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Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

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Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
PLvsPWAA NA boxart
Japanese title レイトン教授 VS 逆転裁判 (Layton-kyōju VS Gyakuten Saiban)
Genre Visual novel
Developer Capcom*
Release Nintendo 3DS
Number of players 1
Media Nintendo 3DS Game Card
Rating CERO: B
PEGI: 12

ACB: PG[4]

A legendary puzzle investigator joins the greatest attorney crack the ultimate case!
Nintendo Direct trailer

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (レイトン教授 VS 逆転裁判, lit. "Professor Layton VS Turnabout Trial") is a crossover adventure puzzle video game jointly-developed by Level-5 and Capcom and published by Level-5 for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a crossover between the Ace Attorney and Professor Layton adventure series; it is the seventh game of its kind released for the Ace Attorney series, and the sixth of its kind released for the Professor Layton series. It features scenario designs from Shu Takumi, series director for the first four games in the Ace Attorney series,[5] though he was not in charge of the script.[6] The game combines the trademark puzzle and trial themes from each respective series.[7] The Capcom part of the development team was put in charge of the art.[8]

The game was released in Japan on November 29, 2012, with a Western release date over a year later in 2014 (March 28 for Europe, March 29 for Australia, and August 29 for North America).[3][9]

Plot premiseEdit

Professor layton ace attorney-art

An anime-style cutscene from an early version of the game showing the characters Professor Layton, Luke Triton, Phoenix Wright, and Maya Fey watching the Storyteller moving through the town.

Upon inspecting a suspicious-looking book, Hershel Layton, Phoenix Wright, Luke Triton, and Maya Fey all find themselves in Labyrinthia, a strange medieval-style city in a different world from their own that has recently been falling victim to a number of seemingly impossible occurrences. The town is controlled by sinister individual known only as "the Storyteller", and its shadows conceal witches.[7] When a girl named Espella Cantabella is accused of witchcraft, Wright takes on her defense in "witch trials", where the familiar procedures of the Ace Attorney games are thrown out, and he must contend with an entire mob of conferring witnesses.


The idea of a crossover between the Professor Layton and Ace Attorney series was a corporate one. Shu Takumi had apparently not known much about the project until well after development had begun on it. Alhough Level-5 president Akihiro Hino was a fan of the Ace Attorney series, Professor Layton producer Jun Suzuki had never played any of the games before the crossover began development. The development team went through a trial-and-error process to see how best to merge aspects of the two series. The conflicting art styles of the two games was also a problem, which resulted in a compromise between the two (e.g., Wright is drawn more simply than in his games, while Layton is drawn in more detail).[8]

The transition to 3D models was new to the Ace Attorney series, which previously only used brief instances of 3D imagery in Rise from the Ashes and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. While Takumi had stated his preference for 2D graphics in his games in the past, he accepted that the transition to the 3DS made 3D graphics inevitable, and that a 3D environment would add depth, character, and flexibility to the game's depictions of the courtroom.[8]


Professor Layton VS Phoenix Wright

The Japanese logo for the game.


English logo.

The game was officially announced at the Level-5 Vision 2010 press conference on October 19, 2010.[10] The game was first teased as a crossover between Capcom and Level-5 by Keiji Inafune, then head of Capcom's R&D Management Group, who was talking to Japanese business magazine Diamond prior to the Tokyo Game Show 2010. He mentioned that he had great respect for Akihiro Hino.[11] On September 25, 2010, the game was accidentally outed on Twitter when Jiro Ishii of Level-5 accidentally tweeted to Jin Fujisawa of Square Enix, "Huh? Oh, Gyakuten XX. I'm making it, with Mr. Takumi!" in Japanese, which led to rampant speculation of a new Ace Attorney game being developed by Level-5, similarly to how new Capcom games from established franchises are being developed externally.[12] Jiro Ishii quickly covered up this leak by tweeting later that day, "A misunderstanding seems to be spreading, so let me say that I'm currently working only on Time Travelers." This evidently turned out to be false; Ishii was working on both titles.[13] A Nintendo Dream magazine issue later featured the game and Gyakuten Kenji 2.

A year later, the game made a reappearance at the Tokyo Game Show in September 2011, as well as at the October 2011 Level-5 World event and the January 2012 Gyakuten Saiban Anniversary Event, all of which focused on the Phoenix Wright gameplay. It was then revealed that a 2012 Japanese release was planned. A year after that, the release date was revealed some time before another showing at Tokyo Game Show 2012.

The game made another appearance on Nintendo Direct, this time with an English logo and localized names for the characters "Mahoney Catalucia" and "Jeeken Barnrod" (Espella Cantabella and Zacharias Barnham, respectively)[14].


Wright vs Layton

Wright and Layton face each other in court.

The gameplay is a combination of gameplay elements from both series, featuring the trademark puzzles from the Professor Layton series as well as trials from the Ace Attorney series. Professor Hershel Layton has to solve the mysteries of the strange world he has found himself in, while Phoenix Wright participates in "witch trials", which are similar to the court trials in the Ace Attorney series, to prove the innocence of his client, who has been accused of witchcraft.[7] The game also features fully-voiced anime style cutscenes that are common in the Professor Layton games, but were a first for the Ace Attorney series.[5]

Gunshū SaibanEdit

Shu Takumi
When you try to imagine medieval court proceedings, you tend to picture these mob scenes with people shouting out accusations at the tops of their lungs. It's a crazy scene, and since this game's set in a medieval city, I wanted to present a court the likes of which we've never seen before.

Gunshū Saiban (lit. "Mob Judgment") is a gameplay feature that represents the chaotic Witch Trials in Labyrinthia. At times, Wright must "cross-examine" a group of several witnesses, who may freely confer with one another.[8] Witnesses can also jump in or leave the group at any time.



Ace Attorney seriesEdit

Nick & Maya

Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey in an animated cutscene.

  • Phoenix Wright is a renowned defense attorney who must defend a client accused of witchcraft.[7]
  • Miles Edgeworth is a prosecutor and rival to Wright. He makes a cameo appearance during the game's epilogue, as well as appearing in one of the downloadable "Special Episodes".

Professor Layton seriesEdit

  • Professor Hershel Layton is a famous archaeology professor with a fascination for puzzles. This love of puzzles has solved numerous mysteries and put his name in the papers many times.
  • Luke Triton is the self-proclaimed apprentice of Professor Layton and follows him everywhere to assist him with his investigations.
  • Barton is a constable from Scotland Yard working under Inspector Chelmey.

Exclusive charactersEdit

London charactersEdit

  • Flynch is the prosecutor for Espella Cantabella's London trial; he bears a striking resemblance to Winston Payne from the Ace Attorney series.

Labyrinthia charactersEdit

  • The Storyteller is the sinister ruler of Labyrinthia. Whatever story he writes comes to pass as events in the real world.
  • Zacharias Barnham is a local Inquisitor. A red-haired knight in a suit of plate armor, he wields a sword that he points at his courtroom opponents in a similar manner to the iconic finger points of various lawyers in the Ace Attorney games. He is highly esteemed for his work among the townsfolk to the point that he is regarded as somewhat of a celebrity.
  • Darklaw is the High Inquisitor of the city, as well as Zacharias Barnham's superior.
  • Kira is a flower girl who is one of the witnesses in Espella's witch trial.
  • Knightle is a young man striving to be a knight who is a witness in the first witch trial.
  • Mary is an old woman who sells milk. She is one of the witnesses in the first witch trial.
  • Wordsmith is an old man who is one of the witnesses in the first and last witch trials.
  • Emeer Punchenbaug is a loud and drunk man who shows up as a witness in two witch trials. He drinks a lot during proceedings.
  • Patty is the owner of a local bakery who is usually kind and motherly, but become very strict and defensive when it comes to bread. Wright and Fey end up working for her.
  • Newton Belduke was an alchemist living in Labyrinthia until his death three months before Layton and Wright's arrival.
  • Jean Greyerl is the young butler of the late alchemist Newton Belduke, and has been looking after Belduke's home since his death.
  • Carmine Accidenti is a former student of Professor Layton. He contacts his former teacher to beg his help in saving Espella Cantabella and solving the mysteries of Labyrinthia.
  • Eve is a black cat owned by Espella Cantabella.


  • This is the first Ace Attorney in which all interjections are voiced, even for minor characters. In the main series, voiced interjections are usually limited to attorneys and prosecutors, with rare exceptions.
  • There is a variation in the epilogue courtroom scene depending on the save state of the loaded game. On a first playthrough, a short scene plays in which Wright faces off against Miles Edgeworth in the courtroom. However, if the player loads a cleared file in order to play through the game's finale again, Wright will instead be in a trial in an English courtroom against Flynch.
  • The North American release of the game is near-identical to the UK version, in that Luke Triton is voiced by Maria Darling (rather than Lani Minella, the usual Triton voice actress for North American releases of the Professor Layton games) and the British English spelling of words is used instead of American English.


Box art galleryEdit


  1. Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney Japanese date set Accessed on 2011-09-15.
  2. Court Records - Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney - 3/28 EU
  3. 3.0 3.1 E3 2014 Nintendo Digital Event
  4. (2013-07-18). ACB's Rating for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Australian Classification Board. Retrieved on 2014-09-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Johnny Cullen. Level-5 conference report: Time Travellers confirmed for 3DS, Layton-Ace Attorney crossover announced. October 19, 2010. VG247. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  6. Nintendo Dream. Retrieved on 2010-11-21.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Anoop Gantayat. Professor Layton Crossing With Ace Attorney. October 19, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Kevin Gifford. TGS: Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: The Inside Story. September 14, 2011. 1UP. Retrieved on September 14, 2011.
  9. Court Records - Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney - 3/28 EU
  10. Anoop Gantayat. Level-5 Vision 2010 Live Blog. October 19, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  11. Anoop Gantayat. Capcom and Level-5 Teaming Up. September 22, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  12. Anoop Gantayat. Is Level-5 Making a New Ace Attorney? September 25, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  13. Anoop Gantayat. Jiro Ishii Says No to Ace Attorney Repots (sic). September 25, 2010. Andriasang. Retrieved on October 19, 2010.
  14. Court Records - Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney - 3/28 EU

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