Ace Attorney Case Review 11: Stolen Turnabout

Hi guys, sorry this one's slightly late. I'm a busy boy!


GAME: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
CASE: Stolen Turnabout


This is the second case in Trials and Tribulations, but the first which is set in the present day. It's also the first where the player controls Phoenix himself, and the case which introduces new prosecutor Godot. It could so easily get away with being by-the-numbers, so the fact that it twists and turns the formula as much as it does is highly commendable.

Initially at least, this is the first case in the series where our defendant isn't being tried for murder. Instead, he is accused of being notorious cat burglar Mask*De Masque. 

 This leads to a great twist; by finding the client innocent in the burglary, we leave him with no alibi for a murder which occurred at the same time. Suddenly, we're into another case and new boy Godot has played an ace hand, setting him up excellently as a force to be reckoned with.

The second case is a little more of the traditional murder mystery, with a key witness proving to be the real culprit. Nonetheless, the way it plays with using guilt of one crime as an alibi to get away with a greater crime is a stroke of genius.

By the end, who is the thief and who is the murderer has gone back and forth to mind-bending effect and we get a happy ending. Nonetheless, Godot is set up excellently and our client is actually getting away, thanks to double jeopardy rules, with a crime he did commit for the first time in the series. Thankfully it is only the crime of stealing from rich folks to buy nice things for his wife, rather than straight-up murder, but it remains an odd moment.

As I reached this conclusion, I tried to remember how I felt about it when I first played ten years ago on the original DS. As a younger man, I was fairly staunch in my belief that criminals were bad guys, even struggling to enjoy the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean and Fast and the Furious. Since becoming far more woke, I'm more likely to see law enforcement and authority figures as oppressors in stories where that's the case.

Fight the power, kids.


Pun of the week: Egotistical, narcissistic "ace detective" Luke Atmey is one of the series' most notorious puns.


A great twist on the formula and captivating introduction for new prosecutor Godot. Feeling more like two cases than one case spread over two days, this races by.