Friday, January 14, 2011

Feature: Mods that never were - Part 1

Over the years there have been a lot of very promising mods announced that have unfortunately never seen the light of day. I thought it might be interesting to go back over some of the more popular ones that I, and plenty of others were eagerly looking forward to.


Kreml 3d is a project that has been in the works for a very long time but to this day has never been released. The mod was original in the fact that it was a Russian based mod where the majority or releases prior to Kreml's announcement had been slight variations of the original Wolfenstein theme. So popular was this that in a number of 'Most anticipated releases' polls at the DieHard Wolfers Forum, Kreml won each hands down. The project was first mentioned in late 2002 and over the next couple of years was worked on by a number of people including Zach Higgins, Martin, Dugtrio, WSJ, ChiefRebelAngel & Adam Biser.

There was a fairly impressive list of features that were to be added to the mod that included a flamethrower and textured floors and ceilings. Things looked like they were nearly done when Martin started a thread at the DieHard Wolfers forum on 23/09/2003, and stated that the mod's release was imminent, unfortunately 2003 came and went without the mod being released. Martin then announced on 14/01/2004 that Kreml would be further delayed due to a corrupt GAMEMAPS file. Some further posts relating to the release were made throughout 2004 but to this day nothing has still been released.

The main creators of the game, Zach Higgins and Martin are no longer regular visitors to the DHW forum and no further mention of the mod being worked on in any capacity has been made of the mod since.


A Wolfenstein mod of the id/Raven Software game Heretic was announced and being developed by Wes Desjardins and was first mentioned in mid 2003. Wes had announced and canceled numerous other mods (at least 10) prior to this but with Heretic screenshots appeared along with a detailed list of features to be included. The fact that Wes had also released 14 other mods over a 2 year period give this a great look of promise for a release. The screenshots for his Heretic mod showed this to be a fairly faithful Wolfenstein reproduction of Heretic using most of the Heretic's walls, sprites and weapons.

The last report of the mod still being worked on was on 23/08/2003 where Wes mentioned that 20/30 levels had been completed and that all graphic work had also finished. It seems such a shame for a mod that was so far into development to not see a release.

Wes' last release was his Predator mod in late June 2003. Wes left the community in mid 2004 after a dispute with another Wolfer over the amount of scheduled then canceled projects he had been announcing (He did return very briefly in July 2005 but left again shortly after). Wes strangely asked for (only) some of his projects to be removed from download before leaving but not all of them and to this day his Heretic mod looks to have been long abandoned.


Cleopatra was announced by TexZk mid 2003 as the follow up mod to has fantastic release 'TexZK's Story'. There was very little released about the mod but it's originality at the time really made this one that many were looking forward to playing. There was an impressive number of special coding features that were mentioned to be in the mod such Seamless level flow, Light shading effects, textured floors, bows that actually fired arrows as a missile weapon and enemies such as Mummies and Romans as you searched through pyramids!

Unfortunately all talk of this disappeared as quickly as it arrived and with 02/08/03 being it's last mention, this one appears to be very long dead. Tex does still pop his head into DHW from time to time but I get the impression even he's forgotten about this one now!


Luke Strauman, who had released plenty of other mods like Operation Buzz Bomb, Himmler's SS & Project Esiam, made quite a few posts regarding a project called Arctic Wolf that he had been working on throughout 2003. Most of Luke's projects had made it to release so hopes were high that this mod would also.

Work progressed for quite a long time which saw Luke develop a website for the mod that included an impressive list of features to be in the mod including 6 weapons, scuba gear, textured floors and ceilings, armor and the use of snow and rain. On 22/04/2004 Luke announced that all the coding had been completed and that the mapping was still being done.

The mod was still alive well into 2004 as on 22/06/2004 Luke released an extremely detailed manual for Arctic Wolf that can still be downloaded HERE. This showed all of the enemies, Treasure items, Bosses, Weapons & Health involved in the mod. The release of the manual showed just how far along Luke was with the mod as all artwork looked to have been completed.

Unfortunately as 2004 ended so did any further mention of Operation: Arctic Wolf. Luke's time around the community dropped off after this. Luke released no other mods before moving on from any involvement in the Community and hasn't been seen in Wolfenstein circles since 2008.

Look for Part 2 coming soon!

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