Everything begins on Outset Island where you live with your grandma and your little sister Aryll. The latter comes to wake you up and suggests you go see grandma. Go down the ladder, cross the bridge and take a look around the village. You can speak with the villagers to get more information about this location and yourself. Lift and toss some pots around to get a few rupees, you can also try to catch a pig and bring it to the mother to earn 20 rupees. Climbing the ladder, enter the central house's second floor to speak with the old Sturgeon and hear his advices. Also read the papers on the wall to get more information about the game itself. If you need to refill some hearts, go west of the island (referring to the map), get on the edge with your back against the wall and get some hearts from the pot. Finally, go to your grandma's to the west and climb the ladder to talk to her. As a present for your 12th birthday, she gives you the Hero's Clothes.
Go back to Aryll, who will offer you a present as well, her Telescope. Use this object to look at the mailbox near the middle of the island to see the mailman pick up some mail. Then take a look at the sky in order to see a huge bird holding a girl in its claws, and then drop her into the woods. Pay a visit to Orca by entering the main door of the village's central house. Talk to him and he will teach you various sword attacks. Pass his tests and he'll entrust you the Hero's Sword!
Leave his house, cross the bridge once more, walk up the path leading to the forest and cut down the saplings to get through. Go straight ahead on the hanging bridge, cross the gap and enter the cave toward the Ex-Fairy's Spring.
Go ahead, fight off the enemy and hit the multi-coloured sphere to get a reward (some rupees). Go forward, climb on the stump, jump and walk on the fallen tree trunk. Get rid of the next two enemies falling from the sky. Finally you will find the young lady called Tetra. One of her pirate fellows arrives and meets the two of you, then you will exit the forest all together. Right at this moment, you'll witness Aryll being abducted by the bird! The mailman tells you that this huge bird lives in the Forsaken Fortress, and Tetra will advise you to go find a shield.
Get back to your grandma's, and go to the second floor to see that the shield isn't there anymore! Go speak to your grandma so she gives you the Hero's Shield to help you save Aryll. Go on the beach, swim towards the boat and get in. This is Beedle's shop. There you can buy the Bait Bag for 20 rupees, some All-Purpose Bait for 10 rupees and some Hyoi Pears for 10 rupees. Buy each of those items if you have enough money, then go back to Tetra and her friends and talk to her to get on board.
On the Pirate Ship
Once aboard, open the lower door and go down the stairs. Speak to Niko and follow his rules to perform the run. Walk on the left switch to lower the platforms, then on the right one to make them rise up. Now without losing any time, jump on the platform and use the ropes to swing from a platform to another until you reach Niko's side. Pick up the Spoils Bag from the chest, then jump down, and climb the ladder back to the deck. Climb to the top of the mast, Tetra will then tell you about the Fortress and show you a window. Suddenly, you will get catapulted into the Fortress!