Wolfenstein through the ages

Nazis are bad guys that need no back story. They’re evil. They want to take over the world. Plus, they’re really, really racist. And out of all the good guys in the history of gaming, no one’s put more of these bad guys to bed than Wolfenstein’s main hero, BJ Blazkowicz. Under the watchful eyes of his iconic bloodstained mug, mecha-Hitler was scrapped, legions of SS guards were slain, and countless secret rooms (full of Nazi gold) were discovered.

But did you know that BJ and his always-arching eyebrows have seen some significant changes over the years? Behold the many mug shots of Blazkowicz’s famous face as we examine Wolfenstein’s pixelated 3D past and next-gen future.

As seen in Castle Wolfenstein and Beyond Castle Wolfenstein 

In the early 80s, banana clips and big hair were in, the Falkland Islands were invaded, DOS was still the operating system of choice, and BJ Blazkowicz was just a nameless stickman in search of secret Nazi war plans in the original Castle Wolfenstein. Unlike id Software’s 3D action shooter, Muse Software’s Castle Wolfenstein was all about stealth, challenging you to sneak your way past guards with quick movements and disguises while conserving your bullets and grenades.

Above: The unnamed protagonist - in the first Wolfenstein games - was more about sneaking and less about shooting 

After making off with the Nazi’s secret war plans, Wolfenstein’s protagonist received a new mission in the sequel, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein. This time, he was charged with planting a bomb to blow up Hitler in his bunker.

Above: In the box art for Beyond Castle Wolfenstein, the focus shifted away from the protagonist’s action army pose to emphasize the Fuehrer’s jowls and mini-mustache 

Above: The unnamed soldier didn’t change much between the first two Wolfenstein games 

As seen in Wolfenstein 3D and Spear of Destiny 

Besides looking amazing for its time, Wolfenstein 3D finally gave the series’ one-man army a name and an unforgettable face. Even though BJ Blazkowicz was a man of few words, he told you everything you needed to know with his many facial expressions.

You really suck.

You are the Allied force’s equivalent of a Star Trek redshirt and probably won’t survive this first episode.

You are pretty tough.

You like dying and/or using cheats.


I’m super. Thanks for asking.

Someone shot me with a luger and now I have a nosebleed. Does anyone have a napkin?

Face gushing blood. Very angry. Must eat dog food and drink blood.

I’m dead. Thanks for asking, jerk.

Above: BJ Blazkowicz added a lot of personality to the series 

Does Blazkowicz wear a shirt or not? It depends on whether you’re looking at in-game screens or box art.

Above: The art on the Wolfenstein boxes clearly show Blazkowicz sans shirt 

Above: However, the game screens suggest that Blazkowicz has been fighting in a prison uniform the whole time 




  • WolfensteinGR - March 13, 2009 1:27 a.m.

    @iluvmyDS You comments please my biceps. I'll talk to Chris about it. :) Tyler
  • iluvmyDS - March 12, 2009 10:19 p.m.

    I love a good retrospective. I now know a bit more about a game I sadly never played any of. Also, I hope I hear you on talkradar some day Tyler, perhaps to talk about Wolfensteen.
  • MarXmaN - March 11, 2009 9:09 a.m.

    In case you didn`t notice, but the box art of the very first Wolfenstein used the current German national colours for the fond. Historically inaccurate would have been black, red and white. Though the three bar scheme were dumped when de Reich arose.
  • CH3BURASHKA - March 11, 2009 5:06 a.m.

    I am so fucking tired. reCaptcha: Juillet 10
  • ssj4raditz - March 11, 2009 3:42 a.m.

    Wow, how good ol' BJ has changed! Wonder what he'll look like in the new game? Cannot wait! Great article, Tyler!
  • mrmak - March 11, 2009 1:43 a.m.

    The box art from Caste Wolfenstein need to be made into posters. I want one. "Wolfensteen, Wolfensteen, Wolfensteen!"
  • Amnesiac - March 11, 2009 12:11 a.m.

    Dude, I LOVED Commander Keen!
  • mirthor - March 10, 2009 11:59 p.m.

    i love me some jewish carnage towards the hitler! this is a great article. i love old shooters!
  • Cyberninja - March 10, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    its a great article and second
  • Bigpapa360 - March 10, 2009 9:33 p.m.

    Nice article, oh and first
  • DeadGirls - March 11, 2009 7:18 a.m.

    Ironically, BJ pretty well fits the Aryan ideal of perfection. He looks more like a Nazi than a US soldier of Polish(?) descent. I remember when RTCW came out, people were critical of it for having zombies and mutants. We couldn't get ENOUGH standard WW2 shooters back then. The multiplayer was awesome!
  • Thelovemachine09 - March 11, 2009 6:44 a.m.

    Man I LOVED Wolf3D! I played that game for hours on hours... Great game.
  • Hobojedi - March 11, 2009 1:48 a.m.

    Return to Castle Wolfenstein was a great game.
  • Ravenbom - March 11, 2009 1:34 a.m.

    Wow, now all I can think about is BJ confronting his grandson Billy in Darth Vader style, "Billy. I am your father...'s father"
  • TrIp13G - March 11, 2009 12:08 a.m.

    I really, REALLY need to hunt down a PC copy of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. I already have Wolf3D. Gotta love DOS, baby.
  • superspaz - March 10, 2009 11:26 p.m.

    Man, if I'd have been on two hours earlier I'dve been first. *Sigh*, third. Great article, can't wait for new Wolfenstein

Showing 1-16 of 16 comments

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