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Visual Novel / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies

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A phoenix will always rise...
"These are dark times, where the law has been reduced to rubble. And it's up to us to restore it to its former glory."
Phoenix Wright, Case 5-1: "Turnabout Countdown"

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies (Gyakuten Saiban 5 in Japan, lit. "Turnabout Trial 5") is the Nintendo 3DS installment of the Ace Attorney series of Visual Novels from Capcom. The game was released in Japan on July 24th, 2013, and was followed by releases in North America and Europe on October 24, 2013. An iOS version of the game was released in Japan on August 7, 2014, and in North America and Europe on August 14, 2014. An Android version came out on May 24, 2017. An HD version of the game is included alongside similarly-updated versions of Apollo Justice and Spirit of Justice in the Compilation Re-release Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy, released on January 25, 2024 for multiple systems.note 

One year after the events of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the legal world is entering the seventh year of "the dark age of the law": a vicious cycle of false charges and forged evidence, where prosecutors and lawyers seek victory at any ethical cost and public trust in the courts is at an all-time low.

The story follows three lawyers of the Wright Anything Agency: veteran Phoenix Wright, who has regained his badge after a long absence from the courtroom; his Hot-Blooded apprentice Apollo Justice; and newcomer Athena Cykes, an eager young rookie who uses analytical psychology to aid her cross-examinations.

Together they seek to dispel the corruption within the legal system and restore it to its rightful glory, a task that pits them against the new prosecutor and detective on the block: Simon Blackquill, an infamous convicted murderer who uses psychological warfare to manipulate the courtroom, and the bumbling Bobby Fulbright, a man who firmly believes in justice.

The game features a wealth of returning cast members and newcomers, along with the return of the Psyche Lock and Perceive mechanics from previous games. A new feature is Athena's Mood Matrix, where she analyses the statements of a witness and looks for any inconsistencies between their words and emotions.

A sequel, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, was released in 2016, also on 3DS.

English and Japanese trailers can be viewed here and here.

A character sheet for the whole series can be found here, and its own sub-section for Shout-Outs here.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies contains examples of:

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    Tropes # to B 
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Apollo's leave of absence, which is mentioned at the end of the first case, and revisited at the halfway point of the fourth case. This is about as literal as you can get as given the structure of the first, fourth, and fifth cases this actually ends up only being between a few hours to a single day at most.
  • Always Save the Girl: pretty much everything Apollo does in case 1! Poor guy gets injured in the explosion saving Juniper Woods’ life. Then gets INJURED AGAIN finding evidence that cleared her! No wonder she falls for him!
  • Aborted Arc: Almost none of the dangling questions from Apollo Justice are picked up on. The one plot point that is revisited (black Psyche-Locks) is more a case of clarification than new ground.
    • The fact that Apollo and Trucy were revealed to be half-siblings is irrelevant here, because of how they are still kept in the dark about this and it is never mentioned anywhere in this installment, making this plotline to be an aversion of Late-Arrival Spoiler.
    • One rather noticeable omission from as early as case 1 is the complete absence of the Jurist System (the judge passes the verdict himself like always), which was one of the more important outcomes of the conclusion of Apollo's game. While it would be silly to expect the entire legal system to be reformed within a year, no one even mentions the Jurist System or any effects the test trial may have had. See the Broken Aesop entry for Apollo Justice. If the bias discussed therein was figured out in-universe by the other jurors, it could have added to the public's ever-decreasing trust in the legal system during the "Dark Age of the Law" and caused the Jurist System to be rejected beyond its test run. The Jurist System was Ripped from the Headlines in Japan. Its absence probably derives from the fact that Japanese players interested about its diffusion just need to check at Real Life for information.
  • Accident, Not Murder: Phoenix wins the final case in "Turnabout Reclaimed" by showing that the death is one of these.
  • Advertised Extra: Klavier appears on several pieces of promotional artwork (including the one in this very page) but his only role is a fairly minor appearance in the third case. He offers a few helpful moments but is generally inconsequential. Trucy and Pearl, who also appear in promotional images, are borderline examples (both of them play larger, more frequent roles than Klavier but compared to their previous uses in the series they are both much less prominent than before).
  • Aerith and Bob: Standard for the series, but the worst offenders are siblings named Simon and Aura.
  • Affectionate Parody: "Turnabout Academy" puts a humorous spin on a number of stock high school anime archetypes while playing The Power of Friendship completely straight.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Discussed humorously in Case 4, where Wright expresses some worry about a robot uprising and Aura's tampering with Clonco causes him to express such things. Then in Case 5, a Hostage Situation occurs from what seems like a robot uprising, but Wright figures out it is really Aura behind the scheme. Aura herself points out later on that the notion her robots are acting hostile without command from a central source is silly.
  • Air Vent Escape: Subverted in "The Monstrous Turnabout". The air vent is presented early on as a possible means for the killer to have escaped the locked room, or at least used it to drop the key into the room. It turns out to be a Red Herring in the end, but it still buys the defense some time to investigate further. Later, a different air vent in the same building plays a more important role in exposing the crime.
  • Always Murder:
    • As expected. Even though the first case is a bombing of a courtroom, the trial doesn't actually catch the bomber. The culprit instead killed Detective Candice Arme before the courtroom was bombed, and made it look like she was a victim. He in fact warned the court that the bomb had been re-armed by someone else, allowing everyone to evacuate. The bomber is only found out in the final case, and he isn't prosecuted for the bombing but for murdering Metis Cykes.
    • This is actually done as a reveal twist in the full game. In the demo, the only crime on trial was the actual bombing, and the incident report outright stated that no one died. The trial is actually about Candice Arme's murder, although it's true that no one died in the bombing; she was killed earlier.
    • Played with in the DLC case. As Fulbright admits, the initial case isn't murder because the suspect was an orca; animals can't commit murder, and the death was ruled as accidental caused by negligent handling of an animal. It's a murder from the player's perspective because the orca would be put down if she had killed the victim, even if technically no crime was committed, and the case is ultimately prosecuted as your standard murder case with the orca as a suspect. Then Orla is proven innocent, and Sasha Buckler becomes the next suspect (which was Blackquill's plan all along; he'd suspected Sasha from the start and took on the orca trial to get an opportunity to indict her), which would be a murder as Sasha is human and Blackquill is arguing that she killed the victim due to an argument they had. And ultimately subverted; both Jack Shipley's death and Azura Summers' death in the backstory were accidents; Shipley slipped and fell into a drained pool and Azura had a heart attack. The true culprit of the former, who was actually trying to save Shipley, is only charged with rehabilitation and goes free a few months later.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: The current year is never shown.note  It's been eight years since Phoenix was disbarred, but fashion and technology haven't changed. People still use flip phones, but we also get sentient emotion-sensing robots.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • Robin likes pretty dresses. Which is subverted because she's a girl pretending to be a boy as per her parent's commands.
    • Even less ambiguous is Aura towards Metis, as evident by her quote "Shut up, Simon! You know exactly how I felt about her! Her respect as a co-worker wasn’t all that I wanted!"
    • Florent L'Belle states repeatedly that he's a very personal assistant to Damian Tenma.
  • Amoral Attorney: As a consequence of years of exposing corrupt prosecutors and ethical violations in the police department, the legal system now spawns these characters like never before. Public trust in the legal system is at an all-time low, as forged evidence and fake testimony is commonplace. "The ends justify the means" is a philosophy taught at a law school. The proliferation of these tactics results in the so-called Dark Age of the Law, where both sides will do anything to win, and the truth is ultimately lost. Notably, the lawyers at the Wright Anything Agency refuse to do anything more than expose the truth and believe in their clients, proving that the legal system works when it's used properly, and Edgeworth as chief prosecutor is on a mission to reform the prosecutor's office, and actually asks Phoenix with proving the innocence of Simon Blackquill in an effort to end the Dark Age of the Law (in the opening anime cutscene).
  • Anachronic Order: The episode order is as follows, 2, DLC episode, 3, first part of 4, 1, second part of 4, 5. That's right, the first episode takes place in the middle of another.
  • Analogy Backfire: In Case 1, the attorneys discuss the similarities and differences between Phony Phanty and Bum Rap Rhiny (stuffed animals designed after an elephant and a rhinoceros, respectively). Athena says that both elephants and rhinos have some similar characteristics, like being gray... except Phony Phanty is magenta, and Bum Rap Rhiny is pale cyan.
  • And I'm the Queen of Sheba: From case 4:
    Phoenix Wright: (Hey, I'm pretty lucky myself, so if he's a great man, then I'm the king of all cosmos!)
  • And Mission Control Rejoiced: At the end of the game, Phoenix, Apollo, and Athena give an inspirational pep talk to Solomon Starbuck as he is in his rocket on his way to the moon. When he replies that he knows he'll be okay, everyone starts cheering and celebrating.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: For the first time (in the same timeframe), the game features not two, but three playable characters each with their own special ability.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: In the English version of the game, beating the DLC case "Turnabout Reclaimed" will unlock Phoenix's pink sweater from Trials & Tribulations case 1 as an alternate outfit. In Japan this is earned by completing the Quiz DLC instead.
  • Anime Hair: Nearly every character qualifies, but Solomon Starbuck is by far the worst offender, having red and white hair, styled to form a rocket, yet has a brown soul patch beard.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The developers did some tweaking to avert the Try Everything nature of past games by adding a checklist of things to do during investigation and the Consult option during cross-examinations that becomes available if you take 3 penalties during a single examination: using it makes your partner point out the false statement, although you still need to figure out what piece of evidence matches up to it. Furthermore, if you use it when you need to do something else than present evidence to advance (such as picking the right additional statement to add to the testimony), it greys out your "present" option until you do so.
    • Also, if you should accidentally run out of health, you can just retry from the beginning of the same cross-examination with full life as opposed to forcing you to restart from your last save with whatever amount of life you had at that point like in the previous games.
    • For the first time in the series, you can go to any point in the map wherever you are instead of having to go to certain locations to get to others.
    • During the investigation phases, any items that can be examined will make your cursor glow red, and areas you haven't looked over will have your cursor marked with a circle and it turns into a checkmark once that area has been looked over, which helps prevent Pixel Hunting.
    • At certain points, the game will just discard evidence that's not needed anymore, reducing clutter. Sometimes, it's explained, like returning sentimental items or things disappearing through a magic trick, and other times, they'll just say "time to organize my stuff and take out everything I don't need".
    • The Case Notes addition to the Court Record (referred by Apollo as a "to-do list") gives a case summary with defendant and victim details and objectives to cover, in case you forget what you need to do.
    • Continuing from the existing example in the franchise, moving to an empty familiar location will simply have the case's assistant hanging around with their Leitmotif playing, with little in the way of extra loading, making the process of figuring out what to do and where to go even faster.
    • Perception phases are simplified; you no longer need to shuffle through a person's entire testimony to find their nervous tic. During the one time it happens during a testimony (other examples occur during the investigation phase where there is only the single statement, as Simon Blackquill forbids the use of Perception in most of the trials he's in), the game automatically goes to the relevant part of the testimony, narrowing down the search to the individual sections of the selected testimony.
  • Any Last Words?: In Case 5-5, when Phoenix thinks up a plan to use the damaged Courtroom No. 4 for the UR-1 Incident Trial, Aura Blackquill, intending to kill Trucy and the other hostages for lack of a courtroom, calls through the phone, "Time's up. Any last words you would like to say to your daughter?" Phoenix's response? A big, resounding "Hold it!"
  • Arc Words:
    • "The ends justifies the means" for Case 3, though it receives an Ironic Echo later in case 5. "The Dark Age of the Law" for all the cases here.
    • Carrying over from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, "7 years ago" quickly becomes important. Almost makes you wonder if the two are related at all. As it turns out... Yes. The original saying, now 8 years ago, with Phoenix's disbarment for the use of fabricated evidence, and this game's 7 years ago with Simon's conviction are what directly led to the Dark Age of the Law.
  • Arson, Murder, and Admiration: Subverted. When Professor Means is put on the stand, he claims that he was still willing to defend Juniper, despite claiming she tried to implicate him in the murder she allegedly did by tricking him into abandoning his alibi, because he was so impressed at her application of his corrupt principles. But in reality the situation he described never actually happened.
  • The Artifact: A musical version: The Perceive theme in Apollo Justice was a variation on that game's cross-examination theme, played at a slower tempo with its notes in reverse, to convey such a power being used in the courtroom. Dual Destinies gets its own cross-examination track as usual, but the Perceive theme is unchanged.
  • Artificial Stupidity: This trope is invoked In-Universe. The fact that the "Ponco and Clonco Series Robots" have some large flaws in their A.I. is used as a case point in the final trial. The real killer in the UR-1 Incident used a mask to cover his face, and wore the victim's jacket. If someone's key facial features are covered up, then the robots rely on the ID tags on staff member jackets to ID who they're talking to. Because the victim was already dead, Ponco's heartbeat detection system also only showed that there were two people in the room.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Case 5. Throughout his testimony, the phantom tears several masks covering his face, cycling from Bobby Fulbright, to Aristotle Means, Solomon Starbuck, and finally Phoenix Wright. One can only wonder how he managed to keep them stuck without any failure - let alone fit each of them, as they wildly differ in volume and shape. Although to be entirely fair, the phantom is not just an average Joe, but rather, an elite international spy with access to high-tech equipment and technology in the year 2027, so him having access to such masks isn't so unrealistic that it breaks suspension of disbelief.
  • As the Good Book Says...: In "The Monstrous Turnabout", Blackquill says something that sounds like Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 when he knows that Apollo might lose the case with Damian Tenma. Also, Athena quotes 1 Timothy 6:10a upon the entire courtroom hearing the real story behind the "Tenma Taro" myth.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: The new Pursuit theme features blazing guitars near the end
  • Backhanded Compliment: On the second day of the first trial, no one has anything good to say about Apollo without saying something bad about him. The judge compliments his honor after pointing out that he was only known for his loud voice, and Athena backs the judge up by saying he looks like an imp, but he's a nice guy.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Athena engages in this during the re-enactment of the mock trial. (Or mock-mock-trial) It's Lampshaded. Klavier calls Apollo out on being overdramatic too, though that probably falls under Self-Deprecation.
  • Background Music Override: Athena's theme, Courtroom Revolutionnaire, plays over a Mood Matrix segment in the final case. It's very fitting, as Athena is examining Bobby Fulbright with it to show that he expresses no emotions in his voice, exactly matching Dr. Metis Cykes' psychological profile on the phantom. Even better, Prosecutor Blackquill had just used psychological manipulation to trick the phantom into issuing a falsely emotional confession, and Athena caught on to his ruse and listened for emotions that weren't there.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • The reason why Apollo chose to indict Athena for the murder of his best friend Clay Terran because he could not blindly believe that Athena was innocent. This is partly due to the fact that the decisive evidence had Athena's fingerprints on it, but more importantly, he was a Living Lie Detector and sensed that Athena lied about never having seen the murder weapon, as well as almost everything in the Space Center before. It got to the point where he had to purposely handicap one of his eyes by covering it up with bandages, since it was virtually impossible for him to believe that Athena was innocent, and every time she said something false, it was making him twitch like crazy. However, he knows that if anyone can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Athena is innocent and find the true killer at the same time, it'll be Phoenix Wright.
    • This comes up a few times in Case 2. Firstly, Filch takes advantage of the village superstitions to get away with thievery while wearing a Tenma Taro costume; since the superstitions dictate anyone who sees Tenma Taro cannot tell others about it, he was effectively invisible. Secondly, L'Belle relies on Jinxie's knowledge of wrestling to disguise himself as her father. She considers a wrestler's true identity Serious Business, and removing the mask would be equivalent to killing the character. This enables him to wear the Great Nine Tails mask to pose as her father despite looking nothing like him, as she would never dare remove the mask herself.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Florent L'Belle has this perspective on society and himself as one of the members.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Apollo is injured and first-timer Athena has hit a wall in case 1... until Phoenix arrives.
    • A reverse example occurs after Floerent L'belle's fake breakdown. Blackquill suddenly screams "SILENCE!" and tells the defense that there is no decisive evidence.
    • Athena appearing near the end of Case 5 when The Phantom is about to escape.
    • Phoenix has his own minor moment before the final evidence presentation in Case 5 after The Phantom successfully flusters both Apollo and Athena.
  • Big Word Shout:
    • The 3 main attorneys get a new one used with Athena's Mood Matrix: "Got it!"
    • Blackquill has one as well: "Silence!" He uses it instead of "Objection!" after he breaks his shackles' chain.
    • Aside from the words in text balloons such as the "OBJECTIONS!", there are several Big "NO!" moments, as well as "That can't be TRUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE". Big Word Shout is a series staple.
    • Also, at particularly dramatic moments, the "Objection!" shout will have an extended effect where the letters fly onto the screen one at a time from the front.
  • Big Bad: The phantom is responsible for the events of the game, and helped to usher in the Dark Age of the Law.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: It's probably only rated M for the image of a young Athena smiling while covered in Metis' blood.
  • Bookends:
    • Chronologically speaking, the first case (The Monstrous Turnabout) and the last case (Turnabout For Tomorrow) both take place in Courtroom No. 4.
    • Also, chronologically speaking, Bobby Fulbright (or the man masquerading as him), the first witness for the first case (The Monstrous Turnabout) is the Big Bad and the last witness for the last case (Turnabout For Tomorrow) as well.
    • The first cinematic ends with a shot of the moon through Apollo's eyes. The Stinger of the game's credits has Starbuck going to the moon as Phoenix, Apollo, and Athena watch at the space station.
    • The Phony Phanty doll is one of the first and last pieces of evidence presented.
    • The Dark Age of the Law started with the false conviction of Phoenix Wright for evidence forgery, followed by Simon Blackquill's false conviction for murder a year later. It ended with Phoenix's exoneration for the forgery charges and Blackquill's exoneration for the murder a year later.
    • In the DLC case (Turnabout Reclaimed), the scenario is assumed to be a fatal accident caused by an animal (an orca) before Phoenix decides to investigate to prove that it was a murder by someone else (as usual). In the end, it turns out the victim's death was indeed caused by accident (by someone else).
  • Boss Remix: Inverted; Apollo gets a calmer remix of his Objection theme to serve as his Leitmotif outside of court.
  • Brandishment Bluff: Once cornered, the culprit of Case 1 does this with a bomb in a last-ditch attempt to escape justice. Winning the case requires Phoenix to call the bluff.
  • Breaking Old Trends
    • Up until Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, trials were always scheduled at 10:00 AM on the dot.note  Not so in this game. Case 3 does adhere to the old standard in this regard, but the rest of the trials start at 9:46, 9:50, 9:30, 9:55, 10:15, and even 3 PMnote .
    • This game shakes up the gameplay flow format over the previous installments for the first and fourth cases. The first case manages to go to a second trial day (no previous first case has any more than the single trial day that makes up the entirety of the case) and the fourth case opens with a trial (all cases after the first start with an investigation segment with the exception of 3-4, which is unique in its own ways). It helps that these two cases are extremely intertwined with each other.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • Poor Juniper Woods gets falsely accused of murdering her professor less than two months before being suspected of bombing a courtroom because "she had a grudge against the court system". Being such a sickly girl doesn't make anyone go easy on her, and Gaspen Payne, Miriam Scuttlebutt, and Hugh O'Connor all try to make her out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
    • This entire game is not easy on Apollo Justice, either.
    • And don't even get us started on Athena...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the demo:
    Judge: Hmm. A quick verdict might not be such a bad thing. There isn't much time in a demo, after all!
  • Broken Aesop: "Turnabout Academy" makes a great deal of how wrong it is to think that the end justifies the means. You get to prove in court that it's better to only use legitimate means to reach the truth instead of breaking the law to get your way. And then, in "Turnabout for Tomorrow", two lives are saved by kidnapping several people and threatening to kill one of the hostages, proving that sometimes, drastic and horrible things must be done to right wrongs (though, the kidnapper did not get off scot-free and was still shown to be in jail nearly a year later after the end of the last case). And in a series-wide example, nearly every game has moments that favour the "Ends Justify the Means" mentality. Phoenix can come off as a bit hypocritical for condemning it when you remember he only cleared his name in the last game by forging evidence in one trial and rigging the jury in another, and the Investigations games also had a pretty heavy theme about the law not always being sufficient, and needing to go above or around it to find the truth; the "ends" are different, but the basic philosophy is always the same.
  • The Bully: Gaspen Payne is much more of a jerk than his brother Winston was, and picks on the timid Juniper Woods when she takes the stand.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Pearl Fey, now a teenager.
    • Though he was in his own spin-off series, Miles Edgeworth returns as Phoenix Wright's rival once more and chief prosecutor.

    Tropes C to D 
  • Call-Back:
    • This game gives you the identity of the first and second killers in the beginning of their respective cases. Something they haven't done since the first game.
    • Considering how Juniper was going to wear a copy of Lamiroir's cloak and dress, her planned performance with the Gavinners is suspiciously similar to the one from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.
    • Trucy's magic panties from case 4-2 make a return to get rid of "unneeded evidence". Phoenix continues to point out that people need to stop looking at his daughter's panties.
    • While Klavier waxes poetic about the backdrop to his concert stage, he mentions the three-day maximum trial system for the first time since the original game (although after the original game, no trial lasts more than two due to game design shifts).
    • Phoenix's disbarring was one of two reasons the "Dark age of the law" started. The other was the one in which a prosecutor by the name of Simon Blackquill was convicted of murder.
    • Phoenix remembers in the first case that Apollo hasn't been the only victim of head trauma and memory loss as a result of a suspect whacking him on the head in the courthouse, as had happened to him in 2-1.
      Phoenix: Assaulted in a court of law and losing your memory at that... I know how that feels...
    • Apollo has two in Case 5 referencing Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney when he appears to mirror his former mentor, Kristoph Gavin, with the phrase "evidence is everything" and a confident, smirking sprite similar to the one Kristoph had.
    • The killer of Case 5 impersonates Phoenix at one point, years after Furio Tigre, the killer from Recipe for Turnabout, had previously (albeit through different methods and purposes). Unlike Tigre, the phantom pulls the act very well (he even manages to mimic Phoenix's voice) and is a far more of a menace to society in comparison (a loan shark who solely relies on intimidation vs an international spy incapable of feeling human emotions). But while Tigre easily fools the courts with his Paper-Thin Disguise, the phantom as Phoenix fools no one, mostly due to adopting the Phoenix persona after using a few others after being identified as the phantom, and Phoenix himself being in the same room, making this more of a taunt than a serious attempt at trickery.
    • If the player presents the crime scene photo in case 2 to Phoenix, he will reminisce about a case that similarly involved the accused and the victim being in a locked room. Specifically, case 2 of Justice for All when he had to defend Maya for the murder of Turner Grey. He also mentions that the case's prosecutor had a whip on her, naturally referring to Franziska.
    • Examining evidence in 3D and using Apollo's Perceive ability in the courtroom both reappear in the final case. One piece of evidence gets examined in 3D in the second case too, as well as in the DLC episode.
    • During the DLC episode, Sasha mentions that one reason she'd gone to Phoenix to get an orca off the hook is that he'd questioned an animal (specifically a parrot) before. Another reason Sasha asked Phoenix for help was because every other lawyer she looked to refused to help her, which is a very similar situation in case 1-2 where Maya also encountered people that refused to help her.
    • Athena brings up animal therapy during the DLC case. Though most English-speaking fans won't know this, it's probably a Call Back to Investigations 2, which featured a prison that used animal therapy as part of prisoner rehabilitation.
    • The fingerprinting kit and the Luminol kit from the previous game return, with Trucy stating it was given to them by a 'detective friend' of theirs. Even the red-tinted glasses are briefly seen.
    • During the cutscenes in the intro and when Apollo announces his temporary leave from the office, the other side of the Wright Anything Agency office is shown to be almost exactly as it appears in the original trilogy, minus Charley, who's been relocated to Trucy's side of the office.
  • Calling Card: Phineas Filch's grandfather leaves behind a particular statuette as his.
  • Catchphrase:
    • In addition to the usual ones shared by all the law practitioners since game 1 such as "Objection", Bobby Fulbright openly declares his catchphrase to be "In justice we trust!" and won't hesitate to shout it at the slightest provocation.
    • Apollo's "I'M FINE" is such a catchy phrase that no less than three other characters (Clay, Starbuck and Athena) have caught it by the end of the game.
  • Central Theme: Why it's a bad idea to prioritize protecting individuals over discovering the truth. Juniper, Simon and Aura care more about protecting their loved ones than being honest in court, and their misguided heroism causes almost as much turmoil as the actual crimes.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Apollo's "I'M FINE!" seemed like a nervous character trait in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and becomes a Borrowed Catchphrase for Athena and later Starbuck, but its origins get shown here and it's a bit of a Tear Jerker.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Both the bomb used to damage Courtroom No. 4 and the Phony Phanty in which the bomb was hidden are evidence from the first case that end up being very important to catch the Big Bad in the end.
  • Childhood Friends: Juniper and Athena, as well as Apollo and Clay. Both pairings are plot-relevant, as Athena is motivated to defend Juniper because of their longstanding friendship and Apollo's Roaring Rampage of Revenge is kickstarted by Clay's murder.
  • Chromatic Arrangement:
    • The Wright Anything Agency lawyers. Phoenix, Apollo, and Athena are blue, red, and yellow respectively.
    • Juniper, Robin, and Hugh are respectively black/yellow, red, and blue due to their school uniforms.
    • The statues on the stage for the school festival had Phoenix Wright in blue and Klavier Gavin in red. A white statue of Lady Justice is also found in the wreckage.
  • Commonality Connection: Athena and Juniper bonded because of their quiet natures and extraneous circumstances that would keep them out of school.
  • Continuity Nod: Plenty scattered throughout the game.
    • O'Conner from Case 3 wears a blue uniform at the Themis Legal Academy. This uniform is identical to the uniform Sebastian Debeste wears, implying Sebastian was a student at Themis. Word of God later confirmed this. Also remember how Blaise offhandedly mentioned how he used his connections to raise Sebastian's grades? Makes complete sense when we find out just how corrupt the school is. This also does a good job of highlighting what an idiot Sebastian was until Edgeworth verbally beat some competence into him. Blue uniforms are for defense attorneys. He signed up for the wrong course!
    • Apollo's DLC costume includes a backpack that has a Mr. Hat charm. It is only well visible when seeing Apollo's side view in cases 3 or 5.
    • In Case 2, if you present the newspaper featuring "Tenma Taro" in the sky to Athena after just getting it, she'll remark that the newspaper also featured pictures of Gourdy and other supernatural phenomenon. Naturally, like Gourdy from the first Ace Attorney, they're seen as flukes.
    • When Fulbright recommends Phoenix hire a lawyer, Phoenix thinks, "I'm perfectly capable of representing myself, thank you," in reference to his doing just that in 1-2.
    • While discussing the TORPEDO system used to track the animals at the Aquarium in the DLC case, Dr. Crab tells Phoenix and Athena that the system is top secret. Phoenix wonders if it's 'SuPer Admin Restricted Desktop Access pass-protected', a reference to the double Shout-Out (to Devil May Cry and 300) that arose when you presented wrong evidence to Lisa Basil in 3-3.
    • Phoenix mentions having been an Art student, and the reason why he became a lawyer was complicated, harking back to case 3-1.
    • Phoenix notes that Blackquill's threat of 40 lashes with a limp fish (during the DLC case) would be much better than 40 whip lashes, clearly recalling how Franziska von Karma reacted to losing Case 2-2 (or just Franziska in general).
    • After Apollo and Athena win a case, Phoenix takes them to Eldoon's Noodles. Apollo even mentions the noodles are salty enough to kill a man.
    • Whenever Athena is looking at the Court Record through Widget, there are pictures on Widget's screen of cases from previous games, usually a close-up of something that was one of the backgrounds. One of them, the one on the far right of the second screen, is Kane Bullard's body outline from "The Stolen Turnabout". Beside it is a screencap of the opening cinematic for either "Turnabout Corner" or "Reunion, and Turnabout" (as it shows a street and streetlights), and on the far left is a close up shot of the policeman standing beside the trash can outside the cordoned-off park in "Turnabout Corner". They're best seen when Athena is serving as the defence attorney.
    • Apollo's ringtone is the song Lamiroir sings with the Gavinners in 4-3.
    • Present Pearl evidence she knows nothing about, and she and Phoenix will have a word-for-word reenactment of the conversation that ensued if you did the same thing in 3-2, with Phoenix even lampshading the fact that he had this conversation before.
    • In Turnabout for Tomorrow, Maya's letter has an almost identical drawing of Phoenix to the one she drew over Shelly de Killer's calling card in 2-4.
    • If you pick the wrong person as the phantom in Case 5, the judge references Franziska by saying "How dare you take me for a foolishly foolish fool!"
    • In Turnabout Reclaimed, Phoenix is shocked to learn that the victim's updated autopsy report doesn't screw him over and actually helps him as it reveals that the victim died as exactly as Phoenix described earlier.
      Phoenix: What?! (It's something... GOOD for a change?!)
  • Continuity Porn: Compared to Apollo Justice's sparse references to previous games, Dual Destinies leaves behind plenty of reminders that this game is part of a larger franchise.
  • Cutscene: Studio BONES produced anime cutscenes for the game.
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: A variant in Turnabout Countdown. When Apollo is found unconscious in the ruins of Courtroom No. 4, it appears he wrote the defendant's last name, "WOODS," in his own blood, thus implicating her as the attacker. However, Phoenix notes that Apollo didn't bleed enough for that much writing. He determines that Candice Arme wrote the ID number (L10015R) of her killer, Ted Tonate, in her own blood on the floor after he fatally struck her. Tonate covered the bloody writing before the bomb destroyed the courtroom; when Apollo discovered the writing during his own investigation, Tonate knocked him out and altered the ID number with Apollo's blood so it looked like "WOODS". (The final "R" was mostly destroyed in the explosion.)
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The ending to Case 4 has Athena accused of murdering Clay Terran.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The game starts off with domestic terrorism and only gets worse from there. The series has always had a dark streak of course, but never so overtly.
    • Prior games in the series have had a Teen (13+) rating from the ESRB. This game? Mature (17+), implying the presence of very dark content by this series' standards.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Blackquill. Ill-tempered, rude, and far too eager to manipulate people into doing what he wants, but not evil.
  • Dark Reprise: Late into the game, you get to hear a more somber version of Athena's theme.
  • Dead All Along: Detective Fulbright, of the identity theft variant.
  • Dead Person Impersonation:
    • From case 4 and 5, the phantom impersonates Metis by using her coat and badge. But his entire role as "Bobby Fulbright" is one big case of this, seeing as the real Bobby died over a year ago.
    • Subverted in the DLC case — it is first believed that Orla the orca was impersonating her sister Ora, who had to be put down a year before. However, it turns out she was harbored in a different aquarium.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: A big change in the series, compared to all other games in the Ace Attorney franchise. Although you still have a life bar that decreases with judge penalties, after the judge renders the guilty verdict, you can choose to continue, where you pick up shortly before you receive the "killing" penalty. Not only that, resuming in this fashion completely heals the life bar. Previous games forced the played to load up a save game and continue through one whole section without having the life bar deplete. Like the first and fourth games, the life bar is restored to full between checkpoints. That is until Case 5 and a certain part of the DLC case. See Non-Standard Game Over below.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Athena in the first case. She's set up to be the lead of the defense team for the case, but before gameplay even starts, she shuts down from a traumatic flashback and Phoenix shows up to take over the trial, while Athena becomes his co-counsel upon recovering.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Averted; after the mixed reception he had in his own game, Apollo is still a playable protagonist.
    • However, Athena seems to be taking the role that Maya, Pearl, and Trucy took in the earlier games. Trucy and Pearl are shown to appear at points but in an obviously less important capacity.
    • In case 3, Athena is the protagonist and Apollo plays the role of the sidekick. Of note, this is only the fourth time a male has played the sidekick role in the primary game series, after Marvin Grossberg in 3-1, "Turnabout Memories", Diego Armando in 3-4, "Turnabout Beginnings", and Kristoph Gavin/Phoenix Wright in 4-1, "Turnabout Trump". The first two of those cases, though, were flashbacks to Mia Fey as a lawyer, and in all of these cases had trials but no investigation.
    • After case 2, Trucy only appears in Wright Anything Agency during investigations, and appears to take care of things while Phoenix and company are out. Justified due to Trucy going to high school and running her magic show, which leaves her with almost no free time.
    • Maya appears in a flashback, Klavier is only present in case 3 and Ema does not appear at all, though Trucy references her obliquely in the DLC. Pearl Fey appears briefly in case 5, though she also appears in the DLC case.
  • Denser and Wackier: Despite also being Darker and Edgier, this game also manages to be this towards the rest of the series. Particularly evident in the second case that involves the following things: a municipal merger between two towns, professional wrestling, and ancient Japanese spirits in a single plot. The DLC case has Phoenix defending a killer whale and the last two cases involve Cute Machines as witnesses. The Villainous Breakdowns are more elaborate now involving events like someone spraying themself silly with perfume or a Segway scooter going haywire and crashing into everything in the courtroom.
  • Determinator: Apollo refuses to give up (though he occasionally needs encouragement when things look bleak), Athena quickly learns from her peers that giving up is unacceptable, and Phoenix remains unflappable in the face of impossible odds. The best example is in the DLC case, when both Orla and Sasha are about to get not guilty verdicts, Phoenix objects to the trial ending because blame has fallen on Marlon Rimes, who is confessing to the murder. Because Phoenix knows that Marlon didn't kill Jack Shipley, he refuses to let the trial end until he's proven that as well.
  • The Diss Track: One testimony is titled "The dissing of Phoenix Wright". It's a rap.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: "Bobby Fulbright" is all an act meant to cover up his true identity: the phantom.
  • Doing In the Wizard: A good chunk of case 2 revolves around proving the supernatural elements of the case aren't real. It's more interesting with some magical elements actually existing in the universe.
  • Downloadable Content: DLC includes an extra costume pack, an extra case ("Turnabout Reclaimed", Phoenix's first case after regaining his badge), and a quiz minigame (which has been passed over for localization, apparently due to relying too heavily on Japanese culture; the quiz unlocks one more costume, which for the international releases was switched to a bonus for completing the extra case).
  • Dub-Induced Plot Hole: There's a bug in the English 3DS version that hides a big hint at the beginning of case 3 that Means is the true killer. When you first meet him in the Japanese version, he doesn't have his staff. The plot hole kicks in the end when it becomes apparent that it should've still been sticking out of the victim's body at the time. This plothole was fixed in the iOS port.

    Tropes E to F 
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Let's see... Athena's mother was killed in front of her when she was 11, and her courtroom pleas for Simon Blackquill's innocence went unheard, leading her to travel abroad in order to become an attorney as quickly as possible to overturn his conviction and sentence. Simon himself was convicted and sentenced to death, and comes within one day of his execution date before his case is retried. In the present, Apollo's best friend is murdered, causing him to want vengeance on the killer... whom he suspects might be Athena. Meanwhile, the defendant, Solomon Starbuck, Apollo's friend's mentor and a famous astronaut, is completely despondent as well as frightened about going back into space. During the trial, a bomb goes off, injuring Apollo, who is then knocked out during the subsequent bombing trial. The emotional burden causes Apollo to burst out in anger before taking a leave from the Wright Anything Agency... then, Athena gets arrested for both murders, causing her to relive the emotional trauma from 7 years ago, and Phoenix is forced to defend her with his daughter Trucy's life at stake. All during the Dark Age of the Law, where the public has no trust in the legal system. At the end, the real culprit is in custody, Simon is free, Trucy is safe, Solomon makes it back into space, and the agency is intact, ready to put an end to the Dark Age of the Law.
    • The DLC case "Turnabout Reclaimed" has one of the most uplifting endings in the entire series. Chief of all, despite being the true antagonist of the case, Marlon Rimes is not the guilty party in Jack Shipley's death and in fact attempted to save his life. Shipley died because he fell into a pool Marlon had drained to take revenge on Orla for supposedly killing his girlfriend Azura a year ago. Shipley had rushed to the scene to try to talk him out of it but slipped and fell in, with Marlon attempting to pull him up but failing because Shipley refused to let him be dragged down into the pool as well. However, Marlon is informed that the orca wasn't even responsible for his girlfriend's death, which actually came about due to heart failure during a performance (a condition Sasha Buckler also has and is treated for by the end of the case). This in turn helps Phoenix work out that the orca from the previous incident was not the same due to different behavioral and physical evidence, which leads to the discovery that the original "Ora Shipley" was the current orca's (Orla) sister and was put down due to being perceived as Azura's killer. So Rimes ends up realizing his revenge against the orca was meaningless and decides to change his life for the better, with Sasha welcoming him back to the aquarium with open arms after serving time for perjuring himself on the stand. However, what's more is the other orca isn't even dead! Shipley and the aquarium's doctor had been housing it offsite to make it look like they killed it at the request of the authorities and now that everything is cleared up, the aquarium brings her back to join her sister at the end of the case (Marlon is also out of jail by this point and now portraying Redstache in the Swashbuckler Spectacular, assuming the late Jack Shipley's role). Furthermore, the animal monitoring system Dr. Crab had been using was legalized through Norma DePlume's advocacy, allowing him to use it freely without having to hide it any longer. Ace Attorney cases typically end well for the defendant but with a bittersweet reminder of what happened. This time, everything works out for the best (aside from Shipley's death, of course) and life at the Shipshape Aquarium could even be said to be better than ever.
  • Emoticon:
  • Ensemble Cast: Unlike past games, which primarily featured one playable lawyer and his tagalong assistant, this game focuses on three different lawyers, each taking the main character role for at least a case. Phoenix himself is still the true main character, but now he's got a full truth-revealing team behind him.
  • Epic Fail: In case 3, Bobby Fulbright forgot to check if the red splotches on the pottery were actually blood, leaving Simon flabbergasted.
  • Evil Overlooker: Simon Blackquill on the promotional picture. The 'evil' part gets subverted later.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In case 5-5, Wright and co. have managed to figure out that the missing moon rock, which could have the phantom's blood on it, was hidden in the Hope Capsule this entire time. However, when the phantom smugly asks them to present the moon rock, Phoenix remembers that the Hope Capsule, along with the moon rock, was blown up in the courtroom bombing earlier and that it's the exact reason why the courtroom was bombed in the first place.
  • Expressive Accessory:
    • Athena's gadget buddy Widget, when not used, will reveal her emotions. This also happens when she has the Mood Matrix open—check the color of the holographic interface. The colors are green for joy, red for anger, dark blue for fear and sadness, and yellow for shock. Light blue is neutral, and when Widget's screen goes completely dead and turns black, it means Athena is experiencing Heroic BSoD. If you keep an eye on Widget whenever Athena is on-screen, you'll notice that she'll sometimes try to act like she's feeling one thing (via her pose and dialogue) while Widget will reveal what she's actually feeling. There's a reason that Athena has a reputation for being transparent. Sometimes, Widget will even speak Athena's thoughts aloud.
    • The box that Myriam Scuttlebutt wears will sweat when she's nervous.
    • Ted Tonate's protective headgear will sweat when it's obscuring his face while he's nervous.
  • Expressive Hair: Apollo's hair spikes stand straight up unless he feels depressed. Athena's ponytail also curls up when she gets surprised, and her bangs crinkle a bit when she is disheartened.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The first, fourth, and fifth cases all happen in the span of about four days (with the last trial day of the fourth and the whole fifth case happening in the same day; a LOT of stuff happens that day, let's just say). Also the whole game (DLC case included) happens within a single calendar year, which is a first for the main series.*
  • The Faceless: To the players, at least - the phantom's physical face is obscured in shadow in his only maskless shot. More poignantly, he's spent so long assuming various identities that he's forgotten his own face and identity.
  • Face of a Thug: Damian Tenma from "The Monstrous Turnabout".
  • Fake Alibi: Episode three has the culprit use a recorded speech to pretend to be somewhere other than the crime scene. There's also time manipulation at work.
  • Fauxshadow: In "Turnabout Reclaimed", Athena frequently mentions that, while she can't understand Orla's speech, she can sense her emotions. You'd think this hints that you'd have to Mood Matrix her eventually. Though Orla is cross-examined later, you don't use the Mood Matrix on her.
  • Females Are More Innocent: Notable for being the only game in the series to have every single culprit be male. In addition, 4 of the 6 cases have the wrongfully-accused defendant be female.
  • Final-Exam Boss: The last witness of the game will require all lawyers and their special abilities to take him down.
  • Foregone Conclusion:
    • Once 5-4 starts, you'll realize this is the trial that gets interrupted by the courtroom bombing, so you know Apollo won't get to exonerate his client. The job will be left up to Phoenix.
    • The result of case three has to work out for Juniper in the end because she is the defendant from the first case, which happens after the third case, chronologically.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • A meta example: One of the demos for the game turned out to be radically different from what actually happened in the case that the demo was based off of. As it turns out in the final game, not only does the first case not (initially) have Phoenix as the main defense attorney, but the case in Case 1 is not his first case as a returning attorney (that would be the DLC case, "Turnabout Reclaimed").
    • In case 1, Gaspen establishes Juniper's motive for bombing Courtroom No.4 as holding a grudge against the legal system, due to being wrongfully accused before. She's the defendant in case 3, which takes place two months prior.
    • Early in case 1, Athena has flashbacks to appearing in court when she was younger, and the stress the nervousness she feels in court at times. This briefly resurfaces in case 3, where Aristotle Means gives her a Heroic BSoD. The full backstory is revealed in case 5.
    • Whenever Fulbright clenches his right hand, it looks like his veins are pulsing through his gloves, or maybe even a cartoonish "angry" symbol, but it's very likely that it's the outline of the scar from when Athena stabbed him.
    • In case 2, Bobby Fulbright is assigned to escort Blackquill to court because he’s too oblivious to be afraid of him. Turns out? That’s just a cover—Fulbright, a.k.a. the phantom, can’t feel fear at all.
    • The Ponco and Clonco series robots have the same exact set of emoticon faces and beeping "speech" as Widget. This and the fact that Ponco recognized Athena without introduction foreshadows the fact that Athena has a past connection to the Space Center.
    • At one point during case 3, Prosecutor Blackquill chastises Athena, claiming that "The person you'd like to save more than anyone else" might not actually desire her defense. He's talking about himself.
    • At the start of case 4, Apollo is already using his bandaged sprite, despite the fact that the courtroom bombing, which we were led to believe caused the injury that he was suffering from, hasn't happened yet. This isn't an error. Apollo bandaged his eye even though he wasn't injured in order to block out his Living Lie Detector ability because it was telling him that Athena was suspicious.
    • In case 4, Phoenix warns Athena that if she touches the fingerprint scanner, she'll be labeled as a suspect. As it turns out, Athena gets accused of killing Clay Terran because her fingerprints are supposedly on the lighter the culprit was seen holding.
    • Maya sends Phoenix a letter, claiming to have heard that he'd "[held a] trial in the middle of an exploding courtroom". While he doesn't hold a trial in an exploding courtroom, he does participate in the trial held in the exploded courtroom later on in the same case.
    • The first time Jinxie runs into Bobby Fullbright, she shrieks "ghost!" and sticks him with one of her warding charms. This is pretty standard Jinxie behaviour, except that she usually thinks strange people are demons or yokai, not ghosts. But that's not a mistake - because what's another word for ghost? Phantom. Also, the real Bobby Fullbright is dead.
    • Early in case 3, Aristotle Means warns Athena that her insistence on sticking to fair and honest means in court will cost her everything she's worked so hard for. This comes off as a genuine attempt to sway her to his ends-means policy, but his words haunt her for the rest of the case. This foreshadows two things: that Means was actually trying to break her spirit (because he's the killer), and that Athena had a very specific reason for pursuing a legal career.
    • During case 3, Bobby compares a clock at a crime scene with his own watch, deeming it accurate...only for Athena to point out his watch has stopped. Looks like the organization that gave the phantom a watch which can hack into computers forgot to make it tell time.
    • In the intro, you can see Apollo gripping a small object, then looks at the moon from the blown-out ceiling. This is likely the piece of moon rock that went missing due to being mistaken for a bomb part.
    • The Phony Phanty doll that carried the bomb to destroy Courtroom No.4 turned out to be delivered by a phony detective that was actually the phantom.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode:
    • Case 4 is highly unusual. First, it begins in the courtroom with Apollo and Athena instead of having an investigation phase beforehand, a feature normally associated with the first case in each game (with Apollo wearing an eye patch even though he is not injured yet and with exception to 3-4, but that's a whole different case once again). Second, the case is abruptly cut short by Case 1's courtroom bombing, only to resume after Case 1 took place. The trial days are non-consecutive. Third, the case has Solomon Starbuck acquitted without having another suspect convicted of the crime, for the first time ever in the series. Of course, the identity of the killer is found out in Case 5.
    • Case 5-1 is the first starter case that spans over two days sessions.
    • Case 5-5 is the first case with only one day of both investigations and trial.
    • The DLC Case is the first case with no murderer. (The victim's death was an accident.)
  • Four Is Death: The courtroom that is bombed in the opening is Courtroom No. 4, and the trial that was in session when the bomb went off is covered in case 4.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: If you look closely, the picture of Myriam's laptop when she drops it has a photoshopped picture of her with the three friends foreshadowing her desire to be a part of that group.
  • Friendship Trinket: In Case 3, Juniper, Hugh, and Robin each have one: A handmade red clay band of grasping hands. As they are all of different sizes, Hugh wears his around his neck, Robin around her bicep, and Juniper wears her on her wrist. It is also a security blanket of sorts, as whenever they are stressed, they will reach for it, although the trinket's presence is unknown at the time.

    Tropes G to M 
  • Gameplay Roulette: The game combines three of them into one mix. Phoenix can still use his Magatama to break Psyche-Locks. Athena can use the Mood Matrix to inquiry into people's moods. Apollo can still use his bracelet to pinpoint abnormal body movements when certain words are spoken yet is used mostly outside court, due to Blackquill using Taka to break his concentration the first time Apollo tries to use it in court.
  • Glad I Thought of It: When Blackquill suddenly objects after L'Belle's fake breakdown in case 2 to point out that there is no decisive evidence, Florent L'Belle repeats Blackquill's point, as if he didn't just have a massive freakout five seconds ago.
  • Glasses of Aging: Miles Edgeworth, now the new Chief Prosecutor, who did not appear in years since his previous chronological appearance, puts on glasses, which also shows his Older and Wiser personality.
  • Going Through the Motions: Lampshaded in case 5—Phoenix is only able to question Yuri Cosmos thanks to Trucy blowing out one of his scooter's tires with a jackknife. However, his "panicking" animation, where he spins in place on the scooter, is still used during the conversation. Phoenix points out how this should be impossible in his inner monologue.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Athena says a random phrase in French, German, Spanish, or Portuguese every now and then, a habit she picked up when she was living with family in Europe. In the original Japanese, these phrases were in English.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The organization/rival country that employed the phantom and the sniper that shot him. We know nothing about them, apart from the fact that they're very powerful, and for some reason they don't want whatever country the series is set in to achieve spaceflight.
  • Guilty Until Someone Else Is Guilty: Averted in case 4. By the end of the case, the true culprit has not been identified, but it has been definitively proven that Solomon Starbuck could not possibly have killed Clay Terran, so the judge delivers his verdict of "Not Guilty".
  • Handshake Refusal: In Case 3, Hugh O'Connor refuses to shake Apollo's hand, leading Athena to mentally question if his hand is glued to the inside of his pocket. It's actually because he's hiding that his hand is wrapped in bandages.
  • Hate Sink: The nameless spy known only by the moniker of "the phantom", also known as Imposter Detective Fulbright, is easily one of the most depraved villains in the series. His career starts when he places a bomb on the HAT-1 rocket and causes the astronaut on board to have a phobia of space and nearly die. He then proceeds to murder Athena's (then an 11 year old girl) mother and force the blame onto her. Then rookie Prosecutor Simon Blackquill takes the heat for the crime especially after seeing Athena covered head to toe in blood. Some time later and the phantom kills the real Bobby Fulbright and assumes his identity. 7 years later and the phantom sets up three more bombs in the space station as well as the rocket the new astronaut Clay Terran was going to enter with his idol. After a brilliant move by Director Yuri Cosmos to foil the plan, the phantom proceeds to murder the young astronaut Terran and starts Apollo's revenge. Before the first trial can reach a verdict, the phantom sets up another bomb in Courtroom No. 4 where the trial is being held. This severely injures Apollo, and nearly kills everyone else in the courtroom as well. The phantom then casts suspicion on Athena through a forged piece of fingerprints on the lighter that he held, which basically turns Apollo against her. In the end, he was a petty murderer more concerned about keeping his identity secret than anything else and willing to use any means necessary to do so.
  • "The Hero Sucks" Song: "The Dissin' of Phoenix Wright" from "Turnabout Reclaimed". The killer sings and dances a testimony where they show how wrong Phoenix is in his accusation.
  • He's Back!:
    • After a game worth of trying to Break the Cutie, Apollo sheds his doubts and bandages to finally join Phoenix Wright in court for the first time since Apollo's first case in 4-1.
    • Phoenix. The man, the myth, the legend, returns to the courtroom after seven long years. Notable in that he famously returns to the courtroom: after four games where he literally gets zero respect, his return to the legal profession in this game is lauded in the legal profession, and he's also shown a great deal of respect from his peers and law students, and credited with many successes in the legal world. It seems that after clearing up his disbarment, people have finally realized that he's an amazing defense attorney. The only people who don't respect him are ultimately bad guys.
  • Hide Your Lesbians: Downplayed. While it's never outright stated that Aura Blackquill was in love with Metis Cykes, it's very clear that she was. Phoenix even calls the Judge an idiot (in his mind) for not getting something so obvious.
  • Hollywood Healing: Apollo sustains pretty severe injuries from the Courtroom Bombing, to the point that he momentarily passes out and is unable to defend Juniper in Case 1 (which takes place in the middle of Case 4), and as noted below, Cases 4, 1, and 5 are all the same case due to the lack of time between them. Nevertheless, Apollo conducts his own investigation into Clay's murder, then removes his bandages for the trial in case 5 and is perfectly fine with no signs of injury at all. He also doesn't sustain lasting damage from being hit hard over the head with a piece of rubble.
  • Hollywood Law: Blackquill, a death row inmate, is allowed to continue serving as a prosecutor, albeit in shackles, up to the day before his execution. In reality, not only are Japanese prisons' death rows notoriously strict, but they don't even tell the inmates when they'll be executed until the day their sentence is to be carried out.
  • Holographic Terminal: Athena's Widget necklace computer generates a terminal which the player will use during the Mood Matrix sections of the game.
  • Humongous Mecha: Aura Blackquill was building one named the JudgeTron to destroy everything involved in the legal system because the broken legal system sent her brother to death row due to being falsely convicted.
  • I Am Spartacus: In case 3, Robin confesses to the crime of murdering Professor Courte, causing her friends Juniper (the defendant) and Hugh to do the same thing. This sudden development forces the trial to be suspended until the following day. Even the judge acknowledges that this is completely ridiculous and they're obviously covering for each other, but he actually can't declare a verdict without clearing it up.
  • Idiot Hair: Phoenix gains one in the middle of his forehead. It sometimes gets cut off by Blackquill.
  • Immediate Sequel: Cases 4 and 5 are unique among the main series as they are, for all intents and purposes, a single case (they both deal with the same murder, although case 5 adds a second murder into the mix that is connected to case 4's). There is no separation of time between them and case 5 picks up as if it were just the next investigation segment following a trial segment (you also retain the same evidence you had at the end of case 4).
  • Impact Silhouette: During Yuri Cosmos' breakdown, that witness ends up smashing through the door in the courtroom background, leaving a hole shaped just like himself and his Space Scooter.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Being stabbed with sharp objects are an unusually common method of victim deaths in this game for Ace Attorney standards. Only the victims of the first and DLC case are killed via blunt force instead.
  • Impossible Theft: Phineas Filch somehow manages to steal Fulbright's shoes off of his feet without him noticing. Twice. The second time, he did it in the middle of court and nobody noticed. This is made even more impressive with The Reveal that "Fulbright" is actually the phantom, a terrifyingly competent superspy. Although,he might have just been playing dumb to stay in character.
  • Inconsistent Dub:
    • The beginning of case 4 opens with a shot from Earth. While they did bother making it look like it was showing America while it zooms in, if you look closely before it starts doing so, it's possible to see that the satellites were hovering over a firmly lit part of Eastern Asia, not America.
    • In the beginning of case 4, the space center's name over the entrance is its Japanese name - Ohgawara Space Center - rather than the dub's name - Cosmos Space Center. The inconsistency is easier to see in Edgeworth's intro cutscene but is still easy to miss as players may be more focused on Edgeworth's return.
    • In the iOS version, one of the thumbnails in the Illustration section shows a Japanese newspaper cutout covering the HAT-1 launch. However, the correct English artwork is displayed when one taps on the thumbnail.
  • Informed Flaw: The Dark Age of the Law is mostly presented as As You Know information. The prosecutors you go up against neither actively or knowingly give false charges to people and no defense attorney is seen presenting fabricated evidence to win their trials. However, it's also true that Payne did bring relatively weak charges against Juniper that were only reinforced after the first day of trial. Blackquill is a convicted criminal meaning he's under strict surveillance so he wouldn't be able to fabricate evidences or witnesses. Edgeworth is Edgeworth. On defense lawyers, Means very much admits that he was very willing to fabricate evidence to protect Juniper in court.
  • Informed Friendship: Apollo and Clay. Supposedly best friends. And yet, Clay wasn't even mentioned for the whole previous game and half of this one until his death in case 4. What's more, Athena knew Apollo for half a year, before he ever told her about his supposedly best friend.
  • In Medias Res: The first case actually takes place after case 2, the DLC case and case 3, with the three skipped cases being recounted by Athena before the final cases begin.
  • Innocent Innuendo: It's even acknowledged in-game. In Case 3, during the final part when Athena dresses up as a statue she asks Apollo the following pearl.
    Athena: Apollo, tie me up in a new pose! ...Wait, you're not into this kind of thing, are you?
  • Interface Screw:
    • Invoked. When a witness displays an extreme emotion during the Mood Matrix sequences, it covers up their other emotions, making it hard to pinpoint what they feel during certain parts of their testimony. You're then tasked with finding out what is causing the extreme emotion. This is taken to its logical extreme with Blackquill's sequence, which has all four emotions going haywire at once. You not only have to figure out what's triggering it, but also which specific emotion it's triggering.
    • The phantom posing as Bobby Fulbright pulls off two variations of the trope during the Mood Matrix sequence; he attempts to use a hacking device to throw off the noise level readings until Simon stops him from doing so. The spy then controls his emotions so that the Mood Matrix displays all four emotions at random intervals and intensities in hopes that you can't gauge his true feelings. Of course, this doesn't work completely.
  • Internal Deconstruction: Three counts. First, after Phoenix and other defense attorneys spend years exposing prosecutors for playing dirty in court and for being outright criminals in several instances, the public finally learns the truth and the prosecutor's office is largely discredited. Second, someone has to pick up the pieces and both reform and rebuild the reputation of the prosecutors' office (which would be Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth's task) because they are a necessary part of the legal system, but they cannot be so if no one trusts them. Finally, both prosecutors and defense attorneys start taking an attitude of "do whatever it takes to win," since if the public doesn't trust them anyway, who cares what they think?

    This is Truth in Television, and a major part of the game that was Ripped from the Headlines. A few years prior to the game's release, the very extent of how dirty the Japanese courts were was exposed in a number of major cases. The most famous of these cases involved a suspect's innocence finally being proven after decades when it was revealed that the prosecutors had hidden crucial evidence, and forced a confession from him through methods that could be seen as Cold-Blooded Torture. And MOST suspects were treated this way. Which is why only a few years ago, things started to be changed within the Japanese legal world.
  • Ironic Echo: The phantom taunts Phoenix with his catchphrase "The worse of times are when the lawyers have to force their biggest smiles" while the phantom impersonates him. Lampshaded by Phoenix when he says, "You're the last person I want to hear that from."
  • Irony:
  • It Was with You All Along: The final piece of evidence to present in the game, proving that "Fulbright" is the Phantom, is Athena's earring, a gift from her mother which she's worn for seven years.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Case 5 has three bad outcomes but only the worst one (the result of failing on Blackquill's testimony segment) can truly qualify for this trope, giving a laundry list of ways that Phoenix's failure has ruined everything (and everyone).
  • It's Personal:
    • One of the murder victims in the game is Apollo's childhood friend, and the other friend (Athena) is accused for the murder.
    • Athena's motivation for defending Juniper (they were Childhood Friends). Hell, Athena's motivation for becoming a lawyer (saving another old friend).
    • Blackquill's request to be the prosecutor for the final part of case 5. He wants to be there to watch as the phantom, the cause of all his suffering, is proven guilty.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Phineas Filch describes his grandfather as this.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • With the amount of snatch-thivery Phineas Filch has carried out throughout 5-2, it's surprising he's not tried and jailed yet (as he is still walking free in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue). At the very least, he seemed to have been fired since he's no longer allowed in Kyubi Manor.
    • Myriam, Robin and Hugh all perjure themselves on the witness stand and suffer no consequences for it. Mind you, that's nothing new for this series but it's noticeable here because Themis Legal Academy expels students who have committed any crime no matter how minor. Blackquill mentions that perjury charges may be passed against the latter two, but it never happens onscreen.
    • The organization or government that the phantom worked for and the sniper who shot him never get any comeuppance either, and it's never even revealed who they are.
  • Kill and Replace: Bobby Fulbright is murdered by the phantom long before he even meets Athena, Apollo, and Phoenix. The phantom assumes his identity immediately after the murder.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • Whenever you present your attorney's badge, especially when it's to one of the other lawyers or to a character from a previous game.
    • During the case 3 investigation, if Athena presents Apollo with evidence that he doesn't have an opinion on, he'll say, "Yes! Nice one, Athena. Keep it up! I don't care if it's totally unrelated to the case or just plain annoying or even embarrassing. Just keep presenting evidence without any regard for others! That's the first step towards becoming a successful trial lawyer!"
    • During the case 5 investigation, if Phoenix presents Edgeworth with evidence that he doesn't have an opinion on, he'll say, "Wright... Please stop presenting random evidence just to see how that person will react."
    • During the first cross-examination of case 3, you are, in the usual fashion, required to press all of the witness's statements to continue. The Judge flat-out states, "I believe you've pressed the witness more than enough."
    • When in case 5 you manage to get Athena a not guilty verdict, the Judge asks her to step away from the defense bench to the witness stand.
  • Later-Installment Weirdness: Starting from this game, the defense attorney's assistant would always be located on their left, and the viewpoint whenever they had something to say would have them face to the right (towards the center of the court). Earlier games (and the Great Ace Attorney spinoffs) would have the assistant located on the defense attorney's right and the viewpoint making them face left (still towards the center of the court).
  • Latex Space Suit: Aura seems to wear one, despite not being an astronaut. The actual astronauts wear real-life (esque) suits, making this a case of Fanservice.
  • The Law Firm of Pun, Pun, and Wordplay: Literally. Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice, and Athena Cykes.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • Having spent most of the game playing Athena and Apollo, by the time Phoenix's signature Magatama and Psyche-locks show up, it's already case 4. Phoenix says it's been a while when they finally show up. Although the psyche-locks showed up just five months earlier in the DLC case.
    • "Who knew that the legal world could inspire a whole line of merchandise?"
  • Left Hanging: At the end of case 5, Athena and Simon are pronounced Not Guilty, but we still don't know who the phantom really was, who he works for, or who shot him.
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: When Yuri Cosmos makes his courtroom debut, his epic Leitmotif starts, and abruptly stops when Blackquill steps in and starts slamming his desk.
  • Licked by the Dog: The innocent (and weirdly perceptive) Jinxie Tenma sympathizes with Blackquill because he looks so tired and offers him a charm to prevent bad dreams. Later, she's seen buying a "Reconciliation" charm to stop the fighting between him and "Demon Lawyer" Apollo.
  • Life Imitates Art: An in-universe example occurs in Case 3, where the suspicion of the defendant is largely based on the fact that the circumstances of the murder were startlingly similar to a script for a mock-trial written by said defendant.
  • Light Is Not Good: Bobby Fulbright wears white and he seems to be a good guy in the side of justice, but that's just a gigantic act. He's a monster who killed the real Fulbright, Athena's mother and Apollo's friend.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • In-universe example: in the DLC case "Turnabout Reclaimed", in which the Shipshape Aquarium from a year ago had a rough and tumble Type 1 pirate crew, turning into the more romanticized Type 2 Swashbuckler Spectacular where it's Heroic Pirate vs Villainous Pirate. This change in tone makes a lot of sense when you consider that a year ago is when Orla supposedly killed Azura; Jack Shipley probably thought invoking this trope would help the Aquarium's image.
    • The DLC case itself is this compared to the rest of the game: while the main game deals with dark plot elements such as bombing incidents, people's distrust in the court system due to corruption, and Athena's childhood trauma due to finding her mother dead and watching an innocent person take the fall for the murder, "Turnabout Reclaimed" deals with a maybe accident, maybe murder in an aquarium, the "Dark Age of the Law" is not brought up, the case was an accident after all, albeit not your clients' fault, with the culprit going through rehabilitation before rejoining the aquarium's crew, and the case results in a full happy ending for everyone other than the victim, even the aforementioned culprit.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Case 2 is one.
  • Loophole Abuse: Ain't no rule that says you can't prosecute or defend an orca.
  • Lost Aesop: The moral of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was that evidence isn't everything in a trial and common sense needs to be applied for judgments. In this game, the status quo ante has been restored and the guilty parties in the trials all but gloat about how they're about to get away with murder because you don't have the evidence to put them away.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • Aura Blackquill constantly calls her robot Clonco "hunk of junk"; when it confronts her about it, she says it's because its model number is "PONCO-2". In English, it sounds kind of nonsensical, because it's a Japanese pun (bonkotsu essentially means loser).
    • When Athena Cykes meets her Childhood Friend Juniper Woods again in Case 3, she's a bit saddened that Juniper is calling her "Athena" rather than "Thena," and thus comes off as a bit distant. In the original Japanese, Shinobu Morizumi(Juniper Woods) went from calling Kokone Kizuki "Koko-chan"(Thena) to "Kizuki-san"(Ms. Cykes), which is much more formal and basically amounts to treating her old friend like a stranger.
  • Mad Bomber: Ted Tonate. Phoenix directly references this trope. As it turns out, he wasn't the one responsible for the Courtroom Bombing, which is why it made sense why he let the entire courtroom know the bomb was reactivated. The TRUE Mad Bomber is the phantom.
  • Make the Dog Testify: The defendant in the DLC case is an orca. And of course, we'll be cross-examining said orca (albeit through a television on the witness stand). That said, the testimony is actually a Double Subversion, as the option to call Orla as a witness shows up long before Phoenix actually resorts to it (the correct choice at first is to present evidence).
  • Mana: Early into Turnabout Reclaimed, Phoenix's magatama stops working, ten in-universe years after he received it from the Feys, and he quickly figures out that it must have run out of energy. Fortunately, Pearl is around to imbue it with power again. The magatama's power lasts incredibly long, but before this game, there was no indication that it could actually run out.note 
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": The intro has Ted Tonate announcing at a trial that a bomb used as evidence has just started to count down. Of course, everyone makes a beeline for the exit.
  • Matricide: Toward the end, Athena Cykes, much like Miles Edgeworth, believes that she killed her mother Metis when she was very young, even though Simon Blackquill was convicted and sentenced to death for it. Again, this is not the case but she suffers of Trauma-Induced Amnesia which messes up the deal even more.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard: In line with series tradition in that the victim of case 3 was Klavier's during his time at Themis.
  • Mistaken for Terrorist: Both Juniper Woods and Solomon Starbuck. Also, it is eventually revealed, Ted Tonate, he's not a bomber, just a murderer.
  • Mood Whiplash: The climax of case 3 goes from Athena falling into a full-out Heroic BSoD, to a rousing Power of Friendship speech, to near-slapstick when Athena decides to physically demonstrate how the body was hidden.
Athena: Apollo, tie me up in a new pose! ...Wait, you're not into this kind of thing, are you?
  • Multi-Part Episode: Case 5-4 leads directly into 5-5, and are intertwined so much they might as well be one big case. The only reason to split them up is to give the player some breathing room.
  • Musical Nod:
    • Phoenix's Objection Theme for Dual Destinies is a remix of "Objection! 2004" from "Trials & Tribulations", the last main series game with Phoenix as the main protagonist. Incidentally, both games share the same composer.
    • Apollo's Objection Theme for Dual Destinies is a remix of "A New Trial is in Session!", which was the Objection Theme for the previous game in the main series, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, as well as a nod to this part from his theme in the Gyakuten Meets Orchestra album, also sharing the same composer as the first two songs above.
    • The Perceive System theme is carried over from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Note that in that game, it was actually just a slowed-down version of the normal testimony theme.
    • The new Psyche-Lock theme starts off quite similarly to Justice For All's Kurain Village theme.

    Tropes N to S 
  • Name-Tron: The robot that was being worked on at the time of the investigation in 5-5 is named JudgeTron.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • Or rather, never trust a playable demo. Unlike the demo, Apollo was going to defend Juniper for case one, but he was too injured, so Athena tries to step in. She's unable to deal with Gaspen, but luckily Phoenix steps in, and acts likes the veteran lawyer he is. Oh yeah, it also isn't his first trial since regaining his badge. Furthermore, in the earliest version of the demo, Apollo doesn't appear, as he wasn't confirmed to return yet, so Juniper's testimony revealed that she was saved by a guard.
    • The trial with Miles Edgeworth is in the bombed courtroom, and not in the normal courtroom we saw in an earlier trailer.
    • A rather large example that provides a huge shocker later on the game: The reveal trailer, episode intro, and general "THAT GUY'S GUILTY AS SIN", as well as the events in the first episode itself, all point to Ted Tonate being the courtroom bomber. He's not. The one who actually started the timer and thus detonated the bomb was the phantom, Fulbright (or the person you always thought was him anyway) in other words, and this fact isn't revealed until the final case. There was also the first trailer hinting that his motive was related to a possible grudge against lawyers, tying into the whole "Dark Age of the Law" theme. His motive was more mundane. He murdered the victim because he was caught trying take the bomb to collect and/or sell. Additionally, the Mood Matrix displayed an ability to detect emotional tension behind certain words such as Tonate putting Anger behind the word "lawyers", and this ability also doesn't appear in the game.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • It turns out that when you expose prosecutors as corrupt — put away the chief of police for murder, forging evidence, and blackmail — and continually point out that the legal system is broken as hell, people stop trusting in the legal system, and the lawyers and prosecutors take that as carte blanche to do whatever they want, as long as they win. Whoops.
    • In the DLC case, Phoenix and Athena are asked to prove an orca didn't kill the captain. They do so, and the orca's trainer, the one who made the request, is the one who is instead made prime suspect.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • The phantom would have gotten away with it had they not introduced the Earth lighter into evidence with the intent of framing Athena. Towards the end, the fact that this evidence had been forged (by simply lying about whose fingerprints were on it, something that was very easy to check) was the only proof of any wrongdoing on this part, as the rest of the defense's case was just another one of Phoenix's conjecture-laden theories.
    • Phineas Filch's grandfather also did this by stealing the gold ingot that everyone in Nine-Tails Vale were fighting over, removing the reason for the superstition needed to keep people from seeking the gold ingot.
  • The Nicknamer: Blackquill gives everybody one, though rival lawyers usually get stuck with the suffix -dono to their surname.
  • Night Parade of One Hundred Demons: Is referenced in the youkai-themed episode, "The Monstrous Turnabout". Or rather, the original Japanese version, where the episode was named "Turnabout Hyakki Yagyo".
  • No Fair Cheating:
    • In-universe. Blackquill sics Taka on Apollo the first time he tries to perceive in court, distracting him from it and forcing the defense to utilize existing testimony and evidence to prove their case.
    • When the phantom, AKA "Bobby Fulbright", tries to hack into the Mood Matrix and Blackquill sics Taka on him.
  • Non-Standard Game Over: A couple, triggered by running out of health during certain testimonies.
  • Nostalgia Level: The investigation phase of Case 5 is one to the original trilogy, as it has Phoenix and Pearl investigating the space center and Phoenix and Edgeworth later squaring off in a trial.
  • Notable Non Sequitur: Aura Blackquill casually reveals that Detective Fulbright ordered her to lower the emergency ladder. Unimportant at the time, very important when it turns out that ladder was the culprit's escape route.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood:
    • Damian Tenma claims to be possessed by Tenma Taro during his trial in order to protect his daughter from being accused of murder. The truth is he's actually the wrestler Nine Tails and had no interest in the city merger going through.
    • Simon Blackquill, the prosecutor who was arrested for murder, seems like the typical villainous antagonist in the series, if not a bit more serious in that he is currently behind bars. He was framed for murder years ago, and accepted this role in part to protect Athena.
  • Oh, Crap!: Several times throughout the game. One example is the small prequel to Case 1 in Case 4, where Ted Tonate interrupts the trial revealing that the bomb used as evidence is somehow counting down.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • From the second case, Phineas Filch running away from the courtroom after Blackquill gets sick of him; at the start of the next day of trial, the Judge points out that he successfully escaped a total of five bailiffs.
    • Notably, the DLC case ends just before the new aquarium show is about to start. There's no cinematic for it or even dialogue. The ending cinematic to "Turnabout Academy" has this to a lesser extent, as it shows the start of the rescheduled concert, but ends before Juniper starts to sing.
    • The HAT-1 Miracle apparently put Apollo 13 to shame; Starbuck even mentions their heat shield coming apart on re-entry. The fact that Starbuck somehow managed to return safely to Earth on a rocket that had been bombed is amazingly impressive and apparently there's even a movie about it in-universe, but we only get to hear his description.
  • Only a Lighter: Inverted in the final stages of the game, a lighter has to be examined to prove that it is actually a gun.
  • Only in It for the Money: Blackquill accuses Wright of this in Turnabout Reclaimed after the evidence that gets Orla acquitted also leads to Sasha being indicted, and he takes up her defense as well. Wright proves him wrong the next day by refusing to let the blame get pinned back on Orla even if it would acquit Sasha, followed by delaying the Judge from passing his Not Guilty verdict in order to prove Marlon didn't kill Jack on purpose and in fact was trying to save him.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Simon Blackquill referring to Phoenix by his real name instead of "Wright-dono" during his testimony in the final case when he forces him to confess the truth, which makes Athena look extremely guilty.
    Blackquill: C-curse you, Phoenix Wright!
    • In general, any time the protagonists successfully manage to trip up or surprise Blackquill comes off as this, however brief.
  • Pen Name: Parodied with Norma DePlume from the DLC case. It's her actual name.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Phoenix, after being kissed by a killer whale in Turnabout Reclaimed.
  • Posthumous Character: Notably the first game in which this applies to every victim. None of the characters who die in this game are met in-person.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Introduced in this game is the camera focusing on the lead attorney dramatically pointing and delivering one of these before the killer breaks down.
    • Case 1
      Phoenix Wright: How about it, Mr. Tonate? Think you can dismantle this decisive evidence?!
    • Case 2
      Apollo Justice: Florent L'Belle, you were the one who killed Alderman Rex Kyubi!
    • Case 3
      Athena Cykes: Help me decide the professor's [Aristole Means] fate!
    • Case 4
      Phoenix Wright: It's high time you [Yuri Cosmos] told us the truth!
    • Case 5
      Athena Cykes: You [the phantom] can't outrun yourself!
      Apollo Justice: Remove that mask and unleash your emotions!
      Phoenix Wright: Confront your guilt head on...
      All three: ...with your own true face!
    • DLC Case
      Phoenix Wright: And the only person who could've stolen it is... the true culprit, Marlon Rimes!
  • Primary-Color Champion: Looked at as a gestalt, the three player-characters form this. Phoenix is the blue aspect, Apollo the red aspect, Athena the yellow aspect.
  • Protective Charm: Jinxie Tenma has a lot of them in her arsenal. She believes they will protect her from the dangerous yokais living in Nine-Tails Vale. Her father has tons of them pasted all over his head because he says they restrain his inner demon Tenma Taro (a yokai). Jinxie even stamps a charm on Apollo's forehead because she thinks Apollo's a demon lawyer. This one becomes a Running Gag, as the charm is dropped and replaced periodically, unluckily for Apollo.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Depleting the penalty gauge during Marlon's testimony in Turnabout Reclaimed will result in one of these, as demonstrated in one final line from Phoenix after the verdict.
    Phoenix: Sasha won her "not guilty" verdict... but Orla was taken away by Dangerous Animal Control and never seen again.
    • At the end of Case 4, you get your not guilty verdict but in the process incriminate Athena Sykes Instead.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The English dub of the anime cutscenes is often criticised, with critics often pointing to the moments in which characters scream (from an overload of emotion, or upon discovering something horrifying) as sounding especially flat when compared to the Japanese voice over. Nevertheless, the cutscene in episode 2 where Apollo runs into the bloody murder scene in the Fox Chamber, takes in what he's saying in disbelief for a few seconds, before subsequently letting out a delayed scream of terror, actually sounds closer to reality in the English dub. Apollo screams in the precise way you'd expect for someone who's had a delayed reaction force their way outta their mouth after a moment of disbelief. In the Japanese version, his scream sounds much closer to an innate, sudden reaction of terror, akin to the type in any horror movie, which doesn't fit the situation too well.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Edgeworth as Chief Prosecutor. He helps reinstate Phoenix and acquit Blackquill, allows Aura to see her brother again when it's all over, and raises no objections to Apollo's I-have-to-know-the-truth outburst — in fact, he joins Phoenix and the Judge afterward in saying that it was exactly the right thing to do. It's strongly implied that he wants to do more, but he has to be very careful to do everything legally in order to show that the court can be trusted.
  • Recorded Audio Alibi: Professor Means is supposed to hold a public speech, but needs to step out for crimes. So he plays a recorded speech. It's caught because he mentions a statue that's been changed without his knowledge.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: A downplayed example; Simon Blackquill's eyes flash a pale red when he's especially pissed off.
  • Red Herring: Turnabout Academy and it's probably intentional. The intro cutscene makes it look like either Juniper, Robin or Hugh killed Courte. The first day and a great part of the case in general also indicts one of the three as the culprit, with Hugh being the most suspicious. And it turns out the culprit is NONE OF THE THREE!! The real culprit is the teacher Aristotle Means.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Robin Newman and Hugh O'Connor, as red and blue respectively. Oddly enough, Robin is studying to become a prosecutor whilst Hugh is studying to become a defense attorney.
    • It's also pretty clear that nothing "happened" to Edgeworth during Apollo Justice; he just wasn't a trial prosecutor any more so he didn't appear in the story. He and Phoenix seem to have been in fairly close contact.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Apollo's best friend, Clay Terran, ends up being the victim of the murder case in Case 4. Apollo will remark how they were friends since school, always called him every night, and act very detemined to honor his memory. Clay was never referenced in Apollo Justice, nor in the cases before his introduction (although the ramifications are foreshadowed). It could be justified due to how little we learn about Apollo's personal life in his debut game.
  • Retraux: The graphics are in stereoscopic 3D, but they imitate the limited sprite animation of the previous games. Characters fade in and out, and snap from pose to pose.
  • Reverse Whodunnit: The first two cases show who the killer is before the case (and the trial) starts, with the only other game showing two killers consecutively being the first game.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • After finishing the game, replaying the first case and reading the quote about how bombs erase and destroy "without discretion", and about pinning the crime on "that little girl", you realize it wasn't Tonate talking about framing Woods, it was the phantom talking about framing Athena. This becomes especially clear once you remember that in the finale, Tonate clarifies that while he killed Arme and made it look like she died in the explosion, he didn't activate the bomb, and was taking his job completely seriously when warning the court.
    • After it's revealed that Apollo's bandaged eye wasn't an injury sustained from the bomb blast, check Juniper's Mood Matrix again in Case 1. The visualization generated for Apollo trying to protect her from the falling rubble specifically hides the side of his head with the bandage, making it look as if both of his eyes were fine before and during the trial.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: In case 2, nobody's supposed to go into the Forbidden Chamber because an evil demon named "Tenma Taro" is locked inside. The characters speculate whether this is superstition or the real deal. It's superstition, there is no demon. There is, however, a gold ingot named "Tenma Taro"; the last time inhabitants of this village saw it, they greedily fought over the gold as if there were a demon around. This is the real reason for the Forbidden Chamber and all of the town's superstitions.
    • Interestingly, the player gets to experience this in case 1. As is standard practice for the series, the culprit is revealed in the opening sequence of the case and this time is no different...however what he's guilty of is a different matter. The game leads the player to think that the guy they're looking at bombed the courtroom and killed a detective...when in reality all he did was the latter and not as a result of the explosion (simply striking her over the head with a defused bomb and then planting her body in such a way to imply she died in the blast). The bombing is a result of a different incident that he simply capitalized on. So yes to being guilty but not quite as the game would have you believe at first glance.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: The game's English version is a treasure trove of awkward and probably unintentional misspellings and mis-phrasings. These include "I must serve and well as protect" and "It is your brain that has flow the coop": see this article for more. The worst offender is repeated references to "diffusing" bombs, with the correct term "defuse" not being used once.
  • Rule of Cute: The only reason why Juniper randomly starts knitting a scarf when she's talking about Apollo.
  • Rule of Three: In case 5-3, at one point a suspect confesses his crime. Then the two others do, warranting the exact same sequence of responses from the courtroom within the span of 5 minutes.
  • Running Gag:
    • In case 5-2, examining the air vent in the Fox Chamber on the 2nd day of investigation will have Athena and Apollo discuss the (step)ladder Athena brought in order to examine the vent shaft. Athena's on team stepladder, of course, since it was established in the previous game that Apollo was team ladder.
    • Trucy brings up her "magic panties" almost every time she appears.
  • Same Content, Different Rating: While Dual Destinies was rated M by the ESRB, the Compilation Re-release with Apollo Justice and Spirit of Justice is rated T.
  • Saying Too Much: In Case 2, Detective Fulbright unintentionally tells Apollo and Athena that the Forbidden Chamber was shut tight at the time of the murder.
    Athena: Thanks for the tip, Detective Fulbright. We didn't expect you to be so helpful.
    Fulbright: Aaaaaaaaaaargh! Forget I just said that!
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Hugh O'Conner's parents were paying bribes to professor Means in exchange for him getting perfect grades so he could finally graduate after being held back seven years in a row. Hugh didn't know about this and was upset upon finding out that him being a genius was a massive lie.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here:
    • Gaspen Payne's reaction to Ted Tonate threatening the court with a bomb. He doesn't come back, not even for Juniper's "Not Guilty" verdict.
    • Payne does it again in the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue when he finds out that he's in huge trouble with the Chief Prosecutor for badgering the witness. Edgeworth doesn't let him get away.
    • Blackquill does the same thing, if more exasperated than the other example, in case 3. This was after hearing that Athena was going to use Mood Matrix on the guy that just claimed he used a body double in a live mock trial in front of hundreds of people to commit a crime. Also unlike Payne, he comes back once he thinks the stupidity has died down. He also attempts to try this later on in the same case when Aristotle Means gets serious but Fulbright prevents him from leaving.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: Tenma Taro from case 2 is a subversion, seeing as it's an elaborate ruse to cover up the real story of what's in the chamber.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • The series' "Where Are They Now?" Epilogues generally feature the characters delivering soliloquies (i.e. they are expressing their thoughts aloud directly to the audience). However, Blackquill's segment features him speaking to a silent first-person character who is looking to have the Wright Anything Agency defend their father in court.
    • And of course, the group or rival government that the phantom works for (whoever they might be) is still out there untouched.
  • Series Continuity Error: The explanation for the UR-1 incident being what added together with Phoenix's disbarment to destroy public trust in the courts flat out contradicts previous games. Supposedly, the outrageous thing about the incident was that a prosecutor was found guilty of murder, despite the fact that four previous games had already had prosecutors being exposed as killers. Furthermore, the last example, which happened in Gyakuten Kenji 2, took place mere weeks before Phoenix lost his badge, rather than the one year gap with UR-1, and involved the chairman of the Prosecutorial Investigation Committee, who was also exposed for conducting an evidence black market, thus making for a more logical candidate for destroying trust in the system.
  • Shout-Out: At one point during the second trial segment of the second case, Filch refers to Simon as "Mr. Blackjack" (coupled with the fact that Simon does, in fact, look remarkably like the eponymous Blackjack).
  • Show, Don't Tell: The so-called "Dark Age of the Law", for being mentioned all the time, really is not shown all that well. Sure, we get to learn that there's some obvious corruption going on in a prominent lawyer academy, but that aside, the shenanigans involving forged evidence, deception, corruption and wrong judgments have all been shown in previous games, arguably even moreso than in this one, since only two pieces of genuinely, intentionally forged evidence are shown in this game, making one wonder how the current times are worse than the past. Furthermore, it's mentioned that public trust in the court system is at an all time low, but this is never really shown either, with both witnesses and the gallery behaving pretty much the same as in any other game, except when the gallery in the finale calls the Mood Matrix a sham, which comes out of nowhere as well since it never came up in any other case in the game. Aura does express distrust in the system, but in her case, It's Personal and the reasons run more or less opposite to those of the general public.
  • Shown Their Work: This analysis shows that the game did a pretty accurate portrayal of sensitive hearing, in regards to Athena Cykes. Most notable instances are, the headphones that gave her headaches but actually were dampening her ability through specific frequencies and how Athena covers her ears when suffering sensory overload. Even Athena's detection of discord in the human voice fits.
  • Significant Name Shift: Athena Cykes' long-time friend Juniper Woods usually calls her "Thena", but switches to "Athena" when they meet in Case 3 (which is before Case 1), since they haven't met in a while and Juniper is trying to stay professional as Student Council President of her school. The original Japanese takes this a step farther; while Shinobu Morizumi usually calls Kokone Kizuki "Koko-chan"("Thena") she switches to "Kizuki-san"("Ms. Cykes") instead.
  • Silliness Switch: The bonus costumes allow Phoenix to take the defense bench wearing a pink sweater his "Feenie" outfit during his college years, once unlocked after the DLC case), Apollo to wear a set of "Stylin' Street Clothes" or Athena to wear a Sailor Fuku. Phoenix's suit from the original games is also available, but it's not as out of place.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!: Dual Destinies is, paradoxically, one of the darkest and most optimistic games in the series. Some plot points - such as the courtroom bombing, a complete lack of Asshole Victims and a particular suggestion from Edgeworth in the final case - are among the darkest in the franchise, but the protagonists themselves are incredibly idealistic and actively decry more cynical notions. This is especially surprising for Phoenix, seeing as he was an Unscrupulous Hero in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.
  • Skewed Priorities: Several characters mention in case 3 that anybody convicted of any crime can't be a student at Themis Legal Academy and cite this as a reason why the charges against Juniper and temporarily Robin and Hugh are such a big deal for them, ignoring the fact that the consequences of being found guilty of murder are so severe as to render this concern utterly trivial.
  • Smoking Gun:
    • Near the end of case 5-4, Detective Fulbright finds a decisive evidence at the crime scene which turns out to be the killer's lighter that gets defendant acquitted for murder because the lighter doesn't contain any of the defendant's fingerprints. Too bad this evidence is what led to the Wham Line below.
    • It turns out in Case 5-5 that the lighter is literally a "Smoking Gun." The lighter can transform into a .10 caliber (2.5 mm) pistol.
  • Space "X": Done to death in Case 5-4, especially by Yuri Cosmos, somewhat justified because the murder takes place in a space center, but they still spread it very thin.
  • Spanner in the Works:
    • Interestingly enough, Ted Tonate fits this for BOTH the protagonists and the phantom, unintentionally in both cases. His murder of Candice Arme made Phoenix's investigation into Clay's murder much more difficult (as the more reliable of the two witnesses who had discovered the scene was dead) but his actions in Turnabout Countdown (namely warning the courtroom about the bomb, which he did not set) prevented the phantom from killing off Blackquill, Athena and Apollo (and by extension the Judge, possibly Junie and a good number of innocent bystanders) in his attempt to destroy evidence. Not bad for the incredibly obvious villain of the tutorial case.
    • Athena Cykes and Solomon Starbuck were ALSO this for the phantom seven years earlier. By attacking him with the utility knife, Athena got his blood on the moon rock, forcing him to dispose of it by placing it in the Hope Capsule. Then Solomon, despite extensive sabotage by the phantom, managed to launch the Hope probe as scheduled, preserving the moon rock, and even pull off a landing. This, in turn, led to the phantom having to kill Clay Terran in order to recover the rock, setting off the events of cases 4, 5 and 1.
    • The second case also features a spanner in the form of one eyewitness. Florent L'Belle's entire scheme to steal a gold ingot from the Forbidden Chamber took months of planning, lying, backstabbing, manipulation and murder — a plan so intricate that Apollo lampshades how insanely complicated it all is — is undone because Phineas Filch was bored and decided to sneak into the Forbidden Chamber for fun.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Some think this about Athena. While she herself is a fairly realistic (in the Ace Attorney universe) and likable character, some think she gets way too much plot focus. While she's only the lead defense attorney for one of the five cases in the game, and while both Phoenix and Apollo get their own chances to shine too, it can't be denied that she is more heavily-connected to the game's overall story arc than either of them, with the final challenge essentially being to prove her innocence.
  • Stealth Insult:
    • Phineas Filch is fascinated with The Amazing Nine-Tails, a wrestler that looks like a yokai. Athena insults him in this way:
      Athena: Come to think of it, you look kind of monster-like yourself, Mr. Filch. Guess it makes sense since you're from the same village as The Amazing Nine-Tails!
      Filch: Eh heh heh... I know! A lot o' people have told me I look like a yokai.
    • Prosecutor Blackquill has the judge give the opening statement in Case 2. After that:
      Blackquill: Bravo, Your Baldness. Your years of experience shine bright like your head.
      Judge: Ho ho ho. Flattery will get you everywhere.
      Athena: He's playing Simon Says with the judge!
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: In true series fashion, Apollo has to present an important piece of evidence to the culprit at one point, and this evidence gets promptly destroyed by them.
  • Sucky School: Themis Legal Academy was being corrupted by Aristotle Means to become a school that created Amoral Attorneys.
  • Sudden Downer Ending: Case 4. Despite not identifying the true culprit, Phoenix has managed to decisively prove that Solomon Starbuck could not have killed Clay Terran, and the judge delivers his verdict of "not guilty"... only for the evidence proving Starbuck's innocence to implicate Athena Cykes of the crime. This jarring twist ending likely stems from the fact that cases 4 and 5 were originally meant to be a single case.
  • Suit Up of Destiny: The game opens following the return of Phoenix Wright after his disbarring, prompting a pretty awesome suit-up complete with leitmotif.
  • Supporting Protagonist: Despite his name being the supertitle once again, Phoenix Wright fits this as his role doesn't always matter much to the order of events. Apollo Justice is playable in case 2 and 4 (only half of it) while Phoenix himself is the playable attorney in the first case (taking over from Athena, who suffers a mental breakdown before the trial starts), case 4 after Apollo bows out, case 5, and the DLC case. The story itself is more concerned with Apollo and, despite only being playable in the third case, Athena (who is likely considered the true protagonist of Dual Destinies).
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: A witness in case 3 turns out to be a girl.

    Tropes T to Z 
  • Take My Hand!: Marlon Rimes tried to save Jack Shipley this way, but failed.
  • Take That!: In case 2, Phineas Filch's alibi was that he was watching a wrestling match on TV between wrestlers called Howlin' Wolf and Pretty Boy Vampire, with commentary by Timothy Twilight. The match was described as awful due to the wrestlers being jobbers.
  • The Tape Knew You Would Say That: Ends up happening during Case 3, when playing back Professor Means' speech in court. Or rather, it's a case of "The Tape Knew You Would Fall Asleep."
  • Tap on the Head: Both played straight and averted over the course of the game.
    • Turnabout Countdown plays it straight in one instance while averting it in another. Apollo survives being hit over the head with no lasting injuries while Candice Arme was killed by a blow to the head with a blunt object
    • The Monstrous Turnabout plays it straight in regards to Mayor Tenma being incapacitated by being hit over the head with a statue.
  • Textile Work Is Feminine: Juniper has a serious crush on Apollo. Whenever she talks about him she starts knitting a scarf with hearts on.
  • That One Case: The UR-1 incident, the one in which Simon Blackquill received a guilty verdict for.
  • That Was Objectionable: In case three, Athena says the following in response to Blackquill claiming Robin to be an accessory to the murder while still making Juniper the prime suspect...
    Athena: Objection! ............Argh!
  • Theme Music Power-Up: Besides the usual instances of each lawyer packing their own theme music, the game also features an inversion. When 'The Dark Age of Law' (the theme from the opening) starts playing, something is about to go down and you're not going to like it.
  • There Are No Psychologists: Discussed. Athena's use of psychology in the courtroom allows the player to see some of each character's eccentricities for what they really are: repressed psychological trauma. The fact that the legal system in the previous games didn't use such specialists leads the phantom to tell Athena that such use of psychological tactics is inherently underhanded, especially in the Dark Age of the Law.
  • This Bear Was Framed: The premise of the DLC case: a murder at an aquarium is pinned on an orca. Except, as it turns out, it wasn't really a murder at all, but an accident.
  • Title Drop: L'Belle refers to Apollo as "ace attorney" during a cross-examination.
  • Title Theme Drop: In a sense. There is no title theme, but a title-related sound is dropped. When you highlight the game's icon from the 3DS home menu, you're treated to Phoenix, Apollo and Athena shouting "Objection!" at the same time. At the end of the game, when prompted to shout "Objection!", Apollo and Athena decide to join in on the count of 3, playing the same sound effect you hear on the home menu.
  • Too Dumb to Fool: Apollo suspects this is the reason why Bobby Fulbright was put in charge of supervising Simon Blackquill, as he’s too naive and foolish to be intimidated by him and too oblivious to fall prey to his mind games.
  • Try Everything: The Magatama and Mood Matrix don't carry the risk of incurring penalties, and the latter especially can be difficult to work out through logic alone (doubly so for Fulbright/the phantom's Mood Matrix session, which has all four emotions pulsing intermittently), making guessing a likely strategy.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The apparent dynamic between Juniper, Robin, and Hugh in case 3, with Myriam Scuttlebutt's high school tabloid claiming that both boys are in love with Juniper. Subverted when it turns out that Robin is a girl and Hugh just wanted to confess his actual age and fake genius.
  • Two-Teacher School: Despite having courses for each of the three main paths in becoming a law school graduate (lawyer, prosecutor, judge), Prof. Courte and Prof. Means are the only two faculty members ever mentioned, introduced, or even included in the mock trial.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Phantom and by extension Bobby Fulbright is actually a plot relevant example that is crucial to the final case. Since he cannot feel emotions the same way normal people do, his emotions don't match up with his expressions when the Mood Matrix is used against him. And when he is forced to improvise, he often says statements that contradict with his facial reaction, or just has a deadpan face entirely. Gets worse when he starts pulling off his masks, having different characters "heads" on Fulbright's "body", including the aforementioned Means. His eyes also start bulging out when he starts to feel fear. This gets even worse during his Villainous Breakdown, which he rapidly pulls off his masks, trying to figure out who he really is.
  • Understatement: In 5-3, if you present certain pieces of evidence to Phoenix, he mentions that he actually started as an art major in college.
    Athena: An art major? Then how did you become a famous attorney?
    Phoenix: It's kind of complicated. And when I say, kind of, I mean really, really complicated.
  • The Unreveal: We never find out what the phantom looks like.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: Robin Newman is a girl. It throws everybody off in court, even Blackquill.
  • Video Game 3D Leap: The games on the Nintendo DS only used 3D for examining specific pieces of evidence. Here, the characters and the scenery are fully polygonal. It's only a presentation upgrade, as the game plays mostly the same (and even for the most part avoids the 3D examination of evidence that was typical in "Rise from the Ashes" and Apollo Justice), although crime scene investigations are more dynamic. The developers stated that they actually trimmed out the natural transitions that are more possible with 3D models over 2D sprites in order to maintain the feel of Ace Attorney (so characters will cut between different animation cycles abruptly just as if they were the 2D sprites of olde).
  • Verbal Tic: At one point, Apollo shouted "Objection!" out of habit when Athena said something that could damage their case. He then had to quickly come up with something to object to in order to save face.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: Unlike every other case in the series up to this point, "Turnabout for Tomorrow" isn't tried in the standard courtroom setting. Due to circumstances beyond the characters' control, it's tried in the ruins of Courtroom No. 4.
  • We Should Get Another Tape: This question never even remotely occurs to Professor Means, who uses the same exact tape which had his recorded speech to record Juniper's outburst during the mock trial. Because he did this, remnants of his speech remained on the audio of the tape, directly indicating that he tried to frame Juniper for the murder.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: Subverted in case 5-2. Prosecutor Blackquill does propose that a newspaper photo was doctored in some way, but later it turns out to be real after all.
  • Wham Episode:
    • One of the demos used for promoting the game featured a scenario of Apollo and Athena investigating a crime scene that suggested that Phoenix had been killed. Said scene isn't actually in the final game.
    • In Episode 4, Phoenix actually gets the defendant off the hook without having another suspect convicted. However, someone else gets charged, and it's Athena!
  • Wham Line:
    • At the end of the first day of the trial in Turnabout Reclaimed, after Phoenix has successfully cleared Orla's name:
      Simon Blackquill: ....Hmph. Thank you for helping, Wright-dono. ...Fool Bright. Arrest this woman.
    • At the end of revisualization sequence in Turnabout Reclaimed, Phoenix finally figures out why the theme song of the Swashbuckler Spectacular changed, and why the tooth marks on the walkie-talkie look different from those on the lifesaver trick practice dummy:
      What's behind the fact that the orca's tooth marks and song were different a year ago?
      It was a different orca
    • At the end of Episode 4 comes this line. Afterwards, the entire courtroom is in an uproar:
      Simon Blackquill: "Upon thorough analysis, the fingerprints note  were found to belong to Athena Cykes." So says the report.
    • Then there's this, which seems completely innocent the first time you hear it, but later on becomes possibly the biggest Wham in the game.Explanation(Major Spoilers)
      Aura: So I lowered my emergency ladder like the detective leading the evacuation told me to.
    • These words from Edgeworth reveal that Bobby Fulbright is not the phantom, rather the phantom is Bobby Fulbright.
      Edgeworth: The man you see there before you... Bobby Fulbright............ is already long dead.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Athena surrounded by black Psyche-locks in "Turnabout For Tomorrow", made all the more effective by the fact that, at this point, they’d only ever been seen once before... on one of the most irredeemably evil SOBs in the entire franchise.
    • During Athena’s cross-examination in the above case, Athena suffers a mental breakdown when the truth about what happened to her mother comes to light. The black Psyche-Locks appear over her, and they shatter.
    • In the same case, the phantom rips off Fulbright's mask to reveal Sol Starbuck underneath. It's played with, as Blackquill immediately shoots this down, and successive masks are revealed.
    • Earlier on, The Cosmic Turnabout begins with the case Apollo was defending just before the courtroom bombing. One of the first things shown in the courtroom at the beginning of the trial is Apollo, who already has the eyepatch that the player was led to believe he got from the courtroom bombing along with the rest of his injuries.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Phoenix and even the Judge during the last case beg Edgeworth not to accuse Athena of murdering her own mother when she was a little girl, knowing full well how she would react. Edgeworth does it anyway for the sake of the truth, which causes Phoenix to question him.
    • More specifically: They beg Edgeworth not to suggest that an eleven year old girl tried to dismember her mother to cover up her crime. The murder itself had already been unpleasant to drag up, but this mental image was too horrifying for all parties.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: A series staple.
  • Whole-Plot Reference:
    • The UR-1 incident, aka the murder of Metis Cykes, is very similar to the DL-6 incident, aka the murder of Gregory Edgeworth. Both victims' children were witnesses to those murders, became deeply traumatized by the events and subconsciously locked their memories of those incidents away. Those cases became major scandals among the legal world. Years later, murders related to those cases occur, and those children are arrested for being prime suspects, and subsequently led to believe that they murdered their parents. When they were just kids. To add a huge dose of irony, Miles Edgeworth, son of the DL-6 victim, even publicly accuses Athena Cykes, Metis' daughter, of killing her mother. Phoenix Wright ends up defending both of them, and deduces that they didn't kill their parents, but injured the true killers. Those injuries would also lead to the downfall and conviction of both killers.
      • To a lesser extent, it's also reminiscent of SL-9—specifically, Simon Blackquill's role in UR-1. Simon mistakenly believed that Athena—just a child at the time, 11 years old—had killed her mother, so he framed himself for it in order to protect her. Likewise, Lana Skye—like Blackquill, a prosecutor, though at the time she was a detective—saw a situation in which she believed her 13-year-old sister had killed someone and as such, participated in a frame-up, and two years later attempted to take the fall for a crime she didn't commit in order to continue protecting her sister.
    • Similarly, the DLC case has a number of similarities to case 2-3; both cases involve the culprits intending to take revenge for a death (or in 2-3's case, an unwakable coma) allegedly caused by an animal, but the plot inadvertently results in the death of their boss whom they respected. Both "villains" are portrayed sympathetically.
    • The Monstrous Turnabout shares a great deal of similarity with Case 3-2, the Stolen Turnabout. Both are alleged locked room mysteries, both involve theft as a goal of the real killer, both killers don the secret masked identity of the defendant in order to frame the defendant and give themselves an alibi and they both resemble Batman villains (the Penguin for Atmey and the Joker for L'Belle); their quirks have them the opposite of what they physically resemble (Atmey and his insane sad clown confessions vs L'Belle's ridiculously convoluted plot). They both have similar leitmotifs and similar arrogant, Attention Whore personalities, both have Verbal Tics that affect everyone around them, and both were blackmailing the defendant, and there was blackmail between the victim and the killer as well, though in one case the killer was doing the blackmailing and in the other, it was the victim. Both of their downfalls was related to their arrogance. Both defendants were knocked out by the real killer, both defendants have secret identities with distinctive masks, both of them also have the weirder mood swings of the non-killers (quiet and mild Ron and his Mask☆DeMasque personality vs Damien Tenma and Tenma Taro). Both have a great fear of deeply disappointing the most important women in their lives, and both are very polite despite their loud personalities, both actively try to get convicted (Ron to avoid the murder charge and Tenma to avoid Jinxie being accused).
      • The Monstrous Turnabout also shares elements from case 2-2. Both are chronologically the first case of the game being a flashback before the tutorial case, both involve relatively secluded settlements with significant Japanese culture, and involves an unpleasant short ugly man who doesn't understand the basics of privacy who nonetheless provides the case with important info about the real culprit. The culprit's plan is also the same, involving the killer getting the defendant and victim in a locked room, disabling the defendant and hiding them in a hidden part of the room before killing the victim and impersonating the defendant to get a witness, after which they put the defendant back where they should have been and escaped.
  • Wingding Eyes: In the opening cinematic when Athena falls down the stairs, her eyes become swirlies.
  • Worthy Opponent: Simon Blackquill grows to develop incredible respect for Phoenix, Apollo, and Athena. It is especially demonstrated when he calls them by their last name and adds "-dono" to them. Considering his insulting nicknames for everyone else, this behavior is significant indeed.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: As a child, Athena had the classic misconception that robots heal like humans, as shown when she wrapped Ponco in bandages. She even thought the reverse applied, as she tried to fix her dead mother like a robot.
  • X Called; They Want Their Y Back: In case 5-3, during Hugh O'Conner's breakdown and "confession" that he used a body double during the mock trial so he could kill Prof. Courte, the entire courtroom believes he's insane and not a genius:
    Apollo: Yeah, the funny farm just called. They want their "genius" back.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Blackquill invents insulting nicknames for almost everyone he encounters (though see under Worthy Opponent). The only people he ever calls by their real names are Aura (his older sister), Edgeworth (his boss and possible mentor, whom he has much respect for), and Athena and her deceased mother, Dr. Metis Cykes, due to his past with them. During Case 5 when he is giving his Mood Matrix testimony, however, Blackquill snarls and curses Phoenix's full name... twice! It's a big hint Phoenix is finally demolishing all of Blackquill's defenses and close to unlocking his darkest secrets. And in fact, Phoenix is. Blackquill yells "Curse you, Phoenix Wright!" in pain, despair, and anger... right before he reveals that he saw, with his own eyes, Athena covered in her mother's blood all those years ago, trying to "fix" her.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Happens several times.
    • Turnabout Countdown: Phoenix and Athena prove that the evidence that points to their client being the courtroom bomber is shaky. Great! Then they find Apollo unconscious in the bombed courtroom, only for their client to be accused of that.
    • The Cosmic Turnabout: Phoenix and Athena manage to prove their client's innocence. Wonderful! Then they find out that the evidence which clears their client's name points to Athena.
    • Turnabout Reclaimed: Phoenix and Athena prove that their unusual client (i.e. an orca) is innocent. Yes! Then prosecutor Blackquill has the orca's trainer arrested as the new prime suspect. Additionally at the end, Phoenix invokes this on himself and his victory since there's the possibility to even prove the culprit legitimately innocent of murder since he tried to save the victim.
  • Youkai: Apollo, Trucy, and Athena visit Nine-Tails Vale, whose residents believe such creatures live in a nearby forest. The people also created mascot characters for a celebration, one of them based on the Kitsune.

Alternative Title(s): Dual Destinies



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