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Hey! Whad’youse think youse doin’ wit my bike!? Gwoaaaaaaaaaar! Youse been messin’ with my new ride? Is that what youse been doin’!?
Furio "The Tiger" Tigre was the owner of a loan shop called Tender Lender, along with his assistant "Violetta". He used his similar appearance to attorney Phoenix Wright to pose as him as part of a plot to frame Maggey Byrde for the murder of Glen Elg. He appeared as a witness in her trial a month later.
Three months before Elg's death, Tigre was riding his scooter when he crashed into a car, severely injuring its driver. Unfortunately for him, the driver was Viola Cadaverini, the granddaughter of Bruto Cadaverini, the most powerful criminal in all of Los Angeles. The furious mob boss would accept no other placation than Tigre paying the $1 million that was required for the surgery to save Viola's life. To this end, he called in the loan of a young computer programmer named Glen Elg, who had racked up a huge debt due to his gambling addiction.
With no way to pay off the loan, Elg used his talents to create a devastating computer virus that Tigre could sell on the black market for millions of dollars. Unfortunately for Tigre, on the day that Elg had agreed to repay the loan, the latter managed to catch a lucky break; he won the grand prize of the city's local lottery, winning more than enough to pay his debts, but not nearly enough to settle Tigre's. A desperate Tigre poisoned Elg and took the CD containing the virus, acting out the murder afterward to provide a false witness for testifying and pinning the blame on Maggey Byrde, who was a waitress at the restaurant in which the murder had taken place. The owner of the restaurant, Jean Armstrong, was also in deep debt to Tigre and was forced to help with the charade.
Worried that a skilled defense attorney would acquit Byrde and make him indict himself on the witness stand, Tigre disguised himself as the famous defense attorney Phoenix Wright, complete with a cardboard attorney's badge, and went to Byrde to offer to defend her. Although Byrde was confused by his tan at first, "Wright" hand-waved this by lying that he had been to Hawaii on a business trip. Completely taken in by the laughably poor impersonation of the man who had saved her once before, Byrde hired "Wright". She was subsequently convicted following a very poor performance from "Wright". Armstrong, being one of the witnesses to the staged crime, would later claim that Tigre flirted with him in court.
One month later, Dick Gumshoe angrily chastised the real Wright for the trial, of which Wright had not previously been informed. Wright took up Byrde's appeal and brought out the true killer in court. In the end, Wright tricked Tigre into implicating himself by presenting a bottle containing Elg's ear medicine and claiming that it was the poison used to kill him; Tigre laughed and made an outburst that corrected him, explaining, in intricate detail, the type of bottle which held the poison, something he would have been unable to do if he was not the killer. Upon realizing his mistake, Tigre let out a horrifying roar, which caused all the lights in the courtroom to break. Viola later implied that she sent poisoned food to him in prison.
The judge suggested some years later during a trial that Apollo Justice was a fake attorney wearing a badge made of cardboard. When Justice questioned why the judge chose cardboard specifically, the latter replied he had once had an "infuriating" experience involving one, referencing Tigre.
Furio Tigre had a very short temper and literally roared like a tiger when he got angry. He liked to intimidate his debtors as well as just about everyone else he met. His sky-high interest rates allowed him to control his debtors. Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey would often hide under a table in fear when he roared. Even in court, the judge cowered under Tigre's roars. Godot was the only one who was unfazed by his tactics. His lack of intellect was seen in his cover-up of the crime scene and his shoddy disguise as Phoenix Wright, though the court was too intimidated to say anything about the disguise. His reliance on intimidation to get his way mostly made up for this, until Wright fooled Tigre into implicating himself for Glen Elg's murder.
However, Tigre had another side to him. In a compromised situation, Tigre would be reduced to a simpering suck-up. This usually happened when he was around Viola (due to Tigre's debt to her powerful grandfather), but also when he was cornered during Maggey Byrde's appeal trial.
"Shibakuzo" is Kansai slang which roughly means something along the lines of "I'm gonna kick your ass!"
"Toranosuke" roughly means "tiger boy" in Japanese.
"Zenitora" may come from the Japanese "zeni" (ぜに) meaning "money" or "coin", and "tora" (虎), which means tiger. This would make his alias literally "money tiger", which is fitting considering his occupation. "Naniwa" is the former name for the Japanese city of Osaka.
"Furio" comes from the word "furioso", which means "furious" in Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.
"Tigre" means "tiger" in a number of languages.
Prior to finding out his name, Maya Fey refers to Tigre as "Xin Eohp", which is "Phoenix" spelled backwards. She also asks about whether there was a fake Maya named "Ayam", which is "Maya" spelled backwards. When Fey confronted Tigre with Wright, she accidentally called him "Xin Eohp", to which Tigre roared, causing Fey to hide under a nearby table in fear.
He was designed with an orange-red suit and gold chain to give him a more intimidating appearance. His orange color scheme may also have been chosen in order to contrast with Wright's blue suit.
The image on his suit of a tiger biting down on a dragon is intimidating on its own, but makes more sense in the Japanese version. Wright's Japanese name is "Ryuuichi" (龍一), which alludes to the dragon, and Tigre's name is "Toranosuke" (roughly meaning "tiger boy"). In Eastern mythology, tigers are the eternal rivals of dragons and there are numerous artworks depicting dragons and tigers locked in an epic battle. A Chengyu (Chinese idiom) to describe equal rivals is "Dragon versus Tiger".
As a reference to this, before Maya Fey learns of the real name of Wright's imposter, she uses Wright's first name spelled backwards - "Xin Eohp" - as a placeholder.
Furio Tigre talks in a Brooklyn accent (e.g., "youse" instead of "you") and uses italianized terms (example: "dis" instead of "this"). In the Italian translation, he uses the letter "k" liberally throughout his sentences (a letter which is only used in Italian for loanwords, implying him to be foreign). In the original Japanese version he speaks with a Kansai accent.
The sound effect used for Tigre's roar is the same as that used for Regent, a tiger who appeared in Turnabout Big Top.
Of all culprits in the original Phoenix Wright trilogy (excluding those in trial-only episodes), Furio Tigre is unique in that he is the only one whom the player cannot have an interactive conversation with (using the Talk option on the Talk/Examine/Move/Present screen and/or selecting topics of conversation) during an investigation.