About the Game
Written by Apnea Thursday, 28 April 2011 12:00
Populous: The Beginning was born in 1998 as the third from the Populous series. The game was released for computers and later adapted for PlayStation by Climax in 1999.
Their creators, Bullfrog Productions, presented us with a slightly different game than the previous in this series. Up to ‘The Beginning’s release, the game was about a God influencing his loyal followers, commanding them to conquer a world. Our game, though, places the player in a different role: the Shaman of the tribe, and allows the player himself to control the followers of the tribe. Along the storyline of Populous III, the Shaman and the followers would fight against opposite tribes to conquer world by world in ever growing threats, to finally help the Shaman become the God of the Solar System.
The game takes place in a planetary system of twenty five unnamed planets unconnected with reality, with varying landscapes that go from blood-red and volcanic surfaces, twilight skies, sandy shores, snowy mountains and expansive verdant green plains to purple seas. The planets also contain trees that will provide the tribes with wood to build their settlements, and can sometimes have the presence of Wildmen, neutral units that can be converted into a tribe’s own population.
These planets are inhabited by four tribes, one of them being the player’s tribe. They are represented by their color, being the red tribe the ‘Dakini’, the yellow tribe the ‘Chumara’, the green tribe the ‘Matak’, and finally the blue tribe which the player will command, usually denominated ‘Ikani’ although in the game it’s never mentioned by name.
Members of the tribe are, as mentioned, the Shaman plus five type of units. The Shaman is the only female unit presented in the game and she has infinite lives as long as there are living followers in the tribe. Every time she dies, she respawns after a certain amount of seconds in her Reincarnation site. The Shaman also has the particularity of being able to cast spells. She can cast up to twenty spells, some of them being destructive, some intended to influence or protect the followers in one way or another and some intended to distort the landscape, among others. Spells have different ranges for which the Shaman needs to approach the place where a spell will be cast. To charge these powers the tribe will need a certain amount of mana varying on what spell it is. The mana is provided by the existence of followers, the Shaman herself is the biggest producer. Given that a bigger tribe would have more mana than a smaller one, expansion is a very important aspect of the game.
The first and basic unit is the Brave, the only capable of building and the biggest producer of mana after the Shaman. They spawn from newly built huts with different speed according to the amount of braves inhabiting them. The more huts, the more braves will spawn. Braves can also upgrade huts twice, making this process of expansion even faster. As long as the settlement is big enough to allow them to keep spawning, the braves will increase in amount until the tribe hits its maximum population, which is 199 followers. Braves can be trained into different units with special attributes by building each unit’s training hut.
The Spies are special units capable of disguising themselves and showing to the opposite player as one more Brave from their tribe. They can sneak into their settlement and set buildings on fire. They can also guard in guard posts called towers, and recognize Spies sent by their foes as long as they’re in their range of sight.
The Warriors are the strongest units in the game; they can stand several attacks while dealing a good amount of damage. They are melee units as well as Braves and Spies, and they are fast destroyers when it comes to taking down buildings.
The Firewarriors are ranged units capable to blast at enemies either from land or from towers, very useful to defend settlements. They’re weaker than warriors since they don’t need to engage in fist-to-fist battles.
The Preachers are units capable of corrupting an opposite unit’s soul into converting to the opposite tribe’s follower. They’re hybrid units that have a ranged effect on followers but engage in fights as a melee follower. As the Firewarriors, they can preach from a tower safely.
In the game there are also two vehicles, boats that can transport up to five units through the sea, and balloons that can transport up to two units up in the air.
Tribes usually start with very few followers and with time they expand and become a strong threat to their enemies with solid buildings, defenses, trained troops and spells for attacks.
The aim of the game is killing absolutely every follower in the opposite tribe, including its Shaman. Conquering world by world until she reaches the final level in which she becomes a deity, omnipotent in the entire world.
In multiplayer, the game is presented with different worlds that a tribe has to conquer too, from the opposite player. While in the single player gameplay alliances are seen in only few levels, multiplayer games usually engage two allied tribes versus another two, to make good use of all the possible tribes and make games richer.
For more than ten years online players have improved their techniques and strategies and settled the rhythm of a professional player of Populous. For which the transition from single player to multiplayer is usually a challenge for new players.
Are you ready for this challenge?
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 July 2011 11:09