Source: Gyakuten Saiban 2 official site (down)
Reunion, And Turnabout
When it was decided we’d develop Gyakuten Saiban 2 (Ace Attorney 2 - Justice For All), there were are few things I decided I wanted to do. One of them was a case with spirit channeling as the main theme. Among the feedback for the previous game Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney GBA), I sometimes came across opinions like “Actual spirit channeling is against the rules of mystery fiction!”. To my surprise, it appeared that there were people who thought that being realistic is a necessary condition for mystery fiction.
But in my eyes, mystery fiction can do anything it wants to, as long it can present surprises to the player through the use of beautiful logic. So the only rule that absolutely needs to be followed is that the clues that form the foundation of said logic are clearly presented to the player.
This introduction is becoming a bit longwinded, but Reunion and Turnabout is a bit of a selfish episode, as I created it to proclaim and show my own thoughts on mystery fiction. How do you like the results? To be honest, there are a couple of things about it I want to reconsider, now it’s done.
I had troubles with “showing” the case this time. My first idea was to have Mayoi (Maya Fey) channel a spirit during a special TV program. So the setting of the case was supposed to be a TV studio, but it just didn’t work. Perhaps because it was similar to the Tonosaman (Steel Samurai) episode of the first game. I always have trouble picking a location. It was a troubled journey before I arrived at the idea of having it set at Mayoi’s home town.
I think some of you have already noticed it, but the name Kurain Village comes from the Klein bottle (TN: “Klein” is written as kurain in Japanese). It’s a curious bottle with no inside or outside. I thought it was perfect for the theme of spirit channeling.
A new member of the main cast also appears in this episode. Ayasato Harumi (Pearl Fey). At first, she was supposed to be the same age as Mayoi, so she was kinda like Mayoi's rival. She was supposed to only appear in this episode, with a nasty sempai personality with a haughty “Hohohohohoho" laugh. But after some discussion with the designer of the previous game, she was made a lot younger. So I pretended to be an eight-year old girl as I wrote the scenario. I became fond of her, so I had her appear in subsequent episodes.
Reunion, and Turnabout (Backstage)
To my surprise, it appeared that there were people that thought that being realistic is a necessary condition for mystery fiction.
Mayoi: The name Naruhodō Ryūichi isn’t realistic at all in the first place.
Naruhodō: Not my fault. My parents are also called Naruhodō.
Mayoi: You should’ve been called Takahashi Kazuo.
Naruhodō: …It’s hard to comment on that name.
Mayoi: You know, I went to a real trial a while ago. It was such a surprise!
Naruhodō: Oh. …Let me guess, everyone was quiet, and there was no judge with a gavel.
Mayoi: Nobody cares about that. …But did you know, they don’t have background music there!
Naruhodō: Of course not!
Mayoi: It’s difficult to get excited there.
Naruhodō: They don’t hold trials for your entertainment, you know.
Mayoi: I fell asleep right away.
Naruhodō: …Why did you go there in the first place…
This introduction is becoming a bit longwinded, but Reunion and Turnabout is a bit of a selfish episode, as I created it to proclaim and show off my own views on mystery fiction. How do you like the results? To be honest, there are a couple of things about it I want to reconsider, now it’s done.
Naruhodō: So he just wanted to force his own views on other people.
Mayoi: And now he even wants to reconsider his actions.
Naruhodō: He was a bit unhappy with the main trick.
Mayoi: I don’t care about tricks. As long as the story is interesting.
Naruhodō: Hmmm. Anyway, TakuShū really loves mystery stories. Ever since he was a kid.
Mayoi: Had he written anything else before he wrote this game?
Naruhodō: He wrote a mystery story for a summer holiday writing assignment when he was in junior high.
Mayoi: That’s quite some time ago.
Naruhodō: The title was The Crime Of the Great Detective. Five pages.
Mayoi: And it’s short too!
Naruhodō: Some case where humanity has died off.
Mayoi: Oh. …But, who’s supposed to solve the case? With humanity dead and all.
Naruhodō: ….. I don’t know the details either.
Mayoi: And? And? Anything else?
Naruhodō: In high school. He wrote a courtroom mystery to pass the time.
Mayoi: A courtroom mystery? Could that be the original idea for Gyakuten Saiban?
Naruhodō: Super Lucky Defense Attorney Take. One page long. On the back of some handout he got at school.
Mayoi: Even shorter this time….
Naruhodō: The story of a fainthearted attorney who wins with so much good luck it’s basically cheating.
Mayoi: Naruhodo-kun, that protagonist does sound a bit familiar.
Naruhodō: And now we’re here.
Mayoi: That’s it?
Naruhodō: I heard Lucky Defense Attorney was received quite well and became a series.
Mayoi: Hmm… I was expecting something more impressive.
A new member of the main cast also appears in this episode. Ayasato Harumi (Pearl Fey)
Mayoi: Hami-chan is so cute!
Naruhodō: I heard that the designer had to spend countless of sleepless nights, wetting his cushion with tears before he finally arrived at that hairstyle.
Mayoi: It did take him a lot of effort. But thanks to that, Hami-chan turned into a polite, frank girl.
Naruhodō: TakuShū was quite picky about that polite way of speaking.
Mayoi: What do you mean?
Naruhodō: That was supposed to be the way Chihiro-san (Mia Fey) would speak.
Mayoi: Eh? Sis?
Naruhodō: Chihiro-san was speaking very politely in the first episode of Gyakuten Saiban. You can’t imagine how nervous it made me.
Naruhodō: So everyone in the team said it made her sound too distant, so that went out.
Mayoi: So TakuShū reused that speaking pattern for Hami-chan. He can be so stubborn.
Naruhodō: He told you the last time. It’s his policy to always use any ideas he has worked hard on, no matter how trivial they might be.
Mayoi: He was serious about that.
Naruhodō: ….Anyway, so he had to rewrite all the lines for Chihiro-san.
Mayoi: I see.
Naruhodō: But there were actually two or three spots he forgot to rewrite. So there are some parts where Chihiro-san still acts polite.
Mayoi: What?! I’m going to look for them next time.