Ace Attorney Creator Wanted To Discontinue The Series After Ace Attorney 3

By Ishaan . March 13, 2014 . 11:32am

Speaking with Official Nintendo Magazine in the U.K., Ace Attorney series creator Shu Takumi says that, after working on the third game in the original Ace Attorney trilogy, he was against the idea of creating a fourth game.


“I felt that Phoenix’s story had been told, and that the series should not continue,” Takumi revealed. “Knowing when to end a story is very important and I wanted to avoid dragging it out and having it become a shadow of its former self.”


Regardless, Takumi did go on to work on Apollo Justice, the fourth game in the series, and as he has stated in the past, he was against bringing Phoenix Wright back for the game.


“Years later, when it was decided within Capcom that Ace Attorney 4 would go ahead, my position was that we should change the main character and tell a new story,” Takumi says. “I didn’t plan to have Phoenix in the game, but my colleagues said they wanted him to appear in some form, which is why he ended up being the accused in the first case in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.”


While the latest game in the series, Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, brought both Phoenix and Apollo back—and also introduced a new attorney in the form of Athena—Takumi wasn’t involved with the title. He is, however, involved with a brand new Ace Attorney game that he says will be “completely different” from past titles.

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  • Lusankya

    Well, good thing they didn’t discontinue the series. And considering Takumi works on a new Ace Attorney game right now he is probably glad as well.

    • Ash_Riot

      Probably. Maybe. Who knows? He doesn’t want to be another Kojima and I can respect that. Ghost Trick was amazing and I like it more than any Ace Attorney game.

      • Zoozbuh

        Ghost Trick was a beautiful game and I loved it, but I wouldn’t go that far. If Ace Attorney ends, it’ll be a HUGE shame and lots of people will be depressed. Of course I do understand where he’s coming from though.

  • Rudy Soto

    Reminds me when Capcom gave Mega Man X6 the go ahead when Keiji Inafune was planning to continue the tale with Mega Man Zero, giving birth to Replica X.

    • D H

      Which, in my opinion, worked out for the best, as I’d much prefer neither Zero or X go fully Maverick as the original X would have had that story line played out.

  • I thought this was old knowledge.

    • Testsubject909

      Yeah. But there are always new fans who need to know.

  • AuraGuyChris

    Oh yes, he returned in the fourth game…as a hobo who knew too much about how the world worked.

    • British_Otaku

      Hobo Phoenix and Uncle Dante, both popped up in the fourth installment as a new character is introduced as the “lead?” in a 2008 release.

      Capcom seemed to be really afraid of reaching out with a fresh idea for an ongoing franchise… Makes for amusingly weird takes on familiar characters though even if it makes especially no sense in AA4’s case.

      • Kaihedgie

        Companies in general are afraid of trying new ideas because gamers these days flip their lid over the smallest changes.

        • Ash_Riot

          Raiden in MGS2 and Nero in Devil May Cry 4 spring to mind. Butthurt fanboys who don’t like change.

  • NeptuniasBeard

    Yeah, after playing the whole series, I look back to Apollo Justice and say that the biggest flaw of that game was bringing Phoenix back. It pretty muched robbed poor Apollo of his shot as the protagonist. And Dual Destinies dropped pretty much any plot threads from his game. Isn’t it sad, Polly?

    • Pinwheel

      The gigantic outcry from the fanbase to bring back Phoenix made it so. It’s a fucking shame too, I really like Apollo. He would’ve made a fine new main character.

      • NeptuniasBeard

        The fanbase almost certainly would have complained, but Capcom was ultimately the one that lacked faith that an entirely new cast would have been good for the series (read: have been profitable)

        I can’t say for 100% certain, since I’m one of the few who STARTED with AA4, then went back. But I at least would have liked having that game start fresh, especially since the original cast all wrapped up their character arcs.

    • kylehyde

      You really nailed it. Certainly it would be a big benefit for the game that Apollo would have all spotlight, in the end it was like U2 opening for the Artic Monkeys.

    • They should have done the same as the Investigation games, put Phoenix as an Easter Egg cameo!

      Giving him a quite important role in Apollo Justice
      *puts shades*
      did hurt Apollo’s case.

      And while I liked Hobo Phoenix, some also didn’t like that a bit so in the end they failed to please the hardcore Phoenix fans and thus Dual Destinies.

    • Zoozbuh

      Personally, I think Dual Destinies was a way bigger issue than Apollo Justice. I mean, the writing in AJ was still stellar and very entertaining- they could have gone more into his backstory and made him a proper protagonist in Ace Attorney 5… But instead, they went with a new writer and completely discarded any plot from Apollo Justice, which I was really disappointed about! Apollo Justice was NOT as bad as everyone made it out to be, it still had the flavour of the series.

  • new_tradition

    I remember reading something about this. On one hand, I like Phoenix, but seeing him get screwed over, turn jaded and arguably turn 180 character wise in GS4 sucked.

    But what was worse was that Apollo got screwed out of his time in the light. Probably Capcom doing right by him in GS5 was the best part of that game for me.

    But then they sort of retconned Phoenix’s character, at least during his POV.

    Now I wonder how the series would’ve continued keeping Nick on the sidelines and letting Apollo lead…

  • I really had mixed feelings when I first heard about this a while back. On the one hand, my biased, silly fanboy side was shouting baseless objections about how it was good to keep Phoenix alive (game wise) while the more thoughtful side of me looked back through the games and agree that Mr. Takumi was making the right choice in his mind (although he did continue on with AJ).
    Quite a bittersweet predicament eh? Even now, even though I’m really glad that AA is continuing I also feel that it should have stopped after T&T. That story was just masterful.
    So now what I do is view the first 3 as the actual story of AA and the latter games sort of as spin-offs separate from the first three.

  • Shane Guidaboni

    But Capcom said “NO!” $$$$$$$

  • Hey, well because of this we got Dual Destinies, so Im not complaining.

  • J_Joestar

    Makes me wonder how different AJ would have been if he got his way and Phoenix didn’t go Hobo.
    Would we still have Trucy and the Magicians plot thread? Would there still have been some original character Mentor Figure for Apollo? Would we still Snackoos thrown at us? etc…

    • British_Otaku

      It could have been a completely different game mechanically and conceptually like Ghost Trick, if there was no reason to tie it to the Ace Attorney trilogy.

      The Snackoos would have been missed even if they never happened to be missed though.

      • J_Joestar

        Well i think it was always planned to be tied to the AA games in terms of universe sort of like Investigations but without the returning characters outside of maybe the Judge and maybe Ema.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Yeah people knew this for a while now. It was obvious Phoenix’ story ended but people wanted him in.

  • Saphira

    Yeah, I actually would have preferred if Nick wasn’t in GS4- or maybe just made some cameos. Imagine- Apollo totally fanboy-ing over his boss, with us wondering if he’s actually talking about the same Phoenix we all know XD

    GS4 was sort of what introduced me to the series when I saw it in the net. When I read the summary, I assumed this Phoenix-guy was the boss of the protag Apollo, and simply went off abroad due to jobs there since he’s a legendary attorney and all… and that’s how this newbie guy Apollo ends up as his own protag.

    GS5 was awesome though.

  • Yan Zhao

    Sounds like the same story with Megaman X, where Zero was originally gona be the main character, but Capcom’s like NAWW MAN WE CANT TAKE RISKS~

  • Morningstar

    Well after reading this and hearing about the game, I think it’s safe to speculate that the game would be Ace Attorney in Name and Mechanics only, and that the characters (except maybe the Judge) and story would be unrelated to past titles.

    Alternately it will be another Investigations game starring either Edgeworth or Blackquill during or after the “dark age of the law”. Or maybe a game starring Juniper Woods, Hugh O’Conner and Robin Newman

  • Kazekage Gaara

    Oh :(

  • He is really a good story teller. I loved All Phoenix Wright game and wished so much for an another ghost trick! You’re the only person who made me like and play a visual nove!! THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

    • Gemlit

      Um, it was also this Dolad guy on who brought most of the ideas and storylines to Capcom so he is also very much responsible for the series. Better thank him too!

      Of course, if it wouldn’t have been for Shu Takumi to champion it, then we would have never seen, heard, or played those games. So, kudos to Shu too! Thank you very much!

  • Aoshi00

    I agree w/ Takumi Shu.. as big a fan I am for the series, I never liked 4, 5, Investigations 1 & 2, as much as 1-3. I forgot who said this, but the difference btwn a good work and bad one is a good one knows when to end. Just like an athlete’s career, better retire during the peak to become a legend. I guess now he feels what came after 1-3 is dragging down the series as a whole. not to say 4-5, I 1&2 weren’t good in some ways, but not as good as 1-3 IMHO. DD did something right but other things not so right. I’d be importing the 123 Selection. Like Layton, it would’ve been better ending at 3 I think..

    • Zero_Destiny

      One of the many things I liked so much about Ghost Trick. It really feels like a complete story from start to finish, and when it’s all over you feel like you had quite the journey with these characters and can move on. ^^

      • Aoshi00

        Yeah, sometimes you’re just so satisfied w/ the ending you want more but you won’t ask for it, since it just ended so well, like Phoenix 1-3, let that universe rest. Unfortunately Ghost Trick is among one of my countless DS backlog :(..

        • Zero_Destiny

          Oh man, free a couple nights up and get to it if you can! ^^ I actually beat it in like 2 or 3 days, played it non-stop. lol It’s quite a trip. Well worth it. I think I enjoyed it more then Phoenix Wright (which I quite like too! lol).

          • Aoshi00

            alright, recommendation heeded. I just had so much backlog it was one outta many I never really touched it, 3DS has backlog let alone DS :( but it would be moved to my do-to-list lol..

          • Zero_Destiny

            No biggie, I can’t even keep up with TV lead alone games, and I don’t watch too much TV. ^^;;

          • Aoshi00

            TV is bad drug :) I was never too big on it, but Breaking Bad and Walking Dead were the exception..done House of Cards recently.. I have 3 Seasons of Game of Thrones blu-ray taunting me at end of my desk, I might not be able to stop once I start lol.. but yeah, games, movies, manga.. backlog everywhere :)

          • disgaea36

            Welcome to life my friend. So much to do but so little time lol

          • Aoshi00

            That’s my motto on 360 lol “so many games, so little time” lol.. I know, when you’re working time flies like crazy :(

  • s07195

    I can’t really imagine AA4 without Phoenix… it was my first AA game, so I guess I liked it a lot more? Haven’t had a chance to buy DD yet, but I hear Apollo really manages to stand out as his own character, and that sounds fine to me.

  • Souji Tendou

    Ah, so that’s why Apollo Justice s****. It all makes sense now.

  • Interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing what he wants to do with the series.

  • “I felt that Phoenix’s story had been told, and that the series
    should not continue,” Takumi revealed. “Knowing when to end a story is
    very important and I wanted to avoid dragging it out and having it
    become a shadow of its former self.”

    I’m actually not surprised that he felt that way. A good creator knows that having restraints isn’t a sin.

  • sakusakusakura_nyo

    There’s a million episodes of Law & Order and people still watch it. I think they can keep the Ace Attorney series going for a lot longer.

  • Juliano C

    “Takumi wasn’t involved with the title” That explain why DD is so bad

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Probably that is one of the main reason why i don’t really like 4 here.(I still like 5 and INvestigation is still one of my fav till now though.^_^)

    Hoped that Takumi will be allowed to bring more new goodness not only for this IP but perhaps new IP’s like Ghost Trick in the future.^_^

  • Lumi

    The trilogy was indeed complete on their own. But it IS nice to have the old gang back…

    • Testsubject909

      I’d be fine with an Ace Attorney game having access to areas that are completely disconnected from the crime scene and from advancing the story whose sole purpose is to just learn more of the characters who’re already retired from the spotlight.

      Like being able to go to a ramen shop stand and chat up with Gumshoe who’d be talking about a completely unrelated case whose information would in No Way whatsoever connect to the current case. But just get to know Gumshoe and what he’s been up to.

      Things like that for me would be absolutely welcome, would allow you to keep tabs with characters you’ve come to love, while also going on a new adventure and story with a brand new cast.

      • Lumi

        And maybe buy him some better ramen!

  • You know, I’d be perfectly fine if Ace Attorney had just ended with the three games. It was the perfect ending to a masterfuly told trilogy. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Of course, Capcom still viewed the franchise to be bankable which is why they made sequels without Takumi’s involvement. It’s great that Apollo Justice, the Investigation games, and AA5 didn’t suck, but I don’t think there’s been an Ace Attorney game that’s truly captured the charm and storytelling of the original three. Whatever though, as long as the series is still around I’ll still support it and get lost in this wonderful universe.

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