YMMV: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies

Take general series tropes to Ace Attorney, and take tropes specific to the Phoenix arc, Apollo Justice, or Investigations to those pages, please.
  • Accidental Innuendo: The ending movie of Case 3 has Juniper smiling happy and blushing at the sight of Apollo, while she's cosplaying as Lamiroir. It's quite an adorable moment between them, but if you've completed Apollo Justice (spoilers for that game) , then you may see this scene in a slightly squickier light... The fact that the Gyakuten Saiban 5 Official Visual Book says that Juniper may "scored a few points in [Apollo's] book thanks" to her dressing up as Lamiroir doesn't help lessen the Squick either.
    • Couple that with Apollo's Oedipus the King reference (detailed in the Shout-Out section of AJAA) in his game regarding Lamiroir's brooch and it's even worse.
  • Allegedly Free Game: The iOS port is free to download and gives you the full chapter 1 for free. Each subsequent chapter costs US$4.99. However, the full game on iOS is still cheaper than the 3DS version by a whopping 16 US Dollars.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Some of the fandom interpret Simon Blackquill's admiration for Japanese culture, despite having (at least in the English version) ostensibly no Japanese heritage, as a sign that he's a weeaboo.
    • Also the revelation that his under-eye streaks came from crying a lot in prison have given birth to the theory that Simon is secretly a crybaby.
    • The villain of the third case is hardly sympathetic by the end. But was he being serious when he offered to defend Juniper? Would he have used his willingness to forge and cheat to let her go free, or would he have sunk her to throw suspicion off himself?
  • Angst? What Angst?: Klavier's life just got worse in this game thanks to Constance's murder for a completely selfish and pathetic reason (being Too Good for This Sinful Earth in the worst way possible). Adding that to all the emotional weight from the previous game he had to bear and by now he should be a cynical wreck...but, nope, just smiles on and tries to charm any lady within arm's length.
  • Anvilicious: Case 3. If you pay attention, you might, MIGHT, get the idea that maybe, just MAYBE, the game is NOT very fond of the "the end justifies the means" mentality and its applications to the law. Also, The Power of Friendship.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • In the DLC case, Phoenix brings his client, an orca to the stand. He then proceeds to cross examine it. Said cross examination is completely meaningless as he already had the evidence and information he needed to go forward. But it was a Crowning Moment of Funny, and a nice Call Back to the parrot cross-examination from the first game (that the Judge even alludes to).
    • In the same case, while Norma DePlume and Athena are discussing the fact that the orca song Norma heard, and the song the orca does sing, are different. It alludes to the fact that there are two orcas, but the discussion culminates in the two of them having an Imagine Spot of themselves singing the songs they know.
  • Best Level Ever: Simon Blackquill's testimony in Case 5. It manages to combine both Mood Matrix and regular contradiction finding into the one testimony, uses the Mood Matrix in creative ways that haven't been seen before such as noise levels increasing and cumulates in an overload of every emotion at once. It's also a very emotionally-involving moment for the characters.
  • Broken Base:
    • The game's initial reveal with Phoenix as the main character and a new unknown assistant caused an unsurprisingly large amount of controversy. Fans were divided on where the main series should go next ever since Apollo Justice came out. While some were thrilled to have Phoenix back as the main character, others wanted Apollo's story to continue and were concerned about whether he would appear in the game at all or if he would be written out with a Hand Wave. Luckily, Apollo being a major character in the game alleviated this for the most part.
    • This game is only getting a digital release in the West. Camps are already forming between the fans who don't care and are happy the game is getting localized at all and the ones who hate the decision and want to boycott Capcom entirely. The reason given for the digital only release was that "the previous games never got much support in retail", despite the fact that the reason for this was that Capcom's advertising push for the series was always minimal at best, favoring home console titles like Resident Evil or Devil May Cry instead. The biggest point of contention for the digital-only release is that Nintendo's eShop only allows one console to use any particular piece of purchased content at a time—transfers are possible, but only by taking two consoles and transferring the rights from one console to another, after which the content on the original console will be deleted. In other words, there's no contingency for simply downloading previously purchased content onto a new device (unlike, say, Steam) if the original 3DS is lost or broken somehow.
      • And then there's the issue that the eShop is unavailable in several countries that are getting NTSC/UC consoles. Namely, Southeast Asia. Some fans in the region aren't pleased and wanted to boycott Capcom as well, some wanted to petition Capcom to release the game on cartridge, while others in the region just bite the bullet, spoof their console's location, and pay through their nose for gift cards to buy the game.
    • The M Rating. A sign that the series is going Darker and Edgier, or just the ESRB being Knight Templar Moral Guardians? Is it going to hurt the sales of the game or help them? It's caused a lot of debate. Now that the game is out, it does seem to be a little of column A and B. This is definitely a bit darker than the series has gone before (though not really that much worse than the worst parts of Justice For All), but it's also still not nearly as bad as many Western-developed games which skate by with an "M". The real big point of contention likely ended up being the implication for part of the game that Athena was a murderer as a child - and not just for any normal murder, it had to be matricide (killing one's own mother) - and some of the blood-drenched imagery involved in this; the ESRB is extremely sensitive about children being associated with any kind of violent imagery.note  And, granted, some of this imagery is... well, see for yourself.
    • A lot of people are upset that the game focuses a bit more on Athena rather than Apollo and Phoenix. Although the game does go into Apollo's backstory a little more, none of it has to do with the hanging plot threads from his previous game—the only one of those that gets addressed is the nature of black Psyche-Locks. Others however are glad, that unlike Apollo in the previous game, this time the new playable character actually got a satisfying amount of Character Development.
  • Character Rerailment: Of Phoenix, who acts more in line with his original series characterization than in the previous game. He still keeps his mentor and Older and Wiser aspects, but he's considerably less manipulative.
    • Also of the Judge, who's somewhat more reasonable and down-to-Earth again, while previous games where giving him quite a lot of Flanderization into more and more of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander.
  • Complete Monster: The phantom, AKA Fake Detective Bobby Fulbright, is extremely nasty and is the second figure (after Kristoph Gavin) who ushered in “The Dark Age Of The Law.” He started off by disguising himself with a mask he found and killed Athena Cykes' mother when she was only 11 years old, in front of her no less, and ended up getting Prosecutor Blackquill convicted. He also sabotages a national symbol of pride, the HAT-1 rocket, almost killing the astronaut on board. Six years later, he (likely) killed the real Detective Bobby Fulbright and assumed his identity in order to be Simon's handler. He also killed Apollo's best friend since junior high, Clay Terran, because Clay almost revealed his identity. If that wasn't bad enough, he's ruined the lives of several people besides the aforementioned Athena Cykes and Prosecutor Simon Blackquill and is indirectly responsible for almost every murder in the game, including setting off the bomb in the courtroom that was thought to be the work of Ted Tonate, which could have caused massive amount of death. Oh, and he framed two girls (Athena and her best friend, an Ill Girl), the aforementioned Prosecutor Blackquill, and an astronaut for his crimes. To top it all off, if you count the murder done by his associate, Ted Tonate, he has the highest death toll of the entire franchise. He's not sorry for any of this, folks. What's really disturbing is that nobody knows his true identity. He also doesn't feel emotions the same way "normal" people do. Because of this, he is a chillingly realistic version of a Sociopath in a video game.
  • Ear Worm: The Swashbuckler Spectacular Song. Both of them, but especially the new one. It doesn't help that it gets played over and over, and that it's part of the solution.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Clay Terran is very well-liked by the fans, due to his role as Apollo's childhood friend.
    • In an official poll from Capcom, characters like Simon Blackquill, Aristotle Means, Myriam Scuttlebutt, Hugh O'Conner, and Yuri Cosmos are also very popular as well, but the most popular character from Dual Destinies is none other than Bobby Fulbright, being more popular than fellow detectives (and Ensemble Darkhorses) Dick Gumshoe and Ema Skye. His being one of the greatest villains in franchise history may also have helped his popularity quite a bit.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Apollo/Athena and Blackquill/Athena, by far. The former skyrocketed already after two cases and the second by Athena being so passionate about clearing Simon's name.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • Knowing Bobby Fulbright's real identity and the truth behind Blackquill's conviction (namely, that it's false) makes the times he tases the hell out of Blackquill a lot less funny.
    • A LOT about Fulbright, actually. His "Are you calling me a bad guy?!" joke in the second case turns out to be, well... true and especially Jinxie calling him a ghost, seeing as the real Fulbright is dead.
    • From Turnabout Reclaimed: you'll likely stop finding Rimes' raps as funny after he raps about attempting to murder Orla in the same upbeat fashion he always does.
    • Since Turnabout Reclaimed came out a few weeks after the main game (but is chronologically in the middle of it), for those who beat it first, having Fulbright as detective again, knowing what you do about his identity is really uncomfortable.
    • In the investigation for Case 4, Phoenix warns Athena that she'll become a suspect if she gets her fingerprints on evidence. It was all rather lighthearted and funny at the time, but The Reveal and Wham Line at the end of the case make this MUCH less funny on a second playthrough.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • While Phoenix Wright has cross-examined a parrot before, he was able to "cross-examine" and prove the guilt of Amaterasu and Rocket Raccoon in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Now in the first DLC case, he defends an orca. In addition, he calls a robot to the witness stand, not unlike him fighting against the likes of Zero and Sentinel.
    • One of the Space Core's lines in Portal 2 mentions a "space trial" and "Judge Space Sun Presiding". The fourth case of this game is set at a space center, involves astronauts, the defendant's (Japanese) name contains the word "sun" and one of the witnesses' (Japanese) names contains the word "space".
    • Wendee Lee voicing Athena becomes more hilarious given this scene from Haruhi Suzumiya.
    • Simon Blackquill is voiced by Troy Baker, who also voiced Nova in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, who was revealed alongside Phoenix Wright has his counterpart, who is voiced by Sam Riegel in that game as well as reprising the role in Dual Destinies.
      • Even better, both Riegel and Baker were in Tales of Vesperia as best friends Flynn Scifo and Yuri Lowell, who share the same contrasts as Wright and Blackquill right down to their colour schemes!
    • Edgeworth's secret love of the Steel Samurai series reaches a whole new level once it dawns on you that now he has his own personal Samurai now as the Chief Prosecutor and therefore the "Twisted Samurai" Simon Blackquill's boss.
    • A reversed instance of this (for the audience; for the characters, it's played straight) occurs in the fourth case. The Judge asks about the bomb transport case, a crucial piece of evidence in cases one and four, and Blackquill jokingly tells him that it's his coffin. One of the final revelations of the first case is that the the body of the murdered detective, Candice Arme, was hidden inside the transport case during the very trial Blackquill made the joke in. Of course, none of them knew this at the time.
    • Upon fixing Klavier's statue in case 3, Athena notes, "Don't stop me now! The artist inside me wants to get out and have a good time!". Hilariously, just four years before, the makers of Osu!, an open source Elite Beat Agents clone, created a demo using the referenced Queen song and Ace Attorney characters to showcase the game's then-new story-branching feature (which allows the game to change the outcome of the plot based on how well the player is doing).
    • This OC was drawn almost one Year before Dual Destinies came out
  • Ho Yay Shipping: Apollo/Clay, for being best friends and Apollo really torned up over his death.
    • Also, Metis/Aura. Having a lot of Les Yay subtext certainly helps.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • There was a major one in some European forums when Capcom announced that the game not only was going to be only digitally distributed, but also it wouldn't be translated to any other language aside from English. This makes the game utterly unplayable to people without a high level of English. And even for a lot of people who do have that level, the series' famous Woolseyism, which fill the script with colloquial speech and cultural references, makes that most of them miss a lot of the game's sense of humor.
    • Also the Quiz DLC not being available outside of Japan. The official reason is that the quiz itself relies too heavily on Japanese culture for others to understand it. This is either highly insulting to non-Japanese players, says the makers are too lazy to try and rework the DLC for the English version, or both.
    • The reveal that Robin Newman is a Wholesome Crossdresser in Case 3 provoked the usual reactions from the usual suspects, as is often the case with this sort of thing. Just go to Tumblr, look up the "Robin Newman" tag, and take a drink for every time someone asserts either that Robin is a trans man or just being made to present as male a la Bridget..
  • Les Yay: Aura Blackquill's love for Metis Cykes is barely subtext. To elaborate a bit:
    • The robots they jointly created previously referred them both as Mama.
    • Much of Aura's malice and obvious dislike towards Athena is because she's genuinely convinced that Athena killed Metis. It's also somewhat implied that she saw Athena as competition for Metis. And how her younger brother Simon is Taking the Heat really doesn't help.
    • Apollo's remark that Metis appears to have loved the robots they created as much as her own daughter Athena...and Aura.
    • And, of course, Aura's outburst in court, by which point it's more or less text. Heck, by that point, the only who didn't get it was the Judge.
      Aura: Shut up, Simon! You know exactly how I felt about her! Her respect as a co-worker wasn't all that I wanted!
      Judge: Hmmm... Then what did you want from her?
      Phoenix: ...Did you really just go there, Your Honor?!
  • Memetic Badass: Taka became this in one of the streams.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Case 5-2 has Apollo Justice mention Phineas Filch's "First world problems".
    • "IN JUSTICE WE TRUST!" Considering a certain reveal this can be mutated/corrupted to "INJUSTICE WE TRUST!"
  • Moe:
    • Two words: Junie knitting!
      • Junie in her valley-girl outfit.
    • Athena dips into this too with her propensity to Squee at certain things (particularly Orla). She also has a number of "d'awww" animations (like sheepishly tugging at her hair when she's flustered).
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Juniper's frequent coughing is this to some, though others might find it cute.
    • As if the prosecutors' Objection!s weren't irritating enough, we also have Simon Blackquill's Silence!
    • You can't really hear it, but Starbuck's Haaaaaaaaaaannnnnnggghh is rather annoying as well
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The pulsing sound that happens when Apollo's bracelet reacts to someone being tense.
  • Narm:
    • Toward the end of Case 3, Hugh O'Conner pulls a Skyward Scream followed by Inelegant Blubbering. The delivery is more than a little awkward.
    • A lot of lines in the anime cutscenes are unfortunately not pulled off as well as they could have been.
    • The fifth case's Villainous Breakdown has a part where the culprit is wearing L'Belle's mask, with bulging eyes, while flailing his arms wildly, which looks much funnier than any scene where a terrorist/murderer/spy feels fear for the first time due to being at risk of being assassinated and desperately trying to remember his real face, which he has forgotten due to wearing a mask all the time has any right to be.
    • Athena's theme plays in the illustrations menu. Lots of these illustrations have bloody corpses and you have her theme playing there which doesn't help matters when you see the latest illustrations.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Found here.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The phantom is shown to have masks for characters he has no reason to impersonate and was never shown to be impersonating, like Ted Tonate and Jinxie Tenma. Who knows when some character was actually him, trying to keep an eye on the heroes?
  • Purity Sue: Probably a parody of the archetype like how Franziska is one of the Villain Sue, but Juniper Woods fits the style of the Purity Sue in that she's beautiful, sweet, soft-spoken, delicate, ladylike, proper, sickly, and a woobie, that lives in a forest, was evidently raised by her sweet old grandmother, and everyone likes her almost immediately on meeting her. Despite being picked upon by the world around her, she continues to be ever the optimist. In a way, she's a lot like Snow White or Aurora.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Apollo Justice, at least for those who thought of him as a Replacement Scrappy in the previous game. Hell, in an official poll, he's considered now to be the most popular Ace Attorney character!
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Apollo/Athena shippers don't seem to get along well with Athena/Blackquill and Apollo/Juniper fans. Athena/Juniper shippers wisely tend to stay away.
  • Show, Don't Tell: The so-called "Dark Age of the Law", for being mentioned all the time, really is not shown all that well. Sure, we get to learn that there's some obvious corruption going on in a prominent lawyer academy, but that aside, the shenanigangs involving forged evidence, deception, corruption and wrong judgements have all been shown in previous games, arguably even moreso than in this one, making one wonder how the current times are worse than the past.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Some think this about Athena. While she herself is a fairly realistic (in the Ace Attorney universe) and likable character, some think she gets way too much plot focus.
  • Squick: The phantom claims he doesn't even know his own face anymore and shows that he lives his life wearing mask on mask on mask. This means he never sees his own face, meaning he doesn't wash it, so try not to think about what he must look like under a dozen layers of latex that he never, ever takes off.
  • That One Level: In Turnabout Reclaimed, the "Special Episode", Marlon Rimes's "flip-flop" testimony. It's far enough from English that it's basically unintelligible note , it suffers from all-caps syndrome, and it takes two or three steps to break. Quite annoying to pass without using the Consult feature.
    • While not as bad, Means's first testimony in Case 3 can be pretty annoying, since the correct statement to present evidence, is a blink and you'll miss it one.
    • Simon's testimony during the final case. Which requires you to use both the Mood Matrix and present evidence, something that hasn't been done together before this point.
  • Uncanny Valley: Aristotle Means, resembling a Greek statue, looks kind of out of place with everyone else. His smile is even regarded as this in-universe.
    • The phantom and by extension Bobby Fulbright is actually a plot relevant example that is crucial to the final case. Since he cannot feel emotions the same way normal people do, his emotions don't match up with his expressions when the Mood Matrix is used against him. And when he is forced to improvise, he often says statements that contradict with his facial reaction, or just has a deadpan face entirely. Gets worse when he starts pulling off his masks, having different characters "heads" on Fulbright's "body", including the aforementioned Means. His eyes also start bulging out when he starts to feel fear. This gets even worse during his Villainous Breakdown, which he rapidly pulls off his masks, trying to figure out who he really is.
  • The Untwist: For some, the reveal of Aristotle Means as case 3's villain. He immediately stands out so much from the other characters, and his philosophy is such an overwhelmingly negative influence on the setting, that it's surprising he's the villain because it's so unsurprising. This is laid a lot more bare in the Japanese version, where said witness is missing a key component of his character the first time you see him then has it with him on subsequent meetings. That accessory proves to be a pivotal point late in the case. However, the localized 3DS version of the game suffers from an odd error where he always appears with his accessory, meaning English players don't get that hint (the error was fixed in the iOS version).
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: With the long eyelashes and feminine face, you wouldn't think Robin Newman appeared to be male at first glance. Makes sense as Newman is really a girl.
  • Values Dissonance: While the American release is rated M, Australia only rates the game as PG. Yes, only PG (which is actually lower than the original Japanese rating). A pretty major case of this must be the cause.
  • The Woobie:
    • Juniper Woods. She's the first case's defendant and she has the misfortune of having Gaspen Payne as the prosecutor, who is willing to drive innocent young girls to tears. And before that, she was almost crushed by rubble and is only alive because Apollo jumped in to save her. And case 3 is a huge emotional train wreck for her, she actually breaks down in tears in the Detention Center when Apollo discovers that Juniper is having doubts in her friend Hugh.
    • Jinxie Tenma in the second case. Her mother is dead, and her father gets accused of murder. She spends most of the case dealing with a crippling fear of monsters, and when she takes the stand, her fear overwhelms her to the point where she starts showing borderline paranoid schizophrenic delusions. To top it all off, the prosecution then accuses her of being an accomplice.
    • Athena herself as her backstory begins to be revealed, but even before then her Heroic BSOD in Case 3 counts too.
    • Yuri Cosmos can be considered one by the end of the fourth case. Incredibly pompous though he is, it's hard not to feel sorry for him when he's genuinely terrified by the phantom's presence. He looks utterly broken and pitiful at the end. He's also a good man at heart, truly loving his space station and doing what he could to save the lives of his employees.
      • Also, he didn't even do anything wrong (unless you count not coming forward with his suspicions about the bombing right away), but his reputation took a huge hit because of the way Phoenix made him look in court. In the epilogue it's even revealed he got demoted, though only to "assistant director"... of the space center that bears his name, mind you.
    • Speaking of the above, we have Solomon Starbuck, who had been driven to fear the thing he loves most, and despite being completely innocent has given up all hope and is a sad wreck, at least, until the protagonists bring him out of his funk.
    • Iron Woobie: Simon Blackquill willingly went to jail for seven years for a crime he didn't commit to protect the victim's very young daughter, and refuses to try and prove his own innocence out of fear of putting suspicion onto her and by case five is a day away from his execution. Then his desperate older sister kidnaps people so he is forced to fight for his innocence and sure enough, Athena (the person he's doing all of this for) gets accused in short order. By the end of case 5 you just want to hug the guy.
    • Apollo would also count. In the very first case, he's going to defend Juniper of her murder charges, even as he's heavily bandaged from injuries sustained when a court room was blown up. We then learn that not long ago, his best friend was murdered and he's been going on a quest by himself to try to find the truth behind it. In the process, he sees that it's very likely that Athena, his friend and co-worker, committed the crime. While he really, really wants to believe she didn't do it, he simply can't, until Phoenix is able to use evidence to prove it. And after Athena's found innocent, he asks that she punch him because he feels so horrible about thinking she was guilty.
  • Woolseyism: In Case 5-2, it is stated that the Nine Tailed Fox defeated the Yokai Tenma Taro and sealed him in a locked cave where a mansion is later built. Yokai were supposed to be hundreds if not thousand-year-old folktales from Japan, but in the western version of the game, the series is set somewhere in California. It is stated in the game that Nine-Tails Vale and Tenma Town were founded by Japanese immigrants, and Japanese immigration to the United States began sometime in the 1800's. This would mean that two Japanese Yokai somehow crossed the Pacific Ocean during 1800's and fought an epic battle on California soil.