(More) Design Trivia from The World of PL!
With regards to Aurora’s design, Nagano states:
‘I was aiming for a design that would make Aurora stand out as a unique and special individual, even within the often unusual cast of the “Professor Layton” series -’
(Flora, Arianna and Aurora edit from @forbodium‘s post)
0_o …Well, in Aurora’s defence, I think she was intentionally meant to resemble Flora, right down to her having a similar ponytail and colour scheme in her ‘street’ disguise. As for the resemblance to Arianna (especially with the eyes), uuuhhh… you could make an argument about how Arianna is somewhat linked to the Golden Garden - and the Azran by extension - but that’s very farfetched. (Most of the Azran linked characters seem to have ginger or blonde hair, but we’ll leave that for another day.)
Aurora might be my favourite character, but I’ll be the first to admit she doesn’t have the most unique design. By this point, we’re six games (and one movie) in to the PL series, so we can forgive some repetition from the developers. Like Janice, Aurora’s most distinct feature is probably her eyes, because they look so otherworldly. Her bun and pink lips are a nice touch, though they’re very reminiscent of Lady Dahlia…
Once again, you can chalk this up to Aurora’s supposed similarity to Flora (and by extension, Flora’s mother and Lady Dahlia).
Nagano continues by saying:
‘..The more detailed aspects like her age took longer to decide because I was warned against making her too similar to characters like Emmy and Angela.’
Another reason why Aurora resembles Arianna and Flora is due to their ages. Aurora was intentionally made to appear younger, and to pass as a ‘normal’ (Azran) girl. It makes it all the more depressing and shocking when Bronev stabs her, and we find out that she’s actually a golem.
Yes, this is a good twist, but I personally would’ve liked to have seen a golem version of Aurora at some point. (There has been some awesome fanart of Golem Aurora posted lately!) Imagine if Aurora had transformed when the Azran Legacy was unleashed!
But maybe that would’ve been too outlandish even by PL standards. And in making someone more robot-like, one could argue that it reduces the empathy we have for a character.
From Nagono’s quote, it’s clear that he realises how recycled the designs could get by the time Azran Legacy came out. In his defence, he did make sure Aurora had a different appearance to Angela or Emmy…
While she looks more like Flora and Arianna, neither of those characters had appeared for 2 games.
So, Level 5 are aware that many of their female characters have a 'template’ design. That’s a start. Now, they just need to incorporate this into Layton’s Mystery Journey and future instalments.
(Once again, I hope this post hasn’t been overly critical of Nagago’s designs. Many of these are his designs, so he can do what he likes at the end of the day, and we should respect his creative choices. But at the same time, there’s nothing wrong with discussing these designs or hoping for more diversity in the Layton series.)