8. The Cosmic Turnabout / Turnabout for Tomorrow
Yes, this is two cases in one ranking. That's because honestly, they're pretty much the same case. The original game should've had Reclaimed as the 3rd case, and then put this together as just The Cosmic Turnabout for the fifth case. There was no reason to split these up, and thus I'm ranking them together. Now you'll understand why I'm so pissed my write-up yesterday was erased, because I lost ALL of this. It was not a fun time, let me tell you.
The Cosmic Turnabout starts by telling of the trial that was happening when the bomb from case 1 was set off. Apollo is the head of the defense, and he's defending Solomon Starbuck. The interesting thing here is that the victim was Apollo's best friend, Clay Terran. Even though Starbuck is the most likely culprit, Apollo believes in him and defends him anyway. The other thing of note is that he still has his eyepatch, but the courtroom bombing had not happened, so he wasn't injured yet. This isn't explained until later in 5-5. Starbuck is not really in the best of spirits, and he lies consistently on the stand to try and save himself from what he believes is already a lost cause. Apollo isn't having it, and he gets Starbuck back into is energetic self, along with pulling the truth from him. Blackquill proves that Starbuck is actually scared of space due to the HAT-1 miracle, and that his fear was the cause for the murder. Apollo proves that it wasn't Starbuck dragging Clay, but Clay draggins Starbuck, throwing Blackquill's theory almost entirely out of the window. It's here that the bomb is set off, and the game then cuts to the present.
With Apollo still recovering, Phoenix decides to take over Starbuck's defense. With the help of an unusually cooperative Fulbright, Phoenix is able to track down everyone related to the case. Yuri Cosmos, the head of the space center, is the first witness for the trial, and Aura Blackquill, Simon's sister, is also a key witness. The investigation is, in my opinion, easily the best one in all of Dual Destinies and one of the best investigation segments in the series. Everything here is enjoyable, and I never felt bored or anything. When everyone returns to the office, Apollo takes his leave of absence that was mentioned at the end of 5-1, saying that he needs to find the truth of Terran's murder on his own. At the trial, Cosmos takes the stand, and Phoenix basically proves that he's a fraud. Cosmos lies in almost every testimony to cover for himself (And for something else, but that's revealed later), and it doesn't take long for Phoenix to shed a whole new light onto the case. Blackquill is even more desperate than he was in Apollo's trial, his reasons for this being that he's gonna die the next day. Phoenix proves that there was a legitimate way for the killer to escape, and coupled with some decisive evidence from Fulbright, Starbuck is proven innocent. Fulbright, who was desperate to get to the trial, never checked WHO the prints on the lighter belonged too, only knowing that they didn't belong to Starbuck. When the analysis is finished, Athena's prints are on it, and along with video footage of her leaving through the true killer's presumed exit, she's arrested. Phoenix, who now has neither Apollo or Phoenix, is in deep trouble, and it's here that The Cosmic Turnabout ends.
Turnabout for Tomorrow picks up right where 5-4 left off, and Phoenix is off to investigate at the space center once again. No big evidence is found, and all Phoenix really does at the start is talk to Cosmos and Starbuck. Cosmos brings up the HAT-1 miracle, saying that he switched the pads to prevent the launch due to a threat being made. The investigation now becomes much more focused on the HAT-1 incident and UR-1, the murder that occurred right before it. It's also the case where Athena's mother was killed, and it's the case that Simon was arrested for. Phoenix goes to the detention center, and Fulbright tells him about Blackquill's execution the next day. Their conversation is interrupted by a call from the space center saying that a hostage situation had popped up. Twelve people, including Trucy, had been taken by the robots of the building, and the mastermind behind it, Aura Blackquill, was demanding Athena Cykes in exchange for the hostages. Phoenix offers to retry the UR-1 trial, and Aura agrees, pulling in Edgeworth to be the prosecutor. Pearl also shows up sometime around here to give Phoenix some moral support, and because it's Pearl the case is immediately better. They all go in, and Apollo shows up there as well to investigate Terran's death further. After learning about the case, Phoenix goes back to the detention center to talk to Athena some more. When it becomes apparent to Athena that she's the only other possible suspect in the UR-1 incident, five black psyche-locks appear. Considering that Kristoph had the same thing, this is most definitely not a good sign.
With all other courtrooms taken, the trial is set to take place in the rubble of Courtroom No. 4, giving off a really nice atmosphere. Aura demands that Athena is the defendant, rather than Simon. Edgeworth agrees, and provides a rather convincing case. Ponco the robot is brought up to testify, and everything she says is almost identical to what Edgeworth is saying. Things are looking really bad for Athena, but Simon forces his way onto the stand and confesses to the crime once again. Athena is having none of it, and despite Simon's testimony helping her case, she uses the mood matrix to prove that he didn't do the crime. He tries to pile lie onto lie to make his story believable, but eventually Phoenix breaks through, and Simon admits that he didn't kill Metis. Athena, ready to own up to what she did, confesses to the crime. Phoenix goes all out trademark Phoenix here and finds the tiniest contradiction in her confession and turns the entire god damn case around. Athena never stabbed her mother, but instead she stabbed the true killer. The true killer had disguised themselves so they wouldn't be recognized by the robots, killed Metis, and then returned her jacket once the crime was finished. Athena's psyche-locks break, and she's all but innocent now. Right before her verdict is handed down, Apollo objects, demanding that the trial continue. He accuses her of the murder of Clay, and he then presents his reasoning for his accusation. In reality, Apollo didn't truly believe on the inside that Athena did it; he just wanted all of the doubts in his mind to be cleared. Phoenix does just that, not only showing that there could be another killer (The phantom) but that he could pinpoint exactly who it was: Bobby Fulbright. The very "emotional" detective takes the stand, and Athena proves that he indeed doesn't have any feelings, just like the phantom. Fulbright pulls out his weird gadget stuff and tries to escape, but before he can get away with his excuse of being the Phantom's puppet, Edgeworth returns and shows that Fulbright is actually dead. The one on the stand is an impostor, the phantom himself. His only fear is the moon rock, which has his blood on it. Phoenix finds a sample of the moon rock, and proves that the man on the stand is indeed the Phantom, and the one responsible for both incidents. The phantom breaks down before being shot by a sniper.
Really, there's only one weakness to the case here. Phoenix is fine, but he doesn't really go through a lot of development here. Ditto for Edgeworth and Pearl, who are there mostly just so they're in the game. It doesn't detract from the case, although Edgeworth is once again much different between his investigations and the trial. Athena goes through some development, but it's mostly the "Lawyers smile when times are bad" type of thing. Apollo goes through the most development here, and it's a shame that it often times gets brushed aside. He learns that he doesn't have to face his problems alone, and that he can trust those close to him even when times are hard. Blackquill is finally freed from the burden of UR-1, and it's apparent that he's a much happier man during his prosecution at the end of the trial. Starbuck is a character that you just naturally root for, and seeing him conquer his fear and return to space at the end is a fantastic way to end the case. Cosmos is hilarious, and his cockiness combined with his space scooter make his cross-examination the highlight of 5-4. Aura is fine, but I really don't care a whole lot about her. It's a shame that Starbuck and Cosmos almost entirely disappeared during 5-5 to be replaced with Aura. The phantom is the weakness I was talking about earlier, due almost entirely to his lack of emotions. It's a gimmick that makes sense with the emphasis on feelings in this game, but it makes him a really bland and boring character.
And thus, Dual Destinies is wrapped up. Despite it being the third game to be off the list, it's actually pretty high up compared to the rest of the games. If it weren't for the cases being split up, Cosmos and Starbuck's disappearance in 5-5, and the weak character that is the Phantom, this case/these cases would be much higher up on the list.
7. Farewell, My Turnabout
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you: The worst case name in the Ace Attorney franchise! Please step up, Farewell, My Turnabout! Seriously, what even is this name? Were the developers planning to have every final case be titled with a synonym to "goodbye"? Why not "Turnabout Assassin" or "The Kidnapped Turnabout"? (I know that The Kidnapped Turnabout is the name for I-3, but that wasn't out at the time.) I just don't understand it. And also, can you believe that it's been 30 cases since the last Justice for All case? Yeah, not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. I'm starting to rant, so let's just get right into the case.
We get to see a familiar face at the start in Will Powers, who brought Phoenix's group to see the Hero of Heroes Grand Prix. The Nickel Samurai (What's up with this case and horrible naming?) wins, leaving The Jammin' Ninja in the dust. Maya is obviously thrilled that he won, and all of them have tickets to see the press-conference afterwards. It's canceled due to police interference, and of all people to show up, WENDY OLDBAG. AGAIN. (Last time though, thank GOD.) Maya get's told that she has a call waiting at the front desk, and she leaves with a bellboy. Gumshoe lets slip that a murder had occurred, leaving Lotta (Who's also back) to run off with her new scoop. The victim was Juan Corrida, the actor of the Jammin' Ninja. Matt Engarde, the actor of the Nickel Samurai, is the one arrested. Phoenix returns to tell Powers the news, and Powers gives Phoenix a radio transceiver. A little while after he receives it, he gets a call from a man saying that he has kidnapped Maya for ransom, the price being a full acquittal for Engarde. Phoenix immediately agrees to his conditions, and goes to take Engarde's case. When Engarde hears de Killer's name, he accepts Phoenix as his lawyer. Phoenix asks if he killed Corrida, to which Engarde responds no. No psyche-locks appear, so he is deemed trustworthy by Pearl. And, because it's Phoenix Wright, Engarde is innocent. Phoenix investigates the scene, and he runs into his old rival Edgeworth, who was thought to be dead at the time. Edgeworth is silent on where he went, but he does give Phoenix some valuable information regarding the case. Phoenix talks to Engarde's manager, Adrian Andrews, once again, and the investigation ends.
The trial starts on a pretty sour note, as Edgeworth is at the bench rather than von Karma. De Killer had shot her in the shoulder, leaving her unable to prosecute. He did this to help Phoenix get an acquittal, but Edgeworth is most definitely not an easier prosecutor. He does his job quite well, making a very convincing case and leaving Phoenix desperate for anything. Oldbag is called to testify (NO), and of course she was trying as hard as possible to find out anything about her new idol Corrida. She presents a picture of Engarde leaving the scene, but in truth it's actually a picture of the Adrian Andrews, since the costume didn't fit the person in the photo. Andrews is called to the stand, and Phoenix proves that she had not only gone to the crime scene beforehand, but also was plotting with Corrida to expose Engarde on something. Phoenix accuses her of killing Corrida to recover the suicide note, but Andrews responds by saying she did everything she did just to frame Engarde. The judge finds her story believable, and the trial is extended, much to Phoenix's dismay. Before Phoenix leaves, Edgeworth asks about the card Andrews is continuously twirling in her hand. She says it was found at the crime scene, causing Edgeworth to go into a panic and demand the card.
Luckily for Phoenix, de Killer allows another day for him since Engarde isn't completely off the hook. Gumshoe, who's now off the force, decides to help Phoenix in any way possible. Phoenix meets Edgeworth at the hospital, and Edgeworth says that Shelly de Killer, an assassin, is the one responsible for the murder, and that Engarde was the client. Phoenix refuses to believe this, since it's his job to truly believe in his clients. Gumshoe helps Phoenix reinvestigate the crime scene, and together they find a camera hidden at the crime scene. Edgeworth checks out who bought the bear that the camera was located in, and all of the evidence points to one person: Engarde. Phoenix confronts Engarde, which leads to the most dramatic transformation in the history of the franchise.
Wow. Just...wow. This throws the entire case into chaos, because now Phoenix has to choose between saving Maya or sending someone else to prison in the place of a guilty man. Phoenix instead tries to find Maya, and he's lead to Engarde's house as the true location of where she is. De Killer is gone by then, but Phoenix finds a bear figurine at the house. He talks to Andrews one last time, who says that her mentor, Celeste Inpax, was engaged to Corrida. When Corrida discovered that she had dated Engarde, he immediately dumped her, causing her suicide. Both Corrida and Engarde were monsters that cared for nothing but power over the other man. Phoenix once again questions who he should save, and who should die.
Powers is now called to testify, and despite Phoenix's best efforts it's apparent that the bellboy was indeed Shelly de Killer, the assassin who killed Corrida. With no other way to extend the trial, Phoenix once again accuses Adrian Andrews of the murder of Corrida. She was the only one that could open the bear figurine, and Phoenix claims that she opened it to forge the note inside of the bear so Engarde would be incriminated. Gumshoe calls Edgeworth saying that he has evidence against de Killer, but in his happiness he forgets to drive and he gets into a car accident. Now really desperate for time, Edgeworth calls up De Killer to testify. Of course, De Killer tries to protect Engarde by saying Andrews is his client. He makes a few fatal slip-ups in his testimony, and Phoenix uses that to stall for even more time. But as Phoenix continues to do so, de Killer grows impatient and says he'll kill Maya on the spot if this continues. Now completely out of time, Phoenix must make a choice between Maya and justice. No matter what you choose, von Karma enters at the very last second with the evidence against de Killer. Nothing stands out, and everything is only usable to show that de Killer committed the crime, but not who the client is. Phoenix knows this is his last chance, and he realizes that the video tape is the same recording of de Killer committing the crime, the one that Engarde planned to use to blackmail de Killer. He shows this to de Killer, who immediately drops Engarde as his client and frees Maya. Now, Engarde has two choices: Plead not guilty, and be tracked down and killed by de Killer, or: Plead guilty. He pleads guilty, and everything results in a very happy ending.
Onto the characters, and this is a damn good cast. Phoenix goes through a lot of progression in this case, and having the character decide whether Engarde is guilty or innocent is fantastic. Even though it doesn't matter what you choose, being able to pick, not knowing that von Karma would save the day, was one of the best moments in the franchise. Andrews and Engarde are both incredibly written characters, and Engarde is easily one of the best, if not THE best, villain in the series. Lotta and Powers returning are both welcome additions to the case, and de Killer's mysteriousness is really on point. He's not necessarily a "villain" but he's still a pretty dark character. Maya, Pearl, and Mia are all fine too, but nothing too special. Edgeworth's return is handled fantastically, and he's another star in the case. He's obviously grown as a character, and having him prosecute instead of von Karma was a brilliant choice by the developers. The only, and I seriously mean this, reason this case is lower is because of one person: WENDY FUCKING OLDBAG. GET THE HELL OUT OF MY CASE, OLDBAG.
So, that closes the door on Justice for All. It's not a bad game, and the final case is absolutely fantastic. But the first three are so mediocre or just flat out awful that even the final case can't help it. Next up, one of the remaining non-final cases along with a case with another kidnapping incident.