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Fridge / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Dual Destinies

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  • Phoenix, Apollo and Athena are all Color-Coded for Your Convenience with blue, magenta and yellow respectively: the three primary colours.
    • Along with Blackquill and Fulbright, you have Color Saturation and Contrast (Blue, Magenta, Yellow, Black and White)
    • And you know who shares the blue-red-yellow colour scheme, too? Hugh, Robin and Juniper. And they're all designed to reflect their lawyer counterparts, too:
      • Juniper and Athena (yellow) have many similarities that are discussed in-game, so they're the most obvious. Both of them missed a lot of school as children, and both pretend to be tougher than they are on occasion.
      • Hugh and Phoenix (blue) are both defense lawyers. At first it seems like Hugh's personality is meant to reflect Phoenix's perfectionist enemies, like Edgeworth and Franziska, but then you learn that, like Phoenix, he's just bluffing! This is especially evident in his totally unbelievable testimony about the body double during the mock trial, which is another layer of brilliance on his own when you realize that it's actually Foreshadowing for the last case, in which Phoenix actually faces a body double down in court. They were also both caught "cheating" without their knowledge - Hugh's parents were bribing the school for grades, and Phoenix was caught presenting false evidence that he didn't know about. Both choose to re-take their relevant exams, as well.
      • Want more Hugh/Phoenix Parallels? Hugh's body double theory was spur-of-the-moment, emotion-laden, ridiculous sounding, and downright impossible, right? Well, in the Phoenix Wright trilogy, what was Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright best known for? spur-of-the-moment, emotion-laden, ridiculous sounding, and downright impossible theories that eventually were 100% correct.
      • Apollo and Robin (red) are both notoriously loud - the game even points this out. Also, Robin is caught wearing Juniper's costume, which looks a lot like Lamiroir's costume from the previous game. This is significant, of course, because Lamiroir is Apollo's mother.
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    • Likewise, each of the three attorneys are made up of the three primary colors, with each color taking on a different representation per character.
      • Phoenix is the level-headed one of the trio, represented by his color scheme being majority blue for calmness. Yet he has the reputation and ability to make rousing comebacks (His Hot-Blooded personality when in, for lack of a better term, Turnabout Mode represented by his magenta tie) and his mantra of "forcing your biggest smile" when the times are tough are both comforting and uplifting (the bright shiny gold-yellow of both his badge and the chain of his locket)
      • Apollo has been known to be both Hot-headed and Hot-Blooded, being more likely to outwardly react to the nonsense surrounding him and is more driven to stick to the truth, as seen with going with his Perceive powers instead of trusting Athena in 5-4]], represented by the magenta of his outfit (Magenta for both aggression and stubbornness) and yet bears a cooler, sadder, more melancholic side of him when he's out of the courtroom and not given any flack (seen in his blue tie). And, like Phoenix, the yellow-gold of his badge shows that he will be there to brighten your day if you need him.
      • Athena is the Genki Girl of the trio, boisterious and energetic being her default personality, like the yellow of her outfit, likewise, she can also be a Determinator when in pursuit of truth and her red hair shows her Hot-Blooded fiery personality both in and out of court while hiding her sadness, guilt and anguish over what happened in her past (shown by her blue tie)
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    • And not only do they have color coordination, but monkey coordination through their unique abilities. "See No Evil" is handled by Apollo with his perceive system letting him spot tells. Athena is the "Hear No Evil" role with her ability to hear emotions. And finally, Phoenix and his magatama talking someone into revealing the truth fulfills the "Speak No Evil" of the pattern.
    • Also note that each of the three attorneys face the pitfalls of their powers in the game's final case. Apollo senses that Athena is lying about something, which leads him to erroneously suspect her of murder. Athena must decode the emotions of someone whose feelings are next to non-existent and almost completely faked: the Phantom. Phoenix has been misled by the magatama before,note  but in this case he breaks the black Psych-Locks on Athena, which Pearl warns him can potentially damage someone's soul permanently.
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  • Combined with Fridge Horror, the courtroom being so hell-bent on accusing Juniper of the crimes she didn't do in cases 1 and 3 makes sense when someone like Dahlia Hawthorne existed years ago and used to get away with several deaths caused by her due to her sweet innocent looks. The horror part kicks in when they became so paranoid to the point of potentially ruining a random person's life as a result.
  • Both Florent L'Belle and Phineas Filch lie straight to Apollo's face when he first meets them, and yet, despite his perceive ability, he doesn't notice. Why? Because the moment he arrives, Florent L'Belle sprays cologne into Apollo's eyes - Apollo even says his eyes are watering - and we know from later on in the game that Apollo's power doesn't work if his sight is at all compromised. L'Belle foiled his power completely by accident!
  • If you compare Pearl's theme from the first games to the one used in Dual Destinies, you'll notice it's just a tad different. It's been changed to sound more like Maya's theme, showing how Pearl has grown.]]
  • Why does Athena immediately know Damian Tenma wasn't a bad person despite his looks? She already experienced a similar situation with Simon's.
  • In Dual Destinies, Apollo is far more hesitant than Phoenix to believe that Athena is innocent of all wrongdoing in the last two cases]]. This is far more understandable when you remember the first two cases in his own game, in which Phoenix tricked him into presenting false evidence and the first two people to hire him were the actual murderers, one of whom was also on his defense team]].
    • Also the fact he could detect lies that even the person in question is aware they're telling, adds into his suspicion.
  • Foreshadowing for Detective Fulbright's true identity:
    • When Athena and Apollo mention in court that Detective Fulbright is the only one not afraid of Prosecutor Blackquill, it's a big hint that whoever is Detective Fulbright is actually the Phantom, who is later shown to know no fear.
      • Also, he knows that Blackquill isn't a murderer.
    • Detective Fulbright's a pretty emotional guy, and a bunch of his animations even make him look like the faces on Athena's mood matrix. A big hint that they're all fake.
    • A very subtle Stealth Pun: at one point, when Fulbright startles Jinxie, she shouts, "Eek! A ghost!" and slaps a curse seal on him. He's not a ghost, but he is a Phantom.
    • Whenever Fulbright gets angry, you see a Cross Popping Vein on his hand. This might actually be the scar he got from when Athena stabbed him.
    • "Whose justice is the most just?" Fulbright's confusion over the definition of justice is apt because he's an amoral killer with no true sense of justice.
    • Then there is also a Fridge Funny quip from Blackquill on the first day of the third case when Myriam Scuttlebutt comes to the stand. The judge asks Myriam "to come out of her box". Obviously she refuses with Blackquill throwing in: "A former ninja I met in the clink said that exposing those who work in the to pass the death sentence upon them." Guess what happens at the end for the Fulbright-Impostor? If that isn't foreshadowing, then I don't know.
  • When L'Belle is on trial, his hair noticeably changes color between his testimonies. Think back to Apollo's comment when he heard how the dye washed out with regular water, about how people wearing it couldn't sweat. L'Belle was probably incredibly nervous about being a suspect, sweated, and the dye washed out! And he had to re-dye it immediately, to hide its natural color.]]
  • Fridge Heartwarming: At the end of Turnabout Reclaimed, Phoenix instructs Marlon Rimes to "Live your life and never give up... for the sake of those who are gone, as well!" Phoenix had to do this very thing after Mia Fey's death.
  • More Fridge Heartwarming: In case 3, Simon Blackquill is given an opportunity for an easy "prosecutor victory", because after Robin Newman confesses to the murder, Juniper Woods confesses to protect Robin. Juniper is the defendant, so if Simon had taken Juniper at her word, Simon would have won the trial, having proven the defendant guilty. But Simon actually turns down the easy win, claiming that Robin, Juniper, and Hugh are all meek little mice trying to protect each other from getting a "conviction that would kick them out of Themis Legal Academy." It makes sense, though, when you learn in case 5 that Simon has also previously been willing to take the fall to save someone else from being convicted.
  • Even More Fridge Heartwarming: At the end of Case 3, Blackquill tells Juniper to work hard and honor Professor Constance Courte's memory and teachings. At this point in time, as Athena notes to herself, this behavior is unusual for him. However, it works on two levels: First, Blackquill is actually a good man, and much more kind and sensitive than he lets on. Second, he himself is doing the same thing for Dr. Metis Cykes: honoring her memory and protecting her daughter Athena.
  • Why was Professor Means' smile so creepy looking? Simple. That was him putting on a act to hide his true nature. When the real Professor Means comes out, he puts on a more natural looking but still creepy looking smile.
    • His appearance and mannerisms in general area reminiscent of Greek theater masks - overly expressive, stone-white, and possibly uncanny, used to hide the actor's real face to present a character. Fits him to a T.
  • How did Damian make a very convincing ploy that he was possessed by Tenma Taro? Because he's a wrestler.
  • Blackquill's obsession with samurais and Japan were probably adopted out of respect for Metis.
    • Double Fridge Brilliance as early as case 2. When everyone reacted to Jinxie's Yokai paranoia with skeptism and bewilderment. Blackquill was the only one to take it seriously at first glance. If Blackquill became a Japanophile in memory of Metis, then he should know all the different Yokai and what they do.
  • The dynamic between Blackquill and Fulbright is even deeper than the color scheme and name after you learn about the Phantom: Blackquill is designed after a samurai, and samurais live and die by a code of honor and self-sacrifice, committing seppukku after a crucial defeat and taking the fall for their sovereign, which is exactly what Blackquill does, taking the Guilty verdict, the consequent jail-time and eventual execution for Athena, the daughter of his mentor and his sovereign-by-proxy. If you think of it that way, the polar opposite, and nemesis of a Samurai is a ninja, who follow under no master besides whomever hires them, do whatever deed they were paid for, regardless of morality, have been known to hide in plain sight as ordinary servants in their master's home, and conceal all of their identity with deception, shadows and masks like the Phantom disguised as Fulbright, murdering all who recognize him in emotionless cold blood, throwing off everyone on his trail and has been undercover for so long he even lost his own identity.
    • This difference can be highlighted in how Blackquill and the Phantom act during their respective testimonies in the final case. Blackquill completely makes up a story taking the blame for Metis Cykes's murder (in fact, he incorporates Edgeworth's theory into his own on the spot) and is completely calm. The only sign he is lying is Athena using her special hearing and picking up the discord in his voice, and he only starts to get emotional once it looks like his story will crumble and Athena will be found guilty. The Phantom, meanwhile, gets noticeably more nervous and can't put together even somewhat decent lies while trying to protect his identity, even though he is willing to do a whole bunch of other risky things, such as taking a twenty-foot leap to an unstable ladder and risking falling to his death to prevent himself being captured on camera. Taken by themselves, and at first, both behaviors seem odd for both of them. But then, as you think about the values and behavior of samurai and ninjas, it all makes perfect sense. Simon, a samurai, values his loved ones more than anything, and he has already accepted and come to peace with his impending death to protect Athena and Metis's memory. He panics because the girl he swore to protect may be in trouble. By contrast, Phantom, a ninja and sociopath, only values his own life, and must have control over everything. Risks are fine, as long as HE is the one deciding and doing them. If his identity is threatened by external factors, though, he loses control and panics. The issue of death further identifies and differentiates Blackquill and Phantom, which is all the more fitting when we realize it began their story (Metis's murder) and ended it (Clay's murder).
  • 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.
    • Also note Blackquill's "tapping on his forehead with a smirk" animation. [Seems that Metis Cykes wasn't his only mentor: with his courtroom methods and the similar animation, it's not hard to imagine that he was also a student of Edgeworth, and that is part of the reason why the latter has a great amount of trust in his innocence.
    • Similar note, different animation and character: when Apollo accuses Athena of Clay's murder, many players noticed that he mimics Kristoph Gavin's sprite and echoes his mantra, "evidence is everything in court." The text is even highlighted in orange to make the point more strongly. Apollo would have been influenced by Kristoph as well as Phoenix, but there's another layer to this as well: Apollo, going in to his accusation, knows he'll have to face down his mentor. Who was the mentor he had to beat in court? Kristoph Gavin. He's also presenting the case in Kristoph's coolest-defense-in-the-west style. Why? Because he's technically going against Phoenix. Who was the only person Apollo has ever seen holding a candle to Phoenix's skills? Kristoph Gavin.]]
  • Why were Wright and Co. able to use the ruins of Courtroom No. 4]] in Case 5? Because the Phantom blew it up earlier. If he hadn't, the intact courtroom would've been used for yet another case, leaving Wright with no options left.
  • Like with past games in the series, the localized version of the game is set in California. This results in Nine-Tails Village being a youkai-themed village in Western territory, barely Hand Waved as being founded by Japanese immigrants. At first, this makes little sense, but then comes The Reveal that "Tenma Taro" is actually a large chunk of gold. California was home to the famous Gold Rush of the mid-19th century, which caused Americans and East Asians alike to migrate to California in hopes of riches and a better life. It then becomes very plausible that some folks from Japan migrated to California in search of gold and settled down upon striking it big. It makes even more sense when you consider that during the time of the Gold Rush, anti-Asian sentiment ran wild amongst Americans, giving the villagers all the more reason to come up with the Tenma Taro cover story.
  • If looked at from a certain perspective, Simon's willingness to take the fall and even be executed for the murder of Metis Cykes makes even more sense when you realize that he may have indirectly caused her death by asking her to help him track down the Phantom. It's implied he may have long suspected this possibility and was experiencing immense guilt the whole time as a result. Furthermore, taking the blame and refusing to talk on his part might help deter Athena and/or others from investigating on their own, thus risking getting the Phantom's attention and getting killed.
  • Did anyone else notice that Myriam Scuttlebutt has a Danger: Toxic sign on her box?
    • Also, the box originally contained "Panda Ink," and has a slogan printed on it: "Turns white to black."
    • Then later on during the second day of investigation, she's got a new box which seems to be for a cleaning agent. She's cleaning up her act.
  • So why is the game called Dual Destinies? When you start to think about it, there are so many examples of characters with similar "destinies" it gets kind of nuts. Here are just a few:
    • As aforementioned, Hugh, Robin and Juniper are designed to parallel Phoenix, Apollo and Athena, respectively.
    • Mayor Tenma acts as both Tenma Taro and the Amazing Nine-Tales, giving him literally two destinies.
    • Apollo and Athena are probably the most obvious, seeing as their names share a theme (borrowed from Greek gods). But the connections go much deeper than that. They both lost somebody involved with the space centre to the Phantom's murders, seven years apart: Apollo lost his best friend Clay and Athena lost her mother. Neither of them have mothers - Apollo's is missing but alive, and Athena's is dead.
    • Clay and Apollo both lost their mothers at a young age. They also both had mentors who were accused of wrongdoing - Starbuck is accused of Clay's murder, and Apollo has both Kristoph and Phoenix, who forged evidence and were wrongly accused of forging evidence, respectively.
    • One that's commented on in-game is between Phoenix and Blackquill. Both were falsely accused to bring about the dark age of the law, and both get their names cleared and return to practicing by the end of the game. Both were also accused of the murders of their mentor - in Phoenix's case, he's briefly accused for killing Mia Fey (although the defendant was Maya) and Blackquill is believed to be the murderer of Metis Cykes.
    • Surprisingly, Edgeworth and Athena have a similar destiny as well - both briefly believe they killed one of their parents. Both of them have suppressed this memory in order to protect themselves. Both of them were actually acting in order to protect the deceased parent, and as such, both of them attacked the murderer instead - Edgeworth shot von Karma by accident, and Athena stabbed the phantom. And, of course, Phoenix is the defense lawyer that proves their innocence in court, despite their attempts to confess.]] Both also came away from these incidents with pathological fears: Edgeworth is afraid of earthquakes, and Athena is scared of courtrooms. This is also probably why Phoenix was able to figure out the case in the end - because it's so similar to DL-6.
    • On that point, Athena wasn't the only girl that took up a vocation from UR-1: When one has a friend go utterly unheard when she was pleading for a man's life, it would probably cause oneself to take an Intrinsic Vow to always make sure that everyone is heard in court. And the best place to fulfill that vow... is at the Judge's bench. If Athena Cykes is UR-1's Miles Edgeworth, then Juniper Woods is its Phoenix Wright. It's notable that, like Mr. Wright, Ms. Woods was falsely accused of murder while she was in school. It's also notable that, like our two series-wide Protags, Junie and Thena had lost contact over the years, and when they reestablished contact, they had changed quite a bit. Perhaps, one day, the two of them will stand in the same courtroom.note ]]
    • Phoenix goes through the same destiny twice - gaining his attorney's badge in order to investigate whether or not somebody is as bad as their reputation. In the first game, he does this for Edgeworth, and in the second, he does it for Blackquill - at Edgeworth's request, no less, meaning that one could also say he became a lawyer for Edgeworth twice.
    • And another one, one that's difficult to spot but utterly incredible, is the parallel between Apollo and Klavier. In Apollo Justice, Klavier has to confront the fact that his brother, Kristoph, has poisoned two people, forged evidence, and framed Phoenix Wright. The moment this truth starts coming to light in court, Klavier says, "Clear up these doubts now, or I swear, I'm off the case!" He's pleading with Apollo, on the defense's bench, to prove Kristoph's guilt one way or another. Once Kristoph breaks down on the stand, Klavier claims that Kristoph is obsolete and the courts don't need him anymore. Apollo falls silent, and thinks, "I couldn't think of anything to say...but maybe one day I'll learn what the law is about." Fast forward to Dual Destinies. Apollo suspects Athena has killed his friend. He pleads with Phoenix, on the defense's bench, to "clear up this doubt" inside of him. The moment he says this, Edgeworth and Phoenix agree that Apollo has proven to them "what trials are really about." The only difference is that Kristoph is guilty, and Athena is not.]] But still. Hot damn.
    • How about this one: Two hearts who (truly) believe in justice each came to suspect that one of their respective friends was effectively a criminal. They did not confront their friends directly, hiding their respective suspicions and endangering their respective friendships. Each eventually came forward to their respective mentor. The chief difference between the two casesnote  is that Juniper Woods came to Ms. Courte immediately and in private, which led to a confrontation that led to the latter's death, albeit a necessary one to cap one well of darkness; whereas Apollo Justice suffered for several days before opening up to Mr. Wright in court, which likely prevented the Phantom from escaping, which likely saved lives! Collectively, the two cases connected to these internal struggles can also be considered "The Turning Point of the Dark Age of the Law", the latter restoring the populace's trust in the short-term, and the former blocking off one avenue of future corruption.
    • The parallels between Athena and the Hope Capsule. Both left the Space Center seven years before the game's events, but returned seven years later in the present with hope of change. In Athena's case, it is her psychology-based approach, and the Hope Capsule brought back samples that would "have a huge impact on all of civilization." "Hope" and "change" tie into Athena's English and Japanese names. Her family name "Kizuki" can mean "moon of hope," among other things. In English promotions and her courtroom leitmotif, she is dubbed the "Courtroom Révolutionnaire."]]
  • Related to the above entry, Dual Destinies could refer also refer to the intertwining destinies of two crucial themes: reason and emotion. In order to truly bring about both truth and justice, reason and emotion must be utilized together and in balance. Case 5 is the personification of this lesson: Edgeworth, representing reason, insists that only Athena could have killed her mother because that is the logical conclusion laid by the evidence so far, while Phoenix, representing emotion, insists that Athena is innocent, but lacks any physical proof. Determined to see both Simon and Athena proven innocent, Phoenix seizes on any holes in Edgeworth's arguments he can find, and takes a leap of faith. In so doing, he manages to eventually take advantage of a critical contradiction and form a strong alternate theory of his own, and eventually proves that a third person killed Dr. Cykes, exonerating both Simon and Athena. He then does the same thing when Apollo starts to argue that Athena killed Clay Terran.]] In this last trial of Dual Destinies, Phoenix demonstrates, more so than any time in the series prior, that emotion (in particular, trust and faith in other people) must work with reason to reach the truth and allow for real justice to be achieved.
    • On another level, Simon Blackquill and Phoenix Wright parallel each other in this regard. Both were good men who were disgraced because they let their feelings get in the way of their better judgement. Phoenix hastily presented evidence that he didn't realize was forged to defend Zak Gramarye, while Simon hastily altered the scene of Dr. Metis Cykes's murder, got caught, and took the blame for her death to protect Athena from being punished. In addition, their quagmires were caused by monsters who prided themselves on pure logic, fact, and evidence (Kristoph Gavin for Phoenix, and Phantom for Simon). Both men made their comebacks and defeated those monsters by using both their intelligence AND their strong relationships with other people, the latter of which their foes lacked (Phoenix had Apollo and Trucy, while Simon had Phoenix, Apollo, Athena, Edgeworth, and to some extent Aura). Most poetic of all, Phoenix and Simon are now working together on opposite sides of the law (defense and prosecution) and keeping the balance of emotion and reason to find the truth and achieve justice for all.
    • Also, compare the two men who caused the Dark Age of the Law. Kristoph Gavin, who got Phoenix disbarred, did so out of an extreme hatred. When finally caught, Kristoph went on a rant against common people, screaming on how they had no right to influence the law before finally screaming Phoenix's name upon realizing that the jurors will use common sense to convict him. As such, Kristoph represents extreme emotion. The Phantom who got Simon convicted, on the other hand, erased all emotions and all ties to himself, doing everything he possibly could to erase the crucial evidence against him, such as the moon rocks and the psych report. He represents extreme reason. Their victims, who end up being more balanced, end up defeating both of them using both reason and emotion.
  • On yet another similar note, the "Dual" part of Dual Destinies is all over the place, as many of the characters' fates are very closely intertwined, and fate of one of them will heavily impact the other. Beyond the obvious ones like the ones involving our trio of defense attorneys and Tenma and his daughter, there's also a couple other significant ones:
    • Athena and Prosecutor Blackquill. Following Metis' murder, Blackquill took the fall for Athena. His choice to do this led to her becoming a lawyer and try to get his death penalty overturned. Taken Up to Eleven during the emergency trial in case 5, where it frequently revolves between either Blackquill being executed the same day, or Athena being either declared guilty or being kidnapped by Aura. (Granted, Simon would've been executed regardless, but it feels like you're the one giving him the sentence)]]
    • The Phantom and Blackquill - The former's actions cause the latter to pursue the former, which causes the former to kick off the events in cases 4,5 (And by extension 1), which causes the latter to crack down on the former even harder.
    • A triple case with the Themis Legal Academy trio, as they're studying to become the judge, the defense and the prosecution.
    • Apollo and Athena back when Apollo was suspecting Athena of murder - either Athena is cleared of all charges and they're friends again, or Apollo and Athena both face the bad end (Disillusionment/validation of fears, and jail/execution respectively)
      • Apollo's side of the (first) Bad Ending is quite reminiscent of how Godot was in Trials and Tribulations: In a flashback case, both Apollo and Godot are dressed in red and white and acting as co-council to a fledgling young (and arguably hot) female Defense Attorney on her first case as lead; said female took said first case on a moment of impulse. Fast-forward to the present day for each game and both have a cooler color overriding their primary outfit and they each suffer a visual infirmity.note  In the events that happened while Godot was in his coma, he seemed to lose everything important and lived only for a revenge that was denied him, having no respect for Mia's successor until the end. In the Bad Ending, Apollo loses practically everything he has in Japanifornia save his badgenote  and becomes incredibly jaded as a result.
    • Aura, as a consequence of what happens to Blackquill - either his name is cleared and she ceases her vigilantee inqusition against the legal systems she thinks is corrupt to the bone, or he dies and she goes on a rampage. It's even shown in one of the bad endings.
  • The Hope Capsule. Its been said that the capsule had asteroid samples when it returned. the capsule was destroyed at the Courtroom bombing, why? because it had the moon rock, with Phantom's blood on it. Phantom's involvement with the HAT-1 Miracle]] means it's possible that the "asteroid" samples are actually the moon rock.
  • Here's a good one. April. The month of April. Specifically, the 19th of the month. Twice has this date been significant directly to Phoenix's legal career, and it's implied that around that date was when Phoenix began to seriously study law (as he began to seriously study law shortly after Turnabout Memories, which was on 11 April). The specific other times where the actual day of 19 April is shown are the days Phoenix presented false evidence and lost his badge. In this game, 19 April has Phoenix preparing to regain his badge. Oh, and... one more thing. The Class Trial that began his desire to be a lawyer? ALSO in spring, possibly April. April is the first true month of Spring, the season of rebirth, which phoenixes are associated with.
  • Conversely, Cases 4, 1, & 5 happen in the third week in December, which is just before the Winter Solstice, (in Japan and America,) when the sun is at its "weakest". Now, which character was described as being "just like the Sun"? And what happened to him during that week?
  • Hugh's seven-year break coincides with Phoenix's disbarment. His return to the academy coincides with Phoenix cleaning his name in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. He probably admired Phoenix and become disillusioned with lawyering after the accusations of forgery.
  • In the opening Cutscene we see Phoenix preparing to return to court in his new outfit. The gold chain he wears is actually the locket from the last game, which still has the picture of Trucy which he places in his left pocket, showing she's still close to his heart.
  • The bomb that starts the game was hidden an a doll called the phony Phanty. While it's supposed to be based off an elephant, it might also be Foreshadowing the true villain of the case.
  • Apollo points out to Phoenix that he's worked cases with weirder motives than anything he could compose for Athena and that even though they may never have met, she still could have had one.This makes sense if you think about a few things. First, by case 5-5 Phoenix has solved 15 different cases, not including the backstory cases within a case (that is, the entire first game at five cases, the second game at four, the third with Phoenix's three cases, the Gramarye case, the DLC case, and Case 5-1). Of those fifteen, consider these seven cases and what they have in common about their killers: 1-1 (Frank Sawhit), 1-2 (Redd White), 2-1 (Richard Wellington), 3-2 (Luke Atmey), 3-3 (Furio Tigre), 3-5 (Dahlia Hawthorne), 5-1 (Ted Tonate) and 5-5 (the phantom). Know what they have in common? None of the killers knew their victims (or in Dahlia's case, attempted) either at all or very well. Sawhit, Wellington, Hawthorne, and the phantom never even SPOKE to their victims (Misty and Maya counting for Dahlia since she had a hand in Misty's murder and her goal was to kill Maya). White only knew Mia as someone trying to trap him and they do not know each other past a formal meeting for White's trial Mia mentions to Maya, going off the dialogue when he kills her. Eight out of sixteen, only counting the murder of Athena's mother for the phantom (as both her murder and Clay's were formally put on trial and given case numbers for the game [5-4 and 5-5] they're separate). That's half. More than half by the end of the game. So of course Apollo would point out Athena having no motive to kill Clay doesn't matter, especially since three of Phoenix's culprits had never even talked to who they killed (or tried to kill, in Dahlia's case). Had the real killers not posed as witnesses, they'd have gotten away scot-free.
    • A bit of an issue crops up in that these are Phoenix's cases, not Apollo's, and it's Apollo making the point - but that leads to another layer of fridge brilliance. We already know Apollo was a big Phoenix fanboy and studied all his cases, but think about the cases Apollo has handled so far: Specifically, his very first case. Apollo and Phoenix were not able to uncover Kristoph's motive for killing Shadi Smith, but he was sent to jail anyway. Apollo was probably biased against motive as proof from the get-go - they didn't need it to convict his mentor, so why would they need it to convict Athena?
  • They could have had the Phantom wear any mask, but the Noh mask has a special double-meaning. When an actor of the Noh Theatre puts on the Noh mask they can channel and control their emotions and body language rather than letting their face do the job. Kinda like the Phantom does by keeping his emotions in check.
  • The very last Mood Matrix session on the game (where you're analyzing the Phantom) you're presented with an utter maelstrom of emotions that are continually changing. Like always, you're looking for an inconsistent emotion. What's inconsistent with something like this? How about an emotion that is constant and unchanging?
  • Simon reveals that Athena's empathic hearing was a lot stronger when she was a kid. On average, the human sense of hearing is strongest at the age of 10, weakening as one gets older - which was when Athena had to start wearing her dampening headphones, and might explain why she eventually didn't need to.
  • The fake Bobby Fulbright, aka The Phantom, has had his real feet cut off, and has different fake feet, with differing sizes, and heights. Although this seems strange at first, Think about it: What would happen if the size-12-imposter-victim suddenly turned around their loved ones with size-7 feet? Someone would be bound to notice eventually, especially if people see his shoes magically dropped suddenly 5 sizes. Not to mention, his height. If he was tasked with impersonating someone who was taller then he was, or smaller, then people would notice straight away if he didn't change his height. But if he doesn't have any actual feet, and instead puts on different fake ones, it'd also explain how he'd change his height: The different fake feet have differing height of the ankle and lower leg, and he just puts a pair on that'd fit the height and shoe size of the person he's pretending to be. This also explains why Filtch was able to steal his shoes from right off his feet without him noticing.
  • On a second run of the game, it's implied that the text before the first trial wasn't Ted talking to himself note , but rather The Phantom about how he's going to destroy the moon rock.
    • Building off of this, the text says something to the effect of "Now I just need to frame that girl." This also isn't Tonate referring to Juniper, but the Phantom talking about framing Athena.
  • From the end of the first case, the HH-3000's remote detonator remains nowhere to be found. It is clear that the Phantom took it, as he was the one who detonated the bomb. Now the fridge brilliance: The Phantom has been impersonating a police officer for more than a year. It would have been no problem for him to go into the courtroom during Tonate's and Arme's argument, nick the remote and vanish again, with no one having noticed that.
  • Though the jurist system is no longer present (likely due to the public having such a low opinion of the courts that they refuse to be associated) it does still kind of show up. In the third case, Athena turns to the gallery to force Means to confess, and thus find him guilty. Athena is basically using the jurist system to take down the embodiment of what makes the public unwilling to be involved with the courts, which probably did a lot to restore people's faith in them.]]
  • Bleeds over with Fridge Horror as well. The worst ending of Case 5 happens if you blow all your health on Simon Blackquill's testimony. Simon cannot be exonerated of the UR-1 charges and is put to death the following day as scheduled. Aura Blackquill vanishes with all the hostages, Trucy included, never to be seen again. Athena leaves the Wright Anything Agency and Apollo refuses to smile again. Phoenix himself throws his badge in the trash and retires in misery. Super-dark, and yet the developers actually missed an opportunity to make it even more bleak: Athena was originally arrested because she was suspected as the murderer of Clay Terran. The trial that was being conducted in the remains of Courtroom No. 4 is the impromptu trial demanded by Aura for the murder of Metis Cykes, the charge her brother stands accused of, and she indicts Athena as the real killer. The original point of the case (Athena killing Clay) is revisited after clearing Simon and Athena of wrongdoing in the case of killing Metis Cykes. However if Simon takes the fall for the UR-1 Incident, then the Phantom cannot be identified and thus cannot be presented as a possible alternative suspect in the murder of Clay Terran. Thus Athena would not simply just "leave the agency", she would have been tried for her suspected involvement in that incident, likely facing the same fate as Simon for lack of definitive evidence in her favor. And while Aura would have her revenge on Athena, there would be no reason for her to agree to her terms on releasing the hostages either because in the end Simon was not cleared as the killer of the UR-1 Incident. You can't get much more depressing than that so maybe it's sort of for the best.
    • This horror carries over if either Athena is found guilty or Aura kidnaps her. And worse, since we know how devoted Simon is to Metis and Athena, and his samurai code of honor, what would have happened if he was found innocent but Athena was found guilty? Would he have killed himself in shame?!
  • Athena had difficulty distinguishing robots from people because of her limited social contact. Sounds implausible, but one of the few people she did interact with was Aura, and we know Aura likes to anthropomorphize her robots (giving them AI, venting her anger on them when they malfunction, etc).

Fridge Horror

  • The end of the game reveals that the Phantom was masquerading as a police officer for a year. We also see that he's very good at disguising himself as other people, including, at one point, Phoenix Wright.]] The third game already showed us how much havoc a criminal could wreak while disguised as Phoenix, even in a Paper-Thin Disguise. Imagine what the Phantom could have done if he decided to kill Phoenix and use his identity.]]
    • Even worse, why does he even have that mask?. Why did he need a mask of Phoenix? I mean yeah, the guy's famous, but regardless of the fame he's still a regular Defense Attorney running a somewhat-normal office...who is very, very close to the residing Chief Prosecutor, Edgeworth. With Rise from the Ashes as an example of what happens when an outside party has the Prosecutor's office under their thumb, that begs the question: did someone hire him to sabotage the Legal System too?
      • Another possibility is The Phantom has some strange compulsion that makes him make masks out of people he meets, since he has some for people involved in cases that had nothing to do with his work.]]
      • Oh, there are other reasons for the Phantom to pose as Phoenix. Remember, Athena was the last living person to see him, and the Phantom has a tendency to kill all witnesses. Now keep in mind that as Athena's boss, "Phoenix" could go off alone with her for any number of reasons (an investigation, etc), making it very easy for her to have an "accident". Not to mention, it'd be a very handy position to be in if Apollo had made any inconvenient discoveries in his own investigation. Finally, the last trial had Phoenix serve as Simon's defense attorney and, if he lost, Simon got the death penalty. If the Phantom was masquerading as Phoenix, all he had to do was flub the trial and the last person to potentially unmask him would be dead.
  • The first day of the Case 4 trial becomes a great deal creepier when one remembers that Detective Candice Arme's dead body is stuffed in the transportation case for the bomb.]]
    • At the end of the above trial, Ted Tonate rushes in to announce that the bomb has suddenly activated. If the transport case is sturdy enough to shield against the explosion, he might have had enough time to grab it and shut it in there. Too bad he had just murdered someone, placed their body in the transport case, and needed to use the bombing to disguise the cause of her death.
  • A lot of the interactions with Detective Fulbright/The Phantom are this once you look back over it. The [ smile he has when electrocuting Simon, his trademark "Injustice we trust" and the moment in the DLC story where he pops out of nowhere by the edge of a 65ft fall to 'warn' Athena that it's slippery and she could have an accident (makes you wonder what'd have happened if Phoenix hadn't been there)]] are just some of the times where you'll feel really uncomfortable around him when you go back over the cases.
  • The phantom can't feel emotions, except for fear brought on by the threat of his identity being revealed. However, consider this: he didn't hesitate when he jumped on to the emergency ladder. This means that he isn't afraid of death. What would he be afraid of as a result of his cover being broken?]]
    • It's possible that The Phantom's greatest fear wasn't actually death, but failure, if his true identity was discovered it would mean he failed as a spy]]
  • Aura Blackwill's contempt for the court system is understandably severe, given that it had rushed to a guilty verdict for her younger brother under political pressure]]. How low is her trust? Well, it's not just to the point that she took hostages. Remember the JT-02 under construction in her lab? That thing was her idea of the ultimate judge. And between Wright's disbarment and Blackquill's erroneous conviction, everybody else's trust of the courts has been plummeting. What happens when enough people decide to take matters into their own hands precisely because their trust has fallen to Aura's depths? Well, imagine the havoc that could be wrought by the equivalent of several JT-02s...Instant dystopia, made to order. The only one who could really hope to thrive in this environment is an unscrupulous mercenary/assassin like the phantom who unwittingly helped kick all this off.
  • We all know Edgeworth can be coldly rational, blunt, and somewhat ruthless in his pursuit of the truth. But it's more than a little disquieting that he keeps insisting that eleven-year-old Athena killed her mother. Worse, when Phoenix and even the Judge keep pleading with him that there might be another explanation, he continually and quite harshly shuts them down, while repeating again and again that the truth isn't always pretty. Edgeworth has always been rather cynical, but this behavior is really cold-hearted even for him, especially considering that he should be one of the last people rushing to that conclusion (DL-6 Incident, anyone?). So my question is this: what the fuck has been going on to make Edgeworth so convinced that Athena killed her mother?!! What type of cases has he been handling for the last eight years?!!
    • I'm thinking that Edgeworth is behaving this way exactly because of DL-6. Think about it, in this case, as in any case, there are two options; either Athena is guilty, or she's not. If she is found guilty, then he knows that Phoenix, with his Undying Loyalty to his clients, will have a very difficult time believing it, especially because of how unfailingly dedicated Phoenix was to Edgeworth during Turnabout Goodbyes. So he's trying to prepare him for that scenario, which is the more likely scenario due to the overwhelming evidence. But if she's found not guilty, then Edgeworth knows from first-hand experience that the case for her innocence must be completely airtight, or she might very well be haunted by doubts for the rest of her life...just like Edgeworth nearly was. Despite the fact that he was never accused, he had nightmares for fifteen years about killing his father. Only once Phoenix proved that von Karma was the killer was he able to recover. He's pushing so hard not only because of the demands of his job, but because he knows Phoenix's case has to be utterly perfect, and he recognizes exactly what the fallout for both Athena and Phoenix]] will be from anything less.
    • Edgeworth does remind Phoenix that he insists that Athena is guilty because it's his job as a prosecutor, just as it's Phoenix's job to give an airtight defense that she didn't do it, and the Judge's job to listen to both sides and give a fair judgement based on what he hears. Notice that when Phoenix provides a plausible alternate guilty party for Metis's death, Edgeworth not only concedes, but finds more information to back up that line of reasoning.
    • Worth noting that the entire segment of the trial where he's the prosecutor, the trial is rather... not serious. Like it's part of a game to both Edgeworth and Phoenix. Which is Fridge Brilliance when you know that Edgeworth has at least been planning this from the start, and Phoenix was in on the plan the whole time (remember the phone call at the start of the game; we learn that he was talking to Edgeworth during the Investigation phase). The difference is Edgeworth likely knew all along that Athena would have to be on trial for the plan to work, and Phoenix, obviously, did not. Not just because Phoenix is at his best when winging it, but because he wouldn't have approved of this part of the plan, so Edgeworth simply didn't tell him. Edgeworth likely didn't think for an instant Athena was actually guilty, but was closing off all escape routes for blaming her the Phantom would come up with so they could capture him]].
      • This discussion loops around to a piece of retroactive Fridge Brilliance. It's true, DL-6 and UR-1 are incredibly similar cases, both of them involving a child who repressed the memory of attacking their parent's murderer. This probably means that solving DL-6 at the end of the first game came down to breaking Edgeworth's Black Psyche-Locks - but of course, Phoenix never saw those locks, because the case occurred before he received the magatama.
      • It actually did get serious at one point... when there was a potential Spanner in the Works: Specifically, when Apollo raised the murder charge from the present day.]] Edgeworth rolled with it, potentially as an extension of the "Haunted by Doubt" point above; Apollo even says as much later. Fortunately, it went better than even Edgeworth would have planned: Instead of Apollo's testimony making Athena a casualty, Phoenix counter-parried every thrust and used the fight to lock down the phantom, allowing four mennote  to do in two hours what Edgeworth probably expected to take (at least) two days! And since that person is nigh at hand, that means that the manhunt took only twenty minutes! Had Apollo not pursued the whole truth so zealously, the phantom might have made his escape in due time, and, aside from the exoneration of Blackquill, the whole effort would have been in vain!]] Edgeworth may have accounted for Aura Blackquill to get the Phantom out of hiding, but it took the one member of the Wright Anything Agency]] that his plan didn't account for to actually put the Phantom in check.
  • In case one, a bomb goes off in a courtroom. Luckily, someone warns everyone about it, so no one was in the room when it went off apart from Juniper and Apollo but they only suffered injuries from the rubble, not the bomb blast itself. You then learn that the bomber himself, Tonate, was who warned everyone. Seems like the bomber intended for the courtroom to be clear of innocents when the bomb went off right? ...RIGHT? NOPE. In case 5 we learn that The Phantom was the person who actually detonated the bomb. It seems that Tonate generally DID panic due to the bomb's timer going down and warned everyone. The horror sets in when you realize that...this completely nullifies the original thought that the courtroom was cleared on purpose. The Phantom couldn't have known that someone would notice the timer and clear the courtroom. That's right, The Phantom ACTUALLY INTENDED FOR EVERY INNOCENT PERSON IN THE ROOM TO GET MASSACRED IN A BOMB BLAST. And considering this was all just so he could hide a single piece of has to consider him the most EXTREME and horror-inducing villain in the series.
    • It gets worse. Guess who else was in the courtroom when the bomb was triggered? Athena and Simon, both of whom would later prove instrumental in bringing the Phantom down. He probably thought he could kill two birds with one stone by blowing up the courtroom with those two present. If Tonate hadn't warned everyone about the bomb when he did, the Phantom would have won before the game even started.
    • And here's some Paranoia Fuel to add to that. It is likely that the only reason Ted Tonate thought to check on the bomb was because he saw the phantom steal the detonator and realised that he was going to use it. If he had not seen that or not made the connection, well...
  • In Case 3, Hugh has a lot more at stake than just getting expelled from Themis if he gets convicted instead of Juniper. Unlike Juniper and Robin, Hugh is a legal adult and could get the death penalty for murder, instead of just jail time. It's a very good thing that you manage to prove all three of them innocent.
  • Yet another one for Bobby Fulbright/The Phantom. For an entire year, not only has Blackquill been working with the man who killed his mentor and set the ball of events rolling to get Simon convicted, but Athena has joked and cooperated with her mother's murderer, who was basically plotting the entire time to kill her too. Replaying the game again makes their interactions much more chilling.


Example of: