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Wolfenstein 3D

Wolfenstein 3D is the video game which started the first person shooter genre on the PC; it was created by id Software and published by Apogee on May 5, 1992. In the game, the player is a soldier attempting to escape from a Nazi building; there are many guards with pistols and machine guns about, as well as attack dogs. The building has a number of hidden passages containing various treasures, food supplies, and medical kits, as well as various guns and ammunition.

Wolfenstein 3D was originally released as shareware, which allowed it to be copied widely. The shareware release contained 1 episode ("Escape from Wolfenstein"), consisting of 10 missions (levels). The commercial release consisted of 3 episodes including the shareware episode (the new ones being "Operation: Eisenfaust" and "Die, Fuhrer, Die"), and a mission pack called "The Nocturnal Missions" (consisting of "A Dark Secret", "Trail Of The Madman" and "Confrontation") was also available. Like the shareware episode, each commercial episode contained 10 levels, bringing the game to a total of 60 missions.

Each episode had a different boss which had to be killed in the final mission in order to complete the episode. In order to complete an episode, only 9 of the 10 missions needed to be completed; hidden in one of the first eight missions was an entrance to the tenth, secret level. The secret level of the third episode was notable in that it recreated one of the original Pacman[?] levels, complete with ghosts, seen by the player from Pacman's perspective.

A sequel, Spear of Destiny, was also released.

The game was originally released on the PC and then ported to Macintosh computers, Apple IIGS, Super NES, Atari Jaguar and Game Boy Advance. The source code of the game was published by ID Software in 1996 under the terms of the GPL, and some enhanced ports have been developed.

Due to its use of Nazi symbols, the PC version of the game was confiscated in Germany in 1994, following a verdict by the Amtsgericht München on January 25, 1994 (Az. 2Gs167/94); the use of these symbols is a federal offense in Germany unless certain circumstances apply (see articles 86 StGB (http://dejure.org/gesetze/StGB/86) and 86a StGB (http://dejure.org/gesetze/StGB/86a)). Similarly, the Atari version was confiscated following a verdict by the Amtsgericht Berlin Tiergarten on December 7, 1994 (Az. 351Gs5509/94). (Also see [1] (http://www.heim-im-web.de/atschie/index/idx_4000.htm)).

Due to concerns from Nintendo, the Super NES version was modified to not include any Nazi symbols or references; furthermore, the attack dogs in the game were replaced by giant rats, and blood was replaced with sweat to make the game seem less violent.

To render the walls in pseudo-3D[?], the game used ray casting[?], a special case of ray tracing that sent out one ray for each column of pixels, checked if it intersected a wall, and drew textures on the screen accordingly, creating a depth buffer against which to clip the scaled sprites that represented enemies, powerups, and props.

Other games using the Wolfenstein 3D engine were also produced, including, for example, Blake Stone[?] and Corridor 7.

A new first-person shooter, Return To Castle Wolfenstein, a loose sequel (though with the advance of technology the graphics and gameplay are vastly different), has been released in 2001. It uses the Quake III Arena graphics engine.

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