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"Some guy named Mukki says, 'Wassup!!' I believe this game pre-dated that whole stupid 'wazzup' commercial craze, so you can see that our popular media gets their ideas from gay crossdressing muscle men in Japanese video games."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VII Part 3




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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney : Part 6
By Jeanne
Posted 06.30.12
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
In our last installment, Phoenix and Edgeworth were temporarily on a break until Edgeworth was arrested for murder at a popular gay cruising park. Despite his best efforts to push Phoenix away, Edgeworth just couldn't resist his fetish for defense attorneys, and finally asked Phoenix to defend him in court. And we all know that's actually an invitation to buttsex. Let's see, there was also some plot stuff related to the brutal murder of Edgeworth's father 15 years ago, but talking about that is not conducive to Phoenix and Edgeworth getting it on, so it's not worth my time at the moment.

Okay, you know how I thought I was so cool at the beginning of the last recap because I can play Phoenix Wright: Anal Attorney on my iPad? Well, the joke's on me because I managed to erase my game save while syncing due to a terminal case of dumbassery. In order to get to the place I left off, I had to play all the way through Cases 1, 2, and 3 again, plus the beginning of Case 4. Oh, and when I was originally playing the game on my iPad in order to get screenshots, I forgot to take screenshots for Part 3 and had to go back and replay that part again. To add insult to injury, that was the recap I had to write twice because my hard drive died. Sam offered to count how many times I've played through this game just for recapping, but I politely declined.

I mentioned that for a couple of reasons. One, so that you can laugh at my idiocy and misfortune. Two, so that you know I am not particularly fond of this game right now, and this might affect the tone of my recap.

In the defendant lobby on the day of the trial, Edgeworth is in the process of informing Phoenix and Maya about the prosecutor in this case. Because a few minutes before the trial starts is totally the right time for Phoenix to be learning this. I'm actually okay with that, because I imagine the two of them had more urgent, throbbing business until this point. Prosecutor Manfred von Karma, Edgeworth tells Phoenix, is a "god of prosecution" who has never lost a single case in his entire 40-year career. Well, shit. "He'll do anything to get a guilty verdict, anything," Edgeworth adds. When Phoenix mentions that Edgeworth himself has that exact same reputation, Edgeworth insists, "You don't understand. I mean he'll really do anything. Manfred von Karma is a man to be feared." This would seem to indicate that Edgeworth himself does have limits to what he's willing to do to win a case. I'll let you decide what those limits are.

Which of these is Edgeworth least likely to do in order to get a guilty verdict?
Wear a brown suit
Drink boxed wine
The chicken dance
Vagina

 

Phoenix has a snide blue-font moment regarding Edgeworth's tendency to forge evidence, so he's probably feeling kind of jealous over the way Edgeworth is gushing about this guy. To add to Phoenix's discomfort, Edgeworth confesses, "He taught me what it really means to 'prosecute.'" Phoenix reacts to this with extreme shock, probably because of the quotes around "prosecute." Do von Karma and Edgeworth have a sexy prosecutorial past together? Oh, that's just what Phoenix needs right now. Edgeworth continues to go on and on about how von Karma is way more "vicious" and "ruthless" than he is -- I'm not sure why he's being such a pill about it. I guess he's trying to warn Phoenix about what's in store, plus he's terrified of prison showers, but he's really coming across as unsupportive here. Show a little trust in your man, Edgeworth.

Maya thinks von Karma sounds like a major asshole, since he was once Edgeworth's teacher...or whatever...and now he's trying to convict him of murder. She must have forgotten that Edgeworth did the same thing to Phoenix not too long ago. I was going to say that I doubt Phoenix has forgotten, but who am I kidding? Phoenix forgets what he had for breakfast that morning. Trying to reassure himself, Phoenix thinks about how Mia was a mentor to him and the two of them weren't boning, so maybe Edgeworth and von Karma's relationship was totally platonic too.

Now that he's thinking about Mia, Phoenix has a sudden lightbulb moment. Realizing that he has only ever won trials with the help of his dead boss, he thinks it might be a good idea for Maya to channel her as soon as possible rather than waiting until the last second of the trial. As it turns out, the dialogue from the beginning of this case was not just throwaway banter between Phoenix and Maya -- her lack of freezing waterfall meditation has caused her powers to wane. Try as she might, she is unable to channel her sister. When Phoenix learns this, he is kind of a dick about it, bitching about "bad timing" and telling Maya he hopes she'll try her best. I love how Phoenix feels all entitled to this special ability of hers.

 
'Is there semen on my cravat again?'

Edgeworth finally demands to know what the two of them are "whispering about." I'm just as surprised as you are that they didn't have this entire conversation in normal speaking voices right in front of him. Then again, is this really something they need to keep secret? Not only does Edgeworth know that Maya's mother was a spirit medium, but he witnessed Maya herself channeling her deceased sister in two different trials. Perhaps Phoenix doesn't want to look less manly in front of Edgeworth by admitting he needs a large-breasted vagina owner to win his cases for him. Either way, he brushes off Edgeworth's question and they head into the courtroom.

At this point, I would like to take a moment to share with you Sam's very accurate script for the first day of trial in any Anal Attorney case. This will save you the trouble of reading the recap, not that that would hurt my delicate feelings or anything. I have changed the names to reflect the current trial.

Von Karma: I have an unreliable witness and some shitty, non-conclusive evidence.
Judge: Yay!
Phoenix: Your witness is unreliable and your evidence is shitty and non-conclusive.
Von Karma: Yeah.
Judge: Well, your witness is unreliable and your evidence is shitty and non-conclusive, but the defense can't prove his client didn't do it, so let's just hand out a guilty verdict.
Phoenix: What the fuck, man?
Mystery Person: HOLD IT!
Mystery Person: Here's something desperate to keep you from ending the trial!
Judge: Oh, fine.
Phoenix and Edgeworth: *make out furiously*

And that's pretty much it. For those of you who want to see me drag the above script out for many pages, let's get started. The same Judge as always starts the proceedings, and Phoenix once again tells the entire courtroom that he is "ready." This is when we get our first glimpse of Manfred von Karma.

Where to begin? Well, I am sad to report that there is nary a pixel of fuchsia anywhere on von Karma's outfit. However, that is not to say that he is in any way drab. It's pretty obvious that he mentored Edgeworth in fashion as well as prosecuting and...whatever else. I can best describe von Karma as an unholy combination of pirate captain, gay European royalty, and child-molesting Dracula. He wears a high-collared blue coat with ornamental lapels over an elaborately embroidered vest. Naturally, he also wears a cravat, but his is accented by a large sapphire brooch. From the neck up, von Karma is distinctly less fabulous. Although he is old and has gray hair, he is no silver fox. Instead of choosing to age gracefully, von Karma has clearly visited the plastic surgeon a few too many times. I guess his slicked back face kind of matches his slicked back hair. Maybe that's what he was going for. To sum up von Karma's character design: holy crap.

The Judge asks von Karma if the prosecution is also ready. "Fool..." von Karma mutters ominously. "You seriously think I would stand here were I not completely prepared?" The Judge apologizes quickly, probably in a voice several octaves higher than usual. Phoenix notices this and the pee stain spreading across the Judge's robes, and deduces that the Judge seems rather scared of this scary individual.

Von Karma, with his arms crossed and eyes closed for some reason, begins his opening statement. "Decisive evidence... A decisive witness... What more could possibly be required?" Well, I wouldn't know, since I have yet to see either of those two things in this game. The Judge has not read Sam's script, so he totally buys what von Karma is selling. While Maya rolls her eyes over von Karma's imperious behavior -- and probably his outfit as well -- Phoenix is on the edge of a nervous breakdown. "How am I supposed to fight against this!?" he cries, practically fanning himself with his pink tie. Cripes, von Karma hasn't even done anything yet! Nut up, Phoenix -- your man is depending on you!

Von Karma calls Detective Dick Gumshoe as his first witness. I like how his full name is Dick and not Richard. Of course it is. It also seems rather stupid of von Karma to call the one guy in the entire police department who thinks the defendant is innocent. Whatever -- we need someone to give us the case overview, and the game designers weren't about to create a random sprite just for this purpose.

"Describe the incident. Now!" von Karma demands as soon as Gumshoe takes the stand. Although von Karma creeps me out big time, as a recapper I do appreciate his ability to cut right to the chase. Stammering nervously, Gumshoe describes the incident for us using an overhead map of the lake. We can only see the western portion of the lake on the map, but it still doesn't look like a gourd by any stretch of the imagination. The shoreline on the left of the map has three small icons indicating the locations of note. From top to bottom, there's Lotta's SUV, the boat rental shop/men's restroom, and the Butz's wiener shop.

"The murder happened late Christmas Eve, around midnight," Gumshoe exposits. "There was one boat in the very middle of the lake." A little flashing boat icon appears and it's nowhere near the middle of the lake -- it's fairly close to the spot where Lotta was camping. Can we go two seconds without a contradiction in this courtroom? Gumshoe continues on with information we already know, such as the presence of two men in the boat, and the very annoying woman camped out at the lakeshore. "At 12:10 AM, she heard two pistol shots," Gumshoe says, helpfully using red text to indicate that Phoenix will have to point out a contradiction related to these gunshots at some point during the trial. After the shots, the boat headed back to the boat rental shop. It's not clear who exactly witnessed that part, but it's safe to assume that Edgeworth would rather row back to shore than swim in that filthy lake water while wearing his expensive suit. After Gumshoe finishes his summary, the map is entered into Phoenix's court record and I just discovered another courtroom innuendo he can use on Edgeworth later.

Von Karma orders Gumshoe to describe Edgeworth's arrest. Phoenix's ears perk up at this, since there might have been handcuffs involved. Before Gumshoe can get to the good stuff, the Judge butts in and reminds von Karma that he's in charge of this courtroom. Von Karma responds by creepily shaking his finger at the judge while arching his eyebrow and pursing his lips. It looks like he's scolding a naughty child, which I imagine he does a lot in his spare time. "Wrong. There is only one thing you need to do here. You will slam down your gavel and say the word 'guilty.' That is your role!" Naturally the Judge agrees to this because he has the brain of an amoeba. Phoenix is all, "You've got to be fucking kidding me."

So far, there's nothing really special about von Karma's courtroom strategy. He figured out that the Judge is a spineless dipshit and bullies him accordingly. That doesn't require any legal talent -- shit, Phoenix could do that if he wanted to. Well, except that Phoenix is a non-threatening young man in a pink tie and von Karma looks like a rape vampire. Never mind. My point is that after Edgeworth spoke so highly of von Karma's prosecutorial abilities, I was expecting some kind of creative legal maneuvering or some impressively forged evidence. I guess I should give him a chance -- we're only on the first witness after all.

Why the quotes -- is he referring to one of the Butz's drag queens?
 

Gumshoe's next bit of testimony is the official kind that Phoenix can cross-examine, so he'd better pay attention and stop thinking about Edgeworth in restraints. At 12:30 AM, a man called the cops. Gumshoe raced to the scene and found Edgeworth there. Frowning, Gumshoe adds, "Now, I didn't suspect him of anything at all." Oh come on, Dick -- he was at a gay cruising park in the middle of the night. You seriously didn't suspect him of anything? Objection! Anyway, the dead body was discovered in the lake the "next morning" which is confusing because it was already after midnight on Christmas morning and "the next morning" would refer to the 26th, which is the current day. Whatever the case, after the body was discovered the police "had to" arrest Edgeworth. There are a lot of details about that testimony that I didn't pick on, but that's what Phoenix is for -- he needs to do his damn job for once. Let's just hope he doesn't pull his usual shit where he asks questions about details that don't matter. "Begin your cross-examination, attorney. Now!" von Karma commands, and Phoenix can't help being just a little turned on by that.

During the cross-examination, Phoenix finds out that the man who called the police was the original witness who had been set to testify before von Karma decided to use Lotta instead. He acts completely shocked by this, even though he found out about the existence of both witnesses yesterday. Or, more likely, "witnesses." Phoenix doesn't ask what the mysterious male witness reported, though. Gunshots? A murder? BJs? Any of those would make him a better witness than Lotta, who saw and heard nothing, but clearly I am not thinking like a genius prosecutor. Von Karma lies that the man's testimony was pretty much the same as Lotta's anyway. I'd also like to add that von Karma sounds like the devil. Seriously, the voice clip they use for his constant objections was run through the same voice filter used for Satan in South Park. I was going to say "only less gay" but I feel very uncomfortable calling anything in this game less gay.

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