Emmy is slim with pale skin, thick, wavy, brown hair and oval black eyes.
As a teenager Emmy wore a long-sleeved, collared yellow shirt with black buttons, a dark green mini-skirt, knee-high black socks with a red stripe near the top, red flats, a red ponytail in her hair, and a small red purse slung on her shoulder.
As an adult Emmy wore a collared white shirt under a yellow trench-coat, a brown belt with a brown camera pouch in the back, a pale pink bow-tie, white tights, and dark green boots. In Last Specter and Eternal Diva, Emmy has one yellow strap with a buckle around each sleeve, in the other two games she does not. Her hair is down past her shoulders and in the latter two games it is noticeably not as thick.
When riding her scooter, Emmy wore a white helmet with dark white-framed goggles with a black strap with a yellow stripe.
When cooking Emmy wore a white long-sleeved, collared shirt, a yellow apron, and a pale pink cap. She sometimes had her hair pulled back with a pink hairband instead of her cap.
In Luke's dream Emmy wore a long-sleeved scoop-neck pink gown with a wide darker pink ribbon tied around her waist and a white flower in her hair.
After the events of Azran Legacy, Emmy wore a loose-fitting white shirt with a collar and half sleeves tucked into dark gray shorts or pants, and a pale yellow sweater tied around her shoulders. She wore her hair in a ponytail.
Emmy Altava is a strong-willed young woman who loves taking pictures, and takes them whenever and wherever she can. She has a feisty side to her, but is usually very kind, caring and protective. She loves to tease with Luke about who's the number one assistant to the professor, and the two have a brother/sister type relationship. She is also a very nimble fighter, as seen in Last Specter and Eternal Diva.
Not much is known about Emmy's early life. She was raised by Leon Bronev, who taught her martial arts, and eventually joined Targent. As a teenager, Emmy was accused by a young boy of stealing his wallet and apprehended by Constable Grosky. Professor Layton was able to prove she was innocent. As the professor left Scotland Yard, Emmy tried asking his name, but he was already out of earshot. Grosky told her what it was and she noted that she would have to remember it.
Emmy was assigned by Dean Delmona to be Layton's assistant at Gressenheller University. Layton had already left for Misthallery by the time she arrived so she chased after him on her scooter, getting his attention by dangerously swerving in front of the Laytonmobile. Layton was unaware of her being his assistant as he hadn't had the time to speak with Delmona about it. Layton nevertheless accepted her as his assistant, and explained where they were headed and gave her Clark's letter to read and decode.
After they arrived in Misthallery, they went to Clark's house. Clark was delighted with Layton's visit, and further explained the mythology of the specter destroying Misthallery, but revealed that he had not written the letter. He also explained, when asked, that his wife Brenda was travelling and their son Luke had become very withdrawn as of late. Layton decides to speak with Luke in his room, and Emmy follows.
Layton and Emmy learned that Luke was the one who sent the letter, not Clark. Luke claimed that the specter destroying the town was an omen of the end of the world, much to Clark's frustration. Layton also worked out that Luke was the 'oracle' the townsfolk spoke of who predicted where and when the specter would attack, and sent the family butler Doland to warn the police. Layton convinced Luke to help him solve the mystery behind it all, and Emmy was quick to follow.
Based on Luke's predictions for that night, the three all headed to Great Ely Street. They then checked in to the Great Ely hotel. Luke showed them both around North Ely at Layton's request. However, as soon as they made it to Murray Street, Luke became side-tracked and started chasing a cat, which led them to a house in the woods. Emmy was the only one who went into this house, and she then met Granny Riddleton who told her that Keats would be keeping the puzzles they missed.
After dark at the hotel, they heard strange echoing music and suddenly saw the specter from the windows, destroying a nearby building. As Emmy took pictures of it, the specter then attacked them, leaving deep claw marks on the exterior of the hotel. After reassuring a worried Luke, they gave chase to the specter but were stopped by the thick fog that appeared with it. The person playing the music was also nowhere to be found as the music was equally loud everywhere they searched. Luke claimed that the source of this music was the 'Specter's Flute' of legend and recalled that it had been sold a while ago by Misthallery's black market. They resolve to find this black market the next day, and retire to the hotel.
The next day, the three investigated Misthallery's market for clues regarding the black market. Eventually, they find out from Aunt Taffy, whom had earlier refused to sell her candy to Emmy, that she was the lookout for the black market and that a regular customer of hers, Tweeds, knows more. However, when they went to speak to him in the market plaza, a cloaked, cackling figure jumped down from a rooftop in front of them, destroying a market stall, and then absconded. Emmy gave chase across the rooftops whilst Layton and Luke followed on the ground. None of them were able to catch the figure who demonstrated seemingly inhuman speed and agility.
The figure then confronted Layton in the plaza again and introduced itself as the Black Raven, head of the black market. It deemed the three worthy of accessing the market if they found four medals each with a part of a raven's body on them. They found them scattered around the market and presented them to Nabby who, after seeing the three put them together to form a raven allowed them access to a hidden tunnel to the black market.
Within the black market, the trio found Crow, leader of the Black Ravens. Crow informed the three that the flute had been sold to an Evan Barde, Misthallery's squire who had died the year before. He also mentions that Evan's daughter Arianna was feared by the townspeople as the 'witch of calamity' who brought harm upon anyone who spoke badly of her. Layton decided that they should visit Barde Manor to speak to her about the rumors and the flute.
The three headed to Barde Manor via Highyard Hill. They arrived at the manor only to be angrily shooed away by the one remaining employee of the Bardes: Seamus, the gardener. Layton and Emmy found it odd that there was a gardener yet the manor and grounds were falling into disrepair. Layton suspected that Seamus may be holding Arianna prisoner, so they found an alternative way into the manor via its tower and arch. In the main hall of the manor they found a picture of Arianna and her brother Tony from when they were younger.
Inside, they met Arianna, who was very hostile and bitter towards them. She stressed that she was indeed cursed and explained that Seamus was her guardian, not her captor. Luke tried to calm her down, reminiscing memories of when they first met and became friends at a party to no avail. Seamus then entered and ordered the three out of the manor.
They decided to question the locals of Highyard Hill about the Bardes. With assistance from Mimi and Tony's estranged friend Sean, they found and followed Seamus via boat to the market though they lost him upon arrival. None of the Black Ravens nor Taffy had seen Seamus when they asked around but a rich boy had earlier stocked up on groceries and candy. Before they could ask further they were alerted that the 'witch's mark' had appeared on somebody's house in eastern Misthallery. Upon investigation, the three found candy wrappers by the mark. Layton decided that they needed to go back to Barde Manor to find the perpetrator.
At the shore of the lake by Barde Manor, the three confronted Arianna and Seamus. Layton explained that Seamus was actually Tony in disguise, and that he had spread the witch rumors and painted the marks on the houses to protect Arianna. However, the two still refused to discuss the Specter's Flute. Layton decided not to press the issue further and so the three left.
On the way out of the manor's grounds, Luke confessed his fear that Clark was being manipulated by the specter, and such manipulation was part of how the specter would bring the world to an end - by ripping families and friends apart. He also felt that the specter was linked to Evan's death somehow. They went to go to Misthallery's police station to read the case files on Evan's death but were denied access as Chief Jakes was not present to give them permission. Emmy offered to go to Scotland Yard back in London to access their copies of the files, and also retrieve a research file and newspapers from Layton's office at Gressenheller, whilst Layton and Luke investigated the area further.
Upon arrival at Gressenheller, Emmy met Rosa in Layton's office, who helped her find the file and papers. She then headed to Scotland Yard to meet Inspector Grosky who had the authority to access the case file, but he had recently left to apprehend a criminal. After searching the streets of London and a museum, she returned to Scotland Yard in defeat. However, as she arrived, Grosky suddenly crashed through a window, wrestling with a criminal. Emmy helped him apprehend the criminal and then, with Inspector Chelmey and Barton's assistance, they found the case file in the Yard's archives. Barton also had Emmy's photos of the specter developed. Emmy thanked them all and left for Misthallery. Grosky followed on foot upon hearing that the town was under assault by the specter.
Meeting in Misthallery's library, they examine the files Emmy brought back. They learned that Evan fell from a cliff and he left all he had to Clark in his recently revised will. Clark was also the only witness of Evan's death. They went to speak to Chief Jakes about the case once he arrived back at the police station but he was uncooperative and demanded Layton and Emmy leave Misthallery within 24 hours.
They went back to Luke's home to question Clark about what he had seen. Clark was unable to shed any light on what he had seen, and suddenly asked Layton to pick a wine from the cellar when Doland announced dinner. The three found this odd as Layton did not have much experience with fine wines. After picking one, Doland entered the cellar and told them that Evan had been very unpopular with the townsfolk as he charged high rent on Misthallery's land. Now very suspicious about Evan's death, they headed back into town to investigate further.
However, before they could make any further inquiries, they were confronted by a group of thugs. Emmy quickly dealt with them, revealing herself as a skilled martial artist. The three figured that Jakes must have hired them, realizing that he has much power and influence in Misthallery than they first thought. Inspector Grosky soon turned up, pausing to tell the three that Jakes had been misleading him about the case before dashing off again.
Luke finally explained how he had been tracking the specter's attacks; the specter always appeared when the local canal water levels dropped, so he had a mouse friend called Toppy check the canals every day and report back to him. He handed Layton his notebook on the subject, which he used to predict that the specter would appear between Highyard Arch and the reservoir. Layton decided to set a trap for the specter with Greppe and the Black Ravens' help. The three went to wait at Highyard Arch after sundown for the specter to appear.
The specter appeared as planned. With the Black Ravens' help, the specter was tripped with rope so Layton could get a good look at it. Before Layton could have explained what he had seen to Emmy and Luke, the three were arrested by the police and taken to the station. With Toppy's help, they escaped and hurried to Barde Manor to hear the truth from Arianna.
Arianna revealed that she was indeed the owner of the flute, which she then used to summon Loosha from the lake. She explained that Loosha had been fighting the specter every time it appeared, appearing as one entity in the thick fog, and she played her flute into the town's old water pipes to try calm her down. Before Arianna could continue, she and Loosha were apprehended by the police. Layton resolved that, to save them both, they must find the real specter.
They rush to the old factory in south-eastern Misthallery. After dealing with the thugs from earlier and activating the final steel door with levers dotted about the factory, they finally encountered the 'specter'. Layton directed Emmy to go back to the Tritons' house whilst he and Luke prepared to reveal the truth to the people of Misthallery.
Emmy found Brenda and the real Doland Noble in a hidden passage in the Tritons' cellar, and brought them to the plaza where the denouement was taking place. The specter all along was actually an excavation machine. Jakes had forged Evan's will so Misthallery's land would be left to Clark, whom he then manipulated into keeping quiet by having Brenda and Doland kidnapped, the latter replaced by a doppelganger. This doppelganger turned out to be the real mastermind behind it all: Jean Descole. He had been searching for the fabled Golden Garden.
His plan revealed, Descole activated several other excavation machines which congregated in the plaza. These fused together into one massive machine and began attacking Loosha who had broken free from the net she was held in. Whilst Layton went with the Black Ravens to build a weapon to fight back, Emmy and Luke stayed behind to occupy Descole and cause the machine's legs to malfunction to keep it in the plaza. However, even after a direct strike from Layton and the Black Ravens' improvised catapult, the machine rebuilt itself and chased the three around the plaza. Just as Descole had them cornered, Loosha managed to break down the dam's first set of floodgates, causing a torrent of water to surge down towards the plaza and short-circuit the machine. After announcing that he had won anyway, Descole fled the scene.
Loosha headed towards the dam's primary floodgate, followed by the trio and Arianna and Tony. Despite having defeated Descole, she started beating down the gate. Unable to convince her to stop, the group took to higher ground as she broke the gate down and Misthallery was flooded. She then headed into the empty lake, where they found a strange sealed gate. They opened it and entered a passageway, finding the Golden Garden at the end of it.
Not long afterwards, Loosha collapsed in the garden's river and died from her injuries, much to Arianna and Tony's devastation. Layton explains that, as the garden had been sealed for millenia, its air was pure and it may be able to treat Arianna's illness. Luke realized that Loosha had revealed its location as a gift to Arianna to thank her and Tony for their friendship, as her parents too had died when she was young. Loosha knew that this wouldn't have been possible had Descole found the garden first. Realizing how closed off and hostile she had become because of her circumstances, Arianna thanked Loosha in turn and played the flute in Loosha's memory.
Afterwards, Layton, Emmy and Luke decided to keep the Golden Garden's discovery a secret until Arianna recovered. Layton figured that there are many more such mysteries awaiting him, at which Luke begged to go with him and Emmy as Layton's apprentice.
After dropping Layton and Luke off at the Crown Petone, she returned to London to investigate the case of the missing girl, which she felt may be related to Janice's story about meeting a girl claiming to be her deceased friend Melina. She met the girl's parents who gave her a picture of their daughter to help her investigation.
Emmy then visited Dr. Schrader to obtain information about Ambrosia, as he had contributed to the Crown Petone's Ambrosia-based decor. Schrader showed her a broken stone which had part of the Ambrosian seal carved into it and the only map depicting Ambrosia and where it was meant to be. They then watched the news broadcast on Schrader's television about the 'losers' of the game for eternal life arriving back in England via submarine. Emmy then took Schrader's map and rushed off without another word.
Emmy next appeared flying an airplane to Ambrosia. She picked up the shipwrecked Inspector Grosky on the way, who explained that two submarines had left the ship: one with the 'losers' and another headed towards the island.
When Luke and Janice tried to escape from Descole's guards in his castle, Emmy and Grosky showed up just in time to help them. Together they defeated all of Descole's guards. Layton then showed up with Nina, whom Emmy reassured that she would take her home to her parents. The grouped then rushed off to confront Whistler and Descole in the detragan room.
Emmy managed to save Amelia from having Melina's memories put into her head. Layton explained that Whistler had the detragan built by Descole to preserve Melina's personality after her death in the hope that another person could host them. All of Whistler's attempts so far to copy her personality to another girl's brain had failed, and the detragan could not hold her memories for much longer. He wrote the opera and played along with Descole's game for eternal life to lure more girls like Amelia to try again with. Layton's explanation was cut short when Whistler grabbed Luke and tried to copy Melina's personality to his brain in a last-ditch attempt. However, Janice had stolen the detragan key so it didn't work. Layton revealed that Janice was actually Melina in 'disguise'. As Janice had been Melina's friend, she subconsciously volunteered to host Melina's personality. Though Melina had enjoyed her second chance at life, she knew using Janice's body was wrong and had invited Layton in order to stop Whistler.
Descole then activated a massive moving platform and grabbed Melina, setting his wolves on the rest of the group. He explained that the Ambrosian seal contained two hidden songs: A Song of the Sea and A Song of the Stars. These were essential for finding the Ambrosian kingdom but Melina, the only one who knew A Song of the Sea, died before he had the opportunity to try it. This was why he helped Whistler. The platform then extended far above the castle, and Descole urged Melina to sing as he played A Song of the Stars on the detragan if she wanted to save her friends below. She did so but despite some small earthquakes, Ambrosia did not reveal itself. Emmy defeated the wolves meanwhile and helped the group escape as the room's floor collapsed. Ambrosia did not rise the second time Descole tried either so, in a fit of rage, he transformed the castle into the Detra-Gigant. Emmy escaped with the group to the ground.
She remained on the ground to comfort Whistler as Layton and Luke flew up in Layton's flying contraption to save Melina.
When Layton, Luke and Melina jumped from the Detra-Gigant as it fell into the sea, she rushed to Luke to check if he was injured. She then witnessed Melina's final farewell whilst sat with a sleepy Nina.
After reading Angela's letter, and demonstrating her unusual knowledge about the Mask of Chaos, she went with Layton and Luke to Monte d'Or to investigate the Masked Gentleman. She conducted her own inquiry about the Gentleman's previous miracles whilst Layton and Luke watched the parade. Once she heard about the petrification miracle during the parade, she rushed off to find Layton and Luke. Using twohorses and a donkey abandoned by the parade, they chased after the Gentleman who had gained wings and was flying across the city. The chase was cut short when he dropped smoke bombs on them and disappeared, leaving behind only his cloak.
Emmy shared her findings about the Gentleman with Layton and Luke, explaining that he began appearing roughly a month prior and that the police had no leads on the case. They briefly examined the carnival square and arcade for clues before deciding to speak to Angela. Close to the gates of Ledore Mansion, they were held up by Frankie and Conner, whom Layton outwitted in their con-artistry.
Emmy accompanies Professor Layton and Luke on their voyage across the world, after being invited by Desmond Sycamore.
In the end, it is revealed that she was working for the Targent agency all along, gathering information on Layton for her 'uncle' Bronev. Ashamed at her deceit to the professor, Emmy decides to leave her role as the Professor's assistant because now that her mission is over, she has no reason to stay. She states that she may return eventually, but only if she feels worthy of having such a title.
She tells the professor that Luke is more than worthy to take over her position before walking to the door. However, she turns back to embrace Hershel one last time before she makes her exit. She later become photographer for the World Times, traveling to various countries under the supervision of Dariya Kolum.
Relationship with Leon Bronev
Emmy was raised by Leon Bronev, who treated her with kindness and even taught her martial arts. As he was the only family she had, Emmy thought of him as an uncle and even described him once as "all I have in this world". As Emmy grew up she began to notice a change in her uncle. He became more and more obessed with the Azran and his methods became increasingly cruel. Emmy had hopes that the Professor could reform her uncle, but she remained ultimately loyal to him, which led to her betrayal of Layton in the Azran sanctuary. Emmy stayed by her uncle's side, she was even willing to test out an Azran trap for him, until she left him to help Layton stop the golems. Later, Emmy watched in silence as Bronev was arrested.