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Turnabout Beginnings

Diego Armando
A lawyer is someone who smiles no matter how bad it gets.

Episode 4: Turnabout Beginnings is the fourth and penultimate episode in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations. It is trial-only and contains no investigation sections, something otherwise reserved for introductory episodes in the trilogy. Chronologically the first playable case in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, it marks the courtroom debuts of defense attorney Mia Fey and prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, and takes place one year prior to Turnabout Memories. A death row inmate and prison escapee is suspected of murdering the policewoman whose testimony put him on death row five years prior on a bridge, and it is up to Mia Fey to defend him. She is assisted by a coffee loving man who is strikingly familiar to the enigmatic prosecutor Godot from the game's previous two episodes.


The Staged Fake Kidnapping (2)

The confrontation on the bridge.

A scene of a confrontation between a man and a woman on a large rope bridge across a raging river is played out. The man is shown gripping onto a young girl threatening to kill her while the woman is holding a gun pointed at him. The sound of a gunshot is then heard followed by the silhouette of somebody falling down into the river...

Phoenix Wright is then shown in a hospital bedroom, reading an old case file: the very first case of his mentor Mia Fey. Her very first client was an escaped death-row convict named Terry Fawles, charged with the murder of a policewoman, Valerie Hawthorne.


Former session[]

In the defendant lobby, Mia Fey was very nervous. She met with her client Terry Fawles, who insisted that he was innocent. He had been convicted and sentenced to death five years ago for kidnapping and murder. Two days previously, he had escaped from a police van when it had crashed. In the interval of the eight hours that it had taken to recapture him, a policewoman had been murdered. Fawles admitted that she was the reason he had escaped and that he had met with her on that day. However, Fawles told Fey that when he left, she had still been alive. Then, Diego Armando, a lawyer who worked alongside Fey, interrupted. Fey was surprised when he informed her that he would be her co-counsel for the trial as she had expected to see her boss Marvin Grossberg instead. Fey then reflected on her motivation for accepting this case; although every other lawyer refused to take on Fawles' case, Fey decided to accept the challenge, believing that her client was truly innocent of the crime of which he had been accused.

The prosecuting attorney turned out to be Miles Edgeworth, also in his first court trial. In his opening statement, he explained to the court about Fawles's first conviction; he had been sentenced to death for kidnapping, extortion and murder. His victim had only been fourteen years of age and he had murdered her by tossing her, over the side of Dusky Bridge, into Eagle River.

The subsequent trial had been very long due to a total lack of decisive evidence, and the case had eventually reached its conclusion through the testimony of an eyewitness, Detective Valerie Hawthorne, who had captured and arrested him and who was also the victim in the current murder trial. Since her testimony had ultimately decided Fawles' fate, the motive for her murder appeared to be revenge. The judge was then ready to declare a verdict almost immediately but was interrupted by Fey, who demanded to hear more testimony.

Detective Dick Gumshoe was called to the stand. He explained that he was the homicide detective in charge of the case, having managed to secure a promotion to the detective division half a year ago. He revealed that Hawthorne had been stabbed in the back with a knife, with the cause of death being excessive blood loss. The scene of the crime was Dusky Bridge, where Fawles had arranged to meet his victim. After he had stabbed her, he had placed her body into the trunk of his car, where it had been discovered after his recapture.

Additionally, it was mentioned that Hawthorne had been wearing a thick coat, so no actual blood had been found on the bridge itself. The judge at this point declared that since no blood was found on the bridge, it could not have been proven that they had met there. However, Edgeworth responded that they had indeed met there and that further testimony would be able to prove that fact. The judge then ordered Gumshoe to proceed with his testimony.

Gumshoe's testimony stated that on the day of the incident, Fawles had phoned Hawthorne and asked to meet at Dusky Bridge. This could be proven by the fact that she had left a note on her desk mentioning Fawles, 4:30PM, a meeting, wearing a white scarf for identification, and "that" bridge. Gumshoe and Edgeworth reasoned that Dusky Bridge held a special significance for Fawles, being the same bridge in which his first crime had occurred, which is why he had arranged to meet there.

Valerie in the Trunk

The crime photo.

Gumshoe then went on to explain that Fawles had stolen a car from a young couple that had been waiting at a red light before the meeting; he had used it both to travel to, and to make his escape from, Dusky Bridge. After murdering Hawthorne, he had used the trunk in order to hide her body. A photograph of the opened trunk was then presented to the court, showing Hawthorne's corpse inside. The knife used in the murder had been discovered still in her back, but this could not be seen from the photograph as it only revealed the front of her body. Fey reasoned that Fawles had asked Hawthorne to wear a white scarf for identification as, over the five years, he had been incarcerated and had forgotten what she looked like. She also noticed that in the crime photo, this scarf was nowhere to be seen and questioned Gumshoe over the fact that it was never found. However, Edgeworth was already a step ahead; he had found the scarf, covered in mud, during his investigation at the bridge and used this opportunity to present it into evidence. Although the scarf was not exactly white as Fawles had wanted, it was most likely close enough for the purposes of identification. Edgeworth then pressed his advantage by stating that he could prove, with evidence, that Fawles and Hawthorne had met on Dusky Bridge, and that in addition he could prove exactly what had occurred during and after their meeting.

Meeting on the Bridge

The witness's photo.

Gumshoe's next testimony revealed the existence of an actual eyewitness to the events. Surprised, the judge inquired further as to why the witness was not present in the courtroom. Gumshoe replied that the person had declined to testify in court. However, the witness had stated that Fawles had pushed the victim hard in the back and that she had fallen down on her stomach. In addition, the witness had taken a photograph, showing Hawthorne wearing the scarf, standing face to face with Fawles, and this was presented into the court record. Gumshoe went on to mention that due to a light drizzle that had occurred on that day, it was not exactly clear to see what events were transpiring, but that it could be proven that the two had met and that Hawthorne had been wearing a scarf at the time. Edgeworth used the photo to declare that in addition to having a motive, Fawles now had an opportunity to have carried out the crime. The scarf, Gumshoe reasoned, had not been found on her body as it had fallen off when she had been pushed down. However, Fey argued that this was impossible; if Hawthorne had been pushed down from behind, the front of her coat would have been covered in mud, but the crime scene photo clearly showed otherwise. Edgeworth countered this argument immediately, asking if Fey could prove that the surface of the bridge itself had been muddy. Fey, in response, produced the muddy scarf — its muddy condition alone proved that the surface of the bridge had indeed been muddy. Edgeworth finally admitted that there was a contradiction between the state of the scarf and that of the coat, but he insisted that there was a logical explanation for this. Armando chipped in at this point. He stated that, no matter what, a contradiction always had its basis in a lie. There were only three possible answers for the lie: the corpse found in the trunk, the witness's photo or the witness's testimony that stated that she had seen Fawles push Hawthorne onto her stomach. Fey began to understand what Armando was saying and declared to the court that the witness and her statement were very suspicious. The testimony received from the witness thus far was vague and contradictory and so Fey demanded a chance to cross-examine the witness herself. The judge agreed with her views and so Edgeworth summoned the witness, a woman named Melissa Foster, to the stand.

Foster claimed she had been at the river taking photographs of wildflowers when she had happened to see Fawles and Hawthorne standing on the bridge. They had suddenly started to fight and that was when she had taken the photograph before going to phone the police. Fey immediately saw the flaw in her testimony; the photo she had taken only showed Fawles and Hawthorne facing each other, not fighting. Foster then claimed that although she had seen the fighting, her camera had run out of film before being able to take a picture; the last picture taken was the photo in the court record. Edgeworth stated that he had already checked the camera and verified this claim; all of the photos before the one admitted into evidence were simply shots of Foster amongst the flowers. Fey wondered who had actually captured the photos of Foster, and Foster responded that her camera contained an automatic timer that she could set.

Eagle River Map

The map of Dusky Bridge.

The judge ordered the testimony to continue and Foster testified that after the initial fight, Hawthorne had turned to run but she had been chased down and stabbed after running about ten yards. Fey raised another objection by showing the court the map of Dusky Bridge and the photo of the meeting that took place. It was impossible for Hawthorne to have turned around and run because the bridge had been collapsed on the end at which Hawthorne had been standing. However, Edgeworth informed the court that the map had been created after the incident. The bridge was very old and the damage to the bridge could quite possibly have occurred after Fawles had carried out the murder; the bridge might not have been broken at that time. Foster's photo was also inconclusive in showing the state of the bridge, and so it was impossible for Fey to prove Foster wrong. Foster continued that after the stabbing, Fawles had picked up the body and carried it to his car, presumably to cover up his crime. Fey argued that there was a much easier way to dispose of the body that Fawles had already allegedly used once before: by tossing it into the river. There was no need for the killer to move the body by car. Edgeworth replied that the body had been found in the trunk of the car nonetheless, which correlated with Foster's testimony.

Next, Foster testified that Fawles had broken into the stolen car's trunk and hidden the body inside. Fey saw multiple discrepancies in her statement. From where Foster had claimed to be standing, she could never have been able to see the car; a high outcropping of rock was directly in her line of sight, which the diagram and the photo of Fawles with the victim clearly showed. Edgeworth attempted to attribute her error to a lapse in memory and that perhaps she had seen the report of the incident on the news, which Foster claimed was true. The judge agreed; at this moment, however, Armando asked Foster how she knew that the car trunk had been broken into; this was definitely not a fact that had been reported on the news. Her reply was that she had seen the scratch marks on the trunk's lock. Rechecking the photo of the corpse, the judge did indeed notice the scratch marks mentioned, but Fey easily countered this. If she had not been able to see the car from where she had been standing, then there would have been no other opportunities for her to see scratch marks on the lock of the trunk, unless she had actually placed the body into the trunk. Fey pushed on with her theory: Foster was the real murderer; she had forced the trunk open in order to hide the body within. Since the car had been stolen while it was at a red light, Fawles already had had possession of the keys; there would not have been a need for him to have broken into the trunk. Edgeworth then reminded Fey that at the time of the incident, Foster had been taking photos; it would not have been possible for her to commit any murder. Fey, however, reminded the court that the camera had a timer; it could easily have been set up to take the photo of Fawles and Hawthorne without her physically being there. Edgeworth asked whether Fey was implying that Foster had not been where she stated she had been. Fey replied in the affirmative and, using the diagram of the bridge, theorized that the Valerie Hawthorne who had met with Fawles was really Melissa Foster.

Fey pressed on and stated that Foster had already killed Hawthorne by the time Fawles had shown up. Foster had then proceeded to disguise herself as Hawthorne and met with Fawles. As proven earlier by the scarf, Fawles had forgotten Hawthorne's appearance and had asked her to use it for identification; Fawles had asked her to wear it specifically. From the shock of these allegations, Foster proceeded to pass out. As Fey and Armando were pondering a possible motive for Foster to carry out the murder, the judge decided to call a recess and instructed both defense and prosecution to wait in the lobby until Foster had recovered.

Latter session[]

In the defendant lobby, Fey met her client again. She was now confident that she could prove that Foster was the real killer. However, Fey still lacked a solid motive and Armando suggested that they try to find out more about Foster herself as well as the incident that Fawles was involved in five years ago. Proceeding to question Fawles, Fey learned that the girl he had kidnapped five years earlier had been his girlfriend, Dahlia Hawthorne, who was also Valerie's little sister. Additionally, the kidnapping had not actually been a real kidnapping at all; it had been planned from the start. Dahlia and Valerie were both daughters to a rich jeweler. They and Fawles had come up with a plan: Fawles would pretend to kidnap Dahlia and demand a $2 million diamond as ransom. The exchange would take place on Dusky Bridge with Valerie handing over the diamond. After the handover, the three were to split the money.

However, at Dusky Bridge, Valerie had betrayed Fawles by shooting him in the arm. Dahlia had proceeded to jump into the river, and then Fawles had blacked out; when he had come to, he had been surrounded by police officers. Fawles had eventually been tried and convicted of the murder of Dahlia Hawthorne and Valerie had testified against him in court.

For five years, he had wondered why Valerie had lied and betrayed him. When he had found a chance to escape, the only thought on his mind had been to find out why he had been betrayed. This was why he had called her and asked to meet in order to discover the truth, but he had forgotten what she looked like, hence the request that she wear the scarf.

Armando then proceeded to ask what had happened to the diamond. Fawles responded that he did not know; it had been in Dahlia's backpack and she had jumped into the river. Neither her body nor the diamond had ever been recovered.

When court was called back into session, Edgeworth insisted that Foster was an innocent bystander who had only happened to witness the crime. He challenged Fey to present a motive for wanting Hawthorne dead. Before Fey had the chance to say anything, Foster interrupted and asked to testify further. She claimed that she had been out of the country until two years ago and that she had never been to Eagle Mountain up until she entered college, so it was impossible for her to have known Valerie Hawthorne or Terry Fawles. She was also thankful that she had not been wearing a white scarf on the day of the murder, or she may have been murdered instead. At this, Fey presented Foster's photo and the muddy scarf. The scarf was not white at all, so it was surprising that Foster had mentioned the color white. Fey then proceeded to produce the note that Hawthorne had written concerning the details of her meeting with Fawles. She concluded that even though the note was considered top secret evidence and that its contents had not been publicly disclosed, Foster had known exactly what the note had said. Pressing forward, Fey declared that two of the three people outside of the investigation who knew the note's contents — Fawles and Valerie Hawthorne — had been accounted for. However, one person had not: the person identified in the note as Dahlia. Edgeworth commented that Fey was becoming desperate, that Terry Fawles had murdered Dahlia Hawthorne five years ago, but Fey was undeterred; she declared that Dahlia Hawthorne was not dead at all but had simply assumed a new identity: Melissa Foster. Edgeworth, however, revealed that he had known from the start about Foster's true identity but had chosen not to reveal it because he had decided that it was irrelevant to the case. Fey, with some help from Armando, argued that this revelation was extremely important as it helped to prove Dahlia's motive. She then produced the note that Valerie had written. She had planned to tell everyone the truth about what had really happened on the bridge five years ago. In order to prevent this, Dahlia had felt she had no option other than to murder her sister. Fey then demanded that Hawthorne testify about the incident five years ago; this would surely show the court the secret that was worth killing for.

Dahlia testified that Fawles had pushed her from behind into the river, but Fey argued that this was impossible; if he had really pushed her as she claimed, she would have landed onto the bedrock and died. Edgeworth suggested that the water level may have been higher back then but Fey countered immediately that the distance between the bridge and river below was forty feet, which meant that a relatively small change in the water level would have made no difference.

At this point, Edgeworth again suggested an alternative explanation: Dahlia had fallen from the side of the bridge rather than the back end. However, Fey was full of confidence now and declared that this also would have been impossible. The photo taken by Dahlia showed that the bridge was supported by five foot high wires on both sides of the bridge. Fawles also could not have picked Dahlia up and thrown her off the side off the bridge; he had been shot in the right arm and a gun had been trained on him at point blank range. Fey concluded that Dahlia had leaped off the bridge intentionally, determined to keep all the money from the ransom diamond for herself.

However, it was not only Dahlia who had changed the plan; her sister had also been involved. However, Valerie had lived with the guilt of condemning an innocent man to death for a crime he had not committed, for five years. She had intended to finally tell the truth, and that had motivated Dahlia to murder her, to silence her forever.

Dahlia then spoke up asking if there was any proof for the claims that Fey had made. Fey knew that without the diamond, it would have been impossible to prove, but after a suggestion by Armando, she realized that there was still a chance to save her case using testimony from the only other person involved with Valerie's death and the kidnapping five years earlier: Terry Fawles.

Once on the stand, Fawles still did not believe that Dahlia was alive. He was convinced that it was Valerie who had betrayed him. The judge only had a single question for him: was it Valerie or Dahlia that he had met at the bridge? However, Fawles seemed not to be listening to the judge and his concentration was focused entirely on Dahlia. He asked if Dahlia had betrayed him but Dahlia replied that that was something that he should never have needed to ask. She finished by stating that her life was in his hands. The judge again asked him to testify but Fawles asked for some water before doing so. Having no water, Armando offered him some coffee instead.

Fawles testified that it was Valerie, not Dahlia, that he had met on the bridge; he was determined to protect Dahlia. He also claimed to have arrived first but Fey exposed this as a lie, citing the bridge photo as proof. The person who had arrived first was at the end of the bridge and this was not Fawles. Fawles then admitted that he had arrived first but had left the scene for a while before the meeting, in order to retrieve a precious pendant necklace with a bottle near a temple 15 minutes away. Fawles had buried the pendant there five years ago when he and Dahlia had sworn they would love each other until death and never betray each other. Fey concluded that the 30-minute time gap would have been enough time for Dahlia to kill Valerie and hide the body in the trunk.

At this point, Fawles began to cough up blood. He began to explain that as a part of the promise they had made, he and Dahlia had agreed that if one ever lost faith in the other, that person would have to drink the poison in the bottle in the pendant and face death. He admitted that his faith in Dahlia had wavered, and so he had drunk the poison from the pendant. Edgeworth demanded that the trial be stopped, but it was too late. Thanking Armando for the coffee, Fawles slumped over the witness stand, dead, as Mia screamed at him to wake up while medics rushed into the courtroom, while Dahlia smiled.

Fey recounted that her first trial had ended so suddenly and so tragically. It seemed to her that a wound had been cut so deep not only into her own soul but also into that of the young prosecutor, a wound so deep that it would never heal.

Only one person had managed to leave the courtroom with a secret smile on her face: Dahlia Hawthorne.

Armando, who throughout the trial had been calm and collected, spoke up. Despite the calm demeanor he had on, his words echoed anger and fury. Fey blamed herself for the outcome and broke down into tears. Armando told her that she could not cry yet. Gripping his coffee mug so hard that it shattered and cut his hand, he said:

Diego Armando
The only time a lawyer can cry is when it's all over.


Hospital Nick

Wright reading about the case.

After going through the record of Fawles' trial, Phoenix Wright commented that no matter how tough the case, how bitter the memories, over time they would always fade until they were filed away and forgotten.

He recalled that one year after that case, he too had encountered Dahlia Hawthorne and it had only been then that she had paid for her crimes. Dahlia had also smiled a perfectly angelic smile when she had been convicted. It had been five years since his encounter with Dahlia but something had happened recently that had made him remember back to that event. He had thought back then that it was all over, but he could not have been more wrong.


Shu Takumi
There's no meaning to an idea like this if people aren't going to enjoy it. And episode 2 and 3 were stories about Naruhodō's exploits in the "present." It'd seem like I was making things difficult on purpose. As I thought about this, I felt like I had dirtied my hands with a terrible crime. No, no, crime is bad! I needed to escape from this life of crime and have a clean life! No, no, wait a second. Only my hands were dirtied, so I only needed to clean my hands. My thoughts went round and round, and I myself didn't know what I was thinking anymore. And that is how I seriously started considering bringing this story up to the front.
  • As soon as it was decided that Mia Fey would star in the first episode, it was also decided that she would star in another. However, once the overall storyline of Trials and Tribulations was fleshed out, Shu Takumi considered making Beginnings the first episode, in order to keep things in chronological order and avoid confusion. He felt that Beginnings as a first episode would need a hook similar to Memories having a younger Phoenix Wright as the defendant, and came up with the idea of Miles Edgeworth being the prosecutor. Ultimately, he ended up sticking with the original episode order.[1]
  • Although it is not explicitly stated that Mia Fey won all of her completed trials, Takumi at least considered this to be true when considering how the trial would be resolved. A trial in which both sides would go on to undefeated careers could only end in one way.[1]
  • In this episode, many of young Edgeworth's animations closely resemble those of his mentor Manfred von Karma, as seen in Turnabout Goodbyes. Additionally, the suit Edgeworth wears also resembles von Karma's own.

Anime changes[]

Main articles: Turnabout Beginnings - 1st Trial and Last Trial
  • Phoenix Wright was not shown watching the case in the hospital at the beginning of the episode, only at the end.
  • The testimony where Dahlia mentioned the car or its scratches was removed.
  • The photo of Valerie's corpse was in a different position, exposing the knife.
  • The judge does not mention that the trial where Terry Fawles was originally arrested was long and protracted.
  • Fawles falls backwards from the stand before he finishes talking. Mia holds him in her arms and after Armando comes over, Fawles thanks him for the coffee and dies.


  • The Dahlia Hawthorne black-silhouette profile that falsely lists her as being deceased for five years and her pseudonymous profile of "Melissa Foster" are both kept in the court record for the entirety of the episode, even after it is revealed that they are the same person.
  • Of the characters affiliated with this case, only four are still alive by the end of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations; Mia Fey, Dahlia Hawthorne, Valerie Hawthorne, and Terry Fawles are all deceased. Only Miles Edgeworth, Diego Armando, Detective Gumshoe and the presiding judge survive.
  • This is one of only two episodes in the Ace Attorney main series in which Phoenix Wright does not appear as an animated sprite or model, the other one being Turnabout Storyteller, in which Wright is entirely absent.
  • This is also the only episode in the original trilogy not to feature Phoenix Wright in a major role.
  • This is the only episode in the original trilogy in which the most frequently seen judge does not appear. This would not occur again in the Ace Attorney main series until The Foreign Turnabout.
  • This is one of two non-introductory episodes in the Ace Attorney series to have no investigation chapters, the other one being Turnabout Storyteller.
  • In-game, when a character is speaking, the noise used as the text appears on the screen usually differs depending on the gender of the speaker; deeper if male and higher pitched if female. When Diego Armando says that the defense is going to present its final evidence, he uses the female pitch. Although it is possible this was done intentionally to indicate that he was mimicking Fey, her lack of a reaction seems to disprove this.
  • This episode is the only one in the main series that does not end in a verdict given to a defendant. Nonetheless, similar situations occur in Turnabout Succession, in which the trial in the past does not result in a verdict, and The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band, which does not contain a trial at all and is outside the main series.
  • This is the first case in the series where there is a murder weapon, but it's not submitted as evidence in the court record.
  • Turnabout Beginnings is the first episode and one of the two episodes in the Ace Attorney main series in which a "Victory!" music track does not play, the other being The Cosmic Turnabout.

Other languages[]

  • Chinese - 初始的逆轉 (Chūshǐ ·de Nìzhuǎn; lit. "Turnabout of the Beginning")
  • Portuguese - Primórdios da Reviravolta (lit. "Beginnings of the Turnabout")