Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (レイトン教授 VS 逆転裁判, lit. "Professor Layton VS Turnabout Trial") is a crossover adventure puzzle video game jointly-developed by Level-5 and Capcom and published by Level-5 for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a crossover between the Ace Attorney and Professor Layton adventure series; it is the seventh installment released for the Ace Attorney series, and the sixth installment released for the Professor Layton series. It features scenario designs from Shu Takumi, series director for the first four games in the Ace Attorney series,[5] though he was not in charge of the script.[6] The game combines the trademark puzzle and trial themes from each respective series.[7] The Capcom part of the development team was put in charge of the art,[8] with character designs by Kazuya Nuri.

The game was released in Japan on November 29, 2012, with a Western release date over a year later in 2014 (March 28 for Europe, March 29 for Australia, and August 29 for North America).[3][9]


Professor layton ace attorney-art

An anime-style cutscene from an early version of the game showing the characters Professor Layton, Luke Triton, Phoenix Wright, and Maya Fey watching the Storyteller moving through the town.

Upon inspecting a suspicious-looking book, Hershel Layton, Luke Triton, Phoenix Wright, and Maya Fey all find themselves in Labyrinthia, a strange medieval-style city in a different world from their own that has recently been falling victim to a number of seemingly impossible occurrences. The town is controlled by a sinister individual known only as the Storyteller. Professor Layton has to solve the mysteries of the strange world he has found himself in, while Phoenix Wright participates in "witch trials", which are similar to the court trials in the Ace Attorney series, to prove the innocence of his client, a girl named Espella Cantabella, who is accused of witchcraft. Unlike the trials he is used to, however, many familiar procedures of the Ace Attorney games are thrown out, and Wright must contend with entire mobs of conferring witnesses.[7]

Main charactersEdit

Other characters can be found in the links to the individual chapters in the next section.

Ace Attorney seriesEdit

Nick & Maya

Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey in an animated cutscene.

  • Phoenix Wright is a renowned defense attorney who must defend a client accused of witchcraft.[7]

Professor Layton seriesEdit

  • Professor Hershel Layton is a famous archaeology professor with a fascination for puzzles. This love of puzzles has solved numerous mysteries and put his name in the papers many times.
  • Luke Triton is the self-proclaimed apprentice of Professor Layton and follows him everywhere to assist him with his investigations.

Labyrinthia charactersEdit

  • The Storyteller is the sinister ruler of Labyrinthia. Whatever story he writes comes to pass as events in Labyrinthia.
  • Zacharias Barnham is a local Inquisitor. A red-haired knight in a suit of plate armor, he wields a sword that he points at his courtroom opponents in a similar manner to the iconic finger points of various lawyers in the Ace Attorney games. He is highly esteemed for his work among the townsfolk to the point that he is regarded as somewhat of a celebrity.
  • Darklaw is the High Inquisitor of the city, as well as Zacharias Barnham's superior.
  • Eve is a black cat owned by Espella Cantabella.


Wright vs Layton

Wright and Layton face each other in court in an anime scene exclusive to the announcement trailer.

Like the Professor Layton games, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is divided into chapters of varying lengths. Some of the chapters are further divided into segments. Each segment and undivided chapter is either an investigation or a witch trial; investigations mostly follow the gameplay mechanics of the Professor Layton series, complete with puzzles, while witch trials largely follow the mechanics of Ace Attorney trials. The player characters are not confined to the segments in which they are familiar; Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey participate in some puzzles and Professor Layton-style investigations, while Professor Layton and Luke Triton take various roles in trials. The game also features fully-voiced anime style cutscenes that are common in the Professor Layton games, but were a first for the Ace Attorney series.[5] Most text can be skipped using the "A" button, but there is no fast-forward function like in the Ace Attorney games.


A menu that functions like Professor Layton's trunk is used throughout the game, replacing the simple save menu used in the Ace Attorney games. Through the menu, the player can look at the mysteries that Professor Layton is attempting to solve, a list of story synopses, a list of items, and an index of all the puzzles that have been found. There are also options to adjust the sound, as well as saving. The menu is accessed by different buttons depending on the segment: the "L" button during investigations, and the "Start" button during trials. This is due to the differing control schemes used.

The menu and its contents carry over throughout every segment, as do picarats and hint coins. Only the button graphics and the sound effect played when saving change to represent the perspective changes throughout the game. This means that, although the menu is traditionally supposed to represent Professor Layton's trunk, the perspective changes make this impossible.

This is the first time in the Ace Attorney series in which a save menu can be accessed by a touchscreen button rather than just the "Start" button. It is also the first original Ace Attorney release in which multiple save files - three, in this game's case - can be recorded on a single game copy.


Investigations follow a control scheme that was first used in Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask. Unlike other games in both series, the scene being investigated remains on the top screen due to it being larger than the touchscreen on the Nintendo 3DS. The touchscreen functions as a trackpad that can be used to move a cursor on the top screen (alternatively, the circle pad can be used). This method of investigation has carried over into subsequent games in both series, including Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies. The touchscreen also has two buttons: one to bring up the menu, and the other to change to a map mode where the player characters can travel to different locations that have been unlocked. Going to each location shows a description as well as the numbers of hidden puzzles and hint coins that can be found.

Usually, the only things to do in a given location are to look for puzzles and hint coins and to examine something to advance the story. However, some scenes must be examined thoroughly for multiple clues, like in the Ace Attorney games. When all of the required clues are found, the examination ends and the next story event occurs.

Witch trialsEdit

Main article: Witch trial
Shu Takumi
When you try to imagine medieval court proceedings, you tend to picture these mob scenes with people shouting out accusations at the tops of their lungs. It's a crazy scene, and since this game's set in a medieval city, I wanted to present a court the likes of which we've never seen before.

The witch trial gameplay carries many of the basic trademarks of trials in the Ace Attorney series. Phoenix Wright's main mode of attack comes in the form of cross-examining the witnesses. During cross-examinations, witness statements can be pressed for more information, and evidence can be presented to contradict or figure out problematic statements. Cross-examinations can become quite complex, and like Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, even presenting evidence may not fully discredit a witness testimony. This game uses the five-strike penalty system used in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, and at the end of each trial, the preserved strikes are converted into picarats.

In the chaotic witch trials of Labyrinthia, many of the concepts that are taken for granted in the Ace Attorney games are thrown out. There are no forensics; merely the presence of blood and footprints functions as evidence in this regard. Logic is a foreign concept and must be slowly introduced. The accused is considered guilty until proven innocent, and all that the inquisition has to do is to find witnesses, who, instead of being summoned one by one, can testify all at once and freely confer with one another. Extra witnesses can even jump in at any time.[8] There is also a book of spells called the Grand Grimoire, which functions as a reference guide to the spells that witches can cast, which can be presented as evidence just like the evidence in the court record.

Phoenix Wright must adjust to this new "mob trial" (Gunshū Saiban) environment and use it to his advantage. When pressing a witness, the conversation sometimes jumps from one witness to another. In addition, one witness's statement can trigger memories and other thoughts in other witnesses, causing them to go deep in thought. At this point, the player can interrupt the conversation flow to ask a witness what he or she thinks of the conversation. This can lead to new clues and insights to progress through the cross-examination. Additionally, once per trial, there is an opportunity to point out two witness statements that contradict each other.

Hint coins can be spent during a witch trial. This generally causes the game to specify what action needs to be taken, and if evidence must be presented, some of the evidence is blocked off to narrow down the options. A similar hint system, Consulting, was carried over into subsequent games.


Extra contentEdit

After clearing the game, two types of bonus content can be downloaded: special episodes and special galleries. The special episodes are relatively short scenarios written by Shu Takumi that each contain a new puzzle and are set a year after the events of the main game. There is frequent breaking of the fourth wall, as the characters make references to such concepts as the player and the game's sales figures. The special galleries show concept art with comments about the development of the game by character designer Kazuya Nuri. In Japan, Europe, and Australia, the DLC was released once per week over a period of 24 weeks, with the special episodes and special galleries alternating during that time (i.e., a special episode released one week, then a special gallery the following week, and so on). In North America, a special episode and gallery were released each week over a period of 12 weeks.


The idea of a crossover between the Professor Layton and Ace Attorney series was a corporate one. Shu Takumi had apparently not known much about the project until well after development had begun on it. Although Level-5 president Akihiro Hino was a fan of the Ace Attorney series, Professor Layton producer Jun Suzuki had never played any of the games before the crossover began development. The development team went through a trial-and-error process to see how best to merge aspects of the two series. The conflicting art styles of the two games was also a problem, which resulted in a compromise between the two (e.g., Wright is drawn more simply than in his games, while Layton is drawn in more detail).[8]

The transition to 3D models was new to the Ace Attorney series, which previously only used brief instances of 3D imagery in Rise from the Ashes and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. While Takumi had stated his preference for 2D graphics in his games in the past, he accepted that the transition to the 3DS made 3D graphics inevitable, and that a 3D environment would add depth, character, and flexibility to the game's depictions of the courtroom.[8]


Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright

The Japanese logo for the game.


English logo.

The game was officially announced at the Level-5 Vision 2010 press conference on October 19, 2010.[10] The game was first teased as a crossover between Capcom and Level-5 by Keiji Inafune, then head of Capcom's R&D Management Group, who was talking to Japanese business magazine Diamond prior to the Tokyo Game Show 2010. He mentioned that he had great respect for Akihiro Hino.[11] On September 25, 2010, the game was accidentally outed on Twitter when Jiro Ishii of Level-5 accidentally tweeted to Jin Fujisawa of Square Enix, "Huh? Oh, Gyakuten XX. I'm making it, with Mr. Takumi!" in Japanese, which led to rampant speculation of a new Ace Attorney game being developed by Level-5, similarly to how new Capcom games from established franchises are being developed externally.[12] Jiro Ishii quickly covered up this leak by tweeting later that day, "A misunderstanding seems to be spreading, so let me say that I'm currently working only on Time Travelers." This evidently turned out to be false; Ishii was working on both titles.[13] A Nintendo Dream magazine issue later featured the game and Gyakuten Kenji 2.

A year later, the game made a reappearance at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2011, as well as at the October 2011 Level-5 World event and the January 2012 Gyakuten Saiban Anniversary Event, all of which focused on the Phoenix Wright gameplay. It was then revealed that a 2012 Japanese release was planned. A year after that, the release date was revealed some time before another showing at Tokyo Game Show 2012.

The game made another appearance on Nintendo Direct, this time with an English logo and localized names for the characters "Mahoney Catalucia" and "Jeeken Barnrod" (Espella Cantabella and Zacharias Barnham, respectively)[14].


The game was released in Japan on November 29, 2012. However, it was not until March 28-29, 2014 that localized versions were made available in Europe and Australia, almost five months after the release of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies in those regions and North America. North America finally saw a release five months after that, on August 29, though it was identical to the UK version, with British English spellings being used and Luke Triton being voiced by the UK's Maria Darling rather than the U.S.'s Lani Minella.


  • This is the first Ace Attorney in which all speech bubbles are voiced, even for minor characters. In other games, voiced speech bubbles are usually limited to attorneys and prosecutors, with rare exceptions.
  • There is a variation in the epilogue courtroom scene depending on the save state of the loaded game. On a first playthrough, a short scene plays in which Wright faces off against Miles Edgeworth in the English courtroom. However, if the player loads a cleared file in order to play through the game's finale again, Wright will instead be in a trial against Flynch.
  • This is the only Ace Attorney game to date to have a Dutch localization, although all the games in the Professor Layton series since Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box have been localized into Dutch.
  • To date, this is the only Ace Attorney game to not feature the recurring Ladder vs. stepladder joke, although there are two references in-game to it.
  • If the system is left idle on the map screen for long enough, Layton and Phoenix's map sprites will start drinking tea and pointing to a document, respectively.


Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney received "generally favorable" reviews on Metacritic holding a metascore of 79/100 based on 69 critic reviews.[15] On, it receives an aggregate score (playscore) of 8.70/10 based on 41 critics and 5,090+ gamer ratings.[16]


Box art galleryEdit


  1. Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney Japanese date set Accessed on 2011-09-15.
  2. Court Records - Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney - 3/28 EU
  3. 3.0 3.1 E3 2014 Nintendo Digital Event
  4. (2013-07-18). ACB's Rating for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Australian Classification Board. Retrieved on 2014-09-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Johnny Cullen. Level-5 conference report: Time Travellers confirmed for 3DS, Layton-Ace Attorney crossover announced. October 19, 2010. VG247. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  6. Nintendo Dream. Retrieved on 2010-11-21.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Anoop Gantayat. Professor Layton Crossing With Ace Attorney. October 19, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Kevin Gifford. TGS: Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: The Inside Story. September 14, 2011. 1UP. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.
  9. Court Records - Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney - 3/28 EU
  10. Anoop Gantayat. Level-5 Vision 2010 Live Blog. October 19, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  11. Anoop Gantayat. Capcom and Level-5 Teaming Up. September 22, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  12. Anoop Gantayat. Is Level-5 Making a New Ace Attorney? September 25, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  13. Anoop Gantayat. Jiro Ishii Says No to Ace Attorney Repots (sic). September 25, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  14. Court Records - Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney - 3/28 EU
  15. Metascore for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace AttorneyMetacritic, Retrieved April 17, 2020
  16. playscore for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace, Retrieved April 17, 2020

External linksEdit

Official websitesEdit



Other wikisEdit

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