Professor Hershel Layton (usually referred to as just Professor Layton) is the main character of the Professor Layton series, first appearing in the Nintendo DS video game Professor Layton and the Curious Village. In the series he is a professor of archeology at the fictional Gressenheller University in the United Kingdom. He has a curiosity for just about anything, and is capable of solving nearly any puzzle. He is always in the mood for a cup of tea, and is always seen with his trademark top hat on.
In Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Hershel is asked to come to the village known as St. Mystere. Upon arriving, he is requested to search for the Golden Apple, which will give the person who finds it his most precious inheritance of Baron Augustus Reinhold, who had died shortly before Layton was summoned. With the assistance of Luke, the self-titled apprentice, the two solve hundreds of puzzles all which lead to finding the apple. However, as the story progresses more people start to disappear or even die around town, and the duo themselves are nearly killed by a Ferris Wheel that came rolling towards them like a boulder. Eventually they learn that the source of all of the mysterious disappearances come from a building stationed in the town, and enter it where they find a girl named Flora Reinhold. Once the evil Don Paolo knows of their presence, he escapes in a helicopter and destroys the building, though Layton, Luke, and Flora all manage to escape. Layton looks down at Fora and notices a birthmark in the shape of an apple, indicating that she was Baron Augustus Reinhold's treasure, and that whoever managed to find her possessed the ability to be her legal guardian.
- Professor Layton and the Curious Village
"An unabashed puzzle fanatic, Hershel Layton's skill for cracking the toughest riddles has put his name in the papers many times. His trademark hat fits him so well, you'd swear that it was part of his body."
- Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box
"His two passions are solving puzzles and enjoying a good cup of tea. While his job is teaching archeology, he is also quite the fencer. Many wander what's under the hat, but only the professor knows the answer to that mystery."
- Professor Layton and the Unwound Future
"Though his main passions are solving puzzles and enjoying a nice cup of tea, Hershel Layton is also a highly regarded archeology professor.His most prized possession is the top hat that was given to him by his sweetheart, Claire"
- Professor Layton and the Last Specter
"Though his main passions are solving puzzles and enjoying a nice cup of tea, Hershel Layton is also a highly regarded archeology professor.He confesses that he frequently falls into the habit of reading a book or two while trying to organise his shelves."
- Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle
"The perfect gentleman, Hershel Layton's main passions are solving puzzles and enjoying a nice cup of tea. The daring escapades of his best friend Randall led him to be the highly regarded archaelogy professor he is today. Though, even he admits he's a tad disorganized."
"Pampered an adored by the people of Stansbury. the earnest 17-years-old Layton is a bookworm and a keen fencer. His archaelogical interest at this stage of his life is somewhat lacking, though it's clear that he doesn't entirely dislike being dragged from pillar to post by Randall."
- Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
"The perfect gentleman, Hershel Layton's main passions are solving puzzles and enjoying a nice cup of tea. Despite discovering he is a part of the Bronev family by birth, he will only ever answer to the name Layton. His triumph over Targent brings him worldwide recognition."