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Melange - The Main Menu:

1. Contents: The Shell Interface

  1. Introductory Cinematic
  2. Identification Menu
  3. Main Menu Interface
    1. Campaign
      1. Begin New Campaign
      2. Replay Completed Missions/Cutscenes
    2. Load Mission
    3. Multiplayer
    4. Tutorial
    5. Replay Introduction
    6. Exit Game

1. Introductory Cinematic

1. INSERT - FILMBOOK

We SEE the characteristic gridlines of a filmbook entry. The filmbook screen is split into a large viewer, with a column frame index divided on the right. Controls and circuitry litter the edge of the screen. In the lefthand corner "The Year 10,191" flashes in white.

1A. INSERT - FILMBOOK - THE BUTLERIAN JIHAD

An unseen hand initiates a search through the index on the right. Headings skim through the index at a rate too fast for the eye to distinguish them, as a high-pitched electronic fluster whines. Finally there is a click as the words "Butlerian Jihad" appear, bold and stark against the remainder of the index. A TONE sounds, and the viewscreen is updated with this recorded entry, spoken by the PRINCESS IRULAN.

IRULAN (V.O.)
Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free, but it only permitted other men with machines to enslave them. In the time known as the Butlerian Jihad, the thinking machines revolted, rising up and turning on their apathetic creators. Following the Great Revolt, humanity was forced to develop its own mental awareness and thinking to achieve its tasks. Two surviving schools of such training are the Bene Gesserit and the Spacing Guild.

1B. INSERT - FILMBOOK - TRAINING SCHOOLS

A new title appears in the index. "Training Schools" is selected.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The Bene Gesserit, of whom I am a member, is publicly known as a semi-mystical religious order. The Sisterhood trains its female students in objective observation, and strict self-control and understanding. "My mind controls my reality." We Sisters are viewed with equal parts fear, awe, and disgust, even described as "witches," but our powers are often underestimated. That is our advantage. The Guild, on the other hand, emphasises pure mathematics, and controls intersystem transport by its monopolisation of interstellar navigation. The limited prescience of the Guild Steersmen allows them to navigate their Heighliners at faster-than-light speeds. Space travel is essential for the perpetuation of the galaxy-wide Empire.

1C. INSERT - FILMBOOK - THE IMPERIUM

IRULAN (V.O.)
The Padishah Emperor Shaddam IV, my father, rules over the Great Houses of the Landsraad, vassals appointed fiefdom of local planets and systems by the Emperor. This rule is assured by his fearsome armies of Sardaukar, the elite soldier-fanatics trained on Salusa Secondus. The economic wealth of the Imperium is maintained by the universal development corporation Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles - the CHOAM company. CHOAM itself is controlled by the Emperor and the Great Houses of the Landsraad, with the Guild and Bene Gesserit as silent partners. The Houses of the Landsraad depend on CHOAM profits. CHOAM dominates the markets of almost all products, most notably the spice, Melange.

1D. INSERT - FILMBOOK - MELANGE

IRULAN (V.O.)
There are few that would be unaffected if the spice ceased to flow. Melange is the most valued substance in existence. It is admired for its unique, though addictive, geriatric properties. Consumption results in sustained youth and expanded consciousness. Most notably, the Guild Navigators require the spice to pilot their starships. Without Melange, inter-system navigation would collapse. The resulting isolation would stagnate the Houses of the Landsraad, and the Imperium would crumble. Melange cannot be artificially manufactured, and can be found only on one planet Arrakis, commonly known as Dune.

1E. INSERT - FILMBOOK - ARRAKIS

Once the Arrakis recording is selected, the viewscreen is filled with a view of the dusty planet from space.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The third planet of the Canopus system, Arrakis is a harsh and inhospitable environment; a sea of vast deserts and barren dunes, a pitiless wasteland wracked by dust storms. Mighty native sandworms roam beneath the sand, attacking anything on the surface that creates a vibration. Were it not the only source of the Spice, it would be deemed unsuitable for human habitation. Since the fall of the previous Emperor, Frederick IV, the House of the ruthless Baron Vladimir Harkonnen has held an eighty-year CHOAM directorship over spice mining. Recently, my father has withdrawn this directorship, and shifted control of Dune to his popular cousin, Duke Leto of House Atreides. In a few Standard days, the entire Atreides household will embark on a Spacing Guild liner for Arrakis. The two Great Houses are mortal enemies, and our spies report that the Harkonnen have not yet abandoned their prize. We can only guess at the Emperor's true intentions, but we are certain that this change masks a far deeper plot. A popular man arouses the jealousy of the powerful. However, we have discovered that the Spacing Guild has assured their interests in the outcome. They are anxious that this possible shift in economic power could threaten their control. Spies planted in their organisation have assured us that the Guild have enlisted the aid of the enigmatic and mercantile House Ordos to secretly infiltrate the planet...

2. EXT. DESERT SURFACE OF ARRAKIS - DAY

The screen transitions to a view from the sandy dunes of Arrakis. A HARVESTER is collecting Melange from a rich spice field.

IRULAN (V.O.)
... and ensure that the spice continues to flow.

The filmbook scanlines DISSOLVE, and we are truly viewing these events on the surface of the planet. The crawler continues to harvest for a couple of seconds. A pair of escorting TRIKES zip past. A spotter Light Ornithopter is glimpsed overhead.

Suddenly the distinct WHISTLE of an incoming warhead is heard. There is a vast EXPLOSION as a trailing missile streaks in from the left and strikes the Harvester. When the smoke clears, the wrecked Harvester has been thrust onto its side, spice leaking from its ruptured storage tanks. There is a WHINE of engines as the Trikes rush past the camera in the direction of the missile's source.

3. EXT. TRIKE CHASE - DESERT SURFACE - DAY

The camera trails the Trikes as they careen across the sand. In unison they activate their SHIELDS, shimmering and crackling. One of them veers to the side to avoid a dark patch of DRUM SAND. There is the distant sound of a SANDWORM ROARING.

We switch to a tilted floor view as the Trikes ramp over a concealing dune, their supension systems SHRIEKING as they land on the safety of a flat rock ridge. Their MUZZLES FLARE as they open fire on an unseen target.

4A. EXT. SANDRIDERS - DESERT SURFACE - DAY

Cut to a scene of a group of ridden SANDWORMS moving across the desert at ferocious speed, plumes of sand spilling aside in their wake. We can barely see the tiny figures of HOOKMEN on their backs.

4B. EXT. HARKONNEN HEAVY INFANTRY - DESERT SURFACE - DAY

We see a Harkonnen Heavy Infantry. His shield is active, sending shimmering distorting waves down his body as he moves. His feet are planted far apart as he fires off rounds from his gatling gun. Spent ammunition shells litter the sand around him. A gleam of pleasure is visible upon his face as we hear the pitiful sounds of shredded death nearby. A dense shadow appears, covering an area of ten feet around him. Confused by the sudden darkness, he looks upward.

4C. HARKONNEN HEAVY INFANTRY'S POV

We change to the Harkonnen's POV as a ridden Sandworm lunges forward, its bristling teeth enclosing him, silencing his scream. The screen turns black as we enter its fearsome maw.

4D. INT. HARVESTER - DESERT SURFACE - DAY

The camera pulls out from the dark interior of the ruined Harvester, emerging from a gaping, smoking hole in its side. We briefly see a Salvager hunched nearby, his visor down as he peels away the Harvester's scrapped hull with his cutting torch. He ducks suddenly as a flaming projectile hurtles above him.

5. EXT. BATTLEFIELD - DAY

The camera continues to zoom out, panning across the cratered battlefield, surveying the carnage below. The zoom gains pace, moving rapidly upward until the battling figures below are little more than specks. The sounds of battle become increasingly indistinct. Atmospheric clouds obscure the view, and then a few moments later we have emerged into space.

6. ARRAKIS - A SCENE FROM SPACE

The camera ceases to zoom as Arrakis is fully in view. A bold letter 'M' appears from the bottom of the screen and hurtles towards a location just above the planet. There is a resounding CLANG as it takes up its position. Further letters appear in a similar manner, until the word "MELANGE" is shown. The letters are shaded with the orange colour of Spice. Below the planet, the green subtitle "Conquest of the Desert Planet" FADES in. As the background music reaches a CRESCENDO, we hear the shrieking voice of the BARON:

BARON (V.O.)
He who controls the Spice, controls the Universe!

This is followed by an ORCHESTRA HIT as the music FADES OUT and the titles disappear, leaving only the orbitting image of DUNE.

2. Identification Menu

Before the Main Menu Interface is accessible, a window will pop up requesting the player to enter their name (if this is the player's first game, or the player wishes to start from scratch), as well as a menu to select an existing callsign if continuing the game. This ID system will be used to keep track of the player's previously completed missions and cutscenes, which can then be replayed or viewed at will. In addition, this callsign will be used during Multiplayer games, and for a record of the player's current availability of cheats. This also aids in knowing the Tech Level to be used in the Experimentation Station training mission.

3. Main Menu Interface

The final image of Arrakis at the end of the Introductory Cinematic will merge into the Main Menu Interface, with the Main Menu interface ring surrounding the planet. Arrakis will continue to spin. The outer yellow ring is divided into six sections, each indicating a menu option. To select an option, left click the desired option, and the ring will rotate clockwise until the option is at the bottom division of the ring. The selected option is then highlighted and illuminated. The readout below the ring interface displays the function of this button in more detail (in this example, "Start New Campaign or Replay Completed Campaign Mission"). An animated image appropriate to each option appears over the centre of the planet. In this case, a rotating circle consisting of a blue, red, green, and magenta triangle (the House Selection interface in the next screen) is shown. For "Load Mission," a floppy disk icon with an animated up arrow; for "Multiplayer," two arms shake hands, then twist up into an armwrestling pose; for "Tutorial," a spinning black graduation cap; for "Replay Introduction," a cycling arrow; and for "Exit Game," an arrow pointing outwards from a computer monitor. To activate the selected menu option and move to the next screen, left click the selected cyan-coloured option.

Keyboard Command: A menu option can also be selected from the keyboard. The right cursor key will rotate the ring one division in a clockwise direction. The left cursor key will rotate the ring one division in a counter-clockwise direction. The readout will be updated in the usual manner. To activate the menu option, press the Enter key.

1. Campaign

When selected, the House Selection icon will cease spinning and expand to its full size as the remainder of the ring interface melts away. From this icon, you can select a single-player game to play with a particular House. Below the House Selection icon is a strip of three commands: Easy, Medium and Hard. Click any of these to change the level of difficulty during the single-player campaign. Finally, the Return arrow in the top left corner will take you back to the Front End.

1. Begin New Campaign

The House Selection icon is split up into four sections. Each House's herald appears on the section of its appropriate background colour. Over the blue field of House Atreides, a noble hawk perched on a silver wreath, its wings spread. Over the red field of House Harkonnen, a ram's head, with burning red eyes and gold-tipped horns. Over the green field of House Ordos, a green snake with glittering ruby eyes, wrapped around a gold coffer. Over the purple field of House Corrino, a Sphinx-like recumbent golden lion, gazing disdainfully at the viewer. A sceptre is under its right paw, and above the left, representing Imperial authority and confidence. It wears a golden crown bejewelled with amethysts. Left click any of the four Heralds. The chosen one will then be outlined, with the name of the House displayed in the readout below (for example, "The Vicious House Harkonnen"). Click the Herald again to view a video description of this House to aid you in your decision. The triangular herald of the selected House is scaled and moves up into the top left hand corner, as the remainder of the screen dissolves, replaced by a galaxy of stars. The introductory video for the selected House is then shown:

1. House Atreides Cinematic

7A. INSERT - HOUSE ATREIDES DESCRIPTION - CALADAN ZOOM

From the shimmering starscape, a series of zoomed quadrants brings a pleasant, oceanic world into view.

IRULAN (V.O.)
House Atreides has resided on the planet Caladan, third planet of the Delta Pavonis system, for twenty six generations. This planet's warm climate and lush, fertile lands have resulted in a highly developed society, where honour, peace and the individual rights of all are paramount. They are not prone to brute force ...

7B. INSERT - HOUSE ATREIDES DESCRIPTION - LEADER'S PORTRAIT

The planet dissolves into the background, and is replaced by a head-and-shoulders portrait of the Duke, striking a proud and noble pose.

IRULAN (V.O.)
...and have a high degree of loyalty and respect for their leader, the Duke Leto Atreides. He commands strict discipline, yet rules with a just and fair hand among both his troops and people. Though a brilliant ruler...

7C. INSERT - HOUSE ATREIDES DESCRIPTION - COMMANDO PORTRAITS

The image of the Duke dissolves, while the portrait frame glows white, and splits into two identical frames. Their black interiors then fade into portraits of Duncan Idaho and Gurney Hallack.

IRULAN (V.O.)
...in matters of warfare, he relies heavily upon the formidable duo of battle commanders Duncan Idaho and Gurney Halleck, whose reputations by far precede them. These two have already done much to establish a stable base for a rapidly forming alliance with the native Fremen of Dune. However, much of the inventiveness of these three men can be attributed to the wisdom of the House Mentat Michelle de Alleuath.

7D. INSERT - HOUSE ATREIDES DESCRIPTION - MENTAT PORTRAIT

The frames are restored to a single picture, which is flooded with the smiling, attractive face of the Mentat Michelle. She wears a blue and white strapless velvet gown. She has blonde hair and is fairly short. She has a soft, pleasant voice, calm and reassuring. In character, she is polite, courteous, and concerned. Though she bears the stain of Sapho Juice, she consumes it with sufficient care that marks do not blemish the area around her mouth, and instead it appears as if she is wearing raspberry-coloured lipstick.

IRULAN (V.O.)
Just as females are a rarity among the ranks of Mentats, so Michelle's rare intellect and keen insight have been a credit to House Atreides. She has replaced the previous Atreides Mentat, Noree Moneo, whose long-time service to the House was tragically ended during the Emperor Frederick's "contest". Although a recent addition to House Atreides, she has already distinguished herself through ingenious planning and foresight, and proven her good management capabilities. She is an invaluable asset to House Atreides, and should prove an effective and worthy advisor during the campaign on Arrakis.

7E. INSERT - HOUSE ATREIDES DESCRIPTION - PLAYER PORTRAIT

Michelle's portrait fades out, and is replaced by that of Paul Atreides.

PAUL (V.O.)
Paul Atreides, son of the Duke and his concubine, the Lady Jessica. At my father's request, I am to assist him in establishing Atreides governorship on our new home, Arrakis; although I suspect danger here, beyond the perils of Dune itself. Danger and terrible purpose.

2. House Harkonnen Cinematic

8A. INSERT - HOUSE HARKONNEN DESCRIPTION - GIEDI PRIME ZOOM

From the shimmering starscape, a series of zoomed quadrants brings a dark crimson, industrial world into view.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The thirty-sixth world of Opiuchi B, the dark planet of Giedi Prime has spawned the House of Harkonnen; Evil, ruthless, and savage, a House whose viciousness has spread throughout the galaxy. Notorious for their violent methods and vindictive vendetta against the Atreides, this House is led by the Siridar Baron, Vladimir Harkonnen.

8B. INSERT - HOUSE HARKONNEN DESCRIPTION - LEADER PORTRAIT

A portrait frame materialises over the rotating globe, displaying an image of the repulsive Baron.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The epitome of the House, savage and barbaric, this repulsive fiend has fiercely ruled the Harkonnen through fear and bloodlust. His lust for power and dominance is rivalled only by his hatred for House Atreides. The Baron's main field commander on Arrakis is his nephew, Count Glossu "Beast" Rabban ...

8C. INSERT - HOUSE HARKONNEN DESCRIPTION - COMMANDO PORTRAIT - RABBAN

The image of the Baron is replaced by Rabban.

IRULAN (V.O.)
... former ruler under the Harkonnen regime. Renowned for his cruelty and lack of pity, Rabban is the ideal Harkonnen commander. He is assisted by Iakin Nefud.

8D. INSERT - HOUSE HARKONNEN DESCRIPTION - COMMANDO PORTRAIT - NEFUD

The Rabban portrait is shifted to the side, and another portrait appears in its place. Nefud has yellow hair, a flat face, and green eyes. Crisp lines radiate from a thick-lipped mouth. He looks like some water creature misplaced among those who walk the land.

IRULAN (V.O.)
This stocky, efficient conscript has recently been promoted to captain of the Baron's guard following the demise of the previous captain. Such deaths are not uncommon amongst the Harkonnen ranks. He is addicted to semuta, the drug-music combination that plays itself in the deepest consciousness, though this has done little to mar his ability on the battlefield. However, the brains behind the House come from the Harkonnen Mentat, Hayt De Vries.

8E. INSERT - HOUSE HARKONNEN DESCRIPTION - MENTAT PORTRAIT

Rabban's image is replaced by Hayt's. Unlike most gholas, Hayt does not exhibit the Tleilax tendency towards artificial eyes. However, he bears the characteristic features of a twisted Mentat: disfiguring Sapho Juice stains, elaborately furry eyebrows, and a propensity for elaborate, exaggerated hand gestures. He is ruthless, cruel, cold, and egomaniacal.

IRULAN (V.O.)
Hayt is a Ghola, a re-animated corpse purchased from the flesh-vats of the Bene Tleilax. This has done nothing to reduce his efficiency, however. His ingenious insight and ruthless cunning have not only maintained his position from other aspirants, but has ensured a highly threatening position from the Harkonnen among the Houses Major.

8F. INSERT - HOUSE HARKONNEN DESCRIPTION - PLAYER PORTRAIT

Finally, Siguld's image is replaced by Feyd-Rautha's.

FEYD-RAUTHA (V.O.)
Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen, heir apparent to the barony, and the Baron's youngest nephew. My uncle has commissioned me to facilitate the Emperor's plot on Arrakis. This will assure us the final destruction of House Atreides, and the restoration of our rightful control of Dune.

3. House Ordos Cinematic

9A. INSERT - HOUSE ORDOS DESCRIPTION - POLARIS ZOOM

From the shimmering starscape, an area in the top left corner of the screen is indicated by a flashing white box. This cluster of stars is brought into view.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The Ordos are a House shrouded in mystery. Little is known of their true intentions, or enigmatic military hierarchy. We suspect their frigid homeworld to reside somewhere in the Ursae Minoris cluster. Our spies can report that their ice-covered world has little resources or agricultural capability, and they rely exclusively on their mercantile abilities to survive. Their strictly efficient ideology has allowed them to generate immense wealth over the centuries. Nothing less than total obedience is permitted. No technology is considered illegal if it will enhance their efficiency. For their income, they rely largely on the smuggling and trading of forbidden Ixian technologies. Their contacts span the known Universe. The Ordos have shown themselves to be deceitful, cunning, and manipulative. We have been unable to determine the identity of the leader of this secretive House, but assume it to be one of the members of the original families of the Cartel.

9B. INSERT - HOUSE ORDOS DESCRIPTION - ENIGMATIC PORTRAITS

A portrait frame materialises over the starfield, but displays nothing more than a gleaming question mark. The portraits begin to multiply, plastering the view with unknown faces.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The Ordos continue to retain their mask of secrecy. After their previous defeat on Arrakis, it was discovered that they had smuggled an illegal conscious robot from the Ixians to serve as their Mentat, in exchange for a fortune in Spice. Following the failure of this computer in human form, the Ordos willingly agreed to dismantle the abominable creature, Edric O. We do not know the identity of their new Mentat, or even if they have yet employed a replacement. However, there are few that can retain the rank of a Great House without the essential services of a dedicated advisor. Given their past failures with both human and computer, we shudder to think what atrocity they may attempt next. There is a wild and unproven rumour that the Ordos have managed to replicate the Ixian's cloning technology. We can only hope that this is pure fabrication. Otherwise, the Ordos could run the risk of hurtling us back into the chaos of the Butlerian Jihad.

9C. INSERT - HOUSE ORDOS DESCRIPTION - ALLY PORTRAIT

One of the portraits glows. When the light dims, the question mark has been replaced by the spice-mutated image of a Guild Navigator.

IRULAN (V.O.)
Another worrying aspect is an increased interest of the Guild in the dealings of this House, and we have reason to suspect a mysterious alliance.

9D. INSERT - HOUSE ORDOS DESCRIPTION - PLAYER PORTRAIT

The myriad portraits dissolve. In their wake, one remains at the centre of the screen, the player's character, Earl Jago. He wears a dark green robe of office, lined with bronze-coloured fabric. His fingers are bedecked with rings, mostly emerald. He has a gaunt, slender face, with penetrating scrutinising eyes. His hair is long and straight, tied back in a braid and attached at the shoulder with a silver ring.

JAGO (V.O.)
Earl Jago. I was once the son of an Ordo nobleman, before the Cartel's culling. I have been granted the opportunity to facilitate the wishes of our beneficiaries, the Spacing Guild. Although my part in this campaign seems to be largely custodial and relevantly insignificant, there is much that could be gained from Arrakis, the largest asset in the known universe. Indeed, there is much potential here to ... better myself.

4. House Corrino Cinematic

10A. INSERT - HOUSE CORRINO DESCRIPTION - KAITAN ZOOM & LEADER PORTRAIT

From the shimmering starscape, a series of zoomed quadrants brings a dark green world into view. A portrait of the Emperor Shaddam appears beside the planet.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The Emperor Shaddam IV rules the galaxy from atop the Golden Lion Throne on the planet Kaitan. He is the eighty-first of the line of House Corrino to reign. Naturally, this grants House Corrino great power. Not only can the Emperor grant Governorship of Arrakis to the House of his choice, but his elite Sardaukar terror troops, brutally forged on the inhospitable Imperial prison planet Salusa Secundus, will enforce his decision. The excellence of his infantry ranks and the access to cutting-edge technologies that his position provide make House Corrino a formidable foe.

10B. INSERT - HOUSE CORRINO DESCRIPTION - COMMANDO PORTRAITS

The portrait of the Emperor vanishes. A pair of portraits appear on-screen; Count Fenring the eunuch, and Derrik Syrann, blonde and chisel-featured.

IRULAN (V.O.)
Count Hasimir Fenring, a distaff cousin and close childhood companion of my father, has been assigned as Imperial Agent over Arrakis; once the Harkonnen seize their temporary control, of course. The more military aspects of our campaign on Arrakis are being arranged by the Sardaukar Burseg Derrik Syrann. He will lead the charge against Arrakeen. To manage the more cerebral elements of his plot, Father has transported his own Imperial Mentat, Tyrone Walker, to Arrakis.

10C. INSERT - HOUSE CORRINO DESCRIPTION - MENTAT PORTRAIT

The two portraits are replaced by that of Tyrone Walker. He is silver-haired, and his features are ragged and time-worn. The spice has kept him in service of the Emperor for generations. He wears a purple sash across his chest, identifying him as the Imperial Mentat.

IRULAN (V.O.)
Tyrone has been our trusted advisor and a dear friend for as long as I can remember. I have no doubt that he will ensure our success here on Dune.

10D. INSERT - HOUSE CORRINO DESCRIPTION - PLAYER PORTRAIT

Finally, Tyrone's portrait is replaced by one of Irulan herself.

IRULAN (V.O.)
The Princess Irulan, daughter of the Emperor of the Known Universe. (laughs) A lofty title, indeed. And not content with this, my rash words have earned me another rank. When I heard that one of our lesser commanders on Arrakis had fallen to an assassination attempt, I followed the order of my Sisterhood, requesting that I occupy the boots of the fallen. Surprisingly, Father agreed to my request, despite my lack of military training. Of course, the Bene Gesserit have many means of persuasion. I know not what my Reverend Mother plans to gain from this shuffling of the hierarchy, but I solemnly swear that I shall perform my part to the full.

Once the House introduction is completed, three options will appear at the bottom of the screen. The "Select" option will enrol you in the ranks of the chosen House, and the Campaign will begin. "Info" will replay the House introduction. "Return" will take you back to the previous screen.

2. Replay Completed Missions/Cutscenes

Once a House is selected (the first click), in addition to the readout update, a window appears below the difficulty setting displaying all missions previously completed by this player for the selected House Campaign. If the player has not yet begun this Campaign, then the window is blank. Clicking on a mission shown in the window will automatically allow you to restart and replay the mission. This menu also logs all cutscenes and briefings that have been seen. Clicking on a cutscene will replay it for your viewing enjoyment. A scroll bar will appear on the right to access the remainder of the completed missions once the player has completed enough that they can no longer all be shown on a single page of the menu.

2. Load Mission

Please refer to the relevant section in the Options menu in the Game Interface for information about Loading saved games.

3. Multiplayer

The following multiplayer game modes should preferably be included. Hopefully the BattleMap random map generator used in Tiberian Sun will also be available in Melange. The generator should be able to also incorporate more detailed elements into the random maps, such as worms, random storms, smuggler camps, and so on. A set of detailed pre-designed multiplayer maps will of course need to be included. A construction kit for players to build their own custom-designed maps would be a wonderful addition, even if it is cumbersome and difficult to use. Anything included with a game that serves to enhance its longevity will work in its favour. When the player can harness his own creativity with the game tools, long after the in-box entertainment has been exhausted, he is a content and loyal consumer.

  1. Modem/Serial: Play against another player on another computer over a modem or null modem serial connection.
  2. Practice: Play a skirmish game against up to 7 computer controlled players on the multiplayer maps.
  3. Local Area Network: Play against up to 7 other players across an IPX based local area network.
  4. Internet: Play up to 3 other players across the Internet using Westwood Online.

Features

When setting up a Multiplayer Game, it could be possible to have control over the following features:

Be able to:

  • AI Difficulty: Select the AI difficulty level of Computer Opponents.
  • AI Players: Set the number of computer controlled players. You should also be able to select the House for each enemy AI player, rather than it being random. Random selection of enemy Houses could still be an option however.
  • Alliances: Establish Alliances before the game begins. Players in the same team are assigned starting locations as close to each other as possible. You can also set AI players as Allies rather than Enemies, and they will assist you.
  • Bailing: Choose what happens to a player's existing structures and units if he leaves a game in session. The options are Suicide (they explode, as in C&C: Tiberian Dawn, causing local damage), First Come First Served (they become neutral; when another player gets a unit near one of these neutral units or structures, it will come under his command), Vanish (they simply are removed from the game), or Inheritance (they are automatically given to the closest player; allies are given preference).
  • Concrete Slabs: Toggle whether or not Concrete Slabs need to be used.
  • Construction Yard Undeploy: Toggle whether Construction Yards are able to turn back into MCVs.
  • Crates: Set crates on and off, and also adjust the frequency of their appearance (low, medium, or high).
  • Credits: Set the credits each player begins with.
  • Day/Night Mission: Select whether you wish to play a day/night mission (indicated by a toggleable sun/crescent moon icon).
  • Handicapping: Handicap particular players. Inexperienced players can receive benefits such as additional starting units, extra money, reduced prices or increased production rate, while a more experienced player can handicap himself for a more balanced game.
  • Harvester Truce: Make Harvesters invincible, therefore neutralising the tactic of resource backstabbing. When in this mode, the sight range of Harvesters is reduced to zero, so that this feature cannot be abused by scouting with invulnerable Harvesters.
  • House Selection: Select a colour and House for each player. You cannot choose a colour that another player has already selected.
  • Map Selection: Choose a pre-rendered mission map from the variety on offer. There are filters to limit the map list based on size and other distinguishing characteristics. A preview of the map is displayed. From this image, each player can also set his starting location.
  • Shroud Regrowth: Toggle whether or not removed Shroud gradually creeps back over time. You can also adjust the frequency of regrowth. This feature should satisfy the Fog of War players.
  • Spice Spread: Toggle whether or not additional Spice develops around Spice sands.
  • Starting Unit Selection: Pick specifically which units you want to start with, subtracted from your initial credits, using the usual Backup Management Screen from the Campaign Missions. However, there would be of course be no reinforcements or Top Three.
  • Start Location: Select a preset Start Location on the multiplayer map for each player, if there are several options.
  • Storms: Set the frequency and duration with which random Coriolis and Electrical Storms occur (none, low, medium, high).
  • Unit Count: Adjust the number of units each player is allocated at the start of the game.
  • Unit Limit: Limit the number of certain unit types you can have, set from adjustment arrows beside each unit or structure type in a tree hierarchy. You can also set the state to zero for any of these nodes, toggling the availability of any of these in the multiplayer game. This provides more flexibility than a Tech Level system, though you can adjust the Tech Level as "presets" for the hierarchies for quick alterations.
  • Victory Conditions: You can set conditions for accomplishment of a game. "Destroy all enemy forces" is just one option. For example, you could set a time limit of one hour for the game. Whichever player has harvested the most spice and achieved the highest number of kills after the timer runs down wins the session. Other game types such as Capture the Flag could also be included here.
  • Worms: Toggle Sandworms, their number on the map, and their degree of aggressiveness.

4. Tutorial

Because Melange uses an advanced interface including a variety of new features, it will almost certainly require an in-game Tutorial to adequately familiarise the player with these intricacies. As the Training Missions are separate from the Campaign, it is plausible to use only a single Mentat to explain interface features during these missions. We recommend the Atreides Mentat Michelle de Alleuath. With her soothing, calm voice and polite, patient manner, she would be the best suited for a tutorial environment. You can skip Mentat statements during the Tutorial in case of tedium, and subtitles are included to ensure the clearest instructions and better memorisation through a combination of audio and visual cues. During the Training Missions, the player will be able to build no more than the most basic units and structures (the same available in the first mission of each Campaign): Concrete Slabs, Construction Yard, Wind Trap, Refinery, Silo, Barracks, Harvester, Light Infantry. You are also provided with an MCV if needed. This will be adequate to explain building units and structures, queuing, the Shroud, unit selection and movement, terrain identification, resource gathering, power needs, repairing and selling, selecting and grouping, waypoints, behaviour settings, and so on, through a series of short guided missions with limited objectives.

Another tutorial mission allows you to test available Units in the Firing Range. Controlling one Unit at a time (and gradually moving up the tech tree), you can move through the course within a set timelimit, destroying all decoy targets and avoiding hazards. Some are armed. Difficulty will increase as you progress. Voiceovers can be used here to point out the key differences between particular unit types (how they handle different terrain types, for example). Meanwhile, the player gets to test-drive new technology that becomes available to him in the Campaign missions.

In addition to the Training Missions, a final mission will be available in the Tutorial called the Experimentation Station. This mission has no enemy presence, and no required objectives to complete the mission. It is a testing ground for new technologies that you have gained during the Campaign Mission. The Tech Level is matched to your current technology level during the Campaign, so you will never find yourself spoiling the excitement of receiving new techology in the Campaign. The ID system explained earlier is used to keep track of this information. The player will need to select a House before entering this mission. Possibly you will have the ability to introduce enemy units for target practice, and so on. Finally, an in-game Hints System will be available, similar to that used in Dune II, which explains the operation of new units and structures as they are introduced. For example, upon first building a Missile Attack Centre, a pop-up window will appear explaining how to use its rather unusual Command Bar. This feature can be activated or disabled from the in-game Options Menu.

In Dune 2000, players were gently introduced to the game's nuances by scaling down the difficulty of the first three levels. This unfortunately meant that a third of the Campaign was over quite rapidly. With this system, the Training Missions handle the complications of a player's inexperience, so that the Campaign can be devoid of "hand-holding", providing a far more challenging and enriching experience.

5. Replay Introduction

From this option, you can replay the Introductory Cinematic, as well as any Sneak Peek trailers included with the game.

6. Exit Game

This option will return you to the real world (use with caution).

END OF CHAPTER. Please click here to go to the next section, which will describe the Game Interface.

Copyright 2000 [ Stuart Walpole & Andrew Schuurman ] All Rights Reserved

Site created January 15, 1998.
© Jesse Reid, All Rights Reserved, 2017.