Nate Drake takes out waves of goose-stepping goons from the Third Reich in Wolfenstein 3D, the precursor to the ground-breaking game Doom.
Nate Drake puts his feet up for a well-deserved rest, as he plugs in his Raspberry Pi for a bit of classic gaming fun with Wolfenstein 3D.
Secret Agent, Captain William “BJ” Joseph Blazkowicz’s commendable efforts to halt the Nazi war machine come to a crashing halt at the start of id software’s Wolfenstein3D. Having successfully thwarted an evil scientist’s plans to create a race of mutant-Nazi hybrids, BJ has been captured and consigned to the dungeons of the Nazi stronghold Castle Wolfenstein. After quickly overpowering a hapless guard, you must now navigate BJ through the six episodes of the game, consisting of ten levels each, shooting evil henchmen and dogs while collecting looted treasure on the way.
While using Nazis as bad guys is nothing new, when Wolfenstein3D was first released in 1992, even its developers couldn’t have known the staggering level of success it would enjoy. At its heart, the game is a first-person shooter using 3D graphics in the style of Doom, which id software would release a few years later. The game is notable for its use of ray casting: a technique whereby only surfaces bigger to the player were calculated, resulting in much smoother gameplay. This, of course was an issue much more relevant to users of early 90s PCs, but it’s also important to your gaming experience on the Raspberry Pi.
Aside from being both a showcase for the first-person shooter and shareware, Wolfenstein3D was also notable in that its developers licensed the game engine to other companies. This resulted in the game being ported to various other platforms besides the original MS-DOS, such as Mac OS, the Acorn Archimedes and SNES. In 1995, the source code for the Wolfenstein3D game engine was released, meaning fans were free to create their own versions.
In this guide we’ll be focusing on running Fabien Sanglard’s formidable Chocolate Wolfenstein engine. This is a slightly improved version of the original ‘vanilla’ engine, which is nevertheless designed to mimic the original game as closely as possible.
Although the engine itself is open source and can be compiled on your Pi, the game data files which contain details of maps, levels, enemies and so on are still under copyright. For this reason, this guide will focus on running the shareware version of Wolfenstein3D on your Raspberry Pi, which contains only the first episode, Escape from Castle Wolfenstein. This will still give you ten levels of high octane, chaingun-smoking action, but if you want to play the full version then you can purchase the game and copy the data files over to your Pi if you wish. The Chocolate Wolfenstein engine also supports playing the prequel to Wolfenstein3D, called SpearofDestiny ( seetheboxout,Willthe‘real’ Wolfensteinpleasestandup,belowleft).
Although technically you can compile and run Chocolate Wolfenstein on any model of Pi, we recommend using a Raspberry Pi 3 for best performance. The tutorial assumes you have a clean install of Raspbian on your SD card and that you have run sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade before proceeding.
Digging for victory
Because the Chocolate Wolfenstein engine only requires you to run the make command and place the data files in the same folder as the executable, there’s very little that can go awry with this project. Data files for different iterations of Wolfenstein games have different extensions, such as the shareware version of Wolfenstein3D (.wl1), the full version (.wl6) and SpearofDestiny (.sod). If you see an error message when trying to launch the game that it can’t find the right data files, the most likely reason is because all data filenames and extensions must be in lower case – this process is initially done in the walkthrough above.
The Chocolate Wolfenstein 3D engine also has to be compiled differently, depending on the version of the game that you’re using. You can change this in the file version.h
in the game directory.
If you don’t know how to get the data files for the full version of the game, consider either buying the Steam Windows version of Wolfenstein3D ( http://store. steampowered.com/app/2270/Wolfenstein_3D), which is available for around £4 for Windows machines. See the boxout ( left) for help with finding the data files for installation. Steam also sells a Windows version of SpearofDestiny for around £3. ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/9000/
Spear_of_Destiny). Non-Windows users may be able to find a second-hand version of the game CD online.
If you enjoy the premise of gunning down Axis troops but aren’t happy with the clunky graphics, you’ll be pleased to know that the game spawned the free and open source Linux game Wolfenstein:EnemyTerritory ( www.splashdamage. com/content/download-wolfenstein-enemy-territory). The game gives you the choice of fighting on the side of either the Axis or Allied powers, playing as part of a multiplayer team with your friends. LXF
Note that this guide focuses on the shareware version of Wolfenstein 3D, which only contains the first ten levels.
Wolfenstein 3D was banned from sale in Germany due to its use of Nazi symbols. The SNES version removed these as well as the gory effects.