Video Game: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
The fifth game in the Professor Layton
series, second of the prequel trilogy, and the first to be on the Nintendo 3DS
. Known as Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
Professor Layton has been asked to investigate mysterious happenings in the city of Monte d'Or, where the Masked Gentleman, wearing the Mask of Chaos referred to in the title, has been wreaking havoc on the town by causing "miracles" to happen, such as turning people into stone and into horses. Once again, the professor is met with people hiding their fair amount of secrets...
That is, in the present, anyway. The game also has segments involving a high school age Layton, whose experiences in the past are key to solving his present mystery.
Please place series-spanning examples on the main Professor Layton
Released in Europe on October 26th, and in North America on October 28th, of 2012.
This game provides examples of:
- 100% Completion: You get ABSOLUTELY nothing for collecting all 40 treasures in the Collection.
- And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: The daily downloadable puzzles allow you to pick from one of two furniture items to add to Layton's room after the first downloadable puzzle you solve and every 10 puzzles thereafter. After a while, you eventually start getting second chances to pick one of the previous items. And when you solve all the puzzles of a particular type, you earn an extra item themed around that puzzle.
- Arc Welding: It is revealed in this game that both the Golden Garden and Ambrosia, as well as the ruins of Akbadain from Miracle Mask itself, are legacies from the ancient civilization of Azran, which is going to feature heavily in the sixth game.
- It also hints that the Hint Coins, present from day one, may also be related to the Azran. Layton and Randall make a note of it when they find one in some ruins, and one of the collectibles is an "Enigma Coin"; similar to a Hint Coin only silver and with an R instead of an L on it. Again, the characters comment on it; and it's the only collectible they do that for.
- Arranged Marriage: Angela was meant to marry the richest guy in Stansbury by her parents. Randall was the one (whom she truly loved), but when he disappeared, Dalston was the second option. She ends up marrying Henry who became the richest person. Though she was merely acting as Henry's wife so her parents would stop bothering her, as she and Henry both believed that Randall was still alive somewhere and they waited all this time.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Officer Sheffield's hilarious reaction upon entering the briefing room.
Sheffield: How did all these people get into my briefing room? Who are these civilians?! Where's my tea?!
- Art Evolution: Outside of cutscenes, characters are actually modeled in cel-shaded 3D. Understandable, considering the platform.
- If you wish to see their 2D models, the Profiles have the option for both 2D and 3D art.
- Art Initiates Life: One of the Masked Gentleman's stunts before Layton arrived involved bringing paintings to life. Like all the others, it's a trick. The paintings were prepared so their subjects (but not the backgrounds) would fade and disappear, and when that happened hired accomplices dressed as those subjects ran around the city, giving the impression that they escaped the paintings.
- Artistic License – Geography: Monte d'Or is located in a desert. In the UK. Anyone should know that the UK does not have any deserts.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Randall and Layton sword fight a bunch of mummies like this in the Akbadain ruins.
- Baleful Polymorph: The tourists that are turned into horses amidst the chaos during the festival. It was an elaborate trick. There were hired people hiding horses wearing some clothes in the nearby alleys, pushing the horses out while everybody was distracted to make them think people turned into horses.
- Batman Gambit: After Layton foils Descole's plot and exposes his plans, Descole replies that he had already won. It turns out he knew Layton would come to Monte d'Or and eventually solve the puzzle of Akbadain. In solving the puzzle, which Layton did with Descole (disguised as Angela), Layton unknowingly revealed the Nautilus Chamber of Akbadain (which was Descole's true goal). In the end, after being outwitted twice by Layton (in The Last Specter and The Eternal Diva), he decided to accept the fact that the Professor would solve the mystery and made it so that when the Professor solved it, Descole's true goal would be achieved!
- Bigger Bad: Even though Jean Descole was behind the events in Monte d'Or, he's upstaged by Bronev, leader of the shadowy Targent organization in the Sequel Hook.
- Bonus Feature Failure: The DLC puzzles are this to many players. Since the weekly DLC puzzles in previous games were of the same fare you'd find in the main game, fans rejoiced when they learned that Miracle Mask would have daily DLC puzzles for a full year. The rejoicing was cut short, however, when players found out that, instead of the main game-quality puzzles they were used to, they got a mere 20 stock puzzles; the daily puzzles are just variations on these 20. And most of them are incredibly easy, especially in comparison to the oftentimes brutally difficult puzzles in the main game.
- Call Back: To when Luke and Layton get chased by a Ferris Wheel of Doom in Curious Village:
Luke: A Ferris Wheel rolling after people? That's just silly...
- Call Forward: Randall spent a great deal of time 18 years ago trying to get Layton as excited about puzzles and archaeology as he was. Not to mention the fact that the professor would chronologically go on to use many of Randall's lines as "Puzzle Solved" voice clips.
- In one optional dialogue, Emmy speculates on what the Masked Gentleman's possible trick at an amusement park might be, like having the Ferris Wheel break off or the carousel horses come to life. Luke thinks any of those sound kind of neat - but he wouldn't enjoy the Ferris Wheel of Doom bit when it eventually does happen in Curious Village.
- During the sequence where Layton and the other detectives systemically talk through finding out how the Masked Gentleman completed his first three dark miracles, one of the options during the paintings-coming-to-life bit is chalking it up to hallucinogenic gas. The same thing the entire plot of Diabolical Box revolves around.
- Cel Shading: Done in order to simulate the hand-drawn look of previous Layton games while taking advantage of the new hardware.
- Chekhov's Gunman: That puzzle-giving NPC who came to Monte d'Or in search of his foster son? He's looking for Randall, being the one who took him in after he washed up with no memory of who he was.
- Chekhov's Skill: We've known the Professor was a good swordsman since Diabolical Box, but even so a scene with Randall and Hershel practicing fencing helps set up a later scene where they have to defend themselves.
- Childhood Friends / Five-Man Band:
- Cool Horse: Layton and Emmy ride some while chasing the Masked Gentleman. Luke's donkey...isn't really that cool.
Luke: Mine has something wrong with it!
- Cool Mask: The Mask of Chaos allows the wearer to turn people to stone and control gravity. Of course, the "miracles" all turn out to be tricks, but the design of the mask is still cool.
- It's also actually two masks.
- Creator Cameo: Yuming is actually a cameo of Yumi Matsutoya, whose nickname is Yuming, the singer of the Japanese version's ending theme.
- Damsel in Distress: Angela Ledore behind the scenes sometime after meeting Layton for the first time in years (the time would be before "Angela" simply shrugged losing her pendant, which is a pretty important MacGuffin). Ultimately, she disguises herself to aid Layton without raising suspicion.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: Detective Bloom.
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: Constant exposure to the sun due to working on the fields has made Randall into this.
- Deadpan Snarker: Michelle, though she really does have a reason for being like that.
- Easy Amnesia: Randall lost his memories as a result of his fall and eventually gave up hope of ever regaining them. Once Descole contacted him, however, Randall's memory returned in full.
- Endgame Plus: When you first reach the epilogue, you can't explore, just look through the menus and trigger the ending. After seeing the ending you can continue the game, but this time you can move around. You even unlock the ability to change the time between day and night and switch between Stansbury in the past and Monte d'Or in the present.
- Eureka Moment: Dalston commenting on being "left in the dark" helped Layton figure out the Masked Gentleman's amusement park trick.
- Evil Costume Switch: Randall Ascot as the Masked Gentleman, though he was deceived into doing it by Descole.
- Face-Heel Turn: Randall Ascot.
- Fangirl: The NPC Madelaine is this for the Masked Gentleman.
- Hannah, Grotsky's fangirl, returns from the previous game.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Let's see: A carnival town, in the middle of the desert, with all sorts of attractions including an avenue of casinos with blinding neon lights. Monte d'Or is a British Laytonverse version of Las Vegas.
- Flashback to Catchphrase: In addition to finding out about where Layton's interest in puzzles and archaeology came from, we learn that Layton's trademark "Every puzzle has a solution" catchphrase originally came from Randall.
- Funny Afro: Layton in the flashbacks. Randall in the present, though he cuts it after his Heroic BSOD.
- Ghost Town: The town of Stansbury becomes this after the incident with Randall leaves everyone torn down. However, most of its citizens have moved to Monte d'Or.
- Gratuitous English: "Mask of Miracle"? Thankfully fixed with the official English title, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask.
"The city of miracle... Look how busy even at night. The city sure is sleepless."
- The game's Anime Theme Song "Mysterious Flower" is the first song in the series to have any English in it save the title of "iris"
- Guest Star Party Member: Angela Ledore in the final puzzle of the main story. There's no way to see what her "failing" animation is, though.
- It gets horribly subverted, as that Angela who helped Layton and smiled ever so sweetly at the camera wasn't really the one you thought it was...
- Heroic BSOD: After being told the truth about his relatives and friends, Randall becomes utterly shocked and wishes to fall down the abyss just like he did a long time ago...but Henry won't have any of it.
- Angela becomes utterly broken once Randall is declared dead. The reason why she is strongly against the idea is because she lost her brother, who was also into archaelogy, in a ruins expedition.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Inspector Bloom.
- Hopeless Suitor: Poor Jean-Paul for Emmy. Emmy doesn't even seem to be aware of his fervent affection for her.
- Ironic Echo: "I've half a mind to tell the master!"
- Ironic Nursery Tune: Puck mutters one after Emmy suggests how a funfair could possibly be dangerous which goes "La la-laa! Merry-go-horses running stray. I think I'd better staaaaay awaaaaay."
- Light and Mirrors Puzzle: There's a series of them in the daily downloadable puzzles, where you have to position mirrors to reflect colored beams of light a certain number of times until they hit matching-colored ghosts.
- Long Song, Short Scene: Descole's Theme, yet again. The game makes up for it by using the far better live version, though.
- And let's not forget Layton's Theme, which is only played in one cutscenes, meaning that you can't let it carry on for an unlimited time like in the dialogue, despite it being the theme song of the series (well, technically). Thankfully, both of these songs can be accessed through the Extras section.
- Lost Forever: The hint coins and collectibles in Chapter 6's ruins can't be obtained once you finish it, so collect them while you can.
- MacGuffin: Angela's pendant is a very crucial piece that shouldn't be ignored if you're suspecting her.
- The Man Behind the Man: The Masked Gentleman was manipulated into his 'dark miracles' by none other than Jean Descole, Big Bad of Professor Layton and the Last Specter.
- My Greatest Failure: Layton feels this for not having saved Randall from his fall. This eventually breaks the entire town and changes everybody's lives forever.
- My Master, Right or Wrong: A positive example with Henry to Randall. This belief turns into a rather complicated theme 18 years later, and in the end, Henry never stole anything from Randall.
- Never Found the Body: Henry's countless search parties always result in this, believing that Randall never died. There was an underground river that broke Randall's fall from the beginning, carrying him away to a village where he got amnesia and started a new life before being told who he really was...from the villain.
- The many rewards for finding Randall was the main reason how Monte d'Or came to being.
- Nice Hat: Played straight during the sequences taking place in the present, of course. This trope is also averted during sections taking place in the past, as Layton doesn't have his famous hat yet. He does, however, have THE COOLEST AFRO OF ALL TIME.
- Police Are Useless: None of the people of the city really have much respect for the police unless they're being helped by somebody else who does have experience. Michelle even snarks at how they surely jail the wrong people in a crime.
- Rags to Riches: Henry. Dalston speculates that Henry used Randall all along to find the treasure for him. While Henry did find the treasure in one of the expeditions he made, he used it to call adventurers to find Randall within the ruins. He had built the Reunion Inn as a base of operations with the money, and from there, the influx of people indirectly made him richer until Monte d'Or came to being over 18 years.
- Real Song Theme Tune: "Mysterious Flower," which is a slightly edited version of a song by Japanese singer/songwriter Yumi Matsutoya.
- Red Herring: The treasure in Akbadain is this, meaning to distract intruders from the real archaeological treasure.
- Revenge Before Reason: Randall, but he was tricked into doing it by Descole.
- Sequel Hook: The extra cutscene at the end of the credits heavily hints at the third game of the series revolving around the ancient Azran civilization.
- The secret password from Azran Legacy adds another Sequel Hook cutscene into the bonus menu.
- Soft Water: How Randall survived his fall eighteen years ago.
- Take My Hand: Happens twice during the game. The first time, Randall dangles over an abyss while young Layton tells him to drop the Mask of Chaos and grab his other hand before it's too late. Randall refuses to give it up and falls. The second is a Call Back to the previous situation, with Randall once again in danger of falling and Layton telling him not to let go. Randall almost lets himself fall, but Henry grabs his wrist as well, convinces him to keep living, and helps pull him to safety.
- Taken for Granite: The festival shows a lot of people turning to stone. It proves to be fake. There was a carriage carrying stone statues hidden in the giant clown balloon.
- Teen Genius: Layton, during flashback sections. Also applies to Randall, though he decides to go on a frankly suicidal adventure through the Akbadain Ruins.
- Temple of Doom: The Akbadain ruins.
- Too Dumb to Live: Randall, who decided it'd be a great idea to go on a dungeon crawl through unexplored ruins accompanied only by his best friend and with only two other people knowing where they were going or what they were up to. Even after discovering that the ruins' defenses were all still perfectly operational, he kept on going, which led to him falling victim to the ruins' last trap.
- And of course, he could have gone through all of that and turned out okay, too... if he'd just listened to Hershel and dropped that stupid mask so that he could give him his other hand, which he refused to do, for some unfathomable reason.
- The Unreveal: After the credits, Descole is unmasked by Bronev, but Descole's servant throws a smoke bomb and saves him before Bronev (and the player) can see his face.
- Undying Loyalty: Henry to Randall
- Unexpected Gameplay Change: Chapter 6 takes the form of a puzzle-based dungeon crawl with a top-down viewpoint. There are normal puzzles and hint coins buried around the floors, though.
- Video Game 3D Leap: Two of them! Not only is this the first Layton game for the Nintendo 3DS, it's also the first to feature rendered characters and environments.
- Villain Exit Stage Left: The Man Behind the Man, after a bit of villainous gloating, leaps away, while Layton and the rest stare close by.
- Villain with Good Publicity: The Masked Gentleman is attributed for being a reason why there are so many tourists in Monte d'Or. Madelaine is a very fine example.
- Voodoo Shark: Miracle Mask mostly averts this for the first time in the series. Except for those wings...
- When All You Have Is a Hammer: During chapter 6, your only method of attack is to dig a hole for the enemies to fall into. Kind of justified in that both Layton and Randall were 17.
- You ALL Look Familiar: The entire police force looks exactly the same. Bloom lampshades this. Oddly enough, the force doesn't look the same in the cutscenes.
- Some of the background NPCs (aka the ones you can't interact with) are cops that look distinctly different.