Athena Cykes
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For other individuals with the surname "Cykes", see Cykes (family).
Athena Cykes
I've always wanted to bring analytical psychology into the courtroom. The power of psychology will bring a breath of fresh air to the legal system.

Athena Cykes is a defense attorney in the Wright Anything Agency working under Phoenix Wright. She is a specialist in analytical psychology, which she studied in Europe, and has the special ability to pick up subtle emotions from witnesses' voices, which she can then examine using a program called the "Mood Matrix". The Mood Matrix is linked to her AI partner Widget, who hangs around her neck and changes color with her emotions.

Early life

Main articles: Turnabout for Tomorrow and UR-1 Incident

As a child.

Along with her mother, Dr. Metis Cykes, Athena lived at the Cosmos Space Center as a child. She enjoyed her time at the institution, with the employees affectionately referring to her as "princess", and she in turn viewing them as family. However, as a child she was very withdrawn, mostly due to her strengthened hearing ability being so pronounced that it gave her sensory overload when around large groups of people. Due to this, Athena often avoided others and missed many days of school. However, Athena did manage to bond with a schoolmate named Juniper Woods, who would also often miss school due to her poor health.

Athena was required to wear heavy and uncomfortable headphones as a child as part of her mother's research. For years, Athena incorrectly assumed that the headphones were amplifying her power. She hated having to wear them, and held some resentment towards her mother for making her do so. Athena felt that Metis was treating her as a guinea pig for her experiments. It would be many years until Athena found out that the headphones were actually sound-dampening and that her mother was attempting to rein in her ability so that she could have a more normal life.

Athena also grew close to the facility robots Clonco and Ponco that Metis had created, with the young Athena considering them part of her extended family. However, her sheltered upbringing left her oblivious to the finer differences between humans and robots. If one of the robots suffered from a malfunction, she would try and treat it like she would a human, by wrapping it in bandages. Conversely, when Metis would repair the robots using the disassembly table located in the robotics lab, Athena believed it would work on humans too, and often asked her mother if she could be "fixed" there when she was hurt, although her requests were always denied.

"Fixing" her mother

Standing beside her mother's corpse.

On October 7, 2020, Athena went to see her mother in the robotics lab in order to show her a drawing she had recently finished. When she arrived, however, she stumbled upon an intruder dressed in Metis's Noh mask and space center jacket, with the bloody body of her recently murdered mother beside him. In a panic, Athena grabbed a utility knife and stabbed the man in the right hand. The masked man's blood splattered onto a moon rock. The intruder retaliated by kicking her, which knocked her unconscious, before fleeing the scene. After she came to, Athena tried to wake her mother. In her childlike state of denial and still not quite understanding the difference between humans and robots, she had Ponco move Metis to the robot disassembly table, thinking the machinery would be able to "fix" her like it did the robots.

At that moment, Metis's student, prosecutor Simon Blackquill, arrived. Athena, covered in blood from the ordeal, explained to him - with a "sweet smile" and a "far-out look in her eyes," as Blackquill later recalled - what she intended to do. Blackquill, thinking that Athena had killed her own mother, used the murder weapon, Metis's katana, to forcibly dismantle Ponco, before removing Athena and the pieces of the robot from the lab. By the time Athena had returned to the Center, Blackquill had been arrested for Metis's murder.

At the witness stand during Blackquill's trial.

Blackquill's trial was held soon afterwards. Athena tried to speak out in his defense, saying that "his heart is screaming that he didn't do it," but she was ignored because no one understood what she meant. Blackquill pleaded guilty and was soon convicted, leaving Athena traumatized by the ordeal and causing her to repress many of her memories of that day. She stopped seeing Juniper Woods as well, though the two remained in touch with letters.

Once she was old enough, Athena went to Europe to study law and psychology in the hope of someday returning to free Blackquill. She took with her two gifts her mother had given her: Widget and a small piece of moon rock made into an earring.

Law career

Meeting Wright

Athena first met Phoenix Wright when he was in Europe studying their legal systems. He told her that her psychological abilities could help people, giving Athena the confidence she felt she needed to save Blackquill. Eventually, she finished her law studies and was invited to join the Wright Anything Agency.

First cases with the agency

Main article: The Monstrous Turnabout and Turnabout Reclaimed
Athena Cykes
I. Already. Told. You! I'm a lawyer assigned to the case!

Investigating Kyubi's murder.

Just prior to her arrival, the Wright Anything Agency was invited to a celebration at Nine-Tails Vale by Trucy Wright's friend, Jinxie Tenma. After the village alderman Rex Kyubi was murdered and Damian Tenma was arrested for the crime, Phoenix Wright met the newly-hired Athena at the airport. However, upon being told about the case, she immediately rushed to Nine-Tails Vale to help.

Upon arriving at the village, a police officer barred Athena's way, telling her that she should be in school, despite her insisting that she was a working defense attorney. When the officer attempted to escort her from the area, she instead threw him bodily through the air, right into an unfortunate bystander who turned out to be her new co-worker Apollo Justice. After this rather awkward introduction, the two attorneys began their investigation with the assistance of Detective Bobby Fulbright. During the subsequent trial, Athena found Simon Blackquill standing at the prosecutor's bench; despite being a convict, he was still allowed to take cases. The Mood Matrix came in handy for finding the sources of Jinxie's fear while she testified. Eventually, Athena and Justice exposed Florent L'Belle as the culprit.

Meeting Orla Shipley and Sasha Buckler.

Athena later assisted in Phoenix Wright's first case after being reinstated as an attorney, in which an orca and then her trainer were accused of killing the owner of the Shipshape Aquarium. It was during the investigation that Athena met Wright's old friend Pearl Fey for the first time.

At the helm

Main article: Turnabout Academy
Juniper Woods
Athena Cykes
Junie! It's good to hear you say that name again.

Athena's statue re-enactment.

Months later, Wright was invited to Themis Legal Academy to watch a mock trial set up as part of the school's upcoming festival. Athena and Justice joined him and headed to the school, where Athena met Juniper Woods again, who was studying the judge course at the school and serving as student council president. Only Wright had been given a seat to watch the trial, but he let Justice take it while he and Athena waited elsewhere for Constance Courte, a judicial course teacher at the academy. Although she was supposed to meet Wright before the mock trial, she never showed up. Eventually, Wright and Athena heard a noise and found Courte dead on a stage set up outside. Woods was arrested for her murder after it was found that the way in which the body had been found was almost exactly the same as in the mock trial scenario, which Woods had written.

Athena decided to take on Woods' case, helped by Justice and Klavier Gavin, Justice's old rival. Athena faced Blackquill in court, who led her on for a while as she questioned fellow student Robin Newman, another potential suspect, using the Mood Matrix to cause Newman to admit that she was a girl. Blackquill then presented an incriminating photo, effectively nullifying Athena's arguments, in an attempt to show her the cruel realities of the courtroom. Court was eventually adjourned, and Woods decided to replace Athena with Professor Aristotle Means. However, Athena continued her investigation and eventually convinced Woods to reverse her decision and admit to Athena about the suspicious actions of another student, Hugh O'Conner.

The next day, Athena determined that O'Conner was not the killer, and brought Means to the stand, as he had faked his alibi. As her cross-examination went on, Means tried to taunt and discourage her, calling her a failure who had almost raised false charges against Newman and O'Conner. Athena went into a state of emotional trauma, visualizing events from her past, but Justice and Woods encouraged her, while O'Conner and Newman reminded her that she had helped them during her cross-examinations. Blackquill also reminded Athena that she had a certain someone to save. With this, Athena snapped out of her traumatic state, rethought the facts of the case, and recreated the way in which Means had hidden the body, sealing his fate for good. After the trial, Gavin and Woods performed a version of "The Guitar's Serenade", which Athena watched with the others in the audience.

Attack on HAT-2 and Courtroom No. 4

Main articles: The Cosmic Turnabout and Turnabout Countdown

Two months later, prior to the day of the HAT-2 rocket launch at the Cosmos Space Center, Athena returned to the Center's Space Museum in order to reconnect with her past. However, her childhood experiences proved too traumatic, and she blacked out. She woke up around noon the next day, dazed and unaware of what had happened, and left the space station alone, where she was caught on camera. It turned out that, during her time spent unconscious, the launch had been sabotaged and an astronaut, Clay Terran, had been murdered.

Terran happened to be Justice's best friend from middle school, so Justice took the case of Solomon Starbuck, the other astronaut who had been with Terran and stood accused of his murder. Athena continued to hide her past and recent visit to the Space Center, not wishing to bring it up with the others. Athena was surprised to find Justice acting strangely towards her, as well as wearing a bandage over one of his eyes. Unbeknownst to her, Justice had perceived that she was hiding something about the case from him. Fearing that Athena was somehow involved in his friend's murder, he had covered his eye to suppress his ability.

Starbuck's first trial day came to a sudden end when Ted Tonate stood up to warn the court that a bomb was about to go off and ordered everyone to evacuate immediately. However, Blackquill and Justice were persistent in solving the case, and refused to leave. Athena had to resort to forcibly dragging Justice out of the courtroom in order to save him. Just before the bomb went off, Juniper Woods, who had been observing the trial from the gallery, fell and tripped. Justice shielded her from the falling rubble and was injured, while Athena and Blackquill safely left the courtroom. Woods was soon arrested as the prime suspect in the bombing.

Justice decided to take Woods' case after the bombing. However, before the trial, he fainted due to his injuries, so Athena took over for him against prosecutor Gaspen Payne. Payne's taunting eventually got to Athena, and she suffered from another flashback to her mother's murder that caused her to almost mentally shutdown in distress. Just as things looked their bleakest for Athena and Woods, Phoenix Wright arrived to take over the case, causing Athena to snap out of her traumatised state. She assisted Wright in going through Woods' testimony, and managed to undermine the prosecution's case. Court was soon adjourned for the day, so Wright, Athena, and Woods decided to check up on Justice, who was looking for more evidence in the ruins of the bombed Courtroom No. 4. However, upon entering the destroyed courtroom, they found him lying on the ground, unconscious, next to a blood-stained piece of rubble.

Athena in the courtroom ruins, wondering why Justice was shutting them out.

The following day, Payne attempted to pin Justice's assault on Woods, but Wright and Athena managed to prove that Tonate was the true culprit. Following on from that, they showed that the deceased detective found in the bombed courtroom had been killed by Tonate, due to her finding out that he had been planning to sell the HH-3000 bomb being used as evidence for the trial on the black market. After the trial was resolved and Woods found innocent, the residents of the Wright Anything Agency were shocked when Justice declared that he would be taking a leave of absence, and walked out. A confused Athena was left wondering why he was shutting them out.

Starbuck's trial was later continued in a new courtroom, with Wright proving him innocent when a piece of crucial evidence was found not to have Starbuck's fingerprints on it. However, the victory was short-lived when Detective Fulbright revealed that the fingerprints belonged to Athena. Starbuck was soon acquitted, with Athena being arrested in his place.

Accused of murder

Main article: Turnabout for Tomorrow
Athena Cykes
Of course... why didn't it ever occur to me before? If Prosecutor Blackquill is innocent, somebody else had to have been the true culprit. Did I...? Did I... kill my own mother...?

Athena Cykes's black Psyche-Locks.

Due to the crucial evidence incriminating her and the security camera footage that caught her leaving the Space Center, Athena was indicted for Terran's murder. At the detention center, she admitted to her presence at the Space Center to Wright, prompting him to continue his investigations there. However, his investigation was interrupted when the Center's robots staged a rebellion and took staff and visitors hostage, including his daughter Trucy. The hostage-taker was Aura Blackquill, Metis Cykes's former co-worker and Simon Blackquill's sister.

Aura demanded that the police hand over the "little princess" Athena, but Phoenix gave a counter-proposal: a retrial of Metis's murder case, also known as the UR-1 Incident. Aura enlisted Chief Prosecutor Miles Edgeworth to take the prosecutor's bench. Since all the other courtrooms were in use, Phoenix chose Courtroom No. 4 for the retrial. Aura then designated Athena rather than Simon as the defendant, and this left Athena in a traumatic state as she wondered if she killed her own mother. This manifested itself as five black Psyche-Locks to Phoenix with his magatama.

As the defendant, Athena could initially only watch as Phoenix undermined Aura's theory on how Simon had covered for Athena, then cross-examined Ponco. Simon then took the stand and continued to confess to the murder as he had done for seven years, but with the help of Athena's Mood Matrix, Phoenix was able to uncover the truth of what Simon had seen. Athena again went into shock, unable to comprehend the apparent revelation that she had killed her own mother. As memories returned, she confessed, remembering the blood running down her hands. Phoenix, however, used this information to show that Athena was innocent, since Metis's katana had no blood on the handle. After going over the facts of the case, Phoenix realized that Athena must have stabbed the real killer with a different weapon. This revelation finally caused Athena's black Psyche-Locks to break and allowed her to fully remember what had happened.

As the judge was about to declare Athena innocent, Apollo Justice took to the stand, accusing her of Clay Terran's murder. He admitted that he wanted to believe in Athena's innocence, but his bracelet had reacted when she had lied about not having seen the utility knife that had taken Terran's life. Phoenix pointed out that Athena had stabbed her mother's killer with an identical knife, but Justice went on to present his logic as to why only she could have killed Terran. Phoenix was able to present an alternate theory as to how someone could have committed the crime and safely escaped, and shocked both himself and the rest of the courtroom with his realization that the only other possible culprit was Detective Bobby Fulbright.

The phantom

The Wright Anything Agency was whole once again and took to the defense's bench to bring down Fulbright, whom Phoenix argued was actually an international spy known only as "the phantom", the one responsible for the courtroom bombing and the deaths of Metis and Terran. The attorneys first remembered that Fulbright had been the one who presented the evidence with Athena's fingerprints on it that had led to her arrest, and a proper analysis revealed the prints were actually Terran's. Athena used her Mood Matrix to prove that Fulbright's lack of emotion while talking bore many similarities with a psychological profile that had been made up for the phantom by her mother. Eventually, "Fulbright" was revealed to be an impostor, with the motive behind some of his crimes being to destroy the moon rock that had been stained with his blood.

To prove that the impostor was the phantom, Phoenix finally cornered him with Athena's earring, which was made of a moon rock sample from seven years ago and a geological match to the blood-stained moon rock. The phantom broke down on the stand as he was forced to confront his fear of having his identity revealed, and a hidden sniper (non-fatally) shot him. Athena returned to the defendant's stand and received her "Not Guilty" verdict. Athena would later join Phoenix and Justice in watching Starbuck's ascent into space on the HAT-3 rocket, all the while giving the astronaut encouragement.

Crisis at the Agency

Main article: The Magical Turnabout
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The following year, Trucy Wright was accused of murder when a fellow performer died during a rehearsal of one of her shows at the Penrose Theater. Athena assisted Justice once again to prove her innocence. During their investigation, they met with Ema Skye, a forensic scientist and acquaintance of Justice and Trucy, and learned that an international prosecutor from the Kingdom of Khura'in, Nahyuta Sahdmadhi, would be prosecuting the case.

A new ally

Main article: Turnabout Storyteller

A few weeks later, Athena went on to take on a last-minute case involving a murder that had occurred at a yose at Simon Blackquill's request, with Sahdmadhi once again prosecuting. This time, however, Athena took the case alone, since Justice and Trucy were performing magic at the time, and Phoenix was out of the country still, much to Blackquill's chagrin. She was defending Bucky Whet, a worker in a soba shop that Blackquill used to visit prior to his arrest, who was accused of murdering Taifu Toneido, a rakugo master.

Athena was wracked with nervousness, never having handled a case alone before. Prosecutor's Sahdmadhi's first witness was Blackquill himself, who had discovered the body along with Taifu's two students: Geiru Toneido and Uendo Toneido. Pressing all of the information out his testimony that she could, the judge ended Blackquill's cross-examination, and Sahdmadhi called Geiru to the stand. After her initial testimony and cross-examination, Blackquill joined Athena at the defense's bench as her co-counsel.

The other student, Uendo, was called to the stand. Athena figured out that, the cards that implicated Whet were actually manipulated to specifically accuse him, and she subsequently accused Uendo of it. Eventually, she and Blackquill learned of Uendo's dissociative identity disorder, and realised that the cards were moved to remove suspicion off of his fourth personality. Uendo argued that he did not have a fourth personality, but was eventually proven wrong by Athena and Blackquill, by proving that, if Uendo's former three personalities was unavailable, then the fourth must come out, citing the alcohol contained in the manju as a reason why Uendo would pass out, deducing that the fourth personality might have killed the victim. With this in mind, Blackquill then sent Taka to obtain the manju.

Taka returned, and, upon eating the manju, Uendo staggered, and passed out, and his fourth personality came out, a young child with the name Owen. Owen testified, and Athena learned that the victim fought back, slicing his attacker, but Prosecutor Sahdmadhi countered, reminding the court that Whet has a bandaged wound above his eye. Athena was stunned, not sure how to proceed from that, but Blackquill pulled her aside, telling her that, even if the odds are against her, she has to go on. Filled with newfound vigour and confidence, she continues with her therapy of Owen, learning that, before he passed out, he smelt his favourite perfume. With this new information, she accused Geiru of the murder.

Geiru was brought back to the stand to hear the accusation. Blackquill, using his iaijutsu to deflate her balloon, proved that Geiru had a head wound she was hiding with her wig. With this in mind, Athena strengthened her accusation of Geiru, proving that the murder weapon wasn't the soba dough like they all thought, but rather, udon dough, completely bypassing Geiru's soba allergy. Geiru, found out and unable to fight back, soon broke down and confessed to the crime.

Trip to the Kingdom of Khura'in

Main article: Turnabout Revolution

Three days later, Phoenix Wright was returning from the Kingdom of Khura'in and she was waiting at the airport to meet him while Justice and Trucy stayed behind, however, she ended up going to the wrong airport and fell asleep. As they returned, she joined Justice against Phoenix and Trucy during a civil dispute over evidence. Afterwards she travelled to Khura'in with Justice, Phoenix, and Edgeworth to investigate, but, before the trial there, she was told to stay behind so she wouldn't get hurt, and she was also (perhaps jokingly) told that Blackquill would use him for sword practice should anything happen to her. At the resolution of the trial, Justice chose to stay behind in order to help rebuild Khura'in's legal system. Upon the rest of the group's return to the United States, Trucy, now in need of a new magician's assistant, set her sights on Athena, much to the latter's dismay.


Athena Cykes in 2027.

Athena has strong emotions and a powerful drive to win, which can sometimes cause her to be reckless. Widget occasionally picks up on her emotions and blurts out what she's really thinking, much to her chagrin. She likes orange juice after a good workout and gratuitously peppers her speech with French, German, Spanish and Italian, languages that she apparently picked up while studying in Europe. Athena seems to have a habit of getting lost easily and falling asleep just about anywhere all the time. In court, she uses Widget's holographic capabilities extensively; whereas her co-workers bring hard copies of notes and evidence to read and reference, Athena prefers to store and retrieve the information digitally inside Widget.

Beneath her external cheerfulness was a deep-seated childhood trauma that threatened to overpower her during two of her trials. Although she would sometimes put on a brave face, Widget's expression would give an insight into her true feelings. When she was extensively ignored in court, especially when the case was going very badly for her, Athena would be reminded of her mother's murder and being ignored during Simon Blackquill's trial, causing her to shut down. In this state, her eyes would become blank, while Widget would go black to mirror Athena's emotional state. After the retrial of UR-1, she starts to move on from her past trauma, no longer shutting down completely when things start to go bad for her, however, she does start doubting herself, needing others to pull her out.


  • Her family name in the Japanese version is "Kizuki", which consists of kanji that can mean "rare/hope" (希) and "month/moon" (月). This can make the surname mean "rare moon", "rare month", "moon of hope", or "month of hope"; the names "rare moon" and "moon of hope" make sense with the events of Turnabout for Tomorrow, since Athena's moon rock earring was a key piece of evidence in convicting Metis's murderer. The family name also sounds similar to "kitzuki" (気付き), which means "to notice", referring to Athena's ability to notice subtle emotions from people's voices.
  • Her Japanese given name "Kokone" consists of kanji that can mean "heart/soul/mind/emotion/sincerity/sympathy/answer [to a riddle]" (心) and "sound" (音). Combined, they mean "[the sound of one's] heartbeat".
  • Her full Japanese name could roughly mean "a heartbeat once in a blue moon". This may be a reference to the "heart scope" (ココ口スコープ "kokoro sukōpu"), the Japanese name for the Mood Matrix. Alternatively, combining the "to notice" and "mind/heart" meanings of her surname could mean "read someone's heart/mind".
  • Her English given name "Athena" comes from Athena, the goddess of (amongst other things) wisdom, courage, inspiration, law and justice, strategy, and skill in Greek mythology. This is likely meant to link her name with the given names of both Apollo Justice (named after the Greek god of the same name) and Phoenix Wright (whose first name originates from mythology).
  • "Cykes" may be a play on "psychology" or "psyched". This surname was misspelled as "Sykes" twice in a "fact sheet" for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies ahead of E3 2013 and once in the "More Info" section of the game in the Nintendo eShop.[2]


  • The main clothing color themes of Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice, and Athena Cykes are the three primary colors in the RYB color model.
  • Athena Cykes and Simon Blackquill are the only characters in the series to date to have two desk slam variants.
  • She is the only character to date to use electronic technology to amplify her special ability. In contrast, Apollo Justice uses a special bracelet to augment his ability.
  • Athena Cykes bears a passing resemblance to the character of Lynne from Shu Takumi's 2010 game Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective in terms of design and personality.
  • Athena Cykes and Kristoph Gavin are the only two characters to date to have black Psyche-Locks. Incidentally, both characters are defense attorneys.
  • The design of her bangs (particularly the sheen in this part of her hair) resembles a heartbeat reading in electrocardiography. If intentional, this may be a reference to her ability to listen to the "hearts" of other people.
  • Of the three protagonists in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, Athena is the only one to be part of the defense team in all episodes.


  1. Perfectly Nintendo. (2016-04-28). "Ace Attorney 6 (3DS) - Gameplay Footage (29.04.2016)". YouTube. Retrieved on 2016-04-30.
  2. Jay Mysterio. "PW:AA-DD at E3 - more English names confirmed" Court Records. Retrieved on 2013-06-06.
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