It has been passed many years since the last time I played to Wolfenstein 3D. Is there a visual trick to detect secret area or should I try to press open on all walls?

  • 9
    Just a note that this game is available for free now, online
    – bobobobo
    May 10, 2012 at 20:17
  • 2
    The free download is region-blocked though.
    – Kissaki
    Jul 14, 2012 at 20:13
  • I've been enjoying this game recently. Great music for it's time, and enjoying Adrian Carmack's artwork.
    – invert
    Sep 1, 2012 at 21:36

4 Answers 4


Well there are secret rooms and secret levels...

Secret Rooms

Although there are no strict guidelines to where a secret room might be, there are subtle hints that might help you find them. It helps to map out the level since the layout of the levels are accurate (no magical warped spaces), gaps between areas could hint at secret rooms.

As for secret room markers, first try the obvious places on the walls (e.g. Hitler paintings, Nazi banners, and other wall decorations).

Some secret panels seem to be in the corners of a room, while others can be found in the middle(point) of a wall (usually in a room).

@                       W
W                       W
W                       ]
W                       W
@                       W

Also, be on the look out objects placed against walls between sets of twos (such as plants or barrels).

Wo                      W
@                       W
Wo                      ]
W                       W
W               o o     W

Some secret panels can also be found by walking in a straight line from (either side) a object (such as an overhead light), or in narrow alcoves.

[email protected]
[      O <-- Light
[email protected]

Take note that certain secret rooms have secret rooms within themselves(!!) and sometimes the movable panels of secret rooms can block off access to other secret rooms (this why you sometimes don't a get 100% secrets even though you've searched every nook and cranny).

Secret Levels

In every Episode, there is a secret (10th) level you can access by taking a secret elevator. There are pretty hard to find if you don't have a map to help you. It is usually accessible though a series of secret doors/panels within the secret rooms and usually located in the last room of that level (the room with the regular elevator).

Here is a list of what levels the secrets levels are on by Episode.

Episode 1: level 1
Episode 2: level 1
Episode 3: level 7 (This is the secret Pac-Man level! Crazy Nazis!)
Episode 4: level 3
Episode 5: level 5
Episode 6: level 3

Here is a list of all the secrets in the PC version.

Also everything you would typically want to know about Wolfenstein 3D.

  • 1
    "sometimes the movable panels of secret rooms can block off access to other secret rooms" ouch that's tough. Does it mean that sometimes I need to activate hidden area in the right order?
    – Drake
    May 11, 2012 at 13:54
  • 2
    Yes, if you want get 100% secrets.
    – Krazer
    May 11, 2012 at 15:38

No, there isn't.

I spent hours in 1992 staring at walls and listening to BJ going "uff ... uff ... uff" as a tapped the 'open' key. Now you can, too!

  • So, to clarify your answer - there is no visual trick? May 11, 2012 at 7:00
  • 1
    Nope, the easiest way is to strafe every wall mashing space in the vein hope that something will click.
    – Neon1024
    May 11, 2012 at 8:14
  • Since posting above I've played through the three Spear Of Destiny missions, and there may be a case for saying that if you are seeing rats on the floor there could be a secret wall around close by.
    – Alan B
    Jun 12, 2012 at 7:52

There is no visual trick to detect secret doors. The only way to find them is to try and "open" the wall as if it was a door. Sometimes the secret door is in some place which is stands out a bit (e.g. a wall painting, an alcove, the center of a wall etc.) but many times there's simply no indication at all.

The best way to find a secret door is to run diagonally into the wall - so that you stay touching the wall but constantly moving - and click the open key repeatedly.

However, keep in mind that:

  • The granularity of doors in Wolfenstein 3D is one "block". A secret door will never occupy less than that.
  • Secret doors always move two blocks backward (relative to the block's activated side) when activated. If, according to the map, it's impossible for the block to move two blocks backward, then there can be no secret door there.
  • Secret doors may, and do, appear inside areas which were originally accessed via a secret door themselves.

Usually they will not be unmarked along a flat wall, but they could be in a alcove (marked or unmarked) or be represented by a painting (or if I remeber right, maybe a suit of armor) on a flat wall.

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