CAPCOM's use of the D&D license
Capcom, a developer company famous for their classic beat-em-up Final Fight, would take the Dungeons and Dragons license and make a beat-em-up/RPG game that while good, would only appear in selected Arcades in the United States. The game would become a huge success in Japan, which was enough for Capcom to release a sequel. The game was made using Capcom's custom CPS-2 technology, with Q-Sound.
There isn't much of a story to this game. It's basic fantasy fair. An evil sorcerer is trying to conquer the world by bringing darkness to it. It's up to four chosen heroes to stop the evil tyrant before it's too late. So who are the heroes? Your usual suspects of heroes in fantasy games: The brave fighter; The elf girl; The old but tough dwarf, and the wise cleric.
Just like in every beat-em-up, your job is to hack and slash the enemies on screen to death, then beat the boss character at the end. However, there are some elements that are different. In this beat-em-up, the characters are able to level up and become stronger. The character's class also dictates in what areas they become more powerful when leveling, is better spells or more effective attacks. They're also able to use magic on enemies and collect potions and other accessories to help them in battle. Collecting gold from fallen enemies is another gameplay element different from typical beat-em-up's. The gold can be used to buy items at the end of each stage. Whilst the characters had these pickups available to them, the game was still typically balanced so that multiple credits/continues would have to be used to progress through the game.
Another game element is the ability to choose different paths to travel. You can even make a complete detour and decide to fight the very powerful dragon, instead of saving the world from the sorcerer. Doing so will give you a good or bad ending depending on if you succeed or not. Either way, after the battle, the game ends.
From Arcade to Console
Capcom would port the Tower of Doom along with the sequel Shadow of Mystara to the Sega Saturn, under the title Dungeons & Dragons Collection. The game would only be released in Japan, as the Sega Saturn was already down and out in the United States. The game, however, was available in your a video game guru stores like Gamestop and Electronics Boutique in the foreign game ports section.