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The Mood Matrix logo.

The Mood Matrix is a program on Athena Cykes' computer (nicknamed Widget), which is worn around her neck as a necklace. Cykes has a special ability to pick up subtle emotional cues in the voices of other people, and uses the Mood Matrix to examine these cues while witnesses are giving their testimonies. This provides an alternative to standard cross-examinations during trials.


Mood Matrix pic

The Mood Matrix in action.

The Mood Matrix takes the form of a holographic screen that shows the emotions that a witness is experiencing whilst giving their testimony. The three-fingered glove Cykes wears on her right hand allows her to touch and interact with the holographic interface. There are four faces at each corner of the screen, called "mood markers", representing happiness/enjoyment, anger/frustration, sadness/fear, and surprise/confusion. These faces flash at varying intensities based on the witness's emotions. The screen also projects visual re-enactments based on the witness's testimony.

When an emotion conflicts with what is being said - such as an unexpected emotion appearing, or a noticeable increase, decrease or lack of an expected emotion - the player touches "Pinpoint" or presses the "L" button (Nintendo 3DS version only) and then selects the mood marker in question, causing the protagonist to yell "Got it!". This causes the witness's testimony to change, based on the witness's resurfacing memories.

Occasionally, contradictions between the testimony and evidence may appear as a result of amended testimony; in this case, the protagonist is prompted to present evidence at the appropriate statement, just like in cross-examination. In one case, the player must switch between the two modes of presenting evidence and probing emotions.

When the Mood Matrix program is not being used, Widget takes on various colors and expressions to reflect Cykes's mood, including the aforementioned mood markers.

Emotional overload[]

Mood matrix overload

Emotional overload.

One or more detected emotions can have an extremely strong reading, interrupting any signals from the other mood markers and removing them from the screen. During an emotional overload, the patient may have trouble remembering things clearly. The player must detect the source of the emotion or emotions in the images. Once the source is found, the player must touch the "Probe" button (or press the "L" button) and point it out to calm down the witness.

Characters with Mood Matrix segments[]

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies[]

Episode Character Statement Unexpected Emotion Cause / Evidence
Turnabout Countdown Juniper Woods "It fell on top of me... *cough, cough*" Happiness -
"But then Apollo came and rescued me!" Sadness -
The Monstrous Turnabout Jinxie Tenma "Y-Y-Yokai! Yokai! Right there in that room!" Overload (fear) Yokai Hallucinations
" legs gave out and I fell to the floor." Fear -
Damian Tenma "And on the other, my mortal enemy, the Nine-Tailed Fox!" Happiness -
"The Amazing Nine-Tails had come to the rescue!" Sadness -
Turnabout Reclaimed Norma DePlume "I was calm when I saw it start to head-butt." Fear -
"But when the pirate hat and victim came floating up, I let out a scream!" Fear -
Marlon Rimes "I can still remember the spectators' screams clearly..." Overload (sadness) Audience
"In the show pool, the orca shot the captain up into the air!" Overload (anger) Orla
"When Ms. DePlume witnessed the orca findin' the body, I freaked."
Surprise -
Turnabout Academy Robin Newman "When I walked by that frilly costume, I was like, whoaaaaaa!" Happiness -
"I was like, WHOAAA! I'm a guy, but I got all excited!" Sadness -
"I felt like a diva when I pulled the hood over my head!" Overload (anger) Brace
"It felt so right I was totally dressed up like a girl!"
Hugh O'Conner "Juniper's innocent!" Overload (happiness) Juniper Woods
"That means I didn't almost lose! My body double did!" Happiness -
"Then, all I had to do... was go through the empty audio control room!" Sadness -
The Cosmic Turnabout Yuri Cosmos "...but, when I tried to get another look, they had vanished into thin air!" Surprise -
"and, well, the Launch Pad 1 door..." Fear -
"...but that's when Detective Arme appeared from the elevator-side door!" Surprise -
"I had no choice but to disengage the safety lock." Happiness -
Turnabout for Tomorrow Simon Blackquill "But when I got to the robotics lab, I found Athena there instead." Happiness -
"And when she did, I plunged the katana in!" Sadness -
"I hurried over and opened the door to the robotics lab." Surprise -
"..Ponco attacked me! I retaliated by cutting it into pieces." Evidence presented instead Photo of the Crime
"I saw it! That terrible scene!" Overload (all emotions) Athena Cykes
"Bobby Fulbright" - - (Examined only) -
"How dare you accuse me of being someone who would kill over a moon rock?!" Fear -

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice[]

Episode Character Statement Unexpected Emotion Cause / Evidence
The Magical Turnabout Betty de Famme "I feel so bad about it." Happiness -
"Thanks to that, she ended up having to move the stage lifts." Evidence presented instead Trucy's Statement
Turnabout Storyteller Uendo Toneido "When I entered the dressing room, I saw Shisho slumped over the table, motionless!" Surprise -
"But something seemed off, so I rushed over to him." Anger -
"Seeing him slumped over that cluttered table... *sniff*... Oh, Shisho..." Surprise -
Overload (anger, surprise and sadness (unique in that out-of-control emotions change during testimony)) Karuta Cards
"Owen" "Blood was dripping onto Shisho's face getting it all red..." Overload (fear) Blood on Taifu Toneido's face
"He was on the floor, and somebody was smooshing something into his face..." Evidence presented instead Crime Scene Report
"...the person who killed Shisho was standing over me..." Happiness -
Turnabout Revolution Armie Buff "I was in my room, so I didn't know Papa was dead until the next day." Surprise -
"...and Papa grinning with delight." Overload (surprise and fear) Flames
"That's when he must have been killed. If only I hasn't passed out!" Evidence presented instead Founder's Orb



The program is called the "kokoro sukōpu" (ココロスコープ; lit. "Heart Scope") in the Japanese version of the game, with the device's nickname being "Monita" (モニ太).


During the initial planning stages of Dual Destinies, Takeshi Yamazaki made known his desire for a new system with psychology as the motif. The developers considered the trial mechanics of the Ace Attorney series to have been perfected, so they sought to create something that worked in a similar manner to the existing cross-examinations. This led to the idea of cross-examining witnesses using psychology.[1] Game designer Natsuki Ikawa came up with all sorts of ideas by talking with the other team members and reading psychology books. However, Yamazaki would routinely call each idea "pretty nifty" before rejecting it. This contradiction between his words and his ultimate feelings gave birth to the underlying concept of the Mood Matrix.[2]

The original form of the Mood Matrix consisted of collecting psychological information as "evidence", but it was considered too complex and thought to get in the way of the flow of the trials. Producer Motohide Eshiro then suggested adding something extra to prevent the Mood Matrix concept from getting stale, resulting in the emotional overloads.[1]

Concept sketches in The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies show that, at one point, the Mood Matrix's emotion icons would be more like characters that would interact with each other by pushing the others aside, hopping across the screen, or clashing with other emotions.[3]

The functions of the Mood Matrix were meant to be visible to other characters, so Widget was made to project holographic images. Visually representing a witness's mental state proved challenging, and an answer was found in a planetarium motif.[4]