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|Hang loose, baby!|
Roger Retinz, also known as the Ratings Rajah, was a producer for Take-2 TV famous for starring on many of his shows. He was the producer in charge of the magic show "Trucy in Gramarye-Land" featuring Trucy Wright. When Trucy was accused of murdering fellow performer Manov Mistree during a dress rehearsal of the show, Retinz testified in the subsequent trial.
Beginnings with Troupe Gramarye
|Since I was but a child, it was always my dream to become a great magician. But that Magnifi...! He took it all from me!|
In his youth, Retinz was an aspiring stage magician who went by the name Mr. Reus. He was a member of Troupe Gramarye and one of the three pupils of the Troupe's founder, the famous magician Magnifi Gramarye. Coin tricks and fire tricks were Retinz's specialty.
At some point in 2015, Retinz accidentally injured himself while practicing a reckless trick. The injury left him with a permanent scar on his right forearm. Because of this accident, Magnifi had Retinz removed from the Troupe's next show, but Retinz defied him by showing up for the performance anyway. This resulted in Magnifi immediately ousting Retinz from the Troupe. Humiliated, Retinz came to harbor a deep grudge against Troupe Gramarye and swore to have his revenge someday.
The Ratings Rajah
|Maybe common folk like you don't get it... but a show is only as good as how loud, flashy, and trashy it is.|
Having abandoned his career as a magician, Retinz went on to become a producer for Take-2 TV, even starring in some of the shows he produced. Nicknamed the "Ratings Rajah", he gained popularity for his charismatic on-screen persona and his famous catchphrase, "Hang loose, baby!" Retinz kept his scar concealed under long sleeves; because of this and the fact that Mr. Reus had largely faded into obscurity, the public was unaware of his past identity.
One day, eleven years after his removal from Troupe Gramarye, Retinz met an aspiring magician named Manov Mistree on one of his programs. Upon learning that Mistree was a great fan of Mr. Reus, Retinz told him his secret identity in confidence and decided to train Mistree to be his successor, teaching him his magic tricks and acting as his producer.
A magical murder
- Main article: The Magical Turnabout
The deadly prank
Two years after meeting Mistree, Retinz finally saw his chance for revenge on Troupe Gramarye in the form of the sole heir to the Gramarye magic rights — Magnifi's granddaughter, Trucy Wright — making her television debut with the magic show "Trucy in Gramarye-Land" at the Penrose Theater. Retinz promptly offered to produce and broadcast the magic show. At the same time, he had Mistree stand in for him as Mr. Reus and hired the twin magician sisters Bonny de Famme and Betty de Famme to play a prank on Wright. Mistree would be placed in a coffin Wright would escape from and stab with a rubber sword, at which point his "corpse" would fall out. Betty would then use a remote control to drop the dragon set piece hung over the stage, at the same time causing Mistree — who was connected to the same wire as the set piece — to be lifted into the air, thus leading everyone to have a laugh at Wright's expense.
In actuality, Retinz planned to have Mistree murdered as a result of the prank — after Mistree was lifted upwards out of sight, he would be fatally stabbed by a steel sword that Retinz had earlier secretly hidden in the cushions in the stage's skywalk. With Mistree seen alive before he entered the coffin for Wright's escape trick, it would appear to everyone that Wright had killed Mistree by stabbing him through the coffin. Furthermore, Retinz made sure to be at Take-2 Studios when the trick took place, ensuring that he had an alibi.
To make the death seem like a premeditated murder, Retinz used a clipboard rigged with carbon paper to trick Wright into unknowingly signing a note that suggested she had prior knowledge of the prank. He also stole Magnifi's old notebook from Wright and planted it among Mistree's belongings, intending for the prosecution to give Wright a motive for killing "Mr. Reus", on the grounds that Mr. Reus wanted revenge for his removal from Troupe Gramarye and intended to ruin Wright by revealing the secrets to all the Troupe's tricks. In addition, Retinz had the same forged signature planted on a contract that required that Wright pay him three million dollars if her show were canceled as a result of her actions, thus guaranteeing the financial ruin of the Wright Anything Agency.
Tying loose ends
On the day of the magic show, Retinz made sure to arrive at the theater right after the incident, taking a taxi to leave the driver as a witness. As planned, Mistree had ended up dead from the "prank", and the fallen dragon set piece had caused the staff to order the audience to evacuate, leaving the stage deserted and allowing Retinz to tamper with the crime scene by lowering the body back onto the stage and switching Wright's rubber prop sword with the murder weapon. To complete the ruse, he planted Mistree's blood in the coffin hole where he believed Wright had thrust her sword. However, he later realized that Wright had actually stabbed the coffin through the opposite side because Bonny had made a mistake and set up Mr. Hat over the wrong trapdoor. Since he could not wipe the blood — as this would still leave traces that could be detected with luminol — he had to tamper with the evidence again by swapping the coffin sides to make the scene appear consistent. He also edited footage his crew had taken of the trick to further cement the impression that Wright had used a steel sword to stab the coffin, specifically, removing the playing cards Wright released when switching the steel sword for a harmless rubber one.
Once the police arrived and the body was found on the stage, Wright was arrested on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Afterwards, Retinz encountered Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes, Wright's close friends and attorneys. He feigned shock and disappointment about the incident, but claimed he was not surprised that a magician would do such a thing. He told the duo about his plans to use his media influence to turn Wright into a pariah. Later on, he presented the attorneys with the contract he conned Wright into signing, and demanded the three million in compensation. He warned the lawyers that they would go down for siding with Troupe Gramarye.
Some time afterwards, Retinz met with Betty in the understage. Betty told him that pretending to be sweet was exhausting, and expressed concerned over the inquiring attorneys. Retinz assured her that he wouldn't tell them or the police anything. When Betty angrily demanded to know how much longer until Wright's downfall, Retinz assured her that he would use his influence to give her rival worse than a guilty verdict. He pretended to be enamored with her so she wouldn't suspect that he was using her instead of the other way around. Unknown to the two, Justice and Cykes had overheard their exchange from their hiding spot in the understage.
As his plans continued to take their course, Retinz seized the Wright Anything Agency, sticking repossession labels on nearly everything in the office. When Wright's attorneys returned to the office, he showed them that the building was being reported live on television. He informed them that the magic show's broadcast convinced everyone in the country that Wright was guilty. He confidently gloated that without her father around to defend her, Wright and the agency were as good as finished. He gave them until the next day to clear out of the office.
Exposed in court
|Ho ho ho. How ironic, wouldn't you say? That this odious mark, carved into me by Troupe Gramarye... would bring me back into the limelight once more.|
Retinz went to the courthouse the next day to watch Wright's trial, where he wasted no time antagonizing the defense. He put out a call for hecklers to attend the trial and disparage Wright. During recess, he paid a visit to the defendant lobby, brandishing his camera for shots of his opponents' dejected faces. Cykes shouted that filming was prohibited in the courthouse and threatened to get the bailiff. Retinz made the camera vanish with a magician's skilled sleight of hand, something Wright took notice of.
Back in the courtroom, the hecklers he called in disruptively denounced Wright as a murderer. Despite the harsh comments coming from the gallery, Wright put on her best confident smile. She was granted special permission to perform her sword-switching trick for the court. Not only did she receive an ovation that drowned out the jeering, but Justice managed to notice that the moment of the switch was absent from the show footage. After comparing the broadcast footage with film recorded by one of Bonny's fans, Justice was able to prove that the show footage had been tampered with.
His hand forced, Retinz stepped up to the witness stand and offered to testify. He claimed that the edit had not been done with malicious intent. Additionally, he suggested that although Wright may have plunged the rubber sword into the coffin, she had proceeded to murder Mistree unseen after the dragon set piece came crashing down.
Despite Retinz's various manipulations, Justice had begun to figure out the truth behind everything, forcing Retinz to reveal his magician persona. His exposure as the original Mr. Reus did not concern him, as he reminded everyone that he could not have murdered Mistree because he had not been at the scene during the time of the crime. His "unbreakable" alibi did not last long, however, as Justice managed to figure out both the magic behind his crime and the error that only someone who had not been on-scene to witness the show could have made while planting blood on the coffin. In defeat, Retinz cursed the Gramarye name, blaming them for having humiliated him and eventually driven him to murder to get his revenge. Wright suggested that it had been this hatred and disregard for life that Magnifi had witnessed and ejected him out of the Troupe for, to which Retinz gloated that he had proven himself the better magician in the end, since Wright had not been the one to figure out the secret to his magic.
|I'm telling you, man -- modern viewers eat this stuff up with a spoon! Trust me! All we gotta do is serve it up nice and hot. A feast for the eyes!|
As a producer, Retinz was always on the lookout for things that would lead to high ratings on television. He would often be condescending when talking to those he considered beneath himself, but was also seen to become overly ingratiating when approaching someone he sought to curry favor with, adopting a sycophantic demeanor when addressing important people such as the judge and even feigning attraction for Betty to trick her into believing she was the more powerful individual in their professional relationship. When in conversation with someone, Retinz would often act as if he were on the set of a television program, pulling out cue cards and using a video camera to record the other person's reactions.
Retinz held a deep-seated hatred of Troupe Gramarye, especially towards Magnifi Gramarye, for ending his magician career. He also claimed to have a low opinion of magicians in general in order to conceal his past as one. When his identity as Mr. Reus was revealed, he adopted a much more serious and dramatic demeanor than before, displaying considerable confidence and showmanship as an illusionist and performing tricks with coins, cards, and fire. He also demonstrated a remarkable ability to switch back and forth between his producer and magician personae depending on which he deemed more appropriate to the situation. His resentment toward the Gramaryes was strong enough to drive him to sacrifice the life of his own apprentice merely for a chance at revenge. Apollo Justice noted that Retinz's attitude towards magic and his unwillingness to trust others made him the exact opposite of Trucy. Trucy realized that this was the true reason why Magnifi kicked him out of the Gramaryes, not his skills as a magician, which he proved in the end to be greater than Trucy's.
Ultimately, Retinz was self-serving, manipulative, and exploitative, with complete disregard for other people and without a single trace of remorse. Vain to a fault, he was frequently seen fanning himself with a fan made of bills, which was often accompanied with snarky comments and provocation. Vicious and sadistic, he not only taunted Trucy in person but also brought paid slanderers to throw mud at Trucy's name from the gallery. When confronted about his crime and having his one closest fan killed purely for the sake of revenge, he entirely scoffed at the idea that he did anything wrong, instead saying that he had merely used what was available to him. Retinz even went as far as victimize himself for what had happened, blaming Magnifi instead of reflecting on his own flaws as a person, followed by a full denial by clinging to his magic skills as a testament of his superiority, gloating in spiteful arrogance that he had defeated the Gramayres in magic.
Roger Retinz / Ratings Rajah
- The origin of his Japanese name can be found by following the customs in Japanese TV production crew lingo, which involves flipping the names around in some fashion. "Shinoyama" (志乃山) is flipped phonetically into "yamashino" (山師の), which means "charlatan". "Kanenari" (金成) is flipped by the kanji into "narikin" (成金), which means "nouveau riche", a usually derogatory term referring to someone whose wealth was not obtained by familial inheritance. The combined phrase "yamashi no narikin" (山師の成金) means "a swindling/cheating nouveau riche".
- The "Jack" in his Japanese nickname may be a reference to "jaaku" (邪悪), which means "evil" or "cursed".
- His English name is a pun on his nickname: "Ratings Rajah" is "flipped" to form "Roger Retinz" in a vaguely similar manner to his Japanese name. "Rajah" is an Indian title for a monarch and was presumably chosen to make the pun work. Additionally, "Ratings Rajah" is an alliteration.
- His Japanese stage name comes from the word "Menyō" (面妖), meaning "strange" or "suspicious." Mr. Reus's symbol (visible on the clasp of his costume's cape, as well as the coffin seen on the stage during the magic show and some of Mistree's belongings) appears to have been modeled after the kanji that makes up the first part of the word (面).
- His English stage name, "Mr. Reus", is a play on "mysterious". Additionally, "Reus" literally means "guilty" in Latin.
- Unlike other members of Troupe Gramarye, Retinz, as Mr. Reus, did not wear a card suit brooch. Instead, he wore a crown-shaped cravat. However, he wears a mask highly reminiscent of the Joker found in playing cards.
- Retinz has several poses not used when he has his sleeves up (such as typing on his phone) or down (like performing with his coin), yet all of his animations contain a sleeves up and down version, although some of his sleeves up animations are glitchy and unused. Curiously, he also has an unused pose in which, his sleeves rolled up, he holds up an Ace of Spades (much like how he holds up his business card in game).
- Previously, in Turnabout Succession, when Phoenix Wright speaks to Valant Gramarye at Sunshine Coliseum about Magnifi's death, he suggests the possibility of a third disciple in Troupe Gramarye, to which Valant denies this. As it later turned out, there really was a third disciple, which was Retinz as Mr. Reus, though he was removed a long time before Magnifi's death.