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Difficulty levels

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Difficulty
The four faces that represent the four difficulty levels of Wolfenstein 3D.
The first major game in the Wolfenstein series, Wolfenstein 3D, featured four difficulty levels. Their names were reused for difficulty levels in later games in the Wolfenstein series.

Wolfenstein 3DEdit

There are four difficulty levels in the original MS-DOS release of Wolfenstein 3D. It is useful to refer to them as numeric "levels".

  • level 1, "Can I play, Daddy?", the easiest.
  • level 2, "Don't hurt me."
  • level 3, "Bring 'em on!", the default.
  • level 4, "I am Death incarnate!", the hardest.

In level 1 difficulty ("Can I play, Daddy?") all damage taken by BJ is divided by four.[1] In addition, most enemies, including common and all Bosses, have more hitpoints in higher difficulties.[2] The exact amount varies between them, check their individual pages for specific information.

Enemy spawningEdit

Ascending to "Bring 'em on!" (level 3) will cause more enemies to appear. Even more will appear in "I am Death incarnate!" (level 4). There are no more enemies in level 2 than in level 1 difficulty.

Guardspawn

To illustrate, above is the familiar final elevator room in floor one of Episode One of Wolfenstein 3D, displayed in a map editor. Each of the triangles is a standing Guard spawn, but each is a different variety of spawn, indicated by the color of their representation in the program.

  • The dark red spawn is always active.
  • The purple spawn is only active in level 3 or level 4 difficulty. A player playing at level 3 difficulty will find 2 Guards in the room.
  • The bright red spawn is only active in level 4 difficulty. A player playing at level 4 difficulty will find 3 Guards in this room.

Enemies that are affectedEdit

Not all enemies have the capacity to appear in increased number at higher difficulty. Only the following enemies are programmed as such:

All other enemies appear in the same number across difficulty levels.

Ports of Wolfenstein 3DEdit

Different ports of Wolfenstein 3D have their own set of difficulty levels.

SNESEdit

The SNES port of Wolfenstein 3D features three difficulty levels:[3]

Easy
Bullets do half damage to the player.
Normal
Damage and enemy behavior are normal.
Hard
Bullets do twice normal damage, and enemies will fire from farther away.

JaguarEdit

The Jaguar port features four difficulty levels.[4]

Easy
Bullets do half damage to the player
Normal
Normal setting.
Extra Carnage
More difficult.
Maximum Death
More resilient enemies who will fire more often.

Return to Castle WolfensteinEdit

For Return to Castle Wolfenstein, three difficulty levels exist, each of which borrows its name from Wolfenstein 3D.

  • "Don't hurt me."
  • "Bring'em on!"
  • "I am Death incarnate!"

"Can I play, Daddy?" is not preserved, except for Operation Resurrection and Tides of War. Damage status are same in all difficulties, but your opponents will have faster reaction time and more accurate as the difficulty increases.

Wolfenstein (2009)Edit

For Wolfenstein, the original four difficulty levels return. Each is appended with a parenthetical explanation.

  • "Can I Play, Daddy? (Easy)"
  • "Don't Hurt Me (Normal)"
  • "Bring 'Em On (Hard)"
  • "I Am Death Incarnate! (Über)"

Wolfenstein: The New Order Edit

The upcoming Wolfenstein: The New Order will feature difficulty levels. From an interview:

The New Order is quite challenging, it feels a little more difficult than a lot of first-person shooters. Why did you decide to make it a bit more of a challenge?

That's also a part of the legacy of Wolfenstein, because I think the original was a bit harder 10 or 15 years ago. So I want the normal, the medium difficulty to be a challenge, even for a rather experienced first-person shooter gamer. But on the other hand, we have two levels of difficulty below that as well. So we have both 'easy', as well as 'very easy'. And two levels above. So there's a lot of options. If you want to have a challenge, you can get a challenge, that's for sure.[5]

This interview indicates that there are five levels of difficulty. While it is very likely they are not representative of the names in the final product, the above source reports them as:

  1. 'very easy'
  2. 'easy'
  3. 'normal' or 'medium'
  4. one level above medium
  5. two levels above medium

The original Wolfenstein 3D featured only four levels of difficulty, so it seems at least one difficulty level will not be named after the original phrases from that game.

ReferencesEdit

  1. WOLFSRC/WL_AGENT.C from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on github.com, line 392
  2. WOLFSRC/WL_ACT2.C from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on github.com, line 42
  3. Wolfenstein 3D instruction booklet (for SNES). Imagineer America, 1992. Page 6. Web. (Third-party scan)
  4. Wolfenstein 3D Jaguar game booklet. Atari Corporation, 1992. Page 7. Web. (Third-party scan)
  5. http://www.3news.co.nz/Wolfenstein-The-New-Order-E3-interview-with-Jerk-Gustafsson/tabid/418/articleID/303360/Default.aspx
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