May 5, 2009

Wolfenstein 3D turns 17

Seventeen years ago, Wolfenstein 3D's intial shareware release came out. If you are reading this story, you know the history of Wolfenstein 3D. Authored by id, published through us when we were going by the name "Apogee Software", Wolf3D was responsible for a great number of people and companies doing what they do. The influence of this title goes way beyond what the mere pixels on the screen.

Today the granddaddy of shooters turns 17, as it's original 1.0 shareware release was on May 5, 1992 on the PC - something we still sell to this day!

Since then, the game has been ported to a ton of various consoles and systems. The list includes the Super Nintendo, Atari Jaguar, Macintosh, 3DO, Acorn Archimedes (huh?), Gameboy Advanced, and the Apple IIgs. Most of these ports have long since been out of print, the links above mostly go to where you can try and get a used copy if you're interested.

However, most recently the game was ported to the iPhone by id Software. You can read about the iPhone version over at id Software's website, or you can go straight to the page for it in the iTunes store. In researching this article, this author noticed that the iPhone version is on a special sale right now for just $1.99!. That's a limited time "anniversary price", so you should move on that price quickly. If you have an iPhone, you should check it out.

There were other games, too. Going way WAY back, you have the original "Castle Wolfenstein", and it's sequel, "Beyond Castle Wolfenstein". These were games that originally appeared on the Apple ][ (and later elsewhere). The original game was the major inspiration for Wolfenstein 3D (which is frequently called Castle Wolf3D, which it is NOT really called). Appearing after Wolf3D was a true sequel game, called 'Spear of Destiny" (which had it's own addon packs). There were other titles named "Return to Castle Wolfenstein", "Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory", and most recently, "Wolfenstein RPG", a game for cellphones from id. Plus, in the future is a title merely called "Wolfenstein", so this franchise is not finished yet!

As we were heavily involved in the original all those years ago, we have several things we have lying around which we're bringing to you in celebration of the anniversary.

The first is something called the "Wolfenstein 3D Super Upgrades". The Wolf Super Upgrades was an addon pack for Wolfenstein 3D that we sold during 1994 and 1995. It comprised several addons for the game, including a map editor, multiple hundreds of maps, a random level generator, and some other related items. We originally released this as freeware on May 22, 2006, but we have something new to add here. Today we are releasing a document which we sent to our registered customers back in late 1994 about the Upgrades. In this pdf (which you can download here), you can see the sales letter we sent out, the original order forms, as well as a letter sent to people who bought the game. If you have the old DOS Wolfenstein 3D, check out the Upgrades pack, there's a lot of cool stuff there, and it's free!

Finally, we have a document which was our internal sell sheet for the game back in early 1992. If you want view that, click here. The sell sheet refers to two "trilogies" - this version of the game was long since discontinued, and sold as the more well known "six episode" version of Wolfenstein 3D. A bit of trivia, episodes 4-6 had their own name, "Wolfenstein 3D: The Nocturnal Missions".

As we said earlier, we still sell the original all these years later. You can check out our page for the game, download a shareware version of the game, and buy a classic!

Happy birthday William J. "B.J." Blazkowicz! I guess you're now a Teen Wolf. har har har.

Posted by Joe Siegler on May 5, 2009 at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Discuss this story on our forums
News Categories: The Classic Games