MEIN LEBEN! Wolfenstein 3D In Your Browser, Free


Good heavens, Saturday was the 20th anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D. That makes us all older than the oldest oak tree. The classic robo-Nazi-shooting FPS is credited with having made the first-person shooter a thing that people knew existed, and if you’ve played it recently, you’ll know it’s still brilliant. You haven’t played it recently? Oh, well now you can.

id and Bethesda have made it be a thing that just plays in a browser! Which is the best news. You can pick all three episodes, and any level therein, meaning you’re welcome to just jump straight to hovering witch-Hitler. I did:

It’ll take you a moment to get used to not using the mouse (although pleasingly it works for the menus), and the awkwardness of strafe being on Z. Then you’re away, hunting the walls for secrets – something I so hugely miss being a part of FPS games.

You can listen to the Bethsoft podcast guys talking to John Carmack all about the game:


  1. konrad_ha says:

    …and still blocked in Germany:

    Sorry, your IP address shows you are coming from a country that requires us to block access to this particular site.


    • Anthile says:

      Can’t say I did nazi this coming. Okay, okay, I’ll go.

    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      Jup. Unfortunately, the people who ban games here never cared about that the goal of the game is to shoot Hitler. If it has a swastika or the little man with the mustache in it (and isn’t historical or educational in some way) it goes on the list, and that’s it.

      But who knows – they unbanned Doom. Maybe they’ll do it again.

    • Spinoza says:

      Strange , as it should be allowed to kill Adolf Pixel by proxy…

    • Ricc says:

      I just got country-blocked from Austria… This pisses me off. :/

      It’s the internet, Bethsoft, not the iOS-Store… Nobody gives a shit!

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        Germany does.
        No, really – I wouldn’t be surprised if Bethesda got into trouble if they didn’t block german IPs.
        (blocking austrian ones might be an accident, though)

        • MacBeth says:

          Germany, Austria… practically the same country – in 1938 anyway. Perhaps Bethsoft are just striving for historical accuracy and considering it post-Anschluss…

        • neolith says:

          According to their website Bethesda doesn’t seem to have a branch over here in Germany – so why should anyone care?

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          Bethesda would get in a lot of trouble. Displaying Nazi imagery is a federal offense in Germany. And that’s why it’s blocked. The original Wolf3D was pulled from Germany in ’94. Other Wofenstein games have either downplayed or completely left out the Nazi elements for their German releases.

          I’m not certain, but it’s HIGHLY likely that the reason why this isn’t available in Austria is exactly the same reason as why it’s not available in Germany: swastikas and Nazi imagery.

          • Ricc says:

            The thing is, I could buy Wolfenstein 3D for 1.24€ on Steam right now. So, Bethesda are selling the game to Austrians through Steam, but have it blocked on their website… Makes no sense.

            I totally get it for Germany, though. There still are strict guidelines, that prohibit them from making Wolf3D accessible to Germans. It sucks for both countries, unfortunately.

          • dahauns says:

            That’s exactly the reason. While we usually…ehm, dish out friendly jabs at our northwestern neighbors for their excessive restricting of violent stuff, we’re in the same boat when it comes to Nazi symbolism. Swastikas et al. are a no go.
            As for why the steam version is available – I’m highly certain it’s the censored version.

    • Herzog says:

      Living part time in China and part time in Germany nowadays I can only suggest getting a VPN provider. I think even for Youtube alone and the funny people of the GEMA it is worth paying for…

      • li says:

        VPN is not good, it takes over the network interface.
        I’m looking for a good SSH provider for ~1 year, but still no luck (tunnelr and anonyproz are the best options I found so far, and it’s not satisfying)
        Any advice?

  2. Trithne says:

    20th anniversary, John. Not 30th. I had a bit of a spit-take there for a second, since I was certain it couldn’t actually be as old as me.

    • Shivoa says:

      The same, my brain was falling down trying to work out how this game could exist in 1982 and on what hardware it was originally released. Then I realised ‘I am getting old’ because I didn’t immediately recognise it was a typo.

    • sneetch says:

      Let’s all point and laugh at John’s mistake! :)

    • Vinraith says:

      Yup, that scared the hell out of me for a second.

    • Hendar23 says:

      Yeah that caught me a moment too!

    • BatmanBaggins says:

      Oh jeez. I was incredibly confused for a bit as well. I -knew- Wolfenstein isn’t older than I am.

      • lijenstina says:

        We should remember to point out his mistake in 10 years on the 40th anniversary.

    • LintMan says:

      20 years is bad enough. I was already done with college when Wolf 3D came out. Damn I feel old.

  3. Text_Fish says:

    This cannot be. Wolf3D was released when I was in (edit: near enough) secondary school and I’m only 28!

    • MrStones says:

      As some one of the age… Were you some prodigy or some thing cos most of us were a while off secondary school at 8

  4. Dana says:

    Opera is unsupported ? Opera is unsupported !

    • Wizardry says:

      Works fine for me.

      • Dana says:

        Menus work, game doesn’t. For me.

        • Odeon says:

          Listed under Supported Browsers:
          Google Chrome 16
          Internet Explorer 9
          Firefox 11
          Apple Safari 5

    • Polmansol says:

      Use the identify/mask options. Go to Tools -> Quick Preferences -> Edit site preferences. From there go to the network tab, you’ll see the identify/mask options at the bottom (Browser identification).
      I used Mask as Internet Explorer, the game works but there’s a problem with the textures when going up close.

  5. Was Neurotic says:

    If it was 30 years, I would have been 9 when it came out, and I *know* I was still somewhere in Acorn Electron/Commodore 64 territory then. :D

  6. Was Neurotic says:

    Hey, the mouse does work for left/right – it’s an option under Controls.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Yeah, you have to enable the mouse for it to work. It works for me, but it’s really, really laggy. Meh, keyboard works just fine. In fact, I don’t think I even used a mouse when I originally played Wolf3d…

      • Odeon says:

        I don’t think the mouse was even a control option when W3D originally came out. I don’t remember being able to use the mouse either, and everything was controlled by the keyboard in those days, being still in the world of DOS.

        I played with the mouse controls a bit and found it too awkward, which is odd considering how awkward it was for me to get the hang of using the keyboard instead. When you turn on Mouse Enabled, you turn based on the crosshair’s position and the further you move the crosshair in either direction, the faster you turn, like an analog joystick. So if you move the mouse right, you turn right and if you move it far right, you turn right quicker.

        Also, you can use the left mouse button to fire and the right mouse button to move with Mouse Enabled. If the crosshair is above the center line, you move forward and if it’s below, you move backward. It’s also analog, so the further up or down the crosshair goes, the faster you move forward or backward.

        So there’s the potential for being able to control your movement much more accurately, but it just doesn’t work well for me. Maybe I just didn’t give it enough of a chance. Either way, it’s great to have more options than the stuttered keyboard movement if that drives you batty.

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          Yeah, the mouse just felt awkward. Nice feature, I guess, but I prefer the old way.

          “Also, you can use the left mouse button to fire and the right mouse button to move with Mouse Enabled.”

          Ah… Kinda cool. Didn’t they have that for Quake? I could have sworn there was some old game that also did that…

          • BoZo says:

            Yepp, it was the standard mouse look control scheme for Quake. Forwards on MB2 and backwards on MB1, made sense at the time…

            Edit: Wait I’m remembering it wrong, it was MB2 forward, MB1 fire and S backward.

  7. ResonanceCascade says:

    I like how this game is 20 years old, but John Carmack is barely 40. I wish I’d spent my late teens and early 20’s being a super genius and driving 1,000 horsepower Testarossas…

  8. frenz0rz says:

    I love there is a little button that says “How to Play”.

    Uhm… shoot the baddies?

    • LTK says:

      Yes, even twenty years ago, games explained to you how to play them. Just as most do now. Is that surprising?

  9. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Heh. That was actually one of the first games I ever played. Among other things, it introduced me to hilariously misused German. GUTEN TAG! MEIN LEBEN! DONNERWETTER! Good times…

    Btw – there were actually six episodes to this. Episodes 4-6 were about killing another nefarious Nazi Leader – General Fettgesicht (try to find that one in a history book).

  10. Anarki says:

    Actually shat myself when I read “30th anniversary”. But I’m 25 and I remember it coming out, did I lose a decade!?

    20th not 30th

  11. djbriandamage says:

    I sure loved this game. Played it like nuts as a kid. If you ask my dad this is the only video game on earth. All video games are “killing nazis” to him. I could be playing The Sims, my star chef coming home after a cooking contest and taking a hot shower, and my dad would ask me “killing nazis, eh?”

  12. bill says:

    only 20 years? Thanks got!

  13. mr.ioes says:

    Why the hell is this not available in Austria. WTF youtube.

  14. Odeon says:

    Erm… there were multiple episodes? No wonder the game ended so oddly – I only played Part 1!

    All these years I’d thought I’d played all of what was there, and only now am I finding out that I’ve only played 1/6th of the available content. Not only is being able to play Wolf3D in the browser a double-plus-good just for existing, but it’s sextuple-plus-good for now being six times as long as what I thought it was! Woot!

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      There’s a total of 6 episodes, thank to The Nocturnal Missions pack. Spear of Destiny and its addons brought the grand total to 9 episodes with 123 levels. (SoD and it’s 2 addons each had 21 levels)

      • Odeon says:

        Great Merciful Crap that’s a lot of free fun to be had!

        I have a feeling this will be on the What Are You Playing? thread in the forums for a good while on at the this point…

        • stupid_mcgee says:

          To be fair, only the 3 original Wolfenstein 3D episodes are available on the website. (1. Escape From Castle Wolfenstein, 2. Operation: Eisenfaust, and 3. Die, Fuhrer, Die!) Still, that’s 30 levels for free. Not bad at all!

          BTW, You can get the Wolf Pack on Steam, which has all of the original Wolf3D and SoD missions and addons as well as RtCW for 75% off right now!

          link to

  15. Flint says:

    The treasure pickup sound is still one of my favourite game sound effects ever.


  16. John Walker says:


    • alexheretic says:

      Also, with the correction some of the older oak trees are now older than you. Although old, gnarled and having the appearance of death, I still very much enjoy the work of the RPS writers.

  17. Ironclad says:

    Can’t get the sound to work, for whatever weird reason.


  18. shaydeeadi says:

    I remember how incensed I was back in the day when I moved up to a newer shooter than this and had to use these stupid inconveniences like mouselook and wasd. Those were the days…

  19. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    And again, playing Wolfenstein 3D i realized the greatness of its music. Of ID music, in general.

    The browser game plays too slow, though.

  20. Daniel Klein says:

    I’m German, and even 20 years on I still can’t figure out what blue guy is saying. “Gestapo” with a really, really weird stress on the first syllable? “Fussstaffel”? What is a Fussstaffel then? I really don’t know.

    This brought back memories of gliding along walls spamming space to see if any of the Hitler portraits were secret doors. Which they usually were. Also, what monster have I become! This is what videogames do to a man! I killed all these soldiers! THEY HAD FAMILIES!

    Imagine if a game would let you shoot helpless civilians at an airport! SOCIETY WOULD END.

    • Dervish says:


    • Premium User Badge

      Bluerps says:

      I always heard wierd laughter: “Huhaho”
      But I think it’s Schutzstaffel, too.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Yeah, it’s schutzstaffel. He’s an SS officer. The SS ran the Gestapo.

    • Finster says:

      No, no, it’s definitely “Kartoffel!”

      Also, it wasn’t “Mein Leben!” It was “Mein Lieben!” They didn’t just have families, they loved you. You monster.

  21. DickSocrates says:

    The game may be interesting to some people, but this video of Carmack talking about it is better! link to

  22. Maldomel says:

    You just spoiled the game for me. Really. I’m still gonna play it, but where is the fun when you know you kill Hitler at some point?

    • Premium User Badge

      Risingson says:

      This is nothing compared to a recent game where you kill a pope during mass. I won’t tell you the name of it to prevent spoilers.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Because of the awesome suit he’s wearing. ;)

  23. Dervish says:

    Carmack says he’s not a sentimental guy and doesn’t spend a lot of time reminiscing about the “good old days,” but he sounds almost giddy here. I like it.

    I think he’s wrong at 10:40 when he says that the PC version had a framerate in the teens, though. I remember it being super smooth on my 486 and Romero said it ran at 70fps.

    • Odeon says:

      I remember it being pretty much buttery-smooth on my 386 with 4MB of RAM too. Of course, my memory is not as good as, say, a turnip’s, so I could very well be remembering incorrectly.

    • iDragon says:

      A 286 was the minimum spec. on that it would have been in the teens.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Yeah, it chugged a bit the 286. It wasn’t unplayable, but you would get noticeable slowdown and stuttering when there were a bunch of baddies on the screen. 386 and above run smooth as silk.

  24. DeathCarrot says:

    I’m amazed at the approach they used in implementing this, I expected it to use canvas or flash but it’s a mass divs that are being moved around with jquery. I’m honestly suprised the performance is as good as it is, but I’m having a great time digging through its guts :)

    Oh, I’m meant to be playing it?

    • peanut says:

      Hah, I did an ‘Inspect Element’ on it too. It’s crazy, and I’m also really surprised at the implementation, but it works amazingly well.

  25. li says:

    Sad comment:

    About 18 years ago (?) I’ve played Wolf 3D. I’ve drawn all the levels on 5 mm squared paper, which let me found most of the secret passages I guess.
    That is a memory that fills me with a wonderful nostalgia. I guess I could find the papers in some archive at home..

    I wish I had infinite time to do it again. I wish I had inifinite time, so that I could disable auto-mapping in Legend of Grimrock and draw it all on 5 mm squared paper.

    Thanks to John and the fantastic RPS community to let me share this feeling.

  26. Shazbut says:

    Playing it now, I wouldn’t say it’s “still brilliant”.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Maybe not “brilliant” but it’s still better than quite a few games that get released today.

  27. rustybroomhandle says:

    Not related at all (well maybe a little), but who has seen Iron Sky yet? :)

  28. E_FD says:

    Oh crap, I never realized there were secret levels before.

    • pertusaria says:

      Yeah, me too. I’m going to poke around in it just for the sake of that.

      I’m still crap at this game (my mom was genuinely a lot better than I was when we were playing this in the ’90s), but thanks for bringing back a small chunk of my childhood for the evening.

  29. Spacewalk says:

    It’s choppy enough on my end to ruin any kind of enjoyment of the Wolfenstein experience. Especially compared to playing Quake in flash where I get a framerate that’s probably double the one that this runs at.

  30. Shooop says:

    A piece of my childhood is now available for everyone to enjoy on the internet for free.

    Oh what a world, what a world.

    And humorously enough, Steam has it on sale for $1.24 today.