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Apogee Faq - Extract

[2.8.6] Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny

It started when a 3D game iD made for Softdisk grabbed Scott Miller's attention. He decided that he'd like iD to make a 3D shareware game for Apogee and convinced a somewhat reluctant iD to agree. However, at the time, iD was obligated to make a game for Softdisk, so Apogee made a deal in which Apogee would make a game for Softdisk, thereby freeing iD to write the 3D game for Apogee.  Apogee's game for Softdisk was "Scubadventure," written by George Broussard; iD's game for Apogee was the now legendary Wolfenstein 3D.

Joe Siegler's explanation of the history of the Wolfenstein series from this point follows:

On May 5, 1992, Apogee Software released the shareware episode of Wolfenstein 3D, and has been distributing it in the shareware market since. Apogee is the official distributor of Wolfenstein 3D's original six episodes in the shareware market.

Somewhere around September of 1992, FormGen Corp released Spear of Destiny.  This is a retail sequel to Wolfenstein 3D. This game consisted of one episode  with 20 levels. It had some new wall art, a couple of new objects, and new boss creatures. This game is essentially the same as Wolf3D but is completely new in the level design aspect. It is available in stores like CompUSA. Apogee also resells this product, but is not responsible for its distribution. Apogee has to buy it from FormGen like any other store would. There is a two level playable demo floating around for Spear of Destiny. It's the same first two levels that appear in the full version of the game. It is not shareware; commercial demos are for the most part non-interactive, however, this one *is* interactive, and since it bears a close resemblance to Wolfenstein 3D, which is shareware, the Spear of Destiny demo is frequently mistaken for being shareware, which it is not.

There have been numerous editors and extra levels created by users for both Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny. With regard to Wolf3D, Apogee respectfully requests that you not make or distribute any editors, extra levels, or other add-ons that will work on the shareware episode. If you choose to make add-ons, please make these items for the registered version only, and be aware that Apogee cannot support user-created items.

Sometime in mid/late 1993, iD Software decided that they were going to publish these same six original episodes in the retail market. These are the same six episodes that Apogee had been selling since May of 1992. Since Apogee was at that time not set up for retail distribution, iD Software went with another company called is GT Software (now called GT Interactive). This package is available in CompUSA and contains the same six episodes that Apogee distributes. Apogee has absolutely nothing at all to do with this product.  The GT Software version of Wolfenstein 3D is totally a GT product. Apogee has no control over the packaging, quality control, or price.

In May of 1994, FormGen Corporation released two new episodes for Spear of Destiny to stores. The collective name of the product is "Spear of Destiny Mission Add-On Packs." The new episodes each have their own individual titles, these being "Mission 2: Return to Danger," and "Mission 3: Ultimate Challenge." These add-ons have some new level graphics and some differently colored actors, but is essentially more levels for Spear of Destiny. These extra versions require that you have the first Spear of Destiny game (the original six Apogee Wolf3D episodes are not required). In late 1994, FormGen marketed a "Spear of Destiny Super CD Package," which consists of iD's original Spear of Destiny, the two additional add-on missions, and hint books for these new episodes. Neither Apogee Software nor iD software sells the add-ons or the CD, supports it, or has anything else to do with it. These are strictly FormGen products.

In April 1998, iD Software repackaged Wolfenstein 3D for retail again, with Activision as their retail publisher. This new box has the full version of Wolfenstein 3D in it as well as the full version of Spear of Destiny plus the two Spear of Destiny mission packs that FormGen had made. Although the box bills itself as "finally available for Windows 95," the games themselves are physically unchanged -- there is simply a new Windows 95 installer.  Apogee has nothing to do with this new product or new packaging and does not sell it.

Shortly afterward, Apogee stopped reselling the original Spear of Destiny.

iD Software has also either written or released versions of Wolfenstein 3D for other platforms over time. Apogee Software has nothing to do with any of them. iD Software holds the copyright to Wolfenstein 3D and can license it to others for other platforms or do whatever they want with it.  These versions are listed for completeness' sake only.

The Super Nintendo version was released around Jan/Feb of 1994. This was published through a company called "Imagineer." Due to Nintendo restrictions, some elements of the game had to be removed. These were all Nazi references, the dogs (replaced with rats), and blood (replaced with sweat). This is still a good game, especially considering what it's programmed for. There was a version released for the Atari Jaguar around August of 1994, and this version is probably the best graphically of any version published. When you go up right against walls and the like, they do not become as blocky or chunky, as compared to previous versions of Wolfenstein 3D. This version was published by Atari. iD also licensed Wolf3D so that it could be published on the Macintosh computer. This version was released in October 1994 and is being distributed by MacPlay, a division of Interplay. WolfMac is a shareware title, and there is a shareware version of it available. When you register, you get something like 30 levels. Again, Apogee has nothing to do with these versions of Wolfenstein 3D; you would need to contact the various companies, or iD Software directly for more information on them. In the fall of 1994, it was revealed that Vitesse was working on a version of Wolfenstein 3D for the Apple IIGS. This version was being done by Bill Heinemann. This brings the Wolfenstein saga full circle as the original Castle Wolfenstein was written for the Apple //e. The Apple IIGS version of Wolfenstein 3D was finally released as freeware on February 14, 1998.

Sometime in August/September 1995, iD Software released the source code for Wolfenstein 3D to the Internet and CompuServe. It does not contain the code for the levels and graphics, however, so you'll need the data files from the shareware or commercial versions of the game for it to work properly.

The premiere issue of Game Developer's Magazine stated that Apogee Software was working on a game called "Wolfenstein 3D: Part II," which was to be a totally new game, with completely new actors, and new everything; the only thing the same being the title Wolfenstein 3D. This information is partially incorrect; there is no such title under production at either Apogee or iD Software. However, this was under production at Apogee for a while back in early 1994, but this was dropped, and the project changed to "Rise of the Triad." This game is now available from Apogee Software.

In 2001, Gray Matter Interactive released a game called "Return to Castle Wolfenstein," which uses the Quake III engine. Apogee does not have anything to do with this game.

 

[2.8.6.1] "Call Apogee and say Aardwolf" 

Joe Siegler's explanation of "Aardwolf":

"Call Apogee and say Aardwolf." It's a sign that to this day is something that I get asked about a lot. This is a sign that appears on a wall in a particularly nasty maze in Episode 2 Level 8 of Wolfenstein 3D. The sign was to be the goal in a contest Apogee was going to have, but almost immediately after the game's release, a large amount of cheat and mapping programs were released. With these programs running around, we felt that it would have been unfair to have the contest and award a prize. The sign was still left in the game, but in hindsight, probably should have been taken out. To this day, Apogee gets letters and phone calls and asking what Aardwolf is, frequently with the question, "Has anyone seen this yet?"

Also, in a somewhat related issue, letters were shown after the highest score in the score table in some revisions of the game. These letters were to be part of another contest that got scrapped before it got started, where we were going to have people call in with their scores and tell us the code; we'd then be able to verify their score. However, with the cheat programs out there, this got scrapped too.

Basically, "Aardwolf" and the letters mean nothing now. Also note that if you found the Aardwolf sign in the game (without cheating), there's a VERY strong chance that you're stuck in there. The only way out may be to restart, or load a saved game from before you went into that maze.

 

[2.8.6.2] What's B. J. Blazkowicz's relationship with Commander Keen? 

Besides the fact that iD Software created both the Commander Keen and Wolfenstein games, there is a further relationship between the two main characters. The following is an excerpt from the Official Hint Manual for Wolfenstein 3D which explains the relation:

William Joseph Blazkowicz was born August 15, 1911, to Polish  immigrants. Blazkowicz was a top spy for the Allied Forces,  receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor and other accolades  for heroism. "B.J.," (as he was called by his friends) married  after World War II, at age 40, to Julia Marie Peterson. Their  son, Arthur Kenneth Blazkowicz, became a television talk show  personality in Milwaukee. For show biz purposes, Arthur changed  his last name to Blaze. Arthur later married Susan Elizabeth  McMichaels. They had one son (which they named after Arthur's  father), William Joseph Blazkowicz II, or as he signs his grade  school homework, B. Blaze....

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