So I finally found an Iwill ECP/EPP-enabled multi I/O. Gonna get it tomorrow. All in all, a Backpack CD drive and this card came down to around 17 bucks. The multi I/O is about 11 bucks, almost twice as expensive as the CD drive, ironically — even though basic ISA multicards (think Goldstar Prime 2) are often sold for 1,5 bucks. On the other side, this one comes with all the original packaging in perfect condition.
My only concern at this point is that it turns out to be extremely CPU-taxing — making gaming impossible and thus defeating the whole purpose. There is one comment on this forum and I quote:
I use to have a Backpack parallel port CDROM that I used for emergencies (honestly don't remember what "emergencies" any more). It worked in DOS, but it had horrible performance because it spiked the CPU to 100% during usage. You couldn't tell your CPU usage in DOS, but when I used it in Win95, there were programs that did.
Because the parallel port is being maxed and CPU usage was high, it was unusable for playing any games, listening to music, etc. All it was good for was installing programs or copying files from a data CDROM. Just FYI.
I haven't been able to find any other reports on this issue. For all I know that guy could be using Backpack with a 386 machine or something.
Also, I've been looking for this thing for a month now, and I've stumbled across a bunch of old computer shops price lists while doing so. Looks like this kind of controllers mostly started coming to Russia around the time Pentium MMX/II was on the market (or about to be released). So, motherboards already had integrated COM/LPT (already supporting high transfer rates) and didn't need multi I/O at all. Which is probably why I wasn't able to find any of these cards on the market now — simply put, nobody bought them back then and nobody knows what they are for.