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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 "Ben" Woodman 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 a puppet

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.
Shadow Max

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 overjoyed 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 (presumably led by Woodman and Quist), and magician departments (presumably led by Galactica).

Personality[]

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

Woodman's mugshot.

Trilo Quist

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 complete opposite personality, which is such a contrast to Woodman's own personality that many believe the puppet is 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 subtly expresses this desire through Quist.

His dependence on Quist to communicate is such that he talks to him as if he were a real person, even puppeteering him to punch him in the face and jerk his head as if Quist were really punching him that hard to strengthen the effect. Not only that, but he also tried to use the puppet to woo Regina and 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, suggesting that Woodman adjusted the puppet's personality to match what Regina incorrectly believed about him in order to further entice and impress her. Woodman also has a talent of opera singing, but always displays it through Quist, which also likely came from Regina believing the puppet is an "operatic tenor", making the puppeteer adjust Quist's personality accordingly to give him that talent.

Regarding said personality Woodman gave to Quist, he is loud, abrasive, easily offended, fame-hungry, quick-talking and somewhat of a perfectionist, hating whenever proper manners aren't used towards him despite never using them himself, even going far enough to punch Woodman in the face on many occasions whenever he's annoyed with him. However, Woodman displayed a softhearted side within Quist when revealing the former's crush on Regina, and eventually he used dirty humor within the puppet via a love song for her.

Name[]

  • Japanese - Ben Kizumi (木住勉) / Rilo (リロ) ~ (ventriloquist's puppet):
    • "Ben" and "Rilo" come from the word "ventriloquism". "Kizumi" contains the kanji "木" (ki), meaning "wood".
  • English/German/Spanish/Italian - Benjamin Woodman ~ (Ben) / Trilo Quist ~ (ventriloquist's puppet):
    • 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 reference 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 ~ (Mike) / Yvan Triloque ~ (ventriloquist's puppet):
    • "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".

Unofficial[]

  • Brazilian Portuguese - Benjamim Carvalho ~ (Ben) / Tril Loquo ~ (ventriloquist's puppet):
    • "Benjamin" comes from the Hebrew name "Benyamin", which means "son of happiness", "son of the right hand" or "the well-beloved".
    • "Carvalho" is a direct adaptation of the American version, which in turn refers to one of the kanji of Kizumi (木) which means "tree" or "wood".
    • His name along with his puppet (Tril Loquo) keep the pun with "Ben Tril Loquo" (Ventríloquo) (Ventriloquist), as well as the reference to "tree", "stick" and "wood", common materials in the creation of puppets of ventriloquists.
  • Russian - Trevor Drevs / Weish Athel ~ (ventriloquist's puppet):[citation needed]
    • Similarly to others localisations, combination of ventriloquist's and his puppet's names (Trevor & Weish Athel) sounds like "чревовещатель" which is Russian word for "ventriloquist".
    • Surname "Drevs" also keeps the tradition Japanese and American versions, referencing to words "древо"/"древесина" that means "tree"/"wood".

Development[]

  • When Quist is meant to be speaking, the tone of the voice blips used for him are those otherwise reserved for female voices, although Woodman himself speaks with the expected "male" voice. 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.
  • In some of his sprites, Woodman's lips can be seen moving while Quist is talking. This was not the case with the deprecated pre-2022 mobile releases, where Woodman's lips never moved when he was using his puppet to talk.

Relationship with a minor[]

A significant aspect of the narrative of Turnabout Big Top is that the 16-year-old Regina Berry attracts the serious romantic affections of three different adult men, including Ben, with marriage proposals even being discussed. Of all these men, Ben is the oldest, at 31. There is very little detail about the specific nature of these relationships, even though any marriage involving Regina would be considered child marriage. Incidentally, such a marriage would be legal in most U.S. states, including California, and federal statutory rape laws provide a child marital exception.[1] Moreover, in Japan at the time, 16 is the minimum age for girls to marry.[2]

References[]

  1. "Child Marriage in the United States". Equality Now. Retrieved on 2022-07-30.
  2. Barr, Heather. "Japan Moves to End Child Marriage". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved on 2022-07-30.
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