Phoenix takes the case of famous magician Max Galactica in the murder of his boss, circus ringmaster Russel Berry. Can magicians really fly?
Date: December 26th to
Phoenix takes Maya and Pearl to the circus to see Max Galactica, a famous magician with the Berry Big Circus. But two days later he gets a call from Maya saying that Max has been arrested for murder. Under her insistence Phoenix heads to the detention cell.
Phoenix meets with Max and agrees to be his lawyer. Max is the lead suspect because he was the last person to be seen with the victim, Russel Berry, who is also Max's boss. Phoenix heads to the circus with Maya to investigate.
In the courtyard where the murder took place they meet Detective Gumshoe, who describes the scene. The victim was found bent over a heavy box in the middle of the courtyard, and the only footprints leading up to the body are the victim's own. They have no idea what Max used to kill him or how he managed not to leave any prints. However, Max's signature purple silk hat was found at the scene, and a witness claims to have seen him.
Franziska is going to be the prosecutor again, and when Maya asks why not Edgeworth, Gumshoe tells her "He's gone." Phoenix asks her never to mention Edgeworth's name to him again.
Phoenix and Maya continue through the circus, meeting Regina, Russel's daughter (who does not seem to be horribly broken up by his death) and Ben, a ventriloquist who won't talk to them (because he's missing his ventriloquist doll). Phoenix learns that Max and Ben's doll Trilo have asked her to marry them (yes, the doll). After some more investigation Phoenix meets with the witness Gumshoe mentioned, Moe, the circus' clown. Moe tells him that he was about to go to sleep when he heard a loud noise outside and looked out, and saw Max standing over the ringmaster, Russel.
Phoenix visits Max again, and learns that he and Trilo got into a fight over Regina the day of the murder. After that evening's practice, which ended at 10:00 pm, Max was called to Russel's office to talk about it. Russel slipped off while Max waited in the office, and he claims he stayed there until the police showed up and arrested him.
Max also tells Phoenix that he hid Ben's doll, Trilo, so Phoenix recovers it and gives it back. Ben and Trilo then confess that they've also been asked to appear in court as witnesses. Just as Phoenix is about to leave a monkey shows up and steals his attorney badge. He tracks it down to a room on the third floor of the employee lodgings, and retrieves it along with a diamond ring that looks like it could be evidence. (Phoenix, stop stealing!!)
Detective Gumshoe is the first witness of the trial, as usual. He goes over the murder, which took place shortly after 10 pm. Inside the box Russel was slumped over was a small bottle of ordinary pepper. He still hasn't figured out what the murder weapon was.
Ben and Trilo are called to the stand, and testify that they were outside the circus tent waiting for Regina (to propose to her) when they saw Max pass by, headed for the courtyard. In order to get to that courtyard anyone would have had to pass them, but Max was the only one. Phoenix presses through their testimony, and is able to prove that the man who passed them was not Max, but in fact Russel Berry, the victim. He was dressed as Max when he headed toward what would become the scene of his murder.
Moe is called up to the stand next. He testifies that he heard a loud noise from outside his window, and when he looked out saw Russel slumped over the box, with Max next to him. He also claims that Max left while still wearing his silk hat, which is impossible because it was found at the scene, not to mention he left no footprints. After much pressing Moe finally reveals that what he really saw was Max fly away from the scene.
The Judge calls for the trial to be held over to the next day. Meanwhile, Phoenix talks to Max, and learns about a statue Max won at the entertainment world's Grand Prix last year--a bust statue of himself, holding cards and wearing his signature hat. Phoenix goes to the circus to look for it but he can't find it. He does, however, discover a note in Russel's office that Moe tells him was posted on the bulletin board the day of the murder. It reads, "To the murderer: I have decisive evidence against you. Meet me in the courtyard at 10:00 pm."
In the courtyard, Phoenix and Maya run into Franziska and Gumshoe. They finally explain what happened to Edgeworth. After he was acquitted he came to court less and less, and finally just disappeared. He left a note reading, "Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth chooses death." Franziska blames Phoenix for "killing" him, since he was the one that ruined Edgeworth's reputation and drove him away. Gumshoe strongly believes that Edgeworth is still alive, but Phoenix says he should just stay dead. He tells Maya again never to bring up Edgeworth's name to him again.
Phoenix continues the investigation and meets Acro, a former acrobat now confined to a wheelchair. He lives in the third floor room where Money the monkey takes the things he steals. Acro has a bunch of psycho locks and won't admit much, but he did see Max fly away from the scene, just like Moe said.
Speaking to Regina, Phoenix learns that the threatening note they found in Russel's office had originally been in her pocket. She found it there after delivering Acro his lunch and, reasoning that she wasn't a murderer and the note wasn't meant for her, left it in the cafeteria. Her father took it after that.
Phoenix then talks to Moe some more, and after some prodding learns about a terrible accident that occurred at the circus several months earlier. Acro's younger brother, Bat, who was also an acrobat, proposed a dare to stick his head in a lion's mouth the way Regina did during her act. But during the trick Leon (the lion) bit down on his head, and since has been in a coma. Moe says just before Leon bit him, the lion looked like he was smiling.
Phoenix confronts Acro with this information, who confirms it's correct. He was injured that same day trying to get the lion off his brother, which is why he's in a wheel chair. The real reason Bat did the stunt to begin with was so that Regina would go on a date with him. He still has the scarf Bat was wearing when it happened. Just then Franziska busts in and demands the scarf be handed over to her as evidence, which it is.
Court resumes and Acro is called as the first witness. He testifies to hearing the same noise Moe did, and that when he looked out his window he saw Max floating past it. Phoenix begins his cross examination, and outlines his theory through the evidence. Acro killed Russel with Max's Grand Prix statue, by throwing it out the window. Because of his wheel chair he couldn't move right against the window and see out, but earlier he had thrown out the heavy box--all he had to do was throw the statue with the same force he through the box, right when Russel tried to lift it. It worked, but he hadn't known that Russel was dressed up as Max. When the statue hit it knocked off the silk hat, and snagged on the cape. When Acro reeled the statue back up to the window with a rope the cape was still attached, which is why Moe thought he was seeing Max fly.
A short recess is ordered, and Gumshoe reports to Phoenix that the scarf "Franziska" recovered was covered in pepper, like the pepper found in the box at the crime scene. Phoenix returns to court armed with motive. He explains what happened to Acro's brother, Bat, and that it was Regina's fault: the day of the stunt, she had wanted to play a practical joke on him and covered his scarf with pepper to make him sneeze (the sort of thing he did to her all the time). But the pepper affected Leon instead, causing him to bite Bat and injure him and his brother. Acro wanted her dead for that.
But when Russel saw the note Regina had left he knew someone was out to harm his daughter, so he came in her place to the scene. He was trying to get into the box to get the evidence against her when he was killed.
All that's left is the murder weapon--if Acro pulled it up by a rope, it should have still been in his room, but the police never recovered it. Phoenix boldly declares that the murder weapon is in the courtroom with them--hidden in Acro's wheelchair. When the police came Acro had to hide the weapon, and all this time it's been sitting between his feet, covered by a blanket.
Acro admits to the murder. He never meant to kill Russel and is devastated because he loved the man like a father. But even though Bat's injury was an accident he couldn't forgive Regina for what she had done, and especially the fact that she passed it off so easily.
Max is declared not guilty. Afterwards, Moe decides that he'll be the new leader for their circus, and everyone agrees.
Sometime later, Edgeworth is shown in an airport, reading a newspaper article about Franziska. He tells Gumshoe over the phone that he's coming back soon.
|The case really
started as a result of an accident five months previous. Bat, an
acrobat in the circus, was in love with Regina, Mr. Berry's lion-tamer
daughter. They often pulled pranks on each other. One day, Bat made a
bet with her: if he could take her place in a certain stunt (where she
puts her head in a lion's mouth), she would go on a real date with him.
Regina agreed, but as was always the case with them decided to play a
prank on him. She covered his favorite scarf with pepper to make him
sneeze. It didn't make Bat sneeze, but it did affect the lion--Leon
sneezed just as Bat put his head in his mouth, badly wounding him. Acro
jumped at the lion to try and wrestle him off his brother, but he was also
wounded. After the accident Bat was left in a coma and Acro was
paralyzed, and had to stay in a wheelchair. Russel shot the lion,
Leon, with a rifle and killed him.
Regina got over the loss of Bat very quickly. Having been raised in the circus her entire life she didn't really understand that Bat might never come back. Acro grew bitter, and resented her for not caring about what she had done. He decided to kill her.
Sometime before the murder, Acro's monkey, Money, stole Max's Grand Prix trophy and brought it to Acro's room.
The morning of the murder Acro slipped a note into Regina's pocket when she brought him breakfast, which read, "To the murderer. I have decisive evidence against you. Meet me in the courtyard at 10:00 pm." Regina found the letter but thought it had been given to her by mistake, as she wasn't a murder. She posted it in the cafeteria, and Russel quickly tore it down.
During lunch that afternoon Max and Rilo got in a fight over Regina, and Max smashed a wine bottle over Ben's head. Practice was held that night and ended at 10:00 pm. Max was called to Russel's room to discuss what had happened in the cafeteria, and was finally given consent to marry Regina. Russel left him in his office, stealing Max's cape and hat when he wasn't looking. He put them on and headed for the courtyard.
As he passed the circus tent he went by Ben and Trilo. Trilo called out to him, not sure if it was Max or not, and Russel didn't reply. He continued on to the courtyard.
In the courtyard was a large box. Acro had thrown it from his window earlier to judge the distance he would need to throw the statue. Just as Russel bent over the box to try and pick it up Acro threw the statue, which struck the back of Russel's neck, breaking his spine and killing him instantly. But in the process Max's silk hat fell to the ground (where it would later be discovered by police), and the cape got snagged on the Max-head statue.
Alerted by the noise, Moe looked out his window. By then Acro was pulling the statue back up to his window using a rope, and with the poor lighting it looked to Moe like Max was floating up into the air. Once Acro had the statue back he had no idea where the cape had come from, so he burned it. But when the police came he had to hide the statue, and stuck it in the only place no one would look--his own wheelchair.