Friday, September 2, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban Blog Entry 17: Turnabout Sisters (2) (2001)

Title: Turnabout Sisters (2) / 「逆転姉妹 (2)」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban official site (down)

Summary: In the seventeenth blog entry for the original Game Boy Advance version of Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney GBA), Takumi Shū talks about he rewrote the prototype of the second episode, Turnabout Sisters, after it was bashed inside Capcom.Takumi had a lot of homework to do, but he somehow managed to rewrite it to the version we now know today, with a little help from the heavens. What many consider to be the core story of the game, actually came to Takumi in a spark of inspiration.

Turnabout Sisters (2)

I worked on rewriting Turnabout Sisters at the same time as I was writing The First Turnabout. The theme of my rewrite was: With Everything I’ve Got.

I was really shocked when I was told it wasn’t fun at all, so my reaction to that was obvious. I started writing with the thought that I needed to make the story more fun, so I used up all of my ideas, aaaaalllll of my ideas, aaaaaaaaaalllllll of them, and even though it started to overflow, I stuffed in some more. I had betted everything on this one story!

But my honest thoughts after I calmed down a bit and read it over?
…No matter how you looked at this, this was the story fit for a final episode.

But, I already wrote it, so what could I do now? Then I asked someone in the team, they said: “I think it could work.” Besides, when I had finished writing, I really thought that I had no regrets left with this story. But, when I was writing the stories for episode 3 on, I had a lot of regrets. “…Why did I use all my ideas back then!?”

Anyway, like I announced last time, let’s talk about the spark of inspiration during writing. I didn’t have a good idea of the importance of story structure when I started on Turnabout Sisters. I had decided on the basic backstory of the murderer, and just started writing without any planning. I hadn’t even decided on the contents of the document presented to the criminal in the end. Now I look back at it, and it seems almost wonderfully fresh how unplanned the whole deal was.

The problem arose when Naruhodō (Phoenix Wright) visits Mayoi (Maya Fey) in the detention center. Naruhodō asked her a normal question.
"What about your parents?”
There my hands stopped. Oh yeah, where were her parents?

To be honest, I hadn’t thought about that for one moment until then. Anyway, I wanted to make her look as miserable as possible. …Let’s have her be all on her own.

And so I started to think about a story for her mother… and at that very moment! I’m repeating myself, but at that moment, a blinding light filled my mind.

… A mother who was a spirit medium. The reason Chihiro (Mia Fey) was investigating the murderer. That’d connect to the case of that other parent and child in the last episode, and that’d connect back to the reason why Naruhodō became a defense attorney, and then at the end. That little crime commited by that guy from the prologue… The End.

Fragments from the various episodes were all chained together, and suddenly, the complete image of the outline of the whole story appeared in front of me.

This was the first time something like that happened to be, so I was really shocked. I  was so shocked, I gave up on writing that day and went back home.

On the way back, a gentle smile of a certain person and what he said to me crossed my mind.

Don’t’cha think it’d be good if ya connected all four episodes?””

“Don’t’cha think it’d be good if ya if ya if ya if ya….” Those words kept echoing in my mind.

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