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Phoenix Wright
These are dark times, where the law has been reduced to rubble, and it's up to us to restore it to its former glory.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies (逆転裁判 5, Gyakuten Saiban 5; lit. "Turnabout Trial 5") is the fifth installment of the Gyakuten Saiban series, and the eighth title overall in the Ace Attorney series of video games. Dual Destinies takes the main series to the Nintendo 3DS for the first time, preceded by the title Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Phoenix Wright returns as the main protagonist, and his design has been changed to reflect his maturation and greater sense of comfort compared to his last cases as a lawyer eight years prior. Dual Destinies features a 3D environment, instead of the 2D sprites and backgrounds of previous games. The game also features a fully orchestral soundtrack.

Motohide Eshiro returned as producer, Takeshi Yamazaki was the scenario director, and Yasuhiro Seto was the game director and acted as Yamazaki's "backup" so that the latter could focus on the scenario.[1] Yamazaki took over the role of series creator Shu Takumi, who was at that time busy working on Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Another notable absence was regular character designer Tatsuro Iwamoto, who opted to take a break from the series and was replaced by Takuro Fuse. The soundtrack was composed by Noriyuki Iwadare, while Toshihiko Horiyama returned from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney as the sound director.

Starting with Dual Destinies, the localization was integrated into the original development process of the game, with Janet Hsu having the title of localization director. This meant that localization could be started much earlier, and the localization team could work more closely with the Japanese developers as the original game was being developed.[2] For example, they were able to use an internal tool to transfer the control codes embedded in the Japanese script over to the English text, where they could be adjusted to fit with the English script.[3]

The physical release of the game in Japan came in four configurations:

  1. The game by itself
  2. The game, a 3DS pouch patterned after Phoenix Wright's suit, and a set of translucent stickers
  3. The game and a figurine of Phoenix Wright
  4. A bundle containing all of the above

The second and third bundles also included alternative cover art featuring different characters from the main design, chosen from a pool of three designs. Buying the fourth bundle would entitle the buyer to all three alternate cover arts.

A port for the iOS platform was released in Japan on August 7, 2014 as an episodic package with all content from the 3DS version being present (including the Japan-exclusive quiz downloadable content). It was released in North America and Europe a week later on August 14, 2014. It was later ported to Android devices in 2017.


Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies takes place roughly one year after Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, with Phoenix Wright regaining his attorney's badge. The plot has a darker theme than previous games in the series, in accordance with Wright's warning in Turnabout Trump, "A dark time is coming for our legal system. [...] We have to set it right".[4] However, it has the same overall light tone of the other games.

The legal system is bound by the "dark age of the law", a mentality that has shattered the public's trust in the courts, sparked by controversial events that took place seven years prior. Lawyers on both sides have resorted to numerous unethical and illegal tactics in order to ensure that they come out on top, no matter what the implications, and false charges are commonplace. However, with the suspicions and accusations of fraud that have followed Phoenix Wright for the past seven years put to rest, the Wright Anything Agency is ready to move forward into a new era, aided by a new face who has just joined the firm.


Within the narrative, the chronological ordering of the episodes, which occur from April to December of 2027, is: The Monstrous Turnabout, Turnabout Reclaimed, Turnabout Academy, the first half of The Cosmic Turnabout, Turnabout Countdown, the second half of The Cosmic Turnabout, and then Turnabout for Tomorrow.



Clockwise from top: Miles Edgeworth, Athena Cykes, Simon Blackquill, Phoenix Wright, Klavier Gavin, Trucy Wright, Pearl Fey, Apollo Justice, and Bobby Fulbright.


  • Phoenix Wright - The protagonist of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. A previously disbarred defense attorney who has regained his badge. His magatama allows him to see Psyche-Locks around people, showing that they are hiding something from him.
  • Apollo Justice - The protagonist of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney has the ability to detect subtle, subconscious movements that witnesses make, with said ability being aided by his bracelet. After the bombing in The Cosmic Turnabout, Justice becomes far more serious, has both his arms and his right eye swathed in bandages, and sports the tattered blue coat of his deceased friend Clay Terran over his shoulders. After the resolution of Turnabout Countdown, Justice takes a leave of absence from the Wright Anything Agency in order to investigate Terran's murder on his own.
  • Athena Cykes - The newest addition to the Wright Anything Agency's defense team. She can examine witnesses' emotions using the Mood Matrix, which is operated via Widget, a small computer on her necklace that occasionally blurts out what Cykes is really thinking.

Other main characters[]

  • Simon Blackquill - The game's main rival prosecutor. A pale man with black shadows under his eyes and a feather in his mouth, he is assigned by Chief Prosecutor Edgeworth to prosecute various cases, despite the fact that he is serving a murder sentence and is on death row. Blackquill is tenuously restrained by a large pair of shackles connected by a chain on his wrists, which he seems easily able to break if he wishes. He also wears a black and white surcoat, and carries a hawk named Taka on his right shoulder. He uses a mixture of persuasion and outright threats to manipulate people into doing what he wants.
  • Bobby Fulbright - A hot-blooded detective with the catchphrase "In justice we trust!" He has worked with Simon Blackquill many times and is paired up with him in court. The detective hopes to help the prosecutor redeem himself, and he seems completely oblivious to Blackquill's attempts to manipulate him. Fulbright has a strong, yet simplistic, sense of justice, which compels him to help those in trouble, but often conflicts with itself when he has to choose between withholding information from the protagonists (thus helping the prosecution) and leaking it to them (thus helping the defense).
  • The unnamed judge who has presided over most of the cases in the Ace Attorney series.

Returning characters[]

New characters[]

Turnabout Countdown:

  • Gaspen Payne - Winston Payne's younger brother. He is somewhat more villainous than Winston, in that he is not above using underhand tactics in court.
  • Juniper Woods - Athena Cykes's childhood friend. A high school student with a weak disposition who goes into coughing fits when nervous. Woods is also the student council president at Themis Legal Academy.
  • Ted Tonate - A suspicious member of the bomb squad who communicates almost entirely via his keyboard.
  • Candice Arme - The murder victim. A police detective specializing in bomb disposal.

The Monstrous Turnabout:

  • Rex Kyubi - The alderman of Nine-Tails Vale and the murder victim.
  • Jinxie Tenma - The daughter of Damian Tenma. Her father is arrested for the murder of the alderman. Jinxie believes that the real culprit is the demon Tenma Taro. A friend of Trucy Wright, she had originally invited Justice and the others to Nine-Tails Vale for a celebration.
  • Damian Tenma - Jinxie Tenma's father and the mayor of Tenma Town. He is accused of Rex Kyubi's murder. He recently tried to merge Nine-Tails Vale with Tenma Town.
  • Phineas Filch - The manager of the mayor's mansion. He is known to steal other people's belongings.
  • Florent L'Belle - An effeminate and snooty secretary working for the Tenma family.

Turnabout Academy:

  • Hugh O'Conner - A high school student at Themis Legal Academy who is, according to a school newspaper, involved in a love triangle with Juniper Woods and Robin Newman. He has a cool personality to match his blue uniform. Known as a genius and a master ace archer among his classmates, he carries a bow around with him and often reads through Zen and the Art of Mastering the Bar Exam.
  • Robin Newman - A high school student at Themis Legal Academy who is dressed in red and has a hot-blooded personality to match. Newman is a member of the school's fine arts club with a habit of smashing disliked creations on the ground.
  • Aristotle Means  - A pale older man at Themis Legal Academy who is a defense attorney teacher and expects meaningful results from his students. He wears a white toga over his suit and holds a staff with a globe on top. His face somewhat resembles that of the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.
  • Constance Courte - The victim. She was a teacher at Themis Legal Academy who educated students in being courtroom judges. She believed the main purpose of the law was to find the truth, not to win.
  • Myriam Scuttlebutt - A suspicious student who obscures her features by covering herself in a cardboard box. She may know something about the case and may be hiding crucial items related to the case in her box. Justice has to use his powers of perception to reveal what she knows.

The Cosmic Turnabout & Turnabout for Tomorrow:

  • Clay Terran - The victim. Before his demise, he was a close friend of Apollo Justice and a member of the HAT-2 crew.
  • Solomon Starbuck - The defendant, a mentor to Clay Terran and another member of the HAT-2 crew. Although very energetic, he has a habit of letting out long sighs when depressed.
  • Yuri Cosmos - The director of the space center that Starbuck and Terran work at. He is exceedingly self-centered.
  • Aura Blackquill - The older sister of Prosecutor Blackquill and a researcher at the space center. She enjoys hitting her robot, Clonco, whom she refers to as "Hunk of Junk".
  • Metis Cykes - Athena Cykes's mother and a psychologist. She was the victim of the UR-1 Incident.

Turnabout Reclaimed

  • Sasha Buckler - A cheerful orca trainer at the Shipshape Aquarium who gives regular performances in the aquarium's "Swashbuckler Spectacular".
  • Orla Shipley - The defendant, a trained orca at the Shipshape Aquarium and Buckler's co-star in the Swashbuckler Spectacular.
  • Jack Shipley - The victim. He was the manager and owner of the Shipshape Aquarium.
  • Marlon Rimes - An aquarist working at the Shipshape Aquarium who likes to occasionally rap.
  • Herman Crab - The Shipshape Aquarium's in-house veterinarian. He is somewhat abrasive and introverted, but he cares about deeply about the animals under his care.
  • Norma DePlume - A renowned, yet conceited, non-fiction writer.
  • Azura Summers - An animal trainer at the Shipshape Aquarium who died of heart failure during a "Swashbuckler Spectacular" show one year before the events of Turnabout Reclaimed. Prior to her death, she was Ora Shipley's trainer and Marlon Rimes' girlfriend.
  • Ora Shipley - Orla's sister. She was believed to have been responsible for Azura Summers' death, and so was apparently put down.


The classic courtroom gameplay of the Ace Attorney series returns with some changes. The game world has transitioned into 3D with fully orchestral music, allowing for dynamic camera angles and more freedom in animations while retaining the 2D "touch" of the characters by taking measures to maintain the sense of speed and sharpness from the 2D games. The 3D transition also allows the player to look at rooms from different angles during investigations. In addition, the game features animated scenes by the anime studio Bones, similarly to Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. The various sound effects common to the series have also been modified for the transition to the 3DS.

Dual Destinies also makes use of special powers possessed by the protagonists. Phoenix Wright's magatama and Apollo Justice's bracelet return from previous games, although unlike in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the bracelet is mainly used in investigations rather than trials. Athena Cykes employs the "Mood Matrix" to examine the emotions of a witness and find contradictions between their emotional state and testimony. Another new gameplay mode is "revisualization", in which the player character reviews the known facts and builds up a train of thought to reach a conclusion. The player is presented with a series of facts of many kinds, such as items and evidence connected to the case, and must choose the correct one to advance the reasoning towards a final conclusion.

Changes to the formula[]

Dual Destinies shares several features with Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. This includes a touchscreen button that takes the player to the save menu, a function previously accessible only through the "Start" button. Additionally, multiple save files can be recorded onto a single game copy, though in this case only two files can be made. Scenes being examined remain on the top screen, and the touchscreen functions as a trackpad to move a cursor around the scene (the circle pad can also be used).

The game also includes several new features and modifications to existing features to make the fundamentals more accessible. A backlog function that allows players to review previous dialogue can be viewed at any time with a touchscreen button or the "Y" button. The fast-forward function, previously only available when going through repeated dialogue, can now be used to go through any dialogue. In the main menu, episodes are divided up into chapters, and a "Chapter Select" option allows the player to jump to the beginning of any chapter that has been cleared.

The court record has also undergone an overhaul. In addition to the evidence and profiles, an investigation memo titled "Notes" lets players keep track of tasks that need to be fulfilled during investigation segments. All three are accessible as folder tabs at the top of the touchscreen, and they can be scrolled through with the shoulder buttons. The evidence and profile folders show the overview from the Nintendo DS games at the bottom of the screen, and a detailed view of a cursor-highlighted item appears above the menu, removing the need to select an item explicitly in order to view its basic information.

The penalty system is only used in trial segments of the game. When the penalty bar depletes, rather than having to start over from a save point, the player has the option to continue where they failed, with the penalty bar fully restored. Moreover, if the player incurs three penalties or is forced to restart during a cross-examination, the player can press the "Consult" (X) button that appears, at which point the game indicates which segment of the testimony to examine.

Unlike in prior games, only text that the player has already read can be skipped, even in episodes that have been cleared.


Motohide Eshiro
Shu Takumi's influence is enormous. He made all these games from zero, and he's put so much into them. I think he's a genius. A genius in writing dialogue and creating games and more. And you can't copy a genius. You couldn't even if you tried. It just wouldn't work out. So we shouldn't.
Shu takumi

Shu Takumi, the main developer of the Gyakuten Saiban series.

GS5 Logo

The Japanese logo.

Series creator Shu Takumi originally intended for the series to end at Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations and later Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. However, he later expressed in interviews that he was reconsidering his decision to end his involvement in the series due to the positive fan reaction that the series has gained over the years.[6] In one particular interview with at E3 2010, Takumi expressed an interest in taking the Ace Attorney series to the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo's newest portable game console.[7] This eventually came to fruition with Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Dual Destinies logo

The game's English logo.

Speculation and desire for a fifth main series game had been brewing ever since the release of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, with Capcom's president mentioning on May 22, 2007 that a new Ace Attorney game would be released, with no further details.[8] As Yamazaki was still involved in wrapping up the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney project at the time, none of the Ace Attorney games that would be released in the next five years would have existed in any form. Though proposals were always lying around for a continuation of the main series, Eshiro and Yamazaki focused their efforts on the Ace Attorney Investigations games. After finishing Gyakuten Kenji 2, when faced with either continuing that sub-series or finally starting on Gyakuten Saiban 5, they chose the latter, due to hearing from fans a desire for it.[5]

The game was announced with a partial logo on January 29, 2012, as part of the Gyakuten Saiban 10th Anniversary Event. The reactions to the announcement were enormous, giving the team new motivation, but also intimidating them with the reality of the task ahead and fans' expectations. Eshiro told the team that Phoenix Wright would return as the main protagonist, and the game would build on Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, but how that was handled would be up to them, and they should not constrain themselves with the chronology of the past games. Alongside Apollo Justice, the team wanted a new partner and a new game mechanic, so Athena Cykes was created to fill both roles.[5]

Blog 20130627 01

Early attempt at creating a 3D Phoenix Wright.

Yamazaki desired from the start to tell Apollo Justice's story, filling in details that were missing from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, and to put him in conflict with Phoenix Wright.[9] He was also afraid to bring back Maya Fey at this point, finding Phoenix difficult to use on his own.[10] When asked about her in a Famitsu interview, he and Eshiro only posited that she was training in Kurain Village. They also said that Athena Cykes was difficult to design, looking almost alien-like at first, though the color yellow was always a theme. On the move to 3D, Yamazaki explained:

Takeshi Yamazaki
Part of the visual appeal of Ace Attorney stems from the fact that it's in 2D, after all. We were limited in how many animation frames we could put in the first few games, so at first there were maybe only one or two variations on the 'Objection!' word balloon. That wound up giving the game this sense of speed and sharpness that we couldn't have gotten otherwise. To recreate that feel in 3D, we're deliberately messing with the pace, inserting pauses and skipping over other things. With 2D we played around with perspectives — drawing Wright's hand larger than usual when he's pointing at someone — and we're taking measures to recreate that sort of thing in 3D.

The Notes and Consult features were added in as part of an effort to make the game easier to get into for new players, especially those introduced to the series from the 2012 live-action film and Takarazuka Revue stage shows.[9]


The English dub was recorded at Cup of Tea Productions with Lainey Bushey and Danni Hunt. Bushey was the project manager, while Hunt handled sound engineering and editing. On Capcom's side, Sam Riegel was the voice director and Hsu was the script writer and creative director, with Horiyama advising as sound director of the original version.[11] When Hsu started writing the script, the voice recording on the Japanese side had not taken place yet.[1] At time of dubbing, they had access to nearly finished versions of the anime cutscenes. Each line took less than three takes to sound good.[11]


Main article: Turnabout Countdown (demo)

Tokyo Game Show 2012 featured a 15 minute demo. This was added to the Japanese official website in May 2013.

At the Nico Nico Chokaigi 2013 event, another demo was released.

An English version of the demo was playable at E3 2013. On October 1st, 2013, it was made available on the Nintendo eShop.

Downloadable content[]

Free downloadable costumes were available in Japan until a month after the game's release. The costume pack includes the Old-School Suit, Phoenix Wright's old suit and appearance from the first three games; the Stylin' Street Clothes, a new casual outfit for Apollo Justice by character designer Kazuya Nuri; and the Themis Academy Uniform worn by female defense cadets, a sailor fuku for Athena Cykes. In addition to this is a downloadable extra case called Turnabout Reclaimed. This content is also available for the American version of the game. If the game was bought from the eShop from October 24, 2013 to November 7, 2013, the player will get access to the outfits for free. However, if bought after November 7, 2013, the costume bundle must be purchased separately.

Another downloadable costume is the Nostalgic Sweater, the old outfit Wright wore during Turnabout Memories. The outfit is a reward for completing the extra quiz DLC. In the English version, this outfit is unlocked upon the player completing the DLC case, Turnabout Reclaimed.

Sound & Music[]

Following suit with Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the music used in Dual Destinies is almost entirely from its own soundtrack. That is, almost every music track used in the game is either original or a re-imagining of a track from a previous game, with even "Suspense" being replaced by "Suspense 2013". Nonetheless, Dual Destinies uses "Klavier Gavin - Guilty Love" and "Perceive - Surge, Eyes" unaltered from the soundtrack of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

Due to the increased power of the 3DS in comparison to the DS, some parts in the soundtrack are played by real instruments, including Iwadare himself playing a trombone in the theme "The Dark Age of the Law". The 3DS version also adjusts its sound output depending on whether headphones have been plugged in.[12]

Character popularity polls[13][]

In August 2013, Niconico conducted a character popularity poll. The following ranking was posted during a live stream (English names used here for all characters other than characters who are exclusive to Ace Attorney Investigations 2: Prosecutor's Gambit; the top 8 and Athena Cykes are in bold):

  1. Apollo Justice
  2. Miles Edgeworth
  3. Phoenix Wright
  4. Maya Fey
  5. Bobby Fulbright
  6. Godot
  7. Simon Blackquill
  8. Eustace Winner
  9. Franziska von Karma
  10. Klavier Gavin
  11. Athena Cykes
  12. Dick Gumshoe
  13. Kay Faraday
  14. Wendy Oldbag
  15. Trucy Wright
  16. Kristoph Gavin
  17. Luke Atmey
  18. Ema Skye
  19. Mia Fey
  20. Pearl Fey
  21. Aristotle Means
  22. Sōta Sarushiro
  23. Larry Butz
  24. Adrian Andrews
  25. Manosuke Naitō
  26. Viola Cadaverini
  27. Eddie Fender
  28. Shi-Long Lang
  29. Ron DeLite
  30. Damon Gant
  31. Taka
  32. Steel Samurai
  33. Iris
  34. Richard Wellington
  35. Dahlia Hawthorne
  36. Winston Payne
  37. Clay Terran
  38. Acro
  39. Matt Engarde
  40. Diego Armando
  41. Manfred von Karma
  42. Redd White
  43. (Unknown)
  44. Vera Misham
  45. Myriam Scuttlebutt
  46. Yuri Cosmos
  47. Judge (not specified)
  48. Shih-na
  49. Hugh O'Conner
  50. Blue Badger

Another poll was conducted during the live stream between the top 8 plus Athena Cykes:

  1. Phoenix Wright (20.9%)
  2. Apollo Justice (15.5%)
  3. Miles Edgeworth (14.9%)
  4. Athena Cykes (12.1%)
  5. Maya Fey (11.8%)
  6. Godot (9.3%)
  7. Bobby Fulbright (7.9%)
  8. Simon Blackquill (5.2%)
  9. Yumihiko Ichiyanagi (2.4%)



Promotional artwork[]



  • Excluding the European box art for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (which only has Phoenix Wright on it), Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is the first game in the Ace Attorney series to have voiced speech bubbles for all the characters featured on the front cover of the box art.
  • Dual Destinies is also the first game in the series to:
    • have no female culprits.
    • feature more than five cases (if the DLC case is included).
    • have the first case take more than one day to resolve.
    • have neither of the previous English and Japanese lead directors (Ben Judd and Shu Takumi, respectively) involved in production in any way.
    • have none of the victims encountered by the player prior to their deaths.
    • not feature Dick Gumshoe or Winston Payne, although the latter is at least mentioned in passing.
    • be rated M by the ESRB.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Hsu, Janet (2013-10-25). "Intro to Japanese Anime Production starring Phoenix Wright". Capcom News. Retrieved 2024-05-09.
  2. Hsu, Janet (2013-09-26). "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies Localization: Secrets of Character Design Revealed". Janet Hsu's Capcom News Blog. Retrieved 2024-05-10.
  3. Hsu, Janet (2013-12-05). "The Glorious Return of Phoenix to the Courtroom!". Capcom News. Retrieved 2024-05-10.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kevin Gifford. 'Ace Attorney 5' project leads discuss story elements, new characters, and the move to 3D. Polygon (originally at The Verge). Retrieved on 2012-09-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ash (2016-09-12). 3DS Gyakuten Saiban 5 Special Long Interview (2013). Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2022-10-13.
  6. De Phoenix Wright a Ghost Trick (in Spanish). Revogamers. Retrieved on 2010-08-18.
  7. Ace Attorney 3DS?, Accessed on 2010-06-22.
  8. GoNintendo » Blog Archive » Gyakuten Saiban 5 confirmed- What are you waiting for?
  9. 9.0 9.1 Ash (2023-11-06). "The Answer to Unfinished Matters - A Story Of Succession: Eshiro Motohide & Yamazaki Takeshi (2013) ". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2023-11-07.
  10. Ash (2018-06-20). "15th Anniversary Gyakuten Saiban Special Talk Session: Gyakuten Saiban 5, 6 - Yamazaki Takeshi X Fuse Takurō (2017)". Gyakuten Saiban Library. Retrieved 2022-10-17.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hsu, Janet (2013-10-31). "Revitalizing the Sounds of Life: Behind the Audio of Ace Attorney". Capcom News. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  12. Hsu, Janet (2013-10-31). "Revitalizing the Sounds of Life: Behind the Audio of Ace Attorney". Capcom News. Retrieved 2024-05-07.
  13. hoso_boso blog entry (2013-08-22). Retrieved on 2014-10-14.

External links[]


Interviews and stage shows[]