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Nightmare Fuel / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations

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Nightmare Fuel in Trials and Tribulations. All spoilers are unmarked.

  • Dahlia's "back-turned" pose from Case 1 is very disturbing in its own right. There's just something darkly unsettling about seeing her back to you with that heavy shade across the side of her face. Like getting your first glimpse into hell itself. It's actually more unnerving than what follows when she faces you with a Death Glare and incinerates all her butterflies with her pure rage. Just watching her stand silently, looking away and feeling the anger course through her can send chills up your spine.
    • Then she reins it in after Mia finally nails her, calmly states that she's going to spend some time with the "boys in blue", and promises that she'll meet Mia and Phoenix again, heavily implying that she's going to try to murder them as well once she is released from prison. That has to be some Paranoia Fuel for Phoenix, the only surviving member of the pair and previously head-over-heels in love with a cold poisoner that only used him as a method to hide evidence.
  • Case 3 starts off in the most unsettling way, making it seem you lost the case without even having a chance to defend it, having Winston Payne mock your defeat, showing that "the other man" was Phoenix Wright, it all makes it seem that YOU were guilty and no one believes the Defendant mentioning this "other man". Then it reveals, right after the "Game Over", that a terrible trial was enacted by Phoenix Wright and then Phoenix himself mentions he wasn't in such trial and that a retrial would be in order. Through the case you find out there was a phony Phoenix and that the performance you watched at the start of the case was not with Phoenix himself, but rather of his phony, "Xin Eohp".
    • Whatever Bruto Cadaverini does as part of his duties as The Don of his crime family, something the player can only imagine since he's never actually seen in-game beyond his portrait and profile, it sure as hell is scary enough that nobody questions him whenever he demands something (e.g. money) from them. Not even Furio "YOUSE TALKIN' TO ME?!" Tigre is gonna mess with a million-dollar debt he caused by getting into an accident with Cadaverini's granddaughter.
      • Speaking of Bruto's granddaughter, Viola herself can be rather unnerving character. An Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette Mafia Princess who speaks in a slow, creepy way, acting incredibly polite and courteous while casually threatening your life, without so much as changing her expression. The first lines you ever hear from her are her threatening to burn down Armstrong's restaurant if he can't pay off his debt, then telling him she'll stab him if he tells anyone else. And that's before you even learn her name.
  • The conclusion of Case 4, in which Terry Fawles, the defendant whose acquittal is just inches away from happening, kills himself on the witness stand. Not only is it heart wrenching, but also quite horrifying because he dies in the courtroom before your very eyes. It's no wonder Mia didn't set foot in a courtroom for a year after the incident (remember, this was her first case).
    • And to top it all off, Armando looks Mia dead in the eye, squeezes his mug until it shatters, bleeds profusely, and tells her she can't cry yet while blood drips from his hand.
    • Even just the start of the case is bad. It looks like just a normal flashback to Mia's first case, right up until you see that Dahlia might be involved. Immediately, you know that things are about to get much, much worse.
  • Case 5: We witness Dahlia getting exorcised out of Maya's body, letting out a scream, and in her final on-screen moments takes the form of a very creepy ghost before turning into a flame and vanishing, while flashbacks to her crimes go off. For bonus points, her final text box actually seems to flicker out as she disappears- an effect used nowhere else in the game- as if Dahlia isn't just being exorcised from Maya, but from the game itself.
    • The same case gives us a seemingly unremarkable moment which, if you've been following the game's story closely, can give others a run for their money. In the final investigation, it eventually turns out that Sister Iris has a twin sister. You most likely already know who she is. You're also certainly aware of her true nature. Then, her portrait is brought up, and it's a side-face photo; no other character had that kind of a portrait before. And then, there's nothing on that photo except for a dark grey featureless silhouette. Combined with the description "Age: Deceased", the shock was enough to make eyes water. Now, you wouldn't want to miss out on this, would you?
    • If we're going down that road you have to also mention this mugshot (in HD-quality just for extra chilly points) from the previous case, Turnabout Beginnings. Again, same as before: you can easily tell who this is supposed to be and you know what she's capable of because this isn't the first time you've seen this character. But all you're given is a shadowed, featureless mugshot to go by, even though the outline tells you right away who you're dealing with. Going back to the "back-turned" pose from the top of the Trials & Tribulations section, this strikes the same unsettling chord. Stare into it for awhile and, combined with what you know about the character, it will make your blood run cold and linger in your mind. It's as though someone was asked to draw a picture of Dahlia Hawthorne's soul.
  • On the subject of Dahlia... She killed two people, got a third to commit suicide, poisoned a fourth into a coma, planned on poisoning a fifth, and placed the blame for the death on one of the aforementioned two people she killed on the would-be poison victim (the actual victim just tried to warn him), and she almost got away with it, not because she could call a massive amount of resources like Redd White or Matt Engarde, not because she had done an inside job like Manfred Von Karma, but just because she was a pretty faced sociopath who put the judge in her pocket with her cute looks. She stands out even more due to lacking an over the top gimmick like the other criminals (until after she's dead, that is, unless you count her superficial purity and butterflies as her gimmick). How many Dahlia Hawthornes are out there in the real world, escaping punishment because they don't look the part? (Engarde was a celebrity variant of the same deal, but at least in private he ''did'' look the part.)
  • Remember the Dahlia silhouette? Well, The Reveal of the real killer in "Bridge to the Turnabout" likewise goes for subtle Show, Don't Tell tension and a Mood Whiplash payoff instead of outright confirmation. The lights go out... and suddenly, there's an ominous red glow coming from a certain new Affably Evil prosecutor you've probably come to love. And his reaction? A quick chuckle and congratulations, no comedic coffee-throwing or anything like you've come to expect. Sure, he ultimately turns out to be a Sympathetic Murderer whose action was actually half-justified (in contrast to Dahlia, who was ironically his intended victim).
  • The "Psyche-Locks" appearing in the Inner Temple, blocking entrance to the Training Hall. It was creepy when the first one appeared, but it really became nightmare fuel when they increased in number. On the second day, an earthquake hits, Edgeworth (Iris' escort) faints, and Iris runs away. You hurry to the Inner Temple, and after the familiar sequence of chains and locks appearing, you find that the single lock on the training hall door has increased to FIVE. We have no idea what the fuck is happening, and at that point, it almost felt like the cave was a living creature piling lies on lies to stop us from getting to the truth.
  • Morgan's entire plan in this case? She waited for her own daughter (Dahlia) to die, then waited for her other daughter (Pearl) to channel that daughter, so that she could kill her niece and frame her third daughter (Iris) for it. Especially if you look at it from Maya's perspective. Had the plan gone as intended, she would have been killed by Pearl. Had it went as it was, without Godot's timely arrival, she would have been killed by her own mother. All of this so that Morgan could live off her daughter's success as she hypothetically ascends as the head of Fey Family.
    • There's something eerily disturbing about how Morgan's plan is first revealed to the player, in that she's having an inner monologue about it and her motives during what is heavily implied to be the leadup to her federal execution by hanging.
    • On the subject of the plan's execution, had the plan gone as intended (Pearl channeling Dahlia) without Misty's intervention but with Godot's, the plan would have backfired in the most horrific way; the crime scene would have been a 9-year-old girl stabbed by a sword. Godot lampshaded the possibility during his confession.
      Godot: That night, in the darkness of the garden when I saw her silhouette... A part of me must have known the truth... The truth that it wasn't really Dahlia Hawthorne standing in front of me.
      Godot: It could have been Misty Fey, or even that little girl. But I still picked up the blade... It was like I was dreaming!
  • Maya's expression when she is cornered by Dahlia Hawthorne in the Hazakura Temple's garden is particularly chilling, especially when it's accompanied by the sound of someone being stabbed. In spite of her expression only being the first sprite of her comical 'shocked' expression, it doesn't detract from the unsettling mood due to how well Maya's wide-eyed look of shock and terror fits the scene.