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Benjamin Woodman
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"Benjamin" redirects here; for other characters referred to as "Benjamin", please see Benjamin (disambiguation).

Max Galactica
There is no Trilo or Ben. There is only one Benjamin Woodman.

Benjamin Woodman, usually referred to by his stage name Ben, is a ventriloquist at the Berry Big Circus who testified as a witness to the events leading to the murder of circus ringleader Russell Berry. A shy man, Woodman uses his ventriloquist's dummy Trilo Quist, which he has given a completely opposite personality, to express himself and even to testify in court. At the time of the murder, Woodman had been at the circus for around four years.

Circus love triangle[]

Trilo Quist
That uppity snob kept getting in the way!
Max Galactica
Uppity Snob!? He couldn't possibly be talking about me... Maximillion Galactica! When I get a hold of him, I'm gonna saw his wood block in half... And not with magic!!
Phoenix Wright
Well... They always say that love creates rivalries.

Arguing with Galactica.

While working at the circus, Woodman fell in love with the ringmaster's daughter, Regina Berry. Unable to express himself properly, owing to his crippling shyness, Woodman used his dummy, Trilo Quist, to profess his love for her. Unfortunately for him, Regina, being quite childlike in her understanding of the world, thought that Quist was the one in love with her and did not seem to understand that Quist was a dummy, which "Quist" went along with.

"Quist" was not alone in his admiration of Regina, however. Max Galactica, the circus's resident magician, also took a shine to her and even professed his love for her on the same day that "Quist" did. The rivalry between the two reached a head in the circus's cafeteria when a fight broke out between them. The argument ended in violence when Galactica, goaded by Woodman via Quist (who called him a "no-good talentless hack of a fast food magician"), grabbed a glass juice bottle and brought it down on the ventriloquist's head. Galactica was later called to the ringmaster's room to talk about the incident.

End of the ringmaster[]

Main article: Turnabout Big Top
Trilo Quist
Let me lay it all out for you... The pay sucks... The clown sucks... And my partner has his hand up my pants.

Watching Russell Berry walk past in disguise.

On the night that Russell Berry was murdered, "Quist" repeatedly tried to propose to Regina during circus practice, using an engagement ring he had spent three months pay on, however Galactica kept getting in the way. When Moe became exhausted, Woodman walked with the clown back to the circus entrance. He then "ditched" the "stooge" in order to wait for Regina to return to the lodging house in order to propose to her.

Although Regina didn't appear, after five minutes of waiting Woodman was surprised to see a man, whom he at first thought to be Russell Berry, pass by him on his way to the lodging house plaza, and was annoyed when, even after wishing him "good evening", the man did not even acknowledge that he was there. Woodman second-guessed himself about the man's identity, believing him to instead be Max Galactica, since he was wearing the trademark hat, cape and white roses of the magician.

Just after this mysterious figure passed by, Money, the kleptomaniac circus monkey, appeared and jumped onto the hapless ventriloquist, stealing the engagement ring intended for Regina. Woodman immediately gave chase, but not being particularly fit, he lost the monkey after about five minutes.

The ringmaster was later found dead at the plaza and Max Galactica was arrested as the main suspect. Since the figure he had seen was the only person Woodman saw heading towards the plaza that night and since he was competing with the magician for Regina's affection, "Quist" was hardly unhappy to see "magic boy" being arrested by the police. However, before Galactica was taken away, the magician managed to somehow take Quist away from Woodman and hide the puppet.

Galactica's defense attorney, Phoenix Wright, investigated the circus to clear his client. Wright, along with his assistant Maya Fey, eventually came across Woodman at the circus entrance. Since Woodman was without his puppet he was nervous and agitated; it took some time for Wright and Fey to convince the man to even admit to who he was. Wright eventually found Quist and returned him to the ventriloquist. The pair were shocked when the puppet began to speak with a completely opposite personality to that of Woodman. "Quist" was aggressive, outspoken, overconfident, quick to take offense, and abrasive. "Quist" revealed to Wright his plans to marry Regina and the fact that "he" and Woodman knew something about the murder. The pair then left to put themselves forward as a witness to get rid of "that pesky magician".

Woodman was indeed called as a witness during Galactica's trial. He testified, via Quist, about what he had seen at the entrance, but Wright was able to deduce that the man Woodman had seen was not Galactica at all, but actually Russell Berry in disguise. It transpired that former acrobat Acro had inadvertently killed Russell during an attempt to kill his daughter, Regina.

After the resolution of the case, Moe took over as the ringmaster and the circus went on a worldwide tour, with Zimbabwe as one of the planned destinations. At some point before March 2019, Moe split the circus into various specialized independent departments, which included animal taming (led by Regina Berry), ventriloquism, and magician departments.

Personality[]

Moe
If Ben doesn't have his ventriloquist's puppet, you'll barely get a word outta him.

Woodman's mugshot.

Quist's "mugshot".

Extremely quiet and shy, Woodman prefers to channel all semblance of extroversion through his puppet Trilo Quist; he has given Quist a very loud and obnoxious personality that talks very quickly, which is such a contrast to Ben's personality that he almost seems to be a living, intelligent person separate from Woodman.

Without Quist, Woodman is very nervous around other people; he never seems to make eye contact with those he is speaking with and keeps the same blank, shy expression on his face. He secretly wishes for fame and stardom, and expresses this desire through the fame-hungry Quist that gets "annoyed" when Woodman makes a mistake. His dependance on Quist to communicate is such that tried to use Quist to woo Regina and try to convince her to marry him, although a combination of Woodman's quiet personality being overshadowed by Quist's brash one, along with Regina's naïve nature, meant that Regina thought that Quist was the one in love with her and that Woodman was just someone who hung around him; "Quist" made no attempt to correct this. Despite his reliance on his puppet, even using it to testify in court, Woodman is not actually a very skilled ventriloquist, as his lips can be seen moving when Quist "talks".

Name[]

  • Japanese: The "Ben" and "Rilo" come from the word "ventriloquism".
  • English/German/Spanish/Italian: The combination of "Ben" and "Trilo Quist" ("Trilo Quo" in the Spanish localization) are a play on "ventriloquist". His surname "Woodman" is a play on his wooden ventriloquist dummy, as well as a potential referene to Woodman's personality without Quist; wooden and nearly speechless. Possibly unintentionally, his puppet's surname of "Quist" is a common Swedish surname and suffix of Swedish surnames derived from the word "kvist", meaning "twig" or "small branch", which is fitting for a wooden puppet.
  • French: "Michael Heurtarive" comes from "mais à quelle heure t'arrives?", which means "when will you arrive?" "Yvan Triloque", his puppet's name, comes from the French word for "ventriloquist".

Development[]

  • The shy ventriloquist with a loud-mouthed ventriloquist's dummy is a common trope in popular culture. This can often take a sinister turn, such as in the 1978 psychological horror film Magic, in which the main character is a shy ventriloquist with multiple personality disorder who uses a foul-mouthed doll to channel what he really wants to say and is eventually "persuaded" by the dummy to commit murder.
  • When Quist is meant to be speaking, the tone of the voice blips used for him are those otherwise reserved for females, although Woodman himself speaks with the expected "male" version. This, along with the green text used when the "puppet" is talking, could be meant to convey that Woodman is speaking with an affected voice when making Quist talk.

Note[]

  • The ambiguous treatment of potentially romantic relationships in the Ace Attorney series, as well as cultural difference between Japan and the United States (such as the age of consent being 13 in Japan, where the games are originally made, and 18 in the state of California, where the English localization has the games set), runs into a problem with the love triangle between the adult Benjamin Woodman and Max Galactica vying for the affections of the 16-year-old Regina Berry. The potentially problematic nature of both relationships is not remarked upon during the course of Turnabout Big Top. A similar situation appears with Dahlia Hawthorne's relationship with Terry Fawles when they are 14 and 20, respectively.
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