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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Do Yourself Wright: Play the Spirit of Justice Demo!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - We learn some more things about Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice by PLAYING it!

Two weeks ago, we let you know about amazing Ace Attorney sales, and the existence of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice demo that would be releasing on August 25th. Well, that's today. I've played the demo. What are my impressions?

...Positive, of course. It's Ace Attorney after all. It has to be good. ...Well, that's not actually true (Turnabout Big Top, anyone?), but the folks at CAPCOM curated this cut-up version of the first trial of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice for our playing pleasure. It's free on the Nintendo eShop, is 890 blocks big (not much), and has 30 uses! Not that you'll need all 30, since the game comes out in two weeks from now anyway. 

The demo takes place in the Kingdom of Khura ’in, a magical place of excessive apostrophes and lovably bad puns. In the Khura’inese legal system, defence attorneys don't really exist because they will execute defence attorneys alongside their guilty clients, bringing a whole new meaning to loser pays litigation. Here's the instruction manual for the game on the role of defence:

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice role of lawyer absent instruction manual liars defense
The Khura’inese society treats lawyers like America should be treating politicians such as Crooked Hillary.

You have to defend your guide, Ahlbi Ur'gaid (my gosh, I STILL have to keep checking to see how these names are spelled), in court. She apparently is a thief and a murderer. And a boy, but I'll always dispute that. Ahlbi is also allegedly only nine years old.

ANYWAY. Ahlbi hates you because you're a lawyer, and lawyers are shunned by society, as the above screenshot explains. This is in spite of you being there to defend her.

Gaspen Payne Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice demo loathed by a client
Actually, Gaspen Payne, Phoenix Wright has been loathed by some of his previous clients before.
That said, I guess you weren't around to know that.

As Phoenix Wright, you get to cross-examine Ahlbi Ur'gaid, and then you get to encounter the new Divination Séances. Instead of being called a Water Mirror, it's actually called the Pool of Souls. Much cooler. To the point I decided to screenshot it.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice Rayfa Pool of Souls
Rayfa Padma Khura’in proceeds to have an extended dancing cutscene that is better than Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE's.
It's unknown if Rayfa needs to get every dance move done precisely in order for the Divination Séance to work.

The Divination Séances mechanic is more-or-less the most complicated cross-examination tactic in the whole Ace Attorney series, edging out mob cross-examinations in the excellent Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. It's not so complicated that it's overwhelming, but unlike things such as the Mood Matrix from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies, you actually get penalised for being wrong. You have to find the contradiction between the information from the Pool of Souls (basically supernatural video recording), Rayfa's Insights (captions), and the five senses the victim would be feeling. Since everyone involved (the victim's memory and Rayfa's insights) is telling the truth, it's different than pointing out a lying witness's deceit with the Court Record.

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice demo Boy's Voice Ahlbi Ur'gaid contradictory sensation Pool of Souls Divination Séance
Boy's Voice is the contradictory sensation, because Ahlbi Ur'gaid is a GIRL.
...I got a penalty from the Judge for selecting that, though.

To be honest, the demo might be too hard for newcomers to the series. Fortunately, Phoenix can Consult with...himself, when you get enough penalties. I did that in the final (for the demo) contradictory sensation I had to point out. Phoenix Wright did not outright tell me the answer (which would be strange for him to do, in terms of canon — since he's the one getting the answers wrong to begin with, not me, since I'm not a character!), but he did subtly give me (himself) a good hint. Very good.

“Good” is how I'd explain my whole experience. The graphics are pretty much the same as Dual Destinies. The limited amount of music I've heard is, I think, not as good as Dual Destinies. But they are clearly going for the whole foreign Asian country theme with the soundtrack. It's not really what I'm into, but I'll get into it.

The demo ended abruptly, as if CAPCOM wanted it on the first thing resembling a cliffhanger that they possibly could.

If you want more goodness from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice, check out this PROLOGUE to the demo (and the game) right here, uploaded by CAPCOM and Nintendo!

...I like it a lot. Good dub and animation! The full game is coming out... September 8! ...On the Nintendo eShop only. It'll be rated T, at least.

Follow Ludwig on Miiverse at NNID PrinceOfKoopas to check out his journey playing Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice! Y'know, once it comes out. Ludwig had to take screenshots of the demo from a camera, because the demo doesn't have its own Miiverse community. Compare this to the demo of Pocket Card Jockey, which can post to Miiverse because the demo is directly from the first part of the game with nothing altered, and you can even transfer progress.

Ludwig can personally confirm the beginning of the game starts differently than the demo, since the game is now out!
If you were wondering if Ludwig ever did get into Spirit of Justice's music, he claims he has in this article.
Ludwig writes through his experience with the Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon Special Demo Version, and notices that Ahlbi and Hau are basically the same person.


  1. The Divination Séance was interesting. I liked the demo a lot and was sad it ended so soon.

    1. We don't know from the demo why the Insights/Pool of Souls were contradictory, so I'm going to maintain my stance that Rayfa got a dance move wrong and it screwed up the whole thing.

  2. Spirit of Justice is said to be better than the unlocalized Great Ace Attorney, and some even say that it is closer to the original trilogy than the past two installments. I certainly cannot wait to download it (although I'd much rather prefer a physical copy).

    1. According to this post, Spirit of Justice feels "more akin to the original trilogy" because of the plot twists.

  3. I tried to play it, but the demo tried to go from 'there are no lawyers in this society!' to 'I'll allow it!' too quickly for my liking.

    I think I'll enjoy the game more if i just play it when it comes out. I'm playing Justice for All on my phone right now, that'll keep me busy until it drops.

    I'm really optimistic for this game, though. It really seems to be highlighting what I really liked about PLXAA, the whole 'exotic' element to the whole thing.


    I only just realized ANOTHER problem with PLXAA's ridiculous ending. How can magic not be real when Spirit Channeling is an established concept in the AA universe? I hate the Layton writer so much.

    1. Yeah, the demo kinda LIED when it said there are no lawyers. I mean, there obviously are, you just don't want to be one.
      ...After all, the defence's bench still exists. So I took the "I'll allow it" to mean "Hey, if you want to die, go ahead, stupid spiky foreigner."

      See, regarding the exotic thing. Rawk hated the magic so much in PLxAA that he never finished the game. He liked that Dual Destinies didn't feature any of that kind of illogical ass-pulling screwery, and keep in mind he's started with Dual Destinies which didn't have spirit channeling so it's a big question what he'll think of the Trilogy whenever he starts it...

  4. Still holding off the demo for the actual game.

    1. Well, did you watch the prologue video there?

      I don't think that's in the actual game, by the way Capcom talked of it.

    2. Oh hey I remember watching that subbed back when it only it was available in Japan.

    3. ...So do I, but I'm pretending I haven't.


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