(TG-16 / TurboGrafx-16)

Dungeon Explorer (TG-16 / TurboGrafx-16)

Game Profile

Dungeon Explorer is a multiplayer action/role-playing game where up to five players can play at the same time.

The story takes place in underground dungeons. Players can choose from eight different character types: Fighter, Thief, Warlock, Witch, Bishop, Elf, Bard or Knome. Depending on the character, the types of magic, attack strength and movement will all vary.

Game Review


USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Dungeon Explorer is a multiplayer action/role-playing game where up to five players can play at the same time.

When the PC Engine was first released, NEC and Hudson knew that they would have a hard time tempting third party companies to produce games for the machine - Nintendo's NES was still the number one machine and Nintendo themselves had made many publishers...

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User Comments (48)

__Nathan G


Nathan G said:

Ummmm I have one thing to say.....only for the die hard fans, seriously! A game that is certainly not for everyone, well it werent for me...



Matt said:

This is an awful Gauntlet clone-- it may have some value in nostalgia for Turbo Graphic fiends, but if you have never played it, I have a feeling that you won't appreciate it as much as the reviewer. It's *like* gauntlet except you have much less health and will, subsequently, die pretty quickly (in the first dungeon there is one room small room that is filled with 3 generators of these weird lizard men and one of fighters, my friend and I walked into that room and were instantly killed and lost all 3 of our continues in about 15 seconds). I'm going to delete this from my wii and it shall never be spoken of again. Seriously, way too little health, way too few continues. Why on earth would they limit it to 3? What do they have to gain by making me start over and then never play the game again? Console designers sometimes make no sense to me.



Raffaele said:

I agree with Matt. I downloaded this game after reading this review but actually.. I'm really disappointed with DE. I should have spent my points in other classics



Jam_Enslaver said:

I tend to disagree with the others here. I had never even heard of the Turbografx before the VC, and I do quite enjoy DE. True it is murderously difficult, but get some friends round, build up a party, and you're bound to have fun.



Dakk said:

I severely regret getting this VC title. It was purchased solely because of the favorable review on this site. It feels like a clunky Gauntlet wannabe with a bare smattering of RPG nonsense tacked on. I count this as 600 Wii Points wasted.



Damo said:

Gulp! Sorry you guys didn't enjoy this game. However, I stand by the original review. The game is fun in single player mode, but really comes to life when you have several people playing. I don't really know what else to say, other than you should give this a little more chance. The PDF scan from UK magazine CVG (which you can view by clicking the button above) sums it up better than I ever could. You can't win them all, as they say.



Manaman said:

I wouldn't say I regret buying this, but it is easily my least played out of all my VC downloads. I appreciate the difficulty (especially playing solo), but other than that, it doesn't really grab me.



lavkian said:

I dig it, and my friend digs it (which was surprised), it is pretty difficult though, but that just adds to the fun in attempting to beat it. I'm a sucker for dungeon crawlers.

Matt: I had the same problem as you, but the reality is that you just went where you weren't meant to yet, so you're fighting guys that you shouldn't have been. The game's kind of vague, but if you read the instructions, you'll see that you're supposed to talk to the king, and he tells you to head south, not west.



Remvaras said:

Alright... So I read the review... and I read all of the negative comments... and I thought about it, and went and got it anyways.

I must say, That this has been one of the more enjoyable VC console titles I've gotten... The first time you play it, it kicks your ass.... the second time you play it, it kicks your ass... you get a friend to play it with you... it kicks your friends ass and then kicks your ass...

You finaly start to get a feel for it... first dungeon down, second down... Before you know it, you and your buddies are running from a gigantic angry tiger (Boss for... Dungeon 8 I think?) and loving every minute of it. I stand by the review, This game just takes a little bit of getting into. (I recommend playing fighter if you're a beginner, but I like thief)



Sam said:

A few things that make the game a little easier.. First is you can aim better if you hold fire and use rapid fire, this helps aim diagonaly that seems impossible otherwise, second for more health collect halos and defeat the bosses. I mean me n my mates did it, first try (the first boss ) so just try do it in the right order, get as many people playing it as you can and give it another go, i cant realy say if its a brilliant game as i havent completed it but its 5 players!!! its a challenge you can even be a knome with an axe!!



Kamalot said:

Ugh. This was my least favorite Vitrual Console purchase. I tried playing it with my wife and daughter, and it is so brutally unforgiving that it simply isn't fun.



Sinistron said:

I've had this back in the day and I have it now- its easiest to beat with one player because no one else is hogging up the goods or slowing you down or pushing you into flames and enemies. The fighter is best at first but when you unlock the girl fighter you should use her- she's even better. I believe that there's 14 bosses...



Garfind said:

I loved this game. Me and three other friends got together one day and started playing. It was crazy hard, but all kinds of fun. Before long we were going for the final boss. Have to say it is worth the points.



wesman said:

Perhaps because I haven't played gauntlet, but I thought this was an awesome and fun little game. While I agree that it is hard to advance AT FIRST, my brother and I figured out a great character system and were able to beat 5 or 6 dungeons in a row before being crushed by the aforementioned tiger boss. The controls are insanely simple, and you get very few spells (If he's a king, why does he only spring for 1 of each type? aaaaagh!) but this adds a lot to the strategy. The one thing that I don't like is that when you die and run out of continues during a boss fight while a companion lives on an defeats him, he levels up but you can't. We had to replay a lot of dungeons to keep ourselves on the same level. Oh, that and the cryptic dialogue some of the characters spout. Other than that, its only 600 points, and it 5 players! It is worth a look by everyone!



-Regii said:

I also never played Gauntlet, but that definitely was my worst VC-Download ever. I don't like it very much. It's rock hard and even I played it with two players (I don't get more >_>) I just get to the second dungeon and that's it.

No, I think I just delete this piece of crap to make space for better games.



ham said:

One of my absolute fav games on the TG16. The music is amazing. This gets my vote for best soundtrack in a game, ever. I've been humming these tunes for over 10 years. Ahh, it's good to be back... haters need to show some respect.



nephew77 said:

This used to be one of my favorite games, but that was when I had four friends who played it with me. This Gauntlet-style dungeon game has an extra level of complexity, a superb soundtrack, and an impressive difficulty curve. Use the DEBDE DEBDA password for wacky fun. This is above average. 4/5.



cameran said:

an AWESOME rpg!!! i loved this game when i had the original for my TG-16 and i love it on the wii still. not sure why so many people say it's complex or difficult, the game is pretty straight forward and presents an adequate but not impossible challenge. an absolute blast and really worth downloading. play it with friends for even more fun!



Mr.cow said:

I think here is a tipo \/ the S right there seems to saposed to be is
Dungeon Explorer s one such clone, but stands head and shoulders above everything that's previously been seen



Craig said:

A couple of my friends and I beat this game when we were like 9 years old. It's kind of tough but it's not terrible, and it takes some time. Once you get the code for the Princess (after saving her), she's the strongest character by far, and helps you out a lot. We had a lot of fun with it at the time.



Shayne&Chris said:

We(Shayne & Chris) like goofy, but its pretty fun when you get a few of your mates with you.this game because of the multiplayer... The single player is terrible. If you've got a lot of true Gauntlet fans as friends/relatives, we suggest getting it to play with them because its really only good for multiplayer. Its a bit goofy at times, but when you get some of your best mates to play along with you, it's a hell of a lot of fun.



JNoodles said:

Urk... this game is so very hard. It is meant for 5 players and 5 players only! It is enjoyable till you hit about the 3 minute mark in regular mode.



thheeggman85 said:

I've seen a lot of negative reviews and people saing "this is the least played virtual console game on my wii." well...

this is the most played virtual console game on my wii! This game seriously is incredibly fun to play with 5 total people. the password system allows you to go back where you ended one day, and it lets you go from a 5 player game to solo and back. the codes are entertaining also.

I think this game is hilarious in its retro-ness. When Judas said "Bullbeast is near and mad!" I just couldn't stop laughing.

Thhe only thing I wish this game had was more variety in the white magic and black magic. Many characters have the same ability in white or black, and this gets annoying. However, there is still a lot of strategy in building the perfect team and combining the right magic to win. Also, the leveling up when others dont is also stupid, but that adds a more competitive element to the game (when you and your friends get too good to cooperate )

I also saw some complaints about how hard the game is... that's what's ingenious about this game! Too many games today are so easy that its just a matter of how many levels are in the game. This difficulty made me want to keep playing this game until I beat it (which I still haven't).. For only 600 wii points, this is a great deal. If you like this game, check out nethack for PC (its free).

__Connor/ AP


Connor/ AP said:

Dying too quickly? Go LEVEL UP. Its an rpg! This is not nearly as hard as what so many people seem to say. This is a great game, and I havent even been able to play multiplayer yet!



Steph said:

Me and my friends used to play Gauntlet on the NES all the time. Then came Gauntlet Legends... this one pawned. After some research I found that this game was similar to Gauntlet. We downloaded it and tried it and we love it to death. This game rocks.



Tracy said:

This was one of my favorite TG-16 games back in the day. I was rather shocked when I saw it made it on the VC list.

Going by the highly mixed reviews here, I guess it's either a love it or hate it game.

I love it.



KhaoShar said:

It's easy to say "go level up", but can anyone say how to da that is this game?! Leveling works by getting the gems from the bosses and bosses don't reappear- so how should I gain levels without proceeding to the next (and ofcours more difficult) boss?

Anyone who thinks about getting this game should, in my oppinion, find an answer to that question before downloading it!



Gameguardian said:

I totally agree with Damo's review of Dungen Explorer! It is a great game and a true rival to the old-school Gauntlet games! And as many of you have already stated, playing together with some friends is amazing!

Of course, there are some minor setbacks, but in all honesty, it was released 1989 and games with depth was a thing of the future.

But all in all, I give this game 4 stars!



michinmuri said:

One of my favorite games from back in the day. I agree with the mixed reviews. I played this game with friends and alone back in the day, and loved it. I played it months ago alone and got frustrated, especially when the Wii put another classic under my nose. You love it or hate it, you just have to try it. And I agreewith game guardian. Back then there was no AI or stuff liek that. The only thing was a million dudes and you had to be good enough to kill them all. And for leveling, you need the crystals rom the bosses as well as the crowns and boots and other power-ups found in the dungeons. Those only really make the game a little easier. The main trick is to find a spot (usually a diagonal) from where you can pound the creatures and the generators without gettign hit yourself. It is a difficult and taxing game, but if you don't give up, you will persevere. I love this game.

....Why haven't they brought out Keith Courage yet?



Zweck36 said:

I got this game right when it came out on the VC. I was intrigued by a five player RPG. At first I was really put off. I started playing it again last week, got into a rhythem, and after beating it, I found it quite enjoyable.



Malachi said:

This game is brilliant. Better than Gauntlet by far and the music is excellent!

The idea is to LEVEL UP and write the code down people. (remember its an old game). Start playing and level up, once you die you get a code write it down and nect time you play put the code in and you start from the central village but with a better character.

Its a case of levelling up so your character is stronger and writing down the code. Hardly rocket science.

If you bought the game and still find it too hard try this code for INVINCIBILITY and the ability to WALK OVER EVERYTHING (walls etc)


DEBDE DEBDA - then press (+) and (A) / (or possibly B?).
HOMIN GAAAA - Gives you smart shots.

This game is better with more players as a rule too people.



Mute said:

My girlfriend, a classmate and I have been playing DE for a little more than a week and I personally think it's fantastic.

As many others have mentioned this is in fact a difficult game (though I'm guessing these people haven't even gotten past the Gutworm...so don't even get me started on Cyclopus). However, if you're prepared to take it on one dungeon at a time and work on tactics with your friends you'll have a great time.

The music is great, the strange gravity in some of the dungeons is cool, the PvP room in the castle at Axis village is awesome, playing with five people is a blast and there are tons of classes to play as compared to other games that came out at the same time.

I'd say if you're into old school RPGs this is a great title. However, if you suck at playing video games then this title will simply frustrate you to no end.



Ryan said:

I didn't see a post for it so after the king dies, or some how leaves the throne open, sit on it for a special ending.



MaxK said:

I've spend a good two hours on Dungeon Explorer along with my brother and a couple of buddies. Since it played pretty much like Gaunlet, I was able to get into it rather quickly. I guess my only complant is that like Gauntlet, single player is far too difficult. Unless you have a GROUP OF FRIENDS, you're not going to have fun with this game. Otherwise, download it!

__J A


J A said:

This game is certainly not for everyone, but if you enjoy getting your friends together for a challenging, tactical game that plays like a combination of diablo and gauntlet, then this is for you.

The central problem with this game is that, at it's heart, it is really a tactical game, while it looks like an action game. As long as you know what you're looking for, there will be no surprises. Each room must be played like a game of chess (and the more friends, the better). I would certainly not recommend this for a single player, though.



Merlin said:

Huh. I'm surprised at all the negative comments. I dig the hell outta this game. It's one of the games on my VC that i play often. For those who had difficulty in the beginning: Play a fighter and use your White Magic in tough spots (and against bosses). It helps a lot. Get the speed stones (the first color that comes up...amber?) for the first few levels so that you can survive the Tigerbeast at the end of the fifth dungeon.

I don't see the game as being like gauntlet that much, because the levels are linear and the health isn't constantly depleting. You have to manage your HP pretty closely to do well. In gauntlet, HP management wasn't important if you weren't close to death.

I think the review is pretty solid for this one.



SupermarketZombies said:

Its fairly fun if you have a big group that are all willing to give such an old game a chance. The sense of team work and difficulty level makes for an interesting game.

I personally had problems with the character selection interface which can get kind of annoying if you're trying to set up 5 players.



Master_Chief53 said:

I didnt like this game that much. I bought it because I liked Gaunlet, but its a lot worst. The only good part is playing with 5 people. Now thats pretty fun. Only get this game if you have many brothers/sisters to play with or if you like absoulty loved Gaunlet or any other Dungeon crawling game.



Manicfatty said:

Play it alone, and it's an exercise in repetition, and frustration. Play it with friends and it makes you want to bust out Gauntlet

I love Gauntlet as a multiplayer game. This is no Gauntlet. Sorry. Not abyssmal by any means, but not worth the space on my Wii. SD Card time.



TRON said:

I loved this game when it came out, it was like taking Gauntlet to the next level. Playing it now, I have to say it hasn't aged very well. I've only played it single player, and it's not a very good single player experience. Regrettably, this is one of my least favorite VC games.



playner1 said:

I cant figure out how to get more than one player to play this game. Can someone tell me how to get more then one player on this game.



Matmax14 said:

this was my second virtual console game i think,a good game^^
when you start the game a person ask you how many players would like to play...you have to press the + button at the first wiimote so long till all people who want to play have press the + button(start when you have a gamecubecontroller)and if everybody have press+ you can play it^^



Fish_Head said:

Really hilarious with 5 players, although frustrating to teach to everyone. I've played it enough times that I've figured out some of the more obscure features (princess, harmet, stat boosts) really fun, once you get the hang of it.



Turbo_Genesis_64 said:

King Natas is not that subtle of a name. You don't need an ace Scrabble player or the Church Lady from SNL to figure out what it really means.



Lasafrog said:

I think it's important to note: this is not a Gauntlet clone or wannabe, this is a compeltely original game. It has more in common with the PS2 Baldur's Gate games than the arcady mess that is Gauntlet.

It really helps I suppose to have some historical context with this game, being as how the music far exceeded most everything out at the time, and it was the first console game in the US to have a 5 player simultaneous option. Being an RPG in part, you could wisely choose how to power up your character, and in doing so, prepare for the upcoming battles. All of these things were so new and important when this game arrived, I give it a lot of credit.

My recommendation for anybody wanting to try this out, choose the Fighter character. Stockpile the black magic whenever possible, and you'll have a breeze with most of the games tougher moments.

As for me, I have beaten the game countless times in 1 player mode using the Elf. With focus on speed and then health, combined with his healing white magic, he is an ideal character for somebody like myself that likes to go it at a pretty methodical pace.

And for heavens sake, you can be a GNOME! Whats not to love?

All in all, I think this is a great review. I might even rate this an 8.



JustanotherGamer said:

Back in the day this was one of my favorite games. For the TG-16 played it to death. I remember playing five characters at once. With the original system and all of the required extras. It was possible to play The Fighter, The princess, Warlock, Gnome, and Witch at the same time. This game was fun. Even thought it was a great OVER the top. Clone of Gauntlet. This was a must play back in 1989. For it's time it was a classic. Worth checking out even in 2010.



Benjymansy123 said:

When I first saw the game, I didn't know what on Earth it was. I was at my father's house, and he was getting games like Earthworm Jim on our Wii. I had no problem with this, as I like to try and play new games. When he got Dungeon Explorer, I safely assumed its genre, and was correct. It was sort of like a Zelda game, as in you talk to people, and kill bosses. That's as far as I got before playing the game. When I looked at it, I didn't even know there was a console called the TurboGrafx-16, so, naturally, I just thought (In my little 8 year old brain), let's play! When I booted the game up, I had my siblings to accompany me in our journey. As a flipping cheater when it comes to video games, I chose the Thief, because he's OP. I was getting ready for an epic adventure, but I was met with a strange story line, and a questionable cast of characters. But, as the game lacked in story, it made up for in audio. The music in Dungeon Explorer was brilliant. As screwed up as I have assumed the TurboGrafx-16's audio was, I assume that people were shocked by the brilliance that is the music. Dungeon Explorer is (Overall) not a bad game. There are a few things that might bug people, such as minimal lives, and also you could get lost very easily in some parts of the game, but the game is isn't awful. Anyone can rage from even Minecraft, and this game is no exception. Unfortunately, unless I know very little, you guys should really give it another chance. If you have to, resort to cheating through the password system!

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