasure Animatus and the spirits within is a lite version of the typical Mons game.
- Mysterious Waif: Marie, the girl Lautrec and Sophie are helping, serves as the lynchpin of the plot.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Sang Maudit.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: At one point, Lautrec and his friends catch up to the Big Bad as he's stumped by the fact that the hints that drove the plot thus far have come full circle and point back to where the first one was discovered. Lautrec then proceeds to deduce the error they've made and figures out the next step, announcing the solution out loud... while still standing next to the Big Bad. Who promptly thanks Lautrec for doing his job for him. Sophie's reaction borders on What the Hell, Hero?.
- Old Maid: Milady constantly jokes at Sophie's expense that her running around adventuring with Lautrec has already turned her into a Christmas Cake. Lautrec promises Sophie's mother he will marry her himself should this truly come to pass.
- One Steve Limit: Averted for historical accuracy. Jean was a very common name for French men of the time, and some historical figures have similar sounding names as well. Most of the game characters go by their last names or titles (or both) to avoid confusion; historical figures go by full names plus their titles in dialogue for the same reason.
- Only Smart People May Pass: The entire purpose behind the riddles in the treasure maps and the puzzle locks on Treasure Animatus chambers.
- Our Treasure Animatus Is Different Well, they're pieces of treasure cursed and haunted by ghosts who you must fight to tame using other pieces of treasure. To make things more interesting, most of the effective ones are being haunted by ones of their own, so.... likely.
- Period Piece: Welcome to the Paris before the Eiffel Tower was built... or rather, as it was WHILE it was being built.
- Recycled In Space: Before its release it was accused of being "Professor Layton IN PARIS!" , but your mileage may vary if that is true or not.
- Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Claude got into adventuring to find a girl that would fall for him, not his inheritance. Then he fell for Milady...
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: Marie, who turns out to be a descendant of the Bourbon royal family.
- Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Lautrec and Sophie.
- Schizophrenic Difficulty: The difficulty curve rises very gently until you visit the Bastille. Therein, it jumps through the roof on the whole shebang - the puzzles, the stealth levels AND the spirit-taming. Once you clear it, it returns to where it was before, making this a whole-chapter-shaped Wake-Up Call Boss moment, with the Treasure Animatus at the end serving as an actual Wake-Up Call Boss.
- Sequel Hook: Throughout the plot, multiple characters mention that Treasure Animatus are not restricted to Paris, or even France. In the final final cutscene, Marie shows up on the Doctor's doorstep with a map to several of them located in Italy.
- Ship Tease: Lautrec and Sophie have moments of this (always one-sided on Sophie's half) and Milady and Claude have a number of instances of this, too. Even Sophie isn't sure if they're really interested in each other. One of the post-main-story quests ends in Lautrec promising Sophie's mother to marry Sophie himself should she get caught in Christmas Cake territory because of him.
- Shout-Out: The game is basically a tourist guide to the late-19th Century Paris, so all the related references, quotes and so on are to be expected of it.
- Shown Their Work: You have a virtual Paris of the 1880s at your fingertips. You can visit EVERY street, view a panorama of it, and are regularly fed large bits of the city's history through casual dialogue, plot dialogue, sidequests and the journal. About the only thing that breaks the mood is the use of modern-day colour photographs of the city in some of the puzzles and all the landmark journal entries. It should be noted that if particular modern-day buildings weren't there in 1889, they aren't there in the game, and vice versa (complete with an appropriate note in the Journal's info section if the building is/was of importance). Yes, this game teaches you how a city's appearance changes through the years.
- Sigil Spam: The Fleur de Lis and variations thereof.
- Stealth-Based Mission: You've got no weapons, (and killing the police wouldn't look good anyway, since they're looking for a reason to arrest you) and the cops run faster than you while chasing you, which they don't stop until you leave. It's better to just sneak past rather to trying to rush things.
- Steam Punk: There are shades of it, particularly in some of the machinery used.
- Tactical Rock-Paper-Scissors: The spirit types. Arboreal has no weaknesses and no strengths. Gems are strong against Humanoid but have poor stats that make them near useless against the other types. Aquatic, Terrestrial and Avian form a circular rock-paper-scissors with Humanoid jammed in the middle to spice things up. The game happily reminds you which trumps which whenever you look at a spirit's scorecard.
- There Was a Door: See Impact Silhouette.
- The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The Lost City of Ys, hidden beneath Notre Dame de Paris. Lautrec is as surprised by the revelation as the player will probably be.
- The Queen's French: In the English dub, all characters speak with various English accents, so you'll be forgiven if you manage to forget most of them are French. To counter this, Gustav occasionally lapses into a (rather fake) German accent and Vidocq occasionally uses French words in his speech.
- Those Two Guys: Jean and Paul.
- Two Lines, No Waiting: Some quests become available only after their preceding quests in the corresponding plot line have been completed and may be tied into the main story progression (such as Jean and Paul's Heel-Face Turn, Marie's secret being revealed, Sophie's ongoing argument with her mother, Claude's affections for Milady, etc) which sometimes leads to a feeling of disconnect as you hop from one subplot to another, particularly in Chapter 7 when each of them start getting final episodes, and the quest which has the most final-ending-like ending isn't actually the last one on the game's queue.
- Wake-Up Call Boss: The spirits guarding the Plot Coupons are tougher than normal spirits in general, serving as bosses of sorts, but the one under the Bastille takes the cake. Clearing him without losing any spirits of your own is going to be a challenge.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Nico only makes appearances in a handful of dialogue scenes and anime cutscenes, all of them pertaining to the core plot. Once it's over, you're not seeing him ever again with little reason as to why.
- X Meets Y: Boktai meets Pokémon with some stylistic influences from Professor Layton.