Early in the game, while searching for the bat-winged thief in HomeTown who caused Bow to be framed for the robbery at Trout's mansion, Ryu will hear a gigantic explosion... And witness an angel-winged girl blasting a gang of thieves with fireballs and lightning spells, blowing open the doors to the city's magic academy. You learn this girl is Nina, exiled princess of Windia, and though she begrudgingly goes with the gang upon learning they've captured her younger sister Mina, when you do finally infiltrate the gang's hideout, you find her still flinging around attacks and resisting her would-be captor's demands, refusing to back down.
Father Ray demonstrates that not only is he a pretty good guy, but sufficiently awesome, when you encounter him in Capitan's well during the search for the missing child. Not only does he make his presence known to Ryu's party by destroying one of the (incredibly tough) monsters with a beam of holy light, but later holds up a flood following destruction of the dungeon boss with a magical shield, providing you ample time to rescue all of the villagers.
Ryu has an optional one earlier, if you accept the offer to face Barubary, the demon who nearly slaughtered you and Bow as children, alone. Payback has never been sweeter.
Ryu charging Deathevan after his allies have been killed, taking - and ignoring - lots of damage in the process. Comes with Awesome Music too.