Professor Layton[a] is a puzzle adventure game series and multimedia franchise developed by Level-5. Consisting primarily of seven main video games, an animated theatrical film, and an anime television series, the franchise also incorporates a crossover game with Capcom's Ace Attorney series and a mobile-only spinoff.
The first three games follow the adventures of Professor Hershel Layton and his apprentice Luke Triton, while the subsequent three games and the film are prequels, focusing on how Luke and Layton met and their original exploits. Later installments follow the escapades of Layton's children and their respective allies. Each title features a series of puzzles and mysteries provided by the citizens of locales that the main characters visit. It is not necessary to solve all the puzzles to progress, but some are mandatory, and at certain points in the game a minimum number of puzzles must be solved before the story can continue.
The logo of the Professor Layton series
|Platform(s)||Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, Android, iOS|
|First release||Professor Layton and the Curious Village|
February 15, 2007
|Latest release||Layton's Mystery Journey|
July 20, 2017
The main character in the Professor Layton games is Professor Hershel Layton, a renowned archaeologist and professor at Gressenheller University, as well as a polite and well-spoken gentleman. He is called to solve various mysteries in different places, due to his connections to various people and his wide range of expertise. Professor Layton is always accompanied by his apprentice, Luke Triton, a cheerful and curious boy who brings a touch of humor to the story of Layton. According to Hino, Layton is partly inspired by the character of Phoenix Wright of the Ace Attorney series. Wanting to improve over what he saw as "bad points" in Phoenix's character, he developed Professor Layton.
|2007||Professor Layton and the Curious Village|
|Professor Layton and the Diabolical/Pandora's Box|
|2008||Professor Layton and the Unwound/Lost Future|
|2009||Professor Layton and the Last Specter/Spectre's Call|
|2011||Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask|
|2012||Layton Brothers: Mystery Room|
|Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney|
|2013||Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy|
|2017||Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire's Conspiracy|
Japanese audiences have also received several revisions of previously released games. Both Curious Village and Diabolical Box were afforded a "Friendly Version", in which all weekly puzzles were unlocked and furigana added. Diabolical Box was also included in the "Level-5 Premium Silver" and "Gold" collections on Nintendo DS alongside another Level-5 game, Inazuma Eleven. Miracle Mask also received a "Plus" edition, featuring both mechanical improvements already seen in the international releases as well as exclusive puzzles and cutscenes. An enhanced mobile port of Curious Village featuring additional cutscenes, subtitled "HD for Mobile", has also been released, while Layton's Mystery Journey DX, an enhanced Nintendo Switch port boasting new puzzles, exclusive costumes, and all previous DLC, was released on August 9, 2018.
The games employ an integrated structure of adventure-style exploration and dialogue and regular story-prompted puzzle solving. The player (as Professor Layton, Luke and other characters) explores their environment in a point-and-click adventure game fashion by using the touch screen to talk with non-player characters, learn more about the environment, move between different areas, or to find hint coins that are used during puzzles. Often, when interacting with a person or object, the player will be presented with a puzzle, valued at a number of "picarats", a type of currency within the game. Solving the puzzle correctly will earn the player that many picarats, but a wrong answer will reduce the value a small amount on subsequent attempts down to a minimal picarat number. In order to progress the plot, the player is required to solve specific puzzles, or to solve a minimum number of puzzles. If the player permanently leaves an area or otherwise significantly progresses the plot, puzzles they have yet to find and/or solve are regularly compiled and placed into a collection, often in the form of a "Puzzle Shack" owned by a character known as "Granny Riddleton", or with the aforementioned Riddleton’s cat, "Keats", which they can return to and attempt to resolve later. Curious Village contains a total of 135 regular puzzles, while Diabolical Box contains 153, Unwound Future 168 (the latter two having another special puzzle obtained via the use of codes found in the previous game), Last Specter 170, Miracle Mask 150, Azran Legacy 165, and Mystery Journey 185.
The puzzles take the form of brain teasers and are only loosely tied to the plot. All puzzles for the first six games were created by Akira Tago, who is famous for his best-selling Mental Gymnastics series. They take the form of math problems, logic puzzles, mazes, sliding-block puzzles, and various forms of brain teaser. The games give the player the opportunity to bring up a translucent memo screen they can write on using the stylus to work out their answer before submission. If the player is stuck, they may spend one hint coin to receive a hint. Each puzzle has three hints available, and from Unwound Future onwards, the games feature "super hints" that nearly solve the puzzle for the player but which can only be bought with two hint coins and after the three other hints have been revealed. The puzzles are not timed, though for puzzles such as mazes or sliding blocks, the player may be challenged to complete the puzzle in a limited number of moves.
Each game features an additional set of three unique meta-puzzle minigames that can be accessed at any time through "Layton's Trunk". These minigames generally require the player to complete specific puzzles in the game to receive items and/or challenges within the minigame. For example, as a reward for some puzzles, Curious Village gives the player furniture which then must be placed within a set of apartments to Layton's and Luke's exacting desires; the minigame cannot be completed until all the furniture has been collected. Completing the story and minigames also unlocks a series of especially difficult puzzles, known as "Layton's Challenges". Until its cancellation in 2014, players of the four DS games could use the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service to connect to the internet and access a "weekly puzzle" service, whereby they could download a new puzzle each week for a set period after each game's release, while the mainline 3DS games feature a year-long daily puzzle service via the Nintendo Network.
While the series' protagonists are all based in and around contemporary London, each story features one or more original locales, each with their own unique aesthetic and local population.
Each set of games and media (original, prequel, sequel) feature narrative threads connecting the stories together, but only the prequel series of Last Specter, Eternal Diva, Miracle Mask and Azran Legacy features a plot-important arc. Other games and media in the Professor Layton series do not have any overarching structure, but do follow a chronological order through the appearance and development of recurring characters.
Level-5 have confirmed that another entry in the Layton series is planned, originally for late summer 2018 , although at the moment there have been no more news about new games or launch dates.
A feature-length anime film, titled Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, was produced by Masakazu Kubo, mainly known for producing the Pokémon films, and animated by P.A. Works, the same company that developed the animated cutscenes for the initial six games. It contains an original story which takes place between the events of Last Specter and Miracle Mask chronologically. The film was released in Japanese theaters on December 19, 2009, and was a general success both there and in Singapore where it was also released. Manga Entertainment released a full English dub of the film on home video in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2010, while Viz Media released it in North America on November 8, 2011.
An anime television series based on the characters of Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire's Conspiracy, titled Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File, began airing in Japan on April 8, 2018. The series is directed by Susumu Mitsunaka at Liden Films, with creative direction by Akihiro Hino and character design by Yoko Takada, and will consist of 50 episodes.
Humour manga intended for child audiences was first serialized in February 2008 in the special edition of Bessatsu CoroCoro Comic. The series has since ended. The title of this manga is Professor Layton and the Cheerful Mystery (レイトン教授とユカイな事件 Reiton-kyōju to yukai na jiken), covering many mysteries in the story. Several chapters are based on the games; most of the others are original stories with little relation to the game canon. The chapters also included puzzles for the readers to solve. The series was collected into four volumes, with the final volumes coming out in June 2012. Tokyopop has released all four volumes in German under the name Professor Layton und seine lustigen Fälle. The series has also been released in Spanish under the name El Professor Layton y sus Divertidos Misterios by Norma Editorial, in French as Professeur Layton et l'étrange enquête by Kazé Manga and in Italian as Il professor Layton e i misteri buffi by Planet Manga.
Three books based on the Professor Layton series were also made, though they are still in Japan only. They consist of Professor Layton and the Wandering Castle in 2008, Professor Layton and the Phantom Deity in 2009, and Professor Layton and the Illusory Forest in 2010.
|Professor Layton and the Curious Village||85%||86%|
|Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box/Pandora's Box||84%||85%|
|Professor Layton and the Unwound Future/Lost Future||86%||87%|
|Professor Layton and the Last Specter/Spectre's Call||83%||84%|
|Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask||82%||83%|
|Layton Brothers: Mystery Room||75%||76%|
|Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy||81%||82%|
|Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy||72%||70%|
The Professor Layton series has been generally successful in the UK, the US, and Japan. Professor Layton and the Curious Village sold over 700,000 units in Japan in 2007. The game was also the top selling game for the Nintendo DS in the United States in the first three weeks after its release. After it was restocked in the UK, sales of Professor Layton increased 54%, moving it from 10th place to fourth place.
Curious Village received generally positive reviews from critics. On the review aggregator Game Rankings, the game had an average score of 86% based on 48 reviews. On Metacritic, the game had an average score of 85/100, based on 57 reviews. The combination of the adventure game and "brain training" genres received mixed appreciation. Some reviewers praised the game for the successful combination with 1UP commenting on how the game's approach is much better than games where the puzzles were integrated into the environment. Other reviewers felt that these two genres do not merge well within the game; Game Informer noted that while the player is given numerous small puzzles to solve, the mysteries of the main plot are basically solved for the player. The game was noted to have little replay value; once all the puzzles were solved, there was no point in playing through them again. The presentation of the game, including both the general European animation style and cutscene animations, was appreciated by reviewers. Hyper's Darren Wells commends the game for its "clever concept, with plenty to solve and unlock as well as its fantastic presentation". However, he criticizes "some puzzles feeling tacked on and the music can get annoying".
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box was considered to be a major improvement from the original. In Japan, the game has sold 815,369 copies, according to Famitsu, as of July 9, 2008. The UK's Official Nintendo Magazine awarded the game a score of 92% (and consequently their Gold Award medal), praising the increased number of puzzles, animated scenes and voice acting, but complained that it could be slightly repetitive at times. IGN gave the game a score of 8.5 and also their Editor's Choice Award.
The series was popular enough to have a movie called Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva made. It has been released in Japan, Singapore, France, Germany, the UK, Spain, America and Canada. It received positive reviews from the first six countries, but has not yet been talked about in reviews in America and Canada. It was released in the UK on the 18th of October, with a full English dub.
The series has gone on to be one of the most successful Nintendo DS exclusive series, with the lifetime cumulative sales of Professor Layton games standing at 10 million units sold as of October 2010. Level-5 reported 11.47 million unit sales worldwide for the franchise ahead of the release of Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask in February 2011, and over 13 million copies sold in March 2012. In August 2013, Level-5 reported 15 million unit sales worldwide, making it the company’s best-selling game franchises. The series had shipped over 17 million units by June 2018.
Akihiro Hino (日野 晃博, Hino Akihiro) (born July 20, 1968) is a Japanese video game designer and businessman. Starting his career as a programmer in the 1990s, he later took on roles in writing, design, directing and producing. In 1998, he founded Level-5, where he remains its president and CEO.Layton's Mystery Journey
Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy is a puzzle video game developed by Level-5. It is the seventh main entry in the Professor Layton series and follows a new protagonist, Katrielle Layton, who searches for her missing father Professor Hershel Layton. It was released for Nintendo 3DS, iOS, and Android in 2017, and released for Nintendo Switch in 2018. An anime adaptation, Layton Mystery Tanteisha: Katori no Nazotoki File, began airing in April 2018.Level-5 (company)
Level-5 Inc. is a Japanese video game developer and publisher based in Fukuoka, who are best known for their Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven, Ni no Kuni, and Yo-kai Watch franchises. The company was founded in October 1998 by Akihiro Hino after he departed from the now defunct Riverhillsoft.
Early in its history, the company enjoyed a close relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment, with many of its titles funded by and produced in conjunction with them. Starting in 2007, the company started self-publishing its titles in Japan, while Nintendo took over publishing on their systems internationally. By the early 2010s, Level-5 was one of the ten largest video game companies in Japan, holding a market share of 3.2%.List of Professor Layton media
The Professor Layton video game series is a franchise of puzzle games produced and developed by Level-5, with some games being published by Nintendo outside Japan. The series is primarily based on games for the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS systems. It debuted on February 15, 2007 with Reiton-kyōju to Fushigi na Machi (レイトン教授と不思議な町, Professor Layton and the Mysterious Village), eventually localized as Professor Layton and the Curious Village in the North American and PAL regions.
The series focuses on Professor Hershel Layton, an archaeologist, and his apprentice, Luke Triton, and their investigations into various mysterious towns. Often, they encounter people who require the player to solve puzzles or brain teasers in exchange for small trinkets or picarats, which is the score system used within the games. Currently there are six games in the main series, all of which have been released outside Japan. Additionally, there have been three novels as well as an animated movie, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva. The series has been financially successful, with over 15 million units having been shipped of the games alone. The idea for the franchise was conceived by Akihiro Hino, and was originally intended to be a successor to Nintendo's Brain Age series.Maria Darling
Maria Darling (born (1964-10-23)23 October 1964) is a British voice actress who regularly provides character voices for children's television programmes in the UK and the US, as well as video games such as the Professor Layton series and the UK versions of the Ape Escape franchise.P.A.Works
P.A.Works Corporation (株式会社ピーエーワークス, Kabushiki-gaisha Pī Ē Wākusu, short for Progressive Animation Works) is a Japanese animation studio established on November 10, 2000 and is located in Nanto, Toyama, Japan. The company's president and founder Kenji Horikawa once worked for Tatsunoko Production, Production I.G, and Bee Train Production before forming P.A.Works in 2000. The main office is located in Toyama, Japan, which is where the drawing and digital photography take place, and production and direction takes place in their Tokyo office. The company is also involved with animation in video games, as well as collaborating in the past with Production I.G and Bee Train to create anime. In January 2008, P.A.Works produced True Tears, their first anime series as the main animation studio involved in the production process. On April 20, 2018, P.A.Works announced a new e-book label named P.A.Books, with the first release being a novel adaptation of their first anime, True Tears.Professor Hershel Layton
Professor Hershel Layton (エルシャール・レイトン教授, Erushāru Reiton-kyōju) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Professor Layton fictional universe, created by Level-5. Professor Layton is a player character in a series of puzzle adventure video games starting with Professor Layton and the Curious Village and most recently Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy, in which he and his apprentice Luke Triton (with his assistant, Emmy Altava, travelling with the two in The Last Specter, Miracle Mask and Azran Legacy) investigate mysteries while solving various brain teasers. He also appears in an animated movie, Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, and has featured in manga and novels that have not been released in English. His birth name was revealed to be Theodore Bronev in Azran Legacy.
Professor Layton is based on the idea of an English gentleman, and is a professor of archaeology at the fictional Gressenheller University in London. He was designed by Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino, who used Sherlock Holmes and fellow video game character Phoenix Wright as inspiration for his creation. He is voiced by Yo Oizumi in the original Japanese releases of the series, and by Christopher Robin Miller in English-language releases.Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is a puzzle game developed by Level-5 for the Nintendo 3DS. It is the sixth entry in the Professor Layton series, making up the third and final part of the prequel trilogy of games and according to Level 5 CEO Akihiro Hino, it will be the last Layton title to star Layton himself as the protagonist. The game saw a release in early to late 2013 in all territories except North America, where it was released on February 28 of the following year.Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a puzzle adventure video game for the Nintendo DS system. It was developed by Level-5 and published by Level-5 in Japan and Nintendo worldwide. It was released in Japan during 2007, and in PAL regions and North America a year later in 2008. Curious Village is the first title in the Professor Layton series, directly followed by Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box.
The game centers on Professor Hershel Layton, and his self-styled apprentice, Luke Triton, investigating the fictional village of St. Mystere about an artifact known as the Golden Apple, an heirloom that the late Baron had left as a test to determine who would receive his fortune after his death. The residents of St. Mystere particularly enjoy brain teasers, and will often ask the player to help solve them by using the system's touchscreen to submit answers, in exchange for their cooperation in the search.
Professor Layton and the Curious Village was met with generally positive reviews, praising both its approach to combining the adventure and puzzle genres, as well as for its presentation and animated cutscenes. It would go on to sell over a million copies in Japan alone, in addition to 3.17 million copies sold overseas. An enhanced mobile port of Curious Village featuring additional cutscenes, subtitled "HD for Mobile", has also been released.Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, known in Australia and Europe as Professor Layton and Pandora's Box, is the second game in the Professor Layton series by Level-5. It was followed by a third game, Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. The game follows Professor Layton and his self-proclaimed apprentice Luke as they travel cross-country by train to solve the mystery behind a mysterious box that is said to kill anyone who opens it. An enhanced mobile port of Diabolical Box, subtitled "HD for Mobile", was released on December 5, 2018.Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva
Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva (レイトン教授と永遠の歌姫, Reiton-kyōju to Eien no Utahime) is a 2009 anime mystery film directed by Masakazu Hashimoto and produced by P.A.Works and OLM. The film is based on the Professor Layton video game series by Level-5, taking place between the events of the video games Professor Layton and the Last Specter and Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask.
According to Level-5, the film stays true to the games, with music, puzzles and characters. An English-language version was released by Manga Entertainment in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2010 at the same time Professor Layton and the Unwound Future was. The film was released in the United States on November 8, 2011 by Viz Media.Professor Layton and the Last Specter
Professor Layton and the Last Specter, known in Europe as Professor Layton and the Spectre's Call, is a puzzle adventure video game produced by Level-5 for the Nintendo DS handheld game console. Last Specter is the fourth game in the Professor Layton series, and is a prequel that takes place three years before the first trilogy, detailing how Professor Layton met his apprentice, Luke Triton and introducing Layton's assistant Emmy Altava.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter also includes an additional role-playing game entitled Professor Layton's London Life, available from the start of the game. London Life, in which players interact with various characters from the series in a town called "Little London", was advertised as having over 100 hours of content. London Life was removed from the European versions of the game because the translation of texts would have significantly delayed the game's release.
The game was released during 2009 in Japan, and was the highest-selling game there during the week of its release. It saw release in North American and PAL regions during 2011.Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask is a puzzle adventure video game developed by Level-5. It is the fifth game in the Professor Layton series, the second in the prequel trilogy of games, and the first in the series to be developed for the Nintendo 3DS. Miracle Mask was released as a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in February 2011, becoming the best-selling game on the day of the system's launch. The game was later released worldwide in October 2012. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask Plus, an enhanced edition featuring new puzzles and added cutscenes, was released on the Nintendo eShop in Japan in February 2013.Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, known in Europe and Australia as Professor Layton and the Lost Future, is the third game in the first trilogy of the Professor Layton puzzle game series by Level-5. It was first released in Japan in November 2008 and was later released in North America in September 2010 and in Europe and Australia in October 2010. In the game, Layton meets an older version of his apprentice, Luke, who brings him to a terrible future he wishes him to help fix.Tomohito Nishiura
Tomohito Nishiura (西浦 智仁; Nishiura Tomohito) is a Japanese video game music composer. He works primarily on games developed by Level-5.Yo Oizumi
Yo Oizumi (大泉 洋, Ōizumi Yō, born April 3, 1973) is a TV personality and a stage actor based in Hokkaidō. He was born in Ebetsu and has been living in Sapporo since 1984.