The Wolfenstein SS (also referred to as the SS Nazi in DeHackEd) is a monster representing a Nazi Schutzstaffel officer in blue uniform originally from Wolfenstein 3D, which makes an appearance in the secret levels of Doom II. The SS officer appears as a blond, blue-eyed, square-jawed man wearing coveralls and a sidecap, and carries a submachine gun. When wounded, the Wolfenstein SS sounds like the zombies when they take damage.
The SS Nazi inhabits only two maps released by id Software, Level 31: Wolfenstein and Level 32: Grosse, and is furthermore absent from the latter on the "I'm too young to die" and "Hey, not too rough" skill settings. The SS officer is not mentioned in the Doom II instruction manual, arguably because it is an easter egg.
The SS Nazi attacks by firing two bullets at a time, which are slightly less powerful than the player's bullet; unlike the zombieman and like the heavy weapon dude, however, it tends to fire repeatedly as long as its target is in sight. When killed, the Nazi drops a clip containing five bullets (or 10 on the "I'm too young to die" and "Nightmare!" skill settings).
The Wolfenstein 3D sprites include only frontal attack sequences because that engine does not allow multiplayer or monster infighting, so it does not need to depict other angles, and the id Software artists did not make new sprites for Doom II showing the missing angles. Therefore, the SS Nazi always appears to face the player when firing, no matter where its actual target is, which can be confusing because the Nazis are just as likely to engage in infighting and killing each other as the former humans are.
In Wolfenstein 3D itself the SS guard is a feared marksman whose high rate of fire, low pain chance, and unusually large hit point total force the player to know exactly where it is on each level and ration health pickups accordingly. In Doom II, on the other hand, the monster is only a somewhat weaker counterpart of the heavy weapon dude, that has more hit points and a greater rate of fire.
Although a single SS officer at close range can inflict significant damage (its rate of fire is about half that of a chaingun zombie's), its main distinguishing feature is now its 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 monster 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 his 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 fatal only about half the time (or a bit more often at point-blank range). However, a chainsaw can be reasonably useful against the monster, but only at corners or narrow rooms and dead ends, because of its hitscan attack.
Inspiration and development
Although the Doom engine considers SS Nazi to be the same height as the zombies and the player, it appears shorter on the screen because its sprites are unchanged in size from the originals from Wolfenstein 3D.
The monster's alert and death sounds are spoken in German; they are "Schutzstaffel" (literally, "protection squad") and "mein Leben" ("my life"), respectively. The Schutzstaffel (commonly known as SS) was a notorious paramilitary organization active during Hitler's tenure in Germany, responsible for a large part of the horrors committed by the regime.
- One of the aiming graphics of the Wolfenstein SS's sprite has magenta pixels between the legs, due to a palette conversion error. In Wolfenstein 3D, a very similar color, the last one in the palette, is not used in the game, and was thus likely reserved to represent pixels that are not drawn in the game, in graphic editing tools, so the artists must have missed the section between the legs when they changed the background of the graphics to suit the background color they used for Doom II (perhaps the last color of the Doom palette).
- 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. For the same reason, Wolfenstein 3D itself was not offered for sale in Germany at all.
|Shots needed to kill1,2||Mean|| Standard|
health, no armor)
health, security armor)
health, combat armor)
|Heavy weapon dude||8.80||1.74||5||15|
|Baron of hell||117.61||17.02||100||159|
- 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.
- The target must be close enough to compensate for the monster's inaccurate aim.
- Assumes that direct hits are possible, which does not occur in any stock map.
The IWADs contain the following numbers of Wolfenstein SS officers:
|Game||ITYTD and HNTR||HMP||UV and NM|
- Doom II FAQ/Walkthrough by Tim Brastow, at IGN.com