The Mac Family is a reference to any port of Wolfenstein 3D that acquires a uniquely defined style, especially identified by the usage of textures and sprites with a resolution of 128x128 pixels (instead of 64x64 as in the original) and two new weapons: Flamethrower & Rocket Launcher.
The levels of the Spear of Destiny or recurring releases never ended up in the Mac Family, at least not officially.
Any Mac Family game may end up with its own cheat system. The Mac contains easy keyboard-activated cheats, like Doom.
The Mac Family (in particular the SNES/Jaguar) versions contain a different storyline following a different set of locations from the original game (each with their own mission briefings sent by president Franklin D. Roosevelt). The original game (sans specific story details) was released as a pack for the Mac known as the Third Encounter. The "Second Encounter" is known as the "Original Encounter" on the 3DO and Apple IIGS versions of the game, and they also came with the original PC levels as well, as a follow-up campaign/storyline. It is based on the levels of the SNES version.
The First Encounter, the shareware release of the Macintosh version claims that the three levels are only the beginning of Castle Wolfenstein, and that he hasn't yet escaped Castle Wolfenstein. However, the SNES and Jaguar versions say that Castle Dresden is not the same castle as Wolfenstein, and Wolfenstein is visited in Mission 6, where Hitler/Staatmeister is encountered for the first time. This suggests a changed storyline for the Mac version in which the first two encounters all take place in Castle Wolfenstein (rather B.J. travelling around Germany/East Prussia) for its version of events. Other than that its actually very light on story (it doesn't contain any mission briefings or ending screens).
- Note: This account is taken from the intro/ending screens of First Encounter shareware version.
B.J. leaves a path of destruction in his wake as he attempts to escape Castle Wolfenstein. He successfully wastes the boss Hans Grosse during his first encounter with him., proving the Nazi rabble is no match for him and his Gatling gun.
B.J. had made his way through three levels of Castle Wolfenstein but had not yet escaped. He still needed to get out of the castle and get back home.
Ultimately he does make it back...
2nd Encounter/Original Encounter
- Note: The account is taken from the Jaguar version of the game.
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.
B.J. wasted the boss and proved that the Nazi rabble was no match for him and his Gatling gun. Or is it?
Following his success, Blazkowicz is sent to Castle Erlangen to stop the Nazi scientists that are building nerve gasses in direct violation of the Geneva convention. He was sent to the castle to seek out and eliminate the source. The Kommandant of the SS Guard there was Trans Grosse. He was ordered to kill the man, and destroy the nerve gas. Millions of soldiers counted on him (This was B.J.'s second encounter with Trans Grosse, the first time was during his mission to take the Spear of Destiny for the first time in Castle Nuremberg).
Following his raging success in his last mission defeating Trans's forces, operative Blazkowicz's he continued on further into the castle (the same castle?). His next task was hard to believe, much less accomplish. The madman, Doctor Schabbs was evidently using a so-called "Corposkinetic Animation Serum" to return dead Nazi soldiers to life. He was ordered to stop Schabb's evil experiments.
After rocking the Nazi war machine and defeating the forces of Dr. Schabbs. However, the Führer's insane plan continued forward unceasingly. B.J. is sent to East Prussia to the infamous Wolf's Lair, Hitler's War Room. There, the German General Staff kept all its plans.
Guarding the plans was the hideous masterpiece of Doctor Schabbs, the Übermutant. it existed only to protect the interests of the Nazi menace. B.J. was ordered to obtain the plans, for doing so the free world owed him a great debt (this was the second time B.J. had to fight one of the Ubermutants, the first one being at Castle Nuremberg).
The plans are discovered to detail the Nazis first attack stratagem, which is already underway at the time. B.J. is ordered to Castle Heidenheim to face the Nazi Leader down only known as the Death Knight. It was not an easy mission, and that was why they were sending Blazkowicz (this was another encounter with the knight since Castle Nuremberg).
After the blows the allies have dealt to his plans, Hitler wages desperate, brutal war upon the allies. He began attacking civilian targets, and had to be stopped. He had fallen back to his last stand, in the legendary Nazi keep known as Wolfenstein. B.J. was ordered to seek him out and stop his destruction. He was ordered to terminate Hitler, because millions of lives lay in the balance (while it seemed initially successful, Hitler was not truly killed and started his next operations to spread the Nazi across Europe).
Following the missions over the previous month, Roosevelt sends B.J. one last letter. Stating because of him, millions of human beings are alive who would otherwise be dead. Because of B.J. the most terrible war in history has been won, by us (this of course was a bit premature, as the Reich were not quite over with, and not long after he would be sent to stop Operation Eisenfaust). He said that the world owes him a debt that it would never be able to repay, that nations not yet born would laud the deeds he performed over the previous month. He thanked William J. Blazkowicz for his service, and stated he was indeed a hero for the ages.
- This account is taken from the original DOS version of the game (most of the Mac Family games that have adaptations of these levels do not actually have any in-game storyline details, but only what the manual describes for the character and his motives).
B.J. is again sent to stop Hitler's new plan, this time rumors of Operation Eisenfaust. Unfortunately, he is captured before he is able to infiltrate Castle Wolfenstein, and thrown into the castle's dungeon. After defeating Hans Grosse for the second time, he ran out of the castle and hooked up with the Underground. They informed him that the rumors were true: some hideous human experiments were seen around Castle Hollehammer. He confirmed that Operation Eisenfaust was real.
He was ordered to journey there and terminate the maniacal Dr. Schabbs before his undead armies marched against humanity. Following a long battle, B.J. stood over Schabbs fat, evil, swollen putrid body, glad his mission was finally over. All his journals and equipment would be destroyed. Hopefully, humanity would finally be safe from his hordes of hideous mutants.
Yet the Nazi atrocities continued: thousands march into death camps even as the Nazi war machine falls to its knees. There was only one way to stop this madness.
After defeating Dr. Schabbs, Hitler again was forced to flee. He had escaped to the Reichstag, and hid in his titanic Reich Bunker as the Third Reich crumbled about him. B.J. was ordered again confront him, and to assassinate Hitler, and end his mad reign. After a long battle, the absolute incarnation of evil, Adolf Hitler, lie at B.J.'s feet in a pool of his own blood. His wrinkled, crimson-splattered visage still strains, a jagged-toothed rictus trying to cry out. Insane even in 'death'. B.J's lips pinched in bitter victory, he kicked his head off his remains and spit on his corpse. "Sieg heil ... huh. Sieg hell."
Nocturnal Missions (Third Encounter part 2)
The maps were highly modified to support the different engines, and most likely adapted to a limited CPU. For example, the maps may not have extremely big rooms, but instead the area is divided into smaller rooms; walls and objects are very limited, and there is a much smaller number of "sub models" for walls and objects; the enemies always face the player (just like the bosses on PC). Special cases are for SNES censoring purposes, an example is lack of blue brick textures with swastikas (this was later returned with the Jaguar port, re-adding swastikas to the skull-wall texture).
- The walls, objects, items and bosses are a mixture of the original Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny. The overall amount is very limited compared to the PC.
- Compared to the 2nd Encounter, the 3rd Encounter returns the dead guard and Pac-Man Ghosts.
Serves as loose prologue to the game. It is an adaptation of the first 3 levels of full game. It represents B.J.'s first encounter with Hans Grosse during an earlier escape at Castle Wolfenstein.
The levels created for the SNES port are an adaption of the original levels; 30 of the 60 levels were selected and modified. The level pack is known as the Second Encounter (or Claw of Eisenfaust in Japan), these levels were re-used in the later ports.
Instead of different episodes, the player may progress in a unique gameplay where all bosses leave keys just like Spear of Destiny, except the last one which ends the game.
In the Jaguar port there are four different skills for different enemy packs, and in opposite to the original PC release they don't depend on lower-skill enemies.
- There is always one item, enemy or secret in the game. This will never show up an continuous "0%" in the intermission screen. WolfEdit Mac editor does display a error message if a map lacks either of such features.
- Dogs are always present with Mutants. This is due to the giant mutant rats of the SNES censoring, and are supposed to be Dr. Schabbs' creation.
- The bosses are, in order: Hans Grosse, Trans Grosse, Dr. Schabbs, Übermutant, Death Knight and Adolf Hitler (three bosses inherited from Spear of Destiny).
- The game is played in a single episode. Adolf Hitler is the only enemy whose death ends the game, all other enemies will drop a golden key upon death which opens an elevator door to the next floor (inherit from Spear of Destiny). Note that the Death Knight level was slightly changed when the 2nd Encounter was released alongside the 3rd Encounter to support the now-silver key dropped by the boss.
The Second Encounter may not support the storyline given by the games. While the player should be on an assault mission, they shouldn't start with just a Pistol.
The Macintosh introduced a level package with six episodes, correspondent to the 60 levels of the PC (know as the Third Encounter) alongside the Second Encounter. Although they are not a precise adaptation, with high modifications in the level format, as well as adapted to its own wall and items pack. Some proposital changes such as adding the new weapons and items, or in level structure as the secret pushwall maze in E2M8.
- The final level of each episode in the Third Encounter episodes bosses appear, respectively: Hans Grosse, Dr. Schabbs, Adolf Hitler (all as normal), Trans Grosse, the Death Knight and finally a Death Knight clone alongside a Trans Grosse clone. The Death Knight drops a silver key, instead of a gold key, to support the final level of Confrontation episode that contains two bosses.
- The levels on DOS were all re-created in a non-precise form.
Released in 1993, Wolfenstein 3D was ported to SNES, including different maps, and an original storyline ("The Claw of Eisenfaust" in Japan). It is infamous for Nintendo's censoring, but was the origin of the Mac Family. While this does not apply to graphics (walls are in 32x32 pixels resolution), it does include player-usable Flamethrowers and Rocket Launchers.
The walls may have only one formation of bricks and a smaller variation of signs, and a total reduced amount of base textures. The normal enemies lack a stand pose, and may be seen only in frontal form (just like the bosses).
- All Nazi references have been removed. Adolf Hitler's portrayal and portraits lack the mustache & swastika, he is called the Staatmeister (State Master in German).
- Religious references are also removed - Cross items are replaced with scepters.
- No German Shepherd guard dogs, instead there are grey rats, and related objects were changed accordingly, like for example, the dog food is replaced with cheese. Generally censors are infamous between fans due to a lack of logic. In fact this also can apply there, since killing rats doesn't override animal violence. While not confirmed, this can be the cause of the floor color change.
- No world-sprites for blood, pain is re-colored to look like sweat (skeletons were also removed). The only blood in the game is in the status bar with B.J.'s face.
- In a prototype of the SNES port, enemies did bleed (including the mutated rats).
- No German speech.
- All enemies say 'Stop!' or 'Halt!' in different pitches, while bosses (excluding the Ubermutant, who simply growls) say "Coming for ya!".
- The prototype has them only saying 'Hey!'.
- All enemies say 'Stop!' or 'Halt!' in different pitches, while bosses (excluding the Ubermutant, who simply growls) say "Coming for ya!".
- Adolf Hitler (Staatmeister)'s dying animation is a remake of the Officer's.
Technical differences from the SNES port to the PC
- The menu graphics are different. Plus, the game incorporates intermission screens displaying the storyline with graphics based on Spear of Destiny. The intermission screens are taken from artwork from the ending of SoD (Franklin D. Roosevelt).
- New graphics for the status bar. BJ's face gets, in compensation for a few frames, a head-face-to-side view when hit (inherit from Doom).
- The status bar displays the amount of items, instead of giving the player points for collecting them.
- The player gets an extra life for every 50, and 10000 points for every 100% in the end of the game. Mutants give 400 points instead of 700, and the Staatmeister doesn't give any points when his armor breaks.
- New weapon graphics. Although the pick-up sprites aren't changed, such as the Chaingun being grey while the sprite is still cyan.
- The floor is brown, instead of grey. The ceiling is still the same color in every level. It is not confirmed, but at some point you can assume that it is to support the gray rats.
- The walls are horizontally flipped when seen from another side.
- Various walls, objects and items have slightly different graphics. The green has a completely different palette; the low resolution (32x32 pixels) forced some redrawn in the walls; more detailed changes, for example the ammo box has a new graphic lacking the bullet belt.
- Unique sounds, different from the DOS release (not to be confused with the Mac/3DO sounds). Plus, the music is still the same, just played on the SPC700 sound chip with main CPU usage (prevents ripping to SPC format, however).
- The player cannot shift back to the Pistol or Machine Gun after acquiring a chaingun, they can only use the knife when out of ammo.
- Usage of ammo boxes which increase ammo by 25 (inherit from Spear of Destiny)
- There is no drinkable blood (presumably for censoring purposes).
- A bug where the player picks up a weapon (not ammo) even when they're already with total ammo capacity has been fixed.
- Added backpacks (inherit from Doom) which the first two times picked may increase the bullet ammo capacity by 100, no matter how many backpacks were picked add a ammo amount for every ammo type.
- In the SNES-to-Jaguar ports, a maximum of 2 can be collected. After that, they always supply ammo even if the capacity isn't increased.
- Unique weapons, the Flamethrower and Rocket Launcher with unique ammo types. The Flamethrower comes with 20 units and the Fuel Can refills 14. The Flamethrower fires two shots per time just like the Chaingun. A Rocket Launcher and Rocket Crates come with 5.
- Enemies don't have standing sprites and only have graphics for their frontside. All the enemies have reduced dying frames, four if counting the dead and pain frame. The Übermutant has only two firing frames (the third still exists, but is unused).
- The rat doesn't always die from one bullet. When hit it makes the same pain sound as all enemies do.
- Enemies have a limited number of sounds, all normal guards make the same ones.
- All the bosses have a different amount of hit points (inherit from Spear of Destiny).
- Syringes explode like missiles, instead of turning the player into a mutant.
- The Übermutant growls like a rat, instead of being silent.
- Boss levels and secret levels have par time.
- Secrets doors work in a different way. Instead of a moving block, they are merely a block that move in the same position located two table units off-set.
In 1994, the Wolfenstein 3D was ported to the Atari Jaguar. It contains the story from the SNES version, but without the censorship. The mutant rats are human mutants again.
It was unique for having graphics in a resolution much superior to the PC, and the graphics don't become as blocky or pixelated when the player came close to walls.
While the game has significant superior resolution, it keeps the lower amount of textures and sprites.
The game once again has the two new weapons with unique ammo, (also referred to as Missile Launcher or Bazooka). They works like Doom's Plasma Gun and Rocket Launcher respectively, except the launcher has no splash damage. The Mac Family's engine lets the projectiles pass through enemies even if they didn't kill, instead of exploding on them, which leave the player to kill a ranging amount of Guards in a line. Although the player may never see a rocket fired by the Death Knight pass through them.
It came with four different skills (Easy, Normal, Extra Carnage and Maximum Death), everyone with a different enemy set. Different from on DOS, which the enemies differ only in three sets (the first two skill use the same enemies) and only adds new enemies every skill advancing forward, the Jaguar completely changed the enemies every skill, and may even remove items and replace with enemies. This was removed in the later ports, which only made enemies either stronger or weaker.
Counter-part to the SNES port & return to the PC
- Uncensoring, returned swastikas on the blue brick w/ skull wall.
- Some new sounds were added.
- Unique face graphics for BJ based on the DOS art, with a different Degreelessness and added sprites of the player facing side-way when hit.
Differences to the SNES port
- New menu graphics. The storyline screen is re-used from the SNES port but uncensored!
- Different status bar, where only health, ammo and keys are displayed. Still, B.J.'s face appears and there is a icon of every ammo type (not the weapon).
- No scoring system, as the treasure counts as health.
- No life counter, either. Instead, the player's health can go up to 200 (inhe') and save during gameplay.
- New weapon graphics with a resolution around 128x128 pixels (the weapons look similar to Doom's weapons).
- The Flamethrower is also animated.
- Treasures increase health by 4 points up to 200. It is also possible to increase it to 400.
- The bullet ammo capacity is 350.
- The player starts with 25 bullets, except for Easy Mode where they start with 50 (although with 25 after death).
- Every clip increase the ammo by 10 (inherit from Doom?).
- Rocket Launchers/Rocket Crates contain 8 rockets.
- The backpack may increase the bullet ammo capacity by 100 and no matter how many backpacks were picked up, they add amounts for every ammo type. They contain 20 bullets, 2 units of Flamethrower fuel and 8 rockets.
- Most enemies and bosses have flipped sprites while walking, in order to increase the frames from 2 to 4. The enemies may end up aiming or dying in mirrored frames half the time.
- Four different skills, Easy, Normal, Extra Carnage and Maximum Death. Everyone with a unique enemy set, not belonging to the lower modes and sometimes replacing items.
The unique textures of the Mac Family were also used in Doom II secret levels Wolfenstein and Grosse. Despite the color difference due to palette difference (for example, the doors of metal normally identified by the cyan color are gray), the only relevant difference is the yellow circular swastika symbol, which is much better drawn in Doom II than in the Mac Family.
Later in 1994, the Macintosh port was released with a demo called the First Encounter that contained the first three levels of the Second Encounter. The user could order the Second Encounter through the documentation in the demo or buy a commercial version with the Second and Third Encounter. The low amount of levels in the demo version ended up as poor advertisement for the game. As well, the commercial version promised 90 levels (Second and Third Encounter), where truly 30 of those levels where adaptation of 30 of the another 60 package.
Differences to the original PC & SNES releases
- Reverted to a look more similar to on PC.
- Fully new soundtrack composed by Interplay's Brian Luzietti.
- There are icons for each skill and episode (with unique graphics for icons). The skill titles are the same as on PC.
- The status bar is turned back very alike to on PC, with the SNES B.J. face graphics and item count.
- The floor is gray again. Unfortunately, the shadows of objects are still brown.
- The life system is back and the limit of health is again 100%. One Ups now only give the player full health.
- The maximum ammo for bullets is once again 99 by default.
- The score system is the same of the SNES port.
- BJ has redrawn graphics for the scoring screen.
- Almost all enemies have two extra frames for running, missing from the Jaguar port.
- Variation in the number of enemies for each skill mode is gone.
Differences to the Jaguar port
- New screen graphics.
- Support for resolutions above VGA (320x200).
- SNES-based view graphics.
- Unique large number of quality sounds and, in contrast to on PC, the German speech is clear. (Though, the regular guards say the same things)
- The player starts with 16 bullets.
- Clips contain 5 bullets instead of 4.
- A Rocket Launcher, rocket box or backpack contains 5 rockets instead of 8 (the sprite for boxes of rockets still display nine).
- The graphics of the enemies were enhanced and increased, where the Jaguar port lack two of the walking frames, instead flipped the first two to acquire the other half.
- While the frame is known to exist, the third frame of the Übermutant firing is once again left unused.
- The par time was all re-created, not using the same as the Jaguar or PC releases.
The Mac port is famous for an incredibly big modding community, due to good and readily accessible map editors. Although it may not be active today, some very rare releases can still be found.
The 3DO port was released in 1995, which is also based on the Jaguar.
Differences to the Macintosh port
- Once again, new menu graphics. The intermission screen is the same of the SNES port with the background based on a Doom texture.
- The Chaingun barrels no longer spin when firing, nor does the Machine Gun move before doing so.
- The status bar has a different location for the keys.
- Unlike the Macintosh, the view-graphics are drawn onscreen in twice the scale.
- New soundtrack composed by Todd Dennis (and a remix of the Mac theme by Brian Luzietti)
- B.J.'s graphics for the scoring screen are back to the PC's.
- The story is removed, but game is split between Original Encounter and classic six episode campaign.
- From the Jaguar/SNES mission briefing screen
- First Encounter ending screen text