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
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
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 was available
in stores like CompUSA. Apogee also resold this product but was not
responsible for its distribution. Apogee had 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
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.