In a recent Official Nintendo Magazine UK interview Shu Takumi, creator and scenario writer for the Ace Attorney series, revealed that ‘I felt that Phoenix’s story had been told, and that the series should not continue’. This has of course not been the case and many of us have now finished playing the fifth instalment Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies and I for one am thankful to see the series return. The thrill of the courtroom and the cast of character’s unfaltering optimism have really put a smile on my face once more, reminding me how much love I have for the series. It’s quite shocking then to think that the man behind the games himself didn’t want to continue and in all respect the desire to end the series as to ‘avoid dragging it out having it become a shadow of its former self’ is a heartfelt sentiment. But now having finished Dual Destinies myself I feel Capcom has been struggling with a dilemma here; trying to establish a second generation of attorneys while giving the fans what they want, which is more Phoenix Wright.
The result of this makes me feel Takumi is right here, Phoenix’s story is over. However these are dark times for the law, it isn’t as safe a place as it was 10 years before when Mr. Wright first stepped into court. There was no falsified evidence or mass media attacks on the courts, just a man trying to protect his friends and all those who need help when all else has failed. The main storyline of the original trilogy is that of the Fey family and the Kurain channelling technique, not an evil that effects justice itself. But for poor Apollo Justice and newcomer Athena Cykes they must face a system that has long been troubled by the evils of the Dark Age of the Law. They’re going to need help.
Thus Capcom has created a necessity to reunite Phoenix Wright back with his attorney’s badge, which is to guide these young hopefuls through what could prove a dangerous time. *Spoilers* But we learn at the end of Dual Destinies that it was Phoenix and Prosecutor Blackquill who inadvertently brought about this dark age of the law, so now that their names have been redeemed what is left for Phoenix to do. *Spoilers end* The sense I get is we are to receive a third game in the series, one that’ll end this story arc begun in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and create a new trilogy. This trilogy will end, like Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations as a send-off, where like Mia and Godot challenged Phoenix, Mr. Wright himself will force Apollo and Athena to prove they have what it takes to go it alone from here on out. This was the ultimate ending for Phoenix in his original trilogy, that he didn’t need Mia anymore and could stand on his own two feet, something he succeeds in throughout Dual Destinies. We see no more of Mia Fey because she is no longer needed, and I feel the same is coming for Phoenix Wright himself.
The future for Ace Attorney seems to stick with Takumi’s assertion that Phoenix Wright’s story has by and large ended. Now it’s just a case of the fans needing to accept this. However what Capcom have done I feel works well; the only way for the fans to accept this is if Phoenix Wright himself proves our next generation protagonists are cut out for the job. It is for this reason that I feel more than excited for the next game in the series and cannot wait to see its glorious future.
Extra Note – *Spoiler* I got to say though, while a lack of Maya has been addressed in exactly the way you’d expect (the master of the Kurain channelling technique has no time to be an assistant in a law office!) there is one thing I want to find out in Phoenix’s life. What happened to Iris? I suppose there may be one part of Phoenix’s story that is yet to be concluded after all…