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I just... I just... I just couldn't up and leave, yet...
~ Acro
No... I am nothing but a murderer. That's who I am.
~ Acro's sad and tearful confession


Ken "Acro" Dingling was the murderer of ringmaster Russell Berry and the main antagonist of the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All case Turnabout Big Top.

Role in the Game

A Mortal Prank

Both Acro and his brother had abusive parents that abandoned them due to monetary concerns. In that moment, Russell Berry offered them a place in the Berry Big Circus as acrobats and took care of them ever since. But it all began with the relationship between Acro's brother, Sean "Bat" Dingling, and the ringmaster's daughter, Regina, the animal tamer. One day, Bat decided to pull a prank on Regina by spraying pepper in her nose to make her sneeze. The naive animal tamer then decided to pull a prank on Bat through the same way by giving him a scarf full of pepper and daring him to put his own head through her lion, Léon's mouth. While Bat did so, the pepper forced the lion to sneeze, thus closing his fanged mouth while Bat's head was still inside of it. Acro tried to fight the lion to save his brother, to no avail. As a result, Bat was thrown into a coma, and Acro's nerves were severely damaged, thus forcing him to remain on a wheelchair. Another consequence was a terrible revenge Acro started to build up inside, swearing to avenge his brother and kill Regina.

Murder Plot and Arrest

Six months later, Regina and her father found a letter entitled, "To the Murderer" in the circus' cafeteria. Regina simply shrugged it off, but Mr. Berry feared for his daughter, and disguised as the circus' magician, Max Galactica, he went through the snow (unknowingly being watched by Benjamin Woodman and his puppet) and stood in his daughter's place. In that moment, unaware it was the one who saved his life on the spot, Acro released a bust of Galactica on his head, causing the cape he was wearing to snag on the bust while Acro pulled it upwards, confusing Moe the Clown, who witnessed the crime form his window. During the investigation, Acro thought of the possibility of one finding the bust, so he hid it under his wheelchair when Franziska von Karma interrogated him. However, even though he tried hard to hide his tracks, Phoenix Wright revealed his plot and unmasked him, but unlike other criminals, Acro openly confessed to his crime, claiming to be nothing but a murderer and asked for Max to forgive him for incriminating him.

Breakdown

While still smiling, he opens his eyes and tears stream down his face.

Personality

Acro is cheerful and calm, never hesitating to smile when the situation favors him. He is so calm that he is constantly seen with birds flying around him, even though they fly away when he turns stern. Acro is also known to be the first murderer in the series to openly confess to his crimes and show true remorse in doing so. For this, many Ace Attorney fans have agreed that, at his core, Acro is not a bad person, but a tragic figure driven to commit heinous acts out of grief and sorrow.

Name

  • Combining Acro and Bat's names, it forms the word "acrobat".
  • "Dingling" is a combination of the Ringling Bros. Circus with "dangling", in reference to his acrobatic skills.
  • "Kinoshita" (木下) might be a nod to the Kinoshita Dai Circus, a famous Japanese circus.
  • Acro (along with Kristoph Gavin and Joe Darke) is one of the few Ace attorney villains who tried to murder a minor.

External links

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Manfred Von Karma | Frank Sahwit | April May | Redd White | Jack Hammer | Dee Vasquez | Sal Manella | Yanni Yogi | Joe Darke | Lana Skye | Damon Gant

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All
Richard Wellington | Morgan Fey | Mimi Miney | Turner Grey | Acro | Juan Corrida | Shelly de Killer | Matt Engarde

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
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Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
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Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Quercus Alba | Cohadopian Smuggling ring | Jacques Portsman | Cammy Meele | Lance Amano | Lauren Paups | Ernest Amano | Mack Rell | Calisto Yew | Manny Coachen | Ka-Shi Nou

Gyakuten Kenji 2/Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path
Blaise Debeste | Simon Keyes | Zheng Fa's usurpers | Horace Knightley | Patricia Roland | Jay Elbird | Sirhan Dogen | Dane Gustavia | Pierre Hoquet | Katherine Hall | "Di-Jun Huang"

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
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Professor Layton Vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
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The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures
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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
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The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve
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Manga
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Anime Exclusive
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