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Trivia / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

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  • Ascended Fanon: Dahlia Hawthorne's nickname "Dollie" is a reference to a fan effort to translate the GBA version of Trials & Tribulations (which only managed to cover the first case before the official localization was announced). In said fan translation, Dahlia Hawthorne was called Dolores Willow, and her nickname was "Dolly".
  • Bonus Episode: "Rise from the Ashes" was made as an extra chapter for the DS version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney to show off some of the system's features. Although other ports that include this episode have some of those features changed to fit the platform.
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  • The Cast Showoff: In the movie adaptation, Mirei Kiritani as Maya plays piano during the recess preceding the retrial of the DL-6 Incident.
  • Fan Nickname: "Super/Double Objection" in Trials and Tribulations due to Phoenix and Mia's spirit both giving Godot their objection poses in sync as Phoenix deduces Godot is the real killer in the final case.
    • MatPat for Matt Engarde, due to how much the two resemble each other.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: With the Wii Shop Channel closing down, the Wiiware ports have become this.
  • Life Imitates Art:
    • Four years after the original release of Justice for All, an eerily similar accident happened in Indiana. Two similar-looking young women were among the passengers in the crashed vehicle; one of the two survived, but just as in the second case of that game, hospital staff mixed up the two women's identities, with the mistake only being discovered after more than a month. The details can be found on The Other Wiki.
    • Criminals infected the police department's computer network with the MC Bomber Computer Virus because the police department refused to pay a ransom that the criminals demanded in Trials and Tribulations. Trials and Tribulations was first released in 2004. The CryptoLocker ransomware's rampage of encrypting computers and demanding ransom took off in 2013.
  • No Export for You: Despite EVERY other game being released and despite even getting a few prerelease reviews in gaming magazines, the DS version of Trials and Tribulations was never released in Australia. No reason was ever given (although it may be related to the fact that its release was delayed in Europe over ratings complications, causing Apollo Justice to come out before it). At least Australia got the WiiWare version.
    • The compilation Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy HD was released for iOS and Android in Japan, but other countries only got it on iOS for some reason, despite every subsequent mobile release being available on both platforms in all regions.
    • The live-action film hasn't seen an international release outside of Japan, Australia, and Germany, other than a few film festivals.
    • The 2019 multi-platform release of the trilogy was released with support for Japanese and English, with a later patch to add support for French, German, Korean, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese. There is currently no word on support for Spanish or Italian, despite these languages being supported in the DS release.
  • Port Overdosed: There are versions of the first three games for Game Boy Advance, Windows, Nintendo DS, Wii, Nintendo3DS, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam. That's four generations of Nintendo consoles that had the original trilogy released in some way or form, as well as desktop computers and mobile devices.
  • Recycled Script: Case 5 is essentially an extended retelling of Case 4, with so many deliberate parallels that the characters frequently lampshade how familiar it all feels.
    • Both cases start with a star prosecutor (Edgeworth in Case 4, Lana Skye in Case 5) being arrested for a murder that seemingly nobody else could have committed, and reluctantly taking on Phoenix as their attorney despite telling him their case is hopeless. Case 5 also brings back the plot point of Edgeworth's reputation taking a hit because of the case, because Lana was seen stuffing the victim into the trunk of Edgeworth's car.
    • Both cases turn out to have suspicious similarities and connections to controversial prior cases that were believed to be solved years prior (The DL-6 incident in Case 4, the SL-9 incident in case 5). Both of these "closed" cases see the original verdict being called into question after the possibility is put forth that a child at the scene of the crime (Edgeworth for DL-6, Ema Skye for SL-9) killed someone by accident during a power outage while trying to save them from an assailant.
    • The real perpetrator in each of the "closed" cases turns out to be a third person not previously known to have been at the scene (Von Karma for DL-6, Gant for SL-9) who is manipulating evidence to blackmail the person who was present at the scene as a child. Not only that, both men are responsible at least in part for the current case being tried, and both are respected authority figures whom nobody ever would have suspected of committing murder in the first place, and a mentor of the current case's defendant!
  • Remade for the Export: The original game's localized release is not a 1:1 port of the Game Boy Advance version of Gyakuten Saiban due to the addition of "Rise From the Ashes", hence why it was released in Japan as "Gyakuten Saiban: Yomingaeru Gyakuten" (the subtitle being used as the Japanese title of the fifth episode). The second and third games were straight ports.
  • Serendipity Writes the Plot: Trials & Tribulations had several development changes due to technical limitations.
    • Designs were made for Gumshoe as a rookie detective, as well as sprites for younger versions of Mia, Phoenix, and Edgeworth, but they were cut due to lack of memory space.
    • A miscalculation on the sizes of the game assets left the developers with less memory on the cartridge than they anticipated, so Sister Bikini was designed to be short so they could save on storage.
    • Wendy Oldbag was almost cut from the game entirely, until they found they had just enough space to give her a cameo. They lacked the space to give her sprite a lei from her vacation in Hawaii, however, so she's inexplicably wearing her space officer outfit from Justice for All.
    • Marvin Grossberg wears a red suit instead of the brown one he wore in the first game because he blended into the courtroom background too much on the Game Boy Advance's unlit screen.
  • Technology Marches On: Phoenix points out at the end of 1-1 that Cindy really did care for Larry because she took the Thinker clock he made with her to Paris, which would be a fairly cumbersome move if she just needed a clock. This was a sound point when the games were released in the early 2000s, but it hits home even more in the age of near-ubiquitous smartphones and the clocks that come with them.
  • Tribute to Fido: The police dog in the first game is named after Missile, the creator's Pomeranian. He doesn't do anything useful, but taking him to Larry means he eats all of his hot dogs.
  • Unintentional Period Piece:
    • Canonically, the trilogy takes place from 2016 to 2019 (as proven by the date of the DL-6 Incident). However, the technology featured in them matches up with the tech that was around in the early 2000s, the time frame when the games were made. VHS tapes, black-and-white photos, and old cellphones are still in usenote , and digital cameras are still a new thing.
    • At one point in 3-3, Dick Gumshoe jokes that if Jean Armstrong's loan were in pound sterling rather than US dollars, he'd really be in trouble, referencing the fact that the British pound was worth around twice as much as the US dollar when Trials & Tribulations was localized. Following the 2008 financial crisis and then the UK's vote for Brexit, by the start of the 2020s the British pound was left only slightly more valuable than the US dollar, meaning the joke doesn't quite work as well.
  • Vacation, Dear Boy: Some of the cases in the trilogy were inspired by exotic locales, including a circus and a snowy mountain retreat.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The early character designs were very, very different:
      • The main character would have bright green hair and Franziska's sense of fashion.
      • The rival would looked like a young Manfred von Karma and had a pointy Beard of Evil.
      • The mentor would be a big, hulking man.
      • The assistant looked more like Ema.
      • The detective would be a hot woman.
    • An early concept for Wendy Oldbag gave her a much younger Brawn Hilda look.
    • This blog post from Janet Hsu, the head of the series' localization team gives a few production and localization trivia bits, some being very... interesting.
      • Among the English names considered for Diego Armando were Joseph Cuppa, Xavier Barstucks, and William Havamug.
      • Luke Atmey's original catchphrase before "Zvarri" was "Schwing"!
      • Godot was going to drink bourbon whiskey and smoke, but the production team worried it'd have a bad effect on kids, not to mention it would have bumped the content rating in the Japanese version. It was this experience of designing Godot's drinking habits that that later begat the grape juice drinking habit of Phoenix Wright.
      • There were several different fonts considered for the "P" on Feenie's pink sweater.
      • Because there wasn't much figured out about him ahead of time, Gumshoe underwent an evolution in character. For example, he originally was planned to be into horse racing, which is why he has a pencil tucked behind his ear in his final design.
      • Maya originally being planned to be a lawyer-in-training under Phoenix. In a different blog post, it was mentioned that Phoenix met her and Mia under very different circumstances, that Turnabout Sisters would have been the first trial of the game (it was bumped to second as it was felt it was too big to be an introduction), and Phoenix originally would have been a detective who was arrested for murder after he walked into his office to find a corpse.note  He then would have taken up his own defense because of how incompetent his own defense attorney (who became Winston Payne) was.
      • The then-male Dee Vasquez was originally the director of Global Studios instead of the producer, while director Sal Manella was the screenwriter. She was changed when she became female and it was thought that a female director of an action TV show would be odd.
      • Larry Butz went through a good many changes in character, originally being a 9-to-5 office worker and an Average Joe and ultimately going through some editing when the first trial was unexpectedly added to the game and included him. At one point, he was a tough guy who went around shouting how he wanted to kill everyone. This ended up being changed to him shouting that he wanted to die. He was also not meant to be a recurring character. Near the end of the production span, the development team ran out of time and decided to reuse Larry as a witness in "Turnabout Goodbyes".
      • The Psyche-Lock concept was originally envisioned as a single large glass lock that had to be broken through. This had to be scrapped as too difficult to pull off for the Game Boy Advance, though something similar would later be incorporated in the The Great Ace Attorney games.
      • Back when Phoenix would have been a detective, the game title was "Surviban: Attorney Detective Naruhodo-kun" ("Surviban" being a play on words between "survival" and and "saiban"). Before that, planned titles were “Attorney Brothers Three”, “Boogie-Woogie Innocence”, “Bingo Bengo” (another play on words, suggesting hitting the nail on the head "bingo!" in court), “The Beautiful Verdict”, “Amber-Colored Testimonies”, “The Objections in Your Eyes”, and “Let’s Raise Hamsters” (one of the people on the production team wanted the lead to be a hamster).
      • The opening of the first case of Justice For All was going to have a giant devil looming over Phoenix, instead of the Judge (inspired by the opening of Devil May Cry)
      • Justice For All was planned to have five cases, but the last had to be scrapped because of lack of memory. It was later reused as the third case in Trials and Tribulations. The third game also had many things cut for memory reasons, including a design for a much-younger Gumshoe in the first trial and Oldbag showing up (there was just enough room for a cameo in the credits, and they were still unable to put her in a lei, which they wanted to do to suggest she'd been in Hawaii; they ended up putting her in her "alien" costume from the previous game, even though her security guard uniform from the first game would have made more sense, because of Rule of Funny).
      • Edgeworth was originally going to the the main prosecutor for JFA, until the development team caught wind of Edgeworth's surprise popularity. Feeling that having the "genius" prosecutor lose every case against Phoenix wouldn't be adequate, Shu Takumi created Franziska von Karma as the game's main rival and saved Edgeworth for the last case. Thus starting the trend of a new rival prosecutor for every game.
      • Both Fey sisters were supposed to be alive, but Takumi was told he couldn't have both due to cast size. Solution? Have the elder sister killed and turn the younger into a spirit medium who can channel her sister.
      • Pearl Fey was originally going to be a snobby rival to Maya of the same age who was only meant to appear in Case 2-2. But then it was decided that it would be more dramatic if Pearl was a little kid and the "rivalry" with Maya was being pushed on both girls against their wishes. The resulting new Pearl was considered so adorable that they expanded her role into other cases, eventually resulting in her effectively displacing Maya as Phoenix's sidekick for the second game.
      • Marvin Grossberg was supposed to have more animations, but they were cut due to memory constraints and he was reduced to having only two sprites showing his default expression and his worried expression.
      • The Nintendo DS remake of the original Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney was originally conceived as a straight simple port exclusively for the international market, with no extra case. Like most software projects however, it underwent a bit of feature creep, first by giving Japan their own version of the port with Rise of the Ashes exclusive to them, and then making Rise of the Ashes available to everyone. What began a simple port and localization project became the equivalent of developing a whole new installment in the series.
    • According to this interview with Shu Takumi, the Ace Attorney series was originally developed for the Game Boy Color. However, the dev team had heard rumors of the Game Boy Advance's development, and were eventually shown the product in full. They eventually caught wind of the Mega Man Battle Network games being developed for the GBA, and once they saw its processing power, they figured Ace Attorney would work better on this new console, so they reconfigured what they had developed for the GBC into something compatible with the GBA.
  • Word of Gay: Janet Hsu, a member of the localization team for Trials and Tribulations, confirmed in a blog post that Jean Armstrong is gay, though this is hardly a surprise to anyone considering how he acts. This is mostly a clarification about his gender and presentation, that he is specifically a gay cis man with a female drag persona rather than a transgender woman.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: In some of his old developer blogs, Shu Takumi mentioned how he sometimes got stuck figuring out a way to resolve a case's mystery, only to have an "Eureka!" Moment and figure out a solution. Examples of this are Gourdy being Larry's air tank in 1-4 and Mia telling Maya to lock herself in a cavern and channel Dahlia Hawthorne in order to trap her.

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