"A mysterious letter sent from the future warns Professor Layton of an imminent threat to London! Could this be linked to the mysterious disappearance of the prime minister in the accident at the time machine presentation? Join Professor Layton and Luke in an epic and thrilling journey through time, uncover secrets from the professor's past and help him face his toughest opponent yet - himself!"
Professor Layton and his apprentice Luke are sitting on a bus, chatting about a letter that Layton had received recently. Apparently it is from the Future Luke Triton. It says:
I hope this letter finds you well. As for me, I am in quite a predicament. You see, the London we know and love has been thrown into absolute chaos. To complicate matters, the calamity I speak of does not take place in your time. This may be difficult to believe, but I am writing to you from 10 years in the future. I know this is a lot to take in, but I'll explain it all soon. For now, I ask that you head to the clock shop on Midland Road in Baldwin. I look forward to seeing you again.
Your student, Luke Triton
Professor Layton seems to believe that this was connected to an event that happened the week before. The event in question is the display of a time machine by the scientist Dr. Alain Stahngun. Stahngun convinces Prime Minister Bill Hawks to take part in the demonstration. Bill Hawks gives an address about Time travel then steps into the time machine which, after starting up, explodes. All of the scientists involved, Stahngun himself, and Hawks all vanish without a trace.
Professor Layton and Luke head to a Clock Shop on Midland Road, as directed by the letter that they had received. When they make their way to the back room of the Shop, they find an enormous clock. Cogg, the shop owner, then activates the clock, causing the floor to shake heavily for some reason. When the Professor and Luke run outside, they cannot believe their eyes in what they see.
Chapter 1: Is This The Future?
Since the door to the clock shop is now locked, they decide to explore the town in order to find answers; wondering if they could possibly really be in a Future London.
They stop by Anita's Place, where Luke receives a Picture Book from Alfie as a reward for solving his puzzle. A little while later, they find an abandoned shop, where they meet Granny Riddleton, who offers them to keep track of their puzzles once more.
After making their way to the bus stop, which is now out of service, a postman hands them another letter from future Luke. The letter essentially voices that future Luke knows that Professor Layton is skeptical of this future London, and gives them directions to a hospital where he can find some definite proof that they are in the future.
Professor Layton and Luke decide to first look for a Hotel in case they have to stay longer than expected. It doesn't take long before they find Hotel Duke, where they take a room. They ask Becky, the hotel maid, for directions to the subway station so they can go to the hospital. When they are about to leave, Luke is given the Toy Car by the hotel's owner, Margaret, because she doesn't see young kids in her hotel very often.
After they arrive at Flatstone Street, they take the train to Auckland Lane, where the hospital is. When they enter the room as future Luke told them to, they are greeted by an aged Dr. Schrader. He tells Layton that there have been some fishy rumors about him lately, but that he doesn't believe any of them. He also gives him the keys to the Laytonmobile. Inside the the now old and damaged car, they find instructions to meet Future Luke at the Gilded 7 Casino.
Chapter 2: A Boy Named Luke
While heading for the casino, Professor Layton passes by what seems to be a familiar face. A mysterious woman walks by them, and Layton stops for a moment. Luke asks him what's up, but the professor says it's probably nothing.
After convincing the guard to let them in the Gilded 7 Casino, they finally meet Future Luke, who immediately challenges Layton to a Puzzle Battle to prove his identity. Future Luke explains that this is necessary because many people have been going around town posing themselves as the professor.
Of course, the professor manages to convince Future Luke and they head to a back room. Here, Future Luke explains what happened to the town years ago: an evil genius emerged and overthrew the London government, ruling the city of London with an iron fist. This genius was obsessed with time travel, and teamed up with Dr. Stahngun to create a working time machine. He is not, as Luke suspects, Don Paolo, but the Future Professor Layton.
The evil Professor Layton from the future is feared by many people, and he still wears his top hat as his main image. Therefore many people become very uncomfortable when passing by Professor Layton. He is also the leader of a group called the Family, a crime organization in Future London.
They head back into the main casino, where Professor Layton is spotted by Bostro, a high-ranking member of the Family. Bostro finds it suspicious that Layton is dressing up like his boss, and commands several Family Goons to open fire upon them. Professor Layton and Future Luke manage to construct a gun out of broken slot machine parts, debilitate their attackers and the trio manages to escape.
Chapter 3: The Enigmatic Future
Future Luke tells Professor Layton and "little" Luke that one of his acquaintances is waiting for them in the restaurant, so they decide to go there next. When they arrive, they meet up with Shipley, the postman from before. He tells them that the future Layton has a base in the Towering Pagoda in Chinatown. Unfortunately, it is heavily guarded, so they decide to split up to increase their chances of finding a way in.
Professor Layton and Luke start heading in the direction of Chinatown, but the professor spots the mysterious woman from before and runs after her. Unfortunately, she goes around the corner and disappears. Professor Layton then explains that the woman looks similar to his old sweetheart, Claire, who died ten years ago in a failed experiment. A small flashback is shown with Layton giving her a gold pocket-watch while having dinner, chatting about their future together if he managed to get a job as a professor.
Back on their way to Chinatown, they spot a man in a white lab coat. The man soon leaves and they notice that he leaves footprints. They wonder why the man is walking around with wet shoes, but decide to find out another time. After a while, they arrive at the Thames, where Layton spots a Lighthouse that wasn't there before. Not much later, they spot another man in a lab coat. When they realize that he also leaves footprints however, he has already gone out of sight.
When they finally arrive at the entrance of Chinatown, they find out it is sealed off by a giant door, which is guarded by two Family members. The two guards look very similar to Inspector Chelmey and Barton, which reminds the professor that he wanted to ask Chelmey something. Future Luke catches up with them and informs them that it is possible for them to go back to their time using the time machine in the clock shop.
Chapter 4: Back to the Present
Professor Layton, Luke and Future Luke decide to head back to the Clock Shop so they can travel back to the present. When they get back to the Thames, Professor Layton ask Future Luke when the Lighthouse was built. Future Luke tells them that it was around five years ago. When the professor asks why they built it however, Future Luke avoids the question by stating they should go back to the clock shop.
When they are about to leave, they spot a troubled man and ask him what's up. He tells them that a Parrot stole his best cuff-links and he needs them back. Luke and his future self manage to attract the parrot with a bright red gem, after which Luke befriends the parrot. They hand back the cuff-links and take the parrot with them.
After making their way to Midland Road, Future Luke tells Professor Layton and Luke that he heard a rumor of a special flower that attracts puzzles. They decide to check it out and head to the Abandoned Shop they visited earlier. Here, they find the flower and a small bee, who introduces himself as Beasly. Beasly tells them that he will keep track on their puzzles from now on.
After their small detour, they finally arrive at the clock shop. Future Luke learns them the secret knock that lets them access the shop. He then says that he will stay in the future, so Professor Layton and Luke head back to present-day London without him. Before going to visit Chelmey, Professor Layton says that he'd like to visit his office at Gressenheller University.
Chapter 5: The Forgotten Case
After arriving at Gressenheller, they discover that Flora has been waiting for Professor Layton in his office. Flora is upset that Layton and Luke went off on an adventure without her again. As she goes off to prepare some tea and cucumber sandwiches for the three of them, Layton decides that with The Family and all the uncertainties surrounding this case, it'd be best to leave her behind, so he finds the book that he needs and rushes out the door with Luke before Flora returns.
With the information the professor needed, they head to Scotland Yard where they talk with Inspector Chelmey about the events that occurred during the explosion of the previous time machine. Layton explains that he thinks that this event and the explosion from ten years ago are connected somehow. He then asks for access to the files from the incident so he can verify a hunch. Chelmey eventually allow them to enter the archives, and Layton manages to find the info he needed.
He then tells Chelmey that he believes that Bill Hawks is being held captive in the future. Chelmey is baffled, but Layton doesn't have time to explain the entire situation as Cogg is waiting for them.
Chapter 6: Traveling Companions?
Despite Chelmey's protests, Professor Layton and Luke leave Scotland Yard and head back towards the Clock Shop. They head to the back of the shop and prepare to head back to the future, but suddenly Chelmey and Barton crash in and demand an explanation from Layton. Flora seems to have tailed the group as well as she comes storming in the shop, angered that Layton and Luke left her behind again. Layton asks Cogg if he can remove them all from the shop before returning to the future, but Cogg says there is no time and activates the time machine, throwing everyone into future London.
Chelmey and Barton are baffled at first, but then decide to conduct their own investigation, so Professor Layton, Luke, and Flora head off by themselves. They decide to first meet up with Shipley in the restaurant. On their way there, they run into Stachenscarfen, who somehow also made it to the future. He asks Luke to use his parrot to make deliveries to various people in London.
Before going to the restaurant, they take a small detour to the hotel in order to explain the situation to Flora. On their way back out, they run into Dean Delmona, whose hair is now gray from old age. This detail makes Layton pause for a moment, but then says it is not important right now.
They arrive at the restaurant, where they are told by Shipley to meet future Luke at the shrine in the park up north. After unlocking the shrine with a puzzle, Future Luke tells them about his plan to enter Chinatown: they will use the parrot to imitate Bostro's voice so the guards will go away.
Chapter 7: Chinatown
The group heads to the casino in order to find Bostro so they can record his voice with the parrot. Luckily, he happens to be outside the casino, where he is yelling against one of the Family goons. After hearing him yell, the parrot is able to mimic his voice perfectly.
Using the parrot, they manage to fool the guards, and are able to open the door to Chinatown. After a little bit of exploration, they make their way to the back of the town. Here, they are stopped by Ward, who tells them that future Layton is currently away, so he can't let them in. While waiting for future Layton to return, the group decides to gather some more information on him in the mean time.
In the library, they run into a man who appears to be in a great hurry. Flora notices that his trousers and shoes are completely soaked, but before they can interrogate him, he has already gone off. A little while later, they find Beasly in a house on the edge of Chinatown. As soon as he starts to talk however, he is swatted by Puzzlette, who is apparently Granny Riddleton's granddaughter. She tells them that she is Granny Riddleton's successor and that she will keep track of their puzzles from now on.
After some more searching, they get some valuable information from Rudolph, who tells them that the future Layton seems to like walking along the Thames. He also tells them about the Thames Arms, a restaurant by the river, which the group makes their next destination.
Chapter 8: A Meeting by the River
On their way to the Thames Arms, Professor Layton and company run into a talking rabbit, who names himself Subject 3. He tells them that he was a test subject in a laboratory, which is how he got the ability to talk. When Luke tells him that he is very unfortunate, the rabbit simply tells him that life is hard and asks them to leave him alone.
They enter the Thames Arms, where they are greeted by the bartender. He tells them that a strange man wearing a top hat frequently visits the Thames Arms, but that he already left earlier. The group decides to head back to Chinatown in the hope of finding him.
Outside the Thames Arms, they find Barton looking through the window. Barton tells them he was just looking to get a quick snack, and to not tell Chelmey about it.
Chapter 9: The Master of the Towering Pagoda
Professor Layton and company make their way back to Chinatown, but are again stopped by Ward. Ward informs them that future Layton has returned, but that only those who can solve his puzzle may go through the gate. After some quick puzzle solving by Professor Layton, they are granted access.
Right before they enter the Towering Pagoda, Layton goes off for an unknown reason, but returns shortly. They climb the tower and finally meet future Layton. It turns out that Future Layton is actually Dr. Stahngun who is better known as Dimitri Allen. It is revealed that Dimitri posed as future Layton in order to lure the real Layton to future London. Like that, he would be able to use his memories to recreate the failed experiment from 10 years before the present. This would allow him to travel back in time and to save Claire.
Dimitri then reveals that he has taken Bill Hawks hostage. Some bars emerge from the ground and imprison everyone in a cage. Unexpectedly, Professor Layton suddenly removes his hat to reveal he was actually Don Paolo in disguise. The real Professor Layton then appears outside of the cage. After Layton opens up the cage, Dimitri manages to escape with the prime minister, and activates an alarm to alert all his men.
The group manages to find a secret passage through which they can escape. Unfortunately, the tunnel is very small, so they decide to split in two groups in order to get out quickly. Future Luke and Flora go on ahead, followed by the group of Professor Layton, Luke and Don Paolo. Once outside, Luke asks Don Paolo why he is helping them, to which he simply replies that they both want the same answers. The Professor then explains how he recognized Don Paolo while he was disguised as Dr. Schrader in the hospital, and that he asked him for help. It is revealed that Don Paolo also had feelings for Claire, which is why he accepted to help.
Chapter 10: Across the Thames
Don Paolo leaves the professor's group in order to work on a project. Professor Layton and Luke head back to the hotel, where Flora is waiting for them. She says that Future Luke has already left when something important came up.
Inspector Chelmey then comes in to tell them that he saw someone resembling Claire. Professor Layton asks him whether Claire has any relatives, so Chelmey says that he will check her files. Before the inspector leaves, he asks if they have seen Barton, to which Luke replies that they didn't.
On their way out the hotel, Professor Layton asks Becky if there is a way to cross the Thames. She says there is a bridge, but it is too far away to be useful. Margaret then interrupts them and tells the group about a tunnel that leads to the other side. Unfortunately, the Family closed it down, but Grafton may still know a way in. They decide to head to the Black Market, which is where Grafton can usually be found.
Professor Layton remembers seeing Grafton before and asks Luke whether he remembers him as well. But as he does so, they find out that Luke has gone missing. Professor Layton and Flora eventually find him near a statue. Luke then tells Layton that he is sad because his father told him that they would need to move to another place. The professor tells him not to worry as true friends share a special connection with each other.
After informing Luke about the tunnel under the Thames and making the possible connection with the wet clothes of the scientists, they continue to the Black Market to find Grafton. Grafton tells them that there is a door that leads to the tunnel on the river bank near the Thames Arms.
Professor Layton, Luke and Flora find the door and manage to open it by solving the puzzle it contains. Once they enter the tunnel, they notice it has been partially flooded, which explains the wet shoes of the scientists. Despite the complaints from Flora, they manage to cross the tunnel, and find a hidden research facility on the other side.
Chapter 11: The Time Machine Facility
When they walk up to the door, they see that it is locked with a puzzle. Flora shows that she can also solve puzzles, and they enter the facility. Almost immediately, they run into Don Paolo, who claims that the puzzle was set there by him. When asked how he got there earlier than them, Don Paolo doesn't want to tell them, so they move on.
With Don Paolo in tow, they make it to the heart of the facility. Unfortunately, they are detected by the Family. Just when they are about to be caught, the mysterious woman appears and helps them though a door on the side. The woman introduces herself as Celeste, Claire's younger sister. She is also trying to find out what happened to Claire in the accident.
However, the Family soon catches up with them and they are forced to flee the facility. The group decides to split up, with Don Paolo and Celeste going on ahead to increase their chances. Celeste tells Layton that they will meet at the "old father's embrace". Once outside, Layton tells Luke that it refers to Old Father Thames, and that they need to go back to the Thames Arms.
Chapter 12: The Truth Revealed
Back on the other side of the Thames, they find Inspector Chelmey and Barton, who decide to accompany the group to the Thames Arms. Right outside the Thames Arms, they also find Future Luke, who was apparently shadowing Celeste. They enter the restaurant, where they find Don Paolo, Celeste and the barkeeper.
Professor Layton goes on to explain everyone what he has discovered. He reveals that future London is fake, and that it was only used to make them think they were in the future. The back of the clock shop is actually a giant elevator leading underground.
The barkeeper is then unmasked as Dimitri Allen. Dimitri tells them that he planted bombs under the Thames Arms, and that only he knows where they are. He gives Professor Layton a map of the Thames Arms, which the latter uses to find out there are no bombs after all, and that Dimitri just wanted to distract them.
With nowhere left to run, Dimitri tells the entire story: 10 years ago, he worked together with Claire and Bill Hawks on the time machine. Bill wanted to use Claire as a test subject, but Dimitri opposed the idea. He later discovered that there was a flaw in the design, but it was already too late: Bill activated the machine and it exploded, killing Claire and several others. Bill, however, used the enormous amount of money he received for the experiment to become the prime minister. Dimitri wanted to build a time machine to stop the accident from happening.
After he finishes his story, Professor Layton asks him whether he knows he was being used by someone else. Dimitri is shocked by this. The professor then reveals the full truth: Future Luke, who is actually named Clive, used Dimitri as a pawn in his own plan. Clive's parents lived next door to the time machine experiment, and they were also killed. Clive was then adopted by a wealthy woman, Constance Dove. Unfortunately, she passed away five years later, but left her entire fortune to Clive. Using this fortune, Clive was then able to construct future London.
With his identity revealed, Clive kidnaps Flora and flees to the lighthouse in the middle of the Thames. Not too long afterwards, an enormous machine emerges from below the river.
Chapter 13: The Stronghold of Madness
The massive fortress begins crushing the future London. Professor Layton and Luke get into the Laytonmobile, which was rebuilt and slightly modified by Don Paolo, and manage to enter the fortress. After some puzzles and messing with the elevator, they find Flora in the ventilation room and rescue her.
They head to the surveillance room to stop Clive, but the latter escapes and uses various chains to pull the whole structure up to the real London. Then Celeste comes aboard using Don Paolo's flying machine. She tells them that in order to stop the machine, they must to head to the generator room. When they arrive, they find that Bill Hawks has been wired to the generator, and that his heartbeat prevents the entire fortress from exploding. Professor Layton manages to free him by using an old watch to simulate his heartbeat, and wiring it to the generator.
Unfortunately, the watch will only last for a few minutes, so they need to come up with a plan. Celeste bring up the idea to reverse the power flow of the generator, so that the fortress will slowly destroy itself.
Epilogue: The Unwound Future
Professor Layton manages to reverse the energy flow of the machine by switching some gears in the generator. This causes the entire fortress to start collapsing. Clive gets hit by a breaking pipe while trying to escape and falls unconscious.
Meanwhile, Professor Layton, Luke, Flora, Celeste, and Bill Hawks fall from the sky in the Laytonmobile. Layton remembers what Don Paolo said, and presses a button that the latter added which "would get them out of trouble". They Laytonmobile suddenly gains wings and a huge propeller, allowing it to fly. The roof of the mobile retracts, and Bill Hawks nearly falls out because he isn't wearing his seatbelt, but Flora and Celeste pull him back in.
Celeste pleads to Layton to let her save Clive, who she sees unconscious in the control room. Layton flies to the fortress and Celeste leaps out. After landing safely on the ground and getting everybody out, he then goes back to the malfunctioning machine which is about to explode. He rescues Celeste and Clive, just before it falls into the hole to future London, where it explodes.
Clive thanks Layton for saving his life a second time like he did before. He tells hims that he was the young boy that Layton saved 10 years ago. He is then arrested by Inspector Chelmey on command of Bill Hawks.
Dimitri walks to Professor Layton to talk about the recent events and tells him he missed one crucial detail: it turns out that Claire does not have any younger sisters, as confirmed by Chelmey, and that Celeste is actually Claire herself. The time machine appears to have actually worked for a split-second, and had sent Claire ten years into the future, the present, a moment before it exploded.
Unfortunately, the time machine is not able to support Claire in the present, so she would ultimately go back to the moment of the blast. Dimitri had been working in the "future" London trying to rebuild the time machine so he could save her, but had failed. He then says that he has given up on trying to mess with time.
Professor Layton and Claire make one last goodbye. Claire tells Layton that she has to go back to her own time to seal her fate, as the time machine is very unstable. Layton refuses to let her go, but she says that 'he must stay strong, as that is what a gentleman does', She also tells him that she'll miss him and their "Unwound Future". She kisses him goodbye, and walks off down an alley. Luke runs to follow her, but she had disappeared. Layton turns away from Luke, takes his hat off and stares at the sky, broken-hearted about losing Claire again.
In the end, the scene shows Luke, who is about to board a ship with his parents. As he says goodbye to Professor Layton, he starts crying. The professor tells him that "a gentleman never makes a scene in public". Luke shouts that he is not a gentleman yet, and wails in Layton's arms. Layton then watches the ship as it sails to the horizon. Several months later, Professor Layton receives a letter from Luke telling him about a new mystery near his town.
An outside composer, Ann Sally, was brought in to compose the game's ending theme, Time Travel. There are three versions; one with Japanese vocals, one played on piano, and one with the vocals replaced by a saxophone solo. The latter appears in Unwound Future, though it was renamed A Journey Through Time for Lost Future.
This is the first (and currently only) time in the Professor Layton series that Layton takes off his hat, not including the flashbacks where he didn't have his hat yet.
In the game trailers, when the title is shown in front of a clock, the clock is inscribed with the words "Spring and Cogg Timepieces", referring to the owners of the Midland Road clock shop, Spring and Cogg.
This is one of the only two games in the series to receive an USK rating of 6. The other game being Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy. Coincidentally, both games are the last game of their respective trilogies.