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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:

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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.

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Wolfenstein 3D

PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo GBA

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John Walker avatar

John Walker


Once one of the original co-founders of Rock Paper Shotgun, we killed John out of jealousy. He now runs buried-treasure.org