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Nazis. I hate these guys.
May 10, 2012 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Bethesda marks the 20th Anniversary of Wolfenstein 3D -- the pioneer 3D first person shooter -- by releasing a free-to-play browser version of the game. Blow some Nazis away with the director's commentary from John Carmack running in the background, or go old-school and drench the walls in blood and gore. (Unless you live in Germany where the game is illegal.) Via.

They are also offering the game free to play on Facebook. Wolfenstein 3D Classic Platinum for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch will be free for a limited time as well, and some Wolfenstein games are discounted by 75% over at Steam. DOS version can be downloaded here.
posted by zarq (55 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
ilm
ilm
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posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:26 AM on May 10, 2012 [4 favorites]


FYI, the browser game works on macs and pc's under chrome and firefox, but was not running on Firefox under Linux Mint this morning. YMMV.
posted by zarq at 9:26 AM on May 10, 2012


I played the first level and a half last night and it really is appalling how many of the secrets I remember 20 years later.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:28 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had real work to do today!

it really is appalling how many of the secrets I remember 20 years later

I don't even actively remember them, it was almost like muscle memory to open them.
posted by piedmont at 9:35 AM on May 10, 2012


Ok, I'm at work so haven't touched the link but the noise you get from picking various weapons and treasure is repeating through my brain like some sort of german version of water torture. Argh!!!
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:37 AM on May 10, 2012


When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to play Doom, because my parents feared that I'd learn violence was acceptable. However, I convinced them to let me play Wolfenstein by pointing out that in this game, I'd only be pretending to shoot Nazis, and violence against Nazis actually *is* acceptable. Man, I loved this game. :D
posted by Mr. Excellent at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2012 [7 favorites]


I must have played Wolfenstein more than 25 years ago on an Apple II (I was playing it in the computer lab in junior high school when the Challenger disaster occurred). When do we have a browser playable version of that?
posted by KokuRyu at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mein Leben!
posted by uncleozzy at 9:41 AM on May 10, 2012 [9 favorites]


> I must have played Wolfenstein more than 25 years ago on an Apple II

You could get the old exe from here.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:44 AM on May 10, 2012


where the game is illegal

Yea because if we pretend like it never happened then perhaps we have a good chance at it happening again?
posted by stormpooper at 9:47 AM on May 10, 2012


I really liked the Dr. Strangelove mod that I imagined and never created.
posted by clockzero at 9:49 AM on May 10, 2012


When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to play Doom, because my parents feared that I'd learn violence was acceptable.

My 6th grade computer teacher told me he'd give me a copy of Doom if I got a note from my mom that said it was okay. Looking back on it, I'm really surprised he actually went through with it after I brought him the note.

Also a bird pooped on the box with the floppies on my way home from school that day.
posted by griphus at 9:53 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doktor Merkwürdigliebe 3D: You can fight in here.
posted by griphus at 9:54 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mr. Excellent: "When I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to play Doom, because my parents feared that I'd learn violence was acceptable. However, I convinced them to let me play Wolfenstein by pointing out that in this game, I'd only be pretending to shoot Nazis, and violence against Nazis actually *is* acceptable. Man, I loved this game. :D"

I like that Nazis are less human than Literal Demons From Hell, evidently.

And, hell yes. I love this game so much.
posted by brundlefly at 9:54 AM on May 10, 2012


stormpooper: " Yea because if we pretend like it never happened then perhaps we have a good chance at it happening again?"

Nazi imagery is banned, so no one from the country will again take up the cause. The Holocaust is a mandatory subject in all the 16 Länder of the Federal Republic of Germany.
posted by zarq at 9:55 AM on May 10, 2012 [5 favorites]


Man, but Albert Speer loved him some gray ceilings.
posted by Iridic at 9:57 AM on May 10, 2012


In particular, read the answer to question 10 at that link. Nearly 100 memorial sites or museums are devoted to the Nazi atrocities in Germany. They've not whitewashed or hidden this part of their history.
posted by zarq at 9:57 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nazi imagery is banned, so no one from the country will again take up the cause.

No photos in that chapter of the German history books then?
posted by Renoroc at 9:58 AM on May 10, 2012


It's not internationalized, and binding to semicolon isn't allowed.
posted by michaelh at 10:00 AM on May 10, 2012


Renoroc: " No photos in that chapter of the German history books then?"

My limited understanding is that it is illegal in Germany to perform a Hitler salute, wear Nazi uniforms or display a swastika.

There are photos in German textbooks that teach about that time period. I don't know if they show swastikas or not.
posted by zarq at 10:06 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I watched the whole Carmack commentary last night, much to my partner's chagrin.

SPOILERS:

* He's not as good as a player as you'd think (he admits that Romero chastised him for not playing through all the levels)

* He really likes the Atari Jaguar port, and could get 60 Hz in some areas

* It was the last game they made with the concept of limited lives, after realizing that computers didn't have coin slots

* He notices graphical artifacts that mere mortals would miss

* He's a good speaker, but his voice is more geeky than I'd expect for a level 20 illusionist
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:10 AM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yea because if we pretend like it never happened then perhaps we have a good chance at it happening again?

No photos in that chapter of the German history books then?

Even looking at the translated law in the Wikipedia article on this, along with the news reports of court decisions, should show that the legal issue is much more complex than these comments suggest. As one would expect if one gave it about a half second of thought and 30 seconds of research. We really don't need to make wilfully ignorant jokes about ways of dealing with the Holocaust, do we?
posted by howfar at 10:20 AM on May 10, 2012 [6 favorites]


No photos in that chapter of the German history books then?

There's an exemption for bona fide academic work.
posted by jaduncan at 10:22 AM on May 10, 2012


Nazi imagery is banned

Yes and no. Here's a good article on the law [pdf]. The ban "shall not be applicable if the means of propaganda or the act serves to further civil enlightenment, to avert unconstitutional aims, to promote art or science, research or teaching, reporting about current historical events or similar purposes."

So, for example, such imagery is routinely used in movies, so long as they don't promote prohibited ideologies (e.g. here's a still from Downfall; note the swastika armband).

I guess Wolfenstein didn't quite fall under "promoting art."
posted by jedicus at 10:23 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


My parents never had a problem with any of the games I played, but I remember having a nightmare after a prolonged session of The 7th Guest at a friend's house. Horrible, unsolvable puzzles *shiver*
posted by pyrex at 10:25 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I remember back when I was a kid my dad would take me to work with him on Saturdays. My dad worked in a warehouse for Elkay that was full of plastic card board boxes and plastic medical equipment. My dad would load up Wolfenstein 3D on one of the warehouse computers, stack a couple of boxes together so I could reach the computer and then I would play all day while he worked. His company sold many medical tubes and test tubes and they had a promotion where they would hand tubes (similar to these) out to perspective clients filled with M&Ms. So my dad would bring over a few of those and I would sit there and play Wolfenstein in the middle of a warehouse sitting on boxes while eating M&Ms out of test tubes. I know my dad hated being at work on Saturdays and having to drag me with him but I enjoyed those days.
posted by lilkeith07 at 10:46 AM on May 10, 2012 [11 favorites]


Thanks, jedicus.
posted by zarq at 10:49 AM on May 10, 2012




Yea because if we pretend like it never happened then perhaps we have a good chance at it happening again?


Germans are well aware of what happened during the second world war, don't lose too much sleep over that one.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:54 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]



I guess Wolfenstein didn't quite fall under "promoting art."
posted by jedicus at 10:23 AM on May 10


Oh crap, I remember what happened last time we discussed Roger Ebert.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:55 AM on May 10, 2012


Carmack looks oddly like Warren Zevon.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:58 AM on May 10, 2012


Mein Leben!

Scalzi!

That is what those guards were shouting, weren't they?

He's not as good as a player as you'd think (he admits that Romero chastised him for not playing through all the levels)

Yeah, I remember seeing a Quake playthrough with him against what was then the best female Quake player in the world (back when something like that was still rare) and she slayed him.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:04 AM on May 10, 2012


Gotta say I love listening to Carmack geek out about his experiences with Wolfenstein 3D. It's like the complete opposite of watching an interview with someone who's worked on a movie in that Carmack is absolutely sincere in his enthusiasm. Hope to see more classical VG personalities ramble about their keystone projects over the years!
posted by pyrex at 11:07 AM on May 10, 2012


Stagger Lee: Germans are well aware of what happened during the second world war, don't lose too much sleep over that one.

Yeah, we Germans might get rightly blamed with lots of things, but being unaware of what happened during World War 2 is definitely not one of them. Contrary to (I dare to say: many) other countries we chose the sometimes rather laborious way and dealt with the negative parts of our past in detail (from school on).
posted by SAnderka at 11:13 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Isn't there some kind of robot Hitler at the end or did I just make that up?
posted by gagglezoomer at 11:14 AM on May 10, 2012


Isn't there some kind of robot Hitler at the end or did I just make that up?

MECHA HITLER!!!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 11:17 AM on May 10, 2012


I like this, but now there's no way to enter the debug mode. wolf3d -goobers, ctr+I (I think).

I remember when Quake simply set the God mode code to God. No reason to do otherwise, it wasn't like anyone who was interested wouldn't learn it.
posted by Hactar at 11:28 AM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


I tried the in-browser version on my lunch break, but the lack of strafing (Mac OSX, Chrome, wireless keyboard – I could only get the arrow keys, X to fire and P to pause to work) really kind of killed the nostalgia for me a bit.
posted by Shepherd at 11:47 AM on May 10, 2012


You have no idea how much time I wasted in middle school trying to assassinate Hitler on my IIc. And now I can do it all over again!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:47 AM on May 10, 2012


Nazi imagery is banned, so no one from the country will again take up the cause.

In all actuality there are many neo-Nazi groups and individuals in Germany. They simply ignore the law or use symbols which haven't (yet) been banned when in public.
posted by vorfeed at 11:53 AM on May 10, 2012


Shepherd, try holding down Z and then press the arrows. Then again, I'm on Windows/Chrome.
posted by pyrex at 12:15 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


They simply ignore the law or use symbols which haven't (yet) been banned when in public.

Indeed. A German friend recently told me that Lonsdale sportswear is frequently excluded. by German sports stadiums, because it is favoured by neo-Nazis. Why? "LoNSDAle". The BBC suggests he wasn't just spinning me a yarn.
posted by howfar at 12:17 PM on May 10, 2012


The iPhone version reminds me yet again that first person shooters simply don't work on phone devices. Give me a mouse and keyboard, anything else is blasphemy.
posted by ymgve at 12:30 PM on May 10, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pioneering in terms of the shareware model of distribution, and in heralding the era of the PC as the top platform for gaming. There were first-person shooters before, even ones allowing networked deathmatches.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:32 PM on May 10, 2012


LoNSDAle

This and the whole "88" thing just help confirm for me what absolute imbeciles these people are.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:34 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


GallonOfAlan: the first example I can think of was MIDI Maze, on the Atari ST -- you could have up to 16 STs in a MIDI chain, and you all piloted smiley faces through a 3D maze, trying to shoot one another.

Very simple, but surprisingly fun. 25 years later, we're still basically playing the same game!
posted by Malor at 12:48 PM on May 10, 2012


My limited understanding is that it is illegal in Germany to perform a Hitler salute, wear Nazi uniforms or display a swastika.

Likewise, it's illegal to wear a demon costume on Phobos.

Phobos? Hey, wait a second -- Phobian gravity is less than 0.008 m/s^2! Why didn't I spend half the game bouncing off the ceiling?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:50 PM on May 10, 2012


@Malor

Maze War, 1974.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:54 PM on May 10, 2012


Yeah, but that wasn't something that just anyone could buy, GallonOfAlan. Midi Maze was actually on store shelves. :)
posted by Malor at 1:23 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


Probably the first videogame I ever played.

My job when I was 5 years old was to read the guide that came with the full version of the game and tell my father where all the push walls were as he played through each level. The game scared me shitless at the time but I still remember most of the secrets 17 years later.

I've grown up to be a fine young man albeit with extreme desensitization towards violent imagery and a lingering fondness for the anthem "Horst-Wessel-Lied".

Thanks dad.
posted by WhitenoisE at 1:38 PM on May 10, 2012 [2 favorites]


SUCH a ground-breaking game when it came out. I remember those early shooters, where each one introduced a new, significant feature:
Wolf3d - first FPS
Doom - music, variety of monsters, chainsaw for close combat, much more atmosphere than Wolf3d
Doom2 - side-step (circle-strafing!)
Heretic - look up and down, semi-3dness
Hexen - different character choices
Duke3d - mouselook, manymanymany more advances
Quake - full 3d
....

Great time to be a kid!
posted by LordSludge at 5:34 PM on May 10, 2012


SUCH a ground-breaking game when it came out. I remember those early shooters, where each one introduced a new, significant feature:

If I remember correctly, Rise of the Triad had character selection before Hexen did. It was also the first FPS I ever played which had destructible objects in the environment and kind-of-sort-of 3D (you could hit "jump pads" which let you fly through the air, up onto ledges and such).

I also have a huge soft spot for Blake Stone -- how I loved the friendly scientist NPCs you could talk to!
posted by vorfeed at 8:55 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


vorfeed: " In all actuality there are many neo-Nazi groups and individuals in Germany. They simply ignore the law or use symbols which haven't (yet) been banned when in public."

Yes. The law was established with good intentions. But the best laid plans....
posted by zarq at 10:20 PM on May 10, 2012


So, what DO those blue guys say when they see you? Sounds like "Uffaffen!" or something?
posted by Chrysostom at 11:10 PM on May 10, 2012


So, what DO those blue guys say when they see you? Sounds like "Uffaffen!" or something?

They say "Schutzstaffel!", a.k.a. the SS.
posted by vorfeed at 11:30 PM on May 10, 2012 [1 favorite]


MartinWisse: Yeah, I remember seeing a Quake playthrough with him against what was then the best female Quake player in the world (back when something like that was still rare) and she slayed him.

I had to look this up! In this video (part 2) Romero wins from Stevie Case playing DM2. Demos are available from DM6 where KillCreek wins but they appear not to be on YouTube. They may have been from their first match; other scores were posted in an interview with her. It must've happened around 1997.

There went my evening. That, plus building this from source. :)
posted by LanTao at 7:29 PM on May 14, 2012


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