Dune

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Dune
Dune mega-cd.jpg
Developer(s) Cryo Interactive
Publisher(s) Virgin Entertainment
Platform(s) MS-DOS, Amiga, Mega-CD/Sega CD
Release date 1992, 1993 (CD version)
Genre(s) RTS/Adventure
Mode(s) Single Player
Language(s) English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, "Fremen"
Input methods Mouse

Dune was the first commercial game based on Frank Herbert's Dune universe. It was developed by Cryo Interactive and released in 1992. It blended adventure with economic and military strategy, and is considered by many the most immersive Dune computer game. Loosely following the story of the novel, the game casts the player as Paul Atreides, with the ultimate goal to expel the Harkonnens from Dune, while managing spice extraction for the Emperor, and military and ecology to fight the Harkonnens, with the help of the native Fremen tribes. As the player progresses, he will be able to equip his troops with spice harvesters, ornithopters, bulbs, and weapons from "krys knives" to atomics. Paul will develop psychic powers thanks to the spice and the water of life, and meet characters from the book like Chani, her father Liet Kynes, Stilgar, Harah...

Available for the Amiga and IBM compatibles, it was one of the first floppy games to be converted to CD format, which included footage of the movie by David Lynch, voice-acting for all dialogs, and improved graphics and soundtrack. A version was also released on Sega's Mega-CD console, which was a mix of the Amiga graphics and the extras of the PC-CD version. The audio track, created by Stéphane Picq and Philip Ulrich, was released by Cryo (formerly Exxos) as a CD album, Dune: Spice Opera, which is not sold anymore and very rare, although pirated copies exist on peer-to-peer networks.

Contents

Playing this game on Windows XP

Floppy version

The floppy version will work without emulation software (but in this case the sound won't work), or (with sound) with the same emulators as the CD version.

CD version

The CD version will work using VDMSound 2.1 or DOSBox 0.72.

Cheats

Start with lots of spice

The following archive includes Dune saved games with over 393 tons of spice in stock, which should be more than enough to pay the emperor and buy weapons and other goodies from smugglers without the need to have troops dedicated to spice extraction. The save games were made early in game (at a point where you normally have only a few kilograms of spice).

Hexadecimal cheats

With an hexadecimal editor, you can quite easily edit some characteristics of your troops:

  • Motivation: convert the current motivation to hexadecimal. For instance, a 100% motivation would be saved as 64 in the save file.
  • Number of fremens in a troop: divide the troop size by 10, then convert to hexadecimal. For instance, a troop will 2540 men would be saved as FE in the save file.
  • Equipment: see the sub-section below

So, with your hexadecimal editor, open the saved game you want to edit (make sure you save a backup first!): DUNE37S1.SAV or DUNE37S2.SAV (37 is the number corresponding to the game version, it may be different for your version). Search for the values you want to edit, knowing that troops information are located approximately in the last third of the save file, and that the 27 byte structure for a troop is like:

[troopid][byte2][byte3]XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX[byte20]X[motivation][spice skill][army skill][ecology skill][equipment][population]

(Each X represents a byte, so motivation is 4 offsets before equipment, which is right before population). (Skills range from 0x00 to 0x5F, where 0x5F is expert).

[byte2] Refers to the next troopid in this sietch. 0x00 means that it's the last troop in this sietch.

[byte3] Troop's position on the map around the sietch. 0x01-0x08 = positions around the sietch 0x00,0x09-0x0F = positions on top of the sietch

[byte20]

  • 1 [1] = ?
  • 2 [2] = Gives the message that a small troop has merged with this troop
  • 4 [4] = Troop is ill
  • 8 [8] = ?
  • 16 [10] = Gives the message that a fortress has been transformed into a sietch
  • 32 [20] = Spice skill showing in troop characteristics
  • 64 [40] = Army skill showing in troop characteristics
  • 128 [80] = Ecology skill showing in troop characteristics


A few notes:

  • 0xF7 means repeat character, which is probably used for deflating the savegame. So "F7 03 5F" is the same as "5F 5F 5F".
  • The total number of 27 bytes will probably not be 27 bytes in the savegame file, because of character repetition mentioned above.
  • Troopid 0x01 is the troop you first meet together with Gurney Hallek in Carthag-Tuek.
  • Troopid 0x03 is the spice prospector troop.

Sietches:

Sietch definitions are 28 bytes long, but may have a different length in the file, because of the 'F7-deflating'-system mentioned above.

[firstname][lastname]XXXXXX[appearance][primary troop][status]XXXXX[spice field-id]X
[spice density]X[harvesters][ornithopters][knives][guns][w.mod][atomics][bulbs]X
byte value firstname lastname
0x01 Arrakeen (Atreides)
0x02 Carthag (Harkonnen)
0x03 Tuono Tabr
0x04 Habbanya Timin
0x05 Oxtyn Tuek
0x06 Tsympo Harg
0x07 Bledan Clam
0x08 Ergsun Tsymyn
0x09 Haga Siet
0x0a Cielago Pyons
0x0b Sihaya Pyort
0x0c Celimyn

Example: in order to change the name of 'Carthag (Atreides)' to 'Celimyn-Pyort', find the sietch beginning with '02 01' and change it to '0c 0b'.

Equipment cheat

The [equipment] value is a bitflag (here listed as decimal values [hexadecimal value]) where:

  • 1 [1] = not assigned
  • 2 [2] = bulb
  • 4 [4] = atomic weapon
  • 8 [8] = weirding modules
  • 16 [10] = laser guns
  • 32 [20] = krys knives
  • 64 [40] = ornithopter
  • 128 [80] = spice harvester

So, to give all equipment to a troop, set this value to 254 [fe]. This cheat generates a minor bug: the equipment is registered as troop equipment, but not as sietch equipment. This means that if you unequip the equipment you added, it will vanish. The solution to this bug is to move your troop to another sietch, which will register the equipment for the sietch.

Sietch visibility cheat

The [status] value is a bitflag (here listed as decimal values [hexadecimal value]) where:

  • 1 [1] = vegetation present (no more spice mining possible)
  • 2 [2] = in battle
  • 4 [4] = ?
  • 8 [8] = ?
  • 16 [10] = see the inventory of the sietch
  • 32 [20] = ?
  • 64 [40] = area of sietch has been prospected
  • 128 [80] = sietch has not been discovered

So, in order to make a sietch visible on the map with its inventory showing, change the mostly default value of 0x80 to 0x10.

Spice cheat

The quantity of spice in your possession is an unsigned 2-byte value defined 90 bytes before the definition of the first sietch (Carthag (Atreides)). The actual number of bytes may vary, because of the 'F7-deflating'-system mentioned above.

An easy way to find these bytes is by dividing your current spice stock by ten and converting it to hex. So for example if Duncan Idaho tells you your current stock is 6540 kgs, you will be looking for 654[dec]->'8E 02'[hex].

Charisma is defined 125 bytes before your current spice stocks. It is 1 byte. Your charisma is the value of this byte divided by 2, so a value of 160 [0xA0] equals a charisma of 80. Do not set this value too high, because it will overflow if your charisma grows over 0xFF.

Contact distance cheat

From a certain point in the game you can contact your troops from a distance. The initial range of contact distance is set to 0x01, which means that you can only contact the troops in the sietch you are at that moment. You can change this by altering a byte near the end of the savegame, so you don't need to travel as much to give orders. The byte responsible is a bit tricky to find, but in the initial savegame it's at byte 9601(0x2581) and it's before 2 bytes which always seem to be '00 FF'. So if you want to change this before waiting in the desert for the message of the first spice shipment you'll be looking for '01 00 FF'. A contact distance of 0xD0 already covers the entire planet, but a value of 0xFF may be set.

Major hints

The game is pretty straight forward if you listen carefully enough to what the main characters tell you, so a walkthrough isn't really needed. Only a few points deserve a particular attention.

Storyline tips

First spice shipment

Sending a spice shipment
There is absolutely no hurry in the game before the first spice shipment (well, I didn't try waiting 100 days, but the first time I played it took my like a month to understand how to trigger it...), except that the troop motivation may drop a little bit (but it drops really slowly). On the opposite, once you do trigger the first shipment, the Emperor will keep asking for spice on a regular basis (approximately every 5 days, or 7 days if you send more spice than required). So make sure you are ready (particularly, finish prospecting all known sietches, you may also want to extract all the spice from the north sietches - see #Delaying Harkonnens' attacks) before triggering it. To trigger the first shipment, you need to go alone in the desert (NB: this can be just a block away from the palace) after Jessica has asked you to. On the floppy version, you must be alone in the desert at some precise time in the morning (around 6 to 10AM). On the CD version, time seems to matter less. Anyway, when you're ready, go to the desert alone and wait for the morning. You'll get your first vision of Duke Leto Atreides telling you a message has arrived at the Palace.

Water of Life

Drinking the Water of Life is a major advancement in the gameplay since, after that, you'll be able to contact your troops all over the planet without moving. However, you can't drink it until Jessica tells you to (if you try earlier, you'll die). To drink it as soon as possible, you need to access a wind-trap as soon as possible. The first wind-trap available is located in Tuono-Tabr. Move the fremen troop located in Tuono-Tabr in another sietch (this is only possible after a certain point in the game, which is at least after meeting Stilgar), then visit the sietch with Stilgar to find its wind-trap, and talk to Stilgar until he proposes you to drink the Water of Life. Refuse and talk to Jessica. She'll tell you she'll do some research. Continue with the game and talk to Jessica every now and then. Eventually, after over a week, she'll tell you that you can drink the Water of Life. Go to any sietch with a wind-trap (Tuono-Tabr is the closest from the palace), drink the Water of Life and talk to Jessica. You can now contact your fremen anywhere on Arrakis.
NB: if you do this well, you shouldn't have any military action (apart from training) before drinking the Water of Life.

Delaying Harkonnens' attacks

The Harkonnens are globally not too aggressive, but still they'll attack quite early in the area right east of your palace (i.e., in the sietches where the beginning of the game takes place). To gain some time, you should move all troops stationed in the area between the palace and Tuono-Tuek to the South, at least to the longitude of Carthag-Tuek at first, and then to the longitude of Habbanya-Timin. Harkonnens will not attack there unless you really wait a long time.
Global "attack evasion" tips:

  • The Harkonnens will NOT attack before you have the ability to select army as a troop occupation.
  • The Harkonnens will NOT attack an empty sietch.

Losing Chani

At some point in the game, all troops stationed in some sietch will get diseased. Usually this occurs in a sietch where many troops are stationed (typically the sietch where you gathered 6-7 troops for military training with Gurney...). You'll have to bring Chani to heal them (NB: you have to do it, otherwise the disease will occur in other sietches and it will be much harder to control). If there was Gurney or any other guy, stationed here, take him with you. After a few days, you'll get a vision of Chani telling you she cured the troops. Then you have 2 options (tested with floppy version only):

  • either contact the troops in the sietch: they'll tell you Chani has disappeared, and the maximum motivation will be capped at 60% until you get her back, for all your troops (yes, all). Note that you can't get Chani back before some time. She's in a powerful fortress near the Harkonnen palace, and you'll need like 5-6 big expert troops with full weapons except nukes to be able to capture the fortress where she's held prisoner.
  • either don't contact the troops in the sietch: these troops will remain unusable (you may still contact them any time you want, but if you do you'll lose Chani as said before), but all the other troops will keep a good motivation. On the floppy version, you'll eventually find Chani after capturing some hard Harkonnen fortress. On the CD version, once you've taken all Harkonnen fortresses, contact the unusable troops, they'll tell you that Chani disappeared, and you'll find her in the main room at the palace (the room where the game starts).

Which option to choose is up to you, I finished the game using each one.

A fremen chief, warning you that the troops are diseased
The diseased troops on the command map
A vision of Chani after she cured the troops

General advice

Troop motivation

Having a good troop motivation is important as it increases their efficiency significantly. However, there is little you can do to influence this, as troop motivation is mostly modified by events you can't really control much. There are a few exceptions, though.

  • Globally, progressing in the game will slowly improve motivation
  • Meeting Stilgar, being able to contact troops from a distance, meeting Chani, drinking the Water of Life will give noticeable motivation boosts
  • Vegetation or working on ecology will give a nice motivation boost, a troop with ecology as an occupation will have a 100% motivation no matter how low their starting motivation was, unless you lose Chani
  • Losing Chani will give a deep motivation drop (see Loosing Chani)
  • Assisting to a battle (go to the battlefield riding a worm - your ornithopter would be shot down) will greatly boost troops morale

Ecology

You can finish the game without using it. It may be used:

  • to improve troop motivation (for instance, between 2 fortress attacks, make your fremen build a wind-trap, I'm not sure if this is efficient though)
  • to capture fortresses: if vegetation you planted reaches a fortress (NB: it always moves northwards), the Harkonnens will leave it... but you'll still have to fight them later, so this is not that useful.

Also, remember that once you grow vegetation in a sietch or when vegetation reaches a sietch, no spice can be extracted anymore from this sietch, forever.

Giving orders to prospectors

Spice extraction

Problem solved if you use our cheats. Otherwise, extract as much as possible before trigerring the first shipment. Prospect the sietches as you discover them (don't let your prospector sleep at the beginning of the game, unless all is already prospected, which is unlikely). Use troops unusable for army (eg, those with fewer than 1900-2000 men), and give them proper equipment (spice harvester AND ornithopter).


Army

  • Train them with Gurney Halleck as much as possible. Save regularly to be able to split your troops before the disease come. Afterwards, regroup them around Gurney again.
Dropping Gurney in a sietch so that he'll train the troops
Gurney in a sietch with many troops training in army
  • Start attacking, as advised by Thufir Hawat, far away from the Harkonnen palace (around the place where you found Stilgar). If you cheat, you can consider training and equipping a powerful army to start attacking at the same time south of the Harkonnen palace (the fortresses there have 3 troops, so you need at least 5 or 6).
  • For faster troop movements, you can provide your troops with ornithopters. But make sure the troops you send arrive at the same time! (or at least the largest part of your troops must arrive first)
A top of the range army troop
Attacking a fortress
One of the hardest fortresses
  • There are 2 ways to find Harkonnen fortresses:
    • The most common is to send a spying troop. This has the advantage to update your map with the troop count of the fortress, which will then always be automatically updated should a troop move (this is very practical to foresee a Harkonnen attack). But your troop has a risk of being caught, so you should only send expert troops and withdraw them (or attack the fortress) within one day.
    • Another way is to interrogate a captured Harkonnen officer. The advantage is that you don't need to send a spying troop, so you gain a little time. The drawback is that if you wait too much, the troop count in the revealed fortress can change without you noticing it.
An army troop going to spy on the Harkonnens
A Harkonnen prisoner, must be controlled first
A Harkonnen prisoner, ready for interrogation

Explorable Areas

The following is a list of sietches and smuggler villages that you can find simply by flying over them:

Smuggler Villages

  • Tsympo Pyons - North Eastward of Oxtyn Tuek OR Southward of Tsympo Timin.
  • Haga Pyons - Westward of Ergsun Tuek OR north (and slightly west) of Haga Timin.

Sietches

  • Sietch Oxtyn Harg - North Eastward of Oxtyn Timin OR westward of Charthag Tuek.
  • Sietch Celymin Tabr - Eastward of Habbanya Tuek OR north westward (and slightly more west) of Celimyn Timin.
  • Sietch Ceilago Tabr - North eastward of Celimyn Tabr OR North of Celimyn Timin.
  • Sietch Haga Timin - North eastward of Ceilago Tabr OR southward of Haga Pyons.
  • Sietch Tsympo Harg - Northward (and slightly west) of Oxtyn Tuek OR south westward of Tsympo Timin.
  • Sietch Ergsun Harg - Southward of Ergsun Tsymyn OR north westward of Ergsun Clam.
  • Sietch Tsympo Tuek - Southward of Tsympo Tabr OR Westward of Carthag Harg.
  • Sietch Tsympo Tsymyn - Southward (and slightly east) of Tsympo Timin OR Westward of Tsympo Tuek.
  • Sietch Habbanya Clam - Westward of Habbanya Timin.

And here is a map with most (all?) sietches and all Harkonnen fortresses uncovered:

Map of Dune.png

The save files used to make this map, as well as a few earlier ones, are available here: Dune savegames 2.7z (more info)

There are two more sietches not present in the maps above, located in the center of the vortex/curl of rocks in the middle map. Its name is Tsympo Harg. Also missing is Celimyn-Tuek, which is located to the South-South-East of Tuono-Timin in the narrow part between the two rocky areas.

Urban myths

Some guides make really erroneous statements, so here are some corrections:

  • [Paul's] eyes turn more "blue on blue" as his abilities increase (Wikipedia): this is false, Paul's eyes become blue as the time passes. If you are quick enough, Paul's eyes will be light blue and grey while you've already drunk the Water of Life (drinking it around day 14 is possible).

Bug exploits

Avoiding the automated end game sequence

There is a way to avoid the automated end game sequence and keep on playing forever as the (supposedly - see below) Emperor of the Galaxy (without being able to leave Dune though). To accomplish this, as soon as Paul orders his troops to launch the final battle, he must quickly ride a worm into the battle before it could be won without him. If timed correctly and the battle is still in progress, Paul must quickly choose Massive Attack (it must be this fighting mode). The battle is then won without Paul getting a vision.

Paul must then avoid entering the taken over palace and instead go back a screen and wait for two days to pass - the standard time it takes for a taken over Harkonnen fortress to be turned into a sietch.

Paul can then enter the palace turned sietch at any time and talk to his new prisoners - The Baron, Feyd Rautha and the Emperor of the Galaxy.

From then on, the player can keep playing. There will be no one to fight with, no need to send spice to the Emperor (which, supposedly - as there was no official sequence that determined that, is now Paul) and no new sietches to discover. However, Paul can finally get Liet Kynes to walk around with him.

Characters

Picture Description
Dune - Paul Atreides.png The player is Paul Atreides, son of Duke Leto Atreides and Jessica Atreides
Dune - Leto Atreides.png Duke Leto Atreides is the father of Paul Atreides. He guides the player during the first part of the game, and eventually gets killed during a punitive expedition against the Harkonnens.
Dune - Jessica Atreides.png Jessica Atreides is the mother of Paul Atreides. She helps the player to discover hidden rooms in the palace, and guides him through the acquisition of his powers (visions, telepathy...).
Dune - Gurney Halleck.png Gurney Halleck works for the Atreides. He travels with the player during the first part of the game, then teaches the art of combat to fremen troops.
Dune - Duncan Idaho.png Duncan Idaho works for the Atreides. He monitors closely the spice production, reminds the player not to forget to send spice shipments to the Emperor, pay smugglers bills, etc
Dune - Shaddam IV.png Shaddam IV is the Emperor of the universe. He sent the Atreides to Arrakis with the hidden purpose to get them defeated by the Harkonnens. After the first spice shipment is triggered, he keeps asking for more spice during all the game, until the player captures him in the Harkonnen fortress.
Dune - Harah.png Harah is a fremen. She travels with the player some time during the first part of the game, introducing him to Stilgar and helping him to find his first village, "in the mouth of a fish".
Dune - Thufir Hawat.png Thufir Hawat is the Atreides' mentat. During the second part of the game, he tells the player (through a vision) when messages arrive at the palace, and guide him for his military strategy.
Dune - Stilgar.png Stilgar is a grand fremen leader. He travels with the player during the second part of the game. After the player met him, fremens will accept to fight for the player. Stilgar will also introduce the player to Chani.
Dune - Baron Harkonnen.png Baron Harkonnen is an enemy of the Atreides. He despises the fremens and sends a few hate mails to the player during the game.
Dune - Feyd Rautha.png Feyd Rautha is another Harkonnen. The same can be said about him as about Baron Harkonnen.
Dune - Chani.png Chani is a fremen. During the second part of the game, she falls in love with the player and follows him until she gets abducted by the Harkonnens. She introduces the player to her father, Liet Kynes.
Dune - Liet Kynes.png Liet Kynes is Chani's father. He's a ecologist who tries to grow vegetation on Dune, which is "the dream of every fremen". He asks the player to send him a few troops to help him grow bulbs, and then offers these bulbs to the player, who can use them to grow vegetation (which spreads northwards) towards Harkonnen fortresses to make the Harkonnens fall back.

Screenshots

Dune - atomics.png Dune - flying.png Dune - Harkonnen fortress.png Dune - Jessica before final attack.png Dune - Jessica first contact.png Dune - Jessica get lost.png Dune - palace front.png Dune - smuggler village.png Dune - Stilgar on balcony.png Dune - the book.png Dune - The end.png Dune - Thufir says we can attack.png

Videos

Introduction cinematic

Links


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