Wolfenstein 3D Wiki

Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny, while objectively the pinnacle of gaming, are not devoid of flaws. There are a handful of bugs and glitches that modders and players alike have had to learn to accept as part of the experience.

Active Bugs and Glitches[]

"Active" bugs and glitches are present in either Wolfenstein 3D or SOD during normal gameplay without any help from user-made maps.

Fireball Speed[]

The Fake Hitler's fireballs are one of the most apparently bugged aspects of the game. Almost all actions in Wolfenstein 3D are tied to a timer to create consistent timing ingame without influence from processor speed. The fireballs, however, are not tied to this timer.

As a result, on computers with faster processing speed than was the norm when Wolfenstein 3D first released the fireballs travel much slower. Additionally, if the player causes a dialogue message to pop up (for example, by entering a cheat) the fireballs will suddenly jump forward when the dialogue is closed.

This completely alters the challenge of fighting a Fake Hitler. While it may seem that slower fireballs can only make things easier for the player, it also means that the hazardous projectiles stay active in the game for longer while the Fake Hitler may continue polluting the arena with more fire.

The source port ECWolf fixes this issue.

Rocket Marking[]

The game marks rockets position on the map without unmarking them after they leave said position. Because of this, if a rocket passes through an opened door it cannot be closed nor will it close itself after a rocket passes through its position.

This effect can happen in Wolf3D, Spear of Destiny, the mission packs and in most mod where applicable.

Enemy in Doorway and the Perfect Timing[]

This glitch is kinda rare, but when it happens it doesn't really affects to the gameplay. When an enemy is killed in the doorway the door cannot be closed anymore, but there is a rare chance with perfect timing that as the player kills an enemy in the doorway the door suddenly closes during the enemy's death animation.

As previously stated, this glitch doesn't affect the gameplay. The door can be opened once this happens and it won't close.

Enemies in Doorways Becoming Invisible when Shooting at the Player[]

This glitch is also rare. Sometimes during gameplay enemies will open up doors, walk in the doorway and start shooting at the player. There is a low chance they will turn invisible during their shooting frames. If this happens they can harm the player and the player can also harm them. This effect only occurs during the enemy's firing animation and the enemy will become visible once their chase animation resumes.

This effect can happen in Wolf3D, Spear of Destiny, its mission packs and most mods where applicable.

Hitler and His Almighty Jumping Techniques[]

Hitler himself is basically a big guy, since he is truly two bosses in one, after destroying his mecha suit the real Hitler will spawn in. He immediately chases the player, but once he walks around a little he can be seen "jumping" back to where he spawned after "killing" mecha suit Hitler. This effect occurs often.

Episode One's Secret Exit[]

In earlier versions of Wolf3D the secret level of episode one is not accessible without cheating. On the first map the secret elevator is located but it brings the player to E1M2 instead to E1M10.

This issue was later fixed.

Score Reaching One Million[]

In earlier versions of Wolf3D. The score could go above one million, showing 7 digits, but there's only place for 6 digits, making the 7th digit's half getting drawn in the "lives" block.

This issue was later fixed.

Blind and Deaf Bosses[]

This bug happens on two levels in the original Wolf3D, on E2M8 and on E6M10. Both maps has Hans Grosses and not just only one. In E2M8's case they appear in the Aardwolf maze and all of them there is blind and deaf. In E6M10's case there's only 3 Hans Grosses on that map and only one of them is blind and deaf. The explanation behind this phenomenon is that, the blind and deaf bosses spawn on a deaf guard floor code, in case of normal enemies, these kind of enemies gets alerted once they sees the player while bosses appears to stand in one place until they get him by the player.

On a side note. Deaf hitscanner bosses cannot harm the player as long as they're standing on that tile where they spawned and where the deaf floor code is. This makes the player stab the bosses to death with a simple knife without wasting bullets and without losing any health.

Stuck in Pushwalls[]

There are instances where a player can get behind a pushwall ingame, causing the pushwall to land on top of the player and get them stuck forever.


Example of becoming stuck forever on E2M10

Becoming One with Enemies[]

There is a glitch in Wolfenstein which is caused if the player and an enemy move into the same location at the same time. The result is the player and enemy both becoming stuck in place and the enemy's sprites no longer rendering.

While the enemy can continue to damage the player, the player can no longer attack the enemy.


Example of "becoming one" with a dog

Strange Opened Up Secrets and Broken Secret Count[]

A strange bug can happen once you open up a pushwall, but suddenly get killed by a random enemy (or suddenly start a new game or save the game and load it back). When you get there where you previously opened the secret you will find it open already, but after finding all the secrets on that level the secret ratio doesn't hit 100%. The explanation behind this is that the state and the position of the pushwalls is not reseted upon death or starting a new game, that is why it's wide open, unlike the secret wall trigger. Since the trigger is there, but there is no wall to push, there's nothing to trigger so the secret trigger remains where it is, that is why 100% secret is impossible to get once this happens.

Gliding Enemies[]

In later versions of Wolf3D some walking enemies appears to be gliding. They're basically walking with no animated walking frames. Since gliding guards appears to be faster than normal walking enemies, they can break their walking patterns by causing collusion with other enemies.

The same effect can be experienced with BJ on episodes 1 and 5 when he's running.

Pushwall Stopping[]

By saving and loading a game while a pushwall is moving the pushwall will be stopped in its tracks.  The pushwall will not be able to be reactivated  Each tile the pushwall occupies will block the player like an entire wall.

This was fixed in v1.4.

Broken Elevator[]

By saving and loading the game on the same frame that the elevator switch is thrown the player will return with the elevator switch thrown but no level transition will occur.  Because the elevator switch is already thrown, the player cannot throw it again.  This results in the player being stuck in the level.

Walking Dead B.J.[]

If the player saves and loads at the exact frame that the player is killed they will be able to play with 0 health.  Being attacked will cause instant death and obtaining health items will heal the player back above 0 hp.  


Video showcasing Walking Dead BJ, Broken Elevator, and Pushwall Stopping

Inactive Bugs and Glitches[]

Inactive bugs and glitches are ones that would never appear in the original Wolfenstein 3D or SOD if not for modders finding them by editing game assets such as maps. These may be issues that modders need to keep in mind to prevent problems or they may be considered bonus tools to be exploited for unique ingame effects.


One of the most famously exploited glitches is the "holowall" trick. By placing a dead guard inside of a wall the player can walk through the wall as though it weren't solid.

A holowall can also be created by placing a living enemy inside of it. While getting guards inside of walls to be alerted by action in the correct floor codes can be tricky, this is a neat way to create guard ambushes. After the guard leaves the wall it will remain a holowall, so be aware that the player can still poke their head in if this is something you want to prevent.

The holowall is a nifty trick, though there are some possible issues which can arise.

  • Most notably, while inside of a wall the player's attacks cannot extend outside of the wall and enemy's attacks similarly cannot pierce into the wall. As a result, if enemies block all exits of a holowall the player will need to reload a save or they will remain permanently stuck.
  • Firing a weapon while inside of a holowall can alert all enemies in a level.
  • Guards killed inside of holowalls may not drop ammo.

Doorsides as Secrets[]

Marking a doorside as a secret can cause interesting glitches. Once the doorside is pushed the texture will change immediately to the one texture it truly is once the wall reaches an another tile.

An another glitch can be noticed, Doors has strange habits that they're facing towards the player all the time. Because the door shows it's other side, it can be seen how it actually disappears once they're opened.

Spear of Destiny and the End Game Trigger[]

Since Spear of Destiny doesn't use the end game trigger and BJ's running and jumping frames are missing, the end game trigger still can be placed on maps and it works in a way: the camera changes, but BJ cannot be seen and the game won't end, soft locking the game.

Placing Deaf Floor Code In Front of Doors[]

Placing deaf floor codes in front of doors can cause strange bugs. Sometimes doors don't draw their texture despite still being there.  The door blocks the player's path and the player can't open or close these doors. On a side note, the enemy placed on the said floor code can notice the player even through the invisible door and most interestingly can open the invisible doors. Killing that enemy in the doorway, forcing the door to stay open, is the only way to go through these doors.

Deaf enemies placed near each other can cause troubles too, enemies facing right won't notice the player until they get hit.

Stationary Dogs[]

All dogs in Wolfenstein and SOD are always moving if they're not attacking or dying. There are, however, snippets of code for stationary dogs present in the game. If a stationary dog is placed ingame it will transform an enemy beside it into a dog when alerted.