The first thing to do in Golden Sun is to name yourself. The default name is Isaac, but you may want to change this because it will be the only name you can change (unless you press select three times to change the names of other party members. NEW: (source midgetjackietran) After pushing select three times, push up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, up, right, down, left, up, and select to name Felix, his sister, and the girl that King Babi kidnaps.)
Golden Sun starts off in a small village in Vale. Dora, your mother, tells you to get up and that a storm is brewing and a giant boulder will crush you if you don't make it to the town plaza. Well, after lots of conversation and cut away shots, you finally get to command your character. You're told to get down to the town plaza in order to escape danger from falling boulders. Ordinarily, you would be able to get to the town plaza by just going down the various steps in Vale. However, small boulders fall in all of these staircases (jee, what are the odds?) due to the storm, and prevent you from walking down. So, head north a little bit to find your first party member, Garret. After instructing him to leave his bags where he's standing so that he won't die, Garret joins your party and you two are off westward. Climb the ladder and cross the bridge westward. Eventually you'll arrive at the western most part of the town, and at this point you'll want to pull a U-Turn and start heading southeast. Before doing this you'll meet up with a guy who's faking an injury worse than a Brazilian soccer player (although if you say that he is going to die he will disappear and actually die.) He tells you to watch out for some monsters on the way.
Heading back east you probably will encounter a few monsters, but they're nothing to worry about at all. Climbing down a long staircase you'll see a tragic incident in which a young boy, Felix, is hanging on for dear life to a small tree stump in a raging river. The tragic thing about it is that his relatives are all out of Psynergy and can't help him. Two sisters will be deployed for help after everyone is done talking, and, surprise, it's up to you to go to the town plaza to find someone with enough Psynergy remaining to save Fenix. Travel south under the bridge, then take a ladder back up and cross the same bridge. Shortly there after you'll arrive in the Town Plaza. Walk to some of the men in the southern part of the plaza and one of them will volunteer to help Felix (the other two will go to help save the town against the boulder). Jenna and a muscular dude with some Psynergy left will join you. After returning to the house where Felix is drowning, Jenna and her relatives engage in a conversation. Right as the muscular guy who's with you goes down to save Felix, the giant boulder breaks lose and tragically drowns the people on the dock and Felix. It's now up to you to go find someone to save everyone from drowning. Head back towards the town plaza to discover a man and a woman talking about the awesome power of Alchemy and how it unleashed the boulder on the town. They then battle you. Don't worry about this one, because you're meant to lose it (there is no way to win.) NEW: If you use a Game Shark and cheat to win the battle, you still will have the same result as if you lose the battle (like you're supposed to.) Left for dead, so begins the first part of Golden Sun (as you'll see by the intro screen appearing.)
Three years later the town is still rebuilding. In fact, you're patching up the roof for Dora which results in a really LONG conversation. Jenna and Garret arrive and dish their deal about how you've now started to master Psynergy. After Garret breaks your roof, you're off to see Kraden in the Western most part of the town. On the way you'll meet up with the evil duo you met earlier. This time they won't want to fight, but instead will just run off to the mountains. Keep going a little further west, and head up the stairs to meet with Kraden. He'll ramble for a while about Alchemy and how Saturos and Menardi seemed to have actually been in the Sanctum before, and eventually give you a mission: take him the Sol Sanctum up in the mountains. Once the conversation is done, head back east back towards the direction of your house. Once you get across the bridge, head to the left of the brown sanctum. A guard will stop you and tell you that no one is allowed up there. Simply walk back that way again and you're on your way to the first dungeon, Sol Sanctum.