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Completed Let's play Dune

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by Abelian, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    You're mixing up Harkonnen Troopers with Imperial Sardaukar here. Lynch mixed up them too
    Show Spoiler
    sometimes using the Sardaukar where he should be depicting Harkonnen Troopers
    but the hazmat guys are definitely strolling about the Padishah Emperor's Palace on Kaitan, while actual Harkonnen Troopers:
    [​IMG]
    strolling around Gidei Prime are not dissimilar to those found in the game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
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  2. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    In the book Sardaukar disguised as Harkonnen during the Atreides wipeout in Arrakeen.
     
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  3. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    FFS we're avoiding spoilers here for the sake of people who have no idea about the plot.
     
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  4. Multiple Sarcasm Arcane

    Multiple Sarcasm
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    A video game LP is really not the best way to get acquainted with Dune, though. I'll comply with OP's wishes for no spoilers, but I would really rather direct anyone interested to read the book(s) first and then come back here. Really.
     
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  5. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    The game diverges from the book plot anyway.
     
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  6. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
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    4. Terminology of the Imperium

    In studying the Imperium, Arrakis, and the whole culture which produced Muad'Dib, many unfamiliar terms occur. To increase understanding is a laudable goal, hence the definitions and explanations given below. - Terminology of the Imperium introduction

    Readers familiar with the novels, film, or video game can probably skip this section, but I’ll include it for readers who want to learn more of the Dune setting.

    Show Spoiler
    Frank Herbert included a Terminology of the Imperium glossary in Dune, so I’ll include a relevant subset here, with my comments written in italics. Bold text means the term is directly referenced within the game (even if not by its exact name); the other terms I included for flavor and to expand on the Dune universe.

    Baliset – Nine-stringed musical instrument, lineal descendant of the zithra, tuned to the Chusuk scale and played by strumming. Favorite instrument of Imperial troubadours.

    Bene Gesserit
    – Secretive and powerful matriarchal order whose members possess extraordinary physical and mental powers.

    Butlerian Jihad (Great Revolt) - the crusade against computers, thinking machines, and conscious robots begun in 201 B.G. and concluded in 108 B.G. Its chief commandment remains in the O.C. Bible as "Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind."

    Caladan
    – Third planet of Delta Pavonis; birthworld of Paul. This is the Atredies’s fiefdom.

    CHOAM – acronym for Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles -- the universal development corporation controlled by the Emperor and Great Houses with the Guild and Bene Gesserit as silent partners.

    Crysknife – Weapon made from the tooth of a sandworm from Arrakis.

    Erg – An extensive dune area, a sea of sand.

    Fedaykin – Fremen death commandos; historically: a group formed and pledged to give their lives to right a wrong.

    Fremen – "Native" inhabitants of Arrakis.

    Galach - Official language of the Imperium. Hybrid Inglo-Slavic with strong traces of cultural-specialization terms adopted during the long chain of human migrations. Much like J.R.R. Tolkein did in the Lord of the Rings, Herbert chose to have his characters speak in language other than English in-universe, since it made no sense for characters in humanity’s distant past or future to speak 20th century English.

    Great Convention - the universal truce enforced under the power balance maintained by the Guild, the Great Houses, and the Imperium. Its chief rule prohibits the use of atomic weapons against human targets. Each rule of the Great Convention begins: "The forms must be obeyed . . . "

    Geidi Prime – The planet of Ophiuchi B (36), homeworld of House Harkonnen. A median-viable planet with a low active-photosynthesis range.

    Guild – The Spacing Guild, one leg of the political tripod maintaining the Great Convention. The Guild was the second mental-physical training school (see Bene Gesserit) after the Butlerian Jihad. The Guild monopoly on space travel and transport and upon international banking is taken as the beginning point of the Imperial Calendar.

    Guild Navigator – Melange-mutated humans able to safely navigate interstellar space (using prescience) in ships called Heighliners.

    Harvester – A large (often 120 meters by 40 meters) spice mining machine commonly employed on rich, uncontaminated melange blows. (Often called a "crawler" because of buglike body on independent tracks.)

    Heighliner – Major cargo carrier of the Spacing Guild's transportation system. These huge ships are used for interstellar travel.

    House – Idiomatic for Ruling Clan of a planet or planetary system.

    Houses Major (Great Houses) – Holders of planetary fiefs; interplanetary entrepreneurs. The Great Houses were represented in a council called the Landsraad, which was ruled by a High Council.

    Houses Minor – Planet-bound entrepreneur class

    Ibad, eyes of – Characteristic effect of a diet high in melange wherein the whites and pupils of the eyes turn a deep blue (indicative of deep melange addiction).

    Kanly – Formal feud or vendetta under the rules of the Great Convention carried on according to the strictest limitations. Originally the rules were designed to protect innocent bystanders. Also known as War of Assassins.

    Kwisatz Haderach –"Shortening of the Way." This is the label applied by the Bene Gesserit to the unknown for which they sought a genetic solution: a male Bene Gesserit whose organic mental powers would bridge space and time.

    Lasgun – Continuous-wave laser projector. Its use as a weapon is limited in a field-generator-shield culture because of the explosive pyrotechnics (technically, subatomic fusion) created when its beam intersects a shield.

    Lisan al-gaib – "The Voice from the Outer World." In Fremen messianic legends, an off-world prophet. Sometimes translated as "Giver of Water."

    Little Maker – The half-plant-half-animal deep-sand vector of the Arrakis sandworm. The Little Maker's excretions form the pre-spice mass.

    Maker hooks – The hooks used for capturing, mounting, and steering a sandworm of Arrakis.

    Ornithopter – Aircraft capable of sustained wing-beat flight in the manner of birds. Also known as an orni or 'thopter.

    Spacing Guild – Powerful organization with a monopoly on space travel and transport due to their Navigators.

    Melange – The "spice of spices," the crop for which Arrakis is the unique source. The spice, chiefly noted for its geriatric qualities, is mildly addictive when taken in small quantities, severely addictive when imbibed in quantities above two grams daily per seventy kilos of body weight. (See Ibad, Water of Life, and Pre-spice Mass.) Muad'Dib claimed the spice as a key to his prophetic powers. Guild navigators make similar claims. Its price on the Imperial market has ranged as high as 620,000 Solaris the decagram. It is described as being either orange or dark-reddish brown and having a cinnamon smell and taste.

    Mentat – That class of Imperial citizens trained for supreme accomplishments of logic. "Human computers."

    Muad’Dib – The adapted kangaroo mouse of Arrakis, a creature associated in the Fremen earth-spirit mythology with a design visible on the planet's second moon. This creature is admired by Fremen for its ability to survive in the open desert.

    Missionaria Protectiva – The arm of the Bene Gesserit order charged with sowing infectious superstitions on primitive worlds, thus opening those regions to exploitation by the Bene Gesserit. (See Panoplia propheticus.)

    Naib – One who has sworn never to be taken alive by the enemy; traditional oath of a Fremen leader. A challenger need to kill the current naib in ritual combat to take over his position.

    Orange Catholic Bible – The "Accumulated Book," the religious text produced by the Commission of Ecumenical Translators. It contains elements of most ancient religions, including the Maometh Saari, Mahayana Christianity, Zensunni Catholicism and Buddislamic traditions. Its supreme commandment is considered to be: "Thou shall not disfigure the soul."

    Panoplia Propheticus – Term covering the infectious superstitions used by the Bene Gesserit to exploit primitive regions. (See Missionaria Protectiva.)

    Pre-spice Mass – The stage of fungusoid wild growth achieved when water is flooded into the excretions of Little Makers. At this stage, the spice of Arrakis forms a characteristic "blow," exchanging the material from deep underground for the matter on the surface above it. This mass, after exposure to sun and air, becomes melange (See also Melange and Water of Life.)

    Reverend Mother – Originally, a proctor of the Bene Gesserit, one who has transformed an "illuminating poison" within her body, raising herself to a higher state of awareness. Title adopted by Fremen for their own religious leaders who accomplished a similar "illumination." (See also Bene Gesserit and Water of Life.)

    Salusa Secundus – Third planet of Gamma Waiping; designated Imperial Prison Planet after removal of the Royal Court to Kaitain. Salusa Secundus is homeworld of House Corrino, and the second stopping point in migrations of the Wandering Zensunni. Fremen tradition says they were slaves on S.S. for nine generations.

    Sandworm – Sandworm of Arrakis, the "Old Man of the Desert" (Shai-Hulud), "Old Father Eternity," and "Grandfather of the Desert." Significantly, this name, when referred to in a certain tone or written with capital letters, designates the earth deity of Fremen hearth superstitions. Sandworms grow to enormous size (specimens longer than 400 meters have been seen in the deep desert) and live to great age unless slain by one of their fellows or drowned in water, which is poisonous to them. Most of the sand on Arrakis is credited to sandworm action. (See Little Maker.)

    Sardaukar – The soldier-fanatics of the Padishah Emperor. They were men from an environmental background of such ferocity that it killed six out of thirteen persons before the age of eleven. Their military training emphasized ruthlessness and a near-suicidal disregard for personal safety. They were taught from infancy to use cruelty as a standard weapon, weakening opponents with terror. At the apex of their sway over the affairs of the Universe, their swordsmanship was said to match that of the Ginaz tenth level and their cunning abilities at in-fighting were reputed to approach those of a Bene Gesserit adept. Any one of them was rated a match for any ten ordinary Landsraad military conscripts. By the time of Shaddam IV, while they were still formidable, their strength had been sapped by overconfidence, and the sustaining mystique of their warrior religion had been deeply undermined by cynicism.

    Shield – The protective field produced by a Holtzman generator. This field derives from Phase One of the suspensor-nullification effect. A shield will permit entry only to objects moving at slow speeds (depending on setting, this speed ranges from six to nine centimeters per second) and can be shorted out only by a shire-sized electric field. (See Lasgun.)

    Sietch – Fremen: "Place of assembly in time of danger. "Because the Fremen lived so long in peril, the term came by general usage to designate any cave warren inhabited by one of their tribal communities.

    Stillsuit – "Body-enclosing garment" of Fremen design which performs the "functions of heat dissipation and filtering bodily wastes," as well as retaining and reclaiming moisture. I’ve read that such a suit would technically serve as a pressure cooker for its occupant.

    Suspensor – Secondary (low-drain) phase of a Holtzman field generator. It nullifies gravity within certain limits prescribed by relative mass and energy consumption.

    Thumper – Short stake with spring-driven clapper at one end. The purpose: to be driven into the sand and set "thumping" to summon shai-hulud.

    Voice, the – That combined training originated by the Bene Gesserit which permits an adept to control others merely by selected tone shadings of the voice.

    Windtrap – A device placed in the path of a prevailing wind and capable of precipitating moisture from the air caught within it, usually by a sharp and distinct drop in temperature within the trap.

    Ya hya chouhada – "Long live the fighters!" The Fedaykin battle cry. Ya (now) in this cry is augmented by the hya form (the ever-extended now). Chouhada (fighters) carries this added meaning of fighters against injustice. There is a distinction in this word that specifies the fighters are not struggling for anything, but are consecrated against a specific thing -- that alone.


    For those who are familiar with the Dune universe only through the video games, it may come as a surprise that many of the books’ more exotic/fantastical elements have been excised from the games:

    -the secretive Bene Gesserit order is mentioned only in passing in Cryo’s Dune and in Dune 2000’s and Emperor: Battle for Dune ‘s cutscenes. They have a huge role in the novels. Composed mostly of women, it trains adepts in developing both physical and mental abilities to incredible levels.

    -Weirding Way (known as Prana-Bindu or “nerve-muscle”): a martial art involving physical and psychological training that heightens one’s senses and allows the practitioner to move at very high speeds and act without consciously thinking (I’ll address the Weirding Modules in a later post)

    -the Voice: the ability to manipulate or control other people through verbal commands, similar to hypnotic suggestion

    -prescience, or foresight of the possible pasts futures. The most common use is for interstellar travel, allowing navigators to predict the ship’s destination correctly. More accurately described as being “in the now”. My interpretation is that it’s similar the Eye of Sauron in that it can see anything, but not everything at once. Another similar concept is found in Abnaxus (the Venar ambassador from The Longest Journey, not the Codexer reading this) who can see multiple potential versions of the future.

    -genetic memory (Other Memory): the ability of specially-trained humans to access the memories of their ancestors up until the moment of conception. The memory is supposedly encoded in their genes. Gaining access to the genetic memory requires consumption of the poisonous Water of Life substance and neutralizing it into an awareness spectrum narcotic, a process that only females have been able to survive. A Kwisatz Haderach is a hypothetical male who can gain access to the Other Memory, have prescient vision and have computer-like deductive reasoning and super-human inductive reasoning, combining the abilities of a Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother, Guild Navigator and Mentat, respectively.

    Congratulations if you’ve made it so far. You were obviously interested (or bored) enough to read through all the background material because it described a compelling and unique setting.

    I’ll close out these introductory notes with two videos from the 1984 film:

    1. The movie’s introduction, narrated by Virginia Madsen (the full text can be found under the spoiler tag). The introduction was added after principal photography, together with the often-criticized voice-overs and the pamphlets given out in movie theaters, to ensure viewers understood what was happening. It’s actually based on the novel’s introductory passage but with more information crammed in.



    Show Spoiler
    “A beginning is a very delicate time. Know then, that it is the year 10,191. The known universe is ruled by the Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, my father. In this time, the most precious substance in the Universe is the spice melange. The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel. The Spacing Guild and its navigators, who the spice has mutated over four-thousand years, use the orange spice gas, which gives them the ability to fold space. That is, travel to any part of the Universe without moving. Oh yes, I forget to tell you. The spice exists on only one planet in the entire Universe. A desolate, dry planet with vast deserts. Hidden away within the rocks of these deserts are a people known as the Fremen, who have long held a prophecy, that a man would come, a messiah, who would lead them to true freedom. The planet is Arrakis. Also known as Dune.” Princess Irulan

    2. Brian Eno’s atmospheric “Prophecy Theme”. Eno supposedly composed an earlier soundtrack, but only this one track and some incidental background music was retained, the rest of the soundtrack being composed by Toto.



    Next time, Paul gets his bearings on Dune and tries his hand at a little cryptography. There might even be some screenshots.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2014
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  7. Azira Arcane Patron

    Azira
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    Codex 2012
    :avatard:
     
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  8. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

    Storyfag
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    I am deeply impressed by all the effort you put into this LP, man :salute: You are a paragon of the Codex :obviously:
     
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  9. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
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    After this initial bout of updates, I'll probably settle into one update per week.

    Aw, shucks :oops:. I'm going to interpret the second sentence in a strictly positive manner.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
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  10. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
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    5. Interface of Dune

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step - Laozi

    With all the background information that out of the way, I’ll start covering the game.

    Show Spoiler

    In true codexian fashion, we’ll start by nitpicking the game’s intro :smug:

    I included the intro again under the spoiler tag for your convenience.

    Show Spoiler

    There are actually two parts to the introduction: the visual-only part, which lasts about 3 minutes, and the part that includes the text in update 3 (and voice narration in the CD versions). The second part lasts however long the player wants, since each “slide” of text requires a mouse click or key press in order to proceed to the next one.

    The tracks that play during the introduction are called wormintr (visual-only) and wormsuit (text and visual). The wormsuit track only plays during the introduction, which is a pity, since it’s the longest track and most people skip through the intro because it’s fairly short. Fortunately, there is a way around this, which I’ll mention when discussing the music settings.

    The first part of the video contains several shots that never show up in-game:
    -at 1:00, we see a sunrise. This is impossible in-game since you always look to the north. That scene is never seen in game; there no rocky ranges like that seen at the horizon. The in-game dunes look different, as well. Also, while the sky looks very nice in-game (the sky palette even gets a separate mention in the credits), it’s never of the shade seen here and the color transitions are always uniform from left to right.
    -the village at 1:13 is never seen in-game (that I know of; there may be one or two villages I never found)
    -you never see this shot of Paul with the dunes in the background
    -you never see all these characters on the balcony. Two characters shown here will be missing from the shot and another character not shown here will be present instead
    -at 1:54 we see a sunset. This is impossible in-game since, you always look to the north. The only thing in this shot that shows up in the game is the fortress.
    -we never see the shots at 2:00 and 2:06 in-game (I’m referring to the soldiers)
    -the make-out scene at 2:19 does not occur with the palace in the background

    [​IMG]


    “In these times of the future, man has explored many worlds, travelling through space by the use of the SPICE.”
    That’s like saying “the future is now”. By definition, “these times” can only refer the present.
    Show Spoiler
    unless you’re living in the past (a common affliction around here)
    :troll:

    I am reminded of the introduction to Plan Nine from Outer Space:
    “We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future.”
    Show Spoiler


    [​IMG]




    “You're PAUL ATREIDES, son of Duke Leto Atreides.”

    First difference from the novel: in the opening paragraph it is explicitly states Paul is 15 years old when the story begins. That doesn’t look like any 15 year-old I’ve ever seen. Normally, I would attribute this to research failure, but I know this was a deliberate choice to make him look like Kyle MacLachlan, who was 25 years old when he played Paul Atreides in the film.

    Here is what Paul looks like in the Amiga and SEGA CD versions:

    [​IMG]

    You might recognize zerotol 's avatar since it became visible once more.

    [​IMG]

    There was a Dune demo that used a younger-looking version of Paul (as SCO previously mentioned):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    “The HARKONNENS, long time enemies of your family have come on Dune to control the Spice production, in their brutal way.

    But the Emperor of the Universe has allowed you and your Atreides family to go on Dune too.”

    Duke Leto was ordered, not allowed, to become governor of Arrakis by the Emperor Shaddam IV Corrino. It was more of “an offer he can’t refuse”, to quote The Godfather. Also, the Atreides replaced the Harkonnen in governing the planet (i.e. a monopoly on spice harvesting), so the two houses were not allowed to be on the planet at the same time, in competition.

    Interestingly, the Harkonnen were allowed to keep their home planet Geidi Prime, but Duke Leto had to relinquish his fief Caladan when taking over Arrakis.

    Also, the Atreides’ archenemy is what appears to be an old sumo wrestler. This actually in keeping with the novel’s description of Baron Harkonnen as a very fat man who needed anti-gravity suspensors to move around.

    “The story begins as you've just arrived on Dune, in an empty palace located at a safe distance from the Harkonnen fortresses.”
    In the book, the Harkonnen are based out of Carthag and Duke Leto relocated to Arrakeen, since it was smaller and easier to defend. This is reversed in-game: the Harkonnen are in Arrakeen and the Atreides headquarters is in Carthag. However, Arrakeen is accurately depicted as being close to the north pole of the planet. Carthag is named after the ancient city of Carthage in northern Africa.

    Also, Carthag was described as “a cheap and brassy place some two hundred kilometers northeast across the Broken Land” in the novel, while in game some NPCs are impressed with the palace and it is located in the southern hemisphere (Herbert didn’t specify Dune’s size, but I highly doubt two hundred kilometers is enough to travel from the north pole (Arrakeen) to the southern hemisphere) southwest of Arrakeen.

    The name Atreides is derived from Greek, where it referred to the descendants of Atreus, the king of Mycenae, and father to Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, and Menelaus, king of Sparta. Agamemnon and Menelaus were known as the Atreides and were two of the main leaders of the Greeks during the Trojan War, which was started because Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, abducted Menelaus’ wife Helen. Read the Iliaid for more on that.

    Interestingly, the Romans claimed that they were descended from Aeneas, who led the survivors of Troy to Italy. On his way to Italy, Aeneas stopped in Carthage, where Queen Dido fell in love with him and committed suicide when she heard he was abandoning her, prophesizing that the Carthaginians and Romans would become bitter enemies. This has nothing to do with Dune.

    I’ve read that the Harkonnen surname is Finnish.

    The feud between the Atreides and Harkonnens goes back thousands of years, when an Atreides ancestor banished a Harkonnen for cowardice in 88 BG. That BG means “before the Guild”, which means the feud dates back over 10,000 years.

    Now, on to the game proper.

    We are playing as Paul Atreides, Duke Leto’s only child and heir. We start in the Carthag throne room. Before doing anything else, let’s cover the UI.

    [​IMG]

    The music playing in the Carthag palace is the track called Arrakis and is the second-longest track.

    The game features blobber-like movement (first-person, grid-based), but you can’t turn around 90 degrees and all rooms are the same size (one grid square). The only other games that use this type movement that I’m aware of are Cyro’s KGB (a.k.a. Conspiracy), which used a modified version of the Dune engine, and a little maze/trivia game called Mindmaze that was part of Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia.

    Now let’s cover the features of the heads up display (HUD) on the bottom part of the screen. A neat feature is that the color of the user interface changes color based on the dominant color in a room (inside) or the time of day (outside).

    In the lower left corner there is a book and three smaller icons underneath. The first of the small icons is a day counter, where the position of the sun (during the day) and moon (during the night) indicates the time. The NPCs do not keep schedules and there are only two instances where the time of day actually matters. Each day lasts 16 minutes of real time, though time passes much faster while travelling.

    Here’s some more information (from the Dune2K/fed2K forum) on how time flows:

    “The day is divided in to 16 units. That makes them 90 minutes long. Each unit takes 60 seconds of real time. That makes a day 16 minutes long. The minimum time is Day 1 12am. The default time is Day 1 4:30am. The start time is Day 1 9am. The clock goes to Day 365 10:30pm and then resets. The results go to Day 999 10:30pm. The maximum time is Day 4096 10:30pm. Wait for morning is 4:30am. Wait for evening is 10:30pm. Travel makes time go by at a faster rate.”

    The other two icons are for the portraits of the NPCs who are currently following you. You can talk to the characters by clicking on their portraits.

    Clicking the book brings a sort of journal that summarizes what Paul has done so far and what topics (broken down by category) he has learned about. A neat feature is that the book icon becomes an open book and clicking on the right page moves the text to the next page of the currently selected topic, while clicking left page moves the text to the previous page. There is even a little animation of the page turning, both on the main screen and the book icon. Flipping to the last page displays the game credits. Also, the CD versions include short excerpts from the film in the journal. The Water of Life track plays while the book is open.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In the center there is the list of clickable actions we can take in the current room/screen. I’ll call all locations rooms even though some of them are outside; we’ll be spending most of the game indoors anyway (desert survival 101: stay indoors, avoid direct heat and drink water). All actions except for “See Dune Map” can be performed by clicking on a person/object in the current room, similar to a point and click adventure, but with much less interactivity. “See Dune Map” is always visible in the first-person mode.

    I mentioned that the game is an adventure-strategy hybrid. The adventure elements play a larger role in the beginning, while the late game emphasizes the strategic aspects. There are no puzzles or inventory to speak of; instead, you can take up to two along NPCs with you (if they’re willing, that is), which is sometimes required to advance the plot. I guess that loosely-speaking the NPC's can count as fetch quest items.

    Finally, on the right, there is a diagram of the current room and all directions you are allowed to move in. For example, in the first screen, we can move forward/north, backwards/south, and right/east.

    [​IMG]

    In the Atreides palace, you can also see a red dot the center of the rectangle. When clicked, the button will cause a map of the palace to pop up, which is rather pointless due to the small number of rooms. The X’s are NPC’s. The small gaps represent doorways. The rooms with no doorways on the lower left and lower right are inaccessible for now.

    Let’s try moving forward, shall we?

    [​IMG]

    This brings us to the bedroom. It’s the only one in the entire palace, so I’m not sure whether it belongs to Duke Leto and Lady Jessica, or to Paul.

    [​IMG]

    Here we can “look at mirror”, which, sure enough, brings up an actual mirror so we can look at Paul moving his eyebrows and moving his eyes left and right. Another nice touch is that the background image is flipped horizontally, mirroring the bedroom, so that the desk in on the left and the bookcase on the right.

    Anyway, there’s more to this mirror, since it allows the player to restart, load, save and exit the game. However, all actions except the restart can be performed anywhere. The mirror actually has another purpose, which I’ll mention when we reach that part.

    Interestingly, I’ve read through a few Dune walkthroughs over the years and I remember that some of them answered the “how do I save the game?” in the FAQ section by mentioning the mirror room in the Atreides palace. But none of them mentioned that it is possible to save and load the game at any time using the “See Dune Map” action, which, as I’ve said, is available in any room. Only the restart option is missing, but for that you can quit the game, since when you run the game it automatically restarts it.

    This is a moot point, since we’ll be in the palace so often that it won’t make much of a difference.

    By clicking the Load or Save actions, we’ll see the following screen, allowing us to use two savegame slots:

    [​IMG]

    Of course, it is possible to have multiple saves by copying up the savegame files and pasting them into another archive directory. Still, there’s room enough for a couple of extra savegame slots on the action list, so I’m not sure why Cryo didn’t include more.

    Since I’ve been blathering about the “See Dune Map” action, we might as well check it out now:

    [​IMG]

    The red hawk head denotes our current position on the zoomed-in map. In the bottom right corner we can move the screen up, down, left and right, or click the red hawk head to center the map on our current location. We can rotate the map, but only along the planet’s axis (think of spinning a school globe). The Sekence track serves as the music when viewing the map, but if we access the Dune Map screen from the first-person mode, whichever song was already playing will continue playing.

    We can issue some orders from this screen, but all action save for “Exit Maps” are currently disabled.

    In the lower left corner, we can click on the globe, which brings us to this screen, the Standard Globe view:

    [​IMG]

    Here we see a zoomed-out map of Dune, with the blue pointer marking our current location. The globe is rotating east to west (I’m not sure if Herbert ever mentioned Dune’s direction of rotation), the opposite of Earth.

    In the lower left corner we can rotate the globe both horizontally and vertically, or click the red hawk head to center the map on our current location. We can also rotate the globe by clicking immediately above, below, to the right and to the left of the globe. Clicking on the globe itself will bring us to the previous zoomed-in map (as does the “Exit Globe” action).

    In the lower right corner there is a yellow rectangle. If clicked, this is center the globe on our current location, then go to the zoomed-in map of the area.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, on the action list we can exit the globe, save and load the game, see the results or go to options. The only options are to turn the music off, turn it on game-relative (ex. travel music only plays while travelling, throne room music only in the palace, etc.), or listen to all tracks CD-style (either standard order or shuffled). For my first playthrough, I listened to game-relative music, but then I switched to shuffled CD-style so the music won’t reset every time I leave the palace, for example, and to listen to tracks that don’t play as often, such as the Morning track or Wormsuit (introduction) music.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The Results screen is the same as the Standard Globe view, except that the areas controlled by the Atreides and Harkonnen is overlaid on the rotating globe and we can see the following statistics on the left and the right as bar graphs: percentage of Dune’s area controlled, spice production is kilograms per hour, number of men under our command, the day counter and our current charisma (more on that later). The “Standard Vision” switches the view back to the Standard Globe view. The Water of Life is used for the Results screen, as well.

    Here’s an interesting fact: the color of each faction matches the novels’ description, where the Atreides’ symbol was a red hawk (their actual house colors were green and black, another detail Cryo got right: look at the banners in the throne room) and the Harkonnens’ symbol was a griffin (their pennant was orange and their uniforms were blue). Compare to Westwood Studios’ Dune RTS games, where they switched the colors, giving the Atreides a blue hawk head and the Harkonnen a red ram head, because obviously good guys are blue and bad guys are red.

    The reason why the Harkonnen had their symbol changed from a ram to a griffin probably due to The Dune Encyclopedia (1984), an authorized, but non-canonical collection of essays compiled by Willis E. McNelly. The work is presented as an in-universe encyclopedia written some time before the fourth novel, God Emperor of Dune, and it expands on the history and technology of the Dune universe. However, later novels, both by Frank Herbert and by Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson contradict it in many aspects. Since the encyclopedia is also a tool of propaganda in-universe, the erroneous details can be hand-waved as deliberate disinformation.

    For those of you familiar with Dune from the Westwood RTS games, you might notice the fact that House Ordos was not mentioned. This is because Westwood invented the house, using the encyclopedia as inspiration for the house name and coat of arms (source):

    “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).”

    The DOS CD version has another option that is available at all times in the first-person viewpoint: the Mixer Panel. This brings up a menu where the player can adjust the volumes, enable/disable subtitles (remember, the CD versions have recorded speech for all characters).

    [​IMG]

    Last, but not least, there are the language options. Interestingly, American is considered as a language. It probably will result in a different spelling such as “color” vs “colour”, “honor” vs “honour”, “center” vs “centre”, “dialog” vs “dialogue”, etc.

    [​IMG]

    This shows the Fremen language option. It seemed unlikely that the developers would waste this much effort on translating the game in a fictional language. Also, it is obvious that that the first three options are “Music On”, “Music Off”, “Music Off”. The Fremen language, Chakobsa (there actually exists a “hunting” language with this name in the Caucasus), is based on Arabic and Farsi (with some Gypsy and Slavic thrown in) and should be written right to left, which is not the case in-game.

    However, the words in parentheses were longer than their English equivalents. Looking at the screenshot below, it’s obvious that the third option is a single substitution cipher of “Duke Leto Atreides”. But the first option, “See Dune Map” was four words in the Fremen script. Using the letters from “Duke Leto Atreides”, we can see that the last two words correspond to “de Dune”.

    [​IMG]

    Then, I suddenly remembered that Cryo was a French studio, so they used the single substitution cipher on the French plaintext rather than the English one. There is no distinction between lowercase and uppercase, just as in Hebrew or Arabic.

    [​IMG]

    Also, the Empire’s official language is Galach, which is an Anglo-Slavic hybrid. Herbert probably made this choice due to the fact that the United States and the USSR were the world's superpowers at the time of writing. Herbert also made use of merging seemingly incompatible concepts in the religious syncretism of the Dune universe, as evidenced by terms such as Mahayana Christianity, Zensunni Catholicism, Buddislam, the Orange Catholic Bible.

    Next time: Will Paul finally mange to get out of the bedroom and accomplish something? Will we manage to make it through the first day? Will the onslaught of negative feedback end yet another Dune LP prematurely?

    Stay tuned!

    Show Spoiler
    And you guys thought I was kidding last update about the “single step” in the opening quote and the cryptography in "Next Time" section. :smug:

     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
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  11. zerotol Arcane Patron

    zerotol
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    3,514
    Location:
    BE
    reporting in, will follow
     
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  12. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
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    11,168
    Location:
    Fiernes
    The bull with bloody horns in the throne room is very nice attention to detail from Cryo.
     
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  13. Donaroriak Augur

    Donaroriak
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Messages:
    101
    Project: Eternity
    I approve of this spergfest, although the level of detail in the coverage may end up getting in the way of the action.
    Dune was one of the first games I played on PC, after the Amiga days, and to this day I have the adlib soundtrack on my music player (and occasionally the sandworm theme as a ringtone).
     
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  14. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,289
    6. Getting Started

    Behold, as a wild ass in the desert, go I forth to my work.
    - Gurney Halleck

    Last time: Paul walked from the throne room to the bedroom and looked in the mirror.

    Show Spoiler
    We go to back to the throne room, and try the room to the right, which brings us to the balcony, apparently looking east (more on this later).

    [​IMG]

    You can see an ornithopther in front of the building (it’s a static image: it will always show a single ornithopther, even when there are multiple or none available at the palace). You can see two other balconies on the building, but they’re not accessible. We can’t do anything else here so we return to the throne room.

    [​IMG]
    There is nice detail I missed for a long time in this room: as abnaxus has noted, there is a Salusan bull’s head mounted in the throne room, just like in the novel, where it belonged to the bull that killed the Old Duke, Leto’s father. Note that the bull’s horns are still bloody, just as in the novel. It is never explained; just a little easter egg for fans of the book.

    [​IMG]
    This is what the throne room looks like in the Amiga version.

    [​IMG]
    and the Sega CD version.

    Notice there are four soldiers in the Sega CD version. Although the DOS version has a superior color palette (see Paul’s face in the previous update), the Amiga and Sega versions in some ways look better (ex. the soldier shapes look more human). Interestingly, the Atreides’ red hawk crest above the doors are facing in the same direction in the Sega CD version and the red dotted line above is missing,

    Also, the Amiga and Sega versions to not have the humanoid figure with outstretched arms above the action list.

    We’ve already been north and east, so the only option is to head south.

    [​IMG]
    Stupid railroading!:x

    Note: The game gets rather repetitive for a while, so I’ll point out unusual character reactions or minor details that add depth to the game. You guys said you wanted more text, and by Shai-Hulud, you’re going to get it!

    I forgot to mention that there is only one difficulty level, and includes a lot of handholding and a quest compass (not a literal one, thankfully, but rather in the way NPCs remind you what you need to do). It’s a rather easy and fairly short game and can be finished in 15-20 hours at a leisurely rate.

    [​IMG]
    :troll:
    The Overmind’s introduction is a pretty good summation of Leto’s role in this game. Also, I like how the phrase “know that” is also present in the movie’s Irulan quote and the word “awaken” will actually be used by Leto later (Dune fans know what I’m talking about).

    I also like the Starcraft quote because it contains the title of two Yes songs, Awaken and Birthright (AWBH was Yes in all but name).

    [​IMG]
    Paul: Nice to meet you, dad. [talk to me]
    Duke Leto: My son, we must mine the spice as soon as possible… otherwise the Emperor might recall us from Dune.
    Paul: Now, when you say we... [talk to me]
    Duke Leto: We’ve spotted three troops of Fremen around the palace and I’ve sent Gurney Halleck to meet them. He’s not back yet. Go there and see what’s going on.
    Paul: Troops of Fremen, huh? Are they like roving bands of gypsies staking out the palace? Is that why you sent Gurney after them? Wait, he’s not back?! Can’t you come with me, just in case? [come with me]
    Duke: No, I have to stay here!

    I’ve asked the Duke to come with me. He’s the only character badass enough to refuse being bossed around by Paul (who is much younger than almost every other character in the game).

    The Duke might seem familiar if you've seen SCO's old avatar.

    Note: I’ll generally include the first screenshot of a conversation as an establishing shot, but will transcribe the text to make it faster to read. You guys said you wanted text, not pictures, after all.

    Sometimes, I’ll include some additional screenshots for comedic effect (check out the characters’ facial expressions). And not because I’m too lazy to type out the text. No, that wouldn’t be the reason at all…

    [​IMG]
    Here’s what the Duke looks like in the Amiga version
    [​IMG]
    and the Sega CD version. Again, the red dotted line is missing above the red hawk crest.
    I’ll only do a few more of these DOS/Amiga/Sega CD comparisons. I found the Amiga and Sega CD screenshots on the information superhighway.

    Note: I later decided to highlight conversation options so that the replies make more sense. Sometimes a dialogue option is highlighted before it is clicked, and sometimes after it is clicked (it will generally be obvious in context). The reason I did this because sometimes clicking on a dialogue option will change the action list, so I need to highlight it before I click it.

    We head south.
    [​IMG]
    We reach the palace dining room.

    [​IMG]
    Paul: Hot mom – I mean: Hi mom. I am your son, Paul. [talk to me]

    [​IMG]
    Amiga

    [​IMG]
    Sega CD. For some reason, the left side of her collar is missing.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Lady Jessica is clearly based on Francesca Annis, who played the role in the film version. Being targeted toward a younger audience, the game does not mention that Lady Jessica is Duke Leto’s concubine, not his wife. This is because he wanted to leave open the option of making an advantageous marriage alliance with another house. Something tells me that the Duke would make a very successful ruler in Crusader Kings II...

    Paul: Come with me.
    Jessica: I don’t think I need to be at your side.

    [​IMG]
    A hallway with a strange raised perspective lies to the south. The green and black Atreides banner is another element from the novel that is not explicitly mentioned.

    [​IMG]
    Further south, we find a coatroom at the palace’s entrance (you only think this is a joke). It’s not mentioned, but I think it’s supposed to be an airlock to preserve indoor humidity.

    [​IMG]
    We go south one more time and arrive at the palace’s entrance
    The contraption parked in front of the palace is an ornithopter.
    This bad boy will be our primary means of transportation
    Show Spoiler
    at least for now :smug:


    [​IMG]
    Amiga. Notice the ornithopter seats are blue. The sky is red because it’s at sunset (see the setting sun and rising moon in the day counter).

    [​IMG]
    Sega. This ornithopter also has blue seats and part of the right wing is visible above the cockpit, unique to the Sega version. The palace is rendered using 3D graphics.

    [​IMG]
    DOS CD. The ornithopter seats are now brown.

    [​IMG]
    The statues in front of palace remind me of the Winged Figures of the Republic at Hoover Dam.

    Notice that in the CD versions, the palace is facing south-east instead of south-west. This might seem like an arbitrary decision, but I think it was done to reconcile the fact that the balcony room is facing east, not west.

    [​IMG]
    Interestingly, in the demo video that SCO linked, the balcony was facing the opposite direction.

    Ornithopter means “bird wing” in Greek and refers to aircraft that are propelled by the movements of wings. This is a detail the movie got wrong, probably due to budgetary constraints. The book also mentions that ornithopter have jet engines and can fly with wings outstretched. In the novel, ornithopter is sometimes shortened to orni to ‘thopter. The game also calls them ornis occasionally, and this is what I’ll be calling them going forth.

    It takes around 4 minutes (1.5 days in game) to circumnavigate the planet around the equator using an orni. A day lasts about 2.5 minutes, so the time passes six times as fast when flying.

    Invoking the Amtal Rule, I will proceed to test the game to the limit. So, in order to satisfy the Codex’s need for Schadenfreude, let’s see how far we can make it in the desert. You can read about it under by expanding spoiler tag below.

    Show Spoiler
    First, some appropriate background music for an idiot wandering in the desert:


    [​IMG]
    This is what the palace looks like by heading south one time in the DOS floppy version. It has a beautiful, cathedral-like design that gives it an iconic look.

    In the desert, we can use the “wait for evening” action (I use “action” in the loosest sense of the word) during the day and “wait for morning” action at night, which will fast-forward to sunset and sunrise. I already mentioned that the time of day matters in only one or two instances, so we won’t be using these a lot.

    The “wait for morning” can be used as a substitute for sleeping for larping purposes, but this LP won’t indulge in such decadent behavior, favoring the “sleepless spice overdose-fueled conquest binge” approach.

    Catharg and Arrakeen are both cities in the novel, but in the game they are just palaces sitting in the middle of the desert.

    [​IMG]
    Amiga version. The “wait for morning” action is available.

    [​IMG]
    DOS CD version

    [​IMG]
    Heading south

    [​IMG]
    and south…

    [​IMG]
    and south…

    [​IMG]
    and south…

    [​IMG]
    and south…

    Note that you can still see the palace six screens south of the palace steps. The maximum drawing distance for the palace and sietches is about twenty screens. From here on, it’s just desert.

    [​IMG]
    After 21 screens of travelling in the desert, you will see an image of the sun glaring, as a warning. It will be repeated every 16 screens, regardless of the direction of travel. You will get the warning on screens 21, 37, 53 and 69.

    The fourth time you see the sun, you will be treaded to the dehydration sequence:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    On the DOS PC version, for some reason, the dehydration sequence goes on until Paul nearly becomes a skeleton:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Remarkably, Paul does not actually die from wandering in the desert. Instead, he will wake up after a few hours at the sietch or palace where he started his desert trek, where he will be chastised by whichever character is at that location:
    [​IMG]

    Even more remarkably, if the nearest sietch is unpopulated, Paul will be miraculously moved there even if he had no companions to drag him to safety.

    The sun glaring down warnings are kind of useless, since Paul will faint after 69 (get your mind out of the gutter) steps, so the second warning at step 37 is already too late for him to return to shelter. Step 34 is the latest you can turn back, but it doesn’t matter since the desert can’t kill you anyway (well, it can get you killed indirectly if the hours lost recovering result in missing a deadline).

    Here’s some screenshots of the desert from the DOS CD version:
    [​IMG]

    Note that now the palace if facing directly south. These guys at Cryo just can’t make up their mind.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The palace is already no longer visible.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    So I wonder why do they call this place Dune? :troll:
    [​IMG]
    An example of Dune’s dynamic lighting for day/night cycles.
    [​IMG]
    Just as in real life, the light at dawn and dusk make the landscape particularly photogenic.
    [​IMG]

    While the dunes look more dramatic in the CD versions compared to the flat horizon of the floppy versions, for some reason I get the feel that the texture of the sand is wrong and clashes (it looks more like sandstone to me) with the rest of the game. I think it’s due to the reddish color and the ever-present sand ripples.

    Walking in the desert for more than a couple of screens is pointless in this game. I’ve read on a forum that it’s possible to walk between two specific sietches that are really close to each other on the map, but I seriously doubt it.

    Regarding the sun, you’d think Paul should be able to walk farther during the night, since there’s no sun. You’d be wrong. Behold the midnight sun:
    [​IMG]

    And yes, the same dehydration animation is reused, with daylight outside.

    [​IMG]
    Looking at the orni’s navigation screen (it comes up every time we take an orni from first-person mode), we can see five known locations on the map: Carthag (the Atreides palace and our current location), three sietches to the east, and Arrakeen (the Harkonnen).

    Naturally, we choose Arrakeen as our destination.
    :troll:

    After flying a short while and entering the Harkonnen-controlled zone, we get this warning message:
    [​IMG]

    We ignore the warning. :smug:

    And then this happens:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    It actually starts the same as the dehydration sequence, but the decay continues until only Paul’s ring is left. If we were to choose the “Restart Game” option, Paul would regenerate (the decay sequence played backwards at a fast rate) and start a new game in the throne room.

    We resume the game at the palace steps.


    The “Take an ornithopter” option brings up the orni’s navigation console.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Amiga. The decorative navigational instruments and gauges are more detailed and blue instead of green, matching the seat colors.

    Through the power of metagaming prescience, I choose the southernmost of the three sietches as the destination (though it has no in-game effect).

    The sietch names are compound words, where the first name is the name of the region, and the second name is one of a nine words: Tabr, Timin, Harg, Tuek, Clam, Tsymyn, Siet, Pyons, Pyort. There are twelve regions: Arrakeen, Carthag, Tuono, Habbanya, Oxtyn, Tsympo, Bledan, Ergsun, Haga, Cielago, Sihaya, Celimyn.

    Most of the names come from the novels, but not referring to the same locations. Not every region has all nine sietches (in fact, only Tsympo does) but all have at least two of them. In fact, they are listed in the order they are used in-game, so that most regions have Tabr, Timin, Harg, Tuek sietches, but there are only two Siet’s only one Pyort (Pyons is a special case).

    These are two screenshots from the DOS CD flying sequence:
    [​IMG]
    Dunes
    [​IMG]
    Approaching rocky terrain
    [​IMG]
    Rocky terrain

    While travelling, the Warsong is used as background music.

    This video show pretty much the entire 3D flight sequence.


    I don’t like the DOS CD flying sequence as much as the floppy version, since the orni is constantly swaying left and right. Also, the floppy version has a faster movement rate, which makes it more “realistic” and a better fit for the music. For me, the 3D flying sequence creates an effect similar to the uncanny valley, where it has just enough level of detail for me to realize that it’s a loop.

    There are only two basic loops in the DOS CD flying sequence: flying over sand dunes, and flying over rocky outcroppings. While it’s nice in the sense that it makes the planet seem less flat, it gets awfully repetitive (how many times can you fly under the same identical stone arch?) and sometimes you have to wait a few extra seconds because the animation loop gets to the correct place for a sietch (this is annoying when you can’t skip to the destination because the destination is unknown). Also, I don’t really like the hazy monochromatic sky (which is purple during the daytime for some reason).

    In the DOS floppy version, on the other hand, we see the beautiful sky from walking mode:
    [​IMG]
    Dunes
    [​IMG]
    Rocky terrain (and a sietch). The DOS CD version would have required the player to wait until the end of the rocky sequence, whereas the floppy version has no issue drawing the sietch among the rocks. Of course, the rocky terrain presents its own problem since there are no mountains or rocky flats, just random rocks jutting out of the sand.

    The humanoid figure above the action list bows its head during the flight sequences, as can be seen in the screenshots above.

    [​IMG]
    We reach the first sietch, Carthag-Tuek.

    [​IMG]
    The orni landing animation on the CD versions includes a slight shaking of the camera up and down on impact, which is a nice touch.

    [​IMG]
    See how the sky changed colors from a flat purple to a blue to white gradient?

    [​IMG]
    We step inside the sietch and find Gurney Halleck, safe and sound, and a Fremen.

    The two tracks that play in fremen sietches are Sietchm and Bagdad, but at a later point in the game, Morning will be used as well. This covers all the game’s music.

    Paul: Was I interrupting anything?
    [​IMG]
    There you have it, folks: this mad scientist-looking dude is one of the Dune universe’s greatest warriors. However, Gurney was described as being a balding “ugly lump of a man” with wispy blond hair in the novel, so the video game has a better portrayal than the film, which used Patrick Stewart for the role.
    Paul: Serve the Atreides? You mean like a butler? :troll: [talk to me]
    Gurney: I’ve just come into contact with the Fremen. The Fremen have always lived in the sands of Dune. They live in sietchs so well hidden that no one knows exactly how many they are.
    Paul: They have always lived here? Funny, because they look human to me. You know, from EARTH. The plural is “sietches”, by the way. [talk to me]
    Gurney: I’ve tried to convince them to work for us… Try, Paul… They may trust you.
    Paul: People don’t tend to react positively when a snooty rich kid asks them to work for him. Trust me. I’ll give it a shot, anyway, just for kicks. [stop talking]

    [​IMG]
    Paul: Oh, hai.
    [​IMG]

    ¿Qué? Daj mi przyprawy, kurwa. Você parece estranho. هل تحب الكباب؟
    [​IMG]
    Paul: Talk to me.
    Fremen: We’ve heard of you: you’re the son of the Atreides Duke and of Jessica, the… (… Could he be the One? …)
    Paul: Nice attempt at foreshadowing, kebab, but you sound like a stalker. [talk to me]
    [​IMG]
    This is screenshot is not edited. Fremen will actually say “…” (pronounced “uhm…” in the CD versions) when they run out of things to say.
    Paul: Work for me.
    [​IMG]
    Paul: Wow, that was easy.

    We can now give troop orders on the Dune map.
    [​IMG]
    The “Ask for more information” option loops through several facts on the troop.
    [​IMG]
    We can select the troop’s occupation (otherwise the fremen will just stand there).
    [​IMG]
    There are three different troop occupations available: spice mining, army training, and ecology (currently disabled).

    As you can see, the Fremen don’t feel inspired enough to fight for us just yet. This raises the question “why is the army option enabled, then?” since the game usually disables options that are locked by the plot. My only answer is that Paul doesn’t know about the ecology option yet, which is true about the other disabled options as well, but he knows he knows he needs warriors:
    We go with the only available option, spice mining. If there’s one thing Age of Empires, Lords of the Realms 2, Starcraft and Warcraft have taught me, is you don’t let your peons… ehm, workers idle.
    [​IMG]
    Some Fremen have existing experience in mining or army (I’m not sure about ecology, because I don’t use it a lot). There are six different skill levels: on trial, novice, average, efficient, skilled, expert.

    We can’t ask the Fremen chiefs to accompany us, but we will soon be able move the troops to other sietches. Also, Fremen chiefs are called naibs in the novel, but Cyro didn’t bother including the term in the game. I’ll refer to them as naibs occasionally.

    At this point, we need to be in the same sietch as a fremen chief in order to give orders to his troop.

    We talk to Gurney again.
    Gurney: It would best to visit the three sietchs together and return to the palace to tell the Duke.
    Paul: Fine, you can tag along, but I’ll be the one who calls the shots and determines “what would best”. [come with me]
    Grney: Ok, Paul, I’m going with you.

    [​IMG]
    We fly with Gurney to Carthag-Timin, the middle sietch. Notice his portrait in one of the two companion slots near the day counter.

    I’m generally going to exclude exterior shots of the sietches and travel sequences, since they look alike.

    [​IMG]

    Paul: Did you notice that “Fremen” is only two letters away from “Frenchmen”? Tell me more about these yokels and stop it with the creepy grin. [talk to me]
    Gurney: The Fremen seem to be organized in tribes or troops.

    When talking to companions, the background image doesn’t change, since the companions are presumably right next to Paul, but when talking to non-companion characters in the same room, the background image is zoomed in, to simulate Paul approaching them (compare the background in Gurney’s dialogue from the previous sietch to this one where he is a companion). The zoom causes the backgrounds to seem very pixelated in comparison to the character models since it basically magnifies an area of the background (digital zoom, not optical zoom).

    Gurney is talking about the Eyes of Ibad, an effect of spice addiction where both the irises and sclera (white of the eye; and you guys thought you wouldn’t learn anything from this LP) turn blue (“blue within blue” or “blue on blue”).

    If there’s enough spice around on Dune for thousands of Fremen to habitually consume, I’d say that the 1000 kg per year figure is very low. The novel mentions that spice is “severely addictive when imbibed in quantities above two grams daily per seventy kilos of body weight”. In other words, a spice addict has to spend 620,000 solari per decagram for a fix that lasts less than a week, and requires 730 grams of spice worth 45,260,000 solari per year.

    We now talk to the Fremen chief.

    [​IMG]
    Paul: WTF is that thing on your head, pornstache man?! :what: I’m getting a bad vibe from this talk of feeling and penetrating. [work for me]
    [​IMG]
    Paul: That’s it, Gurney, I’ve had it! Let get away from this sleazy creep!

    [​IMG]
    We now fly to Carthag-Harg, the northernmost of the three sietches.
    [​IMG]
    Paul: What, you’re been stalking me, too?! You better be ready to make it up to me! [work for me]
    Fremen: Yes, I agree to let my troop work for you.
    Paul: Oh, that was easy. I could get used to this.

    [​IMG]
    Paul: Select troop occupation: spice mining.
    Fremen: We know a little ‘bout spice mining… [this means they start at the Novice level instead of On Trial]
    Fremen: Since we started, we’ve extracted 2 kgs of spice, an average of 2 kg per hour. Right now we are doing 2 kgs an hour.
    Fremen: This area is relatively poor in spice.
    Fremen: Harkonnens are very near.

    Congratulations, you’ve now seen all Fremen chiefs in the game. Cyro did a neat trick and used a unique hairstyle, facial hair style and hair color combination for every Fremen leader (even though I suspect there are a couple of duplicates), but there are only three basic character models used: orange stillsuit, blue stillsuit and green stillsuit.

    Here’s what Gurney suggests when talking to him:
    Gurney: Let’s go and tell the Duke that we have two troops working for us.

    [​IMG]
    In a nice example of user-friendly interface design, we can take an ornithopter from the Dune Map screen, if one is available at the current location, bringing up the orni navigaton screen. In an extremely nice example of user-friendly interface design, we can click on another sietch or palace and the option “fly there in an orni” will be available.

    [​IMG]
    Their reconnaissance mission complete, the pilots of purple twilight are flying home. A minor quibble is that the palace, sietches, dunes and rocks are 2D sprites, so it looks like you’re arriving from the south regardless of the direction of travel (a lot of early pseudo-3D games have the same issue).

    [​IMG]
    Flying to the palace in the DOS CD version.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    When we land, the palace is on our right, like in the floppy version, yet for some reason, once the flying sequence finishes, the palace is on the left. These Cryo guys just can’t make up their minds.

    [​IMG]

    In the dining room, there’s a new character. First, we talk to Jessica.

    [​IMG]

    Then, we talk to this Duncan fellow.

    [​IMG]
    Paul: :what: [talk to me]
    [​IMG]
    Paul: :rage: [talk to me]
    [​IMG]
    Paul: Was supposed to insinuate something, Porky? You telling me she’s a spice addict? [talk to me]
    [​IMG]
    Cryo takes Duncan Idaho, one of the Dune universe’s most badass characters and greatest warriors, with a reputation of being a ladies’ man… and turns him into a fugly, stuffy accountant (no offense, zeitgeist).
    mandatory Monty Python reference (open)


    He was supposed to be a 10th Level Swordmaster of Ginaz! This is the guy who single-handedly killed seventeen Sardaukar supersoldiers in one battle!

    [​IMG]

    The CD versions give Duncan and some other characters some tablet-like devices for displaying the quantities. When I played the game for this LP, I was reminded of Dr. Lexus’s quote from Idiocracy: “That will be this many dollars”.

    Cryo had a good reason to do it, since the numbers are dynamic and will go up in the thousands. Thus, the little numerical displays prevent the need for the numbers to be pronounced.

    [​IMG]

    This is the quote you’ll learn to hate in this game, as Duncan feels the need to repeat it every single time you finish a conversation with him. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. This is just in case the players forget this part of the game’s introduction:
    One minor quibble is that you can’t see the actual spice anywhere in the game.
    Paul: Get bent. [come with me]
    Duncan: I can’t now. I have some work left here.
    Paul: :smug:

    We talk to Jessica about the spice, as Duncan suggested.
    [​IMG]
    Note the similarity to Princess Irulan’s quote from the film:
    “The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel. The Spacing Guild and its navigators, who the spice has mutated over four-thousand years, use the orange spice gas, which gives them the ability to fold space.”

    [​IMG]
    I took these Jessica screenshots from the DOS CD version, so that’s why the time is earlier than the Duncan screenshots.
    Notice that the “>>>> Talk to me option <<<<” has brackets around it and there’s an additional option “What ?”, which causes the voice to replay (useful when the subtitles or speech boxes are disabled).

    Note: speaking of chronological discrepancies between screenshots, you may notice situations where some DOS floppy screenshots where the date a time jumps forward and backward. This is because I realized I missed a few responses and started a new game or restored a save game.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
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  15. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
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    You raise a good point, since the ten billion solaris are specified as being the Harkonnens' share of the profits. However, I still think my estimate is fairly accurate. According to the novel:
    I took the 161 kg and increased it to 1000 kg, which is in line with the above-mentioned 15% profit rate. Also, the Harkonnen were ruthless about regarding exploitation profits, so technically that 161 kg represents an even higher profit margin. Of course, 62,000 solari/g might be a reseller's price with generous markup.

    Speaking of the math of Dune, I think Herbert made the harvesters too large at 120 m by 40 m. That's as large as a football field and there's almost a thousand of them. By my previous estimate, each gathers only 1 kg of spice per year, barely enough to sustain a spice addict and there's tens of thousands of them on Dune alone (the Fremen). The harvesters also need to be picked up easily by caryalls in case of emergency.

    Interestingly, Frank Herbert's Dune is the only Dune video game that made the harvester remotely as large as in the novel, but even there it was too small.
     
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  16. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    Yeah, that is somewhat inconsistent. Also, I fail to see how "OMG 400-meter Sandworms!" could legitimately threaten something as big as a spice harvester. Damage it? Sure. But not devour like it is described in the novel.
     
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  17. Multiple Sarcasm Arcane

    Multiple Sarcasm
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    I couldn't resist...

    [​IMG]


    Show Spoiler
    Cryo's Idaho has a bit too much of Andhaira going on there. I should probably caption it with "Simply better, that's why" or something. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
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  18. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

    MicoSelva
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I will never understand why people love Dune so much.

    I read the first book a long time ago and came out underwhelmed. Did not feel any interest to check any of the sequels.
    As I am trying to know the classics, I dived into the series once again a couple of years ago, and ended up disappointed. While I do see how influential these books were on science-fiction in their time, because there was nothing like them when they first appeared, I do not consider them a very good read. I have read four in total, and they were all pretty mediocre (1st and 4th were better than 2nd and especially 3rd) and, frankly, boring. I have similar thoughts about Lord of the Rings, but LotR is way better written (even if still boring).

    Show Spoiler
    I did like God-Emperor as a character a lot, though.


    The 5th tired me so much, I gave up. Maybe I will try to resume the series at some point, when I recover.

    What annoys me the most about this series is the great premise, awesome setting and cool characters - who almost never do anything interesting. There is buildup, there is promise, but in the end, not much happens. The little does that does happen has awful pacing and loads and loads of repetitive filler in between.

    Anyway, I will be following this LP, because this is a good game (and I do enjoy Dune as a setting) - actually, it was one of the titles that made me a PC gamer before I even got my first PC, because it looked awesome when I saw it first. Looking forward to more updates.
     
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  19. Storyfag Perfidious Pole Patron

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    Lynch's visuals sold the setting to me.
     
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  20. Nevill Arcane

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    Dune is first and foremost a world to me, and only then a novel. It is a lot like LotR in that regard.

    There might be better stories, but there are few settings that are that cohesive and logical. The ability to create an Universe in such great detail always fascinated me.

    Besides, there is a lot of truth in what Herbert writes about religion and politics. The story is less about characters and more about the events they get to participate in.

    I dig this kind of books, though I understand why it might be boring to someone who prefers more character-driven narrative.
     
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  21. Ulminati Kamelåså! Patron

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    Heretics and Chapterhouse are generally considered far weaker than the rest of the series. You can safely stop after God Emperor of Dune without missing anything important. Messiah/Children are also slightly weaker than Dune/God-Emperor, but they do fill out the gap leading up to GEoD, so they're worth reading for that.

    It goes without saying that the Brian Herbert prequels should be avoided like the plague.
     
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  22. abnaxus Arcane Patron

    abnaxus
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    Brian Herbert/Kevin J Anderson novels are basically the BioWare treatment of Dune. In their novels that end the Dune saga characters that have been dead for thousands of years are resurrected and indulge in one massive inane soap opera drama. And the ultimate ending is literally Mass Effect 3's synthesis ending.
     
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  23. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
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    I agree that the setting is what makes Dune compelling and unique. Also, even though it's soft science fiction, I like it because it treats itself seriously and strives for consistency and doesn't feature alines.

    A reason I like both Dune and LoTR is that they both have literary merit, feature compelling world-building and strive for being more than yet another escapist space opera or fantasy.

    Regarding the lack of action, one of my favorite scenes in Dune is the dinner party where all the tension and drama stems from the dialogues, the mental chess and ulterior motives.

    And to give credit where credit is due: thank you MicoSelva for setting the bar high with your own LP's (which is how I found the Codex in the first place). As you see, I've stolen appropriated your spoiler tags.
     
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  24. Abelian Somebody's Alt

    Abelian
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    I had to go check, but it seems that I was so used to thinking about the video games and film with the smaller harvesters and how worms swallow them, that I forgot that Herbert said the smaller worms damage the harvesters and eat them afterwards (I still think the harvesters are too large, though):
    The factory in the quote refers to a harvester factory (a spice harvester, not a factory for producing spice harvesters :)).

    The Dune Wiki notes the size discrepancy as well:
    Herbert describes a small worm as being 110 m long and 22 m in diameter. That's a 5:1 ratio, which I think is too small, but larger ones may be more elongated.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
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  25. MicoSelva Prestigious Gentleman Don't call Abigail Patron

    MicoSelva
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Insert Title Here RPG Wokedex Serpent in the Staglands Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 Bubbles In Memoria A Beautifully Desolate Campaign Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    I never meant 'action' as shooting blasters at jedi knights. I agree that the dinner scene was great, and for me it is action - in a sense that characters are doing something interesting. My problem is that this is a rare occurence in these books.

    Show Spoiler
    God-Emperor of Dune has a lot of scenes like this, and they are also great - at first. But they are all based on how weird, different and unique God-Emperor is as a character, and it gets old eventually.

    Oh, I did not invent spoiler tags in LPs - I was not even using them at first, until someone gave me the idea. ;)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
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