I’ll never forget the day I discovered Professor Layton. It was right after I had finished high-school; I had no sense of direction, a part-time job, and a lot of free time on my hands. One of the ways I was filling this free time was by going through about six years of Penny Arcade comics, eventually catching up to the present. It was when I caught up that I had read this comic and my interest was piqued. The more I looked into the game, the more it looked like an incredibly interesting puzzle game with an amazing art style and intriguing narrative.
I was not disappointed.
I owe a lot to the Professor Layton series. It’s challenging and clever puzzles helped me to think outside the box not just in the game, but with many of life’s little puzzles. Hershel’s gentlemanly demeanor inspired me to be a little more polite and a little more composed. And the game’s simple yet beautiful art-style showed me that less is more in so many ways.
The Professor Layton series remains as one of my all-time favorites, I may even be one of the few people who own the movie, and that love came in no small part thanks to Puzzle Master Akira Tago, who I was heartbroken to hear passed away due to interstitial pneumonia at the age of 90. Tago was a prominent Japanese psychologist, as well as a professor emeritus at Chiba University who, outside of his work on the Professor Layton games, was known for his best-selling quiz book series “Atama no Taiso” (Brain Exercises).
It’s hard to imagine Professor Layton would have been even half as good without Tago’s unique brand of puzzles, smashing stereotypical views and calling for a change in perspective to come to a solution. And while Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is the official end of “Layton Saga,” it’s hard to imagine how (or if) the series could continue without Tago’s contribution.
As a longstanding lover of Professor Layton and Akria Tago’s puzzles, I can wholeheartedly say he will be missed.
Gomeifuku wo inorimasu, Tago-Sama