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Sssample

A SS Nazi prepares to fire in Level 31: Wolfenstein, in Doom II: Hell on Earth. If you look in between his legs, you will notice magenta pixels instead of the expected background.

Map31 ss nazi dudes

A squad of SS troopers engage Doomguy.

The Wolfenstein SS (also referred to as the SS Nazi in DeHackEd) is a Nazi Schutzstaffel trooper in blue uniform. Originally from Wolfenstein 3-D, the SS Nazis appear as an Easter Egg in the secret levels of Doom II, which are re-creations of levels from Wolfenstein 3-D. The SS trooper appears as a blonde, blue-eyed, square-jawed man wearing coveralls and a sidecap, and carries a submachine gun. When wounded, the Wolfenstein SS sounds like the former humans when they take damage.

The SS Nazi inhabits only two of the Doom II maps released by id Software, the Doom II levels MAP31 and MAP32. Furthermore, SS Nazi soldiers are absent from MAP32: Grosse before the "Hurt me plenty" skill setting. The SS officer is not mentioned in the Doom II instruction manual, presumably because his presence is an easter egg.

The Wolfenstein SS is also present in the Final Doom IWADs, but isn't used in any stock maps.

Combat characteristics

The SS Nazi attacks by firing two bullets at a time in rapid succession, which are slightly less powerful than the player's bullet; like the heavy weapon dude, he fires repeatedly as long as his target is in sight. On death, the Nazi drops a clip containing five bullets (or ten on the "I'm too young to die" and "Nightmare!" skill settings).

Wolfenstein 3-D did not feature multiplayer or monster infighting, hence, all their bad guys always faced the player when attacking. (Bosses were even more extreme; they always faced the player period, and so could not, for example, be attacked from behind.) Id Software's artists did not bother to make new attacking graphics for the other angles when they converted the SS Nazi's graphics to that of Doom. Therefore, the SS Nazis always appear to be facing and pointing their guns at the player when firing, no matter where their actual targets are, which can be confusing because the Nazis are just as likely to engage in infighting and killing each other as the former humans are.

An arch-vile can resurrect SS Nazis. This can only be seen in custom maps, as they don't appear together in any official levels.

The SS Nazi has about a third of the firing rate of the Chaingunner, but does so in two-round bursts, since unlike Doom's former humans, it has two aiming sprites (depicting the Nazi stopping and leveling his gun, instead of directly snapping to aiming).

Tactical analysis

In Wolfenstein 3-D, the SS Nazi was a feared marksman whose high rate of fire, accuracy, and large hit point total forced the player to take care when fighting them especially at close range. In Doom II, the SS Nazi is not as dangerous, becoming a somewhat weaker counterpart of the heavy weapon dude, with less hit points and a slower rate of fire. However, he's still harmful when attacking at close range (reflecting how standing closer to your bullet-shooting attacker hurts you more in Wolf 3-D).

Although a single SS Nazi at close range can inflict significant damage (his rate of fire is about a third of that of a heavy weapon dude), his main distinguishing feature is now his inaccurate aim, which sometimes allows a skilled player to clear a good part of a large room without even pulling the trigger, due to infighting, especially considering the way the enemy is grouped in the secret levels of Doom II.

If the chaingun is used against a group of SS Nazis on the "Hey, not too rough", "Hurt me plenty", or "Ultra-Violence" skill levels, the player should watch their character's bullet stock carefully, since one is usually expending at least five bullets for every five-bullet clip recovered. The plasma gun dispatches Nazis fairly rapidly, while a single shotgun blast is often fatal. However, a chainsaw can be reasonably useful against the enemy, but only at corners or narrow rooms and dead ends, because of its hitscan attack.

Inspiration and development

Although the Doom engine considers SS Nazis to be the same height as former humans and the player, they appear shorter on the screen because their sprites are unchanged in size from the originals from Wolfenstein 3D.

The enemy's alert and death sounds are spoken in German; they are "Schutzstaffel!" (Identifying himself as a member of the SS; literally, "protection squad") and "Mein Leben!" (a popular line from respective videogame; means "My life!"), respectively. When killed, a Wolfenstein SS simply falls on his back as his blood pours out from his chest and stains red his blue clothing.

The Schutzstaffel (abbreviated SS) was a notorious paramilitary organization active during Hitler's tenure in Germany, responsible for a large part of the war crimes committed by the regime.

Notes

  • The SS Nazi in both MAP31 and, on higher difficulty settings, MAP32 of Doom II utilizes the same alert and death sounds as in Wolfenstein 3D. Upon being alerted, the SS exclaims his rank in the German language, "Schutzstaffel!" and upon death exclaims "Mein leben!", which from German to English translates into, "My life!". These sounds, however, have a rather bad accent, and are not from the original DOS release, not even the later Mac Family ports.
  • One of the aiming graphics of the Wolfenstein SS's sprite (SSWVF0) has magenta pixels between the legs, due to a palette conversion error. In Wolfenstein 3-D, magenta (#FF00FF) is not used on any in-game objects and serves as a color code for transparency, so id's artists must have missed the section between the legs when they converted the image to the Doom picture format, which does not have a transparent color.
  • The SS Nazi does not appear in the German release of Doom II, due to the absence of the two secret levels. These levels were removed due to Germany's long-standing ban on Nazi symbolism, which extends to computer games and other entertainment media. German laws ban usage of Nazi symbols in all forms of media unless the usage is justified (for example, educational materials relating to the Nazis, and even these are very tightly controlled). Wolfenstein 3-D itself was never offered for sale in Germany at all due to these laws.
  • The SS Nazi uses what appears to be the Maschinenpistole 40 with a standard 32-round magazine. However, in Doom II it is fired semi-automatically, has infinite ammunition and drops only a 5-round pistol clip, acting identically to a Zombieman's rifle but fired rapidly.
  • The original SS Nazi from Wolfenstein 3-D was extremely accurate and able to cut the player down in a matter of seconds. The rate of fire for the Doom II version has been greatly decreased, rendering them less lethal than Doom II's own heavy weapon dudes. While this makes them less threatening by themselves, their main threat comes from their large numbers and phalanx-style positions.
  • The SS's low rate of fire was probably an unintentional design decision, related to the fact that their attack script and codepointers are borrowed from the Former Commando. Whereas the other humanoid enemies in Doom/Doom II (including the Commando) only have one frame of animation for "aiming" their weapon prior to attacking, the SS has two frames, like all other enemies from Wolfenstein 3-D; instead of simply playing both of the "aiming" frames once before the first attack loop sequence (as the Commando does), the second aiming frame was included at the start of every loop of the attack sequence, slowing the SS's rate of fire considerably.
  • Additionally, since the SS uses the same attack function codepointer as the Commando, his machinegun produces the attack sound used by the Shotgun, rather than producing the sound effect used by the Pistol/Chaingun or MP 40. This was probably not an intentional design for either enemy type.
  • The SS's original sprite set from Wolfenstein 3-D only includes animation frames for firing his weapon in the direction of the player, since Wolf 3-D did not feature monster infighting or multiplayer, and thus did not require artwork depicting the enemy firing in any direction other than directly at the player--and, no new frames were created for Doom II for this purpose. Therefore, when the SS engages in monster infighting, he always appears to be facing (and firing at) the player, no matter where his actual target is.
  • Like all other Doom II monsters with hitscan attacks, an SS officer will not hesitate to infight with other SS. This can be easily abused given their closely-packed formations.
  • Although the SS in Doom II did not receive any new frames of animation for his attack, he was given a gib animation like the former humans and imps.
  • In Wolfenstein 3-D, the SS originally had a standing-still frame for his idle state, like most other humanoid enemies. However, these frames were not carried over to Doom II, so when the SS is idle, he "walks in place" like most of the other Doom monsters.
  • In ZDoom-based source ports, if a player dies from an SS Nazi (monster is credited with delivering the blow that reduces their health to 0%), an obituary message is displayed at the top of the screen: "[player name] met a Nazi".
  • In Brutal Doom, SS troopers have undergone the most radical changes of all enemies: their old Wolfenstein blue-clad elite soldiers animations were changed into shotgunner-based customized sprites wearing black Nazi garbs and gray steel helmets, their voice samples (notably alert, pain and death states) are German sentences yelled in fanatical military screams (borrowed from Call of Duty 2) and their completely reworked AI combines incredible moderate strength, agility, unpredictable dodges and accurately deadly usage of their favored weapon - a powerful MP 40 submachine gun, which the player can pick up and use (weapon slot 8, or slot 0 from v0.18 onwards) after killing them. Interestingly enough, SS officers in Brutal Doom no longer fire continuously upon engaging targets, preferring instead to fire short bursts of bullets and move evasively a few steps in a random direction before firing again. Due to their human nature, as opposed to zombiemen, they are quickly-moving, deadly accurate, and strafe and evade your fire while shooting, instead of simply walking around and firing off bursts.

Data

Attributes
ID #84 (decimal), 54 (hex)
Hit points50
Speed8 map units per frame
(93.3 map units per second)
Width40
Height56
Reaction time8
Pain chance170 (66.41%)
Pain time6 tics
Mass100
Bits4194310
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite nameSSWV
Alert soundDSSSSIT
Action soundDSPOSACT
Pain soundDSPOPAIN
Death soundDSSSDTH (normal)
DSSLOP (gibs)
Ranged attack
TypeHitscan
Damage3-15
Sprite namePUFF (impact, miss)
BLUD (impact, hit)
Shots per minute175
SoundDSSHOTGN

none|300px|thumb|Damage done by a Wolfenstein SS's bullet

Shots needed to kill1,2 Mean Standard
deviation
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
12.292.16919
Player (100%
health, security armor)
17.862.791326
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
44.186.033759
Barrel2.930.8326
Zombieman2.930.8326
Shotgun guy3.911.0427
Wolfenstein SS6.371.39411
Imp7.431.53513
Heavy weapon dude8.801.74515
Lost soul12.292.16919
Commander Keen12.292.16919
Demon17.862.791326
Spectre17.862.791326
Romero's head329.784.392542
Revenant35.445.223050
Cacodemon47.416.884064
Pain elemental47.416.884064
Hell knight58.958.615082
Arachnotron58.958.615082
Mancubus70.5710.226096
Arch-vile82.5212.0170114
Baron of hell117.6117.02100159
Spiderdemon351.5751.06303473
Cyberdemon468.9168.19405631

  1. This table assumes that all calls to P_Random for damage, pain chance, blood splats, and bullet dispersal are consecutive. In real play, this is never the case: counterattacks and AI pathfinding must be handled, and of course the map may contain additional moving monsters and other randomized phenomena (such as flickering lights). Any resulting errors are probably toward the single-shot average, as they introduce noise into the correlation between the indices of "consecutive" calls.
  2. The target must be close enough to compensate for the monster's inaccurate aim.
  3. Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.

Appearance statistics

The IWADs contain the following numbers of Wolfenstein SS officers:

GameITYTD and HNTRHMPUV and NM
Doom II3274156

See also

Wolfenstein Wiki article on SS

Sources

Monsters from Doom and Doom II
Arachnotron | Arch-Vile | Baron of Hell | Cacodemon | Commander Keen | Cyberdemon | Demon | Heavy Weapon Dude | Hell Knight | Imp | Lost Soul | Mancubus | Pain Elemental | Revenant | Shotgun Guy | Spectre | Spider Mastermind | Zombieman | Wolfenstein SS | Final Boss

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