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List of episode-specific game mechanics

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This article contains information about Ace Attorney media that has been released only in Japan.
The information in this article comes from a game, demo, or other media that has been released in Japan, but not in any predominantly English-speaking country. The subject of this article has not been officially revealed for English versions of this media. English versions of this content are only available through unofficial translations, and names from these unofficial translations are not being used. More information on this can be found here.

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The gameplay articles on this wiki describe game controls in universal terms. This means that some of the controls may not be relevant to the medium through which you are playing the Ace Attorney games. Mentions of the touchscreen refer to the touchscreen functionality on the Nintendo DS and the iOS. "X", "Y", "L", "R", "Select" and "Start" refer to buttons on the Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo DS. The "+" and "-" buttons refer to the small buttons in the middle of the Wii Remote.

The following is a complete list of game mechanics in the Ace Attorney series that are not universally relevant to all episodes in the series. This includes forensic investigation techniques that rely on the touchscreen of the Nintendo DS as well as techniques that simply did not carry over to every episode. The list includes game mechanics used during trials as well as in investigations.


In Farewell, My Turnabout and Bridge to the Turnabout, Phoenix Wright uses an electronic detection tool to find evidence in a presumed crime scene. This mode is similar to "Examine", but a gauge reading "CHECK" appears the the top of the screen and the letters light up in succession as the cursor is brought closer to metal (with the metal detector) or electric current (with the frequency detector), accompanied by appropriately pitched beeping sounds.

Frequency detectorEdit


Frequency detector.

In Farewell, My Turnabout, Dick Gumshoe gives Wright a frequency detector that he made as a kid. The frequency detector reacts to electric currents; Wright uses this to sweep for bugs in Juan Corrida's hotel room and finds one on a large bear doll. The doll turns out to be from Matt Engarde; Wright confronts him and finds that he hired an assassin to kill Corrida.

Wendy Oldbag also uses the frequency detector to sweep for bugs at the Gatewater Hotel, at Miles Edgeworth's request. Edgeworth also uses it at Corrida's house to find spy cameras Engarde had sent to find out about Celeste Inpax's suicide note. In Rise from the Ashes, the frequency detector appears in the evidence room of the Los Angeles police department.

Metal detectorEdit

Metal detector

Metal detector.

In Turnabout Goodbyes, Gumshoe offers Wright a metal detector, a police dog named Missile, and a fishing pole to investigate the area around a boat caretaker's shack, but Wright can only have one at a time. Wright uses the metal detector to find an air tube from Larry Butz's Samurai Dogs stand. The same metal detector was also used in the trial to prove that a bullet was lodged in the shoulder of Manfred von Karma, which made von Karma confess to killing Gregory Edgeworth.

In Rise from the Ashes, the metal detector appears in the evidence room of the Los Angeles police department. In Bridge to the Turnabout, Gumshoe gives Wright the metal detector again to look for clues in the back yard of Hazakura Temple, in which Elise Deauxnim's body was found. Deauxnim's cane was found to double as a sword, the blade concealed inside the cane. In The Imprisoned Turnabout, Gumshoe uses the metal detector in the prison's courtyard, to find a missing weight and the murder weapon, a knife, hidden in the alligator pond.


Main article: Magatama

Maya Fey's magatama.

Starting in Reunion, and Turnabout, Phoenix Wright uses Maya Fey's magatama to see the presence of secrets in individuals as Psyche-Locks. He then undergoes a process in which he questions the witness until all of the locks are broken. The witness then gives in and tells Wright what they know (although information can still be purposefully omitted).


Main article: Bracelet

Apollo Justice's bracelet.

Apollo Justice uses his bracelet to aid him in seeing nervous habits unconsciously performed by others when they are hiding information. In court, Justice uses this ability by focusing on a suspicious part of a testimony and then looking for the nervous habit. The bracelet reacts to body heat, fitting perfectly to the wearer's wrist, so that when someone with the special ability found in the Gramarye line sees a person's tension, they tense up as well. This causes the bracelet to feel tight on their wrist, giving them the hint to look for a tic. In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Justice only uses his bracelet during cross-examinations. However, in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, the ability is expanded to being used during investigations, and is activated in much the same way as Phoenix Wright's magatama. In the courtroom, Simon Blackquill does not allow Apollo Justice to use his bracelet during cross-examinations (by setting Taka on him), but he makes a special exception in Turnabout for Tomorrow.

MASON SystemEdit

Main article: MASON System


Main article: Logic

Little ThiefEdit

Main article: Little Thief
Little Thief

Little Thief.

Little Thief is a simulation device used by Kay Faraday to investigate a crime scene in detail by entering information such as data, people, places, weapons, and other objects related to the crime scene. She will begin by making a recreation based on the data known, and when contradictions are pointed out, she adds the data necessary to resolve the contradiction. Faraday uses this to investigate the stadium and the haunted house remotely in The Kidnapped Turnabout, as well as to re-create a crime scene that had been set on fire in Turnabout Ablaze. After she reunites with Edgeworth in Gyakuten Kenji 2, Faraday uses it again to investigate the stage that was created for the Berry Big animal show in the prison's courtyard in The Imprisoned Turnabout, and later to re-create the orphanage entrance in the filming lot near Big Tower, to investigate the scene of the crime that happened there years ago in The Grand Turnabout. Faraday also introduces a new feature of the Little Thief, where it can switch between different reproductions of the scene at different points in time.

Logic ChessEdit

Main article: Logic Chess

Mood MatrixEdit

Main article: Mood Matrix

Divination SeanceEdit

Main article: Divination Séance

Forensic investigation techniquesEdit

The following tools require the use of the Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS touchscreen.

Luminol and atroquinine indicatorEdit


Luminol spray.


Luminol turns a bright blue upon reacting to blood.

In Rise from the Ashes, Turnabout Serenade, The Forgotten Turnabout, Turnabout Reclaimed, The Rite of Turnabout and Turnabout Revolution, Ema Skye introduces the use of luminol for finding traces of blood on objects. In Rise from the Ashes, it can be used in any location by selecting the luminol spray and pressing "Spray" (X), and then using the stylus to spray on suspicious objects. In other cases, luminol use is restricted to specific parts.

In Turnabout Succession, Apollo Justice and Phoenix Wright use an indicator for the lethal poison atroquinine. This operates almost identically with the usage of the luminol spray in Turnabout Serenade. The poison is found on various places in the victim's residence as well as an envelope that the victim sent.

Fingerprint powderEdit

Ema Skye
Just dust it on... And blow it off!
Fingerprint powder

A fingerprint powder set.

In Rise from the Ashes, Turnabout Corner, The Grand Turnabout, The Magical Turnabout and Turnabout Revolution, Skye introduces fingerprint powder. When the protagonist comes across an object with possibly important fingerprint evidence, a close-up of the area is seen and then the fingerprint dusting mode begins. The Nintendo DS stylus is then used to dust an area of the touchscreen, which appears green with blue grid lines, with powder, and then the player blows into the microphone to blow off the powder. Powder in contact with oil from fingertip contact will stick, forming the fingerprint. The print is then compared with the fingerprint profiles of characters relevant to the case at hand. In Rise from the Ashes, the player may choose a fingerprint to dust at one point.

In The Magical Turnabout and Turnabout Revolution, the pieces of evidence that have unidentified fingerprints are viewed as 3D objects, which can be rotated and moved as needed to show the area where the powder must be applied. Only a finite amount of powder may be applied at one time, but that amount can be easily replenished by blowing the excess powder away. Unlike the cases from previous games, button controls can be used in substitution or conjunction with touch controls and the microphone. Once a print has been uncovered, it must be selected manually, and if it is clear enough, matched with the available data to see who it belongs to.

In The Cosmic Turnabout and Turnabout Reclaimed, fingerprint powder is used by other non-playable characters, rather than the protagonist.



The unstable jar.

In Rise from the Ashes, Wright must piece a jar back together to use it as evidence. Using the bottom piece as a reference, there are eight locations on which the eight pieces fit. Going through each location one by one, Wright must find the fragment that fits each location using the left and right buttons and turn the fragment to the correct orientation using the buttons to the sides of the display.

The ninth and final piece is later found in the safe in Damon Gant's office.



The keypad for Pal Meraktis's safe.

In Rise from the Ashes and Turnabout Corner, the player must input a code into a safe to break into it. Gant's safe is cracked with his ID number, 7777777, and Pal Meraktis's safe is cracked by dusting for fingerprints on the buttons and entering the numbers in the correct order.

Gant's safe contains evidence from the SL-9 Incident that he kept as "insurance" in case his involvement in the incident threatened to be fully exposed. Phoenix Wright opens the safe and finds a piece of Neil Marshall's vest and the final piece of a jar that he was putting together. Both serve as crucial evidence in the trial of Lana Skye in the murder of Bruce Goodman.

Meraktis's safe contains patient information for Wocky Kitaki; in particular, the information includes the failure of Meraktis to remove a bullet from Kitaki's chest, which he claimed earlier had been a success. This would cause the events of Turnabout Corner to unfold. Alita Tiala confronts Meraktis, and Meraktis chokes her. Believing that he just killed her, he steals Guy Eldoon's noodle cart and goes to dump the body into a river, but Tiala wakes up and shoots Meraktis.

Footprint analysisEdit

Apollo Justice
(Plaster, here comes Justice! *sigh*)

The drying process.

In Turnabout Corner, Justice uses a footprint analysis kit to record footprints and shoe prints as evidence. He pours plaster into the print with the touchscreen (if he runs out of plaster, he must restart the process). Then, he uses a dryer to dry the plaster, aimed with the stylus. After that, the print is covered with ink with a roller, also aimed with the stylus, and then the cast is pressed onto paper to give an image of the print on the paper. The print is compared with known shoe prints of relevant characters.

Footprint analysis is used several times to find out who had been traveling on foot in People Park. As it rained on the day of the murder of Pal Meraktis, the ground had many shoe prints to analyze.

In one instance, footprint analysis is used to find a toeprint. The print is suspected to belong to Alita Tiala, but since toe prints are not recorded, Justice must use other evidence to verify his suspicions.


Footprint detector.

Ema Skye also used a footprint detector to aid Edgeworth in his investigation into an apparent kidnapping.

X-Ray analyzerEdit

Ema Skye
It has a real name, but it's much more complicated: the X-Ray Spectralization... something. How am I supposed to remember all that?

X-Ray analyzer.

  • The analyzer in-use
  • "Big winner!" ticket
  • "Try again!" ticket
  • "You lose!" ticket

The X-Ray Analyzer is used in Turnabout Succession to look at the contents of letters without opening them. It features an X-ray display, a layer view display that shows the depth at which the machine is scanning for an image, and a dial that can be turned to change the depth of the layer view. The display is rubbed with the stylus to make displays on layers persist as the depth is changed, thereby allowing the user to be able to see the contents of a piece of paper in full. The rays used are cited to be at a wavelength of 0.05 microns.

Justice uses it on a lottery ticket; the result on the ticket depends on the extent of the player's use of the fast-forward function of the game, showing a win if the function was not used much and a loss otherwise.

Justice then uses the machine on letters addressed to the victim, and then he uses it on the victim's paintings to find that the victim has been following his career.

Non-standard trial proceduresEdit

Video footageEdit

Blue tape

A video tape.

Several cases in the series involve the use of video footage. In Rise from the Ashes, Turnabout Serenade, Turnabout Ablaze, The Imprisoned Turnabout and The Magical Turnabout, videotapes are presented as evidence, and the protagonist must pinpoint instances in the footage that show critical events to prove his point. In Rise from the Ashes, Turnabout Serenade, and The Imprisoned Turnabout, the footage can be played, paused, rewound, and put on fast-forward with the buttons on the touchscreen, and locations of an event of interest can be selected with the stylus. For the two videos in Turnabout Ablaze, only a few still frames are shown in-game, but otherwise the notion of selecting locations of interest stays the same; the mechanics are therefore more like the practice of pointing out areas of interest in photographs, a mechanic that is present throughout the series. At one point in The Magical Turnabout, two pieces of footage must also be switched between as needed to pinpoint a key difference between them.

Videotapes are also acquired as evidence in Farewell, My Turnabout and Turnabout Visitor, but neither are examined in those cases. Video evidence also appears in The Cosmic Turnabout, Turnabout for Tomorrow, and Turnabout Reclaimed, but any gameplay that would distinguish these appearances from standard proceedings is gone.

Audio mixerEdit


Audio mixer.


Audio mixer in-use.

In Turnabout Serenade, Justice uses an audio mixer to search for peculiarities in two song performances during a Gavinners concert. First, he searches for a mistake that occurred during a performance of Guilty Love that has Klavier Gavin upset. Later, in court, he searches for the sound of the gunshot that led to the death of Romein LeTouse during the performance of The Guitar's Serenade.

The mixer has five channels, each of which records a different performer. Each channel's volume can be adjusted by dragging the respective slider. Like the videotape, there are buttons on the touchscreen for playing, pausing, rewinding and fast-forwarding. Each song is divided into four sections and Justice must set the video to the correct section and select the channel that contains the sound of interest.

The latter instance invalidates the alibi of one of the band members.


Main article: Jurist System

Display for Jurist No. 6.

At the end of Turnabout Succession, the six-panel jury decides the verdict. The player takes control of Jurist No. 6 and either presses the buttons with the stylus or presses left for "Not Guilty", right for "Guilty" and "X" to confirm.

Witch trialsEdit

Main article: Witch trial

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