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Visual Novel / Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Bouken
aka: Dai Gyakuten Saiban

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A new age of law begins.
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A spin-off of the Ace Attorney series of games for the Nintendo 3DSnote , starring the Meiji-era Japan version of a defense attorney, Ryuunosuke Naruhodou, ancestor of Ryuichi Naruhodou/Phoenix Wright. The main writer is Shu Takumi instead of Takeshi Yamazaki, whose team was working on another Ace Attorney title at the same time.

It is the Meiji Restoration period of Japanese history (specifically, the beginning of the twentieth century AD); a time of great cultural shift towards a growing trend of westernization in Japanese lifestyle and architecture. Among those taking advantage of the new opportunities the era affords is one "Ryuunosuke Naruhodou", a second-year student at the Teito Yuumei University. Things suddenly change for the young man when he is accused of murdering a man in a restaurant. Forced to stand trial in the newly established court systems of the period, Ryuunosuke begins a long journey of justice that will take him well beyond the shores of Japan and into the heart of one of Japan's foreign allies, The British Empire.

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You can watch the original teaser trailer here and the Tokyo Game Show 2014 trailer here (both trailers contain English fan translations). A new five-minute trailer was released on April 1, 2015, which can be viewed here (trailer also contains subtitles).

The game was released on July 9, 2015 in Japan. There has been no announcement of release to other markets as of yet. A sequel, Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Kakugo ("The Great Turnabout Trial 2: The Resolve of Ryuunosuke Naruhodou") was released on August 3rd, 2017. Both games have been released on mobile platforms with The Adventure of Ryuunosuke Naruhodou in 2017, and The Resolve of Ryuunosuke Naruhodou in 2018.

A Fan Translation of the first game is complete under the moniker The Great Ace Attorney, with the second one in the works. The translation is available for the Nintendo 3DS and Android versions of the game.

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The games provide examples of:

  • Absence of Evidence: In the second case, the blank pages in report book suggest Stroganov was absent from his post.
    • Megundal gets a not guilty verdict partly because there's not enough evidence to tie him to the murder once Ryuunosuke discredits both key witnesses. Case 5 reveals that the lack of evidence was due to him tampering extensively with both the crime scene and the case's witnesses.
    • In case 4 of the second game, Ryunosuke figures out that Gregson's time of death wasn't what was previously thought to be, due to his time of death being omitted from the autopsy report.
  • Alien Blood: In case 5 Ryuunosuke and Iris use a chemical invented by Holmes which changes the colour of bloodstains. When a vivid green stain is presented as evidence in court, Barok wonders if the defense is trying to prove that other species apart from humans were present at the crime scene.
    Barok van Zieks: What idiocy. Green blood? Are we meant to conclude that some lifeform other than a human is involved now?
  • Always Murder: Subverted in case 2, which turns out to be a case of accidental manslaughter, and completely averted for the first time in the series with case 4, as the crime is assault. And even then it turned out to be an accident. Double subverted in Case 2 of DGS 2 - while the trail itself is regarding an attempted poisoning, a past murder ends up being an important part of the case.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: As with Dual Destinies, you can go to any point on the map wherever you are instead of having to go to certain locations to get to others and during the investigation phases, items you already looked at are given a checkmark.
  • Beach Episode: Sort of - the crime of case 1 in the second game, The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney, is a murder that took place in the changing hut on the beach side, though since it's a tutorial case the episode is court only.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: On one side, you have Cosney Megundal and Rubert Crogley leaking top secret British governmental information. On the other, you have Hart Vortex's machinations and schemes that have placed him in power as Chief Justice of London and spread the rumor of the "curse" of the "Death Bringer", Barok van Zieks.
  • Big Word Shout: Ryuunosuke only says "Sir!" ("Hai!") in episode 1 as he doesn't understand attorney terminology but comes to use the other terms later in the game.
  • Breather Episode: DGS 1-4, The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro, is a considerably more lighthearted case than the two that came before it, is quite notably the first case in the whole Ace Attorney franchise to have no deaths involved whatsoever (even the victim is merely incapacitated and in a coma), and the overall story is lighter and doesn't have any connection to the overarching story of the game (aside from furthering Ryuunosuke's character arc of being a lawyer).
  • Central Theme: Belief, in both yourself and others, is a major theme. Asougi believes wholeheartedly in both Ryuunosuke's innocence and his potential as an attorney, and Ryuunosuke himself spends most of the game trying to live up to the latter belief. The events of case 3 utterly shake Ryuunosuke's steadfast belief in his clients, and it takes until the end of the game for him to trust them completely again. Gina had previously spent her entire life lacking someone to believe in her and to believe in, but finds both in Ryuunosuke. And Barok's animosity towards the Japanese stems from being betrayed by a Japanese friend he truly believed in.
  • Child Prodigy: Iris Watson is 10 years old... and not only possesses a medical doctorate, but is also an accomplished novelist and inventor.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Jezail didn't need one.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Some of the Randst episodes the viewpoint is from Asougi and Barok. The second game allows you to play as Susato in the first case, and Yuujin in the final case. In addition, the DLC for the second game as two semi-canonical theatre segments that allow you to play as Asogi and Holmes.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Several characters are openly racist towards the Japanese, and this would have been fairly normal at the time the game is set. Susato also faces sexism when she stands in the Japanese courts, and prosecutor Taketsuchi Auchi is a mild case of Politically Incorrect Villain. (for a certain definition of "villain")
  • Did Not Die That Way: Asougi was originally told that his father died of illness while overseas on an exchange program in London. He later learned of his father's involvement in the Professor Killings, and that led him to get involved in the assassination exchange program.
  • Downloadable Content: DLC includes character designs, short episodes, music and voice clips.
  • Dramatic Wind: Asougi's headband will flutter around even indoors.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Just to really hammer home the point that Ryunosuke and Susato are in London now, the first thing they do upon their arrival is meet with Vortex in his office, which appears to be inside Big Ben itself.
  • Exact Words: Several instances occur in case 5:
    • The judge decides to suspend the second closing argument in the wake of new revelations being brought to light during it. Later, after Barok refuses to accept Holmes's coloured luminol test as proper evidence and is pressing for the trial to come to a close, Iris reminds the court that, technically, the suspended closing argument has yet to conclude. The jurors are then asked for their verdict, and the results are split enough that the judge orders the trial to continue.
    • The judge later suspends an ongoing cross examination so that the court can examine some recently found evidence. When said evidence (along with some new testimony from the witness being cross examined) causes the jurors to unanimously declare a guily verdict, Ryuunosuke demands that the suspended cross examination is allowed to continue instead of a verdict being handed down.
  • Expy: Ryuunosuke Naruhodou looks like a mix of Phoenix and Apollo, might be on purpose though. With his hat on, he also bears a striking resemblance to Clay Terran.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: John Watson is the victim of the first case.
  • A Fool for a Client: Ryunosuke originally asked Asougi to defend him against the charge of murdering John Watson in the first case. Just before the trial begins, he learns that if he is found guilty, Asougi will forfeit his long-desired study abroad in London, so he suddenly announces at the start of the trial that he will defend himself.
  • Gender Flip: Gina Lestrade is one to Inspector Lestrade of the Arthur Conan Doyle novels, even down to having an antagonistic relationship with Holmes. Despite all appearances, Iris Watson is not one - she's revealed to be the daughter of John Watson. Except that she isn't even THAT either.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Iris Watson has her hair braided into two curly pigtails with heart-shaped knots at the end.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Ryuunosuke doesn't quite get the hang of this in the first episode, simply raising his left hand when he has something to say and respectfully saying "Sir!" ("Hai!") to interject instead of the usual "Objection!" and "Hold it!" (the other characters use the terms). He also gently slaps the desk instead of pounding it and looking as though he didn't want to cause a disturbance. He adopts the iconic gesture (and starts performing the desk slam as case 1 goes on) in later cases when he has more confidence behind the bench.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: Holmes reminds us to turn up our 3D screens just before we see the first stereograph in case 5.
  • Historical Domain Character: Natsume Souseki as one of the defendants.
  • History Repeats: This isn't the last time that a Naruhodou/Wright stands accused of murdering their own mentor.
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: Natsume and Petenshy argue over "who is stronger, Romeo or Juliet?" and even tussle in costume to decide the point.
  • Identical Grandson:
    • Series regulars would get no points for being able to guess who this fine gentleman would be related to in the modern era.
    • And, of course, Ryuunosuke basically looks like Phoenix but with a more sensible haircut (and de-aged by about five years or so).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Unlike the main series' use of "Turnabout" in all its case titles, here all the case titles include "The Adventure of..." The second game averts this in that only the first case used the "The Adventure of..." title. Instead, they're named after the Sherlock Holmes short story compilations (The Adventures, The Memoirs, The Return, and His Last Bow), with the final episode being a Title Drop.
  • Karma Houdini: Jezail. Due to the treaty between Japan and England, Jezail can't be tried in Japan. At best, they would be sent to authorities in Shanghai where maybe they go to court.
  • Kid Sidekick: Iris Watson to the great detective himself, and also to Ryuunosuke in case 5 of the first game, and case 3 in the second.
  • Left Hanging: These points weren't explained, likely due to the writer wanting to make a series.
    • Jezail's motives for killing Watson. In the second game, it's revealed that she was part of an assassination exchange plot to kill Watson.
    • Why Yuujin knew to suspect the killer.
    • What Asougi's mission is. In the second game, it's revealed that he was supposed to be part of the assassination exchange plot, but ended up getting injured before he could do it.
    • Why Holmes was on the steamship in the first place. In the second game, it's revealed that he listened in on messages sent from Great Britain to Japan, and, upon learning about the assassination exchange program, moved to stop it by boarding the steamship.
    • Barok:
      • Why he left the court.
      • Why he returned.
      • The truth about his "curse". In the second game, it's revealed that it's part of a plot headed by Hart Vortex.
      • Barok's traitorous friend and what exactly happened. In the second game, it's revealed that the friend was Kazuma Asogi's father, and that he killed Barok's brother, Klimt.
    • What was Megundal's plan with the government information?
    • Why can't The Hound of Baskervilles be published and why does Susato know the title despite it being unpublished. In the second game, it's revealed that The Hound of Baskervilles could contain the truth about Iris' parentage, which Sherlock and Yuujin do not want her to know yet. Susato knows because Yuujin owns a copy of The Hound of Baskervilles and she's seen it.
    • How a known revolutionary and wanted man could appear in the jury, despite not even trying to hide their identity.
    • The meaning of the message stored on the disk that Crogray tried to sell to Megundal. In the second game it's revealed to be part of an assassination exchange program, specifically, the killers and the victims.
      • Why it was so important to keep secret that Gregson broke the law to keep it secret. In the second game, it's revealed to be part of an assassination exchange program, which is strictly monitored by the people involved in it, including Gregson.
      • What the four names in said message mean, and the identity of the fourth name. In the second game, it's revealed to be part of an assassination exchange program, specifically, the names of the killers (A.Sasha and K.Asogi) and the victims (J.Watson and T.Gregson). A.Sasha is actually Jezail Brett's real name. Watson and Gregson were related to the Professor case and needed to be eliminated.
      • Why it was encoded using Japanese Morse code. In the second game, it's revealed to have been sent to Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Seishirou Jigoku.
      • Who the recipient and sender were. In the second game, it's revealed to have been sent by Hart Vortex to Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Seishirou Jigoku.
      • What it said past the first few words we got to hear.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: Iris Watson is the author of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in this universe. Except not really, she just publishes the manuscripts, though it's implied she added her own embellishments to most of them. We're initially led to believe they were written by her father John Watson, but the second game reveals their real author is Yuujin Mikotoba... who is the real Watson from the stories, the discrepancy in names is due to a misunderstanding on Iris' part. And John Watson isn't her father either.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Most of the cases, but special mention goes to Case 2, in which the victim is found dead behind a bolted ship door. The whole case is a shout out to the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." But the solution is completely different.
  • Martial Arts Headband: The headband Kazuma Asougi wears resembles one.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The sword Karuma turns out to have hidden Klimt van Zieks's confession at being serial killer known as the Professor, and how Hart Vortex blackmailed him.
  • A Protagonist Is Ryu: Ryuunosuke Naruhodou (which makes sense since they're trying to draw a line between this guy and Phoenix, whose Japanese name is "Ryuuichi Naruhodou").
  • Public Domain Character: Sherlock Holmes appears in the game, along with a girl called Iris Watson, and the real Watson is the victim of the first case. In fact the duology is filled with nods and references to the original Holmes novels.
  • Reality Ensues: Double Subverted in the first DLC case. Just as Asougi is preparing to leave for London, Auchi presses charges against him for cutting off his topknot at the end of the first case, which had seemed like just a throwaway gag until now. Then Susato points out that Asougi obviously couldn't have cut Auchi's hair from all the way across the courtroom... to which Asougi protests that he absolutely could have, and even tries to make a demonstration!
  • Recycled In SPACE: It's Ace Attorney during Meiji Era Japan, in the first case, before becoming Ace Attorney in Victorian London.
  • Running Gag: Witnesses assuming that the victim of case 4 is dead.
    • In Case 5, referring to Gregson as the third Tinpillar brother.
    • Mocking Ryuunosuke's uniform.
    • A witness from Ryuunosuke's previous case being on the panel of jurors in his current one.
  • Sadistic Choice: Ryunosuke is faced with one in the second game's third case. He has a lead that could prove the defendant innocent of the murder, but it requires exposing his teleportation experiment as just a magic trick. So either he proves his client's life's research is all a lie, or he goes to jail for a murder he didn't commit. No matter which choice you make Susato returns to give Ryunosuke a Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!, via Susato Drop.
    • After Holmes collapses at the witness stand in case 5, Ryuunosuke yells out his name.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike: The first game is much nearer in difficulty to the original Ace Attorney trilogy than the previously-released entry in the series, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, as it lacks that game's "consult" feature, doesn't have a memo system telling you what to do next during investigations (though Susato and Iris will at least give you a hint as to whether you're done investigating in your current area), and getting a "guilty" verdict will kick you back to either your most recent save or the start of the current trial chapter. On top of that, the game throws in a sneaky additional bit of difficulty in that you're expected to take the time to do a three-dimensional examination of every bit of evidence, and will somehow get penalised you if you don't. It's not the hardest Ace Attorney game by any means, as the five-strike health system means it lacks the enormous penalties that Justice For All and, to a lesser extent, Trials & Tribulations were fond of throwing at you, but it's up there.
  • Sequel Hook: A lot of them. The game has a lot of unresolved plot points and Foreshadowing, which is quite unusual for an AA game, and the writer of the game has even stated that they do, in fact, plan to make this a series. Almost every point is answered in the second game.
  • Sherlock Scan: Holmes retains his nigh-supernatural deductive abilities, but in an added twist, he is less than concerned about whether what he deduces is actually true. It falls to Naruhodou to consider the evidence and decide whether his deductions hold weight.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Sherlock's dog design in Dog Gyakuten Saiban looks like a reference to Sherlock Hound.
    • The game itself is filled with reference to Sherlock Holmes canon, most notably in case 2 with the similar setup to the short story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band". A (not exhaustive) list of the many references can be seen here. Some examples not mentioned in the list include:
      • In Case 5, not only is Holmes's (inaccurate) initial deduction of Crogley's plan and reason for coming into Windibank's pawnshop a play-by-play retelling of John Clay's scheme in "The Red-Headed League", Hatch Windibank himself is strikingly visually similar to Roger Hammond's portrayal of Jabez Wilson in the Granada series adaptation of said short story (he also shares a last name with James Windibank, the villain of "A Case of Identity").
      • As we learn in the same case, Crogley was the one who killed Cosney Megundal, specifically as revenge for Megundal's murder of his father, Mortar Milverton. The naming here is rather ironic, as the character of Megundal himself is essentially a callback to Charles Augustus Milverton from the Holmesian canon, a Villain with Good Publicity whom the heroes find remarkably difficult to oppose, but who ends up murdered by the relation of a man whose death he had caused.
    • The omnibus in the third case is called the "Phoenix Wright Omnibus", which is a reference to the English name of Ryuunosuke's descendant, and main character of the main series.
    • In the second game's fourth case, Red-Headed League members Marco and Maurice claim to be from Ashtar Boarding School, a reference to the Ashitaru meteor from Ghost Trick (localized into English as the Temsik meteor).
  • Spiritual Successor: To Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, in that the game again features a defense attorney and his female assistant going to England and teaming up with an English gentleman and his young assistant. Naruhodou can cross examine multiple witnesses at once, just like that game. Even the box art is similar.
  • "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: A variation of this is a key part of the plot behind the duology. The "exchange program" is actually an assassin exchange, where the heads of the English and Japanese judicial systems send an assassin to kill a target in each other's country, and the judicial heads will claim immunity for the assassin if caught, forcing the country to send the assassin back without prosecution.
  • Translation Convention: It's presented as Japanese, but from case 2 and onward (barring some exceptions like the meeting with Souseki) the characters are speaking English.
  • Wham Episode: Case 3. The trial ends with a Not Guilty due to lack of evidence and without finding a killer. But by that point, it's heavily implied the defendant is the killer and he tampered with the omnibus/crime scene, however, neither Barok nor Ryuunosuke is able to prove it. And then the case ends with the omnibus burning with somebody inside.
    • Case 3 of the second game as well. We learn about "The Professor", a serial killer who killed his victims with a hound (thus explaining why The Hound of the Baskervilles couldn't be published: it was about him), the last victim being Barok van Zeiks' brother. We find out Susato knew about The Hound of the Baskervilles because she found the unpublished manuscript in her father's study. We find out Asougi is alive, and working as van Zeiks' "masked disciple". The head coroner of Scotland Yard is the killer, and was involved in the Professor coverup. And the end of the case reveals that the Professor was not only a Japanese man, but Asougi's father.
  • Wham Line: The ending of Case 5, when the characters are wondering about the contents of the state secret Morse code message: "A... SO...U...GI..."
    • At the start of case 5, Susato drops one when she refers to Holmes's unpublished manuscript - the Hound of the Baskervilles - by its full name.
    • In Case 3 of the second game, we have Enoch Drebber at the end of the second investigation day telling the group they "only stopped THAT time bomb" [the one in Drebber's room]. Cut to the crime scene, where a bomb explodes, destroying the defendant's machine and possibly killing several police officers.
    • At the end of Case 3 of the second game, when the Professor's face is revealed:
    Asougi: F...Father?
  • Wham Shot: The second game begins with one, where in the middle of Susato's monologue in the opening cutscene we see the return of Jezail Brett...as a corpse.
    • Case 3 has two in a row at the very end, with the reveal of the face of The Professor's wax figure, revealing a Japanese man...followed by the Masked Disciple removing his cloak and mask, confirming that he is in fact Kazuma Asougi, alive and well.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Iris Watson's hair is a strawberry shade of pink.

Alternative Title(s): Dai Gyakuten Saiban

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