Dungeon Explorer II, for the TurboDuo (Hudson Soft, 1993)
Back when the TurboGrafx-16 first landed on U.S. shelves in 1989, the first game I purchased was Dungeon Explorer, a phenomenal HuCard if there ever was one. Ostensibly a rip-off of the Gauntlet series, DE provided players with a decidedly Japanese take on the dungeon crawler genre, and I'll be the first to admit that I was hooked (line, and sinker) on the game. A plethora of character classes, atmospheric music (some of the best produced for the defunct platform), colorful graphics, inspired dungeon layouts, and wickedly cool boss monsters were a real treat twenty years ago, right? Right.
Shoot ahead to 1993. The TurboDuo (successor to the TurboGrafx-16) was struggling, and quality games were a rare commodity. Okay, that's me bending the truth; there were, in fact, several great titles, but sales of the TurboDuo were low, especially compared to its 16-bit competitors, and thus titles were comparatively scarce, both in terms of release and quantity. At this time, DEII was released in North America, and I was particularly excited to once again traverse dungeons like it was going out of style.
That's not how it turned out, though. For a variety of reasons, I couldn't acquire the game; perhaps it was a lack of funding, or maybe it was the lack of availability. Whatever the case, I didn't purchase DEII for quite some time.
In the end, so to speak, I got my hands on a used copy, and... It's like when you have a crush on a girl (or guy, if that's your thing) but nothing comes of it. A few years later, you meet up with that person again, and lo and behold! You're older now (with a few more bucks in your wallet to boot), and before you know it, the two of you hook up. As incredible as the experience is for you, you're not the same person you were at the time of said infatuation, and the magic of delayed fulfillment rarely matches the grandeur of diminished yearning. So be it.
It's still a prime example of what developers did right in the 16-bit CD era (and as a multiplayer game, it stands the test of time, which is no small feat given the industry).