Wolfenstein SS

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Revision as of 14:07, 12 May 2010 by (talk) (Undo revision 63217 by Gez (talk))

An SS Nazi in Level 31: Wolfenstein, in Doom II. If you look in between its legs, you will notice magenta pixels instead of the expected background.
More SS officers, in action.

The Wolfenstein SS (also referred to as the SS Nazi in DeHackEd) is a Nazi Schutzstaffel officer in blue uniform originally from Wolfenstein 3D, who makes an appearance in the secret levels of Doom II, which are re-creations of levels from id Software's previous game, Wolfenstein 3D. 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, the Doom II levels MAP31 and MAP32, 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, presumably because his pressence is an easter egg.

Combat characteristics

The SS Nazi attacks by firing two bullets at a time, which are slightly less powerful than the player's bullet; like the heavy weapon dude, he fires 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).

Wolfenstein 3D does not feature multiplayer or monster infighting, hence all its bad guys only had front facing graphics for attacking. Id Software's artists did not make new attacking graphics for the other angles when they converted the SS Nazi's graphics to Doom II, 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.

An Arch-Vile can also resurrect corpses of SS Nazis, which would be featured only if Arch-Viles are present in levels that contain SS Nazis.

Tactical analysis

In Wolfenstein 3D itself the SS Nazi is a feared marksman whose high rate of fire, accuracy, and large hit point total force the player to take care when fighting them. In Doom II, on the other hand, his stats aren't as impressive turning him into a somewhat weaker counterpart of the heavy weapon dude, with less hit points and a slower rate of fire.

Although a single SS Nazi at close range can inflict significant damage (its rate of fire is about half that of a chaingun zombie's), his 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, SSWVF0, has magenta pixels between the legs, due to a palette conversion error. In Wolfenstein 3D, this magenta color is not used in the game and is reserved as a "null" color to represent transparent pixels 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 (color number 247 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.
  • The original SS Nazi from Wolfenstein used machine guns, able to reduce the player's health down in a matter of seconds. The rate of fire for the Doom II version has been greatly decreased.


ID # 84 (decimal), 54 (hex)
Hit points 50
Speed 8 map units per frame
(93.3 map units per second)
Width 40
Height 56
Reaction time 8
Pain chance 170 (66.41%)
Pain time 6 tics
Mass 100
Bits 4194310
Bits list

1: Obstacle

2: Shootable

22: Affects Kill %

Sprites & sounds
Sprite name SSWV
Alert sound DSSSSIT
Action sound DSPOSACT
Pain sound DSPOPAIN
Death sound DSSSDTH (normal)
DSSLOP (gibs)
Ranged attack
Type Hitscan
Damage 3-15
Sprite name PUFF (impact, miss)
BLUD (impact, hit)
Shots per minute 175
Damage done by a Wolfenstein SS's bullet
Shots needed to kill1,2 Mean Standard
Min Max
Player (100%
health, no armor)
12.29 2.16 9 19
Player (100%
health, security armor)
17.86 2.79 13 26
Player (200%
health, combat armor)
44.18 6.03 37 59
Barrel 2.93 0.83 2 6
Zombieman 2.93 0.83 2 6
Shotgun guy 3.91 1.04 2 7
Wolfenstein SS 6.37 1.39 4 11
Imp 7.43 1.53 5 13
Heavy weapon dude 8.80 1.74 5 15
Lost soul 12.29 2.16 9 19
Commander Keen 12.29 2.16 9 19
Demon 17.86 2.79 13 26
Spectre 17.86 2.79 13 26
Romero's head3 29.78 4.39 25 42
Revenant 35.44 5.22 30 50
Cacodemon 47.41 6.88 40 64
Pain elemental 47.41 6.88 40 64
Hell knight 58.95 8.61 50 82
Arachnotron 58.95 8.61 50 82
Mancubus 70.57 10.22 60 96
Arch-vile 82.52 12.01 70 114
Baron of hell 117.61 17.02 100 159
Spiderdemon 351.57 51.06 303 473
Cyberdemon 468.91 68.19 405 631

  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:

Doom II 32 74 156

Wolfenstein Wiki article on SS