Nestled in his cozybed at his home in the small town of Onett, Ness is lost in dreams of cookies and brightly wrapped birthday presents when, suddenly, a violent crash breaks the peaceful silence of the night. Sitting bolt upright in his bed, he rubs his eyes, then rushes downstairs to fnd out what could have caused the tremoundous tremor that ripped him from sleep. Also alarmed, his mother is already downstairs. Ness is eager to investigate, and his mother reluctantly allows him to leave, but only after he changes out of his pjs.
Once outside, Ness finds his small town abuzz over a meteor that has crashed to earth just a short distance from town. The police have constructed roadblocks at all entrances to the town, and no one is allowed to come and go. When he tries to get close to the crash site, he finds it, too, blocked by policemen who tell him to go home and go back to bed. Near the scene, he also runs into his bothersome neighbor, Pokey, who is pestering the police. After talking to everyone, including one man who claimed to be the first person on the scene, Ness returns home to report his findings to his mother, then he goes back to bed. Just as he drifts back off to sleep, though, someone pounds on the door. He opens it to find a distraught Pokey on the doorstep. It seems that while Pokey was hanging around the crash site, his younger brother, Picky, dissapered. Because Pokey was supposed to be taking care of Picky, Pokey knows that he's in big trouble if he doesn't find his brother and take him home before his parents return. He begs Ness for help.
Ness agrees to return to the crash site in the meadow near town. He sets out with his dog, King, and Pokey. At this time of night, with the police busy in town, monsters are lurking in the shadows. The boys fend them off with King's help, and when they reach the meteor, sure enough, they find Picky. They plan to high-tail it home, but before they can leave the area, an eerie column of light pierces the dark sky just above the meteor, and they hear a peculiar buzzing voice address them.
Buzz Buzz, the bee-like creature behind the voice, tells them that he has come from the future, ten years in the future, to be exact. He tells of devastation at the hands of Giygas, the universal cosmic destroyer. He says that the people in the time and place he comes from tell a legend that says, "When the chosen boy reaches the point, he will find the light. The passing of time will shatter the nightmare rock and will reveal the path of light." Buzz Buzz beleives that Ness is the chosen boy, and that the meteor portends that Giygas' evil plan has been set in motion on earth. He beleives that if Ness begins to counter Giygas immedietly, he might have time to save the earth from devastation. The legend also says that three boys and a girl defeat Giygas. He advises Ness that three things are of the utmost importance: wisdom, courage, and friendship. Buzz Buzz joins them as they head home, and it's a good thing, too. On the way, they're attacked by Star Man Jr., one of Giygas' henchmen. Buzz Buzz protects the boys using a psychic shield during the ensuing battle. When they defeat Junior, Buzz Buzz warns them that they'll be facing not only soldiers sent by Giygas, but also humans and animals that have been possessed by Giygas' evil forces.
When they reach Pokey and Picky's house, their parents are already home, and the two boys are in big trouble. They're sent to their room, leaving Ness and Buzz Buzz to deal with the angry parents. Buzz Buzz isn't around for long, though--Pokey's mother mistakes him for a dung beetle, and promptly grounds him with a fly swatter. In his waning moments, Buzz Buzz gives Ness some final advice.
He whispers, "To defeat Giygas, your own power must unite with the earth's. The earth will then channel your power and multiply it." He tells Ness of eight points, or sanctuaries that he must visit. And with his dying breath, Buzz Buzz gives Ness the Sound Stone, a sacred stone that records the songs of the sanctuaries. Now Ness must pursue the adventure on his own, and following the advice of Buzz Buzz, he sets out for the city of Onett and the legendary sanctuary known as Giant Step.