How long? According to the filled-out-but-never-turned-in "Player's Poll" I just found in my well-worn copy of Nintendo Power's premiere (July/August 1988) issue, the answer is 26 years. (On the above-mentioned poll, I listed my age as 11.)
Seeing that throng of people standing in line, waiting for their copies of the just-released Dragon Quest III set my hear aflutter, as did the screenshot of the Famicom game's overworld. (For whatever reason, making all four party members visible while traversing said overworld completely blew my young mind.)
Assuming at least some of you have a similar fascination with Japan and its games, what pushed you in that direction?