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Two secret agents are captured while they are investigating Nazi Germany's occult activities in Castle Wolfenstein. Agent One is subsequently tortured to death by his interrogator, but B.J. Blazkowicz manages to escape his cell by killing the guard.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein is a first-person shooter and a reboot of Wolfenstein 3D. The game puts the player in the combat boots of Blazkowicz, who will first have to escape the castle and report back to his superiors, and afterwards restart the hunt for the SS Paranormal Division. This division was founded by Heinrich Himmler and is trying to find the grave of Saxon warlord Heinrich I to bring him back to life. The player's arsenal includes among others a Luger, MP 40 submachine gun, Mauser rifle with sniper scope, flamethrower, dynamite and grenades.

The game also features a multiplayer component in which players are split into Axis and Allies sides with each a set of objectives to complete.


Return to Castle Wolfenstein Windows The coast looks clear, but something tells me I'll be shot at again soon.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Windows Arriving at the station - some Nazis are trying to stop me again...
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Windows The zombies can leave a lot uneaten sometimes.
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Windows These level designers really did a great job!

Promo Images

Return to Castle Wolfenstein Screenshot
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Screenshot
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Screenshot
Return to Castle Wolfenstein Screenshot


Alternate Titles

  • "重返德軍總部" -- Traditional Chinese spelling
  • "重返德军总部" -- Simplified Chinese spelling
  • "RTCW" -- Informal title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

An old dog - New tricks tantoedge (20) unrated
The REAL sequel to Wolfenstein 3-D Katakis | カタキス (42834) unrated
GREAT GAME!!! Kill Nazis, Monsters, more Nazis, Use big cool weapons and kill even more Nazis! Ryan Cassidy (2) unrated
An uber-cool (to borrow a German prefix) sequel to grandfather of first-person shooters. Chris Martin (1204) 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
While the single player game is good, multiplayer innovation makes it a classic! Entorphane (375) 3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars3.83 Stars
A real "Popcorn" game! Zovni (10627) 3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars3.17 Stars
Not QUITE a classic... but quite good. Dr.Bedlam (56) unrated
A legendary sequel to a legendary game. Medicine Man (374) 4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars
It's never been as fun to kill Nazis!! Archagon (113) unrated
A brilliant FPS that shows true attention to detail and mood-a rarity! Lucas Schippers (59) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars

Critic Reviews

GameSpot Nov 27, 2001 9.2 out of 10 92
PC Zone Benelux Jan, 2002 91 out of 100 91 Nov 26, 2001 87 out of 100 87 Nov 28, 2001 17 out of 20 85
ActionTrip Nov 26, 2001 85 out of 100 85
Frictionless Insight Feb 01, 2002 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
GamesFirst! Nov 27, 2001 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80 (UK) Dec 21, 2001 8 out of 10 80 Dec 28, 2001 7.6 out of 10 76
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Mar, 2002 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70


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1001 Video Games

Return to Castle Wolfenstein appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


Castle Wolfenstein is based on Castle Wewelsburg which Heinrich Himmler used for occult rituals and practices.

German index

On February 28, 2002, the English version of Return to Castle Wolfenstein was put on the infamous German index by the BPjS. The German version followed April 30, 2002.

For more information about what this means and to see a list of games sharing the same fate, take a look here: BPjS/BPjM indexed games.

In addition, the game is violating §86a of Germany's penal code (for using characteristics of unconstitutional organizations), therefore it is illegal to produce, distribute, import, export and use it in the public. But this does not mean it is illegal to just own the game.

German version

For the German release, the story was altered: You fight against the "Wolf-Sekte" (Cult of the Wolf), which is very dangerous to the freedom of the country because of their dark experiments.

That's it. Nothing else. No word of Himmler and his dark plans, no Nazis at all. It is clear that this "background" was made up for the only purpose of getting the game past the German feds - the word "Nazi" is a red sheet for them. They altered some of the names, too: Himmler is now called "Holler" and Oberst von Bülow has been renamed too. With this new storyline, the game makes absolutely no sense.

The funniest thing about this is the packaging which shows Doktor Zan (appearing at the very beginning of the game when he fries our comrade) - and on his jacket, you can clearly see the Nazi emblem (an eagle sitting on a circle in which is a swastika).

Even more changes to the German version, most of them regarding speech:
  • The "Horst-Wessel-Lied" (a Nazi song) was changed to a classical piece - the same is being played on a record player in the first outdoor mission. Seems they put it together in a hurry.
  • A picture of the "Führer" (Hitler) was changed to an odd-looking guy without beard but with the well-known army cap. Found in a more-or-less secret room in the village (accessible via the rooftops).
  • a speech of Hitler about the Reichstag (map: dam) was deleted and replaced by classical music
  • The speech "Wie geht's, Willie?" (How are you, Willie?) has been replaced by "Was ist passiert, Willie?" (What happened, Willie?), removing any sense from this talk.
  • A drunk soldier in the wine cellar under the cafe (map: village1) babbles: "Shut up you slowenian swine". In the German version, the word "slowenian" was removed.
  • In the labs, someone asks "What are your orders, Herr Oberführer?". This was changed to "What are your orders, pack leader?".
  • A voice of the generic German soldier was changed: In US, he said "Halt, Schweinehund!" (Stop, you pig!) - in Germany, he says "Halt, Verräter!" (Stop, traitor!), removing the profanity.


Some posters in the game, don't have a German description, but it is in Dutch!


  • Record players can be heard playing either Für Elise or Moonlight Sonata, both composed by Germany's own Ludwig Von Beethoven.
  • Bill Brown's score for this game was influenced by war movies made during the late 50's to the late 60's. Movies like The Bridge on the River Kwaii and The Dirty Dozen.


The developers included a unique set of motion captured animations for each character. Gray Matter also incorporated a skeletal animation system so they could articulate the models in a fluid and realistic way.

They also incorporated a brand new music system to change with the scene, much like LucasArts Imuse system.


Gray Matter Studios really did their research for this game. In-game, you find the following guns:
  • Luger, MP-40 and the Sten which use 9mm ammo.
  • Colt and Thompson that requires .45caliber.
  • Mauser and the FG42 that require 7.92mm.
These guns were manufactured and commonly used during WWII. Gray Matter even included a temperature gauge for the Sten, since the real life counterpart had a tendency to burn the hands if the user sustained fire for a period of time. A sizzling sound would trigger every time your hands would be burnt. The developers also took great efforts in modeling the guns and stock cartridges.

Some weapons in the game are fictional, but the M1S Snooper Rifle does really exist. It is based on the M3 Carbine and uses .30 caliber ammunition.


  • Computer Gaming World
    • April 2002 (Issue #213) – Best Weapon of the Year (Flamethrower)
  • GameStar (Germany)
    • Issue 03/2002 - Best Game in 2001 (Readers' Vote)
Information also contributed by Der.Archivar, Medicine Man; RobbertC, Scott Monster and Xoleras

Related Web Sites

Kartanym (12706) added Return to Castle Wolfenstein (Windows) on Nov 20, 2001
Other platforms contributed by Corn Popper (68946)
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