Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (retitled Dune II: Battle for Arrakis in Europe and Dune: The Battle for Arrakis for the Mega Drive/Genesis port respectively) is a Dune video game developed by Westwood Studios and released by Virgin Interactive in Jan 1, 1992. It is based upon David Lynch's 1984 movie Dune, an adaptation of Frank Herbert's science fiction novel of the same name.
Emperor Frederick IV of House Corrino is desperate for the harvesting of the valuable drug melange (also known as 'the spice'), found on only the planet Arrakis, to pay off all of his debt incurred on internecine wars with family members. To achieve this, he now offers the sole governorship of Arrakis to the House (Atreides, Harkonnen, and Ordos) which delivers the most spice for him. War begins as deputations from all three Houses arrive on Arrakis.
The player is a military commander from a House of his choice. In the first few missions the objectives are to establish successfully a base on an unoccupied territory of Arrakis, to harvest spice, and to defeat intruders. Later, when the three Houses divide Arrakis among them, the player has to assault and capture enemy territories. When the player dominates Arrakis on the world map, the two other enemy factions ally against their common enemy. The ultimate final showdown is the battle between the player's House against three enemy sides, among them Frederick's forces the Sardaukar (an unplayable elite force whose heavy infantry are particularly powerful). The final cutscene is different for each House, in consonance with their very disparate world views.
The player takes the role of the commander of one of the three interplanetary houses, the Atreides, the Harkonnen or the Ordos, with the objective of wresting control of Arrakis from the other two houses. House Ordos is not featured in the Dune novels and is mentioned only in the non-canon Dune Encyclopedia. The basic strategy in the game is to harvest spice from the treacherous sand dunes using a harvester vehicle, convert the spice into credits via a refinery and to build military units with these acquired credits in order to fend off and destroy the enemy.
The game map initially starts with a fog of war covering all area which is not covered by the player's units range of view. As the units explore the map, the darkness is removed. Unlike later games such as Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, the fog of war is lifted forever with initial exploration, it does not become dark once more when units leave the area.
In addition to enemy incursions, there are other dangers; like the marauding gigantic sandworm, capable of swallowing vehicles and infantry whole but blocked by rocky terrain. The player can only build on rocky terrain, but must build concrete foundations before to avoid deterioration of the structures due to the harsh weather conditions although in general, structures will gradually decay over time regardless of the presence of those concrete slabs due to the aforementioned weather conditions. Spice fields are indicated by orange coloration on the sand, darker orange indicating high concentration. Some spice may be concealed as bumps on the terrain (a 'spice bloom') that become spice fields when they are shot at, or when a unit runs over them (the unit is destroyed in the ensuing 'spice blow').
The player is presented a map of the planet Arrakis before most missions, where he can choose the next territory to play in among two or three. This affects primarily the enemy house fought in the next mission, as all missions except the first two require the complete destruction of the enemy. Nine territories must be fought, irrespective of house, to reach the endgame.
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