Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken

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The Great Ace Attorney: The Adventure of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō
Dai Gyakuten Saiban cover art.png
Cover art, featuring the game's main characters
Director(s)Shu Takumi
Producer(s)Shintaro Kojima
Artist(s)Kazuya Nuri
Writer(s)Shu Takumi
  • Yasumasa Kitagawa
  • Hiromitsu Maeba
SeriesAce Attorney
Platform(s)Nintendo 3DS, Android, iOS
ReleaseNintendo 3DS
  • JP: July 9, 2015
  • JP: August 30, 2017
  • JP: August 31, 2017
Genre(s)Adventure, visual novel

The Great Ace Attorney: The Adventure of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō[a] is an adventure game in the Ace Attorney series, developed and published by Capcom. It was directed and produced by Shu Takumi and Shintaro Kojima, respectively. The game was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in July 2015, with Android and iOS versions following in August 2017; a release outside Japan is not currently planned, though an unofficial fan translation by Scarlet Study exists. A sequel, The Great Ace Attorney 2: The Resolve of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, was released in 2017.


The game carries on the courtroom style gameplay of previous installments in the Ace Attorney series, including the fully 3D environments and character models previously featured in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies. Like previous titles, the game is divided between investigation, in which players explore areas to gather evidence and testimonies, and courtroom battles, in which players must find contradictions in witness testimonies to find the truth behind a case. Similarly to Takumi's previous game, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the player sometimes has to cross-examine multiple witnesses at the same time.[1]

Trials in the game feature a jury, not just one judge; this also was the case in the fourth case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, however, in Dai Gyakuten Saiban the jury directly influences the trial. The jurors are able to interrupt the trial at any time to enter their vote of either "guilty" or "not guilty" if they feel the defendant's guilt or innocence, respectively, has been conclusively demonstrated. If every juror has entered a vote of "guilty", then the defendant is given a guilty verdict. However, the player is able to present a closing argument after the verdict during which they interview the jurors, attempting to change their minds. If after the closing argument the player has persuaded at least a majority; four out of six, of the jurors to withdraw their votes of guilty, the court acknowledges the misalignment of the verdict, and the trial continues. If they fail, then the verdict stays as is and the trial is adjourned.

New to this game is Joint Reasoning, which takes place during investigations alongside Sherlock Holmes. In these segments, Holmes makes quick deductions about a witness, and it is up to the player to point out contradictions in his theories. This will occasionally require the player to inspect the witness from various angles, similar to how certain bits of evidence could be examined in previous installments, in order to find hidden clues that can help lead Holmes to the proper conclusion.[2][3]


Setting and characters[edit]

Taking place near the end of the 19th century and the dawn of the 20th century (known in Japan as the Meiji Period, in Britain as the Victorian era), Dai Gyakuten Saiban focuses on Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, an English student at Teito Yūmei University and an ancestor of primary Ace Attorney series protagonist Phoenix Wright. He is described as a character with a strong sense of justice, but who easily ends up in danger.[4] Joining Ryūnosuke is Asōgi Kazuma, his friend and law student. He is studying to become a defense attorney, but is described by Capcom as being "more than qualified to be one" already. As the modern judicial system was new at the time in Japan, Asōgi aims to complete his studies in Great Britain.[1] Ryūnosuke and Asōgi are aided by Susato Mikotoba, a judicial assistant. She is described by Capcom as a yamato nadeshiko (a personification of the image of the ideal Japanese woman), a progressive dreamer, and a lover of foreign mystery novels.[5][6]

Upon traveling to England to further his studies, Ryūnosuke meets and befriends world-famous British detective Sherlock Holmes.[7] Unlike the literary version of the character, Holmes often misjudges clues left around the crime scene. Accompanying Holmes is his assistant Iris Watson, a ten-year-old prodigy and the daughter of the deceased Dr. John H Watson.[7]


The first chapter, The Adventure of the Great Departure, takes place in Meiji Japan, and has Ryūnosuke get put on trial for the murder of a Japanese university teacher, Dr. John H Watson. He is represented by Asōgi, while the prosecutor is Taketsuchi Auchi, the Meiji Period ancestor of recurring character Takefumi Auchi (Winston Payne in the English localizations). With help from Susato, Ryūnosuke and Asōgi prove that the real murderer is Jezail Brett, an English exchange student who had been studying under Watson at the university, though her motive is left a mystery and she is subsequently released back to England. Following the trial, Asōgi leaves Japan to complete his studies in Great Britain, but has Ryūnosuke travel with him as a stowaway.

In the second chapter, The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band, Asōgi hides Ryūnosuke in his baggage and then in his room in order to bring him along to England for Asōgi's debut in the courts. However, while Ryūnosuke is asleep, Asōgi is found murdered within his cabin, and now exposed stowaway Ryūnosuke is once again blamed for the murder. Working with Susato and eccentric passenger Sherlock Holmes, Ryūnosuke discovers that the real killer is Nikomina Borschevitch, a world-famous Russian ballerina who fled Russia, and had unintentionally killed Asōgi by pushing and breaking his neck on his bed's wooden knob after fearfully assuming that he was going to turn her in to the captain (in truth he attempted to introduce her to her fellow stowaway Ryūnosuke as an act of trust and similar circumstances). After the incident is settled, Ryūnosuke persuades Susato for him to take Asōgi's place as a representative lawyer in Britain, which she agrees to and begins to heavily tutor him on English Law for the remainder of the journey.

The third chapter, The Adventure of the Runaway Room, has Chief Magistrate Lord Hart Vortex suddenly assign Ryūnosuke and Susato to defend a philanthropist Cosney Megundal, who has been accused of murdering a bricklayer named "Thrice-Fired" Mortar Milverton within a moving omnibus, shortly after they arrive in Britain. They go up against Barok van Zieks, a legendary British Prosecutor known as the "Grim Reaper of the Old Bailey" and are introduced to the British legal system, which uses a jury of six people to decide the verdict. During the trial, a smoke bomb is let off, forcing an evacuation of the courtroom. After court resumes, Ryūnosuke and Susato cross examine the newly discovered witness, Gina Lestrade and discover evidence proving that Mortar had been killed on the carriage roof, though Zieks claims that this evidence had been forged after the smoke bomb had gone off. He is unable to prove this, and Megundal is subsequently acquitted, though Ryūnosuke remains unsure of Megundal's innocence. Shortly after the trial, Megundal is murdered in a fire.

In the fourth, The Adventure of Clouded Kokoro, Ryūnosuke and Susato take on the defense of the soon to be famous Japanese novelist Natsume Sōseki, who is currently in London studying English as a nervous exchange student, and has been charged with aggravated assault following a stabbing in the street. During the trial, Ryūnosuke proves that the stabbing was actually the result of a domestic disturbance between landlord John Garrideb and his wife Joan, who had thrown a knife at her husband, only for the knife to fall outside their window and unintentionally hit the victim. Sōseki is declared not guilty and explains that he is going to go back to Japan, no longer as nervous of the public as he was before. Sherlock invites Ryūnosuke and Susato to live with him and Iris at 221B Baker Street and set up their law office in their attic.

In the fifth and final case, The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story the mystery of the third case is returned to, as a bigger game at hand is revealed through the murder of a pawnshop owner, Hutch, which Gina is accused of. It turns of one of the jurors' acquaitance, a Telegraph station technician named Robert Crogley, was the son of Mortar Milverton, who Megundal did kill, and had the baliff set the fire that killed Megundal. Crogley killed Hutch to steal a device with government secrets which had resulted in Megundal murdering Milverton. After the case is solved, Susato heads back to Japan after learning that her father is supposedly really sick.


As with most entries in the series, the game was directed by Shu Takumi.

The Great Ace Attorney was developed by Capcom for the Nintendo 3DS. It was directed by Shu Takumi and produced by Shintaro Kojima,[8] and features character designs and art direction by Kazuya Nuri[9][10] and music by Yasumasa Kitagawa and Hiromitsu Maeba.[11]

Development began in 2013, a few months after the Japanese release of Takumi's previous project, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, when he was asked to work on a new Ace Attorney game.[12] At one point, he considered having the game focus on civil trials,[13] but remembered a game idea he had come up with earlier:[14] around 2000, he had the idea of a mystery game in which a detective makes incorrect deductions, and where players have to correct the detective and lead him towards the truth.[15] He thought it would be fun to combine the idea with Ace Attorney, but did not expect Capcom to accept the idea.[14][16]

Takumi had also been wanting to make a Sherlock Holmes game for a long time; because of this, Holmes was part of the concept all the way from the start. According to Takumi, he had several reasons for wanting Holmes in the game: both due to the gameplay, and as a way to separate the game from the main Ace Attorney series, as Holmes is from a different time period than the one the main series games take place in. This led to Takumi thinking about how Japan was at that time, and lead to new possibilities for the game's mysteries.[15] Initially, Takumi had intended for the game to begin in London, thinking that it would be too much to create a Japanese court only for the prologue; this changed when Nuri said that he thought it should begin in Japan.[9]

Takumi found it challenging to write dialogue and using expressions appropriate for the way the Japanese language was during the Meiji period, as he had to avoid both too old-fashioned and too modern dialogue. As the Meiji period was a time when the lawyer profession was new in Japan, and when there was a lot of focus on becoming a part of "the new world" and becoming more Western, Takumi made sure to make the game reflect this.[17] As Takumi had to create a new world for the story to take place in, it took longer than expected to write the game's scenario.[9] The protagonist Ryūnosuke's character was based on how the main series protagonist Phoenix Wright would speak and act if he had lived during the Meiji period. When the development team wrote a list of ideas for names for the protagonist, "Ryūnosuke" was the first one to be suggested; it only took a few seconds for them to decide on it.[18] Susato is based on the same concept as that of previous Ace Attorney heroines: she was designed to be a "perfect partner" and fun to spend time with, as the heroines of the series always are by the main characters' side.[15] her name was decided by choosing kanji characters that Takumi found pretty.[19] The development team decided to change "Sherlock's Watson" from the original, as they thought it would be more interesting if Watson weren't another English gentleman.[15]

Visuals and music[edit]

Unlike previous Ace Attorney games, both characters and environments are fully made in 3D.[20] Like Takumi's earlier game Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, spotlights light up characters while they dance; this was something that had not been done in previous Ace Attorney games.[15] Motion capture of the former Takarazuka Revue actress Shiotsuki Shuu was used for some animations; as the Ace Attorney series is known for its poses and animations, this was chosen as a way to make the animation more dynamic.[21] Nuri designed the characters to make them look simple while also conveying a lot of information. He intended to make the graphics look like illustrations, and wanted to convey the feeling of the materials clothes and items from the Meiji period were made from. Characters were designed to be partially realistic, as realistic animations and facial expressions were needed for the game. Witnesses and jury members were however designed in a more stylized way, to ensure that players immediately recognize them when they see the characters sitting next to each other.[10]

Ryūnosuke was designed to have "the sharp look of a university student", which went without problems. It did, however, take a long time to design his haircut; Takumi wanted the haircut to be recognizable from Ryūnosuke's silhouette, but said that most people during the Meiji period had simple haircuts.[18] Nuri tried designing various haircuts from that time, and designed around 50 variations.[10] Susato was designed to be an elegant Japanese woman; because of the time period, it was decided that she was to wear a kimono. Takumi had several ideas for various items she could hold, but it was decided that it was best to keep her design simple,[19] as contrast to the English characters. Several different variations were made for Holmes' design, including "depressed", "cute", "adventurous", "dark", and "sleeping" variations; eventually, they used a variation on how Holmes traditionally is depicted, as contrast to his personality. Additionally, he was given a gun as contrast to Ryūnosuke's sword. Iris' design included gothic elements, as well as elements of a mad scientist, and was created to look good when appearing together with Holmes. Asōgi's clothes were designed with influences from both Japanese and Western cultures. His headband, which flutters in the wind, was something Nuri really wanted in the game, and was something they were only able to do with 3D graphics.[10] Van Zieks was designed to give off a "dark aura",[22] with elements of vampires, wolves, and fallen angels.[10]

When composing the game's music, Kitagawa used a mindset similar to that when composing for older games, trying to work within limitations to create strong music. He focused on creating catchy melodies, and went through a lot of trial and error. Takumi wanted the music to sound more "festive" than the electronic music used in earlier Ace Attorney games, so he asked Kitagawa to make use of a live orchestra, but with fewer instruments than in the previous game. He also wanted it to sound British, so Kitagawa ended up using sounds similar to chamber music. They did not think piano sounded right for the game, which led to difficulties in differentiating the instruments, as they only had string and wind instruments; because of this, they ended up introducing Spanish elements to the music. As a reference to how Holmes is known for playing the violin, they also tried using violins in the music.[9]


The game was released by Capcom for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on July 9, 2015.[23] It was made available in various different editions. A limited edition, which is only sold through Capcom's "e-Capcom" store, includes the game, a box based on Holmes' briefcase, Holmes and Iris plush toys, a pin based on the one Ryuunosuke wears, postcards, and a Holmes-themed sticker. Another edition, also exclusive to e-Capcom, includes the game, a soundtrack CD, and a collection of illustrations. Additionally, there is one edition that includes the game and all the bonus items from the other editions. Pre-orders of the game also included a Dai Gyakuten Saiban theme for the Nintendo 3DS home screen.[24] A limited edition bundling Dai Gyakuten Saiban with its sequel and a soundtrack CD with music from both games is planned for release on August 3, 2017.[25] The original soundtrack release was published by Capcom in Japan on July 15, 2015.[26] Android and iOS versions of the game were released in Japan on August 30 and August 31, 2017, respectively.[27][28]

According to Capcom France, there were no plans for a Western release of the game as of September 2015.[29] In June 2016, Eshiro said that they want to release the game in the West, and that he is aware of fans asking Capcom for it, but that "certain circumstances" are preventing it from happening.[30] A fan translation in the form of subtitled videos was created over the course of eight months and uploaded to YouTube; it was taken down by Capcom in June 2017,[31] but reinstated by YouTube in July 2017 following a counter-notification by the translators.[32] A complete English fan translation patch for the Nintendo 3DS and Android versions of the game was released in 2019.[33][34]


The game won VGMO's 2015 Scores of the Year award in the "Traditional / Acoustic" category; the music was described as exceeding the "already high expectations" for the series, and being streamlined and varied with "high-quality instrumentation and engaging melodies".[35]


In 2014, Takumi said that the game was planned to be the first title in a new series;[17] A sequel, The Great Ace Attorney 2: The Resolve of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, was announced in September 2016,[36] and was released in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS on August 3, 2017,[37] and for iOS and Android on April 24, 2018.[38]


  1. ^ Known in Japan as Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken (Japanese: 大逆転裁判 ‐成歩堂龍ノ介の冒険‐, lit. Great Turnabout Trial: The Adventure of Ryūnosuke Naruhodō)


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