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MS-DOS (often abbreviated to DOS, short for Microsoft Disk-Based Operating Sytem) is a computer operating system by Microsoft. In the context of the Wolfenstein series, DOS was the original platform for the release of Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny.

Wolfenstein 3D for DOS[]

Both officially and unofficially, various ports of Wolfenstein 3D have been created over the years for many platforms, but the game was originally released for DOS, on May 5, 1992. The DOS version is now the most well-known, continuing to be sold through digital distribution platforms such as Steam, whereas other consoles have fallen out of favor.

The DOS version, however, has a critical issue, which is that it is no longer directly playable on modern computers, as the 30-year-old MS-DOS system has been virtually entirely replaced in the home computer market by more complex operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X. To play the DOS version on such operating systems, one needs a DOS emulator or a source port.


Main article: DOSBox

DOSBox is a popular free and open source MS-DOS emulator available for a multitude of platforms including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It is so popular and so necessary to playing DOS games in the modern era that it is often packaged with DOS games as they are sold- Wolfenstein 3D, for example, comes with DOSBox when purchased and downloaded from Steam. This is legal due to the emulator's license under the GNU GPL, a free software license.