Part 1: A New BeginningThe game has an amazing intro scene (pre-title screen), which features one of the better musical tracks. For whatever reason, the track in question isn't actually on the OST.
Upon beginning an actual new game...
...The titular hero is stood on the deck of a ship. There's only two other passengers on it for whatever reason (the other is off-screen).
Woman: I'll be so happy to be on dry land again...
The only other non-crew on the ship is the man in the top left, despite his apperance. Might as well see what he has to see too.
Man: And what of you? Why do you travel to Torla? ...... What? Your dreams led you to this ship? You ain't one of them freak-boys, are ya?
Two things are clear here; the guy is a jerk, and we're heading to a place called Torla. Torla is the island where the main part of the game takes place.
The door visible just behind where Alundra and the jerkish guy is, is where you head to advance the plot. Since the prologue is by far the worst part of the game, it makes sense to get it over with as soon as possible.
The captain's there... but if he's here, who's at the wheel?
Hmmm...you've been having the same troubling dream every single night? Aye, it's the seasickness fogging your land lubbin' mind. It'll pass. If you'll excuse me, I had better tend to easin' the ship into port. It should be near...
For whatever reason, he doesn't do so until you trigger an event flag to make him do so. Said flag cannot be triggered without speaking to Merrick first. Merrick's the first NPC to get a portrait, thus it can be inferred that he's potentially important even after the prologue.
But as we're not off this ship yet, that's somewhat irrelevant. Both of these doors are important; the one on the left is now, the one on the right is shortly after.
Inside the left door, there's two sailors just drinking their troubles away it seems. The aforementioned crack in the wall is slightly noticable and, of course, there's absolutely no chance that this will ever be relavent information.
But, now that we know about the crack in the wall and have told this guy about it (even though he should be able to see it just fine...), Merrick's decided to actually be at the wheel of the ship. Instead of just saying that he's going to go there and sit around regardless.
Go lie down for a while. Why not have yourself another one of those freaky dreams while you're at it!
By heading back to the two doors, and taking the right door this time, you find yourself in...
Inside Alundra's Cabin, there's a somewhat lengthy cutscene. It also serves as an important piece of early exposition, and the text autoscrolls, thus...
The reason for using the crack in the wall to exit via the left door is because Alundra's door is "blocked". It tells you this, but if you look when you're actually outside there's nothing obstructing it.
Following the wreckage, Alundra washes up on a beach at Torla. He's found by the guy on the left who never seems to let go of his belt. For the longest time, I thought he was carrying something on a tray for some reason.
Some undisclosed length of time thereafter, Alundra wakes up at his rescuer's house.
I was afraid you might be having an eternal rest, you know what I am saying? My name is Jess. I am a swordsmith here in Inoa. Decent money, make my own hours. No big whoop. What is your name? ...... Alundra, hm? Pleased to make your acquaintance, Alundra. You were on board the Klark, were you not? You are lucky to be alive, you know what I am saying?
He says "you know what I am saying" a lot througout the game. It's not as irritating as you might expect for a pseudo-catchphrase though since it doesn't happy in rapid succession, like here, all that much.
But let us not talk about that. Let us talk about you, my new friend. You are welcome to stay here until you are fully recovered. I live by myself. Once you leave, I'll be a lonely, old, fat man again. Not that you should feel bad... ............Oy, I almost forgot! That book next to the bed? It's a special diary. You want to use it, fine by me. I got it for myself, but how many ways can you write "Made a sword today?"
Following that extremely lengthy introduction, Jess heads downstairs and the prologue ends. You can't actually leave Inoa (which is the only place inhabitted by... anyone human on all of Torla) just yet though.
Next time: Meeting the other villagers. They actually have interesting personalities, honest.