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A new age of law begins.

"I will become a lawyer. I have to."
Ryunosuke Naruhodo, "The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band"
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A prequel/Spin-Off duology of the Ace Attorney series of games, The Great Ace Attorney stars the Meiji-era defense attorney Ryunosuke Naruhodo, ancestor of Phoenix Wright. The main director and writer is series creator Shu Takumi instead of Takeshi Yamazaki, whose team was working on another Ace Attorney title at the same time.

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

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

The first game, Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Boukennote  game was originally released on July 9, 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS. The sequel, Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodou Ryuunosuke no Kakugonote  was released on August 3rd, 2017. Following this both games have been released on mobile platforms with the first game in 2017, and the sequel in 2018. During all this time, the games were exclusive to Japan with no sign of a localized release, so the fangroup Scarlet Study worked on a Fan Translation for the Nintendo 3DS and Android versions of the games, with the first game completed and the second game in-progress. However, on 21st April, 2021, Capcom announced that the games would finally come to the West as The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve, under one package as The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, released on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam on 27th July, 2021. The games were also dubbed in English.

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The games provide examples of:

  • 6 Is 9: Coincidentally, Seishiro Jigoku's trunk code looks almost exactly like the word "SHOLMES" (or "HOLMES" in the original script) if written upside-down.
  • Absence of Evidence:
    • In the second case, the blank pages in report book suggest Stroganov was absent from his post, since he just wrote "Nothing to report" before the blank area.
    • In case 4 of the second game, Ryunosuke figures out that Gregson's time of death wasn't what was previously thought to be, due to his time of death being omitted from the autopsy report.
    • Genshin Asogi's ring was found in Klint van Zieks's stomach during his autopsy, suggesting that he swallowed it moments before dying. However, the ring has spiky claws that would definitely have torn his digestive tract if he had swallowed it... yet no damage was done. That's because the ring was fabricated by the coroner, who pretended to discover it while performing Klint van Zieks' autopsy report.
  • Achievement System: The Accolades are awarded whenever the player completes a case or performs some other task, such as completely examining the medical report in the first case or viewing all the "shovels vs. spades" debates.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: The new mechanic, Logic and Reasoning Spectacular, revolves around correcting the far-out assumptions of Herlock Sholmes himself since he is always picking up things that he has Mistaken for Evidence. However, the final case of the second game throws this into doubt, as rather than correct Sholmes' deductions, Mikotoba merely double-checks them by confirming which evidence has led Sholmes to come to which conclusion, with Sholmes chastising Mikotoba on playing "games" if the player selects the wrong evidence. This, in conjunction with Sholmes being in on the truth of Kazuma's "death" in the first game, suggests that all of the faulty deduction sequences are the result of Sholmes being a Stealth Mentor or just playing around rather than being truly incompetent at deduction.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Soseki Natsume is fond of using phrasing consisting of strings of words beginning with the same letter, such as referring to Ryunosuke as the "least lucky lawyer alive" just before the first court session of the former's trial in Case 4 of Adventures.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of the Sherlock Holmes canon: Many of the cases poke fun at the absurdities of the original Holmes stories - for example, tearing into the Artistic License – Biology The Adventure of the Speckled Band exhibited in regards to snakes - but all of it clearly comes from a place of genuine love and respect for the series, and all of the references to the Holmes canon are very well-researched. Sholmes, for his part, is likable if eccentric, and while his deductions often fall short of their mark, they almost always lead Ryunosuke and Susato to uncovering the truth.
  • Alien Blood: In case 5 Ryunosuke and Iris use a chemical invented by Sholmes which changes the colour of bloodstains. When a vivid green stain is presented as evidence in court, Barok wonders if the defense is trying to prove that other species apart from humans were present at the crime scene.
    Barok van Zieks: Green blood? Curious, even for you. Is the court to understand that the intruder was some unhuman creature?
  • Allohistorical Allusion: Our London never had a Crystal Tower, but there were unfulfilled plans to convert the Great Exhibition's Crystal Palace into one.
  • Always Murder: Consistently subverted throughout both games. Case 2 turns out to be a case of accidental manslaughterSpoilers for the second game! . Seemingly averted for the first time in the series with Case 4, as the crime is assault (and even then it turned out to be an accident), though this trope turned out to be double subverted as the victim's motive for being in the area where she was stabbed is to attempt to murder her fiancé's murderer. Double subverted in Case 2 of GAA 2 - while the trial itself is regarding an attempted poisoning, a past murder ends up being an important part of the case.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: While clearly and explicitly set during the Victorian/Meiji era, the particular decade is much harder to pin down, as specific historical events mentioned within the games' one-year timeline occur as early as 1848note  and as late as 1905.note  It is possible to narrow down the possibilities based on promotional material. Each case aside from the last two has an associated newspaper article which includes both a date and a weekday (e.g. Wednesday, November 20th for the first case). Based on these and the fact that Japan didn't adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1873, there are three possible times within the aforementioned period the games could take place,note  the last of which (1901-02) lines up fairly well with the real Soseki Natsume's study trip to Britain (1901-03). There is also some in-game evidence in favor of this timeline, such as the Russian newspaper in the second case mentioning "The Incredible Comeback of Raсhmaninoff",note  John Garrideb mentioning having fought in some war when he was younger, "back in 1880", and Susato mentioning the theory of evolution being proposed "forty years ago now".note 
  • Anachronic Order: Averted in Adventures, where all cases take place in chronological order with no flashbacks or time jumps whatsoever. However, Resolve plays this straight, with Case 2 being a flashback that occurs within the Adventures timeline.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Done twice in Resolve. Case 1 has you play as Susato Mikotoba, defending her friend in Japan while Ryunosuke is still in London, and case 5 has you briefly play as Yujin Mikotoba, investigating the SS Grouse with Sholmes during a recess in the trial.
  • Animal Assassin:
    • In the second chapter of Adventures, due to the case being a reference to “The Adventure of the Speckled Band”, and it being shown that the resident of the neighboring cabin of the victim has a pet, Herlock deduces that the original story's ending is what happened, and claims Pavlova's pet is the snake that appears on Bif Strogenov and killed Kazuma via entering the vents. Like many of Herlock's deductions, he's wrong, and Susato points out a couple of issues, such as the fact that snakes can’t climb up and down the bellcords. Turns out that the snake is non-venomous, doesn’t belong to Pavlova, and the injury of Kazuma was fully accidental. Later after hearing this story, Iris Wilson thinks the actual outcome was boring and writes the snake to be the murder weapon of her version of the events, while completely aware of this being realistically impossible.
    • This universe's version of The Hound of the Baskervilles, first mentioned in 1-5 as a case Sholmes had handled but whose details held particular importance and could not be published. As we come to learn later on in the story, this is intricately linked to the Professor case, specifically how the perpetrator used a massive hunting dog as the weapon to murder his victims.
  • Anti-Climax: Case 3 of Resolve very much serves as a big Wham Episode, steadily ramping up the stakes and introducing important plot elements that will remain in focus for the rest of the story— but that makes it all the more jarring when, at that case's close, the killer has one of the shortest and most subdued breakdowns in the entire series.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • As with Dual Destinies, you can go to any point on the map wherever you are instead of having to go to certain locations to get to others and during the investigation phases, items you already looked at are given a checkmark.
    • Susato will provide commentary on the Move menu, and will mention if you haven't been somewhere in a while when the player has to move to a specific location to progress the story, removing the occasional need to move around blindly to find the next area you need to go to. If you have not completed the investigation in a given area, she will ask if you are truly finished there.
    • The final task you are given in Case 4 of Adventures is to demonstrate that the victim was bending over to grab a book when the knife fell into her back. Because you have two pieces of evidence in the Court Record that both imply it, the book itself and a photograph of the victim clutching the book, the game will accept either piece of evidence as a correct answer.
    • Since stereoscopy is an integral part of Case 5 of Adventures, the game allows the player to present a portable stereoscope as evidence to point at a difference between pictures if the player is unable to cross their eyes for the stereoscope effect.
    • If you click on an uncompleted accolade with multiple steps, such as the Shovels vs Spades achievement, the game will display a list of the locations of the events and if they've been conpleted or not, potentially cutting down the need for arduous backtracking.
    • In Case 5 of Resolve, you're supposed to point out who in the courtroom has a major contradiction in their testimonies. This is framed as who at the witness stand between Barok and Gina had the contradictory testimony, with flashbacks as if they're the correct choices, but neither are the answers and you don't get penalised. You're actually supposed to point out that this was actually Prosecutor Asogi who testified untruthfully, and this is where you actually get penalised if you don't provide the correct answer why.
    • If you've seen dialogue before, you can fast forward through it. This will also speed up the animations the characters go through, and is very handy if you've managed to get a Guilty verdict.
  • Anyone Can Die: It is Ace Attorney but for this duology there are four victims that you get to know before they officially die: Magnus McGilded, Pop Windibank, Jezaille Brett, and the most damning Inspector Tobias Gregson. The latter two are the first characters in the series to properly debut in one game and then die in another.
  • Arrows on Fire: A burning crossbow bolt is used to ignite and detonate a hydrogen-filled balloon as part of a scientific fraud in "The Return of the Great Departed Soul".
  • Artistic License: Invoked. The differences between the Holmes stories we know and the events of the games are explained by Iris making conscious changes in her manuscripts to better suit a work of fiction.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Downplayed regarding the usage of curare in Case 1 of Adventures, as the in-universe notes about it are accurate, the only change being how long the effects take place. This ranges between a few minutes in small animals to up to around 20 minutes in larger mammals.
  • Artistic License – History: The game deliberately never gives a specific year in which it takes place, only mentioning that it is the turn of the 20th century. In fact, some references to real-world events make it impossible to accurately pin down a year.
    • Soseki Natsume is listed as 33 in-game, which would place the game in the year 1900, but in real life, Natsume was only in London from 1901 to 1903. The Old Bailey judge also continues to mention "Her Majesty the Queen" at the start of the trials that take place after Natsume's return to Japan; while Queen Victoria was Queen of the United Kingdom for most of the 19th century, she died in 1901, and there wouldn't be another female British monarch until Elizabeth II became queen in 1952.
    • The most egregious example comes in case 2-3, in the newspaper article on Enoch Drebber's run-in with the Professor. Based on the above theory, the article should have been published circa 1890, yet the surrounding articles mention Charles Darwin receiving the Copley Medal, which happened in 1864, and the eruption of Krakatoa, which happened in 1883. The Copley Medal story is made increasingly bizarre with the fact that Susato mentions in case 2-4 that Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection had been published about 40 years ago, putting the game squarely in either 1899 or 1900.
    • Photographs that are assumed to have been taken in an instant (though presumably developed later) feature prominently in several cases, which was not practical in a widespread fashion until box cameras that used roll-film were introduced in the 1880s. Colour photography also started to become commercially available around the middle of that decade, and while several colour prints (mostly the police's crime scene photographs) do feature, 2-3 has a monochrome photograph of a balloon taken by a spoiled rich prince as a minor plot point.
    • The Great Exhibition that featured the Crystal Palace that the game's Crystal Tower is based on took place in 1851, too early to coincide with many of the other historical aspects mentioned here. Although, considering Stronghart's remarks of having this Great Exhibition make Paris' world fair 'look like a toy shop', and Susato's later referencing of that city's Eiffel Tower making it likely that the aforementioned world fair is the 1889 Exposition Universelle, the Great Exhibition shown in the game is a fictional second Great Exhibition of London that takes inspiration from the two aforementioned world fairs. The Exhibition's overall layout and the more prominent exhibits featured appear to be based on the L'Exposition de Paris 1900 rather than Britain's (largely indoors) original, suggesting a slight Alternate History where either the 1900 exhibition was hosted in London instead of Paris, or London decided to directly compete.
    • The newspaper in the second case features grammatically correct Russian, averting As Long as It Sounds Foreign, but it's written with modern Russian orthography, not the pre-Revolutionary one.
  • Arson Murder And Jay Walking: In Resolve during the Flash Back, Soseki regails being interrogated by the police:
    Soseki: "You did it, didn't you?" "Confess!" "You're a killer!" "Why the moustache?"
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Van Zieks references the "You are not a clown, you are the entire circus" meme in "Clouded Kokoro".
      Van Zieks: My learned Nipponese friend is obviously in training to be a clown the way he regales us with such witticisms. (Holds out his hallowed chalice) To your future career in the circus.
    • The Running Gag of arguments between ladders and stepladders throughout the franchise now becomes part of the Achievement System, which awards a medal for triggering every moment of it in the game (as well as similar arguments between shovels and spades).
  • As the Good Book Says...: In case 1 of the first game, when you flip the steak over and discover a koban coin belonging to Kyurio Korekuta, Kazuma says that he's heard of "pearls before swine" (a reference to Matthew 7:6), but never of "bullion before bouillon".
  • Awful Truth: Before the first Trial in Case 3 of Resolve, Herlock warns Naruhodo that a key point in the trial is proving to his own client that his beloved thesis is completely impossible.
  • The Bad Guys Are Cops: The man in charge of planning the Reaper murders is Inspector Gregson, which he does at the order of Lord Chief Justice Stronghart.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Invoked by the Big Bad. Stronghart centered the Reaper's "curse" on van Zieks' acquitted defendants specifically because van Zieks is an honest prosecutor with no dirt on his hands. Combined with the lauded reputation of his family and the tragedy of his brother's death, this made him a perfect candidate for a seeming avatar of divine justice.
    • Later, when his actions are being revealed in court, he attempts to invert it by saying that he can't be tried for any of it since all he did was manipulate others into doing that dirty work.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • In Case 4 of Resolve, Gina barges into 221B Baker Street telling everyone they need to listen to her, and then starts crying, implying at first that she found out that Tobias Gregson is moving to Paris and she's leaving with him. She then reveals that Gregson was recently found murdered.
    • In Case 2-4, Enoch Drebber at one point when he thinks he's cornered starts a time-bomb, and hides in a safe, leaving him with enough time for people to enter the room, discover the time-bomb, and have them retreat to the outside, so that he could exit the safe and escape unnoticed. Unfortunately, Sholmes is a Spanner in the Works.
  • Beach Episode: Sort of - the crime of case 1 in the second game, The Adventure of the Blossoming Attorney, is a murder that took place in the changing hut on the beach side, though since it's a tutorial case the episode is court only.
  • Behind the Black:
    • During Course Correction, you can rotate the camera freely, which reveals new details that should have been easy to see in-universe, but were ignored until you point them out.
    • At no point in Case 5 of Resolve does Mael Stronghart, despite being the presiding judge and physically sitting in a higher position, notice Ryunosuke and Susato fiddling around with the hilt of Karuma and discover Klint's confession stuck inside.
  • Better Than a Bare Bulb: The game tends to poke fun at the various coincidences in the cases moreso than previous titles, such as how out of 6 million Londoners, the random 6 chosen for the jury almost always end up being relevant to the trial or someone Ryunosuke has met before, and that St. Synners is somehow the exact same hospital that's used in various cases.
    Ryunosuke: ...I'm starting to wonder if all the other hospitals in London have closed down...
  • Big Bad Ensemble: On one side, you have Magnus McGilded and Ashley Graydon leaking top secret British governmental information. On the other, you have Mael Stronghart's machinations and schemes that have placed him in power as Chief Justice of London and spread the rumor of the "curse" of the "Reaper", Barok van Zieks.
  • Big Book Of Everything: Susato has one that she frequently references when helping Ryunosuke navigate London, which is about the size of a pocket dictionary. As she notes:
    Susato: This book tells me everything I need to know about everything. If you're ever unsure, just ask!
  • Big Word Shout: Ryunosuke only says "Yes!" ("Hai!") in episode 1 as he doesn't understand attorney terminology but comes to use the other terms later in the game.
  • Bilingual Bonus: In case 1-5, Juror No 6, a Russian tourist (and totally not a notorious revolutionary) claims to have misunderstood witness testimony because of a "double negative". Double negatives do not exist in Russian.
  • Bland-Name Product: Olive Green was on her way to the Slug and Salad Pub, that one fateful night. The Slug and Lettuce is a pub chain in the UK, focussed on food and cocktails. There is also Madame Tusspell's, the Waxwork museum.
  • Bookends: There are clear parallels in how each game of the duology ends:
    • Adventures ends with Ryunosuke, Herlock and Iris catching up to Susato in the nick of time to see her off to Japan at the port of Dover. Though the plot ends with many questions unanswered (with some being raised in the very scene itself) Ryunosuke is confident that even with Susato gone, he can get by thanks to the friends by his side.
    • Resolve ends with both Ryunosuke and Susato joining Yujin Mikotoba in returning to Japan, once again at the port of Dover. This time, along with Iris and Herlock, even Kazuma tags along to see them off. Ryunosuke and Kazuma reaffirm their friendship and rivalry by symbolically crossing swords, promising to pursue justice from opposite sides of the courtroom. Ryunosuke, having solidified his resolve, commits to becoming a full-fledged defense attorney in Japan. Meanwhile, Iris, revealed to be the narrator behind the Sholmes stories seen in-game, also narrates the closing scene.
    • The first and last case of Adventures involve Ryunosuke receiving critical evidence from Susato late in the trial.
    • In the first trial of Adventures, Ryunosuke replaces Kazuma as his own defense attorney. In the last trial of Resolve Kazuma replaces van Zieks as the prosecutor.
    • The duology begins and ends with a closed trial of a murder where the defendants were implicated via eyewitness accounts of them handling the supposed murder weapon (that turned out to be a faked piece of evidence), and both murders were part of the same conspiracy to assassinate the victims.
    • Both the first and the last Dances of Deduction take place in the first-class cabin of a steamship. To top it off, the Burya and the Grouse are confirmed to be sister steamships in Kazuya Nuri's notes. Additionally, the room on the Grouse happens to physically be the exact same room Kazuma was staying on the Burya but with a green paint job.
    • In a humourous note, both judges in both cases mistake what Ryunosuke wants them to see on a piece of evidence with something written on the back of it, but it's the printed side he wants them to look at. In Adventures, it's Hosonaga's business card revealing himself to be a police detective he drew a map of the restaurant on the back, and in Resolve, it's a used steamship ticket Yujin wrote a note to Barry Caidin on the back, which Ryunosuke realises what the "Grouse" the victim was heading to since it's actually a steamship rather than a club on the mainland.
  • Bottle Episode: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band takes place entirely within three rooms (consisting of two rather similar-looking cabins and the mostly empty hallway that connects them) and has no trial segment.
  • Bowdlerise: According to Scarlet Study, after the announcement of the worldwide release of the series, the original Japanese release was "updated" to replace words used by characters like Jezaille Brett calling Japanese people like "monkeys" and "barbarians" to tamer terms like "uncultured".
  • Bottomless Magazines: Inspector Gregson's bag of fried chips. Lampshaded in case 2-3.
  • Breaking Old Trends: While the structure of an Ace Attorney case has been pretty standard across the series, there are two instances where this duology massively deviates from the status quo:
    • Case 2 of Adventures is the first case in the series to lack a traditional cross-examination, due to taking place on a steamship and not having a trial. Even the Investigations games had their own "Argument/Rebuttal" system to make up for lacking trials.
    • Cases 4 and 5 of Resolve are actually a single case split across two episodes. While Dual Destinies did something similar with its final two cases, there is no change of defendant or intervening verdict to justify it here. Additionally, this is the first time since the first game that a single trial has gone on for three days.
  • Breather Episode: GAA 1-4, The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro, is a considerably more lighthearted case than the two that came before it, is quite notably the first case in the whole Ace Attorney franchise to have no deaths involved whatsoevernote  (even the victim is merely incapacitated and in a coma), and the overall story is lighter at least until the characters get involved in an attempted murder and investigate an actual murder prior during Case 2-2.
  • Brick Joke: Ryunosuke's Girl in a Box moment in the SS Burya much later becomes an added rule not to conceal stowaways in passengers' wardrobes at the SS Grouse. Despite seeing the sign, Sholmes brings it up again to himself during the credits.
    Sholmes: I understand that 'wardrobe class' incurs no charge whatsoever.
  • Broken Pedestal: A Central Theme of Resolve is confronting the fact your loved ones and idols are often deeply flawed individuals who are just as capable of wrongdoing as everyone else. Ryunosuke, Gina, Maria, and Barok are all forced to accept the fact their greatest heroes—Kazuma Asogi, Inspector Gregson, Dr. Sithe, and Klint van Zieks—have all compromised what they stood for and committed truly reprehensible acts such as collusion in assassination, high treason, police corruption, and even serial murder, if for understandable reasons.
  • But Thou Must!:
    • Picking "Wait and See" will usually end up with either Ryunosuke or Susato reconsidering the choice.
    • You can't just decide not to defend Gina in 1-5.
  • Call-Back: Herlock Sholmes will often refer to "The case" that "Seemed to involve a snake" (1-2), this goes well for the first few times he meets Naruhudo, but in 2-3 Harebrayne refers to "The Adventure of the Silver Blaze" and he's still going "It concerned a snake, I seem to recall".
  • Call-Forward:
    • This will not be the first time a Naruhodo is accused of murdering someone in a restaurant - far from it. Additionally, the decisive evidence in both Smith and Wilson's murders are bloodstained items which prove what direction the victim was facing. Both pieces of evidence were also stolen from the scene of the crime; this time around, the genuine article is presented instead of a forgery.
    • A minor one, but Ryunosuke assumes that Hosonaga is working part-time as a waiter because he isn't getting paid enough as a detective. As Gumshoe can attest, a detective's salary isn't the best.
    • At the end of the first trial, Kazuma cracks a one-liner about how the Auchi clan will never measure up to the Naruhodo clan, and slices Auchi's topknot off, leaving him with a hairdo very reminiscent of Apollo Justice-era Winston Payne. He is, of course, way more correct about that than he could ever expect to be.
    • During the first trial, Ryunosuke mentions the name of the dental clinic where Dr. Wilson had been getting treatment as "Hotta Clinic". For those not in the know, "Hotta Clinic" was the name of the location in the Japanese version of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All with a Barely Changed Dub Name to "Hotti Clinic" in the localization, before it altogether became "Hickfield Clinic" in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.
    • If you examine the titular carriage in The Adventure of the Runaway Room, you'll find a sign outright calling it the Phoenix Wright Omnibus.
    • During the fourth chapter of Adventures, there's a discussion on how forensic science in the United States has started messing around with these newfangled "fingerprints" as evidence in criminal cases, but the tech is unfortunately too new and unproven to be acceptable by the British courts. Ryunosuke even starts wishing he was living in the future, because those would make his job so much easier. (Unfortunately, as Phoenix can attest, fingerprints are far from being an easy way out of trouble...)
    • Checking around in Sholmes' apartment in the second game leads to a conversation with Iris about her and Sholmes visiting Japan. Iris wishes to present "a particularly steely samurai" with some of her stories and get Sholmes "into a jam against some bartitsu-master ninjas", referencing the Steel Samurai and Jammin' Ninja series from the original trilogy.
    • Presenting the Armband to Iris in Case 4 of Resolve has her consider making a band that squeezes when the wearer is being lied to, a nod to Apollo noticing his bracelet contract when he comes across a lie.
    • At one point in the second game, Kazuma mentions that the Asogi clan's ancestral sword, Karuma, inspires such awe and reverence in all who see it that once, an apprentice of theirs even took the sword's name as his own surname. "Karuma", of course, is the surname of the von Karma family in the Japanese version of the games. Ryunosuke can only remark how it sounds like a very intimidating surname.
    • During the second game, Tobias Gregson's body was kept cold in order to throw off the time of death, an action that would often be repeated in Ace Attorney Investigations 2 and Spirit of Justice.
    • A major point in Case 3 of Resolve is that the autopsy report was forged, much like in Cases 3 and 4 in Ace Attorney Investigations 2.
    • Much like Phoenix, one of the main protagonists adopts a Child Prodigy as his daughter, who's the descendant of an infamous family, who all became embroiled in murder. Unlike Trucy however, Iris presumably has no idea about her birth family nor is her biological mother alive.
    • In Case 5 of Resolve, the 2D flashback of Genshin Asogi arguing with Mael Stronghart with both in silhouettes brings to mind the flashback discussion between Bruce Goodman and Damon Gant in Case 5 of the first game, which had them also in silhouettes. Fitting, since Gant and Stronghart bear a heavy resemblance to each other.
  • Central Theme: Belief, in both yourself and others, is a major theme. Asogi believes wholeheartedly in both Ryunosuke's innocence and his potential as an attorney, and Ryunosuke himself spends most of the game trying to live up to the latter belief. The events of case 3 utterly shake Ryunosuke's steadfast belief in his clients, and it takes until the end of the game for him to trust them completely again. Gina had previously spent her entire life lacking someone to believe in her and to believe in, but finds both in Ryunosuke. And Barok's animosity towards the Japanese stems from being betrayed by a Japanese friend he truly believed in.
  • Child Prodigy: Iris Wilson is 10 years old... and not only possesses a medical doctorate, but is also an accomplished novelist and inventor.
  • Chubby Mama, Skinny Papa: The Garridebs. Joan is short, fat, and chubby-cheeked; John is tall, skinny, and has an angular face.
  • Common Nonsense Jury: It's a running gag for members of the jury to have very questionable rationales for their verdicts, ranging from knee-jerk bigotry, to just wanting to end the trial and get home early, to having a personal beef with Ryunosuke, to divination through corn.
  • Completely Unnecessary Translator: Jezaille, a Foreign Exchange Student, doesn't need an interpreter, but has one anyway.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • Most of the time, the jury just so happens to have at least one person who's connected with the case, was a witness in a previous case or is an expert on one or more relevant subjects, even though the jury randomly chooses six people out of a city with a population of six million. In Case 1-4, the culprit for the accidental stabbing is among the jurors. Case 1-5 features an expert on stereoscopes and an expert on guns who help explain how stereoscopes and ballistics are key evidence to the trial. Case 2-2 has a high-ranking executive from the very gas company that's at the center of the trial. Lastly, Case 2-3 has a stage magician and science committee official who help shed light on Enoch Drebber and why he's more than a mere engineer.
    • Cases 1-4 and its sequel 2-2 are riffled with coincidences at every turn. For example, the odds of the treasure Shamspeare was willing to kill to get happened to be a vital piece related to The Professor killings as well as Van Zieks' and Iris' families was very much down to luck.
    • In Case 2-1, the fact that Rei Membami and Raiten Menimemo share the same initials. Menimemo decides to frame Rei on the spur of the moment after seeing her talking with Jezaille Bret, since not only can he claim that the pen used to kill Jezaille belonged to Rei, but Rei also happens to have a motive for killing Jezaille.
    • The fact that some of the British government's telegrams that Graydon intended to sell to McGilded happen to include the assassination exchange details sent to Jigoku.
    • Case 1-5 is such a pileup of contrived coincidences that it's amazing Ryunosuke doesn't accidentally get the final piece of incriminating evidence back with his dry cleaning by mistake. The jury just happens to contain experts on stereoscopes and ballistics, both of which play an important role in the case; the crime took place at exactly the right time interval to capture Gina waving a gun around, out of context, and one of the jurors just happens to work at the same place as the real killer (as well as give an explanation about Morse Code).
  • Cool, but Inefficient: The "Red-Handed Recorders" that Sholmes set up around the Windibank pawn shop. They're surveillance cameras, in the early 20th century! That is to say, long before the tech was good enough for that. So instead they're just automated cameras that take a photo twice an hour, and do nothing the other 58 minutes. And that's before factoring in that taking pictures with early cameras is pretty damn expensive, so their upkeep is rather taxing on Windibank's finances. This being a game, the photos do end up coming in handy, but the massive shortcomings of the system are loudly and repeatedly complained about.
  • Couple Theme Naming:
    • Patricia and Roly Beate are a patrol cop and his wife. This is a direct adaptation of the original Japanese naming scheme, Patrick and Rola O'Malley.
    • In the English adaptation, Daley and Evie Vigil are a play on "Daily vigil" and "Evening vigil."
  • Cue the Sun: Happens at the end of both games: At the end of Adventures the sun is rising as Susato departs from England. And toward the end of Resolve Ryunosuke and Kazuma cross swords with each other as the blades face the rising sun before the former and Susato head back to Japan.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • Ryunosuke's completely black uniform gets commented on by at least a couple of witnesses, and gets him occasional accusations of being a "dark wizard". He's obviously the protagonist and a very decent person who just wants to seek the truth.
    • Barok van Zieks cloaks himself like a certain big vampire, calls defendants his "sacrificial lambs", and is reputed to cause death for everyone he prosecutes. He's actually innocent of the deaths, previously dedicated himself to prosecuting the worst murderers and criminals during his career, and retired for 5 years because he couldn't handle the fear and loathing (and assassination attempts) that came with the Reaper name. And when the truth starts to come out during a trial, he's actually willing to listen to reason and be helpful.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Some of the Randst episodes the viewpoint is from Kazuma and Barok. The second game allows you to play as Susato in the first case, and Yujin in the final case. In addition, the DLC for the second game (Japan-only) as two semi-canonical theatre segments that allow you to play as Kazuma and Sholmes.
  • Dead Man's Switch: Genshin held onto Klint van Zieks's confession in order to ensure that Stronghart would follow through on his secret plea bargain. Should he be betrayed and killed, he concealed the confession in the hilt of Karuma, which his son would inherit upon his death along with instructions on how to open it disguised as a haiku. Unfortunately, while his jailers never caught on to what the haiku meant, Caidin figured it probably included some unsavory things to say about the British empire and took the liberty of excluding it from the will, meaning it would take Kazuma ten years to actually discover the message.
  • Decomposite Character: The game prominently features Sherlock Holmes; the role of his partner John Watson has been split into four:
    • The name, appearance, and nationality go to John Wa — er, John Wilson.
    • The role of his medical doctor roommate and biographer goes to Iris Wilson.
    • Herlock's Heterosexual Life-Partner is Susato's father, Yujin.
    • And finally, the actual role of The Watson, who listens and reacts to Herlock's deductions, is Ryunosuke's.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • Several characters are openly racist towards the Japanese, and this would have been fairly normal at the time the game is set. Susato also faces sexism when she stands in the Japanese courts, and prosecutor Taketsuchi Auchi is a mild case of Politically Incorrect Villain (for a certain definition of "villain").
    • Classism plays a role in several incidental character motivations. Various characters assume Gina Lestrade, barely out of her childhood, irredeemable due to being a poor pickpocket orphan. Sholmes also explains to Ryunosuke that having a maid is considered essential to avoid being marked as lower class. In particular, John Garrideb has his wife pretend to be a maid in order to keep up appearances as a middle class British vet.
  • Deus ex Machina: After his guilt is proven with Klint's will, Stronghart convinces the judiciary that they must cover up the truth behind the Professor killings, lest the British public lose all trust in the legal system. Once Ryunosuke tugs the ears of the little bunny doll, though, Herlock and Iris appear out of nowhere through hologram technology and reveal that the Queen has been watching the court proceedings and has ordered Stronghart's arrest, which causes him to break down at last.
  • Developers' Foresight: In the intro GAA 2-4, the court record's description of Judge Jigoku will be different if the player checks it after it is added but before the Judge's new formal title is revealed. This window is only a few lines of dialogue long.
  • Did Not Die That Way: Kazuma was originally told that his father died of illness while overseas on an exchange program in London. He later learned of his father's involvement in the Professor Killings, and that led him to get involved in the assassination exchange program.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: The assassination exchange between Stronghart and Jigoku uses consular jurisdiction as a safety net for the culprits should they be found out.
  • Disturbed Doves: Every now and then Stronghart will do a GRAND pose with his arms wide and a sound effect drum will play. Doves will fly away in the background every single time.
  • Don't Celebrate Just Yet: Gregson's murderer has been revealed to be Jigoku, thus absolving Barok of all guilt. However, before Stronghart can give the "Not Guilty" verdict, Kazuma objects, stating that while the defendant may not be directly responsible for the murder, he is still involved as the Reaper of the Bailey.
  • Downloadable Content: DLC includes character designs, short episodes, music and voice clips.
  • Dramatic Wind: Kazuma's headband will flutter around even indoors.
  • Dub Name Change:
    • In the Western versions of the games, the names of the two most prominent Sherlock Holmes-related characters are changed to similar sounding names with the letters swapped around, likely due to the copyright reasons that many speculate kept the games from being localized in the first place. Sherlock Holmes is now "Herlock Sholmes" and Iris Watson's surname is now "Wilson"note .
    • Many of the non-Japanese characters have different names to make their Punny Names more legitimate sounding in English, such as changing Egg to Eggert. Japanese characters have had their names changed to still Japanese-sounding names but whose puns are more understandable to a Western audience, in typical Ace Attorney fashion.
    • Averted with the protagonist, who's still called Ryunosuke Naruhodo (instead of something like "Dragon Wright"). The rest of the main Japanese characters keep their names as well.
  • Easier Than Easy: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles has a "Story Mode," which turns the game into a Kinetic Novel, removing the point and click gameplay for the ability to just kick back and enjoy the story.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Just to really hammer home the point that Ryunosuke and Susato are in London now, the first thing they do upon their arrival is meet with Stronghart in his office, which appears to be inside Big Ben itself.
  • Engineered Public Confession: Sholmes pulls this against Stronghart in the final case, by revealing that he has been broadcasting the entire trial to the Queen.
    Sholmes: Her Majesty has heard and seen every moment of the proceedings. I assumed there would be no objection. After all... Every trial in this country is conducted under the auspices of Her Majesty.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Sholmes' original deductions may be seen as such, if not for the lack of common sense and relevant knowledge leading to his wrong assumptions. Ryunosuke comments that the bank robbery theory he accused Ashley Graydon of planning to commit would have been interesting.
  • Everybody Lives:
    • Case 4 of Adventures involves a stabbing, but nobody is actually killed and the charge against the defendant is only attempted murder. There aren't even any backstory deaths related to the crime, although case 2 of Resolve does reveal two deaths behind the reason the victim was in the area.
    • Retroactively applied to case 2 of Adventures, with case 3 of Resolve revealing that the victim survived his assault.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Skulkin Brothers are self-admitted "professional baddies," but as Ringo puts it, "we ain't baddies enough to sell out our muverland!" When Ryunosuke proposes that Greydon is selling British government secrets, they instantly confess to everything out of patriotic anger... and fear of the enormous escalation in stakes.
  • Everyone Knows Morse: Subverted in case 1-5. Even with two communication officers and Herlock Sholmes present in court, no one can make heads or tails of an encrypted message allegedly recorded in Morse code because it's written in wanbun Morse code instead of international, and the only characters fluent in Japanese don't know any variety of Morse code.
  • Evolving Title Screen: In The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, the title screen uses the location of your last save as the background.
  • Exact Words:
    • After Kazuma apparently dies on the voyage to Great Britain and is no longer able to serve as the exchange student, Hosonaga states that this is because the terms of the deal were one lawyer and one assistant (the latter being Susato). Herlock quickly points out that since they didn't specify who the lawyer was, Ryunosuke could replace Kazuma. Everyone knows that this is highly unlikely to pass muster, given that Ryunosuke lacks Kazuma's training, but Ryunosuke takes a crash course in British law and hopes for the best.
    • Ryunosuke is warned that no one can save a defendant from Barok van Zieks immediately before defeating him in court. The defendant subsequently perishes in a fire that afternoon, and Gregson clarifies the next day that Barok van Zieks's reputation as the Reaper of the Bailey is not because of his win record.
    • Ryunosuke is shocked to learn that Sholmes pegged Natsume Soseki as the culprit of the fourth chapter in half an hour, and can't believe he could condemn a man that fast. Sholmes has to correct him: the job he was asked to do was merely to identify the man who ran away from the scene, and the police were the ones who pinned the crime on him after he was found.
    • In case 5:
      • The judge decides to suspend the second Summation Examination in the wake of new revelations being brought to light during it. Later, after Barok refuses to accept Sholmes's coloured luminol test as proper evidence and is pressing for the trial to come to a close, Iris reminds the court that, technically, the suspended Summation Examination has yet to conclude. The jurors are then asked for their verdict, and the results are split enough that the judge orders the trial to continue.
      • The judge suspends an ongoing cross examination so that the court can examine some recently found evidence. When said evidence (along with some new testimony from the witness being cross examined) causes the jurors to unanimously declare a guilty verdict, Ryunosuke demands that the suspended cross examination is allowed to continue instead of a verdict being handed down.
    • In Case 5 of Resolve:
      • The usage of "We will not stop until we uncover the whole truth" gets thrown into the face of the Big Bad multiple times on the final day. Realistically they could've ended the case at any time, but that ironclad statement allows multiple characters to use it as bait to force the trial to continue.
      • Daley Vigil once again recounts how Genshin Asogi said he had a last will and testament he considered his last weapon. When Genshin's actual will was initially revealed to contain nothing substantial, Ryunosuke suddenly realizes that with the exact word being "a" not "his" or "my", the actual document Daley saw was not Genshin's own will, but that of Klint van Zieks. Which contained a damning confession of his role as the Professor and accused Mael Stronghart of being his extortioner.
      • Genshin Asogi, who'd been sentenced to death for the Professor's murders, says he has committed the unforgivable crime of taking a man's life. One would think he's talking about the five murders he was convicted of, but in actuality, he only committed one of them- Klint van Zieks, the Professor and the one who killed the other four.
  • Expy: Ryunosuke Naruhodo looks like a mix of Phoenix and Apollo, might be on purpose though.
  • First-Episode Twist: The early parts of the first game feature some big reveals that shape the plot to come.
    • Case 1: John Wilson is the victim.
    • Case 2: Kazuma Asogi is the victim, resulting in Ryunosuke replacing him as the exchange student in Great Britain.
    • Case 1 of the second game has the first game's first case killer, Jezaille Brett, as the victim. It's also basically impossible to talk about the case without mentioning that Susato, who's returned to Japan after the end of the first game, is disguised as "Ryutaro Naruhodo" and is the defense attorney.
  • Fission Mailed:
    • Case 3 of the first game introduces you to the "Jury" system, where six jurors can cast either "innocent" or "guilty" votes by sending a flame into either the white scale (to vote innocent) or black scale (to vote guilty). After the first cross-examination of the witnesses, all six jurors vote guilty, so it looks like you're about to get a Game Over. Fortunately, Susato reads about an old procedure called the "summation examination", where you can ask the jurors on what grounds they reached their decisions, and try to appeal to them to change their minds.
    • It happens again in Case 4, twice. After you finish the first cross-examination of Inspector Tobias Gregson, all six jurors vote guilty like in the last case, but this doesn't result in a Game Over as you can change their minds with a summation examination. This also occurs after you prove where a certain book came from, as it riles up Juror 4 of this trial, Joan Garrideb, into reminding the jury that you still haven't proven that anyone other than Soseki Natsume could have stabbed Olive Green, which causes all six jurors to vote guilty again. But you are given another summation examination to change their minds.
    • And in case 5, all six jurors vote guilty multiple times, so you have to do the summation examination several times as well.
    • Case 2 of the second game has the same six jurors from Case 1-4, albeit with Quinby Altamont in place of Joan, and right after you finish the cross-examination of Shamspeare, all six jurors vote guilty, which occurs not once, but twice. On the first occurrence, Ryunosuke seems a bit despaired at first, but Susato has to remind him again about the Summation Examination in order to get the jurors to change their minds.
    • And in Case 2-3, on the second day of Albert Harebrayne's trial, when you try to convince Enoch Drebber that the waxwork of the Professor was Odie Asman's body double on the first cross-examination, all six jurors get ticked off and vote guilty, which means it's time for one more Summation Examination that may not be easy as it seems.
  • Flourish Cape in Front of Face: Van Zieks, being styled after a vampire, does this often before the first turning point in the case he's in, when he DRAMATICALLY FLIPS IT OFF.
  • A Fool for a Client: Ryunosuke originally asked Asogi to defend him against the charge of murdering John Wilson in the first case. Just before the trial begins, he learns that if he is found guilty, Asogi will forfeit his long-desired study abroad in London, so he suddenly announces at the start of the trial that he will defend himself.
  • Foregone Conclusion: In Case 2-2, which takes place between 1-4 and 1-5, Soseki Natsume is once again the defendant. While the Player Character winning a Not Guilty verdict is usually a given, the player already knows that Soseki made it home to Japan, especially since he testified in Japanese court in 2-1 (which takes place after 1-5), and thus can't possibly be convicted in this trial.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • There are several hints towards the true nature of Kazuma's "mission" in London, namely that it's an assassination, and the Japanese judge is in on it, in the first few cases. In particular, the steamship Kazuma is travelling on has a strict no weapons policy, but according to Susato, the Japanese authorities managed to get him an exception so he could carry his katana.
    • In 1-4, Soseki claims that he often wakes up in the night feeling as though someone is trying to choke him to death. One could conclude that he's imagining things, it later turns out that Shamspeare is trying to kill him by blowing gas into his room, the same way Shamspeare killed Duncan.
    • In 1-5, when you examine the Autopsy Report for Pop Windibank, you can find that it was written by the coroner "Dr. Stevens". This "Dr. Stevens" turns out to play an important part in Case 2-3, as she has become Dr. Courtney Sithe by then.
    • In Randst Escapade #6, when Iris asks Susato what the Japanese name for the former would be, the latter suggests that the name would be "Ai-hime". Pretty close, but the actual Japanese word for "Iris" is "Ayame", which is the name of Susato's mother, after whom her widower/husband Yujin named the daughter of Klint van Zieks (Barok's brother) by its English word.
  • Forgot to Pay the Bill: In Case 2 of Resolve, Ryunosuke and Susato discuss this regarding the gas meter in a room and how terrible it must be to miss a payment and having to sleep in the cold without heating.
  • Funny Background Event: Two, while visiting Madame Tusspell's house of wax in the second game.
    • Ryunosuke and Iris come across a wax figure of Herlock Sholmes. Iris claims that unlike the real Sholmes you can kick this one—and proceeds to do just that, causing the figure to wobble. The two then resume their conversation, while in the background the "wax" Sholmes starts doubling over in pain.
    • On the next visit, once Susato returns, she openly speculates where Sholmes might be, turning to Ryunosuke as she does so; behind her, the "wax" Sholmes begins shadowboxing.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Case 1 of Resolve has Susato dressing up as a man as a major plot point, but still allows you to play with her DLC outfit.
  • Gender Flip: Gina Lestrade is one to Inspector Lestrade of the Arthur Conan Doyle novels, even down to having an antagonistic relationship with Sholmes. Despite all appearances, Iris Wilson is not one (to Watson) - she's revealed to be the daughter of John Wilson (renamed from John Watson). Except that she isn't even THAT either.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Iris Wilson has her hair braided into two curly pigtails with heart-shaped knots at the end.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Ryunosuke doesn't quite get the hang of this in the first episode, simply raising his left hand when he has something to say and respectfully saying "Yes!" ("Hai!") to interject instead of the usual "Objection!" and "Hold it!" (the other characters use the terms). He also gently slaps the desk instead of pounding it and looking as though he didn't want to cause a disturbance. He adopts the iconic gesture (and starts performing the desk slam as case 1 goes on) in later cases when he has more confidence behind the bench. The same goes for Ryutaro!Susato in Case 1 of the second game, albeit this time without the desk slap.
  • Good News, Bad News: The game occasionally uses this trope, and it's noted that whichever news one wants to hear first says a lot about their personality.
    • In the first game's fifth case, at the start of the trial, Iris offers good news and bad news to Gina, who, being The Cynic, insists on hearing the good news first, since there's no guarantee you'll live long enough to get the good news if you do it the other way around. Iris then shares the bad news first- the amount of rain that's fallen- and then the good news- that Susato will likely be able to make it to Dover for her ship back to Japan.
    • At the end of the case, Iris offers more good news and bad news, and while Ryunosuke wants the bad news out of the way first, Sholmes insists on hearing nothing but good news. Iris then reveals the good news- that the rain has stopped- and then the bad news- that Susato's return voyage will be delayed. Of course, the "bad" news turns out to be good, since it means that if Ryunosuke hurries, he can see Susato off.
    • In the second game's second case, which takes place between the fourth and fifth cases of the first game, Gregson informs Ryunosuke, Susato and Soseki of the good news- the apparent poisoning victim survived- insisting on telling them the good news, although it turns out to be something they know already. This leads in to the bad news- the victim has made a statement accusing Soseki of poisoning him.
  • Guilty Until Someone Else Is Guilty:
    • Played straight in Case 2 of the first game, where Ryunosuke is the prime suspect because he and the victim seemed to be the only people in the room at the time, even though he was hidden in a way that would have been impossible to set up without the help of a second person. Justified, as the case entirely takes place on a steamship and the crew are looking for a resolution to the case before the next dock.
    • In Case 4 of the first game, Soseki Natsume's trial continues even after it's revealed that Roly Beate tampered with the crime scene by moving Olive Green's body.
    • In Case 5 of the first game, Ryunosuke successfully discredits the prosecution's star witnesses and reveals that there were two other armed assailants at the crime scene who could have murdered Windibank. The trial still isn't allowed to end until he conclusively proves that Gina is innocent.
    • In Case 3 of the second game, Harebrayne's defense is dependent on Ryunosuke proving that his hypothesis of instantaneous kinesis was flawed and that the device built from his research was a sham by his investor. Later on, the device is destroyed and Ryunosuke has a mountain's worth of evidence pointing towards it being a hoax. Despite this, the story treats the situation like the prosecution has the upper hand and nothing short of getting the engineer who built it to admit to its illegitimacy will suffice.
    • Averted in Case 3 of the first game, which ends with a "Not Guilty" verdict even though the true killer has not been found. Because the defendant actually was the guilty party.
    • Subverted in Case 3 of the second game. Sithe admits to helping Drebber frame Harebrayne for murder and the Judge is about to declare him innocent. However, Ryunosuke, who believes that all facts of a case needs resolved before a trial ends and can tell that Sithe is hiding something, insists the judgement be postponed so that he can get more testimony from the coroner.
  • He Knows About Timed Hits: In the 3DS version of the game, Sholmes reminds players to turn up their 3D screens just before they see the first stereograph in case 5.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: A recurring theme across the duology is how well-meaning people go to extreme lengths to punish criminals, either due to revenge or to uphold justice, becoming exactly that which they despised, if not worse. Not only do they become criminals themselves, some defendants are almost executed because of them. Invariably, Ryunosuke and Susato call them out for it, which usually prompts a Heel Realization.
    • Ashley Graydon has Magnus McGilded killed because the latter had killed Graydon's father. Another of his crimes almost results in the conviction of an innocent Gina Lestrade.
    • Raiten Menimemo kills Jezaille Brett because she was a ruthless murderer who was going to get scot-free and the authorities couldn't do a thing about it. Because of him, an innocent Rei Membami is almost convicted.
    • Enoch Drebber has Odie Asman killed because he had indirectly ruined his career ten years ago. Granted, he was an Asshole Victim and the leader of a criminal organization. Because of Drebber, though, an innocent Albert Harebrayne is almost convicted. To top it off, the bomb Drebber set up in Harebrayne's machine probably killed some cops that were nearby. And the other bomb he set up in his workshop could have killed even more cops, Ryunosuke, Susato and Herlock Sholmes! Ryunosuke calls the killer out on how while what happened to him is tragic, he nearly ruined an innocent man's life in the same way.
    • The Big Bad of the duology, Mael Stronghart, has a bunch of enemies and minions alike killed to rise through the ranks of Britain's legal system so he can make his crime-free utopia a reality.
    • Kazuma Asogi, in pursuit of the truth about his father's wrongful execution, almost kills an inspector in the know who refuses to talk. This realization scares him and makes him decide to be a prosecutor to fight against those who also fall victim to this trope.
  • Historical Domain Character: Real life novelist Natsume Soseki appears as one of the defendants. He becomes the famous author he is in real life between the events of Adventures and Resolve, with characters in the latter game mentioning that he wrote I Am a Cat.
  • History Repeats: Ryunosuke runs the gamut of nearly everything Phoenix will end up going through himself later on, but does so all in the span of one year, like standing accused of murdering his own mentor or defending the culprit in court.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Big Bad of the second game and the duology as a whole Mael Stronghart has two mistakes in the second game that ultimately screw him.
    • First, reinstating Ryu as a defense attorney when absolutely no one would've blamed him for sending him back to Japan after his Case 1-3 actions came to light. While he did admire Ryu's potential as a defense attorney, it was quite clear that he was destabilizing the power structure that Stronghart had sought to create, though to be fair, Stronghart had no real reason to believe Ryunosuke would ever get too close to the truth at the time.
    • Second, and arguably much worse, assigning an amnesiac Kazuma to Barok as his apprentice, likely as an attempt to keep an eye on him, and once he regains his memories, retake control of his original plan of having Kazuma serve as his hired assassin. His most fatal mistake is allowing Kazuma to prosecute Barok van Zieks after his arrest, believing he can leverage his personal vendetta to his advantage. Instead, Kazuma's unceasing drive results in him forcing the trial to continue even after Jigoku's been exposed as Gregson's killer, a move that quickly puts Stronghart directly in the line of fire.
  • Hypothetical Fight Debate: Natsume and Shamspeare argue over these regularly, such as "who is stronger, Hamlet or Macbeth?" and "who is stronger, Romeo or Juliet?", and even tussle in costume to decide the point.
  • Identical Grandson:
    • Series regulars would get no points for being able to guess who this fine gentleman would be related to in the modern era.
    • Ryunosuke looks like Phoenix but with a more sensible haircut (and de-aged by about five years or so).
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Unlike the main series' use of "Turnabout" in all its case titles, here all the case titles include "The Adventure of..." The second game changes this up in that only the first case used the "The Adventure of..." title. Instead, they're named after the Sherlock Holmes short story compilations (The Adventures, The Memoirs, The Return, and His Last Bow), with the final episode being a Title Drop.
  • Interface Spoiler: During Case 1-4, when you enter the upstairs room of Soseki's apartment, you meet up with John Garrideb and his maid, Joan. However, when you're about to leave the room with the "Move" command, it is now labeled as "The Garridebs' Room", with an even super-spoileriffic description of Joan as John's wife, long before you meet up with Sholmes and complete his "Logic and Reasoning Spectacular". And this happens in the localized Updated Re-release.
  • Irony:
    • In the first cutscene for Resolve, Susato believes that Ryunosuke is currently fighting for a noble cause as a defense attorney when in reality Ryunosuke has been barred from practicing law in Great Britian as a result of the events that occurred in GAA 1-5.
    • In GAA 2-3, Barok states that a testimony that is to be heard can be considered highly valuable due to said testimony being from a detective. Said detective being Gina Lestrade, who in GAA 1-5 admitted to perjury in regards to her testimony in GAA 1-3. While she wasn't a detective at the time of perjure, she's also an apprentice in 2-3 and therefore still not actually a detective.
  • It Was with You All Along: Much grief was given throughout much of Resolve's Case 5 as to the whereabouts of Klint van Zieks' will as it was the only way to deal the decisive blow in the final trial. Turns out it was within Karuma's hilt the entire time which means had either Kazuma or Ryunosuke simply turned the head of the hilt at any time for any reason they would've had every possible answer they needed through both games. In an interesting variant of the trope though, it's actually beneficial to the protagonists that this wasn't discovered until the end. Had they found the will prior to Case 5, any attempt to confront Stronghart over it would've led to their assassinations or incarcerations, and if they had tried to get cute and reveal it in Japan, Judge Jigoku would've had them killed as well. They only get away with revealing it in Case 5 because the Queen happened to be secretly watching.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Ryunosuke's opinion on the bicycle. According to him, a vehicle that requires to take both your feet off the floor will never manage to be more than a fad.
  • Kangaroo Court: Barok van Zieks is charged in a closed hearing with no jury, a prosecutor out for revenge, and a judge responsible for the very crimes van Zieks is being charged with. The one lifeline thrown to him is the ability to appoint a defense counsel of his choice. Ryunosuke manages to still win, of course, but not without Sholmes broadcasting court proceedings to Queen Victoria herself. Having a front row seat to Stronghart admitting to and further committing high treason, she immediately strips him of his authority as Lord Chief Justice and indicts him for crimes against the country.
  • Karma Houdini: Due to the treaty between Japan and England, Jezaille can't be tried in Japan. At best, they would be sent to authorities in Shanghai and put on trial there, but it is strongly implied that such trial will not take place.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: Jezaille, the victim of the sequel's first case.
  • Kid Sidekick: Iris Wilson to the great detective himself, and also to Ryunosuke in case 5 of the first game, and case 3 in the second.
  • Lampshade Hanging: One of the exhibits at Madame Tusspells is quite plainly Elizabeth Báthory... except the bathtub very prominently displayed in the background explicitly has no relevance to the murderer it's based on. Both Iris and Susato will comment on it, coming up with their own theories as to why it's there.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Case 3 of Resolve, the portly blonde bearded juror from Case 3 of Adventures tries to steal an arm from one of the waxworks featured in Madame Tusspells Museum, only to be caught by the proprietor and knocked out cold with the same arm he tried to steal.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In Case 1-3, McGilded references the fireworks set off in the courtroom after his acquittal. In Case 1-5, Gina joins in with her trusty Grenade Launcher.
  • Left Hanging: Every single mystery that was this in the first game is solved by the second one.
    • Jezaille's motives for killing Wilson. In the second game, it's revealed that she was part of an assassination exchange plot to kill Wilson.
    • Why Yujin knew to suspect the killer. Herlock had been eavesdropping on government telegraphs, and found the correspondence detailing the assassins and their targets, and most likely informed Yujin that Wilson was targeted by an English person coming in around the time that Jezaille arrived.
    • What Kazuma's mission is. In the second game, it's revealed that he was supposed to be part of the assassination exchange plot (along with his desire to uncover the truth around his father's death), but ended up getting injured before he could do it.
    • Why Sholmes was on the steamship in the first place. In the second game, it's revealed that he listened in on messages sent from Great Britain to Japan, and, upon learning about the assassination exchange program, moved to stop it by boarding the steamship.
    • Barok:
      • Why he left the court. The mysterious deaths of the defendants in his cases got to him and he withdrew to see if the curse would stop.
      • Why he returned. He was informed by Stronghart that the upcoming exchange student from Japan was the son of the man who "killed" his brother and wished to face him in court, only to find someone else standing in court against him.
      • The truth about his "curse". In the second game, it's revealed that it's part of a plot headed by Mael Stronghart.
      • Barok's traitorous friend and what exactly happened. In the second game, it's revealed that the friend was Kazuma Asogi's father, and that he was executed for the murder of Barok's brother, Klint.
    • What McGilded's plan was with the government information. It was most likely to blackmail Stronghart, who had decided to increase his status with a higher government position.
    • Why The Hound of Baskervilles can't be published and why Susato knows the title despite it being unpublished. In the second game, it's revealed that The Hound of Baskervilles could contain the truth about Iris' parentage, which Herlock and Yujin do not want her to know yet. Susato knows because Yujin owned a copy of The Hound of Baskervilles and she's seen it.
    • Why it was so important to keep a secret message that Gregson broke the law to do it. In the second game, it's revealed to be part of an assassination exchange program, which is strictly monitored by the people involved in it, including Gregson.
    • The meaning of the message stored on the disk that Graydon tried to sell to McGilded. In the second game it's revealed to be part of an assassination exchange program, specifically, the killers and the victims.
    • What the four names in said message mean, and the identity of the fourth name. In the second game, it's revealed to be part of an assassination exchange program, specifically, the names of the killers (A.Shin and K.Asogi) and the victims (J.Wilson and T.Gregson). A.Shin is actually Jezaille Brett's real name. Wilson and Gregson were related to the Professor case and needed to be eliminated.
    • Why it was encoded using Japanese Morse code. In the second game, it's revealed to have been sent to Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Seishiro Jigoku, a co-conspirator who gained his position by working for Stronghart.
    • Who the recipient and sender were. In the second game, it's revealed to have been sent by Mael Stronghart to Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs Seishiro Jigoku.
  • Light Is Not Good: Black-uniformed Kazuma is a dedicated and loyal friend to Ryunosuke. White-uniformed Kazuma is an agent of vengeance whose sole goal is condemning Barok van Zieks for the death of his father and the Reaper murders, the latter of which van Zieks is innocent of, and the former of which he was manipulated into.
  • Lighter and Softer: While it's still a depressing case, "The Adventure of the Speckled Band" fits this trope compared to the Sherlock Holmes story from which it is based. The culprit in the original story was deliberately trying to murder his stepdaughters through the use of a poisonous snake for cruel and selfish reasons. In stark contrast, the culprit in the game is a frightened young ballerina trying to escape from her troupe. She pushed Kazuma to his death by accident, and only did so out of panic when she thought he was about to reveal her identity to the police. And then Resolve reveals that Kazuma isn't dead, so nobody was murdered anyway.
  • Literary Agent Hypothesis: An In-Universe example. In the world of The Great Ace Attorney, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" (or the legally distinct but otherwise identical "Adventures of Herlock Sholmes") is a fictionalized biopic compiled from his partner's memoirs and edited by Iris. While said cases are never elaborated upon, Iris confirms she has taken some major artistic liberties. However, her biggest artistic liberty—replacing Yujin Mikotoba with John H. Watson/Wilson—is entirely unintentional, arising from confusion over the identity of her Disappeared Dad.
  • Localized Name in a Non-Localized Setting: Unlike the rest of the series, these games did not change the setting in the localization process due to it being so heavily ingrained in the overarching story. However, a significant number of the character names were localized in series fashion to sound more natural or make the pun clearer for English speakers. A couple names were also changed for copyright reasons.
  • Locked Room Mystery: Most of the cases, but special mention goes to Case 2, in which the victim is found dead behind a bolted ship door. The whole case is a shout out to the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." But the solution is completely different.
  • Loose Floorboard Hiding Spot: Shamspeare hides some newspaper clippings and an empty jar under a loose floorboard.
  • Meaningful Background Event: In Case 2 of the second game, Ryunosuke and Susato are investigating the murder scene when the supposed murder victim sits up in his chair, revealing himself to be alive in the background.
  • Martial Arts Headband: The headband Kazuma Asogi wears resembles one. It ends up being wrapped around Karuma following Sholmes pronouncing him dead.
  • Medium Awareness: In Unspeakable Story, there's a stereoscope in Windibank's pawn shop that the player can examine. In the 3DS version of the game, Herlock will address the player directly, advising them to "switch on the 3D for this part". In the Android version and the version included in Chronicles, he'll instead tell Naruhodo (read: the player) to cross his eyes - and if the player can't, then it's of no consequence anyway.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The sword Karuma turns out to have hidden Klint van Zieks's confession at being serial killer known as the Professor, and how Mael Stronghart blackmailed him.
  • Mentor Occupational Hazard:
    • Case 1 of the first game introduces us to Kazuma Asogi, the protagonist's best friend. While Ryunosuke knows nothing about lawyering and and is a nervous wreck during his trial, Kazuma is shown to be this confident, sharp student of law who pushes Ryunosuke forward at every dead end. After the trial, Kazuma thinks his friend has a talent for law, but Ryunosuke denies it, pointing out how Kazuma is miles better than him at it. Next case has Kazuma die immediately so Ryunosuke can go to Great Britain and become a lawyer as good as, if not better than, Kazuma. Subverted in that Kazuma didn't actually die, and in fact plays a prominent role in the second game as a prosecutor.
    • Played straight with Tobias Gregson, who took in Gina Lestrade as a police detective, only to be found murdered the day before he would flee to Paris with Gina.
  • Minimalistic Cover Art: The covers of nine of the duology's cases are very detailed and era-appropriate, with colorful artwork and statement fonts. The last cover is solid black and says in tiny cursive: "Final Chapter. The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo".
  • Minor Crime Reveals Major Plot: In Case 3 of Resolve, Odie Asman and Enoch Drebber exploited Albert Harebrayne to obtain a wealth of research grant money by conducting a scam experiment without the latter's knowledge. While this actually was a murder plot against Asman, Ryunosuke's investigations end up unearthing corruption in Scotland Yard regarding the faked execution of a notorious Serial Killer.
  • Mood Whiplash: Case 2 of the first game ends on a somber note as Ryunosuke and Susato mourn Kazuma's apparent death, then turns comedic when Ryunosuke realizes that Sholmes has surreptitiously handcuffed him despite the fact that Ryunosuke's name has been cleared because Sholmes finds it odd for Ryunosuke to not be in handcuffs.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • From a Holmesian perspective, this game's creators have thoroughly Shown Their Work. References to the original canon abound, even in the most obscure places—John Clay, the name of a wax dummy only mentioned once, is the original villain of The Red-Headed League. With that said, the cases generally don't use the same solution as the source material—with the very notable exception of the case which is in part based upon The Man With The Twisted Lip.
    • While not being directly featured in the actual solutions to the cases themselves, detailed breakdowns from the original Holmes canon can be spotted in the Joint Reasoning segments, starting with 1-2 being a retelling of "The Speckled Band", 1-4 of "The Veiled Lodger", 1-5 of "The Red-Headed League", 2-2 of A Study in Scarlet (two men sit down to eat, one is poisoned), etc.
    • The mysterious figure of the Reaper of the Bailey that pursues criminals who have been able to escape conviction in a lawful trial is similar to the Yatagarasu from Ace Attorney Investigations, and is likewise eventually revealed to be an organization of people rather than an individual, with an important member taking orders directly from the Big Bad.
    • Gregson's passport number upon leaving for Paris alongside Kazuma is ACD0522, a reference to Arthur Conan Doyle and his birth date of May 22nd.
    • Late in Case 2 of the second game, two witnesses state their occupations, which the prosecution explains is a fancy way of saying they're unemployed, similar to how two witnesses introduced themselves in the first witch trial of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
    • Ryunosuke's (and Susato's as Ryutaro) extreme Face Fault where he's suddenly smashed against the back wall when something goes wrong against his case is similar to Phoenix and others getting hit by "Logic wind" in the anime.
    • When discussing Japan, Iris fantasizes about going there and meeting a "particularly steely samurai".
    • In Case 5 of Resolve, Herlock introduces holograms to the court. This won't be the last time they're used in court proceedings.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: For a very, uh, dubious definition of celebrity, that is. There's an exhibit at Madame Tusspells featuring what's pretty clearly meant to be Jack the Ripper, but he's never identified by name. There is a minor serial killer by the name of Jane the Ripper, but she's more of a riff on Elizabeth Bathory instead. Speaking of Madame Tusspells Wax Museum, it's an obvious send-up of the real-life Madame Tussauds Wax Museum; also like Tussaud, the Tusspells first began making waxworks of people during the Reign of Terror.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In Case 5 of Adventures, an incriminating piece of evidence is an automated photo of Gina threatening the victim Pop Windibank with his revolver to go into the storeroom. When asked about this later, Gina mentions while she did wave the revolver around when the photo was taken, Windibank was actually coordial with Gina's request to just see the manuscript she was looking for, and in an annoyed tone, told her to stop waving his gun around before taking her to the storeroom.
  • Off on a Technicality: McGilded gets a not guilty verdict partly because there's not enough evidence to tie him to the murder once Ryunosuke discredits both key witnesses. Case 5 reveals that the lack of evidence was due to him tampering extensively with both the crime scene and the case's witnesses.
  • Outside-the-Box Tactic: There are two time that the culprit won't confess and there doesn't seem to be any decisive evidence. So instead, Ryunosuke intends to do something that goes against the cuplrit's main objective.
    • In Case 5 of Adventures the two discs are played in the music box, which is against Inspector Gregson's goals of preventing the exposure of the government secrets within them, forcing him to admit that he made a deal with the real killer.
    • In Case 2 of Resolve Ryunosuke suggests that the court locate the hidden treasure in Soseki's flat, meaning Shamsphere will never get his hands on it, making all his efforts for naught.
    • Done twofold in Case 5 of Resolve where despite admitting he was ordering the assassinations of people to upkeep the Reaper curse, Mael Stronghart still manages to win over the judiciary with his charisma. Herlock Sholmes one-ups him by revealing that he broadcast the entire closed trial to Queen Victoria since it started, obtaining a royal order to throw Stronghart out of power.
  • Painting the Medium: The differences between Ryunosuke and van Zieks are illustrated in their Objection speech bubbles; the former uses the series' standard font which resembles Japanese calligraphy, while the latter has a highly detailed typeface resembling English calligraphy. The sole English-speaking witness in 1-1 has a unique Shut up! speech bubble with a cursive font, alongside normally speaking with one that's so curly that it's illegible, representing how most of the characters in the courtroom can't understand English.
  • Pauper Patches: Patricia and Roly Beate both have notably patched clothes, signifying how Roly works all the time and is paid low wages. Their financial situation is a plot point.
  • Politically Correct History: While Deliberate Values Dissonance is mostly in play such as Susato getting pressured to leave the Japanese court in Case 1 of Adventures and having to dress as a man to represent her friend in said court in Case 1 of Resolve, Great Ace Attorney's London allows an even distribution of women in the jury pool about twenty years before they were allowed to serve at all. Not to mention that one of them is an underage girl!
  • Public Domain Character: Sherlock Holmes appears in the game, along with a girl called Iris Watson, and the real Watson is the victim of the first case. In fact the duology is filled with nods and references to the original Holmes novels. Double subverted with Herlock Sholmes and Wilson, who, while renamed presumably to avoid lawsuits, are both named after their Arsène Lupin counterparts.
  • Revealing Cover Up: The assassin exchange became this regarding the cleanup of loose ends regarding the "Professor" case. Due to an unfortunate accident that conveniently gave Sholmes the excuse to send an unconscious Kazuma Asogi back to Japan under the pretence that he was dead, Kazuma couldn't fill his role to kill Tobias Gregson, forcing Judge Jigoku to perform this himself which also led to all parties uncovering the truth about not only the "Professor" case, but also everything about Mael Stronghart's Reaper organisation.
  • Revive the Ancient Custom: Thanks to Susato using an old lawbook she finds a long forgotten practice in the court: the Summation Examination. They eventually concede that the defense has a right to do it, even if it hasn't been done in ages.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Replay the earlier Adventures cases after the reveal in Resolve that Kazuma's "study abroad" was actually an assassination mission and his real reason for wanting Ryunosuke to become a lawyer was to defend him on murder charges should it come to that, and a lot of his behaviour takes on a very different light.
    • After it's revealed in Adventures that the late Magnus McGilded was in fact guilty of murder in Case 3, replaying that not only shows why Barok is so determined to take him down including his reveal at the end about McGilded's involvement in fixing past cases, but that after the crime scene was tampered with following the smoke bomb attack, McGilded is clearly steering the court towards the sudden new evidence inside to reaffirm Ryunosuke's theory that the victim was murdered outside.
  • Running Gag:
    • Case 2 of Adventures frequently features Sholmes putting on and removing Ryunosuke's handcuffs without the latter noticing, to the latter's dismay and the former's amusement.
    • Soseki Natsume is fond of using alliterative phrasing, often describing things using phrases consisting of three or four words beginning with the same letter.
    • People often forget that Ryunosuke's clients have been proven innocent and will refer to them as murderers or criminals. Even the Japanese judge keeps calling Ryunosuke a murderer despite personally proclaiming him not guilty.
    • Witnesses frequently assume that the victim of case 4 of Adventures is dead, despite it being established that her stab wound wasn't fatal.
    • In Case 5, Gregson is frequently referred to as the third Skulkin brother.
    • Characters frequently mock Ryunosuke's uniform.
    • Everything related to the jury Ryunosuke has to contend with, with one usually being a witness from a previous trial, to others that either have very relavent knowledge about certain topics to being near the scene of the crime.
    • Several Japanese characters mistake Herlock Sholmes's name for "Herr Lock Sholmes", and consequently assume him to be German instead of British.note 
    • Ryunosuke and Susato arguing over whether the tool in their office is a shovel or a spade, in a similar vein to the series' usual "ladders vs. stepladders" debates. There's even an Accolade for viewing all those debates, including one time when Ryunosuke examines the shovel/spade while alone.
    • Because Ryunosuke is so incredibly easy to read, other characters — mostly Susato — will frequently comment on Ryunosuke's inner thoughts, right down to mentioning some details that would be impossible for a non-mindreader to know.
  • Sadistic Choice: Ryunosuke is faced with one in the second game's third case. He has a lead that could prove the defendant innocent of the murder, but it requires exposing his teleportation experiment as just a magic trick. So either he proves his client's life's research is all a lie, or the client gets hanged for a murder he didn't commit. No matter which choice you make Susato returns to give Ryunosuke a Get Ahold Of Yourself Man, via Susato Drop.
  • Self-Deprecation: Case 2 of Adventures has Ryunosuke reject a claim that the victim wrote a dying message by pointing out he had broken his neck. This may be a jab at the first case of Justice for All, where Phoenix fails to point out the same contradiction, instead relying on the victim's handedness and the written name being misspelled.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism:
    • Iris contemplates adding a self-destuct mechanism in her inventions as a precaution if they get stolen.
    • Drebber rigged the teleportation device with a time bomb so that it couldn't be examined and its true nature would not be discovered.
  • Sequel Episode: Case 2 of Resolve begins the day after case 4 of Adventures and involves Soseski Natsume again, accused of yet another murder. Three characters who appeared in the earlier case (Green, Shamspeare and Metermann) also become important characters in the later case. One is a witness, one is a murderer, and one is an attempted murderess.
  • Sequel Hook: A lot of them. The first game has a lot of unresolved plot points and Foreshadowing, which is quite unusual for an AA game. Almost every point is answered in the second game.
  • Sherlock Scan: Sholmes retains his nigh-supernatural deductive abilities, but in an added twist, he is less than concerned about whether what he deduces is actually true. It falls to Naruhodo to consider the evidence and decide whether his deductions hold weight.
  • Ship Tease: Between Ryunosuke and Susato. Their relationship builds up throughout Adventures and Resolve, and at the end of the duology, Susato chooses to go back to Japan rather than stay in Britain with Kazuma, wanting to be at Ryunosuke's side.
  • Shockingly Expensive Bill: In the beginning of Case 4 of the first game, Ryunosuke and Susato discuss the bill they received for staying in a hotel for a day, prompting them to try to find more affordable lodgings later. Albert Harebrayne later makes the same mistake in the second game's credits.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Once case 4 of Resolve begins, things start getting a lot darker, and trials stop having juries who provide commentary and their own misguided/silly takes on cases, both for in-story reasons and to help keep the mood more focused. This doesn't prevent actual witnesses from being clowns in themselves, admittedly.
  • Shoe Phone:
    • A minor case with Gregson's pocket watch windup key. It's actually a toy police officer which reveals the key if you twist its head.
    • Those cute keyring toys of Herlock and Iris as animals the latter has on her knapsack are actually wireless communicators linked to each other. Pulling the ears of the Rabbit Herlock one will cause the Iris counterpart toy to pull on the actual Herlock's ear if he's carrying it with him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Herlock's dog design in Dog Gyakuten Saiban looks like a reference to Sherlock Hound.
    • The game itself is filled with reference to Sherlock Holmes canon, most notably in case 2 of game 1 with the similar setup to the short story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band". A (not exhaustive) list of the many references can be seen here.
    • In case 2 of game 1, when Susato says she cannot forgive Nikolina for supposedly killing Asogi, Hosonaga reasons with Susato, telling her that Kazuma's "death" was "A Series of Unfortunate Events".
    • Also in case 2 of Adventures, when Susato points out that Ryunosuke looks like he's enjoying dancing around while correcting Sholmes' deductions, he retorts:
      Ryunosuke: I'm just doing what we agreed. I'm, I'm not having fun or anything! This is strictly business! Not strictly come-
      Susato: Yes, yes, I understand. Say no more.
    • The signs of businesses around Picadilly Circus in the scene where Ryunosuke and Susato arrive in London are chock full of references to Monty Python in both its members and works. Notably, this was also in the original Japanese release.
    • In Case 5 of game 1, not only is Sholmes's (inaccurate) initial deduction of Graydon's plan and reason for coming into Windibank's pawnshop a play-by-play retelling of John Clay's scheme in "The Red-Headed League", Pop Windibank himself is strikingly visually similar to Roger Hammond's portrayal of Jabez Wilson in the Granada series adaptation of said short story (he also shares a last name with James Windibank, the villain of "A Case of Identity").
    • In Case 5 of game 1, Graydon was the one who killed Magnus McGilded, specifically as revenge for McGilded's murder of his father, Mason Milverton. The naming here is rather ironic, as the character of McGilded himself is essentially a callback to Charles Augustus Milverton from the Holmesian canon, a Villain with Good Publicity whom the heroes find remarkably difficult to oppose, but who ends up murdered by the relation of a man whose death he had caused. And this isn't the only instance of a character being a stand-in for Milverton; as we come to learn in 2-3, the victim Odie Asman is another blackmailer and manipulator who tried to maintain the public persona of a philanthropist, but was eventually killed by a vengeful woman who had been subjected to great suffering as a result of his manipulations.
    • The omnibus in the third case is called the "Phoenix Wright Omnibus", which is a reference to the English name of Ryunosuke's descendant, and main character of the main series.
    • In the second game's fourth case, Red-Headed League members Marco/Peppino and Maurice/Fabien claim to be from Ashtar Boarding School, a reference to the Ashitaru meteor from Ghost Trick (localized into English as the Temsik meteor - the translators caught the reference and named the boarding school "Temsik" as well).
    • The same case yet again, Di Rossi, the Italian fellow of the Red Headed league at one point says "What a mistake-a to make-a!"
    • While this was partially to avoid copyright lawsuits, Sherlock Holmes has been renamed Herlock Sholmes, after the Arsène Lupin character (Arsene Lupin is in the public domain). Funnily enough, the Arsene Lupin character was named that way to avoid copyright infringement lawsuits, too.
    • Cases featuring Soseki Natsume contain frequent references to the title of I Am a Cat, a book written by his real life counterpart, such as him randomly saying "I am a cat" and his pet cat being named Wagahai, after the first-person pronoun used in the book's original Japanese title. In Resolve, which takes place a few months after the end of Adventures, he is stated to have written the book in question. In addition, the Japanese names of the cases in which he is the defendant contain the first-person pronoun Wagahai as a reference to his eminent work (the English titles containing Kokoro, in reference to another of Soseki Natsume's famous works).
    • In Case 5 of the first game, during the first trip to Windibank's pawn shop, Gina responds to Graydon’s accusations and interesting poses by quoting and flipping the meaning of the song “Every Breath You Take” by The Police.
    • In Randst Escapade #6, Susato mentions a Japanese writer named Mori Ōgai, who wrote a short story called "The Dancing Girl" (or "Maihime"). When Iris is curious about what "maihime" means, Susato (incorrectly) guesses that it's Japanese for "Dancing Queen".
    • Natsume relates being stalked by the journalist indicted in the sequel's first case by saying "A camera to the left of him! A notebook to the right! There I am, stuck in the middle with...Raiten Menimemo!
    • In Case 3 of the second game, Gregson addresses Iris as "Your Ladyship" repeatedly, which prompts Ryunosuke to think in a monologue: "Does that make her three times a lady?"
    • When Ryunosuke points out to the Red-Headed League in Case 4 of the second game, the judge asks if there's "such an extraordinary league of gentlemen", which is kind of a similar shout-out to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
    • In Case 5 of the second game, as the trial is being brought to a close, Sholmes' hologram tells the crowds to listen to the results of the case, asking if everyone "is sitting comfortably", a reference to the BBC radio series Listen with Mother.
      • Earlier in Case 2-5, if you press Jigoku on his mention of "ippon seoi", he mentions that his jujutsu movement is "faster than a bullet", which is pretty close to the "Faster than a speeding bullet" meme from the Superman Theatrical Cartoons.
    • The sleeping policeman at the wax museum in 2-3 who later turns up as a juror is said by Sholmes to resemble an infamous serial killer named Ottermole, referencing the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Hands of Mr. Ottermole".
    • If you present the herbal tea during the first deduction in GAA 2-4's Dance of Deduction, Ryunosuke will call it "Iris Wilson's 'Bohemian Rhapso-tea'".
    • In Resolve, the story of the Professor case which involves a serial murderer that was caught and supposedly executed rising from the grave and is eventually revealed to be part of a conspiracy involving multiple members of the House of Lords is right out the Sherlock Holmes (2009) movie.
    • Later in the game, when Vigil and Caidin start arguing amongst themselves on the witness stand, Ryunosuke internally remarks "(Little and large...what a double act.)"
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Barok van Zieks and his brother Klint. Barok is gloomy, darkly dressed, dreaded, and tied to many suspicious deaths he's entirely innocent of. Klint was an always-smiling, brightly clad paragon of justice tragically cut down in his prime to end his secret murder spree.
  • Significant Name Shift: From the duology:
    • Throughout the duology, Barok van Zieks keeps sarcastically calling the main character Ryunosuke as "my learned Nipponese friend". Near the end of the second game, Ryunosuke has managed to gain van Zieks' trust and respect, and he properly calls him "Mr. Naruhodo" from that point on.
    • Iris usually calls Herlock with the nickname "Hurley". In the post-credits scene of the second game, she writes a letter finally calling him "Daddy", which moves him to tears.
  • Sole Survivor: It eventually turns out that Judge Jigoku was actually acquitted of contempt of court charges with Barok von Zieks as the prosecutor ten years prior, making him the only man to face the Reaper of the Bailey in court and escape with both his freedom and his life until Ryunosuke's court appearances.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, in that the game again features a defense attorney and his female assistant going to England and teaming up with an English gentleman and his young assistant. Naruhodo can cross examine multiple witnesses at once, just like that game. These are also the only games besides the crossover to use the "Got it!" speech bubble when pointing out a visual contradiction. Even the box art is similar. Resolve also has a Layton-esque puzzle in the final case as you have to figure out what Jigoku's trunk code is, which is written on the sailor's arm upside-down.
  • Story Difficulty Setting: The Compilation Rerelease adds a "Story Mode", which automatically advances the dialogue and performs all the actual gameplay (cross-examinations, investigations, etc.) without any need for player input. While there isn't much gameplay to begin with due to the game being a Visual Novel, this effectively reduces player interactivity to the level of a Kinetic Novel.
  • "Strangers on a Train"-Plot Murder: A variation of this is a key part of the plot behind the duology. The "exchange program" is actually an assassin exchange, where the heads of the English and Japanese judicial systems send an assassin to kill a target in each other's country, and the judicial heads will claim immunity for the assassin if caught, forcing the country to send the assassin back without prosecution.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: How Stronghart is ultimately defeated. Even after being exposed in court, the judicial elite of Britain turn out to begrudgingly support his scheme to enforce law and order through assassinating all who stand its way and so refuse to prosecute him or even hold him accountable. Ryounosuke and Sholmes are thus instead forced to bring in the Queen herself, who holds a dim view of this corruption and so forces him to be subjected to a public trial and punishment that his courts would otherwise not allow to happen.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Double Subverted in the first DLC case. Just as Asogi is preparing to leave for London, Auchi presses charges against him for cutting off his topknot at the end of the first case, which had seemed like just a throwaway gag until now. Then Susato points out that Asogi obviously couldn't have cut Auchi's hair from all the way across the courtroom... to which Asogi protests that he absolutely could have, and even tries to make a demonstration!
    • You use Herlock's new scientific inventions to uncover evidence several times throughout the game. However, when you present your findings to the court, the judge refuses to accept it as official evidence because it uses untested and unreliable technology. You have to either use it in an unofficial sense to sway the jury or as a way to discover different evidence. The only creation of his that is accepted are a stack of photographs that were taken by an archaic security camera, as there were a lack of leads in the case they were involved in and are the least far-fetched since regular conventional photographs are accepted as evidence. The most notable problem involving this is Case 5 of Adventures. The bloodstains on Gina's coat belong to "Thrice-Fired" Mason, yet you cannot present this fact, and late in the trial if blood is revealed on her coat, it "proves" that she killed Pop Windibank when you know that is impossible.
    • At the end of the first game, Ryunosuke loses his right to practice law in Great Britain over his actions in the third case, in which he unwittingly used false testimony and tampered evidence to get McGilded acquitted.
  • Sympathetic Murderer: Several culprits this time around, most notably Nikolina Pavlova, Ashley Graydon, and Olive Green, all of whom committed their crimes either in freak accidents, or against criminals who had killed their loved ones.
  • Take Care of the Kids: Three times for the same child. Klint van Zieks's last request to Genshin Asogi was to take care of his unborn child. When Genshin found himself on death row, he passed the request along to Yujin Mikotoba. However, the mother died in childbirth, and Yujin was recalled from Britain shortly thereafter. Not allowed to take an unknown baby with him overseas, he left the child in the care of Herlock Sholmes who's raised Iris ever since.
  • Take That!: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band includes several gentle digs at some of the more... outlandish events of the original story, particularly the Artistic License – Biology. In fact, Sholmes ends up deducing the original mystery's exact solution, only to be rebuked as the other characters point out all the snake factoids that he (and Doyle) got completely wrong. The snake even turns out to be completely irrelevant to the case.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink:
    • In case 2, the chicken dinner served to the ship's passengers was laced with sleeping drugs, so that said passengers would be sound asleep when the ship made an unscheduled stop in the middle of the night. This didn't work for anyone who didn't eat the chicken, particulary Kazuma.
    • In the first case, Jezaille Brett kills John Wilson by putting curare in his drink.
  • Tele-Frag: Used to explain the destruction of a hot air balloon during the demonstration of a teleportation device in Case 3 of Resolve. The balloon turns out to have been ruptured and set ablaze by a surreptiously-fired crossbow bolt.
  • That One Case: The Professor case. Though technically solved and closed, it left dozens of unanswered questions for van Zieks, Sholmes, and Mikotoba that haunt them for a decade. Turns out it wasn't actually solved at all—the man sentenced to death for the Professor's murders only committed one, which was that of the Professor himself.
  • Title Drop:
    • At the end of Case 2-1, Soseki Natsume exclaims in trademark fashion: "Astonishingly Astounding Ace Attorney!"
    • In the credits of 2-5, Susato explicitly refers to Ryunosuke as a "great ace attorney".
    • There's the final accolade that is summarily titled "The Great Ace Attorney", which is granted if you get all other accolades first.
  • Translation Convention:
    • The Japanese version is presented in Japanese, but from case 2 and onward (barring some exceptions like the meeting with Soseki) the characters are stated to be speaking English.
    • In the English localization, there are indications that the Japanese characters are actually speaking in their native language by the usage of Japanese Honorifics, vs using "Mr." and "Miss" when speaking English, but the majority of their in-game text is written in English. The prologue case also features an English speaking character whose English is portrayed as mostly illegible cursive script to contrast the other characters who are speaking Japanese In-Universe.
  • Trash the Set: The courtroom is left rather worse for wear by the end of the final case of Resolve. First, Judge Jigoku slams his fists into the witness stand hard enough to destroy it and send wooden splinters flying into the air. Later, Lord Stronghart falls out of the judge's seat and onto the jurors' bench, which triggers a guilty verdict with sufficient force as to cause the Scales of Justice to tip too far and fall off their axis, engulfing the courtroom and Stronghart himself in flames.
  • A True Story in My Universe: Iris Wilson is the author of The Adventures of Herlock Sholmes in this universe. Except not really, she just publishes the manuscripts, though it's implied she added her own embellishments to most of them. Players are initially led to believe they were written by her father John Wilson, but the second game reveals their real author is Yujin Mikotoba... who is the real Wilson from the stories, the discrepancy in names is due to a misunderstanding on Iris' part. And John Wilson isn't her father either (and neither is Mikotoba).
  • Urban Legends: "The Professor's Ressurrection" as discussed in Case 3 of Resolve. According to tabloids, a grave robber went to dig up the body of an executed infamous Serial Killer known as the Professor whose face was locked in an iron mask, only for the man himself to dig himself out of the ground. Upon investigation the following day however, the corpse was buried as normal and confirmed dead. In reality, the Professor (Genshin Asogi) wasn't actually dead, but had been written off as executed and Buried Alive as part of an escape plan. However, because said grave robber Enoch Drebber happened to pick completely the wrong time to dig him up for his Repurposer business, Mael Stronghart and Seishiro Jigoku, who were there to pick up Asogi, had to kill him since things would go to chaos once Enoch reported that the Professor wasn't dead. When Esmeralda Tusspells turns up to do some waxwork, Stronghart made her swear to silence on the matter in exchange for full access to the corpse to make a waxwork, as long as she put the same mask on it for the public.
    • On a somewhat more minor yet plot-central legend, "The Convict's Cursed Flat" becomes the center of Case 2 of Resolve, about the mysterious death of Duncan Ross, the tenant of a flat that used to be owned by a death-row convict that had recently died of illness. It turns out that this was the work of a neighboring tenant, William Shamspeare, who had been deliberately setting off gas leaks on Ross' flat in an attempt to scare him off and claim it for himself, but ended up killing him. By coincidence, these two urban legends end up being tangentially connected; the reason Shamspeare wanted the flat was in order to claim the death-row convict's treasure that he had been entrusted to when the two were cellmates in prison, and said treasure turns out to be the jewel-studded collar of the dog used in the Professor killings.
  • Unconventional Food Usage: Some rice is used as glue to affix a sign on a closet door. Since Naruhodo, who stowed away, is only getting by on Asogi's leftovers, he's rather reluctant to sacrifice any food.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: In an unusual example, given this game is in the Visual Novel genre, the game pulls out all the stops in telling you how final the final trial is; by making it its own episode, entitled Final Episode: The Resolve of Ryunosuke Naruhodo, giving the final court trial its own unique partial court suite, and putting the Lord Chief Justice on the judge's bench. There's also only one investigation-only segment in the middle that's more of an extended recess period as a reprieve from all the action that occured previously and is literally called "Intermission" on the chapter select screen.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Nearly every single culprit in Resolve. In the first two cases, the killer wanted to give karma to two horrible people. Even the Reaper conspiracy, which includes blackmail and murder, was made to stop other criminals, and its leader, Stronghart, genuinely believed in its cause.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In Case 2 of Adventures, Kazuma dies during the voyage to Great Britain, forcing Ryunosuke to take over as the visiting law student. While Kazuma isn't actually dead, later revelations about Kazuma's true mission mean that this event changed the course of the duology's story.
    • In Case 3 of Adventures, the trial ends with a Not Guilty due to lack of evidence and without finding a killer. But by that point, it's heavily implied the defendant is the killer and he tampered with the omnibus/crime scene, however, neither Barok nor Ryunosuke is able to prove it. And then the case ends with the omnibus burning with somebody inside.
    • In Case 3 of Resolve, it's shown that "The Professor", a serial killer who killed his victims with a hound (thus explaining why The Hound of the Baskervilles couldn't be published: it was about him), the last victim being Barok van Zieks' brother. It's revealed that Susato knew about The Hound of the Baskervilles because she found the unpublished manuscript in her father's study. It's revealed that Asogi is alive, and working as van Zieks' "masked disciple". The head coroner of Scotland Yard is the killer, and was involved in the Professor coverup. And the end of the case reveals that the Professor was not only a Japanese man, but Asogi's father. It's shown later, however, that there is much more to this than it seems.
    • Case 1 of the second game features the death of Jezaille Brett, the culprit of the first case in the first game. Also at the end of the case, the true killer (Raiten Menimemo) tries to give more information to Susato however Jigoku immediately stops him. The case ends with players not knowing what Menimemo was trying to reveal, why Yujin sent Susato back to Japan and why Jigoku stopped Menimemo from talking All of these questions are answered later on, though.
  • Wham Line:
    • Adventures:
      • Near the end of Case 3, Barok reveals why he particularly hates the defendant Magnus McGilded; he's been involved in previous cases by forging/destroying evidence and bribing/coercing witnesses in order to get away with his crimes scot-free. This is also the first time he's personally the defendant for one of his crimes.
      • At the start of case 5, Susato drops one when she refers to Sholmes's unpublished manuscript - the Hound of the Baskervilles - by its full name.
      • The ending of Case 5, when the characters are wondering about the contents of the state secret Morse code message: "A... So...Gi..."
    • Resolve:
    • Case 3:
      • At the end of the second day of investigation, Enoch Drebber tells the group they "only stopped THAT time bomb" [the one in Drebber's room]. Cut to the crime scene, where a bomb explodes, destroying the defendant's machine and possibly killing several police officers.
      • Susato's reaction to seeing van Zieks' apprentice.
        Susato: Kazuma-sama!
      • The response to the above line, "Kazu...ma?" reveals that Kazuma doesn't remember his true name.
      • At the end of the case, when the Professor's face is revealed:
        Kazuma: F...Father?
    • Case 4 of Resolve and the reveal of the final victim and the final defendant:
      Gina: It's...it's the boss...The boss is...He's...He's dead. (later in conversation) They got 'im already...It was the Reaper.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Case 3 of the first game pulls one on the player, if they've been diligent with investigating evidence earlier. Investigating the inside of the Omnibus after the first recess will reveal a very conspicuous bloodstain on the floor that wasn't there before, and checking inside the seat compartment reveals it's empty, while it was full of the coachman's belongings beforehand. This is the first major implication that the evidence in this trial is being tampered with and that McGilded really is as unscrupulous as the prosecution claims, as he's been lying on the stand about the state of the omnibus.
    • Toward the end of the investigation portion of Case 5 of the first game, Gina puts her hands on the bars of her cell and reveals that she has blood on the sleeves of her overcoat, which had once belonged to McGilded. Iris then shoots her with Sholmes' concoction for testing bloodstains, and it reveals that the murder victim from Case 3's blood is all over the coat, proving beyond any doubt that McGilded was the killer in that trial.
    • Near the end of Case 5 of the first game, a police officer urges Ryunosuke not to give up... and is revealed to be Sholmes in disguise.
    • The second game begins with the middle of Susato's monologue in the opening cutscene showing the return of Jezaille Brett...as a corpse.
    • In Case 3, the reveal of the face of The Professor's wax figure shows a Japanese man...followed by the Masked Disciple removing his cloak and mask, confirming that he is in fact Kazuma Asogi, alive and well, as well as The Professor being his father.
    • Case 4 has a scene where Daley Vigil attempts to commit suicide by jumping off a five story building, after getting fired.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Russian killer mentioned in Case 2 of Adventures who planned to blow up the Crystal Tower appears on the jury in Case 5 of Adventures... and doesn't make an appearance afterwards, despite clearly intending to commit a crime.
  • Writing Around Trademarks: More like "Writing Around Public Domain Characters With Special Conditions". Sherlock Holmes (and by association John H. Watson) were renamed "Herlock Sholmes" and "John H. Wilson" for the English releases. This is due to the Doyle estate having some control over the adaptation of Sherlock Holmes in the present day, despite the character itself rolling over into the public domain some time ago. Played Straight however regarding the "Randst Magazine" Herlock's adventures are published in, which was also the case in the Japanese version due to the actual Strand Magazine still being published past a revival.
  • You Are Number 6: Most of the jurors are only known by their current number, unless they're someone Ryunnosuke happened to meet outside of the courtroom.
  • You Look Like You've Seen a Ghost: Susato says this to Ryunosuke when he sees the rope coiled along Gregson's body location near his blood and gets a sense of unease. "White as a sheet" is said quite a few times throughout both games.

 
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Alternative Title(s): Dai Gyakuten Saiban, Dai Gyakuten Saiban Naruhodou Ryuunosuke No Bouken, The Great Ace Attorney Adventures, The Great Ace Attorney 2 Resolve, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

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