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The Origins of House Ordos Revealed


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16 replies to this topic

#1
Gobalopper

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We have always had a lot of discussion on the topic of how exactly the Ordos made it into the Dune games and more specifically their original appearance in Dune II. Well Marc Cram who worked for Westwood back then has filled me in on how it all happened and now it is here for all know:

I was a producer and designer for this project. The original idea was to make a game that captured the fun and imagination of those plastic army men. There were a couple of games out of Germany that were heading in that direction, but nothing that had all of the different equipment and abilities that we wanted to put into a game.

Virgin had the license to do Dune. They secretly gave to the project both to Westwood and a French company (cannot remember the name.) The French finished the game first, which was a 3D crawl game.

Our thoughts were that the story was too complex and rich to replicate in a video game. We decided that it would be best to take all of the fun elements in the game and create our own story.

I had read the books once and was a little confused as to all of the elements, but my friend Wesley (by the way, Wes is in another game. Eye of the Beholder I & II. The character’s name is Wently Kelso and he is an apathetic archeologist, which fits the real Wesley’s personality perfectly.) Anyway, Wesley was a big fan of the books and so I invited him to lunch at the Golden Nugget buffet.

Over a piece of salty roast beef, he pulls out the Dune Encyclopedia. He told me that the book was very rare and would not let me take it home. So on the back of a Keno pad I started writing down the profiles of all of the houses. (I think I still have the Keno pad).

Originally, I was going to use House X as one of the houses, but it seemed better as a resource. Also, living in Vegas, the House Ordos seemed like the Mafia. This appealed to me for some reason.


Marc also mentioned an artist from Hanna Barbara who, "kept drawing in flowers and bunny rabbits into the scenes, because she thought it was too violent." :)
Certainly an interesting story and it finally puts to rest the age old discussion. Thanks again Marc for filling us in.

#2
Terror

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well that's nice to know indeed. And i guess he meant Cryo with that french company right?

#3
Dunenewt

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House Ix not house X I presume.
Well at least that will stop all the debates.

#4
Inoculator9

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Yep :)

To quote Chief Whiggam: "Well that's the end of that chapter."

#5
Vanguard3000

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That's some excellent sleuthing work, Gob.

#6
nemafakei

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Ah, what a wonderful feeling to finally have an account of it. 12 years after the game, but never mind.

#7
ordos45

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At least it was solved.  :)

#8
SpiceGuid

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a good one, almost credible, however there are still some strange things.

#9
Terror

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Anyone thought of a new big mystery yet where we can break or brains on?

#10
Inoculator9

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The origins of House Mahdi?

#11
Terror

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??? He has a HOUSE?..... then why was it that i always thought he lived in a paper box on the street?

Or do you perhaps mean where his paper box originated from?

#12
Seal89999

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At least it was solved.   :)


Thats really what counts! Ive always wondered and now I know. Very cool!

#13
Inoculator9

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Yes Rene... the enigmatic Mahdi box :P

#14
Doom972

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Though I should add this link about The Dune Encyclopedia:
http://www.dunenovel...cyclopedia.html

#15
Andrew

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Some Dune related News
 
Entertaiment industry shouldn't plus-size villains

Frank Herbert's "Dune" series features the noble House of Atreides, the protagonists' family, versus the greedy spice-grubbing House of Harkonnen.

Baron Vladimir Harkonnen is the house's ruthless political figure. He has an insatiable appetite, and is so overweight he must wear a special anchoring device. Many scenes contain descriptions of his weight. (The Atreides are described as serious and distinguished in appearance, with sharp angles and lean bodies).


Student discovers Salem’s sci-fi roots
Gives good information about Frank Herbert.


Writer’s legend built on ‘Dune’
Gives a high school picture of Frank Herbert way back in 1938!

#16
Imperial Sardaukar

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Pfff! Baron Vladimir Harkonnen was overweight, yes, but it was Herbert's way to give you a good visual idea of what he looks like. If he said he was a buff, handsome man, you wouldn't be able to set him apart from Duke Leto! Vladimir was this character you wouldn't forget. You would always remember him in the same mental image Herbert wanted him to look like.

#17
nemafakei

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It wasn't so much the case of FH having the reader associate the Harkonnens with evil through the medium of the Baron's size, rather it was an active part of the universe, be it the Baron's deliberate attempt to generate in the other houses an image of Harkonnen wealth, be it a product of the plot.