10 Best Moments in Phoenix Wright
There are plenty of trials and tribulations (heh) to be found in the Phoenix Wright series, but a few key moments tend to stick out in the minds of those that have played the games.We certainly have our favorites, and with the recent Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD release we've been able to relive some of them in a brand new way. As such, we've put together a handy run down of the cream of the courtroom crop. Here are the 10 Best Moments in the Phoenix Wright series.
Oh, and this should be obvious, but WARNING: There be spoilers ahead.
On the second day of the case against Miles Edgeworth, Phoenix encounters a senile old man who runs the boat shop on Gourd Lake. Constantly calling Phoenix and Maya the wrong name and blabbering about some pasta restaurant, this old fogey doesn’t seem to be much help for the defense… until Phoenix Wright figures out who he really is: Yanni Yogi, the former bailiff disgraced in a case 15 years prior. Now unmasked Yogi stands in full attention, revealing a much stronger persona and showing just how unpredictable these games can be.
Part of what makes Phoenix Wright so great is watching the true culprit break down on the witness stand. Every nefarious character goes out in a satisfying blaze of glory, but Furio Tigre here turns his freak out into a stunning laser light show, letting out a roar so loud the lights go out in the courthouse. As we see the signature flashes of key moments in the case and Tigre’s body flashes black and white before the end of his loud yell, we can’t help but feel proud that we took this loan shark mobster crook down. It’s one thing when the murderer did so out of revenge or by accident, we might have pity for those people, but this guy is a total jerk and deserves to be locked up.
The fourth game in the Ace Attorney series introduced a new protagonist in Apollo Justice, and with him came the new ability to sense nervous ticks among the witnesses. This helped Apollo, and also the player, to detect lies in testimonies. The final testimony, delivered by former prosecutor Kristoph Gavin, seems to be completely airtight, until a slight pulsing vein in his hand gives him away and leads Apollo to victory. Compared to the other nervous ticks in the game this is almost undetectable, and that’s what makes it so memorable.
In older Phoenix Wright games, our lucky lawyer would make a startling revelation marked by a shocked face, a “No Wayyyy!!!!” in the dialogue box, then a choice where we'd have to guess what he just put together. Dual Destinies changed all that with Thought Routes, thrusting us right into Phoenix or Apollo’s thoughts during a crucial moment and letting us chain the facts together to come to that shocking conclusion ourselves. This slight mechanic change made a huge change in immersion, as now we feel like we're right inside the lawyer’s head where we should be all along. We hope future Ace Attorney games keep this trend going.
Throughout Apollo Justice’s first adventure we run into Lamiroir, a singing beauty blinded by a horrible accident. While she features prominently in a case involving a concert gone awry, we see her again later as part of the brand new Jurist System, where she must cast a vote in deciding the guilt of another defendant. While we first thought that was an odd choice, we soon realized what was going on: as Lamiroir extends her arm to cast her vote, we see a familiar bracelet hanging off of her wrist. We're all about subtle revelations, and this one is a beauty.
There’s a long running theory in our heads that in order to properly end a series, a proper beginning must be established. For Phoenix Wright, that comes in the fourth case of Trials and Tribulations and the first case Mia Fey ever defended. Her client, Terry Fawles, was accused of murder for the second time despite being innocent in both cases. Just as Mia is getting close to the truth, Fawles stops the entire proceeding by poisoning himself. It’s a tragic and shocking conclusion to the case that we now know started the entire series off, and everyone involved makes a little more sense after experiencing it.
Playing as a defense attorney, a “not guilty” verdict should be the goal for each client. For the final trial of Justice for All, however, this was not the case. Matt Engarde, a young action star accused of killing his biggest rival, reveals that he in fact did murder said rival, but if Phoenix wants to save the kidnapped Maya Fey he’d better get Matt acquitted and fast. Through some tricky logical maneuvering Phoenix and another familiar face are able to not only save Maya but force Engarde to declare himself guilty, the only time in the series where a guilty verdict is the best result.
Rise from the Ashes is a special fifth chapter of the original Ace Attorney game featuring a new cast of supporting characters and a wild case involving a murdered detective. Navigating the evidence and testimony leads us to Damon Gant, the Chief of Police, as the culprit of both the current trial and the two-year-old case surrounding it. Phoenix nails Gant with some expert knowledge of “Evidence Law,” deliberately delaying the presenting of a certain piece of evidence. In doing so Phoenix springs himself from Gant’s trap and sends the corrupt Chief into hysterics. Sometimes it pays to be sneaky.
The journey is over, the facts are all laid bare, and the final case of the trilogy has been solved. In an ultimate show of respect, the coffee-happy Godot decides not to throw his coffee at Phoenix as he had done in the past, instead sharing a mug o’ joe with his victorious rival. We could easily just choose “the entire final case” as all ten moments for this list, as it’s one windy road of surprises and twist, but this final send-off (and the next moment) are the two that stick out the most. We don’t know why, but Godot has always been a favorite of ours in this series. We wonder if he’ll ever come back.
Not many video game women are as nefarious and evil as Dahlia Hawthorne, a face that pops up numerous times throughout Trials and Tribulations. In the final case we find out that the girl we think is Iris of Hazakura Temple is instead Maya channeling the evil Dahlia (who happens to be Iris’ twin). When Dahlia’s deception is exposed and the malevolent girl is backed into a corner, she launches herself out of Maya’s body and hovers over the court as a demonic-looking ghost. The series has always dabbled in the occult, but this was such a break from the rest of the game that we were completely in awe of it. We’ve watched it multiple times and still can’t get enough of it.