Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney : Part 2
1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 8
In our inaugural Phoenix Wright recap, Jeanne may have mentioned something to you about this game being gay. I don't recall, so I figured I should be sure to bring it up. It's kind of important. As for what happened in the first case, Phoenix's best friend Butz was exonerated in the murder of his beard, since the court found someone uglier they could pin it on. Even if your brain completely fails you while playing this game and you are somehow unable to ascertain who the true murderer is, generally you can just point to the least attractive person in the room and trust that you've got it right.
The second episode opens with a phone call. "Hello? This is Maya," a person likely named Maya says into her cell phone. See, I'm putting my brain to work already. The game, oddly, labels her as "???" throughout the conversation. "Hey Maya, it's me," someone named Mia answers. Unless there's a run on people named Mia in this game, this is likely Mia Fey, Phoenix's boobtastic boss. Maya is delighted to hear from the other girl, who hasn't called her in ages. Mia begs off that work has kept her busy. "How you been?" Mia asks. "Well, LONELY," Maya answers in what I assume is a very melodramatic tone. "And it's all YOUR fault." Perhaps her frenetic life as a defense lawyer has kept Mia from calling upon her lady friends?
Well, Maya is just kidding anyway, and is doing just dandy, even without her sugar mama. Mia's all, "That's nice...so, now that I've talked to you for thirty seconds, I need a favor." Maya sighs, "I know, I know. You want me to hold evidence for you?" That is, in fact, what Mia wants. What do you mean, "chain of custody"? Is that Greek?
Mia confides to Maya that her next trial is receiving a lot of "buzz," so she is less than comfortable with hanging onto this evidence herself. Handing it over to the police, of course, is just out of the question. But Maya understands, and only wants to know what it is. "It's...a clock," Mia says, elaborating that it looks like "The Thinker" and speaks the time. "I thought you might like it," Mia adds. "You always liked toys." I'm sure Larry Butz never imagined his homemade clock would be put to that kind of use. Or maybe he did.
Maya puts an end to my perverted line of thinking when she squeals into the phone, "Hey! I'm not a little girl anymore, Sis!" Wow, I would feel dirty, but it's nothing hundreds of doujinshi artists didn't think of first. Anyway, back to the clock. Mia tells Maya it's not currently talking, since she took out the clockwork. "I put some papers inside it instead," she says. Maya, surprisingly quick, replies, "Papers? Is that the evidence, then?" Mia hems and haws, more or less admitting that Maya is correct. "Can you come by the office tonight, say 9:00, to pick it up?" she asks. Maya agrees, but only if Mia buys her dinner. "Something good! Like...burgers! I could really go for a good burger." Her sister is an attorney with her own law firm, and she wants burgers for dinner? She must be a college student, and Red Robin is her idea of a gourmet meal. Mia agrees to burgers and they end the call. Maya's phone notes, [Conversation recorded. September 5, 9:27 AM]. Does Japan have phones that can record calls? Is that even legal in Japan? It's only semi-legal here. This entire scene is a giant gray area of legality, but who cares about that? It's only a game about...oh.
We fast-forward to that evening: 8:57 p.m., to be precise, at Fey & Co. Law Offices. A voice says, "Now, Miss Fey, I'll take what's mine...the papers." Mia responds, "I'm sorry, but I can't give you what I don't have." Unfortunately for her, the thief is onto her, and calls her on the lie. "Why, I see it right over there..." the mystery person says. "That must be 'The Thinker' that swallowed those papers." When Mia wonders aloud how this person could know that, she gets an ominous non-answer: "Ho hoh. You are not cogniferous of my background? Gathering information is my business, you see." All Mia can say is, "I...I should have been more careful." See, this is what happens when you don't follow proper evidence logging procedures. Take note, fledgling lawyers.
"Ho hoh," the thief chuckles. "My dear Miss Fey...I am so very sorry. But I am afraid I must ask you for one more thing." The music turns sinister, and if there were such a thing as a villain in a porno, this would be his music. "Your eternal silence..." the thief says. "Farewell, Miss Fey." A quick succession of still shots shows Mia throwing up her hands in defense as "The Thinker" comes crashing down on her head. The camera pans up over the man who dealt the blow (heh): like the last killer who wielded "The Thinker" on an unsuspecting pretty lady, this crazy-eyed man is wearing a bright pink suit. It's not the exact fuchsia shade of Frank Sahwit's suit--it's more of a hot pink--but does that really matter at this point? If I lived in this fictional world of gay lawyers, I think I would stay the hell away from any man wearing pink, for my own safety.
The pink-suited killer, who also has fabulous lavender hair with a meticulously styled curl of a cowlick, stands over Mia as she dies. "Red... White... Blue..." are her enigmatic last words. Poor Mia. She died so quickly that she didn't have time to confess her love to our gay protagonist, or to save some innocent children. But, as an old person in this game, we have to assume she had a long, full life. Let's just hope she enjoys her time in Characters-over-25 Heaven.
The next scene begins all of eleven minutes later, in the same office. Phoenix has arrived, and, according to him, he's late. Not at late as Mia! Ba-dum ching. "Huh, that's strange," he says to himself. "The chief must have gone home already. She said her sister was coming over so we should all go out for dinner..." He barely has time to shudder at having a nice dinner with two ladies when he smells something. "Blood...?" he says, as the sinister music starts up again. Once his brain finally arrives at the party, Phoenix yells, "Mia!" and heads for her office.
This brings up a screen that will become Phoenix's bread and butter for the rest of the game. Jeanne acted like she got all the explain-the-game-mechanics bullshit out of the way, but the introductory case only involved time in the courtroom. This screen is what Phoenix will see whenever he's out in the field, investigating for his totally innocent clients. The upper screen shows the reception area of Fey & Co. Law Offices. Currently, the lower screen on the DS only has two buttons, "Examine" and "Move." Phoenix can "examine" this room or he can "move" to the next one! After thinking about it for several minutes and fiddling with an abacus, Phoenix chooses "Move" and selects the only choice, Mia's office.
"That smell... Blood!" Phoenix says again as he enters the room. The place is a total mess--chairs have been knocked over, potted plants overturned. Phoenix is lamenting the room's ruined feng shui when someone offscreen sobs. "Sis..." the person cries. Phoenix, the genius, realizes that someone is there. Looking to his left, he sees two women: dead Mia, slumped against the wall underneath a window, and a younger girl, dressed in a purple kimono and wearing a teardrop-shaped necklace like Mia's, crying next to her. Phoenix keeps stammering "Chief" likes it's the only word he knows, finally screaming "Chief!!!" Poor Phoenix--there goes your paycheck!
|She's dead, Jim.
The crying girl comes to the foreground so Phoenix can talk to her, leaving Mia's dead body in the background. Even at a distance, her boobs are very prominent. Phoenix asks the girl who she is, but her only response is to pass out. Over a black screen, Phoenix internally relays what happened. "The strange girl dropped out cold. I left her lying on the office sofa. I went back to the chief where she lay under the window." Disturbingly, he adds as we look at Mia's corpse, "Her body was still warm..." He says that he touched her shoulder and that's how he found out, and I'm inclined to believe him. It's not like he was into her when she was alive.
For the eightieth time since this scene began, Phoenix murmurs "Chief..." before beginning to examine the room. The "Examine" command is pretty simple: I touch a spot in the room with the stylus, and Phoenix says something about it. You can touch pretty much anything in any room and get a reaction, but usually it's a non-witty comment from Phoenix unless it's pertinent to the case. Okay, it's a non-witty comment even when it is pertinent, but you know what I mean.
Phoenix first takes a look at the body, which he immediately says is difficult for him, "but if there are any clues here..." He notes that she was struck on the head with a blunt object. "She probably died instantly," he says. It wasn't quite instant, we know, because she said something before dying, but let's let Medical Examiner Phoenix have his fun. "'The Thinker' lying next to her must have been the murder weapon." He adds the statue to his evidence list, as well as some glass shards that came from a broken lamp next to the body. He has no reason to think the shards are evidence of anything except a lamp falling over, but they're in the evidence list now, which means Phoenix will, beyond the shadow of a doubt, come up with some way to use them in court. You have to give him credit: this guy does not waste resources.
Finally, Phoenix notices a piece of paper on the floor, which he surmises must have fallen out of Mia's hand. "What could it be?" he says, as he is illiterate. Dutifully, I tap the screen where the paper is so Phoenix's brain cells can rub together long enough for him to read it. The thumbnail shows a piece of paper with "Maya" written on it in blood. "'Maya'...? Did Mia write this?" Phoenix wonders, when he said two seconds ago that he thinks she died instantly. Turning it over, Phoenix sees that it's a department store receipt from the day before. Mia must have been down at Macy's, buying Phoenix his very own pink suit. The receipt, too, is added to Phoenix's Pile O' Evidence.
Phoenix decides that he should probably stop snooping, call the police, and deal with the unconscious girl. I decide that Phoenix is boring, and look around a little more. This nets me Phoenix's opinion on Mia's office chair ("A simple, functional design. Feels pretty good to sit in, too"), his sense of irony at Mia getting brained with the murder weapon from the last case, and a peep through the window to note that the "nice, luxurious" Gatewater Hotel (get it? sigh) is across the street from the office. Phoenix just loves those Gatewater Hotel bathrobes! So plush!
|I don't trust her already!
Moving over to the phone, Phoenix sees that some of the screws on the receiver have gone missing. "It looks like someone was halfway through taking it apart," he says. It's obvious to us, of course, that Mia's phone was being tapped, but we can't blame poor Phoenix for not being omniscient. Then, from outside, someone screams, "Police!? Please, come quick!" Phoenix identifies the scream as coming from outside the window. Looking out, he sees a woman with her gaping blowjob mouth screeching into a phone receiver as she looks in on the murder scene with wide eyes. As for her appearance...well. Apparently pink suits are not just for the men in this game, as this woman is wearing one to match her pink hair. It's a low-cut women's business suit, except that the buttons are gaudy pink hearts. Her breasts are so huge that even Mia, were she alive to see them, would snort in disgust and point out how obviously fake they are. Phoenix says that she is looking at him and holding a phone, both of which we can see for ourselves, Mr. Ace Attorney.
Phoenix moves back out into the reception area, only to realize that his unconscious charge is now missing from the couch. He's all worried that she's done a runner on him, but then she pops up in front of him, scaring him out of his wits. What a girl. The actual girl still isn't in the mood for talking. "It's okay. I work here," he tells her, and that at least gets her to open up and give her name: Maya Fey. Yeah, this is not news, but playing dumb for a little bit is preferable to constantly tapping my foot and waiting for Phoenix to catch up. Phoenix recalls the note he picked up. "So Mia was writing this girl's name!" he thinks. Again, he should be able to figure out that Mia didn't write it, but he managed to match up a name he was told with a name he read in a previous scene, and I'm proud of him for his accomplishment.
As Maya sits there and looks shocked and horrified, probably waiting for this guy to grind his internal gears to a halt and say something to her, Phoenix wonders if he should show Maya the piece of paper with her name on it. "I never thought there'd be a use for evidence like this outside the courtroom!" his brain enthuses. Next he's going to come up with some way to put his knowledge of the multiplication tables into action.
This burst of inspiration from Phoenix opens up the other two options on the screen: "Talk" and "Present." Phoenix, against his sense of compassion for young Maya, elects to talk to her and ask a couple questions. When he asks what happened, she mutters, "I came in... The room was dark. And Sis... Sis...!" Phoenix pulls from this that Mia was dead when Maya entered. Sherlock here next asks about the relationship between Maya and Mia. "Sister. I'm her younger sister," she responds, only refraining from adding, "You know, because I keep calling her 'Sis' and I'm obviously younger than her, nimrod" because she's still in shock. Phoenix goes on, "And you were here...visiting? This late at night?" He shouldn't even wonder, since Mia had already told him they were going to have dinner with her sister, and that's an easy explanation for why she was there, but Maya spills the rest, too. "She said she wanted me to keep some evidence for her," she says, adding that it was "The Thinker" she was supposed to take.
Phoenix has exhausted his conversational options with Maya, so now it is time to show her some grisly trophies from the scene of her sister's murder and see how she responds. Choosing "Present" brings up the evidence screen. Since it was the last thing Maya mentioned, Phoenix pulls out "The Thinker" and shows it to her. Tears well up in the poor girl's eyes. "The Th-Thinker... That was... Oh, Sis!" And she's crying again! Nice job, Phoenix. And now to rub some more salt in that wound! Pulling out the note, Phoenix tells Maya, "Before Mia died, she wrote a message with her own blood. She wrote it on the back of this receipt." Maya flips out accordingly, "Th-th-that's MY name! W-why!? Why would she write my name?" And here come the waterworks. Phoenix sucks at talking to witnesses.
|What does Phoenix suck at the most?
Maya is still trying to figure out why her name is written there in blood when they hear police sirens outside. Maya is still all wide-eyed and this close to crying again when the police barge in, and Maya is replaced onscreen by a broad-shouldered, shabby-looking detective. "Alright, I'm Detective Dick Gumshoe, see?" he says to Phoenix. Phoenix thinks to himself that Gumshoe is an odd name, but funnily enough has nothing against his first name. Gumshoe says that they got a report of a murder from a building across the street. While Phoenix thinks back with distaste to the pink lady with the huge boobs, Gumshoe says, "Anyway, I don't want either of you moving one inch, 'kay?" He disappears, leaving Phoenix to look at Maya and wonder if she did the thing. He's just thinking that she couldn't have when Gumshoe comes charging back into the room, holding the note with Maya's name. Did he just rip that out of Phoenix's hand? This is kind of weird. "This word 'Maya' here mean anything to you?" he asks. Maya admits it's her name, and Gumshoe repeats what we already know about the stupid note, adding, "With her dying breath, she wrote down the killer's name!" You can't write a name with a breath, Dick. Nonetheless, he arrests Maya on the spot. Over a black screen, Phoenix tells us of his all-night questioning ordeal at the police station. And those cops play rough.