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YMMV / Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: The Contempt of Court

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  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Nobody was surprised about Cedric Maplethorpe being the culprit in The Haunted Turnabout. What people were most surprised about was their true nature.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Titus Krump turned out to be liked a lot more than Cardiovore (the creator) thought he would. Which may be why Vulper starts to imitate him again in case 3.
    • Vex Vulper, despite being the Big Bad of the first case and initially being thought to be The Dragon overall, is extremely popular for his Comedic Sociopathy and Crosses the Line Twice humour which only gets better when he shows up in Case 3 completley insane. It actually gets to a point where him being given the death penalty in Case 3 comes off as a Player Punch, despite the fact that he's an unrepentant murderer! Even Phoenix thinks so in-universe!
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    • Erol Brisbane. His over the top anger, coupled with his theme music and tragic past, makes him a compelling character to watch.
  • Fridge Brilliance:
    • And maybe a bit of Fridge Squick. After meeting Brisbane for the first time, Nick angrily tries (and fails) to invoke Psyche-locks on Maya after she excuses her absense by saying she had to use the toilet. Either the Magatama doesn't work on white lies or Maya was telling the truth.
    • One of the characters' catchphrases takes on a whole new meaning after The Reveal. Snow's "catastrophic success". As Hemlock, he routinely causes catastrophes to ensure his own success. There's also one moment in Case 2, where he says that adding "mate" to the ends of his sentences is "[his] endearing character trait". A Shout-Out to Gumshoe at first, but after The Reveal it's far more literal: Snow is nothing more than a "character" and all his mannerisms and traits were carefully planned out to make him as endearing as possible.
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    • Also following The Reveal, Turnabout of the Snow is now a Double-Meaning Title. Possibly intentional, as it was originally supposed to be the name of the final case.
      • This is also the case with Turnabout Scapegoat. While the scapegoat in question is obviously meant to be Vincenzo Cicatrice, it can also refer to Vulper due to his role in Hemlock's plans.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Conflict of Interest, another fangame from Court Records. Conflict of Interest was actually inspired by Contempt of Court and both cases' authors had a Friendly Rivalry going over who would release their game first. Fans of one tend to be fans of the other.
  • It Was His Sled: Many people at this point know Vulper is the villain of Turnabout Scapegoat.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Erol Brisbane. Five years ago, he was accused of murdering his best friend, Jack Crane. At the time, he had nobody to turn to except for Vincenzo Cicatrice. During the trial, it was promptly revealed that the one who killed Jack and framed Brisbane was no one else but his (Jack's) step-brother, Vex Vulper. Brisbane getting a Not Guilty verdict was not the end of his nightmare, as at the most unexpected moment Vulper came back and threw the enigmium card right at Brisbane, destroying his eye in the process. What was once a well-meaning, if a bit spineless law student turned into a savage brute with a Hair-Trigger Temper developing an intense hatred for Vulper and defense attorneys, stemming from his (rather unfounded and petty) resentment towards Vincenzo Cicatrice. Things only got worse when he met Manfred von Karma, who further enabled Brisbane's self-destructive nature. And then there's also what happened to him in The Ensnared Turnabout...
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    • Cedric Maplethorpe. At a rather young age, he lost his twin brother in a tragic incident with a flintlock pistol. He understandably grew up resenting his grandfather (who showed the twins the gun that caused the accident in the first place), while bottling up his feelings as a manager of the Maplethorpe Hotel. True, none of this excuses his allegiance with Aculeus while using Maris as a scapegoat for Stan Nyph's accidental death but is it any surprise he turned out like he did?
    • Downplayed with Vulper. While it's definitely easy to feel bad for him after the full story of his past comes out, especially knowing how much Hemlock made his life a living hell, Phoenix points out that his actions were still horrible and unjustified, and the player is likely to share his view.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Case 2 features a Non-Standard Game Over where you get your client off the hook, but another equally innocent character is found guilty instead. Dual Destinies ended up using this exact variety of Non-Standard Game Over, except it was accompanied with an incredibly depressing It's a Wonderful Failure.
    • All of Case 3 after The Reveal. The defendant you helped get off the hook was the Big Bad all along, and he actually committed the murder you cleared him for.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • This game's final case ended up having a major similarity to Dual Destinies. Namely, that the Big Bad poses as a goofy, lovable detective before being revealed as a skilled mimic. Though unlike the Phantom, Robert Snow isn't a Dead Person Impersonation, he's an Invented Individual.
    • By coincidence, both Contempt of Court and fellow fangame Conflict of Interest feature a detective whose wife was murdered by the Big Bad in the past. Conflict of Interest started development later, but due to Schedule Slip its finale was released first.
  • Narm Charm: Somehow, Hemlock's overly-friendly language doesn't make him any less terrifying, if anything it makes him even scarier. You wouldn't expect an exchange like "Who's the man?" "HEMLOCK IS THE MAN!" to be Nightmare Fuel, but it most definitely is.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Hemlock was already terrifying with his Sinister Surveillance and Paranoia Fuel, but The Reveal scene of his true identity somehow managed to make him 100x more horrifying. First, there's Snow's demented facial animations. Then, there's his actual personality: turns out Hemlock is a guy who's primary motivation is being happy and positive. He acts like an optimistic happy-go-lucky guy all while gleefully confessing to committing serial murders and founding a criminal organization just to ensure his own happiness. He somehow manages to make a huge, beaming grin even scarier than a Slasher Smile. He's also a Psychopathic Manchild Control Freak who completely loses it if someone doesn't act exactly how he tells them to, as he brutally demonstrates at the end of the conversation. He then says Phoenix will let him win in the trial, or else he'll burn down Hazakura Temple, where Maya is, and make it look like Phoenix did it. And then just to make sure, he calls him and mimics the voice of Edgeworth and Maya herself.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Hemlock invokes this trope constantly. How would you feel if a man you don't know somehow got ahold of your home address and phone number while also listening on to EVERYTHING YOU SAY?
    • Even worse when you find out his real identity: That sarcastic & lazy, yet surprisingly reliable detective that helped you throughout the whole game? Yep, he's the villain.
  • Player Punch: The Reveal in the final case hits hard for players who got attached to a certain character. Not only do you find out that Snow was Hemlock all along, but that Snow was never a real person to begin with: he was just a character Hemlock played.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • If you replay Turnabout Scapegoat after Case 4, the complete lack of mention of Titus Krump's murder weapon will suddenly become a lot more glaring.
    • Almost all of Case 3 takes on a whole new meaning after The Reveal in Case 4 that the defendant of that case, Snow, is Hemlock and really was guilty, and Renwick Smith was his accomplice. And of course, the playable flashback at the end definitely benefits from a replay once you know that Hemlock was watching Renwick Smith all along, as Detective Snow. It's now completely understandable how Hemlock got to him: he met the guy face-to-face.
    • In Turnabout Scapegoat, when Phoenix receives a call from Snow in the middle of the night, he wonders how Snow knew his number.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Brisbane is this to some, unfortunately. As tragic as his fate was, it still doesn't justify his overall behavior.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: Everybody in-universe loathes Vulper. For good reason too, as he's a Jerkass Amoral Attorney on top of being a murderer. The fans however love him for this, finding him quite Laughably Evil due to his unapologetic nature.


Example of: