Wolfenstein 3D is a base game and the game that started the Wolfenstein 3D family of games. The game has been divided up three ways: the shareware version which is the first 10 level episode on its own released for free, the "Original Missions" consisting of the first three 10 level episodes, and "The Nocturnal Missions" which consist of the latter three 10 level episodes. All together these make up 60 levels spread across 6 episodes, and when discussing Wolfenstein 3D it is typically assumed that "Wolfenstein 3D" refers to the full package of 6 episodes.
Wolfenstein 3D was the second major release by id Software, after the Commander Keen series of games. In mid-1991, programmer John Carmack experimented with making a fast 3D game engine by restricting the gameplay and viewpoint to a single plane, producing Hovertank 3D and Catacomb 3-D for SoftDisk as early examples of this. After a design session prompted the company to shift from the family-friendly Keen to a more violent theme, programmer John Romero suggested remaking the 1981 stealth shooter Castle Wolfenstein as a fast-paced action game. He and designer Tom Hall designed the game, built on Carmack's engine, to be fast and violent, unlike other computer games on the market at the time. Wolfenstein 3D features artwork by Adrian Carmack and sound effects and music by Bobby Prince. The game was released through Apogee under the shareware model.
Each episode of Wolfenstein 3D ends with an episode boss on the ninth level. There is also one secret level in each episode which provides extraordinary challenge in return for extraordinary rewards in score and, usually, ammo and weapons.
The following are the episodes, their corresponding bosses and their basic plots:
The Original Missions
- Episode 1: Escape from Castle Wolfenstein - Hans Grösse: Our hero BJ has been captured after uncovering the plans for Operation: Eisenfaust. In order to bring the plans back to The Allied Forces, as well as to save his own hide, BJ must escape from the prison fortress Castle Wolfenstein.
- Episode 2: Operation: Eisenfaust - Doctor Schabbs: Having revealed Operation: Eisenfaust, a secret Nazi plan to bring their dead soldiers back to life as unstoppable killing machines, BJ is dispatched to Castle Nuremberg to intercept the project's mastermind and end Hitler's dreams of an undead army.
- Episode 3: Die, Führer, Die! - Adolf Hitler: With the tide of the war turning in the Allies' favor, Hitler has escaped to a deep bunker under the Reichstag. BJ is once again dispatched as an assassin, this time to take down Hitler himself.
The Nocturnal Missions
- Episode 4: A Dark Secret - Otto Giftmacher: BJ attacks a secret chemical factory where Otto Giftmacher, a chemist and for The Third Reich, is developing a new kind of chemical weapons to augment the Nazi's offensive capabilities in the war.
- Episode 5: Trail of the Madman - Gretel Grösse: Despite the scientist responsible for the chemical weapons' development being dead, his plans live on as his weapons and strategies are slowly put into action. To stop the attack before it gets off the ground, BJ attacks Castle Erlangen where the plans are kept.
- Episode 6: Confrontation - General Fettgesicht: BJ ends Giftmacher's scheme by attacking Castle Offenbach to assassinate General Fettgesicht, the General responsible for the Nazi chemical warfare initiative.
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- Spear of Destiny, another base game created as a spin-off of Wolfenstein 3D.
- This Wiki's category for mods made with Wolfenstein 3D as a base, or, this other category for mods made with the Shareware Wolfenstein 3D as a base.