Dune 2000

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Dune 2000
Dune 2000 Boxart.jpg
Developer(s) Intelligent Games
Westwood Studios
Publisher(s) Virgin Interactive (1998)
Electronic Arts (1999-present)
Platform(s) Windows, PlayStation
Release date(s) Windows
  • NA August 31, 1998
  • EU 1998
PlayStation
  • NA October 31, 1999
  • EU November 16, 1999
Genre(s) Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Single Player, multiplayer
Distribution CD-ROM

Dune 2000 is a real-time strategy video game, programmed by Intelligent Games and released by Westwood Studios in 1998 for Microsoft Windows.[1] It was later ported to the PlayStation in 1999.[2] It is a partial remake of Dune II, which is loosely based on Frank Herbert's Dune universe.[3] The story of the game is similar to Dune II, and is continued in Emperor: Battle for Dune. The game uses a similar game engine to Westwood's Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Although Dune 2000 was originally intended to be a remake of Dune II, the plotline differs completely and makes a reference to the execution of Mentat Amon of House Ordos and the replacement of the Harkonnen Mentat from Dune II, Radnor, by Hayt De Vries. The story is told with full motion video starring actors such as John Rhys-Davies.

Storyline[edit]

Emperor Corrino has issued a challenge that the House which can produce the most spice will control its source, the desert planet Dune, with no rules as to how the Houses can achieve the goal. Meanwhile, Lady Elara of the Bene Gesserit and bound concubine to the Emperor, secretly takes the commander - the player - into one of the Heighliners, a person whose bloodline and future the Sisterhood had checked. According to Elara, they saw many visions of the commander dying many times—and only in one vision does the commander live and even rise to control massive armies and bring peace to Arrakis.

Emperor Frederick Corrino IV from Dune 2000

As in Dune II, the three main playable factions are House Atreides, House Harkonnen and House Ordos. There are also four non-playable subfactions: House Corrino, the Fremen, the Mercenaries and the Smugglers.

House Atreides

Hailing from the water-planet of Caladan, the Atreides have a strict loyalty to their Duke and follow him with zeal. The Duke's famous Mentat, Noree Moneo, advises and resides over the Duke's forces on Arrakis. The House's fleets of ornithopters ensure their superior air power. The Duke also wishes to develop an alliance with the Fremen, the native warriors of Dune.

House Harkonnen

The Harkonnens are ruled by the wicked Baron and come from the volcanic waste-planet of Giedi Prime. According to Lady Elara, the only thing human about the Harkonnen is their genetic makeup, as all humanity was abandoned long ago in favor of brutality and maliciousness. The Baron's Mentat, Hayt De Vries, was born from the flesh of a dead man in the Tleilaxu Flesh Vats.

House Ordos

The Ordos originate from a frigid, ice covered planet unnamed in Dune 2000 but later called Sigma Draconis IV in Emperor: Battle for Dune. As they import their goods from nearby star systems, House Ordos relies on their skills as merchants to make their profits; however, their wealth has made them increasingly paranoid. According to the manual, House Ordos buys all of its units instead of constructing them themselves. Unlike the other two houses, House Ordos is not mentioned in any of Frank Herbert's Dune novels, but it is mentioned in the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia.[4]

Gameplay[edit]

The player takes control of one of the three Houses and must fight for control of the spice melange on the planet Arrakis, or Dune. The player harvests spice for "solaris," the in-game currency, and uses the solaris to make units to supply his forces. The game uses a similar engine as Command and Conquer: Red Alert; however, unlike Dune II, the player can control more than one unit at a time.

In-game screenshot

Like most real-time strategy games, the game map initially starts with a fog of war, better known as "shroud", covering the entire map, with an exception to units' line of sight. As the units explore the map, the darkness is removed for the duration of the game.

Like Dune II, the player may construct concrete before placing buildings. In Dune II, all buildings would deteriorate regardless, but the concrete foundations slowed the process. However, in Dune 2000, the buildings do not deteriorate over time when built in their entirety on concrete.

Although each house has many common units, such as infantry, Wind Traps, and Mobile Construction Vehicles, each House also has its own set of units, such as the Atreides Sonic Tank, the Ordos Deviator and the Harkonnen Devastator. Houses Harkonnen and Atreides share the Trike, while House Ordos has an upgraded version, the Raider. Like many games of the Westwood franchise, a player can gain access to other Houses' special units by capturing an enemy building that can manufacture the desired units. House Ordos can obtain the Missile Tank by ordering it from the Starport when it would otherwise be inaccessible. After patch 1.06, the Harkonnens can eventually train the Sardaukar, which are soldier-fanatics loyal to the Corrino Emperor.

Reception[edit]

Both the PC and PlayStation versions of the game scored in the range of 60%.[5][6] GameSpot criticized the game's production values for being drab by 1998 standards, and cited balance problems despite the remake's attempt to introduce unit balance where the original game had none.[7]

Cast[edit]

Soundtrack[edit]

Dune 2000: Long Live The Fighters!
Frank Klepacki

  1. Options
  2. Attack on Arrakis
  3. Enter the Ordos
  4. Fight For Power
  5. Harkonnen Battle
  6. Land of Sand
  7. Plotting
  8. Rise of Harkonnen
  9. Robotix
  10. Spice Scouting
  11. The Ambush
  12. The Atreides Gain
  13. The Fremen
  14. The Soldiers Approach
  15. The Waiting Game
  16. Under Construction
  17. Score

Modifications[edit]

While the modding community has been relatively inactive for a long period of time, recent years have seen groundbreaking developments in the creation of mod tools that allow completely new campaigns to be created for the game. These tools include a program for modifying the game's mission files and a new map editor designed to work with campaign maps. A patch has also been created that allows players to play as the originally non-playable four factions.[8] As a result of the new mod tools, which are bundled in a collection called the D2K+ Toolkit,[9] a number of completely new campaigns have been created for the first time for both the original three houses and also the other previously non-playable houses.[10]

Recent developments in modifying Dune 2000 have led to the creation of a patch allowing it to be played at any resolutions from 640x480 to 1920x1080.[11]

Reimplementations[edit]

Harkonnen base in OpenRA showing an Emperor: Battle for Dune styled tabbed build menu

Just like its predecessor Dune II the remake Dune 2000 attracted Game engine recreation attempts. A modern Open Source reimplementation of the Command & Conquer: Red Alert engine in C# and YAML using the Simple DirectMedia Layer called OpenRA allows high screen resolutions and multiplayer matches via the internet. Since 2012 the Dune 2000 file formats for graphics and sound are supported.[12][13] A mod called d2k bringing the game back to life has been added to the main distribution. Its interface is also updated featuring an Emperor: Battle for Dune style tabbed interface.

References[edit]

External links[edit]