Welcome back to the Nostalgia Train! This month’s entry will focus on an old gem from the PC world – we’re talking MS-DOS. Of course, following its release, this first-person shooter (FPS) was ported to various computer systems and video game consoles. This game made killing Nazis an art form; it is the one and only, awesome, adrenaline pumping Wolfenstein 3D.
Covert spy, William B.J. Blazkowicz, is attempting to escape from Castle Wolfenstien. This game basically set the standard for the genre of shoot and run, while greasing a few Hitlers in the process. Armed with a gun and a huge…talent, William is on a mission to escape and stop potential chemical warfare.
Break on Through This Rusty Cage
Wolfenstein 3D is the sequel to Castle Wolfenstein and Escape from Castle Wolfenstein. Players take control of William in his efforts to escape and sabotage the German prison. Armed with only a pistol, players navigate the maze-like dungeon shooting down his captors. The actual premise isn’t much more than that, and besides historical references, the game isn’t based off any truth.
The objective of the game revolves around killing enemies, collecting treasure for points, and gathering any artillery laying around. Gamers are pitted against enemies of varying strength and equipment. These enemies could be lurking behind hidden walls, around corners, or they could blitzkrieg you as soon as you open a door. The goal is to reach the exit with as much health and gold as possible in order move on to the next level. So players best find the keys and the exit door, or Will might end up among the bodies on the floor.
It’s a good idea to watch the health percentage; as a gamer takes damage, the toll is shown on poor Will’s face. Though incredibly alert when 100% healthy, as players take damage, over time his visage will slowly deteriorate.
Storming the Castle
Gamers choose from six different episodes; each episode contains nine different levels. While the first three episodes follow the story at Castle Wolfenstein, the last three serve as a prequel where Will is looking to discover the plans for chemical warfare. Both still play the same; kill Nazis, get treasure. In each episode, the subsequent levels are reached by elevator or an ‘exit’ that is found only by exploring the maze. There are plenty of Nazi guards and dogs to kill, and players must replenish their health and ammo on their journey. Of course, if a gamer was to run out of bullets, he or she could always use the knife – but if we’ve learned anything from Indiana Jones that could be a rough time. What’s exciting is that surprise attacks go both ways, so it is very possible for a player to sneak up on an unsuspecting guard.
Unlike normal enemies, a boss cannot be ambushed. These baddies are located at the end of each episode on the final mission. Even Hitler himself will face off against Will toting four chain guns. With that type of fire power, gamers should hope they have enough health for that final boss.
Players can acquire a few different guns: the pistol, a submachine gun, and a rapid-firing chain gun. Unfortunately, Will is a captive, so he only begins the game with a pistol and his knife. A positive is that all the guns use the same ammunition. Through exploration, gamers can find new guns, collect ammunition and health, or obtain extra lives. For each episode, players start with three lives; it is possible to obtain more, and besides finding ‘extra life’ tokens, there’s another way get them. To add additional challenge to the game, it’s possible to collect treasure for points. When players grab enough points, 40,000 to be exact, they get an extra life.