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The First Story
This article is about the episode from Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. For the evidence from the same game, see The First Story (evidence).

Hershel Layton
All that remains for us to do is to seek out the truth. Not for the sake of vengeance... but for the sake of the future.

Epilogue: The First Story is the tenth and final chapter of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.

The truth about Labyrinthia[]

Hershel Layton's star witness against Espella Cantabella was her father, the Storyteller. Although the victim in the case at hand was alive, the charge remained that Cantabella was the Great Witch Bezella, responsible for the Legendary Fire. The two Cantabellas spoke to each other for the first time in years, with the Storyteller feeling much guilt over not knowing what was happening to his daughter. Layton then had him testify on the truth behind Labyrinthia and the Story in order to provide the necessary background information for the witch trial going forward.

The Storyteller's true identity was Arthur Cantabella, president of Labrelum Inc., a global pharmaceutical company with headquarters in England. The town of Labyrinthia was a government-funded research facility, hidden from the outside world through the use of the latest technology. Because no industry was supposed to exist, commodities were regularly taken in from outside by sea. Carmine Accidenti had come across Labyrinthia while riding one of the freighters heading there.

The groundwater in Labyrinthia contained a substance that would induce a temporary condition in which the sound of pure silver being struck would cause people to fall unconscious. There was no silver in Labyrinthia, though the Shades would use silver bells to obtain the time that they needed to create spells like Goldor and Godoor. The substance also caused the wild flowers in the area to produce a substance whose vapor would cause people to become extremely susceptible to suggestion. This substance would be used as ink to write the Story, which would then be handed out to the townspeople at the parades, keeping them in a continuous hypnotic state.

The Storyteller assured Layton that everyone in Labyrinthia had signed a contract to participate in this experiment. People would gradually trickle in, wanting to forget the lives that they were living and to start anew. Since the effect was temporary, they would regain their memories and leave Labyrinthia once their contract was over. However, during their time as Labyrinthians, they would have no memory of anything outside of Labyrinthia, even of signing the contract.

The Storyteller then explained that a town had existed here before the creation of Labyrinthia. He and Newton Belduke had grown up in this town, and one day they had stumbled upon the underground ruins. They were able to decipher some of the writings and learn of the Bell of Ruin. Belduke went on to study the plants and substances around the town, while Arthur went to university to study economics and management. Belduke eventually extracted an anaesthetic from the plants, resulting in the rise of Labrelum Inc. However, the entire town was wiped out one day, and Labrelum purchased the land in order to bring Project Labyrinthia to fruition.

The townspeople had to be subjected to extreme situations in order to secure the funding from the government. The Great Witch Bezella had been created for this purpose, based on the curse described in the underground ruins. Each inhabitant would only be told that they had been born in Labyrinthia, and what occupation they held, and they would subconsciously fill in the gaps on their own. No one was supposed to have any memory beyond ten years ago. However, Espella had memories of the Legendary Fire, and Layton had her brought to the witness stand to testify. Arthur tried to prevent this from happening, but he was now powerless to do so.

Espella testified that the incident had occurred 12 years ago, during the annual fire festival. She had been watching the festival from the bell tower, when Bezella awoke within her, causing her to summon a fire dragon. Arthur insisted that the dragon summoning was impossible, so she sketched the dragon. Phoenix Wright and Layton headed to the belfry to investigate, and it turned out that the "fire dragon" was a fretwork. Espella had fallen unconscious at some point, and had woken up dazed by the smoke of the already burning town. She had seen the town through the fretwork, and the shape of the dragon had been imprinted in her memory.

Arthur again demanded an end to the trial, but Layton had other plans. He told Espella that she must have gone up to the belfry with someone else. Espella remembered it being her friend Eve, but Layton submitted the photograph that he had found in the Storyteller's room, pointing out that two pendants were needed to get to be belfry. The other girl in the photo was the owner of the other pendant. Darklaw then reappeared and confirmed that she was Espella's friend "Eve". Layton then concluded that the silver Bell of Ruin had been struck on that fateful night, causing everyone in the town to fall unconscious, leaving no one to control the bonfire.

The truth about the Legendary Fire[]

Espella Cantabella was being driven further into despair. Arthur Cantabella agreed to tell the truth about the Legendary Fire. He and Newton Belduke had taken the Bell of Ruin and placed it inside the bell tower, intending to have it rung on special occasions. They had made the bell tower contraption to limit access to the belfry, giving the pendants to their wives. Espella had wanted to ring the bell, but Arthur told her not to, telling her that Bezella would possess her if she rang the bell. Nonetheless, Espella had sneaked into the bell tower with Eve Belduke and their mothers' pendants to ring the bell.

Arthur and Newton, who had been exploring the ruins again, had returned to the town to see it burning to the ground. Only they and their daughters had survived. After that day, Espella had fallen into a catatonic state, believing that she had been possessed by Bezella. To get through to her, Arthur had written the story that Layton had found in Espella's room, convincing her that witches were real and that everything that he wrote came true. Seeing that this was working, he enlisted the Beldukes' help in acting out his stories, followed by the people involved in reconstructing the town. This eventually snowballed into Project Labyrinthia.

The bell tower had been concealed in order to protect Espella from the trauma of the fire. Eve had also been concealed, taking on the role of the first Shade, and eventually the High Inquisitor, with Espella's memory of her being suppressed. However, Newton had harbored tremendous guilt for what they were doing to the Labyrinthians. Three months ago, a lightning strike had burned off the cover of the bell tower, driving him to suicide. This was when Eve had decided to take revenge on Arthur, by altering the Story to cause Espella to remember the Legendary Fire.

To Eve's surprise, Layton was still not satisfied, and asked for her testimony on the fire. She testified that she and Espella had gone up to the belfry to ring the bell, which was done through a mechanism. She described waking up after falling unconscious, shaking Espella awake, and seeing the fire consuming the town. Eve's memory of those moments were hazy, but Arthur remembered her saying that Bezella had been summoned, and not to be angry at Espella. As Phoenix Wright continued to question Eve, Espella began to snap out of her trance, and eventually said that she was responsible for the fire. She ran into the bell tower, locking herself in.

Espella appeared on the belfry, wracked with guilt, but Layton and Wright had realized that she was not the one who had rung the bell. The dragon fretwork where she had woken up was on the opposite side of the mechanism used to ring the bell. Eve was the true culprit; confronted with the truth, she finally remembered that Espella had decided not to ring the bell, and she had done so instead. However, Espella said that it did not matter who had rung the bell, because it was because of her that Labyrinthia existed. She jumped, but Eve managed to catch her, though only barely. They were supported only by Eve's hand grasping a rotted part of the railing.

The final spell[]

The First Story
(also on the Professor Layton Wiki)
Link to the template page
Investigation team
Hershel Layton
Phoenix Wright
Other individuals
Espella Cantabella
Bell Tower
Puzzle 70: The Final Spell

The railing broke, but Hershel Layton made a pointing motion, causing them to stop. He explained that this was the final illusion, and the final spell to break it was concealed on the front cover of the Grand Grimoire. He and Phoenix Wright triumphantly yelled the incantation aloud:


Machines colored pure black littered the entire town, including one that had broken Espella Cantabella's and Eve Belduke's fall, operated by Luke Triton. One of the instructions given to the Labyrinthians was that they would be incapable of seeing pure black. The judge pronounced a not guilty verdict, stepped down from his bench, and thanked Wright and Layton. He was relieved that none of the people whom he had condemned had actually died.

Arthur Cantabella and Newton Belduke had known all along that Eve had been responsible for ringing the bell. The purpose of Labyrinthia had been to protect her as well. Although Eve and Newton had drifted apart due to the latter seemingly paying attention solely to the town, Arthur assured her that Newton had been concerned for her the whole time. Eve apologized to the Cantabellas for her actions on a simple misunderstanding, and they reconciled.

It turned out that Eve had lured Layton to Labyrinthia as part of her plans, but Wright had gotten sucked in after Espella's escape and subsequent trial. As for why Arthur had intended to end the Story, he explained that he was suffering from an incurable illness, and wanted to end the Story before he died. However, thanks to Newton's research, a cure had been developed a short while ago. He would need surgery, but would fully recover.

Project Labyrinthia was over. The townspeople were free to go, and Arthur presumed that they would all make a run for it. However, the judge disagreed, saying that some people might want to remain in the town and help rebuild it. The town would be able to write a new story, one that would be real, without any lies or illusions. Layton, Wright, Triton, and Maya Fey then left on a boat driven by Zacharias Barnham, with the townspeople bidding them farewell. The effects of the groundwater wore off, and Eve rang the Bell of Ruin, signifying the dawn of a new future.


After Project Labyrinthia was officially discontinued, the townspeople set to work rebuilding Labyrinthia. Many retained their previous jobs, whilst others gained new ones. Espella continued her work at the bakery, assisted by Eve, Arthur and Barnham. A statue of Layton and Wright was constructed. A new Historia Labyrinthia was also written, chronicling the new story the people of Labyrinthia had made for themselves.

Layton and Triton returned to Layton's office. Triton felt as if he had just read a really long story, and wished to visit Labyrinthia again sometime, albeit through normal means. Layton expressed his desire too, and suggested that Carmine Accidenti also visit; he had recovered from his injuries, although (according to Triton) he was a little annoyed that Layton had solved Labyrinthia's mystery without his aid. The professor reminded Triton that they couldn't have achieved what they did without their new friends. He then revealed that he had been asked to help investigate a new case, which would mean a new set of mysteries and puzzles for him and Triton to solve.

Wright returned to the courtroom, where he found himself against his rival, Miles Edgeworth. Edgeworth was quick to mock Wright, claiming the English weather must have gotten to him. Fey was unable to give him any ideas, aside from a wish that the professor was there to help them. She suggested his best bet would be to use "that certain spell", the one he always used to turn the tide in court and one he did not require a Talea Magica to use. Edgeworth goaded Wright further, claiming he almost missed that "spell" and demanded he use it. After some additional encouragement from Fey, Wright uttered the "incantation":

Shout igiari.xi uk


  • Phoenix Wright's ending is similar to the ending of the original release of Gyakuten Saiban for the Game Boy Advance, as opposed to the endings of all the other Ace Attorney games where Wright is the main protagonist, including the re-release of the original game, where he objects due to other characters forcing him to do something he doesn't want to (usually pay for something).
  • Getting a Game Over will result in the immediate declaration of Espella Cantabella being a witch and sentenced to burning, despite the revelation by Arthur that witches and magic are not real.
  • Luke Triton appears during the scene when Darklaw tries to save Espella, only to disappear in the following scene when they fall. He next appears in the scene following the final puzzle controlling the machine used to save the two, having seemingly been there the entire time despite what the earlier cutscene depicts.
  • This is the only trial in the series where the player can control the active prosecutor. At four points, Professor Layton must present evidence he acquired during his exploration of the Storyteller's Tower.