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Turnabout Memories
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Phoenix Wright
...Five long years... Something has happened that's made me think back to her words of wisdom... But that is a story for another day...

Episode 1: Turnabout Memories is the first episode of the video game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations. The player assumes the role of Mia Fey in her second court trial, set to defend Phoenix Wright, an art student in Ivy University, from the charge of murdering Doug Swallow. Dahlia Hawthorne debuts in this case, as well as the chronological debut of Wright. Like all first cases in the series to date, there is no investigation stage, only a court trial. It takes place about four and a half years prior to the following episode, The Stolen Turnabout.

A body discovered[]

Phoenix Wright
Why did I do that...?

Two young men were arguing about a woman, one warning the other that she was bad news. A confrontation of some sort occurred, and later on, the latter was discovered standing over the former, who had been killed. This soon-accused man was Phoenix Wright.


First session[]

Mia Fey was quite nervous about this case. This was her second time in court, the first occurring a year before and resulting in a traumatic experience for her. Originally, Marvin Grossberg was to handle this trial, but at Fey's insistence, he handed the case to her and would act as her co-counsel in court. Fey also met her client, Phoenix Wright, who had a cold that made him sneeze constantly, so he had to wear a mask. Fey decided to pull herself together for her client's sake; she was not the one facing a murder conviction.

The prosecuting attorney for this trial was Winston Payne, the "Rookie Killer" (He was much more confident than he would become by the time Phoenix Wright became a lawyer, and he also had a full head of hair.). He gave his opening statement: The victim in this trial, a student named Doug Swallow, had been electrocuted. His body had been found face down on the ground underneath a snapped power line with a broken umbrella next to him. The defendant, Wright, had been spotted fleeing the scene. His motive appeared to have been jealousy, as his girlfriend, Dahlia Hawthorne, was seeing Swallow up until eight months before the murder.

Wright was called to take the stand. He testified that he hardly knew the "stuck-up British wannabe" and had only coincidentally stumbled upon the scene and found the body. Grossberg reminded Fey about how to press statements and how to present evidence contradicting the witness's statement, and then Fey found a contradiction: Wright would not have called Swallow a "British wannabe" had he not seen the Union Jack on the back of Swallow's shirt, which was under his jacket. At this, Wright admitted that he was lying, afraid of convicting himself if he told the truth.


The crime scene.


Swallow's watch.

Payne went on to ask about any medication that Wright was taking for his cold, to which Wright replied that he had been taking a brand of cold medicine named "Coldkiller X", which he had misplaced somewhere. Payne admitted a photo of Doug's lifeless hand clutching onto a bottle of the same medicine that had Wright's fingerprints all over it. The photo also showed Swallow's watch, which had stopped when Swallow was electrocuted. Wright admitted that the medication was most likely his, but he testified that it had gone missing earlier, around the time that he had lunch with his "Dollie", which referred to Hawthorne. He also testified that he had indeed met the victim before the time of the murder to talk at Swallow's request.

At this point, the judge asked what caused Swallow's death; Fey replied that he had been electrocuted by a severed high voltage electrical cable. Payne then revealed that, in addition to the fingerprints found on the Coldkiller X bottle, Wright's palm print was also found on the chest area of Swallow's leather jacket; Payne concluded that Wright pushed Swallow into the cable, electrocuting him. The Judge was now ready to declare a guilty verdict, but Fey could feel that Wright was hiding something and begged him to trust her enough to tell the truth. Wright was hesitant at first, but amazed at Fey's faith in him. He relented and finally told the court the truth: he had indeed pushed Doug but there had been no severed electrical cables in the area at that time. He said that he had also heard a loud noise, from which Fey unearthed an important fact: Swallow had landed on top of the umbrella he had been carrying, breaking it and causing the noise. However, the crime scene photo showed the umbrella to the side of the body, instead of underneath. Fey used this fact to conclude that Swallow had survived the push and had presumably gotten up after the fall.

The judge called a recess. In the defendant lobby, Wright apologized for not stating the entire truth, but he was now convinced that he would be acquitted, as the next witness was Hawthorne, the "love of [his] life". Fey inquired as to their relationship and Wright explained that they had met eight months ago in the District Court and he believed that fate had brought them together. Hawthorne had even given him a pendant with a bottle as a symbol of their love. Fey then asked if the exact date of their meeting was August 27th and Wright's reply was amazed and affirmative. He also commented that Hawthorne would ask Wright to return the pendant whenever they met. Fey then produced a newspaper clipping about the events of a murder that had been committed in the courthouse on that very same day. Grossberg seemed to understand now why Fey was so insistent on taking up Wright's case, and in order to aid her further, he offered to see what else he could discover about the events of that murder.

Second session[]


Fey's opinion of Hawthorne.

Court was then called back into session, with Hawthorne brought to the stand. Her innocent demeanor immediately seduced the judge and Payne. She testified that she had seen the crime but that Swallow had simply collapsed; no one had pushed him. Fey knew that this testimony implied that Wright had lied, which she would not accept. She accused Hawthorne of lying and Hawthorne responded that Fey had not changed; Fey cryptically informed Payne that they had met once before.

Fey then reminded the court that the palm print on Swallow's jacket was proof that Wright had pushed Swallow. This took Hawthorne aback, but she continued on with her testimony, claiming that she had not seen the actual push and that she had not heard any noise; upon Fey's objection, she explained that she had been wearing headphones at the time of the incident in order to drown out the sound of thunder, of which she had been frightened. Fey then suggested that Swallow had been electrocuted by a bolt of lightning rather than the severed cable. However, Payne countered this immediately by proving that there were no lightning strikes at the location on that day. Furthermore, Payne presented an affidavit from the pharmacology students, which noted that had they lost power to their equipment at 2:55 p.m. that afternoon, a fact that could only be attributed to a severing of one of the high voltage electrical cables. The students had also said that the cables were very old and brittle and that even the smallest of bumps could cause one to break.

Fey pointed out the earlier noise that Wright had heard and attributed it to the shoving of Swallow and his subsequent fall. Payne pointed out that he had come to the same conclusion and that this fact proved that Wright had caused Swallow to be electrocuted. However, Fey disagreed, pointing out the inconsistencies in the crime photo; Swallow's umbrella had been found next to the electrical pole, but his body had been found much further away, near the severed cable. This indicated that someone other than Wright electrocuted Swallow.

At this point, Hawthorne asked to change her testimony. She now testified that Wright had pushed Swallow twice, once from the front, breaking the cable, and once from behind, pushing him into the cable and thereby electrocuting him. These events, she claimed, occurred in less than a minute. Fey objected to this; the photo of Swallow's arm showed that Swallow's watch had stopped at 3:05 p.m., ten minutes after the cable had snapped, which Payne reminded the court had occurred at 2:55. Fey suggested that the real killer had carried out the murder during this time interval, and that Hawthorne was the only one who could have done it, as she had not intervened or called for help.

Wright then leaped onto the stand, declaring that his Dollie could never have done something like that before the bailiff dragged him off the stand. At that moment, Grossberg returned with the police report of the incident shown in Fey's newspaper clipping. The police report detailed that on August 27th, Dahlia had been a suspect in the poisoning of defense attorney Diego Armando, who had been Fey's boyfriend. He had ingested poison that had been slipped into his coffee in the courthouse cafeteria. Because no poison had been found on Hawthorne, however, she had been allowed to go free.

Fey then asked that Hawthorne testify about how she met Wright, which she believed would establish her motive. During Hawthorne's testimony, Fey managed to link the two crimes together. She then pushed forward to ask about the crime eight months ago. In her defense, Dahlia admitted that she had been the prime suspect, but that the poison used was a very special kind that she could never have known where to get.

At this point, Fey pointed out that Hawthorne had been dating Doug Swallow at that time; as a pharmacology student, he had worked with chemicals all the time as part of his studies. Therefore, Hawthorne had had numerous opportunities to get her hands on such a lethal poison. In addition, she had used her pendant to store the poison, and then she had offloaded it onto Wright after the crime had been committed to throw off the police. The vial could be tested for trace amounts of the poison found in Armando's coffee to verify this.

Wright jumped in once more to defend Hawthorne. Snatching the necklace from Fey, he ran out of the courtroom. The bailiff managed to catch and bring him back, but he had managed to eat the necklace; the vital piece of evidence had been lost. Immediately fearing the worst, Fey demanded that the trial be stopped, but Payne pointed out that Wright was suffering no ill effects, which put a damper in Fey's argument that the bottle had contained poison. Payne continued, saying:

Winston Payne
I would trust the witness, Ms. Hawthorne, with my very life!
Crocodile Tears

Dahlia pretending to mourn Swallow.

At this moment, Wright remembered something that he had forgotten to include in his previous testimonies: Swallow had asked to meet with him in order to warn him. Eight months ago, poison had been stolen from the pharmacology labs, and the previous day, the same event had occurred. Swallow had suspected that the thief was Hawthorne, but Wright had refused to believe this and pushed Swallow in anger. Additionally, after he had pushed Swallow and left, he had returned to check on him; he had met Hawthorne at the scene but she had asked him not to mention the fact to anyone.

Fey thought back to the stolen chemicals. She reasoned that Hawthorne had stolen the poison the day before the murder in order to murder someone else: Phoenix Wright. The necklace that he had in his possession was the only evidence that linked her to the crime eight months ago. If it had ever been discovered, her crime would have been revealed; in order to prevent this, she needed to retrieve the necklace at any cost. This had been complicated by the fact that Wright had continually refused to return the necklace and had even shown it to everyone he had met. She had concluded that the only way to obtain possession of the necklace would be to murder Wright.

At this point, Hawthorne's personality changed. She viciously turned on her boyfriend:

Dahlia Hawthorne
Honestly, how can any woman ever count on you for anything? I even told you time and time again to keep your trap shut about me and that necklace. ...You disgust me!

She then asked Fey for solid evidence of her claims. Grossberg warned Fey that going on with her accusations without any evidence would result in the confiscation of her attorney's badge. Thinking about where Hawthorne could have placed the poison, Fey reasoned that it could only be in one place: the Coldkiller X medicine that Wright had lost, which Hawthorne had stolen (it had last been seen during her lunch with Wright). She had intended to use the medicine to poison Wright, but she had seen and heard the conversation between Swallow and Wright later that day. Knowing that Swallow suspected her plan to poison someone, she had come to the decision that he would have to be silenced first.

Unfortunately for her, although her murder had been successful, Wright and students from the pharmacology labs had come onto the murder scene more quickly than she had planned. Panicked at the thought of being searched again as she was eight months ago, she had decided to rid herself of the evidence by placing the poisoned medicine in the hand of the corpse, both to hide the poison and to pin the blame on Wright.

Hawthorne still denied Fey's claims, so Fey challenged her to take some of the cold medicine to prove that it was safe to do so. At this point, Hawthorne knew that she had been beaten, but before giving herself up, she promised that it was not over between her and Mia Fey and that one day they would meet again. Payne, in disbelief at having lost the case, argued that there was not a scrap of evidence to support Fey's claims. Fey then issued the same Coldkiller X challenge to him, recalling that, earlier in the trial, he had said that he would trust Hawthorne with his very life. Payne knew that his own words had betrayed him; he broke down, and his head of hair went flying off, never to regrow. The judge then inquired further about the relationship between Fey and Hawthorne, but Fey answered that it had no bearing to the case.

The judge declared Wright not guilty and adjourned the trial.


Wright was heartbroken over the outcome of the case. He was still in disbelief that it was really Hawthorne on the stand, because the Dollie he loved would never have said the things that she did. Fey suggested that it was probably best that he tried to forget about her. Wright agreed and mentioned that he was actually also studying to become a lawyer because of a certain friend he wanted to save. He expressed hope that one day he and Fey would meet again.

Five years later, Phoenix Wright explained that he had become a lawyer and had managed to save his friend. That trial five years ago, though, still brought up many memories both painful and precious, as well as memories that he thought would never rise again to the surface. Mia Fey may have passed on since then, but her words and wisdom remained with him, both now and for the foreseeable future.

Differences in the anime adaptation[]

  • Marvin Grossberg was in the courtroom when Hawthorne is introduced.
  • Diego Armando is seen in a flashback of the incident where he was poisoned.
  • Dahlia Hawthorne's breakdown includes being surrounded by a purple aura. When she vows to meet with Mia Fey again, the butterflies return.
  • The English dub retains the original Japanese name "Coldkiller Z" for the Coldkiller X bottle, presumably so as not to have to modify animation frames containing the bottle and its "Z" branding.
  • All of Grossberg’s lines mentioning his hemorrhoids are omitted.

Cultural references[]

  • After Mia mistakenly refers to Wright as "Wry", he corrects her by saying that his name is: "Wright... like the flying brothers." This is a reference to the Wright brothers, who are credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making the first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight.
  • Mia Fey quickly despairs about the rest of the courtroom being taken in by Hawthorne's innocent façade and thinks, "Well, we know whose milkshake brings all the boys to the yard." "My milk shake brings all the boys to the yard" is the first line in the chorus of the 2003 song "Milkshake" by Kelis.
  • Phoenix Wright refers to Dahlia Hawthorne's mini-omelettes as "magically delicious", which is likely a reference to the catchphrase of the Lucky Charms cereal brand.
  • When learning about Phoenix Wright's true testimony about the day of the murder, Grossberg says that his hemorrhoids were doing the Harlem Shake dance. Although the Harlem Shake internet meme had not happened at the time the game was made, coincidentally, it did start in February 2013, which in the Ace Attorney timeline would be a year prior to Turnabout Memories. (When playing in German Mr Grossberg says his haemhorrhoids are doing the chicken dance).
  • When describing the thunderstorm, Hawthorne says, "Thor wasn't ready for his fun to come to an end yet," referencing the Norse god of thunder. Coincidentally, the movie Thor: The Dark World featuring the Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Thor was released in November 2013, months before Turnabout Memories in the Ace Attorney timeline.


  • During the first cross-examination, Winston Payne explains that the Union Jack is "the name of the flag of England." The Union Jack is actually a name used to refer to the flag of the entire United Kingdom, not just England. This error was fixed for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy.
  • In the Spanish version of the game, Payne's profile says that he was a veteran defense lawyer despite the fact that he is a prosecutor.



The original DS case art.

  • In the case art, Wright's meeting with Hawthorne shows him wearing a turtleneck. But when their meeting is shown during this case, he is seen wearing a T-shirt.
  • Also, on the original DS version of the art, Wright from that scene is not shown, instead using the scene prior to the murder where he's speaking to Swallow, additionally, the panel with Hawthorne in it switched from the bottom to the top panel between versions.
  • The case marks the first time the real culprit of the case was not seen during the prologue of the first case of the game.
  • Following the tradition of every first case of the original trilogy, the defendant's significant other is heavily involved in the case. Unlike in the previous cases, however, Wright's girlfriend is the killer rather than the victim.
  • This is the only main series first case in which no one is hit over the head with a blunt object.

Other languages[]

  • Chinese - 回憶的逆轉 (Húiyì ·de Nìzhuǎn; lit. "Turnabout of Memories")
  • Portuguese - Recordações de Reviravolta (lit. "Memories of Turnabout")
  • Russian - Дело из прошлого (lit. "Сase from the Past")