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How Phoenix Wright was designed for his 3DS debut

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The biggest challenge in designing the characters for Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies on Nintendo 3DS was making the 3D characters look and feel similar to the series' iconic 2D sprites, according to a post from art director Takuro Fuse on the Capcom-Unity blog.

Fuse – whose previous works include Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, Ace Attorney Investigations 2 and Phoenix Wright's appearance in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 — shared how he and his team adapted the series' aesthetic for Nintendo's latest handheld.

"The first order of business my team and I had to tackle was how were we going to create polygon models that unmistakably looked and felt like the series' iconic 2D sprites?" he wrote. "And of course they had to preserve that feel even when they were viewed in full 3D."

After creating a string of moving 3D prototypes, the next step was to determine how to preserve the same "lively animations" characteristic of the 2D sprites. In order to take advantage of the 3DS' unique features, the team added "some slick camera work and connecting motions" that added fluidity to the characters' movements. Fuse called the final result a "new, hybrid Phoenix." He added that "nothing would make [him] happier" if players go through Dual Destinies will the 3D slider at full max.

In the post, Fuse also explains how he arrived at the final designs for Pheonix's new sidekick, the mood-reading Athena Cykes, and the rival prosecutor Simon Blackquill. Both went through several iterations before Fuse felt the designs reflected each characters' personality and their affinity with the Ace Attorney universe.

Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies will launch as a downloadable-only title for Nintendo 3DS on Oct. 24.