LGR – Wolfenstein 3D – DOS PC Game Review

♪♪ [typing] Well, it seems as if the next Wolfenstein game is out. It’s quite new. And orderly. But that’s not quite my style. At least, not for the purposes of this video today. Let’s go ahead and take a look at the Old Order of Wolfenstein. And of course, that is the one and only… Wolfenstein 3D, developed by id Software and published by
Apogee Software in 1992 for MS-DOS PCs. You’ll hear some
pronounce it “Wolfen-STEEN,” but the people behind it stay “Wolfen-STINE,” so that’s what I’m going with. In fact, it was originally going to be an update of sorts to the Castle Wolfenstein games by Muse Software, so the naming goes back a good ways. Anyway, while it was eventually ported to
every capable gaming platform under the sun, Wolfenstein 3D was originally
released as shareware on May 5, 1992. Shareware meant that you could
download the first episode for free and pay $35 for the remaining two
episodes if you liked the first one. If you were REALLY into the game, you could pay $50 and get three
more episodes on top of that, named the “Nocturnal Missions,” which act as prequel episodes to the first three. And although this was Apogee’s first 3D game, this was not the first 3D game by the guys at Id. Prior to blowing the PC gaming
public away with Wolf 3D, the same team released a game for Softdisk Publishing called Hovertank 3D. It was a first-person 3D game
where you controlled a hovering tank, shooting at weird creatures while trying to rescue hostages, and was released for Softdisk’s bimonthly
PC game subscription service, Gamer’s Edge. Hovertank used a very early
version of the same game engine that went on to power Wolfenstein, but even then, there was still
another iteration to come, used in another game they made for Softdisk called Catacomb 3-D. It was important because it not only improved
the tech with texture-mapped walls and such, but it removed the feeling of being inside a vehicle and placed the gamer directly into the action. You played from the perspective of
a wizard with an outstretched hand, running around mazes and totally vulnerable to direct attack by the enemy. Now while these games were important
milestones that pointed towards the future, they only saw limited distribution and recognition. However, with Apogee’s help, and the fact that the game was completely awesome, Wolfenstein 3D was an unprecedented success, with sales surpassing 100,000
by the end of 1993 worldwide. Well, pretty much everywhere except Germany, because this guy just had to go and ruin everything, resulting in prohibited sales
for anything with Nazi imagery. Id wagered they could sell even more
copies if they sold the game in stores, but Apogee didn’t do retail releases. So in 1993, they teamed up with
GT Software and released this version. It contained the latest six-
episode game that Apogee sold, but in a sleek new box with some extra stuff inside: It featured a topless Kurt Russell-
looking man-dude on the front, kicking soldiers in the face while shooting down the sky. And of course, a slew of buzz words
and other marketing jargon on the back to finalize the sale. And if that didn’t grab your attention, they eventually strapped a shareware
version of Doom to the package to tempt you even further. Inside the box, you got the game on two 3½-inch double-density floppy disks, a manual covering the backstory, installation details, control scheme, and way more details on everything
in the game than anyone really needed, and a flyer prodding you to buy
Commander Keen: Goodbye, Galaxy! Obviously, I listened. You also got the official hint manual for all six episodes, which was only previously available
as a $10 extra from Apogee. This is freakin’ awesome, containing not only every map,
secret, and useful tip you could ask for, but tons of trivia about the game’s
development and other assorted quips from the guys at id Software. Start the game up and you’re
greeted with a practically useless, yet undeniably captivating
screen showing your PC specs. Really just geek fodder for showing off
your RAM and sound card capabilities. And after a self-imposed rating
of “Profound Carnage 13,” you get the title screen, featuring an AdLib rendition of the
Horst-Wessel-Lied Nazi party theme, plus the protagonist doing something
you can’t do in the game at all. But who cares? He looks BAMF! A very red main menu is next, featuring all sorts of options that menus mainly feature. And when you try to quit the game, you get the now-classic Id game taunts belittling you into continuing to play the game, as if they were payed by how many
hours you spent playing or something. You also get an interactive story book of sorts where it’s revealed that you’re
Captain William J. “B.J.” Blazkowicz. World War II is at its peak, and you’ve just escaped from a cell in a Nazi dungeon. You were on a recon mission nearby, but it turns out you sucked at it, got captured by the enemy, and thrown into the prison of a
massive fortress known as Wolfenstein. It’s up to you to stop suckin’, kill some Nazis and escape with the plans for something
important that really doesn’t matter because this is an FPS from 1992. Start a new game and choose
from any one of these six episodes, keeping in mind that 4 through 6 are
prequels to the main prison break story. Really doesn’t matter, though, except for a
screen or two at the end of each episode, so just choose your level of wimpiness and GET PSYCHED! [“Get Them!” MIDI drumbeat] [steel door opens] “Achtung!” (Alert!) [gunshots] In Wolfestein 3D, you run around and shoot dudes until you find a door that lets you exit the level. the end. Okay, so the basic gameplay is absurdly simple and could be called clichéd nowadays, but there’s a reason for that. This is often referred to as the
granddaddy of first-person shooters, because this is where that clichéd gameplay and all those first-person
shooter conventions started. And while the core structure of
what makes a typical FPS nowadays was refined and set in stone
with the later game Doom, Wolfenstein 3D set up all
the notable core framework. You’re a badass alpha male character, starting off with basically nothing. Just a pistol with a bit of
ammo and your melee attack, in this case a knife. Wander around opening doors and collecting anything useful while shooting anything that moves in the meantime. You can walk, run, strafe, shoot and interact, but there’s no need to jump because, there is no
height variance in the levels. And even though this stuff was
done due to technical limitations, come to think of it, it’s not very different
from the campaigns of many modern shooters. Except for one big difference, and that is that the levels
here are straight up mazes. No corridor shooting in sight. Each level is seemingly more
complex and sprawling than the last. Honestly, it’s my biggest complaint about the game, because it’s just so darned easy to get lost because of the lack of texture variety, and the fact that everything is
built from tiles at a 90-degree angle! It leads to a crapload of backtracking, if you’ve not yet memorized the layout, and get insanely tedious way before the game’s sixty levels are through. While you can finish an entire
episode in five to ten minutes if you’ve played it endlessly
and just memorized everything, it often takes that long just to finish a
single level the first few times around. And seeing as the exact same formula applies to just about every level in the game, this gets old fast. Granted, as a kid, I didn’t care at all. Because that’s because I was a kid and this whole concept of first-person
action and exploration was new. Going back and playing it now,
it really shows its age and I rarely play more than a
handful of levels at a time. Then again, maybe it was just designed for this mastery through
memorization and repetition. Seeing as it features a
scoring and lives system just like an arcade game. Plus, it’s often brutally difficult and even completely unforgiving
on the higher difficulties. Nazi soldiers, attack dogs, SS officers and even mutants
will pop out from behind corners and chase you don’t if they
so much as hear a peep from your general direction. And thankfully,
killing is constantly satisfying. Seriously, you just get into a trance-like state of mind, mowing down dude after dude, anticipating their hiding spots, outrunning their aim and taking them down with increasing firepower. You may start off with a pistol, but if you look in the right
places, you’ll soon find an automatic machine gun and one freakin’ powerful chain gun, both of which are deeply
satisfying dealers of death. They’re all hitscan guns, though, meaning that they deal
damage as soon as they shoot, so it does feel a bit cheap when an enemy locks onto you and takes
you down from the opposite side of the map, making your face bleed all over
the place for no good reason. But, man, it feels good when the tables are turned and you’re making THEM scream for their life instead. [gunshots]
[SS] (My life!) There are craploads of secrets to discover as well, with most of them lying
behind pushable walls, hiding away things like
guns, ammo and Nazi gold that makes oddly cheery sound
effects when you pick them up. [1-up dinging] Other times, they’ll take you
to an entirely secret level, where things are a lot more purple and other times,
they’re a lot more Pac-Man. Not kidding. There’s a Pac-Man
level in the original game. Perhaps a reference to
the maze-like level design. Or maybe Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde were actually Nazis, and in that case, Pac-Man just
took on a whole new meaning? Then there was the infamous “Aardwolf” sign hidden in the eighth floor of Episode 2. The sign was originally meant for a contest Apogee had planned, but due to people hacking the game
early on and finding all the secrets, they decided it wasn’t a very fair contest. Nevertheless, the sign was left in the game and they ended up receiving
“Aardwolf” phone calls for years. Once you’ve reached the end of an episode, you’re… promptly killed off by a boss. So make sure you save your game beforehand because you lose all your weapons when you die. Ugh, these guys are a huge pain, especially because of that
whole hitscan weapons thing. But of course, there’s some
kind of pattern to figure out as far as when they
attack and how often, so just keep track of
that and move quickly in and out of cover and
you’ll get ’em eventually. Hans Grosse, Dr. Schabbs
and Otto Giftmacher are no match for a
well-timed BJ attack. Even freakin’ Adolf Hitler
tries to kill you by the end. Uh, make that Mecha-Hitler, complete with robo-suit and
overpowered machine gun arms because this game is marvelously ridiculous. [foot stomping] [BJ] Yeah! Now as for which version is best to play, that depends on what you’re looking for. The original game is really where you should start, so either the DOS PC version or the more recent console ports are great starting points. There are also source ports, like ECWolf, which enhances the PC
game with higher resolutions and additional custom control schemes, the latter of which makes it easier to
strafe with a mouse and keyboard or a gamepad on the PC, and makes the game far
more playable in my book. And there are some notable classic ports, like the one for the Apple Macintosh, which featured enhanced graphics,
new music and sound effects, more levels and weapons,
and a slightly smug attitude from thinking different. Finally, there are conversions
with other fascinating things going on, like the Super Nintendo version which features different level designs, an in-game overhead map, new weapons and censorship of things, like blood, gore, dogs
replaced with giant rats and removal of religious and Nazi themes, because Nintendo. And even MORE finally, there’s the
sequel/prequel Spear of Destiny, developed by Id and published by
FormGen in September of 1992. This was only released in stores,
foregoing the shareware model, and was meant to be a retail
companion to Wolfenstein 3D, before GT Software started
selling it in stores the following year. While it doesn’t feature nearly as many levels, it does feature a little bit new
in just about every notable area, other than gameplay,
which is exactly the same. It also received two mission packs which added even more to experience. So, yeah, if you really like
the Wolfenstein formula, there is no shortage of games
to choose from out there. But whichever version you choose to seek out, just keep in mind its repetitious nature and the fact that it’s from the early ’90s, and it could still be fun to go and
mow down some pixelated Nazis. Yeah, it hasn’t aged well, and personally, I’d rather play
Doom any day of the week, but Wolfenstein 3D is a landmark game and it’s worth playing at least once just to see where this all began. In fact, I’d say the historical aspect is
the single-biggest reason to check it out. So if you haven’t in a while,
or somehow never have, it’s time to pay some respect
to your gaming elders and play some Wolf 3D! [“Wondering About My Loved Ones” MIDI music] And if you got some enjoyment out of watching
me talk about killing Nazis in virtual form, you might enjoy watching me
talk about other games in video form. I do more of them every week, so subscribing is not only
appreciated and a bit of an ego boost, but it’s also useful to you if you want
to get notified of when I do more junk. And you can always follow me on Twitter,
Facebook and do Patreon things on Patreon. Also, a big thanks to Dosgamert on YouTube for hooking me up with some late game footage when mine completely crapped out
and would have ruined everything! Check his channel out in the description. And as always, thank you for watching.


  • Kenneth Liddle

    I had a childhood friend that ran a bulletin board. He had a collection of Apogee, and other titles.

  • CROBobo

    5:31…dear LGR, I guess Masahiro Sakurai is your secret fan 😉 https://youtu.be/L93H7YC-83o?t=13

  • ugn669

    For some reason I never enjoyed Wolf3D… now Blake Stone on the other hand… Clint I don't think I've seen you review a Blake Stone game (other than that sidescroller one) although I can almost hear it already "Blake Stone is exactly the same game as Wolf3D, it just has a different skin on.)

  • Stardustchild01

    Wolfenstein 3D was my very first FPS game I have played in my life (albeit it being the shareware version). I still remember this game fondly. Also Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold was an another early FPS based on the same engine with some improvements.

  • Infamous Yash Show

    "because Nintendo…" ….. i laughed so hard!

  • heborres


  • Keegan Penney

    I remember playing the shareware with my brother and dad in 92. I was 4. Lol

  • stormykeep

    Back in '92, all my friends had an SNES, but me. I ended up getting an IBM-type PC instead. I was bummed, as before we had an old Apple II, I wasn't into the PC thing. This was the first game we got for it, and once I heard that intro on the glorious Sound Blaster 16…screw the SNES, I became a PC gamer!

  • Rafael Washington

    Hell Yeah! Love that game!

  • theBenski27

    you forgot the bonus door´s 😉

  • NPC 1916

    Always loved the sound track lol

  • George Gaitan

    Do you have a review and info on the game Heretic? Would be a good. Thanks LGR.

  • Neuro’s Metal Roadshow

    I like the bacon font on the 3 1/2 disk version of Wolfenstein.

  • popeye807

    hi have you ever thought of doing a review of The Daedalus Encounter?

  • Victor Herrera


  • Rally Boyd

    I remember watching my friend’s dad play this when it first came out and I got very nauseous from motion sickness. Thankfully that was the only game that seemed to do it and I went on to get doom soon after.

  • Todor Ivanov

    you should make a review about Return to Castle Wolfenstein, it is the most underrated game in the series. For me this game has one of the best atmosphere for a game from the early 00s

  • Zaid Elbekkal

    Nocturnal missions? Well, looks like the Nightingales have moved on…

  • N1GHT 2H4DE

    The last time I watched gameplay for wolf3d was on twitch and he was playing with the brutal mod. But the streamer stopped the gameplay on the purple level (secret level in ep1) to play a YouTube video… Arnold Schwarzenegger's "conan the barbarian the musical." I had never seen it before and I laughed harder than humanly possible. I'm here today to tell everyone to look that video up bc you wont realize you needed it until after you watch it. Your welcome everyone lol.

  • Tricky Trinklet

    Hey LGR, plz show Prince Of Persia in your game review

  • Andrew Marinic

    I remember my dad gifting me his old computer with this installed when I was about 5 (1997). I loved this game so very very much

  • gerald smerea


  • TheCivildecay

    This game scared the shit out of 8 year old me!
    I also believed this was a sequel to operation wolf 🙂

  • Inquisitor Voráček

    The first game I ever beat. It was on my moms 386 and we didnt have a sound blaster so I had to listen to the ad lib sfx. Still love playing the TC for GZdoom.

  • T. J. Cusumano

    More of a Patrick Swayze looking man-dude.

  • Animalyze71

    Far better than Doom…..Doom was way over hyped and was better only in the fact it was newer and a little bit more advanced. Hexen, Heretic added magic instead of guns which made them better than Doom inho as well. MIndless demon killing was ok but it was much more satisfying mowing down legions of Supposed Master race idiots lol

  • Ken Roberts

    a well timed BJattack… sounded so bad

  • Ad

    Try the VR version, it’s like you’re there and your arms are tracked in the game.

  • Rinolax 201


  • Sigrsblot

    My dad bought me this when I was a kid, my favourite game. Then one day my mom walked in when I played and saw all the nazi stuff and forbid me to play it, because she thought I was going to be a nazi myself 🙁

  • Bobby Siecker

    hmm… An AR-15 on the cover art of Wolfenstein 3D and a Kalashnikov on the cover on spear of Destiny… Seems legit.

  • Nat Knutson

    the win93 browser os has a bonkers parody of this

  • M S

    I played it when I was a kid! 😀
    Awesome game. In my opinion one of the best games ever of all time!!! A real landmark!!!

  • Sigismund, The Emperor's Champion

    Look how fun if repetitive Wolfenstein is when it forgets about everything and focused on being silly instead of trying to preach anti-racism to people that don't even share that story

  • tl125

    Nice video. You should do a Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold review.

  • St0rm Ranger

    So if the nocturnal missions were offered as dlc would they be the nocturnal e missions?

  • dougler500

    I love that music!

  • Majister

    does goobers still work on this game "the cheat code 4 it "

  • Philipp Finke

    Even the Horst Wessel Lied is forbidden here in Germany.

  • m yu

    wow u were skinny

  • dowingba

    Wolf3D blew my fucking mind when it came out.

  • TheCgOrion

    The first time I played Wolfenstein was on my 80286 12Mhz. I had the option of 3.5" screen, 6" decent fps, or fullscreen slideshow. Later I added a Soundblaster, and heard more than the PC speaker tones.

  • James G.

    I played a wolfenstein game by broderbund I thought on a apple computer

  • Kie 7077

    06:18 'You can walk, run, strafe, shoot and interact…. Are you sure about the strafe? Did it have funny keys like you had to use a modifier to strafe or something like that?

  • Alex Golembeski

    4:50 I prefer FPS heroes who didn't get captured


    9:42 LGR Is an KGB agent

  • drxwzee

    The original W3D music in the intro made me so happy, I literally got up and danced.

  • Mitsos Tech Tips

    Clint's video with the less views… Why they dont watch it???

  • Orazio Kitarraman Testa

    Wolfensteen? Seriously? Geez, that makes me think of that scene from Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein 😂

  • Don Skiver

    Kurt Russell? I always thought the box art looked more like Patrick Swayze.

  • Mitchell Urgero

    woah, a young LGR.

  • jeremy b

    i had the shareware version and i remember it gave me nightmares lol

  • Marceline Heartfield

    Wolfenstein 3D is my go-to benchmark tester for any DOS computer we get up running. This time around a nice Dell CPi with an internal floppy drive

    That lacked an os

    DOOM is phase II in testing.

  • Proxximo Amandil

    Those where the Days!

  • Sedated By life

    Ahhhh old memories of my secluded childhood lol. Still haven't played Spear of Destiny. Once I'm done with my Doom marathon I may just go to Wolfenstein

  • The Bommel

    not quite the same but in my hometown is castle wolfstein 😀 look it up in google it is in freyung/bavaria/germany … that old castle always reminds me of "wolfenstein"

  • Don Skiver

    I always thought the dude on the box art looked more like Patrick swayze

  • Ark Souzou

    The Jag and 3do ports are the best versions.
    The first, ported by John Carmack, has fullscreen and the original ost at good quality level, the other one is the mac version with a completely new cd-quality soundtrack.

  • James Waller

    I not only played it when the shareware version came out but still playing today using DosBox simulator. The BOSS in Eposode 1 literally scared me to He** the first time I came up against him. Since then I had played SOD, RTCW, Doom (1,2), Quake (1,2,4) and Half-Life. It was and still is a GREAT game to play, even today.

  • Евгений Федоровский

    Oh yes – with this game you will master the method of the "right hand" for the passage of mazes, and you will rub against all the walls with the right mouse button held down =)))

    I like Wolf3D. It is always stored on my flash drive for random play on any computer =)

    It was fun and interesting to watch one of your old videos. Hello from 2019!

  • Davidistheking

    Does anyone remember the awful gba port of wolf3d?

  • Rembo

    'Subscribe to mein leben'

  • Stuit3rb4l

    Wolfenstein 3D, when aiming up or down wasn't invented yet, AI were stupid as fuck, and you couldn't even jump… So glad I won't ever have to play this sh!t again! Not like some people…

  • skytreker

    3:00 Kurt Russell?? The man-dude totally looks like Patrick Swayze 😅

  • MrZillas

    And here some translations:

    Wolfenstein = wolf stone
    Operation Eisenfaust = operation iron fist
    Fuhrer/Führer = leader
    Otto Giftmacher = Otto Poisonmaker
    Hollehammer (Höllenhammer?) = hell hammer
    General Fettgesicht = general fatface

  • Cory R

    Lol I remember this from middle school typing class in the 90s

  • Joshua Kaeble

    This is my favorite video game of all time. I remember staying after school to play this, and taking a late bus home. Every once in awhile, I'll download it, and play again.

  • Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg

    Note: Every European knows the correct pronounciation is „Wolfenshtayn”, just like A. Einstein is „Ainshtayn” not ‚Einsteyn’, „dear“ Americans… O_O (stein [IPA: /ʃtaɪ̯n/] = rock)

  • timg2727

    9:57 – "a well timed BJ attack" – LOL, please tell me this was intentional.

  • David A

    BJ Attack teehee

  • nic tse

    i finished it on x360
    if u move fast,it will make u sick and dizzy
    level secret didn't has pacman,perphes rip by copyright.

  • Robert Spitz

    Some of those ENDLESS levels are SOOOO LLOOONNNGGG.

  • Trópico de Cancún

    You forgot to mention the secret mini game hidden in Microsoft Office 1998 lol

  • Skol Rookie

    The sound in this game blew my mind when I heard it for the first time on my sound blaster. Epic.

  • Brendan Hoffmann

    I used to play the mac remake back in the day. It was so far superior to the original.

  • Martin Drkoš

    Wolfenstein 3D was ported to everything including later Wolfenstein games.

  • Bruce Charlie

    As someone who owned the Atari port – I would rather shoot myself in the dick and drag my hairy sack through broken glass then play that piece of crap game ever again

  • Spotted Bullet

    I love killing Nazis.

  • Goric

    I never played Wolfensteen before, I think I need to give Wolfensteen a try 🙂

  • The End

    I really liked Wolfenstein 3D and RPG

  • Mitsos Tech Tips

    So this is Clint's less viewed video with 465.659 views… me, starring at my channel that the most popular video, has 400 something views…

  • Fly-High

    Wolfenstein 3D was my first ever game on my first ever PC Everex Tempo 286 with BW monitor so i totally lost in hallways and can't get accomplished the game.

  • Денис Заболотски

    i was playing that game in 93 on the farther's PC at his job lol

  • Chris

    I remember playing this in the smallest screen to get rid of lag =)

  • Kamil Całus

    Ps. As a Pole I'm totally amazed how (properly!) you've spelled Blaskowicz name ! With "cz" spelled like "tsch"". :)) Way to go!

  • berner

    Looks like it's written with bacon.

  • Steve Jones

    '92: Got married, built a PC, bought Wolf3D and SOD…. life was good.

  • ZeroG84

    Aaaand there's a VR VERSION NOW

  • DooM DooMerson

    It's 2019 now … Well folks there's a new """"Wolfenstein game"""" out


    This game makes me sick!

  • Michal Novák

    My favorite "rework" is SuperWolfensteinHD from Free Lives

  • Marcel85

    You had also a game that looked verry similiar called Ken's Labyrint

  • Sniff Heinkel

    "Hans Grosse, Dr. Schabbs and Otto Giftmacher are no match for a well timed BJ attack."
    say what now?

  • 2010Zanoza2

    Great review, it is one of the greatest FPS ever created. Wolf 3d, Heretic, Doom 2, Duke 3d, Blood, Half Life 1, No One Lives Forever, Unreal 1, Unreal Tournament 1, Crysis – they all are in top 10.

  • Not Important

    3:02 kurt russel?… that really looks more like patrick swazy to me

  • Nerd_in_a_Nutshell

    2:37 Goddamnit Hitler, ruining everyone’s fun

  • tva tva

    LIM !

  • Dave P.

    I KNEW it! Blinky was a national socialist!

  • John Schmidt

    The song is called horst wassel leid or die fanne hoch

  • Gaius Caligula

    Wolfesntein 3d always had a scary aspect in it for me. When you hear a door open and you're not sure where and the only thing you know is that you didn't open it. Even worse when it happens as you're approaching a door and you get shot in the face instantly.


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