Phoenix Wright Was Almost Called 'Roger Wright'

I'm not sure if it's better or worse than 'Phoenix Wright', but it sure looks weird and feels strange to type: according to Alex Smith, the veteran localiser behind Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the game's main character was almost called 'Roger'.

The original issue, according to Smith, was the use of puns in the original Japanese game. In Japan Phoenix Wright's surname was Naruhodo, which means 'I know' or 'I understand'. A huge number of puns in the dialogue depending on that so the surname 'Wright' was a lock from the start, because it was flexible enough to bear the pun-burden! The first name was when things got a little more complex.

"My original suggestion for Phoenix Wright was 'Roger Wright,'" said Smith, in an interview with USGamer. But Smith had made a long list of suggestions. Phoenix, he claims, was at the bottom of that list. Roger was canned because it sounded a little too much like Roger Rabbit. Phoenix was chosen because it sounded heroic.

Other canned names included Pierce, Xavier, Marcus, and Zane.

Xavier is alright I guess?

Somewhere, in a parallel universe someone is writing a video game news story about a game called Roger Wright, laughing at how weird and strange the name 'Phoenix Wright' is. I believe this with all my heart.

Expert Witness: An Interview with Alex Smith, the Writer Behind Ace Attorney's English Debut [USGamer]


    Whaaat! I always thought Phoenix was perfect because of the rise from the ashes thing, always coming back from a case seemingly over with. Roger? Yeesh.

      Like naming your own kid, once you have given them that name they could never have been anything else :)

      Last edited 16/12/14 2:06 pm

      I doubt I would be such a fan of the series if the name was anything but the mighty Phoenix!

      It is perfect considering his Japanese name is dragon, best English alternative is Phoenix.

    Roger Wright makes me think of a biplane fighter pilot....perhaps secret agent? Now i'm thinking of Roger Explosion....

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