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Take moments specific to Apollo Justice or Investigations to those pages, please.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

  • The Woosleyized name of Redd White CEO of Bluecorp is chock full of meaning. For one his status as Corrupt Corporate Executive and Mia's murderer means that he's turned into a very effective example of a Type 2 Eaglelander. But then we meet Godot who blames Phoenix for failing to protect Mia. He is incapable of seeing Red on White AKA: putting the blame on who it actually belongs.
  • After the third case, Edgeworth introduces himself to Will Powers as a "fan". Phoenix believes it's just flattery, and on a first playthrough, the player probably will, too. But as you play the later games and get to know Edgeworth better, you'll see that he rarely (if ever) engages in flattery. It eventually becomes very clear to anyone paying attention (especially in Investigations) that he was dead serious when he said he was a fan.
    • Sort of a Reverse Tearjerker, but considering Edgeworth's past... this is probably the only childish thing he's been able to enjoy since nine.
  • This really covers the entire series but this was the game that I first realized it. I didn't get why we kept getting flashes of Phoenix and the Prosecuting Attorney staring one another down prior to the start of cross examination, without it mattering who was on the stand, when really you're doing more to try and beat the witness than the Prosecutor. But during the fifth case when I saw Gant on the stand it finally hit me... Phoenix and Edgeworth weren't giving each other the death glare, they were both giving it to the witness... the witness who was caught between the defense and prosecutor both trying to find out the truth!
  • Fridge Horror: The reason Cindy Stone died is related to Larry leaving the door open.
  • Why does Damon Gant have a cross-shaped necktie, a theme that sounds like organ music, a pipe organ in his office, and a suit of armor? He's a crusader, in the worst sense of the word.
  • Angel Starr's primary trait is that, depending on which half of her face is concealed, she is either nasty or nice. She is also a former detective with a special talent for interrogation. She is literally the good cop and the bad cop, both in one person.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All

  • When first playing Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice For All, it was disappointing how much the last case seemed a retread of case three in the first game: defending a TV Samurai actor accused of killing a rival, with a photograph of the supposed killer in-costume as the central piece of evidence, the same annoying security guard making your investigation difficult for you, and a cold-acting female as the main alternate suspect. Then, when then when the twist came, that your client is, in fact, guilty this time, and the story veered off in a completely different direction, you see that it was intentionally a retread, so that the player would trust the client as they did the first time and the twist would be all the more unexpected.
  • Case 3: The Big Top Turnabout. It doesn't seem exactly plot relevant... until you realize that it fits in with the all of the other cases thematically. While it may have little impact on the plot, all the characters in this "trial of errors" come across as completely sympathetic (maybe not likeable, but certainly sympathetic). Especially the murderer. Quietly asking what justice is, this case is the perfect set-up to Case 2-4, where the concept of justice is fully explored.
  • It can be hard to understand how Franziska was so determined to uphold her father's legacy and be just like him despite the fact that Manfred was eventually outed as a batshit insane killer. Even the fact that she's his daughter doesn't excuse what could be seen as her blind devotion to him. But think of it like this: she doesn't fully support Manfred, only the fact that, aside from the murder of Edgeworth's father, he really was a phenomenal prosecutor. So Franzy isn't upholding the legacy of Manfred the killer, she's upholding the legacy of Manfred the prosecutor.
    • Franziska actually says in-game that her real goal was to get back at Edgeworth for leaving her by proving she had surpassed him. It is also implied that the family reputation for perfection extends to other members of the family besides the two we see, which could explain why she seems so devoted to her family's name even after it's revealed that she wasn't that mad about Phoenix (justifiably) hurting her father's reputation.
    • This theme gets continued in Investigations when Franziska accuses Edgeworth of tainting the von Karma name by committing murder, ignoring the fact that it can't get any more tainted by blood than it already is. She considers the 'von Karma' name to be above her father's misdeeds.
  • Franziska is the lawyer to use the Catchphrase OBJECTION!! the least in all of the series, preferring to just whip somebody when she's about to say something. Phoenix even comments on it. First, this seemed to merely reinforce the fact that she doesn't care about courtroom-rules, but here's a fact: "Objections" don't exist in the German Court System! Franziska is not avoiding the word on purpose; she's simply not used to stating her arguments this way. (Of course, this is only the case in the western version of the games, not in the Japanese, where she's American...)
  • At first Matt Engarde's revelation as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing seems completely out of the blue, but then you remember something: he's an actor, and a popular one at that. He gets paid a lot of money to pretend to be a hero of justice (something that he most definitely isn't) which means that he's got a lot of talent. Everyone around him keeps remarking how you can "see his star potential", and unlike Juan Corrida, he's subtle enough in his deception that any scandals went unnoticed (since no one other than Adrian Andrews seemed to know that he was Celeste's ex). The revelation isn't that much of a surprise that way.
  • One bothersome thing about JFA was the acquisition of the magatama -- Phoenix had always done perfectly fine without it in the first game, but it became a major gameplay element in the second. Given Edgeworth's "Logic" ability from AAI (and Mia's hypothetical ability), by comparison Phoenix doesn't have any natural ability for being a lawyer. This actually makes sense, since he changed career paths very suddenly, for a specific reason. (Apollo's ability was natural, but bolstered by his bracelet, so it's likely that he just found a good line of work to use his skill in.)
  • It bothered this troper that after game one, having a blackmailer company owner, a mob boss, a corrupt prosecutor, and the chief of police himself beat in court, that in the two main cases of game two, not counting the Warmup Case, you're met with a ditzy nurse who lost her sister because of her jerkass boss pushing her too hard, and a disabled former acrobat who lost his brother because of actions of his brother's affection, feeling that these were very underwhelming compared to the last game. Until this clicked: It's a setup for case four, where you are forced to defend someone who at first seems genuinely innocent and naive, but then turns out to be the biggest Complete Monster the game knows, willing to screw over ANYONE for his own self benefit, making this reveal to come MORE out of the left field than before.
  • The page quote on the Ace Attorney page is about how none of the series' murders are straightforward. An excellent example of this is the fact that in case 2-2, Mimi Miney tries to escape being found guilty by framing her own ghost. This sort of qualifies as a category 3 Framing the Guilty Party.
  • In case 4, Engarde agrees to let Phoenix defend him only after he hears that "De Killer" wants Phoenix to defend him.
  • In case 4, the relationship of "trust" between Shelly De Killer and his clients is an ironic reflection of the relationship of trust between defense attorneys and their clients.
    • Relatedly, Phoenix mentioned that he can't just take the not guilty verdict when he had the chance because that would mean he would be no better than Engarde. At first glance, this sounds like the classic Not So Different aesop. But then remember that Edgeworth could have gotten a guilty verdict but didn't because he trusted Phoenix and wanted to get to the bottom of the case. Furthermore, think about what leads to Engarde's downfall, him betraying de Killer's trust. If Phoenix simply took the not-guilty verdict when he had the chance, he would be guilty of betraying Edgeworth's trust the same way Engarde betrayed de Killer's trust.
  • Case 4 again- in Adrian Andrews' testimony after she tries taking the Fifth, Phoenix calls her out, saying it's clearly a pack of lies. Actually, this is the first time she tells the complete truth.
  • This troper was thinking about the car accident in case 2, and two things hit me:
    • One: Why was it up to speculation whether Mimi Mini was drugged? Couldn't they have run a drug test on her body? They couldn't. It wasn't Mimi's body. Even if Mimi was drugged, Ini wasn't and would turn up clean in the test.
      • This one isn't really a Fridge Briliance if you think about it. It's stated clearly several times during the case that the crash caused a HUGE fire and that the fire made "identifing the body almost impossible". That's why they thought that the body was that of Mimi's when it was acually Ini's. After all Ini or rather Mimi posing as he was burned bad enough to need extreme plastic surgery that caused her whole face to turn into that of another person's. The body probably was burnt alot and hardened by the soot of the fire therefore, it would have been very difficult, if impossible, to test her for drugs.
    • Two: Why did Mimi continue to insist that the driver was drugged? Because she doesn't want to acknowledge she caused her sister's death.
  • The Miney sisters' crash also leads to some rather nasty Fridge Horror: Mimi Miney's face was burnt badly enough that she needed reconstructive surgery, and Ini Miney's whole body was burnt to the point where she was unrecognizable, since everyone had assumed that she was Mimi. Feel free to imagine how the real Ini's body must have looked in order for them to make that mistake if you need to stay up late tonight, and then imagine how her sister must have felt about having caused that.
  • Though I think it to be one of the best games I've ever played, Justice for All is the least acclaimed game in the Ace Attorney Series. I couldn't figure out why, until I realized: part of what made all of the other games in the series great was the fact that they all had one single case (DL-6, the Dusky Bridge staged kidnapping, Magnifi Gramarye's deat, KG-8) that all of the cases in them were tied to somehow, usually with an exception or two. However, none of the cases in Justice for All are related to each other, or any previous murders.
    • This, of course, doesn't change the fact that the cases didn't all form a very poetic story. Justice for All only lacked the satisfactory moment where you brought closure to a HUGE event, and this ended up being to its reputation's detriment.
    • Fridge Brillance: The reason for why Justice For All lacked a single case that was integral to the whole story is in the name itself: JUSTICE. FOR. ALL. This game was all about defending the innocent, discovering the truth and above all, upholding justice for people from all walks of life and not a single case which Phoenix, Apollo or Edgeworth have some personal stake in. Similarly, the third game was about the challenges both Phoenix and Mia faced in their respective cases (Mia with College!Phoenix and Terry; Phoenix with Ron Delite and Maggie) leading up to the final victory against Dahlia.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations

  • The overarching plot is dealt with in the first, fourth and fifth cases, while the middle two ("Recipe for Turnabout" and "The Stolen Turnabout") seemed irrelevant. However, they foreshadowed major events in the metaplot. In Case 2, the true killer is Luke Atmey, a man whose name alone shows what he wants. He's an incredibly arrogant criminal who wants to be the centre of attention and commits crimes to cover up his other crimes. Just like Dahlia Hawthorne. You could also read Ron DeLite as being a representation of young Phoenix from case 1, or Terry Fawles as all were wrongly accused and victims of the plan of the real killer.
    • In the third case the victim's coffee cup is poisoned as he manages to finally escape his debt with Furio Tigre. Like Diego Armando was poisoned by Dahlia Hawthorne just as he looked set to get case breaking evidence to implicate her for the murder of her sister, the theft of the diamond, creating a false identity, causing the death of Terry Fawles and tampering with evidence. Those aren't the only parallels that could be found.
    • The Très Bien case contains a fake murder in which a witness who is sex-minded and older than most Ace Attorney characters says that they saw the actual murder. This is similar to Bikini and the removal of the Shichishito from Elise' body.
    • Furio Tigre looks like Phoenix. In this case Furio is the murderer and even parallels Dahlia's poisoning of Diego. To me this makes sense as to Godot, Phoenix is the villain who got Mia killed and Furio reflects that.
    • There's a triple parallel in both cases with the theme of false identities and impersonation. Much like with Tigre/Nick and Iris/Dahlia, a major breakthrough came when it was realized that there were actually two Mask*DeMasques running around, Luke and Ron. As well, the ridiculous efforts of Ron to keep his wife happy and the awkward romantic fumblings of Gumshoe for Maggey are writ large with Godot's attempts to protect Maya and destroy Dahlia for Mia's sake.
      • The Ron/Desiree thing resembles the relationship between Terry Fawles and Dahlia Hawthorne a little bit. Everything that was problematic between Ron and Desiree is taken Up to Eleven with the nightmare that is Terry x Dahlia.
    • Viola actually admits that what Furio was doing to collect on his debts was "evil," but that she was helping him with it because he pretends to care about her and she wants to believe that he does. This reflects things in the main story.
    • Also, 3-3 features a criminal who pretends to be someone way more trustworthy than themselves in order to frame an innocent party. Just like Dahlia pretending to be Iris in the last case -- only with Dahlia, the framing isn't as important as the crime itself. (Also, with Dahlia, the player doesn't see it coming from a mile away.) Since Tigre turns out to be a bit of a coward (trying to feebly persuade the court that 'it was probably someone else' when everything's against him), the contrast is perfect -- Dahlia puts up an innocent front, but is a heartless monster who will do anything to hurt those she wants to hurt, stating that she doesn't care because she's already dead. Tigre puts up an aggressive, intimidating front, but is very cautious to make sure blame doesn't get pinned on him, even recreating the entirety of the murder of Glen Elg with changed guilty parties.
  • In case 3-3, you come across a CD labelled "MC Bomber". Despite talking to someone in the computer field, Phoenix never simply pops it into a PC to see what it is. Given that it turns out to be a really, really bad computer virus, that would've been a bad idea.
  • When Godot keeps talking about coffee being "dark and bitter"? He's talking about himself.
  • Phoenix is an ersatz member of the Fey family. Mia is his mentor, and Maya and Pearls are like his little sisters. That much is obvious, but what isn't so obvious is that Edgeworth is the same thing for the Von Karmas. Maya and Franzy are even the same age, and, like their "big brothers", have opposite personalities. Maya is warm, a bit ditzy, and wears her heart on her sleeve, while Fran is cold, intelligent, condescending, and likes to use her whip to get in touch with people, since she has difficulty empathizing. Also, the parental figures in both are absent through most of the series. Mia is killed, and Manfred is sent to jail for murder, later referred to as "gone". In the third game, Misty Fey herself returns after a long absence, only to be killed.
  • The Karma Houdini of Viola Cadaverini doesn't make a lot of sense at first. Phoenix even proved that person's involvement since they were a key player in creating the illusion that Maggey Byrde poisoned Glen Elg's coffee and people have been arrested for evidence tampering before in the game. However, it makes sense once you think back to Gumshoe's claim that nobody can touch the Cadaverinis. Of course Viola didn't go to jail, her grandfather is a mob boss.
  • It seems strange that Dahlia in 3-5 failed to realize that she was being channelled by Maya (who has dark hair), which should have given away that she wasn't being channelled by Pearl (who has lighter hair), and furthermore, that she would rely on being able to impersonate Iris (who also has dark hair) while being channelled by Pearl. This just seemed like an arbitrary deviation from how spirit channelling is usually shown to work in the series. However, then after ages Fridge Brilliance struck: Dahlia probably had no idea what color Pearl's hair was. In fact, almost the entire rest of the Fey family -- Iris, presumably Dahlia herself (though she dyes it), Misty, Morgan, Maya -- has dark hair. Why didn't Morgan tell her Pearl's hair color while hatching the plan? Because Dahlia was supposed to be wearing a demon-warding hood anyway to impersonate Iris, which would conceal her hair color. Dahlia had no reason to find it strange her hair would be dark when she was channelled -- she'd just assume Pearl's hair was the same color as her mother's, and go on to figure she can impersonate Iris even without a hood.
  • In case 3-3, Tigre's breakdown causing a blackout in the courtroom just seems like it's Played for Laughs. But as we later find out, it was really important. When the lights go out, we see the glowing red lights on Godot's visor. This is later used to identify Mystic Misty's real killer in case 3-5.
  • In case 3-2, the safe in Kane Bullard's office is the same as the one that Gumshoe opens at the beginning of the case. This not only means that Bullard's company provided the safe that guarded the jewel, it also means that the jewel thief probably had inside knowledge of how to open it based on having worked for the company that made it.
  • There are some interesting visual things relating to Dahlia Hawthorne. When her eyes turn white in the first case, it looks a lot like what happens with Morgan Fey in case 2-2. Dahlia looks like she has horns.
    • For that matter, one may notice that Dahlia-as-Iris blushes exactly once during the final case, while the real Iris blushes a lot. Dahlia has no sense of shame or guilt about anything she does, so it's only logical that she seldom blushes.
  • Dahlia and Iris are both names for flowering plants.
  • I immediately noticed that Glen Elg was a palindrome and that the name of his replacement, Adam Mada, is also a palindrome. However, I somehow didn't notice that his boss, Lisa Basil, also had a palindrome name. This is one of the many name-related jokes/symbols of the series and happens to be one that not everyone caught at first.
  • At first, it seems like Lisa Basil is reluctant to talk about Glen Elg's problems because she doesn't want to speak ill of her deceased employee, doesn't want to help the man defending her employee's supposed murderer, or is embarrassed that things like gambling addiction and virus creation went on at her company. However, there's another possibility. Basil could have contributed to creating M.C. Bomber! Or at least teaching Elg how to make viruses.
  • In the first playthrough, it is made pretty clear that Godot has a grudge against Phoenix for not preventing Mia's death. However, on a second playthrough of case 5, the conversation in the cave shows another likely grudge. Phoenix was the Unwitting Pawn who helped Dahlia hide the evidence that she had poisoned Godot.
    • It is actually mentioned that there are two reasons he didn't like Phoenix and that one of them is how Phoenix carried the necklace, but it's only mentioned once.
  • The conversation with "Iris" in the cavern toward the very end of the last day of investigations for the last case feels very different on a second play through. You notice things you may have missed the first time. This is, of course, because you know that she's actually Dahlia.
    • "Iris" promises to do everything she can to help solve the locks, but is probably insincere.
    • Even though it had been pointed out the previous day, "Iris" doesn't seem to know about the contradiction between her testimony and Bikini's until you "remind" her. "Iris" also doesn't remember giving you the hood until you mention it. She seems to determine where she was before lights out through logic rather than memory.
    • During the magatama unlock sequence, "Iris" makes underhanded insults (of the kind where it seems like she didn't mean for it to be offensive, but she did) if you get the wrong answers. One response, where she says something like "I feel sorry for you and your confusion because you can't figure anything out," leaves Phoenix thinking "I didn't know she could be so harsh!" Her sarcastic comments asking you to "show me something you are 100 percent sure about, okay" if you show her the silhouette profile are just like her sarcasm when Mia cross-examines her.
    • After the psyche-unlock, the part where she says "my sister [Dahlia] always does the right thing" is even more laughable once you know that it's a stealth boast rather than naïveté. The part where she tearfully admits to betraying her sister is actually a harsh accusation that Iris betrayed her - which the hypocrite may be using as her internal justification for having just locked her sister inside a freezing and unstable cavern. When she tells her sob story about how after the diamond theft, Dahlia was "destined" to be trapped into doing the things that lead to her execution (even though Dahlia actually had several times when she could have limited bloodshed without putting herself in much danger), it's her 100th attempt at winning sympathy. When she talks about how Dahlia stole the diamond for revenge because their dad treated their mom badly, she's explaining and trying to justify herself.
    • Finally, when Phoenix asks "Iris" if Dahlia ever talked about her college boyfriend, "Iris" replies, "she told me she hated his guts." This is Dahlia taking a snipe shot at Phoenix's heart while pretending that she's only repeating something she heard without realizing that it referred to him.

Across Entire Phoenix Arc

  • Why don't Maya or Pearl simply channel the spirit of the victim to find out who killed them? They probably can't, or at least not repeatedly and/or with guaranteed success. The reason that Maya couldn't even summon Mia in the first game was because she was still in training -- it was only her panic at Phoenix losing the case that enabled her to call Mia to help her. Despite going back to Kurain Village to hone her abilities, she still hadn't mastered her powers by the time she meets up with Phoenix again -- she was attempting her first real summoning while Phoenix was there. After that, every person the Feys summon is a blood relative. Maya tried to summon Mimi Miney, but that was under very controlled and ritualized circumstances, and we never get to see whether she would have succeeded or failed, as it was all a set-up, and Mimi wasn't dead anyway.
    Maya repeatedly summons Mia, her sister. Pearl summons Mia, her cousin. Both of them are cousins through the female half of the Fey bloodline. Pearl is told to summon Dahlia, who is her half-sister through their mother -- and therefore the Fey bloodline. She fails, but only because Maya has already summoned Dahlia -- who is her cousin through, once again, the female side of the family. They are never shown summoning anyone that isn't related to them through the Fey bloodline -- it's possible that doing so is extremely difficult, and they might not be able to control the spirit they summon regardless.
    • On a related note, in case 1-2, Mia says "you're just lucky I was born a Fey" to Phoenix. At first I thought it would have been more fitting for her to have said "you're just lucky Maya was born a Fey" seeing as how she was the one who channeled Mia. However I now understand that Mia meant that if she was not a part of the Fey bloodline, then even if they Phoenix did have Maya to help him, it would still be very difficult (or even impossible) for her to summon her. Therefore Mia is not saying it as in he is lucky she can summon but rather that she CAN BE SUMMONED.
      • What about Gregory Edgeworth? Or can that be chalked up to how Misty had more training than Maya or Pearl?
        • Misty was the Master of the Kurain Technique, and one who had more power than her sister. It was in a controlled situation with a highly trained professional. Maya and Pearl are not that good yet; Maya's only twenty, and Pearl is nine.
      • As an interesting little side note, though, although Misty is the Master and can probably summon just about any spirit, she is the other person who channeled Dahlia in 3-5, and Dahlia is her niece. Everyone in that case who channeled (or tried to channel) her was still related to her.
  • Manfred von Karma was shot in his right shoulder and is what brings his downfall. In Justice for All, the last case has Shelly De Killer shooting Franziska, Manfred's daughter of course, in her right shoulder which makes her miss the trial and therefore almost gets Matt Engarde of the hook. During a first play-through, someone is extremely unlikely to make this connection.
  • In the first game, Phoenix describes Larry as a good friend of his, but in the others, his opinion seems to be, "I'm ashamed to know him." The shift in attitude could be put down to Flanderization and/or Characterization Marches On, but it could also be explained by the fact that at the end of Case 1-4, Nick finds out that Larry was the culprit behind the incident in fourth grade that made him want to become a lawyer in the first place. He considered Larry a friend for coming to his rescue, but finding out Larry was the reason he got in trouble in the first place kind of tainted that a bit.
  • Tie-in between the second and third games: In the second game, Adrian trusts Franziska so much that she clings to her words even when it becomes clear that trusting those words will lead to her death. This is similar to what Dahlia does with getting the trust of Phoenix and Terry in the third game. That could explain why Phoenix was so observant and upset about what Franziska did.
    • On a related note, this is something that the culprit says in Justice for All's fourth case: " I had no interest in doing it, really, but bit by bit, it crept up on me. And then the situation just presented itself perfectly... 'How beautiful,' I thought. Let me tell you something. I'm not like [weak people]. I don't depend on anyone. People are simply things to be used. Used and thrown away. Put on a sweet, innocent face, and people will swallow anything you feed them. [That fool] fell for it. [That other fool], too. Oh, and how can I forget. Even you fell for it, Mister Lawyer! Everyone, all working their butts off for me! Aww, did that leave you speechless? What a shame." Remind anyone of a certain character in Trials and Tribulations?
  • The way Maya can shrug off seeing all her relatives dieing horribly around her with so little pain is actually easy to explain when you realize she is one of the few people in the world who doens't have any doubts about the existense of an afterlife and can allways ask Pearl to channel both Mia and Misti at any time if she needs to see them.
  • I'm not sure if it was intentional, but the Fey family seems to have a specific naming pattern; Almost all names start with an M and have two syllables: Mor-gan, Mi-a, Mis-ty etcetera. The exception being Morgan’s daughters.
    • Additional Fridge Brilliance; the only characters who follow this pattern are from the main families of their generation. Pearl and her sisters are from the branch family and therefore do not follow this naming convention.
    • OBJECTION!!! What about Ami Fey? (P.S.: Sorry, but dealing with Ace Attorney, this Troper can't help but saying any of the 6 basic phrases In case you're wondering, they're Objection, Hold It, Take That, Gotcha, Eureka and Not so Fast)
      • It could be that Ami is pronounced Ah-me instead of Amy.
  • Fridge Brilliance: It may seem like Fridge Logic when unlucky Maggey Byrde fell from her 9th story apartment as a baby and survived. Seems like that would make her extremely lucky, right? But then it hits you: by surviving, the rest of her life basically became a living hell. Guess sometimes you really are better off dead. She is the defendant for case 3-3.
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