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Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box

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Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
Layton Diabolical Box box.png
Developer(s): Level-5
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo DS
Category: Puzzle-adventure
Players: 1
Predecessor: Professor Layton and the Curious Village
Successor: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
Release dates
N. America: Nintendo DS: August 24, 2009
iOS, Android: June 20, 2019
Japan: Nintendo DS: November 29, 2007
iOS, Android: December 5, 2018
Europe: Nintendo DS: September 25, 2009
iOS, Android: June 20, 2019
Australia: September 24, 2009

Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box, known in Europe and Australia as Professor Layton and Pandora's Box and in Japan as Professor Layton and the Devil's Box is a Nintendo DS game in Level-5's Professor Layton series, published by Nintendo outside of Japan.


Gameplay is similar to the the original game with new puzzles and a new mystery to solve regarding a "Diabolical Box". A few bonus puzzles were also available with Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (no longer available now).


There are tales of a box that brings death upon any who dare open it. Tell me, do you think those rumours could be true?

Professor Layton receives a letter from his old mentor, Doctor Schrader, concerning his investigations with a box that is said to kill anyone who opens it. The letter is several days old. Heading to his flat with Luke Triton, they burst open the room to find him dead. Layton finds a mysterious train ticket in his hand. Inspector Chelmey then appears on the scene to investigate, where it is determined that the killer must have escaped through the window. Layton and Luke board a train, the Molentary Express, using Schrader's ticket, in the hopes of working out what happened and the truth about the Elysian Box.

On their travels, they find Flora, from the Professor Layton and the Curious Village. The train stops off in a country village called Dropstone, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. Exploring this place, the three fix the train bridge which allows the train to continue on its journey. As they board the train, Layton notices a mysterious lady with purple hair, whom many villagers are seeing off.

Back on the Molentary Express, the trio fall asleep, as a result of some flowers placed on a table nearby. Luke, in a half-dream, realises the train has diverged, with several carriages, including theirs, splitting off to a new destination. At night, the train pulls in at the station of the phantom town of Folsense. There are many bright lights here, lighting the landscape up. The trio explore for a long while, finding many mysterious aspects to the city, along with scraps of an old diary telling of the origin of the town. Many inhabitants tell of a terrible horror about the castle in the distance, where it is said a vampire lives. One villager even has a house stuffed full of garlic to guard himself. Through shadows in street corners, Layton and Luke eventually discover a photograph of the Elysian Box, in many pieces. Conjoining them, they head back to a hotel to consider their findings, when the middle piece of the photograph flies off.

Back in the hotel, Inspector Chelmey is accusing the train conductor, Sammy Thunder, of Schrader's murder. The train manager, Mr. Beluga, goes along with this. Holding some tea, Layton speaks up: "Sorry to disappoint, but he's not the culprit." With everyone in surprise, the professor gets up and reveals "the culprit... must be YOU there!" He whips around, pointing at Flora. Luke is more shocked than anyone. Layton reveals that Flora is actually Don Paolo in disguise, and has been since Dropstone when she wandered off. This was discovered since Flora mentioned the design of the Elysian Box, which she cannot possibly have known about, from the missing middle piece, unless she herself had seen the box. The truth determined, Layton and Luke head upstairs to open the Elysian Box itself. In near-terror, Layton opens the box, and the pair are incredulous to find it empty.

The professor and his apprentice decide to head to Herzen Castle, in search of the vampire and truth of the box. Travelling through a dark forest and across a long, unstable bridge, they are greeted by a servant who shows them in. There, a man called Anton welcomes them and they have dinner. There is a dream of a ball-room dance, with Anton dancing with the purple-haired lady. Suddenly, all of the guests get red eyes, with Anton saying "They're just the main course for this evening", approaching Layton and Luke in the centre of the room.

The pair wake up to find themselves tied up. Escaping, Anton is distraught and challenges Layton to a duel, saying "There's no lack of swords here. Take whichever one you like. Know this though: Only one of them is real." Working out which blade is real, Layton swordfights with Anton, as Luke tries to escape with Katia, the purple-haired lady. Layton determines that there is a mysterious mist in the Elysian Box which makes anyone who opens it see what they expect to see. This explains the ball-room dance from earlier; additionally, Folsense is covered in this mist as a result of a mining expedition years ago. Anton himself is much older than he thought from this effect too. Appearing a withered old man, he is Katia's grandfather. The two finally accept one another for what they are, as the sun rises on Folsense, and the lights all clear away to reveal an far-gone, abandoned town. Anton and Katia watch Layton and Luke depart on the train.

Later, Layton reads that Schrader merely suffered a heart attack and did not perish.


As with the other games in the series, there are three mini-games. A camera game, where players spot the difference between two images, which reveals a hidden puzzle. A tea game, where players mix ingredients to make tea for all the residents of Folsense. A hamster game, where a talking hamster moves around a board, players trying to entice it to move further. This mini-game destroys the game's atmosphere beyond all recognition, thus, whilst completing the mini-game does enable the hamster to help a player search for hint coins (similar to the animal mini-game from the first game, the robot dog), it is not worthwhile until absolutely necessary, since a player will have to put up with a stupid American accent during their travels, which smashes away the carefully-established atmosphere in a heartbeat.

Professor Layton series logo
Main games (published by Nintendo)

Curious Village • Diabolical Box • Unwound Future • Last Specter • Miracle Mask • Azran Legacy • Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and The Millionaires' Conspiracy - Deluxe Edition

Spin-off games (published by Nintendo) Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
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