[[caption-width-right:300:[[Franchise/MetalGear Solid Snake's]] grandpa at work.]]
-->''Welcome to Castle Wolfenstein, mate! The Nazis brought you here to get information out of you before they kill you. That's what this place is for -- if you listen you can hear the screams. They've already worked me over and I'll never get out alive, but maybe you can with this gun. It's standard issue -- each clip holds 10 bullets, and it's fully loaded.\\
Be careful, mate, because every room in the castle is guarded. The regular guards can't leave their posts without orders, but watch out for the SS stormtroopers. They're the ones in the bulletproof vests and they're like bloody hounds. Once they've picked up your trail they won't stop chasing you until you kill them and you almost need a grenade to do that.\\
Castle Wolfenstein is full of supplies too. I know one chap who found a whole German uniform and almost sneaked out past the guards. He might have made it if he hadn't shot some poor sod and got the SS on his trail. If you can't unlock a supply chest, try shooting it open. Now I wouldn't go shooting at chests full of explosives…\\
One more thing. The battle plans for Operation Rheingold are hidden somewhere in the castle. I'm sure you know what it would mean to the Allied High Command if we could get our hands on those…\\
They're coming for me! Good luck!\\

''Castle Wolfenstein'' (1981) was a computer game written by Silas Warner for the UsefulNotes/AppleII, IBM home computers, UsefulNotes/Atari8BitComputers, and the UsefulNotes/{{Commodore 64}}. It is regarded as one of the [[UrExample first stealth-based games ever]], and began the long-running ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein}}'' series.

The player is an unnamed U.S. soldier during World War II; he has been captured by the Nazis and imprisoned in Castle Wolfenstein. When the game starts, he has managed to get a gun and ten bullets from a dead cellmate. Once the player starts moving, he attracts the attention of the guards, who will try to shoot or apprehend him. The player's objective is to avoid being captured or killed, find the secret war plans, and escape alive. The player can wear uniforms to sneak past (some) guards, ambush patrols, and find helpful items such as keys, food, drink, bullets, grenades, and bulletproof vests. The game is played from a top-down perspective, but the characters are seen from a side view.

The success of ''Castle Wolfenstein'' prompted a sequel, ''Beyond Castle Wolfenstein'' (1984). In this game, the player must infiltrate a secret Berlin bunker where UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler is holding secret meetings; he must find a bomb hidden somewhere inside the bunker, plant it in Hitler's meeting room, then escape before the bomb explodes.

!!The ''Castle Wolfenstein'' games provide examples of the following tropes:

* AlternateHistory: ''Beyond Castle Wolfenstein'''s premise is based on the July 20th plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a bomb, except that the agent is actually ''successful'' in killing him.
* ArtificialStupidity: The regular guards (including SS Stormtroopers that had their body armor removed) make no attempt to follow you into another room, and when you come back and you're wearing a uniform, they completely forget that you were just shooting at them a few seconds ago.
* {{Autosave}}: In the original 1981 version the game saved your situation every time you entered a room or died. If you died you could prevent this by opening the disk drive's door, then re-booting. The game would start up again right where you entered the room.
* BackStab: You do double damage to opponents if you attacked them from behind. In the sequel, your character could backstab and kill any Nazi soldier in one hit if you had the dagger equipped.
* BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame: A common tactic is to stick up a guard with an empty gun, rob the guard for any bullets, then shoot him immediately afterwards.
* BlatantItemPlacement: Ammunition, explosives, uniforms, armor, food, drink, and even plans for military operations are placed in identical containers that are scattered throughout the castle with no rhyme or reason.
* BottomlessMagazines: Averted. Both you and the Nazis are given a maximum of ten bullets to use. After they run out of ammunition, the guards will run after you and try to capture you.
* [[EarthShatteringKaboom Castle Shattering Kaboom]]: If you blow yourself up with a grenade or shoot a trunk containing grenades or cannonballs, the entire screen is lit up with an explosion and sends you back to the main menu. Apparently, [[MadeOfExplodium the entire castle]] is destroyed from this one blast, since the game forces you to start over in a new castle if this happens.
* CollisionDamage: If a Nazi knows you're an enemy and touches you it's an immediate GameOver. Justified, as the Nazi would likely either restrain you or gut you with a combat knife or other melee weapon in that case.
* CutAndPasteEnvironments
* DeadlyWalls: Bumping into a wall stuns the player for several seconds. Not particularly lethal unless he's being chased by a soldier at the time…
* DieChairDie: All of the walls (except for the four main ones) in each room, along with all of the chests, can be destroyed with grenades.
* DoNotRunWithAGun: Averted. The protagonist and the Nazis can all move while firing their guns at the same time.
* DoomedFellowPrisoner: The introductory screens have information given by the {{PC}}'s cellmate. It ends with the other prisoner screaming as he's being dragged away by the Nazis to be tortured.
* DressingAsTheEnemy
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness
** 2D top-down perspective, stealth-based gameplay, RandomlyGeneratedLevels, Atari-esque graphics, and [[DamnYouMuscleMemory twin joystick controls]]? Not something you'd expect from the series that helped put the first-person shooter genre on the map.
** These games feature a [[FeaturelessProtagonist nameless soldier]] instead of the more well-known B.J. Blazkowicz as the protagonist.
** The Nazis in these games are [[UsefulNotes/NazisWithGnarlyWeapons straightforward and realistic in portrayal]], lacking any hint of the [[StupidJetpackHitler advanced technology]] or [[{{Ghostapo}} supernatural elements]] that would define them in later installments.
* EliteMooks: Unlike regular Nazis, the SS Soldiers can see through the uniform you might be wearing. They're also harder to kill due to their bulletproof vests.
* EquipmentBasedProgression: The UrExample for FPS games.
* EverybodyCallsHimBarkeep: The nameless protagonist is simply known as "Allied Soldier".
* EveryManHasHisPrice: In ''Beyond Castle Wolfenstein'', the player can bribe any of the soldiers inside Hitler's bunker with a few marks if he doesn't have the correct pass.
* FeaturelessProtagonist: The player's character is never actually named in the game.
* FlipScreenScrolling
* TheGuardsMustBeCrazy:
** In the original game, you can steal a uniform and wear it; the regular guards would ignore you, but the SS would see right through it.
** Averted in the sequel. If the guards see you with a weapon out, they'll start shooting immediately. Also, if you don't remove dead guards before the others see it, they'll head for the alarm and set it off. Finally, they'll periodically ask you to show a pass.
* GratuitousGerman: The original ''Castle Wolfenstein'' was noted for its unprecedented use of digitized German voices.
* HealThyself: In ''Beyond Castle Wolfenstein'', the player can recover from being shot by using a first-aid kit.
* HyperactiveMetabolism: Schnapps (alcohol) screws up your shooting accuracy, and bratwurst fixes it.
* JumpScare: A light example: a player encountering the SS troopers for the first time may mistake them for room-locked enemies just like normal guards. That is, until one jumps out of a door while pursuing them, screaming "[[SensoryAbuse SS!]]" in sharp, digitized German.
* LoadingScreen: The game displays four pages of unskippable introductory text (as shown in the page quote) while loading.
* LockedDoor: In the original game these could be shot open by bullets or blown open by grenades.
* LuckBasedMission:
** ''Castle Wolfenstein'' is all about this; You have to navigate through the randomly-generated castle with all its rooms and levels, find the war plans in one of the dozens of chests randomly scattered throughout the complex, and then find the exit (which could literally be anywhere) without being caught or killed by any guards on the way. And of course, there's a chance that [[EliteMook SS Stormtroopers]] will show up when and where you'd least expect them.
* MacGuffin: The war plans in the original game.
* MasterOfUnlocking: In the original game, if the player finds a locked chest he has to "lockpick" it ([[WaitingPuzzle wait for a timer to count down]]) before it will open. The player can shoot the chest to speed up the timer; unfortunately, this uses up bullets, and may attract nearby guards. It's also bad news if the chest has explosives (ammunition, grenades, cannonballs)) in it.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Due to the randomly-generated nature of ''Castle Wolfenstein'', there's a chance that there will be a container carrying grenades, armor, a disguise, or even the [[MacGuffin war plans]] [[TheGuardsMustBeCrazy in the cell the Nazis placed you in]].
* NoSwastikas: Averted; the regular Nazi guards had uniforms with large swastikas across their chests. SS Soldiers wore uniforms with "SS" instead.
* NPCRoadblock: More than often, the path to another room will be obstructed by a PatrollingMook. In order to get past him, the player will either have to kill him or use a grenade to make an alternate route. Either one means you'll have to risk blowing your cover.
* OneBulletClips: The player only has one pistol and can't store any extra bullet magazines. Thus if he came across enemy bullets, he only reloaded if they had more bullets than he currently had.
* OneHitPointWonder:
** Played mostly straight in the first game -- while a single shot will kill or incapacitate the player, the ''probability'' that a shot will hit depends on several factors, such as the distance of the gunman and whether the player is wearing a bulletproof vest.
** In ''Beyond Castle Wolfenstein'', getting shot actually caused you to limp and slow down.
* OneManArmy: Somewhat averted; it's entirely possible to play the game ''without'' killing every Nazi in sight.
* OptionalStealth: The original ''Castle Wolfenstein'' and ''Beyond Castle Wolfenstein''. It was a good idea to sneak through as much of the castle(s) as possible, because fighting German soldiers was a good way to get killed. However, you ''could'' fight them if you wanted to, and at times it was actually necessary (e.g. before you got a uniform or passes, or to "clean out" the room where the alarm box was located).
* PatrollingMook: If one of the guards sees you while you aren't wearing a uniform (and for SS guards, regardless of), he will call out to alert other guards and possibly activate an alarm.
* PermanentlyMissableContent: If you are killed or captured with the war plans in your possession, then you won't be able to retrieve it a second time without starting a new game.
* RandomlyGeneratedLevels: The game has pre-generated rooms whose layouts didn't change; however, the order and connection between rooms was randomized at the start of each game.
* RewardingVandalism: Averted; blowing up a chest with a grenade causes everything within to be lost. Blowing up a chest with explosives results in a NonStandardGameOver.
* StickEmUp: The player can surprise guards and hold them at gunpoint, even with an empty gun.
* TopDownView: Somewhat; the layout of each room is a top-down view, but the player, the soldiers, and furniture are depicted in 2D profile.
* UnwinnableJokeGame: In ''Castle Smurfenstein'', a hacked version of the original Apple II ''Castle Wolfenstein'', the game was deliberately modified so that it's impossible to get past the first level.
* UtilityWeapon: In the original game bullets can shoot out locked doors and help open chests faster, and grenades can blow open locked doors and destroy interior walls and chests.
* VideoGameStealing: You can steal [[DressingAsTheEnemy the uniform of a guard]] or an SS trooper's bulletproof vest, then put it on and use it, all while holding the guard at gunpoint. This was the best way to kill an SS trooper, since it usually took a full clip or more to take one down. Sneaking up on them, telling them to give you their bulletproof vest and then shooting them? One bullet.