Thank you for the reply! I've definitely seen some comments about why the game flopped initially--the Wiki and Mobygames pages have been a big help. My biggest question is what happened once it became abandonware, since the hardcore people in the abandonware scene are used to jumping through hoops and clunky interfaces to play classic games. All I can guess so far is that it's a nightmare to get running, and its high-def graphics made it almost unplayable in DOSBox until recently. However, that's only speculation, which is why I was hoping the HotU crew might have more insight into what went wrong over the years.
As an aside, do you guys have its download count since it went up on your site? If so, how does it compare to other HotU games? Thank you!