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|You know, we should all go swimming together sometime! Jolly!|
Damon Gant was the eccentric District Chief of Police of the Los Angeles district police department from the conviction of Joe Darke in the SL-9 Incident until the events leading to said case's resolution.
The Legendary Duo
Prior to the SL-9 Incident, Damon Gant was the Deputy Chief of Police of Los Angeles. He and his partner, Lana Skye, became known as the "Legendary Duo" for their services to law enforcement. Gant also called himself the "crime computer", taking great pride in his crime-solving abilities.
- Main article: SL-9 Incident
The final case of the "Legendary Duo" was the SL-9 Incident, in which Joe Darke killed several people. They were in charge of the investigation team, which contained detectives Bruce Goodman, Jake Marshall, and Angel Starr, as well as Jake's brother, Prosecutor Neil Marshall. However, their evidence was not enough to force a conviction, so they interrogated Darke about his crimes.
During Darke's interrogation, a power outage occurred. Seeing his opportunity, Darke fled the room and, with Neil in hot pursuit, ended up in the joint office of Gant and Skye, where he found Skye's sister Ema. By the time Gant made it to the office, all three occupants were unconscious from a violent confrontation. More determined to convict Darke than ever, and seeing a chance to use the situation to his advantage, Gant cut a piece of cloth from Neil's vest with Ema's handprint on it, picked up the unconscious prosecutor, and impaled him on the sword of a suit of armor by Gant's desk, killing him.
He then wrote the name "Ema" with Neil's blood on a nearby jar and broke it to create a fake clue. Lana arrived later and saw the crime scene. Gant told Lana to rearrange the crime scene to make it look like Darke had killed Neil, and Lana complied as she believed that Ema had accidentally killed him. Gant hid two items in his safe for "insurance" purposes: a piece of the jar with part of Ema's name on it, and the piece of cloth with Ema's handprint.
Gant and Lana presented their false evidence to Neil's replacement, Miles Edgeworth. Thanks to this evidence, Darke was convicted and sentenced to death for his crimes. Gant later became Chief of Police and arranged for Lana to be Chief Prosecutor so that he could control her and the prosecutor's office. To make sure that the investigation team stayed quiet about the evidence, Gant fired Angel Starr and demoted Jake to patrolman. He let Goodman keep his position to draw away suspicion of his actions. For the next two years, Damon Gant blackmailed Lana Skye to keep control of the city's law enforcement.
The past resurfaces
- Main article: Rise from the Ashes
|There are only three people I look out for: Me, Myself and I.|
One day, shortly before the evidence from the SL-9 Incident was to be transferred into storage, Jake Marshall convinced Bruce Goodman to push for the reopening of the SL-9 case. Goodman hence approached Gant about the subject in the evidence room. Panicked, Gant killed Goodman with Darke's knife. He quickly tried to clean up the crime scene and enlisted the help of Lana Skye and Miles Edgeworth.
Skye was to wait in the underground parking lot of the Prosecutor's Building to help Gant move the body. Gant put the body into the trunk of Edgeworth's car, and then told an oblivious Edgeworth to transfer a blue screwdriver from the evidence room to another location so that the body would be moved away from the crime scene. Skye was supposed to take away the body from the trunk. Gant also told Lana to stab Goodman with Edgeworth's knife to throw the scent off further. However, Angel Starr caught Lana in the act of stabbing the body, and thus, Lana became the prime suspect in Goodman's murder.
Gant first appeared in Lana's trial to submit Lana's scarf, which contained Darke's knife, to the court. He also revealed that another detective had been killed in the police department. Lana's lawyer, Phoenix Wright, used his evidence to deduce that this detective was Bruce Goodman. It was later revealed that the "murder" that had occurred in the police department had merely been a minor scuffle between Jake Marshall and another officer.
Gant later found that Wright had broken into his office with the help of detective Dick Gumshoe, whom Gant quickly fired. However, Wright had already broken into his safe. When Lana's trial resumed after this, Gant convinced Lana to fire Wright and take the guilty verdict, but prosecutor Miles Edgeworth refused to allow Lana to accept a guilty verdict without due proof, ignoring Gant's threats to him. In response to Edgeworth's treachery and Wright's actions, Gant had Ema testify about the murder and, with the evidence that Wright had taken from his safe, the conclusion was reached that Ema had killed Neil Marshall.
Moment of truth
Refusing to give up, Wright had the court call Gant himself to the stand. Gant tried to deny Wright's various claims, but Wright was able to uncover various inconsistencies in his testimony. Desperate, Gant invoked his power as Chief of Police to relinquish his right to testify, and he threatened Lana into testifying against herself, but Wright managed to find various contradictions in her testimony as well.
Gant then tried to force Wright to present the piece of cloth from Neil's vest, thereby implicating Ema, but Wright came up with a clever plan to cause Gant to implicate himself for the murder, and he denied that he had such evidence. Wright asked Gant whether he had intentionally cut a piece of cloth from Neil's vest, and Gant admitted to doing so. It was then that Wright presented the cloth, noting that the lack of blood on it despite Neil's shirt being heavily bloodstained proved that it had been cut off before his death; as Gant had already admitted to be the first to arrive at the scene and cut of the cloth from Neil's vest, he had inadvertently confessed to being the real killer.
Although Gant tried to have this evidence dismissed as illegal (as Wright had withheld the cloth at the first opportunity to present it and had taken it from Gant's safe without police approval), Wright, backed by a copy of Evidence Law, retorted that it had been impossible to prove the cloth's relevance to the case until Gant had admitted to cutting it off, thereby proving his involvement in Neil's murder and giving the cloth his personal approval as evidence.
Gant then had a long, almost hysterical, laugh and finally admitted his guilt, as well as admitting that he had planned to get rid of Jake Marshall for being too close to the case. The judge asked what had happened to the once noble Gant, but was told that he now had Wright and Edgeworth to uphold justice instead. Gant then warned Edgeworth that he would soon understand why he had gone vigilante, as the two men were not that different. These words struck a nerve with Edgeworth, who later temporarily left the United States to travel abroad in order to reconsider what it meant to be a prosecutor, leaving behind an apparent suicide note in the process.
|Tell me, Worthy. What are you doing in court? You despise criminals. I can feel it. You and me... we're the same. One day you'll understand. If you want to take them on alone... you'll figure out what's needed!|
Gant was usually jovial and a bit eccentric, but he was ultimately a respected leader of the police force. He had a habit of making up pet names for various people, such as "Wrighto" for Wright, "Worthy" for Edgeworth, and "Udgey" for the judge. Gant had a habit of playing with his hair when he was mulling something over and clapping whilst laughing when amused. He also showed a liking for swimming, and would often suggest communal swimming sessions between himself and others (mostly the judge) at one point suggesting that Wright, Edgeworth, the judge and himself should all go swimming together. When upset, he would create a long and ominous pause in the room while he simply stared at whoever had upset him.
Gant had a large pipe organ in his office. According to Dick Gumshoe, when he played it the sound was so loud that it could sometimes be heard throughout the building. If one of his subordinates made a mistake, Gant would call them to his office and subject them to a song on his organ, sometimes for hours. The experience often temporarily deafened the unlucky victim. Phoenix Wright once asked why Gant himself was not deafened, to which Gumshoe replied, with a smile, that Gant didn't listen to anyone else anyway, although Wright said that wasn't the point.
While Gant started off as an upstanding investigator and a model for all to follow, his job changed him. He desired the convictions of his suspects, the court's approval of the fruits of his labor, but when the system was about to fail him, as in the case of the Joe Darke Killings, he became jaded and took matters into his own hands, manipulating evidence toward his own ends. The qualities that made Gant an excellent investigator also made him a cold, calculating, and manipulative criminal. Gant became openly selfish, and he knew exactly how to go about getting something he wanted and wouldn't do anything unless it benefited him in some way.
Gant was convinced that all of his machinations and manipulations were ultimately for the good of everyone, and he would go to any lengths to ensure conviction. By controlling both the police and the prosecutors, he could ensure that he could deliver justice to criminals, even if that meant cheating the system. Nonetheless, he kept his original jovial personality as a sort of façade.
Ironically, the person who presumably replaced him as police chief was not without his biases as well, allowing a friend to do what he wanted to assist in, or disrupt, a murder investigation. When Gant's murders were exposed, he seemed to have a change of heart, inspired by the dedication that Wright and Edgeworth had shown to finding the truth, and confident in leaving the law in their hands.
- The kanji in his Japanese name, Ganto Kaiji (巌徒 海慈), literally mean "cliff junior" and "ocean kindness", which metaphorically reflects his apparent personality (i.e., he is imposing like a cliff to his subordinates, yet is simultaneously gentle to them like the ocean). It may also come from an old Chinese saying along the lines of: "You can pick on the mountains, but don't pick on the sea [because the sea is merciless]".
- "Damon" may be a play on "daemon" or "demon" in reference to his unpleasant true nature. It is also a first name derived from a Greek myth, although the Damon in said myth is a man who was willing to sacrifice himself for his friend, unlike Damon Gant who only cares about himself.
- "Gant" is probably a reference to his Japanese family name, though "gant" is also French for "glove", like the black ones that Gant wears.
- By replacing the "a"s in his name with "e"s, it becomes "demon gent".
- His French given name "Damien" means "daemon".
- Gant is one of character designer Kazuya Nuri's favorite characters. He was modeled after Zeus, the leader of the Ancient Greek gods and the lord of the sky; this is apparently referenced in one of Gant's "damage" animations, during which he appears to be either getting electrocuted or emanating lightning from his own body. Gant's fringe also resembles a lightning bolt, although this is more obvious in earlier character designs. Nuri has described Gant as a real Ace Attorney-like character who leaves an impression.
- According to series creator Shu Takumi, Gant's character was modeled on the staff's image of a television presenter.
- The design on the clasp of Gant's tie and the buttons on his jacket also appears on the clasp of Jake Marshall's poncho, the badges on the police hats of Mike Meekins and Dustin Prince, and on Bobby Fulbright's police badge. This therefore appears to be the symbol for the Ace Attorney universe's Los Angeles police force. Considering that the game was developed in Japan, it is perhaps unsurprising that the symbol is also reminiscent of a simplistic version of the badge seen on the hats of the Japanese police.
- Near the end of his breakdown, Gant claps once every 2 frames, or 30 times a second. This means that, if the medium being used to play the game uses frame skipping, not all of the claps are shown.
- Gant is the only culprit in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney to have his own leitmotif. In fact, aside from Shelly de Killer, he is the only killer in the first two games to have a unique musical theme, as the practice of giving almost every culprit their own theme did not begin until Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations.
- Damon Gant is, to date, the only character in the series to interrupt a cross-examination before any statement is able to be examined.
- Damon Gant's goatee is in the shape of an upside-down seashell. This could be a physical implication of his love for swimming.
- Ash. Capcom Legends interview with Nuri (art director DGS). Court Records Forums. Retrieved 2015-07-26.