News Article

Ace Attorney Creator Wanted to End Series at Original Trilogy

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Court continued against his initial wishes

There has always been debate within various forms of entertainment over whether a series or story idea has overstayed its welcome. People may cry out for more, but is it worth the risk of a weakened narrative or overall impact?

In an interview with Official Nintendo Magazine, Ace Attorney series creator Shu Takumi revealed how he wanted the Phoenix Wright saga to end after the third title, Trials and Tribulations:

I felt that Phoenix’s story had been told, and that the series should not continue. Knowing when to end a story is very important and I wanted to avoid dragging it out and having it become a shadow of its former self.

When it was decided that the courtroom clashes should continue, however, Takumi was set against Wright returning to the spotlight:

Years later, when it was decided within Capcom that Ace Attorney 4 would go ahead, my position was that we should change the main character and tell a new story. I didn't plan to have Phoenix in the game, but my colleagues said they wanted him to appear in some form, which is why he ended up being the accused in the first case in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.

Takumi was not involved with the recent Dual Destinies, which combined the presences of Wright and Justice while adding even another new lawyer into the mix, but is far from fully departed from the overall series. He designed the scenarios of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and will also be working on the next Ace Attorney title, although no details on it have yet been revealed.

Do you agree with Takumi's original concerns regarding Phoenix Wright? Let us know in the comments.


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User Comments (40)



WiiLovePeace said:

I agree 100% that the games should've ended at the end of #3. It was simply the perfect end to the trilogy & really should've stayed that way. Though saying that I am still thankful for AAI & DD, AA4 can go away though, it completely ruined the prior trilogy & didn't redeem itself in my eyes as a AA game until the very end.



shonenjump86 said:

Ace Attorney is one of my favorite Capcom series, I had no idea about this. The first 3 games are the best, but I still like the later games. I look forward to more Ace Attorney in the future. I hope there is work on another Ghost Trick game as well.



Peach64 said:

I hate this culture of continuing something until it flops. US TV seems to suffer from it really badly, where as long as something is getting high viewing figures, they keep making it, regardless of wether there's any story left to tell.

No matter how much I love a game, I think I'd always prefer the people who make it to work on something new. The Clover/Platinum guys are a great example of this. Hideki Kamiya refuses to get stuck in that rut. After Resident Evil 2, he moved onto Devil May Cry, then to Viewtiful Joe, and Okami, Bayonetta, and Wonderful 101. All of those games are critical successes, and the first couple are huge sales successes too, but instead of hanging around for the sequels, he moves onto something new.

People complain that sequelitis is driven by money-hungry publishers, but fans are just as bad. Look at the outcry for Valve to release another Half-Life, another Left 4 Dead, another Portal. These were great games, why do they have to force themselves to do another one, when they can go and do whatever they want without limitations?



Einherjar said:

Happens all the time to capcom franchises.
MegaMan X was also supposed to end with 5...and it was stretched to part 8.



DarkKirby said:

There series really went downhill after 3. Apollo Justice was terrible.

PW 3 > PW 1 > PW 2 > Edgeworth Investigations 1 > Dual Destinies > > > Apollo Justice

Didn't play Investigations 2 because I still can't read Japanese.

I actually already knew about this, but "my colleagues" was actually more along the lines of the Capcom executives who said Apollo Justice would sell more if Phoenix Wright was in the game, they were right of course, but they butchered Phoenix and Ema which made me really upset. I would hate Apollo Justice less if it was actually a standalone spin off series and didn't force the integration of characters from Phoenix Wright. There is no explanation as to why none of Phoenix's many friends ever came to help him, or what happened to Iris.

Not to mention the incredibly forced theme of Apollo Justice being "it's too hard to convict people without conclusive evidence", which is extremely ironic when you consider Apollo is himself, and the Ace Attorney series is about DEFENSE ATTORNEYS.

Dual Destinies wasn't terrible but the last case is jam packed with plot holes, and the ending very corny.



MrGawain said:

If people are getting enjoyment out of a game and a company are making money, why shouldn't it to continue? Gamers+Fun=Money.




Jorzha said:

I really liked dual destinies, but i guess i couldn't really complain even if they ended it with the third game. because it was a great ending, but I'm happy they didn't.



LoveSugoi said:

Even though I'm not sorry to see Phoenix Wright continue on into the 3D handheld era, once a series is introducing "successors" that's a sign it's run the course and getting to it's milk phase. This news doesn't surprise me in the slightest.



luke88 said:

Playing dual destinies at the moment and am absolutely loving it, so I'm glad they've continued.



Chibi-Hobo said:

"I think the best way to write an entertaining mystery and make an amazing climax at the end of each story is to have those threads pulled into one conclusion, rather than multiple possibilities."

HOLD IT! — Are you saying that all the stories possible could be told?

"I felt that Phoenix’s story had been told..."

OBJECTION! — (Scratches chin thoughtfully) It seems Mr. Takumi has forgotten the most critical story there was to tell about Phoenix.

(Slams hands down on podium) Indeed, this story had potential world-ending consequences.

(Points straight at the witness) I am referring to, of course, the hand that Phoenix Wright had in saving the planet from the villainous world eater, Galactus!!

"I didn't plan to have Phoenix in the game..."

(Slumps over, blue faced and defeated) Oh right. That was some other series entirely. ......

Well, that story was still MY favorite story.



Bliquid said:

When he finally moved on, that little masterpiece called Ghost Trick happened, so i feel the man.
AA first trilogy is part of gaming history, imho.
The rest, not so much.
Was glad to play more of it, but everything after, most of all the welcome but uninspired DD wasn't nearly as memorable.
Finger crossed for the 6th, though.



worldstraveller said:

@Peach64 I totally agree with you on that, specially when each game has a different story but with the same characters...also the fan greedy demands doesn't help.
when is enough is enough, it's better not oversaturate it...
he can always start something new like you say.



ultraraichu said:

Can't blame him. As long as there is a fanbase, they will always want more. Even if its a spin-off of a game from over 10 years ago that was cancelled or a game that have a 10 at the end of the name.

With that said, I'm glad they continue the Ace Attorney series with the Apollo Justice and Miles Edgeworth game. It was a nice change of pace with a fresh face.



AshFoxX said:

Loved the first game, and I adored Shu Takumi's other DS title Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, but the second Ace Attorney, to me, was a headache. I didn't even make it far past the first case. I didn't like the new 'chains' mechanic at all. In the first game I actually felt like I was solving a case with logic and reasoning, while the second made me feel like I was just beating a dead horse with mind reading chains not knowing why it wasn't working. As a result, never played 3 on in the series, which sucked because I was looking forward to Apollo Justice due to being built for the DS instead of a GBA port.

Unfortunately when a series has such a connected storyline, I can't do myself justice to jump titles in the series. Maybe one day...



SMW said:

If he felt that it should have ended, then they should have listened. I definitely would have been sad seeing the series go away, but then we'd get more outstanding games like Ghost Trick, which I loved!



Nintendo_Ninja said:

As much as I support ending a franchise when there is no life left in it, I think ending this series would be a mistake. It is one of Capcom's most signature franchises nowadays and I think it still has plenty of life left.



CanisWolfred said:

I'm glad the continued with at least Apollo Justice and AA5, as well as PW vs PL, but I'm wondering if they can keep it going any further? I like the series and all, but if it has nowhere else go, ending it soon would be for the best.



AJWolfTill said:

PW 2 was all over the place, the first case was disastrous however that game was remedied largely by the fantastic last case. Thankfully the third game in the series brilliantly tied every case together.

How anyone can prefer Ace Investigations to Apollo Justice is beyond me! The quality of writing is just leagues better in AJ and the characters are actually well rounded.



Aerona said:

Hmm, that's too bad, in a perfect world, the creator would have more control. Still, Phoenix hasn't overstayed his welcome in my house.



MaciejKuczynski said:

What about Dual Destinies' sales? Were they good enough for Capcom to translate the upcoming Ace Attorney game into English?



Shugo said:

I can't believe so many people hate Apollo Justice. I thought it was great and a good refresher to the series by bringing in a new protagonist. The new characters were fantastic and very well-written. And when the dark secret underneath the overarching story is revealed, it's such a huge shocker. It was just such a great game.

Ghost Trick was wonderful, too. Would love to see Takumi break away from Capcom's shackles and be free to do what he wants. He should've been allowed to let Phoenix bow out for an all-new story like he wanted to or to make more all-new games like Ghost Trick. It reminds me a lot of Hideo Kojima; he wanted to end Metal Gear Solid a long, long time ago, but he outright said in interviews that he's basically forced to keep making MGS games.



MAN1AC said:

I literally just finished the 1st game yesterday(Dat 3DS BC) and I liked it a lot. I'm really looking forward to catching up with the series since I hear it gets much better.



Morpheel said:

I honestly liked Apollo Justice Ace Attorney way way way way more than Justice for All.

It was a lot of fun and the first game that wasn't a lazy port on the DS.



garfreek said:

I love the games! They're funny, nice stories with good plots (mostly). I think I'm one of the few people that loved the circus case! The only thing I didn't like about apollo justice was the change in Emma's character. And so far i'm loving dual destinies (it's a shame they dumbed it down though! halfway case 3 and I can see the ending from a mile away!)

I think apollo and Athena have a lot of stories still to tell, i just hope we get to see maya and the gang again in the next entry, I'm really curious what happened to them!



noctowl said:

I think it depends on the gameplay. I'm excited for a new Zelda after... How many in the series now?

But another uncharted after playing four of them? Not so much, unless they really mix it up gameplay wise.



losingtheplot said:

well pokemon was originally going to end after gold and silver. i don't want to think what nintendo would be without it.



ShadJV said:

I thought I've heard this already. Either way, I have mixed feelings. I didn't get to try the series until last year, and after playing through the original trilogy and the subpar (at best) Apollo Justice, I wanted something to look forward to (Dual Destinies, while not as good as the first three, scratched that itch and was way better than the fourth). I don't want to be done with the courtroom fun and say goodbye to Phoenix. Still, I completely understand the creator's sentiments. Perhaps it would have been better to close Phoenix's story and just continue with new characters... Either way, what I do is pretend the last two were an alternate timeline; in some other universe Trucy never happened and Phoenix didn't become a pianist who can't play piano. Nothing can ruin the original trilogy that way.



Marr_the_Great said:

Aw, don't worry, Shu Takumi, this is Capcom we're talking about. They'll extend the series far beyond what's needed then drop it abruptly and never look at it again.



MeloMan said:

I love the series, but not surprised that Capcom forced yet another dev to continue a series that should've ended sooner (it's Capcom afterall), specifically Phoenix. The Ace Attorney series is bigger than Phoenix Wright, but apparently like Labron to the NBA, Capcom must figure this series will only make $ with PW himself... they're kinda right, but still...



yoko19191 said:

@Peach64 Well with begging for a new Half-Life game, it's a different story 'cause we were promised HL3 a VERY long time ago haha



mullen said:

I agree. AA4 should be a start of a new series, just like AAI, AA5 is the worst of all 7 games (excluding Layton one, which I have not played yet), because the game itself doesn't know what's its direction. AAI should be a trilogy as well, then followed by AA4, which should have a totally new name, and all new characters, and even new game system.



khululy said:

@yoko19191 we were never promised half life 3, only half life 2, episode 3.

I'm not really a veteran of the Phoenix wright series as I only played the 2n game on DS when i found it in a bargain bin then went and bought miles edgeworth investigation wich was totally different but still a charming affair and i recently bought, loved and finished dual destinys

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