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Fanfic / A Complete Turnabout

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The world had suddenly decided to take a joyride on the road of irony, and had decided not to take me with it.
Phoenix Wright, Chapter 1

"Waking up in an unfamiliar room one morning, Phoenix Wright suddenly finds a Prosecutor's Badge in his possession. With most of his allies suddenly acting hostile towards him, will he figure out what truly caused the world he knew to suddenly change?"

A Complete Turnabout is an Ace Attorney fanfic by Nenilein, set in in an alternate universe. The twist? Phoenix appears to be the only person in that alternate universe from the Ace Attorney world that we know.

Phoenix Wright, the defense attorney with a fondness for The Perry Mason Method, wakes up in an alternate universe where he is a respected Amoral Prosecutor. He finds himself in a world where almost everyone he knows and trusts hates him instead - oh, and Edgeworth is a defense attorney. To make matters worse, he finds that 'he' had recently got Mia Fey, his canonically deceased mentor, and Dahlia Fey (yes, you read that right, Fey) a life prison sentence.

Phoenix traces the root of the differences in this universe to the absence of the DL-6 incident in its timeline, but that doesn't make much difference - he is simply lost in a world where all the events and people in his life are now radically different. On top of the mystery of how and why he got there, he's then forced to prosecute a case involving the murder of Ema Skye, with Lana Skye as the defendant.

It's an enthralling mystery, and despite the flipped premise, a strong Original Flavor fic for Ace Attorney fans. Characters and elements from all the main series games, as well as from the Investigations spinoffs, will all be making an appearance at some point.

Last updated November 2016, so this may very well be a Dead Fic. As of September 2019, the fic is on indefinite hiatus.

This fanfic had even inspired a spin-off story by author twightlight96, created around the same time the most recent chapter was uploaded, called Apollo Justice Ace Prosecutor?, which is similar to this story. The reason he wakes up in the Prosecuting!Apollo's dimension and the Prosecutor!Apollo wakes up in Attorney!Apollo's world is due to getting caught in an accident after finding out that Thalassa Gramarye is his mother, alongside Trucy.

Now has an In-Universe Tumblr-BlogIn addition, tumblr user chief-prosecutor has started to remake the entire story in Ace Attorney Online


  • Abusive Parents: Taken to an extreme with Manfred von Karma, who shoots his own daughter. See Bilingual Bonus below.
  • Agent Scully: Actually averted by the alternate Edgeworth, in contrast to his canon counterpart. He doesn't have the same baggage which convinces him that spirit mediums are all frauds, letting him realize that the Fey clan's spirit channeling is very real (though as a generally rational person, he is embarrassed to admit this to Phoenix).
  • Amoral Attorney:
    • Prosecutor!Phoenix jails his girlfriend's sister and cousin without allowing the defense the opportunity to find the whole truth. Subverted in Chapter 34 with the reveal that Prosecutor!Phoenix was actually a blackmail victim of "The Network", and his amoral actions were a result of that.
    • Franziska von Karma is like her canon self but without the Character Development.
  • Artistic Licence – Biology: One chapter mentions sakura tree blooming which in may, when the fic takes place, is unusual to say the least. Author seems to be aware of this.
    Nenilein: The first one to tell me sakura don't bloom in may will be sent 10 pages with MST3000 mantra written over and over again.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Maya, still a Steel Samurai fan, manages to turn her Steel Samurai fic into a plot for a movie, plus getting to play one of the main villains.
  • Batter Up!: Maya conjures a baseball bat up, seemingly out of hammerspace when she tries to chase Phoenix out of Edgeworth's office.
  • Big Eater: Not only is Maya as junkfood obsessed as ever (The fic actually makes use of both her US-Version hamburger addiction and her JP-version ramen addiction) - she even tries to actually use this as an alibi in her testimony - there's also Lilie Heatherd, who's basically a walking food-lexicon.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Translating the German in Chapter 22 leads to rather... disturbing revelations. Franziska has a wound in her (right) shoulder from being shot by her father. Also, Gregory Edgeworth was the victim in the BD-7 case, and Dahlia is heavily implied by von Karma to have something to do with it.
  • Bizarro Universe: A minor and actually well thought out example; Edgeworth fulfilled his childhood dream of being a defense attorney. There is no reason yet given for Prosecutor!Phoenix's career change.
  • Brain Bleach: Directly referenced at one point, when Phoenix comes up with a particularly disturbing image during his Inner Monologue in chapter 1.
    Phoenix: (Yikes! Somebody, pass the Brain Bleach, please!)
  • Butterfly of Doom: Due to no DL-6, Mia never investigated Redd White and Blue Corp. for ruining Misty Fey's reputation, which meant their activities were left unchecked, which let to Blue Corp. being part of a bigger criminal conspiracy known as "The Network".
  • Couldn't Find a Pen: Very nearly defied by Phoenix, who notes that every single time this trope has happened in his universe, the note turned out to be from the real killer instead of the victim. He nearly tells Gumshoe to destroy a note supposedly written by Ema Skye before Edgeworth stops him and reminds him that even if the note is obviously fake, it could still help them find who really wrote it.
  • Counting Sheep: Phoenix tries this to get some well deserved rest. It works.
    • That depends on your idea of rest. *shivers* the nightmare...
  • Creepy Child: Pearl is a bit... different. Such as how she's alive when she doesn't exist.
    • Mia states that that isn't actually Pearl, but something copying Pearl's shape from Nick's memories. Note that this isn't actually helping anyone, because we don't know who this spirit actually is and why s/he has it in for Nick.
  • Dramatic Irony: Anyone who's played Apollo Justice knows that Phoenix is repressing from himself anything related to his disbarment as an attorney. This can create some disturbing Epileptic Trees
  • Ephebophile: Technically he's fifteen but Phoenix comments on how creepy Lilie's relationship is with Dylan Sengage is.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The first day gives Phoenix the impression that the alternate version of himself was a complete asshole and hated by all of his friends' counterparts, but it turns out to be more complicated than that. It soon comes out that he was on decent, even good, terms with most of them for a long time. Some time ago his behavior began to change and soured things somewhat, but the immediate anger and coldness they show Phoenix is their response to his recent betrayal, not just him being hated period.
  • Fan Boy: Edgeworth is still one, seeing how he reacted when he saw Phoenix's Steel Samurai cards.
    Edgeworth: You… You got the limited edition Mayoi and Chinami cards from the 'Moonlight Showdown' series!
  • For Want of a Nail: So far the only characters who retain their canonical roles in the story are the Skye sisters and Gumshoe.
    • Arguably though, the fact that Morgan Fey became the Kurain Channeling Master instead of Misty should be considered another nail that changed, since it is in theory independent of the DL-6 incident.
  • Genre Savvy: Maya knows enough old spy movies to realise that Ema was killed because of what she knew.
  • Good Parents: Misty is clearly a loving and caring mother.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Mayoi's schtick.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: It's eventually revealed that Redd White managed to convert Bluecorp into the very "Network" responsible for Ema's death here.
  • Heroic BSoD: Mentally discussed:
    The moment this whole implication turned out to be true, I would just do like the first PC I ever handled and suddenly shut down, accompanied by a weird, blue screen telling everyone that I 'encountered a problem'.
  • The Idealist Was Right: When Iris claims that Phoenix isn't as evil as everyone makes him to be, Maya shots her down for being naive, not without good reasons. Turns out Iris was right and Phoenix was actually Forced into Evil.
  • Idol Singer: MAYOI.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: like all Canon AA cases the fic uses Turnabout in the title.
  • Informed Flaw: Prosecutor!Phoenix is apparently really bad at preparing for trial. Of course we never actually see him in action but his canon counterpart does his best to prepare cases, spending hours gathering information and evidence. True, he has to improvise many times, but it's because in AA universe prosecution practically controls the trials and he doesn't have much choice but to play with whatever cards he has. What's more chapter 34 mentions that he sometimes refused to prosecute without further investigation, meaning he had at least enough understanding of a case to know something's off, making his supposed lack of preparation rather hard to believe.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • The SL-9 case still occurred, unfortunately for the Skye sisters.
    • Manfred von Karma being the one found guilty of Gregory Edgeworth's murder.
    • Kay Faraday still becomes the Yatagarasu, but she's working with Raymond Shieldsnote  instead.
    • Zak Enigmar's trial ending with him disappearing.
    • Phoenix and Iris still fell in love.
  • Jerkass: Lilie Heatherd. So far, she's been an annoying witness, obstructed a police investigation because she didn't want to be bothered, disrespected the court where she works, been a bitch to Maggey, and being all-around immature.
    • It's later implied that the possible reason she got together with Dylan Sengage is that she could pin the murder on him ...until it's revealed he's genuinely her Morality Pet and the last person she wanted to be branded as a suspect.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot: Because asking outright would not be one of Phoenix's brightest ideas right now. The reader is very much welcome to look over the court record and speculate.
  • Master of Unlocking: Dylan Sengage knows how to open just about any type of lock, even digitally-operated ones, thanks to having memorized the contents of his locksmith father's ultimate lockpicking manifesto. His presence immediately invalidates the court's previous assumption that only Lana and Ema could have accessed the murder scene, and he later confirms that he did unlock the door (even though his confession to the murder itself was a lie).
  • Meido: Maggey, once again. But this time the dress is pink.
  • Mind Screw: The dream. Lampshaded by the author. It was delicious mindfuck alright.
  • Mirror Universe: Avoided. Despite at first looking like one of these, the differences between the two are a bit more complex then a simple morality/position flip.
  • Mood Dissonance: Find out more about this world, maybe it's not so bad: No DL-6, Mia and Misty Fey and Gregory Edgeworth are all alive and well, happier childhoods for both Edgeworth and Dahlia, Maya is living the dream as an idol singer... and then they enter the apartment.
  • Mythology Gag: During Maya's song, her voice quakes when she sings the line "And my miracle will never have happened" so that the last word almost gets cut short.
    • Phoenix Wright at one point alludes to the Mob Trials from the Layton crossover.
  • Older Than They Look: Lilie Heatherd. She looks 15. Her actual age is 23. Her personality doesn't help much and neither does the fact that she tends to exploit her youthful looks to her advantage.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: After the IS-7 incident trial, Gregory Edgeworth always took up cases where von Karma was prosecuting, having taken what happened to his client and his client's ward personally.
  • Ontological Mystery: How canon!Phoenix got to this universe is just as much as a mystery as the actual trial. It's likely to be related to his Trauma-Induced Amnesia which is more of a mystery to Phoenix than the reader
  • Original Character: Lilie Heatherd. Also Dylan Sengage, her boyfriend.
  • Patchwork Fic: Story, or at least Phoenix's memories follow the games, but some elements from the anime, like Signal Samurais are also used.
  • Photographic Memory: Dylan Sengage has this, which allowed him to memorize his father's illegal lockpicking book front-to-back before it was seemingly confiscated or destroyed by the authorities.
  • Porky Pig Pronunciation: Maya in Chapter 7.
  • Quest for Identity: And the truth is shaping up to be more and more unpleasant.
  • Ret-Gone: Pearl Fey no longer exists because she was born after DL-6. Which is strange, seeing as we met her earlier. "Pearl" is a spirit, most likely malevolent, who's taken Pearl's form through Nick's memories. It's not the actual one, but we didn't know that at the time. This leaves the question: who is that girl?
  • The Reveal: Chapter 29 reveals more on the fate of Gregory Edgeworth since December 2001. As it turns out, he had been taking cases against Manfred, and this apparently leads to his murder, the BD-7 Incident. Dahlia was the defendant in that incident, and in the end von Karma was the one found guilty. Prosecutor!Phoenix was the one who was supposed to prosecute the trial as well.
  • Running Gag: A lot of things Phoenix encounters on the second day just happen to be pink. Among them: The Hello-Kitty themed cafeteria deco, Maggey Byrde's new uniform, Maya's mysterious letter, the blossoms of the cherry tree down the river and Kay Faraday's shirt. It would have more if Sōta Sarushiro's pink hoodie were there to.
  • Sailor Fuku: According to the author's sprite-thread on, Lilie Heatherd's clothes were partly based on this.
  • Secret-Keeper: Phoenix decides to tell Mia and later, to a far greater extent, Maya the truth about the fact that he's from an Alternate Universe.
  • Secretly Selfish: Iris acuses Phoenix of being this, when he says he'll get her sister out of prison. She thinks he only says this just to win her back and is quite suprised when he says he's doing it so she could be happy again.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Mia Fey, Gregory Edgeworth, Dahlia Hawthorne, and Misty Fey. Presumably there are more.
    • Subverted in Gregory Edgeworth's case as of Chapter 29; he was still murdered, but in a different case (the BD-7 Incident). Not even in an Alternate Universe can he be spared, apparently.
  • Squee: An absolutely hilarious example occurs when Edgeworth notices Phoenix has limited edition Steel Samurai trading cards. The fact that you can see the canon Edgeworth doing this makes it even more LOL-worthy
  • Stealth Pun: Iris is playing a character named "Chinami" in Steel Samurai movie. Considering that Maya's stage name is Mayoi you'd expect that Iris's character would be named with her Japanese name, but her name in Japan is Ayame, while Chinami is Dahlia's name. Seems like silly mistake on the writer's part... until you remember that movie Chinami is supposed to be evil witch.
  • Stylistic Suck: Maya's script for the Steel Samurai movie.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Phoenix does this twice to Gumshoe:
    • While investigating on the first evening he gives the chronically underpaid Detective a 500$ Bonus (Prosecutor!Phoenix lives in a luxurious apartment and had 10.000$ in 100$ bills in his purse) because Phoenix felt bad for the poor detective for being so poor while he himself was very well off. Gumshoe didn't really want to believe it and was to humble to accept it right of the bat.
    • On the next day after the first day of the trial is over he offers him to /raise/ his salary of all things, basically to thank him for helping Edgeworth and for all the time Gumshoe helped Phoenix in his own universe. Gumshoe, being humble again, declined as he would have helped Edgeworth anyway and had done it many times before.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Phoenix has been having odd reactions to anything from Apollo Justice. Such as Psyche Locks
  • Unreliable Narrator: Phoenix is not deliberately lying to the reader, but he's got Psyche Locks on himself.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Lilie Heatherd was actually being tricked by Dylan Sengage the whole time—he manipulated her into witnessing a staged version of the timeframe of the murder, intercepted and later used her intended phone call to the police, and suggested some key details to fill some blanks where she wasn't paying attention to her surroundings. He needed a witness that truly didn't realize that the story was lies, and she was the only person he knew how to trick.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 34 gives ton of reveals that turn everything on it's head. Phoenix appeared to be a jerk because he was being controlled by the mysterious "network", which started around BD-7 case. The reason why he wasn't prosecuting that case was because he deliberately broke his leg to have an excuse to get out. Which is also the reason why he was isolating himself from everyone. What's more the Network demanded that he'd find Lana guilty but he didn't know that because his cellphone was stolen. And now everyone he's close to is potential target for Network's revenge.
  • Wham Line:
    • "Nick... Excuse me but... Who's "Pearls"?
    • "Scientifically speaking, she is right."
  • What the Hell, Casting Agency?: In-Universe, this is Phoenix's reaction to having Iris cast as evil witch in Steel Samurai movie.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Several times. While still unsure about the details of what everybody else is talking about.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Implied with Phoenix towards Iris. Maya mentions that whenever she came back from visiting him she was always a lot happier and more confident. We don't know what exactly he told her but whatever it was it apparently worked.