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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney/YMMV

< Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

This page covers the first three games. Take general series tropes to Ace Attorney, and take tropes specific to Apollo Justice or Investigations to those pages, please.

Multiple gamesEdit

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: So many to count that each game has it's own section. See below for more.
  • Foe Yay:
    • So much of it, you half expect Edgey and Phoenix to rip their clothes off in the middle of a trial and start screwing like bunnies.
    • Edgeworth and Franziska to an extent, though Ace Attorney Investigations clarifies this into being a competitive sibling relationship.
    • Franziska and Phoenix have their moments.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Every finale case has a high HSQ, but special mention goes to "Farewell, My Turnabout" and "Bridge to the Turnabout".
  • Iron Woobie:

Phoenix Wright: Ace AttorneyEdit

  • Awesome Music: Has its own page
  • Complete Monster:
    • Redd White from Case 2 is an absolutely horrible man who has ruined countless lives and is responsible for the deaths of many. Quite telling, his company is entirely dedicated to blackmail.
    • And then we have Manfred von Karma from Case 4. To summarize: for having his perfect record a bit dented by Gregory Edgeworth and then getting accidentally shot by a misfiring gun, he kills Gregory and manipulates Miles Edgeworth into becoming a prosecutor instead of a defense lawyer like his father was. Yes, the man who killed his father became his mentor and steered him away from the morals he had at a younger age (but thankfully reclaims later). But that's not the real kicker: Karma's plan was to get Edgeworth framed for murder so he would be locked up/executed for it, and if that was to fail, he knew Edgeworth would think that he had killed his father and confess to that instead. The lengths he went to wreck Edgeworth's life for the small things his father did is staggering.
  • Crazy Awesome: Many characters have their moments. One of the best example is Manfred von Karma who retrains a parrot. No, he doesn't want to lose.
  • Ear Worm: Some of the music will get put on repeat in your head. Jake Marshall's theme, for example.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Penny is one of the most popular one-shots in the series due to her Adorkable nature. She was brought back for Ace Attorney Investigations because of this.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: A minority of fans ignore "Rise from the Ashes" (which was not part of the original Japanese GBA game but instead added in as a bonus for the DS remake) because, despite providing us with Memetic Badass Damon Gant, it actually subtly retcons the backstory of the game: Most of the rumors about Edgeworth being a Well-Intentioned Extremist are false and he never intentionally used fake evidence. This, to said people, effectively makes a good portion of the first game pointless. Interestingly enough, when Phoenix sees Edgeworth again in 2-4, he assumes Edgeworth quit because his perfect win record was tarnished, when actually, in 1-5, particularly on the third day of investigations and the last trial segment, Edgeworth is already questioning himself and admits shame over his Amoral Attorney past and fear that he might become like Manfred Von Karma and Damon Gant in the future.
    • Well, to be fair, the backstory supposedly being retconed has a possible explanation in that, while Edgeworth might not have intentionally forged evidence, but he probably used all of vonKarma's other dirty tactics like witness manipulation and illegal searches. No idea for the point right above this, though, as you'd think Phoenix would be a bit more understanding of Edgey after 1-4 at least, even if 1-5 wouldn't have happened...
  • Foe Yay:
    • Even with Edgeworth and Phoenix as rivals, it doesn't stop certain fans from shipping them like FedEx.
    • Gregory and Manfred, according to most of Fandom.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment: In the tutorial case, when asked who the victim is, one of the options is Mia. Come the very next case, and she is indeed the victim.
    • When you show Lana Skye the Attorney's Badge, she comments that the gold plating will flake off in a few years, then we'll see the real Phoenix. The conversation ends like this:

Lana Skye: "Give it three years. Then we'll see what you've become."

    • Phoenix is disbarred approximately three years later in-game.
      • That could have been deliberate foreshadowing.
  • Hell Is That Noise: Manfred von Karma's villainous objections.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Redd White murdered Mia Fey in the first game. In the third game, an important fact is Godot being unable to see red on white. Additionally, Godot/Diego Armando cared for Mia Fey in the past and was resentful of Wright of doing nothing to prevent her murder.
    • Case 3 is the first case that makes it clear that the American version takes place somewhere similar to Los Angeles. Three of the characters are William, Hammer, and Penny.
  • Love to Hate: Manfred von Karma. Despite being present in only three cases in the entire series, two of which being flashback cases in later games, he still manages to remain one of the most memorable Complete Monsters in the series to this day. It helps that no other prosecutor after him has managed to put as much of a fight as he did during "Turnabout Goodbyes".
  • Memetic Molester: Damon Gant.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Due to the murder in "Turnabout Goodbyes" taking place during December 25th, it's very common among the fandom to refer to Christmas as the "DL-6mas" and similar nicknames.
    • Damon Gant--in spades. He will RAEP you, indeed. Also, Phoenix Wrong.
    • Peachifruit's comics does this constantly.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Manfred's frequent, demonic Objection!s in Case 4.
    • Some people can't stand the sound of Manfred's fingersnaps.
    • Speaking to Mike Meekins in Case 5; that megaphone...!
  • Never Live It Down: Edgeworth will never live down his dirty "updated autopsy report" trick to destroy your contradiction in Case 2 despite his posterior Character Development.
  • Player Punch:
    • Redd White punches Phoenix in Case 2. What, didn't think physical harm was possible for a visual novel character?
    • Having to prove towards the end of Case 5 that Ema, who's been your sidekick for the whole case, accidentally killed Neil Marshall two years ago.
  • That One Boss: The first half of the first day of the trial in Case 5 is one of the hardest parts in the game, especially since much of it consists of finding subtle flaws in Angel Starr's testimony, mainly concerning the point from which she supposedly saw Lana stab Goodman.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Edgeworth in this installment, as Shu Takumi noted that he was supposed to be tragic, yet unlikable. The "unintentionally" part fades over time.
    • A fair share of fans seem to view Joe Darke as a mentally ill Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds instead of the Ax-Crazy Sociopath that the law-enforcement characters seem to view him as. Yes, he was a Serial Killer, but his backstory and motives — specifically that his first killing was a complete accident, the rest were out of paranoia instead of malice or sadism, he actually turned himself in despite the police lacking sufficient evidence (implying remorse), he only tried to escape after the blackout occurred (implying a panic attack), and he was attacked by Neil before even being able to react to Ema's presence (leaving it ambiguous as to whether or not he actually Would Hurt a Child) — seem to make said fans feel that he should've been institutionalized instead of executed.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice for AllEdit

  • Anticlimax Boss: Breaking Wendy Oldbag's psyche-locks in Case 4. It's the first time you have to deal with 4 locks at once, but if you show her Juan's autograph, all four of them break at the same time. Given how it's Wendy Oldbag we're talking about here, who is very dramatic, they probably did that on purpose.
  • Base Breaker: Case 3 ("Turnabout Big Top").
  • Complete Monster: The killer of Case 4, Matt Engarde. Especially what was done to Celeste and Juan, over extremely petty things.
    • Oh yeah, and how about that Morgan Fey? Tried to kill her own niece just to get her daughter to become Master, indirectly caused her own sister's death, and then there's how she plans to use Pearl... It's also explicitly mentioned that the reason she planned to set up Pearl as the Kurain heiress is not for her young daughter's well-being or benefit, but instead to revive a shred of her petty prideful dignity in assuring that she is the mother of the ruling line of the Kurain. She seriously did not give half a damn about her eight year old daughter's feelings on the matter.
      • She's even worse when you consider that, in Case 3-5, it's mentioned that Pearl would not have wanted to go along with Morgan's plan if she had known that Maya would die. It's bad enough that she was going to use Pearl for her own benefits, but the fact that she deliberately lied to manipulate Pearl's devotion to her is even more awful.
  • Contested Sequel: While not universally disliked, most fans consider it to be uneven at best. While the second case is considered to be good, and the finale is considered one of the best cases in the entire franchise, the tutorial case is at best forgettable and "Turnabout Big Top" is one of the least-liked cases of the series.
  • Ending Fatigue: The last trial eventually boils down to just stalling for time until a Big Damn Heroes moment happens. Canonically!
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Phoenix's nightmare of being disbarred by a giant, demonic judge becomes much less funny in Apollo Justice after he really does get disbarred.
    • Maya, despite being cleared of all charges, laments at the end of Case 2 that every time something like this happens, she loses someone close to her. In the next game, she loses her long-lost mother.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Franziska's whip will have you wanting to strangle her with it by the time Cases 2 and 3 are over.
    • The sound of the tracking device Franziska has on Gumshoe. Constant, high-pitched beeping. Gets people's attention mostly by being amazingly obnoxious.
    • Though the player doesn't hear it per-se, Moe's laugh is really annoying.
  • Player Punch:
    • The first act of "Reunion, and Turnabout". Particuarly Maya's Angst at the detention center.
    • Pretty much all of the last case, starting right at the beginning when Maya gets kidnapped to blackmail Nick, and just getting worse when you find out the client is guilty as sin, and you're forced to pin the blame on an innocent person just to stall for time.
  • Replacement Scrappy: In this game, Franziska has very little character beyond being a cartoonish Jerkass with thinly-sketched motives, and the only time she gets any real character development isn't until after the end credits. The next game and the two Ace Attorney Investigations entries would flesh her out much more, although her portrayal here is still a big factor in this being seen as one of the weakest entries in the series.
  • Squick:
    • Pearl gives us this gem:

"Let's go let her whip us, Mr. Nick!"

    • "Director Hotti" implies that he'd like to "research" the crime scene photos if you show them to him in 2-2. Even worse when you remember that it's Ini/Mimi in the pictures, and he'd been going on about how she was a favorite patient... And to top it all off, he shows interest in Pearl's picture. She's eight years old!
  • Vindicated by History: For a long time this was, aside from the final case, seen as the worst game in the whole Ace Attorney franchise, for lacking the tight storyline of the first or third games, or the novelty factor of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney or the first Ace Attorney Investigations game. Since then, opinions toward it have warmed considerably, to the point where it's actually now considered one of the better games in the series, only really let down by a poor third case and Franziska being a rather one-note adversary. Even the game's Sequel Difficulty Spike is looked on more favorably when compared to some of the newer entries, which have been criticised for being too easy.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and TribulationsEdit

  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • Due to a typo in Case 2, Mia says "Your Honor. When you were in a child..."
    • Assuming it's not intentional Getting Crap Past the Radar, everything about the "weenies" (as in sausages) in Case 3. Made worse by the fact that they're supposedly a symbol of Gumshoe's love for Maggey.
    • In Case 5, you can get Gumshoe to admit he wants to stick his pen in Phoenix's face.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • In an odd example, a couple gets this. The DeLites are either a Happily Married couple of a man who isn't above stealing for the happiness of his wife and a woman who likes strong emotions, and authentically loves her husband for many factors besides money, or a Happily Married couple of a crook and a gold digger. Or bit of both. At least they are Happily Married either interpretation.
    • Then there's the question of Terry Fawles' mental state. If he's mentally healthy, then he's an ephebophile, but if he suffers from mental problems or learning difficulties, then it's possible that he just doesn't understand the implications of a relationship with such an age gap. At least in the American version of the game (where Word of God claims takes place in California), the question is one of whether or not he was knowingly skirting the line with 14-year-old Dahlia, as the local age of consent is 18.
    • Iris can be subject to this based on your interpretation of her statement that the plot to poison Phoenix's cold medicine was the first time that Dahlia didn't tell her about a plot in advance. Does this mean that she knew about things like Diego's impending poisoning and let them happen? Does she deserve to be punished as an accessory to all of Dahlia's crimes?
  • Anticlimax Boss:
    • Sister Bikini's five Psyche-Locks all comes off at the same time with merely two presentations of evidence. Most other unlocking sequences require, on average, one or two pieces of evidence per lock. Justified as unlike many other witnesses who are all to eager to keep their secrets hidden until at breaking point, Sister Bikini is arguably one of the most co-operative witness of the series, and knows when to co-operate for the benefit of everyone involved, no matter how big the secret she tries to hide.
    • Luke Atmey in Case 2 initially appears to be one of these, since he gives up with surprising ease on the first trial day and admits to being the true thief. Actually a subversion, however, since he wanted to be found guilty of theft, so that he would have an alibi for the murder of Kane Bullard, which was in fact his doing.
  • Base Breaker: Godot.
  • Breather Boss: In Case 3, Gumshoe's Psyche-Lock regarding the lottery. Most likely Played for Laughs, given that Gumshoe ends up telling Phoenix crucial information about his cases without meaning to do so.
  • Complete Monster: The Big Bad, Dahlia Hawthorne. She ruined--or tried to--the lives of pretty much every single human being she could for utterly petty reasons. Her solution to almost every problem she faces seems to involving murdering someone. The Case Files manga once refers to her as the "most evil woman in Ace Attorney".
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Godot. There's a pretty big difference between sympathetic murderer and absolving him of all his crimes and bad decisions. Then again, the writers could have arguably been doing the same thing, given that Maya, who lost her mother as a result of his actions, still defends him, even though he suggests he was not primarily motivated by wanting to protect her, and she might have ended up dead when he killed the person channeling Dahlia.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Franziska whipping Phoenix in Case 5 (i.e. a recently discharged hospital patient who nearly drowned to death and who still has a cold).
  • Even Better Sequel: At the very least it's considered a big improvement over Justice For All (even though many agree none of the cases quite match up to "Farewell, My Turnabout", with the exception of "Bridge to the Turnabout", which is also considered one of the best cases in the series), with many fans regarding it as the best game in the entire Ace Attorney franchise.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Dahlia Hawthorne.
  • Funny Aneurysm Moment:
    • Phoenix's behavior in Case 1 gains a whole new dimension when it turns out that the woman he dated for six months and the one that tried to kill him are not the same, and that his insistence on her innocence wasn't a result of him grabbing the Idiot Ball. Perhaps it also counts as a bit of foreshadowing...
    • Mia's random comedic assaults on Grossberg in Case 1 every time Phoenix says something adoring about Dahlia become much less funny when you realize that it's not just low tolerance for sappy, saccharine gushing — it's because she's bottling up a lot of hate for Dahlia and with very good reason. There's also the possibility that it's related to the fact that she knows Grossberg is responsible for leaking the information on her mother, and her mother's resulting disappearance.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Phoenix's comment in Case 3 that the only way to win a phony case is with phony evidence becomes a lot harsher after the events of Apollo Justice, where he loses his badge due to evidence forgery.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Case 5 has one when you examine the incinerator. "A fight between a lawyer and an overgrown boiler? Who'd want to see that?"
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Dahlia in Iris's perspective, although most likely not the player's. Both sisters were separated from their mother and received no love from their father, and while Iris had a mother figure in Sister Bikini. Dahlia had no one. Iris realizes Dahlia has done many unforgivable things, but still cares for her and wants to help her because of what she's been through (including recovering the necklace so she won't commit any more crimes).
    • Godot could be considered as one, but only to Phoenix, whom he refused to acknowledge for the greater part of the game. He seems to be pretty nice to everyone else.
  • Magnificent Bastard: While not being a Big Bad, Luke Atmey from the third game certainly counts. He uses a guilty verdict as his alibi for a murder, and this same verdict makes him look like a genius thief smarter than everyone, while giving him what he wants the most from others, their attention.
  • Squick:
    • STOP TALKING ABOUT HEMORRHOIDS! Even worse in this case because Case 1's culprit is the first one in the series that poses a challenge to the player right in the first case so there's a huge chance of hearing Grossberg talking about it again and again after said culprit's cross-examination.
    • There's only one reason! One as obvious as Jean Armstrong in a thong on the Riviera!
  • Values Dissonance: Case 4 gives us a 20 year old man in a relationship with a 14 year old girl (quite a heated one too) - the mention of the age gap is Played for Laughs. However, while the reactions of Mia and Diego are played for laughs, the relationship itself is portrayed as unhealthy, although less because of the age than because Dahlia was very obviously using the mentally disabled Terry.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Ron DeLite. Some people mistake him for a woman thanks to his feminine appearance and passive personality.