A Game Over is a scene given in the Ace Attorney series when the game ends on a negative outcome, usually triggered by depleting the penalty gauge. In most games, a Game Over results in an immediate return to the title screen, but from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies onward, an option is given to resume from the point where the player failed, with a replenished penalty gauge.
Types of Game OverEdit
Penalty gauge depletionEdit
Whenever a player makes a mistake, a penalty may be meted out, which is subtracted from a gauge. When this gauge is depleted, the game ends. When breaking Psyche-Locks in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations, depleting the penalty gauge does not result in a Game Over, but rather, the Psyche-Lock breaking process halts, and the player is forced to start it all over again.
In the main series, when the Confidence Gauge is depleted during a trial, the judge slams his gavel, pronounces the defense's failure to overturn the prosecution's arguments, and then finds the defendant guilty. The courtroom door then slams shut. In the witch trials of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the courtroom door is replaced with the witches' cage slamming shut. The actual words used by the judge vary somewhat between games; for instance, the Khura'inese judge in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice also finds the case's defense team guilty under the Defense Culpability Act. In Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, a context-specific scene will be shown that addresses Miles Edgeworth's failure to ascertain the truth, followed by a scene of a case file closing and the phrase, "Thus the truth was lost for all eternity." In Gyakuten Kenji 2, the same closing line is present, but the rest of the sequence is always Miles (or Gregory during the 2000 sections of The Inherited Turnabout) expressing helplessness at losing the truth against a black background.
Special bad endingsEdit
All main series games except Trials and Tribulations feature a scene in their last case where fulfilling certain conditions will result in the game ending in an alternative and often dark fashion. This often occurs because the player has "lost" in a manner other than having his or her client pronounced guilty.
Rise from the AshesEdit
During Rise from the Ashes, Phoenix Wright can choose to present the Strip of Cloth upon Damon Gant's initial request. Doing so will finger Ema Skye as the murderer of Neil Marshall, and Lana Skye will be found guilty for the murder of Bruce Goodman, her motive being to cover up her sister's actions.
Farewell, My TurnaboutEdit
The original, and perhaps most (in)famous, bad ending in the series occurs in Farewell, My Turnabout. Near the end, Wright is given the chance to present one piece of evidence from a choice of three to a witness. If he presents any combination other than Shelly de Killer's profile and the Video Tape (or presents the Video Tape first), or answers the witness's follow-up question with anything other than "[Engarde] wanted blackmail on you", this ending is achieved. Unable to support his claim regarding Matt Engarde's guilt, Wright can only watch as his client is found "Not Guilty". Wright flees the courtroom out of shame and roams the streets alone, never to set foot in a courtroom again. He never again sees Maya Fey, who had been kidnapped prior to the trial by Shelly de Killer, but knowing that de Killer is a man of his word, he is sure he has released her. Days later, he receives news of the outcome of Adrian Andrews's trial: "guilty," as expected. The miracle he had hoped for never happened. A large part of this scene's infamy stems from a grammatical error in the American version of the Nintendo DS English localization of Justice For All, where the line reads, "The miracle never happen."
At the end of Turnabout Succession, the player is put in control of Jurist no. 6, who is given the opportunity to decide the fate of Vera Misham. If the player selects "Guilty", the verdict is postponed due to a hung jury. The same night, Misham takes a turn for the worse and dies of atroquinine poisoning, leaving the case unresolved. Curiously enough, Misham survives in the good ending, even though the only difference is the verdict, and she had no way of hearing it before recovering.
Turnabout for TomorrowEdit
Turnabout for Tomorrow features three bad endings, all achievable at different times during the trial by depleting the Confidence Gauge:
- If Wright fails to prove Simon Blackquill's innocence after the latter admits his guilt, the judge ends the trial with no change to the UR-1 verdict; Simon Blackquill is then executed the next day as scheduled. As a result of this, Aura Blackquill disappears with the people she took captive the day before, including Trucy Wright, without a trace. Athena Cykes leaves the Wright Anything Agency, Apollo Justice becomes a changed man, and Wright resigns in shame, realizing his uselessness as a lawyer.
- After Cykes' Psyche-Locks are broken, if Wright fails to answer any of the forced questions, Aura stops the trial and demand that Cykes be handed over to her in exchange for the hostages. Wright never hears from either of them again.
- If Wright is unable to prove that Bobby Fulbright is indeed the phantom after suspicion falls on him, Cykes and Simon are acquitted, but the phantom disappears without a trace shortly afterwards, leaving the case unresolved, and the dark age of the law continues, growing ever darker.
Turnabout Reclaimed also features a bad ending that can be achieved by depleting the Confidence Gauge during Marlon Rimes's testimony where he claims he saw Orla Shipley kill Jack Shipley (Trial, Day 2, first Cross-Examination). If Wright cannot prove that Orla did not do this, then the judge will declare Sasha Buckler innocent, whilst Orla is subsequently found guilty and put down soon after.
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Turnabout Revolution features four bad endings, all achievable at different times during the case by running out of penalties:
- If the player runs out of penalties during the civil trial, the judge will rule in favor of the plaintiff, permanently ending the hope for revolution in Khura'in and causing Wright and Justice's relationship to never be the same again.
- If the player runs out of penalties after finding out that Dhurke Sahdmadhi is dead, but before Amara Sigatar Khura'in or Nahyuta Sahdmadhi claims that he killed Inga Karkhuul Khura'in, the trial ends with several remaining unresolved issues, with Justice musing that they never did get the truth out of Amara, and that Inga's murder disappeared into the shadows. Dhurke was found guilty of the assassination attempt of Amara Sigatar Khura'in, and the truth was lost.
- If the plays runs out of penalties after Amara confesses to Inga's murder, but before implicating Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in, the trial ends with Amara arrested and tried for Inga's murder, and Dhurke was found guilty of the twenty-three year old assassination attempt.
- If the player fails to sufficiently prove Queen Ga'ran's guilt after implicating her (including after the revisualization), the allegations against the queen are dismissed. Dhurke is acquitted for Inga's murder, but his true killer and the truth about twenty-three years ago remain unresolved. Justice is forced underground to avoid the queen's agents and joins the revolution.
As a side note, if the player runs out of penalties after the final recess, but before implicating Ga'ran, the usual Game Over message is displayed, but with Nahyuta being found guilty instead of Dhurke.
Phoenix Wright: Asinine AttorneyEdit
While not canon with the official Ace Attorney timeline, Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney features a bad ending as an alternative to a Game Over. The Judge declares Phoenix's failure to prove that Pearl Fey is Rayfa Padma Khura'in, and asks the Bailiff to bring the real Rayfa to the courtroom to be handed over to the terrorist. Ashamed, Phoenix flies back to the United States, hangs up his Attorney's badge, and returns to his life as an amateur pianist.
Apollo Justice: Asinine AttorneyEdit
Like Phoenix Wright: Asinine Attorney, Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney also features a bad ending instead of a Game Over due to its non-canonicity. Rayfa returns to Khura'in with the news that the US has no good tourist destinations. The number of Khura'inese tourists in the States sinks so low that the Gatewater Hotel comes close to bankruptcy. Blaming himself, Apollo Justice takes on unpaid employment there for a while. Interestingly, the hotel is mistakenly called the Gateway Hotel, which is likely a mistranslation.