Ace attorney is one of my favorite game series of all time. I enjoy the characters and story most of all and while it is more of a visual novel than a traditional video game, these games have truly changed my life and are a comfort to me in times I am down. Part of my college thesis was introducing ways to incorporate fictional characters into therapy by using the strengths and weakness of the client and the fictional person they admire to encourage growth. These are my favorite characters in the Ace attorney series and its four spin off titles. I will be splitting the list into categories as there are too many characters to go over and plus, the main characters are so much more developed than others that comparisons are difficult. My criteria for deciding what characters are my favorites are:
- Did they resonate with my personally?
- What was there impact on the wider narrative?
- Was their quirk interesting and endearing?
- Was their development interesting and complex?
- Was I eager to see them again or eager to see them defeated?
- Did they have a catchy theme song?
The first list will be top ten supporting cast members. Supporting cast includes the detectives, police officers, villains and witnesses. These characters provide a great variety of different personalities and flavors to each case. They also can provide great depth. Here we go:
10. Acro the acrobat (Phoenix Wright: Justice for all) 2-3 Turnabout Big Top
Acro is a quiet man who seems to be dressed as Native American. He is quite well-spoken and speaks very purposefully. He has close connections to the victim of the case he is in and is one of the most tragic persons attached to this case. Acro is the ultimate victim of circumstance while also being the murderer. The entire setup and finale of this case is super sobering and sad and realizing that nobody attached to this circus, even the culprit are bad people. That the finale was all due to an accident is even more sobering. Acro is the perfect embodiment of this case and while his personality isn’t all that interesting he provides depth to an otherwise mediocre case.
9. Morgan Fey: (Phoenix Wright: Justice for all) 2-2 Turnabout Reunions
The English naming no doubt is referring to the half sister of the King of Camelot, Arthur and is a fitting name for this schemer. Despite being quiet and respectful she can also be dry and snide and is responsible for many schemes that involve the implicating of her niece as a murderer. She even is responsible for the death of her own sister in the final case of the third game. She is also the rare witness who doesn’t contradict herself. She is one and done in the courtroom and even though she goes to jail she doesn’t stop scheming. She is a quieter villain and is more interesting for it. However, she doesn’t have the bombast and interesting quirks of other characters. Her connection to the main cast is pretty notable though.
8. Furio Tigre: (Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations) 3-3
A mobster with red skin who is mistaken for our hero? Yes it is the owner of Tender Lender, a loan shark organization that has a reputation of being sleazy. His theme song Warehouse Tiger is pretty awesome and is catchy especially if you listen to the jazz version. He also is terrified of his corpse like assistant Viola Cadaverini, grandaughter to the patriach of a the Cadaverini crime family. This means this tiger might have a bite but he knows better than to bite certain people. The fact that this man is sullying Phoenix’s reputation by pretending to be him and purposefully giving someone a guilty verdict is what drives you during the case. He is bombastic and ridiculous but I can’t help but lovet the ridiculous writing behind him.
7. Detective Bobby Fullbright: (Phoenix Wright: Dual Destinies)
I love this man and his rocking theme song and kickass catchphrase. While he is no Dick Gumshoe he is exuberant and is uber emotional. His antics contrast with his true identity make him one of the most interesting people introduced in the newer Ace Attorney games. He is the only detective since Dick Gumshoe is worth anything. I’m sorry Ema but you simply do not care enough about JUSTICE.
6. Matt Engarde( Phoenix Wright: Justice for all) 2-4
The defendant who is actually guilty and who manipulates all others to get his way, this man is pure evil. The high stakes and pacing of the finale of Justice for all is undoubtably some of the best character development of Phoenix in all the games. The case Phoenix can’t win and shouldn’t win and the return of Miles Edgeworth make this case amazing and at the center of it all is the defendant Matt Engarde. Matt Engarde, similar to Will Powers in the first game, is a famous action star known for playing a samurai on television. Unlike the first game though, Phoenix is defending a guilty man to save someone he cares for who happened to have been kidnapped. He and Edgeworth have switched roles, Phoenix must get a not guilty no matter what regardless of the truth, and Edgeworth is only concerned about the truth. It is time for Edgeworth to return the favor for helping him in the first game. And Engarde is the mastermind behind the crime and enjoys manipulating people, even driving them so suicide. His facade of the dumb actor who can’t think for himself, is a mask that hides a cackling supervillain who enjoys playing games. It is very satisfying to take him down. \
5. Maya Fey (Phoenix Wright: Trilogy, Phoenix Wright: Spirit of Justice 6-3, 6-5)
The bubbly assistant, spirit medium and bringer of sunshine, I love this girl. I am very sad that she and Phoenix didn’t end up together. Anyways, this girl is the main assistant for Phoenix throughout his earlier journey and while later games would have Phoenix’s proteges in this role, Maya was especially memorable for her weird jokes and making fun of Phoenix a lot. Honestly, you really grow to care for her despite her tendency to need a lawyer due to her often being accused of murder. (falsely I promise) She does have a theme, Turnabout sisters, and her development is fairly simple so nothing too out of the ordinary. It is her connection to Phoenix and their relationship that carries this for me.
4. Detective Dick Gumshoe (Phoenix Wright: Trilogy, Apollo Justice Ace Attorney 4-4, AAI, AAI2)
No Detective will ever top Dick Gumshoe pal!!! Even my buddy Bobby Fullbright is not nearly as fun as Gumshoe. The Detective during Phoenix’s early career and fiercely loyal to Edgeworth, this man is a bumbling fool, but so lovable. In Edgeworth’s games you see him in his early career more and this is nice but his involvement as the lead homicide detective is always great. Gumshoe’s theme is nowhere near as good as Fullbright’s but I don’t really care, he is amazing.
3. Zak Gramarye/ Shadi Smith (Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney 4-1, 4-4)
Trucy’s father and head magician of Troupe Gramarye, this man is a lot of fun to watch and outsmart. Most of his interactions are with Phoenix, but his background is fascinating and his connection to both Trucy and Phoenix is pretty awesome. The fact that Apollo’s mother is also Trucy’s mother is also interesting. It is difficult to get a read on this guy because he laughs a lot but is also just as arrogant as his brother Valant. He is memorable though due to his connections and the catchy Troupe Gramarye theme.
2. Tatagaki Shiguraki/ Raymond Shields (AAI2)
Current head of Edgeworth law offices after the death of Gregory Edgeworth, we meet him during the events of AAI2. Having another character who knew Miles’ father and Miles himself, was a fun thing to learn. Ace Attorney Investigations 2 was never released in English so I am mostly relying on the excellent fan translations. He also has an awesome theme and is actually a really cool dude. He is very suspicious of Miles due to his decision to learn how to prosecute from Von Karma and being familiar with Von Karma’s methods. However, Uncle Ray( English name) learns to trust Miles again, seeing a lot of his father in him. He even offers him a place at his father’s firm as a lawyer if he wants it.
- Larry Butz ( Phoenix Wright Trilogy, AAI)
When something smells it is usually the Butz!!
I just always love seeing him in over the top craziness. Both Miles and Phoenix just put up with him and it is really heartwarming to see the friendship as odd as it is.