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Ace Attorney Creator On How Edgeworth’s Popularity Influenced The Games


Official Nintendo Magazine has published a fantastic interview with Shu Takumi, creator of the Ace Attorney series, on its website. The interview has Takumi sharing his thoughts on the original Ace Attorney trilogy, and he talks about various aspects of those first three games, such as different story moments and how he came up with them.


The most interesting is Takumi’s revelation of how Franziska von Karma was created. He says he needed a new prosecutor to challenge Phoenix in the second game, Justice For All, because Edgeworth was simply too popular to have him go up against Phoenix again and have to lose a case to him.


“The stories for [Justice For All] as I originally wrote them all featured Edgeworth as the prosecutor,” Takumi shares. “However, during development of the second game, the first one was released and it became clear that Edgeworth was an extremely popular character with fans of the game.”


“This made me wonder if, given that Edgeworth was supposed to be such a brilliant prosecutor, it wouldn’t be rather sad to have him lose case after case to Phoenix. This prompted me to create a new rival prosecutor character in the form of Franziska von Karma. Of course, this meant that I had to rewrite most of the dialogue in the game completely.”


Takumi also talks about Edgeworth’s popularity later in the interview, suggesting that he may even have been more popular among fans than Phoenix himself, right from the very first game. As a result, Takumi wanted to continue featuring him in the games, but it was becoming harder and harder to find ways to make him part of the story.


“When it came to the third title it took me a while to work out how to bring Edgeworth into the story and in the end it was with the ‘turnabout’ idea of having him become the player character,” Takumi says. “I was already writing the story for the final case of the third game when I had this idea, but it was such a ‘lightbulb’ moment for me that I immediately started rewriting my draft.”


“The first thing I did was get rid of Phoenix to allow the player to become Edgeworth, which meant Phoenix plunging off Dusky Bridge into the icy river below. Sorry, Nick!”


Shu Takumi is currently working on a brand new Ace Attorney game, titled The Great Ace Attorney, which is set in 19th century Japan and features a new cast of characters. The title is in development for the Nintendo 3DS, and will be the start of a new series of Ace Attorney games.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.