July Exceptional Story: The Stolen Song

“Counsel for the defence, do you have any further witnesses you intend to call?” The judge is stern. “I believe we have time left for one or two. Provided the court’s time is not wasted with amateur theatrics.”

A performance interrupted; a melody malappropriated; a courtroom in chaos. The Accused Contralto stands trial, charged with the theft of her latest music-hall song. Take the reins from the Contralto’s truly abysmal counsel. Investigate the origins of the contested tune. Lead cross-examinations against eccentric and unwilling witnesses. Pursue truth, or justice, or simple acquittal by any means you can.

One thing is clear: this is no straightforward case. D__n catchy tune, though.

  • Writing: Katharine Neil
  • Editing: Olivia Wood
  • QA: Luke van den Barselaar
  • Art: Monika Eidintaite


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Your honor, I would like to cross-examine the defendant’s songbird!

I wasn’t expecting an actual Ace Attorney case going into this… but that is what I got and I’m having the time of my life. I am genuinely loving how this is going. It’s goofy, utterly insane, and frankly some really good fun.

Edit after story completion: As a quick edit: The ending with the drownie mother was definitely a twist I saw coming while also definitely continuing to parallel Phoenix Wright trials: the surprise interruption from a witness that finally provides answers, bluffing a story out into existence that tells the full truth. Overall, it was pretty good! I was rather enraptured for most of it. Even if it’s not the absolute peak of Exceptional Stories, it’s definitely a good one and an absolutely solid choice if you’re looking for a new one.

1 Like

I of course missed one of the witnesses (the bird seller) so if anybody has the echoes or if it changes the story critically, let me know.

I liked this very much. A very sad and tragic story, but told - for large parts - in a very funny way.

I loved this story! Starts of completely absurd, then veers into heartfelt and earnest. I’m very glad I took down those extra lines of the Drownie’s song and that the Contralto got her closure. I do feel REALLY BAD about how it ended up for the Soprano and her cat, though… what happens if you don’t cross examine the cat so viciously?


Yeah okay, Gyakuten London, sold.

I dislike the forced set up. Twice there is the presentation of a choice and each time it corrals the player into doing what the author wants.

Character doesn’t drink… you’re going to the pub anyway. Turn down the barrister’s offer? Nope, you get to waste your actions until you choose the other reply. Very ham-fisted.

If there’s no choice don’t pretend that there is. Why make the player look foolish until they submit? That’s weak writing and a waste of actions.


I had fun!

This one was on the linear side. But the important thing is, when the story wanted to go someplace ridiculous, it had me on-board with it. That’s the hard thing to do, and that’s what made the story fun. I especially enjoy the angle that all of the testimony is intentionally overwrought and dramatic, because both principles are stage-actors. They’re in their element.

Pet bird that swears? Of course. I’m forced to ask the owner to attempt the same under cross-examination and she fumbles awkwardly? Hilarious.

The reveal that the true owner of the song is a secret, third thing is not so surprising, but the point is the voyage, not the destination. And truth be told I actually tried to predict a few twists that didn’t come, like a connection with the Barrister’s missing voice.

Overall falls short of making any “must-play” lists of ES, but still good.