Video Game: Professor Layton and the Last Specter
Known as Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call
in the UK and Professor Layton and the Specter's Flute
in Japan, this is the fourth game in the Professor Layton Widget Series
, and the first in the prequel trilogy.
Layton is called by Clark Triton, Luke's father, to investigate the mysterious specter that appears every night in Misthallery. After reaching the city shrouded in mist, Layton finds out that many mysteries hide the truth of the city and its inhabitants...
It was followed by Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
. There's also an animated feature set between those two, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva
. It was feared that the game was never going to be released overseas, but it was eventually released in October 2011.
Please place series-spanning tropes on the main Professor Layton
page, and London Life-specific tropes in its respective section at the bottom.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter provides examples of:
- 100% Completion: Throughout the game you will build a "collection," little odds and ends you acquire by accomplishing puzzles or just clicking on random hiding places, in a manner reminiscent of the previous games' Gotta Catch 'Em All minigames. The difference here is that completing your collection of more than 20 items achieves absolutely nothing...except this trope.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The city has pipes and water all over the place that are connected in long networks of pipes that are seen sticking out from the edges of the street. There's a Black Market right below the market area that is accessible through the sewers.
- Action Girl: Emmy Altava. She'll roundhouse kick criminals back to last week and can leap from rooftop to rooftop to chase after the Black Raven.
- A Day in the Limelight: Compared to the other chapters where Professor Layton is the main character, Chapter 6 has you controlling Emmy, who has gone to London to retrieve some information. You later switch back to Luke and Layton to see what they're doing while Emmy is in London.
- The episodes that are unlocked show little scenes involving daily characters during, before, and after the main story is taken place. If you get all the puzzles you get the last one which reveals Chelmey's past and why he's so dedicated to his job. This is also the only way of seeing how Emmy and Layton met each other.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: This hilarious exchange when you examine the floor at the Third Ridge:
Emmy: I stepped on a nut!
Luke: I stepped on a bolt!
- Back from the Dead: In the credits, Loosha can be seen in the background of the last shot with everyone else, despite the repeated Please Wake Ups followed by sad flute music and a Really Dead Montage. Then again, the body did slip down into the depths of the water...
- The one in the credits seems to be a statue of the real thing. The real thing is still dead.
- Baker Street Regular: Besides Luke, the Black Ravens become valuable assistants to Layton, rather similar to the Trope Namer.
- Benevolent Boss: The leader of the Black Ravens, Crow, is this. Bonus points for all of them being children running a black market.
- Black Market: What's so special about this one is that is being run by children and not adults, and is hidden below the sewers.
- Blonde Guys Are Evil: Third Eye Jakes.
- Bookworm: Olga, the librarian of the city, is so obsessed with them that she dreams of having a house stacked to the roof with books.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Heroic variant; Layton doesn't remember coming to Emmy's rescue when she was falsely accused of pickpocketing, but she was so impressed by his gentlemanly heroism that she decided to become his assistant.
- The Butler Did It: It turns out that Luke's loyal butler is the mastermind behind the specter and its attacks. But it quickly gets subverted once it's revealed said butler is Descole in disguise, having imprisoned the real one and Luke's mother in the wine room.
- Call Back: The last unlocked episode includes a reference to the accident that killed Claire in the backstory of Unwound Future.
- One of the papers you can investigate in Scotland Yard contains a picture of Prime Minister Bill Hawkes. Emmy comments that she doesn't like him all that much.
- In the cutscene where Loosha and the other kids break open the floodgates, you hear the title screen theme from Diabolical Box!
- Catch Phrase: Whenever someone comments that Bucky getting a boat to where they are seems implausible/unfeasible/whatever:
Bucky: The word [X] isn't in Bucky's dictionary, and shouldn't be in yours, either!
- The Chessmaster: Descole is the one behind the specter rampaging the city's streets at night.
- City of Canals: Misthallery itself.
- Combining Mecha: Descole's digging machines combine to form one large machine which serves as the final boss.
- Conveniently Empty Buildings: Thanks to Luke getting messages out to the townspeople through Doland, no one is injured. But it turns out that Luke wasn't always right and 'Doland' evacuated the people to prevent them from realizing the specter's identity.
- Cool Pet: Like the parrot in Unwound Future, the fish you get happens to be a Misthallery-exclusive species and shows you the way to hint coins. There's also Luke's mouse companion Toppy, and the Barde kids have a freaking dinosaur.
- Cool Train: The train toy you get from Bucky is just like the car mini-game in Unwound Future.
- Cover Drop: That golden pattern on the title screen is pretty cool-looking, I guess... wait, hold on, it's the entrance to the Golden Garden and the final story puzzle!
- Creepy Child: Upon meeting Arianna face to face, she's got a dark shade over her eyes that points out her status as the city's resident witch girl. The dark shade goes away once she finds out she isn't a witch.
- Cross Dressing Voice: The Bardes' old gardener SURE does have a rather feminine voice for being quite old... It's then justified after Tony takes off the costume.
- Cute Kitten: Granny Riddleton's cat Keats, who happens to keep all the puzzles you skipped or couldn't find between chapters.
- Cute Witch: Arianna, known as 'the calamity witch' by the townspeople. At least she thinks the "witch" part applies.
- Daddy's Boy: Jakes' son keeps going on and on about how great his father is and, when upset, threatens to report Layton and his assistants to him.
- During the postgame, he's clearly distraught over the fact that his father has been arrested. Emmy starts to call him out on the evil that Jakes did, but Layton tells her that it's simply the love a child has for his parent, and to let him be.
- The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: If you check the water level of a place the specter will appear and compare it to that place normally, it actually is lower, just like Luke says.
- Distant Finale: Only in the form of an art piece, but once you solve all the puzzles, you get a picture of the game's cast members in the time of the first trilogy. Luke is in his first trilogy clothes. Flora can be seen in the background, talking to Luke's parents. Arianna and Tony are noticeably older.
- Dirty Old Man: Clarence qualifies for this.
- The End of the World as We Know It: Luke has prophetic visions that correspond to the specter's arrival. In reality, he actually has been keeping tabs on the water levels of the canal, gets advice from adorable little mouse friends, and his thinking of Armagedddon stems from the old legends of the specter. In truth, he didn't have to be so melodramatic about it.
- Expy: Jakes' son slightly resembles Homer Simpson, except a bit fatter...
- The Fagin: Crow is sort of one, except he's the same age as the rest of the kids.
- Fangirl: Hanna is one for Inspector Groskey.
- An episode shows that she was completely upset about where her life was going to until Groskey came in attacking a local thug; cue love at first sight.
- Fat Bastard: Jakes and his son.
- Fish out of Water: Literally speaking; the fish you own is this game's method of finding hidden coins. It will tell you by defying the laws of physics and splashing in midair over the place where a coin is hiding.
- Foreshadowing: If you enter the building under the arch long after it has been destroyed in Highyard Hill, you'll met a woman named Naiya. When you talk to her, she mentions an opera house built over the sea. Professor Layton comments he would like to go to a place like that someday.
- In a sort of retroactive (unless you hacked the game, or live in Europe) foreshadowing, the Hidden Door in this game that opens with a password from Miracle Mask includes concept art for Eternal Diva.
- One of the villagers mentions that 'kids run wild in this town'. They run a black market.
- Forging The Will: Chief Constable Levin 'Third Eye' Jakes changes Mr Barde's, (the primary landowner of the town), will to leave the majority of Misthallery to Mayor Triton, Barde's only friend, as part of Jakes' plan with Descole to become Mayor and find the Golden Garden.
- Get on the Boat: Bucky is an avid boat owner that takes you anywhere in Misthallery that's close to a river. It's Fridge Logic once you realize his services extend to the old bridges to the town and market that are clearly not very close to the river down below... Lampshaded when Layton and Emmy comment on how unlikely each new location is.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: One optional conversation with townsfolk has him commenting that "when you assume, bad things happen to you and me", a cleaned-up version of a mildly crude pun.note
- Good Morning, Crono: In the opening cutscene of the game, Layton is shown sleeping on the couch until Rosa wakes him up.
- Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: All right, Arianna, let's hear the truth about what's going o-wait a minute, why is there a dinosaur in your lake?!
- Hand Wave: How does Bucky get his boats though narrow canals, up cliff faces, and through roads? Please, Bucky doesn't know the meaning of the word infeasible.
- Heartwarming Orphans: Arianna and Tony. A flashback shows Arianna being devastated by their father's death.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Loosha basically kills herself breaking down the dam to reveal the Golden Garden, so that Arianna can use it to cure her illness.
- In the episode I, Of the Yard, Inspector Gilbert took a bullet for Constable Chelmey when the latter rushed ahead during a crime chase.
- Humongous Mecha: The excavation robots all join together to make a big one for Descole to use to destroy the city.
- I Have Your Wife: The source of poor Clark Triton's grief through much of the game, thanks to Descole.
- Ill Girl: Arianna suffers from Soap Opera Disease and doesn't have long to live. After discovering the majestic Golden Garden, her illness ceases to exist one year later thanks to the unpolluted air that was sealed inside.
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You: The chief engineer found near the end of the game.
- In Medias Res/How We Got Here: The beginning explains how Emmy, Layton and Luke are waiting for the specter, and then flashbacks to how they got there, and then continues onto the plot thereafter.
- Ineffectual Loner: Once he starts to see his father's strange behavior and develop suspicions about his mother's "vacation," Luke shuts himself in his room for most days during the start of the game. Once he teams up with Layton, though, Luke plays a role in finding the truth.
- Inexplicably Identical Individuals: Misthallery's police force has multiple officers named Chippe, who all look alike. Apparently, only some of them are related to each other, and while Jakes can't tell them apart from each other, the rest of the townsfolk can.
- Kill It with Water: Loosha uses this to stop Descole's machine after it gets back up to its feet.
- Latex Perfection: The scene in which Descole unveils his disguise is actually a cutscene, but staged in such a way that the viewer can't see how the disguise could have been applied. Which some must be curious about, since Descole and Doland have completely different body types.
- The same could be said to Don Paolo and his other disguises. So was Descole his pupil? Or perhaps the other way around?
- Laughing Mad: Jakes pulls this out rather fast after meeting him. Also Brock, who you meet early-game after his house blows up.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Goosey has a strange hobby of hiding around Misthallery. Just like Hazel in Unwound Future, Goosey likes to hide beyond the side of your DS.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: At one point, Emmy heads back to London on her own to gather some important documents for Layton (and solves several puzzles along the way). After her segment, the game goes back to focus on what Layton and Luke accomplished during her absence.
- Long Song, Short Scene: Descole's Theme is one of the most popular songs in the series, with a breathtaking orchestral version used in the release trailer in lieu of the game's official theme. However, it's used in exactly one short conversation, which segues into the next cutscene so quickly most will only hear the first third of it. Fortunately, it sees plenty of usage in Eternal Diva.
- Lost Forever: Averted. After you finish your business in London, despite never needing to return for plot-related reasons, you can go back there via car to get any puzzles you missed.
- Played straight with hint coins; after the first hotel room gets destroyed you can no longer return for them if you didn't pick them up the first time around.
- MacGuffin: The Specter's Flute
- Magic Music: The Specter's Flute is said to call the specter to protect the city. However, seeing as how said specter is destroying the city it's supposed to protect, the music is deadly. This stills holds true, somewhat. The music helps to calm Loosha so that she doesn't go to fight the "specter" everyone is so afraid of.
- Marathon Level: Puzzle 170 is two sliding block puzzles in one. Sliding block puzzles in general take a while, and both of these involve moving not one but two blocks to two goals. There is no intermission between the two, either, and there are no hints for the second half. To say nothing about how both of these would alone be the two most difficult puzzles in the series separately.
- Missing Mom: Clark tells Luke, and anyone else who asks, that his wife Brenda went out of the city, but Luke suspects she left Clark because she went away without telling him where she actually went. The whole time, she is being held captive beneath the wine room with the family's real butler.
- Must Have Caffeine: Emmy starts slow in the mornings:
Unnhh...braaaaains... Or at least some tea, please.
- Obviously Evil: Third Eye Jakes. If the exclusive Laughing Mad scene after meeting him didn't give it away...
- Obfuscating Disability: The apparently deaf Clarence.
Of course I hear you, woman! I'm deliberately obtuse, not deaf!
- Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Jakes does this to Arianna when he "arrests" her as the supposed mastermind behind the Specter's rampages throughout the town, which makes it even more obvious that this is essentially a kidnapping, not a sincere effort at upholding the law.
- Perfect-Play A.I.: Some of the puzzles feature an opponent, and they will always make the ideal move in their circumstances. It's up to you to make the right moves so that they can be defeated.
- The Pollyanna: Even after his house was completely demolished by the specter, Brock takes a positive attitude to it... a bit too positive.
- Post-Kiss Catatonia: Luke freezes up a bit (and blushes like crazy) when Arianna gives him a good-bye kiss on the cheek.
- Pulling Themselves Together: During the final battle, Layton, Luke, and Emmy manage to deactivate Descole's Combining Mecha and smash it to pieces. Unfortunately, it effortlessly reassembles itself immediately afterward, forcing Loosha to resort to the Kill It with Water example above.
- Puzzle Boss: Descole's mecha is fought by solving 6 puzzles while Background Music Override is in place instead of the usual puzzle theme
- Red Herring: Luke's door puzzle features numbers from 1 to 7 on various things around his door. The correct answer is to do nothing, and he admits to putting them there to see whether Layton would be fooled.
- Scooby-Dooby Doors: The Black Raven pulls this off while being chased through the marketplace alleys, much to Layton's consternation. Justified, as it's later revealed that there were multiple Black Ravens present.
- The old lady selling candy right outside the market is appropriately named Aunt Taffy.
- Emmy pointing out a (step)ladder, calling it a ladder. It's a shame there's no one to argue it with.
- The Black Ravens are an obvious reference to The Thief Lord. The Black Raven even wears a similar mask!
- That flute looks rather familiar as well... note
- The boxes that pop out when you find a collection looks like "?" boxes.
- There's a character named Mido who's obsessed with nature and the color green...
- Smug Snake: Jakes. Even the Big Bad calls him an "ugly, little man" and a "small-minded dullard" during the climax.
- Speak Ill of the Dead: Barde was never very popular, and when he died the townspeople had no problem with commenting on how he had it coming, right in front of his body and his grieving daughter. Small wonder Arianna became a recluse after that.
- Stock Ness Monster: Loosha hides in the lake next to the mansion, but the difference is that some people know of its existence. It looks like a big sea lion, though.
- Street Smart: The children populating the market. It's taken Up to Eleven once Layton finds out they also run a Black Market.
- Stealth Pun: All but one of the regular police in Misthallery look alike and are named Chippe. The one who isn't? He's called Fische. Fish and Chips, get it?
- Strong Family Resemblance: Turns out Arianna and Tony's father looked a hell lot like Tony. Although you can see him during the party (he's seen talking to Clark) in the flashback when Arianna meets Luke, there's no indication of his identity. You can only connect two and two together in the credits.
- Supreme Chef: A scene played in the credits shows Layton and Rosa complimenting Emmy's superb cooking.
- Sweet Tooth: All the kids in the marketplace LOVE Aunt Taffy's sweets (and Emmy wants to love them, if only Taffy would let her buy some). It's a very important hint regarding the Black Raven's identity. Well, a mistake on Tweeds' part.
- Tareme Eyes/Tsurime Eyes: Arianna switches between both types depending on her mood.
- Third-Person Person: Wherever you need to go in Misthallery, "Bucky's there!"
- Video Game Cruelty Potential: Repeatedly examining the candles near Arianna's room gives us this:
Luke: Ouch! That's hot!
Luke: These are really hot!
Luke: Hot! Hot! Hot!
- Villain Exit Stage Left: Once you beat Descole in the final battle, he declares that this isn't over, leaps off the mech... and supposedly scurries away. While Layton and the others are staring maybe a few feet away.
- Violation of Common Sense: Go right ahead and hit that Plunger Detonator some idiot left lying around at the archaeological dig site. It'll let you find silver ore for your collection!
- Unexpected Inheritance: For some unknown reason, Barde bequeathed ownership of Misthallery not to his children, but to Clark. Subverted; Descole had Jakes alter the will as part of his master plan.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Arianna, before her father's death. When she heard the townspeople muttering about how glad they were to be rid of him and how he deserved what he got, she developed a powerful resentment and isolated herself on the family estate.
- Unwitting Pawn: Clark's adoration for his family is exploited by Descole and his cronies, and so he remains silent to prevent the bad guys from hurting his family on the spot.
- Wise Beyond Their Years: Luke and Arianna, although both tend to overreact to unfamiliar situations like most kids their age.
- You Have 48 Hours: Jakes gives Layton and Emmy 24 hours to pack up and leave town, then sends some goons to "encourage" them to hurry it up almost immediately afterward. Fortunately, Emmy is more than capable enough to fend them off. He then has them arrested at the next specter attack.
- Younger Brother Instinct: Tony is very protective of his older sister so he spreads the rumors of the 'calamity witch' by painting a 'witch's mark' on the homes of anyone who speaks ill of Arianna. The homes bearing the mark are then destroyed. This leads the people to believe that speaking ill of the 'calamity witch' will bring ruin upon them. Of course, it also leads Arianna herself to believe that she really is a witch.
Packaged in with some (though sadly, not all) versions of the game is a bonus role-playing game called Professor Layton's London Life
. You take on the role of a resident of Little London, which is entirely populated by sprite versions of characters from all of the existing Layton games. As you dwell amongst the characters, you are assigned small quests, usually in the form of acquiring a specific item for a specific individual or delivering a message from one character to another. Certain of these quests make up a storyline, which must be completed to win the game, involving Professor Layton, Luke, Flora, Inspector Chelmey, Don Paolo, and a strange mystic artifact which may or may not have something to do with fairies
and/or The End of the World as We Know It
Professor Layton's London Life provides examples of: