The Phoenix Wright games are packed with interesting and unique characters, from the rookie spirit medium Maya Fey to the horribly unlucky MaggeyByrde. Throughout the series, the deepest and most intricate characters might be the titular Phoenix Wright himself, as well as his rival Miles Edgeworth. Through his interactions with other characters and with flashbacks and references to his earlier life, we see how this confident and talented attorney became how we see him now. When we first meet our protagonist, he’s a nervous rookie attorney taking on his first case. Relying heavily on his mentor, he gets through the case and his childhood friend Larry Butz is found not guilty...
Disclaimer: This article only covers the “Ace Attorney”, “Trials and tribulations” and “Justice for all” games.
Warning chaps - Here be spoilers!
Miles had made it clear to both of them that he wanted to become a defense attorney, following in the footsteps of his father. At the end of the year, he left the school after his father was shot and killed in a case known as the “DL-6 Incident”. He then pursued a career as a prosecutor under the wing of Von Karma, the man who is found to be to be Miles’ father’s killer 15 years later. Under the influence of Von Karma, Miles became a brutal prosecutor who would forge evidence and bend rules to get the guilty verdict. Phoenix, who looked up to Edgeworth, wanted to find out why his old friend did so, and why he became a prosecutor rather than a defence attourney like his father. When Wright studied at university he saw an article about Miles and his brutal prosecution methods. He had become unrecognisable as the person Wright knew back in school. This became one of Wright’s motives to become an attourney – so he could face Edgeworth in court, and find out what happened. During university, Phoenix had his first experience in a courtroom – He became infatuated with a girl called Dahlia Hawthorne. After 6 months of them dating, Wright met Doug Swallow, Dahlia’s ex-lover. He warned Wright that she was dangerous, but he took offence and pushed him to the ground before leaving. Soon after, Swallow was found dead. Accused of murder, Phoenix was put on trial. Mia Fey, a rookie lawyer at the time, defended him even though he refused to cooperate to begin with.
With Dahlia being a witness, and Fey accusing her of the murder, Wright ran out of the courtroom. When he returned, he began to cooperate with Fey and she proved that Hawthorne intended to kill Wright. This was the other reason Wright decided to pursue a career as an attorney, as he was so inspired by Mia Fey’s performance. She took him under her wing, in the offices of Fey and Co.
Maya Fey, who had assisted Wright throughout these previous trials, left shortly after this thinking that she wasn’t help enough for him. She left a note saying she was returning to the mountains to train as a spirit medium again, which started Wright’s break as a defence attorney. After months passed, Wright was called up to face Edgeworth in court once more. Unlike previous trials, Edgeworth was honest and tried to get the witnesses to tell the entire truth. The two ended up cooperating in the trial as they both suspected the same person to have commited the murder. After complications, Edgeworth was once again accused of forging evidence. He himself was not responsible for these forgeries, however he blamed himself for not looking into the legitimacy of the evidence. This led him to writing a resignation from his position, as he couldn’t forgive himself for the career path he had taken, defending and helping murderers get away without punishment. He however returned for the final day of the trial, not able to hand in the note without finishing the trial. The culprit compared himself to edgeworth, saying that Miles would one day understand why he committed the murder.
After this trial, Edgeworth left what appeared to be a suicide note with “Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth Chooses Death” written on it. Phoenix hated him for this, believing that he was a coward. Once again, Wright was refusing cases. Edgeworth returned again a year later, explaining that he had left the country to find out what it really means to be a prosecutor. On his return, he faced Wright in court once again, but left the country again to study international law. The two would not meet again for another year, when Wright is hospitalised and Edgeworth charters a private jet to visit him as quickly as possible. It is here that Edgeworth joins the team at Wright and Co. and takes inspiration from Wright’s methods.
Throughout the series, we see Wright and Edgeworth develop as individual characters as well as develop as friends, rivals and enemies. The relationship between them is very complicated, though it becomes more clear as the games progress. The two go from being rivals to acquaintances, and then to friends and colleagues.
There is a clear bond between them that cannot be seen between two other characters, and they constantly make decisions based on one another’s stance on the situations. The depth of this relationship is fantastic and intriguing, and amazingly fun to explore.
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