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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

If you want me to take you seriously, you need to prove you're willing to do a lawyer's job. And you say you intend to see through the will of your compatriot, Mr Asogi. ...I would like to understand just how far you're willing to go in order to make that happen.
~ Mael Strongheart hinting at his true nature.
Being the lord chief justice wasn't enough. Short of becoming Her Majesty's Attorney general, I could have no real power to effect the changes needed in this country. And for that promotion...I needed to ensure no 'remnants of the past remained, I like everything to run smoothly, In the exact manner that I prescribe. Like a well-oiled machine
~ Strongheart, after his villainous breakdown.

Mael Stronghart is the main antagonist of The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles duology. More specially, he serves as the overarching antagonist of The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures and as the main antagonist of its sequel The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve. He used to be a prosecutor before ordering Klint to murder the Lord Chief Justice so that he could become the next chief justice. He is responsible for both the Professor murders as well as the deaths of those targeted by the Reaper.

Appearance

Mael Stronghart has white hair and beard with blue eyes. He also wears a green suit with green pants brown shoes, white gloves and holds a cane in his left hand.

Personality

At first Stronghart appears to be an affable, and humble person who only wants to best in the empire of London, however inside he is a delusional, corrupt official who believes what he is doing is right for the law, but in actuality he is making everything worse. He is extremely hypocritical, being the embodiment of what he is fighting against: a dangerous, corrupt, and homicidal crime lord who will murder innocents for personal gain.

Overall, he is the one responsible for many crimes, like some of the Professor Killings, the partly false conviction of Genshin Asogi and the Reaper killings.

Biography

Past

The Professor killings

Ten years before the first game, he was a moderately successful prosecutor that envisioned a better future for Britain, but without any power to do so. One day, he eventually figured out that one of the high nobles who was also a prosecutor, Klint van Zieks, had just murdered a corrupt official out of a desire to bring justice to the justice system by his own hands. With this information, Stronghart blackmailed Klint into being his own vigilante with him pinning his targets, thus causing the very infamous Professor killings, which included two other bureaucrats and the previous Lord Chief of Justice, with Mael saying that he died cause he didn't have the guts to do anything about the corruption.

Six months later, Genshin Asogi, a Japanese exchange student, began suspecting that Klint could be the professor, which when he brought his suspicions to Stronghart, they were denied by him with him claiming that he didn't have any evidence to prove it. Angered by it, Genshin went to confront Klint himself to question him, which when he did, Klint immediately confessed to his crimes having been guilt written by them. But because Genshin knew Klint as his friend, he let him have two favors, the first is that he let Klint write a last will in which he confessed to his crimes, and the second is that he would look out that his wife would be protected. Eventually, he would be killed by Genshin's sword.

An infamous case

When Stronghart found out that Klint had been killed in a duel, he would then pin the blame of the Professor's killings on Genshin to keep Klint's secret safe, make sure the public doesn't riot by hiding the fact that a noble murdered other nobles, and to get away with his own crimes scot free. To do this, he had Klint's friend Tobias Gregson and head coroner John Wilson into making a forgery to finally "pin down" the professor once and for all, and due to both of them believing that Genshin was truly the Professor, they agreed. Tobias would gather a bunch of thugs to attack Genshin into stealing his ring, to which John would then write to have been encountered in Klint's throat, making him the only possible suspect for the murder of Klint, and therefore, responsible for the professor's murders.

Once Genshin was pinned down and arrested, he was thrown into Barclay Prision before his trial, where he would write a letter to hand over his possessions to his son, however he still had in his possession the last will of Klint, where he would be put innocent if he presented it to court. Stronghart got note of this and quickly tried to get in contact with him so that he would negotiate with him. They would eventually agree on him getting the blame of all of Klint's crimes, but with him only pretending to be on execution and once put on his grave, give him the option to escape and be free. His prosecutor however would be replaced by Barok von Zieks, Klint's younger brother.

The trial would be witnessed by both Yujin Mikotoba and Seishiro Jigoku, the other two exchange students that were accompanying Genshin, where they witnessed the guilty verdict of Genshin by him confessing of the crimes, even if they were false, and he would be given the death penalty. Once Stronghart got the confirmation that he was "dead" from Courtney Stevens, he sent Genshin to his grave and waited just outside of his range where he invited Seishiro Jigoku where he would promise him the title of Minister of Foreign affairs if he helped him on the conspiracy, to which Seishiro agreed.

The dead rising

However, when Genshin rose from his grave, Enoch Drebber, a student who was accustomed to digging up the graves of criminals, tried to dig up Genshin's grave in order to rob him of his possessions, but when he saw that Genshin was still alive, he was so terrified that his hair was rumored to have turned white. Stronghart, nervous from having one person witness the event, convinced Seishiro to shoot Genshin so that he would not have a chance to tell anybody from the whole conspiracy, especially since it was witnessed by somebody and risk both his and Seishiro's position of power.

The Reaper's curse

Now Lord Chief of Justice, Stronghart took it up to himself to clean the crime that was infamously plaguing London. To do this he hired Asa Shinn, most commonly known as Jezaille Brett alongside Tobias Gregson to start an organization that dedicates itself to assassinating anyone who escaped the guilty verdict, and they were specially prevalent during the times when Barok van Zieks was the prosecutor, so the people who witnessed started calling the string of murders as the reaper's curse, where it was Klint's ghost was actually following him and was killing anyone who escaped the law as an act of revenge for his unjust death. It was also equally rumored that Barok was the actual person responsible for the murders, considering it was him who was prosecuting the cases and probably knew if a person was escaping punishment or not.

Nevertheless, this slew of mysterious deaths would plague Barok for years, which would eventually cause him to retire from the courtroom not wanting his supposed curse to kill anyone else up until Naruhodo showed up to Japan, in which he would show up again.

However, Stronghart would realize that in order to really accomplish his goal of getting rid of crime in Britain altogether, he would have to ascend from his position to become Attorney General, which would mean that he would have to get rid from his involvement on the Professor conspiracy. He would accomplish it by planning an assassination exchange with Japan, in which he had Seishiro, who was in his position of Minister of Foreign affairs, blackmailed so that he would accept the deal. The deal would be that Stronghart would send Jezaille to kill John Wilson, and Seishiro would send Kazuma Asogi, the son of Genshin Asogi to kill Tobias.

The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures

In Japan, Jezaille would be tried to court and she would be eventually be found out of murder of John Wilson by Naruhodo and Kazuma, but because of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Friendship, she couldn't be arrested in Japan, and would only be tried in London. Later on, both Kazuma and Naruhodo would travel to London, but during the boat to ride, Kazuma would supposedly be killed accidently by Nikolina Pavlova, but because of her tragic situation, she would not be sent to jail and instead be sent to another place.

When Naruhodo and his now turned assistant Susato Mikotoba arrive to London, they eventually encounter Mael Stronghart, which he welcomes to city and then gets explained of the situation with Kazuma, which he then gets Naruhodo a test to prove his capabilities as an Attorney by putting him on the trial of Magnus McGilded, seeing as how no one wanted to defend him, seeing as Barok van Zieks would be the one defending. However, while he was proven innocent, he would later be killed by being burned alive inside of a caravan and in a later trial be found guilty of his crimes. But because he still was technically successful, Stronghart allowed him to become an approved attorney, and later made him meet Tobias Gregson, while at the same time putting him in another case.

At the end of the fifth case, Stronghart would receive a telegram of Yujin Mikotoba, in which he would say that he was very sick, and that he needed Susato sent back to Japan immediately. Naruhodo would be banned for six months in being an attorney, because of threatening to reveal the message of the exchange of assassins, which at the time he didn't know. But because Naruhodo revealed the truth with it, he did not regret it.

The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve

Eventually, Jezaille Brett would be found murdered, and Susato, disguised as a man, would be found encountering Raiten Menimemo to be his killer.

Six months after the first game, Kazuma is revealed to have survived his ordeal in the boat to London and that Herlock Sholmes sent him to China, but now with amnesia on who he was and what he was doing, arrived to London, in which Stronghart would find him and assign him to be Barok's assistant, due to him still needing Kazuma in his assassination exchange.

In the third case, Naruhodo would be found solving the murder of Odie Asman, someone who had a connection with the Professor conspiracy due to him being the writer of the news on Enoch Drebber and the one to reveal his name on the article, ruining his reputation. Not so surprisingly, Enoch was the one to scheme his murder, but it was actually Courtney Stevens (now surnamed Sithe) that dealt the final blow and actually being the one to murder him, due to him blackmailing her with the professor conspiracy and extorting money out of her. After the trial, Susato, Naruhodo, Barok and Kazuma went to inspect the wax statue of the professor which was important in the trial, to reveal the face of the professor, and once they see it, Kazuma suddenly remembers his past and reveals that the "professor" was his father.

Twisted Karma and His Last Bow

Seishiro, still believing for Kazuma to be dead, decided to travel alongside Yujin to London to complete the mission of killing Tobias himself instead of Kazuma. To which, he decided to lure Gregson in a fake mission of the reaper in the ship he was traveling in, and alongside him, Kazuma was sent with him by Stronghart as the true assassin. Although, when Kazuma heard the truth of his father, he decided to not go through the assassination, which was eventually done by Seishiro himself.

Seishiro then intended to frame Gregson's long time accomplice, "Hugh Boone" (in reality named Dailey Vigil) for the murder that he would move to his apartment, but Barok would encounter the body first, which would cause him to be arrested. This caused tremendous sound among Scotland Yard, as the fact the infamous reaper was caught and framed for the murder of the major detective of Scotland Yard, which would cause the trial to remain in closed doors, and Stronghart wanting the trial to be finished as soon as possible, the reason being that it would be a setback for him to finally become attorney general. Knowing of the secret hatred that Kazuma felt for the van Zieks family for having put his father to death, he put him as the prosecutor of the case, put Courtney Sithe's daughter (Maria Gorey) as the coroner to hide any information.

The Resolve of Ryonosuke Naruhodo

Having deduced that the time of death was off and having managed to connect the murder of Gregson to the professor case, Naruhodo managed to delay the case to another day. Taking matters into his own hands, Stronghart decided to be appointed judge for the next day of the case. In which, he repeatedly tried and failed to end the trial early so that he would be appointed attorney general early. However, it became more and more clear that Seishiro had an involvement with the case, to which he would need to be found first, which delayed the case for another day.

Eventually, Seishiro would be found guilty of Gregson's murder, in which Stronghart was more than happy to end here. However, due to incomplete information regarding who was the true mastermind behind the professor case and the exchange of assassins, Naruhodo eventually deduced that it was Stronghart who masterminded it all, and with the help of the judiciary, managed to convince Stronghart to not end the trial early.

Kazuma, now fully convinced that Barok was not the true mastermind of his father's death, managed to help Naruhodo deduce the fact that Klint, instead of being a victim, was in fact the true professor of the case, and that Genshin was convinced by Stronghart to take the blame of his crimes. With the help of Klint's last will that was hidden in Kazuma's family blade by Genshin, he was fully able to prove this fact with 100% clarity, which caused Stronghart much despair, and eventually reveal that he was the one who convince Seishiro to shoot Genshin.

But even with that, Stronghart managed to prove that despite him being the mastermind of it all, he did not take hand on any of the dozens of kills he had under his name, and managed to convince the judiciary that without the reaper's curse and the professor's case, all of London would still be a place full of crimes that would've made the place worse than it is now, and that despite all the terrible things that he did, he still made London a better place, and that if all of the information of the conspiracy and the curse would go out into the public, it would reverse all the progress that has been made.

However, Herlock would soon be called by Naruhodo and would show up as a hologram to the court. He would reveal that he was actually broadcasting the whole trial to the Queen, in which the Queen would subsequently declare that Stronghart's position would be revoked, and that he would be arrested for all the crimes that he committed under her orders.

Stronghart's Breakdown

After this fact was revealed, Stronghart would start banging the table with his gavel repeated times, in which the final time would cause him to drop to the juror's table, which would cause the fires that would send to the guilty or innocent cauldrons to be launched to the guilty cauldron, pronouncing him guilty. However, due to the scales already being tilted towards guilty, the scales would tilt all the way towards guilty, which would cause the scales to break and drop to the front of the juror's table. Having been dropped just behind Stronghart, the flames would eventually engulf the whole courtroom, causing Stronghart to scream in desperation and pain.

Subsequently, he would later take the witness stand, and would admit his reasons for causing all of the events to happen, and would eventually be sent to jail.

Victims

A list of characters Mael Stronghart has killed and affected

Murder/attempted murder victims

  • Genshin Asogi - (Falsely accused of being the Professor and shot in the graveyard by Seishiro Jigoku.)
  • Klint van Zieks - (For being blackmailed into killing the Lord Chief Justice, and many more crimes.)
  • John H. Wilson - (Assassinated by Jezaille Brett to keep him from talking about the incident ten years ago.)
  • Tobias Gregson - (Killed by Seishiro Jigoku when Kazuma didn't assassinate him to keep him from talking.)

Other victims of his actions

  • Enoch Drebber - (Was a witness when Genshin rises from his gravestone and murdered, afterward loses everything and expelled from university by Odie Asman for grave robbing.)
  • Barok van Zieks - (Became a cold and serious person after his brother's death and nearly becomes the scapegoat for his Reaper murders and the murder of Tobias Gregson.)
  • Ryunosuke Naruhodo - (Nearly became convicted for the murder of John H. Wilson.)

Gallery

Trivia

  • Mael Stronghart is one of only two main antagonists in the Ace Attorney series to appear in more than one game, the other being Manfred Von Karma.
  • Mael Stronghart is one of two judges in the Ace Attorney series to be the killer, alongside Seishiro Jigoku.
    • Furthermore, he's one of the three judges to in the series to actually be named, alongside Seishiro Jigoku and Justine Courtney.
  • He has a total of appearances in six episodes, making him to this date villain with the most appearances in the Ace Attorney series.
  • He has many similarities with Damon Gant. They are both in high positions in the legal world, determined to rid the city of crime. Slowly, they become more corrupt and delusional, killing innocent people to fulfill their agenda. Both blackmailed a prosecutor to conduct crimes (Klint van Zieks and Lana Skye), both used forged evidence to get people convicted, both framed someone who committed murder but not in the way that it seems (Genshin Asogi killed Klint van Zieks but he was not the Professor, while Joe Darke never got to murder Jake Marshall), and both were involved in the murder of a police detective (Tobias Gregson and Bruce Goodman). While Gant stayed affable, expressed admiration for the litigant lawyers' work to expose the truth and showed remorse for what he had become, Stronghart is too far gone to admit his wrongdoings, believing his crimes to be the only way to rid London of crime.
  • The reveal of Stronghart (alongside Seishiro Jigoku) being culprits completely shattered one of the series' long-time formulas, that the judges in Ace Attorney franchise were always heroic and supportive characters from the start to the end.

Navigation

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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
Dahlia Hawthorne | Kane Bullard | Luke Atmey | Furio Tigre | Ron DeLite | Viola Cadaverini | Bruto Cadaverini | Glen Elg | Jean Armstrong | Terry Fawles

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Kristoph Gavin | Zak Gramarye | Olga Orly | Pal Meraktis | Wocky Kitaki | Alita Tiala | Machi Tobaye | Daryan Crescend | Drew Misham | Valant Gramarye | Magnifi Gramarye

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 | Rip Lacer | Sirhan Dogen | Dane Gustavia | Pierre Hoquet | Katherine Hall | "Di-Jun Huang"

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies
The Phantom | Ted Tonate | Florent L'Belle | Phineas Filch | Marlon Rimes | Aristotle Means | Aura Blackquill

Professor Layton Vs Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
High Inquisitor Darklaw | Story Teller | Kira | Robbs and Muggs | Olivia Aldente

The Great Ace Attorney: Adventures
Jezaille Brett | John Wilson | Magnus McGilded | Joan Garrideb | Nash and Ringo Skulkin | Ashley Graydon | Tobias Gregson

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in | Gaspen Payne | Paht Rohl | Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin | Roger Retinz | Rheel Neh'mu | Tahrust Inmee | Geiru Toneido | Paul Atishon | Inga Karkhuul Khura'in | Dumas Gloomsbury | Pierce Nichody

The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve
Mael Stronghart | The Professor conspirators | Raiten Menimemo | William Shamspeare | Selden | Olive Green | Odie Asman | Courtney Sithe | Enoch Drebber | The Red-Headed league | Klint van Zieks | Genshin Asogi | Seishiro Jigoku

Manga
Belle Windsor | Brock Johnson | Raymond Spume | Moira Cytherea | Risa Iko | Princess Tengu | Witch girl | Byran | Chancey Laboni | Randolph Miller | Amadeus Seal | Handsome gentlemen thieves | Sergio Youngport | Ava Sylent | Clive Fortuna | Chase Clink | Robin Wolfe | Buck Wheatley | Vale Wheatley | Milo "Fairplay" Kent | Hayden Maxwell | Holland | Hobart Tarkington | Yardley Kidman | Samuel Sylent | Marco Swindell

Anime Exclusive
Gale Gaelic | Tristan Turnbull | Goldy Gerwitz | Rick Steam

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