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"The west door leads to a grappling hook room with some irritating flamer skulls. They wouldn't be half as irritating without that wicked little giggle, like they don't know whether they want to tickle Twink or rape him. Welcome to my disturbing brain."
     -Jeanne, Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Part 6

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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
Also, if they transfer evidence from closed cases at the same time every year, it means some cases end up staying "alive" longer than others depending on the actual solve date. I guess if you're a wrongfully convicted individual, you have more time to get your case re-examined if it was closed on February 22nd versus February 21st. So ridiculous. Furthermore, SL-9 was set to be transferred on February 21st of this year, but Niceguy's death must have stalled that process. Plus, we know at least one piece of evidence, the broken knife, was not transferred to the vault. I'm just trying to figure out what would happen if Jake Marshall and Angel Starr were to turn up something -- would it even count at this point? Oh, what am I saying? Even dogs know Phoenix is going to wrap this whole mess up in a tidy pink bow.

Moving on, Phoenix shows Niceguy's ID to Marshall. Let's just pretend he says, "Hey, the victim's ID number is on that ID card record!" because that would be way less roundabout than what really happens. The card was used, as I mentioned, at 5:14PM, one minute before the dastardly crime. Marshall informs them unnecessarily that no duplicates of the card exist. "So, when the incident occurred, Detective [Niceguy] was in the evidence room!" Ema concludes. Or his ID card was. It's not like it was surgically embedded in his body. Let's all ignore the missing item report that points to him losing his ID card, because it's impossible to make conclusions outside of court.

Phoenix notices something else that is odd. He flashes back to Meekins describing the incident, and the way "Niceguy" attacked him when he asked to see an ID. "If he had his ID card then... Why would have have pointed a knife at Officer Meekins?" Phoenix thinks to himself (and possibly Ema). I'm sure we can all think of several plausible scenarios as to why this would happen (hint: it's the most obvious one), but we'll leave that to Phoenix to figure out in court, too. Marshall agrees that the ID card record must indeed be related to the case, and sensually slides it into Phoenix's court record. Bruce Niceguy's name is now printed in the conveniently empty third column of the printout, and Phoenix decides to ask around to find out if he can identify any of the other numbers. Wow, that is going to take a long time to check with all the people who have access to this room -- it's not like those ID numbers are going to magically belong to the few people with whom Phoenix has already interacted.

With that, the game passes from the Investigation Former stage to the Investigation Latter stage. Shit, that was just the first half of the investigation? But this segue ends up unlocking Edgeworth's office, so Phoenix can finally, finally head over to a location that doesn't suck. Well, you know what I mean. Screw the evidence room, it's time to explore the Fuchsia Fuck Lounge again.

Edgeworth's office is quite the palate cleanser after recapping the terrible characters and story lines of this case so far -- it is also quite literally a palate cleanser for Phoenix. Unfortunately for Phoenix's mouth, Edgeworth is elsewhere at the moment, possibly still in the interrogation dungeon. Even though his frequent trips to visit Edgeworth run the risk of alerting Ema to their relationship, Phoenix can't help himself. Ema, unaware of Phoenix's disappointment, remarks that Edgeworth is probably busy with "important investigations." "I hope that's what he's doing," Phoenix responds ominously. Is Phoenix concerned that Edgeworth is currently strapped into a sex swing, being roughly questioned by busty ladies? Or does he suspect that Edgeworth is out cheating on him somewhere? He might have found an alternate means of transportation to Gourd Lake. I am willing to accept either interpretation of Phoenix's worry.

Phoenix is so bitter about anything Steel Samurai.

Regardless of Edgeworth's fate, Phoenix isn't about to pass on the chance to poke around in here a bit more. I won't lie -- the first time I played this game, I beelined up here as soon as I could and sprayed the bejeezus out of the sofa with luminol. I'm not sure what I was expecting to find -- even if luminol could detect jizz, I wouldn't expect the game designers to go there, the cowards. Phoenix, firmly in control of the luminol bottle, refrains from checking the room himself. But for those of you who are wondering, were he to do this, he would find a single suspicious stain in front of the desk, supposedly from Gumshoe's nose bleeding. He must have walked in on Edgeworth in a state of undress.

The only other conversation worth noting relates to King of Prosecutors trophy. This has exactly nothing to do with the case, but it is amazing and I can't skip it. Ema asks Phoenix why Edgeworth would just toss this "prestigious award" on the couch, as if she was not privy to the part where he said it was intended sarcastically. Phoenix thinks to himself how Edgeworth has "always been like that." Reading his mind again, Ema's interest is piqued and she whips out her notebook, saying, "Hey, I should write this down. Tell me what he was like as a kid!" Oh boy. How long have you got, Ema? Phoenix, surprisingly, does not launch into an endless, detailed monologue of his fourth grade boyfriend. It's still great: "Back in elementary school, he won awards for all kinds of things. Speech contests, essays, playing the flute, golf tournaments..."

OH MY GOD EDGEWORTH PLAYS THE FLUTE. I mean, of course he does. Of course. He is a virtuoso at the skin flute. Phoenix regularly helps him work on his embouchure and fingering.

ALSO: EDGEWORTH PLAYS GOLF. As a kid, he probably wore his little culottes and knee socks, with a sweater vest and bow tie. Don't forget the hat with the fuchsia pom-pom on top! He probably wears this same outfit as an adult, only with a cravat instead of a bow tie. He has a custom red golf cart with a spoiler on the back. Phoenix regularly helps him with his grip, and perhaps serves as his official ball washer.

I want to spend all day recapping Edgeworth's homoerotic hobbies -- all this case stuff is crap. Phoenix adds that Edgeworth did not enjoy receiving all these awards. "He'd make some smart remark like, 'I know the path I've walked. No one needs to tell me.' That's how he's always been." "Kind of gets under your skin, doesn't it?" Ema remarks. Yes, Edgeworth does interact a lot with Phoenix's skin, that much is true. Sometimes he is even inside certain parts of it.

Well, that was fun, but as much as Phoenix wants to curl up on Edgeworth's sofa and sob himself to sleep, he's not done with his investigation. The investigation that is still not his fucking job, I might add, but at this point he's in so deep he might as well finish. So it's back to the evidence room, to my great delight. The area just beyond the door is oddly labeled as Evidence Room Sector Three. Why wouldn't this be Sector One? That's just the tip of the nonsensical iceberg, and I haven't gotten past the location text box yet. The part of the blue, fluorescent-lit room that Phoenix can see contains a double row of blue lockers. Between the sets of lockers are weird piles of stuff, like a fuchsia car door with a pair of handcuffs attached. Was this a sex game gone wrong involving Edgeworth's previous car? This is so much more interesting than the stuff I actually have to recap.

Phoenix will be using this to his advantage with Edgeworth.

Phoenix notes that the official investigation must be over, as no offscreen cops are hanging about. The only straggler is Detective Gumshoe -- as you'll recall, he ran in here to hunt down a meaty lunch and has apparently been lurking in here ever since. Ema mistakes him for a spooky ghost and slaps him in the face -- hey, only Edgeworth is allowed to do that! Once their wacky misunderstandings are cleared up, Gumshoe asks, "So, is it true what I heard?" The game flashes back to a couple scenes ago where Gant gave them permission to investigate the evidence room. But the part of the conversation Gumshoe was really asking about was Gant's claim that he would loan anyone $50. More hijinks! Can we just investigate already?

Gumshoe informs them that he has been placed in charge of the investigation for that day, and hands over the floor plans of the evidence room. That's never a good sign. The floor plans show an L-shaped room, with another set of lockers around the corner from where Phoenix is standing now. There doesn't seem to be anything beyond the far end of the room, so I'm curious how this can be just one sector of the overall room. Are there eight completely separate evidence rooms? There weren't multiple doors in the security office, so where are all the other sections of the evidence room? We will never find out the answer to this.

Ema wonders about Gumshoe being the "boss for the day," only the dialogue option is labeled "Judge for a day," which is something else entirely. Phoenix hopes he never participates in a trial where Gumshoe is the presiding judge -- all Edgeworth has to do is show up and he'll get his guilty verdict. Stupid sexy Edgeworth. Phoenix and Ema quickly determine that Gumshoe, though he thinks he's in charge, got kicked out of the investigation again. Ouch. "I'm adamant, though! I'm going to take control and put this case to rest! And in my own evidence locker, pal!" Gumshoe insists. Wow, he's still lost in his delusional fantasy where he cracks the case and gets a victory blowjob from Edgeworth. Phoenix does not feel like bursting his bubble, so he focuses instead on the statement about the locker. He seems surprised that Gumshoe, a detective, has a locker in the evidence room. Gumshoe confirms, adding, "They gave me a locker that only I can open, pal!" Ema Shions at this, like it's so odd for someone to have a personal locker. This actually does get silly in a bit.

Next, I choose the obligatory "Edgeworth" dialogue option. Does Gumshoe ever not want to talk about his favorite man? "I'll always believe in Mr. Edgeworth, no matter what happens," Gumshoe repeats his personal motto. I'm curious if this will still be true after he walks in on Phoenix bending Edgeworth over that fuchsia velvet sofa. At the moment, Edgeworth is still in the inquiry committee dungeon -- how fucking long is that going to take, anyway? That poor man. "I guess this is what you call "fate." Mr. Edgeworth just can't get away from that case..." Gumshoe says of SL-9, which no one has ever mentioned until the past few days and no one will ever mention again after tomorrow. So important! "That was the beginning of the end for Mr. Edgeworth," Gumshoe declares, making Phoenix feel like a terrible boyfriend all over again. All these past cases that shaped Edgeworth's life and Phoenix knew nothing of any of them. He hopes that Gumshoe will tell them more about SL-9 so that Phoenix can make up for his ignorance later with Edgeworth. I mean, that's only part of what Phoenix will have to do -- he has plenty of other ideas -- but it's a start.

I know the feeling.

The next topic is the locker that Gumshoe mentioned. He explains the high-tech locker system that requires a person's fingerprints, rather than an ID card or combination, to open. Again, it takes way more text boxes to cover this relatively simple concept, but ain't nobody got time for that. Gumshoe explains the basics: "On the other side of the handles is a sensor, and if the wrong person touches it..." Ema assumes electrocution, but Gumshoe cheerfully tells her that he'd be a black, smoking husk if that were the case. So Gumshoe knows about the fingerprint locks, but still tries to open the wrong lockers all the time? Jesus, how does he manage to even function in society?

It sounds like nothing really happens if someone tries to open the wrong locker, and there are cops even dumber than Gumshoe who have no clue that the fingerprint locks exist. I'm not sure how that's possible -- even if detectives didn't go around trying to open everyone's locker, they would at least have to wonder what kind of security system was protecting their own. Plus, there are all sorts of ways the locker could not work properly -- gloves, for example. I feel like this is my mantra for this recap, but: don't worry, it gets even dumber. The fingerprint locker info is added to Phoenix's court record. Gumshoe didn't explain this particular feature, but the item description mentions a light above each locker that turns on when the locker is opened.

What, Edgeworth posting nude selfies?

Gumshoe has nothing else to say at the moment, so Phoenix leaves him to his delusions about Miles Edgeworth and starts scoping out the room. There is a lot of relevant shit to examine in here, so I feel justified in skipping past the conversations about the many pieces of irrelevant shit. Sadly, we learn nothing new about the handcuffs on Edgeworth's fuchsia car door.

The top locker closest to the door has a scrap of white fabric sticking out of it, which Phoenix notices right away. How untidy! Edgeworth would never approve. Phoenix automatically assumes that Gumshoe is responsible for this, possibly because it could be Edgeworth's stolen cravat. It looks like he's already forgotten that a locker can only be opened by its owner because of fingerprints and this isn't Gumshoe's locker. I wish Gumshoe would point this out, but he doesn't -- he just slumps his shoulders and looks wretched. Gumshoe believes that this locker must have been accessed recently because otherwise the evidence would be "dirty or ripped," plus "the guard" -- why can't he just say Marshall? -- gets pissy about messy evidence storage. Phoenix takes this opportunity to gossip with Ema in front of Gumshoe about the detective's own messy appearance. Someone is feeling like a snarky bitch today.

Zip up your pants, Gumshoe.

Skipping past Gumshoe's unused "personal pole," and the metal detector from the Hammond case, which have both found a home in here, Phoenix turns his investigation to the second half of the evidence room. This area, which encompasses the last set of lockers along the back wall, as well as everything else around the corner, has way more going on. The most conspicuous feature is the red smeary handprint on the last locker on the top of the back wall. Both Phoenix and Ema immediately identify the substance as blood, and that's even without using the luminol. "It looks like someone tried to wipe it off," Phoenix notes. If that's true, they did a shitty job of it, because they only wiped the lower right side of the palm. All the fingerprints seem intact. "What if there are other bloodstains left in the room!?" Ema gasps. Don't worry, Phoenix is going to coat this room in fluid in just a few minutes.

But not yet, as there are still more exciting clues to discover. Around the corner, there's a set of lockers along the right wall. One locker hangs open, its light on. Crime scene tape blocks this set of lockers off from the rest of the room, and a white glove is draped over the top of this tape. In the foreground sits a pair of paint cans containing blue and yellow paint. And finally, beyond the crime scene tape, on the floor in front of the open locker, is something that, to put it lightly, is going to ruin Sam's life. We might as well get that one out of the way first, with a pre-emptive apology to Sam.

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