This page lists all Wild Mass Guesses for the crossover Turnabout Storm by NeoArtimus. Any Wild Mass Guesses that are 'what if's unlikely to be confirmed or jossed in the series, are organized in the "Misc. Guesses" folder. The folders labeled "Confirmed Guesses" and "Jossed Guesses" contain exactly what they say they do. All spoilers regarding Turnabout Storm won't be marked, but spoilers specific to Ace Attorney and MLP: Friendship is Magic will.
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The embarrassing pictures…
There is more than one set of Elements...
Ace was the one who caused Cruise's sister to go into a comaHe then uses it to blackmail Cruise. It wouldn't be that hard of a guess considering he just appeared to Cruise the moment she got into the coma and had her shipped to the Canterlot hospital.
Trixie's animosity towards Twilight results from not being chosen as Celestia's student.Both Trixie and Twilight made magic their specialty... What if, like Twilight, Trixie met Celestia as a young filly but wasn't chosen by the princess as her student? What if they were unknowingly in competition? What if Trixie discovered that, and came to resent Twilight since childhood for being chosen over her, developing feelings of jealousy and inferiority (which could explain why she is so full of herself: it's a defense mechanism for her)? Taking that into account, this line from the "Part 3 - Twilight" makes so much sense:
Derpy has multiple personality disorder.And it switches when she says the name of the personality she is now. The third one (Bright Eyes) is a counter against trying to use first two names at once. Use all three and she will reveal yet another name... use all four and the fifth is revealed... and so on until either the universe implodes or you fail to mention one, therefore getting yet another scenario.
Trixie's dream was to become the Element of MagicOne thing really stuck out to me during Trixie's "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Twilight which was mocking the magic of friendship. Now why of all things did she say that? Nothing about the Elements of Harmony was brought up during Boast Busters or during any scene throughout Turnabout Storm. Plus, she holds a big grudge Twilight for more than just the Ursa Minor incident. Maybe she figured out that the final Element of Harmony was Magic but could never find the spark to make it awaken. This can go hand in hand with the above WMG of Trixie also dreaming of becoming Celestia's apprentice only to lose it to Twilight. She wouldn't figure out that it was Twilight who "took" her dreams away until after the Ursa Minor incident and when she realized that she had lost everything to her and the spark she failed to find, the magic of friendship, she didn't want revenge on just Twilight. She wanted revenge on the magic of friendship itself.
Trixie's ultimate goal is to cause Twilight to feel the same despair she feltIf one assumes that Trixie's motivation is the sadness and despair she felt after getting shown up before by Twilight (and thus, having all chances of her career continuing wrecked and thus, ruining her life), then it could be possible that she's pulling a Yomiel and she's trying to make her feel the pain and despair of having her life crumbling around her. And what better way than to go after what she values most?
The story is completely canon for the Ace Attorney side of thingsIt's pretty evident that the events take place in an Alternate Continuity to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic; Trixie and Gilda's reencounters are completely different from canon for instance. That's not the situation for Phoenix: The series perfectly fits between the events of Justice for All and Trials and Tribulations, and no anachronic "Call Backs" are made to the latter at any point; Phoenix does not encounter the black psyche-locks, so the person he sees them from in the future still is the first one he sees with them; and, as a plus, he gets in the ending what most likely is the silk hat his daughter Trucy would come to wear. The events did happen to canon Phoenix, and this alternate Equestria is part of Ace Attorney's universe. As to why they aren't mentioned or refered to? Well, it's not unusual in the series for big previous cases to go unmentioned (see Case 1-5 up until Apollo Justice), we don't see every day of the lawyers' lifes, and it's not like Phoenix would be willing to go around talking about a pastel talking equine world back on Earth too much.
Trixie's black psyche lock had been brokenIn Dual Destinies, it's shown black psyche lock could be broken if their owner "remembered" the trauma. So maybe when Sonata pushed Trixie by revealing "Unlike everyone else, I know...", it makes Trixie realize the true reason for her hatred towards Twilight? That would explain why Phoenix didn't see them later.
Sonata has some sort of connection with Mia.I'm not saying she's Mia herself, but she might have some sort of connection with her. It's kinda hard to swallow that the coincidence of voice and looks is just that, a coincidence. This might be reading too much into it, but there's also the fact that Sonata's Cutie Mark is a human eye.
Pinkie Pie will team up with Wright.After what happened in part 2, Twilight probably won't want to work with Wright. So, since it's Wright, Pinkie will step in! She'll probably understand his reason for his stunt in court through her Pinkie-Logic.
Twilight Sparkle has gained the Perceive Ability after exposure to the Magatama.Consider the fact that Twilight, in the words of Phoenix Wright, keeps "randomly looking at Trixie" throughout the trial, but when she was asked about it earlier, she brushed it off as unimportant. Also consider how the Magatama emitted a strange glow before the trial started. Isn't it possible that Twilight has gained the ability to sense tension when others lie in court as Apollo Justice can?
Phoenix will explain to Twilight why he did what he did.This might seem like the logical thing to do as Twilight might start calling him out only until he explains to her why he did it.
Rainbow Dash is being blackmailed.Why is Rainbow Dash so reluctant to tell Phoenix what she was up to at the time of the murder? It would not be a stretch to say that the reason is connected to the photos presented in Part 2. If they were, it opens up the possibility that Rainbow Dash is being blackmailed, whether by the victim or by someone else. Many seem to be focusing too heavily on the contents of the photo; it is often ignored that the fact that the photos exist and were in Ace Swift's possession when he was killed might be far more important.
Lenora is a Griffon.Before the credits start in Part 2, 3 OC silhouettes appear, 2 ponies and another one that looks like a griffon. One of the ponies is Cruise Control who was already shown in the audition video, the other one appears to be Mia Fey, something that was discussed in the above WMG and then was confirmed to be the OC Sonata, so that only leaves us with the griffon for the remaining OC, Lenora. If this is true, all guesses regarding a griffon getting involved (most if not all of them pointing to Gilda) could point to Lenora instead. Confirmed by Word of God through this picture◊.
The humans who visited Equestria before……were the ones from past incarnations of My Little Pony.
Speculations on what's going to "piss" everyone off in Part 4Speaking of part 4, there is something that is going to happen in part 4 that I know WILL piss a lot of people off, but please try to understand when that time comes…it had to be done…
Gilda Griffon will be appearing as a witness but will not be the actual murderer.The feather that Phoenix presented in court may or may not be Gilda's. If it were Gilda's though, she'd be the viewer's immediate target for suspicion. Considering the plot twists that are so common to Ace Attorney cases, the viewer's initial suspicions may not necessarily be correct. Thus it's not out of the question to think that Gilda might be making an appearance in the game without turning out to be the culprit herself. Trixie's comments about a witness with an "attitude" might also point circumstances in this direction.
Rarity's perfume will become important evidence.It may take a while to become relevant, but considering she gave Wright her invoice it's highly possible. As with the previous guess, nothing in Ace Attorney is ever done without aim.
What Phoenix did at the end of Part 2 will reward him with more than just extra time.More specifically, something in the questioning of Fluttershy will wind up in getting something that can turn the tide of the case.
The second lightning is the one which killed Ace.Let's recap. There were 3 lightning bolts (no less, no more):
There will be a friendship report to be written.Possibly about how you should trust in people or that Justice Will Prevail even in the Darkest Hour. A friendship report is written; but it is about how friendship, while it's not necessary per se, can bring a lot of happiness and hope to those who have it.
Edgeworth will make a proper appearance in the story.Follow me on this. Trixie, as she slowly realizes that Phoenix is in a completely different league than her, will cast the same spell Twilight did to find 'The Greatest Prosecuting Attorney' which will result in Edgeworth being summoned (because seriously; who else?). This will in turn lead to a huge Oh, Crap or Hoist by His Own Petard moment for Trixie when she realizes that Edgeworth isn't as concerned with winning a trial as he is with finding the guilty party.
Trixie will have a Villainous Breakdown.She's an Ace Attorney prosecutor. They're often prone to have breakdowns. Bonus points if said breakdown becomes memetic or put into some kind of Phoenix Wrong sketch.
The Perry Mason Method will be used.This should come out as natural, considering Phoenix always has to prove the guilt of someone else in order to save his client.
Trixie isn't aware of the truth behind the murder.She's just an Unwitting Pawn, though not unwilling — more driven by jealousy and hoping to hurt Twilight. She doesn't care who's really responsible, or who goes down for the crime, so long as it's one of Twilight's friends — be it Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, or anyone else. If Applejack or Rarity or Pinkie or even one of the CM Cs could be potentially punished, she'd leap at it. On top of that, it'd also give her a 'victory' over Twilight in the sense that she triumphed in court. Taking down the 'top defense attorney' is just an added bonus. She appeared to only look for Rainbow getting a guilty veridict, as shown by her breakdown after that possibility crumbles. But it is suggested that, deep down, she wanted to find the truth too.
Scootaloo is the only pony besides the rest of the Mane Six that still believes in Rainbow Dash's innocence.Because let's be honest. She's Rainbow Dash's number 1 fan. I highly doubt she'd think Rainbow is capable of such cruelty. I wouldn't be surprised if she's thinking of some sort of petition to have Rainbow Dash freed.
Sonata was in the forest that night.Not only was she there, but she also teleported Apple Bloom outside of the forest. That was the bright flash she saw. Not only that she probably teleported herself out and kept anypony from seeing her
Sonata will pull a Heel-Face TurnOkay, okay, I'm going to get some flack for saying it, but just hear me out. Now, this was inspired by one of the above Guesses about the The Power Of Trust being a theme for the series; Sonata's special talent, the thing that she is almost supernaturally gifted in, is observation, meaning that she could easily tell when someone is lying. If she was an early bloomer, she could have had her trust betrayed by somepony close to her when she realized they were lying thanks to her skill, possibly to the point that she became as she is today. However, Phoenix isn't one to lie unless he absolutely HAS to, making him the perfect someone to restore her faith that not everyone is a liar and that good and decent people (And ponies) still exist. I realize this invokes a lot of Humans Are Special overtones, and I'm sorry, but it's just been on my mind a lot. Very close to how the actual events played out. He proves his ideals and the value of having someone on your side to her by using the very same truth she used to dismiss in favor of "cold hard justice" in order to save her life and give her a second chance.
At some point, Neo will humorously note how some of the above guesses are over the top and not what she was thinking at allShe did call out a few guesses for being way over the top, like Trixie being magically manipulated.
Pinkie Pie's Golf Club is the Murder WeaponThe murderer found Pinkie Pie's golf club, stuck it down Ace's shirt or tricked him into holding it, and set off the cloud. The club acted as a lighting rod, allowing the lighting to bypass Ace's protective suit and kill him. The murderer then moved Ace's body to where the first bolt hit and threw the club into the river where Twilight Sparkle found it.
Cruise Control is now being blackmailed by SonataThe reason the second set of Psych-locks appeared in Cruise Control's conversation with Twilight is because he knows who the killer is: Sonata! And she's blackmailing him with his sister. Sonata also lives in Canterlot and she could easily pull some strings to keep Cruise Control's sister there and take her out if she wanted to. Indeed he was, as she was trying to cover up her "crime".
Ace accidentally killed himself
Sonata's "Because unlike everyone else, I know" refers to
The charred up item that Phoenix and Twilight found in Part 1 (that either of them could recognize) will be a key piece of evidence in the trial.Think about it: nothing in the Ace Attorney universe happens by accident. Almost no evidence is given for no reason. That charred up item will be recognized in the trial.
Sonata will try, and fail, to accuse Phoenix of breaking and enteringGiven how Defense Attorneys seem to get a little more leeway, Sonata will attempt to charge Phoenix of breaking and entering... only to be told by the Judge that, since it was related to the crime scene, due to Sonata's room also being Ace Swift's room, Phoenix wasn't breaking any laws by investigating in there. She tries and fails indeed, but because that is a crime unrelated to the case at hand more that Phoenix getting leeway.
Mia is related to Celestia somehow.This would explain how Celestia knows so much about Phoenix and his accomplishments.
Pinkie Pie was the one who gave the tip.Trixie mentioned that the reason why the police didn't respond to the tip seriously at first because of the tipper's "attitude", and Pinkie could easily have used her Pinkie Senses to find out that something big was going to happen. Jossed by Part 3 - Twilight. Cruise Control was the anonymous tip.
The Audience is playing a big role in determining the case's outcome.They're pointing out contradictions that weren't pointed out in court and even theorizing on who did it. Maybe NeoArtimus will take notes from the comments and add them to her next part with the audience helping to either clear Rainbow Dash's name or send her to the sun.
Regarding the reason Part 3 is taking so long.NeoArtimus has said there's a special motive as to why Part 3 is taking more time than usual to make besides the massive ammount of content that part will have. It's supposed to be a surprise, but she's said that bronies in particular will like the reason. Hmm…a time consuming feature that bronies might enjoy…and she's said before that there's going to be song in part 3…Friendship is Magic style animated opening mayhaps? Or maybe an animated scene put in between that part? Turns out that's not the motive of the delay. Part 3 is a double feature, one video from Phoenix's and another from Twilight's P.O.V.
Trixie is possessed.Her lingering grudge against Twilight made her a perfect pawn. Consider her glee at Phoenix accusing Fluttershy, one of Twilight's friends…and somepony who didn't take part in her original heckling and humiliation. The occasional slips into first person are her possessor breaking character. Jossed by NeoArtimus herself in the comments section of her profile for bring a BIT too epileptic.
Phoenix Wright will be conducting the second day of investigation alone.After Phoenix Wright pointed out that Fluttershy is a potential suspect, I doubt Twilight will be willing to stay with him...at least at first. Therefore he'd be left to try and gather evidence and possibly even face everyone's criticism (ESPECIALLY ponies like Applejack and Rarity). Nope; see confirmed guesses.
There will be a song sung by a...'character' in Part 3.This is not me guessing; this was actually written by NeoArtimus. Time to make those Epileptic Trees grow:
The voice at the end of the second preview clip for part 3 will belong to Octavia.Going from the tone and accent, it sounds like a voice that Octavia could have if she were a canon character.
If Discord appears......His theme would be Investigation's "The Enemy Who Surpasses The Law", before he decides that's too dull and changes the background music to "Let Me Laugh At The Cool". Jossed. Word of God says that the story was planned out before Season 2. Discord won't appear.
Dr Whooves knocked Phoenix out.1) Keikoandgilly is one of THE voices for the doctor and is already doing voices for Turnabout Storm. Derpy here is voiced by Balddumborat, who voices her in Dr. Whooves and the assistant 2) One of the theories for the Doctor's incarnation in MLP is that he used to be human shaped but the next regeneration turned him into a pony. This is why his walk cycles are sometimes slightly off and so on. He's still getting used to the world. 3) It was implied Phoenix was knocked out by someone hitting the nerves on the back of his neck. The only pony to do this would be someone who knows not only that the nerve cluster exists, but where it is…i.e. somepony who used to be human, humanoid or near humans themselves. Sonata could be blackmailing Dr. Whooves for a variety of reasons. She knows he's not really a pony, The Time War, she knows about the Tardis, Dr Whooves and Derpy are in an inappropriate relationship...and he knocks Phoenix out because he likes his life in Ponyville. Jossed. It was Cruise Control, as indicated in Part 3 - Twilight.
Sonata knocked out Phoenix.Jossed. It was Cruise Control.
Sonata is pregnant with Ace's foal.She's just hiding it because it would be unprofessional to reveal she...was with a client. Those random winces? Foal be kicking. Jossed by the author herself. Though she said that the author of this theory should recieve a medal.
Phoenix will use Owlolysius to nail SonataAt the end of Part 3 - Phoenix, Phoenix asked Owloysius for a favor…it's a long shot, but it's possible that the favor is taking the evidence on Sonata and Ace's blackmail to the proper authorities. Part 4 reveals that the favor was researching all night. (Which may indirectly help, but won't be the critical piece.)
The crime scene was staged.Rainbow Dash triggered the lightning bolt to destroy the photos. The second lightning bolt hit Ace as he was flying away. Someone came along, dressed him in the lightning-proof suit, put the photos on his body, and moved him to where the first bolt hit; probably Trixie.
The Second Lightning Bolt DID hit something!Namely, the mail carrier delivering Rarity's perfume, thus why it never arrived and Twilight found it in the forest.
The cloud was moved by magic after Rainbow used it the first time.Remember how there was a big dug up spot in the ground. I'm willing to bet money that that's where the first bolt struck down. The second bolt did kill Ace, but the first bolt missed and wasn't even at his exact location. Nope. Gilda eventually confesses in Part 4 that Ace's body was originally lying on the dirt patch; she was the one who placed him on the charred spot where the first bolt struck, to frame Rainbow Dash. The spot that's all dug up and scuffed around is that way because of her ruining the imprint so nobody would realise the body had been moved from there to under the cloud.
Twilight Sparkle will channel Mia Fey.Considering The Stinger at the end of Part 2 where we hear Phoenix calling out Mia's name, as well as the mysterious Magatama glow before the trial, this one is not an unreasonable guess.
The one case in Justice For All will be brought up.Phoenix is bound to be confronted by at least Twilight on the stunt he pulled in court. At which point, he'd explain his reasoning for accusing Fluttershy as well as pointing out that he needs no help from Twilight in hating himself for it, partially explaining the one case.
The culprit tried to kill Rainbow Dash, not Ace Swift.Let's assume that the murder was premeditated. The fact that Rainbow Dash and Ace Swift were both in the same area of the Everfree Forest at the same time suggests that Rainbow Dash could have been just as likely a target as Ace Swift. Granted, there is still not enough evidence that proves the act was premeditated but this is still a reasonable guess considering what has already been shown in court.
Ace Swift isn't dead to begin with.Call this a hunch, but in a setting like My Little Pony, it's hard to imagine a murder taking place other than snuff fics.
There is more than one culprit involved in the murder.This is as of yet unsubstantiated but still a valid guess. Many theories seem to revolve around Gilda or Trixie being the culprit but this would make the case far too simple. A more likely answer is that numerous individuals are involved with one central figure that is ultimately responsible.
The culprit was an Equestrian attorney.Compare the burnt object that Phoenix and Twilight found with the Equestrian attorney badge. There is somewhat of a resemblance, although this is still not confirmed in any way. This is Wild Mass Guessing, after all. The burnt object was part of Pinkie's club.
The culprit is Trixie.She's an attorney? Check. She can summon thunderclouds? Check. Likes to spite Twilight's Friends in revenge for being shown off? Check. The fact that Manfred, the character most people seem to compare her to in this fanfic, pulled off a murder with a similar motive? Check.
Rainbow Dash really did do it.That or Fluttershy. How shocking would that be?
Ace Swift did it.Consider if you will that Ace is indeed cheating. He could have called Rainbow Dash into the forest, intending to blackmail her into competing. Even with the embarrassing pictures though, she was hardly about to give in, adamantly refusing to do it. Thus, Ace's insurance plan was to use the thundercloud which he stole from the ones Rainbow Dash was using, activated it preemptively and then tried to pin Rainbow Dash under the cloud. However she escaped and the cloud killed Ace instead. Rainbow Dash then ran into Apple Bloom in her frantic flight, soon flying out of the forest and getting seen by Fluttershy as Apple Bloom got back onto the path. This would be why Fluttershy didn't see Apple Bloom. The theory likely has holes in it so feel free to discuss and take apart if need be.
An Odd Friendship will form between Pinkie Pie and the JudgeConsidering both are quite the Cloud Cuckoo Landers, the latter is enjoying his stay at Ponyville, and Rule of Funny, this is not unlikely. They don't meet directly on-screen, so it is to be assumed this doesn't happen.
Phoenix Wright will write a letter to Princess Celestia by the end of this.It's My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This is bound to happen.
The Equestrian Attorney Badge will be useful again somehow.I'm not necessarily saying it'll be used as evidence or something like that. Maybe it will form a bridge between Nick's world and Equestria once he comes back? (if he comes back...). We don't even get confirmation that he took it back with him.
The Culprit is an Original Character.Just another hunch.
Addendum to the above: Trixie will end up making good points during the breakdownShe'll descend into a rant about all the breaches in protocol (ignoring her own) by having children withhold testimony to make big reveals on the stand instead of telling everything from the get-go, stealing evidence from an active crime scene, not telling important details like seeing somepony else walk out of the forest, and how if Rainbow Dash didn't bring Ace Swift to an isolated location with the intent to threaten him with a potentially lethal object that she both stole and activated, Rainbow Dash wouldn't be on trial in the first place.
Phoenix will have a chance to give her either a Hannibal Lecture or a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Trixie at some point.Maybe during the Break the Haughty moment.
Phoenix's accusation at the end of Part 2 is right.Phoenix never used the Magatama on her, so there's no proof against her doing it. He may have been just buying time, but his logic still fits, and Trixie doesn't wish to argue with the idea of having two of Twilight's friends in the slammer. Also note that Dahlia was mentioned in Part 1. Foreshadowing?
Trixie is being manipulated.Note how at how a few points, Trixie's mood shifts, her cool persona cracking every so often when something unexpected happens. Something Twilight notices too. Maybe she's being blackmailed into doing this, just as Ace Swift apparently intended to blackmail Rainbow Dash?
There will be emphasis put on the Power of Trust.The trust Phoenix has with his clients, and the one between him and Edgeworth, are a moving force of his series. He mentions this trust in Part 1 as his inspiration for becoming and an important part of being a defense attorney. It seems to be Nick's answer to MLP's Power of Friendship, and it might become a key point in Turnabout Storm, as how one should trust on his friends and allies even on the darkest of times.
One of Ace's previous blackmail victims is the murderer!Blackmailing may be Ace's usual method for winning, and some other Pegasus who he did this to was looking for revenge, with Rainbow set up as the fall guy. Err, pony. Unless he somehow blackmailed karma, then no.
The murder weapon is the small, burnt metal object revealed to be part of Pinkie Pie's lost golf club.Ace's suit had a few precise weak points where lightning could theoretically strike it, right? If someone were to stick a small strip of metal on the back of his neck, or sabotage his suit by clipping something on, or something similar, it *might* be conductive enough to act like a lightning rod, especially if there's nowhere else for it to strike. It would also allow the bolt that killed him to be one of the "imprecise" second or third lightning bolts from a cloud; no need to manually aim directly under the cloud for a weak point if you've got something that attracts the lightning to it. This also opens up the possibility of explaining the "missing lightning bolt" discrepancy; the first lightning bolt could've gone off long before the murder and the "first lightning bolt" everyone heard is actually the second lightning bolt.
Franziska taught Trixie how to prosecute.Trixie is extremely similar to Franziska in her prosecuting style, almost like if von Karma swapped her whip with more Trash Talk. Maybe this is more than just a coincidence, and she actually learned prosecution from Franziska herself; she might have invoked a prosecutor before and learned from her, which would also explain how she got into prosecution in the first place. She doesn't even show her face. Although Trixie still has a liking for the word "fool".
The second lightning bolt never hit anything.Does anyone remember how it was said that "lightning is what produces the noise when it strikes the ground" when Nick tries to point out how Fluttershy 'heard the lightning bolt'. This information seems a bit odd to have been included in this story other than to illustrate further how little Nick knows of Equestria. Also, Apple Bloom said she only saw the lightning bolt but not necessarily that she heard it (This is a bit of a stretch though). And Fluttershy also never heard the second bolt even though it was confirmed to have been set off because of the 'cloud ballistics' and she would have been able to hear it from her cottage. This may mean that the second lightning bolt didn't hit anything at all or at least hit something that for some reason wouldn't make it give off a sound or leave a mark. It is also possible that it would be related to the burnt metal object that Nick and Twilight found at the crime scene. There is no telling whether this is even significant to what happened or even how it fits in to the case but this IS a Wild Mass Guess and there is a fair amount of emphasis on the second lightning bolt even though we don't really know a lot about it or what happened to it. So it's either a Red Herring or critical to the case.
Derpy did it.Search your feelings; you know it to be true! In addition, she's a Pegasus. Lyra and Bon-Bon probably conspired with her. Yes, she di-! ...Oh wait, no.'
Twilight is lying about Celestia being rejected as judge. Either there is no high council or Celestia suggested to the council to have someone else preside.I highly doubt any pony would want to go against Celestia's will. Most ponies respect her and fear those who show any kind of disrespect. If that's the case, then why did Twilight lie about that? Celestia told her to. She knows Rainbow Dash didn't do it, but she knew that even if she did let her off, everypony would still believe she did it. She had Twilight summon Phoenix to truly prove that Rainbow Dash didn't do it and then had her summon the Judge to show that there wouldn't be any bias in the verdict. Nothing suggests she was lying about it.
Edgeworth will help Phoenix with Trixie.Why not? They're friends since childhood. He only calls him out on a supposed disturbing fetish. Does that count as helping?
The Black locks Twilight mentions will belong to the real killer.If Apollo Justice is anything to go by, this is probably the case. I also maintain that the magatama, or rather its power charged into Twilight, will be unable to break them as well.
Sonata set the whole thing up.She's blackmailing the actual killers to carry out the murders in her stead and refuses to go down with them. She set up the crime scene, but not the crime itself.
Twilight will have to finish the trial herself.I think Phoenix will use the evidence against Sonata to bring her down and drag out the truth and Sonata will attempt to take Phoenix down with her. Twilight will then step in and take control as lead defense to finish the trial. It would be great homage to how Maya got herself held in contempt of court on Edgeworth's behalf
Derpy's misdelivered letter will become more important in Twilight's part.Just a hunch. In Ace Attorney, nothing is ever done without aim. Most everything becomes relevant at some point. It doesn't turn out to be that important after all
Sonata's random winces are from a recent injury.Specifically, the second lightning bolt hit her after she killed Ace Swift. The reason she didn't die is because she was using a spell to protect her from lighting as a safety measure (she did have an advanced spell book from Canterlot). However, she wasn't powerful enough to use the spell properly so the protection was incomplete leading to her surviving without major injury but still being in a fair deal of pain. Jossed. Those weren't winces at all. She was actually trying not to laugh at Pinkie's jokes in order to maintain a professional demeanor.
Sonata did it.... Seriously, you want an explanation as to why this is plausible?
Something will happen that will let Phoenix spill the beans on the blackmail without fear of being arrested.If Sonata is the killer, and he finds some evidence leading to her that he could have found without going into the hotel room, then he could nail her for that, and her protestations that he broke into her hotel room could be put under suspicion. Even then, Phoenix would probably be perfectly fine with facing the consequences for his actions as long as it didn't hurt Rainbow Dash's case; if the real killer were found, he could go to jail then. No. Sonata spills the beans anyway, but the Judge is convinced to forget this until the trial is over. And in the end, Sonata lifts all charges against him.
Ace wasn't a Pegasus to begin with.Sonata use a spell to give him some wings that spell has to be cast multiple times or has a short duration. Even he is not that massive of a cheater.
A pony version of Miles Edgeworth will show up.Sonata looks like Mia and Phoenix thought Applejack was one of the persons of his universe so…
The mysterious caller's identity.Just who was the one that called Phoenix in the middle of a world without cellphones?
Princess Celestia will be the Big Damn HeroPhoenix's cases have a history of someone bursting at the last minute and producing some vital evidence for the case. Who better to swoop in and save the day than the ruler of all Equestria? After all, the council only prevented Celestia from serving as judge, but there has been no indication that she couldn't participate in the trial another way… Nope. She stays on the sidelines.
Trixie's after the real killer and the trial is fakeA magician relies on subterfuge and legerdemain. She's using the trial as a smokescreen to hide her real intent. She could have tried to deny Phoenix's accusation, but instead let him do it. However, that is not to say everything she is doing is part of the act. Publicly humiliating Rainbow Dash is purely a perk for her.
Sonata is the murderer.She found Ace's letter (which mention firing someone), tore it up in anger, and then started plotting her vengeance. Spike mentioned having a "Magical Friend" of whom he gave a book to. That book is Advanced Magical Studies. That book is rare, as it can only be found in Canterlot. She knew that Rainbow Dash was going to meet Ace Swift in the Everfree Forrst. Sonata followed her until after Rainbow ran off. She used the book on magical studies to manipulate the cloud into striking Ace Swift. That is why there is no other marks; she never touched the cloud. Plus, she's an OC. You think the writer would condemn a cannon character?
Phoenix will be forced to reveal what he learned in Sonata's hotel room and will hand over the reigns to Twilight.It just seems like standard Ace Attorney fair with the twists like that and it would make for a damn good story. Also, that's the most damning piece of evidence that Phoenix has right now.
The Black Psyche Locks that Twilight mentioned can be broken.
Sonata will have a Villainous BreakdownAnd it will be glorious and Memetic. No such a moment happens.
The third lightning bolt will end up being a Revealing Cover UpOK; so there's always the possibility that it is nothing more than a Red Herring, but if Phoenix is trying to push for the 2nd bolt being the bolt that killed Ace, then the 3rd bolt is currently a problem for the theory. However, there is a key connection. Later on in the trial, as they continue the banter, some key evidence will come up, and Phoenix will realize that someone used the lightning strike on the tree in order to cover up their part in the crime. And from this, he will expose the killer to the best of his ability.
Trixie was an accomplice to the murder.I'll admit I'm just venting anger/frustration here but isn't it weird how Trixie was in town the day of the trial? Also because it's Rainbow Dash being prosecuted can't be the ONLY reason why she got involved, right? Plus, it's possible that a Pegasus wasn't the one to manipulate the cloud. "Sonic Rainboom" showed that there was a spell that allowed non-winged ponies to walk on clouds. Maybe it also allows them to create lightning by kicking them?
Celestia did it.Celestia knew that Rainbow Dash was being blackmailed so she killed Ace Swift. When she found out that Rainbow Dash was arrested for the crime she committed, Celestia decided to judge the trial and rule Rainbow Dash Not Guilty but without finding the murderer. However, the High Council prevented her from doing this so she had to get a Defense Attorney who was good enough to get Rainbow Dash found not guilty but not good enough for Celestia to be found guilty. She also sent Twilight Sparkle to watch Phoenix in case he started to get the idea that Celestia might be guilty. Lastly, she picked a Judge who wouldn't believe that she could be guilty. Jossed. To the Moon with you!
Trixie is the "thing" Apple Bloom bumped into in the forest.When Twilight looks at her in surprise, it's while Trixie is saying she didn't know about that part of Apple Bloom's testimony or denying that it has any relevance to the case. It's confirmed in Part 3-Twilight that Trixie has a Verbal Tic of only using first-person pronouns when she's nervous or hiding something. At the very least, Trixie knows more than she let on during the trial. Nope. It was Sonata.
The burnt metal object acted as a lightning rod of sortsIf it really is the second bolt that killed Ace, then this would be the most likely M.O. It was placed on one of the vulnerable spots of Ace's lightning-proof suit and attracted the bolts that weren't under Rainbow Dash's control. It was probably placed on his person sometime after Rainbow Dash scared him since if it was there before, the initial bolt really would have killed him. This could also explain the introduction: the culprit was saying the words in the opening as he attached the metal to an opening.
The golf club is the real murder weapon.Ace Swift was hit in the back of the head with it, but the wounding would not be readily visible because the "missing" bolt of lightning was grounded by the club into the neck of his corpse. The lightning bolts are just a red herring to the true nature of the murder. Ace was hit with it by Sonata while it was burning hot, and that's what left the mark, but it was far from being a deadly strike.
Lenora did it.The Griffon Express not arriving until after the murder, the feather left behind, being a blackmail victim…So far, everything's pointing to her.
Cruise, his little sister and Trixie are all relatedThe picture of Cruise and his sister don't let us take a good glance at her but we can see that they all share the same kind of skin color though his sister seems to have a lighter tone of blue similar to Trixie's. There's the possibility that Trixie is Cruise's cousin or something (or even his sister, making Cruise's little sister her own too). That would explain why her psyched-locks are black and full of sadness: one member of her family is being black-mailed, the other is in a coma and the one doing the blackmail even threatened to pull her sister/cousin life support off. This would reinforce the hypothesis that Trixie murdered Ace Swift as well (though it may have been an accident). One thing is sure: Magic happened during the night of the murder (teleportation at least as we assume thanks to Apple Bloom), and there was no other unicorn nearby.
Cruise, Leona, AND Sonata did it. Trixie's trying to cover it up.Cruise and Leona have had enough and Swift blackmailing a younger pony is the final straw. (They don't know it's just some embarrassing pictures; they're assuming worse.) Sonata's fed up with working for the scumbag. Cruise's attempt to go to the police failed so they've decided to do the only option they have. Cruise baits the area, Sonata uses Pinkie's golf club to rig Ace's suit and Leona fires the bolt. Then as per the earlier guess, Trixie is related to Cruise and finds out what happened. She signs up to prosecute in order to save her family. She's actually slightly hating herself for doing this.
Ace and Trixie are relatedRather than Cruise, it's Ace. Maybe they are friends or even an item. Why not? Both are meanies. Trixie is putting up prosecuting as a revenge and her despair and sadness is over the loss. Nothing of the sort if ever suggested.
Sonata used Changeling Magic to become TrixieAs a way of covering her tracks. That's where that book came in. This isn't the first time an impostor forgot one important detail in the MLP verse though this time Twilight is on top of it. Changelings hadn't even been introduced by the time the series was written.
It will be Cruise Control who will say that blackmail is involvedThis will destroy the blackmail Sonata aimed at Phoenix and leave him free to attack. No. Sonata spilled the beans immediately.
Rainbow Dash killed Ace Swift but not intentionallyI'm guessing the metal club from Pinkie's golf club that was broken off was placed on Ace Swift to act as a conductor by the mastermind behind it all. Rainbow Dash's attempt to scare Ace Swift accidentally caught the club and thus killed him. Whatever further lightning bolts occurred were either as a cover up or something else entirely.
If Ace is alive, then he won't be for longerIf Ace does manage to stay alive after the murder, then he'd be exposed as a blackmailer and earning the ire of everyone to the point where some would be going after his head (especially Cruise if the above WMG is true). What happens after may or not bring back memories of a similar case.
Cruise and Lenora were both blackmailed into helping Sonata kill Ace.While neither Cruise nor Lenora are sorry that Ace is dead, neither of them seem like the type to kill someone unless forced. Sonata took the liberty of picking the two most suspicious of Ace's victims and forced them to help her. No, but Sonata did extort Cruise into helping her cover her "crime".
Neither Cruise nor Lenora are involved but they both think the other is.Lenora seems very protective of Cruise and even though they're no longer close, Cruise likely feels at least some affection for his old friend. He discovered the feather and recognized it as a griffin feather and then proceeded to connect it with Lenora; not wanting her arrested, he attacked Phoenix to prevent him from finding the feather but was unaware it had already been found. In Lenora's case, she made the connection between Cruise's sister being in Canterlot Hospital and Ace being a blackmailer and prior to Ace's death, may or may not have been planning to expose Ace for his blackmail of Cruise. However after Ace's death, she believed Cruise had somewhat justifiably killed Ace and tried to protect him. Eventually Twilight and Pheonix will be able to reveal the truth about neither being involved and get the full story out of them. Neither of them seemed to believe the other was involved in the murder.
Lenora's blackmail was somehow connected to the bottle Twilight found, which itself was supposed to be Rarity's perfume.Lenora is very proud of her position as a mail-griffin and the company she works for, complete with claiming that her company would never mix up packages. However the bottle Twilight found seems to resemble a perfume bottle (and perfume was what Rarity ordered but didn't receive) but is label-less and filled with something that smells horrible. It's possible either Lenora mixed Rarity's bottle of perfume up with something else or Ace mixed up the orders and threatened to blame her.
Trixie killed Ace Swift and framed Rainbow Dash for the murder to get back at Twilight.This guess is based on an assumption that if Trixie can be a prosecutor in Equestria, perhaps she may be involved in police as well. Thus, Cruise Control makes his anonymous tip about the blackmailing of Rainbow Dash, and Trixie sees an opportunity to send one of Twilight's closest friends to jail. The fact that she has black Psyche Locks could also be a hint to this, as the only person to ever sport these locks is Kristoph Gavin, who is also known for petty and complex revenge/murder plots.
Trixie's locks, if they do, won't break in the normal fashion.Per Phoenix's canon black psyche-locks are unbreakable, and Trixie did do all that flashy stuff at the stage. We don't see them break. And if they were broken, Trixie did it unintendedly, happening without much flashiness.
Sonata killed Ace and either Lenora or Cruise Control helped her.Sonata just wanted to end everything she and Ace did. She probably knew that Ace was about to blackmail Rainbow Dash, so she followed Ace to the Everfree Forest. Once she saw RD leave, she entered the forest and saw that Ace had been knocked out. Taking the initiative, she placed Pinkie Pie's golf club at one of the gaps in Ace's suite and either used a stepladder to reach and activate the cloud (if anypony can activate clouds), asked for Cruise Control to do it (if only Pegasi can activate clouds), or asked Lenora to do it (if she can also activate clouds). Since the thunder did not hit the ground, it did not make any noise. If she did it alone, she saw Apple Bloom and used a spell to send her home. If she did not, then either Lenora or CC saw Apple Bloom and just left her in the nearest place which just happened to be her home (since Rainbow Dash flew in the direction of Fluttershy's home, the guilty party would just leave using another road). Sonata then switched the stepladder she used with one from Lenora's place and placed one of her feathers at the crime scene to throw ponies off. This is more or less is how I think everything happen. I can't stop thinking that Sonata has to be a culprit but I kinda doubt she could have done it alone. Even if she did, she probably had a back up plan to make another pony or gryphon look suspicious. I feel there is a lot of holes in my theory but I can't remember everything that had just happened in like 6 hours of gaming XD.
Trixie has summoned a prosecutor from the Ace Attorney universe before.Except that it wasn't Edgeworth. It was either Franziska or Godot, both of whom know exactly where her pride is going to lead her. Franziska went through a Break the Haughty moment in the ending of Justice For All, while Godot would point out exactly where revenge would lead. Alternatively, she summoned Edgeworth before, and he chewed her out over her pride. Nothing of the sort.
A crucial cross-examination during the last part of the last courtroom act will use the Ultimate Marvelvs Capcom 3 versions of Phoenix's themes.Simply because both the Objection! and Pursuit ~ Cornered remixes are too epic to be left out.
The pony in the picture that Cruise Control took at the entrance of the Everfree Forest is NOT Ace SwiftIt was explicitly said that Cruise Control didn't get a clear picture of the face of the pony that entered there. Think about it: Just WHY did Ace choose to wear a lightning proof suit for his meeting in the clearing? Rainbow Dash also explicitly stated that the suit was itchy and generally uncomfortable. He had absolutely no reason to be wearing it. The weather report said that the clearing would have clear skies, so he wouldn't be wearing it for protection. My guess is that somepony knocked him out earlier with the golf club, before the first lightning strike hit, and knew that Cruise Control would follow him/her. So they donned the suit to hide their identity, let Cruise Control take his picture, and later put it back on the body to make it look like Ace entered the forest at 8:20, when in fact he was there earlier. That pony was definitely Ace Swift.
Rainbow Dash will be joining Gilda in prison.Gilda admitted to trying to frame Rainbow Dash in some, by her own confession, really messed up desire for revenge, and staged the scene, then committed perjury trying and failing to get that sense of revenge, but Rainbow Dash isn't completely innocent. She stole a cloud and tried threatening someone with it, then obstructed any and all attempts to find out what happened, not to mention, the cloud she stole and activated did end up killing someone. These are not exactly trivial things.
Gilda: Dash, what are you doing here? I thought you were supposed to be getting ready for the big race.Nope. Rainbow comes clean out of the whole ordeal.
Rainbow: Yeah, well, while I'm not guilty of the murder, Ace is dead because of a cloud I stole, threatened him with, and turned on. Move over, we're cellmates.
It was...Sonata... in the clearing... with the golf club sticking into the cloud for the second bolt. Again, close but no cigar.
How the Murder Happened...As Ace goes into the forest, Sonata follows him (either using magic to cloak or just ordinary sneaking) into the forest, knowing that Cruise had taken his picture and went to the cops and they were essentially alone with Dash. She lets Ace and Dash negotiate, knowing that Dash won't fall for it because of her attention to detail talent. After Dash sets off the initial bolt and flies away, Ace looks up at her and is about to give chase, but Sonata grabs the nearest thing she can (Pinkie's club) and clobbers him. Ace is unconscious and Sonata then sticks the club close to an exposed spot and then uses magic to force the cloud to send off a bolt. Using laws of physics the bolt finds the closest path to the ground with the least resistance: the metal club/lightning rod. It shocks the downed Ace, while not making a sound because it hit something small and in the air (the head of the club, which broke off) killing him. The deed done, she grabs the charred club by her mouth and focuses up a teleport spell to get her out of the forest. While casting, Applebloom bumped into her and she get teleported along for the ride. Sonata realizes this, and hides (cloaking or jumping into a bush) when the spell's done. Applebloom's dazed, looks around, and bolts for her home. Everyone gone, Sonata decloaks and leaves, holding the club in her mouth because she exhausted her powers (force-activating the bolt, teleporting 2 ponies, maybe 2 cloaking spells) and can't maintain a levitation spell.
The killing was not premeditated, Sonata killed Ace via magic, and then she spun a web of lies to get away with it.If it pleases the court, I'd like to present a unified argument on what has been happening behind the scenes, up to that fateful night in the clearing and beyond. *Ahem* Let’s begin by examining the evidence, starting with Pinkie’s golf club. It's charred, is missing an end, and was lost in the Everfree Forest a week prior to the murder. This all aligns perfectly with the supporting evidence: the broken and similarly charred piece of metal found near Ace's corpse. All of this points to the club being used as a channel for the lethal shock at some point. The question is, however, where did the fatal bolt actually come from? At the end of Part 4, Phoenix questions Twilight on any unicorn spells that can cause electrocution. She states that no, no unicorn in this day and age is capable of casting anything like that. She does note that there are spells to conjure and release electricity, however even she lacks the magical power to make such a spell lethal. The second lightning bolt must therefore be the source of the electricity used to kill Ace; the others are all accounted for. This raises another question, however: why didn't this bolt make a sound? The answer becomes apparent when one recalls that thunder only sounds when the bolt strikes the ground. The second bolt, therefore, did not strike the ground, but was channeled directly into the victim. And it had to have done so while he was in the air—as Trixie notes in Parts 2 and 4, it would have transferred into the ground and charred it if he weren't. The problem with arguing this as evidence for murder is that too much is left to chance. For this to have been premeditated, it would have to rely on several random factors. First, the golf club itself was lost even to its owner, thus it could not have been planned for. Second, the cloud's presence at the scene likewise could not have been known, as Dash only brought it there of her own accord. Third, said cloud releases its lightning on its own after the first bolt, meaning the killer could not rely on the lightning to kill him whenever they wanted. All of this points to a scenario more akin to voluntary manslaughter—er, ponyslaughter—rather than first-degree murder. With that in mind, here is where I begin to speculate. First, we must ask the question, "Why was Sonata there at all, if not for murder?" Allow me to put forth a theory I believe fits her modus operandi. I believe she was there to deliver her resignation letter to Ace at a place and time where it would do the most damage to him—namely, right after Rainbow rejects the blackmail attempt. Sonata could reasonably assume Rainbow would reject the offer; she likely constructed a full profile on Rainbow as part of her blackmailing duties. We also know Sonata likes to "hold the cards" until it is convenient, and quitting while Ace is at his lowest would serve as some small vengeance against him. Given the wording of her letter, and the regret it indicates, punishing Ace in this manner would likely satisfy her sense of justice. Now, Sonata assumes she knows how Ace will react to this based on her observations of him throughout their time together. She expects him to react with a bit of blustering and half-baked threats. She can then calmly point out that there is nothing he can do to harm her, as revealing anything about the blackmail business will bring him down with her. The problem is that her "eye for detail" assumes its subject acts rationally, but what about when they act irrationally? Say, if Ace flies into a rage and decides to kill Sonata? Ace attacks, and taken by surprise, Sonata can do little but be overwhelmed. Ace is larger and physically stronger than her—he’s an athletic pegasus, she’s a squishy unicorn. A weapon could turn the tide, however; and as luck would have it, she stumbles across the golf club lying in the dirt. Using telekinesis, she tries to wield it against her assailant, but he wrenches it from her magical grip and begins using it against her in turn. He hits her with several hard blows, and these injuries continue to affect Sonata days later. Recall that she winces in pain when Pinkie shouts, "Again! And again! And again!" Beaten to submission, Sonata looks up to find Ace flapping above her, preparing to swoop down and make the killing blow. And then she spies the cloud floating next to him. She, of course, knows all about the weak points in Ace's suit; she's worked with him long enough to know the ins and outs of the uniform. The problem is that she is not a pegasus; she can't reach the cloud, nor can she aim the lightning it generates. But then, she has a handy, conductive device to do all that for her. All Sonata needs to do is coax the cloud into releasing its stored energy, and the lightning will take the path of least resistance in traveling downward. As stated earlier, unicorns possess spells allowing them to generate and release electricity, and Sonata likely knows one—she left a mark in her spell book specifically pointing to it. That’s what that scrawling means, in fact—"From here, third line"—it’s the latter half of the spell, the part that commands the electricity to be released. All she needs to do is cast the spell at that precise moment. The cloud spits out its lightning, and it arcs straight into the head of the golf club, blasting it apart even as it chars it. There is no thunderclap, as the lightning never makes contact with the earth. Ace falls to the ground, and Sonata is left alone in the clearing. And here is where her true crime takes shape. Rather than admit to her killing, she does what she does best: she plots a way out. She begins removing the evidence—with her mouth, as necessitated by the loss of her strength and the need to teleport—starting with the murderous golf club and the letter. She runs into problems due to the dark, however; she doesn’t realize the club is missing its head, nor does she realize that the letter has been torn apart in the scuffle. These pieces of evidence are later found by Phoenix and Fluttershy, respectively. Preparing to teleport, Sonata is suddenly bumped into by Apple Bloom. Startled, Sonata accidentally transports the two of them to the edge of the forest. Because of her dark coloring, Apple Bloom doesn’t see her in the near-pitch blackness under the trees, and Fluttershy just barely notices her exit. Sonata then disposes of the club in Ponyville’s park and waits for her opportunity to further seal the deal. When Rainbow Dash is arrested, she plans on prosecuting the case herself in order to ensure Rainbow takes the fall for her. Of course, Trixie beats her to it, but that's fine so long as no competent defense attorney shows up to ruin things. Cue Phoenix arriving in Ponyville, and Sonata scrambling to further deny the truth. She conscripts Cruise Control with the same blackmail as Ace—this is why Sonata appears for a moment before Twilight encounters Cruise for the first time, and why Cruise still uses his goofball persona despite having no need for it anymore. What Sonata doesn’t realize, though, is that there are two individuals working the case. Thanks to Twilight, her well-coordinated plan falls apart. The motive, the opportunity, and the mens rea of a masterful criminal—it’s all there. Sonata may not have planned to kill Ace at first, but she did, and then tried to hide her crime in the most reprehensible manner: by framing another for it. Despite her best efforts, however, "no matter how far she runs, now matter how long she hides, the finger of justice will never lose sight of her." Phoenix is going to blow open the lid on all of this during her testimony. And to slip one last bit of WMG into this, I’ll bet he’s going to use that exact turn of phrase when he finally corners her.
Pinkie Pie will take the fall for Phoenix when Sonata accuses himPinkie may be an airhead (and she may oversleep) but I have a feeling that she'll come barging in when Sonata accuses Phoenix of breaking and entering, and claim that she's the one responsible. Bonus points if she broke into Sonata's room again and erased all of Phoenix's prints, via the power of Pinkie-jutsu. She doesn't even get to the trial in time. AGAIN.
In part 5/4, there will be some extra footage after the credits roll.It'll mostly be about Twi preparing to send Phoenix back to his world, and as they talk Phoenix laments that Pony currency is useless for his world, and he basically did a big case Pro Bono. Suddenly, the rest of the Mane Cast come in to see him off (maybe even Trixie if she Heel Face Turns over the course of the video). Applejack gives him the knock upside the head she owed him and Rarity gives him the suit that she was rambling about, completely inlaid with enough gems to basically quadruple Phoenix's payment. There are some lengthy scenes involving some of those events before and during the credits. But the actual stinger is something unrelated to that.
Trixie and Ace were loversThink about it: Twilight felt that those black psyche-lockes were full of sadness. And they appeared when she asked Trixie her true reasons to be the prosecutor in these case. That's because the victim was the pony she loved; she doesn't want revenge against Twilight, she wants revenge against the murderer of her boyfriend. Also, both of them were fakes: they became famous using dirty tricks and lies; they share something. Besides, check that little scene at the end of episode 4. Nope. Nothing of the sort.
The judgment will not be reversed. Rainbow Dash will be banished to the Sun.Just as being banished to the Moon did not kill Luna, being banished to the Sun will not kill Dashie. Rather, Dashie will endure the Sun's harsher conditions-its relentless heat and radiation, its immense gravity, the raw power of a solar storm, its total lack of clouds upon which to nap. Then, months later, the real killer will be revealed. As it would be completely wrong to cause an exonerated suspect to continue serving an unjust sentence, she is magically summoned back home. What comes out of the summoning spell has flight ability trained to almost 30 times normal, a hide that can withstand the full output of the most powerful energy source in sight, is still as hot as the Sun, is completely sleep deprived, and the first thing on her mind is what it usually is: flying into a brawl against those who wronged her. And hey, no sense holding back, right? I mean, what's the worst thing they could do to you...banish you to the sun? The whole series has been a setup for an epic Hoist By Her Own Petard, with every one of Trixie's choices-from which of the Mane Six to frame to what punishment to pursue to whether to let Fluttershy take the fall instead-combining to yield a new, improved, and very angry Dashie, out for Trixie's head.
A previous murder in Equestria is related to this caseThis is a huge guess, but there might be a chance that a previous Equestrian crime of this magnitute has some relation to this one, even if just a very slight one in a Butterfly of Doom kind of way. Then again, "a very long time" since the last murder could easily mean anything from a few years to a few centuries, considering this is Celestia we're talking about here, so the chances of it being related could go down significantly. No conection with previous crimes is brought up.
Sonata murdered Ace for playing with Cruise Control's sister's lifeHer letter was written to voice her disapproval of Ace crossing the line by threatening a comatose filly, but she soon realized that the only way to keep Cruise Control's sister comitted was killing Ace so he'd take his dirty secrets to the grave. She may in fact be an aunt or niece of Cruise Control and sister, making this a case of blood is thicker than water. She wanted to leave that life, not to kill him.
The Black Psyche-LocksI believe Trixie's psyche-locks are holding back a deep pain in Trixie's heart that has to do with Twilight. That much is already easy to guess, but what am I suggesting the secret is? Twilight and Trixie were once best of friends many years ago, but something happened that split the two apart, and Trixie perceived it as being abandoned. Now she wants to make Twilight suffer the same sadness she still feels. Think about it, she directs her anger towards Twilight through her friends, she's trying to hurt her in only one fashion (splitting her friends apart), has a begrudging opinion about friendship itself, and she seemed to react oddly when Gilda made remarks about getting revenge against Rainbow Dash for abandoning her for the Mane 6. It also explains the deep sadness in her heart. It's not malicious, it's longing. Er, no. Twilight never had any friends before moving to Ponyville (unless you count Shining Armor and Cadence, who aren't mentioned in this story), and she herself remarks that "Boast Busters" was the first time she'd ever seen Trixie. Furthermore, in Part 5, it's pretty heavily implied that Trixie has just been projecting her own failures onto the more successful Twilight, and her realization of this (though she still tries to lie about it) breaks the locks before Phoenix can ever see them.