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Rick Dangerous

Revisiting Wolfenstein 3D on Jaguar

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Wolfenstein 3D on Jaguar is quite the gem.  It's one of the best versions of the game out there and we are lucky to have it.  After playing it through when i first got my Jaguar I have been spending some time playing it through again on the various harder difficulty settings recently.  It's just an absolute pleasure to play and still kicks ass after all these years!  I never realized it was an upgraded port of the SNES version (which is probably why it runs just a touch fast):

 

"Using the source code of the SNES port, on a whim John Carmack later converted the game to run on the Atari Jaguar. Atari Corporation approved the conversion for publication and Carmack spent three weeks, assisted by Dave Taylor, improving the port's graphics and quality to what he later claimed was four times more detail than the DOS version. He also removed the changes that Nintendo had insisted on" (Wikipeida)

 

Here is another website with differences of the Jaguar port from other versions which make it quite unique; most notably, different enemy and treasure levels for EACH difficulty level, which isn't seen in any other port:

 

https://wolfenstein.fandom.com/wiki/Jaguar_port_of_Wolfenstein_3D

 

I also really like that it has the map feature; which makes the game a lot less painful.  The DOS version didn't have the Map apparently; which is why the modern PS4/Xbox digital versions don't have maps either.  Much more fun to play it on Jag on not spend hours wandering around and getting lost.  You can also see on the maps areas where secret chambers might be more likely because there is space for them.

 

In all fairness, the 3DO version is quite excellent.  It looks crisp, has proper R and L strafe, has the map, and the music rocks.  It's as good if not a touch better in some ways than the Jag version.  But I replayed it recently and to me it just doesn't have the character of the Jaguar version. But that's probably just my Jag fume induced bias :) 

 

Anyway, just thought this game has help up especially well, but after 6 years of not playing it; it sure has been a pleasure to enjoy the Jaguar version again. 

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The simplified levels and fast movement make it easy to really blast through it quickly.  Because of the simplification, I'm not sure that I would regard it as the best version of the game, but it certainly makes it easier to pick up and play and enjoy in an arcade-like manner, which is basically what I want at this point in my life.

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I've always thought that the basic engine was well-done, if perhaps not "64-bit looking". 

I thought there was some talk years ago of updating Wolf3D with new maps and artwork for an all-new shooter, but perhaps I am thinking of DOOM instead.

 

 

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I emailed John Carmack earlier today thanking him for the Jaguar ports of Wolf and Doom and he wrote me back; which is pretty cool. 

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 5.17.11 PM.png

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39 minutes ago, Rick Dangerous said:

I emailed John Carmack earlier today thanking him for the Jaguar ports of Wolf and Doom and he wrote me back; which is pretty cool. 

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 5.17.11 PM.png

Awesome! He seems to honestly be proud of the Jag ports of Wolf3D and Doom, he's mentioned them on numerous occasions over the years.

 

 

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I love Wolfenstein on the Jag.  It's just pure fun to play.  It has a different vibe than the PC original, and I enjoy both - but the Jaguar port is just ramped up to perfection, or something.  The map feature, the updated graphics, the silky smooth and fast gameplay, and most importantly the new weapons - it all just comes together so wonderfully.  

 

I do have the 3DO port, but until I get my 3DO I have no way to play it.  I've played the SNES port and it's decent.  And I was just playing the Xbox 360 version a few nights ago.  The slow music speed is usually a deal breaker for me, but I was finally able to get past that and play most of the way through Episode 6.  While it's fun, the labyrinthine level design and lack of a map make it unnecessarily frustrating.  Really, some of those maps are just stupidly designed.  It was the dawn of the genre, so I get that there wasn't much to build on.  But that particular aspect has not aged well at all.  And in that sense, the streamlined maps of the Jag version are a real upgrade.

 

Now what this world needs is the wizards behind Doom: Slayer Edition to port Spear of Destiny to the Jag.  Right after they do Heretic and bring about world peace, of course.

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7 hours ago, Rick Dangerous said:

I emailed John Carmack earlier today thanking him for the Jaguar ports of Wolf and Doom and he wrote me back; which is pretty cool. 

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 5.17.11 PM.png

Okay, that's just awesome.  I've reached out to far less iconic gaming figures and never gotten a response.  Really cool to read this.

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Playing Spear of Destiny on my mac right now.....it's awesome.

 

Would give my left nut to have this on Jaguar. 

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I recently downloaded the original Wolf 3D from Xbox Live and was disappointed.  The Jag version looks and plays a lot better in my opinion. 

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Fun game, played it for hours.   I think it has like 9 strengths to 1 weakness and worth having.

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Well, due to its origins, its cut down a bit on levels and enemies, but it moves fast as hell and has what appears to me as larger sprites on the enemies, they seem larger on screen.  Also with a more "action/arcade" feel, It's one of my favorite versions, in fact I like as much as the PC original.  If they tried this could have easily been made to be the "ultimate" version.  

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It's a great version of the game, no doubt. For id software fans like myself, it's a huge reason to own a Jaguar. That said, I played through the game twice a few months back and can say it wasn't perfect. The lack of enemy 3D animation is obviously an issue, but the framerate got a lot worse than I remember. It's something I could tolerate, but it's a far cry from playing this on one of my classic PCs at 70hz like it was designed. A must-own for the system, but it's far from flawless. Still great though for the era.

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2 hours ago, Austin said:

It's a great version of the game, no doubt. For id software fans like myself, it's a huge reason to own a Jaguar. That said, I played through the game twice a few months back and can say it wasn't perfect. The lack of enemy 3D animation is obviously an issue, but the framerate got a lot worse than I remember. It's something I could tolerate, but it's a far cry from playing this on one of my classic PCs at 70hz like it was designed. A must-own for the system, but it's far from flawless. Still great though for the era.

I doubt it was designed for 60FPS (No such hardware in 1991). It was designed to run on low spec machines like 386 PC. Carmack himself said that the speed of the Jag version was amazing for the time. 

Edited by agradeneu

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My main issue is with any version that doesn't include maps. That takes a great deal away from the gameplay IMO because you wander around lost and it sucks. 

 

That's the original Dos version, and most modern ports are based on it, Xbox, Xbox live, PS3, etc. 

 

So to me anything graphically nicer than the SNES version are the "reference" ports to play and each offer something unique.  If I were to recommend a way to play through the early series it would be in the following order:

 

1. Wolf 3D on Jaguar.  

 

2. Wolf 3D on 3DO.

 

3.  Wolf 3D Las Rojas Scenarios on Mac (Play Spear of Destiny first)

 

https://macintoshgarden.org/games/wolfenstein-3d-spear-of-destiny

 

https://macintoshgarden.org/games/laz-rojas-wolfenstein-3d-scenarios

 

That's probably several hundred levels and a lot of good Wolf 3D action right there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?  I may be confused, but push "5" for the maps in game.  If you didn't know about this that would help.  If you were talking about additional levels well, no. 

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15 hours ago, agradeneu said:

I doubt it was designed for 60FPS (No such hardware in 1991). It was designed to run on low spec machines like 386 PC. Carmack himself said that the speed of the Jag version was amazing for the time. 

It was amazing for a console game at the time, not a PC game.

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Honestly... my opinion. Wolf3D on the Jaguar is the best version period. I grew up playing Wolfenstein 3D... I remember going to Radio Shack to buy a Sound Blaster Pack (SB 2.0) so I could upgrade the sound in my 386 SX-16 back in 1992 just so that I could hear the sound effects on Wolf 3D... it was awesome.

 

Never the less... the Jaguar graphics are fantastic, the playability, sound, etc...

 

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When I was a kid, my parents thought video games would rot my brain or were the devil or something, so they weren't allowed in the house for a long time. Luckily, my very Christian uncle was a big fan of computers, and one day he caught me looking super bored while the adults talked at some family gathering. He said "Hey, come up to my office. I want to show you something," keeping it vague so my mom couldn't object. It turns out he'd just got Wolfenstein 3D running on his PC, and I played it until he came back in to fetch me. I'd played a little NES at friends' houses before, but Wolfenstein blew me away. I didn't even really know what I was looking at until years later when we finally got our own PC (for writing papers for school, but I found some local BBSs somehow, and figured out how to take further advantage of it pretty quickly) and I got into Doom and read up on Id.

 

I've never played through the whole PC campaign of Wolf 3D, but I'm working my way through the Jaguar version (I think I'm about half-way through), and I like it a lot more. The Doom-style map is awesome. The extra weapons are awesome. The more frequent story interjections make it feel more arcade-like, and keep me engaged. I've only played the PC, Mac, and Jag versions, but of those, I'd agree the Jag version is the best.

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On 1/20/2021 at 9:17 PM, Rick Dangerous said:

In all fairness, the 3DO version is quite excellent.  It looks crisp, has proper R and L strafe, has the map, and the music rocks.  It's as good if not a touch better in some ways than the Jag version.  But I replayed it recently and to me it just doesn't have the character of the Jaguar version. But that's probably just my Jag fume induced bias :)

The 3DO version is for sure the better version ... more level, smooth gameplay, better sound, better graphic, better control with the 3DO gamepad. The Jag-W3d is one of my favorite Jag titles, but it have no chance against the 3DO version.

And that´s ok ... because the Jag Doom is 10 times better than the completely crappy 3DO version ...

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37 minutes ago, evisu said:

The 3DO version is for sure the better version ... more level, smooth gameplay, better sound, better graphic, better control with the 3DO gamepad. The Jag-W3d is one of my favorite Jag titles, but it have no chance against the 3DO version.

And that´s ok ... because the Jag Doom is 10 times better than the completely crappy 3DO version ...

The Jag version runs faster, with higher FPS. At least that is what I get from the videos. The weapon gfx look a bit better on the Jaguar IMO (e.g. Gatling Gun). But I agree with sound being better on 3DO, although the CD quality soundtracks does not quite fit the style of the graphics. 

Overall I guess its a tie. ;-)

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Never played the 3do version, but based on this comparison video the jag seems to be the best version out there (with the 3do almost on par tbh):

 

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1 hour ago, LordKraken said:

Never played the 3do version, but based on this comparison video the jag seems to be the best version out there (with the 3do almost on par tbh):

 

LOL! Wow... makes me wonder why some even bothered... like the SNES and GBA.

 

But I think it's pretty fair to say the Jaguar version is clearly the better one here at least in terms of graphics. The 3DO seems a bit crisper, but the viewable window is much smaller than the Jaguar, which alternately is using the ENTIRE screen and overlaying the stats on top of the full screen.

 

3DO is also a bit subjective... it has direct music tracks from the CD (I'm assuming), which while clearly, are not necessarily original. But again, it depends on what it is you're looking for. The DOS machine would certainly compare with that if you had a Roland Sound Canvas or MT-32 installed (which I do). But the Jaguar music is original, and sounds good.

 

It also reminded me how they removed the swastikas from the SNES version... which I'm not sure I understand the point of that. Whole other discussion obviously... but what is the point of erasing history, or pretending like it didn't exist? Who were they trying to protect by removing the swastikas from the SNES version?

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