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"I could sooner get Squall and Link to fight over me than I could win this battle right now. But what the heck, you never know."
     -Jeanne, Suikoden Part 7

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney : Part 4
By Sam
Posted 05.10.11
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5
She has to hold her arms like that or her boobs will fall off.

In the comfort of his office, Phoenix whines that everyone's alibi is "water tight." He's so glum that he can't even make a mental note to work "tight alibi" into his courtroom banter with Edgeworth. Right when he's about to give up, a voice reminds him that he does have one lead to go on. It's Mia, stretching Maya's body to its physical limits again. Rather than expressing gratitude to see her or asking for her help, Phoenix wails, "What took you so long!?" Mia doesn't reply, "Oh, sorry Phoenix, I know I've inconvenienced you with the timing of my visit from the afterlife. Next time I'll be sure to possess my little sister sooner." Instead, she spouts some bullshit about Maya not being very good at channeling, because it's easier, and obviously classier, to blame it on the person who isn't present at the moment.

Since Phoenix is dumb, Mia reminds him that his one lead is "the boy," Cody Hackins. In all the excitement of decapitated monkeys and madam kids' show producers, Phoenix forgot all about the lone eyewitness to the murder who ran away without telling them what he knew. Easy to forget a detail like that, right? She practically shoos him out of the office so he can find the boy again. I'm sure they'll find him sneaking into some place that no one is allowed to be in, because he's the only person in the universe capable of moving through trees and over walls.

Oldbag is back at the main gate again, looking haggard and pissed off. Or: normal. She breathes at Phoenix for a couple of screens before blurting out "whippersnapper!" like it's the foulest curse word she can think of. "Sounds like she hasn't had any luck catching him," Phoenix thinks to himself, since that is not obvious from the fact that she's not holding Cody Hackins by the scruff of his neck right now. Oldbag does promise that she'll "Lay him flat" if she catches him again. Ew.

Still breathing hard, Oldbag triumphantly says she procured a "hostage." If it's a Steel Samurai Realdoll, I'm out of here. Of course, she refuses to hand this hostage over to Phoenix. You'd think it was a cravat she stole from Edgeworth with how protective she's acting. Mia suggests trading something of value to her as compensation. Oldbag also mentions that she'd love to visit where Hammer died before she "goes," whatever that means. Even though she's an employee and should be able to go wherever she wants on studio grounds, and repeatedly has so far, Phoenix presents WP's cardkey to Oldbag so she can go have a candlelight vigil at Studio One. "I was his...his fan," she says, a little touchingly. What? I'm not made of stone. He'll lose the ability to visit Studio One, but Phoenix hands over the card anyway. In exchange, since she doesn't want to owe a favor to a "whippersnapper" like Phoenix, Oldbag hands over her "hostage"--a Steel Samurai trading card. Of course.

Cody is lurking around the Employee Area again. As soon as Phoenix spots him, he disappears into WP's dressing room. Ew, is Sal Manella still in there? I hope not, or it might cause a time paradox.

Fortunately, Sal has disappeared, I hope forever. Cody scowls at Phoenix, but grins like a boob-addled idiot when Mia introduces herself. I shudder to think how Sal would have reacted to Mia in Maya's body. The Pink Princess of his imagination already had D-cups, and Maya's flat as a boy. The Mia version would have to support her front half with a forklift.

If Phoenix was ready for Cody to be appreciative or wowed by the trading card he whips out, he's about to be more disappointed than when Edgeworth says he's too tired and has an early morning meeting. First of all, Cody rightly points out, "But that's my card! By offering me something I already own, you're in effect eschewing the very basis of our consumer society, namely the principle of fair trade!" Phoenix decides this concept, yet another thing he should have picked up in school, is akin to "quantum physics." Man, it's a good thing he's got that ass.

Never say that again.

Further, Cody doesn't even want the card back, since he has a duplicate. "If you want to trade, find me a REALLY rare card!" he says. Well, Phoenix does have his ultra foil special edition cards from Hard Evidence Monthly, but those are not for a child's eyes.

Where, oh where, will Phoenix find, as Cody requested, an ultra rare premium Steel Samurai card? The odds of getting his hands on one of these in time to save WP have to be astronomical. So naturally, the first person Phoenix runs into--Penny, at the Studio Two trailer--has one. And the card in Phoenix's possession is the one card she needs for a complete set! Seriously, she is ready to forsake her dignity and suck dick for that thing, but Phoenix would rather just get a card in exchange, thanks. Amazing how this just happened to work out for our heroes. As she and Phoenix are trading cards, Penny also alludes to some tragic event in the history of the studio that involved our victim, Jack Hammer. But she doesn't think she "should be the one" to tell the story, like I need to get Donald Sutherland in here to narrate it.

Oh, honey, no.

Now armed with the "URP Card," or the DURP Card if you like, Phoenix returns to Cody, who is probably sniffing through WP's underwear drawer by now. Happily enough, the DURP Card just happens to be the last one Cody needs for his set. This is about thirty kinds of ridiculous, but I'd be lying if I said it even cracks the top ten of unlikely, bizarre shit that happens in this game. He begs Phoenix to give it to him--hopefully not like that--and even consents to finally talking about what he saw.

First, Phoenix has to bullshit his way through telling Cody that he is also a big fan of the Steel Samurai. He points at his favorite thing about him being his "fighting skills," since that sounds kind of like wrestling skills and could potentially be kind of hot. Cody agrees and even shows Phoenix his treasure, a scrapbook of all the Steel Samurai's heroic deeds. "I go to every live performance!" he crows, and somewhere behind Mia's hooters, Maya's soul is burning with jealousy. Cody adds, "I always take a picture when the Steel Samurai lands the final blow! Whizzam!" Yes, I read that as the final "blow" sounding like "Jizzam." You shouldn't even have to ask by now.

If you've given this statement any thought instead of picking it apart for semen jokes, it should be clear where this is going. Cody also shows off his new digital camera, and the name of his photo album: "The Steel Samurai: Path to [the] Glory [Hole]." Cody is so smitten with Mia that he even hands over this work of art to her, and Phoenix is immediately jealous that she gets stuff all the time. "What a life!" he thinks, without any sense of irony.

Phoenix reluctantly moves Cody along to the real reason they need to talk. Mia tells Cody that Phoenix is "fighting for justice" and needs this information to beat the bad guys. Cody still has his bitchface on, but he's now willing to talk. Mia can convince anybody! What a life she's living, right? Anyway. Cody says he arrived at the studio around 2:00 that day. Just to fuck with my head, he mentions that he came through the woods to avoid Oldbag. He must have magic powers, though he does say he got a little lost and didn't find his way to the studio for another half hour. Which was just in time for him to see the crime. "[The Steel Samurai] used his Samurai Spear! Just like always! One shot, one kill!" Cody says, over a still of himself watching his hero from behind a tree with a total blowjob face on.

He's off the path! HE'S A WITCH!

Yet again, since we now have Cody's testimony and THE PHOTO pointing to the Steel Samurai as the culprit, everybody present decides that WP must be guilty. Oh my God, you guys. I think everyone in this game is going to need counseling to get away from this mindset. Phoenix and Mia figure it's best to keep Cody off the stand since he's sure of what he saw, but just in time to be a buzzkill, Gumshoe busts in the room after overhearing Cody's entire testimony. And he's going to drag Cody off to be Edgeworth's star witness in the trial. Well, shit.

So the lead Mia was sure Phoenix had just turned into a witness for the prosecution. Just to pile on Phoenix's despair, Mia's time in Maya's body is running out or something and she has to let Phoenix handle this on his own. But before she goes back to Old People Heaven, she asks Phoenix if he thinks WP really is innocent. "Of course he is!" Phoenix cries, with nothing whatsoever to back that up, but that's good enough for Mia. I mean, who cares who did it, as long as you can delude yourself into thinking you're on the right side? Mia does promise to show up in court, though. Phoenix makes a mental note to pack Maya some baggy clothes with high necklines.

And with that, it's time for Phoenix to get laid get some rest before returning to the courtroom.

The next morning, WP immediately picks up that Phoenix is not feeling super confident about their chances. Phoenix, no doubt dripping sweat all over the lobby tile, insists that everything is cool. Mia just stands there frowning with her arms under her tits and calls WP a "dead man walking" right in front of him. "Perhaps that's why I feel particularly close to him," she adds. Phoenix chides, "This is no time for dead-people jokes, please." Yeah, Mia. You are being mortifyingly insensitive. Phoenix could drop dead from embarrassment. Mia manages, somehow, to not slap Phoenix in the mouth. Instead, she tells him they have to find something "overlooked" in the evidence if they have a chance of getting WP acquitted. Maybe they should look into this concept that the person in the Steel Samurai costume wasn't him, even though the costume belongs to him. That should really be examined in court.

In the courtroom, our cast of wacky, fuchsia-clad characters is all present and accounted for. Edgeworth, in his opening statement, announces in a shocked tone, "Yesterday, we learned that there were other people present at the studios! Today, I would like to show evidence proving they had nothing to do with the murder." I hope it's a photo of two people in Sal Manella and Dee Vasquez costumes hanging out on the lawn next to Studio Two. That will surely prove their innocence.

Sal Manella takes the stand and immediately takes offense when Edgeworth asks him to state his name, since everyone should know who he is. I didn't mention this when Maya committed this same faux pas, but how many directors of live action kids' shows are known on sight and are legitimate celebrities? Nobody knows who the guy is who plays the titular character, let alone this disgusting asshole. Edgeworth, meanwhile, gives Sal a Look, causing Sal to stop grandstanding and provide his name, rank and serial number, while making a truly gross slobbering blowjob face. Edgeworth has that effect on people.

Mia, wearing her I'm Worried You're Too Dumb to Handle This Face, reminds Phoenix that it's important to pick Sal's testimony apart, since someone who was at the trailer that day has to be the culprit. I shouldn't bother refuting that, since it was someone at the damn trailer, but the "logic" employed in this case is really starting to make my head hurt. Come on, Mia, a gold-medal pole vaulter could have fallen out of an airplane on their way to the Olympics and landed, pole first, right where Jack Hammer was standing after eating his T-bone steak. Crazier shit than this will happen in this series.

What is up with Hammer's jacket? Did he buy that at Michael Jackson's estate sale?

So, according to Sal: he was at the studios starting around 9:00 a.m., he did a run-through with Powers and Hammer wrestling each other in tight stretch pants, and then missed lunch with the actors and help because he was in a meeting at Studio Two until 4:00. "During the meeting, well, I'm pretty sure no one left their chairs," he adds. A four-hour meeting where no one so much as got up to stretch? Either these people have both exemplary patience and bladder control, or Sal is a liar.

Pressing the first few statements just makes Phoenix attempt to translate Sal's acronyms in his head, a wholly baffling and depressing use of his time, mostly because he stares vacantly into space like he's deep in thought over the meaning of "ROFS." But pressing Sal on his statement that he missed lunch prompts Mia to remind him that he knows that isn't true--there were dirty plates at Studio Two. Sal admits that he and Ms. Vasquez ate lunch during their lone break of the afternoon. So the network executives ate nothing? Did they stand in the background watching these two eat?

Phoenix is delighted that he managed to uncover this detail, and announces to the empty space between his ears that he should now press on the statement about the meeting running with no breaks. When we reach this crucial piece of testimony, however, Phoenix listens to Sal go "No breaks! Not a one!" and stands there with his thumb jammed up his ass for five minutes before remembering what he was told ten seconds ago. "If only I had an idea..." he thinks. "Wait a second...Maybe I do have an idea!" He triumphantly announces, "Mr. Manella, you've just contradicted yourself!" Oh my God, Phoenix, really? I am so glad you navigated his byzantine testimony and shined the light of truth on this subtle inaccuracy. Perry Mason would be so goddamn proud of you, son.

Phoenix and Mia allege that this lunch break provides an opening in which someone at Studio Two could have committed the murder and demand that Sal testify about said break. Sal does so, naturally with a ton of unnecessary leetspeak, revealing that the break lasted for 15 minutes--"Not enough time for someone to, say, commit murder in Studio One! LOL!" Well, someone is defensive. Through Phoenix's pointless pressing, we establish that 1) nobody on planet Earth could manage to eat an entire T-bone steak in less than 15 full minutes, 2) the break was from 2:30 to 2:45, and 3) even if someone could eat a T-bone in 30 seconds and dash off for a murder digestif, the monkey head was blocking the path between Studios One and Two by 2:30. Through all this? Phoenix just gets annoyed at Edgeworth for calling Mr. Monkey "Mrs. Monkey." It bothers him when Edgeworth acts all heteronormative in public.

Edgeworth is impressed by stuffing one's mouth with meat. Quelle surprise.

Even Phoenix has to agree that nobody could have gone from Studio Two to Studio One during the timeframe of the murder. Again, because people in this game take those "KEEP OFF THE GRASS" signs very seriously. The Judge accordingly lets Sal Manella leave the witness stand. Further, he shares his opinion on the case thus far: it must have been Will Powers because there's a photo of a big dude in his costume and it's impossible to eat a large steak and then walk on a surface other than pavement. Thanks, Your Honor. The only reason he won't convict WP right now is that there isn't any evidence of him actually doing anything wrong. Fortunately, Edgeworth has a witness! "My witness saw the very moment when the Steel Samurai skewered the victim!" he announces, letting his titillation at that concept show.

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