Triple333, or 333-333-333, is a Wolfenstein 3D-like first person shooter I’ve made, heavily inspired by -among others- the Wyoming Incident, a fake television hijack, the Max Headroom WTTW TV pirate, who was for real, Russian “Wyoming incident parody” БЕЗНОГNМ and the scary ВИD mask, which itself was a logo of a Russian private TV company.
What makes this game a little unique and challenging, is the internal randomizer system. Every time you start playing, wall textures change, enemies, their faces and their spawns change, ambient music shuffles randomly, how many ammunition you receive while picking it up is randomized too, and so on. In other words, where there was an enemy once, might be a bonus or ammo pickup the next time. Or nothing at all!
The gameplay is quite simple – more on controls in the Instructions in the main menu, be sure to check it. Armed with a redneck double-barelled shotgun, you move around with cursor keys, shoot with Control key and open doors/reveal secret areas with spacebar, just like in Wolfenstein 3D. Speaking about shooting – if you have the shotgun equipped, you’ll also need to reload since the game won’t do it automatically for you.
And be sure to explore for secret areas, otherwise you are going to have a very bad time if you don’t!
Earn score by shooting down those “pretty things”, as Wyoming Incident calls them, and by collecting bonus points. These are normally found in secret locations but can also spawn in place where an enemy was shot. Items picked up don’t respawn, but enemies can, and after a randomized time; either into another enemies, or into ammo/treasure pickups. Some of them heads might not respawn at all.
If you find the game too difficult to play, check out the Options dialog in the launcher; you can ease some of the game’s factors in exchange for a score handicap (like sprinting, strafing, crosshair enabling and so on). It’s quite self explanatory.
There are just 3 levels, but thanks to the randomizer described above, it’s surely challenging every time you go. (That explains why there are no load/save options, it’d get too easy to beat!)
Be extremely careful not to fall in some of the traps I’ve prepared – watch your step so you won’t fall into them voids. And remember – unless you have found a second gun in this game, shotgun buckshot scatters over distance. So if you want to snipe those heads from far, you’d be better off with Slug ammunition in the Options menu. Also weapons have recoil and are able to jerk you backwards a little, so count with that too!
About that second gun… Well I’m not going to spoil it for you here (if you want, watch the walkthrough video below), but I can say it’s hidden in one of them secret locations, and beating level 2 or 3 with the redneck double barrel shotty is almost impossible.
There are no special system requirements – just turn the lights off, get yourself headphones on and play full screen. Face them like a real man!
Helpful Hints (partly spoilers):
— Enemies move almost at a constant speed like you, so outrunning them with Shift key (if enabled in the Options menu) gives you an unfair advantage and is score-handicapped because of that. You don’t have to do this… remember, the Down cursor key is your friend, don’t charge them head front!
In latest revisions however, the AI speed of moving had been randomized!
— Revision 4 introduced the Nightmare mode, accessible from the Options menu.
In this mode, the difficulty is raised exponentially. Those pretty things are now a bit smarter in their behavior, as they have already seen what hides in your mind, and for that reason, having nothing to lose, they will sneak and chase you through the whole level and each of them will reanimate at least twice after being killed. Now run like hell!
As a reward, you get the second gun in this game, already with ammunition, as a starting weapon (it’s a Czechoslovak vz. 58, or a Model 58 as it ought to be correctly translated to English), plus big score increases.
— Those pretty things have a hard time running around sharp corners. After surprising you from a corner attack, they tend to stand at it (or follow you through the door – they are able to open doors!), so use this to your advantage and snipe them at it; don’t make yourself ambushed by running around in open areas.
Since revision 4, the pretty things can retreat when faced in narrow corridors, whilst only getting ready to bump into you, from the nearest door hallway, in which they might take cover.
— Medkits are usually found at secret areas, but think twice before grabbing them – there’s a 25% chance you get teleported back to the start after picking them up. How rude of me, eh?… 🙂
P.S.: This doesn’t apply for level 3.
— If you kill them heads directly in the trajectory of an open door, they are not going to respawn. If you find the game too difficult, use this hint to your advantage.
— In case it smells like an ambush and there’s just one shotgun shell in the chamber, fire it into a wall and reload; this gives you 2 available shots to fire, instead of just one. Enemies in-game are not attracted to sound.
— Objects picked up don’t respawn but enemies do, as mentioned above. So, don’t hang around for too long, or else you can run out of bullets, not every enemy respawns into ammo pickups!
Trivia and fun facts:
— The whole “Wyoming Incident” thing was part of an “alternate reality game” conducted once on Somethingawful forums. It was a creepypasta regarding (fictional) hijacking of a television station in Wyoming, along with stories that those videos contained infrasonic frequencies which caused hallucinations etc. One thing for sure – that music played backwards was the key factor in making it all creepy.
After the ARG ended, those videos were taken down from the net. What’s on YouTube nowadays are all re-uploads or other fan made spin-offs, which tend to be more spooky. Even some Russians got interested and made their own fake TV hijack videos, that’s why I have put one of their best known, the BEZNOGIM (rus: legless) rabbit sprites, in-game. Just do a YouTube search on “kaliningrad incident”, “zapis signala”, or similar, in Cyrillic, and you won’t sleep for a week guaranteed.
— All the faces from the Wyoming Incident (original upload) which are used in-game, are actually computer generated heads from “FaceGen Modeler”.
Despite being just 3D models, one of them really looks like John Locke from the LOST series, this is jokingly referenced to in the game’s Instructions menu option. (This is no longer true, revision 4 revised the launcher, along with the Instructions dialog.)
— During the early stages of development, an eyeless Justin Bieber was planned as one of the enemies. But since he had absolutely nothing to do with real or fake television hijacking, his sprite had been replaced with a slightly modified face off the original Wyoming incident. Yes, the one without its eyes…
— Despite being a single distributable executable, Delphi 7 was used for the “launcher” and Gamemaker 8 for the actual game. Hope you’ll excuse me, folks – really did not want to bother coding myself a Wolfenstein-like “2.5D” engine from scratch (Direct3D is still used though). That’s the reason why it does not run properly under Wine at the moment. However, as soon the ENIGMA project sorts out its bugs and whatnot, be sure to expect some cross-platformity.
With Nightmare mode on, things can get really sluggish, in such a case I recommend switching to 640×480 using the Options, for old computers.
— The floating Max Headroom mask, also used by the real 1987 WTTW American television hijacker, is the only colorized enemy in the game – all the others are in grayscale.
(made with first release – revision 0)
All options default – crosshair off, sprinting off, “Pellets” ammunition, etc.
Just for those really desperate…
Don’t ruin yourself the fun – I’m sure you can do it without this guide!