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Tear Jerker / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trials and Tribulations

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"And so my first trial ended... Suddenly, and tragically. It ended with no winners... Only losers."

"In my world, the color red doesn't exist. These must be... my tears."
Prosecutor Godot, Case 5: "Bridge to the Turnabout"

Sad moments in Trials and Tribulations.

Turnabout Memories

  • A younger Phoenix is on trial for murdering his beloved girlfriend's ex only to find his precious love was the one who did it. Even worse finding that she never really did love him. When the truth about his girlfriend, Dahlia, is revealed, he refuses to believe it and eats the gift Dahlia bestowed onto him the first day they met.
    • Becomes even worse once you realize that, considering the entire Iris/Dahlia situation, Phoenix wasn't just being a naïve, lovestruck kid who was easily tricked by a manipulative bitch - the "Dollie" he knew was the loving girlfriend he thought she was that whole time. Imagine someone who's genuinely sweet, kind, and loving to you... suddenly turning cold, wicked, and being proven a murderer who only ever used you to cover up their crimes, and having no logical explanation as to why besides them truly being a psychopath the whole time and not finding out until years later. It's a miracle poor Phoenix isn't totally crushed by the reveal.
      Phoenix (after being proven not guilty): It-it can't be true...

The Stolen Turnabout

  • Adrian Andrews from the last game returns and it shows things are looking up for her. Only for another disaster to occur and Adrian becoming a nervous wreck due to her last little incident.
  • When Maya channels Mia towards the end of Luke Atmey's testimony for her traditional Big Damn Heroes moment, Godot goes silent and still for long enough that the judge is concerned, and when he accepts Mia's demand to cross-examine Luke Atmey one last time, all of his dramatic posturing is abruptly gone. On a second playthrough, the reason becomes clear: out of nowhere, he's been confronted by the ghost of the woman he loves and Never Got to Say Goodbye to. And she has no idea.

Recipe for Turnabout

Turnabout Beginnings

  • In retrospect to Ace Attorney, it becomes apparent the attorney Mia wanted Maya to go to if she got into trouble wasn't Grossberg but Diego Armando, but Diego was already in a coma at that point, and Mia knew it. This possibly makes it even sadder, in that she almost certainly would have wanted to leave Maya in Diego's care, but she can't.
  • The end of Case 4 in which Terry Fawles kills himself. It's not even so much that he dies that's so horrible (as he certainly had his share of guilt for the things that had happened and landed him in prison) that it is that a life is lost in the courtroom, during a trial, right before the case for his acquittal can be made by the defense team, right in front of many onlookers, and just how senseless the whole situation ultimately is. So much could have been avoided had Fawles not taken his life that day...
    Fawles: Mister... Armando... Thanks for... the... coffee...
    • The worst part is why he did it: Dahlia, duplicitous bitch that she is, manipulated Terry into making a Suicide Pact should they cease to have faith in each other... all just to get away with murder.
    • There's also this speech by Diego Armando, given if you cycle to the end of Terry's testimony, that details how tragic the situation is, and indicates just why Mia blames herself.
      Armando: I know it's obvious, but he's clearly lying. He's been cursed... by Dahlia Hawthorne. He'll probably go to his grave still believing in her. Even if you can show he's lying, the poor guy will still be cursed. You'll still have to point out the contradiction anyway.
    • Even Edgeworth, who's at the start of his "Demon Prosecutor" phase, is deeply shaken upon seeing Terry's death. He might have been trying to get Terry convicted and sent back to death row (although his belief in Terry's guilt isn't exactly unreasonable), but he can't stand seeing him committing suicide by poison in front of him.

Bridge to the Turnabout

  • While the last two cases of Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations have a number of tragic moments, there's one line in particular: "I'm the assistant manager at Wright & Co. Law Offices." To elaborate, this is the profession stated by Maya on the witness stand after finding out about the death of her mother. Note the complete lack of the phrase "spirit medium," much less the "new Master of Kurain".
  • In the last part of 3-5 at the sudden, awful realization of what really happened at Hazakura as soon as Maya says she saw a man in the darkness. Godot carries on the trial to convict himself and finally, there's the big reveal of Godot's past. "I hope you remember... my name is Diego Armando." Then they throw the tears of blood at you.
  • When Phoenix falls into the river, Larry can only reach out in horror and cry out his name. Think about it like this; a bridge is on fire, someone is in danger and you see your best friend since childhood trying to run over a wooden bridge that is on fire. And being completely helpless in doing anything to help. It's a good thing Phoenix survived, or else that would be haunting Larry.
  • Iris confessing that she, not Dahlia, was the one whom Phoenix dated for six months. Does Phoenix, having been deceived all that time, react with anger? No - instead, he tells her, "You really are the person I always thought you were. Even after Dahlia Hawthorne was found guilty... I still believed in you." Iris' response: "Thank you", with tears in her eyes. Only made better by this line being the exact cue for the Trial theme to start.
  • Also, the whole scene involving the Master's talisman in the end. Also a Heartwarming Moment.
    Phoenix: "She'll always be with me, until the day I die", huh...
    Maya: ...?
    Phoenix: There's a rule or something all Masters are to follow, isn't there? To never take the charm off until the day you die... .
    Pearl: Th-That's the Master's Talisman...
    Phoenix: The thing that Misty kept by her heart and would never take off...
    Phoenix: It wasn't the container that was important. Rather, it was the contents.
    The talisman is opened to reveal something inside
    Bikini: Th-That's...!
    Pearl: A photo?
    Maya: Ah...! M...Mother...
    [The photo is revealed to be a childhood photo of Maya as a toddler, and Mia as a kid, trying to fix the broken sacred urn, with Maya bawling on one side and Mia with a shocked look on her face at getting caught red handed. Misty carried this around with her for her whole life.]
    • And the scene that followed, with Turnabout Sisters' Ballad playing once more and with the whole 'Maya Fey is much stronger than we think' and telling Franziska who Maya is being strong for. Going with that, the implications that Franziska doesn't understand love or anything like that, owing to the implication that she felt never earned her own father's love due to being second best to Miles all the time since she was just two.
  • And just when you think the game's going to let up, the ending credits include a shot of Mia, Misty, and Diego looking happy together...; it is heavily implied that it is heaven. Also a Heartwarming Moment, even more so when you realize that it's a shot of Larry's sketchbook.
    • The sketch as a whole. It has every main character of the Ace Attorney series up to that point, plus Misty. Phoenix, Maya, Pearl, Edgeworth, Gumshoe, Franziska, Mia, Godot, and Misty. And every single one of them has an expression that simply says 'Peace at last...' You know that this is the end of the Phoenix trilogy. You look at that photo, you're reminded of what you played through, and you can now move on to Apollo Justice.
  • Case 3-5, at the very end. He evidently started crying just moments before, and that he said the exact same to Mia earlier in the game.
    Godot/Diego: You'd do well to remember this. The only time a lawyer can cry is when it's all over.
  • One that doesn't strike until you've replayed the game is the first encounter with Elise Deauxnim. Once you realize who she is and why she's on the mountain, the first time you run into her with Maya can be rather sad. She has to keep her façade up as Elise even though this is the first time she's seen her daughter, who is now 19, since she was two.
  • Pearl's sincere devotion to her mother, Morgan, is very saddening, as Morgan was manipulating Pearl for her own selfish designs. The fact that she planned to use naïve little Pearl as a pawn to outright murder Maya, her own niece, even knowing how much Pearl loved her, shows how little she truly cared for her, even with her claims that she only wanted Pearl to be the next Master.
  • The notion that the usually selfish and icy Franziska decides not to prosecute Iris's case, even though she greatly desires to defeat Phoenix in court. Instead, she stays out with Sister Bikini at the Inner Temple. She works without sleep to break five nigh-impossible locks and rescue Maya, on a freezing cold mountain, all to rescue someone she barely knows. Her Character Development is phenomenal.
  • In 3-5, when Dahlia taunts Phoenix (and the player) by suggesting that Maya, stricken with guilt from killing her own mother, killed herself. The aforementioned "Phoenix holding his head down on the bench" sprite from 2-4 comes into play again. Fortunately, Maya didn't kill Misty nor did she off herself, but Phoenix hasn't come to that conclusion yet.
  • Godot blaming Phoenix for the deaths of Mia and Maya. Even if you know it's not true, Phoenix still thinks he's responsible for what happened to them both. And then as it turns out, Godot was just outwardly blaming Phoenix to hide the fact that deep down inside, he's blaming himself, even though neither him nor Phoenix could've stopped her death from happening (Phoenix was out and about and had no idea about the whole incident, while Godot was still in a coma). He may be a wise-cracking coffee addict who fearlessly looks a Mafia/yakuza thug in the eye, but he's one of the most tragic characters in the game.
  • Edgeworth panicking and fainting during the earthquake, letting Iris slip away and trade places with Maya channeling Dahlia in the Sacred Cavern. He kicks himself for the rest of the day over something he really couldn't have prevented. Then Phoenix has to bring it up in court.
    Phoenix: (I'm sorry. I know you didn't mean to do it. It's not your fault.)