Arbitrary Headcount Limit: 25 buildable units, although you could get up to a total of 99 by buying from Starports. 2000 had much higher headcounts.
Artificial Stupidity: The AI's move and attack patterns are very simple and predictable. This happened by mistake, as more complex strategies were programed but not well implemented due to several bugs, concrete examples include:
The AI rebuilds defenses as well as other buildings in a random fashion, however when they do the rebuilding it will crush any unit that stays upon the ruins of the building.
AI's attacks on your base can be stopped by building four sections of wall at just the right spot. The AI units that arrive to attack can't manage to find a way around it, and just sit there. As long as no player units approach, they sit still, and the enemy doesn't send out more attackers.
In one mission the AI suddenly sends out a group of soldiers into an empty corner of the map for no reason at all, and they remain there, not moving, until the end of the mission.
The enemy will keep throwing units at your base defense turrets uselessly even as your offensive troops are in the process of leveling their base.
Ascended Extra: House Ordos only appears in non-canon Dune literature.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: See The Good, the Bad, and the Evil below. In addition, regardless of chosen faction color, Atreides units and structures are always sand-colored, Ordos sickly green and Harkonnen ones dark brown. Other factions have specific palettes, notably a deep royal purple for the Sardaukar.
Deflector Shields: Found on a few Ordos units. Amusingly enough, they mirror the books in that if a shielded unit is hit by a laser weapon both units will be instantly destroyed. Thankfully, this does not extend to generating an atomic explosion, however.
Determinator: Sardaukar will not be suppressed by enemy fire. Ever. Fremen however, can, which isn't exactly accurate to the books.
Expy: Several characters loosely mirror ones from the novels, most obviously Shaddam IV Corrino, who doesn't even get a name change. Elara is more complex, visually paralleling Jessica but having shades of Paul in her character.
Out of continuity with the book and the first game. Dune 2000 and Emperor, Battle for Dune both try very hard to link themselves as prequels to the David Lynch film. It could be considered an Alternate Universe.
Dune II has little to do with Dune I, an Adventure Game by Cryo with some RTS aspects. Both games were developed simultaneously and Cryo apparently rushed it in order to beat Westwood to the punch.
Invisibility Cloak: Fremen units are perpetually invisible, unless badly injured. This is meant to represent their skill at moving and hiding in the desert.
Luck-Based Mission: Dune II becomes this whenever a Harkonnen player launches a Death Hand - for either side - since you never know where the missile is going to hit. It leads to Save Scumming aplenty.
One-Hit Kill: Under certain circumstances. A Sand Worm will inflict this on anything, while Sardaukar Elites can do so to any infantry unit with their knives. This also hits both parties when a laser strikes a shield.
Palmtree Panic: The Atreides homeworld, Caladan, has hints of this in its appearance.
Path of Greatest Resistance: The enemy units were created at (and came from) the enemy base. You can follow the trail of enemies back to their base and attack it.
The Plan: The Emperor's plan in Dune 2 and Dune 2000.
Polluted Wasteland: Geidi Prime, the Harkonnen homeworld. Reflecting this, nearly every Harkonnen building has smoke stacks. Including ones that logically shouldn't, like their radar outposts, barracks and palaces.
Red Shirt Army: In Dune 2, infantry was only useful to sneak into a base to capture buildings. Using them for actual combat was guaranteed to result in a lot of screaming and a pile of corpses slowly sinking into the sand even against simple trikes. This was improved upon in later games tough.
Sand Worm: Of course. Keep your units off the sand whenever possible to avoid attracting them, as they cannot be killed and will destroy your units instantly. Watch for Wormsign to know of their approach. Fremen units can move without attracting them. In Dune 2, they can be driven off by reducing them to half-health, but it takes an obscene amount of firepower.
Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: House Ordos has the weakest army which is purely comprised of hired mercenaries. But as a mercantile House that is only concerned with generating revenue to sustain the elite-class of their society, they absolutely do not care how many expendable pawns they have to buy off and send against their enemies. Just so long as they can safely get to the spice melange and harvest it for their own benefit.
Space Marine: The Sardaukar are depicted as this, clad in much heavier armor then other House infantry. They wear distinctive box-shaped helmets with green view-ports, echoing their portrayal in the 1984 film.
Spawn Broodling: The Tleilaxu units, Contaminators and Leeches, attack infantry and vehicles respectively and convert them into more of themselves.
There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Dune 2 had only a limited supply of spice on a given map and when you harvested it all you better had an army capable of winning fielded or you could restart. Dune 2000's development team must have taken notice since in this game the spice keeps regenerating faster then it can ever be harvested, allowing you to saturate the entire map with tanks if you feel like it.
Worker Unit: The ubiquitous, beetle-like Spice Harvester (presented exactly as they appeared in the 1984 film) and the Construction Yard. Carryalls also function as such, automatically ferrying harvesters to and from spice fields. These carryalls are entirely automated and uncontrollable (though they will automatically ferry a damaged unit to an available repair pad).
Worm Sign: Burrowing sandworms are visible as distortions on the desert surface, but are invisible on the minimap until the little dot representing your harvester disappears.
You Require More Vespene Gas: In gameplay terms the Spice is converted directly into funds, or "Solaris", as it it is offloaded into your refineries. In the novels its a kind of Unobtainium, withuncountablepurposesand powers.Dune 2000 explicitly justifies this, mentioning at various points that the houses are selling the harvested spice on the interstellar market, so funds used to power your war machine are expressly that generated by Spice sales. The stuff is that valuable.