With the first three Ace Attorney games squared away, Listmas gives me the perfect excuse to talk about one of my favorite aspects of these games – their amazing soundtracks! With regards to games such as these where no voice acting is present, soundtracks become paramount in creating both atmosphere and character. Certainly, written dialogue goes a long way in establishing form as well, but various musical themes help to define action, whether by elevating or deflating it. I’m happy to say that the music in the first three Ace Attorney games does not disappoint. In fact, I’ve added them to my regular listening roster simply because they contain lots of incredible music! The challenge here was to whittle down these rich soundtracks to just a handful of favorites. To keep all things Listmas manageable, I limited myself to picking only two games from each soundtrack. Folks, it wasn’t easy, but I did it! Here are my six top picks of favorite themes from the soundtracks of the first three Ace Attorney games.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Of the three games, the soundtrack of the first one is probably my favorite. Granted, that might be due to the fact that I heard it quite a lot as I slowly fumbled my way through things, but alone, it presents a cohesive narrative of the game, and it became the soundtrack to which I compared the other two games.
The first song I picked is the basic “Trial” theme that plays as each case is set up and presented in the courtroom. It’s a chill companion piece that invokes a great “calm before the storm” feeling.
The second theme is “Pressing Pursuit,” which plays during the “gotcha!” moments in each trial, when Wright takes the lead, presses the witness, and ultimately discovers the truth. There are variations of this theme on the other two soundtracks, but this one with its driving rhythm is my favorite.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All
The first Ace Attorney game established that Phoenix Wright’s journey in law would not be without its share of tragedy. The second game took that notion and went to eleven in presenting cases that often resulted in heartrending self-destruction.
For my third list item, I picked one of the more pensive themes from the next game in line, Ace Attorney – Justice for All, “The Fire Carves Scars.” If memory serves, it plays at the end of the game’s second trial, which has a disturbingly sad outcome. Even without the context of the game, the song feels heavy, though it remains solemnly beautiful throughout.
Fourth on the list is my second favorite tune from the Justice for All soundtrack: Pearl Fey’s bubbly little theme. Pearl, or “Pearls” as Wright calls her, is Maya Fey’s little cousin, and she’s simply awesome. Her theme is something of a take on Maya’s own, but it’s brighter, lighter, and more poppy – words that describe Pearl exactly. But though she’s occasionally whimsical, she’s not afraid to get tough when the time calls for it!
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations
Of these three soundtracks, this one proved to be the hardest to narrow down, because it’s overloaded with different themes for a wide range of characters and situations. Which makes sense because the game bursts with an assortment of strange, new faces!
Number five on the list is the theme of Prosecutor Godot, a coffee-guzzling, smooth-talking lawyer who’s out to get Wright at all costs. (Boy, his story arc in the game is really something.) And it’s no wonder considering how strung out he is on coffee! Oddly, his bluesy, jazzy theme – loivingly titled “The Fragrance of Dark-Colored Coffee” – indicates more nonchalance than anything, so surely Godot knows something we don’t.
For my sixth and final list item, I chose the fun and upbeat theme of Furio Tigre, a burly, intimidating dude who’s presented as Wright’s doppelganger in “Recipe for Turnabout.” It’s a piece with plenty of retro style, which is only right for a “Swingin’ Tiger.” He’s one hip cat, if ya dig!
What are some of your favorite songs from the Phoenix Wright games?