Friday, October 28, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 10: The Stolen Turnabout (2004)

Title: The Stolen Turnabout / 「盗まれた逆転」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban 3 official site (down)

Summary: In the tenth entry of the Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Ace Attorney 3 - Trials & Tribulations) blog, Takumi talks about writing the second episode in the game: The Stolen Turnabout. As he mentions in the eleventh entry of the blog, he considers the second episode in his games as the second-most important episodes after the first one, because they are usually the first full case in a game. For 3, he decided to use a story based on the works of Edogawa Rampo, the author of the short story that got Takumi interested in mystery fiction in the first place. Takumi also talks about the new prosecutor Godot.

The Stolen Turnabout

A perfect crime meticulously planned by a criminal with a brilliant mind. But it all comes falling down because of one slip of the tongue…. This “moment of catharsis” has been the supporting pillar of the Gyakuten Saiban (Ace Attorney) series. The first time I came across it myself was when I was in elementary school. It was a short story. Edogawa Rampo’s Shinri Shiken (The Psychological Test).

Edogawa Rampo is one of the representative writers of the Shōwa period, and he also wrote a lot of stories for children. I think many of us have been captivated by the confrontations between the great detective Akechi Kogorō and the Fiend with Twenty Faces in our young days.

It was because of this short story that I became a fan of mystery fiction. That shock I experienced when I was in elementary school, a shock that hit me right in the heart and had me blinded, I still remember it like it happened yesterday. So to show my respect to Rampo, I decided to try out a story about “A Fiend VS A Great Detective.”

“Does this story offer any new surprises?”

This is usually the only thought in my mind whenever I write a scenario. I’ll do anything, even break the rules, to accomplish this (and people get mad at me for that). Take for example the final episode of the previous game. The story was made so it used the rules that had been in place until then against you. That idea could only have worked at that moment in the series. The Stolen Turnabout was written to be surprising, with every single episode until now as foreshadowing.

I came up with the basic concept during my time off after finishing the second game. It looked difficult to pull off, but it’d become a fantastic story if it’d turn out like I had hoped. And strangely enough, I had confidence in that. When we first started working on 3, I really thought that this episode would be the most important part of the whole game.

I had all kinds of fond memories, and a lot of enthusiasm when I started on this episode. But once I started writing… to be honest, I’m only 70% satisfied with it. I really thought it was 100% great when it was still in the idea phase though… But I couldn’t make it work like I wanted it to be. I am still disappointed that I couldn’t come up with a beautiful answer to the theme of “the connection between a series of evidence changes completely the following day”.

But I still really love this episode. To see how these merry characters go have fun on their own, ignoring the story the writer worked so hard on… it’s a delight writing them. Especially that great detective Hoshi’idake Aiga (Luke Atmey), who spouts out one inexplicable great deduction after another. "That it is!" "Yare!" Even I don’t know where Aiga-language like that comes from. Yahari (Larry Butz) had gone off to Tibet in the previous game, but now he makes a reappearance and gets involved in even worse ways than before.

The trick behind writing the dialogue of outrageous characters like these is: ‘How much can you wring out of your head?’ That is all. For Yahari’s dialogue, there’s even: ‘Ah, I’m hungry. What shall I have tonight?’ …I tried to write his dialogue with something else on my mind.

And the new prosecutor also finally makes his appearance in this episode. Mitsurugi Reiji (Miles Edgeworth), Karuma Mei (Franziska von karma) and now, Godot…. The most important element to Gyakuten Saiban is without a doubt “a worthy opponent.” The presence of a fierce enemy.
I could hardly use the ‘the prodigy of the Prosecutor’s Office’ again for the third game, so I was careful not to for his backstory.

“There are no really cool men in Gyakuten Saiban!”

I realized this when I started thinking about this scenario. …Well then, let’s have an intensely unmovable, an intensely manly and intensely cool prosecutor appear this time. The keyword here was “hardboiled.” I went for the image of the “ultimate hardboiled character” within my mind. There was no need for comedic elements. My aim was a character who was so incredibly cool, he’d make you laugh.

...Someone who remains faithful to his own rules. A man who has to survive in the town with a tough heart.

You need suave dialogues in a hardboiled story, so I made “a notebook with suave dialogue lines” and after I had filled it with plenty of cool lines I had come up with in my daily life, I started writing.
And the end result… I have the idea that I’m slightly off center of my original goal, but he’s become quite a good character. He’s my favorite this time.

Also I didn’t manage to use all the cool lines I came up with, so I use them in my own daily life now so I don't waste them.

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