Why Ace Attorney’s Pearl Deserves a Spin-off
Pearl Fey is one of the strongest characters from the Ace Attorney series, and I’ve often wondered why she's never been given her own spin-off. Not only is Pearl absolutely adorable, but she has an intriguing family history that could drive a compelling mystery. Pearl deserves to be the star of her own game for those traits alone, but also for not-so-obvious reasons.
She’s a Prodigy
The Ace Attorney series has always placed special emphasis on the fact that Pearl is stronger than the average spirit medium. She trumps even Maya Fey’s abilities in that department. Yet, the extent of her powers have barely been touched upon. We already know she’s wiser than most, being the youngest character to help Phoenix Wright. Can you imagine what will happen when she reaches the peak of her skills? Remember, Pearl introduced Wright to Psyche Locks and was also strong enough to form a network for Mia (a spirit), Maya, and Wright to communicate through. She probably has more up her sleeve, including new powers that would change up the Ace Attorney gameplay.
An Intriguing Family History
Poor Pearl. At eight years old, she has more family dysfunction than most people ever see in a lifetime. This begs the question: When should Pearl deal with her family issues? Personally, I’m torn. Part of me wants Pearl to stay eight forever; her naivety is part of her charm. On the other hand, Pearl has a dark family history that’s been hidden from her. I’d love to see her confront the skeletons in her family’s closet. But I wouldn’t want eight year old Pearl to uncover it, it’d be too traumatic and she’d need to be more mature to handle the plight. What about a coming-of-age adventure where we actually watch Pearl come to terms with her mother in jail and the father who abandoned her? At one point, she’s going to have to face the harsh realities of her life: a greedy mother who would stop at nothing to see become a Kurain Master.
The Influence of Her Past and the Cute Factor
Another reason Pearl’s an interesting subject is her sheltered life. Before she went to live with Nick and Maya, she had never even left her village. Her mother was overly protective and taught Pearl to be suspicious of everyone. Pearl’s cautious nature would make her an asset in solving cases, as she’s unlikely to cross anyone off the suspect list. Also, regardless of her age, that sweet demeanor isn’t going anywhere. Could you lie to those innocent eyes? I imagine many would have a hard time.
The Perfect Duo
Pearl is shy, excitable, and often says the darnedest things. Even if we aged Pearl a few years for her spin-off, I doubt this aspect about her would change, which is why she’d be the perfect companion for Detective Gumshoe. Gumshoe’s a big kid at heart, and his taking to Pearl has always been evident. Both have the ability to unintentionally cause mischief, making them the perfect comic relief duo. And who wouldn’t want Gumshoe by their side when the times get rough? He’s a big teddy bear who would do anything for his pals. Plus, Gumshoe’s dynamic is much stronger with Pearl than it ever was when he teamed up with Edgeworth or Franziska.
A Series That’s Missed
With a U.S. release of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth 2 looking grim, the wait is starting to sting. Hopefully, Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney remains a possibility. Watching this series fizzle out is frustrating, as it offered some of my most memorable DS gaming experiences. The characters had quirk and heart, the cases always kept you guessing, and gathering clues for that “ah ha” moment was always thrilling. Pearl Fey is a lovable character, who has plenty in her history to develop. Isn’t that how Phoenix Wright started, anyway – facing the past and coming to terms with it? Pearl deserves a shot at that.