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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney : Part 10
By Jeanne
Posted 01.02.14
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 8 : 9 : 10 : 11 : 12
In the last Anal Attorney recap, Sam covered the first part of the tacked-on fifth case, which included a colorful cast of WACKY! one-note characters, a new teenage girl assistant, and yet another prosecutor accused of murdering someone. What a fantastic start. But Phoenix did get to visit Edgeworth's office for the "first" time and probe around his fuchsia cushions, so it wasn't a total waste of everyone's time.

The last thing that Sam covered before she signed off was the suitably dramatic announcement in open court -- by the chief of police, no less -- that the victim, Bruce Niceguy, was murdered in two separate locations at the exact same time. I feel like I bring up the term "mistrial" at least every other paragraph in my recaps, but I can't think of any other appropriate action to take when this kind of insane shit happens. Now, of course we know, thanks to time stamps and photographs and the presence of the actual body in the parking garage at 5:15PM, that Bruce Niceguy was not in fact in the evidence room at that time. This isn't some Agatha Christie-style misidentification of the victim or Luther-style surprise twin reveal. Still, if Phoenix were a real lawyer, this would be the perfect chance for him to use the confusion and incompetence of the police department to throw Edgeworth's fuchsia-handled wrench into the case against his client.

What it actually means is that Phoenix is going to put on his detective hat -- I'm sure Edgeworth likes it when he wears only that -- and sniff out the truth himself. To be fair, it's not like any of the actual cops have the ability to do this, but it's still not Phoenix's fucking job. Back at Wright & Co. Law Offices, Phoenix announces his investigative intentions to Ema, who is totally on board with this silliness. Phoenix blue-fonts, "Glad she's in good spirits, but I'm not sure she's going to be much help with this." Ema magically overhears his negative asshole thoughts again and chirps, "Don't be so sure, Mr. Wright!" She has some sort of plan in mind, somehow related to her fuchsia glasses. Weirdly, she refers to them as "thick-rimmed" like she's trying to give herself nerd cred, when in fact they look like white plastic kiddie sunglasses. Anyway, Ema's intended destination is the prosecutors' office parking garage where Edgeworth's trunk was nonconsensually violated. "Let's go! Science awaits us!" she yells with her determined face on.

Back in the A block of the parking garage, the Penismobile's trunk is still gaping open for all the world to see. Ema reveals herself to be the smartest person in the room (obviously not a difficult accomplishment when it's just her and Phoenix there) when she announces that there's no point in even focusing on the evidence room murder for now, since there was no body there. Yes, it's still dumb that they are even investigating this, but I just wanted to call out her observational skills. Someone in this game paid attention to something!

Ema has not changed her mind in the last few minutes in regards to her sister's innocence, but Phoenix flashes back to Edgeworth's sexy, infuriating smirk during the trial when he asked Angel Starr about the oil drum full of water. Ema can also detect Phoenix's flashbacks, apparently, because she insists that her sister would never cover up evidence. Phoenix isn't about to argue with Ema over Lana's motivation, but whether she did it on purpose or not, the end result is the same -- the bloodstains are gone. Donning her fuchsia goggles, Ema chuckles and says, "Ignore the strength of my science at your own peril, Mr. Wright!" The power of the science!

Phoenix knows as much about science as he does about legal matters, so he lets Ema explain her intentions, which she does against a dramatically flashing screen: "This situation calls for one thing and that is...luminol testing fluid!" A nondescript spray bottle graphic appears next to her head, but we can assume she actually whipped it out of her science bag and is pointing it at Phoenix.

 
Actually, Phoenix is quite the expert on the subject of sticky stuff.

Ema explains the basics of luminol for those in the audience who have never watched CSI -- it is used to detect the presence of blood, even if the blood is no longer visible to the naked eye. In game terms, I have to tap on the screen while Phoenix wears a spare pair of Ema's goggles -- they match his tie! -- which causes any hidden bloodstains to glow.

Now, I want to take a moment to address what all of you are wondering -- does luminol also detect the presence of semen? This is an important enough matter that I felt warranted some research, so after a fair bit of Googling (my search history is probably very incriminating now), I was able to establish that luminol only works on blood. It's just a common misconception that it also functions as a jizz detector. While I have been known to embellish the facts a bit in the service of an entertaining recap, I didn't feel quite right passing along inaccurate scientific information, tempting though it may be. So for the purposes of this recap, luminol cannot detect semen.

But that doesn't mean Phoenix knows this -- it's quite unlikely that he ever bothered to do an internet search or read up on anything involving investigative techniques. In his mind, all the effort he put into hiding his relationship with Edgeworth from Ema will be undone as soon as the interior of Edgeworth's car lights up like a Christmas tree. Actually, it's much more likely that Ema would assume Edgeworth's back seat was the scene of a mass murder, but Phoenix still finds himself covered in terror sweat.

Steering clear of the car itself, Phoenix starts spraying the floor of the garage, frantically hoping that Niceguy bled to death there. To his relief, several areas just next to the rope outline of the victim's head start glowing blue. Jackpot! Ema is more grossed out than excited over this scientific discovery, since she has never seen "real blood" before. See, it's funny because there's not actually visible blood there anymore! When Ema recovers her composure, she realizes that something seems strange about this "bloodstain" and asks Phoenix if he notices it, too. Oh, Ema, your faith is so misplaced.

This means I get to do Phoenix's thinking for him again via a multiple choice question. The correct answer is that "the amount of blood" is strange -- Phoenix isn't going to nitpick the location. "The perpetrator and Detective [Niceguy] fought here, right?" Phoenix asks, even though I'm not sure Angel ever stated that she witnessed any actual fighting. But assuming there was a struggle, there should be more than just a few small dribbles of blood behind the car. Ema says something about how there was "all that blood" on the sole of Niceguy's douchey white shoe as proof that he must have gushed blood like a fountain, but it looks to me like the spots on the floor are more than big enough to create the smallish bloodstain on the shoe. But what do I know? I'm not wearing fuchsia goggles.

How old is she supposed to be again?
 

Ema marks the location of the blood on the floor plans, and the way she draws it on the overhead view, it looks like the Penismobile had some kind of urinary accident. I feel like Edgeworth would strongly object to this. When Ema is all, "Isn't it great that I'm here to help you with this stuff?!" Phoenix responds in a very unenthusiastic manner. At first I thought he was just being his normal dickish self, but I think he is still deeply terrified that Ema is going to discover his unethical relationship with the man prosecuting her sister. Why does his life always have to be so complicated?

Even though Ema bought the luminol with her own allowance money, she hands it over to Phoenix's care, where she'll likely never see it again (if Phoenix has anything to say about it). Ema adds that they need to do their own investigations since the police sometimes fail to present evidence during the trial depending on how helpful it is to their case. Phoenix knows this all too well -- Edgeworth is quite skilled at being withholding -- so he blue-fonts to himself that, "This luminol stuff is going to come in handy." This is a 180 from just a few moments ago, so maybe Phoenix just realized he can use this to see if Edgeworth is cheating on him. I'm not sure how, since it doesn't check DNA, but maybe Phoenix doesn't know that either.

 
Clearly Capcom put their best people on this port.

A very annoying voice interrupts Phoenix's plotting. "I wonder how that fluid of yours would react to a nice Deli Box," purrs Angel Starr seductively, appearing in front of him against his will. I'm quite sure that Phoenix's fluid has never been near a box, and the very image has ruined his day beyond repair. To make matters worse, Angel offers him a "day-old Deli box" full of sashimi. Phoenix informs her just how unappealing he finds her fishy old box, and then he re-examines every nook and cranny of the crime scene again, just to put off talking to her. There isn't a lot of new information to report, it's mainly just Phoenix and Ema reflecting on how the various parts of the parking garage figured into the testimony from today's trial.

The security guard is still absent from "his" booth, and Ema comments, "Well, this is just something I heard... But apparently he went out to buy coffee for Ms. Starr." I have no idea where Ema would have heard such a thing -- is there a secret Facebook group for prosecutors' office gossip? That would be amazing. It would also be amazing if this boyfriend who surely exists on this planet ever returned from his definitely real coffee errand.

During this time-killing examination of the garage, Ema also tries to kick over the oil drum and climb the fence, both without success, causing Phoenix to utter in terror, "That Lana Skye must be a powerful woman." The idea of two ladies with such impressive physical prowess is a little too close to Phoenix's worst phobia for comfort, so he decides that listening to Angel talk about her leftover tuna is less triggering in comparison.

The first topic Phoenix brings up is that morning's trial, although I can't think why he would want to rehash that. "You certainly put me in a tight spot today," Angel starts off as disturbingly as possible. Ugh, maybe this wasn't such a great idea after all. When Phoenix apologizes in an attempt to make her stop, she claims she doesn't hold his cross-examinating against him, since everything unpleasant that happened to her as a result is really her fault. "Oh, we know," Ema responds which is the best thing ever.

Angel's apology for lying on the stand should really be delivered to Sam instead of me. These annoying female witnesses are terrible about apologizing to the right recapper. "Sorry? You lied on the witness stand! That's unforgivable!" Ema scolds her, as if perjury is a worse crime than lunchbox references. But as Angel points out, her lies don't change the fact that she witnessed Lana stab Niceguy. Ema lets out some emo punctuation, although she should really be used to hearing the details of her sister's alleged crime by now, since someone repeats them every thirty seconds.

I'm sure eating her lunchbox would make Phoenix sick.
 

Ema also asks Angel about her days as a detective, which Angel reminds us was two years ago. I'm beginning to worry that Phoenix's terrible memory problems are contagious. Angel also explains the story behind her nickname, the Cough-up Queen: "No matter how hardened the criminal, when they faced me... They coughed it up." And now I'm imagining obviously gay criminals losing their boners and vomiting whenever she shook her boobs at them. There really isn't much more to the name than that, but the explanation goes on for several more text screens, I guess to emphasize just how effective she was as an interrogator in this universe.

Phoenix wonders why she was fired, and I was about to make fun of him, but I don't think we actually got the official reason yet. But come on, we all know that every bad thing that happened to every one of these characters was a direct result of SL-9. Angel confirms this, and although this is not even close to the first time Phoenix has heard this case mentioned during the course of the day -- he even referred to it while investigating the Penismobile a few moments ago -- for some reason he still responds to Angel's announcement with, "Ess... El..? (Wait! She doesn't mean...!)" This might be the dumbest thing he has ever said -- even Shion has never Shioned this badly. In spite of Angel explicitly mentioning the ESS ELL NAH-EEN incident in red font, the corresponding dialogue option will not appear until Phoenix thrusts the right piece of evidence in her face. None of us is happy about this.

 
Understatement of the year.

Phoenix presents the upside-down note first, which does get her to open up. I wish I had not typed that. Angel mentions that Niceguy was the head detective on the case, and once again I'm not sure if we knew that already -- everything gets repeated so many times, I start to forget what is actual new information. Anyway, the SL-9 evidence was set to be transferred on the day of Niceguy's murder, which we did already know, courtesy of Gumshoe. Angel feels that Niceguy's murder on the day of the transferal is not a coincidence, and thankfully we're not in court right now, so she doesn't have to prove it with ten pieces of evidence and hundreds of screens of testimony. She follows this up with the worst declaration in the history of humankind: "SL-9 isn't over! Not yet!" Life is about to get a lot worse for all of us, but mostly me and Sam.

Even all that doesn't work to unlock the SL-9 dialogue option. This is not the least bit intuitive.. Okay, next Phoenix thrusts forward the photo that Angel took with her secret lunchbox spy camera. "If you think about it, I could have taken that picture from the guard room," she comments. At first I thought she was saying that the picture would have looked exactly the same, which is a huge lie, but what she really means is that in hindsight she she didn't have to run all the way around to the B Block to get the fucking snapshot or whatever. Sam covered all the problems with this scenario in her recap, and I feel it's better for my sanity to just skip past further discussion of the incident. Angel claims once again that she only lied to make her testimony sound better so that it wouldn't be "disregarded." That happened to her at some vague point in her past (surely not two years ago!) and she'll do anything to avoid that again. Which makes no sense because getting caught in an obvious lie seems like the quickest way to get your testimony disregarded. Well, second quickest behind lunchbox puns. Also, who is supposedly doing the disregarding here? The Judge? Edgeworth? Maybe if she wants Edgeworth to listen to her, she should try a Sausage Party lunchbox instead of the fish taco special.

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