Visual Novel / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice

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Justice at home and abroad...

The sixth main installment of Capcom's Ace Attorney visual novel/adventure series of games (and tenth game in the series altogether), released on the Nintendo 3DS, similar to the previous installment. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice (逆転裁判 6, Gyakuten Saiban 6; lit. "Turnabout Trial 6") once more stars unflappable defense attorney Phoenix Wright and his fellow lawyers.

During a phone call to his old assistant and friend Maya Fey, who is currently abroad in the Kingdom of Khura'in on a training expedition, Phoenix Wright panics when the call is cut off abruptly by a scream. He quickly packs a bag and boards the next flight he can catch to Khura'in but finds nothing is wrong. With the situation under control, Phoenix takes an opportunity to tour the local area, but his 9-year old tour guide, Ahlbi Ur'gaid, is suddenly arrested on the charge of murder. Phoenix decides to sit in on the young defendant's trial, but he is shocked to find that their nation's court system does not use defense attorneys in their trials. Instead, the prosecution indicts suspects, and the court then relies on mystic oracles to presume the defendant's guilt or innocence. Unwilling to let such a ridiculous notion stand scrutiny, Phoenix leaps to his tour guide's aid and offers his defense amid heavy resistance from both the audience and even the defendant himself. Also participating in the trial is the mystic princess Rayfa Padma Khura'in in a unique role: not as prosecutor, witness, or judge; but to conduct the "Divination Séance," a ceremonial dance that can channel the visions of the victim through the "Pool of Souls".

While Phoenix deals with the attorney-less justice system of Khura'in, the other lawyers of the Wright Anything Agency, Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes, are left to handle business back home, with Apollo in particular learning to stand in court on his own. However, as Phoenix left for Khura'in, Khura'in comes to Apollo and co. in the form of international prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, a monk who sees attorneys as obstacles preventing murder victims from resting in peace.

Key to the game is the new "Divination Seance" gameplay mechanic, which is how the court system of Khura'in renders its verdicts, namely by conjuring images of the last things the deceased saw or felt before their death. The defending attorney can then examine the "footage" of the event and pick out inconsistencies either from within the vision itself or with evidence of the crime. The five strike penalty system from the first game returns (compared to the "life gauge" system that has been in use since the second game). The developers have said that Phoenix has no new challenges left at home, so sending him to a new land would give him a new set of court rules to work with, reigniting the sense of urgency in court.

The game was originally announced on September 1, 2015 and appeared at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show in a playable form. The Japanese version launched on June 9, 2016 and arrived in English-speaking territories on September 8, 2016. As with Dual Destinies, only the Japanese release will feature both physical and digital releases, with the English localization being strictly digital via the Nintendo 3DS eShop. It was later released on the iOS and Android mobile platforms on September 21, 2017.

A character sheet for the whole franchise can be found here (Spirit of Justice-relevant characters will be added as they are revealed).

Official website (Japanese) The TGS 2015 trailer can be found here (English-subbed) and here (dubbed). During March 2016, Capcom Japan launched a Twitter campaign to get as many Tweets as possible about the game, the prize for getting 18,000 Tweets being a special video, which was a short anime prologue. It can be viewed here (subbed) and here (dubbed). The final launch trailer can be viewed here (subbed) and here (dubbed).

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice provides examples of:

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    Tropes # to C 
  • Aborted Arc: The anime prologue features Maya being attacked by a rebel in Khura'in in the middle of a phone conversation with Phoenix. Her mobile phone is broken, and Phoenix thinks something bad has happened to her. Not actually, because Nahyuta Sahdmadhi happened to drop by and immobilize the rebel before he could do any harm to her, but Phoenix decides to go immediately to Khura'in to check up on Maya. In the game proper, this assault is never talked about. It's said that Phoenix just went there because Maya was finishing her training to be the Master of Kurain Village. And that he was worried about her.
  • Absence of Evidence:
    • Played with in "The Magical Turnabout". Trucy's fingerprints were found in an X-shaped tape understage note , so the prosecution claims she touched it during the murder to have the victim in the stage, not backstage... but she was wearing gloves at the time, meaning she left the prints sometime before the murder. In a nutshell — something that shouldn't be there, was, which proves nothing in this case.
    • Double subverted in "Turnabout Time Traveler". At one point, you have to prove that Sorin didn't enter the hold in the night of the crime, and you do that by presenting the hold keycard entry. Because his name is not in the list, he didn't go in. Then Sorin says that he came in using Nichody's keycard. And then, Nichody himself claims that Sorin didn't go to the hold after all, which is the truth.
  • Ad Hominem: This is the king fallacy of the Ace Attorney series, and as such we have seen it a lot of times in previous installments... but this time it's taken to ridiculous, bloody levels. How? The main prosecutor in this game and Khura'in in general dismiss most of what you say by pointing out you're a filthy, unclean lawyer who should get executed and thrown to hell. This is no exaggeration, as the trial's public itself demands Phoenix's execution after his claims against the legal system in "The Foreign Turnabout". This fallacy comes a ton of times from the mouths of Princess Rayfa and Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, the aforementioned prosecutor.
  • Alien Geometries: The Penrose Theater has several pieces of art out front that are optical illusions. One of them is a statue of a Penrose Triangle, a shape whose existence is physically impossible. If you try to turn on 3D on your 3DS to figure out what the hell you're looking at, the statue turns out to be graphically displayed on the 3DS as a flat sprite.
  • Alliterative Family:
    • Siblings Sorin and Selena Sprocket.
    • Archie Buff and his daughter Armie. (Both double as Punny Names).
  • Aluminium Christmas Trees: A bunch in Case 4, such as: Rakugo performed in English, while not common, does happen, Time Soba and Soba Glutton are real Rakugo routines, and there actually are English sets of karuta cards, typically used to teach Japanese speakers English.
  • Always Murder: Typical of this series, though in this game, it is also subverted and double subverted in certain cases:
    • Subverted in Case 3, when Tahrust Inmee is revealed to have killed himself.
    • Double subverted in the first part of Case 5, which starts as the first civil trial in the series, but ultimately results in murder charges being filed.
  • Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: In the second case, there is a dark blue rabbit with red eyes seen in a cage in Trucy's dressing room, alongside a normal white rabbit. Strangely, neither Apollo nor Athena questions its presence, even if you examine the cage it's in. It's probably supposed to be black.
  • Amoral Attorney: Defense attorneys are shunned and reviled as devils who will do anything to twist the truth in Khura'in. The "Defense Culpability Act" means that any defense attorney whose client is found guilty suffers the same fate as the client, up to and including the death penalty. It all started when Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in, the current queen of Khura'in, framed Dhurke, a defense attorney, for the apparent murder of Amara Sigatar Khura'in, the former queen. She's a trained prosecutor, meaning that the whole thing was caused by an Amoral Attorney for entirely amoral reasons.
  • Anachronic Order: For the first time since the first game, completely averted. All five cases (plus the DLC case) take place in strict chronological order.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Perspective switches between Phoenix and Apollo, and for one case, Athena, who was never advertised as playable, but was rather obvious it would happen. There's also one small flashback point where we shift into Maya's POV and see her thoughts.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different: For the first time in the Ace Attorney series:
    • The first part of Case 5 is a civil case with a defendant and a plaintiff, with Apollo and Phoenix (respectively) both being attorneys debating over the ownership of a certain artifact. Played with as Phoenix makes much of the case a murder trial as well.
    • Case 2 has only one investigation and one trial.
    • The first case doesn't begin directly in court. You make a little bit of sightseeing in Khura'in before going to court to defend your tour guide, who's been unfairly arrested for murder and treason.
  • Anti-Gravity Clothing: Much like Dahlia's shawl, the scarf prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi wears floats serenely above his shoulders, adding to his mystic image (similar to fellow Capcom character Rose, who is also a mystic).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Athena accuses the second witness of Case 4 of having something to do in the murder after she finds an inconsistency in her testimony. The gallery overreacts in this way, thanks to Nahyuta's speech tricks:
    Gallery man: He's right. That was harsh. She didn't have to go that far!
    Gallery woman: I feel kind of sorry for the witness. And why is the lawyer's outfit so yellow?
  • Art Evolution: Spirit of Justice redevelops the models of some returning characters from Dual Destinies, while some others like Athena are simply recolored differently. Both changes are made in order to match the updated character art. It's the most visible with Trucy, whose profile picture is redrawn from scratch and has a brighter color palette and hues closer to her sprite design in Apollo Justice.
  • Asshole Victim: Much like Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (and in stark contrast to Dual Destinies), virtually every victim in the game falls under this trope to some extent.
    • The biggest two examples are Puhray Zeh'lot and Inga Kharkuul Kurain, both of whom are murderers themselves, and the latter of whom was planning to murder his own (admittedly even more evil) wife.
    • Dumas Gloomsbury attempted to murder Ellen Wyatt because he was bitter about being made into a scapegoat.
    • Paht Rohl was engaged in a life of thievery, and even went so far as to threaten Ahlbi Ur'gaid at gunpoint after discovering that the Founder's Orb was missing. Mitigated somewhat by the fact that he did so mostly to take care of his many siblings, and apparently had more than a few regrets about having to do so.
    • A minor case with Manov Mistree/Mr. Reus, who knowingly took part in a cruel prank designed to humiliate Trucy, but is not suggested anywhere else to have been an especially nasty person. Trucy at least seemed to respect him deeply before learning about it.
    • Taifu Toneido subverts the trope; despite passing Geiru over for promotion and hiding the deed to Bucky Whet's store, he was doing so for good reasons. His actual problem was more that he was a little eccentric and failed to make these things clear, resulting in a very literal case of Poor Communication Kills.
  • Awful Truth: In Case 5, Dhurke tells Apollo that in the next trial he will find himself with a truth that is difficult to accept. He's referring to the reveal that Dhurke was already dead when they met back in the United States the day before. Learning this gives Apollo a Heroic B.S.O.D., and with good reason, because Dhurke is his foster father.
    • Rayfa also deals with her own awful truths in this case, surrounding both the true natures of Ga'ran and Inga, and learning the truth of her birth - she's actually the daughter of Dhurke and Queen Amara. She must even witness Inga's death firsthand through her Divination Séance.
  • Badass Baritone: Dhurke. Hearing his "OBJECTION!" is enough to give one goosebumps.
  • Badass Cape: Rayfa's, befitting her status as princess.
  • Badass Creed: "A dragon never yields", for Dhurke and the Defiant Dragons.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The story and trailers seem to build up the "two lawyers and two settings" theme, with Phoenix in Khura'in and Apollo in America. At one point Phoenix even considers Apollo to take over the Wright Anything Agency when he's ready. However, it was reversed in the ending as Apollo decides to stay in Khura'in and inherit his foster father's law office there while Phoenix and co. returns home with Maya.
  • BBC Quarry: Like any self-respecting sentai show, the Plumed Punisher show uses this, as seen in the in-game clip.
  • Big Bad: Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in, the current queen of Khura'in and main responsible for the attorney genocide there. Notably the first female Big Bad in the series since Dahlia Hawthorne, and the first one to be the final culprit.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: While they may be married, and equally terrible people, Queen Ga'ran and Justice Minister Inga are covertly working against each other, and enacting different Evil Plans. Well, at least until Ga'ran kills him off for trying to pull a starscream.
  • Big Word Shout: A classic in the Ace Attorney series. New characters have speech bubbles never seen before.
    • Prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi uses both "Objection!" and "Satorha!".
    • Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in uses "Such Insolence!" and "Objection!" when she prosecutes in 6-5.
    • Rayfa uses "That's Enough!"
  • Bittersweet Ending: While the oppressive Ga'ran regime was overthrown and lawyers were allowed to practice again without fear of unjust retribution, there is still a lingering sadness over Dhurke's sacrifice. Also, numerous defense attorneys and innocent people were sentenced to death under the DC Act. Finally, Apollo stays behind in Khura'in to help reform the legal system from scratch, with none of his friends knowing when he'll return.
  • Blatant Lies: Apollo and company pretty much do this in Case 5's first trial: Dhurke is really just a random tourist, and totally not a wanted criminal in any way!
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: How Apollo gets Archie Buff's kid to open up to him the first time — like the recently-deceased Mrs. Buff, Apollo's father Jove died in an arson, and he has no idea if his mother is still alive. Of course, this is played for Dramatic Irony, as the audience knows Apollo's mother Thalassa is alive and well, and in fact makes a cameo appearance at the end of the game.
  • Bowdlerize: Two examples:
    • Oddly, while people yell about being sent to Hell left and right, the area beneath the stage at a theater, traditionally called "Hell", is only referred to as "The Abyss" here.
    • The Japanese version of Turnabout Storyteller only could imply about alcoholic drinks because explicitly mentioning alcohol would have driven the game's CERO age rating to a higher minimum age. The English version removes this Bowdlerization and explicitly mentions sake.
  • Book Ends:
    • Spirit of Justice starts with Phoenix arriving in Khura'in, and ends with him leaving Khura'in.
    • For people that consider this game and the previous two Ace Attorney games a trilogy akin to the first three games, the first case of Apollo Justice and the latter half of the last case of this game feature Apollo as the main defense attorney, and Phoenix as his co-counsel.
    • Given it's the last case chronologically, you start with Phoenix in Case 1 and end with Phoenix as well in the Special Episode/DLC Case.
    • Both the first case and the final DLC case are solved the exact same way, by inserting a key into a piece of evidence stained with blood.
  • Breather Episode: The fourth case, "Turnabout Storyteller". The second case has Trucy accused of murder, the victim of a smear campaign, and the target of verbal abuse. The third case has Maya accused of murder, with Maya and Phoenix being found guilty at first with the threat of execution. By contrast, despite relating to the game's Central Theme of inheritance, the fourth case is otherwise unrelated to the game's overall story arc and has much lower stakes. There's even only one court day and no investigation period, which combined with the lower emotional impact makes it feel more like a first case than Spirit of Justice's actual first chapter. It does, however, foreshadow Rayfa's conflict about duty and what they should really believe in and do: Geiru is basically what could happen to Rayfa if the latter didn't have anyone to trust and rely on, or family.
  • Bouquet Toss: Turnabout Time Traveler ends with one of these, with Athena, Ema, and Maya all vying for Ellen's bouquet. It ends up in Larry's hands, much to their fury.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Maya Fey returns as part of Phoenix's adventure in Khura'in in her first main game appearance since Trials and Tribulations.
    • After not appearing in Dual Destinies, Ema Skye comes back, having achieved her dream of becoming a forensic investigator. Interestingly she is involved with both Phoenix's and Apollo's cases, apparently taking back-and-forth flights in a short period of time doing so.
    • Larry Butz shows up in the Special Episode DLC case as a surprise witness, still working as an artist.
  • Busman's Holiday: The fact Phoenix finds himself defending a suspect for murder in a country where he doesn't even practice law means he fell into this pretty hard. Subverted in the sense that he has very good reason to be taking cases in Khura'in (due to their odd court system that probably got a lot of innocent people sentenced) as opposed to being roped into it by the coincidence of being there at precisely the right time when he's needed (although due to the Always Murder nature of Ace Attorney, it's still pretty unlucky someone he was associating with ends up suspected in a murder investigation). On top of all that, he finds himself joining the revolution to bring down the corrupt justice system.
  • Butterfly of Death and Rebirth: In Khura'inism it is believed that butterflies ferry the souls of the departed to the Twilight Realm. Butterfly imagery is ubiquitous in its religious artwork. A flock of spectral butterflies even appears from the Pool of Souls right after a "Not Guilty" verdict in lieu of the usual confetti.
  • The Butler Did It: Pierce Nichody killed Gloomsbury in the special episode. Completely played straight. In fact, he became the Sprockets' butler just to get revenge on Sorin... which ended up with Gloomsbury's death along the way.
  • Cain and Abel: Ga'ran, the Cain, tries to have her sister Amara, the Abel, killed when Apollo figures out that Amara couldn't have murdered Inga and instead it was Ga'ran. In a greater scope in terms of plot, Ga'ran is the Cain simply for tearing Amara's family apart.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Kingdom of Khura'in's method of determining guilt has shades of how the DL-6 investigation played out, since they rely on the what the dead saw and felt at the moment before their death. And considering what happened in DL-6, there's a lot of potential to take what they saw in the wrong context. It turns out that it didn't use to be that way, as before the DC Act lawyers were freely able to challenge the insights provided by the medium. In fact, at one point, just like with the DL-6, it appears to be a locked room mystery and the victim's spirit is called back to give testimony by the Master of the Kurain technique, where he lies in order to protect someone he loves dearly.
    • In Case 2, The Magical Turnabout:
      • The characters of Bonny and Betty de Famme are a case of a Contrasting Sequel Antagonist for characters from the second and third games. Like Mimi Miney, one is a sarcastic, foul-mouthed young lady who has to pretend to be her sister, The Ditz, and it's eating her up inside. Unlike in that case, however, the sister is still very much alive, and Betty isn't the murderer. She's not even truly evil, though she is quite vengeful and enjoys appearing to be evil. Like Dahlia Hawthorne and Iris, they are twins where one of them is genuinely kind while the other only pretends to be nice, and bosses the other sister around. The main differences are: Bonny and Betty's interactions with each other are seen on-screen while the interactions between Dahlia and Iris took place off-screen, Bonny eventually stands up to Betty while Iris never manages to stand up to Dahlia, and Betty isn't actually evil like Dahlia.
      • Case 2 is similar to case 2-2, as both involve assistants of a lawyer being set-up to be framed for murder while performing their family art, and the person framing them is a fellow practitioner in the art. The lawyer is also given a chance to plead a lesser charge, but instead goes for a not guilty verdict.
      • Upon meeting Ema again in case 2, she demands that Apollo and Athena hand over their thumbprints to add to her personal database. Apollo is worried that she will be using it for evil. Of course, this being Ema, it is Played for Laughs, but a similar scene happened in the second half of Dual Destinies' fourth case, where Bobby Fulbright (or rather the phantom) is faking the prints on a crucial evidence with Athena's in order to frame her for Clay Terran's murder.
      • Remember the MASON System? Remember when you first talk to Trucy in this segment shortly after Zak's escape and Phoenix's dismissal? When you first speak with her, she has her bowed down and her hat is covering her face, obviously in sorrow. The pose is back with a vengeance!
    • In Case 3, The Rite of Turnabout:
      • Phoenix is reunited with Maya... only for the latter to be accused of murder during an enclosed channeling ritual, much like case 2-2. Later on Maya channels someone who ends up testifying in court, with said testimony making Maya look bad, similar to how a Maya-channeled Dahlia tried to incriminate Maya in Misty's death in 3-5.
      • Phoenix and Maya make a joke about the number of times Maya has been a defendant in the third case. And then she adds more to the count in this game, as expected.
      • In Case 3, Zeh'lot's body is kept cold to throw off the time of death, just like Isaac Dover's and the fake Di-Jun Huang's in Investigations 2.
    • In Case 4, Turnabout Storyteller:
      • Case 4 is one to the fourth case in Trials and Tribulations. They're both a single trial day without an investigation headed by a female protagonist (Athena/Mia), take place in Courtroom No. 4 with a male co-counsel (Simon/Diego) who frequently quips at them, and Phoenix Wright doesn't appear at all during the case.
      • A minor one in case four: Part of the trial requires Athena to convince the court to accept the confused testimony of a young child (or rather, the personality of one) as the turning point from which she proves her client Not Guilty. This is a callback to the UR-1 incident, in which she herself was the child.
    • In Case 5, Turnabout Revolution:
      • the Wright Anything Agency finds themselves in desperate need of a chartered flight, and Edgeworth appears out of nowhere to provide them with one faster than you can say "Bridge to the Turnabout".
      • Queen Ga'ran, Edgeworth, and Phoenix discuss defense attorneys accused of falsifying evidence and prosecutors running "perfect trials", both of which were major themes in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney respectively. Both Phoenix and Edgeworth grumble that they don't want to deal with those topics again.
      • Part of Case 5 takes place in Kurain Village, and has a few items related to the village in Archie Buff's study; namely the Sacred Urn (still with the pink paint spots Adrian Andrews accidentally covered it with from case 3-2), Ami Fey's golden statue from case 3-5, and the gravy-covered scroll of Misty Fey from case 3-5.
      • Remember back in Apollo's game, where Phoenix assisted Apollo in the first trial? In the final case, Apollo is the player character while Phoenix acts as his assistant, much like in Apollo's debut trial.
      • The first part of the fifth case is almost a Whole Plot Reference to an earlier case. Namely, to "Farewell, My Turnabout". Phoenix is given an offer he can't refuse in the form of Maya's life in order to serve as the attorney for a prominent media figurehead, but forced to pretend nothing is happening. Both cases aren't what they initially seem, either, and Phoenix's reactions are nearly identical as in that case. The main difference is that this time, it's seen from Apollo's perspective instead of Phoenix's.
      • An indirect one in the first half of Case 5 is Sgt. Buff testifying to the court via remote control drone, with heavy similarities to the radio that stands in for Shelley DeKiller in 2-4: a face-like structure that shows various emotions, and "sweating" oil/breaking apart when "damaged" by a contradiction being exposed.
      • In Case 5, Dhurke is taken into custody and has all of his possessions confiscated except for his badge, just like Edgeworth was taken into custody and had all of his evidence taken except Kay's Yatagarasu badge.
      • In Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney, Phoenix's bullshitting ends up "proving" that the Rayfa we know was actually a body double the whole time, much like Edgeworth actually proved about Di-Jun Huang.
    • In the non-canon Asinine Attorney DLCs:
      • Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney, being partially set in Nine-Tails Vale (via video chat anyway), has a lot of references to The Monstrous Turnabout from the previous game, including Jinxie appearing in person again.
      • Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney has Phoenix and Maya face of against Miles Edgeworth, much like the first game. This is followed by the canon DLC episode "Turnabout Time Traveler" which also has Phoenix and Maya vs. Edgeworth, but takes place in the usual home court and with Larry Butz as a witness, alongside one of his drawings that you need to make sense of to discover an important part of the case. The Judge even calls attention to this.
    • In the Special Episode, "Turnabout Time Traveler":
      • Two siblings are involved in a car accident and one of them dies, like in Case 2 of Justice for All.
      • Larry's wallet is left near the crime scene, so Phoenix can easily spot him there the day of the crime — much like in "The Stolen Turnabout".
      • At one point, Phoenix has to figure out what was written on a page that was torn out of a book. This is the exact same scenario he was in during his last trial before his disbarment.
      • Maya impersonates Edgeworth with the greeting, "I trust you've been well, Wright," which is how Edgeworth is introduced in case 5 of Dual Destinies.
    • Apollo's backstory is revealed to heavily mirror his half-sister Trucy's: Both he and Trucy wound up being adopted by kindly legendary defense attorneys whose lives and careers had just been ruined because they had each been framed by a sociopathic lawyer (who also killed the kids' biological fathers) for, among other things, forging evidence. Both of these defense attorneys devoted a significant portion of their lives to bringing this evil lawyer to justice, and both of these evil lawyers were defeated by Apollo as the final boss of a game, but only because of the defense attorneys' years-long efforts allowing him to deliver the final blow.
    • Just like the previous even-numbered installments (Justice for All and Apollo Justice), the word "Justice" is in the title. And just like those two, the final chapter features a case where Phoenix doesn't win.
    • Nahyuta's motivation is very similar to Lana Skye's. Like her, he's a high-ranking prosecutor forced to do the dirty work for another authority figure (Gant/Ga'ran) because they're being blackmailed with the well-being of their younger sister (Ema/Rayfa).
  • The Cameo: In Case 5, Klavier Gavin is mentioned and appears briefly in a flashback by Apollo, the only instance of him appearing in the main game.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: The reason Ga'ran kept Amara alive — she has no spiritual power, but needs to keep up appearances as only those with spiritual power can inherit the throne, so she has Amara impersonate her for channelings.
  • Central Theme: Inheritance, heritage, and what one makes of the cards life has dealt them.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The Founder's Orb, which went missing in Case 1, plays a crucial role in Case 5. It triggers a trial pitching Apollo against Phoenix in the first half of the case, and is an item needed to start Dhurke's revolution (because it can bestow spiritual power).
    • The Magatama of Parting is presented in Case 3 as a red item that becomes brown when its power is used up in kicking a spirit out of a channeler's body. You find brown magatamas in Inga's murder location two cases later, hinting at the fact that there was some spirit channeling going on in the tomb.
  • Chekhov's Gunman:
    • Puh'ray Zeh'lot is seen early in Case 3 as a devout monk praying the day away during the Purification Rite, although Phoenix doesn't meet him personally. He ends up being very crucial to the case.
    • Nayna is seen only rarely throughout the game as Rayfa's servant lady. In Case 5, it's mentioned that she went missing. She was channeling Inga for a brief time and then Dhurke for nearly a whole day. And it turns out Nayna is Amara Sigatar Khura'in, the thought-to-be-dead former queen of the country disguised as an old lady.
  • Cigar Chomper: Rayfa's father and Khura'in Minister of Justice, Inga Karakhul Khura'in, is consistently shown with a cigar in his mouth. Subverted in that it's actually a rubber stamp.
  • Clear Their Name: Ultimately, the protagonists manage to prove the defendants innocent of the crime they are accused of, including Dhurke, who is accused both of Inga's murder and of his arson charge 23 years ago. Apollo succeeds in acquitting him, but Dhurke is Acquitted Too Late.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In what has probably reached a Running Gag-level of reference, when Shah'do pops out of Ahlbi's bag in the first case, the Judge asks Phoenix if he's going to attempt to cross-examine the dog after Ahlbi tries to interpret for him. Phoenix declines, thinking to himself "at least this time". This is a clear reference to the very first game of all, where Phoenix has to cross-examine a parrot.
    • If you examine the various flowers in the dressing room in case 2, they are all gifts from people met in the previous games:
      • The sunflower-like flowers (Nine-Tails flowers) are from Damian and Jinxie Tenma, the father and daughter from case 2 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies. The letter accompanying the flowers wishes Trucy good luck and thanks the "Demon Lawyer" Apollo for everything, as Jinxie says in the letter that thanks to Apollo, she was able to overcome her fear of yokai.
      • The roses with a Gavinners logo on it is from Klavier Gavin, the prosecutor from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.
      • A small vase of daisies is from Lamiroir, also from the fourth game. Apollo notes that her songs really speak to him on a personal level, but he has no idea why.
    • Apollo and Athena discuss Phoenix's consumption of "grape juice" in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Athena even wonders if it was the fermented kind.
    • In Case 5, presenting any evidence to Edgeworth as Phoenix will have Edgeworth call Phoenix out for this, where Phoenix mentions that Edgeworth presented evidence left and right during his investigations. Phoenix also says that he learned this from a source, heavily implied to be Gumshoe.
    • From Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney:
      • Rayfa mentions Will Powers from the original trilogy, as a certain actor with a lion-like mane who keeps apologizing profusely whenever performing attacks in a making-of video she saw.
      • While watching a video showing Trucy's performance, Klavier mentions that he isn't the biggest fan of watching stuff burn, referencing the time his guitar burst into flames during "Turnabout Serenade".
    • When Larry Butz appears in "Turnabout Time Traveller", he jokingly suggests that Phoenix might have made more money playing the piano than he does now that he's a lawyer again.
    • There's a tube of Je Suis L'Belle hair color on the Justice Minister's desk in Case 5. Examining it causes Phoenix to ask Edgeworth if he wants to dye his hair black.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Nahyuta Sahdmadhi is set up to be this to Simon Blackquill, prosecutor of Dual Destinies. Unlike Simon, who presents himself as a grim, irredeemable convict and is dressed in black and white, Nahyuta posits as a Holier Than Thou monk dressed in white and pastels. However, these are both carefully cultivated personas that hide similar motivations Nahyuta is Taking the Heat in order to protect his mother and sister, like Simon took the heat for Athena's murder charge.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: Khura'inism seems to be rather fond of this, with punishments in the Twilight Realm ranging from standard ironic punishments to ridiculous ones like the Hell of Hangnails and the Hell of Tickling.
  • Could Have Avoided This Plot: Phoenix notes that both Tahrust's death and Maya's trial could have been completely avoided if Tahrust had asked Phoenix to defend his wife of murder accusations for Puhray Zehlot's death, which was simply on self-defense because Zehlot was trying to kill her. Even so, Tahrust says that he didn't trust lawyers that much.
  • Curtains Match the Window: Sorin Sprocket has royal blue hair and eyes.
  • Critical Staffing Shortage: Because Edgeworth fired a lot of corrupt prosecutors (including Gaspen Payne), the prosecutor's office is currently very understaffed. This means Edgeworth has to call on visiting international prosecutors like Nahyuta and take on a few cases on himself (much to his displeasure).
  • Cry Cute: You can tell Owen is absolutely terrified when he cries in Case 4, but it somehow manages to look cute in a way.
  • Crazy-Prepared: An odd villainous example: during Ahlbi's trial, Gaspen probably didn't need to prepare anything more than the divination seance and an autopsy report to prove his guilt (given that there probably wouldn't be a defense), but we soon find out that he actually has a pretty strong case built on quite a bit of evidence, as well as a decisive witness (who, as per tradition, turns out to be the actual murderer).
    • Turns out to be a Running Gag with Nahyuta, who does way more research into the background of a case than appears necessary; in preparation for Trucy's trial, he watched several episodes of Roger Retinz's show, going so far as to visit a burger joint that Retinz recommended. In preparation for Bucky Whet's trial, he does some really in-depth research into Rakugo, just so he can have a comeback in case Simon questions his knowledge on the subject. He also researches proper responses to receiving a business card, such as "How do you do?" and "What's crack-a-lackin', homie?"

    Tropes D to H 
  • Darker and Edgier: While the rating decreased from M to T (although it has the same rating in Europe), the narrative is even darker than Dual Destinies:
    • The DC Act resulted in many attorneys being killed through twisted logic. In a nutshell, if their client is found guilty, they are found guilty as well, resulting in a massive amount of executions. This has lowered the national crime rate, but destroyed the lawyers' lives.
    • The villains take it up a notch here:

      While Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin is standard fare, it's the introduction of the DC Act and Gaspen Payne's attempt at killing Phoenix with it that sets the mood of the game.

      The culprit of "The Magical Turnabout" is essentially Kristoph Gavin as a minor villain. As a result of Magnifi Gramarye disowning him, he focused on revenge on everyone connected to a Gramarye, which includes Apollo and Athena due to their connections with Trucy. He used his own student, who trusted him, as the victim in order to frame Trucy, and his actions nearly break her.

      In "The Rite of Turnabout", while the Inmees are ultimately decent people, Zeh'lot, one of the victims, lives up to his name by murdering any rebels under Inga's orders, even turning on his master's wife upon finding out she was a rebel.

      Subverted in Case 4, a goofier case with a tragic villain. However, a mentally 5-year old boy witnessing the murder of basically his grandfather is completely horrifying. Even worse was that the true villain tried to pin the blame on the young lad!

      In "Turnabout Revolution", Paul Atishon is a jerk of a politician with a severe ego problem, but compared to the second villain of the case, he's nothing. Queen Ga'ran is a ruthless usurper to the throne who masterminded everything Inga didn't in a vain power grab. She's also responsible for the death of Apollo's father and her own husband, and even uses her foster daughter Rayfa and nephew Nahyuta to further her agenda. While she does much more, it's far too many to list here.
    • The scene showing Dhurke getting shot by Inga is extremely dark for the series due to the fact that you get to see him being shot three times on screen followed by him dying afterwards. But it's not just Dhurke that's shot: Queen Amara is shot in the stomach by a batshit crazy Royal Guard soldier. We see her bleed before passing out and being rushed to the hospital. The viewer is not spared. The Big Bad stands there and does nothing about it.
  • Dark Reprise: Dhurke's bombastic theme is reworked as a much slower and somber Recollection theme in "Turnabout Revolution", particularly after the reveal that he was Dead All Along.
  • Dawson Casting: In-Universe; the actress who plays the role of Rayfa in an episode of The Plumed Punisher is quite obviously much older, taller and curvier than the young, petite and flat-chested real princess. This gets lampshaded in the first downloadable mini-episode of Asinine Attorney.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • Apollo's prominence in this game's story is equal to Phoenix's, but by the final case, he's the real protagonist of the story, with Phoenix serving just as an assistant in the last trial for the first time since Apollo's debut.
    • While Trucy got Demoted to Extra in Dual Destinies, Case 2 puts her in the spotlight due to being the defendant.
    • Athena and Simon, for the most part, play background roles, compared to their roles in the previous game. However, they get all of Case 4 to themselves, with neither Apollo nor Phoenix present.
  • Dead All Along:
    • Dhurke was already dead by the time he came to America to visit Apollo, being channeled by Maya to complete his revolution.
    • Puhray Zeh'lot is murdered before the high priest in case 3, meaning he's already dead when you first see him.
    • Queen Amara is an inversion. She never died in what the kingdom claims was an arson started by Dhurke.
  • Death by Falling Over: Subverted in the case of Archie Buff's death. It's initially thought that he fell off the top a ladder and hit his head against the floor, but he actually died because a suitcase fell onto his head.
  • Death by Irony: The victim in "The Magical Turnabout" is killed by a blade after faking his death as a part of a prank to Trucy to induce panic on her. It's ironic how he really looked forward to pretend that he has met his maker and then he meets his maker for real.
  • Death Glare: Dhurke pulls one of these off on Minister Inga after he'd been shot three times, and it still manages to scare him away. He also does this to Paul Atishon after he learns that he set him and Apollo up to get the Orb.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Athena and Blackquill get hit hard with this in this game, having only one lead role in Case 4 while Athena gets put into assistant role for Cases 2 and 5, and Blackquill only pops up again in Apollo's flashback in case 5.
    • Trucy and Maya get this after Cases 2 and 3, though Trucy has a significantly bigger role in here than in Dual Destinies, while Maya plays a key role in Case 5.
    • Pearl, once again, only shows up briefly in Case 5, and Klavier only appears in a flashback. However, they both have larger roles in the Asinine Attorney DLC.
  • Description Cut: In the anime prologue, Alhbi tells Maya that Princess Rayfa is a very nice person. The camera instantly changes to Rayfa condemning an innocent woman of a crime with her Divination Séance.
    Defendant: But I know I didn't do it!
    Rayfa: How dare you! Are you saying that my insights contain an untruth? You insolent criminal!
  • Determinator: Dhurke doesn't even let his own death stop him from achieving his own goals.
  • Deuteragonist: Both Phoenix and Apollo are major protagonists in this game. Apollo's prominence in particular is increased in comparison to Dual Destinies due to the positive reception his character got in that game. In the endgame, the story is really about Apollo, given his many personal ties to Nahyuta and the events in Khura'in.
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • Probably the worst example in the series so far (and given guys like Manfred von Karma and Kristoph Gavin, that's saying something): The Kingdom of Khura'in has outlawed and executed countless defense attorneys for... daring to challenge the spirit medium's word in trials. In Khura'in's defense, said spirit medium is actually providing a pretty accurate service via the Divination Séance, but she is also a moody 14-year old girl. As it turns out, the anti-attorney sentiment was due to an attorney being involved in the assassination of the previous queen.
    • There's Roger Retinz, likely in a nod to Kristoph Gavin due to the heavy Gramarye theme of Case 2. As a result of Magnifi expelling him, he decided, after Thalassa's disappearance, Valant's incarceration, and the deaths of Magnifi and Zak, to ruin Trucy and everyone connected to her. He goes as far as to kill his apprentice and bring crowds of Trucy haters to her trial just to break her, and even after his breakdown, he keeps trying to ruin Trucy.
    • Gaspen Payne tries to get Phoenix killed under the DC Act for humiliating him and his brother.
  • Distressed Damsel:
    • Subverted in the prologue anime, where Maya briefly gets taken hostage by a suspected criminal while she's on the phone with Phoenix, but is rescued almost immediately. Unfortunately, her phone gets broken when she's initially taken hostage, meaning that she can't call Phoenix and let him know that she's fine, which is what results in him jetting out to Khura'in. Maya does however get accused of murder again in the game's third episode. Episode 5 has her kidnapped again, but only for a day. The revolutionary Dhurke tries to rescue her, but he is killed in front of her. However, before he dies, Dhurke tell Maya to channel his spirit so she can escape.
    • The second case features Trucy as the defendant after someone is found dead at a dress rehearsal before one of her upcoming magic shows.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: In the anime opening to case 5, Dhurke interrupts an episode of The Plumed Punisher to deliver a message about his revolution to the people of Khura'in and the Ga'ran regime.
  • Double Meaning: When Rayfa Padma Kuhra'in testified, she claimed that her father would never do anything evil. While we are told that Justice Minister Inga is Rayfa's father, he is actually her foster father or rather, uncle. Technically, since her biological father is Dhurke, Rayfa is right but she never knew that until very late in the game. Dhurke never assassinated his wife Queen Amara and he didn't start the fire.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • The title of the game is "Spirit of Justice". This not only refers to constant use of spirituality of Khu'rain through the Divination Seance, spirit channeling and overall piety of the country and setting but also the fact that Apollo Justice is the real protagonist of the game near the end and plays a huge part in starting the legal revolution that his adoptive father Dhurke began. Additionally, the final Divination Séance in the game is that of Apollo Justice's biological father, so it could be said that the "spirit of Justice" is the final nail in the Big Bad's coffin.
    • The DLC case, "Turnabout Time Traveler". Over the course of that case, time travel is naturally a heavy theme and the possibility of actually moving backwards through time is discussed. While no one actually does travel back in time, it's revealed that Sorin experiences time-travel of a sort on a daily basis, due to being unable to remember anything the next day except the car accident with his sister. He is the titular time traveler, stuck continually going back to the day his sister died. However, the title also holds meaning on a meta-level, in that the player finds themselves somewhat going back in time themselves, experiencing a case much like from the original trilogy: Apollo isn't present and while Athena is present, she's kept occupied and cannot help in court trials or investigation. However, Phoenix finds himself working with Maya as his assistant again, Larry Butz makes an appearance (having not been seen in a Phoenix Wright game since Trials & Tribulations ), and the prosecutor is, of course, Edgeworth. Anyone who's played the original Phoenix Wright Trilogy will find this feels much like the first games even if newer characters are present.
  • Downloadable Content:
    • Two bonus mini-episodes called Asinine Attorney, each coming with an assorted 3DS theme. A full downloadable case, similar to "Turnabout Reclaimed" from Dual Destinies, is also downloadable after launch (with the name "Turnabout Time Traveler").
    • There's a trio of alternate outfits for Phoenix (dressed as Furio Tigre), Athena (a Tres Bien waitress), and Apollo (a Japanese high schooler). In Japan only, there is a set of Sengoku Basara-themed outfits for the Wright Anything Agency lawyers as well (with Phoenix as Date Masamune, Apollo as Sanada Yukimura, and Athena as Tokugawa Ieyasu).
  • Dramatic Irony: Thrice over, due to Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney's reveal that Apollo and Trucy are half-siblings by their mother Thalassa Gramarye.
    • Lamiroir sends Trucy a bouquet of flowers before her first big show. Trucy wonders why.
    • At the end of case 2, Roger Retinz gloats about how Trucy fell for his tricks, proving that he was superior to the Gramaryes. What nobody in the courtroom knows is that Apollo, the person who saw through his tricks, is Trucy's half-brother and Magnifi's grandson, meaning a Gramarye actually beat him, not the other way around.
    • While investigating Archie Buff's murder, Apollo (with Trucy investigating with him) gets Sgt. Buff to open up to him by talking about his biological parents — his father died in a fire, while he has no idea where his mother is or if she's even alive.
  • Dual Boss: Case 5 has this with Apollo and Phoenix versus Ga'ran and Nahyuta with Apollo and Ga'ran serving as the main attorneys while Phoenix and Nahyuta are the co-council for their respective teams. Well, at least until Nahyuta replaces Dhurke as the defendant and Ga'ran becomes the sole prosecutor for the case, though Nahyuta still serves as a witness.
  • Dueling Player Characters: In the first part of case 5, the player as Apollo, with Athena as his assistant, faces Phoenix in court, with the latter taking the opposite bench for the first time. Justified since it's a civil trial for once.
  • Dye or Die: Amara is implied to have dyed her distinctive white hair black whenever she needed to impersonate Ga'ran.
  • Evasive Fight-Thread Episode: Averted in regards to the face-off between Apollo and Phoenix (see Dueling Player Characters above), which ends with a decisive victory for Apollo.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite being a major Jerkass otherwise, Justice Minister Inga has a soft spot for his daughter Princess Rayfa.
  • Everyone Is Related:
    • In case 3 Phoenix learns that the revolutionary figure Dhurke is the father of Nahyuta... as well as the foster father of Apollo for a while.
    • In case 5 it turns out that Nahyuta's mother was the previous queen, thus connecting Dhurke to the current queen, Rayfa and Inga.
  • Evil Costume Switch: It is glaringly obvious that Ga'ran is a villain after she changes into her prosecutor costume.
  • Evil Overlooker: If he is evil (he's not nice, at least). Nahyuta Sahdmadhi can be seen at the top of a promotional image for Spirit of Justice. Subverted; he's probably one of the more noble Khur'ainian characters.
  • Expy:
    • Nahyuta is one of the original-trilogy Edgeworth. Aside from the stoic prosecutor shtick, he's also a protagonist's childhood friend, who changed dramatically after some time apart and a few particularly traumatizing legal cases. Alongside that, he parrots Edgeworth's philosophy from Justice for All - that regardless of feelings, he serves the law above all else. It's just that his version is somewhat twisted: he's serves the law, not the truth, and the law has been corrupted in Khura'in for a very long time.
    • Rayfa has a lot of similarities to Franziska, being the haughty, proud daughter of renowned people who has trouble coming to terms with the fact that her parents are abhorrent and comes to develop a better worldview because of her interactions with the protagonists, eventually softening into a Tsundere. For bonus points, she's Nahyuta's younger sister.
  • Faking the Dead:
    • In "The Magical Turnabout", Manov Mistree plays dead as a part of a prank to Trucy. Unfortunately for him, Roger Retinz took advantage of the prank and killed him for real when he least expected it.
    • "Turnabout Revolution" reveals that Ga'ran staged Amara's assassination in order to usurp the throne, although she keeps Amara on-hand in order to keep up the facade of being able to channel spirits.
  • Family Eye Resemblance: Nahyuta and Rayfa both have teal eyes, like their mother Amara.
  • Family Theme Naming: We learn Apollo's birth father was named Jove Justice. Jove is a shortened version of "Jupiter", who was father to Apollo in Roman mythology.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: Rayfa thinks Ga'ran and Inga are her biological parents. They're actually her aunt and uncle, with Dhurke and Ga'ran's sister Amara being her real parents.
  • Fandom Rivalry: In-universe. This game introduces the in-universe TV series The Plumed Punisher, which has many unavoidably noticeable similarities to The Steel Samurai. Being the Fan Boy he is, Edgeworth reacts to the series with outrage. And Maya (who actually likes both series) advocates the idea of The Plumed Punisher vs. The Steel Samurai.
  • Far East: Khura'in, which looks like a cross between various East Asian and South Asian countries, with a distinctly Indo-Himalayan flair to it.
  • Feet-First Introduction: A lot of witnesses are introduced after being called to the stand by having the camera looking at their feet and then moving up to their face. This is also done for Sarge's Drone, which doesn't even have feet, and Uendo Toneido, who's sitting on a pile of Zabuton.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Played for Drama with Khura'in's Defense Culpability Act. This country punishes lawyers that can't prove their clients innocent with the same fate of their client. Therefore, if the client is given the death penalty, the lawyer is executed too. This has caused lawyers to virtually disappear in Khura'in, both by mass execution and by fear of blowing it in court, setting up a revolution in the shadows.
  • Fission Mailed:
    • The first trial of Case 3 ends with a Guilty verdict. Not to worry — if you played through correctly, then after the guilty verdict and Phoenix's scream of despair, the bailiff will interrupt by announcing a second murder. This makes your client Maya look even worse, but it also causes the judge to grant you another day of investigation, suspending the court proceedings before a guilty verdict can result in the application of the Defense Culpability Act.
    • Case 5 has Ga'ran as the prosecutor giving Apollo and Phoenix a premature Guilty verdict just because she can. Fortunately the trial continues regardless.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Case 2, "The Magical Turnabout":
      • In Trucy's dressing room, there are two rabbits in a cage, one white and the other black, but otherwise identical. Likewise, rabbit-themed assistants Bonny and Betty de Famme are identical twins, one (relatively) good and the other evil.
      • You can inspect bouquets of flowers given by the Tenmas, Klavier, and Lamiroir. The Tenmas and Klavier appear in Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney, and Lamiroir cameos at The Stinger.
    • In Case 3, "The Rite of Turnabout":
      • You find out that the Holy Mother's sister, Lady Kee'ra, had no spiritual power of her own. In Case 5, you find out that this also applies to the current royal family. Only this time the powerless sister was consumed by envy and a desire for power, rather than doing the sensible thing and becoming a knife-wielding Batman.
      • Maya shows off her channeling powers for those who haven't seen them in action before. Maya channels Tahrust, the victim from the "first" murder, and he strips the kimono down to his waist to show that, aside from the hair, he looks exactly the same as he did in life, including tattoos. In Case 5, we later learn that Maya channeled Dhurke so that he could say goodbye to his adopted son Apollo like he should have years ago.
      • When Phoenix bumps into Inga in the Audience Room, Inga seems to have difficulty remembering who he was. It's chocked up to his It's All About Me attitude. It's pieced together in Case 5 that he actually has prosopagnosia — he's unable to tell faces apart.
    • In Case 4, "Turnabout Storyteller":
      • The opening shows a man and a woman talking. While on an initial playthrough one may think it's Geiru and Uendo, it's actually Uendo/Patches and Kisegawa talking.
      • When Athena is cross-examining Uendo, his voice bips occasionally switch to the higher-pitched female bips. It's later revealed to have been Kisegawa speaking during those moments.
    • In Case 5, "Turnabout Revolution", Trucy is worried that Apollo's court battle against Phoenix sours things enough between them for Apollo to leave the Wright Anything Agency. He ends up doing so, but for a very different reason. Namely, to reopen Dhurke's law offices in Khura'in.
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Averted in case 4: A very important plot point involves a witness getting drunk on a sake-infused manju just before the murder. Then subverted in case 5: Apollo points out a bottle of grape juice and talks about its soothing effects, such as when Phoenix was in the hospital back in Apollo Justice. Athena then asks if he's really talking about regular grape juice and not the fermented variety, to which Apollo responds that they would never let him bring an alcoholic beverage into a hospital. Also doubles as a jab to the audience: anyone familiar with anime dubs would think that "grape juice" was a substitute for what was wine in the Japanese version, but in reality, it really was grape juice in Japanese.
  • Gambit Pileup: "Turnabout Revolution." Justice Minister Inga sets a complicated scheme into motion to usurp the throne from his wife, but Ga'ran found out about this and killed him before he could kill her, creating her own gambit in order to cover up the muder. Meanwhile, Dhurke, despite being dead, manages to pull Apollo and co. into the revolution, who end up dethroning Ga'ran.
  • Gender Bender: Spirit of Justice marks the first time a spirit medium channels a male spirit on-screen, following Misty Fey channeling Gregory Edgeworth during the DL-6 Incident. In Case 3, Tahrust Inmee - the case's victim, no less - is channeled by Maya to get his own perspective on his murder. This is to set-up a much more prominent example in Case 5: Maya channels Dhurke to escape from captivity after watching him die in front of her. The Dhurke that travels to the States and meets Apollo is Maya herself to set up the later twist that Dhurke is dead.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Simon pulls it on Athena by grabbing and shaking her a bit in Case 4. You see everything from Athena's POV. See for yourself.
    Simon: Motive, opportunity, and an injury to his forehead. Is that all it takes to make you stop believing in your client?! Tell me again, who are you to Bucky?!
  • The Ghost: Apollo doesn't appear at all in the special episode or is even mentioned once (unless you examine his jacket) since the case takes place many months later from the last in-game case where he decided to remain in Khura'in to rebuild the legal system.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Passing an unjust law may have just been the tip of the iceberg, but it turns out that Queen Ga'ran of Khura'in is not as nice as she seems... Namely, she's the reason why the Defense Culpability Act came into play and why lawyers are regarded as garbage in that country. All because she staged assassination attempt on the previous queen to frame a renowned lawyer.
  • Godzilla Threshold: In The Rite of Turnabout, Maya is reluctant to use her spirit channeling ability and wants to keep a secret because it would cause serious backlash if anyone other than the Royal Family was shown using the ability. Maya had to use it as a last resort to channel Tahrust Inmee so that he can testify. After this though, no one took issue with it anymore.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Averted twice for the first time in series history: the first time is when Inga confronts Dhurke in Amara's tomb during the latter's break-in, long before the events of Case 5. Dhurke is shot three times in the chest and bleeds violently. This is actually how he died. Then, later on, Queen Amara is about to reveal who really killed the Minister in Case 5 and is shot in the stomach by a Mook of the Royal Guard. The gunshot booms across the courtroom... and blood starts to spill from the wound, forming a noticeable blood stain on Amara's clothing. It's toned down, though- possibly to keep the T rating, in contrast to Dual Destinies's M rating. But the angle is there and nothing is censored.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Rayfa becomes Phoenix's main investigative assistant in case 3, Simon co-counsels Athena in Case 4, and Trucy and Dhurke investigate with Apollo in Japanifornia (but Athena as co-counsel in Japanifornia and investigative partner in Khura'in), while Phoenix investigates with Edgeworth (they even lampshade this!) and Rayfa again, and then Phoenix goes on the be Apollo's co-counsel in Case 5.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.:
    • Apollo gets a massive one in "Turnabout Revolution" after the reveal that Dhurke was Dead All Along, even questioning why he became an attorney in the first place. He even gets his own breakdown animation like Phoenix, where he bangs his head into the desk before letting out a loud scream.
    • Athena has a minor one in Case 4. See Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! above.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Armie Buff's mother jumps out of a window in order to save her, dying in the process. Armie survives with injuries, but eventually she recovers.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Dhurke is played up like a traitor to the kingdom who's up to no good with his rebellious movement. Actually, he has a very damn good reason for wanting to overthrow the regime — the current queen nearly killed her sister, the former queen, and is responsible for the eradication of all lawyers in the land. Dhurke simply wants to restore the legal system to its former glory.
  • Hidden in Plain Sight:
    • Zeh'lot's blood is mixed with Tahrust's blood to hide Zeh'lot's murder.
    • The murder weapon in Case 4 is nowhere to be found. At the end of the trial, Athena realizes that it served as food for Geiru's dog. Yes, Blackquill saw the murder weapon being eaten right in front of his face.
    • Queen Amara is alive and well, and is disguised as one of the crown's trusty subordinates, Nayna, which you have seen more than once.
  • His Name Is...: Queen Amara is shot before she can reveal the identity of the arsonist who burned down her home in the assassination attempt from 23 years ago. A subversion, in that the identity of the shooter incriminates the culprit as much as the confession would have — the shooter was a member of Queen Ga'ran's royal guard, all of whom worship her, and could not bear to hear such an allegation made against her.
  • "How Did You Know?" "I Didn't.": At one point in case 4, Simon Blackquill uses his Razor Wind trick to scare Geiru into letting the air out of a balloon she's holding. The resulting gust of air blows her bangs upwards to reveal a bandage on her forehead. After the initial shock of this revelation, we get the following lines.
    Athena: How did you know, Simon?
    Blackquill: Hmph. I didn't. But I had to take a chance and see for myself.

    Tropes I to P 
  • I Choose to Stay: Apollo stays in Khura'in at the end to take over Dhurke's old law office, finish the revolution and rebuild the legal system.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Non-romantic variation. Phoenix has Athena sit out the second half of case 5's trial, because Simon threatened to use him for sword practice if she got hurt.
  • Implausible Deniability: Rayfa claims that the Plumed Punisher is an original show created in Khura'in, it's most definitely not a ripoff of The Steel Samurai, and any resemblance is merely coincidental. These are Blatant Lies and Phoenix and Edgeworth know it.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison:
    • The final witness of case 3 knows a handful of things that only the killer would know. For example, that Zeh'lot died between 2 and 3 PM, and that the stone slab fell onto him, even though he shouldn't reach that conclusion from the rebel hideout's photo alone. However, he's not the killer, but instead his wife, who told him how the crime happened.
    • In "Turnabout Time Traveler", Larry says that there were two pegabulls at the reception hall in the night of the crime... yet that's something only someone who was in the cargo hold that night would know, because the court didn't tell him. And he wasn't supposed to wander through the zeppelin.
  • Instant Mystery, Just Delete Scene: The anime intro to Case 4 shows Taifu Toneido practicing his rakugo routine while an unidentified person in black approaches him from behind. The intro suddenly ends before anything else happens, and the next image we get is Taifu's face shoved into a bowl of broth. The murder weapon is not shown, and the player won't find out about it until five hours of gameplay later.
  • Instant-Win Condition: Faced with imminent execution and the fate of the revolution hanging in the balance, the Founder's Orb was the key to dethroning the queen. Once Apollo shows Ga'ran doesn't have the ability to channel spirits, her claim to the throne is invalidated, every law she passed under her, including the Defense Culpability Act is abolished, and that means the good guys automatically win.
  • Interface Spoiler: Bonny's name in her second appearance in "The Magical Turnabout" is completely blanked out until she reintroduces herself, despite the fact that her name was already given in the beginning of the case, foreshadowing the presence of the twin de Fammes.
  • Interrogating the Dead:
    • The basis of Khura'in's judicial system is watching what the victim saw last to determine the culprit (the Divination Séances).
    • In "The Rite of Turnabout", there are two different victims killed at different times, and Maya is accused of killing both. During the course of the trial, Phoenix accuses one of the victims as the killer of the other, and Maya channels that victim so he can be made to testify.
    • In "Turnabout Revolution" it is revealed that Dhurke has been dead for a couple of days after he testified his innocence in court. Of course, it doesn't stop the prosecution from claiming Dhurke killed Inga while the former was being channeled.
  • Kangaroo Court:
    • While Ace Attorney remains no stranger to unfair court systems and absurd prosecution tactics, even Phoenix himself is appalled at Khura'in's court system, which uses unseen mystic forces to try and come to verdicts rather than letting a defense attorney challenge any suspicion on behalf of a defendant. Moreover, anyone who helps someone who turns out to be guilty are treated as accomplices to the guilty party, so if a defense attorney happens to defend someone guilty of a crime worthy of capital punishment... In short, many of the attorneys who previously practiced in Khura'in were arrested and executed for aiding their clients, with those still remaining forming an organized rebellion. Of course, this was deliberately put in place by Ga'ran as a way to maintain her rule.
    • Subverted in one critical way though-the Judge of Khur'ain's court is actually pretty canny and astute, being quite willing to swallow his own distaste for defense attorneys if he's convinced there's a chance that the defendant may be innocent.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The DLC case comes after the main game so even though the events of the main game are seldom mentioned, it's hard not to notice Apollo's absence.
    • The fact that Simon Blackquill appears as a free man in the fourth case spoils the fact that he was exculpated of his murder charge in the previous game.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In "The Magical Turnabout", during the cross-examination of Roger Retinz's perfect alibi, Apollo suggests that he could have a brother who looks exactly like him. Retinz mocks the suggestion, saying "You think the audience would let you get away with using the same gimmick twice in a row?", in reference to the twist resolving around the De Famme twins in that same case.
  • Little Stowaway: Trucy actually made it to Khura'in by hiding in Edgeworth's suitcase, with the entire cast being none the wiser about it until the end.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: Some flashbacks and screen interfaces can take around 4 seconds to load in the 3DS version. This might not seem too much, but it is very noticeable to those who have played the Nintendo DS games, which didn't even take a second to load things. It definitely feels weird to be meeting a character and then wait a bunch of seconds until you can choose to begin a conversation or leave the place. The game's developers have stated that models are rendered before the camera shows them, so that might explain some of these long loads. The iOS version fixes this problem.
  • Locked Room Mystery:
    • The third case, "The Rite of Turnabout", features a murder that occurs inside a sacred temple off-limits to ordinary people, while Maya and the victim were conducting a ritual. The victim had actually committed suicide and framed Maya, all to cover up the fact there was hidden rebel hideout on the grounds, as the day before, his wife killed a rebel-hunting vigilante within the hideout in self-defense.
    • While it's not locked, the murder of case 4 plays out like one, due to being constantly watched by Geiru and Simon. Subverted in the end when Athena proves that the murder took place before Simon even arrived. Athena even lampshades this fact prior to case five's civil trial.
    • The fifth case has one, because the murder takes place in a tomb closed off to the public AND surrounded by the royal guard. Subverted, like in Case 4, when Apollo proves the murder took place earlier than believed.
  • Lost My Appetite: In the end, Bucky Whet delivers an order of prepared soba noodles to Simon Blackquill while heavily drunk enough that he gets nauseated. Simon Blackquill lost his appetite after seeing Bucky Whet like this.
  • MacGuffin: The Founder's Orb is the Khura'in's national treasure, and it is believed that whoever solves the riddle will gain immense power. The Defiant Dragons see it as the key to destroying the Ga'ran Regime and the main goal is to help them obtain the Orb before the Royal Family and their allies do. Once they do get it, it would score them a symbolic victory at best, but Dhurke didn't really have a plan beyond that as of yet.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: Paul Atishon kills Archie Buff and makes it look like he fell off the top of a ladder. All characters initially think it was an accident, but considering it's Always Murder in Ace Attorney, Genre Savvy players shouldn't buy it.
  • Manipulative Editing: Exposing this is a vital clue in Case 2.
  • Meaningful Echo: A non-verbal example. Princess Rayfa is known to put on dramatic fainting spells when things don't go her way. In the last case, she is so emotionally overwhelmed by communing with her father's mitamah that she has a panic attack and faints for real. It's heartrending, especially in comparison.
  • Mid-Season Twist:
    • Case 2 reveals that Nahyuta knows Apollo personally; we just don't know how exactly at that moment.
    • Case 3 reveals that Dhurke is Nahyuta's biological father and Apollo's foster father.
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: The theft of Khura'in's national treasure and the murder of the guard looking after it → A coup d'état plotted by the very Justice Minister of the kingdom and a popular revolution involving basically every known character up to Case 5. The plot is so big, its influence encompasses Japanifornia, thousands of miles away. But wait, there's more: in investigating the coup d'état, the truth about the queen's assassination 23 years ago comes to light, which further shakes the kingdom as the current queen was responsible for that arson and the law that killed off all lawyers in the land.
  • Mix and Match: The cases seem to have two distinct parts to it.
  • invoked The Mockbuster: Khura'in has its own version of The Steel Samurai known as The Plumed Punisher, complete with a similar theme tune, although with different instrumentation. They claim it is totally an original show and in no way a ripoff of anything. The similarity of the two theme songs plays in a role of outing the real killer in Episode 3, as she had been wearing a watch that played the Steel Samurai theme, which was mistaken by the first victim of being the local show's song. Amusingly, we get to see the two biggest Steel Samurai fans in the cast react to the show. Maya loves it just as much as The Steel Samurai and wants to see a Crossover between the two shows happen, while Edgeworth is outraged that anyone would dare rip off his favourite show and have the audacity to claim it as original.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Interviewing Trucy in the detention center in case 2 is both sad and heartwarming as Apollo reaches out to her and she finally breaks down the emotional barrier she'd been maintaining since the 4th game. After she calms down, she accepts Apollo's offer to be her defense, and the mood immediately shifts back to funny when Athena speaks up for the first time in a little while:
      Apollo: ([Trucy] seems fine now.)
      Athena: *sniffle* Truuucyyyy! Let's wiiiin this triaaaal togetherrrr! *sob*
      Apollo: (Unlike some people...)
    • The first encounter with Sgt. Buff in case 5 is back and forth between hilarity and tearjerker status as Apollo is repeatedly rebuffed/shot (harmlessly) and then learns of the heartbreak of the loss of Sgt. Buff's parents.
  • Motor Mouth: Phoenix's tour guide, Ahlbi Ur'gaid, becomes very talkative when giving tours. He could go on for hours unless he's stopped.
  • My Rule-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: This is essentially what brings Ga'ran down in the end. Apollo deduces that the Queen is so desperate to get her hands on the Founder's Orb because, according to legend, the Holy Mother can imbue another person with spiritual power; something Ga'ran lacks completely. And since having spiritual power is a requirement to be a ruler in Khura'in, this means Ga'ran has no right to the throne and all laws she's composed during her reign are null and void (including the law that has executed all the other attorneys in the country). From there, Apollo simply challenges her to channel the Holy Mother, which proves that she has no spiritual power when all of her attempts to channel the Holy Mother fail.
  • Mythology Gag: In one of the promotional countdown videos, Maya yells out "Steel Samurai Maya Smelting!", which is the name of one of Phoenix's hyper combos (that involved Maya) in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Non Standard Game Over: You can get a different outcome to certain trials if you lose:
    • In the beginning of case 5 where Apollo goes against Phoenix over who the Founder's Orb should go to, losing results in the orb going to Phoenix's client and it destroys the revolution in Khura'in. Phoenix and Apollo still work together, but now there's always an awkward feeling between them since Phoenix was actually trying to win so that his client would bring Maya back safely and no one knew about it.
    • The tail end of case 5 can have two different outcomes. If you get Dhurke acquitted but fail to find the true killer, the case ends without anyone knowing who really killed Inga. Later on, if you fail to show proof that Ga'ran killed Inga, the trial ends with with her sending guards after Apollo and his friends. Apollo escapes underground to the old law office used by the Defiant Dragons and he joins them in their cause to keep the revolution going.
  • Noodle Incident: When looking through Trucy's handbag, Athena finds "something" that she refuses to elaborate on beyond saying, "Oh, Trucy, you are BAD!" much to Apollo's chagrin.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Kurain Village returns in case 5, being explorable for the first time since case 2-2.
    • Though it doesn't involve returning to any older locations, the DLC case "Turnabout Time Traveler" is thematically nostalgia-oriented, with Phoenix and Maya on the defense side, Edgeworth for the prosecution, and Larry as a witness including a Trials and Tribulations-style misinterpreted drawing. Even the murder weapon is a throwback, since it's a statue with a hidden clock inside, the activation of which serves as a vital clue, just like the Thinker from the series' first case.
  • Not So Above It All:
    • Rayfa is given the important duty of performing the Divination Séance in court, but is still prone to childish temper tantrums and calling people nincompoops.
    • The reason for Simon's involvement in the fourth case. The client is the owner of Simon's favourite restaurant, and if he's found guilty, the restaurant would be closed.
  • Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon: This is the prosecution's case against Trucy in 6-2: She murdered Mistree onstage with a real sword that was supposed to be a prop one, but had been switched out prior to the magic show. Of course, that turns out to not be the case, nor was either sword actually the murder weapon.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Every Divination Séance in a nutshell. It looks like your client is murdering someone, but it always turns out to be something completely different. Everyone who has committed a crime in Khu'rain is well aware that a Divination Séance will be performed and will incriminate them, so they use this to their advantage.
  • Oh, Crap!: Athena knows exactly what's coming next when Nahyuta throws his prayer beads on her in case 4 and shouts, "Anything but that!" Even after having her body squeezed by the prayer beads, she still doesn't back down. Nahyuta merely responds by intending to give her a second dose of the beads, only for Simon to intercept the beads by slicing them before they can squeeze Athena again.
  • Ojou Ringlets: Rayfa's, befitting her status as princess.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: 35-year old Phoenix faces 14-year old Rayfa in court—initially. After Gaspen makes a fool of himself, the adult prosecutor Nahyuta Sahdmadhi is brought in as the primary opponent. Swapped in the second and fourth cases, with the younger Apollo and Athena against the older Nahyuta. Subverted again in the fifth case with the younger Apollo and Athena against Phoenix and then Apollo and Phoenix against Ga'arn.
  • Once an Episode: Some series traditions the game continues include:
    • Maya being accused of murder. Twice!
    • A masked entity being involved in one case.
    • Edgeworth appearing in the last non-DLC case.
    • The last non-DLC/bonus case being presided by a different prosecutor than the one used through the rest of the game.
    • You meeting and speaking with one of the victims before their demise. In this case, Inga.
  • One-Winged Angel: Whereas in the previous game Aristotle Means and Marlon Rimes were the only real examples of this, here almost all of the killers will drastically alter their appearance and attitude once it becomes clear that they're the guilty party, with this usually being the point where their true personality becomes apparent:
    • In the first case, Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin produces a pair of massive guitar amps and starts playing metal.
    • In the second case, Roger Retinz has a fairly low-key version, unfurling what initially looked like a sweater around his neck to reveal a magician's cape, and pulling up his sleeve to reveal a scar that identifies him as the original Mr. Reus. His personality change is less pronounced, as he's still as much of a Jerkass as ever, he just acts like a magician instead of a TV producer.
    • Subverted in the third case, where Tahrust Inmee's appearance is actually the result of his being channeled of Maya. He's also not really a murderer. After the case is over, Beh'leeb Inmee, who actually killed Puhray Zeh'lot (albeit in self-defense), has a minor example of this when she gets over Tahrust's death, throws off her veil and draws the mark of the Defiant Dragons on her forehead.
    • In the fourth case, Geiru makes herself a balloon sword, adopts a crazed expression and starts acting more like a snarky jerkass. It then gets inverted when she breaks down, revealing that in actuality her true appearance and attitude is completely different yet again, being a Nervous Wreck with shorter, dark hair.
    • Averted in the first part of the fifth case, where Paul Atishon is the only killer whose appearance and behavior stay the same throughout the trial.
    • The biggest example is probably in the second half of the fifth case, when Queen Ga'ran changes into a completely different, much more revealing outfit, and casts off her previously regal attitude and starts behaving like the crazed despot she actually is.
    • In the DLC case, Pierce Nichody dresses up like a doctor, his occupation before becoming the Sprocket household's butler. He also acts like a major jerkass, though it's hinted that this is just all the anger and frustration at his late fiancée, Selena's death coming out at once.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Something is seriously wrong with Phoenix Wright himself in "Turnabout Revolution" — so much that he declares he will face Apollo in court in a civil trial for legal ownership of the Founder's Orb. Everyone is understandably disturbed by the sudden shift in attitude. The truth is that Atishon was blackmailing Phoenix with Maya Fey's safety.
  • The Password is Always "Swordfish": Double subverted. In 6-5, you discover that the combination to Inga's safe is his daughter's birthday. Said safe contains several mementos of her childhood, a reasonable thing to keep using that combination. Said safe also contains his plans to overthrow the reigning monarch, a... not so reasonable thing to keep using that combination.
  • Pet the Dog: During 6-5, Maya asks her kidnapper, Justice Minister Inga for burgers and a television to watch The Plumed Punisher on. She gets them. We later discover said kidnapper genuinely loves his adoptive daughter, unlike his abusive wife.
  • Playboy Bunny: Trucy's assistant, Bonny de Famme, is dressed like one, although she's a Stage Magician. For fairly obvious reasons, her twin sister Betty sports the same garb, although she bolts on a bat motif in addition to it to reflect her more abrasive personality.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Zigzagged with Rayfa's outfit; the dress itself is pretty normal, but what goes around it is very fancy.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Ga'ran Royal Guard, an elite unit of Khura'inese soldiers handpicked for their skill and loyalty that answer only to Queen Ga'ran.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Like in Dual Destinies, each case ends with the camera focusing on the pointing attorney giving a one-liner before the killer does their breakdown. Apollo and Athena make them play on the villain's occupation as well.
    • Case 1:
      Phoenix: Admit it, Mr. Andistan'din! You're the one who killed Mr. Rohl!
    • Case 2:
      Apollo: With no tricks left, I'm afraid your show has been cancelled, permanently.
    • Case 3: Averted in this case, where instead of the pointing animation, it zooms in on Phoenix's face. It fits since this case has no real living villain in it.
      Phoenix: The high priest wasn't murdered by anyone. He took his own life to keep the rebel hideout a secret!
    • Case 4:
      Athena: ...it's YOUR balloon that goes POP!
    • Case 5, Day 1:
      Apollo: Try to explain your way out of this one! The podium is all yours!
    • Case 5, Day 2: While the standard "pointing the true culprit" animation is used earlier in a fake-out, this is notably the only time where it doesn't use the standard animation when you finally prove the Big Bad's guilt. Instead, there's a fully fledged cutscene where Apollo slams the bench with his fists and then epically points to Ga'ran while blowing the guards away!
      Apollo: Ga'ran! Your reign of terror... ends here!
    • Case 6/Special Episode: Subverted, there's the pointing animation but Phoenix doesn't crack at the true culprit, given the circumstances.
      Phoenix: And that one person was you, Pierce Nichody!
  • Pretty Butterflies: Khura'inism in general associates souls. A flock of spectral butterflies flies out from the Pool of Souls when a Not Guilty verdict is obtained in Khura'in.
  • Princesses Prefer Pink: Pink and purple, to be exact, are the main two colors of Rayfa's outfit.
  • Propaganda Piece: In-Universe, The Plumed Punisher at least has an episode that demonizes Dhurke and Rayfa as a damsel in distress, and it isn't subtle about it.
  • Prophecy Twist: The Divination Séance pool gives accurate visions, but that doesn't necessarily mean Rayfa's insights are based off correct interpretations. For example, the pool did accurately show Alhbi raising his arms, which at first is very incriminating to Phoenix's client — but as it turns out, he wasn't raising a weapon. That was simply Rayfa's interpretation. Actually, Alhbi's arms were in the air because Paht Rohl was pointing a gun at him. So the pool did show the truth, but the interpretation of what it showed was off the mark. In fact, people who commit crimes in Khura'in are well aware of the incriminating nature of the Séances, and commit them in a manner to make it look like someone else killed the victim.
  • Public Execution: What Phoenix and Apollo are threatened with if they do not prove their client innocent in Case 5.
  • Public Secret Message: The secret to open Khura'in's Treasure Box is told in the lyrics to the Song of Ceremony, which is heard by everyone every day. No one would expect one of the big secrets of the kingdom to be divulged to the public in such a fashion.
  • Pun: The temple that houses Khura'in's court is called Tehm'pul Temple. note 
  • Punctuation Shaker: The English version uses apostrophes (and h's) to give Khura'in a foreign feel.
  • Punny Name: Most of the names are punny in some way, as is tradition for the series.
    • Ahlbi Ur'gaid sounds like "I'll be your guide". Guess what his occupation is? Likewise, his Japanese name Bokuto Tsuani is a play on the sentence "boku to tsua ni", which translates to "tour with me".
    • The victim of the first trial is a guard named Paht Rohl.
    • The head monk of Tehm'pul Temple is a hippie named Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin (peace, love and understanding).
    • Mr. Reus sure is mysterious. Even his real name is Manov Mistree!
    • Bonny (bunny) and Betty (batty) de Famme is a play not only Animal Theme Naming, but a play on "defame" which is what they try to do to Trucy.
    • The television host is named Roger Retinz, who is clearly obsessed with ratings. His nickname is "The Ratings Rajah", which is basically just swapping his first and last names.
    • The Inmee couple, Tahrust and Beh'leeb - "Trust in me" and "Believe in me". Their child continues this with Faitah Inmee - "Fighter/Faith in me". Alternatively, Tahrust died of a stab wound, so his name could also be a pun on "thrust in me".
    • Anon Ih'mus (TBD) is quite the anonymous fellow. His real name is Datz Are'bal: a pun on "that's a rebel".
    • Puh'ray Zeh'lot, the monk who prays a lot. He's also quite a zealot as he is also a member of the Secret Police who hunts down members of La Rιsistance. Also, he's using an alias. His real name is... Rheel Neh'mu.
    • Bucky Whet runs a soba noodle shop. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat.
    • The Toneido (Tornado) school of rakugo, Taifu, Geiru, and Uendo (Typhoon, Gale, and Wind).
    • The Buff family, Archie and Armie: Archie is an archaeology buff, and Armie is...well...
    • The politician campaigning in the Kurain Village area is named Paul Atishon. Technically, it's Paul Atishon-Wimperson, but for obvious reasons he chooses to drop that last part.
    • The Sprocket company. Complete with steampunk-esque aesthetics. Company heir Sorin (soaring) is marrying Ellen Wyatt (elle in white), though the butler Pierce Nichody (persnickety) doesn't seem thrilled about it.
    • And the icing on the cake: Justice Minister Inga Karkhuul Haw'kohd Dis'nahm Bi'ahni Lawga Ormo Pohmpus Da'nit Ar'edi Iz Khura'in III. How could this name be any longer or more pompous than it already is?
  • The Purge: According to the anime prologue, defense attorneys in Khura'in were targeted and sentenced to death, apparently because they were an affront to the Khura'in religion (when a rogue defense attorney is brought before Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, he refers to him as unenlightened and a "sinner") and defending the guilty in court is considered a crime in itself. The suspect in another case pleads with the court to provide her a defense attorney, to which Rayfa Padma Khura'in says there is no need for one because the spirits will always reveal the truth. During the web demo, Ahlbi tells Phoenix he is uncomfortable accepting his defense and the audience verbally detests that someone is claiming to be a defense attorney in their courtroom.

    Tropes Q to Z 
  • Reality Ensues: The game suggests that Edgeworth has fired a lot of crooked prosecutors while cleaning up the Prosecutor's Office after Dual Destinies. This has resulted in a shortage of prosecutors, making him call on Nahyuta for several cases and even take one himself, to his obvious displeasure. In addition, the ones he fired are going to more sympathetic settings where prosecutors can still have everything their own way.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The Plumed Punisher is The Steel Samurai in Khura'in, much to Edgeworth and Phoenix's outrage (and Maya's delight).
  • Remember the New Guy: Troupe Gramayre had another member (Mr. Reus) who was part of the original troupe, but apparently left before the Troupe broke up for good. It could be a case of Magnifi deliberately trying to remove Reus from their past as well, considering how much he valued the Troupe's public appearance. This is even lampshaded by Apollo, who, despite extensive digging into the Troupe, has no idea who he is.
  • Retcon:
    • Possibly. In Khura'in, spirit channelling can only be interrupted using a special kind of magatama. This seems to discount the existence of the Spirit Severing Technique introduced in Justice for All in Case 2-2, but it could just either be a case of cultural difference, or the Spirit Severing Technique and the Magatama of Parting are one and the same. It's also possible that the Spirit Severing Technique doesn't exist, and was just a lie made up to get Phoenix and Lotta out of the Chamber.
    • Similarly, in Trials and Tribulations, Mia said, quite explicitly, that a person's ego continues to exist eternally after death, although it's both stated and shown in Spirit of Justice that a person is not aware of any time passing between the time they die and the time they are channeled. note 
    • Back in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, it's stated that Apollo's biological father was killed in an onstage accident, but this is changed in Spirit of Justice to dying in an arson-related incident. It's also heavily and repeatedly implied in that game and in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies that Apollo was raised in an orphanage where the games are normally set, and aged out of the system, but again, this was changed so that he spent time living in Khura'in with a foster father, though only until Apollo was 9. While you can handwave all or most of that, what you can't handwave is the fact that Spark Brushel knew Apollo was still alive and showed no surprise at his being alive when he does meet Apollo, when Thalassa herself thought Apollo died in the fire that killed her husband, a fire that was specifically stated to be an arson, not an accident.
  • Retraux: The Steel Samurai's theme is ripped straight from the original Ace Attorney trilogy on the Gameboy Advance, with some improvements to sound quality.
  • The Reveal: Apollo reveals in case 5 that there was a second victim in the tomb, and it's Dhurke.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Wouldn't have been revealing had they not had the Divination Seance. Ga'ran killed Jove Justice from behind holding a lighter with Dhurke's fingerprints on it, likely because she wanted no witnesses to the deed. However, in her attempt to cover her treachery, her Justice Minister cuffs were visible on a reflective surface, and it was known that she was Minister of Justice at the time. All this ended up implicating her later on.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Villified: Only after when we find out what the Defiant Dragons are really about is it clear the Kingdom of Khura'in is undoubtedly evil. The royal family discourages the existence of lawyers because of an act that subjects them to the same sentence if the accused is found guilty, leading a good number of falsely accused to be sent to their deaths, resulting in an unjust law system that makes people live in fear. The Dragons are unambiguous paragons of truth and justice, and only want to restore the justice system that Queen Ga'ran destroyed. Dhurke even emphasizes that he aims for a bloodless revolution.
  • Rewatch Bonus: The big damn reveal of Case 5 calls into question everything you saw in that episode so far regarding a certain character. When you replay it, all makes much more sense. A whole different sense.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Shah'do, Ahlbi's pet dog, is just plain adorable and you will want to cuddle the little puppy-dog, oh so much.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: The whole premise of this game is that Phoenix is an ordinary lawyer who finds himself in a country with an unfair legal system under a tyrannical monarch then ends up joining the revolution to restore the Kingdom's old legal system to it's rightful, fair and just state.
  • Royal "We": Queen Ga'ran speaks this way (for example, she refers to Justice Minister Inga as "our husband" at one point in "Turnabout Revolution") until she begins acting as a prosecutor.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something:
    • Rayfa is a princess, but she's also a spirit medium in training who takes an active role in court.
    • Ga'ran Sigatar Kurain, the queen of Khura'in, presides as the prosecutor alongside Nahyuta for the latter half of 6-5. Of course, this was what she did long before she ascended the throne and why she's The Dreaded.
  • Royalty Superpower: In Khura'in, only the women of the royal family are capable of channeling spirits, because they claim direct descent from the Holy Mother. Citizens and the Royal family would take issue if anyone else had this ability.
  • Sanity Slippage: The Breakdowns of the villains in Case 2, Case 4 and Case 5 imply that they are experiencing this.
  • Samus Is a Girl:
    • Inverted in "The Rite of Turnabout", where the rebel-hunter themed after the legendary female warrior Lady Kee'ra turns out to be a man.
    • In "Turnabout Revolution", Sarge, AKA Armie Buff, is actually a 12-year old girl who likes playing tough.
  • Scars Are Forever: Used to tell impostors apart on two separate occasions.
    • In case 2, Apollo deduces that Retinz is the real Mr. Reus because of X-shaped scars on his arm, which aren't on Mistree's arm.
    • In case 5, Apollo (again) deduces that Amara, not Ga'ran, was doing the channeling on the afternoon of Inga's murder, because Ga'ran doesn't have the burn scar on her chest that's visible on Amara's chest — a result of the arson that she survived.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Paul Atishon attempts this several times by associating himself with his grandfather's accomplishments. While this lets him get away with being a public nuisance to the people of Kurain Village, it has little effect elsewhere.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Sprocket Aviation attempts to use their massive influence to keep Gloomsbury's murder from going to court. Of course, Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth will have none of that.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Queen Ga'ran rewrites Khura'inese law a few times during the final trial to put the defense at a disadvantage.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: On several occasions during the civil trial, Paul Atishon briskly walks off the stand without saying a word, and Apollo has to call him back.
  • Second Verse Curse: Invoked with the Song of Ceremony. Because only the first half is sung during the Dance of Devotion, most people don't know the second half. The second half taken on its own means nothing, but this becomes plot relevant in "Turnabout Revolution", because the complete song is a clue to the solution of the puzzle locking the box containing the Founder's Orb.
  • Secretly Dying: Dhurke claims he doesn't have long to live the day before his trial and doesn't want that getting out for fear of stopping the revolution in its tracks. Ultimately, this is subverted because he was already dead before the beginning of Case 5.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike:
    • Because of the overabundance of Unwanted Assistance in Dual Destinies, the developers have said they want to pursue a more challenging game this time by dropping fewer clues directly in the dialogue and letting players turn off hints. Probably an instance of Tropes Are Not Bad.
    • The game also gives the player just five penalty points instead of the health bar system most AA games since the first one use, probably because the previous game mostly ceased with the practice of variable penalties... though the game also has a few variable penalties as well, and is even the first game since Trials & Tribulations to include 100%, or unlimited penalties.
    • In-Universe example: never has Phoenix faced such a more incriminating element than the victim seeing the defendant raise a weapon to the face.
    • This is especially evident in the first case, which happens to reach levels of difficulty not seen since Trials and Tribulations right after you take on the true culprit Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin, much like when you take on Dahlia Hawthorne.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: This is the first entry from the Ace Attorney main series where Phoenix goes on to defend people outside of his original country.
  • Sequel Hook: In a post-credits scene, Phoenix hands over Jove Justice's picture to Thalassa, telling her that it's about time they "tell them the truth".
  • Series Continuity Error: With its own prologue, no less. According to the animated prologue, Phoenix is in Khura'in because Maya's phone broke in the middle of an emergency situation, spurring Phoenix's travels abroad. In the actual game, Phoenix first appears and wanders around like a tourist, because he and Maya arranged a meeting some time in advance and he's arrived a couple weeks early.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Maya has gotten noticeably curvier after we last saw her almost a decade ago. Her breasts still aren't nearly as big as Mia's at all, but her overall figure is nevertheless more Ms. Fanservice-worthy. Lampshaded by Larry in the DLC case, where he says that she grew up nicely.
  • Ship Sinking: Edgeworth swiftly deals with all ships involving him, when in "Turnabout Time Traveler" he declares he has no intention of ever getting married, period.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Phoenix does this twice in the second half of "Turnabout Revolution". First, he orders Trucy to stay at home, and later on he orders Athena to sit out the final trial, although Athena is still present during the recesses and Trucy appears at the end, having hidden in Edgeworth's suitcase.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In the prologue anime, a remnant of Khura'in's old attorney system before the new theocratic oracle system took over angrily rejects the prosecutor's offer to repent and screams "What good is a court system that only passes down guilty verdicts!?"
  • Sins of Our Fathers: In Khura'in, being related to a criminal will ruin your reputation. Even if you are related by adoption and not by blood, it doesn't matter, as Apollo found out the hard way. This is why Amara and Nahyuta try to take the heat for Ga'ran, because Ga'ran threatened to reveal that Rayfa is actually Dhurke's daughter. As Dhurke was accused of murder at the time, her relation to Dhurke would end up ruining her life.
  • Sleep Cute: Trucy on Edgeworth at the end of "Turnabout Revolution".
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: In the fifth case during the civil trial, Phoenix's Objection theme plays whenever he gets the upper hand against Apollo. Hearing Phoenix's triumphant theme when you're losing is certainly dissonant, to say the least.
  • Spark of the Rebellion: Phoenix has become this in "The Rite of Turnabout" when he proves Maya innocent and during the trial, shows the people the tragedy that the Defense Culpability Act has caused Tahrust Inmee. With that, it gave the Defiant Dragons their resolve once more, leading them to reach out to the people and gain more followers to their side. It goes without saying Phoenix became a thorn on Ga'ran's side.
  • Spoiler Title: The soundtrack version that appeared in earlier games is finally averted in this one, as the title of the Big Bad's post-reveal Leitmotif doesn't mention them by name.
  • Spit Take: During case 4, when Uendo is drinking tea while he's on the witness stand, he does one whenever Athena states something he finds shocking.
  • The Starscream: Justice Minister Inga is plotting a coup against his wife Queen Ga'ran, but she finds out and murders him first.
  • Stealth Pun: The game's English title is one, as the thing that ultimately helps bring about the downfall of the Big Bad is the spirit of Apollo's biological father, Jove Justice. It also hints at the fact that Apollo (Justice) is the protagonist, in spite of Phoenix's name being in the title.
  • Steam Punk: Anything and everything related to Sprocket Aviation in "Turnabout Time Traveller", from Pierce's multipurpose shoulder mech to the wedding reception being held on a zeppelin.
  • Supporting Protagonist: You play as Phoenix in the first and third cases, and while he is still an important character in the overall story, by the final case he's pretty much replaced by Apollo as the main character, since the latter is the main focus of the overarching plot and he's the Player Character in almost all of the last case (Phoenix is only playable during a single investigation segment), with Phoenix appearing as his assistant in the last trial. Athena gets this too, being playable in the fourth case and having a large role in the second case and the first half of the fifth case, and investigating with Apollo.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Khura'inese Judge looks a lot like the regular Judge. They're presumably not related, but the resemblance is uncanny.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: In-Universe, The Plumed Punisher theme sounds just like The Steel Samurai theme, just with different instrumentation. Actually a plot point.
  • Take That!: Case 2 has a subtle one against Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Trucy is reluctant to reveal the secret behind her coffin escape trick, but she does so anyway because she knows Apollo and Athena need that information to build their case. This is in contrast to Trucy, Lamiroir, and Valant flat-out refusing to reveal the secret behind Lamiroir's trick in "Turnabout Serenade", significantly hindering the defense in the process.
  • Taking the Heat: In the final case, Amara and Nahyuta try to claim they killed Inga instead of Ga'ran because Ga'ran threatened to ruin Rayfa's life.
  • The Unreveal: Garan's major reason for wanting the Founder's Orb is to channel the founder and receive "great spiritual power". The founder is never channeled, so we never see what she was like nor do we find out what the power even is.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: In-Universe, Phoenix and Edgeworth both consider The Plumed Punisher to be a rip-off of The Steel Samurai. Being the Fan Boy he is, Edgeworth is quite a bit more vocal about his hate. Phoenix, on the other hand tries to keep his in check, as mentioning the fact that it's a rip-off is a Berserk Button for Rayfa.
  • This Cannot Be!: Apollo and Nahyuta have a moment prior to their collective Heroic B.S.O.D. once Ema makes the unfortunate revelation that yes, Dhurke really was dead in the US and when arrested for Inga's murder, is presently dead in Amara's sarcophagus, and will never return, as he was being channeled by multiple people- but mostly Maya.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Sometime during "Turnabout Revolution", this is more or less Phoenix's reaction when Lah'kee from the Royal Guard comes to tell him he is summoned for an appointment with Queen Ga'ran. He likely assumed he was in trouble, but the Queen summoned him for an inquiry about Inga and his treachery.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: Trucy has a frightening one in "The Magical Turnabout", accompanied by one of the most severe Heroic B.S.O.D. cases ever seen in the franchise: she honestly cannot explain why her magic trick failed and Mr. Reus lay dead in the coffin. For the first time in her life, Trucy is lost and scared. Witnessing a normally happy, cheerful person being depressed and traumatized, along with an indifferent, bittersweet stare is just painful and jarring to look at- possibly more than Athena's crisis in Dual Destinies.
  • Til Murder Do Us Part:
    • Subverted with Dhurke and Queen Amara. Everyone thinks that he murdered her by setting fire to her residence. She's actually alive, but continued to think that he tried to kill her, straining their relationship until Rayfa was born.
    • The real example of this trope is when Ga'ran murders her husband Inga after learning that he was plotting to murder her.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Apollo takes several levels in badass in this game, particularly in the final case "Turnabout Revolution". From taking in the first trial on Phoenix of all people and winning, to overthrowing the evil queen of a nation along with her henchmen, and the last one is something that you would usually expect Phoenix to do instead. And if that wasn't enough, Apollo inherits Dhurke's law firm at the end of the game, much like Phoenix did with Mia's law firm in the first game. If Dual Destinies didn't do Apollo justice, then ''Spirit of Justice'' definitely did.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass:
    • For someone who once thought making a girl cry was the worst crime of all, Edgeworth has no problems at all attacking a heartbroken Ellen immediately after Sorin accuses her of the murder- even the Judge thought he went too far.
    • Gaspen Payne goes from being a cowardly bully in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies to plotting to murder Phoenix by proxy using the Defense Culpability Act.
  • Twin Switch:
    • Exploited by Bonny and Betty de Famme as part of Bonny's teleportation magic trick.
    • While they aren't twins, the striking resemblance between Amara and Ga'ran is noted in-game. In fact, Amara's been channeling for Ga'ran when the need arises because of Ga'ran's own lack of spiritual power, with everyone else being none the wiser.
  • The Unfought: Justice Minister Inga is built up as the Big Bad through cases 6-1 and 6-3 and the first half of 6-5, but he isn't faced in court. He becomes the victim of the second half of 6-5.
  • Unperson: Magnifi exiled Mr Reus from Troupe Gramarye and gave him this treatment after he messed up a trick and scarred his arm.
  • Uptown Girl: The couple in Turnabout Time Traveler consists of Sorin, heir to the incredibly wealthy and influential Sprocket family, and his fiancee Ellen, who's employed by them as a maid.
  • Vocal Dissonance:
    • The warbaa'd is a medium-sized bird that roars like a lion. Anyone seeing one for the first time is bound to wish they had worn brown pants that day.
    • Rayfa. The game says she's 14 but, whenever it goes through her voice-acted bits, she sounds 24, which can be a bit jarring to some players.
  • Wedding Day: The focus of the DLC Episode "Turnabout Time Traveler" involves someone's wedding. It also bizarrely features Time Travel.
  • Wham Episode:
    • "The Rite of Turnabout" starts off mostly light-hearted, with the return of Maya, and even after the murder it seems like any other case. Until the end... where you witness first-hand just how badly the DCA can affect Khura'in's people as you realize the victim committed suicide to spare his wife from it, and you find out that the royal family is even worse than anyone ever expected. And since these truths come out during a public trial, mass dissent is sparked, and the revolution kicks into full swing, with one of the key witnesses joining the cause. On top of that, you get a brief glimpse of Dhurke in the flesh. The writers specifically stated they made Case 4 Filler because the player would need a Breather Episode between all that and Case 5.
    • "Turnabout Revolution". To show how ridiculously whammy it is, the case just starts with Dhurke popping up in the Wright Anything Agency in the flesh, looking for Apollo, his foster son. Then you go to Kurain Village to obtain the Founder's Orb, and after you do, Phoenix pops up and tells you that he's going to confront you in court tomorrow because his client claims the orb's ownership. In the trial you find out that Phoenix's client murdered the archeologist who was supposed to hand over the orb, and that he kidnapped Maya, which is why Phoenix is defending him. Then you go to Khura'in, and Dhurke is arrested for the murder of Inga, the Justice Minister. Further investigation reveals that Queen Amara was Dhurke's wife, and Dhurke tells you that he's secretly dying. The final trial is no less shocking, what with the reveal that Dhurke was dead before the case even began, Queen Amara is alive and was disguised as Nayna, and Queen Ga'ran killed both Apollo's biological father and Inga. Plus Nahyuta is Rayfa's brother.
  • Wham Line:
    • Revisualizations (the gameplay segments where your Player Character goes over everything that happened so far in their head to reach a conclusion) normally end with one of these, but Case 3's turns all assumptions about the case upside-down:
      Revisualization Conclusion: Tahrust's death was a suicide.
    • One line happens near the end of the game that pretty much shook many of the series' fans.
      Apollo: ...I've decided to stay in Khura'in.
    • For once in the series there is a Wham Contradiction. To wit, the player is shocked when they deduce the contradiction to a line uttered by a witness. It happens in "Turnabout Revolution" when Amara says that Minister Inga was the sole victim and that there was no other spirit to channel until he was dead. Dhurke's bloodstains contradict that claim and prove that he died as well as Inga.
  • Wham Shot: "The Rite of Turnabout" has a major one. While investigating a Defiant Dragons hideout, Phoenix comes across a photo of the rebel leader Dhurke and his two sons, Nahyuta Sahdmadhi and Apollo Justice.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Nahyuta Sahdmadhi is just as much of a Well-Intentioned Extremist as other prosecutors in the series (he thinks himself a champion of the deceased and avenging their murders), and yep, he has white hair. Ultimately subverted when it's revealed that he was only acting that way because Ga'ran had his mother and sister hostage.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Downplayed. While Rayfa has a "holy and strict" air to her and has an active role in court despite only being 14, she does still have a lot of things to learn.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Maya features prominently in the marketing (which includes a trailer dedicated to her return) and even appears on the cover, but she doesn't even appear until the third case and spends a big part of the only other case she also appears in offscreen. Rayfa actually has a much bigger role in the main story than Maya does. However, in the DLC case, she plays a much larger role as Phoenix's assistant in both investigations and in court.
  • Woman Scorned: Amara is led to believe for 8 years that Dhurke really did mean to assassinate her. She is proven wrong when Dhurke takes her away from Ga'ran 15 years prior to the events of the game so he could explain what really happened.
  • Would Hurt a Child: In the first trial, the people of Khura'in openly claim for Ahlbi Ur'gaid's execution. He is 9.
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: In Case 5, when Apollo and Dhurke get lost in a very deep cave with no apparent way out:
    Dhurke: [...] It's just a bit of bad luck. That's all.
    Apollo: A bit? Murphy called. He wants his law back.
  • You Rebel Scum!: This appears to be a favorite appellation by any Khura'inese authority figure against the heroes.

Alternative Title(s): Gyakuten Saiban 6

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneySpiritOfJustice