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Kristoph Gavin
Well, this case certainly has taken a turn... for the interesting!

Kristoph Gavin was a renowned defense attorney with his own law firm, and the former boss and mentor of Apollo Justice. He was often called "the coolest defense in the West", referring to his ability to keep his cool during a trial. He was a special witness for the cases of the murders of Shadi Smith and Drew Misham. His younger brother, Klavier, is a prosecutor and musician.


Main article: Turnabout Succession

Kristoph Gavin.

In 2019, renowned magician Magnifi Gramarye was murdered. As Zak Gramarye, one of his students, was to be tried for the murder, Gavin planned to use this opportunity to win the high-profile case. This desire caused him to do whatever it took to implicate the other half of Zak's magic act, Valant Gramarye. To this end, he asked a forger, Vera Misham, to manufacture a page in the victim's handwriting, which he would claim came from his diary.

Gavin acted friendly towards Vera to gain her trust. Noticing that she had a habit of biting her nails whenever she was nervous, he planted atroquinine, an extremely deadly poison, in a bottle of nail polish and gave it to her as a gift, claiming that it was a "good luck charm" to soothe her fear. He told Vera that the magic of the charm would wear off if she told anyone about it. The idea behind this plot was that whenever she went out into the open, she would take and use the nail polish, and if she were to become nervous while out - say, by talking to others about the charm - she would bite her nails, and effectively poison herself. He also laced a commemorative stamp of Troupe Gramarye with the same poison and sent it to Vera along with a letter, confirming the payment for the forgery and telling Drew Misham, Vera's father, to mail a receipt for the payment using the stamp. These poisons were planted so that the Mishams would not survive to talk about Gavin's involvement with them. However, Vera kept the stamp for herself, due to being a big fan of Troupe Gramarye, and replied to Gavin's letter with a different stamp. Drew later found out the existence of Vera's secret charm, though he did not know what it was.

Curiously, when Gavin offered his services to Zak Gramarye, the defendant challenged him to a game of poker as a test of trust. Gavin lost the game and Zak rejected him as his attorney. Zak had seen the man behind the cards and concluded that he was untrustworthy. He instead called Phoenix Wright to his cell and, upon losing to him, hired him as his attorney.

Gavin felt cheated out of his quest for glory over a poker game. He decided to plant the diary page that Vera Misham had forged onto Zak's oblivious daughter to give to Wright, to ruin both him and his new defendant. He then told his younger brother Klavier Gavin, who was prosecuting for the case, about the forgery prior to the trial, and Klavier used this information to devise a trap to expose the forgery. When Wright presented the diary page as evidence, Klavier summoned Drew Misham to the stand, who admitted to having forged the diary page. However, Zak vanished from the courtroom before the verdict could be read, ending the trial with no verdict. As a result of this trial, Wright had to forfeit his attorney's badge.

Zak's unexpected disappearance drove Kristoph to stalk everyone involved with the case - the Mishams, Wright, and the journalist Spark Brushel - in fear that Gramarye would reappear to one of them and expose Kristoph's involvement in the forgery and his role as the magician's original attorney. To this end, he befriended Wright in an effort to prevent himself from being suspected, even voting against the decision to disbar Wright, but Wright remained suspicious of him.[2] Despite what had happened to him, Wright took it upon himself to continue his investigations, in hopes for a lead. Meanwhile, Klavier suspected that something was amiss with the trial, and the case haunted him for years to come.

Fall from grace[]

Main article: Turnabout Trump
Kristoph Gavin
Is... this your idea of revenge, Phoenix Wright?
Kristoph Gavin
Revenge for the events that took away your attorney's badge seven years ago!

Kristoph Gavin as Justice's co-counsel.

Seven years later, Zak Gramarye reappeared to Wright under the name "Shadi Smith", and Kristoph saw his chance to kill him. He hid in a secret tunnel behind a cabinet in the basement of the Borscht Bowl Club, where Wright and Zak were playing poker, and waited for an opening during which he fatally attacked the man with a grape juice bottle. Wright was placed on trial for the murder, but when Kristoph called to offer his services, Wright instead requested one of Kristoph's new students, Apollo Justice, having figured out from a slip of the tongue that Kristoph was the killer. Although Kristoph tried to persuade Justice into implicating a witness and then Wright as the killer, Wright made his accusation against Kristoph and replaced him as Justice's impromptu co-counsel. With Wright's help, Justice implicated Kristoph as the true culprit.

After Wright's acquittal, Kristoph was arrested for Zak's murder, convicted, and incarcerated in Solitary Cell 13. His law firm was subsequently dissolved.

Final blow[]

Main article: Turnabout Succession
Kristoph Gavin
Common citizens? Wisdom? Is this some kind of joke? What could we possibly gain by doing this? Entrusting our judicial system to a mindless, emotional mob of irrational mouth-breathers?

Drew Misham's final letter.

About six months later, Drew Misham sent a letter to Kristoph Gavin demanding that Kristoph remove the "magic" that he had placed on Vera. Having only the stamp that had been poisoned, he used it to send his letter. He died of atroquinine poisoning 15 minutes later, while Spark Brushel was interviewing him. Drew's daughter Vera was accused of committing the murder.

Phoenix Wright convinced the judicial system to use this case to test the Jurist System. With Apollo Justice and Klavier Gavin at the benches, the trial traced the poison to the stamp that Kristoph had poisoned seven years before. When Klavier realized that this case was related to Zak Gramarye's trial, he began to hound Vera for answers, which caused her to bite her nails nervously, finally consuming the atroquinine that Kristoph had planted. The trial was suspended for the day, and Vera was hospitalized.

Kristoph's black Psyche-Locks.

Meanwhile, Wright visited Kristoph in his cell to find out why Kristoph had killed Zak Gramarye. Kristoph ignored the question. Even Wright's magatama would be of no use, showing Wright five unbreakable black Psyche-Locks. Wright came back later and tried to steal Drew's letter, but Kristoph caught him in the act. However, unbeknownst to Kristoph, Wright had a hidden camera and had already recorded all of their conversations, as well as the contents of the letter and the poisoned stamp. Wright had ESG Studio develop a program called the MASON System to guide the jury and Justice through the investigations he had conducted for the past seven years, which revealed that Kristoph had poisoned the stamp and the nail polish.

The next day, the trial resumed without its defendant. To reveal the truth once and for all, Justice called Kristoph Gavin to the stand as a special witness. Kristoph convinced the judge to reject all of Phoenix Wright's investigative evidence and claims, citing Wright's lack of authority as well as the lack of any solid evidence implicating Kristoph as the killer. Eventually, Kristoph told the court that Zak Gramarye had rejected him as an attorney prior to hiring Wright. However, he denounced Justice's accusations that Kristoph was the client for the forgery and Drew's killer, due to lack of decisive evidence to prove so. To pour salt on the wound, Kristoph pointed out that Justice and Klavier had been the ones to cause Vera to bite her nails, causing her poisoning and probable death. At this, Klavier and Justice informed him about the implementation of the Jurist System, through which the court had the power to declare an innocent verdict regardless of decisive evidence, and which had been designed by none other than Wright.

Kristoph breaks down on the witness stand.

At this, Kristoph flew into a rage, calling the jurors "ignorant swine", "emotional mob of irrational mouth breathers", and "riff-raff" unfit for passing judgment in a court of law, which he claimed was absolute. However, the judge and Klavier dismissed his outbursts, citing the continual evolution of law, never being perfect or absolute. Klavier added that the justice system did not need Kristoph anymore. When the trial concluded, the jury unanimously declared a not guilty verdict for Vera Misham. Kristoph could do nothing but laugh. [3]


Kristoph Gavin
Nonsense! There is only room for two in this court: me, and the law! Keep the riff-raff out! Out, I say!


Kristoph Gavin made a point of striving for perfection in all areas of life, particularly in court, where he considered the law and evidence to be absolutes upon which all judgments should be made. This gave Kristoph an extreme sense of self-importance and superiority, particularly over "common" citizens not involved in legal studies. This ironically drove him to compromise the law by finding loopholes, and he eventually resorted to forgery for the sake of fame and glory.

In committing the forgery and the crimes that followed, Kristoph showed great cunning and paranoia with almost every move he made. He was very determined in guarding his secrets at all costs, even foiling Phoenix Wright's attempts to find out what Kristoph was hiding using his magatama. Black Psyche-Locks appeared when Wright asked for Kristoph's motive for killing Zak Gramarye, and this seems to imply that he was, in some sense, hiding his secrets even from himself. In the end, the Jurist System was needed to foil his plans.

Despite his paranoid drive for perfection and desperation to hide his secrets, Kristoph was known for his cool and professional demeanor in court. He was virtually unfazed when Winston Payne gained the upper hand during Justice's first trial (even while Justice himself was panicking) and even raised objections in the same calm tone of voice with which he always spoke. It was not until his crimes were exposed that he finally lost his composure.


  • "Garyū" (牙琉) comes from a combination of "self taught man" and "a dragon's fang".
  • When read backwards, his Japanese given name, "Kirihito" (霧人), reads as "hitokiri" (人霧). "Hitokiri" (人斬り) translates as "killer".
  • The name "Gavin" may have been chosen as the basis of his brother's band, the Gavinners, which may have in turn come from the German word "gewinner" meaning "winner".
  • The name "Gavin" is also a medieval variant of "Gawain", the name of an Arthurian knight. It is probably of Celtic origin, coming from the Welsh words "gwalch" ("hawk") and "gwyn" ("white"). This happens to fit with Kristoph spying on everyone involved in the Gramarye case, watching them "like a hawk". As for the other Welsh word, it could be referencing his "good nature" toward people and white clothing is related to goodness and purity.
  • "Kristoph" seems to be a shortened version of "Kristopher", which is an uncommon spelling variation of "Christopher", which means "Christ-bearing". This could be seen as somewhat at odds with his behavior and Vera referring to him as "The Devil".
  • The alias he used for the forgery request, David Krisler, may be a reference to David Crislip, a Product Development Communication Manager at Capcom who provided the English voice for Winston Payne.


Kristoph has blue eyes and blonde hair, which he styles in a twist over his shoulder in a manner similar to that of his brother, Klavier.

He typically wears a blue suit with a white shirt, black waistcoat, red tie, white shoes, and his attorney's badge pinned to his lapel. He retains this outfit even after being convicted, albeit without his badge. Kristoph also sports a pair of oval glasses, which come off during his second breakdown.

Kristoph has a scar on his right hand; when he tenses the muscles in his hand, a skull-like image is formed, with the scar acting as the "mouth". This was the tell that Justice's bracelet picked up on during Kristoph Gavin's testimony in Vera Misham's trial, with Vera herself thinking that it was "The Devil".


  • Kristoph was designed as a "traditional gentleman", in contrast to the more modern theme of Klavier's design.[4]
  • The Gavin brothers were originally designed each with two pointy hair twists (one on each side of their heads), which made them look like ancient Egyptian pharaohs (more specifically the striped headcloths called nemes).[4]
  • Character designer Kazuya Nuri particularly enjoyed creating the parts where Kristoph loses control.[4]
  • There are some parallels and contrasts between the Gavin brothers and the Fey sisters Mia and Maya. Both Kristoph and Mia play the mentor role to Apollo Justice and Phoenix Wright, respectively, until they are taken out of the picture between the first and second cases of their students' careers. Moreover, both Klavier and Maya are introduced in the second cases. However, the Fey sisters are allies to Wright and play similar roles, while the Gavin brothers play differing rival/antagonist roles.
  • The Gavin brothers also share some similarities to Morgan Fey’s twins, Iris, and Dahlia Hawthorne. One sibling of each pair gives off a calm, disarming personality most of the time, but is revealed to be a killer who is willing to go to great lengths to hide their crimes, including committing more murders and manipulating their siblings into assisting them with their crimes. Each is also the culprit in the first episode of the games in which they appear, as well as being a major witness in the last episode. The other sibling contrasts harshly with the first, genuinely possessing personality traits that the first only pretends to have.
  • Kristoph Gavin and Athena Cykes are the only two characters to date to have black Psyche-Locks, with both characters incidentally also being defense attorneys. To date, only Cykes's black Psyche-Locks have been shown breaking.
  • Kristoph is, to date, the only culprit to act as the protagonist's co-counsel in the same episode in which he is apprehended.
    • Relatedly, he is the only culprit in the series to date who explains game mechanics to the player.


  1. Kristoph:
    ...... I was speaking of the photo next to the rose. My retriever, Vongole. Cute, but feisty.
    Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Capcom. Episode: Turnabout Succession (in English). 2008.
  2. Phoenix: For seven years we've been friends... and yet, I still don't understand you.
    Kristoph: But Wright, your "friendship" toward me was never pure. ...You suspected me then as you still do now, don't you?
    Phoenix: ...Honestly, right now, I'm not sure what I think.
    Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Capcom. Episode: Turnabout Succession (in English). 2008.
  3. The record will show...
    ...that when the verdict was announced, special witness Kristoph Gavin... laughed.
    A laugh louder than any ever heard before... or since.
    A laugh that echoed in the halls of justice, lingering for what seemed like hours.
    Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. Capcom. Episode: Turnabout Succession (in English). 2008.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 (2009). "The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". UDON. ISBN 1-897376-19-7.