Contributors: Michael Grimm, Carolyn Gudmundson
The Ace Attorney/Investigations series can be a bit baffling to outsiders these days. Most gamers could pick Phoenix and Edgeworth out of a line up, but with 4 games full of turnabouts and plot to digest, the cast has ballooned out into a much larger affair. To help make the new game a little easier to figure out, here’s a quick overview on the cast of major characters and where they stand. Best of all, it’s spoiler free for those who haven’t solved the original cases, although super sensitive fans might want to skip the last page if they want to be surprised by which characters return as cameos.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Above: That’s one dapper, dashing prosecutor, I mean defense attorney, I mean detective
From his dastardly beginnings as Phoenix Wright’s nemesis, Edgeworth has become less of a cad and more of a good guy over the course of the series. Edgeworth is a bit more serious than Phoenix, and a lot of the franchise’s most dramatic moments revolve around him. After having witnessed his father’s murder, Edgeworth was adopted and raised by legendary lawyer Manfred von Karma to be a ruthless, by any means necessary prosecutor. Edgeworth’s obsession with winning is short lived though, after he loses a series of cases to Phoenix. Soon after, he vanishes to reconsider his methods and returns a much more balanced man, concerned with discovering the truth over everything else.
Though he’s still a little cold, and tends to be stiff and awkward around people, the new Edgeworth is a good guy at heart. Edgeworth’s antisocial manner, serious demeanor, and fabulous cravat are all direct results of his upbringing under Manfred von Karma. While he can be distant, Edgeworth cares deeply about his adopted sister Franziska von Karma. Before the death of his father, Edgeworth was childhood friends with Phoenix and Larry Butz.
His original Japanese name Mitsurugi Meiji, which roughly translates into Clever Blade.
Detective Dick Gumshoe
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Above: Hey pal, don’t ask how I manage to nick the exact same spot while shaving every morning
The perennial lovable dunderhead, Dick Gumshoe is the big-hearted but slow-witted detective that somehow always manages to end up in Phoenix and Edgeworth’s cases. Gumshoe has been in the Ace Attorney series since the beginning, and is probably one of the most recognizable characters. Despite his fundamental shortcomings as a detective, Gumshoe trusts Wright and Edgeworth and is more often than not their ally in investigations. He’s currently dating “Lady Luckless” Maggey Byrde.
Gumshoe tends to call everyone “pal” and one of his running gags involves him getting his pay docked by his superiors for his frequent mistakes. Gumshoe is a parody of the old noir detectives like Philip Marlowe with his trenchcoat and gruff manner of speech and dress, though he’s much more affable than his contemporaries. His name is a triple play on words, as both Dick and Gumshoe are slang for detective, making his name literally, Detective Detective Detective. This could be a reference to the equally redundant Speed Racer character, Inspector Detector.
Franziska von Karma
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Justice for All
Above: What a cracking outfit on this smart as a whip young lady! Sorry
The daughter of legendary disgraced prosecutor Manfred von Karma, and sister to the adopted Edgeworth, Franziska is a legend in the legal world. She became a prosecutor at the age of 13 wanting to follow in the enormous footsteps of her father. Much like her father, she’s ruthless in the court room, not afraid to go to any lengths to win. She hates Phoenix for having bested her father and herself in court multiple times, but much like Edgeworth, has slowly transitioned into a friendlier character. Under her brother’s tutelage she has begun to see prosecution as being more about finding the truth rather than just winning. She still maintains her severe personality though, as well as an urge to punish everything in sight with her trademark whip.