If you ask the creators of the Ace Attorney series, Phoenix Wright is kind of a big deal.
They'll tell you he's a legendary lawyer on his home turf, capable of winning trials with ease. In order to give him something to truly fight for, Capcom is dropping their legal hero into a place where people are so not cool with lawyers.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice is set in Khura'in, a spiritual kingdom. The courtrooms are a little different here; 14-year-old Royal priestess Rayfa divines a victim's final moments through séance trials to determine guilt or innocence. At E3 2016, we spoke with game director Takeshi Yamazaki and producer Motohide Eshiro by way of localization director Janet Hsu, who translated. The team explained that in Khura'in, there are no lawyers whatsoever, making Phoenix's job a little ... nonexistent.
"It becomes very difficult to be like, 'Well, how do I break down what is supposedly infallible?' 'cause this is what the person saw when they died," the team said.
Phoenix gets roped into taking up his legal mantle because he can't resist; he's a "champion of justice" who can't stand to see someone not be properly represented. He volunteers to defend a young boy, and things kind of spiral from there. As for why lawyers are so hated, that's part of the game's big mystery, the team said. Expect it to be dramatic, but also in line with Ace Attorney's sense of humor.
"In order for her to be a believably tough character for Phoenix to beat, we made her kind of standoffish, very confident, very cool character," they said. "... Her main motivation is that she's trying to become queen one day because she's the princess now. The queen of the kingdom of Khuran'in, she has the power to actually channel spirits.
"She takes her role seriously, this is going to be for the good of the people, the happiness of the people, for the peace and prosperity of her kingdom."
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney — Spirit of Justice is heading to Nintendo 3DS via the eShop this fall. Although the game may seem like a departure from the series, Capcom says it's very much still the Ace Attorney franchise at play.
"The main focus is going to be how Phoenix gets out of the situation that he's in and that's why we have such a serious setting, so to speak," they said. "But rest assured that the actual mood and the dialogue and all of that is still as silly as ever."