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Video Game / Professor Layton and the Curious Village

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The first game in the Professor Layton series, released in Japan on February 15th, 2007.

Layton and Luke search through the eponymous St. Mystere for the Golden Apple, which was hidden there by the late Baron Reinhold; the will of the baron states that whoever finds it will inherit his immense wealth. Of course, the village hides quite a few secrets as well...

Please place series-spanning tropes on the main Professor Layton page.

The game would get an HD re-release for Android and iOS in May of 2018 titled Professor Layton and the Curious Village EXHD for Smartphone, adding in new cutscenes and up-rezes everything else from the choppy 240p of the DS.

This game provides examples of:

  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: Double subverted. While chased by a Ferris Wheel of Doom, Layton does the most logical thing and shoves Luke and himself aside from the straight path, only for it to turn around and continue to chase them.
  • 2D Visuals, 3D Effects: The Laytonmobile in the opening cutscene, and Don Paolo’s flying machine, are both 3D models that stand out in the otherwise 2D animated cutscenes.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Martha, an old woman with a lisp, that Layton and Luke meet on the way to the tower.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Sylvain and Stachen both go down there to relax, apparently.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: You acquire furniture for Layton and Luke's hotel rooms by solving puzzles and progressing through the game.
  • Big Eater: Prosciutto, who has Jabba Table Manners to boot.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The tower of St. Mystere looks like it’s made of a bunch of houses stacked on top of and glued to each other.
  • Bluff the Imposter: When talking about Inspector Chelmey's home life, Layton deliberately uses the wrong name to refer to his wife... and the "Chelmey" in their presence goes right along with it. This is what exposes "Chelmey" to be an imposter.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Puzzle 130, Too Many Queens 5, has the 2nd and 3rd hint call out the player and say "no hints here".
  • Call-Forward: The mobile phone version adds collectible "Puzzle Charms", similar to the collection items in later games of the series. They're all references to Layton Mystery Detective Agency, which takes place many years after this game.
  • Captain Obvious: If you tap on the stairs in the inn, Layton says, "These stairs lead to the second floor." You know, like stairs do.
  • Cats Are Mean: When Luke tries to pick up Lady Dahlia's cat, it scratches him clear across the face and runs away...which requires them to go chase after it.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When jury-rigging a flying machine out of anything he finds in Flora's room, Layton quickly asks to borrow the ribbon from her collar for the machine. Because it wasn't secured properly after that, it falls off in the crash landing, allowing Layton to see her apple birthmark.
  • Closed Circle: St. Mystere, starting shortly after the game begins.
  • Due to the Dead: Baron Reinhold had an elaborate tomb built in the garden for his first wife, Flora's mother, so that she would always be close by. It's unclear how long he lived after her death, but the pages of Bruno's journal seem to indicate that his excessive mourning contributed to his own early passing.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • This is the only game in the series where Layton finds people's tendency to keep giving you puzzles to solve curious. In the other games, he never acts as if there's anything weird about it. And since Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask shows us that this kind of puzzle-mania was prevalent even in Layton's home village when he was a young man, it's a bit puzzling that he finds the villagers' love for brain-teasers so unusual. (Especially since he supplies Luke with more of them than any villagers do.)
    • When Layton interacts with anyone, his talking sprite is facing towards the Audience. Future games have it so that Layton is looking at an angle, when interacting with others.
    • It would not be until the second game that the memo function would be added meaning that notes need to be taken on the puzzle itself.
    • The game does not take the player to the mysteries screen when a new mystery is unlocked, nor does it stay on the mysteries screen when one is solved.
    • The red exclamation mark is used to denote all conversations triggered, even if they do not end with a puzzle. Later games only have the exclamation mark appear if there is a puzzle; everything else uses three white lines.
    • The collection side-puzzles are significantly more basic than in future games. The Gizmos quest doesn't even really count as a puzzle, since it literally consists of nothing more than clicking the various gizmos you receive and watching them slide into place on their own. The Painting quest, on the other hand, is little more than a glorified jigsaw puzzle.
    • Many of the puzzles are far more difficult than what you will find in later games, either requiring much more critical thinking or outside-the-box tactics.
  • Easter Egg: In the "Painting Scraps" tutorial, if you look closely at the sample painting that is in the process of being pieced together, you can see that it is the picture of Professor Layton and Luke from the cover of the game.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Luke and Layton arrive in St. Mystere sometime in the morning/afternoon and leave it two days later at sunrise.
  • Ferris Wheel of Doom: A very special case. When investigating an abandoned theme park, an old and run-down ferris wheel breaks loose from its base and ‘’chases Layton and Luke around in an attempt to run them over.’’
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There is a lot of foreshadowing about the true nature of the village. Most notably, the village store is covered in dust and seems to not have been used for a long time. The reason being that the inhabitants are all robots, and hence have no need of food.
    • As Layton and Luke chase after the mysterious man who kidnapped Ramon, a blink-and-you-miss-it detail is that the man's hat hides a tool box. He's the man who created and maintains the town and its inhabitants.
    • While Layton and Luke are climbing the tower, they have to solve a Klotski puzzle called "The Princess in the Box". The puzzle's description urges the player to help the princess escape from where she's being held.
    • When Layton and Luke meet Flora on the top of the tower, they learn that her father told her that the person who solved the mystery and came to get her would be someone she could trust with her life. A few minutes later, when Layton, Luke, and Flora are fleeing from the crumbling tower, the stairs collapse and Flora nearly falls to her death... but is pulled back in the nick of time by Layton, thus proving her father's words correct.
  • Fortune Teller: One of the villagers, Agnes, insists on reading Layton or Luke's fortune in exchange for their solving a puzzle. She invariably predicts bad luck.
  • Fox-Chicken-Grain Puzzle: Puzzle 007 is a version involving 3 wolves and 3 chicks, and puzzle 093 involves Stachenscarfen with a wolf, sheep and cabbage.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Puzzle 023 has you transferring juice from glass to glass. This juice was wine in the Japanese version.
  • Gilded Cage: St. Mystere is essentially this to Flora, who can't leave until a worthy guardian solves the mystery of the Golden Apple.
  • Girl in the Tower: Flora, the baron's daughter, lives in the house on top of the ominous tower of the town. Not because she wants to — her father told her to remain there until a person worthy of her would come and take her away from the artificial village.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Pavel, who salts his dialog with Spanish, French, Japanese, and Mandarin.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: "No, Luke. St. Mystere's secret must stay between us. We don't want to make a spectacle of Flora."
  • Hard-to-Light Fire: One puzzle runs on this:
    "You are stuck in a remote cabin in the woods, with only one match. You see a stove, an oil lamp, a fireplace and a candle in the cabin. What should you light first?"
  • Heir Of Mystery: The main plot. Layton and Luke have to find the Golden Apple in order to inherit the late Baron Reinhold's wealth.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Giuseppe, the butcher, can't resist cramming meat puns into everything he says, and if he can't make it work, he'll force it anyway.
  • Hypocritical Humor: While probably unintentional, it's still undoubtedly an example when Layton comments upon how obsessed the villagers are with puzzles, even though he is more obsessed with them than anybody else.
  • Impersonating an Officer: Don Paolo impersonates Inspector Chelmey in order to get Layton, his alleged archenemy, arrested. It doesn't go smoothly, though, as the good professor finds out he's just an impostor when he makes a mistake about Chelmey's private life.
  • Impersonation-Exclusive Character: Chelmey was being impersonated by Don Paulo. The real deal shows up in later games.
  • Insistent Terminology: Characters constantly refer to Layton as a detective; he gets just a bit annoyed at this, since he's actually a university professor of archeology.
  • Insufferable Genius: Layton to Pauley, who constantly gets beaten ahead from solving whatever puzzle he hadn't solved yet.
  • Interface Spoiler: If you look up the details on the "Vanishing Crank" mystery as soon as it's listed as "Solved," it will give away the fact that the true purpose of the will was to find a suitable guardian for Flora shortly before it's revealed in the plot. Also, it's possible to earn enough picarats to unlock the profiles section in the top secret menu, which refers to several of the characters as robots and mentions Don Paolo impersonated Chelmey, before these revelations happen in the story.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Perfectly furnishing Luke and Layton's rooms at St. Mystere's inn unlocks bonus puzzles.
  • I Should Write a Book About This: Percy, a villager found near the clock tower, is an aspiring novelist who decides to write a mystery story based on Professor Layton.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Flora's inherited fortune, when touched, will deactivate all the robots permanently. She refuses it, wanting to let her village's people live their lives.
  • Klotski: "The Princess in the Box" is the last puzzle found while climbing the tower. It requires eighty-three moves to be completed.
  • Luck-Based Mission: One Poor Pooch has at least three variants of the "correct" solution. Figuring out which one the game wants (the legs form an "x" shape, rather than two > or <) is pure luck.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • St. Mystere, French for Saint Mystery.
    • Stachenscarfen, a background character, wears a scarf and has a thick mustache. He also apparently hangs around the sewers and wants Layton to be his neighbor.
  • Metapuzzle: The Painting is a jigsaw puzzle where you have to arrange the pieces (not only with the correct placement but also the correct orientation) in order to solve it. Gizmo is a building puzzle where you have to arrange the pieces of a mechanical dog to build it. And Inn is a hotel-themed puzzle where you're asked to place several pieces of furniture and decoration to their corresponding rooms, whether Layton's or Luke's. The catch for these three minigames? The jigsaw pieces, the robotic pieces and the furniture are all gathered one by one by solving the conventional puzzles in the game. Therefore, you'll be playing these minigames over the course of the game while you solve puzzles so you can ultimately solve these as well.
  • No Sense of Direction: Pavel, of the Achievements in Ignorance variety. He manages to get from the sewers into the locked tower somehow. Implied to be part of why he's a world traveler.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: A benign one of these can be found in the town hall, pestering Layton about paperwork and telling him it would be wise to leave town once he finishes his business.
  • Off the Rails: Simon's mechanisms failed well ahead of the scheduled nightly tune-up during broad daylight, causing the "murder" case.
  • Old Retainer: Bruno's journal pages seem to imply that he sees himself in this light.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Despite having already seen a picture of Flora in Reinhold Manor, simply donning a hood and glasses is enough for her to fool at least Luke. It's unsure if Layton fell for the disguise as well, or if he knew from the beginning but kept the knowledge to himself. Her character bio, however, mentions the villagers aren't fooled whenever she dons it, though Flora is oblivious.
  • Product Delivery Ordeal: The 7th puzzle revolves around someone who wishes to transport three wolves and three chicken while crossing a bridge. There's a raft that can support up to two animals, and at least one must be aboard to move the vehicle; and if there are more wolves than chicken in either side of the river (even when the person transporting them would try to quickly seize one of them back to the raft), then the wolves will eat the chicken. So Layton (the one who is trying to solve the puzzle) has to figure out the way to transport all six animals with all the aforementioned caveats in mind. The minimum number of steps (raft transports) necessary is 11.
  • Queens Puzzle: The puzzles given by the chess player in the tavern are N=4 and N=5, and one of the bonus puzzles is a full 8. The hints for the bonus puzzle tell you to not bother buying more hints, as you should know how to do it by that point.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Though not exactly a badass, Gordon implies that he'll be stuck with his stuffed animals, kittens, and ribbon candy for the rest of his life unless he finds a girlfriend anytime soon.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Lady Dahlia was originally built as a replacement for Violet Reinhold. However, when Flora was terrified by the robot copy of her mother, the Baron realized this was impossible and had the robot's memory wiped and the Lady Dahlia personality created instead.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: The villagers can even vaguely remember deleted memories and dream when they sleep!
  • Robo Family: A few different kinds of Robo-Family relationships are present in this game. There's the aforementioned Dahlia, who is a robot spouse to the baron, as well as Gordon and Simon, who are the baron's robot brother and nephew respectively. Then there are a few families in the village.
  • Robot Dog: What you get once you've picked up all of the "strange gizmos" in the village. It sniffs out hidden puzzles and hint coins.
  • Secret Room: The mansion has a secret room filled with the family fortune.
  • Secret Test of Character: By locking entry to the tower behind numerous puzzles, both given by the characters and hidden within the village itself, Baron Reinhold ensured that only someone clever would be able to make it to the top of the tower and find Flora. Moreover, because of a birthmark that only appears when she smiles, only someone who can make Flora feel happy would be able to find his inheritance money, thanks to a painting with a switch hidden on the location of her birthmark.
  • Solve the Soup Cans: The residents of St. Mystere will almost always refuse to give you the information you need to progress unless you solve a puzzle for them. In the end, it’s revealed that the characters certainly had a reason to do this.
  • Super Window Jump: After it’s revealed that "Inspector Chelmey" is really Don Paolo, he exits Reinhold Manor by smashing through a closed window.
  • Sweet Tooth: Chelmey has one, where most of a newspaper article about him consists of him praising his wife's confections. This causes a problem with Don Paolo's impersonation attempt, as he rudely turns away a tray of cakes.
  • Title Drop: At the very end:
    Flora: The people who live here have been with me for so long. Curious as this village is, it's watched me grow up.
  • Trial-and-Error Gameplay: Downplayed in the inn minigame. You have to figure out which interior decoration belongs in whose room based on Luke & Layton’s dialogue about them, but there are a few items that one shows more enthusiasm for than the other, when really the game wants you to put the item in the other’s room, leading to the player having to shuffle around random items in order to figure out what items will result in maximum happiness level.
  • Verbal Tic: Ramon, the servant in charge of the docks to Reinhold Manor, adds an "Ahoo-hoo-hoo!" to each and every sentence.
  • Welcome to Corneria: After you solve whatever puzzle an npc might have for you, the dialogue they give when you tap them will always be the same line or small handful of lines.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Shot where it stands. Flora, Layton, and Luke don't even give brief consideration to the idea that the inhabitants of St. Mystere are worth less than any other person, and are all disturbed by the idea that claiming the fortune would mean "killing" them.
  • Worm in an Apple: Sliding puzzle #107 is called A Worm's Dream (UK: Worm in the Apple). The goal is to make the pieces form an apple alongside the edges so that the center has no piece covering it. That's where the worm is located, who always wanted to make it to the center of the apple.
  • Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: According to the profiles, Claudia the cat is a he.
  • Zillion-Dollar Bill: The Reinhold inheritance. It's heavily implied that touching it will deactivate all the robots, though.