VGM Wednesday – “The Turnabout Sisters’ Ballad” from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

by Kenley

“The Turnabout Sisters’ Ballad” from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, by Masakazu Sugimori and Naoto Tanaka, and released in 2001.

When I first got a DS (in about 2006, I know), this was one of the first games that I played.  I remember liking it, but I just couldn’t get over how much reading there was.  I feel silly about it now, but maybe I just wasn’t into it at the time.  Oh, and I sucked at it, let’s not forget that one.

Then about two months ago, I tried it again and loved it.

I was better at evidence, I was more interested in the story, I liked the characters more… it was just the right time to play it.

But even more so than before, I heard the classic feel of the music.  Maybe I just wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but now that I hear it, it harkens back to the Japanese melody-centric VGM that I grew up with.  Keeping in mind, the game was released in 2001, so the music wasn’t that far out of the “golden era” (mid-80s to late-90s) of VGM.

In case you’ve never played it, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is an adventure game about a rookie lawyer (named Phoenix Wright) who takes over the law practice after his partner (Mia) is killed.  See? Not a spoiler.  The game has two main sections: The investigation and the trial.  During the investigation, you gather evidence and information from various places and people and use it in the trial against various witnesses to win the case.  All of the chapters are uniquely interrelated, which I really enjoyed this second time around.

“The Turnabout Sisters’ Ballad” plays after Mia dies – that’s not a spoiler, she dies right at the beginning.  Her younger sister (Maya) becomes your partner and has a theme of her own, which later becomes the de facto theme of the the Wright & Co. law offices.

As we hear, they’re both arrangements of the same theme.  The first moves a lot slower and is a bit more emotive, whereas the second is more rhythmic and shows the lighter feeling of the office.  I just love the both of them, but the “Turnabout Sisters’ Ballad” gives me a stronger emotional response.  Maya often recounts missing her sister around these parts and the dialogue is really sharp here.

(Also, I am a huge sucker 1-7-1-^5 movements, like the background line at 0:38… GAH!)

Have a great week.
Enjoy the 4th of July, American friends.
Enjoy the discovery of the Higgs Boson, human race 🙂

Kenley

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