Operation Backlog Completion 2017
Mar 202017
 

The Professor Layton games always involve some comedy and humorous situations, but it sounds like the upcoming Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadone’s Conspiracy might take it a step further.

A little over a week ago, Famitsu featured an interview with Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino about the upcoming game. While he didn’t reveal a lot, we now know a bit more about Lady Layton from Nintendo Everything’s translation of the information.

(I’m late with the news–I missed the translation when it came out.)

As we discussed in the past, Lady Layton will feature smaller mysteries for the protagonist to solve. The interview described it as a “high-speed comical puzzle solving story.”

He then described the relationship between Kato and Sharo (the talking dog) as similar to “boke and tsukkomi,” which refers to a comedy duo that plays off each other.

(It’s similar to the funny man/straight man comedy used by duos like Abbott and Costello. World of Final Fantasy is an example of a recent game that used boke and tsukkomi character types. Didn’t this come up with Spirit of Justice, too?)

Kat will be the funny character, while Sharo is the more serious character who will explain what she said. This will lead to the story feeling like a comedy.

Curiously, there are a few details Hino refused to give, including its place in the timeline and Luke’s relationship with Kat and Sharo.

We still don’t know a lot about Lady Layton, but I’m looking forward to it! Although I still wish they’d clarify how Kat has a talking dog…

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Jul 292016
 

Layton-Detective-AgencyLevel-5 has revealed new details about Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadone’s Conspiracy.

First, the protagonist’s name is Katrielle, or Kat for short.

Second, the title has also been confirmed as The Millionaire Ariadone’s Conspiracy.

Third, it sounds like the game’s structure will be different from previous main-series Layton titles:

The story will focus less on dynamic problem-solving and more on solving multiple mystery cases observed in the everyday lives of Londoners, which will bring a faster tempo and more comical tone to the series.”

The Professor Layton games always sent the professor on a mission to learn the truth behind some strange, large-scale mystery. Since Katrielle runs a detective agency, it makes sense that she will be in London solving cases.

The game’s title and Kat’s search for her father suggest it still has an overarching mystery. It will be interesting to see how the game is structured. Layton Brothers: Mystery Room structured its cases similarly to Ace Attorney, with individual mysteries tied into the main plot.

The official description also says “The creators of the puzzles and brain-teasers, the core element of the series, will also be new.”

This could be great (the later titles already took steps toward adding new types of puzzles), but it’s also worrying. However, the trailer does show a few puzzles, all of which look like fair Layton material.

Speaking of which, Bolt2nd uploaded a subtitled version of the trailer. Let’s take a look.

The dog’s reactions to Kat’s deductions might be the best part of this trailer, especially given the crazy stuff Professor Layton figured out in the past.

Why are your ridiculous ideas always right on the mark?”

However, the subtitles also make it seem like Noah, at least, can also understand him, so it’s not just Kat. Is he really a talking dog? Do they both have Luke’s power? It feels rather odd, but the series has always done some odd things.

Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadone’s Conspiracy is definitely making changes to the Professor Layton formula, but I’m excited for what sounds like a great new entry in the series. Best of all, Level-5 also confirmed they’re targeting a 2017 release for Lady Layton in the West, which might make it the quickest localization of any Layton game.

What are your thoughts on Lady Layton’s multiple mysteries and other changes?

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Jul 272016
 

Last month, Level-5 thrilled us with the news that a new main-series Professor Layton game was in development after all.

Now they have unveiled that game: Lady Layton!

Lady-Layton

The new game’s full title translates to something like Lady Layton: The Conspiracy of King Millionaire Ariadne, but let’s just call it Lady Layton for now.

When I first saw the title, I thought the main character might be Flora, but instead it stars Catriel Layton, Professor Layton’s daughter. She runs a detective agency and solves strange mysteries around London. She’s also searching for her father, who has disappeared.

Her companion is a talking dog named Sharo, who helps her solve the strange cases she receives. Let’s take a look at the trailer to see them in action.

There’s a lot to take in, but first let’s celebrate the fact that we’re getting a new Layton game! And if it does well, more Lady Layton games seem all but a given.

Okay, now let’s talk about the new game.

Who is Catriel Layton?

Catriel (and it’s not clear yet if that’s how her name will be localized) is a completely new character. She was never mentioned or hinted at before, and it raises related questions.

First, where is Flora? As Professor Layton’s adopted daughter, she’s the first person many fans thought of. What is she doing now? Does she consider Catriel a younger sister? Will we see her in Lady Layton?

Second, is Catriel Alfendi’s sister? Alfendi Layton only appeared in the spin-off game Layton Brothers: Mystery Room, so his placement in canon is uncertain. Will he play any role in Catriel’s story?

Third, who is her mother? This question was first raised about Alfendi, and it remains unanswered. Professor Layton’s only known love interest is out of the question, so where did his children come from? Of course, it’s possible one or both of them is adopted.

Click for Azran Legacy spoilers, implied Layton Brothers spoiler

In short, Catriel herself is a huge mystery, particularly when it comes to her placement in the Layton family. However, since she’s the star of the game, we should learn a lot about her.

Professor Layton Has Disappeared?

Catriel doesn’t become a detective just because she likes solving mysteries, but because she wants to solve one big mystery in particular: the disappearance of her father.

This should be a major part of the plot, but it already tells us one important thing: wherever Lady Layton is in the timeline, it’s not the same time as Layton Brothers.

Click for minor Layton Brothers spoiler

However, Layton Brothers also implies Alfendi and Professor Layton are estranged for unknown reasons, so maybe the two are connected.

A Talking Dog?

Sharo is one of the most bizarre aspects of the announcement. Layton stories are pretty far out there, but a talking dog still seems out of place for the universe.

Until we see proof otherwise, I believe Catriel shares Luke’s ability to communicate with animals. That is, Sharo sounds like a normal dog to everyone else, but she can understand him.

My Hopes

Personally, I hope these mysteries all have answers. I also hope Alfendi is Catriel’s brother, even if he isn’t yet the Alfendi we know from the spin-off.

And I do hope Flora appears. She was neglected enough in the first trilogy without being ignored again in a sequel. Overall, though, I just wanted a solid Layton game, and this looks like it will deliver.

Lady Layton looks fantastic, and I can’t wait to learn more about it. It will be made for the 3DS, iOS, and Android, with its Japanese release date set for spring 2017.

Let me know your thoughts on Lady Layton in the comments!

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