In many early RPGs, you started at the castle. The king was just the king and he gave you money. Here, you start in a somewhat shady town and then head off to the castle. And the king has feelings. And we learn about them in an incredibly effective cut scene that not only develops two important characters, but sets up another significant plot point with Setzer later in the game. Briefly, we learn that Edgar and Sabin’s dad, the former king, was likely murdered by the Empire. Sabin’s pissed about the local apathy towards this and wants to run away and fight. Edgar wants to as well, but feels a strong responsibility to his people, even if they are naive and oblivious. So he makes a proposal to soften tensions with his brother.
And as we find out much later in the game, the coin has two heads. Edgar was in complete control of the situation. There’s another moment that comes shortly after that we both enjoyed. Perhaps it isn’t worthy of the list. but it was fun all the same. When Terra fights with Locke and Edgar and uses magic for the first time, they postively flip out. While that’s kind of weird from our perspective (after all, magic is commonplace in RPGs), it does hit home to us that magic is not normally part of this world. And I love how they talk about Terra like she’s some kind of freak, even though they’re nice to her. It sets the tone for her dynamics with the group and illuminates her self-doubt and her isolation.