Wolfenstein 3D Can Now Run on a 1979 Intel 8088 Chip.


What just happened? Someone has created a version of the classic first-person shooter Wolfenstein 3D, capable of running on an Intel 8088 chip, which is almost 45 years old. The mod reproduces the source code version in Color Graphics Adapter (CGA) modes that are compatible with a number of older hardware.

Game developer and tech enthusiast James Howard has put the finishing touches to the Wolfenstein 3D demo, and now you can download it on GitHub.

Supported video modes include four-color RGB with a red or magenta palette, CGA composite mode for cards that support NTSC color output, experimental 16-color Tandy 160 x 200 mode, monochrome mode with inverted colors and a 640 x 200 parameter for machines. with large-format screens such as Palmtops.

Howard even supported the benchmark. Just run “timedemo” from the command line so that the game passes the demo as quickly as possible, and report the average frame rate. Think of it as a neat way to compare old hardware.

The Intel 8088 has become a “good enough” cheaper option compared to the 8086 processor released a couple of years ago. In 8088, the 8086 external bus has been halved from 16-bit to 8-bit for those with a limited budget and for customers seeking to extend the service life of their 8080 and 8085-based systems and related software. Its place in history was finally cemented when IBM chose it for use in the original IBM PC.

Meanwhile, Wolfenstein 3D was released in 1992. This is the third game in the series, inspired by the original Castle Wolfenstein game from Muse Software. Wolfenstein 3D was id Software’s second major release after the Commander Keen series.

Fun fact: The team that later created id Software started by creating a conceptual version of the first world of Super Mario Bros. 3 for PC. The demo was donated to the Strong Museum of Play in 2021.


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