We love a good documentary here at Nintendo Life, and CREATORVC's upcoming film, First Person Shooter, looks like it will fill a big gap in our lives. Shooting for a Q4 2022 release, this 3+ hour documentary is all about the genre's rise. Ahead of its release later this year, CREATORVC has shared a six-minute snippet with IGN which looks at how id Software first decided to make its first FPS and one of the most pioneering and influential games of all time, Wolfenstein 3D.
Anyone who knows anything about Wolfenstein 3D knows that on its native DOS it's bloody and brutal, which wasn't exactly a perfect fit for Nintendo at the time. Still, because the game was such a hit, Japanese company Imagineer contacted id Software to make a Super Nintendo port of the game. And Nintendo was less than happy with the violent content of the shooter.
In the clip, legendary programmer Becky "Burger" Heineman recalls the difficulties of getting the game on the console due to Nintendo's infamous censorship rules. Remember, this was around the same time that games like Mortal Kombat had to have any trace of blood splattering removed or changed, so a game where you shoot Nazis was always going to need some tweaking.
Heineman knew that id Software would have to remove some of the Nazi symbols and imagery from the game in order to release it in Germany. However, there was a more unusual request from Nintendo that stuck out to the programmer. In the original release, there are German Shepherd dogs as enemies, and Nintendo was not happy with the idea of these pixelated animals being shot at:
... the most notable this was that we had German Shepherds in the original version of Wolfenstein 3D come ahead and bite you. The Nintendo censors were totally like, "You can't shoot dogs!", so we had to change them to rats.
Nintendo was known for being pretty strict with its games back in the day, removing all sorts of religious imagery, but this is one of the most unusual requests we've seen! Mutant rats might be a little bit scarier than ravenous dogs, mind you.
That wasn't the end of Nintendo's ratty requests, mind you. When preparing to wrap up work on the game, Nintendo got in touch again about some animal-related issues, and this time, it was all the rats' fault!
Then, when we were about ready to finish this game and ship it out to Nintendo, Nintendo came in and said, "Oh, when the rat bites you, they're bleeding" and we're like, "What do you mean 'bleeding'?"
"Look in their mouths; there's red!"
We said, "That's their tongue."
So, because the rats' tongues reminded Nintendo of blood, the developers had to remove them from the game. Heineman states that "The just censors made our lives miserable" with the number of revisions they kept suggesting, but eventually it all worked out, and Wolfenstein 3D eventually made it onto the SNES, to mixed reviews.
This is only just a little part of the whole film which, as we mentioned above, is due out in Q4 2022, but the entire clip (linked below) features some interesting insights into the making of Wolfenstein 3D, with clips from John Romero, John Carmack, and Randy Pitchford, among others. The full documentary will also feature interviews with other FPS industry legends such as Warren Spector (System Shock, Deus Ex), Karl Hilton (who worked on GoldenEye, Perfect Dark, and the TimeSplitters series) and more.
CREATORVC has recently just re-opened its campaign over on Indiegogo to allow fans who missed out last year to back it. You can get more information on the documentary and also check out the backer perks right here.
Let us know what you think of this upcoming documentary in the comments!
Almost reminds me of how the American release of Mega Man Legends took out kicking dogs, and instead you had to talk to the dog that was scaring Tron about gender equality to get it away. Though in this example, it's like the same except with guns.
For once, 90's Nintendo censorship was right.
You really can't shoot dogs
I have such fond memories of me and my dad both making levels in the map editor in Wolfenstein 3d and having each other play them.
I had no problems shooting the pixel dogs and I even had a puppy German Shepard named Zelda at the time. Not hard to tell the two apart even to my like 10 year old brain.
At least Nintendo saves the German shepards, our family use to have one ourselves and them are good hunting dogs. Kinda sad it fell ill and passed away ten years ago.
Blastoise uses Water Gun.
Adorable wittle Houndour dies.
cue whimsical victory music while receiving a cash bribe from the trainer so that you don’t brutally murder them too
What a difference 30 years makes. Now, Nintendo doesn’t care who or what you shoot (or grope) in games on their systems.
For a game about killing people in a highly exaggerated Nazi Germany, I feel like giant mutant rats fit the vibe a lot more than German Shepherds, even if they're more synonymous with Germany.
And of course any measure to protect precious doggos is good in my book. Have you seen German Shepherd puppies? THEY'RE SO CUTE.
"...so we had to change them to rats."
The good ol' days when censorship was actually a thing.
It was also said that, whoever Imagineer originally contracted to develop the port, flaked out, and id had to port the game themselves in like two weeks to make the ship time.
Wolfenstein guy in the thumbnail looks like a young Ron Perlman.
Green Beret says otherwise.
Nintendo didn't mind gassing Pokemon with noxious fumes in N64 Pokemon Snap though
@Shiryu Killing rats is fiiine... animals minding their own instead of trained attack dogs...
@Clyde_Radcliffe Pokemons are not real, German shepards are.
In Saboteur on the speccy you could kill the dogs, although you didn't get any points.
Mind you, you could also commit suicide...
(Think you can get a Switch port of it if anyone wants to play it..?)
Pokémon is just cutesy dogfighting
@Bobb Agreed. Nazis yes, dogs no.
You can kill dogs in the first few seconds of Contra III, wtf?
So Nintemdo being Nintendo.
I consider Wolfenstien 3D to be the game that turned me into a gamer. Walking up and down walls for hours pressing to space bar to find secrets prepared me for the 30 years of obnoxious grinding and obtuse puzzles I still crave toady.
I’ve played the SNES version a couple times over the years and it does feel a little off because of the censorship. It totally makes up for it though by having a really nice map system that I’ve never seen elsewhere and some additional weapons that mix up combat. Worth playing if you love original.
To all you rat haters in here: reminder that Hitler was a dog person and Nazis used German Shepherds as wardogs. And rats are adorable! And they can play Doom, unlike dumb canines.
Honestly, this is silly and I don't care a whole lot, but it needs to be said - rats are lovely animals that don't deserve to be shot any more than dogs do. I work with rats all the time, and they are sociable, funny and generally very easygoing creatures. They like people, and are by far the easiest rodents to work with.
@SmaggTheSmug High five!! 🐀
@Slowdive You could always force a widescreen resolution for it in DOSBox. Of course, the aspect ratio would then be way off...
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