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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.


Main article: Turnabout Succession
Mr gavin

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 in order to obtain fame and respect. This desire caused him to do whatever it took to implicate the other half of Zak's magic act, Valant Gramarye. Assuming the pseudonym David Krisler and covering his face, he asked a forger, Drew Misham, to manufacture a page in the victim's handwriting, which he would claim came from his diary.

Gavin discovered that Drew's young daughter, Vera, was the real forger, and conversed with her alone. He was able to gain Vera's trust by bonding with her over Troupe Gramarye, as well as apparently displaying a gentle persona with an angelic face. Noticing that she had a habit of biting her nails whenever she was nervous, he planted atroquinine, a deadly poison, in a bottle of pink Ariadoney nail polish, which he gave to her as a thank-you gift for her services. He told her that it was a "good luck charm" to soothe her fear of the outside world, but its magic would wear off if she told anyone about what it was or who had given it to her. This would ensure that Vera would apply the nail polish if she ever had to go outside, and would bite her nails were she to become nervous, effectively poisoning herself. During the course of this encounter, Vera caught a glimpse of "the Devil", which would much later be identified as the result of him tensing his hand when he lied.

Kristoph also laced a commemorative stamp of Troupe Gramarye with the same poison and sent it to Drew along with a letter confirming the $100,000 payment for the forgery. The letter instructed Drew to mail a receipt for the payment using the stamp. The poison was planted so that the Mishams would not survive to talk about Gavin's involvement with them. However, Vera kept the stamp for herself, believing that Kristoph had simply gifted it to her, unknowingly saving her father's life for the next seven years. Subsequently, Drew replied to Gavin's letter with a different stamp. Drew later found out about Vera's secret charm, though he never found out that it was the nail polish, nor did he know how she had gotten it.

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 rightfully 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, believing that he had lost the opportunity over a mere 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 Zak would reappear to one of them and potentially expose Kristoph's involvement in the forgery and his role as the magician's original attorney. To this end, he got close to Wright and befriended him in an effort to prevent himself from being suspected, even voting against the decision to disbar Wright, though Wright continued to be 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, getting blood on a red ace card, and accidentally knocking off his hat in the process. He removed the potentially incriminating ace and replaced it with a king from the wrong deck, believing that all the cards were blue. He also took a bottle with only Wright's fingerprints on the table, and hid the murder weapon in the crate, unaware there was a card in it from Smith and Orly's plan to frame Wright for cheating. He quickly made his escape with the ace in his hand before Wright returned.

Wright was placed on trial for the murder, but when Kristoph called to offer his services, he made a statement about "someone crack[ing] that flawless bone china pate," referring to Smith's bald head. Wright, knowing that Kristoph should not have known that Smith was bald, figured out that he was the killer. Wright decided to request Kristoph's student, Apollo Justice.

Kristoph guided Justice through the trial, eventually implicating a witness, but made an off-hand comment about the backs of the cards being blue, something he should not have known unless he had been at the crime scene. Wright picked up on this, made his accusation against Kristoph, and replaced him as Justice's impromptu co-counsel. During the course of the trial, the defense produced a blood-stained ace, claiming that it had been found at the crime scene, and using it to explain why the killer would want to take such an ace with him. With the help of Wright and the card, Justice implicated Kristoph as the true culprit. Kristoph slammed his fist on the witness stand, his anger shaking the courtroom, while accusing Wright of concocting this scenario as revenge. He was then arrested for Zak's murder and incarcerated in Solitary Cell 13.

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?
Yellow Letter

Drew Misham's final letter.

During his first six months in prison, Kristoph had some favors called in to some of the prison staff, a few of whom he was friends with, so he could modify his cell and living conditions in a more comfortable manner as well as having special privileges. He was able to have mail, packages, and case information delivered to him, and his cell contained all manner of items to form a makeshift office.

After this, Drew sent a letter to Kristoph, demanding that he 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. 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 somehow 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. However, the amount was just under a lethal dose, giving her a chance to survive.


Kristoph's black Psyche-Locks.

Meanwhile, Wright visited Kristoph in his cell to find out why he had killed Zak Gramarye. However, Kristoph ignored the question and tried to change the subject. Even Wright's magatama would be of no use, showing Wright five unbreakable black Psyche-Locks. After talking, he began painting his nails and gave Wright one of his bottles of Ariadoney nail polish. 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 Vera's nail polish.

The next day, the trial resumed without its defendant, and Justice called Kristoph to the stand as a special witness. Kristoph convinced the judge to reject all of 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 he 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. In response, Klavier and Justice informed him about the implementation of the Jurist System for this trial, through which the court had the power to declare an innocent verdict with the help of common citizens regardless of decisive evidence, and which had been orchestrated by none other than Wright.

Kristoph going mad

Kristoph breaks down on the witness stand.

At this, Kristoph flew into a rage, calling the jurors "ignorant swine", an "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 strove for perfection in all areas of life, and had an extreme sense of self-importance and superiority, particularly over "common" citizens not involved in legal studies. This ironically drove him to find loopholes, despite considering law and evidence to be absolutes, and react extremely to perceived attacks on his ego. In committing the forgery (against his own brother, no less) and the crimes and surveillance that followed, Kristoph showed a paranoid desire to control the situation at all costs. The black Psyche-Locks regarding Kristoph's motive for killing Zak seem to imply that he was, in some sense, hiding his secrets even from himself.

On the outside, Kristoph was known for his cool, professional demeanor in court, thus earning the nickname the "Coolest Defense in the West". He was virtually unfazed during Justice's first trial, mostly keeping his cool even when caught on his first murder, and only showing glimpses of anger. It was only when his past crimes were exposed that he finally lost his composure and the true extent of his cruelty was revealed. This would culminate in his final breakdown upon finding out that Phoenix Wright had orchestrated a jury trial to bring him down.


  • Japanese - Kirihito Garyū (牙琉霧人):
    • There is no official explanation for the surname "Garyū" (牙琉), but homophones include 我流 meaning "self-taught" (example 1, example 2), 牙龍 meaning "dragon's fang", 臥龍 meaning "unrecognized genius" or "reclining dragon" (example), and 臥竜 meaning "hidden dragon" (example 1, example 2).
    • "Kirihito" (霧人) is written with the kanji for "mist" and "man". When the kanji are reversed, they form the pronunciation of "hitokiri" (人斬り), which translates as "killer".
  • English - Kristoph Gavin:
    • "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".
    • "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 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.


  • Brazilian Portuguese - Krístofer Galvão: [4]
    • Adaptation of the western name.
    • "Krístofer" has a relationship with "Cristo" (Christ), reinforcing the image that he tries to convey as kind and peaceful, which creates incongruity with the fact that he is considered "O Demônio" (The Devil) by Vera. The name also reinforces the pun for its writing and speech, as it refers to a fusion of the words "Cristo" (Christ) and Lúcifer (Lucifer), creating the duality between the pure and the perverse.
    • "Galvão" is the Portuguese variant of Gavin from English and Gawain from Medieval English, being translated as "White Falcon". The meaning of the surname indicates both purity and goodness by the white color, and attentive and noticeable eyes like a hawk; in addition to being the name of one of the famous knights of Arthurian tales, recognized in literature both for heroic acts and for the sins committed.


  • Kristoph was designed as a "traditional gentleman", in contrast to the more modern theme of Klavier's design.[5]
  • 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).[5]
  • Character designer Kazuya Nuri particularly enjoyed creating the parts where Kristoph loses control.[5]
  • Shu Takumi tried to reject Kristoph's head-shaking animation due to it being physically impossible, but eventually relented.[6]


  1. Kristoph: Ah, yes, she's surprisingly delicate, you know. Requires careful tending. But, she is my "best friend", as they say.
    Phoenix: "Best"...? Come on, now I'm starting to feel bad for you.
    Kristoph: Oh? Of course, she's known to bite if handled roughly.
    Phoenix: Y-Your rose bites?
    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. "Nomes - Jacutem Sabão". Advogados de Primeira. Retrieved on 2022-03-21.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 (2009). "The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". UDON. ISBN 1-897376-19-7.
  6. Ash (2023-06-19). "Celebrating the Release of Gyakuten Saiban 4 - A Discussion with 4 Members of the Team (2007)". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2024-03-31.