All right, time to continue with my plot recap of the latest Professor Layton game! When we last left off, our heroes went to find the evil specter. And that's exactly what they did! They sat in their hotel room and watched as the shadowy beast appeared in the mist and started smashing buildings. The whole time, the mysterious "Specter's Flute" was playing.
What is "The Specter's Flute"? That was the original title for this game, and apparently, whenever you play the flute, the specter appears and starts destroying things. Yes, that's right, a flautist is responsible for all the destruction in town. I think the culprit is probably an angry band geek who wants to get revenge on the jocks who teased him in high school.
The next section of the game is Chapter Four, which should be titled The Thoroughly Uninteresting Chapter. Here, you have to spend an hour and a half, going through the marketplace over and over and over again. At the end of it all, you learn that children like candy and dressing up in costumes. Well, that red herring was certainly worth the effort! I could never have figured that out on my own.
The plot picks up again in Chapter Five, when our heroes go to a nearby mansion, which is the home of Arianna the Witch. It turns out that Arianna is a young girl, a little older than Luke. Luke reveals that he and Arianna used to be good friends. A somewhat romantic flashback plays, which shows how Luke met Arianna, and how the two of them spent the entire night together, watching the beautiful stars in the sky. But before you can say "true love", Arianna kicks our heroes out of the house and tells Luke never to talk to her again.
...Ow. Maybe that's why Prequel Luke is so moody. His girlfriend hates him.
Luke explains that Arianna has a terminal illness, and that she has refused to talk to anyone ever since her father was killed. After that, Luke's mother disappeared, the specter started destroying the town, and lots of people died from an unknown disease. In other words, it was not good times.
The rest of the chapter is an hour of Layton chasing down another red herring. It's kind of weird, actually. Layton is a super-genius who solves mysteries so quickly that he puts Sherlock Holmes to shame. But he's extra-stupid in this chapter, so they can really draw out the red herring subplot and make it last as long as possible. I didn't like seeing Layton get dumbed down for the sake of filler. It just felt wrong to see him break character like that.
Professor Layton: He's smart, unless him being stupid results in another hour of gameplay.
With that, you reach the halfway point of the game. So far, our heroes have learned...well, not that much, actually. They learned about the flute, and they met Luke's girlfriend. But they completely forgot to investigate the specter which is destroying the town. Maybe they'll remember the main plot of the game in the next section.