Top-hatted mystery-solver extraordinaire, Professor Hershel Layton, has astounded fans of hand-hand console puzzle games by admitting that, despite his impressive track record in unravelling conundrums, he has yet to decipher the workings of his 1995 Hitachi AX-13 video cassette recorder.
‘Solving the strange case of the Curious Village was child’s play compared to getting that bloody thing to work’, revealed the professor of archaeology at London-based Gressenheller University. ‘I’m ashamed to say that thanks to my inability to master the arcane art of programming, I’ve missed practically every episode of Countdown. It’s just no good – there’s no facility to save one’s progress, read all the hints and then reload like I normally do when I get stuck and I’ve even tried looking up the answers in the internet, but this is one conundrum I just can’t crack.’
In reaction to the storm of anger and derision that this admission has provoked, Layton’s apprentice Luke Triton has stepped in to defend his mentor. ‘The Professor is not as young as he used to be and brainteasers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in today’s technological age. Plus the AX-13 is a notoriously difficult machine to operate, especially when you factor in the switchover from analogue to digital. I’ve suggested scrapping the thing for a decent Blu-Ray recorder or PVR, but when Professor Layton gets his teeth into a riddle he refuses to give up – he didn’t switch from Betamax to VHS until 1991.’
In a last-ditch attempt to solve the Annoying Case of the Non-User-Friendly Video Recorder, Layton has admitted to seeking professional help among the eggheads at the prestigious Big Brain Academy. ‘In desperation I contacted fellow puzzleologist Dr. Kawashima,’ he revealed. ‘But when he opened the door he just sneered and said ‘it’s been six months since you last came to see me – let’s see what your brain age is now eh?’ in that sarky tone of his. I’ve a good mind to give up puzzles altogether and try something a little less cerebral – does anyone have any batteries for a Wii-Fit balance board? I’ve got one gathering dust on top of the wardrobe.’