House Ordos

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Emblem of House Ordos from Emperor: Battle for Dune

House Ordos is a mercantile House in the Dune universe as presented in the Westwood Studios Dune video games produced from 1992 to 2001. The Ordos is based on mercenaries and hiring of others. The Ordos never bothered on making their own army, just using their wealth to build one. The Ordos do a great job in interfering in the conflict between the Atreides and the Harkonnen. They are known as "the rebellion of Dune". The House is listed in the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia (1984) by Willis E. McNelly[1] but has never been mentioned in any of the novels.

Game history[edit]

Sigma Draconis IV, from the Dune 2000 video game (1998)

In the series of computer games based on Dune, the goal of House Ordos is the generation of revenue to sustain the pluto-technocratic elite of their society. The Ordos are portrayed as driven by a calculated and single-minded approach: destroying anything that stands between them and the spice melange.[2] According to the original game House Ordos originated from the amalgamation of several wealthy families into one large cartel who hire expensive but disloyal mercenaries to fight for their cause. Emperor: Battle for Dune further explains:

House Ordos, of the iceworld Draconis IV. The Ordos are known for their use of forbidden technologies. Their leader is the Executrix, four beings that share a single mind. They communicate through a creature known only as "The Speaker." The Ordos are mercenary, they care for nothing, save power and wealth. In the language of the Ordos, there are no words for the concepts of trust or honor; there are more than 300 for the concept of profit.

—Narrator, Emperor: Battle for Dune

Their Mentat advisors, the game notes, often disappear under mysterious circumstances. In Dune 2000, the Mentat Edric is rumored to be a thinking machine ordered to precise specifications from the Ixians.

Emblem[edit]

In Dune II (1992) and Dune 2000 (1998), the emblem for House Ordos was a snake coiled around a book. In Emperor: Battle for Dune (2001), the emblem was modified. The book was removed, and was replaced by a blue circle, possibly representing Sigma Draconis IV. In The Dune Encyclopedia, the coat of arms for the Ordos is a pair of crossed bones with ivy (a book and snake symbol is used for House Wallach's coat of arms).[3]

Cast[edit]

The Ordos Mentat from Dune 2000, Edric O.

The Executrix Council[edit]

Four beings who appear connected in some form of gestalt collective mind, known as The Executrix. All verbal contact between the rulers of House Ordos and the player is through the medium of a creature known only as 'The Speaker'.

Mentat Ammon[edit]

The Mentat who serves as House Ordos' Master of Assassins and assists the player in Dune II. Almost nothing is known about him, except that he was executed on charges of embezzlement.[4]

Mentat Edric O[edit]

The Mentat who assists the player in Dune 2000. He is rumored to be a thinking machine of Ixian design, traded to the Ordos in exchange for a fortune in Melange. If so, the fact that he is a man interfaced with a machine would allow its existence, as it is not "a machine in the likeness of a human mind". Edric O could temporarily place his consciousness into a storage medium while his body was incapacitated and could communicate via a visual monitor, as evidenced by one of the Dune 2000 cut-scenes.

The Ix implanted a listening device in a knob on a mechanism in Edric O's head and presented its receiver to the Padishah-Emperor. Edric discovered its presence and deactivated it, demonstrating that he was loyal to Ordos rather than Ix.

His later increasing use of melange spice expanded his abilities greatly but made him seem unstable, intoxicated by his new-found prescience. It enabled him to see a potential future in which all of the other factions would be set against each other, acted in a manner that made this future come to pass, and predicted the narrow window of probability when they would be at their weakest so Ordos forces could strike decisively. He might have been eliminated by the Ordos, either because he was viewed as a threat or because his prescience overcame him and made him useless.

Mentat Roma Atani[edit]

A human interpreter of the Executrix, Roma Atani briefs new Ordos generals on the state of the war on Arrakis. She replaces Edric-O.

Padishah Emperor Frederick Corrino IV[edit]

Cell samples of the Emperor's dead body were smuggled from Kaitain by Tleilaxu spies and purchased by House Ordos during the plot of one of the games in the series.[5] The Executrix created a ghola of him and planned on placing it on the throne as a puppet.

Capabilities[edit]

Units open to players controlling House Ordos in the games may include:

  • The Deviator Launcher, which usually replaces missile launcher vehicles available to other factions in the games; fires a gas that causes the target to temporarily switch sides and join the Ordos. In Dune II, Deviators could affect infantry as well, not just vehicles, in Dune 2000, however, Deviator only had effect on vehicles. Deviators had no effect on buildings, Sand worms, or aircraft.
  • The Saboteur; originally the Ordos super weapon, they later become a standard unit. Saboteurs carry explosives which they use for suicide attacks against the enemy. The Dune II version of the Saboteur was highly ineffective, and is known to explode by itself for no reason. Dune 2000 Saboteurs are much more dangerous - they could cloak for a period of time, move fairly quickly, and could demolish any known building they enter, detonating themselves along with the building.
  • The famous Ordos Raider is an enhanced version of the original Trike. While the earlier versions of the Raider had less firepower and armour than the standard Trike, the Dune 2000 Raider was a lot better in every aspects, and is considered the quickest land unit on Dune. Another advanced version was the Stealth Raider, which have been manufactured with camouflage devices, making them invisible to the naked eye until they attack.
  • Ordos Combat Tanks in Dune 2000 were faster than Atreides and Harkonnen Combat Tanks, but also had less armour.
  • In Dune II, House Ordos had the opportunity to construct and develop Ornithopters from their Hi-Tech Facility.

References[edit]

  1. ^ McNelly, Willis E. (June 1, 1984). "GREAT HOUSES, THE". The Dune Encyclopedia. p. 273. ISBN 0-425-06813-7. 
  2. ^ In Emperor: Battle for Dune, Roma Atani says, "Control the spice. That is the directive."
  3. ^ McNelly (1984). "GREAT HOUSES, ARMS, PENNANTS, AND INSIGNIA". Dune Encyclopedia. pp. 276–278. 
  4. ^ Dune 2000 Player's Manual pg.8
  5. ^ Dune 2000