Wolfenstein 3D MAP BY MAP THREAD

Chat on the Original Wolfenstein 3d Game

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Thomas
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Wolfenstein 3D MAP BY MAP THREAD

Post by Thomas »

I was thinking of the 30th anniversary and what made both the WL1, WL3 and WL6 versions so appealing. What exactly was it about E1M1 that made it an instantly recognizable map? Boiled down to essentials, the map is very much about escape and navigating the hell out of a foreboding castle... I suppose this can be said with so many other of the Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny maps. I would really love to try and see if this discussion can go somewhere. I imagine we will be going about this chronologically. We will chat about E1M1 for a bit and then move on to E1M2 (or even E1M10, whatever gets the discussion going)...

Surely you guys must have something to say on the subject as to why E1M1 is so enduring. Spear of Destiny's opening level was never as immediate and head-on as E1M1 ever were. And it is amazing how far one can come with only three different textures; gray stone, blue stone and wood panel. I don't know. It always baffled me how solid E1M1 and Episode 1 as a whole actually is, given its relatively limited resources.
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ack
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Post by ack »

For me, the initial sight of the player being able to move around a level with normalcy as opposed to the old side-scrollers was the first thing that hooked me. The sharpness of the graphics/sounds compared to older games also caught my attention. Just an incredible experience. Later it came down to competition, like who could find an elusive secret or who could finish it the fastest with/without perfect scores. It didn’t matter that the game was about fighting the Nazis. It could’ve been anything. Although, once I started getting further into the game and used to all the eye/earcandy, the subject matter made more of a difference, but that discussion is for another day. Ground-breaking games I’ll always remember my first time and E1M1 is cemented into my memory.
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Post by shodan »

Personally, E1M9 is the level that sticks in my mind, but I'll always remember the excitement of the first time I found the secret areas on E1M1 that led to E1M10 :-o.
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Post by Wolf3DGuy »

And now let's take a moment of appreciation at E4M10.
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Post by Tricob »

The most definitive sequence in E1L1? I'd say the opening room. That is - if you've never played the map before. Otherwise, I'd say those two "broken box" areas with one plate of food in each. They play differently just about every time, and there's no other sequence like it in the 60 maps.
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Thomas
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Post by Thomas »

Yeah, I often get taken by surprise in the final gray stone area of E1M1. Guards marching in and out... Can be pretty vicious actually. And I still never really quite found out the fastest way to pick up all the treasure in the middle room where there is a secret area behind the Hitler portrait. The way the guards and lamps, plants and tables are positioned makes it hard just to race through if you want to get all the stuff.
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Post by Tricob »

Well, the trick is to pick things up *while* the pushwall is moving. Another speed-runs approach - pick up ammo and food while you wait for the door to open.
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Post by Thomas »

Moving on, you guys. E1M2... For many years, I would often forget how much of an experience this map was. It is so damn huge, and many of its rooms and treasures are far away from where the pivotal point is. It is interesting that the key is stowed away in the same area as the locked door (the large gray stone finishing area), very closely knitted. I feel this is the case with numerous original maps. Keys are just too damn close to where they have to be used. Maybe that's a good thing. I remember the days where all I had was WL1 and the tiny room in the successive area (with tables, floor lamps, plants, the area that ends where there are sinks and dogs) I was surprised to find a room out of the blue, the one right next to the entry. The way that map is designed is just beautiful. It takes up so much space and it is easy to get lost in. Earlier versions even had more voluminous treasure areas in the far eastern wood panel wing.

For the first many times I played WL1 I never knew about E1M10 so this map was my first encounter with the SS guard. There is something very cinematic about the fact that the first time the player faces him, he has his back turned. I think that is a wonderful thing.
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Post by Tricob »

It seems every map with an even number - they happen to be the best maps of Episode One, IMO. As for the key being so close to the locked door, it actually makes sense to me. If it's not common for an escapee to steal a key and unlock a door, you're more likely to think of efficiency rather than safeguards. And the closer the key is, the less time guards waste when they need to unlock a door.
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Post by shodan »

Having the key near the door also makes the critical path of the map more linear, which isn't always a bad thing either.
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Thomas
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Re: Wolfenstein 3D MAP BY MAP THREAD

Post by Thomas »

I keep wondering. MCS mentioned E1M3 in some versions having an unknown/unidentifiable object at the start, which some ports and versions cannot handle. Wonder what that was all about. If you look at E1M3 from alpha to registered version, a huge chunk of the middle has been removed. I wonder if it was here they ran into the 399/149 limit or what the deal just was. I distinctly remember the first time I got to E1M3. It felt like the biggest map in the world, and I was still bowled over at the size of E1M2. The sneaky steel panel secret... The 1x1 gray stone in a stonehenge of sorts near the ending. A beautiful piece of design. Any of you guys like E1M3?
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Re: Wolfenstein 3D MAP BY MAP THREAD

Post by Wolf King »

When it comes to episode one you just cannot complain. The levels are just too nostalgic. As for E1M3 it was gold to explore for the first time.
The first time I played I actually quit exploring each room because the level was so big. Luckily the path to win is pretty easy; if otherwise it might have taken me years to finish. :lol: