Wall Bangers: Ace Attorney
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- One of the biggest Wall Bangers about the Ace Attorney series is that even after proving, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the true killer was there with the victim and pulled the trigger / stabbed with the sword / whatever...you still lose the argument, and the case, if you cannot decisively prove that the killer had a motive. Even though everyone knows and can see that the killer has, without a doubt, killed the victim, motive or not. On top of that, you must always prove the real killer's motive while your clients are routinely arrested without motives and the prosecutors always handwave this.
- That and the fact that you need to prove who the killer was to get your client off the hook, even if you can conclusively prove your client not guilty. Phoenix is a defense attorney - it shouldn't be his job to find out who actually committed the murder! What makes the whole business worse it that Edgeworth himself said that it is his job to find the guilty party during the Redd White Case and that Nick should stop accusing the witness. Admittedly, doing it any other way would result in a very unsatisfying narrative where you never get to corner the real killer, so this is probably a Justified Trope. Well, Phoenix has stopped the judge from giving his clients a not guilty verdict after proving that they're innocent just to find the real killer, so he does it because he wants to. Sometimes.
- The insane part is that, in one case, stating that the suspect had no reason to kill someone who they most likely never met and therefore isn't likely to be the culprit, just earns you a brushing aside from the judge, who says people kill each other every day without motivation. This means the court accepts that a motive isn't necessary to commit the crime, but you are required to provide one anyway when you point out someone else who could have done it.
- It is also the start of the events in Apollo Justice where Phoenix starts working behind the scenes to overhaul the current judicial system to one with a jury so that evidence does not have to be THE sole way to convict the guilty party. After a few years of Phoenix Wright having to come up with evidence and use the most insane logic for them and the motive of the killer, it is no wonder that he finally decided to do something about the system geared towards getting people guilty by Apollo's time. And even then, should you fail the final case, the judge completely disregards the justice system, which this case is supposed to be a test of, and hands down a guilty verdict anyway.
- The developers must have realized this, as there are two instances in Dual Destinies in which, once the defendant is proven to have not committed the crime, the Judge gives them a "Not Guilty" verdict without having to find the criminal first. Granted, both of those instances involve Phoenix defending the people who are arrested after the fact, but...
- There has to be at least two times per case where the player (either as Phoenix, Apollo or otherwise) has much better evidence than the one you require to present and that could end the trial much faster, but he's not allowed to use it, and will get a penalty if he does.
- There's a theme in the series that, when you think about it deeply enough, serves to undermine the entire premise. And it starts with this: there are no accidental murders. Ever. Any time someone is suspected of accidentally killing someone (Miles Edgeworth, possessed Maya Fey, John Marsh), you spend less time arguing the ethics and more time arguing that the events could not have happened in that way. The closest things that exist to sympathetic killers are criminals acting in self-defense (Dee Vasquez, Lance Amano), attempted murderers who killed the wrong person (Acro, Marlon Rimes) and everything pertaining to Godot. Thus, there is no defense that succeeds with anything less than pointing out the true guilty scum, motive or not. True, the DLC case for Dual Destinies subverts this, as Marlon Rimes was allowed to return to his job after a short sentence due to accidental murder, and case 5-4 flirts with this. However, the same case continues in 5-5 anyway, and all of this happened after Phoenix was done rewiring the justice system behind closed doors, so perhaps that's the reason things started to work out differently. And even then, not all the time.
- And then you look beyond it. No fewer than three cases that have endings revolving around trying to outrun the statute of limitations, a law that has nothing to do with convicted innocents and serves only as a time limit to find the true guilty person guilty. The vast majority of animation effort is devoted to the perpetrators revealing their true colors and having as dramatic a Villainous Breakdown as possible, almost to the point that in more recent games, you can tell who the perpetrator is by who has animations that best lend themselves to such a breakdown. Every case has a Darkest Hour moment, whether the player should be able to overcome it on their own or not. And any scene where the guilty party goes free is treated as a Bad Ending, with or without plot contrivance to have it result in other unfortunate consequences. In short, this is not a game about defense. The true goal of the game is to ensure that every guilty party is punished in the most satisfying way possible, rendering the defendant a mere catalyst for the drama. Which is not only identical to what the series claimed was wrong with Edgeworth's philosophy in the first game (although at least the player character bothers to figure out the truth along the way), but is the exact same philosophy that led to the Japanese court system becoming what it was in the first place!
- From a gameplay point of view, the "green life bar" is very flawed and sometimes rage inducing. Even if we go by videogame logic that you can have multiple tries until you fail, it still doesn't explain how it relates with other things. Like how Phoenix loses life if he fails using the magatama to interrogate people but he cannot get a game over, since you only lose if you get get a guilty veridict, so the loss doesn't make any sense since you can't "die" and the mistake doesn't affect your trial at all. Also, in his games, Edgeworth for some reason CAN get a game over if he fails his logic and deductions, which makes even less sense (since he is just investigating and not under pressure). And the fact that your enemies (usually last cases) can casually ask the judge to give you a double penalty or even instant game over if you make a mistake is the worst. The judge is even guilty of doing this himself in Dual Destinies.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
- Case 1-2 has a moment of the defendant of the case suddenly changing. Originally, Maya Fey is put on trial for the murder of her sister, Mia. Some time later, Phoenix is suddenly being tried for the murder... without Maya's trial ever reaching a conclusion! You can't just suddenly change defendants in a trial! The previous trial must be finished and closed, since they are pertaining to the same case! But the game goes as if it's okay. True, this was because Corrupt Corporate Executive Redd White blackmailed the Chief Prosecutor into making the change, but nobody should have the power to do that.
- Case 1-2, we have Mia Fey appear during the trial and practically blackmail the killer into admitting that they, well, committed the murder, otherwise their other crimes of repeatedly blackmailing other influential people in politics and similar would be revealed. Aside from the fact that the victim of this case is saying this, this is flat out blackmailing the killer, technically revealing that they had previously committed crimes and any type of confession should not be considered truthful, as it is done under pressure and practically forced out of them. They could be confessing to something they actually never did, after all.
- In case 1-3, the reason why two people who were in Studio Two cannot be in any way affiliated with a murder that took place in Studio One is because a monkey statue's head has cracked and fallen into the path with some branches, effectively blocking the path... Nobody seems to think that people are capable of walking on grass or other non-asphalt surfaces. This type of alibi should never work, considering people can walk on grass just fine. So none of those people would actually be "stuck" at Studio Two until the path was unblocked.
- Same case also has a longer subplot going on, where people are wondering if the costumed person in a photo is the person who is generally known for wearing said costume. Ignoring the fact that such an idea is pretty dumb, said costume completely hides the person's body and any means of appearance based recognition, it takes them a good day and a half to finally come to the conclusion that just because someone is known to wear something quite often, doesn't necessarily mean that the worn item automatically means it is the person.
- ...and there's the fence in front of Studio 2 that impaled someone in a flashback. Apparently, no one thought to remove it after that incident. The end result? Someone gets impaled AGAIN in case 3.
- In case 4, there's the instance when Maya is actually arrested for contempt charges, coupled with the threat of you being arrested simply for cross-examining a decisive witness (made worse when it's revealed that she never witnessed the crime herself). The game tries to Hand Wave legal oddities with Rule of Fun and a backstory that suggests a simplified court process heavily stacked against the player, but this may as well be a Kangaroo Court. It doesn't even matter that Manfred von Karma is the villain - a prosecutor does not declare law and punishment. No court works that way this side of a totalitarian dictatorship.
- Later in case 4, you encounter the prosecutor in the police office who just emptied the evidence to the DL-6 case, and the only way to continue the game is to present him with the evidence linking him to the murder and that will set the defendant free, even though the move is clearly suicidal for any defense attorney and something the prosecution would never do. The fact the game requires you to do this is especially aggravating, and makes part of the subsequent trial much more complicated than it needs to be. ALSO, as an extra Wall Banger, how on Earth did Von Karma managed to get away scott-free from assaulting and stealing evidence, when he was inside a police station!? There had to be video cameras, people watching over the place, metal detectors, SOMEONE that would do something about it!! I mean, if somebody, prosecutor or not, was able to steal and attack people inside a police station THAT easily, that means the police in the Ace Attorney universe is utterly incompetent...! Somehow, that explains too much...
- It's an especially wall-banging moment because this was not the first time Phoenix had to do it! In Case 1-2, he confronts the murderer in their office about the murder and not only gets punched, but also turned into the new defendant of the case, due to the murderer indicting him. The very next Case, 1-3, Phoenix and Maya confront the murderer and willingly go into a secluded area with them, confront them about the evidence again and almost get killed...!
- And while we're on the subject of that scene in case 1-3, it's a wall banger for three more reasons! First, it is hard to believe that anyone related to the case would both a) decide to kill Phoenix, despite him being the attorney in this case that is closely tied to the murderer and the events being in a place only the murderer can enter freely, and b) decide to let him go once Gumshoe shows up, rather than kill them both. Second, the fact that the detective in charge of the chase just witnessed attempted murder by one of the people involved is never brought up in the trial. At all. (Gumshoe doesn't even appear again for the remainder of the case.) And third, the Big Damn Heroes moment loses some power when you consider that one of its consequences is to handwave potential hypocrisy from the remainder of the case. After all, the perpetrator killed the victim in self-defense, and is found guilty of murder for it. If not for Gumshoe, Phoenix would have either died or been forced to defend himself, and as the case proves, if he had defended himself, he would have become a convicted murderer as well. Ugh.
- Oh, and Mia, despite being much smarter and having more experience than Phoenix also told her sister on the phone in Case 1-2 where she had hidden the important evidence DESPITE THE FACT SHE KNEW the guy she was investigating was an expert on spying people and bugging phones. And she had a pretrial meeting with him. And she had nothing to defend herself with. Three guesses on how that ended. Even she lampshaded how careless of her that was.
- In one section of case 5, the testimony reads 'The man raised up his knife, and... and stabbed Mr. Marshall in the chest...!'. You possess an autopsy report stating that he was 'Stabbed in the back'. Presenting it here will get you a penalty.
- Speaking of case 5, there's one point where you have to decide whether or not to present evidence that would convict the murderer indefinitely. The kicker? That's the only time in the game where you have to say you can't present evidence, and the game gives absolutely no indication whatsoever that you need to say no.
- The biggest wall banger of them all comes from a single quote from Marvin Grossberg and Miles Edgeworth in case 4: "Even accidental murder is murder, you know." Has the judicial system decayed that much? Would they have given Edgeworth a life sentence, or even executed him, for accidentally killing his father when he was nine years old? And in a lack-of-oxygen-induced panic? True, Edgeworth was a man obsessed with the law, but no one, not even the judge, do nothing to prove his point is not valid to the legal system. In real life this is called involuntary manslaughter, and while the sentence is not less serious, it is far more merciful. Somewhat justified, considering the games, despite having been localized to take place in L.A. in the US version, are based and parody the Japanese legal system, and there's a certain social stigma in Japan for being prosecuted for murder of ANY KIND, even if it's revealed that the murder in question is accidental or was done in self-defense. However, that doesn't make things much better. Even if in the second game we find out people can use self-defense as a plea, Phoenix himself points out that doing so would ruin Maya's life. This pretty much proves that people in this universe want to see a murderer/criminal punished by all means, even if it is not a bad person, which is kind of related to the previously stated wall bangers. And considering all the other cases, either in the first game or in later games, where similar situations come up and all are treated as murder, it's clear that yes, the legal system in the Ace Attorney universe is so bad that as far as they're concerned, involuntary manslaughter doesn't exists and self-defense might as well not in the eyes of many.
Justice For All
- In the first case, it's claimed that the (misspelled) name of your client in the sand was written by the victim, naming his killer as he died. Despite the fact that he died instantly of a broken neck. This wouldn't be a problem were it not for the fact that the game doesn't allow you to point this out or even try to provide a reason why they're willing to run with him being capable of writing - instead you have to highlight the spelling error made with the writing of the name. This is already after they've arrested his girlfriend for the crime, when she has no motive, based on evidence consisting of her name being written and misspelled with the wrong hand by a guy who couldn't have stayed alive long enough to do it. The witness's testimony was full of ridiculously obvious contradictions, made even more questionable by his poor eyesight, and he had even left his cell phone behind at the crime scene, complete with a list of numbers of known criminals. If Phoenix hadn't been struck with plot-convenient amnesia, this might have been the easiest case in the series. The cherry on top? The incident is such a tarnish on Maggey's reputation that she is forced to retire from the police force, despite her innocence!
- On that last point, Truth in Television. Japanese police do have those sort of things happen.
- During Case 2-2, if you don't present the key to Pearl, a certain important piece of evidence does NOT appear in the incinerator on the garden, even if you go there before giving the key to Pearl!
- In case 2-2, Maya is put on trial for seemingly murdering someone while channeling a spirit. The spirit being channeled would have killed the victim, not Maya herself! And it's a fact that, with the technique the Feys use, when they channel a spirit, they are completely unconscious. Maya was put on trial and almost found guilty for something her possessed body did, which she could do nothing about, and wouldn't even be aware happened! To top it all off, that means the legal system in this universe can now accuse you of murder and put you behind bars or worse, for PARANORMAL CHARGES, even if many people wouldn't believe/have grounds to support them, and, as happened in this case, could be faked!
- 2-4 has a few absurd moments.
- There are multiple times when you have to present the correct evidence in one try or you lose. The part where you have to point out the Nickel Samurai's costume is baggy around the legs in a photo with one try seems especially insane, since you could assume it's because of the angle and the photo being in black and white. A much better contradiction that they should have also allowed was the Nickel Samurai's arm completely fills the glove in his promotional poster but you can clearly see space between the arm and the glove in the picture. Thus whoever was wearing the costume at that time of the picture must have had thinner arms than your client. But the game railroads you into a Game Over if you try and point this out.
- While not an instant game over, the cross-examination of De Killer has one of the worst cases of optional dialogue providing an unusable solution. During one of the testimonies, you can press a statement, and De Killer explains that he must meet his client in person, to establish his trust for them. In the next testimony, he claims he thought Adrian was male because of getting the request by letter. Despite that pressed statement from earlier clearly contradicting this claim, there is no way to point this out, due to the pressed statement being optional.
- When he interviews Shelly in the Engarde Mansion, Phoenix doesn't recognize him! Never mind that his face (with a scar that divides it in half) should not be that hard to miss or that he's the last person he saw with Maya before she got kidnapped! It's only thanks to that convenient memory mistake that he could not find Maya before and thus make the case shorter and simpler. But it only gets worse when you realize that even if Phoenix didn't remember him, it was not hard to see he was not a butler by, you guessed it, A CONTRADICTION! Phoenix and Pearl went to the mansion because Engarde told them to on a note to go feed his cat, but then they find the butler there. If there was already a butler who could feed the cat, then why would Engarde tell them to come there in the first place, unless the butler was a fake or there was a trap?! It was incredibly OBVIOUS that something was up, and worst of all, everyone playing knew who Shelly was, but could NOT do anything!
Trials and Tribulations
- In case 2, no one bothered to even mention how Luke Atmey's nose would have posed a serious problem wearing the Mask☆DeMasque... uh, mask. They don't even lampshade it, they just ignore it entirely! Rule of Funny?
- In case 3, you have to deal with a claim that a previous witness saw what was going on through a large mirror. The witness talked about how he was trying to read the victim's newspaper prior to the crime. You have the newspaper in your court record. Yet, nobody at the trial seems to bother to ask themselves, how the hell could a witness have possibly even tried to read a reflected version of a newspaper. While it is possible to read a text reflected in a mirror, this requires extreme focus and is very stressing on the brain.
- Case 3 in general pretty much demands that you forget the fact that the case is a month old. The Judge throws a fit at Godot for not mentioning the bloodstain (ketchup) on the defendant's apron, but since he was presiding over this trial a month ago, he should have already known about it. The fact that the crime scene was left preserved, complete with yellow tape, as well as the victim's lotto ticket cluttered desk, for an entire month only makes it stranger.
- Also, on case 3, there's a point in which Phoenix ONCE AGAIN shows the guilty party an important piece of evidence that could very well prove that person guilty. He could have lied and claimed that he didn't had it with him, or that he doesn't even know anything about it, but he showed it to the person instead. And the murderer, ONCE AGAIN, attacks Phoenix and steals the evidence. Had it not been for Gumshoe's invaluable help, they may have never got that evidence back and saved Maggey. She really has a lot to thank him for... At least Phoenix lampshaded his carelessness that time.
- The second day of case 5 is an utter nightmare in terms of the logistics of guilt. As the trial day begins, Iris declares that she was involved in the murder's coverup, but claims that the actual murderer was Maya. For several cross-examinations, you must prove her accusations false. If you fail, the court firmly gives a guilty verdict to... Iris, rather than Maya. Later on, it's revealed that the defendant in the courtroom is Dahlia instead of Iris. She claims that Maya killed the victim, whose body was being used by Dahlia's spirit in an attempt to kill Maya, and that Maya committed suicide when she realized that she killed her mother. Fail to disprove this, and a guilty verdict is given to... Iris. But handle everything right, dispel all of these accusations, and prove that Iris was never at the actual murder scene (as stated by multiple witnesses, including Dahlia), and the case turns to the question of who actually had the opportunity to strike the victim dead. Fail to accuse the correct person, and the court gives the guilty verdict to... Iris. Apparently the court is just that obsessed with arresting the original suspect.
- The developers have fixed this in Dual Destinies, in which multiple bad endings can occur, depending on how and at what point one fails the trial in question.
- Case 3-5, the reason why the murder occured is incredibly dumb and the only highlight is that the murderer himself admits that it could've been avoided, had they spoken up about something important. Godot eavedrops on Pearl's conversation with her mother and learns of the location of a letter, in which Morgan is giving Pearl directions on how to channel Dahlia's spirit and basically kill Maya - unbeknownst to Pearl, who didn't get that part, due to the kanji being too difficult (this was the reason in the Japanese version) Instead of burning the letter he puts it back and allows Pearl to read it and start up the plan to kill Maya. Even better, he enlists the help of Iris and Maya's estranged mother in an attempt to keep Pearl from channeling, which ultimately fails, and Godot ends up killing Maya's mother during a struggle when she was channeling Dahlia, and gets Iris suspected of murder. Godot could've easily avoided all of this, had he even simply told Maya that she was in potential danger and that she should watch out. But he doesn't. Of course, the blame doesn't solely lie on him, as Maya's mother or even Iris could've mentioned something, putting the whole plan in the open and foiling things. But no, the murderer kept everything to himself in a stupid attempt to play the Hero. Good job, Godot! Good job.
- Think about it: he murdered an innocent person for the sake of getting his revenge against a woman who had already died, made the person he was ALLEDGEDLY protecting become possessed by Dahlia and then brought said person (Maya) to court as a suspect of MATRICIDE. And she just learned that her mother had died, that she had seen her despite not knowing who she was, and that she could be the one who killed her. And then Godot had the GALL to tell Phoenix all what happened was his fault for not saving Maya and Mia when they needed him. Good job, Godot, indeed!
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
- In case 2, Alita Tiala was handed the Idiot Ball. Had she simply not left an item that linked her to the murder (her slipper) behind at the crime scene, she would have been much less likely to be suspected. Alita, as a criminal, you should have known better than that. Learn to cover your tracks. At least Apollo lampshaded it.
- The third case: two shots were fired from a high-calibre gun which could potentially dislocate the shoulder of a strong adult if they didn't brace themselves properly while firing it. Your client is a small, 14-year-old boy who has probably never fired a gun in his life, and is completely unharmed. And legally blind. This fact is brought up in the trial, but no-one thinks it would have done more than throw his aim off a bit. It's also later revealed that the accused is only pretending to be blind, but the cops wouldn't have known that at the time of the arrest. Not only that, but it is eventually revealed the gun belonged to the victim, who was an Interpol agent three times the defendant's size and more than capable of fending him off in an assault.
- As a bonus, the prosecution also figures that after the police started their investigation, the legally blind suspect stole a musician's guitar, went back for the victim's corpse (who is three times his size, remember) and lifted and carried them onto a portion of the stage that was elevated fifteen feet, requiring considerably more strength than he most likely possessed, leaving himself unconscious, and accomplishing little more than further implicating himself. Why would he do that? Because it fit the lyrics of the song he was performing.
- Further compounding the insanity is the fact that the prosecution never seems to take the height difference into account. For their suspect to have killed the victim, he would have had to be standing on his tiptoes holding the gun over his head with his arms fully extended in order to get the bullets to go on a perfectly straight trajectory through the victim's shoulder. Because of this, the case became incredibly simplistic once the player realized that the killer would have to have been a man in order to beat the victim in a fight, two new male characters were introduced in the case, and one of them was Trucy's uncle - which by default made him innocent...
- The fact that the other three Gavinners were never revealed or even called into suspicion is itself a Wall Banger.
- To make the case even more insane, in the second investigation Lamiroir is attacked and nearly killed by the culprit. When you question her about it, she says it was a man taller than her. There is no way Machi could have done it, since he was in the detention center and he's considerably shorter than her. What's stupid, however, is that you can't point this out, but instead you can point out that this proves Lamiroir's testimony was valid. And the court agrees! Even though, by that train of logic, it would prove Machi partially innocent instantaneously!
- The fourth case ends with what many consider to be a major Anticlimax. The murderer breaks down alright, but not because of the evidence you present (which gets shot down); it's because of Phoenix's overhauling of the judicial system. On top of that, Apollo is completely absent between the two trial days, during the MASON System segment—are we playing Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, or Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice?
- What's especially stupid about this development is that, if you lose the case the traditional way (too many penalties) the judge ends the trial immediately instead of handing it over to the jury like he was supposed to.
- All of this can be chalked up to Executive Meddling, since the original script didn't have Phoenix or this case in it. But Capcom wanted the star of the series in it so...
- It shows. Especially because that segment punched a BIG plot hole in the whole game. Apparently, the MASON's main functionality is to allow Time Travel and even rewrite events in the past, but then reverts it back, because that part involves Phoenix presenting evidence from the present time (Klavier's poison-lined nail polish, acquired after the game's first case) into a past event (Vera Misham's conversation, which happened after Phoenix's disbarment) for the case to unfold. He had no access to said evidence at the time, and no way to confirm whatever Vera had to say about that. Logically this puts the MASON system into forgery. But then Phoenix's Plot Armor comes into full effect again.
- Adding to this, the means in which Phoenix discovers that Apollo is Thalassa's son is by showing Zak the photo of her with the same bracelets Apollo wears. Phoenix would have no flipping way to gain this info, since he only got the photo literally months after the night in which Zak was murdered. Unsurprisingly, how he actually got the info is never explained or detailed.
- Case 4-4 contains a Flashback to the case that caused Phoenix to be disbarred and lose his lawyer badge. The player knows this and knows that it had to do with forged evidence. Said forged evidence is a diary page. It's a Foregone Conclusion that, at one point during the trial, you will present this diary page and lose the case. The wall-banging part of this is that this diary page was not only given to you by a strange little girl (Trucy, your client's daughter) that Phoenix didn't know, five minutes before the trial started... and still Phoenix admits, before presenting the page, that he doesn't even remember where he got it from! He's using evidence that he got from some kid that he didn't recognize or know, doesn't even remember that he got it and still uses it, when he obviously never even put a damn glance on the thing!
- Also in case 4-4, it's obvious that Phoenix Wright would not have been in a position to request the forgery, as he called in as a replacement lawyer the night before the trial. Klavier of all people should have realized this, as he knew Kristoph was supposed to be facing him in court. To add icing to the cake Kristoph not only warns him that Phoenix is going to present forged evidence, but also tells him exactly who to call as a special witness and what evidence he'd need to present in order for Phoenix to cough up the forged evidence. Seven years after that case Klavier admits he thought something was odd, but was in too strong a denial about it.
- Case 4-4 is an utter mess pacing wise in general. After a very short and simple investigation sequence, the player is thrown into an excruciating trial where you have to go through no less than six testimonies from an unreliable witness. Then the plot subsequently grinds to a halt as the player is thrown into a flashback trial that has little to nothing to do with the case at hand. From there is the MASON sequence which creates a number of massive plot holes and is mainly focused on something which has a very tangential connection to the current case. To top it off, when you finally return to the present day plot line, the final portion is insultingly simple. All one needs to do is perceive Kristoph's nervous tick, then present a single piece of evidence after which there is practically no player input. Compared to the big final cases of games before and after, it comes off as a massive let down.
- The motivation that Kristoph gives for his actions. All the murder, effort, planning, all in a seemingly concentrated effort to ruin Phoenix's life, he did it because Zak chose Phoenix as defence over him. Really? The game treats it like some big secret, but there's no given reason as to why Kristoph considered it such a betrayal that he'd arrange Phoenix to be framed as a fraud. Even by the standards of Big Bad's in the series that seems ridiculously petty. Worse still is that the way the game frames the confession makes it look like a lie, and that the player will have to figure out what it truly is, but any actual motive, if there is any, is left unrevealed, likely on the cutting room floor along with much of the plot.
Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
- First of all, Kay's Little Thief, which creates some kind of green virtual world to recreate things and places thanks to data collected during some cases, goes beyond suspension of disbelief and even gets absurd at some points. It's literally a plot device that lets you do impossible things. Kay can create anything only by hearing it once and people take that as factual evidence. For example, with a single file, she creates a crime scene from 12 years ago in a place that doesn't exist anymore (since they demolished the place for another building), but the best part is how her recreation is just TOO PERFECT, certain details are so small no one noticed before and didn't archive in the file (she got the info from) but Edgeworth can see them.
- On top of that, it doesn't take until the fifth case in the game for someone to point out that you need concrete evidence to prove your case.
- The Mr. Analysis is a video analyzing machine that you are only allowed to use when it's convenient, and it's almost on CSI level of ridiculousness. Oh, you can also zoom into completely dark corners or PHOTOS with perfect resolution.
- One of the cross-examinations in Case 3 is a constantly cited Wall Banger by many players: You are told by the other characters that in this testimony, you have to prove that the victim and the murderer's girlfriend never knew they were related. Sounds simple, but then, you end up spending over 30 minutes on this one testimony. Then you find out that answer is not to prove that they didn't know they were related but that there were three people involved in the kidnapping case.
- What about the fact you first establish a completely plausible crime scene by a thorough explanation of the unusual shape of the wound on the victim, but when the real crime scene is revealed to be elsewhere, no-one bothers to even try to explain the now-unlikely wound again?
- The third case has a pretty big wall banger in the form of Edgeworth having an Idiot Ball moment. He states that the possible murder location is a stage that was setup earlier and the victim was standing on it, where as the murderer was on the ground and shot upwards, hitting the victim's stomach. This is an incredibly dumb theory, because just looking at the body shows that the exit wound is practically above the shoulder blade, meaning that the supposed positions and murder location are false, since - in order for the exit wound to be that high up - the entry wound would have to result from an extremely sharp angle.
- The biggest wall banger was when you had to examine the video tape. Just to start with you need to prove that a certain card we see someone holding so as to only show us the back of it contains orders given to him by the boss of the smuggling ring. What part of the picture do you have to show to prove this? Just point out the card the victim is holding. Did they really need the player to do this? In retrospect, it's so painfully obvious that it seems like it was designed JUST to trip the player up by making them think too hard. Then after that you need to prove that the person sitting in the limo was connected to the nation of Cohdopia. There's a great big shiny metal that has the colors of Cohdopia visible and we later learn there was given to only one Cohdopia hero as a war metal, but guess what? It's not the right answer! It's the black card in the figure's breast pocket. It's as if the game is trying to screw you over at this point! Worse, the limo itself has a Cohdopian flag on it, but the camera zooms in on the window to keep you from pointing this out.
- In the first case of Investigations 2, a hired assassin calls his mark cowardly because he is unwilling to sacrifice his life to save his bodyguard. Think about that for a second. The mark is the president of a whole country. Had he come out of his hiding, he would have given the assasin a perfect chance to kill him, which would have sent Zheng Fa into chaos. Even worse, if we assume De Killer is from Japan/America, it could have caused a conflict! True, he was not the real thing, but an imposter, and he got murdered later anyways, but we didn't know that at that point. Oh, and De Killer calls him a coward while holding the bodyguard at knifepoint. Yeah...
- In the first case, and just like in Case 2-4 with Phoenix, when Edgeworth sees John Doe, he doesn't recognize him! Even Phoenix was somewhat justified since he had only seen De Killer once, and was probably in shock because of Maya's kidnapping. But MILES TOO? Come on! For some reason, he forgets that the shell symbols in his shirt are the symbols of Shelly De Killer, which he recognized from a card in Justice For All. If any experienced player remembers it, why doesn't a genius like Edgeworth!? Because the plot said so.
- The fifth case of Investigations 2 has one of the single worst cases of legal bias imaginable, stemming from the second case. Raymond Shields (Tateyuki Shigaraki) is introduced as a defense lawyer representing the first case's perpetrator. The perpetrator is murdered first, and Edgeworth spends the case helping Shields figure out who killed him. Once the perpetrator is identified, her trial occurs during the fifth case... and Shields is her defense lawyer! Not only that, but when villainous plans interfere with the trial's completion, he outright tells the judge (who was also involved in the second case's investigation) that his client deserves a guilty verdict! Even if we know about her guilt, they could have at least tried to give her a fair trial with an unbiased defense!
- This is a direct result of an oddity in the spinoff series that is not worth banging walls over, but is still bizarre. In order to be a dramatically viable protagonist, Edgeworth needs to thoroughly investigate the crimes, rule out suspects, find the correct perpetrator, and successfully argue their guilt with logic and evidence until they basically break down and confess right then and there. And then... they still go to trial afterward? Maybe plea bargaining doesn't exist in this law system, but it still seems like a massive waste of government resources at that point. Or it would, if Phoenix and Apollo hadn't already successfully defended no fewer than four people who were declaring their guilt in the first place...
- Once again, the game forces you to do something suicidal in order to further the plot. In the second case, Apollo confronts L'Belle about the blackmail letter...only for L'Belle to destroy the piece of paper. Apollo didn't need it in the end, but the fact that he would even show potentially vital evidence to a murder suspect is quite baffling. This is the fifth time that something like this has happened in the series. At least Apollo didn't make the same mistake with the hand cream he found in the forbidden chamber.
- At the end of the first trial day of the third case, Blackquill presents a photo to the court showing the defendant and victim together, with a visible clock showing the time to be roughly minutes before the victim was murdered, contradicting the theory that the defense had presented at the time. Athena has no response to this, and the judge is about to hand down a guilty verdict when several witnesses and the defendant herself simultaneously confess to the crime in an effort to save each other. This is perjury at best and contempt of court at worst, but let's ignore that for now. The actual problem is that once this stunt postpones the trial until the next day, a quick analysis of the crime scene reveals that the clock was wrong. This is a wall banger for two reasons. First, there's the idea that such an innocuous error, and one that's even dismissed less than thirty seconds into the second trial day as a result, was previously conclusive enough to justify a guilty verdict right then and there. Second, the main reason why the defense had no rebuttal was because they never once investigated that room during the first day, despite actually believing that the murder took place there. In other words, that clock existed solely to create a Near Villain Victory scene, prevented only by The Power of Friendship (with no regard for the law), and was then tossed aside once it accomplished its goal. And they had to postpone the investigation of the crime scene, the most obvious first step of any murder case, just to make that scene work.
- Also, the whole case is dedicated to prove that the ends don't justify the means... which is weird, considering it's only thanks to what's already been mentioned, and Athena accusing someone of murder despite being innocent, that the true culprit was found. Kind of a contradiction, don't you think?
- The whole way Aura Blackquill was treated despite what she did almost reaches Karma Houdini levels. She's cruel, constantly abuses her robots despite their generally kind and friendly behavior, treats others like dirt (especially if they have something to do with the law), and is a major jerk in general, and to top it all off, she took innocent people (including Trucy Wright) as hostages thanks to her robots and threatened to kill them in order to blame Athena for something she didn't do/doesn't remember... and yet, in the end, nobody seems to hold any grudge against her, nor even seem angry! Ok, she goes to jail in the end, but still. She threatened to kill Trucy, she could kidnap Athena if you fail a certain question, and she claims that she didn't regret a single thing! But not only do Phoenix and Co. forgive her and treat her with sympathy, they even think of her actions as helpful and go as far as to APOLOGIZE to her for the problems the law caused her because apparently that's what caused her to do all the things she did! In the credits, Simon even goes to the Wright Anything Agency to get a lawyer to defend Aura in court!
- The fact that neither Lamiroir, nor the fact that she's Apollo's mother, nor the fact that Trucy is Apollo's half sister are ever mentioned in the game. This leads to believe that either Phoenix never told them the truth or that they didn't care (which would be jarring since they never mention it even remotely). Also, the Jurist system introduced at the end of the fourth game never appears here, which is kind of a big problem since it was supposed to give the legal system a new life and could have been of help during the cases (especially the one with Aristotle Means, since people were fed up with lawyers breaking the rules and he was the epitome of that).
Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney
- The second case ends with Kira, the actual murderer, being executed. Phoenix is appalled by the sight and ineffectually tries to stop it, and the following conversation establishes that he's not happy with this outcome. As a defense lawyer, he should really know and accept the fact that the act of pointing out the true guilty party is likely to end with them receiving the punishment. And this is after a Motive Rant established guilt beyond a doubt. This isn't even the first time in the series that the true perpetrator's execution has been part of the plot. Basically, if Phoenix has a problem with capital punishment, this should not have been the first case to bring it up, especially after so many cases in which someone surely got executed. Fortunately, a later case handles the issue much better, but still. Even if you want to argue that he wasn't that sad because of Kira's death, but about witnessing her being executed in such a gruesome manner, Phoenix even saw a girl being burned alive after being declared guilty of witchcraft even BEFORE beginning the second case! He should have known that this was going to happen!
- Luke becoming a witness against Maya in the third case. If you're a fan of the Ace Attorney series, he comes off as merely a jerk for that, but if you are (also or not) a fan of the Professor Layton series, it's even worse, since this typically sweet and smart child is now pressuring to get an innocent girl burned alive! And, yes, he was blinded by rage. And yes, he got forgiven after that, but even so, he already witnessed the Narrator being the one who wrote Layton's death. It's not hard at all to see that Maya is innocent and a good girl, stuck in a predicament as bad as his and the professor's, and despite of that, and after having been in an adventure with her, and solving some puzzles with her, Luke STILL tried to get her killed in a horrible fashion, in a way completely out of character for him, for no good reason other than to shoehorn some shock value into the case, for something she didn't do, and despite Luke knowing it happened because of the Narrator writting so!! Layton would have never approved of that, Luke.
- A minor one, but still annoying. Immediately after the reunion between Phoenix and Maya and between Luke and the Professor, we must solve a puzzle that requires of both Layton and Phoenix's skills. There's a point in which you need to use Phoenix's Objection! with one of three options. The problem? They don't use the Objection! in the proper way. The objection is used to point out a fake statement in the AA games, yet, in the puzzle you must use it on the true option. This can easily make the players lose picarats if you don't know this, and it is the only way to lose points in an otherwise not that problematic puzzle.
- Another minor one, and probably not that much of a Wall Banger, but still needs to be mentioned: towards the end of the game, Layton and Luke must solve puzzles that involve moving tiles to make symbols, in order to avoid dying from the Storyteller's statues. At the second of these puzzles, Luke asks the professor to let him solve it. After you solve it, you are greeted with an animation of...Professor Layton solving the puzzle. This is made even stranger when Luke exclaims that he solved it afterward.
- After the typical Layton reveal sequence, the topic turns to the initial disaster that started the events. Espella and Eve snuck out to the bell tower and rang the bell, triggering a previously unknown condition that caused everyone in the village to faint, leading to an uncontrolled fire that killed almost everyone else. Certainly a tragic outcome as well as a traumatic one, and one that does a good job explaining the rest of the plot by Layton logic. The problem is how the game chooses to reconcile Espella's traumatic memories in the end after the deception is revealed. Not by having her family and society help her cope with the tragedy, or reminding everyone that absolutely no one could have foreseen the consequences, but... by proving that she misremembered the events and that it was Eve who rang the bell. Really. They went up to ring the bell together, solving a puzzle that required both of them, and it was Espella's idea the whole time, but apparently only the one who actually used the sounding mechanism can be blamed for murdering the entire village, even accidentally. (And yes, some of the villagers want to kill Eve when they learn about this.) And worse, this is treated as a shock to Eve, who also misremembered the events, as she was apparently wrong in blaming Espella for the events. (Which she never really did; her revenge scheme was for a different tragedy that occurred many years later.) This is the absolute pinnacle of the Ace Attorney series idea that truly innocent people cannot even accidentally kill anyone, and it ends up turning an already melodramatic tragedy into petty finger-pointing... which is not the kind of finger pointing that fans of these series were hoping for.
- The entire cause of the incident is a wall banger in itself. The townspeople had a fire festival right in the middle of town. Did they seriously think that this was a good idea? It would have made more sense to conduct the event away from the town and in an open area.
- In the final trial, you learn that magic and the Great Witch Bezella never existed, and that the Storyteller, the supposed victim, never actually died. Should you lose all your shields after all this is found out..... Espella is found guilty of being the Great Witch Bezella and murdering the Storyteller and burned. After being conclusively proven that MAGIC AND THE GREAT WITCH BEZELLA NEVER EXISTED, AND THAT THE STORYTELLER ISN'T DEAD!