Video Game: Wolfenstein 3D
— Dying SS soldier
is a shareware
game developed by id Software
in just two months, and published by Apogee Software
in May, 1992. Often regarded as the first true First-Person Shooter
; although very primitive entries in the genre had been available since 1973, it's the Trope Codifier
, and pretty much any modern FPS traces its gameplay lineage back to it. (Apogee's Rise of the Triad
was an even more direct successor, being built on top of the Wolf 3D codebase.)
The story is 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 Adolf Hitler
himself. As he attacks you in an armored battle suit
. 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
was a reimagining of the original Castle Wolfenstein
and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein
, 2D 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 Christian-themed modification
(Read: 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. Rumor has it Apogee willingly let them use the engine, being angered at the Wolf 3D's
bowdlerization at Nintendo's hands.
Console ports include the Super Nintendo, Gameboy Advance, Atari Jaguar, 3DO and Playstation Network. It's even available online!
Get Psyched! (and ruin your productivity...).
Followed canonically with Return to Castle Wolfenstein
, which revived
the franchise in 2001.
Check the character sheet
Recurring tropes from the Wolfenstein series include:
- America Wins the War: And even kills Hitler!
- Authority Equals Asskicking: While not every boss is a High Value Target/commander, every one of them is a boss, even the scientist characters.
- Bad Boss Fat Bastard: General Fettgesicht (Fat Face) from Episode 6: Confrontation.
- Elite Mooks: SS Guards and Officers.
- Gatling Good: Aside of the bosses, the Gatling Gun is the player's ultimate weapon.
- Ghostapo: The supernatural occurences in Spear of Destiny, what with Blazkowicz facing Satan himself!. Subverted in the vanilla episodes, where the ghostly fire-shooting copies of Hitler are stated to be elaborate decoys with mounted flamethrowers.
- Gratuitous German: Someone even compiled a list with all of the instances. This was fixed in the Spear of Destiny's "Lost Episodes" with actual German actors.
*is shot* "MEIN LEBEN!"
- 100% Completion: 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.
- Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels: "Can I play, Daddy?", "Don't hurt me!", "Bring 'em on!" and "I am Death incarnate!"
- Large and in Charge: 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.
- More Dakka: All three weapons are effectively the same weapon and use the same ammo. The only difference is the firing rate.
- Nazi Gold: Collect it for scorepoints.
- No Swastikas: The SNES version had, by Nintendo's request, all swastikas and other Nazi imagery removed, the attack dogs turned into giant rats, and Hitler modified to be just a "generic" dictator (by shaving off his mustache and calling him Staatmeister).
- One-Man Army: Blazkowicz, duh.
- Those Wacky Nazis