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"Bear tells the soldiers to be ready for a 'fierce battle,' while Apple says the 'traps' they set should slow them down. Zuh? What did she do, stick some bear traps on the path and hope for a stupid adversary? I hate Apple."
     -Sam, Suikoden II Part 3

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney : Part 6
By Jeanne
Posted 06.30.12
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4
Phoenix isn't so ready to give up on this line of questioning. He remembers how von Karma jumped all over him when he tried to figure out Lotta's true motive, and knows something must be up. Actually, he probably doesn't remember that at all, but I do. The Judge thinks this new information warrants a new testimony. I hate how I keep getting punished for making the right choices in this game. This new testimony, creatively titled "Lotta's New Testimony," consists of a whopping eight -- eight! -- screens of text for Phoenix to cross-examine. Jesus. Lotta testifies that she's not a research student -- you don't say -- she's an "investigative photographer" out to make a name for herself by photographing rare beasts like lake monsters and straight men. Apart from that, she claims that the rest of her story is the same -- she looked at the lake when she heard the first bang, and stared at the boat with her binoculars until she heard a second bang and saw a flash near the shooter's hand.

'That's right, Mr. Wright. I'm ordering you to whip it out.'

After the testimony, von Karma tries to prevent a cross-examination by pointing out that the testimony is exactly the same except for Lotta's occupation. While I appreciate his attempts to save me the trouble of recapping the same thing for the umpteenth time, that would not be in the best interest of Phoenix and Edgeworth doing it. I have no choice but to proceed. Phoenix agrees with me, and forcefully objects to von Karma's sad attempts to screw him over. "You seem sure of yourself," the Judge comments. "You must have something in mind." "That would be a first!" von Karma snarks, and that's kind of awesome. Hey, we were all thinking it. The Judge tells Phoenix that this testimony is absolutely, without any exceptions, the very last chance Phoenix has to find a contradiction. I hope he holds up his end of the bargain and doesn't allow any more testimonies to sneak in at the last minute, because I am so done with this shit.

Most of the pressing is unnecessary here, unless you want to read more about von Karma objecting incessantly to everything. But Phoenix does ask about Lotta's reason for becoming an "investigative photographer" like anyone really gives a shit. But I had to sit through it, and now you do too. Lotta tells a story that supposedly took place at her sister's graduation -- she was snapping photos and discovered a "yoofoh" in the sky. I'm so sorry I had to type that. Of course she means a UFO, and that experience inspired her to go out and take pictures of other nonexistent things for a living. Awesome. The most ridiculous part of this story is that anyone in her family graduated. Phoenix doesn't think anyone outside of the local population really cares about Gourdy, and he's right. None of us care, after all.

Phoenix wonders why Lotta felt the need to lie about her true reason for camping out at the lake, and she says she didn't want anyone "trying to steal [her] scoop." Well, that doesn't hold up at all since Gourdy was already featured in a newspaper article. Phoenix thinks this sound fishy, too -- he tries to ask if there was another reason, but von Karma very conspicuously cuts Lotta off again. This is really getting old. You know what? I'm just going to skip right to the evidence part. I know people get upset when I gloss over things, but trust me when I say you're not missing out. I've hit my limit on how many times I can repeat this shit. Christ, my life is just ticking away here. When Phoenix gets to Lotta's statement about watching the boat, he whips out the Gourdy article again to get her to admit that she's still lying her ass off. "It was the only thing out there!" she insists. "Any normal person'd be looking at it!" "I agree, any normal person would. But you are far from normal!" Oh, snap! Phoenix looks all confident as he points his finger at her, and the badass organ music starts up again. Edgeworth is probably touching himself in the defendant's chair at this point. Phoenix states that if Lotta heard a bang and thought Gourdy might be out there, she would have scanned the lake rather than waste time watching men in a boat. Wait, didn't she admit she scanned the lake about fifteen testimonies ago? Whatever, Phoenix is on a roll here, and I'm not going to ruin his moment. Lotta is all, "...Crap!"

Okay, now I'm going to cut Phoenix short -- he just keeps going on and on about this. He needs to learn to quit while he's ahead. Finally, Lotta confesses (again) that she was indeed looking at the lake, not the boat. I'm disappointed in her lack of melodramatic meltdown -- she just kind of stares at the ground and sighs. Booooooring. She apologizes to everyone -- an apology I do not accept -- and says she just wanted to be a murder witness. Furthermore, she insists she wasn't lying on purpose -- she'd somehow convinced herself that she actually saw something, and I'm sure that Edgeworth is totally okay that she was willing to send him to prison because of her need to feel cool. Actually, I'm not sure I buy her explanation. It's more likely that Lotta is a stereotypical Southern redneck homophobe, and as such, she had a gay-bashing personal vendetta against the obviously flaming Miles Edgeworth. That makes a lot more sense than all the silliness about false memories. Also, it's just as possible she was trying to take photos of Gourdy to prove the existence of Jesus.

Now that she's even angered the dipshit Judge, Lotta tries to salvage the situation by pointing out that there's still the photo. "Yeah, the shitty photo where you can't see shit," the Judge basically says. "That's why I took this photo n'--" Lotta begins, but von Karma objects so quickly, you'd think she was about to reveal that she walked in on him wearing a fursuit and diaper. You're welcome. Phoenix, meanwhile, is in the middle of a flashback triggered by Lotta's partial statement. His tiny, tiny brain struggles and strains until he recalls what Gumshoe said to him yesterday about the photo enlargement. "She enlarged that photo!" Phoenix blue-fonts in realization. "Why won't von Karma let me see it?" It's looking more and more like the fursuit theory might be true, people. Phoenix pretty much agrees that it has to mean "something bad" for the prosecutor, and if he can't get Edgeworth off the hook for murder, at least he can humiliate von Karma in front of the court.

'Stabbing?' 'In a way.'

Phoenix asks Lotta outright if she enlarged the photo, and she answers in the affirmative before von Karma can force his way into the conversation again. "Why has that enlargement not been presented to the court!?" Phoenix inquires, sounding scandalized that a prosecutor would dare withhold evidence. Von Karma lies that there is no such enlargement, but Lotta is all, "Fuck that, asshole, you told me to lie about it!" The music is very tense here. Like Phoenix, the peanut gallery is aghast at von Karma's actions, but of course he doesn't get into any real trouble over it. Only Phoenix gets in trouble in this courtroom, especially for things like doing his job. The triumphant disco porn accompanies Phoenix's dramatic pointy pose as he commands, "Show the photo to the court! Show us the enlargement!" Edgeworth swoons at this, especially when he hears Phoenix say "enlargement." The Judge for once in his life stands up to von Karma and turns down his inevitable objection. And...and then von Karma shuts up. Holy crap. We have all had a victory this day.

Luckily, Lotta just happened to bring the enlarged version of the photo to court. It appears on screen for the first time and...well, although the magical power of ENHANCEMENT! has produced way more detail than would appear in real life, the image is still pretty blurry and foggy. The men's faces both remain in shadow, and since it's a black and white photo, we can't tell which one is wearing a fuchsia suit. Wait, silly me, they probably both are. The man on the left appears to be leaning back out of the way of the pistol going off in the other man's hand. The other man's left hand. I mean, I already gave away this "twist" at the very beginning of my last recap, but this is new information to Phoenix. As expected, he doesn't notice this fact right away. Von Karma takes advantage of Phoenix's stupidity and acts all offended that Phoenix wasted the court's time. "You asked for the enlargement, you got the enlargement," he creepily grins and wags his finger. "And little good it has done any of us! That's why I requested she not show it!" Phoenix just stands there, once again limp and unimpressive, as the Judge and von Karma arrange to end the cross-examination, as well as Edgeworth's chance at sex with Phoenix outside the conjugal trailer.

Oh my God, this is tedious. For what feels like the billionth time this recap, the Judge is on the verge of declaring a guilty verdict. Phoenix desperately blue-fonts over what he should do, and then I'm presented with a choice. Jesus, I have to do everything around here. I choose the "Object to the fucking enlargement" option, imagining instead that I am shouting this at Phoenix while slapping him across the back of his head. "Your Honor! There is something decidedly strange with this enlargement!" Phoenix insists, like he's the one thought of this. Suddenly he's all confident again and the disco porn resumes its thrumming in the background. I'm just one more lady doing Phoenix's job while he gets all the credit.

'But I'm going to have to ask you to pull out -- we are in the middle of a trial, after all.'

The Judge, stupider than Phoenix as always, goes, "Derpty derp, what's wrong with the photo?" I tap the shooter's left hand with my middle finger. "Look at the hand holding the pistol, Your Honor! That hand directly contradicts another piece of evidence!" That evidence, of course, is Phoenix's penis. Thanks to the pre-trial handjob, dusting his wiener for fingerprints will prove beyond any doubt that Edgeworth is right handed! Okay, fine, it's actually the stupid pistol. It probably wouldn't be safe for Phoenix to whip out his dick in front of von Karma, anyway. Phoenix uses way too many text screens and exclamation points to explain how these two pieces of evidence are at odds. But he's on a roll, impressing his sexy boyfriend, and I'm just a recapper who can't get any so I guess I'm just jealous. Also, how incredibly convenient for Edgeworth that the shooter just happened to be left handed.

I said near the beginning of the trial that I would give von Karma a chance to display some amazing and entertaining courtroom tactics before judging him a complete bore. Clearly, he has not delivered. If von Karma had just learned how to use Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal to flip both versions of that image around in Photoshop, he would have had a slam dunk case from the beginning. I'm not condoning a series of events that would prevent Phoenix and Edgeworth from fucking each other, but after all that build-up I expected to see at least some creativity from this guy. Then again, maybe I'm reading him wrong. Maybe von Karma won all those cases in his career because he's just really good at his job. Maybe he's not actually out to beef up his win record and frame innocent people for murder by forging evidence. Let's see how well this theory holds up.

After the dust settles from the latest peanut gallery explosion, the Judge declares that it is impossible for Edgeworth to be the shooter based on the evidence. But on the other hand (see what I did there?!), since there wasn't anyone else on the lake, the shooter couldn't have been anyone else, as von Karma is quick to point out. What to do? Phoenix gets one last shot to pin the crime on someone other than Edgeworth. His choices are Lotta Hart, Larry Butz, and the victim himself. Wow, if he's considering Larry as the culprit, Phoenix must really be bitter over how things turned out between them. Rawr! Hiss! The only acceptable option is the suicide one. Von Karma has been waiting for Phoenix to bring up this possibility, and he says that according to the medical examiner, the victim was shot from at least a meter away. That's about three feet for those of you who aren't German Nazis like von Karma. The autopsy report is updated with this new information. This is all so anticlimactic now that Phoenix has had already his big moment in the trial. The "point" of this little follow-up is so that there's a reason to keep Edgeworth jailed for the time being. We can't have a simple, one day trial with a not guilty verdict after all. The Judge announces that he will extend the trial another day, and orders Phoenix and von Karma to keep investigating. We already know that von Karma has another lying witness lined up, so Phoenix had better step up his game.

Unfortunately, it's going to be at least one more day before Phoenix and Edgeworth can get some quality alone time, but that doesn't mean they have to be separated just yet. After the Judge adjourns the trial for the day, the two lovers meet up in the defendant lobby. Edgeworth just stares at Phoenix, transfixed. "Don't you have anything to say!?" Phoenix prompts, as if talking is what he wants Edgeworth to do with his mouth. "No. I have yet to be declared innocent, Wright," Edgeworth responds in his emo pose. Denied! Phoenix wants to know what really happened out on that boat. Are we back on that again? Things get a little bit tense when Phoenix awkwardly teases Edgeworth about being the shooter. God, these two. Just make out already -- it's in Sam's script! Since it looks like things aren't heading in that direction -- sigh -- Phoenix announces that he's going to go check on his savior Maya in the detention center. Edgeworth has a message he'd like to pass along, but he has trouble formulating the words. He lets out several strings of ellipses, and finally stammers, "Tell her to watch what she says in court." Wow, he really knows how to talk to the ladies. Phoenix thinks to himself that Edgeworth is kind of an asshole, like he wasn't the biggest asshole in the world to Maya earlier that day. Verdict: both of these guys are assholes. And dicks.

Further prolonging this recap, Phoenix relapses into Wankese. Was I a horrible person in another life or something? He tells us or his diary or whomever that he got a copy of Lotta's testimony just in case it might contain something useful for the trial tomorrow. The only thing about the testimony that wasn't complete garbage was the part about hearing the bang. Or bangs. I mean, she did hear two, even though Phoenix has already forgotten that. This one non-lie is added to Phoenix's Court Record, and that's it for the first day of the trial. I'm just trying to ignore the fact that so much of this nonsense could have been avoided if Phoenix had asked about the God damn enlargement at the beginning of Lotta's testimony. Fuck him.

Well, that's it for the first part of the case. I am so pleased to be handing this case off to Sam for the next part, so she can deal with even more annoying witnesses and the thrilling truth about Gourdy. There might also being something about our latest fanwanky theory regarding Larry Butz's sex life. Until next time!

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