Arriving some 22 years after Wolfenstein 3D changed the face of FPSs forever, Bethesda and MachineGames' critically-acclaimed Wolfenstein: The New Order has ensured that the legacy of B.J. Blazkowicz lives on, entertaining a new generation of gamers.
Having taken a break from eliminating the Nazi threat and generally causing merry chaos, the chaps at MachineGames were able to reveal some little-known facts and trivia behind their latest title. From real-world locations to how they spent their first paycheck, here are ten things you almost definitely didn't know about Wolfenstein: The New Order.
You can actually visit Wolfenstein
But no, it isn't a castle used for dark deeds by the Nazis. It's an old natural rock formation in Bavaria, between Tirschenreuth and Hohenwald, which was used as a Germanic ritual sacrifice site. It was named after its shape which could be interpreted as resembling a pack of wolves.
The Vocal Talent
In order to ensure that the characters of Wolfenstein: The New Order were brought to life with strong performances, MachineGames scanned the globe for actors. One notable find was for Anya's grandmother, played by Polish actress Nina Polan. During her long career of stage, dance and film performances, she gained her biggest role in 1982, when she appeared in the Oscar-winning drama Sophie's Choice. Nina Polan passed away February 16 in New York, at the age of 87.
The heroic family tree of B.J. Blazkowicz
If it wasn't for B.J. Blazkowicz, there would have been no one to stop the demons from invading the Martian base in Doom. According to the Wolfenstein RPG iOS game, B.J. is actually the great-great-great-grandfather of Sergeant Stan Blazkowicz, the marine who stars in the Doom-series. Another relation to spin-out of this line of heroic heritage is B.J.'s grandson Billy Blaze from the Commander Keen game, also developed by id Software.
The Inspiration of Clint Eastwood
Aside from Wolfenstein 3D, the series owes a lot to the classic movie Where Eagles Dare. MachineGames drew a great deal of inspiration from the title, even recording a special animation set for the Nazi soldiers to mimic their battle stance from the movie. Also, the dual-wielding assault rifles are a nod to the movie's classic shoot-out scene with Clint Eastwood.
The Hellish Office Environment
During the start of development, MachineGames moved into a bigger office. The new space had to be renovated, so for almost a year the studio was a chaotic construction site. Outside the main entrance, a big hole was cut out with what seemed like the world's biggest circular saw where a new staircase would be built to connect the two floors of the office. It was nicknamed "The Hell Hole". Nobody fell into it, luckily.
The many, many words of Wolfenstein
During the pre-production for Wolfenstein: The New Order, walkthrough documents were written for each level of the game. These documents describe all necessary design and story information needed for the gameplay designers, artists, animators and programmers to start crafting the levels and turn them into something playable. The total word count for all of Wolfenstein's walkthroughs ended up at 187,000 words. The average novel is roughly 80,000 words long.
The Original Score
In order replicate an authentic 1960s music scene that would reflect the new history of The New Order game, eight original songs were recorded, while an additional three famous songs were reworked into German: John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom", The Animals' "The House of the Rising Sun" and Martha and the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run". However, the rerecorded were only able to feature in marketing material as the original artists stipulate that their work cannot be associated with any Nazi imagery. In order to promote the songs, Bethesda created the Neumond Recording Company, with fictional back stories for the bands and songs. You can hear them here.
"Mein leben!" Easter Egg
"Mein leben!" was a popular line from Wolfenstein 3D uttered by Nazi soldiers when meeting their end. Translated to English, it reads "My life!" The line makes an appearance in Wolfenstein: The New Order , but only if certain secret criteria are met, which the folks at MachineGames will never give away.
One of the key charms to Wolfenstein 3D was the abundance of trigger switches, revealing secret areas filled with an assortment of treasures and bonus pickups. Looking to build on this legacy, the designers at MachineGames made sure to include a number of these hidden areas when drafting out the level layouts in Wolfenstein: The New Order. Best get searching.
Defeating evil and consuming chicken
When MachineGames was newly formed, being avid fans of spicy chicken, the team (which consisted of four people at the time) decided to celebrate their first paycheck by flying to London for a day just to eat at a Nando's restaurant.