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"To be honest, I can't think of you as a truly innocent and good person. You have done enough evil to drive a woman to suicide. But... At least on the charge of murder, it would appear you are innocent."
The Judge to Matt Engarde, Justice for All

There are many characters in the Ace Attorney series, both sympathetic and not. These are the least sympathetic people that Phoenix and co. have faced, both criminals and otherwise.

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WARNING: due to the following entries spoiling who the culprits are, all spoilers are unmarked!


  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
    • Manfred von Karma is the Big Bad and a deeply corrupt prosecutor. In his desire for a perfect record, he hijacks court cases, tampers with evidence and testimony, and knowingly gets innocents convicted. When Gregory Edgeworth exposed one such forgery, he retaliates by killing Gregory and adopting his son Miles to raise him as a ruthless prosecutor. He emotionally abuses Franziska, his biological daughter, as well. Eventually masterminding another murder, he tries to get Miles convicted to ensure his revenge against Gregory. Caring for nothing but his perfect record, Manfred represents the evils and corruption of the Japanese/American legal system.
    • Redd White is the culprit of the second case. The arrogant head of Bluecorp, a company that collects blackmail material that he leverages against whomever he wants, he believes that he can get away with anything because of his status and blackmails everyone into silence, even going so far as to murder Mia Fey, blame it on her younger sister Maya Fey, and later casually accuse Phoenix of it just because he can. When his crimes are finally exposed, he is reduced to a screaming, begging wimp.
  • Justice For All:
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    • Richard Wellington is the culprit of the first case and an annoying, arrogant Upper-Class Twit who constantly acts superior to everyone around him. Also a member of a Con Artist ring, he kills Dustin Prince after mistakenly thinking that Dustin has a list containing the names of him and his fellow members. He also frames Dustins’s girlfriend, Maggey Byrd, for it, then knocks Maggey’s lawyer Phoenix over the head with a fire extinguisher to give him amnesia and give himself an advantage in the case.
    • Turner Grey is a medical doctor whose reputation has been tarnished by fourteen patients dying, which he blames on his supposedly deceased nurse, Mimi Miney. He then seeks out Phoenix to hire Maya's help to channel Mimi's spirit, only so that he can clear his own name, and brings a handgunnote  to the channeling to force Mimi to cooperate. It is alleged that he overworked his staff, and he has a Hair-Trigger Temper that goes off with little provocation, causing him to come off as an Asshole Victim when Mimi murders him in order to keep her secret under wraps.
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    • Matt Engarde is the true culprit of the final case. A TV star, Matt Engarde had a rivalry with fellow star Juan Corrida. When his ex-girlfriend Celeste, whom he dumped for no particular reason, got together with Juan, he tells Juan of their past relationship to get him to break up with her, driving her to suicide. When Juan intends to disguise himself as Matt and reveal the truth to the press, Matt hires Shelly De Killer to murder him. Matt then forces Phoenix to defend him in court by having Shelly kidnap Maya in exchange for his acquittal, and when Phoenix realizes the truth, Matt openly mocks Phoenix about having to defend someone who is clearly guilty of murder. Matt makes sure to also videotape the murder, planning to blackmail Shelly later down the road in case he turns on him, instigating the assassin's wrath when Phoenix reveals this. Once his smug demeanor is wiped away and he is faced with a Sadistic Choice just as he had done to Phoenix, he cowers in fear and pleads guilty to save himself from the crosshairs of De Killer.
  • Trials and Tribulations:
    • Dahlia Hawthorne is the true Big Bad as the culprit behind multiple cases. The daughter of the neglectful Morgan Fey, Dahlia grew up bitter and hateful, openly dismissive of her kind sister Iris. Becoming the girlfriend of Terry Fawles, she stages a fake kidnapping between him and her stepsister Valerie to extort a $2 million dollar diamond from her father. She then commits a series of murders, the victims of which are Valerie, Terry (whom she seduced into killing himself), and an ex-lover of hers and friend of Phoenix. She also tried, unsuccessfully, to poison Diego Armando and Phoenix to further cover her tracks, turning the former into the Anti-Villain Godot. As a spirit, Dahlia possesses Misty Fey and tries to get her to kill her daughter Maya, indirectly leading to Misty being killed by Godot, and gloats about what she thinks she has done. By her own admission, the only person she ever cared about was her own self. Dahlia finally gets exorcised by Phoenix and Mia when they reveal her schemes ultimately failed in the end, with her throwing a bratty tantrum all the while.
    • Furio Tigre from the third case is also grossly reprehensible. He runs the loan shop Tender Lender, and puts his clients under heavy debt when they are unable to pay him back. One day, he winds up in an accident with mob boss Bruto Cadaverini and is forced to pay a $1,000,000 fine for Bruto's beloved granddaughter's surgery. To this end, Tigre extorts compulsive gambler Glen Elg and has Elg create a deadly Computer Virus worth millions of dollars so he can pay off Bruto's debt. Unfortunately for Tigre, Elg wins a lottery that gives him enough money to pay off Tigre's debt but not enough for Tigre to pay Bruto's death, so instead of trying to convince Elg to keep the money and just hand over the virus, Tigre poisons Elg's cup of coffee and has an innocent waitress framed for the crime, even going as far as impersonating a defense attorney to ensure she gets a Guilty verdict. The following month, the attorney he disguised himself as investigates the case for real, and while Tigre pretends to care for Bruto's granddaughter Viola and her current state, Phoenix deducts that Tigre really only cares about staying on her grandfather's good side and couldn't care less about the girl. It doesn't take long for Phoenix Wright to prove Tigre's guilt in court and expose him as the fraud his truly is for impersonating an attorney and lying to Viola about his feelings for her.
  • Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney: Kristoph Gavin is the Big Bad responsible for disbarring Phoenix. Growing resentful of Phoenix for 'stealing' a client from him, he tricks Phoenix into presenting forged evidence, losing him the case and his job, all for the sake of his petty ego. Seven years later, he killed the client, who was Trucy’s biological father, and indirectly killed Drew Misham and nearly succeeded in killing his daughter Vera Misham via poisoned nail polish. He is also hinted to have emotionally abused his brother Klavier. He gloats in the final trial about there not being enough evidence to convict him, then upon being informed that his fate will be decided by the new jurist system, goes on an elitist tirade insulting the very idea of a jury, dismissing all jurors as ignorant swine.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations: Ambassador Quercus Alba is the leader of the Cohdopian smuggling ring. Though once a beloved war hero, Alba became a crime lord to enrich himself, masterminding every murder in the game to keep his secrets. When Alba is revealed to be the head of the smuggling ring, he reveals himself to be a smug, preening bastard who only cares about himself. Most of his testimony consists of him gloating about his connections and power, talking down to Edgeworth, and making things as difficult for everyone around him as possible. And thanks to the amount of time needed to take him down, that of course means he'll have plenty of time to flaunt all those lovely and endearing character traits and make you ponder how nice it would be to punch him in the face.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations 2:
    • The body double of Zheng Fa president Teikun O/Di-Jun Huang is nothing but a mere shadow of the man he impersonated. Envious of being a mere double to the honorable and just real president, Huang's imposter collaborates with Patricia Roland and Blaise Debeste to have the real president assassinated so that the fake can take his place as president. Needless to say, the fake Huang quickly proves to be nowhere near as respectable as the man he is the double of, and lets a smuggling ring run rampant and print fake currency, crippling "his" country financially. Shortly afterwards, he conspires with one of his bodyguards to get another guard killed, and stages a Fake Assassination attempt on his life for the sake of brownie points. When Shelly de Killer holds one of the fake president's bodyguards hostage, hoping to lure him out, "Di-Jun Huang" proves to be a Dirty Coward and signals the assassin that the president is a phony. Later on, he is scheduled to cameo in a movie (ironically starring the real president's son), but is caught in another incident with the person who hired de Killer, and winds up getting crushed by the ringleader's balloon, killing him. While people do mourn "Huang's" passing when he gets killed in the final case, it's really only because his supporters thought he was the real deal, and once the truth is revealed, the impostor's grave is quickly spat on.
    • Bansai Ichiyanagi/Blaise Debeste, also known as The Conductor, is one of the two main antagonists of the game. The former Chief Prosecutor and head of the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee, he is an Amoral Attorney who has all the detestable qualities of Manfred von Karma with none of his class nor half his intelligence. He openly admits that he can create his own "truths" in his position, is an Abusive Parent to his son Sebastian, putting him through an emotional train wreck just to get him out of the courtroom, is implied to have made his own wife and many others "disappear", and is the Greater-Scope Villain to much of the series's events, being the one who gave Manfred von Karma his only ever penalty, only doing so because he forged the evidence himself and had to divert the blame, leading to the DL-6 Incident. He also, as The Conductor, illegally auctions off evidence and kills someone who tried to expose him for it. By contrast, the Final Boss Sōta Sarushiro/Simon Keyes is significantly more sympathetic, and Blaise’s actions were the major reason for Simon’s turn to evil.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies:
    • It's hard not to see exactly why both Athena and Apollo talk about how much they want to strangle Case 2's killer, Florent L'Belle. An absolutely insane level of narcissism runs through this man's veins, looking down on just about everyone as though he's nobility and you're a peon. Just how much, you ask? L'Belle has his own personal line of beauty products he refuses to sell because he can't stand the thought of the common man trying emulate his beauty... and yet he spends a fortune on advertising the line just to flaunt himself to the public. Naturally, this leads him to some money issues, so his solution is to hatch an elaborate get-rich-quick scheme in which he manages to blackmail his boss into forcibly merging two towns by threatening his daughter, then kill someone opposing the idea (who it's implied he's also been blackmailing), just to gain access to a fabled treasure so that he can continue promoting products he'll never make any money off of and feel good about himself. Oh, and did we mention L'Belle destroys a piece of evidence that could prove his guilt right in front of Apollo and Athena? Add that all up and you have a recipe for a slimy, greedy son of a bitch that you'll be eager to see locked up and taken down a peg or five hundred.
      Apollo: ("You've just won a one-way trip to the top of my "most annoying people ever" list, buddy.)
    • The phantom, a nameless spy only known by that moniker and as imposter Detective Fulbright, is easily one of the most depraved villains in the series. His career starts when he places a bomb on the HAT-1 rocket and causes the astronaut on board to have a phobia of space and nearly die. He then proceeds to murder Athena's (then an 11-year-old girl) mother and force the blame onto her. Then rookie Prosecutor Simon Blackquill takes the heat for the crime, especially after seeing Athena covered head to toe in blood. Sometime later, the phantom (presumably) kills the real Bobby Fulbright and assumes his identity. 7 years later, the phantom sets up three more bombs in the space station as well as the rocket the new astronaut Clay Terran was going to enter with his idol. After a brilliant move by Director Yuri Cosmos to foil the plan, the phantom proceeds to murder the young astronaut Terran and starts Apollo's revenge. Before the first trial can reach a verdict, the phantom sets up another bomb in Courtroom No. 4 where the trial is being held. This severely injures Apollo, and nearly kills everyone else in the courtroom as well. The phantom then casts suspicion on Athena through a forged piece of fingerprints on the lighter that he held, which basically turns Apollo against her. In the end, the phantom was a petty murderer more concerned about keeping his identity secret than anything else and willing to use any means necessary to do so.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice might as well as be the visual novel with the most amount of Hate Sink characters.
    • Gaspen Payne, though unpleasant in the previous game, becomes utterly disgusting here. The younger brother of Winston Payne, he sought to avenge Winston's frequent defeats by Phoenix and his friends. To do this, he tried to get the gentle Juniper Woods falsely convicted of murder, and insulted both her and the defense attorneys throughout. After being fired from his job in his home country for corruption, he moves to Khura'in, a dictatorial Police State where defense attorneys are effectively outlawed and marginalized. He becomes the Chief Prosecutor, winning court cases with no effort or opposition, uncaring of the innocent people he condemns. When Phoenix arrives at Khura'in, Gaspen eggs Phoenix on into defending Ahlbi Ur'gaid, knowing full well that Phoenix will likely be executed under the Defense Culpability Act if he loses, simply because Phoenix Wright beat him in a previous court case beforehand. Whereas the actual culprit, Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin, is too quirky to qualify as a hate sink, Gaspen Payne is a servant of a dictatorship willing to convict and execute a child just to stroke his own ego.
    • Roger Retinz, the culprit of Case 2, is a sleazy television producer and former magician who was kicked out of Troupe Gramarye for injuring his arm doing a routine he was warned against. He sets up an elaborate Frame-Up plot and defamation to frame Trucy for the murder of his own apprentice, and drag her name through the mud. First, he sets up a cruel prank and blackmails the de Famme twins into going along with it. Then he uses the prank as a ruse to cover up his own murder. Retinz then repossesses the entire Wright Anything Agency, as part of his insurance to ensure Trucy is defenseless. Throughout the trial, Retinz is exposed for the snake he is and not a soul feels bad about him heading off to jail for his crimes. Cruel and unfeeling till the end, Roger Retinz was truly one of the most despicable adversaries Phoenix's protége's have faced.
    • Paul Atishon-Wimperson is the culprit of the first half of Case 5, and a slimy, egotistical Corrupt Politician. Visiting Kurain Village to get everyone there to elect him as the village assemblyman, he becomes a pain in the neck for the villagers, obnoxiously shouting meaningless catchphrases and promises via his megaphone, and is rude and condescending to Apollo and his friends. He is also a proud supporter of the Khura'inese regime who is willing to kill Professor Archie Buff to give the Founder's Orb he was studying to Justice Minister Inga. When Dhurke Sahdmadhi finds the orb instead, Paul goes as far as blackmailing Phoenix into defending him in a civil trial by having his men kidnap Maya. Within the trial, he evades questions, talks down to people, and threatens Phoenix with Maya's life.
    • Queen Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in, the true Big Bad and final culprit, staged an assassination attempt on her sister and blamed it on respected lawyer Dhurke Sahdmadhi to paint lawyers as sinful people. She then ratified the Defense Culpability Act, which declares that any defense attorneys who lose their case will be punished along with the convicted criminal, to effectively remove them from the justice system, leading countless innocent people to be executed just for opposing her regime. She also blackmails Nahyuta, secretly the son of Dhurke, into working for her under threat of revealing his parentage and inciting Sins Of The Fathers on him and his sister Rayfa. Upon discovering the treachery of Justice Minister Inga, Ga'ran murders him and frames the already dead Dhurke. To ensure Dhurke is convicted, she becomes the prosecutor of the final case, and is an Amoral Attorney worse than Manfred and Blaise combined, as she takes horrible advantage of her status as queen to blatantly change the laws in her favor, and when she is fingered for the murder, she declares that 'anyone who accuses the queen of any crime will be immediately put to death'. Finally, it is revealed by Phoenix and Apollo she had no legitimate claim to the throne to begin with, rendering all her insane laws null and void and publicly humiliating her as the fraud she truly is.

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