The First Turnabout
Transcript Transcript (JP)
The First Turnabout
Trial data

Aug. 3, 2016

Courtroom No.


Presiding judge


Defense team leader

Phoenix Wright

Defense team assistants

Mia Fey (co-counsel)


Winston Payne


Larry Butz


Cindy Stone

Time of death

July 31, 2016, 4:00 p.m.

Weapon/cause of death

Head trauma caused by a blow to the head with a statue/clock of "The Thinker"


Not Guilty

Larry Butz (not cross-examined)
Frank Sahwit (convicted)
Defendant Lobby No. 2
Attorney's Badge
Cindy Stone's Autopsy Report
Statue/The Thinker
Blackout Record
Mia Fey
Well, I have to say Phoenix, I'm impressed! Not everyone takes on a murder trial right off the bat like this. It says a lot about you... and your client as well.

Episode 1: The First Turnabout is the first episode of the game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney and follows Phoenix Wright's first case as a defense attorney. In his first trial, Phoenix must defend his childhood friend Larry Butz, who has been accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Cindy Stone. Phoenix Wright, Mia Fey, Larry Butz, Winston Payne, Frank Sahwit, and the most frequently appearing judge all make their debuts in this episode.

Even among all of the introductory "tutorial" episodes in the Ace Attorney games, The First Turnabout is relatively simplistic. This episode is the shortest in the series, consisting of a single trial chapter. Additionally, although the player has the ability to press witness statements, this functionality is not formally introduced until the following episode, and thus is not strictly necessary to use in this episode.



Stone lies dead on her floor.


Sahwit examines his handiwork in shock.

A small statue of "The Thinker" dripped with blood, while a woman lay dead on the wooden floor with her blood pooling around her head. The man standing over her began to panic.

*gasp*... *gasp*... Dammit ... Why me? I can't get caught... Not like this! I-I've gotta find someone to pin this on...

Suddenly the man smirked as he remembered seeing someone leaving earlier, and decided to pin the murder on him.

Someone like ... him! I'll make it look like HE did it!


Phoenix Wright was nervous at the prospect of being in court as a defense attorney for the first time, especially since his first trial was a murder case, but his mentor, Mia Fey, soon appeared to give him some moral support along with a copy of the victim's autopsy report. Wright explained that he owed his client a favor since he was part of the reason Wright had become a lawyer in the first place. Wright soon heard, then found, a panic-stricken Larry Butz, his best friend since grade school and his first client. Wright tried to calm his friend's nerves, but Butz seemed to be more concerned about a life without his girlfriend than his verdict.

In the courtroom itself, both Prosecutor Winston Payne and Wright addressed the judge, who tested Wright on the basic details of the case to determine whether he was ready to defend his client. He then asked Payne for the murder weapon, and Payne brought the statue of the Thinker as evidence. Butz then took the stand, claiming that he and the victim had been destined to be together. Payne then provided a motive for Butz to have committed the murder: Stone had just dumped him and had many rich "sugar daddies" who bought her expensive gifts. Payne followed up with a question to Butz, asking where he had been on the day of the murder. Butz said he had visited the apartment, but when he arrived the victim, Cindy Stone, had not been home, so he left. Payne replied he had a witness that said otherwise.


Larry Butz leaving Cindy Stone's house, with Frank Sahwit lying in wait.

The prosecution called Frank Sahwit, a sycophantic newspaper salesman, to the stand. Sahwit testified that at 1:00 p.m, he saw Butz quickly leaving Stone's apartment. Suspicious, he went to investigate, and found Stone's dead body. He left to find a public payphone in order to contact the police. The judge asked why Sahwit hadn't used the victim's phone, but Payne explained that there was a five-hour blackout at the time that prevented him from doing so.


The scene as testified by Sahwit.

In the subsequent cross examination, Wright pointed out that the autopsy report placed the time of death at 4:00 p.m., so Sahwit couldn't have found Stone dead at 1:00 pm. Payne objected that Sahwit just forgot the time, but the judge doubted this. Sahwit was very sure of the time in his testimony, and the judge asked him why.

Sahwit claimed that he heard the time from the T.V., but Wright proved this to be impossible, due to the blackout. Sahwit then claimed that he saw the time from a clock in Stone's apartment, which was used as the murder weapon. Wright objected again; the weapon was a statue, not a clock.

Payne revealed that the Thinker statue doubled as a clock; by tilting it, it spoke the time. However, Wright didn't let up; Sahwit couldn't have known about the clock function without having held it in his hand. He sounded the clock to prove that it was working on the day of the murder, although it was three hours slow. Wright stated that Sahwit assumed the time to be 1:00 p.m. because he was the real killer. As he killed Stone, the clock announced the time, leaving a strong impression on him.

Sahwit, infuriated at Wright's ruining of his testimony, began to break down on the stand, discarding his sycophantic demeanor and throwing his toupee at Wright in anger. He made one final claim; unless Wright could prove the time was wrong on the day of the murder, Sahwit couldn't have done it. Wright presented his final evidence, Stone's passport from her trip to Paris. The clock was nine hours ahead from being set to Paris local time; Stone had taken the clock with her on her trip and had neglected to reset the time. Sahwit, finally defeated, hyperventilated on the stand, foamed at the mouth and collapsed. He was soon arrested, and Butz was cleared of all charges.


The victim walking in on Sawhit.

It was revealed that Sahwit was a common burglar who masked his trade by posing as a newspaper salesman to learn when residents left their homes. He had planned to rob Stone's apartment while she was on her trip to Paris. When he arrived, he saw Butz leaving the apartment and decided to steal the valuables quickly before anyone returned. However, Stone happened to return just then and caught him in her apartment. Sahwit panicked and struck her over the head with the nearest item he could find (the Thinker clock), killing her. The clock's voice rang out 'I think it's 1 o'clock', and Stone died from the head trauma.


After the trial, Fey congratulated Wright on his win. Butz interrupted in hysterics again, this time believing that Stone didn't care about him. Wright then presented the clock to him; she wouldn't have carried a bulky clock around unless it had some significance. Butz gave Fey another Thinker clock; he had made two as a memento of his and Stone's relationship. Fey then offered Wright dinner to celebrate Butz's acquittal. She also told Wright to tell her about how Butz had influenced his decision to become a lawyer over drinks sometime. Butz then slapped Wright on the back and told him: "Gee, Nick, it's good to have friends!", but the defense attorney had the feeling that he wasn't going to get paid, unless the clock he'd given Fey counted.

Wright didn't know it then, but that clock would soon be at the center of another incident, and his promise to tell Fey about Butz and himself would be one he wouldn't be able to keep.


Turnabout Sisters was the first case in early drafts of Gyakuten Saiban. However, major changes in character designs and roles, notably of the mentor, the assistant, and prosecutors Winston Payne and Miles Edgeworth, called for drastic changes to that case, and so another case was placed before Turnabout Sisters as the first case, which became The First Turnabout.

References to popular cultureEdit

  • When describing his relationship to the victim, Butz states that they were like Romeo and Juliet, or Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, to which Wright thinks, "Didn't they all die?" Romeo and Juliet and Antony and Cleopatra are both tragedies written by the playwright William Shakespeare.
  • When asked for evidence to prove why the clock was running slow, if anything other than Stone's passport is presented, the judge will challenge Wright, who then thinks: "D'oh! That wasn't it!" "D'oh!" is a catchphrase often used by the fictional character Homer Simpson in the long-running American animated sitcom The Simpsons, normally when something's gone wrong for him.
  • When Fey questions Butz's belief that Stone didn't care about him, he says "Ex-squeeze me", instead of "excuse me". "Exsqueeze me" and "baking powder" are used as substitutes for "excuse me" and "beg your pardon", respectively, by the fictional character Wayne Campbell in the Wayne's World films.

Anime changesEdit

  • Sahwit's toupee is blown off by Wright's objection. In the game, Sahwit throws his toupee at Wright's face when cornered.
  • Flashbacks to Wright's fourth grade class trial are shown throughout the episode, alluding to how that impacted his decision to become a defense attorney. In the game, the class trial isn't addressed until Episode 4, Turnabout Goodbyes. Additionally, the flashbacks make it seem as though Wright had been saved in the trial by Larry Butz, which obscures the truth that Miles Edgeworth was the instrumental party, as he had yet to be introduced by this point. One flashback in particular has a young Butz standing up in defense of Wright, then the shot cuts to a pointing finger while a voice objects. The hand shown and the voice heard are actually Edgeworth's, but this is barely noticeable and can be mistaken for Butz's.
  • The case date is March 26th, unlike the August 3rd date in the game.


  • This episode places the setting of the Ace Attorney series in the Pacific Time Zone, which is nine hours behind the Central European Time Zone, which contains Paris, France. Official sources outside of the games (and two from the games themselves) place the setting specifically in Los Angeles, California.
    • With Japan being in a single time zone, the main setting of the Japanese version of the series is unclear other than that it is in Japan. In this version, Mika Takabi (Cindy Stone's name in the Japanese version) travels to New York, and the Thinker clock is 14 hours behind due to being set to Eastern Standard Time. This is actually an error due to New York practicing daylight saving time like most of the United States, thus making it 13 hours slow at the time of the murder.
  • This case is one of only a few in the entire series in which the killer is clearly shown in the introductory cutscene actually committing the crime (with the others being Turnabout Sisters, Turnabout Visitor, The Monstrous Turnabout, and The Foreign Turnabout).
  • This is one of only three cases in which only one witness is cross-examined, the others being Turnabout Visitor and Apollo Justice: Asinine Attorney.


  • One of the questions that the judge asks at the beginning of the trial is what the victim's name is. When Fey realizes that Wright has temporarily forgotten the victim's name, she says, "Look, the defendant's name is listed in the Court Record," instead of, "Look, the victim's name is listed in the Court Record." It was fixed for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy.
  • After Sahwit hyperventilates and passes out, the judge asks Payne about Sahwit's condition. However, when he does so, the judge refers to him as Payne's client, rather than his witness. It was fixed for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy.

Other languagesEdit

  • Japanese - 初めての逆転 (Hajimete no Gyakuten; lit. "Turnabout for the First Time")
  • French - La Première Volte-face (lit. "The First Turnabout")
  • German - Der Erste Wandel (lit. "The First Change")
  • Spanish - El Primer Caso (lit. "The First Case")
  • Italian - Banco di Prova (lit. "Test Bench")
  • Korean - 첫 번째 역전 (Cheot Beonjjae Yeokjeon; lit. "The First Turnabout")

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