WORLD BUILDING WITH POPULOUS
This Electronic Arts' entry bestows divine power upon the player as he
battles an evil diety for the right to tule the world. Gamers must fight
to keep their population growing in numbers while using natural disasters
to disrupt the enemy, who is attempting to do the same
Although POPULOUS may seem a bit complicated to the novice player, if
one adheres to a few simple guidlines, it will soon be obvious that being
a god isn't so tough after all. As the game begins, note that the
populations are usually set up so that the enemy is on the other side of
the globe. This gives players ample time to build up a respectable
following before going into battle.
Start by flattening out the land around the people by using the raise-lower
land option. There are two important things to keep in mind in the early
stages of game play. One is to get people settled and growing as quickly
as possible. The other is to level off the land by building upward to
match the higher sections. This is especially important when using the
flood option that will be discussed further on. It is also crucial to
make sure the command icon is on `settle' so the people will build as
much as possible.
Try to establish at least three or four castles early on; they will prove
important for a number of reasons. For instance, castles help build the
population faster than any other structure. The walkers that emerge from
these castles will also will be stronger and, therefore, make excellent
knights. Lastly, castles build up manna quickly, which will come in handy
as the game progresses.
The one drawback to these structures is that castles take a while to fill
to capacity; so there's a delay before these strong walkers emerge. This
is not crucial early on, but later, players may need some strong walkers
in a hurry. Try not to get carried away by building too many castles.
When the first castle is up and functioning, head over to the evil side
and zap him with an earthquake or two in the area he seems to be growing
qwickest. Once he knows you mean business, head back to the friendly
side and resume building. Continue in this fashion until three or four
castles are complete, then get ready for battle.
Now it's time to raise an army. The most important offense is the knight.
Although natural disasters are a whole lot of fun and do cause damage, the
knight is by far the best weapon manna can buy!
Now that the castles are producing strong followers, switch the icon to `go
to the papal magnet' and wait for a few walkers to collide and create a
stronger leader. Once done, invoke the knight icon, and he'll be on his
way. Continue to knight the leader until three or four knights are
created. This army will head towards the enemy destroying any settlements
it encounters. The trick is to follow behind the knights by placing the
papal magnate in the area they just rummaged through. When this is done,
the people will head towards the magnet and thereby begin their world
conquest. When they reach the magnat, change the command to `settle' and
they will then build a village in this new area. If manna remains high,
create a few more knights and take advantage of this new location to
As for natural disasters, use them sparingly to slow enemy progress at key
locations, but remember, it is almost always better to use manna, making
another knight to storm the countryside than it is to shake up a single
game grid. There is, however, one disaster that an play a key role in
this fight for world conquest: the flood command. If a player is losing
or wants to speed things up a bit, the flood command is the answer.
The important thing to remember here is that a flood raises the sea level
across the whole world. This is why it's important to build the friendly
settlements on high land early on. The computer does not anticipate a
flood at a later date so it's therefore possible to drown most of its
people while keeping the friendly people quite safe.
The only other significant disaster to use id the volcano. This option has
an advantage over the others mainly because its effects are not as easily
overcome. A volcano not only alters the terrain significantly, but it
also spews rocks everywhere, making any attempt to rebuild quite a job.
When using a volcano, it's best to use it for all it's worth. Try to
seek out a strong enemy castle or village, since they do require a decent
amount of manna.
Lastly, should a disaster like a volcano befall the player, remember that
the raise lower-land option can be quite effective. Rocks can be
eliminated by lowering the land under them into the sea, then back up again.
This is an important strategy for leveling land, since rocks and trees hinder
crop development, and after all, keeping the people happy and well-fed is
the responsibility of any respectable god.