I am live with your game
Thanks for the playthrough! I watched the replay of it last night, so let me comment on a few things.
1. The difficult balancing is not a bug, it's a feature. As you noticed, this game is supposed to be a throwback to retro games, and retro games tended to be *hard*. The game is designed with the expectation that you will *grind*, and if you are underleveled or underequipped for an area, the enemies are going to be doing a lot of damage. A single level, or a single stat point, can make a *huge* difference in how much damage you deal/take. For example, you died very quickly once you crossed the first bridge with only the protagonist in your party and no equipment - this is by design, because it's supposed to clue you in that you are not prepared to fight 2 enemies at once yet (you can only encounter single enemies on the first island). Then, you getting nearly killed in the first cave is supposed to clue you in that you're not strong enough to fight the enemies there - you should grind outside the cave to reach level 2, and buy some better equipment and spells. You often complained about a lack of gold as well, but that's because... you weren't grinding lol. Yes, you do get only a little EXP and gold in a single fight early on, but battles should be quick and relatively painless if you're fighting in an area at the appropriate strength level. tl;dr the game isn't unbalanced, you just need to grind more
2. His name is Alphin, pronounced Al-fin... not Alpine lol. Also... I have no idea why you chose to portray him as a sniveling wimp when voicing him... because he's a brave, uptight, no-nonsense soldier. He's laser-focused on saving the princess, and will do virtually anything to accomplish this duty. So... yeah... not supposed to be sniveling and wimpy
3. You seemed really impressed with the graphics! Unfortunately, I did not design (most of) them. They are part of an official RPG Maker MZ DLC pack.
4. Yes, the plot does start as a "save the princess" plot, but by the time you finish Chapter 1 (which is what the demo covers), it'll become clear that there's a lot more going on in the story.
But yeah, thanks for playing my gane!