Frank Herbert’s Dune: Ornithopter Assault is a cancelled flying / shooter game made by Soft Brigade that was going to be published on the Gameboy Advance by Cryo Interactive. Development of the game started in 2001, but in summer 2002 the project was shelved, even if it was basically finished (all the missions are completable), before submission to Nintendo due to Cryo’s financial difficulties.
This is the game’s fact-sheet published at the time in the official website, now offline:
Trained by Gurney Alleck, the most efficient and honoured officer of the House of Atreides, you are going to become a specialist in piloting and fighting ornithopters. Involved in all-out war for the spice, you must surpass all of your flying skill to survive the fall of the House of Atreides and help Paul and the Fremen in their fight for Arrakis.
- Spectacular 3D Universe on Advanced Game Boy, seen from the cockpit of the ornithopter.
- More than 20 different missions with various objectives simple recounting, escort duties, guarding, destroying troops and buildings, capturing vehicles, collecting spice and water, etc.
- 5 solo and multiple player modes (using 2 cable linked Advanced Game Boy) with various levels of difficulty solo mission, campaign, joint campaign and deathmatch.
- The first adaptation of Dune, the most famous of all science fiction universes, on hand held console.
Thankfully, a rom of Ornithopter Assault was leaked online and preserved. The game can be played on GBA emulators.
What do you think about this unseen game? Give your vote!
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Thanks for the news of this release. The single-player game is complete, albeit very hard in some places. But I have not been able to locate either the multiplayer mode or the briefing room menu (the one with all of the ships) mentioned on the official site. The ship listing is in the game’s coding, so the MP option is probably in there somewhere.
Maybe it would have been unlocked by finishing the single player mode first? or it could have been planned, but not yet completed in this release.. if you’ll find anything else, let us know! :)
I’ve just completed the game (all 23 single-player missions; I’ll release a comprehensive FAQ soon), and the briefing room definitely isn’t in there. Neither is a multiplayer mode, sadly. After finishing the last mission, you get three ending screens with some text and then you’re back in the main menu. You do keep your score and your achievements/treasures and the game just starts over. No differences during the missions though.
Thanks a lot for the details Sonata! Maybe the multiplayer mode would be activated only on real hardware when the GBA Link Cable would be attached to two consoles? Probably not, but I wonder.. :O
A shame this game was never released. Cryo never properly used the Dune franchise, as far as I know (with the exception of their first game) :\
Download link doesn’t work.