|Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney|
|Release date(s)|| September 15, 2005|
October 12, 2005
March 16, 2006
|Followed by||Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All|
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a point-and-click courtroom adventure game for the Nintendo DS. It was both developed and published by Capcom. It is a remake of a Japan only Game Boy Advance game, meaning that it's the first time that the game has been translated in English. When it was released in North America in 2005 it became a sleeper hit, and has garnered a cult following.
The objective in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is to get the defendant in a given case declared not guilty. The main protagonist in this game is Phoenix Wright, a defense attorney who doubles as a detective of sorts. In order to get his defendants declared not guilty Phoenix often searches for clues in case-related locations and then presents his findings in court.
There are five episodes in this game, each one beginning with details of a murder and the defendant accused of the crime. Phoenix Wright attempts to clear the defendant's name throughout the episode in a series of phases. One phase involves collecting information that will help prove his client is innocent. Phoenix does this by interviewing civilians and potential witnesses, investigating relevant locations, and taking items that might prove helpful later. The other phase takes place in the courtroom where Phoenix must face off against a prosecutor trying to send his client to jail.
The courtroom proceeding usually begins with both defense and prosecution stating their case. The prosecutor then brings a witness to the stand to ask some questions and to allow the witness to give their testimony. After that, Phoenix gets to cross-examine the witness and search for any contradictions in what they said. All of this happens under the observance of the judge who keeps order in the court and ultimately decides the fate of the defendant. During the courtroom proceeding, there are five exclamation points that represent the amount of strikes Phoenix has before he loses the case. During the cross examination Phoenix can make a witness give a more detailed account of what they experienced and present evidence that shows a clear contradiction to a specific part of their testimony. If he shows the wrong piece of evidence, he will be penalized one exclamation point. Phoenix can also lose points outside of the cross examination if he uses faulty logic or does not provide proof for a claim he made.
These phases often alternate with each other; The investigation phase is followed by a courtroom battle followed by an investigation phase, and so on. Once Phoenix collects all the information he can in the investigation phase and proves in court that his client could not have possibly committed murder, the judge will find the defendant not guilty.
Phoenix Wright meets a variety of people during a particular episode and usually when they appear they will also show up in the profiles menu. Some people may only appear in one episode while others become recurring characters.
Phoenix Wright: A young defense attorney and the main protagonist. He has no courtroom experience prior to the first episode, but as episodes are completed he begins to make a name for himself. His friends call him "Nick".
Mia Fey: A chief attorney who acts as Phoenix Wright's mentor.
Maya Fey: Mia's younger sister who happens to be a spirit medium in training.
Larry Butz: Phoenix's childhood friend who always seems to get in trouble. Larry is part of the reason why Wright became a lawyer. People occasionally call him Harry by mistake.
The Judge: He presides over the courtroom and declares the verdict. Can be a tad clueless at times.
Detective Dick Gumshoe: A hasty and foolhardy detective who often jumps to conclusions.
Marvin Grossberg: An attorney who was Mia Fey's mentor and is a source of help for Phoenix.
Miles Edgeworth: An unsympathetic prosecutor who always strives for guilty verdicts.
Frank Sahwit: Supposed newspaper salesman (Episode 1).
Cindy Stone: Larry Butz's ex-girlfriend/model (Episode 1).
Winston Payne: A prosecutor who shrieks "Objection" at a high pitch (Episode 1).
April May: A woman who claims to have witnessed a crime from a hotel window (Episode 2).
Bellboy: A hotel employee intrigued by mysteries and court proceedings (Episode 2).
Redd White: The CEO of Bluecorp (Episode 2).
Will Powers: He stars as the Steel Samurai in the show of the same name (Episode 3).
Jack Hammer: Plays the nemesis to Will Power's Steel Samurai. Very famous back in the day (Episode 3).
Wendy Oldbag: Cranky security guard at Global Studios, where the "Steel Samurai" is filmed (Episode 3).
Penny Nichols: Mousy assistant at Global Studios (Episode 3).
Sal Manella: A director of the "Steel Samurai" television series. Talks in l33t speak (Episode 3).
Cody Hackins: A kid who might be the Steel Samurai's biggest fan (Episode 3).
Dee Vasquez: A producer at Global Studios. A bit of a diva (Episode 3).
Lotta Hart: A feisty investigative reporter with a lot of heart (Episode 4).
Robert Hammond: A defense attorney in the infamous DL-6 incident (Episode 4).
Misty Fey: Mia and Maya's Fey mother who disappeared years ago. A spirit medium like many other members of her family (Episode 4).
Manfred von Karma: A ruthlessly efficient prosecutor who has a powerful form of persuasion over the judge and will do anything for a guilty verdict. He has been a mentor to Miles Edgeworth (Episode 4).
"Uncle": An old man that runs a boat rental shop that also happens to be a noodle restaurant (Episode 4).
Lana Skye: A Chief Prosecutor and former detective. She reminds Phoenix of Mia Fey (Episode 5).
Ema Skye: Lana Skye's younger sister. She is a high school junior and a burgeoning scientific investigator (Episode 5).
Bruce Goodman: A detective in Criminal Affairs and a good man (Episode 5).
Angel Starr: A former detective who is currently a lunch salesman. Her moniker is the "Cough-up Queen" (Episode 5).
Jake Marshall: A former detective who was demoted to being a patrolman (Episode 5).
Neil Marshall: Jake Marshall's brother. Won the "King of the Prosecutors" award two years prior (Episode 5).
Mike Meekins: A high strung patrolman that works in General Affairs (Episode 5).
Damon Gant: The enthusiastic district chief of police and former vice head of criminal affairs (Episode 5).
Phoenix Wright's first case. Under the direction of Mia Fey, Wright must clear his first defendant of murder. The defendant is Larry Butz, Wright's friend from grade school. Larry is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend and leaving the scene. This episode has only one phase that takes place entirely in the courtroom.
Mia Fey's sister, Maya, is accused of murder, and Phoenix reluctantly agrees to defend her. The case proves tricky when a witness claims to have seen Maya commit the crime and it appears the victim wrote Maya's name on a piece of paper before dying. This is the first episode to include an investigation phase.
In Phoenix's next case, he defends Will Powers, a television actor who is accused of murdering another actor. As it turns out, the characters played by the defendant and the victim are rivals on the show they star in. Unfortunately, the defendant has no alibi and a security camera appears to show him going towards the area where the murder would soon take place.
Miles Edgeworth is accused of murdering a defense attorney named Robert Hammond. In an ironic situation, Phoenix Wright defends Miles, the prosecutor who has tried to get Phoenix's clients guilty verdicts in the past. The odds are stacked against Miles; he and the victim knew each other under dire circumstances, his fingerprints are on the murder weapon, and the only other people at the park were witnesses, or at least claim to be witnesses. The prosecutor for this trial is Manfred von Karma, Miles' mentor.
Phoenix must yet again defend a prosecutor, this time it happens to be a High Prosecutor named Lana Skye. Lana's sister, Ema Skye, requests Phoenix's help. For some reason, though, the High Prosecutor refuses his help and says she is guilty of the murder committed. Further complicating the case is another murder that took place at the same exact time, in the same exact way, but in a different location.
This episode was strikingly different than previous episodes in that Phoenix was able to view evidence and examine locations in ways he was unable to before. He could now rotate evidence in three dimensions if he wanted to look at them in a new perspective. Luminol testing fluid can be used to find blood that could not normally be seen by the human eye, while a fingerprinting set could attach clues to certain people. There were many other interactive and unique ways to complete this case, including putting pieces of a vase back together, inputting a password, and viewing a videotape that showed footage of an assault.