Search KoopaTV!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Phoenix Wright's Leitmotif Maturity

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Phoenix Wright's leitmotifs follow his growth as a lawyer. Plus, more Ace Attorney stuff to buy.

I just spent about $16 on Ace Attorney content on the Nintendo 3DS: I bought the five Ace Attorney 3DS menu themes that are being sold for $1.99 each, and $5.99 on the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice DLC that came out today!

Special Episode Turnabout Time Traveler DLC Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice
Turnabout Time Traveler! Read all about it from CAPCOM here.

You can talk about why everyone is on a first-name basis besides Edgeworth for that DLC description in the comments below, because I have something to actually discuss in this article besides advertising Ace Attorney stuff.

Something I noticed as I was pissing my money on 3DS home menu themes (which are a total waste of money, but I need to lead by example on giving CAPCOM any Ace Attorney-related cash I can) was Phoenix Wright's OBJECTION! themes. Actually, I noticed this a while before today, but let's try to have clean transitions, shall we?

Mr. Wright's OBJECTION! theme from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations (the 3rd game in the series) is now his leitmotif to be reused for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies (5th game) AND Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice (6th game) Meanwhile, his OBJECTION! theme from the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is what is used for spin-offs, including Ace Attorney spin-offs and crossovers. I'm sure this has nothing to do with whomever is directing the game in question, and everything to do with Phoenix Wright himself.

First, I'd like to submit some evidence.


(Playing all of these at once is ridiculous and trippy. Try it.)

I've already written on the benefits of leitmotifs in terms of establishing an iconic image and characterisation, but the way Ace Attorney does it is truly a demonstration of superb use of leitmotifs.

I apologise if I spoil some of Wright's character development, but I don't think it's really a spoiler since it's the backstory for Dual Destinies. Phoenix Wright has been developing as a lawyer throughout the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy set of games, going through a new OBJECTION! theme which each of those games. As a player, you develop your own lawyer prowess with Mr. Wright, and he gets more confident in dealing with more difficult, trying cases. By the end of Trials & Tribulations, he's at his peak, having conquered all of his demons. He's now self-dependent, without needing his deceased mentor, Mia Fey, to constantly swoop in and Deus ex Machina.

As we know from Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Mr. Wright had gotten... cocky after Trials & Tribulations. Through his overconfidence and carelessness, he got disbarred.

Phoenix Wright flashback Apollo Justice Ace Attorney Klavier Gavin out of your league rock-boy overconfidence cocky arrogant
Phoenix Wright disrespecting Klavier Gavin, instead of his normal habit of sweating at prosecutors.

Phoenix Wright on this haughty path was off his peak from Trials & Tribulations, and that is why the OBJECTION! music used in the Phoenix Wright flashback in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was the one from the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Eventually, after years of introspection and poorly playing the piano, Phoenix Wright got his badge back to reverse the Dark Age of the Law. (Which, based on current events, is already happening.)

And now? Phoenix got an attitude adjustment, and is back at peak-Wright, and so his OBJECTION! themes are riffed off of his Trials & Tribulations theme. HE is now the mentor of both Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes, and he takes his role as the head of the Wright Anything Agency seriously. He even associated Apollo and Athena with being his disciples! Now he's the one who bails out his subordinates, instead of needing to be bailed out.

Again, just to reiterate, the leitmotif that Phoenix has at a given moment is a reflection of his current lawyer skill. (That, and no one uses music from the second game, Justice For All, for anything.) That should also explain why the OBJECTION! themes in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney are based off of the first Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Despite its events likely happening after Trials & Tribulations (while Wright should be at his peak) and before the flashback in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (where Wright regresses), Phoenix Wright needs Professor Layton to do all of his work for him even more than he needed Mia Fey. All Wright did was flop around and be a buffoon in that crossover. So, yup, he deserves the scrub-tier leitmotif. Don't ask me why he has it in the London courtroom, though.

Prosecutor Flynch English London court Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney left his conmmon sense back home
Ah hah! Phoenix Wright left his Trials & Tribulations peak-Wright leitmotif at home!

Well, I think that ties up all of the loose ends of this case, and explains why Phoenix Wright has been sticking to his Trials & Tribulations leitmotif since Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Dual Destinies. Meanwhile, I'll keep enjoying Spirit of Justice, and I can confidently say I'm a fan of its music and have gotten into it.

Now that that's over, let's re-read what I wrote exactly a week ago, when I talked about a lot of other Ace Attorney new stuff all at once:
There's still going to be a FULL episode of DLC for $6 out next week. I probably won't dedicate a whole article to its existence, so be sure to remember it for yourself. Not that there's a rush, I guess.”
Well? I think I did a lot more than just dedicate this whole article to that DLC. This might even be counted in the lately-rare status of non-filler! You tell me, comments section.

To follow Ludwig's progress in Spirit of Justice, the most accurate thing you can do is just ask him. Barring that, you should Follow Ludwig on Miiverse at NNID PrinceOfKoopas, where just tonight he posted the yak moo-ing in Case 3 of Spirit of Justice. Perhaps that's a reference to his affinity for cows from this article?

Should the octopus from the Dual Destinies DLC case have received the Game & Watch Octopus leitmotif?


  1. Justice for All, forever considered by the fandom as the weakest of the trilogy and barely having its main themes originating from it acknowledged (all I can think of that is used is the Magatama theme).

    1. Great Revival originated in Justice For All. That's about it.

    2. There's also Pearl's theme which I remembered now.

    3. True.

      So all Justice For All gets are leitmotifs for characters and the gameplay mechanic it introduced. (Not that Edgeworth was introduced, but Franziska DID share Great Revival with him.)

  2. After listening to the three leitmotifs at the same time, I feel like I can tackle just about any case including Turnabout Big Top.

    1. I stopped my playthrough of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy once I got to Turnabout Big Top.

      ...I'm not sure I'll ever actually return to it. >.>

  3. I do not like that they reworked the latter half of the objection theme from Trials and Tribulations, and have continued to use this version of the song going forward. I much preferred the song in it's entirety.

    On the subject of Justice For All, it's final case may be my all time favorite from the entire series. That alone gives justification for the game to exist. That, and the chance to get to know the characters deeper. I do not think Trials and Tribulations would have made as big of an impact as it does if we hadn't known the characters for two previous games. I can't say if knowing them for three previous games would have increased the impact, but i digress. At any rate, it helped prevent extreme plot dumping in Trials and Tribulations. We all hate when that stuff happens. I suppose Justice For All's biggest accomplishment is allowing the next game to be as ambitious and complex plot wise by building upon the foundation set in the first game.

    1. Well, I did write in this article that Phoenix Wright developed and became more competent over the course of the trilogy—which of course includes Justice For All. 2-2 is particularly important in setting up 3-5.


We embrace your comments.
Expect a reply between 1 minute to 24 hours from your comment. We advise you to receive an e-mail notification for when we do reply.
Also, see our Disclaimers.

Spamming is bad, so don't spam. Spam includes random advertisements and obviously being a robot. Our vendor may subject you to CAPTCHAs.

If you comment on an article that is older than 60 days, you will have to wait for a staffer to approve your comment. It will get approved and replied to, don't worry. Unless you're a spambot.