Executor has brought us the second release of his “Wolfenstein Missions” game for ECWolf!
Wolfenstein Missions: First Encounter was released three years ago, making the first few sets of missions available for play. Second Encounter continues the story by refining and extending the number of levels in Wolfenstein Missions from 9 to 22. Though only 19 are currently available in the beta release (with the final 3 secret levels being implemented in the final release), the main game is complete.
Executor has put a lot of effort into these levels, which start off feeling like traditional Wolfenstein 3D levels, but grow exponentially in size and complexity. New hazards, enemies, mechanics and more are introduced over time at a well thought out pace.
The beta of Wolfenstein Missions: Second Encounter requires a registered copy of Wolf3D, and a recent build of ECWolf to play.
The game utilizes graphics from and inspired by the Macintosh version of Wolfenstein 3D, created and modified by various people. As it is based on the Mac version, it also includes that versions more unique features like the Rocket Launcher and flamethrower. The game requires a registered copy of Wolfenstein 3D (Just the regular version, don’t worry), and the latest version of ECWolf to play.
New discoveries happen every day, and thanks to a fan of Corridor 7 and Les Bird, we’ve gained some surprise historic gems from Wolfenstein 3D’s past!
First, some history
As the developers of Wolfenstein 3D have always been a talkative and passionate group of individuals, a lot of cool historic information has been revealed about the game over the years.
To celebrate Wolf3D’s birthday back in 2001, John Romero released some images and retrospective information about the game. As revealed by Romero, the game was originally going to be an EGA release, and have a lot more elements of gameplay inspired by Castle Wolfenstein, including “looking under rugs for items”, “bulletproof vests”, and “dragging dead soldiers”, among other stealth features.
These were all ultimately scrapped in favour of faster paced gameplay, and the EGA version of the game was cancelled just one month into development, in favour of a focus on the VGA version. Despite that early change in direction however, Romero was able to share a series of graphics from an early stage of development, including weapon icons, character faces, and a disguise icon. Then in 2014, Romero shared a new image on Twitter, this time an old sprite sheet of the SS Guard’s dying animation. Along with it though, was a surprising sprite of the SS Guard, but in EGA and in a post as if he were surrendering.
When 3DRealms released the design specifications for the original Rise of the Triad, it also included a small reference to the EGA version of Wolfenstein 3D in the form of some variations on the machinegun sprite. In the concept art for ROTT, you can see a sprite sheet with several frames of the original machinegun, one with ROTT’s machinegun, and two EGA sprites of the Wolf3D machinegun.
The images serves as a cool example of the original features planned for the game, as well as the art style the original EGA version would have used.
We recently received some files that contained old Wolf3D references, some of those files turning out to be some obscure graphics from the original EGA concept, including all the images above, but also a few that appear to have never been released publicly!
Perhaps the most interesting out of all the uncovered art is this new sprite sheet of the Brown Guard. Along with the old version of the death animation and pain state, there’s another EGA sprite in a surrender pose similar to the SS Guard shared by Romero, and what appears to be an unconscious and stripped enemy (Most likely this would have been how the player obtained a disguise).
There are also sprite sheets of items that inevitably made it into the final game, though in various stages of the design phase. Some are uncoloured and very rough, but it’s still cool to see a little bit of the design process. Also, mutants may just be recoloured Brown Guards. But don’t dwell too long on that.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the EGA version of Wolfenstein 3D was scrapped far too quickly to ever expect a playable version to pop up, but it’s fun to think about what could have been, and to have more of an idea of how they wanted to approach it visually!
It’s amazing that even 27 years after the game first came out, new things are being discovered and learned about it every day. No doubt there will be more found in the future, and I cannot wait to see what that might be!
Demolition is a series of mods that adds to Wolf3D and map packs with an assortment of new and unusual weaponry and enemies, to try and create new experiences.
Wolf Overdrive came out in 2015, and is the focus of this entry in AstroCreep’s series (It also marks the second timethis year that one of Thomas’ mods got an overhaul!). If you enjoy Thomas’ mapping, this can be a good way to re-explore the game again!
Overdrive Demolition runs on LZWolf, and requires the base game of Wolfenstein 3D to play.
(Note: Demolition features breakable static objects, which can break some map design elements. There is an optional blockstatics PK3 provided, which will preserve the classic experience while providing everything that makes Demolition fun.)
Thomas, creator of All This & Wolf3D and a plethora of other projects, has released a new and interesting game!
Kowtow is a 20 level affair, with all new levels, new features, art and music. It’s the design style we know from Thomas, and the mesh of new sound and (some borrowed) art choices make for a very light-hearted affair.
The game runs on Wolf4SDL, and doesn’t require any addition files to run.
After years in on-and-off development, a new DieHard Wolfers community mapset is out!
Project Totengräber came out just over twenty years ago (October 30th, 1999!), and is as fondly remembered and appreciated as BJ Rowan’s other titles.
Following suit with other DHW community projects such as Beyond Mutantstein, various modders and mappers contributed to the new twenty-one level set, including AlumiuN (Who organized the set), Serpens, Chris, ack, and more! (Full credit listing via link below).
The DHW Totengräber Set runs on Wolf4SDL, and does not require any other additional files to run.
There are few mods as universally appreciated as Wolf-Skevos-Jones’ title Coming of the Storm. The game has received major praise throughout the years, and influenced a number of other projects’ existences.
Thanks to Orka (creator of Operation: Nazi Slayer) and the extended functions of LZWolf, you can now enjoy this absolute classic of a game on modern systems, without DosBox!
Coming of the Storm for LZWolf brings us as close to a recreation as currently capable, and it’s pretty good! The mod is considered “99.999%” accurate to WSJ’s original, due to some (temporary) minor limitations in LZWolf, but that .001% seems to just been some minor decorative and environmental features.
It is fantastic to see this get a port, and hopefully now more people will be able to experience this classic.
Poet, the creator of classic puzzle mods such as The Tower, has unveiled a new game titled “Wolf-Extra Epilogue 21”!
Much like previous projects by Poet this one requires you to think before you necessarily shoot, with puzzles and hazards to learn to adapt to. It’s challenging and inspired, judging from what little I myself have been able to solve.
The mod runs on Wolf4SDL, and as reported by Poet on his website, is the last in his Wolf-Extra series of mods which started 20 years ago to the day!
It’s hard to pinpoint the “actual” release date of some older games, but it seems today (or around today) is actually the birthday of Capstone (The Pinnacle of Entertainment) Software’s final game built on the Wolf3D engine.
Operation Body Count is the younger brother of Corridor 7 by a few months, and while not remembered as fondly as other games at the time (As DOOM was the hot new game engine on the block), OBC still has a special place in many fans’ hearts.
Continuing with the current series of ports, AstroCreep has brought us Mutantstein 4 for ECWolf.
Unlike the initial Mutantstein trilogy, this entry in the series is created by the grandson of John Bucksnort, Bobby Bucksnort, in 2001. He attempts to emulate his late-grandfather’s modding style and difficulty, and from player accounts does a decent job of it.
The game requires the full version of Wolfenstein 3D to play, as well as the ECWolf source port.