Layton takes the case! The Professor Layton for Smash Ultimate support thread!

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This is a great write up that shows just how iconic Professor Layton is, especially in the DS era!

One thing I would add is the cameos he has made in other Level 5 games like Inazuma Eleven as a cameo team with Luke and Emmy, Professor Lenkon from Yokai Watch being heavily inspired by him, and his billboard cameo in LBX. The cameos he makes in those games shows how iconic Layton is within his own company.

You can also mention that even Level 5’s CEO values the Layton series greatly for its role in making Level 5 noticeable to the world. There was a Forbes article about it, but I can’t seem to find it right now.
That sounds good, I've added them. And yes, the Layton series has made a lot of cameo's and guest appearances in Level-5's other franchises over the years.
Layton's been making cameo's in the Inazuma Eleven games since the first one (Though unfortunately you can't have access to the Layton team outside of the Japanese version though, most likely because the first one was remade using the second game's engine and models for the western releases if I understood correctly)

As for Layton in Yokai Watch, he indeed got quite a number of references there. There was a tv show in the anime that was clearly a parody of the Layton series, as well as an episode where they go investigating like a Layton adventure.

Also there is a Yokai that is directly based off Layton himself too.


Oh that sounds very interesting, I'll have to look that up.
 
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fogbadge

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Us puzzle-solvers need that morale boost from time to time.
would 50 picorats do the trick?

That sounds good, I've added them. And yes, the Layton series has made a lot of cameo's and guest appearances in Level-5's other franchises over the years.
Layton's been making cameo's in the Inazuma Eleven games since the first one (Though unfortunately you can't have access to the Layton team outside of the Japanese version though, most likely because the first one was remade using the second game's engine and models for the western releases if I understood correctly)

As for Layton in Yokai Watch, he indeed got quite a number of references there. There was a tv show in the anime that was clearly a parody of the Layton series, as well as an episode where they go investigating like a Layton adventure.

Also there is a Yokai that is directly based off Layton himself too.


Oh that sounds very interesting, I'll have to look that up.
and of course layton himself appeared as a yokai in one spin off (i think kat as well)
 
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would 50 picorats do the trick?



and of course layton himself appeared as a yokai in one spin off (i think kat as well)
Is that so? I'll probably have to look that up as well.

Layton and Kat also kind of appeared in some Golf game too for the PS4 I think, but their models are very off though, and I think Kat is just part of the golf cart and Layton's just a costume. (Kind of like that Toon Link costume in one of the Monster Hunter games)

If you count that, then I suppose that was also their first appearance on a non Nintendo console (if you don't count IOS and Android devices) as well as a home console I think.
 
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fogbadge

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Is that so? I'll probably have to look that up as well.

Layton and Kat also kind of appeared in some Golf game too for the PS4 I think, but their models are very off though, and I think Kat is just part of the golf cart and Layton's just a costume. (Kind of like that Toon Link costume in one of the Monster Hunter games)

If you count that, then I suppose that was also their first appearance on a non Nintendo console (if you don't count IOS and Android devices) as well as a home console I think.
well i just doubled cheacked myself and in yokai watch wib wob hershal is a mysterious tribe yokai and kat is a charming tribe yokai

wib wob may be a spin off but its had way more cross over characters than the main series games, several level 5 characters, plenty of manga characters and even a ton of final fantasy characters so level 5 has worked with two other companies that have let their characters in smash (se & nb)

actually on this topic had led me to an interesting thought if level 5 are willing to ask universal to let them make a terminator themed yokai then maybe theyre willing to ask nintendo to put layton in smash, worked for snake (though his creator was a friend of sakurai's and he practically begged)
 
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well i just doubled cheacked myself and in yokai watch wib wob hershal is a mysterious tribe yokai and kat is a charming tribe yokai

wib wob may be a spin off but its had way more cross over characters than the main series games, several level 5 characters, plenty of manga characters and even a ton of final fantasy characters so level 5 has worked with two other companies that have let their characters in smash (se & nb)

actually on this topic had led me to an interesting thought if level 5 are willing to ask universal to let them make a terminator themed yokai then maybe theyre willing to ask nintendo to put layton in smash, worked for snake (though his creator was a friend of sakurai's and he practically begged)
Oh that sounds really interesting. The fact that they even crossed over with Final Fantasy sounds particularly interesting.
Then again, Level-5 has worked with Square a lot in the past and even celebrated one of the Dragon Quest games 10th anniversary recently with Square so I'm assuming their pretty good friends with each other.

Hino did actually personally ask Sakurai about having Layton in Smash a while back so he has tried it before. Who knows if he has approached him or Nintendo more recently though. Guess only time will tell...
 

fogbadge

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Oh that sounds really interesting. The fact that they even crossed over with Final Fantasy sounds particularly interesting.
Then again, Level-5 has worked with Square a lot in the past and even celebrated one of the Dragon Quest games 10th anniversary recently with Square so I'm assuming their pretty good friends with each other.

Hino did actually personally ask Sakurai about having Layton in Smash a while back so he has tried it before. Who knows if he has approached him or Nintendo more recently though. Guess only time will tell...
the crossover with final fantasy goes way beyond wib wob, there are two yo-kai in 3, chocobonyan (jibanyan on a chocobo) and mooglenyan and i believe ff14 had a yo-kai watch event so i think its not unreasonable to think that se and l5 are on good terms, not sure what that could mean for layton though im not sure of any se series that would work as a layton crossover

i suppose with our professor themed yo-kai we may one day get one nased on kat, possibly a cat as there are a lot of them, or a bird like the professor's and shed be the daughter of the other yo-kai

hino approaching sakurai is something we should keep in mind might not mean a thing but theres no harm in remembering in the same way hino probably thought there was no harm in asking
 
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the crossover with final fantasy goes way beyond wib wob, there are two yo-kai in 3, chocobonyan (jibanyan on a chocobo) and mooglenyan and i believe ff14 had a yo-kai watch event so i think its not unreasonable to think that se and l5 are on good terms, not sure what that could mean for layton though im not sure of any se series that would work as a layton crossover

i suppose with our professor themed yo-kai we may one day get one nased on kat, possibly a cat as there are a lot of them, or a bird like the professor's and shed be the daughter of the other yo-kai

hino approaching sakurai is something we should keep in mind might not mean a thing but theres no harm in remembering in the same way hino probably thought there was no harm in asking
Yeah indeed, Layton had a crossover with Phoenix Wright as well and Hino stated that he was in close terms with Capcom as well. The Ace Attorney series has had a lot of references for the Layton series too.

Konami did the whole Doctor Lautrec thing and I think they did state that they where interested in having it crossover with Layton too but I guess that ship has sailed, but its good to know that they where in good terms with Level-5.

I think that puts us with Square Enix, Capcom, Namco and Konami.
There is also Gamefreak, Studio Ghibli, Browny Brown and of course Nintendo that all had run ins with Level-5 as well.

I think the only Japanese third party in Smash that didn't have much of a history with Level-5 is Sega, at least, nothing pops up immediately to what they could have done with them in the past. They might have done something though.

Level-5 does seem to be quite keen on doing a lot of collaborations with other companies, I think there was even an advert crossover with Despicable Me of all things for the Inazuma Eleven anime if I recall correctly. So I'm fairly sure they have tried to talk to Nintendo in regards to Smash a few times.


Edit: Actually now that I'm thinking about it, I think the game Rhythm Thief may have had some inspirations to the Layton series if I recall, so I suppose that could go to Sega's nod to Level-5 if that counts...
 
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there were a few layton esc elements in it yeah
Then I suppose that puts every Japanese third party company that has had a history/inspiration with Level-5 at one point in Smash then.
Now to wait for Level-5 themselves to finally make their proper entrance as well (outside of Eight)
 
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fogbadge

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Then I suppose that puts every Japanese third party company that has had a history/inspiration with Level-5 at one point in Smash then.
Now to wait for Level-5 themselves to finally make their proper entrance as well (outside of Eight)
yeah, come on nate, whisper and jibanyan err i mean layton and luke, uh oh
 
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Breaking! Here's a chance to push Layton into the limelight.

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/08/poll_vote_for_your_favourite_nintendo_ds_games
http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/08/poll_vote_for_your_favourite_nintendo_ds_games?page=13

Then I suppose that puts every Japanese third party company that has had a history/inspiration with Level-5 at one point in Smash then.
Now to wait for Level-5 themselves to finally make their proper entrance as well (outside of Eight)
I doubt that there's much of a Smash following for Lautrec.
 
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I'm talking about the third party companies themselves, not the games they made. It would be a miracle in of its own if Lautrec made it in as a spirit (and quite sad if the Prof himself still isn't even acknowledged by that point.)

Anyway, that looks interesting, guess I'll have to make a Nintendo Life account and do my part. Can we vote for multiple games or just one game?
 
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I'm talking about the third party companies themselves, not the games they made. It would be a miracle in of its own if Lautrec made it in as a spirit (and quite sad if the Prof himself still isn't even acknowledged by that point.)

Anyway, that looks interesting, guess I'll have to make a Nintendo Life account and do my part. Can we vote for multiple games or just one game?
I can't think of many outside of Sega and Konami, who are already in.

No idea, I personally don't get involved with log-in things like that.
 
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I can't think of many outside of Sega and Konami, who are already in.

No idea, I personally don't get involved with log-in things like that.
Oh well I've done my part eitherway.

And gosh has it been 15 years now since the DS first came out? I feel old. Time certainly flies. Although I personally never really got the DS until the DSI came out.
My first games on the system where Pokemon Soul Silver and Zelda Spirit Tracks. My sister was the one that brought Professor Layton and the Curious Village for us to try out to see what all the fuss was about with this "top hat guy", and yeah, I've been hooked with the series ever since. Especially after trying out Lost Future.


What was you guys memories with the DS and when you first got it? And how where you introduced to the Layton series?
 
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fogbadge

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Oh well I've done my part eitherway.

And gosh has it been 15 years now since the DS first came out? I feel old. Time certainly flies. Although I personally never really got the DS until the DSI came out.
My first games on the system where Pokemon Soul Silver and Zelda Spirit Tracks. My sister was the one that brought Professor Layton and the Curious Village for us to try out to see what all the fuss was about with this "top hat guy", and yeah, I've been hooked with the series ever since. Especially after trying out Lost Future.


What was you guys memories with the DS and when you first got it? And how where you introduced to the Layton series?
well i got my ds as quickly as i could along with super mario 64 ds, i was so hyped for it, if memory serves i got it the same day doctor first came back

as for layton well i believe i got it as a gift around the same time the family were off to a hotel for a long weekend, i recall playing it in my hotel room and watching friends

my memory recalls some odd details
 

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I played Layton after the DS era! I was a massive DS player and obsessed with Hotel Dusk, Another Code, Elite Beat Agents, and the Ace Attorney series, and I also adore 999 (and I'd be voting that as my favorite DS game if I cared to log onto the site). Despite that, I never managed to pick up any Layton games despite them seeming right up my alley. Right before AA vs. PL came out I decided it was time to bite the bullet and I fell in love. I powered through Diabolical Box and Lost Future and made a dent in Last Spectre and enjoyed every moment.
 
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fogbadge

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I played Layton after the DS era! I was a massive DS player and obsessed with Hotel Dusk, Another Code, Elite Beat Agents, and the Ace Attorney series, and I also adore 999 (and I'd be voting that as my favorite DS game if I cared to log onto the site). Despite that, I never managed to pick up any Layton games despite them seeming right up my alley. Right before AA vs. PL came out I decided it was time to bite the bullet and I fell in love. I powered through Diabolical Box and Lost Future and made a dent in Last Spectre and enjoyed every moment.
ah a fellow another code fan
 
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I played Layton after the DS era! I was a massive DS player and obsessed with Hotel Dusk, Another Code, Elite Beat Agents, and the Ace Attorney series, and I also adore 999 (and I'd be voting that as my favorite DS game if I cared to log onto the site). Despite that, I never managed to pick up any Layton games despite them seeming right up my alley. Right before AA vs. PL came out I decided it was time to bite the bullet and I fell in love. I powered through Diabolical Box and Lost Future and made a dent in Last Spectre and enjoyed every moment.
I have to say, that's some top-notch taste in games there friendo.
 

AmphabulouSnake

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I got multiple DS's in my life x) first one was actually my sister's before she gave it to me. Can't quite recall which game I played first, but it was probably either Nintendogs or Sims 2 or WarioWare...
I then got the DS lite a bit later. And finally, I got my DSi XL at some point, which actually had Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box bundled in because my mother had bought it from one of her work friends, and thus this is how I got into Professor Layton :D
 

Flyboy

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I have to say, that's some top-notch taste in games there friendo.
Thanks! I'll always be crushed that the Another Code sequel for Wii was never released in America and I had to inject it. But at least I played it eventually. Last Window I had to import - I actually swapped my copy of 999 with an English friend to do so.

The DS really did have some of the best games and franchises, huh? Especially for us adventure and puzzle fans. It's telling that it took until the Switch generation to unseat things like Tetris DS and Mario Kart DS as my favorites in their franchise.
 
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Thanks! I'll always be crushed that the Another Code sequel for Wii was never released in America and I had to inject it. But at least I played it eventually. Last Window I had to import - I actually swapped my copy of 999 with an English friend to do so.

The DS really did have some of the best games and franchises, huh? Especially for us adventure and puzzle fans. It's telling that it took until the Switch generation to unseat things like Tetris DS and Mario Kart DS as my favorites in their franchise.
The DS was definitely the golden age for the adventure game. I think it was the fact that there was a lower standard for graphics, so that made the cost of entry lower and it made more sense business wise to have such niche titles (plus the casual boom).

Nowadays if you have to made 3D models for characters or backgrounds to not look cheap, well that kind of eliminates a lot of potential games (at least outside of the indie market).
 

fogbadge

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Thanks! I'll always be crushed that the Another Code sequel for Wii was never released in America and I had to inject it. But at least I played it eventually. Last Window I had to import - I actually swapped my copy of 999 with an English friend to do so.

The DS really did have some of the best games and franchises, huh? Especially for us adventure and puzzle fans. It's telling that it took until the Switch generation to unseat things like Tetris DS and Mario Kart DS as my favorites in their franchise.
i assume you meant import it, it is a shame that some regions missed out on it

to bad cing went bust they had plans for ashley and kyle to meet
 

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i assume you meant import it, it is a shame that some regions missed out on it

to bad cing went bust they had plans for ashley and kyle to meet
Ah yes

Definitely import. All completely legal. Of course, of course.

...

I always smiled when they brought up the Robbins Memorial Hospital in Hotel Dusk. It was such a neat reference. I would have loved to see those two series' collide - that would have been a gorgeous and fascinating game no doubt.
 
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The DS did have a lot of games for pretty much anyone at the time as a lot of genre's where present there. Wether you where into RPG's, puzzle games, adventure, sidescrollers, visual novels, platformers, shooters etc, there was a little bit of everything for everyone on that little device. No wonder it sold so well and stuck around for so long compared to most other console generations.

Which makes it even more jarring how surprisingly little content it has in the Smash series. To this very day the only playable character that was born on the DS is still just Lucario who was introduced all the way back in Brawl, and even then some people argue that he technically first appeared in a Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game on the GBA because of some cameo.

And despite Smash 3DS's larger focus on handheld gaming, the only new stages it had where Spirit Train and Unova League (and Pictochat 2 if you count that I suppose)

I suppose its good that they gave Nintendog's and Dr. Kawashima the Assist Trophy spotlight as the Nintendog's and Brain training series where Nintendo's biggest new IP's for the system. If Layton where to make it in, I could see them show a screenshot with him between a Nintendog and Kawashima at the Pictochat stage as a sort of nod at their beginnings on the DS. Maybe even have Lucario there too.
 
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PK Bash

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Hi guys!

My DS memories start with a DS Lite and Mario Kart. But I mainly got the system for Pokémon, back when Pokémon releases were nowhere near as common and a new game was a huge deal. Having played Pokémon Gold religiously more or less since that game released (was never so into Hoenn) and with Lost Future, 2009 was a good year!

But around the same time as I got that DS Lite, Professor Layton and the Curious Village released. I remember an aggressive marketing campaign for it here in the UK and it had been on my radar loosely as an adventure game fan (probably through ONM or something?). Was doing a bit of shopping in Tesco and spotted it next to the carrots for some reason, and thought I could do a lot worse for £20.

When I got home and fired it up, I totally stopped caring about Pokémon for a while! Eventually, I wrapped up my whole family in this charming mystery game (this was the generation of Inspector Morse and David Suchet's Poirot, so we all took to Professor Layton like hot cakes). Layton did lose some magic for me when it moved away from this TV Detective vibe, but ever since then, it's always been one of my most anticipated releases. A lot of great memories for me there.

---
The DS truly was the golden age of adventure games. There were so many of them - good and bad! Did anyone play Mystery Stories: Curse of the Ancient Sprites? That was very Layton like, but with absolutely none of the charm.


I've already sang Cing's praises in this thread. Kyle Hyde actually has a rare trophy in Brawl - a difficult unlock, but unique in that it was an animated trophy - but he and other adventure icons seem to have been forgotten these days.

This is a real shame - these are one of my favourite types of game. But they just don't exist in this era of mass AAA consumption. My only hope these days is the indie scene, but it doesn't really happen there either. The indie scene tends to go through trends though - perhaps this genre will rise from the ashes one day.
 

MattX20

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Hmm...if Layton has alternate colors and we don't get Katrielle as a potential alternate costume, what would they be?
 
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The DS truly was the golden age of adventure games. There were so many of them - good and bad! Did anyone play Mystery Stories: Curse of the Ancient Sprites? That was very Layton like, but with absolutely none of the charm.


I've already sang Cing's praises in this thread. Kyle Hyde actually has a rare trophy in Brawl - a difficult unlock, but unique in that it was an animated trophy - but he and other adventure icons seem to have been forgotten these days.

This is a real shame - these are one of my favourite types of game. But they just don't exist in this era of mass AAA consumption. My only hope these days is the indie scene, but it doesn't really happen there either. The indie scene tends to go through trends though - perhaps this genre will rise from the ashes one day.
Yeah about that, I think Miyamoto talked about that not too long ago and how he felt that the Ace Attorney and Professor Layton series are the biggest hope for the genre.

Its a genre that heavily relies on story, thus localization costs are high for potential little payoff, which is probably why the genre isn't supported much outside of these two series these days, probably because they've seen the most success out of it but who knows.

We are having some fans trying to make a new Layton adventure of their own with Unbreakable Nightmare, if it goes well, then maybe we might see some indie studio's try to revive the genre in the future..

Hmm...if Layton has alternate colors and we don't get Katrielle as a potential alternate costume, what would they be?
I always thought colours based off Luke, Flora, Emmy, Katrielle, Don Paolo, Descole and Alfendi would work out quite nicely, would cover most of the important and popular characters while also having a diverse colour set going on too I think.
 
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Hadokeyblade

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So I'm revisiting the Layton games and I made it to Azran Legacy and I'm near end game there.

Does anybody else find it kind of bizzare that the game tells you that the organization run by Laytons father killed his son's (Sycamore) daughter and the game just brushes over this plot point?
 

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So I'm revisiting the Layton games and I made it to Azran Legacy and I'm near end game there.

Does anybody else find it kind of bizzare that the game tells you that the organization run by Laytons father killed his son's (Sycamore) daughter and the game just brushes over this plot point?
I definitely feel like that plot point regarding the death of Desmond's daughter and wife could've been fleshed out a bit more (perhaps by showing a flashback cutscene to portray how this all went down, making it much more impactful) but I do appreciate the subtle hints to the event the game does leave behind for you to interpret and piece together how this event went down and served as a major turning point for Descole/Desmond's character.

The notable subtle hints in Azran Legacy regarding that plot point:
  • As Layton and co. are taking the elevator up the Nest, Desmond tells the others how Targent manipulates archaeologists. He tells them, "They barge in and threaten to kill those that you hold dear, and if you don't comply, well... you can imagine the rest."
    • I don't remember the exact wording of how Desmond said it, but the way he describes and says "you can imagine the rest" after pausing implies that he has been through this event before.
  • When Layton and Desmond confront Bronev in his office during that same chapter, Desmond immediately turns angry and says, "Bronev, you soulless monster! I will never forgive you for what you have done!"
    • "Soulless Monster"? Why would Desmond call Bronev a"soulless monster" when we haven't seen Bronev do anything very personal to Desmond (aside from almost uncovering his Descole identity, but that doesn't seem like a reason to call someone a "soulless monster")? Unless... Bronev must've been personally involved in the murder of Desmond's daughter and wife! In Desmond's eyes, a personal crime like that would make him see Bronev as a "soulless monster"! The next point I'm about to mention actually heavily supports this.
  • When Bronev tries to convince Layton to join Targent by playing a tape of his adoptive parents to manipulate him, Desmond intervenes and encourages Layton to not fall for Bronev's trap, but Bronev tells Desmond, "How tiresome you are! I warn you, Layton, if you listen to his drivel, I'll have no more mercy for you than I had for him."
    • "I'll have no mercy for you than I had for him." I think this heavily implies Bronev was there during the death of Desmond's wife and daughter. More specifically, if we are to consider the important that Targent will threaten an archaeologists's family just to get him/her to join the organization, I think there is a reason to believe that Bronev was not only there during the death of Desmond's wife and daughter: he was the one (along with the aid of a few other Targent officers I'd imagine) that tried to manipulate Desmond to align with Targent by giving him the ultimatum to join or else his family would perish, and when Desmond refused, Bronev killed the latter's wife and daughter in response!
  • There is a special flashback scene that can be accessed with the camera feature, a scene that can be unlocked after you beat the game. It shows Descole talking to Aurora. We learn this is actually a dream that Descole had while he was passed out after defending Luke from that one Azran trap. The dream essentially wakes him up and motivates him to stop the Azran Golems, but there are some very interesting points raised in that dream. Most notably, when Aurora tries to describe the good she sees in him, Descole states, "When my wife and daughter died, Desmond died with them, and Descole was born." (this quote is paraphrased, but I remember it sounded something like this).
    • Furthermore, if you read Descole's bio in the game, you'll notice this line: "If Desmond can be described as the man's hope, Descole could be described as the man's despair."
      • Indeed, Desmond and Descole are almost two different personas. Desmond is calm and hopeful, but as Descole, we see that he is short-tempered and desperate. Both personas are calculated and show a clear hatred for Targent, but the Descole persona has a much stronger hatred toward Targent. The Desmond persona occasionally cracks to reveal the Descole persona (the "soulless monster" scene is the best example.)
      • Considering what Descole tells Aurora regarding his wife and daughter's death, how his Descole persona is where we see most of his anger and desire for revenge against Targent, and how the bio refers to his Descole as the "man's despair," we can infer his wife and daughter were murdered by Targent! I can imagine Desmond was slowly beginning to find new hope with his life with his new career as an archaeologist and having a family, but his wife and daughter's murders at the hands of Targent (or more specifically, his father if the subtle hints are anything to go by) are what caused Desmond to snap and become the Descole persona we all know. This event also caused Desmond/Descole to realize Bronev had become a cruel and completely different person, turning what was once sorrow over his father to hatred.
One a slightly off-tangent note but still supporting the third point, there is a special flashback scene that can be accessed in Miracle Mask where we see Layton's adoptive parents discuss the situation regarding how Roland temporarily went missing. Roland tells them the men that visited him were archaeologists who were asking some questions about Hershel, but Lucille comments, "Roland, I saw those men. They weren't archaeologists with those fancy suits and those well-manicured hands."
  • "Archaeologists" wearing "fancy suits" and having "well-manicured hands": Where have we seen that before? Yep, Targent! Targent took Roland briefly, and they interrogated him regarding Hershel's whereabouts. Considering what we eventually learn about Bronev and Targent in the very next game, we can infer that Targent visited Stansbury because they wanted to recruit Hershel.
    • We can also infer that Bronev must have learned of his youngest son's whereabouts, and that was why he had Targent visit Stansbury to find him and recruit him to Targent so that they could be reunited. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if Bronev was with the Targent officers that visited Stansbury and talked with Roland, hoping he'd get the change to meet his youngest son again in person after about a decade.
      • Thus, this special flashback scene in Miracle Mask was the biggest foreshadow regarding the "Bronev is Layton's birth father" twist, and it also shows Bronev had plans to recruit his sons to Targent prior to that life-changing event in Desmond's life. Why did this event seem more peaceful than what happened to Desmond? Perhaps Bronev's growing obsession with finding the Azran legacy over the years would also turn him more maniacal and cruel, to the point he figured more drastic measures should be taken to achieve his goals, hence what happened with Desmond's family and my personal theory that he was the one that gave Bill Hawks a huge sum of money to run the time machine experiment (that is a theory worth discussing for another time)!
 
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PK Bash

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I definitely feel like that plot point regarding the death of Desmond's daughter and wife could've been fleshed out a bit more (perhaps by showing a flashback cutscene to portray how this all went down, making it much more impactful) but I do appreciate the subtle hints to the event the game does leave behind for you to interpret and piece together how this event went down and served as a major turning point for Descole/Desmond's character.

The notable subtle hints in Azran Legacy regarding that plot point:
  • As Layton and co. are taking the elevator up the Nest, Desmond tells the others how Targent manipulates archaeologists. He tells them, "They barge in and threaten to kill those that you hold dear, and if you don't comply, well... you can imagine the rest."
    • I don't remember the exact wording of how Desmond said it, but the way he describes and says "you can imagine the rest" after pausing implies that he has been through this event before.
  • When Layton and Desmond confront Bronev in his office during that same chapter, Desmond immediately turns angry and says, "Bronev, you soulless monster! I will never forgive you for what you have done!"
    • "Soulless Monster"? Why would Desmond call Bronev a"soulless monster" when we haven't seen Bronev do anything very personal to Desmond (aside from almost uncovering his Descole identity, but that doesn't seem like a reason to call someone a "soulless monster")? Unless... Bronev must've been personally involved in the murder of Desmond's daughter and wife! In Desmond's eyes, a personal crime like that would make him see Bronev as a "soulless monster"! The next point I'm about to mention actually heavily supports this.
  • When Bronev tries to convince Layton to join Targent by playing a tape of his adoptive parents to manipulate him, Desmond intervenes and encourages Layton to not fall for Bronev's trap, but Bronev tells Desmond, "How tiresome you are! I warn you, Layton, if you listen to his drivel, I'll have no more mercy for you than I had for him."
    • "I'll have no mercy for you than I had for him." I think this heavily implies Bronev was there during the death of Desmond's wife and daughter. More specifically, if we are to consider the important that Targent will threaten an archaeologists's family just to get him/her to join the organization, I think there is a reason to believe that Bronev was not only there during the death of Desmond's wife and daughter: he was the one (along with the aid of a few other Targent officers I'd imagine) that tried to manipulate Desmond to align with Targent by giving him the ultimatum to join or else his family would perish, and when Desmond refused, Bronev killed the latter's wife and daughter in response!
  • There is a special flashback scene that can be accessed with the camera feature, a scene that can be unlocked after you beat the game. It shows Descole talking to Aurora. We learn this is actually a dream that Descole had while he was passed out after defending Luke from that one Azran trap. The dream essentially wakes him up and motivates him to stop the Azran Golems, but there are some very interesting points raised in that dream. Most notably, when Aurora tries to describe the good she sees in him, Descole states, "When my wife and daughter died, Desmond died with them, and Descole was born." (this quote is paraphrased, but I remember it sounded something like this).
    • Furthermore, if you read Descole's bio in the game, you'll notice this line: "If Desmond can be described as the man's hope, Descole could be described as the man's despair."
      • Indeed, Desmond and Descole are almost two different personas. Desmond is calm and hopeful, but as Descole, we see that he is short-tempered and desperate. Both personas are calculated and show a clear hatred for Targent, but the Descole persona has a much stronger hatred toward Targent. The Desmond persona occasionally cracks to reveal the Descole persona (the "soulless monster" scene is the best example.)
      • Considering what Descole tells Aurora regarding his wife and daughter's death, how his Descole persona is where we see most of his anger and desire for revenge against Targent, and how the bio refers to his Descole as the "man's despair," we can infer his wife and daughter were murdered by Targent! I can imagine Desmond was slowly beginning to find new hope with his life with his new career as an archaeologist and having a family, but his wife and daughter's murders at the hands of Targent (or more specifically, his father if the subtle hints are anything to go by) are what caused Desmond to snap and become the Descole persona we all know. This event also caused Desmond/Descole to realize Bronev had become a cruel and completely different person, turning what was once sorrow over his father to hatred.
One a slightly off-tangent note but still supporting the third point, there is a special flashback scene that can be accessed in Miracle Mask where we see Layton's adoptive parents discuss the situation regarding how Roland temporarily went missing. Roland tells them the men that visited him were archaeologists who were asking some questions about Hershel, but Lucille comments, "Roland, I saw those men. They weren't archaeologists with those fancy suits and those well-manicured hands."
  • "Archaeologists" wearing "fancy suits" and having "well-manicured hands": Where have we seen that before? Yep, Targent! Targent took Roland briefly, and they interrogated him regarding Hershel's whereabouts. Considering what we eventually learn about Bronev and Targent in the very next game, we can infer that Targent visited Stansbury because they wanted to recruit Hershel.
    • We can also infer that Bronev must have learned of his youngest son's whereabouts, and that was why he had Targent visit Stansbury to find him and recruit him to Targent so that they could be reunited. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if Bronev was with the Targent officers that visited Stansbury and talked with Roland, hoping he'd get the change to meet his youngest son again in person after about a decade.
      • Thus, this special flashback scene in Miracle Mask was the biggest foreshadow regarding the "Bronev is Layton's birth father" twist, and it also shows Bronev had plans to recruit his sons to Targent prior to that life-changing event in Desmond's life. Why did this event seem more peaceful than what happened to Desmond? Perhaps Bronev's growing obsession with finding the Azran legacy over the years would also turn him more maniacal and cruel, to the point he figured more drastic measures should be taken to achieve his goals, hence what happened with Desmond's family and my personal theory that he was the one that gave Bill Hawks a huge sum of money to run the time machine experiment (that is a theory worth discussing for another time)!
You know, I was never the biggest fan of the prequels for a few reasons, plot being one of them, but you may have encouraged me to see that I'm just an idiot and missed a lot of nuance and should probably replay them now.

Writing stories like this particular plot point for games is always tricky just because of the nature of the medium and is only exacerbated by handheld limitations, and with the 6th game in particular, there's just so much going on that its no surprise that it was undercooked. It was already trying to do too much in one limited game. It should have been built up subtly across games 4 and 5. Or maybe it was, and I'm still being an idiot. But with us going into Layton's distant past in 5, surely we could have got exploration of this other character and these events.

I know they wanted to give Layton a grand send-off but I always felt that game would have been stronger and more coherent if it was just set in England.

Super curious about that Bill Hawks theory by the way! It would have been cool if they had set up the events of the chronological Layton finale (and easily the best game) in those prequels.
 
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I think they should have probably spread out the hints a bit more thoroughly throughout the prequels. There are some minor hints thrown around in regards to Emmy and her potential betrayal with Layton in Last Specter and Miracle Mask but their easily missable if you're not paying attention.

Hershel also mentioned seeing Descole somewhere before but not knowing where at the end of Last Specter.

The only thing that kind of bugs me in regards to Descole's relationship with Hershel is at how eager he was to kill Layton in Eternal Diva but I suppose that can be chalked up to his desperation to discover Ambrosia...

But all in all, I think they should have spread these things around a bit more between games, or even in terms of Azran Legacy, have it spread out throughout the game's story instead of packing the ending full of plot twists one after another at the very end.
Overall though, I think narratively, the story of the prequels could have probably fit better at the end of the series rather than in the middle before Curious Village, it kind of gives off a bit of a disconnect and makes the original trilogy feel a bit more like side stories or something, but that's probably just me.

I kind of feel like the story of the prequel trilogy was probably meant to take place after the original trilogy before they decided to turn it into an origin story of how Layton and Luke first met. At least in Last Specter's case. I think something along those lines was mentioned in the World of Professor Layton fanbook but I'm not sure.
 
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Erureido

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You know, I was never the biggest fan of the prequels for a few reasons, plot being one of them, but you may have encouraged me to see that I'm just an idiot and missed a lot of nuance and should probably replay them now.

Writing stories like this particular plot point for games is always tricky just because of the nature of the medium and is only exacerbated by handheld limitations, and with the 6th game in particular, there's just so much going on that its no surprise that it was undercooked. It was already trying to do too much in one limited game. It should have been built up subtly across games 4 and 5. Or maybe it was, and I'm still being an idiot. But with us going into Layton's distant past in 5, surely we could have got exploration of this other character and these events.

I know they wanted to give Layton a grand send-off but I always felt that game would have been stronger and more coherent if it was just set in England.

Super curious about that Bill Hawks theory by the way! It would have been cool if they had set up the events of the chronological Layton finale (and easily the best game) in those prequels.
Oh, I’d love to share my Bill Hawks theory here! It’s something that I haven’t seen anyone discuss yet.

I don’t have the time to share it right now, but when I do, I’ll definitely post it, and I’ll probably tag you and others that are interested in it as well.

The only thing that kind of bugs me in regards to Descole's relationship with Hershel is at how eager he was to kill Layton in Eternal Diva but I suppose that can be chalked up to his desperation to discover Ambrosia...

Overall though, I think narratively, the story of the prequels could have probably fit better at the end of the series rather than in the middle before Curious Village, it kind of gives off a bit of a disconnect and makes the original trilogy feel a bit more like side stories or something, but that's probably just me.

I think the reason why Descole was willing to kill Layton in that scene during Eternal Diva ties into why he was at odds with Layton prior to Azran Legacy: Descole was very desperate to get to the Azran Legacy first, wanting to beat Target to it as his way of enacting revenge against them (after all, finding the ultimate Azran Legacy is Targent/Bronev’s main objective). Descole was so desperate to reach the Azran Legacy he was willing to do whatever it took to find the clues and secrets leading to it (which explains why he resorted to trying to destroy Misthallery, the island surrounding Ambrosia, and even Monte d’Or in the hopes that leveling these places would easily uncover those Azran Legacies when things weren’t going his way).

So how does Layton tie into this? Simply put, he mostly like saw Layton as an obstacle that would ruin his plan of reaching the Azran Legacy first. Descole might have even considered the possibility that Layton could beat him to it first. With Descole becoming very angry that his initial plan to reveal Ambrosia didn’t go the way he wanted and seeing Layton be the one to solve the puzzle regarding how to find Ambrosia, I can see why Descole resorted to almost killing Layton during that scene.

Why did he collaborate with Layton in Azran Legacy then? I think that Descole’s run-in with Bronev at the end of Miracle Mask must have made him realize that Layton would eventually find himself dealing with Targent, and thus he too would consider them as enemies (it’s possible the second Layton movie that was supposedly meant to take place between Miracle Mask and Azran Legacy might have shown Descole having that epiphany) . Upon realizing the two share a common enemy, Descole figured it would be best to work with Layton from then on for a period of time (it’s like the saying goes: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”) and break ways with him once he thought it was time. The fact Layton never saw how Descole looked like unmasked allowed Descole to easily assume his Desmond persona so that he could easily collaborate with Layton without the latter getting suspicious.

As for that other point, I guess that the prequel trilogy making the original trilogy feel like side stories is probably a side effect of how the prequel trilogy was when Layton games started to become more intertwined with the others by raising multiple key mysteries with each title, like the writers wanted the next trilogy to feel more interconnected with each game within it by raising these mysteries in the first two games and then having them all revealed in the final game to top it all off.

My Bill Hawks theory does suggest how one key element in the prequel trilogy tied into the events that set off Unwound Future and the previous original trilogy games though. It’ll be part of my write-up explaining the full details of that theory.
 
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