Dune II

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Dune II
Dune II.png
Mod-Dune II.png
Levels?Tick.png Editable
Tiles?Tick.png Editable
Sprites?Tick.png Editable
Fullscreen?Tick.png Editable
Sound?Tick.png Editable
Music?X mark.svg Not editable
Text?Tick.png Editable
Story/cutscenes?Tick.png Editable
UI/menus?X mark.svg Not editable

Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (alternate title: Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis) is one of the earliest real-time strategy games; in fact, it was the game for which the genre name was invented. It was developed by Westwood Studios. The game is loosely based on the world of Frank Herbert's Dune book. The player takes command of the armies of one of the three great Houses that vie for control of the desert planet Arrakis.

The basic premise of the game is to build a base, harvest the spice available on the sandy areas of the playing field as in-game currency, and use that currency to expand the base and build armies to defend against enemies, and finally destroy their base. Each House features its own weaknesses, strengths, and special units.


The following tools are able to work with this game.

Name PlatformGroup/archives Levels Graphics Music Sounds Text Saves .exe patch Notes
Dune II Editor WindowsNoNoNoNoNoNoNoEdit Edits properties of units, structures, terrain, houses, etc. Open source text UI application written in FreePascal.
XCC Mixer WindowsReadNoReadNoNoReadNoNo Can view Dune II archives and files, but has no support for writing any of them.
Librarian WindowsEditNoNoNoNoNoNoNo Supports all known types of .PAK archive.
Engie File Converter WindowsNoNoEditNoNoNoNoNo Can view and convert the game's CPS, SHP, WSA, font and colour palette formats.
Westwood Font Editor WindowsNoNoEditNoNoNoNoNo Can edit the game's font files.
d2shpset Windows (command line)NoNoEditNoNoNoNoNo A small Dune II SHP writing utility written by OmniBlade of the Chronoshift (formerly RedAlert++) team to help Dune II mod makers. It supports generating the remap tables the game needs for applying house colours.
Red Horizon Utilities Java (command line)NoNoEditNoNoNoNoNo Support for Dune II SHP in it is experimental, and apparently it works better in certain older versions than in the newest ones.
Original site is defunct. Backups of the tools can be found here.

File formats

The following file formats are used by this game.

Filename Format Details
*.pak PAK Format (Westwood) File archives
*.pal 6-bit RGB 256-colour palette Palettes
*.cps Westwood CPS Format Full-screen images
*.wsa Westwood WSA Format Animated images and cutscenes
*.shp Westwood SHP Format (Dune II) Sprites
icon.icn / icon.map Dune II Tileset Format Terrain / structure tiles. Information on it is available here and here.
*.fnt Westwood Font Format v3 Fonts
*.voc VOC Format Sound effects and voices
*.adl ADL Format Music
*.eng, *.fre, *.ger, *.dip Westwood Strings File Ingame text
*.ecm Dune II ECM Script Behaviour and AI scripting. Information on it is available here.