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Barok van Zieks was a legendary English prosecutor. He was known as the "Death God of the Old Bailey" due to the fact that all defendants that he had prosecuted would supposedly wind up dying in some way or another, regardless of their innocence or guilt. This "curse" eventually led to a five-year leave of absence. Upon his return, he prosecuted trials against Ryūnosuke Naruhodō.
When Barok van Zieks first became a prosecutor, his brother, Klimt was already chief prosecutor. He had an exchange friend named Genshin Asōgi who seemed to betray him by killing his brother as a serial killer. Before Genshin was arrested for his crimes, both he and Barok were attacked in the alleys of London late at night. At this time, Barok thought he was the one being targeted as he was previously attacked multiple times before for being the younger brother of a noble, high-ranking prosecutor.
Baron's first case as a prosecutor was for the Professor serial killings, where the murderer, who was believed to be Genshin at the time, used a huge hound dog to kill people of noble ranking. The fifth and final victim of the killings was his brother Klimt van Zieks. The case had shook the whole of London, and the trial was held in secret under orders from the Queen. Barok, who wanted revenge for his brother, pleaded Vortex multiple times to be allowed to take the case. Eventually, he was granted permission to prosecute Genshin and Vortex provided him assistance in court.
Barok lost his second case as a prosecutor after the defendant, Chalan Musgave, bribed the jury into giving him a non guilty verdict. Three days later, he died after being crushed by a concrete block under a construction site. Since then, Barok was labelled as the Reaper. Anybody who received a non guilty verdict in his trials would mysteriously die within the next few days or months. In response, the people of London spread the rumour that the Reaper was actually the ghost of Klimt van Zieks. Because of this curse, Barok is frequently attacked by underlings of victims of the Reaper. According to Sherlock and Vortex however, he is rarely defeated by them.
Encounters with Naruhodō Edit
Return to the courtroom Edit
- Main article: The Adventure of the Runaway Room
After a five year absence, van Zieks returned to prosecuting. He prosecuted Cosney Megundal, who was accused of murdering Mortar Milverton, against Japanese defense attorney Ryūnosuke Naruhodō. Despite pressing his case, van Zieks lost, and Megundal received an unjust acquittal. However, Megundal was killed in a fire shortly afterword, provoking the Death Bringer curse.
A simple case Edit
- Main article: The Adventure of the Clouded Kokoro
Soon after Megundal's trial, van Zieks prosecuted Sōseki Natsume, who was accused of the attempted murder of Viridian Green. van Zieks again faced off against Naruhodō in the trial. Although van Zieks lost this case as well, justice was served, as Joan Garrideb, one of the case's jurors, was revealed to have accidentally stabbed Green in the back. This makes Natsume the first defendant of van Zieks to go free and live.
A simple case's aftermath Edit
- Main article: The Memoirs of the Clouded Kokoro
The following day, Natsume was put on trial again, this time for the attempted murder of William Petenshy. van Zieks prosecuted this case against Naruhodō, and again lost. It was revealed that Viridian Green was actually Petenshy's attempted murderer. But Petenshy wasn't innocent either as he actually killed Green's fiance, Duncan Ross, in an attempt to get a hidden treasure.
Lestrade's trial Edit
- Main article: The Adventure of the Unspeakable Story
About two months later, van Zieks prosecuted Gina Lestrade, who was accused of murdering Hatch Windibank. Again, van Zieks prosecuted against Naruhodō and lost, after it was revealed that Windibank was murdered by Robert Crogley. Here, it was revealed that Megundal's death was actually caused by a fake bailiff paid by Crogley.
Naruhodō's return, and prosecuting a friend Edit
- Main article: The Return of the Great Departed Soul
Six months after Lestrade's trial, van Zieks prosecuted another case against Naruhodō, where scientist and van Zieks's former fellow university student Benjamin Dobinbough was accused of murdering Elyder Meningen. Once again, despite the assistance of his "Masked Disciple", van Zieks lost after it was revealed that Enoch Drebber conspired with Courtney Sithe to kill Meningen.
In the defendant's seat Edit
Some time later, van Zieks found himself accused of murdering Tobias Gregson. He initially rejects any attorneys that offer to help his case. Barok later comes to trust Naruhodō after he shows him a photo that Gregson left on his table. The photo was taken back when Barok was still an assistant prosecutor and his brother was still alive. With Kazuma Asōgi prosecuting the case, it was revealed that Gregson's killer was actually Seishirou Jigoku, a Japanese judge who was being blackmailed by Chief Justice Hart Vortex. Eventually, the truth behind the Professor killings is revealed and he is visibly shaken when he learns that his brother Klimt was the true identity of the Professor. It is also revealed that van Ziek's curse was actually a conspiracy led by Vortex who had Gregson and Ann Sasha kill all the Not Guilty defendants. He also forced Watson to change the autopsy records of those killed by the Reaper. Gregson and Watson only accepted on the condition that Barok would not be held responsible for the Reaper killings. Vortex had chosen Barok to bear the weight of being the Death God as he knew that the people of London would spread the rumour that the Death God was actually his brother Klimt Van Zieks handing out justice to criminals who bribed their way to a 'not guilty' verdict. Vortex had taken advantage of Barok's strong attachment for his older brother, knowing that Barok would willingly accept the curse to feel as if his brother was by his side, even if it was just a rumour that was being spread around.
Van Zieks was most well known for the "curse" that befell everyone whom he prosecuted. At least some of the deaths were due to natural causes (according to Sherlock Holmes) or the machinations of others unrelated to van Zieks. Among his defendants, Sōseki Natsume, Gina Lestrade, and Benjamin Dobinbough are not known to have died shortly after their trials, all of whom had Ryūnosuke Naruhodō as their defense attorney.
Van Zieks's bench attitude was dominated by a contradictory mix of imperturbable refinement and theatrics. He was extremely unflappable, rarely showing any sign of distress until late in a trial, and even then his reactions were quite muted. Though interested more in finding the truth than his win record, he did not cut the defense any slack. He had a wry sense of humor and often used snark at the expense of the defense, their assistants, and any other witnesses he found bothersome. He became notably upset when someone he trusted betrayed him. He did appear to have some sort of soft spot, as he personally ensured that a witness who had tampered with a crime scene to make an anniversary date kept his job.
Van Zieks often got away with outrageous actions at the bench, though this was tempered by a semblance of social grace. Aberrant behavior such as slamming the desk with his boot to object was frequently followed up by an apology for the behavior. Such apologies were obvious lip service as he did not make any actual effort to moderate his actions or mocking. Prominent among his bizarre bench behavior was his habit of bringing wine, though he only rarely actually drank the glasses that he poured. Instead, he smashed them wantonly to intimidate the defense and emphasize his points. When the court proceedings required van Zieks to change tacks, he would fling his bottle into the gallery behind him with little regard to whom it might hit. Over three cases that he prosecuted against Naruhodō, at least three bottles and 19 glasses were broken. Despite all this, the prosecution's bench and van Zieks's clothes would remain immaculate.
Van Zieks had a close Japanese friend who for some reason betrayed his trust and deeply wounded him. This caused the prosecutor to develop a resentment for all Japanese people. This was seen in his treatment of Naruhodō, never using his name in court as a sign of disrespect. Eventually, however, Naruhodō's attitude and dedication to the truth intrigued van Zieks. While the prosecutor has preference for prosecuting heinous crimes, he broke habit in order to have the opportunity to match up against Naruhodō once more. It appears van Zieks is something of a celebrity figure because many tabloids posted speculation columns on why he was taking on a seemingly ordinary case.
Van Zieks was rather more familiar with Sherlock Holmes and his stories than he was willing to openly admit, but he mistrusted the detective's tricky antics and inventions as far as courtroom proceedings went.
One of Barok's few weaknesses is his deceased brother Klimt. He is always shown grabbing his badge during his damage animations and when talking about the Professor case. This has a different meaning, however, when it's revealed that the badge actually belonged to Klimt. During the final case of this second game, he was shown to be quite shaken while uncovering the mysteries behind the Professor, eventually leading to him screaming in shock when Naruhodō reveals that the serial killer was in fact his own brother.
- Shu Takumi conceived of Barok Van Zieks as a prosecutor who could make sure that his defendants could not escape, even under a 19th-century jury trial setting. To fulfill this concept, Takumi came up with the "curse" and subsequent "god of death" persona.
- Van Zieks's name was at first conceived as "Prosecutor Rival", but this was quickly dropped due to it being too obvious. Shu Takumi has stated that there is an origin behind the finalized name, however he considers it too embarrassing to talk about. The surname may be a pun on the term banjikyūsu (万事休す) meaning "all is over" or "nothing to be done".
- In order to make him seem more "English", van Zieks has a unique design for his speech bubbles that is blue and white, rather than the usual red and white.
- Kazuya Nuri incorporated themes of vampires, wolves and fallen angels in van Zieks's design to illustrate the theme of a god of death and an upper-class character. The fallen angel theme is shown most explicitly in a cross-shaped scar across the bridge of his nose, as well as in a post-Nintendo Direct trailer of Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken, which briefly depicts black wings behind van Zieks as he is introduced. Moreover, compared to other characters in the game, his movements are slower, emphasizing the refined upper-class theme.
- Van Zieks's wine-flinging habit was likely inspired by a well-known scene in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night where Dracula throws a wine glass during a pre-battle monologue.
- The animation of van Zieks performing a desk slam with his foot was originally conceived for Godot.
- In the ending credits for the second game, it is revealed that Barok's prosecutor's badge is actually his brother's. Barok had left the courtroom five years ago as he was unable to bear the burden and pressure that came with being labelled as the Reaper.
- ↑ "Twitter / nurikazu_: え～、りゅうのすけ168、あそうぎ174、すさと153、ほーむず183、あいりす120、じーな160cm…となっております。 オマケで…ほそなが178、ばんじーくす192、ボルテックス196cmでございます。あくまで僕のなかでですが。" Twitter. 2015-12-15. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
- ↑ Court-Records Forums - "DGS at NicoNico Chou Kaigi (Update 3: Gameplay footage)" Accessed on 2015-04-29
- ↑ 「大逆転裁判」より、缶バッジとクリアファイルが登場です！. cafereo. Retrieved 2015-05-20.
- ↑ 【先出し週刊ファミ通】『戦国BASARA4 皇』発売日決定！ 『大逆転裁判』、『ドラゴンズドグマ オンライン』など、カプコン4タイトルを紹介！（2015年4月2日発売号）. Famitsu. 2015-03-31. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
- ↑ Specifically in Case 5 when Detective Gregson makes a deal with a culprit to suppress the truth.
- ↑ Ash. Takumi Special Interview. Court Records Forums. Retrieved 2015-10-24.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Bolt Storm. DGS in Famitsu 4/2: Full Scans. Court Records Forums. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
- ↑ Ash. Capcom Legends interview with Nuri (art director DGS). Court Records Forums. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
- ↑ Ash. Re: DGS in September 2015 Dengeki Nintendo. Court Records Forums. Retrieved 2015-08-29.