Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gyakuten Saiban 3 Blog Entry 13: The Magnificent Turnabout Pt. 1 (2004)

Title: The Magnificent Turnabout - Part 1 / 「華麗なる逆転・前編」
Source: Gyakuten Saiban 3 official site (down)

Summary: In the thirteenth column for the official Gyakuten Saiban 3 (Ace Attorney 3 - Trials & Tribulations) website, director Takumi starts his two-part series on the final episode in the game: The Magnificent Turnabout (Bridge to the Turnabout). As seen in previous columns, the last episode of each game usually proves to be the most difficult, and this was no exception. Even though he already had a rough outline finished for the first part of the game, that version had actually been abandoned earlier because it contained a fatal flaw he didn't manage to fix. But with little time left, Takumi was forced to use that version anyway, and hope he'd come up with a solution to his problem anyway.

The Magnificent Turnabout - Part 1

The Magnificent Turnabout (Bridge to the Turnabout).... Simply put, this is an episode I have many memories of. It was the episode that was the most difficult to make, that took the most time to make, it was the longest one…. And also the episode I like best.

The final episodes always give me a lot of worries because of the tremendous pressure. To get over that, I always end up coming up with a plot that it is slightly more than I can actually handle. The parts my own abilities can’t cover, I just leave up to the Goddess of Fate. This time, the Goddess blessed me with her third, and also her most wonderful smile. That is how I feel it went. Because there is no way I myself, with my abilities, could’ve written an episode like this just on my own.

I already mentioned this in the sixth column, but earlier, I had abandonded a version of this episode midway. At the end of 2002. I already had decided on the big outline of the story, the trick and the setting back then, and we had even gone to stay at a temple in the mountains for both research and ‘training’, but…. It all came tumbling down. “I still have half a year before we actually start with the final episode. She’ll do something,” I thought. The “she” was of course the Goddess of Fate. I consciously turned my face away from reality and thus started with the development of the first episode.

Half a year later. By the time the story of Onamida (Terry Fawles) had been finished in the form of a game, I was cradling my head in my arms in worry. …I had half a year, but I had come up with nothing…. You will understand, I think, but during the development of the individual episodes, I didn’t had the time to think about other matters. Anyway, there was no time anymore. Let’s just use the scenario of Investigation Part I wrote at the end of last year as is. I’d just have to work on everything from the Trial Part on, while working on this first part.

Two weeks later. By the time the first Investigation Part had been finished in the form of a game, I was cradling my head in my arms in worry. Anyway, there was no time anymore. Let’s just use the Trial Part from the scenario I had abandoned midway! The real fight is in the second half!

I had only prepared the first Investigation Part in the original version of the scenario. So I decided I'd just leave hints and foreshadowing here and there based on my instinct and the atmosphere, and figure out what to do with them later. If I had too much ideas, I could just cut them out later and pretend they never existed. Based on my instinct and the atmosphere, I wrote down notes with the hints and foreshadowing and pasted them all over the wall to the side of my desk. Now the scenario had finally reached its true, final stage.

Twee weeks later. This time, I had nowhere to run anymore. Once again, I was cradling my head in my arms in worry. I had to conclude this story within one Investigation Part and one Trial Part. The hints covering the wall were all casting a hateful glance at me. I had to do something with them too somehow… based on my instinct and atmosphere.

And finally, that fateful day came.

I will never forget it. It was a Friday. According to the schedule, we’d start development on the final Investigation Part three days later, on Monday. I had to find an answer to the problem which had led to the breakdown of the End-Of-The-Year version of the story.

I was facing one problem: “How would I punish “the true culprit”?”

That feeling of exhilaration when you finally defeat the culprit. That’s the most important element to this game. But this was the one culprit who could not be punished by the usual verdict. I had closed my eyes to this in the End-Of-The-Year version, and that story was structured so the true culprit would not appear themselves.

However, as I had overplayed my hand and come to this point now, I had to bring them out in court and put an end to it all. I didn’t know what to do! This was a very fundamental problem. And I had no idea how to deal with that three days before we’d start development.

However, on that Friday, all the problems I had became entangled with…. In just a second, I was freed of all that, like it was magic. Thanks to my instincts, the atmosphere and a lucky break from the Goddess of Fate.

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