You play a god, gaming against other gods in a celestial game of conquest. To win, you must help your chosen people take over the world and wipe out the vermin who worship that other god.
Each god starts out with a single human, dumped into the middle of the wilderness. Sometimes there is inhabitable land in sight, sometimes not. To get win, you must change the landscape, creating flat land for your followers to build on. The more followers you have you have, the more powerful you will be, so take care of them. Build as fast as you can, because the other god is doing the same.
When you have enough followers, you can make the leader of your people into a hero. He will then go around the land you have built, literally taking strength from the people into himself, and working his way toward the enemy. When he gets there, he will engage in holy warfare upon your enemy's people. He will burn; he will kill. And he won't stop until they're all dead... or he is.
But you don't have to let your people have all the fun; the god's have other tools as well. You can drown your enemies one at a time with your land lowering powers. Submerge their towns in swamps. Raise a volcano in the middle of their best farmland. Even better, you can flood the land and drain all the people who didn't build on high-ground.
And when you win, you'll have 500 more worlds to conquer. A god's play is just never done.
Introduction Have you ever dreamed of being a god, modifying every little thing in the world that isn't as you wish, having hordes of followers and worshippers that follow your orders, and practically being the 'Master of All'? If you presume (as all of you probably do) from this question that this game offers it all, you're completely right! There is just one little catch - the other mighty god disagrees with you, and he won't just be sitting in the clouds watching you have all the fun.
The game Populous is the first game from a quadrilogy of the same name. When this game was released, it was extremely popular and widely accepted as one of the first real-time strategies. The fact that it was named Game Of The Year 1989 says enough for itself. As soon as you run the game you will see a menu giving you 3 choices of play: Tutorial, Conquest and Custom Game. In Tutorial mode you can practice your skills as a god without need of filling your mana. Conquest offers you a chance to fight your adversary on various maps, advancing through them one by one and Custom Game allows you to change worlds and landscapes and even put yourself in the role of Evil.
Gameplay The main goal of the game is to defeat the other god and his people by spreading your tribe through building houses. You advance your people's buildings by conquering plain fields. The more houses and followers you have, the more mana (deja vu, anyone? ) you get. Mana is a god's power which you use for releasing disasters upon enemy people and buildings. You have a wide range of them at your disposal: earthquake, flood (raises sea level), volcano, armageddon, swamp (swallows all) and knight (ultimate warrior who, once unleashed, destroys enemy houses and people). To round up your divine powers, you also have the ability of raising and lowering land, which is useful for making plain fields or weakening enemy buildings.
Graphics and sound Populous' graphics were very good for the time of its release, and now, to us spoilt gamers, it looks somewhat seamy. Various landscapes (polar, desert, grassland, rocks and lava) are probably what nowadays gives graphics a pass, considering that animations of your people and buildings aren't very impressive. Sound is nothing spectacular and the music is painfully repetitive so you'll probably turn it off after 10 minutes.
Interface And so we come to what is probably the worst side of the game. The interface is rather unpractical, mainly because of the clumsily positioned control board which reduces the actual playing area of the screen so you have to scroll all the time. This might put most new players off… and they could hardly be blamed for that!
Compatibility and controls For running the game you should use DosBox in which the game runs flawlesly, while there are some game speed issues when running the game with VDMSound. One of the great sides of the game is that its compatibility features aren't typical for the time of its release. For instance, Populous was one of the first games to introduce multiplayer via modem! Yes, you read it right, you can dial your friend's computer and prove to him who's the better God in-head-to-head play! Populous also supports mouse control while featuring a great number of keyboard hotkeys (you can download default keyboard controls). This greatly enhances playability and enables you to react faster to the events on the screen.
Conclusion and personal opinion The fact that Populous is a true strategy classic which has set the standards for many forthcoming games is not questionable. The real dilemma here is whether it still is as challenging and interesting as it was 15 years ago. Old fans who played it and liked it in past times will surely be attracted to it once again because of its intense nostalgic feeling, while new players who are used to state-of-the-art 3D games will probably detest it and delete it immediately after download. As I belong to the first group (the slightly younger part of it, that is), I would recommend it to every gamer willing to see how it all started. Even if you're not impressed at the first sight, give Populous some time, and it will attract your attention for quite a while. After all, it is challenging to experience what it's like to be a God, isn't it?
In your Populous package file (you downloaded it, of course) you will get 5 files which you can run the game from. Each file offers different quality graphics and sound. Here's the list to save you precious time:
populous.exe(CGA graphics and PC speaker)- never, and I repeat, NEVER run the game with this executable unless you're a kamikaze or you want to go blind and deaf!
popvga1.bat(VGA graphics and PC speaker) - avoid the darn PC speaker
popvga2.bat (VGA graphics with Tandy sound) - couldn't get any sound in DosBox
popvga3.bat (VGA graphics with Adlib sound) - very good combination
popvga4.bat (VGA graphics with Roland MT-32 sound) - my favourite as the sound is slightly better than with Adlib
trans.exe not used for running the game, but is a very useful executable which enables you to change default control keys any way you wish!
Wouldn't it be great to be a god? Ah, sure 'twould... But that's a hard piece of work, you know. Play Populous to find out how stressing it can be to be a god. Make the homes of your people grow and make them finally smash your opponent. A VERY addictive game. It's game-concept is one of the best ever made! I'd like to call Populous the mother of real-time Strategy-Games. What I personally like about it, is the fact, that you've actually got to care for your people, you gotta make their homes grow to win this game. There are some nice catastrophes at hand for you to use against your enemys people, as long as you've got enough power. Doing something in this game consumes power or mana as they'd like to call it, the amount of mana you get depends on your people - it's not only important how many houses you have, for more improtant is kind of houses your people are able to build. I haven't played Populous for a long time now, but I fell in love with it at the very first minute I started it again after all these years. It still is a number one choice if you're looking for a good Strategy-Game.
You may have a little problem with the copy-protection of Populous, use Neverlock to defeat it (get it at the Utilities-Section).
This can easily be called a God simulation. Why? Because You ARE a God! Control either good or evil people and destroy the other. You, as God, can raise and lower the land, make earthquakes, floods, plagues, volcano eruptions... As Your people grow, Your powers grow and then You can go in to the Holy war against the enemy. Don't forget to make knights to fight for You and help Your people by destroying enemy landscape. Populous was named Game of the year 1989.
Populous is an almost perfect mix of looks, charm and gameplay. It can be credited with starting a whole new genre (the 'god' game) and is indeed a true classic.
To put it another way, it rocks!!! In Populous you play a god, in fact you play a Good God. And of course if there's a good God, it stands to reason that there's gonna be a bad God kicking about the place somewhere. Anyway, you have followers, he has followers and you have to make sure that your guys come out on top. First of all you need a way to communicate your wishes to them, and throwing lightning bolts isn't very concise so you need to appoint someone to speak for you, a high priest will fit the bill nicely. Right, now that you can talk to your followers you are gonna want them to do some of that "go forth and multiply" stuff.. but alas, the land is not flat enough to build upon.
But you're a God, you can soon take care of that ;) So your people are settling across their newly flattened world, worshipping you and increasing your godly powers through 'mana' (more worshippers = more mana = more power). On the other side of the world Mr Bad God and his followers are doing the same thing, and sooner or later your two sides are going to meet and there's gonna be trouble. So it's upto you to get rid of him before he gets rid of you. Fortunately being a God means that you have some very nice weapons at your disposal: earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, you get the idea. You play the game across 500 worlds/levels starting at "genesis" and working through until you and your people have annihilated all opposition.
I haven't really scratched the surface of the game yet, I havent talked about how you can transform your priest into a huge psycopathic knight who slaughters your enemies, or about the custom game mode. So I guess it's up to you to download it and find out for yourself.
I promise you that you wont be disappointed. Populous is a wonderful game, good for a quick ten minute bash and long all night sessions.
One of the hardest games I have ever played as the game starts very fast and you don't really get too much to know about what it's all about. You have to build up your tribe, communicate and fight with other tribes and build up and spread your buildings and people.
The graphics are ok considered it's from 1989 and so is the sound. Bullfrog has tried to create a game interface that fits well to the game and theme and they did well - if the interface had just been easy to use which it isn't. This has made me not want to try and learn the game because it makes it quite difficult. Overall not a very good game as there are so many other good games in this genre.
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