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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations (逆転裁判 3, Gyakuten Saiban 3; lit. "Turnabout Trial 3") is the third installment of the Gyakuten Saiban/Ace Attorney series of text adventure video games. It is the last installment in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, following Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All. In addition to featuring three episodes in which Phoenix Wright faces off against a mysterious new prosecutor named Godot, the game also features the first two cases of Mia Fey's law career. The game's original release on the Game Boy Advance marked the first time an Ace Attorney game contained more than four episodes.
Trials and Tribulations has been ported alongside the rest of the trilogy to several other platforms, including the Nintendo DS, WiiWare, iOS, Android, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. The WiiWare port was released in Japan on February 23, 2010, priced at 1200 Nintendo Points; in North America on May 10, 2010 for 1000 Nintendo Points; and on May 21, 2010 for Europe at the same price.
- 1 Story
- 2 Characters
- 3 Gameplay
- 4 Development
- 5 Promotions
- 6 Staff
- 7 Reception
- 8 Gallery
- 9 External links
The game consists of five episodes, which occur chronologically out of order. The fourth episode, Turnabout Beginnings takes place first, followed in-universe one year later by Turnabout Memories, with the remaining episodes being set five years after that.
- Turnabout Memories - Five years before the events of the rest of the game (with the exception of Turnabout Beginnings), a young college art student named Phoenix Wright is accused of murdering a pharmacy student called Doug Swallow at Ivy University. Still struggling with an undisclosed traumatic incident that occurred during her first trial a year before, rookie defense attorney Mia Fey takes on Wright's case, with Marvin Grossberg as her co-counsel, in what is only her second ever court trial. However, Fey soon meets a witness that she seems to already know during the trial...
- The Stolen Turnabout - When the Fey clan's Sacred Urn is suddenly stolen by the famous master thief Mask☆DeMasque during a Kurain Village exhibition at the Lordly Tailor department store, Wright soon finds himself defending the prime suspect: a quiet and nervous young man called Ron DeLite. Prosecuting the case is a strange masked prosecutor called Godot, who for some reason appears to have a personal grudge against Wright. However, the case soon escalates when KB Security CEO Kane Bullard is found dead and DeLite was the last one to see him alive.
- Recipe for Turnabout - A furious Detective Dick Gumshoe confronts Wright after his shoddy defense work leads Maggey Byrde to be found guilty of murder. However, Wright has never worked or heard of the case, leading them to the conclusion that someone has been impersonating him. After managing to secure a retrial for Byrde's case, Wright pursues the truth behind the incident to bring his imposter to justice.
- Turnabout Beginnings - In a flashback to Mia Fey's first ever case, which was mentioned briefly in Turnabout Memories, Fey takes on the case of escaped convict Terry Fawles, who is accused of murdering police officer Valerie Hawthorne. Facing her at the prosecutor's bench is Miles Edgeworth, for which this is also his first court trial.
- Bridge to the Turnabout: Wright, Maya Fey, and Pearl Fey take a trip to Hazakura Temple, a location with strong ties to the Fey clan. However, events soon spiral out of control, with Maya going missing, Wright falling from a bridge into a raging river far below while trying to reach her, and the children's author Elise Deauxnim found dead on the temple grounds. After assistance from an unexpected ally, Wright pursues the truth of a case that is tied into the very heart of the Fey clan.
- Phoenix Wright - A Los Angeles defense attorney at Wright & Co. Law Offices, well-known for his ability to pull off impossible comebacks in court. He is the playable protagonist in The Stolen Turnabout, Recipe for Turnabout, and the latter half of Bridge to the Turnabout. Wright also appears in Turnabout Memories as Mia Fey's client.
- Mia Fey - A defense attorney who was known for her undying belief in her clients. She started out at Grossberg Law Offices, then eventually created her own criminal defense law firm, Fey & Co. Law Offices. She was Phoenix Wright's boss and mentor, and left her firm to him after her murder. She is the playable protagonist in the flashback cases Turnabout Memories and Turnabout Beginnings, which occur at the start of her law career, but also appears posthumously in The Stolen Turnabout and Recipe for Turnabout while being channeled by her younger sister Maya, and in Bridge to the Turnabout while being channeled by her younger cousin Pearl.
- Maya Fey - A spirit medium of the Kurain Channeling Technique and Phoenix Wright's close friend, assistant, and co-counsel. She has also been Wright's client in two previous murder trials. Mia was her older sister, while Pearl is her younger cousin. Maya is next in line to assume the title of Master of the Kurain Channeling Technique, owing to her mother's disappearance seventeen years earlier.
- Godot - A mysterious coffee-loving prosecutor who wears a visor and holds an open grudge against Wright, for reasons unknown to the latter, intentionally mispronouncing his name as "Trite" to show his contempt. He prosecutes in The Stolen Turnabout, Recipe for Turnabout, and the latter half of Bridge to the Turnabout.
- Dahlia Hawthorne - A student at Ivy University and ex-girlfriend of Phoenix Wright. She appears as a witness in Turnabout Memories, Turnabout Beginnings, and Bridge to the Turnabout.
- Pearl Fey - A member of a branch family of the Fey clan, making her the younger cousin of Mia and Maya, as well as the daughter of Morgan. She is considered something of a prodigy among spirit mediums, having "intense spiritual power" and knowledge of the Fey clan that exceeds that of Maya, who is expected to assume the title of Master. Though Pearl and Maya have a very close, amicable relationship, Morgan, in her attempts to regain her main family status, previously attempted to get rid of Maya in order to place Pearl in position to become the Master instead.
- Dick Gumshoe - A bumbling but well-meaning homicide detective at the police department who usually works with Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth. He has been in charge of most of Phoenix Wright's cases over the previous two years, mostly due to the fact that most of Wright's cases pit him against Gumshoe's prosecutor colleagues. He generally takes care of the initial investigation, and is usually the first to take the stand during a trial to testify and give basic facts about a case. He has occasionally helped Wright, depending on the circumstances behind the case at hand. He also shares a particularly strong bond with Edgeworth and is always trying to help him out, even when it means going behind other prosecutors' backs. Gumshoe appears as the detective in charge of all the cases in-game, with the exception of Turnabout Memories.
- Miles Edgeworth - A renowned international prosecutor who has prosecuted in five other countries, as well as being known as the top prosecutor in his homeland and a childhood friend of Phoenix Wright. He substitutes for Wright in the first half of Bridge to the Turnabout after the latter is temporarily hospitalized.
- Franziska von Karma - The daughter of the late veteran prosecutor Manfred von Karma and a formidable prosecuting attorney in her own right. She enjoys using the terms "fool" and "foolish" (and variations thereof) to describe people who are, in her opinion, inferior. She is also known to carry a whip with her at all times, which she will often use on almost everybody she meets with very little provocation. She acts as the prosecutor of the first half of Bridge to the Turnabout, as well as also helping Wright's investigation in the second half of same episode.
Other main story characters
- Winston Payne - A smug and overconfident prosecutor in Turnabout Memories. He also briefly appears in The Stolen Turnabout and the prologue of Recipe for Turnabout.
- Larry Butz - An overemotional and lazy childhood friend of both Wright and Edgeworth. Has had multiple jobs and girlfriends in the space of three years, although the latter is always due to him being unceremoniously dumped. Was a security guard at KB Security during the events of The Stolen Turnabout. Later appears in Bridge to the Turnabout as "Laurice Deauxnim", the picture book author.
- The unnamed judge who has presided over most of the cases in Ace Attorney series.
- The aforementioned judge's brother, who is also unnamed. Acts as the presiding judge in Turnabout Beginnings and the first half of Bridge to the Turnabout, as well as making a brief appearance in The Stolen Turnabout.
- Doug Swallow - A pharmacology student at Ivy University and former boyfriend of Dahlia Hawthorne. Murdered on campus via electrocution, with Phoenix Wright being accused of the crime.
- Marvin Grossberg - A veteran defense attorney who served as Mia Fey's mentor and heads his own law firm, Grossberg Law Offices. Acts as Mia's co-counsel.
- Ron DeLite - An over-excitable young man who is accused of being the infamous thief Mask☆DeMasque, stealing the Kurain Sacred Urn, and murdering Kane Bullard.
- Kane Bullard - The CEO of KB Security. Found murdered in his own office.
- Luke Atmey - An egotistical self-styled "Ace Detective" who is hunting for his archenemy, the notorious thief Mask☆DeMasque.
- Adrian Andrews - Director in charge of the Kurain Village exhibit at Lordly Tailor. Was previously the manager for the actor Matt Engarde, until she testified against him in his trial for the murder of his rival, Juan Corrida.
- Desirée DeLite - The motorcycle enthusiast and shopaholic wife of Ron DeLite.
- Maggey Byrde - A former police officer turned Trés Bien waitress. She is especially notable for her very bad luck.
- Glen Elg - A skilled computer programmer working for Blue Screens, Inc. He was found murdered at Trés Bien.
- Viola Cadaverini - Employee at Tender Lender and beloved granddaughter of the infamous mob boss Bruto Cadaverini.
- Lisa Basil - The almost-robotic head of Blue Screens, Inc., where Glen Elg was an employee.
- Jean Armstrong - The effeminate proprietor and chef of the restaurant Trés Bien.
- Bruto Cadaverini - A powerful mob boss in Los Angeles. He cares deeply about his granddaughter, Viola.
- Victor Kudo - An old man who comes from a long line of kimono embroiderers and was a witness in the murder of Glen Elg. The only regular customer at Trés Bien.
- Furio Tigre - A loud and intimidating man who looks similar to Wright. Owner of a loan shop called Tender Lender, along with his assistant Viola.
- Terry Fawles - A felon who was sentenced to death for the murder of Dahlia Hawthorne five years prior. Recently escaped from police custody and is now accused of murdering Valerie Hawthorne.
- Valerie Hawthorne - A veteran police officer who was murdered after Terry Fawles escaped from police custody.
- Diego Armando - A senior defense lawyer working at Grossberg Law Offices. Acts as Mia's co-counsel.
- Elise Deauxnim - A popular children's book author. Murdered while staying at Hazakura Temple.
- Iris - A nun at Hazakura Temple who looks identical to Dahlia Hawthorne. Accused of murdering Elise Deauxnim.
- Bikini - The loud, motherly, and quirky head nun of Hazakura Temple who takes care of acolytes undergoing training there. She is part of one of the Fey clan branch families whose duty is to protect the Master of the Kurain Channeling Technique.
- Morgan Fey - Head of a Fey clan branch family, mother of Pearl, and Maya's aunt. Previously tried to put Pearl in the Kurain Master's seat by attempting to frame Maya for murder, for which she was incarcerated.
- Misty Fey - The long-lost mother of Maya and Mia, Master of the Kurain Channeling Technique, and head of the Fey clan, as well as an important figure in the DL-6 Incident. Went missing after the DL-6 Incident, and has not been seen in the seventeen years since.
- Wendy Oldbag - A talkative and obstructive elderly security guard.
All gameplay elements return from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and Justice for All. There are two phases of gameplay, investigations and trials. During investigations, the player can examine or move to various locations, and talk or present evidence to witnesses. The magatama feature first implemented in Justice for All returns as well. During an investigation, if a witness is hiding a secret, the magatama will activate, revealing a certain number of Psyche-Locks. These Psyche-Locks are manifestations of how guarded a witness is, and represent how difficult it will be to get the witness to reveal their secret. The player will need to break each Psyche-Lock by presenting the correct evidence to the witness. If the player presents wrong evidence, they will receive a penalty. If the player receives enough penalties as to completely deplete the credibility bar, the player will have to restart the interaction completely. Once all locks are broken, the witness will reveal their secret, and some of Wright's credibility bar will be restored.
In trials, gameplay mostly consists of witness testimony and cross-examinations. When a witness testifies, the player will then have to cross-examine the witness, which means either pressing a statement for more information, or presenting evidence that contradicts the testimony. Presenting evidence during cross-examinations is most often the only way to progress in trials.
While developing the story, Takumi had seen the design concept for young Winston Payne in Turnabout Memories, and had the idea for Payne to lose his hair as his breakdown animation. While it looked good, it was hard to see with the court background, and so not to waste the animation, Takumi came up with Payne's breakdown for that case. But another problem had arisen, because now the culprit of the case, Dahlia Hawthorne, had lost the spotlight to Payne. Takumi credits this as the spark that led to the larger idea of the story for Trials and Tribulations, implying that he decided Hawthorne would return in the final case because of Payne's breakdown.
Another similar occurrence happened while the programmers experimented with a new version of the closing credits sequence for the game. The team could take the sprite of a character and place it over any background they had wanted. Takumi then had the vision for a certain scene to take place during the final episode. This scene would become Dahlia Hawthorne's final breakdown, what Takumi describes as the "vanishing point" of the game.
Takumi describes the second case, The Stolen Turnabout, as being inspired by the stories of Edogawa Rampo, specifically Shinri Shiken (The Psychological Test). The episode's concept was "[a] perfect crime meticulously planned by a criminal with a brilliant mind. But it all comes falling down because of one slip of the tongue." Though he still enjoys the case, Takumi was disappointed that he "couldn’t come up with a beautiful answer to the theme of 'the connection between a series of evidence changes completely the following day'."
The concept for Godot's character was to be a an intensely cool and unmovable prosecutor, reminiscent of old hard boiled noir detectives. Godot wouldn't need to have many comedic elements, as he was supposed to be so cool as to make the player laugh. The reason Godot was envisioned to be cool and hard boiled was that Takumi realized that "there are really no cool men in [Ace Attorney]."
Recipe for Turnabout, the third episode, was originally conceived as the fourth case of Justice for All, but was cut due to lack of memory in the Game Boy Advance cartridge. Because of this, there is a single white pigeon among the flock of pigeons in Vitamin Square, a reference to Max Galactica.
Takumi describes the story of Phoenix Wright as a hero story, and so wanted to have Wright experience all cliche hero situations. One of these situations was to have the hero meet their "imposter" - an evil version of themselves. This was the idea for Furio Tigre, an evil version of Phoenix Wright. Takumi thought this idea was missing something, however, and so to fit Ace Attorney's "crazy" world, Tigre was changed to not look at all like Wright.
While working on the game's fourth case, Turnabout Beginnings, Takumi briefly considered making it the first episode as to not confuse players with the game's non-chronological timeline. As well as that, since Takumi ranks the first episode of an Ace Attorney as the most important one, Takumi found the impact of defending someone on death row against a younger Miles Edgeworth "attractive" for the first episode of the game. Yet he eventually settled on the current order of episodes, thinking it the best for the story.
After finishing Justice for All, Takumi states that he already had an idea for the final case of the third game. In it, Shelly de Killer would commit an assassination in front of a fancy hotel, but it's then revealed that he died 17 years prior, and has been channeled by Misty Fey since. This was changed dramatically for the final game, however Misty Fey still appears in the final case of Trials and Tribulations. 
Bridge to the Turnabout originally had an outline that was abandoned midway through the development process, as it had a fatal flaw that Takumi couldn't fix. However, due to time running out before the game was supposed to release, Takumi was forced to use the first investigation and trial parts from his original outline. He placed hints and foreshadowing based on instinct, and tried to finish the second half of the case. However, three days before work was set to begin on the second half of the case, Takumi still hadn't come up with anything. Takumi couldn't figure out how to punish the "true culprit", Dahlia Hawthorne. He had already figured out her breakdown, but couldn't connect it to the first investigation and trial. Takumi was then inspired by his own words, Mia Fey's motto of "turning your thinking around". Instead of moving the characters around to fit the hints he had already set up, he would follow the characters' story and what they deemed important. This led to Mia Fey's reveal that Maya had channeled her on the night of the crime to ask for advice, and the ultimate reveal that Maya channeled Hawthorne to protect herself.
- Shu Takumi (巧 舟 Takumi Shuu)
- Tatsuro Iwamoto (岩元 辰郎 Iwamoto Tatsurou)
- Graphics Lead:
- Shuichi Muramoto (村本 シュウイチ Muramoto Shuuichi)
- Main Programming:
- Noriyuki Iwadare (岩垂徳行 Iwadare Noriyuki)
- Sound Effects:
- Akemi Kimura (木村 明美 Akemi Kimura)
- Atsushi Inaba (稲葉 敦志 Inaba Atsushi)
- Executive Producer:
- Shinji Mikami (三上 真司 Mikami Shinji)
Trials and Tribulations has received generally favorable reviews for the Nintendo DS, holding a score of 81/100 based on 45 reviews at the review aggregator Metacritic. Meanwhile, the Wii version holds a Metacritic score of 67/100 based on 9 reviews, indicating mixed or average reviews. The North American Nintendo DS release was a success, with pre-orders more than double of Capcom's estimates, resulting in a shortage of it at both retailers and at Capcom's own online store. In 2010, IGN ranked the game as the 23rd best video game for the Nintendo DS, praising it for its writing and for being an evolution of the point-and-click adventure genre.
- Takumi, Shu (2004). "Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 9: Turnabout Memories". Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- Takumi, Shu (2004). "Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 14: The Magnificent Turnabout Pt. 2". Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- Takumi, Shu (2004). "Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 10: The Stolen Turnabout". Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- Takumi, Shu (2004). "Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 11: Turnabout Recipe". Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- Takumi, Shu (2004). "Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 12: Turnabout Beginnings". Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- Takumi, Shu. (February, 2005). "Naruhodo Gyakuten Saiban! 6 'Gyakuten Saiban 3'". DreaMaga Magazine. Retrieved 2021-06-05.
- Takumi, Shu (2004). "Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 13: The Magnificent Turnabout Pt. 1". Retrieved 2021-06-05.