I think the toughest thing about the game is the incredibly high break-rate for weapons. You can barely get through one floor without at least one of your weapons breaking, and the final dungeon is like thirteen floors! Unfortunately, getting rid of breaking weapons would render the Smithy class entirely meaningless. (Not that there aren't other meaningless classes in there...)
It takes a certain kind of masochist to beat this game... And considering the way the Game Gear eats through batteries, it'd be an impressive feat for ANYONE to have beaten this game back in its day. It's hard enough with an emulator and save states.