Capcom have published the last two of Shu Takumi’s developer diaries from the time he was working on the original Ace Attorney trilogy. In the last two entries, Takumi talks about how his team got better at squeezing more into a single GBA cartridge with every game, and the concept of ranking the three original games.
Here’s an excerpt from the bit where Takumi discusses memory limitations:
The amount of memory available to us on a GBA cartridge was actually exactly the same for all three games… But there’s a huge difference in the volume and density of information we were able to convey to the player. I’m sure you’ve realized it just by playing the games, but content-wise, AA3 is 2.3 times the size of AA1. So even though we could only store the same amount of data as AA1 on the cartridge, how did we manage to convey so much more information…? It’s all due to the research we did and the neat tricks and workarounds we figured out in the three years between the first and third game.
Here’s another, more interesting, quote:
Restrictions were also a source of inspiration for me when I was thinking about the story. In the AA series, there have been times when a character was called upon to appear in more than one episode. I first used this trick in the last episode of AA1. The real reason I had to use it is because it was a last-ditch effort to reduce the amount of data we were using. But that desperate move gave me a new direction to take the story in.
The trilogy of games will be published as Ace Attorney Trilogy on the Nintendo 3DS as a downloadable title later this month.