Visual Novel: Socrates Jones Pro Philosopher
"NONSENSE!" Socrates Jones: Pro Philosopher
— Socrates Jones (and many others)
is a Visual Novel
by Connor Fallon and Valeria Reznitskaya; as the title alone should indicate, it draws heavy, heavy
inspiration from the Ace Attorney
series. It's actually an Edutainment Game
designed to teach the player about debating and philosophy, but hides it well.
The titular Socrates Jones is an accountant who lives in New York with his daughter, Ariadne; every Jones except for Socrates himself is a huge philosophy buff, whereas he himself just doesn't get what the fuss is all about. A car accident and a cosmic misfile, however, land him and Ari in the Intelligible Realm, the philosophers' afterlife, and his only ticket out is to answer the ancient question of what constitutes the perfect definition of morality. To come up with an answer, Socrates has to debate with a handful of famous philosophers.
This series provides examples of:
Tropes shared with the Ace Attorney series
- Villainous Breakdown: Averted more often than not, but played straight in a few cases (Hobbes in particular).
- The Cavalry: Right in the middle of the last chapter, just as Socrates is about to admit defeat against the Arbiter, all the philosophers he defeated storm in to back him up.
- Chekhov's Skill: Socrates is an accountant; his skills lie in mathematics, not philosophy. In the final chapter, he uses a mathematical concept — namely, the nature of infinity — to counter an argument.
- Downplayed with the "question relevance" option — after the prologue, it's only useful against the Final Boss, but it's not crucial to winning the argument.
- Averted with "Your face is ugly!" You get it at the very beginning and it persists in the idea slate throughout the whole game, but it's never useful apart from getting some funny dialogue and suiciding.
- Chess with Death: Or rather, philosophizing with Death.
- Crazy-Prepared: Immanual Kant seems to have everything on his schedule, including the events of his debate with Socrates.
- Darkest Hour: The final chapter begins on a very bleak note, as Socrates accidentally throws away his one chance at returning to life.
- Lampshade Hanging: Some questions don't make logical sense to ask (asking for clarification or backing on a point Socrates himself made, for instance), and your opponents will point out the absurdity if you try.
- Laughing Mad: The Arbiter's breakdown.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Philosophy, of course.
- Press X to Die: Saying "Your face is ugly!" is guaranteed to heavily damage your Life Meter... but it's always there, and so tempting. You'll at least get some funny dialogue for your trouble if you succumb to temptation.
- An optional question when debating with Mill can lead to him outlining a scenario where society doesn't follow the rule of "innocent until proven guilty". After a description that sounds oddly like the premise of the Ace Attorney series, Socrates muses that it "might make an interesting game".
- When Ari asks Socrates if he knows who John Stuart Mill is, he says "A comedian?"