The finale for the most recent game, Spirit of Justice, was the last Ace Attorney game to make me tear up. It is really ironic that Apollo Justice got more character development in games where his name wasn’t in the title but that is how it is. Not only does the final case have you literally facing the Queen in court, but it is also the eve of an actual revolution. The central theme of passing the torch and Apollo’s coming of age is truly memorable and I couldn’t feel better for the guy. I was always not totally fond of the seance sequences in Spirit of Justice but I really felt like this was an excellent finale for this game and it makes me hope we get a chance to return to Khu-rain to visit Apollo again.
Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was the first game to intertwine all the cases in a narrative (loosely) and while the game wasn’t about the title character as much as it should be, it was gratifying to avenge Phoenix Wright’s loss of his attorney badge. Apollo’s grand finale against Klavier Gavin and Kristoph Gavin was truly memorable as it was a unique case. The use of the Sybil system to go back in time to play as Phoenix to recover evidence for Apollo to use in court was really cool. The best part of this though, was that it is the only case that will be decided by jury. Most of the time Ace Attorney cases are decided by the Judge alone and the introduction of the jury was Phoenix’s idea. Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney actually made Phoenix look like a competent lawyer and detective. (This wouldn’t happen again)
The finale of Phoenix’s arc and the final showdown with Godot is easily one of the best moments in the series. Phoenix must step up and prove himself a good lawyer to the man who helped mentor his mentor. The connections between Phoenix, the Feys, and Godot all come to bear in this final trial. Briefly you even play as Edgeworth and face Franciska von Karma in court. The return on the demon girlfriend Dahlia Hawthorne as a final challenger is also memorable. The final segment also brings back the original cornered theme from the first Ace Attorney game. I appreciated this a lot because the cornered theme for Trials and Tribulations was pretty awful. This was a great send off for our spiky haired lawyer.
The first case involving a children’s TV show hero, and the first case with Maya as your assistant. This case introduces many of the staples of the Ace Attorney series, quirky witnesses, ridiculous commentary from Maya, and Phoenix’s odd monologues. Also Steel Samurai’s theme is pretty awesome. The end of the case also is what starts to show the minor changes that Edgeworth is going through.
The return on Miles Edgeworth and the kidnapping of Maya Fey set off an epic finale that shakes Phoenix Wright to his core. This is the only case that has a bad ending and it is really hectic. The only defendant to be guilty of the crime he is accused of, Matt Engarde is an unapologetic bad dude and Phoenix finds himself in the same position as his former friend Miles Edgeworth. Phoenix must wrestle with what it means to him to be a lawyer and Edgeworth is there to help him. The culmination of Edgeworth’s spirtual journey is apparent to all, and his return is welcome to me. However, the circumstances surrounding the case make it feel more hopeless and anxiety provoking then normal. This makes for the strongest finale in the entire series. I don’t think any of the games finished this strongly due to the strong character work and memorable villain.