Game That Tune

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney—Trials And Tribulations

Darn Good Coffee

A caffeine addict’s personal ballad adds a mysterious sense of romance to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

By Derrick Sanskrit • September 5, 2013

Game music has the power to earworm its way into your heart long after you put the controller down. Each week in Game That Tune, we highlight a great tune from a great game (or a great tune from a just-okay game).

It’s back-to-school season, but don’t let the prospects of seminars and term papers get you down! A good education can lead to a more interesting life. Years of grad school could result in a promising legal career, one rife with intrigue, romance, and the eternal search for the perfect cup of hot dark coffee. You, too, could be like Godot, that oh-so-smooth prosecutor with the haunting electronic stare. This villain of the third Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney game was so enshrouded in alluring mystery that many players were more drawn to him than to the returning characters of the series, due in some degree to his sensual theme song.

So very smooth, as though someone had taken their favorite lounge jazz quartet and crammed them into a 16-bit cartridge. The saxophone stands front and center, as saxes are wont to do, with a bluesy riff that circles the drain of remorse. Counter to this are the gentle piano taps, which speak of a brighter sense of hope without escaping from the general air of sadness. The round bass methodically shuffles forward as a reminder that time stops for no man, and the brush snare keeps a gentle rhythm, as though it were nursing an eternal hangover and just needs to keep the curtains drawn. They all work together to let us know that Godot is the hunky brooding guy with an enigmatic past. Somebody has hurt him. He’s so sensitive under that tough exterior. Nobody tell him about the sweet jazz and orchestral versions of his theme, or he might shed a single tear from behind that massive visor.

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25 Responses to “Darn Good Coffee”

  1. His_Space_Holiness says:

    Oh good, Godot’s theme. It feels like I’ve been waiting for this forever.

  2. rvb1023 says:

    Phoenix Wright has some great music. Having only played the first I went and picked up the next two games as well in preparation for Ace Attorney 5 sometime this year. Ever since I got into UMvC3 Pressing Pursuit has been one of the catchiest songs ever.

    • Justice For All is okay, but Trials and Tribulations is just amazing. Pick up Apollo Justice if you can, it’s a nice game with a couple really fun cases. Miles Edgeworth: Investigations is underrated and has Kay Faraday, one of my favorite characters of the whole franchise. (Also, if anybody can find me a fan translation/download of the Japan only sequel I’d be much appreciated.)

      • Apollo Justice felt like a better “game” to me thanks to his ability to perceive witnesses’ “tells” during testimony. I’m really excited to see how that relates to the “mood matrix” in the upcoming Dual Destinies. I thought the characters Apollo and Tracey were fantastic, so I’m happy they’re coming back in part 5 rather than being chucked aside entirely for Phoenix’s comeback. Trials and Tribulations has the best story of the bunch so far, though, potentially one of the best stories I’ve ever experienced in a game.

        • huge_jacked_man says:

          Apollo Justice is greatly underrated imo. It’s a way better game/story than And Justice for All.  Trial and Tribulations is still the best though and Godot has a lot to do with it. 

        • CountBulletsula says:

          The way Trials and Tribulations ties together the first three games is so great.  I love that each of the first three games puts you in pretty impossible witness stand situations, but T&T has one of the most satisfying takedowns (with Case 1-5 coming in a close second and the whole premise of 2-4 not far behind).  But once you finish the case, you realize how pretty much almost everything in all three games is connected, and the sheer scope of all the pain and trauma Phoenix, the Feys, and everyone else has suffered at the hands of the Big Bad for years is pretty mind boggling (especially considering the circumstances).

          I did enjoy Apollo Justice as well, and I thought the interactive touch screen parts were pretty neat, but I still feel like Apollo and Trucy were pretty inconsequential. (SPOILERS–Even despite their direct involvement with Troupe Grammarye, they were just pawns in Phoenix’s revenge ploy.  It also felt like AJ tried too much to be like T&T as far as scope of story goes but didn’t actually have three games’ worth of history to back it up).  I do hope they are given a lot more to do in Dual Destinies

      • huge_jacked_man says:

        Re: fan translation there is an ongoing effort but things are very slow and they never managed to find a reliable way to actually inject the translated text into the ROM without running into memory issues. 

        In the meantime I think someone is doing a translated Let’s Play of it on Youtube, kind of like when the SomethingAwful forums did the Dangan Ronpa LP.  

      • rvb1023 says:

        So would you say Apollo Justice is worth it? I was kind of worried with Nick not being the main character anymore.

        I do intend to get AA5 so if story stuff comes up I would like to know regardless.

        • From the sounds of it I think AA5 is going to have Apollo in there so you probably would want to play it for context. But it is still quite fun on it’s own, and Nick contributes a lot so he’s never too far away.

        • CountBulletsula says:

          It’s actually not a bad game, it’s just…different?  I think Apollo Justice does some very interesting things with Phoenix’s character that will hopefully be further explored in the newest game, so it’s definitely worth it just for that.  He’s still very crucial to the story.

          Speaking of different, wow, is Miles Edgeworth: Investigations different altogether.  These games have lots of talking, but ME:I takes the cake.  I guess it’s eminently more skippable, though–especially to keep yourself from being upset that the sequel will probably never be officially translated.

        • huge_jacked_man says:

          If you liked the original trilogy then definitely pick it up. The cases are mostly solid and none of them is as bad as the first cases of Justice For All.

          Also Phoenix has an important role in it.

      • Unexpected Dave says:

        *SPOILERPLATE*

        The ending of Apollo Justice feels a little anti-climactic, seeing as how the Big Bad was already on death row.

  3. CountBulletsula says:

    I am loving the subtle glow of Godot’s visor in the graphic at the top.

  4. neodocT says:

    Godot’s one of my all time favorite video game antagonists. I’m not even ashamed to admit that. He is just that fantastic of a character, and his theme song is just as amazing.

    ::gobbles down piping hot coffee::

    • Unexpected Dave says:

      Armando was a pretty major douche, though. “Poor baby. Looks the court record has wet itself.”

  5. For the record, both Turnabout Jazz Soul and Turnabout Orchestra are pretty flipping awesome. My favorites include a foot tapping Rise From the Ashes, a sweeping medley of all the Ace Attorney court themes, and of course this soulful rendition of The Steel Samurai, which turns the peppy theme song into a mournful little number best appreciated with a glass of wine and a heart full of regret.

  6. huge_jacked_man says:

    Blacker than a moonless night, hotter and more bitter than Hell itself… That is coffee.

  7. ocelotfox says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzOo-lcYRLQ – Because Godot is the boss.  Of coffee throwing.

  8. CNightwing says:

    The orchestral version (of the whole soundtrack) is awesome.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9ybFVYg2no

  9. Godots17thCup says:

    During a cold and rainy day, I always make sure to listen to the Turnabout Jazz Soul version of The Fragrance of Dark Coffee with my hands wrapped around a cup of pure black magic.

    That’s one of my rules.

  10. Chris Hansen says:

    I once shot a terrible black and white noir student film short with this song as the soundtrack.  It will forever have a space in my heart.