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I am once again asking Capcom to remaster Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (and its sequel) for modern platforms

AAI1 turns 15 today, so let's party like it's 2009 with one of the fandom's most popular talking points.

Gumshoe, Edgeworth, and Maggey Byrde stand in a plushly decorated hallway.
Image credit: Capcom

Fans of iconic courtroom dramedy visual novels might think they're all caught up on Ace Attorney at this stage. Even if you never touched the series during its original 2001-2017 run, Capcom's admirable interest in preserving their older flagship titles means you've had ample opportunity to play the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, which hit then-modern consoles and PC in 2019, and was finally followed by the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy earlier this year. Since 2021 you've even been able to play The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, a prequel duology that many fans were convinced would never be officially localised outside of Japan.

But one game you probably haven't played if you're a relative newcomer — heck, maybe not even if you're an old-school fan — is Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, which remains gated off to modern audiences thanks to its distribution largely relying on an ever-diminishing supply of second-hand Nintendo DS cartridges (although at least you can play it on mobile). And since today marks the 15th anniversary of that game's original Japanese release, it seems appropriately celebratory for us die-hard Ace Attorney types to make some noise about the fact that while we're really grateful for our current bounty, we'd also really love to see this one get a remaster next, Capcom, please.

For the benefit of the uninitiated, this two-part spin-off focuses on main series protagonist Phoenix Wright's childhood best friend turned professional rival and later friendly adversary plus probable love interest, no seriously, they're barely even trying to be coy about leaning into that reading any more: Miles Edgeworth. (In case you're wondering, the second Investigations title — which is not celebrating a birthday today and so shouldn't be hogging our attention too much — came out in 2011, and remains the only Ace Attorney game aside from half-a-dozen in-browser curios never to be released outside of Japan.)

Making a gaiden game about Edgeworth was a smart move on Capcom's part for a number of reasons, prime among them being that Ace Attorney fans absolutely adore this guy. You can argue back and forth about whether Phoenix or Apollo made for the best main series protagonist, but you'll hear very few detractors from the point of view that Edgeworth has been more consistently awesome than either.

Miles Edgeworth examines a corpse in an elevator. There's a large bloodstain and a number of stacks of paper money on the ground surrounding it. To either side, a statue suggesting that this is a memorial site. The presence of a stewardess and the clouds visible through the windows suggest that this is all also taking place on an aeroplane.
Investigations plays ever so slightly differently from mainline Ace Attorney in that it's a point-and-click adventure game rather than a visual novel. There's very little difference in gameplay, aside from the fact that you get to see Edgeworth the whole time even though you're playing as him. | Image credit: Capcom

Freed from the requirement to be someone the notional everyman audience could identify with, Edgeworth got to just be Edgeworth right off the bat: suave in a no-f***s-left-to-give sort of a way; surprisingly nerdy once you get to know him a little; a bit morally dubious, but you can change him. No really, you can: he received some substantial character development to quickly retool him from a villain-turned-ally into a more unambiguously heroic figure once it became apparent that players of the first game had responded to him really well. A byproduct of this was to rapidly give him a sense of depth that other recurring characters in the series would take far longer to attain.

No wonder, then, that when the idea of a spin-off sub-series was being chucked around following the wrapping up of the original Phoenix Wright trilogy, the plan to give the role to Phoenix's one-time assistant Ema Skye was quickly sidelined in favour of giving Edgeworth his day in the limelight.

Investigations demotes Phoenix Wright to a few obligatory references, but Edgeworth isn't the only supporting character from the main series given the chance to take centre stage: the spin-offs also gave more focus to Edgeworth's spiky adopted sister Franziska von Karma and his adoring lackey Detective Gumshoe — incidentally marking the last major appearance for either character, since both were written out of the main series following the time-skip between trilogies.

Gumshoe and Edgeworth in Edgeworth's office. There's a dead body on the floor and two police officers examining the scene.
Familiar faces, familiar locations, and a self-contained side-story that adds extra depth to several supporting characters: this is undeniably a gaiden game done right! Although you do have to worry about the number of corpses that have turned up in or near Edgeworth's office over the years. | Image credit: Capcom

Ema still gets her fair share of screen-time, too, despite Edgeworth rather unchivalrously denying her the opportunity to become Ace Attorney's first female lead; and a flashback chapter sees a young Edgeworth and Franziska taking on the teen assistant role to their villainous father figure slash lawyering mentor, allowing an unexpected encore turn for Ace Attorney's original big bad, Manfred von Karma.

In other words, unless you're an absolutely dedicated Phoenix fan and will accept no substitutes, Investigations is an all-round crowd pleaser: serving up shameless fanservice without sacrificing anything of the signature style that made the series so popular in the first place. Despite being the first Ace Attorney game that series creator Shu Takumi wasn't directly involved with, you'll find plenty of players who list Investigations up there with the very best in the franchise.

So, assuming Ace Attorney 7 continues its record-breaking streak of not getting announced anytime soon, this milestone birthday marks the perfect time to (re-)discover the Investigations spin-offs — advice that, incidentally, applies equally well to fans of the series and to Capcom themselves.

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