|Date added||October 25, 2011|
|Part of||Turnabout Storm|
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In the prologue, two ponies are shown in silhouette having a heated discussion in a dark forest clearing. Their "negotiations" take an ominous turn when one of the shadowed figures refuses the other's demand, takes flight and kicks a cloud, causing it to fire a lightning bolt. The clearing briefly lights up, revealing a cyan-furred Pegasus with a rainbow-colored mane.
The scene shifts to one Phoenix Wright, attorney-at-law, bored and about to go home at the end of a slow day. Before he can, something unseen yet very powerful takes hold of him, all but seizing him in its grasp. He becomes dizzy and finds himself unable to move, passing out as he watches his own hand fade away.
After some time, the strange force lets go of him. Starting to come to, he hears an unfamiliar and confused-sounding female voice asking who and what he is--that she was trying to summon the "best defense attorney in Equestria, not some... porcupine thing!"
Despite his disorientation, Phoenix manages to grumble a bit about the insult to his spiky hair.
Muscle control returning, he opens his eyes to find himself inside a library apparently built into the trunk of a large tree... and faced with a small, violet-furred equine with a unicorn horn asking him if he's a human. After realizing she spoke to him, Phoenix panics at witnessing a talking horse, which the unicorn corrects with an insulted air, informing him she's a pony.
After confirming with a thoroughly freaked Phoenix he is a defense attorney, the mysterious mare explains she was trying to cast a spell to bring "The Greatest Defense Attorney in Equestria" to her... but accidentally left out the Equestria part. Therefore, the spell brought her "The Greatest Defense Attorney... period".
"Oh cosmos, you flatter me..." Phoenix can't help but think, but asks the unicorn to return him home straightaway. She starts to say yes, but then asks him if he would be willing to represent her friend. Kidnapped and in an unfamiliar world, Phoenix isn't about to agree, but the purple pony begs him for help, saying her friend's life is at stake.
Trying to wrap his head around the situation he's found himself in, Phoenix asks the odd equine to tell him her name and where he is. The unicorn introduces herself as Twilight Sparkle, a disciple of Princess Celestia, the monarch of Equestria, giving their current location as the town of Ponyville. Twilight follows that up by giving him a "detailed encyclopedia" on the different types of ponies in Equestria--Earth ponies, Pegasi, and unicorns--which turns out to be a twelve-word children's book, making Phoenix slightly angry. Phoenix then notices that Twilight is sad, and upon further inquiry, learns that her friend is currently being held at the Ponyville Detention Center, accused of murder.
Twilight tells him that, unlike in Phoenix's world, murder has almost never occurred in Equestria's long history, meaning the punishment is very severe--banishment to the moon or sun. Starting to sense his need is real, Phoenix asks the violet unicorn for more details about the case. She explains that her friend became the prime suspect because she was spotted near the crime scene around the time of the murder. Twilight goes on to say she wants to talk to her friend but can't enter the Detention Center without a lawyer, hence the summoning spell. Phoenix decides he can at least flash his attorney badge to get her in, but won't promise any more than that.
A grateful Twilight thanks Phoenix, addressing him by his full name. Phoenix blinks at that, asking how she knows who he is--he hadn't yet introduced himself. Caught off-guard, Twilight momentarily panics but recovers quickly, saying she used an 'identification spell' to learn his name. Though suspicious, Phoenix lets it go, resolving to get Twilight into the Detention Center and then get her to send him home.
After collecting a few things from the library, Twilight and Phoenix walk to the Detention Center, running a gauntlet of gawking ponies along the way. Upon arrival, the guards outside ask Phoenix for identification. Phoenix shows his human defense attorney badge only to learn it carries no weight in Equestria; the guards deny him access believing it a toy. Twilight then remembers Princess Celestia gave her a special defense attorney badge so that he can defend clients in Equestria--a pink heart-shaped badge.
Though feeling emasculated at having to wear such a girly-looking object, Phoenix becomes even more suspicious, wondering how this 'Princess' could have already had it prepared for him when he was summoned by accident. Regardless, the guards grant him access when he presents the new badge, and he invites Twilight in to speak to her friend.
An apologetic Twilight informs him that she can't--only attorneys can see suspects. She pleads with Phoenix to hear her friend out, promising that if he does so and still does not want to take the case afterwards, she will return him to his world. Though angry at the ruse, Phoenix decides to do as she asks.
Inside the Detention Center, Phoenix is greeted by a brash, cyan-colored Pegasus mare with a prismatic mane and outsized ego named Rainbow Dash. After a short argument over Phoenix's hair, the two introduce themselves and Phoenix asks Rainbow to tell him what she knows about the murder case.
The exotic-colored equine opens by saying the murder victim was a male pegasus named "Ace Swift" and that he was killed in the Everfree Forest. At Phoenix's inquiry, she explains Ace was a hot-shot racer; the odds-on favorite to win the upcoming "Equestrian 500"--a grueling 500-mile endurance race around Equestria. Rainbow Dash then informs Phoenix she was planning to enter the race herself, not just to prove she could beat Ace but for the main prize for winning being a special lesson from her heroes--Equestria's premiere aerial acrobatics team, "The Wonderbolts." The cyan Pegasus proclaims that she would do anything to win the race and claim that prize, making Phoenix cringe as he knows Rainbow Dash just established her possible motive for murder.
Moving on, Phoenix asks how Ace died, but Rainbow says she doesn't know, claiming she only ended up the suspect because she was seen flying near the Everfree Forest at the time. Dropping her trademark cockiness for a minute, she becomes sad and slightly desperate, believing everypony thinks she committed the crime and certain she will be banished for it. Phoenix reassures her, reminding her Twilight believes in her innocence, noting that he's the "greatest defense attorney" she called upon with her magic. Hope blossoming, Rainbow formally asks Phoenix to represent her.
Before he accepts, Phoenix remembers that he is carrying his Magatama--a powerful gem that allows him to see if anyone is hiding any deep secrets. Pulling out the trinket, he asks Rainbow Dash point-blank if she had any involvement with the murder of Ace Swift.
The cyan Pegasus reacts with fury to the question, kicking the cell walls and stating emphatically she did NOT kill anypony. When the Magatama doesn't react, Phoenix can be certain she's telling the truth and agrees to defend her. Asking for more information about the crime scene, he's informed that it took place in an Everfree Forest clearing 15 minutes from "Fluttershy's" house. About to leave to gather evidence, Phoenix asks Rainbow a parting question--why she was near the Everfree Forest? After an odd hesitation, she claims she was practicing for the Equestrian 500.
This sets off the Magatama, causing a series of chains and three 'psyche-locks' to appear around Rainbow Dash--Phoenix knows their appearance means the Pegasus pony is hiding something from him. He starts to ask more about it, but a nervous Rainbow makes an excuse to depart the visiting area before he can.
Back outside, Phoenix tells Twilight he has decided to take the case, saying he can't turn his back on someone accused of a crime they didn't commit. As they talk, Twilight wonders aloud how Rainbow feels, to which the human lawyer replies he knows only too well--he too has been accused of crimes he didn't commit, first in grade school at a 'class trial' for stealing lunch money and later in college when he was framed for murder. He remembers all too well the feeling of being lost and alone with nobody to turn to, certain the whole world was against him.
He recalls how the only ones who believed in him were his childhood friend and future ace prosecutor Miles Edgeworth, who stood up for him in school, and his one-time attorney and future boss Mia Fey, who successfully defended him at his murder trial. They were there for him when nobody else was, fighting for him when nobody else would; he tells Twilight it was their examples that taught him what it was to be a defense attorney and inspired him to become one himself. Twilight is impressed by the story, telling him that she was planning to study law and defend Rainbow Dash herself if he was unwilling, but now sees there are some things books can't teach.
Phoenix and Twilight decide to begin the investigation of the murder by heading for the Everfree Forest, stopping by Fluttershy's home near the forest entrance to see if she saw anything. Arriving at her cottage, they find her outside--a beautiful but bashful yellow-colored Pegasus mare with long pink mane and tail. Phoenix tries to ask her about the murder case, but living up to her name, the pink-maned pony is too scared to talk, whispering to Twilight that she's intimidated by the human lawyer's business suit... and spiky hair.
Thinking they're not going to get anything out of her, they start to leave but Fluttershy perks up and starts speaking to Phoenix when she hears Twilight say his name, believing him to be an actual phoenix about to be reborn. Though confused, Phoenix makes use of the opportunity at Twilight's urging, trying again to ask the timid Pegasus about the night of the murder. She refuses apologetically, explaining in her trademark tinny voice she doesn't want to upset the "other ponies" who told her not to say anything until the trial. Leaving empty-hooved except to know that Fluttershy is a witness, the human/pony pair decide to head to the crime scene itself.
Reaching the forest clearing, Twilight and Phoenix examine it for clues the police forensics team may have missed. With Twilight lighting up the pitch-black woods with a bright glow from her horn, they quickly find the location of the body, marked by a tape outline in an area of scorched grass. Examining the charred ground, they also find a small misshapen piece of metal burnt to a crisp. Looking around the clearing, they discover other things of interest, including a downed tree, an area of dirt showing signs of a struggle, and a brown feather up another tree that seems too big to belong to either a bird or a Pegasus pony. Phoenix offers to climb the tree to get the feather, but Twilight tells him there's no need--she simply floats it down with her horn.
Astonished anew, Phoenix asks Twilight how she can do such things. She explains that unicorns have the ability to use magic via their horns, illumination and levitation being but two basic feats they can perform. Curious at his surprise, she asks if magic exists in his world. He initially answers no but catches himself, noting that he has been able to speak to the dead via spirit channeling, which many would call magic. Twilight gets excited, hoping he can channel Ace Swift so they can ask him who the killer was, but Phoenix is forced to disappoint her, explaining it's his friend that does the channeling, not him.
Having found all they're going to, the pair decide to head back to Ponyville to rest for the next day's trial. Twilight is surprised that Phoenix is not going to study, but the human lawyer says there's no need, promising that as long as he keeps his eyes on the truth, they'll be fine. Though skeptical, Twilight doesn't press the matter as they return to town, offering Phoenix a bed for the night.
As the episode ends, Phoenix finds himself with doubts about taking the case, feeling like an outsider meddling in another world's affair. But he reminds himself that he can't turn his back on the innocent no matter what the circumstances, even in a world of talking, magic-wielding ponies, and resolves to defend Rainbow Dash with everything he has.
- Twilight Sparkle: Hey! You're a human, aren't you?
- Phoenix Wright: Yeah... I'm a human... WAIT, WHAT!?
- Twilight Sparkle: A human in Equestria! That's amazing!
- Phoenix Wright: Y-Y-YOU'RE A TALKING HORSE!
- Twilight Sparkle: Excuse me! I am not a horse. I happen to be a pony.
- Phoenix Wright: Oh! Okay! A talking PONY! That explains everything!
- Phoenix's mention of "ten seconds flat" is a reference to a line spoken by Rainbow Dash in Friendship is Magic, part 1.
- Phoenix's mention of The Steel Samurai being popular outside its target demographic is a nod to My Little Pony Friendship is Magic's own popularity.
- Phoenix's mention of assuming foul play with somebody else winning everything, as with some did with the victim, is a reference to the underhanded tactics the Prosecutors in his own world tend to use.