Happy 30th Birthday, Wolfenstein 3D!
Plus: ECWolf, an enhanced port of Wolfenstein 3D for Linux, Android, and other platforms.
Today is the 30th birthday of Wolfenstein 3D
Released on May 5th, 1992, Wolfenstein 3D was originally built for DOS — with ports to an almost impossibly large number of platforms to follow.
Luckily, ID Software was kind enough to release the full source code for WOLF3D.EXE (the DOS file name for the games executable) and we now have multiple ports and modified versions available for us to enjoy.
Personal Anecdote: When setting up new DOS computers, WOLF3D.EXE is my go-to software for testing out the sound cards and memory configurations. It’s almost become a tradition for me. If that distinctly recognizable music starts playing, I know that I’ve set my system up properly.
Obviously, playing Wolfenstein 3D in DOS (or, say, DOSBox) is the best way to get the authentic, original experience. But what if you want to run a native version on… say… Linux or MacOS X?
ECWolf, a port/fork of Wolf 3D, has a pretty wide variety of enhancements over the original release:
One binary plays Wolfenstein 3D, Spear of Destiny, and Super 3D Noah's Ark.
Runs on all popular operating systems. (That's Windows, Mac OS X, Android, Ubuntu, and other Linux based operating systems.)
Modern control schemes supported.
Super 3D Noah's Ark/Rise of the Traid/Mac Wolfenstein style automap.
Widescreen and tall screen support with aspect ratio correction (Hor+/Vert+).
Soft-moding (no need to deal with compilers)!
Unrestricted map size with support for non-square maps.
Support for high resolution textures and mixed definition.
Support for additional image formats and archive formats.
If you need the full game files, you can purchase them (legally) over at GoG.com for just a couple of bucks. Which is still, 30 years later, a pretty great deal.