Nazi Zombies has nothing on Wolfenstein
Many first-person shooters based on wars borrow elements from actual conflicts. Some good, bad, horrific, and in Wolfensteins case, downright bizarre. Here, things like Hitler commandeering a mech suit for battle, health-replenishing plates of chicken, and mechanized pups are the norm. But is it really so crazy?
You see, the Third Reich--and other major players in World War II--delved into some downright odd business. When the Nazis werent trying to figure out a plan for getting to the moon they were hard at work creating weaponry no one else had even thought up. And those are two of the tamer plans they had. Lets look at some ways Wolfensteins world may not be so farfetched.
Adolf Hitler's obsession with demons
In Wolfenstein: Hitler summons the overpowered, orb-throwing Devil Incarnate demon in one of the mission packs for Spear of Destiny. Why? To put you in your place after ruining his plans for world domination. The Third Reichs leader holds dominion over the demon, controlling it as though it was some sort of deranged Pokmon. The monstrous being is quite strong, able to bring down players at full health in just two hits.
In our world: Numerous reports link Hitler to Satanism, with historical notes proving that he did indeed read into the subject matter. Records also show that Pope Pius XII tried to turn into the ultimate Final Fantasy white mage and perform an exorcism on Hitler from afar. One can only assume he ran out of mana. Some historians also believe that Hitler may have used Dark Forces--or powers given to him from demons--in his bid for world domination.
The use of advanced technology
In Wolfenstein: Between robotic dogs (panzerhunds) in Wolfenstein: The New Order and a robot-toting chain guns and a missile launcher in Spear of Destinys mission packs, series hero B.J. Blazkowicz has had it rough when combating the forces of evil. Its hard to believe one man can take on such a force--especially when hes had to revert to a trusty boot to the face in some fights--but he too utilizes fanciful weaponry like the electricity-spewing Tesla gun.
In our world: During wartime, scientists are gathered to work on new technology rapidly, so its not hard to believe that Nazi Germany had its hands on all sorts of high-tech weaponry--including the two largest rail cannons ever constructed on the planet. Surely they were meant to be used as a deterrent during the eventual rise of Godzilla. The country also constructed the V3 Cannon, a devastating weapon able to propel a projectile over 50 miles.
Finding the Holy Lance (Spear of Destiny)
In Wolfenstein: The Nazis gain control of the Spear of Destiny twice. B.J., who works way too many hours fighting these guys, is sent in to recover the powerful artifact. If waltzing around enemy territory wasnt already the worst possible vacation idea ever, once he does finally acquire the spear, B.J. is transported to Hell to face off with the Angel of Death. The lesson learned: heed the Do Not Touch signs in museums or suffer unwanted consequences.
In our world: Hitler did get ahold of the Spear of Destiny. Maybe. He definitely had a crazy spear, and said crazy spear was said to have pierced the side of Jesus of Nazareth. But given that there are a bunch of these crazy spears floating around, all purporting to have pierced Jesus, Hitler's may have just been a regular old pointy stick. Legend has it that if someone were to get their hands on the real deal, theyd be in possession of an earth-shattering weapon more powerful than any crafted in the Monster Hunter series.
Heinrich Himmlers interest in the occult
In Wolfenstein: Himmler is in charge of the SS Paranormal Division in 2009s Wolfenstein. During that adventure, the occult-obsessed military commander discovers the Black Sun Dimension. Its there that the Nazis find a blackened sun capable of devastating power, and in turn want to use it in a new doomsday weapon to be delivered via Zeppelin. Its hard to tell whats worse: messing with a black sun in a parallel dimension, or riding on a Zeppelin.
In our world: The Black Sun is a symbol also known as the Sun Wheel. Though there is no mention of any parallel dimension, the symbol is etched into the floor of a ceremonial room at the castle of Wewelsburg, which formerly served as Himmlers religious center for the SS. No one knows exactly what kind of ceremonies were to be performed in the creepy tower, or if they concerned parallel dimensions. Maybe he was trying to build a mecha-Hitler?
Seeking out "superior people"
In Wolfenstein: Super soldiers exist in the series, possibly as a reference to the Nazi belief in a superior type of man, and also to deplete all of your available ammunition on the way to a swift defeat. The Black Sun Dimension in Wolfenstein, combined with the Thule Medallion (an item that grants mystical powers such as slowing time, otherwise known as bullet-time), are used by the Nazis to gain a power they believe is their divine right.
In our world: Its known that Nazi scientists would often go on expeditions into other countries, but its never been terribly clear what some of the goals were for such excursions. They may have been searching for proof of Aryan and Germanic superiority, with Himmler creating the Ahneenerbe, a difficult-to-pronounce scientific institute meant to research just that. However, like Leisure Suit Larry, the scientists came up short in finding what they were looking for.
Commanding an army of undead
In Wolfenstein: Heinrich, an ancient German prince who once ruled most of Europe with an army of undead, is deemed to be a solid Axis recruit. Himmler and company find a way to utilize science and black magic--the worst kind of magic--to bring Heinrich to life and onto the Nazi team. Cue the seemingly endless waves of zombies players must shoot through in order to prevent Europe from becoming a buffet.
In our world: Zombie dogs. A video from 1940 shows--though with little scientific explanation--how Soviet Union scientists experimented with bringing dogs back from the dead. The film, Experiments in the Revival of Organisms, is a controversial one, and anyone whos played through the first Resident Evil knows just how shriek-worthy a zombie dog is. There was no use of black magic, and perhaps the dogs werent technically zombies, or at least the shambling sort of ones, but its all still terrifying.
To the moon
In Wolfenstein: New World Order is the first Wolfenstein game giving us a correlation between Nazis and the big white ball of rock we see in the sky before bed time. From what can be surmised from one of the game's trailers, the Third Reich is outdoing Britain's former empire by colonizing not only the entire world, but the moon as well, possibly by using the ancient technology prevalent in the new game.
In our world: One name: Wernher von Braun. Also known as "The Father of Rocket Science," Braun was turning his dreams of space travel into reality. If the Nazis hadn't fallen, it's possible that in an alternate timeline like New World Order's that man would have landed on the moon well before the US touched down in 1969. The regime had a space agenda and vast resources for scientists. Mars would have been the next destination, and was something Braun wrote about extensively.
Setting up shop in castles
In Wolfenstein: Castles seem basic enough, but in the world of Wolfenstein, things are hardly normal. In fact, the structure of choice for kings is represented as a hellish labyrinth filled to the brim with secret rooms. If you get up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom in a Wolfenstein castle, it's likely you'd get lost and end up living out your days in a random room filled with treasure, Nazi dcor, and plates of chicken.
In our world: Remember the Wewelsburg castle mentioned before? It was going to be the center of the new world if the Nazis won the war, and the renovated rooms are also archaically designed. Similar to the Gardens found in Final Fantasy 7I, the Vogelsang National Socialist Castle constructed on Hitler's orders was going to be used for one thing: training. Both castles were accentuated with Nazi symbols and statues, and would have been used for nefarious reasons.
While the Call of Duty series may give a more grounded look at World War II, Wolfenstein takes some historical information and runs with it--no matter how outrageous. Let us know in the comments if youve noticed anything that seems fantastical in the series that is eerily similar to events or happenings in World War II!
And for more check out everything we know thus far about Wolfenstein: The New Order. Or, did you know that Wolfenstein is more than just about shooting Nazi robots? It's true!