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Pearl Fey
You can see it, can't you, Mr. Nick? You can see the "lock" on that person's heart.
Psyche-Lock

A red Psyche-Lock.

A Psyche-Lock is a mental barrier that an individual possesses, which protects his or her secrets from others. Phoenix Wright's magatama allows its holder to see these barriers manifest as chains surrounding an individual, sealed by red or black locks. Wright is generally the one to use the magatama, though Miles Edgeworth borrowed it once when he temporarily took Wright's place as Iris's defense attorney. As part of the spirit medium training at Hazakura Temple, the nuns use physical trick locks, which greatly resemble Psyche-Locks, to seal spirit mediums in training rooms to ensure isolation.

Red Psyche-LocksEdit

Main article: Magatama
Pearl Fey
The more someone wants to hide their secret, the more locks you will see. If it's only one, I think you can easily unlock it.
Andrews lock

One Psyche-Lock, the minimum number that can appear.

Matt engarde locks

Five Psyche-Locks, the most that can appear at once.

Red Psyche-Locks represent a secret that an individual is consciously trying to hide. The number of locks around him or her represents his or her determination to hide the secret, and this number can vary from one to five. This in turn allows the magatama to be used as a sort of lie detector, largely removing the possibilities of interrogating individuals about knowledge they do not have or being misled with red herrings. However, it is still possible to be misled if someone is technically telling the truth but is hiding something that Wright failed to account for in his initial questioning.

Red Psyche-Locks can be broken by correctly identifying a clue that is related to the secret, though occasionally other methods such as bribery can accomplish this as well. This usually involves presenting evidence or a profile from the court record. The effectiveness of such an action on Psyche-Locks varies; it may take two clues to break a single lock, or a single clue may break four. When the locks break, they shatter with a sound akin to a glass window breaking. Breaking a Psyche-Lock lets Wright know that he is on the right track to uncovering the secret. Breaking all Psyche-Locks tends to leave the target in a mood in which he or she is most willing to divulge more details, generally because Wright has figured out the most critical portions of the secret.

If a mistake is made by presenting the wrong evidence, then the magatama's holder may lose spiritual strength. This was a real and present threat for Wright prior to the end of his disbarment period. Physically, however, although Wright might have exclaimed "ouch" or something along those lines, he did not seem too bothered by it. If too many mistakes were made, a voice would intervene with a warning that, if he pushed himself further, his soul would shatter. Wright would then have to start from the beginning if he wished to try again, and even then, he only had one chance before he had to restart. Fortunately for Wright, however, the fatal threat to his soul never actually came to pass, and he could make as many attempts on Psyche-Locks as he liked. Luckily, when all the locks on an individual were removed, Wright's spiritual strength was restored by half. These dangers to Wright's soul seem to have been rendered irrelevant ever since Pearl Fey recharged his magatama in 2027.

It is possible to stop the process, though if Wright does so, the next attempt has to start again from the beginning, with any locks that were broken completely restored. In Wright's early career, he would usually run into Psyche-Locks and not possess the information necessary to break them until later in his investigation. This would usually happen due to evidence that had not yet been found, but occasionally Wright would lack requisite information on an individual to attack a Psyche-Lock with said individual's profile successfully. In a rare case in 2019, Wright possessed the MC Bomber disc but had to learn that it was a computer virus before using it successfully against Lisa Basil. In another case that year, Edgeworth needed to prove where Larry Butz was at the time of the incident, but could not do so until Heavenly Hall had been added to the map.

Iris, Larry Butz and Herman Crab all showed five red Psyche-Locks, which were not broken conventionally. However, Iris eventually revealed her secret on her own, while Larry Butz and Herman Crab's secrets were eventually revealed in court.

Black Psyche-LocksEdit

Phoenix Wright
(Wh-Whoa! I've never seen Psyche-Locks like these! Dark... Cold... Full of despair... Can I even unlock these things?)
Blackpsychelocks

Kristoph Gavin's black Psyche-Locks.

Black Psyche-Locks represent a secret that an individual keeps subconsciously, without even being aware of it. Forceful attempts to remove them by presenting evidence can cause permanent emotional and spiritual damage. Wright has described black Psyche-Locks as dark, cold and full of despair. The two people Wright has met who manifested black Psyche-Locks presented two very different situations surrounding them.

In Kristoph Gavin's case, the sheer paranoia he showed in hiding his schemes from others caused him to ignore Wright's questioning entirely when asked about his motive for murdering Zak Gramarye. Even when Apollo Justice and Klavier Gavin later found out about Kristoph's spying activities, which had led to the murders of Gramarye and Drew Misham, Kristoph dismissed it all as "quite an entertaining piece of fiction" since they had no evidence to prove it.

CykesBlackLock

Athena Cykes' black Psyche-Locks.

On the other hand, Athena Cykes's black Psyche-Locks stemmed from a traumatic event involving the death of her mother, Metis Cykes. Wright broke these locks by rethinking the entire case and realizing that a mysterious intruder wearing a mask had killed Metis. This caused Athena's memories of the event to return.

GameplayEdit

See also: Magatama

Psyche-Locks appear primarily in investigations while talking to a character. Usually, when a topic button in the "Talk" menu is selected, the protagonist and the character in question discuss the topic in a scripted event, and once this concludes, a check mark appears over the topic button indicating that it has been used. However, when the character in question is unwilling to divulge certain details, Psyche-Locks appear and a Psyche-Lock icon rather than a check mark appears over the topic button. This indicates that the protagonist must use the magatama, which starts a sort of interrogation. In Justice For All and Trials and Tribulations, this is done by selecting the "Present" command and presenting the Magatama from there. In Apollo Justice onwards, a Magatama icon appears on the Talk menu, and is used by touching it or pressing the X button in the same way Apollo's Bracelet is used.

Because Psyche-Locks are used in specific scripted events for gameplay purposes, their appearances can be inconsistent. That is, a character may be hiding something directly related to an inquiry, but Psyche-Locks may not appear, leaving the secrets to be discovered in the trial segments rather than out-of-court.

Differences across gamesEdit

See also: Penalty

In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All, breaking Psyche-Locks is the only way to replenish the Confidence Gauge in a given episode. This means that penalties incurred while breaking Psyche-Locks impact the leeway given in trial segments, and penalties incurred in the courtroom impact the leeway given in Psyche-Lock breaking. Consequently, brute-force guessing is punished throughout an episode, so even if failure to break Psyche-Locks does not directly result in a game over, it is inadvisable to go all-out unless the player does not mind resetting many times or even starting from the beginning. The player should instead make sure that all possible evidence has been gathered.

FulbrightPsycheLock

A Psyche-Lock being broken.

In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations and Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, the Confidence Gauge is replenished at the end of every investigation and trial segment, separating "spirit health" from courtroom penalties. Penalties are removed entirely from investigations as of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, removing the "spirit health" notion from the Psyche-Lock breaking process altogether. This change coincides with (and may be a result of) the Magatama being recharged in July 2027.


List of Psyche-LocksEdit

The following is a list of Psyche-Locks in the Ace Attorney series.

Episode Character Number Color Topic Unlocked? Evidence Required
Reunion, and Turnabout Mimi Miney

(disguised as Ini Miney)

1 Red The Victim Yes Newspaper Clipping 2
2 Red Traffic Accident Yes License Photo, Newspaper Clipping 2 and Mimi Miney's profile
Optional: Ini Miney's profile
Mia Fey 3 Red The Murderer Yes Morgan Fey and Ini Miney's profiles, Cloth Scrap and Black Key
Pearl Fey 2 Red Pearl's Alibi Yes Pearl's Ball, Sacred Urn and Ami Fey's profile
Turnabout Big Top Max Galactica 3 Red Meeting With Russell Yes Ringmaster's Papers, Broken Bottle and Ben's profile
Moe 2 Red "Get Over It"? Yes Léon and Acro's profile
Acro 3 Red About the Wheelchair Yes Léon, Bat and Regina Berry's profiles and Note
Farewell, My Turnabout Adrian Andrews 4 Red Motive for Murder Yes Magazine Clipping, Celeste Inpax's profile, Suicide Report and Attempted Suicide Report
1 Red Why Frame Him? Yes Either Suicide Report or Celeste Inpax's profile, and Celeste's Photo
Wendy Oldbag 4 Red The Victim Yes Autograph
Lotta Hart 2 Red Big Scoop Yes Adrian Andrews' profile and Magazine Clipping
Matt Engarde 5 Red Matt's Secret Yes Either Spy Camera or Transmitter, Stuffed Bear, Matt Engarde's profile, Credit Card Receipt and Picture Card
Optional: Either Adrian Andrews' profile or Magazine Clipping
The Stolen Turnabout Luke Atmey 1 Red Mask☆DeMasque's M.O. Yes Camera Data and Shichishito
Larry Butz 2 Red The Night of the Crime Yes CEO Office Key Card
Optional: Ron's Wallet
Adrian Andrews 2 Red The Sacred Urn Yes Sacred Urn, Treasure Exhibit Poster, Paint Marks and Urn Box
Recipe for Turnabout Victor Kudo

(Known as Old man)

3 Red Trés Bien Regular Yes Lunch Special, Job Listings, Sports Paper and Maggey Byrde's profile
Jean Armstrong 3 Red Maggey's Motive Yes Jean Armstrong's profile, Victor's Note, Magatama and Jean's Loan Contract
Dick Gumshoe 1 Red The Radio Yes Victim's Lottery Ticket
Lisa Basil 3 Red Glen's Trouble Yes Victim's Lottery Ticket, Losing Horse Race Tickets, Furio Tigre's profile, Glen's Calendar and MC Bomber (after updating it at the Criminal Affairs Department)
Viola Cadaverini 4 Red The Head Bandage Yes Repair Bill, Bruto Cadaverini and Furio Tigre's profiles and Scooter
Optional: Viola Cadaverini's profile
Bridge to the Turnabout Iris 5 Red How she knows Wright No N/A
2 Red I Was Frightened Yes Note to Iris and Phoenix Wright's profile
5 Red Why did Elise come here? No N/A
Larry Butz 3 Red The Night of the Crime Yes Hazakura Temple Map (after Heavenly Hall has been drawn on), Iris's profile and Note to Iris
5 Red Something incredible No N/A
Bikini 5 Red Elise Deauxnim Yes Kurain Master's Talisman and Hanging Scroll
Dahlia Hawthorne

(disguised as Iris)

3 Red The Night of the Crime Yes Bikini's profile, either Iris's Testimony or Iris's Hood, and Dahlia Hawthorne's profile (after learning of her execution)
Pearl Fey 5 Red The Night of the Crime Yes Maya Fey, Dahlia Hawthorne (after learning of her execution) and Morgan Fey's profiles, Burnt Letter and Hanging Scroll
Turnabout Succession Mike Meekins 2 Red The Disappearing Trick Yes Trucy Enigmar’s profile and The Amazing Mr. Hat
Drew Misham 2 Red You're Hiding Something Yes Vera Misham's profile
Vera Misham 2 Red The Client Yes Nail Polish and Kristoph Gavin's profile
Valant Gramarye 4 Red The Trick Up His Sleeve Yes Stage Pistol, Trucy’s Locket, Commemorative Stamp, and Thalassa Gramarye’s profile (after presenting Trucy's Locket to Zak Gramarye)
2 Red Magnifi's Death Yes Transferal of Rights and Zak’s Confession
Zak Gramarye

(in his Shadi Smith clothes)

3 Red The Gramarye Secret Yes Either Stage Pistol or Commemorative Stamp, Apollo Justice’s profile, and Thalassa’s Portrait
Kristoph Gavin 5 Black Reason for murder No N/A
Turnabout Reclaimed Pearl Fey 1 Red Relation to Rimes Yes Rifle's profile and Calendar
Norma DePlume 2 Red Why You're Here Yes Magatama (recharged) and Security Footage
Herman Crab 2 Red The Monitoring System Yes Security Footage and Security Card
5 Red Shipshape Aquarium's Secret No N/A
The Cosmic Turnabout The phantom (disguised as Bobby Fulbright) 2 Red Why You're Being Cooperative Yes Evacuation Report and Candice Arme's profile
Turnabout for Tomorrow Yuri Cosmos 3 Red Behind the Switching of the Launch Pads Yes Clay Terran and Simon Blackquill's profiles
Athena Cykes 5 Black Did I kill my mother? Yes N/A (broken in court)
The Rite of Turnabout Beh'leeb Inmee 3 Red The High Priest Yes Lady Kee'ra's Warning, Envelope and Warbaa'd Arrow
Datz Are'bal 4 Red Datz's Plan Yes Nahmanda Flower, Brand New Flag, Dhurke's Law Book and Attorney's badge
Turnabout Time Traveler Larry Butz 2 Red What Larry Is Hiding Yes Ellen Wyatt's profile and Business Card Wallet
Pierce Nichody 3 Red Pierce's Secret Yes Sorin Sprocket's profile, Newspaper Article and Lift Bloodstain

MusicEdit

There are three pieces of background music used when an attempt is made to break Psyche-Locks. The first is simply titled "Psyche-Lock" and is used in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. The second is "Psyche-Lock 2007", a slightly more intricate version used in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney. The third is "Psyche-Lock 2013", used in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies and Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice.

The Psyche-Lock theme is featured on the Gyakuten Saiban Meets Orchestra album as the opening section of a Fey clan-themed medley called "Kurain Genealogy" (consisting of the Psyche-Lock theme, "Dahlia Hawthorne ~ Distant Image", "Elise Deauxnim ~ Gentle Melody", and "Turnabout Sisters Theme").

LocalizationEdit

In the Japanese versions of the games, the Psyche-Locks are called Saiko rokku ("Psycho Locks"), while Miles Edgeworth mistakenly calls them Saikoro-jō ("Dice Locks"). In the English localization, Edgeworth and Drew Misham refer to them as "psycholocks" and "psycho locks", respectively, a possible reference to their original name. This joke continues any time others hear about the Psyche-Locks in the English version.

In the Spanish localization, they are called "Psico-Candados" (literal equivalent of "Psyche-Locks"), while Edgeworth calls them "Loco-candados" (Psycho[path] Lock) instead. Drew Misham, however, calls them "Psico-candados", calling them properly.

In other mediaEdit

NotesEdit

  • Bridge to the Turnabout has the most Psyche-Locks and Psyche-Lock sets of any episode, with a total of 33 locks distributed among 8 sets (including those that are not broken during the game).
  • The Cosmic Turnabout has the fewest, with only 1 set of 2 Psyche-Locks.

See alsoEdit