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"Even a 'thank you' from Vyse isn't enough to appease MwaAA's anger. He punches Vyse in the face, knocking him to the ground. I think that MwaAA needs to make a guest appearance in Final Fantasy X and do the same to Tidus."
     -Jeanne, Skies of Arcadia Part 3

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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
Gant continues to smile at Phoenix, politely waiting until he's done filing away the one piece of Niceguy's existence that Gant didn't manage to erase. Although even Phoenix has to have an inkling that it's a terrible idea for him to mention Edgeworth in front of Gant, his intense love of and concern for Edgeworth overrides his self-preservation. "Um... is Edgeworth going to be okay?" Phoenix asks, trying to sound casual. This is a weird question to ask of the man who violently reamed him out in front of the entire court -- why would Gant care if Edgeworth is okay? "Oh, Worthy? Oh, you know, they're doing a little inquiry committee with him," Gant responds with another wide smile. Translation: ball gags and whips. I don't know what else "inquiry committee" could possibly mean. Oh wait, maybe it's a panel of large-breasted women in Mia-style bra suits grilling him on his transgressions. This could also involve ball gags and whips. I am rabbit holing again.

Acting like a disappointed father figure, Gant says that "the boy" has been nothing but trouble since he was arrested for murder last December. Phoenix refers to this as "the incident on Gourd Lake." Get over it Phoenix, he wasn't fucking Yanni Yogi in that boat. Maybe Phoenix found out about the encounter with Larry somehow. "It doesn't look good having one of our top people sitting in the defendant's seat," Gant grins, as if it was worse for Edgeworth to be framed for murder than for von Karma, their most prominent prosecutor, to be outed as an actual murderer. Speaking of von Karma, the music stops suddenly as Gant notes that Phoenix "got someone else found guilty" in that case. Gant tugs at his forelock while staring cross-eyed at Phoenix, causing Phoenix's testicles to disappear inside his body in fear. From the way Gant compliments von Karma here, calling him a legend, I'm wondering if maybe Gant and von Karma had a more personal relationship. I mean, just from their respective jobs, they had to know each other, right? "But in court you fixed it so he was caught for forging evidence..." Gant continues. Phoenix, his balls finally making an appearance, is all, "Nuh-uh, motherfucker did that shit."

Because this is such a rare occurrence in this series.

We don't find out any more about how well Gant and von Karma knew each other, as Gant lets that particular subject drop. But I am really nervous on Phoenix's behalf now. So all because of Edgeworth and not von Karma, the prosecutors' office is worried about their shitty reputation, and would "do just about anything" to fix it. And we know what "anything" means in this game. Gant also implies that Edgeworth might get sacrificed in order to restore their image. Which is silly, because he's the only prosecutor in town! Minus Payne, but he sucks and is ugly. Is it possible that Gant, with his conservative views, is looking to purge the prosecutors' office and possibly the police department of all its gay employees? Is this a gay witch hunt?

Phoenix is scared for his boyfriend, but he vows to go comfort him after his all-female inquiry session. He can also ask Gant about the "evident incident" as the localization team calls it. Great job once again, guys. This just launches Phoenix into more dialogue about the stupid double murder of Niceguy. Gant claims that the evidence is pointing toward Niceguy getting murdered in two different locations at the same time, even though it seems "scientifically" impossible to Ema and anyone else who isn't stupid. Phoenix tries to find out about this supposedly hard but probably unimpressive evidence, to no avail. This is "secret" and "sensitive" evidence, according to Gant. He's talking about THAT FUCKING VIDEO, isn't he? Ugh. "You know, one thing I hate most of all is hiding stuff. Secrets. Can't stand 'em!" Gant protests too much, like he's Larry talking about how much he doesn't like penises. Also like he himself is talking about how much he doesn't like penises. This is just a segue into a mention of the Head Detective and what he and Gant were discussing a few moments ago, but Phoenix already talked to the guy, so let's skip to the next part of the conversation.

Still uneasy, but determined to see that fucking evidence room at all costs, Phoenix asks for "a favor" from Gant. "Hmm? Well, I never thought the day would come when Wrighto asked me for help!" Gant exclaims, rubbing his hands together. This is odd -- he's been fantasizing about Phoenix asking for favors? Has he been sitting in the peanut gallery, singling out gay lawyers for conversion therapy? Is he hoping Phoenix will request his services which definitely do not involve sucking the gay out of Phoenix's penis? When Phoenix asks for permission to investigate the evidence room, Gant fixes him with that piercing stare that goes on for several seconds. Phoenix is just about ready to run out of the room shrieking when Gant suddenly switches back to his benevolent granddad persona. He's all, "Sure, I have nothing to hide since I murdered no one in that room! Knock yourselves out!" He even gives them a guest ID that looks just like Niceguy's, minus the smug tool in the photo. Getting a hold of an official police ID excites Ema just a little too much for Phoenix's comfort. But Gant is all about exciting the ladies! Only he totally prefers ladies that are of an appropriate age! He is such a respectable gentleman!

Don't do it Phoenix, it's a trap!

One weird thing I have to note -- when Phoenix blue-fonts about the station being a bad influence on Ema, Ema's mouth moves as if she's speaking his internal monologue. This is getting into creepy Doctor Who episode territory now. Pretty soon Ema will be speaking Phoenix's words before he can say them and then things are going to get way awkward with Edgeworth. But Phoenix has other awkward shit to deal with right now. Fortunately, Officer Marshall is still off Brokebacking or posing for paintings, and Ema decides to let herself into the evidence room with the guest ID. But oh noes! Someone turned off the card reader! There is no real reason for this, it just serves as another obstacle that forces Phoenix to converse with yet another irritating a-hole, in this case, the newly-returned Jake Marshall. Oops, I mean "???." This unknown fellow greets these two chumps with, "Howdy, pardners. Well, well, what's made my bambina's skies so gray?" Well, his boyfriend is currently under interrogation by straight ladies wearing bondage gear, he's had to deal with two of the most annoying people on the planet, and some homophobic old dude just accused him of framing von Karma. Never mind all the pressure he's under in the current case. All Phoenix can actually respond with is, "O-Officer Marshall! (Somehow, I knew...)" Way to go, Phoenix! How did you ever figure out it was him? "What's that 'somehow I knew' look for?" Marshall wonders, making this whole reading Phoenix's mind thing even weirder. Are all these characters just interpreting Phoenix's transparent facial expressions? That's one option I don't think we've considered.

There's no reason to keep dragging this out. Marshall wants to know why they are hanging around his "saloon" -- which makes me feel even worse about calling it that earlier -- and Ema lets him know they have business in the evidence room. He compares her ID to a sheriff's badge because of course he does, and turns the card reader back on. That was relatively painless, which means I must not be done with this scene. Phoenix, against all good sense (because he's Phoenix), wants to ask Marshall some questions. Marshall gives him a cowboy slang response that translates into, "Nope." I can also re-examine the room, complete with Marshall's godawful commentary this time, but why would I do that to myself?

Through an even less tolerable exchange with Marshall that includes a rather disgusting stomach growling effect that sounds more like a fart, Phoenix and Ema determine that he is just too hungry to talk to them. This is beyond silly, of course, but luckily they have just the fix for that problem! I haven't been timing these scenes, but that meat slab Phoenix received from Angel cannot still be hot. I imagine Marshall doesn't object to room temperature meat, though. Indeed, when Phoenix sexily slides the steak out of his pocket and right into Marshall's mouth, Marshall acts like this is the most delicious thing he's ever wrapped his lips around. He says the smell reminds him of Texas -- I'm not sure I really want to know -- even though Ema soon establishes that Marshall has never even been to Texas. It's so funny because he's obsessed with being a cowboy from Texas but he's totally not! Oh, the wacky comical misunderstandings! I really can't deal with this guy right now.

Fuck off.

Like things haven't been bad enough for Phoenix, Marshall even refers to this meal as a "filet steak" and if that's the case, Phoenix could have saved it for Edgeworth. God damn it. Now, I know I can't just skip over all the dialogue here as much as I want to, but in no way does that mean I have to give any attention to Marshall's cowboy speak. Sam covered it well enough, bless her, and it's really just the same shit over and over. At least he's not deformed or a woman, so Phoenix has some eye candy, but that doesn't help me much.

That's the long way of saying I'm just going to get through this as quickly and painlessly as possible. A quick in and out procedure, if you will. Watch me stretch this out to multiple pages anyway. Phoenix wants to know why Marshall wasn't at his station when Meekins "brutally murdered" "Niceguy." Marshall tells him that ever since his demotion, he kind of doesn't give a shit about his job anymore. I'm sure we can all relate to that. The thing he claims he was doing at 5:15 on the day of the "crime" is stupid and does not fit the criteria of something I'm willing to recap, plus it turns out to be a lie. Marshall adds that there's no point in a guard anyway, thanks to their high tech security camera system (ugh).

Before delving more into this hateful topic, Ema wonders about the SL-9 incident and mentions that Angel told them all about her and Marshall's unofficial investigation. Marshall tells them basically the same thing Angel told them, that SL-9 was officially solved but some dirty stuff went down, and not the way Phoenix likes it. Ema wants some actual details for once. "There are some things you're better off not knowing," Marshall says, and that is the fucking truth here. Let it drop, Phoenix and Ema -- it's not worth it. Marshall adds that the case was "officially dead" two days ago, which Phoenix miraculously realizes was the same day as Niceguy's murder. He gets another gold star next to his name for that one -- I think he has, like, three now. "That's right... The evidence transferals." Marshall reminds us. Phoenix remembers this, too, but only because that information came out of Edgeworth's mouth the day before.

So now it's time to discuss the security system, which is honestly the last thing I feel like recapping right now. First off, we establish that Marshall is shitty with technology and only knows how to work a couple of the machines. Because he's just a hick cowboy, get it?! As for the security cameras, he notes, "If nothing happens, the tapes are automatically erased every few hours." How does that even work? Doesn't someone have to review them to know whether or not something happens? Even if Marshall were at his post more often and not off shopping for assless chaps, he can't be there 24/7 to make sure something important doesn't get erased.

I'm sure there are many men in this series who dream of wrangling rawhide.

This particular issue is never addressed, because I'm sure none of the game designers ever considered the problems inherent in that system. Ema wants to know if the incident with Meekins and "Niceguy" was captured on any of these super modern videotapes, as if she doesn't already know that such a tape exists. Marshall -- sorry about this -- "reckons" that might be the case. Even Phoenix is all, "Wouldn't you fucking know?" Except he doesn't have the balls to say it out loud. Does he think Marshall is going to whip out a six-shooter on him if he gets mouthy? And if Marshall supposedly doesn't know what is on any of these tapes, and thus is not the one who reported the incident, then how the fuck did anyone find out about it? Is Marshall lying here? Why would he bother? Did Meekins report it himself? That doesn't seem likely either. Oh well, I'm sure they will address this important question later.

In addition, the evidence room requires an ID card to enter. So that's what the card reader and the ID cards are for! Even Phoenix blue-fonts that he already figured this out, so we can assume it's apparent to everyone. But this isn't all repeated information -- Marshall shows Phoenix a printout of all the ID numbers used to enter the evidence room on the day of the crime, which the security system records. This printout is weird-looking because it's like an Excel spreadsheet with an extra column and extra rows, plus it only lists the ID and time it was used -- there are no names, which would seem like a logical thing to include. I'll fanwank that it's a security precaution and not just the start of an unnecessary fetch quest. There are only five records, all between 4:20 and 5:14PM, which is strange for a supposedly busy evidence transferal day. And finally, the date at the top reads "Febluary 21." I am not even kidding.

Great work, localization team!

Since I helpfully provided a screenshot for you, I've saved myself the work of listing all the numbers and times. I guess I could have saved myself the trouble of pointing out all the weird shit, too, but seriously, look at that thing. Ema recognizes one of the numbers, as should we all -- as should Phoenix -- but Marshall refuses to give them any more info without knowing whether it's related to the case they're investigating. So he was okay with showing them the record, but not actually handing it over -- why show it at all if you're worried about keeping it secret from people not related to the case?

Also, making Phoenix prove this record's relation to the case is really a dumb extra hoop to make me jump through -- no shit the ID card record for the evidence room on the day of the incident is related to the evidence room incident that they're investigating. But I guess that's the game designers trying to make me feel like I'm actually solving something myself. Which they fuck up a moment later by Ema basically going, "ONE OF THOSE ID NUMBERS LOOKS FAMILIAR WHERE COULD I HAVE SEEN IT BEFORE." Yes, Bruce Niceguy's ID number -- the one ID number that has so far been shown in this game -- is listed under one of the two entries for 5:14PM.

Before Phoenix uses his evidence thrusting skills to present Niceguy's ID, he asks about this evidence transferal business. I'll say right up front that some -- if not all -- of this premise has the whiff of bullshit, but I am no expert on the various evidentiary procedures of Japan Los Angeles law enforcement. I'll just let Marshall explain, since he manages to refrain from his asinine cowboy speak: "We keep only evidence from solved cases in this room. They're kept here under the presiding detective's supervision for two years. So we can re-investigate them if it turns out there was a mistake, see?" After two years pass from when the case was solved, the evidence is all transferred to an underground vault at the police station. And then it's considered dead and buried, with no chance of re-examining it in the future. So if some kind of new evidence comes in right after the deadline that might exonerate a convicted murderer, they're just fucked? That doesn't seem right, especially with all the innocent people that must be in prison here.

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