Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.
Tear Jerker: Professor Layton Vs Ace Attorney
The game does have his fair moments of Sadness.
Maya is accused of killing Layton by turning him into a golden statue. Phoenix and Luke arrives to see the Golden Layton crashing on the ground alone with a terrified Maya, losing an arm in the process. The next day, during the trial which will decide if Maya will be burned alive for sorcery, a really pissed off Luke TAKES THE STAND to testify against Maya. Really sad to see Luke so shaken by Layton's apparent death.
Luke: I'll never forgive that witch! NEVER!
What makes it so much worse is that it directly mirrors the scene in Dual Destinies where Apollo accused Athena of murdering Clay.
Maya ends up thrown into the fire pit despite being declared innocent. And Phoenix is left grieving, and genuinely angry for the first time in the series, and yes- it is heartbreaking.
Also from this case, the accusation of Jean Greyerl. The whole thing just feels so wrong, that this girl is about to be sentenced to a gruesome death. Really, most of the case is depressing.
The last half of the trial is just torment for your emotions. First Greyerl talks about her first use of witchcraft and her attempted suicide shortly after (keeping in mind she was just a child), then talks about how the alchemist took her in and raised her, caring for her and protecting her, telling her to pretend to be a boy for her own safety. She then goes on to talk about the night the alchemist died, and how she was afraid he was going to out her as a witch to the Storyteller, ensuring her death. So she switched the letter out for blank paper and proceeded to murder him via strangulation. It's really not helped by the fact the illustrations of the crime scene make the victim look rather like Edgeworth. Then you find out she didn't kill him, but he chose suicide. Then the contents of the real letter are revealed, and it goes downhill from there.. Then Maya is seemingly cast into the flames. Alive. Oh, and Greyerl is seemingly going to be cast into the fire too for pretty much doing nothing at all except being born a witch.
And then you have this character's backstory before all this: her parents were poor, and were going to lose their house. So she decided to use her magic powers, specifically Goldor, to create a source of money for them. She tried to transmutate a leaf, but just as she was casting the spell her pet goat (which she makes clear was one of her only friends) got in the way, and, well... the results were obvious. Fearing that her parents would be punished if they found out she was a witch, she attempted suicide... by drowning herself in a freezing lake. This may be one of the most tragic things to come out of any Ace Attorney case.
It gets even worse considering none of it was actually real, and everything was just a large experiment in hypnosis by the government. She never really turned her goat into gold, as it was all an illusion. She was going to kill herself over something that wasn't real, but everyone thought it was...
In summary, it probably wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that Case 3 practically qualifies as an Utsuge.
After the events of the trial, Phoenix just seems so broken after (for all he knows) seeing Maya die right before his eyes. His outburst at Barnham is equal parts tragic and awesome.
Unable to sleep after the events of the earlier trial, Phoenix slips out of his bedroom to clear his mind with a glass ofwater. He breaks down in front of the tavern keeper, confessing that he couldn't save Maya and doesn't know whether or not he'll be able to look after Luke and Espella. The inn keeper tells him to get a grip with some stern words... and Turnabout Sisters playing mournfully in the background.
Not to mention the fact that Layton is as good as dead at this point! It's doubles as a shock for the fans of his games and for a while the game plays as if he was never coming back. Same for Maya, whose apparent "death" was made all the more frightening by her absence in Apollo Justice and Dual Destinies.
Both of those are lessened if you realise that this game has to take place before "Unwound Future" as Luke is still in London and they never discuss that he's living abroad now, ergo Layton can't possibly die, and if you remember that Maya was actually mentioned by name in Dual Destinies as being alive, since she sent Phoenix a letter.
The Epilogue chapter. All of it. When it's not being insane.
The Nightmare fuel page details most of the trauma, but the short version is two young girls accidentally caused an entire village to burn down and awoke to an overwhelming view of the inferno. No wonder why the incident was (quite literally) covered up.
The length that people went to protect others tugs on your heartstrings.
The Storyteller examining his avalanche of liesand mistakes in trying to somehow help his daughter out of her delusional and catatonic depression, as well as the revelation that Espella's entire martyr complex and suicidal impulses flow from a meaner-than-average scolding on his part. In the end, he subjected who-knows-how-many women to unimaginable hell, drove his best friend to suicide, earned the hatred of his best friend's daughter (who actually cared deeply for Espella and was initially all on board with this whole insane scheme), and drove away his beloved daughter in his obsession with keeping her sane and happy...all for nothing, because at the end of the decade, Espella was still suicidally depressed and delusional. Give this poor man a hug already, he's suffered more than enough punishment for his actions.
Constantine's backstory of all things turns out to be one of these: an event described in Special Episode 6 where Barnham's horse was spooked by a stray dog, causing him to get thrown off, get his foot tangled in the reins and be dragged through the Labyrinthia for hours gets a followup in Special Episode 8, where it's revealed that Constantine was actually the stray dog's puppy, who in turn was fatally wounded when Barnham's horse trampled her during the event described above. He was trying to help his long-dead mother by stealing large amounts of food for her, but this ended up angering the townsfolk who wanted a scapegoat for the thefts, thinking it was the witches who did it. Barnham realized this when he managed to follow Constantine to his nest and saw the corpse of the same dog that spooked his horse. He then took Constantine under his care as penance for indirectly killing his mother and to save him from the townsfolk's vengeance for stealing their food.