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 LaytonWidget 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 The normal pun is that when you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 toopositive.
Post-Kiss Catatonia: Luke freezes up a bit (and blushes like crazy) when Arianna gives him a good-bye kiss on the cheek.
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 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 When compared to Saria's Ocarina, not the actual Ocarina of Time itself.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Abhorrent Admirer: If the player gives him a Love Potion (as required by one quest), Gordon will come on to the player, regardless of gender. Likewise, regardless of gender, the player can expect their avatar's happiness to be cut in half.
Added Alliterative Appeal: The town's called "Little London" in the NA localization. There's also references to the "Tiny Thames", "Reduced Rome", and "Big Britain".
The three buildings in which your avatar can live are "Humble Homes," "Darling Dwellings," and "Royal Residences."
An Interior Designer Is You: You can decorate your room according to various themes, such as Cute, Modern, and Elegant. Other characters may be your roommate, but will only stay if the decor is to their liking; different characters prefer different styles.
As You Know: In the department store, the receptionist explains that the floor numbers follow the English system of the bottom being the "Ground Floor" and the "First Floor" being the next one up; and that this is different from America where the bottom one is the "First Floor". She then wonders why she's telling you this, as everyone in Little London is English anyway. Oddly, she refers to it as an elevator in this speech, rather than a lift.
Backdoor Pilot: London Life is really this to Level-5's upcoming Fantasy Life, which, based on the descriptions thus far, will play almost identically.
Bag of Holding: The Mini Chests. The woman selling them even lampshades how it doesn't make sense that they can hold objects bigger than themselves.
Bat Family Crossover: This is the only format in which it's possible to see characters from all of the PL games which existed at the time, and watch them interact with each other too. For instance, the museum curator (from Last Specter) becomes friends with Katia Anderson (from Diabolical Box), and Ingrid (from Curious Village) rents a room to Dr. Stahngun (from Unwound Future).
Deadpan Snarker: Whoever writes the Little London Times has elements of this. "Demonic voices? Or just Hazel being paranoid? We'll let you decide what's more likely, Dear Reader."
Escort Mission: A handful of quests involve taking a character to a location he or she wants to visit but for one reason or another can't reach alone.
Extended Gameplay: London Life is a 100-hour RPG. And it's advertised as a bonus feature. Good gravy!
The Fair Folk: Deke thinks there are fairies in the park. And he just might be right.
Fake Longevity: Of the 100 promised gameplay hours, most of them are going to be spent working if you want to earn enough wealth to purchase the Golden Gloves, which cost 99,999,999 wealth. And since the gloves serve absolutely no useful purpose, it feels like a bit of a rip-off.
Felony Misdemeanor: Trying to pick the flowers outside the house Puzzlette stands in front of is a harmless example:
"Picking flowers without permission is a crime! It's called... misdemeanor... floral assault... WITH MALICIOUS INTENT!"
Good Feels Good: Your character's signature trait is the fact that he/she runs around all day doing good things for other characters (in other words, fulfilling the quests). This is given as the exact reason why you are the only one who can save the world.
Heroic Sacrifice: In the main story, Flora and Lady Dahlia are prepared to sacrifice themselves in order to prevent The End of the World as We Know It. Fortunately, Layton figures out what really needs to be done and stops this from happening - with the player's help, of course.
Hopeless Suitor: Rory spends all day, every day, standing outside the train station waiting for his girlfriend. Occasional quests involve you getting him something to eat since he won't move.
Loose Canon: This game throws characters together without regard for the main games' canon. Their personalities remain intact, but, for example, none of the Curious Village characters are robots.
Love Potion: Granny Riddleton will make one upon completion of a certain quest.
Luck-Based Mission: Fishing and Flower-Picking. You may find yourself screaming at the game for the amount of Not!fish and hazards that can occur while fishing (such as losing your fish or your line snapping), or for things like getting stung by a bee. If you chose "Child at Heart" for your character trait, it's even worse.
Money for Nothing: Eventually, you will have much, much more wealth than you can logically spend on anything, except the above-mentioned Golden Gloves.
Rainbow Speak: Most speech appears as white text on a black background. However, if a character speaks to you in red text, your happiness will drop - and the longer their speech, or the more angry they are, the more it will reduce your happiness. Conversely, if a character speaks to you in green text, your happiness will be restored. You have absolutely no control over how they will speak to you, and of course each quest can only be resolved in one way. The most you can do to protect yourself is to avoid speaking to members of the Family except when required to do so by a quest.
Regional Bonus: Both played slightly straight (for North America) and horribly inverted (for Europe). Though the game was included with the Japanese version, Professor Layton's London Life required clearing the game to play; it's unlocked from the very start in the North American version. However, the game is completely removed from the European version - even the English-speaking ones, for, you know, the people who actually live in London.
The game is, however, included in the Australian release, just like the American one.
Royal Blood: According to the curse on the Plot Coupon, a female descendant of the royal family will die if it's destroyed. Flora is the daughter of a Baron...
Rummage Sale Reject: It happens when you're trying to have enough Formality or whatever to get into places or have enough Cool that the Goddamn Bats don't hurt you as much.
Ship Tease: The game actually hints, very slightly, at the possibility of Luke/Flora. He's genuinely upset when you tell him that he's forgotten to meet her as he promised. Later, when he realizes she's been abducted (as part of the main storyline), he's absolutely outraged and declares that he will make the guilty party "pay dearly, or my name isn't Luke Triton!"
Socialization Bonus: Shipley allows players to trade items through Tag Mode, but more importantly, Segal runs a Social Club that allows the player to see their friends' London Life avatars. Shipley also hints that a special character appears if you interact with the Social Club at least ten times. This is Future Luke, who then takes up residence at the casino.
Twenty Bear Asses: Several quests, usually those involving fishing or flower picking.
The Unreveal: After you fulfill the last quest of the main story, Layton answers all of Luke's questions, except for one. He refuses to explain how he knew that the comet was coming and what needed to be done.
Vendor Trash: Bruno will buy anything (except items vital to completing the main storyline) that you don't want to keep, including picked flowers and caught fish. Conversely, many of the 'worthless' items he sells - such as the Broken Compass - are actually sought by other characters and form the basis of quests. Laurel, another shopkeeper, won't buy things from you but sells a few other 'worthless' items that you also need to buy for quests.