Clarification: Just to make things clear, Ace Attorney 5 is not fully-voiced. The anime cutscenes have voice-acting, but the original wording of this post caused some to believe the the game will be fully voiced. This is not the case and we’ve edited our wording to make it clearer.
It’s been five years since the last release of a numbered Ace Attorney game.
Over the last few year’s there’s been a bit of staff shuffling, what with series creator, Shu Takumi, focusing on other projects (such as Ghost Trick) and Takeshi Yamazaki taking over for Ace Attorney Investigations.
Ace Attorney 5’s producer is Motohide Eshiro, who was also involved with Investigations and is known for his involvement in numerous other Capcom titles as well, including Okamiden, the upcoming DmC Devil May Cry and more. Working on Ace Attorney 5’s scenario is Takeshi Yamazaki, who also worked on Investigations 2 and was in charge of planning for Apollo Justice.
According to an interview in Nintendo Dream magazine, talk of Ace Attorney 5 started last autumn. Once the staff was decided upon, the four writers and the character designer lodged together for four days and three nights, for an intense brainstorming session. It was during this time that they came up with the “impactful event” for this game—the courtroom explosion seen in the trailer.
(Previous ideas included “flying courtroom” and “torture courtroom”.)
Phoenix’s return as the protagonist of the game raised some concerns, the Nintendo Dream interview reveals. Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth had never been the main playable character prior to the Investigations games, so his quirks were easy to work with. On the other hand, because Phoenix has been the main character from the start, and he is someone everyone can relate to, it took much more time to grasp his character. In addition, the team wanted to create a Phoenix that inherited his traits from Apollo Justice, but also brought back some of his “youth” from Trials and Tribulations.
As previously reported, Ace Attorney 5 also gives Phoenix a new partner—Kokone Kizuki, whose name comes from a play on words for “to notice things” and “listening to the heart or soul”. She was designed to be a heroine who actively fights alongside Phoenix, and so, is a defense attorney working under Phoenix. At first her design was extremely sci-fi-esque, traces of which can still be seen in her final design. The monitor (named “Monita”) hanging from her neck is what enables the special “Heart Scope” function in this game.
The Heart Scope was an idea that had been present since the start. Yamazaki suggested a system where one could see through the various emotions a witness goes through as he’s giving his account. These emotions would hold the key to seeing through the various preconceptions and prejudices of people dragged into such an extreme situation (a murder) that eventually appear in their testimonies.
Another topic brought up was the subject of voices, which appeared in the promotional video shown in the TGS. This will be the first time that voice actors—as opposed to the game’s developers—will be used, and they’ll primarily be in the game’s cutscenes. Previously, they only appeared in the trailers for the DS games. They will also be used for the in-game sound-effects and quotes (“Objection!!” etc).
The staff are aware that there will be much resistance to this, but say there are reasons for the change.
The primary reason for this was that, due to the 3DS’ surround sound capabilities, bringing over the DS sounds as they were would have been extremely difficult due to tuning problems.
Furthermore, the game has anime cutscenes now, so Capcom wanted the voice-acting to go hand-in-hand with this aspect of the game. Note, however, that the game is not fully voiced.
Finally, the subject of returning characters is brought up. These were carefully selected by Eshiro, who says he considered characters that were not only very popular but also those who would fit into the story of Ace Attorney 5 without feeling awkward or forced.