I don’t know if I’m in a minority or not, but I thought Athena Cykes was a welcome addition to the main Ace Attorney cast. While she may not be the most original character ever, her energetic, confident personality made her the perfect newcomer to contrast against the likes of Phoenix and Apollo. Not to mention I enjoyed her character arc in Dual Destinies, the introduction of the Mood Matrix mechanic and, of course, her superb music theme.
Compared to Phoenix’s and Apollo’s themes, Athena’s is much faster-paced to match her aforementioned energy. At the same time, however, it feels a lot… softer and lighter, if that makes sense. It has this sense of youthful optimism, which makes sense since she’s the newbie. There isn’t a moment where it slows down, which suits Athena since she very much throws herself into the defense attorney role as quickly as she can. But the light ‘tings’ of what I’m assuming is a xylophone also show how she’s still young and new to all this.
As much as I love both Phoenix’s and Apollo’s themes, I think Athena’s is the one that manages to represent her character more; you can already tell what kind of person she is just by listening to it. Plus, to my surprise, the version from Spirit of Justice is even better.
Overall, the tune is pretty much the same but it now incorporates 100% more electric guitars. I remember when I heard it for the first time and it kind of blew me away simply because I wasn’t expecting it. Aside from that, though, it also represents how Athena has already managed to grow as a lawyer since the previous game while keeping the same vigour of her original theme underneath it. She’s still the same happy-go-lucky girl from before, but the guitars show she’s on her way to stepping into the courtroom solo.
I’m almost mad that we only ever got to hear this track in one case because, much like Athena herself, I found myself falling in love with it very quickly and I hope we see both her character and her theme music improve in future games.