We start with the introduction, a kind of whistful music plays and we start at the top of a castle panning down to a sleeping creature. A man walks up, and the creture (dragon) let's out a cry. A pink-haired girl walks into the scene. The dialouge box informs us her name is Lenna.
The man walks back to her.
The king gets on the dragon, which cries again and flies off. Lenna waves. We see the king fly over the front of the cstle as the scene fades out.
The next scene appears to be a boat, we pan down to a purple-haired person.
Fade to the next scene, it appears to be a cave of some sort, oddly red colored and shaking. There is an orange-haired man in front of a swirling vortex.
Fade back to the castle, reversing the pan from earlier.
Fade to a giant crystal in a room, the king enters.
The screen darkens, the crystal shatters, fade to white, then back to a forest. There is a brown-haired person standing in front of a fire with a yellow chocobo to the right of the fire. Suddenly there is shaking, the person and chocobo are startled, and we switch to a mode 7 shot of a falling rock (meteorite?). We switch views to the ground as the metorite crashes. Back in the forest, the brown-haired person and chocobo nod to each other. The person mounts the bird. They put out the fire and ride off.
I'm now on the world map on a chocobo, I have control of the action. Pressing start, shows me that I am ???, a Freelancer LV 1 with 36 HP and 5 MP. I have three potions, 500 gil, and a memento from my father. No magic (but a menu option for it), and Job and Ability menus that are greyed-out. He has a broadsword and leather armor equipped. I save the game and exit the menu. Pressing A, B, L, R or select have no effect at this time.
I have an idea where the meteorite landed, so I head the other way. To see nothing but mountains plains, and a beach. None of it really interesting. I ride back to the meteorite and enter it. ??? gets off and has a dialouge box without a name line.
I can now walk, pressing B allows me to walk faster. I go in the obvious direct, and see Lenna unconscious and being dragged by monsters. First fight, I have ??? attack each of the goblins, which he can kill with a single sword swing. ??? helps Lenna up.
Please enter a name. A prompt with the default name of Bartz appears, I confirm.
I have control again and look around, I find a hidden area with a phoenix down. I then see the Old Man from the introduction lying unconscious near the meteorite.
Galuf looks depressed, Lenna starts to leave.
Galuf reacts excitedly.
They walk off, Bartz walks a little forward and becomes controllable. Galuf and Lenna are long gone. I walk out the way I came in.
Going back the way I explored earlier (only choice), there is suddenly a canyon.
More shaking, holes start opening up.
Run through the canyon on Boko, getting attacked by the occasional pair of goblins and jumping holes that appear. Pick up unconscious Lenna and Galuf, and get out of there. Over by a cliff Bartz is keeping lookout while Boko watches the two unconscious bodies.
Jumps up, flexes muscles, and laughs.
Music change to a song of destiny.
I save outside of a cave that was previously not there.
Lenna and Galuf are both Freelancer LV 1 with HP and MP comparable to what Bartz started with. Bartz is now LV 2 with 46 HP and 8 MP. Lenna has a knife, and Galuf is unarmed. Both wear Leather Armor. I now have 560 Gil.
Next installment, the cave, Tule, the Wind Shrine, and maybe more.
So I like this opening, it's somewhat different from some of the other games in the series. You don't start off in a town or near a town, and there is no screen of just text.
The art style is nostalgic being a clear transition between Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy VI in the 16-bit era.
At this time I only have two points of contention. When characters are puzzled they get an animated question mark word balloon above their heads, which looks goofy. Similarly goofy is the animated exclamation point word balloon when they come to a realization. The other point of contention is that the chracter portraits in the word balloons don't match the sprites (they do match the elaborate chracter art available, but not the stylized character art available). The closest matches so far are King Tycoon (who wears an Odin-like headgear) and Bartz. Despite their sprites, Lenna's portrait has blonde hair. Galuf's portrait has white hair, and Faris's portrait also has blonde hair. Their sprites have pink, orange, and purple hair respectively.
Story And Gameplay Segregation: Galuf and Lenna look just as capable as Bartz, but need to be rescued, also there didn't appear to be a road to Tule previously, but may have existed prior to the meteorite crash (since you only gain control afterward).