|This jewel... This is called a Magatama. It's a magical charm and it's always protected me..|
The magatama is a sacred charm given to Phoenix Wright by his assistant Maya Fey and given spiritual power by Pearl Fey in Reunion, and Turnabout and Turnabout Reclaimed. Wright keeps the magatama with him for the rest of the series, losing it only once to date. Miles Edgeworth borrows the magatama when he fills in for Wright as defense attorney in Bridge to the Turnabout.
Maya remains unaware of what the magatama actually does after Pearl charges it with spiritual energy until The Stolen Turnabout. This is mostly because of her absence from Reunion, and Turnabout and Farewell, My Turnabout, having been incarcerated and kidnapped, respectively. In Turnabout Big Top, whilst Psyche-Locks appear, Wright doesn't mention them to Maya.
Magatamas are mostly known of and owned by the Fey clan, although occult enthusiasts seem to know of them as well. Dick Gumshoe believed that the magatama was candy due to its slight translucence and smooth texture, and thus tried to eat it on several occasions.
The magatama has a special ability to allow its possessor to see Psyche-Locks, which appear when someone is hiding information from the user. After presenting the magatama to someone, the user can proceed to break the person's Psyche-Locks, using evidence to piece together a portion of the secret being hidden. More deeply buried secrets have more Psyche-Locks on them, which usually means that they are tougher to unlock. Once all of one's Psyche-Locks are broken, that person will finally admit to the truth and will reveal his or her secret in full, elaborating on what he or she knows about the subject in question. This information could be in the form of evidence or dialogue, and it is often helpful in court. Red Psyche-Locks are usually broken in this manner, with some exceptions.
In the original Phoenix Wright trilogy, the magatama is present in the court record and is accessed and used by presenting it like any other piece of evidence. If the person to whom the user is talking has a Psyche-Lock on one of his or her subjects of conversation (under the "Talk" menu), the user will initiate the lock-breaking process by yelling, "Take that!". In Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice, the user instead presses a magatama button (X) in the "Talk" menu to initiate the lock-breaking process.
Wright's magatama needed to be "recharged" in Turnabout Reclaimed, roughly ten years after it was first imbued with spiritual energy.
The rarer black Psyche-Locks are more difficult to break. Only two people are known to have had black Psyche-Locks, and they are not broken through the normal means of presenting evidence or choosing an answer from a list. Instead, the black Psyche-Locks represent a subconscious secret, and forceful attempts to remove them can cause permanent damage to a person's soul. The black Psyche-Locks appear in times of extreme trauma or simply due to sheer paranoia. The first person's never had theirs broken, while the second person's locks were broken by determining that they had stabbed their mother's killer, not their mother as they had previously thought.
Magatamas are often worn by members of the Fey family, although unless charged with spiritual energy, they seem to have no functional purpose. The people known to have magatamas have different colors of magatamas as follows:
- Phoenix Wright and Miles Edgeworth – green (originally belonged to Maya Fey but given to Wright, then temporarily lent to Edgeworth)
- Maya Fey – orange (she presumably had this one as well as the green one she gave to Wright)
- Mia Fey – white/blue (white for sprites, blue for official artwork, and alternates between the two for other in-game images such as cutscenes)
- Pearl Fey – aqua
- Iris – violet
- Bikini – pink
Morgan Fey was not shown to have a magatama. Misty Fey had a magatama according to Godot's recollection of her death. Apparently, Ami Fey had also been wearing a magatama whilst alive, as depicted on her golden statue.
There is a "Lesser Magatama" in the Main Hall of Hazakura Temple. Supposedly, there is a "Greater Magatama" in Fey Manor that was supposed to be on display at the Kurain Village exhibit at Lordly Tailor, but it was too big to fit through the door.
In the Kingdom of Khura'in, some citizens wear green-colored magatamas, although these magatamas are shaped slightly differently from their Kurain counterparts. Normally only one magatama is worn around the neck, however Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in is known to wear five magatamas in a necklace while in her prosecutor outfit. Apart from the standard green magatama, there is also a variant known as the Magatama of Parting, which is used to drive away a spirit from the person channeling it, even without the spirit's consent. The Magatama of Parting appears pale brown when uncharged and glows red when charged with spiritual energy.