“Wright? I hope you see the importance of evidence now. Also, hopefully you realize, things change depending on how you look at them. People, too. We never really know if our clients are guilty or innocent. All we can do is believe in them. And in order to believe in them, you have to believe in yourself.”
This is our list of the top 25 female characters of all-time. We’re counting down one by one until we reach the best of the best on Sept. 30.
11) Mia Fey (Ace Attorney) – 2 votes/190 points
Chris: I’m a little disappointed that Mia finished a spot higher than Maya, but then again, I’m amused by the fact that they finished back to back somehow. Call it mixed emotions.
Mia eventually grew on me, but I disliked her in the first Ace Attorney game. She seemed to be there for no reason other than fan service, especially once she died and all. (She had been a decent mentor to Phoenix before that, at least.) Luckily, her design is toned down a bit by the third entry in the series.
Her existence creates some questions to which I’m not sure I even want the answers. Do the other characters besides Phoenix Wright see these transformations? (Sometimes, they do.) Why isn’t anyone more freaked out about channeling the dead, or using it simply for court cases and not other purposes? (Some would say it’s commonplace in the world of AA.) More importantly, why isn’t anyone creeped the hell out by the physics involved in a 9-year-old girl suddenly transforming into a busty 27-year-old woman? (I…don’t have a counterargument for this. At all.)
Luckily, Mia’s character becomes more than just disturbing deus ex machina in Trials and Tribulations. Mia’s backstory and interactions with Diego go a long way toward humanizing her, and her epic battle with Dahlia (which Shaun describes more below) is part of the final case’s ludicrously awesome experience.
Joseph: You just can’t keep a good attorney down. Not even by snuffing out the flame of her life.
Mia is a lawyer who, through a little spirit channeling, is still able to help clients get the much coveted “not guilty.” Sure, in some games she is relegated to helping behind the scenes, but even then she provides Phoenix with the guidance he needs to continue to be an Ace Attorney. Without her help, Phoenix may have lost his attorney’s badge in the first game.
Michaela: Mia Fey, to me, wasn’t a great character at the start of the Ace Attorney series. She acts as Phoenix’s mentor, giving him admittedly valuable advice, but outside of that, she’s something of a blank slate. Her character becomes really memorable and meaningful after her death. Her legacy is fairly pronounced in the original trilogy, but where she really shines is in the third game, Trials and Tribulations, in which she stars in two cases that have a huge effect on later events to come. She’s smart, determined, and it’s no surprise to see how she influenced Phoenix so dramatically.
Christine: Honestly, Mia hasn’t really left much of a huge impression on me. I know she’s Phoenix’s mentor and is one of the reasons why he gets into law in the first place, but there’s nothing about her that makes her memorable to me. Maybe it’s because we don’t get to spend too much time with her and she only shows up to possess the body of Maya or Pearls when Phoenix needs a little bit of guidance to win a case? I don’t know. I’m sure the others might have more to say about Mia than I can. I’m just a little surprised she’s one rank higher than Maya, but I also find it funny and a little fitting that they’re so close to each other on the list.
Shaun: Here’s the thing, Christine: I agree with you. For the first two games, Mia is little more than a sexualized spirit guide, offering Phoenix advice and mentorship by taking over and sluttifying her still living family members. And yes, while her presence is important, and had a great impact on Phoenix’s life, these feats weren’t exactly Grade A character material.
And then Phoenix Wright 3 happened. To cap off the epic trilogy, we get to play two full cases completely as Mia, getting much more insight into the strength, intelligence, and willpower of this character. She’s funny but committed. She’s talented, but a novice. She’s struggling to impress her colleagues, but also to ensure justice is found in the courtroom. And she goes toe to toe with Dahlia, a character who’s essentially pure evil. Their battle begins in the courtroom, and extends into the afterlife itself, with Mia’s spirit still fighting and containing Dahlia’s raw negative energy. If that’s not epic than I don’t know what is.
Sure, she doesn’t get as much screen time as I would have liked, and probably much less than most of the characters on our list. But Judi Dench won an academy award with like 8 minutes of screen time, and what Mia does in two main cases and several games of supporting roles is staggering. I like to measure quality over quantity, and Mia has it in spades.