History VisualNovel / AceAttorney

14th Feb '14 4:38:40 PM TinyTedDanson
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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ace_courthouse_2326.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [[MundaneMadeAwesome If only being a lawyer was really this epic]].]]

The primary part of the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' franchise is the video games, all of which fall into the VisualNovel genre. In the games, you take on the role of a lawyer and seek to solve a mystery in each case- [[AlwaysMurder almost always a murder case]]. As the defense attorney, typically Phoenix Wright but in later games also including Mia Fey, Apollo Justice, and Athena Cykes, you alternate between investigating the crime scene in point-and-click adventure fashion to gather evidence and witnesses to support your case, and trial scenes in which you must question the witnesses and expose contradictions and lies, [[ThePerryMasonMethod eventually getting the real murderer to confess on the stand]]. The ''Investigations'' spinoff series has you taking on the role of prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, investigating cases before they even get to trial; rather than standing in court, you must occasionally rebut the arguments of those who would oppose you, and use logic to piece together the clues to discover the truth.

In all the games in the series, there's a general theme of debating the proper role and ethical standards of the legal system; there are characters who seek to uphold the law at all costs, some who merely use the law to hide their criminal aims, and others (our heroes) who want to have a truly just society where the innocent go free and the guilty are punished.

The games in the series are:

* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' (this and the following two games were released not only on GBA in Japan and DS worldwide, but also eventually on WiiWare, [=iPhone=], and Nintendo3DS)
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All''
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations''
* ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney''
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' (Japanese release on July 25, 2013, North America and Europe release in October 24, 2013)
* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'' (''Gyakuten Kenji'' in Japan, or "Turnabout Prosecutor")
** ''Gyakuten Kenji 2'' ([[NoExportForYou Not released officially in English]], though English-speaking fans usually refer to it as "Ace Attorney Investigations 2" anyway)
* ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'' (a crossover game with ''VideoGame/ProfessorLayton'')

Phoenix made his fighting game debut in [[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3]].

There is a (work-in-progress) recap page for the series [[Recap/AceAttorney here]].
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----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AccuseTheWitness: In practically every case.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal:
** Franziska, with some good ol' rhyming added for good measure.
-->'''Franziska:''' You huffy, puffy, loosey-goosey excuse for a whimpering whining wuss of a witness.
** Valant Gramarye in ''Apollo Justice'' was prone to this as well.
* AdultFear: Raises fears about, "what if the person you either love or are starting to love is actually a much worse person than you think they are?" It obviously gets taken to ridiculous extremes in a series of murder mysteries.
** In Ace Attorney Investigations, [[spoiler: Lauren's father gets killed by her boyfriend. It's further implied that the boyfriend had figured out the father's identity, and was blackmailing him into helping with his staged kidnapping by threatening her safety]].
* AerithAndBob: Being a series that's absolutely full of oddly-named people, any real-sounding names could count as an example of this. A good one in particular though, would probably be Troupe Gramarye's line-up. Magnifi, Valant, Thalassa... and Zak.
* AFoolForAClient: Phoenix Wight plays as this in the second half of case 1-2.
* AlwaysMurder: The second case of the third game initially appears to be about a case of grand larceny (which creates an odd scenario where the victim of the crime is alive, and yelling at you for taking the defense case), but within a day, you have to defend the same guy for a related murder.
** Also occurs in case 4-2, with 3 [[spoiler:related]] cases - 2 thefts and 1 hit-and-run. But then, of course, a murder occurs.
** A few cases feature crimes that appear to be murder but wind up slightly different: case 1-3 involves a [[spoiler:manslaughter in self-defence]] and case 2-3 also involves a [[spoiler:manslaughter, though the law of transferred intent applies]].
** Subverted in [[spoiler:Phoenix's last case, which, 7 years later, was revealed to be a suicide. It plays out as a {{deconstruction}}, as the trial consists entirely of back-and-forth arguments about which disciple could have committed the murder, and both disciples confess to the murder years later simply to close the incident in everyone's eyes, rather than claim that no actual murder took place]].
** The first case of ''Dual Destinies'' has bombing as the primary charge against the defendant, with murder as a secondary charge (a body was found in the rubble). [[spoiler:Assault is later added as a third charge]].
** Played with in the DLC case of ''Dual Destinies'', as Blackquill insists on a formal murder charge even though the defendant is an orca. [[spoiler:It later becomes a traditional murder charge when Sasha Buckler is arrested, and in the end it turns out to have been an accident!]]
* AmateurSleuth: Despite the fact that you're always playing the role of the defense attorney with no police training whatsoever, it's also the player's job to do all the detective work for their client.
** It's been stated on-record in interviews that the entire series is one massive TakeThat against the Japanese judicial system, of which the system in the games is an accurate depiction!
* AmoralAttorney: Miles Edgeworth and Manfred von Karma set the standards in the first game for any future amoral attorneys the protagonist will face.
* AnimalStereotypes: Used in different ways for character designs to help build their characterization. Maggey Byrde's name is a pun based on a magpie, thought to be a very unlucky bird. Furio Tigre isn't just named for an angry, powerful tiger; he has one on his shirt and roars when he's upset. The Kitaki mafia family has trickster foxes on their clothing, and Wocky's hair makes him look like a fox. Alita Tiala has bird wings on her dress to help her look sweeter. Daryan Crescend's hair and jacket are reminiscent of a vicious shark. Phoenix's name is a reference to his trials ability to, essentially, come back from the dead.
** Not surprisingly, some of these characters have the same puns in their Japanese names. Furio Tigre's surname "Toranosuke" literally means Tiger boy. [[TigerVersusDragon The tiger devouring a dragon]] on his shirt is actually a reference to Phoenix that is lost in translation, because Phoenix's name in Japan is "Ryuichi" and is spelled with the kanji for "dragon." "Ryuichi" isn't supposed to have any meaning at all, but the writers chose to play around with it in the third game anyway when they make his "evil twin". The English release gave the main character's name meaning anyway, via Woolseyism. Same for Maggey Byrde, who's name has no animal references in Japanese (but literally means "continues to lose").
* ArcWords: "X years ago" is a common one. In the first game's second and fourth cases, it's "15 years ago." In case 1-5, it's "2 years ago" to the point of being lampshaded (and to a lesser extent, "6 months ago"). In Apollo Justice, it's "7 years ago." The third game has a bunch of them, but "5 years ago" is probably the most common.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: The primary characterization of every prosecutor Phoenix encounters in his career (minus ButtMonkey Winston Payne).
** Klavier Gavin of the fourth title plays both sides of the fence. In his younger days, he exhibits some of the attributes[[spoiler:, most likely due to [[AmoralAttorney his brother Kristoph]] telling him that Phoenix is not to be trusted]], but is cooler-headed than someone who might be the [=AKFG=]. Later in his career, he mellows and enjoys his work as a prosecutor as a chance to match mettle with the defense attorney rather than a trial being a battle that can only be won or lost, which ultimately turns him into a subversion [[spoiler:(though said brother may be the [[InvertedTrope defense attorney-equivalent]])]].
* ArtEvolution: Most visible between the games that originated on the GBA, and the ones that have originated on the DS. However, the series' character design style has changed quite a bit over the years -- the first game used fairly low-key and realistic character designs, but the following games have had much more outlandish designs. The contrast between the styles is almost distractingly obvious in cases 1-5 and 4-4, the only cases where old and new sprites are next to each other.
* AssholeVictim: Roughly half the victims in the series. Sometimes they're done in by other assholes, other times by [[SympatheticMurderer more sympathetic characters]], but in many cases, there's at least two people who hate them enough to kill them.
** Notably averted with the victim in 2-3. No one can think of anything bad to say about the victim, and the motives presented in the case are shaky at best due to this. All the witnesses and even the suspect have nothing but praise for the Ringmaster. [[spoiler: This is because he's not the intended victim. He showed up at the meeting place instead of his daughter, and the killer couldn't see who it was]]
* AuthorTract: The games are somewhat a satire of legitimate corruption in the Japanese Judicial system.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The DS support functions for the microphone and touch screen. While it is cool to press the Y button to turn on the mic and yell "'''''Objection!'''''" and "'''''Hold it!'''''", it's far easier to press the shoulder buttons instead. The touch screen is rarely ever required for any of the games either. Apollo Justice tries to make the best use of both functions by implementing forensic tools to discover clues throughout the game, but for the most part, such a requirement comes up maybe only once or twice per game.
** Same thing with the WiiWare rereleases. While it is cool to do Phoenix's trademark pose with the Wii remote while presenting evidence, it is a lot easier to just press the button.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice, natch.
* BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible: Neither Phoenix nor Apollo will get a single useful bit of information out of a witness, suspect, or even the detectives unless they drag it out of them.
** Especially jarring in 2-2, when you have to use the Magatama to find out where Pearl was at the time of the murder. She wants to help you, she really does...so why doesn't she just say it and help you out a bit? You find out ''why'' she doesn't just help you, but when you don't know what her reasons are, it's more than a little infuriating.
*** Brought to new heights in ''ApolloJustice'', when Trucy refuses to tell how a magic trick was pulled off, even though the outcome of a '''murder trial''' hangs in the balance.
** Larry also embodies this in general.
** Whoever the co-council happens to be often does this, because it's a way of giving the player a hint without telling them the answer. "I think I see the contradiction, Kitten..." But they don't tell you, causing the player to guess wrong and get a guilty verdict. The player characters are fond of this too; Wright will tell Maya that it's finally come together, only to leave her and the player in the dark for dramatic effect.
** TruthInTelevision since witnesses in trials are instructed to only give as much information as asked for. "You didn't ask" is therefore a legitimate reason for withholding a specific detail if it wasn't in the scope of the original question.
* BerserkButton: For everything that Phoenix goes through and sees in his time in court, it's amazing he only has 2: using poison and betraying others' trust. These two happen to cross into ThisIsUnforgivable for him and it makes perfect sense considering [[spoiler: how badly case 3-1 shook him when he was at his most naive]].
** NEVER accuse the Judge of murder. Just ... don't. Your penalty meter will thank you.
* BetterManhandleTheMurderWeapon: One reason why [[spoiler:Edgeworth]] ends up accused of Robert Hammond's murder, even though [[spoiler:Yanni Yogi was the other person in the boat]].
* BigDamnHeroes: About to lose? No hope left? Cue a crucial witness or a person carrying vital evidence barging into the courtroom with a cry of "HOLD IT!".
* BigNo: Witnesses have a tendency to do this when you manage to break their alibis.
** Winston Payne has a BigNo so big that it turns him bald.
** The Judge [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_OSHC2Emr0#t=02m51s does this once in 1-5]], but then [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} realizes that he's not the one being accused]].
* BigRedButton
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Fey clan.
** [[TheVonTropeFamily The von Karma family]] belongs here as well.
** If they can be considered a family, Troupe Gramareye fits too.
** And the Kitakis. Actually, practically any two related characters belong to one of these.
* BigWhat: Frequent, often in response to case-breaking evidence being presented.
* BigWordShout: "'''''Objection!'''''" "'''''Hold it!'''''" "'''''Take that!'''''" "'''''Gotcha!'''''" "'''''Eureka!'''''" "'''''Not so fast!'''''" "'''''Overruled!'''''" "'''''Got It!'''''" "'''''Silence!"'''''
* {{Bishonen}}: Toyed with significantly throughout the series. While there are several characters who could be considered bishonen, they are all either tall and broad-shouldered (Edgeworth and the Gavin brothers) or downright unattractive (Lance Amano and Florent L'Belle). Even the most straightforward bishonen, Maximilian Galactica, is revealed to be putting on an act and is in reality not as typical as he seems.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Usually the true murderer. [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne before she developed her {{Yandere}} tendencies towards Mia, and Alita Tiala from ''Apollo Justice''. Matt Engarde had this as his defining character trait--even his name is a hint]]. And from Gyakuten Kenji 2, [[spoiler:Souta Sarushiro]].
* BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine: Pretty much the core comedy dynamic between your main attorney character (tsukkomi) and their side-kick (boke). In court, your attorney is usually the tsukkomi for the prosecutor, the judge, and the more loony witnesses, though Edgeworth often flips the tables on Phoenix in their games.
* BrokenAesop: An example relating to degree of openness. Cases [[spoiler: 2-4]] and [[spoiler: 3-5]] are all about bringing The Truth to light, especially when Edgeworth is involved. The issue is that the view of ''when'' the truth should be brought to light expressed through the events of the game is a nuanced one, while the view expressed through the dialogue is an absolute one. Edgeworth's dialogue after his HeelFaceTurn could be summarized as "expose the truth, no matter how painful." Yet there are situations in which players are supposed to hate someone for exposing the truth.
** Situations where revealing the truth is praised:
*** Telling a man who already knows that he was deceived by his girlfriend five years ago exactly ''how'' he was deceived? Sure, the truth turned out to be that he hadn't been as bad a judge of character as he thought he was, but Edgeworth starts pushing for the Truth to come out without knowing what it is. Edgeworth inherently knows that The Truth will heal the man's pain even if it gives him more to be upset about.
** Situations in which revealing the truth is condemned:
*** Telling a jealous man the truth about his fiance's ex in order to make him reconsider the marriage? How evil! (The timing of the reveal is implied to have been part of what made it evil, but the heroes don't exactly tread lightly when it comes to the timing of big reveals either.)
**** This is Matt Engarde. And he didn't expose his past with Celeste to Juan for any reason other than to cause more pain. He didn't love Celeste, and Celeste ''never'' did anything to hurt anybody, but he told Juan because he knew his rival would ''never'' marry Celeste because of it. Sure enough, Celeste commits suicide over it and both men use her death as just another means to hurt each other. ''That's'' why what Matt did was evil.
*** Telling a skeptical public about a very unconventional technique the police used to solve a case, that lead them astray? Or publicizing a politician's affair with a secretary? The work of an evil man who caused nothing but pain. (The truth was definitely not the culprit's motive, but revealing the truth about what the police did was an effect nevertheless.)
** Situations in which exposing the truth was portrayed in a mixed light:
*** In AceAttorneyInvestigations, it is clear that the Yatagarasu's tendency to "steal evidence of corrupt dealings of all kinds" and send it to the press is illegal and that Edgeworth would like to be above such actions, but the Yatagarasu's actions in this regard are hardly portrayed as evil. The Yatagarasu was just "stealing the Truth" in order to bring it to light.
*** At one point, Edgeworth threatens to publicize a witness' embarrassing psychological diagnosis unless that witness testifies truthfully. He says that it's not his problem if the witness chooses to commit suicide in response to the psychological profile being publicized.
*** Revealing who the killer is, even when there's already enough evidence to prove the defendant didn't do it, and the killer is [[SympatheticMurderer in some ways a decent person who had a compelling reason for what they did]] and will now likely get in huge trouble? Mia says it's justice (though Maya didn't seem to agree and it's unclear whether Phoenix was fully convinced). [[spoiler:Godot, at least, seemed to '''''want''''' to be brought to justice, and in fact subtly encouraged Phoenix to put the nail in the coffin, so to speak]].
*** In the above case, the judge has explicitly stated that [[spoiler: only Maya or Godot could be the killer. Maya knows that Godot had acted in order to save her and is thus protecting him at all costs; however, Phoenix is just as determined to protect Maya, so he has really no choice but to expose Godot. And as stated in the spoiler above, Godot did subtly encourage Phoenix to prove him as the killer]].
** A case could be made that revealing the truth really was good in the situations where it was portrayed as good and bad in the situations in which it was portrayed as bad, but the dialogue describes bringing The Truth to light as though it is a golden ideal that is always good - as long as the person doing it is a good guy, and the person whose truth got exposed only considers committing suicide rather than actually doing so.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Most of the cast, including any and all lawyers, from the unflappable but hapless title character to the driven, coffee-guzzling Godot. Honestly, it'd be easier to list characters that ''don't'' fit this in someway.
** Characters who aren't really ''that'' involved with law are this too: Maya, while showing some rather pronounced {{Cloudcuckoolander}} tendencies, is also a very talented spirit channeler (she's probably be even better, wasn't it for her occasional lack of self-esteem). Same applies to Ema, who may have screwed up the exam but is very skilled in Forensics and Trucy, who is one of the best illusionists you'll ever find anywhere. Kay Faraday, is an exception: She's as untalented as a thief as one can be.
* BusmansHoliday: This combined with EconomyCast makes many of the characters wonder if it's them that's having the bad luck.
* ButThouMust: A very frequent occurrence. Just look at the page's image.
* ButtMonkey: Individual characters aside, the playable protagonist at any time, in any game, inevitably ends up a ButtMonkey. [[spoiler:Even those cases with multiple playable protagonists]]. Made even more apparent by changes in a character's treatment after they slip in or out of the protagonist slot. See CantGetAwayWithNuthin.
* CanadianAccents: The Judge's brother is a walking stereotype; he even calls you a hoser several times.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Played straight with Phoenix and Apollo, averted by everyone else. Witnesses routinely perjure themselves, and they threaten and bully the lawyers. Prosecutors withhold evidence, and assault the defense, witnesses, and even the Judge, and refer to the defense by [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking insulting nicknames]].
** Actually, this hapens to Edgeworth as well in ''Investigations''. Seems like being a main character instantly turns you into a ButtMonkey.
* CasanovaWannabe: Larry.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "'''''Objection!'''''", of course! To a lesser extent, "'''''Hold it!'''''" and "'''''Take that!'''''". "'''''Objection!'''''" is shouted one last time in every game's ending before the credits.
--> '''Edgeworth''': I, myself, never let an opportunity to shout "Objection!" pass me by!
** [[TagalongKid Pearl]] {{lampshade|Hanging}}s the use of it at the ending of the third game: "Oh, I love this part! I can't wait to hear it...!"
** Even witnesses and others such as Maya and Trucy scream out "'''''Hold it!'''''" and "'''''Objection!'''''", although they don't use a voice clip for it.
** Phoenix's habit of thinking, "I'll get you for this...! In court!"
*** And "I've got a bad feeling about this..." / "* sob* "
*** "Anyone could wear that costume! Even me!" (Which leads to a BrainBleach moment during case 3-3.)
** Apollo's "Here comes Justice!" Also, "'''''Gotcha!'''''"
** Sister Bikini's "Especially in Winter".
** Ema's "At my age, no less".
** Grossberg's "Just like the scent of fresh lemon".
* CaughtOnTape
* ChalkOutline: Dead bodies tend to be marked with a string rather than chalk, especially when they're discovered at odd positions (e.g. sticking out of a safe.)
* CharacterTic: Everyone has their own poses, but some are more iconic than others. It'd take way too much just to list everyone's personal tic.
** ItRunsInTheFamily: So much in fact that shared tics are used as evidence in trying to prove '[[EpilepticTree Character X is related to Character Y]]' in forums.
* ChivalrousPervert: Larry again. He might be an idiot, but when he falls in love, he falls hard.
* ChekhovsArmoury: This ''is'' a game based on court proceedings with a judicial system requiring that even with logical sense and linked facts, there needs to be concrete and decisive evidence to prove all separate facts, after all. The only way to be sure you have all the evidence is downright kleptomania. For a non-item version, early in the third game, a silly digression involving a ketchup stain hints at the fact that [[spoiler:Godot can't see red on white]]--which becomes vitally important in the final case.
* ChekhovsGun: A series wide gun was mentioned by Gumshoe during the Rise of the Ashes case.
-->'''...the prosecutor is responsible for the evidence he presents in court.'''
** Granted, this trope ended up being inverted: [[spoiler:Phoenix Wright is not a prosecutor, but presented forged evidence without knowing]].
* ChronicEvidenceRetentionSyndrome: Played with ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'''s bonus case, "Rise from the Ashes." The culprit keeps a critical piece of evidence hidden away which he's used to blackmail someone into doing his bidding; revealing this evidence when prompted will have dire consequences, but concealing it (temporarily) will force the culprit to tip his hand, and the new context in which the evidence is ultimately presented points the guilty finger at him instead.
** Taken to extreme measures in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' with The Phantom. [[spoiler:He engineered two bombings, breaking and entering, and a few murders just to get his hands on a piece of evidence that has his blood on it]].
* ClockDiscrepancy: In the first case of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney. The witness thought the time of the murder was at 1:00 when it was actually 4:00.
* ClosetGeek: Edgeworth is a huge fan of {{Toku}} serials, particularly the Steel Samurai/Pink Princess series, to the point where [[spoiler:he sabotages his own prosecution rather than let his hero, the Steel Samurai (or at least the guy who plays him on TV) go to jail for a murder he didn't commit]]. His ringtone in ''Ace Attorney Investigations'' is even [[ContinuityNod the Steel Samurai theme song]]. He usually gets defensive about his fandom to everyone... except [[ProudToBeAGeek Maya]], interestingly enough.
* ComeToGawk
* ContinuityCameo: Phoenix Wright is mentioned by She-Hulk in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''. In She-Hulk's ending, [[spoiler:both Wright and Edgeworth appear]]. For those unfamiliar, this occurs because She-Hulk's civilian identity is also a defense attorney.
** EarlyBirdCameo: ...And then Phoenix Wright was added into the same game proper, in ''Ultimate Marvel Versus Capcom 3''.
* ConvictionByContradiction: Averted. Although the only way to make any progress during a cross-examination/rebuttal is to notice and point out factual inconsistencies in the accusation, this doesn't win you the trial by itself. You always need to present a large amount of corroborating evidence to back up your case. And on top of that, oftentimes you still need a piece of decisive evidence in order to finally nail the perp once and for all.
* CoolShades: Ema Skye. Oh come on, don't tell me YOU didn't want a pair of those awesome evidence-finding shades.
** Also [[spoiler:Klavier, in the flashback court segment]] of 4-4.
** Shi-Long Lang has what is possibly the most pointlessly elaborate, yet completely awesome pair of sunglasses ever to exist.
* CouldntFindAPen: First rule of practicing law in the ''Ace Attorney'' universe: if, at any point in the proceedings, it comes to light that the victim, with their last breath, wrote the identity of their killer in their own blood on the nearest convenient surface, it is ''always'' a FrameUp on the part of the real murderer.
* CourtroomAntic: Every one in the book. [[UpToEleven And then more]].
** Hell, it even [[TropeNamers named]] [[ThatWasObjectionable one]].
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: A reviewer, writing for the [[http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/en/films/gyakuten-saiban/ International Film Festival of Rotterdam]], claims that the ''Ace Attorney'' series is like a "non-digital board game" with "lots of cards". The same reviewer also claims that the game is not very visual. Clearly, the reviewer has not picked up a DS and played through one of the cases.
** The same reviewer also claimed that [[http://aceattorney.sparklin.org Ace Attorney Online]] is where one can find "free trial packages", as in "free cases to play that are sponsored by Capcom." This carries the UnfortunateImplications that the fansite is actively supporting creating knock-off games. This caused the owner of the fansite to make it doubly clear that his site is NOT affiliated with nor sponsored by Capcom. HE also made it clear that the website is to help people create fan-made trials, and that it's not ripping-off Capcom.
* CreatorCameo: Prior to ''ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', all the in-game voice clips were provided by members of the development and localization teams. ''[=PLvsAA=]'' and ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'' use professional voice actors for most characters due to the greater amount of dialogue and higher sound quality offered by the 3DS, but the teams still do voice clips for the more minor characters.
* CulturalCrossReference: All references to Franchise/PerryMason are in the original Japanese script. Apparently [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff the Japanese love Perry Mason]].
* CulturalTranslation: The English-language versions are posited to take place in an area not unlike Los Angeles (except that it snows in the wintertime and there are a surprising number of Shinto temples in the vicinity), but so many visual elements are so very distinctly Japanese (to say nothing of the court system) that it stretches suspension of disbelief a little much at times...
** Which was eventually mocked by [[http://www.awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=120913 this strip]] from ''Webcomic/AwkwardZombie''.
* DarkSecret: Almost every character has at least one of these. Figuring out what they are is the whole point of the games.
** Taken to its logical conclusion with [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin's black Psyche-Locks that never (formally) get cracked]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Phoenix several times over. He may not always say it out loud, but if he's not saying something sarcastic, there's a very good chance he's thinking it.
** Sometimes people will react to these statements, meaning that either he's muttering at least some of them under his breath, or there's a bunch of telepaths running around.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Franziska von Karma does this often with the word "fool." Take, for example:
--> '''von Karma''': Tsk, tsk, tsk. Mr. Phoenix Wright. I grow tired of the foolish foolery of the foolish fools of this foolish country...
--> '''von Karma''': Foolish fool spouting foolish foolishness, just as I expect of a foolish fool such as you.
--> '''von Karma''': A foolishly foolish idea born from the foolish mind of a foolhardy foolish fool.
** Not to mention one of Larry's lines in the first game.
---> '''Larry''': It's lonely, being alone on Christmas Eve.
** Larry has quite a few.
---> '''Larry''': My claim is a claim claiming my claim. Do you have a problem with that?
** Or this from Klavier Gavin in the fourth game.
---> '''Klavier''': The jurists will function like a jury.
* DevilInPlainSight: Many suspicious witnesses (and of course, the real culprit of a case) start acting awfully suspicious the more holes you start poking in their testimonies, to the point that some of the culprits could probably have easily been convicted in RealLife simply based on how they were behaving (you wouldn't believe how many of them start openly gloating if the prosecution gets a leg up on you.)
* DoubleEntendre: In spades. Hits a real high with Apollo and Ema's conversation about her "tool" in the fourth case.
** Franziska's "I DEMAND SATISFACTION!" before whipping Larry Butz into unconsciousness.
** In the latter part of ''Investigations''' first case, a lot of time was spent on figuring out who touched Portsman's knob. [[spoiler:Only Portsman himself and his partner [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything touched his knob]]]]. Possibly unintentional, but who knows.
* {{Doujinshi}}: Two volumes of it were released in English, one with comics focusing on Wright, the other with comics focusing on Edgeworth.
* DownloadableContent: According to [[http://www.capcom.co.jp/gyakutensaiban/5/dlc.html this page]], ''Dual Destinies'' is the first game in the Ace Attorney series to feature downloadable content (if you exclude the WiiWare port of the first game, which had case 5 as DLC).
* DramaticIrony: There are several cases (generally the first one in the game) where the murderer is made clear from the very beginning, but the main character doesn't realize it.
** Looking at the whole series, [[spoiler:Phoenix's disbarment]] could be seen as such. [[spoiler:During case 1-2, Mia told Maya that Phoenix should have another three years before he's someone she could rely on in court. Three years forward of the events of the first game, Phoenix is forced out of the legal profession in disgrace]].
* DubNameChange: Not just from Japanese to English, but also to French, and many other languages, to keep the puns they carry.
* DyingClue[=/=]CouldntFindAPen: Referred to repeatedly throughout the series. Usually used in a nonstandard way.
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'' case 2: Near the victim's body, Maya's name is written in blood. Detective Gumshoe says this is a message from the victim saying that Maya did it. [[spoiler: It turns out that the killer wrote it in the victim's blood to frame Maya]].
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'' case 5: [[spoiler: The name "Ema" was written in blood on the "unstable urn."]]
** ''Justice for All'' case 1: The name "Maggie" was written in the sand in front of the victim and the victim's right index finger was near the last letter. [[spoiler: The player shows that the killer used the victim's hand to write this to frame Maggey by showing that the name is spelled wrong (when the victim would have known how to spell it) and that the victim was left-handed]].
** ''Trials and Tribulations'' case 5: [[spoiler: The name "Maya" is written in the victim's blood. It turns out that the victim was channeling a spirit at the time and that the spirit wrote the name to implicate Maya because said spirit was hostile to Maya]].
** ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney'' case 3: There is something written in blood on the floor in front of the victim, but it's hard to read. [[spoiler: It turns out that the victim was an Interpol agent and wrote his agent number. The killer saw this and tried to smear the number to make it unreadable - proving that the person who tried to smear the number wasn't blind. So far this is only one of two cases in the series of a ''non''-misleading clue written in blood, and even those contain non-standard information]].
** ''Ace Attorney Investigations'' case 1: When you put the binders back on the shelf, you find that the name [[spoiler: Gumshoe]] was written in the victim's blood on the file binders. It turns out that the killer wrote this name to frame someone, but then [[spoiler: someone else came and stole one of the binders that the name was written on]].
*** Considering that every time this comes up [[spoiler: it turns out to be a RedHerring]], one has to wonder why this clue popping up isn't [[spoiler: automatically dismissed as a false trail]]. Maybe if it were, it would lead to [[spoiler:criminals leaving ''their own names'' at crime scenes, making it look like they're being framed...]].
**** Because that would be InsaneTrollLogic at best. Saying "I can't be the murderer because [[spoiler:my name is written with the victim's blood at the scene]]" will likely get you arrested on the spot in real life. [[spoiler:The only reason the clues are discounted is because there's something ''wrong'' with them, and other evidence is ''always'' needed to support the case]].
** Played with in Dual Destinies case 1. [[spoiler:The prosecution says that Apollo wrote the name of his assaulter in his own blood...except he didn't write anything and didn't bleed enough for it to be possible. It turns out that the murder victim of the case did indeed write something to indict her killer--his ID number--which prompted said killer to use Apollo's blood during the assault the next day to alter it ever-so-slightly in order to indict the defendant]].
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: [[TheCutie Ridiculously cute Regina]] not only has half of the male cast swooning over her, but even Maya admits to being tempted to confessing love to her.
* EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry: Whether it's evidence or for characterization.
* EveryEpisodeEnding: Every game in the series has the protagonist shout "'''''Objection!'''''" at the very end of the game.
* EvidenceScavengerHunt
* ExactWords: If the contradiction isn't a mistake or an outright lie, it'll usually be in this form and require pressing for further details. One of the most notable examples is Phoenix using the Magatama on [[spoiler: Matt Engarde in Farewell, My Turnabout]], asking if he killed the case's victim. The response is "No, I didn't kill anyone." The Magatama doesn't register anything because [[spoiler: technically he ''didn't'' kill Juan Corrida, but hiring an assassin to do it makes him just as guilty]].
* {{Expy}}: The {{Takarazuka}} [[TheMusical Musical]] has Monica Clyde for Ema Skye, obvious from the first glance at her. Less direct expys are also present. All necessary for compressing the plot into a 2 hour play, plus dancing.
** Kristoph Gavin and [[spoiler:Manfred von Karma]].
** Let's face it, the other main young female partners to the lawyers (Ema, Trucy, Kay) are obviously expies of Maya. This is lampshaded and used as a plot point in 1-5, as Ema's resemblance to Maya is what spurs Phoenix to take on the case. Maya, Ema, and Trucy are all identified as "in training", and even [[WordOfGod Takumi stated]] before ''AJ'' that Trucy's role would be "just like Maya's". Athena, the new assistant in ''Dual Destinies'', appears to be continuing the trend; a spunky novice lawyer about the same age as Maya and Kay.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: In case 1-4, there is a piece of evidence that can turn the case around. However, [[spoiler:in order to progress, you have to confront Von Karma with it - at which point he hits you with a taser and destroys the evidence]], and it's the only thing left during that particular investigation.
** The only way to progress in Phoenix's [[spoiler:final trial]] is to [[spoiler:present the forged diary page, even though it means Phoenix will be disbarred for presenting forged evidence]]. Justified as the case in question is [[spoiler:[[ForegoneConclusion set in the past]]]].
* FanBoy: Edgeworth is a huge Steel Samurai fanboy. It's subtle in the main games, confirmed in the [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental materials]]. ''Investigations'' throws all pretense out the window and makes it a minor plot point in the final case.
* FanGirl: All of the assistants are a huge fan of something in popular culture, including Gregory's male assistant, a younger Tateyuki Shigaraki. Maya (Steel Samurai and its spinoffs), Ema (Edgeworth), Trucy (Troupe Gramarye and the Gavinners), Kay (Jammin' Ninja), and young Tateyuki (Dansweets).
* FingerLickingPoison: The murder weapon for a case in ''Apollo Justice'' is [[spoiler:a commemorative stamp]].
* FigureItOutYourself[=/=]ThisIsSomethignHeHasGotToDoHimself: Whenever a rookie attorney has a mentor as their co-council (Phoenix to Mia, Mia to Grossberg or Diego, etc.), usually the mentor will spot contradictions or piece things together faster. They might give hints, but expect them stay hush about it and wait for the PlayerCharacter to figure it out. This makes some sense, as they'd never learn if their seniors did everything for them (and [[RuleOfFun that'd be no fun]]). However, no one ever thinks to object and just do it themselves when the judge has had enough with the rookie screwing up and is about to deliver a Guilty verdict (thus indirectly letting an innocent person get convicted and executed).
* {{Flanderization}}: From game to game, this gets more and more notable. Gumshoe's incompetence, the Judge's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} airheadedness]], Larry's immaturity/stalker thing, and Oldbag's infuriating nature.
** Interestingly, ''AA5'' dials this back for the Judge, who still gets pushed around and has to often ask what's going on during the crazier moments (and, admittedly, the cases in this game get ''gonzo''), but isn't afraid to bring the gavel down on unruly or uncooperative witnesses.
* {{Flashback}}: Used [[ViewersAreGoldfish frequently]] to recall key clues during a case, or to reference events from past games or cases. Can be somewhat annoying as the game will sometimes flash back to things that you just saw a few minutes ago, especially in the third case of the fourth game, when you see one scene something like four times in close succession.
** About half of [[spoiler:4-4]] is a playable flashback.
* FluffyFashionFeathers: Some of the fancy ladies' outfits.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The games have a lot of this, particularly ''Trials and Tribulations'' and the bonus case 'Rise from the Ashes' in the first game, which was created as part of an UpdatedRerelease with the writers knowing what was going to happen in later games, leading to lines foreshadowing ''Trials and Tribulations'' ("We certainly can't get a dead person to testify" as well as Phoenix stating he would get found out if he lent his badge to someone (foreshadowing Phoenix lending his badge to Edgeworth). Also, Gumshoe asks if he can work as Wright and Co. after he is fired foreshadowing him working for Phoenix in the last case in ''Justice for All''. The climax of the case in which Phoenix is accused of withholding evidence could be foreshadowing ''Apollo Justice''.
** Also in the second case of ''Trials and Tribulations'', when talking about [[GentlemanThief Mask DeMasque]] Phoenix says that when you're famous there are always imitators. Pearl then says that if Phoenix works hard, someday he'll have his own imitators. [[spoiler:The next case revolves around Furio Tigre impersonating Phoenix to cover a crime]].
** ''Investigations'' has an odd case of reverse-foreshadowing. [[spoiler: Specifically case four. It's a flashback to four years before the first game and six months before Edgeworth's first trial, and contains multiple references to future events. If you hadn't played the first few games you wouldn't get the meaning behind von Karma's comments (he killed Edgeworth's father), the fire extinguisher being used in a crime (later used to bash Phoenix on the head and give him temporary amnesia), Franziska mentioning she wouldn't know what to do were her father to die (it is implied in JFA that Manfred dies after being convicted on the murder of Gregory Edgeworth) and saying she would never have to work with Detective Gumshoe or Edgeworth mentioning his badge won't stay shiny forever (his reputation will eventually be tarnished)]].
** In case five, the 'shadow of the Yatagarasu' is formed by [[spoiler: more than one statue]]. This foreshadows the fact that the real Yatagarasu [[spoiler: is more than one person]].
** In case 3 of the first game, Phoenix makes a somewhat overly-dramatic comment to Cody Hackins, a [[ShowWithinAShow Steel Samurai]] fanboy, that seeing through lies is "one of his powers". Fast-forward to case 2 of the second game, when Phoenix is given a Magatama, which ''literally'' gives him the power to see through lies, via Psyche Locks.
** In the bonus case of the first game, 'Rise from the Ashes', when accused of forging evidence, [[spoiler: Damon Gant]] points out that although [[spoiler: Edgeworth]] may have been found to have unknowingly presented forged evidence, says [[spoiler: "It's not just prosecutors who can forge evidence, right Wrighto?" Fast forward to Apollo Justice...]].
** Apollo Justice, Case 3. [[spoiler:A player watching closely during The Guitar's Serenade can notice the flash of the igniter going off and the fire growing]].
** To add more from Case 1-5, I think the writers went to town on foreshadowing as this case not only references the other PW Trilogy games, but foreshadows [[spoiler: Ace Attorney Investigations as Damon Gant, after being outed for murder in two cases, tells Edgeworth that he will one day need to find a way to deal with certain criminals you can't take down with just evidence and testimony. Fast forward to AAI, and meet Quercus Alba, a criminal who can't be touched by the law due to his diplomatic immunity]].
** And that isn't just in the case of Edgeworth as Phoenix Wright himself does it. His monologue at the end of the game talks about not being able to change past mistakes, only make up for them and then move on. What does Nick do in Apollo Justice? [[spoiler: He accidentally presents forged evidence in court, and pays for it, then spends seven years making up for that mistake, raising Trucy, and finding out what really happened in the case that caused him to lose his badge. Once he is finally cleared of all suspicion of forging evidence, the fallen attorney "Rises from the Ashes" and picks up right where he left off]], cue the return of Nick in Ace Attorney 5.
* ForGreatJustice: Most obvious in Phoenix and Apollo, of course, but Edgeworth also learns to seek out the truth rather than just more wins on his record. Being a game series based on lawyers, it's justified.
** It's also the Steel Samurai's motto.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: Crops up on multiple occasions, including one particularly brutal {{deconstruction}}.
* FreudianExcuse: Some killers have Freudian excuses.
* FriendlyEnemy: Edgeworth (after his HeelFaceTurn) and Klavier.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Oddly, averted; juices are served in wine bottles and glasses, including tomato juice (''Justice For All'') and grape juice (''Apollo Justice'', ''Investigations''), which leads to think of this. However, they are juice in the Japanese version as well.
* GagDub: The "Phoenix Wrong" series. For example, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ecRIsO4ATc this compilation]]
* {{Gainaxing}}: April May could hit herself in the face if she's not careful. And she's a 2D sprite!
* GambitRoulette: Many of the arguments for both sides in several cases are these, dependent entirely on a particular character being in possession of the IdiotBall at a particular time.
* GeniusDitz: Despite Gumshoe's seemingly sieve-like mind and short attention span, he actually seems to have a knack for engineering, over the course of the series building a mechanical puppet, a frequency detector, and a ''metal detector''. The frequency detector is actually a pretty basic model that professional detectives wouldn't usually use, but it's somewhat justified that Gumshoe made it in ''middle school'' and didn't have time to fill out the paperwork for the precinct's equipment.
* GenkiGirl: It seems to be an unwritten rule for all sidekicks in the series to be this.
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: In a particular pose that's easily as iconic of the series as any of the catchphrases. It's in the series' logo and even in the scroll text button on the touch screen. It is oddly absent on the touch screen in ''Apollo Justice'' and ''Investigations'', however.
** The PreOrderBonus for the first DS game in the US was a stylus...whose tip was a hand with that very pointer finger.
** The Wii port of the first game even allows you to issue an objection by flailing the Wiimote at the screen in imitation of said pose.
** Case 1-5 (first game, fifth case, ''Rise from the Ashes'') has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsjBBq-zSBY#t=00m25s this exchange:]]
-->'''Judge''': "If I cut my finger Mr. Wright, I wouldn't be able to pound my gavel anymore."
-->'''Phoenix''': (Yeah. But if I cut my finger, I wouldn't be able to point it at people anymore...)
** And now Wright is crossing over with Franchise/ProfessorLayton, another famous pointer. This can only end well.
** The newest prosecutor, Simon Blackquill from ''Dual Destinies'', tries to point at Apollo during their trial [[spoiler:but because he's wearing handcuffs he can't do it and gets stuck mid-gesture]].
* {{Gonk}}: Perverted hospital "director" Hotti, and the scholar from ''Apollo Justice'' are all good examples.
* GoodLawyersGoodClients: Somehow, the defense attorneys you play as always only ends up defending people who are innocent. It's justified in a few cases (for example, Mia specifically defends a younger Phoenix because [[spoiler:Dahlia's involved and Mia's pretty sure ''she'' is the culprit, based on a previous case]]), but still kind of obvious. [[spoiler:It's played with in the final case of ''Justice For All''. Matt Engarde ''was'' responsible for the death of his rival, but maintains that he's technically innocent because ''he'' didn't commit the crime himself. The assassin he hired did. Despite this, everyone who knows this still considers Matt guilty, and having him be found innocent results in a NonstandardGameOver]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars: [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin has a scar on his hand that looks like a devil's face that's actually an important clue]].
** [[spoiler:Matt Engarde has evil scars behind his PeekABangs]] in Justice for All.
* GracefulLoser: ''Some'' of the perpetrators, when exposed, ''don't'' have {{Villainous Breakdown}}s. Those perpetrators (like [[spoiler:Dee Vasquez, Acro, and Godot]] almost always fit this trope. Even some of those who ''do'' have {{Villainous Breakdown}}s fit, like [[spoiler:Damon Gant]].
* GratuitousEnglish: [[http://www.capcom.co.jp/gyakutensaiban/5/trial/index.html The demo]] for ''Dual Destinies'' has Athena giving out "Let's do this!" near the beginning.
* GuideDangIt: Some cases require spectacular leaps of logic, which can prove frustrating for many people--especially younger children. What makes this even worse is that sometimes they're accommodating and let you present different pieces of evidence that, logically, would raise the same argument as each other, and other times they will only allow one.
* GuileHero: It doesn't get more "Guile Hero" than a defense attorney who can only use evidence, brains and chutzpah to save innocent people from the chair!
* {{Hammerspace}}: See KleptomaniacHero, below. Also, ''someone'' is apparently lugging around 17 cups of coffee to Godot's every trial. Or the coffee machine to make them, and the water, and the various blends, and assorted ingredients.
* HamToHamCombat: Expect a lot of BigWordShout back-and-forth during trials.
* HelloAttorney: Of course. Miles Edgeworth is this in-universe, with pretty much every woman he crosses paths with finding him attractive, as is Mia Fey (the first thing Gumshoe says to her, in the trial of Terry Fawles, is how pretty he thinks she is). Among the fans, Phoenix, Godot[[spoiler:/Diego]], and Gregory Edgeworth have been considered plenty attractive.
* HopeSpot: It is nearly impossible to get to the end of a trial without the prosecutor or culprit finding a significant flaw in your case, often a lack of decisive evidence, that renders your entire argument worthless despite everything you have proven. Cue Phoenix holding his head in his hands... until...
* HurricaneOfPuns: The vast majority of names you meet are a pun of some sort. Some are subtle, most... not so much.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every episode (save the bonus case in ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'', "Rise From The Ashes") contains the word "Turnabout" in the title. The Japanese name of that case can be translated as "Turnabout Revival". And the series itself is originally titled "Turnabout Courtroom", which quite nicely describes Phoenix's tendency to make a dramatic comeback when all seems lost.
* IdiotBall: Gets passed around frequently.
* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Lotta Hart is this in the Japanese version, though she's translated as being from the South, [[AccentAdaptation as per standard procedure]].
* ImprobableAge: Edgeworth became a prosecutor at a very young age, but he's got nothing on Franziska von Karma, who started practicing law at age thirteen! And Klavier Gavin started practice at age seventeen while still finding the time to become a rock star. The German/American legal system must be fun! Only gets away with it due to RuleOfCool.
* IndyPloy: At least once every trial, Phoenix comments on how he's making his defense up as he goes along.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Winston Payne, minus the "Sympathetic" part.
* InformedAbility: Winston Payne is described as a "rookie killer", yet every single rookie he goes up against in the games he ends up losing to. The only time the player sees Winston win a case is when he's arguing against [[spoiler: Furio Tigre, in a PaperThinDisguise as Phoenix, who was ''trying'' to lose]].
** To be fair to Payne, the first trial that he lost was chronologically his first appearance, and this first loss led to him becoming the loser that he is in the rest of the games.
* InfractionDistraction: Often used by criminals to create alibis for the crimes they intend to commit (AlwaysMurder, of course). One notable example occurs in the third game, when [[spoiler:Luke Atmey deliberately lets himself be caught on camera stealing the Kurain Sacred Urn, so that he'd have an alibi to keep him from being arrested for murdering his blackmailer]].
* IntercontinuityCrossover: A crossover game titled ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', made by Level 5 and penned by Shu Takumi, features key characters from ''Ace Attorney'' and ''Franchise/ProfessorLayton'' in a witch hunt setting. It uses ''Professor Layton''-style puzzles during investigation phases, and ''Ace Attorney''-style gameplay during courtroom scenes.
* ItMeantSomethingToMe: Phoenix's relationship with Dahlia. The poor kid was pretty hurt to learn that the girl he was head-over-heals for was only dating him to get back something of hers he had. [[spoiler:Then, he learns that "Dahlia" was actually her twin sister Iris, and Iris really ''had'' been in love with Phoenix as well. Awww!!!]]
** This is also the case with the classroom trial, from when Phoenix was a child. Larry and Edgeworth defended him, and it meant so much to him that he became a lawyer so he could do the same when it looked like Edgeworth needed his help. When Edgeworth is reminded of this, though,m it turns out he pretty much can't remember the incident and finds the idea of Phoenix clinging to that memory foolish, overly sentimental, and the sort of thing he'd expect Phoenix to do.
%%* InvisibleAdvertising
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: A lot of the prosecutors.
* TheJudge: ... and his Canadian brother! Who is '''also''' a judge.
* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Manfred von Karma is strongly implied to be involved in witness tampering, as a means of keeping up his spotless conviction rate as a prosecutor. He also seems to have passed on his methods to his daughter and his student; they both have moments where their witnesses admit to having been told to not talk about something.
* JustifiedTutorial: No formal tutorial, per se, but the beginning of each game's first trial is marked by an adviser explaining Testimonies and Cross Examinations. Justified because in games 1 and 4 it's Phoenix's and Apollo's first trial, game 2 has Phoenix suffer from amnesia right before court and game 3 has Mia Fey on her second trial and hadn't practiced law for a while. [[spoiler: Oddly enough, when her first trial gets played, Diego Armando feels no need to explain anything to her, but then again, it is case 4 and the player knows everything at that point]].
* JustInTime: Often times, just when all seems lost... someone bursts in with case-breaking evidence at the very last moment, usually backlit by the sun for extra dramatic effect.
** Which is actually pretty odd, seeing as how in ''Apollo Justice'' during [[spoiler:the MASON system segment]], we see a overhead view of the courthouse, and that door opens to a hallway...
*** There's more than one courtroom in that courthouse. But even if the courtrooms are all laid out in a similar fashion, likely RuleOfCool and/or RuleOfDrama applies.
* KangarooCourt: The legal system in this universe clearly operates on presumption of guilt... but it doesn't stop there. It's ''not enough'' to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant is innocent. There is at least one point in the games (probably more) where it is actually possible to have the defendant found guilty despite the Judge acknowledging that you've already proved their innocence. It's not even enough to prove who else ''did'' commit the crime. To get the defendant acquitted, you have to identify the real criminal and ''make them confess on the stand''. This is {{Hand Wave}}d by the NextSundayAD fictional legal system having undergone legislated reforms to drastically shorten and simplify the trial process, resulting in a system where the majority of defendants are quickly found guilty unless the defense can prove their innocence.
** To be fair, the series originated in Japan, which has a significantly different legal system. It has an inquisitive court system, where the goal is to find the truth. Even trial by jury was not established in the Japanese legal system until 2009--and even then only for certain severe crimes (and the arrangement has far more in common with a court-martial than a common law trial). Yeah, it seems mildly biased against the player, but that's simply a gameplay mechanism. The prosecutors tend to treat the inquisitive court system as an adversarial one, doing anything to get their guilty verdict. Phoenix is not corrupt, and tries to only defend clients he truly believes innocent. The RuleOfCool and the RuleOfFunny let the characters get away with murder (well, not literally, that's the one thing no one actually gets away with). When the judge believes there are loose ends, he will not give a verdict until the loose ends are tied up. So it's not guilty until proven innocent, except where it inconveniences the player.
** Even most countries with the inquisitive system, including Japan, have the principle where one is "innocent until proven guilty." However, in a bit of TruthInTelevision, the Japanese court system has a >99% conviction rate (though it has been attributed to limited funding leading to only the most solid cases being tried), forced confessions are allowed frequently, and prosecutors can appeal not-guilty verdicts. In 2008, the Justice Minister noted that the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" was one that he wanted to constrain. However, this game takes it even further than the broken system in Japan and makes it so that one is "guilty until someone ''else'' is proven guilty". [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_253/7530-Phoenix-Wrights-Objection More in this article]].
** The trope becomes a plot point between the ''Trials & Tribulations'' and ''Apollo Justice'' chapters in the series. Phoenix notices just how utterly broken and biased the court system is and how he would have lost several cases if something didn't turn the tide of the trial at the last minute. After Phoenix becomes disbarred from practicing law, this sets off a string of events. [[spoiler: In order to get Kristoph Gavin for evidence fraud and murder, Phoenix had to fight to get the court system to instate a jury system so that the fate of a client is decided by their peers rather than a single judge and he used Apollo as a catalyst for seeking out the truth during trials, something Phoenix was no longer able to do anymore legally]].
** And then between ''Apollo Justice'' and ''Dual Destinies'' comes the "Dark Age of Law", [[spoiler: where the justice system became SO corrupt that all the people lost their trust in the legal system, presumably resulting in the Jurist System's abandonment. Thus, [[StatusQuoIsGod the original system is in place]] for Dual Destinies]].
* TheKillerWasLeftHanded: Played straight, inverted, AND subverted.
* KleptomaniacHero: If it even conceivably passes for evidence, Phoenix or Apollo nabs it. However, it's difficult to tell if Phoenix or Apollo actually grabs the evidence, or just takes a picture of it or something similar. It would be highly improbable for them to lug around a large statue or noodle cart, for example. The general consensus seems to be that if it disappears from the scene, Phoenix or Apollo took it, and if it stays there, they took a picture. However, for extra fun, simply imagine them holding everything, and then presenting it in court by lugging it out from {{Hammerspace}}.
** Well, there is always Trucy's panties...
** Godot and Edgeworth also seem to share this trait, both finding the safest place for evidence to be their pocket and satchel respectively.
** In ''Investigations'', it's "Jotted down in the Organizer" unless the object is clearly handed to you, and you can examine it in detail.
---> 'Bear snatched up by Edgeworth.'
** Yeah, that bear the size of a hotel room.
** The assistants, Maya and Trucy, are also fond of grabbing things and the protagonist often has to talk them out of stealing things. Not that they call it stealing mark you.
*** Trucy gets called out on this in case 4-3. When Gavin says they can take a flyer, Apollo tells him good, as Trucy already swiped one. She is a little upset to be found out.
*** Kay often ''claims'' she was about to do this, but never actually does. It's funny when the spirit medium and the illusionist among the partners indulge in more theft than, well, the ''thief''.
* LadyOfWar: The Pink Princess, the Steel Samurai's love interest, wields a rapier.
* LargeHam: Is the character a lawyer? They are this. Is the character a witness? They are this. Really, there's just something about the court system that turns everyone involved into one of these. Even the judge gets to join in once or twice.
* LastNameBasis: Edgeworth, von Karma (Manfred more than Franziska), and Gumshoe, most prominently.
* LateArrivalSpoiler : Unaware that [[AmoralAttorney Miles Edgeworth]] makes a HeelFaceTurn? Just look at the title of Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations.
** [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne]]'s {{leitmotif}} is in the Kurain medley on the ''Gyakuten Meets Orchestra'' album.
* LaughingMad: Several guilty parties once they're exposed.
** ESPECIALLY, [[spoiler:Luke Atmey]], and [[spoiler:Calisto Yew]].
** And in Apollo Justice's last case, [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin]]. The game describes the killer's laugh thusly, as you look on [[spoiler: his]] final breakdown.
-->A laugh louder than any ever heard before... or since.\\
A laugh that echoed in the halls of justice, lingering for what seemed like hours.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Several characters have their own personal theme songs.
* LifeMeter: The 2nd game and onward use this to show the judge's patience with the player, though this can be a bit random since you can also lose life for messing up during Psyche Lock segments (something the Judge isn't involved in). Sometimes a single mistake can cost you the whole bar, which is an instant game over.
** In the first game, the LifeMeter takes the form of a row of five exclamation points. One gets taken off for each mistake, regardless of the severity, and at every save point, all five were restored.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Edgeworth and Franziska were raised as siblings.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Celeste and later Franziska for Adrian Andrews.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: [[http://www.court-records.net/Characters.htm Just LOOK at all the characters in JUST the Phoenix arc!]]
* LostInTranslation: Mostly averted, character name meanings and puns are generally carried over to English and French about as well as can be hoped. A few things are lost that make things somewhat more sensible. (notably the kanji for dragon in Phoenix's Japanese name, see AnimalStereotypes above)
** Of course the JapanesePronouns are lost but most of the time it's not a big deal. However, at one point they're used to emphasize [[spoiler: that the Matt Engarde you meet at first and the one he reveals himself to be are ''not'' the same person. The former uses "boku" (a boyish pronoun) while the latter uses "ore" (a more serious, adult one). Thankfully, the rest of TheReveal is enough to make the change ''very'' obvious]].
* [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Mad Prosecutor's Gorgeous Children]]: Franziska von Karma is the daughter of the BigBad of the first game (not counting DS 1-5), though she doesn't fall in love with Phoenix. At the same time, Miles Edgeworth is the adoptive son of von Karma and Franziska's "unrelated little brother".
** It's symbolic of Franziska's personality that she calls Edgeworth her "little brother" when he's older than her.
* MagicRealism: Ghosts regularly become involved in what would otherwise be a fairly realistic setting.
* {{Malaproper}}: Redd White is full of these.
--> '''Redd White''': "You wish to know the title of my personage?"
* MaliciousMisnaming: Many characters keep calling Phoenix under different names (Mr. Wrong, Trite, etc.) as an insult, and Klavier Gavin's favorite nickname for Apollo is Herr Forehead. Franziska does the complete opposite by always addressing Phoenix and Edgeworth by their full names, but notably refers to Gumshoe as "Scruffy [=McTrenchCoat=]".
* MatrixRainingCode: The MASON System.
* MatterOfLifeAndDeath: In ''Trials and Tribulations'' it is shown on two occasions that murder is a capital crime, thus all the trials are this for the defendants. This fits with the Japanese origin of the game as the one time we hear details of an execution, it is performed by hanging as it would be in reality.
* MeaningfulName: Too many, but one that practically spoils ''Apollo Justice'' immediately is [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin, Japanese name "Kirihito Garyu". As in "''hitokiri''". As in "murder"]].
** If you know the correct way his name is pronounced, [[spoiler:Godot]] can suffer from similarly easy spoilers in the English version. [[spoiler:It's the last syllables of his real first and last name (Die''go'' Arman''do'') smashed together]].
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: To the point that there are no female victims in two of the games and ''Investigations'' only features one female victim in the backstory to the fourth case.
** Do note, however, that there are quite a number of dead females tied into cases. Also, in the first game, there are 2 female victims, one in the first case, the other, your mentor.
* MentorOccupationalHazard: Mia Fey dies, [[spoiler:Diego Armando is poisoned, Gregory Edgeworth is murdered, Manfred von Karma is executed ''for'' murder, Kristoph Gavin is convicted]], and Grossberg ends up being ... [[QuicklyDemotedLeader Grossberg]].
** Not to mention [[spoiler: Elise Deauxnim, who mas murdered too]]. Of course, [[spoiler: her]] student ''was'' [[spoiler: Laurice Deauxnim, also known as Larry Butz. And you know what they say: When something smells...]].
* MilkingTheGiantCow: Didn't they teach you in law school that it's rude to point?
* MissionPackSequel: Aside from the introduction of Psyche Locks and a LifeMeter in the second game, the first three games are almost identical. The fourth game mixes things up a little bit, the gameplay is still extremely similar. The Edgeworth game completely averts this.
* MoonLogicPuzzle: Frequent.
** To be fair, pressing the witnesses ''usually'' doesn't earn you penalties (and in most cases where it ''does'', you get ample warning beforehand), and helps find out what's wrong with their testimonies. Heck, sometimes Phoenix's inner monologue even highlights the crucial question that went unanswered. Also, "cycling around" the testimony in cross-examination to get a reaction from the protagonist and/or their assistant almost never hurts, and may in fact help if you're stuck.
*** Sometimes the Moon Logic comes in when you have two or more pieces of evidence that are equally relevant to the contradiction in question, and/or two or more bits of testimony that the character could reasonably object to. Sometimes the game designers realized this, and give the player more than one correct option. Other times, not so much.
** Dual Destinies actively tries to correct this problem, and actually combines multiple pieces of evidence into single presentable units. For example, it's not uncommon for a photograph, a newspaper clipping, and a police report to be treated as a single, presentable piece of evidence.
* MotiveRant: Often accompanied by a brief FreakOut or a BigNo.
** In fact this is apparently so omnipresent in the ''Ace Attorney'' Universe that when, in 2-4, [[spoiler:Adrian Andrews fails to deliver one, Phoenix immediately become suspicious of her guilt]].
** Averted, though, with [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin]], who confesses to a murder but refuses to disclose his reason for doing so. [[spoiler:Then Drew Misham bites the dust, Apollo and Phoenix investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, and we finally realize ''why'' Kristoph is so tight-lipped about his own agenda]].
* MotorMouth: Wendy Oldbag.
--> '''Oldbag:''' *rambling* \\
* Edgeworth objects*
--> '''Edgeworth:''' "O-objection! I... object to the witness's taltakiveness." \\
'''Judge:''' Objection sustained! The witness will refrain from rambling on the stand."
* MST3KMantra: Invoked in-universe when Ema encounters an ad showing [[CarnivoreConfusion a cartoon cow eating a steak]], and Phoenix tells her not to think about it too hard.
* {{Mukokuseki}}: A significant part of the reason the sweeping name changes in the English version don't cause too much complaining; if anything, the number of characters who look distinctly "Asian" - never mind Japanese - are a minority, and passing off characters like Reiji Mitsurugi and Mei Karuma as caucasians (as Miles and Franziska, respectively) is somewhat ''more'' believable given how they look.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: The series lives and breathes this trope.
** Basically, it takes law--as any non-reader of End User License Agreement will attest, law is really boring--and makes it awesome, often simply by increasing the volume ("'''''Objection!'''''"). The fact that all lawyers in AA look [[RuleOfCool really cool]] also helps there.
** There's also the fact that after you win a case, confetti rains from the gallery ([[WordOfGod handcrafted and thrown by Gumshoe]]) and the crowd cheers.
** At various points in the series, the dramatic close-up of one of the lawyers that's usually reserved for adding impact to rightfully awesome declarations is used for completely ridiculous (though they [[ItMakesSenseInContext make sense in context]]) statements, such as "What kind of murderer uses a Samurai Slap?" or "Baseballs have stitches! Are you saying that all baseballs are suspicious?"
** [[spoiler:The final case of the third game has an ''exorcism'' take place on the witness stand, accomplished with little more than some inquisitive prodding]].
* TheMusical: Both an official Takarazuka Musical and fan project: The PhoenixWrightMusicalProject.
** ''Investigations'' reuses music from older games that were associated with [[TheCameo characters from past games]].
* MusicalNod: Objection 2001 appears when Phoenix objects in the first case of ''Apollo Justice'' [[spoiler:and all the music in the flashback to the trial in case 4 is taken from the first game]].
** Near the end of ''Trials & Tribulations'', a remix of Cornered 2001 is used in place of ''T&T'''s own Cornered track.
* MusicalSpoiler: If you present the correct piece of evidence in court or rebuttal (''Investigations''), the soundtrack will cut to silence. [[spoiler: Results in subversions in game 3, where, no matter what evidence you submit, the music cuts out and the dialogue is the same...at first]].
** An odd case is on the series' official orchestral soundtrack. Most of the track titles are spoiler safe, but one, ''Kurain Anthology'', a compilation of all themes associated with the Feys and their practice, includes [[spoiler: Iris and Dahlia's themes]].
* MysteryMagnet: Many cases start with Phoenix having only taken a passing interest in something (an awards ceremony, for example), only for someone involved with whatever it was to turn up dead. Apollo Justice seems to have been set up to become one of these as well, and the same is true for Edgeworth in his GaidenGame.
** Lampshaded by Gumshoe, who mentions he's beginning to wonder if Phoenix is the cause of all the chaotic situations he gets wrapped up in. Edgeworth then notes that [[EconomyCast Gumshoe is usually involved in the exact same incidents]].
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Quite a few characters, both in [[{{Woolseyism}} English]] and Japanese. One of the standouts would be Shelly de Killer.
** Furio Tigre.
** Manfred von Karma.
* NearVillainVictory: Frequent. ''Very'' frequent. Most trials typically range from Phoenix having one last chance to present decisive evidence before his client is convicted to the judge announcing the verdict before someone comes in with new information.
* NeverSayDie: An odd example. While the murders are shown and described in bloody detail, and the death penalty is mentioned, it is absolutely never mentioned that the previous killers were executed. In fact, about [[spoiler:Franziska von Karma]], they only say, "Her father's gone, you know."
** With one exception: [[spoiler:Dahlia in 3-5 talks explicitly about her death, going as far as stating that she was hanged, while her spirit is being channeled]].
** Investigations 2, however, suggests that Frank Sahwit seems to have avoided the death penalty, since he appears as a witness in Case 2. This is likely because in Sahwit's case, he committed ''manslaughter'' (in other words, he accidentally killed his victim without any prior planning or intent), not murder. It seems that they give death penalties only to murderers, meaning that Dee Vasquez is probably alive too since in her case it was self defense (and blackmail).
* NeverTrustATrailer: The official trailer for Ace Attorney Investigations showed several scenes of Kay Faraday assisting with the investigation of the second case. Edgeworth doesn't meet [[spoiler:17-year-old]] Kay until the beginning of case 3.
* NextSundayAD: The first ''Phoenix Wright'' game takes place in 2016. Nothing's changed at ''all'', really, except the court system. And cell phones have regressed back to the late 1990s.
* NightmareFuel: InUniverse, Phoenix and Apollo seem to have this opinion of the Blue Badger.
* NoBadgeNoProblem: The lawyers frequently overstep their authority in their crime scene investigations. Its very vague about whether the lawyers are actually allowed to do this--sometimes Phoenix will be stopped from entering a crime scene due to lack of authority, and sometimes the police will gladly let him look the whole thing over and take whatever valuable evidence he wants.
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: For the most part (they're all just puns), but Gumshoe does mention at one point that he lives in Compton.
* NoOshaCompliance: From the first game alone, [[spoiler:the spiked fence post in the third case ended ''two'' lives by people [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice falling on them]], and an elevator in the DL-6 incident manages to nearly suffocate three people for want of a vent when the power goes out]].
* NonstandardCharacterDesign:
** Mike Meekins looks quite unfitting compared to other characters, even the ones drawn by the same artist. Kinda looks like someone from Franchise/LupinIII.
** Spark Brushel from Apollo Justice would fit right in with the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:Cammy Meele]] in ''Investigations''. Also [[spoiler:Phoenix Wright]] in the fourth game, to the point that even Apollo believes that he is doing it on purpose.
** And [[spoiler: Yanni Yogi]]. And [[spoiler: Matt Engarde]]. And [[spoiler: April May]]. And [[spoiler: Ini Miney]]. And [[spoiler: Quercus Alba]]. In fact, if one of your witnesses is extremely ditzy you should probably immediately suspect them of faking it. Although subverted in the case of [[spoiler: Colias Palaeno]], whose eccentricity and cheeriness seems a bit... suspicious until it's revealed he wasn't the culprit.
** [[spoiler: Damon Gant]] in Case 1-5 seems to be very happy-go-lucky, even childlike, for a [[spoiler: Police Chief]]. Then things start turning on their head, and you can see how formidable he really is.
* OhCrap: Half of the fun is watching the reactions of the prosecuting attorneys and witnesses as you rip right through their evidence and testimonies. Especially since almost all of them have insulted you in some way at some point or another.
* OnlySaneMan: The playable character in each game. It seems that they're the only ones to notice that the prosecution is blatantly lying/taking advantage of the Judge/doing something incredibly illegal/whipping people to let off steam/etc. This is a bit jarring in ''Dual Destinies'', when the cases cycle between Apollo, Athena, and Phoenix as the playable characters and, from the perspective of each of them, the other two come across as very ridiculous.
* OrgyOfEvidence: This is how pretty much every trial begins. It's often lampshaded by Phoenix, Apollo, Mia, and Athena, who note that the massive amounts of evidence really do make a compelling case against their clients and that they must look past it to believe in them. Edgeworth also tends to lampshade this in the first game, when he presents his opening statements along the lines of, "We have a lot of evidence and eyewitnesses who saw the defendant do it. We have this in the bag". By the time the trial is over, of course, the defense team has proven that it all points to the real culprit.
* OverlyNervousFlopSweat: A lot of characters sweat bullets when they see themselves trapped into a corner, attorneys, witnesses, or otherwise. It gets TurnedUpToEleven when the radio a certain witness is using to testify starts leaking acid instead.
* PassiveAggressiveKombat: Cases that don't get heated turn into this. Notably, Mia and Franziska engage in it during Maya's trial (and manage to completely freak out Phoenix in the process). Morgan Fey also seems very fond of invoking this.
--> '''Lotta:''' Hold on, now, granny!
--> '''Morgan:''' ...Granny?
--> '''Lotta:''' How come we ain't allowed in that room!?
--> '''Morgan:''' Dear madam, you have an "impressive" grasp of English. From where did you learn it?
* PenultimateOutburst: An essential part of the games. The penalty meter represents how much patience the Judge has left, and when it runs out, he declares the trial over and done with. There are also several points where he demands evidence from the defense to back their claims, on the threat of ending the trial if they can't. (In one trial in ApolloJustice, he threatens to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" if Apollo can't ''explain how a magic trick works''. A question which is all but irrelevant to the trial at hand, at least at that point in time!)
* PeripheryDemographic: In-universe, the Steel Samurai franchise seems to be popular amongst older people like Maya and Edgeworth, despite being designed for little kids.
* ThePerryMasonMethod: Courtroom scenes, which constitute half the gameplay, are nothing but this.
%%* PhraseCatcher: ''"OBJECTION!"''
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Gregory Edgeworth's could easily be one of these in the ''Ace Attorney'' games. Basically, it was his death that kick started Miles' ambition to be a lawyer, which started Phoenix's. You could even go further back and say that it was [[spoiler: Isaku Hyodo]]'s death that led to Gregory's, and so on. Gregory's death was also the distant catalyst for Misty Fey's disappearance (which in turn had ''several'' repercussions on the Fey clan, such as [[spoiler: Dahlia and]] Iris's father leaving, Mia's PromotionToParent, etc, Yanni Yogi's [[spoiler: ObfuscatingStupidity]], etcetera.
** In fact, a lot of deaths in this game series have kicked off new arcs and plots (Mia Fey, Magnifi Gramarye etc).
* PointlessBandAid: Detective Gumshoe has been wearing a bandage in the same spot on his left cheek for at least seven years. It's almost-but-not-quite lampshaded in ''Investigations'', when he asks, "Do I have something on my face or something?"
* ThePollyanna: Maya. Just... Maya. All the assistants qualify, but Maya takes the cake.
** Not exactly. Maya gets arrested many times in Phoenix's games and is pretty bummed out about it. She always tells Phoenix that she's not of any help. (Although, in the courtroom, she actually doesn't really say much)
* PrecisionFStrike Miles Edgeworth pulls roughly one "[[SophisticatedAsHell What the hell]][...]?" per game, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJuR7AtroMA#t=04m58s most memorably]] from 1-5:
---> '''Edgeworth''': [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments What the hell was that wriggling piece of plywood]]!?
** Also, in Investigations
---> '''Lang''': [[spoiler: Quercus Alba]], you BASTARD!
* ProudToBeAGeek: Edgeworth may be a [[ClosetGeek closet nerd]], but Maya's quite upfront with her geekishness.
* PunchClockVillain: Most (with some ''big'' exceptions) prosecutors aren't necessarily despicable people, it's just their job to convict defendants and get them thrown in jail or the death penalty. To what degree the prosecutor cares about achieving true justice varies from game to game and case to case; the more sympathetic ones will do what they can (within their position as prosecutor) to help the protagonist while the truly terrible ones will do ''anything'' to get their guilty verdict.
* QuicklyDemotedLeader: Here's a word of advice--don't become the mentor of a rookie attorney. You'll most likely end up dead or the victim of otherwise horrible circumstances. Or [[spoiler:in jail]], as we see in ''Apollo Justice''.
* RainbowSpeak: Orange text indicates hints and important pieces of evidence, blue text is for the protagonist's inner thoughts, and green text is used for witness testimonies.
* RantInducingSlight: Two words--''Wendy Oldbag''.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The "Jurist System" in ''Apollo Justice'' was introduced largely in reaction to the Japanese government re-establishing trial by jury in 2006.
* RealMenWearPink: Edgeworth, baby (wine-red, according to investigations. Looks like magenta, though).
** Seems to be thrown about everywhere. Phoenix's pink sweater when he was younger, Larry's pink overall (okay, so those two don't really count in the context used), Kristoph's pink neck-ribbon-thing, Zak Gramarye's most amazing get-up (it's referred to as red but if you believe that you're colorblind) and Wocky's jacket if we can include Edgeworth's--Capcom seems to love putting pink on men.
*** And let's not forget Max Galactica. Wow.
*** Or Redd White. He also has purple hair and sparkles almost every time he's addressed.
* RealitySubtext: The whole deal with the Jurist System in Apollo Justice exists due to Japan actually testing for themselves a jury system.
* RedOniBlueOni: Inverted with Phoenix and Miles. Loud, hot-blooded and impulsive Phoenix wears a blue suit, while calm, composed and calculated Miles wears a [[strike:red]] burgundy suit.
** The same applies for Edgeworth and Agent Lang, but without the color scheme.
* RefugeInAudacity: Every murderer in the series bases their plans on the assumption that no one can even hope to imagine the events that have happened. [[spoiler: Luke Atmey]] is a great example of that, trying to use [[spoiler: a guilty verdict for a lesser crime]] as a defense for a murder. Things would work out if it wasn't for the fact that Phoenix, Apollo and Edgeworth themselves tend to be quite audacious in their theories and explanations.
* RuleOfFun: The justice system presented in the games would be a joke in real life, the lawyers and witnesses get away with attitudes and behaviors that would be punishable by contempt of court at ''least'', and any witness revising their statement that much would have their credibility wrecked in about fifteen minutes. But is it ''fun''? Heck yes.
** The series is supposedly something of a satire of the Japanese legal system, which really does have corrupt prosecutors, an emphasis on confessions, and an extremely high conviction rate. It is, of course, wildly exaggerated.
* RunningGag: Numerous. The longest running would be the eternal 'ladder vs step-ladder' debate.
--> '''Maya''': Look, a ladder!
--> '''Phoenix''': That's a "step"-ladder.
--> '''Maya''': So? What's the difference? You need to stop judging things based on narrow-minded cultural assumptions, Nick!
--> '''Phoenix''': R-right... sorry.
** For the record, it's only a stepladder if it has steps (flat surfaces to step on). If it has rungs it's just a ladder.
** This running gag also continues in Apollo Justice only with the papers inverted.
*** And again in ''AceAttorneyInvestigations'', with Kay identifying one as a step-ladder. Miles comments that both of them are equally guilty of being dangerous during earthquakes.
** Every time you visit the detention center and examine the guard (who's really just a part of the background image), Phoenix makes a new [[LampshadeHanging smartass comment about his stoicism and general motionlessness]] (because he's really just a part of the background image).
** Phoenix's strange fixation with scrubbing the toilet, though this mostly appears in the third game. Both in the American AND Japanese versions.
** There is also Charley the potted plant, who gets a special mention despite the fact that pretty much everything in Phoenix's office is a running gag because he even turns up after the law office is converted into a talent agency. Charley may actually be a reference to the LucasArts running gag of Chuck the Plant, who appeared in several of their classic adventure games, starting in ''ManiacMansion''.
*** Speaking of office gags, starting in 1-4:
--->'''Phoenix''': Difficult-looking legal books stand in a formidable row. They mock me. [...]
**** How this line finishes depends on the case, and whether there's anyone else present. Eventually they start collecting an impressive layer of dust. There's at least one amusing CallBack to the first instance of this, from 1-5:
---->'''Ema''': Oh, I tried studying one of those just now. Remember what they were talking about in the trial today...?
---->'''Phoenix''': Oh, right, evidence law. So, did you learn anything?
---->'''Ema''': Well, when I tried reading it made my head hurt.
---->'''Phoenix''': Oh...
---->'''Ema''': Then, when I closed it, it slipped out of my hand and fell on my foot.
---->'''Phoenix''': (Oddly enough I find myself identifying with her on this one...)
** Miles Edgeworth has poor luck with getting witnesses to introduce themselves on the stand.
** "Anyone could wear that ____. Even me!"
** The movie poster in Mia's office, said to be the first movie to make her cry. The gag being that nobody knows the title of the movie, including Mia. Eventually Maya tries to replace it with a Steel Samurai poster, but puts it back when she finally sees the movie (though the reader never hears the title either).
*** In 4-4, Phoenix said he finally found out the name and watched it, and he might show it to Trucy sometime. Then he realised he forgot the name...
** The guy in the police station is always doing a different type of image training. It changes every time something new happens in the room.
*** In 1-5, he instead seems to be writing a crime novel instead and comes up with different twists (including time machines and him being the murderer because of a split personality). At the end he switches to romance.
*** Likewise the lead detective in the back middle of the room. Phoenix always assumes the guy's hard at work on something, then gets irritated when he finds out the guy's just looking up gossip on the Internet.
** The Gatewater Hotel from the first game's second case. Examining the window facing it in every case reveals that it goes from a no-name hotel to, [[invoked]][[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity with the help of that case]], a famous five-star hotel and eventually, a ''theme park''.
** No one can seem to remember Wendy Oldbag's name, or at least know it well enough to not have a sense of doubt.
*** There's also her undying love for Edgeworth, which, given her age, is pretty strongly unrequited.
** Phoenix loves to present his Attorney's Badge to anyone he meets during investigations. Although necessary in a few cases (notably case 4 of the first game), mostly this is met with either confusion or ridicule. Phoenix himself {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this if Apollo presents his own badge to him. Gumshoe also lampshades it in 1-5, noting that "you show this to me every time we meet, pal," then adds with a grin, "real men show their police badge! 'Nuff said!"
*** Continued in ''Investigations'', where you never actually get to use Edgeworth's Prosecutor Badge, and the flavor text states that he tends to keep it in his pocket. It's also lampshaded by none other than [[spoiler:MANFRED VON KARMA]].
** In ''Apollo Justice'' and ''Investigations'', Phoenix and Edgeworth respectively seem to have a fondness for "grape juice." In huge glass bottles, in bars and VIP lounges. [[FrothyMugsOfWater One might think that this is censorship of wine]], however, not only is the substitution of grape juice in both the English and Japanese versions, but [[FridgeLogic why would they need to censor alcohol in a game about violent murders]]?
*** They don't need to censor alcohol, really, but I'd contest that they do anyway - why else would [[spoiler:Phoenix not be allowed grape juice in the hospital? This is further spotlighted by the fact that he '''''switches the label''''' with mineral water to sneak it in, and then '''''lies to his daughter''''' about that, with a big stage wink to Apollo]].
*** The '''''really''''' fun part is that in both the western and the Japanese versions, '''it REALLY is grape juice and not wine!'''
** Not really a gag, but the last case of all three Phoenix arc games has a different prosecutor from the usual as your opponent for at least part of the case.
** At least for the first three games, if you include the bonus case for the first game, all end with Phoenix being put in a difficult position, and finally ending with one last "'''''Objection!'''''"
** Throughout, whenever flowers are examined or brought up, Phoenix always mentions that the only ones he can identify are tulips and sunflowers. In the final case of ''Apollo Justice'' he has an epiphany and realizes that he can identify roses too.
* {{Ruritania}}: The small nation of Borginia, home country of Machi Tobaye and Romein [=LeTouse=] from ''Apollo Justice'' and Zinc Lablanc and Akbey Hicks from ''Investigations''. For added strangeness, the country also exists in Capcom's ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis''.
** Possibly a nod to the fact that Ace Attorney creator, Shu Takumi, was also the director of ''DinoCrisis2''.
* SayMyName: Several times.
-->'''von Karma''': [[spoiler: EDGEWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORTH!!!]]
-->'''Dahlia''': [[spoiler: MIIIAAA FEEEEEEEEEEEEYYY!!!!!]]
-->'''Kristoph''': [[spoiler: WWWWWWRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!]]
* ScaryShinyGlasses: [[spoiler:Kristoph]]. You actually get to see through those glasses. It isn't pretty. Payne also has them, but they aren't scary. Also subverted by Machi in the third case of the fourth game--he has the glasses, but he's actually a very kind and gentle boy.
** Not to mention the fact that they're sunglasses, and he's got a good reason to be wearing them. [[spoiler: He's pretending to be blind]].
* ScreenShake: Used for everything from Franziska's whip to random lines of dialogue.
* SeamlessSpontaneousLie: Very common; characters who are caught out on their lies often come up with entirely different, equally detailed stories within very little time. Of course, due to the nature of the game, these are always found out eventually.
* SequelDifficultyDrop: In ''Investigations'', however, because in nearly every situation Edgeworth's inner monologue would make it clear even to Gumshoe what you're supposed to do next.
** This is probably because many fans mentioned they liked the way he thinks [[spoiler: during his small turn as defense attorney in the third game]].
** Also inverted that penalties in the game always take off 10% of your life bar, thus you have 10 chances before a game over, which is pretty easy going compared to the roller coaster of penalties amounts in the previous games. [[spoiler: The penalties are beefed up to 20% when Alba gets annoyed at one point by your constant time wasting with your questioning]].
* SequelDifficultySpike: The main series games get harder after the first one.
** Subverted, somewhat, with Dual Destinies. While the trials themselves aren't necessarily simpler or easier, the game does more to streamline elements or to remove some of the FakeDifficulty. Psyche Locks and Pereception no longer lower the status bar when failed. Evidence is more carefully organized and it's more obvious which pieces of evidence can be presented when, and similar or related evidence is often grouped together. As well the option so examine a scene is only open in crime scenes or other locations where investigation is necessary... while this removes, say, some of the flavor text of examining the office, it prevents the player from occasional moments of wandering from location to location clicking on everything on the off-chance it's related to the case.
* SequelFirst: In Europe, ''Apollo Justice'' came out before ''Trials and Tribulations''; the reason why being spoilery; it will not be explained.
* SeriousBusiness: The law is a serious thing in just about any setting, but this game still manages to push legal work to the level of spectator sport.
** This is taken to a whole new level of insanity in [[Film/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney the film]], where it's shown that more prominent court cases sell tickets for each day of the trial so people can watch, and the trial concludes with a holographic "Not Guilty!" accompanied by confetti being fired.
** Case 5-3 reveals that lawyer schools involve lessons on the proper way to shout OBJECTION!, and the correct speed and angle of pointing your finger, among other things.
* SheatheYourSword: There is at least one point in every game where the prosecution demands evidence supporting your theory and you don't have any. Rather than receive repeated penalties from trying everything in the inventory, the correct answer is to say that you don't have evidence. This is usually followed by a HopeSpot sequence.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Phoenix and Maya, in spite of Pearl constantly saying that he is Maya's 'Special someone'.
** Also done ''hilariously'' in ''Investigations'' with Edgeworth and ''Wendy Oldbag''.
* ShipTease: Capcom is very aware of the HoYay fan base. The end of the third game also drops one more on the fans before the seven year time skip to ''Apollo Justice'' seems to erase it.
** ''Dual Destinies'' has some between Juniper Woods and Apollo. Junie blushes adorably and knits something with heart-shaped patterns while talking favorably about Apollo, and Apollo can be seen smiling at her when she goes to give her performance in the third case.
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/AceAttorney Has its own page]]. Both the Japanese version AND the English translation use many throwaway pop culture references as gags. ''Justice for All'' had a serious spike in online memes inserted into the localization, presumably thanks to the MemeticMutation of the first game.
* ShowWithinAShow: The Steel Samurai, sort of. Also the Pink Princess, the Nickel Samurai, and the Jammin' Ninja.
* {{Sidekick}}: It's series tradition for the main character to have a cute/attractive female sidekick in almost every case. [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg Or Gumshoe]].
** Gumshoe still fits the mold, just for a [[BaraGenre different kind]] [[YaoiFangirl of fan]].
* SlidingScaleOfContinuity: The games have a stronger (level 4, Arc-Based Episodic) continuity between cases within each game, but are level 3 (Subtle Continuity) with respect to one another, featuring the same characters (bar ''Apollo Justice'') and explaining things like spirit mediums at the beginning of each game but otherwise having independent stories and not depending on the player knowing the previous games.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Miles Edgeworth has a chess set in his office. Phoenix notes that the problems he sets up tend to have the red side utterly dominating the blue side, if you get my drift.
** A lot of people play chess in Investigations 2. Not to mention the whole logic chess gameplay element.
* SmugSnake: Many of the murderers turn out to be one of these if it's not immediately obvious, such as [[spoiler:Redd White, Morgan Fey, Dahlia Hawthorne, and Matt Engarde]]. The last of those almost qualifies for MagnificentBastard status, but made one little mistake. Richard Wellington is a particularly over-the-top example.
* SongInTheKeyOfPanic: Testimonies and cross examinations initially use the Confrontation: Moderato (normal pace) music. As the protagonists get closer to the truth and more lies are exposed, the music switches to Confrontation: Allegro (faster) to illustrate the mounting pressure on everyone involved. The games (starting with the Investigations spinoffs) have taken this even further with Confrontation: Presto (fastest) when dealing with the last testimonies of the culprit or highly important people (making this a case of MusicalSpoiler).
* SpeechCentricWork: As one might expect from a VisualNovel that's also a CourtroomDrama.
* SpeedStripes: See SuperMovePortraitAttack.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''VideoGame/GhostTrick''.
* SpitTake: Godot pulls off a few of these in the third game.
** Maya points it out on one such occasion.
** Godot once even orders a fresh coffee, takes a solid gulp, and ''then'' spit-takes.
* StoppedClock: Used repeatedly (twice in the first game alone).
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: You have to play dumb until it's the "right" time to solve the mysteries, even the ones that are blatantly obvious from the beginning. This becomes an emotionally painful part of game play in the fourth game [[spoiler:when the player can't choose to not present the evidence that results in Phoenix's disbarment]] since by that point it's pretty damn obvious what will happen. [[spoiler:Of course, that's also part of a flashback, so averting this would be somewhat of a time paradox]].
* SuperMovePortraitAttack: Happens during trials when an attorney or prosecutor delivers a particularly energetic "'''''Objection!'''''" The special sprite is superimposed on light blue SpeedStripes.
* SympatheticMurderer: Several, including [[spoiler:someone who killed the man who had made everyone think the killer was deranged and ruined his life fifteen years ago]] in the first game.
** How about [[spoiler: Godot? His murder was self-defense and defense of another, not to mention payback for the poisoning that ruined his life by putting him in a coma for years, making him effectively blind, and making him unable to protect the woman he loved?]]
** From the second game there's also [[spoiler: Acro. He wanted to kill Regina because she doesn't understand that she's responsible for putting his brother in a coma and himself in a wheelchair. Then he killed the wrong person, the ringmaster who's pretty much his surrogate father. You get the feeling that if his brother is dead instead of in a coma, he would have just turned himself in or killed himself]]; and [[spoiler: Mimi Miney, who had her life ruined by the AssholeVictim, lost her sister in a car crash due to the fatigue she suffered from being overworked by said asshole, and was blamed for several deaths. She manages to build a new life under her sister's name, and has to face being exposed for everything because her former boss just can't let sleeping dogs lie]].
* ThatWasObjectionable: The [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]].
* ThatOneCase: Typically one per game:
** In the entirety of the Phoenix arc, [[spoiler: DL-6, and its aftermath]].
** In the last case of the first game, [[spoiler: SL-9]].
** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', [[spoiler: Mia Fey's first case (although it's actually solved and overcome by Mia in the first case, which takes place after it)]].
** In ''ApolloJustice'', the one that resulted in [[spoiler:Wright's disbarment]].
** In ''[[AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Investgations]]'', [[spoiler: KG-8, and "the second KG-8" (Turnabout Reminiscence)]].
** In ''Gyakuten Kenji 2'', [[spoiler: IS-7 and SS-5]]
** In ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'', [[spoiler: UR-1]].
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Whenever a lawyer gets the upper hand, their theme music plays. [[spoiler:Played to the hilt in 3-5 when [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Phoenix's theme music from the first game plays right when he finishes everything off]]]].
** Not to mention the 'allegro' themes, which are quicker, more dramatic versions of the cross-examination themes which play instead of the normal theme after contradictions start showing up.
*** ''Investigations'' even gets a 'presto' version of its theme, which is [[UpToEleven even faster and more dramatic]] than the 'allegro' theme, and is played solely during [[ClimaxBoss the final confrontation with a given villain]].
* ThinkInText: [[color:teal: (Shown as light blue text between parentheses. Expect [[FirstPersonSmartass lots of snark]] to come out of these.)]]
* TimeSkip: Several; three minor time skips of a year each between the first three games of the series, then a whooping seven years time skip between ''Trials and Tribulations'' and ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney'', and finally another one year skip between that game and ''Dual Destinies''.
* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Discussed at the end of the fourth game, [[spoiler:which comes down hard on the side of "good", as it points out that the law is always changing based on people's understanding of what is right...underscored by the introduction of the Jurist System for the sole purpose of injecting some common wisdom and understanding into the process]].
* TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot: Kurain Village is a two hours' train ride from the city, yet during the investigation phase of 2-2 you make at ''the bare minimum'' two-and-a-half round trips in the span of 3 hours. It's also somehow possible for an eight-year-old child to travel the distance ''on foot'' in a single morning.
* TributeToFido: The police dog in the first game is named after Missile, the creator's Pomeranian. He doesn't do anything useful, but he does eat all of Larry's hot dogs.
* TruthInTelevision: Unfortunately, all the prosecutors who obsess over perfect win records and with the odds so stacked against you is very true in Japan's criminal justice system, even false confessions are common to avoid dishonoring a family further with a long and drawn out trial. In a way, you could say the series is actually a brilliant and scathing satire.
* TryEverything: Sadly, if you're not able to divine some the less obvious hints, you'll be doing this even during trials and rebuttals.
* {{Tsundere}}: Franziska, particularly in the third game after she's [[DefrostingIceQueen mellowed a bit]]. Even lampshaded. Both Phoenix and Edgeworth say "she's so openly hostile it's almost cute".
* UnderdogsNeverLose: Played very straight with every defense attorney.
* VideoGame3DLeap: Though Phoenix and Maya already got the 3D treatment in the ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'' crossover, the series's debut on the 3DS marks the jump for the series proper, allowing for more dynamic camera and angle work than in previous entries.
* VillainousBreakdown: The closer you get the real murderer to confessing, the more out of control they get. Once the truth is revealed, they cry, scream, tear their hair and clothes, laugh hysterically, and sometimes ''faint dead away''. [[spoiler:Luke Atmey]] in particular is this trope.
** Some of the breakdowns are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbDPyqlpiYI way over the top]].
** Also, the more out of control they get, the more smug they get when the prosecuting attorney brings up something that could pull their ass out of the fire-"How I Would Have Done It" by OJ Simpson levels of smug. The only thing that keeps this from convicting them on the basis that innocent people simply don't get this smug is that the game is too busy trying to convict your client to notice that the real guilty party's behavior is giving them away without Phoenix pointing this out.
* TheVonTropeFamily: The von Karmas.
* WakeUpCallBoss: Have some fun kicking around Winston Payne (or Gaspen Payne) in the first case of the game? Hope you did, when the second case starts, the main prosecutor of the game will be introduced and he/she is ''not'' a pushover. This routine applies to all the games in the series, minus the ''Investigations'' spin-offs.
* WaistcoatOfStyle: Phoenix will sport one in ''Ace Attorney 5''. His protogé, Apollo wears one as well in lieu of a full two piece suit, and Edgeworth wears one under his glorious cravat.
* WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma: If a semicolon should be used somewhere, it'll be a comma,[[note]]this makes the sudden proper use of semicolons in ''Ace Attorney Investigations''[='=] fifth case and ''only'' in its fifth case fairly jarring[[/note]] and "double quotes are never switched for "single quotes" within larger quotations." Gumshoe also says "their's" at one point during ''Investigations''. "Its" versus "it's" also rears its ugly head fairly often.
** The German translation is even worse. Whenever you spot a comma, there's what feels like at least a 50% chance it shouldn't be there. To make up for that, if a comma ''should'' be there, odds are it isn't.
* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: In Case 3-2, one of Franziska's arguments centers around proof that Maya physically shapeshifts into whoever she channels ([[FridgeLogic apparently no one else noticed this...]]). To back her claim, she shows a picture of Maya channeling Mia, who is talking to Phoenix in the Detention Center. Instead of thinking that the picture is photoshopped (as most people would), everyone takes this at face value. Phoenix even worries over this bit of information coming out, and warns Mia about it the next time they speak.
* WhamEpisode and WhamLine: If a case has a plot twist, expect at least one of these. Especially if it's near the end of the game.
** 2-4 has perhaps one of the biggest ones in the series. [[spoiler: For the first time, your client actually IS the culprit]].
** 2-4 has so many whams that it's actually [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by the Judge.
---> '''Judge:''' This is a most unexpected turn of events. For the...fifth time now?
* WhatTheHellHero: In The Stolen Turnabout, the case [[AlwaysMurder initially appears to be]] about the theft of the Kurain Village's Sacred Urn. Maya and Pearl flip out at Phoenix when he decides to defend the guy accused of being the thief.
** Edgeworth's threatening to reveal [[spoiler:Andrian Andrews' psychiatric records and suicide attempt]] to get her to testify after his HeelFaceTurn is played as this.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Each game has ending credits that show how most characters that where involved in the cases lives are now.
* WhipItGood: Franziska von Karma.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Edgeworth + earthquakes = debilitating panic attacks. In his own game, the turbulence on an airplane produces a close enough effect that it triggers his phobia and he passes out.
** FridgeLogic: Depending on the version of the game, Edgeworth works in one of two places: Japan, or southern California. If he's so afraid of earthquakes, why does he work in a place that (in either case) is so seismically active?
*** FridgeBrilliance: It's where he grew up. Many people live their entire lives in the town they grew up in. Not to mention that when he sort of quits after the first game, he is ''always travelling''.
*** Then there's the more obvious reason that its where [[spoiler: his father's grave]] is located.
* WorldOfHam: In any other world, the desk-slamming, "'''''Objection!'''''"-shouting Phoenix would be a LargeHam. Here he is the [[OnlySaneMan most normal person]].
* XanatosSpeedChess: As implied by the Japanese title, most of the courtroom showdowns wind up being this, with both sides playing a hasty game of catch-up whenever a new piece of evidence turns the tables. Special note goes to many of the murderers who have a talent for being able to frequently adjust their story to counter anything that gets thrown at them, [[spoiler:especially Quercus Alba, who manages to keep going the lion's share of an entire chapter ''after'' having his DiplomaticImpunity revoked]].
* {{Yakuza}}: In the fourth game, Apollo Justice has to defend the son of the head of a yakuza/mafia family. Yakuza/mafias are also present in the third case of the third game.
* YouAreNumberSix: All attorneys are given an identification number. Edgeworth takes slight at this.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: And pink hair. And bright red hair. And orange hair. And a different shade of blue hair.
** Franziska von Karma is actually a literalisation of this trope (as well as CurtainsMatchTheWindow), as she actually has pastel blue hair. (Vera Misham and Lisa Basil also possess literal blue hair.)
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: In the American legal system, an "objection" is a protest issued when one counselor wants to keep a part of testimony out of the official record and the ears of the jury or to deem submitted evidence unusable by virtue of illegality or irrelevancy. In the games, it's used as a translation of the Japanese "Igi ari", or "I disagree". Granted, it's definitely catchier.
** Also, an in universe example, with Redd White.
** The games tell you to find "contradictions in the testimony" whenever a prosecution witness testifies. Sometimes, the testimony contradicts itself, but more often it contradicts something like the autopsy report. It's not so much a contradiction "in" the testimony as a contradiction between the testimony and something that is probably more reliable.
** The games play loose with the definition of the word "lie." If a detective forgets a detail, someone will say that his testimony "contains a lie." If someone misinterprets a photograph and you have to point out something in the photo that disproves their claim, your assistant will say, "find the '''lie''' in the photograph!"
* YouShouldntKnowThisAlready: It doesn't matter if you've already figured out who killed the victim, with what, or where, you'll still have to play cat and mouse with the witnesses and prosecution till you reach the appropriate point in the case.
** Some cases are also solved by tricking the killer into saying something they shouldn't know about when claiming not to be involved.
----
->'''Phoenix:''' OBJECTION! Your Honor, what do you think about this page? \\
'''Judge:''' Uh...I'm not sure I follow you. \\
'''Phoenix:''' It clearly, er, contradicts the...um...I thought... \\
'''Judge:''' You don't sound very convinced, Mr. Wright. Objection overruled. ''[boom]'' \\
'''Phoenix:''' (I don't think that won me any points with the judge...)
----

to:

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[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ace_courthouse_2326.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350: [[MundaneMadeAwesome If only being a lawyer was really this epic]].]]

The primary part of the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' franchise is the video games, all of which fall into the VisualNovel genre. In the games, you take on the role of a lawyer and seek to solve a mystery in each case- [[AlwaysMurder almost always a murder case]]. As the defense attorney, typically Phoenix Wright but in later games also including Mia Fey, Apollo Justice, and Athena Cykes, you alternate between investigating the crime scene in point-and-click adventure fashion to gather evidence and witnesses to support your case, and trial scenes in which you must question the witnesses and expose contradictions and lies, [[ThePerryMasonMethod eventually getting the real murderer to confess on the stand]]. The ''Investigations'' spinoff series has you taking on the role of prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, investigating cases before they even get to trial; rather than standing in court, you must occasionally rebut the arguments of those who would oppose you, and use logic to piece together the clues to discover the truth.

In all the games in the series, there's a general theme of debating the proper role and ethical standards of the legal system; there are characters who seek to uphold the law at all costs, some who merely use the law to hide their criminal aims, and others (our heroes) who want to have a truly just society where the innocent go free and the guilty are punished.

The games in the series are:

* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' (this and the following two games were released not only on GBA in Japan and DS worldwide, but also eventually on WiiWare, [=iPhone=], and Nintendo3DS)
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for All''
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations''
* ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney''
* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' (Japanese release on July 25, 2013, North America and Europe release in October 24, 2013)
* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'' (''Gyakuten Kenji'' in Japan, or "Turnabout Prosecutor")
** ''Gyakuten Kenji 2'' ([[NoExportForYou Not released officially in English]], though English-speaking fans usually refer to it as "Ace Attorney Investigations 2" anyway)
* ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'' (a crossover game with ''VideoGame/ProfessorLayton'')

Phoenix made his fighting game debut in [[VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3 Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3]].

There is a (work-in-progress) recap page for the series [[Recap/AceAttorney here]].
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%%Please place game- or subseries-specific tropes on the subpages above.
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----
!!This series provides examples of:

* AccuseTheWitness: In practically every case.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal:
** Franziska, with some good ol' rhyming added for good measure.
-->'''Franziska:''' You huffy, puffy, loosey-goosey excuse for a whimpering whining wuss of a witness.
** Valant Gramarye in ''Apollo Justice'' was prone to this as well.
* AdultFear: Raises fears about, "what if the person you either love or are starting to love is actually a much worse person than you think they are?" It obviously gets taken to ridiculous extremes in a series of murder mysteries.
** In Ace Attorney Investigations, [[spoiler: Lauren's father gets killed by her boyfriend. It's further implied that the boyfriend had figured out the father's identity, and was blackmailing him into helping with his staged kidnapping by threatening her safety]].
* AerithAndBob: Being a series that's absolutely full of oddly-named people, any real-sounding names could count as an example of this. A good one in particular though, would probably be Troupe Gramarye's line-up. Magnifi, Valant, Thalassa... and Zak.
* AFoolForAClient: Phoenix Wight plays as this in the second half of case 1-2.
* AlwaysMurder: The second case of the third game initially appears to be about a case of grand larceny (which creates an odd scenario where the victim of the crime is alive, and yelling at you for taking the defense case), but within a day, you have to defend the same guy for a related murder.
** Also occurs in case 4-2, with 3 [[spoiler:related]] cases - 2 thefts and 1 hit-and-run. But then, of course, a murder occurs.
** A few cases feature crimes that appear to be murder but wind up slightly different: case 1-3 involves a [[spoiler:manslaughter in self-defence]] and case 2-3 also involves a [[spoiler:manslaughter, though the law of transferred intent applies]].
** Subverted in [[spoiler:Phoenix's last case, which, 7 years later, was revealed to be a suicide. It plays out as a {{deconstruction}}, as the trial consists entirely of back-and-forth arguments about which disciple could have committed the murder, and both disciples confess to the murder years later simply to close the incident in everyone's eyes, rather than claim that no actual murder took place]].
** The first case of ''Dual Destinies'' has bombing as the primary charge against the defendant, with murder as a secondary charge (a body was found in the rubble). [[spoiler:Assault is later added as a third charge]].
** Played with in the DLC case of ''Dual Destinies'', as Blackquill insists on a formal murder charge even though the defendant is an orca. [[spoiler:It later becomes a traditional murder charge when Sasha Buckler is arrested, and in the end it turns out to have been an accident!]]
* AmateurSleuth: Despite the fact that you're always playing the role of the defense attorney with no police training whatsoever, it's also the player's job to do all the detective work for their client.
** It's been stated on-record in interviews that the entire series is one massive TakeThat against the Japanese judicial system, of which the system in the games is an accurate depiction!
* AmoralAttorney: Miles Edgeworth and Manfred von Karma set the standards in the first game for any future amoral attorneys the protagonist will face.
* AnimalStereotypes: Used in different ways for character designs to help build their characterization. Maggey Byrde's name is a pun based on a magpie, thought to be a very unlucky bird. Furio Tigre isn't just named for an angry, powerful tiger; he has one on his shirt and roars when he's upset. The Kitaki mafia family has trickster foxes on their clothing, and Wocky's hair makes him look like a fox. Alita Tiala has bird wings on her dress to help her look sweeter. Daryan Crescend's hair and jacket are reminiscent of a vicious shark. Phoenix's name is a reference to his trials ability to, essentially, come back from the dead.
** Not surprisingly, some of these characters have the same puns in their Japanese names. Furio Tigre's surname "Toranosuke" literally means Tiger boy. [[TigerVersusDragon The tiger devouring a dragon]] on his shirt is actually a reference to Phoenix that is lost in translation, because Phoenix's name in Japan is "Ryuichi" and is spelled with the kanji for "dragon." "Ryuichi" isn't supposed to have any meaning at all, but the writers chose to play around with it in the third game anyway when they make his "evil twin". The English release gave the main character's name meaning anyway, via Woolseyism. Same for Maggey Byrde, who's name has no animal references in Japanese (but literally means "continues to lose").
* ArcWords: "X years ago" is a common one. In the first game's second and fourth cases, it's "15 years ago." In case 1-5, it's "2 years ago" to the point of being lampshaded (and to a lesser extent, "6 months ago"). In Apollo Justice, it's "7 years ago." The third game has a bunch of them, but "5 years ago" is probably the most common.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: The primary characterization of every prosecutor Phoenix encounters in his career (minus ButtMonkey Winston Payne).
** Klavier Gavin of the fourth title plays both sides of the fence. In his younger days, he exhibits some of the attributes[[spoiler:, most likely due to [[AmoralAttorney his brother Kristoph]] telling him that Phoenix is not to be trusted]], but is cooler-headed than someone who might be the [=AKFG=]. Later in his career, he mellows and enjoys his work as a prosecutor as a chance to match mettle with the defense attorney rather than a trial being a battle that can only be won or lost, which ultimately turns him into a subversion [[spoiler:(though said brother may be the [[InvertedTrope defense attorney-equivalent]])]].
* ArtEvolution: Most visible between the games that originated on the GBA, and the ones that have originated on the DS. However, the series' character design style has changed quite a bit over the years -- the first game used fairly low-key and realistic character designs, but the following games have had much more outlandish designs. The contrast between the styles is almost distractingly obvious in cases 1-5 and 4-4, the only cases where old and new sprites are next to each other.
* AssholeVictim: Roughly half the victims in the series. Sometimes they're done in by other assholes, other times by [[SympatheticMurderer more sympathetic characters]], but in many cases, there's at least two people who hate them enough to kill them.
** Notably averted with the victim in 2-3. No one can think of anything bad to say about the victim, and the motives presented in the case are shaky at best due to this. All the witnesses and even the suspect have nothing but praise for the Ringmaster. [[spoiler: This is because he's not the intended victim. He showed up at the meeting place instead of his daughter, and the killer couldn't see who it was]]
* AuthorTract: The games are somewhat a satire of legitimate corruption in the Japanese Judicial system.
* AwesomeButImpractical: The DS support functions for the microphone and touch screen. While it is cool to press the Y button to turn on the mic and yell "'''''Objection!'''''" and "'''''Hold it!'''''", it's far easier to press the shoulder buttons instead. The touch screen is rarely ever required for any of the games either. Apollo Justice tries to make the best use of both functions by implementing forensic tools to discover clues throughout the game, but for the most part, such a requirement comes up maybe only once or twice per game.
** Same thing with the WiiWare rereleases. While it is cool to do Phoenix's trademark pose with the Wii remote while presenting evidence, it is a lot easier to just press the button.
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Phoenix Wright and Apollo Justice, natch.
* BeAsUnhelpfulAsPossible: Neither Phoenix nor Apollo will get a single useful bit of information out of a witness, suspect, or even the detectives unless they drag it out of them.
** Especially jarring in 2-2, when you have to use the Magatama to find out where Pearl was at the time of the murder. She wants to help you, she really does...so why doesn't she just say it and help you out a bit? You find out ''why'' she doesn't just help you, but when you don't know what her reasons are, it's more than a little infuriating.
*** Brought to new heights in ''ApolloJustice'', when Trucy refuses to tell how a magic trick was pulled off, even though the outcome of a '''murder trial''' hangs in the balance.
** Larry also embodies this in general.
** Whoever the co-council happens to be often does this, because it's a way of giving the player a hint without telling them the answer. "I think I see the contradiction, Kitten..." But they don't tell you, causing the player to guess wrong and get a guilty verdict. The player characters are fond of this too; Wright will tell Maya that it's finally come together, only to leave her and the player in the dark for dramatic effect.
** TruthInTelevision since witnesses in trials are instructed to only give as much information as asked for. "You didn't ask" is therefore a legitimate reason for withholding a specific detail if it wasn't in the scope of the original question.
* BerserkButton: For everything that Phoenix goes through and sees in his time in court, it's amazing he only has 2: using poison and betraying others' trust. These two happen to cross into ThisIsUnforgivable for him and it makes perfect sense considering [[spoiler: how badly case 3-1 shook him when he was at his most naive]].
** NEVER accuse the Judge of murder. Just ... don't. Your penalty meter will thank you.
* BetterManhandleTheMurderWeapon: One reason why [[spoiler:Edgeworth]] ends up accused of Robert Hammond's murder, even though [[spoiler:Yanni Yogi was the other person in the boat]].
* BigDamnHeroes: About to lose? No hope left? Cue a crucial witness or a person carrying vital evidence barging into the courtroom with a cry of "HOLD IT!".
* BigNo: Witnesses have a tendency to do this when you manage to break their alibis.
** Winston Payne has a BigNo so big that it turns him bald.
** The Judge [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_OSHC2Emr0#t=02m51s does this once in 1-5]], but then [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} realizes that he's not the one being accused]].
* BigRedButton
* BigScrewedUpFamily: The Fey clan.
** [[TheVonTropeFamily The von Karma family]] belongs here as well.
** If they can be considered a family, Troupe Gramareye fits too.
** And the Kitakis. Actually, practically any two related characters belong to one of these.
* BigWhat: Frequent, often in response to case-breaking evidence being presented.
* BigWordShout: "'''''Objection!'''''" "'''''Hold it!'''''" "'''''Take that!'''''" "'''''Gotcha!'''''" "'''''Eureka!'''''" "'''''Not so fast!'''''" "'''''Overruled!'''''" "'''''Got It!'''''" "'''''Silence!"'''''
* {{Bishonen}}: Toyed with significantly throughout the series. While there are several characters who could be considered bishonen, they are all either tall and broad-shouldered (Edgeworth and the Gavin brothers) or downright unattractive (Lance Amano and Florent L'Belle). Even the most straightforward bishonen, Maximilian Galactica, is revealed to be putting on an act and is in reality not as typical as he seems.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Usually the true murderer. [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne before she developed her {{Yandere}} tendencies towards Mia, and Alita Tiala from ''Apollo Justice''. Matt Engarde had this as his defining character trait--even his name is a hint]]. And from Gyakuten Kenji 2, [[spoiler:Souta Sarushiro]].
* BokeAndTsukkomiRoutine: Pretty much the core comedy dynamic between your main attorney character (tsukkomi) and their side-kick (boke). In court, your attorney is usually the tsukkomi for the prosecutor, the judge, and the more loony witnesses, though Edgeworth often flips the tables on Phoenix in their games.
* BrokenAesop: An example relating to degree of openness. Cases [[spoiler: 2-4]] and [[spoiler: 3-5]] are all about bringing The Truth to light, especially when Edgeworth is involved. The issue is that the view of ''when'' the truth should be brought to light expressed through the events of the game is a nuanced one, while the view expressed through the dialogue is an absolute one. Edgeworth's dialogue after his HeelFaceTurn could be summarized as "expose the truth, no matter how painful." Yet there are situations in which players are supposed to hate someone for exposing the truth.
** Situations where revealing the truth is praised:
*** Telling a man who already knows that he was deceived by his girlfriend five years ago exactly ''how'' he was deceived? Sure, the truth turned out to be that he hadn't been as bad a judge of character as he thought he was, but Edgeworth starts pushing for the Truth to come out without knowing what it is. Edgeworth inherently knows that The Truth will heal the man's pain even if it gives him more to be upset about.
** Situations in which revealing the truth is condemned:
*** Telling a jealous man the truth about his fiance's ex in order to make him reconsider the marriage? How evil! (The timing of the reveal is implied to have been part of what made it evil, but the heroes don't exactly tread lightly when it comes to the timing of big reveals either.)
**** This is Matt Engarde. And he didn't expose his past with Celeste to Juan for any reason other than to cause more pain. He didn't love Celeste, and Celeste ''never'' did anything to hurt anybody, but he told Juan because he knew his rival would ''never'' marry Celeste because of it. Sure enough, Celeste commits suicide over it and both men use her death as just another means to hurt each other. ''That's'' why what Matt did was evil.
*** Telling a skeptical public about a very unconventional technique the police used to solve a case, that lead them astray? Or publicizing a politician's affair with a secretary? The work of an evil man who caused nothing but pain. (The truth was definitely not the culprit's motive, but revealing the truth about what the police did was an effect nevertheless.)
** Situations in which exposing the truth was portrayed in a mixed light:
*** In AceAttorneyInvestigations, it is clear that the Yatagarasu's tendency to "steal evidence of corrupt dealings of all kinds" and send it to the press is illegal and that Edgeworth would like to be above such actions, but the Yatagarasu's actions in this regard are hardly portrayed as evil. The Yatagarasu was just "stealing the Truth" in order to bring it to light.
*** At one point, Edgeworth threatens to publicize a witness' embarrassing psychological diagnosis unless that witness testifies truthfully. He says that it's not his problem if the witness chooses to commit suicide in response to the psychological profile being publicized.
*** Revealing who the killer is, even when there's already enough evidence to prove the defendant didn't do it, and the killer is [[SympatheticMurderer in some ways a decent person who had a compelling reason for what they did]] and will now likely get in huge trouble? Mia says it's justice (though Maya didn't seem to agree and it's unclear whether Phoenix was fully convinced). [[spoiler:Godot, at least, seemed to '''''want''''' to be brought to justice, and in fact subtly encouraged Phoenix to put the nail in the coffin, so to speak]].
*** In the above case, the judge has explicitly stated that [[spoiler: only Maya or Godot could be the killer. Maya knows that Godot had acted in order to save her and is thus protecting him at all costs; however, Phoenix is just as determined to protect Maya, so he has really no choice but to expose Godot. And as stated in the spoiler above, Godot did subtly encourage Phoenix to prove him as the killer]].
** A case could be made that revealing the truth really was good in the situations where it was portrayed as good and bad in the situations in which it was portrayed as bad, but the dialogue describes bringing The Truth to light as though it is a golden ideal that is always good - as long as the person doing it is a good guy, and the person whose truth got exposed only considers committing suicide rather than actually doing so.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: Most of the cast, including any and all lawyers, from the unflappable but hapless title character to the driven, coffee-guzzling Godot. Honestly, it'd be easier to list characters that ''don't'' fit this in someway.
** Characters who aren't really ''that'' involved with law are this too: Maya, while showing some rather pronounced {{Cloudcuckoolander}} tendencies, is also a very talented spirit channeler (she's probably be even better, wasn't it for her occasional lack of self-esteem). Same applies to Ema, who may have screwed up the exam but is very skilled in Forensics and Trucy, who is one of the best illusionists you'll ever find anywhere. Kay Faraday, is an exception: She's as untalented as a thief as one can be.
* BusmansHoliday: This combined with EconomyCast makes many of the characters wonder if it's them that's having the bad luck.
* ButThouMust: A very frequent occurrence. Just look at the page's image.
* ButtMonkey: Individual characters aside, the playable protagonist at any time, in any game, inevitably ends up a ButtMonkey. [[spoiler:Even those cases with multiple playable protagonists]]. Made even more apparent by changes in a character's treatment after they slip in or out of the protagonist slot. See CantGetAwayWithNuthin.
* CanadianAccents: The Judge's brother is a walking stereotype; he even calls you a hoser several times.
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin: Played straight with Phoenix and Apollo, averted by everyone else. Witnesses routinely perjure themselves, and they threaten and bully the lawyers. Prosecutors withhold evidence, and assault the defense, witnesses, and even the Judge, and refer to the defense by [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking insulting nicknames]].
** Actually, this hapens to Edgeworth as well in ''Investigations''. Seems like being a main character instantly turns you into a ButtMonkey.
* CasanovaWannabe: Larry.
* {{Catchphrase}}: "'''''Objection!'''''", of course! To a lesser extent, "'''''Hold it!'''''" and "'''''Take that!'''''". "'''''Objection!'''''" is shouted one last time in every game's ending before the credits.
--> '''Edgeworth''': I, myself, never let an opportunity to shout "Objection!" pass me by!
** [[TagalongKid Pearl]] {{lampshade|Hanging}}s the use of it at the ending of the third game: "Oh, I love this part! I can't wait to hear it...!"
** Even witnesses and others such as Maya and Trucy scream out "'''''Hold it!'''''" and "'''''Objection!'''''", although they don't use a voice clip for it.
** Phoenix's habit of thinking, "I'll get you for this...! In court!"
*** And "I've got a bad feeling about this..." / "* sob* "
*** "Anyone could wear that costume! Even me!" (Which leads to a BrainBleach moment during case 3-3.)
** Apollo's "Here comes Justice!" Also, "'''''Gotcha!'''''"
** Sister Bikini's "Especially in Winter".
** Ema's "At my age, no less".
** Grossberg's "Just like the scent of fresh lemon".
* CaughtOnTape
* ChalkOutline: Dead bodies tend to be marked with a string rather than chalk, especially when they're discovered at odd positions (e.g. sticking out of a safe.)
* CharacterTic: Everyone has their own poses, but some are more iconic than others. It'd take way too much just to list everyone's personal tic.
** ItRunsInTheFamily: So much in fact that shared tics are used as evidence in trying to prove '[[EpilepticTree Character X is related to Character Y]]' in forums.
* ChivalrousPervert: Larry again. He might be an idiot, but when he falls in love, he falls hard.
* ChekhovsArmoury: This ''is'' a game based on court proceedings with a judicial system requiring that even with logical sense and linked facts, there needs to be concrete and decisive evidence to prove all separate facts, after all. The only way to be sure you have all the evidence is downright kleptomania. For a non-item version, early in the third game, a silly digression involving a ketchup stain hints at the fact that [[spoiler:Godot can't see red on white]]--which becomes vitally important in the final case.
* ChekhovsGun: A series wide gun was mentioned by Gumshoe during the Rise of the Ashes case.
-->'''...the prosecutor is responsible for the evidence he presents in court.'''
** Granted, this trope ended up being inverted: [[spoiler:Phoenix Wright is not a prosecutor, but presented forged evidence without knowing]].
* ChronicEvidenceRetentionSyndrome: Played with ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'''s bonus case, "Rise from the Ashes." The culprit keeps a critical piece of evidence hidden away which he's used to blackmail someone into doing his bidding; revealing this evidence when prompted will have dire consequences, but concealing it (temporarily) will force the culprit to tip his hand, and the new context in which the evidence is ultimately presented points the guilty finger at him instead.
** Taken to extreme measures in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' with The Phantom. [[spoiler:He engineered two bombings, breaking and entering, and a few murders just to get his hands on a piece of evidence that has his blood on it]].
* ClockDiscrepancy: In the first case of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney. The witness thought the time of the murder was at 1:00 when it was actually 4:00.
* ClosetGeek: Edgeworth is a huge fan of {{Toku}} serials, particularly the Steel Samurai/Pink Princess series, to the point where [[spoiler:he sabotages his own prosecution rather than let his hero, the Steel Samurai (or at least the guy who plays him on TV) go to jail for a murder he didn't commit]]. His ringtone in ''Ace Attorney Investigations'' is even [[ContinuityNod the Steel Samurai theme song]]. He usually gets defensive about his fandom to everyone... except [[ProudToBeAGeek Maya]], interestingly enough.
* ComeToGawk
* ContinuityCameo: Phoenix Wright is mentioned by She-Hulk in ''VideoGame/MarvelVsCapcom3''. In She-Hulk's ending, [[spoiler:both Wright and Edgeworth appear]]. For those unfamiliar, this occurs because She-Hulk's civilian identity is also a defense attorney.
** EarlyBirdCameo: ...And then Phoenix Wright was added into the same game proper, in ''Ultimate Marvel Versus Capcom 3''.
* ConvictionByContradiction: Averted. Although the only way to make any progress during a cross-examination/rebuttal is to notice and point out factual inconsistencies in the accusation, this doesn't win you the trial by itself. You always need to present a large amount of corroborating evidence to back up your case. And on top of that, oftentimes you still need a piece of decisive evidence in order to finally nail the perp once and for all.
* CoolShades: Ema Skye. Oh come on, don't tell me YOU didn't want a pair of those awesome evidence-finding shades.
** Also [[spoiler:Klavier, in the flashback court segment]] of 4-4.
** Shi-Long Lang has what is possibly the most pointlessly elaborate, yet completely awesome pair of sunglasses ever to exist.
* CouldntFindAPen: First rule of practicing law in the ''Ace Attorney'' universe: if, at any point in the proceedings, it comes to light that the victim, with their last breath, wrote the identity of their killer in their own blood on the nearest convenient surface, it is ''always'' a FrameUp on the part of the real murderer.
* CourtroomAntic: Every one in the book. [[UpToEleven And then more]].
** Hell, it even [[TropeNamers named]] [[ThatWasObjectionable one]].
* CowboyBebopAtHisComputer: A reviewer, writing for the [[http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/en/films/gyakuten-saiban/ International Film Festival of Rotterdam]], claims that the ''Ace Attorney'' series is like a "non-digital board game" with "lots of cards". The same reviewer also claims that the game is not very visual. Clearly, the reviewer has not picked up a DS and played through one of the cases.
** The same reviewer also claimed that [[http://aceattorney.sparklin.org Ace Attorney Online]] is where one can find "free trial packages", as in "free cases to play that are sponsored by Capcom." This carries the UnfortunateImplications that the fansite is actively supporting creating knock-off games. This caused the owner of the fansite to make it doubly clear that his site is NOT affiliated with nor sponsored by Capcom. HE also made it clear that the website is to help people create fan-made trials, and that it's not ripping-off Capcom.
* CreatorCameo: Prior to ''ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', all the in-game voice clips were provided by members of the development and localization teams. ''[=PLvsAA=]'' and ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'' use professional voice actors for most characters due to the greater amount of dialogue and higher sound quality offered by the 3DS, but the teams still do voice clips for the more minor characters.
* CulturalCrossReference: All references to Franchise/PerryMason are in the original Japanese script. Apparently [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff the Japanese love Perry Mason]].
* CulturalTranslation: The English-language versions are posited to take place in an area not unlike Los Angeles (except that it snows in the wintertime and there are a surprising number of Shinto temples in the vicinity), but so many visual elements are so very distinctly Japanese (to say nothing of the court system) that it stretches suspension of disbelief a little much at times...
** Which was eventually mocked by [[http://www.awkwardzombie.com/index.php?page=0&comic=120913 this strip]] from ''Webcomic/AwkwardZombie''.
* DarkSecret: Almost every character has at least one of these. Figuring out what they are is the whole point of the games.
** Taken to its logical conclusion with [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin's black Psyche-Locks that never (formally) get cracked]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Phoenix several times over. He may not always say it out loud, but if he's not saying something sarcastic, there's a very good chance he's thinking it.
** Sometimes people will react to these statements, meaning that either he's muttering at least some of them under his breath, or there's a bunch of telepaths running around.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: Franziska von Karma does this often with the word "fool." Take, for example:
--> '''von Karma''': Tsk, tsk, tsk. Mr. Phoenix Wright. I grow tired of the foolish foolery of the foolish fools of this foolish country...
--> '''von Karma''': Foolish fool spouting foolish foolishness, just as I expect of a foolish fool such as you.
--> '''von Karma''': A foolishly foolish idea born from the foolish mind of a foolhardy foolish fool.
** Not to mention one of Larry's lines in the first game.
---> '''Larry''': It's lonely, being alone on Christmas Eve.
** Larry has quite a few.
---> '''Larry''': My claim is a claim claiming my claim. Do you have a problem with that?
** Or this from Klavier Gavin in the fourth game.
---> '''Klavier''': The jurists will function like a jury.
* DevilInPlainSight: Many suspicious witnesses (and of course, the real culprit of a case) start acting awfully suspicious the more holes you start poking in their testimonies, to the point that some of the culprits could probably have easily been convicted in RealLife simply based on how they were behaving (you wouldn't believe how many of them start openly gloating if the prosecution gets a leg up on you.)
* DoubleEntendre: In spades. Hits a real high with Apollo and Ema's conversation about her "tool" in the fourth case.
** Franziska's "I DEMAND SATISFACTION!" before whipping Larry Butz into unconsciousness.
** In the latter part of ''Investigations''' first case, a lot of time was spent on figuring out who touched Portsman's knob. [[spoiler:Only Portsman himself and his partner [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything touched his knob]]]]. Possibly unintentional, but who knows.
* {{Doujinshi}}: Two volumes of it were released in English, one with comics focusing on Wright, the other with comics focusing on Edgeworth.
* DownloadableContent: According to [[http://www.capcom.co.jp/gyakutensaiban/5/dlc.html this page]], ''Dual Destinies'' is the first game in the Ace Attorney series to feature downloadable content (if you exclude the WiiWare port of the first game, which had case 5 as DLC).
* DramaticIrony: There are several cases (generally the first one in the game) where the murderer is made clear from the very beginning, but the main character doesn't realize it.
** Looking at the whole series, [[spoiler:Phoenix's disbarment]] could be seen as such. [[spoiler:During case 1-2, Mia told Maya that Phoenix should have another three years before he's someone she could rely on in court. Three years forward of the events of the first game, Phoenix is forced out of the legal profession in disgrace]].
* DubNameChange: Not just from Japanese to English, but also to French, and many other languages, to keep the puns they carry.
* DyingClue[=/=]CouldntFindAPen: Referred to repeatedly throughout the series. Usually used in a nonstandard way.
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'' case 2: Near the victim's body, Maya's name is written in blood. Detective Gumshoe says this is a message from the victim saying that Maya did it. [[spoiler: It turns out that the killer wrote it in the victim's blood to frame Maya]].
** ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'' case 5: [[spoiler: The name "Ema" was written in blood on the "unstable urn."]]
** ''Justice for All'' case 1: The name "Maggie" was written in the sand in front of the victim and the victim's right index finger was near the last letter. [[spoiler: The player shows that the killer used the victim's hand to write this to frame Maggey by showing that the name is spelled wrong (when the victim would have known how to spell it) and that the victim was left-handed]].
** ''Trials and Tribulations'' case 5: [[spoiler: The name "Maya" is written in the victim's blood. It turns out that the victim was channeling a spirit at the time and that the spirit wrote the name to implicate Maya because said spirit was hostile to Maya]].
** ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney'' case 3: There is something written in blood on the floor in front of the victim, but it's hard to read. [[spoiler: It turns out that the victim was an Interpol agent and wrote his agent number. The killer saw this and tried to smear the number to make it unreadable - proving that the person who tried to smear the number wasn't blind. So far this is only one of two cases in the series of a ''non''-misleading clue written in blood, and even those contain non-standard information]].
** ''Ace Attorney Investigations'' case 1: When you put the binders back on the shelf, you find that the name [[spoiler: Gumshoe]] was written in the victim's blood on the file binders. It turns out that the killer wrote this name to frame someone, but then [[spoiler: someone else came and stole one of the binders that the name was written on]].
*** Considering that every time this comes up [[spoiler: it turns out to be a RedHerring]], one has to wonder why this clue popping up isn't [[spoiler: automatically dismissed as a false trail]]. Maybe if it were, it would lead to [[spoiler:criminals leaving ''their own names'' at crime scenes, making it look like they're being framed...]].
**** Because that would be InsaneTrollLogic at best. Saying "I can't be the murderer because [[spoiler:my name is written with the victim's blood at the scene]]" will likely get you arrested on the spot in real life. [[spoiler:The only reason the clues are discounted is because there's something ''wrong'' with them, and other evidence is ''always'' needed to support the case]].
** Played with in Dual Destinies case 1. [[spoiler:The prosecution says that Apollo wrote the name of his assaulter in his own blood...except he didn't write anything and didn't bleed enough for it to be possible. It turns out that the murder victim of the case did indeed write something to indict her killer--his ID number--which prompted said killer to use Apollo's blood during the assault the next day to alter it ever-so-slightly in order to indict the defendant]].
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: [[TheCutie Ridiculously cute Regina]] not only has half of the male cast swooning over her, but even Maya admits to being tempted to confessing love to her.
* EverythingsSparklyWithJewelry: Whether it's evidence or for characterization.
* EveryEpisodeEnding: Every game in the series has the protagonist shout "'''''Objection!'''''" at the very end of the game.
* EvidenceScavengerHunt
* ExactWords: If the contradiction isn't a mistake or an outright lie, it'll usually be in this form and require pressing for further details. One of the most notable examples is Phoenix using the Magatama on [[spoiler: Matt Engarde in Farewell, My Turnabout]], asking if he killed the case's victim. The response is "No, I didn't kill anyone." The Magatama doesn't register anything because [[spoiler: technically he ''didn't'' kill Juan Corrida, but hiring an assassin to do it makes him just as guilty]].
* {{Expy}}: The {{Takarazuka}} [[TheMusical Musical]] has Monica Clyde for Ema Skye, obvious from the first glance at her. Less direct expys are also present. All necessary for compressing the plot into a 2 hour play, plus dancing.
** Kristoph Gavin and [[spoiler:Manfred von Karma]].
** Let's face it, the other main young female partners to the lawyers (Ema, Trucy, Kay) are obviously expies of Maya. This is lampshaded and used as a plot point in 1-5, as Ema's resemblance to Maya is what spurs Phoenix to take on the case. Maya, Ema, and Trucy are all identified as "in training", and even [[WordOfGod Takumi stated]] before ''AJ'' that Trucy's role would be "just like Maya's". Athena, the new assistant in ''Dual Destinies'', appears to be continuing the trend; a spunky novice lawyer about the same age as Maya and Kay.
* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: In case 1-4, there is a piece of evidence that can turn the case around. However, [[spoiler:in order to progress, you have to confront Von Karma with it - at which point he hits you with a taser and destroys the evidence]], and it's the only thing left during that particular investigation.
** The only way to progress in Phoenix's [[spoiler:final trial]] is to [[spoiler:present the forged diary page, even though it means Phoenix will be disbarred for presenting forged evidence]]. Justified as the case in question is [[spoiler:[[ForegoneConclusion set in the past]]]].
* FanBoy: Edgeworth is a huge Steel Samurai fanboy. It's subtle in the main games, confirmed in the [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental materials]]. ''Investigations'' throws all pretense out the window and makes it a minor plot point in the final case.
* FanGirl: All of the assistants are a huge fan of something in popular culture, including Gregory's male assistant, a younger Tateyuki Shigaraki. Maya (Steel Samurai and its spinoffs), Ema (Edgeworth), Trucy (Troupe Gramarye and the Gavinners), Kay (Jammin' Ninja), and young Tateyuki (Dansweets).
* FingerLickingPoison: The murder weapon for a case in ''Apollo Justice'' is [[spoiler:a commemorative stamp]].
* FigureItOutYourself[=/=]ThisIsSomethignHeHasGotToDoHimself: Whenever a rookie attorney has a mentor as their co-council (Phoenix to Mia, Mia to Grossberg or Diego, etc.), usually the mentor will spot contradictions or piece things together faster. They might give hints, but expect them stay hush about it and wait for the PlayerCharacter to figure it out. This makes some sense, as they'd never learn if their seniors did everything for them (and [[RuleOfFun that'd be no fun]]). However, no one ever thinks to object and just do it themselves when the judge has had enough with the rookie screwing up and is about to deliver a Guilty verdict (thus indirectly letting an innocent person get convicted and executed).
* {{Flanderization}}: From game to game, this gets more and more notable. Gumshoe's incompetence, the Judge's [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} airheadedness]], Larry's immaturity/stalker thing, and Oldbag's infuriating nature.
** Interestingly, ''AA5'' dials this back for the Judge, who still gets pushed around and has to often ask what's going on during the crazier moments (and, admittedly, the cases in this game get ''gonzo''), but isn't afraid to bring the gavel down on unruly or uncooperative witnesses.
* {{Flashback}}: Used [[ViewersAreGoldfish frequently]] to recall key clues during a case, or to reference events from past games or cases. Can be somewhat annoying as the game will sometimes flash back to things that you just saw a few minutes ago, especially in the third case of the fourth game, when you see one scene something like four times in close succession.
** About half of [[spoiler:4-4]] is a playable flashback.
* FluffyFashionFeathers: Some of the fancy ladies' outfits.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: The games have a lot of this, particularly ''Trials and Tribulations'' and the bonus case 'Rise from the Ashes' in the first game, which was created as part of an UpdatedRerelease with the writers knowing what was going to happen in later games, leading to lines foreshadowing ''Trials and Tribulations'' ("We certainly can't get a dead person to testify" as well as Phoenix stating he would get found out if he lent his badge to someone (foreshadowing Phoenix lending his badge to Edgeworth). Also, Gumshoe asks if he can work as Wright and Co. after he is fired foreshadowing him working for Phoenix in the last case in ''Justice for All''. The climax of the case in which Phoenix is accused of withholding evidence could be foreshadowing ''Apollo Justice''.
** Also in the second case of ''Trials and Tribulations'', when talking about [[GentlemanThief Mask DeMasque]] Phoenix says that when you're famous there are always imitators. Pearl then says that if Phoenix works hard, someday he'll have his own imitators. [[spoiler:The next case revolves around Furio Tigre impersonating Phoenix to cover a crime]].
** ''Investigations'' has an odd case of reverse-foreshadowing. [[spoiler: Specifically case four. It's a flashback to four years before the first game and six months before Edgeworth's first trial, and contains multiple references to future events. If you hadn't played the first few games you wouldn't get the meaning behind von Karma's comments (he killed Edgeworth's father), the fire extinguisher being used in a crime (later used to bash Phoenix on the head and give him temporary amnesia), Franziska mentioning she wouldn't know what to do were her father to die (it is implied in JFA that Manfred dies after being convicted on the murder of Gregory Edgeworth) and saying she would never have to work with Detective Gumshoe or Edgeworth mentioning his badge won't stay shiny forever (his reputation will eventually be tarnished)]].
** In case five, the 'shadow of the Yatagarasu' is formed by [[spoiler: more than one statue]]. This foreshadows the fact that the real Yatagarasu [[spoiler: is more than one person]].
** In case 3 of the first game, Phoenix makes a somewhat overly-dramatic comment to Cody Hackins, a [[ShowWithinAShow Steel Samurai]] fanboy, that seeing through lies is "one of his powers". Fast-forward to case 2 of the second game, when Phoenix is given a Magatama, which ''literally'' gives him the power to see through lies, via Psyche Locks.
** In the bonus case of the first game, 'Rise from the Ashes', when accused of forging evidence, [[spoiler: Damon Gant]] points out that although [[spoiler: Edgeworth]] may have been found to have unknowingly presented forged evidence, says [[spoiler: "It's not just prosecutors who can forge evidence, right Wrighto?" Fast forward to Apollo Justice...]].
** Apollo Justice, Case 3. [[spoiler:A player watching closely during The Guitar's Serenade can notice the flash of the igniter going off and the fire growing]].
** To add more from Case 1-5, I think the writers went to town on foreshadowing as this case not only references the other PW Trilogy games, but foreshadows [[spoiler: Ace Attorney Investigations as Damon Gant, after being outed for murder in two cases, tells Edgeworth that he will one day need to find a way to deal with certain criminals you can't take down with just evidence and testimony. Fast forward to AAI, and meet Quercus Alba, a criminal who can't be touched by the law due to his diplomatic immunity]].
** And that isn't just in the case of Edgeworth as Phoenix Wright himself does it. His monologue at the end of the game talks about not being able to change past mistakes, only make up for them and then move on. What does Nick do in Apollo Justice? [[spoiler: He accidentally presents forged evidence in court, and pays for it, then spends seven years making up for that mistake, raising Trucy, and finding out what really happened in the case that caused him to lose his badge. Once he is finally cleared of all suspicion of forging evidence, the fallen attorney "Rises from the Ashes" and picks up right where he left off]], cue the return of Nick in Ace Attorney 5.
* ForGreatJustice: Most obvious in Phoenix and Apollo, of course, but Edgeworth also learns to seek out the truth rather than just more wins on his record. Being a game series based on lawyers, it's justified.
** It's also the Steel Samurai's motto.
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: Crops up on multiple occasions, including one particularly brutal {{deconstruction}}.
* FreudianExcuse: Some killers have Freudian excuses.
* FriendlyEnemy: Edgeworth (after his HeelFaceTurn) and Klavier.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Oddly, averted; juices are served in wine bottles and glasses, including tomato juice (''Justice For All'') and grape juice (''Apollo Justice'', ''Investigations''), which leads to think of this. However, they are juice in the Japanese version as well.
* GagDub: The "Phoenix Wrong" series. For example, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ecRIsO4ATc this compilation]]
* {{Gainaxing}}: April May could hit herself in the face if she's not careful. And she's a 2D sprite!
* GambitRoulette: Many of the arguments for both sides in several cases are these, dependent entirely on a particular character being in possession of the IdiotBall at a particular time.
* GeniusDitz: Despite Gumshoe's seemingly sieve-like mind and short attention span, he actually seems to have a knack for engineering, over the course of the series building a mechanical puppet, a frequency detector, and a ''metal detector''. The frequency detector is actually a pretty basic model that professional detectives wouldn't usually use, but it's somewhat justified that Gumshoe made it in ''middle school'' and didn't have time to fill out the paperwork for the precinct's equipment.
* GenkiGirl: It seems to be an unwritten rule for all sidekicks in the series to be this.
* GivingSomeoneThePointerFinger: In a particular pose that's easily as iconic of the series as any of the catchphrases. It's in the series' logo and even in the scroll text button on the touch screen. It is oddly absent on the touch screen in ''Apollo Justice'' and ''Investigations'', however.
** The PreOrderBonus for the first DS game in the US was a stylus...whose tip was a hand with that very pointer finger.
** The Wii port of the first game even allows you to issue an objection by flailing the Wiimote at the screen in imitation of said pose.
** Case 1-5 (first game, fifth case, ''Rise from the Ashes'') has [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsjBBq-zSBY#t=00m25s this exchange:]]
-->'''Judge''': "If I cut my finger Mr. Wright, I wouldn't be able to pound my gavel anymore."
-->'''Phoenix''': (Yeah. But if I cut my finger, I wouldn't be able to point it at people anymore...)
** And now Wright is crossing over with Franchise/ProfessorLayton, another famous pointer. This can only end well.
** The newest prosecutor, Simon Blackquill from ''Dual Destinies'', tries to point at Apollo during their trial [[spoiler:but because he's wearing handcuffs he can't do it and gets stuck mid-gesture]].
* {{Gonk}}: Perverted hospital "director" Hotti, and the scholar from ''Apollo Justice'' are all good examples.
* GoodLawyersGoodClients: Somehow, the defense attorneys you play as always only ends up defending people who are innocent. It's justified in a few cases (for example, Mia specifically defends a younger Phoenix because [[spoiler:Dahlia's involved and Mia's pretty sure ''she'' is the culprit, based on a previous case]]), but still kind of obvious. [[spoiler:It's played with in the final case of ''Justice For All''. Matt Engarde ''was'' responsible for the death of his rival, but maintains that he's technically innocent because ''he'' didn't commit the crime himself. The assassin he hired did. Despite this, everyone who knows this still considers Matt guilty, and having him be found innocent results in a NonstandardGameOver]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars: [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin has a scar on his hand that looks like a devil's face that's actually an important clue]].
** [[spoiler:Matt Engarde has evil scars behind his PeekABangs]] in Justice for All.
* GracefulLoser: ''Some'' of the perpetrators, when exposed, ''don't'' have {{Villainous Breakdown}}s. Those perpetrators (like [[spoiler:Dee Vasquez, Acro, and Godot]] almost always fit this trope. Even some of those who ''do'' have {{Villainous Breakdown}}s fit, like [[spoiler:Damon Gant]].
* GratuitousEnglish: [[http://www.capcom.co.jp/gyakutensaiban/5/trial/index.html The demo]] for ''Dual Destinies'' has Athena giving out "Let's do this!" near the beginning.
* GuideDangIt: Some cases require spectacular leaps of logic, which can prove frustrating for many people--especially younger children. What makes this even worse is that sometimes they're accommodating and let you present different pieces of evidence that, logically, would raise the same argument as each other, and other times they will only allow one.
* GuileHero: It doesn't get more "Guile Hero" than a defense attorney who can only use evidence, brains and chutzpah to save innocent people from the chair!
* {{Hammerspace}}: See KleptomaniacHero, below. Also, ''someone'' is apparently lugging around 17 cups of coffee to Godot's every trial. Or the coffee machine to make them, and the water, and the various blends, and assorted ingredients.
* HamToHamCombat: Expect a lot of BigWordShout back-and-forth during trials.
* HelloAttorney: Of course. Miles Edgeworth is this in-universe, with pretty much every woman he crosses paths with finding him attractive, as is Mia Fey (the first thing Gumshoe says to her, in the trial of Terry Fawles, is how pretty he thinks she is). Among the fans, Phoenix, Godot[[spoiler:/Diego]], and Gregory Edgeworth have been considered plenty attractive.
* HopeSpot: It is nearly impossible to get to the end of a trial without the prosecutor or culprit finding a significant flaw in your case, often a lack of decisive evidence, that renders your entire argument worthless despite everything you have proven. Cue Phoenix holding his head in his hands... until...
* HurricaneOfPuns: The vast majority of names you meet are a pun of some sort. Some are subtle, most... not so much.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: Every episode (save the bonus case in ''Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney'', "Rise From The Ashes") contains the word "Turnabout" in the title. The Japanese name of that case can be translated as "Turnabout Revival". And the series itself is originally titled "Turnabout Courtroom", which quite nicely describes Phoenix's tendency to make a dramatic comeback when all seems lost.
* IdiotBall: Gets passed around frequently.
* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Lotta Hart is this in the Japanese version, though she's translated as being from the South, [[AccentAdaptation as per standard procedure]].
* ImprobableAge: Edgeworth became a prosecutor at a very young age, but he's got nothing on Franziska von Karma, who started practicing law at age thirteen! And Klavier Gavin started practice at age seventeen while still finding the time to become a rock star. The German/American legal system must be fun! Only gets away with it due to RuleOfCool.
* IndyPloy: At least once every trial, Phoenix comments on how he's making his defense up as he goes along.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: Winston Payne, minus the "Sympathetic" part.
* InformedAbility: Winston Payne is described as a "rookie killer", yet every single rookie he goes up against in the games he ends up losing to. The only time the player sees Winston win a case is when he's arguing against [[spoiler: Furio Tigre, in a PaperThinDisguise as Phoenix, who was ''trying'' to lose]].
** To be fair to Payne, the first trial that he lost was chronologically his first appearance, and this first loss led to him becoming the loser that he is in the rest of the games.
* InfractionDistraction: Often used by criminals to create alibis for the crimes they intend to commit (AlwaysMurder, of course). One notable example occurs in the third game, when [[spoiler:Luke Atmey deliberately lets himself be caught on camera stealing the Kurain Sacred Urn, so that he'd have an alibi to keep him from being arrested for murdering his blackmailer]].
* IntercontinuityCrossover: A crossover game titled ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'', made by Level 5 and penned by Shu Takumi, features key characters from ''Ace Attorney'' and ''Franchise/ProfessorLayton'' in a witch hunt setting. It uses ''Professor Layton''-style puzzles during investigation phases, and ''Ace Attorney''-style gameplay during courtroom scenes.
* ItMeantSomethingToMe: Phoenix's relationship with Dahlia. The poor kid was pretty hurt to learn that the girl he was head-over-heals for was only dating him to get back something of hers he had. [[spoiler:Then, he learns that "Dahlia" was actually her twin sister Iris, and Iris really ''had'' been in love with Phoenix as well. Awww!!!]]
** This is also the case with the classroom trial, from when Phoenix was a child. Larry and Edgeworth defended him, and it meant so much to him that he became a lawyer so he could do the same when it looked like Edgeworth needed his help. When Edgeworth is reminded of this, though,m it turns out he pretty much can't remember the incident and finds the idea of Phoenix clinging to that memory foolish, overly sentimental, and the sort of thing he'd expect Phoenix to do.
%%* InvisibleAdvertising
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: A lot of the prosecutors.
* TheJudge: ... and his Canadian brother! Who is '''also''' a judge.
* JuryAndWitnessTampering: Manfred von Karma is strongly implied to be involved in witness tampering, as a means of keeping up his spotless conviction rate as a prosecutor. He also seems to have passed on his methods to his daughter and his student; they both have moments where their witnesses admit to having been told to not talk about something.
* JustifiedTutorial: No formal tutorial, per se, but the beginning of each game's first trial is marked by an adviser explaining Testimonies and Cross Examinations. Justified because in games 1 and 4 it's Phoenix's and Apollo's first trial, game 2 has Phoenix suffer from amnesia right before court and game 3 has Mia Fey on her second trial and hadn't practiced law for a while. [[spoiler: Oddly enough, when her first trial gets played, Diego Armando feels no need to explain anything to her, but then again, it is case 4 and the player knows everything at that point]].
* JustInTime: Often times, just when all seems lost... someone bursts in with case-breaking evidence at the very last moment, usually backlit by the sun for extra dramatic effect.
** Which is actually pretty odd, seeing as how in ''Apollo Justice'' during [[spoiler:the MASON system segment]], we see a overhead view of the courthouse, and that door opens to a hallway...
*** There's more than one courtroom in that courthouse. But even if the courtrooms are all laid out in a similar fashion, likely RuleOfCool and/or RuleOfDrama applies.
* KangarooCourt: The legal system in this universe clearly operates on presumption of guilt... but it doesn't stop there. It's ''not enough'' to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant is innocent. There is at least one point in the games (probably more) where it is actually possible to have the defendant found guilty despite the Judge acknowledging that you've already proved their innocence. It's not even enough to prove who else ''did'' commit the crime. To get the defendant acquitted, you have to identify the real criminal and ''make them confess on the stand''. This is {{Hand Wave}}d by the NextSundayAD fictional legal system having undergone legislated reforms to drastically shorten and simplify the trial process, resulting in a system where the majority of defendants are quickly found guilty unless the defense can prove their innocence.
** To be fair, the series originated in Japan, which has a significantly different legal system. It has an inquisitive court system, where the goal is to find the truth. Even trial by jury was not established in the Japanese legal system until 2009--and even then only for certain severe crimes (and the arrangement has far more in common with a court-martial than a common law trial). Yeah, it seems mildly biased against the player, but that's simply a gameplay mechanism. The prosecutors tend to treat the inquisitive court system as an adversarial one, doing anything to get their guilty verdict. Phoenix is not corrupt, and tries to only defend clients he truly believes innocent. The RuleOfCool and the RuleOfFunny let the characters get away with murder (well, not literally, that's the one thing no one actually gets away with). When the judge believes there are loose ends, he will not give a verdict until the loose ends are tied up. So it's not guilty until proven innocent, except where it inconveniences the player.
** Even most countries with the inquisitive system, including Japan, have the principle where one is "innocent until proven guilty." However, in a bit of TruthInTelevision, the Japanese court system has a >99% conviction rate (though it has been attributed to limited funding leading to only the most solid cases being tried), forced confessions are allowed frequently, and prosecutors can appeal not-guilty verdicts. In 2008, the Justice Minister noted that the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" was one that he wanted to constrain. However, this game takes it even further than the broken system in Japan and makes it so that one is "guilty until someone ''else'' is proven guilty". [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_253/7530-Phoenix-Wrights-Objection More in this article]].
** The trope becomes a plot point between the ''Trials & Tribulations'' and ''Apollo Justice'' chapters in the series. Phoenix notices just how utterly broken and biased the court system is and how he would have lost several cases if something didn't turn the tide of the trial at the last minute. After Phoenix becomes disbarred from practicing law, this sets off a string of events. [[spoiler: In order to get Kristoph Gavin for evidence fraud and murder, Phoenix had to fight to get the court system to instate a jury system so that the fate of a client is decided by their peers rather than a single judge and he used Apollo as a catalyst for seeking out the truth during trials, something Phoenix was no longer able to do anymore legally]].
** And then between ''Apollo Justice'' and ''Dual Destinies'' comes the "Dark Age of Law", [[spoiler: where the justice system became SO corrupt that all the people lost their trust in the legal system, presumably resulting in the Jurist System's abandonment. Thus, [[StatusQuoIsGod the original system is in place]] for Dual Destinies]].
* TheKillerWasLeftHanded: Played straight, inverted, AND subverted.
* KleptomaniacHero: If it even conceivably passes for evidence, Phoenix or Apollo nabs it. However, it's difficult to tell if Phoenix or Apollo actually grabs the evidence, or just takes a picture of it or something similar. It would be highly improbable for them to lug around a large statue or noodle cart, for example. The general consensus seems to be that if it disappears from the scene, Phoenix or Apollo took it, and if it stays there, they took a picture. However, for extra fun, simply imagine them holding everything, and then presenting it in court by lugging it out from {{Hammerspace}}.
** Well, there is always Trucy's panties...
** Godot and Edgeworth also seem to share this trait, both finding the safest place for evidence to be their pocket and satchel respectively.
** In ''Investigations'', it's "Jotted down in the Organizer" unless the object is clearly handed to you, and you can examine it in detail.
---> 'Bear snatched up by Edgeworth.'
** Yeah, that bear the size of a hotel room.
** The assistants, Maya and Trucy, are also fond of grabbing things and the protagonist often has to talk them out of stealing things. Not that they call it stealing mark you.
*** Trucy gets called out on this in case 4-3. When Gavin says they can take a flyer, Apollo tells him good, as Trucy already swiped one. She is a little upset to be found out.
*** Kay often ''claims'' she was about to do this, but never actually does. It's funny when the spirit medium and the illusionist among the partners indulge in more theft than, well, the ''thief''.
* LadyOfWar: The Pink Princess, the Steel Samurai's love interest, wields a rapier.
* LargeHam: Is the character a lawyer? They are this. Is the character a witness? They are this. Really, there's just something about the court system that turns everyone involved into one of these. Even the judge gets to join in once or twice.
* LastNameBasis: Edgeworth, von Karma (Manfred more than Franziska), and Gumshoe, most prominently.
* LateArrivalSpoiler : Unaware that [[AmoralAttorney Miles Edgeworth]] makes a HeelFaceTurn? Just look at the title of Miles Edgeworth: Ace Attorney Investigations.
** [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne]]'s {{leitmotif}} is in the Kurain medley on the ''Gyakuten Meets Orchestra'' album.
* LaughingMad: Several guilty parties once they're exposed.
** ESPECIALLY, [[spoiler:Luke Atmey]], and [[spoiler:Calisto Yew]].
** And in Apollo Justice's last case, [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin]]. The game describes the killer's laugh thusly, as you look on [[spoiler: his]] final breakdown.
-->A laugh louder than any ever heard before... or since.\\
A laugh that echoed in the halls of justice, lingering for what seemed like hours.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Several characters have their own personal theme songs.
* LifeMeter: The 2nd game and onward use this to show the judge's patience with the player, though this can be a bit random since you can also lose life for messing up during Psyche Lock segments (something the Judge isn't involved in). Sometimes a single mistake can cost you the whole bar, which is an instant game over.
** In the first game, the LifeMeter takes the form of a row of five exclamation points. One gets taken off for each mistake, regardless of the severity, and at every save point, all five were restored.
* LikeBrotherAndSister: Edgeworth and Franziska were raised as siblings.
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Celeste and later Franziska for Adrian Andrews.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: [[http://www.court-records.net/Characters.htm Just LOOK at all the characters in JUST the Phoenix arc!]]
* LostInTranslation: Mostly averted, character name meanings and puns are generally carried over to English and French about as well as can be hoped. A few things are lost that make things somewhat more sensible. (notably the kanji for dragon in Phoenix's Japanese name, see AnimalStereotypes above)
** Of course the JapanesePronouns are lost but most of the time it's not a big deal. However, at one point they're used to emphasize [[spoiler: that the Matt Engarde you meet at first and the one he reveals himself to be are ''not'' the same person. The former uses "boku" (a boyish pronoun) while the latter uses "ore" (a more serious, adult one). Thankfully, the rest of TheReveal is enough to make the change ''very'' obvious]].
* [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Mad Prosecutor's Gorgeous Children]]: Franziska von Karma is the daughter of the BigBad of the first game (not counting DS 1-5), though she doesn't fall in love with Phoenix. At the same time, Miles Edgeworth is the adoptive son of von Karma and Franziska's "unrelated little brother".
** It's symbolic of Franziska's personality that she calls Edgeworth her "little brother" when he's older than her.
* MagicRealism: Ghosts regularly become involved in what would otherwise be a fairly realistic setting.
* {{Malaproper}}: Redd White is full of these.
--> '''Redd White''': "You wish to know the title of my personage?"
* MaliciousMisnaming: Many characters keep calling Phoenix under different names (Mr. Wrong, Trite, etc.) as an insult, and Klavier Gavin's favorite nickname for Apollo is Herr Forehead. Franziska does the complete opposite by always addressing Phoenix and Edgeworth by their full names, but notably refers to Gumshoe as "Scruffy [=McTrenchCoat=]".
* MatrixRainingCode: The MASON System.
* MatterOfLifeAndDeath: In ''Trials and Tribulations'' it is shown on two occasions that murder is a capital crime, thus all the trials are this for the defendants. This fits with the Japanese origin of the game as the one time we hear details of an execution, it is performed by hanging as it would be in reality.
* MeaningfulName: Too many, but one that practically spoils ''Apollo Justice'' immediately is [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin, Japanese name "Kirihito Garyu". As in "''hitokiri''". As in "murder"]].
** If you know the correct way his name is pronounced, [[spoiler:Godot]] can suffer from similarly easy spoilers in the English version. [[spoiler:It's the last syllables of his real first and last name (Die''go'' Arman''do'') smashed together]].
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: To the point that there are no female victims in two of the games and ''Investigations'' only features one female victim in the backstory to the fourth case.
** Do note, however, that there are quite a number of dead females tied into cases. Also, in the first game, there are 2 female victims, one in the first case, the other, your mentor.
* MentorOccupationalHazard: Mia Fey dies, [[spoiler:Diego Armando is poisoned, Gregory Edgeworth is murdered, Manfred von Karma is executed ''for'' murder, Kristoph Gavin is convicted]], and Grossberg ends up being ... [[QuicklyDemotedLeader Grossberg]].
** Not to mention [[spoiler: Elise Deauxnim, who mas murdered too]]. Of course, [[spoiler: her]] student ''was'' [[spoiler: Laurice Deauxnim, also known as Larry Butz. And you know what they say: When something smells...]].
* MilkingTheGiantCow: Didn't they teach you in law school that it's rude to point?
* MissionPackSequel: Aside from the introduction of Psyche Locks and a LifeMeter in the second game, the first three games are almost identical. The fourth game mixes things up a little bit, the gameplay is still extremely similar. The Edgeworth game completely averts this.
* MoonLogicPuzzle: Frequent.
** To be fair, pressing the witnesses ''usually'' doesn't earn you penalties (and in most cases where it ''does'', you get ample warning beforehand), and helps find out what's wrong with their testimonies. Heck, sometimes Phoenix's inner monologue even highlights the crucial question that went unanswered. Also, "cycling around" the testimony in cross-examination to get a reaction from the protagonist and/or their assistant almost never hurts, and may in fact help if you're stuck.
*** Sometimes the Moon Logic comes in when you have two or more pieces of evidence that are equally relevant to the contradiction in question, and/or two or more bits of testimony that the character could reasonably object to. Sometimes the game designers realized this, and give the player more than one correct option. Other times, not so much.
** Dual Destinies actively tries to correct this problem, and actually combines multiple pieces of evidence into single presentable units. For example, it's not uncommon for a photograph, a newspaper clipping, and a police report to be treated as a single, presentable piece of evidence.
* MotiveRant: Often accompanied by a brief FreakOut or a BigNo.
** In fact this is apparently so omnipresent in the ''Ace Attorney'' Universe that when, in 2-4, [[spoiler:Adrian Andrews fails to deliver one, Phoenix immediately become suspicious of her guilt]].
** Averted, though, with [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin]], who confesses to a murder but refuses to disclose his reason for doing so. [[spoiler:Then Drew Misham bites the dust, Apollo and Phoenix investigate the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death, and we finally realize ''why'' Kristoph is so tight-lipped about his own agenda]].
* MotorMouth: Wendy Oldbag.
--> '''Oldbag:''' *rambling* \\
* Edgeworth objects*
--> '''Edgeworth:''' "O-objection! I... object to the witness's taltakiveness." \\
'''Judge:''' Objection sustained! The witness will refrain from rambling on the stand."
* MST3KMantra: Invoked in-universe when Ema encounters an ad showing [[CarnivoreConfusion a cartoon cow eating a steak]], and Phoenix tells her not to think about it too hard.
* {{Mukokuseki}}: A significant part of the reason the sweeping name changes in the English version don't cause too much complaining; if anything, the number of characters who look distinctly "Asian" - never mind Japanese - are a minority, and passing off characters like Reiji Mitsurugi and Mei Karuma as caucasians (as Miles and Franziska, respectively) is somewhat ''more'' believable given how they look.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: The series lives and breathes this trope.
** Basically, it takes law--as any non-reader of End User License Agreement will attest, law is really boring--and makes it awesome, often simply by increasing the volume ("'''''Objection!'''''"). The fact that all lawyers in AA look [[RuleOfCool really cool]] also helps there.
** There's also the fact that after you win a case, confetti rains from the gallery ([[WordOfGod handcrafted and thrown by Gumshoe]]) and the crowd cheers.
** At various points in the series, the dramatic close-up of one of the lawyers that's usually reserved for adding impact to rightfully awesome declarations is used for completely ridiculous (though they [[ItMakesSenseInContext make sense in context]]) statements, such as "What kind of murderer uses a Samurai Slap?" or "Baseballs have stitches! Are you saying that all baseballs are suspicious?"
** [[spoiler:The final case of the third game has an ''exorcism'' take place on the witness stand, accomplished with little more than some inquisitive prodding]].
* TheMusical: Both an official Takarazuka Musical and fan project: The PhoenixWrightMusicalProject.
** ''Investigations'' reuses music from older games that were associated with [[TheCameo characters from past games]].
* MusicalNod: Objection 2001 appears when Phoenix objects in the first case of ''Apollo Justice'' [[spoiler:and all the music in the flashback to the trial in case 4 is taken from the first game]].
** Near the end of ''Trials & Tribulations'', a remix of Cornered 2001 is used in place of ''T&T'''s own Cornered track.
* MusicalSpoiler: If you present the correct piece of evidence in court or rebuttal (''Investigations''), the soundtrack will cut to silence. [[spoiler: Results in subversions in game 3, where, no matter what evidence you submit, the music cuts out and the dialogue is the same...at first]].
** An odd case is on the series' official orchestral soundtrack. Most of the track titles are spoiler safe, but one, ''Kurain Anthology'', a compilation of all themes associated with the Feys and their practice, includes [[spoiler: Iris and Dahlia's themes]].
* MysteryMagnet: Many cases start with Phoenix having only taken a passing interest in something (an awards ceremony, for example), only for someone involved with whatever it was to turn up dead. Apollo Justice seems to have been set up to become one of these as well, and the same is true for Edgeworth in his GaidenGame.
** Lampshaded by Gumshoe, who mentions he's beginning to wonder if Phoenix is the cause of all the chaotic situations he gets wrapped up in. Edgeworth then notes that [[EconomyCast Gumshoe is usually involved in the exact same incidents]].
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Quite a few characters, both in [[{{Woolseyism}} English]] and Japanese. One of the standouts would be Shelly de Killer.
** Furio Tigre.
** Manfred von Karma.
* NearVillainVictory: Frequent. ''Very'' frequent. Most trials typically range from Phoenix having one last chance to present decisive evidence before his client is convicted to the judge announcing the verdict before someone comes in with new information.
* NeverSayDie: An odd example. While the murders are shown and described in bloody detail, and the death penalty is mentioned, it is absolutely never mentioned that the previous killers were executed. In fact, about [[spoiler:Franziska von Karma]], they only say, "Her father's gone, you know."
** With one exception: [[spoiler:Dahlia in 3-5 talks explicitly about her death, going as far as stating that she was hanged, while her spirit is being channeled]].
** Investigations 2, however, suggests that Frank Sahwit seems to have avoided the death penalty, since he appears as a witness in Case 2. This is likely because in Sahwit's case, he committed ''manslaughter'' (in other words, he accidentally killed his victim without any prior planning or intent), not murder. It seems that they give death penalties only to murderers, meaning that Dee Vasquez is probably alive too since in her case it was self defense (and blackmail).
* NeverTrustATrailer: The official trailer for Ace Attorney Investigations showed several scenes of Kay Faraday assisting with the investigation of the second case. Edgeworth doesn't meet [[spoiler:17-year-old]] Kay until the beginning of case 3.
* NextSundayAD: The first ''Phoenix Wright'' game takes place in 2016. Nothing's changed at ''all'', really, except the court system. And cell phones have regressed back to the late 1990s.
* NightmareFuel: InUniverse, Phoenix and Apollo seem to have this opinion of the Blue Badger.
* NoBadgeNoProblem: The lawyers frequently overstep their authority in their crime scene investigations. Its very vague about whether the lawyers are actually allowed to do this--sometimes Phoenix will be stopped from entering a crime scene due to lack of authority, and sometimes the police will gladly let him look the whole thing over and take whatever valuable evidence he wants.
* NoCommunitiesWereHarmed: For the most part (they're all just puns), but Gumshoe does mention at one point that he lives in Compton.
* NoOshaCompliance: From the first game alone, [[spoiler:the spiked fence post in the third case ended ''two'' lives by people [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice falling on them]], and an elevator in the DL-6 incident manages to nearly suffocate three people for want of a vent when the power goes out]].
* NonstandardCharacterDesign:
** Mike Meekins looks quite unfitting compared to other characters, even the ones drawn by the same artist. Kinda looks like someone from Franchise/LupinIII.
** Spark Brushel from Apollo Justice would fit right in with the WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: [[spoiler:Cammy Meele]] in ''Investigations''. Also [[spoiler:Phoenix Wright]] in the fourth game, to the point that even Apollo believes that he is doing it on purpose.
** And [[spoiler: Yanni Yogi]]. And [[spoiler: Matt Engarde]]. And [[spoiler: April May]]. And [[spoiler: Ini Miney]]. And [[spoiler: Quercus Alba]]. In fact, if one of your witnesses is extremely ditzy you should probably immediately suspect them of faking it. Although subverted in the case of [[spoiler: Colias Palaeno]], whose eccentricity and cheeriness seems a bit... suspicious until it's revealed he wasn't the culprit.
** [[spoiler: Damon Gant]] in Case 1-5 seems to be very happy-go-lucky, even childlike, for a [[spoiler: Police Chief]]. Then things start turning on their head, and you can see how formidable he really is.
* OhCrap: Half of the fun is watching the reactions of the prosecuting attorneys and witnesses as you rip right through their evidence and testimonies. Especially since almost all of them have insulted you in some way at some point or another.
* OnlySaneMan: The playable character in each game. It seems that they're the only ones to notice that the prosecution is blatantly lying/taking advantage of the Judge/doing something incredibly illegal/whipping people to let off steam/etc. This is a bit jarring in ''Dual Destinies'', when the cases cycle between Apollo, Athena, and Phoenix as the playable characters and, from the perspective of each of them, the other two come across as very ridiculous.
* OrgyOfEvidence: This is how pretty much every trial begins. It's often lampshaded by Phoenix, Apollo, Mia, and Athena, who note that the massive amounts of evidence really do make a compelling case against their clients and that they must look past it to believe in them. Edgeworth also tends to lampshade this in the first game, when he presents his opening statements along the lines of, "We have a lot of evidence and eyewitnesses who saw the defendant do it. We have this in the bag". By the time the trial is over, of course, the defense team has proven that it all points to the real culprit.
* OverlyNervousFlopSweat: A lot of characters sweat bullets when they see themselves trapped into a corner, attorneys, witnesses, or otherwise. It gets TurnedUpToEleven when the radio a certain witness is using to testify starts leaking acid instead.
* PassiveAggressiveKombat: Cases that don't get heated turn into this. Notably, Mia and Franziska engage in it during Maya's trial (and manage to completely freak out Phoenix in the process). Morgan Fey also seems very fond of invoking this.
--> '''Lotta:''' Hold on, now, granny!
--> '''Morgan:''' ...Granny?
--> '''Lotta:''' How come we ain't allowed in that room!?
--> '''Morgan:''' Dear madam, you have an "impressive" grasp of English. From where did you learn it?
* PenultimateOutburst: An essential part of the games. The penalty meter represents how much patience the Judge has left, and when it runs out, he declares the trial over and done with. There are also several points where he demands evidence from the defense to back their claims, on the threat of ending the trial if they can't. (In one trial in ApolloJustice, he threatens to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" if Apollo can't ''explain how a magic trick works''. A question which is all but irrelevant to the trial at hand, at least at that point in time!)
* PeripheryDemographic: In-universe, the Steel Samurai franchise seems to be popular amongst older people like Maya and Edgeworth, despite being designed for little kids.
* ThePerryMasonMethod: Courtroom scenes, which constitute half the gameplay, are nothing but this.
%%* PhraseCatcher: ''"OBJECTION!"''
* PlotTriggeringDeath: Gregory Edgeworth's could easily be one of these in the ''Ace Attorney'' games. Basically, it was his death that kick started Miles' ambition to be a lawyer, which started Phoenix's. You could even go further back and say that it was [[spoiler: Isaku Hyodo]]'s death that led to Gregory's, and so on. Gregory's death was also the distant catalyst for Misty Fey's disappearance (which in turn had ''several'' repercussions on the Fey clan, such as [[spoiler: Dahlia and]] Iris's father leaving, Mia's PromotionToParent, etc, Yanni Yogi's [[spoiler: ObfuscatingStupidity]], etcetera.
** In fact, a lot of deaths in this game series have kicked off new arcs and plots (Mia Fey, Magnifi Gramarye etc).
* PointlessBandAid: Detective Gumshoe has been wearing a bandage in the same spot on his left cheek for at least seven years. It's almost-but-not-quite lampshaded in ''Investigations'', when he asks, "Do I have something on my face or something?"
* ThePollyanna: Maya. Just... Maya. All the assistants qualify, but Maya takes the cake.
** Not exactly. Maya gets arrested many times in Phoenix's games and is pretty bummed out about it. She always tells Phoenix that she's not of any help. (Although, in the courtroom, she actually doesn't really say much)
* PrecisionFStrike Miles Edgeworth pulls roughly one "[[SophisticatedAsHell What the hell]][...]?" per game, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJuR7AtroMA#t=04m58s most memorably]] from 1-5:
---> '''Edgeworth''': [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments What the hell was that wriggling piece of plywood]]!?
** Also, in Investigations
---> '''Lang''': [[spoiler: Quercus Alba]], you BASTARD!
* ProudToBeAGeek: Edgeworth may be a [[ClosetGeek closet nerd]], but Maya's quite upfront with her geekishness.
* PunchClockVillain: Most (with some ''big'' exceptions) prosecutors aren't necessarily despicable people, it's just their job to convict defendants and get them thrown in jail or the death penalty. To what degree the prosecutor cares about achieving true justice varies from game to game and case to case; the more sympathetic ones will do what they can (within their position as prosecutor) to help the protagonist while the truly terrible ones will do ''anything'' to get their guilty verdict.
* QuicklyDemotedLeader: Here's a word of advice--don't become the mentor of a rookie attorney. You'll most likely end up dead or the victim of otherwise horrible circumstances. Or [[spoiler:in jail]], as we see in ''Apollo Justice''.
* RainbowSpeak: Orange text indicates hints and important pieces of evidence, blue text is for the protagonist's inner thoughts, and green text is used for witness testimonies.
* RantInducingSlight: Two words--''Wendy Oldbag''.
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: The "Jurist System" in ''Apollo Justice'' was introduced largely in reaction to the Japanese government re-establishing trial by jury in 2006.
* RealMenWearPink: Edgeworth, baby (wine-red, according to investigations. Looks like magenta, though).
** Seems to be thrown about everywhere. Phoenix's pink sweater when he was younger, Larry's pink overall (okay, so those two don't really count in the context used), Kristoph's pink neck-ribbon-thing, Zak Gramarye's most amazing get-up (it's referred to as red but if you believe that you're colorblind) and Wocky's jacket if we can include Edgeworth's--Capcom seems to love putting pink on men.
*** And let's not forget Max Galactica. Wow.
*** Or Redd White. He also has purple hair and sparkles almost every time he's addressed.
* RealitySubtext: The whole deal with the Jurist System in Apollo Justice exists due to Japan actually testing for themselves a jury system.
* RedOniBlueOni: Inverted with Phoenix and Miles. Loud, hot-blooded and impulsive Phoenix wears a blue suit, while calm, composed and calculated Miles wears a [[strike:red]] burgundy suit.
** The same applies for Edgeworth and Agent Lang, but without the color scheme.
* RefugeInAudacity: Every murderer in the series bases their plans on the assumption that no one can even hope to imagine the events that have happened. [[spoiler: Luke Atmey]] is a great example of that, trying to use [[spoiler: a guilty verdict for a lesser crime]] as a defense for a murder. Things would work out if it wasn't for the fact that Phoenix, Apollo and Edgeworth themselves tend to be quite audacious in their theories and explanations.
* RuleOfFun: The justice system presented in the games would be a joke in real life, the lawyers and witnesses get away with attitudes and behaviors that would be punishable by contempt of court at ''least'', and any witness revising their statement that much would have their credibility wrecked in about fifteen minutes. But is it ''fun''? Heck yes.
** The series is supposedly something of a satire of the Japanese legal system, which really does have corrupt prosecutors, an emphasis on confessions, and an extremely high conviction rate. It is, of course, wildly exaggerated.
* RunningGag: Numerous. The longest running would be the eternal 'ladder vs step-ladder' debate.
--> '''Maya''': Look, a ladder!
--> '''Phoenix''': That's a "step"-ladder.
--> '''Maya''': So? What's the difference? You need to stop judging things based on narrow-minded cultural assumptions, Nick!
--> '''Phoenix''': R-right... sorry.
** For the record, it's only a stepladder if it has steps (flat surfaces to step on). If it has rungs it's just a ladder.
** This running gag also continues in Apollo Justice only with the papers inverted.
*** And again in ''AceAttorneyInvestigations'', with Kay identifying one as a step-ladder. Miles comments that both of them are equally guilty of being dangerous during earthquakes.
** Every time you visit the detention center and examine the guard (who's really just a part of the background image), Phoenix makes a new [[LampshadeHanging smartass comment about his stoicism and general motionlessness]] (because he's really just a part of the background image).
** Phoenix's strange fixation with scrubbing the toilet, though this mostly appears in the third game. Both in the American AND Japanese versions.
** There is also Charley the potted plant, who gets a special mention despite the fact that pretty much everything in Phoenix's office is a running gag because he even turns up after the law office is converted into a talent agency. Charley may actually be a reference to the LucasArts running gag of Chuck the Plant, who appeared in several of their classic adventure games, starting in ''ManiacMansion''.
*** Speaking of office gags, starting in 1-4:
--->'''Phoenix''': Difficult-looking legal books stand in a formidable row. They mock me. [...]
**** How this line finishes depends on the case, and whether there's anyone else present. Eventually they start collecting an impressive layer of dust. There's at least one amusing CallBack to the first instance of this, from 1-5:
---->'''Ema''': Oh, I tried studying one of those just now. Remember what they were talking about in the trial today...?
---->'''Phoenix''': Oh, right, evidence law. So, did you learn anything?
---->'''Ema''': Well, when I tried reading it made my head hurt.
---->'''Phoenix''': Oh...
---->'''Ema''': Then, when I closed it, it slipped out of my hand and fell on my foot.
---->'''Phoenix''': (Oddly enough I find myself identifying with her on this one...)
** Miles Edgeworth has poor luck with getting witnesses to introduce themselves on the stand.
** "Anyone could wear that ____. Even me!"
** The movie poster in Mia's office, said to be the first movie to make her cry. The gag being that nobody knows the title of the movie, including Mia. Eventually Maya tries to replace it with a Steel Samurai poster, but puts it back when she finally sees the movie (though the reader never hears the title either).
*** In 4-4, Phoenix said he finally found out the name and watched it, and he might show it to Trucy sometime. Then he realised he forgot the name...
** The guy in the police station is always doing a different type of image training. It changes every time something new happens in the room.
*** In 1-5, he instead seems to be writing a crime novel instead and comes up with different twists (including time machines and him being the murderer because of a split personality). At the end he switches to romance.
*** Likewise the lead detective in the back middle of the room. Phoenix always assumes the guy's hard at work on something, then gets irritated when he finds out the guy's just looking up gossip on the Internet.
** The Gatewater Hotel from the first game's second case. Examining the window facing it in every case reveals that it goes from a no-name hotel to, [[invoked]][[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity with the help of that case]], a famous five-star hotel and eventually, a ''theme park''.
** No one can seem to remember Wendy Oldbag's name, or at least know it well enough to not have a sense of doubt.
*** There's also her undying love for Edgeworth, which, given her age, is pretty strongly unrequited.
** Phoenix loves to present his Attorney's Badge to anyone he meets during investigations. Although necessary in a few cases (notably case 4 of the first game), mostly this is met with either confusion or ridicule. Phoenix himself {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this if Apollo presents his own badge to him. Gumshoe also lampshades it in 1-5, noting that "you show this to me every time we meet, pal," then adds with a grin, "real men show their police badge! 'Nuff said!"
*** Continued in ''Investigations'', where you never actually get to use Edgeworth's Prosecutor Badge, and the flavor text states that he tends to keep it in his pocket. It's also lampshaded by none other than [[spoiler:MANFRED VON KARMA]].
** In ''Apollo Justice'' and ''Investigations'', Phoenix and Edgeworth respectively seem to have a fondness for "grape juice." In huge glass bottles, in bars and VIP lounges. [[FrothyMugsOfWater One might think that this is censorship of wine]], however, not only is the substitution of grape juice in both the English and Japanese versions, but [[FridgeLogic why would they need to censor alcohol in a game about violent murders]]?
*** They don't need to censor alcohol, really, but I'd contest that they do anyway - why else would [[spoiler:Phoenix not be allowed grape juice in the hospital? This is further spotlighted by the fact that he '''''switches the label''''' with mineral water to sneak it in, and then '''''lies to his daughter''''' about that, with a big stage wink to Apollo]].
*** The '''''really''''' fun part is that in both the western and the Japanese versions, '''it REALLY is grape juice and not wine!'''
** Not really a gag, but the last case of all three Phoenix arc games has a different prosecutor from the usual as your opponent for at least part of the case.
** At least for the first three games, if you include the bonus case for the first game, all end with Phoenix being put in a difficult position, and finally ending with one last "'''''Objection!'''''"
** Throughout, whenever flowers are examined or brought up, Phoenix always mentions that the only ones he can identify are tulips and sunflowers. In the final case of ''Apollo Justice'' he has an epiphany and realizes that he can identify roses too.
* {{Ruritania}}: The small nation of Borginia, home country of Machi Tobaye and Romein [=LeTouse=] from ''Apollo Justice'' and Zinc Lablanc and Akbey Hicks from ''Investigations''. For added strangeness, the country also exists in Capcom's ''VideoGame/DinoCrisis''.
** Possibly a nod to the fact that Ace Attorney creator, Shu Takumi, was also the director of ''DinoCrisis2''.
* SayMyName: Several times.
-->'''von Karma''': [[spoiler: EDGEWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORTH!!!]]
-->'''Dahlia''': [[spoiler: MIIIAAA FEEEEEEEEEEEEYYY!!!!!]]
-->'''Kristoph''': [[spoiler: WWWWWWRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!]]
* ScaryShinyGlasses: [[spoiler:Kristoph]]. You actually get to see through those glasses. It isn't pretty. Payne also has them, but they aren't scary. Also subverted by Machi in the third case of the fourth game--he has the glasses, but he's actually a very kind and gentle boy.
** Not to mention the fact that they're sunglasses, and he's got a good reason to be wearing them. [[spoiler: He's pretending to be blind]].
* ScreenShake: Used for everything from Franziska's whip to random lines of dialogue.
* SeamlessSpontaneousLie: Very common; characters who are caught out on their lies often come up with entirely different, equally detailed stories within very little time. Of course, due to the nature of the game, these are always found out eventually.
* SequelDifficultyDrop: In ''Investigations'', however, because in nearly every situation Edgeworth's inner monologue would make it clear even to Gumshoe what you're supposed to do next.
** This is probably because many fans mentioned they liked the way he thinks [[spoiler: during his small turn as defense attorney in the third game]].
** Also inverted that penalties in the game always take off 10% of your life bar, thus you have 10 chances before a game over, which is pretty easy going compared to the roller coaster of penalties amounts in the previous games. [[spoiler: The penalties are beefed up to 20% when Alba gets annoyed at one point by your constant time wasting with your questioning]].
* SequelDifficultySpike: The main series games get harder after the first one.
** Subverted, somewhat, with Dual Destinies. While the trials themselves aren't necessarily simpler or easier, the game does more to streamline elements or to remove some of the FakeDifficulty. Psyche Locks and Pereception no longer lower the status bar when failed. Evidence is more carefully organized and it's more obvious which pieces of evidence can be presented when, and similar or related evidence is often grouped together. As well the option so examine a scene is only open in crime scenes or other locations where investigation is necessary... while this removes, say, some of the flavor text of examining the office, it prevents the player from occasional moments of wandering from location to location clicking on everything on the off-chance it's related to the case.
* SequelFirst: In Europe, ''Apollo Justice'' came out before ''Trials and Tribulations''; the reason why being spoilery; it will not be explained.
* SeriousBusiness: The law is a serious thing in just about any setting, but this game still manages to push legal work to the level of spectator sport.
** This is taken to a whole new level of insanity in [[Film/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney the film]], where it's shown that more prominent court cases sell tickets for each day of the trial so people can watch, and the trial concludes with a holographic "Not Guilty!" accompanied by confetti being fired.
** Case 5-3 reveals that lawyer schools involve lessons on the proper way to shout OBJECTION!, and the correct speed and angle of pointing your finger, among other things.
* SheatheYourSword: There is at least one point in every game where the prosecution demands evidence supporting your theory and you don't have any. Rather than receive repeated penalties from trying everything in the inventory, the correct answer is to say that you don't have evidence. This is usually followed by a HopeSpot sequence.
* SheIsNotMyGirlfriend: Phoenix and Maya, in spite of Pearl constantly saying that he is Maya's 'Special someone'.
** Also done ''hilariously'' in ''Investigations'' with Edgeworth and ''Wendy Oldbag''.
* ShipTease: Capcom is very aware of the HoYay fan base. The end of the third game also drops one more on the fans before the seven year time skip to ''Apollo Justice'' seems to erase it.
** ''Dual Destinies'' has some between Juniper Woods and Apollo. Junie blushes adorably and knits something with heart-shaped patterns while talking favorably about Apollo, and Apollo can be seen smiling at her when she goes to give her performance in the third case.
* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/AceAttorney Has its own page]]. Both the Japanese version AND the English translation use many throwaway pop culture references as gags. ''Justice for All'' had a serious spike in online memes inserted into the localization, presumably thanks to the MemeticMutation of the first game.
* ShowWithinAShow: The Steel Samurai, sort of. Also the Pink Princess, the Nickel Samurai, and the Jammin' Ninja.
* {{Sidekick}}: It's series tradition for the main character to have a cute/attractive female sidekick in almost every case. [[MyFriendsAndZoidberg Or Gumshoe]].
** Gumshoe still fits the mold, just for a [[BaraGenre different kind]] [[YaoiFangirl of fan]].
* SlidingScaleOfContinuity: The games have a stronger (level 4, Arc-Based Episodic) continuity between cases within each game, but are level 3 (Subtle Continuity) with respect to one another, featuring the same characters (bar ''Apollo Justice'') and explaining things like spirit mediums at the beginning of each game but otherwise having independent stories and not depending on the player knowing the previous games.
* SmartPeoplePlayChess: Miles Edgeworth has a chess set in his office. Phoenix notes that the problems he sets up tend to have the red side utterly dominating the blue side, if you get my drift.
** A lot of people play chess in Investigations 2. Not to mention the whole logic chess gameplay element.
* SmugSnake: Many of the murderers turn out to be one of these if it's not immediately obvious, such as [[spoiler:Redd White, Morgan Fey, Dahlia Hawthorne, and Matt Engarde]]. The last of those almost qualifies for MagnificentBastard status, but made one little mistake. Richard Wellington is a particularly over-the-top example.
* SongInTheKeyOfPanic: Testimonies and cross examinations initially use the Confrontation: Moderato (normal pace) music. As the protagonists get closer to the truth and more lies are exposed, the music switches to Confrontation: Allegro (faster) to illustrate the mounting pressure on everyone involved. The games (starting with the Investigations spinoffs) have taken this even further with Confrontation: Presto (fastest) when dealing with the last testimonies of the culprit or highly important people (making this a case of MusicalSpoiler).
* SpeechCentricWork: As one might expect from a VisualNovel that's also a CourtroomDrama.
* SpeedStripes: See SuperMovePortraitAttack.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''VideoGame/GhostTrick''.
* SpitTake: Godot pulls off a few of these in the third game.
** Maya points it out on one such occasion.
** Godot once even orders a fresh coffee, takes a solid gulp, and ''then'' spit-takes.
* StoppedClock: Used repeatedly (twice in the first game alone).
* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: You have to play dumb until it's the "right" time to solve the mysteries, even the ones that are blatantly obvious from the beginning. This becomes an emotionally painful part of game play in the fourth game [[spoiler:when the player can't choose to not present the evidence that results in Phoenix's disbarment]] since by that point it's pretty damn obvious what will happen. [[spoiler:Of course, that's also part of a flashback, so averting this would be somewhat of a time paradox]].
* SuperMovePortraitAttack: Happens during trials when an attorney or prosecutor delivers a particularly energetic "'''''Objection!'''''" The special sprite is superimposed on light blue SpeedStripes.
* SympatheticMurderer: Several, including [[spoiler:someone who killed the man who had made everyone think the killer was deranged and ruined his life fifteen years ago]] in the first game.
** How about [[spoiler: Godot? His murder was self-defense and defense of another, not to mention payback for the poisoning that ruined his life by putting him in a coma for years, making him effectively blind, and making him unable to protect the woman he loved?]]
** From the second game there's also [[spoiler: Acro. He wanted to kill Regina because she doesn't understand that she's responsible for putting his brother in a coma and himself in a wheelchair. Then he killed the wrong person, the ringmaster who's pretty much his surrogate father. You get the feeling that if his brother is dead instead of in a coma, he would have just turned himself in or killed himself]]; and [[spoiler: Mimi Miney, who had her life ruined by the AssholeVictim, lost her sister in a car crash due to the fatigue she suffered from being overworked by said asshole, and was blamed for several deaths. She manages to build a new life under her sister's name, and has to face being exposed for everything because her former boss just can't let sleeping dogs lie]].
* ThatWasObjectionable: The [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]].
* ThatOneCase: Typically one per game:
** In the entirety of the Phoenix arc, [[spoiler: DL-6, and its aftermath]].
** In the last case of the first game, [[spoiler: SL-9]].
** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', [[spoiler: Mia Fey's first case (although it's actually solved and overcome by Mia in the first case, which takes place after it)]].
** In ''ApolloJustice'', the one that resulted in [[spoiler:Wright's disbarment]].
** In ''[[AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Investgations]]'', [[spoiler: KG-8, and "the second KG-8" (Turnabout Reminiscence)]].
** In ''Gyakuten Kenji 2'', [[spoiler: IS-7 and SS-5]]
** In ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'', [[spoiler: UR-1]].
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Whenever a lawyer gets the upper hand, their theme music plays. [[spoiler:Played to the hilt in 3-5 when [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Phoenix's theme music from the first game plays right when he finishes everything off]]]].
** Not to mention the 'allegro' themes, which are quicker, more dramatic versions of the cross-examination themes which play instead of the normal theme after contradictions start showing up.
*** ''Investigations'' even gets a 'presto' version of its theme, which is [[UpToEleven even faster and more dramatic]] than the 'allegro' theme, and is played solely during [[ClimaxBoss the final confrontation with a given villain]].
* ThinkInText: [[color:teal: (Shown as light blue text between parentheses. Expect [[FirstPersonSmartass lots of snark]] to come out of these.)]]
* TimeSkip: Several; three minor time skips of a year each between the first three games of the series, then a whooping seven years time skip between ''Trials and Tribulations'' and ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney'', and finally another one year skip between that game and ''Dual Destinies''.
* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Discussed at the end of the fourth game, [[spoiler:which comes down hard on the side of "good", as it points out that the law is always changing based on people's understanding of what is right...underscored by the introduction of the Jurist System for the sole purpose of injecting some common wisdom and understanding into the process]].
* TravelingAtTheSpeedOfPlot: Kurain Village is a two hours' train ride from the city, yet during the investigation phase of 2-2 you make at ''the bare minimum'' two-and-a-half round trips in the span of 3 hours. It's also somehow possible for an eight-year-old child to travel the distance ''on foot'' in a single morning.
* TributeToFido: The police dog in the first game is named after Missile, the creator's Pomeranian. He doesn't do anything useful, but he does eat all of Larry's hot dogs.
* TruthInTelevision: Unfortunately, all the prosecutors who obsess over perfect win records and with the odds so stacked against you is very true in Japan's criminal justice system, even false confessions are common to avoid dishonoring a family further with a long and drawn out trial. In a way, you could say the series is actually a brilliant and scathing satire.
* TryEverything: Sadly, if you're not able to divine some the less obvious hints, you'll be doing this even during trials and rebuttals.
* {{Tsundere}}: Franziska, particularly in the third game after she's [[DefrostingIceQueen mellowed a bit]]. Even lampshaded. Both Phoenix and Edgeworth say "she's so openly hostile it's almost cute".
* UnderdogsNeverLose: Played very straight with every defense attorney.
* VideoGame3DLeap: Though Phoenix and Maya already got the 3D treatment in the ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonVsAceAttorney'' crossover, the series's debut on the 3DS marks the jump for the series proper, allowing for more dynamic camera and angle work than in previous entries.
* VillainousBreakdown: The closer you get the real murderer to confessing, the more out of control they get. Once the truth is revealed, they cry, scream, tear their hair and clothes, laugh hysterically, and sometimes ''faint dead away''. [[spoiler:Luke Atmey]] in particular is this trope.
** Some of the breakdowns are [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbDPyqlpiYI way over the top]].
** Also, the more out of control they get, the more smug they get when the prosecuting attorney brings up something that could pull their ass out of the fire-"How I Would Have Done It" by OJ Simpson levels of smug. The only thing that keeps this from convicting them on the basis that innocent people simply don't get this smug is that the game is too busy trying to convict your client to notice that the real guilty party's behavior is giving them away without Phoenix pointing this out.
* TheVonTropeFamily: The von Karmas.
* WakeUpCallBoss: Have some fun kicking around Winston Payne (or Gaspen Payne) in the first case of the game? Hope you did, when the second case starts, the main prosecutor of the game will be introduced and he/she is ''not'' a pushover. This routine applies to all the games in the series, minus the ''Investigations'' spin-offs.
* WaistcoatOfStyle: Phoenix will sport one in ''Ace Attorney 5''. His protogé, Apollo wears one as well in lieu of a full two piece suit, and Edgeworth wears one under his glorious cravat.
* WantonCrueltyToTheCommonComma: If a semicolon should be used somewhere, it'll be a comma,[[note]]this makes the sudden proper use of semicolons in ''Ace Attorney Investigations''[='=] fifth case and ''only'' in its fifth case fairly jarring[[/note]] and "double quotes are never switched for "single quotes" within larger quotations." Gumshoe also says "their's" at one point during ''Investigations''. "Its" versus "it's" also rears its ugly head fairly often.
** The German translation is even worse. Whenever you spot a comma, there's what feels like at least a 50% chance it shouldn't be there. To make up for that, if a comma ''should'' be there, odds are it isn't.
* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: In Case 3-2, one of Franziska's arguments centers around proof that Maya physically shapeshifts into whoever she channels ([[FridgeLogic apparently no one else noticed this...]]). To back her claim, she shows a picture of Maya channeling Mia, who is talking to Phoenix in the Detention Center. Instead of thinking that the picture is photoshopped (as most people would), everyone takes this at face value. Phoenix even worries over this bit of information coming out, and warns Mia about it the next time they speak.
* WhamEpisode and WhamLine: If a case has a plot twist, expect at least one of these. Especially if it's near the end of the game.
** 2-4 has perhaps one of the biggest ones in the series. [[spoiler: For the first time, your client actually IS the culprit]].
** 2-4 has so many whams that it's actually [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by the Judge.
---> '''Judge:''' This is a most unexpected turn of events. For the...fifth time now?
* WhatTheHellHero: In The Stolen Turnabout, the case [[AlwaysMurder initially appears to be]] about the theft of the Kurain Village's Sacred Urn. Maya and Pearl flip out at Phoenix when he decides to defend the guy accused of being the thief.
** Edgeworth's threatening to reveal [[spoiler:Andrian Andrews' psychiatric records and suicide attempt]] to get her to testify after his HeelFaceTurn is played as this.
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: Each game has ending credits that show how most characters that where involved in the cases lives are now.
* WhipItGood: Franziska von Karma.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Edgeworth + earthquakes = debilitating panic attacks. In his own game, the turbulence on an airplane produces a close enough effect that it triggers his phobia and he passes out.
** FridgeLogic: Depending on the version of the game, Edgeworth works in one of two places: Japan, or southern California. If he's so afraid of earthquakes, why does he work in a place that (in either case) is so seismically active?
*** FridgeBrilliance: It's where he grew up. Many people live their entire lives in the town they grew up in. Not to mention that when he sort of quits after the first game, he is ''always travelling''.
*** Then there's the more obvious reason that its where [[spoiler: his father's grave]] is located.
* WorldOfHam: In any other world, the desk-slamming, "'''''Objection!'''''"-shouting Phoenix would be a LargeHam. Here he is the [[OnlySaneMan most normal person]].
* XanatosSpeedChess: As implied by the Japanese title, most of the courtroom showdowns wind up being this, with both sides playing a hasty game of catch-up whenever a new piece of evidence turns the tables. Special note goes to many of the murderers who have a talent for being able to frequently adjust their story to counter anything that gets thrown at them, [[spoiler:especially Quercus Alba, who manages to keep going the lion's share of an entire chapter ''after'' having his DiplomaticImpunity revoked]].
* {{Yakuza}}: In the fourth game, Apollo Justice has to defend the son of the head of a yakuza/mafia family. Yakuza/mafias are also present in the third case of the third game.
* YouAreNumberSix: All attorneys are given an identification number. Edgeworth takes slight at this.
* YouGottaHaveBlueHair: And pink hair. And bright red hair. And orange hair. And a different shade of blue hair.
** Franziska von Karma is actually a literalisation of this trope (as well as CurtainsMatchTheWindow), as she actually has pastel blue hair. (Vera Misham and Lisa Basil also possess literal blue hair.)
* YouKeepUsingThatWord: In the American legal system, an "objection" is a protest issued when one counselor wants to keep a part of testimony out of the official record and the ears of the jury or to deem submitted evidence unusable by virtue of illegality or irrelevancy. In the games, it's used as a translation of the Japanese "Igi ari", or "I disagree". Granted, it's definitely catchier.
** Also, an in universe example, with Redd White.
** The games tell you to find "contradictions in the testimony" whenever a prosecution witness testifies. Sometimes, the testimony contradicts itself, but more often it contradicts something like the autopsy report. It's not so much a contradiction "in" the testimony as a contradiction between the testimony and something that is probably more reliable.
** The games play loose with the definition of the word "lie." If a detective forgets a detail, someone will say that his testimony "contains a lie." If someone misinterprets a photograph and you have to point out something in the photo that disproves their claim, your assistant will say, "find the '''lie''' in the photograph!"
* YouShouldntKnowThisAlready: It doesn't matter if you've already figured out who killed the victim, with what, or where, you'll still have to play cat and mouse with the witnesses and prosecution till you reach the appropriate point in the case.
** Some cases are also solved by tricking the killer into saying something they shouldn't know about when claiming not to be involved.
----
->'''Phoenix:''' OBJECTION! Your Honor, what do you think about this page? \\
'''Judge:''' Uh...I'm not sure I follow you. \\
'''Phoenix:''' It clearly, er, contradicts the...um...I thought... \\
'''Judge:''' You don't sound very convinced, Mr. Wright. Objection overruled. ''[boom]'' \\
'''Phoenix:''' (I don't think that won me any points with the judge...)
----
[[redirect:Franchise/AceAttorney]]
6th Feb '14 2:44:08 PM LanceOmikron
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** Investigations 2, however, suggests that Frank Sahwit seems to have avoided the death penalty, since he appears as a witness in Case 2.
*** Which is because in Sahwit's case it was manslaughter(in other words, it wasn't planned so it doesn't count as murder). It seems that they give death penalties only to murderers, meaning that Dee Vasquez is probably alive too since in her case it was self defense (and blackmail).

to:

** Investigations 2, however, suggests that Frank Sahwit seems to have avoided the death penalty, since he appears as a witness in Case 2.
*** Which
2. This is likely because in Sahwit's case it was manslaughter(in case, he committed ''manslaughter'' (in other words, it wasn't planned so it doesn't count as murder).he accidentally killed his victim without any prior planning or intent), not murder. It seems that they give death penalties only to murderers, meaning that Dee Vasquez is probably alive too since in her case it was self defense (and blackmail).
25th Jan '14 1:13:57 AM Bassball_Batman
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** In Ace Attorney Investigations, [[spoiler: Lauren's father gets killed by her boyfriend. It's further implied that the boyfriend had figured out the father's identity, and was blackmailing him into helping with his staged kidnapping by threatening her safety.]]

to:

** In Ace Attorney Investigations, [[spoiler: Lauren's father gets killed by her boyfriend. It's further implied that the boyfriend had figured out the father's identity, and was blackmailing him into helping with his staged kidnapping by threatening her safety.]]safety]].



** The first case of ''Dual Destinies'' has bombing as the primary charge against the defendant, with murder as a secondary charge (a body was found in the rubble). [[spoiler:Assault is later added as a third charge.]]

to:

** The first case of ''Dual Destinies'' has bombing as the primary charge against the defendant, with murder as a secondary charge (a body was found in the rubble). [[spoiler:Assault is later added as a third charge.]]charge]].



** Klavier Gavin of the fourth title plays both sides of the fence. In his younger days, he exhibits some of the attributes[[spoiler:, most likely due to [[AmoralAttorney his brother Kristoph]] telling him that Phoenix is not to be trusted,]] but is cooler-headed than someone who might be the [=AKFG=]. Later in his career, he mellows and enjoys his work as a prosecutor as a chance to match mettle with the defense attorney rather than a trial being a battle that can only be won or lost, which ultimately turns him into a subversion [[spoiler:(though said brother may be the [[InvertedTrope defense attorney-equivalent]])]].

to:

** Klavier Gavin of the fourth title plays both sides of the fence. In his younger days, he exhibits some of the attributes[[spoiler:, most likely due to [[AmoralAttorney his brother Kristoph]] telling him that Phoenix is not to be trusted,]] trusted]], but is cooler-headed than someone who might be the [=AKFG=]. Later in his career, he mellows and enjoys his work as a prosecutor as a chance to match mettle with the defense attorney rather than a trial being a battle that can only be won or lost, which ultimately turns him into a subversion [[spoiler:(though said brother may be the [[InvertedTrope defense attorney-equivalent]])]].



* BerserkButton: For everything that Phoenix goes through and sees in his time in court, it's amazing he only has 2: using poison and betraying others' trust. These two happen to cross into ThisIsUnforgivable for him and it makes perfect sense considering [[spoiler: how badly case 3-1 shook him when he was at his most naive.]]

to:

* BerserkButton: For everything that Phoenix goes through and sees in his time in court, it's amazing he only has 2: using poison and betraying others' trust. These two happen to cross into ThisIsUnforgivable for him and it makes perfect sense considering [[spoiler: how badly case 3-1 shook him when he was at his most naive.]]naive]].



* BitchInSheepsClothing: Usually the true murderer. [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne before she developed her {{Yandere}} tendencies towards Mia, and Alita Tiala from ''Apollo Justice''. Matt Engarde had this as his defining character trait--even his name is a hint.]] And from Gyakuten Kenji 2, [[spoiler:Souta Sarushiro.]]

to:

* BitchInSheepsClothing: Usually the true murderer. [[spoiler:Dahlia Hawthorne before she developed her {{Yandere}} tendencies towards Mia, and Alita Tiala from ''Apollo Justice''. Matt Engarde had this as his defining character trait--even his name is a hint.]] hint]]. And from Gyakuten Kenji 2, [[spoiler:Souta Sarushiro.]]Sarushiro]].



*** Revealing who the killer is, even when there's already enough evidence to prove the defendant didn't do it, and the killer is [[SympatheticMurderer in some ways a decent person who had a compelling reason for what they did]] and will now likely get in huge trouble? Mia says it's justice (though Maya didn't seem to agree and it's unclear whether Phoenix was fully convinced). [[spoiler:Godot, at least, seemed to WANT to be brought to justice, and in fact subtly encouraged Phoenix to put the nail in the coffin, so to speak.]]

to:

*** Revealing who the killer is, even when there's already enough evidence to prove the defendant didn't do it, and the killer is [[SympatheticMurderer in some ways a decent person who had a compelling reason for what they did]] and will now likely get in huge trouble? Mia says it's justice (though Maya didn't seem to agree and it's unclear whether Phoenix was fully convinced). [[spoiler:Godot, at least, seemed to WANT '''''want''''' to be brought to justice, and in fact subtly encouraged Phoenix to put the nail in the coffin, so to speak.]]speak]].



* ButtMonkey: Individual characters aside, the playable protagonist at any time, in any game, inevitably ends up a ButtMonkey. [[spoiler:Even those cases with multiple playable protagonists.]] Made even more apparent by changes in a character's treatment after they slip in or out of the protagonist slot. See CantGetAwayWithNuthin.

to:

* ButtMonkey: Individual characters aside, the playable protagonist at any time, in any game, inevitably ends up a ButtMonkey. [[spoiler:Even those cases with multiple playable protagonists.]] protagonists]]. Made even more apparent by changes in a character's treatment after they slip in or out of the protagonist slot. See CantGetAwayWithNuthin.



** Granted, this trope ended up being inverted: [[spoiler:Phoenix Wright is not a prosecutor, but presented forged evidence without knowing.]]

to:

** Granted, this trope ended up being inverted: [[spoiler:Phoenix Wright is not a prosecutor, but presented forged evidence without knowing.]]knowing]].



** Taken to extreme measures in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' with The Phantom. [[spoiler:He engineered two bombings, breaking and entering, and a few murders just to get his hands on a piece of evidence that has his blood on it.]]

to:

** Taken to extreme measures in ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies'' with The Phantom. [[spoiler:He engineered two bombings, breaking and entering, and a few murders just to get his hands on a piece of evidence that has his blood on it.]]it]].



* CulturalCrossReference: All references to Franchise/PerryMason are in the original Japanese script. Apparently [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff the Japanese love Perry Mason.]]

to:

* CulturalCrossReference: All references to Franchise/PerryMason are in the original Japanese script. Apparently [[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff the Japanese love Perry Mason.]]Mason]].



** Taken to its logical conclusion with [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin's black Psyche-Locks that never (formally) get cracked.]]

to:

** Taken to its logical conclusion with [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin's black Psyche-Locks that never (formally) get cracked.]]cracked]].



** In the latter part of ''Investigations''' first case, a lot of time was spent on figuring out who touched Portsman's knob. [[spoiler:Only Portsman himself and his partner [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything touched his knob]].]] Possibly unintentional, but who knows.

to:

** In the latter part of ''Investigations''' first case, a lot of time was spent on figuring out who touched Portsman's knob. [[spoiler:Only Portsman himself and his partner [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything touched his knob]].]] knob]]]]. Possibly unintentional, but who knows.



** Looking at the whole series, [[spoiler:Phoenix's disbarment]] could be seen as such. [[spoiler:During case 1-2, Mia told Maya that Phoenix should have another three years before he's someone she could rely on in court. Three years forward of the events of the first game, Phoenix is forced out of the legal profession in disgrace.]]

to:

** Looking at the whole series, [[spoiler:Phoenix's disbarment]] could be seen as such. [[spoiler:During case 1-2, Mia told Maya that Phoenix should have another three years before he's someone she could rely on in court. Three years forward of the events of the first game, Phoenix is forced out of the legal profession in disgrace.]]disgrace]].



** ''Justice for All'' case 1: The name "Maggie" was written in the sand in front of the victim and the victim's right index finger was near the last letter. [[spoiler: The player shows that the killer used the victim's hand to write this to frame Maggey by showing that the name is spelled wrong (when the victim would have known how to spell it) and that the victim was left-handed.]]
** ''Trials and Tribulations'' case 5: [[spoiler: The name "Maya" is written in the victim's blood. It turns out that the victim was channeling a spirit at the time and that the spirit wrote the name to implicate Maya because said spirit was hostile to Maya.]]
** ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney'' case 3: There is something written in blood on the floor in front of the victim, but it's hard to read. [[spoiler: It turns out that the victim was an Interpol agent and wrote his agent number. The killer saw this and tried to smear the number to make it unreadable - proving that the person who tried to smear the number wasn't blind. So far this is only one of two cases in the series of a ''non''-misleading clue written in blood, and even those contain non-standard information.]]

to:

** ''Justice for All'' case 1: The name "Maggie" was written in the sand in front of the victim and the victim's right index finger was near the last letter. [[spoiler: The player shows that the killer used the victim's hand to write this to frame Maggey by showing that the name is spelled wrong (when the victim would have known how to spell it) and that the victim was left-handed.]]
left-handed]].
** ''Trials and Tribulations'' case 5: [[spoiler: The name "Maya" is written in the victim's blood. It turns out that the victim was channeling a spirit at the time and that the spirit wrote the name to implicate Maya because said spirit was hostile to Maya.]]
Maya]].
** ''Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney'' case 3: There is something written in blood on the floor in front of the victim, but it's hard to read. [[spoiler: It turns out that the victim was an Interpol agent and wrote his agent number. The killer saw this and tried to smear the number to make it unreadable - proving that the person who tried to smear the number wasn't blind. So far this is only one of two cases in the series of a ''non''-misleading clue written in blood, and even those contain non-standard information.]]information]].



*** Considering that every time this comes up [[spoiler: it turns out to be a RedHerring]], one has to wonder why this clue popping up isn't [[spoiler: automatically dismissed as a false trail]]. Maybe if it were, it would lead to [[spoiler:criminals leaving ''their own names'' at crime scenes, making it look like they're being framed...]]
**** Because that would be InsaneTrollLogic at best. Saying "I can't be the murderer because [[spoiler:my name is written with the victim's blood at the scene]]" will likely get you arrested on the spot in real life. [[spoiler:The only reason the clues are discounted is because there's something ''wrong'' with them, and other evidence is ''always'' needed to support the case.]]
** Played with in Dual Destinies case 1. [[spoiler:The prosecution says that Apollo wrote the name of his assaulter in his own blood...except he didn't write anything and didn't bleed enough for it to be possible. It turns out that the murder victim of the case did indeed write something to indict her killer--his ID number--which prompted said killer to use Apollo's blood during the assault the next day to alter it ever-so-slightly in order to indict the defendant.]]

to:

*** Considering that every time this comes up [[spoiler: it turns out to be a RedHerring]], one has to wonder why this clue popping up isn't [[spoiler: automatically dismissed as a false trail]]. Maybe if it were, it would lead to [[spoiler:criminals leaving ''their own names'' at crime scenes, making it look like they're being framed...]]
]].
**** Because that would be InsaneTrollLogic at best. Saying "I can't be the murderer because [[spoiler:my name is written with the victim's blood at the scene]]" will likely get you arrested on the spot in real life. [[spoiler:The only reason the clues are discounted is because there's something ''wrong'' with them, and other evidence is ''always'' needed to support the case.]]
case]].
** Played with in Dual Destinies case 1. [[spoiler:The prosecution says that Apollo wrote the name of his assaulter in his own blood...except he didn't write anything and didn't bleed enough for it to be possible. It turns out that the murder victim of the case did indeed write something to indict her killer--his ID number--which prompted said killer to use Apollo's blood during the assault the next day to alter it ever-so-slightly in order to indict the defendant.]]defendant]].



* ExactWords: If the contradiction isn't a mistake or an outright lie, it'll usually be in this form and require pressing for further details. One of the most notable examples is Phoenix using the Magatama on [[spoiler: Matt Engarde in Farewell, My Turnabout]], asking if he killed the case's victim. The response is "No, I didn't kill anyone." The Magatama doesn't register anything because [[spoiler: technically he ''didn't'' kill Juan Corrida, but hiring an assassin to do it makes him just as guilty.]]

to:

* ExactWords: If the contradiction isn't a mistake or an outright lie, it'll usually be in this form and require pressing for further details. One of the most notable examples is Phoenix using the Magatama on [[spoiler: Matt Engarde in Farewell, My Turnabout]], asking if he killed the case's victim. The response is "No, I didn't kill anyone." The Magatama doesn't register anything because [[spoiler: technically he ''didn't'' kill Juan Corrida, but hiring an assassin to do it makes him just as guilty.]]guilty]].



* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: In case 1-4, there is a piece of evidence that can turn the case around. However, [[spoiler:in order to progress, you have to confront Von Karma with it - at which point he hits you with a taser and destroys the evidence,]] and it's the only thing left during that particular investigation.
** The only way to progress in Phoenix's [[spoiler:final trial]] is to [[spoiler:present the forged diary page, even though it means Phoenix will be disbarred for presenting forged evidence.]] Justified as the case in question is [[spoiler:[[ForegoneConclusion set in the past]]]].

to:

* FailureIsTheOnlyOption: In case 1-4, there is a piece of evidence that can turn the case around. However, [[spoiler:in order to progress, you have to confront Von Karma with it - at which point he hits you with a taser and destroys the evidence,]] evidence]], and it's the only thing left during that particular investigation.
** The only way to progress in Phoenix's [[spoiler:final trial]] is to [[spoiler:present the forged diary page, even though it means Phoenix will be disbarred for presenting forged evidence.]] evidence]]. Justified as the case in question is [[spoiler:[[ForegoneConclusion set in the past]]]].



** Also in the second case of ''Trials and Tribulations'', when talking about [[GentlemanThief Mask DeMasque]] Phoenix says that when you're famous there are always imitators. Pearl then says that if Phoenix works hard, someday he'll have his own imitators. [[spoiler:The next case revolves around Furio Tigre impersonating Phoenix to cover a crime.]]
** ''Investigations'' has an odd case of reverse-foreshadowing. [[spoiler: Specifically case four. It's a flashback to four years before the first game and six months before Edgeworth's first trial, and contains multiple references to future events. If you hadn't played the first few games you wouldn't get the meaning behind von Karma's comments (he killed Edgeworth's father), the fire extinguisher being used in a crime (later used to bash Phoenix on the head and give him temporary amnesia), Franziska mentioning she wouldn't know what to do were her father to die (it is implied in JFA that Manfred dies after being convicted on the murder of Gregory Edgeworth) and saying she would never have to work with Detective Gumshoe or Edgeworth mentioning his badge won't stay shiny forever (his reputation will eventually be tarnished).]]
** In case five, the 'shadow of the Yatagarasu' is formed by [[spoiler: more than one statue.]] This foreshadows the fact that the real Yatagarasu [[spoiler: is more than one person.]]

to:

** Also in the second case of ''Trials and Tribulations'', when talking about [[GentlemanThief Mask DeMasque]] Phoenix says that when you're famous there are always imitators. Pearl then says that if Phoenix works hard, someday he'll have his own imitators. [[spoiler:The next case revolves around Furio Tigre impersonating Phoenix to cover a crime.]]
crime]].
** ''Investigations'' has an odd case of reverse-foreshadowing. [[spoiler: Specifically case four. It's a flashback to four years before the first game and six months before Edgeworth's first trial, and contains multiple references to future events. If you hadn't played the first few games you wouldn't get the meaning behind von Karma's comments (he killed Edgeworth's father), the fire extinguisher being used in a crime (later used to bash Phoenix on the head and give him temporary amnesia), Franziska mentioning she wouldn't know what to do were her father to die (it is implied in JFA that Manfred dies after being convicted on the murder of Gregory Edgeworth) and saying she would never have to work with Detective Gumshoe or Edgeworth mentioning his badge won't stay shiny forever (his reputation will eventually be tarnished).]]
tarnished)]].
** In case five, the 'shadow of the Yatagarasu' is formed by [[spoiler: more than one statue.]] statue]]. This foreshadows the fact that the real Yatagarasu [[spoiler: is more than one person.]]person]].



** In the bonus case of the first game, 'Rise from the Ashes', when accused of forging evidence, [[spoiler: Damon Gant]] points out that although [[spoiler: Edgeworth]] may have been found to have unknowingly presented forged evidence, says [[spoiler: "It's not just prosecutors who can forge evidence, right Wrighto?" Fast forward to Apollo Justice...]]
** Apollo Justice, Case 3. [[spoiler:A player watching closely during The Guitar's Serenade can notice the flash of the igniter going off and the fire growing.]]
** To add more from Case 1-5, I think the writers went to town on foreshadowing as this case not only references the other PW Trilogy games, but foreshadows [[spoiler: Ace Attorney Investigations as Damon Gant, after being outed for murder in two cases, tells Edgeworth that he will one day need to find a way to deal with certain criminals you can't take down with just evidence and testimony. Fast forward to AAI, and meet Quercus Alba, a criminal who can't be touched by the law due to his diplomatic immunity.]]
** And that isn't just in the case of Edgeworth as Phoenix Wright himself does it. His monologue at the end of the game talks about not being able to change past mistakes, only make up for them and then move on. What does Nick do in Apollo Justice? [[spoiler: He accidentally presents forged evidence in court, and pays for it, then spends seven years making up for that mistake, raising Trucy, and finding out what really happened in the case that caused him to lose his badge. Once he is finally cleared of all suspicion of forging evidence, the fallen attorney "Rises from the Ashes" and picks up right where he left off,]] cue the return of Nick in Ace Attorney 5.

to:

** In the bonus case of the first game, 'Rise from the Ashes', when accused of forging evidence, [[spoiler: Damon Gant]] points out that although [[spoiler: Edgeworth]] may have been found to have unknowingly presented forged evidence, says [[spoiler: "It's not just prosecutors who can forge evidence, right Wrighto?" Fast forward to Apollo Justice...]]
]].
** Apollo Justice, Case 3. [[spoiler:A player watching closely during The Guitar's Serenade can notice the flash of the igniter going off and the fire growing.]]
growing]].
** To add more from Case 1-5, I think the writers went to town on foreshadowing as this case not only references the other PW Trilogy games, but foreshadows [[spoiler: Ace Attorney Investigations as Damon Gant, after being outed for murder in two cases, tells Edgeworth that he will one day need to find a way to deal with certain criminals you can't take down with just evidence and testimony. Fast forward to AAI, and meet Quercus Alba, a criminal who can't be touched by the law due to his diplomatic immunity.]]
immunity]].
** And that isn't just in the case of Edgeworth as Phoenix Wright himself does it. His monologue at the end of the game talks about not being able to change past mistakes, only make up for them and then move on. What does Nick do in Apollo Justice? [[spoiler: He accidentally presents forged evidence in court, and pays for it, then spends seven years making up for that mistake, raising Trucy, and finding out what really happened in the case that caused him to lose his badge. Once he is finally cleared of all suspicion of forging evidence, the fallen attorney "Rises from the Ashes" and picks up right where he left off,]] off]], cue the return of Nick in Ace Attorney 5.



** The newest prosecutor, Simon Blackquill from ''Dual Destinies'', tries to point at Apollo during their trial [[spoiler:but because he's wearing handcuffs he can't do it and gets stuck mid-gesture.]]

to:

** The newest prosecutor, Simon Blackquill from ''Dual Destinies'', tries to point at Apollo during their trial [[spoiler:but because he's wearing handcuffs he can't do it and gets stuck mid-gesture.]]mid-gesture]].



* GoodLawyersGoodClients: Somehow, the defense attorneys you play as always only ends up defending people who are innocent. It's justified in a few cases (for example, Mia specifically defends a younger Phoenix because [[spoiler:Dahlia's involved and Mia's pretty sure ''she'' is the culprit, based on a previous case]]), but still kind of obvious. [[spoiler:It's played with in the final case of ''Justice For All''. Matt Engarde ''was'' responsible for the death of his rival, but maintains that he's technically innocent because ''he'' didn't commit the crime himself. The assassin he hired did. Despite this, everyone who knows this still considers Matt guilty, and having him be found innocent results in a NonstandardGameOver.]]
* GoodScarsEvilScars: [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin has a scar on his hand that looks like a devil's face that's actually an important clue.]]

to:

* GoodLawyersGoodClients: Somehow, the defense attorneys you play as always only ends up defending people who are innocent. It's justified in a few cases (for example, Mia specifically defends a younger Phoenix because [[spoiler:Dahlia's involved and Mia's pretty sure ''she'' is the culprit, based on a previous case]]), but still kind of obvious. [[spoiler:It's played with in the final case of ''Justice For All''. Matt Engarde ''was'' responsible for the death of his rival, but maintains that he's technically innocent because ''he'' didn't commit the crime himself. The assassin he hired did. Despite this, everyone who knows this still considers Matt guilty, and having him be found innocent results in a NonstandardGameOver.]]
NonstandardGameOver]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars: [[spoiler:Kristoph Gavin has a scar on his hand that looks like a devil's face that's actually an important clue.]]clue]].



* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Lotta Hart is this in the Japanese version, though she's translated as being from the South, [[AccentAdaptation as per standard procedure.]]

to:

* TheIdiotFromOsaka: Lotta Hart is this in the Japanese version, though she's translated as being from the South, [[AccentAdaptation as per standard procedure.]]procedure]].



* InformedAbility: Winston Payne is described as a "rookie killer", yet every single rookie he goes up against in the games he ends up losing to. The only time the player sees Winston win a case is when he's arguing against [[spoiler: Furio Tigre, in a PaperThinDisguise as Phoenix, who was ''trying'' to lose.]]

to:

* InformedAbility: Winston Payne is described as a "rookie killer", yet every single rookie he goes up against in the games he ends up losing to. The only time the player sees Winston win a case is when he's arguing against [[spoiler: Furio Tigre, in a PaperThinDisguise as Phoenix, who was ''trying'' to lose.]]lose]].



* InfractionDistraction: Often used by criminals to create alibis for the crimes they intend to commit (AlwaysMurder, of course). One notable example occurs in the third game, when [[spoiler:Luke Atmey deliberately lets himself be caught on camera stealing the Kurain Sacred Urn, so that he'd have an alibi to keep him from being arrested for murdering his blackmailer.]]

to:

* InfractionDistraction: Often used by criminals to create alibis for the crimes they intend to commit (AlwaysMurder, of course). One notable example occurs in the third game, when [[spoiler:Luke Atmey deliberately lets himself be caught on camera stealing the Kurain Sacred Urn, so that he'd have an alibi to keep him from being arrested for murdering his blackmailer.]]blackmailer]].



* JustifiedTutorial: No formal tutorial, per se, but the beginning of each game's first trial is marked by an adviser explaining Testimonies and Cross Examinations. Justified because in games 1 and 4 it's Phoenix's and Apollo's first trial, game 2 has Phoenix suffer from amnesia right before court and game 3 has Mia Fey on her second trial and hadn't practiced law for a while. [[spoiler: Oddly enough, when her first trial gets played, Diego Armando feels no need to explain anything to her, but then again, it is case 4 and the player knows everything at that point.]]

to:

* JustifiedTutorial: No formal tutorial, per se, but the beginning of each game's first trial is marked by an adviser explaining Testimonies and Cross Examinations. Justified because in games 1 and 4 it's Phoenix's and Apollo's first trial, game 2 has Phoenix suffer from amnesia right before court and game 3 has Mia Fey on her second trial and hadn't practiced law for a while. [[spoiler: Oddly enough, when her first trial gets played, Diego Armando feels no need to explain anything to her, but then again, it is case 4 and the player knows everything at that point.]]point]].



* KangarooCourt: The legal system in this universe clearly operates on presumption of guilt... but it doesn't stop there. It's ''not enough'' to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant is innocent. There is at least one point in the games (probably more) where it is actually possible to have the defendant found guilty despite the Judge acknowledging that you've already proved their innocence. It's not even enough to prove who else ''did'' commit the crime. To get the defendant acquitted, you have to identify the real criminal and ''make them confess on the stand.'' This is {{Hand Wave}}d by the NextSundayAD fictional legal system having undergone legislated reforms to drastically shorten and simplify the trial process, resulting in a system where the majority of defendants are quickly found guilty unless the defense can prove their innocence.

to:

* KangarooCourt: The legal system in this universe clearly operates on presumption of guilt... but it doesn't stop there. It's ''not enough'' to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that the defendant is innocent. There is at least one point in the games (probably more) where it is actually possible to have the defendant found guilty despite the Judge acknowledging that you've already proved their innocence. It's not even enough to prove who else ''did'' commit the crime. To get the defendant acquitted, you have to identify the real criminal and ''make them confess on the stand.'' stand''. This is {{Hand Wave}}d by the NextSundayAD fictional legal system having undergone legislated reforms to drastically shorten and simplify the trial process, resulting in a system where the majority of defendants are quickly found guilty unless the defense can prove their innocence.



** Even most countries with the inquisitive system, including Japan, have the principle where one is "innocent until proven guilty." However, in a bit of TruthInTelevision, the Japanese court system has a >99% conviction rate (though it has been attributed to limited funding leading to only the most solid cases being tried), forced confessions are allowed frequently, and prosecutors can appeal not-guilty verdicts. In 2008, the Justice Minister noted that the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" was one that he wanted to constrain. However, this game takes it even further than the broken system in Japan and makes it so that one is "guilty until someone ''else'' is proven guilty". [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_253/7530-Phoenix-Wrights-Objection More in this article.]]
** The trope becomes a plot point between the ''Trials & Tribulations'' and ''Apollo Justice'' chapters in the series. Phoenix notices just how utterly broken and biased the court system is and how he would have lost several cases if something didn't turn the tide of the trial at the last minute. After Phoenix becomes disbarred from practicing law, this sets off a string of events. [[spoiler: In order to get Kristoph Gavin for evidence fraud and murder, Phoenix had to fight to get the court system to instate a jury system so that the fate of a client is decided by their peers rather than a single judge and he used Apollo as a catalyst for seeking out the truth during trials, something Phoenix was no longer able to do anymore legally.]]

to:

** Even most countries with the inquisitive system, including Japan, have the principle where one is "innocent until proven guilty." However, in a bit of TruthInTelevision, the Japanese court system has a >99% conviction rate (though it has been attributed to limited funding leading to only the most solid cases being tried), forced confessions are allowed frequently, and prosecutors can appeal not-guilty verdicts. In 2008, the Justice Minister noted that the idea of "innocent until proven guilty" was one that he wanted to constrain. However, this game takes it even further than the broken system in Japan and makes it so that one is "guilty until someone ''else'' is proven guilty". [[http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/issues/issue_253/7530-Phoenix-Wrights-Objection More in this article.]]
article]].
** The trope becomes a plot point between the ''Trials & Tribulations'' and ''Apollo Justice'' chapters in the series. Phoenix notices just how utterly broken and biased the court system is and how he would have lost several cases if something didn't turn the tide of the trial at the last minute. After Phoenix becomes disbarred from practicing law, this sets off a string of events. [[spoiler: In order to get Kristoph Gavin for evidence fraud and murder, Phoenix had to fight to get the court system to instate a jury system so that the fate of a client is decided by their peers rather than a single judge and he used Apollo as a catalyst for seeking out the truth during trials, something Phoenix was no longer able to do anymore legally.]]legally]].



** Of course the JapanesePronouns are lost but most of the time it's not a big deal. However, at one point they're used to emphasize [[spoiler: that the Matt Engarde you meet at first and the one he reveals himself to be are ''not'' the same person. The former uses "boku" (a boyish pronoun) while the latter uses "ore" (a more serious, adult one). Thankfully, the rest of TheReveal is enough to make the change ''very'' obvious.]]

to:

** Of course the JapanesePronouns are lost but most of the time it's not a big deal. However, at one point they're used to emphasize [[spoiler: that the Matt Engarde you meet at first and the one he reveals himself to be are ''not'' the same person. The former uses "boku" (a boyish pronoun) while the latter uses "ore" (a more serious, adult one). Thankfully, the rest of TheReveal is enough to make the change ''very'' obvious.]]obvious]].



** If you know the correct way his name is pronounced, [[spoiler:Godot]] can suffer from similarly easy spoilers in the English version. [[spoiler:It's the last syllables of his real first and last name (Die''go'' Arman''do'') smashed together.]]

to:

** If you know the correct way his name is pronounced, [[spoiler:Godot]] can suffer from similarly easy spoilers in the English version. [[spoiler:It's the last syllables of his real first and last name (Die''go'' Arman''do'') smashed together.]]together]].



** Not to mention [[spoiler: Elise Deauxnim, who mas murdered too]]. Of course, [[spoiler: her]] student ''was'' [[spoiler: Laurice Deauxnim, also known as Larry Butz. And you know what they say: When something smells...]]

to:

** Not to mention [[spoiler: Elise Deauxnim, who mas murdered too]]. Of course, [[spoiler: her]] student ''was'' [[spoiler: Laurice Deauxnim, also known as Larry Butz. And you know what they say: When something smells...]]]].



** [[spoiler:The final case of the third game has an ''exorcism'' take place on the witness stand, accomplished with little more than some inquisitive prodding.]]

to:

** [[spoiler:The final case of the third game has an ''exorcism'' take place on the witness stand, accomplished with little more than some inquisitive prodding.]]prodding]].



* MusicalSpoiler: If you present the correct piece of evidence in court or rebuttal (''Investigations''), the soundtrack will cut to silence. [[spoiler: Results in subversions in game 3, where, no matter what evidence you submit, the music cuts out and the dialogue is the same...at first.]]

to:

* MusicalSpoiler: If you present the correct piece of evidence in court or rebuttal (''Investigations''), the soundtrack will cut to silence. [[spoiler: Results in subversions in game 3, where, no matter what evidence you submit, the music cuts out and the dialogue is the same...at first.]]first]].



* NoOshaCompliance: From the first game alone, [[spoiler:the spiked fence post in the third case ended ''two'' lives by people [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice falling on them]], and an elevator in the DL-6 incident manages to nearly suffocate three people for want of a vent when the power goes out.]]

to:

* NoOshaCompliance: From the first game alone, [[spoiler:the spiked fence post in the third case ended ''two'' lives by people [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice falling on them]], and an elevator in the DL-6 incident manages to nearly suffocate three people for want of a vent when the power goes out.]]out]].



** And [[spoiler: Yanni Yogi.]] And [[spoiler: Matt Engarde.]] And [[spoiler: April May.]] And [[spoiler: Ini Miney.]] And [[spoiler: Quercus Alba.]] In fact, if one of your witnesses is extremely ditzy you should probably immediately suspect them of faking it. Although subverted in the case of [[spoiler: Colias Palaeno]], whose eccentricity and cheeriness seems a bit... suspicious until it's revealed he wasn't the culprit.

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** And [[spoiler: Yanni Yogi.]] Yogi]]. And [[spoiler: Matt Engarde.]] Engarde]]. And [[spoiler: April May.]] May]]. And [[spoiler: Ini Miney.]] Miney]]. And [[spoiler: Quercus Alba.]] Alba]]. In fact, if one of your witnesses is extremely ditzy you should probably immediately suspect them of faking it. Although subverted in the case of [[spoiler: Colias Palaeno]], whose eccentricity and cheeriness seems a bit... suspicious until it's revealed he wasn't the culprit.



---> '''Lang''': [[spoiler: Quercus Alba,]] you BASTARD!

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---> '''Lang''': [[spoiler: Quercus Alba,]] Alba]], you BASTARD!



* RuleOfFun: The justice system presented in the games would be a joke in real life, the lawyers and witnesses get away with attitudes and behaviors that would be punishable by contempt of court at ''least,'' and any witness revising their statement that much would have their credibility wrecked in about fifteen minutes. But is it ''fun''? Heck yes.

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* RuleOfFun: The justice system presented in the games would be a joke in real life, the lawyers and witnesses get away with attitudes and behaviors that would be punishable by contempt of court at ''least,'' ''least'', and any witness revising their statement that much would have their credibility wrecked in about fifteen minutes. But is it ''fun''? Heck yes.



** The Gatewater Hotel from the first game's second case. Examining the window facing it in every case reveals that it goes from a no-name hotel to, [[invoked]][[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity with the help of that case]], a famous five-star hotel and eventually, a ''theme park.''

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** The Gatewater Hotel from the first game's second case. Examining the window facing it in every case reveals that it goes from a no-name hotel to, [[invoked]][[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity with the help of that case]], a famous five-star hotel and eventually, a ''theme park.''park''.



*** They don't need to censor alcohol, really, but I'd contest that they do anyway - why else would [[spoiler:Phoenix not be allowed grape juice in the hospital? This is further spotlighted by the fact that he SWITCHES THE LABEL with mineral water to sneak it in, and then LIES TO HIS DAUGHTER about that, with a big stage wink to Apollo.]]
*** The REALLY fun part is that in both the western and the Japanese versions, '''it REALLY is grape juice and not wine!'''

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*** They don't need to censor alcohol, really, but I'd contest that they do anyway - why else would [[spoiler:Phoenix not be allowed grape juice in the hospital? This is further spotlighted by the fact that he SWITCHES THE LABEL '''''switches the label''''' with mineral water to sneak it in, and then LIES TO HIS DAUGHTER '''''lies to his daughter''''' about that, with a big stage wink to Apollo.]]
Apollo]].
*** The REALLY '''''really''''' fun part is that in both the western and the Japanese versions, '''it REALLY is grape juice and not wine!'''



* ScaryShinyGlasses: [[spoiler:Kristoph.]] You actually get to see through those glasses. It isn't pretty. Payne also has them, but they aren't scary. Also subverted by Machi in the third case of the fourth game--he has the glasses, but he's actually a very kind and gentle boy.
** Not to mention the fact that they're sunglasses, and he's got a good reason to be wearing them. [[spoiler: He's pretending to be blind.]]

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* ScaryShinyGlasses: [[spoiler:Kristoph.]] [[spoiler:Kristoph]]. You actually get to see through those glasses. It isn't pretty. Payne also has them, but they aren't scary. Also subverted by Machi in the third case of the fourth game--he has the glasses, but he's actually a very kind and gentle boy.
** Not to mention the fact that they're sunglasses, and he's got a good reason to be wearing them. [[spoiler: He's pretending to be blind.]]blind]].



** This is probably because many fans mentioned they liked the way he thinks [[spoiler: during his small turn as defense attorney in the third game.]]
** Also inverted that penalties in the game always take off 10% of your life bar, thus you have 10 chances before a game over, which is pretty easy going compared to the roller coaster of penalties amounts in the previous games. [[spoiler: The penalties are beefed up to 20% when Alba gets annoyed at one point by your constant time wasting with your questioning.]]

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** This is probably because many fans mentioned they liked the way he thinks [[spoiler: during his small turn as defense attorney in the third game.]]
game]].
** Also inverted that penalties in the game always take off 10% of your life bar, thus you have 10 chances before a game over, which is pretty easy going compared to the roller coaster of penalties amounts in the previous games. [[spoiler: The penalties are beefed up to 20% when Alba gets annoyed at one point by your constant time wasting with your questioning.]]questioning]].



* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/AceAttorney Has its own page.]] Both the Japanese version AND the English translation use many throwaway pop culture references as gags. ''Justice for All'' had a serious spike in online memes inserted into the localization, presumably thanks to the MemeticMutation of the first game.

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* ShoutOut: [[ShoutOut/AceAttorney Has its own page.]] page]]. Both the Japanese version AND the English translation use many throwaway pop culture references as gags. ''Justice for All'' had a serious spike in online memes inserted into the localization, presumably thanks to the MemeticMutation of the first game.



* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: You have to play dumb until it's the "right" time to solve the mysteries, even the ones that are blatantly obvious from the beginning. This becomes an emotionally painful part of game play in the fourth game [[spoiler:when the player can't choose to not present the evidence that results in Phoenix's disbarment]] since by that point it's pretty damn obvious what will happen. [[spoiler:Of course, that's also part of a flashback, so averting this would be somewhat of a time paradox.]]

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* StupidityIsTheOnlyOption: You have to play dumb until it's the "right" time to solve the mysteries, even the ones that are blatantly obvious from the beginning. This becomes an emotionally painful part of game play in the fourth game [[spoiler:when the player can't choose to not present the evidence that results in Phoenix's disbarment]] since by that point it's pretty damn obvious what will happen. [[spoiler:Of course, that's also part of a flashback, so averting this would be somewhat of a time paradox.]]paradox]].



** From the second game there's also [[spoiler: Acro. He wanted to kill Regina because she doesn't understand that she's responsible for putting his brother in a coma and himself in a wheelchair. Then he killed the wrong person, the ringmaster who's pretty much his surrogate father. You get the feeling that if his brother is dead instead of in a coma, he would have just turned himself in or killed himself.]] and [[spoiler: Mimi Miney, who had her life ruined by the AssholeVictim, lost her sister in a car crash due to the fatigue she suffered from being overworked by said asshole, and was blamed for several deaths. She manages to build a new life under her sister's name, and has to face being exposed for everything because her former boss just can't let sleeping dogs lie]].

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** From the second game there's also [[spoiler: Acro. He wanted to kill Regina because she doesn't understand that she's responsible for putting his brother in a coma and himself in a wheelchair. Then he killed the wrong person, the ringmaster who's pretty much his surrogate father. You get the feeling that if his brother is dead instead of in a coma, he would have just turned himself in or killed himself.]] himself]]; and [[spoiler: Mimi Miney, who had her life ruined by the AssholeVictim, lost her sister in a car crash due to the fatigue she suffered from being overworked by said asshole, and was blamed for several deaths. She manages to build a new life under her sister's name, and has to face being exposed for everything because her former boss just can't let sleeping dogs lie]].



** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', [[spoiler: Mia Fey's first case (although it's actually solved and overcome by Mia in the first case, which takes place after it).]]

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** In ''Trials and Tribulations'', [[spoiler: Mia Fey's first case (although it's actually solved and overcome by Mia in the first case, which takes place after it).]]it)]].



** In ''[[AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Investgations]]'', [[spoiler: KG-8, and "the second KG-8" (Turnabout Reminiscence).]]

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** In ''[[AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth Investgations]]'', [[spoiler: KG-8, and "the second KG-8" (Turnabout Reminiscence).]]Reminiscence)]].



** In ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'', [[spoiler: UR-1.]]
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Whenever a lawyer gets the upper hand, their theme music plays. [[spoiler:Played to the hilt in 3-5 when [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Phoenix's theme music from the first game plays right when he finishes everything off.]]]]

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** In ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'', [[spoiler: UR-1.]]
UR-1]].
* ThemeMusicPowerUp: Whenever a lawyer gets the upper hand, their theme music plays. [[spoiler:Played to the hilt in 3-5 when [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Phoenix's theme music from the first game plays right when he finishes everything off.]]]]off]]]].



* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Discussed at the end of the fourth game, [[spoiler:which comes down hard on the side of "good", as it points out that the law is always changing based on people's understanding of what is right...underscored by the introduction of the Jurist System for the sole purpose of injecting some common wisdom and understanding into the process.]]

to:

* ToBeLawfulOrGood: Discussed at the end of the fourth game, [[spoiler:which comes down hard on the side of "good", as it points out that the law is always changing based on people's understanding of what is right...underscored by the introduction of the Jurist System for the sole purpose of injecting some common wisdom and understanding into the process.]]process]].



* VillainousBreakdown: The closer you get the real murderer to confessing, the more out of control they get. Once the truth is revealed, they cry, scream, tear their hair and clothes, laugh hysterically, and sometimes ''faint dead away.'' [[spoiler:Luke Atmey]] in particular is this trope.

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* VillainousBreakdown: The closer you get the real murderer to confessing, the more out of control they get. Once the truth is revealed, they cry, scream, tear their hair and clothes, laugh hysterically, and sometimes ''faint dead away.'' away''. [[spoiler:Luke Atmey]] in particular is this trope.



* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: In Case 3-2, one of Franziska's arguments centers around proof that Maya physically shapeshifts into whoever she channels ([[FridgeLogic apparently no one else noticed this...]]) To back her claim, she shows a picture of Maya channeling Mia, who is talking to Phoenix in the Detention Center. Instead of thinking that the picture is photoshopped (as most people would), everyone takes this at face value. Phoenix even worries over this bit of information coming out, and warns Mia about it the next time they speak.

to:

* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: In Case 3-2, one of Franziska's arguments centers around proof that Maya physically shapeshifts into whoever she channels ([[FridgeLogic apparently no one else noticed this...]]) ]]). To back her claim, she shows a picture of Maya channeling Mia, who is talking to Phoenix in the Detention Center. Instead of thinking that the picture is photoshopped (as most people would), everyone takes this at face value. Phoenix even worries over this bit of information coming out, and warns Mia about it the next time they speak.



** 2-4 has perhaps one of the biggest ones in the series. [[spoiler: For the first time, your client actually IS the culprit.]]

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** 2-4 has perhaps one of the biggest ones in the series. [[spoiler: For the first time, your client actually IS the culprit.]]culprit]].
24th Jan '14 2:19:33 PM Tropesofknowledge
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** Here's in interesting one: in Dual Destinies, L'Belle's theme sure sounds an awful lot like Luke Atmey's theme did in "Trials and Tribulations", which suits because they're both very self-absorbed TedBaxter-ish men in suits, but here's where the actual spoiler plays in: [[spoiler: Atmey's theme also sounds a bit like Mask*[=DeMaque=]'s theme, seeing as Atmey's theme is based on Ron [=DeLite=]'s, and Mask*[=DeMasque=] is a great thief in a a mask. When Mask*[=DeMasque=] is played by Atmey instead of [=DeLite=], he is a murderous thief in a mask, which is exactly what L'Belle ended up being, though what L'Belle tried to steal was no longer there. In fact, it goes further: both of them were blackmailers, and both of them took on the masks of someone very famous who were incidentally the blackmail victims in question, and pinned the murder on that same person, who it should be noted, was found passed out at the scene of the crime after being struck by the actual killer. The murders of Kane Bullard and Rex Kyuubi are almost too easy to parallel due to their murderers]].
23rd Jan '14 9:41:39 PM Technicolourtardis
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** Here's in interesting one that borders on FridgeBrilliance: in DualDestinies, L'Belle's theme sure sounds an awful lot like Luke Atmey's theme did in "Trials and Tribulations", which suits because they're both very self-absorbed TedBaxter-ish men in suits, but here's where the actual spoiler plays in: [[spoiler: Atmey's theme also sounds a bit like Masque*[=DeMask=]'s theme, seeing as Atmey's theme is based on Ron [=DeLite=]'s, and Masque*[=DeMask=] is a great thief in a a mask. When Masque*DeMask is played by Atmey instead of [=DeLite=], he is a murderous thief in a mask, which is exactly what L'Belle ended up being, though what L'Belle tried to steal was no longer there]].

to:

** Here's in interesting one that borders on FridgeBrilliance: one: in DualDestinies, Dual Destinies, L'Belle's theme sure sounds an awful lot like Luke Atmey's theme did in "Trials and Tribulations", which suits because they're both very self-absorbed TedBaxter-ish men in suits, but here's where the actual spoiler plays in: [[spoiler: Atmey's theme also sounds a bit like Masque*[=DeMask=]'s Mask*[=DeMaque=]'s theme, seeing as Atmey's theme is based on Ron [=DeLite=]'s, and Masque*[=DeMask=] Mask*[=DeMasque=] is a great thief in a a mask. When Masque*DeMask Mask*[=DeMasque=] is played by Atmey instead of [=DeLite=], he is a murderous thief in a mask, which is exactly what L'Belle ended up being, though what L'Belle tried to steal was no longer there]].there. In fact, it goes further: both of them were blackmailers, and both of them took on the masks of someone very famous who were incidentally the blackmail victims in question, and pinned the murder on that same person, who it should be noted, was found passed out at the scene of the crime after being struck by the actual killer. The murders of Kane Bullard and Rex Kyuubi are almost too easy to parallel due to their murderers]].
23rd Jan '14 9:18:12 PM Technicolourtardis
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Added DiffLines:

** Here's in interesting one that borders on FridgeBrilliance: in DualDestinies, L'Belle's theme sure sounds an awful lot like Luke Atmey's theme did in "Trials and Tribulations", which suits because they're both very self-absorbed TedBaxter-ish men in suits, but here's where the actual spoiler plays in: [[spoiler: Atmey's theme also sounds a bit like Masque*[=DeMask=]'s theme, seeing as Atmey's theme is based on Ron [=DeLite=]'s, and Masque*[=DeMask=] is a great thief in a a mask. When Masque*DeMask is played by Atmey instead of [=DeLite=], he is a murderous thief in a mask, which is exactly what L'Belle ended up being, though what L'Belle tried to steal was no longer there]].
23rd Jan '14 3:53:07 PM ZeldaQueen
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%%* InfractionDistraction

to:

%%* InfractionDistraction* InfractionDistraction: Often used by criminals to create alibis for the crimes they intend to commit (AlwaysMurder, of course). One notable example occurs in the third game, when [[spoiler:Luke Atmey deliberately lets himself be caught on camera stealing the Kurain Sacred Urn, so that he'd have an alibi to keep him from being arrested for murdering his blackmailer.]]



%%* OnlySaneMan: The playable character in each game.

to:

%%* * OnlySaneMan: The playable character in each game.game. It seems that they're the only ones to notice that the prosecution is blatantly lying/taking advantage of the Judge/doing something incredibly illegal/whipping people to let off steam/etc. This is a bit jarring in ''Dual Destinies'', when the cases cycle between Apollo, Athena, and Phoenix as the playable characters and, from the perspective of each of them, the other two come across as very ridiculous.



%%* PassiveAggressiveKombat: Cases that don't get heated turn into this.
%%* PenultimateOutburst: An essential part of the games.

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%%* * PassiveAggressiveKombat: Cases that don't get heated turn into this. Notably, Mia and Franziska engage in it during Maya's trial (and manage to completely freak out Phoenix in the process). Morgan Fey also seems very fond of invoking this.
%%* --> '''Lotta:''' Hold on, now, granny!
--> '''Morgan:''' ...Granny?
--> '''Lotta:''' How come we ain't allowed in that room!?
--> '''Morgan:''' Dear madam, you have an "impressive" grasp of English. From where did you learn it?
*
PenultimateOutburst: An essential part of the games.games. The penalty meter represents how much patience the Judge has left, and when it runs out, he declares the trial over and done with. There are also several points where he demands evidence from the defense to back their claims, on the threat of ending the trial if they can't. (In one trial in ApolloJustice, he threatens to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" if Apollo can't ''explain how a magic trick works''. A question which is all but irrelevant to the trial at hand, at least at that point in time!)



%%* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture

to:

%%* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture* WeWillNotUsePhotoshopInTheFuture: In Case 3-2, one of Franziska's arguments centers around proof that Maya physically shapeshifts into whoever she channels ([[FridgeLogic apparently no one else noticed this...]]) To back her claim, she shows a picture of Maya channeling Mia, who is talking to Phoenix in the Detention Center. Instead of thinking that the picture is photoshopped (as most people would), everyone takes this at face value. Phoenix even worries over this bit of information coming out, and warns Mia about it the next time they speak.
22nd Jan '14 6:29:36 PM GoldenDarkness
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* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' (this and the following two games were released not only on GBA in Japan and DS worldwide, but also eventually on WiiWare and [=iPhone=])

to:

* ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' (this and the following two games were released not only on GBA in Japan and DS worldwide, but also eventually on WiiWare WiiWare, [=iPhone=], and [=iPhone=])Nintendo3DS)
18th Jan '14 4:20:32 PM rocker1992
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Added DiffLines:

* AFoolForAClient: Phoenix Wight plays as this in the second half of case 1-2.
17th Jan '14 2:17:20 PM wms366
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Added DiffLines:

* FigureItOutYourself[=/=]ThisIsSomethignHeHasGotToDoHimself: Whenever a rookie attorney has a mentor as their co-council (Phoenix to Mia, Mia to Grossberg or Diego, etc.), usually the mentor will spot contradictions or piece things together faster. They might give hints, but expect them stay hush about it and wait for the PlayerCharacter to figure it out. This makes some sense, as they'd never learn if their seniors did everything for them (and [[RuleOfFun that'd be no fun]]). However, no one ever thinks to object and just do it themselves when the judge has had enough with the rookie screwing up and is about to deliver a Guilty verdict (thus indirectly letting an innocent person get convicted and executed).


Added DiffLines:

* SongInTheKeyOfPanic: Testimonies and cross examinations initially use the Confrontation: Moderato (normal pace) music. As the protagonists get closer to the truth and more lies are exposed, the music switches to Confrontation: Allegro (faster) to illustrate the mounting pressure on everyone involved. The games (starting with the Investigations spinoffs) have taken this even further with Confrontation: Presto (fastest) when dealing with the last testimonies of the culprit or highly important people (making this a case of MusicalSpoiler).
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