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Characters / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: The Contempt of Court

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Note: Only put tropes relating to what the characters do or what happens to them in this game.

Phoenix Wright

  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When blackmailed by Hemlock in the fourth case, Phoenix's behaviour is so off that Edgeworth very quickly understands what's going on and steps in to prolong the trial.

Maya Fey

  • Demoted to Extra: In the 2nd and 3rd cases. As a matter of fact, she disappears completely from the 4th case.

Mia Fey

  • The Cameo: Appears in a vision to help Phoenix one last time in case 1.

Marvin Grossberg

  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Double Subverted. At first, it seems that, like Dying Clues from the main series, the bloody smudge on the playing card was put there by the real perpetrator to frame Vincenzo. However, the card gets tested by luminol, and it turns out that Grossberg did write the name of his killer on the card. The killer only wiped off a part of it.
  • Death by Adaptation: He is the victim of the very first case of the game.
  • He Knows Too Much: The killer targeted him because he happened to know the location of enigmium.

Jake Marshall

The Judge

  • Took a Level in Badass: The Judge is more assertive than in the main games, willing to stand up to Vulper, Brisbane and even Hemlock.

Redd White

  • Evil vs. Evil: Hid Vulper from Hemlock to get the enigmium for himself.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of the first case, through Vulper's dealings with Bluecorp. Though this became an Aborted Arc once the game was expended and Vulper became more closely tied to Aculeus and Hemlock.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Unknowingly, arranged Detective Snow's demotion, hindering Hemlock's scheming within the police somewhat.
    • Also, it's implied that he stole the second page of the DT-2, which prevented Hemlock from finding Brisbane.


  • Mr. Exposition: He ends up telling Phoenix the story behind the Maplethorpe Hotel, including what it was before it was remade into a hotel.

Maggey Byrde

Miles Edgeworth

  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: You play the beginning of the final trial as him.
  • Back for the Finale: In case 4, following the series' trend of having a guest prosecutor in each final case. Hemlock set this whole scenario up of having Phoenix and Edgeworth be the defense and prosecution for the finale case, but why he did that remains a mystery even by the ending.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: After prosecutors like Brisbane and Vulper, it's actually pretty refreshing to see him again, working together with Wright to solve this case. For example:
    • When he had a choice to end the trial prematurely, with all evidence pointing to Renwick, he doesn't, pointing out that he didn't summon his witness yet, giving Wright a chance to cross-examine her.
    • When Hemlock blackmails Phoenix into throwing the case, Edgeworth can tell from his unusual behavior that something is up, and delays ending the trial to cross-examine his argument on why Renwick must be guilty, even though Renwick's guilt is all but proven at that point.

    Debuted in Turnabout Scapegoat 

Robert Snow

A sarcastic slacker of a detective, Robert Snow is the detective in charge of investigations throughout Contempt of Court.

  • Deadpan Snarker: One of his main character traits, usually annoying everyone around him.
  • Evil Brit: Although his British accent is only a part of his "Robert Snow" persona.
  • The Mean Brit: Not mean per se, but his sarcasm can turn to sardonicism at times when he is in a bad mood.
  • Detective Mole: He turns out to be Lyle Hemlock, who has been playing the character of "Detective Snow" for the whole game.
  • Drinking on Duty: At the start of case 2's investigation, he tells the guests to look for him at the bar if they need him. Then he casually offers Phoenix a pint as well, who politely declines.
  • Evil All Along: His true identity is Hemlock, the game's main antagonist.
  • Hidden Depths: Despite his rather lazy demeanor when doing his job, he is a rather skilled voice impressionist. This foreshadows his true identity as Hemlock.
  • First-Name Basis: He'll soon start referring to people by their first names to appear more friendly. Too bad he gets said names wrong all the time.
  • Invented Individual: After he reveals himself as Hemlock, Phoenix asks him what he did with the real Snow, and he tells him that he doesn't exist; He was just an identity he made up for himself so that he could spy on the police force.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Downplayed trope. He's not so much antagonistic as he is sardonic. Nonetheless, he does prove to be an ally towards Phoenix. However...
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: ...then he's revealed to be Hemlock.
  • Leitmotif: Robert Snow ~ Catastrophic Success.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Zig-zagged. "Snow", the character, is just terrible at remembering names, but Hemlock gets people's names wrong on purpose to annoy them. However, he only does so in order to make "Snow" seem more endearing; he stops doing it after he drops the disguise.
  • Meaningful Name: Cardiovore has since revealed the pun behind his surname; from the verb "snow" as in "to fool or deceive". Although he did state this was sheer coincidence as his initial reasons for Snow's name were different.
  • Motor Mouth: Has this tendency in his introductory scene, but it's most likely an act.
  • Punny Name: Not his actual name, but when called to the stand in court he often introduces himself with pun names.
    Snow: Angus McCoatup, cloakroom caretaker.
    Snow: Stan Dupp, comedian.
    Snow: Upton O'Goode, professional thief.
    Snow: Phil R. Monic, conductor of the orchestra of—
  • The Slacker: Case in point: In case 1 on the second day of investigation, he and Marshall split up to search for the witness. Upon finding said witness dead in his manor, he figures he should let Marshall know so he can stop searching out in the freezing weather... eventually.
    Phoenix: (Well, I suppose there's no "team" in "Snow".)
  • Spot of Tea: Being very British, he enjoys tea and mentions it on occasion. He prefers drinking it from a mug rather than the typical cup, however.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: With Renwick in the past. He pulls no punches with sarcasm towards Renwick and Renwick himself is pretty sick of Snow's behavior thorough the whole investigation.
  • Using You All Along: As Detective Snow, Hemlock aids Phoenix throughout Contempt of Court for personal gain; to locate and obtain the enigmium and to take revenge upon the two Aculeus members who, in his eyes, did him wrong. Not only did he kill Cedric Maplethorpe in prison for his incompetence during Case 2, but he pins the crime on Vulper, elevating his sentence to the death penalty.
  • Verbal Tic: Adding "mate" to the end of his sentences. Hmm, where have we seen that before... He also has a tendency to use "catastrophic" as a positive adjective, much to the confusion of everyone else.
  • Walking Spoiler: Mostly because he's actually Hemlock.

Vincenzo Cicatrice

A former defense attorney and colleague of Mia Fey. He is the defendant of case 1, having been accused of murdering Marvin Grossberg.

  • Every Scar Has a Story: Vincenzo got his after an assassination attempt from a man sent by Redd White. He survived along with fighting back.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The good variety.
    • Crosses over with Meaningful Name: "cicatrice" literally means "new tissue that forms over a wound and later contracts into a scar".
  • Hero of Another Story: He was a defense attorney like Phoenix, and his last case (playable via flashback) is heavily connected to the present one.
  • He's Back: In the epilogue, he states that he plans to go back to being a lawyer again.
  • Leitmotif: Vincenzo Cicatrice ~ Objection!, used during the DT-2 trial.
  • My Greatest Failure: Not stopping Vulper in time before he attacked Brisbane. It's not surprising at all he decided to quit.
  • Nice Guy: He's a rather soft-spoken person, if sometimes rather blunt.
  • Remember the New Guy?: The reason he sought Phoenix out to represent him was that he was in the audience during Redd White's trial and saw Nick in action.
    • Also, he's yet another Grossberg's "prize pupil" never mentioned by Mia, after Godot. Lampshaded by Phoenix right after the introduction. However, it's a more justified example: Vincenzo was Mia's partner in investigating Redd White's activities, and she purposely kept his identity a secret.
  • The Stoic
    • Not So Stoic: ...But not in the way you think. After his acquittal, he sports a rather goofy grin, while proposing a celebration.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: So unwitting that he didn't even know what he instigated and how. The whole Hemlock plot was set in motion because Vulper decided to frame him for Grossberg's murder.
    Hemlock: After no leads in five years, suddenly there's an incident at Verglas Bridge... Hearing that Vincenzo Cicatrice was involved, ol' Robbie just HAD to get himself on investigation.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Never appears in person after the first case except for a cameo in Renwick Smith's flashback, and even then you can't interact with him.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Brisbane even refers to him as such.

Erol Brisbane

The prosecutor throughout Contempt of Court. An irrationally angry man, Brisbane only cares about winning cases in order to control his anger, as he was conditioned by Manfred von Karma who took advantage of Brisbane's then-unstable mentality to create his idea of a perfect prosecutor.

  • Ambiguous Ending: In his mid-credits scene, Brisbane is torn on what to do with the enigmium now that he has it back. He seems to have an idea on which he is hesitant, but doesn't elaborate.
  • Amoral Attorney: A man focused only on maintaining his win record, using intimidation to get his way. Though considering who his mentor was... He WILL make an exception for Vulper, however.
    • Which does end up being deconstructed in Case 3. As stated above, he pretty much constantly uses intimidation to get the verdict he wants. Said intimidation winds up being nothing more but scare tactics and without them, Brisbane is reduced to nothing more but a blubbering mess, being incapable of using basic logic.
  • Angry Black Man: Actually Deconstructed once we get to Case 3. Turns out he has some pretty serious anger issues brought on by past trauma. Unfortunately, he was mentored by Manfred von Karma, who told him the only way to vent his anger was to win court cases. Naturally this only makes things worse once he meets Wright...
  • Berserk Button: Almost anything, but especially... do NOT mention Vulper.
  • Big Damn Heroes: In the first case, he provides Phoenix with a blackmail file on Vulper in the nick of time.
    • And on the last day of trial in case 4, he awakens from his coma and shows up just in time to prevent Hemlock from leaving and provide vital new insight.
    Brisbane: I woke up. Simple as. And in VERY good timing, too, wouldn't you say, "Your Honor"?
  • Chekhov's Gun: His false eye.
  • Eye Scream: Courtesy of Vulper.
    • Happens again in case 4, where his enigmium eye is stolen.
  • Chekhov's Skill: As it turns out, the intimidation tactics von Karma taught him do end up coming in handy. When he shows up at the climax of case 4, he's just woken up from his coma, clearly still badly bruised and with a broken arm. Physically, he's no match for Hemlock and his goons and couldn't stop them from leaving if they tried. However, since he's so intimidating, he easily cows Hemlock— the guy who demands ultimate control of his life and refuses to listen to anyone— into retaking his seat and continuing the argument.
  • Death Glare: Brisbane doesn't blink.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: AND HOW!
  • Heel Realization: After the Hemlock trial, he saw that Hemlock's deep delusion of being happy makes him identical in what he did in his prosecutor days (venting his anger in court cases just to feel sane). As such, he resigns his job of prosecution and even states that only professionals like Phoenix and Edgeworth are the ones to make criminals be afraid of the court.
  • Insane Troll Logic: One egregious example of it would be his hatred of Vincenzo Cicatrice. According to him, defense attorneys should defend their clients in every way, even literally defending them from a sharp enigmium card.
    • He manages to out-do himself in Turnabout of the Snow: Wright points out to the court that the murder weapon doesn't have Snow's fingerprints at all. So what does Brisbane do? Why, bring Snow's decorative stiletto dagger and claims it's the real murder weapon on the basis that it has Snow's fingerprints and that it wasn't kept on the rack where it usually was. And of course as it is proven that the dagger is NOT the murder weapon, Brisbane earns a penalty.
  • Irrational Hatred: He loathes Vincenzo Cicatrice, blaming him for the loss of his eye. Let's recap: He hates him for something he literally had no control over, as he couldn't predict that Vulper would do it.
  • It's Personal: With Phoenix Wright, for what has happened to his mentor. And to a much bigger extent, with Vulper.
  • Jerkass: In the present. The only person who he ISN'T a Jerkass to is Smith.
  • Leitmotif: Intimidation Personified, reflecting his reliance on scare tactics.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Like Godot, he deliberately calls Phoenix "Mr. Wrong" or "Mr. Not-Quite-Right" to mess with him.
  • Nice Guy: Used to be a quiet and well-mannered law student in the past.
  • No Indoor Voice: His voice even uses explosion sound effects when he really gets going.
  • Only Friend: To Renwick, as revealed in The Ensnared Turnabout.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: In the third case, he's doing whatever he can to get Snow convicted, despite the amount of evidence proving that Vulper is the culprit. It's implied that this is the result of what Manfred von Karma put him through.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Very often.
  • Sadistic Choice: During Snow's trial in Case 3, Vulper once again becomes the most likely suspect. So Brisbane is torn between persecuting the man he hates most, and winning the trial. This... puts quite a strain on him.
  • Sanity Slippage: Downplayed, but during Case 3 he gets increasingly more desperate to defeat Phoenix at least once, and resorts to more and more extreme methods during the trial.
  • Scary Black Man: His theme is even called "Intimidation Personified"! Though in the past he was a...
  • Shrinking Violet: He used to be one in the past, oddly enough.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Sports a pair during the investigation phase of case 1 to hide his artificial eye.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: He does help Phoenix in case 1, when it becomes more and more clear that the real perpetrator is Vex Vulper. But strictly because It's Personal.
  • Took a Level in Badass: To the point where his present self is almost indistinguishable from what you see of him in flashbacks. Until Case 3, that is.
    • Actually, one could argue Brisbane is a walking subversion of this trope. True, what happened to him allowed him to awaken his senses and gave him much more confidence. Once people end up ignoring his scare tactics however, he's shown for what he really is: a terrible prosecutor who's nothing more but a pale imitation of his mentor.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: To an extreme. He went from a quiet, well-mannered law student to a man who explodes at the slightest provocation, with a rather petty grudge against both Vincenzo Cicatrice and Phoenix Wright.
    • He ultimately gets better by the end of the game, even sharing a laugh with Phoenix and shouting objection one more time alongside Edgeworth. He's now taking therapy sessions to cure his anger.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Calls Phoenix out in case three when he assumes he is defending Vulper.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Finally reaches this when Vex Vulper rips off his Krump mask.

Vex Vulper

Click here for major spoilers.
An ex-prosecutor who faced off against Vincenzo in a flashback trial. An arrogant and thoroughly unlikeable individual (in-universe at least — Vulper is actually considered the most beloved character in the game by fans).

  • 0% Approval Rating: By the time of Turnabout of the Snow, barely anyone can stand him. Even the usually confused Judge shows no patience with him.
  • Amoral Attorney: Of the "von Karma" variety. He cares for nothing else except his reputation and his win record. Then there are also his former connections with the Cohdopian Smuggling Ring...
  • Anime Hair: The back of his hair looking like a pointed tail.
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: Part of his hair looks like a pointed tail, and during his breakdown the rest forms "horns", giving him the appearence of a Big Red Devil. Which is totally appropriate.
  • Bad Liar: When under pressure.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: In Turnabout of the Snow, he gives a False Confession to the murders of Perry Docks and Cedric Maplethorphe just as he is about to be let off the hook, because he's afraid that if he isn't given the death penalty, he will instead be directly murdered by Hemlock, who framed him for the murders with the intent of getting him executed to begin with.
  • Big Red Devil: His nickname is even "Red Devil".
  • Breakout Villain: He originally started as nothing more but a Starter Villain for the Contempt of Court series. It wasn't until later that Cardiovore significantly expanded his role in the whole game because of how unexpectedly popular he turned out to be.
  • Catchphrase: "Displeased to meet you." Which is used as The Reveal later.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: One of his default expressions.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: By Case 3, he's, to quote Phoenix, "gone stark raving mad". Of course, there's also a possibility that he's faking the split personality thing.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: Despite being him being a complete psycho, his dialogue is one of the biggest sources of comedy in the game.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Again, once he completely loses it.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Of Titus Krump in the present. Played with in that once Vulper goes completely nuts in Case 3, said impersonation becomes a full-blown Split Personality... or does it?
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Pun aside, barely anyone seems to think he might be a corrupt prosecutor until he's proven to have murdered his own step-brother.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Killed Krump solely because he was the reason for his first penalty in court.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Has a scar that he doesn't like showing off too much. He was blackmailed by Redd White to kill Vincenzo Cicatrice. Not only he didn't succeed but he also got a scar in the process, which helps Wright identify him as Vincenzo's attacker.
  • Evil Is Petty: Really, Vex? You murder Marvin Grossberg and frame his former student for it just to spite him for your penalty?
  • False Confession: Just as he is about to get away with the murders of Perry Docks and Cedric Maplethorpe, Vulper suddenly confesses to both murders, warning the court that "The Boogeyman is everywhere". In The Ensnared Turnabout, it's revealed that "The Boogeyman" refers (partially) to Lyle Hemlock, the leader of Aculeus who framed Vulper for the two murders, and that Vulper falsely confessed to the murders because he'd rather get sent to the electric chair than be murdered by Hemlock.
  • Foreshadowing: In an easily missable line, Jack Crane tells Brisbane that both he and his step-brother were skilled sculptors. This accounts for his later Latex Perfection feats.
  • Freak Out: Has an epic one when he receives his first penalty.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: As hard as it is to imagine, Vulper truly did use to be an Average Joe and a reliable prosecutor. But then, after his step-brother Jack blackmailed him into committing more and more crimes and abused him one time too many, Vulper snapped and became the villain we all know and love today.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The evil variety. And just to hammer it in, he's gained a second scar in prison that appears to resemble Vincenzo's. The second one is later revealed to have been caused by Hemlock when he knocked Vulper out in the interrogation room.
  • Hate Sink: What Cardiovore intended him to be. The result however was quite the opposite...
  • Heel Realization: Finally goes through one in The Ensnared Turnabout.
    Vulper: Grossberg... Krump... Dammit, what is wrong with me?!
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Had he not blurted out the knowledge about the enigmium card being Jack's lucky charm, Vinnie probably wouldn't even consider him a suspect.
  • Informed Ability: For what has been told us about him being a renowned prosecutor who has never lost a case in his career, he sure doesn't seem that way. He's very easy to crack under pressure, with attitude problems to boot. Justified, as he achieved his record through forging evidence. Given the fact he was more focused on getting away from the crime scene, he didn't have enough time to forge it in Brisbane's trial.
  • Kill and Replace: What he did with Krump for the present-time part of case 1.
  • Jerkass: Umm, just see above. That should tell you enough.
  • Last Stand: During Turnabout of the Snow's final trial day, or rather, what would have been the penultimate day of the case of Perry Docks and Cedric Maplethorpe's deaths if Vulper didn't suddenly confess, Vulper makes a final plea of innocence of both murders, after he had been so adamant that he had nothing to do with either of the victim's deaths. Surprisingly, it worked because Phoenix had no decisive evidence that "screamed he [Vulper] did it".
    • Of course, he completely undoes it all by confessing to the murders that "The Boogeyman" committed. Because Vulper was afraid that if he didn't get the electric chair, "The Boogeyman" would come for his blood, just like "The Boogeyman" did for many others. Later on, during The Ensnared Turnabout, it was revealed that his former protests weren't all for nothing; Vex truly was innocent of Maplethorpe's and Docks's deaths. "The Boogeyman", known as Lyle Hemlock, did indeed frame Vex for those.
  • Latex Perfection: Disguises himself as both Vinnie and Titus this way.
    • The former's disguise wasn't perfect though. He misremembered which side of the face was Vinnie's scar on, and this, together with red eyes, helped Grossberg to identify him in his final moments.
  • Laughably Evil: Nobody's denying that Vulper is a terrible person through and through. That being said, his antics are quite amusing.
  • Leitmotif: Vex Vulper ~ Red Devil.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Once his Psyche-Lock in The Ensnared Turnabout is broken, he has a moment where he lays out all his regrets to Phoenix, explaining where it all went wrong for him. It seems so heartfelt that even Phoenix, who knows full well Vulper doesn't deserve pity, seems to feel bad for him for a second. If you offered to give him the gold star sticker earlier (which he was eager to earn at the time), he ends the conversation by saying he doesn't deserve it.
    Phoenix and Vulper's final exchange:
    Vulper: This might be the last time we see each other, Wright. It's been... well, you can't say it's been boring, can you?
    Phoenix: I guess not. Goodbye, Vulper.
    Vulper: Make sure you nail this guy. Do it for every single life he's made a misery out of. Just... don't do it for mine. Oh and Wright... Keep the gold star. I don't deserve it.
    Phoenix: ...I know.
  • Not Me This Time: In Turnabout of the Snow, he's accused of murdering Cedric Maplethorpe and he's also gotten involved in another murder of a police officer by the name of Perry Docks. He denies that he's murdered either of them. Bizarrely enough, it's Double Subverted. During Snow's trial, he suddenly breaks down and confesses to both murders. However, it's revealed in The Ensnared Turnabout that he was framed for them both by Hemlock and only confessed because he was afraid that Hemlock would kill him if he didn't get the death penalty.
  • Obfuscating Insanity: Played with. He was already quite deranged before his conviction in case 1 and being in prison doesn't seem to have helped that. However, as he reveals in The Ensnared Turnabout, he is not quite as insane as he was letting on.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: By the time of The Ensnared Turnabout, he suddenly drops the Krump facade and outright tells Phoenix to find Hemlock and make him pay, suggesting that the whole Split Personality thing was a ploy to catch Hemlock off guard.
  • Obviously Evil: Let's see: red eyes, a freaky Slasher Smile, and his nickname is the Red Devil. Really, it's a wonder that nobody suspected him to be a corrupt prosecuter even before he was revealed as Jack Crane's killer.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: At the time of Turnabout of the Snow, Wright cannot corner him for the murders of Maplethorpe and Docks, despite more evidence pointing to him and Snow. Just as the judge is about to allow another day of investigation, one would expect Vulper to laugh in Wright's face for all this. He instead suffers a sudden panic attack and immediately CONFESSES to all these murders. Let that sink in for a moment: This unapologetic Jerkass suddenly confesses to the murders he could escape from and outright BEGS for death. Also see Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Becomes a vital clue when he impersonates someone but forgets to wear contacts...
  • Sanity Slippage: Let's just say prison took its toll on him... Of course, it's possible he's faking it.
  • Say My Name: This exchange in case 3:
    Phoenix: Vex Vulper!
    Vulper: Phoenix Wright!
    Phoenix: H-huh?
    Vulper: Oh sorry, I thought this was the part of the day where we shout out names for no reason.
  • Starter Villain: Played with. He's also the Big Bad of the present case, and involved in the third.
  • Start of Darkness: Vulper was an average prosecutor until he caught his brother Jack in his dealings with the Cohdopian smuggling ring. Backed into a corner, Jack forced Vulper to play ball; if Vulper was a member too, he wouldn't go blabbing. Jack then put him in touch with an evidence forger to help in his position as a prosecutor (Vulper had no say), and even tipped off Redd White about this to ensure Vulper would have no hole to crawl into should he try and escape. At odds for how to handle this, Vulper developed a short temper which he'd regularly vent as a coping mechanism. He also tried caring less about the morality of it all, again just so he wouldn't feel as bad. Then when the brothers were entrusted to transport some enigmium across the country, Jack turned rogue and promised he'd split its fortune with Vulper, but changed his mind and decided to share it with his friend Erol Brisbane instead. After everything Jack put him through only to do this, Vulper snapped and became the murderous nutcase we all know and love...
  • That Was Objectionable: Says that almost verbatim when cornered by Vincenzo in case 1.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Notably, he gets two of these: in case 1, Vex's hair suddenly turns much spikier than usual as his eyes go blank-white and he screams, and later a devil's tail is sprouting from his hair. Then he slumps over on the witness stand. In case 3, he suddenly rushes the judge's bench and sits down in the judge's chair, and then he repeatedly declares himself guilty while slamming down the judge's gavel over and over at an accelerated pace.
  • Walking Spoiler: His role in Turnabout Scapegoat may not be a huge spoiler anymore but what happens afterwards with him spoils quite a few significant plot-points...

Jack Crane

The victim of DT-2, Vincenzo Cicatrice's final trial.

  • Asshole Victim: Implied, as Case 3 reveals that he once used to work for the Cohdopian Smuggling Ring, along with his step-brother. Oh, and he was also the one who convinced his step-brother to join the smuggling ring in the first place, which later landed him in trouble with Hemlock.
  • Hidden Depths: Was a skilled enough sculptor to mold a piece of metal into a perfect replication of a playing card.

Titus Krump

The witness of DT-2, Vincenzo Cicatrice's final trial.

  • Dead All Along: In the present day of case 1.
  • Killed Off for Real: In the opening scene of Turnabout Scapegoat.
  • Large Ham: See above. Lampshaded by Phoenix. However, this is only Vex Vulper's impersonation of him.
    Phoenix: I'm half-tempted to applaud his "performance"...
  • Last Stand: After being ambushed by Vex Vulper, as he was targeted by Vulper for the enigmium's whereabouts because of his involvement in the DT-2 Incident, Krump tried his best to tackle Vulper to the ground and fight back in his last few moments of life. Unfortunately, Vulper just remembered he was wielding a knife and proceeded to stab Krump repeatedly and the old man would succumb to his injuries.
  • Leitmotif: Titus Krump ~ Some Boccherini, Perhaps?
  • No Indoor Voice: Tends to speak very loudly.

    Debuted in The Haunted Turnabout 

Maris Rubin

The only maid at the Maplethorpe Hotel on the outskirts of the city. A pleasant young lady but a little eager to please, perhaps to a fault.

  • Conspicuous Gloves: Is seen wearing gloves after being suspected of murder, and was presumed to be wearing them to prevent leaving fingerprints upon deciding to murder the victim. It's later revealed that she wears gloves to hide a cut on her hand from a broken staircase rail, in order to prevent herself from looking inept at her job as a maid.
  • Hypercompetent Sidekick: Is rather capable of running the hotel on her own when necessary despite being a maid, considering that there is no other staff seen besides her and the Bellboy.
  • Nice Girl: Has a kind heart and greets her customers with a pleasant disposition. Is even said by Cedric Maplethorpe during his Villainous Breakdown that he knows that she doesn't have an evil bone in her body at all.
  • Only Friend: To Cedric Maplethorpe. Which didn't stop Cedric from temporarily framing her for the murder, though he does express deep remorse once he confesses to his crimes.
  • Rank Up: Although it is temporary until someone more competent than Maris comes along and takes over management of the Maplethorpe Hotel, Maris went from being the maid to the manager after Cedric's death, as revealed in the epilogue, with the Bellboy pretty much working under her and assisting with management.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: Maris pretty much has ownership of the hotel due to Cedric's death, at least until she can find someone more competent or they come along.

Cedric Maplethorpe

The owner of the Maplethorpe Hotel in Case 2. A very solemn and sombre man who rarely shows emotion.

  • Asshole Victim: Downplayed trope. Even though he was a criminal, Phoenix in the end feels nothing but pity for him.
  • Berserk Button: According to Maris, mentioning "Thomas" in Cedric's presence is a very bad idea. And for a very good reason.
  • Dead Man Walking: Cedric knew that the minute he confessed his crimes, being the attempted murder of Vic Barrows and the involuntary manslaughter of his coworker Stan Nyph, he would inevitably be a target of the mysterious "Boogeyman" for failing in his smuggling operation.
  • Expy: According to the creator, his appearance is based off Sebastian LaCroix. Which functions as an effective Red Herring for those who know of that game, as while Cedric is the culprit, his real personality is nothing like the character he's based on.
  • Graceful Loser: At the end of the case, he congratulates Wright and promptly apologizes to Maris for involving her in it.
  • Harmful to Minors: Witnessed his twin brother's death in a gun accident as a kid, which caused him severe psychological trauma.
  • Last of His Kind: More specifically, Cedric is, or was as of Turnabout of the Snow, the last living member of the Maplethorpe family. There are no living relatives to speak of, meaning the Maplethorpes are now extinct. With his death, Maris is pretty much the manager of the hotel.
  • Leitmotif: Cedric Maplethorpe ~ Prudence and Tranquility.
  • Motor Mouth: During his Villainous Breakdown, and much like the likes of Wendy Oldbag and Richard Wellington, it's rather difficult to make out what he's saying without reading quickly.
  • Murder by Mistake: He intended to kill Vic Barrows because he was onto his smuggling activities, but he accidentally fired his gun upwards during the ensuing struggle, and the bullet ended up hitting Stan Nyph in the room above.
  • The Stoic: He isn't a particularly expressive man, maintaining his professionalism nearly all the time. However...
    • Not So Stoic: Underneath all that, he's a man with SEVERE psychological issues, spurring from the death of his twin brother in the past.
  • Secret Keeper: Despite the fact that Cedric had been exposed for involuntary manslaughter of Stan Nyph and the attempted murder of the "ghost hunter" Victor Barrows, Cedric refused to elaborate on whom his employer was. Yet, he did mention the name "Aculeus" during his rather loquacious breakdown. But, considering how dangerous the organization that Cedric works for is, it was probably indeed for the best that Cedric not elaborated on his employer's name. If he did squeal, "The Boogeyman" would have done a lot worse than just simply strangle Cedric with the garrote wire; this anonymous person would have likely gone after Maris, too. Cedric could have been trying to protect her by keeping her in the dark.
  • Villainous Breakdown: The courtroom shakes as Cedric looks down, sick of constantly bottling up his feelings and keeping calm—and then he suddenly starts speaking very quickly as he keeps apologizing to Maris and finally after his long-winded speech he repeatedly says "I killed Stan Nyph I killed Stan Nyph I killed Stan Nyph" while his face is turning gray from not taking a breath. Finally, he collapses.

Terry Greisen/James Trent

An independent investigator and ex-Interpol agent who conducts his own separate investigations of Phoenix's cases for reasons only known to him.

  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Is first met rushing onto the crime scene, flashing an obviously fake police badge, trying way too hard to act like a hardboiled detective, and arresting Maris. Phoenix naturally finds the whole thing very odd. Subverted, he is a real detective... he just has a very different agenda to what you probably thought.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: But not in the way you think...
  • Leitmotif: Reflects his over-the-top hardboiled detective persona, renamed Bad Coffee and All That Jazz
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He clearly feels guilty for sending Clive Warren to investigate Hemlock again after he'd already made an attempt on his life once before, which led to him succeeding in offing him that time.
  • Interpol Special Agent: He used to be one in the past.
  • It's Personal: The reason he's so intent on taking down Hemlock is because he murdered his wife in the past.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Downplayed. He isn't stupid, but his over-the-top detective lingo makes it very hard for people to take him seriously. And that's what Terry wants.
  • Red Herring: His rather suspicious behavior in The Haunted Turnabout understandably raises suspicion in Phoenix' eyes (and possibly a few players' too). As it turns out however, Terry himself has nothing to do with Stan Nyph's murder.
  • Sequel Hook: His main function in Case 2.
  • Straw Nihilist: Since his wife Sarah's death at the hands of Hemlock, Trent has held a rather dim view of life in general. He believes good people only exist to be trampled on and walked over by the bad guys, that people who just try and live their lives and pay the bills get premature death as thanks. He even questions the point of "being good" at one point during his Despair Speech.
    Trent: Some people just want to watch the world burn. And guys like us? We're just the fuel on the fire.
  • The Lost Lenore: Back in his Interpol days, he and his wife Sarah investigated the Cohdopian Smuggling Ring together, until Sarah got a lead on Hemlock one day, and ended up being killed by him as a result.

Stan Nyph

The victim of Case 2. A "businessman" staying at the Maplethorpe Hotel.

  • Asshole Victim: Revealed to be one. If it weren't for his death, it's quite possible that Maris would end up being killed instead.
  • Properly Paranoid: There really WAS a spy looking to infiltrate Aculeus. Unfortunately, he had set his eyes on the wrong person.

Victor Barrows

A ghost hunter supposedly hired to track down the ghost that haunts the Maplethorpe Hotel.

  • Red Herring: Nope, he didn't kill Stan Nyph either. As it turns out, he worked together along with Terry Greisen.
  • Shout-Out: His whole character is one big one to Ghostbusters.

Thomas Maplethorpe

The ghost of the Maplethorpe Hotel.

  • Driven to Suicide: What he ended up doing out of guilt for what happened to Cedric's brother.
  • The Ghost: Pun aside, we never get to see his face.
  • I Just Shot Marvin in the Face: He let Cedric and his brother play with an antique musket, with tragic consequences.
  • Posthumous Character: Obviously, given that he's a ghost. Except he isn't, but he's still dead.
  • Walking Spoiler: He may not have any role in the current crime but he is ultimately responsible for Cedric becoming who he is.

    Debuted in Turnabout of the Snow 

Renwick Smith

The replacement detective for Case 3 during Snow's incarceration and defendant of Case 4.

  • Early-Bird Cameo: Likely the same Smith who appears offscreen with Snow in one of the first scenes of Case 1.
  • Forced into Evil: Courtesy of Hemlock, of course.
  • Hero of Another Story: A flashback investigation at the end of Case 3 has you playing as Renwick Smith on his first ever investigation five years prior to the present day. The investigation in question being that of the immediate aftermath of Vex Vulper's attack on Brisbane in the courthouse after Vincenzo Cicatrice gets him a Not Guilty verdict... under the condescending guidance of Detective Snow.
  • Hidden Depths: There is a lot more to his relaxed and careless demeanor than he lets on, as hinted at in his flashback investigation at the end of Case 3.
  • Jerkass: He isn't really a pleasant individual. During Snow's trial, he withheld evidence that would put doubt on Snow's guilt, along with his rather flippant and apathetic demeanor through the whole case. Justified, as he's been forced to work for Aculeus.
    • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: And at the same time, he didn't tell Hemlock the location of the enigmium, as it would put Brisbane in rather great danger.
  • Leitmotif: Renwick Smith ~ The Art of Pretentiousness.
    • When Phoenix has finally caught Renwick in a time and place of which there is no possible escape, nowhere to run and nowhere to hide, and when he confesses to Phoenix that he was essentially one-half of "The Boogeyman", Hemlock being the other half, his second leitmotif is known as A Hopeless Defence.
      • The name makes sense given that because even if Renwick was acquitted of the attempted murder on Brisbane, he would still be going to jail anyway because of the crimes he committed under Hemlock's influence: perjury, accessory to murder, and obstruction of justice.
  • Loners Are Freaks: He claims to have had all the talk behind his back for most of his life. He claims that Brisbane is his Only Friend.
  • Not Himself: In his flashback investigation he has a more stubborn and smart-mouthed personality, compared to how indifferent and passive he is in the present day. This is likely due to being changed by the years of manipulation by Hemlock.
  • Sadistic Choice: He faces one at the end of his investigation at the end of Case 3:
    • Reveal the location of the enigmium, risking Brisbane's life in the process.
    • Take the fall for the murder of Blaine Chill.
    • Work as Hemlock's personal assistant. And that's the option Smith chooses in the end.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Renwick was always an aloof person who was hard to work with (though of course Snow's behavior didn't help one bit). Behind that lies a man that would join a smuggling ring in order to protect a man he gave the enigmium to. A man he met the same day.
  • White Mask of Doom: Worn by Renwick in Case 4 when he entered Brisbane's home to steal the enigmium for Hemlock. Hemlock actually ordered Renwick to wear the mask for the sole purpose of making him look suspicious to Morag Weever, whose timely appearance to witness Renwick leave the house was also planned.
    • The Boogeyman's profile entry depicts Renwick in this disguise, foreshadowing his involvement in the Boogeyman crime spree.

Perry Docks/Clive Warren

One of two victims of Case 3.

  • Dirty Cop: Subverted. He did end up stealing the evidence from the VD-8 Incident but he may have done so for a greater goal, as it is shown Terry trusted him.
  • Gone Horribly Right: The reason Hemlock targeted him in the past wasn't because he was an undercover cop, it was because he did such a good job of pretending to be an Acleus member that Hemlock tried to kill him for a Klingon Promotion.
  • He Knows Too Much: What Terry Greisen thinks is the reason for his death.
  • Made of Iron: By a miracle, he survived an attempt by Hemlock in the past to kill him, which he tried to do with his usual method of garroting. Greisen even lampshades that he had to be made of tough stuff to survive that.
  • Posthumous Character: Obviously, since he's a victim in a murder case.
  • Punny Name: A play on "paradox". Could later be given a deeper meaning considering he miraculously survived his first run-in with Hemlock. Being both "dead" and alive was indeed a paradox, especially to Hemlock.
  • Retirony: Pointed out in-universe. Greisen put him on the trail of Hemlock again even after he almost killed him once, and even worded it as "one last job". He feels awful about it ending up a lot more literal than he though.

Schaden Freude

The current Chief of Police. Was also the chief five years earlier during Renwick's flashback investigation, stepping down for Gant to take his place, before returning in the present day.

  • Burning with Anger: When Phoenix really presses his buttons in the second trial and he reaches his Rage Breaking Point.
  • Detective Mole: It turns out that he was being coerced by Hemlock to use his power as the chief of police to hide evidence that would be inconvenient for him, and he was also the one who had him reinstated as the chief of police after Gant's arrest for that very reason. He's not a murderer though, but he is guilty of obstruction of justice and forgery.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: He's a major antagonist of The Ensnared Turnabout and Phoenix's biggest challenge in the second trial, complete with his own One-Winged Angel form and Villainous Breakdown. However, he's not Hemlock, he's just been coerced into working for him.
  • Earpiece Conversation: How he was instructed by Hemlock to give proper testimony in court, hence the awkward pauses before each of his statements.
  • Guttural Growler: Often speaks in a menacingly low and quiet voice, as indicated by a low-pitched sound effect and grey dialogue text.
  • Leitmotif: Schaden Freude ~ Cold Hard Chief. Becomes Crash and Burn once he's been sufficiently pissed off.
  • Luminescent Blush: Detective Smith hints early on that this is the reason why he surrounds himself with a cold atmosphere at all times; he's a terrible liar and will soon turn a bright shade of red in the face when put under pressure, giving him away. The cold helps obscure this weakness. When he starts actually whistling like a kettle, take cover.
  • Mood-Swinger: Can go from glaring at Phoenix for several seconds to lightheartedly bursting into joyful laughter, a lot like a certain other chief of police.
  • Not So Stoic: He keeps his emotions bottled up with a stoic facade. When that drops, be afraid.
  • Punny Name: From the borrowed German word schadenfreude, likely in reference to his extremely sudden mood changes.
    • His last name could also be read as "froid", the French word for "cold". Stretching it a bit further, his full name might refer to the term "sangfroid", which is one's ability to remain cool and collected under pressure. An ability which the Chief completely lacks.
  • Villainous Breakdown: His face turns red with the effort of trying to keep his anger under control, but it finally becomes too much as he clamps his hands over his ears to prevent steam from coming out—but finally, flames start shooting out of his ears and his entire body as his eyes and mouth glow white and he screams.

Blaine Chill

The victim of a serial killer. His body was found behind a bookcase in the court reading room by Renwick Smith in the past.

  • Asshole Victim: Was a member of the Cohdopian smuggling ring.
  • Punny Name: A play on "chilblain". He may have them, who knows.

    Debuted in The Ensnared Turnabout 

Morag Weever

An elementary schoolteacher and sole witness of Case 4. Treats everybody around her like children.

  • Expy: In terms of her character, she bears a resemblance to Wendy Oldbag. In terms of personality, she has some traces of Aristotle Means.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: She treats everyone like they are her students. Even the judge!

The Boogeyman

An international serial killer targeting only Cohdopian smuggling ring members (with one exception).

  • Big Bad Duumvirate: With Hemlock... although it's complicated. They initially seem unrelated until it becomes obvious that Hemlock is The Boogeyman. Then it turns out that he and Smith are each one-half of The Boogeyman, Hemlock being the killer and Smith being his one-man cleanup crew. In the final trial Hemlock tries to claim he's innocent and that Smith is The Boogeyman, but no-one's buying it at that point.
  • Collective Identity: The players were led to believe that Boogeyman and Hemlock are one and the same person. The truth is more complicated - while Hemlock did all the killings, he later forced Renwick Smith to cover his tracks, so together they formed an elusive being known as Boogeyman.
  • Serial Killer: Has murdered at least 8 people, each with garotte wire. For the first three murders, he always left a piece of card on the victim's body. He stopped then because the Trents were on to him.

Sarah Trent

The late wife of James Trent.

Lyle Hemlock

Click here to see him (major spoilers).
The main antagonist of Contempt of Court. The new self-proclaimed ringleader of the Cohdopian smuggling ring's remnants, gathered under a new name: Aculeus. He has a penchant for spying and information gathering, and has an odd obsession with puppets, often re-enacting recent events to himself with them.

  • Anti-Villain: Downplayed. His motives of following his dreams are certainly admirable (and, deep down, purehearted), it's just too bad he follows that directive way too literally.
  • Bald of Evil: He is bald underneath his "Robert Snow" wig, with his head covered in tattoos of blue thorned vines (with the Aculeus symbol on the back of his head).
  • Big Bad: His desire to get the Enigmium back for himself is ultimately at the root of all of the game's events.
  • Continuity Nod: In a sense. Hemlock has been compared to the phantom from Dual Destinies, as both are talented mimics and both pose as lovable detective characters.
    • Some characters including Edgeworth and Trent refer to Hemlock as a "phantom" controller/puppeteer/killer. Also "The Boogeyman", the nickname coined by Trent, could reference the nickname of "phantom" as both monikers give off a "nonexistent" vibe.
    • And that's not all. "Robert" and "Bobby" — the names of the detectives Hemlock and the phantom pose as respectively — are variations of the same name.
    • His final fate bears similarities to Matt Engarde from Justice for All: he could either accept his guilty verdict in court, or walk away...but with trained killers hunting him down for revenge.
  • Control Freak: Hemlock is obsessed with everything going his way. And even if it doesn't, he'll either convince himself that he WANTED the change to happen, or he'll twist it into the next predetermined plan (See Time for Plan B).
  • Conveniently Interrupted Document: The only concrete information on him happens to be one of these. Turns out that Hemlock himself is the one who destroyed it under the excuse of disposing of outdated evidence as Detective Snow.
  • Creepy Shadowed Undereyes: They're a visual indicator of his obsessive desire to keep everything under his control. It's implied he gets very little sleep because he's too busy watching everybody's moves.
  • Critical Research Failure: Possibly In-Universe. He knows an awful lot about many things, including the magatama and Psyche-locks, but apparently thinks that Edgeworth is still his "old" self - a prosecutor who's only concerned in a guilty verdict. So, Hemlock doesn't bother with conditioning him (like he does with Phoenix) and repeatedly offers him during the portion when Edgeworth is playable to claim an easy win. Edgeworth, however, becomes a major Spanner in the Works.
  • Deadly Euphemism: Sergeant Mayhew's "retirement". It's implied that Hemlock did something to him, or possibly even killed him, simply because "Snow" envied the view from his office. He brings it up to Phoenix to feed the latter's growing fear of him.
    "Snow"': ...Shame about Sergeant Mayhew retiring like he did. But that view was to die for.
  • The Dreaded: How dangerous could he be? Here's a hint: Vulper fears him.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He does speak in a rather cheerful tone towards both Phoenix and Renwick but make no mistake, Hemlock is a foul individual who managed to put many people through hell, including Vex Vulper, Renwick Smith, and Cedric Maplethorpe.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: He was once a con artist before being recruited by Alba in to the smuggling ring. Let's just say this made him raise his ambitions something fierce.
  • Harassing Phone Call
  • Hidden Villain
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: At the end of the final trial, the detonation feature of Hemlock's Grapevine app ultimately failed to activate. And why? A single typo in the programming code. He thought he was so perfect and that he could do anything he put his mind to, that he never even considered the possibility that he'd ever make a mistake (something he's outright dissociated himself with). Needless to say, his own hubris caused his downfall. It remains unknown as to whether the "digital bomb" would've actually worked had the typo not been there.
  • Hollywood Hacking: He developed a virus that works across all mobile platforms (even on the old cell phones such as Phoenix's, Edgeworth's and Brisbane's) and can somehow make any phone explode.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: If he's to be believed, Hemlock never WANTED to kill in the first place. He claims to have abandoned his own morality in order to preserve his happiness, but has convinced himself this as a GOOD thing.
  • Implausible Deniability: At one point claims to be completely innocent while simultaneously acknowledging that he's the leader of a criminal organization and that he's holding the entire courtroom hostage. The Judge even lampshades how ridiculous he sounds, repeatedly stating with a straight face that he's not a killer while also threatening to turn a room full of people into a bloodbath.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: He intentionally falls for this when he chooses to reveal his identity to Phoenix in a one-on-one conversation.
    "Snow": You sound kinda nervous, mate. Scared? Ah, don't be. It's not like he's able to call you with your phone turned off, is it?
    Phoenix: And how did you know my phone is off?
    "Snow": Hm.
  • I Reject Your Reality: A big part of his personality. He refuses to see things any other way but HIS way and obsessively works to change the world around him to fit his view. A big part of what makes him so threatening is that, given how much power he has, he can actually succeed in making the world conform to his twisted view of things. This gets worse once he's lost his final argument in court. Unable to bear the thought of having messed up so badly, he simply resolves to wipe the slate clean and pretend it all never happened. That involves erasing all witnesses, which includes nearly the entire surviving cast, the courtroom audience and his own henchmen.
    Hemlock: I-I dunno if I can carry on through life after today... The knowledge that I screwed this whole thing up and everyone's gonna know about it...? I-I can't let that happen! I can't have ANY of you knowing! THIS ALL NEVER HAPPENED!!!
    Phoenix: And what about you? How do YOU plan to cope with the earth-shattering revelation that you're not perfect?!
    Hemlock: Becoming other people is my specialty, Nick! It's how I managed to cope in a world of naysayers and negativity! I'll just wipe the slate, hello world, I'm someone new! I'll just force myself to forget this ever happened. Allll over again.
  • Kick the Dog: His treatment of Renwick counts as this in spades. Five years ago, he somehow managed to track Renwick down, with the knowledge of him taking the enigmium to Brisbane. He promptly gave him a Sadistic Choice: Either tell him the location of enigmium, get framed for the murder of Blaine Chill or work for him as a member of the smuggling ring. If we trust Hemlock's word on him "being everywhere", we can safely assume that he knew the location of enigmium all along. He knew and blackmailed Renwick anyway. So... yeah, he's kind of an asshole.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Subverted. His treatment of Vex Vulper WOULD usually count as this, were it not for the fact Hemlock seems to be a far worse person than him.
  • Klingon Promotion: He killed his way up the ranks of the Codophian Smuggling Ring, until he ended up its leader.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Contempt of Court's two other villains had certain quirks and tropes that prevented them from being this. While Vex Vulper was a horrible person, he was Laughably Evil enough to not be this. Cedric Maplethorpe had a tragic backstory along with rather sympathetic motives. Hemlock has none of that. He's a man who could and WOULD track you down at any opportunity, forcing you to commit many atrocities, gleefully ruining your life in the process just like he did with Renwick Smith. And none of it is played for laughs.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Some of his comments to Phoenix during The Reveal almost feel directed at the player, such as having Phoenix's Magatama stolen before he could defend "Snow" because he wanted to give them a chance to "play the case", and calling Snow a "lovable character, but just that: a character."
  • Leitmotif: Appropriately renamed The Puppeteer His true leitmotif for when he is revealed is named Happiness Justifies the Means.
  • Master of Disguise: His Robert Snow disguise, not to mention his ability to flawlessly imitate voices. By the time of his reveal, he states a desire to pursue more advanced methods of disguise, showing an interest in the rubber masks Vulper made in Turnabout Scapegoat.
  • Meaningful Name: "Hemlock" is a species of poisonous plant. And the name of his organization, "Aculeus", refers to the thorns of some plants such as roses (hence the rose insignia on the order card). And possibly keeping with the "floral" theme of certain members of the Cohdopian smuggling ring such as Calisto Yew and Quercus Alba.
    • Lyle sounds like "liar" and also references the Lyrebird, a bird known for flawlessly mimicking sounds.
    • Lyle is an English name meaning "the island". When compared to the saying "no man is an island" (everybody relies on others), the meaning of Lyle suits him perfectly.
  • Moral Dissonance (See I Did What I Had to Do above)
  • Never My Fault: No matter what wrongs he's done, he'll keep insisting someone else— or anyone else, really— was to blame. He even has the gall to tell Trent to his face that, really, it's Trent's own fault that he killed his wife. After all, if Trent never investigated him, he wouldn't have had to kill her, right?
    • At one point in the final trial when his actions as Robert Snow are brought up by Phoenix, Hemlock seems to blame Snow himself (the fictional character he played), as if he is a separate entity.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: His control over Aculeus works this way; He implies that the majority of his underlings have never even seen what he looks like, nor do they know how he knows everything, so they're under constant paranoia that he might be listening and thus will always be obedient.
    Hemlock: You know you're one of the lucky few to actually know who I am? Not something I entitle to just anyone. I prefer the anonymity. Keeps them in check, you see. If nobody knows where I am, then they'll believe that I really AM everywhere. The faceless overlord shtick's been working wonders, so why fix what ain't broken?
  • Not Me This Time: When it becomes obvious in court that he's a criminal mastermind and leader of a smuggling ring, he claims this trope. Consider that he's holding the entire court hostage, no-one buys it for a moment.
    Hemlock: I figured a little positive reinforcement was needed.
  • Sinister Surveillance: It is revealed his method of spying comes from Grapevine, a phone app he developed designed to spread stealthily to people's phones, effectively creating a network of mobile listening bugs. Vulper and Renwick know of his spying and are both visibly terrified by it, not daring to say anything in case he might be listening. Hemlock calls Phoenix from time to time to repeat what others have been recently saying, or just to gloat that he's "everywhere". At one point he even calls Phoenix to directly respond to something Phoenix said out loud to himself in his office!
  • Time for Plan B: Hemlock has a string of predetermined plans to steal the enigmium. They date back to five years ago when he was originally trusted to transfer the enigmium, but Vulper and Crane ended up assigned to it instead. And so Plan B unfolded... then C... then D... By the time of his full reveal to the court, he's at Plan V.
    • The fail-deadly function of Grapevine — which infects every cell phone in the courthouse and somehow turns them into digital bombs — was Plan X.
    • And that coffee poisoning business that didn't seem to go anywhere in Case 3? That was Plan Y, Hemlock's last resort to frame Renwick for some kind of attempted murder.
  • Omniglot: Claims to have taught himself 68 languages. It sure comes in handy when one is running an intenational crime syndicate.
  • The Omniscient: Hemlock tirelessly researches everything and everyone he comes into contact with. He even knows about Psyche-locks after having the time to research Phoenix and the Kurain clan. Which was why he needed Phoenix's magatama gone after "Snow" became the defendant of Case 3.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He has quite a weird tendency to retell the terrible events he's been involved in with the fingerpuppets of the ones involved. After The Reveal it turns out this is a big part of his personality. He's obsessed with making himself happy and will do anything to ensure this, and throws a tantrum whenever anything or anyone doesn't go his way.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: Especially after The Reveal when he takes the Judge's seat, declaring himself the overseer of the proceedings. Also played with I Reject Your Reality, see above.
  • The Sociopath: After The Reveal of his motivations, Phoenix explicitly calls him this to his face.
  • The Starscream: To Quercus Alba. It was implied by Edgeworth at the end of AAI that a new ringleader would step up following the arrest of Alba — this would be the individual known as Hemlock, who gathered the remnants and renamed it Aculeus. He uses the former smuggling ring members under his command as his personal task force, aiding him in furthering his ever-increasing list of (what he believes to be) honest dreams and goals.
  • Start of Darkness: Also paired with Misery Builds Character. Hemlock claims to have had a thoroughly miserable upbringing. He doesn't go into detail, but he claims that as a child he never knew happiness thanks to "the way the world works". He wished he could be "someone else", and as a coping mechanism he would invent characters and pretend to be them. This led to his first experience of happiness, and fearful of losing it, he clung onto it for the rest of his life. Realizing his potential was what made him happy, he went about achieving whatever came to mind as a means to preserve that shred of positivity, developing a stark fear of negativity and a compulsive desire to avoid it. He developed an extremely rigid mindset as a result, believing it wasn't him who needed to change; everything else around him did. And so he would go about trying to control and change anything that didn't fit in with his view of the world, and actually succeeding.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: He believes those who object to his ambitious spirit are jealous and are trying to topple his success. He regularly calls out non-conformists as "naysayers".
    Hemlock: See... People like you are part of the problem, Nicky. You're just another naysayer trying to stop dreamers like me from the happiness I deserve. Another stuffed shirt trying to drag me back into that miserable life I put behind me. Exactly the kind of people this world could do without.
  • Tautological Templar: Hemlock is what would happen if someone took the phrase "believe in yourself and you can do anything" to the absolute nth degree. He believes he is just following his dreams, like we're all encouraged to do, and that actions taken towards positivity, no matter how despicable, can't possibly be considered "bad". And therefore he believes his actions are for the greater good. (As reflected in the name of his theme song: "Happiness Justifies the Means".)
  • Techno Wizard: Considering he apparently has ways to listen in on anyone, anywhere, he'd have to be pretty good with technology. Thankfully, he's not as good as he thinks he is. His attempt to create a digital bomb falls flat. This ultimately proves his undoing. And by a SPELLING ERROR of all things!
  • Ventriloquism: While coercing Phoenix during the first half of the final trial, he often mimics Nick's "Objection!" as a means to force Nick to speak up against the player-controlled Edgeworth's arguments. The Judge always falls for this.
  • Verbal Tic: Hemlock often addresses others with lighthearted but condescending terms such as "bub", "buddy", "slugger", "bucko", "buckaroo", etc.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Hemlock once again attempts to consult his finger puppets, but this time he hallucinates that his finger puppets are scolding him. Then he repeatedly slams his head into the judge's bench, causing his head tattoos to somehow run down his face. He then throws his puppet bandoliers into the audience to rid himself of them, but the audience start throwing a shower of finger puppets back at him. Finally the puppet of Renwick Smith hits him square in the middle of the forehead, leaving a mark and knocking him out.
  • Voice Changeling: Hemlock has a talent for perfect voice mimicry as foreshadowed by Snow. His time as a con-man drew the smuggling ring's interest, taking him on to become the ring's top impersonator. He later uses this talent to frame Renwick for Brisbane's attempted murder by faking Brisbane's 911 call.
  • We Can Rule Together: A very twisted version of the trope. He threatens Phoenix to frame him up for the arson of the Hazakura temple, then absolve him of all charges and make Phoenix his new right-hand man instead of Smith if he doesn't play along at the trial.

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