Ace Attorney Prosecutors Part 1 – The Fewest Courtroom Appearances

Ace Attorney games typically pit us players in the role of a plucky defence attorney who believes in their client’s innocence above all else. Yet constantly in their way is the opposing prosecutor, an individual hell bent on pinning the crime on our unlucky defendants. These characters are some of the most important in the series and each game introduces another major prosecutor to the courtroom. Some share the pursuit of truth with our protagonists, some are only interested in their own prestige, while others have been more than a little sinister. We all have a favourite prosecutor from the series, but what we’re looking at here is which ones are seen on the opposing bench the most. So to start us off, we’re looking at the Prosecutors who we’ve seen in court the least, profiles, theme music and all!

*Spoiler Alert*

These posts contain spoilers, particularly from the recently released Spirit of Justice. Proceed at your own peril! We’re only covering main series titles here so don’t worry about any spin-off spoilers either!

#11 – Manfred von Karma (Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – 2001)

Courtroom Appearances: 1

Turnabout Goodbyes (PW)

The original terror of the courtroom, the only thing Manfred von Karma cares about is maintaining his perfect court record. A man who is meticulous in every facet of his life, he never lost a single case in his 40 year career in court. Worse still, every defendant he ever prosecuted was found guilty! However one incident in particular created a stain on his perfect record he could never forget. This is what drives him to become mentor to series regular Miles Edgeworth, and further still to orchestrate and prosecute him in a murder plot all in an effort to take revenge on his father, Gregory Edgeworth, who created that stain in the first place. He’s a scary and unforgettable character; anyone willing to carry a bullet in their arm for 15 years to leave no trace of their crime is a pretty formidable fellow

(Manfred may have been convicted for his nefarious crimes, but he has managed to stay relevant in the series as a whole thanks to the many ties he has with the series’ major characters. Most notably he has appeared in flashback cases in both Ace Attorney: Investigations spin-off titles).

Note – Manfred doesn’t have any in-game music specific to him, and shares his Investigations theme with his daughter.

#10 – Phoenix Wright (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice – 2016)

Courtroom Appearances: 1

Turnabout Revolution (SoJ)

phoenix-wright-spirit-of-justiceWhat a minute?! Phoenix Wright the prosecutor? No the world has not gone awry! The final case of Spirit of Justice, much like the game itself, is split into two parts starting off with protagonists Apollo Justice and Phoenix Wright facing off in the US over a civil case before the action heads back to Khura’in for the finale. As the case is a civil matter there is no prosecution involved. Of course this creates great tension at the Wright Anything Agency as our characters tremble at the thought of taking on the Turnabout Terror himself. However Phoenix ends up prosecuting the case regardless when, in true Ace Attorney fashion, the civil matter’s murderous details come to light. This isn’t Phoenix’s finest hour as it happens his hands are tied to his client and I daresay we prefer Phoenix on the defence’s bench, but it sure was entertaining seeing those legendary bluffs used against us.

(Phoenix Wright is of course the main character of the entire series however it is during Turnabout Revolution that we begin to see Apollo Justice as his equal in court. The 2016 arrangement of Phoenix’s original Objection theme is the Leitmotif he uses on the opposing bench).

#09 – Ga’ran Sigatar Khura’in (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice – 2016)

Courtroom Appearances: 1

Turnabout Revolution (SoJ)

garan-sigatar-khurainGa’ran is the reigning monarch of Khura’in, however 23 years prior to the events of Spirit of Justice she acted as the kingdom’s Justice Minister. We spend a lot of the game thinking her husband was the corrupt monarch but when she steps up to the prosecutor’s bench we see her true colours. Her transformation is dramatic and she is indeed as evil as she looks. She stands as the final challenge of the game, putting Apollo and Phoenix through the most desperate trial of either of their careers. With a flourish of her fingernail talons she is able to change the country’s laws and with a wave of her hand she isn’t beneath having witnesses, and even the defence, shot by her armed Royal Guard. Terrifying and insane she strives for a perfect trial by any means necessary.

(The conclusion of Spirit of Justice has surely left us fans with a lot of speculation as to the future of Ace Attorney. If the Kingdom of Khura’in is ever to play a major role again we’ll likely see this lady mentioned once more, but as for future appearances, I wouldn’t bank on it. Her Leitmotif is below).

#08 – Gaspen Payne (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies – 2013)

Courtroom Appearances: 2

Turnabout Countdown (DD) & The Foreign Turnabout (SoJ)

gaspen-payneDual Destinies decided to break from tradition somewhat, by giving us a whole new Payne to deal with. Gaspen is Winston Payne’s little brother and has taken over the role as prosecutor of the first episode of each game within the main series. Gaspen is the self-proclaimed “Rookie Humiliator” however, where the elder brother is just a tad unpleasant, Gaspen is outright corrupt. He has no qualms about falsifying evidence and once he is reprimanded for this practice, flees to Khura’in where he quickly rises to the rank of Chief Prosecutor. There he traps an unaware Phoenix Wright into being tried under the Defence Culpability Act (a law central to Spirit of Justice which finds those who would support criminals equally guilty) that has made lawyers extinct all across Khura’in. Thankfully Gaspen isn’t a great prosecutor, falling short of his goal of eradicating Phoenix Wright for good.

(Howsoever Gaspen crawls out of the mess he’s made of his career after Spirit of Justice is a story for another time. Regardless he’ll be back when the series next returns… Unless we get a new Payne to deal with that is).

Note – Neither Payne has been considered worthy enough to have their own Leitmotif… And the music is so integral to the Ace Attorney experience too!

#07 – Franziska von Karma (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Justice for All – 2002)

Courtroom Appearances: 3

Reunion, and Turnabout, Turnabout Big Top (JfA) & Bridge to the Turnabout (T&T)

franziska-von-karmaWe now move on to the first major prosecutor on this list, Franziska von Karma is the main opponent in the second Ace Attorney game. She is the daughter of the fearsome Manfred von Karma and a prosecuting prodigy, first entering the courthouse at the age of 13. She travels to the US upon hearing about the defeats of her father and her rival Miles Edgeworth. She hopes to defeat Phoenix in court and thus rise to the von Karma name. She’s one of the more over-the-top prosecutors in the series, brandishing her signature whip wherever she goes. Her character can seem grating, but beneath her tough exterior lies an individual struggling to find herself when she suddenly learns she can step out of her father’s shadow.This can make her surprisingly endearing, especially when she’s pointing out the foolishly foolish ramblings of a fool who foolishly flounders in their foolery.

(Franziska may seem underused in the main series, but she plays a fairly major role in both Ace Attorney: Investigations spin-off titles. While she remains one of the only major characters from the original trilogy not to appear in the Apollo Justice time jump, her return one day should not be ruled out entirely. See her Leitmotif below).

#06 – Godot (Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations – 2004)

Courtroom Appearances: 3

The Stolen Turnabout, Recipe for Turnabout & Bridge to the Turnabout (T&T)

godotGodot is the main opponent of the third game, and like Franziska hasn’t had all too many courtroom appearances. Nevertheless he is without a doubt the coolest prosecutor to ever grace the series, with his intimidating glowing mask, striking white hair and above all else that terrific coffee addiction. However Godot’s tale is a tragic one and as we learn through Trials and Tribulations, Diego Armando (his true name) was once a defence attorney and close ally/possible romantic interest to Phoenix’s mentor, Mia Fey. However after falling into a coma which dramatically altered his appearance, he awakes to find Mia’s life taken before her time. Thus he harbours a deep hatred for Phoenix, whom he blames for Mia’s death. A fantastic, well-designed and memorable character, Godot will always be my personal favourite prosecutor.

(Sadly his desire to protect the last remnant of Mia in the world, her sister Maya, forces him to make the ultimate sacrifice. You’ll be sorely missed Godot, you and your gorgeous theme music, which can be heard below).

That’s the end of Part 1 but check up on us soon when we discuss the prosecutors with the most courtroom appearances! Do you have a favourite prosecutor? Leave a comment if you want to discuss more!

Check the link here for Part 2 with the most appearances from Ace Attorney prosecutors.

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