Thursday, November 10, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 12: Turnabout Beginnings (2004)

Title: Turnabout Beginnings / 「始まりの逆転」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban 3 official site (down) 

The twelfth column of the Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Ace Attorney 3 - Trials and Tribulations) website has Takumi writing about the fourth episode in the game: Turnabout Beginnings. Takumi talks about how he had considered making this the first episode in the game, because it is chronologically the first trial to happen. He also explains how Mitsurugi (Edgeworth) came to have a role in this episode.

Turnabout Beginnings

“We’ll make two episodes starring Chihiro (Mia Fey)”

I decided on this the moment I had chosen her as the protagonist of the first episode. The reason I wanted two episodes with her was… mainly to give a feeling of consistency to the game.

Turnabout Beginnings is a story about defending an escaped convict on death row. When I finally got a hold on the whole plot of this episode, I had to think hard about something. …Wouldn’t it better to have this story as the first episode?

I had come up with Turnabout Memories as the first episode. That story was set five years in the past, when Naruhodō (Phoenix Wright) was still a student. But episode 4, Turnabout Beginnings, was set one year before that. I thought that the timeline would get too complex and that it might confuse the people playing the game.

There’s no meaning to an idea like this if people aren’t going to enjoy it.  And episode 2 and 3 were stories about Naruhodō’s exploits in the “present.” It’d seem like I was making things difficult on purpose. As I thought about this, I felt like I had dirtied my hands with a terrible crime. No, no, crime is bad! I needed to escape from this life of crime and have a clean life! No, no, wait a second. Only my hands were dirtied, so I only needed to clean my hands. My thoughts went round and round, and I myself didn’t know what I was thinking anymore. And that is how I seriously started considering bringing this story up to the front.

I wrote in the previous column that the first episode is the most important one, and that it needed some strong, alluring feature.

“Defending someone on death row.”

I myself really liked this situation. I don’t really know why, but it gets me pumped!

But if you just glance at it quickly, it does lack the impact of “defending Naruhodō in his collegge days.” So this story needed something to make it even more alluring....

And that is how I hit upon the idaa of making this the first trial of Mitsurugi Reiji (Miles Edgeworth). Once you have the idea, it seems utterly logical, but at first I was planning to use another prosecutor.

Mitsurugi Reiji.

To be honest, I’m always hurting my head over how to use him. He’s an important character, so I want him to be involved. Something that fits his role as a prodigy prosecutor…

A direct confrontation between the rookie defense attorney Ayasato Chihiro and the rookie prosecutor Mitsurugi Reiji. This would be a stage for him nobody could complain about. And it’d be attractive enough to be the first episode of Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Ace Attorney 3 – Trials and Tribulations).

Well then. I was happy Mitsurugi would appear, but here I walked into a great problem.

Ayasato Chihiro! Became a defense attorney at 24 and was always undefeated!
Mitsurugi Reiji! Became a prosecutor at 20 and was always victorious!

Yes. Their pasts were already set.
A trial where “the undefeated” collides with the “ever victorious”. What could the verdict be…?
There was only one answer to that on my mind.

…And so it was always chaos backstage of Turnabout Beginnings. I don’t even think the other people in the team know this story could have become the first episode. But no matter how I played around with the story elements, the current order of episodes was the best. “I’ll even give you Mitsurugi with it, so please accept this!” Having tampered so much with the plot, I settled down on this conclusion, like a weak-hearted door-to-door newspaper salesman.

This column has become quite long, but this is the story behind the birth of Turnabout Beginnings. Now I look back, and I feel like it was inevitable that this case would end in such a tragic way the moment I came up with the idea of defending a convict on death row.


  1. As a writer of AA fics, these columns are a personal favorite of mine. That, and I really do look up to Takumi.

    So it's always interesting to see how AA cases came to be how they are, like how this episode's tragedy was set in stone.

    More than anything, I greatly emphasize with the feeling of the cases making their own conclusions. It's certainly happened to me before.

    1. Yeah, I'm really enjoying them as well as simply a reader, and it's a shame Takumi never did columns like these anymore for the games after the original trilogy.