Release: Dec 01, 2013 - Author: -Der-Tribun - Translator: Blake47
Wolfenstein 3D is virtually THE godfather of all 3D shooters on the PC. Even though the game principle already existed before, this game helped the genre to achieve its breakthrough and to become a mass phenomenon within the gaming industry. The degree of violence that ID Software included (pretty harmless nowadays) and the fact that it played during the Nazi-time in Germany led to some controversy.
This is why it is even more surprising that ID wanted to port the game for the SNES. Nintendo was trying very hard to keep up a 'family-friendly image' back in the 90's and made strict requirements. Apart from that, the SNES version of the game is technically a total catastrophe. The graphics are totally pixelated (very low resolution), the game itself is slow and has to deal with slowdowns and the sound is not comparable with the PC version's. All in all, SNES' Wolfenstein 3D port is a total mess.
The uncensored PC version is being compared with the censored SNES version.
In some levels of the PC version (especially in the beginning), the melody of the national socialist "Horst Wessel Song" can be heard as background music. This song was excluded in the SNES version. Furthermore, the soldiers speak English in the SNES version instead of German gibberish.
differences concerning the violence
ALL blood has been removed from the SNES version. This affects especially the bosses (not pictured).
When certain bosses were killed (episodes 2, 3, 4 and 6) one can witness ID's will to top the normal degree of violence. The screen blinds out and the info "Let's see THAT again!" is shown. Now the DeathCam starts which shows the death animation of the enemy in a detailed close-up (like an instant replay). This cynical element had no chance to appear on the SNES.
The following example shows Hitler's DeathCam (final enemy of episode 3):
the re-designing of enemies
rats instead of dogs
The dogs of the PC version were replaced by big rats in the SNES version. Due to this change, another element has been modified. In the PC version, you might be forced to eat dog food to keep your health up. The SNES version offers scruffy cheese instead. Why scruffy cheese? Because this was probably the only way to keep the 'disgust factor'.
Within the game, three final enemies were modified. In two cases (Otto Giftmacher and General Fettgesicht), they were replaced by two new ones (one Über-mutant and a dark soldier) which cannot be seen as a real censorship.
But censored is the final enemy Gretel Große, a woman with blonde pigtails and a red suit. In the SNES version, she became Trans Große, a brown-haired man in a dark green suit. This modification was probably made because Nintendo did not want to show violence against women. This change also destroys the 'Hansel and Gretel' joke (another boss is named Hans Große).
Before facing Hitler, the player has to fight a couple of Hitler-doubles that are dressed like Satanists and shoot fireballs. Due to Nintendo's policy (they did not seem to like the Satanist-Hitlers), this enemy has been banned from the SNES version.
removed pools of blood
Pools of blood only exist in the PC version. Therefore, it is also impossible to drink blood to regenerate if your health is under 10% (well, you're desperate enough, aren't you?).
Removed corpses and bones
Skeletons and piles of bones have been removed from the SNES version.
Everything that points to Nazi-Germany or World War II was obscured completely. Here is a list of the changes:
removed NS symbols
Every NS symbol has been altered or removed from the SNES version. Have a look at the following changes:
In the PC version, swastika flags were replaced by red ones.
The SNES version does show Hitler without his little beard so he could easily changed into the "Staatmeister" (the Hilter-sprite was altered as well) and he also lost his swastika armband.
The Iron Cross were changed into normal crosses.
Within the circles under the eagles, one cannot find a swastika any more. Instead, there's a light red, diffuse area.
The golden swastika ornaments with the oakleave wreath were replaced by the already existing eagle's banner.
The warning signs with the word "Achtung" (engl.: "beware") and a swastika on it are not readable any more.
story changes within the episodes
The order of the episodes has been changed. In the original, the episodes were not placed in its logical order which would be on the PC as follows: 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3. The SNES version hat a completely mixed up order (1, 4, 2, 5, 6, 3). This is not not of great importance, but the changes in the storyline of the episodes are. Only episode 2 was not changed at all story-wise.
In the PC version, the player has to escape the 'prison castle' Wolfenstein after stabbing a guard. This mission is important as one is the only guy that was informed about operation "Eisenfaust". The final enemy contains a fight with Hans Große. On the SNES, one is only in a mission to assassinate Hans.
World War II was not mentioned at all in the SNES version. It is only said that the Staatmeister is at war with the republic. Additionally, Hitler's bunker moved from the Reichstag to Castle Wolfenstein. It is also not described what was done with Hitler's corpse after his death. The game ends before that on the SNES.
On the PC version, the player is assigned to kill the initiator of the Nazi's poison war Otto Giftmacher. On the SNES, it is only said that the source and its production should be stopped. The term "convention" is also used to suggest that the United Nations already exist. This is all that was said about the whole chemical war topic, in contrast to the PC version.
The PC version wants the player to find the Nazi's plans regarding the chemical war, while the SNES version only informs one about 'normal' warfare plans. Story-wise, this is also where the 'Hansel and Gretel' joke is missing.
It is the player's mission to prevent the chemical war by killing General Fettgesicht and so stopping the launch of the rocket. On the SNES, one should only kill the leader of an army.