alright, sounds cool.
So, because i'm making the tiles, i'll use your story and go into detail of the beginning... Just know that this is a suggestion, and im certainly not implying that we HAVE to use this. but still, How's this sound?
The screen opens as a blank black square. Then there are a few cutscenes of which beginning credits will appear. Such as creators, and who did what. The cutscenes could show pictures of the village and your friend in a first person point of view. (because you haven't picked out your character yet) When the cutscenes end, the title screen will open, showing probably the 12 crystals and blinking letters saying "Press --> to Start"
When you do so, The four characters will appear. When you choose one, you appear in your house in the village. The first thing you see when you walk outside is your friend. He will tell you hello and say that your father has returned from the war and awaits you by the river. You need to walk slightly away from the village to find the river. There, your father tells you the war has ended. No details are yet given of the war. After a conversation he says how happy he is to see you safe. He says he is going to return to the village and will be in your house if you need him. He also gives you a gift: A toy airship. The airship will either look like a pirate-looking boat with propellers or a blimp. Not really sure which one you meant marioman. This airship will be of significance later, but i'm not sure what for yet. When you return, you see your friend again. He says he lost his special ring. A ring his father gave him before he had died in the war. You can either choose to help your friend or go directly to your father. This is the first sidequest. If you say you will help him find the ring, he will tell you he thinks it was by his house. It will be hidden in a patch of grass you can get rid of by pulling it. What it will be is a friend actor that says "pull the weed?" and you say yes or no. If yes, it disappears and drops the ring. You get a piece of gold from your friend. Or maybe experience points. when you return to your father, he will say he is glad to be home. Then there will be a loud ZZZZZTTTT sound coming from outside. You father will say he is going to see what it is and you'd better stay inside. Of course, out of curiosity, you walk outside. You see a large purple portal high above the village and airships that look a lot like your toy one zooming out of it. Your father is no where to be seen. What you do see, however, is a smaller portal by the ground opening. Your friend is by it. A knight walks out, grabs him, and runs back in. You flare with anger, and run to the portal. Just before you reach it, it disappears. You see another portal close by opening. You hide behind a tree and a knight walks out. When he is off guard, you attack him. This is the first battle. There will be an actor that explains how to fight. I am thinking it might be a turn-based type battle. He will be easy, being the first thing you fight. And you jump into the portal just as it is about to close.
That's all i've got. It was a great idea, Marioman. I got a lot out of it.
And remember, this is just a suggestion.