Ancient history: Catacomb 3D goes OpenGL

As rich as Doom's history is, we have to get back to lesser known times. No, not Wolfenstein 3D or Quake, but Catacomb 3D. The title, which would lead to a series of sequels, ascended from id Software's Hovertank 3D and, in 1991, offered the first semblance of what was going to the First Person Shooter as we know it today. Since 2018, developer Arno has been working on a port to modern systems. Instead of keeping things vanilla, this port targets accelerated systems. Entitled CatacombGL, the following features are available:

  • Runs native on Windows 7/8/10. 
  • Hardware accelerated 3D rendering via OpenGL, supporting widescreen resolutions, a customizable field of view and an uncapped frame rate. 
  • Classic look is also supported.
  • Player, projectile and monster movement with floating point precision.
  • Configurable mouse and keyboard controls.
  • Supports all four Catacomb 3D games as included in the Catacombs Pack from
  • Supports The Catacomb Abyss version 1.13 (shareware).

There are, however, some limitations aswell as of the latest version (0.41 as of writing):

  • No support for game controllers.
  • No backwards compatibility with saved games from the original DOS game.
  • No "demo" functionality (preview slideshow of Catacomb Armageddon and Apocalypse in shareware version).
  • No fade-in effect when entering a level.  

To use CatacombGL, you need to provide the original files. So take your nostalgia goggles and set off for a trip down memory lane to ancient history, now revitalized for the modern computing environments of today.


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