- "Belduke" redirects here. For the family itself, see Belduke (family).
|Alas, it is time for me to put my pen down. My dear friend, what I truly wish to express to you is too complicated for words. I hope one day you'll understand. But for now, I bid you farewell. The time has come for me to go.|
Newton Belduke was an alchemist living in Labyrinthia until his death three months before Hershel Layton and Phoenix Wright's arrival. An old friend of Arthur Cantabella and the father of Eve Belduke, Newton was a kind man who took in Jean Greyerl as a young girl after she attempted to take her own life.
Newton, Arthur, and the Bell of Ruin
Newton Belduke grew up in a small town with his childhood friend, Arthur Cantabella. One day, they stumbled across underground ruins from an ancient civilization. It was here that they found a large silver bell on an altar, which they believed would bring prosperity to the town. The two men continued their studies so they could help their town prosper.
Newton and Arthur eventually found themselves wives and each had a daughter: Newton had Eve and Arthur had Espella. Newton went on to extract a special anesthetic from local plants, with the ensuing product bringing in a huge profit, and the pair created Labrelum Inc., a company that sold many types of medicine. The two men later brought the bell out of the ruins and placed it in a bell tower inside their town, still believing that it would bring them prosperity.
The Legendary Fire
- Main article: Legendary Fire
On the night of the town's annual fire festival, Newton and Arthur returned to the ruins and made a shocking discovery. An ancient inscription stated that the bell was a harbinger of ruin and thus not must be rung. They rushed back to town, only to find it ablaze. Despite a frantic search, they found only two survivors, Eve and Espella, who had been in the bell tower during the fire. The two men eventually figured out that Eve had rung the bell, but she had blocked the memory due to shock, with Espella blaming herself for the fire and being the Great Witch Bezella (a character from a book her father had read to her). To help the child, the Beldukes aided Arthur in acting out stories of witches being brought to justice. This led to Project Labyrinthia, with a new medieval-style town called Labyrinthia being built on the ruins of the old settlement. New residents were brought in who had signed a contract with Labrelum Inc. that resulted in their memories being wiped of their old life. Arthur became "the Storyteller", Newton became the town's "alchemist", and Eve became "High Inquisitor Darklaw". They covered the bell tower with a material designed to be invisible to the townsfolk, as they feared that it would trigger Espella's memories of the fire.
As an alchemist, Newton provided medicine for the people of the town, with his patients including Emeer Punchenbaug and Cecil. He also recommended that the orphaned Lettie Mailer begin work as a courier. After rescuing Jean Greyerl from drowning herself in the river and learning about her status as a "witch", he allowed her to stay with him, but under the guise of a male butler in order to draw attention away from her (as, according to the town's lore, only females could be witches). He also paid the rent for her parents, who agreed to let her stay with him.
One stormy evening, around three months before the arrival of Hershel Layton and Phoenix Wright in Labyrinthia, a lightning strike destroyed the cloth that was keeping the bell tower "invisible", thereby revealing it to everyone. Newton witnessed this in the Town Square with Greyerl, and he became terrified that his past was coming back to haunt him. His personality began to change, and eventually, he had had enough of the lies.
He began writing a letter to Arthur in which he expressed his guilt, stated that he had no choice but to take his own life, and asking his friend to take care of everything. Finally, after Greyerl brought him his nightly drink of tomato juice, Newton completed the letter, locked himself up in his study, and died after drinking a bottle of poison.
However, Newton's letter never reached the Storyteller, as Greyerl had stolen it after mistakenly believing that Newton had intended to expose her as a witch. She also believed that she strangled him to death, as she had strangled his (unbeknownst to her) already dead body when she had stolen the letter.
Newton's death would act as the catalyst to drive his daughter to begin plotting against the Storyteller as revenge.
- The name "Newton" comes the Old English for "new town", which could be a reference to the town of Labyrinthia being built on the ruins of the old town destroyed in the Legendary Fire. Alternatively, it may come from the surname of the English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, and natural philosopher Sir Issac Newton, as both were noted men of science.
- "Belduke" may come from "bell", in reference to the Bell of Ruin atop the Bell Tower.
- His French first name "Hennig" is a variation of "Hemming", which may be derived from the Old Norse "hamr" meaning "shape" and is believed to have once been used as a nickname for shape-changers. This could be intended to tie his name into the supernatural themes of the game.
- His German name, "Léonard de Victoire", may be derived from that of the Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci. "Leonard" is a given name meaning "brave lion", while "Victoire" is ultimately derived from the Latin word "victor". Since "de" means "of" in various languages, his full name would literally mean "brave lion of victory". This may be an ironic reference to the fact that he wasn't "brave" enough to continue with Project Labyrinthia. Alternatively, Léonard could be a reference to Leonard of Noblac, the patron of prisoners, referring to him taking care of Jean Greyerl, a witch, despite her kind being condemned by the townsfolk.
- Aside from the victims of the Legendary Fire, Newton Belduke is the only "victim" in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney to be actually confirmed as deceased.