This week, Serpens has brought us two obscure mapsets from the archives of forgotten Macintosh Wolf3D mods; ‘Hard’, and ‘Hard Game’, both sadly without attributable authors.
Both are pure mapsets, with Hard containing just one level, and Hard Game spanning eight.
The mapsets will work with a copy of either MacenWolf: The Second Encounter, or MacenWolf: The Third Encounter.
These ports are being released as part of a large project by Serpens and Nexion to bring the entire collection of mods from the Macintosh Wolf3D scene to the PC audience as authentically as possible. Expect more in the future!
This week’s MacenWolf release is In The Wolves’ Lair, a release by Clubey, who was a prominent member of the Mac modding scene. The port is performed by Serpens as part of the MacenWolf project he and Nexion are working on.
In The Wolves’ Lair spans 17 levels, and features a lot of changes to the scenery and graphics, taking BJ’s adventures to new regions, as explained in the game’s story. Much like Laz Rojas’ works, Clubey was capable of some large ideas within his creative constraints.
In The Wolves’ Lair will require a copy of either MacenWolf: The Second Encounter, or MacenWolf: The Third Encounter to run. Make sure your game is updated to 1.06 (Link at the top of the post).
Nathan Alsbrooks has released his first ECWolf project!
Operation: Artemis is a 21 level game with new enemies, graphics and music. Maps are large but easy to navigate and with enough little details in the environment to keep them from growing repetitive. Specific note was made regarding the balancing of maps to allow for both continuous play of levels, and pistol-starting of each.
Operation: Artemis requires a full version of Wolfenstein 3D, and a copy of ECWolf to play. To play, do not unzip the download files, but instead just drag and drop it over your copy of ECWolf or LZWolf to start.
Following the release of Operation: Wasserstein II earlier this month, gitlance has now released a new revamped version of the original title, using tools available in LZWolf to improve the environment, as well as add some new weapons, enemy behaviour and rebalancing.
This new version will still require a full copy of Wolfenstein 3D to run, but now uses LZWolf instead of ECWolf to play.
This week, two more ports of mods for MacenWolf have been produced by Serpens; this time two 4-level mods.
Machine Gun World was made by a user going by the name Yan Choon Ee, but as is the trend with a lot of Mac mods, the creator of Kampfhenne de Fuhrer is currently unknown. Being only 4 levels long doesn’t make these necessarily short experiences either; with Machine Gun World at least requiring the discovery of secret areas to proceed.
Both of these mods will require either a copy of MacenWolf: The Second Encounter or MacenWolf: The Third Encounter to play.
Update 2020/09/28: NY00123 has released a hotfix for Reflection Keen. You can view details here.
NY00123 has published a new playable version of his source port Reflection Keen, inspired by the philosophies of Chocolate Doom.
Reflection Keen is a series of source ports originally released six years ago for Keen Dreams and the Catacombs series that recreate the feel and state of the games as they were when the games originally released, but on modern hardware and systems. No extra features, no bug fixes. Just the game. To compliment the six year anniversary of Reflection Keen, NY00123’s new alpha build extends Reflection Keen to include Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, and Super 3D Noah’s Ark!
You will need a registered copy of Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny or Super 3D Noah’s Ark with a DOS executable to try Reflection Keen. Reflection Keen is built to auto-detect game installations (For Steam and GOG), as well as open games by search inside the application, and while Wolfenstein 3D should work out of the box, with this current alpha release some additional steps are needed to run the other two games (See below).
As this is a pre-release not everything is functioning fully yet, with a list of missing features and considerations listed on the DieHard Wolfers forum topic, and the Reflection Keen GitHub page. That said it is playable, and a great experience to be able to have.
Reflection Keen can play the official version of Wolfenstein 3D published by Activision, and the various shareware versions published by Apogee. These additional versions can be created from NY00123’s gamesrc-ver-recreation project. Be warned specific versions of the game may require additional specific versions of the game files. Future releases will hopefully see compatibility with more versions of the game.
For Spear of Destiny, only the Activision version of the full game, and version 1.0 of the demo published by FormGen work at current, the Mission Packs do not yet. If using the Steam version, make sure that only the files for the original game use the SOD file extension (This is given to a mission pack on Steam, for some reason). You can use a Wolf3D Editor to open the files and identify which ones belong to classic Spear of Destiny.
For Super 3D Noah’s Ark, NY00123 points out the original executible for the game will need to be named “noah3dos.exe” in order for Reflection Keen to auto-detect the game.
In a surprise move on the 21st, Microsoft bought Zenimax Studios for $7.5 billion and by extension companies like MachineGames and id Software.
What does this mean? Well for us, Microsoft will own Wolfenstein from 2021. This most likely won’t have an effect on this community or very early titles like Wolfenstein 3D, but it will be interesting to see if they use their new influence to create new games within the property.
There is at least one more game expected in the reboot series developed by MachineGames, but after that the future of BJ Blazkowicz is uncertain. Will Microsoft want to reboot Wolfenstein, create more spin-off games, or focus more on unrelated new acquisitions?