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Ted Tonate was a member of the Los Angeles police bomb disposal squad who was called as a witness in the murder of Candice Arme and the bombing of Courtroom No. 4. Along with a bomb obsession, Tonate's most notable personality quirk was his preferred method of communicating; via an arm-mounted keyboard and speech synthesizer.
- Main article: Turnabout Countdown
Despite being a member of the police force, Tonate would secretly steal the bombs he had disarmed and then sell them on the black market. To avoid suspicion, Tonate would replace the stolen bombs with home-made models he had created himself.
Accompanied by Detective Candice Arme, Tonate transported the disarmed and deactivated HH-3000 bomb to Courtroom No. 4 as evidence in the Cosmos Space Center bombing. Before the trial, Tonate tried to steal the bomb, but he was soon caught and confronted by Arme.
Panicked, Tonate struck her with the bomb, but with her last moments Arme was able to write Tonate's ID number on the courtroom floor in her own blood. While this was going on, he noticed an unknown hand taking the remote switch for the bomb, but he was too distracted by Arme's death to deal with the mysterious thief. Not having enough time to wipe away Arme's message, Tonate instead used his bomb transport case to cover the bloody writing and took a picture of the bomb displayed with the Phony Phanty doll it had been stashed inside of. He then placed Arme's body inside the bomb transport case, knowing that no one would dare to go near it under the supposition it was extremely dangerous to go near a bomb, deactivated or not.
During the trial that followed, the bomb was suddenly reactivated, but Tonate managed to hear the sound of the bomb being activated and hastily warned the court. After the explosion destroyed the courtroom, with no loss of life, Tonate was the first one to be assigned on the scene, and he used the explosion to cover up Arme's murder by making it appear that the explosion had caused her death by taking her body from the bomb transport case and placing her at the other side of the courtroom.
In the trial that followed, where Juniper Woods was tried for the bombing, Tonate (along with a model of the bomb) was summoned by prosecutor Gaspen Payne to testify about the details of the HH-3000 bomb and its reactivation. Although one discrepancy was found in his testimony as he mistakenly stated that he saw the bomb's timer count down to zero, his testimony was otherwise seemingly flawless and before Tonate left, he challenged the defense attorney Phoenix Wright to try to find the truth behind the case.
While the trial was being conducted, Apollo Justice, who was injured in the bombing, went to the ruined courtroom to look for evidence while Woods was resting in the lobby. Fearing that Justice would try to look in the bomb transport case, Tonate walked in on him examining the case and used some rubble to knock him unconscious. He then modified the message that Arme left by changing "L10015" into "WOODS" with Justice's blood, to make it seem as though the message was pointing to the defendant as the attacker. Although Tonate's attack did not kill Justice, it left his memory of him being attacked hazy.
During the second half of the trial, Wright discovered Tonate's scheme and accused him of killing Arme. Even though Tonate tried to counter Wright's argument, most of his testimony was quickly found to be lies. At this point, Tonate claimed that the model bomb he carried around with him was the real thing and that he had switched it with a fake before the trial. Everybody in the courtroom fled in terror except the judge, Wright, Athena Cykes, and Gaspen Payne. Payne, however, soon panicked and fled as well. Tonate tried to walk away, warning that he would not hesitate to activate the bomb if he sensed he was being followed by the authorities, but Wright managed to prove that he was bluffing, the photo of the bomb that had been submitted as evidence showed that the display of the bomb's timer was slightly damaged while Tonate's bomb was in perfect condition. Despite Tonate's denial and protests, Wright managed to prove his guilt conclusively by opening the bomb transport case and revealing Arme's blood inside. Ted Tonate then broke down, failing to disarm his fake bomb, and proceeded to confess to his crimes.
A little chat
- Main article: Turnabout for Tomorrow
Around two days later, Tonate decided to reveal the whole truth regarding what he saw at the moment he killed Arme and alerted detective Bobby Fulbright. He was questioned by Wright and Fulbright regarding the courtroom bombing and revealed that he was not the one responsible for the courtroom bombing; it had been the unknown thief. Wright determined that Tonate was telling the truth as no Psyche-Locks appeared. Fulbright then showed a picture of the remaining components of the bomb, causing Tonate to look at the picture with delight. Afterwards, Tonate was taken into questioning by Simon Blackquill.
In the subsequent trial of Athena Cykes, the person Tonate saw steal the remote switch was revealed to be a mysterious international spy know only as "the phantom", and had been masquerading as Bobby Fulbright, who had actually been dead for a year. However, Wright, Cykes, Justice, and Blackquill managed to eventually bring him to justice, thereby solving the courtroom bombing once and for all.
Tonate was shown to have an obsessive passion for his work, to the point that he marveled over the power and "beauty" of the explosives he handled. It was this obsession that drove him to steal explosives from evidence and eventually murder Arme in panic. Tonate also seemed to be rather antisocial towards others, deeming talking as an inefficient means of communication and much preferring speech synthesis via his arm-mounted keyboard, although he would quickly revert to normal speech if sufficiently agitated or upset. He also had the habit of dismissively saying "my bad" whenever contradictions in his testimony were brought up.
In addition, Tonate demonstrated considerable aptitude for delicate machinery, not just with regards to explosives; he modified the special goggles given to him by the police for his job. He also possessed keen eyesight and hearing, being able to identify when the HH-3000 had been remotely reactivated and warn the court. Tonate was extremely proud and smug about his abilities, being able to disassemble a bomb in as little as 5.1 seconds, but as he broke down on the witness stand he failed to disarm his own training bomb.
- His full Japanese name is a play on "barashi/barasu" (ばらし/ばらす) and "mashingo" (マシン語), which means "dispose" and "machine language", respectively. This is likely a reference to his job and preferred method of communicating.
- His full English name is a play on the word "detonate", referring to his occupation as a member of the bomb disposal squad.
- Tonate was shown to have a strong dislike of defense attorneys in an early trailer, but this didn't make it into the final game.
- Ted Tonate's identification number is L10015R. In the Japanese version, however, his identification number is 511103UR. This is due to Tonate needing to be able to convert the number into Woods' name, which he writes as "Sinobu".
- In a The Monstrous Turnabout-based investigation demo trailer for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, a HH-3000 bomb is discovered under a table at the crime scene. Tonate is also discovered by Phoenix Wright after he asks Athena Cykes to check what is behind a suspicious-looking door.
- Ted Tonate purportedly had the longest and most painstaking development process out of all the characters in Dual Destinies. The desire to not waste this effort for his character was the reason why he had appearances in most of the episodes.
- 2012 Tokyo Game Show trailer (with English subtitles). Accessed on 2012-09-23.
- (2015). "The Art of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies -". UDON. ISBN 978-1927925447.