|“||I just... I just... I just couldn't up and leave, yet...||„|
|“||No... I am nothing but a murderer. That's who I am.||„|
|~ Acro's sad and tearful confession|
Ken "Acro" Dingling was a witness in the murder of ringmaster Russell Berry in the Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney: Justice for All case, Turnabout Big Top.
Role in the game
A mortal prank
Both Acro and his brother had abusive parents that abandoned them due to monetary concerns. In that moment, Russell Berry offered them a place in the Berry Big Circus as acrobats and took care of them ever since. But it all began with the relationship between Acro's brother, Sean "Bat" Dingling, and the ringmaster's daughter, Regina, the animal tamer. One day, Bat decided to pull a prank on Regina by spraying pepper in her nose to make her sneeze. The naïve animal tamer then decided to pull a prank on Bat through the same way by giving him a scarf full of pepper and daring him to put his own head through her lion, Léon's mouth. While Bat did so, the pepper forced the lion to sneeze, thus closing his fanged mouth while Bat's head was still inside of it. Acro tried to fight the lion to save his brother, to no avail. As a result, Bat was thrown into a coma, and Acro's nerves were severely damaged, thus forcing him to remain on a wheelchair. Another consequence was a terrible revenge Acro started to build up inside, swearing to avenge his brother and kill Regina.
Murder plot and arrest
Six months later, Regina and her father found a letter entitled "To the Murderer" in the circus' cafeteria. Regina simply shrugged it off, but Mr. Berry feared for his daughter, and disguised as the circus' magician, Max Galactica, he went through the snow (unknowingly being watched by Benjamin Woodman and his puppet) and stood in his daughter's place. In that moment, unaware it was the one who saved his life on the spot, Acro released a bust of Galactica on his head, causing the cape he was wearing to snag on the bust while Acro pulled it upwards, confusing Moe the Clown, who witnessed the crime form his window. During the investigation, Acro thought of the possibility of one finding the bust, so he hid it under his wheelchair when Franziska von Karma interrogated him. However, even though he tried hard to hide his tracks, Phoenix Wright revealed his plot and unmasked him, but unlike other criminals, Acro openly confessed to his crime, claiming to be nothing but a murderer and asked for Max to forgive him for incriminating him.
While still smiling, he opens his eyes and tears stream down his face.
Acro is cheerful and calm, never hesitating to smile when the situation favors him. He is so calm that he is constantly seen with birds flying around him, even though they fly away when he turns stern. Acro is also known to be the only murderer in the series to openly confess to his crimes.
- Combining Acro and Bat's names, it forms the word "acrobat".
- "Dingling" is a combination of the Ringling Bros. Circus with "dangling", in reference to his acrobatic skills.
- "Kinoshita" (木下) might be a nod to the Kinoshita Dai Circus, a famous Japanese circus.
- 1 Acro in the Ace Attorney Wikia
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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice