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Headscratchers: Ace Attorney

Headscratchers for the series in general go here. Please direct Headscratchers specific to individual games/subseries to Headscratchers/Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Headscratchers: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Headscratchers: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, or Headscratchers: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies.

  • From a purely in-universe perspective, why don't those who are fully aware of the existence of spirit channeling never once ask a Fey to perform one after the events of case 3-5? Given the multitude of relatively mundane ways spirit channeling has been used before this point (like in 2-4, where Maya and Pearl chain-channel Mia in order to help pinpoint the fleeing de Killer's location, or the multiple times channeled!Mia's appearance has seduced otherwise unhelpful witnesses into cooperation) it's rather surprising that Phoenix never turns to the Fey clan's spirit channeling powers for help in AA 4 or AA 5. This becomes downright strange during the DLC case Turnabout Reclaimed, where Phoenix meets Pearl, who immediately demonstrates her continued willingness to use her supernatural powers to help him, but afterwards neither Phoenix nor Pearl even consider the possibility of Pearl channeling Jack Ripley's spirit and simply asking him how he died. While it makes sense from a narrative perspective that this doesn't actually happen, it seems quite odd that the idea is not at least brought up.
  • Though I know the real reason is due to recycling sprites, do you think there's an in-game reason why the defendants are never given jail uniforms while incarcerated (You'll notice that when you come to the detention center, they'll be in their street clothes)? It seems that many of them are forced to stay in jail for more than 24 hours, so that would mean they'd have to be moved into the general prison population until trial and hence they'd need the proper uniforms. Do they just wear the clothes on their backs when incarcerated?
    • Technically they are being held in the detention centre as they await their first trial, which at most means they stay there for four or five days tops. After that they'd either be found innocent and let go or found guilty of the initial trial and probably sent to prison while awaiting their next trial.
      • While that explains most everyone, there's two people that kinda raise the ??? flag: Maggey and Simon. Simon you can explain as he has special permission but for some reason, a month after actually being charged with murder and thus has actually been in prison and not the detention centre, Maggey is wearing her waitress outfit.
  • In 1-5, we're taught about evidence law, specifically that evidence needs to have the approval of the Police before it can be used in court. So... aren't all the evidence that Phoenix uses from his own investigations from the past 5 cases illegal?
    • It's assumed that they're approved off-screen between the end of the investigation and when you show up in court.
    • In 1-5, we're also taught that any evidence that isn't approved by the police department can be legalized if the presenter can offer a credible connection between the case at hand and the evidence (second rule of Evidence Law). This is probably how Phoenix manages to hide most of his case breakers from the prosecutors.
  • An incredibly valid contradiction. Explain please.
    • No real explanation however, it probably happened due to stock sprites being used for characters. Atmey's design for example may have been thought up last minute after the photo was done.
  • Is it true that only the American versions of the game are Twenty Minutes into the Future? I'm confused by that point.
    • The Japanese version takes place around present day (a year or so into the future). The reason the Western version takes place ten years into the future is the justify the in-game legal system being too different to that off the current day American system.
  • This series's fixation with Men Are the Expendable Gender. There are only two cases in this entire series where the victim is female, both Feys. There's a difference between Women in Refrigerators and avoiding killing women at For that matter the lack of female murderers, it totals as three (six if you count Dahlia Hawthorne's murders separately) Considering this series otherwise does very well on The Bechdel Test.
    • Female Victims: There are actually 4 in the Phoenix arc Cindy Stone, Mia Fey, Valerie Hawthorne, Misty Fey/Elise Deauxnim, although none in AJ or AAI, unless you count Cece Yew, whose murder is a minor, but significant part of the plot, but isn't the subject of any actual investigation.
      • Also, some of Joe Darke's victims, but that's just being anal.
    • Female Murderers: There's at least one in each game (PW - Dee Vasquez, JFA - Mimi Miney, T&T - Dahlia Hawthorne, AJ - Alita Tiala, and two in AAI - Cammy Meele and Callisto Yew)
      • Also Mari Miwa in GK 2, Belle Windsor in the manga.
      • There are also at least seven female accomplices: AA - April May and Lana Skye, JFA - Morgan Fey, T&T - Viola Cadaverini, Valarie Hawthorne, and Morgan Fey again, AAI - Lauren Paupes and Shih-na. None in AJ though.
    • There's also a basis in reality that women are both less likely to commit murder and less likely to be murdered.
    • HOLD IT! ...Wasn't the very first victim in the series female?
      • Yes.
    • Oddly enough, there has never been a case with a female murderer and victim, except for one case in the Miles Edgeworth manga.
      • What about 3-4? Dahlia killed Valerie. Both are women. Also, the two times (2-2 and 3-5) where Morgan conspired against Maya but failed arguably count.
      • OBJECTION! I can solve this right now. Simply, men commit more crimes in real life and are the victims of more crimes in real life. The series isn't being sexist, it's being true to real life statistics.
  • Is the penalty for killing of ANY kind in the PW:AA universe death? Phoenix frequently says something like "the defendant's life is on the line here!" and it's implied that if Phoenix loses, his client will get the death penalty. This even applies if the death is accidental, or in self-defense (even if the person being killed is a serial killer coming at you with a knife). Prison sentences are never even brought up.
    • No one's sentence is ever shown or even implied apart from Manfred's and Dahlia's. Although even Manfred's sentence is never explicitly stated as being death, it's just said that he's "not around anymore". When Phoenix talks about the defendant's "life" being on the line, he's speaking metaphorically about how their life will be destroyed should they be found guilty. I mean, they will be sent to prison and they would be labelled a killer for their whole life, so their life IS on the line.

      Self-defence is pretty much stated too as being a legally justified killing and thus you won't go to prison for it. The reason Phoenix was determined to prove away the charge of self-defence was because copping to that would have been admitting that the defendant HAD killed someone and, even though they won't get jail time for it, they would be labelled a killer which would basically ruin their life. Plus, despite people wanting to believe that the law can't punish a kid for accidentally killing someone while in a life or death situation, the fact is that it can. I mean, you can call what Edgeworth did in case 1-4 different things – like self-defence, manslaughter etc., but it's clearly shown in case 2-2 that some one who commits a self-defence killing is still put on trial and prosecuted (this happens in real life as well if a prosecutor wants to press charges). It's just that, most likely, the defendant isn't given a sentence.

      Plus let's not forget that people seem to be forgetting that this is a VIDEO GAME SERIES. A bit of difference too the real world is only expected. You can't expect it to be 100% accurate.
    • The judge strongly implies that the default penalty for first-degree murder is death. That said, the characters in the Gyakuten Saiban games that likely got the death penalty are as follows: Redd White, Yanni Yogi, Manfred von Karma, Damon Gant, Mimi Miney, Acro (transferred intent)† , debatably Matt Engarde (the game is unclear if murder-for-hire counts in the Ace Attorney universe – it definitely does in the real world), Dahlia Hawthorne, Luke Atmey, Furio Tigre, and Terry Fawles (never carried out).
      • It's confirmed in AAI 2 that Frank Sahwit did not get the death penalty, or even a life sentence, as his sentence is able to be extended in the post-game credits. So it's definitely possible for a convicted murderer to not be executed.
      • The culprit of 2-4 counts, since Phoenix tells Pearl that he'll be charged as if he himself committed the murder with his own two hands because he hired an assassin. Manfred was likely convicted for two murders; the murder of Gregory Edgeworth which was actually a second degree killing, since he decided on the spot to kill Gregory, and the first degree charge of Robert Hammond. He got charged for that one for similar reasons to Matt Engarde. According to Investigations 2, persuading someone to kill someone else either by hire or by simply the power of suggestion, nets you with first degree murder charges.
  • OK, so the justice system of the U.S./Japan has gotten to the point where trials always take three days... but what the heck happened that allows people like the Von Karmas to not only be prosecutors, but do things like whip the judge and witnesses?
    • Simply...IT'S A VIDEO GAME. The game's harsh legal system and tendency to have prosecutor's abuse go unpunished are both Take Thats at the Japanese legal system prior to 2006, when the old system was still in place. Said system was infamous for its harshness against defence attorneys and laid-back court proceedings.
  • Is there a solid (non-meta) reason no one references the events of "Rise From the Ashes" in Justice For All?
    • Nope. The only reason is that Justice For All was made & released for the GBA before they wrote "Rise from the Ashes" for the DS Updated Re-release of Phoenix Wright.
    • It struck me as highly unfair for Phoenix to assume that Edgeworth left only because of his broken winning streak when he had, in 1-5, admitted to feeling guilt about his past actions and doubt over whether he could continue. Perhaps Phoenix not remembering this is proof that 1-5 was made later.
    • Probably one of the main things that confuses people on this is the fact that, at one point when Phoenix talks about Edgey leaving, when he says "that case", a picture of Edgey at the stand and von Karma at the prosecuting bench shows up, obviously referencing 1-4. If that had just been changed to show Edgeworth at the prosecution bench and, say, Lana or Gant on the witness stand, then we'd have a nice, clear reference to 1-5.
  • What is considered illegal besides murder and theft? In "Farewell, My Turnabout", Adrian is definitely guilty of perjury and tampering with a crime scene. In "The Stolen Turnabout", she hasn't spent much (if any) time in prison.
    • According to the fourth game smuggling and forgery are crimes.
    • Why do people assume that because it's not been stated, it doesn't exist? Perjury is mentioned several times.
      • It could be that while perjury in the AA-verse is technically illegal, no one is ever actually charged with it. Several "crimes" in many U.S. states are treated like this.
    • It doesn't help that the witnesses who do lie in court rarely get punished for it.
      • The third case of Dual Destinies has a particularly flagrant example. One of the major sources of conflict is that all of the suspects are at a "law school" and being convicted of a criminal offense will permanently expel them. They then proceed to lie repeatedly on the stand about themselves and about their actions, up to and including claiming to have committed the murder. Yet the case ends with quite a few of the suspects happily continuing their law education. And yes, perjury is considered a criminal offense in real life.
  • What's the point of having detectives around if the lawyers do all the investigating? Maybe they're not supposed to, but that doesn't stop the evidence from being accepted in court.
    • The prosecution generally relies on the police – Franziska gets irritated with Gumshoe in the second game for not noticing the hole in the sleeve, Godot gets upset that he wasn't told about the ketchup stain in the next game, etc. Also, even the defense occasionally needs someone to run extra tests for them, like with the analysis of the small bottle in the Tigre case.
      • Plus it's for gameplay purposes as well. It'd be pretty boring if you couldn't investigate, right? Also, in Japan, attorneys (at least prosecutors) DO have authority to investigate.
      • The detectives, from what I know, are the ones with access and permission to the laboratories (i.e. the CSI-level stuff like DNA and trace analyses) and a Prosecutor doing that stuff himself would yield inadmissible evidence. After the initial investigation with a prosecutor is over, the Detective is technically a neutral party and is able to help out anyone involved with the case at hand.
  • What's with the strings of flags? They are attached to the blow up Steel Samurai in game 1 case 4, at that shack in game 3 case 5, and Valant Gramarye pulls them out of his cane when shocked in game 4. Any reason behind the recurrence of this prop?
    • What are you evening pointing out here? That flags have been features three times in the series? So what?
  • Basic one. This is in regards to the English translation... they say America moved to the new court system (three days, no trial by jury, etc.) to streamline trials because the caseload was too high. Okay, that's a weird rule in light of American jurisprudence and civil rights issues... but hey, this could be a dystopian near-future. Problem though: people who confess to their crimes (4-2, 3-2, 1-4, for instance) still get their day in court and still have to go through the motions of a trial. This implies the functional abolition of the plea bargain. Since between 80%-90+% of all cases (depending on jurisdiction) are resolved by plea bargain, and of the cases that do go to trial most are already finished within a few days anyway (although with much more lead-up investigation than in the AA universe). How is this in any way functional? Justice and civil rights have already taken a beating, but even the argument of efficiency is now trashed.
    • Plea bargains still exist. Franziska was saying Phoenix would be asking for one within 10 minutes at the start of the 2-2 trial, which means that it's up to the attorney to decide to go for one, even if the client wants to confess and that's why it hasn't come up in any of Phoenix or Apollo's trials.
      • Franziska said Phoenix would be changing his plea from "not guilty" to "not guilty by reason of self-defense". That's not a plea bargain, that's just a plea. She predicted Phoenix would change course because it was "impossible" for anyone but Maya to have killed the victim; however, if Phoenix claimed Maya did it in self-defense, then the trial's burden of proof would shift to the defense – Phoenix would have to prove that Maya had no criminal intent. Technically easier for Phoenix to pull off, but it would still brand Maya as a criminal, which he was obviously unwilling to do.
    • I do believe Lana mentions having a plea bargain by name in 1-5.
    • Finally, remember that – localization aside – this series is at heart a huge Take That to the Japanese legal system, which has a completely different base than America's. Japan doesn't really have plea bargains.
  • Why does Franziska continue to idolize her father well after everyone and their mother found out he was a batshit insane murderer?
    • It's not her father that she idolizes, it's her family name. She confesses that she doesn't really give a damn about what happened to Manfred, so her pursuit of perfection is likely the result of indoctrination and her sense of honour.
    • I think you really have to look into her character to understand why. Before I answer you, let me talk about Franziska for a moment. It's really hard to notice it, but Manfred was, despite how he acted in relation to his work, probably a pretty decent family man. He speaks highly of his wife (in AAI2) without any real prompting, and will let Franziska do things he won't let Miles do. Considering his career is largely in America, he also flew to Germany just to see her first trial just because she asked him to. As noted in several places on the site, he seemed almost proud of Miles despite himself, and it's worth mentioning he cares about his granddaughter, too. Franziska was probably a Daddy's Girl growing up, going off how he treats her in AAI.

      Now, Franziska shows a few times that she doesn't have a firm grasp on how the world works nor on emotion. It's simultaneously cute, funny, and very sad when she shows these moments. They show that from birth, she's been devoting her whole life to becoming someone her father can be proud of and pay attention to, and neglects other points in her life for it. That's something a child wouldn't do unless they're trying desperately to get attention, from which it can be guessed that her father paid more attention to Miles than her. This is backed by her own claim that she isn't a genius, but she had to be one anyway. Miles was a genius, as was her father. There's also the very strong implication that she suffers an Inferiority Superiority Complex thanks to them both. She wanted her father's love and attention, which meant she probably loved him very, very much. Not only was he her father, but he was her idol and hero.

      Don't forget that for almost 18 years, she genuinely thought he was in the right, and that all defendants really were guilty. He was probably a hero to her. Now, to answer your question: I think she's probably not quite come to terms with her father's conviction and death, and stating that he's unworthy of the family name, and Miles too, is part of her aforementioned superiority inferiority complex, because as far as I remember, she doesn't do it until after she herself is "no longer worthy", i.e., after she loses to Phoenix. It's also plausible that she's very much in denial at the same time that her father really was a killer, since for her whole life she's been taught that defense attorneys are the bad guys who protect criminals. I could probably talk more about how I interpret her.
      • It's also worth mentioning that by the second Investigations game, she's come to terms with what kind of person her father was. She avoids mentioning him except when offering what can only be advice to the distraught Yumihiko and cuts herself off when she starts to talk about the family name. Instead, she refers to prosecuting and herself as the things he's betraying and abandoning. AAI2 also shows us that Franziska was rather blind to the things her father did. She was visibly shocked and horrified at the idea that her father could have forged evidence, which means that she never knew that he didn't just use dirty-but-legal tricks, like she had in Case 2-2, but that Manfred did illegal things like manipulate evidence and witnesses. It's also possible, based on her reaction, that Franziska never knew about DL-6. Had she been told about that, she'd know her father was a liar who manipulated evidence by either stealing it, destroying it, or concealing it. Further, she would have wanted to know the motive her father had for killing Gregory, which would mean she'd already know his black mark came from it being proven that the autopsy report he presented was fake.
  • Where was Miles living and with whom after DL-6? The games state that von Karma took Miles "under his wing" but deliberately avoid any reference to his adoption or foster care, and in Investigations Edgeworth implies that he wasn't living with the von Karmas prior to his first case. Even if he had stayed with the von Karmas, what was he doing during Manfred's six-month "vacation"?
    • By first case, do you mean the one that didn't end up happening in Investigations, or the one where he faced Mia? Assuming the former here... If I'm remembering correctly, the implication isn't so much "Edgeworth wasn't living with the von Karmas" as "Franziska wasn't living with Edgeworth". I'm guessing that Manfred was training Edgeworth at the time and Franziska was in boarding school in Germany. She says she's in America for "summer vacation".
      • I'm sure he was living with the von Karma's. But during his first featured investigation it's shown that Franziska is here on vacation like the troper above said. So yeah, I'm sure he was under Mandfred's wing, so too speak.
  • Something about the fandom bugs me a lot: the fact that they all refuse to accept the strangeness of certain situations just because the game, when ported out of Japan, was moved to "America". For example, everybody is making a big deal about Phoenix not having anyone from the past by his side in Apollo Justice; but since he couldn't prove his innocence, or didn't care enough to do so, he would appear to go against his own principles by presenting forged evidence. This would have been the most awful thing ever in the eyes of his friends and everybody else, so it's kind of obvious why they severed ties with him... in Japan, at least. And yes, Maya wouldn't dare, even in Japan, but she's busy with the Kurain deal now, isn't she? (the others don't have a similar excuse) Another thing in AJ is the fact that someone above declared that allowing a foreign celebrity in "our country" to do jury duty is awful. I repeat: it's NOT America, it's Japan, and very few fans seem to understand this.
    • Why do people assume that Phoenix didn't keep in contact with his friends in Apollo Justice? In fact there's evidence to the contrary in the game itself. Examining the DVD stack in next too Phoenix's hospital bed in case 2 prompts him to say how a "kid" he knows keeps sending him Steel Samurai DVD's to write reports on (obviously Maya) so he DOES keep in touch with people, its just not shown because it doesn't NEED to be. That's what I HATE about the fandom; why do people think that Apollo Justice had too feature Phoenix Wright characters when it's meant too be APOLLO'S GAME.
      • In Dual Destinies, Phoenix says that he's been to Europe multiple times to help a friend working in international law, with the implication that the friend is Edgeworth. It's also made quite clear in dialogue between them that they did keep up. It's implied that Edgeworth may have also tried to do something about Phoenix's disbarring, as he apologises for not being able to help.
    • Besides said "foreign celebrity" wasn't foreign at all. She just thought she was. She was probably born in the same country as everyone else. Thus she could very well perform jury duty.
    • MST3K Mantra. 'Nuff said.
  • Is there no such thing as "conflict of interest" in the game's legal system? Aside from Phoenix defending in cases where the victim is his employer or the defendant is his employee, we have Manfred von Karma prosecuting his adopted son, Edgeworth sitting opposite his "little sister" Franziska in 3-5, and in 4-4 we have Apollo defending in a case where he discovered the body, and Klavier prosecuting a case where both the defendant and the real guilty party are both band mates of his.
    • There isn't, I don't think. I think we just have to accept that that's another factor of the game's ludicrous legal system and move on lest we tie ourselves in knots trying to explain it.
    • Being related isn't a problem as long as they aren't involved in the case. Von Karma wasn't actively involved in Edgeworth's case until it turned out he was behind it all at the very end. Franziska and Edgeworth might be siblings, but neither one of them was actually involved in the 3-5 case. As for Apollo Justice, that particular case was a special one. It was implied that they wanted the case over and done with as quickly as possible, which is why they allowed for someone who found the body to defend, and someone who was a part of the case to prosecute. As it stands, Apollo was the only one who would defend Machi, at any rate.
      • Still, sometimes Phoenix would have been more useful (*cough* 1-2, 2-2 *cough*) if he was not the defense. That way he could testify as an 'unbiased' witness for the defendant.
      • The same goes for Apollo in 4-3. But that case also reveals a problem with the setup: the court was hesitant to accept Lamiroir's testimony at face value because she was a friend of the defendant. Wouldn't they say the same thing about Phoenix testifying on Maya's behalf?
  • Steel Samurai seems to have a massive following both among kids and adults during its run time, a lot of publicity events and a theme park. Why spend so much on all that only to cancel it after 13 episodes?
    • Yeah, it's not like there could be any such thing as a TV series that developed a major fandom despite being cancelled after 13 episodes...
    • No, but it is mentioned in 2-4 that there are multiple shows taking place in the same universe that were produced and aired after the cancellation. Looks like Steel Samurai wasn't the first show in it, just the one that brought in the most new fans at the time.
    • Alternately, it wasn't just "Episode 13". It was "Season [whatever], Episode 13", and the show's been running for years. Certainly no one in-universe talks about the show like it's brand-new.
  • So, testimonies and cross-examinations. What's the deal with them? It always seems like the witness first gives the testimony, then everyone talks about it for a bit, then you get to cross-examine... in which the witness gives the same exact testimony again only you get to butt in with "Hold it!"s and "Objection!"s. And often, when you press things (especially those statements that often come at the beginning of testimonies that don't give you any information) the characters talk as if the cross-examination was the first time hearing the testimony. What's going on here?
    • Acceptable Breaks from Reality, just go with it. It's a video game after all, mate...
    • My personal interpretation has always been that the testimony only happens once and the cross-examination portion is simply for gameplay purposes, to allow the player to select the part they want to press or object to.
  • If the trial was cancelled in "Turnabout Beginnings" due to the defendant being dead, why didn't the same thing happen in "Turnabout Reminiscence"?
    • It wasn't cancelled but Von Karma says that it has been put on hold indefinitely, which amounts to the same thing actually...
  • Will the rules of presenting evidence/profiles ever be consistent? In the first game, you could only present evidence unless a person is requested. The second game allows presenting a person's profiles. The third game covers Mia's first two cases, before Phoenix ever took up the mantle, but she was allowed to present people as well. Apollo Justice goes back to the rules of the first game. Who makes the rules?!?
    • Acceptable Breaks from Reality. It's not the law of what can be presented. It's that in games 2 and 3 they added presenting profiles, then in game 4 they took it out again because it made it too complicated. That's all...
  • One of the odder new aspects of the third game was the heightened tendency for characters to cross-examine the defendant, mostly because this forced the defense attorneys to point out contradictions and thus hurt their own case. This continued in Apollo Justice, to the point that calling upon the defendant to testify is the final solution to case 3. So how does this mesh with the constant tendency in Investigations for the opponent to dismiss every immediate suspect's statements on the grounds that they'd say anything to protect themselves? If that's true, then no one should have cross-examined them at all!
    • Well, in real court systems, the defendant is allowed to speak in their own defense. They may not be believed, but they can do it.
      • Not if they have a competent defence attorney.
      • Plus the prosecution is simply trying to get a theory across. It's not like it's illegal to call the defendant to testify, seeing as how they are not a prosecution witness and thus were not promoted by them. In court, they call the defendant and get the defendant to reveal stuff that's negative to their case. In Investigations, they are dismissing the suspect being allowed to testify because what they will reveal is positive to their case. It makes sense in court that the defendants won't lie about something negative so it makes perfect sense that they should be believed.
      • I sense there's a language barrier issue here, but in the Western world, no defendant can ever be called to testify by the state (at least not in criminal proceedings). Should you find yourself on trial, your basic rights are: (1) the right to cross-examine witnesses (i.e., the prosecution's case); (2) the right to a trial by jury; and (3) the right to refrain from self-incrimination. Prosecutors work for the nation-state and the government cannot, cannot, cannot compel a defendant to testify. The mechanics of gameplay force this because you can only play the cross-examination, but if a defendant were to testify, they would never be called by the prosecution. They would testify after the prosecution made its case, then be cross-examined by a prosecutor after giving their testimony.

        This is a huge problem for American players, as it's a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Since the defendant cannot testify for the prosecution (i.e., give testimony or evidence against him or herself), the defendant is always the defense's witness. You can't cross-examine your own witness by definitionnote . More to the point, defense attorneys will usually do everything in their power to keep their clients from testifying because it's a terrible idea.
  • What is Edgeworth's hair color? In the sprites, it's grey, but in the pictures it's brown! What the heck?
    • Even weirder, in some of the sprites, Edgeworth's hair looks like a dark enough shade of gray to pass off as black to this troper.
    • Hm... I'd say that most likely, his hair is supposed to be dark brown. I've seen people who have dark brown hair that looks both black and dark grey in certain lighting, just like how someone with blond/blonde hair can look like their hair is brown, red, or auburn depending on the lighting and the shade of blond/blonde their hair is normally. I have a friend who's brown hair is so soft and shiny that it looks grey in certain lighting. So, it's possible the considerable shading (or shine, rather) on his hair is meant to imply his hair is supposed to be naturally very soft and sleek.
    • Cut scenes in Dual Destinies seem to confirm that his hair is black/dark grey.
  • Why is the defense lawyer's word taken just like any other testimony against the prosecution? In multiple cases, Phoenix rebuts the prosecution's argument with something like, "The defendant was at place X that night, and he was seen there by the most reliable witness I know: myself!" But surely the defendant's lawyer would be considered to have an agenda here – the prosecution at the very least should point out that Phoenix might as well be lying to protect his client.
    • This actually gets brought up in Apollo Justice – in "Turnabout Serenade", Apollo is the only one who heard Mr. LeTouse's last words, and Klavier points out that Apollo could well be lying about that to help his case, since there is no evidence for what he said, save for Apollo's word.
      • As stated above. Plus I only recall this happening once, on this one occasion so I don't know what you're on about...
      • There are a number of minor instances throughout the series. For one example in case 3-3, Phoenix proves that Glen's body must have been moved into the restaurant's kitchen at one point by presenting a bottle of his ear medicine that was found in there among the smelling oils. Just one problem. The detectives didn't find it. The prosecutor didn't find it (he wasn't even in the initial investigation). Phoenix just walked in, found the bottle and took it. How can the court simply accept his claim that it was in the kitchen at all? (Even disregarding the question of how this counts as proof, especially considering that the restaurant's owner is a kleptomaniac)
  • One thing that occurred to me was that in all of the games (well... the first three, anyway. Haven't finished the fourth yet), you can't see your client when they're being taken in for questioning. Are the clients not allowed to request for a lawyer (i.e., you) to be present during the questionings? If so, why haven't any of the clients requested this?
    • Takes place in Japan, localization notwithstanding. Questioning is restricted to detectives or prosecutors in Japan.
  • In the third case of Apollo, and fifth of Investigations, how did the killers do so much moving around of bodies and other evidence without anyone seeing? I can buy that Alba could have just told everyone to vacate the Rose Garden when he dropped Coachen's body into the pool, since being able to order everyone to get off his country's soil seems to be one of his ambassadorial powers, but how did Yew retrieve the body at the other end without anyone seeing? Was no-one fighting the fire from the ground? And what did she do with the Steel Samurai's cart afterwards? Plus, how did no-one notice the giant length of wire that was shot between buildings? And in Apollo, I could see that it would be possible for Daryan to move the body, guitar, and Machi without anyone noticing, but it's such a big risk; why would he even try? The only thing he had to gain from doing it was matching the lyrics to throw everyone off; hardly an essential part of his plan. Also, what did he actually do to Machi? Hit him over the head? Chloroform him? What?
    • In terms of case 3 in Apollo Justice, Daryan only just found out that his crimes (stealing the guitar case, burning the guitar, murder) had coincidentally followed the lyrics so he JUST got the idea to move the body. He needed some way to throw the lyric thing into the 180 so he moved the body to match the last part of the lyrics. In terms of how no one noticed in case 5 of Investigations, I'd guess the EXACT timeline of events would explain it. I think the fire that made the body smuggling possible was the first one which was on the upper floors. Let's not forget that it's stated there was hours between all the events that happened. It's possible Yew stayed in the passageway until the fire-fighters had gone (between the first fire and second fire occurring) and made a dash then. As for the wire that no one saw, you'd be surprised how hard it is too see a length of thing wire, especially one that's high up several floors.
  • Gumshoe's profile identifies him as a homicide detective; this makes sense given the series tradition for Always Murder. But then... why is he put in charge of a theft (3-2), and why is he involved in a kidnapping case (I-3)?
    • I think Phoenix actually asks Gumshoe this very question in 3-2, but I'm not sure what his response is.
    • Simply put: It's not uncommon for homicide detectives to take up other cases if the police are shorthanded. And in response to the comment above, Phoenix actually asks Gumshoe why he is on the case and he replies by saying that "They needed all the help they could get with casing Mask*De Masque".
  • Not as much an It Just Bugs Me! as an I'm kind of curious: Do you think Maya and Ema will ever be in the same game besides maybe brief cameos (since they both appeared in Ace Attorney Investigations, Maya via flashback). I just think it would be interesting to see them interact. I can't be the only one right?
    • That'd be awesome.
      • Exactly. Imagine Ema's reaction to Maya's unscientific channelling technique. Oh sure, she may have heard about it from her sister, but that's totally different from seeing it. How would someone who believes so closely in science react to something like that.
      • Studying it very closely and trying to determine the principles behind it. It may be Measuring the Marigolds, but contrary to a common viewpoint, science is not about dismissing the supernatural.
    • The character designer already thought about this, and produced a picture of Maya stealing & wearing Ema's rose-tinted glasses and Phoenix trying to keep them from fighting.
  • Why is it that only Phoenix, Edgeworth, Mia, and Apollo are the only ones given vocals for their "Take That"s and "Hold It"s? Why is it that the secondary characters just get the bubbles? I know they're only secondary characters, compared to the four playable ones mentioned above, but it would be awesome to give everyone a voice.
    • It would take the surprise out of the moments when someone yell's "HOLD IT!" or "OBJECTION!" and they have the epic shocks on everyone's faces before finally revealing who it is that saved the day.
  • Why do the four mentioned feel the need to yell "Take That" at everything they point out? I know it's more exciting that way, but for example, at the end of 3-2, Phoenix shows Ron why Dessie would stay with him by showing him the urn. Does he need to yell, "TAKE THAT!" at him?!
    • I'm now imagining him mumbling about how he never wanted to take such a worthless object at all
    • I always thought the whole thing was a Gameplay and Story Segregation given that at one point in 1-5, Phoenix was supposed to present evidence to the judge. When you presented the wrong evidence he yells "TAKE THAT" and yet Phoenix doesn't say anything out loud and the judge penalized him for taking too long.
  • Does the courthouse have any security or surveillance whatsoever, aside from the courtroom bailiff? I'm looking at three specific situations here. 1)The very beginning of 2-1, in which a witness strikes the defense lawyer over the head with a fire extinguisher in plain sight in the defense lobby, and no one witnesses it. 2)In Apollo Justice's fourth case flashback, 3)In Investigations case 4, the only witness to anything happening in the courthouse hallway is a judge using the bathroom in the opposite wing. Admittedly, you can't always prevent these kinds of things from happening in the courthouse, but these events go almost completely unnoticed.
    • In case 2-1 it's possible that it happened in a resting place for attorneys. Sure it's still a court but it's not TOO far of a stretch to imagine that a attorney lobby would not have cameras. Besides this, the series is based on the Japanese courts, which are a lot more lenient on security then American courts due to Japan's famously low crime rate. Also it's a game about solving stuff. It would be no fun if there was no mystery to it all.
      • It says "Defendant Lobby No.1" in the setting text. Phoenix is attacked there, and meets with Maggey in the same location.
      • Well that aside, it's a game about investigating crimes. I'd be no fun if you could just watch the video to see what who the killer is.
  • In Ace Attorney's world, what do cross-examinations and rebuttals look like? I mean, gameplay-wise, you have the witness's testimony, and you scroll piece by piece trying to find the contradiction, but for the people on trial, do they make them repeat the same thing over and over again? Just to have some guy in a suit to yell at you? That sort of makes attorneys seem like royal jackasses.
    • 1) This same question has been asked before. 2) Acceptable Breaks from Reality. Deal with it people.
      • You can compare it to when you talk to an NPC in an RPG: they say the exact same thing every time you talk to them without anyone pointing out how it's rather odd, and the players are (not unreasonably) expected to just ignore it seeing as the alternative would be only having one chance to digest the information, and being screwed if you happen to zone out during the fact.
  • This one is in the manga, not the games, but in 'Turnabout Showtime' (I think that's what it's called) the culprit (Raymond Spume) confesses so easily when all Wright did was outline what happened using circumstantial evidence? Am I missing something, but what was the decisive proof?
    • Most of the case until then had focused on accusing Julie because she was the only one who could use her hands. Phoenix, by pointing out that costumes could be removed by oneself, that they could be worn backwards and that because Raymond saw something that should have been behind him and Flip did a back flip instead of a front flip, they were wearing them backwards, disproved some of the assumptions that cast suspicion on Julie. This, apart from her breakup and the false testimony about her putting a knife into the costume, was the only evidence against her, and as Raymond's plan to frame her was falling apart while he started to look more suspicious with the new information, he broke down.
  • Why does the court always act so surprised when a defense attorney accuses a witness of being the actual guilty party? Considering it's the only way any defendant in the entire franchise has ever been found not guilty, you'd think it would be acknowledged as a standard defense tactic by now. Not doing so would be seen as not even trying to do their job.
    • I always assumed that the cases that get showcased in the games are probably the most dramatic and unusual examples. Even Phoenix Wright probably does other cases than the ones we see – his practice would be pretty much unsustainable otherwise, considering that he doesn't even seem to get paid for half of them...
      • A defense attorney doesn't HAVE to win a case by accusing someone else. In several cases, it's shown that a defendant can be declared innocent even while there are no other suspects. Plus I think the above troper is right, the cases that are shown are the most dramatic and strange cases, as evidenced when the Judge says that "Somehow the cases with you in them are the most strange Mr. Wright."
      • Then by all means explain why case 3-5 didn't end as soon as Dahlia was exorcised and Iris's involvement in Misty's death was found to be nothing more than helping move the body. Godot literally says that the trial can't end until the actual murderer is determined.
      • Really now, it should be obvious why Godot didn't want to let the trial end.
      • However, a judge who doesn't possess Godot's knowledge of the murderer's identity (or indeed know that he knows at all; at this point, none of them were aware that Godot had been there at all) would probably want to give Iris a verdict and then let the police obtain a new suspect before continuing the deliberations. But he doesn't, and indeed she still gets the guilty verdict if Phoenix can't identify the murderer during that trial.
      • The Judge in Phoenix's cases is easily swayed by the opinions of others, and frequently bows to the will of the prosecutor. If Godot says, "This case isn't over", Phoenix's Judge is going to smile, nod, and say, "That's right, this case isn't over. Why isn't this case over?" and then accept Godot's answer and keep rolling the case.
      • Godot's answer was essentially "because Trite's inability to name the murderer proves his incompetence." That's a pretty lame reason to keep the trial going, even for this Judge.
    • Considering that – as has been mentioned multiple times throughout this page – Ace Attorney's court system is based on Japan's, it's not a stretch to think that "reasonable doubt" is not enough to acquit a defendant.
  • Why does Phoenix Wright only act as Defense Attorney? I'm fairly certain that Lawyers usually don't only act on one side or the other for their entire career; I know of a few attorneys that have been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney and go back and forth regularly. Is Mr. Wright afraid that he will wrongfully convict someone if he ever acts as a prosecutor?
    • I hate to tell you this, but you are wrong on this one. In criminal proceedings (which is what we see Phoenix doing), you only have prosecution and defense. Prosecutors are agents of the State – in Japan, they're hired by Judges; in many American jurisdictions they're elected (or hired by elected district attorneys) – and, as such, are subject to different requirements and criteria than defense attorneys. The Japanlike nation in which Phoenix lives appears to have completely different licenses for attorneys and prosecutors as well; Edgeworth has a Prosecutor's Badge which is a wholly separate thing from Phoenix's Attorney's Badge, and Edgeworth actually had to borrow Phoenix's badge to impersonate a defense attorney during the final case of T&T. The games make it pretty clear that there is no crossover between the two types of lawyer under the judicial system they operate in.
      • In real life, part of training to be an attorney requires knowing how procedure works on all sides (that way, you can raise sustainable objections or appeal when someone screws up), so if you pass the bar you are qualified to conceivably play any role in the legal system. But considering that judges and prosecutors are both under employ of the State (and are often elected, at least in the States), those aren't jobs you can just hop into or out of on a whim.
    • My dad is a defense attorney, and has been for 23 years, and he has never acted as a prosecutor... I'm not saying it never happens, but most lawyers I know stick with what they know. Prosecutors are government employees, and my dad prefers to be self-employed.
    • Plus, over the first three games, Phoenix was a lawyer for ~3 years, until Shadi Enigmar came along. All of the cases we get to play are probably the only cases he has ever taken. No matter how good he is, he still has little experience. Also, take Phoenix's personality. While he stands to always help those that need defending, he gets really down and nervous when things start to go wrong. It's more in character for him to stick with what he knows, which he even admits he doesn't fully know being a Defense Attorney very well, either.
      • It is explicitly stated that the five cases in the first game were the only trials he had to that point. But it's also stated that after "Rise from the Ashes", he started taking work again. Beyond those, we just don't know if he took cases beyond what we get to see or not. That supplementary material (the manga) exists suggests he does. Besides, even for attorneys like Phoenix that focus on criminal law, the majority of their work – if they want to be able to pay their bills – will be incredibly mundane things involving lots of paperwork.note 
  • How did Dual Destinies get an M rating? Was it because of the Terrorist Bomb or the Realistic Blood?
    • A far darker reason then that – considering Athena and how her mother died – although those things probably contributed to it.
    • Without spoiling anything, let's just say this troper thinks it deserved that M rating.
  • What would happen if someone who was underage accidentally killed someone? What if Edgeworth really shot his father or Ema accidentally killed Marshall? Would they be put on trial and go to jail if they were guilty? It bothers me since people seemed to make a big deal over it (Gregory blamed it on Yogi while Lana covered up for her sister). Why? What's the worst that could happen? Can't they get away with it being "accident" and "they're underage" thing? It bothers me since this theme keeps continuing...
    • It's hard to say exactly what would happen to them. Given that the people who did the cover-ups were very close to the children in question though, the reason they probably do it is out of fear of additional repercussions that might happen. A child may not go to prison, but they'd probably have to go through most of their life known as "that dangerous and creepy kid who killed daddy/mommy/her sister's co-worker". Not to mention, Edgeworth, Ema, and Athena all show incredible guilt when they think they did kill someone, and they were all in their late teens/adulthood at that time. Imagine how devastating that would be to a child, who wouldn't even have the maturity or resources to piece together their own innocence. Finally, consider that a child accused of murder would likely be taken away from their family and put in the care of someone to "fix" them and make them no longer dangerous. So not only would the child be emotionally devastated and branded for life as a murderer, but they would also be without comfort from their family or friends or anything they knew.
      • Exactly. In the United States – one of only two First-World countries to retain the death penalty (Japan is the other) – thanks to a series of Supreme Court rulings, it is illegal for the State to execute people who committed capital crimes when they were minors. Japan rarely executes more than about a half-dozen people per year anyway. So basically, Ema et al wouldn't be facing the gallows/needle, but Ema and Miles would certainly have been sent to mandatory psychological counselling, and possibly worse. Athena almost certainly faced a one-way ticket to juvie.
  • So the game features a court system based on the Japanese one, and in the Western versions of the game, where the game is set in the United States, Phoenix mentions some sort of sweeping judicial reform that resulted in the court system as shown in the games. Okay, I'll buy into that bit of suspension of disbelief. But then we get into characters and locations that are clearly of Japanese culture and mythology existing in the US that don't even get handwaved (e.g. historical Japanese settlements). I was fairly puzzled at the Kurain Village; someplace like Hazakura Temple sounds plausible in Los Angeles (where the Western versions take place) due to that area's cultural diversity; but an entire rural village dedicated to youkai (as shown in Dual Destinies) is where things start to get really silly.
    • The explanation for the Japanese villages in Dual Destinies is that they were founded by Japanese immigrants. As for the youkai legends, it turns out that the legends were started simply to hide the fact that there was a huge amount of gold hidden in the one village. So it's not impossible that the villagers simply forgot when the legend sprang up, and just adopted the idea that the youkai were always there.
    • Somewhat ironically, LA is one of the only places in America where these games could conceivably take place. There really are mountains within 2 hours of the city (and closer too), the area has a huge Asian population (including, as mentioned elsewhere, the largest Japanese settlement on the American mainland – there really are Shinto temples in the city), and the legal system is known to be screwed up beyond belief (OJ Simpson trial anyone?).
      • Really the only cities that might be a better adapted setting than Los Angeles would be Portland or Seattle (their wetter climates and better public transportation more closely match Tokyo; LA is hot & semi-arid and infamously car-crazy), or maybe San Francisco (huge Asian population and famously earthquake prone). Vancouver BC would work as well, but then you'd have to pretend the legal system is Canadian… which I guess means you'd have to make the Judge's Brother a Texan or something?
  • This is kind of more a site headscratcher, which is why it's going here, but... why the heck is Luke Atmey's character profile not with the other detectives? For some reason, Atmey's profile in "Witnesses and Other Characters" even though he's actually a detective and should then be with "Prosecutors and Other Law Enforcement Officers". Is this explained on either page somewhere? Or can I move him to detectives without getting a nasty PM about it? It wouldn't be so odd if Atmey wasn't the only member of law enforcement who this happened to.
    • He's a private detective, which is one reason why Gumshoe despises him so much. Everyone else on that list is directly employed by the police or Interpol.
  • This is something that bugs me to no end, and I just wanted to see what everyone else thought about it- would it kill Capcom to give Franziska some actual character development? What I'm talking about is, she is introduced as an intentionally unlikable character in Justice for All, caring only for winning, and whipping anyone who annoys her- even if it's a minor annoyance. This is to the point of whipping people into unconsciousness twice (though the fanbase apparently finds this funny as heck.) But the fanbase's bias here isn't what gets to me- what gets to me is that she appears in later games in the series, and the game treats her as though she's come back better, after a great deal of character development, on par with what happened with Edgeworth- but she hasn't. She's the same bratty kid who thinks she can get her way by whipping people that she always was. It wouldn't bug me so much if the games didn't deliberately seem to be glossing over it, ignoring this and pretending she's become so much better when she so clearly hasn't. Even in her last canonical appearance, she's whipping people even when they're doing exactly what she wants, and both the fanbase and games themselves brush it aside. I think the worst thing is that she could actually be a great character if she'd even make the minor change of getting rid of her whip, or at least only using it on people who actually deserve it (you know, like killers) rather than just whipping any random person who happens to be standing near when she gets the urge. But instead, there's absolutely no change, and we're just supposed to agree that she's grown as a person when she hasn't. Sorry if I'm unloading a bit here, but this has been building up for a while, and I really wanted to hear what others thought on this.
    • Her character development isn't about not whipping people, that's why (it's supposed to fall under Rule of Funny and Amusing Injuries, like Godot flinging hot coffee at Phoenix or Pearl beating him up, even if the actual funniness of that is YMMV). And while she remains competitive as hell whenever she runs into Phoenix or Miles, she's also shown as becoming a more caring person—she helps Adrian, she forces Miles to go out and get some air when he's pretending he's fine after the earthquake in 3-5, and she stays at the Sacred Cavern to remove the trick locks and rescue Maya. Also, rather than being obsessed with winning to the point of whipping people into unconsciousness, she becomes a more graceful loser and while her confrontations with Miles in AA:I are still about competing with him, they're also about getting to the actual truth. The whip thing is bonkers, but so is a nine-year-old being able to render a grown man unconscious or the series' frequent use of Tap on the Head with things like fire extinguishers.
    • That's kind of the thing. I know that she does get character development of a certain kind, and she does indeed get more caring over the games. She goes from only caring about winning to actually doing things like the above like you said, and that's what really gets to me- I want to like her, and be impressed with her character development along with everyone else, but that smegging whip of hers always kind of gets in the way of that- that, to me, was her biggest character flaw- not that she was obsessed with winning, or even that she had trouble empathizing with others- it was that that lack of empathy caused her to whip anyone who happens to be within radius. Which leads to even more confusion on my part when she apparently develops some sense of empathy, but still seems incapable of communicating with others without whipping them at first. I mean, even Godot stopped throwing coffee around once he grew to genuinely respect Phoenix, but even after all her character development, Frannie still thinks it's a-ok to whip the living crud out of anyone just because. Yeah, YMMV on whether it's funny or not (as you can probably tell, I stand pretty heavily on the "not" side,) but still....
    • Yeah. Obviously if this was Real Life, everyone would be bleeding heavily, need stitches, and incur permanent scarring after a day in Franziska's company. I don't think the devs intended it to be taken seriously though; it's her character quirk, like Shi-Long Lang's constant wolf metaphors and Klavier's inappropriate-for-court clothing, so I treat it like that. (I mean, she uses the whip to go Get A Hold Of Yourself Man-and-get-some-air to Edgeworth during the quake BSOD I mentioned.) If you want to like her, you're going to have to just brush the whip thing off into (un)Amusing Injuries, but given that it is such a violent quirk it's understandable that you can't get past it.
  • Similar to the 1-5/JFA retcon— where the hell was Raymond Shields during the events of the first game? His attitude towards Edgeworth implies that he didn't follow 1-4 at all, even though you'd think he'd show interest in seeing his mentor's murderer finally brought to justice, especially considering said murderer was the prosecutor who had given them hell for a solid year.
  • Why doesn't Phenox ever use his Magatama as evidence in court to get his clients declare innocent on the spot? In the ace Attorney universe, everyone knows that spirit channeling is real, and the Magatama was from Maya's home village, where spirit channeling is fairly common. It would be a major case of Arbitrary Skepticism for no one to believe him, especially since he could prove it on the spot.

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