Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

From Sega Retro


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Dune II: Battle for Arrakis
System(s): Sega Mega Drive
Publisher: Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Sound driver: GEMS
Genre: Simulation

Number of players: 1
Official in-game languages:
  • English
  • Deutsch
  • Release Date RRP Code
    Sega Mega Drive
    Videogame Rating Council: MA-13
    Sega Mega Drive
    Sega Mega Drive
    Sega Mega Drive
    £44.9944.99[3][4] T-70246-50
    Sega Mega Drive

    Dune II: Battle for Arrakis, known as Dune: The Battle for Arrakis in the US, is a strategy game developed by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment for the Sega Mega Drive. The game was also translated to German as Dune II: Kampf um den Wüstenplaneten. It was one of the first, if not first, Sega Mega Drive game to feature fully localized, spoken German language audio.

    Battle for Arrakis is a complete overhaul of Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty, a IBM PC/Amiga game released a year earlier. The Mega Drive version features streamlined controls, gameplay tweaks, new levels and an entirely new set of graphics. Dune II is considered a milestone in the real-time strategy genre, though was bettered by Command & Conquer a few years down the line.

    Three houses are available for play, each having it's own set of missions and (later on) special equipment/weaponry.


    The story of Dune II is slightly different than the official canon of the Dune universe. None of the characters from the book are mentioned and a new house called "Ordos", created by Westwood Studios, is avaiable for play.

    The Emperor of the Galaxy declares an open challenge to all powerful houses in the galaxy and announces that the victorious house will take control of the Arrakis, also known as "Dune", the only planet in the universe that a powerful life-prolonging substance called "Spice" can be mined. He states that there will be no rules of engagement.

    House Atreides

    Hailing from the beautiful planet of the Caladan, the people of House Atreides are known for their hardworking, peace-loving and dedicated nature. House Atreides believes an alliance with the local inhabitants of Dune, the Fremen, is the only way to establish rule over the Dune. The Noble House of Atreides is known for its tendecy to negotiate with their opponents first, a tactic that will most likely fail in Dune.

    In game, House Atreides focuses on technological superiority. While they cannot produce Heavy Troopers, they will be able to deploy Ornithophers, giving them some amount of air power. Their special weapon is the Sonic Tank and their ultimate special weapons are the Fremen.

    House Ordos

    A house created solely for this game, House Ordos is actually not really a noble house at all. It is a loosely allied group of merchants whose armies consist of mercenaries. They do not produce any weapons, instead purchase what they need and send them into combat. This insidious house believes that profits are everything and will stop at nothing until the profitable Spice-mining business is completely under their control.

    House Ordos cannot produce Quads, Trikes and Rocket Launchers. Their special unit is the Deviator and their ultimate weapon is the Saboteur. They can also produce Ornithopters but they develop them much later compared to the Atreides.

    House Harkonnen

    The most vile and violent house in the universe, House Harkonnen believes power is everything. Their desire is to take control of the Dune and take revenge from their hated enemy, House Atreides, drives them forward in their conquest of Dune. In House Harkonnen, power is never given; it is taken. If a soldier kills his commander and takes command, he is respected and feared by all.

    House Harkonnen specializes in heavy weaponary. They do not produce Trikes and light infantry. Their special weapon is the Devastator and their ultimate weapon is the Death Hand missile.


    In its original home computer form, Dune II was entirely mouse driven, however as this Mega Drive version does not support any mouse peripherals, all controls are mapped to the control pad. The d-pad moves your cursor, with movement sped up by holding C, A both selects units and gives orders, while B cancels. The objective is usually to destroy all enemy units and structures on the map, while preventing the same from happening to your forces.

    The construction yard can produce new buildings, while barracks and vehicle factories can produce infantry and vehicles, respectively. Building structures or units requires spice, which can be harvested at various points on the map. You can also spend spice fixing structures, or gain more by selling them. Many buildings also require power to function (quickly), so the player must build and defend power plants.

    Unlike later Command & Conquer games, each building can only construct one thing at a time, and each has a dedicated menu accessed by pressing A twice. There are also strict limits to the number of units allowed in the play area.


    Mobile Contruction Vehicle (MCV)
    A staple of the Westwood's strategy series, the MCV is the player's most important unit. An MCV can be transformed to a Construction Yard by clicking on top of it, allowing the player to produce other buildings. Not armed at all, the MCV must be protected at all times.
    Given free with every Spice refinery or produced from Heavy Weapons Factory, the Harvester will collect Spice and transfer them to the refinery for credits. Slow and unarmed.
    Light Infantry
    These lightly-armed and armored troops have little effect in the battlefield as they can be easily destroyed with either heavy weapons or simply running over them with a heavy vehicle. They can, however, be used for capturing enemy buildings. Simply move troops toward the structure when buildings' health is red. Soldiers will be lost during the attempt.
    Heavy Infantry
    While slower, these power armor-wearing troops carry gatling guns and rocket launchers. They are slightly more useful in combat and can capture buildings as well. Cannot be produced by Atreides.
    A three-wheeled recon vehicle. Light armor and firepower means that it will be useful for reconnaissance but little else.
    Raider Trike
    Produced only by Ordos, the Raider Trike is the fastest ground vehicle on Dune. It is even less useful in combat, however.
    A four-wheeled vehicle for both combat and recon, the Quad will be a potent force until tanks enter the battlefield.
    Combat Tank
    A fast and well-armed tank for both attack and defence.
    Siege Tank
    A powerful yet slow tank with heavy armor and firepower.
    Rocket Launcher
    A long range launcher with large rockets. Very useful for reducing enemy building to rubble, but cannot engage enemies in short range. Slow speed and low armor means it will need escorts. Very slow firing rate.
    A utility aircraft, Carryall can automatically transport and bring back harvesters. They can also take damaged units to a repair facility (but they will not bring them back). Can be brought down with rocket turrets. They are autonomous and cannot be directly controlled.
    An aircraft that flies with wing flapping motion. Armed with guided missiles, it can engage enemy units from the air but attack frequency is low. They are autonomous and cannot be directly controlled.
    Sonic Tank
    Possibly based on "Weirding Module" technology from the David Lynch's film adaptation, Sonic tanks fire ultrasonic sound waves that are lethal to soldiers and buildings. They are moderately effective against vehicles. Very long range.
    A specialized Rocket Launcher, warheads of the Deviator's missiles are filled with a brainwashing gas that will temporarily turn enemy units into Ordos control. Effect does not last too long however.
    Most powerful ground vehicle in the game, Devastator is a heavily armed and armored tank powered by an unstable nuclear reactor. It has no turret however and must turn towards the enemy, limiting its initative. Devastator can be ordered to self-destruct and cause damage to nearby enemies.
    Native inhabitants of the Dune, Fremen can be called from the Atreides Palace. While they cannot be controlled, these heavily armed troopers can wreak havoc among the enemy. Turrets cannot target them.
    A unit with questionable usefulness, the Saboteur can destroy an enemy building if it can reach it. While it cannot be seen in the battlefield, it can be seen in the map and all units seem to target it.
    Death Hand
    A product of Harkonnen's illegal atomic weapon stockpile, Death Hand is a powerful yet inaccurate cruise missile. It is recommendended to fire it to the middle of the enemy base for the maximum chance of a hit.
    Sand Worm
    An uncontrollable unit for all sides, Sand Worm will attack any unit that remains on the sand. If its health reduced to half, it will disappear momentarily. Atreides units, probably because of their alliance with Fremen, do not automatically attack them, so manual targeting will be necessary.

    Magazine articles

    Main article: Dune II: Battle for Arrakis/Magazine articles.

    Promotional material

    Print advert in GamePro (US) #60: "July 1994" (1994-xx-xx)
    also published in:
    Print advert in Mega (UK) #20: "May 1994" (1994-04-21)

    Physical scans

    Sega Retro Average 
    Publication Score Source
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    Based on
    0 review
    Sega Retro Average 
    Publication Version Score
    1700 igr dlya Sega (RU)
    Consoles + (FR)
    Cool Gamer (RU)
    Computer & Video Games (UK)
    Electronic Gaming Monthly (US) NTSC-U
    Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1 (RU)
    GamePro (US) NTSC-U
    GamesMaster (UK)
    Games World: The Magazine (UK) PAL
    Joypad (FR) PAL
    Joypad (HU)
    Mega (UK) PAL
    Mega Action (UK) PAL
    Mega Force (FR)
    Mega Fun (DE) PAL
    Mega Machines (UK) PAL
    Mega Play (US) NTSC-U
    MegaTech (UK) PAL
    Mean Machines Sega (UK) PAL
    Player One (FR)
    Play Time (DE)
    Sega Magazine (UK) PAL
    Sega Power (UK) PAL
    Sega Pro (UK) PAL
    Sega Zone (UK) PAL
    Sega Mega Drive Review (RU)
    Sonic the Comic (UK) PAL
    Tricks 16 bit (RU)
    Video Games (DE) PAL
    Sega Mega Drive
    Based on
    29 reviews

    Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

    Mega Drive, US
    Dune2 MD US Box.jpg
    DuneII MD US Cart.jpg
    DuneII MD US pcb.jpg
    Mega Drive, EU
    Dune2 MD EU Box.jpg
    Dune II MD EU Cart.jpg
    Dune2 MD EU Manual.pdf
    DuneII MD EU pcb.jpg
    Mega Drive, DE
    Dune2 MD DE Box.jpg
    DuneII MD DE Cart.jpg
    Dune II MD DE Manual.jpg
    Mega Drive, AU (Silver)
    DuneII MD AU silver cover.jpg
    DuneII MD AU Cart Silver.jpg

    Technical information

    ROM dump status

    System Hash Size Build Date Source Comments
    Sega Mega Drive
    CRC32 4dea40ba
    MD5 d4df66f77d52718798ec07d350d3a3cd
    SHA-1 0f7c1c130cb39abc97f57545933e1ef6c481783d
    1MB 1994-03-03[35] Cartridge (US)
    Sega Mega Drive
    CRC32 b58ae71d
    MD5 a0797d35cfb48d68ebb8b977d057ba3e
    SHA-1 133cc86b43afe133fc9c9142b448340c17fa668e
    1MB 1994-01-17[36] Cartridge (EU)
    Sega Mega Drive
    CRC32 39790728
    MD5 ddce15e5d196d785fc6430c7ac056f53
    SHA-1 55996cd262df518e92271bceee4d2a657cd7e02c
    1MB 1994-03-30[37] Cartridge (DE)
    Sega Mega Drive
    1MB 1994-01-11 EPROMs Page


    1. GamePro, "January 1994" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 224
    2. 2.0 2.1 Mega, "June 1994" (UK; 1994-05-19), page 81
    3. 3.0 3.1 Mean Machines Sega, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-11-30), page 128
    4. 4.0 4.1 Sega Power, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-02), page 56
    5. EGM², "July 1994" (US; 1994-07-19), page 61
    6. EGM², "August 1994" (US; 1994-xx-xx), page 53
    7. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "September 1994" (US; 1994-xx-xx), page 79
    8. 1700 igr dlya Sega, "" (RU; 2003-xx-xx), page 64
    9. Consoles +, "Mai 1994" (FR; 1994-0x-xx), page 106
    10. Cool Gamer, "9" (RU; 2002-10-13), page 69
    11. Computer & Video Games, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-15), page 84
    12. Electronic Gaming Monthly, "January 1994" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 44
    13. Entsiklopediya luchshikh igr Sega. Vypusk 1, "" (RU; 1999-xx-xx), page 30
    14. GamePro, "December 1993" (US; 1993-xx-xx), page 83
    15. GamesMaster (UK) "Series 3, episode 8" (1993-10-28, 24:00) (+7:53)
    16. Games World: The Magazine, "July 1994" (UK; 1994-05-26), page 16
    17. Joypad, "Mai 1994" (FR; 1994-0x-xx), page 128
    18. Joypad, "3/1994" (HU; 1994-xx-xx), page 16
    19. Mega, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-16), page 52
    20. Mega Action, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-30), page 16
    21. Mega Force, "Mai 1994" (FR; 1994-0x-xx), page 62
    22. Mega Fun, "05/94" (DE; 1994-04-20), page 100
    23. Mega Machines, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-09), page 72
    24. Mega Play, "February 1994" (US; 199x-xx-xx), page 46
    25. MegaTech, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-21), page 68
    26. Player One, "Mai 1994" (FR; 1994-0x-xx), page 78
    27. Play Time, "6/94" (DE; 1994-05-04), page 128
    28. Sega Magazine, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-10), page 120
    29. Sega Pro, "February 1994" (UK; 1993-12-30), page 32
    30. Sega Zone, "January 1994" (UK; 1993-12-23), page 62
    31. Sega Mega Drive Review, "1" (RU; 1995-04-03), page 46
    32. Sonic the Comic, "June 24th 1994" (UK; 1994-06-11), page 10
    33. Tricks 16 bit, "Tricks Sega Gold 800 igr" (RU; 1998-xx-xx), page 12
    34. Video Games, "6/94" (DE; 1994-05-25), page 97
    35. File:DuneII MD US VersionNumber.png
    36. File:DuneII MD EU VersionNumber.png
    37. File:DuneII MD DE VersionNumber.png

    Dune II: Battle for Arrakis

    Dune MD title.png

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    Prereleases: Prototype 1994-01-11