Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
|Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney|
|Developer(s)||Capcom Production Studio 4|
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows, Wii, iOS, Android, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One|
|Genre(s)||Adventure, visual novel|
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney[a] is a visual novel adventure video game developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 and published by Capcom. It was released in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance in Japan and has been ported to multiple platforms. The 2005 Nintendo DS version, titled Gyakuten Saiban Yomigaeru Gyakuten in Japan, introduced an English language option, and was the first time the game was released in North America and Europe. It is the first entry in the Ace Attorney series; several sequels and spin-offs were produced, while this game has seen further ports and remasters for computers, game consoles, and mobile devices.
The story follows Phoenix Wright, a rookie defense attorney who attempts to have his clients declared "not guilty". Among other characters are Phoenix's boss, Mia Fey; his assistant and Mia's sister, Maya; and prosecutor Miles Edgeworth. The player controls Phoenix through two sets of sections: investigations and courtroom trials. During investigations they gather information and evidence. During trials they cross-examine witnesses, and answer questions from the judge, the prosecutor, and the witnesses. The story is split into five cases. The fifth was introduced in the Nintendo DS version to take advantage of gameplay elements using the handheld's touchscreen not available in the original Game Boy Advance version.
A team of seven developed the game over the course of ten months. Written and directed by Shu Takumi, it was originally planned as a Game Boy Color game about a private investigator. The game was designed to be simple; Takumi wanted it easy enough that even his mother could play. While the original version of the game takes place in Japan, the localization is set in the United States; this became an issue when localizing later games, where the Japanese setting was more obvious.
For the most part the game has been positively received by critics who praised its premise, writing, characters and presentation. The game has been a commercial success both in Japan and internationally. The North American release sold better than expected and was hard to find in stores shortly after its release. Other media based on the game have been produced. It has been credited with helping to popularise visual novels in the Western world. A manga series premiered in 2006, a film adaptation of the game, titled Ace Attorney, premiered in 2012, and an anime series adaptation began airing in 2016.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a visual novel adventure game where the player takes the role of Phoenix Wright, a rookie defense attorney, and attempts to defend their clients in five cases. These cases are played in a specific order. After finishing them, the player can re-play them in any order. Each case begins with an opening cinematic cutscene showing a murder; shortly thereafter, the player is given the job of defending the prime suspect in the case. The gameplay is divided into two sections, investigations and courtroom trials.
During investigations, which usually take place before or between trial sessions, the player gathers information and evidence by talking to characters such as their client, witnesses, and the police. The player can move a cursor to examine various things in the environment. By using a menu the player can move to different locations, examine evidence, and present evidence to other characters. By showing certain pieces of evidence to some witnesses, the player can access new information.
In the game's fifth case, created for the DS version and used in all subsequent releases, the player is able to examine evidence more closely, rotating it to view it from all sides, and zooming in or out on it using touchscreen controls; they are also able to move a cursor to investigate specific parts of the evidence. The fifth case also features forensics tests the player can use at crime scenes to find clues. The player can spray luminol by tapping areas they want to examine on the touch screen allowing them to see otherwise invisible blood stains. They can touch the touch screen to apply aluminum flake powder to search for finger prints. After applying it, they can blow into the microphone to reveal the prints. Once the player has gathered enough evidence, the investigation section ends.
During the courtroom trials, the player aims to prove their clients' innocence; to do so, they cross-examine witnesses. During these cross-examinations, the player aims to uncover lies and inconsistencies in the witnesses' testimony. They are able to go back and forth between the different statements in the testimony and can press the witness for more details about a statement. When the player finds an inconsistency, they can present a piece of evidence that contradicts the statement. In the Nintendo DS version, the player can choose to press and present by using vocal commands. In the Wii version, players have the option to present evidence by swinging the Wii Remote. At certain points, the player has to answer questions from the judge, the witnesses, or the prosecutor through a multiple-choice answer selection, or by presenting evidence that supports Wright's claims. A number of exclamation marks are shown on the screen; if the player presents an incorrect piece of evidence, one of them disappears. If they all disappear, the client is found guilty and the player must restart. When the player solves a case, they unlock a new one to play.
Phoenix Wright, a newly hired defense attorney at the Fey & Co. law firm, agrees to represent his childhood friend Larry Butz, who has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Cindy Stone. With the help of his boss and mentor, Mia Fey, Phoenix proves that Frank Sahwit, the prosecution's star witness, is the real murderer.
Shortly thereafter, Mia is killed in her office. Her younger sister Maya is arrested after the police find her name on a note left by Mia. Phoenix takes her case, facing off against Miles Edgeworth, a skilled prosecutor. Phoenix manages to identify Redd White, a professional blackmailer, as the real killer, only to find himself charged with the killing instead. Representing himself, he exposes White in court and gets justice for Mia. In gratitude, Maya becomes Phoenix's assistant.
His reputation established, Phoenix takes on another case, this time defending Will Powers, the lead actor in a children's TV show, against accusations that he killed his co-star, Jack Hammer. It is revealed that Dee Vasquez, the show's producer, committed the murder in self-defense after Hammer tried to kill her and frame Powers for her death.
On Christmas Eve, Edgeworth is arrested for the murder of attorney Robert Hammond. After relenting for Phoenix's help after an initial refusal, Wright faces Edgeworth's mentor Manfred von Karma, who has appointed himself as special prosecutor. Phoenix discovers that Yanni Yogi shot Hammond while Karma provided Yogi with the gun. Years earlier, Edgeworth's father Gregory ruined Von Karma's spotless record when he convinced a judge to penalize Karma for misconduct. Unable to deal with such a blemish on his legacy, Karma murdered Gregory in cold blood, leaving Miles to believe he himself was responsible, while Yogi was publicly blamed and convinced by Hammond, his attorney, to fake insanity. After Karma suffers a breakdown in court and confesses to the cover-up, Edgeworth is set free. Following the trial, Phoenix explains that Edgeworth motivated him to become an attorney after he was accused of stealing money from Edgeworth. In the past, Edgeworth persuaded his teacher not to punish Phoenix. However, Edgeworth decided to become Karma's pupil following his father's murder after being motivated by his hatred of criminals. After the case, it was revealed that Larry was the true culprit of the theft. Nevertheless, Edgeworth decides to rethink whether or not he should resume his previous duties. Meanwhile, Maya announces that she will be returning to her home village to finish her spirit medium training.
In a fifth and final case added for the Nintendo DS and subsequent releases, Phoenix is hired by teenager Ema Skye to defend her sister Lana, the head of the prosecutor's office. Skye is accused of murdering detective Bruce Goodman, who was found in the trunk of Edgeworth's car. Together with Ema, Phoenix traces the origins of the murder to an incident two years prior, when a serial killer allegedly murdered Edgeworth's predecessor while trying to escape custody. Damon Gant, a senior police captain, accidentally admits that he framed Ema for the murder in order to manipulate Lana to do his bidding. Though Lana is cleared of murder charges, she agrees to resign her post to face judgement for protecting Gant. With Ema being sent to Europe to continue training as a forensic investigator, Phoenix looks forward to continuing his career defending the innocent.
It took a team of seven people ten months to develop Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It was directed by Shu Takumi and produced by Atsushi Inaba, with music by Masakazu Sugimori. Kumiko Suekane designed the characters, with art by Tatsuro Iwamoto. In 2000, after Takumi had finished his work on Dino Crisis 2, his boss, Shinji Mikami, gave him six months to create any type of game he wanted. Takumi had originally joined Capcom wanting to make mystery and adventure games and felt this was a big chance to make his mark as a creator. Takumi said that he initially received criticism for Ace Attorney's concept for its relation to law and legal knowledge, but he said that the main point of Ace Attorney was the "fun from solving puzzles and...calling witnesses out in their lies and evidence."
At first, the game was planned to be released for the Game Boy Color, but after the development team saw the Game Boy Advance system's screen and footage of Mega Man Battle Network, Takumi felt it would be perfect for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The game was designed to be simple, as Takumi wanted it to be easy enough for even his mother to play. As it was less common at the time to use professional voice actors, the development team provided the game's voice clips; each staff member recorded every sample needed for the game, and then the best ones were used. Takumi used his privilege as the director to cast himself as Phoenix, however, while Sugimori voiced von Karma and Iwamoto voiced Edgeworth.
The game was originally going to be a detective game, with Phoenix as a private investigator who finds a body at his client's office and is arrested. As the lawyer who is assigned to his case is useless, Phoenix takes up his own defense. One staff member suggested that Phoenix should be a hamster; while this didn't happen, this early version of Phoenix did have a pet hamster. It was decided early during development to refer to the game as Surviban: Attorney Detective Naruhodo-kun, with "surviban" being a portmanteau of "survival" and the Japanese word "saiban" (裁判, "court" or "trial"). Among other names considered were Boogie-Woogie Innocence and Bingo Bengo, with "bingo" referring to answering correctly and "bengo" (弁護) being Japanese for legal representation. Takumi soon realized that finding and taking apart contradictions was not related to detective work. He felt the main setting of the game should be courtrooms. At one point the game was in danger of being cancelled when two staff members left the company, but Takumi's division leader and Inaba enlisted a member of the Resident Evil development team to help them part-time.
Takumi cited Japanese mystery author Edogawa Ranpo as an inspiration, particularly The Psychological Test, a short story which involves a crime that "unravels due to the criminal's contradictory testimony." It had a big impact on him, and was a major influence on the game. He was also inspired by stories from another Japanese author, Shinichi Hoshi, stating that he was pursuing his "element of surprise and unexpectedness."
Takumi felt the best way to write a mystery with a good climax is to reveal various clues, then pull them together into one conclusion, and not have multiple possible endings. He said the biggest challenge with this is making the gameplay and story work together. The goal is to make the player feel they have driven the story forward themselves, with their own choices, even though the game is linear. While writing the episodes, Takumi ranked the importance of each. The first episode was the most important, to make sure the player likes the game; the second episode was the second most important, to solidify the player's interest, and the finale was the third most important. In general, each scenario was finished before anything else was done. Then characters were designed based on the scenarios, and Takumi adjusted the dialogue as needed to make sure it fit the designs. At this point, the scenes that were to have specific cut-in illustrations made for them were decided. Takumi drew rough sketches of them and also drew the storyboards for the episodes' openings, which consisted of a series of detailed drawings showing what is happening.
In Takumi's first draft of the story, the second episode, "Turnabout Sisters", was the first episode of the game. The development team decided because of its length, among other factors, it did not work well easing players into the game. As a result, he wrote a shorter episode, "The First Turnabout", which was used as the game's first episode. He wanted players to focus on the thrill of "nailing the culprit", especially for the first episode. For this reason, the culprit in the first episode is shown in its opening. This was the most direct way Takumi could think of doing it. Takumi said it was a challenge to write the episode. In addition to keeping it short, he had to set up the world of Ace Attorney and the types of characters players would meet. The third episode was written for the sake of the character Miles Edgeworth, and the theme of the fourth episode was "rekindling the relationship". In it, Takumi tried to portray an intensively strong friendship between Phoenix and Edgeworth. He did wonder if that was what people got from it, saying that some people interpreted the bond between Phoenix and Edgeworth as "intensively passionate". Because of these two episodes, Takumi considered Edgeworth to be the game's protagonist in a way. The classroom trial in the game's fourth episode is based on real events: when Takumi was in second grade, he had found a 5 yen coin and put it in his pocket; his teacher accused him of stealing it from another student and made him apologize to her.
Takumi spent little time writing a backstory for Phoenix before writing the game's story, and instead made up dialogue and developed Phoenix's personality as he went along. He said Phoenix is himself in everything but name, with dialogue similar to what Takumi would have said in each situation in the games. He attributed this to being a first-time writer who did not think about developing characterization before writing the story. Takumi did not write a backstory for Dick Gumshoe. His character and personality just "fell into place" after Takumi decided the character would end his sentences with "pal". Other aspects of the character came about organically as he wrote the story. For instance, at one point Edgeworth says he will cut Gumshoe's salary; this became part of Gumshoe's backstory. Takumi came up with the partner character Maya thinking it would be more fun for players to have another character with them, providing advice, rather than investigating on their own. Originally, she was going to be a lawyer-in-training, preparing to take the bar exam.
Larry Butz, the game's first defendant, was particularly difficult for Takumi to write. He re-wrote the character several times. Originally, he was going to be an "average Joe" type of character, who only appeared in the game's fourth episode. After his inclusion in the first episode, however, Suekane and Iwamoto told Takumi to give the character "some oomph". Takumi then wrote him as a "prickly tough-guy" who had the habit of telling people he was going to kill them. Some of the higher-ups at Capcom did not like this, so Takumi changed him to a character who laments his lot in life, saying "I'm going to die!" or that the situation is killing him. The third episode's culprit was originally going to be male, until Suekane pointed out that all the game's villains were men. The development team debated what to do with the now female character. Some staff members thought it would be odd to have a female character be the director of an action show, and some wondered what to do with the director role if she could not fill it. In the end, Takumi changed the scriptwriter character to a director, and made the culprit a "strong, glamorous, fashionable, and cool-headed" producer.
Nintendo DS version
The game's fifth episode, "Rise from the Ashes", was not included in the original version of the game; it was created four years later as part of the Nintendo DS version of the game. Minae Matsukawa produced the fifth episode, under supervision of Inaba and Mikami. Naoto Tanaka composed new music pieces for "Rise from the Ashes". The idea to include the use of the Nintendo DS system's microphone came from American Capcom staff members. The Japanese staff did not like the idea of adding unnecessary features, but Takumi thought it was important to make the American audience happy, so it was included as an optional feature. "Rise from the Ashes" utilizes technical improvements from the Nintendo DS that weren't possible in the original game.
The original version of the game was released for the Game Boy Advance in Japan on October 12, 2001. The Nintendo DS port, which was titled Gyakuten Saiban: Yomigaeru Gyakuten (逆転裁判 蘇る逆転, "Turnabout Trial: Revived Turnabout"), was released in Japan on September 15, 2005, and included a new episode and an English language option. The hope was the English language option would be a selling point in Japan, and that Japanese people studying English would play the game. North American and European releases followed on October 11, 2005, and March 31, 2006, respectively. A PC port of the Game Boy Advance version, developed by Daletto, was released in Japan in an episodic format, beginning on March 18, 2008. Yomigaeru Gyakuten was later released on Wii via WiiWare in Japan on December 15, 2009, in North America on January 11, 2010, and in Europe on January 15, 2010. The fifth episode was released separately on WiiWare, on March 16, 2010, in Japan, in May 2010 in Europe, and on May 24, 2010, in North America. An iOS version of Yomigaeru Gyakuten was released in Japan on December 21, 2009, and in the West on May 24, 2010.
A high-definition version of the first three Ace Attorney games, Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD,[b] was released for iOS and Android in Japan on February 7, 2012, and for iOS in the West on May 30, 2013. Another collection of the first three games, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy,[c] was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan on April 17, 2014, in North America on December 9, 2014, and in Europe on December 11, 2014. It was also released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on February 21, 2019 in Japan, and on April 9, 2019 internationally; a Microsoft Windows version was released internationally on the same date.
The localization of the game was outsourced to Bowne Global, and handled by writer Alexander O. Smith, who was unfamiliar with the Ace Attorney series before working on it, and editor Steve Anderson. While the Japanese version of the game takes place in Japan, the localized version is set in the United States. Normally the setting would be left vague while cultural differences the target audience would not understand would be adapted. Because one of the episodes involves time zones, however, they had to specify where the game takes place and chose the United States without thinking a lot about it. This became an issue in later games, where the Japanese setting was more obvious. Bowne Global staff handled all the voice roles in the localized version; Takumi had wanted to do the English voice for Phoenix, but Ben Judd handled it.
Smith faced several problems related to the game's use of puns. In the Japanese version, each character has a name that relies on Japanese wordplay. While Smith and Anderson had a lot of freedom when it came to localizing the names of minor characters, they had to discuss the names of the main cast with Capcom. Smith came up with a list of first and last names for Phoenix. The first suggestion was "Roger Wright"; "Phoenix" was also on the list, but further down. Smith felt that "Wright" had to be the character's surname, because Phoenix's surname in the Japanese version—"Naruhodō", meaning "I see" or "I understand"—was used many times in the game's text as a joke. The reason for the suggested first name "Roger" was alliteration; and "Roger" was a good source for jokes. A staff member of the development team, however, thought that "Roger Wright" was too similar to "Roger Rabbit". Other suggested first names included "Pierce", "Xavier", "Marcus", and "Zane". In the end, "Phoenix" was chosen for its heroic sound.
As the game's dialogue consists of a lot of wordplay and misunderstandings, Smith would analyze scenes before writing them: he would determine what the scenes were trying to accomplish, and where their beats were. After he had the structure of a scene in his head, he would write it. At times he was able to make use of the original Japanese dialogue, but most of the time he had to come up with new ideas himself. At several points, the English wordplay was inspired by the wordplay in the Japanese version. At others it was not possible to have wordplay in the same places as in the Japanese version, so Smith would change the structure of the scene slightly. Sometimes Smith came up with a joke or funny line and changed the scene to make the joke work. About half the jokes were rewritten based on the characters present in the scene, rather than using translations of the Japanese jokes.
Most versions of the game have received "generally favorable reviews" according to the review aggregator Metacritic, with aggregate scores ranging from the high 70s to the low 80s out of 100; an exception is the Wii version, which holds an aggregate score of 67/100, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Famitsu praised the idea of making a game based around trials. They felt this was innovative, and found it exhilarating and fun to uncover witnesses' lies. Michael Cole of Nintendo World Report said the game's design and interface would make it a good choice for non-gamers as well. Craig Harris of IGN felt the main issues with the game were its linearity, and how the puzzles are simple because the player can stop witness testimony at any time. Cole, too, felt the game was very linear, and that it was unclear how to proceed at certain points. He said that because of how story-driven it is, the game has low replay value; he still felt that players might want to replay it after a few years.
Thomas Bowskill of Nintendo Life said the game had changed his idea of what can make for a great game, and called it a "masterpiece". Bowskill appreciated the 2D presentation of the investigations, saying they suited the gameplay well and that it might have been difficult to find clues if 3D graphics had been used instead. Bowskill called the investigation sections "tedious" and "boring" at times, but said they were outweighed by the "feeling of accomplishment" from solving the cases.
Carrie Gouskos of GameSpot said the game revitalized the adventure game genre. Gouskos appreciated the game's presentation, calling it "unique and outstanding". She noted the music and sound effects work well with the drama. The cross-examination graphics, showing the two opposing lawyers along with the sound effect of a sword being unsheathed, she added, created an atmosphere similar to that of a fighting game. Harris also likened the style to that of a fighting game. Gouskos said the graphics, while simple, work well to show each character's mood and personality. Harris agreed the visuals were well-drawn and called the soundtrack "nicely rendered", but felt the character animation was very limited. Cole felt the graphics, while dated, have "visual flair". He appreciated the opening cinematics for the cases, which he thought were both stylish and ambiguous, and the character animations, which he called "priceless". Nadia Oxford at USgamer said that early Ace Attorney games, despite the "tinny" sound of the Game Boy Advance versions, had spawned some of the most iconic music themes in video games; she noted "The Detective That Came From the Wild West", Jake Marshall's theme, as a particularly good track.
Bowskill found the mood of the game to be hilarious, saying the game never gets stale; he attributed this to the diversity of its characters. Gouskos called the game's characters cohesive, over-the-top, and quirky. Harris called the story interesting and well written, citing the characters, situations, and dialogue. Cole was impressed by the mysteries and their resolutions, calling them "novel, unpredictable and plausible". He also appreciated the character development arcs through the game, which he felt provided pacing and made the cases cohesive. He called the English localization "top-notch", and appreciated its humor. According to Fintan Monaghan of The Escapist, the game is a critique of the Japanese legal system, which has a 99% criminal conviction rate.
Wii, iOS, and Nintendo 3DS versions
Spencer McIlvaine of Nintendo Life was disappointed in the Wii version that had only a single use for the Motion controller, and how the low-resolution graphics in handheld versions of the game were used. Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer also thought the motion controls were a minor addition. He was disappointed in how little effort Capcom had put into the port compared to LucasArts' remake of The Secret of Monkey Island. IGN's Craig Harris called it "incredibly lazy", wishing it had included improved art and sharper text. Cara Ellison of Eurogamer called the Trilogy HD port "perfunctory", saying the animations are slow at times, the high-definition graphics take away from the charm of the pixel art in earlier versions, and there is a delay after button presses.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy was better received. US Gamer's Bob Mackey appreciated how the games were mostly left untouched, while given minor improvements, such as the player being able to read the text at their own pace and not waiting for it to crawl across the screen. He said the game's graphical upgrades were hit or miss, with certain characters, including Phoenix and Edgeworth, looking great. Elements that originally had less definition, such as the judge's beard, however, were "a little wonky". Thomas Whitehead of Nintendo Life said that Capcom had done a "solid job" with the port. He appreciated the stereoscopic 3D effect and the game's faithfulness to the original; he felt, however, that the lack of an orchestral soundtrack similar to that in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney − Dual Destinies was a minor disappointment. Hardcore Gamer's Geoff Thew called the updated art gorgeous, noting it did not have the same animation-related problems as the Trilogy HD on iOS. He appreciated the 3D effect, which he said worked well most of the time. However, the window frame in the detention center was not rendered on its own layer. While this was not a huge problem, Thew said it was distracting as the player often visits that area. He also commented on the lack of a remastered soundtrack, calling it a letdown.
Eurogamer ranked the game as the 18th best video game of 2005. It was also a nominee for GameSpot's 2005 Best Adventure Game award, which went to Fahrenheit. Destructoid named the game the 48th best video game of the 2000s, citing the courtroom gameplay and characters, and calling it "one of the most unique and surprising games" of the decade. They said the third game in the series had the best story, but it relied too heavily on story events in previous Ace Attorney games; meanwhile, they found Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney to be fresh and have challenging cases, making it the best in the series. Game Informer named it the 178th best video game of all time in 2009. Adventure Gamers named it the 29th best adventure game of all time in 2011, citing its story, characters, and creative gameplay. In 2015, GamesRadar+ named it the 55th best video game of all time, citing its music, story and look, calling it "Shu Takumi's masterpiece". In 2016, Famitsu readers voted Gyakuten Saiban as the second best Game Boy Advance title, behind only Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. In 2017, Famitsu readers voted Gyakuten Saiban the third best adventure game of all time, behind only Steins;Gate and 428: Shibuya Scramble.
The Game Boy Advance version was the 163rd best selling video game of the year in Japan in 2001, with 62,169 copies sold. Another 37,143 copies of the budget-priced Game Boy Advance re-release were sold in Japan in 2003, making it the country's 277th best selling game of the year. The Nintendo DS version was the 127th best selling game of the year in Japan in 2005, with 101,902 copies sold. Between 2006 and 2011 the game sold an additional 419,954 copies dropping from the 133rd to the 650th best selling game during that period.
Demand for the North American release of the Nintendo DS version was higher than expected. The game was hard to find in stores shortly after its release; the third printing sold out in around a week. As of February 2007, 100,000 copies had been shipped in North America, which Capcom's vice-president of marketing found surprising. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy was the 139th best selling game of the year in Japan in 2014, with 46,819 copies sold.
After the release of the game, sequels, spin-offs, and a crossover have been made. The second and third games in the series, Justice for All and Trials and Tribulations, were released in 2002 and 2004. The fourth game, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, which features the new protagonist Apollo Justice, was released in 2007. The fifth game, Dual Destinies, was released in 2013, and a sixth game, Spirit of Justice, was released in 2016. Two spin-off games starring Miles Edgeworth, Ace Attorney Investigations and Ace Attorney Investigations 2, were released in 2009 and 2011, and two featuring Phoenix's ancestor Ryūnosuke Naruhodō, Dai Gyakuten Saiban and Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2, were released in 2015 and 2017. A crossover with the Professor Layton series, titled Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, was released in 2012.
A manga based on the game, written by Kenji Kuroda and drawn by Kazuo Maekawa, premiered in 2006 in Bessatsu Young Magazine. Kodansha released it in North America in five volumes from June 2011 to July 2012. The third and fourth volumes both ranked No.2 on The New York Times Manga Best Seller List for one week each in 2011 and 2012, respectively. A live action film adaptation of the game, titled Ace Attorney, produced at Toei Company, and directed by Takashi Miike, premiered in Japanese theaters on February 11, 2012. An anime series adaptation based on the original trilogy premiered in April 2016.
Phoenix Wright has been credited with helping to popularise visual novels in the Western world. Vice Magazine credits Phoenix Wright with popularising the visual novel mystery format, and notes that its success anticipated the resurgence of point-and-click adventure games as well as the international success of Japanese visual novels. According to Danganronpa director Kazutaka Kodaka, Phoenix Wright's success in North America was due to how it distinguished itself from most visual novels with its gameplay mechanics, which Danganronpa later built upon and helped it also find success in North America.
- Known in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban (Japanese: 逆転裁判, lit. Turnabout Trial)
- Known in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban 123HD: Naruhodō Ryūichi (逆転裁判 123HD 〜成歩堂 龍一編〜, "Turnabout Trial 123HD: Ryūichi Naruhodō")
- Known in Japan as Gyakuten Saiban 123: Naruhodō Ryūichi Selection (逆転裁判123 成歩堂セレクション, "Turnabout Trial 123: Ryūichi Naruhodō Selection")
- "Production Studio 4" (in Japanese). Capcom Co., Ltd. Archived from the original on February 6, 2005.
- Musgrave, Shaun (2014-08-15). "'Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies' Review - No Objections To This Port's Quality". TouchArcade. Archived from the original on 2015-09-21. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Bowskill, Thomas (2006-07-20). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (DS) Review". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
- Gouskos, Carrie (2005-10-10). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2014-06-28. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Cole, Michael (2005-10-20). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 2015-04-19. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Instruction Booklet. Capcom. 2005-10-12. p. 12.
- Capcom, p. 13.
- Capcom, p. 22–24.
- Capcom, p. 11.
- Capcom, p.16–19.
- McIlvaine, Spencer (2010-01-13). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (WiiWare) Review". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Capcom, p. 20.
- Capcom, p. 10.
- Castle, Matthew (2013-10-24). "Interview: Shu Takumi on the making of Phoenix Wright, Ghost Trick and more". Official Nintendo Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- Castle, Matthew (2014-06-16). "Interview: Shu Takumi on the Phoenix Wright trilogy". Official Nintendo Magazine. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2014-10-08. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- "49. Atsushi Inaba". IGN. Archived from the original on 2014-11-06. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
- "Gyakuten Saiban 1 & 2 Original Soundtrack". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
- Brown, Andrew (2014-01-22). "Phoenix Wright Trilogy Coming to Japanese 3DS". Nintendo World Report. Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Hsu, Janet (2014-09-11). "The Early Days of Ace Attorney". Capcom. Archived from the original on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- Hsu, Janet (2014-10-31). "Ace Attorney Trilogy - Surprising Tidbits You Never Knew!". Capcom. Archived from the original on 2015-09-16. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
- "Shu Takumi's Reflections on Ace Attorney". www.capcom-unity.com. 2019-03-15. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "ja:巧 舟 スペシャルインタビュー！" (in Japanese). Capcom. Archived from the original on 2015-07-25. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "California's Japan Expo Hosts Ace Attorney Art Director Tatsuro Iwamoto". Anime News Network. 2013-08-06. Archived from the original on 2015-05-21. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
- blackoak. "Ace Attorney: Justice for All – 2002 Developer Interview". Shmuplations. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- Castle, Matthew (2014-06-16). "Interview: Shu Takumi on the Phoenix Wright trilogy". Official Nintendo Magazine. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2014-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
- Hsu, Janet (2014-11-27). "Until We Meet Again". Capcom. Archived from the original on 2015-08-22. Retrieved 2016-04-15.
- Fletcher, JC (2007-11-05). "Phoenix Wright producer Matsukawa on being a woman in the Japanese game industry". Joystiq. AOL. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
- Oxford, Nadia (2016-03-09). "Note Block Beat Box: Listening to Jake Marshall's Theme from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". USgamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2016-03-10. Retrieved 2016-03-10.
- Fletcher, JC (2008-01-27). "Minae Matsukawa: Ace Producer blogs". Joystiq. AOL. Archived from the original on 2016-09-05. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Hsu, Janet (2017-11-04). "The Making of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Feat. Shu Takumi". www.capcom-unity.com. Archived from the original on 2017-11-11. Retrieved 2019-10-01.
- "逆転裁判 まとめ (GBA)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "逆転裁判 蘇る逆転 まとめ (DS)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Sheffield, Brandon (2007-11-05). "Q&A: Capcom's Minae Matsukawa On Producing Phoenix Wright In A Man's World". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Nintendo DS". IGN. Archived from the original on 2015-01-19. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Whiting, Mark (2008-03-12). "Phoenix Wright Goes Episodic on PCs". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "逆転裁判 蘇る逆転 （Wiiウェア ダウンロード版） まとめ (Wii)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Aaron, Sean (2010-05-03). "Nintendo Download: 14th May 2010 (Europe)". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney -- Rise From the Ashes - Wii". IGN. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "逆転裁判 蘇る逆転 （iPhone/iPod touch） まとめ (iPhone/iPod)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Buchanan, Levi (2010-05-24). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney iPhone Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2014-09-23. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "Android版『逆転裁判 123HD』配信サイト" (in Japanese). Capcom. Archived from the original on 2016-10-01. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
- "逆転裁判 123HD 〜成歩堂 龍一編〜 まとめ (iPhone/iPod)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2013-06-27. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Schreier, Jason (2013-05-30). "The Phoenix Wright HD Trilogy Is Finally Out On iOS Today". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2014-12-02. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "逆転裁判123 成歩堂セレクション まとめ (3DS)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- McWhertor, Michael (2014-10-09). "Ace Attorney Trilogy comes to Nintendo 3DS in December". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2015-07-06. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Wales, Matt (2019-02-27). "Capcom's Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is out in April". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Archived from the original on 2019-02-27. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
- "『逆転裁判123 成歩堂セレクション』発売日が2019年2月21日に決定！ 成歩堂龍一の大活躍が大画面で大復活！ 巧舟×渡辺歩インタビューも必見！【先出し週刊ファミ通】". Famitsu (in Japanese). Enterbrain. 2018-11-07. Archived from the original on 2018-11-07. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
- Mackey, Bob (2015-06-23). "Expert Witness: An Interview with Alex Smith, the Writer Behind Ace Attorney's English Debut". USgamer. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-10-10.
- Fletcher, JC (2011-02-17). "Ben Judd leaves Capcom for Digital Development Management". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2015-10-04.
- "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for DS Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2015-10-12. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2014-09-28. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney for Wii Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Whitehead, Dan (2010-01-19). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2015-10-07.
- Ellison, Cara (2013-06-28). "Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD review". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
- Harris, Craig (2005-10-11). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". IGN. p. 1. Archived from the original on 2015-10-09. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Harris, Craig (2005-10-11). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". IGN. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Harris, Craig (2010-01-11). "Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
- Whitehead, Thomas (2014-12-24). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Thew, Geoff (2014-12-09). "Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Mackey, Bob (2014-12-10). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy 3DS Review: Trials of the Century". USgamer. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "Phoenix Wright's Objection!". The Escapist. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- "Top 50 Games of 2005: 20 to 16". Eurogamer. 2005-12-28. Archived from the original on 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
- Staff. "Best & Worst 05: Genre Awards; Best Adventure Game". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 25, 2013.
- Concelmo, Chad (2009-11-30). "The Top 50 Videogames of the Decade (#50-41)". Destructoid. Archived from the original on 2015-09-15. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
- "The Top 200 Games of All Time". Game Informer. GameStop (200): 78. December 2009.
- "Top 100 All-Time Adventure Games". Adventure Gamers. 2011-12-30. p. 16. Archived from the original on 2015-09-11. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
- "The 100 best games ever". GamesRadar. 2015-02-25. p. 47. Archived from the original on 2015-10-01. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- Ashcraft, Brian (2 June 2016). "Poll: Japan's Most Memorable Games on Each Console". Kotaku. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- "Steins;Gate is voted the best Adventure game of all time". Japanese Nintendo. June 7, 2017.
- "GEIMIN.NET／2001年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP300" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "GEIMIN.NET／2003年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP300" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "GEIMIN.NET／2005年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-10-05. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
For sales data from 2006, see "GEIMIN.NET／2006年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500（ファミ通版）" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- For sales data from 2007, see "GEIMIN.NET／2007年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500（ファミ通版）" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-10-17. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- For sales data from 2008, see "GEIMIN.NET／2008年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP500（ファミ通版）" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- For sales data from 2009, see "GEIMIN.NET／2009年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP1000（ファミ通版）" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-06-27. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- For sales data from 2010, see "GEIMIN.NET／2010年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP1000（ファミ通版）" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- For sales data from 2011, see "GEIMIN.NET／2011年テレビゲームソフト売り上げTOP1000（ファミ通版）" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Ransom-Wiley, James (2006-06-21). "Phoenix Wright: still hot, still rare". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Surette, Tim (2006-03-13). "Phoenix Wright ordered back in stores". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2014-12-29. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- Kietzmann, Ludwig (2007-02-20). "Former Clover members now working on Resident Evil 5, new Wii game". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2015-10-04. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "GEIMIN.NET／2014年テレビゲームソフト売り上げランキング（ファミ通版）" (in Japanese). Geimin.net. Archived from the original on 2015-10-16. Retrieved 2015-11-01.
- "逆転裁判2 まとめ (GBA)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-11-01. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "逆転裁判3 まとめ (GBA)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2013-04-12. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- Spencer (2008-02-01). "Investigation phase, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney interview". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2015-09-26./
- 逆転裁判4 (in Japanese). Nintendo Japan. Archived from the original on 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "逆転裁判5 まとめ (3DS)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-11-04. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- Sato (2016-03-06). "Ace Attorney 6 To Release In Japan On June 9, Gets New Videos And Info". Siliconera. Archived from the original on 2016-03-25. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
- Fletcher, JC (2008-04-09). "Gyakuten Kenji: new Phoenix Wright prequel starring Edgeworth". Joystiq. Archived from the original on 2015-09-30. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
- "逆転検事 (DS)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-06-13. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
- "逆転検事2 (DS)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-06-12. Retrieved 2015-09-30.
- Romano, Sal (2015-03-31). "The Great Ace Attorney Japanese release date set". Gematsu. Archived from the original on 2015-10-23. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- Yin-Poole, Wesley (2010-10-19). "Prof. Layton VS Phoenix Wright is real". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "レイトン教授VS逆転裁判 まとめ (3DS)". Famitsu (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "New Ace Attorney Manga to Launch in Japan's Young Mag". Anime News Network. 2009-04-03. Archived from the original on 2014-07-12. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "North American Anime, Manga Releases: June 12–18". Anime News Network. 2011-06-16. Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "North American Anime, Manga Releases, July 15–21". Anime News Network. 2012-07-18. Archived from the original on 2014-10-13. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, December 25–31". Anime News Network. 2012-01-07. Archived from the original on 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "New York Times Manga Best Seller List, March 18–24". Anime News Network. 2012-03-31. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- Hodgkins, Crystalin (2011-10-21). "Ace Attorney Live-Action Film's Cast Photo Published". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2015-10-17.
- "Ace Attorney Game Franchise Gets TV Anime in April 2016". Anime News Network. 2015-09-17. Archived from the original on 2015-10-03. Retrieved 2015-09-17.
- Wallace, Kimberley (November 21, 2014). "Five Things You Probably Didn't Know About Capcom's Ace Attorney Series". Game Informer. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- Mackey, Bob (28 December 2015). "Danganronpa Director Kazutaka Kodaka on the Power of "Psychopop"". USgamer. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- Kotzer, Zack (20 December 2015). "'Aviary Attorney' Looks Like the Best Game About Bird Lawyers in 1848 Paris Ever". Vice Magazine. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
- Wright, Steven T. (13 September 2016). "How the 'Law and Order' of Gaming Has Lasted for 15 Years". Vice Magazine. Retrieved 12 June 2019.