Wolf 3D’s Reached That Age

It’s Wolfenstein 3D’s 16th birthday. Happy birthday Wolfenstein 3D! Now you can have sex with the other games.


Despite being an id game, it was published by Apogee, now 3D Realms, and they’ve taken it upon themselves to celebrate this momentous age.

Are they giving the full game away for free? No! Of course not, not while they can still sell it. Instead they are linking to some cute bits and pieces, including a recreation of a key scene in Lego, and reposting a video of a news story from its original release. The story is most notable for its wide-eyed innocence, rather than reporting the imminent demise of our souls.

No one does decent enemies any more.

It seems a bit of a shame that such a vast amount of time having passed doesn’t trigger the thought of releasing the game as freeware. Clearly 3D Realms have a bit of a problem with releasing anything, and you can understand why they might cling to what they’ve got, but in this instance it would be nice to see a flourish of generosity (or indeed a recognition that they’re selling a game that’s unlikely to even work on most machines, and the decent thing at this point is to draw a line under its vast profits). Still, at least the sizeable shareware chunk is still available gratis.


Hilarious RPS double-posting fun! Below is what Alec wrote at exactly the same time as John, but was beaten to the ‘post’ button by minutes. Alec is now going to go have a bit of a cry.

Wolfenstein 3D, oft considered the game that begot first-person shooters we know them, turned sweet sixteen on Monday, and we forgot to mention it. We are bad friends to PC gaming.

It may not have been the first FPS – that honour goes to 1973ish’s Maze War, and even id themselves had come up with the magicky Catacombs 3D previously – but it was the one that made people sit up and take notice. One the one hand: hooray for Wolfenstein! On the other hand: without Wolfenstein maybe there wouldn’t be guns in Mirror’s Edge. Pfft. Of course there would. The men, they like to shoot things.

3D Realms, who in their prior incarnation as Apogee published the Nazitastic proto-Doom, are leading the celebrations with a few fan-made tidbits, plus this charmingly naive news report from 1992. See all your favourite developers, but so young, so innocent, so large of hair:

This was an age before the media was blaming Doom and GTA for all the evils of the world. Good times, good times.

If you’re feeling misty-eyed, Wolf3D is available from Steam for just five of those silly dollar things, or you can while away a pleasant Nazi-slaying minute or two with this in-browser demo version.


  1. drunkymonkey says:

    Two more years and it’s legally allowed to drink!


  2. Lukasz says:

    five more years. it is american :)
    and wolf is hard. very hard!

    John romero is amazing in this video. such a geek. Impressive how fame and money can change a person!

  3. Hieremias says:

    So why are we celebrating the 16th birthday of a video game? I could understand 20th or 25th maybe, some sort of milestone like that, but 16? Are we going to have to celebrate 17 next year? Will I be given the cold shoulder and end up eating my supper in silence if I forget to buy a present for the 17th?

  4. John P (Katsumoto) says:

    “Two more years and it’s legally allowed to drink!


    Yeah, right now though it’s sitting around in parks, drinking cheap cider it’s older brother (Uh, what was iD’s first game called again?) bought, with all the other 16 year olds.

    But wait, as Lukaszhshs says, it’s American! According to all the films i’ve seen, Wolf3D will soon be drinking cheap lager at house parties right up until its 21, so it’s not that different from here really. It will just have to wait a bit longer before going down the pub.

    “Eh?-Dolf Hitler” btw

    edit: upon further research (wow i’m bored), Wolf3D, being from Texas, can’t have sex until it’s 17! OUTRAGE! Those crazy Texans.

  5. Phil says:

    Happy birthday Wolf3D, your gigantic mini-gun chested four armed zombies and cyber Hitlers marked the point when I realised gaming could be scary, funny and deeply weird all at the same time.

  6. brog says:

    Aw.. it’s growing up so fast!

  7. Rook says:

    You missed Voxelstein 3D
    link to voxelstein3d.sourceforge.net

  8. Lu-Tze says:

    Cosmos Cosmic Adventure! Woo!

  9. mystic sika says:


    damn I’ve been calling them I D for over a decade,


  10. Okami says:

    Pah! What countries do you come from? If Wolf3d was german or austrian, it’d be of legal drinking age right now. Of course it would also be in jail on accounts of nazionalsozialistische wiederbetätigung, because of all those swastikas….

  11. DosFreak says:

    Don’t bash 3DRealms too much for not giving away the game. They still need the profits to fund DNF.

  12. Flint says:

    Yay sweet sixteen! ^.^

  13. Powerhaus says:

    This game always scared me shitless as a kid, hard to believe that was 16 years ago. Blake stone was another classic on the same engine.

  14. Geoff says:

    John P (Katsumoto) beat me to it.
    I (being in Texas) was going to quote:
    “It’s Wolfenstein 3D’s 16th birthday. Happy birthday Wolfenstein 3D! Now you can have sex with the other games.”
    and remark:
    “Ah, consent at 16, England must be a lovely place.”

  15. Lh'owon says:

    I’ll always consider Bungie awesome for releasing the Marathon games free.

  16. Alex says:

    Now you can have sex with the other games.

    That made me laugh.

    I’m so ashamed.

  17. Valentin Galea says:

    Is John Romero handling his mouse with his left hand:)? Looks so strange.. and notice how he ‘picks’ it up a bit and ‘sweeps’ with it… everyone was a mouse n00b those days!

  18. lio says:

    funny how games weren’t considered “evil” back then… today such a report would most likely focus on how such video games make people violent rather than congratulating a software company for their success… and after all back then everyone thought wolf3d looked as good as reality and it couldn’t get any better ;)

  19. Optimaximal says:

    A piece inspired by the forms of berries, taking their bright colours and creating a piece that is purely stitch.

    Think that’s bad? I’ve been called Apogee ‘Apogie’

    It’s hilarious how the real genius behind Wolf 3D, John Carmack, never got a mention…

    Also, John Romero looked just as much of a c*nt then as he does now!

    Hurr, I’m a video game playboy – whilst everyone works, I play Street Fighter 2.. It’s RESEARCH!

  20. The Shed says:

    Good call on Voxelstein, Rook.

    Different days in so many ways. I mean, look at Romero’s hair! Wish I had a mull like that.

    “IT’S 3-DIMENSIONAL. IT’S TEXTURE MAPPED. IT’S WOLFENSTEIN.” …Awesome. Also yes, games are NEVER in the public eye today unless it’s to do with some kind of lawsuit or high-complaint ratio. Thats the cost of living in a controversy-driven world.