WALKTHROUGH & STRATEGY GUIDE
REVIEWED PCZ #70
Is your shaman a shambles? Is your mana meagre? If so, Keith Pullin has the
Populous: The Beginning is a complex affair with multiple solutions and
strategies - but don't fret. This two-part guide begins by providing a
comprehensive walkthrough of the first 12 worlds, and expert advice on
making the most of your spells and followers. The road to immortality starts
PLANET BY PLANET GUIDE
1 The journey begins
You start with eight followers. Send three into each hut to start breeding
and build another hut with the remaining two. Worship the stone head. Use
the land bridge spell to reach the centre island. Worship the Vault of
Knowledge to learn about warrior training and then the other stone head to
get lightning. Now build a warrior training hut; train about ten warriors.
Use the land bridge again and storm the Dakini island. Send your warriors
straight towards their shaman while blasting their huts with lightning
//level1-attack.jpg That's it, in you go - dead easy, this level.
2 Night falls
Extract your shaman to the totem pole and begin worshipping. Use your
followers to build two extra huts and a warrior training hut. Move a
follower to the stone head to worship with your shaman once she's finished
at the totem pole. Create approximately ten warriors and march past the
guard tower into Matak territory. While the shaman heads for the Vault of
Knowledge your warriors should make a start on the nearby hut. Cast
tornadoes at the Matak huts and send in the warriors to clean up. Use the
swarm spell to keep your foes from grouping together.
3 Crisis of faith
Get your followers to start building two huts. Send Shammy off to the totem
pole. When she's finished there, move her over to the Vault of Knowledge to
learn about temples. Now build a temple. Train ten preachers and send them
into Matak territory. Spread out and watch the poor impressionable fools
sway to your plight.
4 Combined forces
Take the shaman over to the Vault of Knowledge followed by the stone head.
Set breeders going in three huts and build a warrior hut with the remaining
few. Use the shaman to convert about 15 wild men, and then train up 20
warriors in total - they can be the shaman's bodyguards. Move towards the
next Vault of Knowledge and use blast to remove any Matak preachers. Worship
at the vault, keeping your warriors close by. Wait until you have amassed at
least three lightning bolts. Attack the right flank of the village and use
blast again to remove any lurking preachers. Use lightning primarily on the
Matak temple and warrior hut and throw the remaining bolts at anything that
5 Death from above
Worship the stone head near the start to gain the convert spell, then head
back right to the stretch of coast near the guard tower. Use the convert
spell to reach across to the savages on the island. Use these new followers
to worship the totem pole. A boat appears; use it to take your shaman and
four warriors further right to the land mass where the Angel of Death statue
lies. Divert the waiting warriors with a lightning spell, get your braves to
guard our mighty shaman and try to squeeze her through to worship the Angel.
Use the blast spell for protection.
6 Building bridges
Okay, things start getting tricky now. Your shaman should worship the Vault
of Knowledge, then start converting wild men pronto. Build up a strong base
near the large pool above the reincarnation point and start producing
preachers sharpish. Also build guard towers on the hills surrounding your
base, and man them with fire warriors and preachers. Worship the stone head
in the stone circle.
The enemy soon attacks. Soak up these onslaughts and eventually a bridge
appears to the stone head across the channel. Worship here. Now you can
hypnotise the Chumara warrior by the totem pole on the island. Get those
holy knees bending and another bridge forms further up the channel.
The Matak and Chumara tribe can now throw bees at each other in a bizarre
ritual apparently known as battle. Meanwhile, sneak about ten preachers into
each camp and watch them fall like flies. Bring in a dozen or so warriors
accompanied by lightning spells. If you're ultra cunning, you'll worship the
stone head above the Matak base for the firestorm spell.
7 Unseen enemy
The enemy tribe barely appears if you get through this level fast enough -
which is in less than 20 minutes, ideally. Begin by converting about 20
savages. Merge them with the rest of your followers and build a temple on
the coast opposite the island. Next, build a warrior hut and three normal
huts. Create about ten preachers. Cast a land bridge spell to the island and
lead five preachers to worship. Watch out for the enemy shaman's lightning
spell - she tends to come along while you pray.
Once you have the erode spell, cast another land bridge spell to the Chumara
side. Infiltrate all your preachers into the right side of their camp and
cast offensive spells. Concentrate mainly on destroying the Chumara
preachers, temple and the guard tower in the middle. The battle should
slowly swing in your favour. Add a few warriors to mix it up a bit...
8 Continental divide
Your base should consist of five huts and a temple. Guide your shaman across
the world converting simpletons as you go. Guide her towards the Vault of
Knowledge, and if she's well protected you'll obtain the fire warrior
knowledge. Now head over to a stone head on a ridge by a pool to get a
shield spell. Back home create an army of ten fire warriors and ten
preachers. With the shaman, march your army north into the Chumara camp
covered by shield and invisibility spells. As before, destroy the tower in
the middle and the fire warrior hut next to it. Have your shaman lend a hand
9 Fire in the mist
Usual tactics: convert wild men and raise a base consisting of four huts, a
temple and a fire warrior training hut. Send the shaman walkabout to find
two stone heads: one containing an earthquake spell, and the other a tornado
one. Keep some followers and continue up the island. Before you reach the
Chumara base cast invisibility on the braves and send them scurrying along
the left coast until they find some boats; steal one and flee. Point your
shaman towards the Vault of Knowledge at the end of the peninsula; cause
havoc with spells as you try to reach it. Ultimately, worship here to learn
about boat building.
Send the shaman over to the island teeming with natives and convert a few to
worship the head containing the volcano spell. Keep the Chumara shaman well
away from your base until the volcano spell has been learnt. Sail the shaman
and some protection over to Chumara territory and whop down a volcano. Let
fly with lightning too. Don't despair if your shaman is killed - sail back
over there with two boats packing invisible fire warriors and preachers.
Start the finale with earthquake and tornado spells, then let the infantry
10 From the depths
Don't worry about the frightening start - escape in the boat with your
shaman and four preachers. Cruise to the small island with the totem pole;
mumble at that for a while and 'Atlantis' rises out of the depths. Convert
the wild men and repair the slightly wet base. Sneak some invisible
preachers over to pray at the enemy totem pole and half the island sinks.
Ha! Revenge... That'll teach them. Finish off their miserable hides with
11 Treacherous souls
The main thing here is to keep expanding your base. Once you've disposed of
the Matak tribe, a big army's required to stop the Chumara scum. Send your
shaman with a boatload of invisible fire warriors around the back of the
Chumara base and attack from there. Cause as much mayhem as possible before
you're hopelessly slaughtered. Send another two boats in, while
simultaneously attacking with a bigger invisible invasion force from the
other side. Back this horde up with your shaman and head straight for the
temple and fire warrior huts. Lightning these and head for the Vault of
Knowledge during the ensuing chaos. Keep adding preachers and fire warriors
12 An easy target
This is the first world where you are pitched against three enemy tribes.
Luckily, you begin on a separate island while the other conquistadors fight
each other on a bigger continent. You don't get much land to build on here
so use land bridge to landfill the ocean. Also cast land bridge across the
corner hills to wall yourself in and guard against any waterborne attacks.
Each tribe guards a Vault of Knowledge; the Chumara - spy training hut; the
Matak - erode spell; and the red tribe, the tornado spell. The red and green
tribes will try to cripple the yellow tribe, leaving you to finish them off.
Keep a look-out for any spies who might try to sabotage your settlement.
ART: STARS OR NUMBERS, IT'S UP TO YOU! THEA
BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE
Establish a strong settlement using the following guidelines:
1. Disable all spells apart from convert. Send your shaman into the
wilderness and convert as many wild men as you can; you can often found them
near water (either small lakes or the ocean).
2. While the shaman is busy recruiting, begin building. Find a flat,
spacious area of land near plenty of trees. If this land is away from the
reincarnation site, build a guard tower first.
3. Build four or five huts at a time, keeping key huts like temples and fire
warrior training huts away from the main settlement - invading forces always
hone in on them first.
4. Try to build huts in rows; you can fit more huts into less space that
way. To achieve a large population, construct 30 or more huts, but always
keep a careful eye on wood supplies.
5. If you are running low on wood, try sending some invisible braves into
the enemy settlement to steal some more. Destroying the enemy trees with
spells or spies can actually be quite a useful tactic.
They follow you about like lovesick puppy dogs, but they do other stuff
She is the only member of the tribe who can fire spells. Seeing as how
spells are the only way you're going to get through the game, your shaman
must be well protected at all times.
Braves are the foundation of your tribe. They generate four times more mana
than any other follower, but only when building or resting in huts. Keep
huts populated to keep the mana flowing, man.
Warriors are the toughest of your followers, but lack special abilities.
Keep them away from preachers, and use them to back up your attacks.
Warriors should be the last line of defence.
Preachers, though weak, are surprisingly powerful if used in groups. A good
thing to do is smuggle invisible, shielded preachers into a camp. The effect
can be devastating. Unfortunately, the same works in reverse, so watch out!
These guys have quite a long range, so keep them at a distance from the
enemy, preferably on higher ground. Once again, this type of follower is
highly effective when invisible and shielded. And in a balloon, well...
frightening. They can also be used in boats to strafe enemy coastlines.
Spies sneak into enemy bases and set fire to huts. They are best used during
the early stages of a match when each player is still setting up their
settlements. Spies delay the enemy's progress and lower his mana rate.
Groups of invisible, shielded spies are fairly formidable foes.
//Whoever lays this out might want to crop these screenshots - some of them
have a lot of open space that's not needed. It's only the actual spell
effects that are important here//
These are the first eight spells - we'll give you more next month when you
can handle them.
This is your simplest spell, as well as one of the most powerful in your
arsenal. Although it has a short range, the blast spell is more useful for
defending the shaman against ambush. Tactically it's brilliant near waterL
if any enemy followers are running along the coast, cast the spell to the
other side of them so they are blown into the drink.
This is only really useful at the start of the level when you have plenty of
wild men to convert.
Swarm is only a temporary solution. Often it will just scatter the enemy
and, ultimately, cause more problems - although is a good way of stopping
your followers from being converted by preachers. It's also worth casting on
boats and balloons just to watch the occupants throw themselves over the
side in terror.
Invisibility doesn't last long, so only cast it on your target followers at
the very last moment. Preachers become visible again when they start
preaching and fire warriors reappear when attacked or ordered to attack.
Invisibility and shield make an excellent combination.
Not only is this good for joining two areas of land separated by water, but
it can also level hills and valleys for building on. By placing the shaman
on one side of a hill and casting the spell on the other side, you will
level the land. You can also cast it next to the coast to give yourself more
Swamp can be very useful when placed in the enemy's path, especially in
front of your defences. There is little you can do against an enemy swamp
except sacrifice ten of your followers to fill it or erode the land
underneath so it falls into the water. Remember: your followers are
vulnerable to your own swamps.
Lightning is a more powerful version of the blast spell and kills anyone it
is directly cast upon. It will also severely damage buildings.
When you first attack a settlement, use the hypnotism spell to temporarily
convert enemy followers so they begin attacking their own kind. Keep them
away from your own followers so they don't start attacking them when the
spell wears off. Enemy followers converted by hypnotised preachers will be
permanent members of your tribe.
The final part of our guide provides a walkthrough for the last 13 planets.
also take a look at 'guest' spells, multiplayer strategies and some
cheats. Finally, there's some advice straight from the Bullfrog team. What
could you possibly want?
CLOUDY WITH SUNNY SPELLS
Last month, we gave you the first eight spells. Here are the rest, including
'guest' and multiplayer-only spells
Tornadoes are powerful but unpredictable. To ensure you destroy at least one
target, cast it on a specific building - there's a chance others will go as
well. Good against armies, too.Shield
Cover followers with shield when attacking enemy settlements - but remember
doesn't last long, and any spell fired on a shielded follower is bounced
Similar to the landbridge spell and can be used to the same land-flattening
ends. Not only does it flatten land around the point where it's cast, it can
also lower land into the sea.
This is most effective on high ground, where both the lava and the ruptured
ground can cause problems. The pre-shocks can also destroy buildings in the
A very useful spell against high ground and coastal settlements. If cast on
slopes, the land sinks and tumbles into the valley. If cast on the coast,
land and buildings melt into the sea.
Casts a shower of meteors onto the target. If it is cast in a heavily
populated area, it destroys any buildings and enemy followers who stray into
Angel of Death
These scour the world looking for enemy followers. When they find one, they
swoop down and eat the unfortunate individual. Angels are difficult to kill
have long lifespans.
What can we say? Volcano is the most evil spell in the game. Cast this at
heart of an enemy settlement for maximum effect. If one is cast upon you,
evacuate your followers sharpish.
Guest spells do not have permanent icons on the Spells panel. This is
they are hugely powerful and would upset the balance of the game. They are
more suited to multiplayer games
Bloodlust turns your followers into murderous savages. It makes them
and faster, and generally a lot more dangerous.
Armageddon is a very traditional Populous spell. Each player's followers are
transported to an arena where they fight for world domination.
OI! GEROFF MY WORLD
The multiplayer game contains a number of tricks to learn: maps are often
symmetrical, so you can guess where the enemies are lurking if the world is
A useful trick is to build your spy-training hut early, train some spies and
then dismantle it. Hopefully your opponents won't realise you have the
to sabotage their settlements.
This is an optional feature giving you the chance to alter the landscape
the level begins. First look at the land around the site and use the flatten
spells to make room for your settlements. Then, around the perimeter, raise
land into small hills and construct guard towers at their summits. When the
timer reaches about five, cast the wildmen spell on the reincarnation site.
the level begins, any wildmen caught inside the reincarnation site are
automatically converted to your tribe.
Ghost army is a multiplayer-only spell that creates six ghost followers. Use
them to create a decoy army while your real army is attacking from the other
direction. Ghost shamans are especially useful for confusing the enemy.
The final part of our guide provides a walkthrough for the last 13 planets.
also take a look at 'guest' spells, multiplayer strategies and some
cheats. Finally, there's some advice straight from the Bullfrog team. What
could you possibly want?
Your main opposition comes from yellow balloons. Warriors are useless
these high-altitude attacks, so place fire warriors in guard towers, then
the shaman to zap the balloon occupants with lightning. When they are empty,
steal them and attack the other tribes.
There are three stone heads on this world. Two are within easy reach of your
followers. The first, and closest to your reincarnation site, has a
volcano spell. The enemy shaman frazzles any of your followers who try to
worship this stone, so proceed with extreme caution. The second head, near
green Vault of Knowledge (VoK), contains three shield spells. The last, on a
separate island, contains a firestorm spell.
Attacked from all Sides
You start this world with little land to build on and three tribes
The yellow tribe, camped on an island away from the other tribes, launch
assaults. The red tribe, camped beyond the mountains, send spies and raiding
parties. And the green tribe, on the plateau above, rain spells down upon
Force their shaman away from the cliffs to stop this.
The red tribe guard a VoK containing the firestorm spell. Also, near their
settlement is a stone head with a single-shot earthquake spell. The green
tribe's VoK hides the flatten spell, and a stone head on the beach near
settlement contains the angel of death. The yellow tribe guard a VoK
the shield spell.
You must assert yourself quickly in this world, or you won't last five
Attack the reds first - their incessant raids are a nuisance but, more
importantly, they guard the firestorm spell, a most desirable weapon. Hold
the yellow tribe with preachers and fire warriors in guard towers. The green
tribe can't reach you, so they pose little threat, but their sporadic
attacks can be annoying. Use the angel of death on this
lot, which keeps them occupied while you concentrate on more pressing
This third 'special' world sees our shaman bang to rights, spell-less and
helpless. She must escape her prison before time runs out.
Once your population is growing steadily, send three or four braves to build
boats. Fill a boat with warriors and sail them to the three guard towers
guarding the entrance to the enemy island. Touch down near one of the side
towers and send your warriors to attack. The enemy fire warrior inside
your men, but they can take it. Eventually, they dismantle the towers. Put
warriors back in the boat and repeat this tactic on the other two towers.
completed, sail them into the little bay just inside enemy territory and
Meanwhile, back home, train up a variety of aggressive followers and place
in boats. Ferry them to the aforementioned bay and land away from the main
stronghold. Pitch preacher against preacher, and warriors against guard
When the enemy is overwhelmed, select as many followers as possible and
click on the prison to free the shaman. Now command her to pray at the
for a volcano. Cast the volcano into the valley to decimate the enemy.
Bloodlust is a 'guest' spell, available only on this world and found within
stone heads. The first head is near the borders of your territory, the
by the green settlement and is better because it contains infinite shots.
head on the island in the middle of a lake contains an angel of death spell.
Set up guards quickly to protect against the red and yellow tribes. Use high
land to build more solid defences. Both yellow and green use balloons, so
warriors should be used in abundance. Casting swamp in front of enemy
settlements provides a cunning defence too.
The armageddon spell is in the stone head in the centre of the island.
Unfortunately, three other tribes are vying for the same prize, and they've
already built their settlements - tricky. But all is not lost. These tribes
intent on scrapping among themselves, and thus slow each other down.
A cunning trick is to cast swamp on the stone head to swallow any enemy
followers who attempt to worship there. You can also use erode to estrange
yourself from the enemy.
Finally, only cast armageddon when you are sure of victory. Train as many
warriors as possible beforehand to give you the best chance in the arena.
There are three stone heads on this world, each guarded by a different
The nearest head is guarded by the red tribe and contains an armageddon
The yellow and green tribes each guard a single volcano spell.
Initially, the adjacent reds pose the biggest threat. The yellow and green
tribes use boats to attack, and the green tribe even have the audacity to
landbridge to invade near your reincarnation site. They could do this at any
time, so stay alert. Ultimately, armageddon is the way to victory.
On this world, you are allied with the yellow tribe. The red tribe soon
attacking your buddies and it's up to you to protect them. If they are
destroyed, you lose.
Because of the lack of land, you must use landbridge to create more. Erect a
guard tower by your reincarnation site, go inside, and cast landbridge to
yellow base. The shaman can then wander over to help.
Swamp can be a useful defence, giving both of you a fighting chance. There
also a spot at the other end of your island where the red tribe can
over, so make sure you have patrols set up to watch this area.
Two stone heads populate this world. The first is at the opposite end of
island and contains three teleport spells. This spell is limitless and
the shaman absolutely anywhere she wants to go. The second is at the end of
red village and contains a volcano spell which, when cast, sets off the
volcano, damaging the red tribe's settlement.
Yet again, use landbridge to exploit the islands and expand territory. The
tribe guards a VoK containing the angel of death spell. This can be reached
quite easily by heading past some fire warriors in guard towers. There is
stone head on another island, which contains a landbridge spell. Set this
and another stone head appears elsewhere containing a flatten spell. Other
heads in the chain grant you single-shot firestorm (unfortunately, this also
casts a firestorm around the head, killing nearby followers) and volcano
At first, the red tribe attack by water. To avoid this, cast landbridge to
island, forcing them to attack you over land through a narrow corridor. You
then guard this corridor with fire warriors and swamps.
This world is very unstable, and volcanoes erupt frequently. Close unstable
fissures by casting flatten spells over them. The totem pole near your
reincarnation site actually closes one of these fissures for you, which
because the reds are volcano crazy and create them from the start. The
VoK is away from the reds' main settlement and therefore vulnerable, so go
it early. The stone head at the opposite end of the island contains two
The landscape is barren and hard to navigate. The red tribe prefer to attack
balloon and come in from the sea behind you. Also watch out for raiding
>from the small settlement next
to the VoK.
The final 'special' world is a lone shaman suicide run. It's a nightmare, so
save often. The three obelisks are the keys - they grant you full mana and
spells. The first is near the start, the second on an island near the first,
the green tribe guards the third. But remember: because
you have no followers, you cannot charge mana. You only have
what you gain from the obelisks and killing other shamans, so use it wisely.
When you defeat the red tribe, grab the boat by their boathouse and sail to
yellow settlement. Use the balloon to reach green territory. An angel of
can be very effective on this level.
It's a three-pronged attack again! At least you have plenty of space to
upon, and don't be shy about creating even more with landbridge. Use small
to create impassable walls and cut off the green tribe. The stone head
three firestorm spells, but since you already have that spell you might as
cast swamp around it to trap the reds. The yellow tribe is lurking on an
so they use boats and balloons to reach you.
All four tribes take to the stage for the ultimate battle. First order of
day is survival, so seal yourself in nice and tight by setting up some
towers to block off the entrances to your island, then get those huts
After that, use pretty much every tactic going. Speed is the essence here,
if you can bring an angel of death into the fray, all the better. This is
final showdown - there's nothing more
Wow! A final secret world.
Go and enjoy yourself IMMORTAL!
*Busy people are happy people, and happy people give you mana.
*Use invisible warriors to sneak in and kill the enemy shaman.
*Look out for any advancing armies, and cast swamp on them to reduce their
*Put preachers in guard towers Ñ they are better-protected and gather up
stray enemy followers.
*Use high ground to your advantage. Spells have a much greater range when
cast from hills.
*Steal enemy boats and balloons.
*Hypnotise enemy followers and send them to your preachers.
*Deceive the enemy and make them waste their spells on a ghost army.
*Don't waste your mana, and keep your spells charging.
*Cast swarm near swamps so the enemy panic and run into them.
*Never cut down all your trees: you'll run out of wood.
*Build huts, huts and more huts to increase your mana flow.
*Cast lightning on enemy guard towers and use invisible shielded spies.
*Shielded fire warriors in balloons can cause massive devastation.
*Cast landbridge from high peak to high peak to create impassable walls.
*Use invisible shielded preachers to infiltrate the enemy settlements.
*Kill any enemy shaman you see to gain a quarter of their mana every time.