It’s been a while since I’ve done an Ace Attorney list, so let’s kick things off with one of the staples of the franchise – the twists! I’ll be ranking my 10 personal favourites based on how well they were written and how much they affected me.
A couple of disclaimers – I haven’t played “Phoenix Wright vs Professor Layton”, and there will be MASSIVE SPOILERS throughout this list for EVERY game. You have been warned!
Before we start, here are three honourable mentions that very nearly made the list:
- Von Karma is the killer (1-4)
- McGilded is killed after his acquittal (GAA-3)
- Iris is a van Zieks (GAA2-5)
And here are a few of my related blog posts:
10 – Judge Jigoku is the killer (GAA2-5)
We’ve had prosecutors as killers, we’ve had defence cousels as killers, we’ve even had law enforcement as killers, so I guess I probably should have seen a judge killer coming.
Seishiro Jigoku just seemed like the coolest judge in the series, so when it was revealed that he killed Gregson (and also his friend, Genshin Asogi) I couldn’t believe it. And to think the Inspector’s body was inside his suitcase the whole time!
9 – Fulbright is The Phantom (5-5)
Fulbright was brought in as the Gumshoe replacement for Dual Destinies, so he was the last person I suspected of any wrong-doing.
His cross-examination where his mood matrix had no emotions was chilling, and my mind was blown when it was revealed that the real Bobby Fulbright had been killed before the events of the game.
8 – Kristoph is the killer (4-1)
A twist where your defence counsel is the killer is already bonkers enough, but having the Kristoph Gavin reveal in the first case is truly something else.
I also love how he comes back for the final case, and we get a whole new cross-examination and break-down to finally put him down.
7 – It was a suicide (6-3)
Ace Attorney isn’t the first mystery game to end with the revelation that it was a suicide all along, but it was the last series I expected to commit to it.
“The Rite Of Turnabout” is fairly standard up until this climax, but once it’s revealed that the death was self-inflicted all along it puts every moment of the case up until that point in a new light.
6 – Mikotoba was Sholmes’s partner (GAA2-4)
You spend 95% of the Great Ace Attorney Chronicles thinking that Sholmes’s partner, Wilson, had died in the very first case, but then they pulled the rug out from under us!
I love how the writers used our Sherlock Holmes knowledge against us, and it made the final reveal that Mikotoba was his legendary partner all along that much sweeter.
5 – Godot is the killer (3-5)
Urgh … It’s always the coolest characters that break your heart.
This is probably a twist that you could piece together earlier on, but I never suspected one of my favourite prosecutors of being the culprit. Once the true motivation of the crime is revealed, everything suddenly makes a whole load of sense – that’s when you know you’ve constructed a good murder mystery!
4 – Matt Engarde sucks (2-4)
Up until “Farewell, My Turnabout”, Ace Attorney had stuck to a pretty rigid format – defend your quirky witness in court, prove their innocent and save the day. Matt Engarde turned that concept on its head.
Defending a known killer and douchebag put the entire case in a new perspective – should you comply to save Maya, or take him down to uphold justice? There’s no easy answer, and it made me second-guess Phoenix’s motivations and every future defendant in the series.
3 – Simon Keyes is the mastermind (AAI2-5)
Investigations 2 was such a well-written game, and I was desperate to see who the mastermind was and how they connected to every case up until that point.
To my surprise, it was none other than Simon Keyes. His ties to all of the previous cases are genius, and taking him on in a final showdown is one of Ace Attorney’s coolest climaxes.
2 – Dhurke was dead the whole time (6-5)
The most gut-wrenching twist of them all, finding out that Dhurke was actually dead for the whole of Spirit Of Justice’s final case just about killed me.
Apollo’s reaction summed up my own feelings pretty well – I was half devastated and half infuriated that one of the best characters had bitten the dust.
1 – Klint van Zieks was The Professor (GAA2-5)
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles’ final few cases threw twist after twist at the player, but the most soul-crushing of all was when Barok van Zieks’ brother, Klint, was revealed to be the true culprit behind the Professor killings.
It makes perfect sense, and yet I would have never thought about it until Ryunosuke suddenly connected the dots. It’s one of those classic hidden-in-plain-sight twists, and it chilled me to my core.
Aaaand that’s my list! You can check out some of my latest blog posts below:
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