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Apollo Justice's bracelet is an important object in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice that is used by Justice to "perceive" subtle hints of tension in a witness. It is among the many items that Phineas Filch tries to steal over the course of The Monstrous Turnabout.
When Apollo Justice talks to people, they sometimes display subtle twitches or other habits while they are talking. Once this happens, Justice can "sense" that it has occurred with the help of his bracelet. The bracelet is represented by an icon in the top center of the touchscreen of the Nintendo DS or 3DS, and it can be activated by touching it (or with the "X" button).
In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, this icon only appears during cross-examinations. If Justice has sensed a nervous habit during the testimony, the bracelet slowly spins at the top of the screen, and Justice must choose a point in the testimony to focus on. Otherwise, it appears gray and does not spin. In Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice, the icon is instead only used in "Talk" menus during investigation acts. If Justice has sensed a tell during a conversation, the conversation topic in question becomes "locked" with an eye symbol and the bracelet icon appears. There is also a special instance of using the bracelet in Turnabout for Tomorrow and Turnabout Revolution, where it is used during a trial, but not during a cross-examination.
When Justice focuses, he is able to watch the witness very closely and in slow motion as he or she goes through the statement or statements in question. Once the tell is found, the player can press the "Perceive" button that is located where the bracelet icon was (or press "X" twice), causing Justice to yell, "Gotcha!" From there, Justice must deduce the meaning of the habit, based on its nature and the specific part in the testimony in which the habit occurred, by presenting a piece of evidence from the court record. In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, although no penalty is incurred from incorrect perceiving, presenting irrelevant corroborating evidence does result in a penalty.
The bracelet is the only mechanic introduced in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney that can be used solely with digital button inputs.
Characters perceived with the bracelet
|Turnabout Trump||Olga Orly||She rubs the back of her neck.|
|Turnabout Corner||Wesley Stickler||He fiddles with the corner of the his book's page.|
|Alita Tiala* (twice)|| She fiddles with her engagement ring.|
Scratches her neck around her scarf.
|Turnabout Serenade||Lamiroir* (twice)||She swallows.|
|Machi Tobaye||He looks over to Lamiroir.|
|Turnabout Succession||Spark Brushel||His armpit sweats.|
|Kristoph Gavin||His hand scar tenses, forming a face.|
|The Monstrous Turnabout||Damian Tenma||His right eye twitches.|
|Jinxie Tenma||The finger holding her charm shakes.|
|Turnabout Academy||Myriam Scuttlebutt||Her hands tighten their grip on her box.|
|Juniper Woods||She coughs lightly, making her scarf flutter.|
|Turnabout For Tomorrow||"Bobby Fulbright"||His left thumb runs along his gun holster.|
|The Magical Turnabout||Trucy Wright||Her eyes move around nervously.|
|Bonny de Famme||Her right hand twitches, moving her hat slightly, allowing her rabbit to show.|
|Turnabout Revolution||Pearl Fey||Her right thumb rubs against a dried paint splotch on her hand.|
|Dhurke Sahdmadhi||He moves his left arm slightly, making something press against his jacket.|
|Amara Sigatar Khura'in||The middle finger on her left hand twitches.|
In-game, the bracelet is made of a special alloy that changes in size in response to body heat. This allows the bracelet to fit perfectly around the wearer's arm. When someone wearing the bracelet senses a nervous habit, he or she becomes slightly tense as well, and this causes very small muscle contractions that he or she would not normally notice. However, since the bracelet is always a perfect fit, the wearer can feel it "tightening" slightly when he or she becomes tense. Only Magnifi Gramarye and his descendants are known to be able to focus on nervous habits, so the bracelet would likely not work in this manner for other people.
Perceiving requires great focus, and Justice cannot perceive if something breaks his concentration, such as when Simon Blackquill set his hawk Taka on him to prevent him from using this power, as Blackquill considered such an ability cheating. Justice also appears to need both eyes to perceive, as he at one point covered one eye with a bandage in order to suppress his ability. Nonetheless, it is possible to learn to sense a nervous habit without the use of a bracelet if the person knows when to focus. Trucy Wright was able to use this method to help Phoenix Wright win poker games during his disbarment.
Nahyuta Sahdmadhi is able to tighten Justice's bracelet at will, to the point of causing Justice's wrist to hurt. Sahdmadhi used this to intimidate Justice during the latter's investigation into the murder of Inga Karkhuul Khura'in, making Justice unable to perceive Sahdmadhi's tell.