Board 8 > this grand ace attorney overture music is great (spoilers playthrough)

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SeabassDebeste
07/31/21 12:27:21 PM
#1:


reminds me already a lot of layton!
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Leonhart4
07/31/21 12:31:13 PM
#2:


There are a lot of similarities between Layton and GAA

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SeabassDebeste
07/31/21 12:47:48 PM
#3:


Yeah, I suppose the British nature of it speaks to that.

Really like this washed anime art style that they use to open things up. British narration sets the stage for a Japan that's been forced to open its doors to Europeans, and I'm suddenly reminded of the inherent sadness in Rurouni Kenshin of this dying - dead - samurai era. We then open on a gunshot and a trembling gun-holder... presumably our protagonist.

Hey, if you're doing a callback, then I suppose one of the absolute best cases in the series (1-4) is a good one to pick.

So yeah, we're defending ourself, it seems! Looks like our character is named Ryunosuke Naruhodo. I believe this is Phoenix's name as well in Japanese, but since this game actually is a crossover between the British and Japanese, we want to indicate that this character is Japanese (while Wright is obviously a British surname).

... Whoa! This dude a sharp military uniform, sword, and hair-ribbon inexplicably waving in the air is gonna be our lawyer, huh? Guess it's our buddy Kazuma, a classmate, who believes in us. We're impressed that he's already a lawyer, but since the profession of law is new to Japan, it's not that much of an accomplishment, we're told. And he's got dreams of headed to London, as we see in a pretty unnecessary flashback.

An extremely guilty-looking Professor Mikotoba (and perhaps his daughter?) shows up and sends Kazuma away. He teaches forensic medicine - i.e. he'll definitely testify against us... wait, hm, he's an advocate of Kazuma's, and just wants to make sure that Kazuma doesn't take a losing case.

There are peculiarities about the case and cue the NEW SUSPENSE THEME and man it is awesome. We're told to say I do. Damn, who are we supposed to marry here? ... ah, I'm guessing that the question here will be whether or not we're going to accept being our own defense. I really like this angle!

Let's go!

- I missed the sound of the text scrolling!

- Apparently the trend of protagonists getting younger continues.

- Not knowing anything, I suppose that this professor is the murderer and that Kazuma winds up actually becoming a prosecutor?
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Leonhart4
07/31/21 12:56:04 PM
#4:


Phoenix's Japanese name is Ryuichi, but yeah, the similarity is obviously intentional.

The new Suspense theme is indeed fantastic. One of my favorites from the two games.

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SeabassDebeste
07/31/21 7:03:06 PM
#5:


ryunosuke's shifty eyes are gonna get to me
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SeabassDebeste
08/02/21 11:17:41 AM
#6:


So almost immediately after I mentioned Ryunosuke's shifty eyes, Kazuma also takes note - "try not to look so bewildered," he tells us. Ryunosuke is also totally adorable with the hand-raised animation and the failure to slam the desk with any effectiveness. He in fact gets intimidated when Kazuma slams the desk. He sometimes gets his words stuck in his throat. And yet we still volunteer ourselves as counsel.

Kazama continues to be very Mia Fey-in-1-1-esque - he has a line about "thrust [evidence] in the witness's face and make him choke on it!" - which is so damn close to "rub it in his face" that I'm almost certain he's a victim or a future rival. Unless he's secretly not an NPC and we do play as him in the UK half of the game - who knows.

We're in a military/government, closed-door trial, some pretty drastic atmosphere for a first case. When it's revealed that the victim professor was in fact a visiting Englishman, the reason why becomes more apparent. Having a government-sanctioned reason why the case is rigged against us (and there's so much urgency) actually makes the game feel more grounded than the bizarre "justice" system found in most AA games - though of course, as a long-time AA fan, I don't care about verisimilitude too much anyway!

Payne-as-Auchi is fantastic. I love that they brought back the hair-pat animation, though now with a fan - it's pretty great! He also gets some cool lines. "The defendant may have fled a tiger at the front gate, but he will find a wolf at the back."

Our first witness, Hosonaga, winds up being not a sworn witness - and we don't even get to cross-examine him! The hell is this. He's a highly suspicious-looking waiter, a classic AA witness, who occasionally coughs blood and has Sinister Spectacles. His breakdown is going to be extremely bloody, isn't it?

The next two witnesses look very Layton-esque, and they testify together like in Layton as well. Nosa loves using military jargon, and the old dude Korekuta is incredibly verbose on top of Yoda-speaking a bit. (It seems like his insistence on using big words fades a bit as the trial goes longer, making the sentence-structure inversion more prominent.) Nosa is "ingesting regulation beefsteak" and Korekuta watches him "masticating his meal." It's fantastic. Nosa also bizarrely accuses us of "subordination" instead of "insubordination."

Pressing on these statements is incredibly detailed for a first case, and occasionally absolutely hilarious - there's a part where Auchi has some spiel about how he just blinked and tries to use it to prove a point. But man, it actually takes a long time to get through trying to see all the text. Nonetheless, we're insistent about the presence of an Englishwoman, of whom there seems to be no evidence, and whose existence the witnesses are insistent on denying.

The game uses the Suspense theme for the most part, despite our first Objection, which kind of hurts the pacing. It takes a long time for us to hit what seems like the actual theme, when we finally point out this dental record (a fairly interesting contradiction, albeit with a lot of handholding). It's kind of weird to just be proving her existence through trial; this actually feels more investigation-y, since the actual contradictions in the witness testimony don't seem to be the main focus. That actual Objection theme is awesomely triumphant - perhaps it's specifically going to represent Kazuma's theme. And it coincides with the first time that Ryunosuke has a successful, loud desk-slam - signs we're coming into our own!

Anyway, after some some more hand-holding, we're directed to pointing out Hosonaga's business card showing that the dude is a 29-year-old Chief Inspector who's tampered with the witnesses. (Ryunosuke, always a genius, deduces that Hosonaga was working as a waiter because his salary was so low.) Finally we've proven the existence of the woman, and the Judge - in one of his first big moments - says that he refuses to play politics, and that he wants the woman questioned.

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- The bad French of "au la Carneval" kills me.

- Instead of an attorney's badge, we have a collar pin to indicate we're a student. Just glad we have these forms of ID available to us.

- Maybe it's because I'm playing on a Switch for the first time, but the text scroll feels slow. I don't like turning on skip-text since I like the sense of pacing created by the scroll (and scroll sound), but I wish there were a way to up the scroll speed by like 50%.

- Nosa's son Aido obviously stole Korekuta's missing coin, right?

- Kazuma is so great. "There is no place for an amateur prosecutor like you in this courtroom!" He also has an Edgeworthian forehead point.

- So many throwbacks - reminded of the steaks in 1-3, whose significane I don't particularly remember.

- Ryunosuke has a major aversion to dentists. Good to know!

- Is Kazuma the first person to utter the word "perjury" in this series?
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Leonhart4
08/02/21 11:46:13 AM
#7:


There have been perjury threats throughout the series, empty though they may be.

I liked the sort of indirect Gumshoe reference of Ryunosuke assuming detectives are poor.

This case also reminded me a lot of 3-3 with trying to prove the existence of another person at the victim's table.

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SSBM_Guy
08/02/21 11:56:11 AM
#8:


- Instead of an attorney's badge, we have a collar pin to indicate we're a student. Just glad we have these forms of ID available to us.

And it's shaped like the Ace Attorney logo!

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Bitto
I feel completely refreshed. Like I just put on fresh underwear on New Year's Day.
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SeabassDebeste
08/02/21 2:03:17 PM
#9:


Leonhart4 posted...
I liked the sort of indirect Gumshoe reference of Ryunosuke assuming detectives are poor.

absolutely loved this

Leonhart4 posted...
This case also reminded me a lot of 3-3 with trying to prove the existence of another person at the victim's table.

yeah, we don't actually get non-complicit witnesses just straight-up lying in such a crucial way like this!

SSBM_Guy posted...

And it's shaped like the Ace Attorney logo!

totally missed this, will re-examine and present it to everyone!
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Leonhart4
08/07/21 7:16:13 PM
#10:


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SeabassDebeste
08/08/21 11:50:27 PM
#11:


So we're back! We open with a quick chat with Kazuma, where we mention that while we're not great at lawyering, we're quite observant. Then it's into the fire again, where Kazuma does not give a fuck about the politics. But Naruhodo makes a pretty keen political statement: "A country that fails to uphold the truth in its justice system is a country with no future at all."

This next section is quite hand-holdy, but I really like Brett as a witness. Her eye-mask thing, her arrogance, the eyes-averted smirk... it's phenomenal, classic AA. There's a moment early on where we're staring her down and the screen zooms in on her turned face, and she just smiles. So good. Auchi immediately starts simpering on her in a way that's both hilarious and sickening. "In England it's always ladies first!" "Beautiful as a hummingbird" - very Dahlia Hawthorne vibes, though her theme song is more whimsical than serene.

Brett starts off by hiding behind the "I don't speak Japanese" route. Hosonaga infuriatingly explains that she she didn't have a gun - which he knows because he asked her, and she said she didn't have one. He also entirely failed to conduct a body search - what the fuck? We also find out that she literally stole evidence from the crime scene in a handbag, which seems to have no impact on the judge or prosecution. Instead we find out that the glass went into the handbag, but no gun is visible. Ach.

This actually results in a hilarious damage animation from Ryunosuke - he's blasted backward in a way that you usually see in enemy prosecutors. Even Kazuma seems ready to give up... until Ryunosuke comes up with something of a bluff. Grasping for straws, we stare at the crime scene photo and notice a mark on the victim's wrist... and are able to match it to the hot plate on which the steak was served. In other words, this was a fresh burn... and yet the victim never cried out in pain.

In the single coolest of the moment of the case, the truth dawns on us... that the victim was already dead. And since he had no external wounds... he must have been poisoned.

Auchi starts making excuses, but then Brett reveals that she speaks Japanese (perhaps the least shocking of many not-shocking reveals about AA witnesses' "handicaps") and becomes outwardly antagonistic toward the Japanese people and their language. Auchi is simpering even after her direct insults, which feels particularly sickening (and accurate). Brett excretes out an insulting testimony full of lies and specifically making fun of the justice system. Pressing one of her statements about the dead body results in us being able to use one of the game's new gimmicks: pursue. It turns out that the worst inspector in the world has... removed evidence from the crime scene. Now this actually winds up helping us, but yeeeesh.

Anyway, he produces a proverbial smoking gun: the bottle itself. This piece of decisive evidence feels like a perfect climactic, ultimate moment, but of course it's already been tested for all known poisons, and it doesn't work. I want to scream what about the glass she removed, but I'm not allowed to, so whatever. But when all feels lost, in comes Susato, the daughter of the suspicious-looking mentor professor. In my darkest hour with nowhere left to go, she appeared like a bolt of lightning.

Susato is greeted with some misogyny from Auchi and the Judge, but she does produce some useful evidence: the research journal of Jezaille Brett, which very conveniently enumerates the precise murder weapon... a toxin known as Curare, one unknown in Japan. At this point, Brett busts out her Shut up! which is honestly actually pretty delightful, since it almost exclusively is used to destroy Auchi's revolting, slobbering obeisance.

But this starts to go on pretty long when there are just asspulls and obvious gaps that don't get pointed out for half an hour. This whole poison thing feels very unearned, but sure, there was enough drama around Susato's entrance that maybe I can accept its being a coup de grace. Except then after we expose the dental records as being why curare could kill the professor but not the witness, Brett renders the entire sequence moot by smashing the evidence. Which again, no one seems to mind much.

We then completely obliterate the momentum of the case by having Ryunosuke giving us yet another unearned detail, a memory that the player couldn't possibly have known about. It doesn't play at all off any of the previous work we did regarding poison. We now are talking solely about the position in which the professor was shot, with the fact that his chair was rotated being out of the question. It's flagrantly obvious from the moment that Hosonaga opens his mouth that the fact that Nosa was eating a plate of steak was going to have some sort of switching importance. Yet it takes fucking forever, including a silly sideplot, for everyone to finally agree on the obvious truth. It's an absolutely brutal stretch.

What's even more bizarre is this confession. While Brett's breakdown (and honestly everything she does) is spectacular, and the breakdown is timely, it doesn't really make sense (at least 'til afterward) why she's confessing to everything. Like, we just legitimately never proved anything about the existence of the gun (or how about the way that the poison was brought to the crime scene?!) and yet here she is, not asking for evidence but just going like "yeah that splatter (tampered with by an admitted criminal) has convinced me to confess to using poison which was basically dead in the water, and also yeah I just concealed a gun under my skirt."

It's infuriating how much stuff is unearned in this one. It's kind of handwaved since we find out Brett was never going to face justice anyway and was doing it all as a mockery, but YEESH.

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- Not seeing Jezaille Brett's pun. Though I did realize that Kurokata is supposed to sound like "Collector" and that his first name is like "Curio."

- "Late luncheons are in the vogue in Britain!" / "No."

- Didn't realize that it wasn't customary for beef to be eaten in Japan until they opened to the west. Maybe they're talking about steaks specifically.

- Calling Nosa a monster for being a thief during a murder trial feels weirdly tone-deaf. AA is often tone-deaf, but this is truly weirdly tone-deaf.

- The game continues to sound great. Kazuma and Susato's theme music probably are my favorites for now, but I also love the suspense theme and the Objection theme. I think the Pursuit theme is a little "okay" for AA standards and the Questioning theme is a little uninspired, but the orchestration sounds great.

- Despite all my complaints, I'm still liking a lot of what this game has done - the setting is super interesting; the political stuff is definitely interesting; and Ryunosuke's PREY INSTINCT is great stuff.

- Kazuma keeps waving the "too good to live" flag. He gets interrupted asking Naruhodo for a favor at the end of the case, raising HUGE Mia Fey flags. He also gave me big time Kamina-in-TTGL vibes with BELIEVE IN THE ME THAT BELIEVES IN YOU.

So despite all the complaints about *this*, really looking forward to the rest of the game!
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SeabassDebeste
08/08/21 11:53:58 PM
#12:


oh yeah and i didn't mention this, but the last cross-examination happened like a million "BIG PLOT POINTS" before the end. heart of AA is cross exams, so that felt really bad.
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LeonhartFour
08/08/21 11:56:58 PM
#13:


SeabassDebeste posted...
Not seeing Jezaille Brett's pun.

Because it's not a pun! It's a Sherlock Holmes reference. In the stories, Watson was injured in military service by a jezail bullet, so it's a fitting name for his murderer in this game. She is a great villain though. I enjoyed the presence she brought to the case.

Also Iyesa Nosa is a pun for "Yes sir, no sir" since he's a military man.

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LeonhartFour
08/08/21 11:57:52 PM
#14:


SeabassDebeste posted...
oh yeah and i didn't mention this, but the last cross-examination happened like a million "BIG PLOT POINTS" before the end. heart of AA is cross exams, so that felt really bad.

and yeah, this wasn't great

there were no cross-examinations after the last save point, so it made it feel like a bit of a drag toward the end

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SeabassDebeste
08/09/21 7:07:53 AM
#15:


doesn't help when judge says it's the last cross exam pretty definitively, it turns out true, and... yeah
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SeabassDebeste
08/11/21 8:06:39 PM
#16:


welp, i didn't want it to happen in case 2, but i guess all the red flags weren't lying
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Leonhart4
08/11/21 8:55:22 PM
#17:


It just doesn't pay to be the tutorial case assistant

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paulg235
08/11/21 8:58:45 PM
#18:


Leonhart4 posted...
It just doesn't pay to be the tutorial case assistant
  • Mia Fey
  • Maggey Byrde
  • Marvin Grossberg
  • Kristoph Gavin
  • Dick Gumshoe
  • Kay Faraday
  • Apollo Justice
  • Kazuma
Yeah, the fallout is not worth it!

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PaulG235 | Finished in the Top 2 of GotD2010's Second Chance Bracket
Sadly, there are no second chances in the Guru, azuarc doesn't need one.
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Leonhart4
08/11/21 8:59:54 PM
#19:


I don't think Apollo was ever a tutorial assistant!

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Mewtwo59
08/11/21 9:01:14 PM
#20:


Yeah, Athena was the assistant in DD's tutorial case, though she didn't really fare much better in that game.

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paulg235
08/11/21 9:02:33 PM
#21:


Leonhart4 posted...
I don't think Apollo was ever a tutorial assistant!
You're technically right. I was thinking about him showing up right at the beginning of 5-1 where was consulting Athena, then he went off to the other courtroom and got ambushed!

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Sadly, there are no second chances in the Guru, azuarc doesn't need one.
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Leonhart4
08/11/21 9:05:12 PM
#22:


Mewtwo59 posted...
Yeah, Athena was the assistant in DD's tutorial case, though she didn't really fare much better in that game.

Yeah, she went through quite a lot in that game, too!

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SeabassDebeste
08/11/21 9:56:08 PM
#23:


2-1 was maya, wasn't it? though she does get accused of murder and kidnapped as hostage that game...
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Mewtwo59
08/11/21 9:56:59 PM
#24:


It was Maggey for the first half and Maya for the second half.

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Leonhart4
08/11/21 9:58:44 PM
#25:


Yeah, Maggey started off as the assistant because it would've been harder to do the amnesia plot with Maya there the whole time.

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SeabassDebeste
08/12/21 10:44:46 AM
#26:


I've investigated one room so far. I feel like since AA5, these games have gone really detailed on single-room investigations. Maybe it just feels super-slow to me because I'm looking at a TV screen, and using a joystick without sensitivity to how hard you're touching it is really making pointing at stuff hard. (Is the Switch touch-screen? Would it work if I just played it handheld and pointed?)

Anyway, our intro is via some HERLOCK SHOLMES narration, in which he tells of a tale involving him and Wilson (now clearly a Watson type) and a "speckled band" which he takes to be a snake. Then cutting to the present, he (with great theatricality) falls upon a locked room murder and points out the CULPRIT...

... And the moment that we're revealed to be the defendant again, it seems pretty obvious: Kazuma is the victim. Though we don't see his body, and he appears to have no external wounds, so maybe he's still alive? I'm gonna miss the hell out of his absolutely ballin' theme song if he's really gone, though we get generous uses of it during flashback themes. But anyway, Kazuma waved so many death flags I was really hoping to get something subversive out of it.

Despite this game having a lot more graphical advances and a lot more text than 1-2, the death doesn't seem to hit as hard. Having a jaunty sixteen-year-old girl making funny remarks is... I mean, I think it's fine - it's usually fun in AA - but it's a little tiresome to see the series keep going back to that same well; the reluctance to have a significant female counterpart above the age of 21 seems pretty suspect at this point. But more directly here, it also undermines the feeling of grief that I feel should be prevalent at this moment.

After a fairly trivial demonstration of our innocence - the fact there was an unbroken seal on the door while we slept - we do get some funny commentary about pulling a bell-cord and a vent and fanboyism over Sholmes, and a Susato Takedown that's funny the first time but immediately gets tiresome because viewing things upside down actually isn't very enjoyable. I think the count is now at four or five, and it can only go up as we enter the next room.

What is more directly enjoyable (and long-winded - am I just getting sick of the series, or is there a lot more "blabbering" in this series at a slower text crawl, or is it just playing on TV?) is Sholmes himself. He appears right in front of our noses as we're examining something. And he has a bunch of conclusions - that Kazuma is Russian, and that we are a face-changing Russian revolutionary assassin! I'm actually reminded a lot of Luke Atmey, which is pretty unsurprising. Sholmes also loves doing this hilariously over-the-top pose with his arms and touts his appearances in short stories as proof of his competence. He winds up giving us a Russian newspaper showing the revolutionary he's accusing us of being and, unrelated, a missing ballerina.

Just like that, Sholmes starts denying that he's named us the culprit. Wonderful!

Hosonaga is back! Doing a terrible job as bodyguard to Kazuma, at that. And he's still got his cough, so I assume that wasn't poison-related. When I thought it was significant, I found it interesting... but it's one of the less endearing recurring character qualities now, pal. There are three notable clues at the moment: the fact that the room is in disarray (did the boat encounter waves, or was there a struggle?), something pink and shattered with a smear on the ground, and the diary entry suggesting the speckled band. So finally we're going to be able to leave this room.

Already curious about how the court format will work here.

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* Another annoying animation that's getting old real fast: manacled wrists. We get it.

* We're a revolutionary, perhaps we've learned to revolutionize our appearance!

* It really does feel like it takes a long time to go through text in this game. Maybe it's just me.

* We remember eating the chicken dinner quite fondly, but as Susato notes, poor Kazuma spent his last night hungry. "It's just too sad..." Well that's actually a big bummer, yeah.

* The fact that the same defendant is appearing in consecutive cases also feels very Layton-esque. Glad these tropes didn't appear in the main series.

* We have a memory gap, because of course.

* Sholmes doesn't speak Japanese, so we're presumably speaking English to Sholmes. Interesting - no indication that we've swapped languages, or that we're struggling to speak it.

* When we present Hosonaga with evidence, he seems to be irritated that we're rubbing our SUPERIOR UNIVERSITY EDUCATION in his face. Kind of like that chip on the shoulder.

* If you lose your badge, "Yu mei not come in!"

* Rice as glue is a great little detail.
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LeonhartFour
08/12/21 6:15:30 PM
#27:


SeabassDebeste posted...
Wilson (now clearly a Watson type)

He actually IS Watson. His name got changed to Wilson for the same copyright reasons we ended up with Herlock Sholmes.

SeabassDebeste posted...
And he's still got his cough, so I assume that wasn't poison-related.

My assumption is that he has tuberculosis. It doesn't seem to be relevant beyond just a reference to a disease that was more commonplace back then.

SeabassDebeste posted...
Sholmes doesn't speak Japanese, so we're presumably speaking English to Sholmes. Interesting - no indication that we've swapped languages, or that we're struggling to speak it.

Ryunosuke and Kazuma both state they've been taking English classes at Yumei, and presumably Susato has as well for this trip.

You can tell when they've switched languages when their honorifics change from Japanese ones like -san/sama to regular English ones like Mr/Mrs.

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SeabassDebeste
08/16/21 6:40:38 PM
#28:


Finally, we're able to exit Kazuma's room. It's Ryunosuke's first time out... but... where has he been going to the bathroom? I'm not sure that that logic makes sense unless there are private bathrooms, which obviously we haven't seen. Anyway, let's skip that inconvenient detail.

The hallway is fairly limited. We find a mousetrap (whose cheese Ryunosuke is very interested in taking), a suspiciously empty log, and a very large sailor, who blocks entry into the adjoining room. The sailor (the impeccably named Bif Strogenov) randomly leaves, and we're able to enter the room, which doesn't seem to be locked - and which does have a shriek. Sholmes shows up and is extremely eager to kick the door down, but is frustrated to find that we can just open it, as it is unlatched. What's he going to do with this pent-up energy??

I will admit that I was immediately confused and thought that Roylott character was actually the assassin mentioned. He's also got some massive shears. Something is also moving inside a bag. Sholmes deduces (with an incredibly theatrical sequence) that this is in fact the revolutionary, and that the ballerina is in the bag. Honestly, it doesn't sound like such a bad idea; it's fairly close to what it looks like, though yeah, the character looks a little more cartoonish than in the photo. But Ryunosuke and Susato act like it's totally obvious that it's Sholmes is saying nonsense.

This is going to become a major recurring theme with this case, but it feels a lot like telling and not showing. Just like how in case 1 Ryunosuke would be bringing up details that were in his memory but never explained to the player, I was surprised at how quickly Susato and Ryunosuke wrote off Sholmes's seemingly sensible deductions. It took me quite a while to realize you could move the camera; it's a pretty neat form of investigation, but it also feels a bit like a "gotcha!" to the player in a way it's probably not intended to - from the straight-on POV, you can't see the hair at all, so how does Ryunosuke immediately know that the shears are intended for it? Also with a cartoon perspective, it's very much not obvious that the ballerina couldn't fit into that bag.

All that said, the new gimmick is fun. It's visually brilliant; investigating during it and hearing the commentary during trial is entertaining; and man, Ryunosuke gets into it. I feel like most of the AA games are fun because of the antics of the player characters, but man, Ryunosuke is the lawyer who seems to have the most fun himself doing it. He immediately starts coopting Sholmes's cocky poses and even gets called out by Susato for how much he enjoys it. Anyway, the result of the deduction is that this is in fact Nina Pavlova, the missing ballerina, who is attempting to flee the ballet by stowing away with her pet (which she refuses to show).

One question that remains unresolved is: how did Nina get on the boat, if her disappearance happened last night? And... uh, the game doesn't ask this, and maybe there's a logistical explanation for this, but how did the newspaper end up getting onto the ship? Everyone is pretty much in agreement that the newspaper is from today...

We're ejected by Bif and head back to Kazuma's cabin, only to find that ya boy Hosonaga has had his face rearranged by the ship's captain. That's a man willing to lay his life on the line, as advertised. He gives us the update that Kazuma's post-mortem found a broken neck. Shockingly, this means he didn't write "WARDROBE" in Russian with spilled ink. Anyway, some time passes in the hallway as we annoy Sholmes by interrupting his song and find an extremely prominent red button that says it will emergency-stop the entire boat. (It seems absurd to hand access to this button to just about anyone, but... oh well?)

We reenter Nina's room (seriously, why can't you lock and unlock these doors from the outside? It just seems like bad design!) We find more suspiciously knocked-over books, even more strongly suggesting a boat lurch of sorts, a diadem worth twenty thousand roubles (a number that will be echoed forevermore), and an open suitcase (whoops), along with a plate on the ground obviously meant for a pet, but which Ryunosuke imagines is to catch rain. But the only clue that really matters happens when someone hits the emergency button, causing the boat to lurch to a halt... and indeed, the books fall over and the latch slides into place.

With that, we are no longer in a locked room mystery. We proceed to what feels like a final act, as everyone floods into Nina's room. We're threatened with being thrown into a cell in Hong Kong, where presumably we'd have a trial. But Sholmes intercedes - he's already determined the killer is... and here we finally pull in the snake from the intro, the "speckled band"... wrapped around the face of Strogenov. Well okay.
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SeabassDebeste
08/16/21 6:40:40 PM
#29:


Anyway, Sholmes has decided that Nina's pet is the snake, and that the snake killed Kazuma via the vent. Now the actual mechanisms of the Deduction sequence are again quite fun, and it's fun investigating, but it feels a little cheap that we're not allowed to do this sort of investigation beforehand (especially, e.g., checking in the wastepaper bin.) It's also kind of painfully on rails. But hey, it's visually stylish and is probably the most actually engaging part of the case simply due to Sholmes's seamless acceptance of correcting him.

The result of the deduction is that... the glass is from a cat's bell and that Kazuma died from tripping over a cat. We then go through several more renditions of "HOLD ON, IT'S NOT OVER," with Sholmes finally unveiling the ace he's had up his sleeve the whole time... that Kazuma is holding Nina's earring in his hand. It's super-anticlimactic; just like how realizing that the professor was already dead in and watching Jezaille drink the poison represented the high point of G1-1, this case clearly reaches its emotional climax when we realize the means of death (though it feels insanely sad). Like, yeah, it turns out that Nina actually pushed Kazuma and that Strogenov wrote the letters. But... who cares? It was still mostly an accident. This just makes Nina slightly shittier of a person. Nothing's really changed other than 45 extra minutes getting added toward the end of the case, including this weird asspull about chickens being drugged, which is how they were able to pull the e-brake in the middle of the night... yeah, it's not good. Yeesh. On top of that, for the vast majority of the final segments, there's not a lot of resistance - Nina is mostly trying to confess to a lesser crime while Strogenov (who finally stats with his extremely booming HOLD IT) is just sitting there trying to make nice.

And just like G1-1, it relies upon a confession that mostly happens because of the good nature of the murderers - in G1-1, there was absolutely no evidence actually linking Jezaille to a gun; in G1-2, there is literally no actual police with jurisdiction who can possibly enforce punishment on Nina or Strogenov. That said, there's a Crime and Punishment-esque quality to it; it seems like the two are wracked enough with guilt that you don't actually need to nail them to the wall for them to give, which I guess is a little different from AA norm. They genuinely seem to want to atone. While it's incredibly obvious that Kazuma was intending to talk to Ryunosuke and not to rat on Nina, it's still kind of touching to have to walk through it and relive the moments with a more pensive version of Kazuma's Theme playing in the background.

In an epilogue that spares no words, Ryunosuke finally decides to become a lawyer in Kazuma's place, to Hosooga's consternation. But in his first moment where he steps beyond comic relief, Sholmes advocates for us: "Qualifications are no measure of a man. What matters is his character... no? And you've witnessed ample evidence of this man's exemplary character totally with your eyes. From the early hours of his morning until this very moment now, despite contending with the passing of his close friend and despite the accusation of guilt... this man has shown resourcefulness, intelligence, and above all, courage." Well damn. Nice way to cap a terrible case with a great moment. And it actually kind of feels earned.

---

* How good is Bif Strogenov as a name? He's beefy and strong enough (the latter, a pun the game draws attention to) AND it sounds like a dish AND it sounds Russian.

* Susato manages to distinguish herself from previous assistants by being by far the most competent of them. In fact she's probably more competent than Ryunosuke himself, which means there's some sort of role reversal here in terms of the funny man/straight man dynamic that we're used to. In one case Ryunosuke theorizes (based on an empty teapot) that Russians are extremely thirsty. Susato points out that it's possible that Nina just hasn't boiled tea yet, and there's no way to know either way... but after consideration, we respond that they're DEFINITELY just excessively thirsty. We'd lay a thousand to oen on it!

* Susato also thinks we want to jump into any wardrobe we see.

* Ryunosuke calling intertia "ineptia" is fantastic.

* Main cast has been strong so far. I feel like Ryunosuke is an excellent protagonist; his goofiness and enthusiasm are really enjoyable in a way that Apollo lacked with his relatively derivative personality and Athena missed by simply being too arrogant. Sholmes is super-enjoyable; all of my issues with him are more with the game - ass-pulls, having to follow strange/exhausting logic, and the like. Hosonaga is a really nice steadying presence, and Susato is doing her job exceptionally well despite belonging to an AA archetype that's making me feel increasingly weird about playing this series.

* And yet this case... was pretty brutal. I saw Kazuma's death coming from a milliion miles away but wanted it not to happen; not every character needs death to be motivated, and Ryunosuke certainly didn't need it. Nina wound up being quite a low-tier character, and an even worse killer - no satisfaction at all here. Once again the final details of the truth seem almost completely irrelevant, and nailing the culprit doesn't really provide anything fun either. The case feels like it drags, and most of the most important plot details are almost trivially obvious for how long it takes for them to be revealed - sometimes because apparently the characters never actually move around the room until you're allowed to during a Deduction sequence. In any case, I think some of the mechanisms, music, and character quirks that I enjoy should carry on, so I'm still not too down on the game as a whole. Very iffy about the story direction, mystery-writing, and pacing though.
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Leonhart4
08/16/21 6:47:49 PM
#30:


Holmes pulling everything out of thin air is in line with his character in the stories!

Which is also kinda the problem with the game. Takumi is trying to write a mystery novel more than he's trying to write an Ace Attorney game, and it shows.

Ryunosuke and Susato are great though.

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Janus5k
08/16/21 7:18:50 PM
#31:


I think it was early in G1-2 that I got fed up with the text scrolling and just enabled skip text (though like you my first inclination was to look for a way to just speed it up). Was feeling the pacing pretty acutely as is.

Really didn't like the case either, though it does a good job of establishing Susato and Sholmes as characters.

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SeabassDebeste
08/16/21 10:40:07 PM
#32:


Leonhart4 posted...
Holmes pulling everything out of thin air is in line with his character in the stories!

Which is also kinda the problem with the game. Takumi is trying to write a mystery novel more than he's trying to write an Ace Attorney game, and it shows.

Ryunosuke and Susato are great though.

yeah, that kinda makes sense. though even a mystery novel should plant more seeds to pay off instead relying so heavily on last second evidence

Janus5k posted...
I think it was early in G1-2 that I got fed up with the text scrolling and just enabled skip text (though like you my first inclination was to look for a way to just speed it up). Was feeling the pacing pretty acutely as is.

glad not to be alone here, though I've managed to bear the text pacing a little better... just leaving myself tons of time depending on how tedious the case is
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SeabassDebeste
08/16/21 10:40:22 PM
#33:


also the premise of g1-3 is fantastic. WIN AND IN
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LeonhartFour
08/16/21 10:43:01 PM
#34:


well the seeds are there, you just don't necessarily get to be the one to piece it all together

but G1-3 is great

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SeabassDebeste
08/16/21 11:02:37 PM
#35:


so we are going from a case 2 with 0 trial to a case 3 with zero evidence-gathering hell yeah
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SeabassDebeste
08/17/21 12:05:34 PM
#36:


The streets of London are upon us, and Ryunosuke and Susato are impressed. But no time to spare - we're ushered quickly to the Supreme Court of the city, which is inside a giant clock and made of brick and stone instead of wood.

The top justice minister has a fantastically Von Karma-esque character design with a frilly coat and fingersnaps and, and he has a gimmick where he looks at his watch a lot. (This results in him announcing that, should you for example attempt to present him with your friend's armband which has mysteriously replaced your Yumei University student badge, that to process the receipt of your evidence and to give an adequate response would require 24 seconds of his time. Too bad; we'd love to ask him for how to say Wardrobe in Russian...)

The good long and short of it is that we're given a chance to become an English-recognized lawyer. The twist... that the test is literally a trial. Starting in less than an hour. I want to accept, but Ryunosuke sensibly realizes that treating someone else's life as a stepping stone for our advancement isn't exactly ethical. Yet when we find out that literally no one is there to defend this man, i t means we're not really gambling with this man's life - instead, we're their only chance. So it's off to the races.

Magnus McGilded, despite his Scottish-reading name, strikes me based on dialect as being clearly Irish. He's even referred to as a leprechaun later. He also seems distinctly sketchy, to the point that I suspect he's a murderer trying to bribe us to step down. But no, he is in fact the defendant and is actually trying to pay us to be his lawyer. And in a pretty surprising twist, he's actually pretty beloved by the audience. Surely this is going to change, right? We're also dealing with a jury system, and they look like a typical Layton-vs-AA-style ragged gang.

Barok von Zieks is the legendary "cursed" prosecutor who's the reason no defense attorney would take this case despite all the guineas being offered as payment. And you can see why - dude looks like freaking Dracula and at one point even busts out a chalice to drink wine. All he needs to do is throw it down and demand WHAT IS A MAN? Guy has a lot of major Edgeworth-style animations - most notably the bow, which is used to very good effect here. He also continues AA's hilarious tradition with ages. When I see he's thirty-two, I actually am pretty impressed that AA got us a lawyer who, like Von Karma, has built up a long track record of legendary success over many years, starting from a reasonable age... instead, we find out that he's returning after a five-year hiatus - i.e., he had this reputation by age twenty-seven. Maybe I should just start thinking of lawyers in AA-world like professional athletes; those ages make a lot of sense then.

The details of the case are laid upon us: a murder in an omnibus (a horse-drawn two-tier carriage). In a neat turn on the typical investigation formula, they manage to bring the crime scene to us. This is obviously the best use of the investigation-during-trial method, though I will still argue that it's rhythm-breaking to have to interrupt dramatic dialogue by perusing the court record and doing something that none of the other characters can interact with.

The death is by stab wound to the stomach, and the defendant's bloody gloves were taken from the scene. Three witnesses - the driver, the banker, and the hatmaker - together testify that McGilded stabbed the victim... but when I try pressing their statements, the six jurors one by one start turning on us. The final juror, a knitting lady, seems to have a fondness for the park that McGilded built in his philanthropy... until Von Zieks delivers a coup de grace: that McGilded's wealth comes from predatory usury, and that someone that rich had no real reason to ride in that wagon, unless it was to collect "the debt" from the poor Mason.

The sixth juror drops, and it's unclear whether the trial will be over. But Susato notes that there is a possible Summation Examination available to us. Von Zieks considers it an embarrassment to the court system that we'd even try it, but let's be honest, the jurors chose way too fast. And besides, that ledger that showed Mason was a debtor of the defendant? Well it just so happens that one of our key witnesses also owes McGilded some money...

---

* Lots of talk about the World's Fair coming up in a few months, specifically about the crystal tower there. Dollars to doughnuts that the World's Fair is a crime scene, and perhaps even more specifically, the crystal tower itself.

* Freaking love Ryunosuke's DOUBLE SLAP PUMP UP. His eyes don't jitter even once after that psych-up move. His desk slams all are landing, too.

* I know this is going to change, but in a game (and series, honestly) that has had unending exposition and "tell, not show," I'm really impressed with how they've used Von Zieks so far. The guy hasn't bragged or tried to swing his dick around or anything; he's just confidently made his case, bowed, and gotten results. That's another great area where he reminds me of AA1 Edgeworth - and honestly, Von Karma, too.
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Leonhart4
08/17/21 12:10:20 PM
#37:


The omnibus is a top tier piece of evidence.

And I like van Zieks, too.

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SeabassDebeste
08/17/21 2:05:21 PM
#38:


yeah, it's gimmicky, but the idea of importing an entire crime scene into a courtroom is awesome
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LeonhartFour
08/17/21 4:45:16 PM
#39:


also when it comes to prosecutors in the Ace Attorney world, I think we have to remember that trials end in mere days, so even by the age of 27, van Zieks may have already prosecuted over a hundred cases at that point, which would probably be enough to gain notoriety in legal circles

makes you wonder how many cases Manfred von Karma actually won over the course of 40 years

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SeabassDebeste
08/17/21 11:24:50 PM
#40:


my math senses are tingling
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SeabassDebeste
08/18/21 2:22:30 PM
#41:


The Summation Examination begins, and it's off to the races. Apparently we're supposed to pit the jurors against each other, which makes sense, but also seems horribly unfair if the jurors draw the same incorrect conclusion as each other. Nonetheless, two of them have a disagreement about the fare collected (I never once heard 20 pence being mentioned up til this point), while two more disagree on how the victim was stabbed. (This latter point seemed like an obvious hole in the trial; stabbing someone on the floor, as Beppo the Driver first suggested, totally seemed at odds with the crime scene.)

It's a pretty cool gimmick, honestly, and it does happen to work - the trial is forced to resume, and our boy van Zieks crushes his chalice in disgust. (Later, he does throw his chalice to make a point. Dracula vibes continue.)

This time, we're able to press the witnesses without any sort of shenanigans from the jury, who have lost faith in the witnesses. We quickly find out that, unfortunately, the fare is a dead end - the extra money there is due to Beppo, the driver, giving himself a little late night bonus. (No sympathy is shown from Ryunosuke over this; I dislike Beppo as well for giving us shit in the trial, but he seems hypothermic and is working a very physically demanding job - why is Nina Pavlova treated iwth more sympathy than this?!)

Which doesn't mean there's no headway made at all. Turns out Fairplay has been deliberately lying (and we're able to present that he's in debt to the defendant, putting him on the defensive); Furst missed the moment of the murder and only saw the body after the fact; and Beppo didn't see anything at all (lol). We're also able to press Fairplay on a point where he claims that he (and Furst!) both saw the killer with blood on both hands. This is completely at odds with our evidence indicating that blood was only on the right hand of McGilded. This leads us to point to a blind spot in the witnesses' viewpoint of the inner carriage: the back seat, under the witnesses.

In short, we speculate that the person sitting next to the victim was not the defendant at all.

This leads to an absolute uproar, really giving us a chance at a turnabout. But van Zieks quickly points out that what doesn't make sense is how McGilded could be unaware of a person sitting right across from him. McGilded is summoned back to the stand, where he says that he was covering up for some street urchin (?!) and claims she is in the courtroom... and then smoke grenades interrupt the trial. Bleh, this is probably the worst development so far in a pretty awesome case.

---

* This game continues the later-AA trend of theatricality. I actually think I like it more in GAA than in some of the others; Ryunosuke pacing around during the Summation Examination is a great example of it done right. But the whole "scales of fire" thing is just a step too stupid for me.

* Furst points out apropos of nothing that he notices hats as a hatter. When pressed on which type of hat it was, he notes... "I forget." Ryunosuke rightly bemoans and you call yourself a hatter...

* Two more double-slaps from Naruhodo this little segment. One of my favorite animations of the game.

* During the Summation Examination, Ryunosuke develops a one-handed desk-pound. He's evolving.

* That one juror with the knife fetish is skeeving me out, and I don't think I'm the only one bothered by it.

* The trolley has Phoenix Wright on it, which might be a little too obvious as an easter egg, but is still enjoyable.
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Leonhart4
08/18/21 2:30:41 PM
#42:


It's actually called the Phoenix Wright Omnibus in the Japanese version as well, so it's more of a nod to the English version.

Also, my favorite thing about Furst being a hatter is that his own hat is in such poor shape.

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SeabassDebeste
08/18/21 2:45:53 PM
#43:


oh, that makes the joke land a lot more in the right spot!

alas as for the poor hatter... the cobbler's children always go barefoot
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SeabassDebeste
08/19/21 12:26:54 AM
#44:


what the hell case ending was this
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LeonhartFour
08/19/21 2:59:41 AM
#45:


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SeabassDebeste
08/19/21 12:26:05 PM
#46:


So... we return to court. Indeed the girl that McGilded claims was on the carriage is there. She has an entertaining but incredibly tedious animation where she loads her smoke gun. Surprisingly, to the game's credit, I think that animation is played less than five times, and she actually only fires it... twice? At the beginning?

Anyway, McGilded's story is that Gina Lestrade (hey a Holmes reference I do recognize) was hiding under his seat the whole time - making it impossible that she committed the murder, and letting her be a pretty nice witness. It's at this point that the game starts hinting very strongly at us that something is very much not right about this witness; the compartment where Lestrade claims to have hid is now empty, whereas before, it had a bunch of stuff that no doubt would have made her life more uncomfortable. There's also a bloodstain that I don't remember from before, and which Ryunosuke says bothers him a lot. Sinister.

This obvious bit of doctored evidence aside, Lestrade begins her testimony. She says she screamed after hearing a thump, but did not hear anything at all up 'til that point. It's a little directionless where this is leading... except that the lack of sound implies that our victim never actually got on the carriage. (Hey, this is the first place where I've taken lots of penalties.) We're not sure exactly why we keep pushing here, only that the truth has yet to come out fully... Magnus is irate that the trial somehow continues after all six jurors come onto our side.

We draw a crazy conclusion: that the body was not even in the carriage to begin with, but rather was dropped in via the skylight. (It's quite annoying that "the body was placed there after it was dead" was considered incorrect here.) This brings Fairplay and Furst back to the stand in an outrage - love Fairplay gnawing on his stick and that bizarre running animation for Furst. They claim to have nothing to do with any sort of body dropping and not even to have a motive and besides, the skylight doesn't even open! Yet when we press them, McGilded and Lestrade volunteer the intel that Fairplay owes money to McGilded just like Mason did, and that the skylight does open, but only from the top. It's an unsettling amount of deduction and puzzle-solving being executed by the defendant and his favorite witness - and again, it's unsettling just how much the crowd and jury seems to like him.

This all comes to a head when we examine the opened skylight and find a bloodstain that feels pretty damn decisive. Case closed, baby.

OBJECTION, snarls Van Zieks. The evidence has been fabricated and didn't exist before the smoke grenade. (Okay, so you knew the skylight opened - why make Lestrade prove it if you're about integrity? Well, whatever.) First the missing driver's items, now this bloodstain on the skylight... We have the option just to laugh at Van Zieks, but let's be real - that big bloodstain on the floor of the carriage probably wasn't there before, either. And indeed, Van Zieks confirms that there was no such bloodstain.

While he's beside himself with rage at the unfaithfulness of his defense attorney, McGilded is still capable of producing an evil laugh and pronouncing the trial over. The prosecution agrees they have no more evidence; the Judge agrees that there is nothing left to be said for this trial. Ryunosuke tries to object that the truth is yet to be known, but the Judge nonetheless hands down a verdict of Not Guilty.

In the defendant's antechamber, despite his threats to us, McGilded is in high spirits and is even being invited to help investigate the omnibus again. He also offers us money that we refuse, even though it means we're homeless tonight. And soon, someone is going to persih in a fire inside that omnibus - right in the courtroom.

End case and WHAT.

---

* So this makes two no-investigation cases and one no-trial case. Presumably there will be both trial and investigation in G1-4, but there's obviously no guarantee at this point. I do assume Sholmes will be back and that we will have a lot more deduction there, but does that mean actual court segments won't happen?

* The story seems fairly clear now. While Gina is actually a very convincing witness, the doctored evidence and McGilded's obvious evilness are pointing us toward the truth: McGilded simply killed this dude over money, then paid off an urchin to bear false witness and doctor the evidence. But what's really confusing here is the one loose end I can't explain: if Gina was in fact not in the carriage, then how did both the witnesses on top of the car see two bloody hands? I guess this means Gina really *was* there, and McGilded convinced her to lie specifically about the sounds and how Mason wound up on that carriage.

* Totally didn't catch that Mason was wearing a Furst hat.

* The case is explicitly stated not to be over, and with a character who knows Gina being introduced, it seems pretty clear that we'll find out the truth of the case through Gina one way or the other. Van Zieks has also implied he has unfinished business with McGilded, so this could definitely be McGilded faking his own death.

* Still loving Naruhodo psyching himself up with the face-smashes.

* My initial bet is that it will be Magnus himself who dies in that fire, but that it might be hard to identify the body/that figuring out who it is will be a major plot point.

* Furst telling a story about farting in the omnibus is pretty amazing.

* Van Zieks performs a desk-pound with his foot - I mean I just don't have anything to say to that.

* Overall, really a fascinating case. It blows right through the ethical dilemma of 2-4 and actually has Ryunosuke get a (likely) guilty person off, despite not wanting to. And it ends without the truth being elucidated. Now it's not unprecedented that this can happen, but we generally get one satisfying conclusion in those cliffhanger cases; plus, those cases are usually penultimate cases like 3-4, 5-4, and the like. I don't know if there's a G1-5, but this case certainly didn't feel penultimate when we started (we just landed in London, and there's a festival in six months that there has to be a crime at!) So yeah, really interesting stuff.

* We know that Mael Stronghart has to be important later - but is there a chance he is involved with Magnus at all? Presumably not, right? That's probably too much speculation for now.
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SeabassDebeste
08/19/21 12:35:30 PM
#47:


oh, and one of my favorite moments

Van Zieks: OBJECTION! Your ludicrous proposal almost had me at a loss for words. However--

Ryunosuke: OBJECTION!

so good. too bad he was arguing on behalf of a liar though!
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Leonhart4
08/19/21 12:40:07 PM
#48:


G1-3 is such a wild ride. You definitely don't expect the game to throw that at you at that point in the story.

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SeabassDebeste
08/19/21 12:44:48 PM
#49:


yeah, it's not even just that it does happen - it's when it happens that feels particularly shocking

i'm really hoping for case 4 to be more conventional, i think, with us actually nailing a defendant unambiguously and watching them break down and actually get served justice and tell us a damn motive. but whatever, this ride is fun so far.
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hombad46
08/19/21 12:46:17 PM
#50:


SeabassDebeste posted...
nailing a defendant unambiguously and watching them break down and actually get served justice

Are you considering a career change to prosecution?

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-XIII_rocks
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