The protagonist of the Professor Layton series, and one of the protagonists of this game. Layton is a world-renowned archaeology professor and puzzle-solver who always acts the role of a perfect gentleman.
The Ace: In this game, compared to Phoenix. He can do almost everything: fighting, investigating, helping Phoenix out in the trials, solving puzzles, and prosecuting, and being quite good at it.
The protagonist of the Ace Attorney series (well, most of it), and one of the protagonists of this game. Phoenix is a quick-thinking, honest defense attorney who is known for his ability to turn even the most hopeless of trials around.
A Protagonist Is Ryu: His name in Japan (Ryuichi Naruhodou). Said to be chosen just because the development staff liked the name (so no meaningful connection to his character; his last name does that for him).
Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Phoenix Wright is a Kleptomaniac Hero who usually pulls his court strategies out of his ass and uses spirit channelling as a legal technique.
Butt Monkey: Like in own series, he's often mocked for various reasons.
Determinator: Will stop at nothing to proves his client innocent.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Mostly justified, nobody knows him in the game and before the first witch trial, he and Maya were bakers.
Ironically, after he gets what is probably the first witch trial acquittal ever, the prosecution and judge feel obliged to acknowledge his skill, meaning that Phoenix gets more respect in witch court than in normal court. Not to mention the townspeople make huge golden statues of him and Layton at the end of the game.
Kleptomaniac Hero: He still attempts to put evidence into his pockets, on occasion. This backfired in The Final Witch Trial where him attempting to put Espella's pendant into his pocket got him accused with trying to tamper with the crime scene.
Laser-Guided Amnesia: He forgot everything before his arrival in Labyrinthia when you meet him, including his job as a lawyer. It doesn't last long, though.
Nerves of Steel: It's often pointed that Phoenix is much more effective when he's under pressure.
Spanner in the Works: Possibly as much as Layton. Darklaw was counting on the Professor showing up to solve Labyrinthia's mysteries, but nobody expected Phoenix to come along as well, let alone for him to successfully defend suspects like Espella in the Witch Trials.
Paper-Thin Disguise: In the final trial, she wears an apron and Barnham's helmet to conceal her identity, so as to hide the fact that she's still alive even after being "burned at the stake". It doesn't look very convincing, but it does the job well.
Teen Genius: Though she still has a lot to learn when it comes to being a spirit medium and solving puzzles, she's pretty good at both, despite her young age.
Espella Cantabella (Mahoney Catalucia)
A mysterious blonde girl living in Labyrinth City who finds herself pursued by forces beyond her control and accused of witchcraft. She seeks out Layton and Phoenix alike to ask for their help.
Broken Bird: She's sure she's the Great Witch and is driven insane because of that.
Dark and Troubled Past: Subverted, she thought she was the one who set the town on fire by accident and thus thinks she's Bezella, but she actually backed out at the last second and Eve was the one responsible.
Guest Star Party Member: There's a very few puzzles in the game which you solve as her rather than Layton, Luke, Phoenix, or Maya.
Meaningful Name: Espella. Subverted; Espella is shown to have been her name before Labyrinthia even existed, and even after it was created she was never intended to have been a witch... at least not until Darklaw hijacked the story.
The Scapegoat: Espella became this when, as a child, Eve pinned the blame for setting the Great Fire on Espella, so that Eve could avoid being scolded (though Eve at least told everyone "don't be angry at" Espella). Subverted when, just after that revelation, it's revealed that because Eve mentally blocked out what happened, Eve actually believed it was Espella, so the scapegoating was unintentional.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Conspired with Eve to ring the Bell of Ruin, not knowing it would cause the entire town to fall unconscious during the fire festival. As a result, the entire town burned, an event which came to be known in Labyrinthia as The Legendary Fire. However, it should be noted that it was Eve who actually rang the bell, not Espella, since Espella backed out, making Espella a lesser case of this trope than Eve.
Sir Zacharias Barnham (Sir Jiiken Barnrod)
A renowned knight of Labyrinth City who has taken it upon himself to serve as prosecutor of the city's witch trials.
Espella's teacher in London. In Labyrinth City, she acts as chief prosecutor and as the Story Teller's right-hand-woman.
Break the Haughty: She's extremely confident in court and has things under control to the point that even being called to the witness stand and being revealed as the one who carried Espella to the tower as well as admitting to leading the Shades won't faze her, but when she realizes that she was, in fact, the one responsible for the Legendary Fire and her mother's death, she freaks out.
Expy: Strangely inverted. She shares many similarities with Aura Blackquill, such as similar cold personalities and an obsession with punishing a teenage girl for allegedly committing matricide as a young child and committing multiple illegal or unethical actions to do so, only to discover that said girl was innocent near the end but Dual Destinies was created and released (in Japan at least) before PL v. AA, so Aura is actually an expy of her.
Femme Fatalons: Her gold spiky gauntlets have this effect; with the fingerpoints sharpened.
Foreshadowing: She first met Phoenix and Maya outside Labyrinthia; and her gauntlets are the same ones used by the witch that initially attacked Layton to get Espella.
Large Ham: During the special episodes, she still keeps making elaborate villainous speeches while wearing her Great Witch costume, and she has by far the most exaggerated "puzzle solved" animation out of any character when the other characters pressure her to show it off. It also turns out that she's actually a fairly shy, reserved person why not performing the role of Darklaw or the the Great Witch, making her this in-universe too.
The Plan: Luring Layton in Labyrinthia was planned all along. Phoenix's arrival was not.
Self-Made Orphan: EXTREMELY unintentional version, but by ringing the Bell of Ruin, she caused the fire that killed her mother (as well as Espella's mother and most of the town) which led to the creation of Labyrinthia, which eventually led to her father's suicide. She's as broken by this knowledge as you'd expect.
Unwitting Instigator of Doom: As a child, she rang the Bell of Ruin, understandably not knowing what the consequences would be. As a result, everyone in the vicinity passed out in the middle of the Fire Festival, leading to the Legendary Fire.
Younger than They Look: She's around 20 years old, but looks to be in her late 20s or early 30s. Of course, the first time we see her she's disguised as a schoolteacher and Espella as her student, which helps further the illusion that she's older than her real age.
The Story Teller Arthur Cantabella (Literast Catalucia)
The ruler of Labyrinth City; it is said that whatever he writes in his book becomes reality. Which is not true of course, the townspeople are under More Than Mind Control and thus they believe that he's responsible for everything that happens in their lives, but that's all.
Rewriting Reality: Controls the world of Labyrinthia with his stories. None of the townspeople consider it possible his stories won't come true. This is because he uses his resources as president of a huge pharmaceutics corporation, some cutting edge technology, and hypnosis, to make it appear to come true. This is parodied in Special Episode 3, where he's stated to attempt to make his hospital stay to cure his illness mentioned below more pleasant by writing a Story about it, but it naturally doesn't have any effect.
Soap Opera Disease: The fact that he suffered from one is what prompted him to put such an abrupt end to his story, but by the time everything is cleared up, his staff has already found a cure.
Johnny Smiles (Yutorino Gardner)
A high-strung, highly-dedicated security guard working on a London barge, and a witness in the prologue case.
Ascended Fanboy: According to him, seeing how cool police chases looked in crime dramas was the reason he became a security guard.
Large Ham: He's rather fond of dramatically throwing his cap at the screen and giving a huge grin with his teeth showing, or of flashing his flashlight rapidly from side to side, and he makes a big production out of chomping his chocolate bars...
Small Name, Big Ego: Fancies himself a "proffesional" security guard... despite only being in the job for 6 months and being pretty lax in his work.
Spanner in the Works: Had he not kept the PC Badget tag he found Espella holding to himself as a "secret weapon", the case may well have gone unsolved.
Sunglasses at Night: Leaving everyone in disbelief that he does this for the sake of Rule of Cool. It's Deconstruced, as it's shown to be a very unprofessional thing to do in his line of work and really hurts his credibility with everyone.
Sweet Tooth: He's constantly eating chocolate bars. This actually winds up saving him from getting framed for assault, since he left chocolate fingerprints on his torch, proving he didn't wear gloves that night. And if he wasn't wearing gloves, he would have left fingerprints on the weapon as well, but it's as clean as a whistle.
Wild Take: When he's contradicted, he rears back, causing his security-guard-cap to fall partway over his face as he grits his teeth. Eventually his chocolate bar starts melting too.
Olivia Aldente (Olive Ardente)
Victim of the prologue case (though she survived), a chef working on the same barge as Smiles. She's actually a jewel smuggler who's been using the barge's PC Badger dolls as mules. When she saw Espella messing with one of the dolls with a jewel in it, she panicked and tried to shut her up permanently, but got clonked upside the head before she could finish the job.
Genki Girl: How she presents herself. She has a hammy voiced introduction complete with her clapping and then throwing her arm into the air in a pose, she moves a lot (mostly her hips) even when she's supposed to be standing still, and sometimes she juggles lots of food in the air.
He Knows Too Much: Attempted to kill Espella for stumbling onto the jewel smuggling plot, but was knocked unconscious.
Knife Nut: She's very fond of twirling that cleaver... and talking about chopping things.
Lethal Chef: She mentions a secret spice that "probably isn't safe for human consumption" she intends to give Smiles as revenge, and she later makes reference to cooking "experiments" that are implied to involve... questionable ingredients.
Punny Name: Al dente. Her first name probably comes from olive.
Villainous Breakdown: When she starts to get stressed out, she brings an eel up to the stand and tries to repeatedly chop its head off, although it keeps dodging. When she finally breaks down upon being fingered as a jewel thief, she puts a gigantic fish onto the stand and screams bloody murder while attempting to chop its head off, only for the giant fish to dodge, and then spin around and use its tail to slap Olive to the floor. When Olivia gets up afterward she still has a "mark" on her face from it.
Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Played with. She actually was wounded, but she plays it up to look like she's the innocent victim in the case. That's not entirely the truth.
Prosecutor Flynch (Prosecutor Bartley)
The prosecutor of the prologue case. Generally sort of wimpy.
Last Name Basis: He's only ever referred to by his last name, to the point that his given name is never revealed.
The librarian of Labyrinth City, who deeply loves puzzles. Any puzzles missed during the adventure will be sent to her, much like Granny Riddleton in the main Professor Layton games.
Expy: Of Granny Riddleton, though unlike the latter, she is young, stern, and down-to-earth.
Improbable Age: She doesn't look a day over 18, and yet she's the head librarian of the biggest library in the city. As such, she's also in charge of the most precious and well-kept books.
Meaningful Name / Punny Name: In English, her given name is an obvious play on "riddle", while her family name is French for "mystery". Through Dub Name Change, the other translations keep the puns as well.
Meganekko: And she gets embarrassed if she loses her glasses.
Wise Beyond Their Years: As stated above, she quite visibly a teenager, and yet she's wise and smart enough to be in charge of the buggest library in the city.
The Judge of Labyrinth City
A hooded, stern judge who presides over the Witch Trials. Though he bears a striking resemblance to his Ace Attorney counterpart, he's significantly more serious and level-headed.
Hanging Judge: The Judge is not biased towards the prosecution - he is impatiently looking forward to calling your client guilty as soon as you make one wrong turn, so he can gladly condemn them to burn in the fire alive and watch them reduced into ashes. Though it's shown at the end that he did have doubts and guilt about sending helpless women into the flames, as well, so he's relieved when it turns out that they didn't die, after all.
A head-in-the-clouds, unemployed old man who acts as a witness in Espella's trial. He also moonlights as a member of the local guard for the bell tower, and winds up testifying in Espella's second trial as well.
Cloudcuckoolander: Ooh boy. This man is more than a little out there, frequently making strange metaphors and outright dozing off.
A down-to-earth, stubborn middle-aged woman who raises goats, and a witness in Espella's trial. The night of the crime, she took a bucket of milk from the scene that Espella had been carrying so it wouldn't go to waste, not knowing there was vital evidence at the bottom of it.
Skewed Priorities: She is so obsessed with milk that when two men were seemingly burned to death in front of her, she focused more on bringing back home (basically stealing) the bucket of milk Espella had been carrying so it wouldn't go to waste.
A young flower seller who acts as a witness in Espella's trial.
Break the Haughty: It begins when she shows her true colors over the trial; at the beginning, she sounds very arrogant. However, as Phoenix and Layton start demolishing her arguments, she starts to lose her cool quickly, culminating in her final breakdown. When Phoenix and Luke find her again, she has been reduced to a pitiful, broken shell of a woman.
Chekhov's Gunman: First appears as the true culprit in the first Witch Trial of the game, before being burned at the stake... or so it seems. She shows up again later, and plays a key role in Espella's second trial.
Framing the Guilty Party: What Kira thought she was doing when she burned two robbers to death and framed Espella for it.
Hammerspace: The only justification for the fact that Shade Kira still has her Character Tic of plucking the petals of her flowers, since she doesn't have her flower basket on her by the time you question her the second time in court.
Meganekko: She usually wears glasses, but has lost them by the time the trial starts.
Motor Mouth: She doesn't talk a lot (ie, like Oldbag or Stickler), but she evidently talks very fast. Her voiced dialogue actually sometimes sounds like you're playing the game with her dialogue sped up twice as fast. Could be as part and parcel of her breakdown sequence as the flowerbasket, though.
Smug Snake: When unmasked as a witch and the true culprit, she acts very condescending, only to throw, as Phoenix describes it, a major hissy fit when you win. As is the tradition with female murderers in the second case of previous Ace Attorney games.
Unexplained Recovery: Even though Kira was supposed to have been executed, Phoenix sees her alive and well, disguising herself with a blue cloak. It later turns out that the courtroom's firepit has a false bottom.
Villainous Breakdown: Upon being exposed as the real killer, Kira screams and throws her flower basket into the air and she flails about constantly. Finally, the flower basket comes back landing upside-down on her head and she falls to the floor. In fact, she gives off some hints that she's not all right upstairs even before her breakdown; towards the end of the trial, she breaks out into crazy villainous laughter several times and starts ranting in a lower and not-quite-so-girlish voice.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: When Kira framed Espella, it surprisingly wasn't out of any personal grudge. Kira hated the witch trials, and since she genuinely thought Espella really was a witch, she did what she thought she had to do to get Espella executed so that the witch trials would stop. She takes it very poorly when this just results in her being executed instead; in fact, even Espella feels sorry for her and pleads with the guards to stop the execution, to no avail.
An unemployed young man so dedicated to becoming a knight that he'll only let himself be called, well, Knightle. A witness in Espella's trial.
Emeer Punchenbaug (Emil Sandbag)
A drunken middle-aged man who pops up time and again around Labyrinth City, and a witness in Espella's trial. Three months ago, he was also one of the people to find the alchemist Newton Belduke's body, and innocently took a bottle of deadly poison from the scene. When Layton was apparently turned to gold there in the present, he stole Layton's arm, sold it, and self-styled himself as "Emeer Punchenbaug the Third" before being called to testify in Maya's trial.
An Axe to Grind: He assisted in breaking down the locked door to Newton Belduke's room using an axe.
Butt Monkey: He tends to be ignored and mocked more than once and people find him annoying in general. Come on, his surname is basically punching bag.
Right Behind Me: People often openly mock him when he's standing right there. He's gotten used to it.
Casanova Wannabe: He's apparently reached the stage in his life where you start looking for that "special lady". Much to the dismay of any female around him.
Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Temporarily. His name doesn't come up until near the end of the second trial. Until then, the game is content to label him "Some Guy." This is because his name is similar to the spell "Amere," which he heard the real culprit cast, thinking that she was calling his name.
Failed a Spot Check: All the freaking time. Probably the biggest is in the third trial where he fails to realise Jean Greyearl has been revealed to be a girl.
Small Name, Big Ego: He has a pretty high opinion of himself, especially after he gets rich, despite the fact that he's a mere witness.
Spanner in the Works: To Kira, as it turns out. Her plan would have failed regardless thanks to Wright proving the collective witnesses' testimony to be unreliable, but Emeer's involvement leads directly to Kira herself being exposed and convicted of witchcraft.
The Alcoholic: Well, it's never directly addressed, but it's made blatantly obvious.
Too Dumb to Live: According to... just about everyone. But what really sells it is he stole a bottle from a crime scene that very clearly contained poison at one point... and he still uses it to hold his drinks!
Newton Belduke's butler, who looks after his home after his death.
The Butler Did It: Averted. The game sets you up to believe Jean killed Belduke, and even she herself thought so, but it later turns out he was already dead by the time she strangled him.
Driven to Suicide: As a child, she wanted to turn a leaf into gold so that her parents could sell it and get money, as they were completely broke, but this backfired: she accidentally turned her goat friend to gold instead. Realizing that not only would she be hunted down and executed for witchcraft, but so would her parents for being a witch's accomplice, she decided to kill herself by jumping in a river. Fortunately, Belduke saved her and took her in.
Sweet Polly Oliver: After being rescued by Belduke and explaining her situation to him, he decides to disguise her as his male butler in order to hide the fact she is a witch.
An alchemist who died mysteriously several months prior to the game's events. The cause of his death has been attributed to witchcraft, but since little else is known about it, it remains the Knights' only unsolved case.
The Reveal: Several, in fact. First, his cause of death: he wasn't strangled like everyone was led to believe, but actually Driven to Suicide by poison. It is later revealed that he is Darklaw's father, and later still that he was a childhood friend of the Story Teller, and helped him along the Labyrinthia project. In fact, it was partially because of his involvement in the project that he was Driven to Suicide in the first place.
The only mail-lady in Labyrinthia. She is hard-working and very dedicated to her job.
Blush Sticker: Which look rather big compared to her relatively small face.
A former student of Layton's, now a detective. His letter to Layton kickstarts the latter's involvement in the plot. He was trying to solve the mysteries of Labyrinthia, but was found by witches before he was able to do anything else. He managed to escape with Espella, but the car they were travelling in was wrecked, causing him to be hospitalized, and he doesn't appear for the remainder of the story.
Born Unlucky: Played-with. Layton notes he has a knack for getting into dangerous situations... but he's primarily known for surviving all of them.
Made of Iron: Layton notes he has a knack for miraculous survivals, so he isn't surprised he survied the car crash.