Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (known as Gyakuten Saiban 4 in Japan) is a visual novel adventure video game developed and published by Capcom and the fourth main installment in the Ace Attorney series of crime mystery adventure games.
Apollo Justice Ace Attorney English Trailer02:00

Apollo Justice Ace Attorney English Trailer

English trailer


It is the first game in the series to be specifically built from the ground up for the Nintendo DS, since the previous titles were remakes of Game Boy Advance games. It was released in Japan in April 2007, and North America and Europe in 2008. A iOS port was released in December 2016. A Nintendo 3DS port will be released in November 2017. Character designs and promotional art were done by Kazuya Nuri and Tatsurou Iwamoto.

The game, which takes place seven years after the third game, features a new protagonist called Apollo Justice who takes over after Phoenix Wright (who appear as a major supporting character) and features a new gameplay gimmick; the bracelet, which has the ability to "zoom in on witnesses to gather information regarding them". This is denoted as the perceive function in the game, the bracelet is used in court to spot actions made by the witness that show nervousness.


Like the rest of the Ace Attorney series, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney is a cross between the adventure game and visual novel genres. The player's goal is to defend their clients in four cases, and prove their innocence. The gameplay is separated into two types of situations: Investigations and trials.

During the investigation phase of each case, the player explores the game world by either using the stylus or the D-pad to select the actions they wish to engage in: Examine, Move, Talk, or Present. The player converses with non-player characters by selecting dialogue and can move around the game world by selecting the locations they wish to travel to. Information gained during Investigation Mode can be used during the Trial phase of the game and items picked up can be used as evidence. The player cannot progress without completing certain actions. Ema Skye (a character from the DS remake of the original game) often provides the player with opportunities to use DS features such as the microphone to perform actions such as dusting for fingerprints.

The trial portions consist of listening to and cross-examining witness testimonies. The player is given the option to either Press or Present evidence in response to statements made by witnesses. The player can either select their choice or yell into the microphone. By choosing Press, the player questions the witness's statement, which sometimes causes the witness to change their testimony. When finding inconsistencies in the testimony, the player may choose Present in order to show a piece of evidence that they think contradicts the testimony. The player has a health bar, representing the judge's patience. If the player presents incorrect pieces of evidence or choose incorrect answers to questions in court, health is lost. If the health bar reaches zero, the player loses the game and their client is declared guilty.

A new system, known as the "Perceive System," can be used to look for motions or actions made by witnesses that show nervousness, similar to a tell in poker. The game also includes a "Crime Recreation Mode" that models evidence or the crime scene in a 3-D rendition and allow the player to explore the recreation to look for clues. Additionally, the game often recreates the crime in cutscene sequences, allowing the player to observe the action and find contradictions.

Characters Edit

Apollo Justice Art

Promotional art.

Episodes Edit

Episode 1: Turnabout Trump - Apollo's first case involves him defending Phoenix Wright in the murder of Shadi Smith.

Episode 2: Turnabout Corner - Apollo defends a member of the Kitaki family, a family of feared gangsters in the city.

Episode 3: Turnabout Serenade - Apollo has to defend a teenage pianist in the murder of a singer's manager.

Episode 4: Turnabout Succession - This episode introduces the Jurist System, in which the verdict is decided by the consensus of six average citizens.


Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney was developed by a team of 28 staff members.[1] It was produced by Minae Matsukawa and directed by Mitsuru Endo, with character design and art by Kazuya Nuri, while series creator Shu Takumi wrote the game's scenario and took on a supervisory role.[2][3] Takumi had wanted the series to end with the previous game, as he felt its main character, Phoenix Wright, had been fully explored and that his story had been told; he said that it is important to know when to end a story, that he did not want the series to become a shadow of its former self, and that he did not see any reason to continue it. When it was still decided that a fourth game would be made, Takumi wanted it to have a new main character and a new story; he did not plan to have Phoenix appear in the game, but his colleagues wanted him in the game in some form, which led to him being the accused in the first case in the game.[4]

Early in development, it was proposed that the game would use 3D graphics, as a way to make a big impact worthy of the start of a new Ace Attorney series; eventually they settled for a 2D style, with a few 3D elements.[5] Apollo Justice was the first game in the series to feature videos created using motion-capture data. A male staff member of the Research & Development team was chosen to be the motion-capture actor for a female character; the producer described him as being "a natural" at it.[6] Voice acting was also provided by Capcom staff members.[7] During development, staff members visited real courts to watch and study the trials.[8]

Alexander O. Smith, who worked as a writer on the localization of the first Ace Attorney game, also worked on the localization of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.[9] Localization of the game was already in progress by August 2007.[10] The name "Apollo Justice" was decided in collaboration between the Japanese and American divisions of Capcom; it took them twenty-two meetings to decide on it. The name refers to how Apollo fights for justice.[6][11] During the localization, there was some debate about the use of the word "panties" to describe Trucy's magical bloomers, a prop she uses in her magic shows; some on the localization team felt that it was inappropriate to joke about an underage girl's panties, and wanted them to be localized as "magic pants", while some felt that the joke would be lost if the player already knew that they were massive bloomers. Janet Hsu, one of the staff members working on the localization, made an argument for "emotional accuracy", saying that the Japanese version of the game was trying to make the player feel at unease over looking for what they might imagine to be "sexy lingerie", and then let the player feel relief at finding out that it is a prop for a magic show. In the end, they were referred to as "panties".[12]


Most of the game's music was composed by Toshihiko Horiyama, with Hideki Okugawa composing three songs and Akemi Kimura and Shu Takumi composing two songs each. A soundtrack album, Gyakuten Saiban 4 Original Soundtrack, was released on June 27, 2007.[13] A concert, based on the music from Ace Attorney and entitled Gyakuten Meets Orchestra, took place in Tokyo in April 2008.[6] A CD of the concert was published on July 16, 2008.[14]


The game was announced in 2005, and was originally planned to be released in 2006 in Japan.[7] A demo version of the game was first made available at Tokyo Game Show in 2006,[15] and an English trailer was presented at the following year's Tokyo Game Show.[16] The game was eventually released in Japan on April 12, 2007, with North American, European, and Australian releases following on February 19, 2008, May 9, 2008, and May 22, 2008, respectively.

A new version with high-resolution graphics was released in English and Japanese for iOS on December 1, 2016 and for Android on December 8.[17] A Nintendo 3DS port.[18][19] will be released at both retail and digital download in Japan and digital-only in West 2017; November 21st 2017 in North America, and November 23rd 2017 in Europe and Japan.


In Japan, a limited edition of the game was made available. It includes branded headphones, an Ace Attorney dictionary on a DS card, and a series highlights DVD.[20] A keychain depicting Apollo was included with preorders purchased at GameStop and the online Capcom store.


Apollo Justice received generally positive reception for its story, gameplay and use of the DS's touch features. It did however gain complaints for not completely fixing the gameplay issues of previous installemts, and other aspects of the story (such as the treatment of Phoenix Wright and the fourth episode's confusing "time travel" in the in-game MASON System) were also criticized.


Apollo Justice sold around 250,000 copies during the first retail week, and had more than 500,000 copies shipped by the end of its second week in Japan. By the end of 2007, it had sold 515,417 units. While not as successful in terms of sales in North America, the game still placed fifth in games sold for the Nintendo DS during its release week.


  • The first name of the in-game system, "MASON System", in the fourth episode may be a reference to the fictional defense attorney Perry Mason, the main character in works of detective fiction written by author Erle Stanley Gardner. Like Phoenix and Apollo, Perry took on seemingly hopeless cases and turned them into victories, often making the true criminal confess on the stand.

Gallery Edit

Box Art and Merchandise Edit


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External Links Edit

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