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Turnabout Trump
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Phoenix Wright
Oh? Is the "Coolest Defense in the West" losing his cool?

Episode 1: Turnabout Trump is the first episode in the game Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney and follows the first trial of the protagonist, Apollo Justice, as a defense attorney. Justice's first case is the defense of the legendary former defense attorney Phoenix Wright, who has been accused of murdering his opponent in a poker game.


  • "Day 1: Trial Former"
  • "Day 1: Trial Latter"


To edit the information in this table, go to Template:Timeline and edit the information there.
Date Event type / related incident Description Notes
April 17, 2026 Turnabout Trump Zak Gramarye is murdered. N/A
April 20, 2026 Turnabout Trump Trial of Phoenix Wright for the murder of Zak Gramarye. Apollo Justice makes his court debut. The Gavin Law Offices is dissolved. N/A

The crime[]

...Showdown time.
Turnabout trump pic2

Playing poker.

Two men were playing poker in an underground room at the Borscht Bowl Club, a Russian restaurant. One of the competitors lost the game and apparently killed the other with a bottle. The defendant then phoned someone of the crime that had taken place and that the police would arrive shortly.


First session[]

Turnabout trump pic3

Wright's deceased opponent.

Apollo Justice, a new defense lawyer, was waiting nervously for his first trial. His friendly but intimidating mentor, Kristoph Gavin, showed up and reminded him that he had dined with his client on the night of the murder, and that they could not lose this case. Once Gavin left to prepare the defense's case, Justice met the defendant, who was very calm and collected for someone who was about to go on trial for murder. He showed his confidence in Justice and told him that he would see why he chose a greenhorn like him instead of Gavin.

The trial started with both Prosecutor Payne and Justice addressing the judge. Kristoph Gavin was supposed to be the head defense attorney on this case, but his client had selected Justice instead. Once the defendant took the stand, the judge recognized him as Phoenix Wright and apologized for seeing him as a fallen defense attorney. Wright reassured the judge by telling him to put the past behind them.

Shadi crime scene

The crime scene.

Prosecutor Payne explained the crime. It occurred at the Borscht Bowl Club, a Russian restaurant at which Wright played piano. The murder weapon was a bottle of grape juice, which was apparently used to bash the victim's forehead, causing cerebral hemorrhaging that resulted in his death. As for motive, Prosecutor Payne presented a photo showing that a game of poker was taking place at the scene of the crime, apparently between Wright and the victim, Shadi Smith.

The judge quickly charged that poker was gambling, a crime in itself, but Gavin pointed out that the game they had played was just a competition, with no real money involved. He added that it was "a test of wits, a silent clash of passions... Only the cards, their backs wreathed in blue flame, [knew] its final outcome." The judge, wanting to know more about the game, ordered Wright to testify about the poker competition.

After Wright explained that while he was hired as a pianist at the Borscht Bowl Club, he could hardly play. His real job was to take on interested customers at the poker table. When Justice pressed for more information, Wright explained that he played poker for seven years at the club, and never lost once.

Justice pressed Wright to explain the rules of the game and after that, Justice took the opportunity to say it was just a simple game, but the judge thought otherwise. After all, he said, people were not murdered over simple games. The judge questioned Wright his claim of having no connection to the crime, but Wright just smiled, saying that he was testifying about the game that night, and asking about the crime at that point was against the rules. Of course, he expected to hear a cry of "Objection! " from the defense...

Justice panicked, mad that he let that one slip by, but Gavin reassured him, and asked Wright to amend his testimony, wanting to know his connection to the case at hand. Wright, however, pleaded silence regarding the murder, only saying that he did not touch the murder weapon.

Justice objected, presenting the grape juice bottle. Payne explained to the judge that the bottle had Wright's fingerprints on it. Justice objected again, loudly, (earning him a reprimand from the Judge and Gavin) and asked what was so strange about fingerprints on a bottle in a restaurant. Payne explained that the prints on the bottle were upside-down; Wright had held the bottle inverted at one point, and Payne concluded that it had to be to bash someone with the bottle.

Justice panicked again, but Gavin seemed composed. When the judge asked Wright to explain the fingerprints, Wright held on to his plea of silence. Payne claimed he was being uncooperative because he was hiding something, but Gavin reminded him that it was Wright who had reported the crime to the police. Gavin then reminded Payne of what he had said: "The defendant was in the room the very moment the crime occurred." He could only know that if he had a decisive witness.

Payne complimented Gavin, then called his witness to the stand, Olga Orly. At first, Orly was frightened (apparently by Justice's horn-hair), but soon came out and explained that she was a waitress at the Borscht Bowl Club. She would also offer other services, such as taking pictures. She presented a photo of Wright and Smith at the club prior to the poker game.

Orly then stated that she was in the "Hydeout" at the time of the crime, because she was asked to be the dealer for their card game. After the last hand, apparently Wright strangled Smith to death because Wright lost the game. Justice pointed out that Wright had never lost a game, earning a comment from Gavin that Justice should perhaps look for a more legitimate objection. Payne presented a photo of the cards and the chips from the last hand, revealing that Wright was apparently losing at the time.

Justice objected again, reminding the court that Smith had died from a blow to the head, not strangulation. When questioned, Payne presented a photo showing Smith without his hat, with a clear mark of a blow to the forehead. Using that photo, Justice objected again, not seeing the locket that Orly claimed Smith was "playing with." If the testimony was clear, then Wright wasn't strangling the victim, but was taking off his locket.

Wright was then questioned about a locket he was wearing around his neck. Wright answered that it was a locket with a photo of his daughter. Getting back to the trial, the Judge asked Orly to testify about the game itself.

Poker table

The poker table.

Orly explained that Wright and Smith began with 3,500 points each, and that there were small and large chips to represent the points. When asked for more info, Orly added that the chips were worth 100 points and 1000 points. Armed with this information, Justice showed the photo of the chips, and asked which ones were worth more; Payne suggested that the large ones were 1,000. Justice anticipated this, and pointed out that if the big chips were worth 1,000 points and the small worth 100, with all the chips on the table, that would make a total of 10,600 points. In reality, the chip values were reversed; the small chips were the more valuable ones. Payne protested that information changed nothing, but even the judge now saw that he was wrong. If the chip values were reversed, then Wright was beating Smith 4100 points to 2900, ridding him of his motive for murder.

Orly protested and explained that there was cheating in the last hand. When asked to testify, she explained that there was a fifth ace played. Justice objected, showing the chip photo again, and revealing that there were only four aces on the table. The cards from the game were submitted as evidence, and it was revealed that, in Smith's hand, one of the cards had a blue back instead of a red one.

Orly replied that that did not make sense, accidentally slipping that she had "put that card in Mr. Wright's hand," and Gavin quickly caught her, and concluded that Orly was an accomplice of Smith's, and possibly a professional cheater. Justice went further to argue that Orly's failure resulted in an altercation and she was the real killer. Orly fainted in shock.

The Judge prepared to declare an end to the trial for the day, but Wright objected. Payne was confused as to why Wright would object to getting off the hook, but the judge reminded him that "Mr. Wright has a talent... for the ridiculous!" Wright argued that the mixed-up card raised two serious questions, which he asked Justice to answer. The first question was, "When was the card swapped?"

Justice replied that it could have only been done after the murder. Payne asked what the point of cheating was after the hand was over. Justice replied that there was no way to swap a card, especially a card with the wrong color back, during the game, because the perpetrator would easily be caught. Wright asked his second question: "Who swapped the red card for a blue card?"

It couldn't have been Wright, obviously. Gavin suggested that Orly had done it, but it couldn't have been her either, because she would have made sure the swapped card had a matching back. Thus, the perpetrator had to be someone else. The only clues they had were the wrong color back of the card (blue card in a red deck) and the wrong number on the card (replacing the fifth ace with a king). Wright then suggested that there was a fourth person that night at the scene of the crime. The judge reprimanded Wright for concealing this information from the court, then adjourned for a brief recess.

During the recess, Gavin advised Wright to leave the defending to his defense attorney, then went to speak to the judge as ordered. Wright congratulated Justice on a job well done. Justice then questioned Wright about his locket, so Wright showed him the photo of his daughter inside. Wright went on to tell Justice that trial law, as in poker, is all about reading your opponent. He pointed out that Orly had a tendency to touch her neck during certain parts of her testimony. Body language like that could be just as useful in court as evidence if someone could take advantage of it.

Wright then dropped a bomb by explaining that, so far, he hadn't told anyone the truth about the case yet. He explained that he had his reasons, and that he needed Justice and his "power" there to defend him. He ended the recess by explaining, "The real trial begins now. Do your best."

Second session[]

At 12:14 pm, the court reconvened. By this point, Orly had regained consciousness. Gavin suggested that she testify about the night's events again. Orly returned to the stand only to reveal that she was actually a professional gambler with the nickname "Quick-Fingers", and that she was not even Russian. Justice demanded that she tell the court what she had been up to that night, with the judge warning her that any further fabrications would result in serious consequences.

Orly said that Smith had hired her to do what she did best: cheat. She had been planted at the Borscht Bowl Club several days prior to the game as a waitress. She added that Smith had hired her not to help him win, but for her help in destroying the legend of the "unbeatable" Phoenix Wright. The two of them had set up a trap for Wright; Orly would plant a card on Wright before the game, and deal five aces during one of the games. When the fifth ace was "discovered", Smith would search Wright, and pull out the card, making him look like a cheat and destroying his reputation.

Gavin commented that Orly had made a mistake somewhere, and asked about the planted card. Orly replied that Wright had somehow avoided her trap, then testified about it to the court. She planted the card on Wright. Wright then lost the last hand, and Smith searched him. However, the card had disappeared. Orly stated that, moments later, Wright picked up the bottle and swung it, killing Smith. She denied that she had performed the deed herself, instead blaming Wright, as well as calling him a cheat.

Justice pointed out that it would be odd for Wright to swing the bottle at Smith, as he would have had no reason to if the trap had failed. Orly was unsure of how to respond, and at that moment, Justice sensed something coming from her. He accused her of hiding something, which she firmly and angrily denied. Payne demanded that Justice stopped making baseless accusations. Justice asked Orly if she had really seen Wright hit Smith, she assured him she did, but was touching her neck more and more.

At that moment, Justice felt the same sensation he'd felt moments earlier. He remembered back to what Wright said about Orly touching her neck while testifying. He focused on this, and suddenly found himself able to perceive it much more clearly than he had before. He jumped on it, pointing out that she always touched her neck whenever she talked about the moment of the crime. He then presented the murder weapon to her, and asked her why she would touch her neck as if she was in pain, if Smith had been hit.

Orly was unable to respond. Payne objected, demanding that Justice cease his conjecture, and saying that Orly's "habits" were irrelevant. Gavin admitted he was confused himself, but Justice told him he'd explain later, and urged Gavin to trust him. Justice then demanded that she testify in detail about the very moment of the crime. She refused, adopting her Russian disguise, but the Judge ordered her to testify. She was adamant that Wright was the killer, and said she didn't let him out of her sight until the police arrived.

Justice pressed Orly further. She claimed that Wright had been in a daze until the arrival of the police. Justice revealed that Wright had been the one to call the police, going to the first floor to make the call. Justice asked her how she had kept her eyes on Wright throughout when he had gone to a different room. At this, Orly broke down on the stand, and revealed the truth. After the trap had failed, Smith had grabbed the bottle and hit her on the back of the neck (the area that she had been rubbing), knocking her out. When she regained consciousness, Smith was dead. She admitted she had lied about who she was to avoid drawing suspicion.

At this point, Payne was at his wit's end. The Judge asked Gavin's opinion, and Gavin called Orly a "big, fat liar". He stated that she, Smith and Wright were the only ones in the room that night, and that she had a motive for murder; her plan had failed, and she had gotten into an argument with Smith. Orly denied killing him, claiming that someone was trying to frame her. At that moment, Wright reentered the courtroom. He told Gavin that coming to a hasty conclusion such as this was not like him, and suggested that they consider the other possibility; a fourth person was in the room, which he had hinted at earlier in the trial.

Wright stated that two cards had been swapped after the murder, by a fourth person who didn't know that two colors were being used in the game. When Payne objected to Wright's claim, the defendant admitted that this was why he had brought the case to court; it was the perfect place to catch a criminal. He revealed that the true killer had already provided a clue to his identity, at the beginning of the trial. Wright added that there was a person in the court, who thought that the cards were blue early in the trial. After letting Justice take a guess at who the killer was, Wright named Kristoph Gavin. Justice protested that Gavin surely knew about the cards, but Wright replied that the photo of the crime scene was in black and white so there was no way to tell which cards were blue or red. Justice pointed out that in the colored photo of the card table, there was a stack of blue cards, but Wright retorted that Gavin had said his statement when talking about how the poker game wasn't gambling, and at the time only Winston Payne knew about that photo.

Kristoph Gavin asked Wright if he was really accusing him, and Wright replied that he'd never take a joke this far. Payne expressed disbelief at Wright accusing his own defense attorney of murder, and he asked what connection Gavin could have had to Smith, but Wright pointed out that there was no connection between him and Smith either. Payne claimed that Gavin and Smith had never met, Wright suggested that they could have, in fact, met before the game started. Justice requested that Wright testify about this meeting between the two of them. Suddenly, Gavin objected to this, stating that testimonies had to relate to the case; anything before the poker game was irrelevant. Gavin stated that the defense was accusing Olga Orly of the murder, but the judge reminded him that Apollo Justice was the defense, not him. Justice realized that this had been Wright's plan all along, and he vowed to see it through. He requested that Wright testify. Gavin asked him if he would betray his teacher, but Justice stated that the truth was more important.

Phoenix calling Kristoph

Wright calling Gavin.

Wright testified that he and Gavin had dinner at the club that evening, at the table in the photo of Wright and Smith. Smith entered five minutes after Gavin left. After the card trap failed, Smith hit Orly with the bottle. Wright went to call the police. When he returned, Smith was dead. He then made another phone call, to Gavin, anticipating his trial for Smith's murder and hoping to find a lawyer. Gavin realized that Wright had been planning to draw him into the case from the start. Wright told him he simply wanted the truth. Gavin told Justice to expose Wright's lies in the next cross-examination.

Justice pressed Wright on the trap, specifically on the card that was planted on him. Wright said that, by sheer luck, he discovered the card, and put it in his empty bottle before the game. Justice attempted to present evidence, claiming that the bottle in the Court Record had nothing in it. Phoenix seemed confused and though the Judge did not penalize Justice as it was a contradiction, it did not introduce enough relevant merit to dwell on and allowed Wright's testimony to resume unhindered. Gavin scoffed at Wright's assertion by mockingly asking if there were other unseen parties who removed the card, much as he claimed a fourth person was at work in the crime scene.

Justice then attempted to use another piece of evidence, the photo of the crime scene, to prove Wright's claim that he saw the stream of blood from the victim to be faulty, due to the fact that in order for him to have been able to see the blood on Smith, the hat on the victim's head would have not to be there. To this Wright admitted to one modification of the crime scene: upon returning from calling the police and seeing the victim dead, he took the white hat that the victim had been wearing and placed it back onto his head. He apologized but said it was the only change to the scene of the crime he had made.

At this point Gavin called an end to the cross-examination, claiming Wright had only offered up lies in his testimony, while at the same time making vindictive reference to Wright's disbarment seven years prior. However, Wright remained unfazed and recounted the previous supposed contradictions that were in his testimony, stating he had reasons for both. He then presented his cell phone to the court, on which he recorded the conversation with Gavin that took place after Wright found the body. During the exchange, when Wright told him how he found Smith's dead body, as well as how he had died, Gavin made a curious reference to "someone crack[ing] that flawless bone china pate," referring to Smith's baldness. Justice picked up on this and realized that more was said than could be gleaned from the evidence. If Gavin had departed from the restaurant after dinner, then there was no way he could have known that Smith was balding, as the victim would have been wearing his hat; the only time Gavin could have seen his uncovered head would have had to be at some point before Wright tampered with the crime scene.

Wright then revealed the root of his suspicion and challenged Gavin to refute that suspicion on the stand. The Judge concurred and called for a final ten-minute recess before Gavin would be called for his testimony, during which Wright and Gavin were summoned to his chambers. As Justice waited through the recess, a mysterious girl wearing a blue top hat and shawl approached him. She offered him a playing card and some words: "The last hand is about to be played. You'll need a trump card to make it. ... The card you have chosen is magical. Use it wisely and the game is yours." Justice looked at the face of the card. It was the Ace of Spades, which took him back to Olga Orly's claim of a fifth ace being played. He also observed the red spot on the card, which appeared to be blood. The girl took her leave, claiming her father's case now rested with Justice. As he contemplated, he recalled that the girl was actually Wright's daughter, whom he had seen inside of Wright's locket.

Court resumed and the Judge requested Kristoph Gavin to take the stand. The Judge said he wanted the focus of Gavin's testimony to be the knowledge of the victim's bald head beneath his hat. Gavin tried to downplay the relevance of such testimony but a sudden cry of "Objection!" rang out and Wright was seen standing at Justice's co-counsel. He reminded the rookie attorney of the facts: through the entire duration of Smith's presence at the club, the only time his hat had ever been removed was at the moment of his death. This meant that to know Smith had been bald, one would have had to be present at the scene and time of the incident.

Gavin retorted that he had been withholding some information of his own due to the fact that it did not paint his client in the best light. Given the circumstances, he saw no more reason for restraint and stated he would detail what had really happened that night. Believing that Wright's opponent did not bear the best of intentions, Gavin returned to the club after his dinner and looked through the small window to the Hydeout. Through it, he claimed to see the victim deceased and hatless, Olga Orly unconscious, and Phoenix Wright holding the bottle. He promptly left the uncomfortable scene and as he was leaving, the call from Wright came.

The Judge pointed out that this testimony was harmful to his client's case but as per Gavin's warning at the start, he said he was on the stand to tell the truth of the matter. Wright remained unshaken as a confused Justice began his cross-examination. Justice pressed Gavin on what he saw through the window. Gavin said he saw only the three he claimed. He didn't report what he saw to the authorities due to missing the moment of the deed and because Wright had come to him requesting representation. Justice continued to use Wright's claim of a fourth party being involved, which Gavin countered by asking what reason that party would have to swap the cards.

None of the people known to be at the crime scene had a reason to swap the cards yet it had been done. Justice then presented his "trump card", the Ace of Spades with the bloodstain. Gavin accused Justice of fraud, but Wright told him that only the killer would know if the evidence was faked and only the killer would have a motive to claim that it was a fake. Gavin was silenced with the possibility of self-incrimination. Justice suggested that it was the victim's blood, dripping off of Smith's head.

Wright asked Justice to picture the crime scene in his head. Justice then slowly worked through the contradictions in the crime scene. If there was blood on the card, as Smith's wound dripped off of the back of his head, Smith must have been facing in the other direction. This placed the killer's location in the area in which a cupboard stood. Encouraged by Wright further, Justice concluded that, during the murder, the cupboard wasn't there. Wright revealed that there was a secret passageway behind the cupboard, which the judge sent some officers to investigate. While they waited, Justice deliberated on the crime scene further and found the final contradiction: If the cupboard was moved, the window from which Gavin claimed to have witnessed the murder would be blocked. The bailiff came back, telling the court that a secret passageway has been found behind the cupboard; everything so far matched up.

Talking to Shadi

Orly's photo.

Gavin then retorted with one of the original arguments against Wright, the upside-down fingerprints on the juice bottle. Justice responded with Orly's photo of Wright sitting next to grape bottles. The easiest way for Wright to get a bottle was to grab it by the neck and lift it up, holding the bottle upside-down. The defendant and his lawyer reasoned that the bottle used as a murder weapon may have been switched with another bottle that Wright had happened to grab earlier. Inside one bottle was a card: the Five of Hearts that Wright had stowed away before the murder! With this, Wright asserted that the only person who was capable of making such a switch would have been the fourth person: Kristoph Gavin.

Enraged at his plan unraveled, Gavin slammed his fist onto the witness stand in an earth-shaking fury. Gavin confessed to the crime and asked Wright if this was his idea of revenge for his disbarment. As the judge rendered his verdict, bewildered by the murder of a man who shared no known connection to his killer, Wright offered a cautionary message to the court that a dark time was coming for their legal system and it was up to all of them to right it.


Wright expressed his gratitude for Justice's defense, though Justice humbly remarked he really did not contribute much to it and that it was Wright who had pinned the crime on Gavin. Wright, however, was quick to point out that it was Justice's ability to read Olga Orly's body language that proved to be a pivotal advantage for the defense. Wright appeared to have some understanding of the sensation Justice felt, but said it was something Justice would have to come to terms with in time. Wright also seemed to have more insight into Gavin's reasons for the crime but remained equally as unforthcoming with the details.

Wright presented his locket to Justice, claiming it held a critical role in the order of events. He told Justice that his hunch about the locket from the trial was actually correct: it had come from the victim and was removed at the time of his death. Justice tried to claim that Wright had committed perjury but Wright countered that he only said the locket merely contained an image of his daughter. This confused Justice as that meant that the victim had been wearing a locket that contained a picture of Wright's daughter. Once again, Wright remained mysterious and oblique in his reply.

Justice was hit with the realization that by accusing Gavin, he had effectively ended his own tenure with Gavin's law firm. Wright said he could come to work for him at his firm, which left Justice flabbergasted at such an honor. However, it did pose the issue that Wright no longer practiced law, which meant he couldn't run a law firm. Wright agreed that seven years ago he had turned in his badge after the fateful trial that brought his law career to an end. He said that presently he was not eligible to become an attorney again. Wright then admitted he had entered forged evidence into the court record. Justice recalled he had his suspicion a piece of evidence as well and presented the Ace of Spades with the drop of blood, which Wright confirmed was the tainted evidence. The real killer would have removed the actual card incriminating him; Wright brought in the fake evidence so he could substantiate his theory of a fourth person being present on the scene. Infuriated that Wright had manipulated him into using tainted evidence in his case, Justice hit Wright, who in turn told Justice to hit him harder next time before quietly strolling out the door. Justice vowed never to see him again, a vow to be broken shortly.

References to previous cases[]

  • When the trial begins and Wright's identity is confirmed, Winston Payne then says, "To think, I saw you enter this room a fresh attorney, and now I'll see you leave in chains." This is a reference to The First Turnabout, which was Wright's first case as a defense attorney, which Payne prosecuted.
  • Like Bridge to the Turnabout, this case involves the victim reappearing under an assumed name after being missing for years and then being murdered. Their real identity is also only revealed posthumously, which gives their death new meaning.

References to popular culture[]

  • During the trial, Wright states how "What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive". This is a direct quote from Marmion, a poem by Walter Scott.
  • During Kristoph Gavin's cross-examination, if the player goes past the testimony, Wright asks if Justice is okay with cross-examining his own boss. Justice responds that he is fine, thinking to himself, "Who was it that taught me never to pull punches in cross-examination? It was you, Mr. Gavin! I learned it from watching you!" This is a reference to an anti-drug PSA from the 1980s, which can be viewed here.


After the recess, the judge says, "Cout will now reconvene" instead of "Court will now reconvene." This was corrected in the 3DS re-release of the game[1].


  • In the HD port of the case, Turnabout Trump has two case arts, one featuring Justice and one featuring Wright. This is due to the fact that the base game only contains the first half of Turnabout Trump and must purchase the second half separately.
  • In this episode gambling is explicitly stated to be illegal in America. However, optional dialogue during The Magical Turnabout seems to contradict this by implying the gambling laws of the United States are the same as in real life; Athena states that she wants to give gambling a try, and Apollo, accurately to real-life, tells her she isn't old enough to gamble in most states yet (although Athena would be old enough to gamble in their home state, where the gambling age is 18). This is an inconsistency caused by a major plot point that had to be localized as is from the Japanese version of Turnabout Trump, which was based around Japan's gambling laws.
  • In the original release, when Phoenix states that a dark time was coming for the legal system, he generically states that it will be a twisting of justice caused by the court system. In the 3DS release, Phoenix instead specifies that this "twisting of justice" will be brought on by the initial trial system.

Other languages[]

  • Portuguese (Brazilian fan-translation) - Reviravolta Trunfo (lit. "Trump Turnabout")