Follow TV Tropes


Visual Novel / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All

Go To
The stakes are higher than ever!
"It doesn't matter how many underhanded tricks a person uses... The truth will always find a way to make itself known. The only thing we can do is to fight with the knowledge we hold and everything we have. Erasing the paradoxes one by one... It's never easy... We claw and scratch for every inch. But we will always eventually reach that one single truth. This I promise you."
Miles Edgeworth, Case 2-4: "Farewell, My Turnabout"

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, is the sequel to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and therefore, the second entry in the Ace Attorney visual novel series. It was first released for the Game Boy Advance in 2002 and rereleased for the Nintendo DS in 2006.

Some time after the events of the first game, Phoenix Wright is back defending an array of new and wacky clients, including the chronically unlucky Maggey Byrde. But when Maya is accused of murder again, Manfred von Karma's proud genius of a daughter, Franziska von Karma, comes to town to prosecute Phoenix's clients to avenge her father. Near the end, the game also highlights the nature of the relationship between Phoenix and Edgeworth.

The game features a new element known as Psyche-Locks. Thanks to a special magic item known as a Magatama, Phoenix is able to tell when people are trying to deceive or otherwise hide important information from him during investigations outside of the courtroom. The player is able to break the metaphorical "locks" that visualize these secrets that the characters hide, with this involving the presentation of evidence in a manner not dissimilar to the normal courtroom gameplay. The game also replaces the five-strike system for a virtual health bar where the amount of health lost varies based on the seriousness of the error the player makes (accuse the Judge of hiding the murder weapon, and you'll really be feeling it). Plus, the player can present profiles in addition to evidence.

The third game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations, was released in 2003. The Phoenix trilogy as a whole has been compiled and updated for rerelease (including HD art and smoother animations) for multiple systemsnote  as the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy.

Justice For All was adapted into the second half of Ace Attorney's first season in 2016.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All contains examples of:

  • Accidental Truth: Near the end of "Farewell my Turnabout" Phoenix posits that Celeste Inpax's suicide note was actually forged and asks for it to be examined. While he only makes the accusation to stall for time, it turns out to be true; it was written by Juan Corrida as part of his plan to destroy Matt Engarde's reputation.
  • All According to Plan: Near the end of Case 3, Gumshoe cryptically states that everything has followed to "our final plans", while giving Phoenix some important evidence and a hint from "that prosecutor": "Judgment comes at the very last instant". This is later revealed to have been the plan of none other than Miles Edgeworth, who reviewed the case from abroad and through Gumshoe, gave Franziska the idea to perform a surprise raid on Acro's room, knowing that he'd hide the murder weapon under his wheelchair and end up bringing it to court, then counting on Phoenix at the very last instant to deduce where it is.
  • Amnesia Danger: It's made clear that the first case would've been trivial for Phoenix to solve if the murderer hadn't barged in and bashed his head over with a fire extinguisher, which gave him amnesia.
  • Anachronic Order: The second case is set before the first case.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Maya is briefly playable during two investigation sections in the final case.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Once Shelley reveals his new plans to target Matt Engarde for his betrayal and releases Maya, pretty much both sides of the courtroom then proceed to verbally beat the crap out of him.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: In the aftermath of 2-1, Maggey details some examples of how bad her luck has been during her life, including: getting food poisoning from almost every kind of food, being subjected to almost every kind of natural disaster — and never, ever having won a game of Tic-Tac-Toe.
  • The Artifact: A situation in the final case requires Phoenix to give his phone to Edgeworth, which he does by throwing it across the court room. When this happens, the evidence icon for the phone is shown spinning and shrinking, the animation used when presenting evidence in the original GBA release. Subsequent re-releases removed this animation in most instances, but kept it here to illustrate the phone being thrown to Edgeworth.
  • As You Know: When Maggey first appears, she provides some initial background on her situation—that she was falsely accused of a crime, and other lawyers refused to help her before Phoenix agreed to take her case—when telling him that she's counting on him. Since all of this should be stuff that Phoenix already knows (he actually doesn't at the moment thanks to his temporary amnesia, but Maggey doesn't know that), the dialogue clearly exists entirely for the audience's benefit.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • As mentioned elsewhere, Dr. Grey. While there is a degree of Jerkass Has a Point (as Mimi DID cause the malpractice), he still has a large degree of responsibility since he overworked her to the point of exhaustion in the first place. That's not even mentioning his reason for the channeling, which is to force Mimi's spirit to admit full responsibility for the malpractice to clear his own reputation.
    • Juan Corrida. By all accounts, he wasn't a very nice person. We never get the chance to see if he was nearly as bad as The Rival Matt Engarde, but at the very least, he was willing to break it off with his (emotionally insecure) fiancee for the sole reason of her being Engarde's ex, then use her resulting suicide as a tool to try to tank Engarde's reputation.
  • Avenging the Villain: Phoenix wonders if Franziska von Karma wants to beat him in court to avenge her father Manfred, who was put in jail thanks to Phoenix. Franziska eventually reveals that she doesn't give a crap about her father or his downfall; she only sees Phoenix as an opportunity to satisfy her ego by besting him when Edgeworth couldn't, thus proving she's better than Edgeworth.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: In the end of Case 4, Phoenix and Edgeworth have to resort to turning Shelley de Killer against his client Matt Engarde to save Maya so there's nothing stopping the court from giving him his deserved Guilty verdict.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Franziska is all set to enact her revenge on you in the final case until de Killer shoots her and Edgeworth makes a dramatic return, taking up the case.
  • Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening scene and first 10 or so minutes of "Farewell, My Turnabout" purposely mislead the player into thinking that this case will be like the first game's "Turnabout Samurai" (even featuring Will Powers and Wendy Oldbag, two characters from that case), so that Maya's kidnapping and everything else that follows hits the player hard.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Juan Corrida is strongly associated with bears (most likely due to a PR move) and his room is full of nearly every bear-related object known to man. The whole reason he is killed is because Matt discovered Juan had a fake suicide note written by "Celeste" that would have ruined his image. The note was hidden in a bear which was to be given to Matt after Juan was murdered. And the camera hidden inside of the bear's eye ends up an incredibly crucial piece of evidence, because it recorded the murder as it happened to potentially blackmail the killer.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Matt Engarde appears both innocent and good-looking. In reality, there's a hidden disfiguring scar and a concealed guilt.
  • Beneath the Mask:
    • Every new face in the fourth case is hiding a big part of their personality:
      • Adrian was initially shown to be a confident, capable manager, before she is outed to be a dependent woman who latches onto others' words as though they are her own.
      • Matt was shown to be a ditzy actor with a "refreshing like a spring breeze" persona, whereupon he proves to be a misanthropic killer who trusts no one. He even literally masks the side of his face for half of the case.
      • Juan, a popular kids' show actor who probably destroyed Celeste's suicide note and forged a new one implicating Matt Engarde, and was going to present it under Matt's disguise.
      • The bellboy is Shelly de Killer, a professional murderer hired by your client to finish Corrida. He's calm and polite no matter the situation, though.
    • We see that under her cold, merciless, reckless, smug, and arrogant nature, Franziska von Karma clearly has a huge Inferiority Superiority Complex.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Whatever you do, don't accuse the Judge of being the murderer. The results won't be pretty.
      Judge: GWWWWAAAAHHHH!!
      Judge: WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME!? THAT'S A PENALTY!! (45% penalty)
      Phoenix: Arrrgghhh!
      Judge: WHAT'S THAT!? YOU WANT A DOUBLE!? HERE YA GO!! (50% penalty)
      Phoenix: Double arrrggghhh!! note 
    • Franziska doesn't react too kindly to getting accused of being the murderer. Fortunately, you only get a standard penalty if you do that, but you also get the mother of all whippings to go with it.
  • Big Bad: Franziska von Karma, although she never goes to the same underhanded lengths her father did.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Phoenix, Edgeworth, and the Judge all collectively let out a huge one when De Killer states that Adrian Andrews was his client.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Although any good mystery story requires some criminals who don't seem like criminals at first, such as Miss Miney, the crowning example is Matt Engarde.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The English translation of this game was riddled with typos, such as "surly" for "surely" and "alter" for "altar." It also included the infamous, memetic bad ending line "The miracle never happen". The iOS port is even worse, at one point calling a piece of evidence a "Hotel Guidernap." The Trilogy re-release did correct most of these, however.
  • Body Surf: Mia does this frequently between Maya and Pearls in "Farewell, My Turnabout" to relay information about Maya's location after her kidnapper Shelly de Killer makes a run for it with her.
  • Book Ends: The first and last days in court overall both open with Phoenix having the same nightmare (of a monstrous Judge declaring him unfit for his attorney's badge, before crushing him with a giant gavel). The first time, it is seemingly caused by a menacing ringtone. The second time adds some more relevant context: Phoenix knows his client is guilty, but he has no choice but to obtain a verdict of "not guilty" in order to save his friend. As such, he feels he is no longer worthy of his badge.
    • Both the first and last trial days involve a romantic relationship with no actual romance, a meaningful gift that ends up being key evidence, the male party dying and his crime scene tampered with, and some writing from the deceased that turns out to be a forgery. Even the way the final witnesses of those trials are introduced in a similar manner, despite two different prosecutors giving the same warning about two very different witnesses.
    • The perpetrators of both the first and last cases are handsome, yet absolutely scummy, irredeemable criminal sociopaths. Matt Engarde just hides it much better than Richard Wellington.
    • With the second case being the first chronologically, it and the fourth cases both involve Lotta Hart in a supporting role, Maya in deep trouble, Pearl taking over for Maya, a visit to the Hotti Clinic, an Asshole Murder Victim whose body gets stabbed but is actually killed by another method, and the true culprit being revealed via a clue in a drastic change in how their eyes look.
  • Bowdlerise: The original version of Turner Grey's idle animation has him use his middle finger to adjust his glasses, making it look like he's Flipping the Bird whenever he does so. Later versions would redraw the animation to have him use his pointer finger instead.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • In 2-3, Moe the Clown brings the ultra-sheltered Regina to court on the day Acro is to be revealed as the true criminal specifically for this purpose, so that she can understand both the truth of her father's death and her own responsibility for Acro and Bat's injuries. She cries at the end of the trial and realizes some hard truths, and promises to stay by Bat's side as long as he's in his coma.
    • In 2-4, Adrian Andrews applies. Not to mention Maya Fey, who gets accused of murder once per game, along with getting kidnapped in this case, and many other things throughout the series.
    • It seems the whole game was this for Franziska von Karma, whose worldview and obsession with perfection are not only challenged by two losses, but by Phoenix willingly and happily accepting his first defeat in court.
  • Brick Joke: During case 2-2, when Phoenix breaks down the door to the Channeling Chamber, he tells Morgan Fey she can bill the Wright & Co. Law Offices. Later in the episode, when she is cross-examined, she tells him that she has sent the repair bill to his office.
  • Broken Win/Loss Streak: Case 4 marks the first time that Phoenix loses a case. However, given the circumstances, this was the outcome he wanted, which completely baffles Franziska.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: In case 2-1, when recovering from amnesia and remembering everyone in the courtroom, Phoenix has no recollection of the prosecutor who is trying to take revenge for Phoenix defeating him in a case from the previous game.
  • Camp Straight:
    • Maximilian Galactica has bright pink hair, sequinned makeup, calls everyone (including Phoenix) sweetie, has the Catchphrase "Fabulous!"... and is totally in love with the very Moe Regina Berry. Although his metro-persona seems to be a mask to hide his Deep South, Good Ol' Boy past.
    • Maya refers to the ringmaster as metrosexual after getting a glimpse at his makeup collection...
  • Chekhov's Gag: Poor Detective Gumshoe is Franziska's Butt-Monkey, and she always manages to show up to whip him for something or other. Early in case 2-4, she reveals that she's placed a tracking device on him, so he can never get away from her. And then Gumshoe gets in an accident while carrying several important bits of evidence, and the main characters are at a loss about how to find him...
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • The scrap of paper in the ringmaster's coat in 2-3. Maya spots it the first time she sees the coat, but Phoenix tells her to quit snooping around in other people's things. The next day, it turns out to be an important piece of evidence.
    • The Big Berry Circus tent becomes a huge plot point in the final case as Maya as Mia spots it from Shelley's new hideout and gives the search party a basic idea on where Maya is based on other descriptions. Even though they don't find her as Shelley ran away with Maya again, they do find three pieces of evidence he left behind in a hurry, one of which is practically Matt's death warrant.
  • Circus Episode: The third case is about a murder at the Berry Big Circus. The star performer has been accused of killing the ringmaster, and the witnesses include other performers like a kooky clown, a ventriloquist whose puppet does most of the talking, and an acrobat.
  • Clean Dub Name: Juan Corrida's last name is Spanish slang for... male ejaculation. That's probably why it was changed to Rivera in the Spanish translation.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Three of them make Phoenix's case harder (and reinforce Maggey's Butt-Monkey status) in Case 2-1: Maggey and Richard having the same exact eyeglass prescription (which leads to Maggey being accused of murder when Richard's glasses are found underneath the victim), Phoenix and Richard having the same exact phone model and color (leading to Richard accidentally swiping Phoenix's phone after he attacks him when he meant to grab his own), and Maggey happening to accidentally step on her glasses and break them around the same time the pair of broken glasses was found underneath the victim.
    • Case 2-3 has one that results in Phoenix's client being framed by accident, rather than deliberately or as a last-minute improvisation. When Russell Berry left his meeting with Max to go to the meeting that the killer requested for his daughter, he wore Max's coast. The killer kills him by dropping a bust of the defendant on his head. As the killer retrieves the bust with a rope pulley, the cape just so happens to get snagged on the bust so that it looks like the defendant is flying away from the scene, his signature magic trick.
    • In Case 2-4, proving that Shelley de Killer never met Adrian Andrews in person hinges on de Killer referring to her as "he", mistaking her for a man based on her unisex name. But this mistake requires everyone else to refer to Adrian Andrews without any pronouns, repeatedly referring to her as just "Adrian Andrews" in a repetitive manner, and as "your client" repeatedly rather than the more natural "she" or "her". This isn't as contrived in Japanese, where writing around gendered pronouns is easier than in English.
  • Corrupted Contingency: Matt Engarde paid Shelly de Killer to assassinate Juan Corrida, secretly filming the murder as Betrayal Insurance. Unfortunately for the culprit, this action winds up bringing about the very outcome he was trying to avoid — de Killer is a man who values trust between himself and his clients, and when he learns that Engarde has betrayed him, he terminates their relationship, confesses to everything, and declares Engarde his next target, leading to Engarde pleading guilty just to save himself.
  • Cruel Mercy: Subverted. In the final case, you have the option to Enter a Not Guilty plea after revealing Matt Engarde betrayed Shelley De Killer by filming his assassination to blackmail him. Since this would put Matt back on the street where a vengeful De Killer would be gunning for him, Matt immediately pleads guilty as part of his Villainous Breakdown.
  • The Cutie: Regina, to a ridiculous extent.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Case 2-4 is one springing from a cycle of petty one-upsmanship between two actors that catches some bystanders up in it as collateral damage. The case involves the following part (though it's implied there's more to the rivalry): Matt reveals to Juan that his fiance is Matt's ex. Juan breaks it off with her, which causes her to commit suicide. Juan then forges a suicide note detailing Matt's wrong-doing, which Juan hides to use later. Her protegee, Adrian, begins seeing Juan to get close to him to find the note and burn it to save her further disgrace. Juan plans to publish the note as payback, but Matt has him killed first, and Adrian tries to frame Matt directly for the murder his assassin carried out, to make sure he doesn't get away.
  • Deadly Delivery: In case 4, Shelly de Killer, the murderer of Juan Corrida, disguises himself as a hotel bellboy delivering tomato juice to get into his target's room.
  • Dead Man's Chest: An unusual version of this trope occurs in the second case when Mimi locks Maya in the chest and then proceeds to frame her for the murder, using the same chest to hide herself when Maya first enters and when Nick and Lotta bust in.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Ini Miney is actually dead — the one you meet in the game is her sister, Mimi Miney, who took over her identity when both were involved in a car wreck that killed Ini and injured Mimi so badly as to require reconstructive surgery.
  • Debate and Switch: "Reunion and Turnabout" starts to explore the intriguing possibility of whether a spirit medium channeling a spirit can be convicted for what the spirit does. Then the actual culprit turns out to be a living person who can be prosecuted and punished like everyone else.
  • Demonic Dummy: Trilo. Not actually demonic, but he sure is an asshole.
  • Demoted to Extra: Maya spends most of the game sidelined in favor of Pearl — and, for part of the first case, Maggey Byrde — and only really takes much of a part in the third case. Not to say that she doesn't play much of a role in the overall storyline, though, she just spends most of it in the background (to the point where she doesn't even appear on the game's cover art; Pearl takes her spot instead). Then horribly averted in the final case.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Franziska von Karma is quite fond with the word "fool". In the original, "baka" takes its place (which is basically the same thing).
  • Diagonal Cut: During an awards ceremony, the Nickel Samurai does this with the moon.
  • Died on Their Birthday: The victim of the first case, Dustin Prince, is murdered on his birthday. One piece of evidence is a gift that his girlfriend had bought for the occasion.
  • The Ditz: Ini Miney in the second case acts like a silly Valley Girl. It can be amusing or annoying depending on who you ask.
  • Dirty Coward: Richard Wellington deliberately caused Phoenix Wright's amnesia in the first case and also murdered Dustin Prince to prevent being exposed as a con artist. Ironically, by doing so he sealed his own fate by stealing the wrong phone. A better example would be Matt Engarde by holding Maya hostage to force Phoenix to try to get a Not Guilty verdict.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Can occur in the final case depending on Phoenix choosing if Matt Engarde gets a Guilty verdict after Shelley de Killer is pissed off at the latter. Sure, that means his apparent 100% victory rate comes to an end, but Maya is now safe and the whole court is free to whale on Engarde.
  • Dramatic Irony: In case 4, while investigating his client's house to feed his cat, Phoenix and Pearl are completely unaware that — as the player would know by an earlier scene — that this house is where his assistant, Maya, is/was being held hostage. Also, the bellboy the player speaks to in the house is unknown by Wright to be (but known by the player to be) the real hitman hired by Engarde to kill Corrida that took Maya hostage.
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Turner Grey, who makes Gregory House seem like a well-adjusted person, although he turns out to be right about Mimi being responsible for the malpractice.
  • Dueling Shows: In-Universe. The Nickel Samurai and Jammin' Ninja are kids shows that air at the same time on Sunday Mornings, though the former is much more popular.
  • Earn Your Bad Ending: Downplayed Trope, since it isn't more complicated to get, but seeing the bad ending for the final case requires ignoring some very obvious hints, meaning that most of the people who would have gotten it would've seeked it out intentionally.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Farewell, My Turnabout, full stop. After Maya is kidnapped for days by a Professional Killer and Phoenix is forced between letting a guilty-as-hell client go free with a basically innocent woman being convicted in his place or having Maya be killed, and several close-calls, by the end, Engarde is begging to be sent to jail, Maya gets safely released, and Phoenix rekindles his friendship with Edgeworth.
  • Exact Words: While the magic powers of the Magatama make for a pretty good Lie Detector, it's triggered when the target feels like they've got something to hide. One person manages to (unknowingly) fool the Magatama because he was being completely honest about the specific questions that Phoenix asks... but Phoenix doesn't ask the right questions. Matt Engarde really was framed for killing Juan Corrida, was indeed napping during the murder, and killed nobody... because he had an assassin do the dirty work, and the person who framed him did it because she suspected he was responsible. He is legally responsible for the crime, but that's not what Phoenix asked so it's not what Phoenix got.
  • Expressive Accessory: Moe's hat has a large mouth with lips and teeth that look just like his, and the shape of the mouth changes to reflect his own expressions.
  • Eye-Dentity Giveaway: Ini Miney normally has her eyes closed, but are shown to be identical to her sister Mimi's distinct Tsurime Eyes when they open. This hints towards her actually being Mimi in disguise.
  • Fake Alibi:
    • Episode three uses a mixture of technically not being at the crime scene and a physical disability as the alibi.
    • Episode four has a hired assassin doing the killing, giving the real culprit an alibi. He still ends up on trial due to Framing the Guilty Party.
  • Fell Asleep Driving: In the backstory to the second episode, Mimi Miney fell asleep at the wheel due to being overworked at her job as a nurse, resulting in a fatal accident.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Edgeworth consistently refuses to give Phoenix advice or tell him exactly what he thinks Phoenix needs to learn. Probably wise, since the intended lesson is "Fight for the truth, not because you want to 'save' someone" — something Phoenix would reject outright if he didn't realize it for himself; doubly so given that revealing the truth under the current circumstances means someone dear to him will be killed.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Getting through the Matt Engarde case and recovering Maya is what finally rekindles Phoenix and Edgeworth's old friendship and forges their new (unofficial) partnership.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Maya being the defendant of the second case. Considering that the second case takes place before the first one, and Maya shows up just fine there, it's pretty obvious she'll be found Not Guilty.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the second case, pay close attention to the cutscene of the car accident. Specifically, silhouette of the survivor. It's fairly obvious that the survivor had long, straight hair. Ini has short, curled hair, but Mimi's hair is long and straight.
    • Why is the fourth case called "Farewell, My Turnabout"? Because it's the first case that Phoenix loses, and he's saying farewell to his perfect record of "turnabouts" — and that's a good thing, since the defendant turns out to be the killer.
    • There's an easy to miss example during "Turnabout Big Top". If you examine the photos at the top of the wall in the Ringmaster's room, Maya mentions they should make a gallery of all the clients Phoenix has had. Phoenix then asks about the guilty ones. On the first play through, this is laughable, and is just Maya and Phoenix being themselves. Aaaaand then Farewell, My Turnabout happens.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Case 4 breaks with series tradition in a jarring way. It's always been a core principle of the series that you have to believe in your client's innocence, no matter what, to be able to properly defend them. In Case 4 your client is guilty.
  • Found the Killer, Lost the Murderer: There's a complete inversion during case 4 in which the this trope is turned around. At first the killing seems like a straightforward murder. However, the killer was a hired assassin. The one who ordered the hit is declared guilty of murder, but the killer himself gets away clean.
  • Framing the Guilty Party: Deconstructed. In Case 4, Adrian Andrews finds Juan Corrida dead, and arranges the evidence to point towards Matt Engarde, who she's certain is the killer. She's correct... but when Phoenix untangles her framing, all the evidence now points to her, putting her in serious danger.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Acro has birds that fly around him. Subverted, as he turns out to be a murderer, then double-subverted: as Maya points out at the end, there were no bad people in that case.
  • Foil: Farewell, My Turnabout contrasts Phoenix and Edgeworth's budding healthy rivalry with the extremely toxic rivalry between Juan Corrida (the victim) and Matt Engarde (the culprit), whose desire to one-up each other led to Celeste Inpax's suicide, and by the time of the game Juan tried to use her suicide to ruin Matt's reputation, and Matt pre-empted this by hiring an assassin to kill Juan. Phoenix and Edgeworth, on the other hand, have come to an agreement that while they fight each other in court, they're both interested in discovering the truth above all else, and neither is all that fussed with losing cases as long as the true culprit is caught.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: In the final case, emptying the penalty bar after de Killer falsely testifies that Adrian Andrews was the one that called the hit out on Juan Corrida will still have the Judge call a Guilty verdict for Matt Engarde, even though by that point he's convinced that Engarde isn't guilty.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Adrian Andrews is a woman with a male-sounding first name. This becomes a key misstep in Shelly de Killer's testimony when he's trying to pin her for hiring an assassin. Since de Killer never actually met Andrews in person despite saying otherwise, he misgenders her as a man.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: In case 4, Matt Engarde has a decidedly evil scar on the side of his face that he covers with his hair to make himself look more innocent.
  • Heads I Win, Tails You Lose: In Case 4, Matt Engarde's fate when determining whether he's guilty or not. Even if acquitted, he still loses.
  • Highly-Visible Ninja: A Show Within a Show example is the Jammin' Ninja. He has a bright blue suit, a golden shuriken on his forehead, and wields a bright red guitar. Justified in that the Jammin' Ninja is less about ninjitsu and more about music. Doubly justified in that he's supposed to be a Shout-Out to another Capcom series character, Mega Man 3's Shadow Man.
  • Hitler Ate Sugar: Inverted in an equally illogical manner, oddly enough. In 2-4, Will Powers' testimony mentions some rather incriminating observations about a certain bellboy, who Phoenix knows very well is actually an assassin hired by the defendant, whom he is being blackmailed into getting a acquittal for, namely the bellboy's unusual pattern of stitches and his non-uniform leather gloves. Phoenix's objections to each respectively are "Baseballs have stitches! Are you saying all baseballs are suspicious?!" and "Footballs are made of leather! Are you saying all footballs are suspicious?!".
  • Hitman with a Heart: Shelly de Killer shows signs of this, which is pointed out by Phoenix on occasion.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • In a non-villainous example, Pearl teaches Phoenix how to use the Magatama to tell when people are lying. She ends up being one of the people he uses it on later in the case.
    • Richard Wellington attempts to avoid suspicion by smacking Phoenix over the head with a fire extinguisher and stealing their phone back, which had been taken in as evidence, but ends up sealing his fate instead when he accidentally steals Phoenix's phone, thus oroving his guilt when Maya rings it in the middle of the courtroom.
    • In the final case, Matt Engarde manages to sign their own death warrant by attempting to create blackmail for Shelly de Killer with a secret camera recording the murder. When Shelly finds out about this from Phoenix, who had been blackmailed into taking Engarde's case, he vows to hunt Engarde to the ends of the earth.
  • Hold the Line: When Gumshoe's search party for Maya kicks off when Shelley ran off to another location Phoenix has to keep the trial going as long as possible without Matt getting suspicious and telling Shelley to kill Maya.
  • Homemade Inventions: After getting kicked from the force barred him from borrowing a professional-quality bug sweeper from the police for Phoenix in the final case, Gumshoe goes home to pick up one he built at school years ago. Despite it treating everything that emits any kind of signals as suspicious like a radio, they find what they're looking for and even Edgeworth manages to use it without hassle.
  • The Hyena: Laurence "Moe" Curls, the clown, is always laughing. Except when a very serious topic comes up.
  • In Another Man's Shoes: Phoenix spends the game raging against prosecutors, particularly Edgeworth, believing that they care only about winning and nothing about truth or justice. Then he's put in a position where he's forced to defend a murderer.
  • Infinite Supplies: Adrian Andrews with her many many many pairs of glasses that are fragile enough to be broken by nerves and shock.
  • The Ingenue: Deconstructed with Regina. Growing up in the circus sheltered by her dad meant that she has no idea what's real or normal, including the concept that people die. So when she accidentally kills Bat, she feels absolutely no responsibility for her actions. And she actually breaks down in tears when she figures out what her actions led to, at the end of the case.
  • Insistent Terminology: Morgan demands that Phoenix refer to Maya as "Mystic Maya."
  • Ironic Echo: Franziska promising to end Phoenix's perfect record at their first meeting.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: If you lose in case 4, you get the line "The miracle never happen".
  • Jerkass Has a Point: In case 2, Dr. Grey was right and Mimi Miney was at fault for the malpractice. Not that he isn't entirely blameless either...
  • Just Giving Orders: Phoenix's assistant Maya gets kidnapped close to the beginning of the final case as ransom to get you to defend a famous film star, Matt Engarde, in a murder trial. Phoenix happens to have a magical lie detector and when he asks Engarde if he did it, he responds that he never killed anyone. It later turns out that Engarde actually hired an assassin, and he reveals his dim-witted laid-back personality was all a facade by reintroducing himself. "How do you do, Mister Lawyer? I'm Matt Engarde". The lie detector didn't work because he didn't personally kill the victim; the assassin he hired to do it did.
  • Justified Tutorial: Phoenix doesn't start this game as the newbie lawyer he was in the first. As an in-universe justification for why he needs the process explained to him in the first trial (for the benefit of players new to the series), Phoenix is given temporary amnesia from a Tap on the Head by the real murderer in an attempt to steal some incriminating evidence from him.
  • Karma Houdini: Shelly de Killer. He's an assassin who killed Juan Corrida and presumably many others. At the end of the game, he gets off scot-free and he even sends a cheerful transceiver message saying that he's leaving the country but you can give him a call anytime.
  • Keep It Foreign: In an odd example the car from 2-2, seeing as in Japan the car was American (And the Japanese have the steering wheel on the right, like the British) so in order to keep Mimi's story consistent on which seat she sat, they made the car British in the American version.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: In Case 2-2:
    Phoenix: With this, the trial will be in the b...
    * looks over to see Franziska still smiling*
    Phoenix: ...blast radius of disaster.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Edgeworth has his own spinoff, so the early-game Red Herring of his death doesn't really take. The whole plotline smacks of Like You Would Really Do It anyway, but it's particularly ineffective since Edgeworth has been advertised in so many sequels. He's even on the box art of the DS version.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: The Judge in the final case. He's completely unaware that Phoenix knows that Engarde is guilty and is being blackmailed with Maya's life into getting a not guilty verdict, thus leading him to be very confused as to why Phoenix is so desperate to get the trial done in a day or why both Phoenix and Edgeworth keep dragging the trial out even when they're about to win.
  • Locked Room Mystery: In case 2, the victim is murdered in a guarded chamber where only he and the defendant were. The prosecutor suggests that you claim self-defense, but Phoenix will, of course, say the defendant is innocent.
  • Loss of Identity: Edgeworth spends the majority of the game in a foreign country while trying to figure out his identity after both reliving the trauma of the DL-6 case while being framed for another murder and being reminded of the tragedies he caused with his corruption during the SL-9 incident.
  • Lost in Translation:
    • In the original Japanese, Richard Wellington is explicitly referred to as a ronin, a young man who failed his university entrance exams and now wanders until his next chance, an obvious contrast with how utterly self-absorbed and pretentious he is, which put alongside his constant insistence about the merits of university and his insistence on being called "almost a university student" in his introduction gives the effect of someone deeply insecure about his position in life. The localization translates this rather literally as "drifter", a word which means something almost completely different note , while leaving the majority of his dialogue untouched, leaving him appearing as just a stuck-up Jerkass with an inexplicable obsession with university.
    • It's a plot point that Pearl can't read — and you wouldn't be alone in thinking that the concept of an eight year-old, even one who lives in an isolated village of ascetics, who can't read a three-letter word borders on the absurd. However, in the Japanese script, the problem is that she can't read kanji in particular, which is perfectly realistic — even native Japanese speakers have problems with kanji, and they're the main factor in why achievement of literacy is considered to coincide with high school graduation.
      • Additionally, in the Japanese version, the puzzle is significantly harder because the reassembled urn says "子供" (kodomo, meaning "kid"), while Ami's name is listed in katakana as "キョウコ" (Kyouko). Not only was it reassmbled backwards (子供 vs 供子), but the name is listed in a different script than what is written on the urn and it uses a different kanji reading for 供 (kyou vs domo).
    • Done visually in Case 2, an important piece of information near the end of the case is the layout of the car involved in Mimi Miney's accident, specifically the fact that the car involved had a mirrored layout compared to the norm because it was imported. While the dialogue keeps this consistent via Keep It Foreign, with the American car in a Japanese world changed to a British car in an American world, the cutscene that shows the car accident also shows the fire engulfing the right side of the car, meaning that Miney had no chance of getting through the car's right doors. A keen eye will notice something off should one remember that a Japanese car has the driver's seat on the right, making a visual clue in the original version into a confusing double Red Herring in the translation.
    • A character detail in the Japanese version of Case 3 is Max occasionally reverts to his natural hick dialect in moments of stress and other strong emotions, giving him the impression of someone who struggles to keep up his act when under pressure. This is all but gone from the ENG, where Max's accent effectively vanishes after the scene in which it's established, with him speaking basically the same at all times. This especially sticks out in the game translating his use of his natural "kimi" as "porcupine head" when talking to Phoenix; the former is perfectly normal as a pronoun to use for someone, the latter makes him look like an easily irritable Jerkass to his own lawyer.
    • In Case 4, after finding the robotic bear in Corrida's hotel room, a rather strange conversation occurs where, after hearing that it's a robot, Pearl suddenly starts excitably asking what its horsepower is while Phoenix awkwardly tries to correct her. The reason for the conversation is that the translators missed that the exchange was meant to be a Shout-Out to Astro Boy, where "horsepower" was used generally as a form of Power Levels, hence the joke was Pearl associating "robot" with the anime she's watched.
  • Love at First Punch: "Director Hotti" reacts quite... happily... to being whipped by Franziska.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Obscure, but in the Nickel Samurai, all three ninja brothers fall for the evil Strawberry Clan leader's daughter.
  • Marathon Boss: In a rarity for the series, the culprit of case 3 takes an entire trial day to take down. There's even a save point in the middle of his testimonies.
  • Meta Twist: The whole series plays Good Lawyers, Good Clients very straight for the most part. Farewell, My Turnabout is a major exception, as Matt Engarde turns out not only to be guilty, but is also holding Maya hostage as a way of forcing Phoenix to fight for a not guilty verdict regardless.
  • Mission-Pack Sequel: It plays exactly like the first game, the only new gameplay mechanics being Psycho-Locks and the ability to present character profiles as evidence.
  • Morton's Fork: In "Farewell, My Turnabout", this is the situation Nick is in. Either he gets a Not Guilty verdict for the culprit, or he never sees Maya again. Done again at the end of the same case as the method by which you finally take down Engarde, informing his hitman that he's pure scum, and making Engarde's choices either jail or being hunted down by said hitman.
  • Mundane Fantastic: In case 2, Maya is photographed while channeling a spirit, which physically changes her to look like the spirit. Nobody is interested in the fact that Franziska captured psychic powers on camera, it's just another bit of evidence in the case which she admits is completely illegal and doesn't submit it to the Court Record, but because the Judge saw it as per her intentions, he now knows that it's plausible.
  • Murder by Mistake: Acro in case 3. He didn't mean to kill the ringmaster. He did, however, mean to kill his daughter.
  • My Nayme Is: Maggey's unusual name spelling is a plot point in the first case, and the very first piece of evidence used in the trial. The victim, Dustin Prince, seemingly left a Dying Clue to identify his killer by writing their name in the sand, but it was written as "Maggie", the far more common spelling of the name. As Phoenix points out, since Maggey and Dustin were dating for six months, there's no way he wouldn't have known how to correctly spell her name, meaning that he didn't write it and the real killer did so to frame her.
  • Mystical 108: Subverted. While in the mystical, Japanese-inspired Kurain Village, Phoenix can inspect an ancient tapestry, which has a list of 108 ways to make money. Then Phoenix thinks of two more, and they're immediately put on queue to be added to the tapestry.
  • Never Suicide: Averted with Celeste Inpax.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: A tragic example that only pays off in the following game. During and after 2-2, Phoenix and Maya hide the reality of the trial - and what her mother had done - from Pearl in order to spare her feelings. While their intentions were the best, it only delayed the inevitable and ended in disaster: as Pearl, thus unaware of her mother's true nature and intentions for Maya, was then easily manipulated by Morgan into taking part in 3-5, with a plan that would have killed Maya, did result in the death of Maya's mother, and ended with Pearl crushed anyway.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Something of an odd clash of this and inverted Nice Job Breaking It, Hero on the villain's end in 2-4. De Killer thinks he's doing Phoenix a favor by shooting Franziska, thinking to get a mistrial or at least an easy acquittal for Matt Engarde when an unprepared prosecutor takes her place. True, Franziska had a very systematic plan for getting her victory but the person who replaces her is Edgeworth, who realizes midway through the first session that something is wrong and teams up with Phoenix to save Maya. So basically, the villain succeeds in helping Phoenix only too well.
    • This also ends up being Phoenix's saving grace in the third case. Thanks to the search on Acro's room, he didn't have the mobility to leave the room nor the means to dispose of the murder weapon, so he did the only thing he could think of: He hid the weapon under his wheelchair and wore a blanket over his lap the whole time. Franziska was so proud of turning the room upside-down for evidence that she didn't know she had accidentally brought a witness to the courtroom with the murder weapon still on him, and once she realizes this, she is beside herself furious. Everyone congratulates her for doing so, believing it was a deliberate method to expose the murderer while she mutters to herself in anger and asks why she executed the surprise search. Made more hilarious when you realize Gumshoe had given her the idea, and that Edgeworth gave the idea to Gumshoe, so the idea to execute a surprise search wasn't her own, but she was so caught up in winning the case she did it anyways.
  • Nightmare Sequence: The dream where the shade of the Judge brings a gigantic gavel down on Phoenix, telling him, "You are no longer worthy of your title!" in the opening of the first case. Reappears in the fourth and final case, when Phoenix is deeply conflicted about Maya's kidnapping and the defense of Matt Engarde.
  • No Badge? No Problem!: During the third case, Gumshoe says he won't let Phoenix into a crime scene simply because he flashed his attorney's badge again. Maya states that he would if they were to show a Steel Samurai badge. Gumshoe's response implies that yes, it would indeed work. "Crime scene security" obviously doesn't exist in the Ace Attorney world, or if it does, Gumshoe's never heard of it.
  • Noble Demon: Shelly de Killer. He always kills without harming anyone else, is very patient with his client's demands, but values trust above all else. He will only turn on his client if the client attempts to betray him.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Juan Corrida in the second game looks like not one but several Toku heroes in the 80s, especially the ones in the first Kamen Rider series.
  • No Sympathy: At one point Edgeworth basically tells Adrian Andrews it's not his problem if she decides to commit suicide. That is just damn cold, to the point of being out of character. Especially since he had seen suicide and did freak out.
  • No Mercy for Murderers: As the title says, has cases where Justice is given to All, even Sympathetic Murderer:
    • Case 2 has Mimi Miney, who through a very unfortunate series of events not only kills many people in the hospital but also loses her face and sister and is forced to change her identity. In order to not let this identity be revealed, she had to murder. Arrested like every other culprit worse than her.
    • Case 3 has Acro, who lost his legs and his brother got into coma. This, combined with Regina's honest belief that his brother became a star, angered him and caused him to commit the murder. Arrested like any other culprit worse than him.
  • Nonstandard Game Over: Happens in 2-4, if you don't present the right piece of evidence to the right person near the end of the case. However, instead of getting a "Guilty" verdict, it's a "Not Guilty" verdict for the guilty-as-hell defendant. As a result, Adrian Andrews is wrongfully convicted for Juan Corrida's murder. Phoenix gives up being a lawyer out of shame and guilt and he never sees Maya again.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Mimi Miney and Matt Engarde. In the former's case it's her attempt to impersonate her ditzy sister Ini, and in Matt's case it's to establish his "refreshing" public image.
  • Oddball in the Series: This is the only game in the series that lacks an overarching mystery spanning multiple cases. All four of Justice for All's cases are standalone. Furthermore, taking the first game's "Rise From the Ashes" case into account, Justice for All is the only game in the main trilogy to have only four cases (and one of two in the main games to do so, the other game being Apollo Justice).
  • Oh, Crap!: After finalizing the cross-examination on Adrian Andrews midway in the final case, Edgeworth asks her about the card she was playing with the whole time. He gets a better look at it and freaks out on the drawing on it, since now a professional assassin the police have been chasing is now involved, since that's his Calling Card.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D minor" plays during the opening cutscene. Which becomes a Chekhov's Gun later in 2-1, as this is Richard Wellington's ringtone.
  • Painful Persona:
    And that "refreshing like a spring breeze" crap; it's just as atrocious, don't you agree?
    • The culprit from case 2 also qualifies. As part of imitating and living on as her dead sister, Mimi has to make constantly use of Obfuscating Stupidity and also has to study paranormal psychology which she really hates. Once she confesses to her crime at the trial's end she's outright finding solace in the fact that she finally can be herself again after pretending to be someone else for over a year.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: After the rollercoaster that is Case 2-4, nobody seems especially concerned when the court is informed that Franziska von Karma has been put in charge of the culprit's incarceration and she's probably beating the crap out of them with her whip. Given all the culprit has done, the Judge sums up the court's opinion with an approving nod and a "Very good."
  • Police Are Useless: The police never seem to question the notion that a man wrote his girlfriend's name in the sand after taking a hard fall despite the autopsy report stating he died instantly!
  • Puzzle Box: An important letter is kept in a novelty puzzle box that looks like a teddy bear.
  • Pyrrhic Victory:
    • The Non-Standard Game Over is this for both Phoenix and the client. The very guilty Matt Engarde escapes conviction for the murder of Juan Corrida, but the pristine public image he'd fought so hard to protect is left in tatters. The court uncovers his role in driving Celeste Inpax to suicide, which was the exact thing he'd had Juan silenced to keep from getting out. Meanwhile, Phoenix won the case and got Maya freed, but at the cost of knowing he sent an innocent women to jail in his client's place, causing him to resign as a lawyer and never seeing Maya again.
    • The ending of the case is also the same for Matt, if Phoenix choses to plead "Not Guilty". Phoenix rubs it in that once Matt steps out of the courtroom, he'll no longer be in police custody and de Killer will be happy to snuff him out at the first chance. Matt has a hell of a Villainous Breakdown and demands to be declared guilty instead.
  • Red Herring:
    • At the beginning of Case 2-4, the rivalry between two film studios is discussed at length. What does this have to do with the case? Nothing. The rivalry between individual people working at those studios is relevant, but the studio rivalry means nothing to the case.
    • Evidence wise, the Judge's business card, the autopsy reports for Dr. Grey and Russell Berry, the Gatewater Hotel map, the gun Shelley used to shoot Franziska, and the Gatewater uniform button are all useless.
  • Regal Ringlets: Regina Berry is the "princess" of Berry Big Top, and styles her hair in this manner as part of her costume.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Morgan and Pearl. In 1-2, Maya says that she's been living completely on her own since Mia's departure from the village, while 2-2 reveals that her aunt's been acting as her guardian, and she has a younger cousin by the same aunt. Of course, given said aunt's attitude towards her, she probably didn't do much to actually provide for her.
  • Rescue Equipment Attack: Richard hits Phoenix with a fire extinguisher to knock him out and take back his cell phone that Phoenix was holding as evidence. The resulting attack gives Phoenix temporary amnesia just before trial.
  • The Reveal: Matt Engarde's legendary Obfuscating Stupidity revelation in 2-4.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons:
    • In Case 2-4, Wendy Oldbag is absolutely convinced that Matt Engarde is, in her words, "an evil, evil man." How she reached this (completely correct) conclusion? She thinks he ordered his manager to get close to Juan Corrida in order to cause a scandal. Not so correct.
    • Phoenix can also be this if he calls Matt "a hero of justice" after he shows him why he knows Shelly de Killer. Yes, Matt IS planning to expose Shelly's evil plot... but not to stop his crimes, only to blackmail him. His motive is anything BUT heroic.
  • The Runaway: Case 3 contains a shockingly tragic inversion of the classic "Circus Runaway" variety. Instead of Acro and Bat running away to join the circus, it was their parents who ran away, and it was the circus that came to them and took them in.
  • Running Gag: During Lotta's first testimony in Case 2-2, because Phoenix was also there and broke a door down, he's asked by Franziska to testify like a witness several times.
  • Sadistic Choice: In case 4. Get your guilty-as-hell client Matt Engarde acquitted to spare Maya (Engarde has her held hostage by an assassin) and let an innocent woman be convicted for his crime, or sacrifice Maya to give him the verdict he deserves. On the plus side, turning the case around (by proving Engarde has blackmail material on the assassin and thus plans to betray him) gives Engarde his own Sadistic Choice: plead guilty to murder, or plead not guilty...and be targeted by that very same assassin the moment he's out of custody.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Gumshoe puts the law on hold multiple times in case 4, due largely to Maya's kidnapping. He allows Phoenix free access to the crime scene, costing him his job in the process, attempts to sneak a bug sweeper out of the police department to aid with the investigation (instead having to make do with a functional homemade one, and steals evidence in order to get it to court before the verdict is read, stating he intends to run every red light in order to get there on time.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: In the Japanese version of case 3, the tiger and monkey are named Ratou and Ruusaa, reversed versions of the Japanese words for "tiger" and "monkey" respectively (with the vowels lengthened as well). The English localization breaks the pattern and just names them "Regent" and "Money" instead.
  • Seduction as One-Upmanship: The final episode, "Farewell, My Turnabout", involves a feud between two actors (one is accused of murdering the other) and the two being romantically involved with the same women is but one of the many dirty deeds in the conflict. Turns out to be inverted. Juan Corrida dumped his fiancee Celeste Inpax after his rival, Matt Engarde, told him he used to date her.
  • Self-Harm: During his Villainous Breakdown, Matt Engarde repeatedly scratches his face.
  • Sequel Hook: Two of them, one of which has not been picked up on yet.
    • Case 2 ends with Morgan announcing she will wait for her next opportunity to get Maya out of the picture and make Pearl the next Master of Kurain. This would come to fruition in the final case of Trials and Tribulations.
    • Case 4 ends with Franziska saying she will eventually give Phoenix the last piece of evidence which never reached him (the card Maya drew a picture on). This has not happened yet.
  • Shipper on Deck: Pearl is absolutely convinced that Phoenix is Maya's "special someone", and nothing either of the supposed lovebirds can say will change her mind.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Case 4. Right at the start of the case, Maya gets kidnapped, instantly raising the stakes. As the case progresses, the other comedic characters become significantly less prominent; Lotta and Oldbag don't show up on the second trial day, Gumshoe gets dangerous, and Engarde turns out to be the culprit. As a result, this case is easily one of the darkest in the entire franchise.
  • "Silly Me" Gesture: One of Ini Miney's regular gestures.
  • Speak Ill of the Dead: Turner Grey in 2-2, who continues to talk about how much of a failure his subordinate Mimi was after her death, even going so far as to want to get a spirit medium to summon Mimi for the express purpose of making her take responsibility.
  • Springtime for Hitler: The bad ending has Phoenix winning a Not Guilty verdict for Matt Engarde, his client who he was trying to get convicted.
  • Spy Cam: The last case has a large stuffed bear with a camera in its right eye found at the case's crime scene. It would become important evidence for a murder conviction.
  • Stage Mom: Morgan Fey is a particularly venomous version; it's clear she's not happy about being passed over as head of the Kurain legacy, and she attempts to frame Maya for murder so that Pearl will become the next head of the Fey family, effectively putting Morgan in charge for the next decade, if not longer. Her attitude towards Maya is particularly tragic considering that Pearl herself idolizes Maya and hangs on her every word.
  • Stars Are Souls: Discussed in 2-3. A ringmaster uses this as an euphemism for death for his innocent daughter (in the Japanese version, he says that the dead are sleeping). Unfortunately, she interprets this to mean that death is nothing serious, and unwittingly causes a tragedy as a result.
  • Stealth Mentor: Edgeworth first takes this role for Phoenix in this game (and continues it to some extent for the rest of the series).
  • Story-Breaker Power: The Magatama allows the user to see Psyche-Locks surrounding someone if they ask them a question they try to hide the answer to. While it's exceptionally good on the field to gather information, it's never used in court and there's a rather serious drawback of its power if the question is answered with Exact Words, such as if the defendant honestly answers they didn't kill anyone. This is technically true, it's just that the hitman they hired did it.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: Played straight in 2-4 when Phoenix's client is actually guilty (but Maya is being held hostage by someone who needs to get the man acquitted). Phoenix (and Edgeworth, when he realizes what is going on) have to stall the verdict in order to buy time for Gumshoe to find and rescue Maya, even though the only way to "defend" the scumbag is to point the finger at an innocent woman instead.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • In the final case, Gumshoe steals evidence and takes his personal car to deliver it to the courthouse as soon as possible, promising to run all red lights to do so. He then gets in a car crash because of that (though he didn't hit another car, but a telephone pole). Problem is, he broke his phone in the process and his personal car doesn't have any way of finding it as opposed to a police vehicle, leaving him and the evidence stranded save for Franziska's tracking device.
    • Also in the final case, with how many clients Nick had that were innocent, he'd eventually get one who's actually the culprit. Luckily, when you choose the correct evidence and once he safely can, he happily concedes Engarde to the guilty verdict he rightfully deserves.
    • Adrian Andrews is still arrested, because she tampered with the crime scene to frame Matt Engarde, though he really is guilty. At least she's not in for murder any more.
  • That Man Is Dead: Contrary to what Phoenix thought, that was the meaning of the note Edgeworth left on his desk before suddenly disappearing. He set off on a Journey to Find Oneself.
  • Throw 'Em to the Wolves: After Matt Engarde has been found out, Phoenix can push for an acquittal with a clear conscience, knowing Shelly de Killer will get him if he walks free.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Justice For All teaches us that "Justice" does not always mean "Not Guilty" with case 4.
    Edgeworth: It doesn't matter how many dirty, underhanded tactics you use in court. The truth will always find a way to make itself known.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Edgeworth takes a year-long leave of absence between the first and second games and is able to step in as an emergency substitute prosecutor with no hassle, even after leaving what looked like a suicide note behind. Is Japanifornia really that short of prosecutors?
  • Uncommon Time: The cross-examination themes have a truly bizarre time signature. The "Moderato" version could be described as either 27/16 or alternating bars of 14/16 and 13/16. The "Allegro" version starts with the same rhythm, then changes to 25/16 (13/16 + 12/16) before switching back at the loop.
  • Undisclosed Funds: Maximilian Galactica's salary is never stated, only that it's a lot for a magician.
  • Valley Girl: Ini Miney, who makes Elle Woods look articulate by comparison. Although we only see a copycat of her.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: 2-1 requires the player to know enough about baseball to realize that a baseball player wears his glove on his non-dominant hand, and 2-2 requires the player to know that the driver sits on the right in British automobiles. If you don't already know this, you'll have to hope you don't miss the in-game hints.
  • Wham Line:
    The Judge: B-but, you just said... The witness, Ms. Ini Miney, was the one in the driver's seat!
    Phoenix: Which leads us to the next question!
    Phoenix: Who is the person standing at the witness stand right now?
    • In 2-4, we get two near the end that complicate what seems like a guaranteed "Guilty" verdict.
    Edgeworth: We have discovered that this suicide note is a forgery.
    • Then, not too long after...
    Edgeworth: What is the name of your client who requested the murder of Mr. Juan Corrida?
    De Killer: That person's name is... Adrian Andrews.
  • Wham Shot:
    • At the end of the first investigation day of Case 2, Mia is revealed to hold Psyche-Locks, surprising both the player (especially those who had already played the first game), and Phoenix, qualifying as this trope In-Universe.
    • At the end of Case 3, Gumshoe profusely thanks someone over the phone for coming up with the plan to get Franziska to raid the culprit's room so he'd have to take the murder weapon to court, then Phoenix would realise this. It's then revealed that Gumshoe's advisor is Edgeworth.
  • White-and-Grey Morality: Turnabout Big Top, as lampshaded by Maya. The victim was much beloved, the scapegoat is a bit of a jerk but genuinely cares about the other performers, the original target is genuinely kind though painfully naive, and the killer is a very conflicted figure who also genuinely cares about the others in the circus, but couldn't bring himself to forgive Regina for treating the Deadly Prank that put Bat in a coma like it was no big deal. It's also implied that he intended to turn himself in, but hesitated at the last second because then there would be no one to visit Bat in the hospital.
  • Yellow Snow: A throw-away gag in case 2-3 when you examine the closed concessions stand at the circus entrance. Maya wants snow cones; Phoenix points out the snow all around them (it's December). Maya gripes that there's no flavored syrup; Phoenix just hopes she doesn't notice the discolored snow in the corner.
  • You Can't Get Ye Flask:
    • 2-1 revolves around a murder where the victim was pushed from a ledge and died of a broken neck upon impact. The defendant is accused because the victim wrote her name in the sand with his finger before expiring. You are not allowed to argue that it wouldn't have been possible for someone with a shattered neck to write a name, even if he didn't die immediately.
    • 2-3 has the scrap of paper in the ringmaster's coat. You can't get it until the second day, after showing the top half of the note to Max, because Phoenix suddenly takes exception to rifling through other people's stuff in that specific case (in spite of the fact that you take a copy of Max's salary negotiations from the same room, and Maya steals a poster off the wall).


Video Example(s):


Justice For All

Whatever you do, do NOT accuse the Judge of being the murderer. Seriously. Your penalty bar will thank you.

How well does it match the trope?

4.95 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / BerserkButton

Media sources: