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There are malignant tumors in this courtroom, lesions oozing with false charges! The tumors are one idiotic lawyer, and one useless prosecutor!
~ Pierce Nichody having transformed into his "manic surgeon" persona

Pierce Nichody is an antagonist from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice, where he appears as the main antagonist of the Turnabout Time Traveler DLC case. He is the Sprocket family butler, as well as the true culprit who murdered Dumas Gloomsbury and attempted to pin his murder on Ellen Wyatt. This was for revenge against Ellen's fiancé, Sorin Sprocket, over events concerning the death of his fiancée, Selena Sprocket, back when he was a surgeon.

History

A year before the case, Nichody was a well-respected surgeon in Los Angeles. He was friends with the powerful Sprocket family of Sprocket Aviations and, through this friendship, met the heiress to the thriving airline company, Selena Sprocket. Over time, the two fell in love and eventually became engaged. However, on the way to her engagement party, Selena, her younger brother, Sorin, and their driver, Gloomsbury, were involved in a tragic car accident, thanks to Sorin, who had been driving instead of their actual driver. The accident ultimately took Selena's life and gravely injured Sorin, who only recovered due to Selena telling Nichody on her deathbed to save him over her. Nichody, out of his love for Selena, granted her final request and saved her brother. However, he grew resentful toward Sorin for living while his sister had died. This resentment and anger only grew when the rest of the Sprocket family demanded that Gloomsbury take the blame for the accident to prevent Sorin from causing any scandals to the family. With Sorin free and clear, Nichody sought revenge on the young Sprocket heir and hatched a plan to take the ultimate vengeance on him: by killing his lover, Ellen, so that he would experience the same loss that he (Nichody) had, and then taking over his family's company to take the happiness that he felt that Selena should've gotten, but of which she'd been robbed by her negligent brother.

To start out his plan, Nichody quit his job as a surgeon and instead took a new job as a servant of the Sprocket family to give himself access to Sorin and Ellen. He rose through the ranks very quickly, within only a year, and became the head butler, charged with doing what it took to protect the family. In reality, he would use this position to exact his revenge on Sorin, and he got close to Gloomsbury and promised him a higher position in order to get his assistance. When Sorin and Ellen got engaged, he found his opening to go after them. He waited till the night of their wedding and reception party, held on the Wedding Chapel airship, to carry out his plan. He put Gloomsbury up to the plan and sent him a note in how to kill Ellen: by taking her out to the vista deck of the airship and throwing her overboard, which would send her plunging to her death. However, the plan went wrong when Sorin, despite having been stabbed by Gloomsbury minutes before with a candelabra, managed to follow Gloomsbury through the airship's escape hatch, climb along the side of the ship, and reach his attacker and his new wife, who eventually passed out during the attack. He managed to strike him over the head with the Time Keeper, an item issued to newlyweds, and render him unconscious before passing out himself.

Thinking that Gloomsbury was dead, Nichody decided to take full advantage of the situation. He hid Gloomsbury's body in a large Pegabull lantern to erase all traces of a murder occurring. Next, he gathered the staff of the Sprocket family together and ordered them to invite the guests back to engage in a second wedding reception to give Ellen the impression that she had traveled back through time (as she assumed that she had used a pendant given to her by Sorin to go back in time to what she thought was right before the wedding reception). But during the second reception, Gloomsbury revealed that he had survived Sorin's strike by coming to and attempting to get out of the Pegabull lantern, leaving a bloody handprint on the handle inside in the process as he opened it up. Seeing this, Nichody (who was fortunate to be under the cover of a mood fog provided by a fog machine at the time) struck Gloomsbury in the head with the Time Keeper and killed him. However, the Time Keeper had been activated for Sorin and Ellen's reception and was thus open at the time, so a huge crack was left in the temporarily-exposed glass box that contained many wedding gifts for the bride and groom encased in the Time Keeper itself. This would only be seen should the Time Keeper be activated again. But following the wedding reception, Ellen, who had offered to clean everything up (as her last act as a Sprocket maid), was attempting to move the Pegabull lantern when it fell apart, revealing Gloomsbury's body, along with the Time Keeper used in killing him. She picked it up just in time to be seen by members of the staff and family, all of whom fingered her as the killer.

Nichody decided to use Ellen's new situation to his advantage and changed his plan for revenge against Sorin. He would let Ellen take the fall for the murder, thus separating her and Sorin forever. But to do this, he would have to use the results of the accident from a year before against Sorin. The accident had caused brain damage to him and had ultimately caused him to lose his memory of every day following the accident, forcing him to keep detailed notes on what'd happened every day since the accident in his notebook, which had previously been used to keep track of invention ideas (as he was an aspiring airship designer for Sprocket Aviations). Knowing that Sorin forgot every day of his life just by going to sleep, Nichody decided that he needed to use his notebook. During a brief time period that Sorin ended up not having his notebook (due to his stabbing injury acting up on him and forcing him to go to the hospital), Nichody quickly wrote a note on a page that was meant to appear as though Sorin was intending to take the blame for the crime, and then tore out said page, knowing that fingerprint powder would reveal the page's message: "I struck and killed Dumas." This was his plan to manipulate Sorin's memories and allow him to think that he had, in fact, murdered Gloomsbury when he actually hadn't.

The plan was the perfect crime, and it certainly would've been a success had Phoenix Wright and his former assistant, Maya Fey, not figured out Nichody's connection to Selena (by realizing that the stopwatch that he carried around was actually Selena's, and that he had kept it as a memento of her), which, in turn, led Phoenix to slowly uncovering his other lies and eventually exposing all of his crimes in court, something that was cemented when Phoenix realized that reactivating the Time Keeper, opening it up, and using the crack in the glass could prove that not only had Nichody murdered Gloomsbury, but that he had, in fact, done so during the second reception.

In the end, despite his crimes, Nichody was surprised to be given total compassion and forgiveness by Ellen, the very woman whom he had attempted to frame, as she knew that he'd done all that he had out of grief and mourning for Selena. Silently, Phoenix and Maya showed him that same compassion.

Breakdown

As with several other Ace Attorney villains during the 3D era of the series, Nichody has two breakdowns. The first occurs when Phoenix officially accuses him of Gloomsbury's murder. As soon as he does, the shoulder mech on his shoulder briefly shorts out, startling him. He then removes it, places it on the witness stand in front of him, and then removes his handkerchief from his shirt pocket. He ties it around his face like a surgical mask, holds out his hands, allows some bolts to come loose, lets the metallic cuffs to which they were attached fall off his wrists, and exposes that the gloves that he wears are actually rubber, surgical gloves. He then closes the lens on his mechanical monocle and raises his hands near his face before calling Phoenix and Chief Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth "malignant tumors" before taking a surgical tool offered by an unseen person's hand and not only repairing his shoulder mech, but turning it into a miniature X-ray machine that takes X-rays of Phoenix's brain and Edgeworth's chest frills. He then gains a more manic demeanor and threatens to "suture [Maya's] chatty lips shut" for simply pointing out the change to his shoulder mech.

His second breakdown occurs when Phoenix fully, officially exposes him as Gloomsbury's killer. Now cornered, the screen behind him goes black, and a heart monitor appears behind him. He then desperately tries fixing his shoulder mech. But then, he accidentally cuts an "artery" (really one of the mech's wires) and panics. He then calls for forceps, fails to get any, sees that he is alone, and continues his futile struggle to revive his shoulder mech, which he now sees as Selena, whom he'd failed to save, as her image flashes in the background behind him. He eventually drops his shoulder mech and looks down at it in horror. He then screams that he could've saved Selena if not for Sorin, and then, the heart monitor behind him "flatlines," and he collapses, wide-eyed, behind the witness stand. He then confesses to his crimes before being arrested for Gloomsbury's murder.

Personality

As the family butler, Nichody put up the identity of the typical stoic, work-minded butler, who showed almost no concern for matters outside of the family business. In truth, however, due entirely to his grief, he was a vengeful and cold-minded individual, who felt a bitter, misguided, and personal belief that Selena's brother had stolen her happiness. This caused him to develop a personality built solely around wishing to spite Sorin and rob him of his own happiness, to the point of destroying the life of an innocent woman, who just happened to be Sorin's fiancée, in order to do this.

When he is exposed in court, he shows his true persona: that of a manic surgeon. He incorporates medical metaphors and terms into his speech and attempts to both threaten and coerce the court. Due to the incident in which his fiancée died, Pierce developed a psychological complex over surgery and appeared to have fallen into a form of delusional insanity relating to having "allowed" Selena to die, causing him to treat everything relating to repair work as surgery. This caused him to behave like a doctor undergoing a struggle during life-saving surgery during his aforementioned breakdown.

Trivia

  • Nichody is the third Ace Attorney villain to show even a hint of true remorse when he confesses to his crime, the second being Geiru Toneido, and the first being Acro.

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           Ace Attorney Logo Villains

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

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

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
Dahlia Hawthorne | Luke Atmey | Furio Tigre

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney
Kristoph Gavin | Pal Meraktis | Alita Tiala | Daryan Crescend

Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth
Quercus Alba | Jacques Portsman | Cammy Melee | Lance Amano | Ernest Amano | Mack Rell | Calisto Yew | Manny Coachen

Gyakuten Kenji 2/Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth: Prosecutor's Path
Bansai Ichiyanagi | Sōta Sarushiro | Manosuke Naitō | Marī Miwa | Ryouken Houinbou | Yutaka Kazami | Fake Teikun Ō

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

Dai Gyakuten Saiban: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Bōken
Ann Sasha | Nikomina Borschevic | Cosney Megundal | Joan Garrideb | Nemmy and Tully Tinpillar | Robert Crogley

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice
Ga'ran Sigatar Khura'in | Pees'lubn Andistan'dhin | Betty de Famme | Roger Retinz | Rheel Neh'mu | Geiru Toneido | Paul Atishon | Inga Karkhuul Khura'in | Dumas Gloomsbury | Pierce Nichody

Dai Gyakuten Saiban 2: Naruhodō Ryūnosuke no Kakugo
Hart Vortex | Heita Mamemomi | William Petenshy | Selden | Viridian Green | Elyder Meningen | Courtney Sithe | Enoch Drebber | Tobias Gregson | Klimt van Zieks | Senshirou Jigoku

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