So, I really liked this idea. I've decided to rip out the existing game but keep all the hard work I did coding, etc. and go harder on the themes and worldbuilding. It will still be a bizarre, quiet, philistine game but hopefully make a lot more sense.
The biggest thing I've done is make a lot more chipset variations, so instead of a stilted, forced intro sequence, I can do a more non-linear game where any town or region can be in various states of disrepair and decay.
To give an example using the world map:
Now towns do this too. So, hopefully it'll be cool.
I guess here're my goals:
Have a psuedo-oldschool rpg feel while poking at the genre's edges
Make a world that players love to explore in and return to previous places
I should enjoy working toward both of the above goals