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|This article contains information from the unofficial English translation patch for Gyakuten Kenji 2.|
Owing to the lack of an official translation of the Japan-only Gyakuten Kenji 2, the information and names in this article come from the unofficial English translation patch known as Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path. More information on this can be found here.
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|Knights always strive to protect their King. Just shut your mouth.|
Horace Knightley was the revolver-toting second-in-command of Zheng Fa president Di-Jun Huang's hired personal bodyguards. He was present during the apparent assassination attempt that was made against the president during the latter's speech at Gourd Lake.
- Main article: IS-7 Incident
The man who would become known as Horace Knightley was born to the renowned French sculptor, Pierre Hoquet. At school, the boy's best friend was the son of a pastry chef, Dane Gustavia, and they were close enough that the two of them and their fathers shared a photo together. In December 2000, Hoquet, using the pseudonym "Isaac Dover", collaborated with Gustavia in order to participate in a dessert-making contest hosted by the famous television chef Jeffrey Master. Gustavia would often rely on his son to taste his desserts, so when Hoquet betrayed him, the latter forced his own son to tie up Gustavia's son.
Hoquet's son bound his best friend's wrists and legs while crying and asking for forgiveness. The boy then went inside Hoquet's car with his friend and locked the doors. Due to the freezing cold, the door soon froze over, preventing both of them from escaping. Luckily for them, a passer-by named Sirhan Dogen rescued them. In the meantime, Gustavia killed Hoquet and fled the country, leaving both boys orphans.
The young boys were unaware of what had happened to their fathers, in no small part due to the memory loss that their near-death experience had left them with. Dogen thus took them to the Happy Family Home orphanage. It was presumably while they were at the orphanage that the pair obtained their new names of Horace Knightley and Simon Keyes. Keyes eventually ran away, but the two friends kept in touch and played chess by correspondence. The police searched for an heir to Hoquet's possessions, and eventually found Knightley and delivered the Hoquet family ring that his father had used to sign his works.
As an adult, Knightley was employed as a bodyguard for a private security company. When Di-Jun Huang, the president of Zheng Fa, arrived in the United States, he hired the bodyguards. Knightley became resentful of living in the shadow of fellow employee Ethan Rooke, who was assigned to be the leader of the president's security team.
The staged assassination
- Main article: Turnabout Target
The president was due to give a speech at Gourd Lake on March 25, 2019. Back in Zheng Fa, Huang's approval ratings were abysmally low, so Knightley, eager to prove his usefulness, went to the president with a plan for a staged assassination attempt, which his friend Keyes had given him. Huang reluctantly agreed, but Rooke refused to play any part in the scheme. The two conspirators pretended to call off the plan, but secretly went ahead anyway, leaving Rooke in the dark.
As part of the plan, Knightley recruited the journalist Nicole Swift, who had appeared at the Zheng Fa embassy looking for a scoop. In exchange for information for her news story, Knightley asked Swift to stand in the audience and point a laser pointer at the president at a certain part of the speech. Swift was left unaware of the staged assassination attempt because Knightley planned to frame her as the "assassin". Knightley even left a used gun in a garbage can in front of the stage for investigators to find.
Two days before the speech, the infamous assassin Shelly de Killer infiltrated Huang's bodyguards in order to kill the president. Although Rooke was able to detect the imposter, by that time de Killer had already managed to get close to his target. With his cover blown, the assassin made his move, overpowering Knightley by grabbing him by the throat. Rooke proved far more formidable, as he quickly seized, twisted, and put a bullet through the assassin's left arm, forcing de Killer to escape. Knightley's injury from the altercation forced him to wear a neck brace, and left him unable to turn his head to the right. This discrepancy in the skill of the two bodyguards caused Knightley to resent Rooke further, to the point that he became willing to murder him if the opportunity arose.
As a result of the attack, the bodyguard's plan was changed so that only Rooke and Knightley would be guarding the president, and Knightley was moved to the right of the stage, so that he could execute his plan despite his neck injury. Later, as the president gave his speech, Knightley shot a balloon off to the side of the stage, using his bulletproof attaché case to hide what he was doing and make it seem as if someone was shooting at Huang. Knightley and Rooke quickly took their charge into the presidential seaplane, where Huang made his way into a safe room. Left alone with the object of his resentment, and knowing that the president was cowering under a table and covering his ears, Knightley took the opportunity to shoot Rooke dead. The fatal bullet went through Rooke and into one of the security monitors, which Knightley quickly hid elsewhere inside the plane.
Knightley then emerged from the plane to find Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth (along with Kay Faraday and Detective Dick Gumshoe) questioning Swift after having thoroughly investigated the crime scene. The bodyguard revealed that Huang was perfectly fine and lied that Rooke had been shot while protecting the president. He then told Edgeworth that control of the investigation was being handed over to the Zheng Fa police, and that Swift was being arrested as the assassin. However, Shelly de Killer, who had been posing as an ice cream salesman, suddenly grabbed Knightley and held a knife to his throat, demanding that Edgeworth be allowed to investigate the plane.
Left with no other option, Knightley led them all onto the plane with the assassin's blade still at his throat. Once on board, de Killer found that his target was still hiding inside the safe room. He attempted to make Di-Jun Huang come out by threatening to kill Knightley. When it became apparent that the president would not appear, de Killer, satisfied with the progress of Edgeworth's investigation, proceeded to escape before police surrounded the plane.
Huang then finally emerged and tried to claim extraterritoriality rights to take away control of the investigation from Edgeworth. He even had Knightley confiscate all the evidence the prosecutor had acquired. Knightley made sure to manipulate the evidence while it was in his possession by changing the number of bullets in both his own revolver and that found by Edgeworth at the crime scene (which Knightley had planted). However, since the incident had happened outside the plane, Edgeworth retained his investigative rights. He went on to prove that the assassination attempt was a fake.
Knightley continued to attempt to frame Swift as the assassin and Rooke's killer, but was no match for Edgeworth's logic. Forced to give back the evidence, Knightley took the opportunity to mock Edgeworth, who was surprised to find that the number of bullets in the gun handed back to him made it seem as if it were the murder weapon, rather than Knightley's own weapon. However, Knightley had not been wearing gloves when he had tampered with the firearms, meaning that his fingerprints were on the the bullets that he had transferred to throw off the shot counts. This was enough for Edgeworth to prove Knightley's guilt and he was promptly arrested. Edgeworth was to take the prosecutor's bench for the ensuing trial.
- Main article: The Imprisoned Turnabout
Knightley's crime made the news all over the country. He became a scapegoat for the president, who blamed him for the whole assassination attempt, not just the murder of Rooke. While awaiting his trial, Knightley was incarcerated in the detention center. While he was being escorted to the holding cell, he and his escort were attacked by Jay Elbird, who stole the keys to the cell. Two days after the staged assassination, Knightley was visited by Keyes, who was working as an animal tamer for the Berry Big Circus and was about to perform a show in the prison. Keyes gave Knightley a portable chessboard.
After the visit, the prison director Patricia Roland, who also used to be the director of the orphanage where Knightley and Keyes had lived, took Knightley away for interrogation. She suspected him of being an agent of the now imprisoned Dogen. Dogen would frequently threaten Roland that one of his "dogs" would come and kill her one day, and he had been using these threats to get her to deliver various goods to him and his fellow inmates. The frightened director had looked through Knightley's mail and believed that he was playing correspondence chess with Dogen. Roland looked at Knightley's chessboard and found a chisel inside, like the ones that Dogen had. Driven to the brink of madness by fear, Roland stabbed Knightley in the neck with a knife, killing him instantly.
Roland moved the body into the prison using a secret route that had been established to deliver goods to Dogen . Inmate Frank Sahwit would turn off the power so that Roland could reach the courtyard from her office. She sprayed perfume on Knightley's body, wrapped it inside a sheet to prevent a blood trail from being left behind, and tied it to a contraption that Keyes had set up for the circus show. When the contraption was set off during the show, the body fell into a secret tunnel, and the scent of the perfume signaled Dogen's dog Anubis to deliver it to his owner. Dogen was surprised to find the body with Anubis and, not wishing to be suspected, ordered the dog to leave the body to one of the workrooms, where it was soon discovered.
Simon Keyes became the prime suspect due to being seen talking with Knightley and having the opportunity to murder him. However, despite interference by Justine Courtney and Sebastian Debeste, Edgeworth was eventually able to prove Roland as Knightley's killer.
Keyes' role in suggesting the staged assassination attempt would later be revealed, as well as his motivation for doing so: to have Knightley sent to the prison run by Roland. He had then used Roland's paranoia to push her into killing Knightley. Keyes had done all this as revenge for what Knightley had done to him 18 years ago, and for Roland's role in the SS-5 Incident. Keyes' memory had been muddled, and he had believed that Gustavia had been Knightley's father rather than his own. He had also manipulated the chess correspondence by having Knightley and Dogen unknowingly play each other, with each believing that he was playing Keyes.
This would all come to light when Edgeworth figured out that Keyes was behind a number of recent crimes, all with the aim of getting revenge, and confronted him. A delayed letter from Knightley helped prove Keyes' manipulation of the chess correspondence. Eventually, all of Keyes' plans were unraveled, and he was arrested for his crimes.
Knightley was an arrogant man with a love of chess. Such was his enjoyment of the game, that he would often use chess metaphors and refer to himself as a "knight" protecting his "king" (Huang). His arrogance was such that he resented, and ultimately killed, Rooke due to being envious of the more skilled bodyguard. Another obvious quirk of Knightley's was his habit of playing with his revolver; he would often twirl it around his finger, reload it for no reason, and even point it at other people when talking to them.
It seemed that Knightley would always lose to his chess correspondence opponent. The delayed letter depicted him making a surprising move that would turn the game around and lead to checkmate. This mirrored the fact that the letter itself exposed Keyes' manipulation of the chess correspondence. Knightley was seemingly completely unaware of the resentment Keyes felt towards him.
- "Naitō" is the Japanese romanization of the English word "knight", while his given name contains the kanji for horse (馬). Both meanings refer to his love of chess, in particular the knight piece. He often compares himself to a knight in the game of chess, defending his king.
- His English name in the unofficial fan translation patch for Gyakuten Kenji 2 is "Horace Knightley". Both his given name and surname are references to the meaning of the original Japanese name; "Horace" is a play on "horse" (which the knight piece resembles) and "Knightley" is a play on "knight".
- In the unofficial French fan patch, his name is "Carl Vallier", which comes from the word "Cavalier", which means "horse rider or horseman". This is a reference to him being a "knight" chess piece.
- Like a few other characters in Gyakuten Kenji 2, Knightley has design and personality parallels with a chess piece. With his mane-like hair, name pun, and desire to protect his "king", Knightley represents the knight.
- Continuing the chess theme is his tie, which has a checkered pattern reminiscent of a chessboard.
- During his breakdown, Knightley is struck on the head by a number of objects, many of which are references to earlier Ace Attorney episodes. The objects are: a horseshoe, a Blue Badger doll, the The Thinker clock from The First Turnabout and Turnabout Sisters (making him the only character to survive being struck by said object), a Mr. Ifly piggy bank from Turnabout Airlines, the box of Samurai Dogs from Turnabout Ablaze that was the final evidence against Quercus Alba (complete with blood spot), a mallet, and the revolver that Knightley had thrown in the first place.