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Professor Layton is a Nintendo DS Widget Series created by Level-5. The series follows the adventures of the titular Professor Hershel Layton and his self-styled apprentice, Luke Triton, as they puzzle through various brain teasers in the pursuit of solving mysteries.

The series consists of:

Main series

Spinoffs

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Mobile games

  • Professor Layton and the Mansion of the Deathly Mirror
  • Professor Layton Royale
  • Layton Brothers: Mystery Room
  • Professor Layton and the Seven Phantom Thieves

Anime

Books

  • Professor Layton and the Wandering Castle, a novel.
  • Professor Layton and the Phantom Deity, a novel.
  • Professor Layton and the Illusory Forest, a novel.
  • Professor Layton and the Cheerful Mystery, a manga.
  • Professor Layton and the Wandering Forest, a manga.
  • The World of Professor Layton, an art book.

Note: For the sake of spoilers, please put tropes pertaining to specific games on their respective pages. Also, put character-specific tropes in the Characters Sheet.

You can vote for your favorite installment here.

Compare to Capcom's Ace Attorney series, which as mentioned above had a crossover. Also compare the Zero Escape trilogy, which has similar puzzle-based gameplay but a much darker premise.


This series overall provides examples of:

  • Adult Fear:
    • In Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, it is Layton's reason for not taking Flora with him on his trip to find what killed his friend and mentor, Dr. Schrader. We also learn, late in the game, that Sophia fled Folsense and the man she loved so that her baby would not be raised in the vicious environment of the town.
    • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, this is again the reason for him to try and leave Flora behind, and this is justified since Clive abducts her to lock her up in his giant fortress which will either destroy all of London or be taken down by the military with her inside.
    • Professor Layton and the Last Specter gives us Clark Triton, who is fully aware of what the villain is doing to his city and all of its inhabitants, but can't say anything or take action, because the villain abducted his wife, Brenda, and is threatening his son, Luke. There is also the fact that Arianna and her brother live entirely alone in a crumbling mansion, but this time don't even have an adult to fear for them (even Clark, who is the closest they have to a legal guardian, doesn't seem to care much until the children are directly threatened.)
  • Alertness Blink: The ! when you discover a puzzle or encounter a character or object with a puzzle.
  • Amateur Sleuth: Professor Layton doesn't go searching for crimes to solve, but even before the prequels he would occasionally help Scotland Yard on a case. Katrielle ended up actually becoming a private detective.
  • Anachronism Stew: The series takes place in 21st century England, sometime before or just after 2009, as indicated by Layton's birth date in conjunction with his age as of Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. Despite this, Layton and Luke dress like they're from The Edwardian Era, Luke takes a boat overseas, they meet characters obsessed with rock music and The Internet, their view of London contains buildings built in the early 2000s, London also looks incredibly Victorian and not at all modern, and some of the technologies showcased (like advanced robotics and time travel) are rather futuristic. To say nothing of the fact that, right near the beginning of Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, they mention that space travel has already happened. At this point, it's anybody's guess.
    • Space Travel was possible in the late 50s - late 60s In real Life, and rock music was popular since the early 60s, so it's entirely possible the series takes place from the 60s - 80s. However, there is an absence of personal computers, and instead most characters use typewriters and CRT TV's, so it must take place in that time range. Also, most of the cars look like they were made in the early 60s, and a lot of the tech used throughout the series looks to be analogue in design.
    • Though the Victorian clothing, and the fact giant mechas are common, as well as devices like Don Paolo's flying umbrella the series can safely be assumed to lean into Steam Punk territory. The aesthetic design of the series is reminiscent of Art Nouveau, with some Art Deco elements (more so in the prequel trilogy).
    • According to The World of Professor Layton official guide, the creators were going for a 1960s aesthetic, but generally left it vague to avoid limiting themselves.
    • All that being said, there is a crossover game with the Ace Attorney series, which does have a definitive timeline (albeit one set Next Sunday A.D.). Going by that timeline, the crossover game takes place in late 2018 or early 2019.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The series has a cute and quirky art style... and yet often features topics such as revenge, government cover-ups, tragic pasts, implied murder, and the loss of loved ones. In one of their games for the iOS, Layton Brothers: Mystery Room, isn't even implied murder anymore. All their cases deal with homicides (among other things) but it still remains its cheery, bright art style though at least it has a 12+ age rating.
  • Baker Street Regular: Luke and Flora both fit certain aspects of the trope and could be considered variations thereon.
  • Doomed by Canon: Due to Layton meeting most of the supporting cast (like Inspector Chelmey and Granny Riddleton) for the first time in Professor Layton and the Curious Village, they cannot play major roles in the prequels. New characters (Inspector Grosky and Keats the cat) were brought in to fill their roles, and when the old characters cameoed in the prequels Emmy was the only one to interact with them. Of course, this also begs the question of where the new characters are during the original games - Emmy says But Now I Must Go, but Grosky has no reason not to show. Subverted when Granny Riddleton returns in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, though she's wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise and calls herself "Nanny Grams" ("Elizabeth" in the British version). She doesn't have any particular reason to disguise herself other than to maintain canon... but hey, she is known as a clairvoyant!
  • Dramatic Unmask: Averted for Descole. In the epilogue of the fifth game he is saved by a Smoke Out from being unmasked by Bronev (even though it's heavily implied they know each other's real identities then).
  • Dummied Out: All of the four first games have 52 Wi-Fi puzzles (one a week for a full year) in the Japanese version. The English releases, on the other hand, have around 32. Finally averted as of Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, where the number of Wi-Fi puzzles got bumped up to 365 (released daily) for all regions.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: The natives of the various villages Layton and company venture to. It’s made pretty apparent in the first game, where most of them exhibit some pretty bizarre behaviors. They appear more sensible and down-to-earth come later games, but they still have their fair share of quirky characters.
  • Everybody Hates Mathematics: The hints for some puzzles point out they can be solved by algebra, but that isn't fun and you should solve it with puzzle skills instead. It's also a common trick for puzzles to make it seem like the solution is achieved through math when the real answer is hidden in some strange wording note . And then some puzzles do require algebra to solve. In some cases, using algebra may be even easier than the reasoning they want you to use.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The plot of nearly all the games occurs in less than 3 full days. Professor Layton and the Unwound Future is particularly notable, as it starts in the morning and ends on the same day at nighttime. A heck ton of events and revelations happen in that timespan, though. And no, we're not taking into account the whole Time Travel thing in this.
  • Face Palm: When Luke gets a puzzle wrong, he slaps his forehead. Prof. Layton is a fan of the pull-the-brim-of-your-hat-over-your-eyes variant when he botches a puzzle. Flora, when getting a puzzle wrong in the third game, does a two-handed variant with her hands on her cheeks. Emmy, in the prequel trilogy, puts her hand over her mouth. Randall, when failing to get a puzzle right in the fifth game, is seen grunting on his third animation before throwing his hands to the sides in defeat on the fourth.
  • Fight Magnet: With battles of wits rather than fistfights, but the trope still fits.
  • Foregone Victory: Many puzzles, particularly the more physical ones like the Block Puzzle variants, have no wrong answer - you've either solved them or you haven't, and there's no way to get less than the maximum number of Picarats for them. Of course, just because you can't fail doesn't mean they're easy...
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: How relevant the puzzles are to the plot varies wildly. While there are a lot of cases where a character will explicitly present Layton and co. with a puzzle, there are still many puzzles (less so in Professor Layton and the Curious Village than the others) where it is a character asking for assistance with an actual problem, and then the resulting puzzle may differ heavily on some of the details. For example, referencing a map of the local area that doesn't even remotely resemble any view you can get of said area. A serious case in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box where the content of a photo and the shape and orientation of the pieces it is torn in are plot-important, yet the actual puzzle of reconstructing it uses a differently oriented photo and a completely different set of pieces.
  • Gameplay Grading: In addition to picarats, each puzzle gets an icon of the protagonist's face upon solving. A normal-colored icon means you gave at least one wrong answer; a silver icon means you never gave a wrong answer but had to use hints; and a gold icon means you neither gave a wrong answer nor used hints.
  • Genteel Interbellum Setting: The general feel of the setting, though certain elements of the game appear to make it something of an Anachronism Stew.
  • Gentleman Detective: Even though he's an archaeologist, Professor Layton spends most of his time solving weird mysteries and very little time doing any archaeology (though exploring the Azran civilization of the prequel trilogy brings out the archaeologist side of his personality a little more). Only during the end credits of Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy do we get to see a still shot of Layton lecturing an archaeology class. Katrielle wound up becoming a true detective.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • In Professor Layton and the Curious Village, At one point, you are required to look for a clue in the painting of a girl. Touching the general area of the breasts results in a comment from Layton. While the solution is made obvious, the proximity of the hitboxes makes it fully possible to hit it accidentally.
      Layton: Now, Luke, it's important to be a gentleman.
    • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box:
      • At the beginning, Inspector Chelmey questions why a Layton has an Adorably Precocious Child like Luke hanging around as his apprentice. Luke's reaction doesn't help.
      • Ilyana is a woman who works at a cabaret and flirts with various characters, particularly Luke. She appears at the end of a Red Light District in Folsense, where you are prevented from going by a policeman when you first gain access to the area. The policeman implies he won't let you past because of Luke's age. She also makes special mention of Mr. Beluga visiting her to "unwind".
      • Near the end, Anton finds out that Sophia left him to protect their unborn child from the toxic, hallucinogenic gas that plagued Folsense. They should have had sex before marriage offscreen, making their child illegitimate, since he specifically says in the flashback they're betrothed and her unlockable profile identifies her as his fiancée and the mother of his child.
    • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, there is a full-on shootout scene with Professor Layton and a group of gangsters, who are all carrying what are obviously Tommy guns. Then they shoot at the Professor. A lot. Of course, the Professor makes his own gun out of a broken slot machine and coins, and fights back in a much more family-friendly way.
    • Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask: There's a neon sign in Monte D'Or which depicts a very large-busted woman sitting in a seductive pose. This becomes Hilarious in Hindsight once you rälearn that Henry built the whole town, including allowing every contraption, for Randall's eventual arrival. There's also after the credits where, similarly to Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, a villain's henchmen are shooting with AK-47's at Descole. The game is rated E in the US and 7+ in Europe.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger:
    • Layton or whichever character is tackling the puzzle of the moment does this whenever it's solved correctly, including one during an animated sequence. Two characters avert this trend: Randall gives a thumbs up when he solves a puzzle in the fifth game, and Emmy pumps her fists like a victorious martial arts fighter in the sixth game.
    • It becomes something of a recurring theme, with each game except for Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy having an accusation scene leading to Layton pointing at the culprit, who then does a dramatic unmask. For the first two games, the man under the mask is Don Paolo. For the third, it's Clive. For the fourth and fifth, it's Descole.
    • This happens in spades when Layton crosses over with Phoenix Wright, another famous pointer.
  • Gonk: Most of the NPC characters are definitely this, as the series' character designer seems to take a LOT of liberties in designing them...
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: A number of games have a few meta-puzzles that you need to collect items to unlock. You acquire said items by solving regular puzzles, of course. Correctly solving the meta-puzzles unlocks even more puzzles, which are found in the "Bonuses" section of each cartridge. Other games would just unlock new stages for them after solving certain puzzles. Later games also include "Collection" items that don't do anything but get collected.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: The explorer Pavel from the first trilogy makes a habit of this. In multiple languages within the same sentence.
  • Guide Dang It!: Have fun trying to find all the hidden puzzles in these games! Easy compared to finding all the hint coins, though. At least Granny Riddleton/Puzzlette/Keats keeps puzzles from being lost. You eventually get a pet in each game that can sniff out hint coins and other collectables, though at least some coins will likely be gone by that point.
  • Previously On: Whenever you save the game and turn off the DS, then come back to it later, it will bring you up to speed when you load the save file. "Our Story So Far..." Some suspect that this is solely a feature to drive anybody attempting Save Scumming completely insane.
    • Likely, since the restart function (L+R+Start+Select) is actually disabled, despite being built into the system rather than the game. They REALLY want you to either get it right or lose picarats.
  • The Real Remington Steele: Inspector Chelmey is actually an impostor in Curious Village, but guess who shows up in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box? You learn of the existence of the real person in the first game, but he doesn't show up in person until the second.
  • Red Herring: Many puzzles in the games give misleading or irrelevant information in the instructions.
    • In Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Puzzle No. 8 says that a land is split in two, and two boys, Alfred and Roland, are going to work on one half each. Then it points out that Roland takes longer to plow but sows faster than Alfred, and finally asks how much money does Roland deserve. The fact that one finishes the work faster is irrelevant; the only thing that matters is that each boy works half the land, so they are paid the same amount.
    • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box:
      • Puzzle No. 117 features a photograph of three men and their wives. Two of the women are sisters and your task is to determine who's married to the third woman. The answer is straightforward based on the instructions' statements, so the puzzle adds a couple of irrelevant facts like "No man is behind his own wife in this photo" and "The woman who's not a sister to any of the other is in front of the man who's married to the older sister" to possibly make you think it's necessary to find out everyone's identity, but you don't need to do that at all. In fact, the women could be out of the photo and it wouldn't make a difference in terms of resolution.
      • Puzzle No. 93 has you figuring out a little girl's age based on four pieces of information comparing the ages of her parents, her older sister, and herself. However, only two of these are useful; the rest are pointless. It's one of those mathematical problems with two equations and two unknown quantities ("My sister is twice my age" and "In five years, I'll be my sister's age").
    • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Puzzle No. 70 features 10 siblings. Luke is (let's imagine) the eighth of them, and then the wording rambles about the order in which some of the siblings were born and their gender. At the end, the question is: is the third-to-last sibling male or female? The answer is male because we assumed that Luke was the eighth. The rest of the information is pointless.
    • Invoked in Professor Layton and the Last Specter. Luke, having locked himself in the room, issues a test for Layton, to do something he can hear from inside his room in order to gain entry. Around Luke's door, various items have the numbers 1 to 7 on them. The solution is to do nothing; Luke says he deliberately set up the puzzle to test Layton.
    • A lot of the puzzles in Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy make use of this. A few particular examples:
      • Puzzle No. 78 involves the player seemingly needing to work out how much ice is needed to keep a dead fish fresh. However basically the entire question is irrelevant, and the actual solution is to just not kill the fish in the first place.
      • Puzzle No. 134 tells the player a little bit of information about pH measurements, and asks them what pH 0+0 indicates. The question is actually just asking "what does pH 0+0 look like", the answer to which is "photo". Everything else is just to throw you off.
      • Puzzle No. 168 displays cars at a starting line of a race. Most of the cars have letters on them, but there's one car between cars "S" and "A" with a question mark on it. The question asks you to look at the starting area and work out what letter goes between "S" and "A". The cars are a complete red herring, the relevant part is the "START" printed on the starting line, making the answer "T".
  • Retro Universe: The probable reason for the Schizo Tech and Anachronism Stew.
  • Riddle Me This: Used as a plot point in Professor Layton and the Curious Village by the fact that most of the characters are literally puzzle-dispensing robots. The next few games explain the presence of some of the puzzles, but by Professor Layton and the Last Specter they've given up trying to justify it.
  • Rule of Cool / Rule of Drama: Professor Layton tends to, after a certain point in the story, suddenly ditch all concerns about logic and proceed to sail along purely on these.
  • Save Scumming: You don't want to lose picarats in a hard puzzle? You can simply save before giving it a try, and if your answer is wrong, just reset and repeat until you get it right. It's not very gentlemanly, but it is quite doable.
  • Say My Name: Whenever someone undergoes a Villainous Breakdown or the like. "LAAAAAAAYTOOOOON!!!"
  • Scare Chord: The sound that plays at "Holy Crap" moments. A particularly notable one in Professor Layton and the Last Specter. Shortly after the first specter attack, the specter escapes, but Layton notices the specter's glowing red eyes staring out from a mass of machinery. The Scare Chord is timed perfectly.
  • Scenery Porn: The background art is very colorful and detailed, from pastoral locations to even the inside of buildings. Notable examples:
  • Schizo Tech: Is this set in 1920, or 2020? The plots involve things like time machines, robots, and Humongous Mecha, and it's mentioned in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future that humanity has already sent a man into space. On the other hand, the Professor wears a top hat and drives a decidedly old-fashioned car, and most correspondence shown is snail mail as opposed to the telephone or email.
    • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, all the buses shown are old-fashioned Routemaster buses with conductors, which were pretty much nowhere to be found by the mid-2000s, but one character complains about bendy buses, which were only introduced in 2001. Of course, this could pin the games somewhere between 2001 and 2005 when the last Routemasters were removed from service, but by the time that bendy buses were in service at all, Routemasters weren't common.
    • The Internet and cell phones are referenced in a couple of Professor Layton and the Curious Village's puzzles, but chalk it up to Inconsistent Dub or Dub-Induced Plot Hole - the localization team had to replace a few puzzles because they didn't translate well; they just didn't choose ones with the same tech level as the rest of the game.
    • It's possible that the games are set in the modern day (albeit slightly idealized). Yes, Britain still turns out historical throwbacks every so often. You only need to go to go into the rural areas, and you'll still see plenty of villages and hamlets that wouldn't look out of place in a Layton game. Still, don't expect people to be writing with feather quills.
    • Adding to this, in Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Luke got a typewriter for a present on his seventh or so birthday, and later, a tourist mentions being in the digital age.
    • And then in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, karaoke and breakdancing are mentioned, yet Layton (admittedly 18 or so years in the past) leaves Stansbury in a carriage.
    • Layton Brothers, set a generation later, shows technology consistent with The '80s (big CRT TVs and fax machines, with not a computer in sight). However, Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy is set in the same era and looks just like the original series, tech-wise; it shows a movie theater with film-reel projectors and a newsroom with typewriters. Yet at the same time, one case involves a researcher studying the modern field of plant genetics.
  • Talk to Everyone: The only way to advance the games is to talk to everyone and solve their puzzles. Even if you avoid talking to people, eventually Layton runs into a lock that only opens (or a character who only lets you pass) after you have completed a certain number of puzzles.
  • The Tetris Effect: Play the games enough, and you'll want to point at people whenever you answer a question correctly.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: More like That Reminds Me Of A Puzzle. For when the games cannot think of a good reason for Layton and Luke to solve a puzzle. You'll hear some variation of the actual phrase pretty frequently.
  • There Are No Therapists: Pretty much every villain in the series. Don Paolo and Dimitri haven't gotten over Claire at all in ten years; the same applies to Layton, but much less so and with greater justification, since they were actually a couple. Anton basically went mad from isolation and heartache, and Arianna (though not a villain) was possibly on her way there. Clive, Descole, and Ernest/Miles spend most of their lives obsessed with revenge, and Bronev threw himself into his work to the point of obsession as a direct result of being forcefully separated from his children followed by the death of his wife. Espella (also not a villain) and Darklaw both have repressed childhood trauma from accidentally wiping out their hometown. Layton himself is the closest thing they all have to professional help.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The series loves this trope. St. Mystere is populated with robots, Folsense is a massive hallucination, Future London is actually underground, beneath present-day London, and Labyrinthia is a test in long-term hypnosis and the previous town on the site burned down with next to no survivors. Misthallery's secret isn't dark in itself, but drew people with their own dark secrets: it hides a small, pristine Lost World. Monte d'Or follows Misthallery's pattern somewhat, as the Ruins of Akbadain drew Descole to the city, though that secret isn't exactly dark in itself either. It doesn't really come into play in Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy; most of the towns visited don't really have secrets and those that do aren't particularly "dark", with the exception of Hoogland, though its Dark Secret is brought up right away, and fixing it is one of your main goals while you're there.
  • To The Bat Noun: Lampshaded with the Laytonmobile here.
  • Try Everything: Some of the puzzles will inevitably result in the player screaming in frustration and doing this instead of working through the puzzle. It helps that after a certain number of wrong answers, the game will stop deducting picarats, letting you start guessing with impunity. Lampshaded in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box where one of Layton's lines after getting a puzzle wrong is "Well... I suppose that's one possibility eliminated."
  • The Un-Reveal: At the beginning of Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Layton is about to explain his official relationship to Luke when Luke insists he's the Professor's apprentice, thank you very much. He does a lesser version in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, again cutting off Layton's introduction of him in order to say he's an apprentice. (That game does reveal a bit of their actual relationship, however, and Professor Layton and the Last Specter explains it completely.)
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The main trio in Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future features Layton, Luke and Flora.
  • Unscientific Science: Any plot that relies on "supernatural" happenings will be debunked in a fashion that makes even less sense than, say, a vampire. It's blatantly lampshaded in Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney as Phoenix boggles at the "rational" explanation for the witchcraft.
  • Updated Re-release: Professor Layton and the Curious Village and Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box received "Friendly" editions in Japan with easier-to-read text, DLC puzzles built in, remastered cutscenes, and other improvements. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask had a similar "Plus" edition, with extra cutscenes, events, and puzzles.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon:
    • Professor Layton and the Curious Village has the Tower. You've been talking about it since the start of the game, heard strange noises coming from it, and just acquired the obscure key needed to unlock the way to it. Now you just need to complete 10 extremely difficult puzzles to get to the top and have everything revealed.
    • Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box has Herzen Mansion. Believed to be haunted by a vampire, Layton and Luke must traverse the woods, lake, and bridge leading to the castle where they must then be tied up by the Big Bad only to escape, solve several more puzzles, and prepare for the final confrontation where everything is revealed.
    • Professor Layton and the Unwound Future has a gigantic mobile fortress full of weapons ready to destroy London, controlled by The Man Behind the Man who ran away during The Reveal, kidnapping Flora in the process.
  • Vocal Evolution: This is noticeable between Professor Layton and the Curious Village and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, particularly for Chris Miller's Layton voice. It's amazing how much the cast have grown into their roles in the series — and how much their voices have brought us to love the characters.
  • Voodoo Shark: Zigzagged. In some games, the explanation for all the weird things going on requires some thought to make sense, sometimes it works in context of the series logic and other times it is straight up this.
    • Professor Layton and the Curious Village has The Reveal the titular village, St. Mystere, is populated by robots and the place is a Secret Test of Character to see who is worthy of taking care of the late founder's daughter and claiming his fortune. Why a simpler solution was not used or how these robots could be so realistic is never addressed, but considering the plots of the next two games, it is logical at least.
    • In Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, Anton Herzen is seemingly an eternally young vampire living in Folsense, where nothing changes from many years ago. In actuality, he only pretends to be a vampire as a Batman Gambit to keep his family's fortune safe. As for his eternal youth and how unchanging the town is, it's just that hallucinogenic gas leaking from the nearby mine has caused a Shared Mass Hallucination, with the residents aging but not realizing it. So how is it possible for no one to notice they are aging while the town crumbles around them? If the residents are hallucinations as well, how can everyone have conversations with them? How can everyone have the exact same hallucinations? Finally, there is the matter of the titular diabolical box. The box is rumored to kill anyone who opens it. The reason is the hallucinogenic gas is embedded in the structure of the box and it kills anyone who opens the box believing the rumors while those who don't believe survive. How the gas is capable of doing that is anyone's guess.
    • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Layton appears to travel in time to London's future. In actuality, he's traveling by elevator to an exact copy of London built in a giant sinkhole and cavern directly underneath the real London, which has been built and populated in secret without anyone ever realizing it. So how does no one in future London notice they are underground (if you look closely there are hints the sky is permanently foggy or full of industrialised smoke so it is possible this is obscuring everything), are all the residents of Future London in on the act and if not how is that possible? Then there is how a second city could exist under London without anyone noticing.
    • Professor Layton and the Last Specter is fairly logical if thought about. The Spectre is the result of a giant machine the Big Bad is using to destroy the town and a prehistoric sea creature battling. The fog used to hide the machine's appearance means the two end up looking like one creature.
    • Completely averted in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask and Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. Every strange thing happening in these games are the result of stage magic and Lost Technology respectively.
    • In Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, it is eventually discovered that all of the magic witnessed in the town of Labyrinthia was faked by a corporation as a part of a scientific experiment. Everyone in town had been living under hypnosis thanks to a substance that made them extremely susceptible to suggestion that they were constantly exposed to. One of the effects of the hypnosis was that residents could not see material of a certain color, thus allowing the operators to make themselves and their equipment "invisible." Furthermore, a contamination in the local groundwater meant that anyone in town who heard the ringing of a silver bell would instantly pass out, making it possible to set up complicated illusions "instantly" because any witnesses would not notice the missing set-up time. Fair enough. The problem is that magic is also used outside of Labyrinthia on people who had not been hypnotized and were immune to the bells in locations that the company could not possibly have foreseen magic would be necessary, including Professor Layton's own office. One particular example is from the opening cutscene: A statue in a public park in the middle of London is brought to life and appears to punch a speeding car into a tree. What really happened? The statue was actually a robot that the company coincidentally had donated to the park, and it literally punched the car into the tree. The Reveal also completely overturns an earlier case in which the culprit used a spell to create a magic portal through a wall. The best explanation given is that the company literally cut a hole in the wall and patched it up without anyone being able to tell afterwards.
    • Parodied heavily in this video, where Layton explains that a slightly oversized dog is in fact a detailed simulation created by holograms from a satellite, shared hallucinations, dozens of paid actors, and Descole dressing up as the dog, all in the name of a man trying to impress his neighbor. The idea that it's just a regular dog is immediately dismissed.
    • Generally averted in Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy, where the cases Katrielle takes and their solutions are far more mundane. Ludicrous explanations do happen (in the game's first case, Big Ben's clock hand was missing because it was a replacement made of pastry that melted in the rain), but they're largely outnumbered by ones that are, at worst, merely improbable.
  • The Watson: Layton is such an intellectual badass that Luke's job is to have things explained to him so that the audience can catch up. This is especially apparent during the final sequence in Professor Layton and the Curious Village, in which Layton calmly explains every single remaining mystery to Luke in casual conversation as they climb the tower (though the foreshadowing and hints throughout the game allow you to piece most of the answers together yourself, unlike later games).
  • Wham Line:
    • In Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Professor Layton to Inspector Chelmey: "No inspector, it has quite a bit to do with you. If there is any criminal element involved in this case...then it is you sir!" The finger-pointing that goes along with it has since been repeated in every game.
    • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Celeste reveals herself as a temporarily time-shifted Claire by saying "You've taken good awfully good care of that hat I gave you", and also, in the line before, addressing Layton by his first name rather than "Professor".
    • In Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, when Professor Layton is faced with the Masked Gentleman, he says the following line, revealing his identity as his supposedly dead friend, Randall:
      Layton: It pains me to see you like this, Randall.
    • In Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, during a flashback with a younger Professor Layton: "But Hershel, I want to stay with you!" To better explain this, Hershel is Layton's older brother who would eventually become Descole.
    • Near the end of Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, the Storyteller utters one during his testimony that cements The Reveal.
      The Storyteller: Although you may know me as the Storyteller, I have one more identity. I am the president of Labrelum Inc. This whole town... is one of Labrelum's research facilities.
  • Where Are They Now: The credits usually include a small snapshot-slideshow version of this.

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