Standing straight out, firm and unwavering, it points towards a glorious future! A shining finger, it’s glorious light banishing all lies and darkness before it! His voice is clear, his conviction loud! The struggle isn’t over yet! No, in fact he has only begun to turn it around!
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE ACE ATTORNEY SERIES
The Ace Attorney games are a series near and dear to my heart. In total, there are six games (five and a spin-off) a manga series, several doujinshi collections, a movie AND a musical. But enough about that. Let’s get to the games!
The games cast you in the role of Phoenix Wright, ace defense attorney (or his erstwhile apprentice, Apollo Justice) as he struggles to find his clients innocent (and win enough cases to pay the bills). The game alternates between investigative phases (where you collect evidence and piece together the events of each murder) and court sessions (where you press witnesses, present evidence and try to find the holes in the prosecution’s case), with the end goal being the discovery of the true culprit so your client can be declared NOT GUILTY. Which they all are (with one notable exception), and boy are they a colorful crew. Which is really the series’ strongpoint: its cast of characters.
A “CHARACTER” WITNESS
The most amazing thing about the characters in the Ace Attorney series is how they stay with you, even after the games. From the lovably inept Gumshoe, to the diabolical Manfred Von Karma. Is there any motherf**ker more suave than Miles Edgeworth? Or a woman more hands-down all-out EVIL than Dahlia Hawthorne? Or a cooler customer than Godot? The prosecutor who basically came back from dead to find justice? Who hasn’t had a friend like Larry Butz or struggled against the odds like Phoenix?
These characters lodge in your heart, especially as you keep playing the series, until you get to point of “oh boy, when’s Gumshoe going to show up?” Which only makes it better and better every time they show up again. I practically flipped my shit with joy when Edgeworth made his reappearance in Dual Destinies. Seriously. My house mates were like “are you okay?” I made such a fuss. And how old is that judge now? Seriously. I also just did “seriously” as its own sentence twice in the same paragraph. And with characters this crazy, they need an appropriately crazy world to exist in.
EVIDENCE OF INSANITY
Here’s a list of things that happen or are true in the Ace Attorney universe:
- Ghosts are real.
- Spirit mediums are legit
- Holographic recreations of crime scenes
- Spirit possession
- A killer whale is tried for murder.
- A pair of panties that link to a mystical storage dimension (don’t ask, please god, DONT ASK ABOUT THE PANTIES)
- An amulet, charged with spiritual energy that lets you see people’s lies and break their resolve
- An everyday parrot has key information about a case
- A girl pretends to be a boy for eighteen years…. and adapts without any psychological trauma when her secret is revealed.
- A bracelet that tightens when someone has a subconscious “tell”
- A robotic necklace that can tell a person’s exact emotional state.
- Prosecutors bring whips and wild animals to court, and physically assault the defense with no repercussions
- All witnesses lie. All the time. With no repercussions of perjury.
- Losing a court case makes you lose your hair. Immediately.
- A man with a masks of literally EVERYONE. And the masks are indistinguishable from the real person.
- It’s perfectly normal for everyone’s names to be ridiculous plays on words or puns.