Any UK gamers here? If so, you probably love this game (unless you're one of those console-only people, in which case...er...I guess you were probably playing the Master System instead.) Dungeon Master seems to be one of the most beloved and respected of all RPGs in Europe, while remaining significantly less revered in the USA. I think the obvious reason has to do with the platform it was developed for - the Atari ST - which had very little presence in the USA. Released for the ST in 1987, it looked amazing, but by the time it was finally ported to DOS in 1992 (and thus received widespread attention in the US), 5 years had passed (a lifetime in computer tech in the 80s/90s), and both the graphics and gameplay were no longer ahead of their time - indeed, they likely seemed outdated.
Yeah, I remember seeing pictures in EGM or some such. At the time, I assumed it must be some weird sexual thing. Now, having lived in Japan for over a decade, I realize it's all about the two-handed kancho, which, having experienced it myself, I can confirm is anything BUT sexual in nature. It's still plenty weird, though. And talk about weird cultural exchanges - trying to explain to kids that in America, we actually DON'T consider ramming our index fingers up someone's asshole to be hilarious hijinks...
Even odder still, this bizarre cultural phenomenon isn't limited to Japan. I hear it's popular in Korea as well (and indeed, Boonga Boonga is a Korean game).