Ace Attorney may be an over-the-top series about lawyers, but that doesn't mean that it doesn't have its share of creepy and nightmare-inducing moments...
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney has the infamous stare of Damon Gant, which can make many gamers uneasy when they see it. Not to mention that Gant's stare isn't nearly as creepy the first time you see it. The problem is, every time he does it, the stare goes on for even longer, and there's no music playing. By the time you sneak into his office and he catches you, he stares at you for so long in utter silence that it feels like he's looking directly at youIf not for his blinking.
The blinking makes it even more terrifying. Although, to be honest, his subtle menace while in his jolly persona freaks me out a lot more than his stare. Not to mention "Wait. I said wait. Or didn't you hear me?" Yikes.
The long wait for his to resume is freaky enough. The first time the music cutted off while Gant is just staring into your soul. Imagine having that image stuck on your screen.
Beyond just his stare, the whole character is terrifying. It's the real-life fear of the Corrupt Cop, who will be believed over you by anyone in a position of authority even if he has to blackmail them into going along with it, who has no moral problem with abusing the full extent of his power, and against whom there is very little recourse- what are you going to do, call the cops?
In Justice for all, Acro's situation is horrifying on many levels: his brother died (well, not quite : his brother is in coma, and it's definitly sure that he won't recover, having suffered brain damage) because of Regina, he himself lost the use of his legs, and everyday Regina would take care of him (no characters make references of taking care of Acro themselves: the way they put it, it seems that Regina was the one who took care of him most of the time). That's right: the (unwilling) murderer of his brother was with him all that time, saying innocently that Bat became a star in the sky. With his brother in fact in coma, brother who he visited at the hospital multiple times, and the incessant company of the too sweet and innocent princess Regina, it's no wonder he snapped. The situation was so unbearable that he contemplated the idea of suicide, but didn't go through with it. And when he thought he finally had a chance to get his vengeance, he ends up killing his parental figure by accident. The poor man is completly and utterly broken.
In Case 5 of Trials and Tribulations, we witness Dahlia getting exorcised out of Maya's body, letting out a scream, and in her final on-screen moments takes the form of a very creepy ghost before turning into a flame and vanishing, while flashbacks to her crimes go off.
Same case gives us a seemingly unremarkable moment which, if you've been following the game's story closely, can give others a run for their money. In the final investigation, it eventually turns out that Iris Fey has a twin sister. You most likely already know who she is - Dahlia Hawthorne. You're also certainly aware of her TRUE nature. Then, her portrait is brought up, and oh dear god. Firstly, it's a side-face photo. No other character had that kind of a portrait before. And then, there is nothing on that photo - except for a dark grey featureless silhouette. The shock was enough to make eyes water. Now, you wouldn't want to miss out on this, would you?
Dahlia's "back-turned" pose from the first case was very disturbing in its own right. There's just something darkly unsettling about seeing her back to you with that heavy shade across the side of her face. Like getting your first glimpse into hell itself. When she whipped around and fried all of her butterflies with her Death Glare, it was actually a bit more comforting than her "violence in silence".
The conclusion of Case 4, in which Terry Fawles, the defendant whose acquittal is just inches away from happening, kills himself. Not only heartwrenching, but also quite horrifying because he dies IN THE COURTROOM. BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES. Also becomes a whole new level of disturbing for me, because I know someone who has attempted suicide at least once.
In Apollo Justice, perceiving Kristoph Gavin is scary enough, but when you see his nervous habit--namely, his hand tensing and a combination of his finger bones and the scar on his hand forming a demonic face, you will shit bricks.
Kristoph's eyes. It doesn't help that they're hidden behind Scary Shiny Glasses when he testifies...
Also, his black Psyche-Locks. Just what the FUCK is he hiding that warrants not only five Psyche-Locks, but BLACK ones instead of the usual red ones?!
It's not like he's hiding something really bad. The problem with the black-locks is that they mirror his undying will to not tell the truth.. He'll do anything, anything to protect his secret, and will do it with infinite coldness. Poisoning adults, children, lying, murdering people in cold blood... he's actually DONE all of this. Just imagine what that sick fuck would have done to Trucy, Apollo and Phoenix had he got out free.
Perceiving in general. The creepy slower-than-usual music, the swirling background and the flickering eyeball at the bottom is usually enough to scare her off playing the game entirely.
Apparently Apollo's eyes are bugging out completely as he stares down the witnesses with such intensity. Imagine how creepy that would be for anyone just watching him perceive something.
Spoiler for 1-4: Manfred von Karma kills a man over what any sane person would consider a fairly trivial slight, then raises the dead man's son and twists him to be everything his own father would hate. The psychological scars he left on Miles and Franziska will be there long after he's dead.
Running into him at the police station, in the same case, is horrible in and of itself; he just has this powerful "fuck off and die" aura to him. And then he tases you. And steals your evidence.
A notable example is Manfred Von Karma's face when he has the taser out. It's on par with Shih-na's breakdown in terms of creepiness. It's a Psychotic Smirk all right. And the lines he says when having said expression are chilling: "It doesn't kill...usually.", or something like that.
Depending on how sensitive you are to scary stuff, many witnesses can start to become this as they get more and more upset.
April May is a notable example, the first sign of her cracking involving her expression changing from "Cheery ditz" to "I'm going to rip off your skin and wear it as a coat" and back again so quickly you almost miss it.
Shelly de Killer deserves a mention. With his Leitmotif playing in the background, a red aura surrounding his person... you will have nightmares for weeks.
Not only that, but he has STITCHES going right down the middle of his face. What the Hell caused this guy's face to need those stitches?
And from Ace Attorney Investigations, ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Proto Badger. Whether he's every-so-slowly sneaking up behind you, a sword in hand or popping out of the ground staring DIRECTLY AT THE PLAYER, this azure abomination will frighten the pants off of you, more than any murder in this game. Pleasant dreams indeed...
In Investigation's there's Quercus Alba's breakdown, where his skin begins to chip away and blown off, leaving only his mummified-looking husk...
Investigations Case 4: Calisto pointing a gun at Edgeworth. In a series where the player character is rarely put under threat of death by another character, this can make the player's heart jump. To make things worse, Calisto shoots, and Edgeworth JUST BARELY DODGES IT.
Investigations 2 has the second case's introduction, which features Manosuke lying dead in a dank, eerily-lit prison, bleeding heavily (by the series' standards) from a neck wound inflicted by a hound with a bloodied snout...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fnsp Slcb JMA
Richard Wellington's breakdown in Justice for All. Nothing quite like someone STRANGLING HIMSELF with his own scarf until his skin actually turns blue.