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- "Jean" redirects here. You may be looking for the butler Jean Greyerl from Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Alternatively, you may be looking for "Jean Durand", the French localization name for Robert Hammond.
|Bienvenue! Welcome to my petite restauranté!|
Jean Armstrong is the effeminate proprietor and chef of the restaurant Trés Bien.
A loan shark's prey[edit | edit source]
Armstrong set up his restaurant some time before the beginning of 2017. However, his food was extremely overpriced and terrible-tasting, so the restaurant fell on hard times. Armstrong later took out a loan of $500,000 from notorious loan shark Furio Tigre. Due to a lack of customers, however, he was unable to repay this loan and was under Tigre's control. This fear of Tigre was not helped by the presence of Tigre's assistant Viola Cadaverini, granddaughter of mob boss Bruto Cadaverini.
This control forced him to help in framing Maggey Byrde for the murder of Glen Elg. After the murder, Armstrong tried to steal a winning lottery ticket that Elg had, but the ticket he stole turned out to be worth a dollar instead of the $500,000 Elg had won. Armstrong then watched as the murder was reenacted to make it look to a witness, Victor Kudo, that Byrde had committed the murder. Armstrong then disposed of the body while Kudo called the police.
Meeting Mr. Wright[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Recipe for Turnabout
Byrde was convicted of Elg's murder. A month later, her lawyer Phoenix Wright appealed the case. Visiting Trés Bien to investigate the murder, Wright met Armstrong and questioned him about Byrde's motive. However, Armstrong refused to cooperate with him and sneakily stole his magatama. On another visit, Wright showed Armstrong a job listings magazine. Armstrong got the wrong idea about this and forcibly took Wright's assistant Maya Fey, hiring her as a waitress. This led Wright to find his magatama again and discover Armstrong's pickpocketing habit.
Wright returned to Trés Bien during another visit from Viola Cadaverini. Armstrong told them about his debt to Tender Lender. On a final visit to the restaurant, Wright found Armstrong with Tigre, who told his indebted to deal with the lawyer, who was figuring out too much about the crime. Armstrong punched Wright, but detective Dick Gumshoe then appeared and dealt with the pair while Wright escaped.
Prosecutor Godot called Armstrong to the witness stand the next day. There were many inconsistencies between the testimonies of Armstrong, Kudo and Byrde. Armstrong testified that the victim was listening to the radio in an ear that, according to other testimonies, had a ruptured eardrum. Armstrong then tried to claim that Kudo had seen the murder through a mirror reflection, but Wright broke through this testimony and revealed that the murder that Kudo saw was a farce. Armstrong eventually admitted that he was being forced to play along with the farce, and Wright sent for Tigre to testify about the murder. Wright eventually gave Tigre some of his own medicine by tricking him into incriminating himself.
Personality[edit | edit source]
Armstrong is a homosexual man who enjoys performing non-passing drag. He is not actually French, explaining his tenuous understanding of the language, including the misspelling of his restaurant Trés Bien; this is simply part of his drag persona of a French maiden, although he ultimately identifies as male. Armstrong is somewhat of a kleptomaniac, which once led to him being arrested. He also has a habit of jumping to conclusions, as shown by his whirlwind hiring of Maya Fey as a waitress, despite the latter not wanting the job and only wishing to ask about the job listing.
Armstrong's "French maiden" drag persona, who inconsistently goes by the alias of "Claurice Armstrong", is what others see most of the time. "Claurice" is flamboyant and flirtatious, and has colored her restaurant pink after her favorite color. She also has an interest in aromatherapy (although the oils she gives out are ineffective) and likes to write poems in a book she keeps in her kitchen.
Name[edit | edit source]
- Both the English (Jean) and Japanese (Kaoru) versions of his given name are androgynous (although "Jean" is usually considered a female name in English-speaking countries and male in French ones).
- His Japanese given name, "Kaoru", means "fragrance". This may be a reference to his interest in aromatherapy.
- His full Japanese name is a romanization of "fond de veau", the French term for "rich veal".
- "Jean" is traditionally a very popular French male given name.
- The surname "Armstrong" might be a reference to the fact that he has relatively muscular arms, or possibly to Tigre using Armstrong's debt to "strong-arm" him into assisting in the murder plot. The surname itself has its origins in Scotland. Most likely unintentionally, the French words for "arm" and "strong" are "bras" and "fort", respectively. If substituted into the character's name it becomes "Jean Brasfort", which is similar to the phrase "j'embrasse fort" ("I embrace/kiss strongly").
- Since, in the French localization version, his persona's nationality is changed to Italian, he was given the stereotypical Italian given name "Luigi", which originates from the Germanic (Frankish) for "fame warrior".
- His French surname is "Labocca"; "la bocca" is Italian for "the mouth".
- In the Spanish version he is often referred to as "esa mujer" ("that woman").
- His Chinese given name is the same as Wendy Oldbag.
Development[edit | edit source]
- The Japanese version of Jean Armstrong is described as an "okama", a broad term that is used to refer to gay men but also can refer to transgender women and men who do drag or speak like women. This made it somewhat of a challenge to localize the character into something that Western audiences could appreciate, especially with the general public's relative lack of understanding of the nuances of gender and sexuality when Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations was being localized. Some of the difficulties can be seen in various interactions between Armstrong and other characters, with Phoenix Wright being written as believing that Armstrong may be a woman.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Breaking Armstrong's Psyche-Locks is the only moment in the Ace Attorney series that the magatama is used as evidence.
- In the Spanish language version of the game, Armstrong and the judge state that they are able to speak English (instead of the two stating that they can speak Spanish like in the English language version).
References[edit | edit source]
- Hsu, Janet (2014-10-31). Ace Attorney Trilogy - Surprising Tidbits You Never Knew! Capcom Unity. Retrieved on 2014-11-02.