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A Game Over is a scene given in the Ace Attorney series when the game ends on a negative outcome, usually triggered by depleting the penalty gauge. In most games, a Game Over results in an immediate return to the title screen, but from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies onward, an option is given to resume from the point where the player failed, with a replenished penalty gauge. This option was later added to the Trilogy version of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

Types of Game Over[]

Penalty gauge depletion[]


"This case is extremely clear. I see no room for misinterpretation of the facts."

Whenever a player makes a mistake, a penalty may be meted out, which is subtracted from a gauge. When this gauge is depleted, the game ends. When breaking Psyche-Locks in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations, depleting the penalty gauge does not result in a Game Over, but rather, the Psyche-Lock breaking process halts, and the player is forced to start it all over again.


Thus the truth was lost for all eternity...

In the main series, when the Confidence Gauge is depleted during a trial, the judge slams his gavel, pronounces the defense's failure to overturn the prosecution's arguments, and then finds the defendant guilty. The courtroom door then slams shut. In the witch trials of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the courtroom door is replaced with the witches' cage slamming shut. The actual words used by the judge vary somewhat between games; for instance, the Khura'inese judge in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice also finds the case's defense team guilty under the Defense Culpability Act.

In Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, a context-specific scene will be shown that addresses Miles Edgeworth's failure to ascertain the truth, followed by a scene of a case file closing and the phrase, "Thus the truth was lost for all eternity." In Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor's Gambit, the same closing line is present, but the rest of the sequence is always Miles (or Gregory during the 2000 sections of The Inherited Turnabout) expressing helplessness at losing the truth against a black background.

Game Over sequences in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth[]

Turnabout Visitor[]
  • Before Portsman arrives, Gumshoe expresses concern that Edgeworth is too fatigued to investigate, and takes over for him. As Edgeworth expects, days pass with no resolution to the case.
  • After Portsman arrives, but before the first argument, Portsman claims to have already identified the culprit, before forcing Edgeworth to vacate the crime scene.
  • During the first argument, Portsman arrests Gumshoe for the murder, with Edgeworth unable to do anything but watch helplessly.
  • While in Edgeworth's office at any point from the second argument to the fourth argument, Portsman arrests Byrde, proclaiming his victory to "Jim's" soul. Edgeworth tries to protest, but Portsman tells him there is no one left to listen to him.
  • While in the hallway, Portsman steps out of Edgeworth's office and announces that the investigation is over, before arresting Byrde as Edgeworth watches helplessly.
  • After the fourth argument, Portsman tells Edgeworth that he knows that Miles would love to pin the murder on him, remarking it's a swing and a miss. Portsman says he'd love to see evidence to disprove his abili and meanwhile, he is going to take Maggey, who has no alibi, into custody.
Turnabout Airlines[]
  • Before the first Investigation phase, Teneiro accuses Edgeworth of ruining the other passengers' fun, and refuses to let him plead his case any further. Edgeworth is then handed over to the police upon landing.
  • While in the lounge, during the Beginning chapter, Edgeworth begs Lablanc for more time, but he refuses to grant it. Teneiro reports to the captain about Edgeworth's lack of progress, and Edgeworth is delivered to the police upon landing.
  • While in the shop, Meele asks the captain to give permission to halt Edgeworth's investigation, before forcing him back to his seat.
  • While in the lounge, after Franziska arrives, she brings the investigation to a halt. Despite protests from both himself and Gumshoe, Edgeworth is arrested on the spot.
  • While in the Flight Attendants' Room, Franziska takes Teneiro into custody as a "valuable witness".
  • While in the cargo hold, before Hicks' phone is found, Franziska ends the investigation prematurely, stating Teneiro's guilt to be obvious. Teneiro is kept in custody as a "valuable witness".
  • After Hicks' phone is found, Meele leaves under the pretense of needing to work another flight, and is never seen nor heard from again.
The Kidnapped Turnabout[]
  • Before escaping the Isolation Room, Edgeworth and Faraday admit defeat, and wait for the police to free them.
  • After escaping the Isolation Room, but before Devorae's body is discovered, Lang returns and forces Edgeworth to leave. Edgeworth tries to explain that he is as involved in the case as Lance, but Lang tells him to go back to his "precious courtroom".
  • After Devorae's body is discovered, but before Meekins is accused, Lang returns, notices Edgeworth with the body and asks him to remove himself. Edgeworth insists that his discovery of the body should allow him to participate in the investigation, but Lang pulls rank on him and tells him to go back to the courtroom.
  • While in the Wild West Area, after Meekins has been accused, Lang arrests Meekins and leaves, with Meekins crying out to Edgeworth in desperation.
  • While in the Stadium, before Lang arrives, or while in the Kidnappers' Hideout, Lang appears early and announces Meekins' arrest, refusing to let Edgeworth change his mind.
  • While in the Stadium, after Lang arrives, he suggests putting a stop to Edgeworth's "quibbling", and leaves it to Edgeworth to resolve the case in court, before ordering his subordinates to arrest Meekins.
  • While at the entrance, before Ernest arrives, Lang arrests Paups, stating that Edgeworth's "half-baked logic needs more time in the oven". Edgeworth tries to protest, but Paups insists that she pay for her actions.
  • After Ernest arrives with Devorae's costume, Lance decides that Edgeworth is wasting everyone's time, seeing as he doesn't have any evidence. Ernest decides to let the courts resolve all remaining issues. A few days later, Lance is acquitted of all charges due to a lack of evidence.
Turnabout Reminiscence[]
  • During the first Investigation phase, Von Karma appears and scolds Edgeworth for hesitating, stating that the case should have been resolved in less than three minutes. He expresses disappointment at Franziska as well, and tells both of them to leave.
  • After the first Investigation phase, but before Gumshoe is accused, Franziska declares herself "the victor", stating that Edgeworth is unworthy of the Von Karma name.
  • During the Beginning chapter, after Gumshoe is accused, Edgeworth admits that he has nothing to counter Yew's claim, and Badd tells Gumshoe to come along quietly.
  • While investigating the hallway, Badd forces Edgeworth and Franziska to leave, claiming that they are in his way.
  • While talking with the Judge in the courtroom, the Judge announces that he has to prepare for his next court hearing, but will arrange for Gumshoe's arrest. Edgeworth protests, but the Judge sees no need to further prolong the issue and adjourns court.
  • While questioning Gumshoe or talking to Kay in the courtroom, Yew and Badd appear and stop Edgeworth, stating that there is enough evidence to take Gumshoe into custody.
  • While alone with Badd at the crime scene, Badd halts the investigation, claiming that it has dragged on too long, before forcing Edgeworth and Franziska to leave.
  • During the final chapter, Yew laughs at Edgeworth, who is at the end of his rope, before leaving Badd to arrest Gumshoe. Edgeworth attempts to keep Yew talking, but she leaves, claiming that she is done here.
Turnabout Ablaze[]
  • Before Faraday's name has been cleared, Shih-na forces Edgeworth to stop "disrupting the investigation", before taking Faraday in. Franziska tells Edgeworth to expect no mercy from her as her subordinate.
  • After Faraday has been cleared, but before Butz has, Lang quotes Lang Zi's "Expect everything from a criminal", as all their actions are suspicious, before proclaiming Butz to be overly so. Despite Butz's protests, Lang arrests him before telling Edgeworth he had hoped that he would have kept him entertained. Edgeworth, unable to come up with a counterargument, watches hopelessly as Butz is arrested.
  • While investigating the Rose Garden, Lang notices the time and suggests that Edgeworth go home and rest, commenting that he's just playing around, albeit unintentionally.
  • While investigating Coachen's Office the second time, Shih-na appears and questions Edgeworth and Faraday's presence there, claiming they're wasting their time at best, and tampering with the crime scene at worst. She then forces them to vacate the premises.
  • During the "Middle, Part 3" chapter, Lang claims any further discussion to be a waste of time, before taking Edgeworth off the case on the grounds that he is losing his objectivity.
  • After Yew is arrested, but before Franziska is accused, Lang appears - to Edgeworth's surprise - claiming that he won't let him take his case away from him, before forcing Edgeworth and Franziska out of the building.
  • After Franziska is accused, but before accusing Alba, Lang arrests Franziska, claiming to be tired of waiting for others to solve his case.
  • After accusing Alba, but before he "confesses", he forces everyone to vacate the premises, commenting that he doubts he and Lang will meet again anytime soon.
  • After Alba's "confession", but before he returns, he reappears and forces Edgeworth out of the building. He comments that they will not meet again, but that he will pray for their success.
  • After Alba returns, he halts Edgeworth's progress, stating that he doesn't care about the "truth" he seeks, before leaving for the airport. Alba provides the same closing comment as the previous sequence.

Special bad endings[]

All main series games except Trials and Tribulations feature a scene in their last case where fulfilling certain conditions will result in the game ending in an alternative and often dark fashion. This often occurs because the player has "lost" in a manner other than having his or her client pronounced guilty.

Rise from the Ashes[]

During Rise from the Ashes, Phoenix Wright can choose to present the Strip of Cloth upon either of Damon Gant's initial requests. Doing so will finger Ema Skye as the murderer of Neil Marshall, and Lana Skye will be found guilty for the murder of Bruce Goodman, her motive being to cover up her sister's actions.

Farewell, My Turnabout[]


"The miracle never happened."

The original, and perhaps most (in)famous, bad ending in the series occurs in Farewell, My Turnabout. Near the end, Wright is given the chance to present one piece of evidence to a witness. If he presents any combination other than Shelly de Killer's profile and the Video Tape (or presents the Video Tape first), or answers the witness's follow-up question with anything other than "[Engarde] wanted blackmail on you", this ending is achieved. Unable to support his claim regarding Matt Engarde's guilt, Wright can only watch as his client is found "Not Guilty". Wright flees the courtroom out of shame and roams the streets alone, never to set foot in a courtroom again. He never again sees Maya Fey, who had been kidnapped prior to the trial by Shelly de Killer, but knowing that de Killer is a man of his word, he is sure he has released her. Days later, he receives news of the outcome of Adrian Andrews's trial: "guilty," as expected. The miracle he had hoped for never happened. A large part of this scene's infamy stems from a grammatical error in the American version of the Nintendo DS English localization of Justice for All, where the line reads, "The miracle never happen."

Reaching this ending in the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy unlocks the achievement "Justice Ill Served".

Turnabout Succession[]

At the end of Turnabout Succession, the player is put in control of Jurist no. 6, who is given the opportunity to decide the fate of Vera Misham. If the player selects "Guilty", the verdict is postponed due to a hung jury. The same night, Misham takes a turn for the worse and dies of atroquinine poisoning, leaving the case unresolved. Curiously enough, Misham survives in the good ending, even though the only difference is the verdict, and she had no way of hearing it before recovering.

While the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy version of the game allows the player to continue from the start of the current scene in the event of a Game Over, this ending is the sole exception, forcing the player back to the title screen in all versions. Reaching this ending unlocks the achievement "One Jurist's Verdict".

Turnabout for Tomorrow[]

Turnabout for Tomorrow features three bad endings, all achievable at different times during the trial by depleting the Confidence Gauge:

  1. If Wright fails to prove Simon Blackquill's innocence after the latter admits his guilt, the judge ends the trial with no change to the UR-1 verdict; Simon Blackquill is then executed the next day as scheduled. As a result of this, Aura Blackquill disappears with the people she took captive the day before, including Trucy Wright, without a trace. Athena Cykes leaves the Wright Anything Agency. Apollo Justice becomes a changed man, never smiling again. Wright resigns in shame.
  2. After Cykes' Psyche-Locks are broken, if Wright fails to answer any of the forced questions, Aura stops the trial and demand that Cykes be handed over to her in exchange for the hostages. Wright never hears from either of them again.
  3. If Wright is unable to prove that Bobby Fulbright is indeed the phantom after suspicion falls on him, Cykes and Simon are acquitted, but the phantom disappears without a trace shortly afterwards, leaving the case unresolved, and the dark age of the law continues, growing ever darker.

Turnabout Reclaimed[]

Turnabout Reclaimed also features a bad ending that can be achieved by depleting the Confidence Gauge during Marlon Rimes's testimony where he claims he saw Orla Shipley kill Jack Shipley (Trial, Day 2, first Cross-Examination). If Wright cannot prove that Orla did not do this, then the judge will declare Sasha Buckler innocent, whilst Orla is subsequently found guilty and put down soon after.

Turnabout Revolution[]

Turnabout Revolution features four bad endings, all achievable at different times during the case by running out of penalties:

  1. If the player runs out of penalties during the civil trial, the judge will rule in favor of the plaintiff, permanently ending the hope for revolution in Khura'in and causing Wright and Justice's relationship to never be the same again.
  2. If the player runs out of penalties after finding out that Dhurke Sahdmadhi is dead, but before Amara Sigatar Khura'in or Nahyuta Sahdmadhi claims that he killed Inga Karkhuul Khura'in, the trial ends with several remaining unresolved issues, with Justice musing that they never did get the truth out of Amara, and that Inga's murder disappeared into the shadows. Dhurke was found guilty of the assassination attempt of Amara Sigatar Khura'in, and the truth was lost.
  3. If the plays runs out of penalties after Amara confesses to Inga's murder, but before implicating Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in, the trial ends with Amara arrested and tried for Inga's murder, and Dhurke was found guilty of the twenty-three year old assassination attempt.
  4. If the player fails to sufficiently prove Queen Ga'ran's guilt after implicating her (including after the revisualization), the allegations against the queen are dismissed. Dhurke is acquitted for Inga's murder, but his true killer and the truth about twenty-three years ago remain unresolved. Justice is forced underground to avoid the queen's agents and joins the revolution.

As a side note, if the player runs out of penalties after the final recess, but before implicating Ga'ran, the usual Game Over message is displayed, but with Nahyuta being found guilty instead of Dhurke.

Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney[]

While not canon with the official Ace Attorney timeline, Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney features a bad ending as an alternative to a Game Over. The Judge declares Phoenix's failure to prove that Pearl Fey is Rayfa Padma Khura'in, and asks the Bailiff to bring the real Rayfa to the courtroom to be handed over to the terrorist. Ashamed, Phoenix flies back to the United States, hangs up his Attorney's badge, and returns to his life as an amateur pianist.

Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney[]

Like Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney, Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney also features a bad ending instead of a Game Over due to its non-canonicity. Rayfa returns to Khura'in with the news that the US has no good tourist destinations. The number of Khura'inese tourists in the States sinks so low that the Gatewater Hotel comes close to bankruptcy. Blaming himself, Apollo Justice takes on unpaid employment there for a while. Interestingly, the hotel is mistakenly called the Gateway Hotel, which is likely a mistranslation.