|“||Here, at our esteemed academy, we train students to achieve results.||„|
|~ Aristotle Means|
Aristotle Means, also known as Professor Means, or Professor Aristotle Means, is a minor antagonist in the video game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies, but the main antagonist of the Turnabout Academy case. He is a former teacher of the Themis Legal Academy, an academy that teaches students how to become attorneys or judges. In his case, Professor Means teaches the students how to be defense attorneys. He is also the one responsible for the murder of Professor Constance Courte.
Aristotle Means and Constance Courte were both teachers at Themis Legal Academy, and the two were good friends. Means taught the lawyer (defense attorney) course, and Courte taught the judge course. Means often preached that "the end justifies the means", while Courte preached that the results of a trial can only be achieved by the truth. This caused a rift among the students, with half following Means and half following Courte. This also caused a rivalry between the teachers.
One day, Courte got a monthly report from Juniper Woods that revealed that someone was accepting bribes for grades. She figured out, based on the information delivered to her, that Means was the culprit and confronted him on a stage being set up for the academy's annual festival. Means silenced her by stabbing her in the side with his staff, killing her. He then used two banners to wipe the blood, using one of them to create a bloodstain on the art room floor and then incinerating it soon after. He then shaped Courte's corpse to resemble Phoenix Wright's unfinished statue. After that, he prerecorded a speech for the mock trial to make an alibi. Then, he took a Lady Justice statue that Courte had sculpted and made a pouch on the remaining banner to break both the Klavier Gavin statue and the Lady Justice statue to further strengthen the alibi. Then, after that, he deleted his speech from the tape and forged a voice clip saying, "You're a goner!", which was actually from the mock trial. He gave it to Hugh O'Conner and ordered him to give it to Athena Cykes and Apollo Justice, who would wind up becoming the legal team for Woods, whom Means intended to frame for his crime. It was a crime that would have been perfect if not for O'Conner testifying in court that the balcony from which Means was supposed to have been observing the mock trial was empty. Realizing that this left him with no real alibi (as during this time, Means would have had plenty of time to leave Courte's body to be found and alert the public to it), Athena and Apollo figured out that he was the culprit and began slowly zeroing in on the truth behind the murder.
Means has two breakdowns and is the first Ace Attorney villain to have them both in the same trial. His first breakdown occurs when Athena presses him hard enough to make him realize that she is not going to stop accusing him of the murder and also goes as far as criticizing his style of teaching and his belief in "the end justifies the means," labeling him "the embodiment of the dark age of the law." This is when he sheds his more pleasant nature and brings out his true colors. He quickly reshapes his hair into that of a mohawk and reveals an evil sneer on his face, complete with a scar near his right eye. He also pulls out a chalkboard, complete with seemingly infinite pieces of chalk, which he proceeds to use both to write down "lessons" for Athena, Apollo, prosecutor Simon Blackquill, and even the judge to see as the trial goes along, and to throw at Athena and Apollo should either say something that he does not like.
His second breakdown occurs at the end of the trial, when Athena is finally able to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was the one who had killed Courte and asks the gallery to decide his fate. He desperately writes down alternative punishments on his chalkboard to show to the gallery, including being placed on bathroom detail, retaking the bar exam, taking a thirty-percent salary cut, and being dismissed from his job, all to no avail, as the civilians in the gallery boo him and throw chalk at him each time he presents these alternatives. Finally, realizing that he has no way out of a harsh punishment, he writes the letter "G," presumably to write "Guilty" (which might be the case, since he writes the Japanese kanji for "guilty" in the original version). Then, his teeth shatter into pieces, after which he collapses to the floor, along with his chalkboard, causing a cloud of chalk dust. Means is later arrested for Professor Courte's murder.
At first, Means seemed to be a polite, jovial, benevolent man greatly interested in justice (and generally, in the case of the latter, he was, although Athena thought that "the end justifies the means" was a scary policy). However, that was all a façade. He was accepting bribes for grades and falsifying evidence, even viewing the dark age of the law as a good thing. The true Means was a vile, cruel man, with mohawk-shaped hair and a scar. He was cold, ruthless, and calculating.
Even in the courtroom, when his true colors are revealed, he has no problem sneering or smirking wickedly at Athena when he finds holes in her cross-examinations and theories, and even laughs evilly and cruelly at her when he thinks that he has defeated her. This behavior disgusts all attending the trial, including Blackquill, whose clear, newfound revulsion toward Means drives him to truly accept the professor's guilt, actively turn against him, and even help Athena by encouraging her to get back up and fight to prove his guilt.
- Means is the first villain in the Ace Attorney series to be defeated by Athena.
- He is the tallest character and tallest villain in the entire series, standing at an impressive 196 centimeters (six feet, five inches).
- He shares major similarities with Damon Gant in that both are tall, middle-aged men with benevolent, jovial demeanors that are mere façades to cover their true, dark, evil colors.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Kakugo