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"'Listen up! Teamwork means staying out of my way,' Seifer announces. 'It also means that Squally is my bitch for the day and must do whatever I tell him.' Squally perks up, secretly wishing that it wasn't just for the day."
     -Jeanne, Final Fantasy VIII Part 2




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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney : Part 10
By Jeanne
Posted 01.02.14
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7 : 8 : 9 : 10 : 11 : 12
Okay, let's fucking get on with this. Phoenix asks Meekins about the evidence room incident. On the day of the crime, Meekins had some unspecified business that took him to the evidence room. He doesn't expand on the exact nature of this business, and in a bit, it becomes even sillier that he was there, so let's just accept this at face value for the time being. While Meekins was there, he saw no guard at the entrance. "So, normally there's a guard at the evidence room?" Ema derps. No, all those monitors are for random visitors to watch gay porn movies at their leisure. Well, I guess I can't rule that out.

 
NO WAY

Meekins reveals that the guard to the evidence room is -- now brace yourselves -- Jake Marshall. I know that is totally out of left field and you might need to sit down. I want to punch Phoenix when he blue-fonts, "M-Marshall!?" Sam hypothesized that Phoenix has developed CTE from jamming Edgeworth's dick in his mouth too forcefully, and this kind of behavior is hard evidence in favor of that theory. While snooping around the entrance in Marshall's absence, Meekins looked at the monitor (he doesn't specify which one) and saw a "suspicious person." He screams like a mental patient about this suspicious person until he ends up almost asphyxiating himself with his own handcuffs. WACKY!

Ugh. Moving on, Meekins is vague about what happened next, eventually claiming he passed out and woke up in the detention center. Before Phoenix can get some more pertinent details, Ema asks Meekins about his bandaged hand. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that because who gives a fuck. Meekins non-answers that he bandaged his own hand, again without sharing any actual information. For fuck's sake. Phoenix and Ema communicate telepathically that this makes it just like what happened to Lana! Hand injuries! It can't be a coincidence! This must mean something! Phoenix asks again about how Meekins hurt his hand, which opens up a new conversational option where he will probably talk about everything except how he hurt his hand. So I make Phoenix ask about the victim instead.

Still trying to pin the murder on this sad sack of a man in front of him who probably couldn't kill an ant, Phoenix is all, "So, you did this thing, right?" Through some more irritating roundabout conversation and way too much megaphone feedback, I think we establish that Meekins didn't know Niceguy at all, and considers himself the victim of the evidence room incident. Moreover, he didn't mean to kill anyone and doesn't even remember committing the supposed murder. If you haven't played this game yourself, you have no idea how much time, aggravation, and ruptured eardrums I saved you by summarizing that shit.

As for Meekins's injured hand, Phoenix and Ema both assume it happened when he brutally stabbed Niceguy, which is just too depressing for words. After some more stammering and nonsensical whining, it seems that Meekins is claiming that Niceguy attacked him with a knife. "And the next thing I knew, I was unconscious!" Meekins shrills like he's TurtleNinja. "Then, when I opened my eyes... I was alone in the evidence room, sir! All alone!" Jesus. Just several paragraphs ago, he claimed he gained consciousness in the detention center, so it's great that he can't even remember shit he just said. Oh, and just for that extra kick in the nuts, Phoenix's main contribution to this interview is to Shion after almost every statement from Meekins. He had better hope Edgeworth isn't watching him on that camera, or he'll never be invited on a Penismobile ride again.

Channeling Shion AND Tidus? This is a dark day indeed.
 

In the version of the story where Meekins woke up in the evidence room, he was bleeding and Niceguy had "disappeared!!!" Wow, how could this person, who certainly could not be anyone other than the corpse of Niceguy, have vacated the room while the only other witness was unconscious? This is some crazy supernatural stuff, here. "The victim's body... disappeared...?" Phoenix blue-fonts, just to anger me further. What the fuck is wrong with him in this recap? Edgeworth's penis couldn't have done that much damage to his brain, could it?

Thankfully question time is over for the moment, and Phoenix can halfheartedly present various pieces of evidence to this halfwit in front of him. Most of the massive evidence list doesn't produce anything worth noting, except for an amusing screencap. Presenting Phoenix's badge, however, turns the conversation in a particularly disturbing direction. For some ungodly reason, Meekins assumes that Phoenix is trying to brag that Ema is his girlfriend, what with her "matching badges." Meekins obviously has no significant other, so he starts weeping and wailing into that fucking megaphone, "Life isn't all about high school sweethearts and youthful romance, sir!" Oh my God. Phoenix's main problem with this incredibly incorrect assumption is not the part about him being straight or into underage girls, but instead that his badge is not a "fashion accessory." Okay, that is pretty in character for Phoenix, but the last thing he needs is for the general public to start questioning his tendency to hang out with teenage girls.

 
And Phoenix does this on a nightly basis.

Presenting Niceguy's ID causes the conversation to spiral even more out of control. As soon as Meekins takes a closer look at Niceguy's douchey fedora, he suddenly remembers exactly what happened in the evidence room. "That card, that card was the cause of it all!" he whines. This adds a new conversational option about the details of the crime, which I'm sure will be very enlightening and sensible. I love it that Phoenix asks him, "Can you tell me what it is you do "remember"?" It's like the one redeeming moment he has in this never-ending scene.

What Meekins "remembers" is barging into the evidence room and asking Niceguy, whom he didn't recognize (as we've already established), to show his ID. A black and white still shot accompanies this recollection. In it, Meekins salutes at a man wearing Niceguy's signature getup, including the polka-dotted ascot which he thinks is going to get him laid with the ladies. The man's face is not visible in this shot, both because of the fedora and his position in relation to the camera. Well shit, cancel all that stuff I said before about Niceguy's dead body in the parking garage -- no one else could possibly have been wearing his outfit in the evidence room. CASE CLOSED.

Now, we've already seen the card reader next to the door to the evidence room, and by "we" I am obviously not including Phoenix because he doesn't see anything wrong with Meekins being suspicious of someone inside a room that requires some kind of credential to enter in the first place. It was only after Meekins asked to see this person's ID that the individual who was so totally Niceguy pulled out a knife. Which, admittedly, does sound like he was up to no good, but that doesn't make Meekins any less stupid for approaching him. Speaking of which, Meekins decided his best course of action, when presented with an armed opponent, was to leap toward him. And then he passed out, of course. What a bunch of wilting flowers the dudes in this game are.

Unluckily for me, Meekins survived the encounter, which means either his knife-wielding opponent never intended to murder him, or the guy just sucks at murdering. Regardless, now that Phoenix and Ema know the "entire" story, Ema realizes that something is off about Meekins's arrest. Phoenix is all, "DURRRRRRRRRRRR WHAT DO YOU MEAN" so Ema has to explain: Meekins didn't know Niceguy on sight, and the guy he encountered in the evidence room refused to show his ID. "In other words, we have no way of knowing if the victim was really the victim!" Phoenix blurts out, his tiny, tiny brain straining to contribute something, anything to this conversation. Ema lists the other weird shit, like the lack of a body, and wonders why Meekins was arrested for murder in the first place.

I don't think Edgeworth enjoys being referred to as 'this one,' Phoenix.
 

"They told me that it had to be him, sir," Meekins recalls, not elaborating on who "they" are. According to "them," Niceguy was definitely in the evidence room at that time, which I'm sure is completely ironclad considering we know for sure he wasn't. Although I am so close to the end of the scene, something happens that is worse than the rest of this interview -- nay, the entire recap so far -- combined: Meekins reveals that there is a security camera video of the incident.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, the existence of THE VIDEO, as I shall now call it, shouldn't come as a surprise given all the equipment in the Wild West Security Saloon (sorry), but I still was hoping that perhaps it was malfunctioning that day. No luck, of course. Phoenix seems more stoned than upset, but Ema is pissed off that Meekins withheld the existence of THE VIDEO until now, like he's done such a great job of imparting helpful information so far. "I'm sorry, really sorry, sir! I'll hand over my badge! I don't deserve it!" Meekins declares, saluting like a moron. He is absolutely right, but I'd rather he hand over his megaphone so Phoenix can throw it into one of the many incinerators around town.

And now that we know the basic facts behind Meekins's arrest, I want to point out that this means he was running around free for at least a day after his supposed crime. Remember, his one appearance before this was to deliver a report on the crime he supposedly committed to Edgeworth's office. The only way to even know about the altercation between Meekins and "the victim" in the evidence room had to be THE VIDEO, so I am left wondering how he was not arrested before he had a chance to visit Edgeworth. Everything about this incident is already shoddy, but this particular plothole is pretty inexcusable.

Thankfully, that's all Phoenix can do here for the moment, and although he is no closer to figuring out the Mystery of the Evidence Room Incident, the rest of us have a pretty clear idea what the fuck happened to Meekins in there. It's still not Phoenix's job to debunk this "murder" once he catches up to the rest of us, but he's still determined to investigate the scene of the "crime."

Before heading over to the WACKY! security guard office again, Phoenix makes a stop at the criminal affairs department. I'm sure he thought it would a be less scarring location. To his surprise and dismay, Chief Gant is there having a discussion with the Chief of Detectives. Well, Ema refers to that dude as the Head Detective even though I think he's always been called the Chief of Detectives until this case. During this conversation, Gant is in the foreground, facing Phoenix, completely blocking the painted backdrop character he's talking to. If that wasn't confusing enough, the Head Detective's dialogue is labeled with "Chief" so it seems like Gant is speaking his lines, since he is also the chief.

Basically Gant is badgering (no pun intended) the shit out of this poor, inanimate man. The Head/Chief Detective, freaking out, assures Gant that he's checked everywhere, including the pillowcases that they apparently have in the police station, and everything is perfect. Gant's all, "It had better fucking be." After this vague exchange, Gant spots Phoenix and breaks into a happy, unsettling grin. "Ah hah! Wrighto, my boy! How ya been? Swim much?" he wonders, which is just a platonic, heterosexual question from this upstanding churchgoer. He is not imagining Phoenix skinny-dipping with water glistening on his smooth skin, not at all!

 
He is right about this.

Phoenix, trying not to get on this guy's bad side like Edgeworth did earlier, shakes the screen as he declares a little too enthusiastically, "Oh ho ho, Chief Gant! Reporting for duty, sir!" I'm sure he is soaked in terror sweat under his cheap suit. "Why are you saluting him, Mr. Wright!?" Ema demands cluelessly. I am so sad and horrified for Phoenix. While Gant is staring at him in a soul-violating manner, Phoenix takes a stroll around the room. Maybe Gant will leave if Phoenix doesn't pay attention to him, although Gant's intimidating musical theme on loop does not bode well for this. The random detective in the background is working on his latest hobby, a (likely steamy) crime novel. The only reason I'm wasting words on this guy is that his book's culprit uses a cassette tape to fake a gunshot and this is kind of a spoiler for a much later game! Continuity sort of!

Judging by his appearance, unspeakable things.
 

The Head Detective, cowering at the back of the room, for some reason feels comfortable discussing with Ema what just happened, while Phoenix and Gant presumably stand there watching him. This is strange. According to HD, Gant asked him to search for clues around Niceguy's work area. "They took away every last piece of garbage in the trash can," HD adds. He probably had to erase Niceguy's bitter OKCupid profile from his work computer, too. All those bitches who prefer assholes to Nice Guys will never get to read his epic takedown of their unfair behavior! So tragic. The only item belonging to Niceguy that has not been incinerated by this point is a lost item report. "It's not even important. He didn't even finish writing it!" HD insists, which means that it's going to be an essential piece of evidence in the trial. HD hands it over so Phoenix can stuff it in his bulging court record. "The date on it is February 21," Phoenix comments, the first thing he has said in this conversation. Good job, Phoenix.

Phoenix examines the lost item report, which is a half sheet of paper with the title "Lost Item Report" at the top. This is so clumsy -- they really have a form specifically for lost items? Of course, with this crew of mental giants, maybe it's a common occurrence. In this case, it's obvious from the partially written and scribbled-out ID number that the lost item is in fact Niceguy's ID card, even though he didn't write anything in the actual "lost item" entry on the form. Did he get murdered in the middle of filling this out? Why did the game designers even have to try to make this a mystery?

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