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 3D[edit | edit source]

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 spawning[edit | edit source]

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.


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 affected[edit | edit source]

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 3D[edit | edit source]

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

SNES[edit | edit source]

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

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

Jaguar[edit | edit source]

The Jaguar port features four difficulty levels.[4]

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

iOS[edit | edit source]

The iOS version of Wolfenstein 3D uses the same difficulty levels as the MS-DOS version did.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein[edit | edit source]

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 | edit source]

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 | edit source]

Wolfenstein: The New Order features five difficulty levels:

  • "DON'T HURT ME."
  • "BRING'EM ON!"
  • "ÜBER"

Each difficulty increases the enemy health, makes them more accurate and they deal more damage. the secret difficulties are: 999, Ironman, Hardcore and Walk in the Park.

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]

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood[edit | edit source]

Wolfenstein: The Old Blood features five difficulty levels same as The New Order, with Ironman returning from The New Order as Mein Leben, which unlocks once you beat the game:

  • "DON'T HURT ME."
  • "BRING'EM ON!"
  • "ÜBER"

Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus[edit | edit source]

The game features 7 difficulty levels, one of them is hidden in a similar way to DOOM.

  • Can I play, Daddy?
  • Don't hurt me.
  • Bring 'em on!
  • Do or die!
  • Call me Terror-Billy!
  • I am death incarnate!
  • Mein Leben! (German for My Life!) This mode is locked by default and unlocked only if you've beaten the game at 'I am death incarnate!' mode.

This difficulty is similar to 'I am death incarnate!' except you have only one life, with no autosaves, and manual saves are disabled, similar to the secret 'Ironman' difficulty from The New Order and Mein Leben from The Old Blood.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. WOLFSRC/WL_AGENT.C from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on, line 392
  2. WOLFSRC/WL_ACT2.C from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on, 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)
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