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12. Matt Engarde

Matt Engarde. It isn't until you really look back on it that you realize how fantastic a villain he is. The only reason he's down at 12 is because I love the characters above him that much more--any other series and he'd be top 3 material hands down. When you start 2-4 and you're all "Oh hey this is my client? He's sort of a flake. Stop calling me 'dude,' dude." Matt's sort of likable, but sort of annoying. And then things just start building up one by one, there's more and more stuff going on...

And then comes the psyche-lock. In a series that sort of defines itself by awesome moments, and does these awesome moments extremely well... the moment Matt Engarde reveals his true self to you still gives me goddamn chills and is probably in the top three moments in the entire series, if not the single best one. He's manipulative, he's evil, and he would have succeeded if he hadn't tried to be a bit more manipulative than was entirely good for him. Plus, it took Gumshoe, Phoenix, Edgeworth, and Franziska all working together to even have a shot at bringing him down.

I may be a bit biased because I'm in the fandom, but I also really like what you can do with the guy just by knowing his true nature. Seemingly innocuous lines and moments just become creepy as hell.

He destroyed Celeste, destroyed Juan, and almost destroyed Adrian. Matt Engarde is one evil son-of-a-*****... but really, he's more of a Magnificent Bastard than anything else.

Cloud and Squall[]

24th: Matt Engarde
Appearances: 2-4
Favorite Quote: I already have life insurance. I signed up a long time ago cause my job is, you know...

The Nickel Samurai is one of my favorite non-recurring clients. What I like most about Engarde is that he actually did it. Of course him taunting Phoenix like he did probably didn't help matters any. He seemed to be such a smart killer. He hired an assassin- had blackmail material on the assassin- and even hired Phoenix Wright to represent him. What he didn't account for was Adrian Andrews hating him so much. Were it not for that, he would have gotten away with it. Becuase then the police would have found DeKillers card, and then they would have had no reason to arrest him. What makes Engarde so likable, even though he's so evil, is that he's so smart. Of course it's this intelligence that causes DeKiller to drop the contract. What he really never counted on, was how dedicated to the truth Phoenix and Miles Edgeworth were. He didn't realize that Mr. Wright wasn't the kind of person who could just let Adrian Andrews take the blame.


10. Matt Engarde

Each game has a villain that really "stands out" above the others. In Justice For All, it was clearly Engarde, who basically ruined the lives of about 5 different people. He was a self-centered, greedy, arrogant son-of-a-***** who almost got Maya killed and almost successfully blackmailed an assassin. Luckily, everything conveniently pulled together and saved the day in the end, but for creating the most tension-filled, plot-twisting, awesome damn case in all three games, he gets a top 10 nod.



10. Matt Engarde

I think perhaps the most telling reason of all why 2-4 is far and away my favorite case - I knew the major plot twist, that Engarde was gonna be the bad guy, and yet it still totally blew me away when it was revealed, and I didn't enjoy the story even slightly less despite the fact that I knew the general direction of where the story was going to go from the beginning. It was really that well done.

Even though he seems kinda suspicious from the beginning, I think they do a good job of lulling you into a false sense of security despite all the red flags coming up. He genuinely comes across as just another goofy defendant. You could almost get to like the guy a little bit, maybe. But then not only do you slowly find out, piece of evidence by piece of evidence, that he's really the mastermind behind everything, he suddenly has one of the best heel turns I've ever seen when you confront him. It's not like Dahlia, whose facade is obviously much more insincere and easily seen through, and it's not like von Karma, who's just a dick to begin with. When Matt Engarde does his heel turn, with the hair flip and the wine glass and the badass music that accompanies it, it's just one of the best damn moments in the whole series even though I knew it was coming.

And, like any good villain, the way you bring him down in the end is particularly great. Quite possibly even moreso than the other main villains. It's both quite clever and immensely satisfying. Matt Engarde, sort of similarly to Manfred von Karma, isn't the deepest or most fascinating character but he's a fantastic villain.


5. Matt Engarde

Case(s): 2-4

Refreshing like a spring breeze...Engarde is just awesome. Easily my favorite villain. If you were paying attention to the list, there has been a string of murderers. Dahlia at 9, von Karma at 8, Gant at 7, Godot at 6, and we end it with Engarde at the top spot...#5. Yeah, Engarde is just about as great as you can get for murderers. While he may not be the most evilest...he certainly is my favorite. And hell, he probably takes the second spot for most evilest murderer in PW, anyways. Another thing to note is that Engarde also happens to be my favorite one-case-only character. Anyways, Engarde takes the lowest spot in the Top 5 for a reason. Let's see what this reason is.

Well...first, you start off Case 2-4 with Maya getting kidnapped. The kidnapper, de Killer, orders Phoenix to take Matt Engarde's case and get him a Not Guilty verdict or else Maya will die. Yeah...this looks suspicious. However, de Killer informs Phoenix that he did not kill anyone...which turns out to be the truth. Anyways...onwards to the Detention Center. Engarde does not take Phoenix really serriously. He's always calling his manager for help, he thinks Phoenix is a salesman, and he just really doesn't care about Phoenix at all. Once Phoenix mentions de Killer to Engarde, however...Engarde starts to pay attention. Engarde plays as a clueless defendant who depends on others way too much, especially his manager. He looks and acts completely innocent. Also, he is hilarious and awesome. Yeah. I like "Nice" Engarde. He's pretty awesome. Nice Engarde alone might make my Top 30, if not my Top 20. But trust me, there's a lot more to Engarde than that.

Anyways, Phoenix asks Engarde a simple question. "Did you kill Juan Corrida?". Engarde simply replies that he hasn't killed anyone before in his life...including Corrida. And this is the truth. However...he does cause the death of several other people, including Corrida. But, of course, you wouldn't know this by now...unless you read spoilers. Anyways, Engarde does little to nothing in Investigation 1. Just tells you a bunch of random stuff...that he didn't do it, he never really cared about Corrida since he always beat him (Including the Grand Prix), always calling his manager, and other stuff. A nice little thing in Investigation 1 is if you present Celeste's profile to Engarde. Engarde will say "...Dude, I know you're my lawyer and all, but you shouldn't pry into my stuff like that." or something among those lines. He then calls a pizza store and leaves the Detention Center to get pizza or something.

Then...comes Investigation Day 2. That's when things get really interesting. First off, Engarde leaves you a note to tell Phoenix to feed his cat, Shoe. There was really no reason for Engarde to tell Phoenix to feed his cat, Shoe. In fact, going to Engarde Mansion led to knowing where de Killer kept Maya. So, the only reason Engarde told Phoenix to feed Shoe is because he simply cares about Shoe. Yeah. Shoe is probably the only thing Engarde cares about aside from himself. And I can see why, because Shoe is awesome. ...Ahem! Anyways...the main thing about Investigation Day Matt's Psyche-Lock. Yeah. Once you get the bear/spy camera/transmitter, things get really suspicious and Engarde looks guilty once more. So...Phoenix decides to confront Engarde and ask him about it. How does Engarde respond? ...With a Psyche-Lock. 5 of them. Yeah...this is one huge secret he has here. And it also leads to one of the best scenes in PW...let me get a video to show this Psyche-Lock.

Yeah...that's right. Once you finally solve his Psyche-Lock, Engarde does a complete personality change. He admits to doing it and says..."Hold on a sec. I'm gonna consult myself, OK?" Yeah...he calls himself and says that "he" is ready. of the most spoiler-ish and completely weird animations in PW history...Engarde flips his hair and shows his scars. He pulls a glass of wine out of nowhere and just looks completely evil. Compared to his innocent look from before, this new look just looks completely evil. When I saw this, I was just "...Whoa.". I saw Evil Engarde before playing 2-4 (Damn you, Court Records!) and I was still in complete shock from seeing this. This is the only time where your client was guilty...and you had no choice but to prove him innocent. One of the best PW moments right there. Your feelings for Engarde probably completely changed. Yeah...hell, I get goosebumps just talking about this. And this sets it up...Evil Engarde. The main reason why Engarde is this high. change. From the awesome music to...this awesome music. The music just completely fits Evil Engarde. Shame that they overused this theme so much in PW3. It should only be used when mentioning Evil Engarde, really. Anyways, Evil Engarde shows off his true colors. Yeah, he hired de Killer to kill Corrida. Why? Because he wanted to. He knew that he was going to reveal how Engarde really acted like. That would completely destroy Engarde's image...that's something Engarde doe not want. So he kills off Corrida. And just for good measure...he decided to video tape the murder. That way, he can blackmail de Killer to do his bidding. Engarde doesn't care about de Killer either. After all, Engarde thinks of people as things that should be used and thrown away. And just for good measure...he tells de Killer to kidnap Maya. That way, he can force Phoenix to give him a Not Guilty verdict. A simple plan, really. Not all the complicated. But damn, it's brilliant. He has de Killer and Phoenix eating out of his hand. He has complete and utter control over both of them and they can't do a single thing.

So, Phoenix has a choice here...he can either get a Not Guilty verdict for Engarde...thus making a murderer innocent and having someone innocent taking his place in jail. ...Or he can get a Guilty verdict for Engarde, but Maya will die if that happens. Yeah, it must suck to be Phoenix at that time. However, Phoenix pulls off a miracle and manages to get Engarde guilty while making Maya live. How? Simple. He made de Killer realize that Engarde was going to blackmail him...thus, ending the contract between the two. And now, Engarde wants to be he can stay away for de Killer for a while. Yeah. This wouldn't have happened if Engarde didn't get so arrogant. If Engarde never told Phoenix that he was going to blackmail de Killer, he would have gotten away. That's pretty damn good of Engarde there. Not to mention that even with took the combined efforts of Dues Ex Machina Mia, Phoenix, Edgeworth, Gumshoe, Franziska, Maya, Pearl, and de Killer to finally take down Engarde. Damn. And with're awarded with Engarde doing the epic face scratch.

So...that concludes Engarde. Easily the best villain in PW...well, maybe not the best...but one of the best. And he is also my favorite. Also, Engarde happens to be the Nickel Samurai. And the Nickel Samurai is just awesome and badass. Plus, all the women want the Nickel Samurai. aww yeah Engarde being a womanizer is confirmed. I think it's pretty simple why Engarde is this high. An excellent villain with a simple, yet genius awesome personality when acting innocent...and being a complete badass womanizer when acting as the Nickel Samurai. That should be more than enough to make Matt Engarde get the #5 well as having the honor of being my favorite well as my favorite one-case-only character.


12. Matt Engarde

- argh this guy's pretty lame, why am I defending this tool, what's up with the arm phone, stop calling me "dude" you little pissant, good god WHOA HEEL TURN
- top 5 moment right there
- Engarde is pretty awesome from there on, the only problem I have is that you don't get to cross-examine him. here's this disgusting, pathetic man that you want to just strangle and you never get a chance to do so. the only thing you get is AS ALWAYS, THE DEFENSE PLEADS NOT GUILTY!, which is awesome, but it's only one moment as opposed to being able to wrap the evidence around his neck.


7. Matt Engarde

*evil hair flip*

One of those really up there "whoa" moments, stands out for Mr. Engarde placing him at 7 on my list, though like I've said my favorite twist in the series is the Ini/Mimi flip.

So, we have the first villain of the games being ranked, and though he isn't as good as von Karma or Dahlia, he's still damn good. And really, all along, at least the first time you play, you don't expect it at all. The whole time, I legitimately thought that Engarde was innocent... throughout the case, the investigation, the trials, the evidence, even throughout his psyche-lock. I was just gonna say that he did something suspicious... like maybe he was the one that rearranged the crime scene to pin Adrian, or something (which I guess is sort of true).

So, pre-Hannibal Matt is just kind of funny. That jacket always makes me laugh, and his little cell phone thing is pretty amusing. Other than that, he doesn't really have any redeeming qualities, other than maintaining the fresh as a summer breeze thing.

Hannibal Matt is of course an evil bastard. I need not go into the whole Adrian/Celeste/Juan/Matt thing cuz I've been there 3 times already, but yeah.

Matt's pact with de Killer is really interesting and works well in the game. Knowing you have a guilty witness but you have to get him declared innocent to save Maya is one of the best plot effects in the entire series cuz you really have no idea what to do. It's a contradiction in itself. And the way you finally get Matt is simply genius. I mean, getting someone who is obviously guilty of murder, to beg for the guilty verdict because you exposed his breach of a contract with a real assassin is some awesome stuff. And that's another thing, with Matt saying "Just so we're clear dude, I didn't kill anyone" and no Psyche-Lock appearing is pretty cool too (although I have a different look on why the Psyche-Locks appear which is just when the witness refuses to talk about something; not when they're lying).

Exposing this conflict between Matt and de Killer... well, the main thing you have to wonder is why Matt didn't "trust" de Killer. But we're answered because we know that Matt wants to frame de Killer himself, and maybe earn a bit more out of this whole deal. So everything Matt did to all these people was truly evil. Kidnapping Maya, putting Phoenix in a dilemma, trying to frame and blackmail a ****ing assassin, and ruining Adrian's, Celeste's and Juan's lives seems like about as many people as Joe Darke affected.

SImply put, Matt is a truly awesome evil villain, and knows how to be one. He just went a step too far and crossed lines with the wrong assassin and wrong lawyer. But man, did he sure give everyone a wild crazy ride.

And one last point, I remember playing this case really late at night and finding for the first time about the hair flip, and I didn't sleep that night. I just finished the case. The whole ending is so awesome, and finding getting Matt.... well, that's the other cool part, that you can get him Guilty or Not Guilty and you win either way and Matt does his face claw. Aww yea.


11. Matt Engarde

The Good: The Nickel Samurai is awesome, refreshing like a spring breeze, even! Not as cool as the Steel Samurai, but still cool! He has an awesome theme, too. I think Engarde when you first meet him is funny, what with ordering pizza on his wrist phone and whatnot. And yet that clueless persona is so brilliant. It sort of eases everyone who doesn't know him into thinking that there's no way a guy like this could do something so evil. It's also interesting to see the subtleties when you replay 2-4 and catch little comments that make a lot more sense in hindsight that you forgot about the first time you played it. Engarde is a genius who trusts no one. He even has the guts to try to blackmail de Killer, though that ultimately backfired on him.

The Best: The hair flip heel turn is one of the biggest shockers and best moments in the series to me. I was like Phoenix and just wanted to keep believing Engarde was innocent, even after everything was pointing to him being the one who hired de Killer, and then it happened. Whoa. Even if you're one of those people who saw it coming, were you expecting it to be quite like THAT? For Engarde to turn out to be some obsessive sociopath? Plus, the prospect of Phoenix defending someone who is guilty leads up to some great moments and development for him. He has to figure out what an attorney does, and what it means to provide a fair trial for your defendant. Phoenix's conflict of what to do: Let a guilty man go free or let Maya die. That's just an absolutely brilliant conflict. Then the end of 2-4 when de Killer breaks his contract and decides to make Engarde his target was extremely satisfying, just a huge sigh of relief knowing that the miracle DID happen! Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention the face-clawing! Oh, and if you chose "Not Guilty" at the end, you totally missed the point of the entire case!

The Bad: Engarde made a big mistake in underestimating how much Adrian actually hated the guy's guts. If it hadn't been for her, he would've gotten away clean without ever being a suspect. Of course, that would've been a pretty boring case, so...Anyway, I'm not really sure what the point of Engarde sending Phoenix to his mansion was. I wouldn't think it would actually be to feed Shoe because you'd think he knew that de Killer was there, but maybe not. Still, that was a mistake that ultimately led to his downfall, too, even if it was unintentional. Of course, his biggest mistake was thinking he could blackmail a professional assassin. Whoops.

The Worst: The one thing that 2-4 really lacks is a cross-examination with Engarde. It would've been great to get to take on this guy head on, though I'm not sure if it was really feasible. You couldn't confront him too early because you couldn't afford to lose Maya, and after you present the evidence to de Killer, there's really no need for one. Hmmm...Oh well.

Phoenix Wright Characters
WARNING: All articles may contain SPOILERS from the Phoenix Wright Trilogy games

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Justice for All

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Trials and Tribulations

Angel Starr
April May
Bruce Goodman
Cindy Stone
Cody Hackins
Damon Gant
Dee Vasquez
Dick Gumshoe
Ema Skye
Frank Sahwit
Gregory Edgeworth
Jack Hammer
Jake Marshall
Joe Darke
Lana Skye
Larry Butz
Lotta Hart
Manfred von Karma
Marvin Grossberg

Maya Fey
Mia Fey
Mike Meekins
Miles Edgeworth
Misty Fey
Neil Marshall
Penny Nichols
Phoenix Wright
Redd White
Robert Hammond
Sal Manella
The Blue Badger
The Judge
Wendy Oldbag
Will Powers
Winston Payne
Yanni Yogi

Adrian Andrews
Ami Fey
Ben/Trilo Quist
Celeste Inpax
Dick Gumshoe
Director Hotti
Dustin Prince
Ini Miney
Juan Corrida
Lotta Hart
Maggey Byrde
Matt Engarde
Max Galactica
Maya Fey
Mia Fey

Miles Edgeworth
Mimi Miney
Morgan Fey
Pearl Fey
Phoenix Wright
Regina Berry
Richard Wellington
Russell Berry
Shelly de Killer
The Judge
Turner Grey
Wendy Oldbag
Will Powers
Winston Payne

Adrian Andrews
Bruto Cadaverini
Dahlia Hawthorne
Desirée DeLite
Dick Gumshoe
Doug Swallow
Elise Deauxnim
Furio Tigre
Glen Elg
Jean Armstrong
Judge's Brother
Kane Bullard
Larry Butz

Lisa Basil
Luke Atmey
Maggey Byrde
Marvin Grossberg
Maya Fey
Mia Fey
Miles Edgeworth
Morgan Fey
Pearl Fey
Phoenix Wright
Ron DeLite
Terry Fawles
The Judge
Valerie Hawthorne
Victor Kudo
Viola Cadaverini
Winston Payne