This article is about the character in Wolfenstein 3D. For the character portrayed in the 2009 Wolfenstein installment, see Hans Grosse (2009).
Hans Grösse (Classic)
Animated Hans Grosse.gif
Animated Hans Grosse.gif
Animated Mac Hans Grosse.gif
HP 850/950/1050/1200[1]
Points 5000
Weapon Dual chain guns

Comparison between low resolution PC sprite and new post-w resolu sprite

Hauptsturmführer Hans Grösse (aka Hans Grosse[2]) is the first boss of the Original Encounter and Episode 1: Therefore he is also the first boss in Wolfenstein 3D and Wolfenstein 3D on the SNES and Jaguar.

Wolfenstein 3D series[edit | edit source]

He is large, and while not very smart, is still a powerful Nazi enforcer. He is a member of the Grösse family which comprises his brothers Trans, Mans, Pans, Fans, and sister Gretel; they all seem to share an affinity for heavy body armor and dual chain guns.

In the Mac version of the game, the game is split into 3 parts: the First Encounter (the shareware, first 3 levels of the Second Encounter), the Second Encounter (a.k.a Original Encounter), and the Third Encounter. Hans is a boss in all three. He is the final boss of the First Encounter, and the first boss of the latter two Encounters. This means Hans has been defeated three times in the classic series, and a fourth if counting Wolfenstein (2009).

These were the original encounters with with Hans; B.J. would later encounter him again in Isenstadt.

There may have been another encounter following Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolfenstein (2009) as chronicled in the Tides of Darkness ("Second Campaign") and Wolfenstein 3D Classic (although these may just be adaptations of the 3rd Encounter). At least one attempt on Hans occurred before RTCW, and this was likely the First/Second Encounter.

In the Mac Family, he has more wrinkles on his face, and a deeper and throatier voice making him sound more evil. His armor is also slightly different.

Original Encounter[edit | edit source]

1st Encounter[edit | edit source]

B.J. defeats Hans for the first time during an escape from Castle Wolfenstein.

2nd Encounter[edit | edit source]

After William "B.J." Blazkowicz served the allies well as their top operative, and one-man army. They send him in to infiltrate Nazi Germany, in an attempt to defeat the Fuhrer's SS fanatics.

His first task was to eliminate Hans Grosse, Hitler's most ruthless commando. He and his team were based in a castle outside of Dresden. He was ordered to wade through his stormtroopers to reach him.[3]

3rd Encounter[edit | edit source]

B.J.'s third encounter with Hans in an attempt to escape from Castle Wolfenstein.

He appears (or rather, Hans' clones or identical twins) as a regular enemy in E2L8 and E6L10. In E2L8, the Grosse clone will only be found in the secret pushwall maze, while E6L10 is a secret level where you fight three 'brothers' of his (Mans, Pans, and Fans Grösse, bosses of the Episode Six, Secret Floor, in Wolfenstein 3D), each one placed in a different room. In E6L10, you only need to kill one of the clones in order to exit the level.

Nightmare[edit | edit source]

He appears in an adaptation of the Episode 1/Floor 9 in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood from Wolfenstein 3D's DOS campaign. The battle is largely the same, except that B.J. has access to features from modern first person shooters such as jumping, mouselook/free aiming, the ability to lean, and ability to dual-wield weapons against Hans (fighting him much the same way he fights B.J.).

Tactical analysis[edit | edit source]

You must kill him in order to escape Castle Wolfenstein. He can be a real menace if you don't have a chain gun of your own.

Armed with two chain guns, he can be considered to have four times the SS guard's firepower. The bullets needed to kill will be around ten times that of the SS. On Bring It On! difficulty it takes an average of around 50 to 60 bullets to kill him (more if he is engaged at long distance since the random number generator causes bullets to miss more at longer range).

Hans fires 6 bullets per volley. Upon death, he will drop a gold key.

For strategic details on how to take care of Hans Grösse and his brothers, see the specific pages for the levels in which they occur:

Quotes[edit | edit source]

The poor quality of sound in the game makes it difficult to ascertain what is being said. Sources are given for what Id claims is the language, but this is sometimes open to criticism.

"Guten tag!"[4]
"Good morning!"[4], "Good day!" File: "GUTENTAGSND". Spoken on seeing the player. An official hint manual gives an incorrect translation of "good morning", which would be "guten morgen". "Guten tag" truly means "good day".
"Mommy!"[4] File: "MUTTISND". Spoken on death.

"Id Software apologizes to German speaking people everywhere."[5]

Data[edit | edit source]

Hit points 850 (skill 1),
950 (skill 2),
1050 (skill 3),
1200 (skill 4)
Speed 1536
Pain No
Score 5000
Sprites & sounds
Sprite number 296-306
Death sound MUTTISND
Ranged attack
Type Hitscan
Damage 1-64, 1-32 or 1-16
Shots per minute

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Concept art for Hans Grösse from the Hint Manual

Hans Grösse in the Wolfenstein 3D video graphic novel (2009).

  • Like most minigun-wielding enemies, the muzzle flash from Hans' guns appears to come from the center of the axis upon which the barrels rotate, rather than from the barrels themselves.
  • It is hinted in Wolfenstein (2009) that Hans Grosse was previously defeated by B.J. Blazkowicz. The video graphic novels created for the game shows Hans's defeat at Blazkowicz's hands, and sets Wolfenstein 3D as a prequel to the game (Hans's appearance in the graphic novel is similar to his appearance in 2009's Wolfenstein). Likewise there is a nod to Spear of Destiny (after Anton Kriege looks into B.J. Blazkowicz' past with the OSA). He wonders how much the Spear would fetch on the black market.
  • In Mac Family ports (MAC/Jaguar/3DO/Apple IIGS) Hans Grosse is in a castle near Dresden. In the 3rd Encounter its suggested that B.J. defeated Hans Grosse twice (as he appears in both the Dresden mission, and the Castle Wolfenstein mission of the original game). The storylines of both 2nd and 3rd encounters are not the same, nor do they take place in the same order of locations.
  • In the Wolfenstein 3D source code, Hans Grösse's actor states and sprites refer to him as only "Boss".[6] Later bosses in the game are referred to by more descriptive names, which may imply that Hans was originally the only boss in the game. He is in fact the only boss that appears in the shareware version.
  • The entirety of Episode 1 of Wolfenstein 3D/3rd Encounter is portrayed in Wolfenstein: The Old Blood during the Nightmare! levels.
  • In the Art of Wolfenstein: The New Order, Hans is listed with his proper name Hans Grösse in the bio for Caroline, as the one who shot her.
  • Hans last name, Grösse, is German for "Size". However, translating his last name as "Grosse" brings up words like "big" or "large", likely meaning that his name in English means "Big Hans".

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. WOLFSRC/WL_ACT2.C from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on, line 42
  2. Jaguar/Snes/Mac Family endings
  3. From the Jaguar/SNES mission briefing screen
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Cloud, Kevin. The Official Hint Manual for Wolfenstein 3D. Apogee Software, 1992. Page 72. Web. (Third-party scan)
  5. Cloud, Kevin. Spear of Destiny Hint Book. FormGen Corporation, 1992. Page 36. Web. (Third-party scan)
  6. WOLFSRC/WL_ACT2.C from the Wolfenstein 3D source code on, line 763
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