It's been fifteen years since the Ace Attorney series took off, and not a lot has changed in terms of the game's formula. Does it really need to though? Part of the charm of the series has always been the memorable characters, the story-telling and dramatic atmosphere, and the all important "a-ha!" moments when you finally piece together what's really going on in the case.
Capcom has recently announced the sixth installment in the series arriving in September, and we've put together everything we know about it to help you get pumped for the newest additions you can look forward to.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice will be featuring a lot of returning characters from the older games. Most prominently, Phoenix Wright will be the main character of this installment, having taken back the reigns of his own series from his protégé, Apollo Justice. Speaking of the spikey haired lawyer-in-training, Apollo will also be returning as a playable character in this series.
Apollo will be fighting for justice in the classic courtroom scenarios players are already used to, while Phoenix will be doing his part in the new area, which we'll cover more later. Also returning are their respective assistants, Athena Cykes and Trucy Wright who will be facing their own crisis according to the game's Japanese trailer.
Perhaps most exciting for fans of the series will be the return of Phoenix's first companion, Maya Fey, who will be helping Phoenix learn the intricacies of the new judicial system he'll be facing in this game. Maya hasn't been in the series since the third installment, and her whereabouts have long been theorized by the community.
From what we've been able to gather so far, Spirit of Justice will be taking place in two major locations. The first area being "Japan", (Los Angeles in the states) or rather the series interpretation of it. A world where the legal system has been reduced to a simple three day (at most) trial where the defense and prosecution exchange arguments regarding whether or not the defendant committed the crime, producing evidence to support their claims, and the complete removal of a jury. This has been the classic setting for all of the Phoenix Wright games thus far.
The newer addition to the franchise is Phoenix's travel to an area located "in the far east of Asia, a country of mysticism and faith," known as the Kingdom of Kuhra'in. Kuhra'in's architecture and decorations seem to emulate a traditional Japan, and have a court system unlike that we are used to. A prominent mystic runs the courts of this new land, and her special powers are what Phoenix will need to overcome with the help of Maya.
As aforementioned, the biggest change to the series will come in the form of the mystic who acts as Kuhra'in's prosecutor. Rayfa Padma Khura'in is the Royal Priestess of these lands, and is more than a simple priestess. Her powers come in the form of fortune telling, where she is able to provide for the courts the victim's last thoughts, including whatever they saw leading up to their time of death. In this new land, her evidence has always been considered decisive, and has not yet lost a case.
Also new to the game will be the prosecutor working in "America", Nayuta Sadmadhi. Despite his otherwise kind appearance and background as a monk, Nayuta is a fairly harsh attorney, believing his convictions bring salvation, and that the punishment of the defendant will bring peace to the victims. Similar to Rafya, he also believes there is no need for defense attorneys anymore.
One of the fun aspects of the Phoenix Wright games is the special abilities each one introduces. Several have been seen throughout the series, but the Japanese trailers confirm that we'll be able to use Maya's megatama, which allow for the user to unlock the hearts of the witnesses and detect the truth behind their words. Also returning will be Apollo's ability to read minor tics that the witnesses have to tell when they're lying, and Athena Cyke's Mood Matrix, which allows for her to sense how the witness is feeling to better understand their testimony.
Perhaps most exciting is the return of the forensics investigator Ema Skye, who only made an appearance at the end of the first game in a bonus case. Ema's special ability comes from her forensics expertise, which allows players to do things like spray for blood using luminol or scan and identify finger prints. Not to mention whatever new play style will come from interacting with Rafya's ability to recall a victim's final thoughts.
Without going into any spoilers, lets talk about what cases will be coming as well. The most commonly featured turnabout involves the young boy from the intro cinematic being tried in Kuhra'in's court for murder. This will likely be the tutorial mission for the game to show off the newer powers being introduced.
Also shown are cases between Apollo and Nayuta in the "American" court room, and perhaps most importantly, the teased case that will have players taking the role of Apollo against none other then Phoenix Wright himself. This will be the first time players will be having to test their wits against the legendary defense lawyer, and whatever the case may be, it must be huge for Phoenix to actually take the stand as prosecution.
The game looks to be shaping up to be the best installment yet, and perhaps the longest one in the series. This is the first release of a new Phoenix Wright in the States since 2013, and hopefully not the last we'll ever get to see. There are still two games in the Ace Attorney series that we haven't received, and hopefully the hype surrounding this one will encourage Capcom to send those West as well.