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Headscratchers for the series in general go here. Please direct Headscratchers specific to individual games/subseries to Headscratchers: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Headscratchers: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, Headscratchers: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Headscratchers: Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Headscratchers: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, Headscratchers: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice, or Headscratchers: The Great Ace Attorney.

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     Can spirit channelers have a measure of control over the ones they resurrect or not? 
  • The idea of spirit channeling is that their souls vacate their bodies to bring back the souls of the dead one. From this point they have no memories of anything the recalled one does since they technically don't exist anymore. I don't remember exactly what she said, but I believe Maya says something about how an inexperienced medium couldn't control the resurrected one, hence why she left for more training. In a later case the Master of the art resurrects someone who had murder on the mind, and seemingly would have been successful at killing her target if she hadn't been killed first. Considering the target was the Master's own daughter, you'd think if it was possible to control the resurrected one they'd have certainly done it. If it's not possible to control a resurrected one, no matter WHAT your level of skill or experience, then spirit channeling seems inherently dangerous, since you never know how the spirit will use your body.
    • If it helps, the anime, at least, supports Maya's statement that an experienced medium can have some measure of control over the spirit they channel—Morgan uses Case 2-2 to insinuate that Maya isn't fit as a spirit medium for losing control of the spirit she "channeled". Additionally, during a flashback to Misty's murder, Godot mentions that it was possible Misty could have gotten Dahlia under control if he hadn't barged in to "rescue" Maya at that moment, and there's a lingering shot of Dahlia's hand shaking while holding her knife. It is true that Misty was a master, but she'd also been out of practice for over a decade at that point. Perhaps you need to be at the absolute top of your game to control a spirit possessing your body without issue.
     Found guilty? Just fix it next month 
  • While I can still see the issue, why does Phoenix and co. act like a guilty verdict is the end all, be all? When someone is found guilty in the 3 day span the judge states there will be another trial at a higher court within a month. So it's not like you'd have to file papers and go through a process of forcing a retrial. It's already going to happen automatically. Having an extra month to look into the matters of the case should give enough time to find something that can overturn the prosecutions claims. It would likely still have a negative impact on their reputation if they were found guilty even if it was later overturned, but that guilty verdict doesn't end the case permanently and sets up the possibility your client would go free shortly after if you found a compelling piece of evidence.
    • "Higher court" refers to either a supreme court or appellate court, as apposed to a trial court, which also has the title of "Court of Appeal" and "Last Resort Court", amongst others. It's not a "you're not officially guilty yet" scenario, it's a matter of offering the defendant a case for appeal (which is almost always going to be rejected, without solid ground). To quote wikipedia: "An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court, court of appeals, appeal court, court of appeal, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal." The more bizarre thing here how it seems to be a mandatory right for all convicted defendants to have an appeal trial, although I suppose it could just be a way for the legal system to compensate for the "swift" nature of the Initial Trial System, by giving convicted defendants an easy route for appeal.
     No guilty pleas in AA universe? 
  • The whole notion of the 3 day system is that the courts are bogged down with so many cases they have to speed up the process. The issue here is that even when someone admits guilt openly they still have to go through the trial process, which seems redundant. Simon Blackquill professed his guilt from the start, Lana Skye professed her guilt at the start of day 3, but was overridden. If the idea is to speed up the process to have more cases heard in a smaller timeframe then why go through a trial at all when the defendant is accepting guilt? It seems like a waste of the courts time and goes against what they were aiming for with the reformation.
    • The out-of-universe explanation is that it's based on the Japanese court system, which has no concept of pleas.
     Spirit channeling in-universe? 
  • From a purely in-universe perspective, why don't those who are fully aware of the existence of spirit channeling never once ask a Fey to perform one after the events of case 3-5? Given the multitude of relatively mundane ways spirit channeling has been used before this point (like in 2-4, where Maya and Pearl chain-channel Mia in order to help pinpoint the fleeing de Killer's location, or the multiple times channeled!Mia's appearance has seduced otherwise unhelpful witnesses into cooperation) it's rather surprising that Phoenix never turns to the Fey clan's spirit channeling powers for help in AA4 or AA5. This becomes downright strange during the DLC case Turnabout Reclaimed, where Phoenix meets Pearl, who immediately demonstrates her continued willingness to use her supernatural powers to help him, but afterwards neither Phoenix nor Pearl even consider the possibility of Pearl channeling Jack Ripley's spirit and simply asking him how he died. While it makes sense from a narrative perspective that this doesn't actually happen, it seems quite odd that the idea is not at least brought up.
    • Pearls was a little too young to be channeling spirits. She did channel Mia a few times, but that was only on instinct. Also, Edgeworth stated that he hates anything to do with spirit mediums after the infamous DL-6 incident.
    • Spirit of Justice confirms that Maya and Pearl are the only channelers around, and the former was abroad training.
    • Phoenix is clearly not keen in using spirit channeling as means to find out what happened (and such a thing has precedent, with Gregory Edgeworth and Dahlia Hawthorne either not knowing critical information, or being uncooperative) as the first time he does make use of it (Case 6-3) is when he literally has no other routes left. That being said, Mia did make use of spirit channeling in her investigations - in Case 1-2, Mia's notes mention consulting with the dead to find out Redd White and Grossberg were the ones who caused Misty Fey's exile. Either she did it herself (Maya implies she could), or used Maya to interact with them.
     Jail clothes in-universe? 
  • Though I know the real reason is due to recycling sprites, do you think there's an in-game reason why the defendants are never given jail uniforms while incarcerated (You'll notice that when you come to the detention center, they'll be in their street clothes)? It seems that many of them are forced to stay in jail for more than 24 hours, so that would mean they'd have to be moved into the general prison population until trial and hence they'd need the proper uniforms. Do they just wear the clothes on their backs when incarcerated?
    • Technically they are being held in the detention centre as they await their first trial, which at most means they stay there for four or five days tops. After that they'd either be found innocent and let go or found guilty of the initial trial and probably sent to prison while awaiting their next trial.
      • While that explains most everyone, there's two people that kinda raise the ??? flag: Maggey and Simon. Simon you can explain as he has special permission but for some reason, a month after actually being charged with murder and thus has actually been in prison and not the detention centre, Maggey is wearing her waitress outfit.
      • Also, Maggey isn't just wearing the same outfit she had on her upon arrest, at least not entirely. Her apron is definetely a different one since the one she was wearing upon arrest was a piece of evidence during her trial. If she was allowed to get clothes from outside of the prison, why did she chose her work uniform rather than some normal clothes?
    • It is possible that the prison authorities had abolished prisoner uniforms or at least made it optional some time after the death of Terry Fawles, which may also explain why neither Morgan nor Dahlia were shown wearing prison-issued uniforms in the anime adaptation even after being convicted.
     Doesn't evidence law makes evidence used from Phoenix's own investigations illegal? 
  • In 1-5, we're taught about evidence law, specifically that evidence needs to have the approval of the Police before it can be used in court. So... aren't all the evidence that Phoenix uses from his own investigations from the past 5 cases illegal?
    • It's assumed that they're approved off-screen between the end of the investigation and when you show up in court.
    • In 1-5, we're also taught that any evidence that isn't approved by the police department can be legalized if the presenter can offer a credible connection between the case at hand and the evidence (second rule of Evidence Law). This is probably how Phoenix manages to hide most of his case breakers from the prosecutors.
    • In 1-2, Phoenix defeated Redd White using updated evidence in the form of a contact list.
      • Which wasn't submitted into evidence. Phoenix just started reading out the list of names with no context as to what they were or why they were relevant. It defeated Redd White because he didn't want to reveal exactly what linked those names together (i.e. That Redd White was blackmailing them all) because of the repurcussions that would have.
      • Exactly. He doesn't actually submit the list as evidence, he just uses it to get Redd White to confess, which is cheating the system a little, but isn't actually breaking it. It's the same kinda thing as in 2-2, when Franziska shows the illegal picture she took to the court, but doesn't actually submit it as evidence, to burn the implications into the everyone's minds.
     Luke Atmey's nose leaves him incapable of wearing the mask? 
  • An incredibly valid contradiction. Explain please.
    • No real explanation however, it probably happened due to stock sprites being used for characters. Atmey's design for example may have been thought up last minute after the photo was done.
    • In an interview, the creators said animations took up a lot of space in a DS cartridge, so some sprites had to be cut out.
    • Similar to how one wonders Doggie puts on his Deka Master helmet which means let's just leave it at that.
    • You know that you can try moving your own nose's point up or down, do you? It would cause him some discomfort, but there is nothing stopping Luke from wearing his mask, unless it was made out of paper.
     Is ace attorney twenty minutes into the future? 
  • Is it true that only the American versions of the game are 20 Minutes into the Future? I'm confused by that point.
    • The Japanese version takes place around present day (a year or so into the future). The reason the Western version takes place ten years into the future is the justify the in-game legal system being too different to that off the current day American system.
    • We are technically in 2015 and we still have old cell phones and low-tech security cameras. Only in 2028 are we expected to plunge into the future of the court of law.
    • Actually, I think the years in both versions are the same. The only definitive year given in the main games (though I'm not sure about the Investigations games) is that the DL-6 incident occurred in 2001, 15 years before the events of the first game. 2001 was the year the original GBA game came out in Japan, so I would think this was intentional and the games were set in the future in Japan as well.
     Why are there a lot less female victims/murderers? 
  • This series's fixation with Men Are the Expendable Gender. There are only two cases in this entire series where the victim is female, both Feys. There's a difference between Women in Refrigerators and avoiding killing women at For that matter the lack of female murderers, it totals as three (six if you count Dahlia Hawthorne's murders separately).
    • Female Victims: There are actually 4 in the Phoenix arc Cindy Stone, Mia Fey, Valerie Hawthorne, Misty Fey/Elise Deauxnim, although none in AJ or AAI, unless you count Cece Yew, whose murder is a minor, but significant part of the plot, but isn't the subject of any actual investigation.
      • Also, some of Joe Darke's victims, but that's just being anal.
    • Female Murderers: There's at least one in most games (PW - Dee Vasquez, JFA - Mimi Miney, T&T - Dahlia Hawthorne, AJ - Alita Tiala, DD - only a kidnapper, So J - Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in and two in AAI - Cammy Meele and Callisto Yew)
      • Also Mari Miwa in GK 2, Belle Windsor in the manga.
      • There are also at least seven female accomplices: AA - April May and Lana Skye, JFA - Morgan Fey, T&T - Viola Cadaverini, Valerie Hawthorne, and Morgan Fey again, AAI - Lauren Paupes and Shih-na. None in AJ though.
    • There's also a basis in reality that women are both less likely to commit murder and less likely to be murdered.
    • HOLD IT! ...Wasn't the very first victim in the series female?
      • Yes.
    • There have only been two cases with a female murderer AND victim: In 3-4 Dahlia killed Valerie, in one case in the Miles Edgeworth manga. There are three times were a woman tried to kill a female character: Morgan Fey conspires to kill Maya Fey and Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in conspires to kill Amara Sigatar Khura'in.
    • Statistically, in real life, men commit more crimes and are more often victims of crime. But the game is mostly about murders, so if we only look at that: Men are responsible for most of the murders and are the victim of murder more than half the time. One of the reasons is that criminals are almost always men and murder under criminals is relatively common. Though, the game is most often about murder between family members, friends and colleagues and women primarily murder in these circumstances (although not more than men do) and victims of these kinds of murders are more often than not female. So we should see some more female victims AND murderers, especially since AA isn't following statistics exactly anyway: very few murders are between criminals or by criminals, most male characters are killed for personal reasons by friends, family or other acquaintances and no women (to date) have been killed by ex-boyfriends/husbands/admirers.
      • The problem with statistics like these is that you just cannot apply them to extraordinarily cherry-picked cases taken by justice seeking lawyers. Saying that the series "doesn't follow murder statistic" because stuff like the gender ratio, and motives do not align to overall statistical research, is fallible, at best, and flat out wrong, at worst. If anything, I would say that the reason most cases in the series are the way they are (if you ignore the obvious developmental & out of universe reasons, and just focus on in-universe) is the same reason why almost every case happens to also be one where the wrong suspect was arrested, and where the real murderer had some convoluted plan to frame someone, and why, despite it seeming as though literally every case involves some dramatic "accuse the third party" twist this is always considered shocking and not "the norm" (as is discussed in another headscratcher). They're extremely cherry-picked cases, taken by characters for extremely specific reasons, be them personal, or by happenstance, or because they're the protagonists, and so naturally the most ridiculous cases attract to them like iron fillings to a magnet. The bottom line, is that it's not like the cases we Phoenix and the others tackle are meant to be representative of the average spectrum of murders that occur within Los Angeles/Japanifornia. In fact it's pretty apparent that they basically make up the very top end insane cases that don't follow the "the norm" that most people are used to.
     Does murder=death penalty in ace attorney universe? 
  • Is the penalty for killing of ANY kind in the PW:AA universe death? Phoenix frequently says something like "the defendant's life is on the line here!" and it's implied that if Phoenix loses, his client will get the death penalty. This even applies if the death is accidental, or in self-defense (even if the person being killed is a serial killer coming at you with a knife). Prison sentences are never even brought up.
    • No one's sentence is ever shown or even implied apart from Manfred's and Dahlia's. Although even Manfred's sentence is never explicitly stated as being death, it's just said that he's "not around anymore". When Phoenix talks about the defendant's "life" being on the line, he's speaking metaphorically about how their life will be destroyed should they be found guilty. I mean, they will be sent to prison and they would be labelled a killer for their whole life, so their life IS on the line.

      Self-defence is pretty much stated too as being a legally justified killing and thus you won't go to prison for it. The reason Phoenix was determined to prove away the charge of self-defence was because copping to that would have been admitting that the defendant HAD killed someone and, even though they won't get jail time for it, they would be labelled a killer which would basically ruin their life. Plus, despite people wanting to believe that the law can't punish a kid for accidentally killing someone while in a life or death situation, the fact is that it can. I mean, you can call what Edgeworth did in case 1-4 different things – like self-defence, manslaughter etc., but it's clearly shown in case 2-2 that some one who commits a self-defence killing is still put on trial and prosecuted (this happens in real life as well if a prosecutor wants to press charges). It's just that, most likely, the defendant isn't given a sentence.

      Plus let's not forget that people seem to be forgetting that this is a VIDEO GAME SERIES. A bit of difference too the real world is only expected. You can't expect it to be 100% accurate.
    • The judge strongly implies that the default penalty for first-degree murder is death. That said, the characters in the Gyakuten Saiban games that likely got the death penalty are as follows: Redd White, Yanni Yogi, Manfred von Karma, Damon Gant, Mimi Miney, Acro (transferred intent)† , debatably Matt Engarde (the game is unclear if murder-for-hire counts in the Ace Attorney universe – it definitely does in the real world), Dahlia Hawthorne, Luke Atmey, Furio Tigre, and Terry Fawles (never carried out).
      • It's confirmed in AAI2 that Frank Sahwit did not get the death penalty, or even a life sentence, as his sentence is able to be extended in the post-game credits. So it's definitely possible for a convicted murderer to not be executed.
      • Acro might not have gotten the death penalty, as Edgworth suggested they go easy on him.
      • Acro's murder could also be counted as either second degree or voluntary manslaughter, as [[he intended to kill Regina, not Russell]].
      • Tigre's murder was second degree, so he would not get the death penalty.
      • The culprit of 2-4 counts, since Phoenix tells Pearl that he'll be charged as if he himself committed the murder with his own two hands because he hired an assassin. Manfred was likely convicted for two murders; the murder of Gregory Edgeworth which was actually a second degree killing, since he decided on the spot to kill Gregory, and the first degree charge of Robert Hammond. He got charged for that one for similar reasons to Matt Engarde. According to Investigations 2, persuading someone to kill someone else either by hire or by simply the power of suggestion, nets you with first degree murder charges.
      • Presumably Matt Engarde not only wasn't executed but knew in advance that he wouldn't be. There is nothing we're shown to suggest Shelly De Killer is a sadist. His choice appears to be living in jail or being set free and murdered in short order. Instead of being put to death for sure and living the rest of his life on the run from the world's best assassin.
    • In general, if you commit first degree murder you will be executed, but second degree (Frank Sahwit) and voluntary manslaughters get you a less severe sentence, like in real life.
    • No. Only certain murders. This is proven by Sirhan Dogen who, despite being an assassin who has killed countless people, has not been executed and is not on death row. It's likely that very few murders are the death penalty.
    • It's as is stated above. There has never been any indication in any of the games that all murders, or even that all first degree murders, are punished with the death penalty, and in fact there's been a mountain of evidence to the contrary. I can only assume that this misconception arises from a combination of exaggerated word of mouth, with false memories, and people for some reason having no concept of similes and use of figure-of-speeche (i.e., people taking statements like "their life will end", or, "their life is in my hands" ridiculously literally). That and, as shown above, a misinterpretation of what the Judge meant, or completely false memory on what he actually said, in the Stolen Turnabout. He specifically said that murder is a "capital crime, worthy of capital punishment", when explaining how murder is, obviously, much more serious then theft. Which is nowhere close to remotely implying that murder is anywhere close to always punished with death. All that means is that as far as the law is concerned, murder is a capital crime and so *can* be punished with death if need be.
     How are the Von Karmas allowed to be prosecutors? 
  • OK, so the justice system of the U.S./Japan has gotten to the point where trials always take three days... but what the heck happened that allows people like the Von Karmas to not only be prosecutors, but do things like whip the judge and witnesses?
    • Simply...IT'S A VIDEO GAME. The game's harsh legal system and tendency to have prosecutor's abuse go unpunished are both Take Thats at the Japanese legal system prior to 2006, when the old system was still in place. Said system was infamous for its harshness against defence attorneys and laid-back court proceedings.
      • Lotta Hart indicates that prosecutors are NOT allowed to whip people, and tries to tell the judge, but he's too stupid to do anything about it (why she didn't have Phoenix or some other lawyer press charges against Franziska I will never know).
     Are there a non-meta reason why Rise from the ashes isn't mentioned? 
  • Is there a solid (non-meta) reason no one references the events of "Rise From the Ashes" in Justice for All?
    • Nope. The only reason is that Justice For All was made & released for the GBA before they wrote "Rise from the Ashes" for the DS Updated Re-release of Phoenix Wright.
    • It struck me as highly unfair for Phoenix to assume that Edgeworth left only because of his broken winning streak when he had, in 1-5, admitted to feeling guilt about his past actions and doubt over whether he could continue. Perhaps Phoenix not remembering this is proof that 1-5 was made later.
    • Probably one of the main things that confuses people on this is the fact that, at one point when Phoenix talks about Edgey leaving, when he says "that case", a picture of Edgey at the stand and von Karma at the prosecuting bench shows up, obviously referencing 1-4. If that had just been changed to show Edgeworth at the prosecution bench and, say, Lana or Gant on the witness stand, then we'd have a nice, clear reference to 1-5.
    • This is fixed in the HD trilogy, where they say "After one final case, he disappeared", or something along those lines
    • Rise From the Ashes was developed at the same time as Apollo Justice, which is the fourth game in the series. It was only released on physical copies of the first game after AJ came out.
     What is illegal in the ace attorney universe? 
  • What is considered illegal besides murder and theft? In "Farewell, My Turnabout", Adrian is definitely guilty of perjury and tampering with a crime scene. In "The Stolen Turnabout", she hasn't spent much (if any) time in prison.
    • According to the fourth game smuggling and forgery are crimes.
    • Why do people assume that because it's not been stated, it doesn't exist? Perjury is mentioned several times.
      • It could be that while perjury in the AA-verse is technically illegal, no one is ever actually charged with it. Several "crimes" in many U.S. states are treated like this.
    • It doesn't help that the witnesses who do lie in court rarely get punished for it.
      • The third case of Dual Destinies has a particularly flagrant example. One of the major sources of conflict is that all of the suspects are at a "law school" and being convicted of a criminal offense will permanently expel them. They then proceed to lie repeatedly on the stand about themselves and about their actions, up to and including claiming to have committed the murder. Yet the case ends with quite a few of the suspects happily continuing their law education. And yes, perjury is considered a criminal offense in real life.
      • They may simply have been given a slap on the wrist in the form of a lecture, as the students who committed perjury was doing so in an effort to keep someone who wasn't guilty from being prematurely committed.
    • Perjury is, yes, a crime but it's also one that's very hard to prove in most instances, as it typically requires establishing that the defendant knowingly gave false testimony. The actual murderers and accomplices may well be charged with (and convicted of) perjury off-screen, but convicting unhelpful witnesses would be trickier, and typically their testimony is needed to nail the true guilty party, so it wouldn't be surprising if they were offered immunity in exchange for turning state's evidence. The AA series is pretty ... lax about the rules of testimony to begin with, so applying Western (especially American) legal codes to the games is a recipe for a headache.
     What's the point of detectives when the lawyers do all the investigating? 
  • What's the point of having detectives around if the lawyers do all the investigating? Maybe they're not supposed to, but that doesn't stop the evidence from being accepted in court.
    • The prosecution generally relies on the police – Franziska gets irritated with Gumshoe in the second game for not noticing the hole in the sleeve, Godot gets upset that he wasn't told about the ketchup stain in the next game, etc. Also, even the defense occasionally needs someone to run extra tests for them, like with the analysis of the small bottle in the Tigre case.
      • Plus it's for gameplay purposes as well. It'd be pretty boring if you couldn't investigate, right? Also, in Japan, attorneys (at least prosecutors) DO have authority to investigate.
      • The detectives, from what I know, are the ones with access and permission to the laboratories (i.e., the CSI-level stuff like DNA and trace analyses) and a Prosecutor doing that stuff himself would yield inadmissible evidence. After the initial investigation with a prosecutor is over, the Detective is technically a neutral party and is able to help out anyone involved with the case at hand.
    • They aren't actually /supposed/ to, defense attorneys don't even have the right to access the crime scene. In the flashback crime in AAI-3, Miles and Franziska participate in the investigation as a learning exercise, and the detective actually protests against allowing them on the crime scene. And overall, the entire Thing of this series is that becuase of the ridiculously short time allotted for investigation, the system Does Not Work As Intended. I mean, Phoenix repeatedly commits what's robbery if not invasion of privacy to get evidence, and nobody gives a fuck because everybody knows that It's Just How It Works These Days.
     The 3 day trial system doesn't change efficiency? 
  • Basic one. This is in regards to the English translation... they say America moved to the new court system (three days, no trial by jury, etc.) to streamline trials because the caseload was too high. Okay, that's a weird rule in light of American jurisprudence and civil rights issues... but hey, this could be a dystopian near-future. Problem though: people who confess to their crimes (4-2, 3-2, 1-4, for instance) still get their day in court and still have to go through the motions of a trial. This implies the functional abolition of the plea bargain. Since between 80%-90+% of all cases (depending on jurisdiction) are resolved by plea bargain, and of the cases that do go to trial most are already finished within a few days anyway (although with much more lead-up investigation than in the AA universe). How is this in any way functional? Justice and civil rights have already taken a beating, but even the argument of efficiency is now trashed.
    • Plea bargains still exist. Franziska was saying Phoenix would be asking for one within 10 minutes at the start of the 2-2 trial, which means that it's up to the attorney to decide to go for one, even if the client wants to confess and that's why it hasn't come up in any of Phoenix or Apollo's trials.
      • Franziska said Phoenix would be changing his plea from "not guilty" to "not guilty by reason of self-defense". That's not a plea bargain, that's just a plea. She predicted Phoenix would change course because it was "impossible" for anyone but Maya to have killed the victim; however, if Phoenix claimed Maya did it in self-defense, then the trial's burden of proof would shift to the defense – Phoenix would have to prove that Maya had no criminal intent. Technically easier for Phoenix to pull off, but it would still brand Maya as a criminal, which he was obviously unwilling to do.
    • I do believe Lana mentions having a plea bargain by name in 1-5.
    • Finally, remember that – localization aside – this series is at heart a huge Take That! to the Japanese legal system, which has a completely different base than America's. Japan doesn't really have plea bargains.
    • Once you get your sentence, that's it, even if it's for petty theft.
      • The three-day trials aren't final. The three-day trial system is called the "Initial Trial System" in 1-2, and if you get a guilty verdict, the judge says "The defendant will surrender [themself] to the court's care... undergo a regular trial at the High Court within a month's time." It seems that the 3-day trials are preliminary trials, and are (presumably) used as evidence in trials in the High Court if the defendant is found guilty in the initial trial.
     Why does Franziska still idolize her father? 
  • Why does Franziska continue to idolize her father well after everyone and their mother found out he was a batshit insane murderer?
    • It's not her father that she idolizes, it's her family name. She confesses that she doesn't really give a damn about what happened to Manfred, so her pursuit of perfection is likely the result of indoctrination and her sense of honour.
      • By getting caught, he's no longer perfect and is a disgrace to the family name, so she thinks very little of him these days.
      • However, the end of T&T hints that she was very saddened by her father's death. Also, in the second case of AAI, she calls her father invincible and seems confused when Miles says he wasn't.
      • I read that scene as Franziska having a Very Awkward Realization of what she just said and to whom. She changes the topic immediately, too, giving in to Miles. Old habits die hard, is all.
      • Well, he did have that 40-year win streak. And even if he's crazy, he is still her dad. Franziska probably still cares a little bit about Manfred deep down even if she doesn't approve of him being a murderer.
    • I think you really have to look into her character to understand why. Before I answer you, let me talk about Franziska for a moment. It's really hard to notice it, but Manfred was, despite how he acted in relation to his work, probably a pretty decent family man. He speaks highly of his wife (in AAI2) without any real prompting, and will let Franziska do things he won't let Miles do. Considering his career is largely in America, he also flew to Germany just to see her first trial just because she asked him to. As noted in several places on the site, he seemed almost proud of Miles despite himself, and it's worth mentioning he cares about his granddaughter, too. Franziska was probably a Daddy's Girl growing up, going off how he treats her in AAI.

      Now, Franziska shows a few times that she doesn't have a firm grasp on how the world works nor on emotion. It's simultaneously cute, funny, and very sad when she shows these moments. They show that from birth, she's been devoting her whole life to becoming someone her father can be proud of and pay attention to, and neglects other points in her life for it. That's something a child wouldn't do unless they're trying desperately to get attention, from which it can be guessed that her father paid more attention to Miles than her. This is backed by her own claim that she isn't a genius, but she had to be one anyway. Miles was a genius, as was her father. There's also the very strong implication that she suffers an Inferiority Superiority Complex thanks to them both. She wanted her father's love and attention, which meant she probably loved him very, very much. Not only was he her father, but he was her idol and hero.

      Don't forget that for almost 18 years, she genuinely thought he was in the right, and that all defendants really were guilty. He was probably a hero to her. Now, to answer your question: I think she's probably not quite come to terms with her father's conviction and death, and stating that he's unworthy of the family name, and Miles too, is part of her aforementioned superiority inferiority complex, because as far as I remember, she doesn't do it until after she herself is "no longer worthy", i.e., after she loses to Phoenix. It's also plausible that she's very much in denial at the same time that her father really was a killer, since for her whole life she's been taught that defense attorneys are the bad guys who protect criminals. I could probably talk more about how I interpret her.
      • It's also worth mentioning that by the second Investigations game, she's come to terms with what kind of person her father was. She avoids mentioning him except when offering what can only be advice to the distraught Yumihiko and cuts herself off when she starts to talk about the family name. Instead, she refers to prosecuting and herself as the things he's betraying and abandoning. AAI2 also shows us that Franziska was rather blind to the things her father did. She was visibly shocked and horrified at the idea that her father could have forged evidence, which means that she never knew that he didn't just use dirty-but-legal tricks, like she had in Case 2-2, but that Manfred did illegal things like manipulate evidence and witnesses. It's also possible, based on her reaction, that Franziska never knew about DL-6. Had she been told about that, she'd know her father was a liar who manipulated evidence by either stealing it, destroying it, or concealing it. Further, she would have wanted to know the motive her father had for killing Gregory, which would mean she'd already know his black mark came from it being proven that the autopsy report he presented was fake.
     What's Miles living situation post DL-6? 
  • Where was Miles living and with whom after DL-6? The games state that von Karma took Miles "under his wing" but deliberately avoid any reference to his adoption or foster care, and in Investigations Edgeworth implies that he wasn't living with the von Karmas prior to his first case. Even if he had stayed with the von Karmas, what was he doing during Manfred's six-month "vacation"?
    • By first case, do you mean the one that didn't end up happening in Investigations, or the one where he faced Mia? Assuming the former here... If I'm remembering correctly, the implication isn't so much "Edgeworth wasn't living with the von Karmas" as "Franziska wasn't living with Edgeworth". I'm guessing that Manfred was training Edgeworth at the time and Franziska was in boarding school in Germany. She says she's in America for "summer vacation".
      • I'm sure he was living with the von Karma's. But during his first featured investigation it's shown that Franziska is here on vacation like the troper above said. So yeah, I'm sure he was under Mandfred's wing, so too speak.
     Lack of conflict of interest? 
  • Is there no such thing as "conflict of interest" in the game's legal system? Aside from Phoenix defending in cases where the victim is his employer or the defendant is his employee, we have Manfred von Karma prosecuting his adopted son, Edgeworth sitting opposite his "little sister" Franziska in 3-5, and in 4-3 we have Apollo defending in a case where he discovered the body, and Klavier prosecuting a case where both the defendant and the real guilty party are both band mates of his.
    • Being related isn't a problem as long as they aren't involved in the case. Von Karma wasn't actively involved in Edgeworth's case until it turned out he was behind it all at the very end. Franziska and Edgeworth might be siblings, but neither one of them was actually involved in the 3-5 case. As for Apollo Justice, that particular case was a special one. It was implied that they wanted the case over and done with as quickly as possible, which is why they allowed for someone who found the body to defend, and someone who was a part of the case to prosecute. As it stands, Apollo was the only one who would defend Machi, at any rate.
      • Still, sometimes Phoenix would have been more useful (*cough* 1-2, 2-2 *cough*) if he was not the defense. That way he could testify as an 'unbiased' witness for the defendant.
      • The same goes for Apollo in 4-3. But that case also reveals a problem with the setup: the court was hesitant to accept Lamiroir's testimony at face value because she was a friend of the defendant. Wouldn't they say the same thing about Phoenix testifying on Maya's behalf?
    • If Gyakuten Kenji 2 is any indication, absolutely not. Apparently judges assigned to cases the prosecution is investigating can accompany them to the scene during their investigations and also serve in the trial for that case without squalor.
    • There actually is such a thing as conflict of interest, since it's brought up on a number of occasions (some of which have been stated by previous tropers just above). The issue comes with how lax they seem to be on following them. Presumably it exists in some form, although it seems like it's the job of the prosecution/defense to actually bring it up and claim that the conflict is at play. Klavier brings it up specifically for Lamiroir, and Lamiroir herself even questions it when it comes to being a jurist for Vera's trial. In the latter instance Phoenix loopholes it (she wasn't involved in the "development" of the case specifically so it's technically fine), and in the former the court accepts that it is conflict of interest.
     Steel samurai; Massive following but cancelled after 13 episodes 
  • Steel Samurai seems to have a massive following both among kids and adults during its run time, a lot of publicity events and a theme park. Why spend so much on all that only to cancel it after 13 episodes?
    • Yeah, it's not like there could be any such thing as a TV series that developed a major fandom despite being cancelled after 13 episodes...
    • No, but it is mentioned in 2-4 that there are multiple shows taking place in the same universe that were produced and aired after the cancellation. Looks like Steel Samurai wasn't the first show in it, just the one that brought in the most new fans at the time.
    • Alternately, it wasn't just "Episode 13". It was "Season [whatever], Episode 13", and the show's been running for years. Certainly no one in-universe talks about the show like it's brand-new.
    • Just like any Japanese anime, the Steel Samurai seasons never get mentioned and don't really matter.
    • It's also possible the episodes are actually longer than the standard half-hour or hour runtime, similar to Sherlock, so the 13 episodes total up to 26 episodes worth of runtime or more. Kids do watch movies, so it's not too much to assume they'd watch an hour and a half-long TV serial. If each episode is like a movie, and it takes the world by storm, it's not hard to believe. Plus, well... if a small hotel can get a theme park (remember, Gatewater started out as just the one hotel), so can a 13-episode sentai series.
     How do testimonies and cross-examinations work in universe? 
  • So, testimonies and cross-examinations. What's the deal with them? It always seems like the witness first gives the testimony, then everyone talks about it for a bit, then you get to cross-examine... in which the witness gives the same exact testimony again only you get to butt in with "Hold it!"s and "Objection!"s. And often, when you press things (especially those statements that often come at the beginning of testimonies that don't give you any information) the characters talk as if the cross-examination was the first time hearing the testimony. What's going on here?
    • Acceptable Breaks from Reality, just go with it. It's a video game after all, mate...
    • My personal interpretation has always been that the testimony only happens once and the cross-examination portion is simply for gameplay purposes, to allow the player to select the part they want to press or object to.
      • If the anime is anything to go by, this is exactly what happens. Perhaps an in-universe reason is that the lawyer goes back on the testimony in his head.
     Why was the trial not cancelled in turnabout reminiscence? 
  • If the trial was cancelled in "Turnabout Beginnings" due to the defendant being dead, why didn't the same thing happen in "Turnabout Reminiscence"?
    • It wasn't cancelled but Von Karma says that it has been put on hold indefinitely, which amounts to the same thing actually...
    • If Fawles lived, he would be not guilty. Edgeworth got the win, but at the cost of having to see the defendant die in court.
     Will the rules of presenting evidence/profiles ever be consistent? 
  • Will the rules of presenting evidence/profiles ever be consistent? In the first game, you could only present evidence unless a person is requested. The second game allows presenting a person's profiles. The third game covers Mia's first two cases, before Phoenix ever took up the mantle, but she was allowed to present people as well. Apollo Justice goes back to the rules of the first game. Who makes the rules?!?
    • Acceptable Breaks from Reality. It's not the law of what can be presented. It's that in games 2 and 3 they added presenting profiles, then in game 4 they took it out again because it made it too complicated. That's all...
     The defendant's testimony validity in investigations vs main games 
  • One of the odder new aspects of the third game was the heightened tendency for characters to cross-examine the defendant, mostly because this forced the defense attorneys to point out contradictions and thus hurt their own case. This continued in Apollo Justice, to the point that calling upon the defendant to testify is the final solution to case 3. So how does this mesh with the constant tendency in Investigations for the opponent to dismiss every immediate suspect's statements on the grounds that they'd say anything to protect themselves? If that's true, then no one should have cross-examined them at all!
    • Well, in real court systems, the defendant is allowed to speak in their own defense. They may not be believed, but they can do it.
      • Not if they have a competent defence attorney.
      • Plus the prosecution is simply trying to get a theory across. It's not like it's illegal to call the defendant to testify, seeing as how they are not a prosecution witness and thus were not promoted by them. In court, they call the defendant and get the defendant to reveal stuff that's negative to their case. In Investigations, they are dismissing the suspect being allowed to testify because what they will reveal is positive to their case. It makes sense in court that the defendants won't lie about something negative so it makes perfect sense that they should be believed.
      • I sense there's a language barrier issue here, but in the Western world, no defendant can ever be called to testify by the state (at least not in criminal proceedings). Should you find yourself on trial, your basic rights are: (1) the right to cross-examine witnesses (i.e., the prosecution's case); (2) the right to a trial by jury; and (3) the right to refrain from self-incrimination. Prosecutors work for the nation-state and the government cannot, cannot, cannot compel a defendant to testify. The mechanics of gameplay force this because you can only play the cross-examination, but if a defendant were to testify, they would never be called by the prosecution. They would testify after the prosecution made its case, then be cross-examined by a prosecutor after giving their testimony.

        This is a huge problem for American players, as it's a violation of the U.S. Constitution. Since the defendant cannot testify for the prosecution (i.e., give testimony or evidence against him or herself), the defendant is always the defense's witness. You can't cross-examine your own witness by definitionnote . More to the point, defense attorneys will usually do everything in their power to keep their clients from testifying because it's a terrible idea.
     What is Edgeworth's hair color? 
  • What is Edgeworth's hair color? In the sprites, it's grey, but in the pictures it's brown! What the heck?
    • Even weirder, in some of the sprites, Edgeworth's hair looks like a dark enough shade of gray to pass off as black to this troper.
    • Hm... I'd say that most likely, his hair is supposed to be dark brown. I've seen people who have dark brown hair that looks both black and dark grey in certain lighting, just like how someone with blond/blonde hair can look like their hair is brown, red, or auburn depending on the lighting and the shade of blond/blonde their hair is normally. I have a friend whose brown hair is so soft and shiny that it looks grey in certain lighting. So, it's possible the considerable shading (or shine, rather) on his hair is meant to imply his hair is supposed to be naturally very soft and sleek.
    • Cut scenes in Dual Destinies seem to confirm that his hair is black/dark grey.
     Defence lawyer's word is just as valid as the prosecutions? 
  • Why is the defense lawyer's word taken just like any other testimony against the prosecution? In multiple cases, Phoenix rebuts the prosecution's argument with something like, "The defendant was at place X that night, and he was seen there by the most reliable witness I know: myself!" But surely the defendant's lawyer would be considered to have an agenda here – the prosecution at the very least should point out that Phoenix might as well be lying to protect his client.
    • This actually gets brought up in Apollo Justice – in "Turnabout Serenade", Apollo is the only one who heard Mr. LeTouse's last words, and Klavier points out that Apollo could well be lying about that to help his case, since there is no evidence for what he said, save for Apollo's word.
      • As stated above. Plus I only recall this happening once, on this one occasion so I don't know what you're on about...
      • There are a number of minor instances throughout the series. For one example in case 3-3, Phoenix proves that Glen's body must have been moved into the restaurant's kitchen at one point by presenting a bottle of his ear medicine that was found in there among the smelling oils. Just one problem. The detectives didn't find it. The prosecutor didn't find it (he wasn't even in the initial investigation). Phoenix just walked in, found the bottle and took it. How can the court simply accept his claim that it was in the kitchen at all? (Even disregarding the question of how this counts as proof, especially considering that the restaurant's owner is a kleptomaniac)
    • This setting's legal system is Badly Broken. It's a stereotype that both prosecutors and defense lawyers forge evidence, as the legal system makes it VERY EASY for them to do so. We know evidence law from 1-5, and it's absolutely ridiculous. Tl;dr: no, it doesn't make sense, and it makes sense in-universe that it doesn't.
      • I don't exactly get your point about evidence law from 1-5 being "ridiculous". I'm pretty sure two standard rules are not the entire basis of evidence submission in the Ace Attorney world, that would be reaching astronomically stupid levels. They're just two of the base rules.
     Why are Lawyers not allowed during their clients questioning? 
  • One thing that occurred to me was that in all of the games (well... the first three, anyway. Haven't finished the fourth yet), you can't see your client when they're being taken in for questioning. Are the clients not allowed to request for a lawyer (i.e., you) to be present during the questionings? If so, why haven't any of the clients requested this?
    • Takes place in Japan, localization notwithstanding. Questioning is restricted to detectives or prosecutors in Japan.
    • In 1-5, Phoenix calls his own witness, which is a rarity as prosecutors usually call witnesses.
     No one seeing culprits moving the evidence? 
  • In the third case of Apollo, and fifth of Investigations, how did the killers do so much moving around of bodies and other evidence without anyone seeing? I can buy that Alba could have just told everyone to vacate the Rose Garden when he dropped Coachen's body into the pool, since being able to order everyone to get off his country's soil seems to be one of his ambassadorial powers, but how did Yew retrieve the body at the other end without anyone seeing? Was no-one fighting the fire from the ground? And what did she do with the Steel Samurai's cart afterwards? Plus, how did no-one notice the giant length of wire that was shot between buildings? And in Apollo, I could see that it would be possible for Daryan to move the body, guitar, and Machi without anyone noticing, but it's such a big risk; why would he even try? The only thing he had to gain from doing it was matching the lyrics to throw everyone off; hardly an essential part of his plan. Also, what did he actually do to Machi? Hit him over the head? Chloroform him? What?
    • In terms of case 3 in Apollo Justice, Daryan only just found out that his crimes (stealing the guitar case, burning the guitar, murder) had coincidentally followed the lyrics so he JUST got the idea to move the body. He needed some way to throw the lyric thing into the 180 so he moved the body to match the last part of the lyrics. In terms of how no one noticed in case 5 of Investigations, I'd guess the EXACT timeline of events would explain it. I think the fire that made the body smuggling possible was the first one which was on the upper floors. Let's not forget that it's stated there was hours between all the events that happened. It's possible Yew stayed in the passageway until the fire-fighters had gone (between the first fire and second fire occurring) and made a dash then. As for the wire that no one saw, you'd be surprised how hard it is too see a length of thing wire, especially one that's high up several floors.
     Why is a homicide detective in charge of theft and kidnapping cases? 
  • Gumshoe's profile identifies him as a homicide detective; this makes sense given the series tradition for Always Murder. But then... why is he put in charge of a theft (3-2), and why is he involved in a kidnapping case (I-3)?
    • I think Phoenix actually asks Gumshoe this very question in 3-2, but I'm not sure what his response is.
    • Simply put: It's not uncommon for homicide detectives to take up other cases if the police are shorthanded. And in response to the comment above, Phoenix actually asks Gumshoe why he is on the case and he replies by saying that "They needed all the help they could get with casing Mask☆DeMasque".
     Will Maya and Ema ever be in the same game? 
  • Not as much a Headscratcher as an I'm kind of curious: Do you think Maya and Ema will ever be in the same game besides maybe brief cameos (since they both appeared in Ace Attorney Investigations, Maya via flashback). I just think it would be interesting to see them interact. I can't be the only one right?
    • That'd be awesome.
      • Exactly. Imagine Ema's reaction to Maya's unscientific channelling technique. Oh sure, she may have heard about it from her sister, but that's totally different from seeing it. How would someone who believes so closely in science react to something like that.
      • Studying it very closely and trying to determine the principles behind it. It may be Measuring the Marigolds, but contrary to a common viewpoint, science is not about dismissing the supernatural.
    • The character designer already thought about this, and produced a picture of Maya stealing & wearing Ema's rose-tinted glasses and Phoenix trying to keep them from fighting.
      • A fight that Phoenix can't win because science and religion won't be friends unless they respect each other.
    • Maya and Ema will both be in Ace Attorney 6, but Maya and Nick will be investigating cases in Kurain while Ema is still in LA, so it's unclear how often the two will ultimately end up interacting.
      • Actually, Ema ended up traveling to from LA to Khura'in and back, and yes, they end up interacting. The issue of Ema's thoughts on channeling doesn't seem to be brought up much, though one case's proceedings imply she at least acknowledges it.
     Why do only certain characters get voiced take that's and hold it's? 
  • Why is it that only Phoenix, Edgeworth, Mia, and Apollo are the only ones given vocals for their "Take That"s and "Hold It"s? Why is it that the secondary characters just get the bubbles? I know they're only secondary characters, compared to the four playable ones mentioned above, but it would be awesome to give everyone a voice.
    • It would take the surprise out of the moments when someone yell's "HOLD IT!" or "OBJECTION!" and they have the epic shocks on everyone's faces before finally revealing who it is that saved the day.
      • Every defense attorney and every prosecutor has got one (the only exception being Lang and Alba but they're a detective and a big bad who get to yell it a lot so they get a pass), so it's not like it doesn't follow rules. Plus, the Phoenix Wright Trilogy was already pushing the limits of their original GBA carts and not being too much kinder to their DS cards. Voices for everyone, most of which you'd only hear once or twice, it wouldn't be worth the space.
     Why do Characters yell take that's at everything? 
  • Why do the four mentioned feel the need to yell "Take That" at everything they point out? I know it's more exciting that way, but for example, at the end of 3-2, Phoenix shows Ron why Dessie would stay with him by showing him the urn. Does he need to yell, "TAKE THAT!" at him?!
    • I'm now imagining him mumbling about how he never wanted to take such a worthless object at all
    • I always thought the whole thing was a Gameplay and Story Segregation given that at one point in 1-5, Phoenix was supposed to present evidence to the judge. When you presented the wrong evidence he yells "TAKE THAT" and yet Phoenix doesn't say anything out loud and the judge penalized him for taking too long.
    • Unfortunatlely, Ron DeLite does this twice, with the first lengthening the trial to another day.
      • There's a weird habit through the games of treating the habit of the Big Shout Out rather flippantly. A lot of the time the games portray them as stated above, as though they're Gameplay and Story Segregation. This is even seen with "Objection!" a lot, where a character has quite clearly shouted it out yet the way it's portrayed makes it seem like they just interrupted the proceedings without saying a word, or an attorney will follow on their objection with something that'd be incredibly redundant/odd sounding given the objection, such as "Objection! I-I object to that!". At other times though, it's portrayed as not being game and story segregation, as someone asks "w-who was that 'objection' just now?", or some such, and clearly the attorneys are raising actual objections. When applied to the other shout outs including "Take that!" it just becomes too confusing to even warrant thinking about too much. Personally I'd just assume that they're not actually saying it if a situation makes it pretty obvious the character wouldn't actually do as such. Basically just apply a bit of common sense to it.
     No courthouse surveillance or security? 
  • Does the courthouse have any security or surveillance whatsoever, aside from the courtroom bailiff? I'm looking at three specific situations here. 1)The very beginning of 2-1, in which a witness strikes the defense lawyer over the head with a fire extinguisher in plain sight in the defense lobby, and no one witnesses it. 2)In Apollo Justice's fourth case flashback, the defendant flees the courtroom, and only the courtroom's bailiff is involved in the pursuit. 3)In Investigations case 4, the only witness to anything happening in the courthouse hallway is a judge using the bathroom in the opposite wing. Admittedly, you can't always prevent these kinds of things from happening in the courthouse, but these events go almost completely unnoticed.
    • In case 2-1 it's possible that it happened in a resting place for attorneys. Sure it's still a court but it's not TOO far of a stretch to imagine that a attorney lobby would not have cameras. Besides this, the series is based on the Japanese courts, which are a lot more lenient on security then American courts due to Japan's famously low crime rate. Also it's a game about solving stuff. It would be no fun if there was no mystery to it all. And as revealed in Ace Attorney Investigations, the defendant rooms have sound-proof walls to prevent information from leaking. Phoenix or the guard leaving a door unlocked spelled disaster, as all the attacker needed to do was sneak in, close the door, and then bash Phoenix over the head before the latter could scream for help.
      • Well that aside, it's a game about investigating crimes. I'd be no fun if you could just watch the video to see what happened.
    • Judging from 5-1... NO. Just no. That case just takes that question, bashes it over the head and burns the body. A witness brings a bomb to the stand, which everyone intially thinks is real. After the witness assures everyone it's fake, he's allowed to KEEP it, apparently without any examination, because later in the trial he threatens everyone with it, proclaiming it's actually real. The reaction to that? EVERYONE FLEES, except the judge, the prosecutor and the defense team. It's somehow up to PHOENIX to neutralize the threat by calling the witness's bluff. Just... wow. That fucking case.
      • Well the witness was a bomb squad member, and in the context of the trial he had brought the replica bomb as evidence. It's not exactly absurd for them to let him keep it. In fact you'd imagine he'd be the one person they would let keep it. And Phoenix doesn't have to call him out, he just decides to. One can assume that the guards were ready to act, but you know, he had a bomb and was threatening to detonate it if anyone did anything. There wasn't much they could do until Phoenix proved it was a fake. After all, if a bailiff shot the suspect and the bomb happened to be real, everyone would be doomed.
     What do cross-examinations and rebuttals look like in universe? 
  • In Ace Attorney's world, what do cross-examinations and rebuttals look like? I mean, gameplay-wise, you have the witness's testimony, and you scroll piece by piece trying to find the contradiction, but for the people on trial, do they make them repeat the same thing over and over again? Just to have some guy in a suit to yell at you? That sort of makes attorneys seem like royal jackasses.
    • 1) This same question has been asked before. 2) Acceptable Breaks from Reality. Deal with it people.
      • You can compare it to when you talk to an NPC in an RPG: they say the exact same thing every time you talk to them without anyone pointing out how it's rather odd, and the players are (not unreasonably) expected to just ignore it seeing as the alternative would be only having one chance to digest the information, and being screwed if you happen to zone out during the fact.
     Why did Turnabout showtime's culprit confess? 
  • This one is in the manga, not the games, but in 'Turnabout Showtime' (I think that's what it's called) the culprit (Raymond Spume) confesses so easily when all Wright did was outline what happened using circumstantial evidence? Am I missing something, but what was the decisive proof?
    • Most of the case until then had focused on accusing Julie because she was the only one who could use her hands. Phoenix, by pointing out that costumes could be removed by oneself, that they could be worn backwards and that because Raymond saw something that should have been behind him and Flip did a back flip instead of a front flip, they were wearing them backwards, disproved some of the assumptions that cast suspicion on Julie. This, apart from her breakup and the false testimony about her putting a knife into the costume, was the only evidence against her, and as Raymond's plan to frame her was falling apart while he started to look more suspicious with the new information, he broke down.
     Why is the witness being the culprit such a surprise? 
  • Why does the court always act so surprised when a defense attorney accuses a witness of being the actual guilty party? Considering it's the only way any defendant in the entire franchise has ever been found not guilty, you'd think it would be acknowledged as a standard defense tactic by now. Not doing so would be seen as not even trying to do their job.
    • I always assumed that the cases that get showcased in the games are probably the most dramatic and unusual examples. Even Phoenix Wright probably does other cases than the ones we see – his practice would be pretty much unsustainable otherwise, considering that he doesn't even seem to get paid for half of them...
      • A defense attorney doesn't HAVE to win a case by accusing someone else. In several cases, it's shown that a defendant can be declared innocent even while there are no other suspects. Plus I think the above troper is right, the cases that are shown are the most dramatic and strange cases, as evidenced when the Judge says that "Somehow the cases with you in them are the most strange, Mr. Wright."
      • Then by all means explain why case 3-5 didn't end as soon as Dahlia was exorcised and Iris's involvement in Misty's death was found to be nothing more than helping move the body. Godot literally says that the trial can't end until the actual murderer is determined.
      • Really now, it should be obvious why Godot didn't want to let the trial end.
      • However, a judge who doesn't possess Godot's knowledge of the murderer's identity (or indeed know that he knows at all; at this point, none of them were aware that Godot had been there at all) would probably want to give Iris a verdict and then let the police obtain a new suspect before continuing the deliberations. But he doesn't, and indeed she still gets the guilty verdict if Phoenix can't identify the murderer during that trial.
      • The Judge in Phoenix's cases is easily swayed by the opinions of others, and frequently bows to the will of the prosecutor. If Godot says, "This case isn't over", Phoenix's Judge is going to smile, nod, and say, "That's right, this case isn't over. Why isn't this case over?" and then accept Godot's answer and keep rolling the case.
      • Godot's answer was essentially "because Trite's inability to name the murderer proves his incompetence." That's a pretty lame reason to keep the trial going, even for this Judge.
    • Considering that – as has been mentioned multiple times throughout this page – Ace Attorney's court system is based on Japan's, it's not a stretch to think that "reasonable doubt" is not enough to acquit a defendant.
      • Even worse, failing to nail the perp in the Ace Attorney universe would result in the perp doing something else like setting up Phoenix's demise, just to keep the truth forever unknown. Once the cat's out of the bag, it can't go back.
     Why does Phoenix only act as a defense attorney? 
  • Why does Phoenix Wright only act as Defense Attorney? I'm fairly certain that Lawyers usually don't only act on one side or the other for their entire career; I know of a few attorneys that have been both a prosecutor and a defense attorney and go back and forth regularly. Is Mr. Wright afraid that he will wrongfully convict someone if he ever acts as a prosecutor?
    • I hate to tell you this, but you are wrong on this one. In criminal proceedings (which is what we see Phoenix doing), you only have prosecution and defense. Prosecutors are agents of the State – in Japan, they're hired by Judges; in many American jurisdictions they're elected (or hired by elected district attorneys) – and, as such, are subject to different requirements and criteria than defense attorneys. The Japanlike nation in which Phoenix lives appears to have completely different licenses for attorneys and prosecutors as well; Edgeworth has a Prosecutor's Badge which is a wholly separate thing from Phoenix's Attorney's Badge, and Edgeworth actually had to borrow Phoenix's badge to impersonate a defense attorney during the final case of T&T. The games make it pretty clear that there is no crossover between the two types of lawyer under the judicial system they operate in.
      • In real life, part of training to be an attorney requires knowing how procedure works on all sides (that way, you can raise sustainable objections or appeal when someone screws up), so if you pass the bar you are qualified to conceivably play any role in the legal system. But considering that judges and prosecutors are both under employ of the State (and are often elected, at least in the States), those aren't jobs you can just hop into or out of on a whim.
    • My dad is a defense attorney, and has been for 23 years, and he has never acted as a prosecutor... I'm not saying it never happens, but most lawyers I know stick with what they know. Prosecutors are government employees, and my dad prefers to be self-employed.
    • Plus, over the first three games, Phoenix was a lawyer for ~3 years, until Shadi Enigmar came along. All of the cases we get to play are probably the only cases he has ever taken. No matter how good he is, he still has little experience. Also, take Phoenix's personality. While he stands to always help those that need defending, he gets really down and nervous when things start to go wrong. It's more in character for him to stick with what he knows, which he even admits he doesn't fully know being a Defense Attorney very well, either.
      • It is explicitly stated that the five cases in the first game were the only trials he had to that point. But it's also stated that after "Rise from the Ashes", he started taking work again. Beyond those, we just don't know if he took cases beyond what we get to see or not. That supplementary material (the manga) exists suggests he does. Besides, even for attorneys like Phoenix that focus on criminal law, the majority of their work – if they want to be able to pay their bills – will be incredibly mundane things involving lots of paperwork.note 
     Duel Destines M rating 
  • How did Dual Destinies get an M rating? Was it because of the terrorist bomb or the realistic blood?
    • A far darker reason then that – considering Athena and how her mother died – although those things probably contributed to it.
    • Without spoiling anything, let's just say this troper thinks it deserved that M rating.
    • There's a lot more blood and gore than the previous titles, and it's all in 3D.
     Underage accidental killing consequences? 
  • What would happen if someone who was underage accidentally killed someone? What if Edgeworth really shot his father or Ema accidentally killed Marshall? Would they be put on trial and go to jail if they were guilty? It bothers me since people seemed to make a big deal over it (Gregory blamed it on Yogi while Lana covered up for her sister). Why? What's the worst that could happen? Can't they get away with it being "accident" and "they're underage" thing? It bothers me since this theme keeps continuing...
    • It's hard to say exactly what would happen to them. Given that the people who did the cover-ups were very close to the children in question though, the reason they probably do it is out of fear of additional repercussions that might happen. A child may not go to prison, but they'd probably have to go through most of their life known as "that dangerous and creepy kid who killed daddy/mommy/her sister's co-worker". Not to mention, Edgeworth, Ema, and Athena all show incredible guilt when they think they did kill someone, and they were all in their late teens/adulthood at that time. Imagine how devastating that would be to a child, who wouldn't even have the maturity or resources to piece together their own innocence. Finally, consider that a child accused of murder would likely be taken away from their family and put in the care of someone to "fix" them and make them no longer dangerous. So not only would the child be emotionally devastated and branded for life as a murderer, but they would also be without comfort from their family or friends or anything they knew.
      • Exactly. In the United States – one of only two First-World countries to retain the death penalty (Japan is the other) – thanks to a series of Supreme Court rulings, it is illegal for the State to execute people who committed capital crimes when they were minors. Japan rarely executes more than about a half-dozen people per year anyway. So basically, Ema et al wouldn't be facing the gallows/needle/electric chair/gas chamber/firing squad, but Ema and Miles would certainly have been sent to mandatory psychological counselling, and possibly worse. Athena almost certainly faced a one-way ticket to juvie or the mental hospital forever or worse, being murdered by the person who murdered her mother.
     Setting localisation-why does no one comment of very Japanese things in America? 
  • So the game features a court system based on the Japanese one, and in the Western versions of the game, where the game is set in the United States, Phoenix mentions some sort of sweeping judicial reform that resulted in the court system as shown in the games. Okay, I'll buy into that bit of suspension of disbelief. But then we get into characters and locations that are clearly of Japanese culture and mythology existing in the US that don't even get handwaved (e.g. historical Japanese settlements). I was fairly puzzled at the Kurain Village; someplace like Hazakura Temple sounds plausible in Los Angeles (where the Western versions take place) due to that area's cultural diversity; but an entire rural village dedicated to youkai (as shown in Dual Destinies) is where things start to get really silly.
    • The explanation for the Japanese villages in Dual Destinies is that they were founded by Japanese immigrants. As for the youkai legends, it turns out that the legends were started simply to hide the fact that there was a huge amount of gold hidden in the one village. So it's not impossible that the villagers simply forgot when the legend sprang up, and just adopted the idea that the youkai were always there.
    • Somewhat ironically, LA is one of the only places in America where these games could conceivably take place. There really are mountains within 2 hours of the city (and closer too), the area has a huge Asian population (including, as mentioned elsewhere, the largest Japanese settlement on the American mainland – there really are Shinto temples in the city), and the legal system is known to be screwed up beyond belief (OJ Simpson trial anyone?).
      • Really the only cities that might be a better adapted setting than Los Angeles would be Portland or Seattle (their wetter climates and better public transportation more closely match Tokyo; LA is hot & semi-arid and infamously car-crazy), or maybe San Francisco (huge Asian population and famously earthquake prone). Vancouver BC would work as well, but then you'd have to pretend the legal system is Canadian… which I guess means you'd have to make the Judge's Brother a Texan or something?
    • When you factor in how all of the very clearly Japanese settlements are in the mountains, it's not impossible to believe, in the translations that do not take place in Japan, that Tenma Town exists because of Ami Fey and her followers. In T&T Maya tells us, and we are shown through the last case of T&T, that women who lack spiritual power and men are often neglected in Kurain and will leave due to lacking value. Thus it's wholly possible Tenma Town was founded by the people who left the Kurain Village and temples but chose to stay in the mountains that remind them of home. The only obviously Japanese locations that aren't stated to be located in the mountains are Whet Soba, which could well be a unique establishment, which is partially why Simon likes it so much, and Eldoon's Noodles noodle cart. But the fact that the locations this Headscratcher complains about are all in the mountains means they could be historically connected, even if they no longer are.
     Why is Luke Atmey's profile not with the other detectives? 
  • This is kind of more a site headscratcher, which is why it's going here, but... why the heck is Luke Atmey's character profile not with the other detectives? For some reason, Atmey's profile in "Witnesses and Other Characters" even though he's actually a detective and should then be with "Prosecutors and Other Law Enforcement Officers". Is this explained on either page somewhere? Or can I move him to detectives without getting a nasty PM about it? It wouldn't be so odd if Atmey wasn't the only member of law enforcement who this happened to.
    • He's a private detective, which is one reason why Gumshoe despises him so much. Everyone else on that list is directly employed by the police or Interpol.
     Can Franziska be giving actual character development, please? 
  • This is something that bugs me to no end, and I just wanted to see what everyone else thought about it- would it kill Capcom to give Franziska some actual character development? What I'm talking about is, she is introduced as an intentionally unlikable character in Justice for All, caring only for winning, and whipping anyone who annoys her- even if it's a minor annoyance. This is to the point of whipping people into unconsciousness twice (though the fanbase apparently finds this funny as heck.) But the fanbase's bias here isn't what gets to me- what gets to me is that she appears in later games in the series, and the game treats her as though she's come back better, after a great deal of character development, on par with what happened with Edgeworth- but she hasn't. She's the same bratty kid who thinks she can get her way by whipping people that she always was. It wouldn't bug me so much if the games didn't deliberately seem to be glossing over it, ignoring this and pretending she's become so much better when she so clearly hasn't. Even in her last canonical appearance, she's whipping people even when they're doing exactly what she wants, and both the fanbase and games themselves brush it aside. I think the worst thing is that she could actually be a great character if she'd even make the minor change of getting rid of her whip, or at least only using it on people who actually deserve it (you know, like killers) rather than just whipping any random person who happens to be standing near when she gets the urge. But instead, there's absolutely no change, and we're just supposed to agree that she's grown as a person when she hasn't. Sorry if I'm unloading a bit here, but this has been building up for a while, and I really wanted to hear what others thought on this.
    • Her character development isn't about not whipping people, that's why (it's supposed to fall under Rule of Funny and Amusing Injuries, like Godot flinging hot coffee at Phoenix or Pearl beating him up, even if the actual funniness of that is YMMV). And while she remains competitive as hell whenever she runs into Phoenix or Miles, she's also shown as becoming a more caring person—she helps Adrian, she forces Miles to go out and get some air when he's pretending he's fine after the earthquake in 3-5, and she stays at the Sacred Cavern to remove the trick locks and rescue Maya. Also, rather than being obsessed with winning to the point of whipping people into unconsciousness, she becomes a more graceful loser and while her confrontations with Miles in AA:I are still about competing with him, they're also about getting to the actual truth. The whip thing is bonkers, but so is a nine-year-old being able to render a grown man unconscious or the series' frequent use of Tap on the Head with things like fire extinguishers.
    • That's kind of the thing. I know that she does get character development of a certain kind, and she does indeed get more caring over the games. She goes from only caring about winning to actually doing things like the above like you said, and that's what really gets to me- I want to like her, and be impressed with her character development along with everyone else, but that smegging whip of hers always kind of gets in the way of that- that, to me, was her biggest character flaw- not that she was obsessed with winning, or even that she had trouble empathizing with others- it was that that lack of empathy caused her to whip anyone who happens to be within radius. Which leads to even more confusion on my part when she apparently develops some sense of empathy, but still seems incapable of communicating with others without whipping them at first. I mean, even Godot stopped throwing coffee around once he grew to genuinely respect Phoenix, but even after all her character development, Frannie still thinks it's a-ok to whip the living crud out of anyone just because. Yeah, YMMV on whether it's funny or not (as you can probably tell, I stand pretty heavily on the "not" side,) but still....
    • Yeah. Obviously if this was Real Life, everyone would be bleeding heavily, need stitches, and incur permanent scarring after a day in Franziska's company. I don't think the devs intended it to be taken seriously though; it's her character quirk, like Shi-Long Lang's constant wolf metaphors and Klavier's inappropriate-for-court clothing, so I treat it like that. (I mean, she uses the whip to go Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!-and-get-some-air to Edgeworth during the quake BSOD I mentioned.) If you want to like her, you're going to have to just brush the whip thing off into (un)Amusing Injuries, but given that it is such a violent quirk it's understandable that you can't get past it.
    • In the game, Phoenix would rather take the beating, because if he accidentally accuses the Judge in 2-3 he gets a 95% penalty.
    • Forgive me if I word this poorly, but the conditions under which we are to read her reliance on her whip change as her character changes. In Justice For All she whips everyone because she's a merciless perfectionist with no regard for anyone but herself, but once she realizes perfection isn't everything the only reasonable thing to assume is that she still whips everyone because 18 years of being brought up as a Von Karma has crippled her emotionally , and she honestly does not understand how the world and human emotions work.
      • This explanation rubs me the wrong way. Try to imagine if the series had gone differently- specifically, if the entire cast was gender-swapped. From Justice for All onwards, Franziska was a male character who had a tendency to beat the everloving crap out of anyone who even annoyed him, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness. Later on, he changes slightly- instead of whipping everyone who annoys him, he only whips women- even if it was a man who annoyed him, he'll still choose to whip the nearest woman instead, and then laugh with the man who annoyed him about it. I can't speak for you, not knowing you well enough, but for most people, he'd be a complete monster, no matter how tragic a backstory he possessed. Really, this seems to be a problem throughout the series itself- barring Dahlia and Morgan, (who just about everyone in-and-out-of-universe seems to agree are complete monsters,) female characters are almost always portrayed more sympathetically than male ones, even when they've committed similar crimes. Heck, there seems to be a (minor, granted) section of the fanbase that even tries to justify Morgan's actions, attributing them more to her husband than to the one who actually performed them. It's like they can't believe a female character would ever do anything wrong unless a male character did something to incite it first. Now, that said, what I think might have made Franziska a much better (or at least, more likeable) character would be if, instead of shifting from whipping everybody to whipping just men, if she shifted from whipping everybody to whipping mainly criminals- i.e., people who've actually done something to deserve it. I don't know how well this would work from a story perspective, but in terms of her actual character, it sounds much better than turning her into some sort of misandrist. At the very least, it would be a decent 'what-if' scenario.
    • I'm sorry, did we play the same games? Because Franziska has the singlemost development of any character. She starts out as an abrasive Amoral Attorney, but by her last appearance, she's one of two- count them TWO- characters in the franchise who only seeks the truth, even if that truth means her friend is a killer. Even Edgeworth doesn't have this, because he refuses to entertain the idea Kay could be a killer, but Franziska is more than willing to play devil's advocate, even though she herself doubts Kay is a killer. The only other person who ever does this is Apollo, in Dual Destinies. Franziska still whips people, but significantly less and less as time goes on, and by T&T, repeatedly states it's not meant to be taken as an attack, no different than people slugging each other in the shoulder by way of greeting or congratulations. She's also, in case you missed this, genuinely helpful even in 2-4 once she's removed from the case. She presents evidence knowing it's for the defence, and does her damndest to get it to court as fast as she can. She also, again, since you seemed to think she's had no development, volunteered to stay behind and work at the trick locks. She was there for more than a day, nonstop by the way Edgeworth phrased it, in a freezing cold cave on a freezing cold mountain on a freezing cold winter, through the night, working her ass off for someone she barely knows. You know, being selfless. Franziska doesn't always limit her whipping to men- She hit Ini, Maya, Morgan... Lotta, for instance, is someone she'll willingly go for and she did hit Ema as well, and she's implied to want to hit Calisto, but goes for Edgeworth when he warns her against hitting Calisto. Females aggravate her less than males do, likely because males are more frequent in the cases she's worked. Further, usually the women involved in her cases would cause her actual trouble if she hit (Edgeworth tells her Calisto would be this, and it's clear from her personality Mikagami/Courtney is this way, unlike the standard Judge or his brother) or in Kay's case, they're Franziska's friend. You can hardly call her a misandrist when she DOES hit women, but there are just fewer female characters around her to hit. She also won't hit every man. And speaking of hitting people, she significantly tones it down by 2-4 and 3-5, and the meaning of it changes. Keep in mind, Franziska still has a very immature mindset. Not like a childish sort like Maya, but immature. Little kids rarely seem to take cries of pain from something they do seriously until someone gets mad at them. That's not childish like Maya, that's being immature. People don't get mad at Franziska for whipping them, and since she seems to have done it her whole life, it's hard to say she even realises it's exactly bad for her to show frustration that way. However, like I said- she uses it less and less as time goes on, and starts to rarely use it in anger. Why don't you pay attention to her character, rather than focusing on how much you hate her or how much she's whipping people the entire time she's on screen? Pay attention to WHO she hits, WHY and WHEN she does it, and how little she actually does it by Investigations 2 (where she hits Ema and Lotta both, and last I checked, they're females).
      • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't recall Franziska ever whipping Ema Skye in Ace Attorney Investigations 2—only Lotta Hart. And, I'd say that Edgeworth also seeks only the truth. In the DLC case for Spirit of Justice, Edgeworth could have stopped the trial at one point and won his guilty verdict—something that even Pierce Nichody, the culprit, pointed out—yet Edgeworth let Phoenix continue talking, which shows that the truth matters greatly to him, too, even if it's disadvantageous or inconvenient. However, your comment was probably posted before that game came out. In any case, I agree with you otherwise. Franziska honestly doesn't care what your gender is. If you aggravate her enough, she will whip you, unless you intimidate her or present some kind of threat. She didn't even whip Godot when he insulted her, and after she attempted to whip Detective Tyrell Badd once (and missed), she didn't do it again when he told her that he could punish her. Plus, everyone was cheering for her when she repeatedly whipped Sebastian Debeste/Yumihiko Ichiyanagi, who was extremely annoying, so not every use of her whip was a bad thing. That, and Franziska truly has grown as a prosecutor, even though she's still kind of a jerk.
     Where was Raymond Shields? 
  • Similar to the 1-5/JFA retcon— where the hell was Raymond Shields during the events of the first game? His attitude towards Edgeworth implies that he didn't follow 1-4 at all, even though you'd think he'd show interest in seeing his mentor's murderer finally brought to justice, especially considering said murderer was the prosecutor who had given them hell for a solid year.
    • What about Edgeworth's in-court reactions in 1-4 show he's not an Amoral Attorney? Presumably, Shields read the case file or saw the news report on the results. Nothing would imply Edgeworth wasn't a faithful minion of von Karma, and if he was... take a look at how Franziska reacted to her own father's death.
      • However, one would assume that Ray would want to watch the proceedings. After all, he is very relevant and would certainly be interested to see them as they were occurring. And the very fact that Edgeworth did indict von Karma should show that he isn't just a minion.
      • HOLD IT! Raymond Shields might have been shunned by Edgeworth during the latter's time as a ruthless prosecutor. That could explain why Shields merely watched from afar. That Edgeworth became reasonable was news to Shields, who, despite liking the change, still didn't like the idea of talking to, let alone running into, Von Karma's ward. After all, who's to say Edgeworth wasn't merely putting on a show of mercifulness to please the court's more reasonable authorities? Therefore, Shields making fun of Edgeworth when the two finally meet 18 years after DL-6 was a test to see if Edgeworth would make a Von Karma style reaction. Shields is delighted to find Edgeworth acting more like his father than like Von Karma, but hides all of that behind a façade of casual lawyer-prosecutor banter.
     Phoenix not using his Magatama as in court evidence? 
  • Why doesn't Phenox ever use his Magatama as evidence in court to get his clients declare innocent on the spot? In the ace Attorney universe, everyone knows that spirit channeling is real, and the Magatama was from Maya's home village, where spirit channeling is fairly common. It would be a major case of Arbitrary Skepticism for no one to believe him, especially since he could prove it on the spot.
    • The Psyche-Locks mechanic is all from Phoenix' perspective, no one but himself can actually see the locks. To anyone observing him, he would just appear to be really good at squeezing information out of the witness. The magatama and Psyche-Locks are essentially investigation-mode cross-examinations.
      • But he could give his Magatama to them so they could see the Psyche-Locks. It worked with Edgeworth. Why not give it to the judge?
      • Maybe the Judge wouldn't have the energy to see the locks.
      • You need energy to see them?
    • Passing around the Magatama like that might have an unforeseen risk. If it does work for that one trial, the judge or someone might have it confiscated for testing. Then Phoenix is left without one of his best tools, probably forever.
    • "Everyone knows that spirit channeling is real". No, they don't, the average person doesn't believe in it. This was discussed a good number of times in the first three games. Maya specifically tells Phoenix in 2-2 that most people think spirit channeling is all made up. Before the point of 3-5, at least, the Judge and basically everyone else for that matter would've been included under that. Remember that in case 2-2, the judge never actually definitely concludes one way or the other as to whether Franziska's claim that Maya could channel spirits was true or not. Specifically, he's just flat out confused, and isn't sure what to think. There's next to no way that Phoenix would've been believed if he tried claiming that he had a magic stone that some little girl zapped magical secret detecting powers into. He'd come across as completely insane. Even after the events of 3-5, in fact, since it's kind of a leap to go from what's exposed to the courtroom in that case to what the magatama is and can do. Even if Phoenix gave it to someone to get them to see what it could show them, and even if he's somehow believed in his claims, there's still the matter that the entire thing wouldn't be proof of anything in the first place. From Phoenix's personal perspective, it proves someone is hiding something, and he can pursue that. But from a legal perspective, it would mean jack squat. You can't find someone guilty or innocent, or condemn a witness, or whatever else, because some guy's magic shows that they'd lying/not lying. In real life court proceedings, you're not allowed to use a failed/passed lie detector test as proof, and that's something based around a specific, and understood scientific principle. Let alone some guy who claims that their magical locks only appear over someone when they're lying.
    • Also, don't forget that the Magatama CAN be fooled if one asks the wrong questions, as shown in 2-4.
     Why is the trial only a day after body discovery and investigation? 
  • Why would a legal system ever approve of a standard procedure where a murder trial takes place only one day after the body has been found and investigated? It doesn't match the Japanese legal system. It doesn't support the ideology of the Japanese legal system, where prosecutors typically pride themselves on having an airtight case ready and don't even go to trial if they don't think they have one, while in these games it becomes increasingly obvious that the standard prosecution procedure involves quickly looking for evidence, coming up with the first possible theory and trying to hide the existence of any evidence that makes it less certain. Too often the analysis of DNA evidence or even a proper autopsy can't be completed in time before the trial starts. And, of course, this helps culprits entirely too much, as all they have to do is fake enough evidence to suspect someone else and the system does the rest. The idea of shortening trials to only a few days at least has potential benefits, but why bother rushing the investigation?
    • That's literally the whole point of the streamlined system. The court system in Ace Attorney isn't designed to be fair or thorough, it's set up to get someone convicted for a crime as soon as possible no matter what so the police can move on. It wouldn't make sense for them to only streamline the court system without shortening the time allowed for investigations because the idea is that they have limited resources and they don't want to spend excessive time on cases. Having such a flawed and skewed system no only speeds up gameplay, but it also gives more urgency to Phoenix's trials. You're fighting against a system that IS designed to find a suspect and get them convicted as quickly as possible even if some of the facts don't tie in well. That's why Prosecutors like Edgeworth, who are trying to find the truth rather than win a case, are rare and often have to fight against their own system (like Edgeworth does in Investigations) just to get to the true bottom of the crimes they investigate.
     Where are the court appointed lawyers? 
  • Does/Did Japan and the Ace Attorney universe not have court appointed lawyers? Throughout the first game every case involves someone that nobody wants to defend because losing to tarnish their reputation. Fortunately Phoenix is always there and for various reasons willing to take these cases but what happens if Phoenix is busy with another case? Do they defend themselves?
    • There indeed are state appointed lawyers, they arê even mentioned in at least 2 cases, for example in 1-2, Redd White wants to get Phoenix the worst state appointed laweyer possible, that's why he defends himself there. But to be fair it is a good question why Phoenix at the start doesn't take state appointed cases, this would have brought some money in.
     How are the games obviously Japanese to qualify the changes and sneering? 
  • What exactly about the games is "obviously Japanese" enough to warrant these games qualifying for Thinly-Veiled Dub Country Change and all the sneering it gets? That would mean there's something about the setting, not the attitude of anyone. In the original trilogy, the only things that are blatantly Japanese has to do with spirit channelling (the Fey's attire and home village). Further, apart from Simon and Metis (who are noted in the dub to be fans of Japanese culture, which is perfectly reasonable, especially since Simon could have come to like it through Metis), everything "obviously Japanese" is in the mountains, so you can argue they're all related to one another without sounding like you're handwaving. And you can't use the court system to explain it- the games explain that it's an alternate universe where this manner of dealing with cases was implemented, which is, again, perfectly reasonable. Further, as pointed out above, the games aren't even a real depiction of Japanese legal proceedings, of which it is meant to mock. You can't really use the Steel Samurai, either, as sentai shows like Power Rangers are still a thing in the US. What about these games scream "this obviously takes place in Japan!!"? What about the setting makes it oh-so "thinly veiled"? Hell, what about what anyone says? Is there anything people say or do that would be unnatural for an American or a Canadian? Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I don't see why it should qualify for the trope, or what the problem is with changing it when all the names were changed to make sense to the audiences playing the game (especially when a lot of the jokes would be lost, like Redd White's name that relied on the kanji to make the joke). The only way I can see it qualifying is if you have a lot of knowledge about Japanese culture and can pick out what's Japanese about every little thing, but to an average player, it's hardly "thinly veiled". "Thinly veiled" implies that even people who only know a little about Japan can tell it's obviously Japan.
    • It wasn't too bad in the trilogy. Outside of Kurain, there's very little overly Japanese. Even AJ isn't too bad, outside of the fact that the Kitakis are a yakuza family more than a mafia family or a gang, with Plum wearing the not exactly traditional American kimono. It's starting in Dual Destinies that it starts becoming ridiculous. Neither Simon nor Metis are the issue. Case 2 is the biggest offender, what with suggesting that two youkai fought an epic battle on Californian soil in, like, the 90s or something (Because the town can't be around THAT long), and the fact that apparently their festival is booming every year, for something that most Americans barely know anything about (Alternate universe, I know, but still). And then we get to Spirit of Justice, with Case 4. But yeah, a lot of it is over exaggerating as a result of the memes.
      • I never understood the issue with Nine Tails Vale myself. Even if you don't take into account the entire "AU where Japanese culture flourished" thing, there's places like Nine Tails Vale in our real world Ameirca. Maybe not quite so distinctive in it's own culture, but it wouldn't look that out of place in a place like Little Tokyo, as some sort of tourist spot. The same thing with the rakugo theater in Turnabout Storyteller, it'd definitely fit in a place like that. In an AU version of L.A where that kinda thing has flourished even more so then real life, it seems completely reasonable that those kinda places could exist as their own full locations. And the thing with Tenma Taro was clearly brought over from Japan, by the immigrants who ended up founding the village, incidentally. I never understood why it was so exaggerated myself either.
      • Perhaps this comes from having recently played Yo Kai Watch though, in which the entire attempt to act like it takes place in America despite so very obviously taking place in Japan really IS as glaring as a sore thumb (See Thinly Veiled Country Dub Change to see just how bad it gets in that franchise). It gives you an appreciation for how subtly Ace Attorney actually did do it when you see something like that, where it's not just insanely, ridiculously obvious, but also flat out doesn't even make sense a lot of the time. I know Ace Attorney and Yokai Watch are wildly different franchises, but you know. (Just to point out, I actually like Yokai Watch so I'm not bashing that franchise here, I'm just making a point).
    • Well, let's see. A sidekick spirit medium in blatantly Japanese clothes, a village of spirit mediums, a girl studying senryu, Judge who is seriously out of touch with reality knows exactly what is senryu, an old guy who worked in kimono business before retiring, blatantly Japanese temple, Phoenix's love interest is textbook Yamato Nadeshiko, serious gun restrictions (as in it's almost impossible to legally get a gun if you're not a cop) supposedly in a country known for it's constitutional right for civilians to have guns, a guy with seismophobia living in part of the country where earthquakes happen when there should be part where they don't, a prosecutor who is a freaking samurai, a village of people who ALL believe in yokai, case centered around Rakugo... I probably still missed a few things. Individually each of these can be handwaved, but all together they're rather hard to swallow as USA.
      • To be entirely fair to Simon, the dub explains the fact that he's a samurai by saying he's really into Japanese culture, which isn't exactly farfetched.
      • Well, someone has clearly never actually looked at the translations. As you can see from the transcript The word "senryu" is never once used in the game. Melissa/Dahlia's area of study is never mentioned in English translations, just "literature". She's not even stated to be studying poetry. Which renders your senryu argument irrelevant to the English version. Two, the village Maya is from, the temple that is related to the village, and Tenma Town, as stated above in the main complaint, are in the mountains like every other obviously Japanese settlement in the games. In DD, Tenma Town is specifically said to be "founded by Japanese immigrants" and I believe the same has been said of the Kurain channelling technique, which went from Khura'in to Japan to the States. Going to the mountains would make sense for the Kurain technique (seeing as it relies on mountain locations to train), and we know from T&T that people who cannot channel nor aid in channelling usually leave. It's not a massive leap of logic to think Tenma Town was founded by people who left the Kurain villages because they were neglected. Again, this was pointed out as plausible in the original complaint. Yamato Nadeshiko are a personality type anyone can have and are not exclusive to Japan. Tight gun laws are also never actually mentioned in the dub that I can recall, there's just a curious lack of gun-related deaths. Even the Raguko place makes some sense as a unique restaurant. A rakugo/noodle place whose location we are never actually given nor do we visit, meaning it could well be in or near the mountains. It's honestly not a massive stretch if you just take a second to look at things.
      • Actually, about the gun laws. The in-universe version of the United States has the Federal Firearms Restriction Act. The fact that America transparently has such strict gun laws is actually brought up a number of times, it's the entire basis for one of Lang's accusations in AAI, in fact. This is probably the only aspect of the localization that is genuinely difficult to shallow, given America's real life gun culture. It should be noted though, that the AAI does still, technically, take place in our future as of currently (early 2019 to be specific), and the series takes place in an AU where Japanese culture merged with America, so within the context of the localization it isn't exactly a stretch. it just seems a bit weird when you compare it to how America is perceived IRL.
    • The main point here isn't that the entire "Japanifornia" thing isn't warranted. "Warranted" being used in lack of a better term, since it's not as though it's a bad thing at all, it's actually kind of a charming trait that even the localizers have expressed they like. But actually, that leads into the exact point here. It's the fact that people throw it around so much, that it's basically become a generic thing by now that just implies nothing other then that the localization is terrible, and that the localizers are morons for continuing to put up a charade. I just find that to be insulting to the actual effort gone into the localization, which is, for all intent-and-purposes, one of the greatest in video game history, if you ignore the subjectivity of the specific variation of localization they went for. Not to mention, that is is massively exaggerated. They really could've done a lot more then they did try and do when it came to changing content to try and make it "American". They could've changed the Tonosaman (Steel Samurai) franchise to be about some superhero from L.A called "Steel Man", or something, but they didn't, they localized it as "Steel Samurai" and kept the franchise a strictly Japanese focused one. They could've tried implying that the village of yokai were actually a village of western style monsters and given weird English names for all of the monsters that were brought up (see the Yo-Kai Watch example given above, since it does demonstrate that point pretty well). All in all, they could've handled things a lot "worse" (again, I use that word loosely. There's no "wrong" way to do a localization) then they did. I'm not sure if I agree that it doesn't warrant being considered a thinly veiled localization, but the issue to actually think about here is more how exaggerated this tends to be, and the fact that this in itself shouldn't be thrown around like it's a bad thing anyway.
      • I mean, people are rarely GENUINELY complaining about it. More often than not, they're making jokes at the localization's expense. And to be fair, it IS funny to make fun of the localization when we have cases like Monstrous and Storyteller. Some people mean it, but most people aren't serious. In general, whether the localization is in Japan or America doesn't change much at all because it's never relevant which country it really is. We make fun of it just because it's easy to make fun of, whether or not we actually dislike it.
      • I guess so. I just feel like it's been run into the ground by this point. As charming as it is, it sort of stops being funny when you see people make the exact same exaggerated jabs over and over again for 10+ years, it just starts seeming a bit petty. Well, perhaps "petty" is a strong way of putting it. "Unfunny & repetitive", I guess? Just generally annoying, basically. Yeah, I like to make those jabs myself sometimes, but having the entire fandom scream them out at every chance it gets starts to get a grating, after a while. Like, imagine if you jabbed a friend about something as a joke, and it become a in-joke between your group of friends. It's funny for a while but if it continues for ages and is brought up all the time, the target is gonna get annoyed, and it'll very quickly dissolve into seemingly like your whipping a dead horse, and it just goes from a joke to seeming a bit petty. Like, "okay guys, we get it, it's easy to tell the location was changed in localisation, I think after 10+ years of hearing that same jab I've sort of get the message, can you shut up about it now?".
    • I think the best way to put what main issue I have with the general consensus on the localisation is, is this: while the localisation is very obviously a "forced" gimmick for the sake of changing the setting to America, I just don't understand why people act like they're unable to grasp the concept of that gimmick. When people make fun of how forced the gimmick is in itself that's fine. What always gets my eyes rolling is when people do stuff like point to any vaguely Japanese thing, yell "that's Japanese!" and act like that in some way contradicts the entire localisation gimmick. Which just makes no sense. It's an AU-America. Not only are the presence of "Japanese things" not automatically an indicator of a setting in the first place (people often exaggerate it to the point where, if the Ace Attorney games literally mirrored real life, they'd point to something like the recent America made Godzilla movies and yell "LMFAO KAIJU MOVIES BEING MADE IN SO-TOTALLY-NOT-JAPAN") within the localisation gimmick it all fits. I just don't get what part of "an alternative history America which is hybrid with Japanese culture" is so difficult for people to grasp. Making fun of that gimmick being forced into the English version isone thing, but people who seem unable to even grasp how the gimmick makes sense in the first place just seem ridiculous. It's like complaining about Wolfenstein: The New Order depicting a ridiculous unrealistic interpretation of America which is "inexplicably Nazi-German for some reason" (mirroring the "America which is inexplicably Japanese") because you can't grasp the concept of an alternative history where the Nazis won WWII (sure, I'm comparing a original game concept to a localisation gimmick, but you get my point).
    • I, personally, feel as though people can overlook certain aspects of the localisation. Namely, people notice the things that stand out as "obviously Japanese"/have obviously been left as is from the Japanese version, but they don't tend to notice the mountain of things which were changed to not stand out as being very obviously contradictory to American culture. Particularly within the artwork, and the images. Just a few examples off the top of my head: The passport in the First Turnabout is changed to the standard American passport; blue with the Coat of arms on it. The Japanese version's passport resembled the standard passport in Japan; red with the imperial Seal of Japan. Every newspaper in the series is always altered to look more American in style, even the ones which are only shown in icons and are not displayed in detail. Japanese newspapers, particularly 'trashy' tabloid papers, have a rather distinct look, that would not look right to Americans. Legal documents are made to look more "American" (one key example is the Loan Contract in 5-3; the Japanese version of the contract has Japanese specific contract clauses on it, the localisation altered these, to make the contract look like one you'd see in America. Letters are altered to the American style, since, once again, Japanese style letters would stand out to American players). I won't go one forever, and there's a ton more examples, but my point is that I think a lot of these things fly completely over the head of a lot of players (you don't notice what you don't notice, after all. The fact that no one picks up on these small details shows that they worked in the first place). There's legitimately an unbelievable amount of effort put into making small things not seem out of place to American players, so I can sympathise with the frustrations of the people who say they don't appreciate how the localisation is often "sneered at" (even if jokingly, most of the time) for not trying to cover up "how Japanese" it is. Not that I don't do the same a lot of the time, jokingly, but I can also appreciate the effort put into it at the same time.
     People greatly exaggerating how useless/unfair/lacking the accusations of the police & prosecution are? 
  • One to do with the fandom rather then the games: Is it just me, or do people greatly exaggerate how ridiculously useless, unfair, and lacking in basis the accusations of the police & prosecution are in the series? When you look at the accusations against the defendants in the series from outside of the perspective we're given as players/through the protagonist's eyes, practically all of them are what anyone with any ounce of common sense would assume was the truth. Most of the time the defendant is the most obvious suspect, sometimes they're the only possible suspect, and a lot of the time the case against them would seem ridiculously solid from any perspective outside the player's one. I constantly see this whole "rule of Ace Attorney police: grab the nearest suspect based on the flimsiest evidence and say they did it" thing, but to my memory it really hardly applies to many instances. The only one that springs instantly to mind is Turnabout Sisters.
    • A lot of the time it's overblown, but there are several times where it's either obviously not the case for a variety of reasons (Serenade, Countdown), or the contradictions are ridiculously easy to spot (Lost).
      • I'll give you Serenade for the case against Machi being flimsy (that was actually supposed to be the point of the episode though), but I don't see how Juniper's charge in Countdown is that flimsy all things considered.
      • Case against Juniper was basically this: Prosecution claimed that she decided to blow up a courtroom on a whim, because her teacher was an asshole who framed her two months earlier and then she almost died in an explosion and the guy she's in love with was seriously injured, and all the evidence they have is that she once touched a tail which MIGHT come from a toy the bomb was inside of. Does this really look like a strong case?
      • I grant you it's not the strongest case the prosecution's ever had in the series, but there's a little more then just that. There was also the fact that Juniper was the only one with the chance to reactivate the bomb. And I'm going to assume that considering the nature of the case; namely that it was an act of domestic terrorism which took place during a trial for another act of domestic terrorism, after the courthouse itself just got partially destroyed, that they were pretty damn eager to get the culprit convicted as fast as humanly possible. Although I admit it's not the most solid the prosecution's case has ever been. We can argue semantics over individual cases until the cows come home though, my original point was that in most cases at least, the suspect is the most obvious suspect, not to mention the person who most of the initial evidence actually points to.
    • This has always bothered me too. One episode where the case sticks out as especially the opposite of this to me was Rise From the Ashes, where the suspect was pleading guilty, literally had a wound from when she committed the stabbing, literally had the victim's blood on her shoe, and where there was a photo showing her literally standing over the body with the victim's blood on her clothes. Not to mention, she also had a very likely motive, there was an ex-detective eye-witness who literally saw her stab the victim (who was actually telling the truth too, at least, regarding the stabbing itself, as it so happened), there was proof she erased evidence from the murder scene, and there even seemed to be proof that she had been the one to summon the victim to the place where he was killed. That's probably the most solid case you could ever hope to have against a defendant, not just in the series but in real life. And that was only by the halfway point of the first trial day. Most prosecutors can only dream of that amount of convenient "she did it" evidence. Heck, just one of those would be "smoking gun" style evidence during a real life murder trial.
    • Later Ace Attorney games seem to approach it from a significantly different angle: have utterly perfect frame jobs, air-tight against all but the most intense scrutiny, where the only reason to doubt the case's validity is that the suspect is either someone the attorney knows or someone who seems incapable of ever murdering anyone. Which unfortunately means that even the most seemingly open-and-shut case comes across as bullying the innocent. As for the original complaint, also consider the fact that nearly every case has a Darkest Hour, in which the attorney will make a perfect case against the true perpetrator and everyone else will reject it out of hand and try to convict the defendant anyway. That doesn't help the legal system's reputation at all.
      • "Everyone else" is a bit of a stretch. The prosecutor rejects it and guns for the defendant's guilt because, well, it's their job to do that. Sure, to the average person on the street "it's their job" doesn't feel like a valid excuse, so it doesn't help the reputation in-universe, at the least, but that is what they're supposed to be doing by their job description. Besides, the same thing can be said for the defense as well. As you pointed out, the case against the defendant in latter goes are always ludicrously airtight. The the average person who's seeing or following the case via news articles, or what have you, the defendant is gonna seem absolutely, undeniably guilty. So when you get the defense team gunning for not guilty verdicts, it doesn't look too great. The original complaint here was about how players tend to exaggerate how flimsy the cases against the defendants tend to seem, when, as you pointed out, they're anything but. Not gonna mention specific examples for obvious reasons, but I'm sure you can think of examples yourself: take any recent criminal case, were every single person has already concluded that any sane person can tell the person being charged is guilty as sin. Then imagine how you'd feel if you saw some case update that said that that person had hired the country's most renowned lawyer who's infamous for winning impossible cases and having a _ludicrously_ impressive win record. And that he's pushing for a not guilty verdict.
     What's Ace attorney logic? 
  • This is connected to the above one and is also to do with the fandom, but it's a more general question: What's "Ace Attorney logic" exactly? I keep seeing people whip that phrase out, as though Ace Attorney is apparently prone to insane logic. Can someone please explain why people seem to have the idea that Ace Attorney runs on some sort of Moon Logic? I know this is sort of objective in a way, but I personally really don't see it one bit.
    • Either this or the comment "...all this is Ace Attorney we're talking about", which I've seen about quite a lot as well. Personally I don't get why people seem to treat the series like it's a huge illogical joke either. I think one of the contributing factors (although not necessarily the only thing) is theJapanese inspired legal world that comes across as over the top and wacky to Westerners. Which is especially true with most of the legal procedures in the games. To western players they come across as obviously wacky aspects of a fictional Kangaroo Court, even though most of them are exactly how the law works in Japan. This goes right down to the concept of an attorney's badge, an aspect you'll often see western players consider bizarre, despite this being the exact same badge worn by attorneys in Japan in real life. People tend to put a lot of the stuff in the games down to "Ace Attorney's made up wackiness", even when it's taken directly from real life Japanese law without any exaggeration. I think in general, this disconnect gives a lot of people in the West a pretty exaggerate idea of how over the top Ace Attorney actually is, especially compared to the Japanese fan base. This along with the fact that the Japanese are just more generally accepting of this kind of style of game in general. Not to mention they don't have to deal with people constantly flinging the (in this troper's opinion) tired and old memes relating to the "thiny veiled localization". Which doesn't really help with the series's overall wacky status that it seems to have a lot of the time in the West.
    • Ace Attorney actually IS a fairly wacky series, and not all of it has to do with the localization or the fact that it's a parody of the japanese legal system. Things the series is known for include its colorful and occasionally outlandish character designs (a guy with a futuristic visor, an old man who looks like a tree and cracks when you debate with him, a bailiff who looks like a stop sign, a marble statue, the von Karma wardrobe, a guy who can pull a glass of brandy out of his ass just to look like a bigger douche, etc.), punny names, highly eccentric witnesses with exaggerated character quirks, a tendency for culprits to have over-the-top breakdown animations (including being struck by lightning, exorcised and banished to the afterlife, and getting a beat-down from an elephant), in general the animations and sound design giving the illusion that you can inflict physical damage to people by talking, incredibly elaborate crime setups that require extensive unraveling, people frequently shouting very recognizable catchphrases that flash on screen in bold, red letters, frequent allusions to and plots constructed around mysticism and spirit-channeling, running gags about stepladders, the overall tone and writing that is very comedic (except when it isn't)... None of these things are bad, but they permeate the experience of playing these games with a sense of whimsy, and they all come together to form a distinct style and feeling that you can point at and say "Yeah, that's Ace Attorney". And if I saw someone point and shout "Objection!" and make a statement so persuasive that the physical impact of their argument knocks another person over and causes their hair to fall out, I'd probably be thinking "Yeah, that's some Ace Attorney logic right there".
     Why are they still friends with Larry? 
  • Why are Phoenix and Edgeworth even still friends with a guy they consider to be a pathetic, miserable, womanizing man child that ruins their lives on a constant basis(aka, Larry), when literally the only positive thing either of them can say about him is that he wouldn't commit murder. More over, why is it a running theme in the games themselves to have the two bring this up as though it solidifies their friendships. "He wouldn't kill people" is pretty flimsy as literally the only foundation for maintaining a toxic friendship, don't ya think?
    • They don't know either. This is more "we were friends in childhood and still kinda know each other" kind of friendship. There is no reason to assume that they keep in touch on regular basis, in fact most of their meetings are entirely coincidental, And both Phoenix and Miles doesn't seem particularly happy to see him.
    • Because he's loyal when the chips are down. One of the ways you can discern whether someone is a friend worth keeping is to see how they act when you're at your lowest point. Most people who are only friends with you out of convenience or unwholesome reasons will probably abandon you once your struggles make maintaining the friendship too much of a hassle for them. Larry is horribly obnoxious and infuriating to be around 95% of the time, but when he's REALLY needed, he's shown to step up and do his best to help, however bumbling and idiotic his way of doing that may be. When Edgeworth is in real danger of getting sent to prison in 1-4, Larry jumps in and tries to save him. He doesn't have to do that, nobody expects him to do it, and he risks pissing off the court and being held in contempt, but he does it anyway because Miles is his friend. And given that people are creatures of habit, it's very likely that Larry has done similar things in the past, and that Phoenix and Edgeworth are aware of this character trait. In that light, it doesn't really make sense to call off your friendship with a guy who has proven himself willing to stick his neck out for you when you're suffering. Not over some negligible, mildly annoying slights.
    • If Spirit of Justice is anything to go by, however, they don't consider him much of a friend anymore. You can practically hear Phoenix groan the second Larry shows up in Turnabout Time Traveler.
     Why does everyone not know about major incidents? 
  • Why is it that none of the protagonists and their assistants ever seen to know anything about major past incidents that you'd imagine everyone in all of the country should've heard about, let alone citizens of the city where they actually happened. The SL-9 incident - A major serial killing that happened 2 years ago. Phoenix doesn't know about. Movie star dies (yes, the fact that it was an accident caused by Hammer was covered up, but I doubt they literally covered up the fact that the guy died) - Phoenix doesn't know about it. Murder of an important researcher at a local federal space center - Phoenix doesn't know about it. Orca supposedly kills someone during a public performance - Phoenix doesn't know about it—Yeah, you get the idea.
    • Particularly egregious is the fact that Phoenix has never even heard of DL-6, despite the fact that the father of one of his best friends was the victim.
      • Well to be fair on this point at least, he was only 9 at the time DL-6 occurred. If I recall, mentions something along the lines of how Edgeworth transferred schools after the incident, but neither him nor Larry knew why. I can buy that he at least didn't know what was going on at the time. But it's true that once Phoenix started actively looking into Edgeworth's past that he should've at some point stumbled upon the fact that a lawyer with the same last name was murdered around around the same time that Edgeworth had transferred schools, and put two and two together. Just a search for "Edgeworth" should've turned up a crap ton about the DL-6 incident, given how big of a deal the case was at the time.
     Why does everyone treat costumes, especially full body or concealing ones, as decisive evidence? 
To name a few The Steel Samurai costume in 1-3, Maya's outfit in 2-2, Max's symbols in 2-3, the Nickel Samurai Costume in 2-4 and the list likely goes on. Why does nobody beside Phoenix decide to point out that, if the face or other truly recognizable features are on the costume, it likely can't be the defendant just because they're famous for the costume? Especially since it'd be an incredibly bad decision to commit any sort of crime whilst wearing a costume you're famous for.
  • In two of those cases, it's Oldbag or Lotta saying it, and they both jump to conclusions about everything and it's pointed out as ridiculous in universe. 2-2 isn't a valid example because Maya is supposedly the only other person in the room with the victim, and she was supposedly channeling someone at the time, so even if it was actually Maya, it would make sense because the spirit wouldn't exactly worry about hiding the identity of the medium and changing out of her clothes. And for 2-3, I assume there's only one version of that outfit, and they wouldn't expect Max to not have them at the time.
     Why does the defense cross-examine testimony beneficial to them? 
  • The First Turnabout stands out to me as one of the only times in the franchise where it is totally clear what everyone is trying to do and what the consequences are at any time: your client is your dumbass but totally non-violent friend that has been accused of murder, and the prosecution's case relies on a motive and a single witness's testimony. If that testimony is taken to be accurate by the court, logically, your client must be guilty. Therefore, you know the witness must be lying, but if you cannot cast sufficient doubt on it, you fail. The testimony is eventually proven to be a sham, and along the way, you have proven that the witness knew things only the killer could have, destroying the prosecution's case. Simple, straightforward, and completely consistent throughout.

    Yet, as the series has continued, with cases ballooning in size and complexity, tons of characters and reams of evidence, there are more and more instances of times in court where the simple question of "What am I doing, and why am I doing it?" does not have a good answer. Many times, as far as the player is aware, the current cross-examination's goal is to uncover someone's secret just for the sake of uncovering the secret. It's just that the final answer just so happens to relate to the case in some way - how convenient! The series sticks hard to the pattern of "prosecution starts by presenting a mountain of damning evidence and witness testimony, and then the defense systematically pokes holes in it until the trial is over", but this basic pattern only really works in small, simple cases like The First Turnabout but has a very difficult time fitting with anything more complex. The prosecution is trying to prove that the defendant is guilty, and the defense is trying to prove that they are not guilty. Evidence, which includes witness testimony, is used by both sides to reach those goals. Yet the idea of the defense calling a witness specifically to support their position is considered unorthodox and improper - why is one form of evidence only valid for one side to utilize and not the other?

    As a consequence of this, cross-examination is something reserved exclusively for the defense, even when the testimony being given is beneficial to their position - why the hell would I want to scrutinize and poke holes in my client's side of the story outside of the plot demanding that I do so? Sure, there have been instances of the defense requesting a particular witness to testify, but this is generally because the defense believes them to be hiding something despite the testimony ostensibly being hostile to their case. And throughout the entire series, there is not even one instance, not one, where the prosecution cross-examines a witness - not even in the prosecutor-focused Investigations sub-series.

    I suppose this is more of an observation about how the series has recognized that it is at risk of getting stale and is desperately trying to find new mechanics to add to the courtroom to keep things fresh (granted, not easy considering how few opportunities there logically are to add meaningful interactivity in a Visual Novel), but only succeeds in adding gimmicky novelties (Apollo's Perception, Athena's Mood Matrix, the Divination Seance, even the Pursuit mechanic in the Layton crossover and The Great Ace Attorney, with only the Jury in GAA really adding anything substantial note ) when it could be doing so much more by stepping back and realizing that maybe the playbook laid down in 2001 on the GBA could use a little revising. What about if the defense calls a witness that testifies in favor of the defendant, and you have to pick which questions to ask them that are relevant to the case? Then the prosecution cross-examines them, and you can refute the contradictions that they find. You could even have your witnesses stay on the stand while cross-examining the prosecution's witnesses, and you could point out contradictions not only between their testimony and the evidence, but also your own witness's testimonies.

    I know that the real answer is "because the Japanese court system is stupid and terrible and the games lampoon how broken it is", but after nearly a dozen games spread over the better part of two decades, I can't be the only who thinks that the series should be capable of addressing issues like this by now.
    • The idea of cross-examinations in general is to find the inconsistencies in testimony and show it to the court. The lawyers in the series are trying to find the truth, not just get their clients off on the charges. They believe that their clients are innocent, and thus they figure that any testimony that damns them has some sort of contradiction in it that needs to be exposed. When they're cross-examining beneficial, helpful testimony, it's generally for the same reason. To try and find the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. If they spot a lie in a testimony, then they don't care if it's bad for their client, they're going to go after it with everything they have because only then will they learn the whole truth.
      • I understand that our Good Boy™ defense attorneys are going to honestly scrutinize every bit of testimony put in front of them, no matter what. What I don't understand is why certain testimonies are even being put in front of them to scrutinize - the Amoral Attorneys in this setting are not restricted to prosecutors. It is a conflict of interest, evidence of a very broken system. It takes me out of it when I realize that the only way justice is ever dispensed in this universe is if defense attorneys have a nigh suicidal commitment to finding the truth above defending their clients (which, in some schools of thought, is itself actually immoral, meaning that the series practically runs on Moral Luck). The idea that "it's fine that defense attorneys cross-examine everything, even their own clients, because they're going to find the inconsistencies" sounds an awful lot like "the ends justify the means" to me. I just think it would address, not only systematic issues with the setting, but would also ensure there's a lot less confusion in the minute-to-minute experience as to "what do I hope to accomplish by doing what I am currently doing" while also opening up potential for interesting mechanics that the series would greatly benefit from. I wouldn't necessarily expect this from a series just starting out - but Ace Attorney has been around long enough that it really should've realized that this is a problem on multiple fronts by now.
     Did NOBODY question the broken window for 15 years? 
  • In the photo showing Gregory Edgeworth's dead body you can very clearly see a bullet hole in the elevator window. It is also clearly stated the murder weapon was fired TWICE. So did nobody investigate why there were two shots and why the window was broken? Or are the police in this series so incompetent that nobody noticed the bullet hole until Phoenix pointed it out?