To replace Placeholder Guy as protagonist, here's a sprite I've worked up. Tell me what you think:
Points of interest:
It's a girl, but not ostentatiously female. In the final game there might be a gender choice, depending on how much time it takes to make alternate versions of every frame of animation.
Shoes are a bit oversized. I like to think of them as "clompy boots," in the style of the Iron Boots in Ocarina of Time.
Realistically proportioned body, with a big head.
Orange backpack, ala Earthbound, explains freakish carrying capacity.
Clothes functional, a bit baggy.