Great moments in PC gaming: Fighting mecha Hitler in Wolfenstein 3D

Great moments in PC gaming are bite-sized celebrations of some of our favorite gaming memories.

Wolfenstein 3D

Developer: id
Year: 1992

There were a lot of shareware games that didn't get played beyond the first, free episode in my neck of the woods. One that absolutely did was Wolfenstein 3D because word got out that at the end of the third episode you got to kill Hitler himself.

But first you we had to get to him. The final level contains new enemies who look like Hitler in a robe, shoot fireballs, and mock you with an echoing laugh after they die. These angry Hitler wizards are apparently just puppets with flamethrowers according to the internet, but I like the thought of the Führer keeping a bunch of magic clones in bathrobes around because it's no crazier than what happens next.

In the final room you confront Adolf Hitler, strapped into his own mechsuit, with chainguns for hands. The evolution of this design is something to see.

See more

After you fill mecha Hitler with bullets he steps out of his armor and continues chasing you around the room with chainguns. That pixel Nazi face you've seen on hundreds of paintings all over Castle Wolfenstein is now staring at you from an oddly squat but hench body, zipping around at ludicrous speed. When he finally falls his body erupts into gore, which is exactly the reward for finishing a videogame teenagers in the 1990s wanted.

And then, the final Congratulations! text, exactly as overwritten and bizarre as you'd hope:

"The absolute incarnation of evil, Adolf Hitler, lies at your 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. Your lips pinched in bitter victory, you kick his head off his remains and spit on his corpse. Sieg heil. . . . huh. Sieg hell."

Says it all, really.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.