[A gentleman always warns of SPOILERS for Layton Brothers: Mystery Room!]
Recently I was reminded of the existence of Layton Brothers: Mystery Room on mobile. And then I got mad because I actually really enjoyed that game, but it ended on a cliffhanger and there’s no sign of another game coming.
I’m also a little cheesed we never got to learn more about Alfendi Layton, the son of Hershel Layton. Don’t bother asking whom the elder Layton boffed (like a gentleman) to make Alfendi. Nobody knows. There’s actually some fan speculation that the stripe-loving Alfendi was adopted by the Professor, same as Flora.
Though I’m a big believer in the mantra “representation matters,” and I generally like to see non-traditional families (including adoptees) get screen time, I kind of hope Alfendi is the Professor’s flesh and blood. That’s because Alfendi is the polar opposite of his pops, which makes him pretty interesting.
Up until the events of Mystery Room I imagined if Professor Layton sired a son, the boy would be gentle by nature and his father’s influence would sand down any remaining sharp corners. And at first glance, Alfendi Layton does appear to be the product of Hershel’s workmanship. He’s quiet, polite, he smiles easily, and of course he’s as sharp as a tack.
Thing is, it’s all an act.
Not a conscious act, mind. Alfendi went through a traumatic event that caused his personality to split in twain. The calm side, which is the side we’re introduced to at the start of Mystery Room, is a product of hypnotic suggestion. Alfendi’s real side is vicious, sarcastic, and driven by a weird bloodlust that borders on sexual. The bloodier a criminal’s work is, the more he likes it.
Not kidding about that last bit, by the way. Mystery Room has a harder edge than the mainline Professor Layton series. The cases Alfendi solves (with the help of his very Scottish assistant, Lucy) revolve around murders and infidelity. Dudes get axes in their heads and whatnot. So Alfendi getting his socks off to the very idea of violence isn’t really out of place.
Alas, we never learn the reasons behind Alfendi Layton’s major malfunction, and personally, I’d love to know. Is it nature? Nurture? Mystery Room concluded with Hershel Layton being called in to talk to his nutty son, but is seemingly taking the scenic route to Scotland Yard.
The route that takes years, apparently.
I know a gentleman never rushes, but move that fine, highly-educated ass of yours, Hershel.