Unlike my other technical guide, this guide will show you how to do a cross examination on the Editor so that it appears correctly in the Player. There are several ways one can approach the Cross-Examination, but I will be showing you the popular AA Cross-Examinations.
As with my other guide, you must know what your witness is going to say, but this time, you need to plan all of your moves before doing a Cross-Examination. The reason is because you could want the attorney to request the testimony to be amended. Also, there are contradictions to consider. I will show you how to do it.
This guide is separated into three levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. The levels are from a technical point of view, not the difficulty of the actual CE. It's up to you to determine the difficulty of the Cross Examination, and that comes from the writing. I will not be covering the writing aspect of the Cross Examination except to show what kind of limitations certain CEs have. For more information on writing contradictions for CEs, look at this writing guide and encyclopedia, courtesy of Jean Of mArc, of The Omniscient Game fame.
What the Cross Examination block looks like in the Editor.
Testimony overview row: This will show what the Cross-examination will look like in the player.
WARNING!: Do NOT redirect any frame back to the testimony overview row. I repeat. DO NOT REDIRECT ANY FRAME BACK TO THE TESTIMONY OVERVIEW ROW. It will create annoying bugs.
Press conversation (If you press...): The conversation block that ensues. When the player presses the statement, the Player will run the conversation sequence as it is. After the conversation has played out, it will automatically go to the next statement. If it's the last statement, it will go to the co-council conversation.
Conversations at the bottom under display:
Co-council Conversation: The conversation that plays when the player has advanced through all the statements and has not figured out the contradiction.
Conversation if Failure: The conversation that happens when the player presents the wrong evidence. Can only be used when the player presents the evidence at the statement, not during "Press to Object" situations. If this is left blank, the player will lose 24 HP (20%) by default.
Before we start, I will say this once and only once: Do NOT redirect ANY frame back to the testimony row. If for some reason you have to go back to the testimony, either let the player take care of that for you or redirect to a blank 1 cs frame at the end of a talk, penalty, or co-council convo.
This level does not require variable manipulation. After the basic Cross Examination, you will need to learn how to use other actions, such as "Ask a Question", "Ask for Evidence", "Examine area of a picture", "reveal hidden frame" and "hide frame"
Actions to learn
Ask for evidence: Self-explanatory. You need to define the correct evidence type (evidence/profile) and the ID of said evidence. You can even restrict what kind of evidence the players can present.
Examine area of a picture: You will need to supply your own image, uploaded somewhere. Then, click the button "set coordinates" to click on the picture. First click the upper-left hand side of the area, then the lower-right hand side of the area. Confirm and complete the form.
Reveal hidden frame: Only works for statements that have the "hide" checkbox marked.
Hide hidden frame: The direct opposite of "Reveal hidden frame"
- First, on your last block, click the actions button and select "Enter Cross Examination." The interface will appear.
- Next, write out all the statements in the middle row. It must be in green.
- After each statement, click on add button to add the conversation after pressing the statement. Write out the conversation as you would in a normal situation. After the last block is played, the Player will go on to the next statement.
- When you have written all the conversations (including co-council and failure), press "contradiction" on the statement that is contradictory. The text box will ask for you to click on the contradictory evidence. Click on the top row (the ID box) and the statement will be linked to the evidence if presented.
This kind of CE is the building block to every other type of CEs. It's the easiest to make, but very limiting in terms of difficulty. You will need to employ other techniques to increase the difficulty.
Technique: Amending/Adding statements
The general rule for changing the testimony on the testimony line are as follows:
- If you must add a statement, pick the statement that you wish to have the player press in order to add statement. Then create a new statement after the said statement.
- If you must amend a statement, then pick a statement that you have to wish to press in order to amend the statement. Depending on how you structure your testimony, you can put the amended statement after the said statement.
Here's how to add statements:
On the original statement, write out your conversation. In order to add a statement, you must make a new statement afterwards. The second statement will be written as normal, but in the testimony line, it should be "hidden." In order to reveal the added statement, you must use "reveal hidden frame" action in one of the frames in your first statement conversation. The ID must match the statement in the CE block. If played correctly, when the player is done pressing the statement, the Player should go to the added statement.
Here's how to amend statements:
Follow the guidelines on adding statements, but there's an added step. Somewhere in your first statement conversation, you have to activate "hide frame." Make sure the statement in the action matches the ID of the testimony statement in the CE block. If played correctly, the Player should go to the amended statement, and the original statement should be gone.
Oh, and by the way, these type of situations almost always call for this question: "Was that last statement important?" In this case, you will have to use "Answer a Question (2 answer)" to ask the player if the new information was important before adding or amending the testimony. If it was important, then you will redirect the conversation to reflect the fact (with reveal and hide frame actions only on the "Yes, it's important" conversation path). If the player think it wasn't, then it should run the CE as if there's no need to change the testimony.
Another thing: sometimes, a press might ask for a few things to be clarified (There was a bit of information in that statement. What should I ask for?). Again, use the "Answer a Question" action to give the player choices on what should be asked. You can even put stupid answers there to throw the player off-track. In the end, if the statement might be important, you should ask the player if it was important. Usually, you would just add statements if something would need to be clarified, not amended. (Thanks to henke for pointing that out!)
In terms of writing, the player knows that the revealed statement is the contradictory statement. Always. Unless it's not, but that's rare.
Cross-Examination: Press to Object
Basic Press to Object
- In the conversation following the contradictory statement, you should activate the "Answer a question (two answer)" action so that you can put up the choices I have outline earlier.
- You must put up the penalty the player is facing via "flash the health bar."
- On the conversation following "Raise an objection" you can have a few ways to go about doing this
- Ask for evidence
- Answer another question
- Point to the exact place in picture
- You need to provide the correct answer. For whatever method you use, you must have at least a conversation that leads out of the CE and another conversation the shows the player that (s)he has chosen the wrong answer.
Intermediate Press to Object
In this one, you can have a web of conversations going on after you have the player press the statement to try to escape the CE. Use your creativity and refer to the "Basic" version above so that you program it correctly. The one I think uses this type of "Press to Object" is Ignatius Burn's 2nd Testimony in lynx's first case in "Von Karma: Corrupt Attorney"
For this type of CE to work, the statements must be ambiguous enough to entice the players to press statements. If the contradiction is quite obvious, it becomes your basic cross-examination, therefore this type of CE does not work.
This section introduces you to variable manipulation. This will require you look at the actions "define variable", "read variable's value", and "evaluate condition"
Read a variable's value: Self-explanatory. However, it's a bit more restrictive and tedious than...
Evaluate condition: It's a bit more complex than "read a variable's value" but a lot more flexible. Basically, this action is used to determine whether a logic statement (programming POV, not AAI POV) is true. You can easily copy/paste statements and syntaxes very easily with this.
Follow the guidelines for the basic CE guide, but do not add a contradiction. There is an added step before we get into the programming part of the guide. You need to create a blank frame after the last part of the convo on each press convo. This is very important as if this isn't done, then the programming may not work correctly.
You will have to decide on the variables. The best default is
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One thing to note: All variables are initially set to 0. So you do NOT have to do this
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please do not do this
It's redundant coding, especially when the engine does this for you. So don't waste time setting each variable to 0.
On the last frame of each of the press convos (or rather, the last frame before the "continue your testimony" frame), activate the "evaluate variable" function. On the evaluate bar, put
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press1=1 & press2=1 & press3=1
I'll refer you to henke's thread for a tutorial about variables. It's not in the nature of the tutorial to show you how to use variables like an expert. You may also look here if you don't understand.
In terms of writing, this is best left for exploratory testimonies. Or if you're being von Karma-ish, testimonies that have no direct contradictions. This usually gives players breathing room.
Cross-Examination: Press to Obtain Evidence
For this type of CE, you will be employing the reveal evidence function. But you will also have to make sure the player "doesn't get the same evidence should he press the same statement again." In order to avoid this classic mistake, have a frame with the action "Evaluate condition" before the frames that give you the evidence. On that action, use the following syntax:
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where "X" is either preuve or profil for evidence and profile, respectively (it's in French. Ask Unas for why the syntax is that way), and "Y" is the ID number of said evidence. Repeat as necessary.
After you have revealed all the evidence, you have a couple of options for escaping the cross examination. This usually means combining them with one of the other types of CEs above.
If you want to end the CE, you should consider employing tricks from "Press-all-to-continue". You will be using the "evaluate variable" function at the end of every press convo that has evidence to be revealed. In this case, instead of pressx, you will use the "evidence is revealed" syntax like as follows
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f:evidence_is_revealed('X1','Y1') & f:evidence_is_revealed('X2','Y2') & f:evidence_is_revealed('X3','Y3')
and so forth.
If you want to continue the CE, you should consider "Adding/Amending Statements". You will have to use the same tricks as above (Press-all-to-continue). But this has an added coding challenge. Unlike the regular "Press-all-to-continue", this will reveal/amend statements. Again, use the "evaluate variable" function at the end of every press convo that has evidence to be revealed. Only instead of escaping the CE, redirect it to the frames that will reveal the new statement. Tag that convo with a variable, say "EvRevealed". So the syntax for that variable to say you have revealed all evidence would be "EvRevealed = 1". So that in case the player decided to press the statements again AFTER revealing the new statements, you can safely redirect the convo away from "I request a new statement" convo. I would suggest checking for that variable BEFORE you check that evidence is revealed. So a sample press convo with these elements look like this (from a technical standpoint)
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Check to see if this convo's evidence is revealed.
Evaluate variable - f:evidence_is_revealed('preuve','7')
If true, goto B. If false goto A.
Branch A: Reveal evidence (In this example, reveals Evidence ID 7). Leads directly into Branch B.
Branch B: Continue convo
Check to see if amended/added statement exists.
Evaluate variable - EvRevealed = 1
If true, goto E. If false, goto C.
Branch C: Brings up another check
Check to see if all evidence is revealed.
Evaluate variable - f:evidence_is_revealed('preuve','7') & f:evidence_is_revealed('preuve','12')... etc.
If true, goto D. If false, goto E.
Branch D: Reveals a new statement. Also activates variable "EvRevealed" (Set "EvRevealed" to 1) Leads directly into Branch E. No additional coding necessary
Branch E: Ends this press convo. Continues CE
Do be careful. For this type of CE, your original statements should be factual and not contradictory at all. Otherwise, you will create gamebreaking bugs.
This section requires mastery of the two previous levels. There will be even more tedious variable manipulations and a lot of actions. From a programming point of view, it can become a big headache.
Technique: Rotating statements
Both forms require the techniques listed in "Press to Object" and "Adding/Amending Statements."
The Complex Way
In 1-5, Lana is testifying about her role in forging the scene. You're going to have to drag the truth out of her. But there are a few possibilities to consider in her testimony. On that particular testimony, she talks about what she forged. You can ask for the body or you can ask about the urn. In either case, the Complex Way is actually needed since you will have to press the new statement to get yet another one.
The Complex Way requires you to extract a few new statements, but you must extract it one at a time from the original statement. Follow the "Adding Statements" guide. Hide the added statements by checking "hide" in the CE text field. In the original statement where you are asked which statement to add, use the "hide a frame" and "reveal a hidden frame" actions in the choices.
What the editor says:
Under the original statement, there will be a choice using the "Answer the question (3 answers)" action. It'll look something like this:
You must create a blank frame at the end of the press convo with a 1 centisecond pause. Obviously, you know what to do for "None." But let's say you choose "Info A." In the conversation following "Info A", you must use "Hide a Frame" for the statement about "Info B" and "Reveal a frame" for the statement about "Info A." Do the same thing for "Info B." But all of the choices must converge on the blank frame.
If done correctly, it should look like this (in the player):
Before I ask for the testimony to be amended...
If I choose Info A...
If I choose Info B...
The Simple Way
A second variation on this type of CE is actually much simpler. Let's say you have already revealed one of the rotating statements and hidden the original statement. You can ask the player if he/she wants to switch to the other statement. Again, let's go with the Info A/Info B situation above. If you're on Info A and you want to switch to Info B, then you will have to do the following: Hide Frame Info A and Reveal Frame Info B. On Info B, do the reverse: Hide Frame Info B and Reveal Frame Info A. However, if the player opts to move to Info A from Info B, you must redirect to the last frame (hopefully empty) from the original statement. That way, the player sees the statement about Info A when you do end the convo for Info B.
The Simple Way is best used if there won't be a whole line of press statements waiting for the player.
Overall, this technique can significantly increase the difficulty of a CE, as the player is left searching for statements to object to. But at the same time, it's also very annoying to program. Use this sparingly.
Cross-Examination: Press the right statements
All three cases highlight the concept "press the right statements." In this kind of CE, the player will have to press the right statements in order to get out of the CE. This sounds a lot like "press all to continue, right?" Well, yes and no. I'll explain below.
Situation A: Press the one correct statement to end CE.
Assuming that the player should only press one statement to get out, you can simply redirect the player to the next conversation via "skip directly to frame" action. Think Gumshoe in 1-2.
Situation B: Press the correct statements to end CE.
This requires the use of variables. For however many statements that you require the player to press, you have to tag the said statements and evaluate the condition at the end of those pressed statements' convo. It is not necessary to tag all of the statements, only the relevant ones. This is the basis to the fan-made "Super Objection" where you have to object the right evidence at the right statement. I will not be covering this, as this never appears in the original games.
Corollary to Situation B: Press the correct statements to end CE, but give the option to stop CE.
This is a corollary, an addenum to Situation B, where the player must press the correct statements before attempting to end CE. If you think there's good information in the CE that the player should read, you should combine the tagging of variables with the action "Answer a Question." The "Answer a Question" function can serve to ask the player if (s)he wants to end the CE, kinda like Oldbag's last CE in 1-3.
Situation C: Only press relevant statements
The difference between Situation B and Situation C is that Situation B gives the players freedom to ask irrelevant questions like press the statement (s)he deems important and Situation C penalizes the player for wasting time. You do the same thing for either Situation A or Situation B, but you will add the warning and the penalties at irrelevant statements. This is used a lot in 2-3, especially with Moe. No wonder 2-3 is known as "Turnabout Big Flop". This is an excellent way to piss players off, so use this sparingly or give a really good reason for this.
Corollary to Situation C: The Luke Atmey Testimony
Remember Luke Atmey's final testimony (3-2) in which you've only got chance to expose the contradiction? This is the corollary to Situation C, and there are a few styles, but this is what they have in common
- They testimonies must be ridiculously long (more than 10-12 statements)
- They contain only one contradiction.
- There's a ridiculous penalty on the line. (at least 50%)
The Jin Triad Final Testimony (E.D.Revolution's "The Tortured Turnabout")
Warning: Spoiler Alert!!!
Jin Triad's final testimony: Jin Triad builds a testimony full of traps, and pressing irrelevant statements will incur the Judge's wrath. You MUST press before you present the evidence. You can't present the evidence right there. Wrong evidence will cost the player the game. There's one contradiction, and it must be presented. This has 16 statements to start.
Standard Luke Atmey Cross Examination:
- You must redirect the wrong press to a game over sequence. This can be done by activating the action "skip directly to frame" when the convo will take you to "Game Over."
- Choose the right statement and redirect it to the "success" conversation.
A warning, though. A Luke Atmey-style testimony is a great way to tick off your players. Employ with caution. Nobody likes to go through a lot of statements to get to the right one. And with a 100% penalty on the line, it's adds a healthy dose of frustration. Done correctly, it's a great puzzle/challenge. Done incorrectly, your players will rage-quit. This should only be done on the final testimony.
I hope I have covered most of the basic Ace Attorney Cross Examination styles. If there's any wrong information or anything you think I missed, please reply below.