[[quoteright:318:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/wolf3d.jpg]]

-->''[[StateSec Schutzstaffel!]] *shoots* [[GratuitousGerman Mein Leben!]]''
-->-- '''Dying SS soldier'''

''Wolfenstein 3D'' is a {{shareware}} game developed by Creator/IdSoftware in just two months, and published by Creator/ApogeeSoftware in May, 1992. Often regarded as the first true FirstPersonShooter; although very primitive entries in the genre had been available since 1973, it's the TropeCodifier, and pretty much any modern FPS traces its gameplay lineage back to it. (Apogee's ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTriad'' was an even more direct successor, being built on top of the Wolf 3D codebase.)

The story is [[ExcusePlot simplicity itself]]: American soldier B.J. Blazkowicz is imprisoned in the Nazi prison Wolfenstein, and must walk through endless corridors, find keys and shoot Nazis until he escapes. Following chapters, which could be mail-ordered, had somewhat more out-there storylines, with ''Operation: Eisenfaust'' requiring you to thwart a Nazi doctor performing horrible biological experiments, and ''Die, Fuhrer, Die!'' allowing you to take down UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler himself. As [[StupidJetpackHitler he attacks you in an]] ''[[PoweredArmor armored battle suit]]'' with ''[[GatlingGood quad-miniguns]]''. There's also a prequel trilogy of episodes, entitled the "Nocturnal Missions", in which B.J. assassinates a Nazi chemical weapons scientist (''A Dark Secret''), uncovers his plans for a chemical war (''Trail of the Madman'') and finally kills the general carrying it out (''Confrontation'').

''Wolfenstein 3D'' was a reimagining of the original ''VideoGame/CastleWolfenstein'' and ''VideoGame/BeyondCastleWolfenstein'', 2D [[StealthBasedGame Stealth-Based Games]] released in the 1980s. It was followed by ''Spear of Destiny'' in 1992, and in 1994 by "Return To Danger" and "Ultimate Challenge", two further missions for ''Spear of Destiny''.

A company called Wisdom Tree created an unlicensed [[TheMoralSubstitute Christian-themed modification]] (Read: [[SerialNumbersFiledOff level-for-level copy]]) based on the SNES port. Titled ''Super 3D Noah's Ark'', it changed the guns into a fruit-shooting slingshot and the enemy soldiers into animals.

Console ports include the Super NES, Game Boy Advance, Jaguar, [=3DO=], Xbox 360 and [=PS3=] (as a downloadable title on the latter two platforms). [[http://wolfenstein.bethsoft.com/ It's even available online!]] Get Psyched! (and ruin your productivity...).

Followed canonically with ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'', which {{reviv|al}}ed the franchise in 2001.

Check the [[Characters/Wolfenstein3D character sheet]].

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!!Get Psyched!:
* AdvancingBossOfDoom: Most of the game's bosses are fought in standard arenas with plenty of room to manuever around them.
* AmericaWonWorldWarII: And even [[spoiler:kills Hitler]]!
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: While not every boss is a High Value Target[=/=]commander, every one of them is a boss, even the scientist characters.
* ArtificialBrilliance: For its time, Wolfenstein 3D was amazingly realistic and immersive. Enemies would pursue you outside of their room, opening doors in their way and doing anything they can to chase you to the ends of the map. They'll react realistically to your presence (shouting something in digitized German) and will even feel pain when shot. They also hear your gunshots, even if you're not in the same room. At the time of its release, nothing was scarier than shooting a guard in one room and hearing a squad of SS troopers alerted in the next.
* ArtificialStupidity: The AI is rather simplistic for all enemies. Enemies will either stand still or patrol slowly along a given route before encountering you. If one spots you, they'll shout something in German (save the Mutant enemies; part of their danger is that they are silent) and start running toward you, pausing to raise their gun and shoot every so often. If they are hit mid-aim, they cancel that aiming. That's pretty much the entire extent of the AI, and most difficult rooms can be cleared through simply standing at an angle to a door and letting the enemies walk one by one through the door into your weapons. One of the best ways to skip large parts of a level is to alert an enemy on the other side of a locked door, watch him open it, and then shoot him down as he is crossing through. The door will be blocked open by his dead body and you can skip having to find the key.
* BadBoss FatBastard: General Fettgesicht (Fat Face) from ''Episode 6: Confrontation''.
* BlatantItemPlacement: With ammo and food found on the floor.
* BossInMookClothing: The Hitler Ghosts in the last level of episode 3. They have boss-like health (about 33% the health of a normal boss), which is probably meant to fool you into thinking the first one is really the final boss.
* BossOnlyLevel: The only opponent in Level 9 of episode 1 is the boss, Hans Grosse.
* BrutalBonusLevel:
** The Episode 3 secret level is pretty brutal, but brilliant fun too, while the Episode 4 secret level is practically a death trap unless you know the exact route to the exit (or are just plain crazy!). Episode 6's secret level is fairly easy if you just want to exit quickly, but if you are seeking [[HundredPercentCompletion 100% completion]], it is arguably the hardest map in the entire game.
** Episode 4, level 10; no matter what the difficulty setting you choose, the entire level is swarming with upwards of 50-70+ Officers, that once you fire your gun (even using your knife [remember that this was made in 1992 and there is no such stealth feature to speak of in this game]), all of them will be alerted to your presence, and they ''will'' converge on your position if you stay in one place. Fortunately, there is a secret area that lies directly west from your starting point and takes only a little stroll to get there. This area contains an abundance of ammunition to replenish your guns when you're dealing with those officers. Unfortunately, the entire level is devoid of ''any'' health pickups, making this an absolute struggle for survival. Even worse, a limitation in the game engine causes the officers to temporarily turn invisible, making it hard for you to know where they will come from until you hear their gunshots as well as losing your health in the process, and the only way to solve this is to keep blindly firing until you hear their death cries; this gives this level a really bad case of FakeDifficulty Syndrome. And the exit to this level is far from your starting point, unless you know exactly the right path to get to it.
** Episode 6, level 10; ''especially'' on ''Death Incarnate'' if you're challenging yourself to get close to OneHundredPercentCompletion. The mutants from Episode 2 are back only for this level, and mix it up with Officers, SS Guards, and three copies of [[DegradedBoss Hans Grosse]]. It can be good fun to clear out all four quadrants of this map, but get ready for the pain your first time through.
* TheComputerIsACheatingBastard: Guards can open locked doors at will. Normally this could be justified by the guards carrying the keys, except that you rarely find one that drops a key upon death. Still, it's very exploitable for SequenceBreaking.
* ChestBlaster: The mutants in episode 2 have guns implanted in their chests, meaning they can fire at you instantly while other enemies need to take a half-second or so to aim first.
* CriticalHit
** On occasion, if you manage to shoot a Nazi before it is alerted, you can kill him in 1-2 shots. This is especially noticeable with [[EliteMooks SS Guards]] who normally require several hits to die as they have about twice the HitPoints of most guard types. Whether this is pure luck or not is ultimately found in the open-source code for the game.
** This works both ways unfortunately. If an enemy gets the drop on you and shoots you at point-blank range, you will almost certainly lose over half your health. The Mutants are the most infamous for doing this because of their total lack of an "aiming" state (in other words, they'll immediately skip to shooting instead of having to raise and look down the sights of their weapon). They're also good at getting said drop on you owing to their utter silence.
* [[ContinuingIsPainful Continuing Without]] SaveScumming [[ContinuingIsPainful Is Painful]]: Aside from losing a life, dying also removes all your weapons and ammo except for a pistol and 8 bullets. Good luck fighting your way to the nearest machine gun.
* CutAndPasteEnvironments
* DoingInTheWizard: The mutants, while undead-looking, are a result of scientific rather than supernatural experimentation, and the flying, fireball-shooting Hitler Ghosts are, according to the ''VideoGame/ReturnToCastleWolfenstein'' manual, decoys hung from the ceiling by wires.
* DogFoodDiet: You can eat dog food for health.
* DummiedOut:
** "Call Apogee, Say Aardwolf!" It's still there ([=E2M8=]), if you know how to get to it.
** In the [=PS3=] version of Wolfenstein 3D, the [[spoiler:Pac-Man ghosts]] are removed from [=E3M10=], possibly due to copyright reasons, and replaced with Hitler Ghosts, taking out the fun quirk that makes the secret level famous.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: For the FPS genre as a whole. Unusual elements include the following:
** A score counter.
** Items that do nothing but increase said score.
** Finite lives.
** [[WarpZone Warp Zones]].
** Abstract, maze-like level design.
** All enemies always face the player when shooting (though not when running or patrolling, save in the Mac versions) and exclusively use HitScan attacks; consequently, enemies' shots will always hit the player if they are given the chance to fire.
** Weapons that don't differ except for rate of fire. Accordingly, weapons are arranged in a strict hierarchy, going, from weakest to strongest: knife, pistol, machine gun, and chain gun. There is never any benefit to switching to a weaker weapon, unless you need to save ammo by using the smg.
** All weapons use a single ammo pool; if you have 50 bullets, you have 50 bullets regardless of which gun you have out.
** All levels are flat and consist entirely of 90-degree angles.
** No lighting effects.
* EasyModeMockery: The easiest level, "Can I play, Daddy?", is symbolized by an icon of Blazkowicz in a baby bonnet.
* EliteMooks: SS Guards and Officers.
* EndlessCorridor: While not endless per se, the visual effect is invoked in most of the levels.
* [[EveryTenThousandPoints Every Forty Thousand Points]]
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The ''Die, Fuhrer, Die!'' chapter has a souped up Hitler as the boss.
* ExpansionPack: The "Lost Episodes" of ''Spear of Destiny'', which consist of two new 21-level episodes with most of the graphics and sounds replaced (and a rather thin plot consisting of "the Nazis stole [[TheSpearOfDestiny the Spear]] back; go get it again"). None of the "new" weapons or enemies actually behave any differently due to that data being hard-coded into the executable, however, and the second expansion inexplicably features the same bosses as the first.
* FakeDifficulty:
** Unfortunately, the game engine can only support a certain number of sprites on screen at any one time before it stops drawing them. Certain levels, notably [=E4M10=], suffer from FakeDifficulty when the enemies turn invisible.
** A large part of the challenge of playing the game on the PC is the inability to strafe sideways like in a modern FPS, even when using mouselook (you have to hold down a seperate key to strafe, which also prevents you from looking left and right); this is corrected on the modern console ports of the game, as well as the unofficial OpenGL port.
* ForebodingArchitecture: The Original blueprints were leaked from Apogee and now everybody's doing it.
* FriendlyFireproof: Enemies cannot hit each other, and their shots will go straight to you even if blocked.
* GameEngine: Was originally to be used in ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTriad''.
* GameMod: There's a mod community for the game; while not as expansive or well-known as that of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'', they still have created a lot of mapsets and entire new games (thanks to the code being released, most mods modify the game code in extensive ways.)
* GatlingGood: Aside of the bosses, the Gatling Gun is the player's ultimate weapon.
* GenreShift: The first two Castle Wolfenstein games are top-down stealth games, while the games from 3D onward are {{First Person Shooter}}s.
* {{Ghostapo}}: The supernatural occurences in ''Spear of Destiny'', what with Blazkowicz facing [[spoiler:Satan himself!]]. Subverted in the vanilla episodes, where the ghostly fire-shooting copies of Hitler are stated to be elaborate decoys with mounted flamethrowers.
* GiantMook: In terms of attack pattern, damage output, and health, the bosses are pretty much equivalent to a modern FPS Giant Mook.
* GlassCannon: The ''player''. You can die very easily in Wolfenstein 3D, especially at close range, but your enemies are even more fragile. If you're quick you can mow down droves of Nazis with the [[GatlingGood chaingun]] before they get the chance to react.
* {{Gorn}}: Some of the boss deaths are surprisingly graphic and over-the-top (complete with a "Let's see that again!" replay.)
* GratuitousGerman: Someone even compiled a [[http://www.mac-archive.com/wolfenstein/talk.html list]] with all of the instances. This was fixed in the Spear of Destiny's "Lost Episodes" with actual German actors.
--> ''"SCHUTZSTAFFEL!"''
--> *is shot* ''"MEIN LEBEN!"''
* GuideDangIt: Most of the secret areas in the game.
* GuiltBasedGaming: The [[http://www.afadoomer.com/wolf3d/svn/pk3/Language.txt quotes when you try the exit the game]], which ''Videogame/{{Doom}}'' also copied.
--> ''"For guns and glory, press N. For work and worry, press Y."''
* HitScan: Given its primitive status, almost all weapons (with the exception of the projectile weapons wielded by some bosses and the ''Fake Hitlers' '' fireballs) are done like this.
* HundredPercentCompletion: The game scores you on enemies, treasure and secrets found in each level, although getting all 100%/100%/100%s is physically impossible on at least one level ([=E2M8=] due to a lot of mutually exclusive secrets) and technically impossible on a few ([=E5M5=], [=E5M8=], [=E6M2=], [=E6M7=] and [=E6M8=] all have secret walls that, due to an engine bug, push a square too far, either blocking off an area containing treasure or parking on the treasure itself rendering it inaccessible). It is possible to circumvent the bug with some trickery by pausing the game just as the pushback wall moves two spaces; if done correctly it should stop.
* HurricaneOfPuns: Just a quick glance at the list of potential titles id Software had considered before choosing the Wolfenstein name reveals several groaners, including ''Luger's Run'', ''Luger Me Now'', ''Tank You Very Much'' and ''[[GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff Castle Hasselhoff]]''.
* HyperactiveMetabolism: Food restores health.
* HyperspaceArsenal: Just barely counts as an example. The {{knife|Nut}}, [[{{Handguns}} Luger]], and [[MoreDakka MP40]] are all things you could reasonably expect someone to carry. The [[GatlingGood Chaingun]]? Not so much.
* IdiosyncraticDifficultyLevels: "Can I play, Daddy?", "Don't hurt me!", "Bring 'em on!" and "I am Death incarnate!"
* ImAHumanitarian: If your health is in the single digits, you can [[BloodLust drink human blood]] for an extremely small (only a couple points) health boost.
* InexplicablyPreservedDungeonMeat: Other than first-aid kits, all health-replenishing items in ''Wolfenstein 3D'' are food, and all of them are just lying around on the floor, sometimes even sitting in hidden passageways (though at least they're left on plates and bowls.)
* JokeLevel: [=E3M10=], [[spoiler:a Pac-Man stage also known as "Wolf Pack".]]
* KaizoTrap
** Some of the exit elevators have EliteMooks waiting in them, or are outright fake, so don't let down your guard.
** Most episodes end once you kill the boss. At most, the boss drops a key that opens the door to the end of the level. The main exception is Episode 5. After you beat Gretel Grosse, the key she drops leads to a room where ''an entire platoon'' of EliteMooks is waiting for you. This can be quite a nasty surprise if you were expecting a clear run to the exit.
* LargeAndInCharge: The bosses are all about 8 feet tall. Even the two scientist characters. The only exception is Hitler himself, and even he is about 7 feet tall once you get him outside of his Power Armor.
* LoadingScreen:
--> '''GET PSYCHED!'''
* LuckBasedMission: Not only is the damage done by enemies random, the variation is huge; a basic pistol shot can take off anything from 3% of your health to almost half of your total health. Shots from longer range generally do less damage, but a close-range shot can still just wing you, and a long distance shot can seriously hurt you. The damage of your own bullets is random as well.
* LightningBruiser: The Uber-Mutant from ''Spear of Destiny'' (and his Lost Episodes palette-swapped counterpart, Hans "The Axe" von Schlieffen), is even tougher than a regular boss ''and'' moves faster than any other enemy in the game other than the attack dogs.
* TheMaze: Quite a few of the levels have mazes, but the most extreme example is the Aardwolf maze in [=E2M8=].
** [=E3M7=] has a very large one you need to clear to find the secret exit. The entrance to it is also hidden, as there is no key to the locked door that leads to it (there's a pushwall just to the left of the door). [[http://i.imgur.com/OyZi4NB.jpg Even with a map]], you'll still probably get lost a few times.
* MeaninglessLives: Dying puts you back at the beginning of the level with only a pistol and 8 rounds, and you have the ability to save anywhere, so...
* MissionPackSequel: ''Spear of Destiny'', technically a Mission Pack ''Prequel''.
* MoreDakka: All three weapons are effectively the same weapon and use the same ammo. The only difference is the firing rate.
* NaziGold: Collect it for scorepoints.
* NintendoHard: A classic example. This is an old school game with an old school difficulty level. Enemies can kill you in just 3 or 4 shots at full health, are all equipped with HitScan weapons, and health and ammo is a lot more scarce than in ''Videogame/{{Doom}}'' or ''Videogame/{{Quake}}''. Charging blindly into a room guns blazing like in ''Doom'' is a good path to "[[Creator/{{Yahtzee}} Nazi bullet bumrape]]". Instead more methodical room-clearing is encouraged, especially on the higher difficulties.
* NoFairCheating: cheating for full ammo will deny you the chance to get a high score.
* NoGearLevel: Sort of. The game starts with a prison break, but the player quickly obtains 2 of the 3 guns in the game. However, the start of every episode after that [[BagOfSpilling still leaves you with only a pistol and 8 bullets]], even though you'd expect to have access to better weapons before you arrived.
* NonstandardGameOver: While it doesn't end your game, if Dr. Schabbs, the boss of episode 2, kills you with his syringes, then instead of your head being all caved in and dead (see ShowsDamage below), it turns gray and zombie-like (the stuff in the syringes turns you into a mutant). Can see it [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DBW4jPI_l4 here]].
* NoSwastikas: The SNES version was, by Nintendo's request, subject to this trope. The Nazi banners were edited into blank red curtains and Hitler was edited into a generic clean-shaven dictator with the title of "Staatmeister". On an unrelated note, the attack dogs were edited into giant rats.
* OhCrap: Hitler himself exclaims "Scheisse"[[note]]which is German for "shit"[[/note]] after you destroy his Mecha Suit and thus becomes more vulnerable.
* OneManArmy: Blazkowicz, duh.
* PathOfGreatestResistance: If a room is filled with bodies, you've already been there.
* PatrioticFervor: One of the boss themes mixes in bits of Yankee Doodle and Star-Spangled Banner with the main Wolfenstein theme.
* PuzzleBoss: The secret level in Episode 4 looks like a run, shoot and hope job. It's actually a maze - there's a path from start to finish that goes past the backs of the guards without any of them seeing you. (Follow the blood spatters on the walls.)
* RocketTagGameplay: The mooks don't take many shots to go down, and die even faster to the gatling gun, but the player can get easily killed within a few shots. Getting the initiative as well as finding cover or chokepoints is thus imperative.
* SecretLevel: OnceAnEpisode.
* SequenceBreaking:
** Guards can open locked doors at will, and if you're clever (or lucky), you can use this to your advantage by killing them in the doorway, leaving it wedged open, thus allowing you to progress without the necessary key. In fact, one level ([=E4M7=]) is designed with this in mind.
** Other levels have secrets that bypass a good portion of the level; for example, in [=E3M6=], a secret allows you to obtain the silver key without having to face the room of EliteMooks right before it.
* {{Shareware}}
* ShoutOut:
** [=E3M10=]. [[spoiler:[[PacMan Wakka wakka]].]]
** A couple to id's previous game, ''VideoGame/CommanderKeen''. The hint sheet for the game gives a brief biography of B.J. Blazkowicz, including revealing that he's Keen's grandfather. Also, try inputting the cheat code from episodes 4-6 and you'll get a message saying "Commander Keen is also available from Apogee but then, you already know that - right Cheatmeister?!" It even still works in versions not sold by Apogee. See a pic of the box [[http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=33dyt6e&s=5 here]]. The two Expansion Packs also feature a Robot Boss in the place of the Death Knight that is similar to the Robots from Episode 1 of Commander Keen.
* ShowsDamage: As you soak up damage, the face in the status bar becomes more beaten and bloodied.
* SigilSpam: Well, the real Nazis emblazoned swastikas onto everything too, although we're pretty sure they didn't actually create whole levels shaped like them ([=E6M3=]).
* SoundCodedForYourConvenience: Each soldier uses a different GratuitousGerman phrase, except for the AppleMacintosh port (Where they all share the same pool of phrases) and the {{SNES}} port. (Where, due to being {{Bowdlerise}}d, they don't even speak German. Like the Mac port, they all use the same generic sound pool, but with the thoughtful addition of having different human enemies will speak with different voice-pitches).
* SoundtrackDissonance: Surprisingly, the [[spoiler:Pac-Man]] music on [=E3M10=] is quite sharply contrasted with you running for your life!
* ThirdIs3D: With easy SequelDisplacement.
* ThoseWackyNazis
* TurnsRed: Once you smash his PoweredArmor, Hitler runs out to fight you. He's noticeably faster on foot, and is in fact faster than any of the other bosses in the original 6 episodes. He has somewhat less health, though.
* UnbrokenFirstPersonPerspective: This game pre-dates the tendency to switch camera perspectives in gameplay or to feature cutscenes, so the entire game is from BJ's perspective, aside from a closing "cutscene" depicting him triumphantly jumping into the air.
* UnbuiltTrope: This game is in many way more realistic than later FPS franchises, averting many AcceptableBreaksFromReality typical to the genre. The [[BottomlessMagazines ammo is limited]], the player character is nearly as [[GlassCannon easily killed]] as in RealLife, and there is no automatic RegeneratingHealth or LevelMapDisplay.
* UniversalAmmunition: The three original guns all share the same pool of ammunition, though in the case of the first two it's justified (the Luger and [=MP40=] do both fire 9mm bullets). The Mac, 3DO and SNES ports added a flamethrower and rocket launcher which had their own ammo pools.
* UnwinnableByDesign
** Whatever you do, in the pushback mazes of [=E2M8=], [=E4M2=] and [=E6M10=], don't box yourself in! If you do, let's hope you saved at the start of the level, otherwise you have to start the episode all over again.
** You can do something similar in [=E2M9=] and trap yourself in the health room if you push the three secret walls in a particular way.
** [=E4M7=] is unique in that the locked doors are purposefully designed to be opened by enemies that are alerted to your gunshots. If you fail to keep the first door wedged open with a soldier's body, the only way out is though a hidden maze of secret passages that is itself very easy to make unwinnable.
* YeahShot: The ending of episodes 1 and 5.
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