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The girl who saved us - Part 20: Return of the King
Part 19 / Part 1 / Prequal
This is it. What this entire arc has been building too. Hell, even farther back than that, the neural link thing in Arc 1. We've come a long way. At least this isn't like the real end. I plan a third arc, but after that, it is the end. Fin. Also shoutout to my Dad again for giving me the idea for the name of this part. Love you Dad. Also also, a few parts back I told you that we would see a much bigger shitfit from someone who wasn't Liz. Time to deliver.
♪ 15 seconds of fame, and 5 seconds for that trail mix literally on the trail. Put those rules to shame in 10 seconds ♪
Liz and Stephanie jogged over to the door Drakus marked. Everyone else had gone to their designated tasks. The pressure was on. If the two girls couldn't make it to the main control room then this entire mission would have been for nothing. Liz was about to walk through the door when Stephanie stopped her.
"What's wrong?" Liz asked, trying to keep her voice down. Stephanie's face was bright red. For once, Liz picked up on subtext.
"Liz, there's something I have to tell you," Stephanie began. Liz put her hand up.
"I think I know," she said. "And I promise, we'll talk about it the second we are done here. Right now we need to focus." Stephanie somehow turned even redder. Her face turned serious. Liz took this as a sign they could move on. She whipped through the door, weapons raised. Stephanie was close behind. The hallway was silent.
"I don't like this," Stephanie said. "Something isn't right."
"I know," Liz said. "We have no choice though, we have to keep moving forward." And so they did, slowly and silently skulking down the hall.
"Ok, I figured something out," Drakus said. "Every room is nearly completely sectioned off. I can tap into its data, it doesn't give me much, only the adjacent rooms and some other bits and pieces. We're lucky that the hangar had a map." Liz nodded. She didn't want to alert anyone. If they could somehow make it to the main control room without any engagement she would be happy. It was wishful thinking.
They rounded a corner. It seemed identical to the hallway they had just walked through. A few paces into it Stephanie raised her fist to head level. Liz froze. Stephanie tapped her ear, and Liz strained to hear what Stephanie had. It was faint, but she could hear voices. Stephanie lowered herself, almost to a crouch, and slowly moved forward. Liz followed her example. It sometimes slipped her mind that the small girl used to be a Marine, and a damn good one apparently. The voices got louder as they progressed. It seemed to come from what Liz assumed to be a room they had to pass. Liz raised her hands to her eyes, pointed at the entrance to the room, then made a curving motion.
"No," Drakus said, "there's no way around here. You're going to have to deal with whatever is in there." Liz nodded and glanced at Stephanie. She nodded too, indicating she got the message. Soon they were standing right outside the door. Stephanie peeked in.
"Six hostiles, all armed," she said, conveying her message with hand signals.
"Roger," Liz signed back. "On my mark." They both tensed up, then Liz dove into the room, firing as she went, hoping to use the element of surprise. Stephanie was short on her heels, using Liz's attention-grabbing assault to sneak in undetected and make it to behind the six combatants. Liz flipped a table to use as cover. Evidently, this was some kind of break room. She was pinned but knew she had to keep the fire focused on her. An idea struck her. The table seemed to be made of metal. She lifted it and charged forward. Stephanie had already dispatched two of their opponents, and Liz managed to catch three more by surprise with her charge. She tackled them with the table, landing on top. She sent a current through her hands. It traveled through the table and into the three pinned soldiers. Just as she was satisfied that they were dead she was grabbed and pinned against the wall by the remaining soldier. He was the same species as Artho, but his enhancements made him a lot taller and stronger. She grabbed two of his hands, trying to fend him off, but the other two were soon wrapped around her neck. Before panic could set in she saw a place appear inches from her face, leading down to her attacker's chest. He slumped down, revealing Stephanie behind him. She removed her blade, and he fell to the ground.
"Thanks for the save," Liz said. They walked out of the room, only to be met by the blaring of an alarm and flashing lights.
"I guess they found someone!" Stephanie yelled, above the alarm. Liz nodded.
"Not you though," Drakus said. "The alarm seems to have been triggered in the cafeteria."
"Well, the boys were told to draw attention," Liz said with a smirk. "What's our best move? Do we continue to sneak or go full force?"
"We have to go all out," Stephanie said. "Everyone else will be doing the same. We have to draw attention, and keep them spread thinly enough for all of us to survive." Liz nodded, agreeing. She began to rise into the air.
"In that case, shall we?" she asked. Stephanie nodded, powering on her own thrusters. Both rocketed down the hall, in close succession.
"Liz, at this next turn you'll see spots on the wall highlighted in green," Drakus said. "I need you to blast them."
"You got it," Liz said. She rounded the corner, and sure enough, there were four spots that glowed green. It was still strange to her that Drakus could make her see things, but she wasn't about to question it. She leveled her weapons and shot as she flew by. Stephanie did the same on the opposite wall. Liz saw what Drakus had planned almost immediately. Many doors were opening along the halls but were stopped before anyone could get out. Only the last door in the hallway managed to open wide enough for soldiers to spill out.
"Drakus, are these guys linked to the station?" Stephanie asked.
"Yeah, why?" Drakus replied.
"Can you make them glow too?" She asked, with a dangerous grin.
"Why yes, yes I can," Drakus said. Liz picked up on the idea, spun around, and began shooting out the lights in the hallway. Stephanie did the same for those in front of them. Soon it was almost completely dark, save for the red flashing of the alarm. The end of the hallway lit up with the silhouettes of the soldiers. Liz and Stephanie didn't hesitate, both charging forward. Their gambit proved fruitful. Hey collided with the opposing force, easily dodging their attacks. Stephanie cut a swathe through them, with Liz batting cleanup. The small girl was really scary when she got to work. Every part of her body acted as a weapon and with all the upgrades she made to her suit all of it was deadly. She handily dealt with multiple opponents at once, diving and dodging, countering every attack with a deadly response. Liz took care of those who slipped past, watching Stephanie's back, blasting anyone who got too close to dust. In less than a minute the hallway was cleared.
"This is too easy," Stephanie said. "This is supposed to be the most secure facility in the galaxy, maybe even the universe. There's no way we should have been able to get this far this easily."
"Maybe all the heavy hitters are focusing on Charlie and Davie," Liz said.
"They are doing good work over there," Drakus said. Liz and Stephanie looked confused. "I'm linked with all of you, remember? They've managed to not die, and it seems like they are having a whale of a time. Also, this." On cue, the blaring alarm stopped. "Mary and Alice took a small detour to turn off that alarm."
"Stephanie, you have to remember that we are part of the strongest species ever found," Liz said. "And we are trained and have supercharged versions of all of their weapons. If we took the resistors out of our suits we could easily tear this place to shreds. The only problem is we'd probably tear ourselves to shreds along with it." She gave a dark smile. Stephanie continued to look skeptical.
"I'll believe all that once we get out of here with your parents," she said. She began moving forward again, and Liz followed her.
"We are almost there," Drakus said. "Davie and Charlie can't hold their position for much longer. The others are also starting to get pinned down. We don't have a lot of time." Stephanie and Liz picked up the pace, walking as fast as they could without drawing too much attention. They rounded the last corner. "It's at the end of this hall," Drakus said. Liz began rushing forward.
"Liz, wait," Stephanie said. "I don't feel good about this."
"Stephanie, I am a hallway away from saving my parents!" Liz said. "Stop being so paranoid." She began moving again, but Stephanie grabbed her hand.
"Liz, please," she said, almost pleading. "Please trust me here. We need to be careful. If we just charge in there we will die. We need a plan."
"Why are you doing this?" Liz asked. "I am thirty feet away from finally doing what I have been dreaming of for my whole life. Why are you trying to keep me from that?" Her face turned dark. "I thought we were friends. I thought you cared."
"Liz," Stephanie began, trying her best not to feel hurt. "No one wants to help you more than I do, but I can't let you kill yourself. You can't do anything for your parents if you're dead." She stepped in front of Liz, blocking her way. "Please don't make me stop you. All I'm asking is that we have a plan."
"I have a plan," Liz said. She shoved Stephanie out of the way and rocketed down the hallway.
"Liz, no!" Stephanie shouted after her. She powered up her own thrusters, following closely behind Liz. She entered the control room seconds after Liz had, executing a flip to spend her momentum and landing in a low crouch. She scanned the room, but not fast enough. A blow struck her in the back, throwing her across the room. She groaned and turned onto her back, trying to see where the attack had come from.
"My, my, you sure have caused a lot of trouble for us." These words came from a giant beast. It was Klorbian, but the resemblance was thin. There was almost nothing left of what it once was. It was the most advanced Plucium Stephanie had ever seen. It towered over her. In one of its hands, it held Liz, dangling limply.
"Stephanie, I know this looks bad, but Liz is alive," Drakus said. "Her heart rate is steady. I need you to release the prisoners. Then you can grab Liz and get both of you out of here. Regroup with the others." Stephanie barely heard him. It took every ounce of willpower she had not to attack the giant before her. Her heart nearly exploded in her chest when it threw Liz to the side as if she was some piece of trash to be thrown away. "Stephanie, please," Drakus said. "Focus. You need to press that button." In her peripheral vision, she saw a button flashing red.
"What's wrong, little one?" The beast said. "Oh, how rude of me. I forgot to introduce myself. You can call me Goliath, not that I expect you to be able to talk for much longer." A twisted grin split Goliath's face. It took a lot for Stephanie not to break down crying. She focused herself, shelving the rage she felt. She had to reach that button, and she had to get Liz out of here. That's what was important. She could kill Goliath later. "You aren't going to speak while you still can?" Goliath said. He was taunting her. She was wracking her brain, trying to find a way to reach the button and get to Liz. Unfortunately, there only seemed to be one way.
She blasted forward, straight at Goliath. He caught her in mid hair, and threw her across the room, using her own momentum against her. She collided against the far wall. Every part of her hurt. She could deal with the pain. Goliath had done exactly what she expected him to do. Right next to her was a button, flashing red. She brought her fist down on it with a satisfied grin.
"Wait, no!" Goliath shouted. Stephanie ignored him, jumping forward. She grabbed Liz in her arms, then rocketed out of the room. She just barely escaped from his grasp.
"Ok Stephanie," Drakus said. "Follow the line, it should get you to the cells. The others are on their way." Stephanie did as she was told, ignoring the aching all over her body. She flew as fast as she could without risking dropping Liz. She managed to evade more guards, and soon she blasted into the cell block.
"Where are they, Drakus?" Stephanie asked.
"I don't know. I tried, but I couldn't get their cell number," he replied. "And it's going to be nearly impossible to see them in this mess." He was right. All of the prisoners were out, rushing and fighting. It was total chaos.
"If we can't see them, then we'll just have to make them see us," Liz said. She flew to the middle of the giant cell block. She pulled a small sphere from her waist and pressed the button on it. She closed her eyes and waited. A blinding flash of light came from the sphere. It drew the attention of everything in the cavernous room. She looked around, trying to find any sign of Liz's parents. A sharp whistle rang out. Stephanie spun around to face the source of the noise. On one of the highest catwalks stood a man and a woman. Something inside Stephanie lifted. A weight that had been there since Liz had told her about her parents. They had finally found them. She flew up to the catwalk. The man had a smile on his face, but it quickly died when he saw Liz unconscious in Stephanie's arms.
"What happened to her?" Jack asked, taking Liz from Stephanie as she landed, his movements slow as if he might break her. Amy quickly joined him. They gently set Liz down.
"She was attacked," Stephanie said. It was a hell of a time for her shyness to rear its head. "Drakus says she's alive though."
"Drakus? He's here?" Jack asked.
"I am, old friend," Drakus said. "Sorry Stephanie, I used your translator to link them up to us. I didn't think you'd mind." Stephanie waved him off. Her eyes were fixed on Liz, still on the ground. "I think it's just a concussion, but we still need to get her out of here," Drakus said. Jack looked at his daughter. He could barely believe he was seeing her again.
"We'd love to help, but we don't have suits," Amy said. "And I doubt we can fight our way through all that." She pointed down at the clusterfuck of interstellar criminals.
"That's where you're wrong," Stephanie said. She reached down to her thighs, taking a tube from each. She passed them to Jack, then grabbed two similar objects off Liz and gave them to Amy. Jack and Amy looked at each other, having a silent conversation. Both of them began assembling their suits. Within moments, they stood, ready to fight.
"No need to look so dramatic," Drakus said. "We just have to get to the hangar. With any luck, we can get there without any fighting." Jack nodded. He picked Liz up into his arms. He paused for a moment, reveling in the feeling of finally having his daughter with him again.
"Let's get out of here," he said, barely above a whisper. He lifted into the air and blasted forward, Amy and Stephanie short on his heels. Stephanie overtook him, extending the blades on her arms. She made very short work of anyone who stood between them and the hangars. By the time they made it, everyone else was already waiting for them. Everyone was elated at seeing Jack and Amy in the flesh, some for the first time, others for the first in a very long time. This elation was quickly followed by fear as they saw Liz. Mary rushed forward, dragging Roy with her. They took Liz from Jack, and Mary began looking her over. Artho stepped forward from the group.
"Artho," Jack said. "Thank you-" He was interrupted when Artho crashed into him, wrapping him and Amy in a four-armed hug.
"I'm sorry it took so long," Artho said. The hug lasted a few more seconds before someone cleared their throat.
"This reunion is awesome," Ally said, "And we will definitely continue it in the ship, but can we get out of here first?" The Trinity gave out a small chuckle, before nodding. Everyone turned to the ship, ready to head home, happier than they had been in a very long time. This joy continued right up until they were all hit, sending them careening across the room. No one had time to react, as Goliath burst into the hangar. He moved much faster than anything his size had a right too, landing hits that knocked everyone down.
"Did you really think I'd let you get out of here?" He asked, murder in his voice. "No one escapes me! Now, I have someone I have to finish off..." He set his eyes on Liz. She was stirring, slowly coming too.
"You are going to have to walk across my dead body if you want to get to her," Jack said. He had dragged himself to his feet and placed himself between this monster and his daughter. Amy rushed over to stand by Liz, ready to protect her.
"I will gladly kill each of you," Goliath said. He began walking forward, increasing his speed, closing the gap between him and Jack. He was easily twice Jack's height. It looked like he was going to run him over like a train. Jack stood his ground, lowering his center of gravity. Just before Goliath made contact, Jack rocketed upwards, landing a rocket-powered blow. It threw Goliath off balance. Jack didn't let up. He spun around Goliath's neck, landing on his back. He discharged a supercapacitor into one of his blasters and placed it firmly against the back of Goliath's head. A small light show danced across the room as the shot rang out. Goliath staggered a bit, stunned. Jack hoped it would down the giant, but he knew this was wishful thinking.
He slid down landing low to the ground. He tried to plant a kick on Goliath's knee. Target the weak spots. Joints and eyes. His attack had little effect. He was tired. They had starved him and Amy, trying to get information out of them. Neither of them was in a fighting condition. But he had to fight. He finally had his family back, and he was not about to lose it again. He had one hail mary. It had to work. He rolled between Goliath's legs, getting to his knees. He lifted his arm. One shot. One opportunity, He lifted himself, pressing his hand against Goliath. He discharged the remaining three supercapacitors into a single thruster. He was nearly knocked off his feet by the force. As it stood his wrist was almost certainly broken. His gambit seemed worth it. Goliath was sent careening across the room, with significant damage to his torso. Jack took a few steps back, collapsing next to his daughter. He took a deep breath that caught in his throat when Goliath pulled himself to his feet.
Jack tried to stand too, but couldn't. His strength was gone. He looked around. Everyone else seemed to beat up to move, let alone fight.
"Is that all you can manage?" Goliath asked. "I must say, I am disappointed. With all the horror stories I had heard about humans, and especially about The Trinity, I expected more. Oh well, at least I get the honor of killing them, and all their friends too." Jack tried to muster words, but couldn't think of anything to say. Here they were, closer than they had ever been to freedom, and he couldn't bring them these last few feet. He was about to resign himself to his fate when a blur shot past him.
Stephanie stood between them and Goliath. Compared to her he looked even more massive. She held a small cylinder in her hand, taken from Liz's suit. A green beam terminated from it.
"Oh, you're approaching me?" Goliath asked. He had a smug grin on his face, as if the outcome of this battle was already decided. Stephanie stood her ground.
"I can't beat the shit out of you without coming closer," she said. There was no fear in her voice. She was genuinely ready to beat the everloving fuck out of this guy. Jack noticed all her suit's components were glowing. She had turned off all the safety protocols. The suit flowed with the maximum power output of the batteries attached. This was risky, as the components had a tendency to explode when used at this power level for too long. She didn't care. She connected the saber to her suit, causing its glow to become all the more powerful. "Let's dance."
Stephanie charged forward, meeting Goliath head-on. She slid between his legs, swinging at his knee with her overpowered saber. The strike was effective. He almost collapsed to one side but managed to keep his balance. He spun around, trying to catch her, but she was too fast. She dodged and fired her weapons into his face. He let out a pained yell as his eyes were seared. She cut off her thrusters, falling down to him, intent on making a kebab of his head. He dodged, but still got a saber in his shoulder for his effort. She planted her feet on his back, leveraging her weapon. His arm fell to the floor with a satisfying thud.
Goliath spun around, moving faster than she could react. With his remaining hand get hit the saber out of her hand. It was sent careening across the hangar. Stephanie was not deterred. She blasted into the sky, planting her knee right in his smug face. At the same time, she discharged a supercapacitor into her leg thruster. The spike she installed there drove straight into Goliath's left eye, and the force of the impact threw him off balance. Stephanie spun in the air, discharging another supercapacitor through the trustee on her hand, planting her elbow into his temple with even more force. She let her momentum carry her, flipping over and planting her heel on his nose, knocking him down with one more supercharged thruster blast.
"You shouldn't be so cocky," Stephanie said. Her voice was dark. She walked over and picked up the saber. Goliath struggled on the ground, trying to get to his feet. Stephanie reconnected the saber to her suit and walked over to him. She stood over him, brandishing the saber. One last time, she discharged a supercapacitor, this time into the saber. It glowed a brilliant green, casting the entire hangar in an eerie glow. "You get what you deserve," she whispered, before swinging the saber, cleanly taking Goliath's head from his shoulders.
Stephanie took a step back. She had won. She turned around to face the others. They were all looking at her, awestruck. Ally began applauding, and soon everyone joined in. She didn't let that affect her. She looked over to Liz. She was awake too. Stephanie took a step forward. Somehow what she was about to do scared her much more than a fight could. she stopped in front of Liz and pulled her to her feet. Their lips met, and to her surprise, Liz didn't pull away. Catcalls and wolf whistles joined the already raucous applause. Again, the celebration was interrupted by someone clearing their throat.
"Liz," Jack said. "Don't you think you should introduce us to your girlfriend?" Liz and Stephanie both turned bright red, and Jack wore a grin that could only be described as 'shit-eating'. "And why not the rest of your friends too, while you're at it?"
The trip back to Earth passed without much incident. They elected to take the long trip again. The four hours were spent catching up, laughing, and reveling in finally completing a battle that some of them had been fighting for more than a decade. Jack and Amy took up residency in The Bunker, electing not to reveal themselves to the world. Not yet. They corroborated Drakus's story and wanted to finish what they started.
"If we tell the world we're alive, we'd also be telling The Hive where we are," Jack said.
"Yeah, it's better if we lay low and heal up," Amy said. "We have time, and we all have each other. We'll take them down. For now, let's be at peace, if only for a little bit." She fell backward onto her bed.
"But Mom," Liz said, sounding all too much like a teenager. "You can tell the world your story. Rally humanity to our side!"
"Liz, they'll chalk us up as crackpots," Jack said. His arm was in a cast.
"Dad, you two are the closest things to real-life superheroes this planet has ever had," Liz shot back. "How will they not trust you?"
"Elizabeth, just trust us," Amy said. She took her daughter in her arms. "We know best." Liz pouted at her mother.
"Why are you even down here?" Jack asked. "You have a girlfriend you could be annoying instead of us." His tone said he didn't mind her being there, but he still wanted to tease her, as every good dad should.
"Dad," Liz said, stretching the word out. "Can you not?" Jack laughed and took his wife and daughter into his arms. He knew they had a hard uphill battle ahead of them. Dismantling The Hive would not be easy. But he didn't think of that. For now, he had everything he could ever want.
For now, he was happy.
That's it, boys and girls. The end of the second arc. Our original trio is back together, with a few old friends. Going into Arc 3 I'm probably going to sideline some of them and keep the story to five or six main characters. That being said, the start of the third arc won't take too long to arrive, so keep an eye out for that. It has been a blast writing this for you all. I hope you enjoyed reading it. Seeing how many upvotes I get on these even after all of this time is insane, and I can't thank you all enough. Seriously. I would never have gotten this far in the story or progressed this much as a writer without you all supporting me as much as you did, so thank you. For now, I'm signing off, but I'll see you all again real soon.
♪ We're talking away, I don't know what I'm to say I'll say it anyway. Today's another day to find you shying away. I'll be coming for your love, okay? ♪
A Cast in Review: Investigations 2
So... I'm a bit torn on Gumshoe in this game. On one hand, it's nice to see that the story actually bothers to let him do important things without needlessly yanking his chain and making them pointless. To the script's credit, he also actually earns some genuine praise from Edgeworth a few times in the late game. On the other hand, though, Gummy has retained his three big problems from the first Investigations, being considerably dumber than in the main series, spending a pretty huge portion of this game absent entirely because for arbitrary plot reasons, and having an unfortunately large percentage of his dialogue exist solely to praise Edgeworth's infinite brilliance.
Thinking on it, this game's version of Gumshoe also has a problem I'll be describing with Kay - it seems almost completely arbitrary when he actually manages to be useful. We have him competing with Kay's Little Thief directly in the ridiculous usefulness of Mr. Analysis, which at least ties in with Gumshoe's previously-established skill with improvised electronics, but it's just one of many things that I think share a universal issue across the whole game.
I got into it above, of course, but I feel like this game's entire narrative is structured with the specific goal of making Edgeworth look as good as possible at all times, and Gumshoe's almost-random bursts of actual usefulness seem to just be yet another symptom. Edgeworth needs to be constantly provided with the perfect means to solve everything possible on his own because he's such an amazing genius, and so the entire cast and world around him constantly bends in on itself to facilitate that. People act like idiots if necessary, others just randomly spike upwards in competence or conveniently arrive on the scene by sheer contrived coincidence - it just goes on.
Getting off-topic from Gumshoe, though - every game prior in the timeline also does this on some level, but it's still not funny when the game just outlines instances Edgeworth being ridiculously insensitive to the point of outright cruelty toward Gumshoe just for "comedy".
SHELLY DE KILLER
See, De Killer was interesting in case 2-4 because his whole character was structured like a dark parallel to Phoenix. Both are professionals who dutifully perform their jobs for the benefit of their clients, and who place the utmost value in the trust between their clients and themselves. The contrast, of course, came from Phoenix being a good-hearted everyman whose passion in life is defending the wrongly-accused when the system has turned against them, while De Killer is an amoral murderer-for-hire who takes care of his clients, but won't hesitate to kill them if they try to break his code of trust. His code of honour didn't make him a good person at all, but it did make him seem like the decidedly lesser evil compared to Matt Engarde, and it made him engaging in general.
You know who doesn't have any interesting parallels with De Killer? Edgeworth.
De Killer is just a murderous bastard in this game. We don't get to see any interesting character dynamics with him save for one I'll be complaining about later on, which is right before the end of the game. To the game's credit, though, it does make him even scarier than he was in JFA, now that there's nothing putting him "on our side", compared to when both he and Phoenix were assisting Engarde.
It's absolutely ridiculous that Edgeworth doesn't realize who he is. They don't even try to make an excuse or even a joke - it's just a dumb contrivance they could've easily avoided.
Well, Kay... you're certainly in this game. You don't really do anything besides occasionally switch Little Thief on for most of it, but good on you for making it into a second game, I guess.
So, Kay's biggest problem is that her character arc decisively ended in Investigations 1. Everything she had wanted to do in her life during that game's story was accomplished. Sure, she gave herself the additional goal of bringing together a new Yatagarasu team in the end credits, but that isn't touched upon at all in this game outside of an end-credits joke. Everywhere but Case 4, Kay exists just to be dialogue padding and break out Little Thief now and again. She's an extension of a gameplay mechanic. Even her banter with Edgeworth is boring, because Edgeworth himself provides no material to work with and most of the dialogue feels exactly the same.
"Wow, look at that thing! I wanna steal it!"Congratulations, you can now skip the majority of their investigation dialogue, because you've read it already.
I guess there's the minor plot point of Kay becoming "friends" with Simon Keyes in Case 2, and then feeling betrayed later on, but even that doesn't really go anywhere. It consists of a few loose lines here and there, and that's about it, because the game is so laser-focused on patting Edgeworth on the back as often as possible.
Now, in Case 4, Kay trades in the problems outlined above and turns into a completely different character. Her memory loss is the only thing that ever makes her relevant at all to this game's story, meaning that Kay Faraday needed to disappear and be replaced by someone completely different just to matter at all. And of course, this necessitated that Ema be abruptly dropped into the story in her place, to fulfill the game's apparent teen-girl-sidekick quota in her absence.
Anyway - I still love her design and theme music (the sad version from Case 4 is great, too!), and she does get some fun lines here and there when she's not talking to the brick wall that is Edgeworth. Sadly, even those are sometimes offset by completely pointless, redundant lines that just puncture a scene for no good reason.
I guess Nicole is kinda fun? Her animations are great, and let you know right away how lively this game's new characters will be. I don't love the character design style of the Investigations games on average, but I've got endless praise for the detailed animations in this game. They're wonderful.
I just don't think there's all that much to Nicole. You'll pretty much going to feel like she's just bootleg Lotta when you first meet her, and of course you'll learn exactly why she comes across that way soon enough, but it seems like her only reason for existing is because Lotta herself wouldn't have worked as a red herring in Case 1, being such a prominent recurring character already.
Before long, of course, she just turns into one of Edgeworth's many cheerleaders; a fate she shares with more than a few other characters in this game.
DI-JUN HUANG (BODY DOUBLE)
Guy's a bastard. I'll admit without trouble that I like the ultimate resolution of the "body double" twist. It's just a well-done plot thread in general, making you wonder for so long what the real story behind this supposedly strong, inspiring leader is, when the man you meet behind closed doors in Case 1 was such a blustering fool.
Anyway, screw this guy. Plots to have his genuinely admirable employer assassinated just to take power for himself, and goes on to be a slow-motion disaster dragging an entire nation down with him. Also doesn't know how to move out of the way of a slowly-descending air balloon.
At least his animations are fun.
Dead. Weird hair. Can fight De Killer, which is neat.
So, I'll start with the things I give Knightley credit for. He's exceedingly clever for an early-game Ace Attorney culprit, and as much of a general bastard as he clearly displays himself to be, he's still a friend to Keyes, even if it turns out that the feeling isn't entirely mutual.
But, now let's look at the other stuff. Petty, jealous asshole, reckless about the safety of others who aren't the President, and totally willing to throw Nicole under the bus to cover for his own crimes. Fuck Knightley. Didn't deserve to be murdered, least of all for the misunderstandings of two other people, but still - fuck Knightley.
Irritating, weird-looking waste of quite a bit of time. The polar bear is cute.
So, with Sahwit making a bizarre return, I'm gonna take this chance to address one of my numerous criticisms for this game's fan translation. No disrespect intended to the team, of course - localizing this game was a massive undertaking, and I'm grateful for the countless work hours they put in with no expectation of pay to get it done. Putting that aside, though, I want to address something I've seen several times before in fan-translated works compared to those officially translated by its creators. A bit of context - Ace Attorney is hardly a series averse to swearing. The first proper word in the first game's script is "Dammit". Now, the first game in general had more of the series' light swearing than later games have, but whatever - main point here is that Ace Attorney characters don't swear especially often. For the vast majority of the series, it's present, but a very rare thing. The series proves that you don't need every other character cursing in every scene to make the story feel more mature when needed, and on top of that, keeping swearing reserved for more emotional or severe moments allows it to greatly enhance a scene when it is used.
This fan translation, on the other hand, falls victim to a problem that I know to exist in a lot of fansubbed anime, as well as other fan translations for games that I've played before. Between just Knightley in Case 1 and Sahwit here in Case 2, I'm pretty sure this translation's script contains more swears than the full scripts of any of the officially-translated games in the whole series. Of course, the most vulgar word used thus far in any official English Ace Attorney script is Lang's use of "bastard" in the first Investigations, and to my knowledge, this translation never goes that far, keeping things limited to "damn", hell", and at least one instance of "ass", but we've gotta look at quantity vs. quality. (The English dub of the anime also has an instance of the word "bitch", which is repeated in a flashback, but that's Funimation, not Capcom.) Bottom line - the prevalence of minor swears in this translation is just distracting to me, and one of the things that feels like an unfortunate, unintended reminder that this is, indeed, a fan translation, and not the official thing from Capcom.
Anyway, there's not a ton to say about Sahwit himself. He's about the same as in the first game, just a little funnier in his efforts to seem like a decent guy despite being a career criminal. His mugshot is hilarious. It's just the exact same one from the first game, but they scribbled a new shirt onto him, and because the artstyle difference between this game and the original is so vast, he doesn't fit in at all. I couldn't hope to guess why they didn't just draw him a new one, considering that his design was otherwise fully updated to match the rest of this game's cast.
I've had a lot of positive feelings toward Ray's overall character ever since getting to Case 3 in my AAI2 rewatch. True, his constant comments on how cute all the girls and women are regardless of age is annoying, feels out-of-place, and I wish it wasn't there, but I think he's wonderful otherwise. He's fun, charming, and fills an amazingly well-chosen role as the former assistant of Gregory Edgeworth. I seriously can't stress enough how much I love that they decided to do that - not only does his past give him amazing potential for various relationships with other characters present in this story, but it also saves Greg himself from a fate that otherwise would have kept him for good, being little more than a background extra used to kick off the main conflicts of the original trilogy. Ray's presence gives Gregory so much more character than he ever had before, and I need to praise this game for it.
There is an "unfortunately", however. I'd be lying if I said that this game fully capitalizes on the brilliant idea that is Ray. For starters, he's one of the numerous victims of what I consider a significant mistake in this game's overall writing. It's detailed in Edgeworth's section - I'm talking about the game's refusal to ever dig into Edgeworth's corrupt past, and what drove him to change. Ray introduces himself into the story with dialogue that indicates he knows about Edgeworth's reputation as Manfred von Karma's great student, but it takes very little time for him to stop being apprehensive about trusting his late mentor's son, and by the end of Case 3, when his character has peaked, his arc finished, there's really nowhere left for him to go, even with two more full cases left, both of which he appears in. In the wake of this story, I can only feel like the much better idea would've been to put Edgeworth's former corruption in full focus, making Ray still a clear good guy, but one who's understandably extremely hesitant to believe that Edgeworth could ever have changed as much as those around him claim in just a couple of years.
It also doesn't help Ray that his being invented just for this game and retroactively slotted into the previous story surrounding DL-6 leaves us stuck with the implication that he didn't attend Edgeworth's trial in 1-4, and that he's somehow never met or even apparently heard of Phoenix, the lawyer who defended Edgeworth in that case, even proving that Von Karma was Gregory's killer. This is probably one of the biggest failings the series has ever suffered at the hands of the "no-spoiler rule". A huge amount of story and character potential just has to be sacrificed for no good reason, simply because this game isn't allowed to touch on anything to do with Phoenix directly, nor does it seem willing to properly talk about Edgeworth's former corruption in anything more than the vaguest of terms.
So in summary, Ray was severely cheated by the no-spoiler rule.
I like his younger self as well, and I love the running tragedy of his relationship with Katherine.
I'll tell you a little story. Before the Investigations 2 fan translation was finished, I had seen bits and pieces of the game here and there. A number of unfamiliar characters and settings, mostly. This teenaged prosecutor who would apparently act as a rival toward Edgeworth looked incredibly annoying, and I was fully prepared to hate him once the translation was finished. In a lucky turn of events, however, I actually didn't find Sebastian anywhere near as irritating as I'd expected to. His arrogance wasn't quite endearing, but it was entertaining when stacked up against how stupid he is. His animations are pretty fun, and while he's totally inept as a rival, Courtney is there to pick up the slack. So, what about later, and particularly in this rewatch? Well, it's pretty mixed.
First off, I found him much more irritating the second time around. Back when I was first trying the game for myself, I wasn't as bothered by how incredibly slowly it moves, at least in the first two cases. This time around, though, the dragging pace of the story was a lot more noticeable, and it was never helped by how frustratingly often Sebastian shows up just to ramble a bunch of idiotic, effortlessly disproven "theories" on the events so Courtney can eventually step in and correct him with her own cross-examinations. The reason this becomes a problem is that, despite Courtney very much being the main rival, rather than him, they still give Sebastian a huge amount of screentime in Cases 2 and 3, and he's just a constant, stagnant annoyance for that whole time. He's an idiot, and that's his whole schtick throughout both cases, other than abusing the police working with him and generally being an arrogant shit. The game waits all the way until near the end of Case 4 to even begin his actual character arc, and even considering that I think that arc is quite good on its own, it doesn't redeem these many earlier scenes with him. He's not just stupid and inept - he's both in a way that actively endangers other people, and yet near the end of the game, it's Kay saying that she wants to go and apologize to him for their earlier meetings. If not for Edgeworth, Sebastian could've easily caused more than one person to go to prison for crimes they didn't commit, and Courtney is right there the whole time, irresponsibly enabling him. We'll get to her in a moment.
Let's cover Sebastian's actual arc now. Like I said, I think it's good. Late in Case 4, we're finally given context for his idiotic, arrogant personality, and it's done in such an unflinching, brutal way that I have to praise it. Blaise outlines with no particular hesitation that he considers his son a useless idiot, and explains that his bribery is the only reason Sebastian has reached the point he's currently at. It's a powerful moment that recontextualizes all of Sebastian's earlier appearances, and it leads to his part in Case 5, brokenly teetering on the end of a complete mental breakdown under the stress of a lifetime of emotional abuse. It is not, however, enough to make up for how shitty he was for so much of the game earlier on.
Don't care for her. Courtney has a very similar problem to Sebastian, in that she's simply in way too much of the game prior to Cases 4 and 5, which are the only two where her actions are given proper context. She spends Cases 2 and 3 as a harsh, obtrusive wall fighting against Edgeworth's efforts to solve two separate cases and constantly threatening to end his career. This seems to be a recurring issue with certain Ace Attorney rivals. The typical structure of the game requires them to oppose the hero for most of the story before whatever big plot thing surrounding them happens in the last one or two cases, and unfortunately, the way that Courtney is put through these motions makes her come across as being much shittier than the late game will want us to believe.
Throughout her first two case appearances, Courtney fights as hard as she possibly can to contradict Edgeworth whenever possible, even when it's abundantly clear that his theories are correct. She blockades his investigations and cuts in on his questions as frequently as she can. She backs Sebastian up no matter how stupid and off-base his arguments are. That last one is the worst of the bunch, because it consistently frames Courtney as totally and irresponsibly willing to continually enable Sebastian's dangerous idiocy. Once again, if it wasn't for Edgeworth's persistence and intelligence, Sebastian would put innocent people on trial for crimes they didn't commit, and Courtney would, without question, be at fault. Now, just based on sheer volume of these occurrences, I'm mainly targeting Cases 2 and 3 here, but Courtney's worst part by far actually comes in Case 4, when she goes out of her way and fights as hard as she can to indict Kay, an injured amnesiac, on the charge of a murder she clearly didn't commit, using evidence that Courtney herself knows to be forged. The ultimate given reason for all of this is that Courtney was aiming to use her position as a judge and member of the P.I.C. to take Blaise down from within his organization, but let's double-check why: Courtney is going after Blaise for his long career of abusing his position to destroy the lives of innocent people who have done nothing to deserve it. What are Courtney's methods for this? Why, they're "abusing her position to destroy the lives of innocent people who have done nothing to deserve it". Huh. How curious.
So I don't like Courtney, but let's not be totally negative here. I do have some good things to add about her. In Case 5, she improves immensely. With the reveal that John is is adopted son, she gains a whole new branch to her character, and seriously - it's amazing how much this improves her. I love every single scene she has together with John. They're all terrific. Even this has a downside, though - there's a certain pretty awful moment in Case 3, when Edgeworth is confronting Gustavia at the end. Gusty has just outlined what a horrible parent he is, on top of just generally being a reprehensible human being. What does Courtney, whose role in Case 5 will revolve mainly around being a mom, say about this? Slight paraphrase, but "We're not here to judge whether Mr. Gustavia is a good parent". Fucking seriously? She'll act completely irresponsibly beyond the requirements of her job to cause trouble for Edgeworth, but then she'll just let Gustavia's bastardry slide because it's not strictly relevant to proving his guilt in the murder?
I liked her when I was originally playing Case 2. Hoped she wouldn't end up as the culprit. Big surprise where that got me. It's interesting that you could easily consider her pretty sympathetic just based on Case 2 alone, once you learn her reasons for killing Knightley.
I think Case 2 is way too long for how complex the actual crime is, and wastes a huge amount of its runtime, so that has the unfortunate effect of hurting Patricia a bit, so let's just move past Case 2 and skip ahead to her later appearance in the final case.
I don't really care for her use in Case 5. The case kinda just keeps piling more and more terrible things she did in the past into an increasingly large stack, but she isn't there for most of it, and so it doesn't really feel like it adds anything to her character most of the time.
She's very lazy about naming animals.
Screw this guy. I don't like him at all. He's an unrepentant, murderous bastard, and giving him a dog he occasionally pets, making him "cool", and revealing that he once randomly decided to save two freezing children for no apparent reason doesn't change that. I guess ending the game by having him become sort of a father figure to another murderer I don't feel sympathetic towards at all is kind of fitting, if nothing else.
Dogen's another of the many characters in the Investigations games to not look like they fit Ace Attorney's artstyle in general.
why was it decided that Big Top characters needed to reappear in this game
Regina is only marginally less irritating than she was the first time. It seems like she might have matured at least a tiny bit, but the game doesn't really ever dig into it.
ISAAC DOVEPIERRE HOQUET
"The flavourless one in a pair of characters who inadvertently caused the entire Ace Attorney series to happen by both being selfish assholes". That was what I was going to write here. I got as far as two words, and then I was struck by the immense irony of calling Dover "flavourless" compared to Gustavia. Just wanted to share that story.
Anyway he's an ass with almost nothing to him, character-wise.
A great character in a terrific case. This poor man deserved better.
On a surface level, Master is highly entertaining. Going deeper, he has an incredibly well-done relationship with Katherine, which is equal parts heartwarming and incredibly tragic.
Something I really appreciate and wanted to note in here, though it's not strictly related to Master himself: when you look at just the first game in the series, which was so mundane in style compared to all of its successors, you'll almost certainly imagine that the final case Gregory Edgeworth ever took on was something equally mundane and grounded. I love that this game establishes instead that the case which prompted Ace Attorney's entire running story was just as wacky as any other in the series' universe.
The other side of an incredibly heartwarming yet tragic relationship. Kate is terrific - just like her adoptive father, she's entertaining in behaviours, but also has a character that goes much deeper than that. She was deeply, unjustifiably wronged by the actions of Gustavia, Dover, and Von Karma, and her devotion to repaying the kindness that Master showed to her all those years ago drives her to such desperation that she takes a number of highly-questionable actions in trying to seek justice for everything that happened, even when some part of her recognizes that there might well be better ways to do what she wants to, as Ray addresses near the case's end.
She deserves credit for her ingenious method for drawing out and identifying the true killer from the IS-7 case, aiming to ensure that only they could possibly be harmed by it.
Truly (and of course intentionally) bizarre-looking, and just sort of hard to get a read on. She's a deliberately strange character like Meekins, but much more important to this case than Meekins ever was to 1-5. I don't know if I can really say a lot about her.
Ugh. Investigations Larry is just as wearying as ever, and sadly, this game doesn't even give him anything fun like his role as the Steel Samurai in the previous one.
Boring as all get out, but I love what they did with Greg here. His constant thoughts about his son, and fretting over how easily he'll be able to make friends - it's great. Beyond the mention that his personality as a player character is extremely dry (much like his son in this subseries), I don't think I have anything negative to say about him. Maybe his voice clips - they're not great. Great choice of VA to provide them, but I don't think the takes they went with were the right ones.
One other thing, though it really isn't a failing of Gregory himself - still feels like shoving Blaise into the DL-6 storyline as the person who actually gave Von Karma his penalty takes away from the gravity of Gregory's accomplishment in doing so, because it's made clear that Blaise wanted to do that anyway, and was already looking for an excuse.
MANFRED VON KARMA
Did this bastard ever look young? Seriously - what's the reasoning behind never really changing his appearance? He's only 49 in the flashbacks, and yet he still looks like the same aged vampire he was at 65.
Anyway fuck Von Karma. His personality is unchanged to match his looks. He doesn't yet have the obsessive hatred of the Edgeworths that we know from the first game, and I still can't help feeling like this subseries kind of tries to downplay what a malignant bastard he always was. In particular, this game feels like they tried to use Von Karma as a stepping stone to make Blaise Debeste seem more impressive. I'll get into that when I'm whinging about Blaise in his own section below, though.
I'm really happy with Badd's appearance here. It's just a really solid use of his character that cleverly sidesteps the problem of his going to prison after I-5, giving Gregory a staunch ally in his final case. Really, though - they gave Badd some subtle changes to his sprites to reflect that he's younger here, so why not Von Karma?
RON AND DESIRÉE DELITE
I just want to use their little cameo to mention that I still love them both.
Right bastard, this one. Ruthless, entirely self-serving asshole who doesn't feel a hint of regret for all the suffering and death his selfish actions caused. They make some fun subversions with him, too. Admitting to Dover's murder years down the line, simply because he's totally confident that the statute of limitations will ensure his safety, the game raising the possibility that he might still ultimately get away - I don't like Gustavia at all, but I have to respect him as a character. He's a damn good one.
Dead, but at least given some decent background toward the end of the game.
I still like Lotta. This game doesn't give her much material to work with. Her little character moments with Nicole are great, though. Sadly, once Lotta has finished with her requisite time-wasting here in Case 4, she and Nicole pretty much just exist to encourage Edgeworth, like so many other characters.
Not much to say. She fits the artstyle, which stands out in this game's weird-looking cast. She mostly exists to facilitate the crime in this case, and to then prove essential in exposing it.
Didn't know raisins could perform autopsies.
Same plot role as her granddaughter, in essence. She exists to be a pawn in Blaise's schemes. At least she and Karin have fun animations.
Here for the sole purpose of replacing the temporarily unavailable Kay as Edgeworth's peppy teen girl assistant, on the excuse that forensics will conveniently be required.
I love her design here. I can't say much else. She's just fanservice combined with plot convenience, and didn't need to be here. Are you noticing a theme in Case 4? I don't like it at all, and its characters are a major part of why.
FRANZISKA VON KARMA
They gave Franziska pretty good material here, all things concerned. It's a shame that she doesn't really get to do a lot with it, but at least they don't run all over the place with stupid, incorrect deductions on her part. There's a benefit to having Sebastian around.
Even Franziska ends up as part of Edgeworth's massive cheerleading squad by the endgame.
I don't like Blaise. I didn't the first time, and that didn't change on a rewatch. I have the same opinion of him as ever - he's a shoddy amalgamation of traits borrowed from Manfred von Karma and Damon Gant, and his only unique, interesting trait is his abusive treatment of his son. He's unbearably annoying, acts incredibly stupid in his confrontations with Edgeworth considering what a conniving monster he is in the game's background, and any satisfaction gained from "defeating" him in Case 4 is stolen from you in the next case, when he's set up to just easily wriggle his way out of trouble anyway. On the whole, he not only feels like a bootleg mashup of earlier, better villains, but it also feels like the story is constantly trying to one-up those villains directly just to make him seem more impressive. He was the one who gave Von Karma the penalty that started his campaign of revenge against Gregory Edgeworth. He's even more dangerous than Damon Gant, using similar methods to reach an even higher position within the legal system.
Much like with Patricia Roland, the late game just keeps piling more and more vile actions into his personal history long after you've stopped seeing him in-game, and I don't find it impressive at all. We already understood he was a monstrous bastard with no depth hours earlier, and just trying to multiply the effect long after his final defeat doesn't earn him any extra points.
With most of them as effectively faceless blobs of nothing, the P.I.C. is a massive wasted opportunity, and Blaise is right at its centre. In relation, I want to again mention an idea I've suggested for him before. I think this game could've been considerably better if it had actually been willing to dig into Edgeworth's past, and Blaise's position as chairman of the P.I.C. means he's perfectly suited as a sympathetic antagonist for that hypothetical story. Imagine a version of Blaise (or some other character in his position) who is going after Edgeworth for entirely legitimate, understandable reasons based on all the corruption and general underhandedness in his past. He isn't quite so willing to simply forgive Edgeworth's years of dishonest methods just because the man has changed, and he has strong reason to believe that Edgeworth has caused false convictions in the past due to his use of Von Karma's methods. I've never liked how the games just stopped acknowledging that as soon as Edgeworth reappeared in 2-4, and even this game isn't willing to explore it. The most we get is the one scene with Gumshoe and Kay insisting upon what a wonderful, heroic person he is in the face of Ray's initial and short-lived distrust. Make it an example of reformed-bad-guy-turned-good vs. overall-good-guy and give us some real fucking adversity for Edgeworth to face instead of just structuring the story to make him look as perfect and heroic as possible at all times.
Blaise being the cackling, mustache-twirling cartoon villain that he is just instantly erases any chance at getting an interesting character struggle out of Edgeworth facing off against him, and it definitely isn't helped by how comically stupid Blaise acts at times. When Edgeworth has been arrested pending his P.I.C. hearing in Case 4, and Blaise stops by his cell, there is absolutely no possible justifiable reason for him to just stand there and constantly spill critical, case-making information during the Logic Chess segment that covers that section, and yet he just keeps doing it over and over again. They don't even frame it like a smug villain taunting the hero over how he can't do anything even when he knows the truth - the dialogue makes it clear that Blaise really is just fucking up again and again, and he never bothers to just walk away despite there being nothing stopping him at any point.
And he looks weird. Welcome to the club, Blaise. (His Objection voice clip is also awful.)
Seemed like a very good man. I'll mention again that I do think the body-double twist was quite well-done. Seeing the circumstances of original president's murder is very sad, and gives me plenty more reason than was already provided to hate Dogen, and yet it comes up only a very short time before the game tries to make him seem cool and admirable. Y'know, the brutal assassin. I'd like to take this opportunity to echo my own earlier sentiment - fuck Dogen. Is this just Japan's "honour" thing again? Is that the reason that the game tries to push so hard on the question of who the better person is between him and De Killer, both murderers-for-hire?
I guess it's kind of fun that Penny of all characters would get a supporting role in this case. She gets very slightly more character in this case, even if it's at the loss of her Steel Samurai obsession.
The pointless character returns continue. The opening segment of this case is padded to an incredible extreme, and giving a bunch of screentime to both Powers and Penny is part of why.
John's pretty good. He starts off irritating, but that was obviously the intent. Seeing the front he puts up as an egotistical teen actor crumble as soon as his mom shows up is both funny and endearing. The mutual care shown between him and Courtney is great, too. Case 5 fits a nice little mini-character arc in for him in an admirably short time.
Dead. One of the top contenders for weird, unfitting character designs in this game.
Seemed like a good man, like his friend the President.
Of two minds here. I've already praised the body-double story thread, and Lang is tied into it, but I just think this whole section feels way too crammed in at the last minute. Seems to me like Lang could've made proper appearances earlier on, rather than just one quick bit in Case 2. It's good to finally get some background on his hatred of prosecutors. His behaviour right when he first appears in Case 5 almost seems like a gross erasure of his development from the previous game, but they actually fit it in fairly well, making it clear that he's acting out of extreme emotion more than anything else.
Sadly, he ends up as yet one more Edgeworth backup dancer before too long. Losing Shih-na robbed him of a fair bit of his potential for on-screen presence.
Keyes just doesn't impress me. I see so much praise for the amazing final villain, but I genuinely don't get it. Is it really just the shocking reveal that makes people like him? If that is the case, I genuinely think Fulbright did it better.
I have a larger problem with Case 5's presentation as a whole, and Keyes is a victim of it. Despite this game being ridiculously long and slow, it still doesn't effectively make use of its runtime to deliver story beats in an efficient, organic manner, and so by the time of Case 5, there's still a colossal pileup of story that it needs to get through, and as a result, The Grand Turnabout is a long, meandering drag through disconnected setpieces and scenes filled with long, boring exposition dumps framed only by the murder of the fake president. The story never feels like it focuses on anything properly, instead just dumping as much information as possible into single long bursts, and then wandering off to another scene to do the same thing over again. One character hit particularly badly by this is Simon Keyes himself.
There is absolutely nothing about his appearance in Case 2 that sets up for his eventual reveal as the villain. That Simon and the one who appears for the final confrontation here might as well be different characters entirely, and the only way the game has on hand to justify the transformation is to dump about an hour of exposition about a child who will turn out to be him into the very last big investigation phase before you head off to confront him.
It also tries to set him up as this impressive master planner who staged the events of this game and played everyone against one another perfectly, but at least a couple of his schemes are entirely reliant upon ridiculously convenient coincidence that he never could've planned for, and the stakes of his final confrontation itself fall pretty flat, because unlike Alba, who was actually in a political position that afforded him the chance to escape justice, Simon is a middle-class circus performer with no hope of getting away, even if Edgeworth did ultimately fail to prove his guilt in the president's murder. He's still admitted to numerous other major crimes, and is surrounded by police and other law enforcement.
I don't buy into his sympathy angle, either. Yes, there are plenty of things in his past to feel sorry for, but as I've quoted before, there's a big difference between having a sympathetic backstory and actually being sympathetic. Simon Keyes only qualifies for the first of those two things, and gleefully throws away the other by scheming up murders and trying to pin them on teenagers.
(Everyone but Edgeworth comes in with just enough room for this initial post. Check the comment below for Edgeworth's section!)